Ameshirel: A World Undone

Session 27: The Mind Flayer of Thunderstone Mountain
Mind Flayer?? I hardly know her!!

We fucked around ALOT at Beoir’s
We went to the Minstrel’s Cellar in Airgead
Then we entered the Airgead Mines, found shambling undead with no brains
Continued into Thunderstone mines
We are in a cave
There are small translucent bat/mosquitoes crawling around the ceiling of the cave
They are Sturges!
We decide to all attack them at once with our ranged weapons – mess dem up!!
We make it to the room that we previously encountered the hollow-headed ghouls in
Head north from there. There are two further passageways branching northwards
Come to a stone room with orderly bunks – BUT VERY OLD. LITERALLY MILLENIA
Dwarven and Orc skeletons litter the floor
The dwarves who died here were originally allied with the Westerlings (our contemporary enemies!!)
Northern Dwarves went into decline through battles with Frost Giants
Through Primeval Awareness, Lathina notices that there are abberations somewhere nearby
Head down north passageway into a large 30×30 chamber with the Eastern wall caved in from ceiling rock. A small storeroom is attached.
We check for traps
And then for treasure! >> Smelly old barrels which used to have food and alcohol in them and a handful of gold pieces (16).
Continue further north! Find a large chamber which is littered with the corpses of all types of beings – human, dwarf, gnome VERSUS orcs… and more recently, GHOULS!
Was once an eating gallery – but turned into the main rampart (site of the last stand) when this place was invaded.
Went from the mess hall up a short flight of stairs and then into a room to the West, through which Bivouac can hear beings speaking in some guttural language
Bivouac clumsily attempts to open the door sneakily – it creaks loudly and something rushes against the stone door, which seems to be barricaded from the other side.
Mourns summons a Rhino to charge the door open.
COMBAT! Against BugBears! 5 BugBears – we defeat them easily with our magical and physical prowess! Lathina does some sweet flips!
loot the bodies! move forward > in the next room we find a pond of water into which water is trickling.
With her piercing vision Mourns can see into the bottom of the water > there is a corpsey with two platinum rings and a wand of magic missiles which the party generously decides to give to Bivouac
We have a short rest
Then continues to explore in the direction of the of the large, thunderous sounds
Encounter a room where a human who seems to able to rotate his head 360 degrees is supervising some Bugbears and Dwarves who are mining
A carving on the door depicts an anvil which is periodically lit up by lightning coming from a mountain. Dwarves surround the anvil and, and a scene of friendship between dwarves and humans.
It appears that there is a Mind Flayer in the room.
Mind Flayers typically travel across dimensions mentally colonising planes. They are creatures of myth – it is really strange to actually see one.
Jason is sworn to kill these beings.
It attempts to diplomatically persuade us that it isn’t a threat.
Jason says no.
COMBAT 2~! Against the Mind Flayer and Nothics
The Mind Flayer is incredibly mentally strong – stuns Sigil when she attempts to use magic against him, she gets stunned.
Bivouac tries out his wand of Magic Missiles! But the MF takes half magic damage :/
The MF uses domination over Jason… he is totally enthralled by him. The Bugbear that Sigil was controlling forgets her when she becomes stunned and returns to the MF’s control. We make a few hits, but physical damage seems far more effective than magical damage against him, and there are many magic users amognst us. Lathina manages to get Jason back on our side using Mirror’s Gall! It’s charms do not work against the MF however! After a few more hits are made on the MF, Mourns ends him, as an owl-bear, by grabbing the Bugbear in her jaws and fling it into the MF – smashing his skull against the wall. Purple blood oozes from his skull.
Although the MF is dead, the Nothics still want to end us!
Once we finish obliterating the Nothics we discover a room of mindfucked prisoners and rescue them!

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Session 26 or 'Down with the sickness'
Our adventurers treck to a plague ridden town

The party treck to Leithinis, ready to scourge the unfortunate town of the plague. Too many altruistic adventures in the past have left the group with minimal funds to invest in Saibhail, so this time our adventurers agree to focus on reward.

This declaration, however, had bad timing. Enter Daxenth, a kobold ranger from the far east, journeying long ways to reach the Blooded of Saibhail he had heard so much about. Maybe these were the people who could help defeat the evils of the Easterlings? But alas, just another money hungry troop, thugs who wreak havoc and destruction in any town they go. Interesting thugs, albeit; a veiny, pasty elf, a pregnant married woman wildy waving around her left hand, a paladin who looked just like Jason Statham, a horse and an innocuous looking human girl… perhaps.

After a brief chat –well as brief as our heroes know to how to do- the group manage to convince Dax not to judge them so quickly. Instead, they offer for him to come along on their journey to Leithinis, to kindly offer to tend to their sick and cure their wounds. They were off on the ‘morrow, and if Dax wanted to join he had best be there when their hangovers all wore off to a level of functionability.

