Wraiths of the Corvidae

Hunter's Moon
Session 9 - Written by Silmarwen

After we woke up in the library’s labyrinth and read all the materials needed, Kazan showed us a short cut out. We saw Renne, the head librarian, along with a group. They had seen the evil Nolan come out of the library but were not able to stop him. Knowing we had to catch up to him, we headed back to Avonbridge to find out which way he had gone.

We met with the mayor again who seemed a bit distraught. He had also seen the evil Nolan. The people in the town saw him heading south. We inquired about any travel arrangements that the mayor could help us with. He was unable to provide any, but pointed us into town where caravans were packing up from the festival to leave town. We were able to acquire passage with a small group headed east through the mountains to the country of Thyria, where we had passed through only a short time ago.

Before leaving town we got last minute supplies and stopped at the Inn for a nice meal before we continued our journey. While enjoying our meal Nolan noticed a strange man in the Inn. To our luck we discovered him to be Arden the tracker. We paid him to follow the evil Nolan and to send word to us in Yggdrasil Forest on any movement or strange activity he saw. After finishing our lunch and gathering all our belongings, we headed back to our caravan to start on the journey east.

We traveled several days, I serving as a lookout at the back of the wagon train along with my two animal companions. Salvador and Nolan stayed close to the group. Once we entered into Thyria, the mechanical horse pulling the first wagon came to a complete stop and would no longer function. The three of us had forgotten that we cause all the magic in Thyria to be unusable for two weeks. Salvador recommended that one person take the mechanical horse and go back to Avonbridge and wait out the remaining time of the anti-magic field since the horse was no use to us at this point.

After switching some of the oxen around, we continued our trek onwards to the farm owned by the old man and his young son. When we arrived all of his automata were not working from the non magic shield and the man and boy were no where to be seen. We started checking the buildings. In the house we heard faint crying coming from upstairs. It was the young boy, Ulath. Elrick, his father was badly ill with an infection we could not treat that stemmed from and anti-magic field reacting with his robotic leg. I had some of the troop go and get willow bark to help ease some of the man’s pain. The three of us sat with the boy, offering comfort to him as his father passed. We gave him a proper burial and it was decided that the caravan leader would take the boy in.

On our way back to the house the boy found a note and Salvador took it. It was note from Remnant warning of danger coming with the full moon. This time luck was not on our side, the moon was full. We did not know exactly what to expect, but we quickly headed back to the house to prepare after deciding being out in the open didn’t seem like a good plan. The caravan leader took the wagons, animals, women, and children to the cellar below the house using a crank elevator in one of the barns that connected to the house by means of a hidden tunnel. Meanwhile we got to work on blocking out all windows and easy entry points. As we started to finish our preparations, howling was heard in the distance. Nolan, Salvador, and I got to our places. We readied our weapons and braced ourselves for what we could only imagine to be werewolves.

Just as we thought, there was a pack of werewolves headed straight for us. Trying to think quickly I loosed a few of my magic fire arrows in the direction of the beasts catching some of the hay in the fields on fire. Only one was damaged. With the three of us being high up we had some time to take out a few of the wolves. Salvador used his magic to blast a few with fire as it seemed to hurt them fairly well. Nolan used his javelin and got one down. I continued to use my arrows. The werewolves didn’t seem to do well at climbing the front of the house, thank the gods! Salvador followed a few that disappeared around the back while Nolan and I took care of the ones we could see. Two finally got smart and climbed up onto the house’s 2nd floor balcony. It barged through the door on the opposite side of the hall and we readied ourselves as they started to come at our door.

My animals were by our sides ready to fight. As soon as we were able to see them, we took out one. The other was put into a hold by Nolan and I attacked. Together we took him down. After leaving those ugly beasts in the tub, we headed down stairs to find Salvador and the other werewolves. It was apparent something broke in, but must have left because there was no sign of the creatures inside. Nolan had headed down stairs to the cellar, I quickly followed, trailed by my wolf and leopard. Everyone else had fared well so far.

Soon we heard noise coming from above and a howl of pain as a werewolf most certainly fell into our pit of pain. Nolan and I ran and readied ourselves. We heard the werewolf barreling down the long tunnel towards us. We were able to finish it off before anyone was hurt. Salvador came down the tunnel towards us and filled us in on what had happened with the other werewolf. Relief was ours as we knew all of the werewolves had been destroyed. We had a brief moment of happiness before it was crushed by the sound of more howling in the distance.

END OF SESSION NINE

Character Session EXP Total
Nolan 4075 19500
Salvador 3841 19242
Silmarwen 4533 20234

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The Maze of Kazan -or- The Penteract
Session 8 - Written by Silmarwen

After defeating the evil Kukua, we were surprised to find our travel companion Kukua to also be deceased. Remnant appeared and told us he’d meet us on the road to the Library, and quickly disappeared. Guards and towns people started to collect near us to see what had happened. After having a quick talk with the guards, we had both Kukuas’ bodies taken to the town hall to be examined.

The mayor was brought in to us to find out what had occurred in his town. After hearing the tale of how we saved the people, he dissolved the debt that Salvador owed from winning King of Lockboxing. Salvador’s burning question about the other chest was answered, it contained nothing. We were able to salvage a few items from both bodies and sold what we did not need. The chain that was around the neck of the evil Kukua was removed and taken with us. The mayor provided us with passage to the gates of the Library.

Once we arrived at the gate, Nolan was told he could not enter because he had been banished two weeks ago. We all found this odd because we were not here two weeks ago. The only way this could be possible is if Nolan’s evil other self had been here. We assumed he must have been trying to steal the anchor that is being kept here. After several plans were thought of for how Salvador and I could smuggle in Nolan, we thought we’d try a civil approach first. A note was sent to the head scholar, Renne.

Renne met us at the gate the next morning still refusing to let Nolan inside. After talking for a while, a guard ran to Renne claiming Nolan had broken into the Library. Renne had no choice but to believe us at that point because Nolan was standing in front of him. The three of us were taken inside quickly and headed for the vault. We were able to briefly ask Renne questions on the five minute elevator ride to the lowest point of the Library. Once we arrived, Renne left to ready the rest of the scholars for an attack, and we were left at a large locked door. Nolan had been carrying a key for quite sometime with no idea what it went to, but luckily we discovered it opened the locked vault door. We took note of the emblems on the door and entered.

