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Anxe
2011-09-25, 11:03 AM
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The campaign has concluded. I still need to write up and upload the last few sessions. Thanks for reading!

Hi everyone! I'm the DM for my group of players. We hope you all enjoy the story that we have to tell. I encourage you all to post if you like or dislike the posts! Giving advice for what the players or I should do next is also appreciated.

The Xorians are expanding into the sovereign city-states of Cimmeria. They are ruled by the Dragovinians, a race of draconic vampires. The Dragovinians worship their living creator, Blendegad the Reaper, and their living firstborn, King Jevaninada the Second. The Reaper's minions successfully stormed the defended city of Phoenix. The cities of Eastern Cimmeria quake in fear at the power of the Empire. It is November and the Alliance must rise from the ashes and continue resisting the Xorians.

Campaign Structure
This campaign is actually split into two. There is a low level section, where the players will be playing characters from 1st level up. There is also a high level section, where the players will play characters from 10th level up. I chose to do this, because the players and I had become addicted to high level play, but still wanted the refreshing difficulty of low level play.

The high level campaign is referred to as the Alliance. The high level characters will assist the Alliance by gaining more allies and by attacking the Xorians. The high level characters are all related to the leading members of the Alliance in some way. One is a cousin, another is a son, and another is a respected member of the community. The characters split off from the Alliance to continue the fight on their own.

The low level campaign is referred to as the Rebellion. A tyrannical regime such as the Dragovinians is not without its rebels. The rebels have gathered in a forest on the edge of the Xorian Empire and try their best to end its grip on the people of the land. In this campaign, the PCs are not members of the Rebellion, but Ex-Dragovinians. The characters attacked the rebel hideout before the campaign started, but were captured. The rebels performed a magical experiment which returned the Dragovinian PCs to their original mortal forms, but without any memory. If you've played KOTOR1, it's a bit like that. The Rebellion needs a group of Ex-Dragovinians on their side to gather the pieces of a lost prophecy. The holder of all five pieces of the prophecy can bring a god back to life. The rebels plan to use the prophecy on Zeus, King of the Gods, in the hopes that he will smash the Dragovinians for them.

Map of Cimmeria (http://s10.postimage.org/qs8agkimf/Greek_Campaign_4.jpg)

I have a bunch of extra info on the campaign in the Spoiler, but I've stopped maintaining it. More info on the campaign world and the characters is available on my blog: https://gocorral.com/cimmeria/

Description of Alliance High Level (21) Characters
Salzar: He is currently playing Torin the dwarven cleric of Athena. However, Torin used to be a dwarven fighter with Leadership. His cohort was a cleric of Athena. The cohort, Erick, has now been declared just a good friend since the changing of Torin's build. Torin is also the great-nephew of the King of the Hill Dwarves, Dainlin.
Ozymandias: His character is Eathirilu Treeheart, an elven druid that through a series of events has changed his permanent form into that of a panda. Eathirilu has a special relationship with dinosaurs and likes to wild shape into them and summon them with spells. His companion is Toothy the raptor. Ozymandias' previous character was Sabriyya Kal'lel, a elven dervish and two-weapon fighter from Mars' Oasis. She was a freedom fighter always ready to oppose evil. Sabriyya left because she did not like the idea that the party was allying with undead. Ozymandias' character before that was a Red Wizard named Preta with a cohort named Shez. Preta is exiled for killing civilians during a riot. Ozymandias doesn't usually switch characters this often, but he has been this campaign.
Middle_Snu: His character is a Aractrashan noble named Hektor of Lakatia. Hektor is a extremely capable wizard who has pledged his support to the Alliance. He hopes that the rest of Aractrash will follow his example. Middle_Snu used to play Terroc, a powerful conjurer and one of the longest running PCs ever. He went through three of my campaigns. Terroc betrayed the Alliance and joined the Xorians. Middle_Snu is currently taking a break from the campaign while he works in Israel.
Thewamp: He is playing a crusader/warblade named Tagenadi. He uses AoO and Stormguard warrior with a Kusari-gama. Tagenadi was an officer in the Xorian army before the Dragovinians took control. He hates the draconic vampires and has joined the Alliance to end their reign. Tagenadi has just journeyed to Hell and returned in an undead state after bargaining with Hades. Thewamp used to play a hellfire warlock named Logan. Logan is a senior member of the Adventurers Guild in Phoenix. Logan is originally from Gazeara, but he fled after the town was conquered by the Xorians. Thewamp retired the character because he was bored with the build. Logan will remain a character in the campaign.
Throgg: He used to run a diplomacy bard named Amalius, but we decided that was too ridiculous. He remade Amalius as a Telepath who dominates stuff. Same effect basically, but less broken. Amalius was the grandson of Throgg's character in the last campaign. Amalius hates his grandfather for reasons that are clearer in the Description of the Last Campaign section. Amalius' family was held hostage by the Xorians and they forced him to spy on the Alliance. He recovered his family, but their memories and his own do not match up, casting doubt on who they really are. Amalius has a cohort named Aldarian, who was briefly played by Zigfried but has since returned to cohort status. Aldarian is an elf rogue who pretended to be a paladin for awhile. Aldarian has died numerous times since the campaign began. He now has a prestige class associated with dying a lot
Zigfried: He was originally known as Longshanks on this site and has since changed his SN to Zigfried. He’s a friend of Throgg that started playing League of Legends with our group a lot. All of us got to be good pals with him, so we invited him into the D&D group. Zigfried took over playing Aldarian from Throgg for his introduction to D&D. Now that Zigfried has learned the rules he's made himself a nasty gish named Danar. Along with an ancestral group of heroes, Danar was responsible for creating the Orbs of Dragonkind. Now that the Red Orb is destroyed, he has returned to kick some dragon butt.
Description of Rebellion Low Level (6) Characters
Salzar: Salzar is playing Draco, a halfling rogue/sorcerer aiming for the arcane trickster class. He used to play the ex-Dragovinian human archer ranger named Wu Lang Li.
Ozymandias: He's playing an ex-Dragovinian halfling rogue named Sivirdm. Sivirdm used to be a spellthief, but we realized that was lame and I allowed Ozymandias to redesign Sivirdm as a straight rogue.
Middle_Snu: He is playing a half-orc champion named Korjak. The champion class is designed by the Giant and can be found in the homebrew section of the forums. Korjak’s champion form is that of the Nordic god Balder. Corporal Korjak is the official commander of the party within the Rebellion’s military hierarchy. Middle_Snu is currently taking a break from the campaign while he works in Israel.
Thewamp: He's playing an ex-Dragovinian halfling beguiler named Stanton. Stanton is the same name of an older character of thewamp's. Stanton became famous within our group when he was knocked unconscious by an orc child. Middle_Snu even wrote a song about it:
Oh Stanton, oh Stanton
He almost lost a leg,
Oh Stanton, oh Stanton
He was just a babe
It went on for longer, but I only remember the chorus.
Throgg: Throgg is playing an ex-Dragovinian orc barbarian named Gregor. Yes, his strength score is ridiculous. It gets up to 26 when raging. He has to deal with playing what is essentially a slave race in the civilized world though. Throgg may also be going for my homebrewed prestige class, The Impenetrable Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63011), which I have been begging for my players to playtest for a very long time.
Zigfried: Zigfried has taken over playing the NPC, Reggy. This could easily change in the future.
Important NPCs for both Campaigns (Characters will be removed and added from this list as needed)
King Jevaninada II: The leader of the Xorian Empire and the first Dragovinian. Jev hated his oppressive mother and killed her to take the throne. Jev is 50 years old and as yet unmarried. He is expanding the Xorian Empire into Eastern Cimmeria.
Blendegad the Reaper:A bit of a recurring villain for the players. He beat them up in the first campaign for this world. He beat up their allies in the third campaign for this world. He's their BBEG for this campaign, the fourth for this world. He's a Vampire Hexblade who changed himself into a Dragon and has now taken levels in Dragon Ascendant to become part god.
The New Rages: Jevaninada II's father was served by many powerful NPCs known as the Seven Rages. The four New Rages serve as Jevaninada II's generals. They are some of the most powerful Dragovinians in existence. Three of them were slain at the Battle of Phoenix. The three were Degusharla, Frost, and Ashabodai. The only remaining Rage is Barejando.
Astyanax: He is the military leader of Bradel Fields as well as the Alliance as a whole. He is the son of an NPC friend of the PCs in the last campaign, Hector. Astyanax is a paladin and a member of the Alliance war council. He is dictator of Bradel Fields after killing a few senators in a coup. His paladinhood is silently in question.
Arendil: He is the political leader of the Alliance and of Jipangu. He is a 76 year old human wizard. He is the leader of the Alliance war council.
Gradorian: He is a hobgoblin and the leader of the mercenaries guild in Phoenix. Gradorian has mastered almost all fighting styles. He is a member of the Alliance war council. He is training the refugees from Phoenix for combat at the Alliance city, Jipangu.
Junai: She is an elven two-weapon fighter and Gradorian's second-in-command. Junai was a character of my sister's before she quit playing. Junai is a member of the Alliance war council.
Titandra: She is the leader of Restnor's Point. She is a blind elf cleric. She is a voice of reason and restraint on the Alliance war council.
Kig Yupington: He is an apparently raceless being trained in hand-to-hand fighting. Kig is the leader of Restnor's Point military and a member of the Alliance war council. Kig is a favorite NPC of the players. They gave him the Scepter of Dorrowsan and he is moving the city to Jipangu to join up with Gradorian.
Major Dactirian: Dactirian is the leader of the Rebellion in Bigby's Forest. He is uncanny at predicting his opponents move in a fight.
Alkmene Halkias: The sister of Amalgami the Betrayer who destroyed the First Alliance. Alkmene seeks to redeem her family's name that was sullied by Amalgami. She is the last elder druid from Semanarie. Alkmene is a senior ranking member of the Rebellion.
Princess Tarigananata: Tari was accused of demonic possession by her brother. She fought against him in the First Xorian War and lost. When she lost the demon inside of her fully possessed her. She lost control and began ravaging throughout all of Xoria. During a great battle with one of her brother's servants she was able to regain control of the demon. She now fights a constant battle to keep its power contained within herself. Tari is assisting the Rebellion in what ways she can, although she is quite old now and close to death.
Stevie the Wonder Wagon: An animated and awakened iron wagon with a face and 4 arms who was the party's henchman in the last campaign. The players made him in one of their... moments... Stevie rolled horribly on his mental stats (Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 4) and acts somewhat retarded. He has joined the Rebellion against the Xorians in Bigby's Forest. He has 6 levels in Barbarian and wields 4 greatswords in his 4 arms. Stevie can move close to 40mph.
Reggy: A slave that the lower level party purchased along Danar's River. He's a crude jokester and has endeared himself to the party through his dirty jokes.
Terroc: Middle_Snu's character for many years. I was originally unsure of how much Middle_Snu would be involved in the campaign so I made Terroc a spy for the Xorians. He betrayed the alliance with his magical powers and stole the Sword of Kruk-Ma-Kali. He has been rewarded with Dragovinian status and is ready to terrorize the party in the future.
The Antenator: The new form of the Greek god of death, Thanatos. The Antenator is a three-headed bodak that resides at the top of the Silver Tower in the undead city, Crux. Those who reach the top of the tower can ask it any question they want. From the tower the Antenator is responsible for transporting the souls of every dead person to the underworld. The Antenator may have been tricked by Xorians and an accomplice with god-like powers.
Bjorn: The insane leader of Dalleer. He was appointed by the last leader. Bjorn is actually a title taken from the name of the original ruler of Dalleer. The party discovered that the current Bjorn and the man he is named after are the same person. The Bjorn is an accomplished psion who has spent centuries assuming new identities to rule over his city. The Bjorn is now a powerful but secret ally of the PCs.
The Dahak: A terrible monster that protects the timeline of Cimmeria. He lives within the large volcano that Greshendale is built upon. The Dahak is the being responsible for poisoning Zeus and subsequently allowing the Dragovinians to expand their zone of influence without significant opposition from the Olympians. The Dahak poisoned Zeus in order to steal Metis from Zeus' belly. The Dahak hopes that Metis and Zeus will have a son who will then overthrow Zeus and continue the proper timeline that Zeus subverted by swallowing Metis in the first place.
Corwinius: An excitable sage hired by the higher level party to research the Dahak. He is currently researching people who went down into the volcano below Greshendale to speak with the Dahak directly.
Talon: The leader of Greshendale, the magic floating city in the sky. Talon represents a diverse society of mages. Talon is actually a dromite Psion/Wizard/Cerebremancer. Other important mages in Greshendale are Krodius, the chief of police, and Loshok, the magical items guildmaster.
Lady Li: The PCs don't know much about Lady Li yet. She is an accomplished Dragovinian wizard. She ruled the city of Colchis as a mortal woman while Queen Anajakaze ruled as Regent for Jevaninada II. She was the only major female lord to maintain her seat after Jevaninada took power. Currently Lady Li is converting wizards in Greshendale to the Dragovinian cause in an attempt to end Greshendale's neutrality in favor of Xoria.
Unimportant NPCs for both campaigns (Dead characters, important in the future or past, etc.)
Lamarr: The leader of the Adventurers Guild in Phoenix. He was 20th level with 12 different classes. He fought using a dervish dance and a rage. He died fighting the Dragovinian Rage, Ashabodai, at the Battle of Phoenix.
Dralin: The general of the dwarves at Phoenix. He was a samurai who rode a giant battletitan dinosaur named Bessy. He died in the Battle of Phoenix when facing King Jevaninada.
Cassandra: The "loose" daughter of Astyanax. She was offered in a marriage bargain to the Bjorn of Dalleer. The marriage recently took place despite assassins trying to kill the groom. Cassandra is also an accomplished diva signer.
Duke Jingo: The aged halfling leader of Nomingburg in the east. Nomingburg is a halfling town that has several different Assassins Guilds in it. Jingo unified the guilds and they declared him Duke.
Logan: Thewamp's old character, a hellfire warlock. He is the last surviving member of the Phoenix Adventurers Guild. Thewamp retired him in favor of Tagenadi the Crusader.
Degusharla: One of the Rages. He was general of Xorian's common troops. He used an uber-archer build. Torin killed him in the Battle of Phoenix while Torin was possessed by Athena.
Frost: One of the Rages. He was the dark elf commander of the Xorian Cavalry. He used an uber-charger build. Kig, Shez, and Amalius killed him during the Battle of Phoenix.
Ashabodai: One of the Rages. She was the Frenzied Berserker queen of the Amazons. The Amazons are allied with the Xorians. Logan killed her in the Battle of Phoenix.
Devanane: A Dragovinian assassin. He works closely with the King and has personal adversarial relationships with Tagenadi and Amalius.
King Dainlin: Dainlin is king of the hill dwarves. Dainlin has a son named Tibern. Salzar's character, Torin is next in line for the throne after Tibern.
King Deekgaon: Deekgaon is king of the deep dwarves. He was proclaimed Great General of all the dwarves at the Dwarven Kings' Brunch. Deekgaon is quite gullible. He is also the finest Axemaster in all the world.
King Sandil: Sandil is king of the duergar dwarves. He is a sorcerer and a trickster. The duergar are staying with the deep dwarves because their Underdark homeland was conquered by the Xorians. Sandil plans to manipulate High King Torngar with magic.
High King Torngar, Emperor of the Dwarves: Torngar was proclaimed High King and Emperor at the Dwarven Kings' Brunch. He is also king of the mountain dwarves. In exchange for the Emperor position and the Fierce Axe, he agreed to wage war upon the Xorians in the Underdark.
Amalgami: Throgg's character in the past campaign. He was a priest of Apollo, but turned a little evil after the first Xorian War. He started worshiping a demon and then turned to Eris, goddess of Discord. He betrayed the rest of the party and the First Alliance against the Xorians that he had organized. He's the big bad bogey man of the campaign. He has since turned into a lich. He is also the grandfather and was the satanic mentor of Amalius, Throgg's current character.
Rodrigo: The leader of the Council of Bradel Fields. Bradel Fields is the only Republic city-state. He initially opposed Bradel Fields joining the war, but caved to popular opinion. He was slain by Astyanax when the paladin orchestrated a coup.
Lotigan: A member on the Bradel Fields Council in charge of military affairs. He assisted the party when the Alliance was still based in Phoenix. He was slain by Astyanax when the paladin orchestrated a coup.
Terolio: The Prime Minister and acting leader of Dalleer. He was appointed by Bjorn. He is stable and not insane in the least. He is opposed to joining the war and has kept Dalleer out of it up until now.
King Mero III: The King of Mars' Oasis. The desert city is attacked by blue dragons, undead, and formians. The city also has a magical oasis which turns any item put into it into supreme magical material.
King Ballard: The King of the Aractrash Jungle Kingdom. His father, Willard, was involved in the First Xorian War. Things went badly, so Ballard is staying out of the war. He doesn't want to subject his people to the violence of a full-scale war again.
Epidemus: High King Torngar's castellan/steward. Epidemus arbitrated the Dwarven Kings' Brunch and served drinks and refreshments at the Brunch as well.
Sherlock the Warlock: A high level wizard who enjoys scrying the events of the world from his tower and enjoying the "free cable." He has helped the PCs in the past campaigns when it suited his interests. He's sort of a deux ex machina, but used very rarely.
Kruk-Ma-Kali: A long dead Hobgoblin King. During his life he invaded the elven, dwarven, and human territories of Eastern Cimmeria. Dead for 500 years he is now a ghost inhabiting his old sword, Kharad-Khor.
Brevenditu: The son of Duke Prusu of Jeutontic. Duke Prusu revolted against the Xorian Empire in support of the First Alliance. He failed and was executed for treason. Brevenditu has been held captive since a young age and only recently freed in a prisonbreak.
Lieutenant Gaft: The leader in charge of the rebel base in Bigby's Forest while Major Dactirian is away.
Torpor: The lead spy rebel in Makotako.
Vecna: She's based off the god of secrets from Greyhawk. I changed her to a woman as Vecna always seemed like a feminine name to me. As a lich she runs a small shop in the undead city, Crux. She has massive influence in the world because she is a powerful mage. She has created a nuke spell that she sells to nations. She also maintains the original god's lost hand, lost eye, and amazing knowledge of secrets.
Invernix and Sartoria: The king and queen of red dragons respectively. They were recently freed from their captivity of guarding and living within the Red Orb of Dragonkind. Who knows what they'll do now that they're free?

House Rules
We play D&D 3.5, but with a few changes.
You die not at -10, but at -10 - your level or HD. So a 3rd level character is dead at -13.
Grapple is simplified by only allowing one grapple check per round. Fighters do not get to grapple with each one of their attacks. We're starting to try adopting the grapple rules as written, but everyone knows why we're wary of it.
Rolling a 1 on an attack elicits a fumble roll. It's a lot like a critical roll. You roll to hit again. If you would've missed with the fumble roll, then you lose your next action.
Cascading fumble and critical rolls. If you roll a 1 on your fumble roll, you roll again and it could get worse than just a missed action. If you roll a 20 on a critical roll you roll again, and it could get better. It also works the other way. If you roll a 20 on a fumble roll, you get to roll to hit normally again.
Reincarnate does not cause a level to be lost. Only raise dead does. I also have my own chart for reincarnations. Makes death a little more fun.
Spontaneous casters can use metamagic feats without penalty. Even Quicken Spell is allowed.
Only one Sudden Metamagic feat can be applied to each spell. This applies to metamagic rods as well.
Rolling a 1 or a 20 on a skill check is an auto-fail or auto-success within reason. No jumping to the moon or other shenanigans.
Those are the only ones I remember right now, but if others come up I will put them here.
The rest of the spoilers are a massive history of my world. It's pretty heavy and the casual reader might want to avoid it.
Description of Campaign World
My campaign world originally started with me hating the Greyhawk/Faerun pantheons. They didn't make any sense to me. I didn't know how the gods were related or why they existed or anything like that stuff. I much preferred the Greek God Pantheon. They were all related. They had stories about them. I understood why they did things. Best of all, everyone already knows about them! It's actually required in USA schools to learn about them.
The problem was the Greek gods have all this stuff associated with Greece and I didn't want to switch to a real setting, only more realistic gods. So I changed the location of the gods. Within my world, after the Trojan War, the gods realized that the Greeks couldn't really handle the gods fighting over them. The gods moved west to the area around the Northern Caspian Sea and created new races to play with. Elves, dwarves, halflings, and orcs were made for the gods to mess around with along with monsters and more humans. The new races were given far more magic, so they could survive the gods' attentions.
You'll notice on the map below that I significantly changed the geography around the North Caspian. I didn't have any reason to do this beyond, I liked having creative freedom. The area of the North Caspian is called Cimmeria. This is actually what the Ancient Greeks called it, so why not keep the name?
The current year is 396BC. The characters wouldn't actually call it that, but for the sake of unambiguity, we're using the Christian year system. However, I have also simplified the month system. Every year lasts 360 days and every month lasts 30 days. The full moon is always on the 30th and the 1st of every month and the new moon is always on the 15th and 16th of every month. There are no weeks, instead there are "tendays." This is just to make it simpler for me, so I don't have to keep track of months, weeks, and moons. Also, yes, this is the way the world actually works in my campaign. The year is literally 360 days instead of just being measured that way.
Other pantheons do exist in my campaign (Persian, Egyptian, Indian, Norse), but don't appear very often.
The world is flat and the sun god's chariot goes around the Earth every day. The other side of the world is inhabited by scary monsters and Atlas, who holds up the world. The other planes are laid like pancakes on or around the earth. It's a bit complicated and probably unnecessary to understand. IF you'd like a more indepth description, just post in the thread.
Most of the cities in Cimmeria are city-states, but there are two exceptions. the Xorian Empire and the Aractrash Kingdom. The Xorian Empire has been expanding over the last hundred years. It now threatens the city-state of Phoenix. The Aractrash Kingdom has several cities within the Aractrashan Jungle. The jungle was united under one king around one hundred years ago.
Description of Last Campaign
The last campaign centered around the party trying to put Princess Tarigananata (Tari for short) back on the throne of the Xorian Empire. The players were Throgg, Ozymandias, and Salzar. Throgg played a human favored soul named Amalgami. Ozymandias played a dwarven two-weapon fighter named Atreides. Salzar played a human war mage named Salzar.
Princess Tari's father said she should succeed him after his death. Her brother, Jevaninada (Jev for short), refused to believe this was his father's true wish. Jev sent to the Oracle of Delphi to say what the Xorians should do. The Oracle said that twenty years after her father's death, Tari would let a rampaging demon into the land of Cimmeria. Jev took the throne and ordered his sister executed, but she escaped with the help of a highranking general named Antapike.
Nineteen years passed and the PCs met the Princess and her General. The PCs decided to support Tari's claim to the throne. The Xorians were expanding into the rest of Cimmeria, conquering city-states one at a time. The PCs decided to unite the various other city-states against the expansionist empire. The armies of Jipangu, Bradel Fields, and Gazeara are gathered at Gazeara. Spartan mercenaries are also hired and transported by a teleportation circle to Gazeara. You can find all of these places on the map below. The Xorian cities of Colchis and Jeutontic were convinced to rebel. Additionally, the might of the Persian Empire was convinced to help the Princess regain her kingdom. Everything seemed to be going well.
That's all sort of background. The actual adventuring the party was doing consisted of raiding different places for treasure to support the Alliance. King Jev also had a crack team of 20th level characters called the Seven Rages. The Rages would harass and attack the players occasionally. The Rages always seemed to come one at a time though. Two of them were slain, Havoc and Ire, a soulknife and wild mage respectively.
In 439BC the PCs moved on Xoria. There was a big battle using Green Ronin's rules for wars along Danar's River. The players won and King Jev along with the Rage, Protean (A shapechanger druid) were slain.
Meanwhile the armies of Jeutontic with the Persian armies took Cecilia from the Xorians. The Rage, Mayhem (Frenzied Berserker/Bear Warrior), was slain in that battle. The army of Colchis marched to Dradelden. The gods intervened in this battle along with a vampiric dragon known as Blendegad the Reaper. The Colchians lost the battle to the Amazons of Dradelden.
The Persians then betrayed the alliance and kept Cecilia for themselves. The PCs traveled there and evicted the Persians. The Aractrashans have sent a fleet to assist the Alliance, but it is burned by the Rage, Tempest (Wu-Jen). This was in retaliation for the PCs judicious use of fireballs in the Battle of Danar's River. Using fireballs and other offensive spells in warfare is a bit like using mustard gas or nukes in the real world. It's not allowed, but if you do the opposing side is going to do the same to you and everyone loses.
The PCs gear up for an aerial bombardment of Makotako, the next Xorian city. While they do so the Alliance camp is attacked by undead creations and it becomes clear that the Xorians are now led by Jev's Queen, Anajakaze. The party defeats the undead and goes to blast Makotako. There they find thousands of zombie soldiers. All of those killed in the battle of Danar's River are animated. The party kills all of them and then runs into the Rage, Grave (Necromancer and summoner). Grave soul sucks Atreides and a key NPC ally of the players, Aeetes. Grave is forced to retreat, giving the PCs a Pyrrhic victory. The two lost characters can't be brought back until their souls are freed from Grave's dagger.
Amalgami, who has slowly become darker and more secretive, suddenly snaps into insanity mode. He kills Leopold, the guild leader of the mercenary clerics on the Alliance side. Amalgami kills Salzar and Salzar’s cohort, Greyski. Amalgami offers a few artifacts he has collected from the battlefield as well as the corpses of his friends and that of Jevaninada to Queen Anajakaze. Queen Anajakaze agrees to allow Amalgami to go unmolested unless he commits further crimes against the Xorian Kingdom.
The campaign ended there. Everyone felt satisfied with what had happened. No one was particularly upset with Throgg either.
Epilogue of Last Campaign and Setup for Current Campaign
The Alliance continues to fight. Makotako is taken and the Alliance marches on Petar. The Amazons arrive on the field and defeat the Alliance troops. Antapike and Tempest were slain in the fighting or executed. The Kings of Sparta and Aractrash were ransomed back to their countries in shame.
Jeutontic was turned into a freaky vampire town that dealt in slaves from the Underdark.
King Jevaninada II was born to Queen Anajakaze. Anajakaze took the regency until the King came of age.
A great beast of fire and shadow came into the land of Xoria. It attacked and burned as many military convoys as possible in the apparent attempt of aggravating the Queen. The Queen had wished to take Gazeara, but was unable to due to the beast’s attacks. The Queen sent Grave after the beast in response. Grave did not return, but the attacks ceased. A scrying was done and it revealed that Grave was dead. It was concluded that the beast and Grave killed each other in an epic battle. The two remaining Rages were Wrath (cleric/rogue) and the Vampire of Havoc, who had vamped the town of Jeutontic.
438: Queen Anajakaze pushes the army to attack Gazeara. The city falls. Tectoctar is attacked in the same year. The city is burned and its citizens dispersed or enslaved.
Amalgami further sullies his name by assassinating various dignitaries in the Persian Empire in an attempt to provoke the Persian Emperor.
437: The Xorian Navy attacks Crafterton. Crafterton deploys some of its military hardware, but the superior Xorian numbers overcome the magical technology of Crafterton. The Halfling city is assimilated into the Empire. The army marches on Sheerzen as well. Sheerzen surrenders at the sight of the army.
436: The Empire is restructured to the advantage of women. The lords of the various Xorian cities are replaced with women. The Queen dissolves most of the Xorian army and allows her Amazons to keep the peace.
435: Slaves from Jeutontic spread throughout the Xorian Empire to work the fields and mines. An age of prosperity exists if you happen to be in the correct demographic (woman of an aboveground race). Zeus, father of Anajakaze, declares this new Empire as his gift to Hera, goddess of women.
433: A settlement is established at the edge of Danar’s Swamp. The new settlement is named Jevanicia. The settlement worked a quarry in the Terror Mountains. The rock was used to build towers, walls, roads, and castles throughout Xoria.
King Ballard ascends the throne after his father, King Willard of Aractrash, dies.
430: A revolt of men arises in Nox and spreads to the other cities of Xoria. Anajakaze conscripts women from throughout the Empire to deal with the problem.
429: The revolt is put down. Rumors of the Rebellion in Bigby’s Forest circulate regardless of Anajakaze’s attempts to squelch them.
427: A search of Bigby’s Forest reveals nothing. The Queen orders the forest burned. The spirits of the forest emerge and defend the forest from the flames of the Amazons. The forest survived and the Amazons suffered many casualties.
424: A large slave rebellion in Petar was put down by the Xorian army.
421: King Jevaninada II came of age, but Queen Anajakaze refused to surrender the Regency.
420: Jevaninada II attempts to assassinate the Queen with the assistance of the last two Rages, Wrath and Havoc. During the battle an unexpected presence arrived: Blendegad the Reaper, the vampiric man who turned himself into a dragon. He had been in the Dark Reaches killing monsters. He had discovered a ritual that would turn any dragon into a god. All it required was the deaths of thousands of creatures, slain by the dragon's own hand. With every beast Blendegad slew in the Dark Reaches he grew closer to godhood. Now, this God of Death wanted to test the small amount of divine power he had obtained by taking over the greatest Kingdom that had ever existed.
Blendegad easily killed the Queen and the two Rages. The Reaper advanced upon the cowering Kind and bit him. The Godly Draconic Vampiric mix infected the already slightly divine blood of Jevaninada II. A new creature was born. King Jevaninada II arose and named this new species, of which he was the only member, Dragovinians. The King made a pact with the Reaper. They would rule together with Blendegad as the God of the new Empire and Jevaninada II as his avatar.
Jevaninada revealed his new body and his new master to his subjects at his coronation. The people feared the evil a vampire immune to sunlight could commit and began to run. Jevaninada II stopped them with a stirring speech in which he promised the return of power to men. The people were won over and declared their new king to be Jevaninada the Second.
Jevaninada II immediately set about removing the female Lords of the land and replacing them with his own servants. His servants were made into Dragovinians under his absolute control and through them, control over any Dragovinians they created. A new aristocracy was formed, a vampocracy.
The Realm of Olympus was shaken by these developments. Hera was infuriated with Zeus for allowing her present to return to the control of men. Zeus was distracted with trying to win Hera back when the unthinkable occurred. The Dahak (a big bad evil monster that wants to overthrow Zeus) ambushed Zeus in the very domain of Olympus. The Dahak punctured Zeus's belly with a special pitchfork and then the monster fled with the Titan, Metis, removed from Zeus's stomach after millennia. Zeus was too injured to pursue and the other Gods were too shocked to react in time.
The Gods pooled their power into healing their father, but they were unable to succeed. Zeus remained confined to Olympus and storms were absent from the land for a time. The young Gods devoid of leadership decided on their own how to approach the problem. Ares revolted and claimed the sky and the thunderbolts for his own. Hephaestus resists Ares and Aphrodite is caught in the middle between the two. Apollo journeys through the mortal world, looking for a cure for his father. Dionysus has sworn off alcohol until his father recuperates. Hera and Hestia remain by Zeus's bedside and care for their brother. Athena and Artemis are scouring the world for the Dahak. Hades, Poseidon, and the older gods are waiting for further developments.
Amalganus (son of Amalgami), a powerful man in Jipangu, acts out of fear of an old rival nation now being headed by a vampire dragon god. Amalganus starts organizing a Second Alliance of Cimmeria in hopes of taking offensive action against Xoria.
419: Without divine intervention Blendegad and Jevaninada II were allowed to take further action. They went to Jeutontic and easily eliminated the proto-vampire presence. The city was restored to its state before the War of the Alliance. The new leaders and new religion of the Empire were hailed for freeing the city from almost two decades of slavery.
418: The theocracy of the new religion, Dragoviniysm, was formed. All citizens were required to join the faith. The lords of each city acted as figureheads for the churches in those areas. A top-down pyramid structure for the church was formed. The lords of the cities had more important duties to attend to, so the position of cardinal was made. Each cardinal oversees an entire city-state district. Within each city-state district a bishop was appointed for each church. Various other clergymen serve the bishops.
The rewards of joining Dragoviniysm are quite clear. If you serve the Empire well you will be rewarded with the everlasting life of a Dragovinian. All the cardinals and bishops are Dragovinians. Services are held at the beginning of every tenday. At the services various propagandic hymns are sung. Verses are read from an altered history of Xoria’s expansion which tells various moral lessons as well as encouraging obedience and subordinance. Communion consists of the bishop and any other Dragovinians in attendance drinking the blood of the laymen. No laymen are killed by this procedure, so none of them turn into Dragovinians.
Many people rejoiced at the promise of true immortality. Thousands flocked to the new religion in spite of its horrible practices. All those who resisted suffered the ultimate punishment. They were imprisoned and transported to the Xorian capital at Nox and fed to the God, Blendegad. Any dissenters or heretics caught since then have suffered the same punishment. Additionally, all those who are sentenced to death for secular crimes are fed to the dragon as well.
417: The tyranny of the new religion spread throughout the land. Thousands attempted to evacuate the country. Many who tried were fed to the dragon. Eventually fear forced all the citizens of Xoria to go to church and offer their necks to the new vampocracy.
After the religious upheaval was finished peace settled over the Empire. The gods stayed out of the affairs of mortals. The only threats to the Empire consisted of Underdark slave rebellions, border incursions by the dwarves, and guerilla tactics used by the rebels of Bigby’s Forest. All these problems were dealt with by a crushing display of force by the Xorian army. The Xorian army no longer contained women.
The Rebellion consisted of Gazearans, Semanariens, Xorians loyal to the First Alliance, Amazons, Elves, Dwarves, and Xorians escaping from Dragoviniysm.
The years passed without event beyond the occasional great storm set upon the land by Ares. The Second Alliance formed by Amalganus chose to take defensive actions only.
410: An assassination attempt is made on King Jevaninada II’s life. The King Jevaninada scours the city of Nox for those who conspired with the criminal to take his life. Soldiers search every house with wizards using the detect thoughts spell to try and find the conspirators. The people riot in the streets. Blendegad the Reaper comes out of his tower atop the Nox Castle and breathes fire upon the crowds. The people disperse in terror and Blendegad feasts on their barbequed flesh. The incident is referred to as the Scouring By Fire.
401: Hera supports Ares’ rise to power only if Ares acts as a regent for his father, Zeus. Ares, in gratitude for his mother’s new position, creates a massive hurricane in the western Caspian Sea. The hurricane causes major flooding for Crafterton, Cecilia, and Makotako. The people call out for help from their god and leader. Blendegad used his divine power to grant all Dragovinians wings for one day. The Dragovinians of Xoria assisted all the mortals escape the flooding, winds, and lightning of the Hurricane of Ares. The image of the Dragovinians and Dragoviniysm is greatly improved.
400: The years of peace come to an end. Jevaninada II and Blendegad the Reaper decided to act with the new popular support found by protecting the people from the Hurricane of Ares. The dictator and the god reassembled the grand army of Xoria. Conscriptions began enmasse. The popular support for Dragoviniysm continued, but support for King Jevaninada II quickly evaporated.
The people’s emotions were already running hot after the hurricane. Waves of dissention rose across the whole Empire. Jevaninada imposed a new method of policing his citizens. He and his Dragovinian nobles began biting dogs and other animals. Those beasts became the spies and enforcers of the Dragovinian aristocracy. The Dragovinian beasts supernaturally sniff out treasonous acts and conversations. The beasts report the criminals to their masters or act on their own, immediately and severely punishing the guilty. It is said that the creator of a Dragovinian beast can see through the beast's eyes, hear with the beast's ear, and even speak with the beast's tongue.
399: With the homefront supposedly secure and his new army trained, Jevaninada II marched into the Eastern Cimmerian lands. The mercenaries and adventurers guilds of Phoenix quickly mobilized to stop the advance of the Xorian army. The Xorians were prevented from crossing the Delain River. Phoenix called for aid from the other Alliance members, but the call was unanswered.
398: More conscripts joined the Xorian army. Those guilty of treason were now punished with conscription. The Xorian army almost tripled in size in one year. With the use of a special forces platoon composed of Dragovinians, Jevaninada II was able to take the eastern bank of the Delain River. The Second Alliance of Cimmeria voted to act to protect Phoenix. Jipangu, Bradel Fields, Jord, and Restnor’s Point send troops, supplies, and experts to Phoenix to aid in the protection of the city.
Jevaninada II attempts to storm the city with siege towers and battering rams led by his Dragovinian platoon. The attack fails. The second attack consists of a silent Dragovinian attack during the night. Many Phoenixians are slain; unfortunately for Xoria, the Dragovinians, in their bloodlust, did not target military personnel. The Phoenix military mobilized and the Dragovinian commander called a retreat. A great number of Dragovinians died in the retreat.
Jevaninada II backs his troops away from the city. The people of Phoenix feared an ambush and did not pursue. The armies of the Second Alliance gathered in the city. As soon as the Xorian King was sure all the allies were gathered in the city walls he pushed his frontline forward. The Xorian army began building a siege wall to enclose the entire city of Phoenix.
397: The Alliance attempts a countersiege wall to the northeast of Phoenix. The countersiege wall was heavily defended during its constructions. Many Alliance troops died, but the wall was successfully built. The day after its completion the wall was entirely underdug by Dragovinian burrowing animals. The Alliance soldiers patrolling the wall were all slain by the Dragovinian beasts. The slain troops rose again as Dragovinians loyal to Xoria. The new “recruits” were placed in the old Dragovinian platoon.
Jevaninada the Second called for the surrender of Phoenix. Phoenix refused. The building of the siege wall continued at an increased pace. The Alliance attempted an attack on the center of the siege wall. Dragovinian troops engaged in a melee with the Alliance while thousands of arrows were shot from behind the siege wall into the fighting. The Dragovinians were immune to the damage of the arrows, but the Alliance troops could not say the same. The Alliance ordered a retreat, but their route was cut off by the same burrowing animals that had collapsed the countersiege wall. The Alliance troops involved in the center wall attack suffered 50% casualties.
396: The siege wall is completed in June. The Alliance considers recruiting new allies from the rest of Cimmeria to assist in breaking the siege.


Description of Players
Anxe: I'm the DM. I own the miniatures that we play with when we play in real life. I'm a funny guy most of the time. Most of my humor comes from noticing something funny and then beating it to death until its not funny anymore. When I'm a player I like playing fighters and rogues. I work in Davis.
Salzar: My best friend since I was 8 years old. He's the shiest of the group, but also comes up with the best jokes. Salzar is the type of player who likes to switch his character a lot so he can mess with different builds. Salzar is a working man in Los Altos.
Ozymandias: His house is where we used to play. His parents are extremely laid back so its always cool if we play late and swear loudly. Ozymandias likes video games and hanging out with his friends and family. He is a hack and slash player. He's almost always played fighter types. Ozymandias is a working man in Oakland.
Middle_Snu: Middle_Snu is also one of the older members of the group who left awhile ago. He's a bit of a pessimist (realist, whatever). He's also very good at loopholing/building characters. Middle_Snu works in California and his job requires him to fly a lot on weekends, causing him to miss more sessions than he'd like. We miss you Middle_Snu! Middle_Snu is currently taking a break from the campaign while he works in Israel.
Thewamp: Thewamp is a family friend of mine. He's the oldest of the group. Thewamp is very analytical and good at problem solving. He is also very good at building unbalanced characters. Fortunately, he does not do so. He likes characters with good motivations for their actions. Thewamp goes to graduate school in San Diego.
Throgg: Throgg is probably the most extroverted of the group. He's the youngest of the group. Throgg also fits the "actor" stereotype of players. He likes to play around with his character's backstory. He currently works in Cupertino.
Zigfried: The newest addition to our group. I can say with confidence that he is a chill guy. He also has bearded dragons for pets. That's got to count for something. Zigfried is trying to establish a good resume in Louisiana before moving out to California.
TL;DR Section
Anxe = DM
Salzar plays a rogue/sorcerer in the high level campaign. In the low level he plays a halfling rogue/sorcerer named Draco. Past characters include Torin the dwarven cleric and Wu the archer.
Ozymandias plays an elven dinosaur focused druid named Eathirilu in the high level campaign. In the low level campaign he plays a halfling rogue named Sivirdm. Past characters include Preta the Red Circle Mage.
Throgg plays a telepath psion named Amalius in the high level campaign. He has an elven rogue cohort named Aldarian, that Zigfried played for a bit. In the low level campaign he plays an orc barbarian named Gregor.
Zigfried is our newest member. He plays Danar, a human longaxe wielding gish, in the high level campaign and is playing Reggy a barbarian NPC turned into a PC. Previously he played Aldarian, Amalius’ cohort.
Middle_Snu plays a generalist wizard named Hektor in the high level campaign. He plays a half-orc champion (The Giant's personally designed class) named Korjak in the low level campaign. Previously he played Terroc the wizard.
Thewamp plays a crusader/warblade named Tagenadi in the high level campaign. In the low level campaign he plays a halfling beguiler named Stanton. Previously he played Logan the hellfire warlock.
The party is fighting the evil Xorian Empire. The Xorian Empire is ruled by an upper class of what are effectively Half-Dragon Vampires. The high level campaign opposes the Xorians after the Alliance lost the important city of Phoenix. The low level campaign is searching for pieces of a prophecy that can bring a god back to life.

Throgg
2011-09-25, 12:19 PM
Anxe jumped the gun a little. Reserved.

Anxe
2011-09-25, 12:34 PM
This was a post for notes on previous sessions. I've posted all of them so I edited out those notes.

Anxe
2011-09-27, 08:12 PM
Rebellion Session #1/Total Session #1
This session was played with Salzar, Ozymandias, and a guest player who we lost touch with, Spud. Throgg also joined us for the later half via skype.

The session started off with making characters, but not in the typical way. I had the players roll their stats up in order (First roll goes to Str, second to Dex, then Con, Int, Wis, and Cha). The players picked races, names, and the basic physical description stuff. We stopped character creation there. No classes, feats, or skills. My intention was that the abilities, skills, and feats that the players used within the first session or two would decide what class, feats, and skills the players would actually have. It worked okay, but I wouldn't do it again. It's too confusing.

The characters woke up with no memory of who they are and what they were doing. Chains and manacles attached to tables restrained the characters. Wizards and clerics examined them and refused to answer questions. The wizards and clerics looked for scales, reptilian eyes, necromantic auras, fangs, wings, claws (foot and hand), and forked tongues. The characters were frustrated at being treated this way by something as low as NPCs. Sivirdm attempted to break free from his manacles. Guards came into the room and held Sivirdm down while a cleric injected him with a knockout poison.

While the guards were distracted Spud attempted to slip out of the manacles. The guards succeeded at spot checks and noticed that as well. Spud also got the knockout poison treatment. Salzar chose to have Wu Lang Li cooperate with the clerics and wizards. A cleric told him that they were looking for a breath organ and it required the subjects to be unconscious. Wu Lang Li voluntarily accepted the knockout poison.

A day later the characters reawaken. They are fed by Sister Kylee, a cleric. She apologizes for the treatment of the characters. Wu Lang Li asked if they used to be Dragovinians (The players had access to the background info for the campaign and had started to get the hints). Sister Kylee didn't answer the question. A troop of ten guards came in led by Sergeant Elerie. The characters were unbound from the tables and new hand and foot manacles were put on them. Sivirdm attempted to escape again, but he was clubbed into unconsciousness by the guards. The guards led/carried the blindfolded characters to another room and seated in wooden chairs in front of a table. A cleric healed Sivirdm to consciousness.

A man spoke to them from across the table, "I'm going to lay down some groundrules before we begin. Number one, you do not speak unless I address you." (Of course the players interrupted me at this points. I ruled it was OOC.) "Number two, you do not move unless told to. Number three, you will answer my questions. Number fou-"
Sivirdm interrupted, "What if we have to move. For like an itch or something."
Sivirdm got slapped across the face with a gauntlet.

"Number four, do not upset me. And number five, failure to follow the rules will result in punishment. Do you understand?" (Got the typical, "No hablo ingles!" joke here. Followed by, "Yes, we understand.")

The man spoke again, "What are your names?"
Wu Lang Li and Sivirdm said their names. Spud said his character's name too (Brad Pickler), but he left the group, so who cares?
"Do you know who you are?"
Wu Lang Li said, "We think we might have been Dragovinians before, but we don't know now." The others agreed with Wu Lang Li's statement.
"Do you know where you are?"
"No."
"Do you know why you are here?"
"No."
"Do you know what you have done?"
Wu Lang Li said, "No. Must've been some bad stuff if we were Dragovinians."
Sivirdm said, "I hope I killed some rebels. I hate you all!"
Sivirdm gets another gauntlet slap and falls unconscious.
The man again, "Do you know what you came here to do?"
"No."
"Do you know who I am?"
Spud said, "The boss or something?"
"No, but nevermind. Do you who the Emperor is?"
Wu Lang Li said, "It's Jevaninada the Second, isn't it?"
"Yes. Do you know what he is?"
"He's the Emperor. Duh."
Wu Lang Li got a slap.
The man asked, "What is the Empire?"
Spud answered, "It's the Xorian thing with the Dragovinians ruling it."
"What is the Alliance?"
Spud said, "It's the group that's opposing the Xorians."
"What are you?"
Spud said, "I'm a human now."
Wu Lang Li added, "And I'm a halfling!"
"What were you?"
Wu Lang Li said, "Dragovinians."
Spud said, "Yeah, Dragovinians."
"What year is it?"
Wu Lang Li said, "We don't know."
"What are you capable of?"
Wu Lang Li, "Not much when we're manacled and blindfolded."
The man said, "True enough. Do you remember what happened?"
"No."
"I'm done with them. Take them away."

Here's the illustration I made of Stanton, Sivirdm, Wu, Gregor, and Major Dactirian. Although most of the PCs weren't present, I retconned it to have them there.
http://s14.postimg.org/uxtep77sh/Session_1.jpg


The characters were led to separate prison cells. The manacles and blindfolds were taken off and the door was closed and locked. Spud and Wu Lang Li talked through the walls trying to decide on a way to escape, but couldn't think of anything. Once Sivirdm regained consciousness he joined the talk, but he couldn't come up with anything either.

After two or three days passed the characters were freed and taken by Sergeant Elerie to the room with the man again. They saw the man for the first time. He had red curly hair and a small beard. He looked like he was in his early 30s. The man told them his name was Major Dactirian. He is the leader of the Rebellion and Bigby's Forest. The characters were indeed originally Dragovinians. They were Dragovinian Enforcers, people who went in search of rebel insurgents throughout the Xorian Empire. The characters were the best. They'd found the Rebel hideout and attacked it. They were captured and an experiment to "unvamp" them was successful, but it wiped out almost all their memory.
Major Dactirian wanted the characters to join the Rebellion. He wanted them to be examples of the Rebellion's new power over Dragovinians. To show that the most evil individuals can be made into a force of good. If his plan works the Dragovinians will no longer seem so powerful. Dactirian hopes that Xorians will join the Rebellion all over the Empire. He tells the characters that they will be welcomed into the Rebellion if they accept shock collars. If not...
The characters accepted the shock collars were put on. Major Dactirian gave the activation amulet to Sergeant Elerie. The characters went on to train with the other Rebel soldiers. The Rebel soldiers bullied and harassed them, but we skipped over that part to get to the real adventure quicker.

After twenty days of training with the Rebels the characters were called to Major Dactirian's room again. He told them that their time for helping the Rebellion had come. Sergeant Elerie was to take the players to the northwest of Bigby's Forest where Semanarie used to be. The Druids of Semanarie associated with various groups of animals before they were destroyed by the Xorians. One of the animal groups was a wolf pack that lived close to Semanaire. The Druids told a piece of information vital to the Rebellion to the Alpha wolf. A speak with animals necklace was given to Sergeant Elerie so they could communicate with the wolves. The party set off immediately. (I believe Throgg joined us at this point? My memory's hazy)

They traveled for two days to get out of the forest. Then a good tracking roll found the wolves quickly. Elerie attempted to parley with the wolves using the necklace, but she failed. The party refused to leave, so the wolves attacked. The characters fought off the wolves as best they could, but soon they all lost consciousness.

They woke up later in the back of an iron wagon. Stevie the Wonder Wagon had saved them. He was on his way back from a scouting mission in the Xorian Empire when he saw the players being attacked by the wolves. We ended the first session there.

Anxe
2011-09-27, 08:17 PM
Rebellion Session #2/Total Session #8
This session was done using Google Hangouts for all the participants. Salzar, Throgg, and thewamp attended. Spud's character was retconned out, because we didn't plan on having him attend again. Ozymandias's character faded into the background for this session (The old, he's there, but the monsters ignore him and he takes no actions).

This was the first time we had players attend the game with no primary location. In the past it has just been Throgg of Salzar skyping into the session. This time we ALL did. I have a handheld web-camera that I connect to my laptop and point at the battle-mat on my bed. I can swivel on my chair between my desk and my bed to move the miniatures and interact with the players. When we aren't using the battle-mat I use the camera on my laptop, so the guys can see my face when I talk. I think it worked really well. The setup will probably be used for future sessions except for breaks from school when we can all get back home to the SF Bay Area.

We started the session off by remaking the characters of Salzar and Throgg. thewamp joined us a little late and when he did he also made a character. The guys wanted me to roll the stats over the webcam, so I did. I ended up rolling awfully for both Salzar and Throgg twice in a row. On the third roll for the two of them, they got amazing stats. I believe it was 18,17,15,14,14,12. Throgg made a barbarian orc with tricked out strength and Salzar made a human ranger. They plan on playing a party that uses stealth a lot. Once thewamp joined in I rolled stats for him. His were good, but not as good. thewamp decided to play a halfling beguiler.

(A note: All of the players' characters are past Dragovinians. That part is retconned for Throgg and thewamp. We probably will not retcon that for Middle_Snu if he joins the lower campaign. If he does join he will play a character connected to the party by a different thread.)

However, before thewamp arrived, Throgg wanted to play out the bullying and harassing of the Rebel soldiers from the session before. So we started from there.

Wu Lang Li and Gregor, Throgg's character, were practicing unarmed fighting in the yard when eight Rebel recruits came over to them. A big human from the group threw two swords on the ground in front of the characters. A dwarf among the soldiers said, "Pick em up."
Wu Lang Li and Gregor ignored the recruits and continued working on punching some dummies.
The big human came forward and grabbed Wu Lang Li's shirt, turning him around. The human got up in Wu Lang Li's face and sneered, "Didn't you hear him? He said, 'Pick it up.'"
Wu Lang Li shoved the recruit away and combat began!
Wu Lang Li grabbed one of the swords, but Gregor decided to just use his fists (Gregor has Improved Unarmed Strike). Wu Lang Li took down the big human, but the recruits were rolling well and hitting with most attacks. Gregor also took down one of the recruits. Gregor flew into a rage and jumped on the downed foe. He rolled a crit dealing an already unconscious foe 24 points of damage! And Gregor's damage was lethal due to his Improved Unarmed Strike feat. The recruit's head was basically pulped.
Wu Lang Li fell unconscious and Gregor managed to knock out another recruit and kill another one before he too went under. Meanwhile officers were shouting and other enlisted men were rushing over.

The characters drifted in and out of unconsciousness while in the Rebel's infirmary. Eventually they woke up with Major Dactirian standing over them. He told them he was very disappointed in them. He told them they'd be leaving the base on a mission once they were better to avoid anymore "training accidents."

(We got some dinner and chatted at this points. We wanted thewamp to show up before we continued. We also swapped some youtube videos. Especially the MST3K: Space Mutiny. You should look it up. We also shared this scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21zBByU9sNE) from The Fast and the Furious. It was meant to be a representation of what Gregor did to the recruits he killed. Another video was this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSFTUNvM8M0&feature=player_detailpage#t=24s) taken from The Matrix. From where I have it start that one is a pretty good description of what the Dragovinians are like in my world.)

From there we skipped ahead to the characters waking up on Stevie the Wonder Wagon's back. The characters decided that they needed to bribe the wolves. They rolled some survival checks to quickly find some deer. Stevie tracked the wolves to their lair, a burrow in the side of a hill. Stevie said that he probably shouldn't be seen by the wolves, so he ran off. The characters set the deer before the entrance to the wolf den when the sun was setting.
A large wolf emerged from the wolf den covered in red scales and smelling of brimstone. The Alpha wolf had been turned into a Dragovinian! Stanton, thewamp's character, attempted to talk with the wolf using the speak with animals item. The wolf asked how the halfling spoke wolf. Stanton referred to the necklace. The wolf came forward and put its paw on Stanton. It pushed him down to sniff the necklace and the halfling.
Gregor moved to grab his weapons. Elerie and Wu Lang Li chose to back away from the wolf instead in case it breathed fire. The wolf began to growl at Gregor. The two of them circled each other. Stanton kept insisting that they calm down and talk it out. The wolf stopped circling and smoke began to emanate from its nostrils. Gregor maintained eye contact (considered threatening to wolves). Only when the wolf tensed to lunge did Gregor break eye contact. The wolf decided that was good enough and went back to eat its deer offering.

http://s16.postimg.org/scx2gshf9/Session_02.jpg

Stanton asked it if it knew anything about the Druids' information.
The Alpha wolf grumbled, "Yes."
Stanton said, "Could you tell us please?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"You don't smell right."
"How do we smell."
"You smell like weaklings."
The wolf finished its blood meal and then headed into the burrow. The normal wolves came out and ate from the deer without attacking the party.

From there the party discussed various plans for attacking or getting the wolves on their side. Gregor suggested being more offensive and dominating as he'd been earlier in the staring contest with the wolf. He even tried urinating in front of the normal wolves. They looked up, looked back into the burrow, and then returned to eating. Gregor insisted that peeing on the wolves themselves was the answer, but the rest of the party restrained him. Some other plans were tossed around. I used the opportunity to clean up my room a bit. Throgg can probably tell you more about the plans that didn't go into action once he tells his version of this session.

Eventually the party decided that they needed to take this information to command (Which is what I wanted them to do). The three of them (and Elerie who was in the background the whole time. And Ozymandias's character as well who was "there.") decided to go back to command and ask them what to do. Since they had Stevie, command was only 3 hours away. They hopped in the wagon and slept a bit while on their way back through Bigby's Forest.

Upon arriving at the Rebel hideout they saw a large battle happening amongst the rebels themselves. The characters quickly saw that it was a mutiny by some of the newer recruits. Injured and dead were on the ground. The Rebel officers were all on one side, while the enlisted men were split between the two sides. We ended the session there because it was late and I had class in the morning. Our next session is this Thursday (9/29/11).

Anxe
2011-09-27, 09:16 PM
The first post is pretty much done. We'll be "under construction" until the sessions we've played for the Alliance half of the campaign are completed. Throgg is doing the first half of those and I'll be doing the second half. I'll post the second half after he posts his. We'll also be commenting on each others posts to give our impressions of the events.

Once we get the old sessions completed we can hopefully update once a week. I think we're doing the Rebellion campaign this week, so I will post that update once we play. If we play the Alliance campaign then I won't post it until the older sessions are completed. Wouldn't want to get ahead of ourselves!

Anxe
2011-09-29, 09:52 PM
The player whom I've been calling Boin has joined the Forums, but is using the SN Salzar. I'm going to edit all the old posts to say Salzar.

Boin was his first character's name. Salzar was his character's name in the last campaign we played (The one with the giant background of history for the current campaign).

Salzar will also be doing the post for the session that just happened this Thursday. Our next session is planned for Friday, October 7th 2011.

Salzar
2011-10-02, 08:00 AM
As our last session ended, we saw that Gregor was not the only person in the rebellion who liked killing other people in the rebellion. The officers and the new recruits were fighting as we returned to camp. We had to reach a snap decision as to which side to join. Our principle was clear: join the side that would win. We figured this would be the officers as they would have had more fighting experience. After rejoining the officers we were sent to take out a batch of new recruits in a tree house with Sergeant Elerie. Their elevated position and desire not to go to bed made this more difficult than it might have been. However, with Wu’s and Elerie’s arrows providing cover Gregor was able to make it into the tree house and deliver the beat down eliminating the tree house threat.

After the battle was won by the officers, we divided up in pairs to bury the dead: Elerie and Wu in one pair and Gregor and Stanton in the other. Stanton and Gregor made good use of their size differential as Stanton hid behind Gregor and searched the bodies they were burying to net the pair 8.5 GP each. Sadly Wu was in no position to graverob. That’s 8.5 GP that can never be recovered (unless we were to re-dig up the bodies, food for thought).
Our party, having failed miserably to attain any useful information from the wolves, was inexplicably sent on another assignment. This time we had to raid a Xorian Caravan. The rebellion decided to send Sergeant Elerie with us to prevent us from killing one another, and being incompetent. To aid her in this she was given a trinket she could use to shock us with our shock collars. Along the way to out caravan raiding spot we were attacked by a bear. We immediately sprung into action, thinking of ways to use this to free ourselves from the danger of being shocked with our shock collars. Elerie raced to fight the bear while the rest of had a surprising amount of difficulty helping her. Sadly, we were all tripping on branches, dropping our weapons and temporarily forgetting our spells and were unable to join the fight until after Elerie was knocked unconscious, at which point Greger subdued and decapitated the bear.

At this point Stanton stole the shock collar trigger and threw it away before Elerie woke up. When she woke up she was furious at us. She immediately noticed the shock trinket was gone and started interrogating us. At first we couldn’t seem to remember anything, but eventually Gregor admitted that Wu had stolen it. Wu protested that Gregor had. Elerie then pressed her sword against Wu’s throat and padded him down against his protests. Wu then conceded that Stanton had stolen the trinket. Stanton shocked at this accurate accusation, claimed that Wu had thrown away the trinket. Wu in response to this grappled Stanton. Elerie fired an arrow at Wu hitting him. Defending his comrade, Gregor punched Elerie in the face with his gauntlet knocking her unconscious.

Having knocked our superior officer unconscious, we deliberated on the best way to get themselves out of this bind. All options were on the table including killing Elerie (too hard to explain away to the rebellion) and hiding the amulet with the bear and claiming the bear had knocked it off (to implausible with Elerie’s wounds). Eventually we decided to complete the mission while keeping Elerie unconscious. The party headed to a tower near the raiding spot to judge our foes strength. We also had Gregor go to a nearby town to get some bandages for Wu’s wounds as he rested, preparing for the raid.

Anxe
2011-10-02, 12:00 PM
This was Rebellion Session #3/Total Sesison #9

Additions to Salzar's biased account:
The revolt within the Rebellion was due to a shortage of food. That's why they were sent to raid the caravan. Also, Salzar made jokes about wanting to change his character's name to Renaldo at that point. If you've played AOK you'll think that's hilarious.
Elerie was not knocked unconscious by the bear... She was knocked unconscious by Stanton's color spray spell. Apparently the only spell he could remember was the one that would take her out as well.

The party attacking Elerie was not that unexpected. They don't mind being told what to do, but they like it better when its more of a, "I want you to do this," than a, "I'm ordering you to do this." Fortunately they have agreed to stay on the railroad tracks for now (Which I promise will disappear by the time you get to Level 3).

And here is an image to accompany the party's attack on the treehouse during the mutiny.
http://s12.postimg.org/6q5h0e6z1/Session_09.jpg

Anxe
2011-10-06, 09:00 PM
Originally Throgg was going to do some updates for sessions we've already played, but I have way more free time than him, so we decided I'd do them. Here it comes!

Alliance Session #1/Total Session #2
This session was attended in person by Throgg, Salzar, and Ozymandias. We met at Ozymandias's house. When we meet at his house we usually play Soul Calibur 4, Left 4 Dead (1 or 2), or Dead Rising for an hour or two before starting the D&D.

(A note before we begin. Both campaigns began on June 20th and both are now at around July 20th in game.)

The War Council of the New Alliance met in Phoenix to discuss the newest development of the now three year long war with Xoria. The Xorians have succeeded in building a siege wall around the city of Phoenix. Phoenix is a city ruled by different guilds with the Thieves Guild in charge (The Thieves run a sort of protection racket. The money collected is a lot like a tax.). The other significant guilds are the Mercenaries Guild, the Adventurers Guild (Which is often competing with the Mercenaries for contracts), the Clerics Guild, and the Mages Guild. The Thieves Guild has ceded control of the town to the War Council until the crisis has passed.

The War Council is headed by Arendil, an old noble from one of the Allied cities, Jipangu. The main forces on the council are the Mercenaries Guild and the Adventurers Guild. For a more in depth list of the council members you can check out the important NPCs spoiler in the first post. All of the PCs are also members of the War Council. Amalius is a member because of his father's influence. Torin is a member because he is related to the Hill Dwarf king. Terroc is a member because he is paid to be the on staff professional magician. Preta's backstory isn't set in stone. He's either a member because he's in the Adventurers Guild or because he is an uppity exiled Persian Prince. Or both. Logan is a senior member of the Adventurers Guild, that's why he is on the Council.

Arendil started the council meeting off by asking what should be done about the siege. The city has enough food to last until April if nothing goes wrong. The city is by at the meeting of two rivers, so water isn't a problem. The Alliance also has access to about 2 million in GP that could be used for almost anything (so far its been pretty much a resurrection fund for the party). The Xorians are encamped to the north of the city beyond the siege wall, to the west of the city across the Delain Tribute, and to the south of the city across the Curving Stream. The Xorian army size roughly outnumbers the Alliance's armies within the city by 3 to 1. "What do we do gentlemen?"

(The locations spoken about can be found on the map pretty easily. I'd encourage you to have it open in another tab while reading this.)

General Dainlin of the Hill Dwarves spoke first, "My men are tunneling as we speak. We are attempting to reach beyond the Xorian battlelines. We can either evacuate the city or attack the Xorians from behind once the tunnel is complete."
Amalius said, "How are you keeping the preparations secret? Surely, the Xorians have flying scouts who can see any large holes in the ground that you'd be digging."
"We're not digging outside. We have supplies being brought into the temple of Hephaestus and dirt going out. Hopefully it won't look too suspicious due to the smiths that do their work in there."
Arendil asked, "How far along is the tunnel at this time?"
"We've gotten about halfway to the perimeter of the city walls. We need to extend the tunnel to maybe ten times that length."
"This is good news, but I'd like us to explore some other options until the tunnel is completed. What else does the council have for me?" Arendil said.
Gradorian, the hobgoblin mercenary stood up and spoke, "We should attack the siege wall again. We can take it this time. I've been with my men in tight spots before. Desperate men are good fighters."
Astyanax said, "I agree. The undead beasts would hardly expect an attack. They think we are trapped and scared like rats. We should show them the courage the men of the East have."
At that point there was a long discussion between the players and the other council members about the strengths of the armies, whether the attack should be during the day or the night, and the chances of success. Titandra and Kig were against assaulting the wall. The party thought it might be a good idea eventually, but not yet. Junai brought up the alternate possibility of surrendering, but she was booed for suggesting such a thing.

Eventually, Lamarr spoke up, "What we really need is more troops. We won't find them in the city. We've already drafted every man we can spare. Instead we should look outside of the Alliance. We need more of the city-states of the East to join our fight. I think we should get the people of Mars Oasis on our side."
The party asked, "Why Mars' Oasis?"
"Because they are a town that constantly fights the undead and dragons of the desert. They have experience fighting exactly what we are fighting, draconic undead. They already have a standing army that would help greatly in the fight against the Dragovinians."
Arendil said, "But aren't they busy fighting the undead and dragon threats of the desert? They won't fight our enemies unless we agree to fight theirs first. I fear the people of Mars' Oasis will not join our fight until the Blue Wyrm, Bavastatner, is dead along with the Bane, the lich of the desert."

The players discussed going to whip out the undead, dragons, and the third opponent that threatens Mars' Oasis, Formians, for awhile. Eventually, I decided to interrupt them with the plot hook I actually wanted them to follow.

Terroc, who had remained silent for most of the meeting, finally decided to speak, "Mars' Oasis is not the answer my friends. We must look closer to find allies. The people of Shalerton would help us if only they had a trained army. I have found a ritual in some old books that will allow us to train the people of Shalerton quickly."
Astyanax said, "Tell us how this ritual works, Terroc."
"I did not find the ritual itself. Only a reference to it in another book. The ritual is contained within the Tome of Agamemnon, which is kept underneath your own city of Bradel Fields, brave Astyanax."
"The Tome of Agamemnon? That thing is buried under the city for a reason! It is evil!"
"Yes, but some evils are necessary in war. The magics in the Tome of Agamemnon can quickly train the people of Shalerton into a force to be reckoned with, just as Agamemnon trained his Argives and conquered all of Greece. The reference spoke of combining the ritual with a sacred fountain of water. There is no such fountain in Shalerton, but I know of another to the northwest, the Geyser of Talos." (The players went on a mission to the Geyser of Talos in a previous campaign. They know it is guarded by a giant bronze golem, Talos. Check him out on wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talos))
Torin said, "But that still leaves the problem of the fountain being here," Salzar pointed to the map we had out, "and Shalerton being all the way over here. How can they drink from the fountain?"
Terroc answered, "With Ring Gates (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#ringGates). A ring gate is normally a small thing that allows for a few pounds to pass through it each day. I propose that we construct a huge one, perhaps six feet in diameter. The ring gate should be able to transport all the water of the Geyser of Talos to Shalerton. Then we can perform the ritual of Agamemnon in Shalerton and have a trained army in no time."
Amalius said, "Great. Have you begun construction of the ring gates?"
"Unfortunately, no. I am missing a key spell component. Normally, ring gates are constructed with giants' hearts which are easy enough to acquire. However, for a gate this large I need a correspondingly large giant heart. There are none available in Phoenix."
The members of the War Council looked sad.
"Don't worry! I've heard word through the Mages Guild that a Geriviar was spotted in Danar's Swamp to the west just two weeks ago. Geriviars move on pretty quickly, so to catch this one we must act fast. I propose that a few members of the War Council teleport with me to Danar's Swamp. From there we can track the giant, kill it, and take out its heart."
The party of course volunteered to be the members of the War Council to get the Geriviar's heart. (For those of you who don't know what a Geriviar is, its a monster in the MM3. An image can be found here. (http://132.209.40.23/w4/campagne/images/WotC_Art_Galleries/Monster_Manual_III/Geriviar%20by%20Wayne%20England.jpg) The monster is CR19 and is immune to a ton of ****. the basic idea of the monster's build is for destroying buildings. I do routinely throw CRs at my players that are way beyond their levels. They usually pull through somehow.) The party researched the monster and learned that it was immune to fire damage and hated buildings.

The next day the party teleported off to Danar's Swamp. The party consisted of:
Torin with his original fighter build
Erick, Torin's cleric cohort until Torin's build changed.
Preta whose build has not changed
Shez, Preta's cohort.
Amalius with his original diplomacizer build.
Terroc, who was an NPC run by me. He was basically there to teleport people.
Aldarian, Amalius's cohort, sat this adventure out.

The party quickly found the Geriviar's tracks and followed them. They found that the tracks often doubled back on each other. It seemed that the giant was wandering in circles looking for something. After three days the party had gotten within a day of the Geriviar, but were unable to bridge the gap. Amalius decided he would create an illusionary tower on a hill above the swamp. Hopefully, the tower would attract the building hating Geriviar.
The tower did attract a monster, but it wasn't the Geriviar. A Grey Render showed up. Preta fireballed it and it ran off.
The party spent another three days tracking the giant, but didn't get any closer. They did were ambushed by a group of three medusas. Preta's quick reflexes and a cone of cold turned the medusas into popsicles. Amalius got mad at Preta for killing the medusas so quickly. Amalius insisted that the medusas could have guided the party to the Geriviar.
On the seventh day in the swamp the players finally realized that Terroc can cast phantom steed. When asked why he hadn't cast it before his only response was, "You didn't ask." (Terroc is not meant to solve problems for the players, even if his 30 INT should let him do so. It wouldn't be fun if I did everything in my own adventures. The players know and accept this, I think...)

The phantom steeds allowed the party to catch up to the Geriviar very quickly. It ran from them upon seeing them, but they still chased it down. Amalius was continually trying to talk it into stopping for a conversation with the party. Preta shot a lightning bolt off at it, but did not succeed in killing it. The Geriviar turned and threw two nodules at Preta (Nodules are basically fireballs that grow on the Geriviar's back). The nodules killed Preta. Torin landed to do hand-to-hand battle with the Geriviar. Amalius rolled an intimidate to say that Torin was a renowned Giant-Slayer and that the Geriviar had better watch himself. Amalius won. The Geriviar was cowed and now willing to talk to the party.

The Geriviar revealed that his name was Bill and that he was looking through the swamp for his lost dog, Scruffy. Bill lives in the mountains to the west of Danar's Swamp, but Scruffy went missing about three weeks ago. Amalius succeeded on a bluff check to convince Bill that the Xorians had kidnapped Scruffy. Bill led the party to the Xorian town to the south to get revenge (The town's name is Jevanicia, but on the map you want to look for Tectoctar. For why the name's are different you should check out the world's history).

Somewhere in here, Terroc teleported back to Phoenix with Preta's body. In my world, there is a house rule that you do not lose a level if you are reincarnated, only if you are raised. I also have my own reincarnate table. Preta went for a reincarnate instead of a raise dead. He came back as a Cervidal, which is a type of outsider that looks like a satyr. It's one of the better things you can come back as.

At Jevanicia, Bill destroyed everything. No one there was high enough level to threaten him. Not even the small Dragovinian population party stood a chance, especially with the buffs the party gave Bill. The characters learned that Dragovinians are vulnerable to the divine cold damage of a fire shield spell. Bill didn't kill everyone in the town, but he killed damn near everyone he could get his hands on. The civilians of the town fled to the south.

http://s9.postimg.org/50625q43j/Session_02.jpg

Scruffy was not in the town. Terroc scried for Scruffy and found him dead in the swamp. He teleported there with Amalius. Amalius used disguise to make Scruffy look like he'd been killed by a Xorian spear. They teleported back to Jevanicia and showed the body they'd "just found" to Bill. Bill flew into a rage and beat the stone buildings of the town into dust and the wood buildings into tiny splinters.

The party asked if Bill wanted to get more revenge on the Xorians. He said yes. They told him to wait three days at the ruins of the town. The party teleported back to Phoenix and called a War Council meeting. They proposed an attack on the siege wall in three days with Bill and an army backing Bill up.

The session ended there.

Anxe
2011-10-08, 12:41 PM
Rebellion Session #4/Total Session #10
This session was quite short. It took place at Ozymandias's house. It was physically attended by myself, Throgg, and Ozymandias. It was attended through Google Hangouts by Salzar and Middle_Snu. Thewamp was going to come later, but because the session was so short, he did not.

Middle_Snu was unfamiliar with the current state of the Rebellion campaign so we caught him up. He played Stanton, thewamp's character, instead of making his own.

The players spent the first hour of the session planning how they would ambush the caravan when it arrived. they didn't know how many wagons were coming and jokes were tossed around that the caravan might actually be coming by boat instead of by the road one hundred feet from the river. It was eventually decided that the players would place a rock in the road that would block the wagon ruts. The two halflings, Sivirdm (Ozymandia's character who mysteriously appeared without explanation) and Stanton would hide in the bushes. Wu would hide down by the river with his bow. Gregor would hid in a camouflaged ditch close to the road.

(Middle_Snu left at this point due to another engagement)

The characters made all their hide checks and the caravan did not spot them when it showed up. There were two wagons, each with a driver and two guards. The guards hopped out of the wagons when they saw the rock in the road. Two of them went to move the rock, while two others kept guard around the caravan. The players unleashed hell when the two guards got to the rock. Sivirdm charged forward and color sprayed (Sivirdm was a spelltheif prior to his redesign. He stole the color spray from Stanton) the two guards there. One of them failed his save and the battle was on! Sivirdm won initiative, which he immediately used to slit the throat of the guard he'd color sprayed. Gregor went to help Sivirdm against the other guard. One of the guards tried his best to calm down the horses. The drivers pulled out crossbows. One of the other guards got sleeped by Stanton. Wu was shooting arrows into the fray from the river.

Eventually, the party won. Three of the guards were dead and one was unconscious. The drivers threw down their crossbows and surrendered. The casualties on the player side was just a 7 point wound to Sivirdm (which brought him down to 0).

At that point, Salzar had to leave, so we ended the session. The players were talking about having the drivers kill Elerie and then freeing them. We'll see what they do next time. Our next session is not planned yet, but it should be sometime in the week after next.

Anxe
2011-10-09, 02:33 PM
Alliance Session #2/Total Session #3
This session was attended by Ozymandias and Salzar. Throgg and Middle_Snu attended via Skype. The session was held at Ozymandias's house.

The War Council meeting on whether to use Bill the Geriviar giant reached no conclusion. The NPC members of the Council felt that a little more umph was needed to have a hope of breaking the siege wall and keep a hole open long enough for an evacuation of the city. With Bill not being used as a weapon, the party suggested that he just be killed so his heart could be harvested. The Council agreed.

The characters came up with an excellent plan for slaying the giant with little risk to themselves. The rented a vorpal sword with Alliance money. They cast silence and invisibility on Torin and gave him the vorpal sword. They scried Bill at night to ensure he was asleep. Once he was Terroc teleported a few hundred feet away from Bill. Torin snuck up with his silence and invisibility. Bill could do little about the situation while asleep. He was helpless and Torin coup de graced him. The automatic crit chopped off the Geriviar's head and he lay there dead. Terroc harvested the heart with his butchering skill.

http://s4.postimg.org/g4n7a2ljx/Session_03_Torin.jpg

The party decided to go a different route before getting the Tome of Agamemnon from the abandoned catacombs/sewer underneath Bradel Fields. I'd presented them with a hook on how to get the kingdom of Aractrash to join the New Alliance. Aractrash had joined the Old Alliance of the last campaign, but the war went badly. They've refused to join the New Alliance because they don't want to suffer the same losses they did last time (Read the history section of the first post if you'd like more details). The new king of Aractrash, Ballard, is scared to commit forces. If the Xorians do reach the borders of his kingdom he plans on having his people disappear into the jungle instead of fighting.

The following few sessions contain information about the module adventure, "The Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali (http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.php?products_id=284)." It's published by Kenzer&Co for a party of four 11th level characters. If your DM plans on running this adventure you may want to avoid any Alliance posts that mention the word Tomb.

The plan of the War Council is to find an ancient artifact known for making people want to conquer and engage in wars, Kharad-Khor, the Bloodthirster. The sword was used by the hobgoblin warlord, Kruk-Ma-Kali. When the Greek gods first came to Cimmeria the races they created were not the first ones there. Before the races of the Greek gods there were the hobgoblins. The hobgoblins were a little annoyed that their land was being stolen, so they rose as one behind the leadership of Kruk-Ma-Kali. He conquered all of Eastern Cimmeria, but died at the hands of a goblin assassin. He bequeathed his vast Empire, "to the strongest." The various hobgoblin leaders began fighting amongst themselves and they have since become a weak race in Cimmeria. The Bloodthirster was buried with Kruk-Ma-Kali in a tomb somewhere in the Shacklack Desert. (This is all stuff that adapts the module to my campaign world. It's not that different from the original version)

Recently, rumors have said that the tomb was found, but not looted. The War Council have received a report that an account of the tomb's location is in the Great Sanctuary of Knowledge, a library at Mars' Oasis. The party gathered as much info as they could in Phoenix before heading to Mars' Oasis. Also, Terroc bound a Glabrezu named X-onfonc (Nickname Thug) to his service for two weeks.

The Great Library is notoriously badly organized. To add onto the nuisance, it costs 10GP every day that you go in. The party ended up spending 8 days and close to 1000GP looking through various books before finding the account they were looking for. The studied a map in the journal and saw the location of Kruk-Ma-Kali's lost tomb is on the west side of the Great Valley in the Dominarie Mountains (On the map it is directly south of Mars' Oasis).

The party didn't teleport to the Great Valley right away. First they sent in Thug to scout out the place. Thug saw a small trail leading up into the mountains on the northwestern side of the valley. The western side of the valley was a burned plain with a solitary tree in the middle of it. The south had two passes leading out of the valley. The east had a small building that Thug could just barely make out on the mountainside. The north had a glacier. The glacier melt created a small river that ran into a lake in the center of the valley. Thug also saw an abandoned city at the north end of the lake and a small village at the south end.

The party decided to teleport to the village at the south end of the lake. The villagers were militant hobgoblins who immediately grabbed their arms upon seeing the mostly human army and began a war dance. Amalius was able to calm the hobgoblins with his diplomatic powers. He spoke to their chief and convinced him they could work together to find the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. The chief, Krumukh, and the shaman of the tribe, Duvagh, both agreed to accompany the players on their quest for the tomb.

The party headed to the path on the northwestern side of the valley. They hiked up it for most of the day. Before the sunset a shadow passed over their heads. They heard something land above them in the path that had now become a narrow pass. Then the pass filled with mist and nobody could see more than ten feet in front of them. Thug used his magic to deduce that a large Red Dragon was attacking the party. The party scrambled to react. The Red Dragon started crawling down the cliff face like a spider. Preta freaked out and blasted it with cold. The Dragon in turn freaked and breathed fire on the party. Aldarian, the two hobgoblins, and Shez all died. Erick and Amalius were knocked unconscious. Terroc was badly wounded, so he teleported away, abandoning the party. Torin buffed himself and engaged the Dragon in melee combat. Preta barely held on and blasted the Dragon with another cold spell before falling unconscious. Thug also engaged the Dragon with Torin. The two of them were able to bring down the last of the Dragon's HP and kill it (Preta did most of the real work, but he didn't get the killing blow. That honor belonged to Thug).
Unfortunately for Preta, he was directly under the Dragon. It's body fell on him and slowly began to crush the life out of him. Torin and Thug were unable to move the body off before Preta died.

The party decided it'd be best if the returned to Phoenix to recuperate. The bodies were thrown in Terroc's Bag of Holding and they teleported away. All the Aldarian got a raise dead while Preta and Shez got reincarnates. Shez, previously a human, came back as a half-elf. Preta, previously a human, came back as a Cervidal, a type of outsider/satyr thing. It's one of the better results on my reincarnate table. The two hobgoblins didn't get raises because the party is racist. (While everyone else was raised, Terroc sent Thug to gather spell components from the Dragon's carcass. He made a few thousand GPs by doing this.)

That party teleported back to the pass. They journey just a little further up it to find a fork. The left fork was very tight and Thug had to go over that part of the pass rather than through it. Fortunately for the party the tight fit was rewarded with the Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali! The entrance is a small valley with a large staircase leading up to four red marble columns that mark the entrance to the tomb.
The party quickly learned that the stairs were booby-trapped with a falling avalanche trap. Shez was able to react fast enough to stop the boulders with a wall of force. The boulders were cleared by Thug. Thug then went up the steps on his own and figured out which step on the staircase set off the trap. A wall of iron protected him this time. He punched through the wall of iron and then lifted each character over the trapped step. Aldarian marked the bad step with chalk. (The party can't fly up the steps because strong magical winds within the small valley prevent any form of flight. They party also found a magical aura in the area that prevents teleportation in or out of the area. The aura does not prevent summons though.)
At the top of the steps the party found no traps, even though they combed it pretty carefully. They did find a few rattlesnakes that Torin valiantly killed in single combat. There was also, of course, two large bronze doors to the tomb. One of the doors had fallen done earlier on a poor halfling. The halfling had since decayed into a skeleton. The party stepped over his body and into the tomb. Inside they saw a red marble door with a Red Dragon's head carved on it. The party decided it was trapped and sent a summoned fire elemental in to inspect it. The fire elemental touched the door and the Dragon head animated. It spoke, "A conqueror lies within, his body rot his mind yet keen, his deeds undone his spirit yet burns, his empire dust his name yet rules. Name him true and ye shall pass, name him false and ye shall... passsss...."
The players freaked out a bit, then had the fire elemental touch the door again. The Dragon repeated its phrase. Upon a third touching it repeated the phrase yet again. A fourth touching illicited no response (The magic mouth on the door only works three times per day). Terroc then told the fire elemental to say, "Kruk-Ma-Kali," in Ignan. The elemental did and the stone Dragon breathed fire on it. The elemental then disappeared because its spell duration was up. The party was stumped by the riddle and we decided to end the session there, so they'd have plenty of time to think about what the answer was.

Anxe
2011-10-09, 02:34 PM
Alliance Session #3/Total Session #4
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Salzar, and thewamp. Throgg attended via skype.

After about two weeks or real life time the players were still stumped by the riddle. They decided to go back to the pass that had led them up to the tomb. They remembered how it had forked right before the tomb. They would hike up the right half of the fork instead of the tight left half. After a day and a half of walking they were now on a ridge above valley. The path split into a fork yet again.

At the second fork the party decided they should use divination to figure out the riddle instead of wandering aimlessly. A quick prayer to the gods revealed that the answer was to say Kruk-Ma-Kali's name as well as his titles. Fortunately, Amalius had picked up Kruk-Ma-Kali's full titles while studying in the Great Library. They teleported back to the tomb entrance (Whenever I say teleported back to the tomb what I actually mean is they teleported to first fork in the pass. It's very close to the tomb and outside of the anti-teleportation aura. Likewise, when they teleport away from the tomb they are actually walking to the first fork and then teleporting).

Amalius went up to the Red Dragon door and touched it. It asked it's riddle once again. Amalius responded by saying, "Kruk-Ma-Kali, King of All, Lord of Might, Prince of this World, Protector of the East, Builder of Empire, Guardian of Cimmeria, Master of Blades, Defender of Faith, Conqueror of Men, Slayer of Dwarves, Grinder of Elves, Ravager of Cimmeria, Son of Night, Warden of the Black Pit, and Brother of War." The Red Dragon door retracted into the ceiling allowing the party to pass through.

Beyond the Red Dragon door was a short stairway down and then another door made of cedar. The cedar door had no handles or locks on it. Torin tried pushing if but found it did not budge. The party did a detect magic and found none. After trying to puzzle out the door they decided the trigger for the door were the torch scones in the wall (The module mentions that there are torch scones every ten feet on the walls throughout the tomb. I probably won't mention them anymore, but they're there). They teleported to Mars' Oasis and bought a large load of torches. The load was shoved into Terroc's bag and the next day they headed back to the tomb.

Frustrated with the cedar door, Logan decided to just blast around it with his Eldritch Blast. He bored a hole in the wall to the right of the door and in about an hour he had created a small passage to the other side of the door (I later told the players that the door is only bypassable by forcing it down with a STR check. Torin just wasn't strong enough to do it on his own).

http://s13.postimg.org/8ry2aa45z/Session_04_Logan.jpg

Beyond the cedar door was a locked door made of pure gold with jewels encrusted on it. The party is always wary, so they detected magic. They found illusion and enchantment auras on it. Terroc summoned an Ape and told it to go touch the door. Upon touching the door, the ape went berserk and moved to attack Logan. Terroc immediately dismissed the ape. The party decided that touching these doors would be bad news.
Amalius then had a sudden discovery. On the body of the hobgoblin shaman, Duvagh, had key on a necklace around it. The key was made of gold and encrusted with jewels just like the magic door in front of them. Amalius took the key from Terroc's bag and used it to open the door, being very careful not to touch the door in the process. A sword was used to push open both double doors and the party finally reached the inner part of the tomb!

(Every room in the tomb from this point on has crimson marble walls unless otherwise stated. The walls make everything in the tomb look blood-red. I probably won't mention it again unless it is relevant)

Beyond the door was a large hall with six statues of historically important hobgoblins in it. They had titles like, Eater of Elves and Diner on Dwarves. Other such gruesome things. The hall had a passage to the left, a passage to the right, and bronze doors on the opposite wall with nine locks on it. The characters spread out to explore the room. Unfortunately, while exploring, Amalius fell into a pit. At the bottom of the pit was a sticky goo that paralyzed Amalius. Amalius found himself sinking into the goo with the threat of suffocation imminent. Shez quickly cast fly on Torin. Torin flew down and pulled Amalius out of the goo with his strength. The goo was washed off with a create water spell. The party decided to be more cautious with further exploration of the room.

Summoned monkeys were sent around the room. They found six pits between the statues and between the statues and the walls. Torin checked the location of the pits by stomping on them. He didn't fall in because of his fly spell. Aldarian then marked the pits with chalk.

The party decided to explore the left and right passages first. Both passages led to rooms with statues in them, altars in front of the statues, and carvings on the walls. The right room had a statue of Nyx (Primordial Greek god of Night). The ceiling of the room was utterly black and staring at it for the briefest moments gave the gazer a headache. The altar in front of the statue was made of black stone. A black silver sword with a ghost face on the blade by the hilt was on the altar. The carvings on the walls were of hobgoblins battling Underdark monsters.
The left room had a statue of Athena. She was holding a banner in her left hand and a sword in her right hand. The greatsword had a serrated edge and red runes on the blade. The pommel stone was a skull. The altar in front of the statue was made of bundles of arrows. A huge book was open on the altar. The carvings on the walls were of hobgoblins battling elves, dwarves, and humans.

The party decided at Amalius's urging to explore the right room of Nyx first. They found no secret passages in the walls. The only treasure in the room appeared to be the sword on the altar. Amalius very carefully removed the sword. He was shocked to find no traps preventing him from do so. He was further surprised by what he had thought was a sword was in fact a dagger.

On to the left room of Athena! Amalius once again took the book from the altar without repercussions. Amalius decided he'd tried fate enough, so he ordered Aldarian to retrieve the sword from Athena. Aldarian set off a trap, some darts fired from the wall. Aldarian told the party that the trap was activated by a pressure plate. Logan flew up to take the sword from Athena without touching the pressure plates, not knowing that doing so would set off an even more deadly trap.

Upon the disturbance of the statue, the carvings on the walls of hobgoblins all animated and attacked as one. The party struggled to fight them off as they crawled all over the big humanoids, attacking with their tiny swords, lances, arrows, and catapults. Aldarian and Erick were knocked unconscious, but Logan and Preta were able to clear the room with their AoE magic.

The pilfered magic sword was given to Aldarian. Amalius kept the magic book, which he had learned is titled the Manual of Military Prowess, and the black silver (and nonmagical) dagger. The party went outside of the tomb and rested for the night. Amalius began reading the book and was quite engaged. He stayed up all night reading the book.

The session ended there.

Anxe
2011-10-09, 02:35 PM
Alliance Session #4/Total Session #5
This session was attended by Ozymandias, thewamp, and Salzar. It was held at Ozymandias's house.

Prior to this session the Throgg and Salzar had decided to change their characters' builds. Torin was previously a fighter with a cleric of Athena cohort. He was remade into a cleric of Athena with no leadership and no cohort. His previous cohort, Erick, was made into just a friend. Erick went back to Phoenix without much explanation to how he got there. Amalius was previously a diplomacy bard. He was remade into a telepath psion. Additionally, the Binding spell on Thug ran out at the beginning of this ession.

There weren't many people present for this session, so instead of continuing the tomb raiding we decided that the characters would go explore the various sites around the Great Valley that they missed previously. Throgg had told me prior to the session that Amalius would stay by the tomb with Aldarian and read the Manual of Military Prowess all day and night. Amalius was able to do this because of the many lesser restoration spells cast by Torin (2/day).

The first location the party went to in the Great Valley was the ancient city at the north end of the lake. They teleported in and set to exploring. They found that the city was actually a bunch of outbuildings around a long ruined castle. They went inside the castle and started searching the buildings. A lot of them were empty except for ancient pots, pans, and other sundries. There was also a well that the group looked into and found nothing. However, one of the houses was wrapped in a permanent magic spell of darkness. The adventurers decided to save that building for last.

Of the other significant buildings there was the keep of the castle. Inside was a hobgoblin ghost that attacked the party. The ghost was "killed" easily by Logan. There was also another building that used to be servants' quarters. Inside was a locked steel box. Preta opened the box with a knock spell. Logan did that actual opening of the box and was greeted with a magical trap. Fortunately, he made his save and was unaffected by whatever necromantic magic it was. Inside the box were papers that had long since gone to dust. The fragment that remained said in Xorian, "...in the frozen waters, Selene's glory shows the way..." (Selene is the Greek goddess who literally is the moon). The party was unsure if frozen waters referred to the glacier or the lake of the Great Valley. They decided to investigate the glacier tomorrow.

But first the magical darkness! The darkness was easily dispelled by Shez. Inside was a small building. The building housed a large stone tablet. The Infernal words on the tablet eroded long ago. Preta was able to read Infernal, so he translated the remaining messages, "The long path holds greater peril, but also greater reward," and, "Many roads laid for those who were to come, as they who come after must be proved worthy for-," and finally, "The final marker shows the way, but points to noth-"

Not much was made of these clues.

The party then realized that Terroc was still carrying some decomposing hobgoblin bodies in his Bag of Holding. They decided they should return the corpses to the hobgoblin village by the lake. They teleported over there and approached the cautious hobgoblins. Upon bringing out the bodies a the hobgoblins started shouting and pointing. Only Amalius spoke Goblin, but he was back at the tomb entrance. Shez had fortunately prepared tongues. He cast it and learned the hobgoblins were very upset that their chief and shaman were killed. They were demanding that the outsiders leave immediately before they were sent to Hades with Krumukh and Duvagh. The party turned and began to walk out of the village as requested. Some of the hobgoblins threw stones at the characters as they left (None of the stones connected). It was hard for Torin and Logan to quell Preta's urge to blast the entire village with his battle magic, but they managed.

The party teleported back to the tomb and rested for the night. Amalius continued to read the Manual of Military Prowess like a mad man.

As they'd planned the party teleported to the glacier the next day. Finding nothing at the bottom of it they teleported to the top. On top was a large hole in the ice. They flew down to the bottom of the hole and found a large cave like place. In the cave was a small trickle of water coming from an icicle by the far wall. The far wall had a hobgoblin frozen in its ice. Goblin words were written to both sides and below the hobgoblin. Logan used his comprehend languages ability to read the writing. He found that the left writing listed the titles of the hobgoblin, Gek-rogakh, and identified him as an engineer. The left side also had hobgoblins battle songs written below the titles.
The right side describe the achievements of the whole hobgoblin race as well as those of Kruk-Ma-Kali. Logan also noticed a symbol for Selene in the right side with a circle around it. Logan suspected something was up due to the clue they'd found in the ancient castle, so he detected magic. He found none in the symbol or the cavern.
The writing below the hobgoblin said, "Only the valiant shall follow Kruk-Ma-Kali, but they must learn to start anew, like the moons."

The party decided that something important must happen on the full moon while in this room. It was a new moon that night, so a return was scheduled for 15 days later.

The party teleported back to the tomb entrance and the session was ended. Amalius was close to finishing the Manual of Military Prowess (And also going a bit insane from reading for days without sleep).

Anxe
2011-10-09, 02:36 PM
Alliance Session #5/Total Session #6
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, Middle_Snu, and thewamp. Salzar attended via Skype. The session was held at Ozymandias's house. (It was pretty cool having the whole group together, even if one of us was not really there.)

The first thing the party realized upon waking up was that they no longer had a safe way to get past the boulder trap into the tomb. Previously, Thug had lifted them over the bad step, but he'd vanished back to his plane. The steps going up to the tomb are 4 feet wide, so jumping it wasn't possible. Skirting around it wasn't possible either due to a wall surrounding the steps. And flying and teleporting were impossible as well due to the enchantments on the tomb entrance.

Terroc suggested a ladder as the simplest solution to deal with the problem step. They could just lay the ladder over the step and walk on their hands and feet for the four feet it took. New problem arose: no ladder. The group decided to go back to Phoenix for a day and grab a ladder along with other various adventuring supplies they'd forgotten to get when building their characters.

Upon returning to Phoenix they were immediately called to a War Council meeting. Apparently, two nights ago the Thieves Guild of Phoenix had revolted. They'd attempted to open the gates to the Xorians and had been preparing a signal fire to alert the Xorians to the undefended condition of the city. The Mercenaries Guild moved quickly to arrest the thieves involved in the revolt. Many were captured, but thieves have a talent for escaping law enforcement. However, the guildmaster was captured. The acting leader of the Thieves Guild is now a man named Yoshimitsu (Sometimes when I'm pressured I pull names from video games, okay!?).

The War Council had to decide if it could trust Yoshimitsu. They also had to decide to address the underlining problems that had led to the Thieves Guild. It's believed that because the Thieves Guild has no seats on the War Council was why they revolted, but how can their members be trusted on the War Council? A spy on the War Council would be disastrous for the war effort. It was also clear that the Xorians had planted agents within the walls of Phoenix that could communicate plans for attack with the outside. Those minor spies would also have to be dealt with in some way.

The players tossed ideas around with me. They suggested a complete restructuring of the Thieves Guild into an actual Police Guild with the War Council taking a permanent lead of the city. They also suggested just liquidating the Thieves Guild and having the Mercenaries Guild take over police actions. It was finally decided that Yoshimitsu should be interviewed to see if he was trustworthy. The interview was conducted by Amalius who threatened Yoshimitsu if he didn't remain loyal to Phoenix. Amalius said they could easily promote Tianagi, Yoshimitsu's immediate junior, and have Yoshimitsu executed if he failed in his duties.

Yoshimitsu said he wasn't sure if he permanently wanted the responsibilities of being guildmaster so he requested a night to sleep on it. The other order of business was the Innkeeper's Guild of Phoenix. Bernarda, the guildmaster, came in demanding that the Council pay her 5000GP a month for housing the out of town soldiers (The dwarves of Jord, the people of Restnor's Point, and the knights of Bradel Fields. Jipangu's army is camped at Shalerton until enough force is gathered to break the siege). Amalius verbally harassed Bernarda until she backed down to 3000GP/month.

During the night Amalius finished the Manual of Military Prowess. He wouldn't say what he had specifically gained from the text, but he did say he was much more knowledgeable about how to lead and supply an army.

The next day Yoshimitsu was supposed to deliver his acceptance or rejection of the guildmaster position. Instead he was missing along with his subordinate, Tianagi. The War Council chatted up alternatives for leaders while the party bought their adventuring supplies and headed back to the tomb for the day.

At the tomb the party made a beeline for the room with the Athena statue. Earlier when they took the sword from the statue the wall carvings animated and attacked. Half the war carvings were still there and the party felt threatened. They decided that Amalius would use his retrieve (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/retrieve.htm) power to snatch the magical banner that Athena held while Preta stood outside of the room ready to blast it with a cone of cold. The plan went fine. The wall carvings didn't even activate.

The characters messed with the statues in the main room for a bit. They found that they could move, but not easily. They also found that moving them didn't seem to activate any special clues or traps. They moved on to the door with nine locks. Shez had only prepared one knock spell which unlocks two locks. Not wanting to wait a day they decided that Logan should just blast the door into oblivion again. (Amalius was still ordering Aldarian to pretend to be a paladin at this point. That's why Aldarian didn't try to use his Open Lock skill on the door)

Beyond the super locked door were some steps leading down to a large square room. To the left and right were staircases leading further down. Across the room was a pair of cedar doors with silver artwork on them. In the room were four life-sized statues of Hamatulas (Barbed Devils) holding up a giant orange and red orb. Detect magics went off from pretty much every caster immediately. The statues and the orb were all evocation and conjuration magic. The party went for the opposite door first. There was no lock on it and it wouldn't budge to Torin's shoves. The party decided that the solution was in the vast amount of adventurers supplies they'd brought from Phoenix. A long length of chain was brought out of Terroc's Bag of Holding and tied to the door's handles. Torin, Aldarian, and three summoned apes all pulled on the chain. After a few heaves the door ripped open and the pullers fell backwards under the orb of fire.

Then the orb of fire dropped.

The apes all died and Torin was greatly wounded. Aldarian emerged unscathed due to his Evasion ability. To make things worse, one of the Hamatula statues was a real Hamatula, just waiting to drop the orb and attack. A battle ensued. Torin pulled out his axe and attacked. Preta started testing different elemental spells to see which ones would damage the Hamatula most. Amalius tried his best to dominate the Hamatula, but kept failing. Terroc summoned some apes. Shez ran and hid. Aldarian reached for his personal longsword, but found himself holding the magic greatsword the group had taken from the Athena Statue. Aldarian swung the sword at the Hamatula, but found that his strength wasn't enough to pierce the devil's flesh. However, the blade would not yield. It drew power from Aldarian's own body and struck through to cut the devil. Cuts appeared all over Aldarian as he used the blade. Aldarian swung again and almost died from the damage the sword caused to him. Then the barbed devil turned on him and he did die.

Eventually, one of Amalius's dominates succeeded. A short period of peace set in. Amalius and Preta questioned the devil and found out that it was bound to protect this tomb long ago when the tomb was built. They attempted bribing it to letting them pass, but it refused. They realized that the devil wasn't going to help them and it would resist every attempt to order it with the dominate spell. Preta prepared a new element spell and let it loose when Amalius dismissed the dominate. The devil was defeated. Aldarian lay dead on the ground for a second time since the party had come together.

The party decided they were done adventuring today, so they teleported back to Phoenix. Aldarian was raised again (losing another level). The War Council had yet to come to a decision on who to place as the leader of the Thieves Guild. They needed someone who they could trust, but they also needed someone who the Thieves Guild would accept as their leader. Aldarian stepped up at this point and admitted that he wasn't a paladin. At least, not in the literal sense. He had taken the vows, but before doing so he had been a thief. He'd stolen from people all over Cimmeria. He has since reformed, but his thief skills were still strong. He requested that he be made leader of the Thieves Guild. The War Council agreed (This was also a way for Aldarian to do something significant for the party without dying all the time).

The party identified the loot they'd gotten from their adventures so far:
The Cursed Sword that Aldarian had used was enchanted to always hit, but when it would've missed it sucks HP from it's wielder equal to the amount it would miss by. Furthermore for every type of DR that it's target has it multiplies how much HP it sucks from its wielder. Amalius took the sword, unsure of what to do with it yet.
The Banner was a minor artifact of Athena. If carried by a Cleric of Athena in a battle with troops who mostly follow Athena it gives a few minor bonuses to those troops. It also gives a few minor bonuses to the Cleric who holds it, as well as counting as a Rod of Rulership. Torin is a cleric of Athena, so he claimed the Banner. It is stored in Terroc's Bag of Holding until it is needed for a battle.
The black silver dagger that Amalius held was not actually magic. However, it naturally deals double damage against targets unprotected from cold damage. It is extremely cold to the touch. Amalius kept it. (This was very entertaining because Throgg's character in the last campaign, Amalgami, used a intelligent vorpal dagger named Korm that always wanted to cut off people's heads).
The party also had some loot they'd stolen from the hobgoblins bodies, a suit of red dragon scale armor and a wand. The red dragon scale armor provided protection against fire. The wand was a wand of fireballs with only a few charges left on it.
There were also a pair of Huge bracers from Bill the Geriviar. They were found to be Bracers of Armor +6, but still too big for anyone to use.

The party headed back to the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali without Aldarian. They went straight on through the door they'd ripped open (There was actually a magic trap here, but everyone made their saves. I ruled the players didn't notice it at all. The trap had only one charge and will no longer trouble them). The hallway split into a T; however, before the T there was a falling block trap. The block fell down and crushed Amalius and Preta. The party struggled to lift the blocks before all of Amalius and Preta's bones were crushed. Fortunately, after an agonizing 20 seconds the block went back into the ceiling. The party jumped over the spot it'd come down from and proceeded to the T. They went left at the T and encountered an electricity trap. They got through the trap easily with a mass resist energy spell cast by Shez.

The left corridor led to a room. The door was opened by Torin, but no traps went off. Inside the room the walls were purple and covered with carvings of purple and pink worms. The door on the left of the room was round and purple with a white handle. The door on the right was black with white runes all over it and a handle shaped like a sword pommel. Opposite the entrance was a giant creepy head with a beak and tentacles coming out of its beak (Actually surprised that the players didn't recognize it as a Mindflayer/Cthulu head). The beak was open and beyond it was pure darkness (Sound like the Tomb of Horrors to anybody?).

The purple door was opened first. Beyond was just a wall with a symbol of insanity on it. The symbol affected only Shez. He began to attack the party, but a mage with only buff spells is very bad at offense. His most offensive spell was dispel magic. Terroc used a dispel magic to get rid of the insanity and the party went on with their lives.

The darkness of the beak was explored by a summoned dog next. The dog died on the other side under mysterious circumstances. The players decided to send in a summoned creature that can talk, a Hound Archon (Still a dog). The Archon went on the other side and reported a small 10' by 10' room. A silver circle was on the ground. Terroc ordered the Archon to step in the circle. He suffered electricity damage, but nothing else happened. Curiosity or sadistic pleasure motivated Terroc to tell the Archon to step in the circle again.

The Hound Archon died. No further explanations were given and I cackled with glee.

The party decided to have a look at the circle themselves. It was indeed a silver circle inscribed on the ground in a small room. No one was brave enough to step in the circle.

The last thing in the room was the door with a sword for a handle. Another summoned dog was ordered to touch it. The dog touched it and went into a coma (This freaked the players out a bit. They were expecting damage and explosions, not a quiet death). An ape was then summoned. It was able to touch the pommel handle without falling unconscious, but touching the door sent it into a coma as well. Nothing brought the ape out of the coma.

It was decided that the pommel handle was safe, so Torin opened the door very carefully, touching just he pommel. Beyond was a hallway with a locked steel door at the other end. Shez used knock and the party got through. On the other side was a room filled with wooden spikes. There were spikes covering the walls, floor, and ceiling. A quick estimate put the total at more than a thousand. The door on the left of the room was made of wood. On the right the door was made of gold and had hobgoblin writing on it. On the opposite wall was another steel door.

As the party was deciding what to do about the scary room with spikes a tornado picked up inside. An Air Elemental attack! It snatched Torin and threw him into the room, impaling him on the spikes. It did the same to Preta next. The party managed to regroup in the corridor and then Preta blasted the Air Elemental to death.

At this point the group decided they'd had enough of this dangerous tomb. It probably had more to do with there being no visible treasure in the last few rooms than the everpresent danger (Also, what the hell guys? Those statues are worth tons! And there's also all the cool doors. Plus the rooms off of the Hamatula room that you haven't explored yet). They teleported back to Phoenix to rest for the night before going back on the quest they'd started the campaign off with, using the ritual from the Tome of Agamemnon (They also took Aldarian from his new guildmaster post to check for traps underneath Bradel Fields).

