Zane: Age of Enlightenment

13Age(2) -- Urannia Nights
  • Overland travel to Urannia
  • Meet up with Valwynn
    • Tells a story: Priests of Ioun had a temple with a crystal record of all events in the world.
    • Could be used to track growth of religion
    • Significant booby trap

Info gathering

  • Bondage research assistant
    • Trip into ziggrurat ‘was boring’
    • It tests your research skills, 2 or 3 rooms in
    • “An entire day of finals”
    • Walk into a room, pictures of deities, ‘put together next step of deity’s history’, pool to look into things
    • Has some randomization on it.

Reese Flash memory – touches Sehanie symbol, memory of ambushing a camp at moonlight, laying waste to the unarmed.

13Age (1) -- Wedding Bells
New Character, New Relationships


Session 9b - Crashing the Party

Umalli, Blaine, Grafton, Darnis (absent) and Thud regroup in the warehouse under the guise of obtaining buckets to put out the fire. Umalli has been in a state of reverie at this point and when he snaps out, tells the group that Femrish has directed him to speak to the dragon underground. The others are on board with the idea, particularly Thud, but decide they need a further distraction to ensure their “safe” travel back and forth across the encampment. Fire always works, so Umalli quickly sets up another blaze and as yet another building burns to ash, the PCs make a break for the main receiving hall.

Upon entering the dragon’s cave through the space twist in the war room, they find the beast in a state of light sleep, sniffing loudly. The smell of smoke from the buildings is slightly evident to the humanoids in the cavern and moreso to the dragon. Grafton, Blaine and Umalli discuss the best approach to encountering the dragon while Thud just goes ahead and takes his – straight down onto the monster’s neck. Though he can’t quite see where he’s going completely – forcing him to bounce off of a rock outcropping – Thud manages to pull into a whirling dive and deliver a vicious cut to the dragon’s neck, awakening it fully. Apologies from Grafton and Umalli have no effect.

The dragon absorbs some shrapnel and lightning from the two controllers as Blaine lowers a rope so the group can get closer. They land on the rock outcropping Thud bounced from. The dragon then binds Thud with its breath weapon, perches on a ridge and summons a mass of vines, nettles, stinging plants, large flytraps and other sundry flora into the cavern, making any sudden movement painful for the party. Thud engages the dragon nearly by himself (though he has artillery support) and backs it into a corner. His support is cut short by the animation of some of the summoned bushes into vine-whipping razorweeds that draw every one else’s attention. Thud is nearly dropped by the weeds but a timely heal from Darnis allows him to fight the dragon toe-to-toe. The monster eventually gets away from him and charges Umalli – the only PC still on the rock outcropping at this point. Umalli looks to be in trouble until Thud makes a bizarrely improvised ranged attack with his longsword which sets Grafton up to broadside the dragon mid-air in wolf form and drag the beast to the ground injured – for the moment.

Umalli and the dragon, who calls himself Q’Riyr, trade insults and Umalli brands him with the Hand of Femrish. Q’Riyr tells the group that he is the guardian of the henge, given the honor by the she-demon Morgana des Ilrosa. The group decides that Morgana must be the entity responsible for Gaelen’s Timeless Curse, but leaves quickly when they see that Q’Riyr has the same “benefit” as the dwarves. The party leaves through some tunnels and comes out under a hill south of town.. except for Thud who goes out a different way completely.

While resting in Respite, the group attempts to convince Arlen to give them the support of the dwarves in freeing them from their current state, but Arlen is unhappy with the destruction of the Redoran supply depot and will make no such alliance. The rest of the town is less harsh, but not entirely accomodating save for Dwarina who puts the party up for the night once again. Hoerig arrives on a horse from Varuna and catches up with the events surrounding Respite. The PCs choose to being researching how to summon a demon so that they can renegotiate the terms of Respite’s bargain.. or maybe just kill the demoness, who knows. They leave in the morning to find Thud who is on his way back to Respite. He tells them of a halfling caravan he ran into some few kilometers north and a story he learned from them about a wandering preacher in Haumea who claims to be on the path to becoming a god. This does not change the party’s plans though and they head towards Hyloneme in the hopes of finding information on demon summoning.