And hours later, upon the horizon we see Leithinis. Once a grand town, multiple reoccursions of the mysterious plague had left over a third of the town burnt to the ground. Fire was the only way the townspeople knew to cope with the blight. What would have once been a bustling business district was now pathetically quiet, with the heroes estimating half of the population had perished. A fruit stall vendor quickly caught their attention. Pressing him for answers, and ignoring his rotting wares the group discover more about the plague and the history of the town. Cailin, the new mayor, had taken over the town council when the former mayor, had succumbed to the plague and his house went up in flames.
Deciding they really did need the money, the Blooded set out to find Calen and determine their reward. Jason veered from the group to investigate the burned buildings scattered around the town. ‘Hmm, just as I suspected.. Charcoal’ He thinks to himself.
The team suffer an initial social setback when meeting Cailin – ‘or was it Galen?’- but eventually determine both a reward of 3000 gold coins and a lead. A lead regarding Hamell’s Well, an old well in town where many families who required external water sources came. Families in need… and a family who had their own plumbing system, that family being of the former mayor. Establishing this fact, and having the Paladin confirm a magical element to the plague residing in the water, the troop set off for the charred remains of the Hamell mansion.
The team quickly discovered an ashy, but undamaged, cellar amongst the wreck. A precautionary knock on the door by Johannesz heeded nothing so our heroes bravely entered the darkness, with the sickness hanging in the air. The entry to the underground cellar opened to a square room, with one door barricaded from the other side and the other door, directly in front of the adventurers, smeared in red paint with a warning ‘Turn Back’. But did our adventurers turn back? Of course not! Pressing on stealthily, Laithina and Sigil discovered five beings, silently retching; five undead beings. Combat ensues, with our heroes prevailing! Fire and stabs and dissonant screams, the enemy decomposes.
Pressing on through the room a second barricaded door is discovered. Not to be disheartened, the team barge through the door. More undead! But wait – not undead, just terribly ill. Nine raggedy individuals regard the heroes warily. But never fear, weary comrades, our Paladin can heal you!

Except he can’t. Strong magical forces are at work in this town. Forces coming from the other side of that wall.

Pushing on through the network of rooms beneath the former mansion, the team scrabble down some stairs and up a ravine to find themselves finally in the location of the magical beast. Along the way Laithina’s primeval awareness senses elementals in the area. Laithina suggests they’re in the water, and perhaps that is what they are looking for, but the team brush her off. Maybe another day, elementals.

Finally the team work up the courage to enter the room, inside of which is a beast more powerful than many will face in their lives. Entering the room, they see corpses, so many corpses, and a disfigured lump. ‘I should set fire to the room/blob!’ vibes Johannesz, to no argument. But oh the adventurers should have argued. The magic awoke the room, and damaged everyone inside. Fortunately this was only Jason and Johannesz, but nevertheless the team were initiated into battle. Battle with a beholder. Quickly in the combat Sigil suffered a fall, and depended on Laithina to swiftly fetch her and carry her to safety. As the fighting quickly continued around them Laithina looked on helplessly from the corner where she comforted Sigil, maternally. Helplessly, as Jason fell to the disintegration ray of the Beholder, his admantium armour exploding from the interaction. ‘He must be dead,’ Laithina thinks to herself. ‘But…’

Unwillingly to sit idly by and accept the fates like some unblooded peasant, we see Laithina volley into the air to pour a healing potion down Jason’s throat. Quickly returning to her spot in the corner, knowing she couldn’t move the paladin and his enormousness she waits, hopeful. A twitch from Jason allows the team to exhale. But Johannesz quickly seizes the moment to incapacitate the Beholder, so that Jason may have his revenge. However, Johannesz has undermined his own strength, laying firey waste to the Beholder.
Ruin lay around them, the team can’t believe what they’ve done. Had they proved themselves mighty warriors to Daxenth? Certainly so. Had they shown compassion and camaraderie? Indeed.

Jason, stumbling to his feet, feeling naked without his mystical armour forces his fist into the remains of the Beholder in a moment of rage. As his hand exits, it is grasping something solid. A black orb; the heart of the Beholder.

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Session 25: Bivoback to the Future
A merry jaunt into the dystopian future.

Triskell had been staying in town recently. Supposedly to work on releasing Zozif from his time displacement. I say supposedly because in all that time I saw very little actual work being done. I offered to help as an assistant, running errands (mainly for alcohol) and doing other miscellaneous work. It was in part to hide from the anti-Sigil mob that has been forming in Sabhail, and also partly to try to learn anything of use from this wizard. He is not quite as crafty as he thinks, I picked up a few tricks.

The night before our adventure, Triskell joined us in the tavern for drinking (again). He promised to fix Zozif’s predicament the very next day. With hangovers all round, we woke him in the morning and ventured off to Zozif’s workshop. Triskell put on a big act of casting some sort of spell. A magical cage formed around the tiny gnome, and then shattered, releasing Zozif from his curse. He seemed confused that we were all crowded around in his workshop. To him, it was as if no time had passed at all.

We were all about to congratulate ourselves on another job well done, when he began to slow down again. Triskell reached out a hand to the gnome, and then pulled it away, stretching out a rift of some sort between them. Monstrous roaring could be heard from the portal. Peering through, we could see water on stone, and the reflection of a flashing blue, purple and yellow light. We came here for an adventure, and did not take much convincing to pass through into the other world.

