Squaretangle Syndicate

Update on the pyramid of Shadows: Day 1

Greetings Chaka’s Diary,

I know you identify your owner by the adroit grace that is brushed upon your pages. I also know that you don’t recognize the owner of the stroke that currently decorates you. I am not Chaka. Before you panic, he is still alive and still your owner, even though his neglect of you is apparent by counting the number of blank pages contained within you. So who am I and why am I writing in you? I am Dojo Tottle, amateur bard extraordinaire, and I come to fill you with knowledge so that others who find this diary past our demise will know of our struggles and, perhaps, finish what we started.

Where to start? We’re on the 3rd day (out of 7) and we haven’t even breached the first level of this stinking pyramid of shadows. The enemies here focus on battle techniques that are more debilitating then damaging. It’s hard to swing a sword effectively if your feet are glued to the ground. Our search for Karavakos has not been fruitful. We only found some tree bark like folk that claim Karavakos is also a prisoner of the pyramid. He doesn’t seem to be well liked by others.

Day 1: We drop down into this pit of bones. We’re not alone. There’s carrion crawlers and undead here and I forgot my first day of training and start hacking the carrion crawlers to bits. As you would expect, I start to undergo paralysis from their blood. Valna climbs out of the pit to head towards safety. But wouldn’t you know it, there’s a two headed ogre mage up there and he finds Valna absolutely ravishing (much like the rest of us do). Dayereth, our companion, teleports out of the pit using his Eladrin magic. Chaka and I mop up the carrion crawlers and get out of the pit. Ganging up on the ogre mage is not quite an option. Chaka got the attention of the Ogre mage by showing off how pretty he is (is this guy a ham or what?) but can’t take the heat. I convince the ogre mage who the fairest of them all is. However, I am completely paralyzed and knocked back into the pit and knocked unconscious. When I wake up, I’m hanging from wall hooks underneath my shoulders, with a dead ogre mage holding a decapitator blade in front of me (probably killed by Dayereth). I notice the walls are full of hooks holding heads and I realize this ogre mage had a weird fetish. Chaka is going on and on about his hair going gray,and walks past me and starts sifting through a sack on the ground while I’m bleeding to death. Dayereth is powerless to help but looking concerned. Thankfully, Valna understands my predicament and rescues me. I now have some understanding why she dislikes Chaka. Chaka pulls up a glass orb, much like a crystal ball, with a floating head in it. Only the head appears to exist ethereally in the orb. It’s a female Eladrin and she’s quite snooty. She takes a liking to Dayereth, but he doesn’t respond in kind which offsets Verellis (the woman in the orb). She dislikes Chaka, doesn’t have much of a strong opinion about me but adores Valna, who agrees to carry the orb. Verellis claims to not know much about how she ended up in a pyramid or the orb. She says she thinks her death was by the ogre mage. I suspect otherwise and advise Valna to call her out. Verellis comes clean. We forgive, forget and love.

We count our losses (which are zero so we finish this task quickly) and head down a southern facing passage. Immediately the stone architecture of the pyramid gives way to greenery and forests. We’re quite confused by this change but attribute the change to the magic of the pyramid. We follow a forest trail down alongside some shrubberies. Immediately, Valna is ambushed from behind and as we turn to face our attackers, more appear from the other side. Humanoid shapes with bark skin and wielding scythes.. A little unsettling but I swear to my god that I will kill them (the others sigh collectively). Valna proves her mettle in a tight situation. These guys are no match for the Squaretangle syndicate and soon we have more firewood than we could ever hope for. After the battle, we notice that Chaka has more gray hair and he frets about needing to waste our gold on a stylist. After three battles with no rest, we’re quite beat up (there was a battle before we entered the pyramid). We head back to the chamber the ogre mage appeared to inhabit. His corpse is gone and so is his collection of heads. That’s fine, we didn’t want to sleep in a smelly place. We rest for the night, stretch our muscles and use up all of Valna’s healing (Good thing she doesn’t charge us for this. She could make mounds of gold if she wasn’t part of the Squaretangle Syndicate but nobody ever tells her that).

That’s all for now. I’ll have to sneak another chance to write in you later.