Along the way, they encounter a secret research facility in the side of a cliff. The White Lotus Academy has been trying to create Living Spells with minimal success. After raiding the library of important notes and textbooks, Umalli goes into the laboratory to try to animate one of the Spells himself. He channels both his arcane might and the very will of Femrish to give life to the Spell – the essence of a Fire Warrior. The event is surrounded (literally!) in glory and fire, after which the Warrior gains instinct, desire and (to Umalli’s minor disappointment) a bent towards distance and observation instead of anger and passion. The Warrior names itself Prime since “I am the first.”

many, many ritual books
arcane textbooks worth about 400 gp

Session 9a - The Kore of the Issue

The party plans their next move at a nearby inn – all except for Hoerig, that is, who attempts to join up with the group clearing out the Redoran supply depot. The remaining characters elaborate more on their histories and find that dragons seem to be an oddly prominent running theme among them. Shamgar is anxious to track down kEQir Qu’Qatl where Billywig decides his newly found free time might be best spent avenging his daughter on the broken-horned blue dragon, wherever it may be. Still, they have few leads and rest for the night.

Their rest is interrupted, though, as Mircolis bursts into Tullie’s room in the middle of the night, apparently being chased. Vilhelm leads a pair of living and pair of undead thugs to ‘convince’ Mircolis to throw his resources behind Vilhelm’s plans. Lacking any better option, Mircolis tries to even the field by enlisting the PCs and a fight ensues in the second floor of the inn. Vilhelm’s Yellow Scarf slingers are easily dispatched but the super-strong zombies give the party more a fight. One of them backs Mircolis into a corner of Tullie’s room and nearly crushes him to death, but is pulled off at the last moment by Tullie’s fade-and-go, stinging attacks. Meanwhile, Shamgar wrestles with another one, able to hold it at bay but not much beyond that until Billywig can get into position to provide cover fire. It eventually changes targets to crush the halfling, but Billywig is too small a target for the lumbering undead to deal with. Shamgar flanks the monstrosity and the two men zap the zombie into oblivion.

Vilhelm is obviously on the losing end of the deal, so he jumps out a window to make his escape. Shamgar leaves Billywig to help Tullie and Mircolis, following Vilhelm through town at night. Vilhelm nearly loses Shamgar down a back alley at one point. Shamgar acts quickly, though and retraces his steps to catch the goliath. He keeps Vilhelm pinned down until the rest of the party can arrive. After further abuse, Vilhelm admits to having spent some time in Haumea trying to build a nation-state for himself but ultimately failing. He knows kEQir, though, and the two seem to be trading information and perhaps resources back and forth. This is all Shamgar needs to put his goad through Vilhelm’s skull, ending the talks.

The PCs then proceed towards the village of Kore, hoping to find more information. Along the way, they are attacked by another set of undead, meaner and more intricately built than before. One of them has the face of a recruit in the Kore village militia that the party trained previously. These undead have some psychic or at least illusory abilities, repeatedly luring Shamgar into charging in and then delivering vicious counterattacks. Another one fools Tullie into attacking her teammates, but she does not hit. Once Mircolis drops the first one, the group can focus fire on the second undead, returning it to dust quickly.

When they arrive in Kore, things have changed significantly. The town is adorned with all manner of runic markings that Shamgar recognizes as being divine in origin. The wizard Bartleby finds the PCs again and explains the situation. The town came under siege soon after the group left, attacked by undead far beyond what the fledgling militia was capable of handling. The town had to relent to kEQir’s demands once more until a travelling half-orc minister by the name of Ohr Rugdumph came through and defeated some of the undead. He then inscribed runes on the buildings to ward off undead attack and left to find the source of the incursion. Many of the townsfolk are hesitant about him and his divine magic, though it has held up so far. Bartleby warns the PCs to tread softly as the town is not likely to be happy to see them.

Session 8a - Gangsta At-Will
There is a fan, and something hits it, even if it rolled a 3.

The group cleans up from their ‘clearing’ of the Yellow Scarf gang. Billywig and Shamgar decide to poke through some of the crates, finding mostly empty crates but also all manner of illicit goods ranging from loaded dice to illegal drugs.

The two get some sort of contact buzz from the burning of the drugs in the warehouse smelter, and the rest of the group decide to drag them back to the VEx base to recover. Shamgar works off the effects in the morning, but the halfling does not. Getting a list of recent VEx recruit attempts that failed for one reason or another from Captain Masaki, the group heads off, starting at the top of their list.

