Fury of the Immortals

Tomb of Horrors
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Vatermont 5 1006AC

Te’Sarkal was relieved when the bosses emerged from the wrecked pyramid. This place, The Dead Place, and the unmoving skeletal rowers raised the hairs on the back of his neck and he’d be glad to be moving on.  He spotted the bosses outlines moving near the pyramid’s entrance in the weak starlight – a talent he had sharpened in his native Tangor.  It had served him well patrolling with various mercenary companies. 

He had not doubted they would eventually return, though as day turned into night, he began to wonder.  He had seen Colonel Arwan (he usually told people to just call him Captain) practice with his twin blades and the elf woman moved without making a sound.  On the other hand, something about Colonel Cedricson (which no one called him) made him nervous and, though he did not doubt the strength of the big northerner, among mercenaries, his reputation was that his men were as likely to end up dead as rich. 

When they arrived at the ship, they were clearly wounded, exhausted and he could see from the faraway stares on their faces, that they would not soon be sharing the details with the crew.  He had to admit he was curious why the Captain was naked.  The next morning, as the crew prepped the ship to fly, he picked up tidbits here and there. 

A few shared smiles told him some great treasures had been rescued.  He noted Caelnach sporting a new, large-bladed, bronze sword and Cedricson had a new twinkling, black stone rod tucked into his belt.  Absent though were the Captain’s twin sharp rapiers. 

He gathered from some of the whispered jests that there had been several brushes with death and many dangerous traps, ranging from spiked pits, living stone statues, a corridor full of crossbows, giant skeletons, a huge, rolling stone rhino and many other dangers. He was not sure he had heard correctly, but he thought he had heard the Captain thanking Cedricson for bringing him back from the dead.  He didn’t look any worse for it. 

Cedricson seemed even stranger than usual.  Always a bit odd, even though kind, he had taken to constantly tugging at his white forelock.  Before lifting off, he sat at the rail of the ship staring forlornly at the pyramid.  Filandriel seemed to try to comfort him and Te’Sarkal heard her say “Your mom and dad loved you…at least you do not have to wonder any longer.” 

He did not need anyone to tell him that some great evil had dwelt within the stone structure resting in the bottom of the bowl of the The Dead Place.  He could see the relief in the bosses' faces as the ship lifted off and pulled away toward Darokin City.  Te’Sarkal was glad to be away as well.  He wondered whether the next place the bosses took him and the crew would hold danger for them?  In the meantime, the pay was good.

35th, 36th and 37th sessions – XP 11,2000 (total all sessions: 75,230)

 

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Dream On
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Nuwmont 6 1006AC

"Well, I guess winter is here…" said Arwan to no one in particular as a light dusting of snowflakes landed on the stone sill of the infirmary window.  The ever present twilight resulting from the ash cloud and the fact he hadn't been outside since he arrived there made it hard to tell just what time of year it was.  Still, the cold breeze coming through the open stone window had the feel of midwinter.  "How long have I been here?" 

"Five weeks" replied the plain-faced, elderly priestess of Valerias that was carefully removing the linen bandages covering what had been a deep, puss-filled, gash along his right torso.  Surely, the great, steaming construct's deadly axes had carried the taint of corruption along its blades.

The woman was not ugly, but, after the stories Arwan had heard in Specularum's jail about a certain priestess of Valerias who ran a "healing" establishment in that capital, he was hoping for a little more "comforting" from these servants of the love goddess.  Before the Second War of the Desert Nomads, most of them had only dealt in charms and potions for the lovesick sons and daughters of well-to-do Daro merchants.  Only recently had some turned to truly reverencing Valerias and few could be counted as true healers.  All told he was grateful they managed to nurse him back to health and stop the black filth weeping from his painful wound.

