The Heroes of Westfall

The Guardian Brotherhood - The Trials of Lolth
Where the heroes made a trip to Sigil

The Guardian Brotherhood searched the Drow hut, finding several interesting items hinting at a way to achieve their goal of stopping the plague from spreading to Westfall. There were several small wooden rack holding color-coded potions of all different kinds, and using some of the books neatly organized on the shelves Cherith was able to identify about two-thirds of them as deadly poisons of all kinds, and the rest as alchemical mixtures of those poisons. Unfortunately, there appeared to be one missing vial, and a note hidden on the body of the Drow they had just defeated hinted that it might have already been delivered to someone named Xilan in the city of Quor’toth.

The heroes needed to get into the Drow city and investigate without rousing suspicions. Their solution was to travel to the extraplanar city of Sigil and see what kinds of magical disguises they could find.

Traveling to the City of Doors was relatively easy, and once there, despite initially being a bit overwhelmed by all that was going on there, they were able to locate an Icesoul Genasi named Niven who agreed to get to work on trying to identify the poisons and work up some antidotes to them. They also found a set of hats of disguise, which helped them all look like Drow.

They headed back to the underground city, and made their way in (after having to talk to the guards, which was awkward when they asked their names).

A little bit of searching and asking around led them to the temple of Lolth in the middle of the city and to a bar called X’drika (a drow pun, which played on the common words for vial and vile). What they learned was that Xilan (the high priestess of Lolth for the city) was searching for couriers for some very important task, and no one who had gone to try for the job was successful. It took little diplomacy to talk one of the priestesses in the temple to let the heroes “try out” for the courier job as a means to learning what plans Xilan was cooking up.

The next morning, they were ferried across an underground lake to a cavern filled with spiderwebs. They burned their way through them into a chamber beyond and after a brief skirmish with some of the cave’s arachnid inhabitants, they prepared to head on into the darkness.

The Guardian Brotherhood - Quor'toth
Where the Heroes Might Have Made Some Allies

The Guardian Brotherhood, after finishing their underground battle against the drow mage and his minions, took a few minutes to rest before plunging further into the darkness.

The twisting tunnels of the Underdark were difficult to navigate, however, and as Pilindor attempted to lead them by following a faint set of footprints, they ran into more than one challenging encounter.

The first involved a pair of cyclops guards that, as Sid learned when he attempted to charge them, were in turn guarded by a devious roper. Cherith, Pilindor and Boswell stood back and fired from a distance while Sid and Bharhash took the physical brunt of the attack. But after a few minutes, they wore down their enemies, and attempted to regain the trail Pilindor had been following.

Unfortunately, they found four trails.

One had the footprints of drow and some sort of insect. They chose not to follow that trail.

The next had drow footprints alone. When they followed that path, it led them to the underground city of Quor’toth, which they admired from afar before deciding to try something a bit more realistic first.

The next had the footprints of the wilden they fought above ground. When they followed this path, it led them to a small mushroom grove that was being guarded by the fey creatures. They were not under the influence of the drow, as the ones above ground had been, and told the Brotherhood of the experiments the drow had been doing and where they could find some of them – up the last path they hadn’t taken yet.

They followed the final path, which had drow and cyclops footprints, and found another small cavern filled with mushrooms and a small drow hut. This cavern was guarded by two more cyclops and another treant from above. The heroes engaged in combat, and about halfway through another wave of drow emerged from the hut and attacked. It was not an easy battle, but the Brotherhood was victorious and took a moment to recover before investigating the hut any closer.

The Guardian Brotherhood - The Underdark
Where the Heroes Delved into the Earth

The Guardian Brotherhood finished off the Wilden that had overrun the Foresters’ base in the Wrathwood and were left with a few options: return and report what they had found or go deeper into the hole in the floor to see what else they could uncover. Being heroes, they opted for the latter.

They carefully proceeded by first dropping a lit rock down the hole. When it landed they heard the hushed chitterings of more wilden and several torches lit up inside the hole. They waited for the spell to go out, and then dove into it.