Raheil seems to be a young human bard in training, living in the basement of his mom’s house. He is overjoyed by the presence of the VEx recruiters, and jumps at the chance to prove himself again, but his mom is dead set against it. The crew negotiates with the mom to let Raheil join, and after the small concession of a new seat cushion for her chair, Raheil is grudgingly granted permission. Just as well, as Raheil mentions that he has some friends who were also looking for membership into a house, and that they’re located at an inn down the street.

This inn is also were the tiefling Keiver is working. A serious tiefling, Keiver also jumps at the second chance the VEx/Dres alliance offers him. Raheil brings over four more friends and the group hires another three at 5 gp apiece.

With nine down and needing three more to fill their quota, the group makes its way to the last man on the list, Stenndar. His home is empty, but peering into the window Tullie notices a yellow bandana folded up on the man’s bed. Knowing another fight is bound to be upcoming, the group makes its way to a house in the slum where the yellow scarfed hoodlums are known to congregate. Everyone makes simple work of the toughened thugs standing guard outside the small walled-off garden, but their leader holds off the assault long enough for a mass of initiates to reinforce the area.

What happens next moves all too fast for the PCs to really digest. The initiates can do little, being more than a minor hindrance then an actual threat. The toughened gang members are taken down brutally one by one. Once the last real member drops, the party offers sanctuary for 3 of the initiates, implying the others would meet the fate of the gang leaders. Three are chosen, (a water genasi with a moustache, a smelly gnome and an ugly half-elf) and the rest are told to run for their lives. The group gives chase evocative of a cross between “The Running Man” and the “Running of the Bulls.” The PCs begin slaughtering the initiates indiscriminately without exactly realizing that these initiates are not officially part of the gang, guilty only of maybe disorderly conduct. Everyone except Dash stops the chase, but Dash is more than capable of dispatching 20 young punks on his own. The scene ends with a grizzly quarter-mile of carnage down the streets of Varuna.

Word of the attack travels faster than the party. After reaching VEx, Captain Masaki instantly demands the resignation of all involved in the “Yellow Blood Massacre.”

End Arc 1

Treasure: none

Session 8b - A Place Called Vertigo

The PCs start the session with an initiative roll and with Umalli leaping into an empty crate for protection. Blaine puts a couple arrows into the dwarven taskmaster and then bails off of the crate stack he was standing on, disappearing from the view of most of the enemies. Grafton and Thud are also behind or on top of things at the moment, meaning that almost the entire enemy force’s attention turns to Darnis, who is the only one on the ground. No less than four foes converge on Darnis, though Thud manages to pull one away next turn. A “conga line of doom” soon forms with nearly everyone granting and receiving combat advantage from flanking somehow. Darnis must spend all his healing on himself save for one utility power that goes to Blaine after he fails at a fast getaway. Snipers on the crates attempt to keep their position strong by leaping across the mountains of storage, but end up falling on their faces most of the time. Grafton shows them how it’s done, clearing a 30’ horizontal leap in wolf form and put the “fur” of god in the ranged cowards. Thud also gets in on the leaping action, literally crushing one of them beneath his massive armor. Once the enemies are knocked out and _also _ shoved into crates, the group obtains some 80’ of chain and heads back to the mess hall.

Grafton and Blaine sneak up to the doors of the hall and chain them shut. Thud lights the building on fire with his Hunter’s Flint and some prepared kindling, creating an unusual situation. The fire is invisible from more than 10’ away and gives no smoke or sound. This means that the occupants inside won’t have any warning of their doom until it is far too late and, rather than going unconscious first from the smoke, will burn to death fully aware. The group is slightly disturbed by this, but becomes distracted stepping back and forth over the 10’ line, watching the fire appear and disappear, seeing the building burn or just mysteriously turn colors and fall apart. After a few minutes of macabre amusement, the party goes to the final location of the depot – the main receiving hall.

The receiving hall is oddly empty and opens into a large foyer with stairs going up each side into separate rooms. On the ground floor is a set of large double doors. The party decides to start with the second floor and work downward, heading up the stairs for the door on the left. Within, they find the quartermaster’s quarters. The room is modest but comfortable and the quartermaster clearly likes to write. On the desk are letters; some are to the quartermaster’s son who has decided to become a bard. He is clearly not happy about this decision and is writing furiously against the idea. The quartermaster also appears to be engaged in a play-by-mail strategy game with the captain of the 15th (not 17th) Chericlo cavalry. Thud and Darnis determine the worst possible next move, make it on the quartermaster’s behalf and place it in the outgoing post.