Truthfully, before the War, hardly any Daros had paid the gods credence save a few coppers tossed to Asterius from time to time.  But, now, a few could be heard to talk of Vanya or Ixion, or at least blame The Master's invasion on their anger. Even Arwan, who had not given much thought to the Immortals, recalled a few fevered dreams of a mighty white oak standing in a glade slowly shedding it leaves while he convalesced.  He was sure it was brought on by his illness, but the words of King Doriath of Alfheim, that he had been touched by Ilsundal, still nagged at him.  He was keen to return there an delve into the mystery of the Trees of Life.

"Looks like you are healed.  How do you feel?"  asked the priestess.

"Bed sore, stiff…ready for a drink."

"Well, you have a visitor Colonel."

Arwan thought he would not get used to that honorific, but it did get him one step closer to the legitimacy he so craved – that he felt as warden of Three Crowns.  "Lets see that shit Varis arrest a Colonel of the Darokin Legions," he thought.

"Niko!  'Bout time you showed up!"

"Uh, sorry, I've been really busy" blurted out Niko as he glanced around the room sheepishly taking in the rows of wounded legionnaires on their filthy cots.

"Books again? Fil?" Arwan leered and pushed himself up on his elbows.

"Yes! No, I mean, yes, sort of.  I've been trying to figure out whats going on with me…with this  turmoil in the world, but not with books actually.  I know…  Long story short…there's a place in Ylaruam…The Dead Place.  I think if we can find it, we can figure out what's going on.  Or, maybe why.  There was an old empire…its gone now. There's a storyteller in Surra Man Ra…he knows of it and The Dead Place.  What do you think?"

Arwan grinned, "Can we fly there?"

Of course, nothing for the Companions is ever so simple as listening to a story.  First, against all odds, they run into an old friend of Arwan in the desert – a nomadic Norwolder who had spent time reaving the same seas as Arwan.  He says his name is Caelnach, but little else. Then, finding the ramshackle, mud brick town of Surra-Man-Raa, the travelers discovered they would need to enter the dreams of wizened Wakim the Storyteller to unlock his memories of The Dead Place hidden behind wards placed by the Immortals who demolished it.

After gathering the requisite mushrooms for the tea that would give them entrance to Wakim's mind, the party found the local Sheik Ismail riding roughshod through the town searching out infidels.   His men cornered the party in a hot, dusty alley.  When Wakim prevailed upon the Sheik to honor Wakim's hospitality and treat his guests as under his protection, the Sheik sentenced him to death for sorcery. 

In short time Caelnach's greatsword was drawn, several of the Sheik's men dead and the Sheik wounded and fleeing.  It will be unlikely Sheik Ismail will forget  this insult.  And that was not the strangest part of their journey.

Safely aboard their skyship once again, they found themselves drinking Wakim's tea and entering a surreal dreamworld.  From the snippets of Wakim's memories they could uncover, it appeared he had been part of an expedition to The Dead Place decades earlier – an expedition led by famous Ylari treasure hunters – Niko's parents!  Faisal and Indera delved into a deadly and trap laden ruin in search of the tomb of Acererak – the high wizard-priest of Nithia's hidden god Amon-Gorlath – who was believed to reside beneath the temple.  From the screams seared into Wakim's mind, it appears Faisel and Indera may have met horrible fates.

34th session – XP 3,350 (total all sessions: 64,030)

 

 

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Time to Ramble On
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Eirmont 8 1005AC

Once again underneath the Temple of the Gray Mountain, the party has a few idle days in which to contemplate the twists of fate that robbed them of any sense of victory following their defeat of The Master.

Besting the hulking, black-armored warlord and his stone giant henchman in combat erased some of the sadness felt by the party when The Seneschal gave his life to cover their retreat to The Master's skyship.  Their daring nighttime flight from the sprawling tent city of Sayr Ulan through a blinding sandstorm while fighting off an enemy skyship was cause for further elation.  Eaeros' death-defying rescue of Niko as he plummeted over the ship's rail during one of Arwan's more risky combat maneuvers highlighted the brotherhood that bound the Companions.  Not even a poisonous man scorpion or the undead soldiers of the Darokin legions could shake their confidence as they flew away.

