Ranger's Gate Interlude
|Status||Explored March 908 TA|
|Campaign||The Siren's Song|
Wanton Wench to Teufeldorf
The Demon Search
What Hylax Knows
News has come to Hylax that the 11th Covenant of Demons has been opened by the crew of the Wanton Wench at the remote Tegel Village, although Morgan believes it to have been done by accident, he is suspicious of Nemod and Wrane - both of whom are tainted with demon blood. The giant raver Sineater has been released along with his minions.
The bulk of the demons have been spotted in Sandal, near Valdemar's old castle. To date, they have not engaged any Reaches citizenry. They may be looking for Foultooth who has been in hiding for decades.
There have been some reports of minor demon encounters in Teufeldorf - mostly urviles, barrow wights and cave wights. Hylax now knows that these incursions have been made into the city to provide a distraction. The public has been told that there are wild bears in the city and to stay off the streets at night. The real motive seems to be a series of break-ins at prominent shops and homes. Nothing has made it to the general rumor mill about these happenings. The demons (or the agents of the demons) appear to be searching for something or someone or some place. To date, there have been no deaths and nothing has been taken.
The Battle of the Stairs to Nowhere: Part 1
The lair of the demons currently harassing Teufeldorf has been found southeast of the city. Vince has decided to take them out with military force. He has summoned a few Nightwing dragons to help. Hylax believes this is the wrong strategy since the demons have clearly not found what they are looking for. He advised instead to study the demon's motives. Against Hylax's advice, Vince has decided to strike tomorrow at dawn with some commando knights and the dragons.
Hylax needs two things to happen:
- Convince the Wanton Wench crew to attack and stop the Crown's raid on the demon's camp. Yes, attack the good guys. Hylax can't intercede since this would be going against Vince's orders and undoubtedly be discovered. What Hylax needs are some fresh-faced nobodies to do the deed - what perfect timing! Now, Hylax can make sure that the attack is not reported back to the Castle since he has been tasked with providing scrying on the event.
- And, Hylax needs the crew to also ally with the demons to find out what they are searching for and give that piece of information back to him. If they can stop the Crown attack, they should be able to gain confidences. Hylax can also work to befuddle any investigations into the current location of the demons from the Castle, but the crew will be on their own.
Now, if the Crown or citizenry figures out that the Wanton Wench is in league with the demons, all hell will break loose. Hylax might have some explaining to do if he is tied back to this plot.
There are three groups of men at the site. Led by Captain Lexie Pendleton.
- A group of 12 armored Knights of the Western Reaches wearing the gold dragon on blue of the Western Reaches sit encircling the bottom of the hillock. They are intently watching the proceedings at the top of the hill.
- Inside the ruins, a group of 8 knights have encircled 2 demons on the stairs leading down. Four fallen comrades and what's left of two more demons are at the top of the stairs. The knights appear to be pressing to go down into ruins.
- Four men dressed in black cloaks are walking slowly around the ruins, just outside the wall. Each has a large bag strapped to his back.
In addition, three dragons can be seen circling the area at a distance of 150 hundred feet or so from the ruins (just off the edge of the map). They are evenly spaced and circling slowly about 100 feet in the air. They are intent on watching the scene below.
- 3 x Nightwing Dragons
- 4 x Wardstone Inquisitors are clerics of the Church of the Hearth - creating a demon's circle to keep them in.
- 20 x Knights (12 x Lancers, 8 x Footmen) - originally 24 but 4 are dead.
A crevice in the center of the room drops some twenty feet into a pit lined with jagged, sharp rocks. The room is filled with urviles and cavewights fighting against the knights.
Gaining the trust of Jelraan, the leader urvile, the party will learn the following: The Master (who is a Lore Master) - Xaphan who has told them to find the painting of the stairs by causing havoc while the "sneaky demons" - Barizou Demons are out and about.
The room contains a Grovewalker Stone - which appears like a rune-carved stone. It can be given to the Grovewalker for one teleport.
