Wolfstar – Session 6

Players: Marc Brown (Ahn’a), Jack Bateson (Athelstan Blandifoot), James Dean-Hughes (Jian Blevis), INdran (Seerena Tonauac), Neil Simpson (Rael)
Date: 18 November 2015
Adventure: “Wolfstar Rising


Godsday, 4th Reaping 593 CY

  • Rael runs like a startled rabbit, passing the rest of the party at a clip.
  • Alerted that the elf is being pursued by a gaggle of angry zombies Ahn’a, Seerena, Athelstan, Jian and Samildanak quickly follow him.
  • The forest is dark and oppressive and there are sounds of pursuit everywhere. There are also sounds of something very large and nasty crashing through the trees, crushing branches and splintering boughs.
  • Ahn’a leads the way, still dragged forward by the compulsion of the artefact she carries.
  • The party is waylaid by what looks to be a werebear infected with the undead plague.
  • Samildanak and Ahn’a avoid the obstacle by Rael and the others engage it in combat.
  • Samildanak urges Ahn’a to flee as he feels they are close to their destination. But Ahn’a decides to return and help her friends.
  • The creature seems too much for the party, even with the help of the mysterious elven archer whose arrows hit the beast repeatedly from the dark forest.
  • Eventually everyone retreats apart from Rael, who backs away and follows his companions at the last moment. As he retreats he hears the bear and archer going at it. The archer screams in pain, but shortly afterward the undead bear’s roars are silenced.


  • Ahn’a leads the party into a clearing and abruptly stops. The Wolfstar has reached its destination.
  • There is an odd pink mist on the ground about ankle high. Ahn’a bends down to examine it, but when she places her lantern on the ground it explodes singing her clothes.
  • The party search the ground looking for a clue. They discover what looks to be a cave mount concealed by hanging vines and withered vegetation.
  • Rael discovers what looks to be a gigantic tooth sticking out of the ground. It’s not real but feels part of a piece of statutory or ceramic. A little perspective reveals that teeth line the entrance to this cave. It is an artificial structure: designed to look like a giant wolf’s head.
  • Everyone moves inside apart from Rael who walks back down the path toward the archer.
  • But the archer is coming toward him. He is amazed to see that it is his friend Hilene – an elf of his own clan who he thought dead long ago. She has been wounded by the bear and Rael uses his meagre magic to heal her.
  • She is glad to see Rael, but won’t speak of what happened to the rest of the clan – that includes Rael’s brother and father.
  • She says that she has been living in the woods, but she hasn’t been alone. She had an ally, but she has disappeared. And Hilene does not think she will reappear with that creature stalking the woods (she refers to the noise of the giant beast that has still not abated).
  • Hilene refers to the cave as the “citadel” and has obviously been here before.


  • Inside the cave mouth, the other members of the party are in a trapezium-shaped room about 45 feet across and more than 20 feet in height.
  • There are three doors on the other side. Two small and locked from the outside, and one set of very impressive double doors that bear the same wolfs-head device symbol that Ahn’a carries.
  • Upon touching the wolfstar to the symbol the door begins the rise, bit it only manages about eighteen inches before it stops.
  • Believing it to be safer within, the party – including Hilene squeeze under the door and close it behind them. Hilene says that although she knew of this place she was never able to get past the inner door.


  • They are in a corridor about 10 feet wide and 90 feet long. It is made of the same ceramic as the tooth and the walls are etched with complicated patterns that look like arcane diagrams.
  • There are three flights of stairs – two on the left and one on the right – all leading up. There are three doors on the left of the corridor, three on the right and a set of double doors at the far end.
  • There is a dim luminescence in the corridor, but it has no discernible source. The intensity of the light seems to follow Ahn’a around so the further the rest of the group strays from her, the darker it becomes for them.
  • They make their way directly to the door at the end of the corridor. Touching it with the wolfstar results in a mechanical clunking sound but the door does not open. They manage to lever it open and wedge it up with a crowbar.
  • They are in a kitchen of some kind, although the ovens and fire pit are worked by magic, and not be traditional fuels. It smells rank. All the food in here is meat-based and it’s mostly all gone off. Jian thinks this place has been abandoned for more than 10 years. This could then be where Lady Cecillia came from.
  • The party decide to camp here. It seems safe.
  • During the evening Hilene mentions her lost friend again, and tells Rael that their tribe is dead or is as good as dead. They managed to escape the undead, she said, but suffered a worse fate. She does not elaborate on this.

Watersday, 5th Reaping 593 CY

  • In the morning the group continue their exploration. The interior of this citadel feels odd. There is an energy to it – a slight vibration. It’s not alive, exactly, but there’s some link here between Ahn’a and the artefact she carries.
  • Still not opening any doors, the party take the first stairs to the left.
  • This leads up to domed room about twenty feet across in the centre of which is a large catapult. It is attached to the floor in such a way that a couple of people could rotate it 360 degrees. There is a cupboard that contains a large amount of what seems to be magical ammunition. Jian suspects that the roof opens.
  • Heading back down the stairs, the party doesn’t go up the stairs opposite (thinking that it leads to a second catapult). Instead they return up the corridor toward the front door and head right up the main stairs.
  • At the top is a door to a midden (although no sign of any waste).
  • Then then reach another corridor on this level that runs directly above the long corridor below.
  • This one isn’t as long – it’s about 70 feet long. The party have emerged halfway along and there are double doors are each end. There are an additional five doors here.
  • They head to the doors at the end.
  • These are locked and cannot be opened.
  • Scrawled over them is writing that Ahn’a recognises is Lady Cecilia’s hand, but it is in a language that she cannot read.
  • Seerena can read it though… it says “Beware the Engineer”.
  • Taking this advice seriously, the party turn and go through the double doors at the far end.
  • These open completely at the touch of the wolstar. Ahn’a things that this is where she needs to be. But the effort of doing this seems to have drained whatever residual magical power was left in the citadel. The lights go out.
  • Fortunately, the doors have opened into a large chamber that is evidently inside the head of the wolf structure. Light streams through two enormous round windows (the wolf’s eyes) although the glass or crystal that makes them up is tinted red giving the place a slightly hellish glow.
  • There is a pedestal in the middle of the room – identical to the one from Ahn’a’s dream.
  • In front of the pedestal is a large stone throne carved with a lupine motif.
  • There is another door to the left out of this room.


  • Some members of the party look out of the window. They can see a massive force of undead massing outside the citadel. The animated Drokkar is there, as is the head of Barriss sewn onto the bloated body of an undead ogre. And there’s something else, something bigger. An animated dragon?
  • Ahn’a goes up the pedestal under Samildanak’s watchful gaze.
  • As she suspected there is an indentation where the wolfstar can slot into the citadel. She uses it like a key. As soon as the wolfstar is inserted, the stone throne trundles forward and she sits in it.
  • The citadel is hungry. Ahn’a can feel it is desperate for magical power. She gives it all the magic she has – which is very small and hardly enough to cover a small water biscuit.
  • Once she has given her magic, Ahn’a feels herself linked more closely to this place.
  • It is not a citadel, it is a vessel of some sort. And she thinks she can control it.


  • Ahn’a concentrates on trying to flee the undead. To move the vessel.
  • There is a shuddering and a ripping sound. Undead outside are bowled over as a boarding ramp retracts into the mouth.
  • Trees are unrooted and craft shudders and starts to slowly rise from the ground.
  • Tons of earth are displaced as wings long brief break the surface. Whatever this thing is, it is about 200 feet long and with a wingspan of about 300 feet.
  • It is suggested that Ahn’a close the mouth.
  • With an effort she does this, but the mouth closes very slowly and some undead are inevitably trapped within.
  • As the mouth closes the craft stops ascending as if there is not enough power to do more than one thing. It seems that all the power the ship has to work with has come from Ahn’a.


