Okknos

Session 37: Into the Howling Wood
The Return of Menzo

The adventurers decided to refuse the King’s call to travel to Inaulia as they believed retrieving the unhatched dragon eggs from Menzo was of greater importance.

Before they departed Silver Hill they met up with a familiar face. It was Valez and he was accompanied by a dangerous looking halfling named Poppy. Valez not only affirmed their decision to seek Menzo but told them he and Poppy would accompany them.

Their first stop was the halfling village of Fernwall and there they reunited with their dragons who had grown quite a lot. Zalthannus warned the heroes that the missing dragon riders, Petrin, Arygno and Kitten would need to spend more time with their dragon lest the bond weakened and the creatures reverted to their more wild tendencies. The heroes immediately thought about Petrin roaming the Abyss and the slim odds that the dragonborn hero would ever be seen again.

Zalthannus gave the companions directions to Menzo’s whereabouts and the heroes agreed to depart in the morning. That evening however the halflings were throwing a party for their prize stud goat, Hornsby, who was lost (apparently in another realm) was found and returned.

There was food, drink, dancing, and games. The heroes were never ones to turn down a party and so they joined in. They competed with the halflings in: dancing contests, in which Vex created a new trend and became something of a dancing legend, goat avoiding, in which the halfling Poppy never got rammed by the most cantankerous goat in the village; cheese bowling, in which Galendan showed off his secret cheesy talents; and drinking, in which Voren was Voren and all were in awe. In the end Voren was named winner of the games and Hornsby’s next offspring would bear his name.

In the morning, the heroes awoke well-rested and ready for their next adventure. Many of them were eager to confront the tricky wizard Menzo once more. They hoped to retrieve the eggs so that Leira and Vex could bond with their own dragons.

Upon entering the outskirts of the Ghandril Forest also known as the Howling Wood, the heroes found an old man and a child by a small campfire. Their clothes were torn and their faces and arms marked with scratches and other small wounds. The heroes approached and learned from the two that a great purple dragon had made a home in the woods and was a monster who delighted in destruction (including destroying their humble homestead).

The heroes remembered that years ago when they first gathered their dragon eggs that there was one egg, containing a purple dragon, that Kitten somehow knew to be a foul beast and better left forever in that dark underground vault. Could this be the same creature? If so, how had it grown so large so quickly?

The heroes had many questions, but were interrupted when a band of werewolves emerged from the treeline and attempted to terrorize the group. The heroes would have none of it and sprang into action. Valez and Poppy immediately tore through the group with a viciousness the other heroes were not used to seeing. So scared were the werewolves that one attempted to flee, only to be felled by a barrage of arrows from Leira and Eldarion.

The old man, Martuk, and his boy, Khezri, were thankful for their timely rescue and decided to help the adventurers track down Menzo. They told them to seek the wisdom of the dark treant, Olvendark. The dark treant was not happy to see the heroes and went on a bit of a tirade about how the adventurers would likely bring ruin to the forest. He gave them a riddle about fire to test them, and the heroes answered correctly, proving that they knew how to be good stewards of the forest.

Olvendark begrudgingly helped the heroes but told them that if they damaged any trees or started any fires that the very forest would rise up against them and kill them. Galendan thought briefly to his combat with the werewolves in which his sword became lodged in a tree and sheepishly grinned at his companions, who kept that detail secret.

The heroes followed Olvendark’s directions and it appeared they had snuck up on Menzo, but the tricky wizard had his own companions nearby creating a bit of a standoff. With Menzo were his two ogres, the violent werewolf alpha Belaruse Garu, Petrin’s mother Artana Iceblade, and a jittery elf named Maglor. The heroes learned that Menzo had given dragons to Belarus, Artana and Maglor and the dragons’ names respectively were Smoke, Halcyon and Mistake.

The heroes inquired about a purple dragon and the remaining eggs and at first Menzo deflected the questioning. However the heroes would not let it go and Menzo confessed that he had made a mistake. He sensed the power in the purple dragon’s egg and thought he could tame it. The dragon hatched on its own, unbonded, and named itself Inimigo. The beast seemed to have stored up some energy over the centurieshe and matured at an astonishing rate. It has already achieved its adult size. Inimgo demanded Menzo hand over the three remaining eggs, which he did (having realized he was no match for the dragon). Menzo believes Inimgo intends to hatch the dragons and raise them in his image.

The heroes were furious with Menzo and started making plans to take down Inimigo. Menzo laughed and said it couldn’t be done and to leave the tyrant be. Menzo argued that when the great war with Fyrus eventually erupted, Inimigo would be an ally and they’d all be happy about that, despite his evil tendencies. The heroes came up with an alternate plan, to sneak into Inimigo’s lair and steal the eggs, hopefully without confronting the purple tyrant.

Menzo wished them luck and said he would not risk his life or those of his party in such a foolish mission. That night the heroes made their plans and interacted with Menzo’s companions. Eldarion knew a bit about Belaruse from Kitten’s stories and asked a few questions about the werewolf’s views on shifters. Belaruse quickly verified Kitten’s stories and remarked about how surprising it was that a shifter like Kitten could be seen as a warrior, let alone a hero. Eldarion did not appreciate the mocking tone and the conversation ended as quickly as it began.

Artana pleaded with the heroes not to give up on Petrin but to find him and deliver him from the Abyss. She asked them not to judge her for joining with Menzo as she believes she can do the most help being alongside him.

Maglor was the only one to offer his help to the heroes, but so off-putting and annoying was his non-stop talking that the heroes tricked the elf so that they’d be gone before he even awoke.

