The Realm of Eärwa

A New Turn of Events
...or unannounced and unwanted guests

E’mryk comes back into the common room where everyone was munching on some rabbit brought down by the ranger who was guided to it by delighted, but agitated Gribulp.
“Ladies and… and men, standing watch on the balcony above gave me a good view of movement within the Deadwood below. I watched intently as a handful of human-sized shapes attempted to stealth through the trees. They were headed this direction. I could not make out any insignia. They appeared to be substantial, but they also could have been glimpses of the past.”
The adventurous group looked at the gnome as if his nose had grown six more inches since they’d seen him just a few hours before.
“Should we be alarmed?” the gnome prompted, thereby breaking them from their shock and into action.

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Lighting the Hearthforge
Murder most foul...

Damaceus broke from the melee, and his quad, sprinting to the glowing object laying on the cloak, the beautiful prize glistening in the dark. As he ran, he imagined the commendations he would receive for such a find, maybe even Centurion was in his future after all. But as he tugged on the cloak that the fire opal lay on, he had the hard realization as to why it had taken so many of those criminals to lift it. That realization manifested in a hasty decision, as he glanced over at the Dwarf standing prepared for battle, and across the rest of his quad, he knew he had to escape to report his findings. So he sprinted, as his life blood dripped out of him, and he knew he was close to death, he ran for his life. Just as the door was in sight, and he imagined his escape route, the killing blow came in the form of bolts of green magic deftly hitting their mark. He fell, breathing his last…


As the five adventurers relaxed quietly, it was Enoch to speak first. “That was a Quad. My Father spoke of them.” He looks around at his companions “they are sent out in groups of four to five, and with these killed, there will be more… they will definitely send more.” Enoch looked down at the suit of half plate, half donned, and half laying near him. Looking upon the sable pteruges of leather on his thighs, admiring the craftsmanship. The greaves were of solid make, and he now looking upon them he realized why his Father spoke so highly of the craftsmen of the Empire. He knew it would mark him, just as the symbols of the arcane legions adorned the robes that E’mryk was admiring on himself just a few feet away. “We should stage a fight, put our armor and old weapons on the quad. We could pull out the Goblins, and the Cyclops and make it looks like they all killed each other.” He tried to sound convincing “It’s worth a shot!” Realizing that his companions did not know of his private thoughts and that they now wore the regalia of the legions. Quinn was shaking his head in agreement, excited at the idea. “I can help bring them in, and we can lay them out similar to the fight we just had. I think it will work.”

“What are you doing young one?” E’mryk’s voiced as they saw that Zay was not in their presence. “Let us join you, it will be much safer.” E’mryk finished. The four remaining gathered up their things and cautiously approached the door in the back of the room. As they eased it open, the light from their weapons shone upon the entry corridor, wherein was a counter with plates and utensils on the right. Those with dark-vision were able to see beyond that the room contained a wooden countertop that continued on into a room. Barely able to contain herself, Zay trotted forward breaking the threshold of the room when a horrendous clatter responded from within. The sound of pots and pans being thrown around in a violent maelstrom sounded from within. She withdrew her foot causing the noise to stop and looked back at her companions. She then burst into the room and looked upon the kitchen and what unearthly being it contained. As the adventurers burst in E’mryk led with a gooey burst of sticky web, staying the thing in it’s place. Not realizing that one move probably saved all of their lives, for without it being mobile, it would not have been able to break into multiples and attack all at once. The battle ensued with not so quick work, for their weapons did not do normal damage to the thing, and big chunks being burned off with E’mryk’s firey blasts. Nothing of note contained in the Kitchen, they moved on to the last portal where they found a room of fine arts, painting, sketching, paints, brushes, magical paints, printing presses, canvases. It was then the adventurers decided to light the hearth.

The cadre moved back to the common room, and E’mryk watched as Enoch and Quinn moved the Fire Opal onto the table. He then climbed onto the table next to the hearth, and closed his eyes, remembering the images in the chamber below. With reverence he reached for the Opal and lifted it with amazing ease as the hearth opened, much like a snake opens its jaws to receive its food, and saw a cradle to receive the Fire Opal. Placing it within, the words moved within his mind ‘conflactres’. He knew the tone and the inflection must be precise in order for the insertion to work correctly. Taking a deep breath, closing his eyes, he held up his arms, and leaned his head back and announced “CONFLACTRES!” Moments of silence dragged on as he slowly opened one eye, looking around at his confused companions. The other eye popped open and he scanned his work. “Nothing is wrong, I did it exactly as..” it was then a rumbling occurred, a rumbling followed by the sound of hissing, like gas flowing through lines, and the hearth lit. It lit for the first time in over two centuries as the adventurers stood on in wide eyed amazement at E’mryk’s handiwork.

The last door led down into a crematorium, Sun_Sep_13_194522_UTC0100_2015_1_.png and an area where four dead, Elven bodies laid. They looked as they did in life, for they had been made up for funeral rites prior to burning their bodies. After some discussion, they determined it best to leave the bodies for now, and move from the Tree of Artifex.

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The Heart of the Artifex

After fighting the Nothics, the adventures slumped down in the library for a short rest during which a quiet calmness swept into the room, making every adventurer feel more calm. Then, each adventurer seemed to be in a different space, an area that they once felt comfortable in, one where they might see their old trainer. In each instance, each adventurer was asked these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • Why are you here?
  • What are you planning to do here?
  • Where did you come from?
  • When are you leaving?
    Each of the adventurers answered their questions:

Dain Frothbeard spoke to Father Silvarous Calwood, the wizened old Dwarf that taught him Divinity

  1. 1. Dain Frothbeard
    2. I come to cleanse the world
    3. Resurrect the forest
    4. The mountains to the Southeast
    5. I shall not leave this area until it has life returned to it, in the name of my Father and my Goddess Nike

E’mryk found himself in his cabin, speaking to Master Rianton, the old Wizard that trained him to use his sorcery.

  1. 1. E’mryk
    2. Rid the 1,000 Leaves of intruders
    3. Free 1,000 Leaves
    4. Walden
    5. When we finish

Enoch Oakhearder, speaking to Zofo Oakherder, better known as Roderick Oakherder of the Fifth Legion, Master at Arms to Centurion Fennick Alabaster

  1. 1. I am Enoch Oakherder, freeborn son of Roderick and Emma Oakherder
    2. I am here to spread light and love at the edge of my sword
    3. Allow the beauty of the land to be free from this shadow
    4. I come from the soil, a being of the world
    5. I will leave when I feel my job here is done

Quinn, speaking to Jed, the Bandit leader who took him in and trained him.