  • Samildanak says that there is another power source. It is the magical artefact that he has been searching for. It is called the Eye of the Gods and it is in the hold of this vessel – beyond the doors where the warning about the “Engineer” was painted.
  • He suggests going there immediately and recovering it.
  • At the movement of the ship, the dracolich outside begins to take an interest in them.
  • Hilene has moved to the window and is staring out at the dracolich as it makes a pass at them and vomits up a cloud of poisonous vapour that fortunately does not penetrate the ship.
  • Jian and Rael head to the catapult to see if they can fight back.
  • They head down the main steps and then up the other flight of stairs that they had not ascended before. They were right in their earlier assumption that a second room with a catapult lay up here.
  • With the ship in flight and the domed room no longer buried under vegetation and sod, the pair can see that the dome is actually transparent. They are in the centre of a large curved wing and can see the dracolich circling the craft.
  • Jian pulls a leaver that he things will open the dome, but nothing happens. Ahn’a can’t speak to Jian (he’s too far away) but she can feel what he’s doing. She sends magic to open the dome, that retracts into the wing very slowly, leaving them with a clear shot for the catapult.
  • However… once the dome is down both Jian and Rael realise how exposed they are, and they don’t fancy engaging this dracolich at all. Jian yanks on the lever to close the dome. It closes even more slowly, and as it does the power available to the rest of the ship is once again diminished.
  • The dome closes moments before the dracolich launches an attack with tooth and claw that sends the ship spinning.


  • With no other options, it’s time to follow Samildanak’s suggestion. Athelstan, Rael and Jian head to the door to the hold and get Ahn’a to open it.
  • Inside is an enormous space that looks as though it’s been covered in glittering silly string.
  • This turns out to be a collection of razor sharp cobwebs laid down by an enormous spider made of crystal. The spider is telepathic and calls itself Spinner.
  • It is hostile to the party but does not immediately attack. It knows what they seek, but won’t give it to them. It is not for them. How did they get here. Is the Princess with them?
  • Reasoning that the spider means Lady Cecillia they tell it that she is dead. This seems to genuinely distress the spider.
  • As the conversation continues, Jian and Rael walk into the chamber. It’s obviously a storage hold, but it’s largely empty save for the webs. It’s about 40 feet wide and 80 feet long and ends at a wide flight of stone steps leading to a lower area. Jian heads down here.


  • Meanwhile, Hilene now has her face pressed up against the window.
  • She smiles and turn to Ahn’a. “Open the mouth” she says. Hilene says that her friend, Vashta, is coming, and that Ahn’a must let her in.
  • Ahn’a looks out the window and sees a creature flying in toward the vessel. It is the green dragon that the party fought two nights ago.
  • Ahn’a commands the mouth to open. However, this robs the craft of all vertical thrust and the ship begins to plummet back to the ground.


  • In the hold, everyone hangs on for grim death until eventually the ship stabilises.
  • The dragon, Vashta, entered through the mouth on the second attempt and quickly kicked out all the undead that were still in the inner chamber.
  • Of course, Jian and the others do not know this.
  • Jian makes his way to the back of the hold. He finds a couple of loading bay doors situated in the wolf’s backside, and a flight of stairs that lead up to an exterior observation deck and an arbalest. He doesn’t stay outside with that dracolich still about.


  • Ahn’a manages to get control of the ship before it hits the ground, although it fell back down to the level of the tree tops.
  • She sends it on a path away from danger, but the dracolich is faster and far more manoeuvrable. It harries the ship, landing on top of it and attacking it with its powerful claws.


Previous Session | Next Session




Wolfstar – Session 2

Players: Marc Brown (Ahn’a), James Dean-Hughes (Jian Blevis), INdran (Seerena Tonauac), Neil Simpson (Rael)
Apologies: Jack Bateson (Athelstan Blandifoot)
Date: 3 June 2015
Adventure: “The Last Days of Oerth”


  • During the previous evening… Ahn’a decide that she could not let the matter of Lady Cecillia’s murder lie and determined to confront Baron Janstinn.
  • She returns to his apartments alone to find him passed out from drink.
  • Reviving Janstinn, Ahn’a confronts him with the truth of his wife’s murder. Janstinn is disorientated, and seems something the worse for wear.
  • He says that he isn’t able to “avenge” Cecillia because in so doing he would make it impossible to save her. He says that he can still save her, and he can still save his children.
  • These seem like the ravings of a drunken man, and Ahn’a scoffs. She says that she knows the truth, she says Cecillia entrusted her with it. She knows all about he wolf’s head and the eight pointed star.
  • Janstinn’s mood changes at this news. He is excited, elated and also angry at Ahn’a. He demands that she “give it to him” and when she refuses he becomes violent.
  • Ahn’s dodges out of the way of his clumsy attacks and eventually flees the baron’s chambers. Janstinn continues to shout “give it to me!” but he does not follow her.

* * * * * *

Moonday, 3rd Reaping 593 CY

  • The following morning, and a continuation of the previous session. In hindsight, Ahn’a is almost relieved to be getting away from the castle – and is puzzled why the baron did not act against her during the night.
  • As the party are leaving Endolynn Witten arrives. The half-elf is incredulous that Root would leave her – the “best fighter” – behind, and demands to accompany the mission.
  • Corporal Pinks is unable to construct an effective argument to keep Enndolynn in the castle, and it’s up to Rael and the guardswoman Ziba to convince her that she is required to stay and defend the orphans. Even then she is particularly surly about the whole thing.

* * * * * *

  • Athelstan, Rael, Jian, Gillespie, Pinks, Edie, Ahn’a and Seerena leave the castle to explore the town. Rael scouts ahead. It is cold and damp. The fog is exceedingly thick and visibility is down to twenty paces in places.
  • The cheesewright’s that Edie hopes still contains supplies is on the far side of town on the road to Zulern. It’s less than mile, but the town is expected to be crawling with undead.
  • Passage through the fog is slow and eerie. The rest of the party soon lose track of Rael.
  • They cross the baronial lands and head right on Baron’s Way. They can see the broken and burnt-old buildings on both sides of the road as they continue. Beyond the main thoroughfare, Narwell is a maze of dead-end streets and narrow alley ways.
  • At the cross-roads they turn left onto Market Street.

* * * * * *

  • Rael is a ways ahead by this point, and is surprised to detect the smell of a cook-fire.
  • Leaving the main road, he follows the aroma through the maze of buildings to the south.
  • Here he finds the remains of fire, and a badly charred rodent kebab that someone had been inadvisably been cooking for breakfast.
  • There are three bodies around the fire, and they tell a grim story to the elf’s keen senses.
  • Two were sleeping. They are unarmoued. One was armoured and standing. He was presumably on guard and perhaps also cooking.
  • One of the sleepers died first. Something that moved like a centipede ripped itself out of the unfortunate’s chest. It then attacked the second sleeper, who was probably dead before he had a chance to wake.
  • The armoured man lasted longer. He eventually fell when the creature fastened hold of his face. However, this delay was long enough for a fourth person to escape.
  • The more Rael looks, the surer he is of this. There was a third sleeper on the other side of the fire. When the fight started he woke up and ran away, leaving his comrades to his fate.
  • Rael could track this person down, but is unsure of the wisdom of doing so.
  • He searches bodies briefly. Each are wearing holy symbols of the god of valour, Heironeous. This could mark them as paladins.
  • Incongruously, a bag Rael finds next to the blanket of the sleeper who escaped contains more infernal trappings – strange substances and fetishes that seem arcane in nature… and a wicked dagger that feels somewhat more than a normal weapon in Rael’s hand. And somewhat unclean.
  • Rael keeps the dagger on his belt and slings the bag over his shoulder. He returns to the road, reasoning that the rest of the party will have overtaken him and probably reached their destination by now.
  • He is about to join it when he hears the sound of someone walking down Market Street, following his companions.
  • He hides in the ruins and waits. Soon he sees the guardswoman Enndolynn Whitten striding brazenly down the road.
  • He waits until she passes, and then follows her.

* * * * * *

  • The rest of the group arrive at the Cheesewright’s. It is right on the edge of the town and would have faced the stockade that surrounded Narwell. The stockade is long gone now, and they are looking out into long, grey and wavy grass that could conceal a hundred undead horrors.
  • The door to Cheesewright’s shop is still locked, but there is no glass in the large front window and the southerly wall is missing. Edie, Ahn’a and Seerena enter the shop while Pinks, Gillespie, Jian and Athelstan stand on guard outside.
  • After a few minutes, Edie declares success in her cheese hunt… but things quickly go south.
  • There is a disturbance in the grass and moments later a terrible beast that ressembles a great lion with a malformed human-like head erupts from the grass. The tip of its long tail has been chewed off, and one of its two bat-like wings are broken.
  • The manticore collapses onto the ground not to far from the party. Before they can react they see other creatures moving through the grass and soon a dozen undead attackers are upon the manticore.
  • They are wolf-like creature, although gaunt and obviously undead. Their broken mouths conceal a great sinuous black tongue, dripping with foul ichor, that can uncoil and lash out a surprising distance from the beast.
  • Seerena instantly springs to the manticore’s defence. From an upper window of the broken building she directs arcane bursts of energy.
  • Jian draws his rapier and moves into attack, and very soon battle is joined.
  • The creatures have the ability to entwine their foes in their tongues – crushing and sickening them in the process.
  • One creature gets past Pinks and Gillespie and bursts into the shop. Ahn’a stands in an inner doorway ready to defend Eide. She grabs a cheese-wire and deftly cuts off the tongue of her attacker, but it barrels into her knocking her down. A lucky attack with the bloody stump of the tongue brings Ahn’a close to death. Fortunately, Edie manages to fight the horror off.
  • With both Pinks and Gillespie at the mercy of the monsters things look bleak. At this point, Enndolynn and Rael arrive and join in the fight.
  • The tide turns and all the creatures are despatched. Jian and Seerena are the only two to escape unwounded.