Bharhash, Sid, and Ibaka landed first and were quickly surrounded by the wilden. And shortly after they got their bearings, they saw more foes in the distance: another poisoned treant and a drow. The drow cloaked himself in darkness and used its concealing powers to make the ensuing battle as difficult as possible for the Brotherhood.

It was not easy, but the heroes defeated the drow and his minions and were left to ponder what to do next.

The Guardian Brotherhood - The Wrathwood
Where Nature Struck Back

After returning to Westfall from their trip to the Great Desert, the Guardian Brotherhood took a bit of time to rest and relax – and sell off their loot.

They found a buyer (named Taris) in the Upper Block who made them a deal for two of their Astral Diamonds, and they used the money to acquire some new gear. They soon got bored of waiting around, and went looking for some action. They first tried the Guard Tower, where they met Hashsaik, who in turn told them that the leader of the Foresters, Birian Iliador had been looking for Pilindor. They made their way to the Forester’s Lodge outside the city proper to find out what it was that the Foresters needed.

When they arrived, Birian told them of a mysterious series of letters they had recieved, written magically, threatening to release a plague in Westfall if the citizens did not stop impinging on the territory of the writer. A few weeks after the first letter came, the Foresters lost contact with their base in the Wrathwood, where they were concocting several different possible counters to any kind of natural plague, and Birian was afraid to send any more of his men to the fort. He needed the help of Pilindor and his companions.

They agreed, to help the city, and made the short trek to the base. When they arrived, they found it overgrown with unnaturally fast-grown vegetation and overrun by a pack of wilden. Pilindor was able to make contact with one of them, and seemed to be making some progress before a voice-like spell effect wafted up from below the base and caused the wilden to attack the Brotherhood. The heroes fought off the wilden and a huge treant that came to their aid, and were left with the decision of what to do next.

The Guardian Brotherhood - The Champion of Baphomet
Where Ibaka Proved His Worth

The Guardian Brotherhood had all five of the coins from Ibaka’s dream, and they were ready to finish their quest in the Labyrinth of Baphomet. They headed back to the entry hallway where they found three servants of Baphomet waiting for them. Cherith did his best to charm the minotaurs, and they explained to Ibaka that there was one final test to prove he was worthy to save his people, and it was behind the door they had seen sealed up when they first entered.

They used the coins, and entered the final chamber.

As soon as they entered the room and crossed the seal of Baphomet on the floor, an aspect of the demon appeared before them. It recognized Ibaka immediately, and told the barbarian tat he could only take his power after he proved he was worthy of it, and then attacked the heroes. Unfortunately for Baphomet, he underestimated the power of the Brotherhood, and while Cherith and Boswell held the aspect at bay, Ibaka and Bharhash tore their way through the minions.

Their enemies were tough, but the Guardian Brotherhood was able to defeat them handily, and as promised, the power of the Champion of Baphomet passed on to Ibaka. He would now be able to save his people from extinction.

The Guardian Brotherhood traveled back across the desert to Bloodsand Arena, where Nix was in the middle of a fight with a huge bulette. When the heroes approached him, he laughed, confident they wouldn’t be able to hurt him, but with one swing of his hammer, Ibaka was able to break the protective spell around the huge gnoll and the rout was on. The gnolls began to leave as the Brotherhood took down their leader and the final blow was dealt when they traveled back to Ibaka’s hometown and defeated his uncle Kassador.

The Guardian Brotherhood - Chamber of Unlife
Where the Guardian Brotherhood Were Overwhelmed

Behind Enemy Lines

With four of the five labyrinth coins in hand, the Guardian Brotherhood stepped through the portal at the bottom of the emptied pool, and found themselves surrounded by dozens of undead skeletons made of strange, mismatched bones. The skeletons wasted no time in attacking the heroes, and they found themselves in a fight for their lives.

