The Magic User in the Middle

The Troupe continue their assault on Bone Hill Castle, which is overrun by highly organised hobgoblins. The Troupe seeks out the leader of the hobgoblins, hoping to learn what is behind the occupation of the castle and to ensure the nearby town of Restenford is safe.

12 Flamerule 1368

We climb the stairs to the second floor and find ourselves in a makeshift storage room. One of the tables is covered in weapons.

We start searching the room and find one of the cupboards is locked. Mur’Neth quietly picks the lock.

Inside we find some gold coins, and some throwing weapons. There are 5 poisoned daggers which Mur’Neth holds on to.

It also takes 20 throwing daggers from the cupboard.

There are also ten throwing axes which we store in our Bag of Holding.

Finally we find a Scroll of Invisible Stalker, which can summon a temporary ally for us.

We can’t find anything else in here so we pick the door to the north and enter into a corridor where we quickly come across one of the castle’s denizens.

Viconia manages to throw a sling bullet clean through the hobgoblin.

We don’t find anything other than its armour and weapons on the corpse. We try and open the door to the room here, but it’s using a special locking mechanism that both Mur’Neth and Cat can’t crack.

We continue up the corridor and find the next door along is also locked using the same mechanism.

Of course there are more hobgoblins along this corridor.

I get the kill this time, though Rose is forced to use an Elixir after being poisoned by an arrow.

We continue along the corridor fighting any hobgoblins we come across.

They slow us down a little, but don’t provide us with much of a challenge.

The hobgoblins carry a few trinkets: a silver ring and a greenstone ring, a bloodstone gem. One of them carries a Scroll of Burning Hands, a spell I can use to burn enemies that get too close. I copy it to my spellbook.

The room at the end of this corridor is unlocked. We find a room filled with plants, a fountain in the middle, and a comfortable couch. It’s a good place to relax. Is this something hobgoblins like to do?

There isn’t anything of any use in this room so we continue to the corridor on the other side. The doors along this corridor are locked as well.

And, of course, they are filled with hobgoblins we need to carve our way through.

These ones give the drow priest some trouble.

Thankfully we still have some Elixirs on hand. Xan is struck by an arrow. I heal him before he dies again. We don’t need another journey back to Restenford to resurrect him again.

We cut down another hobgoblin, only to find they have reinforcements in the only open room along this corridor.

We kill the two remaining in the corridor, and Viconia uses a Potion of Healing as we wait for the reinforcements to leave their room.

They come out and we get to work, eliminating one of the warriors almost immediately.

We take care of the other two, but even more archers follow the noise down the corridor. These things won’t stop coming!

We chase them down, and Xan finishes the last on at the end of the corridor with an Arrow of Fire.

We search all of the corpses and find a few trinkets among their equipment. A silver necklace, a greenstone ring, and an iol gem. Nothing too valuable.

We are tired after all this fighting, and need to rest. The open room that some of the hobgoblins attacked us from turns out to be a bedroom. We close and block the door, use the last of our healing magic, and settle in for a long rest.

After sleeping for most of the day I wake up and prepare my Mage Armor. I use the Weave to take a look at the ring we found among the animal statues in the floor below. This ring connects the wearer with the Plane of Air. I often use cloud spells, and Viconia likes to get into close quarters in combat, it seems appropriate for her to wear the ring to protect herself.

Viconia searches the room and finds a strange scroll in the bedside cabinet. This scroll is attached to a chain, and though it has an incantation written on it, it doesn’t seem to be a normal spell. We can’t copy it to our spell books, so Xan hangs it around his neck.

She also finds some arrows in the cabinet, but we cannot identify them.

The room at the end of this corridor is a library with a stairwell in the opposite corner. There are no hobgoblins here so we get straight into searching the bookshelves.

The only intact book we can find is a copy of The History of the North, Volume III. I have already read this one, which covers the battles for the Citadel of Many Arrows. With all the hobgoblin archers we have encountered, Bone Hill Castle could easily earn the same name.

Almost as a punchline, the book lies next to a couple of arrows that seem heavier than usual.

We also find a Scroll of Spell Deflection among the bookshelves, which we can use to absorb any spells that could be thrown at us.

The reading desk has a few useful items stashed inside. Among them is a scroll we can use to summon an elemental from the Plane of Earth.