* * * * * *

  • Edie calls for help, and Ahn’a is revived.
  • Seerena uses much of the content of the healing kit to restore the manticore.
  • The beast does not welcome these advances, but it endures them. It is not grateful that the party saved its life – gratitude is an inferior emotion. But it is indebted to the party for their help. This is not a state of affairs the manticore is particularly fond of.
  • It tells Seerena that it has come from the north-east. Armies of the undead seem to be converging on the City of Greyhawk. The further south it has come, the thinner the presence of the undead has become. The areas directly around Narwell are safer than they’ve probably been in a year. Although obvously they are not completely safe – as can be evidenced by the manticore’s recent predicament.
  • Its goal is to head across the sea and put some open water between this infestation and a new land. It doesn’t know if the plague has spread to all lands, but it knows that it cannot stay here. It refuses an invitation to return with the party to the castle, although it will walk with them a little way.

* * * * * *

  • The party return the way they came, to Narwell Castle.
  • Enndolynn is rather full of herself, and retells how she saved the party (which isn’t entirely true). Pinks tries to reprimand her, but does a poor job of it.
  • Ahn’a feels awful. Her wounds were severe, and she can hear Gillespie whispering to Jian and PInks. He thinks the attack on Ahn’a was so severe that she’s been infected with the plague.
  • What’s worse is that Ahn’a thinks he might be true. She’s feeling something she didn’t feel before the attack: a strange desire to head west beyond Narwell and into the Gnarly Forest.
  • Rael tells the party what he found in the ruins.
  • Athelstan is particulary interested, and takes possession of the bag that Rael found.
  • Seerena handles the dagger, and confirms that it is a pact blade used by a warlock – an arcanist who has made a deal with a powerful otherworldly entity for power or knowledge. Some pacts are benign or beneficial others are… less so. This pact blade belonged to a warlock who, in Seerena’s opinion, made a poor choice of patron.
  • Rael retains possession of the blade.

* * * * * *

  • As the party reach the junciton to the Baron’s Way, Rael spots a figure stumbling toward them in the mist. Thinking it could be an undead creature, Rael draws his sword and approaches. Athelstan and Enndolynn are a few steps behind him.
  • To their great surprise, the figure turns out to be Captain Nenshen – the leader of the Greyhawk militia who were stationed in Narwell, and who left the town two months ago to reinforce the City of Greyhawk. He is also Athelstan’s superior officer.
  • Their surprise and pleasure at seeing a friendly face is soon dashed, as Rael sees Nenshen’s distended stomach is evidently incubating the same sort of horror that killed the three men he found earlier at the camp site. Rael calls on him to stand back.
  • Nenshen does so. He’s not undead yet, and says that he has paid a terrible price to return to Narwell. But he has information that can help to save the lives of any survivors left in the city.
  • He says that he may have found a way out of the Flanaess for those willing to take it – an escape away from the horrors of this land.
  • In order to explain, he tells his story:
  • He and his army never made it to Greyhawk. When their arrived the vicinity of the city it was besieged by the undead. Then a second army of demons arrived through a doorway in the sky. They were led by a terrible general clad in ornate armour and riding a magical construct that flew through the air like a giant bat.
  • This general bent his knee to the undead horde. Nenshen doesn’t know how such an alliance was even possible. Unfortunately, he could not stay and find out.
  • He and his men were discovered. They fled. Many died.
  • But he and couple of dozen others were saved by the rhenee – the travelling gypsies of Oerth.
  • Nenshen says that their caravans appeared through the mists and spirited him and his companions away to another land. He says that they saved him, and they want to save as many others as possible.
  • Nenshen says that two days east of Narwell there is a deep dell before the last woodland. That dell is thick with the mists the rhenee can walk, and his new friends will be waiting there for as long as they can. If the party and anyone under their charge can make it to that dell then they can be saved.
  • His message delivered Nenshen collapses to the ground.
  • Rael offers to end the captain’s suffering and delivers a mercy killing.
  • The party then turn back to the castle, while the manticore having seen and heard all of what transpired, flies off in the opposite direction.

Previous Session | Next Session

Wolfstar – Session 1

Players: Jack Bateson (Athelstan Blandifoot), Marc Brown (Ahn’s), INdran (Seerena Tonauac), James Dean-Hughes (Jian Belvis), Neil Simpson (Rael)
Date: 20 May 2015
Adventure: “The Last Days of Oerth”


  • Lady Cecilia died last night. She was found on her bed. She had evidently passed away through grief over the loss of her children. Since her death Ahn’a has not left her side.
  • The White Lady is currently lying in state on a stone plinth outside the mausoleum in the Rose Garden. Baron Janstinn has given strict instructions that the body is not to be burned, but should instead be interred in the mausoleum with her dead children. The internment is due to take place in first thing in the morning.
  • Sergeant Root has placed members of the Guard to watch the corpse. Just in case.

