Okknos Prime

Royal Disagreements and Steel
in which lots of horses die

Wil refuses to give the prince a “playboy allowance” and threatens to bring him back in chains if he does not agree to yield the throne. The prince’s guard draws steel. Wil attacks and eventually the others (both adventurers and guards) join the battle. The guards are quicker to respond to the prince than the adventurers and Wil is soon outmatched.

“We have your king. If you want him to live drop your weapons.”

Dryug replies that they’ll have the prince soon and that the guards should surrender. The guards precede to try to kill Wil while the others battle to reach him.

Asher and Dryug clog the hallway and create a wall of fists and steel that slowly overcomes the guards. Rekas Selchar and Miria guard the rear, preventing the group from being flanked. The guards begin to shoot arrows at Asher and Dryug but cannot seem to hit their marks. Slowly the wall of guards is pushed back.

The guard that tied up Wil starts trying to kill him. Wil rolls around on the floor dodging death blows while the prince giggles. Asher eventually gains line of sight with Wil‘s agressor and teleports him within sword-reach. Without a guard in front of him, the prince immediately feels threatened; nevermind, that Wil is still bound by rope. The prince screams for help and the wall of guards discards their advantageous positioning and ignores a series of strikes from Dryug as they run to attack the tied up wizard.

The door is barricaded, but Dryug uses Hope as a battering ram, and the party is quickly inside the prince’s sitting room. A strategically teleported drow with burning fists soon convinces the prince to surrender. Asher, in his bloodlust continues to fight and has to be reminded that the guards have surrendered.

The group loots and loots and loots. Jean deMetz points out that technically Wil owns everything anyway. The group ignores him.

Jean deMetz is sent with a horse and the prince’s last living manservant to fetch the carriage that was abandoned during the vampire attack. The manservant attacks Jean deMetz and runs off. Dryug consoles Jean deMetz by pointing out the fellow is likely to be eaten by vampires.

The group rests. For some reason Hope and Wil share a bed. Hope makes lewd comments the next morning which Wil ignores. After Dryug finishes meditating and while he waits for the others to wake up, he fills the prince’s carriage with artwork from the villa.

Wil is rather discourteous to the guards that tried to kill him while he was tied up. The rest of the group speaks up for the guards. Dryug even receives praise from Miria for his kindness.

As the group returns to Vitalia, they are attacked by hungry wolves. The wolves quickly kill the horses but don’t get much opportunity to eat horseflesh before the group kills them all. During the battle, the guards do not attack the wolves. Afterwards Rekas Selchar and Dryug try to convince them to pull one of the carriages. Hope speaks on their behalf and his words are more convincing. The blunt side of Rekas Selchar‘s full blade is even more convincing. Hope and Miria offer to help the guards pull a carriage. Miria’s warmth at Dryug‘s earlier kindness disappeared during the exchange.

When the group reaches the gates of Vitalia, Gaul Kahn sends members of the guard to recover the other carriage. Dryug gives Wil’s mom paintings to help decorate. Wil convinces her not to hang pictures of the prince in the throne room.

Hope shares his dream with the historian. He wants to attack Adriana Prevot in a stronghold from his dreams but doesn’t know where it is. Bertrand Turmel infers that the stronghold may be in the shadowfell. Hope asks if the approaching army can be persuaded to attack the stronghold. Someone points out that the army is really on their way to retake Vitalia, but Hope seems too focused on his plan to listen.

Invited Guests

Wil finds Dryug in the throne room with Krisceris, Wil’s mom, and some ratty kids. Wil is shown a painting that the kids drew. One of the children says, “The nice elf told him dogs are the king’s favorite animal.” Wil successfully feigns pleasure and offers the child a puppy. His mother does not approve of giving puppies to orphans. Wil asks where the kids came from and finds out they were the orphans Dryug had bribed with cookies. Wil sets competent underlings to arrange for their well being.

Meanwhile, Rekas Selchar gets frustrated because his copy-cat fan club does not know how to fight. He abandons them to their terribleness and asks Rovindor Hammersmith to train them. Hope has an unknown dream.

The whole group decides to set out for the Prince’s estate. Hope continues to pretend to be a woman, this time one with a strikingly similar name to every other woman in the campaign…making it obnoxiously confusing. Initially the group does not know Hope is Hope

The group is confronted by a man named Borrit Crowfinger who blocks the path to the estate. He calls Wil a coward, and tells him he hopes that he enjoys his kingdom while he has it. He tells Wil that he shouldn’t claim to be part of a family that he knows nothing about. Then the coward-caller hides behind lines of vampire minions and in a radiant/necrotic aura of pain. It takes a while to dispatch him. Hope, or rather Maria, leads a vampire into the royal carriage to attack Jean deMetz. Oddly Dryug rescues him. Miria doesn’t seem to mind standing next to the fellow that’s very presence nearly kills Rekas Selchar. Many more minions die than is truly necessary. Eventually their summoner falls.

Onward the group goes, now carriage-less as the late Bordet managed to kill all the horses with his aura. Fortunately the group is almost to the royal villa. Unfortunately, the guards are unwilling to let anyone see the prince. During the arguing Dryug sneaks over the fence.

Wil tries asking very nicely several times to be allowed inside and is repeatedly told no uninvited guests are allowed. Maria/Hope demands they listen to their king. One of the guards says, “If he’s a king than I’m Kitten the legendary paladin.”

On the other side of the fence and partway into the yard a voice shouts, “Than I’m an invited guest!”

Wil says he doesn’t want to fight, he just wants to speak to the prince. The guards say something about wanting to hit Wil. Wil tries to hit them first, but barely produces an audible “dink” with his staff attack. Battle breaks out on one side of the gate while a lone guard attempts to chase down a drow.

