Ameshirel: A World Undone

Session 17
White-Eye's plans?

Johannesz looked like shit. Six days he had been under the care of Sabhail’s best, and possibly only, doctor Wilhelmenia. Even with the help of Aishling and his magical healing Johannesz’s face was horribly scared and threatened to rip open again as he talked.

It was the first time Johannesz was allowed out and he had met with Njord and Mournes at Beoir’s Tavern. Still the elf talked and chatted as if nothing had happened while Aishling franticly tried to get the bandages back on the somewhat oblivious elf’s head.

Not for the first time Njord wondered if he was one of the most sane Blooded in Sabhail. The other’s agreed watching, from behind his eyes, as always.

The conversation quickly turned towards outside troubles. So many days in Sabhail without anything to do made all at the table a bit restless. When their conversation turned towards Gnolls and the rumors they had been hearing lately the old horse trader, Dreyaok, chimed in from an adjacent table.

After introducing himself, again, Njord promptly forgot his name. But the information he provided seemed like a good lead. And something else to do.

The gnolls apparently had been spotted on the border of Dreyaok’s land. Word from further north said that a lot of livestock had gone missing. Perhaps the two were linked? The man even suggested that the gnolls may be as close as the foothills of An Sliebte, in an area called Gnoac Chos.

So the next morning Njord once again found himself on the road with Mourns, Johannesz and Aishling. Their first top was Triskell’s tower. Njord’s thoughts were all miserable, he was stuck in the carriage while the cold and wet weather outside past him buy. He wanted nothing more than to slow down and enjoy the rain. At least, he hoped, they were what he wanted.

Triskell was out but his halfling stair keeper, Bessir, welcomed them in. They rested the night, told stories and left the carriage in the care of the halfling. Any questions about Triskell were met with a noncommittal shrug and a offhanded comment: “Went north ‘bout a week ago, said something ‘bout ‘big fiery headed tossers.’”

The following day the group set out on foot towards Gnoac Chos having been pointed in the right direction by Bessir. They got to the edge of the region quickly enough but having no idea what to do or where to go from there and realising that Gnoac Chos was quite a large area they spent much of the rest of the day searching for any sign that gnolls had even been here.

Mourns found some old track that could be large dogs or Gnolls leading into the forest that made up most of Gnoac Chos. Further exploring found newer track, hours old. With the excitement high and boredom almost as, the group followed the tracks into the night.

They came across a large clearing overlooking a wide gully. Light emanated from the gully but where they stood at the tree line they could not see into the gully. Johannesz, familiar with forrest was able to get closer and see what was going on. When he reported back he was paler than normal, something Njord didn’t think possible.

There were gnolls in the gully but more than they had expected. An army army of the damn things. And they were looking for something. Using enslaved humans to dig in the new ruins of a monastery. Overlooking the gully on either side were two other buildings, an abandoned church and an apparently occupied cloister.

There was a commotion in the gully and Johannesz went back to have a look. One of the slaves digging in the monastery had found something and to the group’s shock a familiar figure had appeared to inspect it. Ghengohru. Ghengohru White-Eye. A gnoll the group had met before. One that they had let go out of pity because the gnoll and his party were severely out matched and caught off guard. A gnoll that the party had since heard of many, many bad things done in his name.

The item the slave had found, an old flail, was obviously not what Ghengohru was looking for and Ghengohru showed his displeasure by decapitating the slave with the flail. After the commotion Johannesz saw that Ghengohru went towards the cloister. With the gnolls clearly avoiding the church the party, using magical help from Mourns, snuck around the gnoll’s encampment towards the church and the trees behind it.

They made camp in an abandoned grove, its fruit left on the trees to rot but had not been picked at by birds and insects. During Aishling’s watch, the cleric was visited by a robed man with no eyes and a melted face. The man did not appear to be in pain but insisted that Aishling and the other’s head with him to the monastery. When Aishling questioned the man about the gnolls he simply disappeared. There were no more visitors that night.

The next day Aishling searched the grove and found an old orange that had not yet rotted. As the group went to the church, the were able to deduce that the church and supposedly the whole area was in dedication to They Who Call the Dawn. The orange was a symbol of that. Perhaps that is why the gnolls gave the church a wide berth.

The church itself had been gutted. It was very obvious that this place had been attacked, one wall had a hole smashed through it, and then the building was put to the torch. Anything that hadn’t been fully destroyed by the fire had been defaced afterwards. It was still a solid building despite the damage, so why were the gnolls avoiding the place?

The answer came after they found the entrance to the lower levels. Johannesz cast light down as Njord fixed their rope into a ladder they could used. Inside were people going about their business as if nothing was wrong. All were human, some looked like they were cleaning, or eating at tables or having conversations. One was screaming in the corner. None of them seemed to know they were dead.

The ghost with no eyes and a melted face approached the group and once again tried to get them to come with him to the monastery, apparently having no idea it was overrun with gnolls. Aishling presented the ghost priest with the orange, apparently a right with followers of They Who Call the Dawn. As the ghost priest took the orange, it died and rotted away.

Once again after Aishling steered the conversation to the gnoll’s occupation of the region the ghosts disappeared.

The group decided to stay in the church, up on the first floor, and see if they could discover anything by watching the gnolls for the day. Their plan was a simple one: wait until dark, sneak around the camp and head to the cloister building on the opposite side of the gully then, brutally, murder White-Eye. Without their leader, the gnoll tribes would hopefully disperse or even turn on each other.

During that day the gnolls kept up their patrols. The slaves kept digging. But there was no sign of White-Eye. It seemed like it was going to be an uneventful and boring day until the eyeless ghost priest appeared through the floor next to Mourns and warned her “They must not get it.” One of the slaves gave a shout, “You are too late,” the ghost lamented and then faded away. Even from high above in the church, the group was able to see what the slave had found: a huge three headed flail that seemed to glow in the afternoon sunlight.

All the gnolls came running, there were shoves and cheers and calls for White-Eye. They were also all distracted by the discovery. Seizing this opportunity the group rushed around the gully towards the cloister. Mourns again cast her spells to help the group to pass without drawing attention from the few gnolls that may have been smart enough to continue keeping watch.

Fearing they did not have as much time they thought they had, the party risked heading straight to the cloister. Only Mourns magic kept them from being noticed by the massing gnolls across the gully, now well into the hundreds. As they walked up the path on the side of the hill toward the cloister a group of large and well equipped gnolls came out of a cave that no one had noticed before. Right in the middle of the group was Ghengohru White-Eye.

Hidden by Mourns’ magic the party was still undetected but now they found themselves on a narrow path, in front of them the gnoll chief and his elite guard, behind them, an army of gnolls. The three headed flail had been the item the gnolls were looking for. Even at a distance the party could tell that it was a powerful artifact. What would White-Eye do once he had that weapon? He already had an army that could, by itself, siege any single city in the Croiglas Barony.

A storm raged in the back of Njord’s mind, waves crashed against his consciousness. In the darkest parts of him, something powerful stirred. A bell chimed, just audible above the others, it called for death. Only the Eye was silent, ever watching.

Njord smiled. He quietly whispered his vote the the part. Everyone had their say. A consensus was quickly reached.

Before the gnolls had taken more than a step out of their cave the sky darkened. A bolt of lightning shot out from the gathering storm clouds right in the middle of the gnolls. Mourns’ concealment spell had ended so she could summon the storm. The gnolls, even taken back by the sudden assault, acted like gnolls and charged. Right into the waiting Mourns taking up the full pathway in her bear form. The path was wide enough for the gnolls to stand three abreast and though they swung their halberds savagely at the druid they and even managed to best the druid in her bear form, they were shaken by the sudden assault.

Njord could tell they were not prepared for what was to come. The warlock drew on his darkness, the one he knew well, and waited for his chance, waited for Johannesz to clear the path.

As giddy as a child, Johannesz slashed himself, drew deeply on his life’s blood and threw two expanding balls of blood. They landed one after the other in the middle of the gnolls and exploded. The gnolls were showered in burning blood. Four died instantly. White-Eye still stood as the haze and bloody smoke cleared, horribly burnt he glared at the Blooded before falling on his face. That left two gnolls, who has some how shielded themselves from the full force of the blast.

