Neverwinter Reclaimed

The Radiant Heart of Helm's Hold

In Which Our Heroes Find a Verdant Secret Buried Beneath the Crypts

After battling and defeating the spellscarred and their nefarious leader, Farron Gond, the group sent Ugarth into the narrow crack in the wall. In his rat form, Ugarth easily crept through the gap and after a long passage, came to an immense chamber filled with vegetation, glowing funguses, and thick moss. Tall trees climbed to the ceiling while creeks and streams of water ran around their sprawling roots.

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Ugarth crept around a bit more before returning to the waiting party and he found several strange mounds covered in moss and vines near the entrance.

When Ugarth returned, The rest of the party was intrigued and decided to risk the cramped passage.

Once on the other side, the party nervously searched the mounds while Ugarth scouted the perimeter of the chamber. The party found that the mounds were recently deceased spellscarred, their corpses bearing signs of chemical burning and slashes from sharp claws or teeth. The thick mat of moss growing over their bodies, however was a mystery.

Ugarth explored around but didn’t find anything more extraordinary than the strange underground forest itself. He did notice that there was no sign of other living creatures, no bugs, or mice, or even birds.

While others were searching the corpses, Korgul looked toward the center of the stand of trees. On the edge, he saw something. A man? or elf? His skin was a strange shade of green and he wore a patchwork cloak made of leaves and twigs.

A tense few moments followed as the creature approached the heroes, however, he greeted the party with some reserved warmth. He introduced himself as Chartilifax and with a wave of his hand, several large, squat mushrooms sprouted from the ground. Chartilifax motioned for the group to sit, presumably on the mushrooms, and he took a seat on a nearby log.

He seemed to be rather interested in the goings on above ground and his knowledge of current events seemed to be a hundred or more years out of date. When pressed for what he was doing in this place, he seemed oddly evasive. He eventually told the group that he was bound to the place by a being he called Barzarah in punishment for some unclear misdeed. Chartilifax still avoided more probing questions about his purpose in the depths and let slip that he was guarding something.

The group would not let the matter rest. Enraged by their persistence, Chartilifax yelled for the party to leave and when they refused, his anger manifested physically as wings, claws, horns, and teeth sprouted from his body, and it grew several times its normal size. The green color of it’s skin gave way to a shimmering, rusty, copper.

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Chartilifax flew at the group, it’s form now fully manifested into that of a huge copper dragon. gouts of acidic gas bellowed from it’s snarling mouth and the party tumbled in all directions to avoid the attack and take up some semblance of tactical response. The dragon was a fury of claws and teeth, snatching up one adventurer while biting at another. Wild magic sprouted noxious mushrooms which also choked the air with acidic spores.

The vicious battle rendered some near death but the tenacity of the party prevailed. Chartilifax angrily yielded to the party.

Upon their insistence, his formed slacked back into the previous humanoid form and the dragon led the party deeper into the trees. Soon, he stopped at a large rock in a clearing, waved his hands around and the rock slid away under some unknown force.

Pixil Thunderstroke, who had secretly been struggling to bear the pain burning from her spellscar doubled over. With the stone set aside, the pain seemed to double.

Salt led the rest of the group after the dragon who descended into a passage under the turned rock. The walls of the short passage and the room beyond were pulsating with strange red glow. The magical energy was palpable. Chartilifax stopped at a massive cauldron covered in glowing runes, which was visibly spewing wild magical energy. Chartilifax said that the item was known as a Hex Locus , an anchor point for the magic Weave that the goddess Mystra had placed over the world. He did not seem to know of the events that had transpired around a hundred years ago, in which Mystra was slain and the weave sundered. But he did hint that he was (relatively) recently able to draw power from the magic source and it fuled his ability to create this magical place.

Chartilifax pleaded with the group to leave him be and to forget they had found his prison. He asked only that, should the party find Barzarah to remind him of Chartilifax and send aid to protect the place.

Their curiosity at least somewhat sated, the company of heroes left Chartilifax.

Comments

Anyone want to start a pool on whether Barzarah will eat the warlock when they meet?

The Radiant Heart of Helm's Hold
danlbob danlbob

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