  1. 1. I am Quinn, the former highwayman turned mercenary and guard of Earwa
    2. I am here because it is my duty to give back to the world to recompense for my crimes
    3. I plan on freeing the land from the grasp of the evil which resides here
    4. I come from the Dark City, I didn’t live there for long, or often, but I called it my home. My home is now the land.
    5. I plan on leaving as soon as I have conquered the plague that grasps this land

Zahara “Zay” spoke to William, the Rogue that taught her the cunning art of Roguing

  1. 1. I am Maleficent, a wizard!
    2. To find valuable information about the past
    3. Find valuable information
    4. North from here
    5. Right now

As Zay finished up answering her questions, her trainer, William, told her to “come, I want you to meet someone.” As William and Zay walk away to the others, Zay starts to see an older Elven man in another room. The rest of the group starts to come in, to find Zay sitting on a table with the elven stranger wiggling a finger, and scolding her for lying. Once he notices the rest of the group, he introduces himself as “Lore Tallinfall, the master of The Tree of Atrifex.” Each adventurer introduces themselves, and Tallinfall then he explains he asked them the questions to understand their intent or what was in their hearts. Then, he says they would meet a fire elemental, and says to keep an eye on Zay. As the masters of each person disappears, a door appears and E’mryk could not help but examine the door. With Quinn at the front, and Dain in the rear, with weapons drawn, goes down the stairwell. At the bottom, they see a egg with fire in it on a cloth. E’mryk tripped over his curiosity and touched the egg. Memories that the egg saw flashed into E’mryks mind, overwhelmed him, that he fell to his knees. Each member of the group rushed to save the curious Gnome. Enoch the Human laid part of the cloth over the egg and touched the folded cloth to see if it would effect him. Fortunately, it did not, so he tried to pick it up.It was too heavy for him, and Quinn came to help him carry it. Quinn and Enoch carried the fiery egg up the stairs, while Zay, Dain and E’mryk are on lookout for any danger. After a while of wandering, Quinn asked Zay to scout the room they were about to go into, but Zay could not see in the dark room, except for the fire pit in the middle of a table. E’mryk mentions he smells garlic to Zay. Zay gave the “OK” to the adventurers in the door way. Once the rest came in, a voice starts to speak.

Lounging on one of the love seats one of the quad begins with “Well well well, I like what you’ve done with the place! I mean, that wind thingie down the hall is truly playing songs from the ages, idn’t it? Those pretty little ditties haven’t been heard since these pointy ears were flitting around the forest.” He smiles with a big shit eating grin, as he surveys the party. “Mmmmhmmm.” Damaceus then stands up “Welp! I have to admit, it sure has been a good run, but the Imperator has decided this little sortie has come to an end. His Eminence would like to thank you for your hard work, but you’re going to need to hand over that little jewel you got in your hot little hands there.” As he begins to cast Mage Hand to attempt to pick it up and move it over to him.

Everyone starts to go to their weapons, and Enoch and Quinn lowers the egg slowly. The creature threatens the group if the egg was not given to it. As he threatened the group, two men came from either side, and one next to the creature speaking. The group of adventurers would not give it to the creature, and the creature began to wave his hands in the air. A web shoots from his hands, and hits the people at the door. E’mryk got blinded from the man at the creatures side, and the man to Zay’s right, started to walk toward her, weapons drawn. He winks at Zay, Zay being disgusted, and the man hitting her twice. Quinn summons Brother Bear, then shoots at Damaceus at the front. E’mryk tries to send Damaceus and Carnavon to sleep, but failed. Damaceus replied, Nice try little one,nice try. We could end it right now." Without thinking twice,the Gnome replies, “OK, we accept your surrender.” Enoch swings at enemy infront of him, but the enemy blocked it. Dain heals Zay when he noticed she got hit pretty hard. The man next to Zay asks, “What’s your name little lady?”Zay replies sarcastically, “Why would you care?” The man replies, “So I can know your name when I kill you.” Zay’s adrenaline sparks and she jabbed the guy in the guts, and moves to flanking position. The man says, “That wasn’t really nice.” as he licks his arm. Damaceus fired three Magic Missiles at Brother Bear. Damaceus then cast Guiding Bolt at the bear. The fighter then said to Damaceus, “Sure Damaceus, leave the bear for me.” The man that attacked Zay then went around her, smart enough to notice she was in flank. Then he hits her again with his swords, and Zay outrages, “That was a papercut!” Quinn attempts to shoot at Damaceus, but misses. The bear goes toward Damaceus, and swings with his paws,and knocks Damaceus out. E’mryk recovered from his blindness, and flanked with Zay while Enoch attacked the enemy caught in the web. Dain casts ‘Bless’ on himself, Quinn, and Enoch. Then Dain swung at the enemy in the web.

Zay lunged with an attack on Termite and asks," What’s your name? I think I’m the victor." Believing her, the man replies, “Pale Termite.” The Gnome makes fun of his name, and Pale replies," Don’t make fun of me Gnome." Pale disengages and runs to the bear and attacks. The Gnome shouts after Pale,“Was he wearing his brown pants? Because it is now!” Pale kills the bear and Carnavon in the web grabs his weapon, and moves toward Damaceus. Dain moves through part of the web. Quinn yells in agony as his Brother Bear dies. Quinn shoots at the group of enemies, but misses. E’mryk casted web on the group of enemies. E’mryk yells at Zay," Zay! Pull your bow!" Web that was attached to Quinn, Dain, And Enoch goes away and Enoch steps forward and drops the fighter. Dain moves forward and and hits an enemy. Zay jumps over the table after dropping her daggers and grabbed her bow, shots at Pale, but misses. “We’re not done yet because you’re not dead, Pale!” Zay screams. Pale cheek clicks at Zay. the cleric waved his hands and mists surrounded him, and the two down got back up. Damaceus whacks the his staff on the ground and hits Dain and Enoch launching Enoch back ten feet. The fighter stands up and hits Dain. Meanwhile, Pale attempts to break free of the web, but does not. He drops his weapons and grabs his bow aiming at Zay and knocks her unconscious while he cheek clicks at her again. As Zay goes down, she screams with all of her strength, “you foul creature!” and fell to the floor. The wizard stands up all the way while Quinn gets stuck in the web trying to hit Roken. Quinn then swings, and misses. E’mryk moves off the table, and shoots green magic missiles at Pale and knocks him down. Then E’mryk moves towards Zay and pulls out his tubed tablets and stuck one in her mouth after which Zay sits up. Enoch launches off of Dain’s supported shield and jumps over Roken hitting him. He then tries to roll over the web, but got stuck. Dain moves toward the fighter, and swings his hammer, and misses, and gets stuck in the web. Zay stands up and says, “Oh good, Pale is down.” Then Zay shoots at the priest , but misses. Wizard moves next to Quinn and hits him. Wizard shoots lightning again and Dain shoots ten feet back.Enoch and Quinn also took damage. Wizard moves out of the web, and moves next to the egg, tries to pick it up, fails. Dain hit Wizard as Damaceus tried to pick the egg up. The fighter Tries to get out of the web, but did not. Quinn yelled," E’mryk, get this off of me!" Web disappears. E’mryk moves toward the mob of enemies and enlarges Enoch. Quinn attacks cleric, and hits. Enoch’s round body stands up, attacks Roken and Roken drops. E’mryk calls after Zay," Shoot the guy going for the egg!" Dain swings at Wizard, and misses. Dain then attacks the fighter, and misses again. Zay shoots at Damaceus, hitting. Wizard and fighter try to run. the fighter gets knocked down as he tried to run. E’mryk moves toward table, and shoots Magic missiles at Damaceus dropping him. Enoch slices every enemy’s throat while they lay unconscious on the floor.

