Borders of the Imperium

Session 14
Nightstone

Session 14: Nightstone

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Kroll, Nialo, Ulfghar, and Hari set off in pursuit of the castle on the cloud. It quickly outpaces the party, and upon arriving at the town of Nightstone two days later they find it abandoned, save for goblins seizing the opportunity to ransack. Boulders have fallen, apparently from nowhere, and crushed many buildings in town. In the centre of the town lies a pit where some manner of pillar once stood.

In the tavern they find an apparent survivor: a holy woman named Kella. She tells how she narrowly missed be crushed by a boulder in her room only hours ago. Pressing on towards the keep, they brush through a pair of goblins with hollowed out pumpkins on their heads playing a blind game of tag. As the goblins call to each other in turn, the party takes this opportunity to engage in recreational murder and snipe one, leaving the other to wonder if his opponent is cheating.

Turning their attention to the keep, they find bridge shattered. After crossing the gap,they enter to the hopeful welcome of the few remaining guards. The news is grim: a day and a half ago cloud came over the town and massive boulders fell from the sky. The villagers fled to the nearby caves and the Lady Velrosa Nandar, ruler of Nightstone, was killed in her bed by a falling rock. Some time after goblins came. Strangely, Kella has vanished. The party learns that the Dripping cave has been a refuge in the past and the party decides to head there to interview the remaining towns folk.

A simple link up is not in the cards. It seems that upon coming to this former refuge it was occupied by goblins and ogres who captured them immediately. The party quickly dispatches the ogres and the few remaining goblins flee. This prompts Ulfghar to cry out a defiant challenge to “Stand and fight!” He finds his demand obliged by an unexpected enemy as hideously deformed giant emerges from the darkness with a great bear in tow. After much battering the monstrosity is laid low and the townsfolk are finally rescued.

Upon arriving back in town the party are greeted by a peculiar sight: a cloud rests several hundred feet above the town with a single tower on it capped by a crystal ball. Stairs lead down into town and with little hesitation the party heads up. They are greeted by a twenty-five foot grey skinned giant with a beard of wispy cloud. He introduces himself as Arvandil, the former Lorekeeper of the giants. The party learns that the hierarchy of all giant kind, the Ordning, has been shattered and now giants of all castes seek to prove their mettle to the All-Father in their own way.

Perhaps greatest of the cloud giants is Countess Sansuri. It was at her direction that Nightstone was assailed and its namesake landmark taken. The Nightstone is a map to many things, but what she wants with it is still unknown.

Duke Zalto of the fire giants has made clear his intention to build a weapon of ultimate destruction, the Vonindod. His followers scour the world for the pieces they need.

From his flagship Kriegsvind, Jarl Storvald sails to conquor and plunder his way to the top of the new Ordning. Frost giant raiders are being seen more widely than ever before.

Thane Kayalithica of the stone giants concluded that the stone buildings of the small folk have desecrated the bones of the world. The All-Father will not favor giants again until the last of their structures have been shattered, and she will see this done.

Chieftain Guh seeks is the fattest of the hill giants, and as such is confident she will be given the pinnacle of the Ordning by becoming the largest giant there ever was. To this end her throng of husbands scour the countryside for even more vaguely edible people and things for her to stuff into her mouth.   

Arvandil says he has no ambitions for himself, but someone must succeed and claim rulership of the giants before turmoil brings ruin to all. The party asks: what possible impact  could they have on the councils of giants? in times like these the world needs heroes!

In the meantime, such heroes would be wise to prepare themselves against the wrath of evil giants. To this end there is likely no better place than the place where mightiest of dwarves smiths made his weapons against the giants, a place known to giants as the Forge of Fury.  

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Session 13
The Tax Collectors

Ulfghar, Nailo and Harri have acquired a new prospective Chimerian: a dwarven woman from the North Lands that mercifully speaks fluent Common and Standard Dwarvish in addition to her native Norder. Her name is Þorra (pronounced roughly “Thor-ra”), a young adult mountain dwarf thief with curly red hair.

Onoltesbach is a buzz with aspiring mages and merchants eager to cater to them. Long abandoned buildings are being reoccupied by new arrivals (with mixed feelings from the townsfolk). In the midst of this buzz the group comes across Magus Alosri, visiting from the Inverted Castle on urgent business. Rumours of the University reopening have reached the Knights of the Tarrasque, and he has come with a small escort to investigate. The heroes relate what transpired there. Alosri’s expression becomes grave, and after a quick questioning he determines that he must immediately go, the highest members of the Order must be informed.

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The party attends a town hall meeting where Alderman Onolt is calling for the mobilization of the militia after third farm has been accosted by “tax collectors”, a group of human ruffians that are apparently backed by ogres. He asks the heroes for their help. Their renowned prowess in battle is certain to be of pivotal if the town is to have food left for the winter.

 

They set off to Aiden’s farm, the last site hit by the tax collectors. Picking up the trail leads to two conclusion: there is something much bigger than a standard ogre involved, and the tax collectors are hopeless navigators. Persistence eventually pays off and they come across former miner’s guild permittee Hon. The ogre has joined up with these tax collectors but has been split up from them. It is eventually related that two giants lead the group, though they started with many more before the raiding party attempted to take the Pilgrim’s path. Many giants and ogres died that day, but luckily for Hon that was long before he joined up. Hon points the adventurers towards Grudd Haug, seat of Guh, chief of the hill giants. He then heads there himself.

 

The adventurers pick up the trail again and find the tax collectors sleeping in a cave north of Onoltesbach. Nialo and Þorra slip ahead to determine the best plan of attack while Onolt goes back to town to get the militia. Þorra is considered slippery and quiet among dwarves, but proves inept by the standards of assassins. She finds herself stepping on the foot of a sleeping human thug. As he fumbles blindly in the dark she finds herself taking her first life in the name of the crew of the Wayward Chimera, cutting his throat, smothering his blood filled mouth with her hand and repeatedly stabbing him in the ribs until he is completely silent. But the giants are surprisingly light sleepers, and one decides the that he is now awake enough to need a midnight shit. He evacuates his bowels, causing a swift evacuation of the cave by everyone else. The ruffians soon discover that one of theirs has been killed, and the raiders set off south after failing to find the heroes. The party releases a caged halfling named Kimit, a local sustenance farmer taken prisoner to amuse the giants. Using holy magic to send a warning to the townsfolk, the party sets off after the tax collectors before they can reap more destruction.