There are around 20 more bolts for Rose.

There is also a key here, which looks like it may work with the locks we’ve been seeing around the castle.

There are two doors out of here. One leads back to the corridor around this floor. The other is too damaged to open. Even with the key we can’t get this door to budge.

We go up the stairwell and find ourselves on a roof manned by more archers.

We reposition ourselves and engage the hobgoblins.

We dispose of them after a short fight.

We find the usual trinkets on their bodies, as well a Scroll of True Strike that Rose fails to copy to her spellbook.

They also have a Scroll of Luck, which both Xan and I already have in our spellbooks. It’s too advanced for the bards, so into the Scroll Case it goes.

We explore the top of the castle and find more hobgoblins who meet the same fate as the others.

One of them carries a necromantic scroll that Rose fails to copy again.

To the south we find another archer. This one gives Xan some trouble, but he is able to drink an Antidote while I heal him.

With the rooftop clear, we return to the library and continue along the next corridor. Hobgoblins make a futile attempt to block our way.

These warriors have no trinkets, but there is a bedroom here in which we find some more gold.

The corridor leads back to the storage room where we started, so we go through and try the key we found in the library on the first locked door. The door opens and Mur’Neth is quick to kill a hobgoblin waiting behind the door.

This room is a larger bedroom, likely belonging to the master of the castle. We search the room and don’t find anything, but Viconia spots something hidden in the fireplace. She reaches in to pull it out. There is a loud click, and flames consume the priest of Shar.

She’s badly burnt, but still alive. Thankfully Shar still bestows blessings of healing upon her.

The book she pulled out of the fire, inscribed with the name “Telvar”. It is a book full of many spells Xan and I don’t know.

The book is full of many interesting spells for us to study, so Xan, Rose, Fabion and I take some time to study the book.

First I learn how to conjure acidic arrows and burn away the enemy’s flesh.

Next I learn how to allow our party to ignore our fears.

I learn how to conjure a web and trap my opponents.

I learn how to create sound bursts that can hurt the enemy.

Next, Rose tries to learn how to use the Weave to charm people. It should complement her natural charm. Unfortunately she fails to copy it.

She does, however, learn how to call upon Magic Missiles.

She also tries to learn its defense, but fails to copy this one as well.

Xan learns to summon an Obscuring Mist.

He also learns how to create a Battering Ram to break locks and knock down enemies.

He also learns how to turn someone invisible.

He also learns how to sap strength from an opponent.

Fabio fails to copy an Identify spell.

He also fails to learn how to put enemies to Sleep.

While we study the spell book and Viconia heals herself, Mur’Neth notices a small gap in the wall and some scratches on the floor.

We pull at the wall and confirm it is a secret door leading to a corridor guarded by a single hobgoblin. Mur’Neth is quick on the draw.

The corridor leads to a dead end, but the ooze also notices signs of another secret door.

We pull the door open and find another group of hobgoblins lying in wait.

Fabio confuses two of them with his Lute.

They poison Viconia again so she reaches for an Antidote.

Fabio and I draw our melee weapons and gang up on one the hobgoblin captain. Xan uses his Wand of Magic Missiles.

The captain panics and tries to escape, but it is trapped.

With the two sane warriors slain we make our way into the room.

The remaining confused hobgoblins are easy to dispatch.

We heal ourselves up before we check the bodies.

The hobgoblins have some of the usual scrolls on them: Cure Serious Wounds, Spike Stones, and Symbol, Pain. They also have a couple of Potions of Healing.

We search the room and find a stash of potions in a chest. Among them are five Potions of Extra Healing. There are also 2 Potions of Clarity.

A Potion of Evasion. Hopefully we won’t encounter any dragons soon, but this could help against mages.

There is also a Potion of Explosions. This is one to throw at enemies rather than to drink.

There is a Potion of Fire Giant Strength. Viconia holds this one in her belt. She’s not the strongest of the group so this should help her hit harder with her Stupefier.

There’s a Potion of Invulnerability among the stash, but it looks… odd.

There is also a Violet Potion. It can make some one stronger than a Fire Giant, but it comes at a cost.

We also find a Scroll of Spell Thrust in a crate. I put this in my scroll case. We should save this for the next ogre mage we have to fight.

Inside the crate there are also some magical arrows and bolts, but even Fabio can’t tell what they do.

