I've gotten to run this campaign 3 of 5 weeks, and while I'm hoping the skip weeks don't contine (I work at the shop on that day, after all,) that's not made me mad or anything. I just have a blast with this game. The group has expanded to currently larger than Paul's Wednesday night game and even though it's a book campaign, it seems to flow well with the high numbers.
The party's further venturing led them deeper into the sunken ruins and natural caverns surrounding it, with quick thinking by Lucky leading them past tons of rooms and what would be armed resistance with a Bugbear guiding them the whole way. When you're able to convince the bad guys that you work for their boss, things just kinda work out like that.
Their guide led them into a grove of brittle looking bushes, what the PCs knew to be budding Twig Blights and to a shattered husk of a keep, in which a gigantic tree, resembling an oak and bearing ripe fruits resembling apples, grew in the pale light of phosphorescent fungus. There, they found the fate of two of the four adventurers that delved into the lightless passages, as Sharwyn, a local mage of small talent, and Sir Braford, a questing knight of the Silver Flame, stood before them, seemingly carved of wood and attacked alongside a man whose name they had learned from the goblins was Belak, a Child of Winter who was branded with a Mark of the Outcast, and his large praying mantis companion.
A fight ensued between the two groups, but went well for the adventurers, except for Steve, who couldn't hit a twig blight to save his life and was surrounded by them. The bugbear was put to sleep by Sharwyn, since his HD took up most of the spell and blocked it from affecting the PCs, who then charged in and took Sir Braford and the mantis out quickly, then Sharwyn and the twig blights in short order after. Belak, however, stepped into the great tree and disappeared.
After having gathered the effects of Braford and Sharwyn, the party ascended back up out of the sunken citadel, encountering their kobold and dragon companion bathed in illusory fire in a shrine dedicated to dragons, where the two reptilians rejoined the group, then moving further and finding many a charred gobbo corpse and the Thoqqua responsible. Lucky decided not to press his luck against the 5 fire beasts there, so they left out, slipping unnoticed through kobold territory and encountering a human adventurer named Robert, who they convinced to leave the place and travel with them, convincing him that there was nothing further to find in the deeps.
Having gone back to town and dealt with the Hucrele family, who originally set them on this quest, they were rewarded for the information and signet rings returned and then decided to pursue riches to the north, following the lead of the legend of Durgeddin the Black, said to be the greatest smith to have ever lived, and whose weapons are valued highest among all others. Having found a small stash of weapons with his mark in the citadel and making bank off them, Allura, who is also on the path of the fate of her father, decides to push north. The rest of the party agreed to this and Allura recruited 5 mercenaries (two of which are PCs) to accompany them on their quest.
Having travelled a few days north, they finally reached their destination...the Stone Tooth, a mountain where it is said that Durgeddin's last hold was. Outside, they encountered a scouting party and were able to eliminate that threat, then they were able to move unnoticed on the guard-orcs that were positioned at the door and killed them before any alarm could be raised. A short skirmish with two more groups of orcs just inside has been their only resistance as they have ventured deeper, and other than two human slaves, who were eventually released, the only signs of life inside the large compound.
Cast of Characters
Calcryx White Dragon Wyrmling - Racheal
Meepo, Keeper of Dragons Kobold Dragon Shaman 3 - Darrell
Allura Fellhaven Kalashtar Psion(Telepath) 3 - Carl
Devin "Lucky" Nel Human Cleric 4 of Olladra - Paul
Vacht Human Wizard 4 - Steve C.
Bellosh Feral Razorclaw Shifter Barbarian 3 - Tami
Bant Wildhunt Shifter Druid(Child of Winter) 3 - Jesse
Robert Human Rogue 3 - Chris S.
Xen Human Monk 3 - Taylor
" " Warforged Paladin 3 of the Silver Flame - David
Fellim Human Marshal 3 - NPC
Ghyrsum Human Fighter 3 - NPC
Vey Human Sorceror 3 - NPC