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Session 36: Galendan on the Edge
An offer a rogue can't refuse?
  • With daybreak, the heroes and Amberly Guilford tended their wounds and pondered next steps. The arrogant knight offered only one option. “We strike them at their heart,” he said. “Kill them all and end it.” The companions agreed that a direct attack upon the creatures during the day was a reasonable approach, but they refused to help until Guilford told them all he knew.
  • Guilford finally relented and confessed that a travelling tiefling sold him a map which was supposed to lead to the fabled treasure of the first necromancer, Lykandyr the Fetid. Thirsty for adventure, Guilford greedily bought the map and with the help of his Reeve, Gol Overfall set out and dug into an old barrow on the outskirts of Appleton. After the unearthed cave seemed to exhale a long held breath, the undead emerged, dragging Overfall into the dark depths. Guilford escaped but he swore to make things right.
  • Eldarion asked Guilford if the tiefling who sold him the map wore an eye patch. Amberly eyed the fighter suspiciously and answered yes. The heroes agreed that the map seller was likely Ahjahn who was now a revenant of Fyrus, a powerful undead dragonborn who was challenging the Raven Queen for supremacy of the dead. The treasure was a lie and the tiefling simply tricked the ambitious knight into releasing an evil power.
  • Edward Belljar and Gwen Cuthbert thanked the heroes for keeping them alive through the night. They confessed they were not warriors and declined to join the assault on the zombies’ nest. Instead they offered to return to Silver Hill and talk to Tymon Hunubutu about getting more elixir prepared. Gwen prayed for their protection, and the heroes noted that her prayer seemed to carry some power.
  • The heroes and Guilford equipped themselves and set off for the barrow. The cave was filthy with mud and human remains. A voice called out to Galendan from the darkness, a voice that only he could hear. “Galendan,” it whispered. “At last you have come to join us.” Galendan was taken aback but offered no response. The voice continued, “Fyrus has chosen you. You will be his. You are acquainted with death, and so you are acquainted with him. Come to me and you will taste death in its fullness and take your mantle as the Hunter’s Blade.” Galendan felt an attack on his will and a compulsion to run to the darkness, run to the voice but he fought against the voice and stood his ground. The voice seemed unimpressed, “You resist now, but you cannot escape your destiny. He grows stronger day by day, and in this tomb his eyes are fixed upon you.”
  • Inside the barrow the heroes found many sarcophagi, cramped chambers, and shards from ancient broken pottery. Long dead tiefling skeletons laid in the sacrophagi, but before the adventurers could inspect someone called out to them from a nearby chamber. Guilford recognized the man as Graham Givens, the owner of the Cider House, only it was clear the man was one of the zombies now. Givens offered the heroes a deal. He would let them leave unharmed if they handed over Galendan. The heroes were perplexed by the offer since Galendan said nothing of the voice and they asked the zombie why he would ask for the eladrin rogue. Givens responded, “Fyrus has chosen him to become his blade. His silent and swift deliverer of death to those who would stand in his way. The Hunter’s Blade will topple kingdoms.” The heroes looked to Galendan who revealed nothing as he was still resisting the urge to run into the dark’s embrace. The heroes moved in to attack. Givens made a motion and the tiefling skeletons arose and joined him in battle. The heroes handled their foes fairly easily but were surprised and concerned at how adept a recent turned zombie like Givens had been.
  • The heroes discovered a small side passage that led to a toppled broken statue of the Raven Queen. It was hard to identify at first because it had been smashed to rubble. A faint light emanated from the debris and slowly coalesced into a phantom bearing the likeness of their old companion Valez Du’Urth. He spoke to them, “Friends, I bring news from the Raven Queen. She was once worshiped here, long ago, but enough power remains that I can deliver this short message. She has not yet lost her throne, but much rests on your shoulders. You must find ”/wikis/menzo" class=“wiki-page-link”>Menzo. He has more dragon eggs that need bonded masters. War is coming. Perhaps the final war." He seemed to want to say more, but faded away.
  • The next chamber in the barrow was quite large in comparison to the more prevalent cramped disjointed passages. In the chamber was another recently-turned zombie and four large glass vats full of green liquid. Inside each vat were human corpses. One had wings, another long claws, another that blinked in and out of view, and fourth that appeared relatively normal. The newer zombie greeted Amberly with a sneer and said, “Lord Guilford, back so soon? How fortunate. The master requires more flesh.”
  • Amberly told the heroes that this was his Reeve, Gol Overfall. He asked the zombie how he could throw his lot in with these monsters and Overfall replied, “Lykandyr was no threat to anyone until we came in and freed him to satisfy your ambition. There are some who would call you the monster.” Guilford was shaken by those words, but all the more resolute to end the zombie scourge, including his former friend. But before they could attack, Overfall uttered a few words and the rod he was carrying glowed a sickly green before shooting tendrils of light to each vat, breaking the glass and freeing the monstrosities inside. This fight was very difficult with the mutated zombies surprising the heroes with their newfound tricks, but the heroes prevailed.
  • The heroes could see that only two chambers remained. The next room they entered was considerably colder and upon entering it they heard a sorrowful moaning. Hovering in the air was a ghostly Elven maiden, hideous in appearance. She looked at them as if expecting their arrival and greeted them with a terrible cry that brought them to their knees. Two suits of armor in the room sprung to life and engaged in battle with the shaken heroes. During the combat, Galendan was once more assaulted by the voice and this time he was too weary from battle to stand against it. He found himself leaving his companions to fight the banshee and running into the dark chamber beyond. The battle with the banshee and living armor was a long one, but the heroes were victorious, the only casualty appearing to be the missing Galendan.
  • In the final room they found Galendan. He was strapped to a stone slab inside a vat submerged in the green fluid they had seen in a previous chamber. They attempted to call out to him but a hunched figure wrapped in bandages cut them off. “You’ve killed the Cryptmother,” he said. “She was my first and my favorite. After you suffer I will make you my new works of art.” He smiled a terrible smile and a giant corpse which seemed to be made from multiple human corpses arose from a nearby slab and attacked the heroes.
  • During the battle Galendan once more received the offer to stand by the side of Fyrus and become the Hunter’s Blade. The offer promised power and strength beyond anything the eladrin could imagine, but more than that it offered a purpose and sense of belonging. He found it incredibly alluring, but before he could accept his companions shouts reached him. They reminded him of who he was and what he meant to them. That he built a legacy fighting the monsters and protecting the innocent. Even Amberly pleaded with the Eladrin to fight the darkness. But it wasn’t quite enough. The power was so great. Just before he was about to commit himself to the darkness, Eldarion spoke out and said, “When I saved your life you told me that you owed me yours. Did you mean that?” The rogue hesitated, but he did remember, and now his half-elf friend was calling in the debt. The pull of Fyrus was broken and Galendan broke free of his bindings and planted his knife in the dark heart of the incredulous Lykandyr.
  • With the necromancer dead once more, the barrow fell into a peaceful silence. Galendan thanked his friends for fighting for him and told them that while near death he experienced a vision of the Shadowfell. Fyrus had gathered his own undead dragons and was finding riders for them. War indeed was coming.
  • The heroes returned to Silver Hill to rest up before deciding on next steps. Would they return to Mocklyn as the King requested to serve as his ambassadors to the mysterious Inaulian Empire or would they travel to Fernwall to visit their dragons and ask Zalthannus if she can point them in the direction of Menzo?
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Session 35: Zombie House Call
Zombie House Call