Dryug gets to the door first, enters and disrupts the party, and locks the door behind him. The guard catches up and kicks the door down, unphased. Dryug fights one-on-one while the others share a squad of guards. At the party Dryug scares away everyone but the most interesting man in the room. Hope/Maria uses aberrant magic and hides behind a fence away from all the guards. The group manages to take care of the guards and has to beg to be let inside…again.

Dryug meets the prince and his solo combatant is dismissed “to go clean up.”

Hope eventually lets the others in for a meeting with the prince.

The Wil of a King
In which the party PKs a guest-PC and the children of Vitalia learn not to accept cookies from Drow

The group returns to the Greedy Bard to rest after an epic battle against foulspawn and fake literature. Wil rises early and grabs breakfast in the common room of the inn. While waiting for his meal to arrive, a handful of soldiers come to Wil‘s table and thank him for raising the portcullis and distracting nearby foulspawn, allowing them to escape. The seek to repay Wil and he suggests they assist Leon Cornet instead.

As soon as they left, Bertrand Turmel, the historian, appeared to chat. He spoke loudly alluding to Wil’s future plans. Wil attempts to quiet him. The historian gives him a recently drafted court document detailing the lineage of Vitalian royalty, Wil‘s name appearing on the list under the line of Volchair. The historian leaves and Jean deMetz arrives, talks about Wil’s lineage, and the unpopularity of the prince. Jean deMetz dismisses himself, suggesting Wil consider the possibilities.

Wil‘s food eventually arrives and the others eventually awaken and join him for breakfast, all except Dryug. Meanwhile, Dryug is on his way back to the inn, having goodies to loot. With order mostly established, Dryug was only able to pilfer a few items from an abandoned fish monger’s stall without attracting attention.

Dryug notices the others leaving the inn, apparently on their way to the castle. He quietly follows them. They meet Leon Cornet and an eladrin. Leon Cornet introduces the eladrin as another adventurer desiring to help close the foulspawn portal beneath the castle. Dryug approaches quietly, dagger in hand, cautious of the newcomer. Miria notices him and mentions louder than she necessary that they’re still waiting for their drow friend to arrive. The newcomer asks about civilized races interacting with drow.

Dryug narrows the distance, grabs the elf from behind, and places steel at his neck. Leon Cornet exasperatedly comments about elven feuds and attempts to diffuse the situation. Dryug lowers his dagger, reaches into his travel bag, grabbing the only thing interesting, a thick book. Dryug successfully removes the book, but it is not completely unnoticed.

Hope banishes the drow to the fey wild to think about his actions. Dryug recognizes the book as an item of wizardry and hides it under a rock. He attempts to construct a trap but cannot finish before being returned from the fey wild.

Meanwhile, racist comments and rants about a missing book turn to battle cries. Dryug returns and is immediately attacked. Hope uses an aberrant power. Chaos ensues. The Hope and the newcomer are dropped. Hope talks his way out of prison, barely.

One adventurer short, Captain Kahn joins the team. They enter the castle, a few other groups going this way and that, to dispatch other foulspawn. The adventurers enter the throne room, moving toward the trapdoor into Adriana Prevot‘s underground lair. Some foulspawn attempt to stop them. Hope tries to recruit them, speaking in deep speech. Not even gross foulspawn want to be Hope’s friend. The group dispatches them and heads downstairs.

As the group moved toward the statue room, the general began discussing with Wil what should happen should he fall. In the statue room, the group comes upon three flavors of death, death by fire, death by electricity, and death by drowning (perhaps related to the odd tremors caused by Rekas Selchar‘s new sword while he was fighting foulspawn the night before?). Bodies are everywhere, both foulspawn and human. The group naturally begins looting. They find the body of the king, very dead. Leon Cornet then finds the body of an acid spitting beast, not dead yet. As the acid melts the generals flesh, the group prepares for combat. The battle is long and arduous, but the heroes are eventually victorious. In the portal room, they find the portal is closed.

The adventurers meet up with the other elements of the resistance, bring all that remains of Leon Cornet, an acid etched hilt of what was his sword. Hope plays a dirge for the fallen general. Everyone listens respectfully, despite the mediocrity of the tune. When it ends, the leaderless group begins discussing what will happen next.

Wil speaks up, proclaiming that he is a direct descendant of the Volchair, the true line of Vitalian kings. In a lackluster speech, he declares he will be the new champion of the people. Dryug begins to obnoxiously dote on the new king, making him a crown out of twisted wire and an amber gem he had stolen from the throne room. Maria Pontmercy threatens to dispatch Wil, should he prove to be another bad king. Hope goes to steal books from the royal library. Dryug continues to obnoxiously express his fealty until Wil sends him away.

Wil engages in a series of discussions about matters of state. He discusses the upcoming army, the whereabouts of the prince, as well as many other important issues. Gaul Kahn is discretely sent to verify Adriana Prevot’s body has remained buried. Wil visits Bertrand Turmel to discuss something and accidentally tells him to clean his room, to which the historian replies with a characteristic, “Oh my!”

Dryug finds Wil’s mom and brings her back to the castle, acquiring a ridiculous hat for himself in the process. He also manages to coerce Krysceris into wearing one as well. Together the three of them set out to decorate the throne room for Wil

At an inn, Wil rents a room and has a private conversation with Jean deMetz. Wil wants to track down the other nobles that have gone into hiding and reestablish their positions. Jean deMetz suggests Wil rewrite the social hierarchy completely. Together they discuss convincing the prince to give up his claim to the throne.

The story picks up with a council meeting of trusted advisors.