Mur’Neth notices a trap on the door leading out of the room and is able to disarm it before we open it.

Viconia walks in and we are surprised to see an elf that looks a lot like Xan sitting inside. He pulls himself to his feet as soon as he sees the drow.

Viconia: Dead. Who are you?

Telvar: I am the guardian of this keep.

Viconia: Guardian?

Telvar: Yes. Yes. I was sent her to look for an ancient magical item. Perhaps you have seen it? It looks like a bronze horn.

Viconia: Who sent you?

Telvar: Why, the overlords of course. Yes, this will be a new castle for them to help protect the area. But we need that horn.

Viconia: I have the horn right here.

Telvar: Oh, goody, goody. Be a good girl and bring it here please.

Viconia: Uhm, how about you telling me what is so important about this horn?

Telvar: Well if you must know. It will allow the overlords to call the other castles for support. Excellent idea, eh?

Viconia: Yes it is, but I am going to keep the horn instead.

Telvar: What?!! You nasty little pup. You shall all die for this!

Out of nowhere a couple of hobgoblins leave the shadows all around us and start launching arrows. The guardian starts casting a spell.

Viconia leaves the guardian’s room and closes the door behind her.

It doesn’t hold them for long, but it gives us enough time to kill one of the hobgoblins. We also have a chokepoint to hold the guardian and his troops at bay.

We think we are in control when Xan takes a poisoned arrow in his back. There are reinforcements coming in from behind.

I slow the poison and Mur’Neth charges the sneaky hobgoblin.

It kills the hobgoblin and we all move to hold the door. Viconia drinks the Potion of Fire Giant Strength.

Fabio kills the hobgoblin at the door. Now we can take aim at the guardian of the keep.

Mur’Neth’s crossbow finishes him off.

Xan says that he has learned a lot during this fight..

He says he has advanced spells in his spell book that he wants to try out in the near future. He has a more advanced Charm spell.

A Hold Person spell.

He can create illusory copies of himself.

He asks to take a look through Telvar’s spell book again. He thinks it is worth studying while we search the bodies and the guardian’s room.

He finds a spell to Dispel Magic in the tome.

He also copies a spell that can Slow enemies down.

He learns how to evoke a Fireball.

And also how to speed up his allies.

He learns how to protect someone from ranged attacks.

After he is done with Telvar’s book, he asks to take a look through my scroll case for any spells he can learn. He finds a spell that can improve his aim.

As well as a spell that can summon a swarm of snowballs. He fails to copy this one, however.

He learns a spell that can invoke a magical lance.

He tries to learn the art of Clairvoyance, but he fails to copy it well.

He also fails to learn how create sphere of Invisibility.

He successfully copies a spell that can create illusionary armour.

As well as a spell that can protect from the gaze of a basilisk.

And finally a spell that can break through a mage’s defenses.

While he studies, we check the bodies remaining from the fight against the guardian. Among the hobgoblin’s equipment we find a Scroll of Obscuring Mist.

We also find more scrolls of Spike Stones and Symbol, Pain, as well as 2 more Potions of Healing.

The guardian of the keep was wearing an Adventurer’s Robe.

Over the robe is a magical cloak, but we can’t identify it.

He also has a Wand of Fear hanging from his belt. I keep this wand at hand. If we meet too many hobgoblins it can help to scatter them.

His dagger looks like a long tooth and can pierce armour. It is better than Mur’Neth’s Heart of the Golem, so he replaces it with the Longtooth.

His belt holds an Oil of Speed and a Potion of Invisibilty. We also find a journal on him, confirming that the former guardian is Telvar, the author of the spellbook Xan is studying from.

This is confirmation for us. We were right to investigate. But whoever this “wraith” is we need to find it before it can enact its plan. We have killed its guardian and many of his minions, and we have the horn. But the journal mentions the undead. Apart from a skeleton warrior outside we haven’t seen any undead. There must be something else hiding in this keep.

We enter Telvar’s room to search for more clues and find two hobgoblins cowering in the opposite corner. Their attempts to fight back are futile.

We continue to search but find nothing other than a bathroom. Telvar must use it to wash off the stench of these hobgoblins.

There is nothing else, no secret doors. There were other locked doors along the corridor outside. We leave Telvar’s chambers to find what lies beyond them. To find the Wraith and save Restenford once and for all.

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