 

Soon they find the northern farms under assault, but the militia has rallied to fend off the assailants with axe and shield. The stout dwarves hold the line against the ruffians with valor, but when a giant joins the fray they prove no match for its strength. The careless giants are divided along a long front and the heroes slowly peel through their flank, felling one giant while the other giant is busy looting the farm for cows pigs and children.

 

The weight axes arrows and magic slay the humongous monster without crushing the child thrown into its stuff sack. Four of the dwarven militia have fallen defending their town, but with the vital aid of Chimerians their town is finally free from the threat of the so called tax collectors.

 

As the town celebrates its victory and mours for the fallen, a new question emerges. The cleric Ulfghar swears that the assassin Nialo used dark magic in the fight against the giants, while she insists it is simple arcane magic she studied at the University in her spare time. The townsfolk lament that this argument is the first of many they are likely to hear of its kind, just like the old days.

 

Just then, something catches their collective eyes: a cloud moving against the wind. And wait, is that the towers of a castle on it?

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Session 9
The Assault on Isari

Isari assaulted by combined force of hobgoblins, cultist, mercenaries and gnolls.

Forced march brings the enemies to the gates much faster than anticipated. 

Gate to Isari mysteriously opens, allowing enemy to enter. Vikar races forward to hold the enemy while a second battle line can form inside the city. 

Party rushes to close the gate. Find guards have deliberately opened it and pinned it open. 

Portcullis finally closes with a crash, slowing the tide to a trickle. 

Party holds the gate until a summoned buring bull demon crashes the remains of the portcullis. 

Party rescues Vikar when he is surrounded. 

battle line holds at market street

Balor summoned by enemy, immediately flies to Isari citadel. 

Gerbo rescued from his shop

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Session 12
The Arcane University

The journey begins as Hari, Ariana Nailo, Kroll and Gerbo set of for the five-hundred mile trek to the Arcane University. More join their company as they venture forth into the mountains. Their sponsor is Hans Steinbrecker, a wealthy Dwarf noble of Stahlberg who fancies himself a wizard. The contract is simple: provided that they can find him the Robe of the Arch Magi, the rest of the plunder is theirs to split.

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Also joining the company is a team of diggers from the Miner's Guild, Stahlberg local, and a pair of ogres named Gon & Hon. Luckily, ogres are not barred from permit status on union sites. Over a month of uneventful travel leads to small steps in tinkering by Kroll and Nailo learning a handful or Dwarvish curse words.

 

On one quiet afternoon the company crosses yet another mountain bridge. The chasm beneath gives an impressive view as fluffy wet snow blankets the area. A distant sound catches the attention of the party. It could have been wind, but the snow continues to fall almost vertically. No sooner had they decided it was not the wind then from beneath the bridge rose a massive white dragon! It's claws and teeth dig into the ogre Gon and before anyone can get their wits about them the brute is ripped from the bridge and plummets into the gorge below. Kroll and Hon are blasted with the dragons icy breath. The party takes a stand to distract the dragon while the rest of the company dashes madly get off the exposed bridge. Kroll and the ogre engage in a desperate melee, teeth rip into the ogre's belly when a series of fireballs from Hari finally drive the beast off long enough for everyone to clear the exposed bridge. Nailo stays on over watch long enough to see the beast's two small offspring begin feasting under their parents watchful eye at the bottom of the chasm.

 

Licking their wounds, the company pressed on until finally coming to their last stop before the Arcane University itself. Before them are gentle rolling hills of lush green, carved by innumerable streams and rivers from the white caps of the Central Mountains. The low shrubs and scarce trees give plentiful sun to patches of yellow, white and violet flowers whose scent hangs lightly in the air. At the center of one of the largest dales lies a bowl of golden wheat and water mills around a considerable collection of buildings: Onoltesbach. The shuttered windows of many buildings speak to a time when this town was considerably larger, but many have moved away since the trade brought by the Arcane University vanished many years ago.

 

Children come out in droves to see this new curiosity of  half-orcs in plate harness, ogres with shovels, humans (of any sort) and even elves! It seems this generation has never laid eyes on the like before. The grown ups about town are just as curious if not quite as nosy. Rumor has already spread of a venture to dig up the Arcane University with fond memories of lucrative trade aroused.  

 

With little delay other than to stock up and sleep in a warm bed the company sets off again to their final goal. Nestled into the mountains at the mouth of a valley a dozen or so buildings stand behind a perimeter wall with a tower on the slope of the mountains just beyond. Upon approach the gates are, just as Gerbo remembers, held only by a simple latch with no lock at all. Within the buildings are partially buried. Gerbo suggests a few sites of particular interest: the senior student dormitories, the faculty's quarters, the library, and the Headmaster's quarters in the tower.

 

The digging crew sets to work by night to take advantage of the ease of digging under a full moon, while the party along with Gerbo and Hans Steinbrecker explores the unearthed buildings as they are exposed by the following morning. Over the course of a week they find items of great wonder including Bracers of Defense, a Cap of Waterbreathing, and two Superior Healing potions! Better still, the larder still has fine liquors that have not spoiled!

 

The library holds a strange mystery: while many books have rotted, many others seem to have been burned in piles. Digging around the grounds is also beginning to reveal signs of conflict such as arrow heads, humanoid remains left where they died, and rusted armor bearing the telltale decorations of knights of the Tarrasque.

 

Finally the Headmaster's quarters are revealed. Old mine tunnels have been converted into proper hallways  leading to an entrance at the base of the tower. The cloak room by the entrance holds a cloak that seems to be leather that does not dry out and is always proof against water! The remaining cloak in the room is of course a mimic, because really what else would it be?  

 

Looking further into the complex they come across the treasury. For curiosity or greed, they venture in. Immediately they are greeted by a debilitating cloud of stinking gas triggered by magic wards placed around the door. Undeterred, they press further. They are hesitant to use Gerbo's limited quantity of dispel magic, opting instead to simply let the half-orc take whatever the traps can dish out. Miraculously, Kroll agrees. With their bulwark and their lockpicker they push through deafening thunderclaps and portals whisking a fortune in diamonds away before their eyes. Clever use of mage hand does yield a tidy sum in coins without triggering whatever defenses lie around it. In the final room of the treasury a single fist sized diamond rests in the outstretched palm a massive iron statue of an armored humanoid. Within arms reach of the figure stands a seven foot tall sword. They elect to leave this treasure be.

