Corwyn-Reinhardt Campaign

The Decanter of Manifold Libation
Reinhardt's first adventure.

I picked up my new cloak from Xavius today. I must say, he and his lovely assistant, Ashara, did a wonderful job on it. It is well beyond anything I expected. The craftsmanship and enchantments placed upon it are exquisite. I must remember to get them something as a ‘thank you’ at some point.

It is always good to talk with my friend and mentor, Xavius, and today was no exception. After introducing me to a fine port, we talked for a bit. During our conversation, Xavius asked if I would retrieve something for him. He explained that a friend and colleague of his, Mallory, was killed some time ago by an explosion in his own tower, collapsing it. An alchemical experiment gone wrong was the perceived cause. This item, the Decanter of Manifold Libation by name, had been given as a gift to Mallory, by Xavius. It was crafted by Xavius’ mentor, Graemus, and he said he’d like it back for ‘sentimental’ reasons. Given the name of the item and Xavius’ love for quality drink, I can guess that is not the only reason he’d like it returned. I write this in jest, of course. Xavius had thought the Decanter lost in the explosion, but recently discovered otherwise. He has something called a ‘Seeking Stone’ that can be attuned to an item to ensure it is never lost. This particular stone is attuned to the Decanter and it still glows faintly, indicating that the treasure is still intact. Xavius also had a letter he’d received a long time ago, from Mallory, with some kind of riddle intermingled in the text, perhaps a clue, regarding a possible safe entrance into the tower. An opportunity to search a wizard’s tower is an intriguing one, so I, of course, accepted.

Armed with the Seeking Stone, the letter, my new cloak, and my wits, I ventured off to find the village of Woody Glen, the town nearest to Mallory’s tower. Before arriving there, however, I was set upon by a pair of highwaymen attempting to ambush passers-by. Not the brightest of fellows, they were easily swayed by a little clever banter and the prospect of 3 gold coins. Luckily, they seemed quite happy with their take and I persuaded them to go home and not bother anyone else.

Woody Glen is a quaint little village with much character. For such a small place, I was pleasantly surprised to find several excellent shops in town and a wonderful bakery. I acquired a beautiful hair comb from a rather peculiar gnome that likes hats (and gift wrapping) a little too much. I do hope Ashara likes it. I hope to get a small cask of Green Valley Stout for Xavius, as he said it was quite good. I’ll get that when I return from the tower.

I found my way to the tower easily enough. After perusing the letter, I made my way over to a patio of sorts and found the ‘secret’ entrance, though it took me some time. The riddle was beyond my reach, at the time, but magic served me well this day and I made my way inside with the casting of a couple of spells. As I’m writing this, I am in a long, dark hallway thankfully undisturbed for some time. It seemed safe enough for a short nap, so I took one to regain some of my spells, and now I am ready to continue.

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The Decanter of Manifold Libation Pt.2

I headed down the dark corridor of roughly hewn stone for quite some time before coming to a door. Checking for traps, I found none and proceeded to open it. Only a few feet in, was a large refuse pit that took up almost the entire room. It was rather deep and seemingly impossible to span. On the opposite side of the room stood another door. Noticing two long planks standing next to it, I ascertained that they were indeed the way across…but from the other side. Using my grappling hook and some rope, I managed to snag them and drop them down into the pit. Again using my rope, I managed a lasso and dropped it over the fallen planks and pulled them up to me. Tying them overlapping each other, I layed the makeshift bridge across the pit and crossed to the other side.

This door seemed stronger looking and cleaner than the last door, but I sensed something else. Casting a minor cantrip, I detected a small, magical rune on the door’s handle. A trap of some sort, electrically charged. With a spell, I unlocked the door, but the rune remained. How to pass it by? I am not yet strong enough to dispel such effects. My answer was in the pit below. Rummaging around in the refuse were some rats. With what can only be described as dumb luck, I lassoed one of the little critters, much to its dismay. Before it could gnaw itself free, I flung it onto the door handle, setting off the magic of the rune. My hope of avoiding a nasty shock was quickly dispelled, however, as I was caught in a cone shaped blast of electricity. After wretching and shaking uncontrollably for several minutes, I managed to recover. The rat was not so lucky. It was still shaking violently, when I untied it from my rope and unceremoniously kicked it back down into the pit.