To our surprise we entered into a maze. A maze of doors and changing rooms. As we journeyed through the maze we fought a pair executioner hoods, several lesser displacer beasts (one of which escaped), a shadow, and an assassin vine. We also encountered rooms with portals to other rooms, and rooms full of chickens, jellyfish, bats, and socks. We also found a room filled with water with a bubble in the middle, anti magic rooms, anti gravity rooms, and a room with mirrors. I refused to go in the mirror room because the last time I saw death. Salvador did enter the room and left finding nothing, but he did have a strange look on his face.

We did find a room that looked more like part of the library above. In it we found a crazy old scholar named Kazan. He had created the maze to protect the anchor book we were searching for. We found him to not be much help in our search, although he did find a few books we had been interested in finding while at the Library. As we continued our search for the anchor, we came across the most curious room of all. As soon as we entered the room, we were locked in. We tried for quite a while to figure a way out. The room was had eight stone pedestals that each held a bowl made of different materials. Inside each bowl we found a different liquid:

  1. Wooden bowl with dark red liquid that smelled of roses
  2. Platinum bowl with thick green liquid that moved like its top layer is algae or some form of aquatic plant
  3. Golden bowl with dirty, rust colored water
  4. Bowl made out of woven flower stems lined with live flowers with clear liquid inside
  5. Copper bowl filled with a clear liquid with two platinum pieces floating ON TOP of the water
  6. Bone bowl filled with a dark red liquid that smells like iron
  7. Stone bowl filled with a thick, dark grey liquid that has a paint-like consistency
  8. Iron bowl filled with a foamy, amber liquid

The only way to remove the liquid was by drinking a bowl. I decided to take charge and go first. I drank from the fourth bowl. I did not feel any different afterwards and nothing outside of me changed either. The others and our companions followed suit.

  • Silmarwen- bowl 4
  • Fáelán- bowl 8
  • Voreas- bowl 1
  • Salvador- bowl 5
  • Fox- bowl 2
  • Nolan- bowl 7
  • Raven- bowl 6

I didn’t notice any change in our companions, or in Salvador after drinking from our bowls. Nolan did seem a little strange, and he said he could feel the ground beneath him shaking when anyone moved. So these liquids do have some sort of power… This leaves me wondering what I have done to my companions and myself. After Nolan drank from his bowl, the doors unlocked and we were free to leave. We made it to the final room, and there was the Book of Acumen, the anchor we had been searching for! Finally our search of the maze was over we we found the book before evil Nolan had a chance.

When we left the room from the opposite door we entered from, we found ourselves back in the Kazan’s private library. The door was hidden in the library, making us feel like fools for not searching and making our time in the maze much shorter. We found Kazan again and he was glad to see that we had returned. The old scholar explained that the evil Nolan had burst into Kazan’s study and demanded the anchor, for which Kazan magically banished evil Nolan from the vault. He found the other books Nolan was looking for while we were gone. After all the excitement, we decided to stay in the library for a while so Nolan could study the books. Hopefully we can all rest easy for the short span of a good sleep and continue our search for the other anchors. I pray Sehanine watches over us as we sleep, leads us safely on our journey, guides my arrows to any foes, and grants me the patience to travel with the humans, especially Salvador.

END OF SESSION EIGHT

Character Session EXP Total
Nolan 3333 15425
Salvador 3333 15400
Silmarwen 3833 15700

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The Other Kukua
Session 7

Choosing to cast worries of the Dread Lich, D’Sparil, aside, our party decided to take part in the festival of Lockboxing. Lockboxing is a three day festival with a theme each day.

Chestivus, the first day, is a day for people to go about the town of Avonbridge and purchase gifts for friends and family. These gifts are then placed into lock boxes which are then placed among the streets of the town.

Key Gifting is the second day of Lockboxing. During Key Gifting, keys are distributed from those who bought gifts to those who are meant to receive them. There are also a number or tournaments during this day. The winners of each tournament win keys to lock boxes which the town has put forth for the tournaments’ champions. It is common for nobles and wealthy patrons of the festival to sponsor competitors. These sponsors do so to create a name for themselves in an attempt to curry the crowd’s favor for the voting of Lockboxing King. The title of Lockboxing King is simply a status symbol and is a financial burden, as he (or she) pays for the town’s feast which takes place at the end of this day.

Lockboxing is the final day of the festival. At the start of this day, the Lockboxing King is presented with the choice of choosing two chests. One chest contains a magnificent prize while the other contains nothing. He may open one of these chests which starts the festivities for the day. The festival goers run throughout the streets searching for the lockboxes which their received keys open. Opening of the boxes continues for several hours. The remainder of the day is spent in leisure, celebrating with friends.

At the start of the day, our party exited Val’s Inn to find a dire wolf pup eagerly awaiting Silmarwen. She named the pup Fáelán and the group started prepping for the holiday.

Nolan, Salvador, and Kukua had several hundred flyers printed up with Salvador’s face upon them and distributed them around town in an attempt to promote him for the vote of Lockboxing King. Silmarwen procured ingredients to enter a baking competition and a place to bake and then proceeded to help the group promote Salvador. After all the flyers were distributed, the group found civilians to sponsor for events that they had no interest or time in entering.

On the day of Key Gifting each of our group went their separate ways to compete in the tournaments. Competitions of archery, baking, poetry, art, riddles, and hunting, were all won by various party members while the eating and marbles contests were won by people that the group had sponsored. The biggest event of the day, however, was the talent show. A spectacular performance consisting of many amazing magical acts resulted in the group winning the show. The Lockboxing feast then followed and when the identity of the Lockboxing King was announced, Salvador humbly accepted the honor. The announcement of the feast’s bill of 18842 gold, 6 silver, and 4 copper was an unexpected surprise, however.

The day of Lockboxing started with our Lockboxing King choosing and opening one of the two presented chests. The crowd held their breath as Salvador stooped and opened the chest on the right. He lifted the lid to disappointingly find nothing. The crowd laughed and cheered and then went on their ways to find their own personal gifts.

