Okknos

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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Session 28A - Santa and the Succubus
Troglodytes, trolls, and ... flying caribou?? Must be a Christmas Adventure

The slimes lay in puddles at the heroes’ feet.

“Are they dead?” Galendan asked.

Quantis poked a blue puddle with his sword. “I’m not sure there’s an easy way to tell.”

“Doesn’t matter,” said Eldarion, his mind focused on the mission. “They’re not trying to kill us anymore so let’s move on.”

A few weeks ago the half-elf learned his parents, whom he thought long dead, were alive, but cursed by the Book of Years. To free them, he and his companions needed to locate and destroy the four remnants of Bolvagon, an ancient beholder imprisoned in the Abyss.

One of the remnants was supposed to be somewhere in this abandoned Dwarven mine shaft but so far all they found were a few hungry slimes.

“Narullian,” Eldarion called to the small imp. “Are we on the right track? Do you still sense the remnant?”

The small pink imp furrowed its brow and closed its eyes. “Yes indeed. We are quite close.”

“No time to rest then,” grumbled Arygno following his companions along the shaft.

Valez called back to the group from where he scouted ahead. “We may have a problem,” the assassin said. “There’s a chasm in our way and I don’t trust the bridge one bit.”

“Are there any other ways across?” asked Eldarion.

“No. Too far even to teleport,” he replied.

“Well then, we’ll try the bridge.”

“Hold on a moment,” said Kitten upon reaching the chasm. “This is a long way down. I don’t think crossing this bridge is a good idea.”

“I didn’t come this far to turn around now,” Eldarion replied tersely.

Kitten and the companions exchanged glances. This quest was consuming the half-elf, but none had the heart to stop him. They followed him into too many impossible scenarios to quit on him now.

Galendan stepped in front of Eldarion. “Let me go first,” the Eladrin rogue said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a safe way to cross.”

Eldarion nodded. “Good idea, but take this rope. I’ll tie it around my waist. In case you fall, I should be able to keep you from plummeting into the darkness.”

Galendan looked over the edge and gulped. “Excellent idea,” he said.

“Well you guys have fun with that,” said Kitten. “I’m not as spry as some of you and don’t fancy a death plunge. So I’ll be climbing down and finding another way. I hope I don’t see you at the bottom.”

Galendan stepped upon the bridge, taking careful steps that showed off his incredible balance. He was about to get cocky when a slat on the bridge gave way beneath him. He attempted to grab hold of something, but could find no handhold and fell below the bridge. Eldarion grabbed the rope and tried to anchor himself, but the rogue’s dive was too much and the half-elf found himself being dragged to the same hole in the bridge. That’s when Kitten caught the rope, adding his considerable strength. Together, he and Eldarion were able to pull Galendan back upon the bridge. Kitten smiled and then dropped his own rope down into the blackness and slowly descended.

Arygno examined the slats in the bridge and was able to ascertain which parts of the bridge were likely to hold their weight. Armed with this knowledge, the group, minus Kitten, continued across the bridge, as careful as they could manage.

Slowly and with a few near fatal slips, the group had made it halfway across the bridge, when disaster struck. Quantis, trying to follow Galendan’s steps slipped and as he started to fall he managed to grab hold of the rope that kept the bridge suspended over the chasm. The sudden jerk on the old rope was too much, and the fibers tore rocking the bridge and sending it, and the heroes, plummeting into the depths of the chasm.

Kitten had just made it to the bottom, keeping his mind occupied with memories of playing with his fox friends in the Fey Wild. It sure was fun pelting Galendan with blueberries. His joyful reminiscing was interrupted by falling rocks and then a scream. Kitten looked up to see Quantis falling directly toward him, and right behind him the whole bridge and his companions. He instinctively raised his shield over his head and was rewarded by a heavy impact and a groan, heralding the uncomfortable arrival of Quantis. Then came the shattering of the bridge and more screams. A great dust cloud was kicked up, and once subsided Kitten was surprised to see that all had lived. Some were hurt, but they certainly couldn’t complain after a fall like that. They should have just climbed down the rope he thought, frowning at how the dust smudged his armor.

The chasm floor was covered in debris. While Eldarion planned to find another way up, Voren and Quantis took a look around. They discovered fresh tracks, belonging to some type of humanoid, and a hidden door in the rock wall. The door was covered in tiles with strange symbols. With a little help from their Dwarven escort, Gunner, they identified the symbols as an older Dwarven language. Each tile represented a type of stone. Eldarion figured the tiles were meant to be placed in a way that reflected the layers each was found in the earth. Once the tiles were slid into their appropriate positions, the heavy rock door swung open.

