Pyramid of Shadows

In Which We Peek Into Renleon's Dark Past
I sort of killed three . . . dozen people

As the party was poking around at the scene of the werewolf killing, a new Wanted poster was found. On it was a sketch of one John Rahmbeau – Butcher of Bakersfield, who was wanted dead or alive for a reward of no less than 100 platinum pieces! I don’t know whether it was the beady little eyes, debonair mustache, or those familiarly pointy elven ears, but something about that sketch made us look at our companion Renleon a little more closely.

Upon our questioning, Renleon quickly fell apart and began spewing tales from this “dark past” that had until now been so mysterious to us. He began with “I was framed… sort of,” and explained how he was part of an elite assassin squad involved in a coup attempt against the king.

This is the point in Renleon’s story where things got confusing. His first rendition involved himself murdering the king’s two children, after which he supposedly snapped and slaughtered 3 dozen people in the Bakersfield town square. He claimed to have no memory of this event. As the party tried to wrap their heads around this horrific tale, we put forth questions about the royal family that Renleon had torn apart. We thought surely his actions could be justified and explained in some way! But he described the king as an OK guy, and the children were only 1 and 4 years old. The four-year-old had thrown a brick at Renleon, but the one-year-old’s only crime was trying to give him a flower.

As he began to see that the party’s reaction was not a positive one, Renleon then changed his story. Now he claimed that he had seduced the queen, and had not, in fact, murdered anyone. He insisted that they had lied on the Wanted poster about his crimes, just to get him back to punish him for his relationship with the queen. He hadn’t told us about this, he said, because the queen was “really ugly” and he was ashamed.

By this time the adventurers were skeptical of all Renleon’s claims, and quite mistrustful of him in general. Leikos and Malakar had a private conversation over a patch of mushrooms, where they decided to let Renleon live at least until we get out of the Pyramid. He is, after all, the only elf in the party, and Vyrellis would not be very helpful to us without him. After the pyramid adventure, however, it may be another story. Meanwhile, Marie and Kobi came to realize that Renleon has gone crazy and is now making up stories about his past as a cry for attention. The entire party agrees to keep a constant eye on him though, as we carry on the adventure.

During the night, as Malakar is dreaming a familiar violent dream, the scene fades away and he hears a voice. He recognizes this as the voice of Karavakos, and it tells him, “we’re not so different, you and I.” Karavakos’ voice explains that he needs Malakar to help him stop Vyrellis from finding all her life-source shards. In return, he offers to help Malakar to see Saladin once again. Later, over breakfast, Malakar questions Kobi & Leikos about Karavakos. They recall that he was a tiefling who commanded an evil demon army and had a great lust for power. He attacked the feywild in his frenzy for power, and was defeated. Now he is trapped here in this pyramid.

After breakfast, the party headed South, and came up on a large room with a very hot and humid climate. It held what appeared to be a green vine maze and had a dirt floor that in places was very cracked. Tree people that look like grim reapers, also known as Grim Treepers, emerged and asked us our business in the Sacred Grove of Arboreans. We explained that we were seeking Karavakos. They explained that he had stolen a seed of the Tree of Life from their grove, which he wanted for dark rituals, and took it North to the library. After questioning Marie quite intensely about her axe, which appeared to still have sap stains on it, the tree people decided we were trustworthy enough to ask us for our help in retrieving the seed from Karavakos. The party, after getting some sage advice from Kobi, agreed to get the seed.

As we were leaving the tree room, Marie recalled some scary childhood bedtime stories about Treepers. It was said that they killed trespassers and fed their plants with their blood. Marie also recalled that they hate fire. After informing the party about these memories, they planned to still pursue Karavakos. They would retrieve the seed, perhaps find out more about its powers, and then decide whether or not to bring it back to the Arboreans.

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Werewolves Are Scary
They May Also be Lucky. Or Racist.

We saved a succubus from her prison. Yay? She was being held by (wimpy) demons, not angels, so it may be that she was in for such as tax fraud.

We found another gem for Virrillis. A “get head” joke about her finally came out.

Finally, we managed to find Gharosh and take him down! We killed him as he was trying to sic an angry werewolf on us, but not in time to stop the werewolf getting out. The werewolf was incredibly powerful and just about tapped us out.

BUT INSTEAD WE KILLED IT and gained a level!

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Should we talk to them?
Better just kill them instead.

At the outset of this adventuring session, the party decided that it would be a good idea to ask the severed head that had been stuck on a pike in the same room for untold millennia what she thought our best course of action would be. She, not surprisingly, was somewhat ambivalent on the matter. We randomly struck out to the North.

Where we immediately encountered a group of lizard folk. Any other day we would have immediately set upon them and killed them as fast as possible. I mean, they don’t even have names, right? Except this is no ordinary day. No, today is “Attempt to talk to the monsters who like to stab things” day. We debated back and forth for what seemed like literally dozens of minutes, then decided that we should just kill them after all. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

We explored the room a bit and found a storage area where a lone statue stood that had a moonstone embedded in it. Ms V, the talking severed head of a long dead Eladrin, decided that she just had, just HAD to have that moonstone, so I thieved it and presented it to her. She was much pleased.

After a short rest we proceeded up a ramp to find five humans waiting behind a barricade with crossbows drawn and halberds at the ready. I think they and the lizard folk were having some gentlemanly disagreements that turned sour. In any case, they shot at us so there was no chance to even think about talking to them. After much fire, clashing of sword to halberd, shiriken throwing, and (several) prat falls the challengers were defeated. There is an adjunct room that has spouts of some sort lining the floor, walls, and ceiling. I can only imagine what goes on in there, but I believe I felt a gleeful urging from some external force to go explore it.

For the time being we rest on the bodies of our fallen foes.

—Renleon

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Your Questions Will be Answered Within the Tiny Pyramid
Tentacle Porn Probably Does Exist Somewhere

The mages of Saruun were extremely surprised to learn that Paldamar was trying to kill them. In their gratitude, they provided us with some gold and a +2 Subtle Khopesh! Based on what we learned from Paldamar’s notes, we headed off into the Winterbole Forest to the Pyramid of Shadows. Along the way, we encountered a doppelganger named Kobi (John’s new Fey Pact Warlock), who joined us in our quest.

In the town of Fallcrest we learned of the escaped criminal Gharash Vren, a dragonborn and wanted man. He appears to have fled into the Pyramid of Shadows. We headed there as well.

The Pyramid is an ancient prison. It holds the warlord Karavakos, who once led an army of devils to conquest and glory before his defeat in the feywild. To escape, we will need to kill him three times. The Mages of Saruun also want us to bring back any information we can get from him. Since the Pyramid has been collecting prisoners for many centuries, we can expect to encounter myriad enemies in a host of environments.

Upon entering the Pyramid, we were set upon by an Ettin Headhunter, who wanted Marie’s head, and a couple of carrion crawlers. There were also some zombie minions (now that the wizard is gone, it is safe for minions to return). We defeated them handily, and upon searching the room we found an artifact (!!!!!!). Head of Vyrellis

We found the the head of Vyrellis, an Eladrin woman. She is still lucid, somehow, and wants to be re-united with her former body. She is a racist and likes elves and eladrin better than other races. She won’t speak directly to anyone but Renleon, which was awkward.

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