Gods, Guides, and Worlds Between
April 24, 2009
A good night’s sleep rewarded our heroes with wonderful gear and with new found confidence. The dragon was still out their, but they believed that they could get past it. Everyone was still waking up when Tim made his way toward the dragon’s chamber alone. He found that it was in a light slumber and took the opportunity to run for the door. He made it half way across the floor when the sound of Lillith calling out for him echoed in the room, waking the dragon. Luckily, Lillith rounded the corner at the same time, drawing the creature’s attention to her and giving Tim an opportunity to make it to the exit. Unfortunately, the ice that had been the death knell of the shadow hounds the day before had also sealed up the cave about ten feet in.
While Tim remained hidden from both the dragon and Lillith, she began speaking with the dragon. She informed him that they had no luck finding anything to deactivate the trap with. This angered the dragon, but something confused him more so. He was intrigued with the concept that this short life would risk her life to tell him the truth. He decided that he would gift her with his trust. He knew of one other way to disable the trap. As he tells it, there is necrotic energy flowing through the entirety of this realm. If the party could destroy one of the necrotic nexuses then the power to the trap would be cut off. Not long after, the party was led by Lillith past the dragon toward the exit. All of them surprised that the creature is not eating them. A moment later, a loud BOOM was heard from the exit, then Tim stumbles out singed and still smoking from the spell that he cast to break open the ice barricade.
As the group is making their way through the darkness, Lillith tells them about her deal with the dragon. Needless to say, Haiseem was not pleased. The wisdom of freeing the dragon was called into question in a heated debate, but it was decided that they would go and examine this “nexus” and see if it has any other uses or interactions. They ran up on another of the dark feline creatures that Lillith possesses on the path. The creature attacked Arafel with a mental attack, but he shrugged it off with little effort. Tim ended the creatures existence with his magic. A moment later, Arafel saw a ghost like apparition ahead in the darkness pointing toward a pair of trees. The team saw him looking off into the darkness and thought that he had been hit by the creatures attack, as they could not see what he was looking at. Lillith smacked him on the wrist and told him to fight the urge to go off into the darkness. When he looked up, the figure had gone. They found the entrance hidden behind two gnarled trees just where the figure had been. After the dragonborn squeezed into the cave, they made their way into a large nearly hexagon shaped room. The only doors had dwarven text that described the following area as a dwarven prince’s crypt. Shaes carefully discovered the mechanism that held the door shut, and just as he had disabled it and held up a gear triumphantly, Tim fired a ball of elemental chaos at the door. Shaes expertly leaped out of the way as the spell blasted open the doors permanently. Shaes fingered his shurikens angrily as they pressed on. As the doors had flung open, once again Arafel saw the same figure in the distance facing him pointing to his right. The figure is distinguishable as a female humanoid with a ghostly white glowing dress. She disappeared soon before he could reach her.
Once at the end of the hallway, the party had a choice between two doors, the right one made of wood with no discernible locks, or left through a large metal door with three pad locks and two warding glyphs. As Shaes worked on the defenses of the metal door, Tim blasted through the wooden door to reveal hundreds of undead spiders. They didn’t seem to mind having the door blown in, which gave Shaes plenty of time to break open the metal door. The dragonborn relayed that he saw lots of statues at the other end of this large room, all in strange poses. A moment later, a medusa archer revealed herself among them. Unfortunatly, the spiders also thought this a good time to get a meal, and attacked from the other side. As Rhidoh, Bladepwn, the dragonborn, and Arafel fought off the spiders, Lillith, Haiseem, Shaes, and Tim charged the medusa. Both fights brought out the best in our champions, and they brought down their foes with little interference. The room with the medusa proved empty save a few gems. As they checked on their friends, they were pleased to find the dragonborn in the middle of the room panting and the room ablaze where all the webs had been torched.
They continued on down several winding tunnels, until they finally entered an enormous room. They were on a balcony with a curved staircase to their right leading down to the floor filled with columns and home to a stone throne. Upon that throne was the ghostly image of a well dressed dwarf screaming out “Lies!” in dwarven. Surrounding him were five dark phantoms that resembled dwarves. While all of this is going on, Arafel silently experiences the phantom girl standing beside the thrown pointing at it. He hears the softly spoken words, “Here it is. Quickly.” She then vanishes with no evidence that anyone saw her but himself.
As the team was deciding whether or not to send Lillith in to talk with them, Tim runs and jumps down 50 feet to the floor before using one of his spells to break his fall. He followed this up by intimidating the creatures by ripping off his shirt! The battle raged on with everyone trying to establish positions away from the columns that were giving off necrotic energy, Lillith desperately trying to compromise with them, and Haiseem calculating the best way to bring this fight to a close. The teams combined prowess proved too much for the spirits and each one was defeated.