Session 35: Zombie House Call

  • The heroes met a group of escaped slaves from the Minotaur City of Sargon. They carried urgent news of the Minotaurs’ campaign against Akari. The companions, along with the former slaves and Shon took to the castle to speak directly with King Akli Langriff.
  • King Akli was entertaining some visiting diplomats from Inaulia. Voren, a native Inaulian in a bit of self-exile, was not excited to see them. After introductions were made, in which Voren did not reveal his true name, the former slaves shared their story. They told the king that the Sinking Sun bandits were led by a man in the employ of the Minotaurs and that their goal was to simply erode the kingdom’s infrastructure in preparation of an invasion. The infamous bandit leader Uly Breen is in fact Felix Olvery, a man recently thought to be an escaped slave who carries a claim to the Akari throne.
  • Akli issues an immediate warrant for the arrest of Olvery and promises a massive crack down on the Sinking Sun. He then tells the heroes that the Inaulians are here to build an alliance of sorts with Akari against the Minotaurs. The King would like to send his own emissaries to Inaulia to further build the bond. He says he wants the heroes to be that team, which causes Voren to wince. But it is the King’s request and so they agree. But they won’t have to leave for a few weeks so they decide to spend some time at their guild house in Amollo.
  • With no where else to go, some of the escaped slaves ask to join with Team Zalthannus. The heroes agree to take on Leira, Carter, Riza and Malcer and leave a spot open for the bard Harvek. The Elven former slaves elect to go to the Forest of Amber and meet the elves that reside there.
  • At the guild house the heroes find a pile of letters requesting their help in all manners of dangers from escaped deadly fantastical creatures and half-orc raiders to old haunted ruins and a leprechaun sighting. The group has some time to kill so they decide to take a job and agree to investigate a reported zombie uprising in the sleepy orchard village of Appleton.
  • Before setting off on the adventure, Voren checks in with Amollo’s foremost historian, Din Pilly about the baby kraken they had discovered earlier. Pilly said he studied the legend of the kraken since their last meeting and that he has discovered a potential means to slay the beast. Legend speaks of a powerful weapon called the Trident of Avalon. Avalon may have been an underwater Titan of some kind. He was worshiped by a race of mermen. Legend says he created the krakens to protect the waters, but kept for himself this trident should any of the beast ever turn on the mermen.
  • The adventurers stopped in Four Stones on the way to Silver Hill and reacquainted themselves with Omvari Tivesten. The man was still plotting against the Sinking Sun, and told the heroes that since the King cracked down on the bandits, they have moved their operations westward. He gave the heroes some intelligence that they could run into bandits on the road to Silver Hill and he encouraged them to draw the bandits out and slay them.
  • The heroes did indeed find the bandits, but someone or something else had found them first, leaving quite a bloody mess. Further inspection of the bodies showed something attempted to eat these bandits. Before they could discover more, the corpses rose and attacked. The zombies were clumsy fighters, but the heroes had to be careful to avoid being bitten.
  • The heroes met up with Appleton’s mayor, Jathur Kinsman at Torchlights in Silver Hill. The Mayor was a thin man, wracked with worry. He told a terrible tale of how the zombies appeared one night and ravaged the town, devouring poor villagers as they attempted to flee.
  • Jathur also told the adventurers about Amberly Guilford, a knight of Akari and Lord of Appleton. Jathur does not have kind words to share about this man saying the Lord resents his own people. Guilford was knighted for saving the King’s life and as a reward was given Appleton, though the ambitious man pined for the seaside port of Garby.
  • While in Torchlights, the adventurers met up once more with Paysan Pintaude, the ex-arsonist Vitalian exile and now proprietor of Torchlights. They stepped in and prevented some sore losers at the card table from taking their anger out on Paysan and the man was very gratified. He told them of a mage in town named Tymon Hunubutu who knew a bit about zombies. When meeting up with Tymon, the tattooed mage gave them an elixir that would stave off the foul results of a zombie bite.
  • The companions spent the night at Torchlights and departed for Appleton the next morning. The town appeared deserted, though Leira heard noises coming from a building with a sign marking it as the Cider House. Inside, under the floor, the heroes found two survivors, Edward Belljar and Gwen Cuthbert. They had barricaded themselves in the cellar during a zombie onslaught, and were unable to get out. The heroes rescued them, and noticed that Gwen had been bitten by a zombie. Galendan did not want to share the elixir they carried, but Vex offered it straightaway and Gwen took a few gulps. The heroes and the two newcomers then headed to the manor of Amberly Guilford.
  • Amberly refused to let the heroes in, but as the night came upon them and the heroes offered their aid in defending the manor, the curt knight opened his doors. The companions peppered Amberly with questions about the zombies, suggesting they believed he knew more than he let on. Guilford, denied having any information, clearly resenting their questions. Despite his protests, Voren noticed some papers scattered about the knight’s study table that suggested Amberly was hiding something.
  • As night fell, a terrible shrieking sound rang out from hills to the north. Amberly told the heroes to brace for battle as the horde was on the move. Sure enough, within minutes a staggering mass of zombies threw themselves against the manor house shattering windows and doors. The champions fought them back as best they could but eventually the walls were breached and skirmishes were set off throughout the house. After several waves of the zombie onslaught, the heroes survived the night, though Amberly, Galendan, Voren and Vex were all bitten. Voren rationed out what was left of the elixir but withheld it from Amberly, compelling the arrogant knight to spill his secrets or succumb to the zombies’ foul poison. Amberly laughed and revealed an empty bottle. He too had the elixir, and he drank his in full. The heroes were furious and in his anger Galendan cut the man with his blade. Guilford tended to his wound and with a calm, cold voice told the rogue that he would remember that act.
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Session 34 - The Final Remnant and Fun with Portals
Hard to put down a bad book

