Campaign of the Month: February 2016
Rise of the Durnskald
Luon's Journal - Session 77-92
Trip Report – Battlefront
Prepared by Parva Libri Luon Oovae’Aumathil’Knoa for Medius Libri Victor Skarsgard for all posterity.
[ooc – Session 77]
There was a lot going on the day we left for the battle front. First, during the night, one of Krellem’s men was attacked in his bedchamber and torn to pieces. Then during the day one was hit with a poison dart as he approached the palace. We were able to get him back to health before leaving. Val was in on that bit, with Thoragen, I think.
On the way to the train, we stopped at the temple of the lizard folk and returned the egg of Semuanya to them. They were a bit skeptical on the story of how we came by it, but they accepted it without giving them the full details. I guess they seemed grateful, but not enough to reward us for recovering it. Typical lizard folk, from what I understand.
At the train we were joined by Krellum’s men – seems they were coming after all – except the one that had died. We were also joined by some Necropolitans. Apparently overnight Selin had secured their help with the battle. Four big skeleton looking things in robes, and of all things, a little girl, who was in charge of the others. In addition, we were joined by four members of The Chapter of Righteous Steel, and our old friend Valeron, who was going to help with healing the battle-wounded.
During the train ride, the small girl resurrected the dead member of Krellem’s chapter house. He didn’t remember anything about who had attacked him.
[ooc – Session 78]
Once the train arrived at the destination [ooc – can’t remember the name of the town], we said goodbye to Val and headed for the Emblem Keep. Once there, we saw how the battle was going. The general seemed to have things under control, but it was a continuous battle. The Burcian soldiers performed some sort of ritual, which gated in another member of their chapter – Ben Bloodbath. He was a huge bio-mechanical being. We all jumped into the fray to help out – to stretch our legs and get a little dirty. Later, the little girl necromancer took over, raising the dead bodies to continue to fight while we slept. It was very eerie to watch.
That night in our private shelter, Krellem notified us that his chapter was further to the east. We were all a bit surprised at this, but decided to head in their direction the next morning to see how things were going out there. He asked us to keep this information to ourselves. In the morning we headed out without much explanation, and I don’t think the general was very happy about it. The necromancers stayed behind, but the Burcian’s and Krellem’s men came with us.
[ooc – Session 79]
We skirted the main attacking forces and headed east. We encountered a scouting party, as well as an abomination that was dropping slug-like creatures out of a tree. As we killed those, they would ball up and start heating up. By the time we killed the big thing in the tree, the smaller ones we had killed had become white hot. Krellem started smashing them, then the rest of us followed suit. We managed to come away with some large chunks of metal that Thoragen could use to create armor.
[ooc – Session 80]
Thoragen’s ability to make the trek through the swamp easier helped cut down the time it took to get to Krellem’s people. Once we reached them, we turned over the swords, bows and arrows we had recovered from the scouting parties so they could be used against the invaders.
[ooc – Session 81]
Upon arrival, we were provided rooms and Krellem went off to have a private discussion with his chapter head. Afterwards, we went to the mess hall to eat, and encountered Sorien Pleistosen, the High Abbess and Herald of Sintos. Sirathen asked her to spar (after being told not to ask her that). She agreed, and it was amusing. He lasted longer than anyone thought he would. Sorien told us that this attack was being led by someone called Nimreth. Nobody went into the history behind Nimreth, but he is apparently an old enemy of Selin’s parents.
In addition, we were informed that the main battle was out here and what the Emblem Keep was dealing with was just a diversion, so although the general had his hands full with just that, it was even worse out here. Krellum’s chapter was keeping them at bay though. We were told that they had information that there was a summoning circle in the enemy camp that kept the reinforcements flowing. The new plan was for us to take out the summoning circle while the chapter kept the main battle going. We would leave the next morning. We also discovered that our duplicates were here someplace as well. They had been given a mission to disrupt one of the summoning circles.
[ooc – Session 82 – 86]
Heading to the south while our main forces attacked the enemy front, we came upon the enemy encampment from the side. They were well prepared, but nothing really could prepare you completely for Ben Bloodbath. He easily trashed the defenses, aiding our approach. The battle was hard fought, and we lost Ben and a couple of his chapter, but we had them on the run. As we moved inside, we encountered more resistance, including Nimrith himself. We came close to defeating him, but he teleported away. Continuing, we came upon more enemy forces strong with magic. Their last ditch effort put us into a summoned area of the plane of death, with a huge snake. That one really caused some damage, but we managed to defeat it. It returned to its true form, that of a Sarrukh – a progenitor of the juan-ti race that Nimrith had forced into his bidding. He was now free, but too injured to survive. He resisted any attempts we made at healing. Before he died, he offered Selin a gift, which she took. His gift provided her with a pair of wings. He also provided us with a large gem, which was the source of the plane of death’s presence in the area.