The Tome of Agamemnon is buried in the abandoned catacombs underneath Bradel Fields. The catacombs have since become the city's sewers. The location of the Tome was relatively well known. The section of the Tome in the catacombs had two entrances close to it. The room the Tome is in would be marked by lots of traps. There is also supposed to be a golem that protects the Tome. The golem can be controlled with a Bronze Amulet that was given to Preta (At least I think it was Preta. Memory's a little hazy). With the warnings in their minds the adventurers went down the western entrance to the sewers.

The passage branched immediately at the bottom of the stairs. The party went left and found a room with a giant crocodile fighting three dire rats (The players made fun of me for having the rats being trapped by the crocodile. They couldn't accept that the rats would get themselves into the situation. I explained that the crocodile had submerged itself until the rats came close to it, then attacked). Preta blasted the lot of them from far away to avoid backlash from sewer gas (I considered having the whole place explode, but decided it was a jerk move). The party ventured into the room. There was a passage to the left, a large grate in the wall to the right, and another passage across from the party. The center of the room was filled with foul sewer water.

The party explored the grate first. Torin cut through it with Amalius's adamantine dagger. On the other side a Gibbering Mouther was waiting to attack. It rushed across the ground and to bite Torin. Torin began to sink into the ground of the room. It had looked like solid stone, but was in fact quicksand. Aldarian and Amalius pulled Torin out of the muck. Then Preta blasted the gibber mouther to death (I put these low CR encounters in the sewers for flavor more than substance. What kind of sewer doesn't have rats, crocodiles, and genetic mutants?).

The party explored the passage across from where they entered. As they went down it a ghost of a young girl with half her face flensed off appeared and screamed at the party. The scream was a mild fear effect. Preta threw a fireball down the passage and the ghost disappeared into the floor. The party went into the burned room. It was filled with abandoned crypts and skeletons. They searched the crypts, but found that Preta's fireball had destroyed all the treasure.

The passage to the left of the entrance of the room led to the lair of three crocodiles. Torin decided he wanted to solo fight the crocodiles. He won with ease. This room had passages leaving it to the left, right, and opposite the entrance. The center of the room was once again flooded with nasty sewer water. In one of the corners was the skeleton of a knight, still wearing his very nice armor and sword. He also had a mirror on him that puzzled the players (I had just figured, he's a knight so he's vain and full of himself, but if players want to put other explanations on things I won't stop them).

The party took the right passage from this room. A few feet down the passage their was a branching passage to the left. The branch clearly led to a dead end. What could be at that dead end waiting for the party, but the Ghost Girl with half her face flensed off? She screamed again and swooped in. Torin got the full blast of the fear effect and ran away. Before Preta could get off a spell he was possessed. Amalius dominated Preta in turn. The odd situation caused a standoff (I ruled the dominate overrode the possession, so Amalius was in control of Preta's actions). Torin returned from his running escapade and the party was able to get the Ghost Girl to talk through Preta's satyr-like body. She said that she attacked people because she was afraid that they might be the "bad man." She said that the "bad man" lived by the "pillar." Amalius and Logan were unable to get much more out of her than that. They did convince the Ghost Girl to lead the party to the pillar.

It was getting late, so we ended the session there with Preta in the lead, dominated by two people, heading deeper into the sewers towards "the pillar."

Anxe
2011-10-09, 02:38 PM
Alliance Session #6/Total Session #7
This session was attended by Ozymandias and Throgg. Salzar attended via Skype. The session was held at Ozymandias's house.

The characters followed Preta deeper into the sewers. They reached a small room that used to be the bottom of a well. They could see the boarded up well a few dozen feet above them. There were passages leading to the left and straight on in the well room. Preta/Ghost Girl went to the left passage and said that the pillar was beyond there. S/he then screamed and the Ghost Girl went up and out of Preta's body. Amalius dismissed the dominate spell. The party went on without their guide.

The left passage went up slightly to a room with another passage at the other end of it. The party got scared that the room might be trapped, so they sent in Aldarian. Aldarian found no traps until he reached the center of the room. When he got there a giant dark shape dropped down from the ceiling and enveloped Aldarian. An Elder Black Pudding was attacking the party!

Aldarian quickly died to the Pudding's acid. The party started throwing spells at it. Torin buffed himself. Terroc ran for safety. The Pudding rushed to attack whoever it could get its hands on. Amalius realized that he, Preta, and Torin were next in the Pudding's the line of fire. He quickly grabbed his friends and used a dimension door to get them into the well room. Unfortunately, Torin was badly placed and he fell into the deeper section of the well. The Black Pudding surged forward. Amalius cast an energy wall down the passage to the Pudding's room. The wall split the Pudding in half. It continued to surge forward. Amalius teleported away and everyone else had quickly left the vicinity already. With no other targets the Pudding went down the well after Torin.
Preta came back and blasted the Pudding one more time, killing it. However, Torin wasn't out of trouble yet because the Pudding's acidic remains were drifting down after him. He started swimming away from them and reached the bottom of the well. Then the acid reached the bottom as well. Meanwhile, Amalius had dived into the water after Torin to rescue him. Torin started swimming up and met Amalius halfway up the well. They teleported to the surface of the city. The other party members met up with them later on outside.

The adventurers decided they weren't done with the sewer for the day, so they headed back in to the Pudding room. The passage beyond it led to a large room with....a pillar! Chained to the pillar was the decomposing corpse of a girl with half her hair flensed off. The party saw the girl and then stuff started getting crazy. Fog filled the room and then everyone starting hearing whispers in their minds. The whispers told of past tragedies the characters had experienced or horrible things yet to come. The party sensed something awful was about to happen to them, so Preta grabbed everyone and they teleported away.

The party went back to Phoenix. They knew something very evil was in the room and they wanted assistance. The best assistance they could think of was Astyanax, the paladin military leader of the Rebellion and all-around amazing knight from Bradel Fields. They brought the idea up to the War Council, of which Astyanax is a member. He agreed to go with them.

The next day they teleported back to Bradel Fields. They headed down into the sewers back to the pillar room (Terroc and Aldarian stayed on the surface). Astyanax went up to the pillar while the rest of the party waited in the hallway. The fog set in as Astyanax began cutting the chains binding the Ghost Girl. The whispers began again. Then the demon showed up.

The demon was 15 feet tall, green, very thin, had small wings, and carried a wicked looking glaive. It appeared out of nowhere behind the adventurers in the hallway. It started slashing out at the characters while it continued to its despairing whispers in their heads. The party ran into the room. Astyanax went toe-to-toe with the demon and fell. Preta dropped an Evard's black tentacles on the demon to slow its progress. Then the Demon's whispers finally got to Preta. Preta began babbling nonsense. Shez went unconscious due to the whispers. Torin fought the devil off for a few more rounds before it got out of the tentacles. Amalius had tried to dominate the devil a few times, then realized it was too hard. He then began attempting to teleport the party away. It was difficult because the whispers continually disrupted the spell. Finally, Amalius succeeded in teleporting the party away. He, Shez, Preta, and Torin made it out. Astyanax had to be left behind in the devil's clutches.

We ended the session there. The party will have to deal with the enormous consequences of abandoning the military leader of the Alliance in our next Alliance session.

Anxe
2011-10-13, 11:08 PM
I'm done updating all the previous sessions! We are no longer under construction. Feel free to comment and give advice to the players or me! We'd love for this story to be popular and for us to have a connection to our fans.

Anxe
2011-10-25, 10:24 PM
We've got a session planned for this Thursday, so expect an update by the end of the week. We're deciding which campaign we are doing when the session starts.

Anxe
2011-10-28, 07:20 PM
We had the session. It was a lot of fun. Throgg said he'd be posting it.

Anxe
2011-11-05, 10:33 PM
Throgg took too long doing the update, so I did it. He then wanted me to submit it to him to look at. He then proceeded not to look at it... He's getting one last chance to write a recap for the session we had on Nov 3rd.

Rebellion Session #5/Total Session #11
The session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, Ozymandias, thewamp, and Middle_Snu. The session was done using Google Hangouts for all the attendees. Ozymandias and Middle_Snu left about halfway through the session. At the beginning of the session the party leveled up to Level 2.

We left off last time at the surrender of the Xorian supply caravan. After talking over what they would do with the captives and Elerie the group woke up the guard under the effect of the sleep spell. Stanton charmed the guard, gave him a knife, and told him to go kill Elerie. The guard did so. Then the brave adventurers turned nasty. They executed the guard as well as the two drivers who'd surrendered. The bodies of the Xorians were dumped into the river while Elerie's body was buried. They then pulled the two wagons out of the wagon ruts and headed back to the rebel base.

At the base they talked with Major Dactirian. Stanton did most of the talking. He explained that everything had gone fine, but Elerie had died in the attack on the supply caravan. He gave Dactirian the necklace to the shock collars that all four party members wear. Dactirian asked, "Is there anything else you have to tell me?"
Stanton said, "No."
Dacitiran pressed down on the green gem in the center of the necklace. The characters all started screaming in pain. Dacitiran stood up and walked around his meeting table towards the players saying, "You thought I didn't know?!? You thought you could lie to me?!! You may not have killed her, but you put the knife in their hands!" The entire party passed out due to the pain coming from their shock collars. (I had each of them roll a Fort save against DC 15. However much they beat it by was how many seconds they stayed awake. They all got about 5 seconds, long enough to hear Dactirian, except for Salzar/Wu who flubbed his roll).

The party was woken up by water being splashed on their faces from a bucket that a rebel guard carried. Dactirian dismissed the guard. The meeting table had four people on the other side now. Dacitiran, as before, an old woman wearing armor made from leaves, an even older woman with purple eyes, jet black hair, and armor made from skulls, and a strong half-orc (The half-orc is Middle_Snu's character, Korjak).
Dactirian told the party to sit down before beginning a long monologue of exposition. He told the characters that he had turn them back into their mortal forms to be a shining example of the Rebellion's power to redeem Dragovinians. They'd been evil before they were Dragovinians. That's why they were rewarded with that immortal status. To change them back to their mortal forms was just a reversion to their original mortal, but still evil, state. He'd known this from the beginning, but hoped it wouldn't be true. Dactirian hadn't brought them back to show the Rebellion's power, but because he needed them for a different purpose.
(From here the exposition goes into a bit of background stuff, some of which is not covered in the first post)
The old woman in leaves then spoke up, "My name is Alkmene Halkias (Alk-Mee-Nee Hal-Kee-As is the pronunciation, but my players never pronounce a name correctly when it can be made fun of. A lot of alternative spellings were tossed around between them). I am the sister of Amalgami the Betrayer, the one who doomed the First Alliance to failure. I am nothing like my brother and I will redeem my family."
(This is part of the Throgg's extensive background for Amalgami in the last campaign. Amalgami was born Anatolios Halkias with his twin sister Alkmene. Anatolios became a powerful cleric of Apollo while Alkmene became a priestess of Artemis. Anatolios's talent with magic was superb, but his knowledge of Apollo's doctrines was poor. His father threatened to pull him out of the clergy and have him train to take over the family business of buying and selling textiles. Anatolios panicked and stole a bunch of money from his dad. He fled town and took a new name, Amalgami, the name of a previous great hero [The original hero's story is never described].
(A while later in the first campaign, Amalgami was looking for allies to help him fight against the Xorians. He thought of his sister, Alkmene. He sought her out on Devil's Holt near the entrance to Hell with divination and asked her to join the First Alliance. She rudely declined. That's about all that the players know about her. Throgg left the specifics of her background up to me and I have kept them secret from the players)
Back to the present! Alkmene said, "Dactirian brought you four back from the undead at my request. You see, I am the last of the Elder Druids of the druid council of Semanarie. The rest of the druids were kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the Xorians during the First Alliance War. Long ago the druids were given a prophecy and I am the last carrier of it. Or at least a part of it. The prophecy was split into five parts to keep it safe. The Druids gave a piece to each of their loyal animal clans. You've already encountered one of them, the wolves north of this forest." (At this point the players started guessing what the other tribes were. They guessed bears correctly very fast. Other guesses were deer, eagles, African swallows, and European swallows. They then guessed sharks correctly. I told them the last of the four was a bird. They had a hard time with that one, so eventually I just told them it was condors).
"The other three animal clans are the Bears of the Terror Mountains, the Condors of the Dominarie Mountain Range, and the Sharks of Jovy's Isle. Each of these four carries a piece of the prophecy that was given to the Druids. I carry the fifth and final piece. The prophecy says:
Should one of the gods forever close his eyes
Find the weapon that caused him to die
Add it last with great caution
Then pour the mix on the great god's coffin."
Alkmene continued, "The prophecy is clearly about curing a god of a severe illness. Zeus is currently ill or dead and the strife on Mount Olympus because of this prevents the gods from purging the Dragovinian affliction. In order to win this war we must find the lost pieces of the prophecy and heal Zeus.
"Unfortunately, the secret of the prophecy was tortured out of the Druid Council when they were in Xorian captivity. The Xorians knew of the prophecy and the locations of the four animal clans. When Jevaninada II took the throne he found the four clans and turned a member of each of them into a Dragovinian. Additionally, he put wards around the clans, so that if any intelligent non-Dragovinian approached them he would instantly know. That is why I cannot recover the prophecy on my own. He would know and he would come to kill me.
"However, you four are exempt from the wards. You were once Dragovinians and the alarms on the clans will recognize you as such still."
(I took a break from the monologuing so the players could ask questions. I don't remember the specifics, but I think I included all the information they got.)
Dactirian spoke up after the group's questions were answered, "Your new commander will now be Corporal Korjak. He can journey with you past the alarms on the animal clans due to his unique... condition." (Korjak is the a member of the Champion class (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9623431&postcount=9) designed by the Giant. I've used the class in my DMing in the past for General Antapike, a significant NPC in the last campaign. Antapike's hero form was Thor. I decided that all Champions would have a nordic themed hero form. Middle_Snu's choice was Balder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldr), wellknown for being a wuss god. When Balder was born he was a sickly baby. His mother took him around to all the creatures and plants of the world and got them to promise not to hurt Balder. She got promises from everything except mistletoe because it looked so non-threatening. The gods would often play a game called Throw-Dangerous-Things-At-Balder. They could throw anything they wanted and Balder would be fine because of the promises all creation had made not to harm him. Mischievous Loki gave a spear to Balder's brother. His brother threw the spear and it killed Balder. Loki had made the spear from mistletoe! The death of Balder heralded the beginning of Ragnarok, the apocalypse of the Norse myths. The power of Balder passed to whoever killed him. It has passed down and down through many different hands until finally Korjak claimed the power by killing the previous owner. Korjak is still learning to master Balder's godly power. That's why he's such a low-level character. All of this was explained to the players OOC.)

Middle_Snu finally got to play. We had another round of questions. The only relevant one was Gregor asking if the other old woman in the room was actually the Princess of Xoria, Tarigananata (Her description, jet black hair and purple eyes, matched). She told him that she was.
Gregor asked, "But I thought you died in the First Alliance War."
"No. I escaped and wandered the land for a while. However, that B----, Queen Anjakaze found me and sent the most powerful of the Seven Rages, Grave, to kill me. I killed Grave and took his armor. That's why I wear skulls. After that I came to Bigby's Forest to start the Rebellion."
Gregor said, "Forgive me my lady, but wasn't Grave killed by a shadowy demon?" (Gregor is a very refined orc).
Tarigananata let a creepy smile cross her face and her pupils became cat-like slits, "That was me."

We moved on from there. Dactirian thanked the group for the food supplies they'd captured. He would've sent the party back to the wolves, but he felt they weren't ready to fight and kill a Dragovinian yet. Instead they were sent after more food. The party went south to the river town that Stanton had purchased medical supplies from earlier. There, the party was to collect "taxes for the Rebellion" from the farmers in the form of grain. The party would canvas the northern third of the town. Korjak would be the new unit leader and he would carry the necklace that controlled the shock collars of the other four.
On the journey to the town the party ran into two random encounters: a pair of poisonous snakes and a dangerous swarm of bats. The snakes were sunning themselves in the path. The party threw rocks at them until they got off the path. The bats attacked at night and started draining blood from the party members. Arrows were shot at them and blankets were set afire to wave at them. After many bats were killed the swarm dispersed (I have never followed the "one random encounter no matter how long the journey is" rule. I roll three times a day to see if the party has a random encounter for that eight hour period and how difficult that encounter will be. Sometimes journeys are uneventful and sometimes they are more dangerous than the destination. The group likes it well enough.).
The party party collected food from the villagers for three days. Each time they came to a farm they would roll a diplomacy check. Sometimes the farmers gave them grain, sometimes the farmers were Xorian supporters who grabbed pitchforks to "geet the rebel scum off their land," sometimes the farmers had a bad harvest and couldn't donate. Korjak was largely responsible for calming the other members of the party down and preventing violence. Whenever the someone could not or would not donate, Korjak apologized and got the party off the farmer's land as quickly as possible. Eventually, the party ended up with a wagon and a half of grain. They turned back to the Rebel base and camped on the edge of the forest for a night.
On the next morning as the party was packing up for the night, they saw a dust cloud on the southern horizon. Fearing that one of the Xorian supporting farmers had informed on them the party hightailed it into the woods with the wagons. Later on they saw smoke rising from the south. Their pursuers had set the woods on fire. Luckily, the fire didn't spread.

The adventurers' passage through the woods was interrupted by the same group of bullies they'd tussled with in the practice yard before. The big human guy was at the lead. He said, "Get out of the way Korjak. You don't want to get involved."
The party immediately responded with violence. Sivirdm shot his crossbow at the big guy. Wu shot his bow at the big guy as well. Three arrows thumped into him and he feel down. Gregor drew his sword and prepared to defend himself. The other thugs pulled the big guy behind themselves and took up defensive positions. Stanton used a hypnotism spell to entrance the front three of the six other bullies. Korjak activated the shock collar on Sivirdm because he fired the first shot. Sivirdm fell down in convulsions. Korjak shouted, "Everyone sheath your weapons and calm down!" The fight ended there. The thugs backed off to allow Korjak to heal the big guy with a wand of cure light wounds he carries. Korjak then ordered the thugs to return to the base. After a few minutes the party journeyed into the base as well. (This session was filled with relatively non-violent solutions to the encounters I threw at the party. It was impressive)

The food was delivered and a "party" was thrown. Military parties consist of one and a half rations of food and double rations of alcohol. The characters got pretty drunk on their success.

(We took a break for dinner at this point. Middle_Snu and Ozymandias left as well.)

Hungover the next day, the party was called into Dactirian's meeting room once again. A usual donator to the Rebellion in the river town was strangely absent when one of the other "tax collector teams" went out. The donator's name is Diveereus. The tax collector team described Diveereus's farm as "ripped up and his wagon was broken." The team shouted to the house, but got no response. They decided to report back to their superiors instead of entering a possibly lethal situation. Dactirian ordered the characters to go in and find out what happened to Diveereus, his wife, his children, and his grandchildren who live with him.

The party journeyed back to the river town once more. They saw the broken wagon on the path to his house and two coyotes eating the dead oxen next to the wagon. The party chose to wait until sundown to see if there was any activity in the house or on the farm. Nothing happened as they waited. Still determined to investigate, Stanton and Wu snuck up to the house through the field. Wu almost fell into a pit trip in the field. Wu searched the rest of the field on their way up to the house and spotted a bear trap and another pit trap. At the house they saw a dog chained to the front porch. Stanton sleeped the dog and Wu snuck up and slit its throat. Convinced that the danger in the house was not immediate, the sneaky folk went back to regroup with the rest of the party.
It was decided that Sivirdm would watch the horses and provide backup while the other four party members went in (This decision was more about reducing the amount of characters closer to the amount of players than anything else). Korjak, Gregor, Sivirdm, and Wu walked the same path back to the house. Korjak and Gregor used their darkvision to peek through the windows of the house. They saw three rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, and a parlor (Rich farmers). There was also a door to the stairs to the second floor and a door to a closet under the stairs. The dining room was wrecked. The table and all the chairs were overturned except for one on which a dead woman's corpse sat. In the kitchen, two dead children were slumped against the cold stove. Cooking ware was tossed around the room. The parlor was likewise messed up.
Gregor went first. He was upset to find a paralysis poison on the doorknob. He fell rigid to the floor as the door opened. The dead woman's corpse animated and attacked! Korjak stepped up to fight the undead beast. Wu shot an arrow in, but accidentally hit Korjak in the back. Wu decided that perhaps shooting arrows inside was a bad idea. Stanton broke a window, but found himself too small to climb up through it. Gregor recovered from the paralysis contact poison. He got up and joined Korjak in the fight. With two fighters acting together the undead was brought down quickly. (It was a wight of Diveereus's wife. I rolled so awfully that she never hit even after 5 rounds of combat.).
The downstairs was explored. Bloodstains indicated that the woman's body had been dragged from the kitchen to be propped in the chair. The children's bodies were drained of all blood. Nothing was in the closet under the stairs.
The party headed upstairs. A hallway upstairs had four doors, two on the right and two on the left. Stanton did a detect magic and sensed and aura of necromancy and transmutation behind the second door on the left. The group decided to save that door for last.
The first door they opened was the first door on the left. Inside was a boy's room with boy's toys and a wooden horse. The toys were all burned and broken. The room had obviously had a small fire set in it. Against the opposite wall was the burned skeleton of a teenage boy. A quick search revealed no treasure in the room.
The second door opened was the first door on the right. Inside was a girl's room. Spinning tools and dolls along with girls toys were strewn about the room. Two beds were in the room. The bigger one had its blanket ripped off towards the door. Again, no treasure found.
The third door opened was the second door on the right. Inside was another bedroom. A large bed, a desk, a dresser, and a closet were in the room. A man had been thrown into the desk. The impact had destroyed the man and the desk. A young dead woman lay on the bed, drained of all her blood. Blood covered the bed and the floor. A search revealed some jewelry which was pocketed.
While Korjak, Wu, and Gregor searched the third room, impulsive Stanton opened the door to the fourth room where the magic auras originated from. Inside was a large bedroom. A bed, two dressers, a closet, and a desk were in the room, largely untouched by the violence in the rest of the house. At the center of the room on the bed was a black egg with red spots the size of a chair. The egg was hatching. Stanton got the attention of the rest of the party. A scaled arm burst out of the egg as the party watched. Another arm came out and Gregor reacted. He grabbed the egg and threw it out the closest window. The egg shattered on the ground below and out came a fully formed Dragovinian. A scaled humanoid with a dragon’s face and fangs.
The Dragovinian spider climbed up the walls of the house to fight its way back in. It tried kicking Gregor through the window, but Gregor shoved it back down to the ground. Gregor then leaped down after it to fight with his greatsword. Korjak soon jumped out a window to join in as well. Stanton used daze successfully on the Dragovinian from the upstairs. Wu tried a few shots against the Dragovinian, but found his arrows were not strong enough to pierce the Dragovinian’s skin.
Gregor’s strong sword attacks wore down the Dragovinian. The cuts seemed like they should have incapacitated the monster, but it wouldn’t die. It begin scuttling away from Korjak and Gregor on all fours like a demon spider. They raced after it continually stabbing it and cutting it. It still wouldn’t die! Finally, Gregor called a shot to the Dragovnian’s head. His sword passed through the monster’s neck. Decapitation served to kill the beast.
A little freaked out, the party checked the barn of the farm. They saw two horses drained of blood and a full grain silo. They decided to come back for the grain later. Stanton remembered the transmutation aura in the room. Thinking it might have been something besides the egg they returned. The party’s diligence was rewarded when Wu found a magic composite longbow underneath the bed. With their loot secure, the party gathered up the egg shell pieces, the Dragovinian body, and the head before setting off back to the rebel base.
The group force marched through the night and suffered no random encounters. In the morning they gave their report to Dactirian. He congratulated them on killing the Dragovinian as well as recovering the egg shells. The rebels had known the Dragovinians hatched from eggs, but they’d never had the actual shells to study before. He gave the soldiers some leave time before dismissing them.

Throgg was getting pretty tired on the East Coast so we ended the session there.

Anxe
2011-11-10, 10:17 PM
Alliance Session #7/Total Session #12
The session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp. We used Google Hangouts again.

Last time the party had retreated from almost certain doom at the hands of a powerful demon, leaving behind the military leader of the Alliance, Astyanax. Not only was Astyanax necessary for the Alliance’s victory due to his leadership position among the military, but his daughter is also a key bargaining chip in a marriage alliance between Astyanax’s home city, Bradel Fields, and the unallied city Dalleer. Without Astyanax’s influence, his daughter is effectively a nobody. To secure Dalleer’s help for the Alliance, Astyanax must be brought back to life.
Astyanax was in the clutches of a demon. Bringing him back couldn’t be as simple as casting true resurrection. He might not come back if his soul was captured by the demon and he would come back without his equipment. Being a paladin, that would be devastating for his build. The party reasoned that a rescue of the corpse was necessary.
However, the Demon had proven too powerful to take on in a straight fight. The party decided to go do some research at their local library (Cue PSA shorts). After a few days they found a book that mentioned the demon, Daskirix. Daskirix is a sorrowsworn demon. He takes pleasure in causing despair and mocks people when they fall apart due to his schemes. The mighty Daskirix has five weaknesses: holy weapons, cold iron weapons, sonic damage, children’s laughter, and holy water. The party set out to gather up a few of these things for a banishment spell which can be made stronger if the demon’s weaknesses are presented to it during the casting of the spell.
A thunderstone was acquired for the sonic damage. Holy water for the holy water. A cold iron spear for the weapon portion. Finally, a child’s laughter was recorded in a magic mouth spell by Terroc. However, the ingredients of the banishment spell weren’t the only things the party needed to succeed. The spell still needed to get past the demon’s considerable SR and Will save. Thewamp did some research in his copy of the Spell Compendium and came up with two spells, spell vulnerability and assay spell resistance. A combination of the two would make getting past the Daskirix’s spell resistance a piece of cake. The Will save was still a problem, but the Spell Compendium turned up no spells that reduced Will saves without requiring a Will save itself (Wow, Wizards of the Coast).
The party then came up with a titanic list of buff spells they’d be casting before teleporting into the lair of the demon. Torin would be casting the banishment spell. He memorized two of them in his 6th level spell slots and hoped that was enough. Everyone would form a circle around Torin and take turns going toe-to-toe with the demon while Torin attempted to banish it. With everyone ready, Terroc teleported the party into the sewers of Bradel Fields. (There were also some bets made on who would die during the fight. Torin and Logan both got two bets. Preta got a bet as well).
Unfortunately the teleport location they’d chosen was the space the demon was filling. They were shunted to the side and as a result, Torin was directly in front next to the demon. Readied spells started firing, but the demon made all of its saves. Astyanax’s corpse was chained to the pillar in the center of the room next to the ghost girl’s corpse. The demon was torturing the corpse with its glaive. With the surprise round done, we went into initiative order. A few more spells failed to penetrate the demon’s SR and Will saves until Amalius threw a Dominate at it. The demon finally rolled badly and was affected by the Dominate. On the demon’s action it turned around with a grin as blood dripped from its glaive. Then its grin turned into a look of surprise and shock as it realized it could not act to destroy these intruders!
Logan gave the demon a jab with his Eldritch Glaive, but Amalius told him to back off or the “self-destructive orders are not carried out” clause of the Dominate power would kick in. Amalius ordered the Demon to drop its weapon and stand down among a few other similar things. Daskirix wasn’t failing anymore Will saves though. He refused all orders except the one to not harm the party. With all other options exhausted the party decided Torin should just use his two banishment spells and hope for the best. Luckily, the demon failed on his first Will save. He vanished back to Hell, screaming and dropping his glaive and a pearly white ioun stone as he left.

With the demon defeated the party argued over who should get the glaive and the ioun stone first. Amalius snatched up the ioun stone, but no one cared for the glaive after they figured out it was anarchic and unholy. The party grabbed Astyanax and the Ghost girl’s bodies. They also took Astyanax’s gear which was piled in a corner of the room. As they prepared to teleport out they saw the Ghost Girl in the hallway. Amalius asked, “What can we do to put you to rest?”
She said, “Bury my body in the town graveyard.”
Amalius said, “We will,” as the party teleported back to the surface.

Astyanax’s body was taken to the local high priest of the Zeus, Janus. Janus told the party he could cast a true resurrection tomorrow. Astyanax’s body was allowed to lie in state for the night with multiple punctures covering it and half the face flensed off. The party rested for the night with the knowledge of a job well done.
In the morning Astyanax was rezzed. His body surged with life and the cuts were repaired, but the flensed face was not repaired (The players immediately got the Twoface reference). The paladin got off the altar and left saying, “I need time.”
The party discussed the strangeness of the face wound not healing with Janus. Janus theorized that since resurrection spells only bring back the subject if they were willing that perhaps the spell can only bring back part of a person, if they are unwilling to bring back the other part.
Concerned that Astyanax might be following the path of Twoface the party used some divination spells. Amalius tried first and failed. Torin’s spell succeeded. He asked, “Will Astyanax bring harm to the Alliance?”
The response was, “He is broken, but he will be made anew.”
Content with that response the party teleported back to Phoenix to report to the Alliance War Council.

The session ended there because thewamp needed to leave.

Anxe
2011-11-14, 10:49 PM
Alliance Session #8/Total Session #13
The session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, Ozymandias, and thewamp. We used Google Hangouts again.

The session started with us tossing around trailers for Marvel movies. We looked at the Spiderman reboot and the Avengers. You should check ‘em out! After looking at trailers the players requested a verbal recap of the campaign’s background. Apparently not all of them read the campaign material I send them (This shouldn’t be surprising). If you’d like the recap you can just read the material in the first post or send me a message for extra clarifications.

Actual gaming started with the players giving the report of their activities to the Alliance War Council in Phoenix (We decided that would be boring, so we skipped past it). The characters told the Council about Astyanax’s death, the later banishment of the demon, and the odd resurrection of Astyanax. The party then headed back to Bradel Fields to search for the Tome of Agamemnon.

In the sewers the party explored next to the demon’s room first. They found a room filled with deep clear water. Another exit of flowing water left the room opposite from the entrance the players used. At the bottom of the large pool of water was a pile of silver coins and some other objects too far away to make out. Logan did some magical scouting and discovered an illusion aura covering all the water, a second illusion covering a large object in the north half of the water, and a transmutation aura in the glittering treasure at the bottom of the pool. Logan returned to the party.
Shez gave a shot at dispelling the magical auras in the cavern. His checks all failed. A force began attacking the minds of the players at that point, starting with Logan. Logan fought off the mental attacks. The party freaked out and started putting up defenses and preparing for the worst. The force attacked Torin’s mind next, but was fought off again. More preparations for battle were made. The force made a final attack against Preta’s mind and succeeded. Preta began blasting the party with his battle magic. Amalius dominated Preta to prevent further blastings.
The force revealed itself as a giant tentacle-whale monster rose out of the water and entered a melee with Torin (The players immediately recognized it as an Aboleth). Amalius was disappointed to find that the aboleth’s dominate spell was stronger than his own. Amalius countered that failure by dominating the aboleth itself.
The combat ended there, but they still had a big aboleth in the middle of the room. Amalius was unable to convey complicated orders to the aboleth due to the language barrier. The party decided that blasting the aboleth with all their damage spells at once was the best strategy. The aboleth was effectively pulped by all the energy thrown at it in one round. As the aboleth died the illusion spell it’d cast on the water disappeared to reveal the water was not clear; but, in fact, dirty sewer water just like everything else down there.
The party still wanted the treasure at the bottom of the pool. Logan volunteered to do a bunch of dives down to get it. He used his magical luck ability to avoid getting a disease from the sewer water. After an hour or so of diving he had recovered two potions, a wand, a magic monocle, a magic pin, a magic mace, a large opal, and a smattering of silver and gold pieces. Detecting no more magic at the bottom of the pool, the party journeyed onward.
The passage from the aboleth room went on for a long ways and let out to the sea. Turning around the party went back to near where they entered the sewer and explored a passage there. The passage led to a large room with a pit of sewer water in its middle. A partially destroyed walkway surrounded the pit. As the party advanced into the room, tentacles shot out of the water and began grappling everybody. The “grapple panic” ensued on the all caster party. Logan and Amalius quickly blasted the monster in the water. It turned out to be large on offense and low on defense. The blasts killed the beast and it sunk into the sewer water (This is the Darktentacles monster from the MM2. It’s basically the watcher in the water from LOTR).
More exploration revealed a room of dire rats (Quickly slain). After the rats was a room with a sewer spirit in it. The sewer spirit spook to the players before they killed it, leading them to believe it had good intentions. The spirit said its name was Nevsha and that it was glad the party had slain the dark ooze that dwelt in its sewers (That black pudding from a while ago). Nevsha offered a reward for whomever stepped forward to claim it. She put her closed hand out with the fingers facing downwards. Only Torin was willing to accept a gift from a being composed of sewage. He accepted the gift, which turned out to be a silver ring. Torin cleaned the ring with his purify food and drink spell.
Amalius remembered that the party was seeking the Tome of Agamemnon in this sewer. The party had been told that the Tome was in an area full of traps and protected by a golem. Amalius asked if Nevsha knew of such an area. Nevsha said, “yes,” and directed them to the area.
On the way to the area that supposedly contains the Tome the party ran into two sewer mutants that could shoot death rays from their eyes. They were quickly dealt with. They also found an area that used to be a catacomb and explored that. They were attacked by a giant spellcasting bone snake. They defeated it, largely due to Logan’s eldritch magic, and collected a bounty of jewelry from the bone naga’s corpse.
The party reached the end of Nevsha’s directions at a room with a metal door on the other end (The first door of any kind in the dungeon). The door was guarded by a fearsome Otyugh.

We ended the session there. The encounters after the Otyugh should be treated as a single encounter and it was getting too late to finish all of them. Also, Throgg had fallen asleep. It was pretty funny. Shouting, texting, and calling him didn’t wake him up. The party has earned enough XP to level up to 12th, but they won’t do so until after they exit the sewers for a day. Our next session is scheduled for Thanksgiving Friday in person.

Anxe
2011-11-26, 01:13 PM
We had a session yesterday attended by thewamp, Ozmandias, and Salzar. We ended up playing Age of Empires 2 and Magic instead of D&D. We had an epic AoE2 game that lasted 6 hours. thewamp and I ended up getting a relic victory in the end.

Anxe
2011-12-23, 12:05 PM
Sorry it's taken so long to update. We all get rather busy around final times in school. Plus the holidays take up some time and we've had a few personal emergencies as well. Everyone's fine now though! We had a session on Dec 17th and another on Dec 22nd that I'll try to post by the end of today or tomorrow.

Rebellion Session #6/Total Session #14
The session was attended by Throgg, Ozymandias, thewamp, Middle_Snu, and Salzar. It was held at Salzar's house. Every year we do an all-nighter on New Year's Eve where we play D&D and other games. This year a lot of us are going to be out of town on New Year's, so we had our "New Year's" party on Dec 17th.

The first event of the night was D&D. The players were congratulated again and given a choice for their next mission. They could either go after the wolves and attempt to get their part of the prophecy, or they could attack the Xorian tower in the river town and free the village from the Xorian influence. The characters choose to speed the plot up and go after the wolves and the Dragovinian Alpha wolf.
A few days travel and they'd reached the hole where the wolves lived. The party approached peacefully and the speak with animals necklace was handed to Wu. Wu talked with the normal looking wolves and asked them where the Dragovinian Alpha was (The wolves didn't attack because the party was accepted into the pack during their last visit). They said he was inside and asleep. The wolves weren't going to wake him up, but Wu could if he wanted. Wu and everyone else decided that waking up a beast that dangerous was a bad idea. They waited until nightfall when it woke up.
At nightfall all the other wolves came out of the den followed by the Dragovinian Alpha. It walked over to the party and demanded to know what they had come again for. Wu said they were hoping to get the secret of the Druid's.
Alpha said, "Ha! No. You are still weaklings."
Wu said, "Well, what about him?" He pointed to Korjak. "He's new. He's not a weakling."
Alpha went over and sniffed Korjak. "Meh. Still a weakling like the rest of you."
After a conference among the characters about what to do, Wu tossed the speak with animals necklace to Korjak. Korjak put it on and said, "I challenge you to single combat!"
Alpha's scales bristled and he took his place amid the circle the wolves were forming. Korjak stepped into the circle as well and the other party members took places around the edge with the normal wolves. Sivirdm went up a nearby tree with his crossbow to observe.
The fight started with Korjak calling on the might of his inner god. He raised his greatsword above his head and lightning flashed down from the cloudless sky. Balder, God of War, took his place on the battlefield! Unfortunately, Balder was not yet fully in sync with Korjak. The fight went poorly for him and the party had to step in to save him. Gregor joined the fight against Alpha. Wu and Sivirdm shot arrows at the wolves on the edge of the combat. Stanton blasted a few wolves with color spray. Dragovinian Alpha breathed fire, but everyone dodged it quite effectively (I rolled a 4 on the 3d6 damage). Sivirdm came down from his tree for some flanking sneak attacks. Eventually, all the wolves were on the ground bleeding or unconscious due to Stanton's pretty lights. Alpha took enough damage that it seemed he shouldn't be able to move, but his body responded anyways. He began to run away. Sivirdm, Gregor, and Balder/Korjak ran after Alpha. Gregor was finally able to decapitate the fleeing wolf. The party claimed victory and leadership over the three living adult wolves and the wolf children.
There was some discussion over how to sew the Dragovinian wolf's head back on so they could ask it what the druid's secret was. Thread could be obtained by fraying rope, but no one had a good way of making a needle. Gregor realized that the other wolves might know the druid's secret though (Gregor has the highest intelligence in the party with 15). He took the necklace and asked them. The wolves said,
"Go to where the Creator of Men hung
To where the eagle to its dinner would come
Take a piece of blood-red stone
And add it to the cauldron when it begins to foam."
Each member of the party memorized the verse (Their characters. The players didn't). They then stayed with the wolves for the night before heading back to the Rebel Base.

We ended the D&D part of Fake New Year's there. We then played Illuminati which, as everyone who has played it knows, takes forever. I'm having trouble remembering who won, but maybe one of the others in the group will enlighten me. After that we went to the local elementary school to play with fake swords. We have a game where one of us goes and hides with the spear, the best weapon. Everyone else takes one sword each and splits up to find the hidden Assassin. The Assassin then attempts to take everyone else out one by one. The Assassin usually loses. I was the first Assassin and I had eliminated everyone else except Salzar. Then the security guard showed up and kicked us out. We were hoping this would be the night he doesn't work, but it wasn't. The school has motion sensors to prevent people playing games on it at night. Next time we'll go to a park without motion sensors instead of the school even though the school is super cool for playing Assassin.
After coming back from Assassin we played Samurai. Samurai is a great game that is no longer produced. Everyone is in a challenge to get to 400 honor first. The Shogun card gives you 150 honor per turn, so their is a continual fight for the Shogun card. Middle_Snu, thewamp, Salzar, and I all got close to winning. The Shogun card must've changed hands 50 times before the game ended in Salzar's victory. Samurai is supposed to take 1 hour, but this game took 4 hours.
At that point we decided to break up for the night. It was around 2:30AM. I took Ozymandias and Throgg back to Ozymandias's house to sleep, so we'd have more space. I played Skyrim on Ozymandias's computer for a little bit before going to sleep (I hadn't had a chance to play it yet as my computer isn't good enough to run it). I woke up first and played Skyrim for another hour and a half. After that the party broke up. I went back to Salzar's place. We played a game of Magic and then I left.

Anxe
2011-12-23, 02:08 PM
Rebellion Session #7/Total Session #15
The session was held at Ozymandias's house. Ozymandias, Throgg, and Middle_Snu attended. Ozymandias was out when we got there (He'd told us he would be). We played Soul Calibur until he showed up.

The party was on the way back to the Rebel Base from the wolf den. The journey was interrupted by a Giant Praying Mantis attack, but the adventurers didn't put up with that nonsense. They butchered that poor bug. On arriving, the characters were congratulated by Major Dactirian for their good work. He removed the shock collars from the players and gave them their "freedom." The party thought their next mission might be to go and collect a piece of blood-red stone that the wolf prophecy referred to. They had correctly surmised that the prophecy spoke of the location where Prometheus was chained to a rock and an eagle would come to eat his liver every day (In the original myths this was in the Caucasus Mountains. I've changed the geography in my world, so the Caucasus Mountains no longer exist. Prometheus's torture spot has been changed to somewhere in the Balkans instead.). Dactirian told the party that they wouldn't be going after the items mentioned in the prophecies. First, they would collect the three other prophecies from the animal clans. He presented the party with the choice between the Bear, the Condor, and the Shark clans. The party choose the Bear and began planning their journey.

The party filled their character sheets with gear and an additional sheet of note paper was filled with shared gear. They also picked horses and ponies to carry them on the long journey north (It'll take them about a month to get to the bears). On August 12th the adventure began! The party planned to go up Danar's River until it turned west. Then they would head north to Sheerzen to resupply. After that they'd head to the bear clan located at the headwaters of the eastern most fork of Danar's River.
On the 15th the party met a barge of slave traders coming downriver. The three slavers had five slaves held captive with manacles. The slavers told the party they'd captured the slaves at the ruins of Jevanicia on the edge of Danar's Swamp (Jevanicia replaced Tectoctar on the map. It was destroyed by Bill the Geriviar in Alliance Session #1.). After trading news from downriver, the party decided a guide for the area might be a little useful. They looked at the slaves and bought the strongest, Reggy, for 25 GP. Reggy was a miner at the Jevanicia quarry. He and the adventurers got off to a good start. They treated him a bit like a little brother and he was happy to please them.
The next day the party spotted three kobolds riding giant ants trying to sneak up on the adventurers. The kobolds rode off upon being seen. That night the kobolds returned with 5 friends during Korjak's watch. The adventurers woke up and fought the kobolds. Stanton fired off some sleep spells to keep the kobolds under control. Wu got up and fired arrows at the riders on the ants. Sivirdm tried backstabbing ants. Korjak and Gregor stood toe-to-toe with the ants in melee. The ants bit the melee fighters and tried to sting them with their tails for acid damage. Reggy did his best with Gregor's spare weapon, a flail, but he is not trained in flail use. Eventually, all the opponents were brought down and the heroes claimed victory. 121 GP was found upon the kobold corpses.

The day after the kobold fight the party came into a small village without a name. They stayed at the inn with a traveling merchant family. In the morning the merchant family did not come to breakfast. The innkeeper went to check on them and found them dead in their beds with two puncture wounds on each of their necks. The innkeeper ran into the village street shouting, "Vampire! We have a vampire in town! Vampire!"
The townsfolk gathered and immediately blamed the party. After all, they were the only strangers in town besides the murdered couple. The party tried to prove their innocence by going in the sunlight, but the townsfolk didn't accept that as proof. "What about them Xorian vampires that can go around in the sun that we've heard about! What if you're one of those!" The party then produced their stakes and garlic, each eating a piece of raw garlic. This was enough proof that the party was actually vampire hunters instead of vampires.
The investigation was handed over to the party of vampire hunters. Sivirdm went to search the dead couple's room while the rest of the party questioned the villagers. Sivirdm pocketed the couple's money and found a blood trail leading up the chimney. The other party members questioned the townsfolk about who they had never seen in the sunlight before. The only one they could think of was Father Donovan, an elderly cleric of Artemis. As a cleric of Artemis, he was up during the night and asleep during the day. No one recalled seeing him in daylight. The mob was led towards the shrine where Father Donovan slept.
At the shrine, Gregor knocked on the door. Father Donovan was slow to respond, so Gregor went in. The priest was waking up. Seeing all the townsfolk gathered through the door, he hurried. Donovan came out the door into the sunlight and...
Didn't burn up.
The party was still unconvinced, so they thrust holy symbols at the Father Donovan. Korjak and Sivirdm went into the shrine to investigate it further. Korjak heard a creaking in the rafters. He looked up and saw a little halfling vampire walking on the ceiling. The miniature vampire lunged at Korjak and the battle began. Korjak, Gregor, and Sivirdm engaged the vampire. Reggy tackled Father Donovan, fearing what a priest who harbored a vampire would do. Stanton calmed the crowd down. Wu circled around to get a better view and prepared to shoot if the vampire came out. The vampire attempted to dominate Korjak. Upon failure it used its claws against him. Reggy slammed Father Donovan's head into the ground, knocking him out (He rolled a crit against the old dude!). Gregor heard that the townsfolk were going to burn the building. He pulled Sivirdm out. Korjak got one last attack in before leaving the building. Sivirdm slammed the door shut and the shrine went up in smoke.
The vampire waited a while, then realized it would die in the shrine. It burst out the door, but burned up in the sun. The party was thanked greatly for their help. The village couldn't reward the party, but they found a spyglass, 4 gems, and a tanglefoot bag on the vampire's corpse. Turning Father Donovan over to the villagers the party rode out of town. The village gained the name of Staketown after the events surrounding the vampire attack.

A day later the party saw a sail boat coming downriver. The boater stalled his boat to trade news with the party. They told him of the Rebellion's growing strength and the vampire. The sailor told them there were giant problems in the north. He'd been up there hunting giants, but found it too difficult on his own. He was heading south to Maktako to seek other adventures there. The travelers wished each other well before separating.

On the 21st the party reached the small village of Neeshvale as dusk was approaching. The farmers on the edge of town came out of their houses to look at the adventurers with sad faces before returning to their homes. In town the party saw skeletons in the streets. Townsfolk walked by quickly and pretended not to see the new comers.

We ended there. Next time in the Rebellion sessions the players will deal with the Necromancer of Neeshvale! However, as the Rebellion has gotten about a month ahead of the Alliance half of the campaign, I think we'll be trying to catch up in the high level half before we start on the necromancer.

Anxe
2012-01-23, 12:43 AM
We had a session tonight, but I'm too tired to post it. Hopefully it'll be up later this week.

Also, posting what you think of the campaign is totally what all the cool kids are doing. You should join the fun.

Anxe
2012-01-29, 05:39 PM
Alliance Session #9/Total Session #16
This session was held over Google Hangouts. Ozymandias, Throgg, and Salzar attended. We had a long break since the last session because all of us were enjoying the holiday break from school with our families. Our schedules do not line up as much this school quarter, so sessions will be infrequent until April, when my schedule changes.

Last time the party had received directions from a sewer nymph. They’re looking for the Tome of Agamemnon which is guarded by traps and a golem. The sewer nymph directed them to an area of the sewers she knew contained traps and a golem. At the beginning of that area was a nasty Otyugh ready to attack.
Various damaging blast spells were laid upon the Otyugh as it charged. It was able to get one good full attack out on Torin before it succumbed to the magic onslaught. Torin healed himself up and the party moved to investigate the metal door the Otyugh was guarding.
A magical inspection by Logan revealed that the door had an abjuration spell cast on it and a illusion spell. Torin used his animate objects spell to bring the door to life. He commanded the door to open, but the door found itself locked with a spell (The abjuration spell was arcane lock). Preta removed the arcane lock spell with a knock spell. Then Torin was able to command the door to unlock itself and open. Torin then wished the door to become unhinged. The door wasn’t strong enough to pull itself off its hinges. Torin used his magic spear to break the hinges and the door leaped out. At that moment the animate objects spell expired. Torin poked the door into the Otyugh room with his spear, being careful not to touch it and set off the remaining illusion spell.
Beyond the animated door was a short corridor that ended in a metal door with no lock. Logan’s magic vision detected an evocation spell on the door. Torin was out of animate objects spells for the day, so the party opted to dispel the trap, whatever it was. Shez took a crack at it, but found his magical skills weren’t up to the task. Preta used his superior magical might to dispel the trap. Torin opened the door.
Behind door #2 was a 10-foot man shaped thing composed entirely of sewage. The large room the sewage man was in contained lots of alchemical equipment, various pots and cauldrons of sewage, and at the back left corner were two pots of red liquid. At the back right corner was a closed wooden door. The sewage man (A sewage golem actually. I used the stats for an Alchemical Golem from MM3) had a readied attack which slammed into Torin. A fight ensued. Preta tried various blast spells, but golems are immune to magic. Logan’s eldritch blast was useless against something with infinite spell resistance. Shez is mostly a utility wizard so he was also useless (Mass acid resistance was the only spell he cast. Quite useful actually). Torin focuses on buffing and healing himself to survive the golem’s continual attacks. Amalius carried the fight by casting sonic energy walls, which ignore spell resistance and can thus penetrate a golem’s immunity to magic. The golem was ripped apart by two sonic walls every round. Every time they dealt damage a bucket of sewage poured out on Torin. Torin foolishly stabbed the golem with his spear and it disintegrated in the sonic wall. In the end the golem fell apart due to the sonic attacks.
Amalius investigated the red liquid pots and determined that they were instrumental to the golem’s creation. Suspecting that the golem’s creator as nearby, the party flung open the next door to reveal a snug apartment with bookcases, a desk, a bed, a bedside table, a larder, and a old man cowering behind a sofa chair. The old man shouted, “Stay back! I’m a powerful wizard!” In one of the corners of the room was a ladder leading up.
Amalius and Preta attempted to talk the man down. They learned that the wizard’s name was Alan Roy. The golem was a pet of sorts named Cordo Roy. Alan actually held the deed to the house above as well as the sewer underneath. Alan kept on insisting that the party had broken into his home and he wasn’t afraid to let loose his awesome magical powers upon them (He had a flesh to stone ready to cast). After much insistence that they leave his home the party eventually backed away. Upon reaching the Otyugh room, Alan slammed the remaining metal door.
The party wasn’t giving up there. They discussed going back in to just battle the wizard. They decided that taking the case to the police was a better idea. Or even better yet, the army! They are important figures in the war after all. They went to the Bradel Fields Council chambers and talked with the Army Council member, Lotigan. Lotigan told them that Alan likely did own the sewers beneath his home, such arrangements aren’t uncommon in Bradel Fields. Alan likely also had a permit to do magical experiments in his home as long as they weren’t considered dangerous to the city. As it stood, the case would likely be dropped if it was brought to court. Amalius wanted to meet with Alan, suspecting that he was hiding the Tome of Agamemnon. He intimidated Lotigan in an attempt to convince him to set up the meeting. Lotigan took offense at the intimidation, but told the adventurers that he’d bring the matter up with the council tomorrow.
Satisfied with a good day of adventuring the party headed to Astyanax’s home (Where they are staying in Bradel Fields) for a good bath.

While the party relaxed in the baths, Astyanax’s daughter, Cassandra, came in wearing just a towel. Cassandra is engaged to Bjorn of Dalleer (He’s the leader of Dalleer, but also comically insane). The marriage alliance is necessary to gain a new ally for the Alliance. Cassandra is also well-known for being “loose.” Sleeping or even taking a bath with one of the key Alliance members, such as one of the PCs, would seriously damage the Alliance’s chances of gaining Dalleer’s support in the war.
Cassandra let the towel drop and she joined the party in the bath. She flirted with Amalius, showing off her chest and her legs as she cleaned them. Preta tried to flirt with her, but she basically ignored him (Preta is currently reincarnated in the body of a satyr-like thing. A little bit creepy). Shez got angry at Preta for flirting with Cassandra (Heavily implied that Shez is in love with Preta). Amalius attempted to refocus Cassandra’s attentions on her fiancée or her father. She let it slip that Astyanax has locked himself in his room since his resurrection. At that point, Cassandra’s nurse’s shrill voice could be heard from an entrance to the baths. Cassandra excused herself, blew the party a kiss, grabbed her towel, and ran out a different entrance. (The party leveled up to 12th here).

The next day, around 11 o’clock, a messenger arrived at the Astyanax estate with a letter from the Council. The party had been granted an interview with Alan Roy. The interview would take place at the police station between only one of the party members and Alan. Ten guards would be in the room as well. The adventurers headed down to the station and sent Amalius in to speak with Alan. Logan stayed behind at the Astyanax mansion (Logan’s player, thewamp, wasn’t at this session, so we left him behind. I’m hoping that Logan sleeps with Cassandra while the other players are away, but I’ll leave it up to thewamp).
Alan told Amalius, “That he’d only agreed to this interview because he believes in cooperating with the law.”
Amalius asked him about the Tome of Agamemnon and the sewage golem. Alan explained that he knew of the book, but nothing else. The golem was an experiment in creating golems out of a plentiful resource that could protect the city. Alan has been perfecting the red liquid which animates the sewage so that the golems survive for longer. His latest golem, Cordo, could survive above ground for two minutes. The previous prototypes had survived for even less. He believes it is because the stinky air of the sewers beneath the city play a role in animating the golem. Alan hopes to create many of these beasts so they can defend the city when/if the Xorians arrive.
Amalius accepted that answer and then showed Alan the amulet the party received from the sages of Bradel Fields. Alan recognized it as a golem control amulet. More specifically, that the type of golem that it controls is capable of casting spells (A Runic Guardian from MM2).
Amalius tried to convince Alan to join the party in finding the golem in the sewers, but Alan said he’d rather not work with home invaders. With that, the interview ended.
The party went down into the sewers again. There were only two unexplored areas left, one close to Alan’s basement and one far away. The adventurers chose the far away one first. There were two different rooms there. One was a pool of water filled with leeches which the party chose to “not mess with.” The other was a stone door with a chaos beast behind it. The chaos beast was taken down by one spell from Preta. Beyond the chaos beast was another door. That door opened to a collapsed corridor. Amalius disintegrated the rubble with his latest power. The party explored further in that direction, became a little lost, and then started marking the walls to reestablish their mental map. After a few chalk markings and many more possible directions to go in, the party decided to tie off that one room next to Alan’s before proceeding further (I told them after half an hour of wandering, that the rubble was there for a metagame reason. I was trying to box them in so they wouldn’t have to search the whole sewer of the city. After the rubble I was just randomly making a map).
The last section of the sewer started with a room and a corridor leading off of it. Torin stepped into the corridor first and was hit by a scythe trap. The scythe trap rolled a crit and dealt an awesome 47 damage (We ruled that the scythe was made to always moderately wound humans, but through an engineering quirk, it hit at just the right level to severely injure dwarves). To make it worse, Torin failed his save on the poison and took 6 Con damage. Luckily, heal fixes everything and Torin preps a lot of those every day.
Next was a set of double doors. Amalius detected an abjuration spell on the doors. Torin animated the doors to avoid opening them himself. The doors swung inwards to reveal a 9-foot tall brass and gold golem covered in runes. Preta presented the amulet in an attempt to command the golem. The golem went berserk upon seeing it and moved to attack. Torin promptly commanded the doors to shut.
From here the party devised a very clever plan (Our group is famous for coming up with clever plans to deal with golems. It was one of our most memorable sessions when we were still learning how to play). Amalius spent two disintegrates to create a twenty foot deep hole in the corridor before the double doors. Amalius then teleported above ground to hire an illusionist. The illusionist cast a silent image over the hole to make it seem as if the floor was still there. Preta would be flying and invisible while he opened the door. The golem would see Amalius in the corridor presenting the amulet and taunting the construct. The golem would rush forward and fall into the pit. Then Torin would cover the pit with two walls of stone to prevent the golem’s escape.
The only hitch in the plan was the abjuration trap on the door. Opening it released a glyph of warding which took Preta down about half his HP. After that, the golem rushed forward as predicted.
Beyond the golem’s room was a door, a 5-foot long corridor, and then another door. No magic traps were detected, so Torin went in to open the door. Beyond that door was a small room with the Tome of Agamemnon sitting on a pedestal in the center of the room. Fearing traps within the room, Amalius manifested retrieve and teleported the book to his hands. The mechanical trap went off, dropping a large stone block on Torin’s location. Torin made his reflex save and jumped backwards into the golem room (The intention is obviously to trap people in the book room).
Giddy with success the party went back to the surface, reported their success to the Bradel Fields Council, and teleported back to Phoenix.

The next day was overcast. The party went to the War Council chambers to officially present the Tome of Agamemnon. During the initial talk of what to do with the book a messenger came in and whispered into Arendil’s ear (Arendil is the leader of the Alliance). Arendil stood up and made an announcement.
“A large storm has begun outside. It is July and the storm comes quite early. As some of you may know, Ares is on the side of our opponents. I had feared that Ares would use the thunderbolts he’d stolen from Zeus to attack us. I’d set scouts, such as this young man,” then to the messenger, “Thank you. You may go.” Then back to the council members, “To warn us of such a storm. I believe that Ares begins this process now. It is likely that the thunderbolts will begin striking us soon and then the Xorian armies will attack. I believe that we should all go to defend the walls.”
More messengers came in reporting that the Xorian army was mobilizing.
Arendil continued, “As some of you may know, Astyanax is currently on medical leave. Gradorian will be taking over the military high command. I need a volunteer to command the Bradel Fields contingent.”
Amalius said, “I’d like to volunteer, sir.”
Torin spoke up, “Aye. Me as well.”
Arendil said, “Good. I’ll also need volunteers to ride out to negotiate with the enemy before the battle.”
Amalius, Torin, and Preta volunteered. (We handwaved that Amalius and Torin should really be preparing the Bradel Fields contingent. It was more important for all the players to be present at the negotiation scene.)
Arendil told them, “Under no circumstances are you to surrender the city. If they want something within the city, then we will grant it to them if they will depart the field of battle. But we will not surrender here!”
Titandra, the old blind woman from Restnor’s Point, also volunteered to meet with the envoy from the Xorians. Amalius attempted to dissuade her. Amalius feared that negotiations would break down as they had during the battle for the Danar’s River. Titandra insisted on accompanying the negotiation party and Amalius relented.
The adventurers outfitted themselves for the battle. They took a view from the top of the Phoenix wall. The Xorian army was lined up on the Phoenix side of the siege wall. They stood dozens of ranks deep for the miles surrounding the city. In the middle of no-man’s land stood a single man on a black bat-winged horse with a white flag. Rain came down in buckets.
Amalius, Shez, Preta, Torin, and Titandra rode out to meet the envoy. The envoy was Degusharla, one of the Rages, the General of the Xorian Infantry, and Master of Archery. He carried a magnificent bow made of bone. Degusharla is a Dragovinian riding a winged Dragovinian horse.
Degusharla introduced himself. The party introduced themselves. Both sides indicated that they wished to avoid bloodshed today. Degusharla then asked for permission to speak first, which was granted.
“Your men have fought bravely and valiantly. You have held off a force that is superior in numbers and strength for two years and remain strong. I ask you to end it today. You have displayed excellence in two of the three key values of the Xorian Empire. Those three values are Ability, Unity, and Immortality. You have great ability individually and through the unity of your abilities you have resisted us. I ask that you only relent and take the third value, immortality. If you surrender no one will be killed. All your men, women, and children will be spared. The best among you will be granted immortality. No one need accept this rule and they may depart the city unharmed. These are the terms I present to you.”
Torin answered, “We will not give up the city. It belongs to the people of Phoenix and the Alliance. You must leave this area and go back to Xoria.”
Degusharla said, “I cannot do that. I must take the city. It is regrettable that men on both sides must die this day. Have you anything else to say.”
Torin said, “No.”
Degusharla said, “So be it,” and he spurred his horse to trot back to his side of the battlefield.
Amalius asked the others after Degusharla’s back turned, “Should I use retrieve on his bow?”
Preta and Torin said he should. Shez followed Preta’s lead in saying he should. Titandra was too shocked at the suggestion to reply. Amalius used retrieve, but Degusharla made his will save (I ruled that Degusharla was not aware of the power’s use and kept riding). Amalius wanted to use retrieve again, but Degusharla was now out of range. The party rode back to Phoenix.
We stopped the session as Gradorian was giving general battle commands to the leaders of the Alliance.

We will hopefully be playing the big battle this weekend. We will use Green Ronin’s rules for massive battles found in their books, Old Testament and Trojan War. The session will unfortunately still be held over Google Hangouts. That means more work for me, but I accept it. It is likely that the battle will actually take two sessions to complete.

Feedback is welcome if anyone feels like giving it.

Anxe
2012-02-08, 12:53 AM
Alliance Session #10/Total Session #17
This session was held over Google Hangouts. Ozymandias, Throgg, and Salzar attended.

The battle began! I set up the troops where the players commanded and we got underway. It became clear very quickly, that actually rolling all those dice would be agonizing. I quickly computed average damages for all of the archer units. We ruled that archers would deal average damage every round. Made that a lot easier. Lightning was also striking and essentially killing one of the player’s units every round (A unit represents 100 men. The players have close to 400 units).
The Xorians started off by bringing rams forward to attack the three gates into the city. Preta defended the eastern gate with the contingent of wizards from the city. Torin defended the central gate. Amalius rallied the troops. The many NPCs also spent time rallying the troops.
The deadliness of the rams became apparent quickly. Preta shattered the wheels on one ram. Torin animated the log portion of another ram. The animated ram started flailing around and killed a few Xorian troops. One of the Xorians spotted the errant ram and moved to attack.
This rage is Degusharla, the archer rage, who also met at the negotiations before the battle. Degusharla killed the ram in one round with his arrows (Order of the Bow Initiate + flaming, shocking, acidic bow + rapid shot or manyshot). The players moved to engage.
As the party moved in a colossal man grew out of the dark clouds over the siege walls. The black cloud man had red eyes and a plumed helmet. He stood several hundred feet tall over the battlefield (The players correctly surmised that this was Ares). Ares brought his hand down upon the clouds. A funnel began to form over the central gate. TORNADO Warning!
The players chose to deal with the tornado later. They engaged Degusharla with the help of Kig Yupington (A tattooed monk NPC). During a battle within a battle like this the soldiers generally stay out of it. The power scale is too great for them to have any real effect.
Degusharla won initiative and shot a full barrage of arrows at Torin. Torin would’ve died, but Athena protected him. That’s not just a euphanism for Torin casting shield of faith. Torin has 86 HP and the rage dealt 145. Athena came down and possessed Torin in a similar manner to the possession of Diomedes in the Iliad. Flames sprouted from Torin’s armor and his helmet. His spear became wreathed in divine light. Torin survived the arrow attacks unscathed.
Degusharla took a step back in shock. Preta cast Evard’s black tentacles to try and incapacitate Degusharla, but his grapple was too high to succumb to the spell. Amalius pulled out his old favorite power of retrieve. It worked and the rage’s bow went straight into Amalius’s bag of holding. The players specifically requested that I show them Degusharla’s expression after losing his priceless artifact weapon. I started off with shocked surprise (open mouth, wide eyes). I slowly shifted from that to gritting my teeth, narrowing my eyes, and showing my fangs.
Torin threw his spear through Degusharla. The spear immediately returned to his hand. Degusharla rushed forward and attacked Torin. Torin and Kig fought back, getting some flanking action going. Shez failed a fear check against Degusharla’s Kiai Shout and ran away. Preta kept his eyes open for Frost, the mounted charger rage. Amalius flew up in the sky a little bit to get the bow out of Degusharla’s reach. Kig successfully grappled Degusharla. Torin began using some divine positive energy magic on Degusharla. The Dragovinian writhed in agony.
Frost showed up mounted on her nightmare just in time to see Degusharla turn to dust due to the overload of positive energy. Frost’s nightmare mount was quickly shot out from under her by Preta. Fortunately, Frost had a backup magic mount. She got on top of her magic spider and charged Preta (Who had foolishly forgotten to fly out of range). Preta died in one hit (typical of uberchargers).
Kig and Torin attacked Frost. Kig took out the spider and Torin got in a few good hits. Amalius began working his way back and trying a few more retrieve powers which failed due to Frost’s divine grace buffed will save. Frost threw a full attack at Torin which brought him down. Torin would’ve died again, but Athena once again intervened. She whisked him away to the dwarven city of Jord for him to recover (Torin won’t be able to do anything else in this battle).
Kig grappled and pinned Frost. He began using his Earth’s Embrace feat to deal extra damage to Frost. Frost fought back with her energy draining claws. Amalius threw a few more powers at Frost that failed to pierce her will save.
The fear effect wore out on Shez and he teleported back to the fight. Shez told Amalius to help him pour holy water on the two grapplers. The holy water proved effective, but the two remaining party members were very close to failing. Kig was knocked unconscious by Frost’s continued claw attacks. Just at that moment the holy water took her last hit point away. Frost died. Amalius and Shez quickly stuffed the bodies and the magical gear into the bag of holding before flying back to the safety of the walls.

After the battle with the two rages we were too exhausted to continue the battlefield fight. One hour has passed on the battlefield so far. We’re hoping to play again next week, but may not due to scheduling conflicts.

Anxe
2012-02-21, 08:02 PM
Alliance Session #11/Total Session #18
The session was held over Google Hangouts. Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp attended. There was a two hour break in the middle for dinner, but the action picked up almost immediately afterwards.

With the Dragovinians coming through a tunnel into the city, the leaders of the Alliance decided to redeploy some of their troops to that area. Lamarr led the adventurers guild members to that area of the city. The clerics from the clerics guild were also directed there.
Ashabodai, the Rage of the Amazons, attacked Lamarr. A few of the big alliance members ran to help, but they didn’t arrive in time. Ashabodai cut Lamarr down with the Fierce Axe of the Dwarvish Lords that she wields.
A great beastial roar came out of the storm clouds overhead. From the forming tornado a piece of darkness emerged. As the shape drew closer it became clear that it was Blendegad, the Dragon god of the Dragovinians. He attacked the wall and the soldiers on it ran away in fear. On Blendegad’s back was Jevaninada II. The party decided that was too much to handle, so they went to deal with Ashabodai. Dralin, the dwarf general; Logan, thewamp’s character; Kig, the monk; and Shez, Ozymandias’s cohort character, all went to deal with the Rage. Logan was played by thewamp. The other two players shared control of the three other characters and Dralin’s Battletitan dinosaur mount, Bessy.
Bessy was probably the key member of the fight because she was able to continually grapple Ashabodai. Jevaninada showed up at the fight as well, because he saw Ashabodai threatened. Bessy was able to grapple both of them due to having a grapple spot in her stomach and a grapple spot in her mouth. She took a lot of damage from cuts to her stomach, but she’d immediately eat another Dragovinian when one cut itself out. Shez stood by trying to dispel magic items the Dragovinians were using, but didn’t have much success. Logan got in occasional shots with his Hellfire Blast, but feared that he’d hit Bessy. He held back whenever she was grappling both targets. Dralin commanded Bessy in her chomping action. Kig was ready to grapple of punch anybody who broke free from Bessy’s grapple.
Eventually, Jevaninada broke free from the mouth grapple. He got up on Bessy’s back where she couldn’t bite him. Dralin and Kig went up after the Emperor. The Emperor then cast freedom of movement on himself to prevent further grapple shenanigans. He decapitated Bessy and then turned his blade on Dralin and Kig. Ashabodai crawled out of Bessy’s neck stump. Logan was waiting over the neck stump with holy water. He dumped it on her, killing her. Shez swooped down and threw the Fierce Axe that Ashabodai had held to Dralin. Dralin brought it down on Jevaninada, but the artifact wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Dralin moved to run, but was cut down by Jevaninada.
Logan covered Shez’s retreat, but was killed himself by Jevaninada. Logan grabbed the Fierce Axe before the Emperor got his hands on it. Logan and Shez flew away while Jevaninada looted the bodies. Then they returned to gather up their dead allies.

At this point, the players decided that the city was lost. They couldn’t handle Jevaninada in their current state, and they certainly weren’t going to try to take down Blendegad. They ran around the city collecting the other NPCs important to the Alliance. They planned to teleport those VIPs to the dwarven city of Jord, which is a member of the Alliance. While gathering up the VIPs a group of five glabrezu demons teleported into the city as well to start causing havoc. The tornado column also lowered itself to the ground causing massive amounts of damage. The VIPs gathered up were:
Dralin’s body, Preta’s body, Kig’s body, Lamarr’s body, Arendil, Titandra, Shez, Erick (Torin’s old cohort), Amalius, two wizards to help with teleporting, Gradorian, and Junai. Logan chose to invisibly fly out of the city instead to give his teleport “ticket” to someone else.
The extra tickets were given to:
Baremos, Astyanax’s Squire; Tivarius, Arendil’s Scribe; Shia and Brom, the wife and son of one of the teleporting mages (The other mage had no family); Endi, Amalius’s psychic warrior squire, Endi’s brother and sister, Toti and Lola.

The party spent the next day regrouping after the battle. We’ll continue play on the day after that which is July 30th in game.

After the battle I calculated casualties and such. Lots of captives for the Xorians. I’m not sure what they’ll be doing with them yet. We’ll see in the next session I suppose.

Anxe
2012-02-28, 10:33 PM
Combo Session #1/Total Session #19
This session was held over Google Hangouts. We played the Rebellion campaign first followed by the Alliance one. Throgg, Salzar, thewamp, and Middle_Snu attended the Rebellion campaign. Then Middle_Snu had to leave. We switched to the Alliance campaign with Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp.

The party of Gregor, Korjak, Wu, Stanton, Sivirdm, and Reggy the Slave arrived at the small village of Neeshvale. The village was under the control of a necromancer and eight skeletons with drawn swords stood watch in the town square. The party stared at the skeletons warily. Lights were on in the inn and a large house on a nearby hill. The party went into the inn.
Five townsfolk were at the bar drinking and talking with the innkeep. The adventurers immediately asked them what was up with the skeletons. The innkeep told them, “Keep quiet! You never know who might be listening!” and he pointed at the skeleton in the corner. He motioned them over to the bar.
The innkeep said, “Er. Your slave will have to stay outside.” He pointed at Gregor (First instance of racism against Gregor being an orc in the game). Gregor kept his temper under control and went outside into the cold with Reggy.
The innkeep poured four drinks for the remaining party members and said, “You can all pay for these right?”
Stanton said, “Yes we can,” and pulled out his coin pouch to show that his words were true. “Now tell us about the skeletons,” Stanton whispered.
The innkeep leaned in and told the adventurers the tale of Neeshvale. Forty years ago the village had a lord who was sworn to the king of Sheerzen, the nearby tower city. After the Xorians conquered Sheerzen, the village became a forgotten place, separate from the rest of the world. The townsfolk eventually realized they could easily rebel against the Lord Reediathun without fear of penalty from the Sheerzen army. They took the Lord’s small wooden castle and executed him (Mostly because they hated paying taxes). However, the Lord was the one thing standing between them and the wilds of the world. Monsters began coming closer to Neeshvale. Finally, the necromancer came in with his skeletons.
The necromancer is a half-orc called Ratigon. He proclaimed himself the new lord of Neeshvale and took up residence in the old lord’s castle. Ratigon began collecting taxes again and took Lord’s Right with the married women of the town. Anyone who resisted was killed by his skeletons and then reanimated as one of them. In return, Ratigon has kept the village safe from all the dangers of the world except himself.
The tale done, the innkeep introduced himself as Tiesheera. The party decided they’d stay at the inn for the night. They paid up to Tiesheera and then went out to the stables to talk with Gregor and Reggy. Gregor thought it best if they collected more information first. After all, this was just one innkeep’s story. Maybe he was embellishing the part about Lord’s Right. The adventurers decided they’d gather more information from the villagers the next day. Gregor and Reggy went to sleep in the stables with the horses. The others got a good sleep in the common room of the inn.

The next day, Gregor and Reggy got a quick breakfast before heading out together to knock on townspeople’s doors and find out more about the necromancer. The others chose to stay at the inn to enjoy a large breakfast. Also, the others didn’t care as much about the necromancer as he wasn’t a Dragovinian and therefore not their enemy.
Gregor knocked on a house door with Reggy backing him up. A frightened woman answered the door. “He-Hello?”
“Good day ma’am. My name is Gregor and I am traveling through these parts. Could you answer a few questions for me about the half-orc lord of this town?”
“Y-Yes. I can.”
“Is it true that he’s been taking Lord’s Right with the people here?”
The woman looked visibly more frightened at that question. “The-The Lord. He-He seeks to better our human stock with his orc blood.” Her voice shook with every word.
“Has he been hurting the townsfolk?”
The woman’s lower lip quivered. “He does everything for the good of the people.”
“Thank you for your time ma’am.”
“Yes sir.” The woman closed the door after Gregor and Reggy had turned around to walk away.
Gregor said, “Perhaps it was not such a good idea for an orc to ask questions about a tyrannical half-orc lord.”

The party regrouped and decided to head up to the castle on the hill to see the necromancer for themselves. Intimidation would be best, so Stanton cast a silent image spell of four skeletons for himself as well.
The castle was more just a wooden fort. A palisade wall surrounded the top of the hill. Two gaps in the wall allowed entrance to the compound. A stable was built against the palisade. In the center of the compound was a large wooden hall with closed double doors. One motionless skeleton stood on either side of the doors with swords drawn. Korjak knocked on the door. A skeleton butler opened the door to the hall.
Inside was a long hall with an empty table and benches in the middle. Four skeletons were inside. Doors led out of the hall to the left and right. Ladders led above the doors as well to two lofts. At the far end of the table was a small throne. On the throne sat the half-orc Ratigon in all his glory. Behind Ratigon was a bear skeleton. Ratigon was bald, stunk like a pig, and wore fullplate armor. Around his neck was a golden symbol of Hades.
“Welcome travelers, to the home of Lord Ratigon. I have been expecting you.” The party looked around a bit trying to decide what to do. Ratigon spoke again, “Please be seated.” The party took their seats at the table with Korjak and Gregor sitting closest to Ratigon. “What are your names and what are you doing in my realm?” Ratigon paid special attention to Gregor, staring at his face.
The party introduced themselves. Ratigon’s ears perked up upon hearing Gregor’s name.
“Are you the Gregor? Gregor the Mighty?” (Remember that the PCs remember nothing of their lives prior to waking up at the Rebel hideout. Throgg quickly caught on and decided he’d play the role Ratigon assigned him.)
Gregor said, “Yes.”
“The same Gregor who sought to unite the orc tribes?”
Gregor said, “Yes. I am he.”
“It is you! I recognize you from when I was a little boy among the orcs. I wanted to be just like you when I grew up! But you disappeared and the orc tribes remained divided.”
“I have returned.”
“But where did you go? You were gone for almost twenty years!”
“It matters not. I am more concerned about what you’ve been doing here. Is it true that you’ve been profaning your already diluted orc blood with human flesh?”
Ratigon sat back in his chair. “I-I sought to strengthen the human stock to make better soldiers for the orcs.”
“You weaken your own body by lying with these human women. They do not deserve the touch of an orc, even one such as yourself.”
“Forgive me Gregor. I did not-“
“You did not think!”
“Well. What about you? You disappeared for years! You were going to reunite the orc tribes and then you just left. Probably off to some city with human women yourself.”
Gregor pounded his fist on the table, “You dare to question Gregor the Mighty!”
“N-no sir.”
“Good! Now I want you to return to the orc lands. Spread the message of my return. I am coming and I will unite the orc people once and for all! You will be my herald to the people.”
“Yes! Yes of course Gregor! I will spread your message. I shall leave tomorrow. When we leave I shall burn this village to the ground to signal your return to the pitiful humans. The smoke will be visible from the tower of Sheerzen.”
“No. It is too soon to warn the humans of my return. They might arm themselves against the orc tribes before we even have a chance to unite them.”
“Yes, you’re right. We should wait to spread fear among the humans until after the orcs are one people.”
“Excellent! Now let us have a feast in honor of my return!”
“Of course!” Ratigon clapped his hands. “Slaves!” Three women quickly climbed down the ladder from the right loft. The main hall became quite crowded.
Gregor said, “Stanton, dismiss your minions.” Stanton made the illusion skeletons dissolve into black mist and then had the black mist dissipate.
Ratigon spoke to his servants, “Women! Bring in bread! Cheese! Wine! Beer! Ale! Meat! Bring in all the food! We shan’t be needing anymore stored food in the future! We’re leaving this town for good!” The women went into the room under the right loft. They brought out bread, cheese, a bottle of wine, and a small keg of beer.
One of the women asked Ratigon, “Which meat did you want tonight?”
Ratigon slapped the woman hard. “I said all of them! Fish, Chicken, Lamb, Pig, and Beef! All of it!”
The women went back to the right room to prepare the meat. Another brought out fruit. The feast went on through the night. Ratigon explained that he was mistreated in the orc tribes because he is only a half-orc. He turned to the dark arts of necromancy for strength. The orcs forced him to leave and he wandered for many years until he reached Neeshvale.

The next day the party resupplied and left to continue their journey to the north. Ratigon took his skeletons and went east back to the orc lands in Zeus’s Canvas. The first random encounter was two large spiders. The party just kept their distance from them to avoid it.
A few days later the party heard a fight up ahead. They investigated and saw a Dragovinian fighting what appeared to be three chickens. The party adopted a wait and see approach. The chickens bit the Dragovinian and it turned to stone. The party learned two valuable things. One, Dragovinians are vulnerable to petrifaction. Two, the cockatrices were coming for them next.
That party fired various ranged weapons. Stanton cast some color sprays to keep the cockatrices stunned. Sivirdm approached and slit the throats of the stunned birds. The party succeeded in slaying all three.
Reggy put the cockatrices into three sacks the adventurers brought with them. The party set up camp. They tied up the petrified Dragovinian and handcuffed his stone hand to a tree. The next day the Dragovinian was still stone. The party decided to smash the statue to prevent the Dragovinian’s return.

The next random encounter was a large swarm of locusts. The party dealt with it by throwing alchemist’s fire and singing the insects with torches. The party set up camp for another night and we ended the Rebellion session there.

Middle_Snu left during the break. I played Starcraft with Ozymandias during the break as well. Unfortunately, Ozymandias did not have time to join us and play during this session.

We started the Alliance campaign by cataloguing and distributing all the magical loot the party collected in the last session. There was quite a lot of it so it took a long time. We also dealt with raising the people who died in the previous session. Preta received a reincarnate and came back as an orc. The NPCs, Lamarr and Dralin chose not to come back to life. Lamarr was happy being with and his dead adventurers guild buddies in the afterlife. Dralin died honorably fighting the worst threat ever to face the dwarves. They were both satisfied with their lives. The other big death was Kig. Kig said in a speak with dead that he needed no resurrection and that he’d return in his own way. The group then decided that the Alliance base of operations would move to Jord, the dwarven city for now.

Thewamp had grown bored with Logan as a character and as a build. Warlock’s don’t have many choices in what to do and Logan never really had a backstory or a personality. Thewamp said that Logan would still be a part of the Alliance, but he would no longer be part of “the away team.” (The group has been watching lot of Star Trek lately).
Thewamp’s new character is called Tagenadi. He’s a crusader/warblade. He focuses on making lots of attacks of opportunity with Robilar’s Gambit and extended reach. He uses Stormguard Warrior to gain bonuses on future attacks. (I don’t fully understand all of it as I don’t own Tome of Battle).
Tagenadi was an officer in the Xorian army but he left when the Dragovinians started affecting his family life. That was several years ago. He’s spent his time since then training with the Rebels and traveling around the Xorian Empire assisting people with problems that the Dragovinians ignore or cause.
Tagenadi came to Jord after witnessing the devastation of Phoenix. He started traveling to the city from the heart of Xoria after hearing that the siege wall around Phoenix was completed. He’d sadly arrived too late to take part in Phoenix’s defense.
Tagenadi approached a pair of dwarven soldiers about joining the Alliance’s efforts to stop the Dragovinian expansion (Throgg chose to roleplay the dwarven soldiers in his best shifting Scottish/Irish accent).
Tagenadi said, “I’d like to join the Alliance. Could I speak to whoever’s in charge?”
The first dwarven soldier said, “Eh, don’t he look like a Xorian? He’s got a bit of the look about him?” (Xorians look Asian in my campaign. Most other humans look Greek).
The second dwarf said, “Aye, he’s got the eyes, the skin, the hair. Could be a spy. You a spy, Xorian?”
“My name is Tagenadi and I am not a spy. I used to be a Xorian officer. I have valuable information for the Alliance. You should let me see your superiors.”
The first dwarf said, “Hmm. He does look a bit better dressed than the usual rabble we get her trying to join up. We should take him to Lieutenant Dan.”
The second dwarf said, “Come with us Tagalong or whatever your name was.”
The dwarves took Tagenadi to the barracks to meet with Lieutenant Dan.
“Hey Lieutenant Dan. We got a Xorian who wants to join up. Says he’s an officer.”
“Alright, I’ll see him. You two can go.”
“Yes sir.”
The dwarf soldiers exited.
“Now what is your name?”
“I am Tagenadi. I was a Xorian officer before the war. I wish to join the Alliance to put an end to the Dragovinians.”
“Do you know anything about the Xorian operations currently?”
“I saw a bit at the battle of Phoenix, but I feel like I should be talking to the man in charge here. No offense.”
“Hmm… Perhaps one of the lesser council members can be bothered to deal with your case. I shall ask them.”
A meeting was arranged between Torin, Amalius, Erick, and Tagenadi. (I left for this part to watch the Oscars for a bit so I don’t remember the dialogue. I do recall Salzar using a southern accent for Erick though).
Erick cast a zone of truth and they asked Tagenadi a few questions. Tagenadi refused to answer a few, so Amalius insisted that they proceed with a mind probe to ensure that Tagenadi was not an agent for the Xorians in disguise. Amalius discovered that Tagenadi was not working for the Xorians. However he also discovered that Tagenadi had purposefully killed people he knew to be innocent since breaking with the Xorian army. Tagenadi refused to explain the reason for the murders. Torin and Amalius decided to overlook the murders because **** happens sometimes. (At this point we handwaved the problem away. PC privilege after all).
After accepting Tagenadi into the Alliance they decided to test his skills in combat. Amalius suggested Gradorian, the leader of the Phoenix mercenaries (Although the Phoenix mercenaries are now cut off from the Alliance Council or dead).
Gradorian and Tagenadi faced off in the training yard of Jord. A crowd gathered around to cheer on Gradorian or to marvel at the newcomer (Throgg roleplayed the crowd’s cheers. Salzar roleplayed an announcer). Gradorian won initiative. He moved to attack Tagenadi, but was tripped. Gradorian regained his feet and ended his turn. Tagenadi threw a few trip attacks at Gradorian on his turn, but was unable to succeed on any of them. Gradorian came within range of Tagenadi on his next turn. He used his first attack to trip Tagenadi, his second attack to disarm Tagenadi, and his third and fourth attacks to kick Tagenadi’s two parted kusari-gama ten feet away. Gradorian won the first round of the sparring match.
In the second round Gradorian once again came within range of Tagenadi. However, Tagenadi was more prepared and he was able to deal a large blow to Gradorian’s chest for 48 points of damage (Divine Surge).
Gradorian wanted a third tie-breaking round. He suggested that they be blindfolded in the third round. Amalius suggested the fight be on balance beams, but that was discarded. Gradorian used his blind-fight feat to sneak up on Tagenadi. He used a few more normal attacks. Tagenadi threw another Divine Surge at Gradorian’s head for 50 points of massive damage. Gradorian conceded and congratulated Tagenadi on beating him.
“When this war is all over you should join up with me in reforming the Phoenix Mercenaries Guild!” Gradorian said.
“Thanks for the offer,” Tagenadi said.
Tagenadi was welcomed into the Alliance and given a spot on “the away team.”

The Council members noticed that it was a full moon and the Ice Cave at the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali deserved a second visit (Refer to this post (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11996270&postcount=14) for more about the Ice Cave). Preta, Shez, Tagenadi, Torin, and Amalius teleported there right away.
Nothing new revealed itself within the Ice Cave. However, Tagenadi was able to recall that the word for the moon goddess, Selene, can also mean brightness. Torin cast light on the previously revealed symbol for Selene. The light cast shadows around the cave. The light bounced off the icicles in just the right way to reveal a map on the cavern floor. The map resembled the valley that surrounds the Tomb. Two icicles cast shadows that created an X on the western side of the valley just at the location of the Tomb’s entrance. Thus the party gained no new information and the clue was unrelated to the occurrence of the full moon (I was quite pleased at the “big reveal” being almost nothing).
The away team teleported back to Jord to rest for the night. The next day the away team decided to locate Aldarian. They scried him and found that he was with the refugees of Phoenix. Apparently, thousands of people got in boats and made rafts out of doors, tables, and benches. Anything the people of Phoenix could get their hands on was made into a floatation device. Aldarian sat on one of the larger rafts with a few other people.
The party decided to go in invisible and flying. Shez cast the necessary spells and they arrived. Amalius flew down to talk to Aldarian through telepathy. The others were not privy to the conversation. However, during the conversation, Aldarian brought out a deck of cards to show Amalius. Next he brought out a key on a string around his neck. Finally, he unsheathed a dagger from his belt to show Amalius. Amalius was visible shaken by the dagger. He dismissed his invisibility and demanded that Aldarian hand the dagger over to him.
“Sure boss. Whatever you want.”
The townsfolk freaked out a bit, but then settled in to watch the famous people drama. Tagenadi swooped down and dismissed his invisibility as well. “What’s going on?”
Amalius shouted, “Give me the accursed dagger Aldarian!”
“Fine. Take it.” Aldarian unbuckled the sheath and handed it over to Amalius. Amalius moved to put the dagger into his bag of holding, but then stopped. His arm shook as if he was unsure what he wanted to do. Amalius then buckled the sheath to his own belt and began giggling like a mad man. Tagenadi was concerned for Amalius, but Aldarian only found it funny. Eventually Amalius stopped giggling and the party teleported back to Phoenix. We ended the session there.

The other characters don’t know what the dagger is, but all the players do. It is an intelligent vorpal dagger named Korm. Korm was used by Amalgami in the last campaign after he took it from a dragon’s lair. Korm loves cutting off heads and lives for little else. Amalgami used the dagger in his betrayal of the party and then used it to sow discord throughout Persia in the epilogue of the last campaign. Amalius is the only one who knows what the dagger is due to his familial connection. As some of you may have guessed, Amalius failed his Will save vs. Korm’s Ego and is currently dominated by the dagger.

No session planned for this weekend, but perhaps the next one.

Middle Snu
2012-03-11, 10:44 PM
This is Terroc/Korjak from the high- and low- level games respectively.

I don't have a lot to add in terms of plot; due to real-world constraints I'm unfortunately only in about half the games. I would, however, like to call everyone's attention to a few "how it feels to play the game" points.

1. The Xorians are clearly much, much better than us. We don't have any clear idea of how we might win!
2. The low-level and high-level campaign are different in content, but they also have a different feel. So far, the low-level campaign feels appropriately mundane: we basically just did some mandated quests before going on a long journey.

On the other hand, the high-level campaign often feels... epic. Very little of the game is traditional hack'n'slash. Instead, we're both directing the Alliance's war goals and trying to recruit allies to the Alliance. Distance isn't a factor, since our PCs can cast teleport a half-dozen times per day. The only downside to this is that time tends to pass much faster in the low-level campaign.

Finally, huge shout-out to Anxe for keeping a campaign this complicated going, despite sometimes uninformed players and doing everything through Google Hangouts.

Anxe
2012-03-11, 11:30 PM
I'm gonna update the thread to say Middle_Snu instead of Servantofwomp. Changing your user name from your old one! ARGH!

EDIT: I'd also like to publically thank Middle_Snu for his pubic compliments on my DMing.

Anxe
2012-03-14, 11:58 AM
Alliance Session #12/Total Session #20
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, thewamp, and Middle_Snu. We had the session over Google Hangouts as normal.

The party started off by wondering what they should do about the refugees discovered on the Delain River. Leaving them to float downriver would result in them going out to sea. The threat of running out of food existed as well. A forced march to Dalleer or Shalerton was suggested. Dalleer was closer, but not a member of the Alliance yet. Shalerton would work, but the Council suspected it was next on the Xorian hit list. Terroc put forth the idea of using a teleportation circle to move the civilians to a different city such as Bradel Fields or Jipangu. That solved the problem of the civilians dying enroute due to exposure and lack of food. It also got the refugees to a safe allied city. Amalius suggested Jipangu as a better location and Arendil, the Council leader and senior representative from Jipangu, agreed.
Teleportation circle scrolls are hard to come by. Preta and Shez went to Greshendale as it was the only place they were sure would have it. They got two scrolls as the Council thought one might not be enough to transport the thousands of refugees.
The rest of the party organized about a hundred assistant staff to teleport in with them to the refugees location. Preta, Shez, Terroc, and the two other mages can all teleport. Additionally, the party could stuff people into bags of holding to get past the limit on extra people tagging along for a teleport. The hundred or so officers arrived and directed the refugees off of their rafts to set up a temporary camp by the river. Once everyone was off they were quickly directed through the two teleportation circles to Jipangu. Arendil went along with them to smooth over their transition into life in a new city.

Prior to Arendil’s departure it was decided that the new base of the Alliance would be at Bradel Fields instead of Jord. The senior members (Kig, Titandra, etc.) were teleported to Bradel Fields. Gradorian went to Jipangu to train the refugees who were willing to fight into a strong mercenary contingent.

The away team decided it was time to check in on the dwarven political situation. A little bit of background is necessary at this point.
The dwarves were created by Hades and Hephaestus a long time ago. Upon their creation, Hephaestus gave them four tools, one for each of the dwarf clans. These tools were the Anvil, the Hammer, the Pick, and the Forceps. The four dwarf clans were the hill dwarves, the mountain dwarves, the deep dwarves, and the duergar. The dwarf clans came together and forged the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords for their King Meathgar. Meathgar created a mighty dwarven empire by conquering human lands south of the Terror Mountains. The Golden Age of the dwarf did not last long. Soon the dwarf clans began fighting amongst themselves for possession of the Fierce Axe which marked the wielder as High King of all dwarves. Meathgar died and the Axe abandoned the dwarves. Civil war consumed them until an uneasy truce was reached.
In the last campaign, Ozymandias’s character, Atreides, found the Axe. It had decided that its people were ready for reunification. Unfortunately, the Axe was claimed by Atreides’ killer and given to the Xorians.
In one of our most recent sessions the Fierce Axe was reclaimed by the Alliance. It can be an important tool in bringing more dwarves to the Alliance banner.

The dwarf clans are separated in location. The hill dwarves rule the city of Jord and little else. The mountain dwarves live within the Terror Mountains. The deep dwarves live underneath the Terror Mountains. The duergar lived underneath the Xorian Empire’s lands in the west.
About forty years ago the Xorians started raiding the Underdark beneath their Empire for slaves. The duergar were forced to retreat and sought refugee with the deep dwarves. The duergar have been living with the deep dwarves for the past thirty years or so.
The dwarves know the axe must be retrieved and they decided they would all meet at the capital of the mountain dwarf clan in Highhold (Not on the map, but it’s in the Mountains somewhere). King Dainlin of the hill dwarves was on his way there at the start of the campaign.
Terroc scried King Dainlin and found him having dinner with another dwarven lord. The away team (Terroc, Preta, Shez, Amalius, Tagenadi, and Torin) teleported in to talk to Dainlin. Dainlin told them he was taking his time getting to Highhold. He was stopping with every lord on the way and staying with them for several days to curry favor if the issue of who should wield the Fierce Axe came to a vote among the Lords. He estimated that his journey to Highhold would be complete in 4 months, or if given teleportation assistance for him, his family, his servants, and his guards, only 40 days. Dainlin said he’d prefer not to teleported directly to Highhold as it might be viewed as a snub to the lords he hadn’t visited yet. He expressed pleasure that the Axe had been recovered, but he knew it was best that one of the dwarven kings not possess it until it was decided who would wield the Axe and become the High King.
The party teleported next to Highhold. They told a servant of the mountain dwarf king that the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords had been recovered and was in Jord at this very moment. The servant was shocked, but quickly realized they were speaking the truth. He said a brunch could be organized with the three kings for the next day and the away team agreed.

Not wanting to “waste a day” the away team set off to explore more of the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali.
They went to the room with the three demon statues first. They hadn’t explored the two rooms off the side of it yet. The west one was explored first. Going down the stairs into it set off a spear trap. The net of spears shot out of the walls around Tagenadi. He managed to jump forward before they clanged together, escaping them. The spears did not retract into the wall, so the party cut them up with Amalius’s adamantine dagger.
The room below contained an elf statue in the middle of a fountain of blood. The blood oozed and spurted out of various wounds upon the statue’s body. A basin below the statue collected the blood and recycled it through the statue. Around the edge of the spherical room were writings and carvings that told an embellished version of Kruk-Ma-Kali’s campaign against the elves of the Valor Forest. Every defeat he’d suffered in that campaign was turned into a “strategic withdrawal.” Every elf killed miraculous multiplied into a dozen elf bodies upon the ground (Amalius is the only one fluent in Goblin, so he is the relating all the writings to the rest of the adventurers).
Realizing that the fountain must be magic they sent a summoned ape forward to touch the fountain. Nothing bad happened to upon touching the blood, so they had the ape take a bath in it. Again, nothing significant happened. They tried having the ape block the flow of one of the elf’s wounds, and that elicited no effect either.
The fountain appeared safe, so Tagenadi approached it. He poked his finger with a dagger and watched a drop of his blood fall into the fountain. His blood sizzled upon contact with the dark red of the fountain. His blood changed color to the deep red of the fountain, before mixing in with the rest of the blood and disappearing into the flow.
The party decided to try adding blood to the fountain in greater quantities. The summoned a dog and gave it a large gash on its leg. The blood poured forth, sizzled, changed color, and mixed in with the rest.
Torin suggested that perhaps elf blood was necessary. Having no elves present (Aldarian is the only elf who occasionally goes with the away team) the party decided to drop it. Saying the Goblin word for elf to the statue didn’t do anything either. Tagenadi got a vial of the fountain blood before they left the room.

Next was the room to the east of the demon statues.
The stairs down to this room contained a trap which was triggered by an ape summoned by the cautious party. The trap was three axes that swung down to four feet high. The party bypassed the trap by ducking under four feet.
The room was spherical just like the room west of the demon statues. Writings and pictures on the sides of the room tell the story of Kruk-Ma-Kali’s successful eradication of the dwarves of the Dominarie Moutains.
In the center of the room was a large well. The sound of deep breathing came out of the well. Additionally, faint whispering could be heard coming from the well. Terroc had cast a prying eyes spell previously. He sent one of the eyes down the well. It disappeared. Terroc sent another eye down and had it return to report every five feet. Through this method the party discovered that the pit was 200 feet deep.
Tagenadi and Terroc went up to the pit to drop a rock with a light spell cast on it. While watching the rock fall Tagenadi heard a whispering in his ear, “You killed them! You killed them yourself, you bastard!” The rock suddenly disappeared at approximately 200 feet in depth. Tagenadi’s mind went through an experience upon hearing the whispering. He gained a permanent point of Wisdom (However he had to make a Will save as well. Terroc did not have to make a Will save.). The rest of the party decided it wasn’t worth it to listen to the whispers if Will saves were involved.
Tagenadi dumped the vial of elf blood into the pit. There was no visible effect in either room.
The party tried directing a summoned eagle to the bottom of the pit and then back up. The eagle disappeared at 200 feet and didn’t return. The party gave up on the pit room after that.

The next section of the tomb was turning right at the T after the demon statue room instead of left. Previously, left had led to a room with a mindflayer carved into the wall and then a room full of spikes guarded by a now dead air elemental.
The hallway to the right of the T led to a locked door pointing south. The party had Tagenadi open the lock with an adamantine dagger. A needle shot out of the lock and glanced off of Tagenadi’s armor. The lock was destroyed by the dagger and the party made it into the next room. The room had four doors just like the mindflayer room and the spike room. The left door was made of a mahogany and had a jade handle shaped like a dragon. The far door was made of bronze with a golden handle shaped like a wolf. The right door was made of oak. The walls of the room were made of gold. Goblin writing in blood covered the walls.
Tagenadi examined the writing and found it to be about hobgoblin myths. Tagenadi wrote down the Goblin words for dragon, wolf, and pit and had the party search the walls for those three words. The party found one appearance of dragon and another of pit. The dragon mentioned was the dragon in Jason and the Argonauts. The pit mentioned is the pit of Tartarus where the Titans were banished after the war between the Titans and the Olympians. No clues to the pit room or the two doors in the current room were found.
The party examined the dragon door and found it impossible to open through conventional means. No lock. The door didn’t open easily to a push, a pull, or sliding to the side. Knock didn’t work either. Terroc told everyone to stand back and then blasted the door with a disintegrate. The door fell into ash. The door was revealed to be hollow and full of acid. The acid washed over the floor, but the party kept a safe distance and suffered no harm. Torin cast create water to dilute the acid and the party moved in to see what was behind the dragon door.
Beyond the dragon door was a small room with a metal vault door in it. The door had five one-inch holes in it forming a pentagon. Beneath the pentagon was Goblin writing. Tagenadi read it to the party,
“The greatest treasure to behold, lies here within this vault so cold.
Heart of earth, stone supreme, earns thee entrance if thou see past the mean.”
The party was unable to figure out the riddle. They thought it might have something to do with gemstones or coins, but saying the Goblin words for gemstones or coins achieved no result.
The wolf door was next. It wasn’t locked. Behind it was a symbol of lycanthropy. Everyone made their saves, so it wasn’t a problem.
The simple wooden door was locked, but the adamantine dagger mutilated that problem as well. Beyond it was a short hallway with a huge 10’ by 10’ vault door made of steel and mithral. In the center of the door was a sword pommel. The party was scared of traps on the door. They decided to go back to the spike room from before.

The three unexplored doors in the spike room were a wooden one in the south wall, a steel one in the west wall, and a golden one with writing on it in the north wall. After a detect magic found no overt magical traps, Amalius went up to the north door and read the inscriptions aloud the rest of the party, “I swear upon the blades of Athena and by the wings of Nyx that I am the slave, body and soul, of Kruk-Ma-Kali, King of All, Lord of Might, Prince of this World, Protector of the East, Builder of Empire, Guardian of Elos, Master of Blades, Defender of Faith, Conqueror of Men, Slayer of Dwarves, Grinder of Elves, Ravager of Cimmeria, Son of Night, Warden of the Black Pit, Brother of War. If I should ever fail my sovereign lord and master, may the daughters of the dark rend my flesh and the hounds of war gnaw upon my bones.” Upon finishing the golden door swung open to reveal another corridor with a large door at the end of it.
Realizing that he had just read some sort of dark oath, Amalius immediately freaked out and manifested mind blank on himself. Nothing sinister happened, but he resolved to keep his guard up when reading future writings in the tomb (The other players had Amalius read the writing aloud while Throgg was away from the Hangout getting dinner. Amalius had his freakout upon Throgg’s return).
The large door at the end of the corridor was covered in carvings of elves, dwarves, and humans writhing in agony. An elf with its back arched in pain formed the handle at the center of the door. Not wanting to risk the door, the party headed back to the pentagon door to ponder its riddle.

The party sat down and tried to figure the riddle. Eventually, Terroc realized he was only getting older. He stood up and disintegrated the door (The party had, of course, written down the inscription already). Beyond the door were the walls of the tomb. Written on the wall were the words, “Wisdom, hard won, bests any coin. Follow Us and prosper. KMK”
The party was set off on the coin part of the riddle, but nothing obvious presented itself. They moved on to the steel and mithral door. An ape was summoned to pull on the sword pommel. Immediately on puling it the sword sprung out and the ape swung it around. Fortunately, everyone had chosen to keep a safe distance away. The sword completed its ape-propelled circle back into its door sized scabbard. Upon returning, the door opened revealing another square room with three other exists.
The room was dominated by a large black-marble statue of Kruk-Ma-Kali facing away from the party on a pedestal in the center. The walls of the room were beaten platinum covered with a tiny golden Goblin script. To the north was a bronze door with a gem-encrusted handle. To the south was an ebony door with a bone handle. On the other side of the statue was an archway, beyond which was only mist.
The ape was sent in first to stomp around and check for traps. He found none. Not wanting to waste his remaining duration, the ape was sent into the mist and told to return after stomping around in there.
It didn’t come back.
Deciding that the room was safe, but not the mist, Amalius went in to examine the writing. The words told the story of Kruk-Ma-Kali’s true rise to power and his eventual fall. Amalius examined the statue to see if there was any writing on the pedestal. He found no inscriptions, but he did find that the statue did not actually rest on the pedestal. It rested upon a disk. The disk rested upon a pole that went into the pedestal. Amalius correctly surmised that the statue could rotate.
The party moved forward to rotate the statue. They decided to turn it counter-clockwise to face the northern bronze door. Upon facing north, a great sound of stone grinding upon stone was heard behind the bronze door. The party continued rotating it. When it faced the door to the south, the floor crumbled beneath them! Terroc was the lucky one, having an overland flight spell already active. Tagenadi, Amalius, and Shez plummeted. Torin jumped to grab the statue which was not falling, but slipped when trying to grab it. Torin fell. Preta jumped for the statue as well and managed to grab it. Tagenadi, Amalius, Shez, and Torin hit the ground one hundred feet below and suffered a fair amount of damage. Torin healed them all up. Preta and Shez cast fly upon themselves and ferried the party members up. The statue had not fallen because it rested upon a huge pillar in the center of the room.
After everyone was safe, Preta and Shex rotated the statue further, back to its original position, facing east. The grinding of stone upon stone was heard once again. Tagenadi suspected that a secret passage was opening and closing on the other side of the bronze door. Preta knocked the door and the party continued. Beyond was an empty room. Rotating the statue back to the north caused a section of the northern wall in the new room to slide down into the floor. A short hallway was revealed, at the end of which was a door made of bone.
A detect magic revealed a necromantic aura on the door (surprised?). Terroc decided that disintegrating it was best. As the ray hit the door, the skulls that composed it animated. They flew forward and began biting the party members. Tagenadi slew one quickly. Torin filled the air with positive energy, causing the rest to turn to dust.
Beyond the destroyed bone door was a large cavernous chamber. Stalactites covered the ceiling and bones were encrusted in the red stone walls. Instead of a floor there was a firey pit that could only lead to one place. The screams and cries of the damned came from the pit and sulfurous smoke curled throughout the room. A wooden door could be seen on the far side of the room. A winding pathway made of bones and skulls was suspended in midair.
Terroc sent two apes to explore the pathway. The apes discovered that the pathway was very rickety. They promptly fell to their dooms.
Torin used an animate objects on the doorway across the cavern. It opened to reveal a room filled with light instead of the usual dark of the room. Tagenadi threw a rock across the cavern, but it hit an invisible barrier in the middle of the room and fell into the pit. Puzzled, Tagenadi decided to chance flying into the room. He activated his celestial armor, but found that the flying magic slide off himself and into the pit. Terroc summoned an air elemental to see if its flight would be absorbed by the pit. The air elemental was able to travel the room safely. Tagenadi was also able to toss a rock onto the bone path close to him.
A little bit more than curious, the party scoured the room with detect magic. The right side of the room contained a large illusion spell. The party immediately attempted to disbelieve the illusion, but was unable to.
Amalius had a growing suspicion. He threw a rock near the wall to the right. The rock did not fall into the pit, but landed on an invisible section of the bone pathway. Torin tested the invisible pathway with his spear. His prodding revealed that the invisible pathway was a reality. However, as he poked the bone he felt a force grab his spear and take it from. A flying imp’s invisibility dissolved as it took his spear!
Amalius reacted quickly and dominated the imp. He proceeded to interrogate the imp about the room. The imp revealed the full location of the invisible pathway along the right wall. The invisible pathway was considerably less rickety than the winding visible one. Tagenadi crossed the rickety pathway with the assistance of an air elemental. The party decided that would take too long. Instead they had an air elemental carry them across in a bag of holding. They questioned the imp about the rest of the tomb, but it knew nothing. Amalius ordered it to count all the bones in the pathway before they went into the well-lit room.