Towards afternoon the group heard an explosion nearby and saw citizens of the town running from its source. Our heroes leaped into action and ran down the street where the disturbance had originated. They rounded the corner to find Kukua… another Kukua… dressed in black leather armor with a black iron chain around her neck astride an undead elephant that was quite larger than our Kukua’s own companion. She laughed as she saw the group and explained that they knew nothing of the world they were in.

A battle commenced in which the group fought off the undead elephant and the evil Kukua as she transformed into a bear and dived into the fray. The group quickly dispatched the bear which ended up bleeding on the ground and transformed into a motionless, black-clad Kukua. The elephant was likewise killed in short order. Then, as our heroes stood looking at the dead druid, she started to float into the air and again became conscious and started to laugh maniacally. The crystal, which Corvus had used to resurrect our party and Salvador had lashed to a staff, began to glow and vibrate. Salvador stepped forward and struck the evil Kukua with the crystal, and the world seemed to change around them. Their colors of the world seemed to dim and a thin, red thread of energy exiting from the torso of the rising elf and arking high into the sky towards the northeast. Corvus, gigantic and ominous appeared in the sky about the battle site. Grasping the thread of energy arcing skyward in both hands, he rent it in two. The god of death then lowered his massive, taloned hand and reached into our Kukua and drew forth a similar thread of energy, blue and shimmering. Corvus then brought his hands together and joined the two threads, which turned into a dark shade of purple which quickly faded to grey. The world quickly shifted back to normal as the colors resumed their natural hues and the giant humanoid raven and the threads of energy vanished from view. The evil Kukua started screaming in pain and sank to the ground. Both Kukuas collapsed, dead, claimed by the god of death.

Silmarwen, Nolan, and Salvador looked around, stunned at what they had seen. The mysterious stranger known as Remnant stepped in line with the three surviving group members and said in an impressed tone, “Well… that was interesting.”

END OF SESSION SEVEN

Character Session EXP Total
Kukua Deceased Deceased
Nolan 2800 12082
Salvador 2800 12067
Silmarwen 2800 11867

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Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!
Session 6

After transcribing the record of the anchors, the group was surprised to find that there were likely six anchors instead of five as Corvus had informed them when they first came back to life. The records translated as follows:


Pillar 1:
[Destroyed]

Pillar 2:
Mirror of Allure
Protected by Irori
[Line Destroyed]

Pillar 3:
Sword of Might
Protected by Farlaghan
Entrusted to the Mayorship of Wainton

Pillar 4:
Book of Acumen
Protected by Paletius
Entrusted to the Scholars of the Library

Pillar 5:
Crown of Judgement
Protected by Abadar
Entrusted to the Royalty of Thyria seated in Thros

Pillar 6:
Cloak of Swiftness
Protected by Erastil
Entrusted to the Corvidae under Corvus


The group left the demon prison beneath the Basilica of St. Rosalia, remembering to grab a small stash of gold from one of its trapped rooms on the way out. They re-entered the church and headed up to the roof to check out the nearby wall that corresponded with Kukua’s vision. Finding nothing upon the roof, they decided to head to ground level. When they exited the wicket door, they were signaled by a young woman.

Approaching the young woman, they were warned that they needed to leave town as there was a sorceress that had been seen recently in the city. This woman had not seen the sorceress, herself, but had heard that it was an Elven sorceress who would summon a great, black, undead demon and kill people. The young woman offered to take the group to a safe house with food if they needed but urged them to leave town as soon as possible.

Nolan’s raven kept watch through the night while the group slept in the safe house. Midway through the night, the group was awoken by the raven who had seen someone walking along the wall at the edge of the inner city. Everyone quickly ran up to the top of the wall and chased down the man who was apparently disconcerted at being chased. It turned out that this man was just a peasant who was scraping by in Thros. They did learn from this man, however, that the sorceress seemed to be taking up residence at the remains of the old castle at the center of the city. The group left the man and spend the rest of the night uneventfully in the safe house.

On the morrow, the group awoke and planned to confront this supposed sorceress. They made their way to the crumbled remnants of the old castle. The only thing that was still standing was two old guard towers. While one was very decrepit and obviously unlived in, the other seemed as if there had been some sort of magical occupant. Both, however, were effectively empty. The party decided to set a trap should the sorceress come back. This trap effectively consisted of Nolan distracting the old woman while Kukua tried to shoot her with bow and arrow from a window above. Should this fail, Silmarwen waited in ambush inside the tower with her bow and Salvador waited under the covers of the sorceress’s bed. Despite the ingeniousness of their plan, it only ended with Salvador shoving down an old woman who had come to loot the sorceress’s quarters.

This old woman had seen the sorceress walking away from town and had thus thought it safe to rifle through the sorceress’s chambers. Knowing that there was nothing in this town that interested them since the sorceress had left, the group departed to the west for the library, seeking the Book of Acumen. A three day trek through the grasslands of Thyria, a two day trudge through a swamp (during which Nolan found the remnants of his childhood home), and a half day’s journey into the mountains placed the team in Avonbridge.

Avonbridge is located at the intersection of several paths through the mountains. From Avonbridge, it is a ten mile hike northward through the mountains to the Library.

The Library lies high within the mountains between the countries of Kynas and Thyria. It is an ancient academy where scholars from the corners of the world seek to study. Much most any information can be found at the Library, but admission into its halls is extremely difficult. Therefore, few ever get to study from this most prestigious of scholarly establishments.

Upon entering Avonbridge in the early evening, the group found that there was an imminent festival called Lockboxing. Some 200 years ago, as Nolan recalls, was a simple peasants’ holiday in which commoners would give gifts to each other. Now, it seems that it is very much commercialized tradition which draws a large crowd every year. Salvador decided that the group should take a break from saving the world to participate in this holiday (because… you know… fuck the world). They headed to Val’s Inn, the nicest inn in town, where they discovered that a room was available for that night but no rooms were available during the festival. The group decided to worry about future accommodations later and spend the night in the penthouse.

END OF SESSION SIX

Character Session EXP Total
Kukua 1250 9067
Nolan 1250 9292
Salvador 1250 9267
Silmarwen 1250 9067

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Traps, Riddles, Demons, and a Gargoyle
Session 5

The group continued to explore the dungeon and found that it was largely comprised of traps.