R.I.P

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Rugs in the Air and Riddles in the Dark

After defeating the animated suits of armor, the adventurers settled down into the opening at the end of the corridor and set up camp. They had been travelling and fighting an indeterminate amount of time, but the amount of trail rations remaining said roughly 4 days. The two magic users, E’mryk and Dain, examined the suits of armor and came to the joint conclusion that the spirits of Elven sentries, too loyal to leave their post upon death, had remained in that hallway for centuries to keep out unwanted company.

The adventurers took turns on watch to ensure that no undesirables came down the corridor or through the large double doors at the end of it. Inscribed inside of a leaf on the doors was the sigil of the Elven Tree of Artifex.
Crossed_Quills_by_Al_for_me-From_my_Pen_3_zps8d7ab327_1_.jpg

E’mryk took the last watch of the “night”, after Quinn. He sat near the double doors, studying them. Having more or less committed the journal to memory, he was incredibly bored and the door attracted his overpowering gnomish interest. After waiting almost two hours in this painstakingly bored state, he finally gave in. He arose from his post, and went through the doors.

The room beyond was dark, but to his gnomish eyes it was perfectly well lit. There was a long table in the middle of the room as well as chairs and desks scattered around the entirety of the room. There were also six mirrors on the wall, three on either side. As he looked closer at them they seemed to ripple in a way that indicated magical properties. As he gazed around, the rest of the party came rushing through the door, weapons raised and spells prepared to deliver hell onto whatever vile creature had stolen their gnome. Upon realizing the kidnapper was the gnomes own curiosity, the adventurers lowered their weapons and began to join E’mryk in his exploration. After having the hilt of his sword magically lit by the sorcerer, Quinn went to examine a mirror, Enoch close behind. As he went, the gnome stuck his head into-and through- one of the mirrors. He pulled his head back through into the main room and squeaked “there’s a textile room through there!” The companions, amazed at the discovery, started looking through all the mirrors. After discovering a multitude of hallways, Dain decided to step all the way through. The rest of the party came rushing through a few seconds later, weapons raised to administer punishment onto whatever foul creature had snatched him. Upon realizing nothing had snatched him, the companions moved on tho examine the area. the hallway opened into room roughly 300 feet wide and 500 feet long, filled with a mess of work areas, desks, tables and chairs. The place was a ransacked mess with nothing alive in it and everything potentially valuable long ago pilfered and plundered. The companions moved back into the main room and moved to then next mirror. after proceeding down a corridor, they came upon a large area filled with all manner of forges and blacksmiths tools. There were spaces for all manner of metalwork ranging form armor and weapons, to the fine molds and tools used to form jewelry. Unfinished jobs littered the floor, revealing metalwork in forms that hadn’t been seen in centuries. Dain, being a blacksmith, let out a cry of lamentation at the scene. After allowing Zay to search for hidden objects or passageways, the companions returned to the main hall. They proceeded on through the next room, led by the light of Dain’s hammer and Quinn’s sword. They came into a large room, appearing to be another work room with more desks, tables and chairs scattered around. The room had a door on the far end which the companions promptly headed towards. As they moved, an ungodly moaning filled the air and a monster looking very similar to a rug fell from its hiding place above them. Cloaker.jpg
Quinn immediately dropped his blades and jumped away from the Cloaker and into cover to get a hold of the situation and to gain control over the unspeakable fear it had inspired in him. He drew his bow and loosed an arrow into the flowing, floating mass of carpet as it both bit and stabbed at E’mryk with its teeth and tail. Enoch, also terrified by this new threat, stepped back and loosed an arrow of his own as Zay did the same from the other side. E’mryk drew a dagger and rammed it into the things back as Dain summoned a spectral hammer to join the fray. The Cloaker then pushed into the gap left by Enoch and Quinns retreat and attacked the ranger, biting and stabbing into him as he had into the gnome. Enoch, snapping out of the terror he had previously been subjected to, realized it was very similar to the feeling inspired by the elven ghosts who had left their mark in his signature beard. A bubble of rage overcame him and he drew his two scimitars and laid into the Cloaker with a snarl on his face that would have sent any sentient creature scrambling away in terror. Quinn, seeing his comrades courage and fury, snapped out of the artificial terror as well. Seeing his swords lying on the other side of the beast, he decided to do something incredibly foolhardy and dangerous. He dropped his bow and launched himself forward into a roll underneath the monster, dodging its attempts to impede him. He tumbled underneath it in a painful but seemingly graceful motion and as he rolled, he grabbed his swords from the ground and plunged them into the things underbelly, ripping them through its body and out its back. The Cloaker shrieked in pain and then fell to the ground, dead. Dain uttered a spell to heal his allies and they made themselves comfortable to rest briefly.