The fourth remnant of Bolvagon was a twisted demon covered in chains. He had been both enslaving and feeding upon the poor bedraggled people of Mocklyn, but the heroes destroyed the foul creature. Now only the imp, Narullian remained as a conduit for the powerful beholder trapped in the Abyss.

The imp had been an instrumental ally in the heroes’ quest and the companions did not relish the idea of destroying him. Petrin proposed an alternate plan, saying the imp needn’t be killed, but simply removed from the world. He wanted to take Narullian back to the Abyss and strike the beholder in his own realm. The heroes offered their assistance in the Abyss, but Petrin said that once Narullian left this world the Book of Years would regain it’s mortal body. And the heroes needed to be ready to strike the moment that happened.

The group decided to sail to Amollo and enlist the help of the portal masters Viktoro Grey and Osmos Portakis. But first they would stop by Winford Leake’s alchemy shop to pick up some supplies.

Kitten was quick to show off his new magic chalk which allowed him to draw anything and have it become real. Winford was amazed and his desire to acquire this artifact was obvious to all. Kitten continued to tease Winford with the chalk until the shopkeeper realizing he could not own the chalk, instead sought to have Kitten use the chalk on his behalf. He held up an item and asked the paladin to draw it, and thus create a duplicate. Kitten recognized the item as dragonflame, an explosive that landed Winford in hot water before when he sold it illegally to the Sinking Sun.

Kitten called him out on it and Winford played it off saying it wasn’t what he thought and distracted the shifter. Meanwhile Galendan purchased two healing potions from Winford, which turned out to be nothing more than strawberry juice. At least the thief was able to leave the shop with something of value: a baby kraken in a jar, which Winford almost seemed eager to part with.

Their business in Mocklyn completed, the companions purchased passage for a vessel bound for Amollo

Upon arrival in Amollo, Eldarion told the Captain to let the authorities in Mocklyn know that the alchemist was once more dealing in dragonflame. The heroes revisited their old guild house which continued to be watched by the beggar, Spoon. Eldarion gave the man some money for his continued services.

While in town the group was set upon by a cult dedicated to their mighty Squid Lord, which was apparently the small creature in the jar that Galendan carried. The heroes quickly dispatched of the outmatched cultists, but now understood why Winford Leake was so eager to rid himself of the creature.

The heroes stopped by the house of historian Din Pilly and asked the man what he knew about the kraken. Pilly knew vaguely that the creature supposedly could only be harmed by legendary artifact that were lost long ago. The heroes hired Pilly to look into the legends and let them know what he learned.

The companions visited the arena where they made history nearly a year ago by winning the Freedom Gauntlet. On this day there were many out-of-towners showing off their endeavors to build a flying machine. There were elves working magic on a small airship, gnomes constructing a very noisy flapping machine, and an old man with a row boat and many many balloons. While the heroes waited for the portalmasters to arrive, they interacted with the inventors. The elves were quite haughty and the gnomes were too busy tinkering with their machine, and so Kitten and Voren decided to speak with the old man.

He wasn’t having much luck getting his boat off the ground, and Voren feeling either sorry for the man or just looking for a good time used his flight spell on the old man causing him to rise above the arena. The old man was virtually euphoric flying and soaring over the arena. Even the gnomes took a few minutes to watch the spectacle, though the elves merely frowned disapprovingly.

After some time, the portalmasters arrived and began the ritual to send Petrin and Narullian to the abyss. The portal opened and Petrin and Narullian stepped through. The heroes waved goodbye to their old friend. Suddenly, the nearby elves began casting magic of their own! The remaining adventurers and the portalmasters were dragged through a different portal, into the Feywild! They found themselves looking on a familiar sight, the manor of Winterspeak. There was no time for nostalgia, however, as the portal-casting elves proclaimed their devotion to the Book of Years and attacked!