Njord released his spell then, opening a way for the darkness of the abyssal prison of his master to seep through into this world. The darkness engulfed the two remaining gnolls, devouring them.

Though quick, the assault was in no way quiet. The gnolls at the monastery started a savage charge. They surged forward like tide, a tide of massive hyenas and even bigger hyena headed humanoids. The party retreated up the hill, putting the path between them and the savage tide in the hopes of bottlenecking them.

As they backed away Aishling healed the injured Mourns and Johannesz while njord quickly decapitated White-Eye. Still the tide surged forward, crashing into the cliff face that and up onto the hill’s path.

Johannesz threw more blood grenades. Mourns shot of more lightning before changing tactics and slowing the army with a storm of ice. Still they came on. Then Njord opened the way for the abyssal darkness again, right in the path gnoll tied.

Together the Blooded’s spells, while barely making a dint in the tide caused enough chaos to split the gnolls. They fled the pathway and surged around the hill, splitting off into smaller and smaller groups as they went. The party charged the rest of the way along the path and up the hill making it into the safety of the forest before the increasingly disorganised gnolls got out of the gully and around the hill.

They had got out. They had killed White-Eye and stopped his plans, whatever they were. But they had not got the weapon and now they had no idea where it was.

View
Session #16: WTF is Inside Johannesz?

Johannesz has a dream of a blood-red rose opening deep beneath the earth, which the ‘thing’ inside him seems to be attempting to suppress. They party interprets this as needing to journey to Doracha and investigate down the hole into the Underdark.

The party travels to Doracha and witnesses the extent of the Myconid advance – they are spreading rapidly, increasing in technology and intelligence, and are getting ready for something big. One of the Myconids ‘the Protagonist’ gives Noam a flower-message to give to Bivouac.

The party heads down the hole, and after much stumbling around arrives at the bottom. They are faced with a giant tunnel which recedes off into the distance, and is flanked by a strange gothic cathedral carved into the rock-wall. The party is attacked by a Quaggoth, but it is instantly killed by an Elven ranger in the darkness who greets the party with hostility. He leads the party into the cathedral monastery to talk to his master. The ranger introduces himself as Callimar, and calls the monastery “Balok’Dro”.

The Elven ranger’s master – some form of priestess who is secretly Blooded (she is able to cloak it and reveal it at will) – introduces herself as Filraen and tells the party of the Deathless Rose, a rose that resists all forms of entropy which can be found at the sight of He Who Has Seen’s death. She instructs Callimar to lead the party there.

The party is led by Callimar, and he taunts and makes fun of the party as they progress, and shows several strange nuances of his Elven culture which is quite at odds with the rest of Elven culture. He makes an enemy of Noam by making the rocks seem like they are chasing her.

The party finds the grotto where the Rose grows, and they enter. Mourns casts a daylight spell, and illuminates the area, revealing the hidden creatures within. The strange tangled vegetation on the ground resolves itself into several forms of Blight, and a giant Shambling Mound rises from the dense undergrowth with a trapped skeleton caught within (which theory abounds is the skeleton of He Who Has Seen). Combat is joined, and the Blights are swiftly dealt with.

The Shambling Mound deals a devastating blow to Johannesz, but before he can die Noam defeats the creature and feeds the Rose to Johannesz. This expels the ‘insect’ creature within him as black smoke that escapes into the Underdark. The party returns triumphant if shaken with a heavily wounded Johannesz being carried.

View
Session #15: An Geartha Pt. 1

As the party sets out, the sky is thick with orange clouds and ash reigns down from what is obviously a nearby erupted volcano. As we journey I attempt to raise the party’s spirits by playing a heroic tune about the Wizard Triskell which has become popular over recent months. Arrive at An Geartha entrance – massive portcullis guards the entrance. A cave mouth looks at us invitingly from the other side of the pass. But we came here to explore An Geartha dammit!

We argue about going in via the portcullis or sneaking in in some fashion. Portcullis has arrow slots and we observe evidence of recent habitation. Njord shares with us his knowledge that there is some kind of dragonish-red scaled, evil being held deep in An Geartha – seem to be being kept in solitary confinement – like a crazy person. There is some kind of button on a platform above the Portcullis – it’s old and very rusted, but Jo and Biv manage to fix it with tinkering tools and magic.

Jason observes that there are many, many signs of life within An Geartha – detects a feeling of “industrious ambition”.

Combat #1 – team Sabhail VERSUS 4 hobgoblins and some shark-hounds (ew!)
Jo, Biv and Jason begin uselessly on the platform above the portcullis, leaving Sigil, Njord and Mourns to begin taking down the enemies. Despite their keen, seemingly regimented training, and taking a few hearty hits we manage to press our way into the entry and eventually defeat them! As we press our advantage, the last hobgoblin slits his own throat, rather than letting us finish him off. Investigating the bodies, Lathina uses her military experience to deduce that these are highly regimented hobgoblins with military tattoos – they are going to act in unison. It looks like we are heading into a barracks. Hobgoblins haven’t been seen in Croiglas Barony for many years – they have obviously all retreated to An Geartha to train and build this terrifyingly regimented army. Observing this we decide to search an alternate entrance and surprise them! Bivouac rigs the Portcullis so that it cannot be reopened from the inside.

Climb up the side of the mountain in search of another entrance. Discover on the plateau where we suspected griffins live that there are indeed griffins. There are two towers – one crumbling, one better maintained. Investigating the crumbling tower we find beautiful carvings decorating the walls and grounds. Meet Fugl the Stone Giant, who lives peacefully atop the plateau, trains the griffins. Mentions that Njord may be susceptible to something called ‘Aboleth’. Fugl takes us to meet the rest of his people, Bjarg is not as friendly as Fugl. Hoaggva, the elder, is blind and covered with carvings similar to those which decorate outside. I play some music for them, they don’t seem to have ever heard music. They say that they don’t like the Gods – allude to knowing them personally. Fugl takes us outside to their berry gathering swamp. Berries as large as us! Meet Mother Forsta. Inside the cave entrance which meets the plateau is a large and beautiful lake, ‘Opal Lake’ complete with waterfall. The fruit gathered is ‘Opal fruit’ has drug like effects on us which lasts 24 hours. We are invited to partake in Opal fruit and chat with the stone giants. We recount to them the tale that we saw carved in the standing stone down south. They darken and mention something called “Fomorian”. Ask them about the manticores – the griffins fight with them. When we ask what lies beyond the cave entrance (Opal Lake/Cave) they darken and say that some evil called the ‘Aboleth’, a creature of sickness, haunts the Lake. It is very dangerous – the stone giants cannot deal with it, and they very much doubt that we would be able to.

Discuss our session goal and decide to head in via the spiral staircase in the crumbling tower. As we descend there is a helix shaped series of paintings illustrating the central pillars around which the stairs are wrapped. These stairs look very unused.

Arrive at a landing where a magical broom constantly sweeps a large chamber which is marked with many magical sigils. There are two doors and a third, concealed door. Venturing down the concealed passage we eventually find an inhabited room and meet Coemgi – he wears robes of an organisation called the ‘Midnight Heart’. Some kind of magical researching group. He is very startled to be receiving visitors (understandably) and so insists upon taking us to see his superiors. We pass through a large room that looks like it was once used as a food hall, but has long since fallen into disrepair. Follow Coemgi deeper into the Midnight Heart’s lair. He seems very wary of us but Bivouac is able to calm him down a little. He seems unusually interested in the humans of our party – Jason and Mourns. We pass through a magic lab where two of Coemgi’s colleagues (Sinna & Gaidha) are experimenting on a very angry Ogre. Meet Archmage Ceithlao Mistress of Transmutations. She tells us that her organisation needs funding in order to continue their research. Want to build the perfect soldier by subjugating ‘lesser races’ and then create a pathogen which will subdue them once the fighting is done. Ceithlao is a massive elitist and fairly racist. VERY proud of her team’s work. Refuses to admit that other, ‘lesser’ races may have a right to life. Meet the other researchers for real:

Coemgi – conjuration (blooded), shy
Sinna – enchantment (blooded), guarded, protective of her research
Gaidha – abjuration (blooded), showy

Jason tries to warn the researchers of the danger of their experimentation. They want one sorcerer to be able to control many, many ogres or ‘soldiers’. We begin to go on a ‘tour’ of their establishment, but we ask too many questions and are shown the door.