Upon the end of this break, the party arose and moved through the door at the end of the hallway. The room beyond was pitch dark, with the only light present emanating from Dain’s hammer and Quinn’s sword. As he crossed the threshold, Quinn briefly knelt in concentration to cast a spell of detection for enemies. He sensed… something. He arose and spoke to his friends, “I don’t think we’re alone in here. Be on your guard.” Immediately after this, a voice emanated from everywhere and nowhere at once “Who won the last battle of the first war?” it inquired.
“Me” Zay not so cleverly responded.
“A cute answer, Zahara, but not correct” the voice responded. Clutching his swords tighter, Quinn guessed “the Empire?”
The voice chuckled in a way that sounded like stones grinding together and a one eyed beast dropped into the midst of the party.
Nothic.jpg
E’mryk, acting more on instinct than anything else, threw a blazing green firebolt right into the Nothics eye.
7 more of the Nothics then appeared in the room.
“Brigade commander Garret Brithalstan won the last battle of the First war!” E’mryck yelled. The voice chuckled again and the monsters attacked. The companions laid into the first wave of creatures, slaughtering them wholesale, but more kept appearing. “That was the right answer you son of a Balor!” E’mryk yelled, enraged. He let out a burst of fire, roasting all of the enemies who had come in in a tight cluster. “What good is a book in a room full of books?” the voice interjected as more of the Nothics converged on the companions, using much better tactics after seeing the others go up in flames. “Search the books!” Quinn yelled to his friends as he threw himself into the melee. Dain and E’mryk started grabbing books as they fought off the monsters and the rest of the group fought the monsters off. Shadows danced over the scene as the party fought on, the only light created by Dain’s hammer and Quinn’s sword. The swinging of the weapons caused a gloomy, semi dark state in which they fought and searched for clues to the riddle. As the cleric and sorcerer searched the books, they yelled their discoveries to the rest of the party.
“Kort was King, after Stratus and before No one! From Stages of War!”
“Granville ruled before Wardofsken, from Rules of Engagement.”
“Yurton was older than Kort and ruled directly after Stratus, from Melees of the First Era”
“Wardofsken lost his crown in the crusade of King Kort, Tales of the First Era”
“Stratus ruled one king before Wardofsken, from lost chapters of Granville’s letters!”
As they shouted these clues out, the rest of the group fought in. Quinn momentarily stepped back from the fight and muttered something unintelligible. As he did this, and enormous brown bear appeared in the middle of the room. As one, he and the bear let out a primeval roar and entered the melee with a vengeance. As this occured, Zay felt a rejuvenation from the wounds she had received. E’mryk, giggling like a homicidal maniac was furiously whirling his daggers around like toothpicks of doom, making comments about the anatomy of the enemy, particularly the weakness of their eye. As they fought, Quinn started piecing the clues together in his not particularly bright but incredibly experienced mind. As he made connections, he realized something. “Granville won the last battle of the first war! He was the first king!”
“You are correct Quinn. Well done.” The voice permeated the room. The monsters stopped appearing, and those in the rooms were quickly stabbed, sliced, burned, hammered, shot, or eaten, and often eaten anyway. As they left the room, E’mryk turned and let loose a few bolts of fire into the room and muttered “I was still right you little bastard!”

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Into the Artifex

RECAP
Previously, in the Deadwood we saw our three adventurers, uhh excuse me, for I cannot forget the aid of the Sprite Gribulp, ahem, the four adventurers had laid low the dark goblin Grimak Nailbiter in a heroic battle which almost took the life of poor Em’rykk. Sitting around the fire, Em’rykk had been reading the diary they had found and exclaimed “here it is, the last entry ’I am beginning to wonder if there can ever be victory, or just extermination. Please do not let this go on…” He looked from Zay to Quinn, watching the weight of his words wash over them before continuing. “There were fourteen trees, we would think of them as towers. Interesting, very interesting indeed.” When they felt up to it, they crossed the threshold of the green veil, and into the final chamber of the Tree of Demeter. As the 3 adventurers enter the grand chamber, they are struck by the fractured beauty before them. The interior of this once great hall, the Tree of Demeter, has seen many a brave hero. It knew loyalty, conviction, valor, and finally sacrifice. For within this chamber, there is a great sadness that seems to permeate from without. But hanging from the boughs of this great tree are what appear to be wrought iron cages at varying heights, what they were once used for are obviously not what they are used for now. Within the 14 cages are bodies in different stages of decomposition, and some just outright bone. You can see where there are arrows stuck in the heights of the tree, as the foul creatures must have used prisoners for target practice to pass the time. “There is significance in this number…” Em’rykk’s voice trailed off as they heard the sounds of two in the back pleading for help. Dain Frothbeard, the Dwarven Cleric and Enoch Oakherder, the Champion fighter looking to make a name for himself. After the two had been cut down, it was not long before Gribulp came into the room alarmed “The light, we must flee, the light is up” it was at this point the 5 adventurers realized that natural color had returned to the boughs of the tree, and there was a natural light illuminating the chamber. They quickly found an exit behind the wooden throne afixed within the hall, and slid down the old ropes that were surprisingly sturdy for so many years of no use.
Safely in the catch of the landing of another tree, they were then able to see the light Gribulp referred to. A beacon into the sky, straight from the Tree of Demeter. “I’ve got bad feeling about this” said Quinn. It was then, they determined their course, they would move onto the next tree to see what they could find. The once majestic Tree of Artifex stood before them, and visibly, the tower’s broken lift. After hoisting a rope, the party made their forward and across a rope bridge, and into the open expanse of the welcoming hall. Within, arrayed behind desks and tables for various tasks lay rubbish of the artisan sort and voices from within the hall. As they approached, curious of the voices there was a loud scraping that resounded, and they all turned to look at Dain. “Ahh damnit!” it was Dain’s foot that scraped across a chair lying sidelong on the floor as they all turned to quiet him, and it was too late. Two apparitions set upon them and gave them the fight of their lives, dropping Dain with the necrotic touch of death, and sending Enoch twenty years forward in age. Had it not been for the swift blades of Quinn and the true striking arrows of Zay, they all would have been done for. Gribulp’s swift thinking and honeysuckle was able to bring Dain back from the long slumber, to which he set to restoring Enoch’s stolen youth through divine means. Unfortunately, a white shock is left in his lovely locks (Isaiah can decide) a reminder of deadly adventures. The 5 err 6 adventurers find a safe spot behind the tables, and set watch for what they believed to be the night, for one cannot truly tell whether it is night or day within the Deadwood. Far away, on a distant island, Athtar Nindrol settled into his chair, finally to take more notes from the Arathamus. “Athtar, Athtar Nindrol, come see, come see!” The excited servant was obviously out of turn, but what were pleasantries in an empire that was no more. So Athtar Nindrol Tordynnar rose, and hurried along the path to the balcony of his appointment, to view the astrologers chart before him. Master of the Arcane, Shalendra Nuovis was concentrating on keeping the star chart overlay to enhance the sky and the stars above. He stared in astonishment, astonished that the Demeter glow was present in the stars. “The Imperator is sure to be watching this as well… to be sure” he half muttered to himself.
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Into the Artifex!
Two humongous double doors are at the far end of the entry chamber of the Tree of Artifex, decorated in an unknown method of metallurgy and stones that combine to make a beautiful pattern. As the doors are creaked open the strong smell of stale packed earth, much like a root cellar, seems to be fresh as if kicked up by wind. A wind you actually hear humming and down the hallway. As you cross the threshold your light catches the frescoes along the walls, even in a grayscale you can only look on in wonder at how much time and love went into the creation of the murals. The party took in the wondrous sight of the images on the walls, as they slowly made their way some 100 feet up a left curving corridor. As they approached, the humming of some immense wind seem to assault their hearing, they had to get close and shout to one another in order to be heard.
Into the portal, several peered up in the fierce wind, and those with low-light could make out a tower of sorts extending up into the air. Thick, fluted walls appeared to have holes on the interior, but seemed to be covered by something. Six stories up the inside of the tower is hollow, with thick fluted stone walls buttressed on the inside by octagonal beam supports that allow a fierce outer wind to scream down the flutes of the tower, and once they hit the bottom are funneled back up the center.
The downward wind seemed to be that of a captured Air Elemental and through the flutes make it nearly impossible to climb the inside of the tower, however the fierce updraft in the center allowed for our clever PCs to use homemade parachutes to take
advantage of the wind and carry themselves to the top of the Windvault. Once at the top,
three of the five precariously one armed to grab the catwalk at the top. As the adventurers made their ascent, they were able to eyeball what was blocking the cutouts, two Cyclops and five Goblins all black skinned and very dead. From the catwalk the party
came down to what could only be described as lockers which contained ropes and pulleys, enough for them to cinch up and clear out the cutouts of the foul creatures that filled them. It was then the mysterious songs of the past permeated the windvault, it continued with several parts and played with all manner of instrument.
Sufficiently rested, the party cautiously made their way further into the Tree of Artifex. The left curving corridor continued and the party rounded a swift bend to face four suits of armor, four suits of armor that quickly stepped up into a column two by two. As the party contemplated why if they would stand the enemy would stand guard, or attack, Zay took no time in firing an arrow at them and the melee began. As each enemy fell, the armor would fall clattering to the floor and take on the appearance of rusty, pitted metal. Surveying the damage they had wrought on these… creatures, and avoiding Em’rykk’s Web, the party looked on to another double door beyond where battle had just finished.