We found ourselves in a strange stone hallway. A bizarre metal tree on a cliff face seemed to be the source of the changing lights, but we could not work out their purpose. Two blazing, fiery lights appear at the end of the hallway and begin tearing towards us. It appears to be some sort of self-propelled carriage. It stops just short of hitting us and a panel in the side opens. Someone is inside, but not of any race we have ever seen. He is made of metal, a construct of some sort. He introduces himself as ‘011235’ or ‘Fibonacci’ for short. He says that he knows Zozif.

As we are talking with him a huge dragon-like flying creature appears. It shines down lights over the ground and we can hear the sound of metal hailing down. We crowd into the carriage, arranging ourselves between the alchemical equipment in the back, and hold on for dear life. Fibonacci explains that our pursuer was a Hunter Killer made by the Remnant. Sounds good, sounds like something we’re going to need to fight.

He takes us to his hideout, and answers a few of our questions. We are still in Ameshirel, it is just far into the future. Zozif created the Iron Men and the modrons like Fibonacci, but something went wrong. The Remnant is the last of the Iron Men. Fibonacci explained that he wanted to fix the world by returning with us to our own time and convincing Zozif to create the modrons before the Iron Men.

The next morning, we head out in the carriage towards the Remnant’s main base. There are thousands of modrons in the city, all going about their business. The Hunter Killer reappears, hot on our tail. Laithina and I shoot it out of the sky with a canon of some sort as the carriage screams into the compound. Modrons begin converging on our location. A giant mechanical creature strides out in front of us and blows apart the front of the vehicle with its weaponized arm. Half of its face is metal, but the other looks incredibly like Zozif.

The modrons begin their attack, combining with each other into stronger models. Njord slams down a potion of Hill Giant’s Strength and races towards the automaton, stabbing it with his spear. It is unimpressed, and stomps him into the ground. Tubes spring from its arm and begin to drain away what little remains of Njord’s life force. Johannesz fires bolts off into the crowd of attackers, and I begin channeling shatter at the monstrosity before us. Bivouac begins to chant, but starts cussing as he fumbles on his song. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard him play.

Bivouac and Zinren focus fire on the fleshy part of the mech’s face. Wires begin to spill out of it as it attempts to repair itself. Other modrons who have fallen previously in the battle begin to repair themselves and rejoin the fray, leaping ahead with jetpacks. Mourns casts lightning on the Remnant, plating begins to fall from its body. Lights flash on its shoulders, and it sweeps a beam of red ruin across the party.

Laithina and Bivouac aim at what little remains of its face, and shoot it down. The modrons stop in their tracks as their leader falls, and the Hunter Killers over the city drop from the sky. They are apologetic, and fly us back over the city to the rift. We pass through, bringing Fibonacci with us, to find Triskell asleep and Zozif returning to his normal state. Zozif shares his knowledge of modron construction with Zozif, and we return to the town for a well-deserved mid-afternoon nap.

But somewhere, a gnome is far from home. Pacing through the shadows of a world that would be better left alone. She screams as she garrotes one of her quarry. Maybe we could hear her, or maybe we just hope she’s still alive.

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Session 24
Reports to Candlekeep

24 August 1717

An amendment to my last report. Not all goliaths are as stupid as I first summarised. One at least, this Deckard Baine, managed to apprentice himself to Triskell! No only that he seems to have a sharp mind, for a goliath, and has mastered basic spellcasting. Perhaps there is hope for the race. Maybe, if one is willing to look hard enough, one might find some potential Disciple Candlekeepers among their number.

As to my current mission. Triskell has indeed gone missing. He was last seen treating with the Fire Giants. I was lead to their base and indeed it is a Triskell reported, a new volcano has emerged and it hums with the melody of the Song of Fire.

My guide was appointed by the Jarl and the Council of Elders, one Deckard Baine. First appearance he is nothing special, a large specimen of these brutes with very obvious signs of this tribe’s Fire Giant heritage. Apparently the young goliath apprenticed himself to Triskell as I mentioned before. I do not know about this claim but he seems to have a plan to save the wizard and more information on who Triskell trusts with, or at least believes is competent enough, to rescue him. Deckard is also, to my surprise, Blooded. Whether this was a coincidence or the goliath Elders knew of the similarities between myself and their guide I do not know.

Triskell himself magiced a map to us as we tried, unsuccessfully, to paley with the Giants. We believe it shows the location of where he is being held. I have not been to the Song of Fire in a long time and on those trips I have never treated with the Fire Giants. From what I can gather they do seem to be the ones in charge however.

Triskell trusts this Goliath so I must do the same. I can only hope the wizard knows what he is doing.

28 August 1717

Were are over a day’s ride from Sabhail. We came across a band of Gnolls camped in the forest just off the main road. The beasts had been raiding farms in the area. By the look of their markings they were all from different tribes so I must conclude they were part of a warband that either got dispersed or it’s warlord was not strong enough to stop it’s soldiers from deserting becoming bandits.

