The Legacy of Heroes

The Legacy of Heroes - Epilogue

Work in progress

Slowly, the mysterious mists parted and the Legacy found themselves transported across a realm, home in Greyhawk again after so many months. Though they were relieved to have returned, it was far from a joyous occasion. The still bodies of Barth Steelshaper and Cerulean Black A.K.A. Grum were a stern reminder of the price they had paid to defeat the ancient enemy, K’rzzt whose spirit now lay trapped within an enchanted phylactery, in eternal battle with the Legacy’s mentor Zemilay Lyks. Rather than celebrating the defeat of the enemy who had vexed both them and their parents, the members of the Legacy offered each other muted congratulations and warm regards before departing, ready to attend to duties left neglected in their absence. Lyssa mustered what feelings she could, still stunned from what had just transpired. They barely had time to breathe before the swirling haze took them away, the laudations of the victorious armies naming their saviors, “Three cheers for the Heroes of the Mists..hu, hu, hurrah!”

Tom wasted no time in ushering the body of his brother to the Thieves Guild, Grum was owed favors by powerful men and the bard was able to secure an audience with guildleader, Thurman Dietrien. The master thief seemed willing to front the expense to have his former apprentice raised but would demand certain favors of Tom. The bard considered his proposal, then offered to sing the tale of his brother’s sacrifice; in order that Thurman better understand what had transpired in Kellagha. Expertly, the silver fingers of Fil’ka’nah swept across Tom’s drum, creating a deep, rumbling beat that seemed impossible from an instrument of its size. The bard’s rich, baritone voice painted the picture of battlefields, thronged with man and beast, in a distant and hidden realm; the fingers’ charms working all the while. Dietrien, confident that his half elven blood protected him from such simple magicks, was completely unaware that he had been ensorcelled by Tom’s florid retelling of the final clash. At the conclusion of the bard’s epic aria it was decided, Grum would be ushered to the church of Istus to be restored; no boon required.

View
Come Full Circle

WORK IN PROGRESS

View
Unearthed

WORK IN PROGRESS…

The earth opened and from it swirled a vortex of earth, rock, and grass. As the dirt settled, the party from Greyhawk stood together, fronted by the Geomancer, Laterius. In the distance was the kingdom of Yggsburgh, surrounded by channels of water and walled from the rest of the Kellaghan wilderness.

The peculiarly well-dressed Geomancer turned to Vetnik and revealed in his hand a small stone medallion with strange crystallized patterns covering its surface.
“When the march on Morgoth begins, knock this stone against the earth three times and I shall appear.”
“Thank you, stranger,” Vetnik said, taking the stone with a gracious warrior’s bow. Laterius nodded his head respectfully before, in an instant, his body burst into a tall column of dirt that was just as quickly carried off by a gentle afternoon breeze.

The path to Yggsburgh was narrow and quiet, with a small outpost set up to assist travelers to the city. It was Abigail who took note of the last carriages into town, and noting their collective exhaustion, took it upon herself to book it for the team. The party split in two, with Vetnik, Moira, and the Twins in one carriage. Once alone, Moira kept up a brave face in front of the others and let the hope for her brother’s life keep her calm. In the other carriage, Abigail joined both Lyssa and Trisoll – as well as an apathetic Grunt. She revealed that her co-operatives would be waiting at her childhood home along with her mother. The others were typically mum and withdrawn, but Lyssa showed a curious (though almost fleeting) interest in Abigail’s history. She revealed that her mother was a patient woman, who dealt with life as a single mother the best she could, despite all of her daughter’s efforts to fight it. Abigail continued to reminisce and told the others of her own troubled past which began as an overly aggressive and belligerent young girl whose tendencies towards hotheaded violence sent her on an even more destructive path.
“How destructive?” Lyssa inquired.
“I sold myself with those who dwelled in the city’s underbelly, taking contracts. At first, I was just strongarming and shaking down where I could. It didn’t take long for my employers to exploit my strength, and eventually I was taking lives for the highest bidder. It was only thanks to the pleading of my mother and finding the light of my life, Maja, that I found a better way.”
Underwhelmed, Lyssa replied. “That was it? Hmph.”

The party entered into Yggsburgh with ease, and Abigail quickly led them through her old stomping grounds towards her home. Occasionally, she pointed out different smiths and craftsmen who might be able to aid them while they gathered themselves before going into battle. It wasn’t long before they made it to Abigail’s home, which was located in a cluster of apartment buildings and relatively windowless. As she opened the door, the apartment seemed noticeably quiet. Especially given that not only her mother, but also her trusted companions were to be waiting for their arrival. The party gathered together in the long, dim corridor leading towards the center parlor of her home, when suddenly, a series of magic mouths began to burst open along the walls. Each of them seemed to possess a different yet familiar voice but all of them carried with it the same message: terror. The walls nonsensically cried out for mercy, screaming and hollering as if the walls themselves were enduring unimaginable brutal acts. Abigail called out to her friends and her mother. “Where are you? I’m here, it’s Abigail! Where—“

As she sprinted past the shrieking mouths, she stopped at the end and saw the shimmering silhouette of two figures. Both were well known to her. The first was the Drow himself, Kr’zzt, his hooded cloak and blackened, web-patterned armor coated in fresh blood. In front of him, on her knees, was Abigail’s mother, her spine rigid and straight as he cupped her jaw in one hand and held an ornate dagger against her throat with the other.
“Mother!”
The projection began to speak and as it did, the arcane bodies glicthed and fickered.
“This is no longer a warning. You will not stand against us, but fall beneath us. I have already taken your men.”
Abigail’s stern demeanor shattered before the others. She feebly pleaded with the Drow to unhand her, all while the screams of her companions echoed throughout the home.
The phantasm was a recording, and she knew deep down that her pleas would be in vain. Kr’zzt continued, “I have taken your mother. It is only a matter of time before I take you as well.”
Abigail helplessly watched as Kr’zzt took the dagger across her mother’s wiry neck. Her body convulsed as she watched the crimson seep from the neck wound her mother now struggled to reach for. Abigail scrambled towards the parlor, where the projection of her mother laid chest down on the floor, gripping at its throat. “No, no, no, no, no!”
Kr’zzt raised his dagger and pointed it at the party and continued. “And let this serve as a warning for not only you, but your sister, the witch, as well. Your mother will meet a similar fate should any of you continue!”
The phantasm vanished in a blink of cyan energy, leaving Abigail trembling on the floor. She slowly turned her head round to see Lyssa now at the front of the party, her eyes seething with wild magic.

Without missing a beat, the four closed doors surrounding the parlor burst open and each emptied with a large figure shrouded in black robes and hoods. In their wrapped hands, they charged with glass short swords. Lyssa lined up a trio of them and focused all her rage on a single spell. The rage seemed to cloud her head too much, and to those around her, nothing seemed to happen. That is, until, the first assassin rushed the party and before reaching them, seemed to crash full speed into some unseen barrier. So hard, in fact, that he fell prone to the ground. Just as the assassin fell, Grum fired an arrow at the assassins and watched as the arrow bounced off the invisible barrier surrounding them. As the arrow collided though, he noticed the slight flicker of red wild magic. Thom stood back and began to drum for the party as Grunt took up Hank and fired off a test arrow into whatever kept the two warring parties at bay. The white energy of the arrow crashed against the barrier and seemed to be consumed by the brief flash of red chaos magic before disappearing.
“No!” Lyssa hissed before creating a small arcane rift around her, which put her behind the assassins on the other side of what she could see: a wild wall of force. The other members of the party looked around but could do little, as they remained trapped in the hall. With no other escape option, Vetnik and Grum began to kick at the thin wooden walls surrounding them with hopes of creating a tunnel into the parlor. Meanwhile, Lyssa began her face-off against the masked creatures, whose bulky bodies seemed to possess a strange gait that was hard to discern. Before they could attack, Lyssa raised her hand and released a line of roaring fire that coated the creatures, but wasn’t enough to fell them.

+++++++++++++

The party broke through the walls and managed to enter the house through the walls, slaying the assassins. They were revealed to be dark Geldan, agents of Kr’zzt.

Lyssa finally reveals after pressure from Abigail that she is in fact her half-sister, and promises that she will do everything in her power to avenge her mother.

The party splits in two. Lyssa stays behind at Abigail’s home where use cloaks herself from detection and uses the Eye of Modius in an attempt to contact their father. She’s unable to receive an answer but does receive a boon (teleport without error spell), and leaves Modius a message, “You owe the both of us now.”

Meanwhile, Trisoll used his speak with dead ability to tap into the mind of the slain Dark Geldan. While most answers were vague, he did glean that the best way into the Kr’zzt’s encampment was from beneath the black ice of Morgoth.

The rest of the party visited the town’s mayor, a half orc who granted them access to their potioners and weaponsmiths, as well as promised them her armies to aid in battle. They pulled their funds together and received the following items:

Oil of High Conquering (+2 to THAC0 to applied weapon) 3600gp
Potion of Black Dragon Breath 2800gp
Oil of Carnation (cures all non-magical diseases, immune to all forms of disease for 24 hrs) 900gp
Portion of Storm Giant Strength 2800gp
Liquid of Metal Fatigue (4 ap, causes metal to rust in 1d4 rounds, save v disintegration) 2400gp

The party regrouped and Vetnik contacted Laterius in order to transport.

+++++++++++++

On the outskirts of the barren, black wastes known as Morgoth, the party stood together with Laterius once more. Cresting over the icy horizon, plumes of dark smoke cut through the otherwise dull cement sky. The landscape was dismal and monochrome, only interrupted by briefs glimpses of blood red banners bearing the symbol of the Circle of Bones. Others were charcoal and bore a single X on them while the last few were more ornate in nature, built from the silken bulk of the giant spider. Those shredded banners flew highest and flapped in the wind, their web strands creating an almost specter-like effect over the battlefield. There was no music, only the sound of the various evils moving across thick black ice. Evils of all shape, size, and nature: from the combined armies of the Sun and Moon Elves; the orcs, ogres and giants wielding crude and massive weapons; the giant spiders and druegar; and finally, flanking the hordes, two dragons. More massive than any creature the party had ever come across in their adventures. One was slick and black, like a living shadow, while the other was more familiar to them. It was a massive blue dragon, whose throat seamed to glow from within with searing electricity.

Vetnik and Moira took each other’s hand for one last time before drawing their weapons. They turned to each other and for a moment, took in every last detail of each other’s face. Grum and Thom stretched their limbs, readied their weapons, and in a feat of twinness, cocked their heads at the same time. As Grunt began to gather the arcane energy used to wield Hank, Trisoll turned to Lyssa with a mix of helplessness and excitement.
“This is it!” Trisoll said, his adrenaline going and his breath heavy. “Everyone, listen, if we don’t make it back together, I just want you guys to know—“
“Save it,” Lyssa interrupted as she drew a small glass orb from her satchel. Inside the bottle, the dusty, cloudy blue liquid occasionally seemed to flicker with small bursts of light. She downed the strange potion and tossed the bottle over her shoulder. Her once glowing red eyes suddenly changed to electric blue. “Just save me that Blue Dragon.”

View
Meanwhile...

