Kingdom of Isles

GM Journal - Troubles at Home p1
Troubles at Home p1

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DRAFT

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Din'dae's Journal 19 - Wished Waters
Wished Waters

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DRAFT

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Din'dae's Journal 18 - Consolidate and Neutralize
Consolidate and Neutralize

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We had made it back to Chimera Keep and after some artful casting of spells from Almaran and Grune, as well as a good nights sleep, it is clear now neither Khanie nor I were in our right mind. Even when we found proof that the vaults were all intentionally infused with Void Spores, I still could not at the time bring my self to believe. I am slightly ashamed at the thoughts I had about my trusted companions and grateful through much effort my mind has been freed. Hopefully Almaran can learn something from the black dragon skin journal that will help protect us from the spores, but for now its moving day.

The camp had been busy breaking down the contents of Chimera Keep and crafting large rafts to float over to the Artistic District. It was an impressive undertaking with both the remaining Farstryders and members of Veritas working side by side. Once loaded up I admit I was a bit nervous about crossing the water. We have yet to identify the huge creature that dwells its depths so its threat is still unknown. Fortunately the passage was uneventful and we made it with no losses.

gobpriest1.jpg Osond was there to greeted us and we made introduction all around, and reminded the camp leaders of the rules imposed by the Radiant Muse. There was no shortage of curiosity by the elves and soon pockets of trading was happening here and there. A good start to our consolidation efforts. We spent the day getting the camp setup, and I went over the security protocols with the watch teams. The Veritas members were seasoned soldiers, and the Farstryders were now use to my instruction and new what I expected.

The following day the Alliance once again set out into the city. This time to find the camp of the Steam Coast Trading Company. We discovered that there was a coup recently and their new leader Ivar was a right bastard and had been raiding other camps. He had a failed attempt on Veritas just prior to joining with us and word was he they had made a run on the pirates as well. The SCTc was a threat we needed to assess as it occurred to us that another Aspari could have seized control of that camp and is using them to simply create chaos, keeping us from our goals. In any case they were a concern that required our immediate attention to evaluate, dismiss or destroy.

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Even with the limited intel we had we were able to place the Steam Coast camp somewhere near the temple district. Took us all of the morning and a bit of the early afternoon to finally find their camp at the back of the reservoir adjacent to the temple district. The camp we found was very impressive and very defensible.

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They had made their camp in some ruins at the base of the cliffside protecting the rear. The area surrounding the walls where full of jagged rocks, thorns and low briars. There was only single clear path leading in or out of the camp. Using several ranger abilities and one elven magic spell I was able to scout the perimeter and gauge their defenses. Almaran summoned a mystic eye that allowed him to spy beyond the walls. What he saw shocked him and gave us all a sense of urgency.

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Shiro_Gok.jpgIt appeared that the Steam Coast had successfully moved against the Dark Harbor pirates. Many of the them were now held prisoner. That was not the cause of alarm, though. Almaran saw that Ness Ramora was among them and next in line to be whipped by the indentured and unhappy Shiro Gok. It was clear to Almaran by the 3 Legionaries pointing crossbows at Shirou that the swordsmans participation was under duress. He also noted the look of defiance in Ness’s eyes and knew that she would not let out screams easily and might by near death before she did.

A hasty plan was put together that relied heavily on surprise, speed and magic. May the Fickle Fox bless us for boldness, for this will be one for the archives as our plan was a frontal assault.

The five of us knowing, our parts, set to it. Almaran changed shape, took flight and cast a spell to Blend in with the afternoon sky. Khaine and I, riding a sprinting Moonshadow, had the dual task of charging the gates to draw attention from Almaran and a flying Grune as well as actually break them down for a hasty egress if needed. Khaine had anointed his blade with a blanch that would allow Ebonfang to bypass the natural hardness of the wooden gates and has such did tremendous damage on his fist strike. Still it took both of our repeated swings to splinter the gate timbers allowing us to squeeze through while still under fire of crowsbows.

Mystic_Barrier.jpgOn the other side of the wall soldiers were lining up to repel attackers and Almaran was able to create an opaque barrier between them and the gates as we broke through. This greatly reduced the numbers Khaine and I had to face. We focused our attacks on the Legionnaires as we knew they were the most loyal to Ivor. We also called out warning that we were merely here as retribution for Ivor’s forceful assaults against the other camps. That any who did not pick up arms against us now would be spared. Khaine and I could see some consider, but it wasn’t until the flames cleared after Almaran rained fire down on us and the enemies around us (twice) that several took our offer and fled. As it were, Grune had given magical protection from fire prior to the assault so we were all untouched by the searing flames. Not true for the those that had been near us. The ground was now littered with burnt corpses and it was enough to break the morale hired mercenaries.

This side of Almaran’s barrier was now manageable by Khaine, Grune, Moonshadow and me so the mystic flew deeper into camp to create more magical havoc and help free Ness and Shirou. The rest of us engaged the last three Legionaries, two corrupted blade bearers of Molgus, two prowling dire desert cats and of course Hannigan himself.

We dropped the Legionaries first, and then with a roar of challenge from Moonshadow my mount and I pounced forward to engage the approaching desert cats.
DireDesertCats.pngNature does not typically know good and evil, it merely displays an unforgiving cycle of hunter and hunted. Of predator and prey. These cats are one of the exceptions. Like Moonshadow they are of a breed that is smart and cunning enough to be self aware. Unlike Elven Warcats however, the Desert Cats relish inflicting pain and suffering before the slaughter. Being in their presence I could believe the tales, as these creatures exuded an evil about them.

Blade_Bearers_of_Molgus.jpgTogether Moonshadow and killed one of the cats as the Lt’s of Ivor approached. These blade bearers of Molgus had the stink of rot about them and a strange affliction upon their skin that looked like growing fungus. Their blades also seemed to carry a magical property to inflict disease as well. Whenever they struck me I could feel my body fighting off the effects. Thankfully, due to the protection magic Grune had provided, my body was able to do just that.

Grune approached to support Moonshadow and I as Khaine, who had hung back, charged an invisible Ivor. Apparently while I was distracted with my fight, the faction leader had taken a potion of invisibility and was stalking Moonshadow and I. Almaran had given us a heads up and Khaine had taken a draught of spirit sight allowing him to see and charge the would be backstabber.