 

The party move on to the tower of the Headmaster. It consists of  only a spiral staircase and a master bedroom. As they explore this upper chamber they quickly find themselves confronting an abomination: a construct of the bones of many creatures held together by slabs of exposed muscle. It stands over a fallen warrior of long ago, apparently its last victim. The horrid creation blows are terrible but the combined might of the sword and spell gives the party the upper hand. Their foe laid waste, the party finds something of great interest on the creature's last victim. This armored warrior brought with him a unique protection in the form of a kite shield called Spellguard. Apparently he expected to confront a mage in these quarters. Despite this, the Robe of the Archmagi is not here.

 

Going back downstairs, the party is left with the new additions to the complex. These did not exist when Gerbo was a student here and he has no guess as to their purpose. Proceeding they notice that one of the old mine shafts looks like it was filled in much more recently than the rest. The digging crew sets to work and quickly finds a passage leading to a great chasm with climbing ropes already in place. The rope bears the telltale signs of Duergar construction. The company is not alone.

 

Back in the main hallway, the next turnoff leads to an arch featuring scholarly looking figures carved in relief reading from books, their free hands giving inviting gestures. Above the arch in Elven is inscribed “Vault of Knowledge”. Further down the hallway they come across a figure identical to the one holding the diamond they saw earlier, except this one holds its sword, and its eyes follow the party as they approach. Cautiously they pass by, the construct follows with its eyes but it makes no signs of interfering.

 

The next room is a site to behold: vaulted ceilings hold multiple rows of fifty foot high book shelves, each with mobile scaffolding to reach its highest heights. Strolling down aisles is another of great iron sentries.  On the shelves are rolled sheets of bronze wrapped around rolling pins that unfurl with even a slight pull. On them are everything from simple cantrips to exhaustive treatises on edible and poisonous plants, but many of the scrolls are still empty. In fact, most are. Beyond this, most of the shelves are empty.

 

Leaving these scrolls in the Vault, the party passes through the exit without being accosted by its iron sentry. The only path left unexplored is straight ahead, deeper into the side of the mountain. The passage wide and leads to a single open chamber with a row of pillars and an altar at the edge of their vision.

 

Nialo creeps up towards the altar to ensure the way is safe. As she rounds the nearest pillar she finds herself face to face with an orc hiding there. She makes a dash for the safety of the group which surges up to join her, when out of nowhere duergar emerge to cut off their escape. Nialo curses her memory for forgetting that duergar can turn invisible as she chugs one of the greater healing potions they recovered earlier in the dig. As it first touches her tongue she immediately realizes this is not a healing potion at all! She spits out the contents of her mouth as she collapses to the floor. As the rest of the party struggles in melee around her she her vision blur, the forms and shapes flutter like flames in the wind, and all around black hands reach up from the floor to pull her down. An orc falls, slain by one of her allies. As its life fades it ages decades before her eyes, the same black hands pulling the vitality from it into the floor.  The necrotic energy flows to the altar where a set of robes host a  humanoid form coalescing inside them.

 

Nialo is revived by an ally, with a proper healing potion this time, as the party witnesses the formation of the figure in the robe. Taught grey leathery skin clings to its skeletal frame. Opaque, dead eyes survey the battle around it. “Traitors and usurper!” the form declares in Elvish as a lance of black energy pierces the nearest orc. It is felled outright, but slowly rises back to its feet with a drawn out moan, its eyes also now opaque and dead.

 

The momentum of the battle pauses, no one sure which is the greatest threat. The robed form examines Kroll, holding the knightly Spellguard shield. “I did not realize the knights recruited orcs now” it says as ghostly skeletal hands assail Kroll. Spellguard’s runes flash to life in bright turquoise as Kroll swats the hands away with his new shield.

 

The Robed Ones ire fixes on Kroll, but the fixation supplants malice with curiosity. “You are not Knights of the Tarrasque, who are you?” The tension in the room lifts, or at least the sense of impending doom. The Robed One identifies himself as the Headmaster of the Arcane University and learns that many years have passed without his knowing. He tells that he could find no worthy successor for the position of headmaster and therefore needed to take measures to ensure he could fill the position indefinitely. This of course required sacrifice, and who better than volunteers? The Knights and their mage allies within the university could be counted on to attack once rumours of necromantic practices reached their ears, and he needed only trigger an avalanche when they came to make good on their oaths to kill the unholy. His plan now executed, he turns to his eternal task.

 

“Spread the word, school’s back in!”

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Session 11
Hunting the Fiery Demon Bull to the Ends of the Earth

While those of our party currently in Isari relax at the Wayward Chimera, enjoying a well earned 10 days of rest, the mayor has had barely a second's peace. Between rebuilding the town and the terrified citizens banging on his door at all hours, he’s starting to questions exactly why he ran for elected office in the first place. Fortunately he’s come up with a solution to one of these issues and has already secured the support of several prominent merchants and nobles to cover the cost. Groggy (from lack of sleep, not drink) but determined, he heads over to the Wayward Chimera, confident that once again this odd band of adventurers will not let him down.

 

The mayor enters the bar to find Ulfghar, Nim, Hari and Kroll trying with limited success to teach a foreign giant some basic words in the Common tongue. Being used to this sort of thing from this group, the mayor doesn't bat an eye, but instead launches right into his pitch. 1350GP worth of fine goods if our brave band will hunt down and kill the fiery demon bull that rampaged through the town. Confused, since the demon bull has not been spotted since, Ulfghar asks why spend so much money hunting a creature that no one has heard even a whisper of since the Great Battle for Isari. Apparently, the mayor explains, the children in the town are so terrified of this living nightmare, that they can no longer sleep. The poor parents, at wits end, have been pleading with the mayor to do something to kill the beast once and for all, so their children can feel safe once more. The nobles happily agreed to forking over large amounts of goods and gold to anyone who can slay this beast. It only takes a few seconds for the party to exchange glances, before Nim pipes up and agrees to undertake the quest on behalf of them all. Even though he never doubted they would let him down, the mayor feels great relief and sleepiness. Kindly Ulfghar escorts him up to a bed, while the rest begin planning their new quest.

 

Yetu (friend of Chirpy the fruitbat and possibly of Jamaican origin) appears and offers to help track the bull demon. Yetu states that the beast was last seen at the Village of Sister’s Quarrel and that they can track him from there. They head off to the now infamous village and find a building crushed in the exact same fashion as they witnessed in Isari when the beast charged through buildings as though they were made of sticks, not stones. And so they set out in pursuit of the demon bull creature.