  • A room with a glowing cube suspended from the ceiling via chains reversed gravity within the room when anything touched the cube. If an adventurer entered the room they would find themselves impaled on spikes in the ceiling.
  • A room with a glass ceiling dropped a gelatinous cube on anyone who attempted to remove a treasure chest which rested on a pressure plate.
  • A room which contained a large mirror would transport anyone who entered the room to a trapped space within the mirror.

Several important things occurred during the quest:

1. The group entered a room which had lettering on it that said, “Face your True Self.” Each individual saw an unnerving vision of themselves. After the visions had ended, they found a riddle scrawled on a piece of paper in the room.
Kukua saw herself wearing a black iron chain around her neck and sleek, black, leather armor. Tas stood behind her but he seemed very much undead, as he was a mass of black rotting skin and white bone. The vision then changed and Kukua saw herself standing on Thros’s city wall, looking at the Basilica of St. Rosalia.
Nolan saw himself wearing very lavish robes and a black iron chain around his neck. His raven looked undead much as Tas had been, and was a mass of feathers and bone. The vision changed and he saw himself studying books which seemed to cover the topic of resurrection.
Salvador saw himself wearing a black iron chain around his neck but had been mutilated. His limbs and eyes had been removed. Tubes of fluorescent fluid entered the places where his limbs had once been. His vision changed and he saw nothing but black but was able to hear himself rambling a long string of numbers with seemingly no pattern.
Silmarwen saw herself wearing a black iron chain around her neck and sleek black chainmail. She held a black bow in her hands. The vision shifted and she saw herself riding what looked to be a dire wolf through grasslands towards a forest.
The riddle read as follows:

‘Twas whispered in heaven, ’twas mutter’d in hell
And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell;
On the confines of earth ‘twas permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence confest;
’Twill be found in the sphere when ’tis riven asunder,
Be seen in the lightning and heard in the thunder.
’Twas allotted to man with his earliest breath,
It assists at his birth and attends him in death,
Presides o’er his happiness, honour, and health,
Is the prop of his house and the end of his wealth;
In the heaps of the miser is hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost in his prodigal heir.
It begins every hope, every wish it must bound,
It prays with the hermit, with monarchs is crowned;
Without it the soldier, the sailor may roam,
But woe to the wretch who dispels it from home.
In the whisper of conscience ‘tis sure to be found,
Nor e’er in the whirlwind of passion is drown’d;
‘Twill soften the heart, but, though deaf to the ear,
It will make it acutely and instantly hear;
But in short, let it rest like a delicate flower.
Oh ! breathe on it softly, it dies in an hour.

2. The group solved puzzles which granted them six faintly magical scrolls which seemed to be part of a riddle. They read as follows. The group has yet to find what they do, however.

I. Angelic food to folk I oft dispense,
II. While sounds majestic fill attentive ears,
III. Yet neither voice have I nor tongue for speech.
IV. In brave equipment of two wings I shine,
V. But wings withouten any skill to fly:
VI. One foot I have to stand, but not a foot to go.

3. Kukua sacrificed some of her blood into a fountain full of blood. The fountain then reached out and tore her arm off and replaced it with a metallic arm which seemed to have a mind of its own.

4. A large spider exited from a hidden door in a wall and attacked the group. It was quickly defeated, though.

5. Kukua and Silmarwen entered the mirror trap room mentioned above. Salvador and Nolan saw them in the mirror and were able to see an evil entity stalking them in the looking glass. Nolan threw a leg segment from the defeated spider at the mirror and it shattered. The evil entity appeared to the group and demanded that they bargain for their own lives. They traded Kukua’s metallic arm (for which she received a new, apparently normal one) and an unnamed favor from Salvador to be redeemed at a future time.

6. Silmarwen solved the riddle on the scroll was the letter H. The group then went to the letter H carved onto the floor of the dungeon and spoke it aloud. This caused a stairwell to open which had been previously hidden.



The group descended the stairs and found themselves faced by a stone gargoyle who greeted them warmly and introduced himself as, “the Architect.” He revealed that he was the architect and guardian of the dungeon and that the original purpose of the dungeon was to keep unwanted intruders from finding the record of the anchors. During the war with the Dread Lich, D’Sparil, however, the priests of the church had used it to trap some nefarious entities. He offered to show the group the record, but only under two conditions. First, the group must surrender any hammers that they had on their persons. To this the group agreed. Secondly, the party had to answer riddles for the Architect as he had grown bored and lonely in the centuries alone. To this, they also consented. With each riddle, the gargoyle unlocked a large door. The riddles were presented as such:

Each of us rules o’er a house of thirteen.
Each has a family: prince and a queen.
Each has a sigil; in times there is war.
And often our houses are built on the floor.

Answer: The kings in a deck of cards


I do not see; I cannot hear.
My only purpose: to cause fear.
I stand outside through rain and sleet.
The food I grow, I cannot eat.

Answer: A scarecrow


I do not see; I cannot hear.
My only purpose: to cause fear.
I stand outside through rain and sleet.
The food I grow, I cannot eat.

Answer: A scarecrow


As the pot did call his brother
So may we call one another
We did not fight; from war we fled
But feast we did on murdered dead.

Answer this riddle at the beginning
of the next session for extra EXP.
The fewer people who get it right,
the more EXP they’ll get.
Answer: Figure it out


When my mother comes to me,
I rise up off my bed to see.
Yet when she is farthest gone,
I still rise and carry on.
Once by day and once by night,
I may help travelers with their flight.
I am both blessing and a curse.
Use me up, for down is worse.

Answer: The tide


As the final door was opened, the group spied a pedestal in the center of a cubic room. The Architect explained that in order to see the record, they must press the button. Doing so, however, would activate an anti-magic field over the entire country of Thyria for two weeks. The group pressed the button and a bluish wave of energy emanated forth from the pillar. A wall of the cubic room was revealed to be an illusion, past which six pillars stood.

The stone gargoyle explained that he had been made tolerant to the anti-magic field in order to protect the record and then lead the group over to the pillars. On the ground near one of the pillars was a skeleton. The Architect then told of how two travelers had come to view the record many, many years ago. They deceived him, however, and tried to destroy the record with a heavy mallet. The Architect slew one but the other escaped. This was not before one whole record and part of another had been shattered, though. The remaining records were in the same strange language that Corvus and the Mysterious Stranger had used.

