Errand of Mercy
The Bleak Carnival: Jacques dies, Alard finds god(s), and the party splits

Pre-Meeting Info

The crew of the Broken Promise, with new friend Tailer along, has arrived in Maelbrathyr on the way to escort Koralina’a and now Houndrari’ia (the drow you rescued from the huge crocodile) back to their home in Erelhei-Cinlu. You’ve arrived just in time for the Bleak Carnival, the Underdark’s finest annual slave market! You’ll need to gain passage through Maelbrathyr and then make your way across the sea below (which probably means hiring a boat) to get to Erelhei-Cinlu.

Adventure Notes

Oliver Piggot: introduced the party to Maelbrathyr (Mael.) and the Bleak Carnival (BC).

Torog: insane god who carved the Underdark

  • Torog pulled the entire city of Mael. into the Underdark
  • This is also responsible for the current 4-tier structure of the city


  • four tiers (-often referred to generally as “the shallows” and “the deeps”-)
  • The Bleak Carnival
    • different merch on different tiers, top to bottom:
    • Tier 1: the dock, beasts, arms
    • Tier 2: mercenaries and slaves
    • Tier 3: Magical Items
    • Tier 4: The most curious and rare pieces
  • The PCs arrived at “night” and decided to sleep at an inn near the dock

ENCOUNTER: Purple Worm

In the middle of the night, a purple worm came crashing down to Mael. along with the Broken Promise (helped along by Berrian casting Summon Winds). The PCs defeated the worm, but not before Jacques was killed in the battle. His body was recovered and is currently being held by the party (on the ship or at the inn?).

Maelbrathyr Day 2

The PCs shopped around at the Bleak Carnival.

Alanso gleaned the following information:

  • Erelhei-Cinlu contains four districts, referred to as “ghettos.” Non-Drow can move throughout the city during the daytime, however non-drow and non-citizens must stay in the “foreigners” ghetto at night.
  • House of Aleval (Koralina’a’s House)
    • One of 8 ruling houses in Mael.
    • Matron Mother: Ana’Shrinarrean
    • most diplomatic/political
    • apt to hold non-drow relations
    • Other houses dislike them (probably b/c of previous)
    • Kora’s family probably left originally on a diplomatic mission to form an alliance or trade route
    • According to Kora, “the incunabala know everything”
  • N’kai
    • An ancient name for the deepest part of the Underdark, aka “The Deeps”
    • Blue lichen becomes red as you go deeper, which gives way to total darkness in The Deeps
  • An emerald city under water
    • Torog cast Mael. into the Underdark, and a portion of the city was flooded

Hannault Thrayban: head of the Transportation Wizard’s Guild, whose house is on the second tier
The PCs (well, Alard, Tyria, and Alanso) visited Threyban’s house to find him assaulted in his sleep by ghosts. The heroes (eventually) figured out how to drive away the threat using the runes in Thrayban’s house. For saving him, Thrayban granted the PCs free passage for the Broken Promise.

back to Forgehome, onward to Malbrathir

On the way back to the dragon’s plateau there was a room in which all the PCs were apparently teleported to different locations for a few moments before returning to the room. I’ll mention two of the most interesting: Tyria was transported back to Forgehome and overheard a back-alley conversation between a dwarf and an elf (or drow?), concerning ill-will toward a certain group (which we quickly assumed meant us). Also, Lithian was transported to a bazaar where he saw Gretchen van Fleet.

While considering how to best approach the dragon’s plateau, a gnome waved the party over to a cave in the side of the cliff, and claimed there was a tunnel which ended near the tunnel we used originally to enter the area. This was a trap, but after we killed one creature in the cave the gnome ran away to alert the dragon.

We quickly climbed up to the top of the plateau, where we discovered that, in the presence of the red fungal light in that section of the Underdark, a short rest takes 15 minutes and you can only spend one healing surge (but we still made it before the dragon arrived). The dragon had it out for Zebith, so we got him to the exit as the party gradually moved that way. We stacked a bunch of conditions on the dragon early on and after about 4 rounds (I think) she surrendered, which we did not accept. We continued to fight while the dragon attempted to fly away, and was eventually slain by one of the 4 attacks of opportunity against it. Alard bagged the dragon’s head as a trophy. There was nothing of interest in the ruined city and we couldn’t find the dragon’s lair, which we assumed was in one of the caves in the walls, though these were virtually inaccessible without flying.