 

Fortunately for our heroes, being persistently on fire makes it quite easy for others to track you and they follow the scorch marks through woods, through grassy hills that become increasingly more barren, until 2 days later they find themselves in open desert. They begin the treacherous journey across the desert. Yetu, being a master of survival manages to find small amounts of water, but they never seem to be quite enough. Clad in his plate armour, Ulfghar becomes exhausted by the journey through the scorching sand, but still he pushes on.

 

After 2 days of crossing the desert, they see many shapes wavering in the distance ahead. They approach what appears to be a large caravan and confirm that this is not a mirage when hailed by a Bedouin from the group. He’s quite surprised to see them, in all his years of traveling the salt trail, he has never once comes across travelers walking out of the open desert. Even among his people who have lived their lives in the desert, traveling off the road is considered foolhardy if not downright suicidal. Always eager for the newest and best equipment our party inquires into the goods the caravan is moving. Disappointingly, they have no magical nunchucks, however they have something equally valuable (note: equally, because magical nunchucks are just that awesome). The Bedouin produces from a pocket hidden in the many folds of his robe a small round sphere, translucent and about the size of a grape. He calls it a Dust of Dryness Ball and explains that it is a rare item of limited quantity throughout this world. When crushed it expands to create a 15ft-cubed pool of water. He states the one of them is more than enough to water his entire caravan of 50 camels and their accompanying humans for over a day. After much haggling and internal debate among the party, they purchase 3 balls for 900GP and set out on their way once more.

 

That night as they bed down beside a small fire, Nim draws the short straw and keeps watch. Suddenly but quietly, enchanting beautiful music breaks the silence, drawing Nim to his feet. Ulfghar, also awakens, and as though under a spell Nim and Ulfghar walk out into the black desert night following the music. Ulfghar kicks some sand on Hari as he passes by. Hari is also enchanted by the music and almost rises to follow them before realizing how strange it is to hear music in a desert in the middle of the night. Suspicious, Hari wakes Kroll and together they set out after Nim and Ulfghar who are a couple hundred yards ahead. Nim, leading the pack, starts to slide slowly down a sandy slope. The slope steepens, leading down to a small flat area surrounded by cliffs on the other 3 sides. As he slides, Nim notices the most beautiful naked female elf, sitting on the cliffs and singing to him. Entranced, he fails to notices a large grey cone-headed beast that erupts from the sand, grabbing Nim in his jaws. Thankfully, Ulfghar arrives at this point and attacks the Bulette, while Nim continues to hang from its jaw, smiling vacantly around him. Hari and Kroll arrive and seeing the Harpy for what it truly is, a nasty, leathery winged creature. They attack it. At the sound of its scream, 2 other Harpies fly out of a nest in the cliffs and a furious battle commences, while below Nim finally snaps out of it and joins Ulfghar battling the Bulette. The combined might of Hari and Kroll is too much for the Harpies and the last succumbs to a fireball that Hari summons. Just as they head over to join in the battle against the Bulette. The Bulette, having been grievously hurt by Ulfghar, and barely scratched by Nim, decides he’s had enough of this and attempts to burrow back into the sand. His injuries slow him and with his rear end and tail hanging out, Nim attacks, determined to redeem himself for his poor showing earlier in the battle. He utters a tiny, but bloodthirsty cry as he plunges his whole arm deep into the Bulette’s asshole, grabbing and tearing at everything he can on the way out. The Bulette gives one finally shudder and then collapses, half-buried into the sand. The battle won, Kroll begins to pry off his scales for Hari, who wants to try and make some armour out of them. Hari heads over to the Harpy corpses where something seems to be glinting in the sunlight. He finds a masterpiece of a necklace, 5 large jewels of different colours on flanges 5 making a mace-head like pendant on a chain. Slowly, Hari lowers it over his neck, a little concerned it might have some odd effect on him, but all that happens is the thought “Damn, I’m looking good!”

 

The 4 head slowly back to their campsite, exhausted from the battle. They find Yetu still sleeping (as he is notorious for doing during battle unless one of them drags him along). And they lie down beside him to rest and recover. They awake refreshed and head out across the desert once more. They continue along the scorched path and notice walls of stone slowly rising on either side until they find themselves in a deep canyon. They continue along the canyon for some way, before coming to a junction, with 3 paths ahead of them and one behind. By each path, carved into the rock they find a symbol. After much debate, they decide the symbol to the Left appears the least ominous and begin walking down the path. The path winds and descends into an even deeper canyon until they come to a teardrop shaped room where the path terminates. Alone in the centre of the room they see a statue of a tornado in humanoid form, worn by the sand. As they cautiously approach, they notice the very sun seems dimmed in this room, as though it was being covered by a layer of windblown sand, but they feel no wind. They come to the statue and as Hari attempts to detect any magical properties it may have, Nim moves forward and places a hand on it. Immediately, he feels the wind, a stronger wind than he has ever felt and a wind filled with the deepest hatred. Sand begins to blow around the entire room and out of the sand and wind an Elemental creature appears and attacks. As they turn to face the elemental, a wraith steps out of the statue. A fierce battle begins and our party splits to attack both the elemental and the wraith. Yetu, moves towards the wraith, as he does so it rushes at him and passes through him as though smoke. Yetu collapses and ages a thousand years before the parties eyes. Before they can react, a spectre arises from his corpse and attacks. Naturally, our kickass band of heroes kills them all. Unfortunately Yetu is beyond reviving and they are forced to leave his body behind.

 

Finding nothing else down this path, they return to the forks and this time take the Centre path. They only walk a little ways down before Nim hears faint chanting in the distance. Motioning the others to stay put, he stealths forward using all his skills as a monk to stay completely silent. He pops his head over a mound of sand and sees a sentry standing directly in front of him and in a circular room ahead, a man stretched naked in the sand surrounded by 4 cultists in robes and 2 Crusty Bitches. Silent but deadly, he slits the sentry’s throat and drags the body back to the rest of the group, leaving a wide trail of blood in the sand. They set off together to kill them all, as they approach one of the CBs swallows the man tied on the ground through her vagina and promptly swells to an enormous size. Knowing what comes next, our heroes charge at her, but before they can kill her, 2 gross demon babies drop out of her. They battle it out, kill them all, and afterwards our heroes trudge slowly back to the forks, where Nim finds a perfect sheltered spot for them to take a rest and recuperate before heading down the final path.

