Celysion - The Looming Darkness

Episode 31 - The Paragons

The Paragons

 

This is an introductory excerpt into our Paragon tier summarizing many adventures that have taken place since Nobby the Rogue made his departure after the confrontation with The Mask of the Unforseen Suitor.  While not all details are included, the major events of our characters and the course of their travels are outlined below…

 

Talthuathin

 

…Nobby the Rogue parted ways with the adventuring party after finally overcoming his greatest temptation of monetary value.  With his deformed and broken figure, but raised spirits he told the adventurers it was time he returned to The Family in Vandromar, because he then knew where his heart was.  The adventurers spent a short amount of time in the small village purging it of corruption and saving the villagers from the violent transformations that were taking place.

 

In the moist forest of the region of Feliwyth the adventurers pressed on towards the great city of Talthuathin.  Another days journey with a caravan of merchants led them to its realms.  The Larhim Elewen, or Forest Mother, stood over the city.  It’s massive branches and miles of circumference trunk rise above the beautiful city.  But when the adventurers arrived, the city was not so.  A demonic assault had begun on the city.  Flames burst on buildings, and demons swarming the city streets were slaying city folk.  The Starlight Blade, the city’s guard, were fighting hard to preserve as many people as they could, and organize themselves in the Citadel to wait until the army of Talthuathin had returned from aiding in the War of Expansion.

 

The heroes spotted multiple rifts scattered across the city letting in the demons and devils from the Nine Hells.  They even saw the legendary demon Demogorgon present, before he departed through a rift.  Within a day the heroes had allied with the Starlight Blade, fought through the city to recover Emperor Therond Duliel, and returned him with the citadel.  There, Dekran, Trel, Sokuyo, Therin, and Krisatra gained access to the feywildthrough a portal that the Emperor was able to activate.

 

The Feywild

 

The Feywild was a magnificent place for the heroes.  The colors, plants, light, and weather all proved very distinct and powerful, infused with Arcaneenergy.  The animals around them even behaved differently.  The heroes, having no bearing on their location began traveling through the brilliant forest nearby.  There Dekran nearly lost his life falling from a massive cliff, but was saved by a quick spell from Krisatra.  The first humanoids the party encountered were an orphaned group of Eladrin children.  The children were under an evil spell that empowered them like small vampires.  The children were ferocious and deadly and very creepy.

 

The party advanced into a cave to find the Eladrin man responsible.  It was within this cave that the tieflingwarlock, Therin, lost his life to the blade of one of these demonic children.  Their reflexes were so quick that when Therin teleported too close to one, the child buried a blade in Therin’sskull.  The party mourned, buried the body, and proceeded to find and kill the man responsible, Jarelic.

 

They slew Jarelic and broke the spell on the children, though the lives of the children were short lived.

 

In this cave, the party also found a goliath woman and a half-orc man entombed in some sort of experimental chamber.  The chamber had induced some kind of amnesia so they did not know how long they had been there.

 

Passing through another portal the adventurers ended up outside a drowfort in a snow location in the feywild.  After some poor negotiations, and a poor knowledge of the drow race, a shady deal was made to bring the surviving Eladrin children to the fort.  When Dekran recognized the Drow as evil, he made a break for it.  The drowrained down arrows upon Dekran and the newly found goliath woman.  She shielded them both as best she could but took an arrow to the heart and fell fatally to the snow.

 

The party was able to escape with some clever magic from Krisatra and Trel, and the next morning headed towards a pillared golden city in the distance.  Inside the city was an Eladrinpopulation ruled over by a city lord.  They were very militant, and were in search of a fallen city Cendrianne.  The party had no interest in their endeavors, but were able to release a few prisoners that were to lead them toTiandra, the Archfey of the feywild.

 

They parted departed north and traveled for a few days until they reached the forest of Senaliesse.  In this forest they located the city of Senaliesse, and the beautiful Eladrinmaiden, Archfey Tiandra.  She seemed inquisitive of mortals, and dangerously powerful.  She explained her plight to them about the Archfey lords of the sea, the Alastais, had not shown up to her recent Court of the Stars.  She was quite offended and wanted to find out why they did not come, petitioning the adventurers to help them.  In exchange, she would help them with their quest to find this corrupted heart of Tharizdun.

 

The heroes paid for passage on a gnomish ship, but encountered a violent storm in the sea which capsized the ship and nearly killed everyone on board.  They were rescued a couple days later floating, by a fishing ship passing through.  They were led to the island that the Alastais resided on, and the Atlantis-like city beneath the water.  There they learned the Alastais had felt betrayed by Tiandra.  They thought her, or one of the other Archfey had corrupted the power source they were charged with protecting.

 

Gravica is a city in the mortal realm in the center of the ocean.  It is mainly the city of the Deva’s but was created for all refined, civilized, but discarded races of the world to band together.  It is a city of towers, situated between two mountain peaks and a lake, on a massive mote of land floating above the ocean.  Rivers run upwards from the ocean to the land mote and region entrance.  While none of the adventurers had been there, they knew of it.  Here they learned that the magic source that suspended the city was housed in the feywild, and the Alastaiswere charged with operating it and protecting it.  The source had been corrupted.

 

The heroes deduced it was from the heart of Tharizdun, and that the heart had fused with the power source.  Accompanied by a Deva named Drenden Heather, the told them of an ancient amulet that would unlock a portal directly into Gravica in the mortal realm.  From there they could gain direct access to another portal that led immediately to the power source.  A lot of realm transferring, but the fate of the city in their hands, the heroes set out for the ancient heirloom amulet.

 

In the sunken temple, they learned Drenden Heather was actually a Rakshasa, a reborn evil Deva, in disguise.  He locked them in the entrance chamber of the temple, and proceeded further to find the amulet himself.

 

The beautiful chamber has statues, runes on a arcane miasma above their heads holding out the ocean, and small constant flowing rivers.  They are puzzled as how to proceed, and when time is of the essence are doing all they can to unlock the next chamber to recover the amulet before Drendenescapes…

 

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Episode 30 - A Small Resolve

Players:

Michael (Nobby)
Courtney (Dekran)
Trevor (Trel)
Zac (Therin)
Tylor (DM)
Level: 10

Bursting forth from the depths of the sea before them, the kraken’s hideous tentacles reached forth into the sky before crashing down into the water on the port side of the ship. Salt sea water rained down from above and the ship was rocked to one side by the gigantic wave. It was only moments before the kraken’s slimy arms reached for the ship again as the heroes drew their weapons and took quick action. Trel was at the helm and quickly turned the ship to the starboard side as the captains began issuing orders to their men.

Captain Paelias, the Eladrin captain of the Brethren of the Coast, took charge though the ship was not his stewardship. The hired captained retreated below deck with his men to aim the cannons in case an acceptable shot presented itself. Trel and Therin targeted the massive arms of the creature before it reached the side of the ship. In a demonic flurry of power, Therin struck the creature with a blast from his scepter. The blow assaulted the will and fortitude of the creature and the entire aberrant mass was lifted from the sea to float in the air above the water. The creature was nearly the size of the ship with a gaping horrific mouth. Dekran quickly issued an order to Trel to steer the ship towards the Kraken.

Simultaneously as the ship was pulled back to the port side and Captain Paelias took the helm, Trel also telekinetically moved the entire Kraken above the hull of the ship, intentionally slamming the massive creature into the diamond-infused titanium plated mast. The creature collapsed onto the deck, nearly crushing Nobby the Halfling who was in the way. With the smell of slimy sea water, and writhing tentacles lashing the deck, the heroes set to work destroying the monster while it was out of it’s element. Blow after blow began to pierce it’s flesh and oozy purple liquid squirted all over the deck.

The kraken wrapped its massive tentacles around the hull of the ship and brought it to a halt. He then began grabbing heroes and hurling across the boat at each other and trying to squeeze the life out of them. More than once Dekran was used as an object of attack as the kraken through his large dragonborn body into his comrades. The kraken’s life was short lived and was unable to escape before the heroes slaughtered it where it lay. But before it went, both Trel and Therin heard a psychic communication from the creature relaying that someone or something known as “Dagon” had issued the attack and that by his hand they would fall.

As the tentacles stopped writing, the massive body was pushed back into the water and the ship returned to its full buoyancy.

Nobby set to work doing repairs on the ship, even crafting himself a hidden chamber in his new repairs. The sailors were ordered to clean the ship and prepare to dock at the port of Feliwyth later that evening.

The arrival at Feliwyth was beautiful. The trees of the shoreline were deceiving in their size. The bases of the trees were the size of trebuchet’s, as large as a dwelling in circumference. It gave the illusion the shoreline was much closer than it actually was. The thick vines and growth grew up into a peaking archway that led into the covered port of Feliwyth. Ships of all sorts and sizes were there. They paid their fees to dock the boat and headed to find some good ale. The city of Weylyn surrounded the port. After finding a reasonable tavern, Nobby set off to find some female entertainment for the good work the sailors had put in. He quickly located an entire brothel willing to come to the tavern.

At first the tavern keeper was put back by the arrival of the scantily clad elves, humans, Halflings, and even a few gnomish women. But as Nobby persuaded the man with coin, and the assurance of heavy alcohol consumption, he allowed it and locked the tavern door. The party raged through the night. As the sailors drank, and many of the heroes celebrated their victory over the kraken (all while Trel began asking intensely personal questions to Dekran with the help of his liquid courage) Nobby was influenced by the mask on his face to draw one of the beautiful women away for himself. He obeyed quickly.

The elven woman followed Nobby out the front door quietly into the dead of night in Weylyn. An silent mannor was down a dirt lane in the midst of the trees. Nobby picked the locks and took the woman into the living area. He raided the houses for more alcohol and money and then began to celebrate with this woman. Several minutes into their engagement, a soothing voice entered the mind of Nobby.

“Nobby, it is time to show your true power. WE must cast down all beauty before us in this world. Remove your blade and disfigure the face of this woman.” For the first time, Nobby began to realize that he did in fact have morals. The idea that the mask wanted him to disfigure a purely innocent person affected him negatively. He pulled away from the stripper, and began speaking audibly to the mask.

“What say you? She has done nothing. What good will that do us?”
“It is a test to show your true allegiance. There will come a time when nothing will be more beautiful and powerful than you, and you must show you are willing to destroy all that which may threaten that position.”
“But what of my family in Vandromar. If there came a time, would they also be expendable?” The Halfling pressed, while the woman looked terrified at this crazed behavior. Again, the soothing voice,

“Yes, if they interfered in the future. They are not the issue now.” Nobby was finally persuaded to scar the woman, but though no specific instructions were given on the severity, he lightly cut her while blood was drawn. She was horrified and began to scream. He ordered her silence. The mask was unsatisfied. As the mask demanded he perform more, Nobby resisted and told the mask he would rise to power with or without it, and that if the mask wanted HIS help, then it would obey Nobby’s wishes. The mask remained silent for the rest of the evening.

Nobby escorted the woman home, and gave her a great amount of money to help feed her family. He then retired for the evening with much on his mind.

