Into the Breach
•Back at Foxwood Manor, Halidus Foxwood alerted them that due to recent storms, some of the Manor had flooded, in one instance popping open a previously undiscovered trapdoor to the basement.
•Once the flooding had mostly subsided, the troupe decided to investigate, finding passages full of ghosts, ghouls and treasure, including Halidus’ father’s journal revealing that he had attempted a dark ritual down there, and this ritual may have contributed to the Foxwood family’s disappearance.
•Also in the basement was a great stone door sealed with red wax and countless arcane symbols, which, naturally, the troupe decided to open and explore.
•After initially being attacked by a vampire and a floating brain in a jar (who turned out to be Chelsea LaFolor and Ulrich VanGant respectively), they met the famed necromancer lich Nashtaragoth, who explained that he and his friends wanted to be locked down here so he could spend a century or so reading, drinking wine, painting and composing. He’d done the hard yards of becoming undead and now just wanted to rest a while.
•Rather than re-seal the door immediately, Nashtaragoth sent Chelsea to buy more wine, but he also had some work on offer if the troupe was interested – namely recovering some barrels of whiskey from a nearby cache in the Shadowfell, that should have sufficiently matured since they sealed themselves in approximately thirty years ago.
•On the way back from Maiden, the troupe was attacked by drow looking to assassinate Pontius, and whilst Halidus cleaned their cart, he found a small parcel attached to the underside by a spider web. The parcel contained a number of Pontius’ loyal friend Harlon Nayl’s fingers, and through a scrying ritual, they discovered that he was being held and tortured in a tavern basement in Port Skarsgaard.
•Out of the rain, Grotto returned to the troupe, now sporting vestments from the temple at Baldersbalet and explained what had happened to him. He was ready to continue the quest as a beacon of divine light.
•They traveled to town and spent most of the day trying to track down Gilhrim’s body, which they discovered had been smuggled on a boat headed south, to be dropped off on the Island of Maktig Har – with bribes in Arkhosian gold – a fallen kingdom of the dragonborn.
•They then managed to find Harlon Nayl who had been dosed with a deadly poison preventing him from all but the most delicate of movement. Harlon revealed that the drow from House Loroak were here to kill Pontius as Pontius was the last true heir of House Glaw, and could potentially stir an uprising in their old home Agarath, currently under Loroak rule. The drow who had come to collect Pontius’ head was the daughter of House Loroak’s matriarch, who was currently hiding out in the Skarsgaard sewers.
•Through careful application of portals and floating disks, they managed to carry Harlon to the temple of Erathis for healing, and although the priest there was able to help, Harlon would need to spend some time healing, so they set off to find Ahlyssaria Loroak, head of the drow assassins.
•Confronting her in the sewers, she reveals that she was waiting for them to leave Harlon alone so her assassins could take care of him – that they had a choice – go back and save him or “cut the head off the snake” at the expense of Harlon’s life. They chose the latter, killing Ahlyssaria, knowing that the death of House Loroak royalty would spark a greater manhunt for Pontius.
•Returning to the temple, Harlon had indeed been slain, but Chelsea LaFolor had slain the assassins in turn. The troupe returned to Foxwood Manor.
•Waiting for the new moon so as to cross to the Shadowfell, the troupe and Chelsea travelled to a shadow-crossing on the coast called the witchcave, an old site used for human sacrifices.
•Battling various shadowfell denizens, they make it through the swamp to Nashtaragoth’s tower.
•The tower is occupied by a necromancer using Nashtaragoth’s old gear to conduct rituals of his own, including the creation of Banderhobbs – including poor Archie, who temporarily overcomes the necromancer’s influence to help the group defeat him.
•They recover Nashtaragoth’s whiskey barrels hidden in the tower for thirty years and take them south (with Archie’s help).
•Instead of returning to the witchcave, they decide to cross back to the middle world at a structure known only as The Mausoleum – a building that built itself on the shadow-crossing.
•Nashtaragoth, reunited with his whiskey rewards the troupe, also revealing that inside the barrels was a secondary barrel made of dragon bones (apparently giving different flavours to the whiskey depending on what type of dragon they’re from). One of these bone-casks had apparently been made from Abeyoueth‘s mother’s bones.