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Jun 26, 2019

Heroes of Silvermoon, Final Chapter: A New Port of Kings

Contents:
  1. The Cultist
  2. Arena Games
  3. Phoenix Sorcery
  4. The Half-Moon Crucible
  5. Castle Mistamere
  6. Bringing Back the Dead
  7. The Curse of House Lightwalker
  8. Captured
  9. Far from Home
  10. Through the Underdark
  11. A New Port of Kings

The Tale of the Heroes of Silvermoon

Chapter 11: A New Port of Kings

With the elder brain destroyed, the group attempted to return to the surface, but all of their exits had been blocked in, seemingly on purpose by King Bane, who wanted the adventurers who knew too much, as well as the paladins of the Tree of Life, dead. Luckily, Gorthuk used his divine powers to mold the stone around them into a tunnel, which led them to the Port of Kings dungeons. There, they met Sigil, who revealed himself to be a half-rakshasa, and told them of his father's corruption and deception of the whole of Port of Kings, as well as his intention of expanding endlessly to conquer the world as whole. He revealed that he could disguise himself, and had in fact encountered them as Lore, an old man at the Hinterlands they had met, and even the page boy Bradley Bean. Out of revenge for most of the group, and for preserving the city who had taken Rhogar in as a child, the group stormed the dungeon, freeing captives and fighting King Bane's guards until they reached the throne room for a final showdown.

Rhogar's innate good alignment allowed him to carve through King Bane's true form, and the others, including Laureal Strongborn, kept King Bane's powerful guards at bay. At last, King Bane was struck down and Port of Kings freed from his influence.

With the city freed and without a leader, Gorthuk reached out to his deity, Samedi, and petitioned his divine intervention in assuring that Rhogar would be chosen as the new king of Port of Kings. The heroes parted their separate ways, content to enjoy a well-earned retirement.

...at least, for now.

Jun 25, 2019

Heroes of Silvermoon, Chapter 10: Through the Underdark

Contents:
  1. The Cultist
  2. Arena Games
  3. Phoenix Sorcery
  4. The Half-Moon Crucible
  5. Castle Mistamere
  6. Bringing Back the Dead
  7. The Curse of House Lightwalker
  8. Captured
  9. Far from Home
  10. Through the Underdark
  11. A New Port of Kings

The Tale of the Heroes of Silvermoon

Chapter 10: Through the Underdark

Sigil Bane, the son of King Bane and a world-famous bard, befriended the adventurers and helped them in several of his father's missions. Though Rhogar disliked his chaotic demeanor, the rest of the group, especially Ari, grew close to him as they adventured together. One day, Sigil invited the group to one of his performances that he assured would be very informative. Rhogar came as an official guard for the event, while the others watched from the crowd (with the exception of Gorthuk, who caused some trouble for sneaking around using the gaseous form ability of Azulius's cowl).

On the surface, the play seemed merely entertaining, but Laureal Strongborn, the daughter of General Richard Strongborn and former lover of Sigil, urged the adventures to read between the lines of the play. To some of them, it was clear that the play was actually a veiled history of the kingdom, showing how King Bane had seized power through terrible means and was not the kindly leader he seemed. After the performance, Laureal and Sigil revealed to the group that they were members of a secret paladin order called the Order of the Tree of Life. They asked for the adventurers' oath of confidentiality in helping them root out and expose King Bane's corruption.

The performance angered King Bane, who put his son under house arrest. The shape in the sky was revealed to be an interdimensional ship piloted by githzerai, an alien people who hated mind flayers and were on a rrokma, or hunt that was a rite of passage for young githzerai. With the githzerai's help, King Bane authorized the launch of an invasion against the growing menace of the mind flayers within the caverns. He lent the group some of his most powerful magic items and prepared for war.

The king's soldiers rushed into the caverns, paving the most direct path to the mind flayers' inner sanctum, sealing off all exits into the mountain except one. The adventurers made their way through the caverns, killing mind flayers and their thralls en masse. As they neared the mind flayers' elder brain, they miraculously ran into Nysae, who had in the intervening years apart from the party grown feral with the wilds and had learned druidic magic. She helped them pave a way to the mind flayers' leader, though Luna unfortunately had her brain sucked out by a mind flayer in the process and fell.

