Harvest of Deed

Cold Reunion
Sasaki confronts the Baron

I wake in the “Tea House” to the sound of Ylaana (needs link) playing her lyre with expert hands, her voice is strong for such a small frame. How she can be an expert in so many disciplines continues to amaze me.

Pieter is already at the breakfast table downstairs along with Furien (needs link) who is doing some exercises whilst hanging upside down from one of the roof rafters. Fortunately I can see Roshe (Needs link) the owner of the “Tea House” (needs link) sitting outside in meditation unaware that Furien is using his dining area as a training ground.

As we all sit for a cup of tea, cross legged on the wooden floor of the “Tea House” a small chrysalis hangs by a thread from a nearby wall. As I point it out to the others the sun catches it from the window next to us and a butterfly emerges and spreads its wings.

Upon the wings of the butterfly a small message in Elven is written: “I trust you are well rested. You will need status in order to enter the castle and gain an audience with the Baron.”

I knew that the Baron might want to kill me and possibly my friends on sight if were to turn up un-annocuned outside the main gate of the castle. We still didn;t understand the relationship between the Baron and the Raksha’s or what the deal with the Formorians could lead to. I though it best if we did some more scouting and information gathering before going to find the Baron.

Whilst the rest of the group mused on how we could collect some more infrmation on the going on in Kopekita I went outside to talk withe Roshe the InnKeeper.

He was sitting outside in the traditional meditative position overlooking a small stream flowing the gardens surrounding the Inn, he wore purple silk robes of the finest quality matching the quality of his rooms and hospitality.

Roshe said that although we were mercenaries we would not be allowed to carry weapons nearer the castle and certainly not allowed them inside the castle walls themselves. Also the citizens of Kopekita had little need for mercenaries as the city state was very peaceful.

Heading back inside the Tea House the group had different ideas on how we could gain access to the castle:

Ylaana thought we could disguise ourselves as visiting Eladrin royalty from the Feywild and the rest of us could be her retinue. Pieter’s idea was to turn up at the gates and ask to see the Baron. Furien was happy to fight his way in.

In the end we decided to disguise ourselves as Human guards so we could carry weapons and try and find Lord Prawel (needs link) and ask him about the Raksha deal with the Baron.

Ylaana casts a Seeming ritual and we head out from he “Tea House” towards the castle looking for Lord Prawel. We soon come across a patrol of Raksha’s disguised as humans and as we were passing them the leader of the patrol stopped and asked in Elven why we only had five members in our patrol. Their patrol was made up of six members and we only had five in ours. I reply and say that one of our patrol is missing and his name was Kalmin (needs link) and that we needed to report his missing status to Lord Prawel hoping that he would let us know where Lord Pawel was camped. Instead he asked me to report the missing member to “Lord Tanaki” in the West Camp over by the river.

We come across the river after a while of walking in the sunshine, its weird how this place reminds me so much of the Feywild. The river like everything else in Kopekita is very picturesque. A small wooden bridge leads over it from the path and we can see the sunlight reflecting off the back of fish as they swim downstream. Ylaana (needs link) has an idea and using one of her many rituals speaks with a fish to see if we can find out more about the situation with the guards. The fish knew about the soldiers nearby but couldn’t be specific about position or numbers. As Ylaana was bending down at the river to speak with the fish we saw a short green goblin like spirit lurking under the bridge watching the river flow past. We would have never spotted him if we hadn’t stopped. Ylaana said the fish call him “Grandfather Cappa”.

As I approached him he never moved his gaze from the river. His voice was elderly and carried tones that the Kopikitan citizens have in their voices. After I gave him a few gold pieces to help our conversation along he was quite forthcoming with information. Apparently the guards were camped just west of here although that wasn’t as concerning as the people who had been dumping latrines and dirty lamp oil into the river. He did mention that the river runs from a spring inside the castle walls which could be a potential way we could sneak into the castle.

On nearing the solider camp we can hear the sounds of music and singing emanating from a encampment of entertainers who had circled together. It looked fairly bizaree to see most of the entertainers out of costume and practicing. There were acrobats, bards, musicians, duelists and fire eaters some of them were very competent too. In terms of numbers around forty to fify were gathered in the camp.

I headed over to talk to one of the older of the troupe who was bust filling a pipe at the back of a caravan to ask him why they had all gathered here. He told me that once every couple of days someone from the castle comes down to view all of the entertainers and a troupe is chosen to perform in front of the Baron and will be handsomely rewarded for their skills. Perhaps this was another way we could gain access to the Baron.

Just past the entertainer encampment we could see an area where the Raksha’s who were still disguised as Humans were using as one of their bases of operations. A dozen tents lined up in military style alongside each other with one at the head where we could see standards flying outside. Amongst the tranquility and heavy Elven style of Kopekita they stuck out like a sore thumb. We kept formation as we headed towards the head tent. Arc (needs link) who could still use his telepathic helm to talk and reply messages between us spotted that a number of the solider who were presumably off duty were wearing small pendants and coloured bands over their upper arms. These were obviously some sort of unit insignia or marks of rank but no-one could tell what meant what. We caught a few stares as we marched up to the head tent.

On getting closer to the command tent we could all hear the sound of loud snoring coming from inside. Outside of the tent were two soldiers on guard but they didn’t look like they cared if anyone approached. After a short conversation about why were at the tent the guards decided to wake “Lord Tanaki” so we could tell him about our missing member.

The inside of the command tent was mostly taken up with the gluttenous form of Lord Tanaki who wasn’t disguised as a human but instead sat there in his full Raksha ensemble. Gold rings festooned each finger of his paws and his clothes were made of the finest silk. He was certainly a large fellow with the chair he was sat creaking under the weight of his massive bulk. As he woke up his first reflex was to reach for some sweetbreads sitting in a bowl of oil next to his char.

I took the lead in talking to Tanaki and tried to get him to reveal what the purpose of them being here was. Tanaki was more interested in the meeting between Lord Prawel and Kalmin in the underground tunnel siting him as a dissident. At this point I was confused as to whether Lord Prawel was in fact our enemy or someone trying to look out for his people. Either way I had tipped off Tanaki to Prawels potential betrayal and he wasn’t happy about it. Tanaki gave us orders to spy on Lord Prawels movement’s for him and to report back any more suspicious activity which we agreed to do as long as we got given papers to allow us entry and exit from the camps without question. Tanaki handed over small badges of which we all took one, these would stop us from being interrupted by other Raksha patrols. When I asked a question about overhearing Kalin talking about the “Pain Vault”, Tanaki said that when the time comes all of the Commanders will use their keys to open it. Ylaana reminded us that we took a bunch of keys from Kalmin’s body and that perhaps they were either copies of all of the keys or that they had already been stolen for some purpose.

We left the command tent none the wiser about Lord Prawel, the purpose of the Raksha’s in Kopekita or how to gain entry into the castle.

Time was getting on and day was turning to night. We all discussed how we could get into the castle undetected and we all decided that it would be best if we used the river to enter the castle through the underground well. Ylaana could use a ritual to allow to breathe and swim underwater and we could then once inside the castle disguise ourselves as entertainer or guards.