“What is that terrible stench?” Voren asked covering his nose and mouth with his arm.

Gunner sniffed the air and his hand went to his axe. “Troglodytes,” he said. “And nearby. Prepare yourselves.”

The adventurers readied their weapons. The room they were entering was very large and cut out of the rock. Gunner quickly explained that when dwarves fixated mining operations in a certain area it was common practice to mine out a temporary center of operations. Here miners would sleep when tired, eat when hungry, and generally spend all of their non-mining hours. This room hadn’t been used in years…not by dwarves anyway.

Once inside the room, the adventurers were ambushed by nearly a dozen troglodytes. Their stench was so overpowering that those who got too close found it difficult to engage in combat. The foul reptilian beasts proved quite capable in combat, but in the end they were vanquished.

Galendan found a door leading deeper into the rock. Narullian confirmed that the shard of Bolvagon was very close, and possibly watching them right now.

“Well I’m warmed up,” said Kitten heading to the door. “Let’s have another round.”

Before anyone could stop him, he pushed the door open…

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Session 27
Side effects may include...

The party ignores King Akli’s summoning, choosing to continue on to Kullengaard to hunt down one of the fragments of Bolvagon that Narullian has sensed in that direction. The road takes them north, to Silver Hill, where Valez and Galendan both encounter some old friends, though what news they obtain is not shared with the rest of the party. Eldarion and Galendan find an alchemist named Wanjack who promises to cure their Lockjaw, though his incantation leaves them both with more than they bargained for. They all rendezvous at the Twisted Thistle, an inn and tavern, and rest for the night.

Early the following morning, the party joins a wagon train headed towards Brettona to continue their journey. The trek is at first peaceful, but the serenity is soon interrupted by a pack of Gnolls with a human captive attacking from over a nearby rise. The adventurers successfully dispatch the gnolls, with the help of their captive Quintas Oaktree, who turns out to be a capable Swordmage once no longer manacled and surrounded.

When they arrive at Brettona, the party asks around to determine whether entry into Kullengaard, will be difficult, and learns that while the dwarves can be distrusting of outsiders, the city itself is not off limits.

Kullengaard itself is close to Brettona; once at its gates, Eldarion is able to convince the gatekeepers to allow the party’s entry, with the condition that they report to the mining overseer, Rolf Goldforge.

Upon hearing of the party’s quest, Rolf informs them of a mining shaft, Shaft 5, that had been sealed after a mysterious incident left many dwarves dead. He grants the party permission to enter the shaft, and sends one of his guards with them to open the passage.

The passage leads to a small chamber littered with loose rocks and cobwebs; the walls show marks of quarrying, though very old.

There is movement in the far side of the chamber; two oozing masses seep towards them across the floor, their intentions clearly malicious. The party prepares for combat.

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Session 26
A quiet and restful evening in Featherwood.

The adventurers step through the portal and out into Featherwood, only to find the village burning, with terrifying howls filling the air. Elves and Eladrin, many well armed, run through the streets in chaos, as a mysterious figure wearing an iron mask tears through them with vigor, hurling them bodily into walls and buildings with inhuman strength. “I shall tear apart your tapestry thread by thread!” he shouts, as he lifts a trembling elven warrior into the air with one gauntleted hand.

This is the Feystalker, and the party recognizes him as the man who had sent them to Kimath’s estate to steal the Fomorian Fury. If the howls are any indication, his yetis have the entire village surrounded.

“Need any help?” Arygno asks, unimpressed and unconcerned by the pandemonium. The Feystalker turns towards the adventurers and raises a quizzical eyebrow (his mask being magically enchanted to allow this).

“Arygno?” he says, surprised to find him here. He sees the corpse that Eldarion is dragging. “What is this?”

“Vilus Garmen. We brought his body here so it wouldn’t be found,” Eldarion answers. “We’re here to kill Kimath.”

The Feystalker brightens at this (it’s an incredibly expressive iron mask). Pausing briefly in his slaughter, he steps over to Warman and Eldarions parents and peers at them closely. “Could this be…Nilmetion Telchontar?” Eldarion’s father looks back at the Faystalker without understanding or interest. Warman moves closer, protectively. “But…what has happened to him?” he demands of Eldarion.