We took the gem, and with the Sarrukh’s instructions, attuned it into the summoning circle so that any other reinforcements summoned to the site would instead go to the plane of death. Then we headed back around the battle to the other side of the enemy encampment to help defeat Nimrith’s wizard forces. As we approached, I noticed something in the air – something that from what I’ve read in the books should not have been possible – it seemed to be some sort of convergence in the planes. A storm brewed around it. I knew it would be exceptionally deadly, so we ran. Luckily the Blaze forces had also noticed it and had begun running. A rift began forming. As we ran, the obsidian dragon we had freed from Rak’noth’s tomb showed up and at his urging, we jumped on his back and he flew us back to the fort.
By that time, an enormous tear in the fabric between planes had formed, and the plane of death began to grow and eat up everything. A large tower also appeared – a magi tower. We could also see hundreds of beholders falling from the sky. We informed the obsidian dragon of the gem with the plane of death power and he agreed to go smash it. Once he did, the plane of death stopped growing and started shrinking. Once it had shrunk down to nothing, the tear was gone, but the tower remained. The dragon stuck around and was killing beholders before they could cause too much trouble.
[ooc – Session 87 – 89]
We waited until morning, then headed to the tower. We knew Nimrith was behind it’s appearance. I suspect he needed the deaths of all the those in battle to power whatever he needed to make it appear. We managed to avoid any live beholders, but did encounter another being that was hunting them. He looked extremely dangerous, and rode some sort of plant being with many thorns, upon which the bodies of many beholders were impaled. He saw us approaching, but didn’t attack, so we stopped and talked to him. He told us he chased Nimrith but he got into the tower before being caught. He also told us he hunted intelligent creatures. Not sure why he didn’t attack us – maybe he felt the beholders were better quarry at the time.
We continued to the tower and entered. I was not surprised that the inside was a lot larger than the outside seemed. It was a magi tower after all. In the center of the first room was a pedestal, and behind it three doors. Krellem touched the pedestal and the image of a magi appeared. It was magical, but was not a real magi – an apparition of sorts that was able to answer questions. I’ve never seen anything like it before. He told us he was called the Inventor, and that the three doors represented the three paths. One to power, one to knowledge and one to righteousness. Nimrith was currently in the path of power and was struggling with it. It also informed us that if someone else entered one of the other paths and finished it before the other path was completed, the person in the other path would have an “undesirable outcome”. It didn’t take us long to decide to try and defeat Nimrith by completing one of the other paths before him. After some debate, the group decided on righteousness.
We entered the path, and completed the three tests before Nimrith could complete his path. He was basically turned into a big pile of goo. I’m so glad we finished first. Since we finished first, we essentially had control of the tower. We asked a lot of questions of the Inventor. We discovered that since Thoragen was from Crinoa, he basically had magi blood in him and could enter the inner sanctum of the tower. Only him though. He went inside and came back with a drawing of how the tower worked. I studied it for a bit, and noticed some differences in the magical formulas from one of the books I had been reading. I pointed this out to the Inventor, and he was a bit taken aback. It basically meant that when the towers were created, there was an error in the formula and that the amplitude of the Azca was not taken into account. The Inventor was unsure of what the mistake would mean.
Meanwhile, Thoragen went back to the inner sanctum for more books, and encountered a mirror of some sort. The Inventor said the mirror was extremely dangerous and created a duplicate of whoever looked into it. Thoragen went back in and then came back out with the duplicate. More discussion ensued, including the fact that the duplicate could leave the tower on his own accord after we left and could access the other towers if he wanted to. I decided this was too dangerous to allow the duplicate to live. It ran back inside, but since Thoragen was the only one that could go in, he was the one that would have to deal with it. I cast some fire protection on him to help him out. He came back, a little battered, but ok. He had also smashed the mirror.
[ooc – Session 90]
More debate followed on whether or not we should activate the tower. Activating it would give us exclusive access to the other towers, so given that, it was decided to activate this one in order to prevent anyone else from accessing the others. Thoragen had borrowed some books from the inner sanctum, so we gathered those, along with the prizes we gained in the path to righteousness and headed back to the fort. We didn’t encounter the hunter on the way back.