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A Beacon in the Night
a signal of hope, a sign of trouble

Once the fighting ended and E’mryk had thanked the sprite for his timely help, the three and a half companions began investigating the area beyond the green membranous wall over the portal. It parted with minimal resistance and allowed the heroes into the chamber beyond. What they discovered was unexpected.

Suspended from the high ceiling were fourteen chains. At the ends of each were gilded cages of intricate make. Within each were prisoners in varying states of decay, from skeletons to bloated and rotting corpses to some on the very end who moaned.

“That is quite interesting!” said the sorcerer moving toward the sounds.

“Now his curiosity will finish us off completely.” grumbled the ranger. “I just learned that hard lesson not a moment ago.”

Two cages began wobbling with movement as the gnome approached. One contained a battered and tired dwarf, his unkempt hair and beard gave him a rather wild look. The other held a human with a very swollen eye. It was apparent that the pair had been poked and prodded and generally mistreated by their dark goblin captors. 349753.2_1_.jpg

The gnome, deep in curiosity as to how they came to be there, began asking questions. Meanwhile, the halfling discovered a fancy, but grimy key on the belt of the Nailbiter. Climbing atop the shoulders of the tall ranger, she easily opened the two cage doors allowing both to stiffly slide free of their prisons.

Rummaging through the muck and dirty burlap bags the goblins used, they found the gear of the newly freed captives.

A conversation ensued in which much was discovered about each other and how each came to be there. In mid-conversation, Zay noticed that they no longer need light by which to see. An ambient glow had very slowly crept up on them. So gradual was this light that none had noticed until Zay had happened to look upward and observe the light emitting from the top of the tree tower like a beacon in the night. Gribulp, danced in agitation, caught between exhilaration and trepidation for what would then see that light and come looking.

The companions followed the halfling rogue to a cleverly disguised zip line hidden behind some of the tower’s permanent furniture. Down they went. Quinn scouted a fairly sheltered, small cove of trees in which they could rest.
Having similar reasons for being there and feeling somewhat refreshed, the five agreed to carry on together toward the west to attempt the liberation of another tower.

The gnome had the greatest difficulty navigating the ropes of the fallen platform lift which granted access to the fortified tree. Once upon the upper platform, the companions climbed the rope stairways leading to an administrative type room withing the center of the tree. A jumble of turned desks and railings showed the effects of a war. The elven voices, thought to be more of the residue of magics released in that war were dismissed as scenery until they manifested in the light of Frothbeard’s dwarven hammer. 8617445_1_.jpg

Taken by the beauty of the two spectral figures, the gnome strode forward to greet them. “Do not be alarmed. We are at your service to help in any way we can. Please do not be wroth, we are here to…” cut off in mid plea, the gnome backpedaled until he skidded to a stop behind his new friend, Enoch (and his armor). The female turned to face the diminutive figure and began to wail and scream about defiling her home. Her scream tore through the room with terrifying force challenging the willpower of all before her. Banshee.jpeg

And so the conflict began. Enoch was knocked off his feet by the scream, Quinn bounded into the room for a covered flanking position, Dane collapsed after being the recipient of a spectral blast and was dragged by Enoch to the door, Zay sprinted for the doorway and E’mryk dropped his crossbow and quiver and slid them out the doorway toward his friends.

Quinn came out from cover and slashed into the female apparition with his blades several times while she and her companion were focused on the group of suspected intruders. Banshgee2.jpgThe male reached out a dark spectral hand which settled in the flesh of the gnome causing his flesh to turn gray, wither and die in the shape of an elven hand. E’mryk squealed and fired a series of three swirling greenish missiles at the woman who then vanished between the damage of blade and blast. Enoch, too frightened to charge into battle grabbed the proffered crossbow and fired hitting the male with a bolt, while Zay took careful aim and sank an arrow into the chest of the remaining ghost. The feathers of her shaft passed through his spectral heart and skidded to a stop amid a pile of debris. Ghost-like tendrils drifted off the now blackened shaft of the rogue’s arrow.

Gribulp dripped honey into the mouth of the dwarf, reviving him in time to see the end of the melee. Eventually, all eyes turned to Enoch, who gazed at his reflection in the blade of his elven scimitar. Old_Enoch.jpgHe looked as though he had doubled in age. His gray beard and hair shown in sharp contrast to its prior dark color.

The dwarven priest gently laid his hand on his new friend’s arm in a comforting manner and said, “I believe my deity can help with your condition.”

The ranger secured a chamber in which to safely rest and the priest set about praying for such a spell.