After hearing the party’s story, the Feystalker tells them more of his own past. He was once himself a prisoner of the Tapestry of Stolen Tears, but had been rescued by Eldarion’s father. He has sworn vengeance against the Tapestry for his imprisonment; a vengeance that the Fomorian Fury has finally given him the ability to carry out. Featherwood is in fact a training center for the Tapestry; its destruction, and the capture (or death) of one of the Tapestry’s most vital trainers, would be a mortal blow to them.

Eldarion offers the party’s help to the Feystalker, on the condition that somewhere safe be found for his helpless parents. The Feystalker directs Warman to take them to the western side of Featherwood, which has already been emptied of resistance, where the yetis will keep them safe. The party heads to the southern side of the village to hunt for more of the Tapestry’s resistance.

They do not have to search long. At the first house that the party approaches, Galendan(?) startles an elven soldier, who immediately sounds the horn he was carrying. He is quickly dispatched, but his alarm attracts additional guards, including a strange, reptilian were-creature of immense strength. The werecrocodile proves a tough opponent, but with concerted effort, the party is able to beat him into submission. In desperation, the creature reveals that he is the instructor that the Feystalker is hunting, and promises treasure as a ransom for his life.

The party does not accept his offer.

With the field cleared, the party continues searching the nearby houses. Eldarion and Voren find papers bearing Vilus’ signature, which they recognize from other documents at the late portal-master’s estate, detailing a training regimen intended to focus on subterfuge, sabotage and infiltration. (In another house, Valez finds a jug of Dwarven liquor—rich, aromatic and potent—that he is gracious enough to give to Voren.)

The party returns to the Feystalker, who is pleased to learn that the werecrocodile was killed. They then go to check on Eldarion’s parents and Warman to the west, where they set up camp in one of the unburnt houses.

The party heads to Winterspeak the following morning, led most of the way by the Feystalker. At Kimath’s estate, they find several patrols and a well-guarded gate, which they devise to circumvent as they did at Vilus’ compound, by scaling the walls. Eldarion times the patrols, then signals the adventurers to run for the wall.

Voren’s general clumsiness notwithstanding, they are able to surmount the wall unnoticed, and enter the estate through an upstairs window, where they find themselves in a library that some of the party members recognize as the place that the Book of Years had been found. Voren finds the collection quite impressive, and takes the time to grab a pair of notable-looking tomes.

In a small room attached to the library, they blank tapestry that Voren recognizes as having been woven with magical thread. Several of the party members scrutinize the tapestry, which seems to provide visions of the (a?) future, though none of them share what they have seen with the others. Eldarion scoffs at whatever vision it had granted him, and Galendan cuts the tapestry itself down, rolls it up, and stores it in his bag of holding. Voren senses the tapestry’s power somehow distorting as he does this.

They are taken by surprise by the approach of a dignified and elderly servant: “Hear me, guests: The lord of Winterspeak shall see you now.” The party follows the servant, cautiously keeping blades close at hand.

Kimath himself greets them from a chair in a downstairs sitting room. While he does not seem pleased to see them, he is certainly not surprised. Eldarion demands to know what was done to his parents, at which Kimath reveals that he is not in control of the book; the book is a living being, that has enslaved the It-Arist family for generations. Kimath tells them that four pieces of Bolvegon, the creature that created the book, can be found in Haven, and if they are destroyed, the book will regain its original (human) form.

One of the pieces is already near at hand: Nerullian, Petrin’s imp, who he had received from the beholder itself. Upon questioning, Nerullian tells them that one of his brethren had similarly been sent to the dwarves.

Kimath gives the party another shell like the one they procured at the Moonwell, that he says will take them to Kavindair. He also gives them the Crown of Leaves, which he tells them enhances the wearer’s connection with nature and their ability to perceive the world around them.

On their way out of the estate, Galendan helps himself to the library.

The party returns to Haven to fetch Warman and Eldarion’s parents, then activates the portal to Kavindair. They appear in the middle of the city surrounded by passersby, who seem unperturbed by the interruption. Warman says that he has some friends nearby, and leads them to a tenement where he is greeted as a long-lost friend.

They head out to visit the Vulpes, and find the foxes in a tizzy. Amphibious creatures from the nearby river had emerged and attacked them, taking Alopex captive. The adventurers head to the river to rescue their vulpine friend from the menacing fins of their slippery and scaled adversaries.

The fight is sloppy, wet and exhausting, but the heroes emerge victorious, and release the ecstatic Alopex from his cage. After ensuring his safe return, they journey on through the stone circle to Fernwall, from where they will adventure out towards the Dwarven lands to the west.

But before they can leave, Eldarion sees King Akli’s summoning stone begin to glow…

To be continued…

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