Ok, we got called in to find a former teacher/associate that had gone missing exploring around the town of Winterhaven. This led us to the “Keep on the Shadowfell” which was at one point a gateway to the Shadowfell, which is apparently a realm of Orcus. A priest/necromancer was performing a ritual there attempting to reopen the rift, but we settled his hash before the ritual could be completed.
I’ve since thrown away my notes, but I know we learned that the “Bloodreavers” were somehow connected to the necromancer in the keep. I think they were buying or selling slaves to the necromancer. I do know the mayor of the town offered us a reward to hunt down the reavers, so off we went.
Again, we corked the bad guys, but learned they had already sold several slaves which were still nearby. Being overburdened with goody-two-shoes types, we set out to follow the trail of the slavers and snuffed them too. We also took care of their connections in town, the Duergar dwarves.
Somewhere along the way, we picked up an evil looking bastard sword, which the DM has tried unsuccessfully to get Aias to use. Aias just won’t put his head into that hole. He did get an email from someone named Sarshine, though, which indicated that this sword might be the Finger of Tyr, which has become tainted with evil. Aias is duty bound to find a way to remove this taint or destroy the sword.
Returning to SPH, we got caught up in a battle between the Mages of Something and their renegade wizard (Paldamar?) The mages offered us a reward to find and shellack this guy, which we eventually did. Along the way we wiped out a clan of gnolls that was apparently trying to convert a pre-existing temple to their use. Aias also slew our first dragon, while Dalin played dodgeball with a giant boulder.
Finally, we tracked down Paldamar and found out that he was aligned with and was trying to summon or otherwise incarnate Vecna. Bad luck for him, we played “box-the-bad-guy” and a few stabbity-stab-stabs and his evil plot was finished. Among Paldamar’s otherwise totally lame loot (well, no rogue or paladin items) we found an unfinished ritual of Complete Evil and a map with the location of the “Pyramid of Shadows,” a place of unimaginable power and apparently the home of someone named Karavakos.
The Mages of Something again offered us a reward to investigate this (2,500gp and a level 12 item!), which we’ve set off to do. Trael is also having some dreams (of loot?) which compel him to seek out the Pyramid. Once in the pyramid, we learned that Karavakos is the ruler/chief prisoner of the Pyramid, and the only way out is to kill him (three times?) We’ve found an intelligent orb that claims it will help us accomplish this, as it also wants to escape.
While exploring the Pyramid, the obviously evil and never trusted Warlock showed his true colors (Black, Blue, and Red all over the floor) and declaring his (quickly dying) loyalty to Lolth.
What is Karavakos, and what is he really up to? Don’t know yet, but so far we have encountered three people trying to open gateways for evil deities (Orcus, Vecna and Yeenoghu), and one member of the Apple Dumpling Gang of Lolth. My mythology is rusty, but I know that Orcus and Yeenoghu are rival demon-princes of the Abyss. Vecna is listed as a rival of Orcus in the “Open Grave” rulebook, so I doubt these three are cooperating. Lolth is also a deity of the Abyss (and hard up for worshippers, apparently) - not allied with any of these that I can remember. Maybe something is driving (or pulling?) all four to seek better access to the Prime Material Plane? Still a lot we/I don’t know yet.
Ok, gimme my +3 clown shoes.