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Deeper into the Forest and Deeper into the Crap
Into the Gnarlroot Caves to meet Grimak Nailbiter

After slaughtering the black goblins, the companions decided to set up camp and rest for the night. The ranger took first watch and he sat near the edge of the encampment with an arrow to the string of his bow. He attentively kept his watch throughout the first few hours. Or so he thought…
Quinn awoke with a start when he felt his ribs cracking under his studded leather armor. He took in the pain all down his body about the same time he noticed the rather sizable constrictor about to swallow him whole. “Wake up! somebody!” He gasped as the snake continued to crush him. After several precious seconds of whispering, E’mryyk finally stirred, just in time to see the snake begin to swallow the ranger whole. Yelping and shaking Zay to wakefulness, the sorcerer reached over to the snake and shocked it, pausing its consumption of the ranger just long enough for the halfling to spring over to it and carve it open. They then pulled the nearly dead ranger out of the coils of pitch black servant. He sat up spluttering and coughing and then rolled over and groaned, “It’s your watch Zay. Something magic must have put me to sleep so be aware.” As he and the gnome fell asleep, Zay took up her post. After a time, she noticed glowing lights hovering in the blackness. Well that’s strange! she thought, no stars were visible through the dense foliage of the treetops. A little later, she detected a small buzzing noise. She looked around, nocking an arrow. A miniscule voice came out of nowhere. “no harm?” it said.
The halfling looked around and nearly fell off the tree when she saw the sprite standing almost directly next to her ear. After a little bit of conversing, he introduced himself as Gribulp and Zay woke her companions to meet her new friend…

The sprite, Gribulp, had witnessed the purging of the elves from the forest, and had dwelt alone in since then. He had watched as the goblins, trolls and cyclopes had slowly taken over, turning the lush green woods into a gray scale wasteland. He had seen his kind destroyed and driven out and everything he loved had been torn away from him, and he had persevered. Now, the three adventurers were giving him a chance to lash back at the defilers.

After some conversing, the companions convinced the Gribulp to lead them to the lair of one of the local bosses so as to cut off one of the heads of the snake. They took off the next day to an unknown destination with blades out and ready and blood on their minds. After some trudging along, they met their first patrol. The Gribulp disappeared rather quickly at the sight of goblins and the rest followed as they set an ambush. After the trap was sprung, a brief skirmish ensued, ending in a pile of dead goblins and only minor injuries on the side of the three…now four… companions. They moved on towards the final destination. They arrived at the entry to a cave in a matter of a few hours. The portal was surrounded by a fairly large number of guards, mostly intently focused on the fire keeping them warm. After a brief bit of deliberating, a plan was decided upon. The Gribulp disappeared…again… and the three others readied spells and blades, respectively. The ranger then charged at the cluster of goblins, screaming and vaulting over the fire to end his motion with blades rammed deep into two separate targets. the gnome then sent another group to sleep and the halfling ran in with shortsword and dagger flashing. Her blades flashed out and took her share of goblin lives. After the fight, the ranger raised an eyebrow as he noted the number of goblins with slit throats. one hell of an assassin we got growing here! he thought as they dumped the bodies off the branches. They moved into the area that the goblins had been guarded and were promptly assailed by giant purple plants. The gnome, drawing from a seemingly endless pool of knowledge, shouted to the others “it only has a ten foot reach! stay away from it!”
“Thanks!” grumbled the ranger, as he moved back nursing a brand new slash mark from a barbed branch. The companions stood back and shot the plants until they collapsed. They then took stock of where they were. It was a one-way corridor, with the entrance behind them and their target ahead. Also ahead was a very loud sound of running feet and grunting goblins. The three looked around at each other and immediately started to find hiding places. the halfling climbed a boulder, the gnome hid in a tall shadow and the ranger slipped into the intertwined branches that made up the walls of the cave. when the goblins rounded the corner, the ranger sprung out and braced himself behind outstretched blades. three of the stupid buggers impaled themselves on the swords before the rest came to a tumbling stop. The halfling jumped up grabbing a branch and vaulting over the horde. She turned to find herself face to face with three troll runts as the gnome cast a sleep spell into the midst of the goblins. Several of them fell but the rest rushed towards the ranger, pushing him back towards the far wall. Quinn pushed back, slashing and stabbing and the sorcerer threw fire bolts into the enemies at intervals. Neither of them noticed as the two troll runts in the back turned towards Zay and slowly began to back her away from everyone else. After a few minutes of fighting and one very impressive wave of fire, the enemies in front of the gnome and the human were nothing but burning husks, and the halfling was nowhere to be seen. The two sprinted up the corner just in time to see one of them drop with several shafts sticking out of its body in various places. They assailed the last remaining troll and it quickly went down under the combination of arrows, rapiers and withering flame. The companions took a few hours exploring the immediate vicinity before moving on. They discovered a weapon room and picked up a few new beauties, and replenished arrow stocks. Them, after a few hours of resting, they moved on.

Down the corridor, they found a room full of stagnant, green water. After a small time examining the water, they decided it would be prudent to leave it well alone. After walking a little ways more, they came upon a vast cavern with a waterfall of the same green water on one side of it. Wholly enraptured by the water, and not considering that something may be on the other side, the ranger strode up to it to take a look. So blatantly did he stride that the fifteen or so goblins, five troll runts and one massive goblinoid boss noticed him immediately and charged. The ranger was immediately surrounded by all of the trolls and beaten within an inch of his life. The halfling drew blades and began to slit the throats of any enemy foolish enough to come close and the gnome, seeing no other option, threw a wave of fire towards the five trolls. The ranger, caught in the midst of it, had no choice but to throw himself unceremoniously on the ground. Fortunately, the trolls were so intent on carving him like a ham that none of them noticed the flames and they were all roasted. The ranger stood back up and ran back to the gnome, drawing his bow and sending shafts flying towards the mass of goblins coming through the portal. the halfling began working her way towards the other two as they sent projectiles towards the enemy. The enemy, however stupid, were smart enough to send projectiles back, and the gnome found himself lying unconscious in a pool of his own blood. The halfling was severely injured and the ranger was close to death himself. Seeing no way to escape dragging the unconscious gnome with them, the two gritted their teeth and resigned themselves to going down with as many of the little black buggers as they could take with them. Nine against two odds seemed extremely long, however the goblins were having a lot of trouble figuring out which end of the arrows they were supposed to point at the companions. Shafts flew both directions in the dozens, however the two companions found themselves standing after the last of the goblins fell with a shaft between his eyes. The boss howled with fury and began sprinting towards the portal. The ranger, having none of that, sent an arrow whizzing towards his back. it struck and slowed the foe just long enough for the halfling to climb its back and slit its throat with dagger and shortsword. After insuring that all the enemy were dead, the ranger turned his attention to the gnome. He lay as if dead, and the rangers skills at herbs and medicines were not nearly sufficient to save him. In dejection, the ranger sat back, with no idea what to do and his friend bleeding on the ground. Then, as if his prayer to the gods had been heard, the Gribulp materialized over the gnome, and dripped something between his lips. E’mryyk sat up sputtering, “what did I miss?”
The ranger and halfling both grinned, knowing that they had come off very lucky… this time.