The Dark Tower

The academy is boiling with excitement. The head master has called everyone in to the great halls for meeting. Sadly our heroes, Bianca and Caldwell, are late. The head master, Robert Bodicore, begins to speak as the two are forced to sit in the front. The speech is soon interrupted as a commotion begins and some students are seen biting each other. Caldwell and Bianca defend themselves against the attack, but are overwhelmed. The headmaster unleashes a powerful spell, incinerating all of his enemies in the room. His triumph is short lived, as a vampire resembling Adriana Prevot crashes through a window and deals the headmaster a grievous wound. The headmaster sees the situation grow dire and teleports himself, Caldwell, and Bianca into the bottom of the tower.

The heroes are now stuck in a dungeon for the time being. They look around and find several prisoners locked up in here. A blue dragon named Skavario, a creature from the fey named Vinya, and a man named 21. The final cell was explained to belong to Prevot. She was locked up due to her dark powers. Strange things occurred around her and they feared for her and everyone’s safety. Within the room are letters written in black ink. “The outside is always watching.”

The heroes let the prisoners go after a brief discussion with each. They plan on busting out of the tower in order to free themselves of the darkness that seems to be about to swallow Parth whole.

The first room they come upon is the Fire room. Rightly named due to the Molten Urn artifact within it. The party tries to take it and is meet with fire scorpions. A fight occurs and the headmaster is slain due to 21 strangling him and Caldwell, seeking to free his master. The party moves forward despite the loss and continues to encounter dangers at every turn. Eventually they are able to get to a great room where vampires stand in their way. They fight valiantly, but Bianca is overwhelmed.

The vampire lord dominates Caldwell and forces him to attack the blue dragon. The vampire lord flees, but Caldwell soon comes under attack by the dragon. Caldwell desperately begs that it was a mistake, but it falls of deaf ears. They Fey creature just watches and Caldwell, seeing no hope in the situation, pulls a bomb out. A shadow appears out of now where. It is Prevot and Caldwell calls out to her but she does not respond. She moves past him deeper into the castle. Caldwell sets the bomb down and is lost in an explosion that shakes the floor.

So fell the mage academy.

The Local Library

Dryug and Hope return from their separate wanderings, Dryug with pilfered goodies and Hope with new knowledge. The adventurers are gathered near the ramparts that are being assembled. General Leon Cornet, Maria Pontmercy, and a handful of other leaders of the resistance are present. Hope tells everyone that the southern army is coming.

“Of course they’re coming. I told you all that the time was not right for rebellion,” states General Leon Cornet venomously. He glares at Maria Pontmercy, whose eyes shift momentarily toward Dryug before returning Leon Cornet‘s glare.

Leon Cornet continues to chastise and Maria Pontmercy continues to retort that it is a people’s rebellion and the people’s time is now. After a few minutes of senseless rage, Wil interjects, “What is done is done. We must move forward…but how?”

The group begins to discuss ideas. All agree their hope for success depends on gaining entrance to the castle so that they would have a place of shelter from the approaching southern army. Leon Cornet declares they need to build rams to breach the enemy portcullis. Dryug offers the use of his new alchemical acquisitions, but no one seems interested.

Dryug asks about succession and Leon Cornet replies that the king would be succeeded by the prince if something happened, and the he was likely in the castle as well. Following the prince, the chancellor might have been next in line, but she was dead. After some thought he speculated that the general of the southern army might be next. Dryug smiled at the same time Miria frowned. Rovindor Hammersmith shook his head, but said nothing.

Dryug ignored them. “Seems to me a fellow might be appreciative if he were to rise in position overnight.”

The general thinks the idea ignoble. Before the discussion can continue, howls are heard from the direction of the castle. Hope matter-of-factually declares, “The foulspawn are in the castle grounds.”

His comment is met with a few raise eyebrows, many more dropped jaws, and a variety of other displays of incredulity. The adventurers simply accept it as truth and run to the castle. Screams can be heard from within. Rather than being shot by arrows from archers on the wall, the group finds itself dodging an actual archer as it is flung from the wall. Through the closed portcullis, dark shapes can be seen racing past. Guards on the wall seem to be fighting a great many somethings.

“Open up, we’re here to help,” Leon Cornet had apparently run with the adventurers to the wall. Guards at the portcullis laugh. The door does not open. The group argues with the guards. Another scream interrupts the debate. The voice is loud and close. Something changes in the mind of the guard at the portcullis and the iron barrier begins to rise. Leon Cornet and some of the other rebels form a half moon arc to defend against anything exiting the castle.

To the adventurers, he tells them they can enter but he must protect the city from whatever monsters are within. The group accepts the general’s decision, not knowing whether the act is brave or cowardly. They enter through the now open portcullis and are immediately attacked by foulspawn.

One of the foulspawn whispers unsweet nothings into the barbarian’s brain. Rekas Selchar goes and kills the foulspawn whisperer, but the voices remain, distracting him, weakening him. Asher kills a few. Then Rekas Selchar kills two more. At the exact moment of their death, the entire castle shakes, and then really shakes. Briefly his sword catches fire. Miria kills the last foulspawn.

During the battle, the few living Vitalians in sight escaped out the portcullis, including the guard who had opened it for them. In the distance, battles could be heard around the castle. For the moment, the group had relative peace.

Several in the party chose this time to catch their breath.

Dryug simultaneously remembered that the general had been afraid of foulspawn escaping into the city and forgot that the general was just outisde the gate with a dozen rebels, prepared to attack anything from the far realm that attempted to exit the castle. This selective memory led Dryug to fly up to the portcullis controls and the gate. Rekas Selchar shouted up, asking why he was trying to escape, but Dryug had already taken off running to the stairs at the far end of the wall. He ran past a number of guards and foulspawn immersed in battle.