SIDE QUEST
As we are leaving, Coemgi tells us about his friend Genda (short black hair, robes of the Midnight Heart) who headed into the old palace (above in An Gaertha) to look for a specific statue (may have had ulterior motives). If we find any evidence of his death Coemgi would be grateful to hear about it.

…..moving along…….

The next landing we come to leads into a large plaza which is absolutely littered with bodies and traps. We set off many exploding mines, fumbling our way across the plaza. There are two doors and a large corridor can be seen on the opposing wall. After many loud and stressful explosions we clear a path to the right-hand door.

Leads into a chamber where there is a large statue of Elixir – a god favoured by merchants. Looks like chamber was once a site of commerce. Follow a corridor until we pass a door which Jo knocks on – a large and dangerous sounding noise responds. Bivouac catcalls to provoke it.

Combat #2 – Team Sabhail VERSUS the double headed ETTIN. Lathina dashes into the room and casts burning hands at the Ettin. Things only go downhill for the Ettin from there. Bivouac shoots a bolt clean into his stomach – everyone smashes him once until Njord aimed two jets of boiling water at both heads, finishing the beast.

The room that was inhabited by the Ettin seems to be some kind of old administrative room, presumably for the mercantile hall outside. The documents we can read indicate that there were a lot of budget cuts to the keep’s maintenance before it was shut down for good, and abandoned. Heading along the corridor we arrive in another very large chamber which features a very large, ornate, dried out fountain. A small campfire is directly in front of the fountain at which 4 adventurers appear to be sitting. There is something slightly off about them. They move in a mindless, mechanical fashion, and seem very suggestible to psychic touch. They hint that they have found something which needs protection, and that it needs guarding/is very valuable. The party is divided about letting us see it. There are another 8 in their party at the whatever-it-is. Although the suspicious activities of the party make the adventurers suspicious of us, Sigil and I are able to convince them to take us to their hold. Jason casts a blessing on the halfling in their party to test whether or not they are undead and/or constructs. It appears they are not. They seem like adventurers under a curse – not illusions or constructs. Bivouac introduces himself and asks their names:
Ewa the Elf
Phylius Halfing
Ralphy the Dwarf
Giles the Human
They respond and give these names, but strangely do not ask for the rest of the party’s names. We continue towards their hold….

Continue into a chamber three times larger than all the other chambers we have passed through – and those were already massive. We start up a large staircase and eventually reach a landing with a large, beautiful golden door. We bypass this and go into another set of doors which open onto a large, freshly painted ballroom – images of the Gods dancing (and mating with) members of a noble family. There are seven, what appear to be, nobles dressed in attire appropriate for a ball 1000 years ago. All bear family resemblance to Og Croiglas. Bivouac starts playing music. The eery harp music that was coming from nowhere stops. We are invited by this strange party to dine with them. Accept the invitation. As we enter the dining hall we are shocked and surprised to find a table laden with delicious looking food, supposedly all prepared by one guy called Cyne, the chef/manservant. Everyone is very suspicious of the food and nobody openly wants to eat. Some party members try to bluff eating, Njord stands grumpily against the wall. Bivouac continues to play, trying to figure out the pecking order of the nobles. Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be one – confirms what we thought, they are all puppets of somebody. Jason looks at the food and can instantly tell that it is oozing with magic and that all the nobles having noticed that we aren’t eating, and are keenly waiting for us to eat. Sigil stands up and says “enough games, who are you and what do you want?” Cyne instantly darts to Sigil and slits her throat.

Combat #3 – Team Sabhail VERSUS the doppelgangers!!
It was a vicious fight! Many of the party fell – Jo was overwhelmed from all sides, but rose strangely, as though possessed by an otherwordly force. Njord took a heavy hit earlier in the fight, and went down alongside Sigil. Bivouac managed to rip the mysterious hold from one of the doppelgangers and take control of its mind, pitting it against its fellows. Mourns summoned 4 black bears from nowhere and transformed into a bear herself. The bears were a useful and formidable defense against the eight foes we faced. Slowly, through much bravery and thrilling heroics, the doppelgangers went down until there was only one. They yielded and begged for mercy – it told us that its previous master had, in fact, been the Awnshelin, but it totally refused to take us there or tell us anything else. Just told us to go to the Hall of Statutes and look for the one “with the face”. It just wanted to leave An Geartha – so we let it. After it promised that it would stop taking my likeness. We barricaded the doors of the dining room and took a long rest so that Njord and Jo could recover.

……. eight hours later………….. 1am

When we wake up Jo confesses that there is some kind of bug entity living inside him – Sigil manages to mindlink with it – it is saying the primordial word for the end and the beginning. She deduces that whatever it is is presently dormant – so there’s nothing we can do for now but journey on, WHICH WE DO.

Leaving the dining hall and walking back through the ballroom we enter a hall of statues. There are around ten statues in alcoves along the walls. They are of various Gods – and possibly of Croiglas ancestors. Forefather Croiglas?? We discover that the Croiglas statue hides a secret passage! It requires blood sacrifice to be opened. With few other options we start taking turns to offer a small amount of blood to the statue. When Mourns steps forward she doesn’t even get to the blood smearing part when the statue awakens to look at her and grants us passage. We continue into a small corridor which leads to a kind of study room chock full of books and documents. They are in strangely good condition – but the dates of them are strange, from a calendar we do not understand or recognise. When we enter the room the documents all update themselves, as though to mark the fact that we visited the room. The time since the last visitor is about 1,400 years. There is a dagger and lots of documentation about said dagger. Njord, Biv and Lathina stand guard outside the study while Jo, Sigil, Jason and Mourns investigate the documents. Moving on to the warded, heavily protected door we discover the white, padded chamber which houses the Awnshelin.

Combat #4 – Team Sabhail VERSUS the Awnshaelin
It is a monstrous thing – humanoid but with red skin and dragon-like wings, black hair and hundreds of comb-thin teeth – long and deadly. It cackles as we enter the room. Reality warps as Sigil, Njord and Lathina disappear. Mourns, Jo, Biv and Jason are left to face the monstrosity.

Unbeknownst to the latter party, the former had actually been transported by the Awnshelin to a celestial plane where the Awnshaelin also faced them. They stood upon a golden floating platform, the sky is black dotted with stars being spewed from the mouth of a giant, dragon like being we can see in the sky – it bears a strange and monstrous resemblance to Og Croiglas. By using the magical dagger than Sigil found in the adjacent study, Sigil is able to stab the Awnshaelin in the heart and force the party members back to the plane of reality BUT! Meanwhile in the real world, several rounds of combat had already occurred…. Casting magic within the padded room was difficult – channeling was far more difficult than useful. Jo tried to cast several spells, but their effectiveness was deadened by the room’s veil. Mourns manages to conjure two Fey Brown Bears into the room and transforms to begin attacking. Jason takes a few hearty hits, but manages to stay standing and make a few hits. The Awnshelin is terrifying – it bites with its hundreds of teeth, slashes at us with a magical, bone, flaming spear which it can summon at will and spews molten, golden lava all over us. Around that time, the rest of party materialises back into the room to join the fray. It is a tough and dangerous fight, but we manage to overcome the Awnshelin – Sigil finishes it off via a psychic attack which explodes it’s skull – golden, molten fire shoots out of its eye sockets and other orifices, eventually exploding truly. Jo, Lathina and Sigil fall upon the corpse to drink the blood. Sigil gains the soul, which was of the God Clarion, Everburning. (2.30am)

SHORT REST (1hr)
3.30am …. CONTINUE THE JOURNEY!