END OF SESSION FIVE

Character Session EXP Total
Kukua 950 7817
Nolan 950 8042
Salvador 950 8017
Silmarwen 950 7817

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One Ooze's Quest for a TPK
Session 4

The group, having just lost the Sword of Might, decided to return to Shardspire in order to speak to Corvus. Choosing not to return the horse and cart that Kukua had… acquired… for them, they traveled for a day and a half, sleeping in the cart as they went.

It was dusk evening when they arrived to the Corvidae’s hidden town. The group tied the horse outside of everyone’s favorite tavern, Tavern. They then walked the two miles northward, a very dark night had set in. Using torches to light their path, as they found themselves staring at sets of eight, glowing eyes which were moving amongst the tombstones. The Wraiths, not trusting these potentially malicious entities, did not approach the graveyard, however, as the eyes were all some fifteen feet off of the ground. Silmarwen, using her Ring of Ranger’s Sight, shot an arrow past the creatures and was able to see that they were hounds, some nearing twenty feet tall, all composed of corpses.

The group tried various ways in order to move around the hounds, but the hounds seemed to be intelligent enough to see past the groups strategies. Kukua then remembered that there was an underground passage that the group had left through previously that exited at the very edge of the graveyard on its west side. Using this tunnel, the group was able to enter the church safely.

The group found that Corvus was not on his altar as he had been when they last had visited his church. Instead, there was only a familiar glowing symbol on its top. Activating the symbol, blue text illuminated around the top of the room and the crystal which Corvus had used to bring you back to the living appeared where the symbol had been. The text read:

Wraiths,

It was no longer safe for me to remain here. I do not know what happened after you left but it seems that something horrible has occurred. I suspect that the Anchors of Existence are involved but I have little proof. My hope is that you encountered the Sword of Might which is protected by the lording family in Wainton. Aside from the sword I only know of the identity of one other. Silmarwen can explain to you what and where it is. I believe that that particular anchor is in the least amount of trouble, though, as it is heavily guarded by the elves. The sword is less so as Farlaghan – the god who was entrusted with the sword – took an approach of hiding it in plain sight. If you have not learned of its existence already, please do what you must to protect it. Afterward, I recommend that you continue your mission to Thros. D’Sparil attacked there almost three centuries ago and it is little known why. There was, in fact, a record of all five Anchors in a hidden chamber beneath the Basilica of St. Rosalia. It was an ancient secret and I doubt that even the King of Thyria knew of its existence. If it still exists, the chamber is likely well hidden and trapped.

I fear that I have little to offer you in the way of help at this point. Please take the blue crystal which was used to summon you back to this plane. In a time of need, it might be possible for me to channel my power through it. Such a task would surely destroy the stone, however.

I have thought long about why you appeared in this weakened state. I believe that there is some power beyond mine at work. I do not know if it is linked to my weakening as well, but the way the spell was cast you should have appeared as powerful as you were when you first performed the ritual.

Go quickly, then, Wraiths. I will lend my aid when able but I fear that much weight rests upon your shoulders.

Corvus (written in the code that the mysterious stranger uses)

Silmarwen snuck up to the top level of the church to see if they old priest who resided there was okay. She found the front half of the church caved in with the priest dead under the rubble. She returned below and let the group know. The group decided to wait out the night in the crypt of the church. Early in the morning, there was a high pitched howl that shook the ground. Everyone stayed put until dawn appeared.

Silmarwen scouted ahead of the group to check to see if the hounds were still present. Seeing that they weren’t there the group made their way to Tavern. When they arrived they found that the horse they had… acquired had been torn to shreds. The group, having lost their horse to what they could only guess to be the hounds, decided to head towards Thros.

After a two day walk north, they arrived at the mountain’s stone door which had been broken. There were footprints from what seemed to be some kind of small creature. They decided to enter. Upon entering the mountain Salvador decided to announce their presence by yelling out to anyone who was around. He was quickly silenced by his traveling companions who opted for a more stealthy approach. Finding nothing in the upper chambers the group decided to descend into the mountain to continue on their way to Thros.

While they were exploring the mountain they encountered a swarm of bats, a mimic (the chest), and a small group of goblins, who they assumed had left the tracks outside the mountain door. After these short battles, they decided to continue on their way. They came across several rooms with nothing more than a fireplace, a well, a table and chairs, and a bathroom. Each time the group settled in and recouped before continuing on.

After descending down deep in the mountain, they came to an open cavernous type of room. There were many slender ropes of translucent fluid hang from above. The group could not see where this was coming from because they disappeared into the darkness above. On the floor was the same translucent fluid in a large puddle, which extended the entire width of the cave. The group decided to throw something at it to see what happened. The object sank into the goo. The ropes instantly disappeared into the darkness and the ooze on the group slowly started creeping towards it. Through trial and error they found that Salvador’s ability to electrocute it worked best to damage it. After some time had passed, Nolan started getting restless and came up with a plan to use a bedroll to lay down on the slime and jump across to the other side. Before he could execute this plan, Kukua went for it. She got caught in the slime, and was burned by the slime’s acid and electrocuted by Salvador’s continued effort to electrocute it. After attempting to save Kukua, the whole group landed in the middle of the slime. Although it left Silmarwen untouched, the rest of the group was not so lucky. In the end, Salvador conquered the slime and the group carried on their way out of the mountain.

Once outside, the area seemed vaguely familiar to Nolan. They traveled down the mountain, and through a swamp without incident. They saw a farm in the distance and decided to stop there for information and direction on Thros. The farm was run by Elrick and his son. Elrick (who had what could only be described as an animatronic leg) had automatons which he had designed and made to help keep up with the work since it was only the two of them. Elrick fed and housed the group for the night, as well as gave the group new bed rolls. The next morning after thanking Elrick for his hospitality and information on Thros, the group was off again.

After another 2 days of walking, they all arrived at Thros. Outside the city walls the buildings and houses were all falling apart or had rotted away. Once they were closer to the wall they could make out a figure above. Salvador yelled out to the figure above, but when the group was spotted the figure above ran off. The group found this odd and quickly entered the gate. While making their way to the Basilica, they noticed an eerie silence. They did see a woman carrying firewood, but once she saw them she looked terrified, dropped the firewood, and ran off into an alley and disappeared. At this the group decided that something was wrong and that they should not be out in the open any longer. They made a dash for the Basilica ahead.