Meanwhile, Wil was busy wandering off on his own, opening doors and getting into trouble. The first door he opened appeared to be a throne room, completely empty but containing a rather nasty trail of blood out the door in the back of the room. Afraid for his friend’s life, he thenseeks the chambers of the court historian, Bertrand Turmel. Bertrand Turmel is hiding behind a door and refuses to open it, so Wil decides to peruse the library. A book turns into ooze and attacks him.

The rest of the party hears Wil‘s scream and goes to investigate; however they are intercepted by foulspawn who had likewise heard the wizard’s cry. The group takes a beating. Miria is able to slip past the foulspawn to help Wil. The entire castle shakes again as Rekas Selchar kills another foulspawn. Eventually the foulspawn and the mimic are defeated, but the group is rather tired from this second encounter.

After much coaxing, the historian comes out of his room. Wil borrows some books (none of the others attack him). Dryug asks about lockpicking books and is snubbed by the historian.

Dryug reports to Leon Cornet and asks for advice about what to do next. General Leon Cornet suggests the group rest and return tomorrow. Using his ki, Dryug leaps up to the contols again and reopens the portcullis. The group exits with Bertrand Turmel, and the drow closes the gate again. After everyone has exited, he then throws a rope down the city-side of the wall and climbs down to meet the others.

In which Rekas kills the two most powerful wizards in Vitalia, Miria begrudgingly becomes a revolutionist, Hope is nearly killed for being a royalist, and Asher is brutally beaten and stoned.

In the morning, the group is greeted by Jean deMetz. True to his word, he has discovered a time when Adriana Prevot may be ambushed outside the castle, away from her den of foulspawn. deMetz has also bribed Adriana’s guards, so that they will abandon her, thereby paving the way for an assassination attempt. Hope complains about the quality of this assassination opportunity, that none of the rebels will be joining the the party in risking their lives, and that deMetz has not provided the guards with any incentive to keep their word. deMetz says that the guards only got half of their money up front, that this opportunity is the best one he’s got, that he’s spent a fair amount of money bribing the guards, and that the PCs are the only people in the rebellion with a shot at taking down Adriana Prevot. With Hope’s rudeness temporarily satied, the group proceeds to the ambush point.

Sure enough, Adriana’s carriage arrives, escorted by six guards on horseback. As they approach the ambush point, the guards peel off, and one cuts the reigns of the horses’ pulling Adriana’s carriage. The carriage skids to a stop, and two guards emerge. One engages Ashar, and the other attacks Rekas. Adriana hurls bolts of magic at rekas, who manages to sidestep the guard and engage Adriana directly. Hope keeps rekas from falling, and the barbarian cuts the warlock in half.

The group brings the body of Adriana Prevot back to the resistance. Leon Cornet has heard from Bertrand Turmel the historian about another powerful magic item called the ultron which is believed to be held be the insectoid Thri-kreen people. General Leon Cornet offers to dispose of Prevot’s body, and the group accepts. Hope wants to know where Adriana will be buried, but will not tell General Cornet why initially. When pressured, he says he wants to pay his respects. The general doesn’t buy it, and refuses to tell him. Hope reminds the general that they were the ones who killed Adriana Prevot, and the general reminds Hope that he did not approve of the idea. General Cornet and Hope trade further insults until Cornet says he doesn’t have time for this. Wil privately apologizes for Hope’s behavior, and offers to assist the general in anyway necessary. General Cornet thanks Wil, and then leaves.

Hope and Wil go to check on Wil’s mom. Miria goes along to chaperone the endeavor and Dryug joins them in hopes of seeing another fight. Dryug gets bored and wanders upstairs. He returns the medallion to Kriserris, who then warns Dryug that a price will soon be on their heads. Dryug nods, saying it’s not the first time he’s been pursued. He mentions talk of rebellion and Kriserris admits she would join such a movement.

Kriserris mentions the group is putting the Wil’s mom and her in danger by visiting. Dryug asks about an alternative exit and is shown to a rope ladder hanging from a back window into the alley. He lets the ladder down, calls the others and begins making his exit. Wil and Miria show significantly less grace than Dryug and fall rather than climb out the window. Wil becomes invisible, but his disembodied voice leads them through back alleys to the resistance headquarters.

Dryug finds Maria Pontmercy and suggests she start her rebellion. She rabble-rouses, raising a rather impressive mob. The mob approaches the castle. Some guards they kill, while others join the mob.

Meanwhile, Hope somehow managed to remain with Wil’s mom. He casts a spell on her and magically persuades her to go to eat crepes with him (who is sort of a “her” at this point). The changeling and Wil’s mom talk. Hope threatens Wil if his mom refuses to tell Wil‘s secrets. It’s a fairly awkward interchange.

At the cafe, Hope in lady form and Wil’s mom are enjoying crepes when a mob makes its way through the street. A group comes into the cafe and urges the patrons to join the revolution. Hope claims Adriana Prevot isn’t really dead and asks them to stop interrupting his meal. Rekas Selchar happened to be walking past the crepe shop at that exact moment and shouts, “THIS IS THE SWORD THAT KILLED PREVOT!”

The mob cheers at Rekas Selchar and turns on Hope, calling Hope a royalist. Hope turns to Wil’s mom who shouts, “Down with the king!” before hiding under a table.

Hope “fights” his way out of the cafe (which mostly consisted of him running). Behind him shouts of “Get the royalist!” and “Kill the king’s man!” could be heard.