Regardless the goliath again surprised me again but suggesting a sound ambush plan and for more reasons that loot. He felt that a band like this was not only a danger to the surrounding settlements but also to us and our return trip. If nothing this journey is broadening my understanding of these people.

Of the fight nothing to report. The gnolls were surprised and dispatched quickly with spell and sword.

30 August 1717

Of the many Blooded reportedly making Sabhail their home we managed to find only two. The gnome bard Bivouac and an otherworldly woman who introduced herself as Sigil. These two seemed very unimpressive but I could sense Blood in them. With so much time spent on travel we had to make do with what we could find and left Sabhail the next morning.

Bivouac is more confidant than his skills suggest he should be. I get the feeling that there is more power in him than he shows though. If anything his silver tongue should help us treat with the Giants.

Sigil is fascinatingly alien. She speaks common as if a native though her accent I cannot place. She has no magic yet moved and dresses as one who has access to such power. It was not until our second day of travel that I realised she was more than human. A tiefling, something I thought no longer existed. She also has power, power such that I cannot detect. Her mind shapes the world around her rather than the song that my divine or elemental powers do or any common wizard or sorcerer commands. She may be of interest to some in the church. I recommend sending an envoy or asking Triskell to perform an Assessment.

Should we free him.

2 September 1717

I write this quickly as we are about to abandon our horses and make the climb to the giant’s keep on foot. I objected but their reasoning is sound.

The Candlekeeper teaches that there is always more than what is on the surface. This journey has shown me that already with these strange companions he has sent me. So I have begun to wonder. Fire Giants may be aligned strongly with the Song of Fire, as I am, but they do not have any more control over the Song than any other creature does over the Songs that make them up. No more than one trained in the Arcane has anyway.

So how did they pull the Song so strongly that they created a volcano where one should not be? The power needed could only come from the very Instrument that plays the Song of Fire. To use that one would have to be a god or apotheon or at least so aligned with the Song that they would be have to be made of the Song itself. As is known elementals, being solely of the Song of one Instrument have not enough depth in them to command their own Instrument.

It troubles me that there is more going on here than seems. I believe that the Candlekeeper has chose me to find out how this has come to pass.

3 September 1717

Triskell is safe but my fears were confirmed and the reality is worse than I imagined.

I know the Candlekeeper expects us not to make assumptions but to gather information. I was made to be an emissary to the Song of Fire and now it encroaches on the product of the whole Song! But I get ahead of myself.

Our attempts to treat with the giants were futile, though that may be a gross understatement. They keep Fire Snakes as guard dogs. Easily beaten but delayed us greatly. The first Giant we came across threw a boulder at me! Before I even finished introducing myself!

The worst was the Azer slaves. Hundreds of them. I know I should remain impassive, we are here to learn above all else. But my graduation exam was to help broker the trade agreement between the Azer and Qaiwa! I must confess I forgot myself for a time after seeing how many Azer slaves the Giants had.

Not all the slaves were Azer. There were many Salamanders as well. I should have known more was going on when I saw this. Giants think much of themselves but not even they can inspire enough fear to get those two hated enemies to work together, saves or not.

We passed a great pool of fire and I truly felt like a Note from the Song of Fire had been pulled into this world. After the incident with the Giant on guard and his throw first ask questions never policy, in which he could not dispatch us quickly from afar so left to make his away around the lake of lava that separated us, we made our way quickly to the room we believed Triskell had indicated was his prison.

Each room we passed were being carved out of the mountain and shaped into what hindsight says was a temple or palace rather than a military keep. Stealth was chosen as how we should approach so Sigil moved ahead, using a Potion of Invisibility and her strange magics to fly above the slaves and scout the room.

Patience was not my strength at the time and as soon as I heard a commotion from the room that Triskell was held I headed for it immediately. I tried to convince the Azer that I would help them free themselves if only they banded together. My training failed me though, and lost in my emotions I was unable to sway them.

To my shame the gnome Bivouac was able to persuade the Azer to revolt. And through a translator at that! The giant at the entrance had caught up to us and with the Azer’s help Bivouac was able to hold him off. That one’s silver tongue is blessed it seems.

For myself I made it to the room to see Triskell chained to the far wall, hands covered so he could not cast spells. One hand had been freed and Sigil floated, now visible, next to the suspended wizard with chisel and hammer in hand. The giant in the room, gore from some poor slave covering his knuckles, hand noticed the Tiefling and drew his sword.

I threw spells at the brute as Deckard threw insults and challenges. The giant laughed at our futile attempts to distract him. He hit Sigil with his great sword and almost cleaved her in two, I believe her magic and alien physiology are the only things that saved her.

The giant also swung at and hit Triskell. The old wizard is strong and took the blow. That reminded my of the stories of his great strength in magic and the way of the Candlekeeper and my next spell broke the shackles around his other hand. He fell forward then stopped horizontal, levitating above the ground.

The next thing I knew we were outside the mountain and Triskell urged us to leave.

The last part of my report will be given over to a piece of information we learned from the giants and slaves. Triskell confirmed this after the fact. An Efreet leads this incursion. A being that powerful in charge makes sense and answer most of the questions that plagued me during this journey. But it also means it is beyond my ability to deal with.

