PF Heroes of Kulderon Session Logs

The True Tales of the Eternal Embers

Chronicled By Dodak the Historian


This story takes place in the world of Enelis on the continent of Ularin starting in the year 668 G.R. (Goldwall Reckoning) in the Third Age. On the eastern edge of the continent are many kingdoms of men, remnants of the great Nomen Empire that once stretched from north to south along the eastern coast.  On the southern end of the old empire a handful of free city-states exist, outside the boundaries of larger nation states and kingdoms that have arisen after the Last War and the Great Cataclysm that occurred 500 years prior. 

South of the nation of Loyolla, huddled in the Dragon Peak mountains, rimmed by the Firemyst Jungles, is the city-state of Kulderon.  This free city-state is somewhat removed from the political intrigue and strife to the north.  The city itself was built into the basin of a dormant volcano, with the entire city like a great arena.  The rich and affluent living on the outer rim, protected from the outside by the high obsidian walls. The poor and less fortunate dwell near the bottom of the basin, near the foul-smelling lake at its center. The city was founded by Surabar Spellmason over 600 years ago, to help protect an expanded population from the threat of demons and serpentfolk.  He created the high obsidian walls that protect the city.  These walls make an invasion of the city near impossible and provide much security to its residents. 

The city is high in the mountains, where air drier and cooler than the surrounding jungles provides comfort to its inhabitants (who largely originate from cooler climates).  However, the city’s trade relies mostly on its many plantations that rim the small villages that flank the city along the river valleys that stretch away from the mountains towards the two coasts.  Coffee, rice, and various tropical fruits are the primary exports, along with rare herbs, medicines, and components only found in this unique tropical locale.  These exports typically travel down the rivers, both to the east and west, where small trade villages on the ocean connect river barges with larger trading vessels on the oceans.

The free city of Kulderon is also home to those that could not find a life elsewhere.  It is an accepting city, allowing anyone entry and residence, provided they do not cause too much trouble.  For this reason, the city boasts a large number of half-orcs, former soldiers, traitors, and anyone else who needs to start over and make a new life for themselves. The original inhabitants of the city featured many dwarves and gnomes who built extensive complexes underground, beneath the city.  These days those underground settlements have been abandoned, leaving the passages to these deep locations sealed and largely forgotten. Thus, the city is not without its mysteries and opportunity for adventure and excitement.

To the north of the Kulderon region is the nation of Loylla and Kalrua beyond. Twenty-five years ago, the War of Devils began between the rising nation-state of Kalrua against both their northern and southern border nations, Verland and Loyolla, respectively. Kalrua had amassed an army of devoted fanatics combined with a growing number of devils from their new spiritual ruler, Bael, the Living God.  Bael was a powerful devil-lord and demigod.  He prophesized the might of men, wishing all other races wiped from the surface of Enelis. Many men of Kalrua, already harboring prejudices against the elves, which they had competed with for limited territory during the Nomen days, took to Bael’s calling. The war lasted 12 years and Kalrua failed to gain any new territory, though many perished. The war proved especially disastrous for the rising empire, as the other nation-states of Astonia, Eshlien, and Aelgard intervened.  They all banded together to defeat Kalrua and put an end to Bael’s war machine.

It has been thirteen years since a peace treaty has been signed between these nations.  Since the failed war, Bael’s military influence has diminished as the Kalruan barons no longer swear unwavering fealty to the demigod. However, the devil’s religious influence is still quite strong.  Generations of Kalruans have been born and raised believing Bael is their one true god. It is also believed that the Kalruans have a covert war against the wild elves of the Aulthunmar Valley on the western edge of their domain. As the Kalruans still seek to expand into the plentiful natural resources present in the mountains and forests.  This causes economic strain on Loyolla, a nation who also profits from these same natural resources on the world market, mainly lumber, furs, and leathers. While Loyolla recognizes the elves’ right to sovereignty and does not encroach on their territory, they have not come to the elves’ aid directly.  This caused a large portion of the Rangers of Loyolla, a band of men that protects Loyolla’s forested western border, to resign and join the elves in protecting their forest home.

To the west of the Kulderon region is the Triumverant Monarchies of Migara, featuring the majestic port cities Elmo, Toscona, and Rizzi.  These three small kingdoms deal heavily in trade on the Inner Sea, trading as far north as Hopesdawn.  Their rockier coasts and higher elevations grant them a warm and pleasant yet dry mediterranean climate, allowing the production of many agricultural goods that cannot be grown in the northern nations.  Further west is the Kingdom of Korenell, a theocracy devoted to the Trinity, upholding law, order, and justice above all else.  Beyond that is the Arathkelsaran Empire, an empire ruled by powerful pharaohs and strange gods with an army of slaves. Korenell and Arathkelsara wage a deep war of spies and intrigue, all fighting for control of the Holy Land between them.  The Holy Land is a sacred field of semi-fertile fields surrounded by a copse of rocky hills.  The land is sacred to both the Trinity religion and to many of the gods the Arathians worship. There was once a fierce war between the nations, but since the sacrifice of Saint Aedin and the rise of the Trinity religion, the war has since moved into the shadows using the power of law and subterfuge to gain control of the region, as both sides maintain occupying forces as part of the truce.

Kulderon itself is largely absent from the larger politics of the world, but has its own share of intrigue at home.  The ruler of the city is the Lord Mayor, who is elected by the ruling noble families.  These noble families dominate the region, owning much of the land and influence. There is a growing tension between the merchant class and the nobility as economic activity increases in the region.  Trade along the roads has increased greatly, which attracted more banditry and raiders in the region. Now the city continually raises taxes to help pay for increased security and it is the merchants who carry the greater burden. Only time will tell how this plays out and what it means for Kulderon itself.  However, it is certainly a time for heroes to make their mark, to provide the hope and assistance the city requires in its time of need. This chronicle follows the travels of the Eternal Embers, a band of heroes who risked life and limb, against all odds, to help the people of Kulderon and Enelis itself. The stories herein have been verified by those involved and even, in some cases, by first-hand experience by the chronicler.

SESSION 1: Strange Meetings

In the humid jungles of the southern reaches of the old empire, along the trade road between the free city of Salrina and the free city of Kulderon, a large inn provides refuge and comforts for those on the journey between the cities. One evening, a band of travelers meet at this crowded inn, forced to share a table and greet each other. They share many tales of their travels and find each are heading towards the free city of Kulderon.  They include the thick-voiced dwarven cleric Tulus, a cleric of the Nomen dragon-god Zallus, and the forthright human knight of Solarus, Marcus.  These two have long been friends and Marcus has recently accepted a position as Temple Guardian for the small temple of Solarus in Kulderon. There is also the self-preserving half-orc wizard, Dayvorus, who also heads to Kulderon to find news of his long lost father, the famed sorcerer Davor Birchwood. The half-orc is a scholarly fellow, well versed in the ways of magic and the arcane, with a penchant for fire and flames. The iron-fisted halfling monk, Ankadia, seeks her former mentor, Noredithas, who has been teaching in Kulderon. She practices a deadly form of martial arts passed down from the dwarves of Kalavar. The group also meet a dwarven scholar named Dodak (the chronicler of this manuscript) and his gruff noradrie companion, a warrior of Hethroth named Karr.  Dodak accepted a position as teacher and historian at Bluecrater Academy in Kulderon, while Karr was transferred to the Temple of Lordly Might.  The reason for his transference was a sore subject, but it likely involved fist-fights with superiors. The group got along quite well and decided to travel together since they are all heading to the free city of Kulderon and greater numbers would deter bandits on those uncertain roads.  After many tales, drinks, and an extended dinner, the travelers retire to their beds.  

Late in the night, screams are heard down below. Marcus, Tulus, Ankadia, and Dayvorus investigate, finding the innkeeper’s wife in tears.  Oren Marsh, the innkeeper, tells them of his daughter, has run away into the jungles in an emotional outburst.  The jungles can be quite dangerous at night and few would dare to enter the under-canopy at night. The heroes, however, decide to go find the girl. They don their armor, and head out into the thick rain, and thicker foliage of the jungles.  Eventually they find the 12-yr old girl in the hands of some nasty jungle goblins who fancy her for a meal.  A battle is fought, where one of the goblins tries to flee from the heroes.  Tulus chases after the goblin with his blessed nimble feet.  Eventually the girl is returned to safety and the innkeeper graciously thanks the heroes.  Oren offers them free breakfast and a free room the next time they come through.

The next morning, the heroes feast on their well-deserved breakfast before heading out on the 2-day journey to Kulderon.  They pass through the thick jungles, eventually rising up into the hilly lowlands.  The mountains stretch out before them and the rain has finally ceased.  After a successful camp for the night, the heroes reach the city the next day.  They pay the visitor’s fee at the gate.  Dodak and Karr say their farewells and wish each of them luck in their new endeavors.  Karr begs the heroes to seek him at the Temple of Lordly Might if they should find battle and need an extra hand.

The heroes manage to grab a local newspaper from a town crier.  They learn about a series of kidnappings plaguing the city, three orphans have been kidnapped three days ago, along with a host of other people over the past few months.  Ankadia and Dayvorus separate from the others, stopping at Bluecrater Academy to learn about the location of Norendithas. Tulus and Marcus head to the Temple of Solarus to inquire about Marcus’s new position.

Ankadia quickly learns that Norendithas was one of those kidnapped, about a month ago.  Marcus meets the temple’s interim head priest, Kristof Jurgenson.  He seems gracious to accept Marcus in the church.  He and Marcus schedule a meeting for the morning after the dawn prayers. The two groups rejoin as they head to the Drunken Morkoth Inn before the sun completely sets.

SESSION 2: Missing Children

The heroes enter the Drunken Morkoth Inn looking for a restful night.  The inn is packed and the group squeezes in a booth with a wandering traveler named Najwa.  She seems distrustful of the group at first, but quickly warms up to them.  She too has just arrived in town and is also curious about the kidnappings.  The next day, Tulus and Marcus head to the church of Solarus for prayers at dawn.  Afterwards, they meet with Kristof.  His three superiors have all gone missing over the past year and he is the only one that remains to tend the shrine. It is also why he has asked the church to send him a guardian to help protect the shrine. Kristof says the church has already investigated the matter and believes the priests were killed by raiders. Marcus and Tulus learn that there is little connection between the disappearances of the missing priests of Solarus and the more recent disappearances, as all the new victims’ homes in Kulderon have been thoroughly robbed.  The group meets back together for breakfast at the Drunken Morkoth, where Karr joins them. He reminds the group that if they should find any battle to seek him out, for he is quite bored in his new administrative role.

The rest of the day the heroes search about the city together, learning the establishments, and trying to find information about the missing people.  They acquire a list of the missing people from the guards at the barracks, but are denied an audience with the captain.  They also attempt to go to the orphanage where the most recent victims were taken, but are denied entry as well.  The heroes then meet a pair of half-elves who are also inquiring about the missing people, as a friend of theirs has gone missing as well.  The heroes then speak with Bjellkir Zanathor, the only person who believes he has seen the giant morkoth under the lake.  Dayvorus verifies the tooth in his possession as an unusually large morkoth tooth.  

Ankadia has a quick, fun brawl with the head of the Hethroth temple, much to Dayvorus’ dismay, as his bet was misplaced.  But soon the heroes reach the temple of Korrond after they hear that the Korrond priests declared they would find the missing children.  Upon reaching the temple, they learn that Ruphus Laro had just headed to the orphanage to inquire there.  The heroes try to catch up to him, only to find some thugs hired by the Last Laugh thieves’ guild threatening the priest.  They tell him not worry about the missing children and stop his investigation.  The heroes intervene and save the priest, while also capturing one of the thugs.  They then accompany Ruphus back to the temple of Korrond where they meet with Jenya Urikas, the acting high priest.  Jenya makes a proposal, offering 2500 gold coins to the heroes if they can recover the missing children.  She also gives them each a healing potion bearing the symbol of Korrond.  She also shares a riddle from a divination attempt, hoping the heroes can make sense of it:  

The locks are key to finding them.  Look beyond the

curtain, below the cauldron.  Beware the doors 

with teeth.  Descend into the malachite hold, 

where precious life is bought with gold.  Half a 

dwarf binds them, but not for long.

SESSION 3: Jzadirune

The heroes talk more with Jenya about the missing people.  They then decide to interrogate the captured thug.  They learn little directly from the thug, other than he was hired by the Last Laugh thieves’ guild.  They call for two guards to take the thug in. One of the guards recognizes the thug as a fellow guardsman.  He ridicules the man, obviously hurt that a guardsman would do such a thing.  The thug claims that he was paid well, mentioning his poor wages, and since the cleric was not meant to be hurt it was an okay job.  The guards take the thug in for assault charges.

The heroes then head to the Drunken Morkoth Inn to get some rest for the night.  The next morning both Tulus and Najwa seem ill-disposed with horrible stomach cramps after eating the Oyster Surprise the night before, they stay at the inn in bed, nursing their stomachs.  The others receive a message from Jenya who mentions they should try where Ruphus failed and check the orphanage for any information.  The heroes depart to the orphanage, this time using the note from Jenya to gain entry.  An elderly halfling woman named Gretchyn shows them around.  They learn little of what might have gotten in the building so easily, but they learn that all the building’s locks, as many in the city, were crafted by Keygan Ghelve, a local locksmith.

They decide to investigate the locksmith.  Keygan, a gnome, greets the potential customers on his customary stilts, not liking to be looking up at customers.  He seems nervous and apprehensive when the heroes mention a skeleton key or how the orphanage’s locks could have been bypassed.  He tries to convey that they are not alone, but this is gesture is misconstrued, and the heroes turn around quickly.  A gray, hairless humanoid leaps down and attacks.  Keygan then sprays the heroes with a colorful blast of magic that renders them all unconscious.

When they come to again, they find themselves tied up and held hostage by the gnome.  He mentions his apologies, feeling a reluctant aide to the creature’s will.  However, the strange creature, the skulk, is no where to be found.

Ankadia easily wiggles her way out of the ropes and immediately flails her fists at Keygan, who is too surprised to do much about it.  Meanwhile, Dayvrous and Marcus work together to get themselves unbound.  They manage to get Keygan to surrender.  He tells them that the skulks have his rat familiar, Starbrow.  He gave them his skeleton keys three months ago, and since then they have been kidnapping people and taking them below.  He feels helpless in the matter.  He does not know how many of them there are, but there are “short ones” and “tall ones”.  They live in the old gnomish ruins of Jzadirune below his shop.  He gives the heroes an old map of the ruins and warns them of the many trapped, gear-shaped doors in its depths.  He also warns them of the Vanishing, a magical curse that infected the magical items of the enclave that forced the gnomes to abandon it.

The heroes rush to the inn to leave a message with Tulus and Najwa, Tulus manages to heal them a bit between his vomiting.  They then stop at the Temple of Lordly Might and enlist the aid of Karr.  The heroes then descend into the ruins of Jzadirune.  They discover strange tubular tunnels through the complex.  They fight a couple skulks that try to sneak up on them, but dispatch them easily.  They then explore down the tunnels.  They exit into one room where they suddenly cannot see each other as an invisible automaton attacks them.  They lure the construct into one of the tunnels trying to beat it down, but fail to do so.   They flee back to the entrance of the complex after taking many hard wounds from the mighty automaton pulverizer.

SESSION 4: Jzadirune, take 2

The heroes return near the entrance to the sounds of a deep-voiced dwarf making his way down the stairs into the complex.  Tulus and Najwa have regained their stomachs, and rejoin the group, eager to explore the gnomish enclave.  They try to take on the automaton again, with Karr taking a nearly deadly blow, but this time they manage to defeat it as Marcus breaks the machine with a crushing blow. The heroes bring Karr up to Keygan’s place to rest before continuing their exploration. 

     The heroes then explore deeper into the complex, coming across many more of the gear-shaped doors with the strange runes.  Dayvorus is quite sure the runes are Gnomish in origin, so the heroes write them down and show them to Keygan Ghelve.  He identifies them as letters in the Gnomish language, ‘J Z A D I R U N E’, and that each door likely has a specific key and associated trap.  

Dayvorus asks the gnome if he knows an elf named Zordan, a former friend of his father that he hoped to find in Kulderon. Upon learning that the elf lives just down the street, the heroes head over to find a small money-lending office, ‘Thandil Moneylenders’, where Dayvorus meets with Zordan.  While Zordan knows nothing of the half-orc’s missing father, the heroes are able to convince the reluctant rogue to join them in Jzadirune. After he encounters his first trap and fails to disarm it, the elf cowardly flees back to the surface, asking them not to bother him again.

  The heroes continue to search through the ruins without the elf, avoiding traps and finding a few treasures left by the gnomes.  Eventually they come to a ruined kiln room where Najwa finds a secret door.  Before she can open it, a dark creature attacks her as a fog fills the room.  The heroes fight against the unseen assailant as two skulks join the battle as well.  Things turn pretty grim as Najwa takes a near fatal blow, and the others are greatly wounded.  However, Ankadia keeps her tiny fist flailing, Dayvorus throws many balls of acid, Marcus slashes with fiery determination, and Tulus tries to keep everyone on their feet.  Eventually the heroes are able to fight their way out of the complex, looking to rest before the next foray into the ruins to find the missing children.

SESSION 5: the Vanishing

The heroes head to the Church of Solarus for some healing from Kristof.  Then to the Drunken Morkoth to rest, eat, and sleep away their woes.  In the morning, Dayvorus discovers he has contracted the Vanishing from one of the items he took.  He decides to ignore the symptoms for the moment.  The party then make their way back to Ghelve’s Locks, but the door is locked shut.  They knock and Keygan answers. It is obvious that he is being watched pretending he cannot sell them locks at the moment.  He then closes the door.  Ankadia searches around the building, listening intently, she eventually hears sounds of struggle inside.  The heroes then break down Keygan’s front door to see what is happening.  Inside they find Keygan stabbed repeatedly by thin sharp swords, which are in the hands of three rapier-wielding skulks.  The heroes quickly dispatch the skulks, then fetch the guards to inform them of the murder after searching Keygan’s home for clues.  The guards don’t seem too eager to deal with another adventuring party, but they are grateful for the assistance.  The heroes then say they are investigating the place as they head down into Jzadirune again.  They explore many halls and emptied rooms.  In one room, a wooden stage is set for performances.  Tulus investigates a trapdoor in the stage, only to be pulled in by a choker, who then shuts the door, holding it shut, as it attempts to strangle the dwarf.  Eventually the heroes break into the trapdoor and Marcus slams through the wooden stage to defeat the choker.  In another hall, the heroes fall prey to a sophisticated trap that nearly kills them.  Thankfully, quick-footed Ankadia is spared and manages to find the lever that disables the trap.  The heroes return to the surface to seek healing again.  This time they find a few guards investigating the shop, they agree to collaborate with the adventurers, as they cannot spare any guards to explore the ruins below.  The heroes head to the Temple of Korrond and receive healing from Jenya. Dayvorus also reluctantly pays the last of his coins for the removal of his Vanishing.

