A Manifestation of Chaos: Extinction Event!

Session 014: Wanted for Treason
The heroes must defend themselves against charges brought by a devious psionic inquisitor.

We begin on the outskirts of Eastfare, a major city of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. The heroes make ready to enter the city.

Astenaria says she will have to tell her husband about the Reforger, as well as to her Prince and her King. If Astenaria’s embarassment is kept secret, she promises no one else will be told about the Reforger.

Astenaria is asked to scout as a bird. The party is interested in speaking to the farmers on the outskirts of Eastfare, regarding the situation and gates etc. The crown has sent out notices that they are buying all crops at near-fair wage. Some yields look good, some excellent, some giant footprints are present in some farmer fields. Thayd looks at the fields, 30-40% of the crop could fail unless there is a huge influx of manpower. Behind the heroes there are some royal processions trailing behind. The party runs across some minor patrols. There are currently no encampments outside the city, but there is a heavy guard presense.

The heroes decide to send Thorgal and Holber into Eastfare to scout, to seek audience with temple of Moradin or visit taverns.

They hear Ermie, Sargeant in the Great Kingdom: “You sons of liches you get these peasants in here right now!” They see that in place of his missing arm there is a whip at his right forearm. He is screaming orders at soldiers and at peasants, trying to get them into an orderly procession. The gate guards take a copper per person as they enter a city.

Thorgal strides up to Ermie, “Sir Ermie, do you need the services of a fighting man? I’m also a healer.” “Healer! Hell yes we coul duse a healer. Go to the Temple of Pholtus and heal these people up!… Hold up I know that Wziard. Ran just before things got tough. Throw this mother hucker in irons!” Men come up with irons ready to place Holber in shackles. “Shut up dwarf. YOU, Wizard I’m arresting you on charges of treason. You were supposed to help defend the innocent caravan to Eastfare. You guys disappear.. the asshole Extorian had to come and bale us out. Irons, and since he’s a mage, clamp his mouth shut. The dragonman? That fucking cowoard I wish he was here now I would KILL him.” Thorgal says: “Ooh, that’d be interesting to watch.” Ermie: “I would gut that oversized lizard man like a fish. There’s actually a reward out for him from The Great Kingdom. Abandonned his duty.” The guards grab Holber and take him to a dungeon: he is stripped naked to a loincloth, and thrown into a dungeon with a bunch of smelly drunk brutes, however his hands aren’t bound and mouth is NOT gagged: there are 10 people crammed in a cell meant for four, smells like sweat and piss. One prisoner is close to death. The smell of vomit fragrences the air. Nobody is manacled or shackled. One corner of the room is where people go to shit. Holber goes up to look at the dying prisoner, realizing he is dead. The rest of the prisoners begin to ruthlessly bully Holber. At midnight, 3 guards come to Holber’s cell and beat him up, take him to a small nondescript room and blindfolded.

Meanwhile, Thorgal is traveling to the Temple of Pholtus. People on the way are discussing the monster attack, small cities next to Eastfare have bene wiped out. Tons of nobles are coming to the meeting. Slaves were brought in and were freed as a Gift to the Queen, likely Sir Jason Bahl, Commander of Iuz. On the way, Thorgal overhears a couple of Great Kingdom Privates discussing events with each other: “Can you believe that Iuzite came in and gifted our queen with our own people and she bought it? What a foolish tramp. 13 years old. That’s what happens when you put a woman on the throne. We’re supposed to listen to a little girl? I’ve got a little girl who’s four. Maybe she could be high chancellor. She even set Bahl up in the palace. Ask me? That’s cow manure.”

The main group of heroes is 5 miles outside of town, waiting for the rest of the scouting report. The Elven Princess, Astenaria, fortunately spotted Holber getting apprehended. She returns to the main group of heroes and informs them of the events that transpired. “The wizard was arrested and slapped into irons.” She describes Ermie. The heroes discuss preparing a disguise to get into a city.

Inside the Temple of Pholtus, there are 200 people crammed in an are that can only hold 100. 3 or 4 Clerics of Pholtus are running around trying to heal people. “Moradin? Well met! Solid folks you dwarven types! We got a bunch of people needing your help!” Thorgal begins to go around healing peasants. It’s obvious to all that they are all out of spells. They’re obviously competent and obviously overworked. People swarm Thorgal as they see magic being used. As soon as Thorgal starts channelling, people swarm him and ask for all sorts of treatment. A cleric named Tark (lvl 2) goes up to him: “Thank you for lending your aid. Kanan Katar will be here at Sunset. After services we would be honored if you had a meal with us.” “I’m a veteran of battles.” “Wow a battle cleric? I’ve never seen battle and never want to. The Church provides for all my needs. I tithe 70% to the Church, I only keep a small stipend. I’m ashamed ot say, by decree of the queen, soldiers and nobles take precedence over the others. One of our priests was whipped by a bastard with a whip for a hand. He was just carrying out his orders, but… all are equal under Pholthus eyes.” There are a lot of commoners talking about the evil knight Jason Bahl, he was of the family Alyssa. There was a lot of devil worship in that family during the Chaos War – Alyssa was severely effected then. Nobles are coming in and out of town. The Queen’s Conclave is starting in 10 days. People are shaking Thorgal’s hand and asking him for tales. Katar says at dinner; “I talked to the Royal High Chaberlain might get us a grant. Ran across the handmaiden to the queen. I hope she will put a good word in to the Queen on our account.” “We helped 600 today, unfortunately 41 died. Injuries are down, its more due to illness now. I want to introduce you to Thorgal stonecutter, who came of his own volition and unleashed divine magic to heal.” The Kanon eyes Thorgal, and clearly is suspicous, “What’s a dwarf doing at the Temple of Pholtus.” “I don’t know I was fighting drow, you know darkie elves? Then I magicallys got transported into a cave and now I’m here. It must be divine providence.” Katar loosens up a bit, “That’s a great story.” “Strange thing is its actually true.” “Sure, sounds legit. I want to thank you for actually helping people in need.” “What can I do to make myself most useful?” “I personally know a Sargeant major and a commander in the military. When I’m at the palace tomorow and seek out my commander friend, if he is able I will bring him to Sunset Services tomorrow night. It’s the least I can do. If you want you can sleep here tonight with the rest of the acolytes. The guards are not letting people in after nightfall, not sure about letting folks out.” Thorgal leaves Eastfare at night to return to the heroes. He gives them the scouting report.

Astenara says; “Due to you aid and kindness I would be willin got name you as my diplomatic entourage. I will even even extend this protection to his Grace Lord Baron Tharg, under condition that he asks me nicely for it.” Sir Tobi thinks: “This is a tough condition your highness.” Astenaria laughs: “If he is going to enter civilized lands he will have to act civilized. I cannot extend this request conciously without that. I would not embarass my kingdom. Let’s speak plainly but he’s not even a man.” Taiven speaks up for Tharg: “I’ve seen him charge in the face of danger. I believe he has a good heart.” “Of course your opinion of baron tharg matters, but maybe perhaps youre confusing courage with honor. What is its real motivations? His tongue has said many things that don’t line up with honor, he just wants power. You are a good man Taiven and were it in my power I would knight you.”

Inside the keep, a woman with red eyes and black hair meets with Holber: “Why hello traitor how are you today are you enjoying your cell? Tell me more about this not a traitor bit. My sources tell me there was a contingent of refugees that was relying on a group of individuals to see them safely to the city, and one evening near the elven forests the majority of that group decided to leave the refugees to the whims of fate. From the description, you were one of this group. Do you deny you were one of these people escorting these refugees?” “No, I believe Baron Tharg ordered us elsewhere.” “You’re saying you did so under orders. If a soldier abandons his company b/c a superior officer tells him to do so.” “No idea, I don’t know military law.” Dread, the red eyed woman, accosts the Wizard’s brain with images of hell. Holber’s mind is bombarded with horrifying images: fingernails ripped off.

Meanwhile, Tharg asks the Princess, “Please allow me to ask you to accompany you as part of a diplomatic mission.” “Your Highness did not hear the word pretty please.” “Pretty please…” “I will of course grant such a request.” ’"I will take an oath to not speak until give permission by you." “Excellent I take now as the time of the start of your oath.”

The morning of the second day, Thayd is gone with one of the horses. Astenaria says that “Thayd graciously declined the diplomatic service, and felt he didn’t want to be a burden, I accepted his decline and he went on this way. I imagine when we enter hte city I will ask to be housed in the Palace. I also request that Taiven and Mercy guard me at all times. Usually we are granted 2 to 4 retainers. My guess is 2 based on the number of people invited into the city.” “Sir Tobi I woul dask you to accompany Baron Tharg wherever he goes. If we are not in proximity I want someone to help the Baron out should be forget himself.” Baron Tharg hands Astenaria a paper… “I see you found a loophole in our communication your grace.” Tharg has given Taiven his sword and dagger.The scroll reads; ‘Please take care of my sword it is all I have left from my father.’

Per Sir Tobi’s request, the Princess writes and signs papers denoting that each of us is a diplomatic escort, in case the heroes are separated. Sir Tobi requests to walk with Thorgal in order to try and get in touch with Pholtans. Around 9 am of the second day the heroes arrive at Eastfare.

Meanwhile, in the Palace a female elf wizard comes to visit the Inquisitor, Dread. “My name is Azeta Zha, I’m a wizard and it has come to my attention that one of my brethren is rotting in your prison without the aid of counsel. I’m here to represent them. What are the charges? Treason? Is he an agent of the state? I’ve been told his execution has already been scheduled. I formally request the right to gather evidence in his favor, at least 3 to 10 days to do that. Is he guilty?” “I gotta admit, he seems really inept. I’ve broken a lot of people, so I think he doesn’t know anything or really good at hiding.” “Are you saying he is a stupid wizard?” “I’ve seen smarter rocks.” “I’m not married to the idea of saving this imbecile may I sit in on your next interrogation session? I don’t want you using any coercive methods though: no torture, etc.” “I don’t do anything that leaves a mark.” Dread arranges to have Holber brought into interrogation. Azeta Zha introduces herself to Holber. “If I deem you guilty I’m not going to put the Tower’s reputation out there.”

Dread says; “As you can see your represenation is here. Possibly. Its a serious matter. Are you sure there isn’t something to provide that can make you less guilty of treason?” Zha says: “My client doesn’t have an oath to the Kingdom. He might be guilty of breach of contract, but this is not treason.” However, Baron Tharg can be considered to have committed treason, or at best abandonning a post. Same for possibly the Tobi and Taiven. So after Zha and Dread discuss the case, he is released of charges of treason. In return for represenation, Holber will have to scribe scrolls at the Wizard Tower for 2 weeks. Dread concludes: “I feel like you got off lucky today.” Zha offers to buy Holber dinner and hear of the description of Baron Tharg. Holber answers: “Well, lets start with dinner and see what happens.”

At 9 am the heroes arrive at the Main Gate. There is a wanted poster out for Baron Tharg for 1,000 gp. The group is stopped immediately. The guard presense is triple what it was yesterday, and Dread is present as well as Sir Joss. About 10 crossbows are trained on the group. The Princess cries out: “What is the meaning of this, this is my retinue and they are under my protection.” Baron Tharg has his hands up.

