The Helltreaders

last time on Helltreaders...

Aroused from their battle in the Dreamscape where they fought Vesemir, the party finds themselves back in Lothering, and can hear in the distance the sound of a heavy statue being pushed towards the trapdoor entrance. To avoid being sealed in Lothering, the party prints back to the entrance. Kalkanesh finally gets to use her wall-running to great effect, but Brood still beats everyone there. Meanwhile Veronwe gets molested by the suddenly animated corpses of the inhabitants of Lothering.
The party emerges from the trapdoor and finds several Deep Shadows assassins, an epic battle ensues. Several more assassins emerge from their various hiding places but Veronwe finally emerges from the trapdoor in time to keep the party on its feet. The party finds a level 16 alliance band (for Veronwe).
Outside Lothering, the party finds the Deep Shadow’s cart and a strong box containing 7,500gp, as well as a man named Dotar shackled inside it. Dotar implores the party to release him and claims to be a Rethemi gem merchant who was kidnapped by the Deep Shadows at the behest of his competitors. Veronwe sees right through the lies, and Dotar confesses he is a minor agent from one of Alevar’s spy networks, and that he was sent to contact the Deep Shadows to let them know that it was the Helltreaders who killed Tuladin at the Deep Shadows hideout in Rockshatter Cave. Not being the trusting sort, they kept Dotar prisoner in case they were being led into a trap.
As Dotar now feels no particular loyalty to Alevar for putting him in this position (and in the interest of saving his own skin), Dotar agrees to help the party should they ever go to Rethem.
The party proceeds to the Enduring Forest and soon finds themselves lost. After a little effort they are able to orient themselves and discover that something is deliberately trying to make them lost. After constructing a trap, they confront a Dryad who they convince to leave them alone.
The party is next finds a desolate patch of rocky terrain for which they cannot make much sense from. Brood challenges the vast expanse with a bluff check to call out any who may be casting an illusion. While this has no effect concerning an illusion, it does prompt a psychic impression of some battle fought here, and that the area is devoid of all life and nothing should be able to grow. This is significant in that Veronwe’s passive perception is able to pick out a tiny fern leaf growing amidst the wasteland, which will be news of some significance to the grove druids.
The party gets partway through the wasteland when a stampede erupts from the forest behind them. The party manages to sprint to a flatter and more wide open expanse before the creatures (bears, deer, beastly looking reptiles of all kinds) envelop them so that the creatures are more able to move around the party rather than over them. The party is tiring and still in danger of being trampled, but a timely endurance check keeps the party moving while Brood and Isaac are able to corral the mass of animals away from the party.
The party finally reaches the Caves on Menace and is greeted by Sashra and a stone statue of an enormous giant. Sashra indicates that she has not been able to retake the caves as they are teeming with the monstrous minions of her sisters. She offers to team up with the party (and the party gains a faction benefit rather than an actual party member). Veronwe attempts to assess Shashra’s motives, but is unable to tell if she intends to betray the party or not…
The party enters the cave and is attacked by Cyclops’ who are aided by some hags. The party prevails and finds 600gp worth the precious stones.



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