The next room was rather confusing, as I stepped through the now open door, I walked into a busy tavern. I could faintly hear an alarm of some kind, in the background noise. Something certainly wasn’t right here, but sure enough, it was a bustling tavern. After pinching the bottom of the serving wench that passed by, to ensure I wasn’t dreaming, I closed my eyes and felt my way along the wall. What looked like wood, still felt like stone. Aha! I followed the wall until suddenly the sounds stopped. I had left the area of the illusion. After finding a well room at the end of one corridor, I made my way back to another long hallway, that curved as it went along. At it’s end, it branched off the the left and right, but circled around and met on the other side. Patterns and grooves filled with powder were carved into the floor in these corridors. A large round room was in the middle of the large circular hall. Opposite the room’s entrance was a large dimensional picture of sorts, showing the area just outside of the tower. Peering into the room I was surprised to see a…woman, taking a bath. After letting her cover herself (I am a gentleman after all), we spoke, though I stayed in the perceived safety of the corridor’s ‘circle’. She was clearly not from around here. Here meaning this world. She introduced herself as ‘Fawn’ and seemed genuinely distressed at the news that Mallory might be dead. He had summoned her two years ago to learn more about her kind and where she was from. Perhaps they had developed an attraction, as she said. She was living quite comfortably in this large, well furnished room, and seemed content being here. However, I noted that the protective circle was still intact. Perhaps his attraction, and trust, only went so far. She is a demon after all. In any event, I told her I would find out more and return to her.

Heading back into the ‘tavern room’, I noticed that it had now become a normal room. The ‘alarm’ had also stopped. Clever ruse, Mallory. The next room I entered made my eyes open wide. This was the study, with bookshelves, wine, a roaring fire…and a large, floating round creature with a few tentacles ending in eyes. It was humming, yes humming, a tune and dusting the shelves. For such an ugly creature, it was quite polite and pleasant to talk to. He explained that he was the caretaker here and kept the room clean for Mallory, though he hasn’t seen him for quite some time.

After perusing the books (I may have to stop back in here on my way out…), I left and made my way across the ‘tavern room’ to a set of large metallic double doors. The caretaker, whose name I gave up trying to remember before he ever finished saying it, had told me this was Mallory’s laboratory. After skillfully bypassing the magical traps on these doors, I entered the lab. It was a mess. Everything in the room had been smashed or broken. Before I could look around further, I was set upon by a small horde of tiny, winged ferocious little creatures. They came at me in a rush, trying to bite me and clamp onto me. After a few minutes of fighting and being bitten many times, I managed to finish off the last of them. Using some of my healing salve and a few orisons of healing, I felt much better.

Before searching the lab, I’ll check the Seeking Stone and see if the Decanter is nearby.

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The Decanter of Manifold Libation Pt.3

After searching the ruined lab (and taking whatever I could recover), I headed back out into the hallway in my continuing search for the Decanter. The Stone lead me to one particular wall, that was shared by the study and the storeroom. My search for a secret door proved inconclusive, or perhaps conclusive in the fact that there wasn’t one. The Stone, however, insisted that the Decanter was very close by, so I made my search more thorough.

Searching the fireplace, I discovered a rather odd phenomenon. There was a lever that, when pulled, lit a fire to varying degrees of fury. Yet when the fire was put out, the stone remained cool to the touch. Upon further scrutinization, I found a small slot in the ceiling of the fireplace. Having only my sword to use (I must remember to get it repaired…and perhaps buy a proper tool for such endeavors), I carefully chipped away at the slot until I could see inside. I recognized the small contraption as something my father has in his wine cabinet to measure the temperature inside. This one, however, was connected to a small set of gears. I backed out and started a roaring fire. Sure enough, after a few minutes I could hear the subtle, but unmistakable ‘click’ of a lock opening. With only a slight tug on the mantle, a drawer of sorts opened up. Inside, I found a couple of scrolls, a bracelet, a locket w/a letter, an uncut mess of a diamond, a curious piece of ivory shaped into a feather, and lastly, the object of my quest, the Decanter of Manifold Libation!