We waited until the moon was high in the sky before we slipped into the river and swam underwater upstream towards the castle. It was easy to avoid being detected and the metal grate covering the river mouth into the castle was easily bent to allow us to pass. After swimming through some tunnels we eventually found ourselves at the bottom of a large well with a rope hanging down and sounds of talking from above. The top of the well was covered by a heavy wooden door and only a small hole for a bucket and rope allowed us to see through it. Ylaana again used one of her rituals to levitate us all to the top of the well where we waited until the voices in the kitchen went quiet.

After the voices of the maids and cooks went quiet we lifted the wooden hatch at the top of the well and peeked out. At the end of the kitchen we found ourselves in we could see a very old Eladrin woman sewing and humming to herself whilst rocking in a old wooden chair. She didn’t notice us as we slipped by into an adjacent room.

Ylaana casted another “Seeming” ritual and we then disguised ourselves as palace guards in full plate. Thinking that these guards would have more authority than the Raksha Human guards once we were inside the castle walls. After the ritual was complete we headed out of the kictchen area to find out where the Baron was sleeping.

The castle was split into two parts, the outside was roughly square shaped but had a large courtyard area in the middle where an inner taller keep was built. All of the interior of the castle looked like the decor at the tea house. Wooden panels and paper doors made it easy to move around but anyone with the light could see through the walls and see shadows moving the other side. On top of that the floor were all made of sprung wood and squeaked and groaned quietly as we stepped over them. As we found an exit to the central courtyard area which accessed the inner Keep we saw more guards than I would have dreamed. The courtyard was flanked silently by around twenty guards not to mention the archers poised in position on the outside walls with excellent field of fire to anyone running towards the keep. We had our disguise intact but one mistake and we would surely be outnumbered and in a lot of trouble.

Ylaana (needs link) used her cunning and persuasive skills to get access to the Keep past the courtyard guards. Inside the keep the quality of the craftsmanship which had gone into the construction of this building was astonishing. There were gold statues, works of art on the walls and even the air had an aroma of spring time flowers. We ascended the keep passing more guards and people asleep in adjoining room until we reach the top of the keep where the Baron had his personal quarters. Outside his chamber were four guards which we relieved by virtue of Ylaana’s bluffing ability.

On entering the Baron’s personal quarters we found a large room with many adjoining doors. The door straight ahead was open and I could see a larger bedroom inside. I moved away from Ylaana enough for the seeming ritual to drop so my true self could be seen as I quietly paced across the bedroom floor looking for the Baron. I wanted to kill him on sight but I couldn’t unless I was totally sure the woman I had loved was in fact dead and not alive as the old Warden had told me.

The others searched an adjoining room which was being used as a war room by the Baron. Maps of Kopekita, Arden and Mauretainia were on the table alongside a pile of letters one of which caught Ylaana’s (needs link) eye. It was a letter from the Lady of Pain addressed to the Baron giving him orders to carry out the pre-arranged plan to “lock the gates”.

The bed was empty but the sheets had been pulled back, silhouetted against the floor where I was standing I could see a figure of a man. He was standing at the bedroom balcony in a meditative trance facing towards the low moon. At this point I knew there was no point in subterfuge or stealth and walked calmly out onto the balcony and stood next to the man I wanted so badly to kill.

I addressed the Baron with a semi-respectful tone, my place in Eladrin society had long since been and gone and I owed him no fealty. I asked him outright about my love and he told me that someone took pity on her and resurrected her after her death. She was probably still with them someplace in the Feywild. Another reason to get the gates unlocked and to get off this plane. He told me he was working with the Lady of Pain and had locked the gates on her orders. He was also not going to tell us how to unlock them unless we did something for him. Apparently the Formorians he was dealing with in the Feywild have an artifact that he needs for some reason and he would be willing to allow only us to leave the plane after we have retrieved the artifact for him. Between a rock and a hard place we had no other choice but to agree.

At that moment the lights in the bedroom and antechamber lit up and a tall wizardly looking figure appeared standing at the door to the bedroom. The Baron addressed him as ??? and would allow us to sleep in the keep until tomorrow morning when we would set out for the Feywild and retrieve the artifact. The wizard lead us into another room which was circular in design with a bench that circled the room, in the middle was a giant hourglass filled with sand. You could feel the magical energy radiating from it. Ylaana (needs link) confirmed it was an artifact of some kind but had no idea on what it was exactly. As we were watching the sand trickle from the top to the bottom Arc saw something inside the glass itself buried in the sand. We all went round to look and slowly as the sand fell from top of bottom it revealed the face of Sarranni my lost love. The Baron had resurrected her and placed her inside this artifact, the sand was keeping her alive but when the sand is gone then the magic keeping here alive would no longer function and she would die.

Ylaana confirmed that there was nothing that we could do to free her from the hourglass and that there must be a ritual to unlock it. The Baron had won again and I could see the look in his face that he was enjoying every last second of pain I was suffering.

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Dark Places
The tunnel to Kopekita

Written from the perspective of Sasaki.

After the dragon Urishtar (needs link) fell to the ground its body started to fade away like a shadow in the sun. As the last of it’s body dissipated into shadowy smoke it left behind a piece of the Dragon Heart (needs link). This piece looked different from the metallic shards we had collected before, it was made from glass and had trapped smoke writhing around inside of it.

After inspecting it and the half of the completed heart we have Ylanna (needs link) felt that this peice did not belong with the half we already have. Arc thought that it may be part of another “dark” heart, which was a frightening possibility.

As we entered the underground tunnel which would lead us under the perimeter wall of Kopekita (needs link) Ylaana could sense that this place buzzed with residual magic from a very powerful ritual. Perhaps she thought it could of been used in part of the planear lock down ritual the Baron had used. A stone staircase hewn into the rock led us into darkness.

Furien (needs link) scouted ahead of the rest of us and quickly disappeared into the darkness of the tunnel. He appeared a few moments later after spotting two Raksha’s (sp) talking up ahead in a language he did not understand next to two lit braziers. Ylaana (needs link) shape shifted into a cat and pawed forward to listen into the conversation.

The conversation between the two Raksha’s was about their alliance with the Baron and that they did not entirly trust his motives. Apparently the Baron also has an alliance with the Formorians in the Feywild and as such they were scouting the tunnel as a potential escape route for their forces should the agreement they have with the Baron deteriorate. Before they left one of the them looking at the brazier said: “… there are things that should not be. Leave a guard here for the time being”.

Ylaana (needs link) moved closer to the two braziers flanking the tunnel after the two men leave and uses her arcanne senses to detect the familiar magic of the Far Realm (needs link) inside both braziers. After some short consideration we realise the braziers are probably trapped, possibly a trap with grapples or restrains it’s victims.

As we move forward to disarm the traps we can see three guards approaching from the other end of the tunnel coming towards the braziers, leaving the trap between us and the enemy. There were three Raksha warriors in scale armour wielding longsword and shields and another wearing fine chain and robes wielding two scimitars.

We have no chance but to advance on the enemy.

