ACT 4: The White Tower Falls

Session 49: Crossed Paths and Hidden Dangers

[Feb 20th, 2024] – Hearthrest 3rd, 713 G.R.

With the capture of the Emperor’s assassins and the opening of the city, a sense of normalcy returns to the city of Milania and the Moonlit Blades. News of the Moonlit Blades’ heroics at the Dominfectum Reservoir has exploded through the streets. Combined with their fame at the Meragia Theatre and finding the assassins, the Moonlit Blades have never been more popular. They are flooded with new applicants who want to join the small, but prominent mercenary guild.

A few weeks go by as the heroes manage their personal affairs and take a break from all the activity.

Zhorn takes advantage of the the popularity and manages to recruit a Kalruan woman who is devoted to the causes of Pelaria. Draco is dealing with the aftermath of his grandfather’s death. He has been bequeathed his grandfather’s estate and numerous shares and holdings. Sila and Ferelin look more into the Order of the Eldritch Eye and suspect they have deciphered a cryptic message between local members, it seems they are meeting at the library.

Aki returns and is eager to learn as much as he can about the Moonlit Blades’ adventures to chronicle them in writings and song. Scalanis gets a reply from Dhengo Themlas and learn that the Crimson Blades returned his payment, as they do not operate in Milania anymore. Now he looks into joining the local colosseum as a gladiator. Castor is inheriting his parent’s blacksmithing operation and setting up the manager to handle to day-to-day operations of the 20+ employees. Ernault continues to share the teachings of the Lady of Tranquil Waters, and finds his fame grants many invitations to noble events and parties.

Isolde continue looking for her husband and is eventually approached by a messenger that leads her to an inn outside Milania. She meets with Brajko who has Sigfried. The Inquisitor threatens them, telling them that he has taken their children to his manor in Kalrua and killed Sigfried’s mother in the process. He then forces Sigfried and Isolde to find the missing artifact that Zlatan apparently had stolen. It is a holy relic called the Djojic’s Eye. Isolde speaks with Octavia, who believes the Eye is actually a tiny Shard of Nembral and contains great magical power. Unfortunately, the two don’t have any idea where to look.

Jaquin and Felix decide to start a side gig where they steal from the rich and give to the poor. They fail to find any recruits for their new morally-agreeable thieves guild. Rael heads back home to treat his parents disease. They immediately recover and Rael is eager to return to Milania and learn more about the wider world. Three new recuits sign on with the Moonlit Blades: Ryo, Cahir, and Klikmos. Ryo speaks at length with the Historical Society to learn as much as he can about Stelmar artifacts. He is trying to find space to create a workshop in town.

Cahir is a giant Dyrferd warrior of the Bear Clan, he is eager to prove himself and challenge himself in combat. He spends his time getting familiar with the new city.

Klikmos is a strange trickster fey-gnome. He seems quite deceptive and arrogant around others and seems to have the ability to summon forth a great golem of solid metal and burning fire named Basalt.. Klikmos is eager to learn more about ancient artifacts.

After a few days of the assassins, the heroes are invited to the Legionarii Castle where both the Imperator and the Senator of Milania, Asperius Raptus, treat the heroes to a banquet and formally award them the 1000 silver bounty. Senator Asperius is particularly eager to form a connection with the Moonlit Blades. He asks them to take on a mission for the Legionarii. It seems some bandits have moved into the ruins of Lazurus and they want them removed so they can begin reconstruction of the fort and the village. The heroes are free to take anything that remains at the village for their efforts.

The Wise Chestnut Inn and the Moonlit Blades office are both visited by a criminal enterprise called the Emerald Teeth. They seem to want protection money by the end of the month. Cahir tries to talk with the local guards, but it seems there is little they can do unless they catch a crime in action. Aki asks around town to learn more about them, but only learns that they control the western half of the city in the vacuum left behind after the fall of the Braided Hoods.

Castor forms a group with Cahir and Ryo and a few others to immediately head out to the ruins of Lazurus to deal with the bandits. In the meantime, Draco invites Caetronia Bruscia to stay at his grandfather’s estate while she hides out from the Emerald Teeth. He will bring her with them when they leave for Ashara. The heroes also prepare for the upcoming trip to Ashara, deciding they may want to search for Cauis Cilnius while they are there.

In the meantime, Felix, Jaquin, Rael, and others decide to take on the secret contract from Kaeso Asinius. They intend to meet with him and accept the contract, knowing it must be discreet.


Session 50: Shadows of a Prophecy

[Mar 12th, 2024] – Hearthrest 5th, 713 G.R.

In Milania, many of the Moon Blades continue dealing with personal business. However, Sila has uncovered the meeting place of the Order of the Eldritch Sign. He convinces Dietrich and Zhorn, who bring Raoul, Aki, and Isolde for backup, to head to the library and try to learn what they can about the Order and perhaps eavesdrop on their conversation.