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A Bloody Sky and Some Bloody Goblins
Straight outta Walden

The little village of Walden clung to the edges of the Forest, the two dwelling side by side, but staying to their own boundaries. The people of Walden had long ago learned to leave the Forest alone, and the Forest had likewise stayed to its own, ancient mysterious self. Nothing went in, and nothing came out… at least until recently.

Quinn studied the tracks leading through the orchard. This had been the most recent of several raids that had occurred, and the tracks led to the same place that the others had. Straight into the Forest, the forest referred to as the Deadwood. The attacks had yet to take a life, but had still left the villagers cowering in fear at the thought of an unseen foe in the pitch black. The morning after each of the raids, inventory and citizen checks had shown no deaths but large stockpiles of animals and other goods toted off in the night by humanoid creatures. This morning, however, the sun had come up red as blood, and the night raid had been the biggest one yet. “Quick” Quinn, the highwayman turned ranger and blade-for-hire, stood from his close scrutiny to return to the Town Hall and report his findings. 286745709_fe21025eb0_o_d_1_.jpg

“Based on this historical account of the ancient elves, this Blood Sun most likely has something to do with them, and therefore a venture must be made into the Forest, to follow these raiders and see how they connect to this” E’mryk finished as he closed his ancient tome. The gnome was the local sorcerer and had the widest collection of books and the largest store of knowledge anyone around here had ever seen.
“Well then, we should send a small party of men” to which the halfling Zahara actually snorted at “into the Forest immediately!” Jed, the Mayor of Walden proposed. “I unfortunately will not be able to go, I have rather pertinent duties to attend to and can’t be gone that long” he concluded. At this the entire assembly snorted with derision, the man was notoriously cowardly.
“I’ll go” the Ranger spoke up “I’ve seen a bit of danger in my life and i daresay that’s more than anyone else here can claim.”
The audience nodded in general assent; very few of them had been in more danger than a rather nasty bar fight.
“I wanna go too!” the halfling Zahara, commonly known as Zay, interjected.
“I don’t know about that…” the Ranger began but quickly cutting off his comment when he saw the murderous look the halfling gave him. “okay, you’re in”
“I’m going as well, in the interest of my studies” the gnomish sorcerer stated. “I also know some spells that you may find handy in a fight”
Quinn nodded his assent. He had seen the difference a magic user could make in a fight.
“Are there any more people feeling adventurous?’ the mayor asked the audience. After noting the general looks of terror reciprocating around the room he concluded “well, it looks like it will just be you three. Good luck, and try to come back intact!”

A few hours later, the three adventurers made their way into the Forest. It looked as though they would be traversing land no outsider had dared pass in hundreds, if not thousands of years. The Ranger kept his eyes on the tracks as they moved deeper and deeper. So focused was he that it took one of his companions pointing it out for him to notice something rather peculiar. The entire Forest was a colorless, grayscale mess of oddly distorted sounds and unnaturally large trees. After the initial shock the travelers moved on, marveling at the oddity of the situation.

“I think we’re lost” the gnome said in his typical, squeaky, obnoxious tone.
“Be quiet!” the human interjected. Something was wrong. He’d lost the trail somehow and they were in a strange outcropping of branches. He couldn’t find any sign of the party they were hunting and that made him very nervous. He slowly drew his twin rapiers as he examined his location. At that instant a group of black goblins dropped form the above branches, surrounding his party. He shouted out a warning as his fighting instincts kicked in. He rammed his blades into two of the nearest goblins and took measure of the situation. The gnome and halfling had reacted almost as quickly to the nine pitch black goblins dropping into their midst and were engaging their nearest foe men. As he watched, one of the goblins slapped the ground and then used magically elongated arms to flail at he and his companions.
The skirmish continued on until all but one was dead, that one being immersed in a magic induced sleep and tied up tighter than the Mayor’s purse strings. The injuries among the three companions were minor, a few cuts and bruises, and one rather painful patch of necromancy blasted skin. The three then proceeded to not so gently wake the prisoner via the basket hilt on one of the rangers rapiers. They questioned the Goblin in an attempt to gain some knowledge, but soon ended up just pushing his pierced, burned corpse over the edge of the balcony of branches on which they were standing. His body joined those of his eight fellows at the bottom of a very, very long fall.

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Infiltrators and a missing cousin
a short journal entry

On reflection, I wished I’d demonstrated more self-control in my search for Ezri. My intentions were right, but I know that my emotions got the best of me in those first few hours. Upon reflection – something we’d been taught to do on reflex at the Camp, but I was unable to do in the opening moments of the attack – I realized that we’d stumbled onto information that was vital for the leaders of the city – scum they might be – should know. Simply put, they’d been infiltrated, and it was at least likely that part of the immediate response to the attack was being actively stymied by the attackers. Beyond that idea, a few facts were clear:

  1. The Empire was in collusion with undead forces – that’s a new, horrible turn for them, but true in our case
  2. At least two Centurions had been in the city, along with at least 20 troops, since before the attack – how they’d hidden, or how they’d blended in, I don’t know
  3. The fog was still beyond us – where did it come from? Who controlled it?
  4. The Von Trapp children, and surely Ezri if alive, were somewhere in this underground complex
  5. While it seems certain that the half-orcs we finished off had something to do with the attackers, the connection is unclear

At this point I was torn between two courses of action: proceed deeper into the underground corridors, or go back to the street and try to find someone responsible for civil defense and give them the information we had, and what help we could offer after that. Our rest gave me time to think.


Meta
Emrich keeps a journal, so this reflects what he’d write in it at some later point. Go ahead and comment on it to represent conversation with Emrich and the group while resting in the half-orcs’ room, since these things would be on his mind during that time – he would’t share the initial personal reflection, though – just the bullet points about their situation.

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escho ’nabianen
...death walks among the living...

“Some ish went down, some people died… but we were cool!”