Battle was joined, and in the midst of combat, the book floated out of Galendan’s bag and began to hover in midair. One of the book’s servants levitated the book away from Galendan and into the manor. The heroes cut a path through the book’s defenders, and entered Winterspeak in hot pursuit. They soon heard a voice behind a door. The voice exulted in its new human form. Eldarion angrily kicked down the door and stormed into the room with Kitten close behind. “So nice to see you, Kitten,” said the book-turned-man. “I look forward to controlling that loose brain of yours. And Eldarion, perhaps I should pop what is left of your parents’ minds right now. What do you think?” “You can die quickly or slowly; it’s your choice,” growled the half-elf. At long last, this next battle would decide if a great evil would be defeated or set loose.

The human version of the Book was powerful indeed, and with the Eladrin Winter Knight Kimath It-Arist under his control this was the heroes’ toughest fight yet. Magic whirled, blades clashed, and arrows whizzed. The companions were dealt many wounds but in the end they killed the book and the spell over Kimath was broken. The Eladrin was grateful and ceased fighting. The group took a collective breath, hardly believing the nightmare was over.

Eldarion was eager to see his parents, now that they were truly free of the book. And he did so, finding them recovering from their years of torment under the Book’s power. He left them under the care of Warman who had performed so well in this function.

It was time to say good bye to the Fey Wild and the heroes used a stone circle to teleport just outside Fernwall, the home of their dragons who had finally hatched!

Zalthannus greeted them warmly. The heroes gave the great green dragon the baby kraken, figuring the little abomination would be safe here from the wacky cult they encountered in Amollo.

Zalthannus encouraged the heroes to bond with their dragons by taking them on their first hunt. It was a thrilling outing as the heroes tapped into the dragons’ enhanced senses. Through their dragons they could see further and pick up on scents that no man ever could. When the group stumbled on a group of trolls, usually ferocious foes, they were able to mow down the monsters with relative ease.

But alas, the dragons still had much to learn and Zalthannus told them they would need to stay with her longer. She told the heroes that other dragons have hatched, presumably the eggs taken by the wizard Menzo. One of these was in the nearby Ghandril Forest also known as the Howling Wood due to its lycanthrope denizens.

The heroes were eager to confront Menzo but they also received a summons from King Akli to return to Mocklyn. After much discussion, the group decided to return to Mocklyn to see what the King wanted.

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Session 33: Sinking Sun, Spiders, and Snacks
Wherein Blue Stones May Have Been Worshipped (but Voren's not telling)

Damakos’ body wriggles briefly, then stills. An arm strains against the ropes; they snap almost immediately, no match for the strength of the resurrected Tiefling. One eye opens, then another. He looks over the gathered adventurers, who wait to see whether their once ally remains so.

“My friends. I’m sorry you have to see me this way.”

Voren questions Damakos, asking “Who did this to you?”

“Fyrus. His armies have taken over portions of the River of Souls, leading to the Raven Queen’s domain, and stole me from her service. Fyrus offered me…this” he says, gesturing to his restored body, “and an opportunity to get my revenge upon the Sinking Sun.” He pauses. “I accepted his offer. But when I’m through with the Sinking Sun…”

“We need to get this antivenom back to the king,” Voren says. The party heads back towards Mocklyn, leaving Damakos alone in the graveyard that is now more home to him than the city.

A unit of city guard meets them outside the city gates; their captain says, “We’ve been looking all over for you. Give us the antivenom, we have to get it to the king right away.”
The adventurers are suspicious; not only could they deliver it to the king as quickly as these guards, but the weapons that these men carry are not the usual equipment for the Mocklyn Watch. Eldarion tells the guard, “We’ll take it ourselves.”

The “chief guard” grins as though he expected this, then lets out a piercing whistle. At his signal, a pair of massive stone gargoyles flies down, and the counterfeit guardsmen prepare for battle.

Roll Initiative

With the gargoyles and false guards vanquished, the party continues its journey to Mocklyn and the king—though Kitten takes a brief detour to deliver an evening snack to Damakos. They are met by more guards, though these do not attempt to relieve them of the antivenom, instead escorting them to the king’s chambers. They are met by Vansig, who is ecstatic to learn that they have acquired it. With some difficulty, the party administers the cure to the unconscious king.

Vansig says that the king’s condition appears to be stabilizing, and gives the adventurers rooms in the castle to rest for the night.

Extended Rest

In the castle library, Voren finds a description of a creature similar to the one spoken of by villagers in the Edge—huge, horned and wrapped in chains. It appears to be a predator, highly intelligent, taking its victims not just to feed but also to dominate their minds and use them as weapons.

The party heads back to the manhole where they had previously been ambushed by allies of the Sinking Sun, and descends into the sewers to track down the monster. Nerullian indicates that they are drawing close to the remaining fragment of Bulvegon, though the imp is unable to tell in which direction it lies. Before the party can confer to decide which way to go, Kitten—led by his gut and a lick of the strange blue stone on the pommel of his sword—charges down one of the corridors towards something he senses is somehow…important. The fragment, perhaps? The rest of the party follows.

The corridor ends in a dark chamber, draped in thick cobwebs blocking the path. Kitten heeds them not and charges through, carving his way through the webs, the vibrations signaling a clutter of spiders who spin their way down to meet the adventurers…

Roll Initiative

The spiders are mercilessly crushed in the course of the battle. Buried in the cobwebs, Kitten finds a wooden trunk that appears to be the source of whatever was calling to him. Inside, the adventurers find gold, a silver flask etched with an elaborate rose, and a leather scroll case. The flask smells musty and old, but is empty, whatever it contained having long since evaporated.