 

They awaken feeling refreshed, if not slightly frustrated at the time they wasted down the other 2 paths and they set out down the path to the Right. They come to a large open space, with many crumbling buildings and 2 statues of ancient warriors guarding the entrance. Standing at the entrance, they see far ahead of them a strangely out of place grassy hill. And sitting on this perfectly manicured green grass is the fiery demon bull. They begin to approach when the bull charges, Nim and Hari manage to dive out of the way, but still sustain damage as he runs past. The fight begins, and after a few seemingly ineffectual attacks, Kroll manages to cram one of the Dust of Dryness Balls into the beast’s mouth, jamming it in the gums, he then swings his sword at his jaw with all his might. With a powerful gush to ball explodes and the creature rears, screaming in pain as his fire is briefly extinguished. But he soon pulls himself together, reignites and attacks once more. They continue striking with swords, battle axes and obsidian daggers. They do some damage, but still the beast continues to fight. Hari tries desperately to find an opening to use his own Dust of Dryness ball, but none occurs. Finally, Kroll delivers a mighty blow with his sword right down the middle of the beast’s face. He doesn’t quite manage to cleave it in half, but the effect is still quite impressive and the creature falls over dead. Nim grabs one of the horns as the rest of the demon bull turns to ash around him, he holds the horn intact. They see a statue sitting on the grassy knoll and approach. It’s Yeenogu. After learning his lesson from his previous statue-touching exploits, Nim puts his hands into his pockets. Finding nothing else, they set out for home. Fortunately, they learned many tracking skills from Yetu on the journey out and are able to make their way home without getting lost.

 

They return and head to the mayor’s office, finding him asleep at his desk. Hari climbs into the rafters and sets a spotlight onto Nim, the mayor awakes at the bright light to see a small Halfling standing in front of him holding a bull’s horn nearly a tall as he is. Nim hands the horn to the mayor and as the mayor takes it into his hands, it turns to ash. The mayor is thrilled at their success and gives them all the goods they were owed. And together they set out to the Wayward Chimera for a well-deserved drink or two (or 7).

 

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Session 10
Trophy Hunters

 

Destruction and hardship is what remains of Isari. Several survivors of the knoll war have
gathered within the city to start rebuilding. The adventurers have returned inside the wayward
chimera to regroup and attempt to start up shop once more.
Upon the unexpected return of once thought lost Grog the bartender, Kroll and Ulfgar took it
upon themselves to find out exactly what happened. Grog explained that during the looting and
pillaging of the war, he caught 4 unknown bandits stealing our beloved trophy and took it upon
himself to chase and hopefully retrieve it back.
During his chase, Grog narrowly escaped death by hiding within a small crevasse undetected by
a retreating knoll army, or at least what remained of them. Although unable to retrieve the trophy
himself, he was able to return to us with direction of where the robbers had gone.
Kroll and Ulfgar not wanting to disturb the other companions from their work, hired a Elf named
Cidaris skilled with a bow and a particular keenness for traps. He would agree to help the
companions for a small fee of course.
A short trip to the cross roads brought the 3 to where Grog had described his hiding spot, they
were able to determine where the robbers had fled with their trophy but before they could
resume their pursuit, they had a small encounter with 4 Ghouls. No easy feat for mere mortals
but easily dispatched by these 3.
A quick horse ride west in pursuit took the adventurers to a tentative short cut called the
“pilgrims path”. 2 hours stuffed into a hole only big enough for 2 people and 1 dead horse later,
the 3 chose to turn back after finding out that this stupid “shortcut” was watch by some sort of
dragon who chose not to kill them and let them live another day.
taking the longer way around, the 3 companions found their way blocked off by a pair of
Manticores, after a sad attempt at politics, the 3 skilled fighters sprung into action killing both the
initial monster as well as its mate, making a small profit from merchants who had been blocked
off as well.
Another half days travel brought them to a small man named Connery trying to fix a wagon
wheel, they helped him and were then invited for dinner as thanks.
Once they arrived to this gentleman estate, they found that they were the second group to
arrive. They found 2 human mercenaries as well as a stupid lookiing although Giant human man
welding none other than our fucking trophy. Ulfgar and Kroll decided to play it cool. through a
strategic dance of bluffs and persuasion, Kroll was able to distract the mercenaries while Ulfgar
communicated in broken dwarfish to this Hrut the gigantic man and convince him to come work
for us at the Wayward Chimera and no longer be a slave. For a small price of course… 1
chimera head trophy.
the adventure ended with yet another stand off inside Connery’s house with an old friend, 1 red
haired mercenary bowman who had escaped Ebadullas compound when we took it. Through 1
very tense stand off, we agreed to let her go, to run away and never be seen again… hopefully.

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Session 8
The Wake

<meta />

Caravan en route to Inverted castle with Governess to end siege.

 

Attacked en route

 

  • new demon type: female body with pale flesh, hideous teeth and lobster claws. Unrecognized by anyone. New type discovered, named by Narwen “Crusty Bitches”. See-Bees for short.

  • Nailo leaps into overturned carriage to protect the governess (or perhaps just for a good hiding spot)

  • To many demons for one simple caster like Jaganath to summon and control. Something is wrong.

 

Aftermath

  • note on killed cultist with ramblings, mentions the bones of the slain as temples, and something called The Wake.

  • While camped for the night Narwen awkwardly flirts with a seventeen year old human soldier. Gives him personal and practical demonstration on where half-elves come from. Also demonstrates poor stealth

 

The Inverted Castle

  • choking on her words, the Governess asks for help from the Knights of the Tarrasque while simultaneously lifting her siege upon them. Thankfully, Chief Exorcist Nuallan is loathe to refuse a chance to purge the land of demons.

 

  • Disease has already started to ravage the Governess' forces. This is strange as the siege has been ongoing for only a week

  •  

  • Nailo searches for a cause and inadvertently contracts smallpox from contaminated food. Problem identified!

 

  • Help in containing and eliminating disease solicited by Kroll from the Knights and their healers, useful in negotiating release of Exorcist Vikar (who is a paladin). It is determined that he will make his penance on the battlefield

 

  • Disease contained, but a quarter of the Isari forces are no longer in fighting condition.

 

The Wake

  • as it is supposed to be a source of power, the Wake is approached cautiously

  • first indications are iron spikes as tall as a man emerging from the ground

  • blighted ground where nothing grows

  • ambushed by cultist spell caster with spell scroll, fails at using it.

  • Ruins contain circular calendar, inspecting it causes the wizard Hari to experience it through the eyes of a reptilian sage. The sage grows worried as he studies cycles of the moon.

  • The wolf Falor is sent on a solo patrol of the perimeter. His end is predictably swift and gory.