The next day the party regrouped in the lobby of the tavern. Several sailors were being roused by the bartender to have them and the women on their way, for he had to open soon. Nobby said, contemplating the mask in the corner. Nobby pulled his powerful magical dagger from his pocket and spoke audibly to the mask. “If you’ll have me destroy that which is beautiful, I have agreed to destroy one beautiful thing in this world.” With that bold statement he pressed the cold blade of the dagger to the edge of his metallic face and attempted to carve a massive scar into the face of the dagger.

In an instant the magical properties exploded, and the dagger shattered in Nobby’s hand, but the mask remained silent to Nobby’s mind. Infuriated, the Halfling sat at the bar and asked the bartender to hand him a knife for a moment. The bartender did so kindly, knowing Nobby was responsible for all his income the previous evening. Nobby then spoke opening to the mask on his face, and terrified the bartender all the same,

“You will summon gold for me right this instance. No more of this silence. Lay the gold before me on the counter or I will cut you permanently.” The bartender terrified at the apparently sudden turn of events dropped to the floor begging for his life. The mask had a moment of tension with Nobby, even bending its will slightly, realizing the ambition of the rogue. A small pile of gold coins appeared on the counter. Nobby began stacking them just as Dekran turned the corner to see Nobby at the bar counting money with a knife in his hands, while the bartender cowered behind the counter.

After a small confrontation, Nobby oblivious to what his actions appeared like, the group reformed and made plans to set out. After some inquiries around Weylyn, they heard of one Kallen Dryleaf. He was the elf who had purchased the skull of Sandek Kiroset and headed this way to the east, bragging of the old artifact he had recovered from Vandromar. Apparently sickness followed in his wake, affecting the small village of Narellan, east about ten miles. The party decided that was the first place to head. But not before Captain Paelias approached them and offered the permanent services of the Brethren of the Coast to be the crew for the Flying Arken and be the loyal servants of the heroes. They worked out a term of wages, and then departed.

The village of Narellan was a beautiful place. It was beneath the canopy of trees several hundred feet above the village. The small village lay between two hills, with smaller rolling hills bounding through the village. Most of the structures were appendages of the massive trees, built in and around their trunks. A beautiful stream ran through the center. The flora glowed with fluorescent light, and pixies and fairies danced from bush to bush. However, there was a melancholy feeling over the small village. People seemed on edge and frantic. A group of 8 sprites was found in a large tree near the center of town, known as the Coven of Sprites. They were tending to several sick elves, gnomes, and humans of their village. After some investigation the party heard of something called the Spirit Vine. It was a structure of vines at the south end of town that the villagers believed fed life into the surrounding environment. They thought it had somehow begun infecting the villagers with this grey plague. The Spirit Vine was a large structure of growth that had a somewhat womanlike figure within its tangles.

The party was soon convinced that the passing through of Kallen Dryleaf, and a heart of Tharizdun in his possession is what caused this sickness. They tried to tend to the wounded at the Coven of the Sprites with no success. Suddenly, a man transformed before them, sprouting massive demonic wings, grey skin, and defined muscles. With a ferocious scream he ran out of the hospice and flew into the night. The heroes began questioning the sick. The closest to turning was a small ten year old elven boy who looked about to transform. He was writhing in agony. While Therin was questioning the boy, Nobby fell into an insane debate with himself.

The Mask spoke, “Nobby, we can rise. I can cure these people. But my powers are limited at this time. If you would allow me to consume the entirety of your face, my full powers could be unleashed. Think of the influence we could have on this small village obviously in need of direction. Their icon, the Spirit Vine has fallen prey to darkness and has destroyed their beliefs in spiritual power. Let us show ours together.”

Nobby argued back, accusing the mask of betraying anything that got in its way. “But what of my family? I can’t ever turn my back on my family.” And with an uncharacteristic, and moral epitome of Nobby’s life, he finished, “Some things in this life are worth more than money.”

With that Nobby the Halfling Rogue had found his allegiance. He had finally realized where his heart lay. After the maureth’s of adventuring, he knew he belonged in Vandromar, with The Family, as a Lord of Daemar. With that realization, he stabbed his dagger into his own face, and attempted to pry the mask from his face. His comrades ran to his side to help him. The mask fought back, trying to consume Nobby’s skull, but failed. With a horrendous ripping sound, full of disintegrating bone and flesh, the mask rent itself from Nobby’s skull and landed with a clank on the ground. The scene of gore unfolded with the heroes surrounding their halfling friend, as he fell unconscious on the floor.

The Mask of the Unforeseen Suitor vaporized into the air, sizzling the ground it laid upon. It was off to consume its next victim, in trying to rise to superior power. Unsure of the vital status of their friend, the party surrounded the Halfling and immediately began tending to his wounds. He was a horrific sight. His skull was now half a head, blood and flesh quickly pouring out. Health potions were administered and the bone and flesh began to restore itself, but in a permanent concave pattern. He remained unconscious for sometime.

When he finally awoke, Nobby had come to several great realizations. He was meant to be in Vandromar, with The Family. He had aspired from grotesque appearance, to an almost immortal beauty and status of power, only to return to a more grotesque appearance but with his values in the right place. He realized that while most things were worth money, a few were invaluable. He wished the party the best of luck, and ushered them onwards towards Talthuathin while he made his recovery among the Coven of the Sprites.

With the closing of the rogue, adventure still awaited. For as The Shadow Slayers, and the Acolytes of Arken made their way through the village of Narellan towards the great road leading to the high Felwythian city of Talthuathin, something appeared on the cliff above them. There standing was the transformed elven man from the grove before. His greylike wings, red-plagued eyes, and muscular form stood heaving in breaths several hundred feet above them. He was a terrible demon to behold. In a moment were several more just like him, flanking him on either side. With a terrifying screech, they flew off the hill towards the heroes…

XP Each: 1000 XP

-Defeated the Kraken – 2500 XP
-Arrived at The Port of Feliwyth – 500 XP
-Found rumors of Kallen Dryleaf – 300 XP
-Discovered problem in Narellan – 200 XP
-Confronted Mask of the Unforeseen Suitor – 500 XP

Total XP: 4000 XP

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Episode 28 - The Island of Beckoning

Players:

Necati (Sokuyo)
Trevor (Trel)
Zac (Therin)
Tylor (DM)

A few laiths passed while the heroes and the Army of Daemar waited for word from the king. The soldiers held their position along the mountainous front, and the Barbarian and Orc alliance recollected themselves in the plains beyond now that a “cease-fire” had been called.

During this time Sokuyo and Therin traveled back through the pass and helped the ravaged communities in the southeast. With their numbers down due to the war, memorial services were held, and Sokuyo attempted to help them get their crops back in order due to lack of labor.

In time, a traveling carriage arrived with Belkas inside, but to the surprise of those around the King was not present. Instead, Belkas arrived with a letter from the king. The letter stated that he had no one with which he could currently leave the care of the great city, considering the recent events with Terulai and the Shadow Callers. His trust had been broken.

Instead, the king’s letter ordained Nobby to the office of Noble of Daemar, filling the sixth seat of the King’s council. He was instructed to handle the negotiations with the leader of the Alliance for Vandromar’s best interest, with the supervision of his peers. Arrangements were immediately made to meet on a neutral hill to the west. As the proceedings unfolded with the Barbarian leader, both opinions were discussed.

In the end, Vandromar agreed to provide two Maureth’s of food and medical supplies for 10,000 men, and no further expansion would occur at this time. They also agreed to open permanent trade routes between their colonies and the region of Daemar, albeit lightly at first.

With their tasks complete, the Army agreed to the Barbarian leaders request to retreat the army the next day, but leave scouts and several troops at the watchtowers and pass’ keep. With that, the heroes set off on their return towards Vandromar, taking a few more Laith’s as they traveled with the army.
Back in the city, the King was immensely pleased at their return and the settlement of the War of Expansion. His attention now turned to providing the terms of agreement and helping the people in the unsettled regions to the northwest. Trel put in his petition to be elected the head of the Mage’s guild and the King wrote a letter of recommendation to the acting guild leader. Soon after, Trel was appointed the leader of the Vandromar Mage’s guild. He appointed Therin his second in command and together they restructured the hierarchy and focus of the entire guild membership.

The adventurers then traveled back to Angrecca and met with Bhenn Lennock, their old friend, down at the port. He showed them the replacement ship that had been issued because the one the king originally planned to give them had been raided and destroyed by pirates. The heroes set to work fixing the ship to their expectations. With the reward money from the King for their new endeavors, the ordered and purchased the finest materials available, making a truly beautiful war ship. The heroes christened it The Flying Arken. The heroes then set about finding the best crew available. However, they were quite unlucky in locating anyone better than merchant ship crewmen and an eager and somewhat gruff captain. A one time contract was made with the hopes that better shipmen would be found. With the ship complete, the party spent the next few days in preparation of their departure into the great world of Celysion to take on the threat of The Chained God’s rising.

Word began to spread throughout the city of the departure of their heroes and anxiety began to grow. The time came and a great celebration was held at the small docks of Vandromar. Several hundred people arrived to bid farewell to the heroes, unknowing of their exact return. With the bottle smashing celebration, and departure from the great city, the heroes breathed in the salt air for the adventures ahead of them. The Port of Feliwyth was their first destination. On the 4th day of their journey a terrible storm arose. Rain crashed down, and waves smashed into the side of the ship. A crewman was thrown overboard and the focus changed immediately. Sokuyo gathered a nearby rope and threw it to the man as other crewmen rushed to help. Just then, Therin was thrown from the starboard side of the ship into the terrible waves. Trel used his mage hand ability to fly a rope to Therin. When Sokuyo assigned his rope to two other men and rushed to help draw Therin out, another crew mate was pulled in. It was quick work before Therin was on board. The two men were soon recovered with some effort. They seemed water logged but okay.

A few days later the waters had calmed significantly. It was a cool night and the sky was clear. The stars shone brightly above, and faint wisps of colored light flickered from the Astral sea. Sokuyo and Trel stood near the bow of the ship when suddenly they both spotted a flickering bonfire in the distance. Sokuyo asked the captain if they were close to arriving, and he told them they had several more days. They redirected their course and saw the sunken silhouette of a ship on the edges of an island with a large mountain. The ship approached cautiously over the next few hours, when they drew closer they lowered a rowboat and the heroes went ashore. A peculiar thing happened.

When they docked on the sandy shore they turned around only to see that the entire island was engulfed in a thick white fog. They could no longer see far into the ocean and could only hear the lapping of the waves. Their ship was not in sight. In a few moments Therin deduced the fog was unnatural and of arcane origin. Trel identified that it was a positional spell. He reckoned their shipmates could still see them, but from on the island, the mist pervaded. A beautiful humming sound was coming through the island jungle. Weapons drawn the heroes moved forward in search for survivors when no one responded to their calls. An eerie pale white tiger watched them as they passed. Further into the jungle they saw an all white owl. Finally after several minutes of journey, they found a break in the fauna that led into a valley at the base of the mountain. In the center of the valley was a large crystalline structure that rose in two crossed slanted towers. It seemed to be made of crystallized salt. Just as one of the heroes was about to step into the moonlight of the valley a voice called from behind, “Don’t step into the light!”