Next, the room on the right side of the second floor – the war room. A large table with a map of Sedna sits on it with well-crafted pewter pieces representing the various Redoran units. Guecumar and a couple other outposts are crossed out by hand with large red “X”s. Still, Redoran units are stationed near Hlalu and Telvani settlements. Thud scoops the pewter pieces into a bag. Nothing else seems of interest until Blaine notices a false panel in the corner. Upon opening it, there is a small passage leading.. somewhere. The passage inexplicably converts into (non-magically.. like it gives way to) a tunnel as the PCs crawl through it. At one point the PCs pass, they experience severe vertigo, but only for a moment. Thud’s Eye Loupe shows him that they are now underground though by all logic, they should be crawling thirty or so feet in the air over the camp! The tunnel opens up in the side of a bullet-shaped cavern where a spiky brown dragon sleeps curled up like a dog around a pool of water and a ring of earth. Grafton in beast form once again smells the scent of rotting meat and fruit; it appears to be emanating from this location! Darnis is able to piece together from secondhand knowledge and some environmental factors that this must be a henge and that the dragon may be drawing power from it. Unwilling to face the fearsome beast at the moment, the party crawls back through the passage into the war room.

At last the PCs enter the double doors at the bottom of the stairs and the inevitable fight breaks out between the party and those eating in the private dining area. Due to some excellent initiative rolls and incredible first-strike damage by Blaine, the fight ends quickly and without much difficulty on the part of the PCs. The commander of the squad threatens the group with the dragon beneath them, to which Thud replies “We’ve already killed it.” The foes do not believe until Grafton looses a Thorn Spray at which point some of the lackeys show doubt. Their doubt is fairly short-lived, though as they themselves are also fairly short lived. Two rounds later, the Varunal Expeditionaries have captured the Redoran supply depot!

End Arc 1

A bag full of pewter figures
Helm of Opportunity and Counterstrike Guards (from the floor manager dwarf)
50 gp in assorted coins
1200 Fame for taking the fort

Session 7b - Junk in the Trunk

The session begins with Dwarina explaining Gaelen’s Timeless Curse.

Near the beginning of the Immortal War, a dwarf community was involved with negotiating an alliance with some drow and other less savory folk from the Underdark. Both sides were god-fearing (though not necessarily the same gods)) and an alliance seemed mutually beneficial. Not all of the dwarves were behind this idea, though. A rift soon worked its way through the community, splitting the dwarves ideologically. Before tension grew into hostility, a dwarf named Gaelan proposed a solution. He had received a message from an unknown extraplanar entity who offered them safety and the knowledge that “nothing would ever have to change” if they so desired with seemingly no payment required. A group of 20 or so accepted this offer and immediately upon doing so, found themselves in the current location of Respite with Gaelan missing.

For these dwarves, time has stopped. They neither need to eat, drink or sleep, they do not age and they do not die. They also may not leave the village boundaries, merely teleporting to the other end of the town if they do. The weather is unchanging, crops grow abundantly and there’s nothing any of them can do to affect permanent change in their world. Though they do not technically live the same day over and over again, they might as well. There is only one exception. If someone who is not part of the village is killed and buried in the land, they resurrect as a dwarf within 48 hours. This is the only way to add new population to the village and though the dwarves find it reprehensible, the sheer boredom of their existence drives them to attempt it when possible. Dwarina is an example of one such incident.

By day, the dwarves produce food and supplies for House Redoran and in return, get stories and information from the outside world that they could not get otherwise.

The party decides that they will need the assistance of the dwarves to get into the depot undetected. They go to visit Arlen at his home. Negotiations initially go well, but when Umalli calls Arlen out on the town’s misdealings, things get a little testy. Ultimately, it’s 5 able-bodied young adventurers versus one old dwarf; Blaine holds Arlen down while Umalli brands him with the Hand of Femrish to make his point. Arlen relents and the town holds another mid-morning feast to keep the front guards occupied while the PCs sneak in under the depot through a tunnel.

The group comes up in the corner of one of the barracks in the depot and promptly alarms several of the Redoran militiamen to action. Grafton drops a large wall of thorns in the middle of the hallway to slow down the reinforcements, but that results only in the militiamen breaking through the flimsy walls of the barracks to get to them… or failing to do so in hilarious fashion. Much of the combat takes place with the PCs pinned in a very small room until Umalli runs out a side door to get some breathing room. Grafton follows suit while Darnis, Thud and Blaine regroup, outmaneuver the men in the barracks and take control of the room.

