Campaign of the Month: February 2016

Rise of the Durnskald

Whispers in the Shadows
Session 31

Drexen Rav looked at the faces of the men he had hired. “I must have that gem, don’t bother me with the ramifications. It must be retrieved before the temple knows where it is. Morgue, you have the lead on this. Get me the gem. Don’t take any prisoners. Execute your plan quickly before the authorities can respond, you and your men do not want to tangle with the Justicarius.”

Morgue, the skin on his face pulled tight from years of desiccation, met Drexen’s gaze. “Ay boss, don’t worry none about us. You hired us to get the job done, we’ll do it.”

Morgue stood, ligaments creaking, until he had reached his full height. He leaned on his club and looked down on his team. “Alright boys. You heard the boss. You know the way we do this. Dark and furious, right men? Dark and furious.”

The men clapped their fists to their black breastplates in response, their dead eyes seeing nothing.

Player Journals for session 31:
Cara – None
Krellem – Krellem Chapter 3
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 31
Salin’ess-Khahaan – Family Reunions and the Winged Temple
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 31
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Three

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Autumnal Somnolence
Session 30

They would soon be arriving. That’s all that was written on the missive I received last night.

“They”

I pondered the implications, languid in my dream-state.

This “They”, is it the Other? Impossible. Is it the children of the dark goddess? Was it possible that they had heard my voices and came running? Unlikely. This “They”, the dogs of the Empress herself to come nipping at my heels? Minions of the shattered gods? Denizens of the sundered realm? More likely.

An image of terrible retribution floats by as I gaze on, full of flames and blood and pain and torment. A portent of my future? Possibly. A portent of the future of “They”? Quite possibly. A meaningless vision? Also likely, prophecy is a fickle magic.

“They” would be here soon enough. Then “They” would see the truth of the matter, the lies that hide them torn like gossamer in the wind. “They” would know her truth and would understand her implications.

I’ll see to that.

Player Journals for session 30:
Cara – None
Krellem – Krellem Chapter 2
Luon – Luon – The Report
Salin’ess-Khahaan – Salin’s Journal Entry Two
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 30
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Two

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Tic Tic the Loon
Session 29

They’d never find it, no they wouldn’t. I hid it so well in that big crate by the stairs, the one with the anchor on it. I wonder why there is an anchor on it? Maybe it’s because the box is near the boats?

Tic Tic shrugged to himself in the darkness. He continued wandering down the street while avoiding the Lux patrols. Briefly he thought he saw a flash of light from the tower at the center of town, but then the sensation was gone and he wasn’t sure why he had thought it happened to begin with. It was still dark outside and most of the townsfolk were avoiding the docks on account of the celebration happening there.

Tic Tic frowned his disapproval towards the careening half-giant on the airship but, as usual, no one took notice. Odd day for a celebration, yes? The head of their god is missing and they throw a party… and they told him that HE was the fool. He’d show them, he would. Had already started to actually now didn’t he?

Tic Tic grinned to himself and eyed the crate again. Quickly! Just a peek, one mustn’t let oneself draw such attention as the contents of that crate would draw. It would be scandalous. They’d want to take him in for question time again and he didn’t want that. Not that they could catch him anymore anyways. His friend had told him that Tic Tic had immunity.

Tic Tic had a friend. Who spoke. This was a significant development in his life. He hadn’t had a friend who spoke in such a long time. He had seen that strange woman last night at the party, but she hadn’t said anything to him even though she had looked right at him. He hated it when people ignored him. His new friend hadn’t ignored him though, he had brought Tic Tic up from the dark places beneath the grotto and looked at him. Spoke to him. Touched his shoulder.

In return, Tic Tic had agreed to hide the sack for his friend. Then he was off on an adventure.

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Player Journals for session 29:
Bringing Light to the Darkness
Journal Entry One
Luon’s Journal – Entry 1
The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight)
Thoragen Entry One

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Shadowed Shenanigans
Session 28

Whisper had arrived.

Everything was calm and black, her mind free from the distractions around her. With a mental push she slid through the barrier holding her back, sliding through the darkness like a fish in a stream. Here the barrier was thicker than she had ever experienced, leaving her with a cloying feeling bordering on nausea as she forced herself through. It didn’t stop trying to pull her back.

Now standing on the main thoroughfare Whisper looked around her and noticed that no one was moving. She furrowed her brow as this, while potentially useful, hadn’t been intended. No matter, she would pluck them from the weft of time so that they could have their little… chat.

Whisper strained against the magical auras around her, drawing them to her in the timeline. After what seemed like hours of struggling she knew that she had succeeded but that it would only last a short span before they were pulled back in. Time is for the most part a self correcting aspect of reality and it didn’t appreciate her interference, especially here. Something about this island made Whisper feel very ill and weak.

They exchanged words. She proposed that the one that they call Summer should return with her. They were not pleased by her offer, if only they knew what calamity this Summer would bring. No matter now, they had made their choice and their time had run out. Whisper relinquished them back to the void.