The fighting was fearsome, and Ivor and his allies getting certainly giving as good as their were getting. Fortunately we had Grune who healed our hurts and kept us fighting. Eventually the numbers fell in our favor as I dropped a blade bearer and Moonshadow killed the last desert cat. I was surprised to see that Ivor, fighting one on one with Khaine, was not only still on his feet but holding his own. He clearly had skill, but not enough to win the day. Moments after Moonshadow and I killed the last blade bearer of Molgus, we saw Ivor try a crafty move leaping over Khaine in an effort to surprise him. However my friends eyes were too sharp and too blade too fast as he saw the move for what it was. Whipping his sword quickly overhead he sliced Hannigan in two causing a spray of blood followed by two meaty thuds.

What we expected to be an Aspari still appeared to be human even in death. Yet when his head hit the ground it cracked like an egg and this… goo oozed out leaving a hollow skull. Would could not figure out what this was so I have to wonder, did Khaine’s blow somehow liquify Ivor’s brains?

After that the fight was academic. Almaran had controlled and/or decimated most of the other forces on the other side of the barrier, allowing Shirou and Ness to arm themselves fight together with a few others against their former captors. In less than a minute after Ivor had fallen, the battle was over.

The camp was ours and the Steam Coast Trading Companies faction in Bantu Asparr… was no more.

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Din'dae's Journal 17 - Moving and Maddness
Moving and Maddness

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The events of the night before still weigh on camp and I notice the odd look some give Nik as he moves about his day. Even stops to enjoy the sun on his face when he thinks no one is looking. Being killed can have that effect on you.

Last night while we were planning to reveal Primrose for a fraud, apparently Nik had begin to see through Celia rouse as well. In a moment of panic the bitch bit and poisoned him, leaving him dying on the floor as she stepped out to turn the entire camp against us. When she caused the firey explosion during our battle, it had finished what the bite started. Nik had died.

We could not, would not except that. During our travels we had found a powerful piece of magic. A scroll to heal the body and rejoin its soul. It was one of a kind, ultra rare. He was more than a fellow castaway with an occasional barbed tongue, he was our friend and trusted ally. He was one of us. Thus It was an easy decision to make to use the scroll to return Nik to the living, Moneva willing.

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We had gathered as Grune led us through the words and we opened our minds to give whatever spiritual aid was needed. It reminded me of the ritual to cure me of my curse. It was unclear how many truly gave mental support to the effort, but the Alliance did. I for one felt… something. Like a moment skipped. However before I could dwell further, Nik took a deep intake of air and then coughed. The spell had worked and he was returned.

But as great as bringing back Nik was, we have much to deal with now. A handful of Farstryders left in the night and moral in camp was dangerously low. We tried to keep people busy to repair the damage and re-secure the camp but the truth was with numbers so low, we were no longer able to properly defend it AND send out exploration parties. Not to mention we now believed the Aspari threat was not just the work of a few serpentfolk trying to bring back a dead civilization, but the beginning efforts of true conquest by a race both alien and ancient. No, the stakes have been raised to an incredible level and if we are to combat this threat it is time to draw our allies to us. Starting with The Boss. veteran.jpg

For the first time since the very first visit we went to camp Veritas with little regard for stealth. We knew others may smell weakness in our camp so I plan was to join with the Boss and collectively move to the Artist district. With the remains of the Farstryders, Veritas and the elves, we would be a combined force to be respected by the others. First step was to secure this alliance and have Almaran use the All Seeing Eye to ensure all were who they seemed to be. After passing that test, thankfully, it was fairly direct matter of updating the Boss on recent events and our plan. He saw the logic and agreed, giving orders to begin breaking camp. They would arrive to Chimera Keep the next morning and begin preparing to move all to the Artist District. Approval for which we still needed to get form the Muse. Now seemed like the right time.

Artist_District.pngOn the way to the elves we stopped at the keep and updated Julivar and Nik. Nik seemed please about giving up his role as a camp leader. We grabbed a couple of porters and a lot of captured gear (arms, armor, scrap metal) and head to the elves. Although we had done several good deeds we though an additional gift of materiel they could re-purpose would go play well. It did, and Osond was able to negotiate approval with the Muse with some stipulations.

Statue_of_the_Elven_Hero.jpgThe area she has giving us is on the lake side adjacent to the Statue of the elven hero Jacara. I thought that a fitting location as it will serve as a great reminder of why we are here. To defeat the Aspari and keep their alien god from rising!

We agreed to the terms and after checking the site we decided to use the remaining daylight to pick up the undead’s trail from the Necro Manor. Believe it would be a more direct line to the Vault Julivar had fled from and hoping it was somewhere in this district or and adjacent one.

First_Vault_Entrance.jpgLeaving the porters behind to start prepping the new camp site, we left and found then followed the undead tracks for the better part of an hour before we notice something significant. Around 80’ up a nearby cliff-side a face was curved in the stone, severely overgrown with vegetation. We had noticed this in passing prior, but what made it unique this time was half the face was “swung open” like a large door. We could just make out an opening behind it. A cave perhaps?

We continued to follow the tracks which lead to a series of switchbacks. The elements had worn away most signs but we were able to make out the remains of stone stairs here and there. The path took us up the cliff face with the last switchback fallen away leaving us 20’ below the stone ledge that was right in front of the elven facade which we could clearly see was a stone door.

We climbed, while Almaran flew, up the distance and I cautiously peered inside. It was dark but the smell of a recent camp fire was evident. Clearly someone was home and were trying to remain hidden. I warned my companions and then stepped inside. I instantly felt observed and uncomfortable and called Moonshadow to follow me and protect my back. I knew I couldn’t count on the others to do it for me. Khaine with his wild tactics and I really didnt know Grune or Almaran very well. I can’t believe I have given them so much trust in the past.

As I moved further in, wondering why I was the only one inside, I heard a creaking then felt some loose debrief fall. It was the only warning I had to jump out of the way as a large stone statue fell to where I and Moonshadow had just been standing. I was about to yell at those untrustworthy layabouts for always putting me in harms way when the true threats revealed themselves. KECH!!

Kech_Hunter.pngThese semi intelligent pseudo simian monstrous humanoids have been nothing but a bane to us since we arrived in this city. Four from above readied bows now that they had dropped the statue, and six more stepped out of the overgrown foliage as if materializing there. An ability that still annoys me. With any luck we have just stumbled on their new lair and we can slaughter them all and bring a bit more peace to this region.