Once the prince was released from his dark curse, he quickly explained with the time he had left that the darkness is not alive, but merely an appendage of a greater being deep below the surface. That being is spreading his influence by increasing the number of nexuses and enhancing the power of the darkness. The throne was the nexus point of this area and by destroying it they would hurt the darkness’s power in this area. The spirit disappeared before any other questions could be answered. We leave our heroes considering what they will do with the throne and what their next move will be. One thing is for sure, they have all earned a good rest.
April 3, 2009
Our heroes found themselves being marched into a small stone building. This being a result of the group attacking one of the members of the encampment. Soon, the very same person that they had attacked, they now know as Lillith, made her way into the building and addressed the group. She somberly informed the team of their misdeeds and the consequences thereof. Fortunately, Lillith had a good feeling about this group, so instead of death, she requested that they redeem themselves by traveling with herself and a friend on a mission that no one else would take. The offer was (nearly) immediately accepted and they were sent to speak with her friend in the library alcove.
When they left the building (after striking a deal with Lillith to return her “amulet” in exchange for another being like it), they were greeted by the figures of Ridoh and Bladepwn awake and alive. Apparently, the town managed to retrieve some medicinal herbs just as the others left. That, however, was the good news. The other companion, Rionell, was pronounced dead a short while after Ridoh and Bladepwn had woken up. After relieved greetings to their old friends, Ridoh took them all aside and informed them that the eladrin outfitted in Rionell’s armor was NOT Rionell. “They looked alike, but it’s not him.” This created a strange mystery, but was soon filed away in memory in light of their current predicament. The team, Ridoh and Bladepwn included, made their way to the library alcove. It turned out to be a bored out hole in the ground below the encampment filled with makeshift shelves and around 400 books and scrolls. Seated at a small table was an eladrin who’s demeanor reflected an intellectual more interested in books than people. He soon acknowledged that he was the friend Lillith spoke of. As everyone got a close look at him, they began to notice that this eladrin had many features that resembled Rionell. They chalked it off to coincidence and the eladrin, Haissem, informed them of their mission.
It seems that the original creators of this world left behind several tombs, one of which speaks of the hiding of special “cashes” that would aid the inhabitants escape their imprisonment. Armed with relatively good directions, the team plus Haissem and Lillith, made their way into the darkness. It wasn’t long before they heard the sound of two women calling for help in the darkness. The dragonborn’s dark vision was suddenly a huge boon to the party, as he was able to see the figures advance on them with two dark hounds as the party was bickering about wither or not they should help. The ensuing fight was long and arduous due to the hounds snuffing out light all around them, but they managed to take them down in the end.
Not long after the fight, Hiassem found the place referred to by the texts, but their appeared to be just wall. It took no time for Tim, being a gnome, to see through an illusionary wall hiding the entrance. It was good timing, too, because a pack of nearly twenty dark hounds had managed to flank them. The party thought it best to rush into the cave and use it as a choke point. Once inside, luck was with them, as their was a portcullis with prepared windlass ready to close the entrance to the cave. Triggering the windlass slammed the portcullis down and the faint blue glow of a sigil tempered their fears.
Down the winding passage, the air got noticeably colder and the ground harder to walk on. In the next room was the reason why. An ancient white dragon lay there, with it’s large hind leg blocking the only other exit. Also, there was a stone slab carved out of the floor with glowing runes all over it. Emanating from the stone was a pale blue stream that seemed to lasso the dragon’s neck. The creature immediatly realized he had guests and considered consuming them, but thought that their living was more useful. He made a deal with the “short lives”. 1) They were to bring him meat. He would feast, one way or another. 2) They would go forward and release the trap that held him here. In exchange, he would let them live a bit longer. Before he had even completed the terms, Lillith had run back to the portcullis and pulled the switch. Shadow Hounds poured in, running after the bard woman. Everyone ducked and dodged as the hounds ran into the room. It took just a few moments for the dragon to freeze them all solid and consume his prize.
As he was eating, he moved his foot and bid them return quickly. The party moved down the passage pretty safely until Tim had found another illusion wall. Inside, there was a grove of glowing trees and a locked chest at the end. Most of the group was hesitant to enter as last time they saw glowing trees was nearly the end of them, but one member had ignored the room completely. Lillith, not interested in what was there, continued down the passage believing the switch to stop the dragon’s trap was there. The team slowly made their way into the room with nothing happening until they opened the chest and found a single silver piece inside. The moment Tim picked it up, the trees began to glow harder and dozens of devil creatures started to appear. It was a long fight to mow down the annoying creatures, but soon the trees began to wither under the magical strain and died. Unfortunately, the room had no other treasures for the group to find. They started to make their way back to the tunnel.
