Halaster's Lost Apprentice

Home Invasion
Episode 5: Rat Scratch Fever!

The Cast
Brian T as Ardoare the Tiefling Sorcerer.
Ty as Byster.
Cooper as Letham the Human Ranger.
Pat as Hesken the Dragonborn Paladin.
Jen as Beliela the Drow Warlock
Jeff as Maelar the Human Death Cleric.
Lance as Whyrun the Dragonborn Bard.
Tim as DM

After taking their first extended rest in the Undermountain, the adventures make their way down into the Hidden Chambers of Halaster’s apprentice. The spiral staircase ends in an odd-shaped chamber that lights up with blue-burning candles as you enter. Doors to the north and east walls are sealed shut while the door in the south wall stands slightly ajar.

As they take their last step off the stairs, an ancient spell buzzes active and a cherry female voice speaks, echoing around the chamber. “Welcome and well met, honored visitors-unless you be intruders. Speak the Master’s Blessing to find the way, or else you’ll not leave this place.”

The ancient ward flickers into slumber again and party moves further into the chamber. A close inspection (DC 15) reveals a tattered magic cloak that hangs on a dusty coat rack near the stairs. (The Mantle of the Apprentice, a Level 4 neck slot item.)

The adventures continue down the hall to the door on the south that leads to a bedchamber. They find a bedchamber that is large, as such things go, but little of it is reserved for creature comforts. The cluttered room is a mess of discarded books, withered scrolls, and melted candles, all hidden under a think coat of dust. Some of them have been crinkled and placed in odd piles like small huts. The small feather bed has been torn open and most of its contents stuffed under the frame.

As they enter, cold seeps across their skin as they see two shadowy forms on the bed: one a lithe female composed of blue mist, lying beneath a formless creature of black smoke. At first, they appear to be romantically embracing, but then it becomes clear that the female ghost is struggling to escape while the other seems to be drawing her essence into itself-feeding on her.

Hesken, Letham, and Byster enter the room and try to make verbal contact with the shadowy figure. Maeler, the death cleric, steps into the room and attempts to exercise the black spirit instead of exorcising it. The shadowy thing jerks its head up and hisses soundlessly. It fades away into the wall, abandoning its prize, which collapses weekly onto the bed and lies there as though exhausted.

On the wall above it, letters begin to form, written in dripping blood: “M-A-E-R.”

Rat_swarm_by_jayodjick.jpgSuddenly, rats appear from under the bed and the pile of books and attack the party. There are giant rats, dire rats, and a swarm of normal rats. The adventures fight bravely, unknowingly walking past the clay scout sitting in the back of the room. While the adventurers fight off the rats, the scout suddenly attacks the back of the party. The heroes finally finish off all the rats and the clay scout, suffering some blood loss and with a few of them infected with Filth Fever.

A thorough search of the room reveals two scrolls-one containing the Magic Mouth ritual, and the other contains the Purify Water ritual. They also discover what appears to be the Lost Apprentice’s journal, which is largely indecipherable. The parts that are legible speak of an arrival in Waterdeep and apprenticeship with the legendary Halaster, who was impressed by the author’s arcane potential. The Lost apprentice was – apparently – a spell casting prodigy of sorts. Also, the book contains notes regarding a necromantic ritual designed to sap energy from other creatures, but no instructions for casting the actual ritual.

Also, the adventurers find an insightful passage. “Over the last few days, my servant has grown oddly…forward. This requires castigation, which I shall dispense at the first opportunity… Lyn.”

On the bed they find a magically glowing key and a collection of gold and silver worth 10 gp in the nest of the rats.

Filth Fever
Stage 0: The target recovers from the disease.
Stage 1: Initial Effect: The target loses a healing surge.
Stage 2: The target takes a -2 penalty to AC, Fortitude, and Reflex.
Stage 3: Final State: The target takes a -2 penalty to AC, Fortitude, and Reflex. The target loses all healing surges and cannot regain hit points.
Check: At the end of each extended rest, the target makes an Endurance check if it is at stage 1 or 2.
11 or lower: The stage of the disease increases by one.
12-16: No Change
17 or higher: The stage of the disease decreases by one.