However, their sense of invulnerability began to fade when the red sands of the dwindling storm took shape into an enormous, floating, featureless, horned head to taunt them.    In a deep voice that boomed like thunder and rattled the timbers of the skyship, it told them "The Master was mine!"  The demonic apparition warned the party its vengeance would be terrible.  Surely, Ikol/Loki's warning that the party would make a powerful enemy very angry came to mind. Almost as quickly as it had formed, the enraged vision evaporated along with the storm leaving the party with only a chilling memory of the vision.

The party's spirits further sank as they sailed east over the wastes of Sind and the Black Mountains towards Akesoli when Eaeros revealed he intended to leave the adventuring life.  That the death and suffering Eaeros had witnessed weighed on him heavily could be seen in his recent turn to reverencing the Immortals.  He explained to the party his plan to say farewell after more than three years together by returning to Blackmoor via The Comeback Inn.  So many thousands of years is indeed a great distance to run to put one's troubles behind oneself.

With heavy heart Arwan turned the skyship north along Lake Amsorak and towards The Broken Lands, but nothing could have prepared the party for the next tragedy that was about befall Mystara.

Somewhere east of Akesoli, still occupied by The Master's forces, the party sited a bright comet in the sky.  Taken as a good omen it was anything but.  By the next morning it had grown in size and brightness.  Then it slammed into the ground on the Darokin/Glantri border.  A blinding light, thunderous boom, trembling earth and vast mushroom cloud of ash and dust followed.  Even 80 miles away the skyship was rocked and Eaeros and Niko knocked off their feet.

As the ship passed over the Silver Sierras into Glantri (and then on to The Broken Lands) they skirted the site of the comet's impact – a gaping crater 60 miles in diameter.  Much of the Principalities of Blackhill and Caurenze had been obliterated…thousands must have perished immediately.  Thousands more might die from crop failures caused by the spreading dust cloud and forest fires caused by airborne molten rock and cinders.  If death and destruction had weighed on the party's conscious before, now it was as heavy as the Gray Mountain crushing down on Elyas' tower.

Surveying the scene with the spyglasses purloined from the Frog cultists, Arwan quickly realized a fire was raging towards the forests of Erewan, the home of the elven village of Kota-Hutan and his betrothed.  With all haste he turned the skyship there.  Just as quickly, Eaeros tried to talk him out of it….even feeding him strong wine which nearly knocked Arwan out.  Eaeros, apparently, sought to spare Arwan the pain of learning of the demise of Sylvana. 

However, touching down in KotaHutan, the party discovered the village intact, but in grave danger from fire.  An argument nearly as hot as the encroaching blaze raged amongst the elven villagers.  Some blamed the Alphatians for the destruction, some themselves for straying from Ilsundal's teachings, and others a reoccurrence of the Great Rain of Fire.

The party suspecting full well who had caused the destruction did not share knowledge of their newfound enemy.  Rather, they tried to calm the tensions.  Adding to the confusion, a carriage arrived bearing the party's former rivals from beneath Corran Keep, the wizarding students Pennar and Demara – once again guided by Fil!  Seeming older, more mature, but no less arrogant, Pennar ordered all of villagers to march north to "safety" while Demara stared coldly at the party.  Fil, though still smarting from the revelation of Niko's former girlfriend, told him in confidence that Pennar cared not one whit for the villagers' safety and only sought to remove them and the Siswa so he could freely plunder Elyas' tower.  She suggested the only safe place from the fast moving fire was inside that very tower.

Over Pennar's protests the party sprung into action leading the villagers to the Temple clearing.  Arriving, they noticed white smoke emanating from behind the walls of the Temple courtyard and the sound of banging.   Fil and Arwarn crept across the open ground between the Temple and forest edge.  Upon pushing through the Temple doors to the courtyard, Fil was immediately ambushed and gravely wounded by an orcish assassin.   Arwan leapt to her defense and saw a cohort of orcs trying to break into the Temple – all bearing the blackened sun symbol of Chaos on their hide shields.  They were supported by a 10 foot tall iron construct shaped something like a stove on legs with huge deadly axes for arms – a fire burned in its furnace belly causing the dreadnought to gush stream.  