The heroes called out to them. The man revealed himself. He was wearing a familiar sigil that Sokuyo recognized from his inquiries at the port of Angrecca. The gaunt githzerai man belonged to the Brethren of the Coast. The Brethren of the Coast were a guild from Feliwyth primarily dedicated to patrolling the open waters near the port of Feliwyth. They charged themselves with stopping pirates and protecting merchants from all the various dangers of the untamed sea. The githzerai convinced the party that he and a few more men had made a hideout and to come with them. In the hideout they found a few others: a small adventuring party. There were 2 Eladrin, an elf, and a human. Izera, the githzerai leader, related how their ship had been lured in by the song of the White Sirens.

“You are now on the Island of Beckoning. The White Sirens have drawn us all in, and we cannot escape the mists lest we destroy this horrid creatures. They are not beautiful like the sirens of lore, but feign beauty in their mystical seductions. Our captain fell victim to their songs and brought us here. Our entire crew is with him in that palace, seemingly believing they have found paradise. But the White Sirens feast upon the souls of men. Now that we have a formidable force, let us save our friends and place blades of steel in the heart of these wenches!” The heroes readily agreed and a plan was set forth. Sokuyo devised in his mind to recruit these sailors after this task to help sail The Flying Arken. The 10 heroes circled around the back of the great salt palace.

There were no guards, but as they approached through the trees, the lifeless bodies of former sailors lay strewn about at the base of the great structure. Crystalline stairs led inside to a dimly light and seductive main room. The room was draped with fine linens and silks. A large table of delicious food was laid out. Braziers of flame surrounded the room and beds and cushions lined the outer crystalline walls. From within the wretched chamber came the lulling laughter of the sirens, and the loud guffaws of the seduced sailors who would soon become victims. Upon entering, the sight was horrific. Izera called out to his captain who was at the far end of the room lying on a large bed with several of the sirens around him. The sirens were tall, skinny, and awful. Their skin was paper white and silky. Most of them had no hair, but those that did it was black as night, and very greasy. Where their mouth should have been was nothing, just plated skin. But below their chin, on their neck was a wide crevasse that pulsed regularly as if it were breathing. When the sirens spoke, it was audible, but the crevasse did not move according to their words.

“No Izera! We have found paradise; we will not come with you. Come join us now you foolish man! We have found our queens, we shall never want again!” Sokuyo spoke, pleading with the captain, and Trel and Therin attempted to break some of the seduction spell held on the crewmen. The sirens became infuriated and rose. They commanded those resistant to their advances to depart. One of the sirens then leaned down to the sailor in her lap and giggled then began to kiss him. Shortly after it began, the man began to writhe and shake horrible. The visible portion of his soul was sucked out through his mouth and he fell lifeless. The siren then shot her ugly face at the heroes, she look rejuvenated and malicious. The captain was snapped out of it by the heroes persuading him and he drew his sword.

The heroes pulled their weapons and the White Siren’s stood to defend their salt palace, and disintegrate the souls of men.

XP Each: 1365 XP

-Negotiations with Alliance: 400 XP
-Assisting with Crops and Funerals: 200 XP
-Recruiting Best Artisans and apply best Ship upgrades: 700 XP
-Imbuing Ship with Enchantments: 625 XP
-Locating a Mediocre shipping Crew: 500 XP
-Weather the Storm: 1125 XP
-Find the Island of Beckoning: 545 XP

Total XP: 4095 XP

Loot:
15,000gp from King Rostvani (used to purchase ship upgrades)
Battered Ship (Renamed in Log)

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Episode 27 - War of Expansion

Part 2

In the rainy weather of the following morning the heroes attended the funeral services for Nobby’s fallen boys from his gang. The king even made his appearance at the funeral and offered his respects. A woman came in before the funeral started convinced Nobby had threatened to bury a man alive so Belkas was forced to look into the coffins to appease the woman, though he knew the man she referred to was the Shadow Caller they killed in the presence of the king. The services began and Nobby gave a speech about the power of man and rising to the challenge of his calling. He spoke of Arken, and the way he overcame by his own will the religious oppression of an entire village. After the service, the party began their preparations for their departure to the northwest to help with the War of Expansion. Dekran petitioned the king for some horses to aid their travels, and he granted them some of his finest horses that had been broken in the past year. The newly founded Acolytes of Arken, aligned with the city favorite Shadow Slayers, then set out to help the nation of Daemar. IT took them 4 laiths to travel the full journey to the northwestern Daemar pass. They traveled most of the way through the edge of the Northvale forest near the Crooked Spine. On the way most of them caught a chest sickness from some stirred spores that caused a whooping cough in Dekran, and they lost two days of travel. He also lost his Everlasting Provisions along the journey. But finally, on the 20th day after their departure they arrived at the pass. It was winding and rocky as they made their way through to the western side, but at the end of the day it was a sight to behold. Coming out of the pass the wildlands stretched before them. Rising up a few miles away was a large keep, clearly of ancient origin. Beyond it several miles was a smaller watchtower and a long wall made of timbers running parallel with the horizon. When they arrived at the keep at dusk they were greeted heartily but weary soldiers. In the keep they met Marshal Latham Carico, head of the Daemarian army. With him was Captain Undicci Delefay, who recognized several of the heroes at once from back during their investigation at the Castle in Vandromar. Marshal Carico explained the situation. The horde of barbarians and orcs was making frontal assaults against the wall on a regular basis. But battles were being fought to the north and to the south in order to weak the lines. A bridge to the north was being repaired by a unit of soldiers but they weren’t making much progress because they had to protect themselves. Also, scouts had reported that the orcs had crafted several trebuchets and were moving them through the western forest and would arrive at the watchtower in a days time. After some deliberation, the group decided it would be best to take out the trebuchets before anything else then come back to help in whatever ways they could. They accompanied Captain Delefay down to the watchtower. They found about 20 soldiers very weary from battle and downtrodden in spirit. They roused their spirits as Mel Faldrin gave them several hand kegs of ale from Garadun. A small moot was thrown that night, and the men felt the spirit of the heroes.

Early the next morning, before sunrise, the heroes set out to find and destroy the trebuchets. It took some stealthy tracking in the wilderness and eventually they had to pass into enemy territory unseen. A few hours later they found the camp of orcs and gnolls that were transporting the trebuchets. With them they had 3 ogres that were used to push the trebuchets. The heroes formed a plan to ambush the camp from the cover of the cliffs above. A few moments later the party began raining down Alchemist’s fire, a concoction used to burn those it explodes around. The initial throw landed directly in the fire and burned several orcs at once.
An outright slaughter ensued. The orcs were downed in a matter of seconds, Trel flung one ogre around like a ragdoll, and the other ogres tried to climb the cliffs to the heroes only to be met by swinging flails and hammers. In the end, the gnolls and chieftain fled as quickly as they could away. Two of the trebuchets were burned, and the third was recovered by the heroes and pushed back to the keep, arriving late in the afternoon. Captain Delefay’s men were overjoyed.
For the next two Maureth’s the heroes devised plans to dismantle the attacks of the Barbarians and Orc Alliance until reinforcements from Feliwyth could arrive. Sokuyo and Therin traveled together back to the southeast through the pass and began moving from reclusive village to reclusive village trying to inspire men to join the cause and help defend their homes. Dekran and Mel remained on the frontlines commanding soldiers of men and helping hold the wall for several Laiths. Sokuyo soon after returned to the wall and helped them while Therin continued the work in the southeast.
Nobby and Trel joined forces and ventured into the great unknown to the west of the Army of Daemar. There beyond the boundaries of the nation they met several fringe groups who were ambivalent about which side of the conflict to side with, or to avoid it altogether. Trel was able to impress an enclave of gnomes with his arcanic powers and they were so awestruck that they agreed to build defensive and offensive machinery for the army to use. Nobby and Trel then descended into a deep cave dungeon and found some Half-Orcs living inside and convinced them to join the cause to protect their homes.
After reinforcements from the west and southwest arrived, all the heroes returned to the front lines a maureth later to reunite and hold out until the army of Eladrin and Elves from the east arrived. It was a hard fought battle spent there, but on a glorious morning several laiths later, the golden, auburn, and pearl white banners of the Army from Feliwyth shone in the pass. Help had arrived. The barbarians and orcs feared the worst as they now saw their plight. The entire Alliance retreated into the western wildlands after several days of battle with the Eladrin and Humans side by side. Being outmatched they surrendered their efforts. The War of Expansion had come to a close, for a time.

XP Each: 2,458 XP

-Terulai Encounter: 3,350 XP
-Protecting King, Taking Drugs, Staying in Character: 800 XP
-Burning the Mansion: 300 XP
-Mansion Encounter: 2,850 XP
-Shutting down drug ring: 1000 XP
-Dismantling Shadow Callers: 1000 XP
-Successful travel to Pass of Daemar: 200 XP
-Dismantling Orc Trebuchet’s: 2,850 XP
-The Art of War Skill Challenge: 2,400 XP

Total XP: 14,750 XP

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Episode 26 - War Within the Walls

Players:

Courtney (Dekran)
Michael (Nobby)
Trevor (Trel)
Necati (Sokuyo)
Jeff (Mel)
Zac (Therin)
Tylor (DM)
Level: 9

Part 1

Terulai’s scepter sprung to his hand from the band around his waist but the reflex of the adventurers was quicker. As flails, hammers, daggers, orbs, crossbows, swords, and fists drew themselves up a vicious fight broke out in the court of the king. Terulai instantly activated a force field that blasted several of the adventurers away from him, then he began conjuring a massive fireball to blast those around him, particularly the king. Just as the king was consumed in fire, Belkas pulled the king’s body behind the throne to give them cover and protect the life of the king. The heroes fought valiantly, even as Terulai teleported around the room. The Shadow Caller attempted to help his master, but the heroes made quick work of him burying him in the spikes of flails and the blow of hammers. Terulai was unable to use all of his abilities in such a confined area, and the heroes truly controlled the battle. Terulai was knocked to the ground several times and had difficulty keeping the weapons off of him. At one point he recovered to a ledge across the room, just as Dekran was helping escort the king out to protect him. Terulai blasted a ball of fire towards the king hoping to kill him, but Dekran shielded him with his body saving the king’s life.