Arc moves forward to engage the four enemies the corridor is only 20foot wide so it was to our advantage if Arc could engage them first. Before Arc could get next to the lead warrior a black tendril emerges from the brazier he was nearest and wraps itself around him causing some damage. He tries to esacpe from the hold but the trap has him held too tight.

Furien charges forward and “Twin Strikes” the second warrior getting two decent strikes in.

The second brazier not restraining Arc lashes out and also grapples him.

Ylaana advances towards one of the braziers hoping to disarm the trap. After a short analysis of the trap we need to use fire or strength to overcome it. Ylaana then tries to cast a “Staggering Note” against the Raksha nearest Furien but misses.

Kalmin (the Raksha in chain wielding two scimitars) advances swinging both swords with some skill against Furien. As he is grabbed by the trap he cannot move out of the way and Kalmin scores two good hits on my friend dazing and bloodying him immediately. After plunging his swords into Furien he looks back down the tunnel from where they came and shouts: “Protectors, join us!”.

Peiter advances 20feet and casts “Remorse” on Klamin and the warrior next to Furien, dazing both with his holy power and healing Furien at the same time.

The first warrior advances to Arc’s position and swings his sword but Arc is too quick and blocks the blow with his shield.

I seize my chance and charge at full speed into the warrior engaged with Arc using a “Howling Strike” to draw first blood against him.

Arc kicks off a “Venting Breach” and strikes the adjacent warrior, his lightening hammer and thunderous powers grounds out in the tunnel striking the other two enemies in the same strike. He then uses this opening to slide into a more advantageous position where we can all reach them and after they are grouped together he teleports into the middle of them marking all three and evading the traps grapple. After all this the second warrior myself and Arc had just hit was blooded.

Furien “Twin Stike’s” the warrior he has been fighting getting a solid hit then a critical strike to the warriors chest. This fells the warrior instantly. Furien shakes off the dazing effect of Kalmin’s strike and looks for his next target.

The trap that was grabbing Arc until he teleported away lashed out at me and before I can move wraps me in a grapple doing some damage in the process.

From further down the tunnel come three Abyssal Zealots, skin flayed to the bone and chains lashed to their faces to assist Kalmin and his remaining warrior. Two engage Arc and the other against Furien.

Kalmin and two of the Zealots attack Arc but his sturdy defenses are too much for all them. The one facing Furien manages to find and opening in his defence and scores a critical hit. Furien is bloodied again and ready to drop.

Ylaana casts a “Scorching Burst” against one of the traps. A second attack will surely disable it.

One of the two remaining Raksha warrior attacks Arc and misses.

Pieter uses a “Healing Word” on Furien bringing him out of bloodied and follows up with a “Sever the Source” on Kalmin giving him a considerable vulnerability to our attacks.

Another of the warriors swings at Arc but he easily parries the blow with his hammer.

I escape from the grapple knowing I can still charge afterwards and launch a “Howling Strike” into the warrior attacking Arc. As he was already bloodied I down him easily. Siezing the opportunity to strike again I “Swift Charge” into the Zealot attacking Furien with “Howling Strike” scoring a critical hit and follow up with a Rampage strike. Even facing two mighty attacks the Zealot was still standing thanks to some magic effect on his armour. They have two runes marked on their breastplates which they can use to absorb damage.

Arc misses Kalin with a swing from his hammer but the lightening it arc’s from the hammers head grounds out into Kalin and all enemies adjacent to him. The zealots use their runes to negate the damage from Arc’s lightening.

Furien lets out an “Untamed Outburst” against the zealot he is engaged with. After landing a good strike the zealot is bloodied and dazed. Furien breaks free of the trap disabling it in the process.

The zealot I am fighting attacks furiously knocking me into bloodied but I ripsote with “Curtain of Stell”.

The other two zealots attack Arc and only gets a minor blow in.

Ylaana moves into the middle of the melee between us and the enemies at some risk to herself, shape-shifts into a bear and casts “Swarming Locusts” hitting Kalin and two of the zealots.

Kalin strikes twice at Arc missing both times. Arc’s defenses are just too much for him. He then decides to retreat from the fight bu Arc catches him with a opportunity attack and drives him back into the middle of us ensuring he cannot escape.

Pieter casts “Denunciation” on Kalin which dazes him. A “Healing Word” for myself and I am no longer in danger of falling.

I turn on Kalin who is now dazed and take him down with the “Howling Strike”. As he dies his last words are “Let it be know I gave my life for Lord Prawel”.

Arc uses his “Thunder Ram Assault” to attack the two zealots he is left fighting. He defty strikes the first one with the initial attack and the follow up blast catches both of them.

Furien uses an “Off hand Diversion” against the zealot I am fighting killing him. The then moves to flank another and hits with a “Twin Strike”.

The two remaining zealots attack Arc and Furien. The first misses Arc and the second tried to hit Furien but Arc redirects the attack onto himself taking the damage Furien would have suffered.

Ylaana casts “Staggering Note” against the bloodied zealot and hits allowing Furien a chance to get a critical strike.

Peiter casts “Sacred Flame” against the unbloodied zealot for minor damage granting Arc some extra energy.

I charge the bloodied zealot taking him down.

We all turn on the last zealot and quickly dispatch him.

After checking the bodies we find 10K gp in jewellery on the Raksha’s and on Kalin a set of prism shaped keys made from a metal exuding necrotic engergy. Ylaana thinks the keys might open a “Pain Vault”.

We continue down the tunnel until we can see beams of light cutting across the tunnel exit, a cool breeze and the scent of fresh flowers reminds me of the FeyWild.

The tunnel exists through a set of hidden bushes as we find ourselves in Kopekita. In the distance we can see the main castle behind the tops of the trees.

Ylaana uses a “Seeming” ritual to disguise the party as Eladrin peasants and then her Loadstone of the Plains to detect any planear portals nearby. The stone points towards the castle as we head out.

As we travel towards the castle we pass some local residents tending the trees, flowers and glades and nothing seems amiss to them at least. Later as we are walking down a rough path between the trees we come across a small pond with a surface like a mirror. An elderly Eladrin man sits at its edge meditating. Although he is old he skin is the texture of bark and he sways and creaks like an old tree, Arc thinks he might be a Warden.

Ylaana greets him as we walk past and he introduces himself in a heavily accented voice as “Migami”. He remarks how smelly Dwarves are almost immediately. He has seen through Ylaana’s illusion with ease, although he has not yet alerted the guards.

Arc asks him about the Raksha’s in Kopekita to which he answers: “Dark forces are moving in our city”.

Ylaana ask for his help and he asks what we are doing here. Looking him in the eye I say that we are here to “open the gates”.

Arc asks if he can help us gain entrance to the castle and Migami tell us the guards change over at dawn and dusk. Also the Raksha’s do not favour the dark as much as the daylight hours. Although the guards are not our only problem in entering the castle. It is protected by unseen spirits of the land which would alert the Baron and guards to our presence. He draws water from the pool with his hands turning it into something akin to a rope but made of luminous liquid. He wraps this water around our necks and it absorbs into our skin. Almost immediately all of us start to see small spirits and creatures that were not visible to us before.