Hope attempts to draw less attention to himself by transforming into a little girl. However, he changes skin in the middle of the crowd, becoming a little girl. The shouts change to become, “A demon royalist!” They beat the little-girl-Hope with clubs as she runs away. The sight of a mob beating a child disturbs another part of the crowd and the crowd temporarily turns on each other. In the confusion, Hope flees the crowd, finds an abandoned alley, and heals himself.

The mob gets to the castle gate and the guards are ready for them. A wizard guard waves his hand and wispy ghost shapes appear, frightening the mob. The wizard tells the mob, “Your punishment may be less severe if you back down now.”

The mob starts to back away leaving distance between them and the adventurers. The adventurers hold their ground as they are charged by guards. A guard attempts to charge Dryug and the drow kicks the man in the chest, knocking him backward before he can strike Dryug. Asher step in the way of another charging group. This group did get close enough to strike, but Asher seemed largely unphased.

The wizard guard called down a giant storm of lightning, striking resistance and royalist alike. Dryug seemed particularly shocked by the attack and was thankful to be nearby Miria when he was struck. During the confusion following the lightning attack, Dryug sees a break in the guards formation. Summoning power from his armor, he goes invisible, charges past the guards, and attacks their wizard leader. Rekas Selchar follows close behind. He is less subtle, but his attack is more effective. Together Rekas Selchar and Dryug slowly take down the wizard while the rest of the party suffers the onslaught of the guards’ now-electrified weapons. Asher in particular takes a brutal beating, he is then healed only to be beaten again.

When the wizard falls, Rekas Selchar goes to kill another guard, shouting at the mob to join the battle. They throw rocks, killing one guard. Being too close to several of the guards, Ashar found himself both beaten and stoned.

The guards eventually begin dropping. Miria blacks out momentarily but recovers without assistance. Dryug runs to assist her and also finds unconsciousness. The others take out the remaining guards. Dryug also recovers on his own, but the battle is over.

During the battle, the portcullis had been closed and archers began taking position on the walls above. Maria Pontmercy shouts, “The battle is won. Let us regroup to win the war!”

At the end of the world, my mother is still off limits

While the group had been busy engaging the Chancellor Adriana Prevot, Rekas Selchar was put into a trance after gripping the black reaper’s sword. In his mind, a challenge of a fight to the death was followed by inexplicable and extreme fear. Rekas Selchar awakes to find an impatient drow standing watch over him. The others were nowhere to be seen.

The pair catch up to the group as Asher is coming down a spiral staircase. Asher tells the group that there are seven guards above that are rather unhappy at adventurers for trespassing below. Hope attempts to convince the guards that they have permission to be downstairs by mimicing Adriana Prevot‘s voice. Unfortunately, his voice squeaks and the guards are unconvinced. Wil then challenges the guards to come below and force the group to obey, at which point Dryug chooses to hide by jumping up and gripping the ceiling above.

A guard walks through the door and drops Hope with a single blow from his axe. Others guards rush in after him. Miria encourages the group to retreat to the main room and asks the guards if they are aware of the monstrosities that they are defending. The group retreats and the guards pursue. Halfway down the staircase they are engulfed in magical darkness and attacked from above. After striking, Dryug runs away. Several guards fall and one even rolls down the stairs. Rekas Selchar and Wil joins the fray until Miria convinces everyone to stop fighting.

The leader of the guards introduces himself as Captain Gaul Kahn. The guards are led into the statue room, full of grotesque wall carvings and then led to the portal chamber. Adriana Prevot is not happy to see everyone. Kahn and the other guards are accused of treason. A mild skirmish ensues with the foul-spawn again and the group retreats.

Captain Kahn escourts the group out of the castle and they are unharrassed. Before parting Wil gives Kahn a note to deliver to the historian and Kahn tells them he will try to communicate with the resistance.

The group talks about where to rest. Staying at their old hotel seems dangerous, as Hope had told Adriana Prevot where they had been staying. Dryug suggests they “borrow” someone’s home for the night. Wil suggests they stay at his mother’s home.

The group is permitted to stay at Wil‘s mother’s home; however she makes it clear she does not approve of Wil‘s company or his recent adventures. The group is encouraged to stay upstairs and out of sight. They rest. Wil’s mom opens the store. A tiefling servant named Kriserris knits, quietly minding her own business.

Hope attempts to change form, realizes his eyes are not changing so he activates his new aberrant power and is then able to fulling change into the form of an attractive elder gentleman. He then goes downstairs and attempts to seduce Wil‘s mother with a cheesy pick-up line about the world ending. Wil attempted to stop the shenanagin, but apparently Hope is more convincing than a mother’s own son. A fight broke out between the two. Wil‘s mom started shouting for help. Upstairs the group was largely ignoring the commotion downstairs until Kriserris suggested that someone do something. Miria’s general goodness got the best of her and she diplomatically diffused the situation and got everyone upstairs.

Momma seamstress comes upstairs and scolds Wil for lying to her and scolds Hope for being Hope. She goes back downstairs and Hope collapses. Together, Miria and Asher are able to determine that he’s having an out-of-body experience as a result of the barf he drank from Adriana Prevot‘s hand-mouth.

Hope’s soul/essence soars out of the room, out of haven, through the universes, past a monster with lots of eyes and tentacles, toward a purple star. Reality distorts and the purple star becomes a mouth. Hope is eaten by the purple mouth/portal and finds himself above the portal. The black reaper and Chancellor Adriana Prevot are having a conversation. The black reaper’s hand is encased in ice and he puts a burning heart above the portal next to a trident and an aquahelix. Adriana Prevot tells the black reaper that at least two more items will be necessary to make the portal operational and chastises the reaper for letting the girl escape.

When Hope returns to his body. He is in his albino-changeling form and demands clothing before he tells the group about his vision. After some debate Asher definitively announces that Hope has seen the past and Miria adds that the girl that escaped must have been Cynswyn.