Something wasn’t right about this island. Near the center of town at the end of the road was a tall alabaster tower. From the tower was shining a soft light. That light Whisper was all too familiar with, as the entire island was bathed in it when viewed from the Plane of Shadow. It banished the lesser denizens of the dark and made things uncomfortable for her kind. She was gazing at the light, pondering its nature, when it was suddenly extinguished.

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Osgaroth and his host
Session 27

Osgaroth watched the scene unfold through Wal’s eyes. Wal had been a big man, a very big man, of simple mind and low intellect. He had been Osgaroth’s favorite type of host, easy to dominate and control but not unformidable in his own way on a battlefield. He could dimly make out Wal’s screaming in his mind but paid him no heed. Osgaroth was in control now and Wal was no more, Wal just needed to accept that fact and move on.

Gripping Wal’s axe tightly with Wal’s hands Osgaroth made Wal’s body stride toward the flames of the town square. Burcia was burning. Osgaroth and his fellow Tsochar band had attacked the town by flinging themselves over the walls forcibly. Most of the hosts died on impact but that didn’t matter, the hosts were just carriers for the Tsochar strands within them. The invasion of Burcia had been going well up until the airship arrived. As things stood now, there was no way they could keep up the attack, the airship was destroying the Tsochar strands wherever it could find them and had blasted apart huge chunks of the city in the process.

Then there were the adventurers. Some had fled the area but a few stood their ground. Those few had stood firm in the face of the invasion, cutting a path through the Tsochar and the flames. All that stood between them and the building their comrades had fled to was Wal and Osgaroth.

They attacked. They were quite strong, but Osgaroth was stronger. Wal’s axe bit into their weak flesh with ease, carving through their armor like it was made of paper. Osgaroth could tell that they were inflicting their own damage on his host, they shared their pain after all, but it didn’t matter. They had slain his friends and Osgaroth would see to it that they paid. He swung, Wal’s axe bit into one of them hard enough to nearly fell the man in one hit and Osgaroth laughed maniacally.

He kept right on laughing as the next hit came, this one from behind. A massive hammer came down with unbelievable force right on Wal’s neck, killing Wal instantly. His host body crumpled under the impact and Osgaroth turned in time to see his attacker, a massive stone skinned woman, raising her hammer for one more strike.

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The Plan
Session 26

It had started with an unimaginably intense pain deep in the back of his skull, blooming through his mind at an agonizingly slow rate. His scalp was crawling with energy, pain slicing through his body with each unnatural twitch.

His eyes felt like they were boiling inside his skull.

All he could hear was a relentless buzzing sound, like a swarm of extremely large hornets were in his ears.

As the pain progressed, he could feel it following his veins throughout the rest of his body like wildfire. He tried to cry out but couldn’t, his body simply wouldn’t respond. When he couldn’t take it anymore he strained against the numbness as mightily as he could, trying as hard as was physically possible to merely open his eyes.

They popped open painfully, the light piercingly painful, and gave him a rather curious view of the ceiling. With the numbness rapidly fading, he sat up and looked around. He was in a large dimly lit room, and appeared to be sitting in a pool of his own blood. He shook his head once in confusion. Where was he? What had happened?

In a flash Archeusio Rex’Amon remembered everything, the Tsochar, Dax Orbidal, and the adventurers who may still be here somewhere. He strained to listen, he was just barely able to make out their discussion down the hall where the Tsochar and Dax were kept. If they were down there and he was alive again, that could mean only one thing.

The containment field had been breached. The Tsochar kept in the vats below had probably already begun fleeing the prison complex. In a matter of days they would overrun Burcia, from there free to spread to the rest of Crinoa.

Archeusio had a plan. He would flee, and teleport away to Bestheda Garrison. From there he could gate back several airships and a sizable contingent of soldiers to help hold the town. Maybe the Tsochar could be stopped there, and if he could recapture Dax in the process this situation could still be salvaged.

He stood up, gathered his robes, and fled.

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Oh no, not again
Session 25

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Prey on the Weak
Session 24

Asmud had told them all what was coming. Well, Asmud couldn’t talk so he didn’t really tell them so much as used hand motions but Gren had understood and told the others. Asmud was a Shadow, and a cowardly one at that. Still, the information he gave Gren was important.

Adventurers, somewhat dangerous ones. They had made it passed the guards at the gate and were on their way.

Gren paced near his post, the others were still making their preparations for the inevitable attack. He had been ready. He had been waiting for the day when the pathetically weak humans failed in their duties. Today it seems was that day.

It wasn’t long before the torchlight and the sounds of their approach gave them away.

Several of them entered the room in a rush, a small greenish man, an exceptionally large man with an exceptionally large sword, a tall woman rippling with muscles wielding a dangerous looking hammer, and a smaller woman of slight build whose weapons flashed in the light. Two of them hung back as well, a thin unarmed man-child with pointed ears and a woman with an oddly cold look about her.