I understand I have failed greatly in the teachings of the Candlekeeper in losing myself to my fiery passion and failing to remain the impassive observer. My observations have been tainted by passion and so cannot fully be relied upon.

I realise as such I am in no position to ask for a boon but feel I must. There is something going on in Sabhail. Many Blooded are gathered there and yet they themselves don’t seem to have a conscious reason. To have so many Blooded in one place cannot be a coincidence.

I feel there is much the Church can learn from having a representative there and I wish to put my hand up for that responsibility. Few of my station are fee at the moment and with the risk the Church faces from the Fire Giants and their master after myself and Triskell were both exposed I believe that my placement among the Goliaths is at an end. There is a great risk that they may be next enslaved by the efreet purely because of my presence there. Efreet are petty like that.

Those of us descended from the Candlekeeper must follow the treads of knowledge that he leaves for us. I will take on any penance the Church deems necessary. But a Blooded represented is needed in Sabhail and I am closest Disciple available I strongly recommend the Church send me.

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Session 23: Shadows NOT Over Cossan

The party decides to set out to visit the town of Cossan, where one of their number had previously noticed a strange phenomenon – nobody in the town had a shadow.

Before setting out Bivouac decided to hire a mercenary to protect him in Noam’s absence. His first thought was Zozif – the strange Noam the party encountered in An Geartha. When Bivouac arrived at Zozif’s workshop he found him curiously stuck – perhaps stuck in time? Whatever the case it was clear that one of his experiments had gone terribly awry and he needed the help of a powerful wizard! Bivouac sent an owl to Triskell asking for help, only to get a speedy out-of-office response from Bessir, the notorious stair-keeper, which told the party that Triskell was away in the north with the Fire Giants. Another adventure for another day!

Instead of Zozif, Bivouac hired Zinren – a high elf duelist recently fallen from noble society and forced to make his own living.

The next morning the party set off to Coassan, arriving at the Farseer Inn, where everything is served “on the cob”. They quickly discover that there are two influential individuals in charge of Cossan who they should try to talk to in order to investigate the mystery of the shadows. The first is Lord Horn, the leader of Cossan, a young female elf. The second is Master Homlyn, some kind of old magical tinker/elder. He seems to have the trust of everyone in Cossan, although it is far from clear what his actual role in the town’s running is.

Johannesz decides to assault the townsfolk with tactful questions.

Mourns, Jason and Njord head to the castle/keep to see Lord Horn. They aren’t able to see her though, for some mysterious reason.

Lathina and Bivouac promote the show that Bivouac has decided to hold at the Farseer Inn that evening, the ulterior motive being to gather as many of the townsfolk in the Inn as possible, so the rest of the party can do some clandestine investigating. Turns out that Master Homlyn is hosting some kind of festival night at the same time as Bivouac’s show! It is to be held an hour’s walk out of Cossan near some standing stones and is apparently a ritual to protect Cossan from just about everything. Sounds very powerful and a little too good to be true. It will divert the leylines about Cossan to protect it. We all converge in Master Homlyn’s study, which is in the keep of Cossan. It seems everyone’s investigations have led them here. He is very chatty and pleasant, and seems to have Cossan’s best interests at heart, however when we try to bring the conversation around to shadows he is very evasive. Additionally, a few of the party members notice that Homlyn, unlike all the other Cossanians does have a shadow – what’s more, it seems out of sync with Homlyn’s movements by a tiny second. Suspicious.

The party decide that this ritual is key to solving the mystery of Cossan, so they leave the village in small groups, headed towards the ritual site. On the way their, they happen to overhear a strange conversation taking place between an otherworldly voice and what sounds an awful lot like Master Homlyn. Failing to sneak up and discover what is happening the party are instead plunged into battle, facing off against the shadows which were torn from the townsfolk, plus Homlyn, who seemed to have given his body over to some kind of large and evil spirit, which is controlling his body like a puppet. It seems this is a creature of the Shadowlands, and it is in service of the Everwraith – a terrifying creature from Gnomic legend.

Shadows, it turns out, are somewhat tricky to fight, owing to their two-dimensional quality. However we manage to best them. We are unable to bring Homlyn back however, and his body explodes into sickly pieces when we defeat the spirit that is possessing him….. as usual we have gotten ourselves into one of those difficult-to-explain-to-the-townsfolk situations.

Bivouac holds his show to replace Homlyn’s planned ‘festival’.

Searching Homlyn’s study upon our return, we discover alot of interesting research and documents into the plane, which we liberate from his estate. This knowledge puts us once step closer to helping rescue Noam, who is trapped in the Shadowlands.

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Session 22 or, My Oh Myconids
Eat shit and die seneshal

(Details may be wrong as my recollection is foggy as I have been putting this off)

Ok. The gang made their down to Doracha to finally confront the minor issue of the expanding funghi army (fungarmy). Bivouak had actually been here not long ago, finding himself, but unfortunately that inner retrospection meant he had no useful information to relay to us about our potential enemies. Enemies, I might add, who we had decided we would try our hardest not to kill all of, as we can be reasonable beings. Occasionally. This meant we went in with trepidation and care, and that helped as it meant we made our way right inside of Doracha, which I think was quite lucky. We met Mushy and eventually we also met with The Protagonist, our second favourite myconid, as he seems sensible and like a fun guy (geddit????).