The heroes were merciless in finishing Terulai even as he cried out, “Whether by me, or those after me, the purposes of the Shadow Callers will be fulfilled.” He then collapsed, dead. It was a shock to all that such a close ally and willing friend had betrayed them all and the king. King Rostvani felt responsible himself for believing such a deceitful and treacherous man. He was taken to be tended to by nurses.
As the bodies were being cleared out by the guards Sokuyo inspected Terulai’s body and found a ritual book that he would later discuss with Trel. Dekran and Sokuyo headed to Terulai’s study at the guild and after some searching found a secret room containing hundreds of pounds of the drug Crystal Venom. There they also found a red version of the drug. After some more digging, they learned this drug was crafted with stones from Garadun as well as one of the stones from the tiefling skull of Sandek Kiroset that gave it its reddish hue. Inside the chamber were also the layouts of the drug distribution, the prominent dealers, and the routes for stealing the stones of Garadun. With this information, the two heroes returned to the castle.
Meanwhile, Therin and Nobby headed to Stonewall Prison to interrogate the man in solitary confinement who was rumored to be rambling about a tiefling skull. They were taken deep within the prison, built beneath Royal Hill. A dark, dank hallway led to a stone chambered room at the far end. Inside was a man in rags, hovelled in the corner, weeping into his hands and rocking back and forth. The guards let the two enter and gave them some privacy after some bribery. Nobby began questioning the man intensely about the whereabouts of the heart, even breaking one of his pinky’s in the process to get the information he needed.
The man was clearly insane, or troubled by the aftereffects of the skull. He continued rocking and babbling inane sentences. But after some time Nobby gathered that the man had give the skull to some traveling elves that had departed for the Port of Feliwyth and then on to the Feywild. He was convinced they didn’t know what the relic was. As Nobby was threatening the man again, a power overcame the man. Both of his eyeballs popped bloodily in Nobby’s face, and then his skin began flaying itself, painfully ending the man’s life. Obviously some darker power was at work.. Nobby spoke under his breath,
“I’m glad I didn’t keep the heart.”
Trel and Mel returned to Carlisle’s place to have a drink. Trel was recovering from the intense high that the Crystal Venom had given him when he took it during the fight with Terulai. After loosing himself in the castle grounds and being convinced everyone was a Shadow Caller, Mel helped return him to sanity and calm down at Carlisle’s. The other 4 returned soon thereafter. A plan was soon devised to infiltrate the drug house that evening and stop the production immediately.
The weather was a bit blustery as they traveled several blocks to the northern district where the mansion was located. The party inside was still raging, and many indecent women were seen walking in front of the windows. Sokuyo, Trel, and Therin circled around to the back property of the manor. Dekran and Mel took hidden positions on either side of the doorway in case anyone came out, and Nobby set a lethal trap in front of the closed doorway.
In the rear of the house two guards stood by the backdoor. Just previous to their plan Sokuyo confronted Trel about his drug usage and made him hand over the red drugs he had stolen from the bag earlier. Trel, after reluctantly handing the drugs to Sokuyo, then placed a thought in the mind of the one of them that he heard a sound inside so he went inside the doorway while the other waited outside apprehensively. Sokuyo then called to the man from behind the wall.
“Hey, hey, we need your help!” Sokuyo called to him. The man startled drew his dagger and looked towards the dark outer wall.
“Who goes there?!”
“Come help us. We have some of the Crystal Venom and the guards are on the street. Come help us out!”
“What maureth does the griffon fly south?” The man questioned, to verify their identity. Sokuyo realizing they were in a bind tossed a blue crystal over the wall to prove they had the drug. Recovering the drug, the Caller told them he would meet them around the front of the house to let them in. After he went inside Therin sprang up over the wall and blasted a massive wave of fire towards the mansion. It exploded in to the back of the house, setting the mansion alight. They three then began to run around towards the front.
Nobby, Dekran, and Mel knew it was go time as the light flashed from behind and smoke began rising. A moment later the front door opened as the Shadow Caller stepped out. Nobby’s trap sprang from cover and the spikes on the end of the spring impaled the man directly in the chest. The party goers screamed from inside, and his companion stuck his head out of the doorway only to be smashed by Mel’s large warhammer, crushing his skull. The naked people terrified for their lives ended their ‘events’ and began running towards the back of the mansion unaware of the fire. Some of the bare-skinned men tried to push out the front doorway where Dekran began hacking them down with his flail. Sokuyo was extremely angered at the slaughter of the unequipped people dying, unable to defend themselves, and no definitive proof that they were Shadow Callers. He got in Dekran’s face and threatened him. Dekran growled and agreed to not kill the women jumping from the top floor, but no more than that.
Nobby, Sokuyo, and Therin rushed inside just as the back doors swung open to reveal Shadow Callers pouring out and flames engulfing the back of the house. Smoke filled the mansion as a bloody battle ensued. Trel waited patiently in the corner as he took another dose of Crystal Venom to amplify his abilities. Laughing hysterically he began tormenting the minds of the Callers around him. Dekran in one ferocious breath, froze several undressed people as they fled from the mansion, killing them as their momentum shattered their frozen bodies into a thousand pieces.
Outside the house the upper windows blasted out and down jumped horrific amalgamations that had been present in the broken monastery while the Callers were killing Nobby’s family. The amalgamations began fighting Dekran and Mel, but they countered well with their weapons. They were flanking and being flanked. It didn’t take long before all the enemies were dispatched, and only one woman remained alive. Nobby stole gold serving dishes while the battle was ending, and then forced the woman to surrender. She was handed over to the guard as they arrived.
Belkas mentioned to Dekran it was wise of him to get the king to sign the pardon before they wreaked this havoc so they couldn’t be accountable. He also reported they had made several arrests already according to the information that the heroes had found in Terulai’s study. Battle worn, and with the house still burning to the ground, the heroes retired for the evening. The drug problem had been thwarted. And the war within the walls of the city had been quelled as the Shadow Caller regime would now rapidly fall apart. They had other worries on the horizon, the War of Expansion, the hearts of Tharizdun, but for this night they had earned a rest.

(Continued in Episode 27)

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Episode 25 - Tiefling Treason

Players:

 
Courtney (Dekran, Dragonborn Warlord)
Necati (Sokuyo, Human Monk)
Michael (Nobby, Halfling Rogue)
Trevor (Trel, Human Psion)
Jeff (Mel, Dwarf Fighter)
Zac (Therin, Tiefling Warlock)
Tylor (DM)
Level: 9
 
The late night concluded at Carlisle’s place while Nobby stayed with his boys in the Monastery.  The next morning the boys immediately set to work in hiring artisans of all fashion and began plans for improving the soon-to-be “orphanage”.  Nobby also planned a large funeral for the 10 boys who had been killed during the attack the night before.  In a very melancholy fashion, he began spreading word across the city for all who could come to attend.  He felt it would be a good symbol the opening of his orphanage, and bring in a lot more business.
The party had some small business around town.  They also made plans to pursue the Crystal Venom problem further.  Sokuyo visited a tailor at the base of Royal Hill who was primarily responsible for the nobles’, and king’s attire.  He explained that he needed disguises for himself, Trel, and Nobby that would allow them to wander about the southern district of town without being identified.  She mentioned she knew just the man, and to return just after midday.
Upon their return they found that it was Kofini Dul, a githzerai contact of Nobby’s whom he had previously stolen from after Kofini swindled a higher bargain price.  Nobby and he had an interchange.  Trel seemed very fascinated by the man, and paid him 500gp in order to make their disguises that would be available for pick up the next morning.
As the heroes headed towards the castle for the second night of Council, a deep cold storm began to blow and rain down on Vandromar.  They were intercepted by a young tiefling man dressed in robes. He introduced himself as Therin Kiroset, a local of Vandromar.  He had obviously heard of the bravado of these heroes and in returning the body of Ilario, though he didn’t recognize the dwarf Mel Faldrin.  He requested the help of the heroes getting rid of the Crystal Venom problem and offered his training as a Warlock.  They were hesitant and assured him they were working on the problem.  However, they agreed he might be useful.  He too was invited to the council to share his story of how the drug is affecting the streets. It was within the dreary overcast of the weather that the council begun. 
King Rostvani began discussion on the Crystal Venom that was plaguing their streets.  Laslas Northai, the Eladrin historian, politely objected to the relevance of a local problem with such prominent council members.  Emperor Duliel of Feliwyth apologized for his historian’s unbridled mouth and assured King Rostvani and the council that they were there as allies, willing to help in any way they could.
Terulai Haaken, the tiefling head of the mages guild, elaborated on the affects of the drug.  The king announced that Estan Cilazy had been given jurisdiction over the monitoring and regulation of the drug being passed on the streets.  Therin was asked to share his story.  He told of his brother’s quick addiction and the rabid manner that he behaved.  He shared how the southern district has fallen apart as its members have succumbed to the drug.  Trel petitioned that Nobby be given jurisdiction over the matter due to his skills on the street, and the King looked to consider it but let it remain with Estan.
The attention then turned to the War of Expansion.  Much was discussed about the purpose of the war, why the barbarians and orcs were running a frontal assault, and the steps needed to maintain safety and peace in Daemar.  Sokuyo desired a peaceful outcome; the king expressed his desire for that as well but said he attempted it with no success.  Dekran Jannar voiced his determination to assist the king in whatever way he would and would head to the warfront soon.  Emperor Duliel agreed to send word immediately for reinforcements to come from Feliwyth region and any outlying Elven or Eladrin colonies so willing to join the cause.  The council was concluded for that evening.
The next day Trel and Therin went to Estan Cilazy’s manor to question him about his methods in handling the Crystal Venom on the streets.  Being escorted to the upper floor, they found him bathing in a large metal tub with female servants around him washing him.  Disgusted at the sight it took a minute before they spoke.  Trel implied he wanted to get his hands on the drug, suspect Estan of being secretly involved.  Estan pleaded innocence and told them of its horrors.  Unconvinced Trel pressed on.  Estan wanted to show them something and so he got dressed after assaulting their eyes with his naked image. 
His carriage took them down into the southern districts where he opened a window in their carriage.  There Therin and Trel watched as two mercenaries beat a Crystal Venom user within an inch of his life, crushing his mouth and skull and leaving him to bleed in the alley.  Estan then threatened, “Because of your status, I will pretend I didn’t hear anything you said to me back there.  This drug is a horror, and will be my chance to show my power as a noble to the king.”
Therin then accused Estan and his men of killing his brother and began finding the fault in all his methods.  He said these users deserved a fair trial and that they weren’t the problem.  Estan’s reasoning was that if he ended the demand, the supply would go away.  The two heroes left the carriage as Estan drove away.  They attended to the wounded man and paid for him to be housed in a hospice until he recovered.
The final evening of Council was the matter of the Six Hearts of Tharizdun.  The rain and storm continued outside, putting a damper on the events of the festival and the mood of all present.  As the rain pattered down on the domed roof of the council room, and the chamber was lit with torches, King Rostvani turned the time over to the heroes present to tell their tale.
Dekran related his tale of his travels from the southwest.  He and his previous band of adventurers found the heart in the possession of a group of goblins near the coast.  The goblins were ferocious so Dekran and his party slew them.  Their chief wore the small heart around his neck.  They attempted to destroy it but it resisted.  As a final resort, one of Dekran’s comrades embraced the heart and dove into a volcano sacrificing himself.  As the heart was destroyed the blast killed all but Dekran.
The Shadow Slayers then recounted their journeys into the Ziggurat deep in the swamps of Dreadwater, and the subsequent destruction of the heart once belonging to Shammath, King of the Slaughter.
It was wise of the king to begin the discussion with tales of hope, for afterwards Laslas Northai rose and related the stories of the impending darkness.  He was hopeful that 2 of the 6 had been destroyed.  He was only able to find information on 5 of the 6.  He identified one belonging to a Gloomdark child somewhere in the Shadowfell.  All the legends speak of a hidden village that worships a small child immortalized by the heart.  Another one of the hearts is rumored to be deep in the Rhevendun, the forsaken desert in the east. 
After sharing of these 4 hearts, and about to report on the 5th, a grave look came across Historian Northai’s beautiful face.  He turned to King Rostvani,
“King, I am afraid and nervous to report to you the last.  Fear now fills my heart at this grave news for which I bear.  For the 5th heart of Tharizdun lies now beneath this very hill.  It belonged to ancient named Sandek Kiroset, of the Bael Turath empire.  Darkness now corrupts this hill.  The heart was placed inside Kiroset’s skull, and encrusted with illusory gems…”
Even as Laslas spoke, Trel looked up from his bowed head and shot a piercing glance at Nobby.  Mouthing the words, “We sold it!” the Halfling then realized what they had done so many months before.  While the heroes were cleansing the Bael Turath ruins, the recovered the skull that caused dark effects on all of them, and was a direct result of the rift being opened at the Bela’Thim.  Horror now plagued the hearts of the adventurers and Trel rose at once, immediately confessing their folly before the council.  This admission caused uproar, an unsettlement of order within the council.
Lady Itolael was furious of their carelessness.  Even Emperor Duliel was enraged that it could slip through their hands.  Trayse Moral, the Deva Lord remained still as stone as arguments flared across the room.  King Rostvani spoke in a commanding voice, bringing order to the room.  He defended the Shadow Slayers, and allowed Trel to explain they had no way of knowing at the time.  Plans were immediately set in action to locate the heart if it was still within the city.  While that heart was the priority, the king asked the adventurers to help with the war, stating,
 
“If the heart is within the city, the war is no matter for Tharizdun will have his reign and Vandromar will crumble.  But if we do not stop the Barbarians, the stronghold of Celysion will fall, and hope will be lost in destroying the hearts.  This is our lot.”
 