Dread says; “It’s interesting you surround yourself with those that warrant for treason.” “Your Royal Highness, I claim these men and other things as servants under my crown. Therefore they rae to be granted Protection due someone my station. I need to see your warrants.” She shakes her head, “Treason?” "That is correct if youwant to go somewhere we can discuss it. I believe SIr Joss also wanted to weight in. " Joss speaks “Yes I know these men, whereas I do not agree with decisions they made, they are not criminals, they were put in a hard situation. I believe ultimately they did what they felt was right. Tis not treason.” Dread speaks: “Ultimately that is not my decision, but we can come to the truth of it.” Joss says: “Very well there will be no irons until we’ve made this decision.” Sir Joss comes up to Baron Tharg and shakes his hand: “I’m sorry about this.”

Sir Tobi learns of the daeth of Malagar. He also learns that Sir Bahl actually came to the RESCUE of the caravan, not to the aid of the half-orc and enemy raiding forces.

Eventually all the heroes are brought to the palace, in a conference room, and all sit down and discuss the warrants. Dread lays out the charges to Tobi, Taiven, and Tharg. The charges are shot down by the facts and Princess Astenaria’s testimony. Dread will see if the charges can be formally dismissed. Quarters will be provided to the party. The charges can be expected to be formally dropped tomorrow. Until tomorrow the heroes are under house arrest. Thorgal is told to not leave town. Thorgal is turned away from the Church of Pholthus: “We don’t know what’s going on with you, but its not the image we want here.”

Word of Baron Tharg has spread like wildfire: some tales have him battling at the gates, supposedly committed atrocities: ate children, burned a man alive. dark rituals, crazy rumors that everyone is talking about.

At this point, the heroes are able to purchase items in town. Tomorrow will bring them one day closer to attending the Conclave…

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Session 013: Reunited
After seemingly months in the tomb, the heroes reunite with Baron Tharg
17th – 25th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 013:
Reunited

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m
Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
 17 Moonday  (work) Warm  (67) Cold  (40) Partly Cloudy Light  (W, 8 mph) - -
 18 Godsday  (worship) Warm  (64) Moderate  (42) Cloudy Light  (NW, 9 mph) New -
 19 Waterday  (work) Moderate  (60) Cold  (39) Cloudy Light  (W, 8 mph) - -
 20 Earthday  (work) Warm  (64) Moderate  (44) Cloudy Moderate  (SW, 16 mph) - -
 21 Freeday  (rest) Warm  (70) Moderate  (45) Light Rain  (12 hours) Moderate  (W, 18 mph) - -
 22 Starday  (work) Warm  (72) Moderate  (43) Light Rain  (9 hours) Moderate  (W, 11 mph) - -
 23 Sunday  (work) Warm  (64) Cold  (40) Light Rain  (8 hours) Moderate  (E, 12 mph) - -
 24 Moonday  (work) Warm  (63) Moderate  (44) Cloudy Light  (SE, 10 mph) - -
 25 Godsday  (worship) Warm  (73) Moderate  (47) Thunderstorm  (2 hours) Moderate  (S, 19 mph) 1/4 -


Cast of Characters
Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Taiven Dradoma Tharg
Thay’d Catiph Thorgal Stonecutter Tobuscus


We begin in the Tomb’s final room as our heroes are all standing around the Obelisk. Mercy touches the Obelisk and immediately falls unconsious – she will remain unconscious for 24 hours. Thorgal will grab Mercy and pick her up to carry her out of the dungeon. Sir Tobi and Taiven both pick up the Obelisk. “What kind of armor are you wearing?” asks Taiven. “You’re right we should undress her.” adds Holber. Given this objects size it should be almost 2 tons, however it only weights a relatively light 450 lbs. It is 8 feet tall by 6.5 feet wide. Its center is hollow based upon some curosory tapping. Sir Tobi says: “I think this is a hollow object perhaps we can open it and just take the interior center without the entire obelisk.” There is however no discernable mechanism that will open it, and Holber thinks a magical command word trigger might help to pry it open. It is metallic, smooth, and made of metal.

Thayd asks the dungeon, “We’ve been found worthy, how do we open the obelisk.” There is only stony silence in reponse. Sir Tobi touches the Obelisk and feels all fuzzy inside. The rest of the room hold no real heirogrpyhis. There are three sides to the obelisk. One side is etched, one is raised, and another side is unclear. It’s almost as if the outside of the obelisk is build around the symbols on it. The language on it is the same as that of the Vaati. Tobi tells Thorgal that his eye should be able to read the obelisk. Tobi cannot communicate with it telepathically. Trying lay on hands on the obelisk doesn’t seem to effect it. The room itself has an overwhelming abjuration magic (protective magic).

Holber thinks that there are multiple variables in time travel including number of people and weight (e.g. teleportation, dimension doors are dictated by weight and number of people too).

Thorgal offers to cast Ant Haul to help carry it. If his Eye of Providence touches the obelisk nothing happens.

Holber does know of the Rod of Seven Parts, the most potent weapon in the multiverse used a battle before recorded history existed, except perhaps the elves. The root word of Vaati is Powerful Air. So the party settles in for a rest in the abjured room, while having Thorgal attempt ot attune the Obelisk.

The princess comes to Thayd and says that Tobi ‘mocked’ the bear somehow so she doesn’t want to give aid past helping the refugees to Eastfare. Thayd paritlaly succeeds at his diplomacy. Sir Tobi will go up to the Princess and smooth over relations with a sincere apology. In addition, the Princess will grant Taiven the title of Elf-friend.

During the night, 3rd shift is taken by the Princess and Thorgal. During this time, the Princess notices a problem.

Tobias detects evil in his sleep, immediately wakes up, stands and and yells: “Evil is about us, awaken my friends!” Sir Tobi casts Magic Weapon on his trusty hammer. A howl emanates from a creature that appears as the party rests. The princess crumples in a weeping heap and blood is gushing out of her eyes and face, pissed and shit herself as well. She let out an unimaginable scream of terror. The word abyssal comes to mind. Everyone is now definitely awake. The creature has an undescribable aura of evil.

A telepathic message from an actual wolf-spider says: “You may seek but you may never find.”

As everyone wakes up, Thayd stands and incants a circle of protection from evil to protect the party. Then Taiven hops to his feet and attacks the wolf spider with a flying kick. Sir Tobi casts Weapons against Evil, “Your weapons will now pierce the flesh of evil doers!”

“The Wendeam are took weak to save you…” Says the wolf-spider as it fades out of existence. The word Werjadeam is a similar word that seems to be related. Sir Tobi suspects that finding the Wendeam might be a good idea actually.

Thorgal says: “The obeslik doesn’t wish to leave here. It is a being of supreme good, in my opinion. It knows of the Terraque, but the obelisk knows it is not itself evil. It says that if anyone knew it left, it would draw attention. It wouldn’t give me its name b/c its name would confer power onto those who know the name. It stays in this shrine area and can float anywhere it wants, away from the terrestiral world, but if we put it on the terrestrial world. It told me that a worthy one that one might be able to gain access. I got the feeling that if we follow its agenda it might help us indirectly. It definitely said that other than FAITH there is no way to get a hold of it. One can commune with the artifact once within these walls, but after leaving the Tomb it cannot communicate with us. It also referred to itself as the Reforger. When I asked it whether it would like to receive parts of the Staff of Law, it became uncharacteristically silent.”

There are 10 questions that we can still ask in between now and next session.

Our heroes leave the Tomb and arrive about 2 hours after Baron Tharg, seeing dragonman tracks. They quickly re-unite with the Baron and update him on the latest events. He has been lost, beset by lizardmen and shambling mounds the whole while -almoast as if these creatures are drawn to this place. However, Baron lies to the others and tells them a cover story.

According to the Druid Princess, it is 9 days from the day that the heroes entered the leyline.

The Princess wild shapes into a giant eagle and flies to go scout what occured to the caravan, giving our heroes a clear map to follow out of the forest.

During the trip out of the forest, the first night our heroes camp and in the dead of night hear the sound of a pan flute in the far distance. However it doesn’t get any closer or louder during hte course of the night.

Awakening in the morning, our heroes continue our trek. Towards the end of the second travel day through the forest, Astenara the Elf Princess catches up with the group. She transforms out of a giant eagle taking elven form again.

“My lady what is the news?”
“Grave news…. (sigh) I can say some things for sure. It looks like the caravan is 2.5 days away from Eastfare the caravan was set upon by a military force – a battle definitely took place. Six of my people died. Hundreds are dead. It does look like there are two divergent set of tracks from the forces, so it would seem that the caravan held. People were definitely taken. There were dead bodies flying the banner of Iuz. Obviously cannot give you hard numbers, but from the depressions of horses and booted prints, I would estimate between 300-500 were taken and another 300-600 were killed. It does look like numerous arrows were fired upon the caravan. The good news is the caravan did continue upon its way. There were no other obvious battles, but the land has been polluted. There was scout pursuit after the battle. The caravan would have made Eastfare on day 5 given everything. The orc we previously captured has been executed.” This is in reference to Sir Baal’s orc lieutenant. The battle took place 7 days ago.

After some consulting, the heroes recommend Astenaria to collect some horses. Another day’s travel and the party reaches the edge of the forest, where Astenaria meets the heroes with 8 horses gathered from the remains of the battle.

Most of the party members agree that unfortunately due to time constraints they must travel to Eastfare right away instead of going to save the captured refugees – the greater good will be served if Iuz’ evil activities are heard by representative of the entire continent. However, Baron Tharg is insistent upon saving his subjects and travels via flight on his own towards the Iuz caravan and its recently captured slaves. En route, he encounters a griffin and fights it to a stalemate: the griffin flies away not willing to fight this hard for a simple snack. Baron Tharg finds the enemy caravan by the river, meaning they could only be headed towards Eastfare.

Baron Tharg reunites with the rest of the party members whilst they are encamped and reports on the movements of the Iuz caravan. Thereafter, they all agree to their next goal: they must travel to Eastfare in all haste.

After a few days more of travel, they finally reach the might City of Eastfare. What adventures await them here? Will the Demigorgon’s vile lackeys lay a trap for our heroes? Will the captured slaves be saved? Most importantly, what will happen to the sleeping Terrasque and the Rod of Law? Our heroes have their work cut out for them…

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Session 012: You Have Been Found Wanting
Our heroes enter the final room of the Temple and face their toughest challenge yet!
16th – 17th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 012:
You Have Been Found Wanting

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m
Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
 16 Sunday  (work) Warm  (63) Moderate  (44) Gale  (full day) Hurricane  (W, 81 mph) - -
 17 Moonday  (work) Warm  (67) Cold  (40) Partly Cloudy Light  (W, 8 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Taiven Dradoma
Thay’d Catiph Thorgal Stonecutter Tobuscus


The dwarf Thorgal slots the Eye of Providence into his eye socket, and as a result he immediately becomes Nauseated. For an entire hour Thorgal is vomiting onto the fresh dirt. The insane Wizard laughs hysterically the whole while. Afterwards, he completely disappears, mentioning: “My purpose has been fulfilled: farewell travelers.” The eye looks a bit big for Thorgal’s face, it is pure obsidian black and doesn’t even reflect light. The Eye of Providence looks exactly like the eyes of Icosyl (the black giant in the crypt, not that specific creature’s eye but exactly like that of his race, which has such a high skill check to identify none of the party members know the name of this race). Sir Tobi is able to join the group after the wizard disappears, and is caught up on recent events.