   Zemilay Lyks rose from his bed, "They're on their own now", he thought. The aged druid had no intention of staying on the wayside during the children's sojourn however and after donning a delicate pair of reading glasses, prepared a list of contacts he would intend to approach in his quest to aid the Legacy. As he made his way downstairs, a complex array of delicious odors overtook his senses. George had stepped back the intricacy of his meals after his body began to rapidly age without his deceased lover's magicks to support him, so surely, someone else had to be in his kitchen. To his surprise however, the grand and sumptuous feast that lay waiting for him had in fact been concocted by his faithful manservant. "Good morning sir, it's good to see you", George declared with a rasp to his voice that spoke to his present physical condition. Zemilay returned the greeting and commented glowingly on the lavish meal that lay before him. "With the children gone, I thought it might be nice to do something special for you..", George spoke before his works became broken by a fit of coughing. "Sit down George", the druid demanded. "No,no, no, the tea is still on the stove", George said irritably as he shuffled towards the kitchen, "Don't make me fight you". The words were spoken with an upward curl to his lip, the smile betraying his jest. He returned shortly clasping the expertly engraved teapot that Zemilay's absent wife, Xanti, had purchased for their fifth wedding anniversary. "Where is Burbis?, inquired the servant. "He'll be here in a moment, just please sit down", the druid asked pleadingly. George grunted and groaned as he slowly shifted down into his seat. After taking a moment to fix a cup of tea, George asked "How are you doing with them gone?" "It's been difficult but it has also made me realize how much I need to do." the druid replied. "To that end, I'm going to be bringing in someone to help around the house." "No, no, no, we've had this discussion before", retorted George. "Absolutely not". Zemilay interrupted him, "George, you are my longest friend here are you not, and you know how much I care about you, you are my family and you need to let me take care of you as you have taken care of me for so many years." The housekeep seemed incensed, "Sir, it is my place to say when I'm no longer able, this is my charge." "How would you like it if the Grand Druid came to you and told you it was time to quit?" "We'll have someone take your place and you just sit back and watch as they perform your duties", George intoned as a surrogate for the Great Druid. Zemilay considered this for a moment. "I would laugh and say that I had become quite the senile old man", he replied. "I am not senile", George protested. "I know this", the druid replied, "you are a valuable ally and I still need you here." "This person would take just a small fragment of your duties." After considering this for a moment, George replied, "I would like to meet this person first." Zemilay assented, saying that he would of course allow his request. "I'm sorry to be so difficult in my old age", the servant shifted his gaze away from his master, "I know I haven't been the same since Mellsandre has been gone." The mention of George's slain lover let Lyks know that the wound still ran deep. The aged druid, feeling responsible for her untimely death, whispered, "I'm sorry, it was my fault." "It's not. I've never blamed you, sir", George said in reply. Before he could continue, Zemilay interrupted, "All of this is my fault and it's up to me to make it right." "Fate is fate", retorted George., "I follow Lady Istus, I believe that to be true." Lyks seemed surprised, "George, you've never spoken of your religion before", he noticed. "Ah", George snorted, "religion and politics are best left from the dinner table sir." "I am an employee, my beliefs are of no importance, only my ability to serve matters." Zemilay took issue with that and said gently, "George, you are my family, my friend and my ally" He took a pause before continuing, "Do you remember the old days, when everyone was here, Drayden and the others?" "You made this house a home and that is why your name is upon it." George seemed bowled over by the sentiment, "I thank you sir" He paused a moment before exclaiming, "It does seem empty these days doesn't it?"

 

   The thought hung in the air for a moment before the silence was broken by bounding footsteps coming down the stairs. Burbis Baggleton hurriedly made his way down the winding staircase, "Heyguyswhat'supwhydoeseveronelooksosad?" he asked. "Lookatallthisfoodhowcouldanyonebesosadwithallthisfoodhere?, the gnome seemed overwhelmed by the display. "WowGeorgethisisalotbetterthanitsbeen…" Suddenly, Lyks cuts off his companion, "Don't say that Burbis, this is a wonderful display and I'm very appreciative of all the work that George put into this." After scratching his eyebrow ever so briefly, Burbis replied, "Noit'snotthatIdontappreciateitit'sjustsomuchitslikewaytoomuch." A wry smile crept upon the face of the now feeble manservant, "Help yourself Master Burbis", he instructed as he drew out the gnome's undersized chair. The presence of such unbound enthusiasm served quite well to lighten the mood and as the little man chattered on, the two masters of the house finally found the will to relax. George Pimpleton took a moment before speaking to Zemilay in a low tone, "Thank you Master Lyks, if I could just meet with the candidate first?" "You're welcome George and of course," the druid replied. The three men then settled down at the table and made their best work of the expansive feast, drinking well into the evening.

 

   Some days later, Zemilay sought out another on his list of potential allies, the husband of his lost and most treasured companion and father to Moira and Barth, the cavalier Vortis. Finding himself at the retired knight's door, he rapped upon it with leather clad knuckles. "Go away!" came the sharp reply from inside. Sensing this would be his greeting, the druid spoke loudly, "It's Zemilay." Some rumbling was heard from behind the door before it swung open, "Zemilay, good to see you." The cavalier had seen better days. Since his retirement from the city guard's training facility, he seemed diminished, even purposeless. This dark gloom was pushed away for a moment however as he greeted his old friend. Lyks passed a bottle of wine to the old soldier, which was received with appreciation. "I could use this, my knees aren't what they used to be." Vortis groaned as he settled into his chair and Lyks, sensing an opportunity, suggested that perhaps his friend could use some help around the house. This was, of course, waved off with a scoff. "I prefer the solitude and I need to stay busy," he said before his countenance softened, "I can't be allowed time to get lost in my own thoughts, it's too painful." The druid considered this, "You need a hobby to keep yourself busy," he implored. "I have a hobby, I still sharpen my swords and practice what forms I'm able," Vortis retorted. After Zemilay observed that it was obvious that he kept up with his martial studies, the cavalier said with a snort, "This tunic hides much my friend, old age is creeping up on me faster than I'd like to admit but..", he paused and looked skyward, "if it means I get to see my dear husband again, so be it." Vortis then turned to Lyks with a stern look upon his face, making direct eye contact, he swore, "I'll tell you what though, this old goat isn't going anywhere until I see my son and daughter come home…and your son…and the sons and daughter of our friends." A discussion of Vortis' departed husband then dominated the room, with both men regretting not doing more to dissuade Drayden from his quixotic quest to find and save the corrupted son of the two warriors. Turning to the plight of the children, Zemilay let his plans to find and aid the children be known. The cavalier seemed incensed by the idea, insisting that they had sent the children on the task because they found them capable. Lyks insisted that the blame for the entire situation was his and that had Kr'zzt been properly stopped, he could have his family back instead of having his lovely wife, Xanti, living in exile while his son was off in a strange land to confront an enemy, their enemy, who has only grown more powerful in his torpor. Moved by his friend's emotional plea, the warrior stood from his chair and made way to his children's quarters, gathering mementos of importance to the twins and in a surprise gesture, granted to Zemilay the first sword of their departed companion, a blade forged by the Steelshaper patriarch long before he was brutally murdered by the eternal enemy, K'rzzt. "I want you to find someone worthy to wield this blade," Vortis asked of his friend. Zemilay balked at the idea of taking such a treasured memory but the retired soldier insisted that Drayden would have wanted it in the hands of a capable warrior. Lyks accepted the gift before apologizing for being a foolish old man. "There's nothing but foolish old men in the world." replied the cavalier. "We think we can be ourselves forever…" The thought hung in the air for a moment before the druid spoke, "Forever is never long enough." The two shared a brief warriors embrace before Zemilay asked of Vortis an oath swearing that if he did not come back from his sojourn, that the cavalier would watch over his son, Trisoll. Vortis replied that if they did this right, the whole Lyks family would stand reunited. With a crooked smile upon his face, Zemilay Lyks opened the door and stepped out into the night.

 

   A fortnight passed before Lyks sought out the next of his past companions, the mechanical man imbued with a soul of warmth and joy, Tic-Toc Individual at his place of employment, the cabaret belonging to Lady Silhouette, Friendly Strangers. In the daytime Friendly Strangers was filled mostly with tourists, not the hard drinking, boisterously rejoicing locals who populated the place at night. Tic-Toc was just finishing up introducing the last act of the night, a jester named Obligon, when he spied his friend enter the room from the back. Suddenly, the mechanical man's introduction grew more bold and he began to punctuate his sentences with flourishes from his twin rapiers. The visitors to Greyhawk ooohed and ahhhed with each thrust of the blade and Tic-Toc, ever the consummate professional, whipped the audience into a veritable frenzy. After sufficiently stoking the viewers' interests, he exited the stage with a full somersault forward flip before making his way to the back of the room. The two old friends greeted each other warmly, a firm embrace enveloping them both. "You're just as nimble and dexterous as you were when I was a young man", the druid volunteered. Tic-toc's wondrous and robotic visage, infused with true human feeling, smiled warmly before quipping, "Well, I do have the benefit of these mechanical limbs." Lyks then revealed his reason for visiting: the eternal enemy had returned. A look of fear washed over Tic-Toc's golden face, "The last time we faced him….I…died." Zemilay comforted his friend, reminding Tic of the failsafe within him that would not allow Kr'zzt to possess him again and that the aging ranger was gathering other friends and allies in his quest to bring the drow sorcerer to justice. Tic-Toc considered his friend's proposal before softly speaking, "I had Drayden tell me what happened, you know?" He paused for a moment before continuing, "Kr'zzt is a monster." The druid reassured the man he helped rescue from a dungeon in a different realm and welcomed Tic's forceful pledge of assistance. Tic-Toc then looked hurriedly at the stage and quickly excused himself before bolting to the front of the theater. He took to the boards and launched into his closing speech, punctuated as always with a call for glasses to be raised to Modius, Reizhodd, Ix, Lyks, Jor-Mak, Drayden, Vortis, Isrygrad, Dablova, and Madryk along with a wish to deliver the soul of Ba’th Moara to Cortox upon her passing. Lyks bowed his head in respect to all before making his way into the warm afternoon sun. 