I ask him about my personal issue with the Baron to which he ask me to come closer and learn a secret. As he moves closer to my ear he whispers: “The Princess is alive, this is something known only to the Baron and myself.”. I almost break down in tears at this point not knowing if he words are truth or fiction. I can’t allow myself to get unfocused at this point as my friends are counting on me.

After our battles with the Urishtar and the Raksha’s in the tunnel we decide it would be best to rest fully before entering the castle. We seek refuge in a tea house nearby and contemplate our next move.

Whilst we are resting Ylaana uses her arcane skills and a few rituals to learn that the head of the guard knows one of his men is missing (perhaps Kalin). She also can feel more of the magic energy which powered the Baron’s planear ritual discerning that the Baron must have used powerful artefact’s to power the ritual and that his personal power and skill is quite considerable. Perhaps even more than her own.

As we settle down to rest I allow myself to wonder if she really is alive….

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Journey to Kopekita
Dragons are not always your friends

Players present: DC, MP, AK, JM

Written from the perspective of Sasaki.

We sat in the Great Hall deep in the tree which houses the Guild of Life (needs link) at the head table. As adventurers of note we were moving up in the world. Alongside us at the head table when Chem (needs link) who I had once met before a long, long time ago. During that time his youthful exuberance had made way for the weight of heavy responsibility and the war with the Gnolls to the south had taken its toll on his body.In particular his right side was hunched in a awkward position as if his back had taken a heavy hammer blow and his bones had not set quite right. We spoke about Kopekita and what we could do once we arrived, in my mind the path was clear the Baron had to stopped and the planear lock removed.

After saying our goodbyes Ylaana (needs link) with Arc’s (needs link) assistance summoned using a ritual a flock of large spectral eagles which we could use to ride West to the City State of Kopekita (needs link). With the help of the eagles we could probably make it in two days.

Whilst we were flying high over Arden (needs link) we coudl see the web like structure of the Gloomweb (needs link) and the territory that the Drow had taken from the Ardenites. After half a days flight we needed to land to re-cast the ritual and finish our journey.

We had Kopekita (needs link) in sight on day two of our flight when Ylaana (needs link) noticed that we were being shadowed from above by a very large shadow dragon. Not knowing it’s intent we decided to land to talk with it having heard that the dragon in Kopekita were more intelligent than elsewhere and would talk with other creatures.

We landed in a clearing below and readied ourselves in-case the dragon attacked. The dragon had disappeared from the sky and had formed itself out of the shows of trees and bushes at the edge of the clearing. It was larger on the ground that it seemed in the sky. A low voices rumbled in our mind and in draconic it spoke:

“My name is Urishar (needs link). I am the Guardian of the Walled City. The gates are locked and no-one may enter”

Ylaana (needs link) who could speak draconic spoke to Urishtar (needs link) and found out that the Baron had closed the borders and no-one was allowed entry without his express permission. We could pertition the Baron by sending a message from any of the gate in the great wall which protects Kopekita from outsiders. We agreed that we would not try and enter the city without permission and Urishtar (needs link) flew into the distance.

We decided that it was probably best that we didn’t try to enter the city using the Eagles without first checking out the Gates and seeing if we could perhaps bluff our way past.

A short flight later and we land just outside the Great Wall . The wall itself is very high but not as high as the wall of Fortress (needs link) we can see guards patrolling behind the crenalations and some more at the gate house ahead of us.

Ylaana (needs link) decided to sneak closer to the gate house and used a ritual to gain knowledge about any rumors or happenings inside the City State. Here is what she learnt.

-The Baron has recently acquired 100’s of troops which he has called “The Warriors” who are being used for some unkown purpose.

-There has recently been talk of a secret passage which leads underneath the Great Wall which people have used to bypass the guards.

Ylaana (needs link) then noticed that the three guards at the gate house looked strange. For one they were Human and not Eladrin and they were holding themselves in a strange way. Their body language was almost animal like. Ylanna (needs link) used her considerable arcane power to determine that they were in fact Rakasha’s (sp) using an illusionsary disguise. Rakasha’s are notoriously evil and use subterfuge and cunning to infiltrate a city or town and gain control of it.Were these the “Warriors” that the Baron is using? What were they doing here? It certainly prompted a lot of questions. Ylaana (needs link) thought it would be best to ask Urishtar (needs link) if he knew about the Rakasha’s and if he didn’t he might allow us access to the city to investigate.

Ylaana (needs link) used her spectral eagle to fly up to the wall away from the nearest guard tower and lure out Urishtar (needs link) it seemed he had been following us as as soon as Ylaana approach the wall he revealed himself. It turned out that he did know about the Rakasha’s but he was loyal the Baron and would not let us enter Kopekita.

Wanting to avoid an fight wit the gate guards and the dragon we decided the best course of action was to find the underground tunnel Ylaana had learned out. We all split up and used tracking, animal speech rituals and nature knowledge to find out where the tunnel enterance might be. Eventually a fox told us the enterance was by the bridge over a nearby river to the North. We travelled in the forest keeping us conceled from the wall guard until we came across the river and the enterance to the tunnel.

As soon as we had the tunnel in sight we heard the same low voice in our minds:

“The gates are locked and no-one may enter. I am the army of three and you will die!”

Urishtar (needs link) revealed himself across the river. In his full form he was a 40 foot high dragon made of smoke and shadow. We could feel his necrotic presence from where we were standing. The ground shook and at once three smaller shadow dragons crawled their way out of the ground. We readied our weapons as they attacked.

The fight was long but with the help of Furieon (needs link) and his sword expertise we managed to slay Urishtar (needs link) which made the remaining single smaller shadow dragon disappear.
He gave us a final warning as he dissipated into column of smoke.

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A new day dawns
Defeat of Strahd leads to a new discovery

Written by Sasaki (needs link)

After defeating Strahd (needs link) the dimensional adjunct which had combined the city of Kingsfall (needs link) and the realm of Ravenloft together separated, allowing us to take stock of the damage that has been caused by Jacob (needs link).

As saviours of the city we were given the run of the castle and since Molfred (needs link) and his two remaining sons could not be found we took it upon ourselves to organise matters.

Yallana (sp needs link) used many rituals to send messages to the Guilds (needs link) to understand how they were faring. I sent scouts out to the border of Arden (needs link) to check that the Drow had not taken advantage of the recent problems to start something.

After a days communication with the guilds and the border towns the situation was as follows:

Primal Guild

Having been denied aid by the King as the creatures of the Savage Lands (needs link) were attacking from the South they were in trouble. In addition to fighting fierce battles to the South a number of their Soothsayers had fallen into madness, uttering the same phrase over and over again. Astralsalia (sp needs link) had appeared suddenly out of season and destroyed part of the forest as it erupted through the ground.

Guild of War

After their main base of operations Fortress (needs link) had fallen to the constructs of Hecaton (sp needs link) most of the able fighters had been killed. The fortress itself needed heavy repairs and the second in command ???? (needs link) had assumed control for the time being. Although no-one trusts him.