Moonday, 3rd Reaping 593 CY

  • It is just after midnight. It is cold and drizzle is falling.
  • Rael, Jian and Athelstan are watching the body of the White Lady in the Rose Garden.
  • Ahn’a is sitting by her deceased mistress.
  • Seerena is also present, as she’s at something of a loose end.
  • The baron appears and regards the scene, but then returns to his tower.
  • Ahn’a adjusts Cecilia’s hair only to discover that the White Lady was wearing a wig. Underneath she is bald, and looks as though she always has been. Jian determines that the wig is not of great quality, suggesting further magicks have been used to disguise Cecilia.
  • It is notes that Cecilia does look quite as she appeared in life. He features seem harder, more angular. She’s obviously the same person, and obviously still human, but seems to be of a racial type the party does not recognise.
  • There is some concern that this change could be a precursor to a transformation into an undead beastie, but Jian and Seerena believe that whatever magical device was maintaining the disguise is probably just failing.
  • Ahn’a notices a tiny pinprick just behind Cecilia’s ear. She recognises this as a fatal wound with a very thin needle-like blade. She is convinced Cecilia has been murdered, and brings this to the attention of the rest of the party. They look at the mark, but don’t recognise its implication. At best they humour her.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Suddenly, they hear the bell peeling, and the guardsman Gillespie crying “Thief! Thief” from the top of the Guard Tower.
  • Jian and Seerena rushes to see what is the matter leaving Athelstan and Rael to guard the body.
  • Rael climbs to the castle wall to get a better vantage point.
  • Ahn’a decides she needs proof of Cecilia’s murder and heads to her lady’s bed chamber.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Ahn’a enters the manor and is immediately beset by a gaggle of orphans who demand to know what is happening.
  • Arabella Wainwright is attempting to get them back to bed, but they aren’t listening to her. Rulf Cooper seems to be the ring-leader, but young Emmeline is buckling on one of the practice swords and seems determined to come out and help thwart whatever evil is besieging the castle. Of the orphans only Ulric, Eleanor and Poppy are not present.
  • Soon Mirabelle and Edie arrives, and the former is quick to help Arabella but the children back to bed. Edie however needs further explanations.
  • Eventually, Ahn’a heads through the manor and into the keep. She can hear movement from the upper floor suggesting that Baron Janstinn is still awake. However, Cecilia kept different quarters and Ahn’a quickly lets herself in.
  • It is immediately apparent to Ahn’a that someone has been here and searched the place following Cecilia’s death. The burglar was circumspect and definitely tried to remain undetected, but Ahn’a has been the lady’s maid for nearly two years and she can tell that some things are subtlety out of place. The doors leading to the balcony are also slightly ajar. Ahn’a checks the bed sheets for any sign of blood.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Seerena and Jian arrive in the courtyard at the same time as Sergeant Root and Corporal Pinks.
  • Gillespie is very upset that his father’s sword has been stolen.
  • He says he was just getting up for his shift on watch when he saw an assailant clad in black disappearing out of the window of the barracks with his father’s sword.
  • It was a human (or of human proportions – an elf or half-elf maybe) but he could see any features. Maybe it was a drow. He didn’t see where the figure went so he rang the bell.
  • At this point Guardswoman Enndolynn Witten arrives. She has been watching on the southern wall. She didn’t see anything. Banter ensues.
  • Root takes the matter seriously and proposes a search. Seerena and Jian can check the upper courtyard, the other guards can split up and look down here.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Seerena and Jian head to the upper courtyard, but rather than help Seerena wants to see what Ahn’a is up to and heads into the Keep.
  • She creeps up to Cecilia’s bed chamber, but Ahn’a has heard her coming and ambushes her as she enters the room. The misunderstanding is quickly cleared up.
  • Ahn’a explains what she has found indicates the bed sheets. She claims there are traces of blood on the white sheets. Seerena thinks they could just as easily be tea stains.
  • Seerena now systematically begins to search the room, tapping the floor and the walls for secret compartments.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Jian returns to the Lady’s lounge, which is the building one must go through to reach the Rose Garden. He checks out this building and the large Hall before he hears the sounds of shouting from upstairs.
  • From his vantage point on the walls, Rael thought he saw movement on the roof of the Hall. However, he has quickly lost sight of whatever it was.
  • He tells Athelstan, but as the half-elf is still down in the rose garden, he can’t see a thing.
  • Suddenly, a tile falls off the roof of the Lady’s Lounge and almost hits Athelstan. Something is evidently on the roof up there.
  • Jian bundles into the rose garden at this point, and looks up to see a huge shadowy mass flowing from the roof toward him.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • In the lady’s chamber, Seerena has found a lose floorboard. She opens it up to find an empty hiding place.
  • The compartment is large enough to hold something about the size of a dinner plate, but it seems to have been searched like the rest of the room. The fact that the floorboard was replaced rather inexpertly was what helped her to discover it in the first place.
  • Seerena notices that the compartment is lined with lead, suggesting that whatever was in here was magical.
  • Ahn’a (who is standing on the balcony looking back toward the rose garden) suggests that they should return to the others. She can see a huge shadow on the roof top, and it has just dropped down into the rose garden.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Rael shoots an arrow into the black mass.
  • The darkness is about 40 feet across and begins to fill the rose garden as it descends. It appears to be making its way toward the body of Lady Cecilia.
  • Athelstan darts forward and scoops up Cecilia’s body. Bracing himself between the outer wall and the mausoleum he quickly bounds up to the top of the wall to stand next to Rael.
  • Reasoning that there could be some creature at the centre of the darkness, Jian lets lose a tirade of magical abuse. A female voice in the middle of the shadow screams in pain, and lets loose a choice expletive in Jian’s general direction.
  • The shadowy darkness flows across the rose garden it almost envelopes it, and then the darkness is gone – along with any creature it may have contained.
  • In the instant before it disappeared Jian detected the very strong smell of offal and fish…

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Sergeant Root, Corporal Pinks, Gillespie, Enndolynn, Ahn’a and Seerena head to the rose garden. They are joined by the guards Ziba Gilani and Connor Trinket who were just coming onto duty with Gillespie.
  • When the crowd arrives, Jian and Athelstan quickly appraise of them of the situation.
  • Rael has head to the ground looking for tracks on the wet path.
  • The darkness could have been a spell, but Seerena is inclined to believe that it was a natural ability conjured by something. Not necessarily undead, but possibly a drow. They can conjure darkness and this would fit in with the assailant that Gillespie saw.
  • Rael doesn’t think it was a drow. He’s found footprints that run all the way to the doorway of the mausoleum and then vanish. They are humanoid, bare-footed, but with six toes.
  • Are they dealing with a demon? Perhaps a creature with demonic blood in it. A tiefling?
  • Jian says that it didn’t sound like any tiefling he had ever met. The language was the common tongue, but he didn’t recognise the accent. And he knows a lot of accents.
  • Ahn’a explains what she and Seerena found in the Lady’s chamber, and Root is told of everything the group has discovered during the evening.
  • Ahn’a goes over to Cecilia and removes the clasp on the Lady’s belt. Immediately, the transformation of Cecilia’s corpse is complete. She is still obviously Cecilia but her red pupils turn black, and she has a more drawn and haughty aspect. She was evidently not a Suel albino but someone of a similar make-up who was looking like one. Ahn’a puts the claps on but it doesn’t have much effect on her as she is already a Suel albino. Jian puts it on. His features are softened, his skin whitened.
  • Ahn’a says that he baron must be told about all of this.
  • Root is not sure that they should disturb the baron tonight, but is eventually convinced.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Sergeant Root leads Ahn’a, Jian and Athelstan to speak to Baron Janstinn.
  • They head to the keep and up the stairs. Ahn’a is sure she can hear voices from inside the baron’s chambers when they knock on the door. She’s certain she heard Samildanak – but no one else in the group seems to have heard that.
  • They enter, and tell the baron everything that has happened as well as their suspicions.
  • He is obviously in a bad way – scruffy and probably drunk. His neat beard is rather unkempt.
  • He evidently knew that his wife was in disguise… he dismisses this as unimportant. He is extremely concerned that someone broke into the castle. He seems very worried about this.
  • Regarding Ahn’a’s assertion that Cecilia was murdered… the baron says that he doesn’t believe it. Everyone takes the baron’s word for this and, in truth, it plays into their own beliefs that Ahn’a is a silly girl jumping to silly conclusions. Ahn’a, however, is convinced that the baron is lying and he does think is wife was murdered and won’t do anything about it. No-one else shares that opinion.
  • The baron stresses on Root the importance of catching the thief.
  • Root suggests the party get some rest.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • The party help to inter the body of Lady Cecilia.
  • The fog is extremely thick.
  • They lay her with her children in the mausoleum and seal the door.

*  *  *  *  *  *

  • Later they meet in the Gate Tower at Root’s behest.
  • Although he is doing all he can to find the thief is seems very likely that they have now left the castle, so unless they come back there is very little that he can do.
  • Rael, Jian, Athelstan and Seerena together with Pinks, Enndolynn and Gillespie are to head out into Narwell and try to find some more food. Edie and Ahn’a are to come with them.
  • Edie thinks that the cheesewright on the far side of town is worth raiding. If they don’t get more food soon then they’re going to starve.
  • Rael questions the wisdom of Edie coming on a gathering mission. They can handle it. But Edie is determined. She wants Rael and the others there to protect her while she goes looking for food.
  • The party prepare to head out into Narwell.

Next Session

Karris’Mhor – Session 127

Players: Malcolm Campbell (Baron Faith), Neil McClean (Maia), Neil Simpson (Quarlius)
Date: 16 September 2015

Zethusday, 20th of The Settling

Dispatching Akartz (even involuntarily) is a big deal, so Maia and Quarlius decide to report back to Faith and give him the good news. Maia reflects that their actions have inadvertently strengthened Faith’s hand when it comes to the succession, which was not what she intended. Although she isn’t altogether sure what she intends. Will things necessarily be any better under Duke Cross? Does any dragonborn have the right to rule anything after the evil mess they’ve made of this city for generations? Quarlius continues to be aloof from the concerns of petty mortals.

Cross has lost two sons defending Karris’Mhor from the horrors that have been unleashed. His third son is now the heir. He’s a tactical genius and siege engineer, and is apparently making a big difference in the city.

Maia and Quarlius return to Faith and tell him what has happened. They tell him that they both want to go Tradetown so they can teleport back to Tel’Nix. Time is running out to stop the Iä, and they have to get cracking on a cure. Maia also seems very keen to get back to Chu’nire. Faith is of course full of excellent and logical reasons why they’re both wrong and he’s right. The group seems to have so many claims on their time, that Maia decides to write a list of them. It goes like this:

  • Find and rescue Chu’nire
  • Get the cure for for Iä plague
  • Stop the Great Mother from burrowing down to the Soul Forge
  • Deal with the Illithid in the Orchid District
  • Destroy the dracolich in the flying palace
  • Destroying all three Lords of Madness saves Karris’Mhor from Krollick Katarn
  • Cure the Spell Plague in Karris’Mhor
  • Save Kramen
  • Defeat Tanmash
  • Find friends lost in Karris’Mhor: Tristram and Baxter Llwellyn
  • Return to Elysia Llewellyn (see how pregnancy is going)
  • Find out what is going on with Elevarr/Rulissa
  • Determine who rules Karris’Mhor
  • Emancipate the slaves
  • Make sure Duke Crucible is really dead
  • Spread the word of the New Arcane Magic (Quarlius)
  • Return to Siobhan in Tel’Nix
  • Assassinate Prime Minister of Church of Asmodeus
  • Attend to Faith’s Trial
  • Find Kothdan
  • Check in on lizard-people villages

Of course, that’s not in any order. What can they do first? What’s most important? Maia just wants a to be able to settle things and retire somewhere. Maybe across the ocean in that land of bronzed elves… she shakes herself from her revelry and takes a deep sigh. She has come to a decision and doesn’t like what it is.