Once inside they could not find a soul. The building seemed to be in oddly good shape despite all the dust everywhere. The church was very beautiful and ornate on the inside. They searched for a bit and found a tomb with the name of a form member of the Corvidae. The symbol on their left hands was also on the tomb. Once it was open, there was a small narrow tunnel and they could not see what was ahead. Silmarwen decided to go down first. The tunnel turned into a steep slide and she found herself in a room adorned by a demonic statue in each corner and a door on the left wall. Nolan arrived quickly after, followed by Salvador and Kukua. The group quickly became frightened by the statutes, but seeing as how they could not easily climb back up the steep tunnel they decided to see what was behind the door.

Through the door the group found a dungeon with letters carved on the floor, a plethora of wooden doors, blood on the walls of one area that lead into an unnatural darkness, a room with a floating orb which electrocuted a bar of soap (which was tossed in by Silmarwen). They also found a creepy skeleton walking about, a block of ice with a scroll in the middle, a demon behind a portacolise, seeming empty room with a demon statue in it, large scratches on an area of wall, and a line on the floor with the words DO NOT ENTER painted on.

What will the group encounter next time? Will they be overrun with demons? Will someone cross the line that says, “Do Not Enter?” Will they figure out who the creepy skeleton is or what he wants? Join us at the next session in Davenport, IA at noon!

END OF SESSION FOUR

Character Session EXP Total
Kukua 3593 6867
Nolan 3593 7092
Salvador 3593 7067
Silmarwen 3593 6867

Experience Level Table

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In the Hands of a Guard
Session 3

Upon reaching the top of the stairs in the Mayor’s Castle, Nolan turned around to realize that Salvador had vanished. Not wishing to risk being caught, he continued on. After searching several lavish rooms (from which he took an ink well, parchment, and quills), he attempted to go down the castle’s grand stairway, which was guarded. The guard informed him that he must use the second staircase as the grand stairwell was off limits this evening. He thus continued down the alternative set of stairs.

Meanwhile, Kukua and Silmarwen had been waiting in the guard shack near the castle’s fortifications. A guard soon entered and told them that they were to be taken to the guard captain. Following him obediently, they deposited their gear and weapons at the main door as they were lead to a small ballroom. Within this room, they saw a man with close cropped grey hair in full plate armor. Just as they approached him, they saw Nolan conveniently walking down the stairs at that exact moment.

The man seemed genuinely surprised at their presence as he said, “Nolan, what are you doing here?” While he seemed generally respectful towards everyone, he seemed most concerned with the presence of the scholar. Through a conversation with this man, Kukua, Silmarwen, and Nolan learned that his name was Imaldehen and he was tasked to steal the sword the next evening and place it in Nolan’s hands four days afterward in Shardspire. The group chose to trust Imaldehen as he seemed to be fairly forthcoming with information and changed the delivery to the library the morning after the theft. Imaldehen then had them escorted off of the premises by a pair of guards.

Afterwards, Silmarwen, Kukua, and Nolan went to the library, which was, disappointingly, closed. Salvador showed up out of nowhere, giving a weak excuse for where he had gone. Seeing nothing else to do, the group returned to the north side of the river. Silmarwen and Kukua slept in a hostel near the Corvidae’s Primary Base while Nolan and Salvador slept in the base.

The entirety of the next day was spent preparing for the following night. Nolan did research at the library while the group attempted to help him. Searching through various books, Nolan found a description of the mayor’s sword in a volume about the war with the Dread Lich, D’Sparil, which told of its physical form and how the sword was very powerful at vanquishing foes.

The group, having discovered that they forgot to check the hand of Imaldehen for the symbol of the Corvidae, sent Salvador to meet with the mayor in order to try and speak with Imaldehen privately. Salvador went to the mayor’s weekly meeting with the public and found the mayor and his court wizard in the grand ballroom, surrounded by two guards and Imaldehen. Asking inane (or possibly insane) questions to the mayor by asking to see the guards’ hands, Salvador found himself being escorted out of the castle. He looked back at the captain of the guards and yelled out the name “Imaldehen” and pointed at his hand and nodded. Imaldehen turned visibly pale and tried not to look at Salvador. The last thing Salvador heard was the mayor questioning Imaldehen about what “that peasant” had called him to which Imaldehen replied, “he was obviously insane, your grace.”

Silmarwen decided to take a walk around the Mayor’s castle’s walls. She was spotted by a guard atop the wall who asked what she was doing. Having no better plan, she jumped into the river and found herself being chased by guards. They ran ahead of her to a bridge. The elf relented and let herself be brought to shore by the guards who then proceeded to question her before letting her go.

Towards evening, the group decided to set a watch at the castle for when Imaldehen stole the sword should he try to escape or some other catastrophe occur. Salvador went first, followed by Nolan and then Kukua. When it was Silmarwen’s turn to trade with Kukua, they observed Imaldehen leaving the castle. The elves followed the captain to the docks, where they saw him untie a row boat and row into the river. Following him a short distance, the elves agreed that Silmarwen should follow Imaldehen along the river while Kukua returned for the others.

While the ranger continued along the river, marking each tree they passed with an X, Kukua returned to the main base and awoke Nolan and Salvador. Finding that they needed speedy transportation, they found the nearest stable and proceeded to commit an act of breaking and entering. Unfortunately, they found there to be only one horse in the stable. Their fortune not being completely bad, they also found a small cart. Kukua was able to keep the horse fairly silent as she hitched the cart and the three were off, following the river west. Stopping to look for Silmarwen’s marks, the group soon found themselves near a grove of deciduous trees. Silmarwen, having heard the wagon passing by, snuck out of the wood to fetch the group and lead them to where Imaldehen was sitting.

Imaldehen had rowed to this grove of trees and walked into a clearing where he built a fire and sat down on a log, presumably waiting for something. When the group spied this, Kukua, Silmarwen, and Salvador spread out as Nolan walked into the circle of trees and announced his presence.