I called out to the others to move their arses, then mount Moonshadow to charge a group further in the tunnel reading bows. We sliced and claw one to shreds before Khaine even entered. He was fighting a little too close to me actually, not sure I like him on my flank like that. Least he entered, Grune and that Witch just hung back at the door while Khaine and I did all the hard work and took all the bow fire! Were they whispering to each other back there? Are they up to something? I think they are. I’m going to need to watch my back as this place is starting to get to them!

We kill the Kech and while I am eager move on Grune tries to tell Khaine and I that we are not right in the head, that there is something in the air here. Only thing in the air is his hot breath if you ask me. I feel fine and don’t appreciate long beard trying to confuse me. Ok, clearly there is something wrong with Khaine but pretty sure he was born that way.

Anyway, so the Witch starts speaking in super calm tones, and is even stops stating things with his double speak. Now I know something is wrong with him. I will keep my eye out and keep Moonshadow very close to him. If he tries something… well… lets just hope for his sake he doesn’t.

Kech_Lair.jpgI scout ahead… again… and come upon a large cavern with a few fire pits and the distinctive smell that it has been inhabited. I peak in and see the foliage is a bit light this deep in and the Kech everywhere. This seems to be their primary camp. I smile has I draw Windsplitter and attempt to sneak up on one. I should have told my team ahead of time but they will hear the fighting soon enough. Fighting started sooner than I wanted as a Kech I had not noticed see’s me and calls alarm. I really do hate these beast. Oh well, time to slay them all.

The fighting was furious and I seemed to be a magnet for their arrows. Even when Moonshadow ran up and I fought from her back, the Kech continued to pepper me with shot after show. Khaine oddly hung back with the others and I could not help think what they were up too. Then out of the blue Grune comes running up next to me saying he needs to touch me to heal me. BAH, you’ve never needed to before. I know magic, only aggressive or mind altering spells would require him to touch me. He is up to something and sees I am injured and trying to take advantage. I’m too smart for that, and don’t let. HAH. Stupid dwarf thinks he can trick me.

The fighting continues and muscle through the pain, I will kill these creatures on my own and then will determine just what that cleric…. What the!! He healed me? He finally a touch on me and it healed me. hmmmm… Crafty dwarf, I bet he switched the spell. If he things I am going to let down my guard now he’s as dense as the granite that birth him.

We kill the remaining Ketch and I down a potion of healing as the cleric approaches. Hah, don’t need you spell now! He channels positive energy to heal us all which is what he should have been doing before. He and Almaran are definitely up to something. Khaine sees it too I can tell, but he is acting too weird for me to trust his judgement. No I am in this alone for now.

sabosan.jpgAfter the fighting we take a moment to catch our breathe before pushing further into this dank space. We find the remains of a Sabosan. Man-sized humanoid bat like creature. It was full of Kech arrows. Further in we find the rest of these flying vermin whom attack us on sight. We defend ourselves from the evil creatures and destroy them all. Luckily Grune stuck to healing at a distance and refrained from any more of his trickery. Although him and Almaran were still thick as thieves.

Warrior_Defeating_Serpent.jpgFurther searching for the tunnels lead us to an antechamber protected by a stone golem. The undead tracks lead from the double doors but we had to get past this statue first. The golem itself was proving to be a problem for all of us save Khaine whose massive hits took chunk after chunk from it. In a moment of inspiration I called out in the ancient tongue of my people and commanded it to stand down. It seemed to recognize my bloodline, asking for the password. I fumbled a bit until I called Guardian in the old tongue. It stopped, and returned to its post leaving us to enter what we’ve come to call the Map Room. In it, we believe lays the portal to the Aspari City.

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Din'dae's Journal 16 - Snake in the Camp
Snake in the Camp

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It was barely noon when we returned to Osond and elves, gladly informing them that the Aspari undead Necromancer had been sent to Moneva for final judgement. He once again thanked us for our efforts and mentioned he would give word to the Radiant Muse of our deeds. We discussed at length whether to immediately continue our search for the vault or return to the Farstryder (and the Boss) to notify them of this new Aspari revelation. We decided taking a day delaying the search would not hurt and alerting others to the true threat was of more importance. For if we were to fall or be lost, someone must know the truth. That the world was facing and invasion by creatures of legend and myth.

We gather Julivar and made the arduous trek back to camp. We had worn quite the trail with our frequent crossing but it did not make the 2 hour walk much easier. We used the time to chat more with Julivar, asking her if she was familiar with any of the Farstryder names we gave her. She admitted to hearing of Nik, and seening Lord Primrose but only in passing.

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We crested a raise and could see Chimera Keep in the distance. We crossed the riverlet to our small island and I could see our new guest grow more apprehensive and excited. It seems she was concerned her tail would not be believed nor sure how she would be received. I wondered just what else of import she was holding anything back.
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2good.jpg We moved through the gates and called out greetings but headed straight for Primerose’s door. We waved for Dask to follow and found Nik already inside being berated by the minor noble. We quickly introduced Julivar who and tried to explain her tale. An effort she was surprising unsupportive about. I tried to encourage her but she merely nodded a bit meekly to what we said and only asked if she could be appointed with gear befitting her station and expertise. Lord Primerose seemed to want to dismiss her and quickly agreed signing a writ for her to see the supply master.

All_Seeing_Eye.jpg As soon as she darted out the noble rounded on Almaran asking in a near accusatory tone just where he got the All Seeing Eye? I was stunned! We had just told him an Aspari city was a live and active somewhere beneath the earth, that they were conspiring with other monstrous humunoids that we know attacked Akadimar and he was more curious about Al’s new babble!!

I started to loose my temper, which admittedly I have been forced to keep in check around Primerose as he has always rubbed me the wrong way. I was in the process of stepping forward and demanding this puffed up pheasant focus on the threat we have just laid out before him but Khaine grabbed my arm and shook his head slightly. It is rare that my good friend need check my anger, but I heeded his subtle consul and instead excused myself from the conversation.

I left the room with my companions only a moment or two behind me. We gathered back at the main tower within the compound that the Alliance used as its apartment and closed the door. I paced and started in on how infuriating and clueless Primerose was. That even HE should have seen the truth of our words and the threat they depicted. I did not see how even he could show no alarm and little belief for what lies below us. Yet again my oldest friend agreed with me but there was something in his words that finally caught my attention. Khaine mentions Primrose did not even blink at what we said, almost as if he already knew it to be true, and not that he didnt believe it. Plus he was more focused on the amulet and fairly dismissive of Julivar. A Farstryder that has just returned from an ancient Aspari city! He should have been looking to to chronicle her tale.

