Celysion - The Looming Darkness

Episode 23 - The Return Journey


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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