Eyerony_3.jpg

Thorgal looks down the darkened hallway seeing a number of humanoid incorporeal shapes: between 6-10 wraiths. He is absolutely certain they are wraiths: they are crisis-crossing the hallways, patrolling it. He is absolutely certain somehow, that without this eye he wouldn’t be able to see through the hallway. Also the buzz-saws appear to be non-functioning. Mercy knows that wraiths are incorporeal undead that drain life, they are almost always evil, but instances in history have had exceptions. Sir Tobi casts Detect Evil and detects no evil down the long blackened hallway.

Eyerony_1.jpg

“Can you hear me?” “Come in Paladin.” “Can we first talk?” “Caution is a type of fear that paralyzes you.” “I think caution is a healthy type of fear.” “You are found wanting.” Sir Tobi walks forward but hits a barrier which prevents entry." Next Thorgal steps forward, “Stop. What do you want?” “I want to enter.” “Do you believe it’s right?” “We are here to retrieve a princess.” “You are found wanting.” Tobi shows the scars of Demigorgon on his chest, but the wraiths seem to ignore Sir Tobi. “Would it warm your heart to know she’s alive? Would it anger know to you that she is dead? Why? Perhaps she is in danger now what will you do? How would you do that? What are you here for? What have you learned? What are you going to do?” Thorgal continues: “It is our duty to find The Princess. We believe she is beyond this path.” Taiven adds: “This place has been corrupted. There are entities that have no place here.”

“We are the seekers and judges. You have been found worthy and may continue. You passed the test of bravery going into the unknown without permission. You will find something you lost within.” Taiven walks into the next room. Next, the Wizard tries to walk forward, he hears: “Stop. Why are you here? (The says I”m not a looter per say but I want compensation). You are found wanting." Next Thayd walks down the hallway, hears from the wraiths: “What do you know of Icosiol (pronounced Acosyl)?… Actually you may pass (He is a sword bearer who already proved his bravery: in this sense action in the face of the unknown).” Thayd says: “I like my comrades were chosen to enter and pass through this Tomb by Acosyl.” Thayd and Taiven are now in the large room at the end of the Tomb. They see along the hallway the Wraiths are standing in guard formation with a double headed spear: they look to be the same race as the Giant (The Wendeam – the wraiths gave the name of the race to Thayd and Taiven). Everyone else is outside the pitch black hallway who cannot see or cannot hear anything. The wraiths whisper to Thayd, “Something you lost will be returned to you.” The two walk forward into the next room and you hear, “Use wisdom and caution within.” Sir Tobi tries to call out to the duo, but gets no response.

Wanting_8.jpg
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The last room is massive, with two huge gargoyle statues flanking a black monolith at the top of a decorative stairway:

Wanting_9.jpg

The stalactites have ruins carved into them. The black obelisk in the center holds glowing runes. Thayd sees a sarcophagus with a carved person on top. The left hand one looks like a stone carving of Tharg the other looks to be the stone carving of an elven female. The Gargoyle says: “You are doomed. Your soul is mine.” Another voice adds whispering; “Not all is as it appears. You two together have lost something and it will be returned to you. Choose one.” Essentially the duo have to choose between Tharg and the elven princess Astenis, or so it appears. Duo does a visual inspection of the room: left to right. Thayd sees that the Monolisk has Icosyl’s language.

Wanting_7.jpg

Thayd’s demon eye sees that one of the stalagmites is demonic, but he cannot read it. The tomb of Tharg has writing on it in draconic. The tomb of Astenis has elven writing on it: “She was found wanting.”

Wanting_10.jpg

The duo chooses the elven druid and announces the above choice to the room: “We choose Astenis Druid princess returned to us unmaligned, whole, and in her true form.” The right-hand coffin opens and she stands up alongside her bear. Tharg’s left-hand coffin opens but Tharg isn’t in there.

Wanting_15.jpg

Cautiously, the duo walk up to the the Druid and her bear companion. The bear growls at Taiven. A disembodied voice says: “You have honored your commitment to your objective and your word congratulations.” The two head towards the door, Thayd walks back towards the portcullis. “Astenis, come.” She answers: “I came here for the obelisk but I was found wanting it will not reveal its secrets to me.” “No we are bound not to.” “I feel in my soul it has vital information, please.” “I cannot. We must leave this place.” “Allow my bear to retrieve it.” “Princess we must leave this place.” “I am the Princess do as I command.” “You are not my princess. Do you remember what you left behind?” “It’s important.” “It’ll still be here.” “We must go.” “Do you understand the nature of this place? It is not static, it is not here all the time I cannot come back here. Only once every 400 years does this place appear. It’s been a 1000 years since my people have traveled here.” “We have divined a way to come here.” “What way is that?” “By the timing.” “This is a mistake but you rescued me, so fine, but I will have your lying tongue if we cannot get back here.” “We must go.” The Princess now following the duo out of the room.

Wanting_13.jpg

Tharg appears from invisibility, right behind the small party. He looks ravaged: like he rose from the dead. He is bleeding, the fire in his blood is cauterizing the wound, but he looks like somebody worked him over. He is large, and in rage yells: “You vipers left me to die!” Taiven takes 2 massive hits from Tharg’s great weapon, immediately falling to the ground. Tharg’s face elongates like that of a wolf and has shadowy limbs when raging: it looks much more malicious and ancient evil feel, but Thayd is certain it is Tharg, alive. With a heal check, Thayd knows that not all of the blood on Tharg belongs to the dragonborn.

At this point, down the hallway, Thorgal’s eye fires up: “Champions of law are in trouble.” Thorgal can see down the hallway now, but is out of line of sight to Tharg.

Meanwhile, the demonic pillar tells Thayd: “They can be saved.”

Thayd: “Do it or tell me how.” “They can be saved for a price.” “Name your price.” “I want to soul of the elf woman and I will restore your dragonman.” The elven Druid heard the demonic pillar. Thayd swiftly retrieves a potion from his belt, very accurately throwing it down Taiven’s throat for a meager amount of healing (4 points which stabilizes him). The Princess touches Taiven’s body and uses her Travel domain to transpose them both to the hallway. She tells her Bear: “B.J. keep the foe here.” The bear leaps at Tharg but fails to grapple.

Wanting_3.jpg

The guardians in the hallway are gone now. The hallway lights up for Thogral: “The force-field has dropped.” It now lights for everybody. Now everyone can see down the hallway in the rest of the party. Sir Tobi, Mercy, Holber are now able to get into the fray. Holber casts Haste on the party, following that Sir Tobi bounds down the hallway. Tharg swings his weapon twice at the bear, it’s spine snaps in half and it instantly slumps dead, Tharg yells: “You fools left me to die! Help me!” The Princess cries out at the death of her animal companion.

Wanting_1.jpg

Thayd throws a net onto Tharg (halves the move speed, no running or charging), telling everyone: “Tharg is either possessed or cursed and he has lupine features and he can be saved and no dealing with devils!” Then Thayd moved back. Mercy tries to disable Tharg with some type of spell but it fails to effect the raging dragonborn barbarian. The Druid hits Thayd with a sanctuary spell and runs away down the hallway.

Thorgal bounds down the hallway and heals Taiven with a powerful healing spell. Taiven’s eyes pop open! Baron Tharg is wielding a large two-handed great-sword. Baron Tharg steps up and breathes a cone of fire at the entire group of adventurers. Thayd yells out: “Kill him and we’ll raise him with breath of life!” Mercy deals a massive amount of healing with an incredible channel! Mercy hears the sound of stone reshaping itself and two great wolf howls reside from the final room. The two Huge gargoyle statues turn into two Wolfspiders (Huge wolves with eight legs and mouths like spidery mandibles).

Wanting_12.jpg

Thayd and Thorgal hear a voice in their minds: “The ancient enemy has awakened and cannot be allowed to escape the temple.” Upon hearing the howl of the wolves, the elf druid says; “Enough running!” She takes out her staff and walks up the hallway next to Mercy: “This crooked deformity killed B.J. and now he’s gonna die.”

Thorgal casts Divine Favor on himself, then charges at Baron Tharg, with a heaving blow but it doesn’t all go through Baron Tharg’s thick hide. Taiven stands up but get whacked with Tharg’s weapon to the face. One of the wolfspiders teleports behind the party. The other second wolfspider runs to the front of the group and emits a Baleful Howl at the party, but Tobi’s Aura of Courage stands strong.

Wanting_6.jpg

“At long last, Mishka the Wolf Spider will rise!” The ground starts trembling everywhere! At this point some strange effect which overcomes the Will of several party members washes over all. Tobi swings twice striking Tharg once with a hefty blow. Taiven throws 2 chakram at Baron Tharg, hitting one time as well. Mercy heals Taiven substantially and gives Tobi Combat Advice: “Put Tharg down!” Taiven takes 5 feet back and prepares himself for action.

“Aberration of fire and death, Oxidus Erodis!” The Druid points at Tharg – and with that, the armor just melted off of Tharg’s body. Thorgal burns a Fervor increasing his armor and swings twice with his Holy Weapon: Tharg looks mad. The flanking Spiderwolf unleashes a Baleful Howl, only hitting the Druid Princess. Tobi swings his lucerne hammer at Tharg and mortally strikes down the Dragonborn Baron. He looks mournful, but knows that his friends have a potion to revive the dead and hopes Baron Tharg will return to life unmolested by the taint of evil

Wanting_5.jpg

The wraith guardians appear from the walls and inform the group: “The ancient evil has been unleashed. We can collapse the Temple – it will contain the evil but kill all of you inside.”

Thayd and Sir Tobi both say in union: “Do it.”

The Wraiths say in union: “You’ve passed the final test. You were willing to lay down your lives. You were willing to even consider saving a compatriot who had betrayed you (referring to the plan to use Breath of Life on Baron Tharg’s corpse). The obelisk is yours. You have all been found worthy to quest for the Rod of Law. It is the most terrible and powerful weapon our civilization ever built. In its pieces use it sparingly for its power has devastating effects upon lesser beings.” The Rod of Law is the Rod of Seven Parts: it is the most powerful weapon ever devised, extremely lawful – created by a race of creatures known as the Vatti.

With that, all the illusions of Wolfspyders disappear and Tharg’s ‘body’ actually crumbles, because it was a construct all along. However, the bear remains dead and the Druid Princess is saved.

The final test of law has been passed and our heroes must now travel to Eastfare…

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Session 011: The Shady Eyerony
An Eye for an Eye: Our heroes must pass the ultimate test to obtain an artifact of great power
15th – 16th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 011:
The Shady Eyerony

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

_ (Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m)_

Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
15 Starday  (work) Warm  (67) Moderate  (51) Thunderstorm  (full day) Strong  (W, 26 mph) - -
16 Sunday  (work) Warm  (63) Moderate  (44) Gale  (full day) Hurricane  (W, 81 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Taiven Dradoma
Thay’d Catiph Thorgal Stonecutter Tobuscus


The party beaten and bruised, looking like hell rained fury down upon them, stepped past the dead hell-spawn. Sir Toby the last to leave looked down, came to some conclusion, and followed the others out of the corrupted ecosystem that was the reflecting pool. He looked at his fellows and was about ready to suggest a respite when Taiven walked up into the next corridor. There they saw a hallway that ran approximately 40 feet and turned 90 degrees into complete darkness. On the wall, at the bend in the hallway, a closed eye stood carved into the wall. Under the eye writing could be seen but at this distance no one could read the message.