Meanwhile, Lillith had made it all the way down and found a wooden door separated her from the goal. She pushed open the door, only to receive a blast from the warding rune placed on the door. The blast was strong enough to knock her out. When she came to, she peered into the room and saw a large assortment of armaments. Enormous amount of mundane armor and weapons, all untouched for years, but still strong. On top of all that, there were several magic items here. She had just gotten everything sorted when the others made their way in. Everyone rummaged through the gear, finding anything they could to aid them against he beasts of the dark. The bad news was that after the smoke had cleared and everyone was satisfied there was nothing else to find, they had still not found a mechanism to disable the trap that held the dragon. Distressed by this knowledge, the party spent the night in that room, brainstorming what to do and identifying the equipment they found. Tomorrow, they may need it.
March 27, 2009
The party has reunited at possibly the worst of times, as the Avatar of Ioun addresses them. In short order, she relays her intentions to bind the minds of all creatures on Firnin, thus ensuring the ultimate availability of all knowledge, and also the loss of free thought and individuality. Ioun began her spell, but was foiled as something went wrong. The next moment, everyone hits the ground in a seemingly underground area.
They had somehow arrived at a town with battle worn members of every race. They had also picked up another individual who had fallen right beside them. After a bit of hesitation from the towns folk, they fetch their leaders, who both seem to be sentient zombies. The party is informed that three of their friends, Rionell, Bladepwn, and Ridoh have some internal bleeding that needs attention. Luckily, their scouts had recently taken a small area back from the dark that is rich is the components necessary to help them. The group is asked to go retrieve the components.
At this point, the party begins to take note of where they are. All around is darkness. The only form of light is from glowing rocks in the center of this small town and from the phosphorescent bugs outside of town. It as though they had fallen hundreds of feet underground, so far that they can not even see the ceiling. As they advance through the darkness, they are unfortunate enough to experience the dark’s ill will as stone walls spring up all around them and dark shadowy creatures appear. It was only as their new friend, the Gnome Tim, used a spell to send the shadowy figures into the walls, did everything disappear at once, ending the fight.
As strange as that experience was, they run upon another strange situation. The see a female shifter skulking about mumbling to herself. On the ground it appears that her bag had fallen open and several trinkets had fallen to the floor. She sees the party and pleads with them to help her find her amulet. This would be no issue, but she then stated that her “amulet” is running about nearby. It was soon discovered that amulet was this woman’s name for a feline shadow creature that she soon captured again. Tim and Shaes begin the task of acquiring the creature as they believe that it is one of the keys of getting out of this world. Tim attacks the woman in order to immobilize her and Shaes takes the creature and stuffs it into Tim’s bag of holding.
Unfortunately for them, a scouting team from town is spotted in full retreat from the area that they were headed toward. They recognize the woman as a figure of importance and become hostile with the party. Now they are being marched at a rushed pace back to town to an unknown fate.
March 21, 2009
Shaes relays his disturbing vision to the rest of the party immediately. It was decided that Dark Wing, Ridoh, and Bladepwn would all go and find some support for what would be a rough battle. After tending to Naran’s wounds, Rionell, Shaes and Airafel all made their way quickly to Tybernickle.
They arrived around five hours sooner then they had in the vision, so, after again avoiding the guards on the bridge, they made their way to where they expected to find Pontiff Bricer. Sure enough, Bricer was near the western bridge waiting for his paladins to return with the God Stone they had acquired. In order to facilitate communication, Rionell pushed Shaes into a sea of paladins and screamed “Assassin!!!” He preceded to launching himself into the holy knights and, using his eladrin talents, teleported himself beside Bricer. Quickly, he informed Bricer that his life was in danger. This simple statement resulted in the party working with the Lyrican Order to prevent Holic from achieving his objective.
They didn’t have to wait long before Holic and his puppet, Lucian, made themselves known. With 76 paladins downed with one incredible power, Pontiff Bricer finally received the package he was waiting for and began the activation ritual. Rionell soon engaged Lucian and reluctantly began the mission of ending his brother’s misery. As this complicated Holic’s plans, he entered the fray which sparked a war between the group and the frighteningly powerful mage. All fighting ended when Bricer completed the ritual and gained his god-like power. Holic made a last ditch effort to have Lucian activate his own stone, but Rionell’s quick thinking ended the ritual in failure. With no other alternatives, Holic retrieved Lucian’s God Stone, ended the poor eladrin’s life with his own blade, and disappeared leaving a menacing curse on Rionell. “I will ensure you regret your actions this day.”