Perhaps abandoning the council prematurely without gathering as much information as they should, and still not knowing the identity of the 6th heart, the heroes set to at once.  Dekran, who had organized The Acolytes of Arken the day previous, shifted his focus to finding the heart immediately.  He and Mel hit the city, though it was late, looking for rumors as to where the heart was sold.
Sokuyo, Trel, and Therin headed to pick up their disguises while Nobby headed to his gang to have them spread out to search the city for who the man was that they sold the artifact to.  With some minor adjustments, Nobby’s purchased disguised was fitted to Therin.  As the monk, psion, and warlock headed to the dark southern districts they stopped at a contact Therin had.  The friend of Therin’s brother let them in after Therin told them they were in disguise.  He gave them information on the crazed state of Therin’s brother, and where they might find a dealer beyond the southern district wall.
The district was like a zombie warzone.  Those on the drug had oozing bleeding sores, were rabid and fighting, and a few were even feasting on another deceased user.  They made their way through towards the docks and after a time Sokuyo found a shady drow standing near some crates.  The drow spoke as they approached,
“What maureth do the Griffons fly south?” clearly a code to identify themselves as users.  Sokuyo deduced the griffons don’t fly south, Trel prepared to plant a thought in the drow’s mind, and Therin hesitantly spoke the current maureth, “Rul.”  Even though it was the wrong answer, Trel persuaded the mind of their new dealer, and Sokuyo prepared for a fight.  The inexperienced Therin stood there not knowing whether he spoke the correct answer.  The drow finally spoke, “How much are you looking to buy?”  They bought 400gp worth, which ended up only being 3 doses, though that is enough to kill.  Sokuyo snuck into the shadows afterwards to trail the man for the rest of the night.
Hours later the man traveled back through the heart of Vandromar to the wealthier northern district and went into a large mansion that had a party going all night.  Inside were exposed human and half-elven women, as well as boisterous laughter.
Meanwhile, Dekran and Mel found out the gems of the skull had been sold separately and they reported this information to Nobby.  Nobby informed his boys and they continued searching.  They returned with rumor of a crazy man held in solitary confinement at Stonewall Prison who mumbled about the skull.  Nobby switched gears and pulled the buried alive Shadow Caller from his tomb and forced him to take them where the Crystal Venom was being manufactured or he would bury his wife alive.  The man was shoved into Mel’s handy haversack.  He led them to the same mansion Sokuyo was at.
The group met up again and formed a plan on how to proceed.  They decided to visit Terulai Haaken and have Therin transformed to look like the captured Shadow Caller so he could gain access to the party the following evening.  After resting, the group went to the Mage’s guild just before dusk.  Terulai was found in his study.  He welcomed them in and asked how they could help.  When they shared their plan with him and knowledge he seemed very interested, but more than willing to help.  When they opened the bag so he could see the face of the Shadow Caller to replicate his image, the Caller leapt out of the bag grabbing Terulai’s ropes and pleading, “Terulai, please help me!”
Terulai placed his hand on the face of the man and shoved him back down in the bag!  The adventurers were shocked and didn’t know why.
“Do you know this man?” Trel asked.
“Yes, he lives near me in the northern district.  If he truly is involved in such treachery, then he deserves to die.  What is your plan with him?”
Nobby told how he was going to bury him alive after this.  Terulai persuaded the Halfling to allow him to perform a public execution to make a mockery of him and the Shadow Callers.  He gave Nobby back the money for the donations and cost of the spell and Nobby readily agreed.  Terulai plunged his hand into the bag with a dagger drawn and cut the tongue off the man before shoving him in a closet still bound.  Shocked at the violent display the adventurer’s grew suspicious.  Terulai, wiping the blood from the dagger, explained it is only what he had coming from him if he was to meddle in such awful things.
After Therin was transformed the group headed for the mansion house to get into the party.  But on the way they discussed their suspicions of Terulai.  Trel decided to use his Sending ritual to penetrate the mind of the Shadow Caller now in the closet in Terulai’s study.  It was immediately then that Trel heard the mental voice of the man screaming, and confessing everything, even that Terulai was truly the head of the Shadow Callers, and executed Zanhand to gain power and favor in both realms.
The group changed plans and headed straight for the castle, gaining and audience with the King.  They pled with him for some time, presenting what they knew to be fact.  But without any evidence, the king was hard pressed to believe them, citing all the faithful acts that Terulai had shown, including the Sacred Binding before the council.  He finally agreed to summon Terulai to the castle and have guards check his study, but only to humor his faithful adventurers.
Terulai walked in as confident as ever.
“What can I do for you milord?” and he bowed to the king.
“Forgive me for summoning you here, but these men seem to believe that you are somehow involved in the distribution of Crystal Venom, and allied with the Shadow Callers.” The king expounded.
“I sincerely apologize for anything I’ve done to give this impression, my dear King, and I can assure I am not,” Terulai lied with a sinister evil, but convincing the king.  The adventurers felt helpless, having the man responsible standing before them and yet having no proof to convict them.  As Nobby began telling how he cut the man’s tongue out and they would find him, knowing full well Terulai wasn’t going to execute him publicly.  Shortly thereafter, the guards walked in escorting the man, who now seemed to be in perfect health and delighted to see them all.  The man denied everything, and favored Terulai’s story of not being involved nor seeing the adventurers.
Trel quickly realized that a healing spell and a mind erasing spell had been performed on the man.  Mel suggested they get another caster to identify who had cast the spell on Therin, but the best caster they found was unable to do so.  Terulai seemed confident he was off the hook, and so he began expounding on his willingness to help the king and heroes in whatever way he could to thwart the drug and the Shadow Callers.
In his excitement he lost track of all of his lies and spoke, “These adventurers even mentioned to me there is a mansion in the northern district that is hosting nightly parties, and the drug is being made somewhere in its chambers.”  Trel, realizing the slip in his story quickly spoke,
“When did we mention that?”
“Well when you brought him to me of course….” And Terulai, realizing he had just exposed himself before the Lord of the Land as the most corrupt individual within city walls, furrowed his brow and gained a truly evil look in his eyes.  Terulai drew his scepter from his side, and the heroes drew their weapons in defense of the king and their land!
 
 
XP Each: 683
 
-Investigating the Crystal Venom: 700 XP
-Roleplay with the Council: 300 XP
-Visting Estan Cilazy: 500 XP
-Creating Acolytes of Arken: 100 XP
-Problem-Solving role play and plans: 1000 XP
-Locating Crystal Venom mansion: 500 XP
-Exposing Terulai as Shadow Caller Leader: 1000 XP
 
Total XP: 4100 XP
 

 

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Episode 24 - Exousia

Players

 
Trevor (Trel)
Necati (Sokuyo)
Michael (Nobby)
Jeff (Mel)
Tylor (DM)
Level: 9
 
            As the first night of the Council adjourned, and much speculation was circling the room about the appearance of The Mask of the Unforeseen Suitor and its fusion with Nobby’s face, the heroes regrouped to depart.  The metallic mask was drawing much attention, and King Rostvani beckoned the group over.  Everyone else departed the chambers and the king had a servant bring in a small chest.
 
“I never had the chance to properly thank you for the recovery of my son’s body from the swamps.  You have served me and this great city well,” said King Rostvani graciously, in his identifying voice.  “To display my gratitude, I’ve assembled these gifts for you and hope that they may serve you well.”  He then opened the chest and presented them with 5 very peculiar rings.  The 5th the group left with the king because of Quinn’s departure before the council.
 
One ring was beautiful silver and had a liquid gold pearl on top.  The Ring of Mental Power would help Trel retain his psionic energies during battle.  Sokuyo received a Ring of Calling to help him summon allies to his side.  Dekran’s ring fell to the floor when he tried to pick it up.  It felt as if it weighed hundreds of pounds, but when he slipped it on, it was as light as a feather.  The king said it was his personal ring he recovered from a giant king to the northwest.  This Ring of the Giants allowed the wearer to be more stable on his feet.  And finally, Nobby placed a peculiar ring on his finger that immediately began appearing on each one of his fingers in turn.  This ring would allow his hands to be slyer, improving thievery.
 
The king then told them of a ship he gifted to them that was in no position to be added to his small fleet.  It needed some great attention, but if they were willing to put the work into it, it would be fit for sailing.  After their thanks they departed.
 
Outside of the council chambers Belkas was waiting with a peculiar looking dwarf at his side.  “Gentlemen, we’re in need of some assistance.  With the guards stretched so thin due to tightened securities, and the War of Expansion, this drug known as Crystal Venom has hit the streets hard.  Mel Faldrin here has traveled this way with Trobar Hammerfall for the council.  Mel has been sent to investigate the disappearance of some of Garadun’s gems.  We believe they are being used as the crystal substance in the drug."
 
The gruff dwarf piped in with his heavy accent, “It’s quite simply, they crush the gems, mix ‘em with herbs, imbue ‘em with magic.  Then they make you high.”  After some small persuasions, Mel accompanied the group out into the city streets.  Before they departed the group devised a plan to proceed with.  Nobby was to make some contacts on the street and find out more about the distribution.  Sokuyo would disguise himself and pose as a user.  Upon departing the castle they decided to go ‘visit’ the man Nobby trailed the other night who turned out to be a Shadow Caller.
 
When they arrived at his Manor, guards were stationed at the front and rear of the house.  Apparently they had voiced a complaint that a man broke into their house the other night and threatened them.  High class people can afford to pay the guard well.  The group attempted to persuade the guards to let them in.  The guards obviously looked confused because they knew the Shadow Slayers were a renown group of heroes, but they had their orders.
 
While one was inside conversing with the woman of the house, she recognized Nobby and asked them not to let them in.  Trel, with the power of his book, planted a thought in the woman’s mind that she would be safe talking to them with all these guards present.  The guards were just ordering the heroes to leave when the woman opened the door and invited them in.  Nobby of course believed it was due to the beauty of his new mask.
 