The room’s walls were covered in golden writing. Tagenadi translated a few of the phrases as aphorisms of Kruk-Ma-Kali. The light in the room originated from a magical orb near the ceiling. Three identical wooden doors led out of the room to the west, north, and east. Tagenadi bravely opened all the doors, starting with the east and moving counter-clockwise.
The east door exploded in his face and revealed only a wall behind. The north door revealed a wall with a magic symbol on it. The symbol disappeared and Tagenadi suffered no ill effects (FOR NOW! BWAHAHAHAHA!). The west door was… locked.
Terroc threw a disintegrate at the door. A good portion of the door turned to dust. The spell revealed the door to be made of thick steel instead of wood as it first appeared. Tagenadi bashed down the rest of the door using his Mountain Hammer Strike (Or Ancient Hammer? Something like that. It ignores DR and hardness).
Beyond the door was a long hallway. The hallway contained many carvings of Kruk-Ma-Kali. Kruk on a throne with various humanoids prostrating themselves before him. Him commanding his armies. Him slaying a dragon. His birth. His first battle. His slaying of a manticore at the tender young age of five. Him surveying his troops and executing prisoners. Him fighting humans and other beasts. At the end of the hallway was a carving of him with his back to the viewer while he filled out some paperwork at a desk. Four stern-looking bodyguards surrounded the carving at the back. The hallway turned left at the desk carving.
Tagenadi led the way forward. The party encountered two traps. One that filled the hallway with fire and another that filled it with ice. Both were dealt with by having Torin heal everyone back to full after passing over the pressure plates (Stupid magic user party).
Following the turn in the hallway a pair of doors was revealed. The carvings of Kruk-Ma-Kali continued to the doors. Upon the portals were two images of him with what appeared to be real stone scabbards capable of accepting blades. The party immediately knew that putting some sort of blades into the scabbards would open the door. They tried first with the black silver dagger they’d found in the tomb in one scabbard and a normal steel dagger in the other. That achieved nothing. They tried next with the black silver dagger and the cursed never-miss sword. That got no response either. Terroc suggested that Amalius think on it a little harder. Amalius manifested divination. The power told him, “Blades too big and too small. None of these blades fits at all!” The scabbards were longsword sized, so they needed longswords.
Having no longswords with them, Terroc simply blasted one of the doors open with a disintegrate.

The next room was the motherload room! A large chamber filled with treasure stacked up against the walls. Jewels, gold, silver, and four large treasure chests. A large statue of Kruk-Ma-Kali stood at each of the four corners of the room. At the far end of the room was a large alcove with a giant sarcophagus on it. Fearing traps and animation of the statues, Terroc sent in two earth elementals to lift the lid off the sarcophagus. No one was surprised when the statues animated and attack. A goblin ghost coming (Not Hobgoblin) out of the sarcophagus was a bit of a surprise. The ghost attacked the elementals with the help of one of the golems. Tagenadi engaged another golem. Preta used a wall of force to separate the other two golems. Shez threw a magic missile at the ghost. Torin followed up the missile with a mass cure spell. The ghost suffered under the influx of positive energy and slowly faded away. Tagenadi took down his golem with a Mountain Hammer Strike despite it attacking with its swords and magic eye lazers. The other three golems were quickly mopped up.
The party took a look inside the sarcophagus and saw that it contained only the small preserved corpse of a goblin slave. The slave clutched a rusted dagger to its chest. Amalius correctly identified the slave as the assassin of Kruk-Ma-Kali long ago. Unsure what to make of it, the party loaded up the treasure into the bags of holding for later counting. Satisfied with the vast bounty of loot, the party exited the tomb and teleported back to Highhold.

They were set up with fine accommodations in Highhold and informed that only one of their number would be seated at the same table as the dwarven kings. The rest would have to stand to the side or leave the room during the negotiations.
The party hemmed and hawed over who should represent them. They narrowed it down to Torin, Terroc, or Amalius. Torin was a dwarf and made the most sense initially. However, Torin was deemed too low in the dwarven social order to sit with the other kings as equals. Someone wholly removed from that order would be better, a representative of the Alliance, for example. Terroc suggested himself as the most senior and Amalius suggested himself as the most diplomatic (or psioncally dominating, whatever). Bickering ensued until Tagenadi suggested that they simply ask King Dainlin if he'd like to take part in the negotiations. The party teleported to Dainlin and asked him. Dainlin agreed. They zipped back to Highhold and the Dwarven King's Brunch began the next day.

Another interlude is necessary. The players did not want to watch me talk to myself over Google Hangouts using four different handpuppets (even though that sounds very entertaining). Neither did they want me to summarize the negotiations to them. Instead, they chose to play the dwarven kings during the negotiations. I wrote up a short bio on each of the kings and sent it to the player who would be playing that king. The bios are spoilered below. The players were not allowed to view the other players' bios until after the negotiations were concluded.

Dainlin, King of the Hill Dwarves, Member of the Alliance played by Salzar
Dainlin has ruled the dwarf kingdom since before the first Xorian war. He's always believed in bettering his kingdom and supporting the defensive side in any foreign conflict. He's against the Xorians because they're evil people who have hurt millions of people throughout the world. He wants the Axe to be used against the Xorians. He feels he'd be the best one for that as he's been fighting the Xorians before. He is willing to give the Axe to one of the other kings if doing so will secure the entire dwarf population's entry into the war.
Torngar, King of the Mountain Dwarves, Isolationist and Dragonslayer played by Middle_Snu
Torngar is king of the Mountain dwarves. The mountain dwarves don't trust the Underdark dwarves, seeing them as halfway to becoming Dark Elves. Torngar doesn't want to let them get the Axe and he doesn't want Dainlin to get it either and involve the entire dwarven race in a violent war that will kill thousands of his people. Torngar represents the most dwarves and he feels he already speaks for the dwarven people. He should get the Axe because he is the king closest to the High King already. Torngar is a distant relation to Dainlin and respects him most out of the dwarves. Dainlin the only other dwarf that Torngar would consider supporting. It would take a lot of pressuring to get Torngar to support Dainlin over himself though. Torngar is also a Dragonslayer.
Deekgaon (Deek-Ga-On), King of the Deep Dwarves, Finest Axemaster in all of dwarfdom played by thewamp
Deekgaon is the king of the Deep dwarves. He's been dealing with Duergar refugees. The deep dwarves and the duergar work together quite often and are "brother races." Still, having a brother live with you for three decades can get annoying. Deekgaon would like to fight the Xorians to get the duergar out of the deep dwarf homes. He doesn't care so much about the Xorians doing evil things. Deekgaon is also an expert in using Axes. Deekgaon is good friends with Sandil and often follows his lead. Deekgaon is often described as gullible for letting the tricky duergar into his home.
Sandil, King of the Duergar, Sorcerer and Trickster played by Throgg
Sandil is a sorcerer. He keeps it a "secret" because dwarves don't respect arcane magic, but everyone knows. He is king of the duergar, who are refugees from the Xorian raiding of the Underdark. Sandil is currently working to get everyone to cooperate on the issue of the Axe. He's planning on allying with Deekgaon to get the deep dwarf to go along with the premise of the negotiations. After Deekgaon agrees to the premise, Sandil will betray him and support Torngar. He supports Torngar because he feels the mountain dwarf king would be the easiest to manipulate with domination spells.

I played Epidemus, Torngar's castellan and the arbitrator of the negotiations. There was an upset at the start of the negotiations that a mountain dwarf so close to Torngar would arbitrate the debate. However, Torngar convinced the others that because he was host, he got to choose the arbitrator. Besides, even if they looked they weren't going to find an impartial dwarf arbitrator in all the world. Epidemus set forth the goal of the negotiations. If the four kings could unanimously decide on one of their number being given the Fierce Axe, then no other negotiations would be necessary. If the kings could not decide, then they must come to a different unanimous decision on the method of decision. The other methods of deciding could be voting, a wrestling tournament, a crafting tournament, or a drinking contest. The kings began the negotiations to see if one of their number could gain the support of the other three. During the debate, Epidemus served the kings plenty of beer and mead in fine gem-encrusted silver flagons.
Sandil opened negotiations by flattering Deekgaon. Sandil knew Deekgaon to be a strong and just king for letting the duergar stay in his home. Deekgaon took well to this motion and suggested that he be made High King of the dwarves. Torngar objected, thinking rightly that Deekgaon would drag the dwarven people into a war. Dainlin objected as well, not trusting the underdark dwarves to rule with good hearts. Sandil then threw Deekgaon under a bus and supported Torngar. Deekgaon was shocked at first. Dainlin agreed to support Torngar, only if Torngar agreed to send the dwarven people to war. Deekgaon was resistant to the idea of Torngar ruling, until Sandil suggested that Deekgaon be given command of the army. All four admitted a tentative approval of this plan.
The details of the plan were worked out. The Xorians would be given an ultimatum to give the Underdark back to the dwarves within a month. If the Xorians complied, then the dwarves would not go to war. If they refused, then in three months time the dwarven armies would pour through the Xorian Underdark to reforge the Dwarven Empire of old!
The four kings sealed the deal by smashing their flagons together and drinking deep of their beer. Deekgaon and Sandil kneeled before Torngar immediately. Dainlin hesitated, then kneeled as well. Torngar was proclaimed High King and Emperor of All Dwarves! Torngar’s first act as Emperor was to call for more beer and for an immediate feast.
The session ended there. Next session will probably deal with the coronation stuff and then onto other adventures while waiting for the Xorian response (if any).

I have encouraged all the players to post their versions of the negotiations. We really got into it with the flowery dialogue and the accents. I focused mostly on staying awake (it was pretty late) and retaining the general flow of the talks. The other players can hopefully enlighten some more specific high points.

Anxe
2012-03-14, 12:03 PM
The group has also noticed that the view count for this thread keeps going up. There were over a hundred views for Session 19. I'm not sure if people are reading or just clicking and then going away because tl;dr. You happy readers haven't given any feedback when I've suggested it. We'd still like to know that some people are reading this. If you are, could you please just throw a post into the thread saying hi? Thanks!

Middle Snu
2012-03-18, 02:47 PM
I am Torngar the Great, Duke of Highholt, Lord of the High Passes, King of the Mountain Dwarves, Dragonslayer, Horror of the Dread Serpents, End of Yglesias the Black Shadow, Drinker of the Thousand Cups, He of the Everflowing Beard, Master Armorsmith, Strong of Heart and Arm, Forger of Mythslayer, the Solid, the Brave, the Alcoholic.

This is my story.

The four of us met in Highholt. My kinsmen - the great and numerous Mountain Dwarves - thronged around the palace. The four of us were arranged around a table:

Me, Torngar. I already led the bulk of the Mountain Dwarves, and I was the only one bathed in the blood of the Dragon. In retrospect, how could I not become Emperor?

Sandil of the Deep Dwarves: Strange little fellow. Never liked deep dwarves, personally, and he seemed a bit conniving.

Dainlin of the Hill Dwarves: Not a bad dwarf. Am secretly envious of his beard. Still, consorting with the humans has been bad for him.

Deekgaon: A little too much granite in the head, if you catch my drift.

We talked. And drank. In the end, I became Emperor. How else could it have ended? Sure, I agreed to go to war against the Xorians in three moons - but Dwarves have never been known for keeping tight schedules.

thewamp
2012-03-18, 03:11 PM
The following is the report of Deekgaon - written sort of in the style of the "very secret diaries". Deekgaon is a noble dwarf lord, but with four different accounts of this story, this seemed like it would be more entertaining.

Dainlin says I should be king. A wise choice that.
Sandil agreed. He always has my back. Such a pal.
V. Important to get Sandil's land back. Duergar keep drinking my favorite beer.
Torngar says "don't be hasty." Reminds me of a tree for some reason.
Took break from drink and talk to drink some beer
Beard check: impressive and bushy

It's been decades since Duergar land taken I said. What haste is Torngar talking about
Torngar says Kingmoot has only just started. "Kingmoot": V. funny.
We drank beer some more.
Epidemus mentioned we could have contest to pick king. V. good idea! We could have any sort of fair contest. Arm wrestling, knock-you-down, halfling tossing, etc.

Sandil says we should keep talking. Such a nice guy. I trust him.
Dainlin talking about how awesome I am. So sweet, but he can't be my BFF. <3 Sandil.
But Sandil says Torngar will be a better choice because of all the thinking a king has to do.
That made me thirsty.
Sandil yelled at Epidemus because our mugs were empty. I like Sandil.

I remembered I am already a king. What's Sandil talking about? I think all the time.
Axes. Beer. Mountain. Beer. Sandil. Beer. Waffle. See? Thinking.
We drank some more beer. I like beer.
I like Sandil, but his deurgar drink too much beer. Maybe if Torngar agrees to lead us to war… but I want to be king.
Sandil says I could be a great general. That does sound fun.
Torngar agrees, obviously, cause Sandil's so convincing.
What would happen if you stored beer in gold kegs? Good thought. Will have to tell Sandil. He'll be so impressed.
Beard check: Somewhat damp. Will have to see if tongue can reach beard after kingmoot. Do not want to waste beer.

Torngar says we need three months. That seems like a long time.
Sandil says we need three months. Oh he must be right then.
Dainlin wants one month. I do want to go to war. But Sandil says three. He must be right.

Sandil says it's cool to call Torngar emperor. I know he's still my best friend.
We drank beer.
Beard check: better than the emperor's. I am an impressive dwarf.

Salzar
2012-03-18, 07:38 PM
Our negations began with two faced scum Sandil praising Deekagon's fighting strength and supporting him for Emperor. Because Deekagon is would lead our people to war against our Dragovinian foes I too said I would support him. But because Sandil has less honor than an elf has valor, he switched his support to Torngar who has been picking daisies in the mountains while the rest of us have been fighting. However, Deekagon whose will is as weak as his arm is strong also switched his support to Torngar and though it pained me I was forced to become Torngar's Vassal in order to get a united dwarf army. And so Torngar held the Axe of Kings and we all drunk, to health of a Dwarven Empire and to relieve our parched throats, which had barely felt sweet taste of beer for 15 minutes.

Anxe
2012-03-20, 04:22 PM
Alliance Session #13/Total Session #21
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, and Middle_Snu on Google Hangouts. Middle_Snu left about halfway through. Throgg hasn’t finished his dwarf recap yet, but we forgive him.

The party enjoyed the great feast in Torngar's honor and loathed the hangover on the next day. After recovering they teleported back to Bradel Fields to consider their options. The dwarves were on the Alliance side, but what other factions could be coerced to join them? The party set their sights on Dalleer, the largest city in eastern Cimmeria.
Dalleer is ruled by an insane dictator known as the Bjorn. The leader's name and title are always Bjorn. The Bjorn is demented and the day-to-day business of the city is carried out by the Prime Minister, Terolio. Terolio was appointed to his position with the Bjorn's absolute power. Terolio is very stable and not insane in the least. He keeps the Bjorn under control most of the time.
Dalleer is the rival city of Bradel Fields. The two of them are often in conflict, particularly over which city rules Harbinston. The village itself is of no economic consequence. It is merely a political tool for their conflict. The village is currently not ruled by either city. Bradel Fields entered the war and Terolio has also kept Dalleer out of the war in order to weaken Bradel Fields.
The Alliance has sought to end the conflict between the two cities by organizing a political marriage between Bjorn and Astyanax's daughter, Cassandra. While Bradel Fields is a republic, were it to return to a monarchy, Astyanax would be the best choice for king. Cassandra, being Astyanax's daughter, is the best choice for a poltical marriage to the Bjorn, but she is a slut and may no longer be a virgin. Astyanax is frustrated with her behavior and confined her to his estate when the important possibility of her marriage was suggested in July.
The Bjorn expressed a tacit approval of the marriage. Cassandra's worth as a bargaining chip was reduced after Astyanax's death at the hands of a demon. He was tortured by the demon and came back changed. He has since locked himself in his rooms at his estate and only opened the door for food and water. The party went to Astyanax's home to restore his mental health.

Terroc, Amalius, Aldarian, Tagenadi, Torin, Preta, and Shez were admitted to the estate and told that Astyanax was not seeing any visitors (They're let in regardless because they are his house guests when they stay in Bradel Fields). They ignored the servants and went straight to Astyanax's door. Terroc took the lead as he had known Astyanax the longest (Terroc established a friendship with Astyanax's father, Hector, in previous campaigns. Terroc probably occasionally visited Astyanax as he was growing up). Terroc knocked on the door.
A voice from inside shouted, "Go away Bercephallus! I said I want to be left alone!" Bercephallus is the name of one of the servants.
Terroc spoke through the door, "It's me, Astyanax! Your old friend Terroc!"
"Go away!"
"We need to talk to you about matters with great importance to the Alliance and yourself."
Someone getting up from a chair could be heard. Astyanax opened the door a crack to reveal his flensed face (http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/3/32684/639142-two_faceeckhart_super.jpg) with a beard growing on the skin half of his face. Astyanax scanned the faces of the party. Recognizing most of them he let them into his suite. "Fine. If it concerns the Alliance you can meet with me."
Astyanax collapsed into a sofa chair in the entry room. The party took their seats in the the remaining chairs and couches. Astyanax drank straight from a bottle of hard liquor with only a quarter left at the bottom.
Terroc began, "Astyanax, the Alliance needs you. A strong military man is required most of all after the fall of Phoenix. Your experience and leadership are necessary for the Alliance's victory."
"I can't go back."
"It'd really be for the best. We need someone who can command the troops and rally them in these dark times."
"I can't go back! Look at me! I'm a disgrace! I could have led the men, but that was before. I'm so ashamed!"
"Ashamed of what?"
"When I was with that demon... The things it did to me... I would've done anything it told me to."
"No one will fault you for that."
"You don't understand! If it had asked me to fall I would've done it in a heartbeat to make the pain stop! I would've become...a blackguard. One of the lowly dark paladins."
Amalius jumped in, "But you didn't, Astyanax. You stayed strong. You're what the Alliance needs right now, Strength."
"I cannot return. I couldn't stand all those people looking at me. Knowing what I could've done. I'm so ashamed." Astyanax bent over to hide his crying in his hands.
Amalius said, "We all need you back Astyanax. You can't be the Alliance's face anymore, but you can still be its heart. You're a good person."
"But what would they say when they looked at me? I'm a monster!"
Amalius said, "No one will judge you. They remember you at their best and that is what they'll see."
Astyanax looked up from his tear-stained hands and shouted, "They will just see my twisted face!"
Terroc said, "Then what if we hid your face behind a mask? A mask that can only show your virtues?"
"I- I think that could work. Would you do that for me Terroc? Bring me a mask?"
"Of course, old friend."
"Thank you." Astyanax and Terroc went for a hug. The party excused themselves for more important matters.
The party put some discussion into what the mask should be. Something intimidating and magically enhanced. They went for a white and red motif with rubies encrusted in the mask. It's magic powers would be a constant heroism effect and an amplify voice effect (Homebrewed cantrip/orison that makes your voice louder. Useful on battlefields.). Preta and Shez were sent off to Greshendale to find a mage who could construct the mask within a few days (There's a feat somewhere that lets you construct magic items 10x as quickly). Terroc also instructed them to buy some new protection gear for himself.
The group, assuming that the marriage would be successfully negotiated, began planning Cassandra's processional from Bradel Fields to Dalleer. Terroc could summon some angels to lead the ten day journey. The group, not wanting to take their personal time to plan the processional, elected to have the NPCs do it. Kig was told to manage it and Junai was teleported in from Jipangu to assist with security. Preta and Shez also assisted after returning from Greshendale. Feeling that the procession was in good hands, the group rested for the night before heading off to the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali.

In the morning, Amalius did not emerge from his room for breakfast. The party went up his room, fearing the worst. Inside they found the wall between his room and his squire's had been disintegrated. On the floor was the dusty outline of a person. A longsword was cast haphazardly upon the floor. On Amalius's unmade bed lay a glass orb with the static image of a woman and three children flickering in it. The party looked onward until they heard a small noise from under the bed.
Terroc animated the bed and ordered it to move across the room into Amalius's squire's room. The bed scuffed the ashes and revealed nothing underneath the bed. The party feared that a monster or assassin of some kind was clutching the bottom of the bed. Terroc summoned in an Avoral and told it to lift the bed up. Hanging onto the bottom of the frame was Amalius's Psicrystal. The Psicrystal leaped off the bed and tried to run through the door. Terroc snatched it up.
Terroc said, "What happened here?"
Psicrystal began to cry and whimper, unable to say anything coherent. More questions received the same response.
Aldarian walked into the scene and said, "Looks like the Dragovinian came again."
Everyone turned to Aldarian and said, "What?"
"Amalius has been passing information to the Dragovinians. They're holding his family hostage to force him to do it. I didn't say anything because I didn't want anything bad to happen to his kids."
Terroc said, "He was what?"
"Passing information to the Dragovinians. He was a spy."
"And you knew?"
"Well, one time a Dragovinian came to beat him up and threaten him when he stopped passing the information along. He's been going pretty steady since then."
"Why shouldn't we kill you right now for being a spy?"
"Hey! I was under a geas! I couldn't tell you I was a spy. I didn't want to do it, but I had to!"
Torin said, "Fine. We'll trust for you for now. What happened here?" He gestured to the room.
"I don't know. I was asleep. Maybe the Psicrystal knows?"
Torin said, "Psicrystal, can you explain what happened?"
"I can. Last night, Master commanded me to watch the windows like I always do. I was on my guard, but the Dragovinian snuck through. He punched Master to wake him up. He told Master that his family was going to die because Master had helped kill two of the Rages at the Battle of Phoenix. He told Master that the orb he was holding would let him watch them die."
Terroc interuppted, "Hang on. Did the Dragovinian say his name?"
"Yes. He said his name was Devanane."
"Okay. Continue."
"Master sped up time. When he came back he was behind the Dragovinian holding his new evil dagger to it's neck. He used his magic to dominate the Dragovinian and then he started asking it questions about his family. The Dragovinian said they were being held at Petar Prison, but I'm not sure we can trust what it says. Master got ready to disintegrate the Dragovinian, but he missed because he was a terrible shot. The ray disintegrated the wall and woke Master's squire up. Master's squire came in with his sword, but the Dragovinian killed him. Then Master disintegrated the body because he didn't want it to turn into a Wight. Then the Dragovinian tried to run away, but Master told it to stay. Master then thought a long time before telling the Dragovinian to wait by the gate for him. The Dragovinian left. Then Master picked up the orb and he disappeared."
Terroc asked, "Disappeared where?"
"I don't know. I felt his presence for a second afterwards, but then he was gone."
Terroc moved to investigate the orb, being careful not to touch it. Inside he saw a a static image of a woman, two boys, and a girl all screaming in pain as fire roared around them. On the orb the words, "Amalius," and, "Blendegad," were etched. Terroc cast a detect magic to reveal that the orb contained an illusion spell and a strong conjuration spell. He ordered his Avoral to look at the orb with true seeing. The Avoral reported that the image of the woman and the children was an illusion. Terroc thought a little more and realized that the orb was a trigger object for a trap the soul (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/trapTheSoul.htm) spell. Terroc tried a greater scrying for Amalius, but turned up nothing.
Torin, Terroc, and Tagenadi talked it over and decided that Amalius was dead. They also decided that because he was a spy, he probably wasn't worth rescuing from death. Furthermore, they didn't think they could trust Aldarian. They decided to keep him with them until he proved his loyalty.

(Throgg included the stuff about a captive family and being an unwilling spy with Aldarian as a geased cohort in his backstory at the beginning of the campaign. It's only been revealed to the other players now. Me and him have been having sessions on the side for him to pass information to the Xorians with Aldarian's help. During the last one, Amalius was soul sucked. Throgg will be playing Aldarian until Amalius can reenter the story. Also, we're a little sad that the others didn't want to rescue Amalius and learn what he'd discovered about the Xorians while being a spy for them.)

The away team of Terroc, Tagenadi, Torin, and Aldarian went ahead with their plan to investigate more of the tomb. (The party regularly bypasses some traps into the deeper sections of the tomb with Shez’s magic. I forgot to apply the traps again this time. Lets just assume that Aldarian permanently disabled them this time.) They first explored more of the room with the falling floor and the rotating statue of Kruk-Ma-Kali. Aldarian used his rod of ropes to grapple the handle of the southern ebony door. The door opened to reveal a symbol of insanity. Everyone successfully resisted it.
Terroc summoned an air elemental to carry the party across to the misty archway. Upon entering the mist, Torin and Tagenadi were teleported away. The air elemental and Aldarian went insane and started attacking each other. The elemental hit Aldarian hard and Aldarian spontaneously burst into flame. Terroc dispelled the elemental and flew away from Aldarian. Psicrystal flew away as well. The elf, left with no targets, began attacking himself. Terroc was puzzled by the fire that enveloped Aldarian, but didn't seem to harm him. Deciding to figure the puzzle out later, Terroc summoned a smaller air elemental outside of the mist and ordered it to go in full defense. Aldarian was able to attack the elemental instead until the mist's effect wore off.
Aldarian quickly explored the room and found nothing in it. He hopped onto the air elemental back to the entrance to the room. Terroc used a scrying spell to find Torin and Tagenadi. He saw them on the plane of evil creatures. They were observing a battle between an army of hobgoblins and an army of orcs. Knowing that Torin had access to plane shift, Terroc decided that he would reunite with them at Bradel Fields the next day.
Terroc and Aldarian, not wanting to waste any time, ventured into other unexplored parts of the tomb. They returned to the door with the carvings of humanoids in pain. Aldarian found no traps on it, so he opened the door.
Beyond was a long room that continued into the darkness. The floor of the room was littered with bones, weapons, and armor of elves, dwarves, and men. The walls of the room had carvings of hobgoblin, elf, dwarf, and human armies battling it out.
Terroc sent an ape in to "check for traps." The ape found nothing. Aldarian went in next. At the back of the 110 foot long room he found a steel door. Aldarian checked the door for traps. Finding none, he unlocked it. Aldarian tied a mundane rope to the door and then jogged back to Terroc at the room's entrance. As the door opened the two adventurers watched the bodies silently animate and grab their weapons.
Terroc quickly summoned a trio of celestial lions and sent them in. Aldarian took a defensive position next to Terroc. The lions tore up the various types of undead until their duration expired. Terroc and Aldarian saw skeletons, zombies, a few wights, and 2 wraiths. At the back of the undead a tall mummy silently commanded the undead. At the mummy's side was a black longsword and a golden crown sat upon its head. With the lions defeated the undead shied to the back of the room out of the light.
Terroc and Aldarian devised a plan. Aldarian tied his rod of ropes to himself and gave the rod portion to Terroc. Aldarian ran into the room with a light spell cast on a rock. When he saw the undead he threw the rock at them and told Terroc to pull him in. The skeletons charged him and got a few swipes with their swords before Aldarian was pulled away. Terroc dropped the rod and fired a true striked disintegrate at the mummy. It hit and the mummy dissolved into dust. The undead charged forward and Terroc put up a wall of iron. The two wraiths poked their heads through, but decided not to engage without the rest of their forces.
Feeling that was all the pair could manage today, they left and teleported back to Bradel Fields to await Torin and Tagenadi's return.

Torin and Tagenadi had been teleported into the midst of a battle between hobgoblins and orcs. Tagenadi activated his flight armor and took Torin up into the air. Torin used a detect magic to scan the battlefield for a return portal. Finding none, they settled down away from the battle to watch for its end. Neither side retreated resulting in a total victory for the hobgoblins. The victorious army scavenged weapons and armor for the slain on both sides before setting up camp away from the battle.
Torin and Tagenadi approached the hobgoblin camp. The hobgoblins fired their bows at the two. Torin threw up a wind wall in response. Seeing that the arrows were having no effect, the hobgoblins grabbed their spears and charged. Torin animated the spears and told them to attack the hobgoblins. The hobgoblins ran away to grab axes and they chopped up the spears. They then charged with the axes. Torin animated the axes and the hobgoblins ran away again. No longer trusting any of their weaponry they stayed in the camp looking in anticipation at Torin and Tagenadi.
Torin cast tongues and the two strolled into the camp and talked to one of the hobgoblins who identified himself as Hoogamoog. He told Torin that the hobgoblins had always fought the orcs, but occasionally they fought kobolds, giants, trolls, or animals. They lived to fight and did little else. The hobgoblin tribes lived in the mountains to the west. Deciding that he cared little for the hobgoblins, even though they referred to him as “Great and Powerful Shaman,” Torin ordered a tent built for himself. The hobgoblins combined three soldier tents to form Torin’s command tent. Torin and Tagenadi retired to the tent after ordering the hobgoblins not to disturb them.
The next morning Torin plane shifted himself and Tagenadi back to Cimmeria. Surveying the geography they found themselves a good ways north of Bradel Fields. Torin cast a wind walk spell and within a few hours they reunited with Terroc and Aldarian.
The group, not finished with the tomb yet, teleported back there for more.

They returned to the undead room. Terroc disintegrated his iron wall and Torin used his clerical magic to eliminate the undead threat. Aldarian gave the room another search and found nothing. The steel door had opened to reveal a red stone wall. Terroc disintegrated the wall, suspecting a secret passageway. He created his own ten foot passageway, but nothing else lay beyond.
The party shrugged and explored the final two doors in the room full of spikes. The southern door was locked. Aldarian popped it open. Behind was a lightning trap and a wall. Torin healed everyone up from the lightning damage. Aldarian searched the western door for traps and then opened it as well. Beyond was a small room with a golden circle on the floor. Terroc used detect magic to find a strong transmutation and conjuration aura. Fearing the effects of the circle, no one stepped into it. Aldarian searched the room and found nothing.
Having explored all the rooms the party was stumped. They sat down and thought about the various riddles they’d uncovered during their time in the Great Valley and the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali.
Deciding that the line, “Wisdom, hard won, bests any coin. Follow Us and prosper. KMK” meant something, the party returned to the room with the whispering pit where Tagenadi had gained some knowledge. Each of the party members took a turn being tied to a rope and going up to listen to the pit. Torin gained a point of INT and Terroc gained a point of WIS. Aldarian gained a sudden desire to jump into the pit. Fortunately Torin and Tagenadi were strong enough to prevent a quick descent. They pulled him out of the pit and Aldarian apologized for his actions.
Wanting to know more about what lay at the bottom, Torin and Aldarian were lowered down the pit by Tagenadi. Reaching the dark bottom at 200 feet they crossed the threshold. Beyond was a ruined city full of ghostly shades walking the streets of hell! The portal appeared 100 feet in the air above the dead city. Immediately recognizing it and knowing that no treasure lay here, Torin gave a signal for Tagenadi to pull them back up.
While cataloguing the treasure of the tomb, the party had found an interesting gem that appeared to be a psicrystal. Amalius had confirmed that the gem was indeed a psicrystal before his demise. The party had tried various forms of communicating with the gem, but it had refused to say anything to them. Now, they thought it might be the key to Kruk-Ma-Kali’s secret burial chamber. They took the psicrystal, nicknamed Putty, throughout the tomb, searching for a socket to place it in. They found nothing until walking through the hallway filled with carvings of Kruk-Ma-Kali’s deeds. Upon passing by the carving of Kruk-Ma-Kali at his desk, Aldarians elven spidey-sense tingled. He detected a secret door. Pushing the seated figure of Kruk-Ma-Kali inwards caused a section of wall to slowly drop into the floor, revealing a secret hallway.
(The necessary clues were “see past the mean” and “Follow Us and prosper” from the pentagon door. The mean is that all the carvings of Kruk-Ma-Kali show him doing heroic things, except for one of him doing desk work.)
At the end of the hallway was an oak door. Aldarian disarmed a needle trap and unlocked the door. Beyond was a room filled with mirrors on the walls and ceiling.
Terroc said, “Oh ****. Mirrors of Opposition.”
The party tried to make battle plans, but were too late. The mirrors activated and their doubles walked out into the room. Terroc and Tagenadi’s doubles were hobgoblins. Torin’s double was a bugbear. Aldarian’s double was an orc. Combat ensued!
The doubles all specifically targeted their originals. Hobgoblin Terroc threw disintegrates at real Terroc. Bugbear Torin threw blade barriers and flame strikes at real Torin. Orc Aldarian used an invisibility spell and sneak attack real Aldarian. Hobgoblin Tagenadi used White Raven Tactics and attempted to sunder real Tagenadi’s weapon with Ancient Mountain Hammer. Real Terroc summoned monsters to grapple hobgoblin Terroc and bugbear Torin. Real Tagenadi used White Raven Tactics and trip attacks to keep hobgoblin Tagenadi focused on him. Real Aldarian moved in to flank and sneak attack hobgoblin Tagenadi. Real Torin got blinded by bugbear Torin’s power word blind spell, but he still managed to blind hobgoblin Tagenadi with the same spell. Real Torin used mass cure spells while blinded as he could target people without seeing them.
In the end, real Terroc’s summons decided the battle. Hobgoblin Terroc was unable to make any of his concentration checks due to the air elemental grappling him. Once hobgoblin Terroc was down, the rest of the party had action advantage and took victory that way. About a minute after their defeat each of the mirror doubles and their equipment disappeared.
Before the party was another door. This one was gold and had two crossed halberds on it. Goblin writing on the door said, “The blade kills. The hand guides the blade. The mind guides the hand. The spirit guides the mind. The spirit resides in the body. The body dies by the blade. Such is the way.”

We ended the session there. A good cliffhanger and it was getting pretty late. Next time! The final room of the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali!

Anxe
2012-03-24, 05:08 PM
We're taking a break form playing for Spring Break. Next session will hopefully be in the first half of April.

Anxe
2012-04-15, 11:48 PM
We've had two sessions, but we're having Salzar DM a campaign of his own. Makes it easier on me for the beginning of the quarter. I'm a Barbarian/Cleric (Hilariously fun! I mostly cast Command). Middle_Snu is a Paladin. Throgg is a Ranger. Thewamp is a Sorcerer (Sleep being his main spell).

Anxe
2012-04-27, 11:38 PM
Alliance Session #14/Total Session #22
This session was attended by Salzar, Middle_Snu, thewamp, and Throgg. It was held over Google Hangouts just like normal.

The party puzzled over the golden door with crossed halberds carved in it and Goblin words written upon it, “The blade kills. The hand guides the blade. The mind guides the hand. The spirit guides the mind. The spirit resides in the body. The body dies by the blade. Such is the way.” Touching the door didn’t open it and shoving it appeared to do nothing. Terroc threw a disintegrate at the door. The door seemed to absorb the spell. The green ray stopped and turned into nothing at the door.
Thinking that the psicrystal they’d found in the treasure chamber might know something about the door, the party attempted to interrogate it. The psicrystal proved resistant once again. The party cooked up a plan to polymorph Aldarian into a Hobgoblin to trick the psicrystal into thinking it could trust its bearer. Unfortunately, the party forgot to discuss this plan outside of the hearing of the psicrystal. After Aldarian polymorphed with Terroc’s help and picked up the psicrystal, it said, “I heard your plan. You’ll have to be smarter than that.” The psicrystal attempted to escape before refusing to communicate once again.
The party sequestered the psicrystal in Aldarian’s magic key room before discussing further plans. They decided they would trick it with magic once again. Terroc would polymorph into a fierce looking Hobgoblin warrior. He would use his masterful Bluff skill to trick the psicrystal into thinking he had slain the party. Torin would add a tongues spell so that Terroc could speak in the psicrystal’s native Goblin. Terroc would create an illusion to aid with the party’s “death” and the rest of the party would make death noises that the psicrystal would overhear in the key room.
The plan was enacted and Terroc successfully fooled the psicrystal. He took the psicrystal to the golden halberd door and asked it for the answer to the riddle.
“Read the words and your answer is there.”
Terroc read the words aloud and then said, “It does nothing. What does it mean?”
“Kruk-Ma-Kali gave the power of his Empire to the strongest. You must have been strong and clever to defeat those who held me captive. To get past this door you must be strong and clever as well, but perhaps you are not clever enough?”
Terroc shouted in Goblin, “NOT CLEVER ENOUGH! I’ll show you, you piece of glass!” Terroc covered the psicrystal in blankets to cut it off from the outside world (And so that the party could talk in private).
The psicrystal spoke in Terroc’s mind, “I do not approve.”
Without knowing what to do next the party took a knife to the door to see if it was really made of gold. They found that it was a layer of gold on top of oak. Aldarian got out the black longsword and used it to attack the door. His swings revealed that the longsword was cursed! However, the swings did have an effect on the door. On a particularly good swing, the door animated and began to writhe and scream in agony. Aldarian took a beating as the door writhed around in. Tagenadi pulled out the rusty dagger the party had found in the sarcophagus in the treasure chamber and stuck it into the door as well. Tagenadi took some damage from the door’s flailing.
After a few tense seconds of the door screaming and struggling under the blades, the mirrors of the room shattered, showering the party with thousands of glass shards. Everyone got cut up pretty bad. The door shriveled up into nothing.
Torin healed everyone up in a jiffy and the party looked beyond the door. There was a short corridor ending in a ten foot square red dragon hide tent flap, like those used on Hobgoblin yurts in the modern world. Aldarian moved forward to investigate and found that there was a illusion covered spiked pit on the right half of the corridor. Finding no traps on the tent flap, the party assumed marching order.
1. Tagenadi
2. Aldarian
3. Torin
4. Terroc

Tagenadi ripped up the tent flap to reveal a thirty by thirty foot chamber. The chamber had unfinished gray stone unlike the rest of the tomb, which had smooth crimson marble covering the walls. At the opposite end of the room was a throne with a Hobgoblin skeleton sitting upon it in resplendent finery. A crown sat upon the skeleton’s head and a sword as black as a sliver of midnight rested on its knees. The party had at last found the corpse of the Hobgoblin King, Kruk-Ma-Kali!
Aldarian moved forward sweeping for traps. As he reached close to the throne the sword moved up into the air and attacked! The sword danced and weaved in the air as if wielded by a seven foot tall humanoid.
Tagenadi moved in and tried to grapple the sword. Terroc summoned an earth elemental. Aldarian moved behind Tagenadi for safety. Torin animated the throne and the skeleton to assist. The sword slashed at Tagenadi a few times. The cuts it inflicted bled at an alarming rate. Torin healed the wounds. Tagenadi finally managed to grab the sword. He felt the power of the sword attempting to possess him as well as a presence within the sword trying to impose its will over him. Terroc opened his portable hole for Tagenadi to shove the sword into. Tagenadi quickly did so and Terroc closed the hole up. Kharad-khor the Bloodthirster was now in the possession of the party!

The party puzzled over the riddles upon the door more. They decided that they had to stab the blade into the old body of Kruk-Ma-Kali to have the “blade kill the body.” Tagenadi brought the blade out under a protection from evil spell. He cut off the corpse’s neck and then threw the sword back into the portable hole. The sword continued to struggle within the hole, so that didn’t free the sword of the evil influence on it. The party suspected that Kruk-Ma-Kali was possessing the sword.
Aldarian searched the room and found a small piece of paper behind the throne. The paper read in Elven,
“Dearest Kruk.
The preparations are complete. We have no Doubt you shall find them satisfactory. I have decided that the negotiated fees were insufficient, however, and have taken the remaining half of your treasure, perhaps a bit more. If you feel further discussion of the matter is warranted, you may of course seek Us at the indicated location. I must thank you and your followers for the opportunity to perfect my Skill in Construction. With the lessons We have learned here, the Other Tomb should be nigh impenetrable.
-Sahamathrian”
On the back of the paper was a map of the desert with the elven rune for treasure marking a location in the northeast.
Tagenadi recognized the name, Sahamathrian. He told the party that Sahamathrian was an elven wizard who led a rebellion against the royal elven family of the Kingdom of Valor. Sahamathrian was exiled and he fled south, vowing revenge on all elves.
Amalius’s Psicrystal piped up at this point, saying, “The rune on the map is where the undead that attack Mars’ Oasis all the time come from. Perhaps the Other Tomb is where those undead come from.”
The party was puzzled, but unsure what to do with this information. However, the note mentioned treasure, so they filed the map away for later perusal.
The party then realized that the psicrystal they’d been carrying around might be the psicrystal of Kruk-Ma-Kali! They brought out the psicrystal again to negotiate with it. After a winded exchange, the psicrystal agreed that Kruk-Ma-Kali would come out if he was allowed to possess the body of Aldarian. The party chained up Aldarian and then had him reach into the portable hole and grasp the sword.
Aldarian spoke in the deep accented Common of the True Hobgoblin King, “Kruk-Ma-Kali, the King of All, lives again!” A shudder passed through the spines of Torin, Tagenadi, and Terroc.
While talking with Kruk-Ma-Kali the party came to realize that the conquering power of the sword was actually the ghost contained within it. Kruk-Ma-Kali demanded that Tagenadi and Torin leave the room while he addressed his two “generals.” Torin and Tagenadi refused. Kruk-Ma-Kali brought his sword up to Aldarian’s neck. Torin and Tagenadi called Kruk-Ma-Kali’s bluff. He brought the sword closer and cut a small nick in Aldarian’s neck that began to bleed profusely. Torin and Tagenadi decided it was best to leave the room at that point.
Terroc voluntarily brought Kruk-Ma-Kali up to speed on the current events of the world, “A nation ruled by draconic vampires has formed in the West. They march upon the free people of the east. We represent an Alliance of men and dwarves that resist the Dragovinians and their dark god, Blendegad. We sought the power of Kharad-Khor to help us turn the tide against the evil from the west.”
“What of the hobgoblins? How do they fare in the modern world?”
“After your death the Hobgoblin Empire fractured. The Hobgoblins live far in the east or are enslaved by humans. They are divided and squabble amongst each other.”
“They need a strong leader such as myself to unite them.”
“My companions and I had hoped you would ally with us against the evil of Blendegad.”
“Blendegad? That is not a Hobgoblin god and I do not recognize it as a Greek name. This is a new god?”
“Yes, he is a vampiric dragon. He is not fully god and still weak.”
“Killing a god is a proper challenge for my rebirth! I agree to ally with you! I shall go into the east and reunite the Hobgoblins before returning to crush this upstart god!” Kruk-Ma-Kali noticed that a large puddle of elven blood had formed on the tomb floor. He called into the corridor, “Dwarf! Return and use your healing magics on this fragile elven form!”
Torin returned, but refused to approach the possessed Aldarian. He used a mass cure light wounds instead. Torin then asked, “How do you know that I am a cleric?”
“My psicrystal has been watching your group since you recovered it from the treasure chamber. What it knows, I know.”

The party commenced to bickering among themselves at this point. Kruk-Ma-Kali used this distraction to start slowly cutting away at the chain on his foot manacles with Kharad-Khor. The party noticed, but didn’t really care.
The argument was over what to do with the sword now that they knew the drawbacks of using it. Previously, the party had thought the sword instilled in its bearer a desire to conquer and the capability to do so. Their plan was to give this to Balllard, king of Aractrash, the Jungle Kingdom. Hopefully, Ballard would be suitably motivated by the sword to abandon his isolationism and join the war on the Alliance side. His undying desire to conquer would be controlled after the war by some means.
The party had thought the sword had given Kruk-Ma-Kali his great abilities in battle and the desire to conquer. Now they realized that the power of the sword was Kruk-Ma-Kali. He possesses its bearer and gives the user the knowledge and desire to conquer vast empires for the good of the Hobgoblin race. They could not so easily unleash this horror upon the world (Kruk-Ma-Kali has did some pretty awful stuff to the elves, dwarves, and humans during his life. The players compared him to Hitler. It’s not a bad comparison. Personally, I think Napoleon is more accurate; but, we had a stronger emotional reaction to Hitler, so we stuck with that.).
Terroc was okay with taking Kruk-Ma-Kali out of the tomb as long as they did it under their terms. He would remain in a Hobgoblin body of their own choosing. Tagenadi was against bringing him out under any circumstances. Torin felt bringing him out was a bad idea as well, but felt the danger of the Dragovinians facing the dwarves warranted the risk Kruk-Ma-Kali posed. (Throgg said that Aldarian would want to take the sword out as well.).
The party told Kruk-Ma-Kali that a hobgoblin village lay in the valley outside the tomb. They told him their plan. Kruk-Ma-Kali would leave the body of Aldarian. The sword would be left in the tomb while the party left to pick a few fine hobgoblin specimens to give Kruk-Ma-Kali a choice in which would be his vessel. They would return with the hobgoblin and Kruk-Ma-Kali would get a body. From there Kruk-Ma-Kali could meet with Alliance leaders in Bradel Fields before rising an army in the Hobgoblins lands to assist the Alliance.
The Hobgoblin King ceased sawing at his chains before refusing, “I shall not leave this body, frail as it is, until I am granted a new one to immediately vacate into. Too long have I been without form. I will go with you to pick out a body for myself! I will be the judge of what is best for me! I will not make any contract with you until I have seen the current state of the world for myself. I will not be tricked again!”
Kruk-Ma-Kali took a defensive stance and the party decided to have another huddle. They wanted to take down Aldarian and they knew they could do it. The problem was Kruk-Ma-Kali’s previous threat of suicide. They decided to go ahead with subdual damage with Torin standing by to heal Aldarian if Kruk turned Kharad-Khor upon himself. During the discussion Kruk-Ma-Kali sawed through a link in his foot manacles and freed himself.
The party attacked. Kruk-Ma-Kali rushed Tagenadi, but couldn’t get through his aura of trips. Soon, Aldarian was knocked out. They grabbed the sword and thrust it back into Terroc’s portable hole before it could reanimate. Aldarian was healed back up to full.

We ended the session there. The players need some time to think about what to do next. Next session is planned for the first weekend of May.

Anxe
2012-05-09, 01:26 PM
Alliance Session #15/Total Session #23
This session was attended by thewamp, Middle_Snu, and Salzar. It was done over Google Hangouts as usual. Some of you may have noticed that Ozymandias has been absent from the sessions since December. We’re not really sure what’s up with him. He’s occasionally contacted us to say he’s busy.
Some of you gentle readers may have noticed that we have only been doing Alliance Sessions for a while. That’s for a couple reasons. The players like the high level power more. Since Salzar has started DMing his own campaign as well, we get a lot of our low level kicks there. Additionally, the Rebellion campaign spends a lot of in-game time travelling. The Alliance campaign is still a few weeks behind the Rebellion campaign in game time.

The party talked a little more about what to do with the sword. They decided the best thing to do was just to bring the sword to the Alliance Council in Bradel Fields and have them decide what to do with it. They left the tomb and the teleportation warded box canyon around it. Upon reaching the mountain pass outside the canyon they held hands and prepared to teleport away. Terroc cast the spell and only he and Torin popped out of existence. Tagenadi and Aldarian exchanged looks and realized that something must have gone wrong with the teleportation spell. They knew Terroc prepared several teleports per day, so they decided to wait for his return.
Terroc and Torin popped into existence one hundred feet above the sea, a mile away from Lordodo. Terroc grinned at Torin as he said, “Know how to swim?” Terroc let go of Torin and the dwarf plummeted into the sea. As he fell Torin quickly cast animate objects on his armor and his spear. Terroc floated above the water on his overland fly spell.
Terroc summoned a giant fiendish octopus and shouted, “Die you insufferable cleric!” The beast plunged into the water after Torin. Torin ordered his armor to begin unstrapping itself so that he could swim. His spear attacked the octopus, but was unable to penetrate its infernal armor. Torin grappled with the beast, but was unable to overcome its many tentacles. His spells left him as the water muffled his verbal components and the octopus ruined his somatic ones. The armor eventually unstrapped itself and sank down into the sea, but it was too late for Torin. The octopus overcame him. The dwarf’s last breath of air left him as he wondered why Terroc had betrayed him and the Alliance.
Terroc floated down to the octopus and ensured that Torin was dead. He cast a greater invisibility spell. The mage teleported back to the pass with the octopus and Torin’s body coming along for the ride. Tagenadi saw the octopus and Torin’s armorless corpse materialize one hundred feet above the pass. Both bodies fell to the ground and got a little mulched. The octopus slowly began to desiccate.
Tagenadi and Aldarian rushed up to Torin’s body to see if life was still within him. Tagenadi felt his pulse and knew that the dwarf was dead. Their invisible attacker cast acid fog centered on the living pair. While Aldarian and Tagenadi fought their way out of the fog, Terroc summoned a dire tiger on both sides of the fog. He summoned a huge air elemental to attack whichever side the pair emerged one. With his final action before they left the fog, Terroc cast true strike.
Tagenadi and Aldarian came out of the fog face to face with a dire tiger. In the fog Aldarian had once again mysteriously burst into flames that did not harm him or his belongings. Additionally, Aldarian had brought out his pilfered spellbook and Tagenadi, his kusari-gama. Tagenadi engaged the tiger. The air elemental and the tiger attacked. Terroc blasted Tagenadi with a disintegrate. Aldarian flipped through the spellbook and found the perfect escape spell, dimension door. He cast it on himself and Tagenadi. The blinked to the mountainous cliffs above the pass and to the east.
Terroc cast his gaze around the area and saw Tagenadi and Aldarian to the east. The pair, unaware that they had already been spotted, used Tagenadi’s celestial armor to fly further to the east. Terroc used a dimension door of his own to catch up with them. He dispelled the flight enchantment on Tagenadi before throwing down another acid fog. While they escaped the fog once again, Terroc brought his first air elemental up from the pass and summoned another to aid it. During their time in the fog, the fire on Aldarian guttered out into nothing.
Tagenadi came out first and kept the two air elementals away from Aldarian. Aldarian searched through the spellbook for more spells. He tried invisibility failed due to his ineptitude with magic. One of the elementals moved past Tagenadi and hit Aldarian. The damage was too much for the elf and he fell to the ground dead. As his body touched the ground, it began to glow. Red and orange light emitted from Aldarian’s fingers, toes, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. The shining lights grew brighter and brighter and his body began to burn. He and all his equipment were turned into ash. A great pillar of fire shot up from his body and then down onto the air elemental that slew him. From the pillar, Aldarian emerged with a new body and new equipment matching that of his old.
All three of the combatants were shocked that, “Aldarian is a Phoenix,” but being battle hardened veterans the combat continued without pause. Aldarian tried to cast blink, but couldn’t quite get it to work. Tagenadi hammered into the air elementals, but couldn’t do much damage. Terroc tried a few other spells, dominate person being a favorite, but the obstinate pair continued to make their saves. One of his air elementals’ duration expired. Frustrated, Terroc had the remaining elemental grapple Aldarian. It flew him up into the sky to two hundred feet before dropping him. Aldarian tried to cast fly while he fell, but failed. His body crunched into the ground, but he managed to just survive by rolling with it. Terroc wouldn’t allow that. He aimed a disintegrate at Aldarian and ended him.
Tagenadi realized that it was better to run away to fight another day. He fled into the mountains and found a cave. Terroc followed and first ensured that Tagenadi was indeed in the cave by sending in a celestial puppy to die. A standoff ensued where neither party was willing to engage. With Terroc’s invisibility spells running dry (He’d renewed the greater invisibility twice during the combat), he took a different approach. Terroc cast limited wish and wished that the rock surrounding Tagenadi’s cave would turn to mud. The whole mountain around Tagenadi collapsed. Terroc waited around to see if ex-Xorian would swim out through the mud.
After a few minutes, he was sure that Tagenadi was dead. Terroc looted Aldarian’s dust and Torin’s corpse. He summoned a fire elemental to burn Torin’s body. The mage then teleported back to Bradel Fields. He collected his family and belongings before teleporting to the Xorian camp at Phoenix to claim his reward for betraying the Alliance.
Tagenadi was not dead. A small amount of air had been trapped within the cave. Tagenadi hid out in there for four hours, before coming out to look for the bodies of his friends. He found no trace of Aldarian, and only a dwarven skeleton. He rested for one night. On the next day Tagenadi hoisted the skeleton and marched down the pass, hoping to shelter with the hobgoblins in the nearby valley for a few days.
On the way down the pass, Tagenadi encountered a hobgoblin patrol. A language barrier prevented any peaceful contact. The hobgoblins attacked and Tagenadi easily defeated them. Three fell unconscious and two fled. The brave knight tried to reason with one of those he knocked out, but was unable to. He carried the three unconscious (One newly restored to this condition) down the pass using his ring of enlarge person.
In the valley Tagenadi ran into a large contingent of hobgoblins led by a chief. None of them spoke a common language, so peaceful contact was once again impossible. Tagenadi easily scared them off by Ancient Mountain Hammering the ground. He walked into the village, but was met with only pointed spears. The hobgoblins made it clear, they didn’t want a human in their village, even if they couldn’t take him in a fight. Tagenadi sighed and left. Knowing that a journey through the desert surrounding the valley would be dangerous, he decided to camp by the lake until someone from the Alliance scried him to find out why the away team had been gone for so long.
A few days later a wizard from the Alliance showed up and teleported Tagenadi back to Bradel Fields. Grave events had happened to the Alliance rank and file during their time apart as well. A revolt in Bradel Fields had been put down!

But more on that next session!

I feel I should explain a bit more about why Terroc betrayed the party. When I originally designed the campaign I thought Middle_Snu would not be playing. He was busier than most of us and could only show up for an occasional session. I felt I could do what I wanted with his old character Terroc. I decided that Terroc would be a spy on the Alliance Council. He has been feeding the Xorians information throughout the whole campaign. In return, he’ll be granted Dragovinian status and high power within the Xorian regime. Middle_Snu said he was fine with that when he rejoined the campaign more permanently.
To my delight, Throgg said he wanted to play a spy as well. I loved knowing that they were both independent spies with no knowledge of each other. They were also both spying for very different reasons, one for love and the other for power.
Terroc chose to fully betray the Alliance at this point because he was in possession of the sword of Kruk-Ma-Kali. That artifact is now going to be used by the Xorians in some way. Let’s hope the Alliance can survive it.
Terroc’s betrayal also resulted in pretty much a TPK. Terroc will now become an NPC under my control. Middle_Snu said he will be playing a similar build with his next character. I don’t know how we’ll work that summoner in story-wise, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. Salzar has mentioned that he’s not so sure that Torin would accept a resurrection if offered one. He may be building a new character as well. Throgg wasn’t at the session, so we don’t know what he wants to do yet. He may continue with Aldarian, he may pressure the party to go rescue Amalius from his soul prison, or he may create a new character.

Anyways, next session is not planned yet. I’m doing some stuff for Mother’s Day weekend, so we can’t play then.

Anxe
2012-06-01, 05:47 PM
Alliance Session #16/Total Session #24
This session was attended by everyone! Ozymandias, Salzar, thewamp, Middle_Snu, and Throgg. Ozymandias plans on returning to many more sessions in the future instead of this just being an odd session where he was back temporarily. The session was held over Google Hangouts as normal.

The players started by discussing who would be remaking their characters. Middle_Snu certainly would be as Terroc became an NPC after the last session. Ozymandias was also a bit bored with Preta and wanted a change, so he made a new one. Salzar and Throgg also talked about making new characters but changed their minds later on in the session. Aldarian and Torin were both resurrected at the Alliance headquarters in Bradel Fields.

The party proceeded to attend an Alliance Council meeting which had been long overdue. The attendees were:
Torin, representative from the Dwarves.
Aldarian, representative from the Thieves Guild of Phoenix (Questionable if this is good enough reason to be on the Council anymore).
Tagenadi, advisor on Xorian military strategy (He was an ex-officer so this makes some sense)
Hektor, a lord from the Aractrashan Kingdom who decided to lend what aid he could to the Alliance. King Ballard of Aractrash is currently staying out of the war out of concern for his people. Ballard also feels the Xorians have no plans to expand into Aractrash during his lifetime. Even if they did so he has a higher chance of success in a defensive war than in an offensive one. Hektor feels differently and wishes to prove that Aractrashan assistance would turn the tide of the war to the Alliance and to King Ballard's benefit. (Hektor is also Middle_Snu's new character, a generalist wizard)
Arendil, political leader of the Alliance and representative from Jipangu.
Junai, acting military commander of the Alliance in Bradel Fields. One of the representatives from the Phoenix Mercenaries Guild (She is on the Council more due to military experience than political connections).
Titandra, blind cleric of Hephaestus and representative for Restnor's Point.
Kig, tattooed monk and representative for Restnor's Point. He acts as Titandra's eyes.
Logan, hellfire warlock and representative for the Adventurers Guild fo Phoenix (He was thewamp's old character. His position on the council is also a little questionable, but he is a useful magician).

These nine met in the Bradel Fields Council chambers. Gradorian was absent because he is overseeing the training of the refugee soldiers at Jipangu. Junai is acting for Gradorian. Astyanax was also absent as he was still recovering from his death and torture at the hands of a demon. Preta and Shez were absent for reasons soon to be explained.
Arendil started the meeting off, “The Xorians have sent us an envoy. Probably to discuss our surrender terms again. Before we get to that business item there are a few other things I think we should discuss. First, Tagenadi, Torin, and Aldarian, tell us about what happened with Terroc.”
Tagenadi, Torin, and Aldarian recapped the last session.
Arendil said, “And what about Amalius. I heard through the servants of Astyanax that Amalius was dead, or a spy, or a Dragovinian. Which is it?”
The party recapped what they had learned when searching Amalius’ room after his disappearance. Aldarian retold what he knew from spying with Amalius.
Arendil immediately ordered an investigation of all members of the Alliance Council to prevent future spies. The Greek gods are against Blendegad, the dragon-god of the Xorians, as he wishes to replace worship of them for worship of himself. Torin and Titandra are both clerics of the gods so they are above suspicion. The two of them led the investigation. All of the attending members of the Council were cleared.
Kig restarted the proceedings while asking, “So we can assume that the sword of Kruk-Ma-Kali is now in the hands of the Xorians?”
Tagenadi said, “Yes, Terroc had it in his portable hole. I’m pretty sure he was spying for the Xorians, so he must have taken it to them.”
Kig said, “Should we come up with any plans in case the Xorians use the sword against us?”
The Council discussed matters. The Xorians could use the sword to rally the hobgoblins against the Alliance or they could use the sword as a military advisor. Unsure of how to react to either ploy, the Council tabled discussion of Kharad-Khor for a later time.
Arendil spoke to Torin, “What can you tell us of the peace offer the dwarves gave the Xorians? Is it a concern?”
Torin said, “The peace terms? The dwarves demanded the Xorians vacate all the territory they have occupied in the Underdark. The territory is to be turned over the new Dwarven Kingdom led by High King Torngar. If the Xorians do not cede the land by September 10th the Dwarven Kingdom will invade the Underdark in November. I doubt the Xorians will accept the terms. The three month waiting period is just so that the dwarven armies can mobilize.”
Junai said, “So there’s no chance that the Xorians will accept the terms?”
“I doubt it.”
“What about Dainlin? Will the hill dwarves’ army be assisting us in the interim?”
“I believe so. Although that will only be necessary if the Xorians attack.”
“What about after the Xorians reject the terms? Will the dwarves assist the Alliance above ground or only below it?”
“The plan is to invade the Underdark. High King Torngar has no plan for the surface world. However, he hopes his invasion will divert the Xorian resources below ground and through that assist the Alliance.”
“So no assistance above ground for the foreseeable future?”
“Not as far as I’ve been told.”
“That is unfortunate.”
Arendil spoke, “Friends, we come now to the biggest issue affecting us. There has been a revolt in Bradel Fields. Many of the citizens wish to end the war with the Xorians. Whether they wish to surrender or hope to be left in peace I do not know. The lavish wedding plans that Preta, Shez, Junai, and Kig oversaw upset the commoners. A mob formed and threatened to attack the preparations. They began throwing rocks and Preta struck back with lethal magical force. Thirty-two commoners of Bradel Fields died.
“I’m sure you all understand the seriousness of this. Preta is in the Bradel Fields jail awaiting trial. Shez is under house arrest at Astyanax’s estate. We of the Alliance Council must decide what to do with Preta. Should we judge him and punish him ourselves or turn him over to the government of Bradel Fields?”
The Council members unaware of Preta’s deeds were shocked. A lengthy discussion began. Arendil and Titandra were in favor of turning Preta over to Bradel Fields. Torin, Aldarian, Junai, and Hektor favored the Alliance deciding his fate. Aldarian suggested that Preta’s execution be faked and that Preta be sent to do terrorist attacks on the Xorian Kingdom. Tagenadi admonished Aldarian and suggested that Preta be turned over to the Bradel Fields police. Arendil thanked Aldarian for sharing a different course of action that no one else had thought of.
In the end the Council voted to allow Bradel Fields to decide Preta’s fate. They all knew it would mean a death sentence. Arendil also suggested that the Alliance offer 100GP to the families of each of those killed by Preta’s fireball. The reparations were passed unanimously.

Arendil spoke again, “Now that the matter with Preta has been decided we can talk more of the revolt in Bradel Fields. It has by no means contained. Factions are forming throughout the city. Organized gangs prevent safe passage through the streets. The city is no longer secure. Every citizen is involved in a plot or a scheme of some kind. I need suggestions to contain the various factions.”
Titandra said, “Do you have any more information about the factions themselves?”
“I gathered a little bit of information. There are factions that support peace with Xoria, some that support war, some that support evacuation, and some that support surrender. Other factions wish to restore the monarchy or the oligarchy. Others wish to preserve the Republic. Some are calling for new elections or to rewrite the constitution of Bradel Fields. Some factions wish to continue the war, but to leave the Alliance. There are also all sorts of fringe factions pushing their own agendas. There’s one faction of abolitionists, another which supports using slaves in the army, and even one that wishes to use necromancy to quickly raise an undead army to oppose the Xorians. I, myself, was a little shocked to hear of that last one.”
Discussion flared up again. Torin, Hektor, and Aldarian all favored the idea of reinstating a monarchy. However, the discussion was interrupted as a loud banging was heard on the Council Chamber doors.
Arendil said, “What’s that? Open the doors!”
A servant opened the doors and let in a crowd of angry Bradel Fields Councilmen.
“We demand to be heard in your secret Council meeting!”
“You have no right to prevent us from participating!”
“You are guests in our city and we expect to be treated like hosts, not doormats!”
“We want representation on your Council!”
“This whole affair is illegal and should be disbanded!”
Many more complaints were raised by the thirty or so Councilors who barged into the round Council room. The Alliance Council began to shout back, but Arendil calmed them, “Please! Everyone calm yourselves! Rodrigo, does the Bradel Fields Council wish more representation on the Alliance Council?”
Rodrigo, the leader of the Bradel Fields Council, said, “Yes, we do. Firstly, Astyanax was never elected to the Bradel Fields Council, so he is not the best representative. Secondly, he is indisposed for the time being. Thirdly, Phoenix has several representatives on your Alliance Council despite no longer being a city. We wish similar representation on the Council now that we are the host of the Alliance.”
“That is good. My Council will adjourn while yours picks two of its own members to join our ranks.”
“Thank you,” Rodrigo said with pursed lips.
The Alliance Council left to a nearby sitting room while the Bradel Fields Council occupied the city’s Council Chambers.
The Alliance Councilors ate a small lunch while chatting about the events of the day. Who would the Bradel Fields Council pick? Rodrigo would almost certainly be one of the members, but what of the second? Would the chosen representatives share membership on both Councils or renounce their Bradel Fields Councilship? Were any of the Councilors involved in the factions gathering in the city? Would they be favorable to a monarchy or an oligarchy being set up in Bradel Fields?
Before the lunch could be satisfactorily concluded the Bradel Fields Councilors emerged from the Council Chambers and marched to the sitting room. Rodrigo and Lotigan led the way.
Rodrigo spoke, “Lotigan and I have been elected to your Alliance Council as we are the best and brightest of Bradel Fields. Now I would like to discuss the immediate cession of hostilities with the Xorian Empire! This war is too costly to our people! Thousands of brave Bradel Fields lives have been lost while you, you foreigners,” he spat the word, “have sat and down nothing!” I will not allow more of my people to die for a lost cause!” Metal boot steps could be heard behind the throng of Council members. “I will not allow my city to be destroyed by the oncoming horde!”
Council members in the back began to move aside as an armored man strode through the crowd. “We will discuss the terms that the Xorian envoy has brought us and accept whatever is necessary to preserve my city and its way of-” Rodrigo was cut short as the armored man, now clear from the insignia on his shield to be Astyanax, decapitated him from behind.
The Council members screamed and ran. Astyanax stabbed Lotigan and he fell to the ground in a pool of his own blood. The Alliance Councilors jumped to their feet and would’ve drawn their weapons if they were allowed in the Council Chambers. Tagenadi activated his magic ring of enlarge and stepped between the fleeing Council members and Astyanax. Junai broke a chairs’ legs off for weapons and defended Arendil. Aldarian dove under the table. Kig took a defensive stance in front of Titandra.
Astyanax spoke through his newly made mask of gold and rubies, “We will preserve the Republic and continue the war with the Xorians using a slave army. All governmental power will be invested in me until the end of the war.” His voice echoed through the building due to the magical enhancement of the mask.
This was the same mask conceived of by Terroc. It was made of white gold. A yellow gold beard covered the lower portions of the mask and blended into the white gold at the cheeks. A small gap for Astyanax’s mouth opened in the yellow gold lips. Two nostrils holes allowed him to breath. His real eyes could be seen through the open eyeholes of the mask. Each eyebrow was constructed from four glittering rubies. The sides of the mask were flat; Astyanax’s ears must have been flattened against his head. Atop the mask a great golden helmet crest extended four inches into the air. The mask was held on magically. The back was open revealing Astyanax’s brown hair on the left half of his head and his grisly flensed and hairless right half.
In a panic, Torin cast animate objects and ordered table and chairs of the sitting room to attack Astyanax. Astyanax brought his Holy Avenger down upon them and dispelled the magic of three of the chairs. Torin, suspecting that the mask was influencing Astyanax’s actions, cast dispel magic on Astyanax. Hektor, favoring the imposition of a dictatorship over a sloppy republic, counterspelled the dispel magic. Fortunately, Torin prepared two, so he cast the second. Unfortunately, he failed to suppress the magic of the mask. Astyanax hacked at the furniture. The Councilors of Bradel Fields banged on the doors of the Chambers, but Astyanax’s men held them shut. Hektor cast maze on Torin and removed him from the battlefield for a moment. The furniture was at last destroyed, freeing Astyanax to speak once again.
“Thank you for your assistance master…?”
“My name is Hektor, Lord of the Aractrashan town of Lakatia.”
“Yes. Thank you Master Hektor.”
Tagenadi said, “You shed blood in these halls! Why Astyanax? Have you fallen from good?”
Astyanax said, “NO! I have done what I must for my city! The Alliance continues the war! The Alliance Council has a higher authority than that of the Bradel Fields Council! These men, by seeking to end the war, were traitors to the Alliance cause! The punishment for treason is death!”
Torin found his way out of the maze and reappeared in the sitting room. He moved to engage Astyanax once again.
Arendil shouted, “STOP! This is no place for such violence. Astyanax, come with me into the Council Chambers and we can discuss things alone.”
Astyanax nodded and turned to the round Council room.
Junai said, “Wait! Arendil, I cannot let you in there alone. I will go as well.”
“Fine.”
The three went into the Council room and closed the doors. The Bradel Fields Council members were confused, but happy that they were still alive.
The remaining Alliance Councilors argued over how to react to the situation. Tagenadi and Torin wanted to do something about the people Astyanax had murdered. The others felt that two deaths were worth the stability that Astyanax’s rule would bring. Ultimately, they decided to wait for Astyanax, Arendil, and Junai to return before committing to any course of action.
Arendil came out of the Council room followed by Astyanax and Junai. Arendil spoke, “I have decided that is best for the Alliance if Astyanax assumes rule over Bradel Fields. This is to be a temporary measure, only extending until the end of the war with Xoria. Astyanax has sworn to this on all the gods of Mount Olympus.”
Astyanax said, “To ensure stability in the coming months all of you will swear an oath to uphold my rule.”
Torin asked, “An oath of fealty? I am already sworn to King Dainlin!”
Hektor said, “I am sworn to King Ballard as well.”
“Not an oath of fealty. Think of it as a promise to not interfere with my administration of the city if you wish. Your oaths to your liege lords come first of course.”
Hektor dropped to one knee as he said, “Then I can swear to that. I swear to uphold your rule Lord Astyanax.”
Some of the Bradel Fields Councilors began to kneel. Others bowed or knelt. The Alliance Councilors all bowed as well. Last was Torin, who gave a quick stiff bow.
Astyanax said, “The new guiding principles of the city will be, preservation of the Republic, preservation of unity, and obeying the decrees of the Alliance Council. I hope I have made myself clear to the men of Bradel Fields. You are dismissed. Find a different location within the city to have Bradel Fields Council meetings. The Alliance Council will now occupy this location instead of renting it. The Bradel Fields Council is to pick two of its own members to replace Rodrigo and Lotigan. There will be no dual membership between the two councils.”
The Bradel Fields Councilors scrambled to leave as Astyanax’s guards opened the doors.
“Please. Let us continue the meeting.” Astyanax gestured for the Alliance Councilors to join him in the round room.
Once everyone seated themselves in the round room Astyanax began, “I will handle things in the city. A new group of recruits is already being found and trained from the slaves of people like the Bradel Fields Councilors. Once the situation is stable here, I will personally meet with the people of Dalleer to organize the terms of my daughter’s marriage alliance with the Björn.
“Unless there is further business I would like to discuss the Xorian Envoy that the inferior Council has been entertaining.”
Junai said, “What of him?”
“What if he is a Dragovinian in disguise? What should we do then?”
There was a lot of discussion over what to do if the Xorian was a Dragovinian. Tagenadi and Astyanax favored executing the envoy immediately if he was a Dragovinian. Torin headed the side against executing the envoy. The Council decided that Torin would detect undead on the envoy. The situation would be allowed to evolve from there.
Astyanax made it clear that the envoy’s terms for surrender would be rejected. The Alliance would demand the return of Phoenix to sovereign rule, the release of the prisoners captured at the battle of Phoenix, and the removal of all Xorian forces from Eastern Cimmeria. Obviously, these demands would be rejected.
The Council also elected to see the Xorian envoy with weapons present in the round room. The show of force would hopefully intimidate the envoy and make the Alliance’s position clear.
With the Council in agreement, the Xorian envoy, Thenedemos, was admitted. Thenedemos detected as not undead when inspected by Torin’s spell.
The envoy spoke, “The Alliance has fought bravely and honorably, but this war is all but over. Your forces are sadly outnumbered. If you continue your cities will fall one by one. Even now, Xorian delegations are negotiating with the cities of Greshendale, Crux, and Dorrowsan for their admittance into the Xorian Empire. Delegations have been sent to Shalerton, Balin’s Holt, Restnor’s Point, and Aractrash as well. Your allies will desert you and your coalition will crumble between your fingers like a dried leaf.
“Furthermore, the dwarves, now led by High King Torngar, have offered peace terms to Emperor Jevaninada. The gracious Emperor has accepted the dwarven peace terms. Your greatest ally has left you.”
Mouths dropped at this revelation. Tagenadi and Torin were especially surprised by it.
“Blendegad offers you the same terms that were given to Greshendale and the other Cimmerian cities. Surrender and your lives will be spared. The greatest among you will be given the gift of immortality if they wish it. Resist and you will be slain and your families enslaved for a thousand generations. Individual surrender is an option that the almighty Dragon God offers you as well.”
Moments passed as the Councilors thought on the implications of the dwarven peace. An entire race of soldiers had abandoned the Alliance cause.
Seeing that no one else would speak, Astyanax stood and drew his sword, gesticulating with it during his speech, “You come here and demand the surrender of my city? You think this place, which has stood through dozens of generations of my ancestors leading back to Hercules himself will bow before your Dragon God? Your Reaper?” He spat the words, “I will not allow my people to become slaves to your dark masters. I will not allow the sacred statues of our gods to be broken and smashed for your leader’s pride! I will not allow a single Xorian to mount the walls of Bradel Fields while I still draw breath!
“What did your King promise you for coming here? Did he offer that shade of a life? Did he offer to make you a Dragovinian, to be an everlasting blight upon the Earth? I’ll bet he did. Well, unlike Xorians, the men of Bradel Fields cannot be bribed. The same can be said of the rest of the Alliance. None of us will betray our vows to the Alliance for your blasphemous gifts! Leave this place and tell your masters that you have failed! See the reward they bring you then!”
Addressing the guards in attendance, “Men, escort the envoy to the city gates. Anyone wearing Xorian colors in the city after today is to be executed on the spot.” Two guards grabbed Thenedemos by the arms and pulled him out of the room.
The envoy struggled, “This is outrageous! No one touches a diplomat!”
“Diplomats are protected by the gods of Olympus! You spit on them by worshipping your dragon!”
The envoy continued to shout as the guards dragged him from the chamber, “Outrageous! Outrageous!”
When the envoy was out, Astyanax told one of the remaining guards, “Once he has left the city, dump a basket of **** on his head. A crown befitting his king.” The guard left to execute his duty.
“That is enough for today. Lets us adjourn until later.” The Councilors got up to leave. “Tagenadi, stay. I wish to speak with you in private.”
The Councilors shuffled out until only Tagenadi and Astyanax remained. “You are Xorian born, correct?”
“Yes.”
“Then I have a special mission for you. We know that Greshendale will soon join the Xorians. Their city is the greatest magical might in all the lands. If their power is joined to the Xorians we may no longer have a hope. I think you are the only one who can stop it.”
“How?”
“I have read that several magical artifacts keep the city of Greshendale afloat in the sky. I want you to steal one of the artifacts and make it seem as if a Xorian task force was behind the theft. That way the leadership of Greshendale will think that the Xorians only allied with them to get easy access to the artifact.”
“But why me?”
“You are a Xorian. If the seers of Greshendale use divination magic the response will be clear that a Xorian led the attack on their city. You should contact some of your old allies during your rebel days in the Xorian Empire as well. Perhaps some of them can be convinced to join in the raid on Greshendale.”
“I will do my best.”
“Good, the twelve Olympians be with you. Now I bid you goodbye. I must rest.” Astyanax left the room, showing his half flensed head from behind.

The next day, Torin and Tagenadi used a couple sending spells to contact Tagenadi’s old buddies. Unfortunately, all but one were dead. The one living one remaining was an elf named Sabriyya. She is a dervish who calls the city of Mars’ Oasis when she isn’t testing her fighting skills against the evils of the world. Sabriyya was in Mars’ Oasis when she was contacted. She decided that fighting the Xorians once again would be pretty sweet. (In case you couldn’t tell, Sabriyya is Ozymandias’ replacement for Preta. Preta is being retired to NPCdom). Hektor teleported to Mars’ Oasis and brought Sabriyya to Bradel Fields.
The party looked at many different plans then. They considered helping Mars’ Oasis, the terrorist strike on Greshendale, and a few plans related to Amalius.
Mars’ Oasis is a desert city. The city is beset by three great dangers, the blue dragons, the formians, and the undead.
The blue dragons are led by Bavastatner. Bavastatner is the oldest of dragons. Some claim he was even around during the Titanomachy. His children surround his cave, including some humanoid tribes that serve him.
The formians live in 25 hives to the southeast of Mars’ Oasis. The formians attack the city whenever their hives fill up. The people of Mars’ Oasis have attempted to remove the hives in the past; but, to stop the threat, all the queens must be slain. No one has managed that just yet.
The undead come from a great pillar to the east of Mars’ Oasis known as the Lich Shade. Thousands of zombies and skeletons throng around the Lich Shade. An adventuring group went out to inspect the tower once. Those who returned told of a trap and undead filled dungeon beneath the rock tower.
If all three threats to Mars’ Oasis could be neutralized, then the city might join the Alliance. As the soldiers of Mars’ Oasis are already used to fighting undead and dragons, they would be a great addition to the Alliance army.
The party pooled what they already knew about the magical city of Greshendale together. The city is a massive upside down floating mountain. Four smaller mountains surround the main mountain. The whole city is several miles in diameter and 2 miles deep. The bottom of the city is 3 miles from the Earth.
Greshendale is made from the Dahak Volcano. Volcanoes are prisons of powerful monsters. When the Volcano was ripped from the ground, the Dahak was freed. It thanked the founder of the city, Tentineh, by giving him a dozen powerful elementals to power the new city. The city is held aloft by various magical forces. Elementals, artifacts, and the raw power of the volcano itself give force to the city. The flight, air, and water of the city are all managed by the magic that has been gathered in the tunnels of the volcano over the years.
The party knew of only a few of the many artifacts that power the city. There are at least five Orbs of Dragonkind in the mountains of the city. One is in each of the four smaller mountains that surround the larger mountain. The other artifact the party knew of is the Staff of Oblivion. The Staff sits at the exact center of the Greshendale plaza. The Staff is magically suspended over a pit that goes straight through the volcano to the lava spout at the bottom of the city. Lightning constantly extends from the Staff of Oblivion to the railings that surround the pit and down into the lava. The lava begins 50 feet below the Staff.
The party outlined a plan to kill and replace a Xorian delegation to Greshendale. Then, disguised as the delegation, they could steal one of the artifacts and either hide it or place it in the Xorian Empire. The party also considered using mind blank during the theft. They wanted to do some research on the defenses and artifacts of the city. However, the plan is to make it look like the Xorians only allied with Greshendale to steal something. For that to look good, the theft must happen within the next week. There isn’t much time to do research.
Tabling all those plans, the away team discussed ways of getting Amalius back and on their side. Amalius’ psicrystal was destroyed by Terroc during his betrayal. Before that he had named the Dragovinian who attacked Amalius. The assassin’s name was Devanane. Tagenadi served with Devanane during his time in the Xorian army. He said that Devanane was a bad person and would be better off dead than alive. He didn’t elaborate more than that.
Hektor tried scrying Devanane, but came up empty. The only other lead the party had was that Amalius’ family had been held captive at the Petar Prison. The party formulated a plan to attack the prison and spring the family along with any other inmates who would be sympathetic to the Alliance cause. They prepared for the expedition and teleported in.

The Petar Prison is located under the Petar Castle. The party, consisting of Hektor, Tagenadi, Torin, Aldarian, and Sabriyya, teleported in atop the building containing the entrance to the prison. Xorian soldiers on the walls of the castle spotted them. The party jumped down and broke open the door to the building. Inside were four guards, a large, metal, locked trapdoor in the middle of the floor, four torches upon the wall, and a large chain coming out from a hole in the wall.
Tagenadi, Aldarian, and Sabriyya barged into the room, each taking out one of the guards. Hektor threw a magic missile at one of the guards, but didn't quite kill him. The guard ran towards the chain on the wall, but Tagenadi swung his chained weapon and brought the guard down. Torin and Hektor entered the prison. Torin blocked the door with a wall of stone.
Aldarian swiftly used his thieves tools to unlock the trapdoor. Beneath was a staircase going down and down with many switchbacks. Torches lit the way at each of the landings. The party ventured down with Tagenadi leading, followed by Aldarian, Sabriyya, Torin, and finally Hektor.
After 12 flights of stairs and 120 feet according to Torin, the party reached a strong metal door that was locked. Aldarian fumbled at the door and after a failed attempt, opened it with his second. Tagenadi kicked in the door and the party behold the room beyond. A guard stood in the room with his hand upon a chain sticking out through another hole in the wall. Behind the guard was a metal door. To the sides of the metal door were two barred windows. A guard stood at each of the windows. All three of the guards stared at the door. Apparently, they had heard Aldarian's attempts to pick the lock. The guard at the chain, seeing that the people behind the door were not Xorian soldiers, pulled the chain. Red lights began flashing and a voice that came from nowhere endlessly repeated, "Alert! Alert! Alert!"
Tagenadi slashed the guard by the chain, bringing him down. Sabriyya tumbled forward and stabbed one of the guards through the barred window. Aldarian moved to the second door and began picking its lock. Torin cast hold person on the third guard. Hektor searched the body of the guard on the party's side of the door for keys. Finding them, he handed them to Aldarian. Aldarian opened the lock, but the door refused to budge. Tagenadi and Sabriyya decided that going through one of the windows would be best. They cut through and captured the held guard. There was a second lock on the opposite side of the door, explaining why it didn't open with just the one key.
The alert continued. Three doors led out of the room. The party questioned the captured guard. He revealed that the warden was the only Dragovinian in the prison and that the warden would mess them up. The door to the party's right opened. The warden was at the head of a dozen or so more guards. The Dragovinian warden breathed fire and the guards shot crossbows at the party. None dealt much damage. Tagenadi, Aldarian, and Sabriyya converged on the warden. They brought him down together and Sabriyya decapitated him to prevent the Dragovinian from regenerating. Tagenadi waded into the guards and after a few more were brought down they surrendered.
The guards told the party that the cells were through the door opposite the entrance. They went in that direction and got three more guards to surrender. There were two cell blocks that the party investigated. They bashed down all the doors. Some were trapped and opened only to the wall. Others were not trapped and opened to cells. Tagenadi took the brunt of the traps. All the damage was easily healed by Torin with one exception. Hektor got hit by a sleep spell and went unconscious. Attempts to revive him failed.
In the cells the party found and freed:
An angry Owlbear. This wasn't freed. Tagenadi just slaughtered it.
A young woman named Gina who had been raped by the warden. Sabriyya bonded with her and got her to relieve some of her hatred towards the warden. Sabriyya lent Gina a knife and let her stab the warden's head until her arm got tired.
Twin witch sisters who tried to seduce Tagenadi, but failed.
Three thieves.
A wizard named Fortock who is interested in aiding the Alliance.
The son of Duke Prusu of Jeutontic, Brevenditu. Duke Prusu revolted against the Xorians during the first Alliance. Brevenditu was imprisoned after the First Xorian War. He has been in the prison so long that he thought his rescuers were members of the First Alliance, not the Second.
A small metal box which held a large diamond. Aldarian picked the diamond up and saw a tiny figure trapped inside. The diamond held the soul and body of his master, Amalius!

Having secured one of their objectives the party quickly explored the rest of the prison. They found the belongings of the other prisoners and returned them. They interrogated the guards. They learned that the family of Amalius was taken from the prison, most likely to be executed. They also found that there was a back entrance in the prison that led down into the Underdark.
The party escorted the rescued and the guards down into the deep. Tagenadi carried Hektor on his back. A winding pathway took them deep into the Earth. After going 700 or so feet down according to Torin the pathway branched. One path continued to go deeper while the other split off, staying level. The party took the level path and few hundred feet later it split as well. Confused about where to go, the party decided to just use Torin's new teleportation boots to escape. The guards were given a torch and told to follow the same path out of the Underdark. The prisoners and Hektor were all piled into the party's portable hole. Torin then prepared to jump back to the Council Chambers of Bradel Fields.
The teleport failed and brought them to a dusty room with a long stone table and stone chairs surrounding it. The party explored a bit and found that they were definitely not in Bradel Fields. Torin teleported once again. They came to another dusty room with a circular stone table and rounded stone chairs surrounding it. Unsure of what was going on, that party turned to Fortock, the only wizard among them. He said he didn't know either.
Aldarian said, 'If only my master was free from this gem. He always knew the answer to everything." (Amalius has ranks in all the knowledge skills).
Fortock said, "Your master is trapped inside of this gem? How did he get there?"
"We think it was a trap the soul spell cast by a Dragovinian."
"A trap the soul spell you say? Why that's easy to fix! Just break the gem!"
Aldarian dropped the diamond to the floor and stomped on it. It cracked and out came Amalius in mint condition! No time had passed for Amalius so he immediately panicked. The party calmed him down and explained everything that had happened since his imprisonment within the gem. They asked him what was going on with the teleport spell.
Amalius said, "Oh! The teleport isn't working because the Underdark is technically a different plane than the surface world. We just need to get to the surface and then we can teleport to Bradel Fields."
Torin said, "Or we could plane shift. I prepped that spell today."
Torin plane shifted the party out of wherever they were, aiming for Bradel Fields. They ended up in Lordodo instead. After waving to the Aractrashan city, they used the last teleport of the day from Torin's boots to get to Bradel Fields.

We ended the session there. I've got finals and preparation for finals the next two weeks, so no session until mid/late June.

Anxe
2012-06-22, 12:25 PM
We had our first session in a while last night. Unfortunately, no D&D was played at it. We played at Ozymandias' house. He, Throgg, thewamp, and I were in attendance. Salzar joined us by Google Hangouts. Me and thewamp showed up first, so the us and Ozymandias played a board game called Small World. It was a lot of fun and I recommend it to the forums. Then Throgg and Salzar arrived. We talked about playing my campaign, but spent too much time beating around the bush. thewamp had to leave to catch a train, so I drove him. When I got back the others wanted to play Hackmaster.

I walked them through character creation for Hackmaster. About halfway through, Salzar got understandably frustrated with doing character creation over the internet without a book. He said goodnight. We finished making Throgg and Ozymandias' characters. I ran them through a sample combat with some goblins. They really liked it. I recommend Hackmaster to the forums as well, but we're less sure how well it will work over the internet now.

Anxe
2012-07-08, 11:27 PM
Been awhile since my last update, but fear not! This campaign and its log will not be abandoned! The only fear I have is that no one cares about my sad writing.

Alliance Session #17/Total Session #25
This session was held over Google hangouts. Salzar, Ozymandias, thewamp, and Throgg were in attendance.

We started off with an Alliance Council meeting to discuss Amalius’ return and what to do about his previous espionage actions for the enemy. Arendil called the meeting to order. Astyanax spoke first, “Well Amalius, the Alliance has recovered you from the clutches of the Xorian Empire. But are you on our side now or are you still with them? Since your departure we have examined all the other Alliance members for treachery. The same will be done to you. Titandra and Torin will question you in another room.”
Titandra and Torin stood up and led Amalius to a separate room. Titandra dropped a zone of truth down. While questioning Amalius they confirmed that he had helped the Xorians only because they were holding his family hostage. Titandra asked if he would continue to help the Xorians if his family was still alive and in their captivity. Amalius said, “Family before honor.”
Titandra also asked about Amalius’ past before he was captured by the Xorians to work for them. When he was just a baby, Amalius’ father, Amalganus, had left for Greece on an unknown mission. Amalius ran away from home to follow his father at a young age. Titandra learned that Amalius found his father dead in Athens, but Amalius refused to divulge more about the past events. Titandra and Torin said it might be necessary to place a magical enchantment on Amalius to ensure his loyalty, but left it at that.
The three returned to the Council Chambers. Titandra said, “Amalius helped the Xorians only because they held his family captive. I believe he will be loyal to us if his family is freed from Xorian captivity. We should divine whether they are free or passed at a later time.”
The Council was silent for a time. Amalius stood up to speak, “My lords! I have heard that you are forming an army out of slaves. I could be most useful for this task. We know that the body of a slave belongs to its master, but the mind reminds independent. I, as a powerful telepath, can bring the slaves’ minds under our control. I can remain useful to the Alliance even if you doubt my loyalty. Look at what my power allows!”
Amalius gestured at the handful of servants in the room as they stiffly marched behind him and saluted.
Astyanax stood and spoke, “It is your mind that is under suspicion, Amalius, not those of our men. These people have served the Council and its members faithfully for many years. Release them at once.”
Surprise touched Amalius’ face, “Of course.” He snapped his fingers and the servants shook their heads, glared at Amalius, and returned to their previous positions in the room. “I did not mean to offend.”
“You may not have, but I can see that the Xorian’s influence over you still holds in some ways.”
Astyanax and Amalius sat down and commenced to having a staring contest. The rest of the Council Members were unsure of what to say or do.
A minute or two passed by. The sun reached its zenith and shined down through the oculus of the dome in the Council Chambers. As it did so Titandra’s eyes lit up and light poured out of them. Her mouth opened and light shone from her tongue as well. She spoke with two voices, one her own, one with such strength and power that it could only be a god.
Land, Sea, and Sky turn against you.
The Earth trembles and Hell marches in the West.
The Savior has fallen, but a new one will arise.
The end is at the start and the son will meet the father of the renewal.
Victory lies in the unmaking of the Dragon.
Apollo is with the Rebels. They have freed Gazeara.
The light left Titandra and she fell back into her chair, visibly weakened by the experience.
Arendil stood up, “The Council is adjourned into this prophecy can be fully understood.” The Council left to the nearby sitting room (now with new furniture) to talk about the prophecy.

The party thought that Sea and Sky were certainly Poseidon and Ares. They were unsure of what Land could be, but felt it had to be another deity. Or “Land, Sea, and Sky” could just be euphemisms for the vastness of the Xorian army, fleet, and flying Dragovinian units.
They bypassed “The Earth trembles,” and focused on “Hell marching in the West.” Xoria is in the west, so this seemed fairly obvious. The Dragovinians are undead, so they’re “the Hell marching in the West.”
Various people were named as “the Fallen Savior.” Everyone from the previous campaign, as well as Amalius or Astyanax. Everyone of the party members claimed to be the New Savior.
“The end is at the start” was thought to reference the five people responsible for the first Alliance, Amalgami, Atreides, Salzar, Princess Tarigananata, and General Antapike. The party was unsure who the son and father of renewal would be.
“Victory lies in the unmaking of the Dragon” seemed pretty obvious. So did the message about Apollo and Gazeara.
Unsure of what to do about this news, the party decided to focus on Amalius. They had to ensure his loyalty and the best way to do that would be to rescue his family or his family’s corpses.

The next day Amalius used a psionic divination and asked, “Where are the wife and children of Amalius Halkias?”
The cryptic response was, “In the future, as yet unmade.”
Turning to Hektor, Amalius imparted a mental image of his wife Denara, and asked Hektor to scry her. Hektor agreed.
He said, “I see a wooden deck. Your wife is chained to a post on the deck. Your children are also chained to posts. There’s a man in an executioner’s cowl saying something.”
Sabriyya said, “I think we need to go now. Like, right now, to rescue them.”
Amalius said, “Right! Everyone cast your preparation spells quickly!”
The spells and powers were cast and Hektor teleported the part in.
The wooden deck was in the middle of a large town square. The damaged buildings around the square indentified the town as Phoenix. People filled the square facing the wooden deck. Ten Xorian guards surrounded the deck, warning people off with their drawn weapons. A few Dragovinians could be seen in the crowd and on the roofs surrounding the square. The executioner said, “-to be executed by fire!”
Sabriyya rolled past the guards to the executioner and cut his legs off with her scimatars. He fell to the ground, quickly bleeding out. Torin animated the chains on the Halkias family. Aldarian moved to defend Amalius’ twin son and daughter. Tagenadi defended Amalius’ wife and older daughter. Hektor cast invisibility on himself. Amalius raised two energy walls in a circle around the deck.
A great roar came from behind the buildings to the south. A ball of shadows rose up over the city. In the ball of shadows was the Dragon Reaper God, Blendegad. Fear clutched at the hearts of the party, but those under the affects of mind blank remained unaffected.
Torin grabbed the wife, the older daughter, and the son before teleporting out with his boots. The others moved around Hektor and he quickly teleported away with them as well.
Upon returning to Astyanax’s estate in Bradel Fields, Amalius asked for a few moments alone with his family. They went to a separate room. The rest of the party stayed in the room next to the family’s.
After a couple minutes Amalius’ voice could be heard through the door, “HE was DEAD!”
Then Denara shouted, “But I've met him! He gave us the tablecloth for our house! Please! You're scaring the children."
At that, Aldarian reacted to a silent command and went into the room. He took the kids and led them out and to the nearby nursery in Astyanax’s house. Amalius closed the door. Tagenadi left the adjoining room, not wanting to hear more than he should of others’ domestic disputes.
Denara shouted, "Who is that? Where is he taking them?! Tell me what's going on!"
A minute or so later Denara shouted again, “I've never met your grandfather! Please stop! You're making me scared!”
A few more minutes passed and then the wall separating the two rooms blew apart with magical sonic energy. Amalius’ dagger, Korm, came flying out of the room and imbedded in the opposite wall. When the dust settled, Denara was in the room. Amalius was absent having dimension doored away.
Tagenadi came rushing back. Sabriyya went to Denara, but she clawed at her the elf and backed into the corner of the room demanding that she be left alone. Tagenadi went up to her while Sabriyya retrieved Korm from the wall. Denara yelled at Tagenadi, demanding to be left alone. He told her everything would be alright and did his best to comfort her without touching her (thewamp was going for the awkward feel on this one).
Korm said to everyone in the room, “I told him. That’s not his wife. Amalius has no wife. I was there when he was growing up in Greece. He never married.”
The party talked among themselves. They got Denara to contribute as well after returning her children to her and calming her down. At the end of it they had three versions of Amalius’ backstory. One told by Korm, one by Denara, and a third by Aldarian.

Aldarian’s Story
Amalius told Aldarian a lot about his life before being captured by the Xorians. Aldarian’s story is really that of Amalius, or at least what Amalius told Aldarian.
When Amalius was a teenager he left his home in Jipangu to find his father in Greece. He caught up with his dad in Athens. There, Amalganus was confronting Amalgami, Amalganus’ father and Amalius’ grandfather. Amalgami was a powerful lich. He killed Amalganus and kidnapped/adopted Amalius. Amalius perfected his psionic powers under Amalgami’s guidance. Ten years ago, Amalius married Denara and they had three children. Korm was an overseer for the family while Amalgami went away for long periods of time. Korm and Amalgami tortured the family for many years. In 399 they escaped to Xoria. Not knowing that his name would get him arrested, Amalius used it with the hope of getting a safe return to Jipangu. He was arrested. After years of torture the Xorians told him they were releasing him as a spy into the Alliance. Cooperate and his family would live.
Amalganus being the father of Amalius is backed up by all the other Council Members.

Denara’s Story
Ten years ago, she and Amalius were wed. They had three children. Amalius’ father is called Horatius. Horatius gave her family the tablecloth that they used for years as a wedding present. She never met Amalius’ grandfather or Korm. She doesn’t know who Amalganus is.
Amalius joined the Rebellion in Bigby’s Forest. He became a spy in Petar. The family moved there from Makotako. Amalius was discovered and the family was captured. He was separated from them. Years later they were taken from Petar Prison and moved to Phoenix to be executed. Then the party rescued them.
Torin cast a zone of truth that revealed that she was not lying.

Korm’s Story
Korm matched up with a lot of the details of Aldarian’s story. Amalius came to Greece. His father was killed in front of him. He studied under Amalgami for many years. Korm and Amalgami tortured Amalius in order to make him strong. Eventually, Amalius ran away and he never came back. He never married or had a family. Amalgami wouldn’t allow it.

We ended the session there amid much confusion.

Anxe
2012-07-18, 08:29 PM
Alliance Session #18/Total Session #26
This session was held over Google Hangouts. Ozymandias, Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp attended. For simplicity’s sake, Hektor was an absent character. He cast a few utility spells, but for the most part did nothing.

Amalius was still missing. Hektor tried to scry for him, but Amalius was still under a mind blank effect from the prison visit. Astyanax suggested that Amalius may no longer be mentally fit for his Council position. Aldarian said he would take his friend’s place until Amalius recovered. Astyanax retired for the night and the rest followed suit.
Hektor tried another scry in the morning and located Amalius in the free range zoo of Bradel Fields. The party walked over. They found Amalius sitting in a hunched position in a wooded area.
Tagenadi approached him first. Amalius stood and opened his clasped hands, revealing a new psicrystal. The psicrystal was a black piece of obsidian. Every angle of it looked too sharp to touch. It floated out of Amalius’ hands and began a slow orbit around his head.
Tagenadi asked, “What’s that?”
The psicrystal answered, “My name is Black! And I’m here to get revenge on all those who have wronged me!”
The party tired of dealing with this confusing memory nonsense, decided that a certain sort of “vacation” was in order. They (Sabriyya, Torin, Amalius, Aldarian, Hektor, and Tagenadi) packed their bags and headed off to the Lich Shade to battle undead terrors.

Sabriyya told the others the story of the Lich Shade. The Lich Shade is a thousand foot pillar of stone that stands in the middle of the desert around Mars’ Oasis. Skeletons and zombies congregate around the tower and occasionally attack Mars’ Oasis. Once, an adventuring party fought its way through the undead to the tower. They found a passage way leading underground in the southwest edge of the Lich Shade. The adventurers went down the stairs and fought with an undead beast in the first room. Half of them were slain and the other half escaped forever scarred.
It is rumored that a lich lives at the bottom of the dungeon. The lich is called the Bane by the townsfolk of Mars’ Oasis. The party discovered some information at the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali that indicated another identity for the Bane. The designer of the hobgoblin king’s tomb left a map, noting the location of his own tomb. The location of the designer’s tomb and the Lich Shade match up. The designer was an evil elven wizard named Sahamathrian.
The party teleported into the desert a mile and a half away from the Lich Shade. They sent Aldarian in as a flying, invisible scout. Aldarian ascended 1000 feet to the tower’s zenith and began to fly over the hordes of skeletons zombies. After going 500 feet over the skeletons, the fly spell failed. Hoping the auxiliary feather fall in the fly would save him, Aldarian was sadly mistaken, for the feather fall was dispelled as well. He fumbled for a few moments, trying to think of an escape route. He came up blank, and braced for impact. He hit the sand in the middle of the undead and dropped to 0 hit points.
Aldarian staggered to his feet and drew his rapier, ready to defend himself against the undead. He was shocked to see no reaction on the undeads’ faces. He was still invisible, so they ignored him.
Seeing that their friend needed help, Torin cast hide from undead on the party. They scurried through the undead shamblers to reach Aldarian. Torin healed the party thief back to full health. The party decided to scout ahead as a group. They walked through the masses of undead. At the base of the Lich Shade they found a staircase in the southwestern side, just where the stories said it would be.

Aldarian gave the entrance and the stairs a sweep for traps. He found none and the party journeyed down. Hektor cast light on a rock and threw it to the bottom of the stairs. The rock illuminated a large room with four evenly spaced columns. The party walked down the steps. Tagenadi and Sabriyya jumped the last few steps to reach the granite tiled floor.
And then the lights went out.
Consumed by darkness, Tagenadi took a defensive stance. Sabriyya followed the wall on her left, hoping to find the edge of what she rightly assumed was magically darkness. Amalius prepared a disintegrate spell to be cast upon any enemy he perceived through his telepathy. Torin started his buff spell routine. Aldarian took a defensive stance by Tagenadi.
The beast in the blackness saw one person separate from the others. It moved upon Sabriyya and took a giant bite out of her for 84 points of damage. The beast lifted the elf in its jaws and prepared to swallow.
Amalius cast dimension door and Black delivered the touch spell to Sabriyya. She was teleported to the base of the steps. Tagenadi ran forward in the dark to engage the beasty. It picked him up in its jaws as well and injected some foul poison into his veins through a stinger. Sabriyya went to save Tagenadi. Hektor tried to dispel the darkness, but failed. The beast breathed freezing air on the party.
Beginning to feel outmatched, Amalius prepared an intricate series of dimension doors to escape the party. First, Sabriyya tumbled back to the rest of the party at Amalius’ mental instruction. Second, Black went forward again and teleported Tagenadi to the rest of the group. Third, Amalius overchanneled dimension door to get everyone to the outside.
The power failed. Some part of the necromantic aura within the tomb allowed teleporting within the tomb, but not teleporting out as an escape. Panicking, Amalius manifested another overchanneled dimension door. He rolled higher on his caster level check this time and managed to break through the interdimensional barrier. On the outside, Hektor teleported everyone to Mars’ Oasis before the skeleton and zombie horde descended upon them.

The party spent a day recovering. Amalius had heard of the monster, a nightcrawler. A gigantic worm beast composed of pure shadow. It does nothing but think of evil acts to commit before it commits them. Unfortunately, Amalius was unable to recall any specifics on how to slay such a beast.
The party had already encountered the important parts of its tactics though. The next day Torin prepared two freedom of movements and two delay poisons for Tagenadi and Sabriyya. He prepared a mass energy resistance for the cold breath weapon. Finally, he prepared a few daylight spells to cancel out the darkness.

The party went back the next day. Torin cast the buffs on everyone and readied a daylight for when the monster revealed itself. Too bad for the party, as the monster changed its tactics as well. Tagenadi went forward as bait, but the nightcrawler didn’t bite. It used its spell-like abilities to wear Tagenadi down a little bit. Tagenadi went forward more and came out of the darkness. He saw the gigantic nightcrawler sitting in the corner of the room.
He charged at it. Sabriyya made her way through the darkness as well, but was ambushed by four shadowy beings that came up out of the floor. She fought them with Aldarian’s help. Torin came forward with his daylight spell. The darkness was countered and ambient light conditions prevailed. The battle was now lit only by the magic weapons the warriors carried and the darkvision that Torin and Amalius possessed.
Tagenadi engaged in a slug fest with the nightcrawler. His hit point total was augmented by a share pain and a vigor power cast by Amalius. Sabriyya and Aldarian seemed to be fighting evenly with the shadow beasts, now identified as greater shadows. Torin kept healing everyone he could with mass cures that also damaged the undead.
With the slamming from Tagenadi, and some energy waves from Amalius, the nightcrawler eventually went down. Its shadowy form came off in smoky tendrils. The core of its body dissolved in a black liquid upon the floor. Unfortunately, Sabriyya was felled by the shadows. They were quickly banished as well, but Sabriyya lay dead upon the floor. Almost, instantly a shadowy ghost emerged from her body, but it too was banished by Torin. The party took a quick look around the room before retreating to Mars’ Oasis.
Aldarian found a secret door in the left wall. On the wall opposite from the stairs was a much more obvious door. A gigantic twenty foot wide set of double doors towered all the way up to the ceiling. The doors seemed to be composed of spirits which flowed across its surface emitting silent screams. (I linked this (http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/rodin/gates-hell.jpg) to give the players a good idea of the Gates.)