  The heroes then return to the ruins of Jzadirune, still hoping to find some sign of the missing children.  They find a throne room with a hauntingly somber image of a gnomish king, however, they also find a couple more keys to the gear doors and began exploring more earnestly.

SESSION 6: Rogue Rescue

The heroes open a secret door they discovered, to find three skulks attempting to carry an unconscious man into the shadows.  The heroes quickly dispatch the skulks and awaken the poisoned man.  He introduces himself as Mort, a poor traveler of no more than 18 winters, who has a way with locks, traps, and “surviving”.  He agrees to help the party out for rescuing him from the skulks.  The heroes explore more of the ruins of Jzadirune, fighting more skulks, and some animated rags.  Eventually they return to the surface for some healing and they trade their gems in for gold.  They meet Skie of Skie’s Treasury and purchase a few healing trinkets from the former adventuress gnome.  She seems pleased to be meeting another adventuring group and promises an Adventuring Discount if the heroes keep in touch. The heroes decide to call themselves the ‘Eternal Embers’ as an adventuring group. They head to the Temple of Korrond, where Jenya heals them and wishes them good fortune in their quest, although she seemed more impatient and worried than before.  

They return to the gnomish ruins, checking many of the doors that were previously overlooked before.  In one room they find a silver cage with a rat in it on top of chest.  They quickly learn the chest is a monstrous mimic, although this one seems eager to speak to the party.  Eventually through some crude dwarvish, the heroes manage to trade the rat’s freedom for a few rations of food.  They also learn from the mimic, that the skulks were trading the people with some “green ones” down in the “malachite” below, and that another mimic went to work for them.  The heroes then explore a bathroom where they vanquish a few monstrous sized spiders.


I have inserted the back-story of these members of the Eternal Embers here so that it may help provide greater context to their motivations throughout their quests.  However, it was not until Session 52 that these stories were actually shared between themselves and their chronicler. Additional back stories have been inserted with the introduction of additional members to the group, even though at the time, I doubt these members knew they would be staying, becoming full-fledged members of this daring band of heroes. Additionally, a few initial members did not end up staying as members of this group, and thus their backgrounds and motivations are still a mystery to this chronicler.


The powerful sorcerer and adventurer, Davor Birchwood, completed a quest to defeat his own father and grandfather’s diabolical scheme.  The hero returned to the city of Brindonford, one in which he had saved previously from the Cult of Bael.  The sorcerer was quite helpful in protecting the city from the constant attacks and sieges from the Kalruan armies during the war.  During this time, the sorcerer attempted a small magic-item business with his new wife, a young human girl named Isabelle who was a barmaid at the Naughty Nymph Inn, a place frequented by the sorcerer.  They had a child together named Dayvorus.

The child seemed to lack Davor’s natural affinity with magic, and seemed even to have more of a human quality than the draconic ancestry.  However, Davor made no hesitation in trying to teach the child the ways of magic.  Davor’s friend, Albrith Burstbearer, an older human wizard from Astonia, promised to teach Dayvorus as well, since his method of using the art of magic involved deep study and discipline, something Davor did not understand, as his powers were innate.  The boy easily caught on to the studies and greatly enjoyed the teachings of the wise old man.  During this time, Davor continued to disappear for weeks at a time, often taking Isabelle with him, leaving Dayvorus in the care of Albrith.  He claimed to be just buying more stock for the shop, but the young boy knew from snippets of conversations between the sorcerer and older wizard that Davor was travelling to the great planes beyond this world.  The sorcerer also had frequent visits from a half-elf merchant friend named Zordan who would come from a city named Kulderon to the south.  One day, however, Albrith had some bad news for the six-year-old boy.  Davor and Isabelle would not be returning.  The wizard couldn’t say where they had gone, but only that the boy could come live with him and continue his studies.  Dayvorus longed for his parents, but the warm-hearted wizard was the perfect substitute for the studious young boy.  However, Dayvorus was never able to get an answer from the wizard about where his parents went to and why they would not be coming home. 

When the boy was a teenager, he paid less attention to his missing parents as he fell in love with the old wizard’s granddaughter Emmaline who had just recently come to live with the wizard, as her parents were killed in the war. However, one of Dayvorus’ best friends, Alcock who also had fallen in love with this girl, became an enemy of Dayvorus, teasing the half-orc for his orc heritage.  Over the years, Emmaline and Dayvorus grew closer and closer together, while Alcock continued to cause them trouble as he had gotten a position in the city guard.  As Dayvorus grew into adulthood, he found he still longed for his parents, but also desired to venture out and learn new magical secrets.  Since Zordan stopped visiting after his parents’ disappearance, he decided to try to find the half-elf and set his sights on Kulderon.  Saying good-bye to his love, and promising to return to her, or send for her if things went well, the young wizard departed.  However, before leaving, Albrith gave Dayvorus Davor’s old staff.  It seemed to have lost its magic, but the old wizard remarked, “Perhaps, ye will find a way to reignite its powers someday.”  With that, the wizard was off on the roads towards Kulderon to learn the mysterious of magic and continue the search for his father.  He then became grouped with a few other adventurers in Kulderon and formed the Eternal Embers adventuring group with Mort, Marcus, Tulus, Najwa, and Ankadia.


            Born to poor farmers in the barely fertile valley of the foothills of the Seacrags of Astonia, Mortesetus Viridipsum, or Mort, had a hard life.  The small thorp nestled in the rocky hills was called Malrinus.  It was nothing more than a collection of many poor farms, with quite a few wealthy landowners who leased the farmland to the farmers.  Mort’s family were little more than farmers, working hard to barely scrap a living from the rocky land, while they were also frequently threatened to vacate since their rent was always running late.  Mort’s mother, Flos, and father, Ferrumad, often had to take odd jobs for other farmers while also trying to tend to their own land.  They had another child, a daughter, Narcissa, who was a couple years older than Mort.  The family was virtually unknown in reputation and deed, other than a distant ancestor, Argrenus Viridipsum was known for starting the cult of Hollos the Destroyer in the region over a century ago.

Mort grew up working on the farm, learning the ways of the outdoors.  He would do his best to collect herbs and berries for the family as a young child with the help of his sister.  When he was older, a horrible drought struck the region.  Many of the farming families began to have major financial troubles and were on the verge of facing vacancy by the wealthy landowners.  Mort could hardly stand this injustice even at the age of 10.  He watched the poor farmers work so hard, while the landowners did nothing but collect their due.  Using his slender frame to his advantage, the young savvy child, snuck into the wealthy manors and stole the required coins to help his family and the family friends.  His parents would not approve of how he acquired such coins, so the boy began the first of many lies to hide his doings.  He told his parents he found the coins buried in the woods, even showing the fabricated spot containing a few loose coins to cement the story.  The boy began stealing from the wealthy families and the occasional travelling merchant, but never more than the families needed.  The stories got more fantastic, but eventually no one asked anymore, probably knowing the truth, but the desperation kept everyone silent.

When mort had become a young man of 15 winters, he was working hard on the farm.  The drought had ended and the farms were doing well again.  Mort hadn’t been tempted to rob from the rich in a few years, as the grain was in surplus.  However, tragedy befell the village as a large band of goblins plagued the farms throughout the Seacrags.  Malrinus was being burned to the ground by the ferocious goblins.  The Viridipsum family was out in the fields during the attack, Ferrumad and Flos ran into the village to gather what belongings they could, begging Narcissa and Mort to flee.  Mort wanted to help his parents, but soon goblins rushed at him and his sister, and he was forced to fight them off using his pitchfork.  Many children were fleeing the village towards Mort and Narcissa.  Mort fought off the goblins, while Narcissa led the children away down the road towards Lerasia. Mort fought hard, but was eventually knocked out by a goblin’s club just as a mounted patrol of the Aurumequesus, the calvary of Astonia arrived to eradicate the goblins.  When Mort came to, he learned that the village was in ruins and many were killed, including his parents.  Mort worried for his sister, but was now stranded near the ruined village. He walked to Lerasia, taking weeks to arrive in the port city. 

He was near starving and death when he arrived, and he had to sneak into the city just to gain entry.  As the young man was unaccustomed to city life, he was frightened by the way people treated him, they would simply ignore or spit at the starving boy, so he learned to hide in the alleys and dark places of the stone jungle, searching for scraps.  It was in these backways that he met a young gnome named Kenton.  Kenton was a common pickpocket and thief, stealing for his food and board.  The cheery gnome took Mort as an apprentice, teaching him the ways of the city and how to steal to survive.  Meanwhile, Mort searched and asked around for the whereabouts of his sister, but from everything that he learned about the attack, there were no other survivors.  Saddened, the young thief began to look for links to other family members. 

A few years later, the rogue was robbing one of the city’s records office where he found an old travel log with the name Lennius Viridipsum, who was travelling to the city of Kulderon nearly fifty years ago.  Remembering his father speaking of Ferrumad’s grandfather, Lennius who left the farm to his brother and fled to the city, Mort decided to try and find this distant relative and see if he had any cousins in the south.  He said farewell to his partner in crime, and became a stowaway on the next freight ship heading to Rizzi.  From there, Mort purchased a mule for the long road to Kulderon.  He paid entry into the city with his last coin, noticing the tall obsidian walls were impossible to climb.  Then he found an alleyway near the lake in the center of the caldera to sleep for the night.  He lay down in a pile of hay with his mule, Karvos, and that was the last thing he remembered before the others saved the young rogue in the ruins of Jzadirune from the kidnapping skulks. He then formed the Eternal Embers adventuring group with Dayvorus, Marcus, Tulus, Najwa, and Ankadia.

SESSION 7: Down, Down, Down

The heroes explore a bit more, eventually facing off against a few skulks and their dark stalker leader.  On the body of the leader, they find the key to the ‘D’ doors, opening many opportunities for them.  The heroes decide to return to the Drunken Morkoth to rest, after receiving some healing from a desperate Jenya.  Mort also ensured that his mule, Karvos, was well cared for in a stable-house. The heroes then returned to Jzadirune the next morning, fully stocked and rested.  They explored the complex thoroughly, finding one room filled with many coins and treasures.  They also found a way into the main factory room where they faced off against a tentacled-grell who nearly devoured Mort.  However, the heroes were quite successful against the aberration.  Eventually the heroes found a room guarded by two hobgoblins, the “green ones” mentioned by the mimic.  The mimic indicated that the “black ones”, the skulks, likely brought the slaves to the hobgoblins.  After dispatching the hobgoblins, where Mort and Ankadia took nearly fatal blows, the heroes discovered that the room was a massive elevator that descended into darkness below, deep below the city.  The heroes healed through Tulus’s divine magic, reflecting on the things they have learned over the past few days.

SESSION 8: Darkness and Slavery

The heroes head down into the deepening gloom as the wooden elevator creaks lower and lower.  They eventually reach the end, deep into the Malachite Fortress.  The glistening black stone shimmering in the light.  They head into a small hallway where they face off against a small earth elemental spike and an especially dirty and stinky ogre.  Mort then peeks through a secret door into the next chamber to find two hobgoblins on guard duty.  They heroes prepare attacks as Marcus convinces one of them to come into the hallway.  Crossbow bolts and arrows slay the hobgoblin before he had a chance.  However, his ally rushes off to seek reinforcements.  The heroes then charge into the main chamber, where a giant statue of some important dwarven figure stands, with a chain wrapped around it.  Tulus tries to catch the fleeing hobgoblin, but the mass of chains animates and attacks him.  The heroes then face off against the mass of chains, felling it as they prepare for more hobgoblins to enter the chamber.  When it finally happens, they find a horde of the creatures rushing in through secret side passages with blades swinging and arrows flying.  The heroes are quickly surrounded, but fight on with every breath.  Before long the heroes are all knocked out by the organized attack of the hobgoblins and darkness greets them.

The heroes awaken in the prison chambers of the complex with a few other kidnapped victims ready to be sold to slave traders of the Deep Underground.  Ankadia is reunited with her former mentor, Norendithas.  The heroes find that their items have been taken and they wear naught but the torn remains of their clothing.  They craft a clever plan to flee from the stronghold by being sold.  A few days later, a dark-skinned dwarf comes to inspect the prisoners for an underground gladiator ring.  Marcus convinces the dwarf to take him and his friends, along with Norendithas and a former guard named Krylscar.  The prisoners are put to sleep by poisonous darts and taken away.

The heroes wake again to the sounds of dripping waters, the warm, damp air of a deep cavern.  They are all huddled in a pile on a wooden cart with iron manacles binding their arms and legs.  Six dark-skinned dwarves hold them captive and they seemed to have made camp.  The dull ache in their heads suggests that the heroes have been unconscious for a few days.  Marcus manages to get one of the dwarves, named Dulgar, to chat a bit about their intentions and where they are in the Deep Underground.  Meanwhile, Norendithas, Ankadia, and Mort use their talents to squeeze their way out of the manacles.  Mort then spends at least an hour working a single loose nail on the cart.  After which, he uses it to pick the locks of the other manacles while the dwarves sleep.  The two guards seem not to notice.  Then Mort stealthily makes his way through a cold pond around the dwarven camp, taking a dagger from one of the sleeping dwarves.  He slices the throat of the cruel leader and one of the other dwarves.  However, he is found out while attempting to slice the third.  The two dwarves on guard duty notice that the heroes are escaping from the wooden cart and a short battle erupts.  Soon however, there are two unconscious dwarves and Dulgar who surrenders.  The dwarves agree to share their gear in exchange for their freedom.  Dulgar also tells them that the way they came, through the Malachite Fortress, is the only way he knows that returns to the surface.  The other path heads deeper into the Deep Underground.  The heroes then arm themselves with the stolen equipment and bid farewell to their would-be slavemasters, preparing for the long journey back to the Malachite Fortress.

SESSION 9: Dwarven Ruse

The heroes gather the few remnants of items the dwarves left them and make the long trek down the winding tunnels of the deep underground.  They have a brief battle with a gray ooze, which Tulus smashes into nothing but droplets with his mighty wahammer.  Otherwise, the way is long, dark, and full of dread that some creature will pop out of the darkness at any moment from many of them small side caverns.  After a couple days of travel, finishing off the remnants of their rations, the heroes scrounge for food, finding only a bit of moss that Najwa found to be barely palatable.  They also pass one of the few lengthy side tunnels that seems to head deeper into the endless tunnels.  Eventually, they also find a small pool of water with some blind fish.  Ankadia’s quick hands grabs enough for everyone, and Dayvorus’s flames cook them.  The next day, the heroes finally reach the Malachite Fortress.

The imposing structure seems ever more impenetrable from the outside, however, the heroes are determined to make their way in.  Dayvorus casts a simply cantrip to darken Tulus’s beard and face to make him appear as a one of the dark-skinned dwarves.  Then the disguised Tulus and Mort knock on the door to try to gain entry, pretending to be slave buyers. The hobgoblins let in the disguised dwarf who manages to convince them of his desire for strong-bodied slaves, despite his apparent lack of the goblin language.  Mort fills in as interpreter and eventually the two are escorted by Kozmogen, the half-duergar/half-troll slave master, to a room where they can wait for him to get more slaves.  Mort and Tulus both try to sneak about the complex, but have little luck.  However, a dinner is called, and many of the hobgoblins rush off for roasted rat and stale ale, leaving the guards scarce.  Tulus and Mort approach the lone guard in the main entry and take him out quickly, opening the iron door to the front of the fortress where the others are waiting.  They enter quickly and rush off into a secret side corridor.  Soon the heroes are pressed into Kozmogen’s room, forced to knock out his hobgoblin concubine as they sneak into the treasure chamber.  From here, the heroes fight off against some automatons, where Mort cleverly uses the fortresses trap against them.

The heroes then find their way into the prison section and fight the few hobgoblin guards.  They free three of the remaining slaves before breaking into the nearby torture chamber, felling three more hobgoblins.  They rescue a sorceress named Coryston Pike who has sustained many wounds from the torture, but is otherwise capable to help.  Then they hear the sound of hobgoblins rushing in.  It seems that the hobgoblins are aware of their ruse and ready to kill the intruders.

SESSION 10: Slave Auction

The heroes soon hear the sounds of crashing weapons against the doors of the guardroom as they barricade themselves inside.  Soon a battle erupts and sword, arrows, and spells are thrown against the hobgoblin slavemasters.  The heroes eventually win against the threat, leaving only two hobgoblins to flee.  They find that their old gear was stashed in a secret room nearby.  They then don their old armors and weapons, and quickly recuperate their strength with healing and head into Kozmogen’s main chamber.  There they see the half-troll in the process of selling the children to some strange humanoid.  They seem to be bargaining over the price.  Kozmogen offers the heroes to place a bid, but Tulus insults the slaver and a battle ensues.  The heroes are nearly defeated by the half-troll and his minions as the strange humanoid, named Pyllrak, takes the children he has recently purchased and tries to flee, struggling with the last child.  At that moment two half-elves and an elven spellblade rush into the room finishing off the half-troll’s minions.  Eventually Kozmogen is killed and the heroes confront Pyllrak about the children.  He argues that he bought them fairly and they are his, but the heroes refute his logic.  Then a huge beholder with a gaping maw of razor-sharp teeth and deadly eyestalks appears. He claims that the boy named Terrem is to return to the orphanage with him, as he was never meant to be taken.  Then just as quickly as he appeared, the beholder and the boy disappear.  Pyllrak is now quite shaken and flees leaving the other children behind.  