My head was still processing just what this could mean when Julivar entered. She had be properly appointed with high quality gear and seemed very pleased to again feel and look like herself. I rounded on her a bit harshly asking why she did not speak up during our talk with Primrose. She instantly became more somber and a bit concerned. She said it was something she heard about Primerose. He was injured during a hunt and lost some mobility in his right hand. He had learned to write left handed but this Primrose was using his right hand without issue.

The final pin set and the lock opened. I looked at me companions and Khaine said what we all were now thinking, we have been working with an imposter. An agent of the Aspari or an Aspari themselves. I gripped Windsplitter until my knuckles turned white, trying to keep that hatred from deep in my soul from springing forth and causing me to do something overly brash. I took a breath and said, we need a plan. One that ends with that thing bleeding on my blade.

Almaran mentioned we do not know how many here are not what they seemed and overs to use the Eye to see through any illusion. We agreed to do that first among the companions and then he would walk with me on on my evening rounds to check camp security. Looking at each of us we proved to be who were were so we opened the door to step outside. Guards had been placed at our door and a few more were walking the camp. When questioned the door guards said Lord Primrose thought they we would want our privacy and they were to keep us from being disturbed.

srpntflk2.jpg I just nodded and kept moving with Moonshadow and Almaran to the next group of men taking their ease around a fire. Al gave me the nod that they checked and we started to head to the next group when Primrose came out shouting we had betrayed the camp and were to be detained, we countered with a “Primrose has been lying to us all, stand down while we sort this out”. That is until Almaran turned his gazed to the noble and told me what he saw, a female Aspari in human clothes and wig. The option for diplomacy ended for me right then and there as I mounted Moonshadow and we charged for deceiver… charged for creature we knew as Celia!

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After that the camp became chaos with Farstyders choosing sides for or against and the Alliance trying not to kill anyone undeserving. Spells and arrows flew, fires began to burn unchecked and the sound of steal on steal rang throughout the courtyard. All the while my rage was singularly focused on the snake in front of me. Her taunting voice trying to lure me inside the room where I could see Nik lay on the ground motionless. I held my ground attacking with range when I could not clothes. I cloud see Khaine swinging the flat of his blade to knock foes senseless instead of taking their heads. No her plan would fail, she had been discovered and we would NOT destroy ourselves based on her trickery. I tautened back as we battled with words as much as we did with spell and blade. Then I used my Chameleon Step to close the distance and shoved Windsplitter deep into her torso. She emitted a satisfying choke of pain as I pulled the blade back out. She staggered back a step exclaiming we have won nothing and then all I saw was fire explode around me.

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When the smoke cleared the serpent body of of Celia lay on the ground. I smiled as I cut off her head and held it high for all to see the Aspari face. I called a stop to the fighting echo quickly by my companions. This bloody day was done but seeing the camp in shambles robbed me of the joy of Celia bleeding body at my feet.

Well… almost…

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Din'dae's Journal 15 - Revelations
Revelations

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A week had past without further sign or lead to Jemrand’s whereabouts. We sent word to our allies in other factions and even revisited the ambush location to try find any clue we might have missed but to no avail. Even our new companion Almaran the mystic was at a loss, unable to see a Now where our friend could be found. I would be dishonest if the loss of first Palomar and now Jemrand did not have a demoralizing effect on Khaine and myself and we got lost in ourselves for a time. Khaine spending long hours with his blade and I working with Moonshadow who had now grown to the size of a riding horse. A size that gave many in the camp some discomfort.

During this time it seemed that Lord Primerose had given us our space. This was after a less than empathic comment to the loss of our companion. Without Jemrand the haughty noble seemed to be pressuring and arguing with Nik a lot more. Oddly it was hearing some of the aftermath that sparked us back to life. We had a job to do. The loss of companions on such an important and dangerous endeavor is sadly to be expected and we could not loose more time to our grief.

With renewed determination we set out once more into the city heading first to see Osond and Cassandra in the Artist District as it add been several days since we spoke. Only a few minutes pass that district’s borders and we are alerted by sounds of something moving through the brush.

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Dressed in torn and ragged adventures clothing with leaves and cobwebs clinging to her long matted hair and hooded cloak, this half-elven woman comes stumbling from the undergrowth like a started animal. At first she seemed like she might bolt upon spotting us but instead runs to me as if seeking my protection. We take up defensive positions is preparing for her pursuers and still eying her suspiciously. After a few tense moments it was clear there were no threats in the area so we turned our attention to wild eyed girl.

Bedraggled and covered in small cuts and bruises, it was unclear she was able to understand us. It was Grune that checked her and noted she was under some malady that was effecting her mind. If we wanted answers we would first need to cure her of this condition. During his examination of her I spied a tattoo of the Farstrider Society on her left forearm but knew she was not part of our camp. Further some of her wounds seemed old. Who is this feeble-minded creature? What happened to her?

Thinking combined efforts of Osond and Grune can heal her we take her with us to the elves.

We spend the day there while the healers check her and females clean her. It is nearing dusk when Grune finds and informs us that they had identified what was wrong with her and with a scroll of Heal, cured the woman of a number of mental conditions. She was now cleared head and able to speak. As we got up from the campfire to follow Grune a scream was heard off in the distant and then another closer to us.

SerpentFolkZombie.jpg Figures began to lumber into view and at first I thought it was another raid be the Fallen, but the stench of decay indicated an undead assault. Slithering on rotting tails and decaying scales were groups of undead Aspari emerged! Chaos and death in their wake.

With the lives if innocent villagers at stake I quickly mounted Moonshadow and as one we rushed in to face these undead foes. My companions not far behind. However ever these undead where more powerful than those I had faced before. They were included wights and a mummy among them. Their stares and stench could paralysis a defender, leaving them helpless to claw and bite of the undead. Several of the villagers fell, and I was close as well, before we turned the tide, thanks largely to Khaine’s devastating attacks and Almaran’s well placed spells and summoned positive energy elemental.

The assault was city wide but slowly began to falter as the defenders pushed back and destroyed the undead from a distance with bow and spell. It was said that the Radiant Muse herself had joined the battle and met out terrible carnage on the attackers throughout the city.