With no word, yet, from the splinter party, Rionell, Shaes and Airafel must now decide on how to handle the issue of the deity not more than thirty feet behind them.
March 13, 2009
The party became shy one spell caster as Salidir chose to embark on a more personal quest to return his love to life. After goodbyes and thanks from the folks of Brandeld, the group headed west toward Tybernickle. Their intelligence shows that the “Puppet Man” will very probably involve himself in the festivities at the Festival of Moradin which is held every year in autumn. Rionell, of course, has a whole different reason for going which he has been reluctant to explain to his comrades.
In the forest west of Hairamal, as the party was sleeping, DW begins scouting for anything strange around the campsite. A random Gelatinous Cube was found wandering through the forest. A moment later, a large worm-like creature bursts through the brush throwing the cube to the side as it chased an Elf through the forest. The party, most being without armor, stood their ground against the beast and took it down. It wasn’t moments later that they realized that the Elf that was being chased was Naran from Vecna’s Tomb.
Shaes tries to tend to his wounds when Naran says to him, “You must stop him.” Confused about the statement, the group tries to question Naran, but instead he touches Shaes’ arm and suddenly Shaes sees a frightening vision. In it, there was destruction and chaos across every known town of Triciara. There was a desecrated thrown room where wearied lords all bow to the form of Pontiff Bricer (one of the high clerics of the Lyrican Order) except Bricer’s eyes were glowing white and he was floating. The next vision was a battlefield where foreigners were at war with Triciara and all it’s remaining inhabitants were defending it as the floating Bricer held out his hand and destroyed everyone on the battlefield with a gesture. He began to laugh accompanied by a haunting disembodied and malign female voice.
Naran released Shaes and simply said “Now you know what you must do.” This didn’t sit well with Shaes as he noted that he indeed knew NOTHING of what to do! The party manages to get Naran to explain that Pontiff Bricer Stole the final God Stone from the Tomb and his men are bringing it to him now. Knowing that Bricer cannot be allowed to acquire that kind of power, the team doubles their pace to reach Tybernickle first.
The party had a bit of trouble with the local guards (may have something to do with the fact that they are outlaws after their last unfortunate incident with Baron Fuller), but Shaes managed to sweet talk them into letting them through. That’s when Rionell noticed two figures walking to the west. He ran after them followed closely by the party. As he got closer, he knew for a fact that the figure on the left was his imprisoned brother, Lucian, and that made the one on the right his captor, Holic. Using the surprise he was afforded, he leaps after the one on the right, but Lucian quickly makes a move to deflect Rionell’s attack. Holic in his psychotic smile made a stark contrast to Lucian who seemed to be moving almost in his sleep with his eyes half closed and body seemingly relaxed. Holic thanks the adventurers for going out of their way to meet with him, but required Rionell to complete his job of killing Pontiff Grozdonn. Lucian held up his own blade to his throat. Rionell, white knuckling his sword turns and heads toward the area where Grozdonn is giving a speech. He whispers to Shaes “Follow him!”
He follows at a distance and what he sees was extraordinary. He got their in time to see Pontiff Bricer receive the God Stone from his men and finish a short ritual with some sticks and some powder. Once done, the stone and his body began to glow white and he looked just like he did in Shaes’ vision. Moments later, Holic showed up, called out Bricer’s name, and snapped a twig to complete his own ritual. Suddenly Lucian starts to glow white and a voice escaped his lips that Shaes had never heard before.
“Ioun! This foolishness will end here!” “Go back to your dead, simpleton!”
Shaes saw only two attacks before the force behind them knocked him unconscious. Eventually, he awakes to see every person in eyesight on the ground, dead, and the two demigods seeming barely alive. Bricer stays afloat for a few more seconds before he gives in a falls to the ground, exhausted, with the white glow fading away rapidly. Lucian states breathlessly, “Now, to the business of expanding our realm.” Holic then slips out of seemingly nothing and waves his hand. Lucian’s body raises his sword to the terrified eyes of the entity and ends it’s life with one stroke. Holic skips over to the not quite dead Bricer and begins taunting him. “It seems your attempt at immortality didn’t work out so well. Happens to the best of us. Looks like your little army is under the weather too. Oh well. The worst part of all of it is that one of your own creations will be the thing that takes everything from you.” He smiles and jams a dagger into his chest. The next thing Shaes knows, he sees the wrinkled up face of Naran removing his hand from his arm saying “Now you know what you must do.”