Arriving back at the fort, we spoke with Sorien. We asked her if Thoragen still seemed like the same one that left for the tower, and she seemed to think so, but something was up with Cara. Sorien wasn’t sure what, but Cara now showed two different paths to Sorien instead of just the one she saw before we left for the tower. Sorien thought that if it was Nimrith, she’d be able to sense him. Sorien also took us outside the keep’s wall and showed us our other selves, each impaled with a 12 foot spear. These were what the hunter had used. He had been hunting us, but got our duplicates instead. We’re going to have to keep an eye out for him. With any luck, he won’t be able to get through the barrier.
The next morning we started back for the Emblem Keep. Sorien went with us, along with the remaining Burcians – and Krellem’s men – I suppose that’s going to go without saying from now on. It seems they have been assigned to him. Sorien didn’t think we’d have to worry about the hunter attacking with her around, so I’m glad she was with us. We’re not without our skills, but someone that can kill a bunch of beholders might be a bit beyond us. We made it back to the keep without issue, and filled the general in on what had happened.
While back at the Emblem Keep, we started giving the barrier some thought. With the help of the girl necromancer, we did some experimenting to try and see exactly what he barrier was supposed to keep out. Juan-ti were immediately destroyed and their souls disintegrated. Others got about half way through before their souls were sucked out and disintegrated. These were all undead under the girls control. We wondered what would happen with a live subject, but didn’t want to risk anyone’s life to find out. The girl apparently took it upon herself to dominate a live guard, who promptly marched all the way through the barrier and back without being harmed. Thoragen then decided to try it himself, before we could stop him. He was killed halfway through, but his soul did not get disintegrated. We could see his ghostly self inside the barrier, but he couldn’t get out. This kind of confirms that the barrier is made up partly of the plane of death. Thoragen’s ghost was able to travel all around inside the barrier. It apparently goes down underground the same distance that it goes up into the air – 1500 feet or so. At the bottom are a chain of large rocks with runes inscribed on them. They all seem to be variations of a dimensional anchor. They don’t power the barrier, but do keep it in place. We were able to recover Thoragen’s things from the barrier with the help of the girl and the dominated guard. Thoragen said we could go ahead home and he’d catch up with us.
We left the Emblem Keep and headed back to the town. Thoragen, in the flesh, rejoined us the first night. When I asked how that happened, he got evasive and said the girl did it and he doesn’t remember how. I’m not buying it, but that’s all he’ll say. He gets a little shifty and I’m starting to wonder if we can trust him. I was looking through his things before he showed up and found two big rubies shaped like a face. Before I could ask what they were, he smacked them together while they were still in my hand, and one absorbed the other and changed shape, starting to form arms. Thoragen got evasive again when I asked where he got it.
[ooc – Session 91]
Once we got to the town, we checked on Val and found out the train would be back in a couple days. We took the time to rest a bit. Val stayed in the town when we left for the capital. The trip back was quiet. I asked Sorien if she knew what the ruby was, and she said it sounded like something she knew of that had the soul of a dwarf trapped inside and that it was trying to become a dwarf again. I suspect there’s a reference for it someplace in the library that will put a name to it. During the trip Selin and I buried ourselves into the books that Thoragen had recovered from the inner sanctum. We were able to glean the following information:
The original purpose of the magi towers was to provide a safe haven for the magi that was undetectable in order to protect them against attacks from Farris and the Ur-Priests. They are built in an extra-dimensional space. Each of the three high exarchs were in charge of a specific aspect of the tower. The Inventor was responsible for the mechanics. Rayna – the head of the kingdom – was responsible for the magic that powered how the towers worked and what they did. The third, who’s name was stricken from the records and is only referred to as the Unknown Brother was responsible for the paths and what treasures and challenges lay on those paths. The books hinted that they intended for the towers to run individually, but the Unknown Brother made them function together and that this was done without the knowledge of the other magi. It mentions that what the Unknown Brother did was related to something that was attempted on Athas. Something else I will have to dig through the Library to find.
[ooc – Session 92]
Upon arrival back in Pergisursia, we parted ways with Sorien and headed to the Palace to speak with Selin’s father, King Virgil, to inform him of our arrival and our discoveries. It seems her mother had gone to sleep again. We also spoke with Summer, who informed us that it appears Cara was hosting another being from the time we left the tower, to the time we arrived in Pergisursia. It could only have been either Nimrith or the duplicate Thoragen, and my money’s on it being Nimrith. Undoubtedly he’ll be seeking another body.
Afterwards everyone set off to their respective Houses. I came right to the Library so I could prepare this report.
Parva Libri Luon Oovae’Aumathil’Knoa
[ooc – anyone please feel free to send me corrections if you see something I got wrong or missed]