Mission: Fantastical

Disaster at Dun Helm
Session 1

Scarfell, Evie, and Frankie headed up North at the behest of Brother Runicle, the eldest member of the Order of Dun Helm. They were greeted on the outskirts of town by a convert to the order, Brother Martin, a Goliath. He guides them through the town, which is surprisingly cold towards them, to an inn which is sheltering the monks.

Brother Runicle explained to the adventurers that the abbey has been seconded by a mercenary band who seem to have come into town on a pretense and are abusing their power. It is unclear why they came initially and who helped them, but it is clear that they are now making money off the town’s parchment trade though labor tariffs and seem to be funneling at least some of that money to the town council to keep them cooperative. Brother Runicle let the party know that unless these mercenaries are expelled from the abbey and soon, there is no hope for a restoration of the order.

Sister Chanture, another newer member of the order with hints of a martial past, briefed the party on the movements and situation of the mercenaries in the Abbey. She seemed to think that there was a business ledger in the abbey that could expose the whole conspiracy. The Abbey seemed to be most well guarded in the evenings; during the day deliveries from the town seemed to come and go freely. After some thought of sneaking in during the dead of night, the party decided that they wanted more information on the so they followed the most obvious course of action: they disguised themselves as a wandering circus troop and offered their services to the mercenaries as entertainment.

They were welcomed into the camp and even provided lodging. On the second morning of their stay they dined with the rather self-aggrandizing leader of the mercenaries, Rusk Fallowfield. A generous table, but rather less than generous ale ration was provided. They were able to locate his safe, but not to gain access. They instead were able to wangle access to the library, ostensibly to research the composition of a new play in Rusk’s honor. Scarfell knew of secret passages within the library, but didn’t know quite where they were. Martin recalled that there was liquid refreshment stashed in the library too. The party decided to search for both of these things. What they found were footprints in the dust which ranged about, but were concentrated in the entomology section of the stacks. What they heard was a secret observer who fled before they could identify them. After examining the books in the entomology section, the party found the secret passage and, in a purpose build alcove within, Martin found a barrel of ale, much to his satisfaction. They explored the tunnel and found that it came out in a grotto shrine to Baervan Wildwanderer and Chiktikka Fastpaws.

The party emerged from the tunnel just in time to hear a horn blow from the town square and see a troop of mercenaries begin preparing to head down to town. They hustled back into the abbey through the passage so as not to arouse suspicion. They decided that this might be the perfect moment to retrieve the ledger, since the camp was more than half empty and seemed distractable. Unfortunately for Martin, the agreed-upon distraction ended up being him handing free beer out to the seven remaining mercenaries in camp. The others went for Rusk’s office. There they encountered one of the mercs, a quiet and somewhat diffident half-elf. After a tense negotiation, the party and the half-elf realized that they were on the same team, both trying to reclaim the ledger to present in public and expose the corruption.

Having once found and opened Rusk’s safe (by way of Rusk carelessly leaving his combination in his desk drawer), the party, through a mixture of bribery and intimidation (don’t worry, they’re the good guys), convinced the remaining mercenaries to switch sides. All, that is, save one, who cut and run. The party processed through the streets towards the town center, which they could see was roiling with a mass protest. Noting that many of the populace were still holed up in their houses, the party coaxed them out with an eloquent extemporaneous protest song.

The scene at the square was tense. The party listened as the mayor was accused of corruption by leading townsmen . The mayor protested, as did his primary councilor, Avador. The party presented their findings, and the Mayor seemed ready to talk the situation out with the leaders of the protest. But Councilor Avador and Rusk seized four hostages and escaped through the town hall back to the abbey.

Now was the time for less gentle action. The townspeople surrounded the abbey while our heroes sneaked back through the secret passage to rescue the hostages and kick the rest of the mercs out of the abbey in into the waiting arms of justice. The first part of the plan was easier than expected, as the hostages were being kept in the library without guards. They heard enough of a conversation in which Avador mocked the Mayor to realize that the Mayor was guilty primarily of blindness and poor judgement. After Avador left, the party freed the hostages to flee back through the tunnel. The party meanwhile carefully broke into Rusk’s headquarters, where the rest of the mercs were holed up. They neutralized three of the baddies who were in a side room before taking on the larger force in the main bedchamber. After some good hits, some bad leaps onto the central study table, and a whopping critical hit by Martin on Rusk, the party was able to subdue and question the evildoers.

Rusk and the initial hobgoblin attackers were both subcontracted by the Zhentarim. They staged the Hobgoblin attack so as to prove the need for mercenaries. Once the mercenaries were accepted by the town, their duties moved from defending against imaginary Hobgoblins to usurping dockworker’s duties so as to have a hand in the economy. This was aided by Avador who was skimming money off the top and had fallen in with the Zhentarim. Avador’s final words to the adventurers warned them that they were not safe; The Zhentarim Trade Empire would soon retaliate!

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Raiders of the Lost Library
Session 2

After an extended rest, the party assessed its situation. N-Gram was not in a state to be repaired immediately. Meanwhile, a search of the room yielded a magic helm of acid resist and a secret door. This door led to a much better appointed room which seemed to be the head librarian’s study. And it was inhabited.

Evie attempted to get the drop on the inhabitant, but Dr. Roderick Smith, the eminent adventuring treasure hunter and scholar got the drop on her. Dr. Smith offered his help in securing the book, as this was the mission of his ill-fated party as well. A search of the room yielded enough evidence to point to the head librarian being Evie’s grandfather.