The group arrives at the Theological Library of Milania, where they find a dark and dusty chamber filled with ancient scrolls and books. The clerk welcomes them and invites them to browse and call if they need any assistance. Dietrich and Zhorn sneak into the rows of bookcases as the others hang back. They eventually find two robed figures meeting in the dark corner of the library. One of the men seems to be named Merix and is quite agitated as he shares a letter with the other. He then recites a prophecy that seems to have them worried and might explain why the Order seeks the Moonlit Blades.

Sword and sorcery for coin aplenty,
Bounded by curse that is lifted,
The band of few become many,
Moonlight binds those that are gifted.

Discoveries made in the mythical ruins,
The blackest star then returns to burn bright,
The verdant key gleams of great fortunes,
After they step into lands of pure light.

The white tower that was tall will have fallen,
Its crown pierced by dragon’s hot bile,
The eyes that had seen will be broken,
The verdant land of Amar will grow hostile.

The members leaves, but Dietrich notices they left the letter behind. The letter makes it clear that the Order is gathering at Teilam Manor in Tortumael, Eshlien to “take care of things”. It might mean more danger for the Moonlit Blades. The heroes rush back to headquarters to discuss their actions. They decide it might be best to send a second party to Eshlien and confront the Order at Teilam Manor. Perhaps just to hear the rest of the prophecy.

Meanwhile, after a few days, Dietrich, Scalanis, Raoul, Felix, Jaquin, and Isolde decide to meet with Kaeso Asinius about the discreet mission. After reading through an extensive protection agreement, the heroes sign and listen to the man’s story. He explains that he inherited an ancient Stelmar artifact that came to life when the Void Star appeared. He manipulated the object, a plain silver amulet with a black gem. It sprang to life with magic and he found his servant had been killed. He then saw a pale, gaunt elf with long bloody claws fleeing out a window. He worries that he accidently released the monster from the artifact. The artifact is no longer magical.

He explains that the eight mysterious murders in the western Septentria neighborhood, where the victims were found slashed by claws, matches the monster’s methods. He asks the Moonlit Blades to quietly and discreetly dispatch this monstrosity without anyone linking the source of the monster to House Asinius. The group agrees to take the mission and not share the details with their colleagues as requested.

Meanwhile, many days later at the ruins of Fort Lazurus, the heroes led by Castor heal their wounds after their conflict with the scavengers. They also find a few useful trinkets and a magical Arathian dancing scarf among the loot. They then decide how best to approach Fort Lazurus. They decide to take the western route through the thick woods, hoping to surprise the bandits.

When they arrive at the western side, they find that the western door has been filled with a makeshift cobblestone wall. Kit transforms into an ape and climbs to the high wall to throw down a rope. However, she spots many bandits down below. Cahir then climbs to join her, but is incidentally spotted by the guards. The bandits fire arrows as the other heroes try to climb up. Castor clambers up quickly with Ferelin close behind him.

Castor and Cahir charge down to the bandits to take them head on as the others move into position. Kit supports them with spells from above. Ryo climbs a tree and is able to take shots from the trees boughs, over the wall’s crenellations. Kilkmos scrambles up the rope and joins the others. Ryo flips from the tree to the high wall with a perfect leap. One of the bandits escapes to warn more, and the heroes soon find themselves surrounded by many bandits swarming in.

Cahir looses himself to his forest-inspired rage, charging in at the enemies who eventually take him down. The other heroes try to hold a line at the approaching bandits as Ferelin and Ryo support them with spells and bolts from the outer wall. Castor pulls back to form a line with Kit who has returned to ape-form. Things grow desperate and Kit reverts to elf form to unleash a powerful necrotic myst to send fear into their enemies. The myst slows them down, allowing Castor and Klikmos to retreat to the other high wall.

The enemies continue to close in…


Session 51: Return to Fort Lazurus

[Mar 19th, 2024] – Hearthrest 12th, 713 G.R.

At Fort Lazurus, the heroes find themselves in a dire position as the bandits seem to be getting the best of them. Castor is knocked out with bloody stabbings as Klikmos flees to revive Cahir. He then summon his astral construct, Basalt to aid him. Meanhile, Ferelin and Ryo blast at the bandits from afar. Kit then summons great bursts of fire, taking out many of the bandits. She then chases down a fleeing bandit and fells him before he can alert others. The rest of the bandits are dispatched and the heroes quickly revive Castor and skirt away from the danger.