The half-elves seem familiar, as the heroes ran into them during the initial part of their investigation.  They include the cleric Fellian and his rogue-like associate Fario.  They appear quite young.  However, their leader, Earondel is an elven spellblade, and seems more serious than the jovial half-elves.  They claim to be members of the Striders of Farlen Windrider, a small group of adventurers that looks into problems in the region in the name of Fharlen Windrider, a minor Selician deity of travel and adventure.  They agree to escort the slaves back to the surface while the heroes explore the rest of the fortress.  The heroes then take a rest, defending themselves in a side chamber.  Afterwards, they begin exploring the fortress, finding many pockets of hidden treasure.  They also find three more slaves in the forge area and one more in the dining hall.  They continue their search…

SESSION 11: Heroes About Town

The heroes finish their search of the Malachite Fortress, finding little more in value, but they do find the lever required to return to the surface.  When they do so, the prisoners they rescued are most grateful and quickly run in search of their loved ones.  Some of the town guards are watching over Ghelve’s Locks and greet the heroes as they enter.  They ask for their names and where they can be reached, as the Lord Mayor and Captain Skellerang wish to meet with them.  The heroes then sell off their many items and gems and distribute their coins among themselves.  Later that day the heroes try to reenter the ruins of Jzadirune, but the town guards say the place is off limits and to consult with Captain Skellerang.  The heroes go and speak with the Captain, who informs them that the ruins are off limit by decree of the Lord Mayor, who has invited the heroes to a dinner on the following night at the Coy Nixie.  

The next day the heroes wash up and find suitable clothing for the fine establishment, where they meet with the Lord Mayor Severen Navalant, Lord Vhalantru, and Captain Skellering.  The heroes have a most wonderful feast with these nobles.  The Lord Mayor seems to be an overweight, consistently bothered man who lets the more outgoing, Lord Vhalantru handle the discussion.  He relays that the Malachite Fortress has been claimed by the last of the Splintershield Clan from Kalavar, who are already en-route to Kulderon.  A dwarven emissary (who turns out to be Tulus’s sister, Thora) has sent word that the dwarves wish to reclaim and hold the Fortress as Zenith Splintershield once did ten years prior, before his mysterious disappearance when he and his clansmen charged into the deep underground.  The ruins of Jzadirune, however, are to be sealed to ensure that the Vanishing curse is not able to escape into the city.  Ghelve’s Locks is to be remodeled and will serve as an embassy to Kalavar.  Vhalantru agrees to arrange a meeting between the heroes and the dwarven patriarch of the Splintershield clan to arrange for compensation of any items left in the ruins.  The dwarves are due to arrive in a few days.  Lord Vhalantru then seems quite eager to learn about the intricate details about the heroes and how they came to be.  Severen laughs to Skellerang that Vhalantru always has “his adventuring groups”.  Vhalantru, however, seems earnest in his interest to hear the heroes’ tales. 

After the dinner, the Lord Mayor and Captain Skellerang head off to home.  Najwa and Ankadia then share their desire to leave the Eternal Embers, as Ankadia intends to teach with Norendithas at the Academy, while Najwa wishes to seek her family in Korenell. Leaving the Eternal Embers as Dayvorus, Mort, Marcus, and Tulus. Lord Vhalantru, however, proceeds to offer more wine for the group and invites them to his table for “the show”.  A beautiful dancer named Massia takes the stage in a somewhat burlesque song and dance that soon has most of the men in the club swooning.  Afterwards, Vhalantru tries to arrange a meeting with the girl, but fails. Vhalantru then prepares to leave, but beforehand, offers to arrange a meeting with the city property clerk, Lucius Verado, so that the heroes can purchase homes in the city and become true citizens.  The night grows late and the heroes head to the Drunken Morkoth for some rest.

The next few days the heroes begin to work around town, making trades, and generally trying to become more integrated into the city.  Tulus and Marcus work hard to get a tavern up and running, while Dayvorus spends his time fervently studying the confusing spellbooks he has acquired.  Mort meets with his great grandfather, who is the cook at the Drunken Morkoth.  He seems quite happy to see his great grandson and offers him a place to stay in his small home.  Dayvorus’s girlfriend, Emmaline, makes a surprise visit and the two buy a house together in an up-and-coming neighborhood on Lava Avenue.  Emmaline has found work as an assistant alchemist at Weer’s Elixirs.  The proprietor, Weer, is a former colleague and friend of Albirth. At the Church of Solarus, Marcus finds that Thora (Tulus’s sister), has become the new High Priest of the church. Kristof seems quite gracious for the help.  Thora relates that she is interested in expanding Solarus’s influence in this region. Marcus’s cousin, Gruntus, makes a visit as well.  As usual, he is vague about his business in the city, but says he plans to be around for awhile.  He also mentions that House Royce in Ashara has a new heir after the young heir was found dead from a drug overdose.  His sister Anna now runs the operations completely.  He also mentions that House Ashford might be in some debt to House Royce, but he seemed to think this was just a rumor.  Tulus and Marcus then purchase an old bakery to re-purpose for their tavern operation.

SESSION 12: Vandals and Wererats

The heroes use their newfound wealth to invest in the city.  Tulus and Marcus manage to get their tavern, the Dancing Dragon, up and running, hiring Coryston Pike to serve as manager. Dayvorus begins teaching magical theory classes for noble children at Bluecrater Academy.  Mort is busy gathering all the hired hands he can find for a business venture.  The dwarves of Kalavar finally arrive and arrange a meeting.  They agree to pay 1400 gp for the clearing of the fortress and offer the Eternal Embers free reign to use the fortress as an entrance to the deep underground at any time.  

Mort learns from his great-grandfather that the cult of Hollos has plagued their family for many generations and they should be glad that no more Viridipsums live in Astonia.  Marcus receives a letter from his father about keeping an eye on Gruntus and mentions some future trade deals with Migara.  Dayvorus receives a letter from Albrith, his mentor and foster-father, asking him to write often and to take care of Emmaline.  Meanwhile, Tulus runs into the scholar Dodak, who mentions that he is researching the bow of Callius Rallidinius, one of the generals of the Last War, a bow that was said to have been gifted to the Nomenir from Zallus himself.  They also learn from the local newspaper that the Stormblades, another adventuring group composed of nobles, have gained fame again, clearing out a nest of kobolds below the city.

After a week or so, Captain Skellerang contacts the party asking to meet with them.  When they do, they learn that the past couple weeks have been plagued by goblin vandalism in the foggy nights of autumn.  They have left much graffiti on the walls in the city and robbed a few people and warehouses.  While he does not think they are an immediate threat, he was impressed with the heroes work with the orphans and wishes them to investigate on behalf of the Lord Mayor.  He offers 5 gp per goblin ear as well.  The heroes then search around town for evidence of the graffiti.  They find a few strange goblin writings mentioning “Drakthar, Lord of the Rats” and other goblin names.  While talking it over at the Dancing Dragon, Jenya greets the heroes and wishes them luck with their new business venture.  Upon hearing about their new investigation, she offers to use the Star of Justice to ask the divines about the location of the goblin’s lair.  Earondel overhears as well and asks to join in the investigation.  

The heroes then spend the night looking for signs of goblins.  However, only Earondel had a confrontation with the vandals, felling two of them.  Later that day, the heroes approach Jenya and ask what the divines foretold about the whereabouts of the goblin’s lair.  The answer was, “Ask the red-eyed dwarf, and he’ll lie.”  The heroes then talk with Lucius Verado, the city’s zoning officer, about any dwarves owning businesses in town.  He says it will take him quite some time to compile such a list.  Outside of the town hall, the heroes begin asking around on the street about dwarves owning businesses.  They learn that a dwarf named Gunndrik owns a carpenter’s shop nearby.  However, on the way, a short, plump woman with a sultry voice mentions that she knows the goblins are coming from Orak Stonehaven’s bathhouse.  She then disappears into the crowds.

The heroes then head to the bathhouse just before it opens.  Seeing the request for leaving any weapons and armor at home, Dayvorus enters the bathhouse alone when it opens, while the others hang around the outside of the building on the street.  Orak seems kind enough, sharing the tale of how he found his Decanter of Endless Water and simultaneously lost his eye, where he has a red-gem-studded eyepatch.  Dayvorus looks about the bathhouse, finding a locked iron door, but then proceeds to bath as the bathhouse fills with other common folk.  

Meanwhile, Mort walks behind the building to examine it from the alleyway.  Two men then confront him in the narrow alley, quickly changing shape into hybrid rat-men.  The wererats then attack.  Mort barely scrambles out of the alley while continuously yelling for help, but no one seems to hear him.  He finally makes it around the corner before taking a sword in his side, dropping him to the ground unconscious.  The others rush to his aid in a frantic battle with the wererats.  Both Orak and Dayvorus seemed to have heard the battle outside.  Dayvorus grabs his staff and rushes out naked into the street with Orak right behind him.  However, when Orak sees what is going on he rushes back in and locks the door.  The heroes fight a desperate battle, but manage to kill one of the wererats, knock one down, while two others flee.  The town guards approach shortly after and they take the wererat to the city jail for questioning.  They learn from the wererat that he and his mates were hired by a nondescript man named Gaelen Trodor in the city of Salrina.  They were told to keep an eye on the bathhouse and not let anyone into the basement.  The guards take the wererat and lock him in silver manacles as the heroes decide what to do next.

SESSION 13: Beneath the Bathhouse

The heroes decide that with wererats about town it would be best to properly equip themselves with silvered weapons.  They head to Gurnezarn’s smithy to inquire about such weapons, only to find that the only one he has is a two-bladed sword they sold to him previously.  With some convincing, they manage to get him to craft a dagger, short sword, and longspear from the pieces of the two-bladed sword, but it will take a few days.  The heroes then go about to work with Mort continuing to gather the resources he needs for his business and Dayvorus continuing his classes at Bluecrater Academy.  Tulus works at the Dancing Dragon while Marcus tries to use his growing influence in the city to convince Massia’s agent to allow her to perform at the Dancing Dragon.  An arrangement is made for a week later, with a possible continuing contract if the turn out is good.  Both Tulus and Dayvorus manage to scribe a few magic scrolls, and Dayvorus manages his first attempt at his father’s business by crafting a magical belt for Mort.  After the days pass, the heroes reconvene with their new silvered weapons in tow.  

They approach Orak Stonehaven at the bathhouse trying to see why wererats were hanging around the place to begin with.  Orak doesn’t seem to have an answer and denies all allegations that he is involved with the vandalizing goblins.  However, Tulus notices something odd about the dwarf that might indicate he is under an enchantment of some sort.  With that the heroes decide to leave and return later at night to sneak in when the dwarf is away.  They return to their daily jobs and reconvene late in the night.

While Mort is busy picking the outside door lock, the heroes are attacked by more wererats.  They manage to dispatch them while one flees, and Orak joins in the battle against the heroes, but Dayvorus puts him to sleep quickly with a wand.  Soon Earondel and Tulus are carrying the unconscious wererats to the town guards while the others tie up the unconscious dwarf.  After he wakes, they try to convince him he is under a spell, but he doesn’t seem able to see it.  Eventually the heroes gag him with a bar of soap and use the key in his office to open the locked door to the basement.  Cautiously, the heroes descend into the basement finding a long corridor with many doors.  In one room they find many beds neat and tidy around its perimeter as though they have never been used.  They then hear a great cacophony down one end of the hallway.  Mort sneaks towards the commotion, while effortlessly bypassing a tripwire to discover two goblins.  They notice the sneaking man and a battle ensues.  Soon the heroes are surrounded on all sides by a great goblin force.  Bolts and javelins continuously ricochet down the hallway from goblins hands as the heroes fight desperately against the numerous foes.  But the seasoned adventurers eventually wear down the enemy felling most of the skirmishers.  Only a few sneaks and shamans managed to escape to other chambers.  After the battle, Tulus uses his healing magic on the party before they continue their search.

SESSION 14: The Reluctant Soldier

The heroes prepare to continue on their exploration of the bathhouse’s basement when a human approaches them cautiously.  He wears a well-crafted breastplate with two swords sheathed on his belt.  His features and accent make his mixed Kalruan heritage eminent but he seems to offer no ill will to the adventurers.  He introduces himself as Wauldmur, a recently arrived blacksmith and former mercenary.  He informs the heroes that he was to meet with a fellow mercenary named Xoden and a figure known as the “Blue Duke”, who has been hiring mercenaries in the area.  The heroes inform Wauldmur of the goblin threat in the city and that they were in the midst of clearing them out from these chambers, with the many bodies strewn about as a good indication of their handiwork.  Wauldmur admits he does not trust Xoden that much and is curious as to why the mercenary may be working with goblins.  The heroes invite the warrior to join them in their cleansing of the basement corridors. He accepts, readying his swords.

The heroes continue their exploration finding little more than goblin sleeping chambers in most of the rooms.  In one room they find a magical boiling stone cauldron of dwarven make.  They also find a small temple to Puln, the dwarven progenitor deity.  Eventually they make their way to a natural cavern that seems to stretch downward to the southwest.  They are then ambushed by three darkmantles seeking an easy meal, but are quickly cut up into pieces by the heroes.  Then the heroes are ambushed again by a group of well-prepared goblins, with a few that had fled from the last battle joining the attack.  The heroes take heavy wounds as frequent crossbow bolts from hidden goblin-sneaks and fire spells assault them from the shamans.  They persevere and manage to defeat the goblins, although both Wauldmur and Dayvorus come close to death.  Dayvorus held to life only through the sheer ferocity of his orcish heritage.  Mort chases down the last goblin sneak with his deadly rapier.  Soon the goblins lay dead and the heroes heal themselves before continuing down the sloping cavern.

The heroes soon find themselves assaulted again by a goblin ambush, but this time Earondel and Mort heard the goblins ahead and spoiled the surprise.  Learning from their mistakes, the heroes retreat back, climbing the cavern back away from the goblin-sneaks who fire on them until they get out of range.  Many goblin skirmishers, however, still throw javelins as they get closer to the heroes.  A worg-riding goblin rushes in as well.  A sneaky shaman tries to use an invisibility to sneak up on the heroes, but Marcus’s clever spear tactics foils the shaman’s deadly spell.  Before long, the goblins lie dead with only two goblin-sneaks to escape along the high ledge.  The heroes heal their wounds with the ever diminishing healing wand procured from Skie.  They then continue down the sloping tunnel into the darkness.


     When Rowley and Anna Dragonwyne gave birth to their youngest son, Wauldmur, the cult of Bael was quite strong in Kalrua.  They lived in the small city of Carvan on the Toldar River that also bordered the realm of Loyolla.  Rowley was a skilled blacksmith that had used to make fine crafts for the folks of the city, but these days he made nothing but weapons for the Bael cultists as the militaristic arm of Bael was being extended.  Bael, the Living God, the Arm of Asmodeus, the Prince of Men, the Lord of Kalrua, was a demigod archdevil who had managed to come to Enelis and slowly overtake the religious and cultural heritage of the Toldan people who dwelt there.  Most of the Barons of Kalrua have signed on to the archdevil’s plans for a rigid militaristic empire with the belief that humans are the true inheritors of the world.  Devils were a common sight on the streets of Carvan.

            Rowley and Anna never believed in Bael or the cult, however, the world of the cult was so pervasive in their lives, they never could voice this opinion.  Thus all their children were raised into the religious teachings of the cult that was part of their forced education.  In Wauldmur’s youth, he too was brainwashed into this world, believing in the greatness of Bael and that only strict order could maintain society as the strong should rightly govern the weak.  Inferiors should always do their duty for their superiors.  Thus Wauldmur was raised in militaristic fashion, eager to join the ranks of the Kalruan soldiers destined for glory when Bael’s Empire was unleashed on the world.  However, there was always a drive to do good for others within the young Wauldmur that no education could wash away.

            Sickness and famine struck Kalrua as the War of the Devils began.  Kalrua struck the first blow against Loyolla and Verland, fighting a war on both fronts.  Many non-humans are ushered out of Kalrua by force or rather are forced to wear a badge of inferiority on their breasts should the men of Kalruan ever have need of them.  Soldiers and priests became necessary as the war escalates. Wauldmur’s oldest brother Kartul become an officer for the Kalruan army, as his brother Konrad and sister Libena became priests, fully indoctrinated into the cult of Bael.  Wauldmur is forced to help his father with much of the smithing work, learning the trade as he becomes a man.  Soon, Wauldmur, with no more than 15 winters, enlists into the Kalruan army, hoping to gain the glory and prestige of his eldest brother.  The young Wauldmur was also eager to be like the stories he heard of his ancestor, the great knight Cauldor Dragonwyne who joined Draken Pendragon on the first crusade against Arathkelsara.

            After his initial training, where his frequent practice with swords made him shine amongst his peers, Wauldmur was assigned to the cohort of Jurek Divodin.  Jurek was an amazing swordsman who always strived for perfection from himself and his soldiers.  Jurek taught Wauldmur how to fight with two blades and helped the young soldier perfect his skills. It wasn’t long before the young soldier’s cohort was being sent to the front lines and Wauldmur got his first taste of open warfare.  It was during the battles over the next 3 years against the Loyollans that Wauldmur had an eye-opening experience.  He saw how the Kalruan soldiers crudely treated the Loyollan prisoners and gave them no mercy or compassion.  When he was briefly captured by Loyollan soldiers, he was treated kindly and fed regularly.  That compassion released the inner good of the soldier.  After he was rescued, he was forced to join his fellow Kalruan soldiers in the slaughter of defenseless women and children as they raided villages along the river.  Wauldmur took no part in the slaughter and took advantage of the chaos to flee southward into the forests.  He abandoned his Kalruan uniform, save for his issued sword.  Soon the war was over, and the former soldier continued to sell his sword as a mercenary to various merchants in need of guards.  He spent many years saving his coin hoping to open his own smithy someday, knowing he could never return to Kalrua.  After twelve long years of mercenary life, the soldier finally had the coin to open his shop and set sights on the free city of Kulderon.  He purchased a fine building and set up shop.  However, he knew supplies would cost him more to get up and running, so he looked around for additional sell-sword opportunities.  It was then when he pursued a request from a former colleague, named Xoden. Down under the bathhouse of Kulderon, Wauldmur was searching for the dwarf mercenary, when he met up with the Eternal Embers.

SESSION 15: Vampire!

The heroes send Mort to scout ahead in the dark tunnels, he quickly returns reporting a goblin shaman and his lizard pets in a room not too far away.  The heroes then follow the rogue towards the room, but before they reach their destination, a flurry of crossbow bolts shoot down from above.  Many goblins sneaks hide on a ledge shooting down at the heroes.  A battle ensues as the heroes try to return fire, while Wauldmur leads the way up the stairs to the shaman’s room.  The shaman and the lizard’s however retaliate, and nearly kill Mort with the shaman’s ray of fire and the shocker lizard’s electrical blast.  Eventually, the Dayvorus is able to render the shaman asleep with his wand and the heroes dispatch the shocker lizards.  Wauldmur slays the sleeping shaman as the heroes rush into the room, leaving Mort and Earondel exchanging arrows and bolts with the sneaks.  Tulus is mostly busy trying to keep everyone on their feet with his healing wand, while Marcus makes a few well-aimed shots at the goblin sneaks.  Soon Mort is sneaking around the upper corridors and greets the firing sneaks from behind.  Earondel takes a near fatal bolt to the chest just as Mort and Tulus dispatch the remaining monsters.  The heroes find their wounds too great and decide to barricade themselves in one of the upper rooms.  