 

   Some time later, Zemilay made another important visitation. The Church of Cortox were to play an important role in helping him achieve his aims and in order to facilitate this, a visit to the present head of the church, Gemmen, was next on his list. Lyks found himself greeted by a one legged woman with short cropped blond hair. After introducing himself, he noticed that the young woman began to stammer. "There, there girl. I'm just an old man." he said. He was used to this around the church, his association with the reconstitution of their god generally brought awed looks. "No, no sir", the girl interrupted. "Are you the father of Trisoll Lyks?" her eyes began to well with tears. "Yes, you know my boy?" Lyks asked. The girl then tells Zemilay a tale of heroism. Apparently his son and his companions saved this young woman and her friend from certain death. She is Aulis Grainkeeper and when Trisoll and the other children came upon her she was quite literally being eaten by an ogre. She lost her leg to the monster's hunger but she owed her life, and the life of her friend, to the ranger's son. Sobbing, she was embraced by the old druid until she regained her poise. Aulis then began escorting Lyks to Gemmen's chamber. Their progress was halted by the presence of a dark haired halfling woman however. Aulis called out to her, "Geria! This is Zemilay Lyks…father of Trisoll Lyks!" The halfling ran up to the elder ranger. "Is it true, is it true? Are you his father?" Zemilay replied that yes, he was in fact Trisoll's father. "You should be so proud of your son, he saved my and Aulis' lives." Geria exclaimed. She looked down at her tiny feet before concluding, "We were prisoners." Lyks shook her hand and thanked her for the kind words while Aulis left to see if Gemmen was available. The one legged priestess returned shortly and invited Zemilay to continue on to the head priest's chamber. Lyks entered the grand chamber and planetarium to find Gemmen seated at his desk. The priest's colossal observation glass rotated slowly behind him, scanning deepspace for threats and anomalies. Gemmen stood as the druid entered the room, "Greetings Zemilay Lyks, it is good to see you, though I fear your presence portends something." The two spoke of Trisoll and the other children's actions and how they had brought several converts to the church, Moira's dilemma of faith, and Gemmen's attendant, Norrin. Norrin was barely recognizable to Zemilay for the last time he had seen him, Norrin was a mere lad. A lad who happened to have brought home the sword Starshine, the blade of his fallen friend and companion Drayden Steelshaper. The boy was now a man, he stood tall in his well shined plate armor but spared not a second to bow to Lyks as he stepped into the chamber. Zemilay assured the paladin that such formalities were unnecessary despite Norrin's need to show reverence. Lyks again thanked Norrin for his tenacity as a boy while the two recounted Drayden's bravery and sacrifice. The druid then returned his attention to the head priest of the Church of Cortox and explained his reason for visiting. Gemmen seemed skeptical as Kr'zzt hadn't been heard from in quite some time and was reported to be destroyed. The aged ranger explains that though the enemy's body has been incinerated, his spirit has escaped and found new form elsewhere. He explains that Kr'zzt lays in wait for the church's most decorated paladin Moira, the acolytes that accompany her, and the other children of the Champions of the Stars. Very deliberately, he appeals to the elder cleric, saying that the church has the best way to transport a number of men to the other side of the world. When Gemmen once again appears doubtful, Zemilay asks him to have his acolytes commune with Cortox before he makes a final decision. The sovereign curate tells the druid that there is some madness in what he speaks and that if it were anyone but he asking, he would refuse the request but he assents to an augury before passing final judgement. Gemmen assures Zemilay a reply within a fortnight. Before departing, Lyks bestows upon the church a fragment of the robe of Reizhodd as well as similar swatch of clothing formerly belonging to the other of the church's minor powers, Modius. The head priest is stunned by the gifts and assures Zemilay that barring a straight no from the spiritual inquiry, an airship will be his to use in his endeavor. Norrin, hands shaking, takes the holy relics to be properly interred as Gemmen and Zemilay conclude their business. Satisfied that he will have the outcome he desires, Lyks takes his leave from the church. Fourteen days later, his answer arrives. Cortox's blessing has been received.

 

   A quick diversion to the bazaar with Burbis proves fruitful in two ways. The pair first visit Malvar's potions where Burbis attempts to open negotiations with the notoriously prickly owner. After rebuffing the chattering gnome, Malvar turns his attentions to Zemilay. A number of common and uncommon potions are purchased but an inquiry about special stock reveals two items that Lyks immediately purchases; a potion of regeneration and a potion of spelljamming. Later on the pair stop at the table of Galbeth Goldstacker, the "mad gnome" of the bazaar. Though Galbeth has a number of items, only one immediately appeals to the druid, a ring that fires bolts of magical energy. A price is haggled out and paid in full. On the way out Burbis remarks to Zemilay, "I don't like that guy, there's something strange for a gnome about him." "He doesn't seem happy." Lyks interjected, "Maybe he had a bad life?" Burbis brushed off the suggestion, shaking his head. "Gnomes have great lives!" he boasted. Zemilay narrowed his eyes and furrowed his brow slightly. "Maybe he's not a gnome at all?" he queried. Burbis pondered the thought for a moment before looking up at the druid wide eyed. "Whoaaaa….you just blew my mind boss." he answered in a puzzled and raspy tone. Satisfied with himself, Lyks stood up straight, smirked a little, and carried on his way.

 

   Several days later Lyks sought to acquire the assistance of the Mage's Guild, presently fronted by Lyssa's tutor, Ebeviria Yzmari but found that the guild was entertaining no visitors. He left a note asking for an audience with her and went about to more important business. Back at home, Zemilay prepared his rituals most carefully. If he were to successfully contact his ascended friends, Reizhodd, Modius and Jor-Mak, he would need to make sure that no detail went overlooked. He decided that Modius would be his first attempt and using a small personal possession of the wizard's as an anchor, reached out into the void with his mind. The attempt proved fruitless however and Lyks turned his attention towards his other lost companion, the priest Reizhodd. Again he finds himself thwarted by fate and circumstance, the appeal fails. Vowing that his last contact not fail, the druid quickly filters through his items collected from his past as an adventurer and pulls out a yak's horn, clipped at the end and polished. Lyks takes off the ornate cap at the top of the horn and a yellowed parchment slides out, a scroll of plane shift, perfect for taking Zemilay to where he thinks he has the best chance of contact with the celestial high ogre, the Astral Plane. Lyks carefully intones the spell and finds his spirit slipping away from his material form while the world fades away, leaving him in a misty and immaterial realm. No stranger to the Astral Plane, Zemilay begins his search by casting a spell of thought broadcast. Within a few minutes a stirring contact is felt. "Lyks?" asks the formless voice. In the blink of a hummingbird's eye he is there, Jor-Mak, the high ogre demi god son of Cortox. After a tearful and boisterous reunion, Zemilay spares no time in bringing up his need for contacting him. He assumes that the demi god knows the situation by means of mind reading but Jor-Mak informs him that he would never violate his thoughts without permission. That permission is granted and Jor-Mak furrows his brow and knows in an instant. "He has returned." the ogre thinks. Lyks turned to his friend, "Will you help me?" "He needs to be defeated and I feel as though I'm not powerful enough anymore." It seemed a rare admission of weakness from the druid and Jor-Mak sought to comfort him. "I do not sense him on the astral plane." he thought. Zemilay looked frustrated, "He's not here, he's reconstituted himself elsewhere." Before he could finish his thought, Jor-Mak took his hand and the pair moved at the speed of thought away from the astral plane before finally settling on lush, green hills. The druid questioned what had just transpired and Jor-Mak explains that some natural predators of the plane had begun stalking them and that they now find themselves in the relative safety of the Elysian Fields, one of the many extra planar resting places for the hallowed dead. "Given your upbringing, I thought this might comfort you." Jor-Mak thinks before continuing, "And we will face no threats here." Zemilay then allows the demi god to pry further into his mind, revealing Kr'zzt's gambit when the drow perished. Retreating through the astral plane to the safety of a magic jar had saved Kr'zzt's hide the first time but Jor-Mak vows it will not happen a second time. He tells Lyks that he can prevent Kr'zzt's spirit from entering the plane but will also need to expend his strength to prevent the dark elf from gating in any further assistance and therefore, would have to concentrate his power fully in that way, preventing any further support. He warns Zemilay that Kr'zzt's soul would be unbound and reminds him of what happened when Tic-Toc's mechanical form found itself housing the drow's wretched spirit. Lyks replies that he is aware of the risk and is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice and will attempt to bind Kr'zzt to himself. Jor-Mak rejects this notion but the withered ranger insists it is his place to make it right and that the fault lies in his failures. The demi god places his hand upon his friend's head and in a moment Lyks knows it is not truly his fault that Kr'zzt exists to menace the children. He knows this yes, but he chooses to believe otherwise.

 

   After some mutual soul searching, Jor-Mak reaffirms his commitment to the cause and waxes nostalgic for the "old days of Greyhawk" and the Widow Rohl and how she had taught him the virtue of patience. Zemilay tells his friend that he visits the Widow's grave regularly and that he thinks of him often as well. The two share a tender moment and embrace. "You're a good man Zemilay Lyks, let me take you home." Jor-Mak thinks softly as the two are once again transported instantaneously, this time to Greyhawk. The bustle of the street came as a shock coming from the peace of Elysium and Jor-Mak psychically remarked, "Greyhawk, I haven't seen you since I left, nothing has changed and yet much has changed." The druid agreed, speaking of George's rapid aging and his wife, Xanti's situation, finding herself exiled and unreachable in order to protect her from Kr'zzt's agents. Jor-Mak infoms Zemilay that he can see in his mind's eye that she is safe. Joy wells up in the old half-elf's eyes and he asks of his friend, "Will you tell her I love her?" The demi god smiles and offers outstretched arms, "Take my hands and tell her yourself." Lyks's eyes fill with tears and he begs his friend not to do this, that she's at too much risk if they see each other. The high ogre's golden eyes open wide as he looks upon his friend, "I am more powerful than Kr'zzt," he thought with absolute confidence, "Now take my hand." The pair are hurtled through the astral plane before their astral projections settle upon a simple farmhouse hidden away in a lost grove of trees. The contact is instant. "Z..Zemilay is, is that you?" The emotion is too much to bear for the couple and the tears come easily. "How is this happening?" wonders Xanti. Her husband swells with affection when he replies that Jor-Mak is making this possible while she remarks upon his ever giving soul. Xanti then asks about their son and with deserved pride, he tells her what a good man and great hero he's become and recounts the tale of Aulis and Geria. "We did well, didn't we?" the aging but still beautiful fortuneteller mused. Lyks assured his wife that they would soon be together again and that this memory would be most treasured until the pair were reunited. Xanti tells Zemilay that her every dream will be filled with thoughts of him and her family made whole once more. The two share a spectral kiss before the druid feels himself pulled away to Greyhawk once more. Lyks embraces the half ogre as Jor-Mak tells him that he hopes that the experience eased his mind. The old ranger nods, a widening smile upon his face. Jor-Mak then thinks to Zemilay that he must go but that he will leave himself receptive to contact and to lay his plans well. Thanks are given and the demi-god departs through the astral plane leaving Lyks as happy as he's been in quite some time, a quiet peace in his mind.