Voren inspects the flask; it indicates that this was a treasure stash of the old pirate, Mikoni the Rose, who had made wild and seemingly insane claims about tribes of lizardmen who worshipped a giant blue stone. Kitten opens the scroll case; inside he finds an old map, depicting a chain of four islands, one with an image of a skull on the southern coast. From his studies of cartography, Voren knows that the skull indicates a place of both great importance and danger. The geography of the islands doesn’t match anything he knows of near Haven; but pictures of tropical trees bordering the map indicate the islands must be at a similar latitude to Amollo.

Voren says as much to Kitten and the rest of the party, leaving out the part about the giant blue stone and its purported worshippers.

Galendan, who Kitten had been carting from place to place as Damakos’ blood performed its regenerative work, finally awakes. Eldarion asks him how he is feeling; “A little bit confused.” He displays no immediate need to feed on the blood of the living, for which the rest of the party is grateful.

The adventurers head down the other corridor, and find a chamber lit by torches, turning to the right too sharply for them to see inside until the enter, whereupon they find a giant horned monster, wrapped in chains, surrounded by humans. The humans’ gaze is vacant; they and the monster are in the midst of feeding on…well, it’s not a mystery what happened to the missing residents of the Edge.

The monster turns to face the party. Seeing Nerullian, it says, “Bulvegon will be most displeased with your betrayal, imp…”

Roll Initiative

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Session 32: Battle at the Edge
Wherein Voren turns Galendan into a vampire (sorta).

At Jars & Dust. Post-Sinking Sun battle. Looking for an antidote to spider venom.
Eldarion: We need to draw out Yellowspine.
Kitten asks Shon about “The Edge”. Slum district under the shadow of the city walls.
Voren asks Shon about minotaurs, concerned that they know about Inaulia. Minotaur ship was spotted off the coast of Mocklyn. Rescued a human slave, who has a claim to the throne of Akari.

Kitten buys out a bakery, starts handing out bread in the Edge. Eldarion pumps up the crowd. Kitten gives rides to children.

There have been grisly killings and disappearances. No bodies. “It’s ‘cuz the thing eats them. Ain’t nothin’ to find.”

Galendan: horned beast wrapped in chains == some kind of demon, sometimes has the ability to corrupt minds. May have followers.

Arrive at an intersection where several people have disappeared. Galendan finds blood near the center of the intersection, leading towards a manhole. Eldarion starts to lift the cover; an arrow whistles by…

Defeat the assassins, capture their leader.

Interrogate the leader; he’s very compliant, no intimidation needed. Was mentored by Yellowspine (supposedly). Eldarion: “Where’s the antidote?” Damakos was killed by Yellowspine because he bought the antidote, refused to hand it over or reveal where he hid it.

Late at night, at Damakos’ residence. Sean is there, collecting whatever was left behind. Damakos had armor/boots with hidden compartments. Damakos is buried outside the city.
Head to cemetery, leading assassins’ leader with other guards. Dig up Damakos’ casket. Jaw is broken; large stone placed in mouth, legs staked to ground. Ritual to prevent person to prevent vampires from rising again. Voren senses a ritual was cast.

A ritual to turn someone into a vampire would have to be performed by something very powerful.

Find the vial of antidote in the sole of a boot.

A corpse emerges from a nearby burial plot. “How touching…come to pay last respects?”

“I bring a message from Lord Fyrus…generous proposal: tell us where the wormlings are.”

Defeat zombies+skeletons.

Voren looked down at Damakos’ decomposing body. He had never met the tiefling, though some in the party seemed to hold him in great regard; Shon, in particular, appeared horrified at what had become of his friend. Voren ignored the stench—it was hardly as bad as some of the crypts he had explored in the past—and focused on the details: the tiefling’s jaw was badly broken, perhaps at the hands of Yellowspine and the Sinking Sun, or perhaps when the large stone was wedged into his mouth; and two heavy wooden stakes pinned him to the ground, through the base of the casket.

He had heard of such rituals, often remarked upon in the texts of darker ages; rituals to bind an entity of great evil, to imprison it and prevent it from feeding upon the living.
Murmurs rose in the back of Voren’s mind, speaking of death, and of undeath; memories of spells and rituals to bind, to control, even to bring forth such a creature. Memories that Voren knew were not his, though he did not doubt their accuracy.

It was a useless babble, and he paid it no heed. He preferred the voices when they were as unintelligible as this; they were easier to ignore.

Another memory, unbidden, of the power held in the blood of a Vampire, and of its uses. Voren did not question the source of the memory, but looked from Damakos in his casket, to the recently expired Galendan, whose body lay only a few steps away in a pool of blood. Voren was sickened by what he was thinking, but another part of his mind drove him forward, making his next steps inevitable.

“I think I can help Galendan.” Dumping out a flask of the dwarven ale he had procured in Kullengaard—there were only a few drops left—Voren stepped down into the hole, balancing on the edges of the casket. With sure movements, he pulled the stone out of Damakos’ mouth, and drew the stakes from his legs, tossing them to the side of the grave, and waited as the tiefling’s badly decayed cadaver began to knit itself back together.

Voren: The blood of a freshly made vampire has an amazing effect on the recently dead. Prepares to complete the ritual that was being performed on Damakos. Pull away stone and stakes.