However, as Dayvorus begins his watch shift, a mysterious mist floats in under the door and takes the form of a tall and scrawny bugbear with bloodshot eyes and long fangs.  He immediately attacks slamming Dayvorus with his fists and draining some of the half-orc’s life essence.  The heroes are quickly roused and all attempt to slay the vampiric bugbear, despite many of them not having their armor donned.  The bugbear introduces himself as Drakthar during the battle.  The heroes struggle to fight the creature and are nearly slain as the vampire drains more of their life essence.  Marcus is knocked down bleeding while the others are near death.  But then Drakthar leaves them with a warning, he commands the heroes to “…tell the city of his prowess and let all above know the name of Drakthar”.  Then he dissipates as mist again leaving the heroes with their grievous wounds.

The heroes gather their things and flee towards the surface, finding that dawn has reached the city.  They find Orak still tied up in his office, fallen off his chair and sleeping against the wall.  They decide to leave him there and rush to the Temple of Solarus.  They arrive just before the dawn prayers and stay, hiding in the back of the small temple.  Afterwards, Thora heals them of their wounds and gives them a healing wand to aid in their battle against the vampire.  The heroes then head to Jenya at the Temple of Korrond, but she has little to offfer them.  The heroes then head to the Temple of Lordly Might where they ask for warriors to join them, Askelfir is insulted by Marcus for his refusal to join them.  Karr, however, is eager to aid them.  The heroes then join together at the Dancing Dragon tavern to rest before returning to the caverns.  Before long they are attacked by a patrol of goblins.  They quickly dispatch the goblins.  Afterwards, however, Drakthar makes his appearance ready to fight the heroes again.

SESSION 16: Drakthar’s Fall

The heroes fight against the vampiric bugbear.  During the battle, both Karr and Mort succumb to the vampire’s domination and turn on their allies.  However, the heroes are able to dispatch the undead creature, who turns into a gaseous mist and also releases Karr and Mort from his control temporarily.  The heroes then heal themselves and try to follow the mist.  Karr elects to stay behind to not endanger the party.  They soon find themselves in a series of small chambers from the ruined dwarven complex.  In one room, they find two mercenaries, a human and a tiefling.  The mercenaries do not seem eager to talk and a quick battle is fought.  Before long, the mercenaries are tied up, but the heroes are unable to acquire any information from them.

The heroes then continue searching for the mist, heading deeper down the cavern.  Mort drinks his final potion of darkvision and scouts ahead of the group.  He find a goblin sentry up ahead and sneakily dispatches it.  Then he sees a group of half-orc mercenaries with a dwarven leader enter into the larger cavern.  He returns to the group to convey his findings.  Wauldmur sets out to meet with the dwarf, knowing it to be Xoden Nightshield, the contact that was to meet him at the bathhouse that prior night.  Wauldmur talks to the mercenaries while Mort secretly watches.  The rest of the heroes hang back waiting to see what transpires.  Wauldmur learns from Xoden that a mercenary leader named the Blue Duke is helping to sneak mercenaries into Kulderon at the request of an unknown noble house.  Drakthar made a deal with the Blue Duke to assist in the process, since he controlled the caverns linking to the city.  Xoden’s job was to escort the mercenaries to the cavern, while Kallev and Chorlyndyr were to escort them into the city.  Xoden suspected that Wauldmur’s job would be to act as a captain to the mercenaries since the nobles would likely not want to deal with the half-orcs directly.

Meanwhile, Drakthar appears and attacks the heroes who stand waiting.  Karr is at his side with a vacant look in his eyes, axe at the ready.  The heroes fight against the vampire again, while Mort tries to convey to Wauldmur about the ongoing battle without yelling to the warrior.  Wauldmur is unable to understand Mort while he converses with Xoden, as they both wait for Drakthar to arrive.  The heroes take many painful blows, but manage to turn the vampire into mist again.  Drakthar flees down a side cavern with the party close behind them.  Marcus demands Karr to hand over his axe and stay put as they rush towards the fleeing vampire.  Wauldmur excuses himself and rushes after the mist, reconvening with the rest of the party as Mort does likewise.  Soon the party is assembled into Drakthar’s throne room.

Suddenly, the throne animates and attacks.  The heroes surround the undead abomination, but find their blades of little use against its hard bone structure.  Soon Marcus and Tulus begin smashing the throne just as Drakthar reappears with a burning vengeance in his eyes.  The heroes destroy the throne, but Drakthar proves to be a tough combatant.  Mort is once again called upon to attack his allies by the domination of the vampire, and he soon is thrusting his rapier in his friend’s weaknesses.  Earondel takes a devastating blow from the vampire and is knocked near death.  Dayvorus puts Mort to sleep with his wand.  Before long the heroes manage to defeat Drakthar again, and follow the mist into a nearby cavern.  Here the heroes find a small treasure, but no sign of the vampire.  Then Marcus notices a secret panel, and inside the heroes find the resting vampire.  With a quick thrust with the broken hilt of a rusty battleaxe into the creature’s heart, the vampire went still.  Then a quick chop cleaved the vampire’s head, forever ending its threat.  

The heroes gathered what goods they could find in the treasure while Tulus patched up the fallen.  Soon the party slowly begin the journey to the surface with victory and cheer stretched across their faces.

SESSION 17: Swords and Ghosts

The heroes return to the bathhouse and release the dwarf, Orak, now that his mind has returned.  Orak is grateful, but resents them for leaving him lying there for so long.  The heroes then collect their due from Captain Skellerang for the goblin ears, divide their new found loot and equipment, then return to their regular lives.  The others spend the next few days doing their various jobs while, at Marcus’ bequest, Wauldmur works to craft a mithral breastplate for the paladin.  He struggles to work with the silvery metal, finding its melting point too close to its working temperatures, however, Marcus convinces Gurnezarn to assist with the job and the armor is eventually crafted perfectly.  Meanwhile, Dayvorus gets a visit from Zordan who asks the half-orc for a favor.  He wishes him to see to his money-lending clients and try to intimidate them into paying their fees.  Dayvorus agrees and is given a list of a few of the troublesome clients.  The heroes then reconvene and delve back into caverns through the bathhouse exploring the cave to its end.  They find that the mercenaries are long gone, with no sign of any recent activity.  The cave is found to lead to the bottom of the mountain just outside the city.  A perfect smuggling route.  The heroes then consider the case to be closed as the mercenaries have probably given up on this route, and Captain Skellerang has committed the top-side entrance to be sealed.  On their way out, Orak apologizes for his gruff attitude and offers the heroes free baths anytime for freeing him from the vampire’s influence.  

With no current adventure to pursue, the heroes return to work, trying to build businesses and keep gold in their coffers.  Dayvorus pays a visit to the clients on Zordan’s list, however, he finds that Zordan may have cheated them on their contracts.  When he confronted Zordan about the accusations, he gets the feeling that Zordan is in some serious money troubles in addition to his illegitimate business ventures.  However, the elf doesn’t seem to want any help from the half-orc and dismisses him.  Marcus receives a note from Thora asking to meet with the paladin at the bequest of Dodak the scholar.  At the meeting, Marcus learns that Dodak seems to have discovered the location of the missing Sword of Saints, a priceless artifact of the church of Solarus.  It has been missing for over a century.  Dodak suspects that a young eager paladin named Celrus Havenius may have taken the sword to eradicate the undead of Liduton, now known as the Haunted Village.  The village is just south of Kulderon.  Liduton was founded by Kazomagon Lidu, a friend of Surabar Spellmason (the founder of Redgorge and Kulderon).  The village was wiped out through some magic gone awry during the Demonskar War.  Thora asks the paladin to undertake the quest to the ruined village for the church and see if the clues are true and the sword resides there.  In addition, she mentions that Captain Skellerang wishes to meet with the Eternal Embers as he too has need of a mission to the southern reaches.

Marcus relays the information to the rest of the party.  He and Tulus head to the Church of Korrond to speak with Jenya Urikas about using the Star of Justice to learn more about what they might find at the Haunted Village, however, Jenya informs them that the Star of Justice has been taken by Sarcem Delasharn, the High Priest, to Pensberg in Loyolla.  Meanwhile, the rest of the party speaks with Captain Skellerang to see what he needs in the southern reaches.  They learn that a series of kidnapping have been occurring recently near Redgorge and he thinks the kidnappers may be operating out of the Haunted Village.  Rangers in the area have reported seeing lights in the ruins from afar, although no one is willing to get a closer look.  The heroes agree to investigate and see what may be happening.  The heroes then pack their things and set out the very next morning.  They hire a wagon to take them to Redgorge where they learn from the populace that the kidnappers may be linked to a sacrificial cult in the area.  Goats and sheep have been disappearing for awhile, and perhaps the cult is now sacrificing people, however, this was only a rumor that was circulating.  The heroes head into the wilderness along what once was a road to Liduton.  As the evening grows dark, the heroes are ambushed by a pack of orcs, but they quickly take down these petty bandits.

SESSION 18: Who Let the Lich Out?

After dispatching the orc bandits, the heroes decide to rest for the night.  During the night Dayvorus hears the sounds of large creatures approaching.  He wakes the party and they prepare themselves.  Soon two hulking ogres march down the ruined road.  The heroes quickly jump to action and take out the hulking brutes.  They then return to their resting for the night.  In the morning, the heroes head out towards the Haunted Village.  On the way they fight against a pair of hunting dinosaurs, but quickly dispatch them.  As evening draws, they reach the village.  A massive collection of ruined buildings adorns the nestled valley near the dark lake.  Many of the buildings seem ruined by fire, others by some greater destructive force.  As the heroes cautiously approach the center of the village, where a few buildings still partially stand, they are ambushed by a bunch of men in dark robes.  The mad cultists fire bows down the street at the heroes, who retaliate.  Soon the cultists lay dead.  The heroes search around the ruined town and find a large crevasse with a ladder leading down into a cavern.  The cavern connects to an old cellar.  Inside the cellar, the heroes find a large group of the cultists.  A great battle ensues.  One of the cultists conjures an obscuring mist, that leaves the party swinging blindly.  When Dayvorus attempts to wade through the mist, he is assaulted by cultists on the other side who pelt him with spells and arrows.  Soon, the rest of the party bursts through and defeats the mad cultists and their sorcerer.  

They find a dark altar at the back of the ruined chamber with the many bodies of the kidnapped people nearby, their hearts cut out and laid bare on the altar with a stack of coins.  The heroes find a few baubles and useful equipment, but most of the goods appears to be stolen supplies.  They also find a scrap of paper, with a single note written in Infernal, “In the mausoleum, the great darkness rests…“.  Taking it as a clue, the heroes head out to the villages graveyard, where they find a single mausoleum untouched by the destruction with a ring cleaned of debris around it.  Mort cautiously approaches and manages to disable a necrotic trap on the door.  Soon the heroes are descending the stone stairs behind the doors.  Inside the mausoleum is a great stone corridor.  The heroes are attacked by three wights waiting to feast on the living.  However, they are quickly dispatched, even though a few of the heroes have their life-force drained by their withering touch.  At the end of the crypt the heroes find a great tomb for some kind of leader, possibly Kozomagon Lidu the once proud leader of this village many centuries back.  At the top of the tomb are many piles of skeletal remains, however, one such blackened skeleton stands tall with two rusty swords drawn, clad in rusted armor.  The heroes rush in to fight the creature, but then many more skeletons and a wight rise from the debris.  The black skeleton screams an agonizing sound that sends Mort and Dayvorus fleeing for their lives.  However, Earondel, Marcus, Tulus, and Wauldmur manage to hold their courage.  Marcus sings an Astonian song of courage as he swing his mighty greatsword at the skeletal warrior.  Soon the skeleton falls and silence is restored to the tomb.  Mort and Dayvorus return to their friends, finding their wits and courage.  The heroes search about for any clues.

Earondel then finds a glimmering blade clutched in the hands of a fallen skeleton.  The skeleton also clutches a book.   The sword is an austere longsword. Those familiar with the arts of the forge might recognize the craftsmanship as dwarven, but the style of the blade is distinctly Astonian. A faint tracery of Celestial script runs the length of the blade, naming the weapon Durindana and proclaiming its role as the reliquary for the fingerbones of Saint Ardtan. The script on Durindana is intelligible to anyone, even though no one can read Celestial. The sword glows with a great light as Marcus holds the blade, the sword has found a worthy wielder.  The book is titled Draconis Solarus and details the exploits of dragons helping those of the Solarus faith, but rather the books argues that these were actually faithful clerics granted a boon by the goddess to take dragon form.  In many of the margins, someone has written notes in a tiny script.  This person seems to intend to head to Liduton to rid it of the undead in the hope of receiving this draconic boon from Solarus.

Before the heroes can relish in their victory, a dark voice emanates from behind them as a floating translucent skull appears.  Its read eyes burning with hate.  Dayvorus jumps towards it, leasing a blast of fire from his mouth, but it seems to have little effect on the ghostly skull.  “Death for eternity at my command…” the dark voice shouts as a great aura of fear emanates from it.  The heroes are overtaken by the fear and rush as quickly as they can out of the village.  Marcus, unaffected by the skull’s power, recognizes the powerful lich for what it is and joins his friends in flight.  Soon the heroes are gathered outside the village, catching their breath.  They decide to remember the evil that lies there for perhaps another day.  They then proceed towards Redgorge, marching all through the night.  Soon the idyllic village beneath the red-stone cliffs greets their eyes and a feeling of peace fills their hearts.

SESSION 19: The Golden Bow

The heroes take a rest in Redgorge before talking with the local baeliff who is grateful to hear that the kidnapped people have been found and the cult is no more.  The heroes leave them with a warning of the perilous lich that may still lurk in the Haunted Village.  The heroes then return to Kulderon for some much needed rest.  They stop at Dodak’s office at the Bluecrater Academy to show him the sword.  Marcus stays with Dodak as he makes historical notes about the sword as the others head to Captain Skellerang to report on the cult.  The Captain is glad the heroes were able to help down there and makes passing reference to a series of attacks on the trade roads north of Kulderon where orcs and gnolls, seemingly working together, have been attacking trade wagons between Divol and Salrina.  The heroes meet up at the Dancing Dragon for some much needed ale and the next day the heroes part ways.  

Wauldmur receives a letter from his parents, who he hasn’t had much contact with in the past few years.  Dayvorus received another letter from Albrith relaying that the old mage may be visiting Kulderon in a few weeks.  Marcus receives a letter from his father about some successful trade deals in Rizzi.  Meanwhile, Mort spends some quality time fishing with his great-grandfather on the Crater Lake.  While they don’t catch much, Mort learns that a large red dragon used to terrorize these mountains nearly a century ago, but things have been quiet, despite the recent rumour of some seeing a red dragon in the area.  

Tulus meets with Dodak and learns that an artifact of Zallus, called Dragon’s Wing, a great bow last known to be in the possession of Callius Rallidinius, a hero of the last war at Hopekeep, may have been found.  Dodak has traced the bow to a half-elf named Gaeli Wenya, who 15 years ago traveled with her comrad, Nalin Heartstone to find and reclaim Khundrukar, the secret fortress and forge of Durgeddin the Black, a famed weaponsmith in Kalavarian lore.  A few centuries ago, Durgeddin established a fortress in the southern mountains aimed at gathering the Kalavarian steel (adamantine) that was said to exist there: a secret pocket out of the control of the Kalavarian mining guilds.  He is said to have crafted many numerous weapons aimed to destroy all orc-kind.  However, his fortress was found and destroyed by the orcs.  Dodak thinks that Dragon’s Wing resides there now.  He doubts that Nalin and his crew were successful, but if they were then the heroes can make contact.  If they were not successful, then perhaps the bow resides there with the dead.

The heroes decide to head north first thing in the morning.  They purchase two strong draft horses and a large wagon and set out down the long road to the jungles and beyond.  Along the way in the jungles, they are attacked by a large ferocious tiger trying to feast on one of the horses.  They quickly dispatch the feline, and Tulus is forced to patch up one of the horses with his healing spells.  The heroes then continue their way for the next few days, eventually reaching Fort Lockgap in the Gap between the Gnollreach and Dragonpeak Mountains.  The guards let the heroes drink ale with them in their hall and share tales of the area.  The next morning the heroes set out, by mid afternoon Mort notices some strange black form in the sky sailing towards them.  Earondel’s keen eyes makes it out as a black dragon heading straight for them.  The heroes dive off the wagon as Wauldmur steers it into some tree cover.  Soon the dragon is charging towards them.  The heroes manage to corner the dragon in the woods and fell the beast, with only Mort and Wauldmur taking serious wounds.  They decide to throw the carcass on the back of the wagon so Wauldmur can prepare the hide to craft a small armor set.  

The heroes then reach Blasingdell in the middle of the night where the guardsman informs them that they cannot enter so late.  The heroes then show off their newly acquired dragon, which quickly gets the gates open and even Sir Miles, the lord mayor, greets the heroes.  He offers them free board at the Griffon’s Nest Inn in town and thanks them for removing Ichorwing as a threat.  He is even more elated when the heroes mention their goal of ridding the hills of orcs and gnolls.  The next morning, Dayvorus speaks with an old man who seems to remember Dayvorus’ father, Davor, traveling to the Stone Tooth nearly 25 years prior.  The heroes then eat heartily and pack up for their hike northward deeper into the mountainside.  

Hours later, Mort find a large group of orcs and gnolls waiting to ambush the party, however, they get tired of waiting and charge in at the heroes, who quickly fell the bandits.  The heroes then reach the Stone Tooth and find the entrance to a dwarven stronghold.  They manage to sneak up near the door, but Mort find arrow slits along the smooth worked walls.  Dayvorus sends a clever illusion of Mort to walk up to the door, which is then quickly pelted by arrows from the slits.  However, the orcs begin to check the other slits finding the heroes against the wall and fire upon them.  Soon the heroes are rushing into the stronghold while arrows ricochet off the walls and floors around them.  Karvos, Mort’s poor mule, rushes off into the wilderness. Soon a ranged battle is fought across a wide crevasse in the first chamber.  Mort attempts to cross the crevasse, but nearly falls to certain death below.  He manages to hang on while orcs pelt him with arrows.  Soon the party fells most of the orcs on the far side of the crevasse and they begin to cross the rope bridge to the other side.  A solid door blocks their path on the far side.