 

   Weeks later, a correspondence that the druid sent to the frozen north is finally answered. A peaceful afternoon is broken by a triplet of heavy thuds upon the door of pimpleton manor and Zemilay, suspecting the identity of the visitor, rushed to the door with as much quickness his old bones could muster. "Isrygrad!", the ranger called out. "I wasn't sure you would come." His former companion had bulked up over the years, the throne of Granrud keeping him from the rigors of adventuring but he still cast an impressive and regal silhouette. Once the house has been cleared for entry by King Talthraudii's royal guard, the Queen Teela makes her entrance. As lovely as the day she met the future king, it was hard to believe she had a son as old as Zemilay's own. "Greetings m'lady", Lyks bowed as he addressed her. The ravishing brunette bid him to stand, kissed his cheek gently and excused herself from the room so that the men could get down to what could only be serious business. Before that could happen however, the barbarian king clapped his hands and servants came pouring into the room bearing gifts, exotic fruits, cheeses and meats. The smell of foreign foods attracted the attention of George Pimpleton who made his way from his bedchambers to pay reverence to the quiet man who had become a sovereign. Isrygrad waved off the attempts at protocol and told the manservant how much he missed his cooking and that despite the many skilled cooks the king had at his disposal, they could never get the spices quite right. Once settled, the frost king and the druid of Greyhawk discussed the childrens' situation and what Zemilay intended to do to help them. Within the structure of the conversation Isrygrad asks without asking, his son Vetnik, is he on the path to heroism? Lyks replies that he is and that the king should be proud. The lord of the frozen wastes hesitates for a moment just as his lovely bride re-enters the room. "Just tell him you miss your son, don't be so cold," the former trainer of great cats implored. Despite the longing inside him, the monarch could not bring himself to speak the words aloud but instead nodded with a low head. Lifting his gaze, the lord turned the topic of conversation first to Zemilay's son and then to days of their adventuring past. Feeling the opportunity to genuinely relax, Isrygrad's now soft fingers sought the crown from his head and cast it upon the table. "I miss the days of adventuring, so simple, so satisfying," the king said longingly. "I am constantly settling my people's petty squabbles and insignificant problems…it is tiring friend." He seemed convincingly exhausted by the duties of his stature, Isrygrad had always been a humble man and he wore his authority uneasily. Suddenly the king shrugged off such thoughts and clapped his hands one more. "Wolf's blood wine!" he exclaimed as servants brought in several large silver jugs, ornate from lip to bottom, dire wolves adorning every side. Beckoning George from the kitchen, Isrygrad insists that he join them in drink. George takes note of the king's knowledge of his love of the grape and gladly joins them for a chalice of Bacchus' favorite libation. Noticing that one house guest is missing from the table, the monarch asks if the gnome, Burbis, is in his quarters. When Zemilay confirms this, Isrygrad suggests that perhaps that is for the best and the trio commence to indulge. Lyks feels his blood awaken as he consumes the sticky red concoction as his visitor raises his glass. "To two fine warriors," the toast rang out. The butler chuckled softly before answering dryly, "I only ever fought a battle with the bottle sir."

 

   After enjoying several glasses of the nordic inebriant, the druid asked his long time friend if he would like to suit up for one last adventure. The king straightened up and retrieved his crown from the table, the ornate band finding its perch one more. "My duties are such that I cannot afford to leave for too long." he almost sighed as he said it, "This sojourn was all I could afford at this tumultous time." Isrygrad's eyes searched the room seeking a servant. Finding one's gaze, he snapped his fingers and within moments a small locked case was brought into the room. Producing a small gem encrusted key, the lord opened the coffer to reveal several bottles of powder. "These dusts represent the advancements of my people, you will find them well improved." the monarch beamed with pride as he spoke. Lyks accepted them with absolute gratitude and began to ruminate on the task that lay before him. Isrygrad would have none of this and demanded that since they had little time face to face, that it should be used for celebration. At first Zemilay tried to beggar off from the idea of drinking to unconciousness but as Isrygrad helpfully reminded him, the former barbarian was now royalty and his requests were not to be refused. "You're not the king of Greyhawk." Lyks protested. Squinting at his friend, Isrygrad could barely contain his joy as he retorted, "Oh yeah?…Well, I'm the king of you!…now drink up." The wolf's blood wine proves to be a potent potable and both the aged ranger and the frost king slump to the table before too long, leaving George Pimpleton to chuckle softly to himself as he drank on well into the night.

 

   Nursing a significant hangover in the morning, Lyks finds that the king, queen, and his entourage have departed in the earliest part of the morn. He is saddened at first but George, who seems quite unfazed from the previous evening, suggests that perhaps Isrygrad finds goodbyes difficult. Zemilay nods in agreement while perusing the generous gift he was given. "Thank you dear friend" he thinks as the throbbing in his head thankfully, finally begins to subside.

 

   It was the third Freeday of Brewfest when death finally visited Pimpleton Manor. It started out like any other day; Zemilay and George preferred to have breakfast together, before Burbis got up. It was more for the peace and quiet in the dawn rather than any dislike of the gnome. George would spend the bulk of his day at the market, his procurement list just a little longer than usual. Back at the manor, Lyks pored over maps and letters of contact to the nation of Furyondy, the rangers of the Vevse Forest and commanders in the Shield Lands. He was determined to call in old favors. Hell, he had to. There was too much at stake. Come the evening, the mansion's namesake had prepared a meal most sumptuous. "Master Burbis has been sent on a task that should take him most of the evening sir", George offered. Lyks wondered aloud what marked the occasion and his servant brushed off any special significance while urging him to sit and eat. A fine bottle of fey wine sat breathing at the end of the table. "I much prefer the subtlety in an elven wine over that barbarian lava," George proclaimed. Zemilay nodded in agreement, remembering the aftermath of King Talthraudii's visit. The meal was magnificent, the wine flowed freely, and the old companions found themselves at no loss for words. Tales of triumph, defeat, and love dominated the conversation. Speaking of his murdered lover, George opined, "I know she could be unpleasant sometimes but where you saw arrogance, I saw strength…where you saw brashness, I saw passion," He then turned his thoughts towards Zemilay's absent wife and the ultimate gift she gave him, his son Trisoll." Lyks appreciated the kind words and once again reminded his manservant that he was much more than that, he was also family.

 

   A sip of tea, a coughing fit, blood on a napkin. Lyks knew it was coming yet it seemed so sudden. His faithful manservant suddenly looked frail, gazed up at him with yellowed eyes and spoke with a soft voice, "It's time sir." Zemilay mustered the strength to carry George up the stairs to his bedchamber and laid him upon his bed. After making his old companion comfortable, the druid pulled up a chair next to the bed and took his friend's hand. "It's truly been a pleasure serving you and yours sir," George's words were becoming less audible by the minute. Tears began to well up in the ranger's eyes, "There's no need for formality George, you are now and have always been my brother. The faithful butler's grip gradually loosened in Lyks' hand as he began to whisper, "She picked me you know?….With all my flaws and simple visage, she chose me…." Zemilay watched as his most devoted friend and companion took his final breath and passed from this realm. He took a moment and in a hushed tone, said to the wind, "Go to her friend, be together again." The druid could not stem the tide of tearful sorrow, nor did he try.

 

After mourning the loss of the man he named his manor after, the ranger knew he could spare no more time making sure that he had someone trustworthy in place to care for the home while he was gone. To that end, he decided to revisit the Church of Cortox. Perhaps Aulis or Geria might be enticed by Trisoll’s eventual presence to sign on, he thought. The walk was brisk, the winds were picking up early in the season. Zemilay’s druid training made him feel uneasy about the change. “Coincidence or portent of something yet to come?” he pondered. The front entrance to the church was different from the last time he was here. As followers had flocked to the church so had their coffers swelled. The new annex to the church appeared to be complete and the entire facade had been re-plated with silver and platinum. There was no longer a door, only a small open gateway which was attended by one of the faithful. Lyks made his way up the stairs and greeted the priestess standing at the doorway. To his surprise it was neither woman he sought but the mother of Lyssa Modius, Violetta Yragnere. Once the recognition set in, Zemilay greeted the senior acolyte warmly, noting how well she seemed to adjust in the church. Violetta praised Cortox and thanked him for healing the wounds in her head as well as the wounds to her soul. Lyks regarded the woman for a moment before he spoke, “You are a good woman and I’m glad things turned in your favor.” The priestess seemed troubled for a moment. “I was not a good person and I have to accept that but with Cortox’s blessing I realize I can move beyond that.” she replied. The druid reaffirmed the good that the church seemed to be bringing to her life before revealing his true purpose for visiting. He explains that he must go away for a time and that his most beloved servant has passed thus needing someone he feels he can trust to watch over the estate. Violetta seemed bowled over by the suggestion. After all, Zemilay Lyks was there at the re-unification of Cortox himself. How could she refuse? Her mind suddenly jumped to her many obligations at the church. “I don’t know…I have so many duties, but perhaps if Gemmen could be convinced?” she wondered aloud. The ranger assured her that he would speak with her superior while she continued with her line of thinking, “I spend much of my time in prayer..perhaps you’d be willing to convert a room into a small shrine?” she asked. Before Lyks could answer she added, “It’ll have to have roof access, I need to see the stars.” Zemilay agrees to this and offers to make any necessary adjustments to the house to make this possible. Before taking his leave, the ranger mentions offhandedly, “You’ll have a wonderful house companion by the way, a bear named Gibbs.” Violetta seemed alarmed at first but knowing Lyks’ abilities and affinity for the natural world, hesitatingly agrees to speak with Gemmen on her own behalf. Though the high priest feels that he has done quite enough for Zemilay Lyks in the moment, Gemmen eventually relents and grants Violetta leave to staff Pimpleton Manor. The elder priestess’ desire to be close to her daughter and the druid’s offer to place a shrine on the estate are enough to tip the scales in her favor. Feeling it a sign from Cortox, Violetta dutifully packs her bags while singing a hymn of thanks to her lord.

Several weeks later Lyks’ allies have assembled. In addition to Tic-Toc, Burbis and Jor-Mak, nine druids have answered the call. Led by Orunoll Jozran, the druid of the Vevse Forest, these priests of nature are experienced in battlefield warfare. Also hailing from the Vevse, four rangers have signed on to the cause. Zemilay is taken aback to find them led by Fanden and Faelin, a pair of twins cursed to never be separated. The druid had met them early in his career and though he felt sorrow for their continuing curse, compared to the scores of now-dead friends he’d had, he was glad to see they’d made it this far. Visits to the Shield Lands and Furyondy yielded Qualen Metryk and Prince Kyren Belvor respectively. Metryk was a seasoned commander in the Shield Land’s army and had fought at Lyks’ side at the battle of Arachnia while Prince Belvor was the cavalier son of King Belvor and as it was rumored, next in line to replace his father. Zemilay was surprised to find that Isrygrad’s gifts had not yet ceased, a dozen barbarian warriors of Granrud came to show solidarity, led by the warrior hero Galthranyr Guleegha while the Wolf Nomads, hearing of Granrud’s commitment, send a dozen warriors as well. Led by Kry-tok, son of Cha’tok, these soldiers seemed every bit as competent as their Eastern brothers. Not entirely satisfied with the forces he’d assembled, Lyks realized that time was short and that he’d have to make his move regardless. Gathering the disparate groups at the Church of Cortox proved to be less of a bother than initially thought. The remodel of the church also removed the spelljamming vehicle launch site from the main building and into an annex. Zemilay was glad for this, it’s bad enough he was going to put these barbarians on a flying ship, he didn’t need them crashing through the chapels like a herd of bulls. Once loaded onto the ship, a hammership by the name of Star Chaser, the rival barbarian tribes were lured below deck with promises of wine and non lethal combat while Lyks looked for the helm. Not finding one in the usual spot, the druid double checked with the ship master, Yewt Kofe, who explains that Star Chaser is powered by a helm of the stars and hands Zemilay a thin platinum circlet. She explains that this will allow him to control the ship while being able to move around on it, and not be bound to a single spot below deck. The ranger thanks her and climbs back aboard. Slowly, the conical roof of the annex began to part as the ship started to levitate. Being no stranger to piloting a spelljamming vehicle, Lyks is able to take the ship above the clouds with minimal danger. Some of the others, who had never been on a flying vessel before, marveled at the sights far below and the majesty of their airbound transport. Flying westward, Zemilay was puzzled on how to actually find the children and the land that claimed them. No amount of scrying had shown a thing and all attempts at contact, religious and magical, similarly showed nothing. Hours passed as he pondered his options. The sea was now beneath them, he had easily avoided a dead magic area in the desert, it was on all the church’s maps now but still no sign of land. His frustration was beginning to build to a tipping point when Burbis Baggleton happened on the bow of the ship. “What’sthematterboss?Youseemupset.” he spat the words out faster than a dwarf picks up a loose coin. Even in his exhaustion, Lyks had no problem understanding the excitable gnome. “I’m just a little frustrated about what we do next Burbis…I couldn’t find any land mass on any map I consulted and I..I just don’t know what to do.” The gnome could see the dissatisfaction on his friend’s face. "Maybewestoplookingforitboss? he muttered. “IknowthatwhenIlosesomethingIalwaysfinditthesecondIstoplookingforit.” Zemilay figured Burbis was spouting his usual nonsense when he stopped and really thought about it for a moment. Perhaps he was onto something? Zemilay relaxed, opened his mind to all things, all possibilities and thought of the children. Suddenly the very clear skies started to grow obscured by rapid cloud accumulation. Zemilay made a hurried attempt to steer the ship around the mist but it was no use, within moments the Star Chaser and all its passengers were lost beyond the veil.