Divine Guild

During the war with the Durnsteppe (needs link) Dwarves the Divine guild had been kept bust with healing and fighting their resources were depleted but most of their guild members were alive.

Guild of Art h6.

They were busy with their own war with the denziens of the Far Realm which had been finding increased methods to enter our realm. Again they had depleted their resources but at least are functioning.

Border Towns

World from the border towns indicates that there is no build of of troops from Arden and that most of the Drow were concentrated around the Gloomweb (needs link).

Late in the day we were interrupted by a page who had news of the location of the King. A servant had seen him entering a secret room lower down in the castle. The room was familiar to us as the teleportation room we had used before.

When we arrived at the room the walls and ceiling had collapsed and there were burn marks on the stones. It looked like the ritual had gone badly wrong and arcane energies had caused an explosion. Although we found no blood at the scene so we can only assume that the King had gone somewhere and the ritual had exploded after.

Yallana used a ritual to sense images of the last people to use the room and we found out that King Molfed and Sebastian (need links) had used the portal room to travel to the Demonweb Pits. Why they would do such a thing was a mystery.

After talking with ? (needs name and link) the highest ranking officer left alive in the castle it was decided that he would caretake the kingdom until the King returned. We gave him a sending stone so he could contact us if he needed our help and details of the Guilds (needs link) should he need to use them.

We agreed that our best course of action would be to travel to Sigil to find out our link with the Lady of Pain and catchup with our work on gathering the last of the primordial essences we needed to active the Gate. With the Gate completed we could travel easier and help those in need quicker.

Our port key to Sigil worked on a old tavern door in the centre of Kingsfall (needs link) but when Yallana came to use it she noticed that the energies were not right and using the key might cause harm to her and those nearby. In a feat of arcane control she diverted the excess energy and avoided a large explosion. After some further research we established that a being with great power had locked this material plane and no-one could planeshift, teleport, port key or otherwise to Sigil or any other realm. Even I could not Fey Step…

This discovery had us all wondering who would do such a thing and where we could go to find out further information. Upon further investigation by Yalaana (needs link) she foudn that with much effort she could open a stable portal on this plane, which meant we could portal to Fortress to check on the Guild of War (needs link). After heading to Fortress (needs link) we could travel by sea to Scarport (needs link) where an old Harbourmaster who had been adventuring with Molfred (needs link) before might be able to tell us why he would travel to the Demonweb Pits. Following that we could head East to the Great Tree (needs link) and check on the Guild of Life (needs link).

After porting to Fortress (needs link) we took stock of the situation which although not great the remaining members of the guild were gathering their forces and trying to get back to strength.

We decided to use a ritual to travel by flight to Scarport as it is faster and time seemed important. Yalaana (needs link) provided the ritual and before long we were flying towards our destination.

Upon arrival at the port we were greeted by some Goblins who invited us to their opera house that night. We wasted no time in heading to the harbourmaster’s building whi might have some answers for us.

We talked with ? (needs link) who seemed in good spirits and in a relationship with Mayoress ?? which Yalaana (needs link) said he was courting last time she was here. After asking about Molfred (needs link) we found out that a long time ago the king was sure that his lost love ? (needs link) was trapped in the Demonweb Pits and he had tried to go there before. Certainly an interesting turn of events.

???? said that the city also had another problem we might be able to help with. Certain fortune tellers and other mystics had been losing their minds repeating the phrase “The gates are closed” over and over again. Peiter (needs link) used his extensive medical skills to assist at the city infirmary but most of patients were beyond his help.

Whilst we were looking around the infirmary we heard a scream from outside. In a nearby alleyway an Eladrin woman had eviscerated herself using a kitchen knife and used her own blood to write (in Elven) on the wall next to her:

Put poem in here

After reading the words what was left of my heart felt numb. I had never told the others about my past, I didn’t feel it was any of their business and it happened long before they were born. After our last few fights I had removed my headband my remaining symbol of the Winter Court and was ready to push on towards what remained of my fate. This woman had changed all of that.

At first I said nothing about the poem and kept quiet whilst the others tried to figure out its meaning. Then Pieter and Yalanna both picked up that I was uncomfortable and we left for the Great Tree after thanking the harbour master for his help.

We stopped en route to the Guild of Life (needs link) to talk about the poem and its meaning on some rocks at sunset. I explained my past transgressions and we all agreed the message was about me. After some food we headed on to the Great Tree (needs link).

What greeted us at the tree was a scene of chaos. The injured were strewn everywhere, lying in corridors and on any free piece of space available, guild members patrolled the passageways and everyone was ready for battle. The same thing which happened in Scarport had happened here. Almost overnight all the guild’s soothsayers and mystics had been struck down with madness, too far gone fore even magic to bring them back to health. After speaking with the guild leaders they were at a loss as to what was causing it and the return of Astrazalia (sp needs link) months before it should of appeared. We decided that going to the city to speak with the Eladrin was probably the only way to find out more information although I was not looking forward to it at all.

We managed to gain an audience with Maldran (needs link) who was not very welcoming for me and took several opportunities to make remarks about my historical conduct and honour. He did give us final piece of information we were looking for however when he said that a decree from Baron Keysmaer of House Carthartis (needs link) had locked this plane from all others. The decree read:

put decree in here

After this we had no choice but to journey to Copekti (needs link) and face the Baron, and my past.

As Sasaki and Arc were both members of the Guild of Life (needs link) we both agreed we should

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Behind The Curtain - Session 04-09-2009

My opening attack using Avenging Flame missed as the mass of tentacles split apart to avoid my blow. Snorry engaged it a moment later, he shifted his stance and used his shield and axe to pin the creature to the spot. I moved to a flanking position drawing an attack from the monsters as I did when it lashed out with one of its tentacles striking me about the body. As it touched me I could feel it pass straight through my armour and my very flesh, in that same instant a distant memory resurfaced in my mind and this creature had tainted it with its presence. With myself and Snorry flanking the creature, Ylaana and Rackir stood off at the edge of the cube and hit it with everything they had. Ylaana’s attacks seemed to be more effective than our as most of our strikes seemed to pass through the creature as it it were insubstantial. Whatever thoughts this creature had put into my mind were affecting the swing of my sword and I rarely connected with the creature even whilst flanking it. When I missed with a strike my mind wandered and got confused and afterwards Ylaana told me I moved over to her and Rackir and were trying to strike them instead of the creature. In spite of all the mind tricks this creature was playing Snorry and Ylaana were relentless in their assault and becuase the creature could not move from its position in front on Snorry we managed to bring it to its knees and destroy it. Although once we had it bloodied it became more dangerous and I stood away from the creature using my healing abilities to keep Snorry up. When it finally died the creature vanished into nothingness, we could see nothing outside of the glass walls of our transport cube and the mystical symbols adorning the floor which had once been alive with energy were laid dormant. Somewhere in the abyss between worlds, dimensions we were adrift.