The Guardians or Mr. Green?
Episode 4: Who's the Boss?

The Cast
Brian T as Ardoare the Tiefling Sorcerer
Scott as Eldritch the Human Warlock not named after the bolt
Dave as Heretus the Tiefling Psion
Ty as Byster
Michael as Orsino Fortinbrsas IV the Human Rouge.
Kyle as Kalla the Githzerai Monk
Cooper as Letham the Human Ranger
Tim as DM

The Guardians or Mr. Green?

As the after images of the magical lightening fade, the team find themselves facing a small impish creature standing above the stars. “You,” it says. “You serve the Master?” The small winged devil glances from adventurer to adventurer, trying to determine who is in charge.

Available skills:
Bluff – Limit 1
Diplomacy – Limit 1
Intimidate – No limit, but…

Ardoare and Eldritch quickly grab Orsino and step forward, “We’re here to escort this dangerous prison,” bluffs Ardoare. The devish imp cocks his head and stares at them. “Yeah!” growls Eldritch, “the master wants him now.” (Brian succeeds at this Bluff check with an Assist from Scott.)

“Well, maybe you serve the Master, but I’ve never seen you before,” replies the Imp.

Byster steps forward intending to intimidate the devil, “Fool, let us pass or you will burn in the master’s Arcane fire.” (This was supposed to be an auto failure unless they party had already to successes, but I missed that part. Ty succeeds at his Intimidate check.)

Orsino flails his arms and tries to look like a dangerous mad man, “We don’t have time for this, I’m dangerous!” The imp is skeptical at best. (Michael fails at his Intimidate check.)

Letham (not having any choices left) uses his Arcanic knowledge to identify the Imp’s weakness. “You, Imp, have a four wings and four feet, and have a weakness against garlic, crosses, and saltwater! Begone!” (Cooper fails his Arcana check.)

Kalla, with an Assist from Eldritch, attempt to further Intimidate the Imp. “Move Imp, the Master summons us now,” says Kalla. (Kyle succeeds his Intimidate check with an Assist from Scott.)

“Enough!” yells Ardoare. “Yeah, get out of our WAY!” echoes Eldritch.

(Four Successes and 2 Failures)

“GRRARAWWWW!!!” a loud voice says from the tunnel the adventures came through earlier. “Fe Fi Fo Fum! Xeres said to eat some,” says a young green dragon as it steps into the light.

The adventures find themselves bottled in the Hidden Chamber with the Guardian Imp. They take a few shots at it before it unleashes it’s breath attack, blooding half the party. But these hearty adventures do not go gently into that good night. Letham is lethal with his two weapon attack, hacking and slashing at the dragon.


Kalla attacks the dragon by jumping off Letham’s face, causing Letham to stagger and almost go unconscious. (This is something I picked up from DM Andrew. It is either from 13th Age or from the DM Ash. “How badly do you want to hit the monster? Are you willing to hurt an ally?”)

Later Kalla gets struck by the head of the dragon as Byster knocks at the dragon. Letham deals the most damage to the green dragon before falling unconscious. But finally the team brings down the dragon.

“IMPressive,” says the imp. “You must serve the Master. Rest here and we will guard you as you rest.” And the party has their first extended rest in the Undermountain.

(DM Notes: This Encounter was originally a short skill challenge for either 4 Successes or 3 Failures and both results would have led to a fight with the Imp and Guardians. I felt that there needed to be a reward for the Success and I added the fight with a level 5 green dragon with some power downed attacks. Ideally the dragon would do much harm and if the party was near death the Guardians would rescue them. A failure would have resulted in a fight with the Imp as written.)