Damacos begins to regenerate. Take a blood sample. Put stone+stakes back in. Tells others to seal up casket, goes to Galendan and gives vial of vampire blood. Galendan’s body starts to regenerate. He now has a vampiric hunger.

Restrain Damacos, wait for him to awake.

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Session 31: Mocklyn and the Dying King
Can our heroes save a poisoned King Akli?
  • The adventurers leave the waste and good friend Arygno behind. They along with Governor Ulfus Faragor are heading to Mocklyn for various purposes. Ulfus wishes to inform the King about what the Serei-Shava told him in regards to the King’s declining health. Eldarion and his companions hunt the third remnant of Bolvagon. Eldarion is more than aware that his visit to Mocklyn may bring him into contact with the King, who summoned him weeks ago. A summons he ignored.
  • En route to the capital city, the party is ambushed by bandits of the Sinking Sun. Ulfus had told the heroes that those who were in the King’s inner circle were disappearing or being found killed. He feared for his own life and now it seemed that fear was well-placed. The bandits told the heroes that if they handed over the governor, they would be left unharmed. These adventurers had never responded kindly to threats or ultimatums and they weren’t about to start now.
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Session 30: Rise of Arygno
Waste needs a hero
  • Arygno was right. The party was being watched and before long they were intercepted by the Lepo-Shava a nomadic tribe of the Waste. Their chieftain Kane Bodorr peppered the party with questions about their journey. When he didn’t get all the information he wanted, he invited the group to camp with them. That evening he offered them drinks, potent drinks, and all of the party except for the alcohol-loving Voren, soon found themselves spilling secrets.
  • Fortunately Kane had no desire to harm the group. In fact he offered his help. He seemed to believe that something important was about to happen and that Arygno, the party’s healer, would play a pivotal role. Kane wanted to be there to witness.
  • That night, the Lepo-Shava’s camp was attacked by a group of bloodthirsty thri-kreen. The mantis warriors were drunk with bloodlust, but thanks to the help of the adventurers, the attackers were subdued. Kane commented that something very strange was happening with the thri-kreen. Though the Shava and mantis warriors were never friends, the level of aggression from the thri-kreen seemed very out of place.
  • In the morning, Kane accompanied the party to Rakhmah, the home of the wise Serei-Shava. Narullian was sure a remnant of Bolvagon was near the village. Arygno was growing more nervous with each step. There was a reason he left this place…and he was pretty sure the Serei-Shava would not welcome him.
  • When the group arrived at Rahkmah, they wasted not time in making the local goat-herder very anxious. Kitten was reminded of the time when he threw a goat at Galendan and he wanted to relive the memory, much to the worry of Galendan, the goat-herder and the goat. Cooler heads prevailed and the goat remained unthrown.
  • There was an empty carriage in town hinting that visitors from afar had come to seek the Serei-Shava’s counsel. Kane pointed out that the group would have to wait in line if they wanted to speak with the wise ones. So to the line they went. There they met the Governor of Garby, Ulfus Faragor and his guards.
  • While making small talk, Ulfus noticed Quantis was dressed as a member of the Akari army and he asked why he was here. Quantis told his story and it seemed Ulfus was about to have him condemned as a deserter, but the man’s honesty and good character convinced him to only issue a warning.
  • Kitten was growing restless and issued an open challenge to Ulfus’ guards to wrestle him. Ulfus refused to let his men engage in such an activity, but Kitten pressed the issue. Eventually the younger guard asked Ulfus to let him wrestle Kitten and put the shifter in his place. Ulfus sighed and agreed and was pleased when the youngster, Vex Stormrend defeated the giant shifter. Kitten was shocked to lose, but felt like he made a new friend.
  • The group also learned from Ulfus that a minotaur ship was captured off the coast of Mocklyn. The minotaurs were killed, but what was intriguing was the discovery of human slaves on board. One slave was found to have ties to Akari noblemen taken when the minotaurs attacked Haven centuries ago. This human has a claim to the Akari throne, though he has publicly said he has no desire to wear the crown. He’s just happy to be home and wants his fellow slaves to be freed.
  • When it was Ulfus’ turn to speak with the Serei-Shava, Galendan sneaked in so that he could overhear the conversation. He learned that King Akli Langriff was dying and no one was sure why. The Serei-Shava were convinced it was poison and told Ulfus what to look for.
  • When it was the adventurers’ turn to see the Serei-Shava, Arygno started to get second thoughts. He said it may be better if he wasn’t seen. Kane encouraged him to stay as it seemed the council already noticed him. Arygno was clearly flustered, but agreed to stay.
  • The Serei-Shava greeted the adventurers and seemed polite to Arygno, welcoming him back to the waste, but it was clear to all that there was some tension in the room. The adventurers explained they were looking for a remnant of Bolvagon and what such a thing might look like. A few of the Council did not take them seriously, and with a dismissive tone said they knew of no such entity in Rahkmah. The other Council members seemed uncomfortable but remained silent. Kane Bodorr, impatient with the silliness, said “What about the laughing dragon?”
  • The Shava said there was nothing strange about those old bones, but Kane countered saying there were many who have heard its whispers. He then turned to the adventurers and said Arygno’s father is one of those who heard the voices. That was enough for the heroes. They knew their next step would be to seek out Arygno’s father and then the “laughing dragon”.
  • Arygno reunites with father
  • Heroes do battle with the great ruinous skeletal dragon after dragon explains that Menzo is consort to the Raven Queen. The heroes also learn that the waste was created by the dragon’s death.
  • After dragon is defeated, Narullian explains that it wasn’t the remnant. With the Shava cheering the defeat of the dragon, a band of Thri-Kreen led by a monstrous general attack. Narullian says the general is the remnant.
  • The heroes enter battle though already tired from the dragon encounter. Some are injured but, the heroes are victorious and another remnant is down.
  • The Shava cheer the heroes and two of the counsel approach and explain the other two have been banished for they now knew they were serving the dragon. They ask Arygno to join them and rule the Shava together and possibly united the tribes. Arygno is unsure, but Kane, chieftain of the Lepo-Shava, says he would support him. With that Arygno agrees to stay and the companions are forced to say good bye to one of their own.
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Session 29: Caribou...It's what's for dinner
Troll Business and a Voyage to the Waste
  • Niklaus the Red greeted the adventurers and showed them a trail left by the trolls that raided his pasture and stole his enchanted caribou
  • The adventurers once more noticed a pocket of land tainted by Shadow, this time a large tree that has turned ashen and dark.
  • The tracks led to a cave and instead of entering, Kitten attempted to draw the trolls out by making yeti calls.
  • Six trolls did emerge to see what all the fuss was about. Upon seeing the party, they hungrily attacked. The heroes dispatched them.
  • Kitten explored further into the cave while his companions looted the troll bodies. He found a shadow-warped troll enjoying a bloody shank of caribou. The troll grinned and made a comment in giant language (which Kitten can understand) that there was one in Shadow who would richly reward the troll for killing Kitten and his companions, but for disturbing his meal, he would do it for free. When pushed for more information, the troll remarked that soon the whole world would be covered in Shadow and then the Hunter would walk the land and reign supreme.
  • The troll was done talking and attacked the shifter paladin. Kitten’s companions came to his aide, but were hindered by the troll’s ability to summon shade versions of itself. Once the party had the upper hand, the troll spitefully retreated to where he kept the caribou and heartlessly killed another. The heroes were able to finish the troll before he killed any more of the animals.
  • The troll’s lair was rich in magical items, which the companions eagerly pilfered.
  • Niklaus was happy to see the majority of his caribou survived and Rolf gave the party a reward, though secretly deducting from the agreed upon amount because not all of the caribou were rescued.
  • The party decided to seek out the next remnant of Bolvagon in the Shavaran Waste. Having been born and raised there, Arygno prepared his companions for the trip.
  • Once in the waste, the party was ambushed by “shellys”, a term the Shava use for large scarabs. The beetles were eager to feed upon the heroes, but fell upon their blades.
  • Narullian, the imp, told the heroes that the remnant’s signal had come from deeper within the waste, further to the north and west. The companions continued on but found they were being watched by someone on a far away ridge. Arygno knew that no one traveled the waste alone. Where there was one , there were undoubtedly more. Things were about to get hairy.
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Session 28B - Santa and the Succubus
Part Deux