Maia thinks that regardless of the issues around who rules Karris’Mhor… Faith is innocent and doesn’t deserve to be convicted. So therefore Maia can’t do anything else except make sure that justice is done. Dammit. Faith smiles in that slightly patronising and parental way of his that seems to say: “I knew you’d get there in the end.” Damn him too.

The decision is made to go to Tradetown after the trial. So what can the team do in the meantime? We have two days. Maia puts a pin in the list. “Can we sort out the Mother of Beholders in that time?”

The Mother of Beholders is a Lord of Madness that spawns beholders. This spawn can work together because they are identical… like clones. Usually beholders don’t get on together because of their instense racial hatred of anything that isn’t absolutely identical to themselves. These clones are are slightly more powerful than your average beholder and there could potentially behundreds of beholders. Quarlius is not liking the odds, but Maia is undaunted. This Mother is a creature of myth. She must have some sort of weakness that they can exploit. They need a library. To the Temple of Thoth!

The front of the library is still standing, unfortunately the back isn’t. The trouble is that this Temple is at the edge of the Temple District and was in a position where the fighting was at its most intense. We see scorch marks, in patterns… spellfire burnt through the building very rapidly and then retreated. The closer we get to the middle of the building, the worse the burning becomes. The shelves look as though they have been partially looted – an attempt to save the books and scrolls? Maia is suddenly grateful that Kothdan was reassigned to Braxa all those months ago.

In the middle of the remains of the temple is a crater filled with rubble. At the centre of the crater odd bits of universal magic bubble to the surface. Plaguefire. An eerie blue glow is emanating from below… that’s where the Mother is… we’re staring down at the walls and remains of the original eladrin fortification. The Temple of Thoth is close to the edge of the island, and the water from the swamp is flowing into this pit.

We’re no librarians so we go to the nearby pyramidal temple of Thoth adjacent to the library to ask for help. There are many soldiers and priests here. After asking around we are directed to Word Drusilla who is at the Conclave at the Alderman’s House.

The Alderman was a representative of the Elder Gods in Karris’Mhor… Maia met him before the trip to Brokengeld. Back then the Elder Gods did not interfere in the world, but since the dimensional cap was destroyed that has all changed – as is reflected in the tone of the Alderman’s building. It was a glorified W.I….. but now the house is much grander. It seems almost too large for the space it is occupying on the street. Quarlius surmises a dimensional effect of some sort. We walk through a haze and the building seems more real. We have crossed a dimensional boundary. The house isn’t in this street. It’s occupying a dimension that is off-set to our won.

The party recognise the figure on the door: it is Alderman Tarrogorn. Maia greets him in a friendly manner. She notices that he has scars around his wrists and neck… such as Frankenstein’s Monster. “I am Tarragorn of Castanamir. I hold the door against the Aberrant Hordes”. Much has changed here.

Drusilla is upstairs on the fifth floor, having a big discussion about the upcoming trial. It would of course be totally inappropriate for the accused to gate-crash. The Alderman’s House is currently the HQ of all the temples of concordance. They’re working together, but there are some stresses and strains. Some of the followers of the elder gods seem to embody their god in their appearance (such as Tarragorn) while others have more conventional holy symbols.

We reach the 5th floor and head to the largest doors surrounded by the most guards. Many temple guards are here. We brazen in out and walk through the guards and march straight in through the doors. Well, Maia and Faith go straight through, the guards think Quarlius seems a bit shifty but they let him in anyway.

The conclave is gathered around a grand table, and seems to have separated into three factions: the Alderman, Dusarr and the darker gods, then Venta and Tyr and the more respectable gods. They are discussing matters of great import. “And I say we order sandwiches for lunch, as a full meal will get us all tired…” says one of the Alderman.

The party watch for a moment. The Aldermen are not used to these positions of responsibility and are treating the whole thing like a jolly parish council meeting. Progressive, Divergent, Stasis, Scourge: the four categories of Elder God…. but their earthly representatives are just bureaucrats for the most party. Maia recognises Drusilla. She’s in charge of her church now. She was of the lowest rank the last time that Maia saw her…. Karris’Mhor has been put through the ringer.

An attractive, angular woman, exposing very much cleavage with very long black hair looks at us… “Ruhanda’s Blessed” she says of Faith. The elder god of destruction and oblivion. Seems appropriate. Like Tarrogorn, she has been remade in the image of her god.

A Minister of the Ninth (Asmodeus) is here. As is Brinnick and Bretaine. Eminence Van Haugh (Raven Queen). Suffice to say that we don’t make a good impression. “High Tome” Drusilla is apparently busy. Faith whips out of his journal and begins to make the case for his innocence. One would think that building a case on a tome that he has written and cannot corroborate would place him at a disadvantage, but he blinds them with his babbling. While the assembled are staring at Faith agog, Maia leans in and talks to Drusilla. Irritated, she says the library (what’s left of it) is on the 4th floor. Tome Therris will help us find what we’re looking for.

Eventually Faith is made to understand that the clerics have not gathered to talk about him. There are other things going on in the city! Faith finds this almost impossible to understand. Brinnick Sond is cross Faith for turning up and hijacking the meeting. Maia calls for the trial to be brought forward, but this is refused. The Alderman of Iä has forseen our quest to destroy the plague and says that there’s more to it than that. His name Alman… we’ll need to speak to him later.

Faith’s blusters, demonstrating his utter arrogance and tempt for the proceedings. He rubbishes the law and due process in Karris’Mhor. Then before the clerics can realise how offended they are he storms out in mock outrage.

With that little scene out of the way, we follow Drusilla’s directions. If we can’t find the info here then we need to travel to Thoth’s home plane to visit the House of Beasts, House of Thought or House of Forgotten Truths.. assuming we can find a portal. There are seventeen libraries relocated to this building. The Library of Thoth may not be the best one for our needs. Maybe the Library of Balkoth or even Iä. We follow the advice of a functionary in the amoury and get directed to the Tome Therris. Maia bursts in and surprises him, destroying a delicate scroll he was trying to conserve. Quarlius repairs it with magic and then volunteers to help repair some of the other delicate scrolls. At least one of us makes a good impression. Therris doesn’t think there is anything much here. But advises the the library of the Ia.

Maia is confused by this whole Ia and Iä thing. Therris explains: Ia is the first elder god. Iä is the sentient virus, the disease. That was the first child of Ia. Then there’s the Iâ, they are the followers of the Don (the creed of Ia). The Iadon are spellweavers who follow the creed. Maia’s head hurts.

Go to library of Iä. The functionary there cannot help. The librarian has been lost in the stacks he has been for three days. There’s evidently something a little extra dimensional about the library here. We mount an expedition with a ball of twine to try to find the information we’re looking for.

Eventually, we do find books on the Great Mother. We discover that she is not immune to the rays of her children. She is otherwise immune to “all magic”. Any natural enemies? Other solitary beholders… some could be much more powerful than her children. A marut, a large mechanical creature of law drove her off in the past. Legend has it wielded a swordof a sword of pure Order. This great battle is believed to have occurred in the Outlands, on the edge of the city of Sigil. The marut cut off six of the Mother’s eye stalks. If those could be found then they could be used against her.

This is the sort of information Maia was hoping they would find! We need to find these stalks… First step should be to find the marut.

Previous Session | Next Session

Karris’Mhor – Session 126

Players: Malcolm Campbell (Baron Faith), Neil McClean (Maia), Neil Simpson (Quarlius)
Date: 10 June 2015

Phiksday, 19th of The Settling 1083 PS

The meeting with DeMonton has been eye-opening. What are they going to do. It seems Faith has returned them to the city at the worst possible time. Maia says that it would take six days across the swamp to get from Karris’Mhor to Tradetown – the nearest point at which they could teleport back to Tel’Nix. One the Ia army breaks through at Holdenguard it would take them ten days to march south to Tradetown, so there is still time to save Chu’nire. Of course, both Maia and Quarlius can fly, so the journey across the swamp shouldn’t take anywhere near that long.