As I put all of the items into my satchel, I eyed the Spectator carefully. He didn’t seem to be bothered by my actions, so a rather mischievous thought crossed my mind. I’m not afraid to admit that my thrill-seeking may cost me dearly at some point, but life is meant to be enjoyed, is it not? Some danger and excitement is good every now and then. It gets the blood flowing, as they say. Precautions should be taken though, as I am not completely reckless. So, before taking any action, I cast a spell of Sanctuary on myself with the hope that the ever watchful Spectator might leave me be for a few minutes. I proceeded to the liquor cabinet and procured a few bottles of spirits. It didn’t seem to mind, but I didn’t want to push my luck by spending more precious time at the bottles when there was a marvelous collection of books to peruse! I did manage to slip that curious gnome gift book into my satchel, but as I tried to abscond with the next book, the Spectator convinced me that what I was doing was not entirely welcome and it would be in my best interest to leave the study. Wisdom (unlikely, but I like to think so anyway) and his use of magic made me agree to his course of action, so I humbly left.

I have what I came for, plus a few other goodies for myself, so it is time to go. However, I must decide what is to be done about Fawn…

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Reinhardt's past as a Guard
Background info

Reinhardt’s first year as a guardsman was, for the most part, uneventful. He’d made a few friends both in the Guard and out. A couple of his friends outside of the Guard, belonged to one of the local thieves guilds and, on occasion, Reinhardt would give them some information on guard rotations or be asked to act as a look-out when something questionable was going down. He was careful to not get too involved or let things endanger the general public. He didn’t want to see any real harm come to anyone. He was a guard after all. One of his friends, he dealt with often, had a companion that was particularly shady, keeping to the shadows or just in sight of his friend, but generally keeping back. After a few meetings, Reinhardt managed to get a look at the swarthy fellow and recognized him as a wererat (or skaven if you go that route). On more than one occasion, small ‘rumbles’ broke out between his friend’s guild and other street gangs. It was a given that most of these fights were fought less-than-honorably, but in each instance, Reinhardt, acting as a look-out, witnessed this wererat in action, attacking from the shadows and fighting in every underhanded way imaginable. It enjoyed its savage lifestyle and thoroughly enjoyed killing others, to the point that it made Reinhardt sick to be associated, even marginally, with such a creature. Whether or not, it was the race or the individual that sickens him, remains to be seen, as he has not run into any others of its kind.

During his second year, a local merchant (with connections to the Guard, merchants guild, and thieves guilds) often hired Reinhardt as one of his bodyguards when he had to travel to nearby towns for business. He picked these same men often, knowing them all to be tactful and trustworthy enough, where he didn’t feel the need to hide his dealings. On one such trip, the caravan was set upon by a small horde of, what Reinhardt would learn later to be, ungors. More than two dozen of the wretches swarmed in with reckless abandon. Most of the bodyguards were indeed skilled fighters and experienced guardsmen. While Reinhardt wasn’t as tough as the others, the merchant found him more personable, so he was often assigned to personally guard the merchant, which was the case on this trip. So he was riding inside the coach when the attack came. The guards were out-numbered 4 to 1, but positioned themselves around the small caravan, trying to keep them from the main wagon. Two of the beasts managed to get through the line and charged the coach. Reinhardt hopped out, and without thinking, quickly cast a spell and shouted a Command to ‘Die!’ at the first ungor. The beast of course kept coming, as Reinhardt realized he didn’t speak their language, and thus, the spell wouldn’t work. As luck would have it, in its haste, the beast did trip over a root, falling forward and impaling itself on Reinhardt’s sword. Quickly extracting his sword, he spun and met the second beast’s clumsy charge with an easy slash across the chest, killing it in one blow. The other guardsmen put up a good fight, and in the end, all of the ungors were killed without losing a guard. The merchant, thinking he had underestimated Reinhardt’s fighting prowess and savagery, rewarded him for his bravery. More than one guardsmen grumbled under his breath, knowing the truth of it all, but said nothing. After returning to Falconspike, Reinhardt spent the entire reward taking the other guardsmen ‘tavern hopping’, to smooth things over…

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The Decanter of Manifold Libation - The aftermath...literally!