A desperate battle to get into the Temple compound ensued as the raging fire caught up to the fleeing villagers.  The Siswa monks burst forth from the Temple to engage the Orcs.  The dreadnought's deadly axes nearly sheared Arwan in half and its loud steam whistles broke the concentration and drowned out the arcane speech of spell casters. Still, the concerted actions of the party and a super-sized Eaeros brought the walking weapon down and not a moment too soon as the forest fire raged ever closer.

With their adrenalin expended and breath caught, the Companions naturally began to consider whether their the defeat of The Master could be called a victory when the powerful, pronged being they angered in doing so snuffed out the lives of thousands in revenge.

Perhaps it was this melancholy clouding Eaeros' mind that permitted Pennar to slip away from the Temple with the Mirror Shield – stepping through a portal opened by a wave of his manicured hand.  Pennar did not seem at all perturbed by leaving Demara behind to be captured and ensure his escape.  She saw it differently:  "That arrogant bastard…getting the Shield and eliminating a rival in the Brotherhood at the same time.  I'm sure he's very pleased with himself."

All of these events must raise many questions for the Companions:

- Will they trust the words of Loki and travel to Norwold to further interfere in their newfound nemesis' plans and risk further catastrophic revenge?  Do they dare insert themselves in a conflict apparently brewing amongst  Immortal factions calling themselves Shadow, Star and Fire?

- Will they pursue Pennar into Glantri in an attempt to recover the Mirror Shield and discover the secrets of this mysterious Brotherhood of wizards and their super weapon?  Can Fil be trusted now that she has returned to their employ?

- Or do they consider the growing army of Chaos forming in The Broken Lands a greater threat?  According to an orcish captive interrogated in the Temple, the raiders encountered were only advance scouts of an immense host of the warlord Thar.

- Or, in effort to stem further destruction of the environment, will they travel to Alfheim to figure out what is sickening the Trees of Life?  As the King Doriath considers Arwan to be touched by Ilsuandal, they will surely find a welcome there.

- Perhaps they will seek after the mad duke of Vestland and forget about the troubles of the western Known World?

- Or elsewhere? Perhaps to help Niko with his research?

A chill winter wind creeps down from the mountains and gently brushes Arwan and Niko's faces as the skyship lifts away from what was once Kota-Hutan.  As they steal one last glance at Eaeros, they fly to their next destination knowing that the Raven's Companions are no more and not knowing whether the once lighthearted bard will travel towards a past where he once knew joy with his friends and amongst the children of Three Crowns or whether he will travel towards a future where he can find solace helping the survivors of Kota-Hutan and others suffering from the war.

32nd and 33rd session – XP 11,250 (total all sessions: 60,680)

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Almost Famous
Fury of the Immortals

 

Campaign Journal – Sviftmont 28 1005AC

Word of the Companions' glorious deeds have begun to spread throughout the Known World as fast as The Master's agents.  Called "Dragonslayers" and "Giantslayers," the common people have begun to whisper that maybe these heroes are the ones to send The Master scurrying back to The Great Hule and save the Republic.

It is said that one is a whirlwind of bladed death, one so powerful in magic that he once blew an entire navy out of the water, one so lost to this world that his armor is filled only with a vengeful shade, and the last, a giant man with flaming orange hair, so righteous that he metes justice to tawdry women in every land.

While some of these stories may be exaggerations, the Companions have gathered allies for the beleaguered Republic of Darokin with much personal risk to life and limb.  In spite of the poisoning death of Counselor Omor, they carried on his mission while constantly threatened by The Master's soldiers and spies. 