The party full rezzed Sabriyya using money from the war chest. They got some potions too. They then went back to the dungeon to explore further. The black pool of shadow from the nightcrawler was now a stain upon the granite.
First, Aldarian opened the secret door he found. Behind was a medusa head that tried its best to turn everyone to stone. Aldarian put the head in his portable hole. He searched the room from top to bottom, literally with his spider climb shoes. He found two more secret doors. Both were opened by Tagenadi, revealing two more medusa heads. These two were put into some sacks that Tagenadi carries around. Later plans were made to do something mischievous with the heads.
The party now faced the Gates of Hell. Their first attempt was to disbelieve the gates, but they found them all too real. Next, Aldarian tied Tagenadi to one of the columns in the room. Tagenadi went forward to investigate the Gate. He gave a few trial attempts of putting his arm, head, and a coin through. The coin was safely recovered along with the body parts. Not knowing what else to do, Tagenadi stepped through the portal. (I took thewamp aside for this. A lot of cool stuff happened and I have made a separate update of it. That update will be uploaded in a later post once the rest of the party finds out what happened).
Amalius’ telepathy no longer felt Tagenadi’s presence. After a few seconds, the rope they had kept taught on him, went slack. Unsure of what to do, the party asked Amalius to use a divination power. They found that Tagenadi was in Tartarus, safe and sound, and that the way to bring him back was to make a deal with Hades, Lord of the Underworld.
No one else wanted to go through the gate. They went back to Mars’ Oasis and the next day Torin cast a sending to Tagenadi. They asked where he was, if he was safe, what they needed to do to rescue him. Tagenadi replied, “I’m fine. Bargain made with Hades. I’ll return on my own. If I come back changed, kill me.”

The session endeth there.

Anxe
2012-09-17, 07:19 PM
Alliance Session #19/Total Session #27
Woo! Been awhile. My group ends up playing a little less often in the summer because we all go on vacations and things. We’ve also been playing Salzar’s pirate campaign a little bit. Anyways, the session was held in person. Throgg and Salzar showed up and Middle_Snu attended via Skype. Ozymandias and thewamp were absent, so we explained away reasons for their characters to be doing something else.

As thewamp was otherwise occupied we decided to table his journey into Erebos for the meantime. Tagenadi sent another message to the party, “I may have to stay longer than originally anticipated. I’m learning many things from Hades and time may flow a bit differently down here in the Underworld. By the way, the Gate to Hell in the Lich Shade can be bypassed by making it not be there or going around it.”
Sabriyya decided she would wait for Tagenadi’s return before venturing into the Lich Shade again. She put up her feet at her home in Mars’ Oasis. The rest of the party returned to the monolith in the desert and walked down the steps into the crypt. Inside they found the pooled shadow blood of the Nightcrawler still on the floor. The group used a few minor spells to collect the blood in a bucket without touching it. They hoped to sell the nasty stuff as spell components later on.
Going off of Tagenadi’s advice, Hektor shot a dispel magic at the gateway to Hell. That brought it down. Beyond was a 30 foot long corridor ending in a large iron portcullis. Aldarian searched the area for traps and pronounced it clear. The rest of the party went forward to take a look at the portcullis and the room beyond.
Spying through the portcullis the group saw a vast dark room. The ceiling must’ve been 40 feet high and massive columns made of bones towered up to the ceiling. The four columns were 20 feet around and split the room into nine parts, like the vertices of a tic-tac-toe board. Six massive sets of doors were along the side walls of the room. The other end of the room was out of sight.
Two levers were on either side of the door. Aldarian used his mechanical know-how to deduce that pulling both levers at the same time would lift up the portcullis. The elven thief looped a rope around one lever while Torin used his spear to push down the other. The portcullis lifted and the party was granted access to the next room. They entered cautiously, looking everywhere for danger.
After a few steps a booming voice echoed through the chamber, “All who trespass in the Bane’s Tomb will die!” A large undead warrior in plate mail, carrying two flails, stepped out from behind one of the closer columns. “And all who live in the Bane’s Tomb are dead!” A horde of wights stepped out from behind the columns as well. The wights’ flesh was the color of earth and dust swirled around them constantly.
The party of casters threw up various control spells to keep the undead from reaching them. A blade barrier and Evard’s black tentacles. The big dude made it through the blades and the tentacles. The wights went through the blades and around the tentacles. Torin dropped a wall of stone to cut them off. The big guy shouted, “Go get the cavalry!” and charged forward, trampling the party. Some of the wights split off to go to the sets of doors in the room. Hektor zapped the big man with a maze spell, incapacitated him for a few rounds.
The wights quickly broke through the wall of stone due to their amazing damage potential against stone objects. Amalius remembered too late that the creatures were dust wights, creatures of the earth, who moved through it as easily as a human walks. Hektor kept his cool and stopped the wights with an acid fog. A few other damage spells cleaned off most of the remaining wights.
Unfortunately, Aldarian got too close to one of the wights. He felt a thickness in his lungs and he knew that soon he would turn to stone. Torin healed him, buying a few seconds of time. Amalius racked his brain, and remembered that dust wight petrification can be stopped with a stone shape spell. Unfortunately, no one had that prepped today. Amalius sent Aldarian a minute or so in the future to forestall the petrification.
The big man came back, but a barrage of disintegrates turned him to ash. Unfortunately for the party, his earlier orders were still being carried out. Five of the sets of doors had been opened and the wights were bringing forth “the cavalry.” Five huge human looking beasts composed of rotting corpses lumbered towards the party. Amalius, Torin, and Hektor huddled in the corner of the room. Amalius split his mind in two and cast three lightning energy walls. The wights and the giant beasts charged through the walls. Torin was grappled by one of the beasts. Hektor announced a retreat and took Amalius to the stairs at the entrance to the tomb. Torin used his boots of teleport to escape as well.
Aldarian was still left in the tomb. Amalius teleported back in at just the right moment to grab Aldarian and escape. Amalius called upon his vast knowledge to think of a place that would have a scroll of stone shape. The answer came to him, Restnor’s Point. Hektor brought the party there. Torin and Amalius were able to keep Aldarian in the pink with time jumps and heal spells. Soon a cleric arrived from Restnor’s Point’s temple to Hephaestus. The cleric cast the scroll and saved Aldarian.

The cleric was glad to help, as Restnor’s Point is part of the Alliance. After a brief chat with him, the party sat down to strategize their next move. Hektor felt delving into the Lich Shade was a waste of time. Greshen Dale was set to join the Xorians this very day! Realizing their error, the party brainstormed a way to stop the negotiations and treaty signing between Greshen Dale and Xoria. The best plan they could come up with was teleporting to Greshen Dale, marching into the negotiation room, shouting, “I OBJECT!” and then seeing where things led from there.
Torin used his boots to get the party to the wizards’ city. As Alliance representatives they were led to the negotiation room by some Greshen Dale civil servants. Torin threw open the doors to the negotiation room and shouted, “I OBJECT!” just as planned.
The room had a large oval table with wooden chairs surrounding it. At one end sat three leaders of Greshen Dale, Talon, Krodius, and Loshok. Talon is the dromite (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/xph_gallery/80489.jpg) sorcerer leader of the Greshen Dale Council. Krodius is the leader of Greshen Dale’s Sky Patrol police force. Loshok is a wizard on the Greshen Dale Council who represents the business interests of the city.
At the other end of the table sat three human Xorians and two Dragovinians. The party recognized one of the Dragovinians as Barejando, the last of the Rages commanding King Jevaninada’s armies. Barejando glared at the party as they entered.
Talon spoke, “Ah! The Alliance has chosen to send us a team of diplomats after all. Let us rearrange the table then before you begin your debate. Perhaps the Xorians should sit on our left while the Alliance members sit on our right?”
The Xorians agreed and shuffled their seats over. Amalius, Hektor, and Torin sat down, while Aldarian waited outside.
Talon said, “We have already heard the arguments of the Xorians and were about to sign a treaty with them. Now that you are here, what do you have to say?”
Torin said, “What have the Xorians promised you in exchange for becoming their subjects?”
Talon said, “Essentially… Immortality for the best among us. Many of us are wizards who wish to continue our research long after our normal lifetimes.”
Amalius said, “You wizards would lose your autonomy to the Xorians. The Xorians will suck up the magic of the city and use it in the war, leaving Greshen Dale a broken shell of its former self. Becoming Dragovinians would damn you to Hell and isn’t true immortality anyway. The strongest Dragovinians, the Rages, have already had their numbers thinned by the Alliance. Couldn’t the same happen to the sky wizards?”
Barejando had a sour look on his face after the remark about the Rages, “Greshen Dale shall retain its internal system of government as long as it is loyal to the Xorian cause. And while the Dragovinian form is not invulnerable, it is far superior to any mortal form. I am ten times as strong as I was when I was a mortal.”
Hektor said, “What of the gods? If you turn your back on Zeus and the other Olympians to join the new Xorian god, you risk the wrath of the Heavens!”
Barejando laughed, “HA! Zeus? He is close enough to death that it makes no difference. The other Olympians are divided, fighting amongst themselves. Ares is on our side and he holds the thunderbolt! The old gods will not stop the Reaper from taking his place in the sky.

A few more arguments went back and forth. Eventually, Amalius asked for a recess. The Alliance met outside.
Torin asked, “What’s on your mind Amalius?”
“I was using my telepathy in there. Talon, the Greshen Dale leader, he’s not a wizard. He’s a psion!”
Hektor said, “So what can we do with that?”
“I’m not sure.”
“I’ve been thinking. The Dragovinians have their dragon god. Do you think they offered something more than just immortality to the Greshen Dale Council?”
Torin said, “What do you mean?”
“I have an idea. Let’s go back in and I’ll do the talking.”
The recess concluded, the party went back into the negotiation room.
Hektor spoke, “If you’ll allow me to digress for a moment, good councilmen of Greshen Dale.” Talon nodded his head. “Thank you. Now, Barejando, Blendegad seeks to become a true god, correct?”
“Yes. Once he is he will smite all non-believers.”
“Of course. And he will reward his faithful upon becoming an almighty god, correct?”
“Yes. I and all other Dragovinians will be rewarded. Our wings shall be returned and anything will be possible for those blessed with immortality.”
“But Blendegad has promised something more for the truly faithful, has he not? He’s promised you and a few others in the Xorian Empire, a place at his side. Godhood along with the Repear!”
“He has said this. Jevaninada, the living and dead Rages, many others, and I will all rise to become gods. Rivaling the Olympians in power, but with unified purpose instead of internal squabbling.”
“Yes. And the god of magic, you have promised that these gentlemen of the council will take over Hecate’s position?”
“Yes I have.”
“But what of Terroc the Betrayer, to whom you have already promised the mantle of god of magic! You cannot have two gods of magic! Or three or four! How many promises have you given, Barejando? Too many I think!”
Barejando sat in his chair, glaring at Hektor. His arms lay flat on the table with tensed muscles, ready to leap up and throttle the mortal.
Talon said, “I think we have heard all we need to make our decision. We shall announce our decision later today.”
Barejando and the others stood, respectfully bowed, and took their leave. On the way out, Barejando said to Hektor, “Meet me off-city and we’ll see if your magic is as strong as your words.”

A few hours later, the Greshen Dale Council announced that they would remain neutral. Both Xorians and Alliance members would be allowed into the city to do business, so long as no fighting broke out.
The party was still low on spells after the encounter in the Lich Shade. They didn’t want to risk meeting Barejando, with so few resources. They accepted the neutrality of Greshen Dale and stayed in the city for the night.
The next morning, Amalius organized a personal meeting with Talon to talk about his psionic abilities.
“So… My mental powers tell me that you are also a psion. You seem to be pretty well off up here. Could you give me any tips?”
“Sure! I’ve always found versatility to be the best source of power. For example, psionic power lets you do some crazy stuff with magic,” Talon snapped the fingers of his right hand and the chairs, table, and lamp in the room all turned to crystal, “and arcane power can be used to turn the magic off.” He snapped the fingers of his left hand and the crystal objects reverted to their former materials.
“Wow! So you’re a wizard and a psion.”
“Indeed.”
The two talked a bit more, before Amalius had to leave.

The party went to Bradel Fields to finally sort out the engagement between Cassandra and the Bjorn. They called an Alliance Council meeting. Arendil, Titandra, Junai, Kig, Logan, Torin, Amalius, Aldarian, and Hektor assembled in the Council Chambers. The party updated the Alliance on the situation in Greshen Dale. Conspicuously missing from the meeting was Astyanax.
Amalius said, “Now that the Greshen Dale business is out of the way, where is Astyanax?”
Arendil said, “He has gone to Dalleer to negotiate terms for his daughter’s marriage alliance. Before leaving he formed his army of goblin slaves that keep order in the streets. The goblins are led by Astyanax’s friends from the Knights Guild. They’ve been doing a remarkable job of restoring order. I feared the goblins would only make things worse, but it appears I was wrong.”
Amalius said, “Excellent! We’d hoped to negotiate with the Bjorn. We’ll leave immediately to assist Astyanax.”
“Before you go there is another matter we must discuss. We have been talking while you were away. We believe given your lineage, that keeping you as a member of the Alliance is not fitting. Amalgami destroyed the last Alliance through betrayal. You have already shown that you are willing to do so. Despite the aid you have offered us, I fear we can no longer trust you Amalius.”
“But what of the works of my father, Amalganus? He formed this Alliance! He was the light that brought you together!”
“Yes, but perhaps he left before his taint could truly be seen. It is the Council’s decision that you be exiled from Bradel Fields.”
Amalius sputtered and was at a loss for words for a few moments. He composed himself and said, “Will you at least allow me to speak with Astyanax first? Perhaps he thinks differently.”
“If you wish. We have not informed him of our decision yet. However, the decision remains valid without him. We had a quorum and the vote was unanimous.”
“I see.”

A little sad for Amalius, the party left for Dalleer. Upon arrival they were led to a room in the Bjorn’s mansion. Taken through the luxurious rooms they arrived at a small parlor where Astyanax sat, talking to the Bjorn’s Prime Minister, Terolio. The Bjorn stood next to the table on his flying carpet. The Bjorn’s outfit was quite ridiculous. A third gem eye on his forehead, gigantic gloves, boots with skates on their ends, and an old grey cloak. Amalius identified the gem eye as an Eye of Expose, meaning the Bjorn would always know when someone directly lied to him.
After exchanging pleasantries the party sat down. Astyanax and Terolio updated them on the situation. Astyanax had promised Harbinston as the dowry for Cassandra. The village has long been a point of contention between Dalleer and Bradel Fields. Formally declaring the village to be in Dalleer’s territory should settle the dispute. However, where is the territory line drawn beyond the village? Astyanax and Terolio both felt a straight line across a latitude would be most appropriate, but which latitude to pick? During the explanation he Bjorn interjected a few inappropriate comments that everyone else ignored.
Feeling the discussion was beyond them, the party adjourned to another room. Amalius had an announcement similar to the one he made at Greshen Dale, “Bjorn is a psion, and he isn’t human.”
Torin said, “He isn’t human? What do you mean? He looks human.”
“Yeah, but he’s not. His brainwaves are different or something. I can tell he’s not human.”
“What is he then? An elf with his ears trimmed?”
“I don’t know. He also can’t be a very good psion, he’s not smart enough. He’s only got an average brain as far as I can tell.”
“So what do we do?”
“I don’t know. Hektor, what do you know about the Bjorn?”
Hektor said, “Well, he’s an insane leader that is always picked by the last leader, who was also insane. He appoints a prime minister to do the actual ruling, and that guy is usually competent.”
“But what about this Bjorn. Where did he come from?”
“Nobody really knows. He must’ve just been a commoner before the last Bjorn appointed him.”
“When was the first Bjorn?”
“About 500 years ago. Where are you go-”
“Holy ****! The Bjorns are all the same person! He must be faking his insanity! He rules usinga shadow leader. He’s probably dominated Terolio and is speaking through him right now to Astyanax. And that’s why he lives so long, because he’s not human!”
“That actually makes a lot of sense,” Hektor said. Torin nodded in agreement.
“I’ll try and contact him with telepathy. Let’s see if he responds.”
Bjorn. Can you hear me?
Oh yes! Loud and clear! Did you have something to say thinky man?
Uh… Aren’t you also a thinky man?
No no. That’s Terolio. He does all the thinking. I just do all the skating. Woosh! Woosh! Skates!
Uh right… Nice talking to you.
Bye thinky Manilius!
“I don’t know what to think,” said Amalius. “Let’s just wait and see what Astyanax and Terolio decide in the morning.”

The next morning the party awoke to bells ringing throughout the city. “Is it for the engagement?”
A servant answered the party’s question, “No sir! An army is right outside the city walls!”
The party quickly got dressed and ran to the eastern walls. Outside were the people of Dorrowsan who recently joined the Xorians.

A short description of Dorrowsan
The city of Dorrowsan is a giant fortress composed of magical ice. The ice provides all the basic needs for the people of Dorrowsan.
There are many odd organization policies in Dorrowsan. The society classes are split into colors with White being on the bottom going through Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple to the highest Black. To get into the city you must give up your possessions and wear a robe according to your color. If you wish to have your items returned you are given a tattoo that signifies that you are never to enter the city again. One is upgraded from each color for doing something exceptional for their current ranking and downgraded for doing something dishonorable.
The city is led by a Fire Giant Cleric named Chirrigar. His title is The Great Lump. The people of Dorrowsan, instead of being unnerved by the identity of their ruler, are honored to have such a wise and strong protector. The Great Lump wields a magical scepter. It gives him absolute control over the people of the city at sunrise. He uses this power to organize a collective bowel movement every morning. The citizens of Dorrowsan have no memory of their time under the scepter’s control.

The city of Dorrowsan itself had moved. It’s ice buildings and towers were visible on the eastern horizon as the sun rose behind them. The people of Dorrowsan were assembled on the fields east of Dalleer, each wearing armor and holding a weapon. Chirrigar stood at the head of his army in a black robe, with ice armor on top. He held his scepter over his head and shouted in a voice that could be heard for miles, “People of Dalleer, I am here to fight for you city! Send out your leaders so that we may negotiate terms!”
Torin, Amalius, Aldarian, Hektor, Astyanax, Terolio, and the Bjorn all headed out to speak with the fire giant.
The Great Lump spoke with a rumbling voice, “I will be quick. I have an arrangement with the Xorians, but I am not so sure how well that sits with me. I wish to join this war, but I do not know which side. I wish this battle to be one of single combat. Your best against myself. The winner will take both Dorrowsan and Dalleer under their wing.”
The Alliance members talked it out amongst themselves. It seemed like a good idea to them so they agreed. Chirrigar said, “Then what shall the weapon be? Mano-a-mano or magic-a-magic?”
“Magic! Definitely magic!”
The party talked it out again and decided that pooling spells on Hektor would be their best shot. He’d use his SoD spells and if all those failed he could go in with Korm and hope to get a lucky vorpal crit. Hektor got magicked up while Chirrigar did the same. The battle began!
Both combatants started off with dispel magics. Hektor’s did a bit better and he cast an irresistible dance upon Chirrigar. Two rounds didn’t get him much though as the fire giant repeatedly made his saves. Even failed saves on disintegrate still leave hit point damager, but the giant had plenty of those to spare. Amalius assisted with knowledge and spellcraft checks, feeding this information to Hektor through telepathy.
Eventually both casters ran out of their big guns. Hektor went in for the kill with fly and improved invisibility. While close up, Chirrigar brought up a spherical wall of stone to prevent Hektor’s escape. They traded blows in the dark, and Hektor lost. His unconscious body fell to the ground and Chirrigar prepared to break through the stone walls and declare victory.
During the fight, Amalius and Bjorn had been conversing. Bjorn admitted to having psionic powers that could take down Chirrigar if necessary. The two psions agreed to team up against The Great Lump if Hektor fell. When Amalius felt Hektor go down he let loose with a dominate. Chirrigar froze within the dome. The Bjorn began slowly attacking his mind with other powers.
Amalius ordered the fire giant to heal Hektor. Chirrigar began expending cure spells on Hektor. When Hektor awoke, Chirrigar said, “Your companions have magically compelled me to heal you. I was going to do so anyways but apparently they didn’t trust me.”
Amalius commanded Chirrigar to not communicate or call for help by any means. Amalius then telepathed to Hektor, We’re going to get you out of there, just hang on a minute. The Bjorn’s planning something.
Amalius asked the Bjorn, What are you doing?
I’m trying to get the Lump to kill himself obviously. The Bjorn let loose with another death urge power, which the Lump resisted. Tell your mage to give the vorpal dagger to the giant. When my magic works, he’ll cut off his own head.
Amalius relayed the instructions to Hektor. Hektor passed Korm into the hands of Chirrigar. For a brief moment, Korm considered taking over the fire giant’s body, but reason relented. The dominate effect would override the dagger’s control. After several attempts at breaking the fire giant’s will, a death urge succeeded. The Great Lump brought the dagger up to his neck and cut straight through.
Hektor reclaimed and sheathed Korm. He picked up the fire giant’s massive scepter. As he touched it, the mace shrank in his hands to match a size more fitting for a human. Hektor took a few practice swings with the mace and felt its power over the people and city of Dorrowsan. He touched the head of Chirrigar and teleported to the top of the wall of stone with the head. He kicked the head off the mound and shouted to the Dorrowsan people, “I am your king now!”

The allies rejoiced while Hektor toured his new subjects. There was some discussion if Hektor would be allowed to keep the scepter, if it should be given to the Bjorn, or if another more suitable wielder existed. Nothing definite was decided, and the session ended there.

After the session, me and Throgg had a Gmail chat. He wanted to discuss a few things with the Bjorn. Amalius had asked to know more about why the Bjorn appeared as a human, but was not. The Bjorn smiled slyly and said, "Wanna be a member?" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4fXllxQa1Y&feature=player_detailpage#t=34s) Here’s a slightly edited transcription of the subsequent conversation (I took out the OOC stuff).
The Bjorn said, “Alright Amalius. I've heard quite a deal about you from my servants. They say you're a spy and a traitor. Why should I trust that you won't pass what I tell you on to others?”
Amalius answered, “There is truth in your words. I have held allegiance to my children above the struggles of the Alliance. You are well informed and may know that they were thought dead – only to be returned to me like hermit crabs: foreign minds wearing the bodies of my beloved family. I fear that they are lost in the psychic seas, their minds adrift.
“You are the Bjorn telepath, a master of mind and visionary of the third eye. I too am a sailor on such seas, but finding my beloved family seems beyond me. If you say to me that you can help me accomplish me goal, you and your cause will be bound to mine and I will swear my utmost loyalty to your secrets. I have behold the wrath of gods, descended into the depths of hell, slain beings of immense power in my search – if you say to me that you can help me find my family then I will pledge that fearsome determination to the Bjorn Telepath and swear to uphold all of its secrets.”
The Bjorn said, “You have much that is unresolved in your life, Amalius. I think first you must prove yourself to me before I train you. I think a fitting first task would be to discover the truth about your family. Tell me what happened recently when you rescued them. That may hold a key to the truth.”
“Hermit crabs, king, their bodies are the same but the occupants foreign. They know me and tell stories of my father and of tablecloths. All false – I was raised in Greece by my kinsman and know nothing of the life my ‘wife’ speaks of. Nor does she know of the experiences I know and hold to be true. I know that there is truth in my story and falsehood in their's…”
Amalius brought forth Korm, “A gift from my grandfather… an item well beyond the mundane life my ‘wife’ knows. While I came to acquire it only recently, I know it from my childhood. And now it is in my hand - a link to my version of the truth, not hers.”
“So in your opinion, the family you rescued holds the bodies of your family but not the minds?”
“I remember her flesh and her smell. And the children too feel familiar to me… Yet there is a third opinion that I hesitate to bring forth.” The Bjorn looked at Amalius expectantly. Amalius spoke slowly, “Korm, would you grace us with your… story?”
“Of course master! You see Bjorn, Amalius has no family. He dreamed them up after he left Greece. He never got married. Never had children. At least not while I knew him. We've only been separated for three years and ‘his kids’ are all at least five. Makes no sense to me.”
Bjorn said, “Hmmm... You said this dagger was a tool of your grandfather's?”
Amalius said, “Yes. A 'man' known for his treachery.”
“And a man known for his devotion to Eris, goddess of discord. Does this situation not seem chaotic, bringing discord to your mind? I think this little toy may be lying to you.”
Korm said, “Hey. Whatever floats your boat, man. I know what I know and I say what I say.”
“It is true that this one could be lying. He is certainly loyal, but not to me.” Amalius continued to speak as he pondered the situation, “Then what of my dreams? And what of my wife's? Hers seem so far removed from any truth. It was my grandfather, Amalgami, that honed my talents, not some fisherman.
“It seems to me that there are two options: Her memories have been altered - for what reason yet I do not know. Or… hmmm. If she spoke the truth, then my skills have sprung from nothing, and the dagger too. She knew of my capture by Xoria, and so if she does speak truly, then my dissonance must have come from Xoria. If Korm speaks the truth… and I am a bachelor, I was once again waylaid in Xoria… then she would be manufactured… and my memories of her too…
“Oh god.”
“Yes?”
Amalius said, “I would go on to spy for Xoria held ransom by my own thoughts. If I am truthful in my own words, why is their dissonance in my wife's story? I would have served without question for their safety. Why pester me with such a petty ploy as to alter her memories"
The Bjorn said, “I don't know. But you must find out the answer.”
Amalius said, “It would seem that Xoria is a constant piece and my answer must lie there. Amalgami was many things, but the subtly of this and the intricacy of such mental manipulation would have bored him.”
The Bjorn speculated, “Someone besides your wife and children who was present at your capture would know the truth.”
“Or someone who knew me in my youth. I must travel to Greece then. The names and faces of the men at Colchis are long gone to me”
Amalius new psicrystal, Black, spoke, “I have a different solution. Remember what Devanane the assassin said? The man responsible for capturing us and our family is a halfling named Stanton. He MUST know.”
Amalius said, “The albino…… Yes. In the forest… I beg your leave, kind king, to seek out the albino Dragovinian.”
Black said, “We can crush his mind. Squeeze the answer out of him.”
“His flesh may not burn, but his mind will.”
Bjorn said, “Yes. Do this. Afterwards, return to me. Tell me what you have learned. Then we will see if you are ready for training.”
Amalius left with a new mission in mind.
For those who have been paying attention the implications should be fairly obvious. For those who haven’t… Next session will probably end up being a true combo session where the low and high level campaigns meet up. They are about even in internal time as well for the next session.

Anxe
2012-10-02, 02:57 PM
Combo Session #2/Total Session #28
Everyone attended this session. The session was held over Roll20 for our first time ever! We liked it a lot. A little disappointed that I couldn’t put my own music (Star Wars, 300, etc) into the jukebox as it was copyrighted. Still, it’s way cooler than having our sessions over Google Hangouts.

As always, the party started off by bickering. Who gets the scepter? What do they do with the people of Dorrowsan? After a long discussion, Kig Yupington was named the wielder of the scepter. Kig would use the scepter’s power to move Dorrowsan over to Jipangu. Hektor relinquished his kingship, but with a promise of receiving one of the Xorian cities to rule after the war. At Jipangu, Gradorian can train the people of Dorrowsan with the Phoenix refugees. In a year or two they will be a fearsome army.
Next topic, where does the party go next? After much bickering, a desire for Tagenadi’s advice was stated. Then, in the most dramatic way possible, Tagenadi returned! Fire and smoke erupted out of the ground. As the smoke cleared and the smell of brimstone filled the area, the party looked upon their friend. Tagenadi had changed. His hair was gone and his flesh was pale and bloodless. A red light glowed behind his eyes. A slight aroma of death could be smelled in the air.
“My friends, I have returned from Hades with grave news. We must call a Council meeting.”
Bjorn lent a hat of disguise to Tagenadi to cover up his undead body. The party poofed back to Bradel Fields. Astyanax stayed behind to work out more wedding details. Before leaving Astyanax gave Tagenadi a piece of advice, “We all have to make sacrifices sometimes. Maybe you being a monster is yours, Tagenadi. As mine is similar.” Astyanax touched his mask and quickly pulled his hand away. Tagenadi touched his bald head and frowned. He patted the paladin on the shoulder before teleporting out with the rest.
Kig was given the Scepter of Dorrowsan. The Council members gathered in the Council Chambers. Tagenadi addressed the group, “I have spoken with the Lord of the Underworld, Hades, and he has given me wisdom in return for my service. I may look like an undead beast now, my friends, but I assure you; I am still the same man underneath.
“Hades told me of events in the dwarven tunnels under Xoria. I am afraid Titandra’s prophecy has new meaning now. ‘Hell marches in the west,’ did not refer to the Xorians, but Hades’ army.” Tagenadi hesitated for a moment.
Arendil said, “What has happened?”
“The Xorians have returned the Underdark land to the dwarf king, but not the people who reside there. Jevaninada killed all the dwarves he enslaved in down there. No living dwarf remains underground west of the Great Divide. But there is good news in this! The masses that were slaughtered now serve in the Dark Lord’s army. He will enter the war soon on our side! He needs only one thing first.”
Arendil said, “What does Pluto require?”
“He spoke of a prophecy that could return a dead god to its former glory. He said that Blendegad was searching for it and that Ares the Fool aided him. If the prophecy is used on Hades, then he can enter the war and secure victory for the Alliance.”
Torin spoke, “Couldn’t this prophecy be best used upon Zeus, who lies injured on Mount Olympus?”
“No. Hades was quite sure that the prophecy should be used on him and him alone. Another method must exist for healing Zeus.”
Arendil said, “I am wary of whatever words come out of the King of the Underworld’s mouth. Regardless, we must inform the dwarves of what has befallen their people. They may seek to enter the war above ground as well now.”

Using teleports, the party took Kig to Dalleer to oversee Dorrowsan. They picked up Sabriyya at Mars’ Oasis. From there then poofed to Jord, to speak with King Dainlin of the Hill Dwarves. Torin spoke with Shorlin, the king’s brother-in-law and castellan, “I in my duties as our ambassador to the Alliance, request an audience with his majesty.”
“Aye. What about young nephew? King Dainlin is very busy with his dwarf forms at the moment.”
“Dwarf forms?”
“Yes, forms for us dwarves. He has to sign this and initial that. I do try to do most of his paperwork for him, but there’s only so much that can be done without the King’s official signature.”
“Ah. I see.”
“Your audience?”
“I wish to speak of a tragedy that has befallen the Duergar in the west. I have just learned that the Xorians have slain all of them.”
“That is dire news… I shall take you to the King immediately.”
The party was admitted to the King’s study. King Dainlin sat over a large wooden desk reading, signing, and placing the King’s seal on various papers. He looked up and recognized his relative. “Torin! My grand-nephew! You’ve come to visit me! Come here!” The King stood up and gave Torin a big dwarf hug. “This blasted paperwork can wait! Lets get drunk!”
“My King, may not be the best time for drinking,” said Torin. The King looked shocked that any dwarf would ever say such a thing.
King Dainlin said, “Shorlin, bring in mead for us all anyways. I am a bit thirsty. Oh! And some fish too! These forms leave my throat dry and my belly empty.”
“Uh… My King, despite your belly’s emptiness, we really must discuss this important matter.”
“Yes. Yes. Go ahead.”
“We’ve learned through our sources that the Xorians killed all the dwarves under the Xorian Kingdom.”
Dainlin’s eyes opened wide in astonishment. He looked at the ground. He sighed as he sat down in his chair. “Bad news indeed… I’m not sure if I want all that mead now. You are sure of this?”
“Yes, our sources couldn’t be wrong.”
“And what sources are those?”
Amalius said, “Unfortunately, we cannot say, your majesty.”
“Ah. Magic undoubtedly. Well, keep your secrets if you must. I will not place such confidence in your sources alone. I will send scouts to confirm what you have told me.”
Torin said, “But, my King, it is true and we must strike against the Xorians as soon as possible. We should marshal the armies immediately and march to reclaim our dwarven land and enact vengeance upon the Xorians!”
“And if it is false, the dwaves would’ve breached our peace treaty with the Xorians by entering the Duergar territory too soon. The land is ceded in six days. Only then can we pass into the land unmolested. Hidden scouts are breach enough of the Xorians’ trust. But if what you say is true… I can think of no greater calamity that has befallen any people since the Great Flood. I swear that every last Xorian will pay for what is done.”
Shorlin reentered the room with mead and a steaming hot fish.
Dainlin said, “Ah! Set it down here. I am indeed still hungry after this news.”
Shorlin was sent to dispatch the scouts to Xoria. He also sent messengers to High Hold to inform High King Torngar of the situation. The party members and Dainlin ended up drinking all night. Hektor and Tagenadi abstained. Hektor told Tagenadi about Ungent of Timelessness, which would prevent Tagenadi’s body from rotting and stinking.
The next day was spent recovering from their binger with Dainlin.

Amalius had a request for the party, “I’d like to go after the man who kidnapped my family and I. He’s an albino halfling Dragovinian who was last seen entering Bigby’s Forest a few months ago. Is that enough for you to scry him, Hektor?”
“Maybe. I’ll try.”
Hektor used the limited description to scry and succeeded. He saw a living albino halfling marching on a hill’s ridgeline. Next to him was another halfling. Ahead of him were a human archer, and two orc warriors. Behind the two halflings was an unarmored human leading a mule.
“I found an albino halfling, walking on foot. Could be him? He might be using illusions to appear living.”
Black the psicrystal said, “Let’s get them.”
The high level party teleported in and confronted the low level party! (I took over the dialogue of the low level party for the initial confrontation. The players played their high level characters)
The high levels teleported in a ways off to not disturb the low levels. As they approached on foot Reggy said, “Did I ever tell you guys about the time I had to face down a fearsome fire mole?” He trailed off as the two parties met.
Hektor held his hand up in greeting and said, “We want to question you about Xoria.” Amalius glared at Stanton, the albino halfling.
Sivirdm aimed his crossbow at Hektor’s hand. Hektor snapped his hand down. “Torin, give them a demonstration of our power. On that tree over there.” Torin cast flame strike on the tree.
“By Zeus!”
“Run!”
Restoring order, Korjak said, “Don’t run! They’ll flame you if you run!”
Wu whispered, “I think these guys are Xorians. Keep cool.”
Hektor spoke, “As I said. We’d like to question you. What are you doing out here?”
“We’re just traders headed north,” Korjak said. “Yeah! We’re going north to get furs.”
“You expect us to believe that? What are you really doing out here?”
“Its fur season! I don’t know what else to tell you!”
“So orcs, halflings, and a human just travel together for work in the middle of nowhere?”
“Well hang on a minute! Who are you traveling in the middle of nowhere? Humans, a dwarf, and an elf?!”
Amalius said, “Unimportant. We’re looking for an albino Dragovinian. Seen one lately?” He continued his glare at Stanton.
Stanton said, “We saw a Dragovinian the other day. He was black, does that count as albino?”
Amalius only glared more at that answer.
Hektor said, “Let me explain. We’re from the Alliance. We fight the Xorians wherever we can. I myself was king of a city until a few days ago and am now a count. My name is Hektor of Lakatia. I’m a noble, so you know you can trust me. Now tell us the truth, have you seen any Dragovinians lately?”
Korjak said, “Could you give us a minute to huddle and talk this out amongst ourselves? We’ve never been graced by nobility before.”
“Sure.”
The low-levels gathered in a huddle. Reggy said, “He’s a king, he’s a count. He’s a Xorian, he’s not. I think he’s insane. I think we run in different directions. Some of us will get out alive.”
Wu said, “No we won’t. They’re too strong.”
“It’s worth a shot man. Who’s with me?”
Gregor said, “I will stay and fight. Buy you time. I want to test myself against the big one.”
Korjak said, “I’ll stay with Gregor.”
Stanton said, “I’m out. I’ll go invisible as soon as we start.”
Sivirdm said, “I’m for running too.”
Wu said, “Then I am in as well.”
Reggy said, “Okay. On three?” All nodded their heads. “THREE!”
Gregor and Korjak charged in, ending badly for both of them. Sivirdm, Stanton, Wu, and Reggy ran, but were quickly caught by the rest of the high-level party. We did roll the combat, but it was probably unnecessary.
Under magical interrogation the low-levels revealed that they worked for the Rebel army in Bigby’s Forest. They were previously Dragovinians, but had been turned to non-Dragovinian status to hunt the prophecy. Deciding to talk to someone who know more about what was going on, the parties teleported to the Rebel Base in Bigby’s Forest. There, the remaining Rebels told the parties that the main force moved to Gazeara. If they wanted to talk to someone important they’d have to go there. Another teleport and an introduction and the parties were led to speak with Major Dactirian, the man in charge.

Hektor said, “We’re members of the Alliance and we heard you’ve been searching for a prophecy.”
Dactirian said, “How good of the Alliance to send envoys! And yes, we’ve been looking for the prophecy pieces. It seems you found my special forces team and brought them back here. I am Major Dactirian. Who are you sirs?”
The party introduced themselves. Hektor asked, “Shouldn’t we be speaking with someone higher up than a major? A general perhaps?”
“I assure you that I am the highest authority among the Rebel army. I speak for all of us.”
“Alright then.”
“Why don’t I speak privately with one of you? It might be best to convey the true state of the Rebellion that way.”
“Torin is our representative. He’ll talk with you.”
“Alright.”
The parties left the room except for Torin.
Torin said, “We are looking for a prophecy. We have heard you are too. We want it NOW.”
“We’ve only recovered two of the five pieces. The others are out of our reach for now.”
“It is critical to our success. Where are the other places?”
“The other pieces are hidden within animal tribes in the Terror Mountains, the Dominarie Mountains, and the Caspian Sea. Bears, condors, and sharks were told portions of the prophecy by the druids long ago.”
“What pieces do you currently have?”
“The druids kept a piece for themselves,
Should one of the gods forever close his eyes
Find the weapon that caused him to die
Add it last with great caution
Then pour the mix on the great god's coffin.
“The wolf tribe just north of the forest also had a piece,
Go to where the Creator of Men hung
To where the eagle to its dinner would come
Take a piece of blood-red stone
And add it to the cauldron when it begins to foam.”
Torin asked, “Do you have any leads to where these ingredients for the prophecy might be?”
“The places in the prophecy?”
“Yeah.”
“Well… Prometheus was crucified in the Balkans. I know where it is. Here on this map.” He gestured to an unfurled map on his desk. “Quite a ways away as you can see. I was planning on having my special forces go there in my magic wagon. Get them there in a week or so.”
“We can get there faster.”
“Yes, but you’d set off the alarms around the Rock. Our strongest warrior tried and she was repelled by the Dragovinians that guarded the Rock.”
“What is your plan to avoid the alarms?”
“Send in the special forces men. They used to be Dragovinians so they bypass the alarms. They can shield maybe one other person who goes in with them. They don’t set off the alarms, no problem.”
“Ah! Okay. Can you tell us what exactly happened when you set off the alarms?”
“She was going to the bear clan in the Terror Mountains. She got close to the lake where the bears live. When she got there, some Dragovinians teleported in and attacked her. She escaped using her magic, but if she hadn’t, she would probably be dead.”
“Well, me and my team have slain three of the best of the Dragovinians. I think we can handle this.”
“If you think your team is better than the strongest member of the Rebellion, then don’t let me stop you from going after the Rock.”
More pleasantries were exchanged along with more info on who the special forces low-level party were.
While Torin talked with Dactirian, Amalius had a little chat with Stanton. (I missed most of it as I was talking with Salzar. Here’s what Throgg had to say about it). “Not much transpired - thewamp/Stanton didn't know what was going on. Throgg meta-knew and Amalius was confused and angry. Mostly he threatened Stanton and made snide comments.” So Amalius has confronted a possible lead and found it a deadend.

The party rested with the Rebels and elected to go after the Rock of Prometheus the next day. The low-levels were left behind at Gazeara with plans to take Stevie the Wonder Wagon to the bear clan. Stevie had been needed for the invasion of Gazeara, but that was now over. He could be spared for the low-level party’s transportation now.
The Balkans are two teleports away from Bigby’s Forest, but that’s no problem for a 15th level party. They got there in two hops. They found themselves on a constructed platform on the side of a mountain. Stairs led up to a second platform where the giant bloody Rock rested. The sides of the platform were effectively a dropoff. The stairs were guarded by five Dragovinians who reached for their weapons upon seeing the party. The team flew into action. The five Dragovinians were downed in about two rounds. The Allies searched the bodies and stuffed all the magical loot into their portable hole.
The party unfortunately didn’t take the time to chip a piece of the Rock off before the cavalry teleported in. Four creatures appeared next to them on the lower platform. King Jevaninada in his purple armor and crown, wielding the Diamond Sword of Xoria. Devanane the Enforcer, wearing his black armor. A large shadow dragon with fearsome ridges down its back and sides. Finally, a large sized Dragovinian wielding no weapons and wearing no armor except for an animated shield.
The large Dragovinian stepped up first and engaged Tagenadi. He clawed away a good portion of his hit points and said, “Sorry brother.” Devanane hopped on top of the shadow dragon and breathed fire upon the party. Sabriyya ran forward to flank the large Dragovinian. Jevaninada swung his sword at Sabriyya and downed her in three solid hits (Took her 1HP from dying!).
Tagenadi said, “You’ve grown larger brother.”
The big Dragovinian said, “So have you.” (Tagenadi has a ring of enlarge)
Tagenadi spun his kusari-gama around his head and managed to trip the large Dragovinian and the King, as well as pulling Devanane off the dragon’s back and onto the ground.
Amalius used his psionic powers to slow down time. He zipped over to the Rock, disintegrated a large portion of it, scooped a handful of dust into a small bag, and teleported Tagenadi and Sabriyya next to Hektor, Torin, and Aldarian.
Torin cast a quick cure spell to prevent Sabriyya’s death before teleporting out with his boots. Hektor got everyone else out just as the shadow dragon drew in air to breathe… whatever shadow dragons breathe.

The party recovered and rejoiced at their success! They reported to Dactirian that the mission had gone well, before going back to Bradel Fields. The Rock Dust was stored safely in the Alliance war chest. The gear taken from the Dragovinian guards was sold. The party went on a shopping trip with the loot and a few people leveled up. With victory in their hearts, we ended the session.

Anxe
2012-10-07, 01:10 PM
Oh! I forgot to mention. In the last session, Tagenadi was always leaving the party for short periods of time. Walking a couple dozen feet away or something like that. Often this was when they were discussing party business. He did it in a very obviously suspicious way.

Anxe
2012-11-05, 01:33 PM
Alliance Session #20/Total Session #29
This short session was attended by thewamp, Salzar, Ozymandias, and Throgg. Middle_Snu came in briefly, but was otherwise occupied with work. We played D&D for an hour or two before switching to video games. We played some League of Legends and then some Battle For Wesnoth, discovering that LOL is way cool for multiplayer and Wesnoth is bloody awful.

Anyways! The Session! I don't really remember the specifics at this point unfortunately. I delayed posting here too long.

Arendil called a council meeting to take a final vote on Amalius' position within the Alliance. Amalius' grandfather was now discovered to be the infamous Amalgami who formed and then destroyed the First Alliance against the Xorians. Not wanting a repeat of that, Arendil wished to throw Amalius out. Amalius wanted to see how Astyanax stood before he started his defense.
Astyanax had half his face flensed off, if you recall. He's been wearing a mask to cover it. I recently purchased a mask like Astyanax's to freak out my players over Google Hangouts. I ducked off camera and put something on a bit like this:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fYJyVXtUL._SL500_SY200_.jpg
The players appropriately freaked when I came up wearing the mask as Astyanax. He said, "While you have helped us in the past against the Xorians, your grandfather did the same before he betrayed my father. I cannot accept your help any longer. Blood always runs true and I see your betrayal as inevitable. I'm sorry, but I think it best if you sit out the rest of this war."
Preliminary votes were taken before Amalius voiced his defense. Arendil, Titandra, Junai, and Astyanax all voted for Amalius' banishment. Logan, Torin, Tagenadi, and Hektor all voted against banishment (Split along PC or past PC lines). Sabriyya had not sufficiently proven herself to have a vote, but she was present at the meeting. Gradorian and Kig were also away, but a quorum existed without them.
Thus, Amalius held the deciding vote on his own banishment. He stood up, drew in his breath, and spat on the table. "This is the thanks I get for aiding you at every turn? Sacrificing my very soul to the Dragovinians? If that's the case, then I am done with the Alliance. I'll take my leave, but not alone. Torin, I've saved your life countless times. You know that this Council's removal of me signals further stagnation. Come with me and we can continue to oppose the Xorians without the petty restrictions of old men.
"And Tagenadi, don't think that this Council won't turn on you next. These elders are stuck in their ways and will refuse the aid of such a powerful god as Hades. They already have one foot in his realm, but will reject your help for fear of contamination. Siding with me is the only way to ensure the fall of Xoria.
"The same for you, Sabriyya. These dogs will reject your aid as it only comes through a man such as Tagenadi. A brave and just man, that they are blind to see only because he lacks a pulse. Stay here and you'll get to fight only a few Dragovinians before the Alliance crumbles. Come with me and you can slay every last one of them.
"And Hektor, I hope you now see the decadence and corruption within the Alliance. Don't side your Aractrashan armies with ancient, decrepit men. Come with me and the war can be won."
With that, Amalius disappeared out of the room. Torin followed an instant later in a puff of smoke. Arendil gritted his teeth in frustration, but said nothing.
Tagenadi stood and said, "Amalius may have overstepped his bounds in what he said, but some of what he said is true. I see that my presence here is no longer wanted due to my pact with Hades. I leave willingly, but I will continue the fight against the Xorians. Hades has told me that the dwarves slain in the west have risen as his undead army. I'll use this force against the Xorians. Hopefully justice will triumph in the end."
Tagenadi and Sabriyya left the Council Chambers.

We ended the D&D part of the session there and moved to video games. The guys plan to hook their power to that of Bjorn and Dalleer now. Unsure what Middle_Snu is going to do with Hektor, but we'll wait and see. Also, neat note! The Greek word for contamination is miasma!

Anxe
2012-11-12, 09:41 PM
Alliance Session #21/Total Session #30
The session was held over Roll20. Throgg, Ozymandias, and thewamp attended. Salzar also made it, but was a little late.

Having just left the Alliance, the party wondered where to go next. Should they go aid the Rebellion in the west? Delve into the Lich Shade once again? Tie their wagon to the Bjorn in Dalleer? Go raid the Xorian financial capital? Do something in Aractrash? A lot of options got thrown around. After severe DM prodding, the players were convinced to go talk with the Bjorn.
The team was admitted to the Bjorn’s Palace. The prime minister, Terolio, met with them. “I’m sorry gentlemen. The Bjorn is busy at the moment. He’s having one of his worse days today and is yelling at the books in his library for containing too many words. Is there anything I can do for you?”
Tagenadi said, “Yes. We’ve just been banished from Bradel Fields and we were…”
Amalius broke in, “Hoping you could set us up here.”
Terolio said, “Yes. Of course. The Bjorn has made such arrangements for friends of his in the past. However, you can’t stay in the palace. I’ll make arrangements for you to stay elsewhere in the city. But first, there is some business to attend to.”
Amalius said, “Oh?”
“Prior to yelling at Homer, the Bjorn gave me instructions for you should you return. Scouts report that the city of Crux is on the move. The undead appear to be moving the entire city south. They have already crossed the Curving Stream. It would please the Bjorn if you went to Crux’s current location and opened negotiations with whoever rules the city. The Bjorn felt that the common connection between Tagenadi and the undead might mean something.”
Amalius asked, “Would we have official negotiating power of the Bjorn if negotiations take place?”
“Unfortunately, no. I can’t promise such a thing. You will be provisional ambassadors at this time. Full negotiations will have to be approved by myself or the Bjorn.”
Accepting the situation, the party rested for the day.

In the morning one of Dalleer’s mages scried Crux and showed the party. Masses of skeletons, zombies, wights, and ghouls moved buildings upon their backs. They carried the buildings a few dozen yards, before setting them down, and going back to move another building forward. Living and undead clerics directed the movements of the weak-willed undead. At the center of the city stood the Silver Tower, looming over all.

A little background info on Crux:
Crux is a city inhabited mostly by undead. About ten thousand people live in it and about five times that of undead. The skeletons and zombies are used as mindless slave labor. Ghouls and wights are ordered around as well to do simple labor tasks. The Silver Tower at the center of the city causes the weaker undead within the city to follow orders given to them by those who can turn or rebuke. More powerful undead such as mummies or vampires are not subject to this effect.
The people who live within the city do so for various reasons. Some wish to perfect the necromantic arts, others wish to bring dead one’s back to life, and others wish to perform experiments which would be unethical with living subjects.
Notable structures within Crux: A bank run by vampires. A small potion and curiousity shop run by the ancient, one-eyed, and one-handed lich, Vecna. She also sells a super powerful spell, said to wipe out all life within miles. At the top of the Silver Tower is the Antenator, a three-headed bodak. The Antenator is Hades’ representative in the mortal realm. It is what keeps the undead of Crux in line. Some say that the Antenator will answer any question if someone makes it to the top of its tower, but none have succeeded.
The party teleported in a few miles in front of the city’s path. They waited for scouts to spot them. A human on a skeletal horse spied them and ran off towards the city. The group waited until the scout returned with many other riders on skeletal horses.
“You have the looks of a negotiation team, not spies.”
Tagenadi said, “We are.”
“Saddle up then. We’ll take you to Vecna. She’s the one in charge for now.”
The party got on the horses. Sabriyya gritted her teeth as she did so. She hated undead. Her friend, Tagenadi, had turned into one. Now they were talking with them instead of sending them to Hades like they deserved. It was beginning to get on her nerves.
Riding through the city, the adventurers saw all the undead and clerics moving about. Tagenadi took out a special gift that Hades had given him, the Cap of Invisibility. Tagenadi set it upon his head and all the undead and clerics knew what it meant. Tagenadi was the general of Hades. They saluted him, prayed, and bowed as he winded his way through the city streets. All the while, the former Alliance members drew closer and closer to the massive Silver Tower at the city’s center.
They reached the base of the Tower. The Tower slowly moved through the earth on it’s on. There were no windows or doors. To the side of the tower, a dozen skeletons lifted a small hut. A staircase descended from the hut’s door to the ground. One of the scouts said, “Vecna is in there.”
Tagenadi said, “I’ll go in alone.”
Amalius said, “Wait! Take Black with you. He’ll protect you if something goes wrong.”
“Alright.”
Black hopped into Tagenadi’s pocket and the warrior went up the steps into Vecna’s hut.
Candles lit the hut. The candles sat in skulls, metal dishes, and on the bare wood of tables and shelves. Hundreds of spell components, books, potions, and magical knick-knacks covered the shelves and hung from the ceiling. At the center of the hut was a table with a crystal ball on it. A dusty cushioned seat was on Tagenadi’s side of the table and Vecna sat on the other side. She wore a long dull purple robe. The only skin remaining in her body was her right eye. Her arms rested upon the table, showing that she retained her right hand, but her left was missing.
“Welcome Tagenadi. How’s your family doing? Same as always?”
Tagenadi glared at her and took the dusty seat.
“Ooo… All business. Okay then. Have you anything to ask me or shall I just tell you what you need to do?”
“I have something to ask you, but it can wait. What do I need to do?”
“The Antenator controls this army, not I. You must speak with him. He will tell you Hades’ plans for war. But I wouldn’t go alone into that Tower. You should take your friends with you. Even the little stone you have in your pocket.”
“I see. So I have to speak with the Antenator because you don’t know what I need to do.”
“I didn’t say I don’t know. Hades has different ways of speaking to all of his children. But you had a question for me.”
“I want an item to reverse the polarity of energy upon me. I want positive energy to heal me once again and negative energy to hurt.”
“I see, but this will come at a price. I already have all the money in the world. Instead, I deal in favors.”
“What sort of favor do you want of me?”
“I don’t know. It could be anything. I don’t need you now, but I might later.”
“Then my answer is no. I made my bargain with Hades because it hurt only me. A debt to you could hurt others as well.”
“Oh, did you want me to talk with Hades for you, little soldier?”
Tagenadi’s dead eyes opened wide when Vecna said this. “No! Not yet! No!”
“Let me know if you change your mind, dearie.”
Tagenadi got up to leave. As he turned around, Vecna waved her left stump goodbye.

Torin said, “So what’s the plan?”
“We have to go into the Tower.”
“How do we do that?”
As Torin spoke, a ten foot wide door appeared in the Tower’s walls. The party stepped in and assembled themselves in a small oval shaped room within. Words were written on the opposite wall,
Little is big, and Big is small,
You’ll learn that size doesn’t matter at all,
Small scrapes wound, and cures fatal,
Do the opposite if you are able.
The party began puzzling over the meaning of the riddle. As they did so, the door behind them reverted to its previous wall form and the wall in front of them disappeared. Beyond was a large circular room. Tables and chairs littered this dining room and unlit chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Dozens of torches were affixed to the walls in upside down positions. At the center of the room was a gargantuan ogre looking man with a wooden club. The ogre roared and moved to attack.
Tagenadi and Sabriyya both ran forward to engage, but found the monster’s natural armor to be ridiculously high. Torin threw a flame strike at the beastie that seemed effective. The beast brought its club down on Tagenadi, dealing a heap of electricity damage. Fortunately, death knights are immune to electricity, so Tagenadi didn’t care. Aladarian turned invisible and Amalius used a psychic crush upon the ogre.
The ogre freaked out, shouting “WIZARD!” It barreled forward towards Amalius. Sabriyya got a devastating cut on the ogre’s ankle and Tagenadi forsook his free attacks to gain a bonus in the next round. The beast missed its attack on Amalius. Unfortunately for the psion, the beast was trained in anti-mage techniques and casting defensively within its reach would not be possible. Amalius chose to set a spell off anyway and he got hit with the club for some electricity damage. In response he threw up an energy adaption. The protection wasn’t enough to stop the paralysis effect of the ogre’s cattleprod. Amalius went down. Aldarian swept in with a portable hole and bagged his master up safely. Sensing something amiss, Torin cast true seeing on Tagenadi. The warrior noticed that the large ogre he was fighting was in fact an illusion.
Tagenadi whirled around to see Amalius disappear into the void of Aldarian’s bag. Next to the elf was a small red demon with electricity glowing in its hands. Tagenadi engaged the demon and Sabriyya joined in. The two of them quickly took the beastie down with some help from Torin’s animated tables and chairs and a suggestion spell from a restored Amalius.

At the opposite end of the room were two staircases that led up to a landing. On the landing was a silver door with more writing upon it:
“That which is in locomotion must arrive at the halfway stage before it arrives at the goal.” –Zeno of Elea
Halfway forward, Halfway back,
Go forward and you’ll shrink,
Go back and you’ll be halved,
To succeed you must halve the Halver,
Or shrike the Shrinker.
The party opened the door and saw a long, 5-foot wide corridor. At the end was another silver door. Not wanting to venture in without info, Torin quickly sent his chairs running in. After much more experimentation the party learned a few different facts.
1. Going halfway in to the corridor causes something to shrink to half its size. Going to the three quarters point from there will cause a second shrinking. This continues until the objects disappear.
2. Coming back across one of the halfway points causes that object to lose half of its body. A chair they sent across lost two of its legs upon returning.
3. Both of the above effects only happen once per halfway point. Therefore when a chair goes forward and back across one halfway point it is only shrunken and halved once.
4. The upside down torches within the corridor and in the dining room do not shrink or halve when they go through. However, if the torches are cut in half by a sword and then thrown through a halfway point, they do shrink.
5. Amalius used his divination power and received this response,
The Halver is a ghost,
The Shrinkers are all traps,
Defeat either or you won't last.

Tagenadi went deep into the corridor, pushing a table ahead of himself to ensure that one of the traps didn’t shrink him. When he pushed the table across the halfway point, a ghost came out of the walls and attacked him. It held a long black sword that it swung at him. Fortunately, the sword seemed solid and clanged off of Tagenadi’s armor.
Sabriyya ran in and doused her weapons with an oil of ghost touch she’d purchased earlier. Tagenadi swung as best he could to hit the ghost. Torin used his curing magics to keep Sabriyya in action and damage the ghost. Everytime the ghost hit, it dealt damage equal to half the target’s current hitpoints. Amalius and Aldarian sat on their hands and felt useless. Eventually, the tide of the battle was turned and the ghost was vanquished. A yellow flash went off at each of the halfway points, signaling that the trap there was dispelled. All the chairs, torches, and other items returned to their normal sizes and regained their other halves.

The party went down and read the riddle upon the next door:
Going up and going down,
Going around and round,
All ways are closed,
But there’s another way out.
The guys opened the door. Beyond was a staircase, spiraling up to the left.

It was getting pretty late, so we ended the session there.

Anxe
2012-12-22, 12:02 PM
Alliance Session #22/Total Session #31
This session was held at Salzar’s house. He, Ozymandias, Throgg, and myself attended in person while thewamp attended via Skype.

First the group had to tackle the riddle of the staircase. They decided to explore it in two groups. One group would consist of Tagenadi, Aldarian, and Amalius. The other would be Torin and Sabriyya. Sabriyya and Aldarian would be tied together with a rope to ensure constant contact between the two groups. The players feared some sort of trap that would prevent them from leaving the staircase once it was entered, so they at least wanted to keep the groups together.
They went up a few flights and began to notice a pattern. Every ten feet of stair there was an upside down torch and every other ten feet there was a window. The window looked out over an extremely cloudy landscape with a few mountainous peaks just visible one or two hundred feet away. Definitely not the plains north of Shalerton that the group entered the tower in.
The group tried a throwing stuff out the window and detecting magic, among other things. Tagenadi stuck his head out the first window and Aldarian ran up to stick his head out of the second window. They waved at each other. Aldarian pulled his head back inside and saw a skeleton corpse, previously unnoticed in his rush up the stairs. He alerted the others and they came to look at it.
The skeleton wore tattered, decaying red robes, some boots, and a disintegrated hat or headband of some kind. Around its neck was a leather pouch. Underneath it was an old spellbook strapped to the mage’s belt. On the mage’s right ring finger was a simple golden ring. After careful prodding and poking the party discovered that the ring was magic, but detect magic couldn’t reveal the school of magic. They also opened the pouch to find an ivory carving of an elephant and a silver figurine of Hades, possibly used as a holy symbol. The ring, elephant, and holy symbol were pocketed, while the book was left because it fell apart when it was read.
Out of ideas on how to proceed in the tower, short of going up it, Tagenadi elected to scout ahead a few floors. He ran up the stairs…and didn’t come back.
Worried, the party discussed plans of rescue, but abandoned them in favor of climbing outside the tower and looking for Tagenadi in the clouds. They then went back and forth between rescuing him and the cloud plan. They were following Tagenadi’s tracks to see if they disappeared at a particular point, when Tagenadi returned out of nowhere upon a firey nightmare steed.
Torin asked, “Whoa! Where did you get that?”
Tagenadi said, “I think I’ve always known how to summon it. But you have to follow me! Once we go up the stairs there’s another window. I made a hole in the wall to make my own window, but then I noticed that the other window had another tower outside of it in the clouds. I threw a rock on the window and I found a wall of force. The walls actually made an invisible staircase that I climbed out on. I walked through the clouds and made it to the other tower. Inside was another room and another riddle. Then I summoned my horse and it brought me back through the astral plane.”
A little concerned for Tagenadi’s sanity while he rode a firey hell horse and spoke of other towers in the clouds, the party decided to send a scout with him first. Sabriyya took the same path with Tagenadi and found his story to be true. The rest journeyed along and they found themselves in front of a door with the next riddle.

This thing all things devours,
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers,
Gnaws iron, bites steel,
Grinds hard stone to meal,
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountains down.
___________________
When this thing abandons you,
What is left?
Turn to the gods or your youth is theft.
Thinking the riddle had to do with clocks, Amalius taught a clock related dance to Tagenadi and the newly undead man opened the door. Opening the door took the party to a vast starry landscape. There was no ground beneath them and everywhere they looked was the inky blackness of space or the pinpricks of starlight. No gravity existed and the party quickly learned they could move in any direction they wished.
And in the blackness was a fearsome beast. A shadowy wispy form, half the shape of a leopard, half the shape of a man. Amalius vaguely remembered such a picture from his younger days when he read so many books. This was one of the immortal children of Echidna, the Phane.
The Phane rushed forward and extended his wispy touch to Tagenadi. The knight became frozen in time. Amalius attempted to free Tagenadi from the time prison, but failed. Torin used destructive magic on the Phane, but found its incorporeality and spell resistance difficult to overcome. Aldarian and Sabiryya engaged the Phane directly, finding that it took a significant amount of damage from Sabriyya’s holy scimitar. Amalius overchanneled the hell out of a dominate and trapped the Phane in his psionic clutches.
Tagenadi soon returned and the time bubble around him wore off. Amalius then questioned the Phane.
“You’re one of the other tests in the Silver Tower, correct? How do we surpass you?”
The Phane spoke directly to the minds of the party, “You must defeat me and you have done so. To pass to the final test you must only ask to leave.”
“What can you tell us of the final test?”
“From here on lies only Death and Death is the only answer.”
“Do you know who the skeleton in the tower was?”
“He was another of those who failed to reach the Antenator.”
“And… How’s your day going?”
“Time is nothing here. I contemplate the universe and it is the same as always.”
“Alright then…” Amalius paused then said, “I hate to leave you with nothing after you’ve answered our questions. Here’s a symbol of Hades, so you have something else to keep you company in this place.” Amalius handed the silver figurine of Hades to the Phane.
“Thank you.”
“We’re ready to leave now.”

The party appeared in a large room. The silver walls of the room had drawings and etchings covering them. One side told the story of Thanatos and Sisyphus. For those unfamiliar with the story, Thanatos is the Greek god of Death and Sisyphus tricks Thanatos twice. After living three times as long as a normal man, Sisyphus is taken to Hell and has to push a boulder up a hill for eternity. You can check out the Wikipedia entry here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus).
The other side of the room told a story the party had never heard of before. That of Thanatos and Anorexia. This is a story of my own creation. Thanatos sat upon a mountain when he wasn’t out collecting souls. He often stared down at the village below his mountain. A young girl lived there named Anorexia. She was much thinner than the other girls. Thanatos became obsessed with her due to her similarity to a skeleton. He began watching her whenever he got the chance. Sometimes he swore that she could see him out of the corner of his eye. Eventually she wasted away to nothing and he took her up to his mountain to be his bride.
The Thanatos and Anorexia is something I wrote a while ago to see if I could come up with a Greek myth of my own. The full story is here:
Glory to the Muse, Erato, for she rules this story and its contents of poetry and love.

Long ago, when the immortals still walked the surface of Gaia, the king of the Gods was Zeus. This is a story about the conquest of women and Zeus had many conquests of women, but he is not the hero of our story. Zeus’s father was Cronos, and before Cronos there was Uranos. Uranos, the sky, sprung from the body of Gaia, the earth, and then copulated with her to make the Titans and their leader, Cronos. Before the Titans, and even before Uranos and Gaia, there was Chaos. Chaos had five children, Eros, Gaia, Tartaros, Erebus, and Nyx. Nyx, goddess of night, was the first to gain carnal knowledge of Cronos, the second king of the gods, and from their union the plagues of man were born. The plagues were many but our story concerns only one of them, Zeus’s third cousin twice removed, second cousin, first cousin, and half brother, Thanatos.

Thanatos was the god of Death. You may know Charon whose job was to ferry souls across the River Styx to the land of the dead. It was Thanatos’s job to drag the souls of men to the banks of the Styx while they still clung to their corporeal bodies with every one of their wispy fingers. The ghosts would plead with him, asking to return to their old shells for just a few moments to say goodbye to their families, or for one last night with their love.

Thanatos ignored their cries. He knew it was all lies. He would never allow the wiles of a mortal to ensnare him again. Sisyphus had tricked him, telling a sad story of his children having no inheritance if Sisyphus was not allowed back to life for just a few minutes. Thanatos considered the mortal’s situation for only a moment, in which the crafty Sisyphus threw a length of chain around the god of Death. The vile human being escaped to a second and third lifetime before Thanatos brought him into Erebus’s darkness for good. Thanatos would not be put into chains again. Death would not be imprisoned again. He would continue to bring humans to the banks of the river of Erebus until the end of times. It was his purpose.

There were times of war when Thanatos was rushing back and forth between the surface of the earth and the world below, bringing the spiritual remnants of the casualties closer to their final resting places. There were other times in peace when Thanatos could relax and only had to fly off from his home atop Cloud Mountain every hour or so. It was in these moments of respite that Thanatos looked down on the human race and envied them. They still had occupations and purposes, but the order of the universe did not call them to one thing or another. The mortals of the world chose their place in it while Thanatos was bound permanently to be the caretaker of souls.

On one of those peaceful days, Thanatos looked down on the humans and one of the young girls of marriageable age caught his eye. She was not beautiful like the other girls with silky brown hair and luxurious hips. This girl had hips that seemed no wider than her body and disgusting brown hair with blonde streaks in it. She had a small nose, so she could not smell her future husband’s dinner while it cooked, and she had almost no eyebrows to keep the hot Hellas sun from blinding her. It surprised Thanatos that so pitiable a girl would be left alive instead of abandoned to the wilderness with the other undesirables. Surely, she would never be married to anyone of reputable lineage.

Yet, somehow, the girl interested him. Thanatos put his hand to his ear and was just able to catch her name before the next warm body called for his attentions. Anorexia.

After Thanatos dealt with the screaming and kicking soul he observed Anorexia in her daily labors. She washed her father’s and her mother’s clothes in the river with the largest rock she could pick up, which was not very large. She milked the cows. She fed the chickens. She attended to her younger brother who had a fever as children sometimes do. She did all her chores with a downcast eye and with few words in response when her parents demanded more of her. She was the perfect filial daughter and one of the finest wives if only she weren’t so ugly.

Thanatos took to watching her every chance he got. He spied her from his throne on Cloud Mountain and slowly crept closer for a better look. He was entranced. Her form was thin and damaged just like…Just like the dead. Thanatos knew she was repulsive in the classical sense, but to him, she was beautiful.

His obsession with Anorexia increased. He began watching her as she slept and sometimes coming in close enough to smell her dry and oddly colored hair. She could not see him, for she was not close to death, but Thanatos felt she was aware of his presence. Her joints always made popping noises when he was nearby. She would sometimes stop and stare at shadows. Thanatos wished he could reveal himself to her, but it was not his choice to do so. Being next to her if not talking to her would have to be enough for now.

As the days went by Anorexia grew thinner and thinner. Thanatos thought she might be losing weight because his presence unnerved her, but he also noticed that a little bit of the food she was served always seemed to be put under the table for the dog instead of in her mouth. The bones on her arms and legs began to show and she used smaller and smaller stones to clean the laundry at the river. She was wasting away. Thanatos wasn’t concerned. He was aroused. Her cadaverous body pleased him even more than before. He wondered how far she could go before she would see his face.

Eventually, while milking the cows, Anorexia collapsed. She would’ve lingered and possibly recovered if Thanatos had allowed her family to care for her, but he did not. He gently picked her soul up out of her body and welcomed her into his world. “You have nothing to fear, Anorexia. I have been watching you and I want you to be my wife.”

She said, “Yes,” and Death finally had something of his own.

At the center of the room was a silver sarcophagus. The outline of a noble woman wearing a crown could be seen on the sarcophagus. Upon her torso were these words,
Stab the heart!
Stab The Heart!
STAB THE HEART!
The words were written larger further down on her torso.
The players immediately started thinking that this was a suicide room and the only way to proceed was to stab themselves in the heart. Sisyphus tried to escape death and was eternally punished. Anorexia accepted death and received eternal rewards. The party tried stabbing the coffin, but found even adamantine couldn’t pierce it.
Sabriyya elected to be the first to stab herself, with Torin ready to heal her if the plan failed. Sabriyya laid down on the coffin, positioned her scimitar, and plunged downwards. The scimitar entered her flesh and she disappeared.
Deciding that this was successful, the party executed themselves one by one. When all were done they found themselves before the Antenator, the Three-headed Bodak, Thanatos, Death.

They stood in a space with the Antenator before them. It was ten feet tall and all grey. Three heads sprung from its shoulders. It wore no clothes, but had no genitalia. Behind it two upside down torches burned. All but Tagenadi averted their eyes, fearful of the Bodak’s gaze.
It spoke, “Xorians seeking my counsel! Hurrrr! If it were within my power I would slay you where you stand!”
Amalius said, “Xorians? What?”
Torin said, “We’re not Xorians.”
“I can recognize Xorians when I see them! Red X’s on their bodies with black armor! You are Xorians!”
Sabriyya said, “No we aren’t! We’re fighting Xorians!”
“So it’s tricks is it? Well I won’t be fooled! I know a Xorian when I see one! And if it weren’t for my godly duty not to slay someone until their time comes, you would already be dead!”
Tagenadi stepped forward and put on the Cap of Hades, “Would a Xorian have this helmet?”
The Antenator bowed low immediately, “A servant of the Lord of Hell is welcome here.” The Antenator shook its heads. “But wait… You aren’t Xorians at all. What was I thinking before?”
Tagenadi said, “No we are not Xorians. We are members of the Alliance that fights the Xorians. Or we were until recently.”
“Yes. The bearer of the Cap would not lie.”
Sabriyya asked, “Why are you traveling south?”
“I go south at the orders of Alliance members who came to me previously. They said I should take the armies of Crux south and fight the Xorian Empire in the east.”
Amalius said, “In the east? But the Xorian Empire is in the west.”
“No. The people who came before definitely said the Xorians were in the east.”
“Great Antenator, I fear that those who came before us may have lied to you. The Xorian Empire is in the west. You first saw us as if we were Xorians. Perhaps similar magic was done to make you feel your previous visitors were Alliance members when they were in fact Xorians?”
“Yes, that is possible. And Tagenadi bears the Cap of Hades, so I must trust what he and his companions say. But who could have done this? Only those with power rivaling the gods can conjure illusions powerful enough to trick me.”
The party congressed and decided on three likely candidates for who tricked Death: Vecna, Sherlock the Warlock, and Blendegad. A strong emphasis was put on Vecna.
Death spoke, “This is most troubling. You must explore who caused this once you leave the Silver Tower. But first, the rules must be followed. You came to visit me. Each of you may ask one question of me. I will answer it truthfully. Then if you wish to ask another question, you must first answer a riddle. All of you may help the current question asker with the riddle, but only one guess is permitted. If you fail, then you may ask more questions.”
Torin said, “So basically we only lose if we have five wrong answers.”
“You may think of it that way if you wish.”

For those who care to read riddles, here are the ones they went through so far. Only Sabriyya and Aldarian have wrong answers so far.
Though desert men call me god,
Others call me mad,
For I wag my tail when I am angry,
And growl when I am glad.
Cat
Turn us on our backs,
And open up our stomachs,
You will be the wisest of men,
Though at start a lummox.
Books
It has a golden head,
And a golden tail,
But it has no body.
Coin
I go around in circles,
But always straight ahead,
Never complain,
No matter where I am led.
Wheel
If a man carried my burden,
He would break his back,
I am not rich,
But leave silver in my track.
Snail
Glittering points,
That downward thrust,
Sparkling spears,
That never rust.
Icicles
Each morning I appear,
To lie at your feet,
All day I follow,
No matter how fast you run,
Yet I nearly perish,
In the midday sun.
Shadow
One tooth to bite,
The forest’s foe,
One tooth to fight,
As all Orcs know.
Axe
As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats,
Every cat had seven kits,
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?
One. Despite two of the players being familiar with this riddle, they tricked themselves into thinking the answer was zero. This is because they thought the question was only referring to “kits, cats, sacks, and wives.” Aldarian lost his questions.
You break it even if you name it.
Silence
In Youth exalted high in Air,
Or bathing in the Waters fair;
Nature to form me took Delight,
And clad my Body all in White:
My Person tall, and slender Waste,
On either Side with Fringes grac'd;
Till me that Tyrant Man espy'd,
And drag'd me from my Mother's side:
No Wonder now I look so thin;
The Tyrant strip't me to the Skin:
My Skin he flay'd, my Hair he cropt;
At Head and Foot my Body lopt:
And then, with Heart more hard than Stone,
He pick't my Marrow from the Bone.
To vex me more, he took a Freak,
To slit my Tongue, and made me speak:
But, that which wonderful appears,
I speak to Eyes and not to Ears.
He oft employs me in Disguise,
And makes me tell a Thousand Lyes:
To me he chiefly gives in Trust
To please his Malice, or his Lust.
From me no Secret he can hide;
I see his Vanity and Pride:
And my Delight is to expose
His Follies to his greatest Foes.
All languages I can command,
Yet not a Word I understand.
Without my Aid, the best Divine
In Learning would not know a Line:
The Lawyer must forget his Pleading,
The Scholar could not shew his Reading.
Nay; Man, my Master, is my Slave:
I give Command to kill or save.
Can grant ten Thousand Pounds a Year,
And make a Beggar's Brat a Peer.
But, while I thus my Life relate,
I only hasten on my Fate.
My Tongue is black, my Mouth is furr'd,
I hardly now can force a Word.
I dye unpity'd and forgot;
And on some Dunghill left to rot.
Pen. This one stumped them for about half an hour. They eventually answered tree. This is a Jonathan Swift poem if you’re interested in reading more stuff like this. I think it’s an amazing riddle. Sabriyya lost her questions.
Weight in my belly,
Trees on my back,
Nails in my ribs,
Feet I do lack.
Ship
The part of the bird,
That is not in the sky,
Which can swim in the ocean,
And always stay dry.
Shadow. This one was asked to Tagenadi. Torin was convinced that egg was the answer, because shadow had been a previous answer and wouldn’t be repeated. The rest of the group convinced Tagenadi that shadow fit better though.
Touching one, yet holding two,
It is a one link chain,
Binding those who keep words true,
Til death rent it in twain.
Ring
And that’s all the riddles!
Now for the questions!
Aldarian has noticed that he has some power to return from death now. He asked how he could finally come to peace and not be punished for escaping death so many times. Death told him that if he observed the divine rituals and did just work, he would be rewarded. Aldarian lost out on other questions.
Sabriyya asked a series of questions about how to rival Ares in martial strength. She wanted to best him in single combat. She figured out the only way to do that was to take away Ares’ divine strength. This could be done inside Sherlock the Warlock’s tower. Appropriate bait for Ares would be the goddess Aphrodite. The final thing Sabriyya learned was that the best message to send to Aphrodite to trick her into Sherlock’s tower would be saying that Hephaestus couldn’t find her in the tower.
Torin asked if he would ever be king and was answered, “No.” He asked how he could best serve Athena and was told to serve the druids.
Tagenadi asked a series of questions related to defeating Blendegad. He found out that Blendegad was once a man and could be defeated by turning him back into a man. This could be done in a place where magic does not function.
Amalius asked if Denara, Valaria, Hallion, and Procine were actually his wife and children and was answered, “No.” He asked what the phylactery of Amalgami, his evil grandfather lich, was and learned it is an adamantine bookmark.
Torin, Amalius, and Tagenadi all have questions remaining which will be picked up in the next session.

Anxe
2013-01-10, 12:19 PM
We had a little mini D&D session that I shouldn't even bother to count. Over winter break we like to play new games in person, so we did Ganakagok, a storytelling Inuit roleplaying game. I also asked thewamp his next riddle.

Long legs, crooked thighs,
Small head, and no eyes
Tongs. Thewamp ended up answering chimney. Other answers were suggested by everyone else. Dining hall, ship, table, and heron, but none got all four parts of the riddle. Thewamp just said chimney to give up as he had no clue.
Tagenadi failed to answer the riddle and is out of the running! That leaves only Torin and Amalius remaining. They suggested a few questions such as:
How do we free Tagenadi from his bondage with Hades?
How do we get one of the so far unaligned gods (Poseidon, Hecate, Demeter, etc) on our side in the war?
The precise wording and the actual asking of those questions will have to wait.

Anxe
2013-01-21, 03:00 PM
Alliance Session #23/Total Session #32
This session was held over the internet. Throgg, thewamp, and Salzar attended. This was a rather short session as well. We finished up the riddle game then moved to Salzar’s pirate campaign for the rest of the night.

Tagenadi had missed his question, so Amalius stepped up to the plate. He asked, “How do we free Tagenadi from his deal with Hades?”
The Antenator answered in three voices, “There are two paths to free him, one of peace and one of rebellion. Which would you know of?”
After some discussion, Amalius landed on peace. The Antenator said, “If Hades releases Tagenadi from his pact, then he is free.”
Amalius received the riddle:
What is it that speaks without any words,
And can be loudly and distinctly heard,
Will drive away friend and foe alike,
And is enough to make a stolid man’s face alight?
A fart. Amalius ended up answering wind. Very close, but not quite there. The reasoning was sound. People often refer to whispering wind, so that’s a type of speaking. It can be loudly and distinctly heard at times. Hurricane force winds can drive people away. And if it’s a cold wing it can make a person blush. Ultimately, a fart was the better answer though and I ruled he didn’t get it.
Amalius out, Torin asked his question, “How do we free Tagenadi using the way of rebellion?”
The Antenator said, “Only immortals are bound by oaths on the River Styx. Make Tagenadi mortal once again and he will be free.”
Torin’s next riddle was:
Deep, deep, do they go,
Spreading out as they go,
Never needing any air,
They are sometimes as fine as hair.
Roots.
Amalius tried asking the Antenator if it had any brothers, sisters, or family. It told him, “No free questions for you.”
After some discussion, Torin asked, “How do we get Greshendale to join our side in the war against Xoria?”
The Antenator answered, “Go to them in a month and a quarter and they will be ready to join you.”
Pleased with the simplicity of that answer, the party moved on to the next riddle:
What has wings,
But cannot fly,
Is enclosed,
But can outside also lie,
Can open itself up,
Or close itself away,
Is the place of kings and queens,
And doggerel of every means,
What is it upon which I stand,
Which can lead us to different lands?
A stage. Torin answered book. There was a lot of discussion about books, bookshelves, libraries. They knew that none of those answers truly satisfied all parts of the riddle, but tricked themselves into thinking they did.
With that the game of riddles was over!
The Antenator wasn’t done yet, “I have two things to say to you Tagenadi. You are chosen by Hades to command his armies. There are three undead armies in the world above, the one of Crux, the one in the Dwarven halls, and the one by the Lich Shade which the Bane controls. Those of Crux are yours to command when you wish it. To command the Dwarven undead you need only go to their halls while wearing the Helm of Hades. To secure the Bane’s soldiers you must go to the top of the Lich Shade.
“Further more, I wish you to find out who cast illusion spells on me. If you find out who did this to me, then I will grant you the item you seek. That will reverse your life energy and make positive energy heal you once again.”
Feeling that was a good stopping point, we transitioned to the Pirate campaign and hoisted our flag, the Crimson Cur!

Anxe
2013-02-06, 06:52 PM
To all my adoring fans. The update is long coming as I have been going to interview at graduate schools on the weekends. We should have a session by the end of February and it should be posted within the first week of March.

Anxe
2013-02-26, 08:06 PM
Rebellion Session #8/Total Session #33
This session was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 as an app. We'd had some problems in the past with Roll20's facechat plugin, but never with Hangouts. This worked way better once we set it up. The session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp. Ozymandias arrived a bit late.

Last time the Rebel group got kidnapped by the Alliance group in a combo session. The Rebels were taken back to the Rebel camp and then Gazeara where the main force of the Rebels had relocated and captured the city. With the city captured, Major Dactirian no longer needed Stevie the Wonder Wagon constantly running supplies to his field army. Thus he allowed the Rebel group to take Stevie and race off to the mountains.
Stevie travels about 30MPH when loaded down with people. He's a construct, so he doesn't get tired. He got as far as he could into the foothills in about 19 hours. Stevie sang "The Wheels on the Wagon," and "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and played "I Spy" the whole way there. Gregor, Sivirdm, Wu, Korjak, Stanton, and Reggy bumped along in the back all the way and felt awful after arriving. They'd left at dawn and arrived in the middle of the night. The 6 adventurers crawled out of the wagon and collapsed, leaving Stevie on watch for dangerous things.
In the morning the party awoke to the smell of burning wood and cooking beans. They saw a man of Xorian ethnicity wearing fur clothing, fur boots, and a fur hat. He sat by a cooking fire with the party's cooking pot and tripod stewing some beans for breakfast. The man's large pack, spear, and unstrung bow laid to the side. "Morning friends! I came upon your strange camp and thought I'd made breakfast for all of us."
Gregor the orc got up and asked, "Who are you sir?"
"My name is Talarian. I'm a hunter by trade, fur hunter as you can see. I was talking with your wagon here, Stevie, and he said I could get some breakfast ready for all of us. Want some beans?" He offered a spoonful to Gregor and as well as the others would had now woken up. A chorus of "No thank yous" went around the camps as no one wanted food prepared by this stranger.
"Suit yourself. What are your names?"
Stanton said, "My name is Aldarian! Apprentice to the mighty wizard, Amalius!" (You can see where he got those names from...)
Gregor said, "And I am Tagenadi the Brave!"
The rest declined to offer their names. (However, at some point Korjak, Reggy, Sivirdm, and Wu's names all came up in conversation. I don't remember precisely when though)
Talarian said, "Apprentice to a mighty wizard, eh? But you don't even have a spellbook."
"Look at our method of transport. What other proof do you need of how powerful my master is?"
"True enough. But what about you 'Tagenadi?' That's a Xorian name and I've never head of a Xorian orc!" The hunter smiled as he ate a spoonful of beans.
"I was a slave in the quarries of Jeutontic. Tagenadi is my slave name."
"Fine, fine. Keep your secrets. Everyone has a right to be wary of strangers up in these mountains."
Gregor asked, "Any news of whats further north?"
"Yes in fact. I used to hunt bears exclusively. The pelts are worth far more than any other." Talarian fondled the bear paws that tied his cloak around his shoulders. "But some scaly fire-breathing bear has taken up residence at the lake where the bears congregate. There's no good hunting anymore. I came down south into the hills a couple years ago to trap deer, squirrels, rabbits, and other such animals. Until a few months ago everything was fine. Then I started to notice an offness to the wildlife. Everything felt wrong and my traps were often empty. I went to the oracle at Sheerzen and asked her how I could be saved. She said, 'Two-skins would be my salvation.' Who knows what that means?
"Anyways, Just yesterday when I was resetting a trap I was attacked. A black panther snuck up behind me. Normally my fine ears would hear animals sneaking around in the woods, so this was quite a shock. I shook it off my forearm, grabbed my spear, and was able to keep it at bay with that. Eventually it slunk away into the woods. I was just going down to Sheerzen to get it looked at. Not good to have a wound like this for long." He took off his fur coat to show a large bloody bite mark in his left arm.
Korjak stood up and said, "We can handle that. If you'll allow me?" Korjak took out his wand of healing.
"Now hold on a minute! Let me take a look at that first." Talarian held out his hand for the wand. Korjak gave it to him. The hunter turned the wand over a few times before handing it back to Talarian. "Seems fine. Go ahead."
While Korjak used the wand on Talarain, Gregor asked, "How do you know so much about wands?"
"Well, I don't. It's just general knowledge really. Wands I've seen always look like what they do. White wands are good. Bad wands are red or black. Makes sense if you think about it."
After eating in silence Gregor said, "Talarian, you have a bow there, do you shoot?"
"Yes, of course. I shoot game to eat if my traps don't catch anything." While Talarian spoke, Stanton stealthily reached into one of his pockets and pulled out whatever was contained within.
"Would you care to place a wager in an archery contest?" Stanton reached towards the pot of beans that Talarian had prepared. While getting more beans he dropped the bowstring he'd taken from Talarian's pocket into the pot. Stanton pushed the string to the bottom of the pot with the ladle.
"Oh no. I never gamble. A friendly contest sounds like fun though."
"Sure. Wu, how about you go find a good target while our friend gets his bow ready."
Talarian rummaged around in his pockets, but couldn't find his bowstring. He searched through the pouches on his belt, then moved over to check his pack. Not wanting to be left out of the pickpocket fun, Sivirdm moved in. Unfortunately, Talarian was more aware this time. He turned around and shouted, "AHA! It was you! You took my bowstring! I knew I hadn't misplaced it!"
Talarian moved on Sivirdm, but before he could grab him Gregor kicked the halfling in the ribs. "Needn't worry about that thief. Here, take my bowstring." Gregor handed his own bowstring to Talarian.
Talarian grumbled, "I'll consider it a guest gift."
Wu came back and announced that he'd found a place to hold the archery contest. A good target on a tree stood with a 50 foot range. Talarian grabbed his pack, fearing more thievery. The group moved over to the range. Talarian, Wu, and Gregor took shots. Stanton took the chance to silently riffle through Talarian’s pack even with the hunter’s precautions. He found nothing of interest. Just typical hunter equipment, furs, and food. (The players shared at this point that they suspected Talarian was a Xorian spy.) A detect magic also revealed nothing of interest.
Wu won the contest, Talarian got second, and Gregor took third. They congratulated each other and went back to camp.
Upon getting back Gregor said, “Have you seen any unusual lizard activity this far north?”
Talarian said, “No. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just the normal amount of lizards on the trail that scoot around when they see you coming.”
“That’s not quite what I meant. Any Dragovinian activity?”
“No… Although now that you mention it, that scaly bear that breathes fire reminds me of those Dragovinian animals they’ve got at Sheerzen. Maybe the Dragovinians are keeping me from my livelihood there as well you think?”
“Maybe.”
Talarian asked, “I don’t suppose you folks will tell me what you’re doing this far north will you?”
Stanton said, “We’re headed to the bear lake to kill the Dragovinian bear.”
Gregor stomped on Stanton’s foot.
Stanton quickly continued, “Then we’ll build a fortress on top of the mountain. We’ll take the skins of all the bears and sell them. With the money we’ll make an even bigger fortress and then we’ll go dragon hunting!”
Talarian said, “I see. You’re going to make a bear farm up there? Is that the idea?”
“Yes. Definitely.”
“Alright then. No shame in being cautious. I’ll be on my way then.” Talarian packed up his things and headed north after saying goodbye once again.

The party rested another day before following the same trail Talarian took deeper into the mountains. It became quite clear that Talarian might be the only one who used this trail as the party went further. The trail got less and less maintained as they went further until all that remained was an animal trail.
The further they went into the wild the less noise they heard from animals. Fewer birds sang, fewer animals scurried off the path as the party came by, and fewer scat and fur signs were seen on the trail. Eventually all the party could hear was the crunch of fallen leaves and sticks beneath their boots. Reggy told the story of Actaeon discovering Artemis naked. She cursed him to change into a deer and be eaten by his own dogs.
After traveling for several hours a deer burst through the foliage and continued running to the west. The party stood for a moment before going on. Around nightfall the party found a small cleared rise by a creek. They set up camp there for the night with double watches.
During the first watch of Korjak and Sivirdm, the halfling noticed a movement in the trees to the east. He alerted the others. Everyone woke up and armed themselves. Wu kept watch on the trees with his bow. He saw more movement among the plants, but he was unable to place where the creature causing the movement was. However, with no wind, he was sure that something was there.
The movement drew closer and then the creature struck. A vine whipped down and constricted around Wu, but he pulled himself free. The movement belonged to an assassin vine! Gregor, Korjak, Reggy, and Sivirdm moved into melee with the plant monster. Gregor scored a good hit and severed the plant’s main vine. The plant used its mystical connection with other plants to cause the whole forest to convulse around the party members. Then the vine began to shuffle away through the trees. Wu used his own magic to try and entrap the vine similarly, but it riggled free. The others chased after it and dealt it a few blows. Then Wu sent an arrow volley that blew through the vine, rendering it dead on the ground.
Korjak healed Wu back to health. After scouring the forest for similar threats the party went back to sleep. During the second watch of Gregor and Reggy another attack occurred. A black panther came out of nowhere and mauled Reggy. Reggy went down. Gregor leaped into action and swatted at the panther. The others woke up and the panther retreated, turning into a ghostly white version of itself as it did so. Gregor stepped forward and took another swipe at the panther with his greatsword. He rolled a double crit for 90 damage, resulting in a devastating cut on the ghost’s shoulder. The panther turned invisible. Stanton cast see invisibility and pointed out the location of the panther. Gregor prepared to attack it if it charged him. The panther did. Gregor’s sword speared the panther as it mauled his shoulder. The panther fell upon Gregor as it succumbed to its injuries.
Thinking the panther’s skin might be magical, Gregor asked Wu to skin the beast. As Wu took his knife to the beast, the panther shimmered and turned into a pure black naked woman. It was like the human version of a drow. The only clothing the woman wore two golden bracelets, one with red gems and the other with green gems. Stanton discovered that the bracelets were magical, but experimentation failed to reveal the effects of the bracelets.

The party got through the rest of the night undisturbed. While traveling further north the next day Wu spotted a dragon-like creature flying through the air. The party took cover, knowing the Terror Mountains reputation for dragons. However, Gregor and Korjak were unable to hide their orkin bodies fast enough. The draconic beast dived on Korjak. Wu shot arrows at it before it landed. Stanton blinded it just as it dive neared its end. Korjak and Gregor got out their swords and prepared to scissor it. It was able to wound Korjak with talons and a tail stinger as it landed, but the combined attacks severely injured the dragon. It writhed blindly on the ground. The whole group descended on it and turned it into mulch.
Korjak healed himself up and his tough constitution completely resisted the poison in the wyvern’s stinger. Gregor severed the stinger and threw it in the same sack that held the rotting cockatrices gathered earlier.
No other encounters interrupted the day and the party camped safely through the night.

The next day the party reached a fork in the trail. One path led off to the right. The other led straight north and higher into the mountains. Korjak told the party that they were close to the bear lake and that they’d be there soon if they took the left path. Wanting to know how well traveled the path was, Wu looked for tracks. Instead of tracks he found three sticks planted unnaturally in the ground between the two tines of the “fork.” The sticks were planted like so,

O
________O
O

with two on the left close together and one on the right, apart from the others. After examining the sticks the party thought it might be an arrow pointing to the right. Sivirdm tried pulling the sticks out, but found himself too weak. The party guessed that the sticks were attached to something under the ground, but felt it wasn’t a root. Gregor pulled with his mighty strength. He pulled open a box buried with the dirt. Inside the box was a silver trident head with its barbs pointing to the left. The party guessed this meant that the lake lay to the left and something else was to the right. Additionally, Stanton found the trident to be magic. A haft was quickly honed from a good tree branch to use the trident if necessary.
At dusk the party reached bear lake. A waterfall poured down into the lake from the north while a second waterfall drained the small lake into a river going down the mountain. A cliff face surrounded the lake with a short rocky beach. Many caves dotted the cliff side that the party guessed were bear dens. Fish jumped in the lake and as the party exited the forest Wu caught a glimpse of a bear-like shape at the top of the waterfall.
Sivirdm went forward and peaked on the bear dens. Sleeping bears lay within. A larger den lay by the waterfall. Feeling the Dragovinian beastie might be there, the party prepared to negotiate with the bear. They made a bowl of stew and dressed Wu and Gregor up as druids with wooden staves. They approached the cave and saw a large scaly red bear within. Tufts of hair peaked out from its scales and its dead red eyes stared at the party as they approached.
Wu wore the necklace of speak with animals and spoke, “Great bear! We bring an offering of stew for you and wish to ask something in return.” He set the stew down in front of the bear and it came out to eat. “We wish you to tell us the secret the druids entrusted with you long ago.”
The bear spoke, “Stew for me and secrets for you?”
“Yes. Will you tell use the prophecy of the druids.”
The bear growled and then said, “Yes. Rararak the great bear will tell you. I will eat the stew first.” Rararak dug into the bowl and lapped up all the stew’s liquid, leaving the solids behind. “Weak stew.”
Rararak lumbered forward. “So you want to know the secret of the druids?”
“Yes.”
“You really want to know?”
“Yes.”
“Lean in. I’ll whisper it to you.”
Wu leaned in and Rararak breathed fire directly on him and the rest of the party. Reggy dropped at the beginning of the combat once again. Gregor called for a retreat while Korjak ordered an attack. Sivirdm circled around the back to flank Rararak. Korjak assumed the form of Baldr and engaged Rararak. Gregor joined in as well. Wu backed off and took a shot at the bear. Rararak targeted Baldr, going through most of his health. Stanton blinded Rararak with a spell. Korjak changed his mind and decided a retreat was best. He grabbed Reggy while Gregor grabbed Sivirdm and Wu.
Rararak gave chase even while blind. As the bear moved forward a rock sailed down from over the waterfall. The rock landed in front of Rararak and he tripped over it landing at the feet of Gregor. Looking up the party saw a giant above the waterfall. Changing their minds with the new ally, the party turned on Rararak. Baldr started healing everyone. Stanton cast spider climb on Wu so he could climb the cliff face for a clear line of fire to the bear. Sivirdm flipped over the back of the bear and stabbed it from behind. Gregor cut it up from the front. The giant hefted another rock and prepared to throw it if needed. More arrows from Wu, mace hits from Sivirdm, and sword hits from Gregor brought Rararak into the wounded state where all Dragovinians attempt to escape.

We assumed the party could bring Rararak down from there, but a few of us had to take a break then. They hadn’t decided whether they’d cut off Rararak’s legs and interrogate him or just cut off his head. We’ll see at the next session.

Anxe
2013-03-19, 06:22 PM
Finals have stalled updates for awhile. Spring Break is looking its going to do that too. Look for an update in the first half of April.

Anxe
2013-04-11, 11:51 PM
Alliance Session #24/Total Session #34
This session was held over Google Hangouts with my camera pointed at the battleboard during combat. Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp attended. We did the camera thing instead of Roll20 as Throgg was attending via his iPad. It can’t run Roll20. We’re used to the battleboard setup though, so it went fine.

Having finished talking to the Antenator, the party left the Silver Tower. They teleported to Dalleer and spent the night there. The party’s next plan was to go to the Lich Shade and reach its top as the Antenator had suggested. Then they could easily secure three undead armies and attack Xoria. At that point, Sabriyya decided she was done with the party. She fought with them to defeat the undead menace of the Xorians, not create another undead power. We skipped over the exact circumstances of her leaving as Ozymandias was not present that night. We’ll probably retroactively go back and roleplay Sabriyya’s departure.
The remaining party, Tagenadi, Aldarian, Amalius, and Torin, teleported to the Lich Shade and walked in with hide from undead cast as normal to avoid the zombie hordes. Within the Lich Shade they descended down the steps and reached the same room they’d fled from before. Inside the giant zombie behemoths still waited with a few of the petrifying wights. The undead attacked! Tagenadi stepped forward to take all their shots. Torin flame striked the wights. Aldarian took a defensive position in front of Torin. Amalius climbed up the wall with his boots of spider climb and blasted the undead with an energy cone of electricity. The undead all went for Tagenadi. One of the big ones grabbed him and would’ve pulled him into a grapple, but Torin cast freedom of movement and saved Tagenadi. Tagenadi continued to tank the monsters. Amalius let another energy cone loose, but only the wights fell. With six of the zombie beats closing in, the party chose to retreat. Tagenadi fell back and Torin cast wall of stone to close the room off with four inches of granite.
Unsure of how damaged the big zombie beasts were, Amalius teleported back onto the ceiling of the room. He blasted them with another energy cone, but they still didn’t fall. He quickly teleported back to the previous room. The party discussed tactics. They certainly could eventually wear down the zombies with their magic, but Tagenadi’s HP went down faster. Torin would normally heal Tagenadi, but he needs negative energy to do that now. He forgot to prep negative energy spells. The party could rest up and continue into the room with negative energy spells or they could just gauge how far the room was and teleport past it. They decided to teleport past it. Before doing so, Tagenadi went outside and wailed on the undead hordes for a bit. He has an ability that heals him for 2HP every time he strikes something, so he just healed up that way.

Forging on, the party teleported 300 feet forward from the newly made wall of stone. They found themselves on the other side of a pair of iron doors in a ten foot wide corridor. The corridor extended in front of them to a T, splitting off to the left and right. Puzzling over which way to go Amalius asked Torin, “Which path does Athena guide you down?”
“I’m not sure. My dwarven intuition says left, but we’ll have the gods decide.” Torin hefted his spear in his hand and threw it at the wall in front of them. The spear banged off the wall and landed pointing slightly to the left. “My dwarven intuition was always a good match for Athena!”
The party got into marching order after Torin retrieved his spear and began going towards the left. As they passed the intersection, Aldarian’s elven sense tingled. “Hey guys! There’s a secret door behind this wall!”
Amalius asked, “Behind where Torin’s spear struck?”
Aldarian nodded.
Torin said, “Athena would never lead us astray! Let’s go through that secret door.”
Aldarian pressed the catch at the bottom of the door and it swung open. Beyond was a stairway going down. The party followed the staircase and reached a large square room filled with murky water. The adventurers stood on a small ledge one foot above the water. The other end of the room had a passageway similarly placed one foot above the water that led out of the room. Five glowing balls of light moved in an erratic and beautiful fashion over the water. Tagenadi and Amalius recognized the balls as will-o’-wisps.
Wary of the water, Torin cast a light spell on a pebbly and dropped it off the ledge. The stone went two feet down into the water before its light was completely obscured by the dirt and slime. Next, Tagenadi took Torin’s spear and began poking the water to identify drop off locations. He found a flat space only three feet down that extended several feet to the left of the ledge.
As Tagenadi was poking, the wisps flew over. They made a formation a few feet off from the entrance. The lights vibrated and they spoke with one voice, “The skeleton man can poke and prod, but we can show you where to go with just a nod.”
Amalius said, “You speak? I thought will-o’-wisps were mute.”
Torin said, “Apparently not.”
“We will lead you over this cleft, first go forward and to the left.” The wisps moved as they spoke and illuminated a path going over an area straight away from the ledge and to the left.
Amalius asked the wisps, “Why are you here? I thought only undead lived in this tomb.”
The wisps answered, “The Bane was not the first in this tower, we live and serve another power.”
Amalius asked, “What other power?”
“Our masters are the immortals themselves, and we serve them in these dungeon delves.”
“But what are you here for?”
“To help you across the watery way, that you may make the Bane pay.”
Tagenadi had continued to poke the water and found the water dropped off even further to the right, but the three foot mark extended straight out from the ledge as well as to the left, but the straightway did not match where the wisps had placed themselves.
Tagenadi said, “Which way did you say to go? There’s no path under where you are now.”
“The skeleton man tells only lies, come with us if you want to survive.”
Tagenadi pulled the spear out of the water and found the area he’d poked below the three foot level was simply gone. A straight mark diagonally across the spear was the only remains of the spear point. “Look at that! If we fall off the path we’ll die!”
“The Bane’s traps may ensnare you, but we are the only ones who can spare you.”
Amalius said, “I’ve heard some stories about will-o’-wisps leading people astray in swamps. What do you have to say to that?”
“The skeleton man is the only liar here, We are truthful and can be your seers.”
“But there’s no path under where you are.”
“The path can change, so quickly you must go, to survive go left then up this row.” The wisps moved again to mark a new path.
Amalius said, “I’m losing my patience with these things. Torin, do you have any spells to get us out of this?”
“Sure. I’ve got a control water spell that’ll reduce the water level in here by a few dozen feet.”
“Cast it.”
Torin cast the spell and the water levels quickly dropped. Three feet down from the ledge was a path that winded its way through the room. It would be a maze under the water. Without the water the path very clearly went forward, to the right, and then followed the wall before reaching the opposite passageway. The path was composed of ten foot high stretches of stone that came out of the stone floor below. Torin’s spell had completely removed the water from the room for the duration. Still suspicious of the empty area where the spear had disappeared, Amalius picked up the light rock from before and threw it down. The rock touched bottom and skipped a bit. Nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Tagenadi cautiously stepped out onto the pathway and nothing bad happened to him either. “What do you have to say for yourselves now?”
“The skeleton man is undead so he cannot die, but the rest cannot trust the hand or the eye. The skeleton man will lead you round the bend, if you go his way you will meet your end. The path is only safe with the water here, bring it back to reach safety’s tier.”
Amalius brought everyone in a huddle, “What do you guys think.”
Tagenadi said, “I think they're liars.”
Aldarian said, “Definitely liars.”
Torin said, “Liars.”
“Alright then,” Amalius said.
The party ignored the will-o’-wisps and stepped onto the path. Once everyone was in the room, the wisps attacked. They targeted Torin, Aldarian, and Amalius with electric shocks. They ignored Tagenadi. Tagenadi smote one of them with the broken spear. Amalius made himself immune to electric energy and taunted the wisps to attack him. Torin tried to flame strike the wisps, but found them immune to magic. Aldarian turned invisible. The wisps turned invisible and regroups to attack. Torin as the only remaining targetable member, hid in Amalius’ portable hole. The party waltzed through the room shouting insults at the wisps. The wisps remained silent and invisible.

The passageway beyond the wisp room led to a rectangular room with small step down to the floor from the passage. The floor was covered in thousands of silver coins. Experimentation revealed that taking the coins was as easy as reaching out your hand and that the coins covered about half an inch of the entire floor. Across the room was a stone door. Seeing nothing else out of the ordinary, the party stepped into the room.
AND THE GHOST ATTACKED!
The ghost opened by revealing its horrific appearance which severely weakened Aldarian and Amalius. The ghost then let out a scream, causing Torin and Aldarian to keel over dead. Tagenadi engaged the ghost with his kusari-gama. A blaze of fire erupted from Aldarian’s body and he resurged to full health. He quickly emptied the silver coins he’d taken from his pockets in case that was attracting the ghost. Amalius cast his new 8th level power, iron body, hoping to protect himself. The ghost foolishly tried to drain the life energy of Tagenadi, but found none there to take. Tagenadi and Aldarian began wailing on the ghost. Amalius blasted it as well. The ghost turned its incorporeal powers upon Aldarian and drained some of his charisma. The brawl continued until the ghost screamed once again, causing Aldarian’s and Amalius’ death (Throgg had hoped iron body would protect him from this. I ruled that it didn’t, but that may have been a bad call on my part. If you’re reading, maybe you can throw in your own opinion?). Aldarian rezzed in flames again and dove into his portable hole. With no living targets remaining, the ghost faded into the ethereal world.
Tagenadi gathered up the bodies and took Torin’s teleportation boots. He teleported back tot eh other side of the wall of stone. Aldarian and Tagenadi spent the night resting in the old nightcrawler room. The next day they teleported to their accurate guess of Crux’s location. They hoped to treat with Vecna for the resurrection of their friends.

