Campaign: Blight of the Iron Lich Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons – Blight of the Iron Lich – Chapter 4: The road through Elderthorn Forest

Leaving Sunflower Grange behind, the reality of the war with undead became apparent in the surrounding landscape again.

And soon enough, the now familiar sounds of hunting undead behind them could be heard again, but the edge of Elderthorn Forest was in front of our heroes.

Forest Wall

But as the Hell Benders approached the forest, the ground lifted it up creating a steep cliff edge to scale. To make matters worse, a fog had gathered making visibility hard, but offering now protection against the swarm of arrows from the undead.

Pestilence quickly started scaling the wall with his claws, while Thorga spotted a nearby stair case leading up which him and Kaari ran towards.

Thorga cast “Misty Step” to scale the last half of the cliff, but the odd fey fog, transmuted his spell and rather than make the leap, he gained a halo shining bright above his head.

With more an more arrows finding their mark, our heroes finally made it up and into the forest.

Out of the frying pan into the fire

But no sooner had our heroes made it into Elderthorn Forest before they heard hooves moving towards them quickly.

Remembering Krautious’ warning about the guardians of the forest border, they knew they could hear the Thornhunt lead by the Thornjäger.

Running further into the forest, they spotted an ancient oaken door in the middle of a thick wall of trees.

They found it unlocked and quickly rushed in, only to spot three Centaurs coming into view behind them and as they ran in an arrow from someone behind the Centaurs missed them.

In the clearing they saw another door. This one with a bronze plate with the inscription:

“I am the beginning, the start of it all.
Alone I stand, before others do fall.”

Kaari quickly raised a wall of wind in front of the door behind them and the frustrated Centaurs on the other side could do nothing but stamp in the ground.

As the heroes started guessing the code word, none rang true.

And the ethereal form of the Thornjäger passed unhindered through the forest and the Wall of Wind, readying his bow in preparation to solidify.

Despeate, Pestilence used “Contact Other Plane” to get help from Belial her patron, but was immediately rebuked and when insane falling to the ground laughing and screaming random words at the door.

As the Thornjäger launched a hail of arrows at Kaari to bring her concentration down, Pestilence kicked the door and verdigris fell off revealing another line completing the riddle:

“I am the beginning, the start of it all.
Alone I stand, before others do fall.
What number am I?”

As the Thornjäger readied his bow, the party guessed “1” and the door swung open and they ran in.

The second riddle glade

Quickly Kaari recast the Wall of Wind behind them, while Thorga dragged Pestilence inside and started looking at the five doors surrounding the glade.

He first looked at a door in a corner, with a bronze plate saying:

“I am the fingers on the hand alive and bright.
counting them brings you to the right height.”

Kaari ran to a door opposite saying:

“I am the points on a star shining in the night.
See them all, they are just right.”

Thorga tried a few guess quickly, before he landed on the correct answer: “5” and the party ran in leaving the Wall of Wind in place as the ethereal form of the Thornjäger came through the forest.

The third riddle glade

The third glade sported one other door than the one the heroes came through. It’s plate said:

“I am the pair that follows one.
But before three, my job is not done.”

They guess “2” and the door let them onwards with the Thornjäger’s arrows flying at them.

The fourth riddle glade

They now faced a glad with four doors, but unlike the other glades, this on also had a small stone house with a dark red roof. Too small for humans, the house looked fit for Halflings or Gnomes.

Ignoring the house, Thorga ran to the nearest door, which read:

“I am the corners of a square.
Before five, I’ll be there.”

Kaari sneaked up on the strange little house curious about who might live there, but was hit by the smell of blood. The roof was not red, it was covered neatly in fresh blood.

As the Thornjäger approached, the party quickly decided the house might not be the best place to flee to, so they ran through the door…

… and found themselves back in the second glave with the five doors and the Wall of Wind that was quickly coming to its end.

What now?

The party frustrated with being back almost at the beginning of the glade labyrinth, discussed whether to run back and fight the Thornjäger or go through an untested door.

As the Wall of Wind started to give in, and Thornjäger emerged from the door behind them, they decided to shout “5” at one of the doors leading them onwards to a new Glade.

The fifth riddle glade

The glade they found themselves in had no fewer that six doors all with the same riddle:

“I am the sides of a cube, not one shy.
More than five under the sky.”

They guessed “6” at a door and faced a tunnel leading up and back towards the glade with the house.

Sensing this might be a risky move, they went back to try another door just as the Wall of Wind fell and the Centaurs came galloping in, but our heroes where faster and ran through the door.

Grim Glee Jubilee

In the big sunny clearing the Hell Benders could see a large carnival with a circus tent in the centre. Laugher of the guests filled the air and delicate iridescent bubbles fell gently from the sky.

One landed on Pestilence’s head and bursts realising a little pop of laughter than cured her insanity.

Sniff, the information attendee

At the booth at the entrace stood a small barrel in which a large nosed creatured named Sniff lived. He proudly exclaimed his job was there to provide information.

After a somewhat confused conversation, our heroes realised Sniff would reply the opposite of what he meant.

And finally they made it into Grim Glee Jubilee but not before Thorga received a rose of solid gold in exchange for the empty ticket holder he had drawn from his magical Box of Need.

Inside the tent

Inside the circus tent, the party met what looked like two clowns or jesters: An agitated and curious little man and a tall dark skinned beautiful woman who looked bored.

The man claimed to be the arch fey Chief Chester Nihilus, which the woman disputed in the most bored manner.

The party started a conversation with the man, but the confusing conversation, mainly around whether the party had tried the rides of the carnival, made them focus on the woman instead. While she looked bored out of her mind, at least she communicated in a way that made sense.

With some compliments, borderlining flirting, the party got her talking and she introduced herself as Lady Clown Celestia and admitted her spouse was indeed Nihilus.

Thorga gave Celestia the golden rose and blushing she told them that Nihilus would be easier to converse with once they had tried some of his rides. She recommended:

  • The Fey Flight Simulator
  • Pixie Panic
  • Wack a Mole
  • The Sylvan Swoop bungie jump
  • The Dream Weaver’s Shade
  • TheWhispering Ferris Wheel

And as evening had come, she offered the party a small tent where they could spend the night so they were fresh for the next day’s fun in Grim Glee Jubilee