Quarlius asks Elevarr he can come and see her again. She thinks this is a bit creepy, but agrees.

Maia is completely torn about what to do next. She plots drugging Faith and carrying him out of the city so that he misses the trial. Would that be wrong? Quarlius says he isn’t that invested in Karris’Mhor, so he isn’t really bothered.

Meanwhile Faith is back with Corporal DeLord trying to get the spell-plagued to help him cross no-man’s land to the Isle of Cross. The place is filled with the infected. He has to get to Cross to get a good character witness and prove his innocence.

Following Maia’s mission – the temples of Venta have pulled together. Now they are called the Eastern and Western Orthodox churches. Maia takes the time to visit High Sword Bretaine. He wants to know everything that we know. The discussion takes some time. Maia is entirely conflicted. Is it worth it? Were we duped? The little people wouldn’t have noticed if Fate had succeeded.

Bretaine confirms that Moradin hasn’t come with us into this brave new world. He’s stayed behind to cover us. Venta is now pretending to be Moradin. She grants power to the dwarves. Maia prays to her god, but the one-on-one rapport that she used to enjoy before the breaking of the cap has gone. Maia cynically believes that now she has done what Venta wanted the goddess no longer has to lavish any time on her. She feels used.

Zethusday, 20th of The Settling 1083 PS

Faith muses about what to do about his trial. Who are his allies? Could he call Croxam back to be the judge of his trial? What about Talkaria? As a dracolich she can’t be queen any more. Cross and Croxam are the only surviving Keys.

Faith is being held in the Temple of Justice. Maia and Quarlius head in to visit him. After much discussions, there’s a timid knock at the door. A dwarf in a neutral grey hooded robe enters. A priest of Trollick Katarn the Living Gateway. She has octagonal symbols on her. She doesn’t move like a dwarf…

“Can we help you?” asks Quarlius. She nods and offers a disc to Quarlius. He takes it, it is an octaginal adamantine rune… it is the rune of Trust. Faith takes it and pockets it. Good grief. She looks over all us, not knowing whether she can trust us. Maia asks what she wants in dwarven. The girls looks at Maia and puts the psionic whammy on her. She is in Maia’s mind. Maia can’t resist.

She says that she is “I am Brela of the Borodin”. The Borodin are the first family of the duergar, the Lost. She is one of the Children of Brokengeld. The surviving dwarves of that place, who now serve the shardminds and the warforged. They made the Scriverner’s Pearl. Maia asks Brela to contact the minds of everyone.

They are making up for the torture of the Living Gate at the hands of their parents – the dwarves of Brokengeld. She is there to tell us Krollick-Tarash has risen again. He has come back into his full might. The shardminds have been called home to him. His warforged children still dwell the halls of Brokengeld.

She brings us knowledge… about Karris’Mhor. This is where the Far Realm was breached, this was the snapping point when the worlds were separated. Krollick Katarn holds the world, the universe in his hands. This is where the breach occurred, and this is where they have come through: three Lords of Madness.

What this now? More horror to deal with? Tell on!

Each Lord of Madness is unique. They are all Aberrations from the Far Realm, but different from their kind. One in Baron’s Folly leads the illithids. It is biding its forces until its enemies are over-extended. One worships the Great Mother (beholder), but we don’t know which one. The last was more beastial in nature… and was a child of slaad, but that was the one that consumed by the dragon.

Krollick Katarn can deal with this situation himself. He can destroy all three Lords of Madness… but we don’t want that. He would be a little too thorough and Karris’Mhor would not survive. Indeed, there would be little left of the swamp. Brela says that she wants to speak to the Alderman – the nominal head of the followers of the Elder Gods in Karris’Mhor. Since the breaking of the cap the Elder Gods have been reborn, and the servants of those gods (like Chu’nire, Maia realises) have been given magical powers. Brela sits cross-legged in the corner and waits.

Brela sits in the corner and waits.

This is a serious matter. The assault against these creatures needs to be coordinated. We need to talk to DeMonton. What powerful allies do we have? What about Kramen, Maia suggests? They would need to fly to Tradetown – a day and a half, and from there to teleport to Kramen to the Chasm Lands. Quarlius suggests that Kramen is in no condition to help them. Faith says that DuSarr and the Church of Asmodeus has power. Quarlius and Faith think that the only alternative is to go and see Cross.

Maia and Quarlius go and stay in the Explorer’s Society. We have to lever off the boards to get in. We need to work out if Akartz is alive. If he is then we need to act. We can’t afford for Cross to throw his support behind Akartz if Faith stands down or is found guilty at his trial. We can’t scry, so we go to the Temple of Moradin.

Brinnik Sond casts the spell for us, and we see an image of a dragonborn on one knee bowing to a creature that looks initially illithid, but its head seems more squidy than octopus-like. One of the tentacles is slowly going through Akartz’s head, caressing his brain from the inside. Could this Lord of Madness want to use Akartz to rule Karris’Mhor?

Quarlius casts Limited Wish to make sure he is grounded, then he uses Hostile Juxtaposition to summon Akartz. The spell goes awry and Akatrz is ripped between the near ethereal and the feywild, before being sent somewhere else. We look back in the scrying pool… he’s in an abandoned army camp site, up to his nipples in mud. He is extremely pleased, thankful, praising the heavens that he has escaped.

So we try and get him again. We splinch him between the shadowfell and the near etheral. Then plinch him close to the feywild, the near ethereal, the shadowfell…. we believe that we’ve killed Akartz…

Previous Session | Next Session

Karris’Mhor – Session 125

Players: Malcolm Campbell (Baron Faith), Neil McClean (Maia), Neil Simpson (Quarlius)
Date: 27 May 2015

Phiksday, 19th of The Settling 1083 PS

The Secret City and a good portion of Bartertown are floating 200 feet in the air. The hole in the ground beneath is filling with water from the swamp… it’s a glowing, cavernous pit. There’s an iridescent orange dome over the floating palace that is winking on and off. There’s a roar coming from within the golden dome. All of this is lost on Maia who is yelling at Faith. They were trying to get the help of the elves to relieve Holdenguard! All he had to do was wait five minutes! They just needed to get Siobhan and leave!

Dusarr (who isn’t used to being ignored) is backed up by a team of various clerics and paladins. They immediately arrest Baron Faith, he is under a charge of treason! Maia notices that there are even some clerics of Moradin in Dusarr’s company (although no-one from the church of Venta). What’s going on? Dusarr says that all the Royal Family is dead. He seems to hold Faith responsible for everything that has happened.

Maia is happy for Faith to be arrested and taken out of her sight! She wants to head to the Church of Venta and find otu what is going on… Quarlius suggests going back straight back to Tel-Nix. He has the power.

But the pair are not destined to do that.Chronicler V’parr has arrived to ask us some questions about Faith. Maia lies, trying to land him in it. V’parr is a servant of Chronopsis, he warns us about teleporting because of the trouble in the weave, especially around Karris’Mhor. Then he asks us to come with him to our temple. He says that there are currently no rulers to the city… the vast majority of the city is monster infested ruins. We begin to realise the charges against Faith. He set up all these teleportation circles around the city and they all went off like a bomb when the cap was broken. They summoned oodles of monsters on the Day of Change. A third of the population are gone. Of the 106,000. Initial explosions caused death of 15-20,000 people. All of Bartertown is destroyed.

V’parr continues his tale of what has happened in Karris’Mhor:

Eight columns of fire erupted out of the ground, there was huge explosions. Two in the isle of Comet, two from the Secret City, One in the centre of Crucible, One in Graves, One in Arms District, and the large complex in the Rice District. All the portals went up. Eighty percent of the Orchard District is gone. The Arena is a monster infested hell hole. Duke Crucible assumed dead (so not all bad news, says Maia). Fortunately, the refugees in Gateway and Tradetown are relatively safe as are the Reed People and Lizard Men who live in the swamp.

After the initial panic people tried to flee to the docks. That’s when the Plaguefire was discovered. Horrors were coming through the portals, but the fire that came with them infected the population, twisting them in some unknown manner. About 40,000 more never made it out. So nearly two-thirds of the city is gone.

Sickle and Crucible have been wiped out.