As Nolan entered, Imaldehen voiced his surprise that they had already found them and revealed that the burglary had not gone as well as hoped. He handed Nolan a sword that fit the description that was found in a book in the library and, when Nolan received the sword, voiced his disappointment that this Nolan was not the “… real Nolan.” Changing in form, Imaldehen suddenly appeared as what the magic users in the group would call an sentient flesh golem (a rarity as all known golems are not intelligent) with a rusty sword protruding from his chest. The rest of the group stepped into the circle to confront Imaldehen but the monster spoke no more words. Instead, he grasped the sword with both hands and a set of black, evil-looking full plate coalesced around his body. Finally drawing it from his chest, the sword transformed into a wicked, black blade, some six feet long comprised of a demonic looking mouth, the skull of a dragon-like creature, and cruel looking, black metal. Salvador asked if the sword that Imaldehen held was the true anchor of existence, to which laughed and Imaldehen nodded in response.

The group quickly attacked the black armored being, but no spell or missile seemed to find a mark. Raising his sword in the air, a darkness surrounded him for some twenty feet. Silmarwen fired an arrow into the black and Nolan threw a javelin, and both sounded as if they had struck their target. The darkness soon cleared and where Imaldehen had been standing there was now a rotting, animated corpse holding an axe and the crumpled body of a purple being with a evil looking tongue. The body of the purple creature was pierced through the heart by an arrow and in the side by javelin and thus looked thoroughly defeated. The axe bearing corpse, though, seemed to take no notice of the fallen beast and attacked. After a fairly quick battle, the draugr was defeated as the ghoul had been. The first person to point out that they read this sentence on this site will gain an extra 100 experience during the next session. Seriously, no joke.

Looking around, it seemed that Imaldehen was gone. The sword that he had given Nolan, though, lay discarded and momentarily forgotten on the ground. Will the group find Imaldehen? What is this mysterious sword that he left behind? Will Salvador ever find out if the guards actually have hands? Tune in next time to find out!

END OF SESSION THREE

Character Session EXP Total
Kukua 1150 3273
Nolan 1150 3498
Salvador 1150 3473
Silmarwen 1050 3273

Experience Level Table

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"Guests" at a Dinner Party
Session 2

After asking some final questions of the dying god, Corvus, the party was ready to continue their quest. Going up to the floor where they had fought the undead, they began to unblock the passageway which they had previously covered with fallen rock. Nolan briefly went upstairs to ask a question of the priest and then returned. Everyone continued down the passage which exited in the graveyard above, some 200 yards away. Searching around, they found four nearby defiled graves, which they inferred were the origin of the nefarious undead which had nearly killed them.

They continued into the town of Shardspire, hoping to resupply themselves. Instead, they found a town that laid abandoned and in ruins. Most of the buildings were decaying and several had been burned. Returning to the inn which they had found previously inhabited by strange, mouthless humanoids, they saw a strange, hunchbacked human exit the building. He held a staff with a fork at its top. Between the forks floated a grey, rotting hand which gave off a magical aura.

The Hand Wielder seemed very frightened by the appearance of our heroes and asked them what they were doing there. Salvador spoke to the man, asking why he had summoned the undead that they had encountered earlier. The Hand Wielder replied that it had been his job. Salvador then tried to tell the strange man that the man’s boss was not happy with his performance while Nolan attempted to charm the Hand Wielder with a spell. The Hand Wielder saw through their ruse and a battle commenced.

Using his staff, the Hand Wielder summoned Cacodaemons which attacked the party. After many Cacodaemons were slain, along with their summoner, the party stood victorious. Salvador picked up the summoner’s staff and the hand dissolved, leaving nothing but of copper rod. Silmarwen cut off the Hand Wielder’s head in order to remove the bell around his neck. After some shock at how light the bell was, it mysteriously grew in weight from three to fifteen pounds. When rang, it momentarily grew cold enough to develop a thin layer of frost.

The party searched the town, finding only a few trivial items and rested before continuing on to Wainton. The trip to Wainton lasted about three days, with the party arriving in the afternoon of the third day.

Stopping at the first decent house they saw, Salvador knocked on the door to ask for directions. An old man who was somewhat deaf answered and, rather than deal with the man’s deafness, Salvador left to seek directions at the next house. At the next house, a middle-aged man answered and was quite excited at the prospect of a magician being in town. He gave the party directions to two very nice hotels and the party left in that direction shortly after.

Choosing to attempt to stay at the nicer of the two nice hotels, The Gilded Griffon, the party devised a plan of flash and flair to fool the hotel staff into giving them a free room. The head clerk, Antion, was not fooled by their ruse, however, but said that the group could pay for the single remaining room at a rate of 30g per night. Refusing such an outlandish idea as to pay for the room, Kukua left to inquire about meeting the mayor in order to obtain some proof as to who they were, which was a move intended more of a bluff than an actual move to meet the mayor. She was turned away at the front gate, however, as the mayor was having a dinner party that was invitation only.

The group then split off to canvas the area better. Salvador returned to the house with the middle aged man and asked if he had a bed and would admit the stranger to his (nonexistent) show for free. The man said that he only had one bed available which would not be enough for the group. Salvador tried to convince the man to give up his own bed to which the man refused and shut the door. Silmarwen, meanwhile, found a cheaper hotel on the north side (poorer side) of the river. The team then met up at the Corvidae’s Primary Base, near the cheaper hotel.

Upon entering the base, Nolan lit two torches held by sconces on the wall. The group then noticed a man sitting at a table in the room, whom they had not noticed until that time. This Mysterious Stranger told the group of the Anchors of Existence, a set of magical artifacts that keep this world from being ripped from the Material Plane by any entity powerful enough to do so. Silmarwen explained that he had devoted her life to protecting another one of the artifacts, the Tree of Life. The Mysterious Stranger explained that someone planned to steal the Mayor’s Sword, another anchor, the following night.

Whilst the group was talking to the stranger, Nolan lit a fire in the room and then began asking the stranger questions regarding a note he had found. The stranger implied that he had sent the note but refused to reveal his name, which was encoded upon the note. After answering a few questions but not giving any proof for his answers, he vanished.