When she was alone with them, she looked horrified and asked what he wanted.  He said he wanted to meet with her husband, who had an agreement to show him the Shadow Caller hideouts and distribution rings.  Nobby patronized her, asking her for tea in her own home.  She ended the conversation shortly, and as she left the parlor, Belkas arrived a moment later.
 
“I thought I made myself clear when I asked you to do your work on the streets.  You’ve already begun disrupting civil order.  It is time for you to depart.”  And with his sternness and implication to leave the group made ready to depart.  Just then Nobby received a strong prompting from his new mask to ‘speak with the woman’.  Nobby attempted to arrange it, but Belkas wouldn’t stand for it.  As they were leaving, the man of the house was returning, acting surprised at their presence.  A sinister glare passed between him and Nobby.
 
However, Nobby was not yet finished.  He made his way around to the back of the house and transformed into a rat by the power of his armor.  He infiltrated the home and hid in the rafters.  With the power of the Mask of the Unforeseen Suitor, he made his voice a boisterous and godlike sound. And yet he whispered.  The roaring whisper echoed around the man and woman as they argued in the parlor.
 
“You will meet me at the pub down the street or I shall return and slay you and all of your family.” Nobby threatened in his menacing amplified voice.  It terrified the man and woman, and the man knew what he had to do.
 
Meanwhile, the group were heading down the snow covered, and lantern-lit street to get some ale at Carlisle’s place.  A small 12 year old boy ran out from the alley and confronted the adventurers.  He recognized them as Nobby’s friends and pled for their help.  Apparently the Shadow Callers were visiting The Family and were slaying the boys.  Nobby’s pressure on the man had led to their violent actions to strike out at Nobby where it hurt the most.  The adventurers rushed off to help, with Trel sending Nobby a mental message.
 
Nobby was in a conundrum.  He had now transformed and had the man at knife point out in the streets.  Realizing he didn’t have time to argue with the man, he threatened him, and shot him in the knee with his crossbow.  He took the satchel from the man, as the man called out for the guards.  Nobby attempted to draw the attention of the guards so they would chase him to help.  The man tossed a small bag of drugs to Nobby and winked at him.  Nobby running through the streets opened the satchel to find Shadow Caller garb inside. He attempted to find a hiding place while he ran, to get ride of the contraband, and tossed the drugs and disguise in a nearby ditch.
 
The guards seemed to be called off by Belkas or another commanding officer and did not follow Nobby.
 
The party arrived at the abandoned monastery where Nobby’s gang, The Family, resided.  Inside Shadow Callers in full disguise were locked in combat with the boys.  Several of the boys had already been slain.  The Callers had brought two aberrant amalgamations with them.  Two tall, goliath-like, grotesque bodies stood in the middle of the room.  They had several arms sprouting out of their torso’s and their claws were cutting down boys left and right.  The heroes rushed in and began attacking.
 
Sokuyo and Mel took down one of the amalgamations and then focused their attention on an assassin.  Trel summoned a terrifying slender creature that forced his claws inside the minds of his victims.  Nobby in his fury did not go into stealth when he arrived, but openly challenged the assassins.  He slew several of them mercilessly.  The Shadow Callers were no longer a match for the heroes after their months in the swamps.  Nobby truly shredded and desecrated the bodies of his enemies. 
 
A moment into the fight and the Father opened his chamber doors to peek out and see the arrival of help.  One of the amalgamations grabbed the old man and hurled him into the center of the room, his chest smashing against some rubble.  He began calling out to Nobby for help.  It was but a matter of seconds before the heroes had saved what boys remained.
 
Nobby went to the father, lifting him to his feet.  It was an odd picture to see the human man leaned so far over to have his weight on the short Halfling.  He was so gracious for Nobby’s return.
 
“My boy, you’ve returned to us!  They came to slay us.  They caught word you threatened one of their own, so they wanted to punish us.  I’m glad you’ve arrived.” The father said.
 
“Yes, we will kill them all.  Their regime will fall, Father.”
 
“You must help us,” the father pleaded with Nobby, the street urchin.
Suddenly a charismatic and echoing voice reverberated through Nobby’s mind, “No you won’t.”  It didn’t take long for Nobby to realize the mask was pressing impending wishes of his own on Nobby’s mind.  “Now is your time for a rise in power, you are to take the seat at the head of this gang.  Slay the old man.”
 
Nobby began speaking. “Your time is up, Father.  These boys need a stronger leader, and you have been weak.  You could not protect them.  I am The Father now.”
 
Sokuyo, catching the uncharacteristic tone in Nobby’s voice, spoke up, “Nobby, what are you saying?  This man raised you and cared for you, and you are turning your back on him now?”
 
“He is a weakling, and if it weren’t for him these boys would have been safe.  I will not slay you old man, but you must leave now.”  Nobby felt the fury of the mask as it shook his skull, unsatisfied that Nobby had disobeyed it.  He pushed the old man towards the door, and with a sad glance back, he hobbled into the snowy night.
 
Nobby gathered the boys around, as they crawled from behind bookshelves and under beds.  They all had weeping eyes, full of sorrow at the departure of their father and the fall of so many of their brothers.
 
“Come,” Nobby began, and he sent a challenging glance at Sokuyo, “and see the generosity of the True Father.”  With that Nobby stretched forth his hands and hundreds of silver pieces suddenly filled the area in front of the boys. The magically conjured coins sent a feeling of delight through the mangy gang.  Their loyalties had now switched.  Nobby was commanding power.  Nobby then removed 3000 gold from his pack and gave it to the boys.  He instructed two of them to fix up the monastery.
 
“This will be a Church unlike any other.  A church to the power of men, not of a God.”  Nobby smiled, somewhat sinister-like with his new mask.
 
“And after that,” he stared intently at Sokuyo, “I think I’ll open an orphanage.”
 
XP Each: 675
 
-Getting inside house and threatening Shadow Caller: 400 XP
-Assassin and Amalgamation Encounter: 1900 XP
-Saving & Gaining Control of Family’s Loyalty: 400 XP
 
Total XP: 2700 XP
 
LOOT:

 
-Ring of Mental Power (Level 14)
-Ring of Calling (Level 14)
-Ring of Giants (Level 14)
-Blink Ring (Level 22)
 

 

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Episode 23 - The Return Journey

Players:

 
Courtney (Dekran Janaar – Dragonborn Warlord)
Michael (Nobby – Halfling Rogue)
Necati (Sokuyo – Human Monk)
Trevor (Trel – Human Psion)
Tylor (Dungeon Master)
Level: 9
 
            The heroes rushed forward and in their wearied state began casting aside the debris.  It took a little encouraging, but soon the village joined in after seeing the deceased corpse of Vangothazen no longer twitching beneath the rubble.  They uncovered Nobby, who was severely bleeding and nursed his open wounds.  With no sign of Arken after all the debris was cleared, Nobby constructed a plan to hoist the body of the adult black dragon into the air, fearing Arken was smashed beneath.  After the pulleys were in place, the body was lifted.  To the surprise of all present, Arken’s body was no where to be found.  Left behind was a holy symbol of Pelor, his crocodile skin boots, the bag of holding, and a treasure satchel of Vangothazen’s with a hefty sum of gold.
            Sorrow befell the adventurers, especially Quinn to realize the death of his friend.  A melancholy atmosphere prevailed, despite the destruction of their oppressor of Vangothazen.  Many people wept, but after a time the realization of joy set in.  Prim asked that he might arrange a celebration in honor of Arken’s life, and celebration of Vangothazen’s defeat.  A boisterous and well-alcoholed party followed.
            Over the following weeks a massive 60-foot statue of Arken was constructed in place of the giant water tower, and acted as such.  The water being filtered from the small lake now spewed forth from his stone hammer.  Prim told the heroes that he and about 30 other people from the village wanted to return with them to Vandromar and leave Greenwater village behind, though the village would still thrive on.  They waited out most of the month of Mireth so the snowfall in the mountains was less brutal and then set out.
            It was slow moving with a caravan of men, women and children, but the heroes were cut out for the journey.  Laer, after saying goodbye to his good friend Prim, decided to stay behind in the village.  The caravan made a brief stop with the lizardfolk tribes to re-supply and eat a meal and then found a longer route up into the Misty Heights.  The snowfall was still thick in the peaks from the months they had spent in the swamps, but they trekked on.  A few days into their journey, the weather turned against them and a ferocious storm began to howl around them.
            Quickly, Trel searched for a cave structure to protect the caravan from the harsh environment.  After a small cliff outcropping was found, the wagons were heralded into a circle to keep the weather out.  For 3 days the storm raged, inflicting many with chilled bones, and dire sickness.  When the storm subsided the group journeyed on.  About a laith later, the party came across a lone Frost Troll feasting upon raw meat near a cliff’s edge.  Rather than evade him, they decided to approach him with flame in hand to scare him back into his cave.  However, they didn’t realize there were more trolls waiting in the cave.
            The fire scared the young ones, but he alpha troll was very protective.  The group abandoned their plan simply to slay the trolls.  However, it was no simple task.  The heroes nearly lost their lives.  The Alpha charged out of the cave and locked in combat with Sokuyo and Dekran.  Trel remained back in the deep snow sending attacks on the minds of the idiotic trolls, while Nobby rained crossbow bolts from a ledge above.  Trel telekinetically threw one of the trolls at the alpha.  Their fur covered coats, and large noses collided spraying blood everywhere.  This harsh collision triggered a small avalanche that all were able to dodge except for Dekran who was smashed by rocks in the avalanche and had to dig his way out.
            Before he knew it, tragedy struck.  The Alpha ran forward, grabbed a hold of Dekran’s right leg, and with sheer brute force, ripped it from his body breaking the bone and severing all the ligaments.  A fierce roar emanated from the dragonborn as blood horrifically covered the pure snow around him.  Sokuyo jumped into action pulling the alpha from his spot and Trel rushed forward to help their new comrade.  Falling in the snow next to him, he pulled his last remaining health potion from his pack and administered it to the dragonborn.
            Sokuyo then took a massive struck to his same limb, shattering the bone in his leg, and rendering it useless.  Dekran, with the strength of the potion, and death looming nearby, grabbed his severed limb, jammed it back into the socket and allowed the healing potion to mend most of the sinews.  Trel, in attempt to stop the trolls from regenerating began burning the flesh of all his enemies.  All were quickly slain after that, except one who retreated into the cave.  Sokuyo pursued him, grabbing a burning torch and mercilessly burying it in the throat of the last remaining troll.
            No more journeying took place that day as the heroes recovered in camp.  It was a few more laith’s until the caravan arrived at Vandromar in the small coastal valley.  It was good to return home.  The land was snow covered and grey.  Vandromar was a different place.  The main gates were closed and a line of carts, citizens, and merchants were waiting to pass through.  The Shadow Slayers and their new friend Dekran advanced to the front and gained quick access to the city.  They found out the new closed-gate policy was instituted because of the rising conflict with the Barbarians and the Orcs to the northwest, being dubbed The War of Expansion.
            The adventurers made for a temple of Erathis to give the body of Ilario Rostvani to be prepared respectfully before it was presented to his father the King.  They then made for the castle, surprised at the increase in security as they were brought before the king.  He was very eager and pleased to see them.  He told them he had plans prepared for the funeral of Ilario Rostvani.  He also mentioned that a festival was underway in celebration of the arrival of ambassadors and the emperor from Talthuathin of Feliwyth.
            Nobby went to see his gang, The Family, and everyone else retired to Carlisle’s place, at a discounted rate.  Nobby found The Father wearied and distraught.  Nobby found out that boy members of the gang had been recruited by The Shadow Callers to distribute a new drug known as Shadow Venom.  Nobby vowed to get revenge.
            The funeral services were held the next day for Ilario.  After that the King invited the heroes into his carriage and took them to a different portion of the snow covered Vandromar.  They were surprised to see Terulai Haaken, the head of the mages guild on a platform before several people.  He was officiating at a beheading.  The man to be executed was none other than Zanhand, the previous leader of the Shadow Callers.  By this, the heroes learned that a much more powerful head of the Shadow Callers must have taken the seat.
            Nobby trailed a Shadow Caller that night and led him to his house holding him and his wife hostage until he got information he needed.
            The next evening ships from Talthuathin arrived.  They were large, ornate, and brightly colored as the Eladrin and Elves docked at the port of Vandromar.  That evening an elaborate firework show provided by Angrecca, and Windreed townships.  The next day the Council of Leaders commenced.
            The council was held in a beautiful room in the peak of a tower of the castle with domed roofs and beautifully tiled floors.  Large throne-like chairs were arranged in a circle with a small stone table in the center.  King Rostvani initiated a binding ceremony that involved reciting a pledge while having ones hand in a basin of magical liquid.  Each of the members of the council entered the ceremony.  Then the attention turned to the heroes as they entered the pact.
            A strange thing happened as Nobby was making the pact.  The water bubbled and shined a great light, and beneath his hand materialized a beautiful sleek metallic mask.  He was urged by an unheard voice to pull the mask from the water and place it upon his face.  As he did so it covered the ugly half of his face, and fused with his flesh.  Terulai Haaken stood, and identified the mask as the legendary artifact, The Mask of the Unforeseen Suitor.  Nobby’s thoughts were bombarded with the wishes and intentions of the sentient artifact…
 
