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Society of the Upper Room Session 9

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Eastra and her porters offer to take the coin won from the dragon back to Valmorgan and keep it in the Septarch’s tower. Tuan, trusting no, decides to remain with her and her team to assist. Thalion, Phal’dara and Ecthor take the children, Tyla and the head of Sstharax back to the city as well. The group hires some human females to attend to the children and the still incoherent Tyla while they follow-up on some leads within the city. The note and other leads appear to point to the mysterious tiefling, Active. Other inquires turn up redundant information except for Ecthor’s questions in the Moonsong Temple in regards to the strange amulet that was found on Chant’s robes. The leading priest recognizes it as a dragon cult. Also, by bringing the head of Sstharax the trio is granted an audience with the queen of Valmorgen, Dantrella. Dantrella, a deva, recognizes the amulet. Refugees from the North speak of a cult that wears the amulet and persecutes the settlements. Dantrella sent her most trusted knight, Jaryn, and his order to the North to investigate personally. The queen is exceptionally pleased to have this stout group arrive at such an opportune time. She also is looking for Active who she believes may have taken a sacred and powerful trident named Wave. She believes he has a hideout after the farmlands north of the city. The party, in pursuit of Active, decides to pursue him for the Queen as well. Fortune arises again as Dantrella, hearing their tale from Harken Village to this point, informs them that Elar, the Halfling rescued from Volundar’s dungeon is staying in an inn just outside of the city. It isn’t long until they meet with the grateful Elar and give him the charge of returning the children and Tyla to Harken Village. As promised Elar tells Thalion who can name his special sword. He apologizes for not having better information and says that family tales tell of his great grandfather, a mighty dwarven fighter, wielding a powerful war maul. The maul, Whelm, was named by a tiefling mystic of unsurpassed beauty named Arealasentanella. That was many years ago and the tiefling would be ancient if not dead but Elar hopes it will help.

With the burden of the children and Tyla off their hands the trio is free to pursue Active. They march north passing farms and finally reach the house of a farmer who has reported trouble in the area. He states that there is an old mansion belonging to a wizard in the woods north of his farm. He believes the trouble comes from there.

The group warily enters the shaded woods. Not far into their trek they are set upon by a huge bear. The bear proves to be a challenge for the party as it strikes and moves in cunning fashion covering its flank. Still it is no match for the three and Echtor deals the final blow.

The path continues and ends at a small clearing with a large house on the side of a hill. To the west of the house runs a deep stream. The windows haven’t been cleaned in years and none of the party can see into the house. A cursory glance to either side of the house reveals an old cart on the east and a broken window on the west side. Being somewhat proper Phal’dara knocks on the front door. No answer prompts Thalion to check the door which doesn’t appear trapped but is locked. The lock proves to be no challenge and the stuck door opens at Phal’dara’s mighty tug. Two huge orcs in the doorway greet them and welcome them to dinner. With no desire to be on the menu Phal’dara lays into them with his great axe. The orcs move out of the house but keep their backs to the door covering their flank. Two smaller orcs who have likely come out through the broken window start throwing axes at the group from the side of the house. The fight sets the party back on its heals in the first few moments with Phal’dara succumbing to the relentless axes of the orcs. That opening goes to the party’s advantage as the orcs maneuver but expose their flanks to a newly revived Phadara and a deadly Thalion. The larger orcs fall but shout something to the other two mentioning “Active” and they run back to the broken window. Echthor and Thalion give chase but Phal’dara goes through the front door to meet the foes, dropping his axe and brandishing his sword and shield just in time to ward off throw axes from the two orcs now inside the house. Phal’dara is also surprised as he makes his way through the entrance way to the main room as a cavern choker grabs him from the side. It can’t hold him long and the orcs, thinking that they have the advantage, are soon pelted by Ecthor’s crossbow bolts and Thalion’s devastating surprise attacks. With shield in hand Phal’dara proves adept at warding off the chokers snaky limbs and brings the little beast down. The remaining orcs never have a chance to make it to the door inside the room, which was obliviously their destination to warn their master. The bodies have little to offer and the party now prepares to enter the door that leads further into the house and the side of the hill.

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