Friends or Foes?
Episode 3: Gwenn's Shining Moment

The Cast
Brian T as Ardoare the Tiefling Sorcerer
Collin as Gwenn the Human Paladin
Scott as Eldritch the Human Warlock not named after the bolt
Lance as Whyrun the Dragonborn Bard.
Dave as Heretus the Tiefling Psion
Ty as Byster
Michael as Orsino Fortinbrsas IV
Tim as DM

We pick up with our hearty adventures as they continue their way through the Undermountain. Having rested in a small niche, the team was unable to get a full nights rest due to the bugs and roaches that periodically swarmed the area. (No extended rest for the team.)

The exhausted party comes upon a small encampment of Downshadow residents and Gwenn tries to use her diplomatic skills to negotiate safe passage. Success! They are willing to let them pass. (Collin succeeds on his Diplomacy check.)

Uplifted by their success the team continues their journey until Orsino notices a deadly spear trap in their way. Orsino carefully disarms the trap and the adventures continue on their way to the hidden chamber. (Michael succeeds on his Thievery check.)

As they near the Hall of the Sleeping Kings, Heretus recalls a session in class where the visiting professor explained the horrors of that room. It was a death trap room with falling floor panels and roaming zombies. “Hey guys, we shouldn’t go in there!” Taking his advice, the team bypasses the room and tries to pick up the trail on the other side. (Dave succeeds on his History check.)

Turning a corner the adventures come across a gathering of goblins encamped in their path. (I’m making up collective nouns for monsters.) Gwenn steps forward and tries to talk to them. They respond very positively and ask for help recovering a holy relic that was recently stolen from them by some raiding skeletons. The adventures huddle up and debate what to do next. Some notices that the Goblins are bandaged and bruised and that might indicate a recent fight. Whyrun looks over the Goblin leader and proclaims that they’re telling the truth (Lance fails his Insight check, but fortunately they are telling the truth.)

They agree to help and the goblin leader maps out where they can find the skeletons. The adventures make their way up to a large cave where they find the shackle of skeletons. (Collective noun number two, how does this one sound?) They team fight, no DESTROY all the skeletons with Gwenn decimating them with her radiant damage from The Dead God Haramathur, The Guardian in Stone, the Eternal Watcher. Skeletons.jpg(The combat goes some thing like this: DM rolls an attack, miss. Collin attacks, add radiant damage. DM moves skeleton, radiant damage. DM attacks a different character, radiant damage.) They rest of the adventures help out Gwenn who has turned into a skeleton destroying machine.

The adventures return the relic to the goblins and they offer to bless three of the adventures with their relic that was just returned. (For their reward in successfully completing the skill challenge the chosen three get 1 one Healing Surge). In addition to the gold taken from the skeletons (10 gp for each player) the team get the final directions to the hidden chamber from the goblins.

At the outer chamber they find a circular door sculpted of stone set into the floor atop a dais raised on stone steps of varying height. The door is ten feet in diameter, of old black stone carved with ancient, dusty symbols. In the center of the door lies a circle of six hand-sized hallows that are free of dust. In each corner of the chamber stands a small statue, like a gargoyle, except for the one in the southeast corner that lies in smaller bits.


Gwenn attempts divine an answer to the lock, but her Dead God Haramathur is of no help. (Collin fails his Religion skill check.)

Whyrun attempts the next lock by trying some of the more common arcane lock phrases, but to no avail, the lock remains locked. (Lance fails his Arcana check.)

Orsino studies the door and jimmies the lock until it clicks and a spot of blue flame lights one of the six hallows. (Michael succeeds at his Thievery check.)

Ardoare tries to light a second hallow from the first blue flame and burns herself in the process. Enduring the pain she manages to light the second lock. (Brian succeeds at his Endurance check.)

Heretus tries his hand at one of the remaining hallows by chanting some words of power, but he stumbles midway through! FAILURE! (Dave fails his Arcana check, which had a higher DC that the first attempt.)