The battle spills over to the outside of the barracks as a few of the militiamen take the roundabout approach to reaching the party. Thud and Darnis are a bit slow to get out, and Grafton/Blaine beat them to the punch, protecting Umalli from inadvertently playing Defender once more.

There’s nothing all that interesting in the barracks except dirty socks and underwear. The party switches into Redoran uniforms – except for Thud who is restrained by his massive army. Lacking any other option, Thud climbs into a trunk with a bunch of dirty laundry and the party pretends to be collecting the day’s laundry to move about the camp. In the next barracks, Umalli casts a cantrip on another militiamen’s cards, allowing him to finally win a game. This sets off a fight between the militiamen which the party uses as a cover to move in and incapacitate them. They get put into a trunk, too, but not the one that Thud is riding around in.

Next stop – the mess hall. It is in fact lunchtime and much of the camp is eating. The party decides to lock the doors and burn the place down with the militiamen inside, but they will need more supplies to ensure the “security” of the facility. To this end, they take a shift working in the warehouse and, once most of the other militiamen have left, proceed to jump the current floor workers…

To be continued…

50gp in gambling money

Session 7a - Yellow Scarves and Red Blood

The diplomatic party of Dash, Shamgar, Tullie and Billywig moves on from the cave of heretic Shifters to House Dres. They are met at the door by a stiff, spiteful porter who does his best to turn the party away but is dismissed by the leader of House Dres, Alauniira. Alauniira invites the group to share a meal and discuss the situation at hand with Redoran and the upcoming strike against them. Billywig and Tullie do their best to extend diplomatic relations with Dres despite Shamgar’s seeming idiocy and fascination with women’s clothing. Alauniira excuses herself for a few moments to attend to some official business, leaving the group to contend with her five advisors. The party spends the time buttering up the advisors, displaying various talents in history, arcana and arm wrestling, among others. When Alauniira returns, she gets the signal from her cohorts and agrees to the alliance, but on a condition. It seems Dres is a bit shorthanded for help these days and so can not contribute manpower to the cause. If the party can bring twelve new recruits to the House, though, they will be happy to train them and loan them back to House Indoril and the Varunal Expeditionaries.

The party agrees and begins their search for fresh meat. They are soon sidetracked, however, by a cry for help. Several thug-types wearing yellow bandanas, scarves and kerchiefs have surrounded an older gentleman and are attempting to get money from him – perhaps by blackmail, extortion or force, it isn’t exactly clear. The PCs step in without hesitation and a long battle ensues – and by long, something like 17 rounds. The combat starts out well enough with Tullie pulling minions off a platform to their doom with her Executioner’s Noose and Billywig hurling lightning bolts with impunity. Shamgar and Dash engage the ground troops in melee but are stymied by their phalanx-like defenses and ranged support.

Frustrated, Dash takes off to the south to eliminate the pestering crossbowmen and does so Pulp Fiction-style. This unfortunately leaves Shamgar to hold the front line of the fight and is unable to do so himself. The flail-wielding thugs begin to encroach on Tullie and Billywig. Tullie manages to stay mobile enough to dodge many of the gang’s attacks and Shamgar continually pits himself between the gang and Tullie to protect her. Billywig, meanwhile, attempts to scramble to safety on top of one of the platforms that the gang’s minions occupied early. This turns out to be a bad idea when one of the thugs knocks him off the 30’ platform for significant damage. The party calls for Dash to help and Dash begins to come back but stops at the older gentleman and demands a healing potion. When he claims to have none, Dash kills him and searches his belongings. True to his word, he does not have a healing potion.

Dash’s delay in returning to the party is nearly catastrophic. One of the thugs traps Shamgar in a corner and beats him to literally within an inch of his life. (One more failed death save or 5 damage would have sealed it) Another successfully splits Billywig from the group; only through dumb luck and an outstanding use of the Second Chance racial power does Billywig survive. Eventually, Dash returns and helps Tullie finish off the remaining thugs. Tired and daunted, but utterly furious, the group returns the man’s body to his family and then trudges home to the VEx HQ to regroup.