-Dojo Tottle, Amateur Bard extraordinaire

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Another Adventure

Hello Diary

Allow me to introduce myself.

I have been known to go by many attractive adjectives, but not have been more able to describe me than my own name: Chaka. I am a member of the adventuring company Squaretangle Syndicate and have traveled to many places. So many, in fact, that I am starting to forget things that I have done.

This is where you come into play.

I acquired you from some guy in some city somewhere (I’m not very good with names). It is my intention for you to become the official repository of my life. An incredible feat for sure, but one I trust you are capable of bearing.

I see us becoming very close friends.

Sincerely

Chaka signiture

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Dapper Lycanthropes
Pyramid of Shadows, Character Introduction

Chaka was heading towards ..

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Thunderspire Labyrinth - Background

Over the following centuries, adventurers came to explore the labyrinthine ruins of Saruun Khel, seeking forgotten treasure. Few of them survived. About 25 years ago, three wizards—Hasifir, Niame, and Samazar—came to the mountain. Accompanied by retainers, the wizards spent long months in the ruins. Among the magic items they recovered were several command amulets, which allowed them to control the bronze warders, minotaur constructs built in the city’s heyday. The wizards used the bronze warders to clear the upper level of the ruins, establishing a stronghold there—the Seven-Pillared Hall.
In the last two decades, the original founders formed the Mages of Saruun, and established the Seven-Pillared Hall to provide them with safe access to the denizens of the Underdark. The mages cleared an ancient subterra- nean highway carved by the minotaurs, allowing denizens of the deep to trade with them and select other surface- dwellers in the black markets of the Hall.
Today, dwarves, duergar, drow, and more creatures come to the Seven-Pillared Hall to trade gems, gold, rare ores, and other goods. Under the watchful eyes of the hooded mages and their bronze servitors, an uneasy peace endures in the Hall while perils lurk in the shadows of the Labyrinth beyond.
Due to the machinations of a renegade mage, the fragile peace of Thunderspire Mountain is in jeopardy. Slavers now operate in the depths of the mountain, and other dangers well up to threaten the lands of the Nentir Vale.

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An Interrupted Ritual

The Syndicate, feeling no fatigue yet, goes through the door from the undead room and appears in a smaller room with 3 doors against the other walls. Quietly listening tells the group that beyond of these doors are a number of people chanting. Following Dojo’s unexplainable gut feeling to go to the left door seems to lead to apparent safety. The room is empty and much larger than the previous room. There is another door to the group’s right. The group goes through this door and right into the face of battle.

The room is huge, with an alter to a demon of Orcus. Blood flows from the altar around the in a large smoke ring shape towards a grate which it pours down. On the Altar is a robed figure chanting to a god. Around the perimeter of the ring are 3 glowing stones upon pedestals. Two humans seems to be channeling to the stones.

Facing the Syndicate are 5 Female Vampires. Immediately the 2 human around the glowing stones reveal themselves to be berserkers and join the fray. Kerberos takes the right flank and shows the berserkers just what it means to be a dragonborn. Dojo fends off the Vampires and shows them his divine presence. From the shadows emerges a half human who quickly rushes Dojo with stabs and slashes. Chaka’s insults fall upon deaf hears; He cannot seem to make the female vampires insecure. Valna channels her deity’s divine presence and forsakes the female vampires to their 2nd death. Kerberos continues out-maneuvering the berserkers but still receives damage. The robed figure from the altar joins the battle by empowering the berserkers. Dojo finally lays down the half human, after being duped by tricky footwork and quick slices of the enemy’s sword. Kerberos receives healing from Chaka and Valna. Dojo joins Kerberos in bringing down the berserkers. Together, the berserkers fall, even if they are empowered by the robed figure. Chaka’s insults and confusing battle maneuvers contribute to the success. The robed figure is flanked and brought to Justice by the Syndicate.

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Undead Visit with A clay man

The next room is no better than last. Upon the entering, the Syndicate’s noses are assaulted with the smell of dead folk. From around the corner of the room, undead zombies appear. The group splits up, Kerberos and Vulna taking one of the corridors while Dojo and Chaka take the other.