Cross and Comet forces are holding The Head of the Comet island. The party remember Erkath who was Cross’s son (one of the Gentlemen of the Black Rose who Faith did a deal with long ago). He married Comet’s daughter Evanessa. Well Erkath is now dead. Comet is dead. It is Evanessa is in charge over there now. We assume Akartz is hiding over there.

Scythe survived the explosions, but they fell to the Iron Legion.

The floating citadel or the maw seems to be keeping the monsters that came through the portals into the city. The Undercity is swarming with the undead.

After the explosions. Only 100s survived from Crucible district. The Great Wizard Kryalkal arrived in the Temple “She was like an angel vengeance rising up from the flames of the Central City”. Talkaria rose up and defended the city, but was eventually struck down. The flesh flayed from her bones, but she still flew. Kryalkal sacrificed himself to bind the city in a wall of force. Dracolich Talkaria is trapped in there…

Five power groups have now formed in the city:

Iron Legion: mixture of borderline criminals controlled by the Mercenary’s Guild. They took over after the assassins from the Graves (the Dog Brothers) assassinated the Scythes. Raymond Croix, head of the Mercenary Guild. Some of the Braxans that came over as part of Faith’s exhange programme have also joined the Iron Legion. The legion hold Scythe and the Iron Docks.

The Temples of Concordance: The entire Temple District united. The Field Commander of the Force South is Dusarr. Force North is Bretaine. Force East is more Braxans.

Braxan Battlion: Basing themselves out of the Astradan Embassy in the Orchard District. They’ve picked up any embassy guards etc.

The Cross Regiments: “The Royal House of Cross”. Cross is the only Duke who didn’t obviously die. They are the only organised force of Dragonborn left. They hold the Roads District and Cross. Duke Tannash, lost his son indeed all the Keys. Most powerful force on the island. Nominally he rules Cross and Comet lands.

Harlequin’s Alliance: Hold the Red Docks. They’ve kept their people save. The Knight Noctuns, Sesnic Nor, Brotherhood of the Black Rose and Streetsingers have got together.

Refugees fled south, rather than north. Non-humans went to Tradetown. Count Tzarn of Tradetown is considered the new heir to the throne, although he’s not resident in the city and doesn’t want the responsibility.

Maia has had the wind knocked out of her sails. So much death. They caused all this by breaking the cap. Was it really worth it? Was the slow victory of the Queen of Air and Darkness worse than Moradin’s solution? It wasn’t for all the people who have died, or who loved those that died, or have been infected by a terrible magical disease. What the hell have they done? Quarlius doesn’t see it that way. They did want they had to do he counsels.

Meanwhile, Faith is presented to his advocate: Hermandus a paladin of Tyr. Faith tries to convince him that he did not know what would happen. He also says that he has a magic bracelet given by Dusarr that has the power to defend Karris’Mhor. Of course, that bracelet stopped working when magic stopped working.

Officials come to summon Maia and Quarlius. Hemandus wants to question them. Turns out that Archbishop Brinnick Sond is behind the charges and wants Faith dead as soon as he can. Maia respects Sond, so she decides to go along with the officials even though she fears that she and Quarlius are going to be locked up.

Hernandus questions Maia, she explains her mission and that Faith was left to “deal with Karris’Mhor”. What preparations were made? Obviously not enough. Maia is not prepared to bend the truth to exonerate Faith. In fact she’s feeling guilty about the whole thing. Faith tries to be conciliatory, but Hernandus recommends that dragonborn stick to his strengths of outrage and arrogance during the trial – he’ll be more convincing that way.

Because Faith is primarily a supporter of Asmodeus, Hernandus decides to step down from position of advocate. He’ll send in a replacement. However, he thinks that Faith is innocent of the crime of treason, for whatever that is worth. The replacement is Secretary Dusaar.

Dusarr says that the old Procreator Regal and the Inspector General are dead… so the judge will be the Commander of the Order Vigilant – a human called Ross Zerik. Lord Prosecutor Aramis Venturo a highly influential, accomplished and successful prosecutor. He’ll be working against Faith.

We need evidence of innocence under Juris Primis (both sides need evidence to prove their point of view). Juris Regal is Dusarr’s choice. Maia suggests killing Faith and then speaking with dead. That would prove the truth. Dusarr believes that once Faith is dead no-one will bother to resurrect him.

Dusarr thinks we need to get hold of a powerful character witness. Perhaps Duke Cross… but getting to him will be very hard.

Maia and Quarlius are frustrated by this delay. The priority needs to be to get the cure from Tel Nix and then get it to the front line.

Maia goes and sees Brinnick Sond with Quarlius and Faith… he’s happy to see Maia, but not really Faith! The front is holding at Holdenguard. We ask about the spell plague and he takes us east to a collection of houses in the Temple District perimeter. There we meet some of the Plaguetouched. Their eyes are burning blue – almost eladrinesque – but they pulse in intensity. Sond introduces us to Corporal Ivan DeLord – formerly of the Cross Guard.

Ivan is a young, well dressed human male. He has moving tattoos a lot like Maia’s szuldar. He’s Chesame. Ivan says that someone with the plague can use the plaguefire to create spellfire that has a number of magical applications. When Ivan works the spell fire his tattoos are almost readable in Ignan. Very like the szuldar. It’s almost as though he’s becoming a genasi.

It seems that those strong of body and will are better at resisting the plague. Others may be consumed by the spellfire. But the disease is not communicable between the infected. Quarlius has heard of spellfire. It’s essentially raw magic, untainted by the person who weaves it. It’s the basic stuff of magic that is formed into spells by anyone who is trained. It’s a blunt instrument.

Maia thinks it is extra-dimensional in nature. It comes from the breach, from the palace that Kryakil sealed up before he died. Because of its link to the Forge of Moradin, it’s very similar to how genasi came into existence in the first place.

Quarlius learns (from a Limited Wish spell) that there is a cure that can be used to stop the sufferers of the spell plague from dying. And he knows that studying Maia’s mark will help in divining the cure.

The group head to Orchard District to check out the status of the Explorer’s Society. How are Pixis and DeMonton? What about Baxter Llewellyn? He and Tristram should be with the Iron Legion, Quarlius hopes.

We arrive in the Orchard District – there is a heavy Braxan presence here, as well as humans of other races (Astradans). The Explorer’s Society has been boarded up fairly securely. We are assailed by Renfrew Deeplock from the Dwarven embassy. He says that Major Tarrascor could know more. Who’s he? The commander! Tarrascor thinks they could push out and expand their holdings – either north and link up with Cross, or east and link with the Iron Legion. However, they would have to go through areas of high spell plague.

Inside the Astradan embassy is another dwarf who knows Maia (and who Maia doesn’t recognise) Rezzak Redhill! Tarrascor was the leader of a famous adventuring band called the Waterbourne Swords, eventually killed putting down a couple of green dragons. We are should through to see Carlian Tarrascor… and are surprised to discover that he is DeMonton!

It is good to see him again, and now removed from the Explorer’s Society and his previous role DeMonton reveals many of the secrets he’s been concealing. He says that Pixis is his brother’s wife’s best friend’s daughter. His brother’s bastard, in actual fact. He sent her to safety in Gateway.

DeMonton knows about Chu’nire’s connection to the underground slave railroad. Blakeney (the man who originally rescued Maia from the arena) was working for DeMonton! Jozan (Maia’s lover from the arena) had a sister in the real world – Chu’nire! That perhaps explains why Chu’nire was so keen to keep Maia safe. Maia is speechless at this news. It makes Chu’nire kind of her sister in a weird sort of way.

DeMonton says he had a relationship with Dowager North Lagoon in his youth. DeMonton himself is the Secret Master of the Order of the Lily (aka The Marshal). The true goal is the overthrow of the draconic state and the end of slavery of man and the companion races. He says that Chu’nire wanted to take special care of Maia, to protect her and make her a free woman.

He takes Quarlius and Maia to see something… someone… Elevarr – a young woman. She is not asleep, she is an elf, no! an eladrin! Her voice seems very familiar. It is Rulissa’s voice. She recognises Quarlius’s voice, but she says that she has forgotten much. What’s going on? Could have something to do with the soul forge? How can Rulissa exist outside the sword?

Back at the war table, DeMonton says that Cross is a reformer. He’s a Royalist so if there was an heir apparent he would feel obliged to back him, but if there is no heir Cross would take control of the city. DeMonton thinks this is a good thing. He would probably want to put in place a constitutional monarchy with a titular draconic head. Under him would be the tradesman, the ‘franklins’ – those under a binding contract to work the land. It could be the best way to emacipation.