(I unfortunately forget the dialogue for this part). Vecna offered the party a new deal. Two favors in exchange for the resurrection of Torin and Amalius and a energy reversal item for Tagenadi. The two favors could both be returned by Tagenadi or one by Tagenadi and one by Aldarian. Tagenadi included the caveat that none of the favors could affect his family. Aldarian was unsure if he wanted to be part of this deal and argued for a separate deal of his own, one favor for Amalius and Torin. Vecna turned that down as what she really wanted was Tagenadi’s favor.
The party also considered going to Dalleer to beg the Björn for resurrections or to King Dainlin of the Hill Dwarves. They didn’t have enough money for resurrections without selling magic items. They also considered sending Tagenadi back to the room of silver coins to collect as many as possible. Casting speak with dead or reincarnate was also considered. We had to end the session there, but it felt like a good stopping point anyways.

Anxe
2013-05-11, 12:32 AM
Alliance Session #25/Total Session #35

This session was attended by Throgg, Ozymandias, Salzar, and Middle_Snu. Ozymandias introduced his new character in this session. We’ve actually had two sessions since the last session I posted, but I’ve been too busy to write them up until now.

Worried about how to bring Torin and Amalius back to life Aldarian and Tagenadi had resorted to desperate measures. Fortunately, before they went through with their deal with Vecna, Hektor arrived! Hektor had stayed with the official Alliance members, but found Tagenadi, Torin, Amalius, and Aldarian more capable of pushing back the Xorians than the Alliance itself. Thus Hektor wants to help both the Alliance and the Outcasts to better prevent the war from eventually reaching the soil of his homeland, Aractrash.

Hektor offered to resurrect Torin and Amalius using his vast wealth and connections if all swore to assist in preventing the war with Xoria from spreading to Aractrash. Tagenadi and Aldarian accepted. They teleported to Aractrash and promptly had the two dead members raised (The party was low on funds and I didn’t want the two guys to just lose their characters. No more freebie resurrections!).

While at Yuettencal, the party was approached by a group of clerics. They bore holy symbols of Dionysus, Nyx, Eris, Phobos, and Pan. Those of Pan delivered a message to the party, “Pan has spoken to us and asked us to speak with you. He is also against the Xorians as you are, but as the gods are not able to act directly, he requires your assistance. There is a great warrior of Pan’s following that has been slumbering for the past fifty years. We wish you to awaken him so that he may aid in the defeat of the Xorian Empire.”

Hektor asked, “Where can we find this great warrior?”

“He is a druid living in the Panda Grove of Satronwook. He won the great drinking contest fifty-one years ago and has taken on the form of the golden panda ever since. We can take you to the grove and he will join your cause.”

“A panda? What?”

LORE INTERLUDE

Satronwook is one of my funnier cities. The city has lots and lots of alcohol in it. The town square has a magic fountain that spews a different form of alcohol into the air every day. Every year they have a big drinking contest. The winner is declared ruler of the city and given the Panda Crown. The Panda Crown permanently turns its wearer into a panda. While wearing the Crown the Panda may speak and rule the city as s/he sees fit. When the Panda ascends s/he has the right to change, remove, or add one law to Satronwook’s legal code. After leaving office the Panda bestows the Crown upon the next winner of the drinking contest. The old Panda can no longer speak, but is marked with a golden circle around its head where the Crown sat indicating its former status as a humanoid, ruler of the city, and drinker of the highest stamina. Ozymandias’ new character is an elven druid who won this contest fifty years ago before even the war between the First Alliance and Xoria had started.

Puzzled but interested the party decided to go to the Panda Grove. They left Tagenadi at Dalleer as they weren’t sure how a druid would receive and undead servant of Hades (Also because thewamp wasn’t there for this session). They sought out the greatest Panda in the Grove. They found him seated by some bamboo occasionally taking bites from a stalk he held in his hand.

Hektor spoke first, “Uh... Great Panda! We come to you from Pan to ask for your assistance!”

The Panda with the golden circle looked quizzically at each of the party members in turn. He took another bite of bamboo.

Amalius spoke, “Please, we need your help against the Xorian threat.”

The Panda rose to stand on his two back feet. Slowly his fur receded into his skin as his body reshaped itself. In the space of just a few seconds the Panda turned from a bear into an ancient elf clothed in dragonscales. “Who are you? What has happened in the world since I started my vacation?”

“We are freedom fighters in a war against the evil Xorian Kingdom that continues to expand far beyond its natural reach,” said Hektor.

“The Xorians? Yes, they were expanding when first I left the active world. But what is this to me? Mortals always fight each other when Ares demands. It is the way of the world. I do not take sides. People fight and people die. That is natural and good.”

“Natural and good? These are people’s lives!” Hektor turned to the others, “Why are we wasting our time here? He clearly doesn’t care about the world.”

Amalius said, “Hold on a minute. What’s your name great druid?”

“My name is Eathirilu Treeheart.”

Amalius introduced himself and the others then said, “And don’t you know about the Dragovinian vampires?”

“What? No, I’ve never heard of those.”

“They are a deathless race of undead that can go out in the sunlight and drink the blood of mortals. They have taken over the Xorian Empire and spread its influence even further. Their evil deeds serve their dark god, Blendegad, a dragon which seeks to usurp the throne of the Olympians. Zeus would’ve cast Blendegad down and set the world to rights, but he lies in a death-sleep due to a poisonous attack by the Dahak monster. Ares has taken up the mantle of Zeus, but he aids the Xorians as he has always loved their warring ways. Blendegad grows stronger with every city he conquers and if he takes them all then the undead menace will consume Cimmeria forever. Do you see now why we need your help? This is not a natural war between kingdoms and city-states. This is a war with the undead. This is a war between righteousness and the vilest evil this world has ever known.”

“I do see now.” Eathirilu looked at the ground and did not speak for a several seconds, then he looked up and whistled. A two-legged reptilian beast came crashing through the forest and sat down by Eathirilu. “This is my raptor, Jack, and we will join you to defeat the Xorians.” Eathirilu took a bite from the bamboo branch he still held. His face soured as he realized his now elven body couldn’t digest it.

Hektor said, “Hold on a minute! We haven’t decided if we’re letting this guy join us. Really? A panda that’s sat on its butt this whole time while the rest of the world has been fighting? How do we know he’s responsible?”

Amalius said, “Let’s put it to a vote then. I say he’s in.”

Aldarian said, “We’re getting help from worse places. I vote yes.”

Torin said, “Initially I was thinking the same thing as you Hektor, but I agree with the others. We need all the help we can get to defeat Xoria.”

“Fine. I just hope we don’t regret it.”

Amalius said, “Alright! Eathirilu, our current mission is to find an artifact kept at the Lich Shade in the Shacklack Desert. We think this artifact will give us the power we need to turn the tide of the war.”

“Lets go get it then.”

The party spent a few days resting before teleporting off to the Lich Shade once again. Someone had the idea to cast find the path to find the Lich’s treasury. That way they could be sure they were headed in the right direction. They teleported past the big zombie beasts again and thumbed their noses at the will-o’-wisps. Prior to the ghost’s room everyone got death ward cast on them. None of the ghost’s abilities pierced the death ward. It tried attacking each of the party members in turn, but too late it realized it could harm none of them. The onslaught of magical damage coming from the party eventually killed the ghost.

Aldarian swept all the silver in the room into the two portable holes the party had and they continued. Then next door opened onto a spiral staircase going down. They followed the staircase down for two hundred feet and reached a new level. A short corridor went out from the stairs to a large dark triangular room with columns supporting the twenty foot ceiling. Find the path indicated the ceiling past the second row of columns as the way to reach the Lich’s treasury. Eathirilu cast true seeing and saw a large black and purple blob with black, purple, and red tendrils coming off of it hiding in the darkness. He informed the rest of the party and the blob charged.

(It’s been awhile, so I don’t remember the details of the fight exactly anymore). During the crazy fight the group quickly realized that the beast had some power over time. They’d deal it a big hit of damage past its SR, but then find time reverse and the damage healed, but the spell still used up. It used this ability numerous times throughout the fight. The beasty spent most of the fight trying to grab onto people with its tendrils and suck the life out of them. Eathirilu turned into a big dinosaur and kept the beasty away from most of the rest of the party. Eventually all the blasting spells wore it down. During the battle a ghostly hand went around touching people inappropriately and making them shiver. Torin recognized the hand as a ghostly ghoul hand that would paralyze someone if it got past their fortitude (which it did not on any targets).

After slaying the blob beasty it dissolved into a black goo on the floor. The party was very low on spells, but decided to explore the room before leaving to rest up. Eathirilu detected another undead still lurking behind a column. He summoned some T-Rexes and attacked the undead Devourer (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG58.jpg). Devourers are undead that trap a soul inside of them and feed on that soul to cast spells like ghostly ghoul hands. The soul freed from within the Devourer was a sand giant named Barakah.

Hektor claimed responsibility for freeing Barakah, so the giant swore fealty to Hektor and the Aractrashan cause. They talked with the giant a bit and learned that he had come in here over two hundred years ago with a few of his friends to clear out the Lich Shade. Unfortunately they had gotten their souls trapped. Hektor offered to help Barakah find what had become of his sand giant people. Barakah agreed.

The party left the tomb to heal up and recover spells. Barakah and Hektor toured a few of the old haunts of the sand giants, but found no evidence of their existence. The giant feared his attack on the Lich Shade had angered the Bane, indirectly causing his people to be wiped from existence. Barakah asked Hektor for two months leave to find what become of his people. (We skipped over what Hektor said in reply, but I assume he graciously granted Barakah’s request).

The party journeyed into the tomb the next day and went up the secret door in the ceiling. It led to a diamond shaped room guarded by a skeleton dragon and a zombie dragon. The party blasted the bejesus out of the two dragons and just managed to kill them in a single round (Three less damage and one of the zombie dragon would’ve gotten to attack!).

They walked through the next hallway, with find the path directing them around a few traps. The spell also told them not to look at the opposite wall in the next room. Amalius cheated a little bit and had his psicrystal peek at the wall. On it was a red symbol that looked awfully like a symbol of pain. The psicrystal also saw a large carving of a skeleton on the left wall and a corridor leading out of the room at the back right corner.

The party deliberately looked down at their feet and walked into the room. The party heard some stone grinding to their left and Amalius glanced up to look at it. He saw the skeleton carving pulling itself out of the wall, but Amalius also accidentally glanced at the symbol and double over in pain. He quickly cast false sensory input to turn his pain into pleasure, but found himself just as incapacitated by that. Torin cast a wall of stone to block the symbol. By then the stone skeleton had pulled itself at the wall. Eathirilu went toe to toe with the skeleton in his dinosaur form. The two of them slugged at each other for a minute or two. The party correctly identified the skeleton as a stone golem that no spells would harm. The golem would’ve defeated Eathirilu, but Torin healed him up whenever he got low.

Find the path warned of more traps in the next hallway and another thing that shouldn’t be looked at on the opposite wall in the next room. Psicrystal looked around again and saw a fountain in the middle of the room and a black symbol of death on the opposite wall. Torin walled the symbol off again and the party investigated the fountain. Experimentation with summoned monsters revealed that the fountain turned summoned monkeys into geese if they drank the water, but not if they touched it. The party filled three waterskins and two wine bottles with the magic liquid. Hektor made sure the water still detected as magic when out of the fountain and the party laughed at their good fortune (But who's to say if it stays magic outside the Lich Shade?).

We ended the session there. We have done another session since then and I will try to post it soon.

Anxe
2013-05-27, 04:27 PM
Alliance Session #26/Total Session #36
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, Salzar, and Middle_Snu. It was held on Google Hangouts with the camera pointed at my battleboard during combats.

The party walked into the next room after obtaining the goose water. The room was quite dark, but upon reaching the edge of the room the darkness lifted. Hidden within the murk was the lich’s laboratory and library. Rows and rows o bookshelves stood at the back of the long room along with another door out. In front of the bookshelves a variety of lab equipment and specimens were littered about the room. Most notably were two unmoving undead looking zombies strapped to examination tables. Due to the party’s extensive knowledge of undead most people identified the strapped down undead as some new creation the lich must’ve been working on. At the center of the room was the lich along with a fearsome giant spider companion.
The party became immediately suspicious that this was not the true lich. This opponent wore half-plate armor and held a holy symbol which he soon used to cast spells on the heroes. The lich they’d heard of in stories was a spellcaster for sure, but no further info was given on him. However, the party had discovered earlier that the Bane may be an elven wizard called Sahamathrian who constructed the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. The lich in front of them, if it even was a lich, did not match that description.
The party started things off with a dispel magic on the lich. That got rid of its spider guardian as well as a few protection spells. The lich started a combo of casting spiritual weapon and then silence on the spiritual weapon. Amalius was able to dispel that as psionic powers get around silence. The lich cast a few other spells, but nothing o consequence. It fell soon afterwards.
The party proceeded to ransack the lich’s room. Shoving all the books into the portable holes they had (Along with the silver pieces from before, the holes were just about full).
Tabling investigation of the rest of the lab equipment for another time the party moved on to the next room. This one was a large bedroom that the lich inhabited. The find the path spell directed Eathirilu to a large glass case with various weapons, maps, armor pieces, jewels, and scrolls on display. Hektor cast detect magic and found that a crystal ball within the case was magic. Aldarian was sent in to to detect normal traps. Aldarian began to act a bit evasive when asked if he found any traps. The reason became all too clear soon.

Aldarian looked for traps and found none, but he did find a secret door at the back of the bedroom by the glass case. Upon noticing it he heard a voice in his head, “Say anything and I assure you, the last one to die will be you.”
Aldarian puzzled over what to do before shouting, “Be on your guard! Something is about to come through this wall!” The party sprung into action. The mages prepared to blast whatever came out and Torin animated all the furniture in the room to block the secret door.
All their precautions were for naught. An explosion ripped through the room and poisonous gas followed instantly afterward. The secret door stood wide open, but no one had time to look inside for the true lich blocked the only physical way out to the surface. Great and terrible with arcane energy dripping from his fingertips, The Bane floated in midair between the party and his ransacked library. Magical items of all sorts covered his skeletal body and he held a mighty stafff in his right hand. The words, “You should have listened,” came out of his tongueless mouth.
Shrieking like wounded birds, the party threw a few spells at the Bane, before realizing combat was a hopeless endeavour after spending so many of their resources getting this far in the tomb. Torin thought quickly and teleported everyone to the entrance of the tomb.
And The Bane teleported right behind them. With only one spell left, he turned Amalius into a toad. Torin shrieked and teleported to Dalleer. The Bane did not follow a second time.

The party explained the situation to Bjorn at Dalleer. They all thought the Bane would soon come after them to reclaim his library and wreck vengeance for the damage done to his servants in the Lich Shade. Amalius was given some medical care and returned to human form. The party sat down and tried to think of what they could do to stop the Bane’s coming attack. After formulating a plan they rested for the night and prepared spells in the morning.
The party was having breakfast with the Bjorn in the morning and wondering where the Bane was. They had prepared spells, why hadn’t he? What was he waiting for? Eventually Amalius gave in and used divination to see when the Bane would attack. His answer was, “The time is soon. The time is now! The Bane comes in just one round!”
Scrambling to prepare the party cast a few death wards. The Bane materialized outside the breakfast room window along with three giant wraiths. Combat began! (I unfortunately forget most of it as it has been a few weeks since we played it. I’ll do my best.)
The Bane started things off by turning Amalius into a toad again. Fortunately, Amalius could still cast spells in toad form. Eathirilu gave everyone protection from fire. His pet raptor, Jack, ran in fear from the unatural wraiths. The Bjorn turned into a shadow and disappeared. Everyone else threw their magical might at the Bane. The most crucial spell was a dispel magic which popped the Bane’s spell resistance spell, making the rest of the fight a lot easier for the casters, and the dispel caught the Bane’s iron flask before he had a chance to open it himself. This released the pit fiend inside with a burning desire for revenge on its captor. The pit fiend cast meteor swarm and a quickened fireball which nuked the house, but dealt almost no damage to the combatants as everyone had protection from fire. Amalius noticed the pit fiend’s hatred of the Bane and offered it an alliance, but the demon soon ha dproblems of its own.
The wraiths ganged up on the pit fiend causing it to teleport away in fear. Torin did his best to blast the Bane or keep everyone else alive for the rest of the fight. The Bane turned invisible and created an illusion of himself which fooled the party for two rounds. Eathirilu cast true seeing and pinpointed the real Bane. The Bane didn’t let that last long and dispelled the true seeing. Eathirilu wild shaped into a dinosaur with scent and found the nasty dead smelling lich anyways. Unfortunately, he’d also lost his death ward and began losing out to the wraith attacks. Torin renewed the ward.
Meanwhile the Bane had cast a Bigby’s Grasping Hand to mess with whatever casters were around. The hand chased Hektor to the edges of the fight. Amalius jumped into Aldarian’s pocket and skirted the edge of the fight, blasting the Bane. The fight continued in this way for a few rounds and eventually the sheer amount of punishment defeated the Bane before he could slay a single party member. His body turned to dust as he said, “I shall returned and keep my promises, mortals.” Upon his death the wraiths immediately fled into the Bjorn’s burning house.
The party quickly called the police. The Bjorn said his pet dinosaur had caused the fire and the explosions with his hideous farts. He’d also farted up some nasty wraiths. The clerics of the town were called in to find and destroy the wraiths. A few create water spells put out the fire before it spread to the rest of the town as well. A glorious victory for the party!

After snatching up the Bane’s equipment all the party members heard a demonic voice in their heads, “Thank you for freeing me from that wretched prison. I too wish the Lich's doom. His phylactery is contained within the pillar of the Lich Shade itself. I hope you find it soon for he will return at full strength in a few days. I am not ungrateful for what you have done for me. I shall find you all again in one year and grant you whatever you desire. Until then I bid you goodbye.”
The party at the moment seems to favor hunting the pit fiend down and killing it, but we’ll have to wait and see what they do next. We’re caught up on sessions now!

Anxe
2013-06-22, 10:20 PM
We haven't had a session in a while due to my last bout of finals. I am now graduated! Anyways, to keep you tided over I found some stuff in my old notes.

Terroc was originally the son of a noble wizard in the Aractrashan Kingdom. His father tutored Terroc in the arcane arts. Unfortunately a rival wizard slew Terroc's father. Using some of his father's more advanced magic Terroc summoned a Babau demon to enact his revenge. The demon succeeded in slaying the rival wizard, but the evidence led back to Terroc. He fled the police of the Aractrashan Jungle Kingdom and ended up in the Shacklack Desert. There he stumbled on a small enclosure. Inside he found who would become his magic instructor, Liithiil, an elf. She taught Terroc the basics of magic in exchange for Terroc's assistance with household chores and a magical ring that Terroc had taken from his father's still-warm corpse.

Anxe
2013-06-26, 12:16 PM
Alliance Session #27/Total Session #37
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp. It was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20’s app.

The party spent the rest of the day after the fight with the Bane healing up and removing any supernatural injuries. Feeling that the Bane could revive at any moment, the party hurried to find exactly where the phylactery was. The Pit Fiend told them it was inside the Lich Shade itself. Guessing that the Bane would revive next to the phylactery, Amalius journeyed within his mind with a divination to figure out where this would be. The spell told him, “The Bane shall appear where the light first strikes in the desert.” The party guessed that this meant the top of the Lich Shade.

Hektor was unfortunately called away on Alliance business. Tagenadi returned from his soulsearching adventure elsewhere. An encounter ensued between Tagenadi and Eathirilu. The druid decided to tolerate the undead party member for the moment in order to forestall the greater good. Additionally, the equipment of the Bane was left with the Björn for safekeeping.

Teleporting to the Lich Shade, Torin cast a find the path to the top of the Lich Shade. The spell directed him straight up the side of the pillar. From previous experiments the party knew that flying and teleporting didn’t work so great around the gigantic obelisk. They surmised that a way up must exist within the Lich Shade itself down one of the passageways they did not explore previously.

Using the same teleport trick, the party got past the room of zombie giants. Ahead was a four-way intersection as before. They had fully explored the straightway and minorly the left side. They decided to go to the right instead. The hallway went down a few dozen feet and ended at a featureless stone door. After Aldarian checked it out for traps, Tagenadi pushed the door open.

The party heard the rattling of bones on the floor of the now-revealed, large, rectangular room. Thousands of bones littered the floor and as Tagenadi opened the door the bones began to move of their own accord. The shuffled together into four large shapes within the room. The shapes grew larger and larger until four huge skeletal dogs stood in front of the party!

The dogs attacked, moving on Tagenadi. The rest of the party blasted from the back while Tagenadi kept the beasts at bay. The strategy proved quite successful. The dogs only broke through Tagenadi’s expert defense once. One of them landed two claw attacks on the death knight. Tearing through his skeletal structure, the dog almost undid Tagenadi. Fortunately, Torin had prepared a few harm spells and their undead friend pulled through. Eathirilu finished off the last of the dogs.

The room held nothing but another door. Beyond that was a hallway with ANOTHER stone door. The party took up battle positions around that door. Tagenadi kicked it in. Inside was a rectangular room twice the size of the previous one. No one could see the other end of the room, but at the edge of their vision they saw a gigantic arm beast. The creature was composed solely of thin red arms extending from a darkened center. The arms each ended in claws with a yellow eye set in the center. The eyes blinked upon seeing Tagenadi before the creature rolled forward to attack.

Once again, Tagenadi stood fast to defend the party. The creature attempted to grab Tagenadi, but Amalius teleported him out of the armbeast’s grasp. Torin then cast freedom of movement on Tagenadi to prevent future problems. Frustrated with Tagenadi’s kusari-gama defense, the creature grasped the weapon and broke it in two. Eathirilu summoned three tyrannosaurs into the room. More blast spells came out at the armbeast. It continued to attack Tagenadi, the dinosaurs, and even the wall so that it could surge forward and reach other members of the party. The dinosaurs took big chunks out of the armbeast, but it grabbed them and held them close. With the same action it broke apart the wall revealing Tagenadi. It prepared to roll over the party, but at the last second a final damage spell struck it down.

Searching the room the party found a treasure pile at the back. None of the doors was big enough for the creature, that Amalius called an Odopi. The back door led to another hallway ending at a stone door.

Tagenadi summoned his nightmare and decided to scout around with the aid of its etherealness powers. He found he could walk easily through the walls and doors while ethereal. He went back to the room he’d peeked in before with a giant staring at a fire. As he peeked his head in the giant looked up at him. Tagenadi entered the room and the giant continued to stare at him as if expecting something. Tagenadi now noticed a magnificent scimitar that the giant held. Tagenadi left, puzzled by the encounter. He told the rest of the group and they began to talk about where they should head next in the Lich Shade.

The session ended there. We did a little bit of Salzar’s pirate campaign afterwards. We’ll be doing that in our next session, which may not be until August. Stay tuned!

Anxe
2013-09-30, 10:49 PM
Rebellion Session #9/Total Session #38
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp and held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 as a virtual tabletop. It’s been quite a while since our last session! Reasons for that are quite obvious. I got married, moved, and got a new job. All things that take up a lot of my time, so we weren’t able to game until this week.

I've also illustrated a scene from this session. I'll do all subsequent sessions and I'll try to do previous sessions as well, but we'll have to wait and see how many I manage to get done. The illustration is of Reggy, an NPC, Korjak, and Gregor. I've placed it at the appropriate place in the narrative.

We left off with the party uncertain how to treat Rararak the Dragovinian bear. They decided to use Korjak and Gregor’s greatswords as stakes to keep Rararak in one place while they interrogated him. The giant that assisted them in the battle stood in the dwindling twilight above the grotto.


Gregor put on the necklace of speak with animals and threatened Rararak, “Tell us the prophecy of the druids and we’ll let you live. Refuse and we’ll cut your body into a thousand pieces.”
Rararak growled and said nothing.
Korjak got out his dagger while Gregor worked his greatsword back and forth in the bear causing it to grunt in pain. Korjak handed his blade to Gregor who held it up against Rararak’s neck.
“Don’t make me ask again.”
“Grrrr… Fine… Lean in and I shall whisper the secret to you.”
Wary of Rararak’s tricks, Gregor leaned in, but kept the dagger between his head and Rararak’s.
Rararak whispered, but loudly so that everyone could hear,
“Go to where the Best Smith fell
To where in his fiery forge he dwells
Pick up the pieces of a broken god
Stir them in first with a golden rod.”
As Rararak finished speaking each member of the party experienced a separate vision (except Reggy who felt terribly left out).
Sivirdm commented, “Did anyone else just get a vision.”
Murmurs of assent were heard.
“What was yours of Stanton?”
“Let’s not worry about it now.”
“Alright.”
(Unfortunately no one shared their visions. I wouldn’t want to share PC info that the other PCs would see, so everyone shall remain in the dark for now. PM me if you’d like to know the visions.)
Satisfied with Rararak’s honesty, Gregor prepared to set him free, but not without ensuring the bear would not attack them. He took Korjak’s dagger and placed it to sever Rararak’s lower jaw.
Wu nocked an arrow, “Don’t do that! We promised to let him go!”
Gregor said, “This is to keep us safe.”
“Don’t do it! I’ll shoot!”
Gregor grunted and severed the jawbone. Wu loosed his arrow and it bounced off Gregor’s armor.
“Are we done with this silliness?” asked Korjak, “Now isn’t the time for disagreements.”
“Fine,” said Wu.
Gregor carried the jawbone and muscled past Wu on his way out of the grotto after retrieving his greatsword. Korjak removed his greatsword and gave the wounded bear a kick into the water of the lake. The stone giant watched from above and the party decided to find a way up to meet the giant.


After hiking around to talk with the giant, the party discovered it had come down after they left the grotto. The giant had decapitated Rararak with an axe laying at his side and was beginning to skin the scaly hide off the bear. Gregor and Stanton climbed down to talk to the giant while the rest of the party took the longer way of walking down.
Gregor thanked the giant for his help in the fight using the Orcish tongue. The giant shrugged and said something back in a different language. Gregor tried Common in response and the giant tried a different unknown language as well. Stanton and Gregor went through all their known languages without any success. Once the others arrived they were also unable to speak to the giant. Stanton cast comprehend languages in an attempt to speak with the giant.
After remembering that he needed to touch the giant for the spell to function, he raised his hand over his head, hoping the giant would touch it. The giant raised its hand over its head before going back to skinning the bear. Stanton mimed raising his hand over his head with Gregor acting as the giant, touching the hand. The giant understood then and put his index finger down, touching Stanton’s upraised hand. Stanton said, “Great! Now say something!”
The giant kept contact for awhile before letting go and saying something undecipherable. Giving up on being polite, Stanton rushed over and hugged the giant’s leg.
“You really are a strange little man aren’t you?” said the giant.
“Yes! I understood that! Now we can talk.”
“Well if you’d like to give me an offering I’m okay with it.”
Stanton said to the others, “He says he wants an offering, we should give him something.”
Gregor said, “How about Korjak’s knife?”
“No! That’s mine! He can’t have it!”
“But it’s the weapon that cut off the jawbone of the beast!” Gregor moved forward and placed the dagger on the boulder the giant had thrown earlier. Korjak lunged forward as Gregor moved, but fell back once the dagger was put down.
“Why, thank you,” said the giant, “That’ll be a very nice needle to use for mending my pants.”
Realizing that communication would continue to be one-sided, the party waved goodbye to the giant and left the grotto.


The hike back to Stevie was uneventful. Stevie took our heroes for the ride of their lives back to Gazeara. Unfortunately, upon reaching the outskirts of the farms surrounding the city they could clearly see the city under siege by a massive force of soldiers and horses.
“What do we do?” said Wu.
“We’ll have to go back into Bigby’s Forest,” said Korjak.
After some discussion as to how to get there without being followed, the party sailed off on Stevie to the rebel base in the Forest. They hopped off Stevie a few miles from the base entrance and hobbled in, exhausted.
One of the soldiers recognized the group and hailed them outside the base, “You look awful.”
Korjak said, “We need to speak with the commanding officer right away.”
“I’ll get him for you. Come on in.” The party followed the soldier into the underground base.
Lieutenant Gaft met the party in the briefing room, “I am the commanding officer of the base for now. I understand you were on a special mission for Major Dactirian.”
(Korjak probably would’ve spoken at this point, but because Middle_Snu was absent, we had Throgg take the lead with Gregor)
Gregor said, “We figured out what we needed to in the north. We’d like to get a message to Major Dactirian in Gazeara if you can. We’re also planning a trip to the south.”
(The players had a discussion as this point about which animal clan to visit next. I assumed this conversation was had on the wagon ride back to the base instead of in front of Lieutenant Gaft as they seemed reluctant to give him any info. They decided to take a ship south to the sharks around Jovy Isle and then see if they wanted to go straight to the condors of the Dominarie Mountains or report back to the rebel base before going to the condors.)
Gregor continued, “We need a ship going south to Jovy Isle. Do you have contacts in Makotako for us to arrange passage?”
“Of course. Our main contact in Makotako is Torpor. You can meet him at the Red Horse Inn just inside the eastern gate.”
“Any chance of us getting some new equipment and supplies for this trip?”
“Yes! Major Dactirian said to give you access to all our best equipment after you returned. Take your pick in the morning.”


(Salzar has been getting bored of Wu due to him not having a defined personality. The arrow shot at Gregor earlier was an attempt to introduce a personality of some compassion towards the enemy, but it kinda flopped. Salzar has retired Wu as a PC and will be playing a different character, a Halfling sorcerer/rogue planning on going into the arcane trickster prestige class. The trickster is named Draco Achaikos. Wu was assigned by Lieutenant Gaft to the infiltration team going into Gazeara.)


The adventurers spent the next day recovering and the day after that picking out new equipment before heading out with Stevie. They stopped at Riverton to exchange the iron wagon for a real one, waving goodbye to their favorite magical construct. They then began to enact their plan for entering Makotako.
An orc and a half-orc would have a difficult time getting into the city fullyarmed, but if they were dressed as slaves? The two orkin men stripped down to their skivvies. The Halflings were prepared to make inappropriate comments, but Gregor warned them, “Any halfling tongue that wags will get taken off!”
Reggy noticed he hadn’t been included in this warning. He wolf whistled while Gregor was undressing. Gregor gave him one look and Reggy mumbled, “Sorry sir.”
They easily took the wagon into town with the two orcs tailing behind. The Halflings posed as the owners while Reggy was the handler of the orcs. They waited in the wagon line of people entering the city. When they got to the front the guards assessed a tax of 20 gold on bringing the orcish slaves to sell in the city. Draco instantly attempted to bribe the guards. They asked him to step out of line while the captain was informed of the issue.
Whilst out of line Gregor and Korjak whispered admonishments at the Halflings for screwing up the entry to the city. Stanton thought about charming the guards with magic, but decided against it due to the high risk/low reward.
Eventually the captain came down and called the group back into line. “Now the fee to enter is 20 gold. The fine for attempted bribery will be an additional 20 gold.”
The party grudgingly paid and entered.


Upon entry the group spotted the Red Horse Inn, but left it for later. They found an alleyway and the orcs changed back into their clothes while everyone took all their equipment out of the wagon. Reggy was sent to sell the wagon and the mule pulling it. The rest went to the docks to find a seedy place that would let orcs and half-orcs sleep indoors. They found a rickety flophouse called the Wet Floor that paid them no mind. They rented floorspace for the week. The orcs stayed there while the Halflings returned to the Red Horse Inn.
Inside the Halflings befriended the bartender. He told them Torpor sat in one of the corner tables usually. (In a strange twist, Throgg played the bartender while I played Sivirdm for this encounter.) The bartender questioned Sivirdm’s ability to drink a full pint of ale. Sivirdm then insisted on having a whiskey sour. The group came up with a cover story of being bounty hunters who turned in captured rebels from Bigby’s Forest. After chatting with the bartener the shortfolk went to Torpor’s table with their drinks to wait.
Torpor arrived in the evening. He got a drink from the bartender and then went over to his table. “What are you folks doing in my table?”
“We’re your friends Torpor!” said Stanton, “I’m Stanton.”
“Friends? I ain’t-“
“And this is Draco.”
Torpor’s scowl turned into wide eyes as he realized this group of Halflings were contacts in the rebellion. “Yes of course! So you must be…”
“Sivirdm.”
“Right! Sivirdm! Of course! Good to see you all again. Hang on just a moment while I go find us a quieter place to talk.”
Torpor went to the bar and got a key from the bartender. He returned and said, “Come with me. We’ve got the backroom for awhile.”
The group went down a hallway to a locked door. Inside was a small room with its own fireplace and some tables and chairs set up for gambling.
Draco handed Torpor an unopened letter, “Lieutenant Gaft gave this to us for you.”
Torpor took it and read the contents before throwing it into the fireplace. “What can I do for you?”
“We need passage to Jovy Isle,” said Stanton.
“I see. There are a few options. We could charter you a ship to go there or you could hire passage on a ship going near there and find some way to get to the island from the ship or we could buy you a small ship to get there.”
The party discussed the options and decided that chartering a ship solely to go to Jovy Isle and back was best. Torpor told them it would take him three days to arrange a deal. In the meantime they could stay with two other rebels in town. The orcs and Reggy could stay with Jorgen, a cartographer, while the Halflings could stay with Deegan, a carpenter. The group spent their time helping out with the two businesses as best they could and learning a little from Jorgan and Deegan as well (The illustration is of Gregor learning a little cartography from Jorgen with Korjak in the background and Reggy being less than interested.).
http://s23.postimg.org/8296t0jmz/IMG_20130930_0001.jpg


After three days the halflings went to meet Torpor once again in the back room of the Red Horse.
Torpor spoke, "I've found two different ships that could take you to Jovy Isle. One of them looks a little shifty, but they aren't asking much. Lieutenant Gaft told me to give you any assistance we could afford. Paying for that ship won't be a problem.
"The other ship I found costs a great deal more, but has a better reputation in port. Unfortunately, I can't shoulder the expense on my own. I'd need about 1000 more gold pieces from you fellas to charter that ship."
The three halflings exchanged a look before replying in unison, "We'll go with the cheaper one."
Three days later the party boarded the Maroon Mastiff under Captain Lucky Two-**** headed towards Jovy Isle (The Maroon Mastiff is a nod to Salzar's pirate campaign where our ship is called the Crimson Cur.). Lucky got his name when he was just starting as a sailor in the navy. He asked the captain before a naval engagement, "Do I have time to **** before the battle, sir?"
The captain replied, "If you're lucky, you'll get two in." Lucky deserted soon afterwards to become a pirate, but the name stuck.


The crew looked dirty, had tattoos, but generally ignored the party as they set up their stuff in the hold for the voyage. The ship set sail from Makotako and the first day was uneventful. The layout of the ship was simple. A main deck existed with a bow deck and a poop deck above it in the forward and aft sections of the ship respectively. The below deck section was reserved for the sailors and the meal times. Even lower was the hold which was reserved for the party and food stores. Two hatches in the top deck and the below deck allowed access to the hold for larger cargo items. The entrance to the lower deck was under the poop deck while the captain's quarters occupied the space below the bow deck.
The men sat down for their evening meal. The party was given their own table to eat at while the sailors and Lucky spread out around the lower deck. Stanton got a little nervous so he elected to go down to the hold and cast detect thoughts. Unfortunatle, when he went down the stairs, a crew member followed him.
Stanton said, "Could you give me some privacy?"
The sailor said, "Nope. Captain's orders. No unsupervised passengers."
"Well I've got some wizard casting stuff to do. I'll be chanting and doing weird stuff. I wouldn't want you to get caught in the crossfire."
"Humph."
Stanton cast his spell and scanned the sailors and Captain Lucky. The sailors thoughts were uninteresting, but Lucky thought some bad stuff. He thought about murdering the party, looting their bodies and baggage, throwing their bodies overboard, or selling them into slavery. Stanton feared the worst and moved to inform the party members.
The little halfling went to the lower deck and cast message on Korjak, Gregor, and Sivirdm, but forgot to include Reggy and Draco, because Stanton is a forgetful mage. The four people in on the message quickly came up with a plan to go to the hold, grab their weapons and take control of the ship. Essentially the "strike first, before they kill us in our sleep" plan.
Stanton returned to the hold. A sailor followed him. Soon after Gregor, Sivirdm, and Korjak moved for the hold as well motioning for the others to follow. Reggy went along, but Draco didn’t understand what they wanted him to do. As they all went into the hold Captain Lucky shouted, “What are they doing down there? Stop them!”
Weapons were drawn and the fight ensued! Draco remained passive for the first bit. Two sailors drew their sabers and pointed them at Draco, ready to stab him if he moved from the table. Gregor found his sword in the hold and began cutting through sailors coming down the steps. Sivirdm and Stanton supported the giant orc with crossbow shots or spell casts up the stairs. Korjak and Reggy waited for their turn to get up the stairs behind Gregor.
As Gregor reached the lower deck, Draco realized exactly what was going on. He slipped away from his two guards and cast an obscuring mist covering most of the deck.
Lucky shouted out, “Damn wizards!” before moving engage Gregor. He backed off after Gregor delivered a vicious hit to Lucky’s leg. The other sailors did their best to contain the raging beast, but they dropped in piles around the stairs. The men showed signs of cowardice, but Lucky “motivated” them.
The Captain growled, “Kill the blasted orc or his blade won’t be the only one you have to worry about.”
Draco took his guards on a chase through the fog. Reinforcements arrived from above decks. Lucky ordered the men to begin opening the hatch between the lower deck and the hold so they could flank the party. Korjak moved to intervene if the hatch opened, while Reggy went up the stairs to join Gregor’s melee. Stanton and Sivirdm continued to do what they could from below.
Gregor began to show signs of serious wounds. Stanton prepared to blast the remaining sailors around Gregor, but Korjak rushed over first and applied some healing with his wand. Seeing the hatch being opened, Draco hit the hatch mechanism with a grease spell.
“GODDAMNED WIZARDS!” shouted Lucky, “Find him and cut his little magic tongue out!”
The sailors searched through the fog to find Draco. He tried to hide under a table, but unfortunately he made too much noise. The sailors stabbed him and Draco went unconscious. Meanwhile, Reggy, Korjak, and Gregor cut through the remaining sailors that felt like fighting. Stanton through a temporary blinding spell on Lucky. Lucky shouted, “I HATE YOU ALL!” before fleeing up the stairs. Gregor caught up to him and smashed one of Lucky’s swords into pieces. With certain death looming over him, Lucky threw down his remaining sword, “I give up.”
After securing the ship, Lucky was fitted with manacles and locked in his cabin. Korjak checked on Draco and the men and treated those who were still breathing. Draco was brought around with the wand of cure light wounds. The party set up watches to prevent any attacks in the night and slept.


The next day Gregor took Lucky out of his cabin and to the side of the ship. All the crew members were assembled on the main deck.
Gregor shouted, “We are taking control of the ship and I will be your new captain! Anybody have a problem with that?”
A murmur of no’s went through the crowd.
“Now who was second in command here?”
One of the sailors stepped forward, “Uh, I was sir.”
“Good to hear it! After we’ve finished our business we’ll be turning the ship over to you and your mates.” Gregor turned to Lucky, “Now you aren’t going to cause any trouble on board are you?”
Lucky spat in Gregor’s face, “I’ll die before I serve an orc on my own ship.”
Gregor punched Lucky in the face.
“Do your worst, you animal. You’re nothing better than a pig’s ass.”
“So be it.” Gregor hefted Lucky up and over the side of the ship. He sputtered and tried to swim, but the manacles dragged him down to the bottom to drown.
Gregor caught the eyes of each of the sailors, “Company dismissed.”


The next few days of sailing were uneventful as the crew adjusted to their new captains. Stanton scanned their minds and found a few individual plans of mutiny or desertion, but nothing concrete or coordinated. Soon the Maroon Mastiff docked in Crafterton.
Some of the party members went ashore to sell some loot from Lucky’s cabin in exchange for a few potions, specifically potions of water breathing. After making the exchange and also getting a nice feast to placate their new crew they went back aboard and threw a small party with food and wine.
With the men on their side the ship sailed on for Jovy Isle.
Knowing that the sharks inhabited the western and southern edges of the island, the ship approached from that side, skirting far around the whirlpool. Upon rounding the northwestern peninsula the party spied a ship with green sails at the corner of the bay.
Stanton asked one of the crew members, “What ship could that be?”
“Could be the Green Dish, Captain Peahammer’s ship. He’s a pirate like us, but always leaves survivors to increase his reputation. Not sure why he’d be here though.”
Jovy Isle has a small lake in the middle of it with a lighthouse at each corner (northwest, northeast, southeast, and west). The party decided to sail for the western lighthouse and investigate there. As they did they saw a fiery shot go up from the Green Dish. Soon afterward a group of men went down from the center hill of the island to the Green Dish. Not sure what to think of it for now, the party ignored it.
They found the place abandoned, perhaps for a few years. No significant possessions were left behind either. Only wood that was now thoroughly rotted. A winch mechanism existed for hoisting wood up to the top of the lighthouse. The living quarters for one person filled the bottom floor. A staircase led to the roof with a large pit for the fire in the center. There was talk of ghosts inhabiting the lighthouse, so the party decided to stay the night to see whether their suspicions were true or not.
The party hoisted some wood up to the roof and lit the fire. Watches were set up, but the night passed peacefully. In the morning the party went back down to the Mastiff. They sailed to investigate the northwestern lighthouse.
Upon arrival they found the lighthouse with no one home, but clearly inhabited. It looked as if someone had just left that morning leaving their white cat behind to meow at the adventuring group when they came in. Investigation revealed that a man lived here by himself, but little else was discovered. While looking at the roof the party saw another fiery shot go up from the Green Dish. As they left they saw men coming down from the central hill of the island once again.


The party decided it was time to talk with Captain Peahammer of the Green Dish. They ordered the ship to sail a few hundred feet off from the Green Dish and then to head out in a rowboat. Gregor, Stanton, and Draco took the rowboat with two sailors to row while Korjak and Sivirdm stayed on board the Mastiff to prevent the sailors from skipping and leaving.
As they pulled closer to the Green Dish they saw the pirates on board with crossbows leveled at the rowboat. Wanting to make it clear that they only wished to talk, Stanton began casting a silent image to project a white flag above the boat. Unfortunately, the actual casting of the spell was not seen as a peaceful action, the pirates fired upon Stanton, disrupting the spell.
“Hey! We’re just here to talk!”
“Get lost! We’ll shoot ya again!”
“We come in peace! Tell your captain we come in peace!”
“Tell your captain to shove it!”
Stanton started casting a message spell on a few of the pirates to avoid the shouted conversation. They let loose another volley of crossbow bolts, but missed with them due to the boat bobbing in the sea. Stanton whispered to them, “We really just want to talk. There’s no need to fight.”
“He’s in our minds! He’s trying to turn us against each other! Careful men!”
“Just tell your captain that we want to talk. We’ll stay here til he arrives.”
The pirates talked amongst each other for a few minutes then said, “We’ll wait for Captain Peahammer’s orders.”
Soon Captain Peahammer arrived from the shore to the Green Dish. “Who are you?” he shouted from the ship to the rowboat.
The party introduced themselves by their real names, then Stanton asked, “Could we meet with you in person?”
“Why not! Row to land. My men and I will meet you there.”
The party shrugged and rowed for shore. Peahammer did as well. They came on land face to face with more than a dozen men and Captain Peahammer. He wore a green cape with dashing clothes and two swords at his waist, one with a white pommel and the other black.
“Why don’t you tell me what you’re doing on my island?”
“That’s none of your business. What are you doing here?”
“I ask the questions on my island. No one else! Now tell me why you’re here.”
“We’re shark hunting.”
“Shark hunting? No one shark hunts.”
“We do. It’s to fight the Xorians you see. They-”
“You’re hunting sharks to fight Xorians. Fine. MEN!” The pirates all aimed their crossbows at the party.
“No! It’s true! We really are here to hunt sharks! The Xorians made a Dragovinian shark and we came here to kill it to stop the Xorians from taking over!”
Captain Peahammer thought for a good minute on what the party said.
“Alright. I believe you. You came here to shark hunt. So go shark hunt. But the sharks are in the water and I’m on the land. I don’t want to see you on my island again.”
“Sounds fine with us.”
With the negotiations concluded, the party rowed back to the Maroon Mastiff.


We ended the session there. Stay tuned for more!

Anxe
2013-10-30, 10:58 PM
Alliance Session #28/Total Session #39
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, and Ozymandias and held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 as a virtual tabletop. However, prior to the session there was an important email I sent out to all the players. We’d talked about having puzzles outside of actual game time. This was the first of many.

As Torin slept one night he walked through a plain grass field filled with fog. He came to a stone tablet with writing on it. Athena stepped out of the fog and spoke to Torin. When he awoke he remembered none of what Athena said, but the tablet stayed fixed in his mind. He wrote down what he saw on the tablet immediately and shared it with the group soon after.
Tablet:
http://s21.postimg.org/u8qbsyuie/Puzzle_1.jpg
Hint to solving the puzzle:
The puzzle is a transliteration of an English rhyming prophecy into Ancient Greek letters.
Half-solved puzzle:
The puzzle is a little easier to solve once it’s in text as you can then put it into a transliteration translator online. That’s why I went with the handwritten version to begin with. Anyways, here’s the stuff in Greek.
βυεν θη βλακ βλαιδ μαρχεσ
παυ ιτ νο χιδ
φορ αι κοντρολ ιτ
οφ εντηρβεντιον θερε βελλ βι νο νιδ

ενστηδ τυρν υορ χεδσ
του οθερσ οφ καινδ
φορ βεθ θεμ θη χωρσ μαρχεσ
ανδ χι πλαυσ χεσ ων σαιδ

ανδ βεθ θη χωρσ κομσ
θη λων λοστ ριτυρν
του θη υον μαδ οφ βονσ
ανδ θη φαμελι χι σπυρνεδ
Player’s Solution:
When the black blade marches,
pay it no heed,
for I control it.
Of intervention, there will be no need.

Instead, turn your heads
to others of kind,
for with them the horse marches
and he plows his own seed.

And with the horse comes
the lone lost, return
to the own maid of bones
and the family he spurned.
My Solution:
When the black blade marches
Pay it no heed
For I control it
Of intervention there will be no need

Instead turn your heads
To others of kind
For with them the horse marches
And he plays his own side

And with the horse comes
The long lost return
To the one made of bones
And the family he spurned

Thus the puzzle was more or less solved by one of the players (thewamp), but the meaning of the puzzle remains a mystery. They suspect that it refers to the army of Hades or Hephaestus currently.

So! On to the session after all those spoilers!

We left our adventurers deep within the Lich Shade tomb, searching for a way up the center of the Lich Shade. They’d just slain a hideous arm-eye monster. They carefully searched for non-existent traps before coming to the next door in their current section of the tomb. Eathirilu put his ear to the door and heard large bat wings on the other side. The group armed for combat and Tagenadi kicked in the door.
On the other side was a large stone room with an altar to the moon goddess, Artemis, on the left and an altar to the sun god, Apollo, on the right. In the center of the room flapped a big ole nasty monster. Large bat wings protruded from ten conjoined necks. At the ends of the necks were horrifying ghoulish faces with pointed teeth and long slobbering tongues. The beast opened up the combat by shrieking in a terrifying resonating tone that paralyzed Eathirilu and Torin with unimaginable fear.

http://s28.postimg.org/quw101cbh/Session_39.jpg

Tagenadi moved forward to chop off a few heads with his divine power. Amalius disintegrated another head. The beast moved straight past Tagenadi, losing a few more heads in the process. It converged on Torin and Eathirilu beginning to kiss them with its long tongues and bite them with its pointed teeth. The two were left covered in poison with no sure way of knowing if it affected them or not due to their frozen state. Tagenadi and Amalius continued to blast the heads, but found they regrew faster than they could be removed.
The beast continued its assault on Torin and Eathirilu. Amalius decided he had to save his friends he cast his newfound power on Eathirilu and then Torin, psychic chirurgery. (DM Oopsie! Psychic Chirurgery has a manifesting time of 10 minutes! Oh well. The paralyze would've worn off in only one more round anyways, so it didn't affect the outcome of this battle). The two soon rejoined the fight. Amalius discovered that energy spells targeted on the beast redirected to its wings instead of singing a head off. The party began to retarget the wings with their attacks instead of fruitlessly chopping off heads. The beast valiantly fought back, but soon fell with its weakness revealed.

The group explored the room, finding nothing save the altars and a door at the other end. The moon altar contained a magical transmutation aura and the sun altar contained an evocation aura. Torin prays at the altar of Apollo while Eathirilu prays at the altar of Artemis. At the end of the prayer they both touched their altars. At first a darkness extended from the Artemis altar, surrounding Eathirilu. That darkness soon receded as a great light poured from the Apollo altar filling the room with blinding light. Eathirilu and Amalius both went blind and ultraviolet burns covered the party. Torin reversed the damage and blindness with a mass heal.
After recovering from the traps the party investigated the next door. Finding no traps, they opened the door to reveal a corridor ending in another door. Deciding they’d had enough for the day, the party left the tomb and teleported home to Dalleer.

Anxe
2014-01-13, 08:33 PM
Alliance Session #29/Total Session #40
This session was attended by everyone! Hopefully more such sessions will be happening in the future and more often with the return to our old time of the week for sessions.

The group reformed at Dalleer with Hektor joining them via teleportation. Aldarian decided to take the day off as he was getting tired of almost dying. After preparing they popped off to the Lich Shade and teleported to the previous room they'd explored once inside. First thing to explore, the corridor beyond the room with the flying multi-headed creepy beast. The short stone corridor ended in a simple stone door. Amalius detected magic, but found nothing. Torin and Amalius movd into the corridor while Tagenadi took point in the opening position. Hektor and Eathirilu waited outside the corridor's edge.
Tagenadi swung the door opened and saw only a solid stone wall beyond. The party then heard an ominous clicking sound as metal grinded on metal before the corridor floor dropped out from under them. Amalius quickly clung to the wall with his spider climb slippers. Tagenadi activated his celestial armor and flew in the air. Torin the dwarf plummeted like a rock. He hit the bottom, but unfazed, he quickly healed himself back to full. Tagenadi swooped down to pick him up.
Amalius scanned the corridor's end and found no magic. Tagenadi chipped at it a bit with his weapon, but the party soon decided it was a simple trapped deadend.

Wanting to experiment with the altars more, Torin and Amalius attempted to sacrifice their blood by dripping it on the altars. This produced no amazing effect though. Presumably the altars were another dead end trap.

With time running down on the party's buffs, only one completely unexplored section of the Lich Shade remained, going left at the fork before the wisps swampy room. Going down that way the party reached another large square room filled with five foot thick columns. Tagenadi journeyed into the room first and found nothing unusual. Amalius went in next AND ACTIVATED THE SWARM. Roughly, two dozen incorporeal shadowy creatures appeared out of nowhere and encircled all the party members except Tagenadi. They flailed their appendages but quickly realized they could do nothing against a party fully protected by death wards. The party retaliated, killing about half before they escaped into the walls.
The room beyond contained no monsters, but an extremely low ceiling. Wary of collapses, the party huddled together with people ready to teleport across the room if anything dangerous occured. Nothing foul befell the party as they entered the next room.
This room deadended instead of containing another door or passageway. At the far end of the room was a stone throne on a raised dias. Sitting on the throne was a skeleton wearing the decayed clothes of nobility and thousands of gold pieces in fine jewelry. A detect magic revealed that the throne had a transmutation effect on it, but nothing on the skeleton or the jewlery. Amalius used his retrieve power on the skeleton's necklace and put the fine piece into his portable hole.
Tagenadi braved up and went to shake the skeleton's hand. As he did so a spell went off that tried to slow Tagenadi down to almost not move at all. Fortunately he resisted. The spell also turned all the jewelery still on the skeleton into dust. Amalius and Eathirilu identified the spell as temporal stasis which requires a hefty material component to go off. Amalius checked to ensure his necklace was still safe and happily found it still entact.

Now all the rooms in the tomb had been explored, but two remained unsearched. The room filled with corpse gatherer zombie piles that the party teleported past and the room with the giant staring at the fire just past the corpse gatherer room also teleported past. Choosing the unknown evil, the party went to the giant room.
A few attempts were made to communicate with the giant through a cut open peephole in theiron doors to he room, but unfortunately, no common languages were shared. Amalius tried telepathy, but retreated instantly when he realized that the fire in the room was also intelligent! The party quickly surmised that the fire was somehow controlling the giant. Wishing to take care of the encounter quickly, Tagenadi busted in, Eathirilu summoned a water elemental on top of the fire, and Amalius dominated the giant.
The fire rose up through the elemental and entered the giant's body. Amalius felt his influence over the giant pushed to a back corner of its mind as a new entity took control. The giant's eyes glowed an eerie white and his body became reathed in flame. Amalius recognized the creature as an effigy, an incorporeal fire undead that possesses living creatures and consumes them. The creature was known to be resistant to magic but weak to the icy cold.
Tagenadi engaged the giant, but found it able to exchange blow for blow with him. Frightened, he took a more defensive posture. Torin kept Tagenadi healed up with a harm spell. Hektor prepared a maze for when th effigy remerged. Eathirilu changed into an ankylosaurus andoved to engage the giant. Tagenadi had hoped to keep the giant alive but unconscious, but the flow of battle directed his blade a different blade. With a mighty critical blow, Tagenadi cut off the giant's head. The effigy came out and was quickly removed from the world for a moment by Hektor. Everyone prepared attacks for when it came back.
Upon its return, Torin tried mass heal but failed. Hektor tried a true striked disintegrate but whiffed with the touch attack. Eathirilu tried to bash it with his dino tail, but went through the ghost's ethereal body. Amalius successfully blasted the beast with cold magic and Tagenadi also landed a mighty blow, but the monster still stood! It moved to possess Eathirilu and succeeded.
http://s24.postimg.org/gxuw9u1f9/Session_40.jpg
Hektor struck Eathirilu with a ray of enfeeblement. Torin also hit him with a dispel magic that removed most of Eathirilu's beneficial enchantments (Salzar was quite lucky in what he specifically dismissed). With the dino gimped, Tagenadi easily dispatched it with subdual damage. When the effigy came out again, Tagenadi and Amalius were able to destroy it using their cold and divine abilities once again.

With victory achieved the party mourned the dead giant. Hektor realized that this giant was probably a relative of Barakah, a sand giant the party rescued from the Lich Shade awhile ago. Tagenadi felt especially bad as he was the one who dealt the unnecessary killing blow. As they prayed for the giant's soul, the decapitated head rolled over and spoke to Tagenadi in a chilling voice that could only be that of the god of the underworld, "Tunnel through the center for what you seek."

We ended the session there!

thewamp
2014-01-18, 05:38 PM
"Frightened?" No, Tagenadi did not feel fear. He was just fighting intelligently.

Anxe
2014-01-18, 06:56 PM
From what I remember he hit you for 80 or so points and you were like, "Oh ****! I fight with expertise!"

thewamp
2014-01-22, 02:25 PM
From what I remember he hit you for 80 or so points and you were like, "Oh ****! I fight with expertise!"

It was like 50-60 but yeah, lots. But that's not the point. The point is, that isn't fear.

Anxe
2014-01-22, 11:03 PM
I thought it was 50-60 because of your damage pool thingy. Does caution/cautiously fit better?

thewamp
2014-01-25, 04:55 PM
I thought it was 50-60 because of your damage pool thingy. Does caution/cautiously fit better?

Oh. Yeah. So like 70. Yeah. But really, was just nitpicking for funsies - didn't really matter to begin with.

Anxe
2014-02-07, 08:52 PM
Alliance Session #30/Total Session #41
This session was attended by everyone. It was held over Google hangouts using Roll20 as usual.

While the party pondered what to do next, a sending came into Amalius from Aldarian. "Lich attacked Bjorn's Palace. Came with shadows. Bjorn escaped. Died and escaped. Palace staff are now shadows. Am at Dalleer Cathedral. No return to Palace." Amalius informed the group of the contents of the message.
Eathirilu said, "What should we do?"
Hektor said, "We don't have enough magic left to take on the Lich and to dozen shadows right now. We have to regroup."
Tagenadi disagreed, "If we don't act now, then at nightfall those shadows could spread throughout the entire city. We have to do something."
The party discussed it for a few minutes and decided they should meet up with Aldarian at the cathedral before making any concrete decisions. They teleported out and away to the large cathedral in Dalleer.

The cathedral held twelve large statues to the Olympians, six on each side, with a stone altar at the far end opposite the door. Smaller offering pits with burned remnants of previous offerings lay at the feet of each of the statues. Three corridors on each side of the giant hall led out to other parts of the religious complex. The cathedral was devoid of people, save for Aldarian who approached the group.
"You made it! When you didn't respond to my sending scroll I thought the worst had happened!"
Amalius asked, "What happened at the Palace?"
"The Bane attacked. He brought a few shadow undead with him. They got me. I saw the Bjorn slip away during the chaos. When the shadows were occupied with killing the Palace staff I resurrected myself and fled here. I think the Lich is laying a trap for your return."
"Do you know where the Bjorn went?"
"I don't, sorry."
"Where are the priests in here?"
Aldarian looked around in a circle and said, "There was one here just a second ago. I got the scroll and was talking to him while I waited for you to reply. Where did he go?"
Aldarian turned around again and a priest appeared behind the altar. Had they missed him before or was something else going on. Amalius and Tagenadi immediately became suspicious.
The priest approached them. "Is there anything I can help you with?" he asked.
Amalius cast detect magic and focused on Aldarian and the priest. All seemed normal with Aldarian, but a powerful illusion aura covered the priest. Amalius issued a telepathic order to Aldarian. The elf reacted quickly and grabbed the priest, holding a dagger to his throat.
Amalius hissed between his teeth at the priest, "What's going on here? What's this illusion magic?"
The party rolled to disbelieve and the truth filled their eyes and ears. The cathedral wasn't empty, but filled with worshippers and priests giving offerings to the gods and goddesses. Most of them clustered around the gods associated with love, trade, and war.
Tagenadi drew his weapon and held it over his head. He shouted, "What are you all doing here? Where did you come from?"
All the priests turned in unison from talking with the worshippers to look at Tagenadi. The priest held by Aldarian wailed, "I'll explain everything, just let me go."
The priests announced to the worshippers that the cathedral was closed for the day and began to usher them out the main doors. A few priests ran off down the side corridors. Tagenadi began swinging his kusari-gama over his head, ready to hit anybody who came within his reach. Hektor, Torin, and Eathirilu took up defensive positions while Amalius began manifesting a mind probe power on the captured priest to figure out what was going on. The priest continued to plead for his release while the party questioned him about why the illusion spell was in place.
Soon all the worshippers were ushered out. The priests at the door turned to engage the party as the sound of metal bootsteps echoed out of the side corridors. The other priests returned at the head of a robot army!
Tagenadi was now convinced that the priests were agents of Xoria in some way. He began striking out at them to keep them at bay. Eathirilu began to cast a summon monster. The priests hit the party with a few sound bursts disrupting Eathirilu and Amalius' spells. Torin animated the statue of Dionysus at the other end of the cathedral and had it engage one of the robot squadrons.
The robots rushed to engage Tagenadi. He tripped a great many of them up, but one made it through and slammed against his undead body, chipping off a decent portion of bone. Fearing for the lives of his companions should the robots make it past him, Tagenadi used his hell given power to create a blazing inferno around the majority of the robots. One priest was caught in the blast and died a horrible death.

http://s3.postimg.org/57tggpsr7/Session_41.jpg

Torin cast a wall of force between the party and the opponents, leaving Tagenadi alone on the other side. Amalius and Torin then proceeded to teleport everyone out. Amalius took Tagenadi and Eathirilu to his old quarters at Astyanax's estate in Bradel Fields. Torin took Hektor to Torin's home in the caverns beneath Jord. Aldarian, left behind, turned invisible with his magic ring and fled.

Torin elected to simply remain within his house and not visit his family. Since he had now effectively allied himself with undead and possible traitors to the Alliance he felt ashamed to see his family. Better to pretend his self imposed exile had never been broken by this visit home. Without the option of a sending, Hektor asked to use Torin's mirror to scry Tagenadi and, after receiving the dwarf's approval, began to cast the spell.
Amalius, Eathirilu, and Tagenadi looked around the suite and thankfully found it unoccupied. They began to bicker about Tagenadi's use of excessive force during the battle. Their arguing was interrupted by a maid opening the door. Amalius instantly vast psionic charm. Amalius recognized the woman from his previous stay, but couldn't recall her name.
Amalius asked, "What's your name, sweetheart?"
"It's Telerie, my lord."
"You remember me from before, right?"
"Yes, my lord."
"How have you taken to the new changes Astyanax made?"
"There's a bit more work for me around the house, my lord, but otherwise everything is fine."
Amalius thought for a moment then said, "Could you go outside and wait for us?"
"Of course, my lord." Telerie exited the suite and closed the door behind her.
Tagenadi said, "What do we do?"
Amalius answered, "We'll go out the window. I don't have enough power left to teleport again. This was just the first place I could think of. We'll have to meet up with the others tomorrow."
Amalius called Telerie back in.
"Telerie, we arrived here through magical means on an emergency. We're going to be leaving the same way. It'd be best if no one knew we were here. Can you promise me you won't tell anyone, not even Astyanax?"
"Yes, my lord. I shaln't say a word."
"Perfect! Now could you leave and close the door again?"
"Yes, my lord. Goodbye."
Telerie left and closed the door. Tagenadi used his hat of disguise and Amalius cast invisibility on himself. The three of them clambered out the window and headed for a bar by the town gate to hide out. Amalius feared he would be recognized, so he kept his cloak hood pulled up.
While waiting at the bar, Korm, Amalius' intelligent dagger whispered to the party, "I don't think Dalleer is a place we can go back to. Maybe we should go to Aractrash instead. Aren't Eathirilu and Hektor from around there?" No one responded the dagger, so it remained quiet for a while.

Hektor finished his scrying and found Tagenadi. He asked Torin, "When we get there are you going to attack him for killing that priest or just scold him."
"Worse than a scolding, but less than an attack. I think we may have to break our ties with him. But I owe it to him to at least hear out what's going through his head."
Hektor grasped Torin and they teleported to the middle of the bar. All the patrons turned and looked at once. Hektor shouted, "Alliance business! Go back to your drinks! Nothing to be alarmed about!" Grumbling, the people went back to talking. A few grumpy patrons paid for their drinks and left.
Hektor and Torin soon found the other party members. Hektor requisitioned a back table from another group, citing Alliance business once again. The party sat down with ales in hand and began to talk.
(A fair warning. A lot went back in forth in this conversation that I may have missed the subtleties of. I've told the players to post their own versions of the events when they have time, so that an unbiased version of events may be collected from the whole of us.)
Torin started it off by narrowing his eyes at Tagenadi, “I’ve got something to say to you. We can’t go around killing innocent priests in temples. Their spells were minor, only meant to incapacitate and yours… Well yours was black magic from who knows where. It’s come to my realization that we have not been traveling with a person, but with a beast! A thing!”
Korm interjected, “A thing? You saying there’s something wrong with being a thing? That’s a compliment, buddy, and don’t you forget it.” Korm was ignored once again.
Tagenadi said, “You’re right, I am a beast. I traded my soul and my humanity, because we all need to make sacrifices to defeat the Dragovinians. You don’t know what evil they’re truly capable of, Torin.”
“Maybe you can make sacrifices. You chose what you are now, but that priest didn’t. We can cast aside whatever we need to of ourselves in this quest, but we cannot make those decisions for others. You should be ashamed of your actions!”
“No, I agree. I have done monstrous things, but I speak not of the priest. For the things I have done I have been punished and turned into a monster. And I don’t think we should force our own decisions on others. I made the deal with Hades, no one else. But I felt we were under attack by Dragovinian accomplices in that cathedral. Why the illusion if there was nothing for them to hide?”
Eathirilu said, “Something fishy was happening in there.”
Torin said, “We can’t know for sure, but my conscience tells me those priests were acting only to protect themselves. Why wouldn’t they use more powerful spells against us if they truly wished to hurt our cause? And that one priest held by Aldarian kept shouting that he could explain if we only let him go. There was clearly more going on than we realized, but I highly doubt that the truth was nefarious in nature. Your actions still stand.”
Tagenadi responded, “How much are you willing to give up to defeat the Dragovinians, Torin? I gave up everything! How much do you think that priest would’ve sacrificed? He might’ve sacrificed his soul as I had, or his life, or his home, or his family. We can’t know. I feel terrible that I killed him, but I can’t take it back as much as I can’t take my deal with Hades back.”
“You slew an innocent without provocation. How can we trust you anymore?”
“Because… Because of how much I hate the Dragovinians. I’ll tell you a story that I hid when I first joined the Alliance, but I think its time you heard it now.
“I grew up among a military family. My grandfather was in the military, my father was, and my older brother joined the army as well. With our family history he became an officer quickly. You've met my brother. He was there at the Rock of Prometheus when we fought the Dragovinian King himself. My brother, Darudanano, didn't use to be like that, by the way. He told me not to go to war. But I didn't listen back then. Anyway, you've met Daru, but I had a sister, Tanaranena too. And parents obviously.
"Anyway, I came back from my first tour with the army. and I found out they wanted to make Daru a Dragovinian. It wasn't particularly surprising - he was a ranking officer who had made a name for himself in the wars. But he didn't want to be. I didn't really get it at the time but it freaked me out. So when he left us to…
"He left and he's not there anymore and I decide to leave the service. Devanane is my brother's best friend, he was the other Dragovinian at the Rock. He comes to me as I'm leaving but he starts with these vague threats. I didn't know what to do so I ran.
"But I got captured at this village the Xorians were… well they were burning it to the ground. Devanane wasn't a good man even before he was a Dragovinian. He brings in this mage and they tortured me some and then brought me back. I was an officer and needed to be made an example of."
Tagenadi took a deep breath and said, "I killed my parents. They… the mage did something to my mind and I had to. But I killed them. The worst thing you can do and I did it. I might have killed my sister too but she saw and ran away.
"My soul belongs to Hades. I've deserved it since that day. But if I'm going to die I need to do two things. The people of the Xorian empire don't deserve this. They aren't the enemy, it's the Dragovinians with Blendegad and Jevaninada at the top. They're the evil in this war. We kill them and we can end this.
"And I need to make sure my sister is okay. I haven't seen her since that day. I doubt she'd want to see me since I killed… but I need to make sure she's okay before I die. Again. You know."
Korm said, "That's some heavy ****, man."
Amalius said, "Given the circumstances, I think we can forgive you, Tagenadi. How do the rest of you feel?"
Eathirilu said, "I'm still here as long as we vanquish the Dragovinians first and the undead we're using second. Nature will survive."
Torin said, "I'll let it pass this once, but you had better not slip up again. I'll be watching you." Torin glared at Tagenadi.
Hektor said, "I'm glad that's all settled. Working with undead isn't my first choice, but if we need to bring down the Dragovinians, then so be it. Now we still have a separate undead problem. What are we doing about the Lich in Dalleer."
Amalius said, "We can't take him on today. We'll have to return tomorrow. Then we can kick his boney butt."
The party decided to rest at Hektor's small fiefdom called Lakatia in Aractrash. Hektor typically teleports from there to the party every day and then back at the end of the day. The only difference is that he was bringing them along this time.
Before teleporting away, Amalius had a private word with Tagenadi, "This Dragovinian guy, I think I might know where he is."
"Who? Devanane?" said Tagenadi.
Amalius said, "No, the mage who played with your mind. There is only one Dragovinian who could have bent your will to such tragic deeds. I too was wronged by his malevolence, yet pity stayed my hand and I let the wretched little thing live on, knowing that his destiny dwelt elsewhere.
"I see now that in prophetic grace I saw true. For he took from me naught but what he had weaved before my eyes, but you, my forsaken friend, he damned your soul and your blood to hell.
"Let us rid the world of the terror he once was... and the terror he will become again. Only by the bloody toll of vengeance may your kin pay Charon and find peace before the gods. I can lead the way, Tagenadi, but you must wield the sword."
"Where is he? Who is he?"
"He is an albino halfling. He has lost his memory and his Dragovinian state. He travels now with a small band of other 'fixed' Dragovinians like himself, doing some work for the Rebellion in Xoria. I can find him and then..."
"I see... But innocents are at stake in Dalleer now. We can hunt down the mage at a later date."

We ended the session there as the party rested, recuperated, and prepared in Lakatia for their final battle with the Lich.

Anxe
2014-02-22, 06:26 PM
Alliance Session #31/Total Session #42
This session was attended by thewamp, Middle_Snu, Salazar, and Throgg. It was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20. This was my first time using Roll20's dynamic lighting settings. It was interesting, but the players felt weirded out by it. If I use it again I won't be enforcing line of sight on the PCs.

Eathirilu awoke in the morning with a terrible vision. He'd dreamed that if he went to fight the lich, they would all die, but if he stayed behind, a life would be saved. Convinced of the truth of the vision, Eathirilu refused to go to the Bjorn's Palace even after the others pleaded with him. He elected to cast numerous buff spells on the others. Aldarian also chose to sit this one out saying, "I've died too many times to that lich."
Everyone received mass resist energy to all five elements and freedom of movement from Eathirilu. Torin gave everyone a death ward. Amalius finished off the buffs with a spell resistance manifestation.
The plan was simple. Teleport in and find the lich. Torin would cast antimagic field on himself and run up to the lich. Tagenadi would use his kusari-gama to keep the lich in the field. Without any of its powers, the party would slowly whittle the lich down to nothing.

Prepped and ready to go, the party teleported to the edge of the Bjorn's Palace grounds. They found the area shrouded in unnatural perpetual darkness. The street just outside of the grounds had normal daylight, but no natural light penetrated the grounds. Fortunately, the light from Tagenadi's magic weapon still functioned and darkvision still worked for Torin's dwarf eyes, Tagenadi's undead eyes, and Amalius' magically enhanced eyes.
The party cautiously moved forward into the Palace itself. They found several severely fire-damaged spots devastated from their last battle and the more recent one. With no signs of the lich or his shadows, Amalius reached out with his mind to find them. Suddenly his mental radar was covered in the pings of the undead. They were everywhere in the mansion!
The shadows converged on the party and flailed at them with their incorporeal hands. Unfortunately for the undead, their negative energy attacks could not pierce the protection of Torin's death ward. The party took the undead out over a few turns using a few of their spells. The Palace creaked under the stress of the magical force. Would it collapse soon or hold together? Hektor used his shapechange to transform into an iron golem just in case.
The party searched for the lich, but stuck together, fearing he would pick them off one by one. They moved from room to room. Tagenadi heard someone casting spells in the kitchen. The invisible lich cast a dispel magic on Torin and all but one of his protective enchantments slipped away.
Time stopped. The lich smiled and planted three delayed blast fireballs on the party. He summoned a fire elemental as well and cast black tentacles. Time resumed. The party was engulfed in the inferno. Torin went down. Tagenadi came close. Amalius' spell resistance won out and he was unscathed. Similarly, Hektor's iron golem body took no damage. The fire elemental beat down on Amalius and the tentacles encircled Torin's limp body, unable to grasp anyone else due to Eathirilu's freedom of movement.
Amalius grabbed Torin and sent a mental message to Tagenadi and Hektor, "I'll be back soon. Taking Torin to Eathirilu." With that he teleported away to Lakatia.
Hektor abandoned his iron golem form and turned into a glabrezu demon. He swept the Palace with his now true seeing eyes and located the invisible lich in the entrance hallway. Hektor cast a time stop of his own and changed into a beholder. He fixed his central antimagic eye upon the lich, all but neutralizing it. Time resumed and Hektor blasted the fire elemental with a few eye rays, but it resisted. Tagenadi flew past the fire elemental, taking a few hits. He engaged the lich and whiffed his attack (total Tagenadi fumbles during this fight: 3).
The lich moved to escape the antimagic cone, but Tagenadi tripped him. He ordered the fire elemental to bull rush Hektor in Ignan. The lich hoped that the elemental could remove the beholder from the Palace entirely, but it only managed to push Hektor's beholder body into the entrance hallway itself. The lich still crawled away.
Meanwhile, Eathirilu healed Torin. Conscious again, Torin healed himself back to full. Satisfied, Amalius teleported back to join the fray.
From there it was a slow slog to take out the lich. It could not escape, but Tagenadi's kusari-gama couldn't deal significant damage without magic. Torin returned. Amalius drew Korm and tried to use him to aid Tagenadi. Hektor's eye rays eliminated the fire elemental. The house did eventually creak and collapse under the stress.
Hektor disintegrated a pit and Tagenadi threw the lich in. Amalius then had the bright idea of using the staff of the magi they'd looted from the lich previously. Artifacts continue to function in antimagic fields. Amalius activated the staff's wall of fire ability. The lich slowly burned to death in the pit. It took out a crystal ball from a bag on its belt and smashed it on the ground. Then it removed its spellbook from the bag and allowed it to be engulfed in flames. It may have been defeated a second time, but these interlopers would loot nothing from his corpse this time. He would return and unleash his full wrath on them another day.

http://s4.postimg.org/tj25ywnjh/Session_42.jpg

With the lich defeated once more, the party cheered. And a twinkle passed along Korm's edge in Amalius' hand. Artifacts work fine in antimagic fields, but the same can't be said for Amalius' constant mind blank mental protection. If there was a time to strike, now was it.

And we ended the session there!

Anxe
2014-03-14, 12:29 PM
Alliance Session #32/Total Session #43
This session was attended by thewamp, Salazar, Ozymandias, Throgg, and a new player! Our new player’s screen name is Zigfried (Previously Longshanks). He’ll be taking over Aldarian from Throgg. Zigfried is a friend of Throgg’s that got introduced to the group through our weekday sessions of League of Legends. He got integrated pretty well and may be one of the only people we add successfully to the group since our fateful meeting more than a decade ago.

With the lich gone, the darkness dissipated, but Korm’s desire for control did not. He stabbed at Amalius’ mind. The psion’s fortifications were strong, but had become idle with his reliance on magical protections. A thousand knives poked and prodded at Amalius’ mental bastion until a weakness was found. Korm seized his chance and broke through. Amalius was now under the dagger’s control.
Korm ordered Amalius to dismiss his mind blank and step out of the antimagic cone created by Hektor. Then Amalius was made to manifest temporal acceleration giving Korm three more rounds of control within accelerated time. Korm made Amalius use up as much of his power points as possible by manifesting energy adaption as a swift action, dimension door as a move action, and overchanneled disintegrates at the feet of Torin and Tagenadi as a standard action. Korm’s final actions within the time bubble were to manifest moment of prescience and to dimension door back to Amalius’ start location just outside of the antimagic cone.
When the time bubble ended, Korm made a foolish mistake and made Amalius manifest schism. It had become clear to Amalius that Korm was attempting to burn through his power points as quickly as possible. The schism would give him the ability to do a few more when the time came. But the second mind that schism created could resist Korm’s control over Amalius’ body as well. Amalius’ second mind fought and wrestled with the dagger’s commanding influence and successfully distracted the weapon to allow Amalius to break free. The secondary mind faded away as the primary took hold once again.
The others freaked out a little bit. Tagenadi climbed out of the pit created by the disintegrates and pulled Torin up after himself. Torin sought about quickly for an invisible attacker and cast flame strike on an area he thought he’d heard something in. Hektor flew to the ground and assumed an iron golem form to protect himself from any magical attacks.
Amalius prepared to tell the others that Korm had assumed control for a moment, but he felt the dagger invading his mind once again. The knives assaulted his mental fortress again, but this time Amalius was prepared. With his magical items restored to functionality, the gaps in his mental wall were filled once more. Korm could find no weak spot. Amalius maintained control.
Amalius threw the dagger to the ground, turned off his invisibility, and shouted to the group, “Korm took over my mind! It was only for a second! I’m in control again!”
Torin was suspicious, “How could all that be Korm?”
“He used my powers. He used my time altering ability to create pits at your feet.”
“Why wouldn’t he just escape with you as a hostage?”
“I don’t know. I think he was trying to use up all my mental energy for some purpose.”
Korm broke in saying, “Torin, he’s lying! Pick me up! Pick me up!”
As Amalius explained what had happened in detail to Torin, Korm continued to rave about lies and that Torin should pick him up. Torin trusted Amalius over a dagger known to once belong to Amalgami. Korm was picked up by Amalius and put into his portable hole to silence the weapon’s continual shouting.

Hoping that the dispelled darkness would attract the town watch or the Bjorn himself, the party waited at the site of the destroyed palace. In the afternoon a group of five people began walking up to the palace. When they came close enough the group was recognized as Astyanax, Bjorn, Arendil, Titandra, and Terolio.
Astyanax shouted upon seeing the party, “I should’ve known you scum were behind this!”
Amalius tried to explain, “It was a lich. We were just protecting the Bjorn’s Pa-”
A mental message from the Bjorn cut into Amalius’ thoughts, “SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT US!”
Tagenadi explained, “We were dealing with the Bane, a lich from the desert. He destroyed the palace, not us.”
Astyanax said, “A deed done by one undead or another. It matters not to me. You are banished from Alliance lands. These are Alliance lands. Now get out before I make you get out.” The masked paladin drew his sword.
Everyone started speaking at once, trying to justify the party’s presence at Dalleer. During the cacophony the Bjorn sent another telepathic message to Amalius, “Meet me at the shrine in Monkey’s Forest tomorrow at sunset.”
Astyanax grew tired of the bickering and said, “If you aren’t out of here by the time I finish counting, I’ll lay you low. TEN!”
The party gathered up to teleport, but Torin wasn’t done. “You can’t make us get out! You’re insane! The banishment doesn’t extend here and even if it did you can’t require us to leave immediately!”
Astyanax continued to count as Torin spoke, “NINE! EIGHT! SEVEN! SIX! FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO!”
Amalius grabbed Tagenadi and Torin before the dwarf did anything rash and teleported away to Lakatia. Hektor followed soon afterwards. Hektor’s position within the Alliance Council was not threatened as the other Council members could not recognize him in his shapechanged form.
With few teleports remaining, the party rested for the rest of the day and the next day as well after Amalius told them of the planned meeting with the Bjorn.

At sunset everyone (Hektor, Amalius, Aldarian, Torin, Eathirilu, and Tagenadi) teleported to Monkey’s Forest right outside of Dalleer. They walked down the path to the shrine in the middle of the forest, with monkeys hooting and hollering at them on the way. The forest soon thinned to reveal a clearing with two short stone towers on either side of a giant stone statue of a monkey. Rubble law at the feet of the statue and three stone steps led up to the monkey. The Bjorn stood upon the steps, waiting.
The Bjorn spoke, “We need to talk about what happened. Your actions yesterday greatly endangered my relationship with the Alliance, which cannot be risked.”
Amalius nodded his head.
“Til now, I have been able to work with you as I was not a direct member of the Alliance, but that will change soon with my marriage. You can no longer stay in my palace nor come within the bounds of Dalleer. To do so would further disrupt an already delicate situation. However, while the Alliance is not your friend, I remain so. Using undead to defeat the Dragovinians would not be my first choice, but I understand the necessity of the situation. I doubt the Alliance will win if you do not aid them.
“In the future, all contact with me will be via telepathic messages. If I need to speak with you, I shall send you a message indicating what time and where we shall meet. You should do the same. I have chosen this location as the wild monkeys keep nearly everyone away. We should use it again for any future meetings.”
The party told the Bjorn that they understood and asked if they could make up for what they’d done.
“I think it’d be best if you stayed out of the spotlight in Dalleer for now. No help will be needed.”
Amalius added, “And congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Would you like us there?”
“Frankly, I can’t promise that Astyanax won’t organize guards with true seeing active. Given that, if you do choose to come, only do so under a disguise that true seeing cannot pierce. The wedding will be held at Bradel Fields now that Astyanax feels the Dalleer Cathedral is not safe from you.”
“What was up with that Cathedral by the way.”
“The magic of the Cathedral prevents one from seeing anyone they do not need to see while they are there. People often wish to conduct their religious business in private. The Cathedral sees hundreds of worshippers every day, but none of them are ever aware of any other person inside save themselves, those they entered with, and the priest they speak with.”
“Ah… We understand.”
“I trust you will deal with the lich permanently. I can’t afford to lose any more palaces.”
When prompted the Bjorn updated the party on the situation of the war.
Greshendale remained neutral.
Rumors out of Phoenix made it clear that the Xorians had it as a new base of operations. Dragoviniysm was taking hold there. Faced with death if they did not submit and a chance at immortality if they gave in, many gave in. The Mercenaries Guild in particular had almost all turned to become Dragovinians. The Wizards, Clerics, and Adventurers guilds were all wiped out. The high ranking members of other guilds joined up. Relief would be welcome by the common people with no chance at the immortality of Dragoviniysm, but that relief would be long in coming.
The Xorians had halted their offensive due to a strong revolt in the town of Gazeara. The Rebels attacked and took the city with help from inside. The large Amazon contingent in the Xorian army had peeled off from Phoenix to besiege Gazeara. The siege has only just begun, so it is hard to say what the outcome will be.
With a little more knowledge gained, the party popped back to Lakatia.

The next day the party went on a grand shopping spree in Greshendale, the flying, neutral, and extremely magical city. The loot from the Bane was shared out amongst everyone. A few people chose to buy new items or sell old ones. The unused loot from the Bane’s hoard was sold and spread out among the party or kept in a rainy day fund.
The day after that, the party returned to the Lich Shade to find the Bane’s phylactery. They had two clues thus far, the words of the demon they’d freed, “His phylactery is contained within the pillar of the Lich Shade itself.” And the words of the giant’s head, “Tunnel through the center for what you seek.” The party surmised that the phylactery was at the central axis of the gigantic stone pillar of the Lich Shade, probably halfway up or close to the top.
Tagenadi summoned his nightmare mount from the outer realms and commanded it to make the party ethereal. With ghostly forms the party sailed up through the pillar, thoroughly checking for the phylactery. Tagenadi ended up finding it at the dead center between bottom and top and between the outer edges. The phylactery was a metal box, two inches on a side, with a intricate design. A looped chain connected to the box at a ring on a corner. The box was encased within the stone, with no air on any side.
Now how to get to the box? The party figured the best way was by disintegrating. Amalius went back to the ground and became corporeal once more. He spiderclimbed up the outside of the Lich Shade until he reached the right height. He used his telepathy powers to communicate with his ghostly companions as he blasted his way into the Lich Shade. He created a tunnel inwards and then a room around a ten foot cube containing the phylactery. Tagenadi then went to work, using his ancient mountain hammer strike to carve out an area around the phylactery. Now only a two foot wide stone cube hung from the ceiling containing the phylactery.
The party debated what to do next. Would disintegrating the box invite disaster? Would ancient mountain hammer prove disastrous as well? What was the best means of destroying the phylactery if the removed it? Time dragged as they discussed. Enough time it seemed for the Bane to return to life.
The Bane materialized within the constructed room. Everyone’s eyes went wide. Tagenadi and Aldarian were the first to gather their senses. They prepared to strike the lich if he began casting any spells. The Bane did cast a spell and was hit with a shattering ancient mountain hammer from Tagenadi and a “I wish I had a Truedeath Crystal” from Aldarian. The Lich then cast a second quickened spell and disappeared. The more experienced in the party recognized the spell as a time stop.
Fearing for their lives, the party wanted to escape as quickly as possible. Amalius commanded everyone to gather up for a teleport. As they did so he blasted the final stone block with a disintegrate. The spell removed the rock. The metal box glowed white hot as the spell’s energy entered it. The spell could not conquer the box though. The energy released in a beam directed straight back at Amalius. He lived, but felt the sting of his own spell.

http://s9.postimg.org/60s0catbj/Session_43.jpg

The needs of the moment took over. Amalius rushed forward and scooped the phylactery into his portable hole. Torin teleported the party away to his suite in Jord just as he’d done before.

“What do we do with?” was the question on everyone’s minds. They needed to destroy it fast before the lich used it to locate them. And could they prevent the lich from scrying them somehow? No one could prevent the scrying, so a constant sense of impending doom dominated the conversation.
Could they throw it into a volcano? But the only volcano they knew of was the one that composed the city of Greshendale. Who knows what the lich’s phylactery would do to the city. It might interfere with the magic holding the city in the air, crash it, and kill thousands if the party tried to throw the phylactery in the lava of the floating city.
Disintegrate had been tried and failed. What about ancient mountain hammer? Tagenadi borrowed Aldarian's dagger and took a swing. The dagger burst into shards of metal upon impact. That would not work either.
A sphere of annihilation perhaps? There were a few that roamed the valley below Greshendale. But the party feared the Lich's vast intellect could turn that plan against them. The spheres could all start homing in on the party members, picking them off one by one.
The party latched onto the idea of taking the phylactery to Hades for him to destroy. An attempted plane shift squelched that plan. The realm of the underworld is not so easily reached in the Greek mythos. Instead of plane shifting to Erebos, the party found themselves in the sewers of Bradel Fields.
Amalius suggested revisiting the disintegrate idea. He could survive another blast of his own magic or Tagenadi could block the spell for him. But that was only needed if he failed to penetrate the phylactery's spell resistance. If he used his power penetration ability and pierced through the phylactery's defenses, then maybe they stood a chance of destroying the box. If it failed, they were only out a disintegrate and some healing magic from Torin. Amalius readied himself and blasted the box.
It worked! The Bane's phylactery turned to ash. His green soul emerged and flew away to the east, presumably where the Bane's body was. The lich's phylactery was gone, but the lich still remained alive. Now both sides would play for keeps in their next engagement.

We ended the session there.

JonnyLongshanks
2014-04-10, 01:39 AM
Anxe, might I suggest posting some portraits of the currently active PCs? I believe we have some pretty good ones selected for everyone and I'm sure it would help give your reader's a stronger connection to the characters.

Anxe
2014-04-10, 06:01 PM
I've thought about it before. Just haven't gotten around to it yet. I think I'll post pictures in the blank post near the beginning. The first post is already crowded to the point of intimidation.

LokiRagnarok
2014-04-13, 02:08 AM
Hey, just posting to say I enjoy this campaign journal and am looking forward to how it will go on.
Also, congratulations on the various real life achievements you had!

Anxe
2014-04-13, 11:05 PM
Our first vocal fan! *Squeels like a school girl* So exciting! Glad you're enjoying reading it! Thanks for reading

Anxe
2014-04-18, 10:29 AM
Alliance Session #33/Total Session #44
This session was attended by everyone! Hurray! Held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 as usual.

With the phylactery destroyed the next step was obvious, defeat the lich another time and kill him forever. The party thought a little bit and then realized, the lich had probably not recovered his spells from their previous fight yet! He’d had no opportunities to rest or to peruse any backup spellbooks he might have. Right now was the best time to strike!

Hektor loaded up his only scrying spell and prayed that it worked. It did! Hektor located the lich in the giant room that the party kept teleporting past every time they went into the Lich Shade. The room filled with wights that turn people to stone, gigantic pillars made from skeletons, and huge monstrosities formed from dozens of zombies slapped together. There had also previously been some sort of undead lieutenant commanding the zombie monsters and the wights, but the party had killed him during one of their previous battles.
The lich was in that room talking to the wights. The scrying spell did not reveal the zombie monsters, but was there any reason to think they weren’t there?
Now, how to engage the lich tactically? Surprise via teleportation would be best, but you can’t teleport into the Lich Shade from outside. Only once you are inside can you teleport around within it. They could walk in through the front door as they have in the past, but that would undoubtedly be guarded.
But what about a recently created hole in the Lich Shade’s defenses? One that the party carved out with disintegrate spells just this morning? Smiling, the party knew what their plan would be.
They teleported to the edge of the Lich Shade’s teleportation interdiction zone. Tagenadi summoned his nightmare mount to make the party ethereal. They floated up to the hole they’d made previously in the side of the Lich Shade pillar. They willed themselves to be corporeal once more. Then Hektor grabbed everyone and teleported down to the corridor just before the bone pillar room.

The Bane was indeed surprised. He stood in the middle of the room talking with three wights. He held a black foot long crystal in his hand that the party had never seen before. Tagenadi started things off by moving into the room and taking a defensive position next to the giant zombie monsters. Torin threw a fire storm into the room, lightly roasting all the undead. Aldarian moved in for his part of the plan, get swallowed by a zombie monster and die, then kill it from within with his fiery phoenix rebirth. Eathirilu began summoning some dinosaur allies. Amalius was too low on power points for extended offensive firepower. He settled on a big risky play instead. He moved into the room and readied a retrieve to hit the black crystal the Bane held whenever it began to leave his sight.
With the surprise round over, the true combat began! Tagenadi gave one of the zombie monsters a good smack, but they were simply too large to take down with normal weapons. The zombie monsters moved to engage. Tagenadi’s defenses stonewalled them and Aldarian was grappled just as he planned.
Something unexpected happened. The Bane shouted out, “EVERYONE! TAKE THEM DOWN!” As he did so, the two bone pillars in the front of the room detached from their positions and moved towards the party. A great shaking could be heard from the back of the room and two more pillars moved into view. The room collapsed behind them as they no longer held the weight of the Lich Shade up over that section of the room. Cracks appeared in the ceiling and sand began to pour in.
The closer two pillars flanked Tagenadi. From their skeletal masses extended giant spears composed of hundreds of leg and arm bones sharpened to a wicked point at the end. The points jabbed through Tagenadi, severely wounding him, then retracted back into the pillars.
The party realized that fighting the lich with his army at his side may have been a mistake.
Torin threw up a wall of stone to block out one of the further bone pillars from engaging. The Bane’s response was to trap Torin within a maze spell. The Bane then moved to take cover behind the newly created stone wall. As he left Amalius’ line of sight, Amalius activated his readied spell. His psionic energy coiled around the lich’s dark crystal trying to take it away from its master. The crystal defended itself, sending a telepathic shock back along the psionic connection. Amalius lost his focus on the world around him and took a few seconds to recover.
Eathirilu’ summoning finished. Four tyranosaurs materialized in in the midst of their undead enemies. Eathirilu moved into the room and took on the form of an akylosaurus. He cast animal growth on himself and his new pets and then ordered them to attack. Three of them engaged the same zombie monster, weakening it. The fourth was in range of the Bane. It chomped down on the lich and snagged it in its toothy maw.
The undead converged on the party and the dinosaurs. The dinosaur holding the Bane was slain and dissipated. Another dinosaur could not resist the calcifying effect of the wights and began to turn to stone. Tagenadi retreated against the undead onslaught. Hektor used an acid fog spell to lock two zombie monsters out of the combat.
The Bane struck back. He cast a high level version of dispel magic on Eathirilu. Thirteen of Eathirilu’s fifteen buff spells were stripped away from him and reformed themselves on the Bane. The Bane was now all but impervious to elemental damage, immune to grapple, had thicker armor, faster movement, and took on the form of an ankylosaurus. (The spell is called reaving dispel for those who care)
Feeling naked, Eathirilu backed off and started another summoning spell to create a living wall between the party and the undead.
Meanwhile, within one of the zombie monsters, Aldarian had pulled out his dagger and slit his wrists in order to die faster. Surrounded by zombies that tore at his flesh, his life blood poured out. He felt the familiar darkness come on. Soon he could return. But then a black hand reached out and clutched his soul. There would be no return from this death. The corpse gatherer had him in its grasp and only the end of its unlife would free Aldarian now. Aldarian’s soul screamed as he became part of the beast attacking his friends.

http://s12.postimg.org/tte04ml8d/Session_44.jpg

Amalius felt his friend’s anguish through their telepathic bound, but he could do nothing. With only enough power points left for a dimension door he readied the spell to get anyone out of danger or for a hasty retreat if necessary.
The Bane and his three wights left the party’s vision for a different part of the room. Eathirilu summoned a triceratops to block the undead advance. Now, the party’s only hope for victory was the return of Torin from the Bane’s maze.
Torin did not come back through the maze. He found his own way out by summoning a coutal to shift him back to the material plane. From there he teleported to the edge of the Lich Shade. He walked inside the teleportation interdiction zone, then chanced a teleport to the steps of the dungeon underneath the giant stone pillar of the Lich Shade itself. It worked! He ran down the steps and rejoined his allies. Torin’s heals kept the triceratops alive, but were too late to save the last three tyranosaurs. Eathirilu, Torin, and Hektor began blasting the undead horde while Tagenadi and the triceratops held the line.
The Bane remerged and pointed his dark crystal at Tagenadi. A spiraling ray of necromantic energy came out of the crystal and wrapped itself around Tagenadi’s head. He felt the lich’s thoughts invading his own and Tagenadi feared he might lose control. Remembering his training, he used his moment of perfect mind maneuver and repulsed the lich’s invasion.
With the Bane revealed, Hektor took his chance. He quickened a true strike and let loose with a disintegrate. Luck was with the party and the attack worked. The lich turned to dust when the green ray struck. The black crystal fell to the floor and rolled out of sight.
The Bane was defeated! But his horde of undead giants continued to assault the party. Fortunately, a good defensive position had already been established. The undead could not break through the triceratops and Tagenadi and Torin possessed the means to destroy the undead using spontaneous mass cure spells. After a few minutes of channeling positive energy, the monsters were destroyed.
Aldarian returned himself to life and the party surveyed the battlefield. The black crystal was absent along with the three wights. There was some additional creaking and collapses after the bone pillars were defeated. Exploring further into the room makes it clear that the back two thirds collapsed entirely. The cracks in the ceiling continue to emit sand into the building, making a few large piles upon the floor. The structure seems to be holding together, for now.

We ended the session there!

Anxe
2014-04-23, 05:17 PM
Alliance Session #34/Total Session #45
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, Salzar, and Zigfried. In other news, I got admitted to Sac State’s Master’s program in biology. Hurray!

With the Bane defeated the party went back to Lakatia and began discussing their next objective. On the way out of the Lich Shade they noted the obelisk listing to the side slightly. The collapse of the interior room had affected the exterior as well. They still wanted to free up the city of Mars’ Oasis to join the fight against the Xorians. Mars’ Oasis residents have a particular talent for fighting undead and dragons. Who better to fight the Dragovinians than them?
Unfortunately, three offensive threats afflict Mars’ Oasis. The Bane’s undead (now dealt with), a massive formian hive (those lawful ant things), and the children of Bavastatner (a blue dragon older than some of the gods). Which threat could the party take down next?
They decided on the formians. The ants, being lawful, could undoubtedly be persuaded by lawful arguments to give up their attacks on Mars’ Oasis. It was just a matter of giving them what they desired.

There are 25 formian hives to the east of Mars’ Oasis. The hives are all closely clustered together and each of the queens keeps her hive under control. The formians appear to reproduce until their hives are full, then they attack Mars’ Oasis as a single unit. Slaves are often taken by the formians during these attacks.
The attacks started several centuries ago when the people of Mars’ Oasis were planning to establish a new colony. One group wished to colonize the desert and another wished to build the colony in the fertile plains north of the desert. The desert favoring group sent out scouts to find a suitable location. The scouts found an oasis by the formian hives and were attacked by the ant people. The people of Mars’ Oasis became involved in a war due to these attacks and the colony plans were abandoned. Since then war has continued off and on through the years.
What do these mysterious formians want? Many citizens of Mars’ Oasis suspect that the formians are after the oasis of magic water in their city. This magical oasis, known as the Dythalid Pool, transforms any object placed within it for a month into a better version of that substance. Food becomes more nourishing, armor becomes stronger, weapons become sharper, backpacks become lighter, etc. Who wouldn’t want to control such a pool?

What could the party offer the formians? They decided to get some gifts just to start negotiations in a favorable way. Amalius recalled that the rank and file of formians don’t eat, but the queens happen to enjoy medicine or alcoholic substances. The party went on a shopping trip within the Aractrashan Kingdom to acquire 25 kegs of sweet fruit wine (one for each hive), a decanter of endless water, and a truedeath crystal. The wine and decanter were gifts for the formians while the crystal was for Aldarian.

They teleported a few miles away from the formians and walked in until they were noticed by the worker ants. The 25 giant ant hives made of sand stood before the party with hundreds of horse sized ants crawling over them going about their business. As the adventurers approached the ants saw them and scuttled inside. The party stopped and waited for the formians to take the first step.
Soon enough a group of three ants emerged followed by two dozen warrior ants. The leading trio were the size of warrior ants, but lacked the typical mouth mandibles of warriors. Amalius told the party the trio were taskmaster formians, capable of dominating people with magical force. The party kept their peaceful stance and waited for mental contact from the formians.
The taskmasters spoke with buzzing voices into the minds of the party, “Who are you? Why are you here?”
Torin led the discussion initially, introducing each of his fellows. Then he asked, “And who are you?”
“We are emissaries of the queen. Why are you here?”
“What we have to say should be spoken to the queens.”
“We speak for the queens. Why are you here?”
Amalius tugged on Torin’s sleeve. Torin said to the formians, “Just a moment.”
Amalius asked, “What are they saying? I can’t hear with my mind blank up.”
“Well why don’t you take it down? We don’t need it that much right now. They don’t seem like they’re going to dominate us.”
Amalius dismissed his mind blank that was typically active every day, all day.
Torin continued, “Please excuse the interruption. We really must speak with your queens directly.”
“We speak for the queens. Tell us why you are here.”
“We are here to negotiate a peace between your hives and the people of Mars’ Oasis. The war must stop. A greater threat looms in the west.”
Amalius mentally spoke to the formians, “In good faith we have brought you a gift.”
The formians replied, “A gift? Show us the gift.”
“Of course.” Amalius reached into his portable hole where the sweet wine and decanter were stored. His hand brushed up against something he didn’t expect within the hole.

Korm spoke into Amalius’ mind, “Wine isn’t the only thing in this hole!” Korm began his mental attack. Amalius’ normal immunity was absent and the surprise of the assault spelled his doom. Korm quickly punctured Amalius’ mental defenses and took control. The psion teleported away with the portable hole.
Eathirilu recognized the look on Amalius’ face before he poofed away. Something had controlled his mind just as he reached into the bag. The party instantly put two and two together. Korm had taken over once again.
Torin spoke to the formians again, “I apologize greatly, but an unfortunate event has occurred. Our friend has been taken over by a magical dagger we have in our possession. You understand that right?”
“Yes. We understand this,” the formians buzzed.
“He could come back and attack us at any second. It’d be best if you waited inside your hive.”
“We will do this. Negotiations can wait for safety.”
The ants pulled back and re-entered their hive. The party marveled at the accommodating attitude of the formians before spreading out into a battle formation, ready to intercept Amalius if he returned.

Meanwhile, Korm burned through Amalius power points once again, aiming disintegrates at the ground on the hill they’d teleported to. When enough had been burned, Korm ordered Amalius to remove his cloak of resistance before activating a temporal acceleration and returning to the desert.
Amalius and the dagger popped in and Amalius struggled with the dagger. Without the cloak to help him, he failed to regain control of his mind. The dagger stood supreme. Surveying the situation, Korm placed Amalius directly behind Hektor, who had cast shapechange and turned into an iron golem.
Amalius rejoined the normal time stream and cast two high level dispel magics. Hektor’s spells and the enchantments on his items melted away. Korm then ordered Amalius to stab Hektor and leave the dagger in the wound. Amalius did this, but as the dagger left his hand he regained control of his mind. He moved to take the dagger back, but as he touched the dagger the mental control returned. Amalius was forced to stand back from the wizard.
Amalius mentally called out to the rest of the party, “Korm’s trying to control Hektor! Get the dagger out!”
Tagenadi understood instantly. He ran forward and yanked the dagger out. Tagenadi’s undead form made him immune to the dagger’s controlling effect.
Korm taunted the party, “You’ve won round two, but why did I do it?”
Not wanting the day’s events to affect the negotiations, the party told the formians they’d be back the next day.

Amalius wanted a permanent way of neutralizing Korm. A box or something to keep him in? The party discussed it and decided that encasing him in lead to prevent even his telepathy was best. Amalius then hid the dagger somewhere. The memory of hiding it was then placed within Amalius’ psicrystal, Black. The memory could be retrieved whenever he wished, but the portion of his mind stored within the crystal slightly weakened Amalius (lost 5PP til the memory is retrieved). Now Korm would only be found or touched by the party via a conscious decision to do so.

After spending the night in Lakatia the party returned to the formian hives. The same group of ants came from the same hive to speak to the party.
“You spoke of gifts yesterday. Where are these gifts?”
Tagenadi said, “Right here!” Tagenadi pulled out the kegs one by one along with the decanter.
Amalius said, “We’ve brought one keg of wine for each queen and a decanter for the queens to use as they wish.”
“Thank you for this gift. It pleases the queens,” said the taskmasters. Workers came from the hive and took the gifts away. The taskmasters continued, “What do you want in return?”
Amalius said, “They are a gift to show you are good will. We only wish the chance to speak with your queens.”
“Why do you want to speak to the queens?”
“A lasting peace must be reached between the formians and Mars’ Oasis. We are here to make that peace.”
“We will speak with the queens. We must commiserate. Please wait.”
The party waited as the formians stood there, speaking with their queens.
Eventually the ants spoke again, “Why peace now when there has always been war?”
Amalius answered, “A threat looms in the west. Have you heard of the Dragovinians out here in the desert?”
“It is far, but we know of them.”
“The Dragovinians are expanding, consuming all. They cannot be allowed to continue. They are a greater evil. It would be best for you to end your conflict with Mars’ Oasis. Both your resources and theirs would be best combined against the Dragovinian’s evil.”
“Yes. We have thought this as well. We can use the Dythalid to fight Dragovinians. Do you offer Dythalid?”
“No, we can’t give you that unfortunately.”
“Then we cannot fight the Dragovinians. The Dythalid is necessary for our plans. We require it.”
“What plans would those be?”
“Law. Order. Perfection. Mortals mismanage the world. We are better. More organized. The world must be organized, like the hive.”
“The Dragovinians are immortals ordering the world too.”
“Sloppy. They are not perfect. Mistakes. Problems. We will correct this.”
“And you want to order the entire world? All of it?”
“Yes. We are patient. Order will come.”
“Then why not go east instead of west? You could go to the other side of the world and order that before coming back around to the mortal side. Surely the people on the other side are not as ordered as you.”
“Faster to take Dythalid first. Useful tool. No tools on dark side of the world as easy and useful to acquire as Dythalid.”
“What if we promised to give you the Dythalid Pool if you went east first? No battle, nothing. It would be yours.” The party silently hoped the formians would not know that the pool was not theirs to give.
“Before or after?”
“The Pool would be yours after you circled the earth.”
“No. We must have it before other objectives. The Pool is necessary.”
“Well…” Amalius paused for a moment, “What if we got rid of another problem for you. You know the blue dragon, Bavastatner, yes?”
“Yes.”
“Does he attack your hives and eat your people, just as he does to Mars’ Oasis?”
“Yes.”
“What if we slew this dragon? We can do it. We’ve killed the Bane to the east. Would you go east if we did this?”
“Hmm… Interesting. We must commiserate.”
The ants silently talked amongst themselves again.
“Yes. These terms are acceptable. If you slay Bavastatner we will go east around the world. Upon returning to Mars’ Oasis, the Dythalid Pool will be surrendered to us. Bavastatner must be slain within one year. If not, the terms will be renegotiated. As long as an attempt is made in good faith to slay Bavastatner, we will be peaceful. There will be a three month truce regardless.
The party talked it over and decided the terms were good.
“We’ll take it!”
As they said this, 25 ants teleported in front of the taskmasters. These ants were bigger and each wore a concealing bronze helmet over their heads. Amalius recognized them as myrmachs, the queens’ bodyguards. Each of the 25 myrmachs held four copies of a contract along with pens.

http://s4.postimg.org/nz943f8bh/Session_45.jpg

“Please sign each contract in turn, and then we will sign it,” said the taskmasters.
The party filed down the line and signed each contract. Two in Common and two in Formian. The party was then given a Common and Formian copy from each of the hives.
“We await good news of the dragon’s death.” With that, the formians returned to their work around the hives.