Ibaka killed the nearest skeleton to him, only to see it returned to the battlefield just a few seconds later in the recreation circle on the other side of the bridge, which was suspended precariously above a dangerous current of electricity. Clearly the circle was the key to this room, but before they could do anything about it, they would need to identify it.

Cherith and Boswell slowly made their way through the room with the protection of the rest of the group, and as they got closer and closer they saw they would need to decipher the runes etched into the floor to learn the power word to turn off the circle. It would be difficult, with the undead constantly respawning in the circle they were trying to deactivate, but they were students of the arcane, they couldn’t fail too badly, could they?

Perhaps it was the stress of combat, or perhaps it was a testament to the complicated algebra required to create the runes, but the wizard and the bard had more than a difficult time deciphering them, and the Guardian Brotherhood quickly found themselves out of healing and in dire need of an escape.

They circled the wagons and headed back across the bridge to the teleportation circle, narrowly escaping the horde of undead, and rested and regrouped. Knowing the layout of the room and the goal at hand, they were able to come up with a sound strategy to deal with the undead and the terrain, and this time Boswell was ready for the magic circle, and was able to deactivate it with no problems.

They located the last of the five coins and looted the room (finding four astral diamonds in the process), and headed back out into the maze. They wandered for another hour before being confronted by a hungry Osyluth, who teleported one too many times and found himself on the wrong end of Pilindor’s bow and Boswell’s staff.

The Guardian Brotherhood - Random Encounters
Where the Labyrinth Almost Won

The Guardian Brotherhood had four of the five coins of Baphomet, and had just finished fighting the psychic sentinel and decided to attempt to take a rest for the first time in the labyrinth. When they woke the next day, they were safe, and continued on their way.

They had a more difficult time navigating the corridors this time, however, and found themselves in two different encounters before making their way to the next chamber.

The first was with the will-o’-wisp from earlier, only it had help this time, in the form of two astral stalkers. While the stalkers acted in tandem, trying to flank and out maneuver the Guardian Brotherhood in the narrow corridors of the maze, the will-o’-wisp instead focused on blinding the heroes.

It was more difficult than expected, and featured another rambling appearance by the rust monster, but the heroes eventually made it past the ambushers and headed back into the maze, where they promptly got lost again.

This time they were attacked by a fire elemental, which dropped from the ceiling to attack them. This encounter was much easier, and the heroes escaped mostly unharmed.

Finally, after wandering for several hours, they came upon a small archway with stairs leading down to a pool room. There were fire pits in the four corners of the room, and suspended above a platform at the center of the pool was a living fireball spell. When they entered the room nothing seemed to happen, so they began searching to see if they could find another coin.

When Sid dipped his toe into the pool, predictably, they were attacked by the room’s guardians – four astral giants and the gargantuan living fireball. While the fireball rolled around the room trying to immolate the heroes, the giants teleported and tried to knock them unconcious with their tree-sized quarterstaves. It was a tough fight, but with each giant that went down, the room got easier and easier, and eventually the heroes won in the end.

After completing the battle, they again searched the room, and found a way to lower the water level, which revealed a teleport circle, presumably to the next room in the maze.

The Guardian Brotherhood - Psychic Assault
Where the Heroes Encountered the Fog of War

Having defeated the undead, the Guardian Brotherhood listened to the other two remaining doors to see if they could discern what was behind them. The first has a small scurrying, a lot like the kruthiks they had defeated in the entryway. Behind the other, they heard large pounding footsteps of some kind. They chose to go for the kruthiks first.

Entering the room was easy, and inside they found what looked to be an old banquet hall, though the food on the table looked as though it had been sitting out for a thousand years. And, there as a nest of extremely angry kruthiks and the kruthik hive lord.

Boswell, Cherith and Pilindor blasted from the doorway as Ibaka and Sid made their way into melee. A well placed fireball from Boswell took care of most of the hatchlings, and the combined efforts took out the adults quickly. The hive lord was more difficult, but for the Guardian Brotherhood, she was no real match.

They searched the room and found another token with a labyrinth pattern on it, and began wondering what these were, and how many there were.

