By Jared Rascher
Eleint 8th - 27th 1372DR
Eleint 8th-11th, 1372 DR
Grim has a few more items to learn and to clear up with the druids and clerics of Silvanus at the Oakgrove Abbey, and is still at that temple complex, but Stilgar and Meriden are currently at Meriden's rented house at the edge of Ashabenford.
A rider from the Mistledale Lancers arrives at the doorstep with a message from the officer on the scene that they presence is requested in Stumphill as soon as possible, though there are no details, and the messenger does not know where they were summoned to the halfling village.
Meriden and Stilgar saddle up their horses and head out to the halfling village as soon as they can, sending word to Grim as to where they have gone and asking him to join them if he receives the message soon. Given that the Oakgrove Abbey is several days to the north, they will likely arrive in Stumphill before he receives the message.
Eleint 12th-13th, 1372 DR
Upon arriving in Stumphill, Meriden and Stilgar find that Mourn Ninefingers and Adept Lady Knight Emen of the Order of Everwatch Knights are also in the village, having come to visit their friend, the Matron Fleet. The reunion is troubling, however, since upon arriving they group of friends has found that the whole village has been slaughtered. Among the dead are a handful of drow of House Jaelre.
All of the friends are skeptical that this is a simple raid, most of them concerned that the Banites in the Zhentarim might have found out where the child marked by the sign of Xvim had been hidden. After examining the wounds of the drow dead, Meriden doubts that the wounds on the drow were caused by halfling weapons. Searlith, the scout patrol master to first find the scene, points out that the slaughter happened before the militia arrived, though he has recently found a Jaelre outpost about four days or so to the north of Stumphill.
Emen and Meriden help to properly bury most of the dead, but prepare one of the drow corpses and Matron Fleet's body for a special ceremony to be performed the next day by Meriden.
The following day, Meriden calls upon Helm to allow him to speak with the dead drow and Matron Fleet. From the drow he learns that he was indeed a member of a Jaelre patrol, but that he was killed by surface elves near the region of the forest termed the Beast Country. From Matron Fleet they learn that the force that attacked the halfling village was over thirty strong and did indeed appear to be drow, though to her knowledge the halflings felled none of the raiders.
Stilgar asks if Meriden can secure Matron Fleet's pancake recipe, but they all think better of such a request asked of the dead.
Mourn sends out his hawk to follow the trail that the raiders seemed to take out of the village, and nearly a day's walk into the woods the hawk manages to find a camp of surface elves. The group decides to travel north toward both the surface elves and the Jaelre compound that Searlith found, hoping to find more answers.
Eleint 14th-16th, 1372 DR
While brainstorming what surface elves might have to do with placing dead drow bodies in a slaughtered halfling village, Mourn remembers what his father told him about a group of elves known as the Eldreth Veluuthra, elven supremacists that hate all other races, including drow, but also including halflings, humans, dwarves, and anything sentient and non-elven. Still, the party knows nothing for sure, and decides to spy on the elves.
While Meriden, Emen, and Stilgar start to march toward the camp, Searlith and Mourn (in wolf form), travel ahead to keep an eye on the elves. While Mourn unsuccessfully tries to steal something from camp to aid Meriden in scrying, Mourn and Searlith do hear that the group is waiting for another day before they will be decided to break camp or not.
The entire group manages to come to the elven camp, and the wild elf members of the camp walk up behind them as they get close. The wild elves bring the party to the moon elf leader of the group, Rhiiatharn Hytheiri, who receives them cautiously. Meriden asks them about their recent activities and if they have been near Stumphill. While Rhiiatharn seems to be telling the truth about running afoul of a Jaelre patrol and finding a Jaelre compound nearby, when he denies being near Stumphill he flinches, and Emen notices this reaction.
Mourn sneaks away from the group, changes to wolf form, and uses his sense of smell to estimate that there were at one time more than thirty distinct elves in this clearing, and none of them drow.
Rhiiatharn flatly refuses to even be questioned by any human authorities, and asserts that according to the Dalelands Pact the forests are still the domain of the Elven Court and that he is not bound by any human authority. After this outburst, however, he tells Meriden than he has found plans from the Jaelre that indicate that they have something major planned. He also explains that he and his followers are representatives of families recently returned from Evermeet, and that they are shocked by the drow activity in the former elven lands.
Meriden takes the paper, and Mourn, reading some of the drow dialect, tells Meriden than it does appear that the drow are trying to distract the Dalesmen while they are planning something more substantial.