Dojo and Chaka make short work of the Zombie Brute and minions on their side, using techniques to keep too many undead from surrounding Dojo

Vulna and Kerberos are slightly outnumbered in their corridor as the undead surround them. Suddenly from around the corner, appears a Clay humanoid that starts attacking the Syndicate members also. Vulna channels her divine power to punish the undead for making their appearance. The Clay humanoid displays intellect by detecting that the battle is not in his favor and attempts to bolt.

Dojo and Chaka finish their side of the fight. Suddenly from the other corridor, Dojo hears a call for his might. He dashes to the other side as fast as he can in time to see a fleeing combatant. Knowing the fleeing combatant must be brought down, he summons forth adrenal energy and lands a killing blow to the creature.

The rest of the undead fall easily to the divine might that is Dojo and Vulna, to the psionic capabilities of Kerberos and to the charismatic influence of Chaka, the Mellifluous.

Investigation into a crevice in the right most wall leads Dojo to discover a room full of decaying corpses. Amid the filth, he finds a bag of holding for the party and some treasure in the form of currency.

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Trap

After a harrowing battle with a Gelatinous Cube, the Syndicate ventures into the next room where they are greeted by a large warrior stature 20 feet tall in the center of the room and 2 smaller dragon statues in 2 corners. Ever perceptive, Vulna detects that the dust in the room has been disturbed. Carefully, the group treads towards the statue. Suddenly, the large warrior statue swings its large sword in a great arc and catches some of the Syndicate in its path. The group, on alert now, splits into various parts of the room.

Dojo heads towards the dragon statues in the corners to investigate. After finding nothing at one, he moves on to the next only to be caught in a spurt of force spewed from the dragon statue’s mouth.
Kerberos, ever brave, marches across the room to the opposite side to investigate a smaller side room filled with 4 statues in each corner and a door. Immediately upon entering the room, a magic barrier is brought into existence behind him, sealing Kerberos in the room. The 4 statues are cherubs holding vases as if they’re being poured. Water starts to pour from the vases and it is soon apparent that it has nowhere to go.
Vulna walks behind the giant warrior statue to find cover from the swinging sword, while Chaka remains prone to increase the warrior statue’s chance of missing.
After being blasted by the dragon statue and seeing Kerberos get stuck in the side room, Dojo walks to the magic barrier and attacks it. He is not successful and eventually leans forward against the wall to watch his friend struggle.
Kerberos goes to each cherub statue and destroys the vase it has in a frantic attempt to stop the water from filling his small enclosed chamber.
Vulna attempts to use her arcane will to disable the dragon statues.
Chaka is still prone on the ground and also attempting to disable the dragon statue through force of will.
Kerberos has destroyed 3 vases when the water reaches his hip level. Suddenly a whirlpool forms in the middle of the room and sweeps Kerberos off his feet and batters him around the room. Upon seeing Kerberos in trouble, Vulna uses magic to break the final vase and save Kerberos. The water recedes into the floor even though no exit is visible. The Syndicate gathers itself before entering the next room.

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Wizards With Longswords Aren't Stealthy Enough For Boss Hob

Deciding to explore the next area, the Syndicate was greeted with a hall that had a door on the left side and one straight ahead. From where the group was standing, they could hear goblin voices. Dayereth had used an ability to allow him to comprehend goblin. Thinking that wizards are clothy and should be very quiet. The Syndicate allowed him to go on ahead and try to listen in on the goblins. As Dayereth pressed his head up to the door, he heard this:

I think I heard someone at the door!

The door burst open and a goblin stabbed Dayereth with a javelin. As the door opened, Dayereth saw four goblin sharpshooters, including the one that stabbed him, and a Hobgoblin who seemed to be the Boss Hob of the goblins. Unfortunately, Boss Hob struck at Dayereth with a hot poker before the rest of the Syndicate was able to react. It was a difficult situation and Dayereth was knocked out by the onslaught, but it did open up the way for Kerberos and Dojo to start laying waste to goblins. As those two were busy, Valna and Chaka were able to revive and heal Dayereth. With the entire party up and running, they were able to beat the goblins and Boss Hob. Looking through their possessions, they were able to find treasure and a key. They went to the adjacent room of the battle, which turned out to be a torture chamber, and were greeted with a prison room. Meeting a goblin named Splug, he offered to serve them in order for freedom.