While they rest, Dash spends some time at one of the city’s seedier locations – a house of loose money and even looser women. His knack for games of chance draw the attention of a Yellow Scarf crime boss. Dash is offered, amidst good drink and strong hallucinogens, an interview with the syndicate. He accepts and relays this information to the group back at HQ. They (confusedly) form a plan by which Dash will go to the interview and find a way to cause a distraction of sorts so that the rest of the PCs can break in and, together, clear out the gang’s holdings in this location. Dash enters the old factory by the back door – Tullie follows discretely in a ventilation shaft. The interview goes well but Dash just can’t leave well enough alone and attacks his new benefactor, a large Goliath named Vilhelm. Wrestling, table throwing and punches ensue, ending up with Dash being tossed out the door into the main area with Vilhelm in pursuit. All appears lost for Dash when suddenly Tullie teleports down to Dash, grabs him and teleports them both back into the ventilation shaft.

The entire party then enters via the ventilation shaft, crawling in it high over the main floor. Tullie drops her Noose onto one of the workers, aided by Shamgar and when she can’t quite strangle her victim, is forced to set her noose on fire to finish the job. This all occurs fairly discretely, allowing the party to drop down into the factory floor and pick up a surprise round.

Leaping from crate stack to crate stack, the PCs clearly have the advantage. Tullie gets into a duel of sorts with another Assassin, but leads him into a hammer-and-anvil trap where he is annhilated under the combined force of Dash and Shamgar. Billywig’s lightning pays off once more as he toasts gang members across the room and flies Shamgar into a key position to hold off the melee attackers. Dash again demonstrates his melee superiority against other dual-wielding thugs, nearly dropping one with each attack. Almost as soon as it starts, it’s over and the party has control of the old factory.

850 gp in coins
200 Fame and 200 Karma for clearing out the gang’s base
Battle Harness +1 (x2)
Spiked Jacket +1

Session 6b - Digging Up the Past

The covert ops group of Umalli, Blaine, Thud, Grafton and Darnis confers briefly to determine what their next target should be. The supply depot? The training grounds? The financial backing? Ultimately, it is decided that the first strike should be against the Redoran supply depot and so the party leaves quickly.

As the party approaches the depot’s location, they are met by a surprising sight – a village of dwarves surrounds the front area of the depot. The dwarves pile out of their various homes and workplaces and schools and such to have a public feast in the north end of the village, abutting the depot. Several of the guards come out of the depot to enjoy the meal and share stories of their travels and adventures. Even wearing their VEx identification, the party is welcomed to sit down and enjoy the bountiful food.

Everyone enjoys the meal fully, but Umalli seems to take his enjoyment to new levels. He hungrily devours large quantities of meat, soup, bread, root vegetables and whatever else one of the friendly dwarves will hand him. Some of the rest of the group fear poison or foul play, but when Umalli isn’t negatively affected by his gluttony whatsoever, tensions ease. Arlen, the mayor/elder of the dwarven town – called Respite – suggests the party is weary of their travels and should stay for the evening in Dwarina’s inn/tavern. Wanting to scope out the area in preparation for their raid, the group does so willingly.

Late at night, the party is awoken by the sounds of talking and digging. The entire dwarven village is out in one of the fields digging shallow holes. Thud, Umalli, and Darnis go to investigate the digging while Blaine and Grafton use this opportunity to stake out the supply depot and its guard rotation. This latter scouting party doesn’t get much useful information except that the place smells of rotten meat or fruit to Grafton while he is in his wolfish form.

The rest of the PCs proceed into the field and offer to help with the digging. They are kindly told to go back to their rooms, but Umalli recognizes something in Dwarina’s voice and pushes the issue. Dwarina relents and hands them shovels, directing them to dig in certain spots. The reasons the party is given for this strange digging are flimsy and strange; when Umalli calls the dwarves out on their bluff, a fight breaks out – but oddly enough not before the dwarves apologize for what’s about to happen.

The ground gives way beneath the group, dropping Thud into a 10’ pit. This gives the dwarves – three individuals in melee, two crossbowmen and a generic angry mob – ample opportunity to attacks the squishier Darnis and Umalli. Thud quickly climbs out of the pit, though and begins holding off the more heavily armored dwarves while Umalli unleashes the elements in torrents to drive the mob away. Darnis gets in a couple good shots here and there, improving the magic in his allies’ weapons, but spends much of his time administering healing to the other two party members while he himself deftly avoids attack after attack. Things begin to look grim but Grafton and Blaine arrive just in time to double-team the crossbowmen in the backfield. The most bizarre thing occurs, though, when the PCs begin to notice that any “dead” dwarf drops to the ground in nearly pristine condition as if sleeping, with no scars, burns or injuries. Having narrowly escaped death, the party buries the comatose dwarves in the pit Thud fell into and then leave, camping outside of town.