Wil convinces his mother to let him deliver a robe to the court historian, Bertrand Turmel. He goes to the palace and a guard escorts him to the historian. Turmel dismisses the guard and Wil discusses a variety of topics with Turmel. Turmel received the first letter, but not the second letter from Kahn. Turmel is surprised that Wil was involved with a traitor to the crown. Wil tells of the experiences in the underground tunnel and asks about powerful magic items. Turmel has heard of tridents before. After some coercing, he admits to knowing of a famous one that sounded vaguely familiar to Wil. The aquahelix was rumored to be deep underwater and magic must have been involved for its recovery. The Yuan-ti were rumored to have a strong magical item (which ends up being the ruby orb that Wil was carrying around in his backpack. Otherwise, Wil did not receive much direction about magic items that Chancellor Adriana Prevot might desire.

Wil returns and tells the group what he’s learned. When night falls, Dryug and Hope sneak to the inn where they’d been staying, looking for something Telmar might have left behind. They find nothing, and It appears Telmar had not expected to return. Dryug and Hope return with an excitable puppy and no new insight or direction for the group.

Further discussions ensue and the only future course of action the group can think of is to contact the resistance. Kriserris, who had been silently listening, interjects that she has a way to contact the resistance. With an medallion and an address, the group seeks out the resistance.

The address turns out to be a tavern. Dryug orders a drink at the bar, paying for it with the medallion. He is ushered into a back room with the other adventurers to look at “a finer selection of vinatages.” The group leaves their weapons in a pile and enter the resistance’s secret lair through a trap door.

The adventurers are introduced to General Leon Cornet and tell him their disconcerting news. Then together they have a brainstorming session for saving the world. General Cornet wants to send emissaries for help. Dryug wants to explode the entire underground complex. Cornet says that two many innocents would die and that such an act would be wrong. Another member of the resistance suggests an uprising of the people, which Cornet also thinks is wrong. Poisoning the king is suggested, but its unclear whether this course would affect Chancellor Adriana Prevot‘s plans.

Conversation shifts to how best to assassinate the Chancellor. While Cornet sends emissaries to the school of wizardry, another member of the resistance, Jean deMets, promises to look into the Chancellors schedule. If Chancellor can be attacked outside of the palace and away from her den of foul-spawn the chances of success would be greatly increased.

The party is offered asylum with the resistance and Wil’s mother is given a reprieve from Hope’s unwanted advances.

A Thrilling Victory and a Crushing Defeat
In which Hope drinks some Nasty Barf
  • After the fight with the chanting mages, the party rests for a little bit. Telmar rebuffs Hope’s calls for a retreat to the inn.
  • Once everyone has caught their breath, Telmar leads the party down the tunnel on the opposite end of the strangely-shaped chamber. He tells the group how important it is that they destroy the portal before the nameless one can come through. In response to further questioning from Hope, Telmar explains that together with Eldarion, he once stopped the nameless one from entering the world. Although Telmar does not consider the party to be a good substitute for Eldarion, Telmar is confident that he has grown stronger, and that the portal is not as far advanced.
  • The tunnel ends in a door, which Telmar opens. The group stands in a large hall, the ceiling of which cannot be seen. The walls are lined to statues carved from blood rock, each more grotesque than the last. Besides the small door that the heroes have entered through, there are two other exits from the room. A small door opposite the one that the party has come through, and a large set of double doors shaped like a gaping mouth. The Black Reaper and a beholder are waiting to greet our heroes. Telmar looks at the beholder, the beholder looks at Telmar, and Telmar transforms into a dragon and charges the beholder. The beholder charges towards Telmar and unleashes several eye rays, while Telmar uses his dragon breath. When the two waves of magic energy collide, they create a portal, which both Telmar and the beholder vanish into.
  • With the dragon gone, The Black Reaper taunts the PCs about only having gotten this far with Telmar‘s help, and combat ensues. The Reaper wields Letherna to devastating effect, striking multiple people at once. He also uses shadow magic to punish those who would flee from him, and to draw in those who would remain at a distance. Ashar occupies some of The Reaper’s attention, and deflects some of his most punishing blows. Miria heals the wounds caused by The Reaper’s blade, first with her own magic, and then with potions. Hope tries to flee, but when he discovers the other small door is locked, he distracts The Reaper and weakens his defenses, while Wil casts spells from a distance, before closing to spray The Reaper with fire from his hands. In the end, The Reaper is dealt a deathblow when Wil seizes an opening to engulf The Reaper in a pillar of fire. His body dissolves into shadow, leaving behind his fullblade, and a single black gemstone.
  • Hope tries to open the locked door and fails. Ashar comes over to help, and manages to break it down. Behind this door is a spiral staircase leading upward. However, Hope finds his courage and suggests that the party investigate the large double doors, before climbing the stairs toward an apparent exit.
  • Hope disguises himself as one of the recently vanquished human mages, and kicks open the mouth-door. He finds himself at one end of a narrow walkway in a dark chamber. This bridge spans a pit which Hope cannot see the bottom of. At the other end of the path stands a hooded and cloaked woman wearing all black. Behind her is a large, purple portal. Above the portal float a flaming heart, an aqua helix, and a trident.
  • Hope approaches the woman, who immediately sees through Hope’s disguise, because Hope has chosen the wrong hair color. Hope tries to convince the woman that he wishes to help her. The woman responds by revealing the true extent of her power. The glow of the portal intensifies to reveal that the walls of the room are lined with walkways. Countless foulspawn walk along these paths, “attending” to the prisoners whose groans fill the air.
  • Hope still persists in his charade, so the woman vomits a black substance into a cup from a mouth in her hand, and gives the cup to Hope to drink. Hope stammers something about a sacrifice being in order, and leaves to go get one. The woman is growing suspicious, and calls several foulspawn to her side. He returns with Ashar dressed in a sacrificial robe. Ashar does not make a convincing sacrifice, and Hope drinks the vomit.
  • Hope has a conversation with a voice in his head. The voice offers him power in exchange for his soul. Eventually, Hope takes the deal. He finds that his shapeshifting powers are enhanced, and he has more dungeoneering knowledge. Once Hope awakes from this trance, he attacks the woman.
  • Combat ensues. Adriana Prevot impales Hope with a large tentacle before moving away to attack from a distance. The party manages to kill several foulspawn, but they are no match for Adriana Prevot‘s magic. During the fight, Wil notices that Hope’s eyes are covered in a thin, white film.
  • In the end, Miria is the last one standing. Nearing death herself, she realizes she must flee, risking attack from a nearby foulspawn. Adriana Prevot calls off the attack, though, and tells Miria to live out her remaining days with the knowledge that there is nothing she can do to stop The Nameless One from being summoned. Miria gathers her companions, and leaves.
  • The party travels up the stairs in the other door. Ashar opens a trap door at the top of the staircase, and is accosted by several guards. The exact number of guards will depend on how many people show up next time!
What was that Dwarf's name?