Progressing into the next room we are met with an array of doors – entering the left-most doorway, which has no door but is covered by some kind of illusion. Biv enters and gets transported to a rolling field which quickly distorts and disappears. The room is a cold, empty chamber bar a statue of a Knight which I identify as Sir Ailin – a famous Knight of old. Only the face of the toy is missing. After much deliberation we pick it up, put the face back on it – waiting tensely for something to happen…. BUT NOTHING DOES! There is one more door in this chamber which disappointingly is a broom closet. Move along.

In the next room is a strange mirror – there is a message written in red cosmetics… possibly lipstick.

Mirror riddle….
With hands separated from wrists
And eyes from sockets
only our lips will be ever touching
touch yours to mine now and we will be free

After much deliberation, as the party decide to leave the mirror lone, Lathina cracks and kisses it. She disappears. Bivouac and Sigil both also kiss the mirror and follow.

The rest of the party have already moved along.

Through the mirror Biv, Sigil and Lathina find themselves in a large, old fashioned bed chamber full of ash and charred things and furniture. For a split second they hear the sounds of love making – it changes quickly into a reptilian roar. The room is pitch black. They attempt to sneak around and observe things – Sigil fumbles and pulls down the curtains surrounding the bed revealing two charred bodies, clearly of lovers – died in the act. Looks like they were killed by a dragon – burnt and clawed. There are four rings – two on each corpse. We take all 4. It looks like the explosion of fire may have come from the lovers. Perhaps they were dragonborn? Now we are trapped in a room with only one door which is metal and melted/fused into its frame. Using a combination of brute force and magic we manage to get out and reunite!

Moving on to the 4th and final door, we find a lavishly decorated bedroom. Another mirror with another message:

they shall never learn of our love
they shall never find our son
how can they when they have not faces with which to see

Looks like these lovers are the parents of the Awnshelin. We move to investigate/loot the room, but as we touch objects they seem to age 1,400 years in a few seconds and crumble into dust. Once we finish our investigations of this wing, it seems the Southern end of this floor has been fully explored! Head north! Find a servant’s bedroom – loot their jewellery – obviously the chambers of the nobles who lived here hundreds of years ago. Move on to find a room split into two chambers – one for man-made Gods, and one for those of nature. We all split off to pray to our Gods. Gain inspiration from various inspiring acts.

The party moves back down the spiral stair case, and continues to investigate the plaza room where they met the 4 adventurer-doppelgangers. They find an old bank which has been looted, but in the vault is a treasure gobbler monster which seems not that aggressive but Njord launches at regardless. It manages to escape by moving through the stone floor before it can be killed.

RL SLEEP

The party picks back up and heads north from the plaza, discovering an area covered in those jumping explosive mines again. They take the northern fork in the corridor, and come to a stair case heading down into an unnaturally cold area of the dungeon. They bypass this, fearing the area, and find another door. Inside is a deathly smell, where a horde of zombie gores has been locked inside.

Combat #6 – Team Sabhail VERSUS the Zombie Ogres
There are 6, enormous and grotesque zombie ogres. Laithina and Jo use twinned fire-spells to roast the ogres who were incapacitated by Mourns. Bivouac arrives in time to send one of them to sleep, after which Mourns revives Lathina who was downed in a single shot, and she takes down the stunned ogre. It is all uphill from there for the party – hits landed until Mourns pushes her way into the room and bears up! Finishes two of the ogres off but seems sickened as she bites into the second one. We are able to pick the rest of them off quite easily. After making her kills Lathina springs into a corner and crawls like a spider up the wall! What a useful new skill that she has revealed to us! Njord casts some kind of abyss into the room – no idea what was going on in there, could not see anything but could hear the ogre stuck in it roaring in protest. The last in overwhelmed and we WIN!

Continue our exploration of An Geartha! Find many more mines – everyone steps on mines and we make a hell of a lot of noise (an inordinate amount of 1’s are rolled). After getting appropriately exploded, we find a gnome sized hole in the wall. Cleverly disguising himself as a rat, Bivouac slips through to discover a workshop which looks recently used. He notices another gnome, standing with what looks like a strange crossbow (it’s a gun) and brass goggles, and a strange rubbery outfit with pieces of metal. He is very wary of me – eventually manage to establish that his name is Zozif and he is from a different ‘Then’ (he is a time traveler!). He is the one who set up all the mines – he is an amazing tinkerer and Bivouac is very enthusiastic about getting to know him and and learning from him. He seems very interested in leaving An Geartha, but also very wary of us. He does decide to accompany us. Traversing the level becomes a lot easier with him as he is able to diffuse the traps easily. Decide to seek out the sounds of battle we heard many hours earlier. On our way we discover what appears to be the body of Genda – Coemgi’s friend. We arrive at the sight of the battle. Lots and lots of carnage. Evidence of the experiments which the Midnight Heart have been working on.

Seems that Zozif is from a reality wherein the Midnight Heart’s experiments succeeded and they were able to make Ogres tiny, docile creatures.

Investigating the final door which attaches to the room which is full of mines – the door was rigged with a blade trap which Sigil accidentally activates. Seven hobgoblins, including one Captain are inside. The first room is a hastily made set of barricades, inner rooms looks like their bunks. We move forward, Zozif terrifies them with his boomstick and Sigil disorients the Captain – he retreats into the back room. Mourns casts moonbeam and it is supereffective against hobgoblins. Three of them instantly combust and the rest retreat into the bunk room, barricade themselves in and ask for mercy. Jason interrogates them and manages to get very useful information about their Warchief from the Captain. The man we are after is named Warlord Laerta.

Using the directions which Jason obtained through his interrogation we head for Laerta’s HQ. Meet up (on the inside) with the main entrance portcullis – can hear voices coming from down the stairs – Lathina sneaks ahead to see what is down there. A large chamber set with traps which will set off ballistae if you step foot in it. Two hobgoblins patrolling. Once Lathina returns and tells us about this, we decide to head into the chamber (we can take 2 hobgoblins)! When they spot us they say “Halt!” and ready to fire the ballistae at us. Panicking, we dash back up the stairs – except Lathina, who they do not spot. One hobgoblin runs to inform the warchief of our presence. The other stays to guard, and trains his bow on the stairs. Lathina surprise attacks him and slits his throat cleanly – disarms all the trap wires with spy-like acrobatics and precision. Yells at us all to come back.

Combat #7 Team Sabhail VERSUS Hobgoblin army
We have a few moments to prepare before they arrive – move and ready the ballistae to be trained on the entrance. We hear chanting and war screams – we scream right back. The first wave (a bugbear and a team of hobgoblins) arrive – Jo wipes most of them out with a single fireball. Then, we hear the roar of Laerta – Jason challenges him to a duel – in his mind, he sees an echo of She Who Chills the Blade face The Bannerbearer in a challenge. The next waves arrive – two more bugbears, another team of hobgoblins plus Laerta arrives from a separate door, accompanied by a team of 5 captains.

The battle is bloody and fierce, but through cunning use of ballistae and spells, most of the Hobgoblins are subdued. Mourns distracts Laerta’s honour guard, and they are unable to aide him in his fight with Jason. Jason and the Warlord face down and after his forces are defeated, the Warlord forgoes his shield and decides to die in honourable combat. They fight for a long time, but eventually Jason kills him and takes his adamantine breastplate as a trophy.

The rest of the Hobgoblin army arrives and both sides retreat from the other. The party returns to the plateau with Zozif in toe, and the Stone Giants bid them farewell back to Sabhail.

After 32 hours in An Geartha, the party has managed to grow in strength, gain many new magical weapons with which to fight the darkness, and more than enough problem to worry about for future journeys into those halls. The Aboleth, the Freezing Stairs, the Order of the Midnight Heart, and the remaining Hobgoblins are yet to be dealt with… Who knows what other treasures they yet guard?

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Session 14: The trip to the mines
Rescued some miners, then found some mega evil stuff

So this is SUPER late because we were planning for our trip to An Geartha (see Bivouac for more) and I may or may not be turning into a giant insect. So here we go!