Meriden keeps the paper, and the group parts ways, Meriden pointing out that if the elves find out anything, a report in Ashabenford would be greatly appreciated, in order to help coordinate efforts between the Dalesmen and the elves. Rhiiatharn says that he may indeed find time to visit Ashabenford after he clears up some loose ends.
The next day, using the paper as a focus, Meriden scries the elves and their camp, and has Mourn help him translate the elvish. Rhiiatharn is using sending spells to order the other members of his group to move toward both Myth Drannor on one side, and Pelden's Helm on the other, and reiterates that there is indeed something they wish to find out about the drow and their plan for the region, and that they might dupe the humans into acting by prodding them into action against the Jaelre.
The group confers on what to do. Searlith wishes to return to his patrol in Stumphill and move toward Pelden's Helm, and Meriden wants to warn Haresk in Ashabenford about what is going on, so Mourn volunteers his hawk to send a message to Grim at the Oakgrove Abbey to let him know what is going on and to warn Haresk of the situation.
Meriden, Emen, Stilgar, and Morn will continue on to the Jaelre compound to see if they can find any evidence about the plans of the drow, and what the elves might be up to.
That evening, while Emen is on watch, a band of Jaelre affiliated monks set upon the camp. Emen holds her own during the initial attack, and yells for her companions to wake up before the assassins can strike.
Emen challenges the leader of the group, and catches him in a massive bear hug. Stilgar wakes up and charges the monks, and Meriden conjures his armor and enters the fight. Mourn shifts to wolf form to fight the monks.
After Emen snaps the back of the monk leader and Stilgar savages another of the monks with his greataxe, the remaining monks take off for the trees. Meriden casts a spell on Stilgar allowing him to walk on air, and he chases down one of the monk students and subdues him.
Upon interrogating him, the party finds out that the Jaelre have been attacked in their compound by surface elves, and that the compound has been largely abandoned. The monks were to sweep the area, slowing down any further raiding bands long enough to allow the Jaelre in the compound to evacuate via portal back into the Underdark.
Eleint 17th-19th, 1372 DR
Grim receives the message from the group, and wildshapes into a bird, flying to Ashabenford to speak with Haresk. Haresk asks Grim and Noristuor to aid him in notifying as many of the Lancers and the Militia as they can find on patrol, or get sendings to, in order to send half their numbers to Pelden's Helm, and the other half to sweep along the northern edge of the Dale, making sure other smaller villages are safe.
He also sends a messenger to Glen to ask the dwarves to be especially wary and to send word to the Sharin Freeholds about potential attacks. Finally, he asks the Tyrrans and the Chaunteans (via Sister Alena and her position on the council) to start scrying the areas familiar to them to watch for trouble.
Meriden, Emen, Stilgar, and Morn arrive at the compound of the Jaelre. Emen and Mourn scout the area, and find watchtowers in the trees, as well as the wooden barricades forming walls between the trees, but no one on watch. Meriden casts a spell on himself and his horse allowing them to walk on air, and circles around the compound around the treetops. He can see into the compound, and sees the small buildings that the Jaelre built around the tree bases, but sees no activities, and no guards. He throws down the rope ladders to the watch towers and lands his horse, then the party climbs up and into the compound.
The party investigates several buildings, and finds a few bodies (drow), apparently slain by sharp longswords. They also find two buildings not directly attached to the trees, but free standing, that have tunnels leading down further into the ground. After exploring the second of these, the group leaves the building and runs into a towering, intimidating, vaguely frog like creature with vicious claws and teeth. Meriden recognizes it as a Hezrou, a type of demon.
As the party prepares for battle, the Hezrou causes a sickening slimy mist to envelop them, injuring it as they breathe it in. It then slams its fist down on the ground, causes wild explosions of various colors to erupt from the ground. The multi colored explosions seem not to affect Mourn and Stilgar, but Emen and Meriden are injured by them, and Emen is slowed by them. While the adventurers attack the creature, their attacks fail to injure him at this point, and it pronounces a horrid phrase spoken in vile Abyssal. Every member of the group that hears the words are severely weakened upon hearing the phrase.