At this point it feels imperative to mention that Bivouak had had a vision of darkness and the protagonist fostering and shielding a small light from dark. This made us warm to him. We did not feel the same way about the Seneshel. Speaking of whom, he appeared as we were having moments with Mushy. AND GUESS WHO WAS WITH HIM!?

Father effing SOL BAN. Laithina was quick to antagonise her by asking about her decapitated sister, only to be disturbed when Sol Ban responded by insinuating that she was still alive… but also still decapitated. This revelation caused the group to decide to split up at their earliest convenience, with some going to see if they could figure out where Ban Sol might have been… the number one suggestion being the room that Jason could sense magic seeping into or something.

The others sadly found themselves attending Mushy’s final breaths and funeral. It was sad and tense, and then crazy as Mushy wasn’t quite dying and the Seneshal bastard wanted to speed up the process, with Sol Ban’s haggy help. BUT THEY UNDERESTIMATED OUR POWERS AND OUR ANGER. And we decimated them with minimal bloodshed of innocent myconids. The Protagonist was found leader, and Mushy respawned, perhaps?

But jumping to the magic room, these guys were fighting a headless Ban Sol. Fights, pew, pew. Dead Ban Sol.

Back to the funeral. We were so close to killing Sol Ban, and Noam was so angry that when Sol Ban was about to make an escape to the Fae wilds she ran and tackled her… and in the process her gnomy magic caused the two to fall into the shadow realm (?), where hopefully Noam is ok, and Sol Ban has perished like the fae dummy she is.

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Session #21: Treda, the Blooded of Lord Velvet

The party decided to go to Choinnail and deal with Treda, the Blooded of Lord Velvet they had heard was in possession of The Grey King.

On the way through the mountain pass, they discovered a row of hobgoblin heads outside An Geartha and a message saying “Ommga in Kharge!” which foretells a new leader in the depths of An Geartha. additionally, they passed through Airgead where they heard many reports of Undead in the hills, spilling out of the old mine, and the party was reminded that they needed to go in there and deal with the ancient mines that were discovered within.

The party adventured on and crossed Laoch’s Crossing, the haunted bridge leading into Iarann Barony. On the other side, past a small forest, the party was spotted by a scout who fled forward towards Choinnail. The party captured a horse on the road, and continued forward where they met a shepherd who seemed suspicious of them and gave them false information to trap them.

The party then encountered a baggage train of refugees heading in from the coast. They said their homes, and many other villages, were being raided by terrible fish-like creatures all up along the coast and the surrounding islands. The party aided them, and led them onwards towards Choinnail. Once there, they discovered a huge refugee city on one side of the road, and a massive army being amassed on the other. The army seemed to be headed for Sabhail in the coming weeks, from what the party could tell.

At the gates, they were stopped and extorted, but with the clever work of Sigil enthralling the gatekeeper, and Vinnie bribing another guard, they got through with the refugees in toe. The refugees went their own way (but remain friends within the walls) and the party went to a tavern. There, they encountered a group of prostitutes and other helpful patrons who gave them information about Treda – apparently he is the Baron’s Vizier!

The party got very drunk and split up, with Njord talking to a guard outside the palace walls, Noam and Sigil befriending the prostitutes and “getting a job” within the walls, and Johannesz writing a suicide note for the Vizier – which was sadly never used. Vinnie also climbed onto a roof to get a better look, but realised it was very late, and he couldn’t see far.

The party managed to get inside the palace walls, and infiltrated the Vizier’s tower, pretending to be an exotic barbarian sex group so they could keep their weapons. However, it seemed that Treda was strangely precognisant of the parties approach (perhaps it was that escaped scout earlier?!) and welcomed them inside. He seemed to have a small child with him, which he said was the Grey King.

However, when asked why he hadn’t killed the Grey King yet, he replied that he needed a “pin” from the Green Mummer – another of the Greyguard. The room exploded into violence, and Treda’s minions fought strongly. Treda himself seems to be a very powerful Warlock, and managed to harm the party drastically. The “Grey King” revealed a sharp and deadly green needle from his palm and proceeded to slay many of the minions.

Unfortunately the party had to retreat before being able to slay him, and the party vowed to return to kill him. The “Grey King” also fled out the window before turning into a green bird and flying away, giving credence to a theory that it wasn’t the Grey King, but actually the Green Mummer all along.

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Session 20: The Echoing
Sigil's Log - 28th July

Another night of drinking, none of us seem to have any other hobbies with which to pass the time, and if it wasn’t for the alcohol, we may have all killed each other long ago. We’d decided to return to the site of the silver sigil and close it up for good. My highly-intelligent companions had not sealed it properly when last they passed by, and while I’m grateful that they inadvertently gave me the opportunity to slip through into their world, I felt it had been leaking for far too long now.