So what we decided to do for this misadventure after the gruelling trip to the Bereaved Harrowden (Though I think some people did some stuff before this, I was asleep) was to go back to Airgead and help out those miners! No other reason. Totally didn’t just want to get back to the Minstrel’s Cellar. Not at all. BUT HEY we went back to the Minstrel’s Cellar and had an awesome time! Before that Mourns talked to some urchins and discussed how they found a little green ‘dog’ and chased it around. Somebody found out that people have been attack in the nearby hills by probably bandits. Njord and I talked to another paladin, one devoted to the Grave Chimer, about the Seam of Chimes and now he wants to tag along for that. His name was Oded Belderson and seemed to have incredibly selfish reasons for wanting to go to the Seam of Chimes, but I mean, more the merrier I guess?

Oh! Also. We met someone new! Someone who wants to go on adventures with us and totally wasn’t stalking us for ages; her name is Sigil and definitely isn’t a psychic demon.

So the next day we set out again for the mines, I did a quick QnA with some locals about whether or not there have been natural disasters or collapses recently and discovered that earthquakes are semi-regular occurrence, every couple of years and luckily we didn’t seem to be close to the next one happening. We headed out and soon ran into an old broken down cart, we started a paranoid search of the area and quickly were ambushed by goblins, which we then quickly disposed of them. Highlight was Jason smiting a goblin with another goblin. Good stuff. The leader tried to get away but he was struck by lightning by Njord, which was cool and I didn’t know he could do that.

We found the entrance to the mine with a goblin watch post out the front which was promptly hit by Molotov’s thrown by the very stealthy Bivouac and Laithina. There was a river coming out of the cave which we had to wade through to enter, but unfortunately there was a goblin with a big old hammer breaking down a dam that was causing the lot of us to fall on our butts trying to get in. We got in and wrecked up the place, killing lots of goblins and captains and what not. Eventually a big bug bear appeared at the back of the cave and was clearly the leader of the group. We all eventually completely teamed up against him but he took a lot of hits. Mourns eventually tore him open and ate him. Good times. Oh, the bug bear was named Krug too.

We found most of the miners who had gone missing, the ones who were still alive anyway, and Sigil had a bit of a peek inside their minds. Apparently there was a discordant song of creation bouncing around inside their heads, which is kind of a terrifying thought. We kind of snoop around a bit and have a bit of a rest, and even though we have ‘finished the quest’ as such we decide to push deeper into the mine to see if we can find the Rockseeker brothers who opened this mine and who were not among the prisoners.

We found out the source of the water was actually a one way portal letting the water through and the mine continued behind it, so we went through the tunnel and discovered a pit that occurred due to a natural fissure in the earth, with a corpse at the bottom of it. We all managed to eventually scrabble down to the bottom of this fissure and have a look at what happened to the corpse, which turned out to be a Dwarven male wearing some magic boots which Sigil quickly just slipped on. We could hear a loud booming noise echoing from further into the mine. The fissure heads in two directions, one being towards the North West and the other going to the South East where a breeze is coming from. We go south east, which meets up with a man made tunnel with ten metre high walls with statues of dwarves and gnomes ‘carving’ things in the hallway. The floor is littered with corpses though, with Orcs, Dwarves and Halflings taking up most of it with some humans littered in-between. These corpses are mostly petrified and have definitely been there for a long time.
Jason then does some weird heavy breathing thing and informs us that there are a whole lot of undead in the area, mainly towards the south, and there is a probably a dwarf to the north where there is a large amount of ‘greed’ radiating out. We head down the hallway and the loud banging noise starts to sound more like someone hitting a door. We come across two doors, one leading to undead and the other, the one we go through, leads to what seems like living quarters. Many more corpses fill this area, and Sigil is able to get surface thoughts from the spirits who are not at rest in this area. They keep thinking ’invasion’ and ‘repel’. Jason exorcises the room and we see two corpses, one of a Dwarf and one of an Orc, get up and relive their last minutes before dissipating. So Sigil just ducks across the hallway and opens the other door leading to some offices with some lockboxes inside, which we promptly break open for some sweet money.

We head further up the hallway to the next naturally occurring fissure which was full of mushrooms, which had more sprouting paths. Mourns warned us that the mushrooms were deadly, Jason then decided to touch a mushroom after this warning and proceeded to almost die. We headed back towards the path that the feeling of greed was coming from where we found a slightly ajar door and could hear crunching and splintering noises, probably bones being crunched which probably means ghouls. Jason decided this was the case and burst into the room, which had a few very ghoul looking things standing around a rusted iron brazier. We all became very indecisive as a group as to whether or not we definitely wanted to kill all of these things and they managed to get away.

So at this point everything got really confusing as we entered a series of super old, as in before Croiglas Barony fell old, and where as they may have made sense to the Dwarves who mined them to us it was meaningless. Eventually these tunnels linked up with another naturally occurring fissure, which linked back up with the original. I realise now all of these fissures are potentially there because of all the earthquakes that occur occasionally throughout the mountains.

Mourns and Sigil entered a large tiered room filled with destroyed barricades and tables and some more corpses for good measure. This time trolls were added to the mix seen previously throughout the mine. Here we found the ghouls that had ran off earlier had found friends and decided we were actually worth fighting this time and it turned into a bit of a cluster so myself and Njord quickly entered the room as well to try and help. We all tried to fight them off but Sigil quickly got knocked out, I took a large amount of wounds and attempted to stabilise Sigil with the powers I inherited from Black Siol but because of the religious implications the parasite inside me was not happy. Mourns and Njord had to finish it up from there, and even though Mourns was briefly paralysed her bear form prevailed over all obstacles!

Mourns then carried us out of the cave as a bear and we slowly and painfully made our way back to Sabhail, hoping to return to the mines in the future to find out what was making that mysterious banging noise.

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Adventure #13: Azuriat's Lair

The party travelled south to investigate rumours of the Risen-Then that originally led them to encounter Sol Ban.

The party caught a river-boat from Sabhail down to Usgiel Bay on the border between Mor Foraois and Bolath Portach. There, they trekked inland and discovered a ring of standing stones which depicted the story of a race of Giants. One Giant, the most beautiful and grand of them all, seemed to lead them. Small humanoids arrived, and offered the Giants gifts, but the beautiful one refused. This lead to a war between the races, and the Giants lost. The Giants cursed the beautiful Giant, who became twisted and deformed and fled into darkness.

From this site, the party spotted a tower on the other side of the river. This they believed to be the Risen-Then. The party forded the river, and discovered a giant crocodile in the river – about 30’ long. They evaded the crocodile, and continued onwards.

The tower appeared at once both decrepit and the next second grand. They were shot at by horrible snake-men who guarded the top of the tower. The party rush towards the base, as Mourns and Njord attacked the tower. Inside, there were more snake people, and a massive fight ensued.

The raiding attempt was cut short when the party had to retreat and regroup, leading to a stand still.

Inside the lair, there seemed to be the tale of a beautiful young woman – though the rest of the tale was cut short by lack of exploration. The snake people within seemed to venerate this woman as “Azuriat”, and claimed the lair belonged to her.

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Session 12.5
Everything went downhill when Njord fell through the ship

So one night when Myself, the wonderful and glorious Johannesz, Njord, Mourns and Bivouac were drinking at Beoir’s tavern and we were discussing all the upgrades we had done for the town. Mourns was working more towards helping the alchemist expand his business. Bivouac and I helped build the new library in town, and I set up a hunters hall in Beoir’s and mounted the head of the yellow lady wearing the helmet of the blue knight. It’s super gross and off putting and I love it. I think Njord did something with the new adventurer’s guild because we have mercenaries now which is pretty neat!
So anyway we were hanging out and after a while Njord slammed down his drink and said we are going to the Bereaved Harrowden. I agreed completely So the four of us headed out the next day in Mourns’ carriage, bringing along Bj and Geurgon, the two mercenaries.