Mourn attempts to target a fireball to go off behind the Hezrou, though its natural ability to shrug off magical attacks comes into play, and it ignores the flames. Meriden similarly calls down a pillar of flame with the power of Helm, but the Hezrou shrugs it off. Another fireball and a magic missile from Mourn seem not to affect the monster, and Emen, with her slowed reflexes, does little to harm the beast. Stilgar, still weakened but now in a savage rage, manages to strike the Hezrou savagely with his greataxe, tearing at its flesh. Emen's reflexes return to normal, and she flies into a flurry, striking the demon several times, doing at least a bit more harm to it than before. Meriden calls upon Helm to increase his strength and size, and swells with Helm's might, and strikes the Hezrou with his increased physical power. The demon catches Stilgar in a bear hug and squeezes him, limiting his ability to attack, but the other adventures press in on the demon, and eventually Stilgar breaks the creature's hold on him. The demon unleashes the explosions of chaos again, wounding Meriden and Emen, and after taking more damage from the adventurers, the Hezrou teleports away.
The party posts watch and rests in one of the smaller barracks built around the base of the trees, but neither the Hezrou returns, nor do any drow arrive.
The party squeezed down the tunnels into the lower levels of the Jaelre compound, finding the tunnels widening eventually, though Emen is still quite cramped. They come to a door that is trapped with spinning blades, and Stilgar, who is in the lead when the door is compromised, is cut by the spinning blades and poisoned. The poison saps his strength, but Meriden calls upon Helm to remove the poison from Stilgar's body.
The group finds sleeping pallets, a wizard's quarters that has been thoroughly cleared out, a common dining area, a privy filled with multi colored glowing fungus that emit a pleasant scent, a solid wall that appears to have a section of new earth in front of it, and foot prints leading into it, and a pool with reptilian prints leading into it.
After finding the hacked and torn bodies of several surface elves (the members of the party they group interacted with days earlier), they stumble upon a drow wizard near the pool of water. He tells them that he was in charge of moving the remaining horde from the settlement, but the portal could not remain open long enough for him to complete his task, so he stayed behind and slew the elves that came to investigate the area.
He tells the group where the portal is, and that they need only dig out the new earth in front of the wall to reach the portal to follow the Jaelre into the Underdark. The wizard tells them that there are also two entrances into the local Underdark in the compound, one at the east end of the cavern, and one at the west end. As the party continues to debate the wisdom of following the Jaelre into the Underdark, the drow wizard takes a few steps toward the pool, and transforms into a large, thin, purple scaled dragon.
The dragon blasts the group with a cloud of acidic vapors, injuring all of the group, but nearly knocking Mourn unconscious from the pain and wounds that he sustained. The dragon also manages to cast a spell entangling Meriden and Emen in a web, rooting them to their spot.
The dragon concentrates on slashing and biting the barbarian Stilgar, and tears into the warrior. Stilgar manages to slip under the dragon's guard and plants his axe devastatingly into the dragon's side, opening up a vein and causing massive blood loss to the large creature. Mourn drags himself out of harms way slowly, and before blacking out, shifts into a wolf, thus restoring some of his health. He pelts the dragon with magic missiles, which fail to penetrate the creatures ability to unravel magical spells. Meriden casts a spell to free him from the effects of the web's entangling grasp, and frees Emen, then casts a spell that will allow him to slay the living with a touch of his hand. The dragon tears into Emen, badly wounding her, and also slashes at the barbarian attacking his flank. The adventurers spread out to avoid the dragon's breath, so the dragon concentrates it on Stilgar alone. The barbarian takes a staggering amount of damage from the acidic vapor, and falls back horribly wounded, but at this time, Meriden steps in and touches the dragon. The dragon's ability to unravel spells fails it, and it cannot resist the power of Helm as the divine force of the Vigilant One forces the life out of the dragon's body.
Meriden drags the other adventurers to the wizard's chambers, healing all of his wounded companions and tending them as they rest for the evening in the nice bed chamber. They carry sleeping pallets to the room, since the large Emen takes up the entire opulent bed in the wizard's chamber.
The next morning, Meriden casts a spell on Emen allowing her to breathe under water, and she finds a door in the pool. It is locked, but she manages to force it open, and finds a chamber on the other side, up above the water line, filled with treasure. She slowly carries all of the treasure back out to the edge of the pool, and the other adventurers start to catalog what they have found.
One gemstone, slightly damaged, Mourn recognizes from his father's descriptions, as a kiira stone. He impulsively places it on his forehead, and receives a vision about the various artifacts that the elves secured after the fall of Myth Drannor. The information is incomplete, since the kiira stone is damaged, but there is still a record of a set of twin longswords, created by a renegade drow wizard from the Lands under Shadow, that were specifically created to destroy his foe, a baelnorn. The swords were unholy elven undead bane weapons, and the elves could not destroy them, so they hid them in the vaults of a fallen school of magic on the outskirts of Myth Drannor. The kiira stone also has information on the Baelnorn that the drow wizard created the swords to slay, a baelnorn of the Haevault family of Sun Elves, that guards a family crypt in the Vale of Lost Voices.