View
Tectonic

WORK IN PROGRESS…

The party arrived at Bar’doth Kek-taur, a secluded dwarven kingdom hidden deep in the mountains of Kellagha. Having safely guided the party into the the kingdom, the spirit of the dwarven cleric, Duinor, abandoned the body of the party’s cleric, Trisoll, and finally ascended from the Prime Material Plane into the afterlife. However, this self-exorcism left Trisoll in a catatonic state. The party was asked to stay the evening so that an event may be held in their honor, which they reluctantly agreed to. Trisoll was carted off to recuperate while the others split off into pairs and rest for the evening. Having a lengthy firsthand experience in dealing with possession, a sympathetic Lyssa rushes off to keep watch over Trisoll.

During the evening, the party was visited by royal attendants who came requesting to measurements of each member. When asked by Vetnik as to what they needed them for, they simply replied, “the Emperor’s gift, milord.” (Grum mused to his visiting attendant, “what, coffins?”) When an attendant came to visit Lyssa and Trisoll, Lyssa was immediately put on guard. With her signature arcane glowing red eyes, Lyssa frightened the attendant into fleeing from the room and ordered her to only return with healers in tow. Alone once more, Lyssa continued to watch over Trisoll as she combed through her spell book and magical items, looking for some way to wake Trisoll from his slumber. Using a mind scan, Lyssa found Trisoll’s psyche too weak to project his thoughts but could feel him slowly pulling together psychic strength.

The rest of the party took short rests and were offered new attire for their audience with the emperor — none of which fit since the clothes were dwarven in not only make, but size as well. Vetnik left Moira and went in search of Trisoll. A dwarven servant named Belek agreed to escort the barbarian to where his friend was being kept. The pair briefly discussed life in Bar’doth Kek-taur and Emperor Durgoth’s stern but benevolent rule before being reunited with his companions. Vetnik and Lyssa discussed what they could do for Trisoll to pull him out of his state (“Come back to me my friend,” Vetnik whispered to him with no reaction.) Their discussion over whether or not the dwarves of Bar’doth Kek-taur could be trusted was disrupted by another attendant, who relayed a summons from the Emperor. Lyssa refused, even against Vetnik’s urging and promise that he would carry Trisoll with them before the Emperor.
“I understand your action, and I appreciate you staying with him. Protocol demands otherwise. I’ll be back soon.”
Vetnik returns to Moira, who confides in her his fear for Trisoll as well as regret over not urging Lyssa to take her audience with the royal court.

The party came together in the great dining hall before the Emperor and his court of advisors and chancellors. The Emperor’s mouthpiece, Demarek Gordemn, summoned the royal attendants to court, the same who came to the measure the party, and they brought with them several suits of armor, all of which were made of or contain, real metal. Abigail’s was visibly moved when presented her first suit of iron platemail, while Moira was honored to receive a set of armor bearing the symbols of the sword (Starstrike) and shield (Bladebane) of her fathers. When it came time to Lyssa, Vetnik managed to convince Demarek to excuse her. Once gifts were all bestowed, the real feast began, the stoicism of the great hall was lifted as the Emperor ordered the heroes feast to begin. Back in Trisoll’s room, Lyssa could hear the carousing of men and women enjoying the finest in dwarven food and drink. Suddenly, Trisoll’s eyes burst open as he shot up off the gurney with a great exhale. Panicked at first, Trisoll searched the room for a familiar face and found Lyssa at his side, who tried to keep him calm as best as she could.
“What happened? Where is everyone else?”
“Presumably drunk by the sound of it. What do you remember?”
“I remember the pillar in Beoll-dur. Wait, are we still in Beoll-dur?”
“Not quite.”
“Not quite? What do you mean not quite!?”
“What else do you remember?”
“I remember the pillar made of crystal and then… then my head, hurting. Overcome with pain. And now, I’m here, with you, alone, in not-Beoll-dur. You said everyone is drunk?”
“We’re in an underground kingdom, dwarves—“
“Dwarves?!”
“Yes, lots of them, a whole mountain full. Back in Beoll-dur, you were taken—“
“Taken?!”
“Will you stop? Yes, you were possessed by the spirit of some old dwarven cleric. He guided us here to relative safety, and now everyone seems to be eating and drinking.”
Trisoll emerged off the table, his eyes bloodshot with frustration. Lyssa stepped aside, sympathetic to his anger, and slowly followed as he stomped out of the room and down towards the great hall to meet the others.

Trisoll approached the great hall and could see his friends and companions mixing it up with the dwarven royalty. He stood under the threshold and with unprecedented frustration, he cried out: “I AM SICK AND TIRED OF BEING USED!” The earth itself rumbled as he stood, for only a moment, but a moment that hushed the room. All eyes were on him. Emperor Durgoth whispered in Demarek’s ear as Vetnik did his best to calm down the angry cleric. Through Demarek, Emperor Durgoth summoned Trisoll over to explain himself. Durgoth is taken by Trisoll’s usual fiery disposition and makes a royal toast to his honor and brazenness! With Trisoll calmed, the party resumed with renewed fervor – both Moira and Thom were both victims of the strong dwarven ale. As Moira professes her love for Lyssa’s ascerbicness, Thom contemplates his new, metallic fingers while his brother, Grum, revealed that he in fact knew about the fingers but promised not to tell the others.

The party finds out that the kingdom’s resource of ore has been blocked off for weeks by some strange phenomenon down in the iron vaults: a large, floating orb of shifting Elemental energies blocking the main passage that no one in the kingdom has been able to dispel. The party agrees to investigate, and together with three of the emperor’s finest warriors, in exchange for a few platoons of dwarven warriors to assist the party in the battle at Morgoth. Lyssa and Trisoll confide in each other about their continued homesickness. Lyssa revealed though that her duty is to the party, but more importantly, herself, and if comes down to it, she’ll be willing to take down Barth if necessary. Trisoll pleaded with Lyssa to at least let him devise a plan with the others, especially, Moira, before signing Barth off to death.

The trio of metal-hungry xorn emerged from against the cave walls with tooth and claw drawn. The party dispatches them easily and they continue towards the opening of the vaults. There, the party comes face to face with the orb. The large mass swirls with colliding Elemental energies; fire, water, earth, and air flow across each other yet seem to remain unaffected. Lyssa consults the Eye of Modius and it’s revealed that the orb itself is made up of four Elementals who were forcibly taken from their planes and magically fused together to become a prison for something of great power. Grunt hands off his Arrows of Elemental Slaying to Grunt and shoots them into the orb. The arrows crash into the coils of fire and water, and the party watches as they evaporate, leaving only air and earth. The swirling combination of earth and air began to unravel, separate, and float down towards the party. The misty vapor and pieces of sand and rock began to take on their truth natures, forming separately into the bodies of both Air and Earth Elementals. As the orb of Elemental energy dispersed, it revealed to the party a fifth form, curled up into a ball and floating, a thin, humanoid man in fine, yet understandably dirtied, formal attire.

Lyssa recited a dispel magic spell from her scroll, but as the glowing letters lifted off the page, she was suddenly overcome with a wild surge. The arcane words that fluttered towards the mysterious elemental orb begin to merge and grow into one large humanoid mass of shimmering chaotic energy. Before the party stood a towering Dispel Magic Elemental, its body composed entirely of magical energies, the sinew of which flickered and flared as veins of wild magic collided into one another. The party prepared themselves for the worse, but watched as the Dispel Magic Elemental lumbered towards the orb of Elemental energy and slammed its energy fist against it. The Dispel Magic Elemental immediately dispersed and took with it the air elemental. The being in the center now freed, he comes to and the party watches as the mysterious figure warps the earth elemental into oblivion.

The party confronts a small patrol of duergars who are smuggling dwarven ore through a gate portal. The party slays all but one, who telepathically reveals that an army is growing in Morgoth, evil creatures of all make (from duergars to dragons) under the banners of the Ebon Rider, Kr’zzt, and the Circle of Bones.

The earth opened with a vortex of dirt and grass, and the party emerged from beneath the planet itself with Laterius. Back on the surface, they now stood at the great gates of a massive, enclosed city. While there was little they could see over the city walls, one structure in particular cut up into the sky and caught their attention: a large, towering castle resting at the top of a hill, not unlike Castle Zagyg in Greyhawk. This castle, however, appeared to be in fine condition. Together, the party prepared to enter Yggsburgh.

View
The Kingdoms Below

WORK IN PROGRESS…

Having (literally) unseated the Salamander king, Searzul, from his throne beneath the halls of the ruined Beoll-dur and slain him, the party continued to make their way through the feverishly hot stronghold of the Peerless Legion in search of a way back up to the surface.

Despite their best efforts, the scouts and thieves of the party were unable to find any other access point in the throne room. It was the blue-blooded Vetnik who discovered a secret passageway out of the room though, which opened into a long, spiraling corridor cutting through the subterranean kingdom. (“There’s always a secret exit!”) 60 feet in, Grum and Grunt disarmed an undisclosed trap before continuing down the corridor that ended in a locked, untrapped door. Grum opened the door, revealing a room filled with jewels and treasures piled against the walls at least 10 inches high. Lyssa urged Moira to detect any evil while Grum looks over the storeroom with his Gem of Seeing and revealed that the treasures appeared authentic. As the Moira scanned the room, Thom reached into the pile of treasures and inadvertently set off an unseen trigger. An arcane gate opened and from it emerged three more Salamanders who proceeded to ambush the party. Both Grum and Moira were both slashed by their spears; the second ended up fumbling and injuring itself while engaged with Moira. The infernal presence of the creatures began to quickly warp and char the gold and jewels, and seeing the potential for chromatic ingredients to be damaged, Lyssa rushed to cool the room with an ice storm from her Wand of Frost, coating the room in blinding sleet. Grum fired off a pair of arrows, and Vetnik watched proudly as Moira deftly glided across the icy stone floor to cut into the Salamanders in retaliation. Both Trisoll and Thom chose to buff their companions from the corridor, bestowing blessings and banging out triumphant rhythms on war drums. Just as Abigail rushed into the room, glass longsword drawn, a Salamander lashed out with its tail, crushing her right shoulder with it. Moira shrugged off another of the Salamander’s spear blows while Abigail was left at the mercy of another Salamander, breaking her left leg. Vetnik slid across the sleet-covered floor, missing the first swing against Moira’s attacker, but as he neared Abigail, he drove his blade into the Salamander’s tail. Two of Grunt’s arcane arrows zipped into the room, colliding into the magma-hot skin of Abigail’s attackers. The mage hunter tried her best to summon the strength to swing her sword, but the pain of her injuries seemed too much to bear.