Snorry and I took the chance to catch our breath and split some water and rations between us whilst Ylaana busied herself with examining the symbols on the floor and consulting some books she had in her pack. A short while later Ylaana had figured out that the energy which was powering the transport cube through these runes had been expended and that she needed to recharge them with some of her own energy. She could perform a ritual to re-imbue the symbols with power but it would take a little while. Although I was accomplished in ritual magic some of the arcane practices are beyond even my understanding.

Ylaana performed the ritual with excellent precision and the symbols began to glow with energy once more. The room we could feel began to spin and we could now see images and shapes in the distance. Myself and Snorry shared a look between us that we both did not want to travel in this manner again if we could possibly avoid it. We knew we needed to head to Arden but we would have to find other means to get there quickly.

As the cube span the and the images of different places began to come into focus in the distance we all noticed a place which seemed at odds with the rest of the images of towns, cities, forests and plains. It was a grey place that looked like it was distorted as if seen through the edge of a glass. It’s streets curved up and over themselves and the sky and the ground were almost as one. Ylaana likened the place to something wrapped on the inside of a piece of twisted ribbon. Then all of a sudden the room snapped into focus and what once was flashing images of forests and cities was replaced with the cold stone of the original room we had first entered. We hoped that our journey was successful and we had arrived at the Tower of Art.

The wall moved and a stone door swung open to reveal a young boy who could not have been older that 12 years. He was human, short and his hair was cut in the fashion I had only seem in remote monasteries, shaved bald on top with a circle of hair around it. He was wearing the uniform of the Tower of Art although his robes as Ylaana pointed out during our walk had been borrowed from the school as he possibly didn’t have enough money to provide his own. He introduced himself as Tellis. After shaking hands and greeting him he said that he had been sent by his master Bellafon (who had previously sent us an animal messenger to inform us about the “Lord of Ruin” whilst adventuring in the Savage Lands). He was to take us to Bellafon immediately.

As we walked with Tellis, Ylaana asked him about his arcane schooling and how he came to be an apprentice to Bellafon. It turned out that Tellis was not much of a Wizard and who had not mastered the relatively easy 1st level spell of magic missile. I think Ylaana took pity on the poor boy and tried to give him some advice and words of encouragement. It was my first time visiting the Tower of Art and those who built certainly had a flair for grand architecure and unique design. The walls themselves were made from a dark stained wood with brass fittings for candles and lanterns, the floor was made from stone carvings of interlocking dragons of various colours but no two the same colour seemed to touch. Everywhere you looked there was something interesting, unique or colourful. As we headed down the main corridor Ylaana said we would entering the main area of the Tower called “The Plain”. I could see why they called it that as the corridor ended and opened out into a huge grassy field perhaps a mile or longer wide. There were small hills and ponds, butterflies flew all around and sunlight seemed to be pouring in from the ceiling although I couldn’t see it. The air smelt fresh and alive and the grass was green and lush, I could see other members of the Guild of Art walking around all dressed in robes with books and tomes busily going about their business. At one side of the plain a mammoth wooden staircase rises from the ground, suspended in mid air without a support to hold it or a bannister to stop you from falling. I could see people climbing up the stairs both up and down. At various points on the staircase single doors had been placed without walls to support them or rooms to lead into. They to seemed to be stuck by presumably some arcane magics. The staircase wound its way up the inside of the tower in a spiral pattern until I couldn’t see it any more, I wouldn’t of liked to take a class in one of the rooms at the top I thought to myself.

On the way up the stairs Ylaana and Tellis are still talking about arance business when he mentions that he has seen Ylaana’s picture hung on one of the walls from our win at the Gauntlet that brought us together, Snorry is finding the whole floating staircase idea a little daunting and all together too magical as he shakes the faceplate down on his amour with a gruff “humpf!”. We arrive outside a blue door just standing at one the landings on the staircase. There is nothing behind it or to the sides, a small brass plaque on the front says “Master Bellafon”, we had arrived. We thank Tellis for guiding us to Bellafon and I bless him with Bahamut’s prayer for good fortune and success in his learning.

Tellis opens the door which leads into a oddly shaped tall room made from red brick, it has one single tall window at the rear which looks out over some clouds. Books are stacked almost floor to ceiling and strange implements and oddities lye on the floor as if discarded by a child who has finished playing and become bored with them. Though the stacks of books and strange objects we can hear loud snoring, as we pace closer we can see large padded chair, small table with books placed upon it. Even the chair and table seemed to have been grown from tree roots and almost look alive as we approach. Above the small table a number of books are orbiting three feet from the ground, like birds moving in flight they spin and glide held in the air by more magical energies. Bellafon himself is an elderly human male of unkempt and unshaven appearance. A crooked, worn hat sits oddly on his head most of face obscured by a grey bushy beard that is in bad need of grooming. A pair of odd glasses sit on his nose with multiple lenses, hinggs, arms and folding parts, the work of a very precise artificer for sure. Sitting next to the small table is a sturdy animal cage with a fel taint inside which presumably has been part of some recent experiments. If Bellafon had been able to capture or even tame one of things it was a good sign he could help remove the fel taint from us. We all were growing tired of the extra eyes we have embedded in our skin. Ylaana recalls that Bellafon although eccentric is a renowned problem solver and deals with matters sometime too strange or weird for other mages to cope with. I introduce myself in a loud manner to wake Bellafon from his afternoon doze. After some introductions and handshakes we pull up chairs and get down to the business at hand.

Bellafon informs us we have been infected by something called the “Widdgery Taint”, it is an uncommon affliction but something that can be removed by a cleansing ritual which he can perform. He is happy to perform the ritual for us to which we agree. A little way from his chair a very ornate ritual circle is engraved onto the floor and embossed with gold. It has obviously seen mush use and some black scorch marks can be seen on the flagstones and the smell of burning hair hangs in the air. After stripping down to our undergarments we all step inside the circle at let Bellafon conduct his ritual. He pulls a gnarled wooden staff from a hollow elephants leg nearby, the staff has a mystical look about it and it almost shines with inner power. As Bellafon starts the ritual he strikes at the symbols making up the ritual circle as the bottom of staff hits the gold symbols motes of green and blue light rise into the air like fireflies. As the ritual progresses we all feel the eyes begin to close and disappear from our skin, at the same time I can feel my Dragon mark on my arm begin to glow and become warm to the touch, something which has not happened before. As my mark begins to glow the light if gives off is reminiscent of that I saw when I was in the Shadowfell. We cannot hide the marks on our skin from glowing and as the ritual finished Bellafon cannot help but notice the mark on my arm, the one of Snorry’s chest, Rackir has one on his back, and Ylaana has one over her heart.

Bellafon looks astounded that we have these marks and something of a lifetime experience to see four people in the same room with these marks. We know a little about these marks from the harbourmaster in Scarport but ask Bellafon for more information on them. As he searches the stacks of books for a particular tome we break out some refreshments from our packs and rest a little easier knowing that the fel taint has finally been removed. After finding the tome he was looking for Bellafon seems to enter into a trance as the book floating in front of his eyes and the pages turn without his hand as much touching the paper. A short time later Bellafon stand up from his chair and asks to examine the Dragon marks we have in closer detail. I offer my arm up for him to take a look at as he gets closer some of the attachments and lenses on his glasses fold down and looking though them one of his eyes turns purple. Snorry is not so co-operative with Bellafons examination I have to calm his quick dwarven temper with the promise of ale after we have finished here. Bellafon tells us that the Dragon marks we bear appear once perhaps in several generations, they are a sign that the person marked in such a way is destined for great deeds and that a destiny has been written for him. We all have a connection with a divine plan but what that plan is and which of the gods is guiding our actions cannot be said. One thing he does know is that to see four people together with Dragon marks in the same place and time is unheard of and whatever challenges we have in front of us could be larger than any of us realise.