Once Evon and Emrich were safely moving along the rooftops, Tainan and Ingvarr made their way along the swiftest route to the councilman’s home. Their footsteps mingled into the noises within the fog and created a chaotic mixture. Walking quickly along walls and speedily crossing streets led the pair to cross in front of the clinic where Tainan worked. As they were passing the doors slammed open and two medics were thrown into the street where two skinny, but strong men opened their mouths in hunger.
Overly long tongues rasped out and claws tore into their victims. Tainan’s co-workers writhed in agony and pleaded for help. Priest and warrior drew weapons and closed the distance.
The cleric’s mace came down upon one beast’s head while the fighter sank his blades into the foul creature. The beasts howled in pain and prepared to respond to the new threat, but the weapons came in again too fast. Blades sank deeply into opposite sides of the neck of one severing its head, while holy light descended from above to end the other’s life…or unlife.
Upon entering the Hall of Physicians, the scene of gore was nauseating- guts, limbs, and blood. The blood ran down the walls and pooled on the floor…
That was when the crowd down the horseshoe-shaped hallway took notice and began moving toward the two. It was soon obvious they were not healthy patients, in fact they were beyond help.
The duo had the mob bottle-necked in a hallway taking down a few each until the damage began to take its toll. Tainan offered up a bold plan, so with few other choices Ingvarr stepped forward to draw their attention to himself. The priest called down divine power and unleashed a torrent of holy radiance that washed outward. The remaining few were easily dispatched.
Locating the apothecary’s cellar wasn’t difficult, it was the hole in the floor that didn’t make sense.
As they continue down the street, onto the Street of Gods, there are at least 50 people flocking to the DC Temple. The Priests are standing outside of them in a defensive circle, protecting them, but shouting to one another about what to do, where to go. Divided on what they will do, 5 are arguing they go to the Slayers’ Brotherhood for protection, while the other 5 are shouting “we need to defend the temple, our home, our deity’s home!” all the while casting divine magic on a host of 5 undead Dogs of War letting loose unearthly howls and growls, 5 Zombies moan and gnash their teeth, and a Spectral Warhorse with a Shadow astride it’s back whispering ghostly utterances in commanding words making clacking sounds, with hollow breathing and appears to be urging it’s host attacks. The 50 commoners are clustered, confused on what to do while 5 other zombies are occupied with eating the flesh of the torn remnants of some other commoners. Tainan unleashes a bolt of Divine fury on the shadow, and in response, it turns and bolts toward them knocking a dog on it’s side and crushing the skull of a zombie to make a pass at Tainan and Ingvarr. Successfully hitting Tainan, he feels strength ebbing from the wound. The rider turns and charges back before launching itself and landing in front of Tainan with the steed squaring off with Ingvarr. Trading blows, they are seem to be getting the best of the undead creatures when five zombies and two undead dogs begin making their way over to a new meal. Just as looks like things are about to go from bad to worse, they fell the shadow and it’s specrtal steed as it howls in rage and dissipates it’s black appearance into the fog as something clinks on the ground from it’s form. Ingvarr and Tainan felt their life dripping into the street as their wounds felt like they were going to over take them, the two dogs cross over and flank them as the five zombies engage. Desparately fighting, they are finally able to fell the dogs as the zombies encircle them going in for the kill when three clerics peel off and come over to give aid. Timely, they step up as Tainain and Ingvarr are victorious. The three clerics stare at them in admiration for what they had just done, as Tainan says “Go in the temple, bar the doors. Keep them safe!” The three Clerics look at one another and see the wisdom in his words, go to take in the wayward commoners. On the ground where the shadow fell, they find a metal necklace that feels warm to the touch as they pick it up. A quick corroboration of knowledges reveals they have heard of things like this before, a Relic of Magic.

At last, they are on the street leading to the House of Thron, moving through the fog they hear the sound of scraping steps on the stone up ahead. Tainan and Ingvarr share a look of pure dread, realizing that this could be their last battle and turn to run down the street past the Spectral Centurion marching its way down the street. After a futile slash at Ingvarr, it attempts to give chase but seems slowed by it’s armor and they are able to lose them as they run up the stairs, unlock the door, slam it, lock it, and bar it. Breathing heavily, they look into the sitting room to see Evon with his feet up on the table drinking something that looks like wine, and Emrich cleaning his gear as the Druid and the Monk look up and say “Took you long enough!” Ingvarr grunts and says “Looks like you two fared better than we did.” Tainan picks up a stone on the bureau and listens to a message left for him on a sending stone from Risia, he and Drokki have gone out to do what they can. Tainan harumphs and says “What will an illusionist be able to do? Must be back up for Uncle Drokki!” They take a moment to gather their things and swig some cool refreshment as banging proceeds on the front door. Evon asks “Did you bring a friend?” as Tainan turns and says “Must be the armored skeleton we ran past in the street. We thought we had lost it.” Emrich offers “Maybe we can circle out a back door and come up from behind?” All in agreement, they come around behind it, but are unable to surprise the spectral Centurion. What began with trepidation, turns to encouragement as the four are able to overwhelm and fell the Centurion as it’s bones and armor clatter to the ground and it’s spirit returns to the afterlife.

Not sure where to go, they seem to agree to go back up the street toward the temple as they hear the light sobbing of a little girl. As they get closer they can make out what appears to be the form of a little girl crying in the middle of the street. As they get close enough, they see the form with the dim light behind it, and can now tell it is not in fact a little girl but a woman as she screams and lunges at Ingvarr. With surprising speed, the four fan out, and flank the lady. Through might, skill, divine and natural magic they fell the River Hag.

Recap

• Tainan, Emrich, Ingvarr, and Evon exit the von Trapp affair into a street filled with fog, screams and sounds of chaos in the distance. They decide they need to make their way to Tainan’s house to gather their things, as Evon and Emrich break to walk the catwalks while Tainan and Ingvarr take the streets to their destination.
• Ingvarr and Tainan snake their way through the streets, as a squad of SB Guards are leading a group of commoners to the SB Stronghold on the hill.
• Ingvarr and Tainain come upon the Fellowship of Physicians the door bursts open and physicians burst through the double doors followed by two pale skinned creatures wearing old and tattered clothing.
• Entering the Hall of Physicians, they find what is left of two attendants, the Herbalist, the attending Physician, and 11 patitents. They are assailed by 20 zombies and the horseshoed hallway of the building is filled with different states of gore buffet, 2 attendants (Brother Donal and Lanna) still alive as well as 1 patient.
• Searching the Apothecary in the cellar uncovers some “grave” findings.
• DC Temple, 50 commoners are huddled on the street in a mob while 10 acolytes, are defending them from Zombies, undead dogs of war while a Shadow astride a spectral warhorse looks on encouraging and several zombies are in mid meal feasting on dead folks in the street.
• Finally, walking down the street toward the Thron house, the two run into a Spectral Centurion. They make a break for it and run past it to the house, barring the door and cleaning up while catching up with Evon and Emrich.
• Coming out the back door, they attempt to surprise the Spectral Centurion, Ingvarr & Tainan fight the Centurion.
• Further back down the street, they come upon what appears to be a little girl crying in the street.

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