Eyerony_2.jpg

The band of friends walked toward the bend in the hall where the closed eye seemed curious and the darkness looked like certain death. Taiven stepped up to the symbol on the adjacent wall. The Eye stood closed, but written underneath was readable “All those that follow a rigid code may not pass beyond”. As the rest of the group walked closer the light cast by magic and torch alike did not seem to penetrate into the obvious the way forward. Mercy cast light on a rock and threw it into the darkness with the illumination dying as it passed beyond the black barrier. Thay’d clearly recognizing a trap when he sees one, ran back into the reflecting room drew his rapier and in one cut felled a giant mushroom. He drug the fungus into the hall and tossed it into the darkness; grinding of gears and the slashing of some sharp unknown implements confirmed Thay’d’s instincts. The mushroom was shredded with only a stump left in his hand.

Without the ability to see the traps and the obvious large closed eye on the adjacent wall, everyone turned their attention to it. Taiven stepped up close to the shuttered eye and astonishingly the eye opened. As it opened the wall ahead turned translucent and beyond a tower and small cottage could be seen. As the group studied the curious sight of a serene country cottage in a devil infested multiverse. Everyone thoughts turned to traps. Sir Toby pressed on the now translucent wall feeling only a wall, but when Taiven pressed, he passed through into the serene cottage setting; and with as much speed as he could muster jumped back onto the stone floor off the grassy field.

One-by-one everyone passed through the translucent portal except Sir Toby. It was curious, what made Sir Toby so incapable of transversing the barrier? Seeing it as our only option, the party moved into the picture perfect scene. The tower buzzed with power and the party saw fit to give it a wide berth. Everyone was on edge; their senses on high alert. They’d looked at the deadly darkness and the translucent barrier “Well it seems like the best approach is to explore the the cottage to see what we find that can help.” Taiven and They’d slid through the barrier creeping up to the tower; the others followed. Inspecting the tower, Taiven, They’d and Hodar noticed it was covered in the same artistry as the wall outside but each brick had the symbol instead. As they looked the eyes opened and the buzz grew in tone and intensity. Everyone jumped back and saw beyond the tower a fortified wall, a cottage, and a small little garden of weeds.

Eyerony_5.jpg

As everyone stared a small elderly man stepped out. He was dressed in what was once probably elegant robes, but now draped over this boney man in tatters. As the party was just standing out in the open after jumping away from the tower, the elderly gentleman turned to face them. A curious smirk crossed each of the party’s face. The gentleman had, along with his tattered robes, an eye patch over one eye and an eye that was more akin to what you would find in the socket of a Gecko. He smiled a warm smile and waved to the group standing by the tower. “Hello gentle-persons. Are you here to partake in the challenge? The all seeing Eye of Providence sits beyond that wall. Are you here to try and claim it?”

Mercy stepped up “Excuse me, the what?” “Yes”, the elderly man replied, “ the Eye of Providence.” “No Sir” Mercy Replied. They’d explained “We are looking for a woman that may have past through here. We know that she is within the temple, but not sure where exactly. Have you seen her?” The elderly man waved his hands, “No. No one has passed through here.

Where are my manners. My name is Sheeve and I’ve been researching the Eye of Providence, for as long as I can remember, really.” Holber ask “How long has that been?” “Oh, not nearly long enough. I haven’t made as much headway on my research as I’d wanted.” Mercy pointed to the barrier and asked “Why is the portal barrier keeping our friend from passing?” Sheeve’s replied “For my safety, my dear. Any one with unswayable ideals tends to take offense at my beliefs, young Mercy. Please though, make yourself at home; touch the tower and you will come away feeling refreshed and invigorated. It will do you some good, I can tell you’ve been through some difficultly reaching this oasis.” The party looked suspiciously at the tower. Mercy, ever the guinea pig reached out and put her hand on the tower, smiled and responded with a smile. Everyone followed suit, except Holber. His eyes squinted and there was a look of distrust that crossed his face. “I am up for bartering as I haven’t left this pocket in many, many years and am in need of some common items, especially soap; I haven’t had a proper bath in decades. I have many magical and wondrous items that I have collected from adventurers like yourselves. If you see anything you’d like let me know and maybe we can come to an agreement.”

The party started into the small cottage; arms and armor, potions and wands, and wondrous items were thrown haphazardly throughout the little room, but looking around everyone could see a large collection of magical goods. Everyone saw something they could use; a magical staff, weaponry, potions, but nothing seemed to strike the cord necessary to get through the magical darkness.

Eyerony_3.jpg

After the shopping montage Mercy strolled over to the closed gate with the now familiar closed eye over the frame. Ass she stepped up the eye opened and the wall turned translucent. Above the door she read “For your wisdom, for knowledge of thy self; and for what you seek.” Seeming to understand little of what she was getting into and caring even less, Mercy stepped across the translucent barrier into the room. As she stepped through the second eye opened and a viewing window opened where the rest of us gathered. Within the center of the room stood a large fountain and surrounding the fountain on three ornate columns sat three large gargoyles. The rest of the room was covered in vines and other vegetation.

Eyerony_4.jpg

As she approached the central fountain the headache started, beginning in her eyes and then moving into her head. The blood draining from her lacrimals was a surprise but not nearly as much as the bubbling eyes that she saw within the fountain looking up expectantly. Mercy tried to reach in and grasp one of the expectant eyes and was fiercely burned for it; the liquid was some form of acid. A booming voice gave instructions “MAKE AN ACCEPTABLE OFFERING TO BEGIN THE EYE OF PROVIDENCE TRIAL. ANSWER THREE QUESTIONS, ONE OF WISDOM, ONE OF SELF, AND ONE OF WHAT YOU SEEK.” Mercy reached up to touch the inside of her nose where the blood was draining and felt the socket give just a little. She pushed harder and the eye slurped and fell into her hand. She handed over to the liquid; the voice boomed once again “OFFERING EXCEPTED!!”.

The three gargoyles turned to her; the first one speaks
I have many tongues but cannot taste
By me, most things are turned to waste
I crack and snap, yet I stay whole
I may take the largest toll
I assisted all of the first men
And I will pay them back again
Around me, people snuggle and sleep
Yet run when I am released from my keep
I jump around and leap and bound
The cold man wishes I he had found

Mercy thought for just s split second and answered, Fire. Well Done. Now candidate, how well do you know yourself and your mentors? In your experience who are the only witches that have grand hexes? Mercy responded that her mentor was one, so at least a witch that has seen multiple years. Gargoyle two announced “Not specific enough! Now you wager for your eye.” The third Gargoyle turned toward Mercy “What is the condition that causes humanoids to have limited sight far from their nose?” Mercy turned toward the barrier where the rest of the party stood. Holbar reached into His robes and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to Thorgal. He wrote down the word nearsighted and held it to the barrier and in the split second that Mercy had to read the parchment the barrier shuttered and tuned back to brick. YOU HAVE FAILED THE TRAIL, BUT HAVE WON YOUR EYE!” Mercy’s eye floated to the top of the pool where she could snatch it up and as she brought her eye back home it found its place automatically.

It went on like that until Taiven. They all had worked out that the view station stayed open as long as the no one helped on questions. The first time someone tried to help the viewer would close. In this instance Taiven answered correctly the question testing his wisdom, but got stuck on the progression of his craft. Mercy must have studied at a monastery with monks of all experience because she seemed to have a depth of knowledge when it came to what experience would bring to Taiven. He, however, misunderstood her promptings and answered incorrectly. The questions about the eye were the toughest and it was predictable the circumstance Taiven found himself answering only one of the three questions correctly. The gargoyles simultaneously announced “YOU HAVE FAILED THE TRAIL, BUT YOU NEED NOT LOSE AN EYE!”, and with that AN eye migrated to the surface of the pool. The pupil was elongate, like a cat. The iris was the color of bile with gold flecks throughout and where the white should have been there was a deep endless void of color. As it slithered it’s way to the top of the pool it began to reek of evil and death. Taiven had to make a choice between his pride and his party. If he left the eye behind he would limit his ability to help the party and he knew that the next encounter would take all of them. Taiven picked up the eye and brought it up to his socket. The optic nerve reached eagerly for his brain and as it moved closer the foreign body slid easily into the socket restoring Taiven’s sight. What came with it only time will tell.

Thorgal was the next person to take the trial. He was experienced and had gotten closer than any to the ultimate prize, so expectations were running high. The first question came and he was at wits end when Mercy stepped in to help. As the answer was given by Thorgal the door closed to the viewing chamber and the the party sat there readying the next person. But, the second question was asked and he returned the right answer in short order. Now, Thorgal was two for two and understood the anatomy of the eye better than anyone else in the room. Excitement rose and as the last question was uttered by the third gargoyle, Thorgal smiled and in a rapid and confident response gave his answer. Magic fluttered and the three gargoyles stated in unison “YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED WHERE ALL OTHERS HAVE FAILED; TAKE THE EYE OF PROVIDENCE AND USE IT WISELY!” Thorgal slid the eye into place.

Eyerony_9.jpg

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Session 010: The Price of Victory
Just as doom closes in on the party, one man must pay a steep price for survival
15th – 16th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 010:
The Price of Victory

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

_ (Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m)_

Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
15 Starday  (work) Warm  (67) Moderate  (51) Thunderstorm  (full day) Strong  (W, 26 mph) - -
 16 Sunday  (work) Warm  (63) Moderate  (44) Gale  (full day) Hurricane  (W, 81 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Taiven Dradoma
Thay’d Catiph Thorgal Stonecutter Tobuscus


We begin in the midst of a stalemate between the party and group of Abashi Devils. Thayd puts his foot down and has had enough of talking. Holber in the back of his mind does know that higher level beings never simply die, there is usually a remnant of a soul after the death of the body. As Thayd hears the negotiating over the body of Isosil, he looks up and says: “No fuck this!.” He yells out: “Isosil, lend me your strength! Lend me your arms!” He tries to use Call Weapon: allows him to call the weapon of an ally within 30 feet. The greatsword from Isosil’s large grasp flies over into Thayd’s arms!