Broggy, the dwarven caravan leader of the non-human Vitalian exiles, resurrects Wil.

Hope gets back from shopping in Bonifant and finds the recently revived Wil. He starts talking about about how he had failed to find a new outfit for Wil. Wil finds Hope‘s fixation with clothing perhaps more suited to when he was posing as Lillium the Flower.

Howling is heard in the distance and soon a group of wolf riders attack the camp. Civilians flee or hide in their tents. The adventurers draw weapons, barely noticing that everyone else is fleeing. The wolf riders seem to ignore the civilians and attack the group.

Wil fights the desire to run from the wolves, as they remind him of the dogs that recently tried to eat him. Dryug jumps into the fray and knocks one of the wolf riders into a nearby tent, starting a small fire. Miria runs boldly through Dryug’s darkness to attack another rider, her confidence inspiring those around her. Hope banishes a wolf to the fey world. Rekas Selchar kills a rider, charges, kills a wolf, and then charges back to kill a wolf. Ashar steps in to save others and nearly drops himself. Wil moves Asher out of the way before blasting everyone with magic. Broggy’s tent gets knocked over during the chaos and he crawls out from underneath it as the last of the enemies are dispatched. He thanks everyone profusely.

Rovindor Hammersmith takes a uniform that doesn’t fit him. Wil practices being invisible. The others go to bed. Rovindor Hammersmith chats with Broggy, but keeps calling him “Groggy” instead. He uses his charisma to dodge offending Groggy er Broggy.

Broggy informs the group that the caravan will be moving on. He wishes the adventurers farewell. The next morning the group discusses how they’ll get into the city and how they’ll find Telmar. Telmar appears, interrupting their conversation. He’s been using his magic hat to pose as a Vitalian noble, Baron Normandeaux. The non-humans (including the cheetah) squeeze into the Baron’s carriage, and enter the city. Baron [Telmar] Normandeaux bullies the guards at the gate to not look inside the carriage.

The group reaches the Flying Snake Inn, one of the more luxurious inns in the wealthy quarter of the city. Telmar has booked the nobles suite. The hotel staff seems uncannily courteous to the mismatched group exiting the Baron’s carriage. The cheetah raised the eyebrows of one of the porters. Otherwise there was little reaction. Most of the group accounted this courtesy to have been included with the purchasing cost of one of the most expensive set of rooms in the city.

Hope had been nearby Wil when the wolf riders came and saw the fear in Wil‘s eyes. He finds it amusing to request a puppy for Wil.

Wil goes to see his mother the seamstress and takes one of the Baron’s shirts to be mended. After Wil leaves, Hope convinces several of the folks in the party to overindulge in spirits. Asher refuses to drink and becomes concerned about poison when he tastes something odd in his drink. Miria suggests that it could be alcohol. Asher affirms that he specified no alcohol! Miria suggests that someone in the group could be playing a joke on him. Just as she says this, Hope chooses the wrong time to smile and wink at Miria. Asher throws his drink in Hope‘s face and the bartender chastising them both, attempting to break up a fight before it starts.

Meanwhile, Wil is warmly greeted by his mother. They talk about many things (some of which the note keeper failed to record :P sorry). Wil’s mother says that she is still doing OK, although she hasn’t been getting much tailoring business from the palace recently. Wil mentions that he has brought help, but not exactly the kind of help he had originally sought. He warns his mother that his companions have been known to cause trouble and that she should be careful the next few days. His mother seems very pleased nevertheless.

Wil asks about Burton Turmel, the court historian, and is glad to know he’s still taking care of Wil‘s mom.

He then asks about a good place to sell things and his mother directs him to Pierre the Tinker. Wil asks about the silver wolf necklace, but his mother knows nothing. He chooses not to sell it to the Tinker. The rests of the trinkets the group has picked up during the last set of battles fetch a good price.

Wil is turned away by a guard at the palace when he attempts to call on the court historian. He returns home to find the group engaged in drinking festivities. He ignores them and goes up to their quarters where he finds an unexpected bull dog puppy and Telmar who asks about his shirt. Wil forgot but lies his way out of the awkward situation.

Speaking of awkward situations, Dryug consumes to much alcohol and corners Miria in the stairwell. He begins profusely apologizing for his behavior in Amollo.

