Tyranny of Dragons

Journey to the Serpent Hills

On the Trail of Varram the White

This weeks story begins in Waterdeep. There Our Heroes have arranged passage…or rather passage has been arranged for them by Leosin Erlanthar…on a ship. Taking a ship proves to be fast and relatively safe. So, on the Lady of the Coast they sailed south to Baldur’s Gate bringing them some 360 miles closer to their destination of Boareskyr Bridge, a small tent community on the trade way that caters to travelers.

Our Heroes didn’t linger in Baldur’s Gate, with all of the political turmoil and the rising power of criminal organizations that is probably for the best. While passing through, they generously paid 20-30% more for the horses than they were worth, thus improving the life of a struggling merchant and giving him the means to further enjoy the pleasures of drink, games of chance, and ladies of the evening.

So with horses and provisions, they continued on enjoying a peaceful trip until the second night when they were ambushed by a pack of 5 displacer beasts. This proved to be no more than a mere inconvenience to Our Heroes however. The 3rd night a pack of wolves and dire wolves led by 2 werewolves encroached upon their camp, killing the horses they had purchased. Lia only narrowly escaped the curse of lycanthropy. It must have been the fortune of Tymora that saved her, because The Stranger certainly did not intervene in her favor.

On the 4th day they arrived in Boareskyr Bridge and took a brief respite in Bolo’s Tentside Inn, a rough and tumble establishment in the center of the settlement. Once there they learned from the owner Bolo (an energetic halfling woman), that a dwarf in purple robes (Varram) had been through the settlement with a large entourage and had killed one of the scaled folk from the Serpent Hills to the northeast. Then they all left in that direction.

Our Heroes purchased a cart and hitched it to Lia’s warhorse (demeaning him in the process) and drove into the hills, following the trail of the dwarf.

Other than a spectacular display of showing off by Drew in killing a helpless Antelope from 600 yards…nothing much happened.

It was a few days until they found the end of the trail, a ruined village with an entrance to what appears to be the manse of a powerful wizard from long ago. The entrance is 30 feet up, but someone was kind enough to leave a ladder. On either side there were two 20 foot tall statues. The left depicting a bearded human male in exotic clothing holding a balance in his right hand and a cudgel at his side. His left hand raised as if in warning. HIs face is smashed beyond recognition. The right statues depicts a young human male also in exotic clothing holding a shepherd’s crook in his left hand and a sword at his waist. His right is raised in warning, just as the other statue.

As they approached the entrance, the statues they turn their shattered, featureless faces toward Our Heroes, and two voices boom out in unison:

“Halt. You come before Diderius, ether walker and conduit of clairvoyance. Behold ye now his wondrous triumphs. Diderius extends wisdom, and Diderius offers knowledge. Which do you seek?”

Of course, Rolan replied “We seek knowledge.” Nerd.

Inside the entrance they find the floor littered with shattered skeletal remains and 6 wizard statues with black, empty faces who watch them as they walk through. A thought simultaneously occurs to them all at once: " Some secrets are not meant for mortal minds to know. Look away from the darkness in which such knowledge hides."

As they entered the next room, they are greeted with a beautiful mosaic tile scene on the floor depicting a knight in plate mail wielding a glowing sword against a chimera. Once they enter, the tile chimera rises from the floor and attacks! Of course, Our Heroes defeated the tile beast. They then headed to room to the west.

This room is a round room about 30’ in diameter with a 10’ well in the center. The room diameter is important, as you will see in a moment. There is also a stair in the north wall, an empty basin at the top along with a lever. A bucket and rope also sits near the well. As it turns out, filling the basin with water and pulling the lever sends the water elsewhere through the wall. It is in this room that Our Heroes spend the night. They use their immovable rod to bar the door and Rolan creates a Leomund’s Tiny Hut, its 20’ diameter covering the well in the center of the room.

During their rest, trolls start to emerge from the well…inside the “protective” dome of the spell! This drove Rolan out of his spells area, thus dispelling it, and the rest of the party out of the room. Rolan then cast a wall of fire in the doorway, driving the trolls back down the well. An immovable rod over the hole in the bottom of the well prevented any other incursions by trolls.

After some much needed rest, Our Heroes move on. Their first act of the morning is to try to open the bulging, straining double doors to the north of the room with the tile chimera. This released an avalanche of stone from beyond the doors that blocks passage. So, their last choice is a downward slanting hallway to the east with a mosaic sun on the floor at the top. Part way down the sun slides aside and a boulder made of partial skeletons and miscellaneous bones rolls over the party and traps Rolan and John within it, threatening to bash them on the wall at the bottom of the chute. Rolan’s quick thinking in using the immovable rod allows them to escape before they are injured however.

At the bottom of the chute is a long, angular room with tapestry covered walls and a smell of incense in the air. As they enter, an unfamiliar voice is heard to whisper: “Humility proffered in the manner of Mystril shelters those opening the way to seeking knowledge.” A door to the east and a set of double doors to the north await exploration.

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