Vetnik ripped his blade from the Salamander’s tail and reached over and drove it into the Salamander Moira was defending herself against, much to her surprise. Grunt continued to fire off Hank and watched as the pale bolts exploded against the Salamander. In retaliation, Vetnik received a spear to the side, but he shrugged the blow off and continued on. Abigail struggled to get back to her feet but as she inched away from the Salamander, she felt the horrid pain of its heavy tail crash down against her left leg once against. Hearing Abigail’s cries of pain, Moira spun around and slashed at the Salamander but her form proved too loose and she missed. Trisoll called out to Moira, “Do you need me to heal you?”
“No! Abigail needs you!”
Trisoll sighed and begrudgingly rushed in to give Abigail one of his patented (albeit reluctant) healing hugs. The hug was half-hearted though, and only afforded Abigail a sliver of her health. Trisoll quickly retched himself from her, but as he turned to walk away, he saw a plaintive look in her eyes, one that silently asked for some kind of mercy. Thom put aside his drums and drew his longsword and cuts through the Salamander menacing Abigail, poking its lifeless body once with the tip of his blade with a shrug. Lyssa sheathed her Wand of Frost and as she approached Thom and Abigail, she opened her hand and let loose a flurry of magic missiles against the remaining Salamander. In retaliation, the Salamander began to intone a gate spell but before it could finish speaking the portal into existence, Grunt fired off two killing Hank-bolts.

The thieves in the party began to dig through the ice-covered treasures, rifling through cracked and damaged jewels to pocket the few pristine remains beneath. Vetnik and Moira sheathed their blades before he gifted her a potion of healing.
“If you’ll excuse me, I have to tend to Abigail,” she said as she carressed Vetnik’s cheek before going. As Moira moved to join Abigail, she watched as Lyssa displayed, sternly, a once-in-a-lifetime show of kindness by gifting her half-sister a potion of healing. Abigail wiped her mouth and the sisters momentarily glared at each other in silence. Lyssa turned around, snapping her cloak as she walked past Moira and joined the thieves in raiding the treasure.

Vetnik was hesitant to load up any more treasure as the Bag of Holding was already weighted with the party’s earlier stash of treasures as well as the metal armor they were forced to conceal upon entering Kellagha. Grum scouted ahead and found another door, acid-trapped and locked, but managed to disarm and even salvage the bladder of acid for his own use. He opened the door to find a room identical to the previous, teeming with jewels and treasures. Vetnik advised the party to anticipate another ambush, and proposed that they trigger the gate by disturbing the treasure. They agree and while Grum scouts the corridor ahead with help of his Ring of Invisibility, Vetnik tossed a broken gem into the pile of treasure. Just as he suspected, as soon as the treasure was disturbed, a portal opened. Three Salamanders emptied into the room to find the archers of the party with their arrows notched, with Lyssa standing in the middle. She opened her palm and released a wave of wild magic that collided against the three demons. Two of the Salamanders watched as wild magic overcame their companion, paralyzing it in place. As the wild magic dissipated, the party watched the energy swirling around the room return to Lyssa, causing her to levitate off the ground against her will. The two Salamanders mobilized against the party, attempting to strike out at Grunt but both missed. Grunt in turn kept them at bay with the help of Hank. Abigail attempted to take up her blade once more but as she swung her blade, the pain of her shoulder proved too persistent. Thom took aim with his longbow and fired off a pair of arrows, both of which found purchase. Vetnik revealed to the party a talent for javelin throwing as he chucked a Javelin of Lightning into the room. As the javelin zipped into the room, its exterior was consumed by crackling energy before becoming a bolt of pure electricity, shooting through one of the Salamanders before disappearing and consuming a second.

Uncontrollably levitating, Lyssa opened her hands and released four magic missiles into the body of the paralyzed Salamander as Thom rushed into the room with his longsword drawn, stabbing into the still-smoking body of one of the Salamanders, felling it. Her eyes blood-shot with frustration, Abigail took up her sword once more and rushed in after and finished the paralyzed Salamander off with two killing slashes, cleaving it from neck to belly, spitting on its bifurcated torso. Lyssa pressed her hands against the roof of the room and directed the others below on which gems to pull for herself, but Thom reminded her that the hoard was a party find and would be split in due time. Once finished pillaging, Grum called out to the party, alerting them of the safety of the rest of the passage. They followed the sound of his boot steps down the still-winding corridor until coming upon an open and very large room. Inside rested a long table in the center surrounded by 13 chairs with large seats, presumably made to fit the legless Salamanders. Grum and Thom scouted the room for any hidden exits; Thom found a door and could hear the sound of slithering behind it. Upon opening it, they were greeted by a pair of Salamanders angered by the assassination of their king. The archers of the party released a flurry of arrows into the demons, attempting to draw them out into the more open room. After firing his first set of arrows, Grum tripped as he attempted to notch back two more arrows. Still fitful, Abigail limped in with blade unsheathed and managed to slay one of the Salamanders. The last Salamander managed to dodge both Thom and Grunt’s second round of arrows. Vetnik and Moira rushed in and together cut into the last Salamander. In return, the Salamander attempted to gate in reinforcements but failed. Grunt gave Hank a rest and jumped into melee using his broadsword, but it was Moira who slayed the last Salamander. The room itself was a large and rectangular decorated with intricate stone reliefs depicting crude Salamander conquests over man, the procession of which lead to an elaborate and large bed.

Taking the exit from the sleeping chamber, they followed the scouts down another corridor. As they progressed, they could feel the warmth inside intensify to the point of oppression. Those clad in armor struggled but pushed ahead. Not accustom to such heat, even the stoic Vetnik seemed shaky in the heat. The corridor lead to the single door, thicker than the others they had encountered. Thom could hear behind it the sound of steam and slow dripping, but could not bear to keep his ear to the door for long, as the thick stone was hot to the touch. They quickly opened it and found inside a room with walls coated in flowing lava that seemed to drip from the walls and coalesce into a large portal in the center of the room. The planar gash swirled with orange radiance, and the air around it seemed to shimmer like the hot air floating off of searing hot iron. Moira sensed no evil from it though, but the magic was potent. Drawn to the power, Lyssa approached and slid through the portal without warning. The twins shrugged and leaped in after, only to find Lyssa crouching on a solitary island of molten rock floating in a plane of endless glowing magma, and soon, all three immediately began to buckle under the weight of the incredible heat radiating from the pool beneath them. They quickly backed out of the portal, emptying into the room they were once in, which now by comparison seemed brisk and tepid. The rest of the party tended to them, their bodies flush and drenched in sweat, as if traversing the deserts for days without water.
“That wasn’t a great idea. Let’s keep moving,” quipped Lyssa, her throat yearning for water. Moira passed around the waterskin as they made their way out of the portal room and backtracked their way out of the dungeon. As they traveled back, small blobs of lava began to pool through the cracks in the stone floor, forming into small impish beings composed wholly of molten rock. The beings turned and hissed at the party, and with steaming breath, emptied out streams of lava from their eyes. Abigail screeched in pain as the lava burned her flesh and coated her wooden armor. As she crumbled to the ground, Trisoll reached out and cast control temperature over the area, cooling the hall down considerably. Through glowing pale eyes, Trisoll watched as the flesh of four of the creatures cooled and blackened before shattering.

Having scavenged what wealth was left undamaged in the room, the party once again readied themselves to move. A short discussion determines that though Searazul lies slain, the pillar containing the soul of the dwarven cleric Duinor still lays undiscovered. Abigail steels herself despite her recent misfortunes and loses herself in thought for a moment while Grum and Grunt resume their position at the front of the party as they begin to retrace their steps. Heading south through Searazul’s throne room, the party is struck by the fact that the King’s corpse is nowhere to be found. Moira, tapping into her knowledge of demonology, explains that even a minor power like Searazul cannot be forever destroyed on the Prime Material Plane and that his essence had no doubt retreated to the Abyss to reconstitute itself. Grum decides to head west at the juncture beyond the demon’s chambers, he and his rapidly improving pupil, Grunt checking for traps and secret doors along the way. A door to the north at the end of the corridor opens to a second such passageway, extending in either direction. The warrior thief spies a door on the opposite wall just twenty feet from their point of egress and heads to it. After Tom places an ear to the door and the lock mechanism is inspected by the rogue of little words, the passage is opened. A short hallway reveals two doors. The closest door is checked first and the bard indicates that he hears a sound reminiscent of liquid. Once entered, the room is revealed to contain a long pool of boiling oil. Across from the pool lays a narrow platform on which a pair of iron golems silently guard an ornate door on the east wall. A rock is tossed into the pool and a number of tentacles snake out of the blistering pool and thrash about, looking in vain for a foe to drag into the scalding pit. After some deliberation Tom assumes gaseous form and floats across the perilous basin. As he reaches the gilded door, the golems spring to life but are unable to stop the bard from passing through a small crack in the door. Behind it he finds a temple to the dwarven god, Moradin. Deciding not to defile the holy shrine, Tom returns to the group with his revelation. The party decides to move on.

The door to the north, though locked and trapped, proves no match for Grum’s fine manipulation of his thieves’ tools and is soon splayed open. Behind it lay a room lined with bookcases, with 3 free standing cases in the center. Upon first gaze, Lyssa darts into the room and begins searching the moldy tomes for anything useful. A number of codexes do indeed prove to be salvageable and imbued with magical power. The bard searches his memory for tales and clues that might prove to identify these enscorcelled pages and is able to piece together the names of several before the party picks up and moves back out into the larger corridor.