Feeling that there might be a connection we sought out the stranger in hopes of getting answers. What we learned still rocks me to the core. The woman’s name was Julivar, and she spun a tale that spanned months of travel which lead her to two different Aspari underground cities. One still sleeping, yet another very much awake. The later is where her mentor Eano Kline and other Farstryders were being held captive. A city possibly below our very feet and assessable through a magic portal in a vault here in this district. She also shared that the Aspari were aligned with Minotaurs and possibly other legendary races. The undead we faced she believes followed her from the portal once this side of Underearth. She does not remember where the portal or vault is but perhaps retracing her steps will reveal something.

Our heads spund with these revelations. We had assumed that there were only a handful of Aspari, remnants of a dying race, seeking to wreak havoc in our world. Now we learn that what we face is far more grave. That we face a true world altering invasion by an enemy I can’t help but hate from the very center of my being. We left Julivar to rest as we planned our next.

After much discussion it was decided to instead follow the tracks of the undead. It is unknown how long the Farstryder wandered so the undead might have made a more direct path to the this part of the city. We follow the tracks that night which lead deeper into the district and to a large manor house the elves believed to be haunted and thus avoided. Now knowing where were are to go we set up perimeter guards and we get some rest. For at first light, we will see just what lies in that darkened manor.

DarkManor.jpgIt was early morning when we arrived at the estate. The sun was still low in the sky keeping this part of the city still in the shadows of the caldera walls. The morning mist hung heavy in the air and it was easy to see how the superstitious would think this place haunted. The undead tracks we followed lead directly here and we saw other older tracks leading here as well. Having an idea of what we faced our casters were able to properly prepare for this specific attack and Grune ask his god to hide us from the view of the undead. We then entered the manor tripping a simple Alarm spell which alerted those inside that someone was at the door.

We pressed against the walls as the sound of foot steps was heard approaching and a small horde of undead moved out to create any visitors. Clearly we were in the right spot. Due to the spell they did not see us but nor could we advance further without revealing ourselves. So with a nod to one another we began the fight in the foyer dropping the horde as quickly as possible. The zombies quickly dispatched we then faced the intelligent undead made up of a cyclops brute wight and several ghast. Their master, an undead Aspari Necromancy could taunts to us from deeper within the manor hidden from view.

We were pinned for while and could not got clear to move in as one. Changing combatants I engaged a ghast freeing Khaine to try and take the fight to the Necromancer. I told Grune and Al to keep an eye on my friend while I protected our flank. I lost sight of the fighting but heard sound of combat and casting echo off the stone walls. I could see Grune flinch in pain briefly and new Khaine had take damage. I faced the last ghast but it was cunning, it kept pulling back drawing me away from my companions. I could not leave it as it had eyes for the healer and mystic, but nor was I able to finish it quickly. All the while another round of spells and swings could be heard behind me.

Finally I hear Khaine shout in triumph which cause the ghast to look in his direction, I used that distraction to step in and finished the wretched thing.

The battle was won, but to our disappointment there was neither Vault nor Portal here. This treat was ended but our search would need to continue.

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Din'dae's Journal 14 - Red Herrings
Red Herrings

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Over the next couple of days we doubled our efforts to find Jemmrand. We discovered that the witch had another safe house outside the city so we head there. It was not close and the trek was arduous through the wild forested area surrounding the city where it was still clear winter was upon us.


MystMoore_Keep.jpg We spotted site of it just before sunset as we topped a nearby rise. The “safe house” was a large manor that looked to be part of a once grand estate. The estate proper seem to begin on the other side of a 40’ ravine. We could see a large wooden bridge with a set of some standing stones proceeding. The circle of stones appeared to be travels rest stop. A final rest for some as the remains of its last inhabitants could be seen frozen in ice and snow. On our guard we approached and were beset by metal cobras. Adamantine as Grune noted, and magical golems of some sort. Their metal hides turn most attacks save Khaine’s whose powerful swings were barely hindered.

In the end collected the now scrap metal that was the cobra’s and cautiously made our way to the bridge. Grune and Khaine gave it a once over while I looked down into the ravine. The trees obstructed most of the view so it was impossible to clearly see how far down it went. There was also some silvery-red filament along the cliff sides and on the trees. I had never seen its like before but it reminded me spiderwebs. My two companions deemed the stone moorings and wooden timbers seemed solid enough so I started to cross alone.

Demon_Spider_Riders.jpg I was 2/3’s of the way cross when we heard the noise. The sound of something moving from under the bridge in front and behind me. Their veil of invisibility dropping as they attacked, hands arcing with electricity as they let loose their spells of destruction. I flipped and spun in the air evading the two lightening strikes as the other 6 Demon Spider Riders crested the ridge from the ravine below. Their trap was sprung we caught in it. With spell, webbing and bow’s they assaulted us and the damned creatures were cunning as well. Keeping us at a distance, setting up lightening bolt cross fire’s and catching us in their webbing to good effect. Grune was very busy in healing our hurts, Khaine muscled his way out of the webs twice and I used my chameleon step to quickly close distances. Like always, it was a team effort to win the day, but won the day we did!

We searched the bodies and other than determining these creatures we’re demonic in nature there was no tie back to the witch so we pressed on. Passing the ominous looking graveyard and wildly overgrown garden we headed to the manor house proper. The structure had several breaches in it and clear signs of passage new and old. We entered the open door that was swollen in place form weather and created lights to see by. The place smelled of animals and earth. There was also an acrid aroma that stung the nose a bit.
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In the moist darkness of the entry way large mushrooms, 3’ tall had sprouted in the corners of this hall. Thinking back to Silent Isle I tried to get a better look at these fungi to determine if they were dangerous. They answered the question as they attacked firing globs of acid at use. Phycomids. Dangerous but no mobility so we try to finish them quickly with Khaine leading the charge forward, but they are not alone.
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Sliding from behind and underneath these fungi are dozens of tiny Choleric Oozes. They form into several swarms and attack as well. Their acidic touch burns and we do what we can to keep a way and put them down. All the while trying to avoid the acid flinging Phycomid’s. Again with the healing aid of Grune we stayed standing and destroyed these creatures but the sounds of our combat surely echoed in these halls. Any chance at stealth however, was lost so we simply push read for a fight. What we were not ready for was the greeting we got by the keeps more sentient denizens. 3 cyclops’s.

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Two clamoring up from massive holes in the floor and the third down a set of ruined stone stairs they greeted us with friendly calls and peaceful words. In our exchange they said they witch had stayed with them and beguiled them with her magics. They were happy she was gone to leave them be. They entreated us to break bread with them and exchange a tale or too. Clearly these were warriors and what little is know of them, eaters for sentient beings. We were suspect of their attempts at diplomacy. Still, we were seeking Jemmrand and if they could help us, and hated the witch perhaps they could be allies of a sort. As unlikely as that seems.