The heroes set up a camp about a mile from the keep, hidden in the woody hills. They spend the rest of the day tending their wounds and recovering, while prepping the camp for any assault by the bandits that may be pursuing them. Late that night, they are indeed assaulted during Cahir’s watch. The mighty barbarian gets wind of their approach and shouts to wake the others. The heroes rush out of their tents and waylay the bandits. Kit’s wilderness snares slow them down as they approach and the heroes are able to take them out quickly.

The heroes rest for the remainder of the night and treat their final wounds in the morning. Rested and recovered, they decide to return to Fort Lazurus and search for a new approach. After searching all angles of the castle, they return to the back entrance they entered last time, seeing only a single guard as opposed to the many guards at the main gatehouse. Ryo and Ferelin strike from afar at the single guard, taking him out quickly.

The heroes then sneak up the wall and into the keep’s courtyard. They find a cracked statue and a deep, foreboding well. They then sneak around the side to assault the guards at the gatehouse. They charge in quickly, with Cahir, Castor, and Basalt leading the charge. Ferelin subdues the guards with a calming spell over their minds, with the leader fully oblivious to the danger around him. The heroes take the guards out quickly and speak with the lieutenant, named Caelus. They learn that the leader, Ajaxx, and many other bandits are in the main keep. But he warns them that they are worried about the missing bandits that went down below, into an old ancient crypt from the days of the Empire. They were plundering the ancient tombs until people stopped returning.

Klikmos convinces Caelus to leave the bandits and join the Moonlit Blades. The heroes leave Caelus to guard the gatehouse as they head into the main keep. On the way, they find one of the bandit’s ledgers, detailing their finds and stolen goods. Ferelin deciphers that they were working with a corrupt city official in Milania, named Kaeso Minius, who was helping them sell the goods. The heroes then enter the main keep from an upper side entrance.

They then sneak down into the main floor and surprise two guards with a quick assault. Unfortunately, one of the guards manages to get to the door and yell for help. Many bandits charge in from the south as the leader Ajaxx climbs down a balcony and rushes to the north door. He then lets out a massive tortured bear that screams in a rage and charges towards the heroes. Cahir goes into his own rage and confronts the bear as the other hears pull into the room. Castor finds himself overwhelmed to the west as his friends move in behind him.


Session 52: The Forgotten Tomb

[Mar 26th, 2024] – Hearthrest 13th, 713 G.R.

The heroes pull together, taking out the bandits one by one. Cahir and Basalt try to take on the tormented bear as Ajaxx hides behind the enraged beast and fires his crossbow. With a few deadly blows, the bear is taken down and the heroes take out the remaining bandits while Castor, Basalt, and Cahir surround Ajaxx. After a few well-placed blows, the bandit leader surrenders.

Ajaxx explains that on the past week, they had discovered a sealed entrance beneath Fort Lazurus that led to a forgotten crypt. The crypt might have been used by the ancient Noman Empire nobility. The bandits were raiding these forgotten tombs for jewelry and gems meant to accompany these nobles into the afterlife. However, lately the bandits sent below have not returned. To corraborate the story, the heroes find a few expensive trinkets among the bandits ill-gotten goods. The heroes kill Ajaxx and decide to rest and tend their injuries before exploring this forgotten crypt.

Over night, the heroes are attacked by three zombies that were once the missing bandits. They take them out quickly and return to their rest. The next morning, they descend into the caverns below Fort Lazurus. They find a large open chasm with a worn stone bridge. There are some ancient statues that help them narrow down the time of the crypt to the decline of the Noman Empire (circa -675 GR), shortly after the capitol was moved from Goldwall to Ardolia. In one of the nearby empty crypts, they find writings of a warning that only “true-blooded Nomans may enter this place”.

The heroes attempt to cross the bridge, but find they are blasted by a protective ward. Cahir survives the onslaught, but Castor is completely unaffected, presumably because he has Amarie (Noman) heritage. The others are nearly killed by the magical blast, and Castor and Cahir have to revive them quickly before taking them up to the Fort to rest and recover. Later that night, after tending to their wounds, the heroes return to the tombs.

Ferelin devises a plan to use Castor’s blood to ‘trick’ the protective wards to let them pass. Ferelin, Ryo, and Klikmos use their occult and arcane knowledge to apply this blood-protection. It seems to work, allowing the others to pass through unharmed, although they suspect that the power will fade soon as the blood dries.

The heroes continue exploring the ancient tomb, finding a skeletal trine of three families that formed an alliance: Floronius, Eberunus, and Tatian. The heroes are then assaulted by a group of undead. These corpses, however, seem quite rotten and ancient. The heroes take them out quickly before exploring more of the tomb. In one side tomb, they find a crypt for the Octavania family where they recover a signet ring. The heroes find a few other priceless items along with a magical amulet that protects from the dark energy of unholy priests.

The heroes head north where they find a series of crypts glowing with strange crystals. As they investigate it further, they are attacked by animated skeletons..