Carefully heading west, the party spies a door on the north wall sixty feet down the passage. Making their way to it, they find that the other side of the aperture emits a low hum of some sort while a violet glow creeps out from under the space at the foot of the door. Cautiously, Vetnik opens the door, Moira and Abigail flanking him. The entryway leads to a room that houses a sixty foot high, ten foot diameter crystal that glows with a magical luminescence. A voice issues from the pillar asking if the task is done, if the Salamander King lies dead. The party affirms that it is so and the voice introduces itself as the former dwarven priest, Duinor. Duinor first expresses surprise that both man and elf would endeavor to aid the dwarves before commending their bravery and tenacity. The party members are then told to approach the pillar one by one as the spirit of the crystal bestows gifts upon them. Once the grants are given, Duinor informs the party that Emperor Durgoth must be told of Beoll-Dur’s liberation. He tells them that the tunnels to Bar’doth Kek-Taur will be impassable to them without his help and in that moment, Trisoll clutches at his head in discomfort for a moment before he seems to recover. When the priest of Tritheron speaks next it is not his voice that issues forth. Duinor explains that he has possessed the free spirited cleric until the palace of the great undermountain city is reached. Duinor intones the words of ancient dwarven magic and the party sinks into and becomes one with the stone beneath their feet. After descending a short distance, the party finds itself in a large cavernous chamber. “It is here our journey begins”, explains the spirit wearing the flesh of the party’s dear friend. As the party rests and prepares themselves, Moira asks Duinor about his shock at the idea that man and elf might help the cause of the dwarves and he explains the story of “The Great Betrayal”. It seems that a hundred years ago, the orcish clans allied with the united tribes of giants to extinguish the light of dwarvenkind from Kellagha. The dwarves looked to their allies, mankind and the elves to assist them in repelling this dangerous coalition of foes, and man and elf, jealous of the wealth of their friends under the mountain, turned their backs on the Gore’denach hoping that they would be weakened or destroyed. The dwarven forces suffered devastating losses but prevailed despite their numbers. In the aftermath of that narrow victory, it was decided that all dwarves would return to the mountain, living above ground nevermore. Additionally, Emperor Durgoth ordered that all trade of metals with the surface be immediately and indefinitely suspended. This, Duinor says, is the reason that the party must be taken to an audience with the king. No man or elf has done deed one for the kingdom of the undermountain since this dark time. Moira’s thoughts drift to the Cortoxian acolytes on the surface, watched over by the Geldan exile Abraxos, and how she will communicate their destination to them…

View
The Peerless Legion

WORK IN PROGRESS…

The party continued deeper into the ruins of Beoll-dur, still going on cryptic warning provided by the fallen metallic dwarf they encountered after finding “Dog Dick” McGirk’s hoard. While investigating, they came upon an old tome that told of the presence of infernal Salamanders that had overtaken Beoll-dur, led by their king Searazul. In an unusual display of leadership, Grunt took charge of scouting for the party and together they meandered through the halls.

They come upon a locked, untrapped door. Grum nods approvingly at his ward’s effortless lock picking. What they find behind is something they were not warned about. Inside, a corridor filled with a pile of armored skeletons rested. Grunt looks up and sees an opening in the roof above and determines that the pile of bodies must have been victims of a death drop trap. Beyond the pit was a narrow staircase descending into a 3rd level, illuminated only by the glow of red-hot magma burning from a large fissure scarring the walls. Thom and Grunt carefully affix a series of pitons to aid the party in getting down the steep and broken staircase. Those in the party wearing heavier armor start to feel encumbered by the severe heat emanating from the fissure.

At the base of the steps is another door. Thom presses his pointed ear against it and hears the sound of combat behind it: weapons crashing against each other accompanied by dry, alien grunts. Moira confirms the presence of demonic entities and readies herself. Grunt, after finding no traps, throws the door open to find two Salamanders engaged in mock combat using quarterstaffs. Abigail engages first, cutting into one of the salamanders with her glass blade. Grunt looses a pair of arcane arrows from “Hank”, one of which strikes. Lyssa stays out of harm’s way and begins to probe the injured Salamander with Mind Scan. Trisoll carefully imparts Resist Fire on Lyssa, Just as she shoos Trisoll away fearing that he might break her concentration, the pair of Salamanders attacks Lyssa. The first comes after her with a spear but Lyssa yanks the weapon from him and tosses it across the room. The second grabs Lyssa with its mighty tail and partially constricts her. Vetnik and Moira jump in to attempt to rescue her, cutting into the demon with glass longswords. Moira cuts through the Salamander’s torso, slaying it and freeing Lyssa from its constricting tail.

“Damnit, Moira! I had it.”
“I’m sure you did. You’re welcome!”

Thom stays to the back of the party, drumming for inspiration as Grum slashes (and misses) with Lyn & Slå. Grunt tries to shoot the second Salamander, but the demon wraps its tail around his foot, throwing his attack off. It lunges at Vetnik but misses. While focused on Vetnik, the Salamander slashed by Grum’s mythic daggers. Vetnik immediately follows with two more strikes of his sword, jamming his blade into the belly of the Salamander, eviscerating it spraying warm, lava-like blood all over. In the rubble, Thom and Lyssa find a rope of climbing and medallion of thought projection respectively.

They continue ahead and come upon a second door. Thom’s keen hearing detects the sound of four individuals behind. Learning from her previous encounter, Lyssa casts armor over herself. Grunt pushes the door open as quietly as possible, allowing the party to get the advantage. Moira is first into battle, using the heat and hatred of evil to help her deliver a debilitating blow to the first Salamander’s tail. Vetnik attacks a second Salamander while Grunt jumps in to support Moira, firing arcane arrows into her target’s tail, destroying it. Grum cuts into Vetnik’s target while his brother continues to drum for inspiration. Abigail jumps in and dogpiles Vetnik’s salamander, slaying it in the process before cutting into a fresh demon. Trisoll stands back and blesses the party while Lyssa takes on the final and hits it with her ghostly radiant Chillblade.

Grunt helps Abigail out by firing an arcane arrow into the Salamander’s right arm, breaking it and causing him to drop his spear. Thom puts his drums away and cuts into the demon while Vetnik moves onto Abigail’s Salamander, rushing it deathly focus. Lyssa follows up with a second attempt to stab with Chillblade but misses. Moira fells the 3rd Salamander, leaving the last one for Grunt and “Hank” to finish off. Vetnik takes one of the wooden spears for his own, while the thieves, Thom, and Lyssa search the corpses. Thom and Grum find two more ropes; Grunt finds a pair of Bracers of Defense which he gives to Lyssa (combined with her Dex grants her AC1); Lyssa finds a strange item, a large heavy digging tool resembling a 10’ long mattock. Thom determines it to be a Mattock of the Titan, which they choose to leave behind.

Grunt leads them south down a long, meandering hallway. A half hour into their walk, they decide to set up camp to heal, re-up on spells and identify the ropes (Thom determines them to be a Rope of Constriction and a Rope of Entanglement.) After resting, they continue to another door. Behind the door, Thom hears strange clanging but not that of battle. Grunt checks for traps and locks, neither of which he detects. They happen upon a solitary Salamander grunt moving equipment around. Lyssa urges them to not kill him so that they can extract information, but the Grum ignores her and plunges Lyn & Slå into him and causing a lightning bolt to burn the creature from the inside out. Vetnik knocks the demon out with the blunt of his sword. Vetnik finds a necklace hanging from its belt and pockets it. Lyssa and Moira pair up to wake the Salamander and Lyssa begins to Mind Scan it, searching for any clues as to what waits for them. She gets a general layout of the 3rd level, but before she can extract more information about Searazul, she is shut out. Vetnik beheads the demon and together the party moves on with a better understanding of the layout of the 3rd level, making their way to Searazul’s throne room. On the way, Thom identifies the necklace found to be a Necklace of Strangulation.

Continuing down the hall, they hear the distinct sound of footsteps following them. Grunt stops, realizing that the Salamanders have tails and therefore would not be the ones to create the sounds. Thom pinpoints the source of the footsteps: “These are our own footsteps echoing back at us.” Trisoll casts Silence 15’ over the party, allowing the party to move quietly.

“Sure, I can cast it, but what will our signal be in case you need to cast?”
Lyssa cocks her head and gives him the finger.
“Got it!”

The party silently continues down a winding series of hallways for about an hour before encountering another door. Thom hears nothing, and gives Grunt the greenlight to open. He does so, revealing an unlit room. Grunt takes his torch and tosses it into the center of the room. As the fire touches the ground, it reveals four inky black Shadows gathered together, all of which rush to attack the party. The first Shadow touches Moira and she feels her strength immediately sapped. A second Shadow attempts to strike Grunt but misses, but he falls prey to a third. Trisoll is the last to be attacked. Vetnik rushes in to defend both his partner and his best friend, splitting his hits between the two attacking Shadows. Grunt tries to fend off the Shadows attacking him but stumbles and falls. Lyssa draws her Wand of Frost and conjures a cone of cold, freezing a pair of the Shadows and destroying them. Abigail follows Vetnik and splits her attacks as well, killing the first but missing with the second. Thom extends his hands and casts burning hands, obliterating the final Shadow. Thom stumbles upon a secret door while the party searches the room for treasure. Grunt detects traps and just barely disarms a deadly acid trap. After disarming, he unlocks the door to reveal a gem and chip stash (12k gp, 16 whole gems, 10 pc jewelry, a Ring of Water Walking, Potion of Fire Resistance, Rod of Negation, a scroll with 4 spells and 3 ivory goat figurines.)

After successfully raiding the chamber, they move on and eventually come upon a large stone gate. Grunt tries to break in but is unsuccessful. Lyssa and Trisoll search their spells while Vetnik tries to pull open the structure. Vetnik asks Moira to help but she worries that she’s still drained from the Shadow attack. Trisoll steps forward and begins to cast stone shape while the couple pry open the doors, and they just barely manage to pry it open and a completely empty room and a corridor. They travel west up the corridor until coming upon another closed door. Grunt opens it up and immediately sees a trio of dazed hobgoblins transfixed by floating, glowing lights. Their presence seems to break the hobgoblins from their trance, and they immediately flee past the party. They choose to ignore the room and instead travel down the other hall, another winding corridor that opens into a double-wide hall ending in a door. His patience worn thin, Vetnik kicks the door down after Thom and Grunt confirm the door’s safety and finds 6 resting Salamanders. The party slays them (with Vetnik breaking the neck of one with his bare hands) and they move onto the throne room of Searazul, where they find him waiting, sitting upon his throne. Before he can react, Lyssa telekinetically yanks King Searazul right off his throne and drags him closer to the party. Grum breaks his left arm with an arcane arrow. He tries to flee, but Lyssa concentrates her telekinesis and binds him to the throne room floor. After several rounds, it is Moira who slays the demonic Salamander King. They find a Brazier of Sleep Smoke and a pair of Gauntlets of Ogre Power.

View
Into the Halls of Beoll-Dur

COMING SOON….

View
Mi'pa'ke is Burning

WORK IN PROGRESS…

The party flies and climbs into the canopy of the fallen Geldan Abraxos’s former tribe, the Mi’pa’ke. The kingdom is a series of covered floorless domed nests spread out through the canopy. Trisoll almost falls from the treetops but is caught and steadied by Moira. He reveals to her an uneasiness of heights. A Geldan warrior named Ahriman assists Vetnik getting into the royal court by picking him up and carrying him. The party is brought before the court of Mi’pa’ke, headed by an anthromorphic macaw Geldan named Emperor Alkanost. Thom acts as interpreter for the party. Abraxos urges the emperor and the rest of his court of an invasion from the Sun Elves. The court is wary of Abraxos and the party at first, but hears them out. Despite allowing them an audience, Abraxos is still deemed flightless and is cast out. Vetnik tries to reason with the emperor about the impending threat of the Sun Elves, which Alkanost scoffs at — at first. Alkanost’s royal druid, Nithail, casts some unknown spell while Moira steps up to offer her word in support of Vetnik. Jeramicht confirms her to be truthful, but just as that confirmation comes, the conference is cut short by an explosion in a nearby nest and the party rush out of the court to investigate.

Emperor Alkanost’s royal mage Jeramicht and a few honor guards surround and protect him while the rest of his court and the party is ejected from the emperor’s nest. Outside, the threat of Sun Elves is confirmed by Thom who sees a nearby nest ablaze and about a dozen to two dozen Sun Elves traversing the canopy towards them. He also spies a small cell in the midst of in fighting. Lyssa floats down and casts a chaos shield on herself. Grum draws two daggers and attempts to cut a pair of assassins down, but the Sun Elves prove too agile and dodge both attacks. Trisoll steels himself high in the trees and blesses the entire party. Abigail leaps through the trees and cuts into tow Sun Elves with her glass longsword. Inspired, Moira follows Abigail and cuts off the right arm of an assassin and forcing him to fall to his death; she cuts deep into a second assassin almost slaying him. Lyssa thrusts a concussive lance of disruption into a pair of oncoming assassins.