My trek back to Woody Glen was uneventful, thankfully. I made a few purchases (a small keg of Green Valley Stout, some tools I might need for future endeavors, and had my sword repaired), collected my horses, and headed out. I was anxious to get back to Rookhaven and look over my new found acquisitions. Upon arrival, I offered Xavius the Decanter (and the keg of Stout) and Ashara, her gaudily-wrapped present. With a wide smile, Xavius insisted we tap the keg immediately. Ashara was appreciative of the lovely hair comb I’d gotten her, though her reaction was curious. Not negative, just curious. Perhaps she is unaccustomed to receiving gifts. She is a bit of an enigma to me, but a pleasant one. In any event, I was happy to show my appreciation of their fine work on my cloak.

The next morning we set about the task of going through everything I had procured from Mallory’s tower. There were a few magical items that needed to be Identified, so we did that, then settled on an agreement of how to divide our shares. We both made out well, my biggest prize being an enchanted bracelet that can summon flames to my hand and hold a spell or 2 of my own. I’m sure it will serve me well! I also acquired a few other minor magical items, a couple of scrolls, and a book titled “What to Get a Gnome Who Has Everything” – by Perrin Weel, Bard of Bards. More of a curiosity than a treasure, I think!

I also told Xavius of Fawn and showed him the locket (and letter) and of my concerns of the predicament of that situation. He told me he would contact an acquaintance of his, who was more knowledgeable of Demon lore, and find out what he could. I do hope we can find a solution that benefits everyone.

I’ve decided to move on to Falconspire and perhaps see an old friend of mine that might be able to help me sell or trade one of these scrolls for something I might find more useful. There is also a bookseller in the village of Brannon (on the other side of Falconspire) that has an annual ‘sale’ and that will be coming up soon. I thoroughly enjoy the prospect of finding some odd or rare books and at this kind of place, you never know what you’ll find!

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On the road to Falconspire
Meeting Fynn

Xavius made sure I was fully provisioned before heading out to Falconspire, which included some of Baeldfor’s hearty chestnut waybread. It is excellent, to say the least, and I had no idea dwarves could be such talented bakers! It would take a few days to reach Falconspire, but I felt confident I’d make good time, so off I went.

The first two days on the road were uneventful and I only crossed paths with a few travellers. On the third day, however, as the sun was getting low in the sky, I came upon a short, stocky fellow setting up a campsite for the night. I was still a few hours away from Falconspire and if I continued on, it would certainly be well passed dark before I’d arrive. Travelling at night is rarely a good idea, so I decided to stop and perhaps see if I could offer to share my rations, in exchange for sharing the camp for the night. As I approached, he stopped his chopping (he was preparing firewood, by my guess) and I offered a greeting. I recognized him as a dwarf and he introduced himself as ‘Fynn’. I introduced myself and extended my offer to share rations in exchange for sharing the camp. He agreed, pointed me over to the clearing he had prepared, and added that he had set some ‘deterrents’ in various spots around the camp for protection. I found a spot to tie up Thunder and Lightning for the night, fed and brushed them, and set up my bedroll next to the fire. Fynn had obviously done this before. He had made an excellent campsite and even had several ‘dummy’ bedrolls set up to make it look as though there were more of us than there actually were. I prepared the rations, and after he came over to the main campsite, we chatted about places we’d been and made general small talk. During this time, I made measure of what kind of person he was. He seemed to be trustworthy enough, experienced (probably not in baking), and sure knew how to set up a campsite! He was armed with the oddest contraption I’d ever seen, as far as weapons go anyway. It was two crossbows stacked one on top of the other, but built as one. He said he’d had it made special. It would have to be, wouldn’t it?! Anyway, I felt safe enough to sleep (though my sword was closeby). Before bedding down for the night, I told Fynn I was a spellcaster and was going to cast a couple of protection spells in the area around the campfire. He was fine with that, though I think I surprised him a bit with that knowledge. So, I put up a couple of Wyvern Watch spells.