DeMonton not happy that Faith is back. If he had stayed away another 3 months then Cross could be in power and slavery would be over. Talk turns to Faith’s trial. DeMonton says that Night Nocturns not responsible to the crown. They are roaming judges, their power comes from Queen Henna. Current Lord Nocturns is Duhath. He could be the judge at Faith’s trial.

If we follow through the plan to get something from Cross to save Faith, then Cross will side with Faith and therefore not be become ruler and not to reform the city. The best thing would be for Faith to abdicate all claim on the throne.

Previous Session | Next Session

Karris’Mhor – Session 124

Players: Malcolm Campbell (Baron Faith), Neil McClean (Maia), Neil Simpson (Quarlius)
Date: 24 September 2015

Ventasday, 17th of The Settling 1083 PS

Getting though the laser web shouldn’t be too hard. Prolonged high temperatures would do it in, remove disease might displace it says Quarlius. Quarlius, Faith and Maia use earth-glide to go under the web of Ia, emerging on the the other side and an ooze drops down from the ceiling to engulf Faith. He really does seen to have an affinity for these things. He runs off toward the fountain into another ooze. Maia captures the first ooze in a bottle, while Faith is engulfed.

We wait until Faith escapes via teleport and then Quarlius and Maia, then we head back via earth-glide with the captured grey ooze. Faith is significantly off target but eventually we all rendezvous at the newly set up lab. Valeneira is in charge of the lab… she’s very accomplished.

Qualrius studies the area to make it easier to teleport back here. We’re not going to be able to take the cure with us tomorrow, so we could and should leave immediately. Karris’Mhor is beckoning. Ethelbede commander of the SwiftFeather agrees to take us back to the ethereal city at Tel’Nix. We intend to stop above the tower, and then go and see Coronal Haestus Or’Bethranyl.

Thothsday, 18th of The Settling 1083 PS

At the tower, we’re met by a servant girl (Ella) dressed in yellow – marking her as a member of the houses of creation. She is also the coronal’s niece. We are shown into some swish apartments, filled with sculptures and clockwork, statues and painting. We have to wait a few hours to see the coronal so Maia pops out to see if her recent research has borne fruit.

She wasn’t entirely idle during the three weeks of Quarlius’s training. Maia has grown quite attached to the huldran, Siobhan, and she wants to do all she can to help her. At present Siobhan is devoid of any joy or emotion or passion. Maia wants to help her regain that. She wants to find out what it takes for a huldra to become a dryad again. Fortunately the libraries of Tel’Nix have provided her with the answer! In order to become a dryad again Siobhan needs to join with an unclaimed heart-tree. She’d need to find a germeating seedling and get her to bond with this. Need to look in a sylvan wood where there has been a great deal of fighting… such as Tel-Silva.

Maia can’t wait to give Siobhan the news. She returns just in time for the audience with the coronal.

The trio thank the coronal for his help and explain what has happened regarding the disease. We ask for the use of a crystal ball to get in touch with our friends and find out what his happened to the diseased army marching down on Holdenguard. Faith wants to get a flying boat in order to make a great impression in Karris’Mhor. The coronal is happy to help with the former, but not with the latter.

We are escourted upstairs by two members of the coronal guard to a room in which there is a pedestal and an amethyst crystal ball wrapped in a gold filigree cage. Faith tries to contact the head of his secret service… but he can’t get through. The man could be dead! He worries what has happened in Karris’Mhor.

Maia’s priority is to try and get through to Chu’nire. This fortunately is possible. A scene appears in the clouded ball. The image of vase outdoor square appears. There is a heavy blizzard, with mud and sleet everywhere. This is not Holdenguard, Maia isn’t sure where it is. Chu’nire is there, and she is talking with Guy. The tiefling is dressed in warm clothes, but fairly worn. As is Guy. They are both standing close to one of the wagons that we travelled to Brokengeld in..

Maia makes telepathic contact. She thinks Chu’nire is pleased to hear from her. Chu’nire says that things are going badly, but she not in any immediate in danger. The main threats they face are poverty, war, and rationing – not death at the hands of an evil army. She is in a refugee camp outside of Tradetown. She tells us that she has heard reports of a massive explosion at Karris’Mhor, and plaguefires throughout the city. However, there are conflicting stories about what happened there. Some say that plaguefire has transformed the inhabitants of the city into monsters.

U’Shan Tiger’s Eye of the shifters is with his people in the northern camp, between Tradetown and Holdenguard. The bridge has been destroyed at Holdenguard so Akartz’s army is being held there. The eidon (four armed potent magic users) are on Akartz’s side, but at present they are being held on the other side of the bridge. Maia wants to go there immediately and bring her friend to safety, but Chu’nire says that she is as safe as she can be and that Maia must have other priorities.

Quarlius tries to contact Elysia. The crystal ball shows an image of the ambassadorial quarters at the palace in Braedan as well as a pregnant Elysia. She says that the teleportation circle in Braedan exploded, which caused terrible problems. Maia suggests that should leave Quarlius and Elysia alone together in order to have ‘crystal ball sex’. She’s sure that’s a thing. She and Faith leave the room.

Elysia says that Braxa have done very well in the war. They’ve defeated Tel’Silva with a smaller part of their army, while the larger part has complete defeated Coerdos. Something has happened in Braxa’s overseas territory. Elysia says that Karris’Mhor has suffered a lot and she hasn’t heard from her father in a while. Tel’Silva is half the size it once was. The Sylvan capital just held out against the Braxans, but they unconditionally surrendered. Then the Walking Gods Braxus and Cessidus turned up. They walked off Thellenia. The captured archmages are imprisoned… Elysia says that she wants Quarlius back, but understands if there are more pressing matters. He tells her about the army bearing down on Karris’Mhor. As soon as the conversation is over Maia comes back in (she was listening at the door to the whole thing).

Maia used the crystal ball to contact Prince Kramen, but it seems to be on the fritz. Instead of revealing an image, an eight foot tall blue fiery being appears in the room before us. It curses Maia and her hand erupts in blue flame. Maia thinks that it was actually Kramen. The blue flame is eerily familiar to spellfire/raw magic. Kramen has the spellplague! Oh dear. Come to think of it, his tomb was right on top of a dimensional portal, he seems to be writhing in eternal agony. He is now a being of pure magic. We can’t count on his army to help us anymore against Akartz’s army. And who will be the new ruler of Karris’Mhor now?

The mark on Maia’s hand is magical. We go downstairs and explain all this (except the destruction of the crystal ball) to the coronet. He summons all the big brains in the council. Britta, Shanreei and Rhuln. Britta says that this is not her forté (she seems to say that a lot). From her augury Shanree says that Maia had been cursed… it’s a curse and a disease at the same time. Kramen can remove it. It may develop as a consumptive disease… but it seems unlikely that Maia will feel its affects until her. This is the spellplague. A cure needs to be found. Swell.

The source of spell plague is a physical object that is located in our plane somewhere. It needs to be a large (building sized) object. Like the royal palace in Karris’Mhor which Chu’nire said is reportedly floating above citu. Destroying it would stop the situation from getting any worse, but wouldn’t cure anyone who already has it. Maia put her condition to the back of her mind. Surely the priority needs to be the chaos that has been unleashed on the world. Especially the army being controlled by the Ia.

Holdenguard is under siege and without Kramen there is no force that can relieve it. The only hope is that the cure can be created quickly enough to be distributed. Once the cure is in place the army of barbarians serving the Ia can be cured and the whole thing will fizzle out. Maia appeals to the coronet for aid. Can he send his air ships to relieve Holdenguard? The elves are not keen to commit themselves to war. Why should they? Maia’s opinion that it’s simply “the right thing to do” doesn’t butter any parsnips.

After all the news of the afternoon, Faith is desperate to return to his city. He is tired of discussing things and teleports Maia and Quarlius directly to the castle in Karris’Mhor. They try to resist but his magic is too strong.

But we don’t appear in the royal palace. At the centre of the squares of hopes and dreams in the Temple District. All of the secret city is hovering above us, underlit by an eerie blue glow. A number of priests and temple guards rush toward us, dressed in colours of temple of Asmodeus. One of them is Secretary Dusarr, he has a scar on top of his head.

Maia is furious with Faith for dragging them away and leaving Siobhan behind.

Previous Session | Next Session