We set out in the morning. It was cold and frigid yet again. Oh how I love this chaotic Winter. The sound of chimes could be heard on the breeze, and Johannesz mentioned something about how the snowflakes were falling through dimensions; even better.

We set off for the hamlet of Ngoc. Laithina passed the time by stroking her overtly-powerful bauble under the folds of her shirt. I swear I could hear her cooing at it too. I need to remember to keep a watchful eye on her. She only stopped as we began to approach the village. Njord and Laithina had found some writing implements and drawn a moustache and spectacle on the sleeping Jason’s face. If you are reading this, Jason, I want you to know that I deny having any involvement.

The farming hamlet of Ngoc was quiet, almost too quiet. We could see the half-slouched forms of the sleeping inhabitants in the streets and fields. The cold did not seem to disturb them. We finally came to the Fool and Cask Inn. Apart from the patrons, who were obviously from out of town, the barkeep seemed to be the only soul awake in this town. He was sheepishly arranging a handful of silverware on the wall behind him when we entered.

Three mercs sat quietly around the inn, sulking and nursing drinks. It seems to be the done thing for adventuring parties to do. One among them, a halfling with a facial tattoo named Bardo, recognised Laithina immediately, and seemed cheered to see a familiar face. He introdued us to his friends, a slander elf dressed all in tight leathers named Nerwenye. A surly dwarf eyed us from the by the fireplace while we conversed.

Bardo explained that three nights earlier, Alin Fordaye had gone missing, taking only his journal. Alin was the great grandson of Wilarg Fordaye who had made the family name by sealing up the sigil long ago to protect the town, or so the story went. In truth, his family had been siphoning energy from the Echoing for generations. Damned warlocks.

We were all quite adament that before we visited the old castle, we would stop by Alin’s house. Bardo insisted that it had been stripped bare by the villagers, and he was not mistaken. The Fordaye’s illustrious villa had been compeltely ransacked, nothing had been spared. Even the skirting boards had been ripped up.

We investigated the rooms nonetheless. Jason stopped dead in one of the rooms, and an expression came over his face that just screamed ‘I can smell devils’. I entered the room behind him, and immediately began to feel my illusory visage slipping. A strong power had been here. Njord attempted to commune with some sort of being. We watched as he was suddenly covered in a multitude of watery snakebites. I assume that’s not what he intended.
We made the trek up to the dilapidated castle and met up with Bardo and Nerwenye. The sigil in question was at the base of a long staircase. As we descended into the darkness, I could feel my tinitus clear. Smells like home.

The sigil itself was large and ornate, covered in geometric designs and spiralling triskeles, and engraved in abyssal. There was a small, angular indentation for the keystone, marked with a vertical scratch down through the silver. This was our leak. We worked out that this was indeed being used as a funnel for warlocks to siphon planar energy, and not as a seal as the villagers had believed. This side was damaged, which meant that there was a mirror-image of the damage on the other side which would also need to be repaired, but this could only be done with the copy of the key in the Echoing. Wonderful.

Johannesz was the first to use the keystone to pass through (without knocking, I might add). We followed, one by one, piling up in a heap on the other side. My glamour had fallen completely, my skin bright red and my hair burning hellfire. It felt good to not have to worry about appearances anymore.

It was dark as pitch here, wherever we were. Someone cast dancing lights, illuminating the tunnel around us. The walls seemed to be transparent, and as we watched in horror, a great yawning mouth attacked from the other side. When it discovered that it was unable to break through and attack us, it drifted away back into the darkness.

The sound of our shuffling was distorted and unusual. As Jason straightened himself, his adamantium armour rang out. The sound sharply rose in pitch, ricocheting and amplifying off the tunnel walls, until it materialised itself in the form of a metallic spider that skittered away into the darkness.

We explored the tunnels for a while. The perspective kept shifting, nothing seemed to make sense here. Jason caught a rook-shaped granite humanoid with recurved knees that was blending into the tunnel walls. Johannesz took the opportunity to shout at him in celestial. The noise sounded dampened, but caused the creature to spasm. Its legs snapped forward, clothing grew around it and he began to speak.

He said that we made him ‘trainge’, some kind of bastard word of ‘train’ and ‘change’. He told us that the Fleshful Hunter had been gathering people, plucking them out of existence for his own purposes. He could tell us very little else, except that one of the Fordaye’s had left an object behind, a flayed-flesh sandwhich. A book, more likely.

We found the book, sure enough, embedded in the wall of an hourglass-shaped staircase. It was Wilarg Fordaye’s journal of dastardly warlock knowledge. A symbol of a star had been inked onto one of the pages. Without thinking of the consequences, I reached out and touched it, instantly transporting us all to a black stone reflection of the castle. A man was here, Alin Fordaye. He recognised Laithina immediately and seemed glad to see her. A tortured scream echoed out from beyond the room.

“We thought he died,” Alin explained. “We have a crypt for him and everything.” And with that, he was pulled in on himself and sucked through a tiny dot. We pressed on. The next room was immense, a grand ballroom except upside down. There was a vast, red, stained glass skylight on the floor. A creature of wrought iron bones and stained glass flesh was trying to blend in with its surroundings. It had barbs of steel and a chain for a tail. Its scream sounded like ringing glass.