Successful, the party decided their next stop should be Mars’ Oasis. They could perhaps get a reward from King Mero II of Mars’ Oasis for slaying the Bane and arrange support for their journey against Bavastatner.
The party teleported to Mars’ Oasis and sought out their estranged friend, Sabriyya. She was a master in the Dragon Slayers Guild of Mars’ Oasis, so they checked there first. After being redirected they eventually met up with her.
Sabriyya’s greeting was less than welcoming, “What do you want?”
Tagenadi said, “I know we’ve had our differences and you probably hate me now, but we need a favor. You have a lot of influence in Mars’ Oasis. We need to meet with the King. You see, we’ve killed the Bane.”
“You killed him? What?”
“Yes,” said Tagenadi.
Amalius pulled out the Bane’s staff of the magi. He said, “Here is his staff. We took it from him. His phylactery is destroyed and his body is now only dust.” He is gone forever.”
Wide-eyed Sabriyya reached out and held the staff. After a few moments of silence she said, “I can arrange a meeting with the King for tomorrow.”
Tagenadi asked, “Another favor if possible. Could you find some place for us to stay in town?”
Angrily Sabriyya said, “The Lack-A-Shack Tavern has rooms for you same as every other traveler. I’d suggest you look there.”
“Then we take our leave of you.”
The party got rooms at the Lack-A-Shack Tavern with Tagenadi disguised as Hektor’s chamberlain in Lakatia to prevent his undead status from being discovered.

On the morrow a messenger arrived. The party was admitted to the King’s Court for the day. They packed up their things and journeyed to the Castle.
Within the courtroom King Mero II sat upon his throne listening to disputes between his subjects. Arguments over assault, murder, theft, and other property issues filled the hours. Noise and the stench of dozens of human bodies sweating in the desert heat tainted the room. Guards were interspersed throughout. Behind the King’s throne stood the largest guard of them all. A man over eleven feet in height, Alabaster, captain of the guard. Sabriyya had spoken of the giant man in her previous adventures with Tagenadi. His height came from magical enchantments on his person.
Soon, the party’s turn to speak came. A trumpter announced the party, “Presenting Lord Hektor Rackgard of Lakatia, Lord Torin Stoneblade of Jord, Lord Eathirilu Treeheart of Satronwook, Sir Aldarian of Phoenix, and Sir Amalius Halkias of Jipangu.” Tagenadi in his current servant disguise was left out of the calling.
Amalius came forward and presented the lich’s staff. “Your majesty, I present the staff of the Bane. We have slain the undead beast.”
A silence came over the courtroom.
The King leaned forward, “Impossible. He cannot be killed. His soul dwells in his phylactery and no divination can reveal its location.”
“We found it within the stone of the Lich Shade itself and I destroyed it myself. Lord Hektor destroyed the lich’s body a few days later. The Bane is gone. You may use your divinations and magicians to verify this fact. The undead scourge is gone. The Lich Shade was damaged in the battle and leans to the side. The inside is all but abandoned. Only a few straggler undead remain along with the giant force outside which can be destroyed at your convenience, your majesty.”
“Hmm… Well if your story is true, you deserve the greatest reward I can bestow. If not, then I remind you that lying to your King bears stiff punishments. Does your story remain the same?”
“Yes. I swear it on my soul.”
“Then what do you wish?”
“Only a private audience with your majesty?”
“Done. Alabaster, see to these people’s needs personally.”
Alabaster said, “Yes, my King.”
The giant man walked the party out of the silent courtroom to a sitting room in a different wing of the Castle.
Alabaster said, “Could my men borrow the staff? It will aid the divinations they cast to verify your story.”
“Of course,” said Amalius, giving the staff to the man. Alabaster handed it off to one of the everpresent servants in the Castle.
Alabaster sat down in a huge chair fitted for his size and gestured to other chairs spaced around a table within the cool waiting room. Servants brought the party iced water, sweetbreads, and the special desert fruit that acted as the staple crop of Mars’ Oasis. When the party was seated Alabaster said, “I can speak for the King in most regards. He will talk with you himself once the day’s court is done. Til then, why do you wish a private audience with him?”
Amalius said, “We want Mars’ Oasis to join the war against the Dragovinians. Are we correct in thinking Mars’ Oasis would wish this if you did not have enemies of your own already?”
“Yes. While we would not join the Alliance without something to be gained, I am sure that an agreement could be reached. Unfortunately, the undead, dragons, and formians occupy our time. Perhaps only the dragons and formians now.”
“You see, we may have dealt with another of those enemies.” Amalius pulled out one of the sets of Formian and Common contracts from the formians and passed it across the table to Alabaster.
As the great man read the contract Eathirilu caught something in his eye. The elf’s finely tuned senses identified the emotion on Alabaster’s face as he read the documents. The man knew something more that he was hiding. Eathirilu relayed this to the rest via Amalius’ telepathy.
Alabaster spoke after finishing the documents, “This greatly oversteps your authority.”
“Yes, but think of it! We could slay Bavastatner! We’ve killed the Bane! We can kill the dragon as well and then your two remaining threats will be removed in one blow. Mars’ Oasis will be free to join the war and together the Dragovinians can be crushed once and for all!”
“A pleasing dream. I’m afraid this oversteps what I can do without the King’s approval though. Negotiating foreign policy that strangers have made on our behalf without our consent lies outside of what I can do alone.”
“I’m sorry. Of course.”
“The servants will show you to appropriate rooms and fetch you any food or drink you wish while you wait. Please excuse me.” Alabaster got up, nodded to the servants, and left.
The servants escorted the party members to a guest suite where they waited. The contract and staff of the magi were returned to the party during the waiting period.

An hour or so after sunset the party was summoned to meet with King Mero II. They entered the King’s study and bowed.
The King said, “Alabaster has told me of this contract you have signed. But that concern can be addressed later. My sages have confirmed what you say about the Bane. He is held captive in Pluto’s realm, never to see the sun’s light again. This act deserves a reward.” The King paused and stroked his chin. “I don’t usually do this, but you may have anything within my power to give you if the request is reasonable. All five of you may have a gift from me.”
Amalius said, “With respect to your majesty, there are six of us. Tagenadi is among our members as well.” Amalius indicated Tagenadi, still wearing his magical disguise. Amalius continued, “But I do not want to trick your majesty. Tagenadi is not… as normal as he seems. Tagenadi was turned to undeath within the Lich Shade. He maintains his good heart, but has the body of a beast.”
“YOU BROUGHT AN UNDEAD INTO MY CASTLE? How dare you!” The King moved to grab a weapon.
“Your majesty! Wait! Please! He slew the Bane with us! He still has a good heart. His mind is as human as you or me.”
The King gripped his sword handle and stopped. He breathed deeply then moved his hand away from the blade. “Yes, you are right. Even if he be undead, he has done much for my kingdom. But I will not grant any boon to such a creature. I am loath to even continue allow it within my presence.” King Mero glared at Tagenadi.
Amalius had a quick telepathic conversation with the party before continuing, “I’m afraid that he must be recognized with us, your majesty. Tagenadi is one of us. He has endured all our trials against the lich and suffered the worst of it. He now stands bound to Pluto without a life of his own anymore. When he dies, he will not go onto Elysium, but will be forever trapped by the King of the Underworld. What greater sacrifice could you ask of one of your subjects than their everlasting soul? I will not stand by while you disparage my friend and ally who has saved my life too many times to count. We all slew the Bane. We will all reap the rewards together.”
When Amalius finished the King exploded in anger, “You bring this creature in here and I am merciful and now you speak of rewards for it?!? I will not have such people in my sight! Get out of my castle! Get out of my city before I have you executed! You are banished! EXILED! Get out and take your filthy undead with you!”
Amalius had not expected this response. “Fine. We will go.”
Eathirilu added, “But when we have slain the dragon and paraded its head through the streets of Mars’ Oasis, we will see who the people follow. Their stagnant King or the true heroes of the land.”
Amalius flipped the King off and the party teleported out.

At that point the group discussed what to do next. Should they still go after the blue dragon? Should they break their pact with the formians? Should they do something with Greshendale? The Antenator had spoken of going to Greshendale, but it was still a few days before the demigod’s prophecy told them to journey to the floating city.
Slaying Bavastatner remained the favored plan, but the ultimate decision was tabled for our next session. First, the party journeyed to the Lich Shade once more. The Bane’s laboratory had never been fully looted by the party. They teleported past the rubble from their last battle and journeyed downwards.
In the laboratory they found the three dust wights that had escaped them earlier. Aldarian, wishing to test out his new truedeath crystal, engaged the wights without significant assistance. Tagenadi helped with flanking to provide Aldarian with sneak attack bonuses (Aldarian found his new damage output was about 150 damage per round). The wights were quickly killed with Torin healing any injuries they caused to Aldarian and Tagenadi.
One of the wights held a portable hole, filled to the brim with black onyx gems. These are the gems used to create undead from corpses. The second wight held nothing. The last held the black crystal that the Bane had used in their last battle.
Fearing the black crystal might be an evil artifact, the party had Tagenadi pick it up. They hoped his undead form would be immune to any magical protections on the crystal. Their hopes proved correct and more.
Tagenadi picked up the crystal and a ghostly green light pulsed out of the black crystal, quickly filling the room and then fleeing out. Tagenadi felt the light go through the Lich Shade. It left the obelisk and went out into the sea of zombies and skeletons that surround it. The light covered the entire horde of undead before it entered into the bodies of each and every one of them. Tagenadi could control them. He knew it.
He knew the crystal was called the Black Crystal of Horror and that he was meant to wield it. The Crystal pulsed with green light again. The light flowed over Tagenadi from head to toe. He could use the Crystal to control and animate any amount of skeletons and undead. He could also control a limited number of more powerful undead. He knew it.
The Crystal made undead more powerful within a mile of it, prevented teleportation from the outside within a mile of it, and prevented magical flight within a mile of it by anyone but he wielder of the Crystal. The Crystal could kill mortals with a black ray shot from its tip or cause weaker mortals to flee in terror at the sight of the Crystal.
The ghostly light played along the length of the Black Crystal of Horror once more and then it returned to its solid black color. The Crystal was Tagenadi’s. This is what Hades wanted him to find in the Lich Shade.
http://crystal-cure.com/pics/point-blkcrystal2.jpg
A foot long black crystal three inches in diameter that sharpens to points at the ends.

The Black Crystal can only be used by evil characters. A neutral creature that touches the Crystal suffers 5d6 damage and a negative level (Fort DC 24). A good creature must make a Fort save DC 28 or die. On a successful save a good creature loses one level.

The Black Crystal allows its owner to animate and control limitless amounts of skeletons and zombies. These undead are always loyal to the wielder of the Crystal. They cannot be commanded by any other creature. The Black Crystal of Horror still requires black onyx gems to animate corpses.

The Black Crystal has several effects that extend within a mile of it. It automatically dispels flying spells and attempts a 1d20+20 dispel check against all feather fall spells. The area is desecrated as if in an area with an altar of an evil deity. The area is unhallowed with that additional effect of a bless spell on all Undead. The combined effects give Undead +3 on attacks, +2 on damage, +2 on saves, +2 on HP per HD. Turning in the area has a -10 penalty and rebuking has a +4 bonus.

The Black Crystal of Horror can be used to control undead as the spell 3/day with a CL of 20 and a Will save DC 22. It can cast slay living at a CL of 20 and Fort save DC 20. The Crystal can also create a fear effect within 100' as a free action. Living creatures must make a Will save DC 22 or be shaken while within 100' radius and 1d10 rounds after leaving. Making the fear save gives immunity for 24 hours.

We ended the session there!

Anxe
2014-05-29, 09:47 AM
Alliance Session #35/Total Session #46
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, Salzar, and Zigfried. The session was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 like usual.

What to do next indeed? The party discussed their options and decided that perhaps they should take a short break from their constant adventuring. The wedding of Bjorn and Cassandra was coming up in three days so the party took some time off until that. Although they lacked invitations they planned to attend to prevent any trouble the Xorians might cause.
Bjorn is the leader of the city of Dalleer. Cassandra is the daughter of the champion and now dictator of Bradel Fields, Astyanax. In the past Dalleer and Bradel Fields were rival states, but the Xorian threat is forcing them to unite. A marriage alliance between their leading citizens will cement their alliance.
The three days up to the wedding were spent forming disguises and relaxing by most. After their last confrontation with Astyanax, no one wished to be recognized at the wedding. Torin chose to go without a disguise, but not to do anything that would draw attention to himself.
During the three days, Amalius teleported Eathirilu to Demeter's Garden, a marsh on the northern end of the Caspian. Eathirilu set up a wild santuary for himself there and summoned some guardians to keep his domain safe.
Amalius did not return to Lakatia with the others until the end of the third day. He attended to some personal business while away.

On the wedding day, the wedding attendees teleported off to Bradel Fields. Tagenadi chose not to go as a true seeing directed at him would cause a panic. Hektor, still a respected member of the Alliance, attended the wedding on an invitation of his own. Eathirilu disguised his appearance with his Thousand Faces ability, reasoning that only the Alliance Council members would recognize who he really was with a true seeing. He would stay out of their vision and be fine. Amalius and Aldarian disguised themselves using Aldarian's considerable mundane talents. Dyed hair, altered clothes, makeup, everything. In addition to all this Hektor demagicked the gear of Eathirilu, Amalius, and Aldarian with his magic aura spell.
The wedding was held at the temple in Bradel Fields as Dalleer had suffered too many recent attacks and was seen as unsafe. The temple has a large garden courtyard filled with paths, plants, flowers, and trees. There is also a grassy section for the wedding games that accompany such occasions in ancient Greek culture. The marriage ceremony was to be held on the temple steps so that all could see. Directly in front of the steps were a few hundred seats for the noble guests. Knightly guards kept commoners out of this section. Throughout the temple grounds more knights and a few dozen goblin guards kept order. The goblins were new additions that Astyanax added to Bradel Fields army from the previous slave population of goblins in the city.
Hektor entered first and took his seat at the front. Torin followed and was confronted by a knight upon entering the seated area. After voicing his patronage and familial connection to the hill dwarf king he was admitted with apologies from the guard. Eathirilu entered and stood among the commoners far back and to the side of the stage. Aldarian and Amalius entered together and muscled their way through the commoner crowd to get spots near the front, by the back of the seated section.
(This scene was particularly memorable for the players. I've used the exact same map and location previously for another wedding. In our previous campaign a noble couple, Hector and Andromache, were married on this spot. The PCs of that campaign defended the wedding from an attack by a nefarious weretiger and a group of his loyal assassins. Hector became friends with the party ever since and was a favorite NPC of theirs. Hector and Andromache are also the parents of Astyanax and thus grandparents of Cassandra, the bride of the present wedding.)
Peasants and merchants filled the temple grounds. Thousands of voices talking drowned out any sound from the temple steps at the front. All changed when the head priest emerged from the interior of the temple. The crowd slowly quieted down. Then the priest spoke with a magically enhanced voice, "We are gathered here today to witness the union of Bjorn of Dalleer and Cassandra of Bradel Fields. The marriage of these two souls will join their cities as well, fostering friendship where long there has been incessant rivalry. It is my hope and the hope of all of us, that the love these two share and the forthcoming alliance between our two wonderful cities will turn back the Xorian forces that threaten the sovereignty of our lands.
“Who presents the bride?”
Astyanax stood with Cassandra on the right side of the seated area. He walked her up the steps and said, “I do.” The masked man returned to his seat.
The priest gestured to the left side of the seats, “And who presents the groom?”
Terolio stood with Bjorn and said, “I do.” Terolio walked his lord up the steps and positioned him correctly beside the priest. Apparently the Bjorn was having a worse mental day than usual. Terolio pointed his lord’s head towards Cassandra before returning to his seat.
The priest continued, “Cassandra has told me she wishes to sing one more song as a maiden before she is wed.” He turned to Cassandra and touched her on the should with a magic spell. “When you’re ready Cassandra.”
Cassandra sang “Holding Out For a Hero.” (I had my own recording of it by Lucy Ward, but that recording isn’t easy to find on the internet. Here’s one by Jennifer Saunders from Shrek 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLHCS6oL7lo Her voice is a little older than what I’d wanted for Cassandra. I avoided the Bonnie Tyler recording because I feel she didn’t capture the sexual yearning in the song as well as Ward or Saunders did.)
When Cassandra finished the crowd applauded. The priest rose his hands in the air and spoke, "I now begin the sacred act of marrying this couple. Please repeat after me.
He turned to Cassandra, "I, Cassandra, take Bjorn to be my lawfully wedded husband."
Cassandra repeated, "I, Cassandra, take Bjorn to be my lawfully wedded husband."
“My constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.”
“My constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.”
“In the presence of the gods, our family, friends, and subjects, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner.”
“In the presence of the gods, our family, friends, and subjects, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner.”
“In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.”
“In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.”
“I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”
“I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”
The priest turned to Bjorn and recited the vows once more, “I, Bjorn, take Cassandra to be my lawfully wedded wife.”
Bjorn repeated, “I, Bjorn, take Cassandra to be my lawfully wedded wife.”
“My constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.”
“My constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.”
“In the presence of the gods, our family, friends, and subjects, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner.”
“In the presence of the gods, our family, friends, and subjects, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner.”
“In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.”
“In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.”
“I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”
“I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”
The priest turned back to Cassandra, “Do you, Cassandra, take Bjorn to be your husband til death do you part?”
“I do.”
“Do you, Bjorn, take-”
And the assassins attacked!

Two assassins in nearby trees cast spells that entranced most of the guards by the stage. Colorful lights filled the air distracting the knights. Only one kept his wits about him. Two others rushed towards the stage. One made it past the guards and threw a dart into Bjorn’s side. The other was caught by the only knight that remained mentally competent.
Two more assassins appeared on the roof. One shot a crossbow down at Astyanax. The other jumped off the roof holding a stick. He slammed the stick into the Bjorn’s head with the full force of his jump. The Bjorn reeled and almost collapsed.

http://s27.postimg.org/tkt07xdg3/Session_46.jpg

Three nobles on Dalleer’s side of the seated area jumped up from their seats and streaked toward Astyanax. They pummeled the seated dictator with their fists, striking pressure points with every blow. The nobles were nothing more than disguised monk assassins!
Bjorn reflexively threw up a protective ectoplasmic barrier around himself, the priest, and his fiancee (the marriage not quite completed yet). Eathirilu and Torin used their skill with magic to light a few of the assassins up with well placed fire storms. Fire filled the air around the wedding, but the two assassins in the trees, the one on the roof, and the one who made it past the entranced guards were all roasted. Only the one on the ground survived with horrid burns. The crowd panicked at the sight of the fire and the assassins and began to run for the exit from the temple grounds.
Hektor rose from his seat and cast hold person on the assassin next to Bjorn. Gradorian and Junai tackled two of the assassins attacking Astyanax. The other monk assassin continued to pummel Astyanax, but his efforts were stymied by Erick, Torin’s old apprentice. He cast a healing spell upon Astyanax, removing most of the bruises he’d sustained. Astyanax took a defensive posture and called for a sword from one of the guards, but all were entranced or occupied and could not obey his orders.
The burned assassin, fearing for his life, disappeared. Amalius used two overchanneled dominates to try to take over the minds of the five remaining assassins. Only the free monk attacking Astyanax resisted. Amalius ordered them to surrender, cooperate with the people of Bradel Fields, and to not harm themselves or others.
Aldarian turned invisible and moved to join the combat. He soon realized that it was all but finished and returned to his spot in the crowd. The one assassin still in control of his mind was soon captured by the knights when they regained their senses. A few cure spells from Erick and the head priest restored Astyanax and Bjorn to good health.
Eathirilu turned into a sparrow and searched the grounds with true seeing for the disappeared assassin. Finding no one, he guessed the assassin had teleported away instead of turning invisible.

The party began a different means of searching for the missing assassin. Amalius still maintained his dominate spells. He kept watch on the four under his control. They were escorted to separate stone cells without windows and left there. While Amalius couldn’t hear their thoughts, he could order them telepathically. They couldn’t respond mentally, but they could whisper to themselves and he would hear the whispers. Amalius began his remote interrogation.
He learned that the assassins were members of the Ninjas Guild in Nomingburg, a city famous for its assassins guilds. They were hired to kill Astyanax and Bjorn during the wedding. They did not know the person or faction that had hired them for the job. They had a rendezvous point in the wooded Park of Delights on the south side of Bradel Fields. They were to meet there and leave tomorrow. This information was confirmed by interviewing all four assassins.
The party reasoned that the remaining assassin must’ve gone there to wait. Eathirilu flew there in bird form with Amalius’ psicrystal, Black, following along. Eathirilu found the assassin and Black swooped in on the location with a dominate. The assassin’s will crumbled.
Amalius checked the questions on this assassin and came up with the same answers. He asked a few more questions about what the assassins typically did after a contract killing failed. The assassins said that usually a more competent assassin would attempt the murder once more. This case might be different as the contract was for a specific time and place of the assassination. The dominated men were unsure of what would happen next.
Amalius sent the assassin off to the noble quarter of town to turn himself over to the police. The assassin went there, but refused to turn himself over. Amalius told him to approach a guard and confess his sins, starting with the most recent.
The assassin walked up to a pair of goblin guards and said, “I have trespassed on holy ground.”
They looked at him strangely. “What can we do for you?”
The assassin stood mute until Amalius ordered him to say, “I was at the wedding, but I wasn’t invited.” The assassin said this, but waved his arms around wildly, acting like a lunatic.
The guards looked at each other and nodded. They arrested the assassin and threw him in the drunk tank along with many others who had celebrated a bit too much before the public wedding. Amalius told the assassin he was no longer allowed to act like an insane person.
The party got rooms in town and waited. Amalius occasionally kept tabs on his dominated assassins.

The next day the assassin was released. Amalius told him to take care of his body’s needs and contemplate his past sins, but under no circumstances was he to take any risky actions or to contact his guild members.
Near the end of the afternoon nobles began leaving the noble quarter to return to the temple. Guards checked them off a list at the entrance to the temple grounds. They went inside the temple building itself. A private wedding would be safer.
Eathirilu wanted to ensure the couple’s safety by casting foresight on them. Then if danger threatened he could react before the threat struck. He took his sparrow form and flew into the temple through the open doors.
Logan (thewamp’s old character) suspected magical tricks. He blasted the oddly flying sparrow with a hellrime blast. Eathirilu faltered in midair, but did not fall. Logan saw this as confirmation that this was no ordinary bird. As he prepared another blast, Eathirilu fled. Logan gave chase along with Hektor. They would’ve caught Eathirilu, but he turned into an eagle and streaked away. Logan and Hektor could not catch up to him. Hektor could’ve with a teleport spell, but he recognized his shapeshifting friend. He let him escape.
The wedding proceeded without any further problems noticed by outside observers while the assassins waited in their dark cells.

We ended the session there. The party indicated they wanted to visit the Ninjas Guild in Nomingburg next.

Anxe
2014-06-26, 08:42 PM
Alliance Session #36/Total Session #47
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, thewamp, Middle_Snu and Zigfried. The session was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 like usual. We actually started off playing in Salzar’s pirate campaign. We reached a crucial point where thewamp was needed to play his character, but thewamp hadn’t gotten back from a World Cup viewing party yet. We played my campaign until thewamp returned and then switched back over to Salzar’s. Here’s the short one hour amount we managed to play.

The morning after the successful wedding Amalius received a sending from Bjorn which he shared with the others, “Should meet to discuss war situation and events at wedding. Meet at shrine in Monkey’s Forest? Sooner better. Send back time that works. Bjorn Out.”
The party decided the best time was immediately, so Amalius sent back, “Now.”
The party teleported to the shrine in the Monkey’s Forest and waited for Bjorn to arrive. This ended up taking quite a while (Not everyone can teleport guys!).
Eventually a large green rhombus shaped gem flew through the trees and approached the party. The gem spoke into the party’s minds with a high-pitched voice, “I am Pseudolus and I speak for the Bjorn. He has sent me to you while he remains with his newlywed wife.”

http://s27.postimg.org/sax7wbubn/Session_47.jpg

Hektor said, “Enjoying his honeymoon is he?”
“You might say that.”
Amalius asked, “How long does he intend his honeymoon to last?”
“I suppose a week, but he mentioned he might make a true honeymoon out of it and stay with Lady Cassandra for a month.”
Amalius said, “I hope he can pull himself away from his bride sooner rather than later. We need as many people helping in this war as possible. Speaking of, Bjorn mentioned that he wished to speak about the war. What did he want to share with us?”
Pseudolus bobbed in the air and said, “The Bjorn told me to first ask you about the events at his wedding. He believes that you were present and conjured the magical fire that scorched only the assassins, but left the guests unscathed.”
Amalius said, “Yes, that was us. Tell Bjorn you’re welcome for his wedding present.”
“A gift most graciously given. The rumor within town is that the fire was another part of the Xorian assassin attack. Astyanax suspects the truth though.”
“And what does he think of what we did? We saved his daughter.”
“I know not. I think he makes up lies to suit himself.”
Amalius said, “Oh! Another thing. You, or Bjorn I mean, must’ve noticed that a few of the assassins gave up rather easily. They are under my magical domination. They should be quite susceptible to questioning. And there was one assassin who escaped. You’ll find him loitering outside the town guard headquarters.” Amalius gave the mental command for the dominated assassin to head in that direction.
“Excellent news. I shall inform the Bjorn myself upon my return.”
Hektor asked, “Now the war?”
“Yes! News has come from contacts in Phoenix. The Gazearans have rebelled with aid from a greater rebel organization.”
Hektor said, “That’s good news. How did it happen?”
“The rebels have spies everywhere in the Xorian Empire. These men let the rebels in and attacked key Dragovinian and military positions throughout the city. The city was swiftly taken and now there is no longer an undead taint within the city. Unfortunately, the city has come under siege by the Xorians’ allies, the Amazons.”
Amalius said, “The famed cavalry of the Amazons will be useless in a siege.”
“They can get off their horses same as everyone else,” said Pseudolus.
“Additionally, as some of you may know, the Alliance has been working on a pair of large Ring Gates for the past several months. These gates are six feet in diameter and capable of transporting any matter over any distance, theoretically. Our original plan was to use the gates to enact the rituals contained within the Tome of Agamemnon. You remember this Tome?”
Amalius said, “Yes. Supposed to create super soldiers or something?”
“Exactly. But it requires the water from a magical fountain. The Geyser of Talos was an easily accessible one, save for the guardian that gives the fountain its name. The training of the recruits in Jipangu was briefly interrupted for a sortie to the Geyser. Gradorian, Astyanax, Kig, and Titandra went to the fountain and defeated Talos. The bronze giant lies dead once more.”
“So where are you planning on sending the water.”
“To Shalerton’s untrained rabble or to Jipangu. Perhaps both. The Council deliberates. But that was not why I came. The Bjorn wishes you to contribute your cleverness and ingenuity to figuring out alternative uses for the Ring Gates.”
“Ah… Most interesting. Tell me more about the gates.”
“They are six feet in diameter and constructed of pure iron. I’ve been told they are quite heavy. They can be transported via a teleporting wizard. In our trials one man could move through the gate per second. It would take quite awhile to move a whole army through, but assuming the movement wasn’t noticed immediately…”
Hektor exclaimed, “We could use it to reinforce Gazeara!”
Amalius said, “Yes! We could move troops from the other Alliance cities to Gazeara for a surprise attack. Then the next day they could be back. Alliance defenses wouldn’t even be compromised!”
Hektor said, “We’d need to coordinate with the Gazearans though. I’ll ask the Council if I can start negotiations and battle plans with them.”
Other plans were discussed for the use of the gates. They could put one gate in the ocean and the other in a city or plain to flood it. They lay magical protections on them and place one in a volcano to transport lava. Troops could also be sent to disrupt the Xorian supply lines, but Pseudolus deflated that plan when he informed the party that the Xorians were currently supplied via their navy out of Makotako.
Amalius asked, “Is there any other news, Pseudolus?”
“Yes, one more thing. The city of Crux has turned west from Shalerton and now seems to be marching towards Phoenix. They will arrive by the new moon.”
The party chatted this over as well. One idea that gained traction hinged on their status as a faction separate from the Alliance. Wide-scale offensive magic is forbidden during battles due to the large death tolls it produces (Just like nukes, biological weapons, and gas are illegal in modern day warfare). Instead, mages use a special type of battle magic similar to magic missile. If one side breaks these conventions it allows the other side to retaliate, changing the battlefield from the use of men to the use of spellcasters.
The consequence for the Alliance breaking these rules would be disastrous. What would stop the Xorians from sending wizards in at night, strafing cities with fireballs and then returning the next day to do the whole thing once more?
But if the city of Crux committed these war crimes… The Xorians would be free to retaliate against Crux and the party of adventurers, but presumably the Alliance cities would still be off limits.
One concern was that the Xorians might retaliate against the citizens of Phoenix instead. The use of Crux and its undead population was tabled for a later date. First, the Gazearans!
Pseudolus flew off to relay the discussion to the Bjorn. Hektor teleported to Bradel Fields to organize an Alliance Council meeting. The others teleported back to Lakatia and waited for the wizard to return.

Hektor returned the next day with approval to negotiate bringing Gazeara and the rebels into the Alliance. While still with the Alliance the party had interacted with the rebels once before. The man they spoke with then was named Major Dactirian. A sending to him came back with a reply telling the party to teleport just inside the southern gate of Gazeara, the guards would be expecting them.
Hektor, Torin, Amalius, and Aldarian teleported in along with a few of Hektor’s loyal guardsmen from Lakatia. They came to a large plaza just inside a wooden wall. A few guards stood at stations on the ground while others kept watch on a walkway attached to the top of the wall by support beams. Dozens of townsfolk went about their business within the plaza, going back and forth. The guards and townsfolk freaked out when the party popped out of nowhere. The guards calmed down soon as they had known a group was teleporting in.
A guard wearing a set of wide shoulder pads identifying him as a sergeant came forward. “Calm down everyone! These are emissaries from the eastern cities, come to meet with Major Dactirian.” The guard sergeant turned to one of the guards, “Thompson, take these people to the palace. Treat them with respect. They’re honored guests.”
“Yes sir!”
Thompson led them through the crowded city past numerous statues of one of Gazeara’s previous kings, Shardamar the First. The eyes of every statue glowed a dull blue color.

Shardamar the First introduced scrying dweomers throughout the city hidden within statues of himself. This was originally intended to prevent crime, but it soon became a means of controlling innocent people as well. Shardamar the First ruled with an iron fist. When Shardamar II came to the throne, the people were ready to revolt. Shardamar II was overthrown and replaced by an elected ruler, Leopold Anigama.
Anigama kept the people happy, but the scrying statues stayed in place. Some say he used the scrying statues just as the Shardamars did. Others protest that Anigama was a just ruler who would never spy on his people. Regardless the statues remain.
Anigama and Gazeara participated in the first Alliance against Xoria. He died during the war and his city was conquered soon after. The Xorians have ruled it for the past forty years attempting to stamp out all the strange traditions of the local people and replace them with their own homogenized culture.

At the threshold of the Palace stood a gigantic statue of King Shardamar wearing full battle regalia. The statue’s eyes glowed blue the same as all the others. At the statue’s feet the Great Fire of Gazeara blazed upon a giant solid stone pedestal. Gazeara’s last king, Shardamar II, ordered the construction of the magical Great Fire. Ironically, when the people revolted he was burned in the fire. Passing by it, Thompson led the party into the now Spartanly adorned Palace of Gazeara.
(Logan, a past PC of thewamp’s, obtained his warlock powers from the Great Fire of Gazeara)
Inside, Thompson took the party to a large war room where a dozen and a half officers planned around a gigantic table with a map of the local countryside spread out upon it. Troop placements of the Gazearans, rebels, and Amazons were represented on the map by painted wood figurines. An orderly, at the request of the officers, pushed the figurines around using a long wooden stick.
Thompson saluted and said, “Major Dactirian, sir! The representatives from the Alliance have arrived.”
Major Dactirian looked up from the map and greeted the party, “Excellent!” He strode over and held out his forearm to Hektor.
Hektor gripped the offered arm with his own and said, “I am Lord Hektor Rackgard of Lakatia in Aractrash. I have allied my fief and my considerable magical talents with the Alliance.”
“Good to meet you. And your companions I have met before when they brought back my special operative team. Amalius, Aldarian and Torin. Good to see the sun still shines on you.”
Amalius asked, “Where is your special operative team now?”
“Classified. Sorry. The fewer who know the better.”
Hektor asked, “Major, could you tell us a little more about the situation here?”
“Well, the Amazons have got us holed up here, but that may be for the best. There’s plenty of food that the Xorians have stockpiled up for us to use. They’d been trying to keep it from us when my boys were still rebels in the woods, but now it’s just a pretty pile of wheat for us to eat.”
“And the Amazons?”
“There’s more than ten thousand of them. Maybe twenty thousand. We’ve got only five thousand in here. But with the way things are I think their numbers could be counting against them. The Amazons may know how to ride horses, but we’ve been practicing guerilla raids for years now. We strike and retreat from the city as well as from the forest. They haven’t been here long enough to build siege engines and we may be able to sabotage their work if they do. Plus, it’s looking like it’ll be a warm winter. If this hot weather keeps up… Let’s just say it won’t go well for the lady warriors in their metal armor. Our men wear leather and stay cool in the heat.”
“Sounds like you have things well in hand, but we may have a way to end this siege entirely. Is there a private location we could speak?”
“Of course. I’ve been using a study for such conversations. Follow me.” Major Dactirian saluted the other officers before leaving. The Lakatian guardsmen were left behind as the Major led the party through the corridors of the Palace until they reached a comfortable room with bookshelves, a desk, and several hardwood chairs.
Hektor spoke first, “The Alliance has obtained a means for transporting any number of men across great distances. We think it may be time for a greater amount of cooperation between our two organizations. We could bring in thousands of men and break this siege.”
“Oh?”
“There are soldiers being trained in eastern cities, ready for war. When the word is given all could be brought here in the space of… perhaps five hours. More than 30,000 more men to fight the Amazons with. You would have more than twice their number.”
“Interesting… When were you planning on sending these men here.”
“They are green soldiers to be sure, but I think a victory would boost morale in the Alliance greatly.”
“Hmm…” Major Dactirian thought on it for a few moments. Upon finishing his internal deliberations he spoke, “You said these were new recruits? I’m fearful of how they would fare against Amazonian veterans. We would have numbers and surprise, but the battle would be bloody and costly regardless. I’m not sure it would be wise to attack at this time. For now, we are winning the small conflicts. We frustrate the Amazons with our raids and as the sun continues to beat down on them, their condition will only worsen. I see no reason to risk our advantage yet. Perhaps once our enemy is worn down more by this siege.”
Hektor replied, “I see. Well, it would be best for us to remain in contact now. We can start to share resources and men when you think it appropriate. Send word to us if the Amazons start to attack in earnest. We could bring in the recruits and turn the tide if the battle goes poorly.”
“Of course.”
“Is there anything else you would tell us for how to fight the Xorians?”
“Yes… One thing. There are two threats in Greshen Dale now. A new one emerges and an ancient one. You should go there soon.”

At this point, thewamp returned. We ended my campaign’s short session and switched back to Salzar’s pirate campaign.

Anxe
2014-08-16, 10:15 AM
Alliance Session #37/Total Session #48
This session was attended by everyone! Woohoo! Middle_Snu, thewamp, Ozymandias, Salzar, and Zigfried were all there initially. Throgg arrived a little later. The session was held over Google Hangouts like usual.

When we last left the party, Major Dactirian of the rebels hinted that two threats had arisen in Greshendale that they would soon have to deal with.
Hektor asked Dactirian, "What two threats?"
Dactirian said, "The old threat is an ancient evil. A monster called the Dahak."
Aldarian said, "The Dahak? Isn't that one of the Titans?"
"No, but close to it," said Dactirian. "The Dahak was an ally of the Titans during their war with the Olympians. He fought on the losing side and was punished for his crime. Zeus trapped him under a mountain like he did to Typhon. The Dahak festered under the mountain until a group of mages turned the mountain into the magical city of Greshendale that it is today.”
Eathirilu said, “That’s right. Greshendale used to be just a little mage’s village, but then the archmage Tentineh uprooted the Dahak’s volcano to use it as a power source for the floating city.”
Dactirian said, “And as you may know, the Dahak is responsible for Zeus’ current condition. That monster snuck into Mount Olympus and ripped Zeus’ first love, Metis, from his belly. He ran away leaving Zeus poisoned and unable to move or speak. Zeus cannot stop the rise of Blendegad. If the Father God does not return, we may all be doomed to a new Dragovinian pantheon.”
Hektor asked, “But why do we need to go to where the Dahak is? Shouldn’t stopping the Dragovinians be our primary concern?”
“No, for we need something from the Dahak to cure Zeus. When last you were with me I told you the ancient prophecy passed down by the druids.
Should one of the gods forever close his eyes
Find the weapon that caused him to die
Add it last with great caution
Then pour the mix on the great god's coffin.
If Zeus is ‘dead’ then we need the weapon that caused him to die to revive him. We need the Pitchfork of Ruin used by the Dahak to poison Zeus.”
Realization dawned on the party and they decided that going to Greshendale might be a good idea after all. There was still that new threat that Dactirian had mentioned though.
The Major continued, “The new threat is the Dragovinians. I have spies in the city who have informed me of goings on there. The wizards of Greshendale apparently did not fully think out all the implications of their neutrality. Dragovinians are now allowed freely within the city and free practice of their ‘religion.’”
Eathirilu said, “You mean they’re converting people into Dragovinians?”
“And attracting followers with the promise of such a reward, if you can call it that. The converted feed off the followers’ blood. If the conversion continues at this rate… by the end of the month the city will be lost.”
“What can we do to stop this unnatural spread?”
“I don’t know. I don’t have enough men on the ground in Greshendale to risk sending them into the vipers nest where the Dragovinian temple is. I’m counting on you to make the difference.”
With that the group packed up, said their goodbyes, and teleported off to Greshendale.

All teleport spells to Greshendale are redirected to the city’s landing platform, a large stone gazebo on the south side of town. The gazebo exits onto the south side of the Entrance Plaza where a beautiful fountain and a few small market stalls greet them. The citizens of the city walked around the market buying and selling their wares. As the party of heroes teleported in they also noticed a few Dragovinians buying items and conversing with mortal people.
Amalius said, “They’re everywhere. We should go meet with Talon. He’s in charge around her. If he hasn’t turned, then maybe he can tell us more about what’s going on.”
(Talon is a dromite cerebremancer who leads the city of Greshendale. Talon participated in the talks that decided Greshendale’s neutrality. Amalius also developed a friendship with Talon due to their mutual desire to explore more about psionic magic)
The adventurers made their way to Talon’s office and spoke with his assistant.
“Mr. Talon is busy until two days from now. Could you come back at ten o’clock then?”
With their appointment set the party felt they had done what they needed for now to address the growing Dragovinian presence in Greshendale. Next on their to-do list, the Dahak.
The party went around town looking for sages who studied ancient monsters like the Dahak. Their inquiries directed them to Corwinius, an older journeyman wizard who lived alone, surrounded by books.
The party called at Corwinius’ house. The man opened the door wearing a green robe and slippers and he straightened his spectacles. “Hello. What can I do for you?”
“We’re interested in learning more about the Dahak,” said Tagenadi.
“Excellent! I charge ten gold coins per hour of work. Come on in!”
The party shuffled through the door into a large room with a counter and stools on the left side and a table with an assortment of mismatched chairs surrounded it. A large fireplace lit the room from the back side with various horns hanging from the ceiling over the mantle. Several other doorways led out of the room. The rest of the wall was covered in books, scrolls, and maps. Many of the documents had also spilled over onto the floor, table, counter, and seats. The faint odor of dust and old paper greeted the party’s nostrils.
“Can I get you some tea?”
Amalius, Tagenadi, Torin, and Hektor murmured their, “Nos,” and, “Thank yous,” while Aldarian and Eathirilu accepted.
“Alright, I’ll be back in just a bit while the kettle heats up.” Corwinius moved towards the back door to the left of the fireplace, then paused and went to the fireplace to throw a log on. He looked at the party. “Sit! Make yourselves comfortable! I know I am!” He laughed and left the room in his slippers.
The party sat in silence. Tagenadi prefered to stand. When the tea kettle whistled Corwinius shouted, “Any biscuits or crackers for you?”
Amalius shouted back, “No thank you! We wouldn’t want to impose.”
“It’s no trouble at all!”
“All the same. No thank you.”
In a moment later Corwinius came back carrying a plate with a steaming tea kettle and three tea cups. The old sage now wore a green beret. He offered the tea to Eathirilu and Aldarian before sitting down at the counter. “Now obviously you all know me as Corwinius, sage of monsters both ancient and modern. Otherwise, why would you be calling at my house?” he chuckled at his own joke, “But who are you?”
The party introduced themselves using their real names and titles.
“Glad to have met all of you! Now what is it we are researching?”
The party launched into a series of questions led by Eathirilu about the Dahak. Corwinius answered many of the questions from memory, but of a few he said he would have to consult his books. He excitedly told the party an extended history of the Dahak.
(For simplicities sake and because I’ve forgotten the exact questions, I’ll just be listing the information that Corwinius gave the party instead of rendering it as dialogue)
The Dahak was a monster like Typhon that fought on the Titans side against the Olympians. The Dahak lost the war of the Titanomachy and Zeus imprisoned him. Just like the other monsters, the Dahak was trapped beneath a gigantic mountain. The Dahak would strain and push to free himself and in his rage belch fire through the mountain’s top. The straining and pushing resulted in earthquakes and the fire breathing caused the mountain to spew lava into the air. The Dahak’s prison was in fact the volcano that makes up the floating city of Greshendale.
Greshendale used to be a small community of mages below the volcano, but Tentineh changed that by uprooting the volcano to serve as the building block for a new city. The removal of the mountain freed the Dahak who thanked Tentineh. The Dahak assisted with the building and protection of Greshendale. The monster gave several omnielementals, elementals composed of all four elements, to serve Tentineh. The ominelementals now live in the volcanic depths below the city with their common and para elemental offspring.
The Dahak has assisted the people of Greshendale personally in the past and now does so occasionally by bestowing boons upon a few or in rare cases, by entrusting his Pitchfork of Ruin for when the city is in dire need of help. Today, Greshendale citizens pray to the Dahak by throwing a sacrifice into the well at the center of town. Corwinius was unsure if offering something like this was actually effective. He’d heard that some mages detected slight bits of divine magic around the center well, but the source of the divine magic was unclear.
The Dahak still lives in the mountain below Greshendale.
Outside of the Dahak’s actions to protect Greshendale the monster also protects the timeline. Whenever anybody uses too much time magic or attempts to subvert Fate’s destiny, the Dahak comes in to fix it. To the Dahak the biggest subversion of destiny is Zeus’ continued position as King of the Gods. Before Zeus there was a cycle. Cronos overthrew Uranos and Zeus overthrew Cronos. The process was supposed to repeat itself with Zeus’ son from his first wife, Metis. Unfortunately for the Dahak, Zeus learned of this prophecy and swallowed Metis whole while she was still pregnant. A few months later Athena burst forth from Zeus, a daughter, not a son. Zeus is safe for now as he can’t impregnate Metis while she resides within his stomach. As his son is the only true threat to Zeus’ power, he cannot be overthrown until his son by Metis is born.
That’s why the Dahak attacked Zeus with his Pitchfork. The Pitchfork ripped Metis out of Zeus’ belly and left Zeus critically injured. The Dahak is now hiding Metis, although no one knows where.
The party asked Corwinius a few more questions about people who had gone down into the volcanic depths of Greshendale to speak with the Dahak in person. Corwinius said there were a few people, but he’d have to research more about them. The party agreed to come back later that evening to see what Corwinius had uncovered.
While Corwinius researched the group went shopping for new magic items and made an offering of gold and diamonds to the center well. Along with the wealth they sent down a letter reading,
“To the Dahak, the terrible,
If you are so inclined, we would like to speak to you, concerning the increasing influence of the Xorians and their threat to the natural order of things as well as how this all relates to the current death-like slumber of Zeus.
We would be grateful if you would grant us this audience.
- Signed Torin, Tagenadi, Amalius, Eathirilu, and Aldarian”
When they returned, Corwinius told them the story of Horman. 150 years ago Horman was a merchant in Greshendale. He watched the shop while his wife went on trade expeditions. One time his wife went on a lucrative but risky expedition that used up all of the couple’s funds. She was attacked by bandits and slain. The cargo was stolen. Horman became a penniless widower in Horman knew the Dahak controlled time, so he wished to entreat the beast to save his wife. As he could not offer anything to the center well Horman went down into the Dahak’s volcano to speak with the monster in person.
When Horman returned he was a broken man. The Dahak had not granted his request. Instead it had said,
“Fate will be what Fate will be.
It is good that you came down to see.
For that is what your Fate will be.
And Fate will know when time has come.
For this message to be redone.”
Horman became a beggar after he returned from the volcano and died a few years later.
The party gave Corwinius a several dozen gold pieces for further research on those who had ventured into the volcano.

That night the party found an access shaft and went down below Greshendale. They followed the winding passages, seeking a position near the middle at the bottom of the volcano. They passed into a section with earth all around them and small streams of lava slowly flowing by on either side. The thick smell of sulfur filled the air. Eathirilu cast a spell to protect the group from the noxious fumes that collected on the ceiling.
Further down they came to a passageway guarded by an enormous earth elemental. Aldarian had been scouting ahead when the beast suddenly appeared in the smoke. Fearing it would attack him, Aldarian rolled forward through the beastie’s legs and stabbed it to little effect. Amalius told Aldarian to cool his heels while Tagenadi took a defensive position in front of the rest of the group. Eathirilu stepped forward and addressed the elemental in Terran, “We want to go further down, will you let us by?”
The elemental attempted to swat Aldarian against the wall, but the elf dodged the rock’s slow attacks. The elemental said in a methodical grinding voice, “You must present passes to go further.”
A quick telepathic discussion between the party made them realize that getting passes would probably be easier than slaying this elemental and who knows how many others. Eathirilu delivered the party’s response, “We’ll come back with passes then. Keep up the good work. Goodbye!”
The elemental’s rocky eyes stared down Aldarian as the group left the way they’d come. Aldarian pointed his fingers at his eyes and then at the elemental in the “I’m watching you” gesture.

After teleporting to Lakatia for the night the party returned in the morning to go to the City Works Commission that releases passes for going below the city. At the office a corrupt bureaucrat demanded a bribe before he’d hand out passes. Amalius threatened to report the bureaucrat to his superiors, but the rest of the party felt it was easier to just pay the man and move on with their lives. Fifty gold pieces later and the party had passes for everyone.

Torin cast find the path to guide the party’s journey into the depths. They went down towards the lair of the Dahak. The passes aided the party in bypassing an ooze paraelemental in a large sewer pipe and an air elemental in a fan powered air shaft. The group reached a section filled with lava once again. They walked on and on until Torin’s spell directed the party to a gigantic room filled with lava. Stalactites came down from the ceiling and a few flat rocks rose up from the lava to allow a dangerous passage across the room. In the center was a large rock which the Dahak stood on.
The Dahak stood more than ten feet tall with broad shoulders to match. No skin covered his humanoid body. Instead, bulging muscles barely covered his exposed white bones. As his sinews stretched up his neck they gave way to a bare skull with no jaw joint or teeth, only a small oval hole for a mouth. Ram’s horns curled out of the giant monster’s head and accompanying the horns was a mane of fire. The Dahak held the Pitchfork of Ruin at his side.

http://s8.postimg.org/d9plqsgtx/Dahak.jpg
(An old illustration of the Dahak I sketched in my notebook years ago for the last campaign, but Hey! Color!)

The Dahak’s deep voice filled the room with an undertone of static, “And the message is redone and Fate will be what Fate will be.”
A little shocked, the party whispered amongst themselves before the Dahak addressed them once again, “Why have you come here?”
Amalius stepped forward, “We came to talk to you about Zeus and the Dragovinians.”
“Then speak.”
“Well… We were thinking that you want Zeus to have a child by Metis, right?”
“Yes.”
“And he can’t very well have a child if he’s as close to death as god’s get, can he?”
“The child will be conceived. Of that I have no worry.”
“Well we could make it easier for you. We’ve found a spell that will bring Zeus back to his healthy condition. Then he can do what he does with Metis and you’ll be all satisfied. All we need is your Pitchfork.”
“And you will have it.”
“Excellent!”
A moment of silence followed as the Dahak did not move.
Torin said, “Were you going to give the Pitchfork to us?”
“No.”
“How do we get it from you?”
“There are many ways. You could fight me for it. You could steal it. Or you could bargain for it.”
Torin instantly said, “Bargain! Bargain for it!”
Amalius said, “Surely you’ve noticed the Dragovinians rampaging across Cimmeria? They are a plague upon the normal state of the world. They corrupt everything they touch and they live forever. It can’t be Fate’s plan to allow victory for the Dragovinians. Give us the Pitchfork and we will vanquish the Dragovinians, restoring order to the world.”
“The Dragovinians will die if I give you the Pitchfork or not. Their Fate is already set. But I have a different task you could do for me.”
“And what is that?”
“In the east there is a town called Nomingburg. There is a saying I like to describe Nomingburg, ‘A city long divided, must unite. A city long united, must divide.’ Nomingburg has been united for too long. It must be divided. If you divide Nomingburg then I will give my Pitchfork to you.”
The party discussed the ethics of this proposal. Nomingburg is a mostly halfling city that so far remains neutral in the conflict between Xoria and the Alliance. The city is ruled by a group of assassins guilds that recently attacked the Bjorn’s wedding. The guilds are united by the leadership of one halfling, Duke Jingo. Undoubtedly, the Dahak wishes the party to kill Duke Jingo and watch the city divide as the different assassins guilds vie to fill the power vacuum created by the Duke’s death.
An interesting bit of information also existed. At some point Amalius learned that Duke Jingo is the brother of the albino halfling, Stanton, that had a particularly malevolent influence on Amalius’ own past and that of Tagenadi. Stanton was the wizard who altered Amalius’ memories to give him a fake family that was taken from him. Stanton also cast the spell that forced Tagenadi to slay his own parents. Maybe Duke Jingo could be used for some form of revenge?
The discussion as a whole was tabled for later. Either they could do as the Dahak commanded, or come back another time to fight for the Pitchfork.
The party said their farewells to the monster and returned to the surface.

The party split up to do a few more errands in the city (more magic item shopping) before their meeting with Talon.
Talon greeted the party as they entered his study, “Good to see you again Hektor, Amalius, Aldarian, Torin. And you have some new friends as well. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Cerebremancer Talon of Greshendale.”
“I am Tagenadi, a crusader against Xoria.”
“I am Eathirilu, druid from Aractrash.”
“A pleasure to meet you even if we live in unpleasant times. Lets talk.”
Amalius asked, “So the Dragovinians have come into the city. And they move about freely, killing people and converting them.”
“It’s true and I can do little about it. The neutrality agreement ties my hands. I could call for a council meeting to pick a side in the war or ban the Dragovinians from converting within the city, but I fear such a meeting would turn against me. I have few friends on the council and some of them have already turned.
“My greater fear is the Sky Patrol. I’ve seen their members talking with the Dragovinians every day. A few of them have already turned, but their leader, Krodius, remains elven. If the Sky Patrol joins with the Dragovinians… I fear the rest of the city will be forced to follow.”
“What can we do?”
“I can do little. The Dragovinians know I am their enemy. They asked me if I wanted to be given their ‘gift’ and I refused. And as I said I have few friends with power in Greshendale. It’s why I was chosen for this job. Little chance for corruption. Only now it is working against me.”
Eathirilu asked, “Could we start a fight and remove the Dragovinians that way?”
“Unlikely to work. You might remove the ones who are already here, but the converts are Greshendale citizens. We’d have to let them back in. Plus, our neutrality prevents us from removing them in the first place. If you acted against the Dragovinians directly, then the Sky Patrol would become your enemies. Violence might even spark Krodius’ desire to turn. I wouldn’t advise it.”
Tagenadi said, “Couldn’t we convince people to stop becoming undead beasts? It doesn’t seem that hard.”
“I must remain neutral, but others have tried with little success. How can you turn down the chance of eternal life? An eon to perform your experiments and perfect your magic? I’m not surprised so many are joining the Dragovinians. The deal seems good on the surface, even if it has darker truths.”
Amalius said, “Where are the Dragovinians based right now?”
“Their temple is a large converted household in this area of town,” Talon gestured to a map on the wall, “but a frontal assault would surely backfire.”
“I’m just trying to learn more about what’s going on. And who leads the Dragovinians?”
“Lady Li leads them. She is the Lady of Colchis. A formidable spellcaster I’ve heard. She would command respect here even if she wasn’t leading this new cult.”
Amalius thought for a moment then said, “What if we convinced the Dragovinians to leave?”
“I don’t see how you could do that. They’re clever. They know that the mages here can’t resist immortality. They’d need to be forced to leave.”
“Forced to leave… But what if it seemed like they left on their own?”
“What are you thinking?”
“There are Orbs of Dragonkind contained within each of the volcanoes of Greshendale, right?”
“Yes. Each of the volcanoes has a caldera at the bottom. A wall of force holds the lava in and draws power from it. At the direct center of the calderas, just below the lava are small spheres of force, each one probably about three feet across. The Orbs are kept within the spheres. The center volcano has the Silver Orb, the southwest volcano has the Black Orb, the southeast volcano has the Green Orb, the northwest volcano has the Red Orb, and the northeast volcano has the White Orb.”
(The players at this point exclaimed, “No Blue Orb to deal with Bavastatner in the desert!?! You bastard!” I twirled my fake moustache and continued DMing.)
Amalius said, “What if we took the Red Orb and used that on the Dragovinians to get them to leave? They were made by a red dragon. The Red Orb should be able to control them.”
“The Orbs are guarded though. Each by an ancient dragon. And they each power the lights for that section of the city. When the lights go off people will know something is wrong.”
“Have the lights ever gone off before?”
“Sure. There’s technical problems in the underworks all the time.”
“Well maybe you can tell the people that’s what’s going on. Distract them long enough for us to control the Lady Li.”
“Yes… That might work…”
“Tell us more about the dragon guarding the Red Orb.”
“His name is Invernix. He’s been guarding the Orb since the city was young. Tentineh had him under control, but since he died… no one dares go near the Orb. I’d prepare yourselves for a fight. Invernix lives in a cave in the northwest lip of the upside down volcano. Beyond that… Who knows what protects the Orb now? Everyone who’s stupid enough to go down there dies.”
“Sounds like we’re in for some fun.”

We ended the session there! We’ve already played the next session which contains the fight between Invernix and the party.

Anxe
2014-09-05, 07:22 PM
Alliance Session #38/Total Session #49
This session was attended by Throgg, Ozymandias, Salzar, and Zigfried. The session was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 like we usually do. Middle_Snu’s character, Hektor was left out of the action, but I took up the mantle of Tagenadi and played him for thewamp during this session.

The party prepared for their battle with Invernix with a battery of protection spells. Fire immunity, resist lightning, resist cold, protection from lightning, protection from cold, and shield of law were cast on everyone. Death ward and overland flight were cast on those who needed the spells. Other buffs included several ones that Eathirilu cast upon himself, a few that Amalius cast on himself, and the activation of Aldarian’s invisibility ring. With everyone flying and protected from magical attacks of all kinds, the group teleported to just below the northwest volcano of Greshendale.
Greshendale is composed of five volcanoes. One volcano at the center is five times the size of the other four. The central volcano imprisoned the Dahak before Tentineh created Greshendale. The other four volcanoes imprisoned the Dahak’s omnielementals that continue to reside within the city, powering the magical rituals that keep the city running. The volcanoes are ripped out of the earth and now float upside down in the sky. The city buildings rest on what was once the base of the volcanoes. Below, the calderas are filled with lava that is held back by five immense blue walls of force. The walls of force keep the lava inside for use as power to keep the city aloft. At the direct center of each of the upside down calderas a sphere of force similar to a wall of force contains an Orb of Dragonkind which powers the lights in each section of the city. The whole complex is nailed to the sky. The lowest peak (originally the highest) of the Dahak’s volcano is two miles above the ground, while the four volcanoes are three and a half miles from the earth.
The party popped in one thousand feet below the caldera of the northwest volcano. From there the party inspected the floating Orb above. Eathirilu extended his sense with commune with nature and pinpointed Invernix’s cave on the northwestern rim of the caldera. Torin cast find the path to confirm the discovery of Eathirilu’s spell. The group had guessed that if they simply stole the Orb then the dragon would chase them wherever they took it. After surveying the area the group teleported once again directly into the lair of Invernix.
The cave was small for a dragon. An immense forty foot diameter opening allowed access to the sky. The cave deepened and expanded forming an huge room. A tunnel extended leftwards out of the cavern. Invernix lay coiled at the back of the first room, his head focused on the entrance where the party appeared. The great dragon raised his head and spoke in a voice filled with the smell of fire and smoke, ”Hua hua hua! Welcome to your doom, mortals…”
The party leaped into action! Tagenadi took a defensive position and tried to draw the dragon’s attention. Eathirilu began summoning some dinosaurs to aid the party. The Invernix rose and ignored Tagenadi’s ineffective cuts as he moved to a different part of the cave, the caldera trembling as he walked. “You came for the Orb, but you will find only...” he took a deep breath, smoke flowing into his nostrils, “FIRE!” Invernix unleashed a torrent of flames upon the entire party. Fortunately, everyone was protected from fire, but fire wasn’t the only thing dangerous about the dragon’s breath. The party stood shocked as the fire stripped away parts of their magical protections. Amalius lost his fire immunity but his vigor protected him from any serious burns.
Invernix followed up his breath weapon with a horrid wilting spell that dealt a little bit more damage across the party. Torin moved in and healed as many people as he could. Aldarian circled around to flank the dragon with Tagenadi. Amalius moved to the edge of the cave to target the dragon with a failed mental attack. With the spell failed, Amalius taunted the dragon using his telepathy, “What’s the matter? Can’t perform as well in your old age?”
“Come a little closer and I’ll show you how well I can perform.”
Tagenadi began cutting into the dragon using his crusader training. Eathirilu finished his summoning spell and brought four tyrannosaurs into the fight. He quickly shapeshifted into a tyrannosaurus form himself and cast animal growth on himself and the four summoned dinos. His minions moved to engage Invernix and took big chomps out of the dragon's hide.
Invernix could not stand the existence of the foul beasts. He uttered an incomprehensible word of chaos that wormed its way into the minds of Torin, Eathirilu, and Tagenadi. Tagenadi momentarily lost his hearing. Torin and Eathrilu lost their focus and were stunned. More importantly, the T-rexes were dismissed back to where they had come from.
Amalius tried another mental attack that failed. Aldarian flanked the dragon with Tagenadi, but was unable to pierce its hide with his flimsy rapier. Tagenadi continued to attack Invernix, slowly shaving away the dragon's scales. The dragon ripped away at Eathirilu while the poor druid was stunned, removing much of the druid's bonus health from spells. Amalius had a moment of quick thinking when he realized that most of the party was still protected against lightning magic. He charged up a lightning wave and let it rip into the room. Eathirilu got a little singed, but the rest remained immune. Invernix, having no protections, took a fair bit of damage.

http://s30.postimg.org/6k9yoetu9/Session_49.jpg

Eathirilu and Torin regained their senses and the fight continued in much the same pattern from there. Invernix would rip one of them apart each turn and Torin would do what he could to keep everyone healthy. Eathrilu and Tagenadi bit and cut at Invernix. Aldarian took to riding on Invernix's back and trying to stab downwards, but found that ineffective as well. Amalius continued his electrical blasting.
Invernix had enough of the barrage. No one had threatened his body like this in centuries. He throttled the neck of the dinosaur druid and then turned to bite the boney knight. He spit the knight out against the cave wall. With the annoying blades out of the way, Invernix was able to focus long enough to cast a heal spell on himself. The group collectively groaned. If he could heal up their damage, then they would run out of resources before he would.
Amalius taunted the dragon again, "You can't win without healing yourself? How sad."
“Eating you will be sooo satisfying."
Tagenadi rejoined the fight. He, Eathirilu, and Amalius quickly undid the work of Invernix's heal. Fearing for his life, Invernix broke for the cave exit. Eathirilu braced his huge dino legs against the cave wall and held the dragon back. The two titanic lizards twisted in the cave. Eathirilu could hold the dragon, but not for long.
Realizing that escape was his plan now, Torin erected a wall of stone blocking off the middle section of the exit so that no creature as large as Invernix could escape. Amalius followed that up by temporally accelerating himself and throwing down several electric walls.
With no way out, Invernix flew into a rage. He pinned Eathirilu with his jaws, grabbed Tagenadi with his left foreclaw and Torin with his right. Tagenadi felt his bones snapping and crunching. If he didn't escape soon he would die once more and escape was impossible against the dragon's iron grip. Torin realized the same thing and freed himself using his Cape of the Mountebank. Amalius continued with electrical attacks. Aldarian stabbed at the dragon's wings, but only created superrficial rips. Eathirilu struggled to break free using his dinosaur might, but failed.
Escape was only temporary for Torin. Invernix grabbed him once again with his right claw. Torin used a daily charge of his boots of teleportation to escape once again, but if escaping was all he could do then...
Eathirilu wrestled and momentarily gained the upper hand. He twisted around and bit into the neck of Invernix. Blood flowed freely and that was enough. So many other wounds and electrical burns covered the dragon's body. He collapsed. Eathirilu stood and roared triumphant over the body.
Amalius flew back into the cave as the others dusted themselves off. Amalius recovered the memory of where he'd hidden the key to Korm's lead box from the memory's hidden location in his psicrystal, Black. Amalius reached into his portable hole and opened the secret compartment in one of his old torches. He opened Korm's box and withdrew the dagger. Wielding the dagger he advanced on the dragon. "Let us be done with it," said Amalius.
Realizing he would soon die, Invernix whispered into Amalius' mind, “Save her."

We ended the session there! Next session coming soon!

Anxe
2014-09-10, 06:22 PM
Alliance Session #39/Total Session #50
This session was attended by thewamp, Throgg, Salzar, Zigfried, and Ozymandias. The session was a little shorter than others because I was helping my wife prepare her fifth grade classroom for her first year of teaching! Still lots of roleplaying action.

As Amalius approached Invernix with Korm the magical dagger Tagenadi shouted, "Stop!"
Amalius said, "What?"
"You can't kill him with that! You'll only make the dagger stronger! Am I the only one who has a problem with this?"
For those of you who don't know, Korm is an intelligent backsassing dagger. Korm has the vorpal ability and goes stronger for each head he cuts off. Korm also has a connection to Amalgami, Amalius' grandfather and mentor. And did I forget to mention that Amalgami is a nasty lich favored soul of Eris, goddess of strife and discord? Tagenadi has good reasons to distrust this dagger after the others told him about offcamera.
Tagenadi continued, "And I suspect the dagger may be subtly influencing your behavior as well. You’ve been acting differently ever since it tried to take over you in the desert. You’ve been more aggressive and willing to use lethal force. You were even hitting Eathirilu with lightning during the fight with Invernix! The dagger is affecting your mind and I think it is best left in your hole where it belongs.”
Amalius replied, "You think the dagger is affecting my mind? Tagenadi, do you know what I've been studying for the past decade and a half? The magic of the mind. No one understands the mind better than I do. Trust me, there's no way for Korm to affect me unless I make a mistake like I did in the desert or at the Bjorn's Palace."
"It still makes me feel uneasy. Why do we keep it around anyways."
Korm piped in, "Because I know where Amalgami is and eventually you'll want to find him."
"There, you see?" said Amalius.
Tagenadi said, "Well if we need him for that then why don't I hang on to him. My mind works differently because I'm dead, so he can't control me even if I slip up. That way we can be sure he doesn't do anything evil."
"If it makes you feel better, sure. Here you go." Amalius handed Korm and the dagger's sheath to Tagenadi who fixed the dagger to his belt next to his potions.
"Thank you. I do feel safer."
Korm said, "I feel like I'm tied to a dead thing."
Amalius said, "As for the dragon... Maybe we shouldn't kill it after all. It said something to me telepathically, 'save her.' What do you suppose that means?"
Torin said, "Definitely means the city, right? The dragon was defending it after all."
Eathirilu said, "It could mean Mother Earth. Dragons are strongly connected to Gaia."
Aldarian said, "Maybe he was just talking about one of lady friends."
Amalius said, "I'm inclined to agree with Torin. I think he meant the city. I'd like to make sure though by invading his mind. He's unconscious so he can't resist."
Torin exclaimed, "What we can't do that! It's unethical!"
"Why is it unethical? Its no different than truth magic granted by Athena. And this way we're sure it'll work."
"Invading someone's mind while they're unconscious is just wrong, even if it is a dragon. I think Tagenadi may have been right. Korm may have affected your mind without you knowing."
"I can't believe this!" Amalius stalked to the edge of the cave in fury.
Torin moved to follow, but Tagenadi put a hand on the dwarf's shoulder. "Let him cool off for a little bit. Let's talk about the mind reading. I think we should do it. After all mind reading isn't inherently worse than beating the crap out of something which you seemed okay with.
Torin said, "The issue is it's unconscious. Do you think it's ok to beat up captive creatures? The same applies when you go into someone's mind. If they can't defend yourself then it's not a fair fight. It's immoral."
"No, I wouldn't beat up a captive, but... I'm a soldier and there's no reason to hurt someone who is down. But questioning someone to help you win a war? This doesn't seem very different. And red dragons are horrendously evil monstrosities."
"Unlike you, I feel all creatures are entitled to certain dignity, evil or otherwise."
"You didn't really address what I was talking about. I don't think this is removing it of its dignity - certainly any more than speak with dead which I'm pretty sure you're okay with."
"Speak with dead is different. You're not talking to the person. Really you're inferring from the body.
"I think you're splitting hairs."
"Some hairs are on the side of respect and others on the side of darkness."
"Not in this case. Prying someone's secret out of their recently killed body for which you are responsible is not better than knocking someone out and reading their mind."
"Yes, it is different because once they are dead you are in an entirely different moral realm."
"Trust me," Tagenadi said, "That's not better. That's worse."
"Of course it's worse but it has different morality."
"But then speak with dead, which you are okay with, is worse than this?"
"No, because the dead lose certain rights."
"So do enemy combatants, but your suggestion seems to be 'kill helpless enemies so that it's moral to question them'. That seems distinctly wrong."
"No living person should ever have less rights that a corpse"
"Less does not equal the same!"
"Oh fine," Torin said, "You can mind probe him, but I'm against it."
Tagenadi asked, "Does anyone else have an issue with it?"
Aldarian said, "Nah, I was all for it from the beginning."
Eathirilu agreed, "Yes. Me too."
"Alright then." Tagenadi walked over to Amalius and brought him back. Amalius prepared the mind probe magic and the questioning began.

Amalius delved into Invernix's mind. First he looked for who or what Invernix was talking about when he said, "Save her." The her turned out to be Invernix's mate, Sartoria. For centuries she had been trapped in the Orb, powering the very object that served to enslave her descendants. Aldarian was particularly entertained that the "her" was, in fact, a lady friend. Invernix was willing to do anything to free his mate and on that note, Amalius got an idea.
What if instead of using the Red Orb of Dragonkind on the Dragovinians, they used it on Invernix? An ancient red dragon would certainly give them the firepower they needed to remove the Dragovinians from Greshendale and possibly a number of other cities as well. Who knows? Maybe Invernix would even be in favor of the idea due to Blendegad's attempt to usurp the title of greatest dragon in the world. Amalius shared his plan with the group and they seemed to like the idea.
Amalius tried to find memories of the Xorian invasions or the Dragovinians in Invernix's mind, but found none. The dragon had been cut off from the world. Next, he tried to discover whether Invernix would submit to domination in exchange for the release of Sartoria. It took some puzzling of the dragon's past emotions, but Amalius learned that Invernix would even swear an oath on the River Styx to save his mate. The party also learned that if Invernix was freed he would seek revenge on the descendants of those who enslaved him.
With the plan approved, Amalius began to psionically dominate Invernix. After multiple attempts to break through the beast's magical defenses he got through and took control.
Amalius spoke telepathically to his new thrall, "Now, Invernix, my friends are going to bring you around and you're not going to hurt us are you?"
"As you say, weakling.”
"Don't get up or speak when we heal you either." Amalius then turned to Torin and said, "Alright, heal him up. But not too much."
Torin healed the dragon with a cure light wounds spell. Invernix's eyes opened. Amalius said, "We have a proposition for you that involves 'saving her.' In exchange we want you to do a few things for us. Now you can answer me. Do you know how to destroy the Orb?"
"Yes. A mortal must wield the Orb and command a dragon to destroy it.”
"And destroying the Orb is the only way to free Sartoria?"
"Yes.”
"Good. Let me on your back. We're going to go get the Orb."
Invernix growled and smoke hissed out of his nostrils as Amalius floated up to land on the dragon's neck. The beast rose and ran forward on his four legs, bursting through the wall of stone placed in the fight earlier. He lept through the cave entrance and began to fall before unfurling his wings and beating them mightily. The dragon took flight.
Invernix flew to the sphere of force surrounding the Orb and hovered next to it. Amalius commanded Invernix to grab the Orb after the sphere disappeared. Amalius carefully launched a disintegrate and destroyed the sphere of force. The Red Orb of Dragonkind fell into Invernix's claws. Amalius commanded the dragon to fly back to the cave and they landed safely.
When they returned, Amalius took the Orb and looked into it. The Red Orb felt hot to the touch. Inside, Amalius saw a ancient red dragon exactly like Invernix. The dragon roared and flew ina circle breathing fire. Amalius sensed the anger eminating from the Orb. The dragon landed and the image zoomed in on its face. The dragon puffed smoke out of its nostrils and then laid down, ready to be commanded. Sartoria.
Invernix submitted to domination by the artifact. The party began conversing telepathically about not destroying the Orb at all but commanding Invernix for as long as they could. Then, recalling that the dragon was in the room decided to get an oath from him.
Amalius temporarily supressed the domination commands on Invernix before saying, "I have released you from my magic for a moment. Before we release your wife we have a few tasks for you to do. First, you just swear an oath to not hunt down the descendants of Tentineh the wizard."
"I so swear it.”
"On the River Styx. And know that if you try anything I will teleport away and you will never see Sartoria again. You will never find me in the many planes of the multiverse."
Invernix puffed himself up and shouted, "I WILL SWEAR NO OATH TO YOU!” With that, he began casting a spell. Amalius panicked and teleported to the ground below Greshendale.
Invernix had said under the mind probe that he would swear an oath on the Styx. What changed? Dragons have very high sense motive checks. When the party telepathically discussed not freeing him the dragon began to see that they had no intention of freeing him. Even if he could not hear the conversation, he knew from their expressions what they had decided.
Invernix finished casting his heal spell and more of his wounds knit back into whole dragon flesh. The rest of the party tensed for a fight.
Amalius gathered his wits on the ground and realized he had used up his magical reserve for the day. He had no way to teleport back to the cave and he was out of range of his natural telepathy ability. The range of communication to Invernix was infinite though. Amalius reached out his senses and commanded the dragon, "Say nothing except what I tell you. Say that this is Amalius and that I'm stranded on the ground. I need someone to come and get me."
Invernix repeated, "This is Amalius and I'm stranded on the ground. I need someone to come and get me.”
Tagenadi said, "I'll do it on my nightmare mount." Tagenadi summoned his nightmare and climbed on top of it before taking off. They slowly made their way three miles down to the surface. Tagenadi pulled Amalius onto the firey horse with him and they rose into the air once again. About a mile into their climb, the nightmare could go no further. An invisible barrier blocked its flight.
Puzzled, Tagenadi stuck his arm through where the nightmare indicated it existed. He could go through, but the nightmare could not. Amalius attempted to fly up, but could not.
Out of ideas, Amalius telepathed to Invernix, "Still stuck on the ground, reconvene down here."
Invernix, still under the command to not speak, ran to the cave exit and took off once more. Eathirilu barely ducked out of the way. Aldarian grabbed hold of the dragon's tail as it passed and hung on for dear life as the beast dived.
"Make sure he reaches the ground safely," commanded Amalius.
Eathirilu turned into a pterodactyl and followed. Torin clicked his heels together and teleported down.
Invernix dived past the descending Amalius and Tagenadi. As he neared the ground the dragon unfurled his wings and landed roughly. Aldarian released his death grip and rolled away to catch his breath. Invernix turned on him and stalked towards Aldarian. Two gigantic claws struck the ground, flanking Aldarian where he lay. Invernix leaned down and breathed hot, sulphurous smoke into Aldarian's face.
Aldarian, to his credit, did not wet his pants. There was a lot of screaming though.

The party regrouped on the ground and talked it over. Clearly Invernix would willingly do nothing for them. If they kept him enslaved he would eventually break free and possibly join the Xorians. It was decided that it would be best to free him and break the Orb. After all, two powerful dragons could make strong allies even if they are evil. Amalius set down the Orb and commanded Invernix to destroy it one minute from now. Everyone backed away.
The party was silent as the seconds ticked away. Torin turned to Amalius and asked, "Are we sure this is a good idea? The dragon is evil after al-"
Invernix leaped upon the Orb! His claws ripped into it, pounding it again and again into the soft dirt. A crack formed in the Orb, then another and another. Then it broke.

http://s27.postimg.org/4rrtj4lvn/Session_50.jpg

A great red light burst forth from the Orb. The light filled the sky with a sunset glare. The party tried to cover their eyes. Aldarian and Amalius were too slow. The light blinded them. When the light faded, those who retained their vision saw Invernix necking with his freed mate, Sartoria. He whispered something in her ear and she flew off to the northwest. Torin healed the blindness in Aldarian’s and Amalius’ eyes.
Invernix walked over to Amalius and looked down at the psion, "What would you have me do now, mortal?”
"Go, be free." Amalius dismissed his own dominate, freeing Invernix.
"Then I shall. Thank you for your service, psion. As for you, ELF!” Invernix whipped his snake-like neck towards Eathirilu. "You should watch yourself in armor like that. If I see you again, you're dead.”
Eathirilu looked down at his enchanted red dragonscale armor and said, "We'll see who the dead one is then, lizard."
Invernix grunted and narrowed his eyes. The party feared he might start a fight, but he turned away instead. The ancient dragon took flight and followed his mate into the wilds of the northwest.
Torin said, "Talon is going to be pissed with us."
Amalius said, "We'd better get back to Lakatia. I need to rest to restore my power. We can deal with Talon and the whole mess tomorrow."
The party agreed and they teleported back to Lakatia using the last charge of the day on Torin's boots.

We ended the session there! Since the party elected to destroy a powerful artifact instead of using it I gave them enough EXP to level up. 19th level baby! Almost to epics for the first time in over a decade of us playing 3rd edition.

Anxe
2014-10-13, 08:57 PM
Alliance Session #40/Total Session #51
This session was attended by thewamp, Throgg, Salzar, Zigfried, and Ozymandias. Held over Google Hangouts using the Roll20 app just like usual. Roll20 has introduced chatacter sheets that I've begun to use. Everyone else is still using Mythweavers though. Maybe Roll20 should create a way to read Mythweavers sheets? Hmmm... Maybe I'll visit Roll20's forums after this! In other Roll20 news, they recently surpassed the amount of income they needed to be fully funded for continual updates. And, no, I am not a waking billboard for Roll20!
This session also marks the introduction of Zigfried new character! Aldarian was a good character for introducing Zigfried to D&D in a high level campaign. Unfortunately, Zigfried was unable to make Aldarian shine even after we redesigned him to be more effective. His role as a sidekick to Amalius was too deeply ingrained to be changed. Zigfried's new character is super cool and the whole group liked his potrayal.

Anyways... The session!
After regrouping and resting at Lakatia the party decided they should go back to talk to Talon. Some of the party members were still confused as to why they'd destroyed the Orb instead of using it. Amalius, the main proponent of destroying the Orb when that discussion was had, admited that their may have been a personal reason for his desire to destroy the Orb. He hated seeing two lovers magically captured, no matter what type of creature they were, because he and his wife had once been there as well. This answer satisfied everyone else without any hard feelings.
On to the talk with Talon! Everyone teleported off to the floating city while Hektor remained in Lakatia. As he was still an official member of the Alliance he could not openly associate with the other party members. He risked his ties with the Alliance if he did so. Additionally, as a wizard, he had a greater interest in maintaining access to Greshendale, access that might be revoked if he was seen with the group that destroyed the Red Orb of Dragonkind.
The group porte in to Greshendale's entrance pad and for the first time the pad was guarded. Two Sky Patrol members looked over the party and waved them through. All except Tagenadi who they asked to speak to privately.
"Sir, nothing personal, but you're not allowed in the city. There are restrictions against necromantic magicks." The Sky Patrol clearly saw through Tagenadi's hat of disguise to the skeletal form underneath
Tagenadi said, "And those restrictions don't apply to the Dragovinians as well?"
"They're a unique case. Dragovinians are in a halfway state, being both living and dead. Plus, the peace treaty contains a specific exemption for them. I'm sorry there's really nothing I can do."
"Alright. I'll go."
Tagenadi spoke with the others and arranged to meet them on the ground after they spoke with Talon. Tagenadi stepped onto the entrance pad and it teleported him four miles down to the outskirts of Greshendale.
Normally the only way into Greshendale is by teleporting. Not everyone can teleport or knows someone who can. After numerous complaints the higher-ups in Greshendale created another means of accessing the city. A teleportation pad on the surface that requires a special token to activate. Where does someone get a token? From the nearby Dungeon of Trials, fully stocked with vicious monstrosities of all kinds, one of which might be guarding a token for accessing Greshendale.
After the Dungeon of Trials and the pad were built a small community grew up around the base. The people in this community act as intermediates between visitors who can't teleport or complete the Dungeon of Trials. These go betweens will travel up to Greshendale to procure a spell or magical item on a visitor's behalf, for a small fee of course.
When Tagenadi teleported down he was approached by one of the less respectable go between merchants. The merchant offered Tagenadi a free sample of Magical Miracle Cream, which the exiled knight turned down. Tagenadi found a stone bench not far from the pad and sat down to wait for his friends to conclude their business with Talon.

Up in Greshendale, Torin, Amalius, Aldarian, and Eathirilu went to Talon's office in city hall, just off the plaza surrounding the center well of Greshendale. They asked for the soonest available appointment with Talon. The secretary went in to speak with Talon and upon emerging granted the party an immediate audience. They filed in. Talon sat behind his desk with a tired look on his face. His hands were clasped together in front of him and as the party entered he lowered them to the desk.

http://s23.postimg.org/64k830imj/Session_51.jpg

"Sit."
Amalius, Eathirilu, and Torin sat in the three chairs in front of the desk while Aldarian was forced to stand.
Talon's compound eyes stared at them in silence.
Eathirilu spoke, "We ran into some complications."
Amalius said, "We freed the life of two mortal creatures."
Talon snapped back at them, "And what exactly is mortal about a dragon? You've unleashed two of the most evil beings in our history to roam Gaia once more. Who knows what damage they'll cause while we have to contend with the Xorians." Talon to his feet and shouted, "Compounding that with you destruction of an indispensible weapon against the Dragovinians and the sabotage of the lighting system in the Northwest Quarter! Tell me, what would you do if you were in my position?!?"
The party was stunned for a moment until Amalius said, "I guess that's it then."
"I'll say it is." Talon sat in his chair once more.
"What will you do now?"
"Inevitably the investigation that I need to order for this event will lead back to myself. I'll need to go underground and fight back however I can."
"When you say underground do you mean literally or metaphorically?"
"I mean literally, but I won't be sharing more of my plans with you. You seem to have a knack for screwing them up beyond belief."
Amalius continued, still trying to make amends, "Is there anything else we can do for you at this point?"
"Get out of my city and stay out."
"We're sorry."
"Just get out!"
The party stood and left.

Amalius, Eathirilu, Torin, and Aldarian exited city hall and passed by the center well where the Staff of Oblivion floated transfixed between twelve bolts of lightning. Dozens of people sold their magical trinkets and other wares from stalls in the plaza around the center well. Mortals of all kinds and Dragovinians walked through the plaza, going about their business. The party heard snippets of conversation about the Res Orb's destruction and the great light in the sky as they walked.
A shadow passed over the plaza. Eathirilu glanced up and saw a small dark rain cloud directly over them. Greshendale is so high up that clouds being above the city is a rare occurence. Eathirilu puzzled over the cloud as the party walked right by the center well.
A bolt of lightning ripped down out of the cloud and struck the Staff of Oblivion! The party was blown back from the center well by a thunderous boom. The people in the plaza scattered. As the ozone smoke cleared, the party stared at the center well. A man had appeared crouched within it, standing upon the lightning bolts in the well.
The man was human, or close to it. He wore ancient formal clothes and a golden diadem crowned his head. Electricity coursed through his hair. An eyepatch covered his right eye and his left eye was deep green with a yellowed cateye slit instead of a pupil. His hands were ended in scaly claws and his right held a magnificently crafted greataxe with an abnormally long mahogany shaft.
The man stood and walked on the lightning out of the center well towards the party. Upon exiting he pointed his axe at Amalius and shouted, "Amalius Halkias, do you know what you have done?"
(And a big welcome to Zigfried’s new character!)
Torin and Amalius began casting spells, but Eathirilu interrupted them, "Stop!" Then the old elf turned to the man with the axe and said, "Danar, is that you?"
Danar lowered his axe "Eathirilu? Still running with the wrong crowd I see. How long has it been?"
"Centuries! But I thought you'd died?"
"I live again as a safe guard in case the Red Orb of Dragonkind is ever destroyed. I will reforge it, to prevent men from becoming enslaved to dragons once more."
The townsfolk had scattered to the edges of the plaza. The police of Greshendale, the Sky Patrol, were arriving now, flying in the sky. They maintained their positions in the air, assessing the situation.
Eathirilu spoke, "Danar, don't you know what's been going? There's a greater threat than Invernix and Sartoria in the world now."
The crowd made way as a great Dragovinian wizard strode into the plaza flanked by half a dozen other Dragovinian spellcasters. Torin, Aldarian, and Amalius recognized the great wizard immediately. Despite his transformation Terroc's features were unmistakable.
Eathirilu continued, "See there, Danar? Those are the new threat. Dragovinians. Half-dragon half-vampire monstrosities that seek to subjugate of all other life and to overthrow of the Olympians."
Amalius said, "We gotta go. The lead Dragovinian is bad news."
Eathirilu said to Danar, "Come with us and we can explain."
Amalius held out his hands. Torin, Aldarian, and Eathirilu put their own hands in his. Danar hesitated.
Terroc shouted, "Don't let them escape! Stop them!"
Danar put his hand in Amalius' and they teleported to the teleportation pad on the Earth's surface below Greshendale.

The party regrouped with Tagenadi telling him quickly about their meetings with Talon and then with Danar. They hurriedly tried to bring Danar up to speed on how the Dragovinians and the Xorians threaten the world, but sadly, you can't always get what you want.
Terroc appeared on the teleportation pad, not too far from the party, followed by Krodius, the gray ef leader of the Sky Patrol. Soon more Dragovinians and Sky Patrol members filled the pad. The merchants around the pad quickly moved carts, wares, and themselves away from the pad.
Krodius pointed a magical rod at the party and said, "You're wanted for questioning in connection to the events leading up to the destruction of the Red Orb of Dragonkind." All the mages on the pad readied spells to fire off at the party.
A standoff ensued. The Sky patrol made demands for the party to "Drop their weapons and stand down!" But those demands were ignored. Spells were readied but kept in check to blast whoever made the first move.
Tagenadi raised his kusari-gama and moved towards the teleportation pad. All hell unleashed.
Several mages blasted Tagenadi with orbs of force. Others threw steel balls at him. Tagenadi dodged two of the steel balls, but the third hit him headon. Upon contact the ball expanded into a multitude of metallic bands that wrapped around Tagenadi, forcing him to the ground. Eathirilu recognized the entangling spell as bands of steel.
Another mage cast black tentacles on the party. As the tentacles reached up to grab them, Amalius cast temporal acceleration. He stepped out of the tentacles and placed a few wards on himself. He lined up his shot just right and as time resumed he blasted the entirety of the teleportation pad with a massive lightning wave. The wave took out all the Sky Patrol members on the pad and severely injured Terroc, the lesser Dragovinians, and Krodius. Eathirilu followed the lightning up with a sunburst detonated in the sky. The lesser Dragovinins were caught in it and disintegrated.
Tagenadi, using a special manuever taught to him by his master long ago, contorted his body and freed himself from the restricting metal bands. He raised his kusari-gama and moved to a threatening position next to the wide teleportation pad.
Krodius and Terroc, fearing for their lives, teleported out. A replacement soon filled their shoes. Lady Shunawo Li, the leader of the Dragovinian revolution in Greshendale, came down along with a Sky Patrol member and a Dragovinian wizard.
Lady Li led off with a devestating barrage of spells. Tagenadi attempted to disrupt her casting, but her concentration was immaculate. A version of Bigby's grasping hand appeared to grapple Amalius. She also fired off a disintegrate at Amalius, piercing his resistances and covering him in burns (single digit HPs!).
Tagenadi warded off the magical tentacles and moved to attack Lady Li, but her magical defenses protected her from the worst of their attacks. Aldarian broke free of the tentacles and repositioned himself away from the rest of the group. Eathirilu morphed into a tyranosaur and lumbered forward ounof the tentacles. Torin attempted to break free, but found the grasping pseudopods too strong.
Danar rushed out of the tentacles and engaged the arrived Dragovinian to prevent it from casting spells. The Sky Patrol member attempted to blast Tagenadi, but was stopped by Tagenadi's kusari-gama. The Dragovinian breathed fire on Tagenadi, but found the death knight protected by a spell that Eathirilu cast that morning.
Amalius struggled against the giant force hand, but instead of trying to break free he focused his mind to ignore the damage to his body using psionic vigor. Amalius also reached out and touched Ladi Li's mind revealing that she was intelligent, but likely not intelligent enough to be a wizard. Most likely her power was innate like that of a sorcerer.
Lady Li had been tripped by Tagenadi and he stood over her, harrying her, but she continued to cast spells from the ground. A wrack spell failed to incapacitate Amalius and a disintegrate brought some pain to Tagenadi, but he resisted the greater effects of it.
Aldarian moved to flank Lady Li with Tagenadi. Eathirilu chowed down on the Dragovinian and Sky Patrol members that continued to arrive. Torin broke free from the tentacles and moved out of them. The little mages that arrived threw spells at Tagenadi, but he interrupted most of them with his whirling blade. Danar brought his axe down on Lady Li. It passed right through her! She was an illusion and Tagenadi had never noticed! Even Amalius was fooled as he sensed her mind where the illusion was!
Amalius, unable to truly attack Lady Li, elected to dominate her allies instead. The minds of the Sky Patrol and lesser Dragovinians were coopted by their new psion master.
Lady Li didn't let that stand for long. She whispered chaotic words into everyone's minds. Most of the party resisted, but Aldarian and all of Amalius' thralls were driven mad with bloodlust.
Aldarian stabbed Danar in his madness, inflicting a viscious wound. Tagenadi knocked out one of the Sky Patrol members to prevent him from hurting himself. Their other affected opponents began to tear themselves apart with their bare hands.
Eathirilu cast true seeing on himself and scanned the battlefield for Lady Li but he couldn't find her. Torin ran over with his goggles of true seeing, but was similarly unable to locate the missing mage. Even Danar joined the search party. He flipped up his eyepatch to reveal a magical gem in his socket. He swept the area but could not find Lady Li.
Amalius decided to use a different method to locate her. He used a but of himself to bend reality to cover her in glitterdust. Their Dragovinian opponent appeared a few yards away on the opposite side of the party from the plot of thrashing tentacles. All the true seeing effects missed her because they didn't think to look thirty feet up in the air where she was flying!
Lady Li swiftly flew next to Amalius and blasted him pointblank with a disintegrate. Amalius survived by the skin of his teeth. She blasted him with a second one. Amalius fell unconscious and began to bleed out in the grasping hand.
Aldarian attacked one of the Dragovinians in his bloodlust. Tagenadi, Eathirilu, and Danar moved through the melee to get within attack range of Lady Li. They each scored a few hits on her despite her altitude due to their large forms and/or their reach weapons. Torin rushed closer to the party and got off a mass heal spell that restored Amalius to conscious and removed some minor cuts and scraps from Danar and Eathirilu.
More Sky Patrol members poured in along with their fully healed leader, Krodius. The biggest and closest target was Tagenadi, who received a salvo of orbs of force in his back.
Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, Amalius called for a retreat. The group quickly agreed over telepathy. He temporally accelerated himself and positioned himself and his psicrystal, Black, to teleport everyone away. When time resumed, Black brought Aldarian closer with a dimension door and Amalius got Aldarian, Tagenadi, and Danar out with a teleport. Aldarian resisted in his insane state, but Amalius overcame the elf.
That left Eathirilu and Torin. Torin still had his teleport boots, unfortunately, Lady Li was familiar with her enemies. She placed a wall of force between the two divine spellcasters.
Perhaps not as familiar as she thought. Eathirilu changed into a sparrow to fly over the wall and into Torin's hands. Torin clicked his heels together and joined the rest of the party back at Lakatia.

We ended the official session there, but afterwards Torin had a few choice words for Amalius. In the course of the fighting Amalius had killed ten Sky Patrol members. Was lethal force necessary during the battle? The discussion ensued! I was unfortunately, quite sleepy at this point and did not catch the specifics of the debate. I was also making quite a few **** jokes to lighten the mood for those of us not involved in the debate, but thats beside the point. Here's my attempt at a recreation.
Torin said, "It's not so much what you did, but how easily you made that choice. Those men weren't asking to die. They were defending their country, same as we are."
Amalius said. "What should I have done then? They'd all but joined the Dragovinians. Killing them was regrettable, but force WAS necessary."
"But you didn't need to kill them, only incapacitate them. I know that's wrong and you know that's wrong. Just a few days ago these people might've turned into our allies."
"It happened though. What should I do now? Turn myself over to the Sky Patrol for judgement? We all know how that would turn out. A swift trial and an execution."
"You shouldn't do that, but..."
From here the debate went in circles. Amalius had done something wrong, but who could punish him? What was an appropriate punishment? Should Torin decide as the only clerical member of the party? The Bjorn? Turning Amalius over to Greshendale, the Alliance, or the Xorians for judgement was out of the question.
A small description of how law works was brought up. There are two types of laws in Cimmeria, divine law and mortal law. Divine law concerns sacriligeous crimes. Desecrating a shrine or killing a priest is a divine crime. Killing anybody within a city is a divine crime, but the fight took place just outside of Greshendale, not within it.
Mortal law are the laws that mortals make for themselves. Amalius would certainly be guilty within the jurisdiction of Greshendale, but is it appropriate to try him there? Shouldn't he be tried by his people and peers? But who are those people? The party effectively functions as their own entity separate from any citystate or government with an established judicial system. How then could they mete out punishments upon each other?
Torin left to discuss the matter with Athena and ask her guidance. Amalius would suffer no punishment for now, but Torin remained concerned. His friend was losing sight of what was right in favor. Was revenge for what the Xorians did to him and his family becoming a stronger motivation. He would talk with Wise Athena and only after that take action if action would be warranted.

We ended the unofficial session epilogue at that point.

Anxe
2014-12-03, 07:24 PM
Alliance Session #41/Total Session #52
This session was attended by thewamp, Throgg, Salzar, Zigfried, and Ozymandias. Held over Google Hangouts using the Roll20 app just like usual. Middle_Snu, who plays Hektor in the Alliance campaign and Korjak in the Rebel campaign, has gotten a new project with his job. This project unfortunately places him in Israel for the next year. We play through the internet so the location isn't as much a problem as the time difference. Middle_Snu is now ten hours ahead of most of the group. Since his attendance at sessions is now a practical impossibility, Middle_Snu's characters will be taking a backseat until he returns.

The party sat down to talk about what to do next now that the Greshendale situation had turned against them. Should they attack Bavastatner, the blue dragon? Doing so would give them leverage with the people of Mars' Oasis even if the king no longer liked them. Danar particularly liked this plan. Danar also suggested visiting Sheerzen, where his ancestors now ruled as a forced client state of the Xorians.
Eathirilu suggested doing something with Crux, which now served Tagenadi. Could they set Crux's forces against the Xorians and wipe out two bad apples with one throw?
Amalius had a third plan, of attempting to get back into the good graces of the Alliance. Tagenadi and Amalius were banished from the Alliance. Tagenadi for his undead state and Amalius for his tainted lineage. Hektor's association with the group was secret, so he was clean and still attended Alliance Council meetings. Torin left the Alliance of his own free will and could potentially return if he renounced Amalius and Tagenadi. Eathirilu and Danar were new players on the field and although they had associated with Amalius and Tagenadi, they could renounce that association as well. But how could Amalius and Tagenadi get back? The other Council members took issue with very basic parts of their being.
Amalius proposed a grand gesture that demonstrated their commitment to the Alliance so that their readmittance could not be denied. Something like the destruction of a great evil that threatened the Alliance could provide an opportunity. But what evil existed besides the Xorians that threatened the Alliance? Crux perhaps? But Crux was on their side.
The discussion was tabled in favor of a day of rest. Perhaps the party would have new ideas after being refreshed.
Amalius provided teleport services for everyone on their day off excursions. Eathirilu returned to his new base in Demeter's Garden and continued his magical shaping of it. Amalius reformed his psicrystal into a new red-wine sphere named Merlot. Merlot embodies Amalius' search for the truth. Danar received a crash course on the current political situation in the world. Aldarian went off to Satronwook for a true holiday of drunken debauchery. Torin went to the dwarven city of Jord to see how he stood with his sovreign lord, King Dainlin. Tagenadi meditated and practiced his martial techniques. Hektor teleported around to Alliance meetings and within Aractrash in an attempt to gain support for the Aractrashan Kingdom entering the war (Hektor will be doing a lot of this until Middle_Snu returns to the States). Additionally, Amalius convinced Tagenadi that Korm should return to Amalius' control.
The morning after the "vacation day" the group gathered for breakfast with troubled faces. Many of them had disturbing and prophetic dreams last night. (I sent the players their individual characters' dreams. They discussed them in character, but I'll just post the dreams themselves here for you to read and enjoy them)
You walk through the halls where your old band of heroes met. You go to the great table where you ate with your old friends. Your seats have been replaced with open graves. Tombstones mark the graves. You see replicas of the Dragon Orbs embedded in each of the tombstones marking the graves. You walk by your friends and see them sleeping below with their Orbs intact in the tombstones above. Your own tombstone is missing its Orb.
The final grave you come to is that of Tracy, the halfling trickster. Her Orb, the Blue one, is gone. You peer into her grave and you see a horrifically burned body. You smell the faint scent of burnt air and ozone. She failed in her mission. The Blue Orb is undone.
Eathirilu: In a dream you enjoy your life as a panda once more. You hear parade music through the trees. You lumber closer to investigate and see the many marvels of Pan's processional. Towering giraffes. Women with tattered clothes. Satyrs running this way and that with their panpipes. Dwarves carrying napping lions on palanquins. Thousands of ants swaying to the song. And in the middle of it all you see Pan with his memorable grin.
"Hello friend. What are you doing here?"
You answer, "Dreaming."
"Hmm... At least its a good dream."
You join the party and enjoy yourself for a time. You dance, sing, and sleep with one of the Maenads while in your panda form. One of the giraffes plays a wonderful solo on the drums. Pan calls you over to sit on a levitating pile of burgundy pillows with him.
Pan takes out a goblet of wine and sips it before speaking with you for a moment.
The dream begins to fade. The edges become blurry.
Pan says, "One more thing before you go! The Touch of Nature will help you in your quest. It is guarded in Elkhorn Grove."
Pan fades until all that is left is his grin.
You dream of Prometheus teaching you in a classroom. He speaks directly to you, "Nomingburg lies in your way, if you wish Aractrash to join the fray. Seek the Duke, approach him kind. The betrayer's touch, you will find."

This dream is shorter because Middle_Snu isn't here to read it anymores.
Helios tells Aldarian to find the weapon of Apollo.

This dream is also short because Aldarian is an NPC once more
I originally planned for a dream of sorts about Torin's position in the Hill Dwarf King's court, but Torin went there himself to see where he stood. Thus, Torin received no dream.

In a few of his momentary teleport trips back to his suite in Jord, Torin noticed that the rooms seemed abandoned and dusty. His household staff is no longer there. Amalius was hoping that his extended family could be moved there. Amalius' family has been similarly ostracized and now live on the outskirts of Jipangu. However, they are used to living like nobility. Amalius hoped they could stay at Torin's home, but under assumed names, perhaps as the new caretakers of the estate if Torin's old staff have left him.

Torin went to Jord to figure out if such an arrangement would be possible. We did not play out Torin's visit during the session as it would have been an extended one on one interaction while the other people present just watched. Torin's visit will be played out in a private session later on.
You lay on your provided bed at night as you always do. While you can no longer sleep it is hard for a soldier to break habits so deeply ingrained. Seven or eight hours of sleep a night to be wellrested. Fewer on the eve of a battle to be up before the enemy.
As you can no longer close your eyes you resort to resting your arm over them. For the first time since your transformation you feel the call of Hypnos. Despite your desire for sleep, in your disoriented state you accidentally shock yourself awake. If you sleep will you ever wake up again?
You remove your arm and are surprised to see that you are not alone in the room. A pair of figures stand, one on each side of your bed. You sit up and immediately reach for your weapon, but a glance at the figures' faces stops you. These are not your enemies, but your parents returned.
Your father sits by you, but does not touch you. "Son, it is good to see you."
You reach for your father's hand, but your skeletal appendage passes through him.
A tear rolls down your mother's cheek as she says, "You cannot touch us son, for we are truly dead."
"How-" you begin, but your father cuts you off.
"Listen. We come with a message from our lord. 'Find the lots,' he says."
Your mother says, "Find the lots, son."
Your father says, "Find the lots."
Together they say, "Find the lots."
Your father's head falls off into your hands. "Find the lots!" His decapitated head speaks to you with your mother chiming in.
"Find the lots! Find the lots!"
Your mother's head leans to the side and falls to the floor with a thud. Her voice joins your father's from the ground. "Find the lots, Tagenadi! Find the lots!"
"Find the lots! Find the lots! Find the lots!"
And then once more in a voice that can only be that of the Lord of Erebos himself, "FIND THE LOTS."
You awake and are alone in your room. No heads, no parents. Only yourself.
After a fitful night of chaotic dreams you wake up. You go to the wash basin in front of the room's mirror to perform your morning routine of splashing water in your face. The physical sensation helps you to regain your sense of self. Your routine is interrupted. The mirror is broken by a dagger stabbed into the center of it. There is a note attached to the wall by the dagger.
In the all too familiar black writing of your grandfather, Amalgami, the note says, "Come to Nomingburg if you want to find me. -Poppy" The smell hits you and you realize that the note is written on human skin. The ink is unmistakably some mix of black bile. And it is still wet.

Amalius showed everyone the note on his wall. He cast some spells on the dagger without touching it and discovered that it had a divination aura on it that affected mental defenses somehow. The party noted that Hektor's dream was very similar to the note on Amalius' wall. Both said to go to Nomingburg and Amalgami could be the betrayer.
Two of the dreams also came from Titans. Aldarian received his message from Helios the Titan of the sun who is either imprisoned with the other Titans or under house arrest in India where the sun rises from depending on who you ask. Hektor's dream also came from a Titan, Prometheus the creator of humanity.
Aldarian's dream was tabled for later. The last they'd heard of Apollo was when Titandra prophesized that he was, "with the Rebels." What that meant or how to get his bow seemed difficult to puzzle out.
Tagenadi's dream was discussed. At first a language mistake was made where the party thought they had to find Tagenadi's parents' bones. Then they realized that GRAVEYARD PLOTS are not the same as LOTS. Plus, Tagenadi's parents were never buried. Tagenadi remembered that Lachesis, one of the the Fates, measures the lots of a man's life, but he was unsure what to do with that information.
Danar's dream was clear in some parts, but not other. The Blue Orb of Dragonkind was destroyed and the guardian, Tracy, dead with it. But was the destruction recent? Had Invernix gone to where the Blue Orb was kept and destroyed it? Or had the destruction happened long ago? The dream was unclear.
Eathirilu's dream seemed the simplest. Go to Elkhorn Grove, defeat the guardian there, and get the Touch of Nature. Eathirilu recalled that Elkhorn Grove was north of Sheerzen. Pan had traveled there and had a raucous party with the stag that lived in the grove. Upon leaving he blessed the stag. Eathirilu had been to the Grove in his youth. He remembered it as a vibrant place of green and beauty. A short waterfall came off a cliff into a clear blue pool below. Strong trees surrounded the pool and the river. Insects and creatures of all kinds moved around the fragrant escape from civilization. Eathirilu remembered the joy of diving off the cliff into the pool's water.
Amalius sent Aldarian off to look after the Halkias family with a teleport. The party prepped for battle as Amalius gleaned the details of Elkhorn Grove from Eathirilu's mind with permission. Fly spells were given to everyone and Amalius teleported to the grove. His target was one hundred feet above the old waterfall.