Mercy dashes down the hallway to channel a healing burst which heals up Tobi and Taiven. All hear the voice, “Foolish mortal you dare to touch me, creature of neutrality. You will pay dearly. But first we will bring woe to evildoers.” The greatsword in Thayd’s grip glows in an azure light. He grows to a large size. Thayd feels that the greatsword is using his soul to power itself. It appears as though the Greatsword is intelligent and decided to go on its own initiative. “Craven creature of neutrality destroy the servants of evil.” Thayd feels a compulsion in his mind to attack a servant of evil. He immediately strolls into the room easily swinging the sword and cleaving a Lemur in half instantly slaying it. Thayd’s fortitude keeps a tamp on his soul energy. Tobi swings his hammer furiously at a floating White Abashi and a Lemur. Holber, while invisible walks into the corridor, and Mercy channels to heal everyone. The Intelligent Greatsword finally takes over Thayd’s mind. As it does so, Thayd’s Speed drastically increases and he proceeds to double chop against several of the White Abashi demons, demon parts flying left and right. The Black Abashi hovers high above the battlefield and double pushes the button which closes the Wall of Force off to the hallway: it orders the 3 summoned White Abashis to focus on Thayd and take him down. Tobi fends off several grapple attempts by lemurs. Thayd slashes with with Intelligent Greatsword instantly killing one White Abashi and painfully hurting another White Abashi. Tobi takes out one Lemur as it tries to grapple the Templar but leaving itself open to an attack of opportunity. Tobi then swings his hammer finishing off one of the White Abashis in the room with the lake. Thayd steps up closing the wall of force behind the Black Abashi with Mage Hand. The blade speaks: “Creature of Neutrality you have shown courage of your type, but I am killing you. Release me now or you may very well perish.” Thayd lays the blade back into the coffin, afterwards his body shrivels considerably as though his body is partially a husk: he looks as though something just sucked the juice out of him (think “Meth face”). The second to last White Abash at the back of the lake tries to cast a fear ability at Taiven, but thanks to Tobi’s Aura of Courage it fails to effect him. The duo of Tobi and Taiven are back together again! Mercy gives combat advice to Tobi and casts Evil eye on the White Abashi next to Tobi. Taiven goes wild on the two Lemurs that have been pestering Tobi, destroying one and heavily injuring the second. “Taiven where you been buddy!?” “Yeah I just needed a pick me up Tobes.” “You’re looking fresh man. But Thayd… he doesn’t look so fresh anymore.” “You need to lick the flaking skin off my nutsack and thank me for what I did.” The battle continued on until all the demons were slain from the Hell whence they came. The last demon killed himself in the hallway the Abyssal Wolf made his home. Thayd walks up the victorious group, he is coughing blood heavily into a rag. Tobi says: “We’ve missing a wizard corpse guys?” Holber says: “I’m here!” Tobi says: “Tough fight, tough fight.”

All of the sudden, a dwarf appears out of seemingly nowhere. Full plate armor, battleaxe, and very handsome. He has a bow stowed in his backpack. The dwarf has a symbol of Moradin on his shield. He looks confused to be here. His clan is from the Barrier peaks, which closed off doors to non-dwarves 45 years ago. For almost 5 decades it has been warring with drow. “I’m Thorgle.” “Is that with one or two Grrl?” “I am a Templar of Phlthus.” Thayd walks over: “My name is Thayd and I am a Sea Prince of— HURL.” “Do you need any healing?” “I need all the healing.” “Where does it hurt.” “Where am I?” “This is a place of law.” “I am a follower of law.” “Then you are amongst friends. I suspect this place of Law summoned you here.” “Well a friend of mine cast a spell on me, some kind of change location spell, whilst we were fighting drow.” Holber states that the Underdark is famous for its wild magic zones which has unpredictable effects upon spells. Tobi will give the bodies rites of Burial. There are still some unidentified items on the bodies: elven boots of unknown value and ability. Mercy will re-establish links to everyone relevant. Thayd says: “The weapon is made for a diety and it overcame my will. Every moment I held the sword it stole a piece of me, would have killed me if I hadn’t let go. It was as though Tritherion himself. The creature before us is a demigod if not a god himself. Any mortal who would pick this up and grasp it would suffer the same.”

Tobi tried to touch the Intelligent Greatsword: Overwhelming sense of good, law but also hostility. “You were a lucky fool.” Tobi lets go. “It did not wish to be wielded. We move on.” Dwarf explains his combat abilities to the group.

Everyone heals up, regroups and begins exploring the watery cavern. Thayd spots a box partially floating in the water. Examining it further revels it to be an old fashioned coffer. It is not set in place, but floating beneath a mushroom. Thayd runs his blade around the floating coffer, finding a chain holding it to the bottom. It looks as though it was originally hidden underneath the mushroom but in the heat of combat may have gotten disturbed in some manner. Detection of magic, evil, and poison fail to yield anything of note. Thayd disables a poison trap on the coffer. Examining the chain finds another coffer with another poison needle trap which Thayd also disables. There are no false bottoms, duplicate tops, portals etc. Inside the 2 wooden boxes the party finds treasure!

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Session 009: Deals with the Devil
The heroes are in a fight for their lives and consider dealing the devils to save their skins
15th – 16th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 009:
Deals with the Devil

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

_ (Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m)_

Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
15 Starday  (work) Warm  (67) Moderate  (51) Thunderstorm  (full day) Strong  (W, 26 mph) - -
 16 Sunday  (work) Warm  (63) Moderate  (44) Gale  (full day) Hurricane  (W, 81 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Brugge Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Palis the Blue
Taiven Dradoma Thay’d Catiph Tobuscus


Under the watchful eye of the ebony angel the party slept, awaking to the silent realization of the tasks ahead. As everyone awoke the realization of the wealth they slept with started to seep into their bones. The awareness that just a small amount of the wealth in this room could solve so many problems began to blossom in their minds. Toby, however, looked around the angel’s treasure room, telling everyone to “Don’t take anything out of this room. We don’t know what would happen.” Palis asked “what about just the armor or weapons? “. Toby retorted “Nothing. Take nothing!”. As they all exited the angel’s last resting place they all took a last look around at the sheer accumulation of wealth they were leaving behind. Swords and bows were drawn, necks were cracked into place, and spells readied for the days work.

From the night before the party new that pushing the button twice next to the door opened the force shield leading to the next room. They built their pyramid Palis climbed up and stuck his finger in the hole twice; the force shield shimmered and blinked out. They’d looked around saw Palis staring off into space, waiting and nudged him with his chockrams, “Check for traps on that door, would you?” Palis stepped up looked around the door, into the lock, and felt confident there were no traps. However, instead of opening the door Palis stepped back to let someone else take the first steps. They’d looked at him sideways and checked the door himself, then opened it. Sir Toby gestured to They’d for Taiven and They’d to follow him into the room and Toby step across the threshold towards the dark pool of water inside the cavernous room.

As Sir Toby reached the dark pool, writhing masses of flesh reached out to pull him into the depths. Reacting to the sudden appearance of mounds of writhing flesh, Sir Toby lashed out with his sword and taking a step back to see what was reaching for him. The cancerous mass writhed and teamed with elven, human, and dwarven faces pressing themselves against a hellish membrane seeming to torture the souls inside. The twelve humanoid infused membranes seeking only to devour Sir Toby’s soul, struck at him, but the armor of his god held them at bay. The swarm of hellish mutilated flesh leached toward Sir Toby who seized the moment to put one out of its misery, but soon after Toby was unidentifiable in the mass, sending Taiven and Palis to his rescue.

Mercy, Brugge, Holber and They’d entered the darkened hallway being careful given the action occurring at the other end. As they cautiously entered flying hellfire appeared from the ethereal in the shape of a dragon/demon and shook the stragglers to their core.

Mercy and Brugge fell to the ground helpless, seeming to writhe in pain.

Holber’s legs went weak and he sprinted out of the room.

They’d Steeled himself and threw two chockrams at the devils causing them to back away, but they just smiled and persisted. The devil dragons sensed the blood of a good and kind soul. They began to lick their lips, their black onyx eyes gleaming with soul-consuming desire. Mercy saw the danger closed her soul to the world as she did so many times before, praying to be let loose from her bonds. This time Mercy’s prayers were answered. As these Abbashie licked their lips and skulked closer and closer, the greed in their hearts palpable, Mercy’s eyes went clear. The fear left the former slave and began to sink into the he bones of devils. A cleansing fire sprang from her eyes melting the devils where they stood. Mercy’s prayers were answered; she was alive and the 2 of the greater devils were not.

They’d understood how unbelievably helpless the position was for everyone in the hall and acted. He had to make a choice; he had to choose between Mercy, the person who has save every single one of us from deaths door countless times and Brugge. Mercy was drug to relative safety into the ebony angel’s crypt and Brugge felt the cold teeth of the Abbashie devils begin to devour his soul. His last thoughts were of the terror that consumed him as the devils did the same.

Palis looked down the hall and saw Brugge bleeding; being consumed by devils and redoubled his efforts. Focusing, he drew his short sword and stepped behind one of the lemurs. In a single thrust he downed a lemur set on Sir Toby’s blood and turned his attention to his next victim. Palis recognizing his situation slipped into the shadows and waited for his opportunity; he saw it in a lemur that tried to take the downed ones place. Again, swift as lightning two more strikes and another fell. However, as he felt the final blow to the lemur others filled in behind him cutting off his escape. Palis’ calculus knew it was going to be his life or the life of Sir Toby and in a selfless act shoved his blade one more time into a the writhing faces of the devil to protect his friend. His blade spent lemurs came from all sides stacking one after another crushing, biting, and tearing Palis’ soul from his body. He lay dead mere moments after saving Sir Toby’s life.

Oblivious to what was happening behind him Sir Toby was focused on the flying devils and writhing faces to his front. They were thick over his armor; understanding that there was fresh succulent Paladin soul for the sipping if they could just peal back this metal from the flesh. Sir Toby took his hammer to the lemurs pulverizing their wet fleshy bodies on the left and right. The devil dragon however was a different animal. He kept just out of reach seizing his opportunity while the lemurs took the brunt of the Paladin’s abuse. To Sir Toby’s right Taiven saw the predicament and leapt in the air and drug one of two devils to the ground and looked back at the Paladin. Sir Toby’s wry smile let Taiven know he knew what to do and dropped the hammer straight on the devils head sending brain matter across the cavern. With the script written Taiven jumped and drug the second to the ground drawing it’s ire. The devil latched onto Taiven with its teeth and with on quick motion stabbed Taiven in the torso with its needle-like tail. This gave Sir Toby all the time he needed to send his maul to the head of the devil; it was enough to hurt it, not kill it. As Taiven held fast to the devil the sting of the tail finally took hold and a searing cold took over causing his senses to go black. In was seemed an eternity to Taiven but for Toby was mere moments, the Paladin called to his god reaching out to seal the wounds of his friend and comrade.

When he awoke Taiven saw his predicament. He laying on the ground. Lemurs all about him. Sir Toby engaged with the Abbashie and no way out. He lay motionless hoping that the lemurs pay him no attention but he knows a reckoning is coming.

In the crypt room They’d and Mercy saw the plight of their friends and began to make a plan to save them. As they stood the largest of the devil dragons appeared in front of them some 40 feet in the air. His eyes seem to role back into his skull and three more Abbashie appeared. As they materialized choices had to be made “go after the wizard or the priest and her well kept consort”. They’d acknowledging their dire straights reached into the recesses of his mind and found the twinkling of a spell. A simple spell. One that was taught to him years ago to protect him when he would venture into the wood. He hadn’t called on it in years, but it came fast; it came faster than the Abbashie. They struck the barrier and recoiled in pain. They kept trying to pass; to get to the fresh soul of one so connected to her god but They’d’s spell was to practiced, to steady, to powerful. All devil ten devil eyes turned to Holber the wizard. The only prey left to the starving devils and they began to collect around him like dogs around a butcher.

The summons devils surrounded Holber. The largest amongst the devils looked directly at They’d and Mercy and pronounced “give up now. Drop your weapons and leave this place or your souls will suffer under my torture for an eternity. They’d looked evenly at the monster and said “what are your terms?”

