After having braved the mysteries of the mysterious Whitewillow in the midst of the Shimmerglens the heroes learned that their search for Lamatar Bayden would have to be continued on the top of Hook Mountain. Myriana, the cruelly savaged and beautiful nymph ghost, had begged the party to continue their search for her true love, and with Jakardros and Shalelu back with the party the heroes had ventured up into the steep mountains. There they had found the ancestral home of the Kreeg clan - a truly huge cave guarded by two large Kreeg ogres. The party had quickly bested the two ogre guards in a brief but brutal battle, and had just ventured further into the cave.
The two-hundred foot wide cave mouth quickly funneled down into a 20-30 foot wide passage. The party stepped through the exposed ribs of a long dead blue dragon and part a 40-foot tall petrified body of a long dead giant king, Gargadros. Around the neck of this giant was a huge Sihedron Rune. Beyond this area a set of steps led further into the darkness.
The steps led down to a room that featured a deep pit hewn from hard stone here descended into soot and darkness. The stale reek of decay wafted up from the depths below. Jakardros pointed out this was where the Kreegs likely offered up their sacrifices to Lamashtu, although he did observe it seemed to be not as kept up as he would have expected. The party carefully inspected the pit from above, and after seeing nothing of interest decided to lower Kheo down on a rope so that he could inspect what may be lying below. Kheo was able to discover the floor of the pit was filled with ashes and the walls were covered with soot.
Another set of stairs led further down and the party heard voices from ahead. Two creatures were obviously needling a third creature. The first two creatures sounded like the ogres the party had previously encountered, while the third voice had a bit of a childlike cadence to it. A pair of Kreeg ogres and a dim-witted hill giant guarded the entryway here. The hill giant, Lunderbud, was something of an idiot - he thought of himself as an ogre, but the ogres themselves, while smaller, had enjoyed tormenting the dim-witted fool.
What was left of the Kreeg clan’s treasure lay heaped haphazardly behind the large throne. The bulk of this stash of treasure was worth 9,200 GP and consisted of various weapons, art objects, gems, trade goods, and other treasures weighing just over 300 pounds in all. Mixed in with all of this treasure though, are a few magic items - most of them taken from defeated Black Arrows. These included 32 +1 Arrows, 12 +1 Giant Bane Arrows, a suit of +2 Light Fortification Studded Leather, a +1 Long Sword, a +1 Composite Longbow, a Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2 , a Cloak of Elvenkind, and a pair of Boots of the Winterlands. Jakardros recognized several of these items as having belonged to compatriots of his and was grateful when the party asked him to keep all of the Black Arrow items. He returned the set of +1 Giant Bane Arrows to Kheo, with the explanation that they might be needed where the party was going. Kheo was further able to arrange a swap of his Belt of Strength +2 for the Belt of Dexterity +2. Among the dead ores the party was able to find a +1 Ogre Hook and a set of +1 Hide Armor.
On Lucrecia the party found a Wand of Scorching Ray (22 charges), +1 Keen Dagger, Masterwork Dagger, Sihedron Medallion, Gold and Pearl ring (300 GP), and a Silver Necklace (200 GP). Reynard also found a magical tattoo in the shape of a Sihedron rune on Lucrecia’s left breast. Reynard deduced it granted her the ability to enhance a 3rd-level or lower spell she could cast with Still Spell and Silent Spell, likely how she was able to Dimension Door away from the party back at Fort Rannick.
With no business left on the top of Hook Mountain the party returned to the Whitewillow in the heart of the Shimmerglens to return a part of Lamatar Bayden to Myriana. The nymph was overjoyed and casted Reincarnate upon him. Normally, this spell would not work on Lamatar - not only had he been dead for longer than a week, but his body and soul had been tainted by undeath. Yet such was Myriana's love that her spirit infused the spell with power - although it caused her own ghostly form to fade away, it enhanced the Reincarnation such that it could restore Lamatar to life in a new body. The newly raised Lamatar was at first shamed by his failure to protect both Fort Rannick and his lover, but eventually decided not to waste the new life she had given him. He became the new guardian of Whitewillow and did not return to Fort Rannick.
As a further reward Myriana awarded Selinor the gift of a lasting inspiration. This effect will function the same as the standard Nymph Inspiration ability.
Having arrived safely back in Turtleback Ferry, Jakardros and Shalelu insisted on returning back to Fort Rannick. The party got a good night’s sleep and made their plans for their return to Sandpoint.
And this marks the end of chapter three of Rise of the Runelords, so the group has reached the halfway point in the adventure. Given that we have met every second or third Friday for a little less than a year I would say we are making good progress. Everyone is enjoying the adventure, although the DM has given fair and proper warning that things are only going to get tougher going forward ... wait a minute, what did that letter say? A dragon?
And we’ll pick it up from there next time. For tonight's efforts each party member earned 25,000 XP, giving them (105,000 + 25,000) 130,000 XP earned so far, with 155,000 XP required to reach Level 11 (Level 12: 220,000 XP).