SESSION 20: The Wild Hunter

Earondel and Dayvorus prepare for an orcish assault through the door opposite the crevasse.  Tulus, Mort, and Marcus busy themselves with trying to cross the rope bridge using a rope for support.  They nearly lose Tulus and Mort in the process.  Wauldmur carefully crosses without the rope to aid him, helping to secure the far door.  Eventually Marcus and Mort join the others on the far side.  Tulus very slowly crosses the rope ladder as the sound of rushing water echoes in the crevasse far below.  Soon orcs break through the door and begin their assault on the heroes, heaving deadly greataxes, while gnolls fire arrows down the corridor over the orcs’ heads.  The heroes return fire and join in melee with the orcs, slowly felling the foul creatures and gaining a foothold in the corridor.  Eventually the heroes begin to storm down the corridor and the gnolls are forced to engage in melee with their spears.  Meanwhile, Kenli, a half-wild-elf hunter of the southern jungles, and prisoner to the gnolls, manages to slip out of his bonds now that hope has renewed his sense of survival.  He wanders down the pitch-black corridors heading towards the glimmer of light.  The half-elf spots the heroes just as they tear their way into the cavern felling the gnolls.

The half-elf greets the heroes and they all introduce themselves.  In a nearby kitchen, Kenli finds his elven gear and decides to join the party in hunting down the rest of the orcs and gnolls.  The heroes eventually find a portcullis blocking a tunnel heading down deeper into the mountain, three orcs guard the portcullis, but appear to be locked on the other side.  Dayvorus speaks with the orcs and promises to free them in exchange for their support.  In another chamber, the heroes find the gnoll leader and quickly fell the beast with his guards.  Deeper in the complex, the heroes come across a dwarven statue of Durgeddin the Black that spews poison as the heroes get too near.  Then the heroes open the door to the orc warlord’s throne chamber.  The massive brute is guarded by six burly orcs waiting for the heroes arrival.  Soon a battle is joined and the heroes fight in the narrow entrance way.  Galgrar the orc warlord has a half-elf concubine slave with a rope around her neck, who he leaves at the throne as he confidently marches towards Mort, who foolishly charged into the room without his comrades behind him.  Galgrar makes quick work of the rogue, knocking Mort to the ground in one swift blow.

The heroes manage fell the orcs and Wauldmur makes the felling blow to Galgrar.  The heroes free the half-elf, who seems to have taken some emotional trauma from her time among the orcs.  Kenli recognizes the half-elf, as she was captured the same day as himself.  She eventually opens up and introduces herself as Eariana, a prostitute traveling the trade road.  She was kidnapped by the gnolls when she was abandoned by some sleazy merchants on the road.  She reluctantly agrees to follow the heroes.

The heroes unlock the portcullis and free the orcs who agree to follow Dayvorus, who they perceive as the new orc warlord.  However, shortly later they betray the half-orc and attempt to kill him on the steep stone stairs heading into the greater caverns of Khundrukar.  The orcs are quickly dispatched and the heroes continue through the ancient caverns.  Tulus notes that much of the caverns have collapsed sometime in the last decade or so, leaving much rubble and debris about the cavern.  The heroes find a few ancient dwarven skeletons, one with a healing wand, but little else on their exploration.  The heroes soon reach an iron door with Durgeddin’s symbol and climb the stairs into the carved fortress of the ancient dwarves.  They fall prey to an electrical trap that greatly injures much of the party.  However, Tulus and Marcus are able to quickly heal the group and they press on.  They enter into a vast dwarven throne chamber, with some of the most beautiful dwarven frescoes and carvings any of them had ever seen.  Piled atop the dais in the room gleams many small coins and gems along with a few deer carcasses that appear to have been ragged in by a large reptile.  The dragon’s hoard awaits…


     Kenli was an odd birth, born to a wild elf huntress named Aetariel Norovathar and squad leader of the Rangers of Loyolla, a human named Halldor Brenthal.  Their union was an uncommon occurrence as the Loyollan rangers and the wild-elves only rarely worked together, but a particularly large band of gnolls had been raiding both wild-elf hunting encampments and human logging camps throughout the Wildren Forest.  A temporary alliance was made between the two groups to eradicate the gnolls.  During this joint effort, Aetariel and Halldor fell in love.  They would often sneak away to be together, knowing both of their kin would not be too keen on their union.  However, soon a child was born, named Kenli, and it was no longer possible to hide their affections.

                Kenli’s childhood was mostly spent with his mother living amongst the wild elves.  While the half-elf was accepted among them, there was plenty of harsh feelings aimed towards the child, especially when his father would come to stay with them.  Halldor was still working with the rangers and was unable to spend much time with his lover and their son, though it pained him greatly.  Life among the wild elves was good for Kenli, however.  He learned the ways of the wild, how to hunt, how to gather food, and make shelters in the trees.  Kenli learned much of his bow-skill from his mother, who was a prominent hunter among the elves.  While religion wasn’t a major part of their lives, Kenli learned to say his prayers to Cernos and Enelis to bless the hunt and nature’s bounty. 

                During his childhood, the War of Devils erupted in Kalrua as the war machine expanded from Dracea towards Loyolla.  There was also a significant push into the Forest of Spears aimed against the wild elves.  Much of the forest was burned and destroyed by devils in the hope of claiming new land for Kalrua.  While the overall effort failed, it still caused much destruction and made life for Kenli dangerous and difficult.  When Kenli became a teenager he was finally able to join his father on scouting missions with the rangers and also join the hunting trips with the elves.  His bowmanship really excelled and the elves and rangers gave the young half-elf respect for his skills.  Eventually Kenli’s father quit the rangers to be with his family.  This caused much tension, as the elves didn’t necessarily want to embrace a human into their community and the rangers didn’t wish to lose one of their finest squad leaders.  The union of Halldor and Aetariel began to create a larger rift between the two communities.

                This tension built for a few years and Kenli internalized much of these problems as his own fault for being born.  He decided to leave his home and put his survival skills to the test, hoping his absence would make life easier for his family.  He left one night without so much as a word as he headed southward following the forests until they gave way to the great plains.  He then crossed into the southern jungles.  He found the jungles to be a true test of his abilities and relished in the constant challenge it provided for him.  He hunted and lived in the jungles for many years, honing his skills.

                A few years ago, Kenli began visiting the Lucky Monkey Inn located in the jungles on the small road to Kulderon.  He would meet with passing merchants and other hunting parties.  He made a few friends with the people there, often trading pelts and hides for arrows and other things not found in the jungles.  Oren Marsh, the proprietor, would often chat with the hunter, glad to trade for the exotic meats Kenli could provide.  Occasionally, Kenli would head to Kulderon for specialized goods, but the hierarchical structure and order of the city never appealed to him.

                A few weeks prior to being rescued by the Eternal Embers, Kenli was becoming bored with the hunts, as there were few challenges these days.  That is when he came across a band of gnolls that had just raided a merchant’s wagon on the trade road between Divol and Salrina.  Kenli decided to follow the gnolls and hunt them down as a challenge to his talents.  After many days of tracking his prey, he found himself high in the Gnollreach mountains.  The gnolls were heading to a lair built into the side, and worse still, they seemed to be collaborating with some orcs.  Kenli decided it was time to strike, so he began firing arrows from his hidden place in the brush.  He had managed to fell quite a few gnolls, however, he was so engaged in the hunt he failed to notice another band of gnolls returning.  Before he was able to respond, he was surrounded, taking many arrows himself.  The gnolls captured the half-elf, taking him to their mountain lair.  A week later he was rescued by the Eternal Embers.  

SESSION 21: Two for the Price of One

The heroes, untrusting of the hoard of treasures that lay before them and the possible dragon that may be watching them, decide to search the northern door in the large great dwarven hall.  Inside they find the ruins of a dwarven temple, desecrated by orcs with many dwarven skeletons piled around an ancient altar.  Soon the skeletons rise and attack the heroes.  They manage to fell the skeletal foes, but find little in the ruined temple for their efforts.  They continue searching in the southern kitchens where they encounter a giant stag beetle feasting on the rotted remains.  They quickly dispatch the fell beast.  Then they search the northern chambers of the complex, still avoiding the dragon’s hoard.  They find little of interest in the collapsed chambers.  They discover a mud elemental disguising iteself among the debris.  The battle proves difficult and Wauldmur is covered in the thick mud that begins to harden around him.  Thanks to a concentrated onslaught the heroes are able to fell the elemental.  Wauldmur cleans himself off in a nearby well of murky water until he is rid of the thick mud.  They then discover a ruined library where Kenli’s keen eyes find a magical scroll for Dayvorus.  Then the heroes discover a great chasm heading deep beneath the mountain where a waterfall flows down.  

Other the other side of the great hall, the heroes discovered a ruined forge with one fine warhammer still remaining.  There is little else but rocks and debris.  Finally the heroes approach the hoard and examine the deer carcasses nearby.  With the aid of the tooth Dayvrous holds, Kenli determines that the carcasses are only a few days old and were definitely killed by the same dragon the others encountered.  With the security of knowing that the dragon has already been slain, the heroes search among the items.  Besides a pile of coins, mostly copper coins, and a few magical scrolls, the great magical bow, Dragon’s Wing, is evident.  The bow is composed of shimmering golden metal shaped into the likeness of a dragon’s bat-like wings.  The ends of the bow appear to be dragon’s bone, however, they are also composed of the strange, surprisingly flexible golden metal.  The string of the bow is quite resilient and seems to be composed of extremely thin filaments of the same golden metal wound into a perfectly flexible bowstring.

Tulus admires the bow a moment, before offering it to Kenli, who he thinks is far better skilled for such a weapon.  Then before the heroes move on, Wauldmur notices a sword hidden behind the broken throne, as if put out of sight intentionally.  The weapon is a brilliant sword gleaming with magic.  This broad-bladed longsword bears a series of wicked barbs along the lower third of its blade. The steel has been infused with a substance that gives it a reddish tinge, except for three dwarven runes inlaid in gold. Wrapped in red dragonhide, the grip ends in a pommel crafted of a 3-inch-long dragon fang. The guard is made of a bright red metal shaped into the likeness of a pair of leathery wings.  Holding the sword, Wauldmur feels immediately comfortable in the chilly cavern as if warmed.

The heroes find a broken cavern leading from the hoard to the great chasm with the waterfall.  Kenli finds a small trail of deer’s blood heading to the chasm’s edge, but there is little else to suggest where the dragon came from there.  The heroes decide to head to the surface, feeling confident about their success in retrieving Dragon’s Wing and destroying the orcs and gnolls who raided from this outpost.  They hike the rest of the evening into Blasingdell before resting for the night.  The next morning they pack up their wagon and prepare to head to Kulderon.  Eariana decides to go with them, as there is little for her in the small town.  Sir Miles catches them before they leave, thanking them again for all their work.  

Soon the heroes are on the rocky mountain road towards Fort Gapwatch.  The heroes have an uneventful few days of travel along the main roads, passing quite a few merchant wagons and other benign travels.  Before long they are slowly rolling up the spiraling road towards Kulderon proper.  On the outskirts of the city’s walls, just off the road, the heroes see a tall wooden post bearing a body in crucifixion.  At closer inspection, it is the body of Najwa the wayward sorceress and former member of the party.  Her naked body is bruised and a stabbing wound in her back reveals the cause of death.  A dark symbol, the symbol of the Cult of Nalit, is clearly brazened and burned into her chest.  The heroes pull the body down and Marcus ensures a proper ceremony at the Church of Solarus once they enter Kulderon.

The heroes then seek out Dodak to show him Dragon’s Wing.  The enthusiastic dwarf is quite eager to study the bow, and even more overjoyed to study the sword Wauldmur found, which he names as Dragonsbane, a weapon lost for many centuries.  Dragonsbane was a weapon forged for the famed Kalruan dragonslayer, Sir Endrik van Ibnacht for slaying the great wyrm Tarkalkatos.  He promises to return the weapons in a few days.  Meanwhile the party goes about their business as they return to city life.  Kenli concentrates on making a hunting camp outside the city in the alpine woods where he works at training some of the wildlife.  Wauldmur works more to expand his smithy and is pleased to see his manager Broga taking care of things while he was gone.  Marcus and Tulus work at getting more gold and influence at the bar, while Coryston reports decent profits while they were away.  Marcus offers Eariana a position at the Dancing Dragon as a barmaid, and she graciously accepts.  Coryston lets her stay with her until Eariana can make enough to get out on her own.  Dayvorus comes home to Emmaline, who is ever happy to see him, although he spends the next day diligently studying the scrolls he has found. 

After a few days, the heroes are hanging out at the Dancing Dragon tavern when Captain Skellerang enters with news.  He says that the guards have found little evidence with Najwa’s murder.  Also, Zhorandhun Splintershield has had a couple miners killed in the underdark outside the Malchite Fortress, the dwarf is looking for adventurers to hunt down the dark elves that were responsible.  The heroes decide to meet with Zhorandhun, but manage to get their magical weapons from Dodak first.  Zhorandhun meets with the heroes at the new Kalavarian Embassy, formerly known as Ghelve’s Locks.  He reiterates to the heroes about the mining expedition and how the “bloody drow” need to be slain for what they did.  Three miners were killed as they explored a new vein of ore.  The heroes accept the mission for 1000 gp for proof of the dead dark elves.  The heroes then talk to Kaden and Kadis, two miners there were present during the attack.  Kaden is certain that the dark elves attacked Bogar and killed him before the dwarves retaliated.  He claims that two of the dark elves were felled in the battle before they fled.  Kadis, however, says that Bogar slamed his pickaxe into a dark elf first, before being stabbed in the stomach.  Then she says the crossbows fired on both sides.  They managed to take two of the dead with them, but Bogar was not recovered.  The heroes decide to head into the deep underground caverns, after taking a few hours to prepare.  Kaden is tasked with leading them near the mining site.  After more than a days travel in the lightless, chill caverns, the heroes reach near the mining site.  Kaden makes camp and points the heroes in the direction of the mining site.  After a couple hours, the heroes reach the site.  They find much of the dwarven camp intact.  There are quite a few bolts of both shadmar and dwarven make scattered about.  They find Bogar’s body on the other side of a stream.  It appears to have been moved slightly since he fell.  There is no sign of any dark elves, but there is a faint trail of blood heading northward.  The heroes follow the trail…

SESSION 22: Shadows and the Dawn

Before the heroes can make any headway down the dark tunnels, the cavern trembles as a great form of rock takes a somewhat humanoid shape, a huge earth elemental!  The giant creature slams into the heroes nearly felling each them with its mighty blows.  The heroes are forced to flee down a side passage as Marcus prays for mist to surround the creature to cover their escape.  They soon learn that the tunnel is a dead end and heal a few of their wounds.  In the previous chamber, they hear the elemental slam the ground multiple times.They then make a run for it down the tunnel through the mists back the way they came.  After catching their breath, they decide to carefully peer into the miner’s cavern again.  This time the elemental has apparently left, leaving what was left of Bogar’s body as a unidentifiable bloody heap squished into the floor of the cavern.  The heroes then continue northward as Kenli follows the old blood trail.  The trail quickly turns dry, but the tunnel has no offshoots.  

After nearly a half-hour of trekking, the heroes reach a larger cavern with many statuettes of lizards and one of a strange grick.  The statues are lifelike and wonderfully crafted.  Shortly later, the heroes find the source of the fine statues, a pair of basilisks.  Prepared for the beasts, the heroes quickly avert their eyes, avoiding the petrifying gaze of the beasts.  They try to fight the creatures, but many misplaced shots and blows are placed as they avoid eye contact.  Marcus decides to face the creature head on and lands a devistating blow, but the beast then gazes at the paladin, turning his flesh into stone, a perfect statue of the warrior.  The heroes continue to fight on as Dayvrous throws numerous spells at the beasts until they are slain.  Mort recalls that the blood of a basilisk can revive a petrified victim, and the heroes douse the blood over the paladin, his form taking to flesh once again.  

The heroes then search northward coming across a mushroom grove.  Kenli identifies some of them are good for food, while others are for fiber and structure.  A dark elf then shows himself with a crossbow aimed at Dayvorus.  The heroes begin negotiations with the shadmar trying to come to an agreement.  The two leaders of the band, Vhandrio and his sister Vhara, greet the heroes and offer them tea, provided they leave their weapons at the guards.  The heroes mostly comply and soon sit with the shadmar in their somewhat comfortable cavern.  Vhandrio tells the heroes that he and his band fled the evil shadmar city of Sulkenvieera nearly 15 years ago and have been traveling steadily southward, hearing rumours that the southern cities of the surface are more amiable towards outsiders.  Once Vhandrio heard of Kulderon, he set for it nearly 3 years ago, when a band of duergar dwarves relayed that information.  However, the dark elves saw the fortress and knew that they could not get past it, and thus have been living in these caverns for 3 years waiting for an opportunity to present itself.  When they heard the mining of the dwarves, they went to investigate, as the river was their water source.  Unfortunately, the dwarves attacked before they could offer any words.  The heroes agree that Vhandrio and his people could possibly get to the surface past the dwarves if the incident at the mining camp is smoothed over.  Vhandrio then presents a blue-star sapphire to give to Zhorandhun to help negotiations.  Marcus then heals the injured shadmar as the heroes rest with the shadmar.  The next morning, Vhandrio and Vhara set out with the heroes to the Malachite Fortress to negotiate peace terms.

After a days travel, the heroes meet with Zhorandhun and the dark elves.  It takes some persistence, but Zhorandhun agrees to help the shadmar and the Eternal Embers shuffle them through the city so that they may pursue life in the mountains.  During the meeting, Kenli becomes fascinated by the shadowy cloak Vhandrio wears, noting its life-like shadowy magic tendrils.  The heroes then return to the dark elves and help them all to the Malachite Fortress, where they stay only a night as Kenli recovers the wagon, and the dwarves procure many layers of clothing to disguise the elves.  Soon the heroes are carting the nine shadmar, hidden in their wagon, to outside the city gates.  Thankfully, it is late at night and no one bothers the wagon, even the gate guard recognizes Kenli and lets the wagon through without much fuss.  Saying he has no need of darkness and shadows no more, Vhandrio presents his cloak to Mort, admiring the man’s already substantial talents at stealth.  He also offers the heroes a matching gem from the one he gave the dwarves.  The heroes then sit to enjoy the first dawn with the shadmar, before they set out to begin a new life.