During the night, I had the oddest dream (which I will not pen here), and was awoken by a thoroughly horrid smell. Upon opening one eye, I saw the source of the stench. The most hideous dog I’d ever seen was staring at me curiously and breathing in my face. Quickly putting two and two together, I surmised that this was somehow Fynn’s pet, though I hadn’t seen it before and there was no mention of a dog. Earlier, Fynn had set aside the innards of the small game he had caught, apparently for this…thing. The dog obviously meant me no harm since it hadn’t bitten my face off, so I looked over at Fynn, who sounded asleep (loud snoring), but to my surprise was staring at me and motioning behind me. I couldn’t hear or sense anything nearby, but Fynn obviously knew something was close. The dog went back over to Fynn and lied down (though it’s legs were tensed and ready to spring into action) and as Fynn eased his crossbow closer to him, I slowly cast a Sanctuary spell on myself. He mouthed the word ‘Shadowskin’ to me, but I wasn’t entirely sure what they were, though by their name, I guessed they wouldn’t like light, so that would be my first spell when we engaged them.

With a shout of ‘Now!’, from Fynn, I rolled and stood up readying my Light spell. I dropped it on the ground nearby and illuminated the area in daylight. I could see a few of these things now, though I knew there were more around us coming from different directions, and I had not encountered them before. They were short black clouds, though I could see something vaguely humanoid within. Luckily for me my Sanctuary spell kept them from attacking me, but they went right for Fynn and his dog, who tenaciously engaged them. There were quite a few of these things attacking us (around a dozen, I’d learn later) and Fynn seemed to know what they were, so I figured he’d know best how to fight them. With that in mind, I decided to cast spells that would be to their detriment, while my Sanctuary was still active (and apparently working well). My Wyvern Watches paralyzed a couple of them when they got too close and a spell of Hesitation on the area nearest to Fynn would slow down some of their attacks. Only having enough power to cast one more spell, I cast a Hold Person on a pair of them coming in from the southeast of the camp. With my Sanctuary now defunct, I drew my sword and engaged them. As they died, they almost seemed to melt and stunk heavily of sulphur. It was quite unsettling. We fought well, Fynn and his dog faring better than I in actually striking them, and his dog was wounded badly, but we prevailed.

After the battle, Fynn sent his dog, Daggett by name, away and the dog slowly turned to smoke and disappeared. As I stood there confused, he told me the dog was a sort of summoned creature he had acquired and it would be healed and ready the next time he called upon it. As we looked through the remains of these ‘Shadowkin’ (dwarf beards make reading lips hard), Fynn explained the whole situation. He was a sort of ‘exterminator’ and was hired to clear out a den of these creatures that had gotten too close to a mining town. He had snuck into their lair and killed their leader, thinking they would disperse on their own, but that was not the case. They wanted revenge. So they’d been hunting him for a couple of weeks. He had finally decided to make a stand here, since he could no longer outrun them, and I had stumbled upon him at the wrong time (or right time by his perspective!). He didn’t really want to involve or endanger me, but it was probably safer for me being here, as camping on my own somewhere, I probably would’ve been killed. In the end, I wasn’t angry and could see the pragmatism of the situation. From the creature’s remains (which was mostly rags), we’d gotten a good bit of coin and even a couple of minor magical items, which we split up evenly.

The next morning, we cleaned up the camp. He had a bag similar to mine (though not as spiffy), as it held everything he had set up the day before! He asked if he could tag along on my jaunt to Falconspire, which I had no problem with. I even offered him a ride on Thunder, but he declined. So we walked to Falconspire. Upon arriving in the city, I told him of some good places to go for lodging and drinking (since he’d gotten some good ‘drinkin’ money’ the previous night) and we parted ways. Best of luck to you, Fynn!

I’ll look for Warwick a bit later, so for now my eldest brother, Alustair, is sure to want to see me at some point during my stay in the city. I do not look forward to this, but alas, it must be done and I may as well get it over with. Perhaps, I’ll go see Damon first and check in on Van Horn Trading and Merchantry.

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