At times a mysterious red wolf, hardly more than an apparition, appeared to lead the Companions to safety – first hiding the party from a troop of The Master's cavalry and then leading them through the shifting, snowy passes of Rockhome.  It is unknown what this wolf may be, though The Seer of the Lake of Lost Dreams did confirm it was not one of his fey companions.

In an act of selfless generosity, Nike returned the Fire Opal Eye to people of Free Traldara by way of their spiritual leader The Seer.  The Seer would be able to use the Eye in combination with its sister to trap the Black Eagle Baron in the Feywild long enough to permit Free Traldara's militias to march to the relief of Darokin.  Further, after the party frolicked for a few days in The Seer's enchawnted glade, he gifted the Companions with a dagger crafted from shards of a red gem that was formerly the prison of the fey Silver Princess.  The Seer told the party the weapon could be used to trap The Master's soul putting an end to his reign of terror. 

After traveling on to defeat Rockhome's Frost Giant menace, the party was urgently called back to Darokin.  There they learned from General Winter that Bozdogan's war had ground to a stalemate – thanks to the assistance of their elven, Traldaran and dwarven allies.  Thinking that their Crystal Dagger might be a means to change this the party has considered traveling to Sayr Ulan to force a final confrontation with The Master.

30th and 31st session – 4000 XP (total all sessions: 49,430)

 

 

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The Master Strikes Back!
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Felmont 21 1005AC

It appears the reports of The Master's death have been greatly exaggerated.  His forces occupying the desert nation of Sind crashed into Akesoli like a howling sandstorm.  Actually, their attack on Darokin's westernmost city was in fact preceded by a dark, red swirling sandstorm that concealed their advance.

The party was caught in this maelstrom while following up a lead with the "ill" Jeddarin Corran.  The illness he was suffering from turned out to be a burgeoning paranoia that he apparently developed spending time in Corran Keep and with his ancestor's diary.

Given the unholy blood altar discovered in the Keep, it may not have been surprising for the party to learn that the Keep's original occupant and owner of the Mirror Shield, Balthac the Dragonslayer, turned to worshipping the elder gods of Chaos and descended into madness in the Keep.   It is said just a glimpse of the true nature of these Old Ones can drive one out of one's mind in an instant.  Still it added a further evidence that The Broken Lands and its environs are fast becoming a hot bed of activity for those serving such "deities."

Resisting the urge to panic, the party fought through The Master's monstrous skirmishers to Akesoli's wharves.  Exhausted, wounded and pursued by cavalry, they managed to find a small rowboat that had not already been commandeered by desperate, fleeing civilians.

Rowing into Lake Amsorak, their last sight of Akesoli's walls was of the unfurling of The Master's black banners embroidered with drinking horns overflowing with burbling blood.  This now third war and The Master's encroaching forces will surely impact the party's mission from Rheddrian to uncover the source or sources of Mystara's deepening turmoil.

29th session – 4525 XP (total all sessions: 45,430)

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Back to the Future
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Felmont 11 1005AC

While the party only sought Rissa Alford in the Frog Temple’s lower dungeon, they stumbled upon the first of many surprises.  Amongst the bedraggled prisoners mumbling their thanks in one deep cell, they found a familiar figure with a slight greenish tint to his skin – Rheddrian!

The freed prisoner was unmistakably the man who had been trapped in the Mirror Shield.   Shockingly, the party’s previous encounter with him was some number of miles and 5000 years distant.  But, the many questions for Rheddrian and his cellmate Rafiel would have to wait until the Companions were clear of the Temple and the Swamp.

Their escape held several more shocks: Baik cowing a squad of Temple guards by sheer force of will, Ruda, Veslo and Miklos arriving at the compound dock with several swamp barges to ferry escapees, and a Saint blasting away at them with a magical cannon.  Only Eaeros heroically diving in front of one the barrages of radiant energy saved Rissa’s life.