The heroes return to the city where they talk Zhorandhun into giving them the reward money for negotiating the peace.  Tulus and Earondel then inform the heroes that they are off to go on new adventures together and meet up with the other Striders of Farlen Windrider.  Tulus leaves his room and ownership of the bar to Marcus as he and his elf-friend head out. Then life returns to normal as the heroes pursue their trades.  Kenli works hard on training his new leopard companion, Tendwa along with a servant monkey.  Mort continues to gather the materials for his shop.  Marcus and Wauldmur work together on crafting a new set of armor for the paladin.  Dayvrous continues teaching at Bluecrater Academy.    Mort also speaks with Dodak to inspect his new item.   The seemingly delicate cloak seems composed of pure shadow-stuff.  Tendrils of shadow float about the ends, avoiding direct contact with any light and clinging to the shadows and dark places in the environment.  This provides the wearer with an uncanny ability to hide from view.  When the cloak is exposed to bright sunlight, it gives off a shadowy mist around it concealing itself from the light.  The wearer seems able to call upon this ability when in need.  Dodak traces its history to the Demon Wars of Enaarvis, from a few centuries back, to the powerful shadmar sorcerer Delrith Niedrie, the one of led the shadmar back to the surface and incidentally opened the demon-gate that began the wars.

One evening, Marcus and Wauldmur drink a beer to rest from their laborous work, when a cloaked figure enters the tavern.  She then flings off her cloak, revealing herself to be an Arathian, and draws her scimitar, charging at Marcus.  Marcus and Wauldmur barely manage to prepare themselves, and eventually Marcus slams the woman into the ground, unconscious.  When she comes to, she reveals herself to be a cleric of Sol, the Arathian sun goddess, identical to Solarus.  She says she has been searching for the Eternal Embers as Sol led her to find them and join their ranks.  She attacked Marcus and Wauldmur to prove their strength before she offered her sword to their service.  She heals their wounds and profusely apologizes for her attack.  The heroes accept her into the group temporarily, and Marcus offer her Tulus’ old quarters in the meantime.

The next evening, Albrith arrives in town and the next day, Dayvorus, Albrith, Weer, and Dodak all meet for lunch.  During the meal, many old tales are told among the old scholars, but somehow the conversation drifts to Dayvorus staff.  They eventually decide that the staff itself is indeed Loden Lutherius’ staff, but it is missing its characteristic gemstone that gives it its magic.  Dayvorus learns that Zordan was the one to bring the staff to Albrith when Dayvrous was a child and his father disappeared.  Dayvorus then confronts Zordan, intimidating the sneaky elf.  He learns that Zordan pawned the gem 13 years ago to a Rizzian merchant named Plagus Geraldo, a textile merchant.  He also learns that Zordan is in a great deal of debt to the Last Laugh thieves guild and they may be wanting him dead.  Before Dayvorus can share his need to travel to Rizzi with the group, Ankadia, the halfling monk, comes into the bar to say her farewells.  Norendithas, her mentor, has died and she is returning to the Rizzi outskirts to be with the rest of the halflings there and bring them his ashes.  Marcus also finds the need to travel to Rizzi as a letter from his father indicates a foul trade deal needs to be handled.

SESSION 23: Drunken Debauchery

The heroes decide to take a few days to finish up some business before heading to Rizzi and deal with their affairs.  Wauldmur and Marcus work on the fine Solarus-emblazoned suit of full-plate armor for Marcus.  Kenli works on training the monkey and the leopard,Tendwa, some new tricks.  Mort gets his new shop, “Mort’s Meat and Locks” up and running, including hiring a manager for while he’s away.  Mort is also approached by members of both the Last Laugh and the Alleybashers, two thieves guilds of the city.  The Last Laugh want him for his skills to help them rob houses in the city.  The Alleybashers seem to want him to help guard some stolen goods for an unnamed group.  However, he turns them both down on moral grounds, not caring for the questionable ways they intend to deal with anyone who gets in their way.  Dayvorus continues to teach at the academy, wrapping up his classes before his trip.  Soon the heroes are ready to depart with Ankadia joining them for the journey.  

During the first leg of the journey as they reach the steamy jungles far below the mountains of Kulderon, the heroes run into an enraged triceratops that manages to kill one of the horses.  Marcus summons a mist to buy them extra time as the heroes are forced up on a few rocky boulders, firing flames and arrows at the beast until it is felled.  Kenli manages to glean a few fine steaks from the beast before they head out slowly as the single draft horse struggles under the weight of the wagon.  They reach the Lucky Monkey Inn as it grows late.  Oren Marsh greets them and offers them a free room.  He even trades the delectable triceratops steaks from Kenli in exchange for an old draft horse.

The heroes then head out the next morning, rolling through the end of the jungles into the rolling savanna of the Salrina Fields.  As evening draws near, just outside of Salrina, Kenli spots a group of gnolls waiting to ambush them on the road up ahead.  Kenli and Mort quickly take to the tall grasses and sneak their way to the bandits as Marcus takes the reigns of the horses and leads the wagon slowly on its continued journey down the road.  Mort and Kenli attack the gnolls in a flanking attack before the gnolls are much prepared.  Many arrows are exchanged before the rest of the party arrives, but soon the heroes slay the gnolls and continue on their journey into the sprawling agrarian city of Salrina.  They spend the night in the Jester and Mace Inn, telling tales and hearing ridiculous rumours from the bored townsfolk.  The next morn they are off again riding the smooth road towards Rizzi.  They pass many armed patrols and merchants, and even a flock of sheep that blocks the road for a bit as a shepherd moves them to a new field.  It becomes dark as the heroes pull into Azal’s Hold, the Farsian borderkeep.  They stay the night at the Wandering King Inn, built into the wall of the keep.  The next morning they set out again, running into even more travelers of the road as they get closer to the romantic city of Rizzi.  They reach the city gates in the evening, having to wait in line as other merchants pay the gate fee to gain entry.  Soon the heroes are paying the gate fee and are directed to the Merchant’s District and the Floundering Mermaid Inn.  Ankadia says her farewell for the moment, saying she’ll stop back in before they leave.  The heroes pay for the horses to be stabled and they immediately separate as they are awestruck by the city around them.  

Many canals and channels separate little islands and regions of the city, with gondolas providing a quick and convenient taxi to other parts.  The high hill of the Champion’s District and the Kortos Arena clearly visible against the beautiful shimmering colors of the sea.  Teraknian’s Arch, broken long ago, stretches out over the sea granting access to the open ocean near the towering Castle Teraknian.  The Merchant’s District where the heroes stand in seems to be the center of the city with many markets and guildhalls devoted to all manner of trades dotting the streets.  Tempted by the loose moral laws of Rizzi, most of the heroes aim to have a good time in “the Seductive City”.  Mort and Wauldmur take to a nearby gambling hall trying to earn some extra gold.  Wauldmur plays his luck and end ups winning big, while Mort simply steals what stray coins he can from the tables.  Kenli heads to Kortos’ Arena hoping to enter into the arena battles, but finds a lengthy applications process and fees.  However, he learns that once a week they have amateur night where only a 3 gp entry fee allows one to compete, this week is javelin throwing contests.  A large pot of gold awaits the winner of the contest.  Kenli also looks at the exotic animals in the East Market of the Azure District, learning a few things about the exotic animal market to apply at home.  Kianya seems to disappear on her own during this time, but ends up meeting with them later at the inn.  

Marcus meets with Bhesto Crenstai, an older half-selicean gentlemen who’s hair and face suggest he has spent a great deal of his life at sea.  He admits he is an old friend of Marius, Marcus’s father, and explains what Marius intended for them to do, in order to recover the deeds to the lead bars in the Rizzi Port Authority.  Bhesto explains that Pietro Calrinus, the merchant who betrayed Marius, lives in the countryside where many of the rich merchants and nobles live.  There is often thefts and small attacks by mercenary groups hired by these rich gentry that often goes unpunished by the Farsian law authority.  The Farsian king, King Delinni Vitto, turns a blind eye to the petty wars between noble and merchant houses as long as trade thrives and his country continues to be wealthy and affluent.  It seems Marius hoped that Marcus and his friends could either sneak in or storm Calrinus’s manor and recover the stolen deeds to the lead bars.  Marcus has some strong moral objections to the idea, and is eager to find a just and legal solution to the problem.  He tells Bhesto that he needs to think on it and they decide to meet again in the future.  While Marcus’ mind thinks over this ethical dilemma, he decides to head to the Temple of Venya in the Noble District and their adjoining brothel for an evening with a very fine elven companion.

Meanwhile, Dayvorus asks the innkeep at the Floundering Mermaid about finding a large fire opal gem, who only directs him to the Jeweler’s Guildhall down the road.  When Dayvorus inquires there, they mention they have seen many gems of all types, but the name Plagus Geraldo was familiar to them, as he was one of the head masters at the Weaver’s Guildhall.  So the half-orc heads down the road to the Weaver’s Guildhall and speaks with a dark-skinned, handsome older gentlemen, wearing some of the finest robes in the city.  The man is Plagus Geraldo and is interested to talk with Dayvorus about the fire opal. The older man also seems to find the half-orc especially attractive and asks him out for a drink across the street at the Drunken Bear, a mead-hall.  Dayvorus reluctantly accepts the offer and the two chat over a couple fine meads.  Dayvorus learns that Plagus bought the gem from Zordan over a decade ago using the last of his gold after a lucrative sale in the Kulderon textile market.  He then sold the gem in Rizzi to a man named Gauiso Anus, an exotic animal dealer in the Azure District.  It was the gold from the sale of the gem that helped Plagus develop his textile industry in Rizzi, becoming one of the most successful clothing merchants in the city.  However, since Plagus says he has not spoken with Gauiso in many years, he was unsure if Gauiso was even still around.  The old man asks to see Dayvorus for dinner, promising to help the young man find his family’s heirloom by using his many connections in the city.  Dayvorus accepts, knowing he needs the help, and returns to the inn to prepare for what he can only expect to be an eventful night.

SESSION 24: Greed and Gumption

The heroes reconvene at the Floundering Mermaid before heading out for a night of debauchery, drinking, and gambling.  Kianya stays near the Inn, enjoying the beauty of the city, while Marcus increases his influence among the citizens of the Noble District.  Dayvorus has a lovely evening with Plagus who tells the young half-orc that his contacts should find the gem in a few days time.  Dayvorus manages to catch up to the rest of the group and the night continues with many drinks and much gold won and lost.  During the night, the drunken heroes manage to upset a famous gladiator named Galrun Bulvo, who challenges the Eternal Embers to a game of dinosaur chasing in the arena in two nights.  The drunken heroes agree to the challenge and Galrun promises to set up some advertisement for the event.  When the drunken heroes are in the Shadowshore District they learn that a drunken half-elf was kidnapped a few days before, so they are extra careful in the seedy district.  The night ends late for the heroes as they barely make it to their beds.  For Marcus and Kianya, they awaken to their dawn prayers and talk about some of the gossip they have heard around town.  One piece of which is that Sarcem Dellasharn, the High Priest of the Temple of Korrond in Kulderon, is in Rizzi for the reopening of the Korrond Temple and will be leading the congregation for the next couple weeks.  After the other heroes awaken, the group meets up to discuss the assault on Calrinus’ Manor.  They decide to hire a bunch of prostitutes in Shadowshore to distract the guards at the front gate while they send in Mort and Kenli to sneak in.  While discussing this plan, three priestess of Solarus interrupt inquiring about three missing boys from Shadowshore that have disappeared in the past few days.  

The heroes head to Shadowshore to make the proper arrangements with the prostitutes while Kenli sneaks over to the Champion’s District to inquire about the deinonychus for the upcoming arena challenge.  Kenli tries to learn about the creature, but only ascertains that it is lean and fast and quite afraid of people.  Meanwhile, Mort sneaks off into the alleyways of Shadowshore and inquires about the missing children.  After a 50 gp bribe, he manages to get a man to tell him that he saw all the children taken by a wealthy merchant and his goons.  On the last visit, they captured a drunken half-elf who stumbled into the alley during the kidnapping.  The man identified the kidnapping merchant as Pietro Calrinus.

The heroes regather at the Floundering Mermaid and talk with Bhesto Crenstai  to prepare their plans.  With the information about the missing children connected to Calrinus, the heroes make up their mind and decide to attack that very evening.  Just as dusk sets on the beautiful hills outside the city, the heroes sneak around the walled manor house, while their hired companions approach the gate.  The ladies do not seem to have much luck with the guards.  Meanwhile, Mort and Kenli sneak in from the north, climbing over the wall and sneaking from tree to tree in the beautifully landscaped courtyard.  A sniper on the roof manages to spot Tendwa and fires at her.  This eventually leads to a guardsman checking out the back door where he finds Mort and Kenli crouching against the house.  A battle ensues on the back patio as Mort, Kenli, and Tendwa try to hold the guards off while the sniper shoots down at them.  Meanwhile, the other heroes, oblivious to their friend’s predicament, decide to climb the back wall of the manor into the forested garden.  They soon hear the sound of battle and charge into the courtyard to aid their comrades.  Dayvorus throws a deadly ball of molten metal on many of the guards and before long many of the mercenary guards are dead or dying in the back hallway.  The heroes explore the manor a bit, finding a few traps and locked doors baring their path.  

In a corner tower room, they find a half-conscious half-elf tied up with manacles.  He seems like he has been tortured and his body bears many wounds and gashes.  They dress the half-elf and leave him on a pile of old clothes where he sleeps peacefully.  The heroes then explore a kitchen finding little more than food, in a cupboard they find a few fine golden candleholders.  In another room, Mort fails to find a poisonous dart that renders him unconscious.  Dayvorus shares a potion to delay the effects, to put the rogue back on his feet.  The heroes then find a small shrine dedicated to Hermaen, god of trade and wealth.  They manage to steal the ruby eyes of the statue and the gold offerings.  The next room they find a great library where many prepared guardsman await the heroes.  Battle is fought again, during which the mercenary sorcerer manages to permanently blind Mort.  During the fight, Pietro himself appears trying to fell the intruders but eventually he is cornered in his office with an angered Marcus closing in on him.  Wauldmur and Kianya hold three surrendering mercenaries while Marcus, Dayvorus, and Kenli force Pietro to surrender himself.  The greasy merchant now stands with watery eyes looking to the heroes, begging for his life.

SESSION 25: The Gem and Flag

The heroes push Calrinus trying to learn about his evil deeds and the location of the missing children.  The sickly merchant eventually confesses that the last child is upstairs.  Dayvorus then finds the deeds to the lead bars in the merchant’s desk drawer along with much gold.  They take his items, including a magical rapier that Mort makes use of and a fine crossbow for Dayvorus.  The heroes then use the merchant to lead the way in the second floor of the manor house, as Mort is still blind.  The merchant willingly disables a few traps but when the heroes reach the balcony, the wily merchant attempts to leap to to the ground.  He succeeds without injuring himself too much, but the heroes shoot him down with arrows until he is unconscious.  They then bring him back under Kianya’s watchful eye along with the three mercenaries.  While the others return to the second floor, Mort decides to kill the merchant.  Despite his blindness, he manages to stab the corrupt merchant in the heart.  

The other heroes find a few traps and are able to bypass them, they eventually find a small library with a beautiful fire opal gem, radiating with energy.  Dayvorus identifies it as the one he is looking for and immediately grabs it.  An insanity mist sprays in the wizard’s face, making him somewhat baffled, but otherwise still sane.  He pockets the gem seeing that it will take some work to reattach it to his staff.  The heroes then find the missing boy in a nearby bedroom, but the boy is dead, his body raped and bruised.  The heroes then get the mercenaries to trade their freedom for information about the other children.  They show them a recently dug hole in the back courtyard where the merchant dumped the bodies.  Marcus grabs the fancy tentacle rug from the hallway as Wauldmur carries out the half-elf they found and they all return to the city.

Later that night, Marcus meets with Bhesto and gives him the deeds and tells him about the near empty manor.  The old sailor makes note of the empty manor and thanks Marcus for his fine work and promises to send a good word to Marcus’ father, Marius.  The next morning, the heroes meet the half-elf they rescued, a retired ranger named Elyin Ursage.  He explains how he was in Rizzi for a “gentleman’s party” before his wedding.  He had gotten too drunk in the Champion’s District and must have wandering into the Shadowshore District by accident.  He graciously thanks the heroes and offers to send them an invitation to his wedding in Bellis, a small town north of Salrina.  The heroes then head to the Dawnguard temple of Solarus telling the priestesses of the fate of the missing children.  The priestess also cures Mort’s blindness.  The heroes also hear that word has spread through the city about their upcoming fight.  They spend the rest of the afternoon discussing strategies for the arena.

When the arena time comes, they prepare to enter into the preparation rooms, when Dayvorus casts a magical armor on himself, Wauldmur, and Marcus.  They then strip down and don the gladiatorial gear: leather armor, a shortspear, and a small wooden shield.  Soon they can hear the roar of the crowd out in the arena as they prepare to enter upon hearing their group’s name.  The Bulvo Bulls are their competition, all seasoned gladiators with huge muscular bodies and quick reflexes.  A deinonychus is tied to the center of the arena to a metal pole.  A thick linen yellow sash is tied tightly around its neck.  Soon the dinosaur is set free and the combatants set to work.  A huge brawl almost immediately erupts in the center of the arena between the heroes and the gladiators.  Kenli and Dayvorus concentrate on trying to grab the dinosaur with little luck.  Kenli gets a brief instant on its back, but soon falls off with many laughs from the crowd.  Dayvorus likewise manages to grab the flag but is dragged in the dirt, scrapping himself in the process, but gains some cheering for his effort.  Fierce combat leads to Wauldmur and Marcus taking to the ground as the gladiators seem able to shrug off most of the wounds they take. Before long the gladiators seem to have the advantage.  Mort manages to leap upon the dinosaurs back and rides it around the arena for a bit, the crowd cheering madly.  However, the ride is cut short as a well-placed spear is thrown by a gladiator, knocking the rogue to the ground with the flag in his hand.  Dayvorus positions himself near the metal pole as two gladiators close in on him.    Kenli manages to grab the flag and circle around the two approaching gladiators, while Galrun Balvo himself chucks spears at him.  Kenli then quickly ties the flag to his spear and perfectly throws it near Dayvorus.  The half-orc quickly grabs the flag and ties to the pole while the gladiator near him pokes him with a spear.  The Eternal Embers win the match! 