With heavy casualties on both sides and through the help of the githzerai, the way to the elder brain finally opened. Rhogar rushed in, hacking away at the elder brain with all his strength, withstanding psychic assaults from all sides. Ari and Gorthuk destroyed many mind flayers as they defended Rhogar and did as much damage to the elder brain as they could when they had a chance. Just when the elder brain was about to shift to another plane as an escape, Rhogar landed the final blow to kill it, rendering the entire mind flayer colony mindless and scattered. Victory was theirs.

Jun 24, 2019

Heroes of Silvermoon, Chapter 9: Far from Home

Contents:
  1. The Cultist
  2. Arena Games
  3. Phoenix Sorcery
  4. The Half-Moon Crucible
  5. Castle Mistamere
  6. Bringing Back the Dead
  7. The Curse of House Lightwalker
  8. Captured
  9. Far from Home
  10. Through the Underdark
  11. A New Port of Kings

The Tale of the Heroes of Silvermoon

Chapter 9: Far from Home

The heroes returned to Silvermoon and rested, with Cristoff gaining permanent membership in the Crown Guard and everyone else settling in to their jobs and new lives. Olwyn went on his way, saying that his lot in life was to wander, and Gorthuk returned to Waterbrink to attempt to teach his clan the art of ale brewing and make honest workers out of them. One day, a messenger page encountered the heroes when they were in Julian's restaurant. He introduced himself as Bradley Bean, and informed the heroes that their reputation had reached the city in the far north called Port of Kings. A banquet was to be held in their honor and they were invited to come.

Port of Kings was a long way away—around a twelve-day journey—so Xilmar arranged to meet with his friend at the Silvermoon lycaeum to arrange teleportation at a discounted price. They soon left, along with a strange half-orc leather belt salesman named Zaxby, who wanted to do business in Port of Kings. Having nearly two weeks to spare before the banquet, they spent some time in Port of Kings while Bradley traveled to Waterbrink to invite Gorthuk. Cristoff decided to stay behind, as his duties had begun to pile up, and Julian was now a full-fledged noble presence in Silvermoon, so he remained as well.

Port of Kings was a thriving town, but one with extremely strict laws, which greatly weighed on Xilmar. Ari also chafed at the rules and longed to break them by doing jobs for the local thieves' guild. There was also a very rigid restrictive system on magic items... all magic items belonged to the king unless officially lent out, and the group's magic items had to be inspected upon arrival.

The leader of Port of Kings, King Verdon Bane, welcomed the heroes and introduced them to General Richard Strongborn. He also assigned them a strange bard named Lore to help them inspect and sabotage the nearby amassing gnoll forces. The group did a few similar jobs for the king in return for gold, and he graciously allowed them to live in a house in the noble district during their stay.

Despite the apparent hospitality, Xilmar and Ari tired of the strict rules in the town, and attempted to help the thieves guild smuggle a boat of contraband to another port town as a way to wind down. Unfortunately, a violent storm prevented them from making it out to sea. The banquet also did not go well when the officials caught Xilmar trying to cheat in a friendly game of dice and patronized him for it, which infuriated him and made him resolve to leave.

After the banquet, the king entrusted the group with secret information regarding special missions he needed trusted people from outside the city to help with. Xilmar, disgusted with the rainy city that stifled the freedom he held so dear, tried to return back to Silvermoon, but was detained and fined by King Bane. Furious with the king's lack of diplomatic immunity and the pushiness of his secrecy that he didn't even care about, Xilmar stormed out of the city, vowing to get his revenge.

In his place, the king offered one of his highly ranked military officers, Sir Dhirktelonis Rhogar the silver dragonborn, to aid the adventurers in their following missions. They helped expose a plot of missing villagers led by an evil oni, and explored some suspicious caverns at the base of the cliffs near the sea. In it, they found signs of a cult taken over by a colony of mind flayers. They also found that General Strongborn had betrayed the city. Gorthuk tortured the general, much to Rhogar's disgust, who still valued him as his former leader, and eventually they threw the general into the dungeons. The group also noticed a strange shape hovering several thousand feet above the city during the day.