  • In a rage of vengeance Narwen hunts down the small pack of gnolls responsible. A widespread excavation by cultists is discovered

Jaganath at a low stepped pyramid in the center of the site. Seems to be happy with what he has found despite being discovered by the heros. Orders his people to gather what they can and leave.

Heroes attempt to take out camp stealthily. On second camp one cultist uses a bone he has discovered and summons a balgura demon.

 Several camps and a wandering patrol eliminated, but many make it away as the heroes concentrate their attack

 Nailo takes it upon herself to evoke as many memories as she can by handling relics. Touching a set of leather bindings evokes the memory slaves being taken to sacrifice. The slaves are like slender upright apes, and they see the completion of the squat stepped pyramid on which they are to be sacrificed.

Heroes return to Nariswar to discover the gnoll army behind them.   

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Session 7
Hunting Jaganath

Isari’s forces have besieged the inverted castle.

<meta />

Characters learn that Vikar wishes to meet them at an area of the cross roads west of town. They learn he and his patrol are the ones who killed the Isari patrol. Jaganath had convinced the patrol that he was fleeing from the Order of the Tarrasque on grounds of religious persecution. Vikar could not let him be taken into protection and diplomacy quickly failed and in the skirmish Jaganath found his moment to escape.

Excorcist Vikar needs the help of the party to bring Jaganath to justice. Vikar’s hunting party has been gradually worn down by many attacks by gnolls until only he survived, but still he has tracked Jaganath to the wine rich town of Nariswar, which he suspects is now completely under Jaganath’s control.

Efforts are taken to disguise Vikar and the party heads to Nariswar, the scent of their quarry baiting them on.

The town of Nariswar has transformed. Ebadula, the wealthiest wine maker in town has become the defacto leader with a growing number of the populace now following him without question. Lata, the former community organizer, has disappeared. The only lead is the newest villager to fall under Ebadula’s sway. Locals say he vanished for several days only to reappear with his opinions on leadership completely changed. The party finds this individual doing a shift in the sentry tower on the south side of the village. He claims he was only gone for a few hours hunting pheasants and that those who say otherwise are clucking hens.

His story does not add up: there are no pheasants that close to town, and his account seems deliberately vague. Confronting him about this quickly escalates into a desperate melee, but their suspect has no thoughts of escape: in his last breaths triggers an alarm! The bell sounds out across town and before the characters can get out of the guard tower they find a militia has formed against them.

 An all out war breaks between the party and the townsfolk, culminating in the party storming the residence of Ebadula Madad. The fortified compound offers no easy entrance and arrow rain down on the party. The dwarf and half-orc attempt to batter down the heavy framed front door while the elven ranger and rogue slip over the eastern wall, though neither group is unharried by arrows. Finally breaking into the small towers at each corner of the compound the group manages to silence the enemies bow strings, but not before their leader makes an escape.

 Interrogating one guard reveals that the folks who disappear do so into the wine storage building adjacent to the compound. The party graciously spares their cooperative captive, and even allows him the wages he is owed by his employer. Also in the compound they find the journal of Ebadula Madad which tells of a compound under Nariswar which Jaganath commissioned as a hidden retreat when the Imperium began expanding towards his domains. Also, they learn that he has spent a fortune in recent weeks to raise a mercenary army.

Armed with this information they enter the wine storage building where they discover the entrance to the hidden bunker. Descending down they quickly come to an open portcullis, which they quickly lock in place with pitons lest they be trapped between it and the heavy doors in front of them. There paranoia quickly proves wise as the gate attempts to close behind them. Arrow slits open to the sides and burning sand pours from above. The heroes quickly develop a plan: the sleek ones hold up the shields as protection from above while the strongest breach the door. Soon enough space is made for the group to squeeze through and things quickly turn against the cultist defenders.  

 Catching their breath briefly, the group pushes onto the next room. It seems a plain room with three doors to proceed through. As they decide which to tackle first, one door opens and a small red bead clatters to the floor by their feet.  The roar of a fiery blossom fills the room and before the heroes can reorient themselves arrows and spells fly from every doorway. Ulfgar rushes to stop a cultist from pulling another small red bead from a necklace, inadvertently causing it to fall to the floor before his very eyes. This time there is at least the silver lining that the cultists are also taken in the fireball and their robes provide no protection.

 Badly burned and weary, the heroes press on to the next hallway, this time devoid of ambush. They elect to leave the room at the end of the hallway for last and go for a side room, finding a mostly empty storage room. It seems this was a vault that until recently held a vast amount of valuables, but now only has a small array of neatly stacked coins and a pair of chests.

 One chest rests in a place of prominence, and another in a seemingly random place off to the side. This is of course a Mimic, the bane of adventurers everywhere. While Kroll desperately struggles with a toothy treasure chest fused to him, Nailo judges the situation squarely in hand and begins working on the lock to another side room. Her sense of accomplishment is short lived as the easy lock opens to reveal none other than Jaganath himself, accompanied by several cultists and a Fang of Yeenoghu. At his feet is Lata, emaciated and desperately feasting on a fresh kill of the gnoll.

 “Ah well it seems my time here must come to an end. But do not worry, I will leave you in the company of someone I believe you are already acquainted with”. He slips into a dark passage from where there now echoes the dread sound of a three headed flail.

 Ulfgar’s memory of this creatures destructive potential is keen, and he immediately darts to the threshold of the door and throws in one of the two red beads he recovered from their last encounter. The fire consumes the room but the flind still stands. Ulfgar rushes back and prepares to throw his final bead the moment his quarry reaches the threshold. The Flind obligingly rushes to there and the final bead of the necklace of fireballs is consumed. As it pushes through Vikar rushes to confront it unleashing the full wrath of his smite. Kroll, having just rid himself of the troublesome treasure chest lunges forward to confront the beast and with all his fury finally lays it low.

 The power of the three headed flail proves too tempting for him to resist, and as he instinctively grabs for it he finds he finds himself overcome by a vision. The rest see him dumbstruck, his eyes wide with terror. The heroes ask Vikar to perform an exorcism post haste. The ritual causes a burst of arcane energy leaving Vikar depleted and helpless, but alive. Kroll seems shaken but sane, and the flail disintegrates into ash.

 The heroes give chase but only to see their quarry has united with his newly purchased army of mercenaries.

 Vikar sees only one choice before him: his mission to capture Jaganath failed, he can only hope to restore peace between the Isari forces and the Knights of the Tarrasque. Despite their attempts to dissuade him the party ultimately follows his plan.