The next room was also easy to get inside, but its contents were far more interesting. The middle of the room was dominated by an enormous cloud-like pillar, which Boswell (and Sid, incidentally) identified as Fog of War, a deadly obstacle. The room was being patrolled by a large psychic sentinel, who was aided by two shardminds. As the sentinel methodically marched around the fog, the shardminds used the portals on either wall for more maneuverability, and eventually the Guardian Brotherhood realized they could also take advantage of the portals.

It was not an easy fight, but the heroes won in the end, and after burning away some of the combustable fog, they found some more gold and another token.

The Guardian Brotherhood - Wandering Rust Monsters
Where Things Were Not As They Seemed

After fighting through the bats in the first room of Baphomet’s Labyrinth, the Guardian Brotherhood pressed on, letting Ibaka lead the way. His keen minotaur senses helped him navigate the conusing corridors fairly efficiently, and they had only one strange encounter before making it to their first series of rooms – after about an hour of searching through the winding corridors and twisting passages, they came upon a will o’ wisp beckoning them to follow.

They attempted to for a few minutes, but when it became clear that they were just going in circles, they left the small fey to itself and continued on through the maze.

After another hour or so of searching, they found a large door. Through it, they could hear scurrying feet, like those of insects, and decided since it was the first real landmark they had found so far, they would open it and see what was inside. What they found was a nest of kruthiks.

The frenzied insects attacked viciously, but a well-placed burning spray by Cherith and a good placement of Sid’s banner defeated them, and the Guardian Brotherhood was free to explore this new series of rooms.

They listened to each of three doors. The first sounded like more insect scurrying. The second was complete silence. The third sounded like huge metal footsteps claking around in the room. The chose to try the silent room first.

When they entered, the room had five statues scattered around its circumference. In the middle of the floor was a series of translucent membranes with the faces of lost souls trapped underneath. They were begging to be released. Sid decided to oblige them, and the trapped undead promptly attacked the adventurers.

The fight didn’t last long, but halfway through a rust monster made an appearance in the room. It seemed to ignore the combat going on and went darting through another hole only a round later, but it was just enough time to make sure the heroes would be watching their backs.

The Guardian Brotherhood - Baphomet's Labyrinth
Where Ibaka and Boswell Figure it Out

Having defeated the patrolling guards outside Bloodsand Arena, the Guardian Brotherhood quickly introduced themselves to Boswell, and then made their way into the stadium’s underbelly. Inside, they found many cages used to hold combatants and other creatures before the fights, where there was a malnourished minotaur huddled in a corner mumbling to himself. They did some first-aid on the captive and he told them that the gnolls had taken many of his people for the fights, and that they were being orchestrated by the lead gnoll Nix, who could not be beaten.

Pilindor and Cherith snuck up to the door to the arena floor and heard the sound of several minotaurs in combat, and the bard was able to corroborate with Boswell that the creatures they were fighting were Dragonspawn – a Firebelcher and a Stormlizard. The party decided not to sit idly by while the innocent minotaurs were forced to fight, and charged into the combat.

They fought the Dragonspawn, while Nix looked on, and just as they were about to win the fight, the large gnoll decided to enter into combat himself. He swung his huge flail at the Brotherhood, doing significant damage with each swing, and the heroes found quickly that he was being protected by some kind of ritual – which Boswell deduced could only be undone by using another ritual. Unable to fight the villain, the Brotherhood fled.

That night, Ibaka was visited by Baphomet in a dream, and told that in order to save the minotaur race, he would have to locate and navigate the labyrinthine temple built in the demon’s honor millenia ago by the earliest minotaurs. The temple was built as a fail-safe in the event that the minotaur people were facing extinction, and only Ibaka was capable of figuring out the maze and unlocking its power within. In addition, he saw a series of five ancient minotaur family sigils, and was given the whereabouts of the temple.

Ibaka lead his companions through the Great Desert to the location of the temple, and they entered. They fought of a large dire bat and its offspring in the entryway, where they were then offered the choice of three doors to go through…


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