The group began discussing what to do about this new information. While the group was discussing their plans, SIlmarwen left and scouted around outer wall of the Mayor’s Mansion. Finding a glowing symbol on the back wall that matched the ones that had typically lead to secret Corvidae passageways. She returned to the base and related what she had found. The group sprang into action, deciding to steal the sword before anyone else got the chance.

The party met at the back of the castle near the symbol that Silmarwen had found. With the wave of a hand, Nolan and Salvador entered the castle wall and did a quick walk around the exterior of the castle, finding another symbol on a castle wall. Returning to the outer wall, they had Silmarwen and Kukua enter. Causing a distraction by screaming that someone had stolen their purses, the female elves caused a distraction while the humans used the second secret passage to sneak into the castle. The guards escorted Silmarwen and Kukua to a guard room by the main castle wall entrance and left them under guard while a lieutenant left to go check the grounds for someone matching the description of the fake purse snatcher.

Nolan and Salvador exited the second secret passageway in the cell of the castle dungeon. There being only two cells, the other was occupied by someone sleeping. Two guards sat at a table facing away from the cells, rolling dice and drinking wine. When the would-be burglars tried to sneak out of the dungeon, though, a guard spotted them and demanded to know what was going on. Salvador said that they had been sent down to get more guards due to a purse theft, the guard seemed unconvinced and demanded that the two intruders lead him to the scene of the “crime”. They lead him far enough away to escape the vision of the second guard and then Nolan ensorcelled their potential captor, and leaving him behind they fled up to the first floor and into a library. After waiting for a few minutes and seeing no signs of the guard that would most likely be chasing them, they headed up the next set of stairs from the library to the second floor.

END OF SESSION TWO

Character Session EXP Total
Kukua 1347 2123
Nolan 1447 2348
Salvador 1547 2323
Silmarwen 1447 2223

Experience Level Table

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The Dying God
Session 1

The party consisting of two female elves and two male humans awoke in a circle of grass with a standing stone some five feet high in the middle. Each wore a black linen outfit and had no other items on their persons. Realizing that they did not remember anything, even who they were, they set off for a nearby town.

The town was comprised of wooden buildings. Knocking on doors, they would only see glimpses of people in windows who seemed to be too scared or shy to approach the party. After some walking, they stumbled across an inn. Upon entering the inn, they were shocked to discover that the innkeeper, who was standing at the bar cleaning cups and glasses, had very pale skin, black hair, and no mouth. He refused to interact with the party except for giving them empty glasses.

A human and an elf went upstairs and checking the rooms of the inn. In one of the six rooms, they discovered another being who was sleeping in a bed. The mustachioed human snuck up to the sleeping individual and found that he also had pale skin, black hair, and no mouth. No other rooms were occupied.

Downstairs, the other female elf filled an empty glass of water and waited for the two who had gone upstairs. Another of these mouth-less beings entered the inn and sat at the bar but refused to acknowledge the existence of the party.

Soon after everyone had rejoined each other in the common room of the inn, they heard shouting outside. Upon exiting the inn, they spied a crazed, old man in red linens, brandishing a short sword. Screaming nonsense about being confused as to what was going on and why the party was in this town, he charged at our adventurers and seemed to trip and fall. The group examined the old man and found him to be unconscious. They found, though, a note tattooed under his bangs that read, “I await you in a graveyard two miles north of this town. – A Friend.” Believing that someone was waiting for this man they carried him and struck off for the graveyard.

The graveyard was situated upon a wide, short hill. Tombstones were scattered in no particular organization with stone sizes ranging from less than a foot tall to that of a mausoleum. A small church sat at the top of the hill. It had only a few windows, each of which contained dark stained glass.

The party fanned out and the human without a mustache approached the church and found a note wrapped around a key. Reading the note, he slipped both items into his pocket before entering the church.

Upon entering the church, this human found that the church was dimly lit by blue, fluorescent crystals. He approached the altar and saw a grey, misty outline of a humanoid figure with white, glowing orbs for eyes. It said, “I will meet everyone in the basement,” before floating directly through the floor. The party met inside and after they had explored the church a bit, continued down the stairs to the basement, carrying the unconscious man. The man who carried the key and note refused to reveal the note’s message to the rest of the party when asked, however.

The downstairs of the church was a square room with a duplicate altar as the one from the room above. The entity asked them to gather round and waved his arm over the altar. A small compartment on the altar slid open and a blue crystal raised out of it on an unseen mechanism. Asking the group to each lay a hand on the crystal, they tried to deposit the old, confused man on the altar. The entity waved his arm saying that this individual was unimportant and his body vanished.

Each member of the party placed a hand on the crystal. Intense pain flashed through their minds and all were rendered unconscious.

They awoke to find themselves on the stone floor of the church with an old priest sitting on the altar. The priest explained that they had been dead and through a ritual of the order, had been brought back to life. Each remembered their own name and history and had the items on them that they had had when they had performed the rite (the last thing that each remembered) some 200 years ago.. The priest told the group that Corvus had started the ritual of resurrecting them and would like to speak to them in the caverns below the church. Walking over to a stone square on the floor, the priest waved his hand over a grey symbol on the square and it slid open to reveal a spiral staircase descending into darkness. With torches in hand, the party cautiously climbed downward.

The next floor down consisted of six large tombstones, upon one of which the group found the name of the Harbinger (leader) of their order when they had last been alive. They continued on through another doorway and down another set of stairs where they encountered a pair of skeletons with pickaxes trying to break their way through a very large sarcophagus in the center of the room. Looking on were a severed head and a skeleton surrounded by a fiery aura. It seemed that they had tunneled their way into the church basement.

After a lengthy and bloody battle, the group stood victorious. Using the same trick that the priest had used, they used the symbol on their hands to open the sarcophagus and descended yet another staircase into a large, underground cavern. The cavern was lit with blue crystals as they had seen earlier. Upon a familiar altar was seated a small creature that resembled a humanoid raven.

Corvus spoke to the group and told them that his power had been leaving him and he did not know why. As well, the Corvidae were all but gone and his vision of the world was limited. He tasked the group with continuing to Shardspire (the town they had gone through) and then to Wainton (the seat of the Corvidae’s primary base) to find what had become of his order.

END OF SESSION ONE.

Character Session EXP Total
Kukua 776 776
Nolan 901 901
Salvador 776 776
Silmarwen 776 776

Experience Level Table

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