The dwarven captive was groaning…perhaps growling. Kitten looked up from the troglodyte he had just dispatched to see the squat dwarf flex, pull, and rip the chains from the wall. He did not expect that. And he certainly didn’t expect her to sprout wings and take on the form of a beautiful woman. Quite odd indeed. And then she approached him, whispering about her desire just to be free, play all day, and make friends. Kitten thought that most admirable.

“But,” she whispered. “Your friends don’t want me to play. They want to hurt me. If you don’t help me they’ll kill me!”

Kitten looked across the battle and saw Eldarion talking to Narullian. The imp was pointing at his new friend and Eldarion approached, swords drawn, with a look he knew all too well. He couldn’t let him hurt her. He raised his own weapon and took up a defensive position.

“Get out of the way Kitten,” the half-elf said. “She’s the remnant.”

“She just wants to be friends,” Kitten replied. “We don’t kill friends.”

Eldarion groaned. “She’s bewitched you. You’re not thinking clearly, but I’m sure once I cut her head off, you’ll be right as rain.”

Kittens eyes widened. Eldarion was usually such an even-tempered fellow. It had been weeks since he last beheaded someone. He didn’t want to hurt Eldarion, but he wasn’t about to let him hurt his new friend.

Eldarion engaged the succubus, feigning a lunge with his left sword and then following up with a slash from his right. It was one of his favorite maneuvers that few foes ever saw coming. But his friends had seen it many times, and he found his blade striking the shield of Kitten, who quickly got between them, instead.

“What are you doing?” Eldarion demanded.

“This is not how we play nice.” Kitten responded with a maddening sincerity.

“This isn’t a game Kitten. She’s wants us dead.”

Kitten’s head hurt. This was turning out to be one of those “thinky” type of fights. In the shifter’s experience, thinking was best done in a secluded place with no distractions. He looked at Eldarion, and then the succubus, and said, “I’ll be right back.”

With that he went to the corner of the chamber, rubbed his chin and repetitively said, “hmm”.

The succubus stared after him, seemingly very perplexed. Eldarion, however, was used to this behavior and turned his attention back to dispatching Bolvagon’s remnant.

Kitten found that as he got further away from the succubus, he was able to think more clearly. She said they were friends, but now as he looked at her, with wings and horns, he realized she was in fact a terrible monster. Terrible monsters never want to be friends, and that’s what makes them so monstrous. He knew how to handle monsters. He unsheathed his sword and charged in to help his true friends.

With a renewed effort from Kitten, the succubus and her troglodyte followers were slain. Narullian confirmed that the remnant was indeed dead and told the group that as she died, he caught a glimpse of the network that connected him to the remaining remnants. He was sure one of them could be found in the Shavaran Waste.

Eldarion was anxious to continue the quest, but the dwarves of Kullengaard presented the heroes with another job…and a lucrative one at that. All they had to do was rescue flying caribou from the clutches of hungry trolls. That couldn’t take too long could it?

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