We shared the last bit of the Gargantuan Gator meat we had and told abbreviated versions of our travels. None of us were relaxed in spite of the friendliness of our host. They were… too friendly, and too close in these quarters. It took a lot to remain calm waiting for the other boot to drop. Drop it did as once the meal and the tales were done, the three giant siblings shared an odd look and a smirk with one another. Then their oldest brother claimed the formality and pleasantness had been met, and now it was time for THEM to eat. With that they drew weapons as did we and the battle began.

Grune, remembering his peoples lore taunted the leader while expertly evading his swings. The tankish dwarf even ran up the broken table like a ramp, launching himself at the leaders eye. It was all the big brute to block the attacked and view Grune with more respect. Unfortunately being the first giants Khaine and I had encountered we struggled a bit to get in close. Their reach and strength was major threat. I took and moderate hit and then dove under a massive swing of my foe to get close. I was then finally able to get some momentum with Windsplitter, delivering dozens of cuts both major and minor. Khaine however was unable to deliver his normally devastating blows on such a large and armored opponent and things started to look bad for us as our enemies were landing blows of their own.

With a Heroic effort I was able to drop mine before he felled me. Soon after Khaine finished his off and Heroically leaped in to swing on the leader. A massive hit but the brute still stood. Now with his siblings defeated, rage played on leaders face followed by a mystic gleam in his eye. “I see thine death, and my vengeance!!” he says as he starts a wide arcing swing. For a moment time seems to slow for us saw Grune, Heroically launches himself at the cyclops again, this time his hammer landing true in the creatures one eye. Stunned, it staggers back falls on its knees then face pants with a thud. Dead.

We take the time to care for our wounds and search this place but to know avail. It was our last lead and a dead end. Weary and dejected we head back to Chimera Keep where Almerean is studying that Eye. Hopefully he has had better luck that we this day as the witches words are beginning to ring true.

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Din'dae's Journal 13 - Sins of the Past
Sins of the Past

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It was with a hunters focus we approached the location Cassandra had give to the Elves of the Radiant Muse. The fact that she came seeking us in the day meant that time was not on our side. It was unspoken, but we felt this could be our one chance to save Jemmrand.

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The large guild house on the edge of the merchant district nearest the Elves was more fort than home with a main gate 15’ across and parapets overlooking the grounds outside and inside the walls. Most of the stone structure was greatly overgrown but still stood strong.

Cautiously approaching we saw signs a small band of man sized booted humanoids had based this way a few times. The freshest set were a day or two old. This was confirmed once we made our way into the courtyard, as we found several bodies, a group of the Shard Knights by their tattered tabards. The dead warriors lay decomposing slowly in a few inches of ice and snow. From the layer of frost on their bodies they had been here for a couple of days. Perhaps making some last stand here.

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I am halfway to the door when it opens, and the Harpy that snatched up Jemmrand comes out. Smirk on her evil face. We demand she return our companion to which she merely laughs. We asked what it wanted and again we were met with a knowing look and enjoyment at our apparent ignorance. We are just about to move in and ask more forcefully when another larger figure moved through the open door.

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The sheer size gives us pause as even hunched this old crone stood nearly 9’ tall. She says the rodent man is not Varassa to give. That it was on her command that the harpy took our companion. The perfect bait to lure us here so the Sins of our Past could be paid in blood. She admits that it was she that track us for so long, bringing many ancient babbles from mud of her island. That one such trinket is what ensnared the Palomar, while another allowed her to watch the parties every move. So easy it was for she to take out, not one but two of the Alliance without they knowing who attacked them. The delight of that has faded and it was now time for she to see them dead so she can devourer their entrails and add their heads to her staff.

Khaine having heard enough begins to charge but is fired upon by the Ketch as they step out of the overgrowth along the parapets and then he, Grune and Almeran are attacked by Ketch stepping out of the green behind them. Before the rest of us can act a sense of foul magic is felt and the dead begin to raise around us. I whisper under my breathe in anger, Its a Trap!

The Harpy takes to the air as arrows fly and din of battle begins. I tell Moonshadow to evade combat, as the stench of the undead is not something she is trained to combat yet. I try to head my own advice as arrows wiz by. A couple drawing blood upon me. Grune is work his divine gifts to keep the party standing and combat the undead. Khaine focuses his blade on any enemy combatant that gets to close to Grune or Almeran. The latter sending explosive balls of fire at the archers on the walls. Seeing the undead begin handled I climb the walls to further harrie the Ketch archers as they have all taken to shooting our levitating mystic. All the while the giant hag watches the violence with sadistic enjoyment.

The Alliance is not so easily ensnared and within moments we have defeated our enemies and causing the harpy to retreat inside the house. The large crone had vanished moments before as one of Almeran’s spell interacted with the her causing her image to dissipate. Laughter to erupting from inside guild house. We paused a moment until we heard a scream from Cassandra. Then voice of the crone beckoned us in with a cackle of glee. Clearly another trap we still felt it rude not oblige the invitation.

Inside the common room of the guild hall we saw the witch up on the landing above. She was human size and sitting at a table with Cassandra. Hag blood on her lips and was chewing something. She gestured as she talked with a piece of bloody meat in her hand. The pale look on Cassandra’s face as wells as how her arm was tied to the table told us what the cannibal was chewing on. Then strips of flesh where being flayed from her and consumed right there.

Finally it dawns on us. The scarification, the speech pattern, the shaved teeth. We didnt know her because we never saw her. She was the spiritual leader of the Red Fang cannibals. Depraved tribesmen that we slaughtered to a man and send what women and children might have been there fleeing from their camp. Which we then took as our own.

Death_Dealers.jpg With a bloody grin the witch calls out and two four armed Red Orcs step out ho their hiding and engage the party. These scimitar wielding “Death Dealers” were elite fighters of the Red Orcs. With the aid of magic potions there were incredibly quick, and their training made them very tactical but their pride made them foolish. The sought to take out our biggest weapon, Khaine, and demoralize us. Moving right past me to swarm him in blows. In truth it was by Grunes sharing Khaines pain that my old friend remained standing. Although it was nearly too much even shared for Grune who was also combating the two Shadows that had detached from the wall to attack.