The magical wards are triggered and lightening strikes all of the party and everyone takes 4 points of damage. As the door slowly opens into a descending staircase, a small devilish creature appears hovering above the stairs and growls can be heard as the statues spring to life.

Into Downshadow
Episode 2: Lost in the Dark!

The Cast
Brian T as Ardoare the Tiefling Sorcerer
Collin as Gwenn the Human Paladin
Scott as Eldritch the Human Warlock not named after the bolt
Lance as Whyrun the Dragonborn Bard.
Tim as DM

The staff of the Yawning Portal straps the adventures into harness attached to a winch and pulley, then lowers them through the great well into the gloom of Downshadow, the shallowest depth of Undermountain. They journey down, trying hard not to think too much about the creaking old leather on the straining ropes.

Finally, it is all over and their feet touch cool, wet stone. From here the adventures slowly makes their way through Downshadow by avoiding large threats and dealing with small ones. (DM note: I changed the Encounter module by pushing forward 4 of the Skill Challenges from the next session.) Their first mishap occurs when Gwenn overloads her back pack with supplies but falls into stagnant pool and spoils some of their food rations. (Collin fails on his Endurance skill check and loses two healing surges.)

Things start to get better as Eldritch recalls some street info he picked up the week before when he overheard some thugs talking about some common markings that Downshadow residents use to mark safe passages and traps. (Scott succeeds on his Streetwise skill check which also opens the Diplomacy and Intimidate skill check options.)

The hours slowly past as they continue to follow the map given to them by Fayne. When they come upon a small camp of Downshadow residents Ardoare rush up to the largest one and grabs him, pulls him up close to her face and yells, “Are you going to help us or die right here?!!!” The old man nods vigorously as does the rest of the camp. (Brian succeeds on his Intimidate skill check.)

By shepherding the campers in from of them, the brave adventures are able to avoid being caught in several traps and being eaten be several monsters. They same can’t be said about the campers. After the last camper is impaled by a spear trap, Whyrun rolls up his sleeves and starts to chant. Using his vast Arcane knowledge, he stretches his senses until he feels the flow of magic and the possible direction to the chamber. (Lance succeeds on his Arcana skill check and earns a +2 bonus for the next Dungeoneering check.)

The adventures have been unable to find a safe and secure place to rest, so they continue their way through the Undermontain. Suddenly, out of the darkness they hear a voice, “Xeres was right, here they come now.” The team finds themselves facing off several humans and a giant scorpion on a leash.

Doppelganger.jpgAs they fight to the death, the adventures realize that one of the humans isn’t a human, but a doppelganger! It slides up to Gwenn and assumes the appearance of Gwenn! (Cue Star Trek music!) But Eldritch isn’t fooled, he been walking behind Gwenn for hours and he knew which ass as the real Gwenn ass, no doppelganger could match that jiggle. (Scott succeeds on an Insight check.)

Eldritch.jpgThe fight also brings out all of Eldritch’s anger and he finally overcomes his metal block from his major defeat that led him on his downward spiral. “Die! Die! Die!” he screamed as he shoots spell after spell at the enemies. The final villain falls and the team search the bodies to find 40 gp.

The team picks up their belongings and continues on their way. At last they find a secure spot to rest and set up camp. They try their best to rest only to find the spot gets periodically overrun by bugs and roaches. No extend rest is possible. After a few hours, they give up and continue on their way through the Undermountain.

It Begins at the Yawning Portal
Episode 1: Back Alley Brawl

The Cast
Brian T as Magumba the Tiefling Sorcerer
Collin as Gwenn the Human Paladin
Brian S as Brandis the Human Wizard
Scott as Eldritch the Human Warlock not named after the bolt
Alex as Orsino the Human Rogue
Lance as Algernon the Human Invoker
Tim as DM


A group of adventures find themselves arrayed around a table in the Yawning Portal by the hands of fate. Gwenn had been sent to investigate the rumors of Undermountain by her superior Paladin Drack. Orsino found himself on the bad end of a con gone wrong. Eldritch was on the lame and Brandis was out to prove himself a great wizard.