We made good time in the carriage, I was very excited to be in it as I hadn’t ridden in it before, Epona and Ponyta were lovely horses. The first town we hit on the way was Tros, an incredibly well defended town. It had huge wooden walls, but on top of the around the walls leading up to them was a rather large wooden maze. Basically if you didn’t know the way you couldn’t get in, luckily I asked BJ and Guorgeen about whether or not they had been to Tros before, and luckily Georjen knew the way in. BJ was also crazy weird about going there. I think he robbed a guy. Or slept with someone he shouldn’t have. Maybe they have a law against BJ’s?

Well we passed through without consequence and headed further north to Cossan. It wasn’t a huge town, but it was built on what seemed like a hollowed out hill full of Dwarves so no idea how many people were actually there. Everyone was nice and polite and again we passed through with no problem. As we exited though Njord kind of stopped for a second, looked behind him, and told the rest of us that no one in that town had shadows, that they were all missing shadows. I think maybe they just didn’t need them anymore, or maybe they just forgot where they put them that morning.

The only way we knew of to cross the mountain was to go through An Geartha, a supposedly deadly mountain pass. When we entered it we noticed the entrance to a huge fortress on our left which was for the dragon empire if I remember correctly. On our right there was a path up the mountains to a cave. Were all kind of freaked out by how imposing everything was, so we just tried to go on through quietly and without any trouble but as we try to exit we hear a loud cry coming from our left and then a boulder is thrown across the path and crashing near the cave where an answering roar occurs. We then hustled crazy fast out of there.

We entered Airgead next, a mainly dwarf town that seems incredibly rich at first glance, but looking beyond that surface this people are also clearly running out of money. Remembering back to what we’ve heard coming out of other towns, it seems like this mining town is running out of stuff to mine. We decide to stay the night here, and Bivo begins singing around town as we meander through asking for a place to play, and a kid told us to head to the Minstrel’s Cellar. Now this place is THE BEST. It’s run by a guy named Selwy and this guy had a mirror eye patch and was the flirtiest guy around, fantastic stuff. Njord began drinking and instantly began involving himself in the flirting as well. Bivo got us some cheap rooms to stay in, and had the place jumping around. Mourns decided to have a drinking contest with Selwy drinking dwarf piss and somehow managed to drink him under the table, kind of literally because he explosively vomited behind the bar. The night then just got wilder from there, and I made many friends.

The next day we headed out into the wilds past Airgead into the more wild areas of the world. BJ managed to find tracks of a Grick, a big old snake thing with extra tentacle thingys coming off its face. Weird stuff but we decided to ignore it because we have stuff to do. We managed to hit Laoch’s crossing, which we were informed was the place to go to and then head east from, and it was a creepy freaking place. Bivo informed us of the sheer volume of wars that were fought here between the Croiglas barony and the Iarann barony, and the bridge is just covered in skeletons and corpses; just crazily covered, so very many. This became an issue for our horse and carriage, so Bivo took that back to Airgead while the rest of us continued on towards the Bereaved Harrowden. Mourns attempted to loot some of the bodies, but in the process managed to break a skeleton which then caused her to get stabbed by one of these skeletons who may or may not have moved to stab her maybe. Also she might be cursed now. I don’t know.

Mourns, Njord, Bj , Gerfergun and I made camp at the edge of the ocean. Bj thought he may have seen some stuff in the forest but didn’t think anything of it. Mourns stepped away from the camp for a bit and I think became one with a little bunny rabbit or something, she seemed to be doing something important, and Njord went to hang out in the water because he is definitely a fish. I hung out at the camp with BJ and Guenjerbun making dinner and trying to fish. Njord learnt that there be many sharks around because of SO many shark eggs, and Mourns learnt from being a bunny where the Bereaved Harrowden definitely is. That night we were attacked by a giant flipping phase spider that almost killed Njord in one go, but when we finally started to fuck up his steeze he just blinked out of there which was massively frustrating. I wanted his head for my wall.

The next day we headed towards the Bereaved Harrowden and found it easily enough with Mourns’ bunny scouting, though Njord seemed a bit worse for wear. Probably because he got bit by a giant spider but you know. Njord swam under the boat and expected the area around the crashed boat, found where the boat was forced up against a big rocky sand back and when he looked out towards the ocean the sheer volume of sharks that were around the reef and their violent nature was astounding and way beyond natural actions.

So we finally got onto the boat. And then everything turned into the coolest shit ever. So firstly we inspected the deck of the boat, Mourns discovered there was a trapped door leading to what could only really be the captains room. On it was a note saying locked on the quartermaster’s orders. Njord decided this was clearly important to get into so I suggested breaking through the roof as it seemed easier then dealing with a trap. Njord agreed then started summoning his eldritch blasts and talking to himself a bunch. Then he got real angry, stopped summoning magic and went over to the grate that was leading down further into the boat. We all scuttled over and looked down; I spread lights into the hull and Njord instantly jumps down. In the process he crashes through past the middle floor into the slightly flooded bottom floor. I slipped down into the middle floor and BJ and Guoergnjorf followed suite carefully lowering themselves to the next floor; Mourns wanted to join Njord so she kept bounding around the place hoping to fall. I searched the middle floor calling out everything I found including the skeleton corpses that are sitting around, the chest that had 5 precious gems and finally the corpse of someone holding onto a key which I guessed to be the quartermaster. Now, being the quick thinking individual that I am, I decided to just grab the key. This was not a good move.

So firstly when I grabbed the key an angry screaming spirit just came the hell at me which was great. After that I heard yelling through the boat and apparently all the skeletons started waking up, and a real powerful skeleton, probably a Wight, woke up on the bottom level. All hell broke loose and BJ went down almost instantly due to some bad luck. Mourns kept jumping between floors trying to help everyone she could, Njord went up stairs but then as I Shattered a giant hole in the side of the ship he got knocked back down on top of the Wight down stairs. When I let go of the key the spirit disappeared again so I decide I’d just try and burn the fuck out of the body and then pick up the remains with the key in my cloak. Njord and Mourns knocked out most of the skeletons with the help of Gerguenjor though he did fall eventually. Mourns went bear form and awkwardly helped fend off the Wight, and then Njord blew the floor of the ship, knocking out the Wight and a shark ended up splattering him in the water. Because of all the blood given off in this fight the sharks began circling the boat and occasionally trying to get in. One got through the hole in the ship and took a chunk out of Mourns before Mourns tore it’s jaw and skull out of the shark.

So after this hectic as hell fight we all met up again on the deck to recuperate and heal up. We waited a while so that everyone could get their head together but after a short while I explained the key and what happened when I touched. We moved in front of the locked door and Njord told me to pass him the key and I did. The spirit apparently came at Njord just like it did me, and Mourns reacted quickly by casting his spell moonbeam which managed to completely disintegrate the spirit but also kind of hurt Njord unfortunately.
Njord headed over to the door and unlocked it. Inside was a dank and disgusting room. Njord quietly headed in and looked around. There was another corpse lying on the bed and to the left his the captains desk with an open book and an iron lock box. Njord instantly headed over and began reading the book and grab the lock box. He learnt that the captain spurned Rudderless and was looking for the Seam of Chimes (I think, Njord was reading it I don’t know) and how that would give the captain the power of the gods. The quartermaster disagreed with how he disregarded the gods and warned him of how it was a bad idea. Eventually the quartermaster somehow got Rudderless to curse the ship as proven by the skeletons and what not. The captain then got up and threatened Njord. I was waiting at the doorway for this and Njord and I made eye contact. Basically we planned that he would misty step out and I would just burn the ship down as much as I could. Unfortunately this guy turned out to be like a flipping vampire or something and scooted across the room before I could even cast my spell then grabbed me by the wrist and gets ready to slit it open.