Fast forward back to Hammerfast, where we found Berrian in the Arcane Star, lounging around with the Necronomicon, talking about arcana with the two tieflings and a humanoid who appeared to be made of crystal. Berrian seemed to be back to full mental capacity and aligned again with our cause, though still protective of the book. The crystal-man (Tim’s new character) identified himself as “Tailor,” a name assumed from his chosen profession of tailoring. I’m still unclear on Tailor’s race name and class, but basically he’s a psionic controller. I’d ask Tim or Chris for the details about Tailor’s history, and the new revelation from the Book of Death. Oh yes, Berrian has discovered some new information in the Book, concerning the names of a few Great Old Ones, more history of the material realm, and an underwater city where a piece of the Godslayer Shard is located. The finding we focused on was Yug’sukkoth (best guess on the spelling), whose name had come up earlier in the campaign when one of our dwarf companions was driven insane (in the teleportation room).

We brought the Promise down to Forgehome, but ended up taking passage on another boat to Malbrathir (again, best guess on the spelling), which is apparently on the way to [not even going to try to write Coralina’s city]. On the way we saved a drow female from a crocodile and brought her back to Maelbrathyr. We ended the session right when we learned that a slave-trading festival is currently taking place in Maelbrathyr.

The Forgotten Forge
by Moradin's beard!

The PCs take a wild ride from the bottom of the cliff near Sheerdrop to the edge of the ruins of Deepreach.

The PCs conclude their skirmish with the rust monsters, and another curious creature decides to drop in on the fun.

The PCs explore a monument to Moradin that has remained standing on the edge of the sinkhole that swallowed Deepreach.

the PCs explore an ancient workshop secreted behind the monument of Moradin, and their experiments there lead to a watershed moment in one character’s life.

Into the Underdark
or "How to Save the City of Forgehome and Become Heroes"

The PCs prepare for their descent into the Underdark by visiting various locations in the dwarven city of Hammerfast.

Our heroes visit the temple of Moradin in Hammerfast, and gain a potential clue to S3rv0’s mysterious past

The crew interacts with Thora One-Eye, Ottar the Moody, and other Forgehome locals, and reacts to a surprise occurrence in the city.

Our heroes pursue the tribe of raiding quaggoths to try to root them out of the Crying Caves and stop their raids on Forgehome.

Our heroes raid the quaggoths’ den and discover part of the reason behind their recent attacks on Forgehome.

Sheerdrop Landing
aka "The one where we fought a purple dragon"

The Broken Promise crew joins Ottar the Moody on an expedition to Deepreach.

Mysterious fungal humanoids ambush the PCs upon their arrival among the ruins of Sheerdrop.

The battle at Sheerdrop continues, and a new combatant enters the fray.

Our heroes fight for their lives—some more successfully than others—against an angry purple dragon.

The PCs’ battle with Chrysophylyx concludes—for now

The Winds of Change
Sailing, more sailing, then a dwarven ghost and a catastophic supernatural storm

The crew of the Broken Promise, with new friends in tow, return to Markathesh, where they must confront the implications of Berrian’s reappearance and Father Murphy’s apparent descent into madness.

Our heroes debate their relationship with Berrian during a long sea trip to the small resupply island of Kokolta Tarul.

The crew of the Broken Promise resupply on the island of Garuk, and then sail northward for Hammerfast, encountering unexpected weather and an unexpected visitor along the way.

The PCs continue to deal with the arcane storm and its aftermath, uncovering a hidden treasure aboard the Broken Promise itself.