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Session 008: Unwelcome Barghest
Our heroes must cleanse an evil presense lurking in the shadows
15th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 008:
Unwelcome Barghest

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

_ (Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m)_

Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
15 Starday  (work) Warm  (67) Moderate  (51) Thunderstorm  (full day) Strong  (W, 26 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Brugge Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Palis the Blue
Taiven Dradoma Thay’d Catiph Tobuscus


Sir Tobi asks the Tomb Guardian: “Can you watch over us?” The giant answers: “This is but a remnant that has mere seconds left on this plane. Be warned: This is a holy place that has been desecrated.” With that he lays down and the force animating him seems to extinguish. Meanwhile, the Sea Prince Thayd is examining the doors and walls of the chamber. The walls are 2 feet of stone followed by a wall of force followed by 2 feet of stone. Sir Tobi tries to reach for the doorhandle, but a wall of force stops him.

Tomb_8.jpg

Tobi thinks that whatever force animated this creature was an ancient magic that doesn’t discern intent too much, but Tobi’s guess given same moral background, Tobi would have the best chance of not being instantly zapped. Sir Tobi goes to pick up the corpse: instantly he sees flashes, skeletal face, giant sword, huge battlefield, but afterwards he is able to snap his senses closed. Sir Tobi moves the corpse to the front of the coffin and puts the corpse in a sitting position. Beneath the body lays a giant ornate scroll. The Mage Holber examines the scroll, unable to make anything of it: it appears to be made of hide or something like that. Someone probably skinned something to be able to write on it. The scroll is magical, or has magical properties, and is made out of a creature’s skin. Bruug recalls with his knowledge that any object can be used as a scroll: this particular piece of flesh is definitely extraplanar in origin – otherwise it wouldn’t last this long (e.g. human or elven flesh rots after centuries). This skin is, in fact, abyssal. Sir Tobi touches the scroll and an enervation spell misfires not effecting Sir Tobi. Below the scroll is a staircase that leads down, and that opens up into a small walkway that goes towards the right side. Sir Tobi picks up the scroll, but no one can read it. No one knows what language it is written in, but it is in a repeating pattern of a very structured language. The scroll is 7 by 3 feet in dimension: overall it might take 4 hours to copy. Sir Tobi mentions that if we end up resting Holber should try to make a copy or tracing of it.

Paylis points to something unnatural 40 feet up above the door on the left: it’s a depression in the ceiling about the size of a pinky. The same small tunnel is present above the other door on the right. Holber finds that it does not detect as magical. A similar hole is present above the front door (entryway). So, Holber takes a glob of melted candle wax and standing on top of Sir Tobi’s shoulder will plug up one of the holes using mage hand: it seems successfully plugged by the wax. The open hole at the other end of the room is the next to be investigated. The party makes a human pyramid. Paylis at the top of the pyramid finds a button to disable the blade that cuts off things that are jammed into the small holes (so far 4 of our arrows have been destroyed like this, but this destructive mechanism stopped after the button was pushed). There was no button above the left door that was found. Above the front door a button was found and pushed, this stopped the front door hole from cutting off objects placed inside. Putting an arrow inside the left-door hole deactivated the right-door field of force, but only for 2 minutes, after which the force field reactivated. The party uses candlewax to force the force field to stay open.

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With the right force field down, Paylis examines the right door for traps, not finding any, but hearing something moving on the other side of the door. Paylis picks the lock successfully. Sir Tobi opens the door a crack to peak inside. Palyis stands on one side of the door and hides himself. The rest of the parties readies their actions to attack what’s on the other side of the door. Tobi opens the door and sees an empty dark hallway, stepping inside and beckoning the others to follow him. After a few paces, Tobi encounters a man-sized wolf 5 feet tall.

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The wolf says: “Welcome, dinner.” It bites on Tobi’s armlet ineffectually. Tobi swings back but being flustered misses the massive canine. The gaze of the creature seems to stop Taiven in his tracks. Mercy summons a spiritual weapon that fizzles out of existence when it contacts with the giant wolf. Thayd chucks a chakrum but misses. Holber casts grease and the black wolf trips falling down. Bruug does an orc dance at the wolf, and the wolf becomes shaken, standing up and running back down the hallway whimpering. Thayd hurls a chakrum but most of the damage is reduced by the wolf’s thick hide. Holber tries to recall what this creature is, but his memory fails him. Sir Tobi charges at the wolf yelling: “Bad Dog! Stop resisting!” His hammer crashes into the wolf dealing his maximum payload of damage. Paylis rounds the corner and the wolf stares him down also causing him to be utterly paralyzed from the canine’s gaze. Thayd’s second charkum connects but fails to penetrate the hide utterly. The wolf chomps down on Tobi’s arm, and trips the Templar, but Tobi calls forth healing and stands right back up. Multiple party members are paralyzed at this point. Thayd chucks a chakrum straight at the canine’s throat, dealing massive damage. Mercy casts her Evil Eye at the giant wolf, reducing its defenses (-2 AC). Mercy follows that up with a Stardust, blinding the wolf partially. However, even Mercy succumbs to the wolf’s paralyzing gaze: at this point every single party member except the Templar is completely frozen paralyzed and unable to do anything for at least a minute. The wolf continues to trip the Templar. From the ground, Sir Tobi calls out to Pholtus and Smites Evil against the giant dog, reducing it to dust as it disintegrates from this plane of existence.

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Tomb_6.jpg

The rest of the right-hand room and hallway is entirely empty. Therefore, the party backtracks to the main sarcophagus room again. Most of the party is exhausted and ready for rest, however, Sir Tobi decides to investigate the small passage that leads beneath the sarcophagus. He finds a warded door, but putting his hand on it, the ward dissipates. Behind the door Tobi finds a treasure room. The treasure room beneath the sarcophagus contains magical armor (Chain Shirt, Full Flate, Half Plate), magic weapons (Scimitar, Longsword, 2-Handed Sword), and 17,000 gp including gems, jewels, scrolls, spellbooks: which hold Mirror Image, Knock, etc. Tobi will warn everyone not to steal anything from the room and to rest here since there are so many wards to this place. Finally, the group figures out that the button on the ceiling above the left door works as follows: 1 click opens the Right Door, 2 clicks opens the Left Door. They decide to rest beneath the sarcophagus in the treasure room, which was wise as there are no ill encounters overnight.

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Session 007: The Blood Oath
The heroes must choose between their own conscience and adherence to law
15th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 007:
The Blood Oath

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

_ (Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m)_

Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
15 Starday  (work) Warm  (67) Moderate  (51) Thunderstorm  (full day) Strong  (W, 26 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Brugge Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Palis the Blue
Taiven Dradoma Tharg Thay’d Catiph Tobuscus

We begin in the entryway of a large ancient room.

Tomb_0.jpg

The door does have a crack behind us through which we can escape after the door mechanism has been fiddled with. There are 8 torches that are elven made ahead, in the center of a well lit room. Bruug is immediately unable to move, and is frozen in place: he is held. An eerie silence permeates here, as though it has stood by itself for thousands of years. Tharg looks around the room, and thinks that he sees that recently in this room there may have been recent movement: as though a trail has been swept away and covered up. Holber steps up to detect magic ahead, detecting some type of magical presence. Mercy steps forward 15 feet into the room. A gout of flame erupts from one of the torches and skathes the rogue with a line of fire. Then, a spiritual sword appears out of thin air and swings at Mercy. It critically strikes against the soft skin of Mercy’s left hand, but it doesn’t remove it from her limb. Baron Tharg states: “The torch flickered right before the discharge of fire.” Paylis throws a bomb at the first torch on the left: as it hits the bomb slides through a green energy field and the bomb impacts, the firery bomb not appearing to effect the torch lantern. As Paylis steps forward at the far wall ahead 4 heavy crossbows flip out of the wall: one bolt strikes Paylis, and one bolt strikes true at Tharg, but 2 miss Sir Tobi. Tayven steps forward to roundhouse kick the lantern, but his leg rebounds against a green energy barrier, taking damage and suffers a temporary negative level (enervation equivalent effect). A second spiritual weapon appears next to Bruug and begins to wail at the helpless held victim. Thayd throws 2 charkums at the the far right torch. Tharg approaches the right torch and attacks it, losing (3 points) of strength and incurring poison. The mage Holber fires a splash of acid, toppling the first torch on the right. The left torch fires a burst of flame at Paylis, Mercy, and Tharg – immolating Paylis left lung: it shall forever remain shut and never take another breath. Tobi and Holber recognize this as a glyph of warding. This is a bastard sword: heroneus, cord, hextor, and a dozen others. Recognizing that the spiritual weapon is a Bastard Sword, Sir Tobi steps forward to grasp the spiritual weapon in his glove and intone in a strong voice: “In the name of Heroneus and Cord I bit you cease to be.” The spiritual weapon extinguishes. Meanwhile, two more spiritual weapons appear on the battlefield. Bruugs breaks through the spell holding him and roars in rage, putting his defenses up. Holber also steps away from the newly manifested weapon and prepares his defenses. Mercy lets out a healing burst from the Goddess healing the bruised party up significantly. Paylis shoots an arrow at the lantern, bouncing off the steel ineffectually. Emboldened, SIr Tobi steps forward to extinguish another weapon. Taivan tries to punch one of the ghost swords, of course missing. Meanwhile, two etheral weapons on the backlines are attacking the back ranks. Seemingly in response, one of the torches in the far back corner of the room on the right-hand side fires at Taiven with a magical missile, and a nearby lantern fires a ray of enfeeblement at Taiven, missing – then Thayd dismaltes it with an expertly thrown pair of chakrum. Sir Tobi announces for everyone to retreat back to the initial platform, as he extinguishes yet another flying ghost weapon: he thinks that some of the defenses are perpetual and automatic regardless of player motion, but other defenses are responding to the advance. Several crossbow bolts fly out, one of them critically maiming Paylis’ liver, jetting forth a gout of blood from his abdomen as he clutches at his wound feebly. Another bolt critically hits Mercy in the right atrium chamber of his heart. Several party members back up to the starting platform, as Mercy channels the power of Nayaless healing everyone to full health except for the haggered rogue Paylis. Magic missiles soar out at several members of the group as they all congregate in formation at the starting platform. On the ceiling, Thayd squints and sees glowing blue runes. He immediately discerns multiple traps: there is a total of 12 runes. There is one set of runes over each torch, and four runes over the sarcophagus. Tharg fires a bow at one of the runes, it shatters ineffectually but Tharg does feel a wave of magic effecting his will washing over him, but his anger fights off the intrusion of magic. Holber casts Read Magic and reads the runes:" Servants of evil you will find no peace here. Do not disturb this holy place." It seems the runes were warped to cause some kind of different effect. It seems that it used to be these runes effected only evil, now they effect EVERYONE except lawful good creatures. The ceiling is 40 feet high. Paylis shoots ineffectually and gets by magic energy.
Tobi motions everyone to stay back and not attack. He climbs the stairs, noting that both doors on either side of the entryway have a thin layer magical force rippling over them. A telepathic voice says: “Here lies Aycosil, hero of pesh, slayer of miska. Bow and show reverence.” The sarophagus has 2 rather complicated looking hinges that i’m pretty sure double as locks, but locks are not Tobi’s expertise. The telepathic voice was in a Lawful GOod Alignment tone: that way of speaking is super archaic – only touched up by the most ancient of the ways. This was in the way of ancient ceremonies. In ancient times, each alignment had its own tongue so alignments could tell each other apart. Holber, thinking back on his knowledge of planes, knows that Miska was a demon lord of some ill repute: fairly powerful. No one knows what Pesh is or was. The sarcophagus is made of blue ore, never before seen in my life: this is separate from the blue ore we saw outside. “Show wisdom this is a holy place.” The two hinges on the sarcophagi pop. Tobi will walk downstairs, Quarter inch of density of a Force wall covers the wall. Its clear in consistency. He attempts to pray to the wall of force intoning Pholtus, however this has no noticable effect. “Beware this is a holy place. Here lies Acosyl, Slayer of Miska, Hero of Pesh. Show wisdom.” As Tharg steps up: . The base metal was mixed with gold; intricate work. Probably about 400 lb each, worth about 3,000 gp or 4,000 gp each. Tobi speaks to the guardian telepathically: “I will try to restore the braziers.” To the rest of the party Tobi says: “Give me a few moments to clean up these braziers.” Holber tries to cast Prestidigitation to try to clean up as well, but in return gets a Ray of Enfeeblements. Simultaneously, a rune for the nearest torch activated as the Ray of Enfeeblement hits Holber.
There seems to be some language inlaid into the sarcophagus. Tobi warns everyone of the telepathic guardian that seems to be watching. Tayven received a telepathic warning:“Beware here lies Acosyl slayer of Miska, hero of pesh. Show reverence.” Payles got no warning at all whatsoever.