As they all sat at there, contemplating the recent news of a newly discovered chamber in the Undermountain, a few of them notice the half-elf lady on the next table completing her negotiation with a dwarf and tiefling. It becomes apparent to Magumba that both the dwarf and tiefling plan to rob the lady of her coins and perhaps her life as well.

Magumba rises from her seat and tries to impress upon the lady that she might be hiring the wrong sort of people. She brushes off Magumba’s concerns and leaves the Yawning Portal with her two new hires. Magumba is confused as to what she should do next and she finally decides that she needs to check on the lady. “Come on guys,” she says to the table of strangers, “the lady needs our help.” Amazingly, all the strangers at the table follow Magumba out the door.

Outside the Yawning Portal they find the dwarf with a few of his friends assaulting the lady across a sewer cannel. The cannel is bridged by a small rickety bridge, but that doesn’t stop Gwenn from rushing across the bridge, only to discover how rickety it really is by almost falling into the sewer.

Brandis get hit with Hedgefire from the tiefling, he ducks back into the Yawning Portal and douses himself with beer to extinguish the fire before returning to the fight.

Orsino jumps on the sewer spout and gets hit with a dizzing curse by the tiefling.

Maguma and Eldricth blast spell after spell at the tiefling and his crew.

Finally they manage to kill all robbers and the adventures rushes over to heal the fallen lady. Suddenly, she jumps up and begins to clap. “Wonderful!” she exclaims, “You are just the sort of brave adventures I was hoping to find. You passed the test of your fighting skill with flying colors!”

What? The adventures stare at her dumbfounded. Who is this lady that just had them slaughter these peoples? Well, they did think they were bad guys robbing a lady.

Fayne.jpg“My name is Fayne and I have a job for you all if you’re interested. Come, let’s return to the warmth of the Yawning Portal.”

The strangers look at each other over, shrug, then rifle through the bodies before pushing the dead into the sewer. Fayne barely registers any of that and crosses the bridge back to the inn. Orison picks up 6 additional daggers and the party splits 60 gp that the find in a pouch on the tiefling.

Once settled at their old table, Fayne says to them, “My patron is interested in discovering what’s in the newly rediscovered chamber in the Undermountain. I am willing to pay you a lump sum of 200 gp when you return with the information and anything you find there of importance. Your first assignment is to complete the map and the second is to retrieve any magical treasure you find. You will likely be able to keep most of what you find after my sponsor examines and catalogs everything.”

“What can we expect to find in the Undermoutain,” asks someone.

“Oh, the usual riff raff that inhabit the first level. Some down and out humans, some animals, and maybe some monsters,” Fayne replies.

“Anyone else that we should be keeping an out for while we’re down there?”

“Oh, yes! Xeres is my competitor. He’s a swordsman, a wizard, and an all about scoundrel. He’ll want to steal your treasure.”

Orsion slicks his hair back and tries to diplomatic skills, “My lady, 200 seems like such a small amount considering how this venture is a low risk and high rewards for your, but high risk and low rewards for us.”

“Well,” she says as she does some mental calculations, “I can go as high as 250 gp.”

“Done,” sighs Orsino, clearly hoping he could squeeze more from Fayne, “250 gp for the returning members.” Orsino clearly thinking ahead realizes that not everyone has to survive the return trip. Not if he has anything to do about that.

“Great,” she says as she gets up from the table and heads for the portal in the floor, “why not leave now?”

“The fee is 10 gp per person to have us work the winches to lower you down,” bellows the inn keeper as they near the portal, “or keep your gold and work it yourself, but don’t blame me if you fall.” Laughter fills the room from the regulars of the bar.

“You should cover that,” points out Orsino to Fayne.

“Okay, I’ll cover the winching costs and give you all some help,” she says as she pass out a few potions if minor healing.

“Any last questions before you all go down? No? Good luck adventures, I’ll be waiting for your return.”



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