XP Each:
-Statue Built to Arken: 300 XP
-Planning journey to avoid Snowfall: 150 XP
-Enduring the Sporadic Snowstorm: 1100 XP
-Slaying the Frost Trolls: 1800 XP
-Avalanche Hazard: 200 XP
-Returning Ilario’s Body: 4000 XP (5000 – Quinn’s Share)
 
Total XP: 7550 XP
 
 

 

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Episode 22 - The Fall of the Dwarf

The Fall of the Dwarf


 

Players:

Courtney (Arken, Dwarf Cleric)
Necati (Sokuyo, Human Monk)
Jeremy (Laer, Shifter Shaman)
Jason (Quinn, Human Swordmage)
Trevor (Trel, Human Psion)
Michael (Nobby, Halfling Rogue)
Tylor (DM)
Level: 8
 
            It was a humid and cooler morning while the heroes slept inside the small chapel they had built several Laith’s ago.  A dense fog was set in the village and the sky was barely beginning to brighten, though the sun had not yet risen.  Nobby, the rogue, had set protective and defensive traps in the general vicinity in case Priker, Sulveneth, or Morvin attempted to get a jump on them in the night.  While several of the heroes still lay sleeping in the chapel, Laer was just behind it near the woods puffing on his pipe.  Staring into the fog and deeply pondering it wasn’t long before he saw something that caught his attention.
            Through the fog was a very large figure approaching.  He looked to be heavily armored, and was caring an elongated case under his arm.  As the silhouette became more distinct, Laer could see that it was a tall Dragonborn man.  His scales were a pale grayish blue, and an icy blue color was around the tendril like hair on his head.  It seemed as if this man had seen a lot of adventuring in his life.  Suddenly, the trap Nobby had set sprung off as the dragonborn set foot in it, and he let out a deep bellowing howl.
            Laer, amused, continued to puff on his pipe as he watched the dragonborn howl and drop the box to the ground.  His yelling woke the adventurers in the hut, save Sokuyo who was out wandering, and Nobby seeing what had happened walked out the front door of the chapel towards the man.
            “Argh! Was it you, you Halfling fool, who set this damn trap in the middle of the road?!” he howled as Nobby approached.
            “You could have been an enemy of us.  And clearly, my trap worked.  Now, what business do you have here, and perhaps we can arrange a small price for getting you out of the trap?” Nobby countered as he stood rubbing his eyes from the early morning light.
            “Damn you!  Let me out of this at once.  I bring news and an offer for your group, if you hadn’t been so foolish to trap your allies!”
            “What sort of price are you willing to pay?” Nobby continued.
            At that comment the dragonborn pulled from his waist a large flail.  Raising it above his head he made to swing down at the trap holding him to the ground when Nobby cried out in horror.
            “Okay, okay!  I’ll let you out, geeze!”  By this point the other heroes had risen and were watching the whole interaction.  As soon as the man was freed, he made straight for the chapel and walked inside, mumbling about the ignorance of Nobby.  The adventurers gathered around to hear from their unexpected guest.  He laid the long wooden box on the table and said.
            “My name is Dekran Janaar.  I have been watching you for a few weeks since I’ve arrived here in Greenwater and I’ve been impressed with the deeds you’ve been doing.  I say first, that you and I are allies.  I’ve heard among some of the villagers that you are spreading a tale about a Ziggurat you’ve recently come from, inside of which you destroyed one of the legendary six hearts of The Chained God.  This is a phenomenal task, of which I have more information regarding the other hearts.  But I’d like to see for myself that I can trust you.  I know that you have fight this morning to finish with the leaders of this village, of which I commend you.  I wish you luck.  After I see that you truly are good men, and can hold your own, we must speak.  For I believe we can help each other.”
            With that, he pushed the long box towards the group.  As they looked at it, he informed them he had gambled with Priker Viricoth and had beat him fair and square at The Mucky Mead.  He obtained this sword from him.  The box had a familiar name written in elvish on it: Riarden.  Suddenly, the group realized that Priker must have come across their friend from the Bela’Thim in the swamps, and slain him for this sword.  Quinn identified the magic properties of the blade, and equipped it to cut down Priker in a few short minutes.
            Meanwhile Sokuyo was out wandering and gathering information on Priker’s crew, and where the battle was to take place.  The group readied themselves after Priker’s return.  One of Nobby’s traps had gone off again, killing two of the Bound Brotherhood who were trying to spy on the heroes.  The Shadow Slayers set off through Greenwater village towards the chapel of Vangothazen deeper into the swamps on the outskirts of town.  When they arrived, the entirety of the village must have been present.  The large black chapel rose out of the swamps like an infection.  There was a small walled courtyard on the backside of the chapel.  The villagers cheered as the heroes arrived.  On the far side of the small valley were the Bound Brotherhood, and down near the entrance to the courtyard was Priker.
            “Let us finish this!” he bellowed, “And you shall leave our village forever so that we may worship the all powerful Vangothazen without interference!”
            A voice from atop the chapel echoed down, “You shall bow before the great Lord Vangothazen!” It was Morvin Kraybosh.  Suddenly, he activated 4 bluish orbs on tables inside the walled courtyard and an acidic rain began pouring from the sky, burning the adventurers.  The heroes began charging down the hill drawing their weapons as civilians ran for cover.  Nobby ran towards the chapel and began scaling the wall towards Morvin.  A few seconds later and the group was surrounding Priker and weapons began clanging as they fought the massive Goliath.
            Suddenly from the disguise of shadows and swamp growth sprang Sulveneth, the hideous Shadar-Kai man set on destroying the heroes.  He was wielding two one-handed scythes, and began hacking at the flesh of those surrounding Priker.  Morvin was casting wicked divine spells from atop the roof by the power of Vangothazen.  Nobby snuck to the roof and dashed towards Morvin and began slashing at him.
            Trel climbed atop the wall to the courtyard and began destroying the orbs that were causing the acidic rain.  When he had line of sight to Movin he used his psychic powers, and the power of Trelonis to rip the man from his footing.  Morvin went flying through the air and smacked into Priker, knocking them both into the ground and doing severe damage.  The battle then brawled in the mud for several more seconds.  The killing blow to Priker was when Laer’s summoned panthers clawed him from the front, and the second one climbed on top of him and ripped his head off with his fangs.  When Morvin and Sulveneth fell, the crowd let out howling roars as the acidic rain ceased from Trel’s last disenchant.  The goliath men on the far side began scattering into the swamps.  The heroes had triumphed again.
            Prim Holyoak came rushing down the hill with others in tow.  He immediately suggested they desecrate and destroy the chapel of Vangothazen.  Burn it to the ground, the mob wanted.  Sokuyo spoke up, protecting dignity and honor, persuading the mob that if they were to do so, they were no better than the men who had oppressed them.  Arken told the mob to loot the place, but leave it standing. 
            The heroes regrouped, mending their wounds and saw Dekran Janaar waiting for them atop the hill.  They approached him and began walking back to town.  He was praising them, and saying that he would buy them all drinks at The Mucky Mead while they discussed the looming darkness of Tharizdun’s escape.
            Nobby looked up to see Gemini Stoddle run out of The Mucky Mead in tears, clearly her father had struck her again.  Nobby looked infuriated and was about to call out, when Gemini looked at the sky and screamed and ran inside.  A great shadow eclipsed them all, and they turned their heads…
 
The Dwarf:
 
Well, by the terror of the nine hells, that was a hard fought victory, but worth all the rewards.  Look at all the converts of Pelor standing around cheering us.  Our time here is well spent.  Pelor knew we wouldn’t need his help, and wanted to test our capacities and our resolve!  Surely, that is why he revoked his blessing!  The damned dragonborn must want to meet us now after that showmanship.  Sulveneth, Priker, and Morvin should have known when we entered Greenwater that us Shadow Slayers meant business.  We are the slayers of shadows, we bring forth light to every darkened part of the world.  Pelor’s light!  Ah….now to quench to weariness of battle with a drought of that wicked moonshine ol’ Pagwin cooks up at The Mucky Mead.  That’ll put a bite on the edge of this ’ere pain.  

Ah, look!  There is Gemini Stoddle, Pagwin’s daughter, emerging from the Mead now.  She must surely be happy to see us.  She certainly has taken a liking to Trel…though I don’t know why.  She doesn’t hold a light to Elcie though.  Speaking of light, I’d love to see Elcie now and….Blargh! My thoughts digress.  I wish the rest of the crew would hurry up and….wait…Wha’s that bloody shadow? Oh, what the hell now?!

In all his horror, the black dragon Vangothazen came swooping out of the sky in a massive expansive.  The lake of green water in the center of town began to rumble and from within rose a large circular platform clearly used for worship of this hideous dragon.  The dragon circled and then set down with tremendous THUDS in the center of the newly risen circle.  In an incredibly deep and dark voice the Dragon spoke to them in the Common tongue, “I. Am. Vangothazen.  You have entered my realm, and have challenged my power and dominion.  It is time that you meet your end.”
 
A chorus of fear struck through the adventurers, when realizing their duty, they slowly drew their weapons.
 