We are also told some more facts about “Yinighou” (The Lord of Ruin) who has succumbed the gnolls to his will. Although we destroyed one of his temples there are many more and their purposes is to bring the demon god from the realm which he is trapped in into this world to wreak havoc and destruction. Although this is a pressing and disturbing matter we are almost at war with Arden and it is unlikely that the Gnolls are very far along in their plan. All of us know that this threat will need to be dealt with and when we have the resources (perhaps by using the Deed that the merchant guild might give us for our diplomatic mission to Arden) we will return to the Savage lands in the south a put an end to the Gnolls plans.

Whilst we have Bellafons knowledge in front of us we all decide it would be a good idea if we can learn some more about the Dragon Shard we recovered from the clockwork dragon Xenathrax in the demon realm. As I remove the shard from my pocket Bellafon’s eyes widen like a animal looking at it’s prey. I hand it over to him as he retells the story of Tiamat and Bahamut. It seems as if some of the dragons have part of the “Heart of the Dragon” hidden inside themselves and that re-assembling the entire heart would bring forth a lighter time for the entire world. Pieces of the Heart are sought after by powerful dragons and Bellafons warns that we should tell no-one of this artefact. Even Kings could use the power of the legend behind the Heart to start wars or invade countries. One interesting fact about the piece of the heart that we did not know is that you can use it to locate other fragments of the Heart. Something which Ylaana will need to put some work into figuring out how to do. I can’t help but think that perhaps my or even our greater destiny and the purpose behind these Dragon marks is to re-assemble the heart and make the world a brighter place for all.

After all the talking we have done Snorry is keen to journey to Arden to begin the out latest quest to find the Ruins of Thevvier. Secretly I think he most likely wants to wonder into some Arden troops and give them a good beating. We ask Bellafon if there is another way we can travel to Arden without using the transportation room. He digs out a small brass key from a pile of what looks like rubbish in the corner of the room. The key opens a blue door in the cellar of an inn which will take us to where we need to go. Although he says that the place which we must travel through is dangerous, we must stay on the path and keep to ourselves. Bellafon opens the door to his chamber and asks Tellis who was waiting outside to take us to the black door further up the staircase.

The black door on the staircase is unassuming, it has the face of a court jester daubed on the outside although the collar the jester is wearing is made from nails rather than cotton. Tellis uses a key which Bellafon has given him to unlock the door. Once opened the door leads into an alleyway, old barrels and mouldy stacks lye in puddles in this dreary place. We all step through and Tellis closes the door behind us. Ylaana has been given some instructions hand written on some parchment by Bellafon they read for us to:

  • Head down the alleyway
  • Turn left
  • Enter the inn
  • Tell the barlady that Bellafon sent us
  • Use the key on the blue door only

As the door closes behind us the door vanishes to be replaces by a brick wall and no way of returning to the Tower of Art. We pace down the alleyway and find ourselves in a street, there are people around but none of them pay us much attention. It quickly becomes clear that we are in the same place we saw in the transportation cube earlier that day as the street curves round, down, up and back long above our heads as is twisted on a ribbon. Luckily enough the building to our left is marked as an Inn. Some runes above the door translated by Ylaana read “Clarions’s est 465”, we quickly enter the Inn. Inside the place smells of tobacco and low ceilings mean I have to stoop slightly, inside there are more runes on the walls, some dwarven patrons sit a a bench at one side of the bar, although I have not seen this particular breed of dwarf before. They have dark skin and do not have beards, they also have strange tatoo’s and marking on their faces. All of them look dangerous and one of them might easily take all four of us. Each of the 6 dwarfs at the table have magical weapons and armour and look at us as if we are very out of place. There is a single female human barmaid who Ylaana approaches whilst Snorry and I keep a watch for trouble. Ylaana tells her that “Bellafon” sent us and she beckons us quickly to the cellar stairs. As she moves the sounds of chains rattle and clink, someone has chained her to the bar and she can only take us as far as the cellar stairs. Quietly she tells us that the door is down there and to move quickly before we arouse suspicion. Down the cellar stairs we move in a small pump room where barrels of ale and mead are pumped by strange devices into the bar above. In one corner a stack of different coloured doors lie on their sides and in front of us on the back wall a green door sits in place. I take the green door by the frame and pull it from the wall to reveal a brick wall. Snorry grabs the only blue door from the stack on the floor and places it into the same position as the one I had just removed. Ylaana put the key into the lock and turns it slowly. A “click” later and it is unlocked. Snorry opens the door and immediately we are pounded by sleeting rain and howling winds. All of us venture through the door Ylaana who is the last one through closes the door and locks it with the key. As soon as the door is locked it vanishes. Ahead of us we can see a lean to shelter and a gravel road. As we huddle under the shelter we realise that none of us knows where we are…

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All Kings Fall - Session 27-08-2009

Written from the perspective of Vladimir

We completed our journey to Kingsfall by way of the Great River after almost a week. My companions resolve has been tested to the limit by the otherworldly inflection that has taken home in their own bodies. Yalanna(/) has been the worst effected as this rotten contagion has robbed her of her beauty.

As we disembark from our vessel a member of the kings retinue is waiting at the dockside, his name is “Buxley” a man we met previously whilst searching the castle for the kings would-be assassin some weeks ago. I cannot help but notice his incredibly nervous disposition. I bid goodbye to our ward Sanyolla(?) and her man-servant and give her a blessing to keep her safe in the days to come.

Buxley hands Yolanna a stack of letters, Snorry also receives one letter which I was later to discover was an important matter of Dwarven politics, it must have had some significance as Snorry didn’t head straight to the Inn and had a surly manner to him all the way to the castle. Yolanna had received word from a master of the Guild of Art that we were to meet them at the “Tower” as soon as possible so that they could remove the Fel taint from us without delay. Although first Buxley said that King requests our presence immediately.

We arrived at the castle and as we handed our travelling cloaks to the servants I heard the king cry out “Assassin” from his private chamber. Snorry and I drew arms and rallied to his call, upon entering the kings chamber we were met with a interesting situation.

The king was wearing a bed robe, wielding a broom and had donned his chamber pot as a makeshift helm. Two of his personal guard stood in front of him with their hands up trying to calm his mood. The king it seemed had mistaken them for assassins . In my heart I knew that this moment spelt the end for the king and perhaps the country. The kings age had caught up on him and his mind which was once as sharp as a guillotine’s blade had been worn down with time. I shouted to the guards and servants who had gathered to clear the room whilst we spoke with the King in private hoping that we could salvage some dignity from the situation.