Still Khaine knocked one of the Death Dealer down to the ground and nearly end him within moments of this battle beginning. It was only by Malikandia magics that the downed orc was able to regain his feet. Blows that should have rung true from Khaine were somehow bewitched by the old hag. Her annoying cackles continuing to sing out as our blade masters precision falters. It was clear to see how the Death Dealers could earn their names. Once engaged in combat they would rain blade swings upon their foe from multiple angles. The pair of them easily equaled the swings of 6 men.

Although the hour seemed to darken, the resolve of the Alliance never did. I showed these Death Dealers I too can rain swings in a fight ended one of them. Grune, with a heroic effort was able to dispatch one of the Shadows that attacked him and Almeran giving our mystic a chance to summon a divine being of light. This turned the tied and witch’s magic began to weaken as her rage and frustration grew. A terminal problem for her. For all her plotting and planning, she underestimated the strength of arm and will of The Alliance. We broke her trap and defeated her force of Ketch archers, raised corpses of Shard Knights, foul Shadows and Red Orc Death Dealers. With only that Harpy Varassa escaping with minor injuries.

Still, while we were able to save Casandra the last laugh belonged to the old crone. The witch’s dying curse was that Jemmrand would live long enough to know the The Alliance would never find him and that The Palomar would forever be lost to the world.

I pray to the slicing wind that her words prove false, but only time will tell.

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Din'dae's Journal 12 - Days Gone By
Days Gone By

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The days in this place have wonder, mystery and danger have flown by and much has happened. Its been 15days since our companion was cursed and this lost city has been full of activity. Where to begin…

The strange women Ceredwyn vanished in the night after only two days with us. Whether she will be a threat later, driven to continue her own quest, or merely a casualty of this deadly place is unknown. We had littel time to dwell as alll the factions from Fort Pliskin began to arrive here in the lost city of Bantu Asparr. We managed to parley with the Farstryders, inviting them into our camp, as well as connecting with the Vertitas and forming a secret alliance with them. An alliance, in fact, that Khaine and I already had as we learn the truth of them and their leader.

veteran.jpg The Boss, was really the crown prince, wrongfully accused of treason. At least that is the tale we believe and as such continue to support him as members of his Red Wolves. An agency that only Khaine and I are members of, and we have still kept from our companions.

Still, with our public and secret alliances in place we felt more confidant to explore the ever growing population of this ancient city. Even securing passage with Veritas to secretly take Palomar back to his temple in hopes of they could cure him. We handled the exchange prior to the Farstrider’s join us at our base in Chimera Keep. Worried about agents of our enemies we felt his condition should remain secret for now.

Once the Farstrider’s moved in we spent time share what we learned and getting to know them. Ever vigilant of infiltration I have taken it upon myself act as head of security. Studying each member of our enhanced camp, learning names and mannerisms. Also making sure to set strict security guidelines and insert us in the command structure. A fact Lord Primrose does not seem to be incredibly found of but as long as Jemmrand Sorrowtongue and Nicholas “Nik” Ablestein continue to appeal to the Lords vanity and we continue to uncover the secrets of the city all should be well.

We had gotten into a rhythm in camp and the Merchant District by Day 14. Hiring on a stout dwarven cleric named Grunevard “Grune” Brighteye. Making contact with Casandra Nevar, providing us some intel on Midnight Brotherhood and a warning that they have aligned with the Red Orcs.

We also took out a major threat in the Government District, A Rakshaha Rakshasa.jpg and a large number of barbaric Aspari warriors. It was unclear of the just how many Aspari lived in this part of city, but I admit I cut them down with no small amount of enjoyment. They were however larger and stronger than the two we have seen and did not employ magic or guile. They were… barbaric and tribal. It is unclear what this means but they bleed all the same. The additional defeat of what we think was their spiritual leader was an added bonus as Rakshaha are creatures of legend and very powerful. Certainly not one to be left alive as an enemy.

Memory_Idol.gif The day after that assault The Alliance was preparing to head out to the Artist district before returning to the city city when word of a fallen party of strangers had gotten to us. We went to investigate and saw what looked to be the aftermath of a battle. Human and Ketch. In the center of the downed bodies was an odd statue. Looking at the bodies we noted that one was our old fellow castaway Ness Ramora. She seemed to still breath so Khaine and I rapidly approached. It was then that we realized too late the true danger. There was magic coming off the statue that effected our minds and we dropped into a deep sleep before we even reach our old friend.

No… not sleep… a memory…

The artifact sent our consciousness into the past were we lived lives as denizens of that time. It felt real and true and who we were was initially suppressed by the souls of the bodies we inhabited. We say the past, felt the ancient hatred and even battled as our host had battled. A spark of recognition between Khaine and I allowed our personalities to come forward and we were able to battle a common foe in this history. A demon touched orc shaman who sought something under the great city. We were pulled out of the mind trap before we could learn more, but the memory did tell us much. That there were catacombs beneath the city, and that for a moment, the ancient elves and orcs were united against some greater evil. But there were no Aspari in this memory. Is this the same evil they seek or is this yet another threat we must contend with. For every answer we receive two new questions.

Almarean.jpg The saving of Ness paid dividends right away as she was able to send a new comer our way. An odd mystic named Almaran Kithalil. She sent him to us as she was concerned about his safety with the Pirates of the Captains Court plus felt he could render us some aid in our greater quest to stop the Aspari. It was a nice reminder that we did have friends in these other factions. I wondered again about Shiro Gok as he was now the only fellow castaway we have yet to re-connect with.

Almaran, passing our initial scrutiny traveled with us to the Artist district were we cleared a swarm of vipers from a noble site dedicated to an elven hero. Elven_Woman_Warrior.jpg THE elven hero, Vacara, if we are to understand the histories and our new mystics words. This was the spot of a great defeat of an evil and her statue marked that. It also marked that Bantu Aspar had to be built here. Which with the new knowledge that their is, or was, levels below ground caused the group to speculate WHY the city had to be built here. And causing them to consider that what the Aspari seek may not be in the city, but below it.

Continuing on we encountered the local denizens of this district. I was pleasantly surprised to find elves still lived here, but while civilized, they were still fairly tribal. I admit I was a bit disappointed at this. A drive for me has been to learn more of where I come from. My uncle had always done right by me but my lineage is still one of mystery. Windspitter has revealed to me my name and a hint of my line. But I need more and hoped I could find answers here. Not today it seems.