They arrived to a very different scene than Eathirilu's memories. The waterfall was gone. After centuries the water had worn down a sloped path to the pool. Only one side of the cliff remained, the other collapsed into rubble. The vibrant vegetation was all but gone, replaced by dead ground and grey, lifeless trees. Life no longer filled Elkhorn Grove. Standing on the remaining cliff side was an immense beast. The stag, grown to colossal size, was consumed by fungal growth. Mushrooms grew all over its body and the stag glowed with all sorts of colors. A thick cloud of spores surrounded the stag.
(Music for the battle (https://soundcloud.com/protohype/protohype-12th-planet-fungus))
http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/13/5f/65/135f65e6651ba216656f84d7febbc40f.jpg
The Elkhorn Stag lifted its head to look at the party and breathed. Spores flew upwards out of its mouth and engulfed the adventurers. The spores dug into skin and bone, growing fluorescent mushrooms and causing agonizing pain as the original tissue was invaded by mycelia. The Stag bleated at them, almost laughing at them. (https://soundcloud.com/theenigmaman/transdimensional-space-goat)
Amalius reacted quickly by manifesting a pair of defensive powers. One restored his vitality, but only temporarily, while the other turned his body into solid iron. He moved further away as well, hoping that the beast could not breathe on him once more. Torin cast a mass heal on everyone, but Tagenadi. The undead knight flew further away, making sure that the beast could not breathe on him again for if it did he would surely die.
Eathirilu cast a sunburst spell on the Stag, irridiating it with light and dealing extra damage due to the beast's fungal nature. Danar channeled a spell into his longaxe and dived at the stag. As he entered the spore cloud, thirty foot long pseudopods extended from the Stag's back in an attempt to intercept him. They scrapped his magical armor, but could not pierce it. Danar sunk his longaxe into the Stag's side, dealing a good blow. When he moved to wrench the axe out though, he found that he could not. The creature's skin began pulling the axe into itself. Horrified that the same thing might happen to him, Danar released his treasured weapon.
The Stag whipped its four pseudopods and began pummeling Danar. The pseudopods were as sticky as the beast's hide and the ancient warrior found himself snared in their grasp. Amalius circled around to the other side and blasted the beast with fire. The Stag pranced about on the cliff and dodged a decent portion of the damage. The burns in its side were quickly filled in by spores from the great cloud around the beast.
Torin healed Tagenadi up with a harm spell. Feeling well, Tagenadi dived in to help Danar. Unfortunately, he was similarly trapped by the flailing pseudopods. Eathirilu flew down as well and cast animal shapes turning himself and Danar into tyranosaurs, figuring that greater size and strength was the best way to grapple with the pseudopods. Tagenadi could not be polymorphed due to his undead status. Danar struggled to free himself but was unable to, even in tyranosaur form.
The Stag pounded Tagenadi and Danar with its pseudopods. It unhinged its mouth and moved to swallow Danar, but he kicked it away with a dinosaur foot. Amalius unleashed another burning wave of fire that scorched away a section of ungulate fungus which was replaced by spores pmce more. Torin flew in, dodging a pseudopod strike, to give Tagenadi a freedom of movement spell. Unfortunately the stress of the situatiom caused him to lose concentration on his spell.
Tagenadi tried mightly to get free, but failed. Eathirilu bit into the side of the Stag. He took off a chunk of foul fungus and spit it into the moist river bed below the cliff. Danar continued to struggle, but the adhesive pseudopods were unconquerable.
The Stag moved Danar its unhinged mouth and swallowed the polymorphed gish whole. Its pseudopods pounded into Tagenadi and Torin, entrapping both of them. Amalius continued his fiery assault. He burned through and glimpsed Danar's lizard tail before the spores filled up the hole. The cloud of spores was noticeably thinner now. Torin panicked in the grasp of the Stag and used his cape to dimension door out in a puff of smoke. He reappeared flying high above the battlefield.
Tagenadi's battered skeleton was close to falling apart (7 HP!). Eathirilu stretched over the Stag to touch Tagenadi with his dino-snout and cast word of recall. The spell took them both to Eathirilu's sanctuary with the pandas of Satronwook. Danar spotted his longaxe in the Stag's stomach. He ignored the foul smell of rotten fungus and used his carnivorous jaws to bite a hole to the outside. He struggled and managed to worm his way out. At the last second he used his foot to kick the axe out with him. The spores gathered to refill the hole once more.
The Stag realized that most of the damage coming its way origniated from that annoying psion floating over it. The Stag dealt with this problem by taking a deep breath and expeling the damaging spores once more. The spores ripped through Amalius' protective spells and implanted themselves in his body once more.
Torin hit the Stag with a fire storm and Amalius followed up with a new power he'd discovered, stygian conflagaration. Holy and unholy fire raged across the Stag's body. This proved to be enough. The spore cloud was exhausted and the beast could no longer repair the damage the spellcasters inflicted on it. It collapsed to the ground.
The Stag began to glow with white light. Light particles were slowly brushed away by the wind, reducing the size of the colossal monster until only a normal, fungus-free stag remained. Then the stag's body was carried away by the wind as well, leaving only a ball of pure light, one foot in diameter.
Danar assumed his human form once more and reached out to touch the orb. Amalius shouted, "Don't! It's for Eathirilu! Let's find him and Eathirilu first."
Torin cast a sending and Eathirilu responded with his location. Torin burned two teleports on his boots to pick up his two companions.
Eathirilu returned and the group gathered around the orb. The druid reached his hand out and placed it against the orb.
(Music! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZmOV5vp5Wk))
The orb filled Eathirilu's body causing him to emit light in every direction. The light reduced to a dull glow except for the elf's feet which continued to shine brilliantly. The light entered the ground and spread out from Eathirilu. As it passed over the ground life returned to the grove. Green grass grew in the light's wake. Trees perked up and leaves sprouted. Wild flowers bloomed. The river gushed with clear water. Insects, birds, rodents, and deer appeared from nowhere and moved throughout the grove. Eathirilu let out a primal roar! The light spread into the distance reviving the entirety of Elkhorn Grove. The light at Eathirilu's feet climbed up his body in a band that increased in intensity the higher it went. The light concentrated at his head and formed a ball two inches in diameter on his brow. A fresh wind blew threw the grove and on the wind Pan whispered, "Use it when the time is right to return things to their natural state."
Eathirilu experimented and found that his "head flashlight" persisted no matter what form he took.

With the quest completed we ended the session there!

P.S. If anyone was wondering, the Stag was a refluffing of an epic monster, the (Mu Spore (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/monsters/muSpore.htm). Additionally, this session’s illustration was done by Dmitriy Barbashin (http://dmitriybarbashin.deviantart.com/).

Anxe
2014-12-20, 05:53 PM
Alliance Session #42/Total Session #53
This session was attended by thewamp, Throgg, Salzar, Zigfried, and Ozymandias. The session was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 as usual. I arrived late because I was celebrating my dad's birthday with him. This meant the session was quite short. We are also coming up on our group's Fake New Years Eve party where we meet up in person and play games all night. We usually don't play the campaign, plus the holidays will delay any updates. Have a happy holiday either way!

With one of the dreams figured out and tied up (at least until they needed to figure out what exactly the Touch of Nature does) the party decided to tackle one of the other dreams, Tagenadi's. His dream came from Hades, Lord of the Underworld, who told him to "Find the lots!" But what exactly were the lots? Puzzling over it came up with multiple answers. The favorite answer was that the lots refered to the three Fates. Our group of adventurers wanted some outside confirmation on this though and where better to get confirmation on prophetic dreams than the Oracle at Delphi!
The Oracle required an offering of some kind though. King Croesus of Lydia had offered the Oracle six tons of gold when he consulted with her before going to war with Persia. What could the party offer? They had a small cash reserve along with a collection of valuable magical items. One item stayed unused in their portable hole though, a +5 Holy Undead Bane Disruption Scimatar taken from one of the guardians of the Lich Shade. No one had used it and the party had been unable to sell it. Some members resisted selling it as the scimatar was the most powerful weapon in their posession, but eventually the party realized that their own resistance to giving up the scimatar was why it would be a good offering. An offering to the Oracle must feel significang and the scimatar surely was.
After a little more discussion on what they would ask the Oracle, Amalius teleported the group to the holy shrine of the Pythia.
A line of pilgrims stood out front, but they parted as the party walked up to the temple. Magic is not a common presence in the lands outside of Cimmeria and the party was positively dripping with it. The pilgrims respected this force and stepped aside.
A priest on the steps of the columned temple greeted the party, "Welcome great lords. With whom do I have the honor of speaking?"
Amalius introduced himself and his friends.
"You are most welcome to the shrine of the Pythia. I trust you have brought a sacrifice to match your stature."
Amalius pulled the scimatar out of his portable hole and unsheathed it. The sword glowed with holy green light. The preist marveled at it and took it in his hands. He felt the power within the sword and quickly sheathed it.
"A fitting gift indeed. Please, enter."
The priest led the group onto the shrine and past the first room where a few other worshippers were gathered. They entered the antechamber of the temple where a large painted statue of Apollo stood. At the back of the room hung a thick burgundy curtain. Standing in front of the curtain was a Greek woman wearing simple clothes.
The priest spoke to the Pythia, "These are great men come far from Cimmeria to ask for your guidance." The priest introduced each member of the party. "You may ask your question when ready."
Tagenadi spoke and Amalius translated, "Oh, Pythia. I have had a dream sent to me by Hades, Lord of Erebos, in which he commanded me to find the lots. Could you explain to me the significance of this dream and where I can find the lots?"
The Pythia nodded before retreating behind the curtain. Smoke rolled above the curtain and the slapping of skin against stone could be heard behind it. The woman let out eerie moans and the smell of sulphur and burned herbs assaulted the noses of all who were present.
(I learned about the Pythia from Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe (http://www.larrygonick.com/) and used a page from the book to visually represent the Pythia to my players. Here it is!)

http://s1.postimg.org/du12zl731/The_Pythia.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/azxxm54wr/full/)

The Pythia emerged, sweaty and tired. The priest approached her and she whispered into his ear. The priest looked shocked. He took the Pythia's hand to support her and turned to the party, "The Pythia has been surprisingly direct. She says, 'Consult Homer's first book, the fifteenth of it."
Amalius, being familiar with the structure of the book, quickly realized that she meant Book 15 of the Iliad. Eathirilu was well versed in his Homer and, upon prompting by Amalius, recited the relevant passage from memory,
"Poseidon was enraged:
‘He may be powerful, but this is arrogance,
to try and restrain me against my will, and threaten force,
I who share equal honour with himself. Three brothers are we, sons of Cronos and Rhea,
Zeus and I and Hades, Lord of the Dead.
The world was divided in three, and each received his domain.
When the lots were cast, I won the grey sea
for my home forever, while Hades had the dense darkness beneath.
Zeus may have taken the wide heavens, the cloud and air,
but Earth and lofty Olympus are common to us all.
So I will not submit to Zeus’s will. Despite his power,
let him stay quietly in his own third.
And let him not try to frighten me, as if I were a coward.
Let him menace his sons and daughters with angry words,
he begot them and they are forced to listen to his urgings.’"
So the lots meant the dice that had chosen which of the three greater gods would rule over which domain. And Hades wanted them. Hades, who had gotten the worst of the three with his prize. The group suspected that the lots might've been loaded by Zeus to give him the sky. Perhaps Hades wanted to check the dice to ensure the accuracy of that long ago game of chance? For whatever reason he wanted them, where were the dice now?
The grouped held a strong suspicion that the dice were with Hermes. Hermes is the god of chance, boundaries, trickery, thieving, and agreements. Many things that applied to the rolling of the lots that the three great gods did in the past. But if Hermes had the lots would he give them up? Amalius sent his mind out into the universe to find out. He came back with this answer,
"The dice are with their keeper,
The god of luck and circumstance,
His name is Hermes,
To gain them, play a game of chance."
So Hermes did have the lots! But a game of chance? Wouldn't that be risky against the god of luck himself?
Tagenadi said, "Well, Amalius' vision didn't say we had to win. Only that we had to play."
Danar added, "And a game of chance isn't any different than what we adventurers do on a daily basis. We risk our lives every day. How would this been any different?"
How could the party talk to Hermes though?

The group was discussing this as the session drew to a close. I left at that point to go to bed early.

Anxe
2015-01-21, 10:15 PM
Alliance Session #43/Total Session #54
This session was attended by Middle_Snu, Throgg, Salzar, and Ozymandias. Yes, Middle_Snu was one of those people! He's not back from Israel, but we changed our session time to start in the morning so that he could attend for part of it. Middle_Snu's microphone doesn't work well with Google Hangouts, so instead of using that like we usually do we switched to Skype for voice and video with the actual website of Roll20 for tabletop interaction.

With thewamp and Zigfried absent, the remaining players elected to look more into the Lots at a later time. Tagenadi and Danar spent this session working on their martial skills. Danar was a bit out of practice, being dead for several centuries, so he needed some work.
The rest of the group consisting of Torin, Hektor, Amalius, and Eathirilu headed to Nomingburg to examine various things directing them there. The note in Amalius' room left by Amalgami directed the group to Nomingburg. Hektor's dream from Prometheus directed the group to Nomingburg. The leader of Nomingburg, Duke Jingo, also had ties to Stanton who Amalius and Tagenadi have some personal enmity towards. Finally, the Dahak monster offered his Pitchfork of Doom in trade for the party to "divide Nomingburg." The party needs this pitchfork to bring Zeus back to life.
Nomingburg is a town inhabited mostly by halflings. Most buildings are restricted to being under five feet tall resulting in most of the city being underground. There are a few exceptions, most notably the Hotel Nomingburg run by a genial half-orc named Toto.
Several different assassins guilds dominate the political scene in Nomingburg. A few decades ago the assassins guilds were engaged in open street fighting to control the city and vie for contracts. The chaos resulted in a fire that almost destroyed the city. At that point and independent halfling assassin named Jingo mediated negotiations between the guilds that ended the violence and made Jingo ruler and Duke of Nomingburg. Duke Jingo is getting on in the years now and many rumors circulate that he is looking for the means to extend his life.
The four assassin guilds in Nomingburg represent four different prestige classes, the basic Assassin, the old Ninja of the Crescent Moon from Song and Silence, the corrupted Blackguard, and the deadly Blood Magus.
The party popped off to Nomingburg with the goal of speaking to Duke Jingo and finding clues for how Amalgami was involved in this mess.

Upon arrival the group got a suite at Hotel Nomingburg. After settling in to their rooms they went to Duke Jingo's Palace to ask for an audience. They approached the Palace doors where two guards stood. Torin said, "We'd like to meet with Duke Jingo."
The guard on the right said, "And I'd like to sit down while I'm on guard duty, but we don't always get what we want do we?"
"It's rather important."
"Uh-huh. I'm sure. Soooo important that I'll just let you in without learning your names, your business, and taking your weapons. Is that right?"
Amalius piped up, "It's a private matter that we want to discuss with Duke Jingo alone."
"Well, well. A private matter! I shoud've know it was one of those. One of his honeys got pregnant? Go right ahead then!" The guard gave a mock bow and gestured towards the door.
The other guard began to snigger beore saying, "We can't let you in without knowing why you're here and who you are."
Hektor said, "Of course. My apologies. I am Lord Hektor Rackgard. These are my associates, Lord Torin Stoneblade, Eathirilu Treeheart, and Amalius Halkias the Psion."
"And my name is Romar," said the guard on the right, "Pleased to meet ya! Now your business."
Amalius said, "It's a matter from his childhood. I really think we should discuss it with him in private."
"Ooo! A matter from his childhood! One of his old honeys from childhood got pregnant and never got around to telling him until a hundred years later when he's ready to kick the bucket. Is that it?"
"No! His brother! It's about his brother!"
"His brother's pregnant? Now I've heard everything!" Both the guards kneeled over laughing and slapping their thighs.
Torin said to the rest of the group, "We probably need to bribe these people. Do you think ten gold woud be enough?"
Romar said, "Enough to buy me a pie, but not enough for you to get inside!"
"How about fifty gold then."
"Now you're talking. I'll take a message inside for fifty gold."
Amalius said, "Give him the gold Torin. And you," he pointed at Romar, "Tell Duke Jingo that we know where his brother Stanton is. The albino brother. We'll be staying at Hotel Nomingburg if he sends a reply."
"You got it chief. Pregnant albino brother named Stanton. Send a message to Lord Rackgard at Hotel Nomingburg," said Romar. Torin gave him the gold and the two guards split up their proceeds as the party walked away.
Torin said, "Do you think they'll actually tell Duke Jingo?"
Hektor said, "If not we can probably arrange a meeting through Toto. He knows a lot of people in town. It's just a matter of paying off the right people."

The party spoke to Toto about arranging a meeting with Duke Jingo. He said it would take 500 gold pieces and several days, but he could manage it. The group coughed up the money and enjoyed the comforts of Hotel Nomingburg.
When the group bedded down for the night Hektor headed into a magnificent mansion spell in his room. Torin went to sleep in his room. Amalius feared some sort of night attack and meditated instead of sleeping with the plan of receiving a restoration spell from Torin in the morning to recover. Eathirilu slept out on the balcony in his natural panda form despite their being a room and bed available for him in the suite.
In the night Eathirilu felt the sharp sting of negative energy coursing through his body. He awoke and found he could not move. He opened his eyes and saw a skeletal face holding a bony finger to its teeth. "Shhh..." said the skeleton floating in front of the balcony.
Unable to move, but still able to take purely mental actions, Eathirilu transformed into a T-Rex and collapsed the balcony.

http://s11.postimg.org/3xxg17v83/Session_54.jpg

With a giant crash he fell into the interior courtyard of Hotel Nomingburg and awoke most of the guests. Amalius, already awake prepared himself by casting iron body. Merlot the psicrystal mentally checked in on Eathirilu to figure out what happened. Eathirilu telepathically informed Merlot that he'd been attacked by a flying skeleton in robes and mithral armor. Torin awoke and scrambled for his spear and his holy symbol. Hektor remained unaware in his mansion.
The skeleton flew up and shouted at Eathirilu, "Tell the little puppy that I want to speak to him privately!" The skeleton blasted Eathirilu with an energy drain that sucked off five levels before it flew off to the north.
Merlot, Amalius, and Torin came out, but the skeleton had already gone. Eathirilu transformed into a sparrow and Amalius flew down to pick up his paralyzed form. The group retired into the magnificent mansion while the guests and the hotel authorities dealt with the broken balcony.
Torin restored two of Eathirilu's levels with previously prepared restoration spells. The paralysis was removed with a heal spell. The group quickly guessed that the skeleton was Amalgami the lich. Wanting to deal with him immediately they flew off to the north to find him.
As they went north Merlot spoke, "Wait! He's behind us! He's speaking to me telepathically. He says he wants to meet with Amalius alone. I don't think its a good idea, master."
After thinking for a few seconds Amalius said, "I'll go meet him. Merlot, you tell everyone else exactly what's going on. The rest of you be ready to come in if things go south."
Amalius flew down into an alleyway where his grandfather awaited him.
"Hello little puppy. It's good to see you again. Haven't you missed me?"
Amalius shuddered.
"Come now. Is that anyway to treat your grandfather?"
"What do you want?"
"You've been a bad little puppy. Breaking things and letting prisoners free. And now the prisoners are being approached by the Xorians. And you know how that'll turn out."
"What are you talking about?"
"Do I need to spell it out for you? You broke the Red Orb of Dragonkind, puppy. And the Xorians are sending Devanane, you know him? The one who put you into a little orb of your own? Well, he's a dragon priest of some sorts and he's going to Invernix and Sartoria to see if they want a piece of the dragon pantheon pie. And if they join you know the rest of the dragons will join, and then where will you be?"
"Why do you care?"
"Because I want this war to keep going. The Trojan War didn't destroy Greece because one side crushed the other. It destroyed Greece because both sides were even and it took ten years for one side to defeat the other, and then another ten years of chaos after that! And Eris doesn't want this war to end yet either. No no no! She wants it to keep going and going for a long while yet. And the dragons will disrupt that. If they join the Xorians... I just don't see how your pitiful efforts will matter. The Xorians will win. I can't have that. You can't have that. We both benefit." If skeletons could grin more than they usually do, Amalgami would be doing it.
"So what do you want me to do? Kill Devanane?"
"That won't do anything. The Xorians will just send another messenger. I want you to kill the dragons! Oh, and I also want you to take my little dagger out of his prison. If he's not out then I can't talk to you. And you know how much I like talking with my grandson..."
Amalius took Korm out of his glove of storing. Korm yawned, "Ahhh! So good to be free! Oh hey boss! Good to see you again."
Amalius said, "So you want me to kill the red dragons? What are you offering in return?"
"Please, this isn't a bargain. We both benefit from the dragons' death. I can offer my own considerable magical power in defeating the dragons. Whatever you need little puppy. I'm yours to command."
"Hmmm..."
"Need some time to think it over? That's fine! Whatever you decide, just tell little Korm there. Now I'll be taking my leave. Do you have a hug for your grandpa?" Amalgami stretched out his skeletal arms. Amalius kept his arms firmly at his sides, holding Korm. "No hugs? Ah well. Be seeing you." With that, Amalgami flew away to the south.
The group decided to do nothing about Amalgami's offer for now. They went back to the hotel and spoke with the attendants. They explained that Eathirilu had a night terror and he sleep transformed into a dinosaur. The group assured the hotel staff that future transformations would be avoided and gave them a large sum of money to cover the damages. The group went to sleep.

In the morning they received word that Duke Jingo would see them tomorrow. The messenger indicated that he had some extra information to offer for a price. Amalius gave him a small bribe and the messenger said, "When Duke Jingo heard the name of Amalius, his face was surprised for a second before he covered with his usual stone-cold poker face." Amalius thanked the messenger for this information and sent him on his way.
After waiting around for another day they went to the Duke's Palace once more. Romar met them out front, "Hey, Hey! If it isn't Lord Rackgard and his entourage! Duke Jingo decided he did want to hear about his brother. Come on in."
The group went in. Romar took their weapons and directed them through a room to the left to a study where Duke Jingo sat behind an ornate wooden desk. The Duke was quite tall for a halfling and also quite old. His wrinkled skin and slow movements showed that he was clearly getting on in the years. Behind Jingo stood an old human wearing all black with his hands resting on two dagger sheaths in his belt. Romar took his leave.
Duke Jingo said, "My servants have told me about you. Hektor Rackgard, Amalius Halkias, Torin Stoneblade, and Eathirilu Treeheart. I know about you. I understand you have something to tell me about my brother."
Amalius said, "My lord, do you trust your servant there?" Amalius pointed at the old man in black.
"Elijas? Yes, completely. He is my bodyguard."
"Then I'll continue. We have news of your brother. He gained some scales you might say."
"If you're saying that Stanton became a Dragovinian, I'm not particularly surprised by that fact."
"But he's since lost those scales. He's now a mortal halfling once again."
"And? What is he like?"
Torin said, "He's young and healthy. Working for the Xorian rebellion." Amalius gave Torin a glare. He'd hoped they wouldn't reveal that information. If Jingo was looking for ways to lengthen his life then the idea of becoming a Dragovinian and then undoing it to become young again might attract him to the Xorian cause. Torin continued, "But he's lost his memory. Doesn't remember a thing about his life before he was changed back to a mortal." Amalius gritted his teeth. This presented an even worse picture where going Dragovinian didn't leave a realistic option of changing back.
Jingo said, "Now that's at least partially interesting. I'll have to file that away. Is that all you came to tell me? That my brother is mortal once again? He might be bareable to be around if he's lost his memory, but I doubt it. We haven't spoken for decades and I'd like to keep it that way."
Amalius said, "I suppose if your grace prefers to switch topics there is something else we'd like to discuss."
"Please."
"The other night we were attacked at the Hotel Nomingburg by a lich named, Amalgami. You wouldn't know anything about that would you?"
Jingo visibly perked up from his previously dour self, "Ohoho! I was looking forward to this! One of the more interesting contracts I've encountered. The lich paid for a hit on the King of Aractrash! But he wanted to make it interesting so he told me to tell you if you showed up. So it could be a 'contest of wits' or something like that. Ridiculous isn't it? But fascinating too."
Hektor said, "Excuse me? Did you say that someone is going to try and assassinate King Ballard?"
"Yes. Left two days ago actually."
"Is there anything else you can tell us about who you sent? Which guild, how many, that sort of thing?"
"I'd rather not say. It's not in my usual habits to give away any information about an assassination attempt, but when a client pays good money for me to give that information away... It's actually quite satisfying."
Hektor said to the rest of the group, "We have to go immediately. If the killer is walking, then he won't be there for months. But if he teleported... He's got two days on us. The King could already be dead."
The party left Jingo's Palace with swift goodbyes, settled their bill at Hotel Nomingburg, and teleported to Yuettencal, the capital of Aractrash, the Jungle Kingdom.

Hektor rushed through the city followed by the others to the castle at the center. Guards stopped him at the entrance. Hektor brushed past them, "I am Lord Hektor Rackgard of Lakatia. I will speak with the King immediately on a matter of the utmost importance."
The group entered King Ballard's court where supplicants brought their disputes to be arbitrated by his highness. Amalius, remembering that King Ballard's father was humiliated, partially due to Amalgami's betrayal, telepathed to the rest of the party, "Call me Alan while we're here. The King probably hates anybody related to my grandfather."
At this point I gave the players a document detailing all the high ranking members of Ballard's court. The document is spoilered for readers to look at as well. While no such document exists in game, it is information that most of them would've picked up either through their Knowledge (Nobility) ranks, by living in Lakatia over the past few weeks, or if you're Hektor, because you know these people personally.
King Ballard (Dragon rider. Middle aged. Reserved, but ready to be a hero for his people.)
Kinderax (The family silver dragon mount. King Willard, Ballard's father, rode her into battle against the Xorians forty years ago. She is in her second century of life.)
Kash-to-bar "Clank" (Hobgoblin bodyguard and best friend of Ballard.)

Queen Traliya (Noble daughter from the Human Isle. Political marriage, but successful. She doesn't deal well with men, but gets along well with women.)
Tracer (Female elf bodyguard of Queen Traliya.)
Julia (Handmaiden who protects Traliya from unwanted attention.)
Halvira (Handmaiden who does most of the menial tasks for Queen Traliya.)

Prince Staynard (Young prince ready for war with Xoria. Bad at fighting and intimidated by his father and the dragon.)
Talfdir (Staynard's unsavory friend from Balin's Holt.)
Shasta (Staynard's small, but noble friend.)
Hongen (Staynard's joker friend who is also a spy for King Ballard.)

General Kokinspiel (Specialized in jungle logistics. He is in charge of moving the King's gold and spiderwire. Seems hard, but loves to laugh as well.)
Lord Valen (Ballard's younger brother. In charge of the gold mines. Resents his inferior position, but accepts it as the will of Zeus. Also in charge of information network of spies/propoganda for Ballard.)
High Priest Alkmedemos (Older man who married Ballard's sister, Evagenia. Suspected that he bought his priesthood, but he is an excellent priest. Often speaks in metaphors or references myths no matter how inappropriate or not the reference is.)
General Dalen "Shock N' Awe" (Supreme commander of the military. Known for stretching the limits of the no magic war laws. Would like war with Xoria, but respects the King and has set up terrifying defenses.)
Admiral Lucas (Bitter that naval power is seen as a backseat to a mobile land force.)

King Ballard sat on his throne wearing his royal robes and crown. The crier stepped forward and announced, "Presenting Lord Hektor Rackgard of Lakatia, Lord Torin Stoneblade, and their companions, Eathirilu Treeheart and Alan the psion."
Hektor stepped forward and bowed before his liege. "My king, I wish to speak to you on a matter of grave importance."
Ballard spoke, "I admit I have wished to speak with you Lord Rackgard. Don't think your visits to Bradel Fields have gone unnoticed. I'm not pleased that you've gone over my head in this manner. Not pleased at all." The King looked down awaiting a response.
"Your highness, I have just learned that the Xorians have hired an assassin to kill your majesty. I ask that you adjourn court so that we may discuss this matter in private."
Ballard stared at Hektor, "You're serious?" Hektor nodded. The king sighed. "Well then. Court is adjourned for today. I ask that my advisors meet with me and Hektor in the war room."
The guards began clearing the room of the supplicants. King Ballard signaled his attendants and Hektor to follow him. The party went along as well.
The two groups met in the war room around a large oval table. Various maps were kept in bookcases along with books on military strategies and logistic tactics. A glass cabinet next to the bookcases held figures to be used for troop movements in battle planning. King Ballard sat down with Lord Valen, General Kokinspiel, High Priest Alkmedemos, General Dalen, Admiral Lucas, and the new Archmage Preta joining him. The King's hobgoblin bodyguard, Clank, stood by the door. Hektor sat opposite the king on the oval table with Torin, Eathirilu, and Amalius next to him. You may recognize the name of Preta as that of Ozymandias' previous character. That's right! After escaping the Bradel Fields jail he fled to Aractrash and took a position in King Ballard's court.
King Ballard started the meeting by asking, "So tell me Hektor, what is this assassination attempt?"
"Your majesty, I learned only an hour ago that the Xorians have hired an assassin from Nomingburg to kill you. The assassin left Nomingburg two days ago. I don't know if the assassin has magically come here already or if they are coming via mundane means. Frankly, I don't even know if the assassin is one person or a group. I came here to help as soon as I could."

Now I as a narrator would like to do this meeting justice, but its difficult to act out seven NPCs all at once in a session. I didn't even try to be honest. The established personalities will be useful to have at later points, I'm sure, but it was too much to attempt. I established the King's personality as a reasonable man, Lord Valen as a filial younger brother, and Alkmedemos as an overly religious man. The other characters didn't get to do much of anything.
What exactly happened during the meeting? They discussed the possibility that the assassination attempt was a ruse. Perhaps the Xorians had sent an inept assassin, hoping that the forewarning the King received would result in the assassin's death. It fit the Xorians MO for executions, but seemed too unlikely to not take the necessary precautions (The readers should also note that while the party told the King that the Xorians paid for the assassination, it was in fact paid for by Amalgami).
Lord Valen noted that an annoying halfling merchant from Nomingburg had arrived in court two days ago hoping to establish a trade contract for redwire. They had dismissed him as ridiculous as redwire is something of a military secret to Aractrash. Redwire's lightweight and strength make it doubly effective as leather for defending one's self. Perhaps this merchant, named Morin, was the assassin? Nearly everyone suspeted this as a red herring, but not wanting to take chances, Lord Valen sent out to capture Morin.
Amalius/Alan went to a different room led by a random servant to perform a divination to learn more about the assassin. He received this message,
"Someone soon will kill the King,
With quarrel or blade, they will stab him,
But the mask this person wears will be,
Someone very close to thee."
This brought some good information. The "thee" in the prophecy was unclear. Did it refer to Amalius or King Ballard? Either way, that meant that the assassin would likely disguise themselves as one of the people in the war room or someone in the royal family. The assassin would use a crossbow or a blade to kill the king. The attempt would come within a week (divination is only accurate for events within a week). Perhaps the most shocking part of this message was that someone will kill the king, not attempt to kill, but will kill. Was opposition to the assassination attempt hopeless? If all else failed the party hoped they could still resurrect King Ballard, but the king preferred to avoid that fail safe.
After suggesting various defenses the party landed on several good ideas.
1. Increase security around the castle. Doubled watches, new passwords, etc.
2. Check anyone entering the castle for concealed weapons.
3. Torin had a pair of true seeing goggles that could be active constantly to detect for magically disguised people. While Torin can't keep watch constantly, he could swap shifts with Clank to ensure the king's safety.
4. Eathirilu could cast foresight on the king to warn him against any incoming sneak attacks.
5. The King's advisors and the party could create a system of rotating passwords to ensure that if one of them was replaced, they'd know.
6. Prior to implementing the password system Alkmedemos and Torin could verify the identity of the people in Ballard's group and Hektor's group.
7. Closing the circle, Torin and Alkmedemos could use truth magic to ensure that the other one of that pair was not working with the assassin. Thus the only way the assassin could infiltrate those "close to thee" would be if the assassins had already replaced Torin and Alkmedemos in which case they would vouch for each other.

After deciding on these formidable defenses, Middle_Snu had to leave. While it was only 3PM for us, it was 1AM for him on a Sunday, meaning a workday once he woke up. He said goodnight and we ended the session there. The questioning of the those "close to thee" had not taken place yet.

Anxe
2015-01-29, 08:26 PM
Alliance Session #44/Total Session #55
This session was attended by Salzar, Middle_Snu, Throgg, and Ozymandias. Zigfried is in the process of moving to California and couldn't make it. Thewamp was participating in a Hearthstone tournament. I think he ended up getting in the top 16 out of 60 people. The session was held using Skype for voice and video and Roll20's website for die rolling. Note that I didn't say tabletop interaction this time, because there wasn't any during this session. Enjoy!

The first step in the anti-assassination plan was to clear everyone in the war room. King Ballard cleared asked personal questions of all his subordinates in private to clear them while High Priest Alkmedemos cast discern lies and interrogated the party.
(The interrogations were carried out with everyone still on the Sykpe call, but separated in character. The questions were also asked sequentially. I asked Hektor the first question, then I asked that question to Eathirilu, then Amalius, then Torin. Then I went back to Hektor and asked the second question, then Eathirilu, etc.)
Everyone answered something along the lines of "Amalgami hired the assassin through Duke Jingo of Nomingburg.
Hektor: Lord Hektor Rackgard of Lakatia.
Eathirilu: Eathirilu Treeheart.
Amalius: Amalius Halkias.
Alkmedemos looked up at that answer and said, "The grandson of Amalgami?"
"Yes."
"Betraying you family for the greater good as Orestes did, eh? We'll have to come back to that then won't we?"
Torin: Torin Stoneblade.
Hektor: No.
Eathirilu: No.
Amalius: No.
Torin: No.
Hektor: They were hired from Duke Jingo as some sort of test for Amalius. And the assassin left Nomingburg two days ago.
Eathirilu: Amalgami hired the assassin two days ago in Nomingburg.
Amalius: Amalgami hired the assassin to kill King Ballard. The assassin left Nomingburg two days ago.
Torin: Amalgami hired the assassin to kill King Ballard as a test for Amalius. I think its some sort of contest between them that the lich set up.
Hektor: No.
Eathirilu: No.
Amalius: No.
Torin: No.
I should note that I clarified this question to the players. Alkmedemos was looking for any "sleeper agents" who might have some sort of programmed response to kill King Ballard when they were alone with him.
Hektor: No, but in the interest of full disclosure I do have a contingent teleport that will take me back to my home in Lakatia if I get knocked out.
Eathirilu: No.
Amalius: No, I do have my psicrystal, Merlot though.
Torin: No.
As Amalius had identified himself as the grandson of Amalgami and not "Alan" Alkmedemos had a few more questions for him.
"Are you still in contact with your grandfather?"
"He speaks to me sometimes, but I never seek him out. He's despicable."
"Are you working with him on this assassination?"
"No. I'm working against him."
"Do you have any plans to betray the Alliance or Aractrash to the Xorians?"
"No. Never."
"What are your goals in your exploits with Hektor and the others?"
"To overthrow the Xorians. They kidnapped my family. We've been reunited, but I plan to make them pay."
"I see. I trust you Amalius. I shall make your case to King Ballard myself. Zeus Pitar willing, he will grant you clemency in the court."
After hearing Alkmedemos' endorsement of Amalius, King Ballard allowed Amalius to remain with the same trust and respect that he gave the other companions.
The party also wanted to ask the same set of questions to Alkmedemos to see if he was working with the assassin. Along with a few questions of their own. Eathirilu acted as a lie detector using his high sense motive skill.
Who hired the assassin or assassins?
To the best of my knowledge, Amalgami the Betrayer did.

What is your real name?
Alkmedemos son of Theseus.

Are you working with the assassin or assassins?
No.

What do you know about the assassin or assassins?
Only what you have told me.

Are you the assassin or one of the assassins?
No.

Do you have any special magical or mental triggers?
No.

Do you have any gaps in your memory over the last two months?
No. I can't drink as much as Bacchus anymore. Getting on in my years, you know.

What are your opinions on Aractrash joining the war against Xoria?
I stand with the King, but I wouldn't be against taking the fight to those undead.


Amalius set up his password of the day system for everyone who got close to the king and the defense began! The divinatio from last session would've only worked if the assassination attempt was coming within a week, so the party waited, ready for the assassin.
During the week, King Ballard had a conversation with his old archmage, Hektor.
Ballard admonished Hektor, "I've heard you're working with the Alliance now. I don't appreciate you going over my head in this. I chose to stay out of that war for a reason."
Hektor said, "I respect your majesty's opinions, but frankly they are wrong. This war is not something you can choose to keep out of. You are the single strongest power that could oppose the Xorians and you choose not to. Without your aid the Alliance has no hope against the Xorians. They will lose and where next will Blendegad turn his serpentine eyes? South to the jungles that fought him in the last War of the Alliance."
"And it was in that last war that the Xorians captured and killed 10,000 Aractrashan lives. I won't subject my people to such brutality."
"Those people were only captured due to the actions of the Betrayer, Amalgami. Amalgami isn't on our side in this war."
"We do have his grandson here, although Alkmedemos said he could be trusted. What about Amalgami himself though? He's the one who hired this assassin. Why?"
"Amalgami is a follower of Eris, goddess of strife. My guess is that he wants you to join the war so that no city in Cimmeria will be at peace. The assassin is just a means of stirring things up."
"Hmm... Well he has stirred things up. I'll consider your arguments again. With Phoenix lost to the Xorians you may be right. The Alliance may not stand a chance without Aractrash and it is better to fight with allies than without. No promises though."
"Thank you, your majesty."
"It's good to have you back at court, Hektor. You make me think."

You may remember Morin the halfling merchant from Nomingburg, that the party had dismissed as a red herring? Lord Valen interrogated him and found that he was, indeed, a red herring. Morin was removed from Yuettencal to make sure, but it is very unlikely that Morin is the assassin.

Three days after the meeting in the war room, the assassin struck. At night. The defenses in place were Torin, Eathirilu, and Amalius. Ballard had rejected Hektor's offer of a magnificent mansion to sleep in. He preferred his own bed. Torin stood outside the door wearing the true seeing goggles and a ring of friend shielding. The other ring was on Ballard's own finger. Any damage that one took would be shared with the other.
Eathirilu slept on the roof next to the windows of King Ballard's rooms. Even sleeping, a panda druid's ears can catch a lot of sounds. Amalius wafted through the halls of the castle in a shadowy form, looking for any mental signature out of place. All seemed normal.
Torin felt a sharp pain and an enormous wound opened in his chest. The King had been attacked! Torin flung the door open and saw something strange. The King stood, holding a bloody rapier over the body of... the King. Apparently the King with the rapier had stabbed the sleeping King in the bed. The King with the rapier had a similar wound in his chest as well. Torin cast mass heal on himself and the King in the bed, assuming that the King with the rapier was probably the assassin in some sort of disguise that could fool true seeing. Unfortunately, it was too late for the King in the bed. He had already died. Amalius' divination came true.

http://s27.postimg.org/yyftg4283/Session_55.jpg

The assassin King pulled out a crossbow and shot at Torin. The quarrel went through a chink in Torin's armor, but instead of hurting the dwarf, it nailed him to the door he'd just come through. The assassin turned and dove out the nearest window. The plink of the quarrel hitting the Torin's armor awoke Eathirilu. He looked over the side of the roof to investigate and saw the assassin clinging to the exterior walls of the keep.
Torin cast freedom of movement on himself, easily removed the quarrel and dashed to the window to see the assassin as well. The assassin looked up at Torin and Eathirilu and smiled. He let go of the wall and cast a spell as he fell. He disappeared before hitting the ground.
Torin shouted, "Dimension door! He'll have to be nearby! Search for him!"
Eathirilu cast true seeing, changed into a sparrow and flew around the castle bailey, looking for someone who looked exactly like King Ballard. Torin drank a potion of fly and joined Eathirilu in the search.
Amalius, in making his rounds of the castle passed by King Ballard's room once more. He sensed neither Torin nor Ballard's mental presence within. He investigated and found the King murdered. Calling on his great psionic might, Amalius bent reality and undid the King's death. Ballard breathed once more, but the wound in his chest remained. He did not awake. (bend reality used to copy psionic revivify for 800XP. Revivify restores the target to life, but at -1HP.)
Amalius telepathed to Torin on one of his flybys and learned what happened. Torin came down and cast heal on the King. Eathirilu also came down, having looked all over the castle courtyard and around the exterior. If the assassin was outside and still in the area, he would've found him by now.
King Ballad woke up and mumbled a few groggy incoherent words. Amalius said, "Your majesty. You died. We brought you back to life."
"What? Died? I don't feel like I died."
"You're still injured your majesty, see?"
The King looked down at the bleeding wound in his chest. Torin's heals had repaired some of the tissue damage, but not all of it. "What happened?"
The group repeated their experiences. At the end of the short tale King Ballard said, "Call my court. I need to speak to my people."
Amalius said, "My lord it might be best to get you to a safe place first."
"I said to call my court. I didn't ask for back talk."
"Of course. My apologies." Amalius left to summon the people who were present in the war room previously. Torin healed King Ballard back to full while they waited.
When Clank, Dalen, Valen, Alkmedemos, Kokinspiel, Lucas, and Preta were present the story was repeated.
King Ballard said, "You people are supposed to protect me and the assassin got past all our defenses. I want something done now!"
Hektor said, "Your majesty, you could still sleep inside the magical mansion. I do it myself. It's quite comfortable. You wouldn't miss anything on the outside."
"Fine. It seems appropriate given the circumstances. Now can we track this teleportation that the assassin used? It might give us a clue on how he got through our defenses. He shouldn't have been able to teleport into the castle grounds from outside. Maybe he teleported back to where he got in. And find out how he disguised himself through true seeing!"
The court murmured their agreement.
"Now the sleep of the dead does not do much for my health. I will go with Hektor to the extradimensional mansion for the night. Clank will keep watch from within Hektor's rooms. Torin, give him your goggles. We'll meet in the morning to discuss this further."
The room cleared out as everyone followed the King's orders.

In the morning there was news of another attack. The assassin took on the face of Clank this time and attacked Lord Valen in his chambers. Lord Valen fought off the assassin until the guard showed up. The guard took a few more seconds to get into Valen's rooms as the door was still locked. The assassin disappeared once more when the guards arrived.
Hektor's entourage met with the King and his court in the war room once more.
King Ballard said, "I'm through playing defense with this bastard. We have to find him and take him out, not the other way around. I'm also worried about my family. We should assign a security detail to them and have them sleep in the mansion with me. Hektor can protect us from within if the assassin somehow gets inside while Clank watches the outside. Now I want to hear ideas on how to catch this shapeshifter!"
The group came up with a few ideas, but nothing concrete. Trace teleport, a psion power, could track the assassin's dimension doors, but only if it was cast immediately afterwards. There was also the question of how the assassin's disguises were fooling true seeing. Hektor remembered that there was a halfling that had figured out how to get around true seeing, but could not recall any of the details.

We ended the session at that point, but discussion of how to combat and find the assassin have continued in emails afterwards. King Ballard and Lord Valen were both keen on figuring out how the assassin got into the castle. Hektor thought another divination might be in order to figure out who the assassin would attack next. Amalius and Eathirilu began to suspect that Lord Valen had been replaced by the assassin, but only spoke about this in private with each other and Torin.

Anxe
2015-03-04, 02:55 PM
Alliance Session #45/Total Session #56
This session was attended by Throgg, Ozymandias, Salzar, and Middle_Snu. It was held using Skype for voice and Roll20 for the the tabletop. The player I've previously referred to as Longshanks is changing his screen name to Zigfried. I'll be changing his name throughout the thread accordingly. Zigfied is also going to take a break from playing with us for awhile, but will hopefully be back soon!

In the morning the King, his entourage, and the party met once more in the war room. It was quickly decided that the King and his family would sleep in the magnificent mansion each night until the assassin was caught. Hektor would sleep in there with them. Tracer, the Queen's bodyguard, would guard the royal family within the mansion while Clank kept watch outside wearing Torin's goggles of true seeing.
The assembled group also attempted a few methods of tracking the assassin down. Torin, having seen the murder weapon previously, tried a locate object spell on that. The spell failed, meaning the rapier was either out of range or warded from divination somehow.
Hektor tried a scrying spell, but was unable to hone in on the assassin with the limited information available.
A final magical attempt to find the assassin was made by Amalius with a divination spell once more. A new answer came back,
"The assassin seeks to replace someone soon
Either one with a blade or one with a loom
Carefully go with eyes open wide
The assassin will be the one who secretly rides."
The party immediately suspected all the women in the King's court. Earlier the Queen had insisted that her two handmaidens join her in the mansion as their help would be needed to alleviate the discomforts of having to sleep in a new place. The group suspected that the assassin would replace one of the handmaidens, the Queen, or Tracer. The party hatched a plot and didn't tell anybody in the King's entourage.
The day passed normally otherwise. No more assassination attempts and no great pressing business. Hektor attempted to find a suitable wife for himself. He was approached by Lady Badiana, the daughter of a count with small holdings similar to Lakatia. Hektor talked with her, but in the end rejected the lady. Her conversational talent didn't quite match his own, she wasn't particularly pretty, and marrying another small lord presented no chance of advancement for himself.

That night after the royal family and handmaidens were escorted into the mansion to sleep the party set their plot into motion. They left the mansion and waited about half an hour for everyone inside to go to sleep. They then returned to the mansion's entrance. Clank met them there.

http://s4.postimg.org/fstv2q9a5/Session_56.jpg

"Hello, did you forget something inside?"
Hektor said, "No, but we think the assassin may have gone inside while masquerading as one of the family or handmaidens. We want to go in and check."
"Seems unlikely with the passwords and brain scans that Amalius is doing, but lets take a look."
The group entered the mansion and took a look around. Torin and Hektor watched the door while Clank, Amalius, and Eathirilu went to examine everyone's rooms. The king and queen were a little miffed at being woken up and the handmaidens were frightened out of their wits. Prince Staynard didn't even wake up. After clearing everyone again, the party left.
Eathirilu, still suspecting something, changed into a fly and buzzed back into the mansion. He flitted around. Everyone was asleep except Tracer and Staynard. The prince had gotten up and was looking around the mansion in apparent amazement. Eathirilu flew back to the door to the king's room where Tracer stood guard.
Unfortunately for Eathirilu's senses and intuition were at their peak. A fly shouldn't be buzzing around a supernatural mansion cut off from the rest of the world. Tracer screamed an alert, "Assassin!" and drew her sword.
Eathirilu instantly changed back into his elf form, fell to his knees, and put his hands up. "It's me! I was just providing extra security!"
The king came out of his room, upset at being woken up once again. Hektor came out of his room as well. The king ordered Hektor to go get Amalius to examine Eathirilu. He might be the druid or he could be the assassin in disguise. Amalius confirmed Eathirilu's identity. Eathirilu's extra vigilance was also allowed to continue, now that the royal family knew about it. He walked around the mansion as a cat, smelling for anything out of the ordinary.

The next day at breakfast Prince Staynard and and his small friend, Shasta, asked a lot of questions about the mansion and how it worked. Hektor answered them as best he could without getting into the specifics of extradimensional theory.
After breakfast the party had a little interview set up with Kinderax, the court dragon that King Ballard rode into battle like his father before him.
Eathirilu acted as a human lie detector while Amalius led the questioning, "Who rides you Kinderax?"
"The King."
"Anyone else?"
"Well, Prince Staynard and Ballard's brother Valen have both ridden me in their lifetimes. Valen rode me when he was growing up. Willard had thought it best that both of them get training in case one of them was rendered incapable in an unfortunate accident. Staynard is training to take his place when Ballard dies."
"And no one else besides them?"
"Ballard has occasionally brought Queen Traliya on flights with him."
"No one else?"
"No one."
"And the others always ride with King Ballard?"
"Valen has not ridden in many years. Staynard and Traliya always ride with King Ballard. That is correct."
"Thank you, wise Kinderax."
"You are welcome."
Eathirilu detected no lies in this statement. If the "one who secretly rides" referred to riding Kinderax she was either a good liar or the divination meant something else.

King Ballard took Prince Staynard on a dragon riding lesson alone for the rest of the day. They didn't fear an assassination attempt while with Kinderax and away from the castle where the assassin was.
Upon returning Staynard felt energized asked Hektor to show him and his friends the mansion. Hektor agreed and Amalius tagged along. They gave the young men a tour while explaining the basics of how the mansion worked. Hektor left, giving the men some privacy. Amalius lingered for a moment. Should he leave Merlot behind to keep an eye on them? He decided against it, suspecting that the men were going to engage in some sexual experimentation and not wanting to witness it. Amalius left, bringing his psicrystal with him.

That night the royal family entered Hektor's mansion once again. The handmaidens, Hektor, and Tracer followed. Everyone went to sleep except Tracer and Clank. Tracer watched the king's door and Clank watched the mansion entrance on the outside. Eathirilu transformed into a bear and slept in front of the inside entrance. His supernatural hearing and smell would pick up anybody entering or exiting. Amalius wafted through the halls in a misty form, extending his mental senses for anything out of the ordinary.
Clank ran into the mansion and tripped over Eathirilu. He shouted, "The assassin blew by me. Everyone is looking for him in the castle grounds, but he could've teleported away. He looked like Staynard. We have to search the mansion!"
Eathirilu leaped up and they combed the premises. Staynard was gone. Tracer hadn't noticed anything, but when they went in the king's room, well...
The bed was covered in blood. The king was nowhere to be seen. Queen Traliya lay on the bed, still asleep, with blood splashed upon the side that the king normally laid next to her.
The handmaidens were still asleep.
A search of the castle grounds turned up nothing. The queen could not be woken. Torin cast a heal spell on her and she returned to consciousness.
She exclaimed, "He was here! The assassin was here! I didn't see him, but I felt him. He touched me and I couldn't move, or open my eyes, or even scream! Then he went to the other side of the bed and I heard him stab my husband. He dragged him off the bed, but I didn't hear him hit the ground. Then he left the same way he'd come."
Hektor asked, "And which way was that."
"I don't know!" The queen began crying and her handmaidens went to comfort her.
Clank said, "It ends tonight. We're finding that assassin and bringing the king's body back."
Torin said, "I think I might have a way."

We ended the session there!

Anxe
2015-03-09, 10:37 AM
Alliance Session #46/Total Session #57
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, Ozymandias, and Middle_Snu. Thewamp also came, but he was a little late. We used Skype for voice and video and Roll20 for tabletop interactions.

Torin's method for finding the assassin was a discern location. Infallible and able to penetrate all but the greatest divinations, the party used it on King Ballard. The spell revealed that Ballard's body was kept in the bag of holding of R, leader of the assassins guild of Nomingburg. Specifically Ballard's body was between the bodies of Staynard and Shasta.
Next Torin cast the same spell on R. The spell revealed his location as in the assassins guild hall in Nomingburg.
The party cast their buff spells and teleported off. Clank insisted on coming with them. They arrived outside the guild hall and Hektor shouted, "Give us the body of King Ballard or we will burn your guild hall to the ground!"
A few moments later and Ballard's body was tossed out the front door by two men in black.
"And the other two as well!"
Staynard and Shasta's bodies were tossed out next to Ballard.
Clank rushed forward and checked the bodies for signs of life while Amalius began casting a divination. Clank found that Ballard and Shasta were dead, but Staynard was still alive. Staynard was comatose or something, but alive.
Amalius' divination probed into the status of Ballard's soul. He got this response:
“Ballard's soul is imprisoned
Not to roam wild and free
Ballard's soul is held
By the Betrayer, Amalgami.”
Cursing, the party returned to Yuettencal with the bodies.
The group had a quick mental discussion of what to do next while Clank broke the news to the king's entourage.

The party decided that they needed to act quickly on the information Amalgami had granted them about the Xorians attempting to meet with Invernix and Sartoria. Guessing that Devanane would be the one sent, Hektor tried a scrying. It failed. Eathirilu, hoping for better luck, tried a greater scrying which proved successful.

http://s16.postimg.org/oy1sujw7p/Session_57.jpg

Eathirilu saw Devanane flying on the back of a shadowy dragon. The group teleported to Lakatia and picked up Tagenadi for extra muscle. After prepping their buff spells once more they teleported off to catch Devanane with his pants down.
They ported in and Amalius led off with a dominate. It was successful and Amalius ordered Devanane to shout out, "I am under the control of Amalius!"
Ignoring this obvious news, Eathirilu cast a sunburst spell and Tagenadi moved to engage. Devanane wheeled his dragon around and darkness fell on the party. Those with true seeing (Torin, Amalius, and Eathirilu) could still see Devanane and his dragon, but the others could not.
Eathirilu and Tagenadi stopped attacking and Amalius ordered Devanane to land on the ground a mile below them. Hektor, wanting to get in on attacking a foe who couldn't fight back, cast acid fog on Devanane. Amalius practically screamed at the party, "He's under my control! Stop!"
Devanane teleported past the acid fog and continued towards the ground. As he did so, Amalius asked him about the magical items on his person. He begrudgingly gave them this list:
+5 Keen Flaming Burst Vampiric Silver Heavy Pick (Vampiric deals +1d6 vs. living creatures and heals user for same damage)
+3 Human Bane Unholy Ghost Touch Distance Returning Dart x3
+5 Mithral Chain Shirt of Greater Sneaking
Ring of Protection +5
Belt of Pockets
Immovable Rods x2
Tunic of Physicality +6 (all 3 physical stats)
Ring of Invisibility
Amulet of Wisdom +6
Earpiece to Jevaninada (Devanane described it as a constant direct link to the King. And that the King could hear him right now.)
Bracelets of Resistance +5
Boots of Teleport (3/day)
+5 Hidden Shield (The group ooed and awed, but Amalius did not ask Devanane to clarify)
Upon landing on the ground the group interrogated Devanane.
“What were you trying to do?”
“Meet with Invernix to convince him to join us.”
“What were you going to offer him?”
“A space in the new pantheon Blendegad is creating.”
“And the dragon you’re riding? What is it’s name?”
“Her name is Briasanon.”
“How do you control her?”
“By dominating her.”
Amalius ordered Devanane to allow Briasanon to speak freely and turned to her, “Would you like to eat Devanane?”
“Very much so, but Blendegad wouldn’t approve.”
“You care what Blendegad thinks?”
“Of course. He’s the greatest thing to ever happen to dragonkind in living memory. He will restore draconic dominance to the land and overthrow the Olympians. Why wouldn’t I serve him as fully and completely as possible?”
“But you want to eat Devanane?”
“Oh yeah. He’s a huge *******. I’d love to grind him up for all the **** he’s given to me these past few years.”
“I see.”
The group moved out of earshot to discuss their plan. They weren’t going to get much more information out of Devanane. Amalius could feel him fighting the domination with all his will. They decided it would be best to eliminate him, a complicated prospect given the exception to dominate, “the target will take no obviously suicidal action.”
Amalius asked Devanane, “How long does your dominate on Briasanon have left?”
“Four days,” Devanane answered.
“Good. Order her to fly north for two days then back here.”
Devanane looked at Briasanon and she took off to the north.
After Briasanon had flown a good way off the group tensed for action. Hektor led off with a sudden maximized irresistible dance. The spell ripped through Devanane’s spell resistance and he set to dancing. The rest of the group moved in and chewed through Devanane’s hit points. They broke him in seconds. He began to crawl away, but Torin stepped forward with a cure spell and executed him.
“Well that’s the end of that.”
The group gathered up Devanane’s treasure, the Hidden Shield was unfortunately nowhere to be found. They scattered his ashes to the winds and teleported back to Lakatia.

At this point there was a large discussion that is still ongoing through emails about what the next objective would be in the campaign. There were fifteen things we thought of:
1. Attempt to rejoin the Alliance (obstacles include Tagenadi being undead and Amalius being related to Amalgami).
2. Attempt to get other citystates in Cimmeria involved in the war. Other citystates include Nomingburg, Mars' Oasis, and Balin's Holt. Nomingburg has the assassins guilds and a few people ready for militia, but how can you motivate them without money? Mars' Oasis has other problems to deal with (Formians and Bavastatner). Balin's Holt is heavily anti-magic and thus hates both sides in this conflict.
3. Attempt to get Aractrash involved in the war. King Ballard was already headed in this direction after the assassination attempt. Will Staynard continue or will other forces in the court influence his decision? Could you be one of those forces?
4. Something in Greshendale? There's still more orbs there for you to blow up. There's also a Dragovinian population that is taking over the city by converting people.
5. Find the Lots for Tagenadi because Hades said so! Hermes has the Lots. Contacting Hermes just requires spending money. Then you "play a game of chance" with him to win the Lots.
6. Find the Bow of Apollo for Aldarian because Helios said so! The bow is certainly powerful, but why would you do things for a Titan? Also, isn't Apollo using it?
7. Danar's got some stuff he wants to do related to the orbs and his past life.
8. Go beat up Bavastatner or something?
9. "Divide" Nomingburg to get the Pitchfork of Doom from the Dahak for the prophecy to revive Zeus.
10. Figure out what the Alliance and the dwarves are up to (This seemed to be the #1 priority).
11. Do something with the giant undead armies. One at the Lich Shade. One at Crux. And all the undead dwarves underneath Xoria.
12. Figure out who enchanted the Antenator (Big reward for Tagenadi if they do this!).
13. Puzzle out more of the prophecy that Torin got from Athena that Tagenadi deciphered:
"When the black blade marches,
pay it no heed,
for I control it.
Of intervention, there will be no need.

Instead, turn your heads
to others of kind,
for with them the horse marches
and he plows his own seed.

And with the horse comes
the lone lost, return
to the own maid of bones
and the family he spurned."

Or my version:
"When the black blade marches
Pay it no heed
For I control it
Of intervention there will be no need

Instead turn your heads
To others of kind
For with them the horse marches
And he plays his own side

And with the horse comes
The long lost return
To the one made of bones
And the family he spurned"
14. Play shuttle service to the lower level party to get the rest of the clues.
15. Hunt down Amalgami. (The guys shied away from this one because it doesn't bring them closer to the end goal of stopping Blendegad.)

The one objective the party took a step towards was finding the Bow of Apollo (#6). Amalius cast divination and received this answer from the universe, “Follow your rage and the answer will come to you.”
The continuing discussion has favored securing Aractrash's involvement in the war (#3).

We ended the session there, but before we did, we finally played out Torin’s sidetrip back to his family home in Jord! This trip was mentioned back in Alliance Session #41/Total Session #52. This was immediately after the group destroyed the Red Orb of Dragonkind and Torin had gotten a tip from his friend, Erick, that his position as an absent member of the royal court might be changing to a position of banishment. Torin's intention was to see if Amalius' family could be installed as caretakers of his old home. The hope is that if they are in Jord they will be safe from further Xorian attention.

Torin teleported to his suite of rooms in Jord and found them still deserted. Sheets covered the furniture and a fine layer of dust had settled over everything. After a brief look around Torin exited, keeping his head down lest anyone recognize him. He made his way to the home of his childhood tutor, Lasrar. Torin knocked on the door and was soon answered by a familiar face.
Lasrar gasped upon seeing his old pupil. He stuck his big red nose out the door and glanced in both directions. He motioned to Torin, "Come on in laddie."
Torin stepped inside and Lasrar closed the door behind him. The old dwarf spun around and opened his arms while saying, "Come 'ere laddie! I haven't seen you in ages!" The two friends shared a hearty hug with many slaps on the back before they broke apart.
"Lets talk in the den. I'll get us some of this new mead I've been trying lately."
Torin looked around the home that he'd spent many years in learning the ways of Athena. A few furniture pieces and wall hangings were different, but most of it was the same. He walked the well worn path to the den and was soon joined by Lasrar with two tall flagons of fizzing mead.
"It's lemon flavored." Lasrar handed the mug to Torin.
Torin took a drink and said, "Surprisingly good. I wouldn't think lemon and honey mixed well."
"Right? Amazing isn't it?" Lasrar took a deep breath and sat down on one of the creaky ornate benches in the den. "So I imagine nothing cheerful brings you 'ere?"
"No..." Torin paused, unable to come up with the right words to start.
"I'd 'eard you and your fellows 'ad broken the Red Orb of Dragonkind out in Greshendale."
"Yes..."
"You know the king's talking about exiling you? Not that you 'aven't done that already to yourself in a way."
"I'm doing what needs to be done."
"I'm sure of that laddie! You know I'll always believe you on that! On anything. You must've 'ad a good reason for blowing up that Orb. I'm jus' worried that the rest of the court won't think the same way I do."
"What are they saying?"
"Bad stuff laddie. I think you need to come back home to protect your reputation. Of course Athena may say different than me, but if you gallivant around the way you are now, trying to save the world and all, you're going to find nothing much is left for you when you're done."
Lasrar continued, "Now if you returned and you had a good explanation for the destruction of the Orb, well... You might have a good shot of getting high up in the royal court. Maybe even to the top."
"I... I need some time to think about it."
"Sure! Sure! Take all the time you need. Tell you what, I'll sound out what people are thinking around 'ere. When you've 'ad your think come on back and I'll tell you 'ow things sit 'ere."
"Of course."
"Well enough of serious things! Let me fill you in on the latest gossip..."
Torin spent another two hours talking with his old mentor before excusing himself and teleporting back to Lakatia. He informed the others of the important content of the meeting, and that he was seriously considering leaving the group to return to Jord.

TL;DR: Torin talked with his old tutor from childhood about giving up adventuring and returning to Jord. He's seriously considering doing it. Salzar plans to retire Torin soon and switch to a new character. As he said, "It no longer makes sense for Torin to continue to associate with the party."

Anxe
2015-03-26, 11:54 PM
Ah! I didn't put up how the assassin accomplished most of what he was doing yet did I? I shall add it to my to-do list.

Zigfried
2015-04-02, 12:06 PM
Ah! I didn't put up how the assassin accomplished most of what he was doing yet did I? I shall add it to my to-do list.

Please do. I'm actually really interested to know once such knowledge is far enough away from importance to affect the immediate future of the game.

Zigfried
2015-04-02, 12:43 PM
Hello, loyal readers! Zigfried here (formerly Longshanks). I like to write a little something as far as backstory goes for all my characters in order to flesh them out and make them easier to rp. So today I would like to share something I wrote up for my latest character, Danar. It is presented as something of a history book with several chapters which I shall spoiler below



A Succint Biography of Danar,
King of Dragonkin

The Nameless Childhood

The man now known as Danar was born under another name. Unfortunately this birthname has been lost to all but the most ancient of creatures and it is said that Danar himself forgot it. It is known, however, that Danar was born into a hatch of 6 brothers and sisters, himself included. This hatch was the 37th royal-blooded generation spawned from the mating of Rilopenarol and his human mate, Izalith. From birth, each child of Rilopenarol’s blood was destined to have a brutal upbringing on account of Sheerzen’s laws of royal succession.

For the 37 generations prior, the throne of Sheerzen had been decided by natural selection: every child with a claim to the throne was made to compete in a fraternal contest of might of indefinite length, as the contest was to last until one child proved himself above the others to claim the throne. Historically, this worthiness was ultimately decided through mortal combat using the magical aptitude granted by each generation’s ancestry. This promised a dangerous future for Danar, as he was considered in court to be the “runt” of the litter in terms of magical aptitude.

Danar’s difficulties in harnessing his magical abilities were further compounded by his compassionate spirit. He could not bear the idea of bringing pain to his brothers and sisters during their sparring sessions. Filled with despair, he went to the grand dragon Rilopenarol, who showed compassion to all of his broodlings, and asked for his wisdom. Rilopenarol heard his pleas and said “Henceforth, you are exiled from the city of Sheerzen. Leave your namesake and flee now.

The words were harsh, but the tone and meaning were not. And Danar understood what it was that he must do. It was forbidden for any broodling to leave Sheerzen before an heir had been decided, so that night Danar fought through a number of guards as he escaped the city and the contest for the throne. He fled deep into the wilderness until hunger, exhaustion, and his wounds began to overtake him.

Deep in the marshlands East of Sheerzen, Danar saw the flickering lights of a small and humble village. Danar called out to the villagers as he approached, and began to collapse as several men ran over to meet the wounded young man. It is said that his last thoughts before losing conciousness at this point were his attempts to choose a new name by which to introduce himself. Regardless of whether this is true, history recognizes this night as the birth of Danar...

The Rise of Danar

The villagers that took Danar in are known to be the primary ancestors of the major population that makes up the village of Tectoctar and the many hidden settlements scattered throughout the land features that bear Danar’s namesake.

Danar was nursed back to health by the village that had taken him in, and he soon realized that this humble settlement was plagued by all manner of monstrous beasts that would try and prey on it’s citizens. Seeing their plight for survival Danar steeled his will and made a resolution: he would protect these people that had saved him from the beasts on their doorsteps or die trying. He borrowed the largest axe he could find from one of the village’s woodcutters and sat himself in a pose of meditation at the center of the town.

That night a black dire wolf approached. The villagers of the town quickly fled into their homes leaving only Danar outside, waiting in the firelight at the center of town. He felt the wolf’s intention to kill and as it lunged at him, he dodged and struck it down with a furious and desperate assault of swings of his axe. The villagers emerged from their houses at the sounds of the death throes of the wolf. Seeing Danar there, standing over the dead beast, they felt truly safe.

In the years that followed Danar became masterful at slaying dangerous creatures with only an axe and martial prowess. Those that saw him were inspired by his strength and courage and in turn Danar was thankful for the humble people that supported his newfound livelihood. Danar began to teach the other men of the village how to fight and soon enough, he had grown a stable of warriors brave and strong enough to easily defend their homes.

Although it was only a small militia, in Danar’s eyes they were greater than any king’s army. He began to lead his men on expeditions to tame the surrounding marshlands and begin more settlements. Danar led them by showing them what they were capable of by doing it himself first. He never asked a follower to undertake a task that he himself was unwilling to perform. In this way the small village of Tectoctar began to thrive and grow. And stories of Danar had begun to spread...


Invernix Cometh

Stories of Danar the Beastslayer and Hero of Men had spread far and wide. Eventually those in Sheerzen made the connection that Danar was the runaway that had cast off his responsibility to fight and struggle for the throne. Officially he had been exiled and his existence was no longer of concern to the royal court. But these words carried further.

Eventually Invernix, the great red dragon and infernal wyrm heard of the broodling of Rilopenarol who had arrogantly cast aside his draconic heritage to gallavant with men among the swamps. Enraged by the thought of a mere dragonkin believing himself to be greater than his draconic bloodline, Invernix took wing and flew to Danar’s Marshlands. For weeks Invernix hunted out settlement after settlement among the riverlands in order to force Danar into confronting him.

Danar hesitated to confront Invernix directly. Not for fear of his own life, but for fear of what would become of his people should he fail and allow Invernix to destroy him. He spent this time evacuating his people safely and trying to devise some means by which to defeat the great red dragon. His hand was forced, however when a brave young elf chose to confront Invernix.

Danar had met the elf before. He was a druid and had been causing issues with Tectoctar’s settlements by destroying dams and foiling the attempts of hunting parties. Yet now he stood before Invernix in direct confrontation. Danar knew he had to join him, and engaged in the fray.

Danar and the elven druid battled Invernix for hours, surviving by the skin of their necks by using the dense cover of the marshlands to their advantage. Invernix razed down hellfire and would dive only to find his prey had avoided him, each time becoming more and more enraged by the insolence of the mortals. Inevitably, the brave duo succumbed to Invernix’s power. The young druid was unconcious and on the edge of death and Danar found himself pinned beneath Invernix’s massive foreclaw. It was then that Danar made a desperate final plea to Invernix. He shouted that he would do anything the dragon wished, but spare the elf and his people. Invernix was pleased.

Invernix made Danar a solitary offer. Return to Sheerzen and take the throne with extreme prejudice. Should Danar fail to become king of Sheerzen, Invernix promised that he would hunt down every construct of man east of Sheerzen and raze them to the ground. At this time, a small group of Danar’s men charged Invernix hoping to free their endangered champion. Invernix quickly smote them to ash and a large swath of greenery with them to punctuate his conditions.

Danar’s heart sunk as he watched the men die. He steeled himself and agreed to the great dragon’s terms. With his pride satisfied, Invernix moved his claw from Danar and departed as swiftly as he had descended on the marshlands. Danar pulled himself up. Seeing the spirits of nature approaching to care for the elf that had fought alongside him, Danar left the druid and trudged his way back to Tectoctar to lick his wounds...


Ascent to the Throne

Danar healed quickly and began to make plans for his return to his city of birth. He had always attempted to fight and lead without the use of his magical potential, but had been practicing it nonetheless if only to push his own limits as a warrior. He instructed his best blacksmiths to forge a new weapon of his design. This axe was not merely a large implement to behead creatures. No, this time he had his men make a truly martial weapon of elegant design.

Danar told his people that he needed to seek protection for their settlement from the grand city of Sheerzen, and to know that they were always in his heart. And thus, the hero left the people he had saved to confront his past.

There was a great uproar when Danar showed up in the court of Sheerzen. All were outraged at the audacity of him returning to claim what he had cast aside, whilst his siblings had been battling their entire lives for the throne. Furthermore, the heir of Sheerzen had all but been decided already. Danar’s eldest brother, Einhart had proven himself to be the strongest and most gifted and all of their other siblings had conceded for fear of their lives. Danar challenged him to a mortal combat to be held the next day. The court was in denial but Einhart accepted with confidence, eager for any chance to further prove his right to the throne.

The two brothers fought the next day in an arena for all of Sheerzen to see. Einhart was a truly gifted sorcerer, but Danar had spent years facing overwhelming odds and teaching others how to accomplish the same. He would not be defeated. He cleaved his eldest brother in twain, but not before losing his right eye to a bolt of energy in the process. Thus Danar proved himself the true heir of Sheerzen, and no other would challenge his claim to the throne after that day...

Danar, King of Dragonkin

Danar’s coronation was a monumentous occasion for the city. The nobles hailed him as a prodigy tempered by the wilds, returned to restore order to the city. Danar was disgusted by the insincerity of the court he now presided over. He was however overjoyed to be welcomed back by his ancestor Rilopenarol, who seemed truly unsurprised by the events as they were unfolding.

Days after Danar’s coronation, an elder earth elemental named Rhinston arrived bearing a gift from the king of earth elementals. It was a now gem-ified eye of one of Rilopenarol’s own ancestors. The eye of an ancient bronze dragon in crystal orb form, magically resized with the intention of serving as Danar’s replacement for the grievous injury he had suffered. The orb looked much like a living draconic eye and glowed with a pale green magical aura. Danar accepted the gift and allowed the earth elemental to place it in his now gaping socket. All surviving portraits of Danar display him after this day, wearing an eyepatch of royal status over his crystallized draconic eye.

And so Danar was king of Sheerzen, but in his heart he was biding time. His hate for Invernix and the tyranny he had suffered festered, and Danar dreamt of the day that he could truly ensure that his people were safe. He honed his skills as a warrior, and developed his potential for magic much further than any would have thought possible for the “runt” of his hatch. Under Danar’s wise rule, Sheerzen prospered and the king cared greatly for his people regardless of their dogma for draconic superiority.

The people of Tectoctar, however, forsook his name. They believed their savior had abandoned them for the glory of the throne. They no longer saw him as the hero that had led them to survive and later thrive when it seemed impossible. Eventually the stories of Danar, Hero of Men, ceased to be told.

Danar led Sheerzen’s armies in greater conquests of magical beasts and otherworldly foe alike in a neverending quest to make the world safer for mankind. In time Danar began to slay chromatic dragons and spread propaganda of their evil ways. He summoned other great heroes of his age to his cause. This league that Danar had assembled would eventually be responsible for the creation The Orbs of Dragon Control, thus ending the tyranny of dragons for good...


As for an idea of Danar's appearance, he appears as though in his late 40's by human standards and shows to be human all but for his hands which are actually bronze-scaled draconic claws. He wears an eyepatch over his right eye to hide his crystallized draconic eye which glows green when used as a magical focus. He typically wears clothes that are decidedly noble but still practical that are black and shades of gray (Think Ulfric Stormcloak for those familiar with Skyrim, or Eddard Stark from Game of Thrones). Also inspiration for Danar's axe comes specifically from a weapon known as the "bardiche" which lies somewhere on the spectrum between axe and halberd: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardiche. The choice for said weapon representation felt appropriate for a warrior who has spent much time mastering the craft of decapitating beasts in as few fell strokes as possible. Overall I'm very excited to spend more time with this character now that I have a more solid idea of who he is. :)

Anxe
2015-04-06, 01:29 PM
How the assassin accomplished the murder of King Ballard, not once, but twice.

The first potent clue to the assassin's identity was this,
"Amalius went to a different room led by a random servant to perform a divination to learn more about the assassin. He received this message,
'Someone soon will kill the King,
With quarrel or blade, they will stab him,
But the mask this person wears will be,
Someone very close to thee.'"
Led by a random servant and Someone very close to thee being the important parts of that clue.
The assassin had already taken the form of a servant.

So why didn't Amalius detect the servant's intelligence score being far higher than what one would suspect for a servant? The assassin was constantly under the effect of a misdirection spell. This makes his alignment seem to be that of whoever he casts it on (another random servant), but also his intelligence score for the purposes of the quick mental scan that Amalius performs.

Why didn't the assassin's disguises get caught by true seeing? The assassin was a doppleganger, but that disguise is seen through by true seeing. However, the assassin was also trained in applying mundane disguises with makeup. He was already doing this when the party arrived, just to be careful. And no one had a high enough Spot check to realize it.

Whenever a conversation took place in the war room, the assassin was right outside the door as a servant, listening in with his high Listen score. He knew the party's defensive preparations from the beginning. He was also included in knowing the password that Amalius managed as he was already among the castle staff.

The assassin was aware of the shield other spell. His plan was to fake a wound on himself while disguised as the King, sneak in to the King's chambers using the shadowform spell that lets you slip through walls, kill the King, and then quickly shove him into a bag of holding. When Torin opened the door he would see "the King" who would then tell him the assassin jumped out the window when his attack wasn't immediately successful. A search of the castle ensues and the assassin sneaks away in the mess.
That plan failed because Torin's initiative was higher than the assassin. He came in before the assassin could shove the body into the bag of holding. The King was still dead, but the assassin couldn't abscond with the body.

The assassin then disguised himself as Clank, hoping to sneak in and kill the King again, but the party had too many guards around him for that to work. He tried to replace Lord Valen, but Valen was able to fight him off.

The party moved the royal family into the mansion at this point, so now the assassin had to replace one of the royals to get access to the King at night. During the day the King was always too well guarded.

First, the assassin replaced one of Prince Staynard's friends, Shasta. The assassin wanted her alive. Why? So he could cast misdirection on her. She fought him off for a few moments, alerting a guard. The guard came in and was killed. The assassin disposed of the guard's body, which would've been found if the assassination adventure had gone on longer.

At this point, Amalius tried another divination and got this response,
"The assassin seeks to replace someone soon
Either one with a blade or one with a loom
Carefully go with eyes open wide
The assassin will be the one who secretly rides."
Why was this an important clue? Because Shasta was not a male friend of Staynard's as everyone assumed, but a female masquerading as a man. Staynard and her secretly carried out a sexual relationship. She knew how to use a blade and a loom, the two traditional tools of a person in her position depending on gender. "Secretly rides" referred to her riding horses, something that women did not do very often if at all around 400BCE.
Of course that clue wasn't very useful without the party knowing Shasta's cross dressing. They focused on the loom part, thinking it was the queen or one of her handmaidens. They also tried "secretly rides" as someone who rode Kinderax without anyone else knowing.

"Shasta" asked Staynard to let her see inside the magnificent mansion. The other friends, Amalius, and Hektor came along. Amalius and Hektor left to give the boys some privacy, suspecting that they were going to engage in Greek homosexuality. No one watched the mansion door. Staynard asked his other two friends to leave. He and "Shasta" had sex, and then she replaced knocked Staynard out, swapped her misdirection spell's target to the Prince, and threw him into the bag of holding. The new "Staynard" executed Shasta to prevent her from awaking too soon in the bag, leaving the dead body in the bag with the unconscious Prince.

Eathirilu was trying to recognize people by smell at this point to see if anyone smelled off. I told him that "Staynard" smelled a little bit like Shasta and a little bit like Staynard. He assumed this was because of the sex, but it was also because "Shasta" had put on Staynard's clothes, clothing some of her original smell.

That night "Staynard" went into the mansion. After everyone had gone to sleep he snuck out and used shadowform to get through the walls to the King's chamber once again. He used dragon bile, a contact poison that deals Str damage, on the queen to paralyze her and prevent her from alerting the guard. A personal silence spell on himself prevented Tracer from hearing him execute King Ballard once again. The assassin put the body into his bag of holding and slipped out the way he'd come in.
Eathirilu had fallen asleep in front of the door, but he was only covering the floor. The assassin used spider climb to go on the walls. His Move Silently check beat Eathirilu's Listen check due to Eathirilu's -10 penalty for being asleep (the modifer was still a respectable +25, so Eathirilu thought that was enough).
The assassin ran past Clank on the outside and dimension doored to the exterior walls of the castle. He jumped over and ran to a previously arranged location where Amalgami was waiting for him. The assassin gave him the body and Amalgami bound King Ballard's soul into a gem. Amalgami gave the assassin a teleport ride to Nomingburg before leaving with the gem to his own abode, wherever that is.
The party searched the castle grounds, but the assassin was already back home within a minute or two of killing the King.

Anxe
2015-04-27, 12:16 AM
Mini Session
This session was so short that I didn't want to grace it with the title of a full session. It was an Alliance session held over Skype using Roll20 as a virtual tabletop. The session was attended by Middle_Snu, Zigfried, Salzar, and Throgg.

The group whiffled and waffled over what to do next. They sold Devanane's loot and bought a few things for themselves before going to meet with Prince Staynard (or King Staynard now?).
Staynard expressed that he was at a loss for what to do next. The coming coronation seemed overwhelming and his father had only just begun to teach him about how to run the kingdom. Additionally, his inability to ride Kinderax weakened his image in the eyes of the people of Aractrash. Staynard also lacked the mental bond his father had with the dragon, meaning he missed out on her constant advice and guidance in his daily life. AND Shasta was dead. Nothing going right for Staynard today.
The party attempted to fix the problem by talking with Kinderax. They hoped that Amalius could somehow build up a mental bond between her and Staynard over a few days instead of the years it had taken for King Ballard and his father King Willard before him. Kinderax kept her responses to these inquiries short, "No," and, "Leave me alone."

Soon after this, Torin officially left the party. He packed up his stuff, said his goodbyes, and teleported off to Jord.

The group wanted to see if they could get a Ballard's soul back from Amalgami and resurrect the king. They soon realized that Torin was the one who usually cast sending spells. The group teleported to Torin's suite in Jord where he had just arrived and asked him, "Hey buddyyy... Wanna cast a sending for us?"
Torin grumbled, "You would do something like this. Fine. Give me a few minutes to prepare the spell."
Torin cast the sending to Amalgami, "We want the gem returned. What is your price?" The gem being the jewel that holds Ballard's soul.
Amalgami responded, "Which gem? I didn't take any gems from you, dwarf. Although we can arrange an exchange for your family jewels, if you catch my drift.
The group talked over their next sending and sent this, "The dwarf sends on behalf of your grandson. We want the gem containing the soul of Ballard. What is your price? Be clear."
Amalgami said, "Aractrash enters the war. Tell Ballard I'm hiding in Nox and am allied with Xoria. And use the power of Tagenadi’s gem. See you soon."
(While thewamp was not there to roleplay Tagenadi's reaction to the request to use the gem we did tell him later and played it out separate from the usual session.)
Tagenadi flat out refused to use the Black Crystal he'd taken from the Bane. Hektor agreed that the evil power of the artifact should be contained and destroyed when they got the chance instead of unleashed upon the world.
As for getting Aractrash into the war? Did Amalgami mean that they were to lie to Ballard after resurrecting him about Amalgami's location? Lying to a king didn't sit well with the party, but it would get them what they wanted. However, with Tagenadi and Hektor unwilling to meet the other condition of using the Black Crystal and the rest of the group ambivalent about the Crystal's use... They might just have to settle for Staynard leading Aractrash and hoping that he got his **** together soon to join the war.

The Bjorn used a sending spell to contact Amalius, "We need to talk. Meet tomorrow at the Monkey Forest at dawn."
The next day the party met in the Monkey Forest once more. The Bjorn was there with someone else. An average human man wearing a cloak with his hands resting on two daggers that he wore at his sides. The Bjorn greeted the party and introduced his tag-a-long, "This is Origenes." (Salzar's new character! Woooo!)
The Bjorn continued, "I've heard about what happened at Greshendale. Is it true? Did you destroy the Red Orb?"
Amalius said, "Well..."
The Bjorn sighed, "I'd feared as much. I'd like to prevent future such... setbacks in our combined war efforts. That's why I've brought Origenes along. I think he should keep a check on your more whimsical tactical decisions."
"Of course. What exactly does Origenes do?"
"Origenes, show them."
Origenes whipped the two daggers out of their scabbards and threw them both with lightning speed at a nearby tree, severing two branches from it. The daggers appeared back in his grasp instantly.
Amalius said, "Well, cutting branches off a tree is well and good, but how much damage can you do to a real target?"
Origenes said, "Are you volunteering?"
"Sure. Why not?"
Amalius stepped forward and cast a vigor spell on himself to improve his survivability, doubling it on his psicrystal and then using share pain on his psicrystal to effectively double his hitpoints entirely.
Origenes whipped out his daggers and threw them once more. They scorched through the air, each one hitting Amalius in the shoulder. The force knocked him back a step and the vigor spell was almost penetrated through. Amalius was sure that if he had not protected himself he would be standing there armless.
Amalius said, "Pretty good."
The Bjorn updated the party on how the Alliance was doing. Minor problems continued in Bradel Fields due to the goblin slave army, but nothing major. Most of the Alliance's force was being transported to Jipangu with the teleportation gates to be trained. The super soldier water made from the Geyser of Talos and the Tome of Agamemnon greatly accelerated the training process. The Alliance Council was confident that they'd have a formidable force by the time spring arrived. The only issue was if Xoria attacked during the winter. The Council found that unlikely, especially after the revolt in Gazeara.
The Bjorn also brought the group up to speed about internal politics in Dalleer. The Bjorn's right-hand man, Terolio, was assassinated recently. Investigators easily determined that the assassin had been hired in Nomingburg, but who had done it and why? The Bjorn was confident that the normal police force would find something and that the party's involvement wasn't necessary.
The group said their goodbyes and went back to Lakatia.

Anxe
2015-05-06, 12:39 AM
Rebel Session #10/Total Session #58
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, thewamp, Zigfried, and Middle_Snu. The session was held using Skype for voice and video with Roll20 as a virtual tabletop. Also, first rebellion session in a while!

Recap for those who don't want to go find Rebellion Session #9. The rebel party is looking for pieces of a prophecy that can bring a god back to life. Zeus's death prevents the Olympians from sorting out the problems that the Dragovinians are causing, so bringing him back goes a long way to fixing the world. Note that Zeus isn't technically dead in the sense that mortal are. Olympians never really die. A better description would be that he is in a coma caused by poison.
The prophecy pieces that the rebel party is looking for are kept by a set of animal clans spread out across Cimmeria. The animal clans have been taken over by Dragovinianized versions of the animals. The group is currently going after the prophecy that the shark clan knows. The sharks live off the coast of Jovy Isle in the Caspian Sea. The group has just arranged their right to hunt the sharks with pirate Captain Peahammer who claims to own Jovy Isle.

So with the "fishing rights" worked out, how would the party actually go about contacting the sharks? Korjak deciding asking a fish while wearing the necklace of speak with animals was the best way to find where the sharks lived. The half-orc stripped down to his skivvies and the party lowered him into the water with a rope attached to yank him out if a shark showed up.
Korjak swam up to a tuna and asked him, "How's your day going?"
The tuna replied, "Just bubbles. Swimming along, eating. Yourself?"
Korjak found that he could only speak with the fish while keeping his head underwater and that he periodically needed to bring his head up to take a breath. "I'm looking for something. Can you help me find it?"
"Of course! What are you looking for strange fish?"
"I'm looking for sharks. Do you know where I can find them?"
"Sharks! SHARKS?!? Everyone look out! Sharks are coming from that way again!" The tuna indicated the west by swimming in that direction before joining his school and retreating to the east.
"Well that answers that question," Korjak said to himself.
The group pulled Korjak up and he told them what he'd learned. They sailed of to the west to find some sharks.

Once they'd gone seven miles out the party sent a pirate down to the hold to get some chum from one of the rat traps. The pirate brought the foul smelling bucket up and Gregor ordered him to dump it in the water.
Mate Geaton asked, "What are we doing that for sir?"
"We're shark hunting."
"Shark hunting? But we don't got no nets strong enough to hold sharks. Or harpoon lines."
"Then I guess you'll just have to tie some rope to a harpoon then won't you? Or use the hook from cargo crane and attach it to the mast. DO AS I SAY!"
The chum was dumped and the blood and guts spread through the water.
Soon fins could be seen swimming towards the meal. Fins with red scales along them. A Dragovinian shark had arrived to feast on the blood.
Korjak agreed to get into the water and talk to the shark, but only if the party was ready to pull him out. He got in and said, "Hi there. We wanted to talk to you about something?"
The shark looked at him and its mouth opened to show a massive array of teeth. "FOOD!" The shark lunged at Korjak. The pirates on deck yanked on the rope attached to the swimmer and pulled him out, but not before the shark scrapped his leg, taking a good portion of flesh and blood off.
Korjak shouted back, "We just want to talk!"
The Dragovinian shark stuck its head above water and breathed fire upon the side of the ship. Those close to the edge were badly singed and the ropes caught fire. Mate Geaton shouted, "All hands! Put out that fire! Cut the ropes off if you have to!"
The pirates grabbed buckets and dumped water on the flaming ropes. A few were cut to prevent the flames from spreading to the sails, but the fire was dealt with.
The shark remained, circling the ship, occasionally bumping into it and setting the whole thing rocking as if in a storm.
The group talked amongst themselves. If they headed inland they might get to an area with shallow enough water that they could fight the shark. Only if they needed to though. They set sail to go back to the cove on the western side of Jovy Isle.

Along the way to Jovy Isle they attracted a second Dragovinian shark that followed the ship along with the first.
Once at the cove Korjak passed the magic necklace to Stanton who used message to contact the shark. "We have a deal to offer you. More tuna and cattle in exchange for the prophetic words passed down to you by the druids."
The sharks responded, "We want tuna. Give us tuna and we will tell you the words."
"Tell use the words and we will give you lots of tuna tomorrow."
"Words first. No words until tuna."
"Meet us here tomorrow and we will have some tuna for you."
"Tuna, or else."
The sharks swam off.
Now how to get some tuna? Fish for it obviously! A few of the pirates knew how to fish. In the pre-industrial fishing era it is quite easy to catch loads of fish. By the end of the day the party had tons of small fish and three tuna that a normal man could barely lift (No problem for Gregor to lift though!).

The next day the party returned to just outside the cove and waited. Soon the sharks arrived, but not just two this time. Five scaly fins showed above the water.
Stanton wore the necklace and he could just barely make out a chorus of voices chanting, "tuna, tuna, tuna or else. tuna, tuna, tuna or else."
Stanton told the sharks, "Remember, we give you the tuna and you give us the words."
"Tuna first! Words later!" A shark brushed against the boat, rocking it.
The party hefted one of the larger fish over the side. The sharks ripped into it, fighting for the scraps. They swallowed none of the fish, only tearing it apart and drinking its blood.
"More! More tuna!"
The sharks banged against the ship, rocking it from side to side.
Mate Geaton looked extremely worried. Stanton said to the sharks, "Give us the words and we'll give you the tuna!"
"Tuna! Tuna! Tuna!"
Another fish was dumped over the side and the sharks fought over it before it too was devoured.
"Tuna! Tuna!" The boat swayed back and forth as if ten foot waves were hitting it.
Stanton and Gregor hatched a great idea between the two of them. Stanton shouted the idea to the sharks, "We'll give another tuna to the shark that tells us the words first!"
One shark began, "Go west to the-" before another shark tackled it.
Another started up, "Go west to the river of-" before it too was attacked by its brother. Soon all five sharks were engaged in a bloody melee. Soon the largest, a 25 footer, emerged victorious. The other four sharks swam off to the west.
"I am Earl and I am the strongest. The words are:
Go west to the river of the world,
To where the Black Kelp Plant is unfurled
Take a clipping of this seaweed
For it is the penultimate ingredient you need."
Each of the party members was struck by a vision. None of them shared these visions with each other, so once again I will be keeping the visions secret for now.

After recovering from their visions, the party threw the final large tuna to the remaining shark and thanked it for its help. The original plan had been to sail to Lordodo and journey inland towards the condor clan and the final piece of the prophecy. That's exactly what the party did.
The party avoided any trouble on the way to Lordodo by not landing on the islands enroute there. They docked at the port and got to work selling their loot from taking over the pirate ship. Lucky's personal booty fetched a fine price and the party were also able to line up a buyer for the ship quickly. The party was in the mood to give Reggy a share of the loot and he used a portion of his to purchase his freedom (This was partially to give Zigfried more control over Reggy now that he plays him. And for those who were unaware, paying slaves was something that occasionally happened in antiquity. Realism points!).
So what did the group do with all their new found booty?
Korjak wanted to donate a portion of his gold to a local orphanage to benefit the kids there. Unfortunately his donation was refused on account of him being a half-orc. Upset by the racism, Korjak blew a bit of his gold on getting stumbling drunk. He wandered back to the orphanage and started throwing rocks at it. The police were called and Korjak spent the night in the drunk tank. Stanton was following Korjak around attempting to keep him out of trouble and failing. It's hard for a little halfling to stop a giant orc from doing something if the orc really wants to do it.
The next day, to make up for his horrible day earlier, Korjak blew a decent sized chunk of gold on food, women, and fun.
Stanton spent the next day going gambling at the Hunter's Best, a large casino in Lordodo. Stanton sat down at the blackjack table and played a few hands before trying to use his mental powers to gain an edge. The casino's magic detection went off and Stanton was thrown out immediately.
Sivirdm and Drako headed out to the local halfling encampment outside of town and made friends with their kin. They learned the recipe for a delicious gopher stew and will probably have a place to hide out now if the law ever comes looking for them in Lordodo. Sivirdm and Drako spent their second day at the halfling encampment as well.
Reggy spent both days partying it up and enjoying his new freedom. He joined Korjak for the second day.
And the best for last...
Gregor headed to the slave market in Lordodo, planning on using his fold to buy some orc slaves and free them. He found the slave trader that specialized in orcs with a dozen new orcs in stock, freshly captured from the orc lands on the other side of the Dominarie Mountains and the Shacklack Desert. As Gregor inspected the slaves one of the dozen had a flash of recognition on his face. Had he recognized Gregor from when he was in the orc lands?
Gregor said nothing to the orc, speaking to the slave trader about price and how freeing the orcs worked instead. A price was arrived upon, but before Gregor could pay he was interrupted by a man behind him.
"Aw... Buying the freedom of your poor little brothers? How cute."
Gregor turned and saw a large human man wearing fullplate with a greatsword strapped to his back. Behind the man were two orcs and a half-orc, all wearing mithral breastplate. The half-orc carried a number of spears. One of the orcs had no weapons on him while the other had a bow and arrows easily available.

http://s24.postimg.org/bfu4k9mz9/Session_58.jpg

"Gonna set them free in the wild are you?"
Gregor replied, "None of your business," as he turned back to the trader.
"I'd say it is some of my business seeing as I captured those orcs."
Gregor spoke to the orcs behind the larger man, "And you allowed him to enslave our people?"
The large human laughed, "They helped me!"
Gregor curled his hands into fists, but restrained himself. If he struck the first blow he'd be arrested. Additionally, he could sense from how the four antagonists carried themselves that they were far more experienced than him.
"You're a tough one aren't you? If you ever need some work look us up. When we're in town we're usually at the Bounty Hunters Guild. I'm Dorius and these are Hairocon, Temet and Hetud." Dorius indicated the half-orc with spears, the orc without weapons, and the orc with a shortbow in turn.
"Whatever," said Gregor.
"Let's go boys. He doesn't want to play." Dorius led the other three off.
Gregor completed his transaction, securing papers that signified the freedom of the twelve orcs. He spent the rest of the day finding equipment and weapons for the orcs to survive in the wild. After each of them was equipped he led them out the northern gate of the city.
Gregor spoke to the orc that had recognized him previously, "You know who I am. Go north and tell the other orcs that Gregor is not dead. I am alive and I will return soon."
"I knew it was you!"
The orcs cheered and headed out on the path to the orc lands.

On the second day Gregor joined Reggy and Korjak in frequenting the brothels of Lordodo. At a house that specialized in elven women Gregor spotted Hetud, the orc with the shortbow, exiting the establishment as Gregor entered.
Gregor mumbled, "Hello."
Hetud mumbled back, "Hello."
"Anything you'd recommend?"
"I always see Anira when I come, but she's a little worn out at the moment if you know what I mean."
"Well I'm sure I can show her what a real orc's passion is like."
Hetud's face light up as he laughed, "You're alright! What was your name? I don't think we caught it before."
"Gregor."
"I'll remember. The captain's not always like that you know. You really should consider coming to work with us. We're going places and doing things you wouldn't believe."
"Thanks for the offer."
"Still not interested? Ah well. If you don't want my sloppy seconds then I'd suggest Veesati. She's who I see when Anira has her blood."
A grin spread across Gregor's face as he said, "I'll have both."
"Haha! I'll bet you could too." Hetud extended his arm to Gregor. Gregor gripped it. Hetud's hand was wet and sticky. Hetud leaned in and whispered, "A little preview of Anira for you."
On that note Hetud made his exit.

After the second day of fun the party bought a boat ticket to Yuettencal. The boat stopped at Tetalya on the way and the party chose to spend some time there before proceeding.
Of primary importance to them was a visit to the Druids Guild to learn more about the condors in the Dominarie Mountains. They arranged a meeting with one of the druids for the next day.

The session ended halfway through the conversation with the druid. Instead of splitting the conversation into two parts I'll just put it all into the next update.

Middle Snu
2015-05-12, 11:42 AM
This session was the best! As usual, our straight-talking, melee-focused Rebellion heroes managed to quickly and efficiently reach the next part of our quest.

Meanwhile, the 19th-level party of virtual demigods has accomplished almost nothing. As it turns out, with Great Power comes Almost Endless Discussion on What To Do.

Anxe
2015-05-13, 08:46 PM
Rebel Session #11/Total Session #59
This session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, Ozymandias, Zigfried, and Middle_Snu. The session was held over Google Hangouts using Roll20 as an app. Another note, Drako was reworked into a Fighter instead of the Rogue/Wizard he was previously. This was because Salzar's character in the high level campaign switched from a Cleric to a Rogue/Wizard type. Not wanting to play the same mechanical concept in both campaigns, we simply retconned what type of skills Drako had and moved on with our lives.

Last time on the adventures of the low level party! The meeting with the representative from the Druids Guild of Tetalya. This rep went by the name of Trachendolf. The party was ushered in to speak with the druid. No tables or chairs were in the room, only a floor covered in growing grass. Trachendolf greeted them and introduced himself before asking the party to take their seats.
Trachendolg began, "Now what can I and the Druids Guild do for you today?"
Korjak said, "We have a matter of some delicacy we'd like your assistance with."
Gregor continued, "There's a group of condors we'd like to reach in the Dominarie Mountains. They've been keeping a piece of information for generations that we need to retrieve to stop the Xorian advance."
Trachendolf's mouth dropped open, "You seek the prophecy to restore life to a god?"
"Yes."
"Our brother group in the west kept that secret for a long time, you were sent by them."
"In a way. The last druid has allied herself with the Rebellion against Xoria. She sent us to find the prophecy to revive Zeus."
"Splendid. I had thought someone would come eventually."
"Whatever you can tell us about the condors and how to get to them would be helpful."
"Of course! Where to start? The condors live on the desert side of the mountains. They hunt and scavenge food in the desert. Their nests are in the cliffs of the mountains. They live in small communities of 10-20 condors."
Gregor asked, "Could you show us where those communities are on a map?"
"Of course." Trachendolf got out a piece of paper and sketched a rough map of the Dominarie Mountains and marked each of the communities on the map. "The communities will be quite difficult to find, but if you near each of these locations and look to the skies you should see the condors flying to their nests. Follow them and you'll find where they are."
"Do the condors have any natural enemies?"
"Not that I know of. The blue dragons are predators to everything in their domain, but they rarely attack condors. No treasure and no real meat on a bird's bones I imagine."
Sivirdm said, "We've found the other animal clans and each one of them had a Dragovinian or multiple Dragovinian animals that ruled the clan. Do you know if that's happened to the condors as well?"
"I don't. We haven't had a representative sent to the desert in about two years and even then, they don't usually visit the birds. Condors tend to be a little aggresive if you approach their nests."
"How do we get to the nests?"
"I can think of three ways to get into the desert. You could go around the mountains to the west. You could go upriver and directly over the mountains. Or you could go through the mountains I suppose.”
The party talked amongst themselves and decided over or around were the best routes with a slight preference for over the mountains.
Gregor asked Trachendolf, “Do you know any guides that could help us?”
“My cousin, Tory, lives in Yuettencal and works as a jungle guide there. Ask for him at the Painted Turtle tavern and say that I sent you. He can take you anywhere you want to go.”
Gregor addressed the rest of the group, “Anything else we wanted to know?” The orc was met with silence. “Then thank you for your help Trachendolf. Is there any message you want us to bring your cousin?”
“Yes actually. I’ll write a letter for you to bring to him if it’s no trouble.”
“Of course.”

The party bought a few supplies for their journey and used the rest of their boat tickets to get a ride to Yuettencal, picking up the letter from Trachendolf before they left. Upon arrival in the capital city they went to the Painted Turtle and asked for Tory, saying that they knew his cousin. The innkeep told them Tory should be coming in tomorrow night or they could visit his house, giving them directions. The group decided to hang out at the inn for the night and relax. They heard some disturbing news about the castle being closed due to some threat on King Ballard's life, but everyone assumed it was some sort of ruse so the King's Court wouldn't have to meet (Yup! Storylines synced up pretty well!).
The group got rooms for the night and went off to Tory's house bright and early in the morning. They knocked on his door and a bearded man answered.
"What can I do for you?"
Sivirdm said, "Your cousin, Trachendolf, sent us. Said you could guide us through the jungle."
"Yup, I can do that. How is Trachendolf?"
"He seemed fine. He sent you this letter." Korjak pulled out the letter and handed it to Tory.
"Yes. Thank you. My rates for friends sent by my cousin are fifty gold per month plus a fifty gold retainer."
"Sounds within our budget."
"Great! Where did you want to go?"
"We want to go over the Dominarie Mountains and into the Shaclack Desert."
"I can manage that no problem. Come on in and let's look at same maps and plan out where to go."
The party chose a route with Tory's help that took them to a mining town on the southern edge of the mountains and then up so lesser known paths into the mountains. Tory had some mountaineering books describing paths used to get through the Dominarie Mountains near that mining town. The group got along pretty well with Trachendolf's cousin. They put together a list of supplies they'd need for the journey, along with ten goats to carry all the supplies. The party purchased the supplies and in a day or two they were ready to go into the wild!

The party rented a boat to travel upriver to the mining town. Apparently this was a fairly common procedure. Returning the boat at the dock upriver got you a little bit of the fee back. The meandering tributaries of the Aractrash River crisscrossed their path north. Tory took them on a shortcut that he said would cut a half day off their journey.
Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned.
While on Tory's shortcut the party came to an area where hundred of webs stretched between the jungle's trees. The river narrowed before splitting around a small island. Tory had said a way station was on the island to shelter in case of a storm, but the way station was no longer there. In its place was a pile of rubble that blocked the river.
Tory said, "Must've been that bad storm last spring, completely knocked over the way station. Not many people come this way but me. That's probably why it isn't rebuilt yet. We'll have to get out and pull."
The larger humanoids (Tory, Korjak, Reggy, and Gregor) spilled out of the boat while the smaller folk (Stanton, Drako, and Sivirdm) held on to the goats to keep them from jumping overboard in fear as the boat rocked. Tory tied four ropes to the boat and the big folk began to pull the boat forward.
Korjak spotted something moving in a tree on the island. He looked a little closer and saw a giant spider covered in barbs and spikes. Korjak quickly raised the alarm, "Look out! We're under attack! Spiders in the trees!"
Everyone dropped the ropes and pulled out their weapons. Two more humungo spiders, but without spikes, showed themselves in the trees on the northern bank of the river. Gregor and Reggy moved to engage the spiders on the northern bank. The three spiders zeroed in on Gregor. The two on the bank lowered themselves from the tree and scurried forward, one managing to bite him. The spikey one shot forth a barb on a ligament at Gregor, embedding in his leg. The barb instantly retracted drawing Gregor into the waiting maw of the beast.
Korjak transformed into Baldr, god of plants, and moved forward against the spiders while Drako, Stanton, and Sivirdm got out of the boat. The goats spooked and began jumping into the water as well. Tory drew his weapons and moved against one of the spiders on the bank.
The spiders tried to bite Reggy and Tory. Reggy's armor protected him, but Tory slipped on the rocks and received a nasty bite to his shoulder. Baldr swung his sword at one of the large spiders and cracked its exoskeleton open on its abdomen. Sivirdm, hopping from goat to goat, made it to the bank, rolled under the other spider on the bank, and stabbed it in the belly.
Tory backed away from the spiders after getting his injury. Stanton and Drako, seeing that the fight was in good hands, prevented anymore goats from getting away. Gregor wrestled with the spiked spider, but couldn't prevent it from getting another bite in.
The two spiders on the bank began to flee. Sivirdm and Baldr hit one as it ran away, but allowed the other to escape. Reggy grabbed the boat as it was beginning to slip downstream. Baldr melted away and Korjak ran to help Gregor. Everyone else grabbed goats left and right.
Gregor pried the spider's jaws open and snapped one of its mandibles off. The spider screamed, dropped Gregor, and began scuttling away. Korjak ran up and stabbed his sword deep into its side. The beast writhed upon the sharpened metal before falling dead to the ground.
Reggy, Korjak, Drako, and Stanton rounded up the goats. Sivirdm offered antitoxin to Tory and Gregor. Tory gladly accepted and ignored any further effects of the poison coursing through his body. Gregor hadn't felt anything previously from the bites, so he denied treatment.
"I don't need any antitoxin. I feel finnnnneeeee..."
Gregor slumped forward falling fast first into the river as the secondary poison damage obliterated his dexterity. The party got him out of the water quickly.
Sivirdm asked Tory, "Is there anything you can do for him? The antitoxin only works before the poison reaches the heart."
"I'm afraid I can't do anything for him once he's unconscious. We'll just have to hope there's a cleric willing to treat an orc in the mining town."