 Stripped of his armour and weapons, Vikar presents himself to the Governess. The party presents to her the journal of Ebadula Madad and gives testimony of the beguiling tongue of Jaganath which no doubt held sway over her patrol when they came to blows with the Knights of the Order.

 With much to consider, The Governess orders the execution of the scouts who had reported all was well in Nariswar and sets off to end the siege of the Inverted Castle.

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Session 6
New friends, familiar opponents

It’s mid-morning at the Wayward Chimera. Ulfgur and the new recruits, a half-orc named Kroll and a wood-elf named Narwen, are setting up for the day. Hara, one of the servers, pointed out to Ulfgar the Kvothe never returned; Ulfgar sends a message to him, and never receives a response.

Sanjeev, a local merchent, is noted to be sitting in a corner, alone. He looks as though he wants to speak with someone. Ulfgur and Kroll approach and take a seat beside him.

The merchant is concerned with regards to the wine trade; it has been noted that the incoming stocks of wine from the wineries north of Isari in Nariswar, specifically the world renowned Madad wine, are coming into the city in smaller caravans and less frequently. Merchants have been increasing their prices, and Sanjeev claims his business is taking a hit. He was hoping that the adventurers of the Wayward Chimera would be able to make the 2 day journey to Nariswar to investigate the issue.

Ulfgar, seeing this as a seemingly simple task, decides this would be a great opportunity to “break in” the new recruits. After some convincing, and an annoyed high-elf who ended up 50gp lighter (with and IOU of 100gp), the three companions stock up on some supplies at Gerbo’s before setting out onto the road.

The first days ride is uneventful. The companions set up camp in a small clearing off to the side of the road, and Narwen goes out with her wolf companion, Falor, to hunt some game. Narwen finds a body in some bushes, fitting the description of the bard Hara spoke of at the tavern. As she moves on Narwen comes face to face with a chimera. After a quick altercation, the chimera flies off, Ulfgar and Kroll arrive, and the companions make their way back to the campsite with Kvothe’s body,

The companions are startled awake by the chimera during the night. A hand-axe throw by Kroll makes the killing blow. They retrieve the heads, and take them back to Isari to be treated by a taxidermist for display at the tavern. As they arrive back in Isari they notice a mass exodus of soldiers, but no one they speak to seems to have an ideas about the increased military activity.

The companions journey north to Nariswar. The walls going up around the city have made no progress. The townsfolk are going about their business, the militia looks exhausted. After speaking with some militia men it is found out the Ebadulla Madad is no longer funding the building of the wall, and has recalled his staff from monitoring the perimeter of the town. The militiamen direct the group to Lata’s estate, where after a quick meeting it is confirmed the Ebadulla has pulled his wall funding and has begun to sell his personal items. A familiar face has been noted in Nariswar; a high elf with a broken nose was seen walking toward the Madad estate about a week back. The group makes their way to the Madad Estate.

The servant at the Madad estate claims that business seems to be going along as normal, that the Madad family is doing fine. He denies a high elf visitor with a broken nose, but Kroll noticed the servants tone and body language changed completely when directly questioned about the visitor. During the meeting with the head of the Madad household, Ebadulla claimed that business is fine, that they are sending out the same amount of wine, and that he is “comfortable”. He doesn’t seem concerned for himself or his business, although Lata seems to be struggling. He states he feels safe within his own walls, and is confident the gnolls will not be back. With that the group takes its leave to go to a local tavern.

At the tavern a lone dwarf is noted to be sitting at a table. Ulfgar goes over and sits down. The dwarf explains he is preparing to work the night shift, and is employed by Ebadulla. The dwarf is unable to discuss the nature of his employment, not even as a conversation between dwarves. He soon exits the tavern.

Narwen follows the dwarf out into the street at night. She tracks him behind the compound and sees a small pony drawn cart being loaded with chests. The dwarf sets off with his cart towards the north-west.

The three companions decide to track the dwarf and his cart. They follow on horseback, keeping a distance, during the moonlit night. Eventually they come to a stop when they see the small cart ahead. The team leads the horses off the road and walk them through the tall grass. As they approach, they tether the horses and make their way on foot. Narwen and Falor take the lead, staying low in the grass, moving forward to get a better view. The cart has stopped, the dwarf appears to be waiting for someone. As she is watching, Narwen hears a strange, unfamiliar sound above and around her. Two large, clawed feet land on the ground directly in front of her. She stays low, and still, the creature moves a few feet in front of her. She can see another caravan arriving at the dwarf, the chests are moved from the dwarfs cart to that of the new caravan. Their bluish armour is foreign to her. Falor, crouched low behind her, begins to pant, and the gnoll turns towards them. Falor begins his run towards Ulfgar and Kroll, who began their sprint to Narwen’s aid as soon as Ulfgar heard the gnolls calls.

The companions face off with a pack of gnolls, initially fairing well with 2:1 odds. Off in the distance reinforcements arrive, led by a powerful gnoll, with an other-worldy presence, in plate armour wielding a magic 3 headed mace. It is obvious to Narwen that these gnolls were the guard for the arriving caravan.

Ulfgar is immediately incapacitated by a single blow from the 3 headed mace, after insisting to the new recruits this battle is winnable! Kroll heals Ulfgar, and the team makes a break for their horses, leaving the fallen Falor behind.

The gnolls pursue for a short while, the team run their horses into the ground, but make it back to Nariswar by morning. The companions awaken Lata’s household and inform them of the gnoll attack, leaving out Madad’s possible involvement. The townsfolk make their way for the Madad estate, seeking sanctuary behind the walls. The companions leave for Isari to inform the Governess of the gnoll activity and their accusations against Ebudalla.

The Governess seems uninterested in the trials happening in Nariswar. Her troops are currently besieging the Inverted Castle after the death of one of her guards, a patrol killed by whom she thinks were the Knights of Tarrasque. Ulfgar informs the Governess of the escaped prisoner from the Underdark, who is most likely responsible for murdering her soldier, and that this prisoner was spotted in Nariswar.

The Governess agrees to send a small group of soldiers to Nariswar and investigate. The companions have a much needed rest, and Narwen meditates to call back her beloved Falor.

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Session 5
Through the Inverted Castle

Having just conquered the Hall of Trials, Nim volunteers to help Fenros the ranger they just rescued return to civilization. Ulfgar and Nilo return to the Inverted Castle to carry on business there. The wizard Hari has made progress and transcribed the spells he sough into his spell book. Librarian Balfour parts ways to give his enthusiastic report to Chief Exorcist Nuallan while Nilo slips off to find her contact. Nilo learns her client is an elf of the Imperium, some kind of noble who wants to be brought out to the surface.