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What is this? Hay??? Who throws hay in a battle?

As the group crept slowly down the stairs, they were greeted to a hall with a staircase to their right. For some reason, they were compelled to not go down it. instead they continued down the hall and heard goblin voices arguing. Looking into the room, the Syndicate was presented with what looked to be an excavation site. There were four goblins with the one goblin that had escaped the initial battle arguing with another. There were also two guard drakes watching over the other goblins who were digging.

With the group ready, Dayereth stepped into the room and sent a magic missile to end the wounded goblin. Dropping dead, the other three goblins sprang up and began to throw Alchemist fire into the group. While Kerberos was able to move to a ramp, blocking the only way up to the Syndicate’s area, Dojo and the rest of the group were hurting from the fire. The Syndicate saw their chance though, when the goblins and guard drakes seemed to have bunched together in the dig area below. Dojo hurled the hay onto the menacing group below and Dayereth ignited the hay. The goblins and drakes regretted their grouping.

It was a long battle, but eventually with some amazing maneuvers such as Dojo knocking a plank that a goblin was standing down onto the dig area, the goblins were defeated. One goblin, Gribble, still stood and offered a “shiny” to the group if the Syndicate only spared his life. After much convincing and argument, they agreed and Gribble gave them a holy symbol that was appraised for about 1000g. Chaka felt bad for Gribble, but none of his encouragement affected the goblin. It left and the Syndicate went off to explore the rest of the underground keep.

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Squaretangle Syndicate receives a warm welcome

The group entered Shadowfell Keep and found themselves in a dark, descending stairwell. Carefully, they acquiesced to walk down the stairs. At the foot, right before sight of the room caught the groups eyes, perception checks enabled Syndicate to hear a chittering, squealing noise. Kerberos made mention that it was the sound of rats, giant rats. At the foot of the stairs, a javelin flew past Kerberos. Immediately, the launcher of those javelins were noticed and Kerberos charged straight into battle as is his custom. Ten feet into the room, his quick reflexes prevented him from dropping through a large cloth floor into a pit filled with rats. The goblins mocked Kerberos.

This first room had three hallways leading from it, each pointed in a different cardinal direction. The hallway to the group’s left had one goblin, the hallway in front had two goblin and the hallway to the group’s right had one goblin. The goblin to the left and the right engaged the group. Kerberos defended the left flank but Valna was on the right flank and didn’t like her position. Dojo endeavored to maneuver himself in front of Valna for her defense. Dayereth started firing magic missiles at the goblin to the left. With the group’s focus, the left offense gave way to the might that is the Squaretangle Syndicate. Dojo engaged the right flank and with his masterful focus on solo fights, made quick work of the goblin there. The group surged past the pit and engaged the attackers to our front. Chaka ventured down the left hallway. After a few attacks in the front and a death, the remaining goblin fled up the hallway and took a turn to the left. Kerberos and Dayereth pursued and charged through a door only to be met with more enemies. More deaths here led the only two remaining goblins to flee from Kerberos and Dayereth. One fled down a hallway that connected with Chaka but Chaka was not able to stop him in time. Dojo noticed the small creature running past him and with his singular control of lone enemies, prevented the goblin’s escape. Dayereth shot a few more magic missiles. The other remaining goblin fled past Chaka and to the left, continuing down the hallway. The group pursued the screaming goblin down a staircase and into an area that looked like it was being excavated. The Squaretangle Syndicate decided to turn back, gather strength and re-assess the situation.

The group noticed in the room opposite from the staircase they descended down, there were two hay goblin beds. Dojo hatched a plan to tie these hay beds into spheres, set them alight and watch as they terrorize enemies. This plan was replaced with a more down to earth plan to throw hay at our enemies and have Dayereth light it on fire. Dojo gathered the hay beds in their sheets and slung them over his back. The Squaretangle Syndicate ventured down the hallway to meet their next challenge.

Group Rewards:
675 Experience points. 45 Gold pieces. 53 Silver pieces.

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