Also unexpected were the numerous offers the party received for the Saint’s magics they pilfered from the Temple.  To Arwan's credit, he turned down thousands in gold from Miklos’ mysterious friends and The Fetch only to turn a few of the unusual items over to Rheddrian for safekeeping.

Rheddrian’s most astonishing revelation was that he arrived from across the stars – some accident bringing his ship crashing to Mystara’s surface.   Sometime he was awoken by St. Stephen and his mutineers.  They murdered many of Rheddrian’s crewmates, took him captive and disappeared into the Great Dismal Swamp.  According to Rissa, it appears St. Stephen was building an army to raid the City of the Gods.

Not surprising was the heroes’ welcome the Raven’s Companions received upon their return to Blackmoor. The King was grateful for the immense service he did them and offered them great rewards.  He also tried to convince them to join an expedition to the City of the Gods where the reward might be incalculable.  This time it was the Companion’s opportunity to amaze all when they remained firm on returning to their own time.

Jalapiere, who was to return the party through the Comeback Inn’s misty portal, was startled to find that Eaeros wore his stolen Brooch of Shielding.  Only after great cajoling did Eaeros agree to return the purloined item to its rightful owner.  Upon returning to the future, Jal was devastated to find that, at least 5000 years in the future, Blackmoor was indeed no more.  It was the only time the monkish diviner had displayed emotion in front of the Companions.

The final wonder for the Companions was learning that their world (well, their world a handful of years further in the future than when they left) was at war.  A timely intervention by an armed and armored stranger saved Filandriel’s life when a trio of Wyverns dove upon them as they stopped to assist a stranded Traveler.  Apparently, the summoning of such beasts may be a stratagem employed by Alphatian wizards seeking to inflict long range harm on Glantri in the war's opening gambit.

As a side note, before leaving Blackmoor, the Companions did travel to the dead wizard’s tower to see if  any trace of Alywn Morland could be found.   In fact, she was found whole if not exhausted and wounded hiding in the tower.  Apparently, playing her lute, charmed the beast that emerged from the tunnel wall, possessed Marfeldt's body and carried her own prostrate form out of the trap.  She had since been trapped trying to find a way out…until the Companions appeared and saved her!

28th session –3250 XP (total all sessions: 40,905)

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Heart of Darkness
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Spring, 11th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

Almost as soon as the party landed in the Outer Bailey of the City of the Frog they made their way to one of Frog Town’s cleaner and classier brothels.  Earos seemed content to only chat with the establishment’s matron Madame Egraine, while Arwan got an eyeful peeping through the velvet curtained rear windows.

Not solely seeking titillation, Arwan was able to snatch the red robes of a preoccupied Inner Circle Monk with the assistance of a sleeping draught applied by Old Sly Boots.   Armed with this disguise, and the knowledge that high-value prisoners were kept on the highest levels of the Temple, Arwan and an invisible Earos made their way into the Temple of the Frog.   

Bluffing his way past gatehouse guards, Arwan opened the main doors to the Temple using a magic ring found in one of the pockets of his purloined robes.  The Temple, which does really look like a 130 foot tall frog, contained a number of strange features: carvings and friezes depicting the destruction of the world by frog-like humanoids, softly glowing stones lighting its interior, and a temperature less humid and cooler than the swamp outside.

Finding the stairs, Arwan and Earos made their way towards the top of the Temple.  Finally reaching the “mouth’’ of the “frog” – a balcony that turned out to be home to giant swamp-dwelling lizards.  After a short fight, Arwan and Earos decided it might be sensible to get their friends.

Returning to the Temple the same night with Niko and Baik, the Companions again made their way upstairs.  This time, the party decided to accost the guards blocking the stairs on the third floor to see what lay beyond.  What they found were the quarters of a sleeping woman and her Displacer Beast.  Killing her pet and eventually knocking her out, the party found a Saint’s gold robes and a variety of strange magics. 