The others attacked the adventurers but Gren held back, waiting for the opportune time to strike. Things looked good, everyone was in a good position and the fight was going in their favor. Gren charged towards the large man with the sword, only to stop short as the man brandished a symbol engraved with a blazingly bright greatsword. Gren was momentarily confused about that, how could the symbol actually be so blindingly bright? It was as if the sun itself was contained within the symbol and It wasn’t until he felt the heat and pressure emanating from it that Gren realized what was happening, but by then it was too late.

He had been judged by Othanops.

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Diary of Madness: Mt. Krag
Session 23

Something has changed, J. At first I thought it was just the weather, turns out it is something far larger than that. It’s far larger than all of us. The sky has turned the color of slate. There are now two suns hanging motionless in the vast darkness above, yet the light does not appear to reach us as it should.

People have changed too. Several of the guards posted on watch when the change happened have gone through a slight metamorphosis, becoming something familiar and yet intrinsically different. Many of the greener men panicked but it wasn’t anything that a few strategic executions couldn’t take care of. They are restless now so I’ve confined them inside to watch the main gate.

Something is going to happen, soon. I can feel it. It’s like something is whispering in my ears these words of… power, words I don’t understand but can somehow use? I find it difficult to explain myself to you today. I feel like there is something growing within me, and it isn’t one of the parasites.

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Darkness Falls
Session 22

Peyt looked up as the sky quickly darkened, shocked by what he was witnessing.

“Uh, boss? Hey, should the sky be doing that? Markus?”

Peyt turned to where Markus had been standing just a moment before. In his place was a man that looked like Markus but only in a general sense, that is to say that at a distance he could have easily passed for Markus. The problem of course being that this wasn’t at a distance. Not-Markus turned to him.

“Peyt? Is that you? What happened to your eye?”

Not-Markus peered at Peyt inquisitively. Peyt decided that Not-Markus really did look like Markus, just thinner and perhaps a bit older. His uniform was completely different though and from the way he was holding his spear he appeared to be right handed. Markus was left handed. Peyt considered this to be a rather large cause for alarm.

“Peyt? Your eye is gone, what happened to your eye?”

Peyt stared at Not-Markus for several awkward seconds while he was trying to puzzle this out. It appeared that Not-Markus knew his name but was unfamiliar with the fact that Markus had accidentally caught Peyt in the face with a cudgel during a sparring match while they were in training. This injury caused a few complications with Peyt’s sight and left some scar tissue on the right side of his face from the tearing of the skin. The tear ran directly over Peyt’s eye, which itself had taken a milky sheen in the years since the accident. This caused those around him to believe that he was at least partially blind. Not-Markus knew who Peyt was and recognized him by sight but was unfamiliar with an injury from several years ago. Peyt found this troubling.

“You… Who are you and what have you done with Markus?”

Not-Markus let out a nervous little laugh and shrugged helplessly.

“Peyt, buddy, what are you talking about? I’m right here.”

Peyt narrowed his eyes and gripped his spear harder, backing up a step towards the parapet.

“You aren’t Markus. I know what Markus looks like, and you aren’t him. What did you do with my friend?”

Not-Markus leaned his spear against the cliff face to his side and took a step towards Peyt with his arms outstretched.

“Peyt, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours but it’s me, Markus. I’m your friend. Don’t you know me?” Not-Markus approached another step closer. “Remember that time I had to drag you home after the tavern brawl in Valley? You were so drunk you couldn’t even walk anymore. Remember that?”

Peyt took another step back.

“Peyt, I was at your wedding.”

Peyt found that he suddenly felt terribly cold and weak. He remembered the day that was supposed to be his wedding day. He also remembered the attack that came that day. His sweet bride Valerie died in that attack, she had been found in an abandoned shack on the outskirts of town. She had been defiled and beaten to death. Peyt’s heart ached just thinking about it. Markus hadn’t been able to attend the wedding anyways, he had been assigned to watch duty that day.

“Peyt, I don’t know what’s going on but I’m here for you. Put down your spear and let’s talk, you look like you’re about to pass out.”

Not-Markus stepped forward again, reaching for Peyt’s shirt. Peyt instinctively knew not to let Not-Markus touch him. He wasn’t sure what would happen but he knew it wouldn’t be good. Peyt unsteadily attempted to take another step back, forgetting that he had no more room to maneuver. Peyt’s ankle caught the edge of the parapet and Peyt lost his footing falling backwards.

It seemed to happen in slow motion. Not-Markus lunged forward to grab Peyt’s shirt but barely touched the cloth as Peyt fell backwards over the edge of the wall. Twisting in the air Peyt saw the forest floor approaching. It seemed like the trees were taller than he had remembered, the undergrowth thicker, the rocks at the base of the wall more jagged.

As he plummeted headfirst into the rocks below Peyt’s last thoughts were of Valerie.

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