Paylis touches the slab, and it immediately slides open automatically: inside is a nearly 8 foot tall ebony-skinned bipedal being that is wearing armor, which is so finely crafted it actually looks like skin. Next to this being is a gigantic sword, usually wielded with 2 hands, but was wielded in one hand. Next to him is a mace, four rings, a necklace, a belt and some boots. He is also laying on a sort of scroll that has writing on it. Mercy approaches the sarcophagus getting the following telepathic message: “Here lies Acosta slayer of Miska, hero of pesh. Show reverence.” Thayd examines the door to the right of the entryway: he is certain that in the area by this door all around there is NOT solid stone. Stepping next to the sacrophagus, Thayd gets this warning: ‘“Beware Here lies Acosta slayer of Miska, hero of pesh. Show reverence.” As Tobi continues to clean the brazier, he sees something wet was in here at some point: some residue that isn’t dust. There is a tube that runs down the brazier: it is fueled by liquid fuel. Holber got the same message as usual ending with, “Show wisdom.” Taiven will look for a faucet to switch on: he finds a circular button, one that can be stepped on.

Meanwhile, Paylis inches a hand towards the dead giant’s chest and gently touches him, a telepathic message immediately appearing in his mind: “Servant of Chaos, your doom is come.”
The giant rises and attacks Paylis with its massive weapon, bringing the thief within an inch of his life almost immediately. The rest of the party kneels and begs it not to kill their fellow party member, idiotic as he may be. After much diplomacy, it agrees. (Bruug did use a Fortune Hex on Sir Tobi after all).

Tomb_1.jpg

The creature telepathically speaks: “There is no point in attacking the helpless. Pholtus was but a child when we walked this land. And Demigorgon must be stopped at all cost. However, you cannot ally with creatures of chaos. Leave this place and never return.” As the ebony giant stands up, Holber can see that beneath him, under the ornate scroll, is an opening through which a person could fit. The flames in the braziers part and a knife appears at the bottom of the braiser. “Swear obedience to law. The Blood Oath.”
Thanks to Fortune, Sir Tobi knows that he is asking everyone here to voluntarily change alignment to Lawful (usually would incur a level loss, but won’t happen on this one). However, once you become lawful, should you stray from that path, bad things may happen such as loss of level. (barbarians cannot be lawful). Primary axis would change to Lawful. Chaotic Neutral would be changed to Lawful Neutral.
Mercy speaks: “I am a Cleric of Nayaless. I must follow my god’s tennats of neutrality.” Taiven, Bruuge, Holber and Sir Tobi make the vow. Tomb_2.jpg
Thayd says: “The sea is calm for no man. Let me bring law to where there is chaos.” Thayd will reach into the brazier to grab the knife and will sneak attack Paylis with the knife: this immediately changes Paylis alignment.
The giant says to Mercy: “Servant of neutrality you have acted with honor and compassion during this venture. I find you worthy.” To Tharg it states: “Creature of whatever you are. You have refused to take the oath you stand ejected. Leave this place now of your own accord or swear fealty to servant of law. Make your choice swiftly.”
To Tharg he states: “While you are in this place you must act lawful. Law is timeless, law is order, law is good.” Paylis gives a smartass answer. The black giant states, “I understand you’re new to this.” Regarding Tharg: “Only if all of you swear to pay the weight of his crime and be responsible for his actions will I allow him to continue. I want to make this very clear; should he choose he may leave right now unharmed.”

Unfortunately, several characters including chiefly Thayd are unable to swear on their own lives that Tharg does not act in a chaotic manner in this place (yes controlled rage includes this). So Baron Tharg cannot enter the dungeon further and returns via the leylines by the guidance of the Hound Archons.

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Session 006: Guardian of Law
Our heroes investigate the druid grove and meet unexpected guardians.
14th – 15th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 006:
Guardian of Law

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

_ (Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m)_

Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
 14 Freeday  (rest) Warm  (72) Moderate  (53) Thunderstorm  (2 hours) Strong  (W, 23 mph) - -
15 Starday  (work) Warm  (67) Moderate  (51) Thunderstorm  (full day) Strong  (W, 26 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Brugge Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Palis the Blue
Taiven Dradoma Tharg Thay’d Catiph Tobuscus

We begin in the middle of a corrupted druid grove. Arixidor’s body has been buried and respects given. Thayd and Brugge (half-orc) have already arrived via griffin. Magic radiates from the center of the clearing, from within a crop of trees and rough-worked stone. Thayd finds a pressure plate trap in front of the middle grove of the trees and stones that stand central in the clearing. While Thayd hold the trap down, the rest of the heroes come past into the center of the grove. He disables it by placing his pack on it, as blinking dogs appear out of thin air and bite chunks out of his flesh. He slays two of them and follows his comrades.

A dizzying wave comes over everyone, as everyone except Thayd appears in the midst of another druid circle that appears constructed much better with mithral. The spellcasters realize they appear in a different position: it feels as though both time and distance has passed. The half-orc tells everyone that there has been some type of interdimensional travel more potent than teleportation: “I think we just traveled through a lay-line.” These haven’t been used in tens of thousands of years, but recently they’ve been used more thanks to the death of Dolt God of Portals about 25 years ago. Runes adorn the mithral structure of this grove, in a language that no one recognizes. The mithral seems to be of the purest strain ever seen, mixed in with another mysterious blue metal. The mithral structure is 20 feet in radius, standing in a clearing of 60 feet radius. Trees surround the clearing. Based on the relative position to the sun, at least 2 hours have passed. Brugge discerns that manipulating the layline can be very dangerous because it can cause transportation to a very different time/place.

12 dogs appeared in front of the grove about 40 feet away. The dogs do not register as evil by the paladin and he announces this. One of the dogs in the middle steps forward steps forward to speak in Sylvan (a cousin tongue to elven): “Vile invaders your intrusion stops here. This is a sacred place and it is protected.” Translating through Palis Tharg says: “We’ve been send to find and rescue an elven druidess.” The dog says: “We have already suffered an attack upon us by one of your vile members (referring to Thayd). The Princess has entered the grove she will not likely return: we will not others to enter save one. No you cannot speak to her. You servant of law may pass but know that if you do you may never come out.”

“Greetings I am Astenosis. You are in the Ardi Forest, on the Continent of the Flaness. You are approximately 48 miles from where you once were. IT is an ancient place where no mortals should come. Even elves are best to avoid here. 2 of my pack are dead. You are not to tamper as you did in the prior grove. Things must remain as they are, undisturbed. There is no evil here: we have kept its presence at bay for time upon time so long that no one even knows. There is no evil here, there is only a shadow of what once was. The princess may never come back: the princess was very friendly to my packmates and they allowed passage to the grove where they should not have. You are a servant of law. I am only 17 years old however my pack has guarded these groves as far back as any of us can remember. This particular time of season a strange things always come about here (referring to dreams).”

Blinks dogs are ultra lawful, known as excellent guardians as good creatures. They bar our passage until SIr Tobi points out that these mortals may not be good but they do follow Baron Tharg, i.e. they follow their own strange laws.
“I will allow you to go. There will undoubtedly be dangers. DO not defile what you see. Act with honor and respect. And perhaps I will see you.” Turns out Thayd killed 2 parents of 17 pups. Thayd asks for his equipment pack: it is soaked in urine. “The only evil there comes with you. I urge you not to go.” But allows us to pass.
“The grove contains the same type of layline, however the magic is old. Perhaps it would behoove your group should somebody take a deeper look at it.” The third grove is even older than the second. Brugge thinks that we should all travel in the same timeline as the elven princess. He thinks we should wait here until the time comes along that is ideal to follow the princess.

The party rests near the blink dogs, recovers fully. More of the same visions come to the group. Meanwhile, Taiven copies the runes on the layline. After the party rests, we appears in front of a gate: a building made out of a bluish metal. On the front gate is the same type of glyph: ancient and magical: strong abjuration magic.

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We see tracks and blood, which is confirmed by Mercy to be elven blood: it is not fresh, but still slightly wet. The door has a indentation where a hand may be placed in. As Thayd opens the gate, a ray attacks him in the center of his chest. As Thayd steps in, the gate attempt to close so he jumps back out: we all see the ray illuminated him in faerie fire. The group gets ready to run across the threshold again as Baron Tharg pushes his hand against the door: only one force bolt hits him and the entire group makes it across as the door shuts behind them with a deafening thud.

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Sesssion 005: The Forest and The Druid
Strange visions disturb the caravan and a missing druid complicates the situation.
11th – 13th Day of Flocktime – CY 647
Session 005:
The Forest and The Druid

Location: Ardi ForestWorld Map
Map Tab Color: RedMap Tab Symbol: Two Crossed Swords

Weather:

_ (Low Summer, Plains, sunrise: 4:45 a.m, sunset: 7:10 p.m)_

Date Day Name High (°F) Low (°F) Precipitation (duration) Wind (from, speed) Luna Celene
 11 Godsday  (worship) Warm  (75) Moderate  (52) Thunderstorm  (4 hours) Severe  (S, 35 mph) 3/4 New
 12 Waterday  (work) Warm  (72) Moderate  (44) Clear Strong  (W, 21 mph) - -
 13 Earthday  (work) Warm  (73) Moderate  (46) Partly Cloudy Light  (NW, 5 mph) - -


Cast of Characters
Arixidor-Greenwood Holber Brom Mercy Elandrin Palis the Blue
Taiven Dradoma Tharg Thay’d Catiph Tobuscus

During the evenings routine many saw Thay’d, one of the main saviors from the previous evening, and the elven Prince Siradar enter into an intense conversation. They stepped away from the rest of the caravan seeming to enter into an almost meditative state, only intermittently and quietly the elven prince touching on points instruction. After a few hours of conversation Thay’d went to his sister and entourage. There he was seen having a short and terse exchange with his right hand. Turning he met the eyes of his sister, gave her a hug, tied a light pack to his saddlebags, leapt into the saddle, and left the caravan behind. Tharg and Palis later walked over to find out where he had gone from Thay’d’s sister; she only said he had gone to see the elven court and would be back in a few days.