The heroes are taken out by the Bulvo’s Bulls for drinks and celebration afterwards.  The gladiators were truly impressed with the heroes efforts and quick work.  The next morning the heroes gather their things and wagon and prepare to head back to Kulderon.  Plagus visits Dayvorus and thanks him for humoring an old man.  On their way out, the heroes give their blessings to Norendithas and the halflings of the nomad village outside of Rizzi.  Ankadia informs them that she intends to stay with the halflings and will not be returning to Kulderon.  The heroes then roll their way eastward.  After two days of travel, they are waylaid by two dire lions.  They manage to fell the beasts, but one of their horses are killed.  Kenli takes the time to gather find meats from the lions as they take twice as long to reach Salrina.  In the small city, the heroes are able to procure an old draft horse in exchange for the meat and they continue their trek towards Kulderon.  Just as they reach the southern jungles, and night begins to take hold, the heroes see a strange light in the distance near the trees.  Kenli identifies the light as a dangerous will’o’wisp and they decide to steer clear and camp for the night away from it.  However, later that night Kenli sees the light again during his watch.  This time it is coming straight for them….

SESSION 26: The Flood Festival

Kenli quickly calls for the group as the will’o’wisp engages him, shocking his body with a violent surge of electricity.  The heroes quickly maneuver around the ball of light swinging wildly at it, but having little luck hitting the agile sadistic aberration.  Eventually a few well-placed blows nearly dissipates the creature, but it disappears and hunts out Kenli as he tries to hide in the nearby jungles.  Unfortunately, the will’o’wisp appears next to poor Kenli and zaps him some more.  Eventually, the heroes are able to slay the beast with Marcus making a final deadly blow.  The heroes then return to their slumbers before heading out the next morning.  They reach the Lucky Monkey and stay the evening joining in the merriment and sharing a few tales of Rizzi with Oren Marsh.  The next evening, just as they are nearing the edge of the jungles, two great trolls charge at the wagon.  The heroes quickly surrounded the large beasts as the trolls make many tearing slashes with their teeth and claws.  As Kenli rushes to stop the horses from running off with the wagon, he sends Tendwa to attack a troll.  However, the troll seems too much for the small leopard and the poor feline is torn apart into a flurry of entrails and blood.  Dayvorus fells the troll with a molten orb of flaming metal as the warriors fell the other troll and burn it with a torch.

The final day’s ride to Kulderon is a bit more melancholy after Kenli is forced to bury what is left of Tendwa.  Soon the heroes are returning to taking care of their business and otherwise attending their civil duties in the city.  Marcus receives a letter from his father that has been waiting for him that coincidentally tells the paladin to ignore the previous letter and not head to Rizzi. One night when the heroes are gathered at the Dancing Dragon, the Stormblades make an appearance trying to tell off the heroes and gain public support from the people in the bar, however, no one in the bar follows them out.  Marcus then offers free drinks to his loyal customers.  A few days go by as Kenli tries to train a new panther named Mia to replace Tendwa while the others work their businesses.  One morning it begins to rain for the first time in quite a few weeks, however, it is a heavy rain that pours down the streets and creates little rivers of water between buildings, flowing its way down to the lake.  The people of the city begin to come out and dance in the rain and celebrate with drinks and songs and cheer.  The Flood Festival has begun!

The heroes decide to jump into the fun activities for the Flood Festival.  Wauldmur sets his smithy to creating toys to hand out in the city to the children.  Mort sets up a lock-picking challenge at his shop.  Marcus sets up a strongman and strongwoman competition at the Dancing Dragon and also participates by hosting the Drink Down the Flood drinking competition on one of the nights.  Dayvorus largely spends time with Emmaline, but manages to learn a new spell in his spare time.  Kenli spends most of the day training his animals, but joins in the fun when he can.  During the drinking competition, only Wauldmur made it to the second day.  No one in the group was successful at finding the crater lake monster boat in the hunt competition.  On the third day of the festival, during the amateur performances, Wauldmur and Marcus put on a dazzling display of swordsmanship that brings large crowds.  Mort also gains a lot of attention as he flips and rolls and bounces in a wondrous performance of acrobatics.  Dayvorus performs a magic show that becomes legendary for the children that attended.  The strongman contest at the Dancing Dragon is a big hit and nearly 50 people compete, with Karr Holdsen winning the competition.  On the fourth day of the festival, the wresting match is held at the Temple of Hethroth.  Asfelkir Hranleurt wins again this year.  But Wauldmur makes it through many tough rounds.  That night, the Dancing Dragon hosts the drinking competition with much revelry, and the bars coffers do quite well after the competition as the crowd lingers.  

On the Fifth day of the festival, the heroes receive an urgent message from Jenya Urikas at the Temple of Korrond.  They make haste to the temple and talk with the priestess.  She explains that Sarcem Dellasharn has sent her an urgent sending via magic, she wrote down his words and her response:

At Lucky Monkey.  Have eight wands.  Tavern’s been attacked.  Bandits led by barbaric apeman.  Mortally wounded.  Retreated to basement.  They know we’re here.  Send assistance!

Sarcem?  Is that you?  Hang on!  Conserve your resources.  I’ll send out aid immediately.  Send me another message when you can, but until then have…

She explains that she meant “have faith.”  But she ran out of words.  When the heroes ask about the eight wands mentioned in his sending, she explains that many decades ago a terrible flood struck Kulderon, flooding the lower buildings with the water rising up to Ash avenue.  The four temples of the city: Hethroth, Korrond, Solarus, and Weeja, banded together to create Wands of Control Water to combat the rising water levels.  While the citizens joined in the effort with sandbags and scaffolds to keep the water at bay.  After they finally managed to fight off the floods, the city exploded into a festival of celebration.  This was the first Flood Festival and its been a traditional ever since.  Except as time went on and the winters got milder over the years, the churches have spent more time on the gaudy festival than creating the wands, as the need for them faded from memory.  First the Temple of Weeja backed out to create “more constructive magic”, then the Temple of Korrond backed out wanting to concentrate on the drinking and sportsman contests.  The church of Solarus is still supportive, but unable to provide much assistance due to it only having a couple clergy.  Sarcem went to Rizzi to procure eight wands for the rainy season from the newly opened temple.  Jenya hopes the wands won’t be needed this year, but she fears the mild winters are thing of the past as this year has already proven to be rainier than most.  

She gives each hero a healing potion and offers them three riding horses to speed their journey.  They jump on, two to a horse, and ride out hard towards the Lucky Monkey while the clouds begin to gather.  On the way, Kenli notices the lowland baboons seem to be gathering in large numbers along the road, quietly watching them as they ride past.  Soon it is dark and the long day’s ride comes to an end, just as it begins to rain hard again.  The heroes leave the horses a ways away from the old inn and approach it cautiously.  From a distance the inn seemed intact, however, as they get closer they notice that many windows are broken and splatterings of blood are present on the walls.  The sound of destruction can be heard somewhere inside.  Marcus throws the table blocking the entrance door aside and the heroes stream in.  They find the main common room a mess with broken bits everywhere.  Numerous men and women, some clearly rogues of the city, others bandits from the wilds, are about in an obvious state of drunkenness.  The heroes fight against the bandits felling most of them.  Then as the room goes quiet, they become aware of the sound of fornication from a nearby private booth.  Kenli pulls the curtain to find two drunken bandits in the throes of passion.  

SESSION 27: Unlucky Monkey

The heroes quickly kill the barbarian man, but knock the female alleyrat unconscious and tie her to the table before continuing their search of the Lucky Monkey.  They head to the back of the building looking for the basement stairs.  The stumble into a kitchen where they immediately notice the head of Sarcem Dallasharn on the floor with his tongue ripped out.  A giant half-orc werebaboon named Tongueater and his hill baboon cohorts attack the heroes.  The battle is quick and soon Tongueater is slashed apart by Marcus’s sword.  The heroes find a pile of neatly organized loot robbed from the Inn.  The heroes pocket the coins and continue their search through the large inn.  They do not find much else in the first floor, but finally manage to find the stairs to the basement where they have a quick battle with four of the bandits.  They also find the rest of Sarcem in the basement in a pool of blood.  They take his magical gear, including a headband of wisdom, a protective ring, a magical suit of armor, and a holy mace emblazoned with the symbol of Korrond.  

Down the corridor in the basement they come across a door that seems to have been enlarged into its frame, stuck solid.  A strange coldness fills the air around it.  Kenli identifies some of the substance as brown mold, but doesn’t know much about it.  Dayvorus tries to burn the mold, expecting its coldness to be countered by his fire, but that only causes the mold to expand greatly, freezing the wizard.  Mort then recalls that the mold feeds on heat and they believe they can only destroy it with cold.  Then they hear the sound of a chattering female voice begging for help behind the door.  They decide to use the bodies of the bandits and Sarcem to create a safe walking path over the mold to the door.  Marcus then beats on the door with a warhammer as the chilling air attempts to absorb him.  Eventually the door breaks into splinters and a beautiful half-shadmar woman stumbles her way out of the well room.  

She introduces herself as Shensen Tesseril, the caretaker of the shrine of Farlen Windrider, and also a Strider like Earondel.  She explains that she doesn’t know who was behind the attack other than Tongueater and has no knowledge of the wands, other than Tongueater took them from Sarcem.  She barely managed to escape into the well room by throwing the mold behind her and sealing the door with a wood shape spell. She mentions that the Marsh’s likely are hidden in their secret chamber above their bedroom.  The heroes rush to the bedroom searching for the secret trapdoor.  They find Oren’s body brutally murdered on the bed, but thankfully, Shela, Seppia, and Brunker are safe.  They then decide to interrogate the captured Alleybasher.  

The Alleybasher agrees to talk in exchange for her freedom.  She explains that they were hired, along with most of these rural hillfolk and bandits, by a beautiful red-haired woman covered in tatoos.  She doesn’t know much else about the attack other than Tongueater wanted something from Sarcem, a magical item of some kind.  Their role was to support the werebaboon and kills the guards, in exchange they could loot the place.  Learning nothing more from the woman, the heroes let her go into the wild.  Shensen mentions she needs to get back to the leader of the Striders in the region, someone named Meerthan in Kulderon.  They all decide to leave the Lucky Monkey with the Marshs and camp along the way on the long trek back to Kulderon.

Nearly two days later, the heroes reach the city and the Marshs stay with Kianya in her apartment above the Dancing Dragon.  The heroes decide to look for information.  Dayvorus meets with Jenya Urikas and informs her about the events at the Lucky Monkey.  She is saddened by Sarcem’s passing and mentions sending acolytes to retrieve his body.  She also requests from Wauldmur the holy mace, the badge of office, for now she is the High Priest of Korrond in the city.  She begs they continue searching for the wands, fearful that the floods will encroach the city before too long.  The heroes meet with Captain Skellerang and Dodak, but learn little more than a cult named the Ebon Triad must be involved based on the symbol worn by Tongueater.  The Ebon Triad is a cult from the north that believes Nembral, Hollos, and Malvok can be joined to one powerful over-deity of malevolence.  They have never been very successful in their schemes and have not been known to exist further south than Kalrua.  Mort, Wauldmur, and Marcus have excellent luck learning about the red-haired woman, as their sources point to a Triel Eldurast, a former town guard who murdered her fellow guardsman and escaped the city nearly a decade ago.  She was presumed dead.

The next day the heroes continue searching for clues.  Mort and Marcus try to arrange a meeting with the Last Laugh.  They make contact with the same man who approached Mort over a week ago, but he is then informed that they will be contacted again soon.  Dayvorus and Kenli attempt to be seen wearing the red armbands of the bandits, but only the town guards seem to take notice and arrest them for suspicious behavior.  Luckily, they are recognized by other guardsman and released shortly after.  Wauldmur tries to gain information from other Kalruans in town, but no one seems to know anything about the Ebon Triad.  Shensen then greets the heroes again and drops off a pair of magical boots from Meerthan as thanks for rescuing her and for helping out at the Lucky Monkey.  Now the heroes sit at the Dancing Dragon trying to figure out what to do next…

SESSION 28: Gloom Beneath the City

The heroes sit around the Dancing Dragon sipping on beers trying to figure out where Triel Eldurast may be hiding.  Then a young messenger boy brings a letter to Mort.  It reads:

I know you’re looking for the wands.  I can 

help, for a price.  If you’re interested, come 

alone to the Lakeside Pavilion tonight at 

midnight.  Bring 500 gold coins and you’ll walk 

away with the location of the wands.  Bring 

backup, and you’ll never find them.

That day the heroes work on their various businesses, then at midnight, Mort heads to the Lakeside Pavilion.  Soon a shadowy figure emerges from behind one of the pillars and greets the honorable rogue.  He takes the gold from Mort then explains that Triel has joined with the Ebon Triad.  They have a hidden base of operations beneath the city.  It can be reached only by an old lava tube that connects well below the city’s wall on the slope of the mountainside.  He also mentions that the cultists plan to ransom the wands back to the city when the floods get to high and the city is desperate.  He says farewell to Mort and the rogue returns to his friends at the tavern.  After a quick discussion, they decide to head into the hidden ruins immediately.  They easily find the hidden lava tube in the side of the mountain slope and cautiously enter the 6 foot diameter tube.  The walls are mostly smooth volcanic rock and it takes the heroes nearly 20 minutes to reach the end.  They then find themselves in a vast cavern.  Nearly a hundred feet below are the waters of a dimly glowing lake covered in smelly glowing algae and pallid fungi.  On the far end of the vast cavern are many somewhat melted, alien looking buildings made of smooth volcanic rock.  There is a rickety cage on a winch and pulley system that can be used to get from the entrance to the ruins far below on the far side of the cavern.  

The heroes enter a nearby building and face off against two hillfolk guardsmen.  One of them manages to spring a magical alarm that echoes a loud siren throughout the cavern complex.  Soon the hillfolk are killed and the heroes look over the winch.  Marcus chucks the alarm stone into the lake where the thick waters quickly silences it.  Then the heroes decide to use the cage to get the the far shore.  Mort and Wauldmur decide to stay behind and work the winch to send the cage down the wire.  All goes well until the cage breaks halfway down the wire, sending Marcus, Dayvorus, Kenli, and Kianya into the warm smelly waters below.  Mort and Wauldmur quickly climb onto the wire and begin their descent: Mort balancing carefully down the wire, Wauldmur clinging to it and climbing slowly.  

The other heroes swim towards shore, but Dayvorus is soon bitten from below by some unseen beast.  Mort tries to fire at it from above, but can’t seem to see the creature well enough.  The others make it to the shore and poor Dayvorus begins to bleed more profusely as the creatures continuously tears into the wizard’s supple flesh.  Kenli, Marcus, and Kianya work together to throw a rope to Dayvorus and pull the half-orc away from the beast.  Soon the half-orc swim ashore, but the amphibious beast follows him.  The heroes fight the beast just as Wauldmur and Mort work their way to the end of the wire.  Eventually the creature flees into the steaming warm depths.

The heroes decide to check the winch house on this side of the cavern.  Mort finds a trap blocking entrance into the building.  The heroes then head into the main building, finding a large meeting room lit by smoky braziers.  They then enter into another room that has a criss-cross pattern of wires across the room.  Kenli decides to try to set the trap off as the others clear to the far side of the meeting hall.  The trap backfires on Kenli and he is covered with a sticky web with tiny bells that ring an alarm.  This draws the attention of some nearby guardsmen that simply look across the wires at the party.  Soon a large influx of enemies begin to poor into the meeting room charging into battle with the heroes.  Dayvorus throws one of his precious fireball beads to stem the flow, but more men keep coming in.  Wauldmur holds the northern portion of the room while Marcus fends off the south.  Kenli makes many well-placed shots, but Dayvorus soon finds himself knock hard to the ground.  Before long Kianya gets him back to his feet and she tries to hold the northern advance just as another wave of enemies come in.  She begs them to flee southward as she holds the line, bolstering herself with defensive enchantments.  Soon the party is gathered into the southern room trying to hold the door from the advancing march of the evil cultists.

SESSION 29: Where is She?

The heroes hold the small room against the growing onslaught of the cultists.  Kianya is eventually knocked out by the the hillfolk as the heroes take out the brave few cultists who dare enter the small room.  Soon the back door of the room has some cultists entering and attacking.  Then Triel Eldurast herself appears and silences the small room before she charges in.  She swings a mighty flail at Wauldmur, knocking him out immediately.  Then Marcus falls prey to a hillfolk attack, and falls.  Triel seems to think the heroes unworthy of her time as she heads back from whence she came, bidding her minions to finish Mort, Kenli, and Dayvorus off.  However, Mort and Dayvorus work together in the silence to distract and slay the cultists as Kenli makes some well-placed shots.  They close the northern door,  then finish off the cultists in a desperate strike.  They are able to get Wauldmur and Marcus back on their feet, but decide to circle around to the main entrance rather than face the archers they know are lurking behind the door.

When they enter the main hall, they find the archers have entered the small room.  They also notice that Kianya has been taken elsewhere.  They charge in and slay the last of the cultists.  Shensen appears hoping to help slay those that attacked the Lucky Monkey and offers her help as a martial-artist and druid.  With their new companion, the heroes decide to continue forward to save Kianya if she yet lives, although Kenli and Dayvorus seem reluctant to follow that course of action.  The first room they enter triggers many spears from the ceiling and floor to strike the heroes.  They take many wounds and Kenli, Wauldmur, and Marcus are poisoned.  Mort eventually disables the trap, after he succumbs to it again, then they continue down a hallway.  The heroes eventually find collapsed room that branches off into two old lava tubes.  They decide to head down another path that seems to indicate that Kianya was taken that way.  They fight off against some more cultists in another collapsed chamber.  They hold a doorway against the cultists, cutting them down slowly, before they eventually charge into the room and slay the rest.  The heroes then head down an old lava tube where Mort and Kenli are struck by a magical ward trap.  Mort is able to disable the second one on the far side of the cavern.  Then the heroes are attacked by two zombie ogres that slowly shuffle their way in.  Wauldmur takes a weakening blow and Mort is knocked out.  Marcus manages to grab Mort and drags the rogue back to the tunnel, rallying the party as they fire arrows and spells at the lumbering brutes.  Eventually, they manage to fell the zombies.  They decide they need to rest, as their magic has run low and their wounds are great.  They decide to head back to the surface as it seems unsafe in the caverns.  They quietly sneak their way out the complex and slowly climb out the long rope to the lava-tube’s entrance.  Before long, the heroes are sleeping in their own beds listening to the pitter-patter of the unrelenting rain.