 

Soon after this meeting the group meets with Chief Exorcist Nuallan who asks the party to spear head the Order's attempts to gain espionage capabilities in the underdark. As the party is clearly in need of a guide, Nuallan has offered a local who claims to have knowledge and introduces a colorfully robed tiefling female named Eza. The party is offered every provision that the knights can muster, Hari's remaining days transcribing texts waived , and what currency that can be spared from the donations. After brief negotiations the party accepts and goes to get familiar with their new partner. As it turns out, Eza the tiefling is an alter-ego for the drow Eza'rul Delai, Nilo's most reliable smuggling contact and claim to fame. Eza'rul explains that years ago Nilo hatched a crazed scheme to help him escape from the Underdark, a feat that became a tall tale for smugglers the world over.

 

After securing supplies and resting for the night the group heads through the massive rolling door of the Inverted Castle and into the darkness. In tow they have a trio of archers to set up their base camp. After a solid day of descending Eza'rul guides the group to an alcove carved into a massive stalactite hanging over one of the Underdark's many caverns.

 

With base camp established the party presses on leaving their scouts behind to guard camp. Electing to take the easier to navigate worm highways, th group soon comes upon a lone deep-gnome waiving them down. He explains that he and his comrades wave tracked a large grick into its lair and have locked it inside in the hopes of starving it death and claiming the treasure it has amassed by picking off travelers. This motley crew is a gnome, a duergar (a grew skinned dwarf) warrior, and a rapier and dagger branding drow. They have had it sealed up for over a month now, but no one in his group feels confident enough to pop the seal and stick their head in. Initially they ask to purchase rations to give it another week, but soon an agreement is struck to split the loot 60/40 for the party if they stick their heads in first. With Eza'rul staying outside to ensure they are not double-crossed and locked in, Nilo volunteers to be the first in. They find a ten foot long worm with tentacles that split from its beaked face lying seemingly lifeless. This is not good enough for Nilo who checks for vital signs by loosing an arrow into it. The creature immediately springs to life in protest to its rude awakening while the rest of the party squeezes through into the chamber to get their licks in. Its movements are sluggish and desperate as it scrapes the bottoms of it's reserves of energy. The duergar rushes in to justify his share of the loot while the rest of his crew decide that fighting was never really their thing anyway. A final precision shot from Eza'rul lays low the beast to reveal a pittance of coin and small work of art on the body of the grick's latest victim. The duergar takes a share of the silver, a dismal payment for a month of work, and heads off grumbling to his home. His accomplices are seemingly long gone.

 

After resting in the grick's lair the party presses on only to find their path on the worm highway flooded. Left with no other choice they back track into the warrens, a shifting network of passages with myriad different paths. The better part of a day is spent sliding down long passages only inches wide at points. As they crawl out from under a low crawlspace, the plate armored dwarven cleric electing to instead use magic to pass through stone, they find themselves at the foot of a steep incline in a cavern. The cleric Ulfgar makes the first go at climbing, making it look childishly simple. As he looks down at his accomplishment he has not taken leave of his senses: something stirs above!

 

From the stalactites above come two floating, beaked brains with jellyfish-like arms and stingers. Nilo attempts to assist with arrows but finds herself tangled in her climbing gear on the rock face. Hari finds a small ledge on the rock face to stand on and in a puff of mist teleports himself there to render aid. The brain-jellyfish begin to ponder if this member at the top was isolated enough when Hari's first fire bolt accidentally strikes the rope Nilo is suspended from. As it burns away Nilo searches for a piton or rock to grab, finding one mid tumble as the rope finally gives way. One of the grell (the brain-jellyfish) decides it should live to fight another day but just as it does Ulfgar is surrounded by a swarm of divine guardians, glowing cherubs that slash the wounded grell to pieces. The other grell suddenly remembers he is late for an appointment somewhere, anywhere, else and slips off into the darkness.

 

Without further issue the party finds itself at the edge of a great chasm: bio-luminescent fungus faintly lights the area for miles, shelves on the cavern walls have shops and homes carved into them, balconies stretch out from massive stalactites, the sound of dozens of small waterfalls echo, and linking everything is a network of spider webs. This is the Drow city of Mezzrym. Before a serviceable plan can be made a centaur like creature with the body of a drow on the body of a spider approaches them. He is Zenzel, a drider, and he has strict instructions to bring them to House Duskyrn.

 

At the spiraling stalactite structure of House Duskyrn the pary if briefly introduced to the Matron, who only states that their guest has asked to take his leave and has her blessing to do so. The party is escorted to a well kept but small room where they meet their client. A Tulwari elf, clearly a noble by his dress and imperiousness. He introduces himself only as J, and requires transportation beyond the Inverted Castle to the larger world above. Despite his abrasive attitude the party agrees to the job for 4000gp in jewels, planning to leave the next morning.

 

They spend the night about town trying to find out anything they can about their client only to learn that he has been a guest there for some years and rarely makes forays into the city if at all. The party settles down hash out a plan. When Eza'rul was smuggled out it was under the breastplate of a giant foolish enough to assault the Inverted Castle, but there are no such circumstances now. Could he be taken to the surface as an apparent corpse? What excuse would they give fro dragging it through miles of tunnel? Could he be disguised as a drow captive? Perhaps a rescued slave with invaluable information? Surely his abrasive tongue would make him break his cover immediately. Then Eza'rul has an epiphany: Nilo can make poisons and the underdark is home to a fungus called the tongue of madness! If the prisoner were mad upon resurfacing the part could get him past the gate and then figure out a way to break him from the prison while he recovered!

 

As they part from Mezzrym Nilo searches for the tongue of madness in the numerous side passages, able to identify it with the assistance of Hari's photographic memory. But before they can pass the client off as a slave, he must look like one he is bound, dragged across the rocks and punched in the face before being fed the poison. Sure enough, he quickly takes on the appearance of a slave tortured to madness.

 

At the gate they have little trouble convincing the guards with their rouse, and the client is taken to the prison until he gains a lucid moment. Chief exorcist Nuallan eagerly takes their report and asks them to attend the prisoner's debriefing once he gains back his faculties. The party slips into Eza'rul's tent to discuss the next portion of their plan. Not long after, they are summoned: the prisoner is talking again!

Time of the essences, they rush to the prison to find Nuallan and others drawing their swords. Guards rush into the prison block to find the guard with his throat cut and the cell empty!

 

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