Later that evening as the caravan slept many were roused in the middle of the night by vivid dreams of an ebony army doing battle with a hoard of disfigured demons. As the caravan started to wake several of the party saw visions of this same battle standing awake and in shock. It was the Druid princess that felt the pull the most, heading towards the reverent wood with haste. The ever vigilant Eric caught the movements of the princess as she made her way into the dark forest and calling out to her tried to give warning; asking her to hold and wait for the elven rangers to escort her. The princess persisted asking Eric if he hears the calling, saw the visions…saying “They beckon me. They beseech my presence. I must go now; come with me young Eric.”

Eric having the wit and wisdom to know when to seek help reached out and held the princess tight. Saying ”please trust me. Wait for your rangers. We will keep you safe in your communion.” Holding fast to her arm Eric heard a low guttural growl over his left shoulder. A cold chill came over his arm and the princess took the opportunity to break the grip and flee into the woods with her bear keeping close watch on the adventurer/protector. As the rest of the camp roused Tannis came up and spoke to the bear absentmindedly gripping the big beast’s fur. He turned to Eric telling him that the princess has the right to enter the forest to commune with the forest if she feels it’s pull and was not particularly alarmed.

Lord Tharg, Sir Joss and the rest of the caravan leadership came upon the seen. With the bear’s not-to-happy expression making it plain that none should chase after her friend Tannis Calmed the beast telling it that “We must be civil to the riffraff.” All was explained to the group and the non-elves were extremely nervous. Lord Tharg explained to Tannis his concerns for the well-being of the princess. “We were charged with her safe return to your people, but were told to expressly stay out of the forest. How are we to accomplish both of these things when she runs into what is effectively off limits.” Tannis chuckled, saying “ I see your quandary.” He offered his help in entering the forest to find the princess but could not be gone long because of his leadership duties. Tharg accepted his help and the party began to prepare to enter the forest.

As Tharg began to prepare himself many of the caravan felt abandoned. They saw their leader leaving to help a fare princess maiden, with little regard for their safety and well-being. Sir Joss the stalwart, Sir Joss the caravan’s protector, Sir Joss the brave and loyal champion of the people stood to take the reigns of power in the Baron’s absence. The ever present Sir Joss has already seen to the needs of the his people and will do his duty in caring for all how are under his charge. Rumblings have been heard throughout the caravan that the dragon man does not care for the little humans and it is only the protection of Sir Joss that prevents him from devouring any who cross his path. \

Tannis saw the party into the forest and soon picked up the elven princess’ trail . A single kinkedblade of grass gave the princess’ hurried steps away and the party was soon on her trail. Tannis found a the resting place and we set off in the direction he sent us, but even the great elven tracker Tannis of the elven wood stood no chance against a Druid in her own home. We soon lost the trail and for the majority of the day wondered lost. Tannis, already away from his charges to long, bade us farewell and went back to the caravan to assist with feeding the people. Lord Tharg to the lead and began tracking the princess with few results. As the sun hit early afternoon and the party hopelessly lost, we took a rest. Mercy explained to the group that she could take a look above the trees to see if she could find the princess. Lord Tharg wondered how she would be able to see through the thick “FOILAGE!!”, and she replied her senses allowed her to see through the vegetation. Everyone agreed, the best hope is finding the princess was to have Mercy take a look. She closed her eyes, spoke a few words under her breath, and as she opened her again a flash of translucence shot into the air. Looking around Mercy could not find the princess but she did find a Druid Circle (a likely place for Druidic communing) and mountains of mobile vegetation heading in the party’s direction.

Shambling Mounds
Baron Tharg attempted to circumnavigate the moving mountains of putrid compost but as we entered a slight clearing of trees three of the monstrosities attacked. Holber, Mercy,, and Eric were trounced at once. The mountains of vegetation had eyes and stomachs for elven blood. They attacked each of our elven friends with devastating efficiency. We were not to give up our friend so easily and Baron Tharg reached into his dragon soul releasing the fire given to him by his mother. With reckless abandon Tharg tore into the putrid shrub getting its attention.

The second of the shrub mountains saw its chance to taste sweat elven meat and locked its attention on Eric. As it attacked it connected with one of its large trunks battering Eric, but as it tried to rend Eric in two he went translucent and the blow past right through him. Sir Tobias, seeing his compatriot in dire straights leapt to Eric’s aid and cut the monstrosity in two with one great strike his sword.

The third mound of putridity sniffed out another of the half-elves and almost tore Holbar in two. Feeling the rotting vegetation surrounding him, Holbar reaches into his front pouch, produces a vial, drinks, and vanishes. The next the party sees of Holbar when he appears in a a flash of light as it is hurled towards the mound that attacked him. The mountain of rotting trees roars as it reaches for it’s eyes and reacts by slamming its tree trunk arms into the ground finding no purchase Toby seeing Eric is safe charges the mound and cuts in to the ground dead

Taiven spins, leaps and takes a tactical point behind the first mound, strikes with a knee crashing it into it’s side. The first pile of refuse knows that it must get through the dragon man to get to the elven flesh and so beats the shoulder of the Half dragon as it grabs and attempts to tear him in two. Taiven watched though as the monster clearly snapped Tharg shoulder it began to knit itself back together. Looking around to see who may have done that Taiven saw Mercy standing looking as though her shoulder was out of place. Seeing his advantage, Tharg rushed the pile of grass cutting it first from shoulder to midsection. Then repeatedly slamming the six-foot long blade into now unmoving mass like he was reaping wheat.

After the battle was finished Mercy and Sir Tobias generously gifted the party by leading all. The mounds began melting away and within were found a potion, a pair of boots and 400 gold nobles.

Satyr
As the party continued to wander lost in woods a clearing was spotted. Thinking it the clearing Mercy had found, the band made haste to see if they could find Princess Estinas. Instead as they entered the clearing music could be heard, superficial dancing shadows could be seen along the fringe of the clearing. In the first light of sun seen in hours they witnessed two nymphs enjoying each other’s company in the most adult way and a Satyr lifting his spirits with a tune from his Pan flute. As they entered Eric, Taiven, and Holbar found themselves enraptured by the scene. The Satyr friendly as can be, said “ Welcome friends!! Share my circle and all within! I haven’t seen people in such a long time. No one enters this forest and I am missing the company of intelligent beings.” He smiled and handed a bottle of what smelled to have been very strong alcohol to the group in general. Taiven walked into the circle, smiled, took a single large swig, and passed out.

Eric seeing the intertwined nymphs flooded at the Satyr; the Satyr looking between him and the nymphs, smiled, and said “Be my guest friend.” Eric slinked between the nymphs and began to feel the warmth of the nymphs dance. It soaked into his veins as he closed his eyes and began to keep time with the nymphs music. Sir Tobias shrugged “interesting elven custom.” and turned his attention to the Satyr feeling something afoot.

Sir Tobias stayed back taking in the scene with the contempt reserved for the weak. Holbar and Tharg both saw the goings on and smiled, reached for, what one could only assume, was a bottle of alcohol, and drank. Staggered the two faring better than the passed out Taiven and Toby suspected that the Satyr was not just the jolly free-loving forest icon known for stories. Suspicious of the openness, Toby asked “ Good Satyr have you seen a elf in these parts in the last day? We are in need to find the maiden and return to our friends.” The Satyr, irritated by the break in revery, said “Why should I answer such questions from a man that would not break break with me or share my drink? You can never trust anyone who does not partake.” “And you lass”, speaking to Mercy, “come join my nymphs as your friend has. Take that ugly armor off and come join the fun.” Mercy at once fought wind of the deceit. Her eyes narrowing she stepped back from the Satyr next to Toby.

At this point Toby, Tharg, and Mercy were weary of the Satyr’s act and were looking to get out with there pride intact. Tharg spoke up “I have partaken and my friend speaks true. We need to find the elf maiden and get back to our business. Please good sir, if you have seen her give us her direction and we’ll be on our way.” The satyr sighed resigning himself (for he was definitely a male) to the loss of his quarry. The elf maid went towards the Druid Circle that way, pointing to the north. Here’s a map that will take you there.” Reaching out he gave hugs to each of the party saying his farewells, as we were saying our farewells to a significant portion of our treasure. The only one of us who received services for the payment made was Eric. The party went on their way following the Satyr’s map until the party was lost again.

Trolls
Back on track the party saw the deep shadows falling across the forest floor and decided to stop for the night. Many in the party thought traveling by night would be a fools errand and decided to make camp. Taiven handed out hard tack to everyone to get something in their stomachs after a long day of being fleeced and beaten. Guard duty was set and everyone else went to sleep. Peculiarly, Taiven climbed the tree built a hammock and fell fast asleep with everyone else. Tharg heard a sound coming from the darkness and as he crouched he began to hear the sounds of giant. “I smell food stuff from over this way”. “Many different smells; yummy elfy smells, other smells too.” The green long nosed giants crept into view of the Dragonborn and his side kick. He shook Mercy awake saying “wake the others; trolls.” The trolls raced in to attack and were met with steel from Tharg’s massive blade. The trolls countered tearing a huge piece of flesh from Tharg’s chest. Mercy seeing the violence goes into action and in a loud voice reached into her well of magic and sealed the wounds inflicted by the troll.

Mercy’s battle cry awoke the rest of the party; Eric quickly assessing the situation tried to step back away from the nearest troll. But, the troll see his quarry beating a retreat slammed both of his giant hands into the elven archer, severing his arm, and dropping his lifeless body to the ground. Taiven looking down from his perch jumps to Eric’s aid, if a little late, and lands next to the giant meat eater giving two swift punches to the kidneys sending the troll back a step.

Holbar quickly rose from his sleep and stepped away from the fray readying a spell and as the green Goliath pursued Holbar sprayed a spell at his feet. The troll looked at what the Wizard pointing to and fell flat on his back. The wizard grinned and began preparations for the monsters demise.

Palis readied his bow and let loose an arrow straight at the first green meat eater. In position Tharg screamed into the monster’s face and released a torrent of steel in retribution for the fallen Eric. The Troll feeling the wet sticky green substance pouring from his wounds smiled and returned the favor sending Tharg reeling back towards Mercy. However, as Tharg stepped back into the fray his wounds had noticeably diminished from when the blows had been landed mere seconds before. Taiven, trying to distract the beast, dove into its back. The troll looked over its shoulder and smirked at the little man. But, before the monster could remove Taiven’s head from his body a blinding light hit each of the monsters causing them to reel in pain.

As the trolls attempted to look up, the first troll slammed an attack that went wild missing Taiven by a mile. Holbar smiled and said “They’re bind. Cut them into tiny bits but save some of the blood so I can bathe in the morning.” The pack knowing their advantage set to carving up the beasts with steel. Holbar know trolls for the regenerator monstrosities they are dumped acid all over their bodies to seal their wounds.

The rest of the night went rather peacefully.

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