Wil plays with his puppy, but can’t seem to train it. One of the hotel staff prompts Wil for a tip when he is questioned about the puppy. Wil tips the man and begins to think about a way to get revenge for Hope‘s prank.

Rovindor Hammersmith complains about the lack of alcohol in the wine as Hope and Dryug attempt to sober themselves. When the general demeanor of the group is more clear-headed, Telmar tells them that the King is constructing a portal to summon dark creatures with the help of Chancelor Prevot, a powerful arcanist. Unable to think of a good way to get into the palace, the group follows a lead Telmar had heard about an abandoned inn in the slums. Apparently mysterious wagons have been seen leaving the inn fairly regularly.

The group goes to the inn. Wil and Asher, discover a trap door leading to a tunnel. The group follows the tunnel to an oddly shaped chamber with scary carvings. Stone walls drop, locking the group inside, and they are greeted by humanoids who successfully dominate the minds of several members of the group. Telmar slashes and cuts and slashes and cuts and slashes some more. The baddies spray noxious fumes from their mouths. Dryug delivers the killing blow after Telmar’s frenzy. After the other villain returns from the fey wild, Telmar keeps him largely immobilized and the party surrounds and attacks him. Hope pushes Telmar out of the way to be a part of the melee. Telmar rolls his eyes and waits patiently for the final enemy to fall.

The doors open after the second defiled man falls. The group makes a rubbing of one of the carvings on the wall and prepares to continue down the tunnel.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Dryug follows Miria from the docks to the Temple where she meets up with Rovindor and Catcall. She doesn’t know she’s being followed.

She asks Catcall and Rovindor Hammersmith if they’ve seen Dryug. Catcall says they haven’t, but complains that her hawk got caught in a net while it was looking for him.

Dryug appears and says something clever. Miria is shocked speechless, catches herself, and asks where he’s been. Dryug is his usual dodgy self. He says something about hiding from a hawk. Miria retorts that Dryug knows the hawk and shouldn’t be hiding from it. Dryug says he wasn’t feeling himself. Miria is miffed by Dryug being dodgy. She emphasizes how hard they’ve all been looking for him and mentions going in the sewers to look for him.

They go to meet up with the others. Rekas Selchar asks if Dryug is “in control.” Dryug says yes and Rekas Selchar nearly knocks him over with an affectionate slap on the back. Will asks him where’ he’s been and is ignored.

Ashar introduces himself to Dryug, Catcall, and Rovindor Hammersmith.

The group uses stealth and cunning to avoid detection and arrive at the docks (barely avoiding bounty hunters or some other trouble dreamed up by the DM).

Dryug offers to climb the rigging and keep watch for hazards (getting a 5gp discount on his fare). Hope attempts to convince the captain that Wil is an accomplished sailor. Wil‘s performance on a series of sailor tests is mediocre.

Meanwhile, Rekas Selchar gets into a gentleman’s brawl with a sailor. The sailor wins, offers consolation booze. Rekas Selchar proves less manly than the sailor again.

Miria, Dryug and Hope get sea sick.

The group sails two days. The captain does not want to dock in Bonifant and drops the party off in a cove south of the city. This is done under the cover of night.

The adventurers see torchlight coming toward them and attempt to hide. They fail. Vitalian soldiers find them and demand to know who they are and why they’re in the cove. Hope becomes a little girl and babbles about “her mommy.” The soldiers draw their swords.

Battle ensues. The little girl formerly known as Hope, formerly known as Lillium the Flower becomes a drow. Rekas Selchar kills lots of soldiers. The others help. Hope the drow tries to convince the party to spare someone, but doesn’t have any reason for sparing them. Miria does not want to kill the man now that he is unarmed and not threatening them. Miria and Hope argue. Rekas Selchar kills the man, ending the argument. Hope takes on the mans appearance (probably irritating Miria more).

Miria is unhappy and goes to pray. Rovindor Hammersmith and Catcall mourn with her over the sensless killing. Everyone else (except Wil) go to weigh down the bodies under the water with rocks. Before doing so, Hope takes a set of chainmail from one of the soldiers.

Wil goes up the hill by himself, still wounded from battle. Wild dogs attack him, kill him, and begin to eat him. They then decide to carry his corpse to their lair to finish their meal.

The others hear crazy noises from the cliffs where Wil disappeared. They race toward the noises to investigate. Dryug is fastest. He runs to Wil‘s corpse, getting bit in the process, and covers himself, the corpse and the dogs in darkness. He then starts punching dogs while he waits for the others to catch up.

The dogs start knocking everyone down. They get up again. They aint never gonna keep em down. The dogs die.

Miria looks at Wil’s corpse. There’s nothing she can do. Asher takes some corpses and starts dragging them to the beach where the first battle happened. Dryug throws another dog corpse off the cliff, whether it was to be helpful or obnoxious was unclear to the others.

The group notices campfires in the distance. Dryug goes to investigate, sees a variety of races, most folk look poor. He reports. The group remembers Wil talking about racism in Vitalia and suspects these people could be allies. Together they walk to the campfires.

The group is able to find a healer in the encampment, but he does not possess the components necessary to raise Wil from the dead. Hope who is now an elf woman is sent to buy them. Hope trades the chainmail he took from the soldier in exchange for a Vitalian peasant dress. He is warned that Vitalians might not take kindly to an elf.

As soon as Hope is out of the encampment he(she?) changes into a Vitalian woman and goes into town. Hope buys supplies, then buys VERY expensive dinner, then goes shopping for VERY expensive clothes.

Hope returns to the camp in elf form with the components. The resurrection ritual begins.

No one in the camp has seen or heard of anyone matching Telmar’s description, however the groups leader, an old man, notes that many half elves try to pose as humans and live in town.


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