Still the leader of these people, Ozond, was guarded but open. And after helping defend them against a planar attack from the Twilight Takes and a vampiric diseases spreading creature we won an audience with their protector. A power, and barely stable, being known as the Radiant Muse. With that meeting we also formed a treaty granting safe harbor and passage through their district. I made a mental not that time permitting I would try and help these elves regain their greatness and also learn as much as I can of their lore.

Day 18 we had pushed further into the city. Passing along the outskirts of the farming and temple districts. Both had denizens that we were not yet prepared to engage. Instead we sought to enter the residential district. Several days earlier we saw smoke and heard the faintest sounds of battle echo from the boarder of the military and residential districts. Assuming the Red Orcs warred with someone we were seeking them out to see if the enemy of my enemy could indeed be our ally. What we found instead was quite disturbing.

The entire district was overgrown with fungi of all types, benign and deadly. Vegipygmies roamed the zigurat and the quiet reminded us of the Silent Isle off of Sailors Hook. Exploring more we encountered a creature you would never think to see in your waking moments. Nightmare Spinner.
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This dream spider of eminence size, whose web and toxins can alter the mind in terrible ways, made a home in the only passage we’ve found so far leading below ground. We enticed it out, fooled it with magics and set fire to its web. We then set to destroying they massive creature. The battle was tough and the toxins from the burning web threatened to dizzy our minds. But as The Alliance ever endeavors to do, we pressed on and defeated the creature.

However at our time of victory, we were dealt a power blow. An augmented harpy, empowered by unknown magics swooped in with speed we have never seen. It snatched Jemmrand up in its claws and continued on its way. We gave chase as best we could with Almaran and Grune using their magics to fly after the creature. But to no avail as it was too fast. They did see it fly back towards our part of the city before they lost sight of it. This gave us a little hope that our companion was abducted for a reason beyond food for some beast.

With the fires of the web still going for all of the cities inhabitants to see, and the loss of our companion we thought it best to had back. I desperately wanted to get a message to Cassandra about Jemmrand, curious if he was perhaps captured by the Orcs or the Brotherhood. Has we did one more pass of the area we managed to rescue two souls from the webs. An elven woman from the Tribe of the Sacred Serpent and surprisingly a Nord. They were both deep under the effects of the toxins so there would be no answers to their tale. We aided them back to the Artistic district and left them in the care of the elves there.

The following day we received more gratitude from the elves for retuning one of their lost, and learned that a group of Nords had settled into the city. According to this survivor, Baa’reek, they had settled in the Temple district and he was part of a scouting party attacked by the nightmare spinner. Nords being strong and powerful, we thought they could be the allies we seek to handle the combined might of the Brotherhood and the Red Orcs. A partnership that, according to a missive from Cassandra was having issues maintaining.

Heading to the temple district we sought to return Baa’reek and seek audience with their leader. It was a fools errand as the district was clearly in the control of Troglodytes who forced us out by sheer numbers. We thought to challenge them anyway but logic ruled over bravado and we returned to Artist district. Baa’reek said if his people are not still in the Temple district then they most likely had moved to the borders of the Military district. He is unsure how long he was in the web, but this could sync up to what we saw and heard. Perhaps it was the Nords battling the red orcs after all.

With that knowledge we discussed as we walked a way to safely get to that part of the city. As we entered the Artist district we were met be runners. Based on their words, Cassandra had come her looking for us and had word of Jemmrand. She left directions and mentioned time was of the essence.

Leaving Baa’reek with the elves we quickly headed out to hopefully rescue our friend…

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Din'dae's Journal 11 - Shades and the Unseen

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After spending the better part of a day setting up what we have named Chimera Keep, we spent some time getting to know our new guest Ceredwyn. While I noticed Palomar focus his gaze upon her, he did not state the girl had a dark aura.. Also neither he nor Jemmrand Sorrowtongue felt she was being intentional duplicitous. In fact the haflling eulogizer seemed to know quite a bit of Ceredwwn’s nature. She was a sorcerer, one who had magic born in their blood.

The following day we decided to see about these smoke people but are stopped by the Ketch en-route. A lone member of their kind approached us with a wrapped parcel for Palomar . A gift for his good works. Or so we thought. It was in fact some type of cursed stone that surrounded him in magic damaging any who touch him, and also attacking his very soul. We were powerless to aid him in his internal battle of wills and he himself called out for us to stand clear.

It was painful to watch our companion struggle alone, I made sure he did not suffer alone. I noticed the Ketch messenger seeming pleased with the results and trying to sling off unnoticed. I pounced on him with anger and cutting him down with the aid of Llyntaewyth. Soon others of their kind came at us granting us targets for or wrath. The gods are indeed generous.

After finished off these duplicitous creatures we made our way back to our camp. Palomar was still stuck in his struggle and unable to communicate with us but he had certain… resolve around him. We felt more than knew that he would neither be lost to nor be freed from his curse state in the near future. Still we waited a day in these unknown lands to see what happened. Nothing changed by the following save my need for retribution. It had grown 10 fold. We hide the priest and secured him in the keep and then set to track down the Ketch and get answers or spill some blood.

What we found were the signs of either a civil break in the Ketch or an attack from another Ketch faction, for the build they had been using as a lair had been attacked and burned slightly. Dead Ketch lay about the ground clearly as a result of battle. With no answers and only more questions we continued down the coast in hopes of finding some sign of them. Annoyingly they seemed to have disappeared.

At this point we found ourselves near the area of the smoke people and decided to investigate. Swimming a large span of water we make it to a partially sunken structure. Cautiously we approach but find the door is water logged and swollen. Khaine forces it ajar and Jemmrand creates light and sends it in. A good thing too as just inside was a host of “Smoke People”, undead shades of those lost a long time ago. They attack without mercy and our weapons seemed to have trouble with finding their targets. Say Ebon Fang, whose edge powered by the skill of Khaine cut shadow as easily as flesh. However it was Ceredwyn who saved the day. Unleashing create gout’s of magical fire to send these shadows to their final resting place. The danger past we search the building and took the few discovers back to the camp.

We were settling in for the evening when a noise caught our ear. A band was on the other side of our “mote” looking at our keep. We called out an were surprised to see Dask with the Veritas men. We caught up a bit and he invited us to meet their leader on the morrow. A man known only as the Boss. We agreed as we now new, in order to solve the mysteries of the ancient city… we would need more aid and resources and we currently have at our disposal.

Plus… we needed to find aid for our cursed companion. We needed to cure Palomar!

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