The Nameless City
An excursion to the Shadowfell

Our heroes plunged through the Shadowgate in our August 28, 2010 adventure, entitled “The Nameless City” and presented in podcast episodes 101–105. In part 1, the PCs planned their investigation and made their first foray into the nameless city itself. Part 2 presented the battle in which the adventurers defended themselves against their beasts of burden, domesticated catoblepases that apparently reverted to an almost feral state due to the Shadowfell’s necrotic energies. In Part 3, the PCs investigated a series of three cramped caves found in the low cliff curving along the southwestern edge of the valley in which the nameless city stood. Beneath one cavern, the PCs discovered a low tunnel in which a series of short glass cases held the mummified bodies of short, barely-describable creatures facing, on the opposite wall, a mural depicting the nameless city’s history from its establishment by these creatures to its destruction at the hands of a warforged army. In part 4, the adventurers delved deeper underground, finding themselves in a chamber filled with dormant snakes and, floating high above them, one of the six sundered pieces of the Godslayer Shard! Through a feat of acrobatic derring-do, the PCs recovered the sliver. In so doing, however, they apparently awakened Yig, the Father of Serpents, from his deathless sleep. In part 5, the PCs—realizing that Yig was much stronger than them—fled from the nameless city and back into their own world. Once back, the PCs went back to the dragon’s lair to loot her hoard, and then returned to Markathesh, intending to set sail shortly thereafter.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death
Fighting globinoid pirates and undead shadowgate gaurdians, respectively

Our group played “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” on August 14, 2010, and presented it in episodes 96–100 of the podcast. In part 1 of this adventure, the PCs launched an assault on Gnash’s desert camp, beginning with a well-coordinated ranged attack from the bluff above and a miniature stampede of Gnash’s pack animals through the camp. Our heroes’ battle against Gnash and his crew continued into part 2. In part 3, the PCs achieved victory over Gnash and his comrades, and the turned their attention to the Shadowgate. Their attempts to place the structure’s five movable runic blocks into the appropriate positions and orientations failed, summoning the portal’s four undead guardians. When the guardians ordered the PCs to leave, S3rv0’s persistence in manipulating the runic blocks provoked the guardians to attack. Part 4 began with one guardian’s initial attack against S3rv0, and then presented the first hour of the ensuing combat beween the PCs and the Shadowgate’s guardians. Part 5 carried the battle to its conclusion, resulting in victory for the PCs.

Well Met in Markathesh
Preparing for the shadow-crossing

We played the last game before our Summer 2010 break on May 15, 2010, and presented it in episodes 92 through 95 of the podcast. In part 1 of this adventure, the crew interrogated the three captive pirates, gaining some insight into the relationships between Gnash and his own crew, but limited information about Gnash’s current plan and whereabouts. In part 2, Tyria and Lithian arranged passage for their prisoners to a port where a rich bounty lay waiting, while Zebith and S3rv0 visited the local library in search of more information about the possible significance of the structure in the desert. In part 3, the PCs arranged to hire mounts and buy provisions from local outfitter Godfrey Morgan, Tyria visited city hall and chatted with the Lord High Mayor Elihu Whipple, and Zebith and Lithian visited Father Jerome Murphy at the local temple of Ioun. In part 4, Zebith and Lithian finished their conversation with Father Murphy, learning more about the standard view of D&D cosmology and about travel between the planes. They then invited Father Murphy out to the Broken Promise for dinner, during which S3rv0 delved deeper into his own past. As the episode ended, the PCs headed back into the Taworri Desert, intending to confront Captain Gnash and the mystery of the strange stone structure they had brief examined back in episode 86.

Keeping the Promise
For the first time, a plan works!

Episodes 87 through 91 of the podcast present our adventure “Keeping the Promise,” which we played on April 24, 2010. We began the session by rewinding a bit to the PCs’ arrival in Markathesh, before their discovery of the Broken Promise in Markathesh harbor, apparently crewed by goblinoid pirates. After acquainting themselves with the town and some of its citizens, the PCs made their way to the harbor and “caught up” with the cliffhanger from episode 86. Biding their time, the PCs gathered information about town regarding their ship and its current bugbear crew, eventually devising a plan for a multifaceted assault on the Broken Promise. Their plan worked spectacularly, and the PCs skillfully executed the retaking of the Promise—and captured several prisoners, including Pog, the goblin navigator, Crunglutch, the bugbear first mate, and Fecar the Unclean, a hobgoblin “troubleshooter” in Gnash’s employ.


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