Off in the distance, a thin, pale elvish figure defends himself against a group of Sun Elves. Drawing his longbow, he disarms an assassin with an arrow into the arm and begins to rush towards the party. Grunt whips out Hank and fires off a pair of energy bolts and blasts a pair. Thom follows up with two arrows of his own and forces another elf out of the canopy. The Sun Elves pursue after the mysterious pale elf, firing arrows after him, but the pale elf dodges the arrows. The also set their sights on the largest of the group, Vetnik, but they just barely miss. Grunt proves just as agile as the assassins and dodges the arrows with ease. Thom is the first hit with arrows, but is fortunate as they barely graze him. Out of the darkness, two more arrows fly and make purchase into Lyssa. Her body seizes up and is overtaken by a paralyzing poison. Her mind still cognizant, she manages to keep up concentration and stay afloat while frozen. The Sun Elves do their best but fail to take down any Geldans; the Geldans retaliate furiously, hacking into their numbers with staves edged with kopesh blades.
Grum manages to snag another Sun Elves and slashes it with his bone dagger as the Geldans continue to zip through the canopy, cutting even more of the assassins down. Vetnik leaps in to attack another Sun Elf but misses, but slips and falls out of the canopy. Just as he begins to plummet to the earth, Ahriman swoops down and grabs him, saving him from falling. Abigail misses both of her attacks. Moira is more successful, cutting into two more assassins. The remaining Sun Elves continue forward, cutting into the mysterious pale ally. Another attempts to stab at Grunt but trips on a tree branch and falls stunned to the ground below (much to Grunt’s amusement.) Thom is blasted by two more arrows flying at maximum speed, while Lyssa, still incapacitated, becomes a hovering shooting target. The first arrow zips by, cutting through her shoulder. The second plants itself into her left leg. Unable to cry out in pain, her eyes tear up as they flare with burning arcane energy. Trisoll sees Lyssa floating helplessly and, summoning up all the courage he can, he leaps off a nearby branch and grabs hold of her. Grabbing on tight, he pulls out the arrow and concentrates on a blessing from Trithereon, which successfully courses through her body as the pair begin to descend slowly. The poison is purged from her body and Trisoll begs Lyssa to keep the both of them floating while he concentrates on a healing prayer. Several yards away, the pale elf blasts two more elves out of the treetops with his arrows. Thom aims his bow, firing into another Sun Elf and fells it. Grunt tries to take down two more assassins but misses.

The pale elf runs towards the party, firing another pair of elves but is struck by an arrow. He stumbles but manages to steady himself and continue fighting. He notices beneath him a sect of elvish sorcerers gathering around the base of the royal tree and watches as they set it ablaze with a series of fireballs. The Sun Elf archers continue to fire at the party. They miss Grum and Lyssa, but Trisoll is wounded by an arrow to the leg. He winces but grits his teeth and continues to pray to Trithereon, wrapping his arms tighter around Lyssa in the process. After almost falling, Vetnik steels himself. He picks up his blade and charges at two more assassins, cutting one of them down. Abigail and Moira continue to slice into the remaining assassins, of which three are visible. Grum follows up, shooting down the one Abigail slashed. Thom takes a pair of shots but doesn’t manage to land his arrows. While Lyssa and Trisoll continue to sink and struggle to stabilize themselves, Trisoll selflessly devotes his critical wound prayer to Lyssa. She looks down and sees the four elvish sorcerers surrounding the base of the royal tree. Her eyes aglow, she hisses and casts fireflow over the flames burning at the base of the tree. She manages to engulf two of them – though thanks to a wild surge, she attacks the two sorcerers she didn’t intend to.

The Geldans continue to fly through the canopy, cutting down the remaining archers. Vetnik cuts into his opponent and after felling it, watches as the pale elf comes into view as he almost slays another Sun Elf with his arrows. Lyssa continues to concentration on her fireflow spell and expands the flames. The sorcerers attempt to flee but all are overwhelmed by the waves of flames. After slaying them, Lyssa immediately extinguishes the fires. Lyssa turns her head around and sees the royal mage Jeramicht swooping down towards her. To her surprise, he addresses her in common, thanking her for putting out the flames. She accepts and asks the mage to carry Trisoll to safety. The trio flies back into the royal nest where Jeramicht heals Trisoll the best he can, closing up his wound. Back from the brink of near unconsciousness, Trisoll prays to Trithereon and heals himself a bit more. Grunt takes aim at one of the last Sun Elves but misses. Grum follows up with an arrow and almost fells it, but the assassin begins to sneak away. Moira charges after it but misses. Thom does his best to support his brother and kills the evading assassin. The remaining Sun Elves quickly unsheathe small vials and begin to down the contents. Three of them disappear from sight while another two dive down from the treetops and into the darkness below, floating as if effected by feather fall – but are unfortunately caught and torn to shreds by Geldan soldiers.

Other soliders swarm the pale elf but he immediately throws his hands up. In Geldan, he calls out to them. Vetnik steps in to protect them. They look at him curiously, thinking him a Moon elf, but he confesses to them that he is an albino Sun Elf. He also confesses that he has allied himself against the Sun Elves due to the love he has for a Geldan. Disgusted, the Geldan escorts the pale Sun Elf and the others back to court. Perched on his throne made of collected refuse, Alkanost addresses the Sun Elf in his native Jen’Ma’Karian tongue – much to the surprise of the party. The pale elf informs Alkanost that he is called Morgrave and that since boyhood, has not agreed with the stance taken by his people against the Geldan. As he came into manhood, he fell for a Geldan, a crow woman, and while the affection was not returned, it did little to dissuade him in his support of the Geldan. Alkanost buys the elf’s sincerity and he shows mercy on Morgrave. Thom translates to the others. For his duty to his kingdom, Alkanost awards Morgrave with an honorary title and sanctuary in Mi’pa’ke (much to the chagrin of Ahriman.)

Vetnik interjects and reminds Alkanost of why they have come to Kellagha. Lyssa relays Dablova’s vision to the audience of Geldan about the united armies of Sun and Moon elves under the banner of the Black Rider, which seems to shock the court. Alkanost even acknowledges a knowing of the Black Rider. Nithail confirms the tale told to be true. Alkanost informs the party of the Black Rider’s troops movements towards as he has had spies scoping out Morgoth. Emperor Alkanost excuses himself while Nithail gives the party a map of the northern ice lands. The Geldan flies those in the party back down to the ground (Ahriman makes a special effort to avoid flying Morgrave down and instead carries Abigail down instead.) Without a tribe to return to, Trisoll urges Morgrave to come with them and assist them on their quest to find the leader of the Circle of Bones.

The party decides to continue onwards towards the hoard before heading to Vaernyn. Moira and Thom inform Morgrave of the history of her brother and their reasons for coming to Kellagha. On the ride, Lyssa asks Morgrave more about his history, but is hesitant to reveal anything other than what he’s already admitted in court. In attempting to read his mind, Lyssa surges once more and inadvertently heals the party as a whole. She plays it off as a show of good faith though, and though Morgrave thanks her, he does let the party know that he will share more when he is ready.

On their guard shift, Moira confides in Vetnik that she thinks highly of Morgrave despite Abigail’s vocal distrust and knows him to be good intentioned. Eavesdropping, Morgrave lets them know that he would be more comfortable with a democratic vote keeping him in the party. The warriors agree to the vote, saying they will hold it in the morning (but that he has both their votes.)

While camping, Trisoll and Lyssa bond over the previous battle and how much they miss Greyhawk. At Lyssa’s urging, Trisoll confronts Abigail, waking her from her sleep, and continues to question Abigail as to why she specifically wanted to bed him. Their heated discussion wakes the others and with mounted pressure, Abigail reveals that she chose Trisoll because she knew he had affection towards her and thought him an easy means of bearing a child to be parented between her and her lover, Maja.

On the way to the hoard, the party ends up riding through foggy flatlands. Amidst the fog, they encounter a pair of wights. Trisoll successfully turns them and they retreat into a nearby cavern. Carrying out her holy duty, Moira charges after them and the others follow. They slay the pair, but another wight appears but is dealt with quickly.

View
Upward Bound

WORK IN PROGRESS…

While picking the gems out of the muck, Abigail pulls out two of her stones of communication and speaks into them.

“Thank Paladine!” she exclaims, “I love you.”

Abi finds out that Maja’s sight has been fully restored and that she is safe. In addition, the Royal house of Borman has offered a regiment of men one thousand strong to assist in the bringing of Malia Dane to justice. Apparently, the Galdeen family had owed Maja a debt it now intends to repay.

Lyssa reveals to Abigail and the party her vision: Abigail and Maja together on the front lines against an unseen enemy on a battlefield of black ice. Abi tells them of the northern lands of Morgoth. Abigail agrees to send scouts to Morgoth, but warns that if Lyssa’s vision is false, she will strike back. Lyssa warns Abigail that if she puts any of her companions in danger, she’ll reprimand her with all of her magic.

They continue to ride to Varnyn and stop in a small hamlet called Swampstaff. At the local tavern, they stop what appears to be a theft of food in progress. The truth is revealed to be much stranger: the food was for a living dog that was where his penis should have been. Lyssa, Vetnik and Trisoll find out after chasing after the man that the man, nicknamed Dog Dick McGirk, was once an adventurer who, but had been put into retirement 7 years prior after his entire party was slaughtered by an evil warlock, was cursed as a sick reminder by having his penis replaced by a living dog. He pleads with the party to save him from his miserable situation. Lyssa calms the dog and steals some if its fur (for investigation on the curse and possible later use) while Trisoll prays to Trithereon to remove the curse. He’s successful and returns the aged hero to his former glory. As a reward, he gives Trisoll a key and the directions to his hoard that he abandoned after losing his last quest.

While the three of them dealt with the strange case of Dog Dick McGirk, a traveling performing troupe stopped at the tavern. One of the performers in particular, an acrobat, takes a fancy to Grum and the pair hit it off, trading drinks and thinly veiled innuendos. The rest of the party packs up and hits the road while Grum lets them know he’ll catch up while he enjoys an evening with the acrobat.

Grum returns to the group after his interlude and finds the party mostly asleep, save for his brother. While they take watch, a brutalized Geldan (bird-man) falls from the forest canopy above, its winged arms broken and hacked. It pleads for healing (via Thom’s comprehend languages) and Trisoll abide, after Moira checks it out for its lack of evil. He reveals himself as Abraxos and tells the party via Thom that he was attacked by assassins from the Jen’mar’ka (sun elves). Abigail informs them that the Geldan and Jen’mar’ka have been war for millennia, both claiming to have been the first race of Kellagha. The party puts it to a vote and they agree to help bring Abraxos back to its nest, knowing that the Jen’mar’ka were a part of the army being raised by the mysterious Black Rider from Dablova’s vision. Together with the help of fly spells, ointments, and agile climbing, they journey under the cover of night to return Abraxos to his nest and to stop the Jen’mar’ka assassins.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.