On their way through the restricted stacks, as this obviously was, the party was able to recover two books from the Abbey of Dun Helm, Scarfell’s now hard-pressed institution. At the center of the inner sanctum of the restricted library they found an elaborate baldacchino over a well alarmed trap door leading father down into the library. Frankie was able to disarm the alarm, and the party proceeded down into what they found to be the vault.

After cleverly avoiding a particularly well-hidden trap that would have activated guardian automata, they were able to perceive in the center of the room a lectern holding a black book, in front of which stood the leader of Smith’s party, swaying in trancelike silence. But to get to the center of the room, the party had to make it across three moats. The first, a green bath of acid, disgorged a yard of skeletons which the party neatly disassembled. The second, a ring of water, roiled with passage of a massive creature. After a couple of passes, the creature raised it’s fearsome maw above the water—a plesiosaur! The monster’s appetite was not sated by Scarfell’s attempts to distract it with rashers of bacon, but rather enflamed. After taking a couple of devastating nibbles of the party, it was luckily held back by a nymph whom you persuaded to let you take the book somewhere secure where it cannot fall into the wrong hands. The final moat was filled with lava—and with angry fire elementals.

Meanwhile, the trancelike state of the other party leader was reveled as a dominance spell cast by a nefarious presence—an intelligent gelatinous cube which had, like the slimes above, taken on the characteristics of the book it ingested, in this case one of the evilest books of charms and domination spells in existence. Luckily it proved no more resilient than a normal gelatinous cube and, after a tense fight in which a spontaneous rainstorm created a lava bride for party to reach the cube, the party triumphed, rescuing both the book and the party leader.

It quickly became clear, however, that the party leader was in fact a Red Wizard of Thay, bent upon securing the book for the Red Wizards! The party, exhausted from the protracted fight with dinosaur, skeleton, fire elementals and gelatinous cube, cannily entangled the Red Wizard so that they could escape to higher ground in the restricted library. The Red Wizard extricated himself and followed in hot pursuit—too hot, perhaps. On running up the stairs and catching sight of the party he let lose a devastating spray of flame, entirely missing the fact that he was standing under a wooden baldacchino whose roof was an elaborate and heavy set of alarm bells. The baldacchino collapsed in a cacophonic tintinnabulation, stunning the equally exhausted Red Wizard and allowing the party to secure him.


With Red Wizard and nefarious book in tow, the party returned to Tethyr in triumph, delivering their charges after judging that the Tethyrian Institute was on the level about actually burying the book.

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Raiders of the Lost Library
Session 1

The party was assembled by the head of the Tethyrian Institute of Arcane Arts to retrieve lost books and more specifically a tome of black magic from the ruins of a once-famous library. This party of mercenaries included the following: Frankie, a well-known rogue in those parts as a conspiracy theorist and publisher of The Rogue Informer; Scarfell, a Gnomish druid of an order of scribal monks based at the Abbey of Dun Helm in the far North, tasked with the recovery of Dun-Helmish books and with creating new and exciting opportunities for scholarly trade; and N-Gram, a sentient mechanical construct whose prime directive is the disposal of dangerous magical tome by any, but preferably flame-related, means necessary

The party traveled to Erlkazar, beyond the wild marches of Tethyr, where they encountered another adventurer who joined the party, one Evie, a silver-tongued bard with something to prove.

The approach to the ruined monastery grounds of Spirit Soaring was easy—almost too easy. After a short discussion with a toad in the monastery’s primary well (longer rather than shorter in the case of Scarfell), the party entered the main library building. Deftly avoiding the spontaneously exploding reference books littering the hall, the party found a trapped stairway down to the main stacks.

Frankie disarmed the trap while N-Gram less than helpfully tried to burn one of the more dangerous books which the party was sent to rescue. Little did our party know that they were being watched by a group of beady and greedy little eyes…


The eyes belonged to a group of Kobolds who were inhabiting the above-ground architecture of the library. They warned the party off from going downstairs and seemed ready to enforce that suggestion with might if necessary—or at least as much might as a Kobold can muster. Evie stepped boldly forth and fast-talked the Kobolds not only into showing the party a safer way into the library, but also into giving up their copy of an encyclopedia of dragons which they were venerating on their Dragon shrine; all this for only some vials of colored water and a polished mirror… ahem… a dragon scale, that is. The Kobolds offered one more warning: the denizens of the lower floors are vicious and hungry.

The party’s Kobold guide led them to a lightwell that ran two stories into the bowels of the underground stacks. The party decided to head straight for the lower floor, as it was a more likely place to find the ultimate goal of their quest, the security vault and its baleful contents. With a little bit of skullduggery on the part of Frankie, the windows were jimmied open and the party found a shabby guest room and a large chamber with stacks at disconcerting angles.

It became clear very quickly that the books in this area were not of the most savory sorts of magic and also that the party was not alone. While the rest of the party hid, Evie very stealthily stood right where the other inhabitants of the dungeon could see her. She was confronted by a tall, grim bearded figure that the whole party recognized… King Haedrak I of Tethyr, resumed dead for 500 years!


The king was accompanied by a number of soldiers and a black ooze. Midway through the battle the ooze ingested a book and turned into a dark wizard. It became clear to the party that the “king” was nothing more than an intelligent slime that had ingested one of the very books they were looking for. After valiantly flaming the whole mass of enemies, N-Gram was disabled. The rest of the party finished subduing the oozes and retreated to the guest room they had found to hunker down and rest up.

End of session 1
On to session 2

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