Interrogating the foul-mouthed woman, she gave them a plan to reach the Lower Dungeon and Rissa – apparently the intelligence gathered in Frog Town about the location of prisoners was bad.  Moving quickly and either bluffing or beating into unconsciousness any priests encountered along the way, the Companions eventually found themselves in the lower dungeon in a barracks.

Their final deception failing, the party found themselves in close quarters combat with a dozen guards.  Victory was won with each Companion giving their all.  Moving onward into the rough-hewn lower dungeon, the Raven’s Companions have located cells where they expect to find Rissa and her men-at-arms.  Surely, all that remains is to rescue the prisoners and flee into the Great Dismal Swamp.

26th and 27th session –3050 XP (total all sessions: 37, 655)

 

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Out of the Frying Pan
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Spring, 11th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

Tensions were clearly running high as the Raven’s Companions spent ten days on the Gretchin’ in the barge’s cramped, cloying hold.  The lingering smell of sickness below decks did little to help. The fifteen minutes breaks spent above deck in the gloomy light and chill Spring air only served to highlight to each traveler the danger of The Great Dismal Swamp.

Amongst those dangers were foot long leeches that drained a hapless deckhand of his lifeblood and schools of vicious fish that stripped the flesh from a hapless sailor who fell into the water when the Gretchin’ ran aground.  Eaeros selflessly dove into the frigid, sulfurous swamp water to rescue the dying man suffering dozens of tiny wounds.

Such incidents did little to put the party at ease.  Adding to the dangers without, within the hold Veslo Meridan found occasion to pointedly sharpen her sword while re-telling the tale of how her friend Alwyn Morland was lost – after Alwyn insisted on exploring the dead wizard’s tower to help “that charming Eaeros out.”

This simmering powder keg exploded on a small island in the swamp not far from the Temple of the Frog when the Gretchin’ happened upon a group of monks pulling a small rowing boat ashore.  Arwan insisted Captain Tehn order the barge ashore to see if the party could be of any “assistance” when he overheard the monks’ white-robed leader implore the others to pursue some escaped slaves.

Arwan and Niko readily volunteered to track down the terrified family hiding in a grove of swamp trees.  When the white-robed monk moved to lead them back to his boat, the man in the group slashed at him with a rusty knife.  Arwan promptly knocked the man unconscious and dragged him back to the waiting monks.  All the while, his wife and young daughter crying and begging for mercy.

This turned out to be too much for Eaeros to bear.   He was not content to allow the slaves to be returned to their captive condition at the Temple.  He refused an order to load the woman and child into the monks’ small boat putting the party’s clandestine mission in jeopardy.  When the white-robed monk gave the order for his four subordinates to kill Eaeros, a fight ensued. 

All five monks were felled and Eaeros and Niko displayed newfound and gruesome powers.  Not all the monks were lucky enough to experience the relative ease of dying upon Arwan’s razor-sharp blade.  The monks white-robed leader wept blood from his eyes, infected with foul contagion by Niko, as he was interrogated kneeling in the stinking mud.  After telling all he would, he was granted the release of death.

After witnessing such horrors, only a large amount of gold and a healthy fear of Arwan will likely ensure the silence of Captain Tehn and his crew.  

All Miklos, Ruda and Veslo could do was shake their heads and wonder whether the party was cut out for a mission requiring a certain amount of discretion.

Everyone earns an Inspiration.

24th and 25th session –1950 XP (total all sessions: 34, 605)

 

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Total Chaos
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Fall, 10th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

The Chaos Blade lies on the floor next to the face-down form of Arwan, its hilt bathing the gore-splattered temple to Abholos the Infinite Blight in a dull red glow.  The red light makes the blood pooling on the floor look almost black and the crushed chitinous form of the lobster-like creature seem even more otherworldly.  The stench of burned meat wafting from the charred body of the corrupted Ogre chief fills the temple with smoky dense air that almost burns one’s throat. 