The Smell-Bad Hole
Room 1: Smell-Bad Hole
NOTE: The demons will complain about the "smell-bad" hole. This is a small shaft leading down into the inky blackness. The demons will smell of newly-cut grass which the demons equate with evil. Only the druid will smell anything - which is an ancient fey power, although somewhat tainted.
A faint red light can be seen as the character descend. The hallway has a 10 foot high ceiling and appears to be of ancient craftsmanship.
DC 25: You hear the faint sound of a human mumbling - in old elvish. It's a spell.
NOTE: The hallway used to continue in the other direction as well, but it is clear that the ceiling has collapsed (leading to the crevice in the basement of the old tower above).
Room 2: Pool of the Grovewalker
Behind the pool is a large tree. It appears to be a willow tree with bright white leaves at the end of each willow. A hatchet leans up against the trunk of the tree. This room is very humid and cold. Several passages lead off from this room.
- The tree's leaves are pages of stories (written elven) - most appear to be adventure tales. This is a storybook tree named Winterwillow.
- The pool is tainted. If the water is cleansed (or drained - there is a small drain in the center), then the grovewalker will come to life.
- The hatchet is a Feywild Hatchet - which will cure Winterwillow.
If entered, the tree will attack as a Witch Tree. Tell it a story (and new leaves will appear) to make it stop. If studied, the tree looks somewhat like a female willow ent. Her hair forms the fonds, her arms are large branches. She has thick dark skin resembling that of a northern willow.
Room 3: Meeting Hall
This room appears to be meeting hall, as it is filled with tables and chairs. Several bookcases are pushed up against one wall. The covers of the books remain in a pile near the bookcase, but the pages are missing.
Several sconces in the wall hold torches that glow with a yellow light.
DC25: All the spines are identical and appear to be written in elvish - Book of All Creatures Wild and Natural.
Room 4: Common Room
Several sconces in the wall hold torches that glow with a yellow light.
Room 5: Collapsed Lair
NOTE: The fire is filled with half-burnt story pages.
This is the home of Carvedir (carva - to talk + dir - male). Carvedir is now quite mad. He was the forestal in charge of telling stories to Winterwillow. Was here for a month - not a lifetime. He will cast a few defensive spells and then use Creeping Doom to capture the party.
He babbles on about stories, tell me another story, etc. He also babbles about his oath, the curse, seeing the sunlight again, etc. He will try and persuade someone else to take his curse - at which time he will turn to dust.
NOTE: Carvedir is missing a finger.
There are three things hidden in the heap of blankets: Gaea's Umbra, Twig of the Woods, and the Mandrake Snake.
In the fire is Carvedir's Oath - discarded but not broken.
Battle of the Stairs To Nowhere 2
NOTE: This adventure occurred after the Treadway Manor adventure where the key to the Stairs was found behind the painting in the study.
Hylax comes to the party, praising their ability to quickly find the "key" to the Ranger's Gate. A second mission is given: retrieve any covenants and soil from the Ranger's Vault. The location and means of entrance through the gate have been lost to history. So, it is up to the party to figure out how to accomplish the mission. The rewards from the mission are beyond the imagining of the crew of the Wanton Wench.
Three items of note are obvious.
- First, a camp has been set up on the hillock just outside the walls of the tower. A campfire is glowing, and four Ranger cots are set around it. The cots are piled with blankets and shapes of sleeping rangers can be seen under the covers.
- Second, a flickering light can be seen coming from the stairway.
- Third, two large iron archers stand inside the crumbled tower walls.
- The area around the stairs appears to be untrampled.
- The bodies are fake - just pillows under the blankets. The rangers are all shaped as trees. (Two are underground)
Rangers: Alderfury, Ironelm, Oakbellow, Elmblade, Beechlock, Bitterbirch, Pineroot, Willowthorn.
Stairs to Nowhere
DC 25: Some close cleaning shows that the stones are each carved with a single number on the left-hand side and a single number on the right-hand side.
NOTE: Stones were hauled over to make the tower which has also long ago fallen into rubble.
Stepping on the red stones causes the air to shimmer and the aura of conjuration to become stronger with each bound.
If the key is inserted and turned clockwise, the eye will blink several times.