Eleint 20th-26th, 1372 DR
After cataloging the treasure that they have recovered, the adventurers rest again in the wizard's chamber in the Jaelre underground complex, and upon returning to the surface, they find that a patrol of Mistledale Militia led by Saerlith have caught up with them. The militia aids them in gathering everything that they can, and they travel back south, down to the Moonsea Ride, then back into Ashabenford.
At Ashabenford, Haresk gives them claim over the dragon's horde (though Stilgar and Mourn didn't think they needed such a proclamation), and informs them that after Noristuor and Grim rallied the Militia and the Lancers, the groups found a group of what appeared to be dark elven raiders, but upon realizing that they were outnumbered and expected, the elves retreated back into the region of the woods known as the Beast Country.
Eleint 27th, 1372 DR
Before the sun comes up, the adventurers are awakened by a beautiful elven female that has appeared in their hallway in Meriden's rented house. She tells them that she is here to propose a business transaction, and that her associate wants to know if they would be interested.
After some verbal sparring, the newly awakened members of the group tell her to bring her employer to them directly. She does this, and a handsome man with black hair and wearing rich robes appears. It is the same man that they spoke with months ago outside of Stumphill.
Eventually, he admits that his name is Semmemon, and tells them that he wants to find some adventurers to raid his former tower in Darkhold for him, and that he would be willing to pay them well. When they hedge against only gaining treasure for such risks, Semmemon mentions that he has a book of incantations that includes a ritual that can remove fiendish taint from mortals, thus making the young girl they rescued months ago useless to Fzoul Chembryl.
Semmemon explains that of all of the children that Fzoul fathered while possessed by Xvim, he was given one to raise as his heir. Bane has told Fzoul that he can keep his heir alive to raise as he will, but only if he manages to sacrifice all of the others, of which, only the child that the adventurers saved still survives. Semmemon wants them to make his offer to the Harpers or perhaps the Moonstars, as he is willing to give up some of his important journals of Zhentarim operations to the power groups to secure his safety from these groups.
The adventurers agree to think about this, and add that they will discuss this with any Harper contacts that they might be able to find. Semmemon tells them that he will be in touch.
Mourn wanders off without saying much to the rest of the group, and Emen searches out the people that she traveled with from Elturel. The other members of the party are summoned to Haresk's house by Neylessa Shendean.
Upon arriving at the house, they find that there is a full council session going on, and that Alok Silverspear, Luvon Greencloak, Brongulf Ironfurrow, Chorn Stoneturner, High Priest Nerval Watchwill, and the members of the Mistledale Lancers and Militia, as well as a light skinned, silver haired elf that none of the companions recognize. All are collected to discuss the situation with Stumphill and the potential drow problems in the forest. Meriden begins to address the assembly, and Haresk eyes him carefully, warning him off of discussing the Eldreth Veluuthra.
The temple to Tyr, the dwarves of Glen, and Alok's archers are going to coordinate themselves with the Lancers and the Militia in order to help patrol the region and to share any information they may end up finding on the drow. When the visitors and delegates leave the meeting, just the councilors and the elves discuss the Eldreth Veluuthra problem. They are also introduced to Mourn's father, Kaelaern, the pale silver haired elf that they saw upon entering.
At this point, Elminster arrives at the proceedings, and probes the adventurers about the events leading up to his exile from Toril, as well as what has happened in his absence, and discusses the magic item that Haresk is looking for, as well as their trip to Silverymoon. Elminster gives them a name to look up if they end up traveling to the Lady's College. They also discuss Semmemon's arrival, and they concerns about working for him, and if the Harpers or the Moonstars would be interested in the information they gain from Semmemon. Elminster tells them that he will get back to them after he contacts his friends in the Harpers and the Moonstars.Meriden also discusses his temple plans with Haresk. Haresk wants some assurances for the ability of the ranchers near his temple being able to take shelter there, but is fairly aloof and non-committal toward aiding with the construction of the temple. Haresk asks Meriden about progress on finding the magic item he is looking for, and Meriden tells Haresk that he will be researching this item when the adventurers travel to Silverymoon.
The content of the Mistledale Camapign is the property and copyright of Jared Rascher, and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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