The next morning, the party returns to Respite and it’s as if the events of last night never happened. Once again, the town is out in full force eating with the guards of the depot. The group approaches Dwarina who, fully cognizant of the previous night’s events, invites them into her inn once more, serves them breakfast and prepares to explain Gaelen’s Timeless Curse.

Treasure: none

Session 6a - I Get to Heal Him

The diplomatic group of Billywig, Shamgar, Tullie, Dash, and Hoerig receive a briefing from Captain Masaki on the two houses the group will be meeting with: Hlalu, the second most powerful of the major houses, led by a Tiefling known only as Heir 27 and Dres, the drow-led house holding the most sway of any of the houses.

The group, split amongst themselves where to start, make their way to the Hlalu headquarters once Masaki finishes the briefing. After a short wait, the VEx diplomats met with Heir 27, who brings along two of his own siblings/advisers, Lineage and Effort.

The negotiations start off simple enough, both sides opening admitting recent Redoran attacks, and on the surface Hlalu seems interested in an alliance. But as details start to be negotiated, the Tieflings are hesitant to commit to anything, leading the VEx contingent into making the first demand, men to bolster the ranks of the attack.

With a framework of the demands on the table, Heir 27 agrees to assist if the group handle a small task for Hlalu. One of the properties in Hlalu controlled land, owned by a Mr. Weatherstone made a request for armed assistance, making preposterous claims about demons stealing his livestock. Suggesting that taking care of this matter would be an excellent show of faith, the VEx group make their way towards the Weatherstone property, whose mansion is topped with an ominous giant steel crow.

Mr. Weatherstone is more than pleased when the heavily armed group arrives, not seeming to notice the VEx insignias worn by the mercs. His story is similar to what Heir 27 had said, claiming demons have been stealing his livestock and that they are hiding in a nearby cave. A quick investigation of the livestock area supports this claim; the smell of brimstone mixes with the normal muck of such a place.

Making their way to the cave, the group casually enters, not expecting there to be an imp swarm and a small pack of heretic shifters waiting for them right inside the cave. A fight that seems to be going somewhat too easy for the VEx group becomes chilling when a haunting female scream of pain and terror echoes from deeper within the cavern.

Dash, either in his battle rage or desire to save the pitiful victim runs ahead. Hoerig follows to watch over the half-orc, while everyone else takes a quick moment to catch their breath. When the remaining three pushed on, they find Dash standing on top of a small mountain of broken bodies, with demons composing the leeward and shifters composing the windward. Hoerig’s collection of bodies is somewhat more pitiful, but he is there mainly as the distraction that fuels Dash’s grisly engine of destruction.

Billywig’s arcane storm clears the cavern of most of the remaining demons and heretics, making room for the larger demon hiding in the back of the cave. It tries everything in its foul bag of tricks, including stampeding the VExers, but in the end it is not strong enough to take even the tired and bloody Dash down.

The horrific scream fills the cavern again, and this time, tired and battered, everyone pushes on. This final section of the cave has a small fetid pool of water, more heritic shifters, and a humanoid woman bloated to four times her size. The VExers watch as another shifter is born fully grown from the tortured woman, who gives no sign of slowing down her tainted reproductive ways.

The final onslaught is enough for Dash to fall, finally accepting aid from Hoerig and Shamgar that he had been refusing up to this point. Hoerig lets his new groupmates see the trick he can do when he disables the magic sword the priestess was going to gravely wound Dash with. Tired and nearly out of breath, the group clears the cavern and give the poor woman the release from her twisted existence that only death can grant.

As the group finally gathers their wits and their breath, Tullie notices a small portal that leads to some accursed plane. After tinkering with it and making things worse, Shamgar performs a ritual to seal it up, preventing any more demonic incursions.

Vicious Longsword +2 and Command Circlet from the cult leader
Ritual Books: Feat of Strength, Magic Circle and Duplicate
30 gp in coins
50 gp in contraband religious items
250 Fame and 450 Karma for defeating the cultists


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