Session 53: The Things That Dwell in the Dark

[Apr 2nd, 2024] – Hearthrest 14-15th, 713 G.R.

The heroes take out the skeletons quickly, noting they are dressed in rotted and rusty garments of ancient Noman soldiers. They explore the tombs and strange glowing crystals. Ferelin is able to decipher that the broken runes and crystals were part of a ritual to protect the dead from being animated by dark energy. He is able to learn the ritual to protect the dead in the future.

The heroes then come across five angry wights that strike at them. The battle is fierce and the heroes are nearly defeated. Cahir, Castor, Ryo, and Klikmos all go down, leaving Kit and Ferelin to revive them enough to hide in a corner of the tomb. During their short rest, they are confronted by a group of curious ghouls who seemingly have been eating the dead in the tombs. They seem to share disdain for whomever is raising the dead in the crypt. The ghouls then disappear into the darkness.

The heroes retreat to the fortress above and rest for the night. The next morning, they prepare themselves for another descent into the tombs depths. They decide to approach the northern bridge, but Castor has a bad feeling about its safety. They decide to cross the bridge one at a time and make it safely to the other side. They see a dragon-shrine below them, but decide to head up the stairs where they find the forgotten tomb of the Merula family, Ferelin and Klikmos learn that the tomb likely belonged to the famed general, Oppius Merula, who fought the Noradrie during the decline of the Noman Empire. Oddly, the tomb was missing any remains of the dead. Additionally, bandits seemingly dug a hole into a lower cavern.

The heroes head down and around past a crumbling spiral staircase that drops to darkness below. They find robbed tombs of dragon-god priests. They head to the dragon shrine, finding that it emanates a protective aura that dispels the undead. Inside the shrine, Ryo finds a powerful ring that can detect the presence of the undead, Castor takes it. They then explore another empty tomb where there are bloody remnants of a dark ritual to animate the dead.

The heroes then head north where they find a natural cavern is blocked by a cave-in, but a constructed path heads down into a tall natural cavern. When they enter the cavern, they are attacked by cloak-like aberrations that descend from the ceiling. The strange creatures attempt to cover the heroes in their forms to eat them. The heroes work well together to pull down the enemies and take them out quickly.


Session 54: The Battles of the Bridge

[Apr 9th, 2024] – Hearthrest 15-16th, 713 G.R.

The heroes leave the safety of the hidden alcove and head back towards the bridge to continue their explorations. However, when they reach the large open chasm, they find the far side has numerous crouching reptilian creatures. They appear to be scaly xulgaths, who throw javelins at the heroes from afar. The creatures then charge across the bridge to fight as the heroes head for cover.

The creatures then incidentally cause the bridge to fail and the rocky spur collapses, taking two xulgaths down into the depths of the chasm. The remaining troglodytes leap down to fight the heroes as Castor and Cahir try to challenge them. Kit and Ryo assault the xulgaths on the far side until they give up and seem to flee. Cahir beheads one of the xulgaths and Ferelin uses its entrails to smear blood on the walkway above. The heroes then finish off the remaining enemies.

With the bridge out, they are unsure how to proceed. They decide to explore the stairway down and find another crypt with two dig sites. Cahir moves to grab a shiny object from the dirt, but the heroes are then assault by a pair of angry and hungry ghosts. The ghosts seem impervious to their attacks and their touch drains the life from them. Cahir goes down as a ghost drains his life essence. The others flee as Kit revives Cahir. Basalt distracts the ghosts, but is de-manifested as the ghosts tear into him. This causes Klikmos to pass out.

The heroes make it to safety at the shrine of Numenor and then rest more at the cloaker cavern. Kit transforms into a tiny animal to ride with Ryo, who uses his crafted flame jets to soar across the chasm gap. They return to the fort above and fashion a makeshift ladder to cross the bridge. The heroes try to cross with the new bridge, but it seems somewhat unstable. Thankfully, they use ropes to secure each person who crosses, because the bridge snaps under Klikmos. Castor, Basalt, and Cahir catch the gnome in time and pull him up. Frustrated by the impasse, Ferelin’s mind reaches deep and he is able to summon a spectral bridge that allows everyone to cross.

The heroes return to the fort above and rest for the night. The next day (16th Heartrest), they return to the crypts to explore with a new, well-crafted ladder. As they cross the bridge, however, they are assaulted by the remaining xulgaths. However, they pose little threat and the heroes take them out quickly. The heroes head to the crypt of the Merula general and down into the hole below using a rope. Castor goes first and slips, but he finds a strange journal where he lands. The others follow and Kit is able to read the remains of the ancient Noman journal. It seems long ago a priest of Solarus interred a vampyre in these crypts.


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