Sivirdm did a little bit of searching in the rubble as the others loaded the goats and Gregor back into the boat. The little halfling found the corpse of what looked like an alchemist with five identical potions in vials untouched by the rubble’s collapse. Sivirdm took the vials and hopped in the boat with the others, showing off his find. The vessel was even more crowded now that Gregor wasn’t sitting, but lying on the bottom. The adventurers reached the silver mining town by dusk and carried Gregor into the local inn. Tory rushed to the local temple while the others cleared a space on a table and plopped Gregor down on it.
The innkeep remarked, “Your orc is in a bad way there.”
Sivirdm said, “Bitten by a spider.”
“Ah. That’ll do it. Don’t worry. Priest Farian will fix him up.” The innkeep turned to the other patrons in the inn, “It’s alright everyone. Their orc’s been bit by a spider. Tory the guide is going to get Priest Farian.” He turned back to the party, “It’s a gold a night for you fellas. Your orc can stay for free tonight, but he’ll have to sleep on the floor, not on the table.”
The party waited for Tory to return with Priest Farian. Sivirdm headed over to sit by the fire next to the miners drinking the yellow colored beer of the establishment. Tory came back in at a brisk pace followed by the priest. Sivirdm returned to the table that Gregor laid on.
Farian approached Gregor and began examining him. He lifted his arm and felt for a pulse. “You said it was giant spiders that bit him?”
Reggy said, “Uhuh. Spiders.”
“Could you describe them?”
“Well he was only bit by the one spider, right?”
“Yeah,” Drako confirmed.
Reggy continued, “Right, the one spider. It was about as big as two or three outhouses and it was covered in spikes. It blended in pretty well with the jungle, but I do remember seeing a few red spots on it in places. And it had the thing where it shot a spike from next to its mouth,” Reggy indicated his mouth, “like a tusk. And the spike hit Gregor and dragged him towards the spider because it was attached by webbing or something. Then it bit him.”
“What you are describing is a harpoon spider. Your orc is lucky you save him. Those red spots you saw weren’t coloration, but blood from previous victims. The harpoon spider paralyzes its prey and then impales it on the spikes to slowly consume it over several days.”
Everyone in the party had a look of disgust on their faces.
Priest Farian completed his examination and said, “There’s nothing I can do for him until the morning. There’s no mundane cure I have for his condition. He requires magic and I won’t have the spell ready until tomorrow. Until then it would be best if you brought him to the temple.”
Sivirdm said, “If you don’t mind we would prefer to keep him here.”
“I suppose if you wish. Keep him cool if you can, but not cold. Put a warm rag on his forehead and try to keep his head elevated. If anything bad happens come get me at the temple. I’ll see you there in the morning.”
Priest Farian turned to go but Sivirdm interrupted, “Actually, could you come here in the morning?”
“If that is what you wish. Now if you’ll excuse me I need my rest to properly prepare the spells for tomorrow.”
Farian took his leave. Reggy volunteered to be the first to look after Gregor. A space was made for him closer to the fire, but not too close. Sivirdm returned to the man he was chatting with earlier by the fire.
“What was it you were saying earlier?”
The old miner who introduced himself as Spilnat to Sivirdm earlier said, “I was saying that I have map to a fantastic treasure.”
"Tell me more."
"I'd like to tell you, but it's hard with a throat as dry as mine."
Sivirdm signaled for the innkeep's wife to bring over another mug of beer.
"Ah! That'll do the trick! Well one of my buddies was wandering out in the jungle. On a vacation or something. Who knows why he enjoys that stuff. Too dangerous for me. Anyways, he was wandering around out there, doing sightseeing and such. And he finds these ruins you see. He pokes around and found a big old shield, glittering and glowing. Probably magical. Next to the shield is a sack filled with gold and silver.
"Now he's thinking, 'I've struck it rich!' but what comes up behind him, but an ogre! My buddy, he scrambled out of there as fast as he could. He could hear the ogre chasing behind him. He turned to look and all he saw was the branches on the ground crashing as it came closer. Damn thing must've turned invisible when it chased him. Fortunately for my buddy, the big beasty couldn't fit through the tighter parts of the jungle and my buddy got away."
Sivirdm ordered another mug of beer for Spilnat and asked, "Where in the jungle did you say this was?"
"It's on the map my buddy made. He's got good direction sense and remembered exactly how to get to the ruins. Wrote it all down. And I've been looking for someone to buy the map ever since."
"How did you get the map?"
"Inheritance. Mining pays well, but it ain't a job without dangers. He didn't have a family and I was the one who knew him best so I got the map. S' about the only valuable thing he had left to his name. He spent all his earnings on trips into the jungle."
"So are you selling this map?"
"In a manner. I'm looking for someone to go out there and bring a share back of whatever you find at the ruins. So you've got how many people in your group?"
"Six."
"Right, six. So I'd be wanting one seventh of the treasure you find there."
"I'd need to talk to the others, but I think we could swing that."
"And I don't want to be galavanting in the jungle with you either, so I'd need some assurance you'd come back with my share and not just skedaddle into the wilds. From what my buddy said the treasure there is worth thousands of gold pieces. I think it's fair to ask for one hundred gold pieces to ensure you come back with my share. You bring what you find back and I'll take my share, minus the hundred you gave me for the map."
Sivirdm ordered another round of yellow beer. "You sure you couldn't part with it for less?"
Spilnat was holding a mug of beer in each of his hands and taking alternating swigs from each of them as he talked. "I've thought on this for a long time. I can't part with the map for less than that. It's my ticket to the good life and what remains of my buddy's life and dreams as well. If you don't like the deal then I'm sure someone else will come into town eventually who does like it. No skin off my nose."
"Well, like I said. I'll talk to my fellows and see what they think."
"Much obliged little man." Spilnat toasted Sivirdm with one of his mugs.
The party enjoyed the comforts of the inn before bedding down for the night.

In the morning Priest Farian returned and set up his ritual with incense and holy water to purify the poison affecting Gregor's body. In a minute or two Gregor was able to move around once more, albeit a little clumsier than he was previously. Sivirdm asked Farian to perform the ritual another time to restore more of Gregor's functionality and this was done. (Gregor lost all 14 of his Dex. Two lesser restoration spells and a day of rest brought it back up to 9 or 10). The matter of donations came up and Sivirdm agreed to donate generously to the temple of Hephaestus in the town. The party each ponied up an equal amount to pay for Gregor's restoration.
Next they discussed the deal that Spilnat had offered. It might be worth delaying their trip to gather the condor's piece of the prophecy if they could find a magical shield. Plus, killing an ogre just sounded fun! They spoke to Spilnat again and agreed to his terms.
After receiving his gold Spilnat got the map from his home and spoke to the party, "Now here's the map. You can see the ruins to the west and my buddy wrote some instructions on the side for each of the landmarks. Your guide should be able to follow these and get you there in about two days."
The party bought a few more pieces of equipment for their journey into the jungle and set out to the west. Tory led the party using the map as a guide, fording rivers and going through the jungle along the easiest paths available. After two days of travel they drew close to the big X on the map.
Tory said, "The ruins should only be a mile or two west of here. Also, there's a lot of tracks on the ground. A lot of them are ogre tracks, but there's a few others that might be something else. See here?" Tory indicated one of the tracks, "This one is barefoot. It's smaller than an ogre foot, but way too wide to be a human or even an orc. And it also has these little claw impressions at the end."
Sivirdm asked, "Like a cat man?"
"Could be. I'm not really sure. It's definitely a humanoid's footprint from the shape of it, but I can't explain those claws. Ogres don't have clawed feet. But that's not the weird print! There's also some boot prints. Same wide shoe size as well. It could be whatever had those clawed footprints recently got some shoes."
Korjak asked, "And these are all creatures in the area recently."
"Yes. And definitely more than one ogre."
Korjak said, "Alright. We don't want the goats getting in the battle. Let's find a good place to camp for today with the goats. Once we have a camp we can send Sivirdm to the ruins if he's alright with scouting for us." Sivirdm nodded. Korjak continued, "And then we can come up with a plan based off of what Sivirdm finds out."
Tory found a small clearing that the group widened with axes. They set up camp there with the goats while Sivirdm snuck off to take a look at the ogre's ruins.
Sivirdm approached the area around the ruins where the trees thinned. Five buildings once stood in the area cleared of trees. Four of the buildings formed a square, but had fallen into disrepair, more rubble now than walls. A fifth building stood to the north apart from the other four. The separate building had a large stone column at each corner with stone walls in between.
Sivirdm snuck around and counted five different ogres with beds laid out in the rubble of the four destroyed buildings. Each of the ogres wore armor made from animal hides with a quiver of javelins and a club tied to their belts. The halfling saw an open entrance about ten feet wide to the northern building. He wanted to get in close enough to see inside the building, but there was no way to do that without the risk of being spotted by the ogres. Sivirdm retreated into the jungle and went back to the camp. He related what he saw to the others.
Gregor said, "Well there are fresh tracks outside of the ruins, so they must be coming out to get food or something. We could look around for one of their snare traps and set up an ambush there. Hopefully pick one or two of them off."
Everyone agreed. Tory started searching for a snare traps that the ogres frequented and soon found one. The snare lay at the end of a small pile of boulders which restricted entry to one direction. The party hid in positions around the path leading towards the snare and waited.
After waiting for about half a day noise could be heard coming up the path. An ogre appeared out of the jungle and walked towards the snare. Sivirdm and Drako loosed crossbow bolts. Drako's bolt went wide but Sivirdm's went deep into the ogre's eye. The ogre clutched his eye and Gregor took advantage of the situation by rushing forward and slicing deep into the ogre's leg. The ogre fell screaming to the ground and quickly fertilized the jungle ground with its lifeblood.
The party rejoiced in their victory and searched the body. They found only a few coins. The ambush had worked though! Hoping to catch another ogre they moved a mile or so down the path to see if another would approach.
While waiting for another ogre, Sivirdm heard a noise approaching from behind. He alerted the others. They turned and saw nothing. A quick search turned up fresh tracks matching the clawed footprints Tory had pointed out earlier. Fearing their ambush had been discovered the party raced to the ogre encampment to defeat the remaining ones before they were able to erect defenses.
The party arrived at the ruins and saw the ogres gathered in the middle of the ruins. In the middle of the group a human sized creature stood. The creature looked like a man except for its face which was red and resembled that of a frog. It wore chain armor and carried a spear and shield. The shield bore a remarkable resemblance to the one Splinat's buddy had seen. The frog man had a bull dog on a leash. The dog had metal plate armor which appeared to be bolted to its body.
As the party of adventurers watched the ogres Gregor's poison-addled body didn't obey him. He misplaced his foot and stepped on a large branch. The ogres turned at the sound and the fight was on!
Korjak yelled and transformed into Baldr, god of plants! Baldr and Gregor charged at the ogres, dropping one near the front and engaging a second. The location where the two of orcine blood engaged the ogres was restricted by the rubble. Only two ogres could approach from that angle. The others circled around the rubble to come from another direction. Reggy and Drako met the other two ogres on that side.
The frog man shouted, "Drop to the ground!" Baldr and Gregor felt compeled to obey. Baldr resisted the compulsion, but Gregor could not. The frog man then loosed the bull dog. It ran forward and opened its mouth revealing that it had not one, but two sets of jaws. One that opened up and down and another that opened left and right. A twenty foot long barbed tongue shot out and coiled around Gregor's leg. Gregor felt a tug and decided to go along for the ride. The dog's tongue retracted, bringing Gregor in range for a bite.

http://s17.postimg.org/vjwq2xsjz/Session_59.jpg

Sivirdm circled around the fight that Baldr and Gregor were in to get a good shot at the frog man. He kept himself hidden behind the rubble. Stanton cast a glitterdust spell on the ogres fighting Reggy and Drako, but the ogres shielded their eyes in time.
Gregor tried to draw his dagger, but dropped it as he took it out of the sheath. Then he braced himself and began pulling on the dog's tongue, trying to rip it out of the monster's mouth. The dog pulled back and bit Gregor for his trouble. Baldr sliced into the ogre in front of him, almost felling it in one blow. Sivirdm got into a good position and shot a crossbow bolt into the exposed side of the frog man. The creature flinched in pain, but now seeing Sivirdm advanced on him and commanded him, "Bow!" Sivirdm resisted.
The fight went poorly for Reggy and Drako. Reggy took a knock to the head and had to drop back. Drako remained okay, but found his dual-wielded daggers to be ineffective against the knees of the ogres. Stanton tried another glitterdust, but failed to blind the ogres.
Baldr finished off the ogre in front of him. Gregor motioned him on to help Sivirdm while the orc continued wrestling with the demonic dog. Sivirdm took a stab at the frog man, but the creature caught the thrust on its shield. Again, it commanded Sivirdm to, "Bow!" Sivirdm felt his will breaking and he prostrated himself before the creature.
The fight went poorly for Drako, but he stuck in it. Reggy provided some support with his crossbow and Stanton managed to daze one of the ogres.
Sivirdm couldn't lift himself back to his feet, but he could still stab the frog man from the ground. The red creature was distracted by the approach of Baldr. Sivirdm struck while the thing was distracted and drove his dagger deep into its groin. The frog man howled and fell to the ground bleeding.
Gregor pulled the dog's tongue back out of its mouth in his struggle and hoped to sever the tongue entirely. Baldr moved to intercept another ogre that had arrived on the scene.
Drako took another hit and went into the negatives, but never fear! He has the diehard feat! Drako fought on against the ogres. Stanton moved closer and cast another daze spell.
Sivirdm came to help Gregor against the dog while Baldr traded hits with the new ogre. The dog continued to enjoy Gregor's flesh.
Drako sliced the ogres knees some more, but victory was too much to hope for. Another club blow fell down on the warrior halfling and he was no more.
Stanton panicked with nothing between him and the two ogres. He retreated a little ways.
Baldr finished off the new ogre, but the pair that defeated Drako and Reggy now threatened to attack Gregor and Sivirdm. Baldr moved to protect them.
Sivirdm and Gregor's continued struggle against the demon dog finally ended in victory. The dog collapsed under a blow from Sivirdm and the continual wrenching on its tongue performed by Gregor. Gregor's wounds threatened to incapacitate him and his inner rage no longer fueled him, but he grabbed his sword and stood to face the ogres.
Stanton moved in and cast a color spray on the two ogres. Both were stunned and then summarily executed by the party. A victory, but without cost. Drako lay dead on the field of battle.

Tory was fetched and wood was gathered to burn Drako's body. Sivirdm, ever the pragmatist, removed any useful items from the body before it was placed on the pyre. Stanton started the eulogy, "I didn't know Drako for very long, but he was the finest sort you could ever know. We fought together and he died protecting me and Reggy. I wish I could've saved him with my magic and I promise I'll keep getting stronger so that this will never happen again. Plus, he was a halfling and we're pretty cool folk. I'll miss you Drako."
Stanton lit the fire and the others said their goodbyes.
After the grief no longer controlled them the party searched the bodies and the surrounding buildings. They found a load of copper, silver, and gold coins squirreled away in a few sacks. They also found a large pearl and two potions. And of course, the magic shield the frog man had used both for defense and offense during the battle.
Whilst searching the intact northern building, Sivirdm found another surprise, a hidden trap door. He opened it and saw a twenty foot drop into a stone room. Korjak lowered him down on a rope. The dark room was about twenty foot square with stone walls. Two passageways left the room from the eastern wall and ended in stone doors soon afterwards.

We ended the session there with the rest of the trap door as yet unexplored. Salzar was sad to see Drako go, but hadn't particularly attached himself to the character yet. There was talk of him taking over Tory and turning him into a PC.

Anxe
2015-05-20, 08:25 AM
Rebel Session #12/Total Session #60
This session was attended by Throgg, Ozymandias, Salzar, Middle_Snu, and thewamp. The session was held over Google Hangouts using the app for Roll20. We're gearing up for a combo session between the two different campaigns soon, but are not quite there yet. This session also marks the introduction of Salzar's new character, Demetrius the Knight of Athena. He's using the paladin class to get into the cavalier prestige class for maximum charging damage.

The session started with the party resting for the night in the intact building in the ruins. No one wanted to risk exploring more of the secret basement. A watch was set. The sounds of various critters eating the ogre remains could be heard, but nothing dangerous came close to the intact building.
In the morning Sivirdm was lowered down into the basement once more with a rope tied to his waist in case he needed to be pulled out quickly. He searched everywhere for traps and, finding none, pushed open the stone door at the end of the hallway. Flames shot out of the doorway as he pushed it! Sivirdm deftly ducked below the flames and pushed the door the rest of the way open. Dodging flames is no problem for a halfling rogue!
He came upon a room very similar to the first. Masonry stone walls with a dirt floor. Two doors were on the opposite wall. One on the left side of the room and one on the right. Sivirdm searched the room and found no traps before approaching the right door and giving it a push. What did Sivirdm forget to do? CHECK FOR TRAPS ON THE DOOR!
A magical trap went off as soon as Sivirdm touched the door. His worst nightmare appeared before him. Stricken with terror, Sivirdm fled the room screaming. Korjak and Gregor heaved on the rope and pulled Sivirdm out of the basement. The halfling continued to panic, running into the jungle. The two orcine men pulled him back on the rope. Korjak attempted to reason with the halfling and ask him what happened, but Sivirdm only babbled incoherently. Gregor picked him up in a bear hug and held Sivirdm to prevent him from hurting himself. After several minutes Sivirdm calmed down and was able to speak.
"You can put me down now. I'm okay. There was a door I tried to open on the right of the next room. It scared me, but I'm alright now."
Korjak asked, "Are you good to go back in?"
"I think so."
Sivirdm moved to lower himself back into the basement, but as his feet left the dirt aboveground he began to panic once more. "Nope! Nope! Can't go back in there! I'm sorry guys!"
Korjak and Gregor sighed before going down in themselves.
Korjak approached the door and steeled himself for the coming fear. He pushed against the door and his greatest nightmare reared its ugly head. Korjak screamed as well and fled from the room. He climbed the rope back up to the surface and fled into the jungle with no one strong enough to restrain him left aboveground.
Gregor, fearing the same thing happening to him, sat on the ground facing the door and began meditating on his greatest fear. He would not let if affect him the same way it had affected the others. He would overcome his fear and push through the door.
Soon Korjak returned and Gregor was ready to face the door. He raised the magic shield of the frog man and charged the door. His nightmare appeared before him and he broke through. The door was open!
Stanton came down to watch over Gregor in the next room. Both doors from the previous room had short passageways before they emptied into the same room. The left door remained closed, but the right door had been forced by Gregor. At the other end of the thirty foot long room was a large wooden chest with metal bracing. A large lock stood on the chest.
Gregor yelled towards the entrance to the basement, "Hey Sivirdm! We've got a locked chest down here! Can you come take a look?"
"Nope! Sorry! Too scared!"
"Fine."
Gregor looked over the chest as best he could before stepping back beside the passageway to the closed left door. Stanton stood in the passageway of the right door as he cast a knock on the chest. It popped open. At the same time stone walls crashed down at the end of the passageways, trapping Gregor in the room. Stanton shouted for help. Korjak turned into Baldr and came down to meet Stanton.
Gregor relayed what was happening in the room, "The far wall is coming at me! I'll bash my way out!"
Gregor hefted his sword and began slamming it against the stone wall that covered the right passageway. Baldr joined him as the far wall drew closer and closer, pushing the chest along the ground as it approached. Stanton, doing his best to help, cast detect secret doors. There was a secret door!
The two orc friends kept slamming against the wall, cutting piece after piece away. Stanton found a secret door between the left and right doors. He puzzled over how to open it. The far wall drew closer and closer. Stanton found the release and opened the door. It revealed a short passageway that ended in another secret door. In the middle of the passageway was a medium sized chest. Stanton stepped around the chest to reach the back secret door. It was too late though! He heard the closing wall crunch against the larger wooden chest on the other side of the secret door.
It wasn't too late for Gregor though. He and Baldr had managed to cut their way through stone and free the orc barbarian. Exhausted from the ordeal, the party grabbed the medium chest and left the basement.
Cracking the chest open aboveground revealed a pile of gold coins, a golden scepter, a gold crown encrusted with jewels, and a wicked looking green dagger with a serrated edge.
With all the treasure secured the party packed their gear up and headed back towards the mining town to meet with Spilnat.

On the second day of travel back to the mining town the group encountered a group of lizardfolk while crossing a river. The lizardfolk were walking downstream in the river. As everyone else was surprised, Sivirdm slipped off into the bushes to flank the lizards. The lizards began shouting at the party in Draconic, but no one understood that language, no one except Sivirdm that is, and he had just left. Korjak and Gregor shouted back. Gregor got up on a rock and roared at them. They roared back in Draconic, "Get off our rock!"
Cooler heads prevailed when Korjak said in Orc, "Do you speak orc?"
One of the lizardfolk came forward, "Yes, I do. Tell your friend to get down from that rock. It is ours, as is this river, and you will have to pay to cross."
Korjak told Gregor to get down and the group conferred amongst each other. Korjak turned back to the lizardfolk that spoke Orc, "How much?"
"Two goats."
Gregor said, "How about four goats and you tell us a little bit about the surrounding area."
"Deal!"
The lizardfolk that spoke Orc relayed the information in Draconic to the largest of the lizards who wore a suit of chain armor. The larger one came forward and shook Korjak's hand, securing the deal. After learning the deal was translated into Common for the others in the party they helped to readjust the gear onto the few remaining goats and cut off four from the herd to give the lizardfolk.
The translator lizard spoke again in Orc, "Would you like to join us for lunch while we talk about the jungle?"
Gregor said, "Sure, but let us treat you."
Gregor moved to slaughter one of the goats and Reggy asked, "Why are you giving away so many of our goats?"
"I hate the things." Gregor slit the goat's neck and the two groups prepared a barbeque by the side of the river.
Sivirdm struck up a conversation in Draconic with one of the Lizardfolk, comparing the differences in the hunting grounds they grew up in. Gregor and Korjak spoke a little bit with the translator, but most conversation between the two groups was limited to non-verbal communication.
As the meal concluded the lizardfolk leader presented Gregor with a potion, saying, "This potion will make you strong and brave when danger is near." The Orc-fluent lizardfolk and Sivirdm translated for the rest. Gregor thanked the lizardfolk for their gift and the two groups went on their way. (Sometimes random encounters can be fun!)

Our brave adventurers got back to the mining town and were met by Spilnat. They presented all the treasure except for the potions and the dagger, which they kept to themselves. Spilnat and Korjak took the scepter and the crown to the town's general store to have them appraised and came back with a total of around 3,500GP for both of them. The party offered Spilnat 750GP as his share of the treasure and he happily accepted, having never seen that much money in his life. They unloaded their copper and silver coins on to him and thanked him for sharing the treasure map.
The group was still left with a sizeable amount of gold, enough that it might weigh them down when they headed into the mountains. How could they make this wealth more portable? Normally you could transform the wealth into platinum pieces or gems, but the small mining town lacked a money changer for that. The town did have a temple though, and temples have potions. The group went to talk with Priest Farian and acquire some potions.
Priest Farian accommodated the party. As he found what they were looking for a human warrior in fullplate, riding a magnificent horse, approached the temple. He dismounted and then dismissed his horse, which disappeared in a shimmer of light.
"I am Demetrius, son of Demetrius. You are the band of adventurers known as Korjak, Gregor, Drako, Sivirdm, and Stanton?"
Korjak said, "Yes, although Drako died in battle only a few days previously."
"I am sorry to hear that. I am hear to take charge of your band and set you on the right path! Dactirian finally got word of what you've been up to and he's sent me to prevent anymore of your bungling."
"Interesting... Do you have any papers?"
"Yes of course." Demetrius pulled a paper out from his backpack and presented it to the party.
Korjak noted its official seal before saying, "Let's go somewhere else to talk about this. We'll be back later today, Farian!"
The group went a little bit off from the temple to talk amongst themselves.
Korjak said, "Can I see that paper in better detail?"
"Here." Demetrius held the paper in front of Korjak, but did not relinquish the paper to the half-orc.
Korjak read through it and said, "This says you were only sent to, 'render assistance,' not take charge. And it says that you're a corporal. I'm a sergeant. I outrank you. What were you trying to pull here?"
Demetrius looked at his feet. "Apologies sir. I'm a bit of a braggart at times."
"Well, no to worry. We aren't as official with rank out here anyways. Let me introduce you to the two new faces. This is Reggy and Tory." Korjak indicated the two men. "Reggy is a freed slave who has chosen to continue accompanying us. Tory is our guide through the jungle and the mountains around here."
Demetrius shook their hands and they got to know each other.
(Demetrius is a paladin and some of you may be wondering, how can I possibly be including a paladin in a campaign where two of the party members are evil? Those two would be Sivirdm and Stanton if you didn't know. A couple reasons. First, paladins are already worse than other fighting classes. I don't think they need further nerfing by forcing a code on them. Second, paladins uphold the divine law, but the Olympians aren't exactly paragons of virtue. Paladins should be like their gods, but that isn't saying much in this pantheon. Third, Demetrius explicitly stated that he wanted to reign in the unruly behavior of the party. He's trying to follow the code as best he can. Fourth, Salzar said he wanted to play it and why shouldn't I let him have some fun?)
The group bought the rest of their potions and got the last bit of supplies they'd need before making the climb into the mountains.

The climb went smoothly as the party had prepared so well and had Tory as an excellent guide. He led them on easy paths that took them higher and higher by the hour. When it came time to sleep for the night they were close to a cave. Tory pointed it out and they went inside. A little bit of exploring revealed that the cave had no back wall. It just kept going and going into the side of the mountain.
Wanting to ensure safety while they slept, Korjak lit some torches and led the way into the cave. The journey took them deeper and deeper and the cave began to slope downwards. It was clear that this was some sort of entrance into the Underdark.
Not wanting to chance any encounters with Drow or other creatures, the party left the cave and camped outside in the rain. Tory gave them what tips he could for keeping dry in the rain, but by morning everyone was soaked and miserable.
The next day while hiking up the wide mountain path, a shadow passed over the party. Everyone looked up and saw a gigantic bird circling around the party.
Gregor asked, "Is that a condor?"
Tory's eyes went wide. "No! It's a roc!"
Korjak shouted, "Take cover!"
"It's too late it's already seen us and there's nowhere to hide around here," said Tory.
Korjak ordered, "Loose one of the goats! Maybe it will only want to feed on one."
The party quickly stripped the equipment off of one goat as the roc circled lower and lower. They prodded the goat away from the party to act as bait. The roc swooped down and landed upon the goat. It crushed the bleating animal in its talons and lifted it to its beak to be devoured in a single bite. The roc fixed its white eyes on the party and began to advance.
"Oh gods," said Tory. He backed away, holding on to the leashes of the other goats. The rest of the party prepared to engage if the roc kept advancing.
The bird came forward and the fight was on.
Korjak pulled out his bow and shot an arrow into the neck of the roc. The arrow burrowed deep and the roc shrieked in response (Korjak got a double crit for x5 damage! 47 total). Gregor ran in to fight it toe to toe. Sivirdm hid behind a rock and fired at the roc's vulnerable side with his crossbow. Reggy took shots at it with his crossbow as well. Stanton hid behind a rock as well and cast blinding color surge to stop the roc's advance. Demetrius summoned his horse and mounted up.
The roc faltered a little bit. Stanton, suspecting an opening cast vertigo on the roc, giving it the unsettling feeling that it was falling.

http://s29.postimg.org/3kqkopb8n/Session_60.jpg

The roc recovered its vision and bit into Gregor. The bird lifted him up in its giant beak. Korjak, Sivirdm, and Reggy continued their missile barrage. Demetrius charged by on his horse, jumping just in time to dodge the roc's talon, and scrapping the roc's side good with his lance. Tory continued to pull the goats further away and keep them under control.
Stanton, wanting to free Gregor, cast a color spray up at the roc's face. The colors stunned both Gregor and the roc. The bird dropped Gregor roughly to the ground.
The fight was sadly, depressingly boring after this point. Stanton kept the roc stun-locked with more color sprays and it was unable to resist looking at the pretty lights (Stupid low rolls on will saves!). The party cut it up with various attacks until Gregor rolled a huge critical hit and decapitated the beast.
Tory handed the goats off to Reggy and came to investigate the roc.
"I've never heard of a roc having a beak that big. Most of them are only about sixteen inches long, but this one must be two feet. Impressive."
Gregor said, "Sounds like we should take some trophies."
The party stripped what they wanted which included the talons, some gigantic feathers, and the already decapitated head.

The session ended there. Next time will probably be a combo session.

Anxe
2015-06-17, 05:15 PM
I've started putting some extra info on my campaign at my website. I've given my players a bunch of info on the cities in my campaign over the years. I'm now in the process of updating that info for the current state of the campaign. Check it out!

Cimmeria at GoCorral (https://gocorral.wordpress.com/cimmeria/)

Anxe
2015-09-24, 04:09 PM
Ye next session is being written up now!

Anxe
2015-09-26, 12:30 AM
Combo Session #3/Total Session #61
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, thewamp, and Salzar. The session was held using Roll20 for tabletop interactions and Skype for voice and video. This is another combo session. A lot of bad **** went down in this session but it should be known that it was all at the permission of the respective PCs. No one was upset at the end of the session. We started off with everyone playing their Alliance characters.

After welcoming Origenes into the party everyone decided to take a few days off for themselves. Destroying ancient artifacts can take a lot out of you. Eathirilu spent his time developing his base in Demeter's Garden further. Danar, Tagenadi, and Origenes worked on some battle tactics they could use in future fights. Hektor had Alliance business to attend to along with beginning negotiations of Aractrash's entrance into the war. Amalius did something a little different.
Remember how Amalius had been kidnapped by the Xorians before the campaign began? He was brainwashed into thinking he had a family. The Xorians used an actual family to aid the creation of these new memories. The memories of the family were also changed, so that they would think that Amalius was the father/husband of the family. The Xorians held Amalius's family hostage and forced him to spy on the Alliance.
Amalius eventually freed his "family" and in doing so realized that they his memories and theirs were false. This all happened back in Alliance Session #17/Total Session #25. A few more events have unfolded offscreen since then. Amalius consulted the Bjorn for advice and after doing so used psychic chirurgery to correct the errors of his memories and those of his “wife,” Denara. Denara and Amalius still kept their emotional connection and wished to stay together. The children were left in the dark about what happened and Amalius used a little bit of mental magic to smooth out any edges in their memories that might’ve made them realize that he was not their true father.
Denara and the three children, Valaria, Hallion, and Procine went to live with Amalius’s brother, Amalchus. Amalchus used to be a prosperous horse merchant in Jipangu, but after Amalius was exiled and subsequently declared a traitor to the Alliance, Amalchus’s property was confiscated and he was exiled from Jipangu as well. He’d used what he could to purchase an inn and was now running it to serve the thousands of soldiers training in the field outside of Jipangu. Also living with Amalchus were his wife, Helia; his son, Hiero; and his and Amalius’s mother, Hiroka. Additionally, Amalchus’s and Amalius’s sister, Amelia, had moved in with Amalchus. She was married prior to the family’s exile, but afterwards her husband divorced her, sending her back to her family.
The family had been close to destitute, unaware of how to manage an inn and live below their usual standard of living. Amalius used his psionic powers to give them some sound business advice and also gifted the family with thousands of gold pieces to invest in the business. Since then the inn, The Rising Sun, has grown in size and popularity. More staff are being hired and the family has thrown themselves into work to keep up with all their customers.
With that being the current situation, Amalius realized something important, “I have a wife, but I never technically married her. Why don’t I have a wedding?” He asked her and she said yes. He began making the appropriate arrangements. Hiroka, Amalius’s mother, agreed to handle most of the small details as long as Amalius found a suitable groom for Amelia. Amalius thought of Tagenadi immediately, but discarded the idea soon afterward due to Tagenadi’s undead status. He is now thinking of asking Hektor, but the appropriate time to broach the subject has not yet arrived (Throgg and Middle_Snu haven’t played in the same session since he thought of the idea).

So all the memory stuff is headed in a happy direction with marriage on the horizon, but there’s a darker side to these events as well. Stanton, the Xorian who altered Amalius’s memories AND dominated Tagenadi to kill his parents, still walked free, unpunished for his crimes. Amalius made plans with Tagenadi to get revenge and acted on them. Amalius hired a mage to scry Stanton and then he teleported himself and Tagenadi there.
Amalius and Tagenadi arrived a hundred or so feet away from the Rebel party’s campfire up in the Dominarie Mountains. They’d just slain a roc and were enjoying reliving the experience, admiring the trophies they’d taken, and digesting some roasted bird. Tagenadi summoned his nightmare mount and activated his flying armor to float above the fiery steed. The Rebel party looked over and Amalius announced, “We come in peace! Me mean you no harm!”
Seeing a large skeleton man, floating over a flaming horse, the Rebel party didn’t believe a word of that crap. Korjak yelled out, “Like hell you do!” as he transformed into Baldr.
Tory began leading the goats as far away from the newcomers as possible. Sivirdm disappeared into the shadows and started circling around to flank. Gregor, Korjak, Demetrius, and Reggy all scrambled for their weapons. Stanton mentally rolled through his spell options as Tagenadi and Amalius approached.
Amalius sighed and enveloped the party in a suggestion spell saying, “Speak with me by the fire for the night is dark and full of terrors.” This only succeeded in overcoming Baldr’s will. Unfortunately, even on him it did not have the effect that Amalius had desired. Baldr’s eyes focused on the “terror” in front of him, Tagenadi. The skeleton knight dispelled his nightmare and moved towards the campfire, bringing his activated inherent fear aura with him. Gregor and Tory fled as the chilling emanation enveloped them. Stanton also up and fled. Tagenadi swung his kusari-gama and tripped Stanton, preventing his escape.
Demetrius summoned his horse, Alexis, and mounted, preparing to charge Tagenadi. Baldr ran at Tagenadi, but was tripped. Baldr attempted to hit Tagenadi as he fell, but only glanced off of his armor.
Amalius shouted, “Everyone stop! We only want to talk with one of you!” but was ignored.
Tagenadi continued to prevent movement of all within range of his kusari-gama. Baldr managed to stand and land a strong blow against Tagenadi. Reggy stayed out of range, trying to think of what to do.
Sivirdm moved to approach Amalius from behind but as he did so he heard a voice in his mind, “I would be more careful if I were you.” Amalius’s tuned mental senses picked the halfling up even as he hid in the shadows.
His patience running thin, Amalius wormed his way into the minds of Baldr, Stanton, and Demetrius, forcing them to obey his commands. He spoke to Baldr and Demetrius, “Sit by the fire and only take defensive actions if they are absolutely necessary.” They complied with the order. Reggy joined in as well. Sivirdm chose to stay in the shadows, still circling to get behind Amalius.
Amalius and Tagenadi gathered around Stanton as he lay on the ground away from the campfire. “Now tell me… Do you remember me?” asked Amalius.
Stanton nodded.
“Good.” Amalius withdrew Korm from his gloves of storing. “Then you’ll know that there’s no way you can resist what we’re about to do to you.”
Tagenadi’s eyes would’ve widened if he still had them. “Whoa man! Put that away! We’re not going to kill him!”
Korm whined, “But I can do other things. And don’t tell me you don’t find my sense of humor appealing.” A shiver went down Stanton’s spine as Korm said pealing.
Amalius locked his gaze on Tagenadi for a moment before submitting. “Fine. Hope you enjoyed your short time out.”
“Wait! Wait! I can hel-” Korm was cut off as he was forced back into the gloves of storing.
Amalius turned back to Stanton, “You remember me from the last time I was here. Then do you remember what you did to me and my family? And to his family!” Amalius pointed at Tagenadi.
“It has a family?”
Amalius glared at Stanton.
“I mean, no! I don’t remember anything from when I was a Dragovinian.”
“I’ll make you remember.” Amalius cast false sensory input on Stanton. He altered Stanton’s sense so that the cool mountain air felt like a thousand fire ants crawling over him, biting into his skin. Stanton began squirming on the ground, “Do you remember now? HUH?! DO YOU?!”
Amalius relaxed the power and waited for an answer. Stanton took a few deep breaths before saying, “No.”
Amalius was about to ramp up the spell again when Tagenadi said, “Wait. Wait. I have an idea.”
Tagenadi donned his cap of disguise and used it to change his appearance. He shifted from a skeleton into the shape of an old balding man. “Do you remember this face?”
Stanton said, “It seems a little familiar… Maybe I’ve seen it in a dream?”
Tagenadi whispered, “He was my father.”
“Sorry still nothing.”
Amalius said, “Maybe he needs some more reinforcement.” Amalius made the sounds around them deafening in Stanton’s eardrums to accompany the imaginary fire ants on his skin.
As Amalius twisted the metaphorical knife, Sivirdm dashed forwards and attempted to peel Amalius’ glove off of his hands. Amalius recoiled before Sivirdm could take the glove. Tagenadi swept his kusari-gama around and tripped the halfling.
“Please! I want it! I want that dagger!”
“You don’t know what you want.”
“YES I DO!” Sivirdm jumped up and lunged for the glove again. Amalius amped up a sonic wave and blasted Sivirdm’s left hand as it reached for the glove. The left hand was destroyed.
Sivirdm screamed and fell to the ground.
Amalius looked down on Sivirdm, “I warned you.” Speaking to those by the campfire, “Come get him and treat his wound.”
Baldr had reverted to Korjak at this point. He and Reggy brought Sivirdm to the fire. Korjak did what he could to heal Sivirdm’s injuries, but the hand was gone.
By this time Gregor and Tory had returned as well. They took their seats by the fire, understanding that there was nothing they could do to help Stanton now.
Amalius said, “Well if you don’t remember then perhaps I can unlock those memories.”
Amalius began casting psychic chirurgery. His goal was to only restore Stanton’s memories and not the skills he had possessed as a Dragovinian. A difficult task he leaned over Stanton’s body as he wormed his way deep into the halfling’s mind. Slowly he reached closer and closer to the core where the memories were stored.
At the center instead of a locked box as he had expected, Amalius found a white light as bright as the sun. He stepped towards the light and heard a loud voice, “TREAD NO FURTHER MORTAL! YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT TERRORS YOU UNLEASH!” Amalius was sure he’d heard the voice somewhere before, but he couldn’t quite place it.
Amalius spoke to the voice, “I aim to only let out his memories so that he can be appropriately punished for his actions.”
“THAT WOULD NOT BE WISE. NOTHING WILL CONTAIN HIM ONCE HIS MEMORIES ARE FREE.”
Amalius pondered the situation before electing to retreat and leave the barrier around Stanton’s memories intact. He came out of the his trance.
Tagenadi asked, “Well? Did you do it?”
“No. There’s a barrier blocking his memories. A voice spoke to me and said not to let them out. I think it would be best if we let him stay the way he is.”
“But he still needs to be punished for what he did.”
“Aye. I agree, but it shouldn’t be death.”
“Imprisonment then,” said Tagenadi. “I’ve already thought of a place.”
“Oh?”
“Where we found the Bane’s phylactery in the Lich Shade.”
“I like it. We’ll need to bring him food and water occasionally until we decide to do something else with him.”
“We can manage that.”
“Let’s search him first though in case he has any means of escaping the Lich Shade.”
Amalius and Tagenadi stripped Stanton down and took all his possessions. They teleported to the Lich Shade and marooned him within the carved out cavern halfway up the thousand foot tall obelisk where the phylactery had once been. Amalius teleported to Aractrash and purchased a wall of stone scroll as well. This was used to seal up the entrance to the cavern, leaving only a small slit for light to enter. Stanton was given two weeks of provisions as the high level pair teleported away.

http://s27.postimg.org/ynbk88a5v/Session_61_Stanton.jpg

The session ended there.
But what does this mean for the two adventuring parties going forward? Probably inconsequential for the high-level Alliance party. But for the low-level Rebel party this means another new addition to the team will be coming soon. Thewamp has already begun work on his next character, Fash the Swordsage. He’ll be introduced soon and taking the place of Stanton, at least until Stanton can be rescued. That rescue may never come though.
As for Sivirdm’s lost hand, that probably spells the end of his crossbow usage. Sivirdm may be switching to throwing weapons for his ranged option or focusing solely on stabbing people from behind. Of course regenerating his hand will be a new goal for himself. Or at least getting a sweet hook.
Next time! DRAGON FIGHT!

Anxe
2015-10-14, 10:36 AM
Alliance Session #47/Total Session #62
This session was attended by Throgg, Ozymandias, thewamp, Salzar, and Zigfried. The session was held using Roll20 for a virtual tabletop and Skype for voice and video chat.

After enjoying their vacation the bad boys of Lakatia decided their next objective was taking down Bavastatner the blue dragon.
Bavastatner lives in the Shacklack Desert. He was one of the original ten dragons that terrorized the world before Danar and his friends imprisoned them in the Orbs of Dragonkind. Bavastatner broke free later on and now he and his children cast an ominous threat over Mars’ Oasis, the main city-state in Shacklack.
But why kill a dragon? Just to get its hoard? No!
Mars’ Oasis, in addition to dealing with dragon problems, also has dealt with undead attacks from the Lich Shade and giant ant attacks from the formian hives in the desert. All these offensives have made the people of Mars’ Oasis very good at fighting lawful enemies, draconic enemies, and undead enemies.
Guess which looming power in the west matches all three of those descriptions? That’s right! The Dragovinians!
The people of Mars’ Oasis would love to fight the Dragovinians but they can’t risk leaving their own city undefended against all those other threats. The party has been working hard to solve that problem. First, they took out the Bane, leader of the undead armies assaulting Mars’ Oasis. Second, they negotiated a peace treaty with the formians. This treaty was contingent on the party slaying Bavastatner within two months.
Which brings us to action number three, killing Bavastatner. The party read up on him using the libraries of Aractrash, looking for any weaknesses they could exploit.
Bavastatner is capable of the typical blue dragon things. He breathes lightning, he can alter his voice to mimic that of any voice he has ever heard, he can fly, his scales can only be penetrated with a magic weapon, he has power over illusions, he is an accomplished spellcaster, and he can burrow through sand. But what sets Bavastatner apart from other blue dragons aside from his size and status? Not only can Bavastatner breathe lightning, he can breathe fire, acid, and ice as well. Bavastatner has also been known to wear armor into combat.
While researching Bavastatner the party also found a drawing of one of the old rulers of Mars’ Oasis, King Biveso. He had marched against Bavastatner wearing a full panoply of Dythalid infused armor, intent on slaying the beast. Biveso had failed miserably. The finest treasures in Bavastatner’s hoard are rumored to have been taken from the corpse of King Biveso.
Bavastatner lives in a cave on the eastern side of the Dominarie Mountains bordering the Shacklack Desert. Surrounding his cave are a number of draconic humanoid tribes that act as his servants.

That was about all the useful information the party could gather from books. Next up, gathering information with spells!
Scrying would be the go to spell for investigating a lair, but it has problems associated with it. First, you have to cast it on an individual. Bavastatner is the only creature the party knew to inhabit his cave and his innate mental defenses were high enough that any scrying attempt on him was doomed to failure. Second, even if the scrying succeeded Bavastatner might detect it and come raging for the party in Lakatia.
Going in into the cave invisibly would also be out of the question. Dragons are well known for being able to detect even invisible intruders. Fortunately, Danar had the perfect spell for this situation, arcane eye. The spell summons an eye within the caster’s sight which can then be used to explore beyond what the caster can see, relaying all visual information back to its master.
Danar and Tagenadi were made invisible and used Tagenadi’s teleport boots to arrive two and a half miles away from the cave entrance. They found themselves in the middle of a large grassy field. Here and there throughout the field were camels grazing. Guarding the camels were large, winged, draconic humanoids with draconic dogs following them around. Looking towards the cliffside in which the dragon’s cave lay the duo saw a field of some crop on their right. The wind blew the smell of barley to their nostrils.
Danar cast arcane eye, summoning his dweomer near the cliffside. He put his hand over his eye and looked through his new one. As Danar used the spell he repeated all that he saw to Tagenadi. Danar saw not one, but three caves entering the cliffside. The rightmost cave entrance was smaller and a few average-sized humanoid figures were leaving it towards the barley fields to the right. A waterfall separated the middle cave from the right cave. A pool formed below it, draining towards the barley fields. Atop the cliff to the left of the waterfall, three draconic ogres stood watch, keeping an eye on the plains. While the right cave looked too small for a dragon of Bavastatner’s size to fit into the left cave and the middle cave looked about the right size.
Danar sent his eye down the middle cave. The tunnel snaked on for several hundred feet before reaching a large room filled with draconic trolls. They were milling around the cave, sleeping on bed pallets by the cave walls, counting treasure piles, or playing cards. There were three other exists from this room, one to the left and two straight ahead. All the exits were too small for a fully grown dragon.
Danar investigated the left exit first. It led to a large room with close to a dozen cages in it. Within the cages were red draconic dogs. The dogs were chewing on bones, snarling at the cage doors, or napping in their cages. No other exits left the cage room. Danar tried the other two exits from the main troll room. The first led to a troll sized bathroom. Danar was thankful that the arcane eye did not transmit smell.
The second room led to a bedroom. This room had actual furniture along with a bookcase containing a few volumes, some of which Danar recognized. A large draconic troll lay upon the bed reading a book.
The middle cave proved a dead-end so Danar brought his arcane eye outside and sent it into the left cave.
(The exploring of the left cave took another arcane eye or two and about half an hour of real world time. I’ll skip the boring details of Danar slowly directing the eye around the left cave and just describe the various rooms he found.).
The first room was massive. Little pieces of trash were strewn around it. The party guessed that this room was used by Bavastatner to address all of his followers.
Next was a room with a waterfall coming down into it and forming a pool. The pool drained via a waterfall going down into another room below.
There was what looked like a dormitory/hospital, two or three dragon bathrooms, and twos room filled with baby dragons sitting on their little hoards. One room had a bunch of pits, short columns that didn’t reach the roof, and chains hanging from the roof. Another room held a number of eggs waiting to hatch. A library held hundreds of books in large aisles.

Danar was interrupted as he prepared to send his arcane eye down another passageway. A rumbling in the desert stirred and then Bavastatner burst from the sand! He wore dazzling mithral armor over his body. Glittering emeralds were interspersed between his dull blue scales. He wore a ring upon each of his foreclaws. As he came out of the ground he unfurled his wings and took flight, soaring directly over the party. The great dragon snapped his jaws down as he passed by, bringing Danar along for the ride.
Danar reacted quickly, dropping his arcane eye and dimension dooring himself out of the dragon’s mouth. Bavastatner whipped around in the air faster than any of the adventurers had thought possible. Facing the party members who were clustered around Danar’s previous location, the dragon breathed pure crackling lightning!

http://s28.postimg.org/67ymcnhtp/Session_62_Bavastatner.jpg

The blast hit Amalius, Origenes, and Eathirilu. Eathirilu had buffed the party with electricity resistance that was still in effect. He’d saved the best stuff for himself, making him immune to all electrical damage. Amalius and Origenes were not so blessed. Each suffered burns as the ozone smelling energy enveloped their bodies. The lightning clung to them, preventing all movement and thought. Bavastatner also blasted the party with a little bit of evil energy, sickening those who were exposed to it.
Eathirilu began casting a summoning spell to bring in some helpful rocs. Tagenadi moved forward, and then transferred some of his energy to Eathirilu giving him the power to finish his spell. Eathirilu summoned his rocs and boosted them with a brilliant energy spell to circumvent Bavastatner’s armor. The rocs moved in and began to pester Bavastatner.
Danar returned to the fight. He empowered his longaxe with an arcane strike and a wraithstrike. Putting into action the manuever they had spent so much time practicing, Danar ran forward, leaped up onto Tagenadi’s shoulders, and then blasted off of them to reach where Bavastatner flew in the air. He got his axe in reach of the dragon’s hide and went to town. He cut a bloody swath into Bavastatner’s belly as he sailed by. Blood rained down covering the ground where Danar landed.
Bavastatner looked to the ground, thinking to himself, “This one must be punished.” The dragon dropped the ground and ripped into Danar, nearly killing him.
Tagenadi used his white raven hammer technique to try to incapacitate Bavastatner for a few seconds. As the blow struck home Bavastatner smiled and the emeralds on his hide glimmered. No stun would work on this beast.
Speaking of stuns, Eathirilu cast heal on Amalius to undo the stun on him. Amalius flew away from where Origenes and Eathirilu were standing to avoid all of them being caught in Bavastatner’s breath a second time. From his new location, Amalius sent his psicrystal, Merlot, close to Bavastatner to hit the beast with a swarm of crystals. The crystals made thousands of little cuts in the dragon’s skin. (Merlot is the latest psicrystal that’s been reformed due to changes in Amalius’s personality. Don’t know if it’s shown up in the story yet).
Danar, fearing for his life, dimension doored away. Without his target prey, Bavastatner turned on the only other party member who had damaged him, Amalius. He flew forward and snapped Amalius into his jaws.
Tagenadi took a chunk out of Bavastatner’s hide while Eathirilu’s rocs continued to harass the dragon. Eathirilu turned into a roc as well and began to power up by casting strong short term buff spells on himself. Unfortunately, Origenes remained stunned.
Amalius used temporal acceleration inside the mouth of Bavastatner. While in his accelerated time pocket he escaped, reapplied his vigor spell, and grabbed Merlot. He crawled back into Bavastatner’s mouth with Merlot and placed the psicrystal as deep as he could inside of the dragon’s mouth. Amalius got himself out of the tooth filled maw. When time resumed, he ordered Merlot to blast Bavastatner with a swarm of crystals from inside. Bavastatner shrieked and began climbing into the air to escape. Unfortunately for the dragon, the danger remained inside of him as he flew away. Amalius channeled a few more swarms through Merlot, bringing an end to the mighty dragon up in the sky.
There’s a thing about flying dead dragons though. They fall. And Origenes was right underneath Bavastatner. Seeing the danger, Tagenadi grabbed the stunned Origenes and teleported away from Bavastatner’s landing spot. Eathirilu also backed away to escape being crushed.
Bavastatner smashed into the ground.
The whole party breathed a sigh of relief. The beast had been defeated.
But the fight wasn’t over yet. The sand rumbled off to their left. Another enormous blue dragon came up from the desert! This one was smaller in size than Bavastatner, but it still dwarfed the size of a common human. The dragon shrieked, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY HUSBAND?!? I’LL KILL YOU!”

We ended the session there! :nale:

Anxe
2016-01-06, 10:59 PM
The players completed another puzzle outside of normal session time. See if you can solve it!

While cleaning out the slowly depleting treasury of Hektor, a servant found an old stone box carved in the shape of a dragon. Unable to open it, he imagined it might have a magical keyword of some sort and brought it to Hektor to open.

http://s27.postimg.org/7wxf9xvpf/Dragon_Box.jpg

Not immediately recognizing the box, Hektor took it and examined it. As he did so, the room darkened and the dragon upon the box spoke,
https://youtu.be/-c6wnCHqzeE

Sealed until fire, smoke, and ash
Return from an old and fracture past
To upset the status quo
And rain fire on those down below
By fate sealed, by fate undone
Of remaining locks there is but one
Monsters are not the only to awaken
The ire builds of my brothers forsaken
A cruel fate of double birth
Made them choose last, and I, go first
Soon they clash on the fields of war
While up all around the dragons soar
And I, asleep, on my ivory bed
No one there in my stead
Save you who hold this box
Inside, my weapon, my pride, one lock
I give to you this power, this burden
To use only if the need is certain
Speak its name and hold it high
And when you’re ready, Let Death Fly!

The speaker of the riddle is Zeus.
Lightning!

Amalius quickly and correctly guessed the riddle. He attempted to open the box, but the dragon said, “When the time is right!” before turning to stone once more.

Alliance Session #48/Total Session #63
This session was attended by Salzar, Throgg, Zigfried, and thewamp. The session was held using Skype for voice and video and Roll20 for a virtual tabletop.

Bavastatner’s wife roared and move towards the party. Tagenadi and Eathirilu intercepted her, taking the brunt of her attacks head on. Origenes recovered from the paralyzing energy of Bavastatner’s breath and circled around behind the new threat to sneak attack her. Amalius flew into the air and cast stygian conflagration on the dragon.
Bavastatner’s wife screamed in anger and rushed Amalius. He took a great deal of damage from her attacks. Fearing for his life, Amalius activated iron body and teleported out of her sight. Somewhere presumably safe that she wouldn’t think to look… Bavastatner’s internal organs! But which organ would be big enough to allow space for the psion while simultaneously providing a safe environment? Not the stomach, but the heart!
Amalius teleported into Bavastatner’s heart and realized, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
Bavastatner was a very old dragon, one of the children of Typhon and Echidna. He lived during the rule of Chronos. He survived the Titanomachy. He established dominance over the mortal races and when Danar and his compatriots defeated him he suffered through all the indignities they leaped upon him. Through careful planning and luck he took advantage of an opportunity and freed himself and his wife. When the adventurer, Terry, returned to life to imprison him once more, Bavastatner slew her. He established his dynasty as rulers of the Shacklack Desert and defeated all challengers. He had done what no other dragon could and reached a zenith of power never seen before.
Bavastatner was no longer a dragon of only Gaia. He had transcended and restored some of his primal connection with Tartarus. The plane of punishment had infected Bavastatner’s very soul, corrupting it. He could not die and his evil heart continued to beat. That evil heart that Amalius had just teleported inside of.
The heart’s malevolent presence overwhelmed Amalius and consumed him. Merlot sensed Amalius’s death and moved to free itself from the throat of Bavastatner.
The rest of the party continue their engagement with Bavastatner's wife. Their combined power was able to overcome her within seconds. Her body collapsed upon that of her husband.

With no more immediate threats, the party allowed themselves to relax. Merlot informed them of Amalius’s death. Accustomed to coming back from the dead, the party did not panic. Tagenadi set to work removing Bavastatner's heart from his body. After an hour of careful cutting the massive organ was removed. The heart measured seven feet on a side and was covered in growths that looked like warty horns. Evil poured out of the heart as it continued beating even after separation from the host's body.
Tagenadi cut Amalius out. The hole in the heart soon healed. Tagenadi tried cutting off the horny growths but found that those regrew slowly as well.
Coming up with a quick plan, the party left Tagenadi with Bavastatner's body to keep cutting it up faster than it could regenerate. The rest of the group went to Dalleer to arrange for Amalius’s resurrection. Origenes organized a meeting with the Bjorn to get privacy at the Dalleer Cathedral for a few minutes to get Amalius returned. Paying the large fee for a true resurrection brought Amalius back the next day. The injured party members were also healed at the Cathedral.
When they returned to the desert where they'd left Tagenadi her informed that of events that had transpired since they left. Bavastatner had slowly regenerated as predicted, but Tagenadi prevented it by cutting him up. Also, the various humanoids and other dragons that lived in the cave city had begun to leave. Many of them were clearly taking treasure with them but Tagenadi was unable to stop them all.
The party moved into the caves and offered each of the remaining creatures a simple choice, surrender your treasure and leave our die. The massive hoards of Bavastatner and his wife were also added to the loot total. Collecting and cataloging the combined treasure took close to a week. The total came to:
Items that are essentially money in one form or another = 605,756 GP

Items that probably belong to the Mars' Oasis Royalty = Dythalidium Fullplate, Dythalidium Longspear, Jeweled Crown, Belt of the Olympian +6, Amulet of Skin +5, Ring of Protection +5, Carpet of Flying Type II, Decanter of Endless Water, Ring of Endure Elements, Murlynd's Spoon, Gloves of Electricity Resistance 30, Boots of Striding and Springing

Items that I'm guessing you'll just liquidate: Eyes of the Eagle, Elixir of Truth, Protection From Arrows Potion, +1 Light Mace, Magic Weapon Oils x2, Wand of Keen Edge, +3 Composite Shortbow (+2 Str), Divine Scrolls (Divine Power, Break Enchantment), Rod of Metal and Mineral Detection, Arcane Scrolls (Greater Magic Weapon, Lightning Bolt, Haste, Confusion, Cone of Cold), Ring of Water Walking, Masterwork Composite Darkwood Longbow (+4 Str)

Total value if suggested items are sold: 32,000 GP

Items that are probably valuable to you: Ring of Telekinesis, Gem of Fortification, +5 Greater Sonic Resistance Ghost Touch Mithral Dragon Barding, Tons of Healing potions, Bag of Holding Type II, Rod of Absorption, Crystal Ball (See Invisibility), Orb of Pleasant Breezes, One of the largest private collections of books you've ever seen.

But the greatest treasure of all was definitely Bavastatner's dead body. Presenting his head to the people of Mars’ Oasis would make it clear that they no longer needed to fear dragon attacks from the desert. The citizens and king would then be free to engage in other conflicts such as the war against Xoria, a war they are particularly suited for after fighting dragons and undead in the desert for centuries.
Origenes, Eathirilu, and Danar teleported ahead to Mars’ Oasis to clear a space in the town square for the incoming arrival. A crowd gathered as they moved people away from a central location. Soon, Amalius and Tagenadi teleported in atop Bavastatner’s decapitated head. Amalius took a bag of holding filled with silver and gold coins and dumped it upside down, letting the coins roll off the dragon’s head and into the audience. He shouted, “People of Mars’ Oasis, the foul beast of the desert, Bavastatner, is finally dead!”
Disbelief played across the people’s faces first. Was this a trick? Just a way for Bavastatner to catch them unawares? No! These were the same people that slew the Bane previously! They’d killed the blue wyrm as well! Cheers of celebration began amongst the public. Music played, people danced, babies were brought forth to be kissed, tales were told. All the while Amalius stayed close to Tagenadi who remained in his skeleton form without an illusion to cover it up.
Soon the higher up authorities arrived. Alabaster and a few Dythalidee marched into the town square. Eathirilu’s acute hearing picked out Alabaster saying, “The king’s not going to like this.”
Alabaster clomped over to where the party stood around the head and said, “Congratulations heroes! King Mero invites you to his castle for a feast and celebrations in your name will be repeated throughout the land.” He did his best to hide it but a tint of sarcasm still came through.
Alabaster commanded the surrounding guards, “Get some pikes and bring the head to the castle.” The guards did as instructed. Horses were brought for the party to ride to the castle. Tagenadi chose to walk.
A crowd of nobles cheered as the party entered the throne room behind the head. King Mero sat thin lipped on his throne. He greeted his guests, “Welcome brave heroes. So good to see you again…”

To be continued!

I didn't feel like drawing a picture for this update so I drew a second one for the last update. Here's Danar jumping at Bavastatner.
http://s9.postimg.org/6dtkojahr/Session_63_Danar.jpg

Anxe
2016-01-12, 02:17 PM
Alliance Session #49/Total Session #64
This session was attended by Ozymandias, thewamp, Middle_Snu, Salzar, and Zigfried. The session was held using Skype for voice and video and using Roll20 as a virtual tabletop.
In out of character news we just had our big Fake New Years party where we all get together at a time around New Years Eve, but not actually New Years (people want to do other things on the actual day usually) and stay up all night playing games. We played a bunch of games with a trust/deception theme. The highlight game was Betrayal at the House on the Hill. It moved a little slowly for our tastes to be honest, but perhaps that was because it was our first time playing it.
This update took a little longer than the others due to activity in my professional life. I was advanced to candidacy at my Master’s of Science in Biology program. The work for that required about a month chained to my computer working on perfecting my proposal. It all paid off! Thank you all for your patience in waiting.
Finally, we experimented with a new method of initiative in this session. We tried a Monsters Turn/PCs turn method, where the PCs were allowed to act in whatever order they chose with even some move and standard actions being separated. It worked well and we should be using it in subsequent sessions when appropriate. And now on to the D&D fun!

Last session ended with the party showing up at the court of King Mero III. Upon arrival Tagenadi had a vision. thewamp shared this vision with the rest of the group immediately while Tagenadi was forced to share it in private later on.
Tagenadi glances at the dragon's head. Wait! Did an eye move? He looks closer to make sure. Tagenadi stands paralyzed as the head slowly rotates and the eyes look straight at him. No one else in the room seems to notice. The dragon's putrefying lips move, “Lord Hades wishes to speak with you.”
In a flash Tagenadi is no longer in Mars’ Oasis. He stands in a column of light within a vast dark space. Looking down he sees not the armored skeletal form he has grown accustomed to but his old human body! Albeit naked, but this is truly himself again! Ecstatic, Tagenadi revels in the feeling of his fingers against his skin.
The feeling of joy is soon replaced by that of dread. An impossibly large human figure appears over him, shrouded in darkness. Hades voice reverberates throughout the seemingly infinite dark space, “Think you’re a clever little **** don’t you?
“Thought you’d outsmarted old Hades did you? Pulled the wool over his dark eyes? Slipped one by ME? THE LORD OF HELL?!?!? NOTHING ESCAPES ME MORTAL! NOT EVEN THE DEAD!
“Now I don’t want to hear your pitiful mewling excuses. We had a bargain. You would lead my armies in the surface world and in exchange I gave you life. Your dithering and attempts to escape this compact through refusal to contact me or carry out my wishes surprise me, but I am not without my mercy. Since you seek a return to your mortal form I shall grant it to you.
“BUT ONLY IF YOU COMPLETE WHAT I RETURNED YOU TO LIFE TO DO! I DID NOT CREATE AN ARMY OF UNDEAD TO WASTE THEM AGAINST THE FORCES OF HEPHAESTUS AND ATHENA! THEY ARE NOT MY TARGETS! DIRECT MY ARMIES AGAINST ARES AND BLENDEGAD OR BY THE STYX I WILL THINK OF A TORTURE FOR YOU WORSE THAN THAT DEVISED FOR CRONOS!
“Use the Black Crystal. Take the three armies, the desert, Thanatos’s, and the dead dwarves. Take them against Xoria. Find me the Lots. And then I shall restore your human body,” the immense form leans down so Tagenadi can see his teeth, as large as wagons.
“I will require one small task from you after this. When the time comes you will know. In return I will reunite your drowned sister with you. Do these things and you will be rewarded.” His sulphurous breath blows in Tagenadi’s face, “Do not… and you will regret it.”
Smoke pours forth from his mouth, obscuring Tagenadi’s vision. Tagenadi tries to clear the air in front of himself with his arm. Fanning the smoke away reveals that he is back in the courtroom. The dragon’s head has not moved and conversation continues between the members of the court as if nothing has happened.
Discussion of the vision resulted in little real decision. Tagenadi is certainly interested in reclaiming his body and his sister, who had not known was dead, but what was the real cost of using the Black Crystal? A cursory plan was drawn up for transporting the undead horde at the Lich Shade across Xoria, no action was undertaken. Similarly no action was taken to control the undead dwarves or the city of Crux.

But what of King Mero III’s court?
King Mero regained his composure after his momentary lapse, “Your deeds will be rewarded and remembered for all time. Let us rejoice! For Bavastatner is dead and our kingdom is safe!”
The court cheered! “Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray!”
Before another cheer could begin, Hektor interrupted, “Your majesty, could we speak of what you could do with your newfound freedom from Bavastatner’s shadow? Perhaps joining the Alliance against the Xorians?”
“Yes, in time. For now, we celebrate! Bring on the succulent foods and let the wine flow!” Servants ran from the courtroom to organize the celebration. “And where are the entertainers? Let there be music and dancing in the castle and throughout the realm!”
Wine was served first, putting everyone in a good mood. Amalius teleported off to Jipangu to collect members of his family to join in the fun. Joining the psion were his wife, Denara; his sister, Amelia; his brother and sister-in-law, Amalchus and Helia; and his mother, Hiroka. Amalius spent the evening constantly refilling his cup with wine and talking with multiple members of the court in an attempt to find a husband for his sister. He’d had his eye on Hektor as a potential groom, but the Aractrashan turned him down.
Tagenadi stood aside from the others, unable to enjoy the fabulous food and drink. Danar stood with Tagenadi, ensuring that the skeleton man wasn’t alone at a triumphant moment such as this. Sabriyya was present in the court. She nodded at Tagenadi from across the room, but elected to not approach her old friend.
Eathirilu enjoyed the free alcohol to its fullest extent while also keeping his ears open for any suspicious activity. He picked up the words of the captain of the guard, Alabaster, as he spoke to the guardsmen, “Keep at the ready in case our guests of honor get violent.”
Origenes joined Amalius and Eathirilu in letting loose. He ate pieces of the succulent pig and enjoyed it. Wary of the succulent camel hump, he tried a bite. He found it much to his liking and helped himself to a larger portion. Origenes tried the succulent succulents as well, but found the retrieval of spines from his teeth was a tad uncomfortable.
The party continued late into the night with entertainment provided by musicians, dancing, jugglers, and a circus animal act. Amalius succeeded in finding a noble interested in marrying his son to Amelia, but sadly the hero was unable to remember the noble’s name in his drunken state.
As the party began to wind down, King Mero III stood from his throne and addressed the crowd, “Thank you all for joining me in honoring these heroes! I will now be talking to them in private to address their future in Mars’ Oasis.” He signalled to his men and then left the throne room. Guardsmen elbowed their way through the crowd to reach each of the heroes and guide them towards a room where the king awaited them. Amalius drunkenly waved goodbye to his wife. The psion almost fell asleep in the guard’s arms and had to practically be carried out of the throne room.
The party took their seats in the back room across from King Mero and his ever-present companion, Alabaster. Mero began, “I am prepared to give each of you a medal honoring what you have done for Mars’ Oasis and one wish if it within my power to grant. All except your undead. I can barely tolerate his presence in my city, but I will bow to the wishes of the people.”
Hektor said, “And the Alliance? Can we expect your support?”
“Yes. I cannot commit troops immediately. Bavastatner’s spawn may attack the oasis to avenge his death. I’m going to plan some preemptive strikes against a few of the blue dragon nests we know of to forestall any such attacks. Once we’ve done and once the army is mobilized, we will enter the war with as much strength as we can spare. There are details to be worked out for this arrangement, but from what I know I will need to speak to the Alliance Council directly for that.”
“Your majesty is correct.”
“There were undoubtedly a few items in Bavastatner's hoard that belonged to my great grandfather when he attempted to slay the beast,” the king continued, “I expect their return. We can talk more in the morning. I am tired as I am sure all of you are as well.” Mero glanced at the sleeping Amalius as he spoke.
The party bowed add they excused themselves. Some walked out while others had to be carried.

When morning came the group was treated to a small breakfast. Afterwards a guard led them to a meeting with a royal clerk who asked for the items listed as belonging to the Mars’ Oasis royalty in the previous update. Curiously, the clerk mentioned that the Dythalidium fullplate had enchantments on it that protected the wearer from all attacks, incorporeal creatures, and sonic attacks.
Eathirilu gasped when the clerk mentioned this, “Just like th-”
“Shush!” Amalius cut him off.
The clerk said, “What was he going to say?”
Amalius explained, “Nothing. Just a druid thing.”
“Hmm…” The clerk tapped his lip with the feather of his pen and wrote a note down upon his paper.
The royal items were turned over to the clerk. In exchange he presented them with five medals of honor, one for Amalius, Eathirilu, Hektor, Origenes, and Danar, but zero for Tagenadi. The clerk also accepted any requests the heroes had for the wishes King Mero had offered. Hektor asked the king to take care of Lakatia should Hektor die. Danar asked that the magic within his bardiche be enhanced to allow him to cast powerful spells quickly (Danar uses a Rod of Lesser Quicken as the shaft of his weapon. He wanted it pumped up to a Rod of Normal Quicken.). Amalius wanted something akin to a landed title but he hadn’t decided which particular title to claim. Eathirilu and Origenes elected to save their requests for another time.

Heroes can’t rest for long. The Dragovinian threat still loomed and continuous action was the only way to turn the tide. With their important business completed in Mars’ Oasis the group sought a new objective. Find the Lots? Find Apollo’s Bow? No! The group decided they needed to get the Pitchfork of Ruin from the Dahak.
Why is the Pitchfork of Ruin important? It is the weapon that poisoned Zeus, preventing the Olympian King from stomping Blendegad into dust. Ironically, the weapon is also required to cure Zeus. The Dahak still possesses the Pitchfork. In Alliance Session #37/Total Session #48 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17951229&postcount=82) the party brokered a deal with the Dahak. In exchange for politically “dividing Nomingburg” the Dahak would hand over the Pitchfork. The party could do this or confront the Dahak, a creature of legendary power who had defeated Zeus himself. Logically the party chose to go along with their deal instead of poking the bear.
Nomingburg is a city ruled by assassins guilds. The guilds once fought amongst each other for control of the city, but that practice was stopped by the halfling Duke Jingo. He has kept Nomingburg stable for decades since. This goes against the Dahak’s desires, so in return for ending this stability he will grant the party the Pitchfork of Ruin.
The party landed on three different plans for stopping Duke Jingo’s influence.
1. Bargaining with him to leave the city for a time. The group’s reasoning was sound. Gaining the Pitchfork would be instrumental in the return of Zeus. Zeus could halt the advance of the Dragovinians. Stopping the Dragovinians is good for everyone. Everyone includes Nomingburg. Ergo, Duke Jingo would want to step aside and let Nomingburg descend into chaos. Plus, the group isn’t exactly short on bribes.
2. Kill Duke Jingo. Can’t stabilize the city if he’s dead!
3. Kidnap Duke Jingo. After all, he only needs to be missing for the guilds to begin fighting amongst each other again.
The group settled on the 3rd plan with the possibility of going back to the second if necessary. They feared that plan 1 might fail which would lead to the Duke being forewarned for plans 2 and 3. Plan 3 and plan 2 were effectively the same, commando-esque strike on the Duke’s residence; plan 3 was just less evil than plan 2.
Amalius’s hangover was cured with a quick lesser restoration spell. Buffs were put in place. A plan was made. The party teleported off to Nomingburg!

The group had been to Jingo’s palace previously when following a prophetic dream that led to the assassination plot on King Ballard. They went there again. The group silently flew over the roof. Hektor used a locate object spell on a distinct hand crossbow he’d seen in Jingo’s possession last time. He locked onto the weapon as they flew above the building until he came to the spot where the signal was directly below him.
Hektor said, “Alright. He’s here.”
Everyone else chimed in with, “Ready,” and “Let’s do this.”
Amalius disintegrated the section of roof beneath them with a ray of green energy. Revealed below was a large solar. Two bookcases held numerous volumes and a fire blazed in the fireplace on the northern wall. Two padded armchairs faced a door on the eastern wall. An ornate carpet covered the floor. A book rested on a small table between the armchairs and the crossbow laid upon the southern armchair. In the middle of the room stood Elijas, the old man whom the party had seen with Duke Jingo during their last visit. Elijas was looking straight up at the party with his twin daggers drawn. He held the daggers in a reverse grip with his thumb around the end of the hilt and his pinky finger being closest to the blade. The dagger in Elijas’s right hand was made of pure energy while the left was wreathed in cold black mist.
“Duke Jingo stepped out for a little bit, but I’m sure you’ll find me just as entertaining.”
Amalius, Hektor, and Eathirilu had true seeing active. They saw a different creature in the room below. Instead of an old man, Elijas appeared as a shadowy humanoid figure. His skin was as dark as the midnight sky. His eyes twinkled with starry voids.
Hektor, unsure of the difference between Duke Jingo and Elijas, flew down and threw a point blank dimensional anchor at Elijas. A direct hit by the ray ensured that Elijas would not escape the fight through teleportation magic.
Elijas shouted, “Why would I need to escape?! Your Defeat,” he hefted the misty dagger, indicating its name was Defeat, “is Inevitable!” He swung the energy dagger named Inevitable at Hektor. Elijas attacked with Inevitable in a flurry of strikes. Tagenadi recognized the avalanche of blades technique that his master, Aruna Sheth, had once used. One, Two, Three, Four, Five Strikes! Hektor collapsed from blood loss on the fifth strike. His contingent teleport activated, sending him back to the chapel in Lakatia where a cleric was always on staff, ready to heal Hektor in the case of just such an emergency. Elijas’s starry eyes shone with a bright light and a feline grin crossed his shadowy face.

http://s13.postimg.org/u21b1oedj/Session_64_Elijas.jpg

Eathirilu transformed into a tyrannosaurus and began casting his short term buff spells. Tagenadi, Origenes, and Danar descended into the room to go toe to toe with Elijas. Tagenadi swung with his white raven hammer strike. With expert dagger skill, Elijas deflected the blow off of himself and onto Danar. The draconic knight was hit on the head by Tagenadi and stunned. Elijas took advantage of the situation and stabbed at Danar with both of his daggers. The energy dagger, Inevitable, pierced Danar’s liver, causing him to bleed profusely.
Origenes tried to attack Elijas from behind, but the Duke’s bodyguard nimbly dodged aside. Amalius tried a powered up dominate to end the fight with one spell. Unfortunately, Elijas was protected against magic. Amalius had not prepared for this and the spell was botched. Eathirilu aimed a dispel magic spell at Elijas and peeled away a few of the enchantments protecting their foe.
Danar attempted to safely retreat from the fight but he was caught by Elijas. Two daggers plunged into Danar and he went unconscious. Elijas’s starry eyes shone with a bright light and a feline grin crossed his shadowy face. Tagenadi struck back against Elijas. He pierced the man’s skin, but found it resistant to his blow (damage reduction). Eathirilu cast a heal spell on Danar, bringing him back into the fight. Origenes repositioned, but still found it impossible to get the drop on Elijas.
Elijas slashed at Origenes, inflicting a few cuts before disappearing completely in the shadows. Amalius shouted, “It wasn’t magic! He’s just hiding somewhere in the room! I’ll find his mind.” The party went on guard preparing for Elijas’s return. Amalius cast iron body on himself while Eathirilu completed his buff spell routine.
Eathirilu said, “We don’t have to fight. Come on out, we can talk about this.”
A voice spoke from behind Origenes, “Oh no. Our violent conflict is Inevitable.” Elijas thrust his daggers into Origenes and the man from Dalleer collapsed. Elijas’s starry eyes shone with a bright light and a feline grin crossed his shadowy face once more. The shadowy opponent agilely flew up the wall and across the roof to land behind Eathirilu. Amalius attempted another mental attack on Elijas that failed. Tagenadi donned the Cap of Hades and moved next to Elijas to prevent escape. Eathirilu tried to bite Elijas, but found his attack deflected towards Tagenadi. Thankfully the undead knight’s armor protected him from the dinosaur’s teeth.
Meanwhile, Hektor had recovered in Lakatia. His clerical servants had healed some of his wounds, restoring him to a conscious state. Unfortunately, Inevitable’s energy blade inflicted wounds that refused to close. Hektor cast a sudden maximized time stop. With his extra time, he cast shapechange. He consulted his lexiconic memory for celestials that could cure his condition. He landed upon an avoral, using the bird angel’s power to heal his wounds. Next he teleported back to Jingo’s Palace. Once there, he transformed into a leonal to restore his lay on hands ability. He used this on Origenes. His final two actions were to cast true strike and a forcecage on Elijas and Tagenadi.
Time resumed! Amalius had found Elijas’s mental defenses too strong to penetrate, even for his strongest attacks. He focused his full attention on telling the party where Elijas was when he disappeared into the shadows and dust.
Elijas and Tagenadi were locked in a battle within the forcecage. The Cap of Hades granted Tagenadi impenetrable invisibility and Elijas’s skills granted him the same protection. With Amalius’s guidance, Tagenadi reached out with his warrior senses and swung his kusari-gama. Success! The attack collided with its target. Not with Elijas, but with Inevitable! The dagger was knocked out of their opponent’s hand. Amalius followed the disarm up with a retrieve on the glowing dagger.
Hektor followed this up with a true striked disintegrate. Sadly, even the best laid plans fail from time to time (Middle_Snu rolled a 1). The ray zipped in and out through the bars of the forcecage to collide with another portion of the roof, destroying it.
Elijas narrowed his eyes and disappeared into the dust kicked up by Hektor’s ray. Tagenadi swung his weapon around trying to locate his foe but encountered only air.
Hektor spoke to their hidden adversary, “Please! The Dahak needs the city divided and in return he will help us bring back Zeus!”
A voice whispered from the shadows, “I serve my master, even though his principles may be corrupt. United is more static than divided.” Elijas reappeared as he kicked the forcecage wall. His boots shined and the cage disintegrated. Elijas faded into the shadows again.
Amalius directed Tagenadi, Danar, Origenes, and Eathirilu to surround Elijas, cutting off his escape. With Hektor’s dimensional anchor in place, all means of retreat were cut off for Elijas. Striking from the shadows he battled on. Even with Inevitable gone he still struck with two weapons, although the party never saw his second weapon for the fleeting moments that Elijas was visible. Elijas continued to redirect missed attacks against him back towards the party, but without Inevitable this became harder and harder for him to accomplish.
Tagenadi got another lucky break and knocked Defeat out of Elijas’s hand. Amalius snatched it up with a second retrieve spell. In a fury, Elijas launched himself upon the closest person to him, Origenes. He attacked with tiger-like claws that had replaced his hands. A blow to the face caused Origenes to bleed, another to the stomach knocked him out, and a final blow to his back as he fell killed the party’s newest member.
Tagenadi screamed in rage and used his white raven hammer once more. It connected this time, stunning Elijas once more. Eathirilu picked up their opponent in his huge jaws and began to crunch down. Amalius swooped in and blasted a full force cold energy wave at Elijas and Eathirilu. The druid had warded himself completely against cold damage that morning. Elijas could not say the same. Freezing pulses washed over Elijas, nearly killing him. The old man said, “I serve my master,” as Danar chopped him in half with his bardiche. As Elijas died his body returned to its natural rakshasa state for all observers. Their opponent had not been a human or a shadowy star monster, but a tiger demon.
The party recovered and mourned Origenes. Although death is not permanent in the realms of Cimmeria, it is still a sad thing. Amalius and Tagenadi regretted that their combat led to the death of Elijas as well. They had hoped to resolve things relatively peacefully.
The party’s practical side induced them to search Elijas’s corpse for magical items. They found a black belt, his boots, a spidersilk shirt that he wore underneath his black clothing, an adamantine spider figurine, and two magic rings. One of the rings was particularly interesting, as it was only detected by true seeing. Perhaps this was what had shielded Elijas at least partially from true seeing?
While examining the items, Eathirilu heard a scrabbling beneath the carpet in the, now half-frozen, lounge room below. Hektor flew down and lifted the carpet, revealing Duke Jingo. The halfling had magically tunneled into the floor with his bare hands and had come back up for air.
“Ah. Hello there,” said Jingo.

We halted the action there!

First things first, Salzar has been a little unhappy playing Origenes. The character doesn’t really have the same place in the group, making it difficult to find real ways of roleplaying him during group discussions. Additionally, Origenes is kind of boring/bad mechanically compared to the rest of the twinked out party. Salzar has decided that after Origenes is resurrected he’s going to say, “That was too much. I’m out,” and leave the party. We’ve already planned a replacement which may even be ready by the next session! I’m excited for Salzar’s new character and it should highlight how strong the group has become.
Next, while Elijas’s items haven’t been detailed yet in game, I told the party what the results of future identify spells would be. Inevitable and Defeat are their first epic weapons. I allow magical enchantments to be transferred between items in my campaigns, so the group is looking to move the epic bonuses on to the weapons they actually use. Only problem is they need someone who can craft epic items who can do that. Only two known wizards are that strong in Cimmeria, Vecna and Sherlock. Vecna was already encountered in Crux (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=14213379&postcount=51) and most of the party views her costs as too high. Sherlock has been encountered in past campaigns within Cimmeria. He’s insane, so he might do the transfer for free or he might turn the party into fish and laugh at them.
There were a couple other big items from Elijas. The Shadow Belt, which allows the wearer to dimension door as a move action at will between shadows that are up to 50’ apart and make a hide check at one’s destination as a free action. The Boots of Force Destruction, which allow their wearer to dispel a force effect by kicking it as a standard action. A +5 Spidersilk Chain Shirt which provides a +9 armor bonus with no armor check penalty, max Dex bonus, or arcane spell failure. The adamantine spider figurine which is a homebrewed figurine of wondrous power. A ring of invisibility and then the Invisible Ring. The Invisible Ring makes the wearer immune to all divinations, even true seeing. True seeing reveals a shadowy figure with starry voids for eyes. The ring itself is invisible too, but can be detected with divinations. Looking at the ring's gemstone while it is worn reveals a tiny version of the wearer on whom divinations do work correctly.
The final bit of out of session news was a general update on the state of the war in Cimmeria.
The Dwarves are gearing up to reclaim their Underdark territories underneath Xoria. The Xorians abandoned these territories and level drained all the Dwarven slaves left in them. The slain Dwarves turned into wights who the living Dwarves must now defeat. Deekgaon, a Dwarven King, will lead the attack, with considerable assistance from the other Dwarven kings, Torngar, Dainlin, and Sandil. Torin as high priest of Athena is the religious authority of the attack.
Krodius, the leader of the Sky Patrol in Greshendale, joined the Dragovinians. Soon after the city officially declared for Xoria. Dragovinains in attendance at the treaty signing were Krodius; Barejando, general of the Xorian army; Lady Li, sorceress extraordinaire; and Wu Lang Li, Lady Li’s husband returned after his long absence. There were many exclamations from the PCs as they realized Salzar’s old character had returned to his former Dragovinian status.
The Rebels have occupied the city of Gazeara and are sieged by the Xorians’ Amazon force. The sun continues to beat down on the Amazons and it looks as if the summer will continue into November. This has caused a serious drought making it difficult for the warrior women to find water for themselves and all of their horses. The city remains miraculously unaffected.
Aractrash has begun negotiations with the Alliance for entrance into the war.
The Alliance continues to train their recruits with the assistance of the water of Talos and Agamemnon’s ritual. Gradorian and Junai are taking the lead on this training.

Anxe
2016-01-19, 11:06 AM
Rebel Session #13/Total Session #65
This session was attended by Middle_Snu, Salzar, Ozymandias, Throgg, and Zigfried. The session was held using Roll20 for a virtual tabletop and Skype for voice and video. There's been a push to finish my campaign amongst the group lately and the Rebel campaign was approaching a natural stopping point. With that in mind we decided we would wrap things up in the Rebel campaign with this session. I’ll talk a little bit more about what I had planned at the end of the session writeup. We’ll be playing the Alliance campaign exclusively from now on.

When we had last left the party of Rebels they had been enjoying a nice meal of roasted roc they had killed themselves when they were attacked by Tagenadi and Amalius. The two high level PCs pried into Stanton’s mind, but elected not restore his memories. Instead, they marooned him in the Lich Shade. Sivirdm’s left hand was blasted off by Amalius when the halfling attempted to steal Korm.
Now the party is recovering and trying to determine what their next steps should be. Korjak used his wand of cure light wounds to Sivirdm’s wounds while Gregor started discussion with the other members of the group, Demetrius, Reggy, and Tory.
“The first thing we have to ask ourselves, do we continue or do we turn back? I feel we should continue.”
Demetrius said, “I do as well. Sivirdm can still walk and we can carry him while climbing if necessary. We can still reach the condors.”
Gregor turned to Tory, “How far are we from the condors?”
“About two days travel from the area where the closest nest is. It’d take a few days of searching once we’re there to find the nest.”
Gregor asked, “And are you still willing to guide us there?”
“Yes. If people like that,” Tory gestured to the spot that Amalius, Tagenadi, and Stanton had teleported away from, “are what we’re fighting, then I’m all for going on and stopping this madness.”
Gregor opened his mouth for a second, then closed it. From what he knew Amalius and Tagenadi were not with the Xorians, but were acting on their own agenda. But why correct Tory? He was for continuing.
“And you Reggy?”
“In for a copper, in for a gold piece. Let’s keep on up the mountain.”
Korjak returned, “Sivirdm’s alright. He’s in a bit of pain, but the wand stopped his blood loss. He’s got a stump instead of a hand, but he’ll live and he’s committed to finding the condors.”
Gregor said, “We were just discussing that. The rest of us think we should continue on as well.”
“Then let’s do it,” said Korjak.
There was no celebration to this decision. The party stared into the crackling fire as the mountain pass’s cool wind blew around them. The burning wood smoke filled the party’s nostrils as the clouds parted revealing the waning gibbous moon. The moon’s light illuminated the herd of goats further up the pass.
A shaft of light extended down from the moon, illuminating Tory. He looked up from the fire and his eyes shone with the moon’s light. His lips moved. It was not his voice that came out, but that of an Olympian, “Each former Dragovinian shields one other mortal from the Xorians’ wards. The half-Orc is shielded by his god. Only one mortal per Dragovinian. One of you cannot continue.” The light went out of Tory’s eyes and he looked back into the fire.
Reggy exclaimed, “Whoa! What was that?”
Tory said, “What was what? What are you all looking at me for?”
Korjak said, “The goddess Artemis just spoke through you. She said that Gregor, Sivirdm, and me can approach the condors safely. Only two others can go with us. Demetrius is a corporal and should continue to accompany us. That leaves Reggy and Tory.”
Gregor said, “Reggy’s more useful in a fight and there’s bound to be some up ahead.” Everyone else nodded their assent. “And Tory can find his way out of the mountains on his own.”
“That I can.”
Korjak said, “Then it’s settled. Tory, you’ll turn back. The rest of us will go on.”
The party mulled it over a little more and decided that once they got back they would want to get the final prophecy pieces to the Rebels as fast as they could. Since the druids guild seemed to be open to helping them, they asked Tory if he could speak with his cousin in the guild and get some sort of assistance ready for them upon their arrival in Tetalya. Tory said he would do whatever he could to get them what they needed.
The group set a watch and tried their best to return to sleep.

In the morning our brave heroes waved goodbye to Tory. He was taking two goats with him for supplies on his return journey. Twelve goats were left with the party. With a late morning start the party traveled further north into the Dominarie Mountains.
Luck was with the party. As the afternoon lengthened Korjak and Gregor saw a shadow pass on the ground. They looked up and saw a large bird flying overhead.
“Hey look!”
“Is it a condor?”
“Looks like one? Maybe?”
The group quickly set their plan in motion. They separated a goat from the herd and tied it to a stake in the ground. Sivirdm was given the grappling hook of a rope. His job was to swing the hook at the bird when it landed and entangle it if necessary. Gregor tied the other end of the rope to himself, providing the anchor that would prevent the bird from flying away. Korjak wore the necklace of speak with animals and would negotiate with the beast.
The plan was a success! The bird dived, tackled the goat, and killed it. The party examined the bird as it feasted on the goat. It’s bald head and large stature marked it as a condor. Furthermore, the bird bore the red scales of a Dragovinian beast. This was indeed their target.
Korjak stepped away from the party and spoke to the condor, “We are travelers seeking the druids’ prophecy. Could you give it to us in exchange for another goat?”
“Sqwuaaakkk! You talk? Didn’t know two legs talked.”
“Yes. This necklace I wear allows me to speak.”
“You want the prophecy you say?” Blood dripped from the condor’s beak as it continued to drink from the goat.
“Yes. We will give you another goat to eat if you tell us.”
“Two goats.”
“Alright, two goats. And you have to tell us the prophecy first.”
“No. Goats first.”
“As you say.”
The condor continued feasting on the first goat. Korjak related the conversation to the others. The party staked two more goats out. Sivirdm and Korjak kept at the ready in case the condor tried to double cross them.
The condor lunged at the other two goats, killing them. It drank their blood down as well until it was a fat and happy bird.
Korjak said, “The prophecy?”
“Ah yes. Ahem…
“Feed a condor for a day, live for a day,
“Feed a condor for a life, and live forever.”
The condor laughed and began flapping its wings to take flight. Korjak drew his bow. Sivirdm threw the grappling hook. It caught! Gregor braced himself against a rock. The condor took off, but found itself unable to get further than its fifty foot tether to Gregor.
“Hey! Let me go! I told you the prophecy!”
Korjak shouted back, “No! I don’t think so!” He shot an arrow, but it was unable to pierce the condor’s Dragovinian hide. Sivirdm got out his crossbow and started the painful process of loading it with one hand. Reggy and Demetrius got ready to attack the condor if it came back to ground.
Gregor and the condor engaged in a tug of war as Sivirdm and Korjak shot at the bird. Gregor’s weight and strength won out in the end and the condor plummeted to the earth. Korjak dropped his bow and took on the form of Baldr to engage the condor with his sword. Demetrius and Reggy moved up as well.
The condor viciously bit into Gregor’s side, drawing blood. The condor quickly lapped up the blood which healed its wounds. In the end this wasn’t enough. Baldr, Reggy, and Demetrius continued to wail on the condor while Gregor wrestled it to the ground and pinned it under its knees. Eventually the condor gave in.
“Okay! Okay! If I tell you the prophecy will you let me go?”
Korjak said, “Yes. And the real prophecy this time! Then we’ll let you go”
The condor spoke,
“Find a voice both strong and pure
Better than the gods to be sure
Sing the song both well and true
When the potion's foam turns blue”
Each of the party members received a vision upon hearing the final piece of the prophecy. Some of them elected to share them, so I can freely post those visions!
The three of you share a vision. You are your old Dragovinian selves. You are sneaking into Bigby's Forest. Stanton mindraped a rebel earlier to learn the exact location of the underground Rebel base and how to approach it unseen. You come upon the entrance just as the rebel's feeble mind had told you. Each of you readies your weapons. Gregor hefts his blade, Sivirdm his daggers, Wu his bow, and Stanton his casting fingers.
Gregor throws the door to the hole in the ground open and runs inside. The rest of you follow. You soon come to a large, empty, and circular room. Gregor stands confused. "Where are the rebels?" he says.
"We've been here, waiting for you," The vile druid, Alkmene steps out from a hidden alcove at the back of the room.
"A trap!" you exclaim.
Another old woman's voice comes from an alcove on the other side of the room, "Yes, one you stepped into so easily." The woman comes out.
She has long white hair, and extremely wrinkled skin, but the eyes… Her eyes, despite the purple color, are the same as the King's. Both of the women begin to transform and leap upon the four of you. Alkmene into a giant bear and the woman with purple eyes into a demonic beast. The fight is even. Each of you land blows back for every one that you receive while Stanton distracts the beast women with illusions, all the while trying to sneak into their minds. Eventually you gain the upper hand. Four against two is never fair. As you stand poised to strike a deathblow upon the exhausted women a unearthly loud voice shatters your composure.
A simply dressed man carrying a rapier suddenly appears flying in the air above the four of you. His voice speaks directly into your mind with such force that you are forced to listen and do nothing else.
"YOU WILL NOT KILL THESE WOMEN! THEY ARE UNDER MY PROTECTION!" As the
voice finishes the man transforms from the form that you recognized as Major Dactirian, Leader of the Rebels, into Apollo, the sun god. His armor becomes a shining toga, his close cropped hair turns blond with a halo surrounding it, his rapier becomes a golden bow.
"YOUR TIME AS DRAGOVINIANS IS ENDED! SLEEP! YOU WILL BE HEALED AND
REBORN AS MEN ONCE MORE!"
Apollo nocks four golden arrows to his bow and shoots each of you in turn. The arrows pierce your hearts and you feel yourselves drifting off to sleep. As your eyes close you catch a glimpse of Apollo lowering himself to the ground with his eyes closed and his hand touching his forehead.
When the group returned to themselves the sky began to darken. The sun disappeared a red glow illuminated the mountain range. Above the group a terrible figure appeared. An enormous humanoid without skin. It’s bones and muscles were freely exposed. It’s head was entirely bare bone with ram’s horns coming out of either side. Instead of hair, the creature wore a halo of fire. In its right hand it held a pitchfork.
The Dahak spoke, “You mortals will not return the prophecy to the Rebellion! Zeus will not be healed by you!” The huge form began to lower itself to the ground and shrink to a smaller, but still large size.
Stunned, Gregor let the condor loose and it flew away. Baldr turned to Demetrius, “Take Sivirdm on your horse and get out of here! Take the prophecy back to the Rebels! Go! Now!”
Gregor, Reggy, and Korjak ran straight at the demon. The demon skewered Gregor on his trident as the Orc charged. Gregor collapsed and the demon withdrew its weapon. Baldr and Reggy connected. They both dealt significant blows, but to the demon, they were but ants.
Demetrius mounted on his paladin horse and scooped Sivirdm up in the front of the saddle. Sivirdm had other ideas. He slid off and ran to the goat herd that were now stampeding away from the demon. The little halfling jumped into the goat herd and grabbed onto the back of one of the goats as hard as he could.
The demon brought its huge pitchfork down upon Baldr and Reggy simultaneously. The pair fought on. Reggy mustered all his willpower to stay standing and swinging (Diehard feat is relevant). They inflicted more small wounds to the demon, but it was clear that their contest would be futile. Demetrius and Sivirdm fled south, each in their own way.
The demon brought its pitchfork down once more. A prong pierced Reggy’s chest, slaying him. Baldr was similarly punctured. Using his godly force, he ripped the pitchfork from his body, but Baldr was undone. His form slipped away, abandoning Korjak.
Korjak still wished to delay the demon from chasing Sivirdm and Demetrius. Without an ally, melee combat would ensure his death. Thinking on his feet, Korjak ran north, further up the mountain pass. The demon would have to chase him or the others. One of them would escape its wrath. The demon stabbed Korjak as he fled, opening a large wound in his back. Korjak kept his footing as he ascended the pass.
The demon turned and pounded down the pass after Sivirdm and Demetrius. Hearing the pursuit, Sivirdm rolled off the goat and hid behind a boulder. The demon rushed after him, following Demetrius and his mount.

http://s13.postimg.org/fz91kkwmv/Session_65_Demetrius_and_Dahak.jpg

Unfortunately, the demon had made the wrong decision. Even high in the mountains, Demetrius was faster mounted than the demon was on foot. Soon, the sky began to lighten as the sun shone once more. The demon dissipated into black mist that the wind quickly blew away.
The party regrouped around Reggy’s corpse.
Demetrius said, “Should we bring him back with us to be buried?”
Gregor grunted, “We bring him back. We’ll bring him back and we’ll bring him back to life.” Gregor’s tone made it clear that there would be no argument on this point.

The party gathered up the goat herd once more and redistributed their baggage. Gregor carried Reggy’s body himself as they headed back down the mountain pass. The next day Korjak cast gentle repose on Reggy to make their journey easier on their noses and to lengthen the time in which Reggy could be raised.
Within a few days the party was back at the silver mining town. Tory had left a message for them, saying he was traveling on to Tetalya. The group sold their goats and mountaineering supplies in exchange for healing and a trip downriver.
Days passed as the group went through Yuettencal and finally into Tetalya. They looked up Tory and Trachendolf at the druid guild and were warmly received. The group spoke with one of the higher up druids. After fully explaining the prophecy the druid understood the importance of their cause. He offered to help in any way he could.
The party needed three things from the druid.
1. Reggy needed to come back to life. The druid offered to do that with a reincarnate spell. Gregor had grown close to Reggy and knew that he would be okay with being brought back in that manner.
2. Korjak needed a raise dead cast on himself. This was not to bring him back, but to bring back Baldr who had retreated into a deep slumber after his defeat at the demon’s hands.
3. A quick journey back to Gazeara where the Rebel command was stationed. The druids would provide this with a wind walk spell.
(So what did Reggy come back as? Zigfried rolled well on the homebrewed reincarnate chart and came back as a centaur! Reggy was behind by a level, but his new stat boosts should put him on par with the rest of the party if we play any future sessions.)
After resting in Tetalya and rejoicing with their returned friend, the party turned into clouds with the wind walk spell and flew off to Gazeara.

The heroes alighted near the Great Fire outside of the Palace. A few of the Rebel soldiers stationed at the Palace entrance recognized them and brought them in to see Major Dactirian, Alkmene, and Tarigananata. The room furnished simply with an oval table and chairs surrounding it. The three Rebel leaders sat on the opposite side of the party.
Major Dacitiran took the lead in the conversation, “Good to have you back.”
The party grunted in response. They’d never liked Dactirian that much and it didn’t matter much to them if he had some connection to Apollo or not.
“I take it you found the final pieces of the prophecy.”
Korjak said, “Yes we did.”
“Before you tell me there is something I wish to discuss. You have done much for the Rebellion. More than I had originally thought you would given your nature… I must now ask more of you. The ritual the prophecy refers to requires specific ingredients. These ingredients are all warded by the Dragovinians. The same wards that you are able to bypass. However, these items are located far afield. When I sent you to collect the prophecy I had a limited power to enforce my commands,” Dactirian indicated Korjak and Demetrius, “but once you leave Cimmeria you will be on your own. Collecting the ingredients is of the utmost importance for defeating Blendegad. can I rely on you to stay true to your mission if you are sent out to collect the final ingredients? There may be another riskier means of collecting them, but I shall not risk it until all other options are exhausted.”
Gregor said, “I think we’re done going on your errands.”
Sivirdm agreed, “Yeah. We don’t want anything to do with the Xoria. Not anymore.”
“I appreciate your honesty. You will be free to do whatever you wish once you tell me the prophecy.”
Gregor said, “We will tell you the prophecy, but you must give us something in return.”
“Oh?”
“For too long my people have sat in bondage. For too long they have been slaves to Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. This practice must end. The Orc slaves that you have must be freed and the enslavement of Orcs must be outlawed in the future government of Xoria that you build. That is my demand.”
Tarigananata said, “I cannot promise that enslavement of Orcs will be abolished in Xoria if we are victorious. I am unsure if I will even become Queen.”
Dactirian said, “ And I will not free the Orcs in our possession now. They are too valuable a resource to us and too much of a liability if they flee and are captured by the Amazons. My answer is no, Gregor.”
“Then we will not tell you the prophecy,” Gregor stood
“You do realize that I could rip the prophecy from your minds if I wished? I don’t need to ask.”
Gregor spun on his heel and walked out of the room. Sivirdm and Reggy followed.
Dactirian turned to Korjak and Demetrius, “Well, you two can tell me the prophecy then. I’d rather not hurt them more than necessary.”
“Of course,” said Korjak. He repeated the three pieces of the prophecy they had collected since last speaking with Dactirian.
“Thank you.”
Korjak said, “If I may, sir. I would like to speak to you in private.”
“As you wish.” Dactirian looked at Demetrius, Alkmene, and Tarigananata. They all got up and exited the room. “Yes?”
“You see, sir. What Gregor says… About freeing Orcs? I want to join him. I’m half-Orc myself. I have to do what’s right for my people. They should be equals with the other races. Not oppressed and enslaved.”
“Do what you feel is right, Korjak.”
Korjak sat and thought. He looked at his folded hands on the table. After a time his hands moved to his neck. He removed the necklace of speak with animals, the only badge of rank he had ever worn. He set it on the table, got up, and left.
“I see,” Dactirian said to an empty room.

Korjak, Gregor, Sivirdm, and Reggy rested for the night and in the morning they set about collecting supplies. They would journey east into the Orc lands and attempt to reclaim Gregor’s position as Chief of Chiefs. With the full might of the Orc race behind him, maybe they could free the enslaved Orcs in Cimmeria by force. First they would need to sneak through the Amazon siege. Next, a long journey through no-man’s land before reaching the Orc lands. The hard task of finding and uniting the chaotic tribes would occupy their time after that. The group prepared everything they would need, saddled up, and rode out.

The session, and the Rebellion campaign portion of Xorian Wars ended there.

So where was I originally headed with the Rebel campaign after the intrepid band returned from finding all the pieces of the prophecy? If you’d rather not peak behind the curtain, then just skip these last few bits.
As Artemis emphasized in this session, the prophecy pieces and the ingredients they described were warded by the Dragovinians. Any attempt to retrieve them by a non-Dragovinian would alert the Dragovinian doom squad as seen in Combo Session #2/Total Session #28 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=13997064&postcount=48). I designed the campaign this way to explain why the high level Rebel and Alliance members had not already claimed the prophecy and restored Zeus. It also gives an impetus to the Rebel party. The other heroes can’t do this because they weren’t Dragovinians. They are literally the only ones that can get to the prophecy pieces undetected. Any other attempt would be thwarted by the doom squad.
The original intent was for the Rebel party to continue flying under the radar as they retrieved the ingredients needed for the prophecy. They would travel west, using Stevie the Wonder Wagon to speed their travel. They’d go up in the Balkans to retrieve a piece of the Rock of Prometheus. They’d take a boat to Lemnos to get the “pieces of a broken god.” They’d go out into the western ocean to find the Black Kelp Plant. They’d journey into Hell to magically record a snippet of Orpheus’s voice. The Pitchfork of Doom that injured Zeus was always intended to be something the higher level party would get, so that will still go as scheduled. The Rebel party was supposed to do all those other things, undetected by the Dragovinians and unmolested by the doom squad.
But now the Alliance party has risen to 20th level! They are theoretically strong enough to take on the doom squad (I still have surprises ready for them don’t worry). We don’t need the Rebels for the campaign to progress anymore. So we decided to wrap that plotline up. We provided good in character reasons as well, but the plotline is wrapped up no matter how you look at it.
So what will Gregor and friends do as they journey east to form some kind of Orc Coalition? To tell the truth, I had originally planned a bit of what would happen should the PCs venture towards the Orcs and attempt to reunite them. Maybe I’ll still get