“More scions for the fleshful hunter!” It cried out in abyssal. Jason attacked, knocking out one of the panes of glass. It appeared behind him and smashed over the back of his head.
“What became of the others?” I asked, mid-combat.
“Fuel the fires for the Fleshful Hunter!” We weren’t going to get very far with this conversation.

The battle continued for some time. We dodged and weaved around its slashing attacks. A shatter spell caused the ground beneath us to break and fall away into nothingness, but an invisible floor still remained. Jason took an opportunity to smite it, infecting its leg with tendrils of radiant white light. It screamed out, discarding its damaged leg and unfolding a new one. A frozen, burning, human heart appeared to be concealed within its glassy head. Laithina leapt towards it, and pierced it with her blade. The barbed devil rusted up within seconds and dissipated into the air.

An olf halfling man came down the stairs from the roof, Wilarg Fordaye.
“Who are you? You’re not my scions.” He said. I kept thinking he was talking about psions, far too excitable. We asked about Alin, and he said that it was a necessary loss. As was the barbed devil, which had been a thorn in his side for far too long. He explained that he was trying to fix the Echoing but that he was losing his hold. He wanted to ‘melt it down and reforge it’. We asked how.
“By collecting them, all of them, and creating a new cacophany.” That sounds like more work for us.

He was not aggressive, but said that he caould not allow us to fix the silver sigil or it would break the weave and ruin all his work. Johannesz reached out to pick him up and was instantly consumed by hellfire, almost to the point of death. Wilarg shook it off, it seemed like a reflex more than anything else. Laithina flashed her orb at him, but he resisted its pull.

“I know what you’re trying to do,” he warned. He pulled the keystone out of his pocket to assist his ramblings, and we locked eyes. While he was hypnotised, Johannesz stole the key from his outstretched hand. It was much like the one from our realm, but the colour was inverted. Njord attempted to channel some sort of entity into Wilarg’s mind while he was dazed, but it reverberated back through our telepathic link to me; a wide, pentsected eye. I know of no god like it, I shudder to think what it could be.

We return to our positions and I drop the gaze. He looked around himself as though he had lost something, wondering aloud what had happened. We stammer to cover up the ruse, but he does not fall for it. He reaches back, casting some sort of immense fireball. Njord summons a vast orb of water which catches and contains the flames, but they are too powerful and burst forth. We run while he is distracted by the chaos, fleeing back through the tunnels as they rumble and splinter.

We hastily use the keystone to score the damage back up on the sigil, and then all press through as quickly as we are able. We narrowly make it through the portal as the world behind us implodes. Just another quest successfully completed. Time to hit the bar again.

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Session #19: Fort Caomhnir Pt. 2

The party returned to Atarin’s Delve to deal with the bandits. This time, they went in and used their combined attacking power to subdue great amounts of them. Njord was able to trap many ratmen and bandits in a miasma of dark water and magic, and Noam cleverly used a torn-off shield with a trap in it to destroy many of their foes.

With some of the enemy dead, the party explored, discovering a statue of a Lizardman with a keyhole in the top, and many traps. They also discovered a bolt-hole where a Hobgoblin prisoner, Blooded to the Carrion Lord, was being kept. He said he was the slave wizard of Atarin, the cruel master of the dungeon. Noam and Njord killed him as he was attempting to bargain and cheat them. Noam drank his blood, and took a further step on the road to divinity.

Laithina and Sigil, after encountering and deactivating magical pillars that induced sleep, disturbed a vault room which contained a floating orb belonging to Mother Make Me, as well as the ghoulish guardians of that place.

Combat was joined, and there was much damage done but Laithina managed to get hold of the orb – which she identified as being Merah’s Gall, a magical orb which can enthral those who look upon it – and pacified the ghouls, allowing the party to destroy them. The orb seemed to be the source of the siren’s song that was drawing the soldiers away from the Fort. They found a heap of treasure, and fled with Atarin hot on their heels, though the party vowed to return.

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Session #18: Fort Caomhnir Pt. 1

The party adventures to Fort Caomhnir in the north and finds the place in desolation. There is evidence that suggests the inhabitants all fled, but also much to suggest they were all killed (though they didn’t seem to take their possessions with them if the former is true, and there is not enough bodies for the later to be true).

Investigation turns up a record from General Duri – the leader of the Fort – that many soldiers were going AWOL during the night and curfews and measures were taken to keep them within the barracks. Things became violent as the soldiers were determined to leave, called out by some strange siren song.

General Duri was found in a dishevelled state, and attempted to attack the party. She was subdued and explained that the soldiers were being drawn away to the north. Jason was able to sense a dark presence to the north, and the party followed.

The party found “Atarin’s Delve”, a cave complex cut into the An Sleibte mountains were the presence was coming from. They ventured within and had a very difficult fight on their hands against bandits and ratmen. The party barely escaped with their lives, as the ganging abilities of the bandits overwhelmed them.

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