Njord gave the iron box to the mercs and told them to run which they promptly did, and ran back to the captains room, managing to distract the captain with his delicious looking throat enough that I could slip out of his grip. I quickly shattered the entire back of the boat, blowing it to smithereens and because he is a vampire, sunlight is a big no no for him so he starts burning. But unfortunately I blew part of the mast out and that started falling down so Mourns goes bear form again and tries to stop it from falling by tackling it but that didn’t go so well and it falls on her and knocks over the other two masts in a domino effect. Luckily BJ and Giorgenburg get out of the way and run back to the beach. That left myself, Njord and the Captain in the ship’s cabin. Njord eventually just tackles the captian off the side of the ship and disappears under the water, which causes him to melt in the sun and the water as he’s like allergic to water as well apparently. But I feel like Njord is in trouble because he went under the water but he didn’t instantly come back up even though he’s a fish. So I duck into the water and try and drag him up but the sharks start going crazy so Mourns gets out of bear form, puts on the shark jaw and then turns into a shark to protect us. We all managed to get out of it fine, but as I dragged Njord up onto the beach I saw how many bite wounds he has I questioned whether he was okay and he was really fine but I think he was too fine? So I definitely think he’s now a vampire fish. We all kind of spent the night on the beach again watching the ship sink after all the destruction before heading back to Airgead and the minstrel’s cellar to get real drunk for a couple of days before finally heading back to Sabhail.

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The Depths of Doracha
2nd May 1714

The adventure continued from last time, though Bivouac Chopsky and Vinnie “F@#$ing” Jones decided to stay back to protect the Myconids.

The rest of the party pressed on after camping outside of Doracha, and passed through what appeared to be the Myconid’s war room, as a large-crested Myconid spread out spores along the ground which caused the iridescent fungus to glow and pulse in various shapes. Noam Chopsky was able to use her strategic skills to discern that the shapes were battle plans, and committed them to memory. They seemed to hint at exploration and expansion outside of Doracha.

Past the war room, the party entered a blood spattered room which the Myconids were afraid of (and cut off, offering to reopen the way when the party returned). Inside this room there were many gnawed upon inhuman skeletons, and a large statue of a cowled skeleton, holding a staff. The staff had an old inscription upon it, saying “I KNOW ________ OF FEAR”. The party were able to recall information about an old story with a figure much like this skeleton which would stand off against The Rider in the Cold and would say “I know nothing of fear”. Using this information, Jason “O’padalin” Statham inscribed the word into the staff where the space was left, and the statue stepped aside, revealing a secret door. It also gave up the staff to Jason to take.

Past this room, the party discovered a strange alter upon which two clay idols stood. Both had pointed ears. One was covered in grey dust, and was scowling at the other. The second was bent and deformed, and looked to be in pain. Whilst exploring, however, the party alerted the creatures of Doracha, and they were beset by 6 Quaggoths – creatures they identified as being ancient arboreal hunters which were long ago driven into the Underdark.

The battle was furious. Mourns was able to significantly weaken their numbers by using a Moon Beam before charging through as a bear. Njord Aldon was able to get behind them with his Mist Step and cut them off from behind. Noam Chopsky performed a dangerous stunt by rolling underneath them and attacking from the flank, but fortunately she succeeded and her rage was strong. Jason “O’padalin” Statham stood stalwart and blocked the retreat or advancement of the Quaggoths as a beacon of GREAT JUSTICE. And Aisling harassed the enemy with Sacred Flame and managed to keep the other party members on their feet long enough to kill them all.

When the Quaggoths lay dead, the party discovered a hidden treasure chest underneath one of the beasts’ nests. Inside was much treasure, as well as a strange magical russet bag. The party rested for a while, and identified the staff that Jason claimed as a Staff of Fear, and the bag as a Bag of Tricks. Before the end of their rest, they were interrupted by noises coming from the far side of a barricaded door.

Njord Aldon used his telepathy to contact the voices on the other side, and discovered a huddle group of Orcs. The party freed them and discovered they were captives of the Quaggoths, who were eating them. The party fed the Orcs, and befriended them, learning that they were of the Orol Tribe. Their one-eyed Leader gave the party their thanks, as well as information about the rest of the dungeon. He identified a hole down the following corridor that supposedly leads to the Underdark!

The party bid their new friends to wait whilst they explored further before they would return and lead them safely out of Doracha. Jason “O’padalin” Statham and Noam Chopsky were able to remove a rusty iron door and cover the hole to the Underdark temporarily, and they entered the last room beyond.

Inside, the discovered what seems to be the old cloister, though there was nothing but refuse left. The ceiling was engraved with geometric floral patterns that had teeth – clear signs of Black Siol. There was also a stalactite hanging from the ceiling. Mourns went to investigate the formation, using Thunderwave to shake it loose. However, it was actually a Roper beast and awake to attack the party!

At first, the party believed they were able to kill it, but after discovered how strong its hide was, they decided to flee on Mourns’s command. Jason “O’padalin” Statham stepped forward with his Staff of Fear and locked the Roper into panic, at which point the party valiantly attempted to kill it. It was a tough fight, but eventually Mourns was able to tear it in half and killed the beast. Afterwards, Njord Aldon informed the party of what the beast really was – a usually solitary predator that is all over the Underdark, and far from the strongest threat there. Emboldened with this knowledge, the party decided to leave the Underdark until they became a lot more powerful…

The party gained a large red gem from the eye of the Roper, freed the Orcs, and informed the Myconids of their great works before heading back to Sabhail.

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Journey to the Mushroom Kingdom
29th April - 1st May 1714

Hello friends! Bivouac here again. This time to tell you what became of our adorable mushroom friend. Our last adventure – where we defeated the Yellow Lady and her cronies in glorious (and terrifying!) combat, shook me up quite a bit. How many other horrors such as she might be lurking in our world?? I spoke to Njord and Vinnie about this, and we agreed that Sabhail needed a guild. A guild will attract mercenaries to the town, who local folk can pay to help and protect them. We jointly invested the 500G needed to start construction, now we just need a brilliant name…..

While drinking at Beoir’s on the evening of the 29th April, we met a new adventurer. Aisling is a wandering Dwarven Priest (?) interested in joining our team. Shortly after Aisling arrived, it occurred to a few of us that we never properly explored those church ruins – Doracha – that we discovered en route to Logalai a few weeks ago. There could be treasure! And it would be lovely to visit my friend Mushy and see how his plantations are growing (HA!).

Mourns offered the use of her newly procured (how DID she find the gold for that?!) carriage and horse team. For once we did not have to worry about becoming lost – we simply jumped into the carriage and took the road. Unfortunately, for adventurers things are never that simple! A light rain began as we departed Sabhail the next morning, turning into a stormy gale during our journey. Then, disaster struck. With a loud BANG the carriage swung wildly off the road, something thudded onto the road and the horses screamed their protest. Jumping up out of the carriage into the driver’s seat to see what was going on I saw knots of confused and angry looking snakes ready to attack! Fearing for their potent poisons I began yelling at the other party members – trying to explain what was happening. For some reason, Njord was several metres behind the carriage – I think he had been riding on top when the storm hit? That guy sure does love water…

Many of my companions bravely attempted to thwart the snakes, while others helped push the carriage back on track. Noam and I calmed the horses, and in a few minutes we had bolted away – but not before several party members had sustained noticeable injuries. We pushed onto Logalai, where we spent the night at Henry’s. Before resting I decided to see what had become of that double-crossing lowlife Ayben. Unsurprisingly, his house was deserted. A kind and elderly fisherman informed me that Ayben had left about 2 months ago – accompanied by a girl who could be his daughter. Just as I suspected – Sol Ban!

Arriving at Doracha the next day, we could tell immediately that something had changed. The stone church was covered with strange religious symbols, which appeared to have been painted crudely on gray animal hides. Proceeding to the entrance, I was greeted by two Myconid guards. As we suspected, it looked as though Mushy had been very busy. After some crude communication through gestures, I was taken into Doracha proper. Uncertain of what I would find, we decided that the rest of the party would wait outside until I discovered if it was safe. Entering the main chamber was like walking into Ma’s house at Beltine. Relatives EVERYWHERE. In the space of a few quick weeks, Mushy’s family had grown from one to hundreds. Guards with crudely made spears lined the walls – although they looked like the kind of guards who you might have to remind to stick intruders with the pointy end. The Myconids aged in range, with the younger seeming more intellectually developed. There were heaps and heaps of curious and adorable Mushlings, and I could glimpse another room out back, which must have been the nursery, as there looked to be many more out there.