After the room was cleared by the guards and servants and the doors were locked tight to prevent anyone else from overhearing our conversations, the King, us and Buxley were left in the room. The King seemed to calm as he began to recognise us and slumped into a high backed chair next to his bed. He barked at Buxley to “fetch him some wine” which he did from a nearby dresser. Next to the bottle of wine and goblet was another glass bottle that wasn’t wine, it bared more resemblance to a potion bottle than anything else. After Buxley had poured the wine he carefully tipped the potion bottle and dripped a single drop of this potion in with the wine. Written on the label of the potion bottle I could see that this some some sort of medicinal elixir for the kings condition.

As soon as the King had finished the entire goblet of wine we could all see his eyes begin to focus properly on us and his facial expression and body language seemed to become more recognisable as the king we knew and loved. He looked over us one by one and recalled our names as he did. “Vladimir, Dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut, Snorry, Dwarven Swordsman of Moradin, Yolanna, Half-Elf Warlock of Corellion”. We took comfort in his words and the conviction in his voice. “Come closer” he said as we drew in close to the King.

I explained to the King that the purpose of our quest was to find the lost member of his adventuring party “Valder” who might be able to rule the kingdom until one of his sons was mature enough to do so. I had found Valder when I died and found myself in the Shadowfell, he had become a revenant of the Raven Queen and told me that his tasks for the Raven Queen were not yet finished. Valder was certainly not someone who could take care of the Kingdom. We also told the King that we spoke with “X” the harbour master at Scarport and had learned all about his feud with Barris and the relationship with “X” who had been lost.

The King explained that the war with Arden was drawing closer as he and King Barris (of Arden) were positioning their troops along the border ready for the opening battle. He was spending deed with the “Guild of the Sword” in order to mobilise their army against that of Arden and that deed would not last forever. He wished us to form a diplomatic mission to Arden to try and convince Barris to back down. The King expressed that we should use “any means” in order to accomplish this even if it meant using the things that Barris holds closest (his daughter). At the mere suggestion of kidnapping or deeds which were not honourable I reminded the King that it was one of his sons that had brought us to the point of all out war and if anyone could resolve the conflict without bloodshed then he (Sebastian) should do the honourable thing. The King did not approve of my remark and shut me up with one stern expression. We said that we would do all in our power to try to convince Barris to stop the war and we would do so with honour.

“Now the second thing I request of you…” the King pulled us in closer. He explained that he over the recent weeks had become ill and sometimes got lost inside his own thoughts. Some reprieve had been given to him by the Guild Of Art who had made an elixir which helped but he could not take this forever. In Arden there are some ruins of what was once a great library filled with magical tomes and mysterious artefacts. Hidden in the ruins of this place was a book “Whitt to fill in” which might have a ritual inside that would grant the king 10 more years of healthy life. This would give him enough time for one of his sons to become worthy of the throne. It would also mean that should he need to take to the field of battle he would have his wits about him and could defend the kingdom to the best of his ability. In his weakened condition Barris could take advantage, or one of his sons and their supporters could curry political favour and have him removed if he could not run the Kingdom effectively. We confirmed we would of course venture to the ruins and find this tome.

After bidding the King good day we left his chambers and had a short word with Buxley outside. He agreed to take us to see Nix (Leader for the Guild of Art) so that we could use the transportation room to travel to the Tower of Art to get the fel taint removed. All of us were keen to get the taint removed as the eyes that have sprouted from our skin are almost too much to bear.

We meet Nix in one of the upper towers in the castle. He was having lunch as we entered a small library room at a small table. He looked hunched over as he sat eating small pieces of meat of various varieties from his plate. He re-iterated the details of the Tome of X and of its importantance to the Kings continued well being and gave us some extra directions to the location of the ruins in Arden. He agreed that we could use the transportation room to get to the Tower of Art as quickly as possible as the creatures lured by the outsider taint that we carried could strike at any point.

We took a couple of hours to replenish our travelling packs at the local market whilst Snorry went to meet the person who wrote the letter he received at the docks.

The transportation room is hidden in one of the lower levels in the Castle near the training ground that the guards use. It was easy for us to slip unnoticed into the secret corridor and walk the grey flagstone stairs down into the box-like chamber. We had used the transportation room once before when the first met the King and he gave us our quest to find Valder. The room was exactly as I remembered it. A stone cube with flagstone like walls and an arcane ritual circle bonded to the middle of the floor. The symbols were beyond my comprehension but Yolanna seemed more comfortable with some of the their meanings this time around.

After Nix closed the stone door behind us we waited cross legged in the middle of the ritual circle. After a few minutes passed the symbols on the floor began to illuminate with an otherworldly glow. Motes of light danced from the symbols and rose like miniatures stars into the air it was almost like being in the middle of a starry waterfall. In due course the walls faded to black the room itself began to rotate. The room span faster and faster until we could see different images appearing and disappearing on the surface of the non-existent walls. The something unsettling happened. An audible “crack” rang out and the images that we could see on the walls began to be covered by an oily blackness. This blackness seeped over the sides of the cube until we could see nothing outside its walls. The symbols on the floor still glowed brightly so we knew we were still in flight. After a short while I noticed a pin point of light in the blackness, it got closer and closer with each second that passed. First one, then another and another. As the approached us I could make out that they were not stars at all but eyes starring at us. In seconds the walls were covered in a writing mass of black tentacles, eyes protruding from the stalks. This mass wrapped itself around the cube and we could see it testing the walls for strength. Snorry, Rackir and I drew arms and stood back to back expecting the worse. As if the situation could not get any worse mouths started to open from other tentacles and we could hear the sound of something not of this world in the distance. Our minds began to cloud, even my own resolve began to weaken as the noise and the sight of these things tested my tenacity to it’s very limits. The cube stopped rotating the symbols on the floor began to loose their glow. My grip tightened on my fullblade and a muttered a prayer to Bahamut under my breath.

The corner of the cube cracked and splintered leaving enough room for a mass of these tentacles to reach inside. All of us steadied our breathing and as I looked across to Snorry I could see his eye narrowing as if he was looking for any opening that might present itself. The mass of tentacles leaked into the corner of the cube and began to take a humanoid form. Thick as ropes the mass formed legs, then a body, then two arms outstreatched from its torso, finally a head of eyes turned to look at us as the Thoughtscourge took its form. Its eyes looked into ours and we could feel its inky black tentacles in our minds, sifting through thoughts, memories, until it found out proudest moments and corrupted them with its taint. For me it was the memory of when I became an uncle to my brothers children, our bloodline would continue with this was a day for celebration. As I remembered turning to my brother to congratulate him the Thoughtscourge was standing right behind him, his tentacled hand placed upon my brother shoulders. My brother then said I was a disappointment to the family and that I would not see my nephews after this day. Emotions stirred within me, how could my brother do this to me, I was starting to believe the words of my brother when my head pounded with pain. In the blink of an eye I was back in the transportation room, sweat pouring from my brow, I looked across to this vile creature who had defiled one of my most treasured memories, and launched into combat.

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Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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