The only sounds presently heard in the temple are the coughing of Lwin, likely caused by whatever noxious fumes he inhaled from the Plague Doctor’s censor rather than the Ogre chief’s corpse, the quiet mutterings of Niko over Arwan’s body, and the soft weeping coming from the late Baron’s wife.  No noise can be heard from without to indicate whether the war galleys’ war parties of Gnolls and Lizardmen have regained any semblance of control or forayed into the cave, but the temple lies too deep within the caverns to permit sound.

As such, exiting the temple may be as risky as entering – particularly since, to the surprise of all, the Baroness Glendower appears to be very pregnant. She is also distraught and nearly catatonic after her long tenure of suffering at the hands of the Egg’s cultists.

There are also the matters of the Chaos Blade and Scroll of Final Words, two-thirds of the objects required to complete the ritual to free Abholos, and the Chaos Mote, the enormous, cracked silver orb that is a gate to the malevolent entity’s extraplanar prison.

It appeared from the Plague Doctor’s soliloquy that gathering all three of the evil artifacts might not have been enough to free the plague cultists' dread lord.  He seemed to say that even more power would be needed than could be provided by the artifacts.  He believed that the City of the Gods was the source of the Wyrd and the cultists might be able to harness the Wyrd to their ends if they could only gain access to the City – access that might be had through the magic of the Vault of Song.

What the party will do with the objects and such information will only matter if they can escape the Egg’s domain with their lives.

23rd session –4000 XP (total all sessions: 32,655)

 

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Fortune Favored the Bold
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Fall, 10th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

As the cool, crisp air of autumn caught up and overtook the warm breezes of summer in Three Crowns, so too did the Raven’s Companions past visit upon them.  It appeared in the guise of hunched, cloaked figure in a beaked mask with glassy eyes born aloft in a thorny palanquin.  It brought tidings as noxious as the fumes emitted from the censor atop its staff.  The creature arrived to the shores of Three Crowns aboard a “plague ship” … a galley flying a black sail, fitted for battle and transporting a war party of hungry looking Gnolls.

Three bells rang for the militia to muster and Arwan strode forth to bravely parlay with the Egg’s ambassador. In a muted, tinny voice, it demanded the Key to the Vault of Song – the Diamond Staff.  Arwan agreed to trade the Staff for the Baron of Glendower and his bride.  The ambassador gave Three Crowns 30 days before he returned in force to collect the Staff or destroy the village.

The party flew into action – Eaeros preparing the villagers for a long march to safety in Blackmoor Town, Niko sending riders to allies in Maus and the Elf Wood and Arwan organizing the village’s military defense and developing a bold plan to rescue the Baron, destroy the Egg’s forces and end the threat to Three Crowns.

When Ondres failed to return with information on the plague ship’s direction (after quickly turning into a shark to pursue it) the party set out in their new sailing boat to catch up with Eaeros in Blackmoor Town. 

Eaeros provided the key information with launched the rest of the Companions against the keep of Coot’s Watch.  Infiltrating the Baron’s former, crumbling fortress, they eagerly led the King’s soldiers against the mangy Gnolls inside capturing their bandit leader.  Thinking the battle won, they then learned that the keep held a deeper, darker secret below.

An unknown entity living beyond the Prime Material Plane saw fit to reveal to Niko the magical password that would permit the party to enter the cultists’ hideout underneath the stairs. They descended into the gloom with a peculiarly single-minded companion newly unshackled from the galley’s rowing benches.  Below the keep they defeated the ironically named Lareth the Beautiful- who was little more than a collection of fungal spores – and his thugs.

Niko then lost himself in the darkness of the Scroll of Final Words, learning that the cultists aim was to use three evil artifacts, of which the Scroll was one, to free Abholos the Infinite Blight from his prison.  A map and some notes in the room suggested this event would take place in a temple to Chaos situated amongst a swamp and some caves on the Egg’s island. 

The party soon set sail in their new galley in hopes of thwarting this threat, rescuing the Baron and dashing any planned invasion of Three Crowns.

22nd session –3000 XP (total all sessions: 28,655)

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