Ah, for the love of Pelor! My work never ends…
 
The group, with their new found friends Laer and Dekran charge directly at the dragon crossing a wooden bridge that let to the circular platform.  Time seemed to be slowed to almost a standstill around the heroes.  Fearing the worst, but choosing to follow courage they charged after the massive beast.  Arken reacted slower than most, taking a moment to reach and grab his warhammer before charging at the Dragon.
 
As the heroes charged across the bridge Vangothazen reared his ugly head and blasted a breath of acidic venom.  Most were able to dodge, or raise their shields in time, but those who weren’t quick enough were severely burned.  Quinn began slashing at the dragon’s scales, and Dekran swung his mace attempting to make a vicious blow all while shouting battle commands to the group!  Sokuyo began pummeling the flesh of the dragon with such force that a few of his blows began penetrating the scales.  The dragon attempted to claw Quinn and Dekran but the dodged too quickly.
 
Arken attempted to summon the power of Pelor, but Pelor had clearly abandoned him in his time of need.
 
Well, it seems Pelor doesn’t think we need his help again! We’ve beat his adversaries before, and we shall beat them again! 
 
Just then the dragon rises with his massive wings and begins flying upwards towards the large bamboo tower.  Trel who stayed back from the fray and climbed a smaller tower was able to penetrate the mind of the dragon and yank his entire massive figure spiraling towards the ground.  Vangothazen accepted his fate, tucked his wings, and dove directly into the lake creating a thunderous splash that soaked all of the adventurers.
 
There is certainly no way a dwarf is diving into that muck!  And look at that dragonborn leaping from the platform to that wooden dock! I’m obviously going to have to take the long way around.  I’m definitely going to need to soak in a tub after all the exercise today.  The work of heroics never gets a break.  And oh Elcie, I remember clearly the way she was in that giant tub with me back in the castle of Vandromar.  What a beautiful woman.
 
A slight smile drew across the dwarf’s lips as he sprinted around the lake to get to a more advantageous position.  Quinn attempted to clear the jump as well but fell short and landed in the water.  The massive figure of the dragon deep beneath the surface could be seen swimming towards Quinn so Sokuyo quickly jumped in the water and dove down towards the dragon.  He mustered a powerful punch and kept the dragon from attack his friend.  A few moments later the dragon erupted from the water and landed on the shore near Dekran, Arken, and Nobby.  Trel on the far side of the lake began summoning telekinetic orbs that began circling him.  The dragon blasted another burst of breath while the adventurers regrouped.  The battle then took a turn as the dragon was forced towards the large tower that was at least 60 feet high.  Nobby took to the tower, ending on the first level 20 feet in the air and began raining down crossbow bolts.
 
Arken was able to serve as a conduit for his deity a few times, healing several of his comrades.
 
It’s about time Pelor heard my cries!  But something is blocking the divine magic from flowing!  This must be another divine test from Pelor!  Good, my companions have the beast surrounded near the pump and the tower.  How might I best get into this fray…
 
Just then Arken, the dwarf, went charging across the battlefield and stepped on the large lift next to the tower.  He flipped the switch and the counterweights released sending him straight to the uppermost level of the tower.
 
Sokuyo, so many months ago, thought he could ride that white dragon.  Well this will be my chance to show him.
 
The dragon was twisting its neck and summoning black shadow around him, the battle in its most intense and heated moments as a fray of blades, spikes, claws, magic, and darkness swirled together.  Suddenly the dwarf leapt from great heights, his arms outstretched to his warhammer.  A moment later he landed with a terrible crash on top of the dragons head and began swinging his hammer wildly to strike the dragon to his death.
 
The group began battling fiercely to support their cleric friend, Trel was forcing the dragon into a more advantageous position.  Suddenly, the world came crashing down.
Vangothazen roared his displeasure and began whipping his head and wings wildly.  He was destroying the very tower he was beneath. 
 
My damned leg is caught!  What is this beast doing!  ARRGGH, he bit my arm!
 
Just then the support beams were crushed and the tower began to collapse.  Everyone ran as quickly as they could, but Arken whose arm no longer usable from Vangothazens bite, and Nobby who was still in the tower were unable to escape quick enough.
 
The several floors of the building tower came crashing down on top of the dragon and the two heroes creating a thunderous crash and a ball of dust.
 
The last thing Arken saw was the tail of the dragon reeling towards him, his leg caught in the dragons scales, his arm useless, and his position of being utterly alone riding the enemy of his God.  Suddenly, he saw a point of light in the distance that rapidly began to grow larger…
 
XP Each: 1066 XP
 
-Priker, Sulveneth, Morvin: 2400 XP
-Slaying the great Dragon Vangothazen: 3000 XP
-Liberate Greenwater Village: 1000 XP
 
Total XP: 6400 XP
 
LOOT:

9,577gp
Riarden’s Rubicant Blade
 
 
 
 

 

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Episode 21 - Conversion of Greenwater

Players

 
Michael (Nobby)
Trevor (Trel)
Necati (Sokuyo)
Courtney (Arken)
Jason (Quinn)
Jeremy (Laer)
Tylor: DM
Level: 8
 
            The flames spread rapidly around Quinn as he sat seated on the newly cleared plot of land and the Goliath men retreated into the darkness.  Without so much as a second thought he casually gathered up his things, looked up at the dark trees above the flames, and with an elvish grace teleported to a branch of the nearest one some 15 feet away.  Once perched comfortably safely above the flames, he pulled out his quill and parchment again and continued his letter to his mentor.
            Meanwhile, Trel was receiving much praise from the boys at The Mucky Mead for his winnings on the crocodile Karl, and his drunken stupor.  The dwarf, the Halfling, and the human man meandered out of the pub.  A crowd was beginning to gather at the far end of town around the bright fire.  Arken, realizing it was near his new plot of land and that his friend Quinn was back there set off in a sprint.  The Halfling stayed with Trel to help him wander over.
            Sokuyo caught sight of the rising light while he was wandering through lonely houses and thick jungle and he too raced back towards the plot.  Arken burst through the crowd and searched for his friend and Quinn called down to him from the trees up above.  Arken and Sokuyo rushed into action gathering buckets of water to douse the flames while a man and a woman helped them put it out.  Trel, in all his drunken wisdom, attempted to pee on the fire from ten feet away.  Nobby, when he arrived, began following the tracks of the Goliath men who started the fire.  He found them at the back of the crowd laughing in deep voices, and jeering at the sight in front of them.  He thought it a good idea to try and pick pocket one of them.
            During his attempt, Priker Viricoth, the head of the Bound Brotherhood, picked the Halfling up in the air, ready to throttle him.  Sokuyo, seeing the Halfling kicking as the goliath hoisted him into the air, pushed through the crowd and kicked the man in the arm.  He intentionally dropped the Halfling and turned his attention towards Sokuyo.
 
“Your ‘friend’ here thought it would be wise to pick the pockets of my men right in front of my eyes, so step down human!” he growled.
 
Sokuyo confronted him, and Nobby piped up that they had started the fire.  Priker told them they needed to leave town immediately.  Sokuyo spoke up.
 
“We have every right to be here.  While I am not a believer myself, I know that my dwarven friend is a follower of this Pelor, and I will help him preach his word.  You have no right to command these people, they can choose whatever they like.”
 
“Is that so?” Priker began, “Well go ask around the town for yourselves.  You will see that they converted on their own.  For Pelor abandons his followers in their time of need.  These people have readily converted to the following of Vangothazen.  I will give you two weeks, and then you must depart.”  And with that he gathered his men and turned and left.
 
With the fire out, the group set camp for the night in the homes of the two men that Nobby cheated earlier that day near The Mucky Mead.  The next day the group began building their small Church, Trel excluded as he was recovering from the night before.  A small family brought a sleigh of building materials to the Shadow Slayers.  They introduced themselves as Jaylim and Telicho Mireth.  They shared with the group the same information that Trel had gathered from Gemini Stoddle, the barmaid: to meet south of town later that evening in secret.
 
That night the group found the Mireth’s and Gemini hiding off the road south of town.  They wandered through the jungle some ways and they led them to a cave behind a waterfall.  Inside was a small congregation of people led by a short gnome man.  The man wore no shirt, had a long pony tail, and was missing a front tooth.  He was lighting incense, and setting up Totems. 
 
“Well ‘allo there!” he exclaimed when he saw them.  “Me name is Prim ‘olyoak, and we know you were sent to us from the great god o’ the sun!”  Prim explained that these were the few faithful followers of Pelor that met here in secret once a week to hear Prim preach to them.  Here they met Laer, a shifter shaman, who was naturally quiet and spoke only wisdom about faithfulness to Pelor.  He proved a faithful ally in the weeks to come.  The group devised a plan to make a public display as they dedicated the new church and Arken would begin his preaching.
 
The next day they gathered as many people in the village who were willing.  During the dedication several Shadar-Kai men rode into town on dire boars.  The man in charge, Sulveneth, ordered them to cease their preaching.  He was a servant of Vangothazen, and even Priker feared him.  When Sulveneth found out that Priker had given the group permission to preach for two weeks, he had a dire boar kick Priker to the ground.  It was obvious that Sulveneth wanted to kill him on the spot but knew it would be better to get permission from his Lord, Vangothazen, first.  So they departed.
 
Over the next 6 weeks, The Shadow Slayers remained in the village and converted many people to the following of Pelor.  They helped them repent of their conversion to Vangothazen.  Regular meetings were held in the small chapel and as the numbers grew to large to fit inside, a small platform was constructed outside.  Arken, Prim, and Laer frequently spoke on the doctrines of Pelor from the stand.  Quinn and Trel gave discourses on the history of the Church.  Sokuyo surveyed people and gathered information for several weeks.  He found that Vangothazen was feared.  He was described as wearing a massive dark robe that covered his figure, though no one he met had actually set eyes on him during his visits to the village.  Nobby spent most of his time at The Mucky Mead manipulating the less faithful portion of the community that they did believe in Pelor.
 
After several weeks of preaching, during a discourse given by Trel, Sulveneth returned to the village with several Shadar-Kai in tow.  He came to the back of the large crowd.  The Shadar-Kai began advancing through the crowd, drawing weapons.  Luckily the Shadow Slayers were all nearby, and them, including Laer, drew their weapons at once.  As the Shadar-Kai approached the platform pulling shadow katars and razor chain whips, a vicious fight broke out.  The crowd began scattering.  The battling took place near the platform, on rooftops, and around and in a nearby wagon.  Several villagers were injured by in a matter of 30 seconds the heroes had slain all of their oppressors.  With the Shadar-Kai fallen, they tended to the wounds of the villagers, and continued their preaching.
 
A short time later, they sat gathered in the Church reminiscing on the good graces that had been given to them by Pelor in converting so many.  They were grateful for their new friends, Prim Holyoak, and the mysterious Shaman, Laer.  Sitting in the chapel they felt a blessing of Pelor rest upon them.  Just then there was a knock at the door and a note slipped under it.
 
“It’s time to finish this.  Meet us at dawn.
 
Signed,
 
Priker Viricoth, Morvin Kraybosh, and Sulveneth”
 
XP Each: 808
 
-Awesome Roleplay: 1000 XP
-Conversion Skill Challenge: 1400 XP
-Shadar-Kai Attack: 2450 XP
 
Total XP this session: 4850 XP
 
LOOT:

-478gp
 

 

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