Then, finally, sitting on a strange throne against the back wall, I finally glimpsed my old friend – Mushy!!!! He looked extremely content, but his face lit up with excitement when he saw me. Getting closer I noticed he was being closely guarded by one mushroom in particular. As I got closer to it, I realised it was different from all the Myconids – it felt like it was blooded. No doubt a result of Johannesz’s blood sacrifice…

After some negotiation, the Myconid Guard allowed me to get close enough to Mushy for a hug and a catch-up, well, as much as a catch-up you can have with someone you don’t share a language with anyway. He still had the Kazoo that I gave him the very first time we met! Ah, memories… Around that time, the rest of the party arrived. The Myconids seemed not to mind our presence, except Guard, who got very protective anytime we went near Mushy. Things got a little worrisome once Njord started using his Awakened Mind to communicate with the Guard directly. It seems this Blooded Myconid has ambitions to expand the Mushroom Empire. I tried to explain to him that invading nearby settlements was NOT a good idea, and we offered for the party to clear out infested wings of Doracha, so that the Myconids might have more living space. We attempted to broker a deal – we clear Doracha, and you don’t attack Sabhail. Not sure that we really got through.

Clearing the first room, from which we could detect some kind of necromantic evil, was not too taxing. We took down the Wraith that lived there – the only tricky part was that magic seemed to be the only thing to damage it – and camped outside for the evening.

Mushy.jpg

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Yellow Lady, part 2
Session 10

After a nice relaxing night of heavy drinking I woke under the kitchen table to a banging on the door. Aparently Vinnie “F@#$ing” Jones and Noam Chopsky got out message that the Yellow Lady is fae. NOTE: ask Johannesz how he sent the message.

A bell tolled in the streets. Guards we offering a reward for any information on the cultist we had captured the other day. Apparently these incompetent, spineless jellyfish of a town guard cannot keep one prisoner, a prisoner who can’t even form a single thought, let alone possessing the mental capacity required to escape.

Myself and Jason “O’Padalin” Statham were joined by Vinnie and Noam to find out what had happened at the prison while Bivouac took Johannesz, Mourns and Laithina to talk to the council members that we suspected were also part of this Lord Velvet cult as we had originally planned.

The first thing I noticed when we got to the prison was that my assessment of the guard was wrong. A ship is only as good as its captain and this guard captain was as subtle and had less fineness that a beached whale.

The cell itself was just as Jason and I had left it except the shackles had been torn out of the wall. Within minutes the four of us were able to find out more than just the prisoner had gone. He had taken the shackles with him. There was no way the man by himself could have pulled the shackles out of the wall like that, so he had help. There was no sign that the cell door or lock had been tampered with. Finally there was residue hinting at a powerful enchantment had been used here.

Bivouac and the others go to Elel’s house only to find it has been fortified. While trying to talk to Elel through her door it apparently “attacks” Johannesz. In retaliation he blows a hole through it. Our luck being what it is, the only competent guard I have come across in this dry excuse of a port shows up and arrests Johannesz.

Bivouac disappears, while Mourns and Laithena try talking to the second council member on our list suspected of being on the same ship as the cultists.

Meanwhile at the prison we are still having trouble with the incompetence of the guard when I catch one of the prisoners trying desperately hard not to think of something. With a bit of persuasion I am able to extract from his mind an image of the accomplice. It looked like the dead councillor! He had inhuman eyes and blood in his mouth. According to the prisoner he squeezed through the bars like he had no bones, picked the cultist up, by the neck, then tore the cultist, and his shackles, free from the wall.

I, of cause, shared this information with the guard captain.

It was about that time that Johannesz turned up. Vinnie bribed, I mean payed Johannesz’ bail and we left to find the others.

Laithena and Mourns had managed to talk their way into Oren’s house. It had been similarly fortified. Before they got too much out of him the escaped cultist appeared in the house and killed Oren then left before Laithena or Mourns could do anything.

We met up outside Oren’s house and shared all we learned. All evidence pointed to the Yellow Lady as the murderer. Jason, Johannesz and Vinnie stayed to find more evidence linking the council members to the Lord Velvet cult while the rest of us went to confront the Yellow Lady.

Rushing to Threes Allowed we saved Bivouac from the most dangerous audition of his life.

The battle was brutal and it wasn’t until Jason, Johannesz and Vinnie arrived and all of us faced the Yellow Lady that we really had a chance at beating that powerful fae.

A bloody battle, good loot and a magic ring. We did well and saved these ungrateful elves. But this Lord Velvet cult worries me.

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The Yellow Lady Part 1 (Session #9)
12-15th April, 1714
♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

TIS I! BIVOUAC! Here to tell you the tale of The Yellow Lady, and the brave adventurers who were daring enough to face her. I was mighty disappointed to find I had missed out on some kind of Din-a-sore adventure (how could you go without me Noam?! D:), so after several days of subjecting ahem! I mean treating the patrons of Beoir’s Tavern to tragic melodies communicating my woes, we heard tell of a strange woman who had arrived in Slieb and started rapidly making changes to the community. According to our friend Ohil, and much to Lathina’s disgust, she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Further questioning revealed just how strange this lady is. Within the space of about a week she has begun a culture of rampant prostitution in Slieb! Suspecting that this ‘Yellow Lady’ may have something to do with that Blue Knight fellow that we offed a few weeks ago, we forced ahem! I mean, asked Ohil to take us upriver.

During our 2 day voyage upon the barge, things were mainly uneventful, although we did spot some kind of laughing fish (??) off the side of the barge during the evening. Despite valiant attempts on my part to lure this rare specimen to the barge using my tunes, whatever it was got away.

We arrived in Slieb as dusk began to settle over the lights of the floating island town. It was Friday night and everyone, apart from Ohil, was excited to investigate The Yellow Lady’s intriguing set-up – a large, circular building lit up with brightly coloured lanterns. This contrasted spectacularly with the rest of Slieb, which, although pretty, is always covered with white light.

Noticing that the venue was guarded by a hefty bouncer, I put on my best bravado and managed to swagger our way to the front of the queue. The inside was like nothing I had ever seen before. Strange, naked performers twirled in and out of large yellow ribbons suspended from the ceiling, as a room of transfixed strangers looked on in awe. Aside from the main chamber, the room was lined with several alcoves, concealed by yellow drapery. Njord went directly to the bar, while Lathina and Ohil continued their lover’s quarrels. I’m not sure what Mourns, Jason and Jo were up to, as I was dancing far too intently to notice!

I did notice a bit of a commotion as several, half-dressed people were shoved rudely from one of the alcoves. One of them was councilman Alador. Intrigued, but not wanting him to notice me, I danced inconspicuously to the bar, where Njord had taken him for a drink. A few minutes later, a staff member approached Njord to tell him that the Yellow Lady had requested his presence! Lucky bugger! I glimpsed him, and for some reason all my other companions, enter her alcove.

Later they explained that she, like the Blue Knight, is searching for the Grey King. She also confided that the rest of her ‘Rainbow Siblings’ were also searching for him, although they do not seem to be working together. She tried to blackmail the party into helping her. I’m not sure how much they agreed to do.

While this was going on, I approached Alador and we downed a hearty amount of ale! In fact, all I remember after that is waking in the guest chamber of Alador’s house. Although I also noticed that all my gold was gone! Some night that must have been… I wanted to speak to Alador some more, but he had already left for work. I headed for the White Tower, where I met my companions, who had all spent the night at Ohil’s.

While arguing with the guards who would not let us into the Tower (as Council was in session) we heard a loud and suspicious CRASH. Lathina burst into the chamber to find a purple-clad Assassin holding Alador’s corpse by the head. He had slit his neck. We valiantly vanquished the Assassin and his companions, killing all but the ringleader, who we kept alive to interrogate (which Njord and Jason took charge of). It did not take long to break him, and he revealed that he, and the other assassins, were working for a man from Choinnail (in Eran Barony) who they believed to be Lord Velvet incarnate. This ‘Treda’ had sent the assassins to investigate the Faefalls, which he believes hides some kind of gate of ascension. Alador was their planted spy, and they killed him as they believed he was close to betraying their cause…..

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