SESSION 30: The Undying Priest

The heroes regroup in the early hours of the morning, getting Jenya to heal their weakened strength and their wounds.  They also stop at Skie’s Treasury to purchase a new healing wand.  Soon the heroes are crawling their way down the long cables on the ancient ruins beneath the city.  The quickly return to the caverns they were exploring before they fled.  They find no resistance to their movements along the corridors, and the place does seem quiet.  They then find a huge slab of stone guarded by two dwarven zombies shackled to the slab.  The heroes fight against the zombies, but a wave of panic overcomes Dayvorus, Wauldmur, and Mort and they flee for their lives, as Marcus and Kenli keep fighting.  Mort has a worm from the zombie trying to crawl into his brain, forcing Shensen to chase the fleeing rogue.  The others fight hard against the zombies, taking advantage to their chains to launch attacks.  Shensen manages to stick her dagger into Mort’s nose and cut out the worm before it eats the rest of his brain.  The heroes then overcome their fear and join the others, just as the zombies manage to break free from their shackles and charge forward, with many more worms crawling around their rotten bodies.  The heroes suffer many wounds but manage to burn the zombies without anyone succumbing to the worms.

The heroes find Kianya stripped and wounded in the corner of the cavern, she is unconscious, but seems to not have any worm inside her.  They manage to revive her and she insists on continuing with the group.  They manage to pry the lid of the stone slab off and four large sacks of coins.  They then proceed to the next chamber to find a huge tyrannosaurus skeleton.  It nearly fells Wauldmur in a single bite.  Kenli quickly breaks his magical elemental gem and summons a large fire elemental to confront the skeletal beast.  It proves a succcessful decoy as the others launch what they can at the beast.  Eventually the skeletal dinosaur is nothing more than a pile of burned bones.  The heroes then continue down the ruined caverns, finding a large horde of zombies.  Dayvorus throws a fireball bead and takes most of them out, Marcus finishes the last one.  Then an undead priestly gnoll comes around the corner launching spells and attacks at the party.  Its chainmail armor is rotted into its flesh and a glowing yellow bile flows from its lips as it swings a deadly spiked chain.  The heroes coordinate their attacks, even in the silence of the undead priest’s spell.    Soon they are standing over the destroyed body of the priest and examining its ruined quarters.  They find the remnants of a religious laboratory where some experiment seems to have gone awry, causing a great explosion.  Kenli also seems to continuously catch glimpses of something unseen.  The heroes search about the chambers of the complex.  They find Triel’s room, although its goods have been taken.  The heroes then head out of the complex, but Dayvorus and Mort fall into an illusory floor into a watery pit.  Small bloated bloodsuckers swarm the two as the others scramble to throw ropes.  Dayvorus manages a levitation spell and flies upwards and Mort holds on.  They then use a rope to pull to the side and the heroes rush out of the room.  They now stand on the beach in the eerie cavern, still searching for the missing wands and the elusive Ebon Triad.

SESSION 31: Spiders!

The heroes return to the main meeting room of the cultists, opening the large double doors into a long hallway.  Mort finds a couple pit traps, but easily disables them.  However, some alleybashers begin shooting at the heroes from behind arrow slits along the hallway.  Shensen summons a mist to cloak her friends as they try to retaliate through the tiny openings.  It proves largely unsuccessful, except for the keen-eyed Kenli, so everyone charges to the end of the hall and burst into the next chamber.  Marcus takes the rear and closes the door behind them.  They find themselves in a massive workshop chamber.  Many bits of strange metal alloys lie scattered about the tables.  Wauldmur recognizes them as unused portions for some strange metallic casts, while Dayvorus confirms these were the leftovers of some magical construct of the Conjuration, Abjuration and Necromancy schools of magic, although it is impossible to tell exactly what was being built.  

Suddenly, a vicious brown frog-like creature attacks with a sonic blast, nearly deafening the heroes.  Dayvorus recognizes it as a mud slaad, a dangerous creature from the plane of Limbo, the Chaotic Maelstrom.  The heroes defeat the creature and explore the area.  They find a small cache of hidden items.  Wauldmur dons a magical cloak that Dayvrous names the Cloak of Arachnida, granting the warrior spider-like qualities.  The heroes then find a secret door to the southern chambers.  The heroes find more secret doors into the back section of the arrow slits, surprising the guards there and fellin them easily.  They then head more southward where the new cloak seems quite useful, as the caverns are filled with much webbing.  Kenli identifies the webs as those of giant spiders common to the region.  The heroes soon find a large group of these giant spiders and try to hold the creatures back at a choke-point in cavernous hallway.  Two giant black widows attack as well nearly killing Marcus.  Eventually, however, the heroes are able to fell the beasts and send the few remaining scattering to the corners of the caverns.  The heroes patch themselves up, but their healing wand is near its end.  

They find a few more baubles in the next cavern.  Following that, they fight against two ettercaps that find Wauldmur resistant to their webbing.  Soon the heroes face off against the matriarch spider, a phase spider.  Dayvorus recognizes it as a creature of the ethereal plane.  The heroes prepare attacks for the sneaky beast and eventually fell it.  Kenli then finds a great treasure at the end of the cavern, including a Wand of Control Water.  The first of the missing eight has been found!

Now the heroes decide to return to Kulderon and rest before trying to track down Triel and the remaining wands.

SESSION 32: The Search for Red

The heroes return to town to share their loot, rest, and try to find healing for their poison and diseases.  They head to the Temple of Korrond, but Jenya seems to be absent and the acolytes are unsure why.  Marcus informs the group he will be retiring from adventuring for now to tend the bar and spend time with his father, who has appeared in town.  He wishes them Solarus’ blessing in finding the wands.  The heroes then procure a few healing wands from Skie’s Treasury before venturing back into the ancient Kopru Ruins.  After much exploration, the heroes do not find any sign of Triel and the Ebon Triad.  The heroes discover the bedchamber of someone with many books on various eclectic and mysterious subjects.  They take a handful of the books to bring back to Dodak the scholar.  Dayvorus falls prey to a clever sigil trap that leaves him frozen in time.  The heroes then enlist Thora Muddstone’s help in restoring the wizard to reality.  The heroes then find a wounded kopru in one corner of the water-filled caverns on the eastern side of the lake, but it does not seem friendly and they decide to leave the ruins after a fruitless day of searching.  

They head to the Dancing Dragon and speak with Dodak, who is eager to look at the tomes they brought him.  The heroes then head to the Temple of Korrond again, this time Jenya is present and they convince her to use the Star of Justice to try to find Triel and the wands.  When they return to the Dancing Dragon, Coryston hands Mort a note left by some cloaked figure.  It relates that Mort can bring 500 gold coins to the Lakside Pavilion at midnight to learn the location of Triel Eldurast.  The heroes pool their coins and Mort goes out to greet the mysterious figure again.  He learns that Triel has fled northward towards Kalrua to find another cell of the Ebon Triad.  However, due to her wanted status she will have to stick to the wilderness along the road, which should significantly slow her progress.  The next morning, the heroes prepare to head out to try and catch up to Triel and her minions.  They stop at the Temple of Korrond again and learn what the Star of Justice foretold.  It gave the following riddle:

You will find the flame of red, 

with water in her hand, 

she is south of the dragon, north of the sword, 

in the hole within the land.

The heroes decide that the riddle must refer to Triel with the wands of Control Water, and she must be located south of the old dragon’s lair in the Stone Tooth and north of the Loyolla fortress in the Gap.  Jenya also points out the certainty of the first statement, indicating that the heroes will indeed find her if they go.  With that news, the heroes are soon on their wagon rolling along the road out of Kulderon.  A rather uneventful week and a half go by as they travel northward along the main road.  Once they reach Fort Watchgap, they leave the wagon at the fortress and head northward into the wilderness on foot.  After a couple days of searching in the rocky mountainous region they come across some tracks that seem promising.  Kenli and Mort lead the heroes to a small encampment where they find Triel and a few of her minions.  They prepare a few enchantments before charging in for an attack.  Shensen summons the plants to grasp the enemies as the others fire projectiles.  Soon a melee is joined where Wauldmur finds himself surrounded by enemies, but his masterful swordwork keeps him alive.  Dayvorus throws a few well-placed spells while Kenli and Mort find themselves at battle with an air elemental and a halfling wizard.  The invisible quasit appears again as well causing mayhem.  The halfing wizard throws a lightning bolt into the fray followed by a deadly phantasm that kills Mort.  Thankfully, Kianya is able to bring him back to life with a scroll.  The battle gets more deadly but the heroes manage to stay on their feet.  

Will the heroes survive against the Ebon Triad?….

SESSION 33: Heroes Having a Ball

The heroes continue the fight against Triel and the Ebon Triad.  Dayvrous squares off against the little quasit, Kenli tries to survive the attacks from three minions, Wauldmur and Mort try to take down Skaven the wizard, Shensen fights with an air elemental, while Kianya fights sword vs flail with Triel herself.  Eventually Triel and Skaven are slain by well-placed blows and the other minions are finished off.  The heroes search among the items at the campsite and find six more wands.  They have now found 7 of the eight missing wands.  The heroes return to Fort Gapwatch and then pack their belongings, taking their horses and wagon back on the road to Kulderon.  On the way,the heroes face off against a band of gnolls, but find the bandits little more than sport.  The long hours of the road also allow the heroes to reflect on their journeys and hone their skills.  Mia seems to have reached adulthood and Kenli continues to teach the panther new tricks.  

When the heroes return to Kulderon, a few days later, the city is in desperate times.  The waters of the inner lake have risen far enough to threaten the buildings along its edge.  Many sand bag walls have been propped up to try to contain the flow.  The heroes rush to Jenya and provide the wands they have gathered.  Jenya seems to think that seven are enough and calls out to the churches of Hethroth, Solarus, and Weeja.  Only Hethroth and Solarus priests answer the call and soon the clerics are lined around the lakeside slowly bringing the waters down, expending many charges from the wands.  After many hours, the lake seems contained despite the continuing heavy rains.  There is much cheer by the townsfolk in the lowest portions of the city.  The next day, the Lord Mayor and Lord Vhalantru present a reward to the heroes and publicly thank the Eternal Embers for their heroic work.  The heroes find that nearly everyone in the city knows their names.

During the next few days, the rains even seem to subside and the heroes return to usual business.  Dayvrous works hard at deciphering the spellbook he found on Skaven, learning many new spells.  Kenli continues the training of his servant monkey and Mia, as Wauldmur and Mort work at their businesses.  The heroes also each in turn do some research with Dodak trying to unlock the latent powers in their legacy items.  They each perform a ritual that unlocks the next tier of powers.  Dragonsbane grants a fraction of its dragon-like resistance to Wauldmur.  Mort gains some control over the Cloak of Shadows’s shadowy tendrils and is able to lift small objects from a distance.  Kenli finds that Dragon’s Wing grants a semblance of flight, by allowing the ranger to glide down slowly from a fall.  Dayvorus deciphers a fraction of the Staff of Lutherius’s powers and can now call forth bursts of magic from its depths.

After a few days of work, the heroes each receive an invitation from a courier, the envelopes are quite finely decorated and are sealed with the symbol of House Aslaxin.  Inside the heroes find an invitation to the Demonskar Ball.  It takes place in a fortnight at the Coy Nixie.  Mort and Dodak explain to the others that the Demonskar Ball is the most prestigious event in the city.  Guests dress up as either a demon or a founder and dance and play games in celebration of the cities victory in the Demonskar War centuries before.  Dodak recommends the heroes look for costumes early.  They notice that each of them received a demon invitation, while Wauldmur received the Nabthatoron invitation.  They head to Sarleens Silk and Finery for costumes.  They each rent an elaborate costume that is sure to make even the nobles take notice.  Afterwards, they begin to discuss the coach that they will ride in on.  They eventually decide to rent the Ruby Coach from Balqueens Stables and plan to include some magical music as they enter.  With two-weeks to go before the ball, they now must prepare their dancing skills.

SESSION 34: Dancing Embers

   The heroes continue preparing for the Demonskar Ball.  They head to Bluecrater Academy and meet with Madame Pomprus to get lessons in etiquette and dancing.  Over the course of the fortnight before the ball, the heroes go about their usual business.  Dayvrous learns a few new spells, Kenli finally finishes teaching the servant monkey for Emmaline, and Mort and Wauldmur deal with their shops.  Soon it is the night of the ball and the heroes, including Shensen and Kianya, arrive at the Coy Nixie for the night’s festivities.  They enter past a crowd of curious commoners, some of them calling out their names.  Then they enter the establishment where they are formally announced.  Afterwards, the heroes mingle with a few of the guests, such as Vortimax Weer and a gnome named Bolar Westkey.  They find themselves talking to Lord Vhalantru and a beautiful, mysterious noblewoman from Rizzi named Celeste.  Vhalantru mentions that he worries the city’s coffers are growing too low and that Captain Skellerang wants to increase the presence of the city guard.  They also talk with Ophillia Knowlern, an aged elf noblewoman from Hollowsky, she warms up to them and also warns them about the effects of the Bubbbling Cauldron.

   Soon the heroes are greeting the hosts and patrons on the evening.  First they meet Margaret and Zachary Aslaxin, who are enchanted by the heroes and thank them for their heroics.  Their son, Zachary II, a Stormblade, is not so thrilled.  Next the heroes speak with Lord Mayor, who does not seem to want to make much conversation.  Next, Askelfir Hranleurt scoffs at the heroes and belittles their achievements.  Next is Lord Alek Tercival, Paladin of Korrond, he is warm and flamboyant with the heroes, who notice that he seems a bit more brash and reckless than he usually is.  

  The next portion of the ball is the Song of Heaven, in which the heroes join the group dance while a few of the town’s musicians compete with Annah Taskerhill for the task of being the Angel for the evening.  Annah wins the competition and the heroes perform well during the dance, however, Cora managed to damage Wauldmur’s costume.  Thankfully, Shensen is able to repair it with a quick spell.  The next dance is Kozomagen’s Folly, the heroes are forced to find a dance partner in the mad rush of coupling.  Kenli dances with Shensen, Mort with Kianya, Dayvorus with Ophellia, and Wauldmur dances with Celeste.  A few mistakes are made, but otherwise, thanks to their lessons, the heroes perform well.  Mort and Kianya manage to land on the seal and win the titles of Mayors of Liduton and wear fantastic golden chains the rest of the evening.

   Soon the banquet is called and the heroes are seated at their table with some other guests.  The gnome, Bolar Westkey, owner of Westkey’s Map Emporium sits with them.  Over the dinner he shares tales of maps and even mentions he has a map that pinpoints the location of Nal-Kashel, a famed lost outpost of the Nomen Empire.  He also mentions that he was a dear friend of Keygan Ghelve.  Another guest is a dwarf named Gereth Taliwar, an art supplier to the Aslaxins.  He doesn’t say too much during the dinner, but makes some conversation about various furniture styles during the Nomen periods.  Another guest is Dalam Bandershield, a former guard of the Aslaxins who owns the Ironguard Mercenary company in Rizzi.  He starts off well mannered, but eventually drinks too much and becomes a typical half-orc brute.  The other guest is Vortimax Weer who seems only interested in talking alchemy and scoffing at many of the comments at the table.  He and Wauldmur agree to create some silversheen together in the future.  The last guests are Sebastion and Gwendolyn Bradley-Dipinshire, 2nd-cousins of the Aslaxins.  A pompous judgmental pair, always snickering about everyone’s manners and etiquette.  Kenli manages to make good company with these two with a little bit of exaggeration.  

During the meal, the heroes perform good etiquette and manners.  They manage to solve the dinner’s riddle, granting each of them free access to the Bluecrater Academy’s library.  Wauldmur and Dalam have a feat of strength, where Wauldmur quickly embarrass the drunken fool, but Dalam seems to now have respect for the blacksmith.  During the main course, the roasted pig nearly falls to the floor as the servants slip, however, Alek Tercival single-handedly displays supernatural strength as he catches the roasted boar and gently lays it upon the table.  At one point, Todd Vanderboren is caught by Kenli trying to poison Wauldmur’s pie.  At the end of the dinner, the heroes impress the Aslaxins again with stories of their adventures.  

   Next the heroes are called out to the ballroom again for the Clash of Armies dance.  They soon find each founder paired with a demon.  They each stand each paired with one of the Stormblades, who are eyeing them competitively…

SESSION 35: Heroes of the City

The heroes prepare to dance with their Stormblade rivals.  The dance proceeds gently, but soon the Stormblades try to trip their dancing partners and embarrass them in front of the assembly.  However, the heroes quickly pick up on this tactic and return their own attempts on the Stormblades.  In the end, the heroes trip the Stormblades nearly twice as often causing them much embarrassment.  The next dance is the final battle with Sundabar Spellmason, by Zachary Aslaxin I, and Nabtathoron, by Wauldmur.  Wauldmur does an amazing job with the complicated, symbolic battle-like, dance.  His feet only trip on him in the last portion.  With that the herald and the Lord Mayor gathers the assembly and offers the Star of Valour to the Stormblades, and the Star of Valour and the White Shield to the Eternal Embers.  There is much cheering, and during the final dance of Kulderon, the heroes are congratulated by many of the ball’s guests.  That night the heroes join Lord Vhalantru on a late night of revelry at the Dancing Dragon, celebrating their successful night among the nobility.  

  The next day they meet with Bolar Westkey and inquire about the map to Nal-Kashel.  They learn that the map was obtained by a former fisherman of a small village near the island.  They purchase the map and agree to help Bolar get on Skie’s good side, as he seems to have romantic interests in her.  They then inquire about Alek Tercival, eventually talking to him about his quests and why his demeanor might have changed or why he suddenly had super-human strength.  The paladin was quite secretive on the matter, but indicated that his god, Korrond, had blessed him to prepare him for a “big event” that was going to take place. The heroes then meet with Dodak to discuss the trip to Nal-Kashel.  Dodak decides to join the adventurers and mentions that he can arrange passage down the Red River from Redgorge to Redport at the sea.  From there they can try to commission a ship to Nal-Kashel.  He tells the heroes to let him know when they are ready.

  The heroes then return to their businesses: Kenli works on training the deinonychus and getting his hunting lodge up and running; Wauldmur works on a specialty chain shirt for Kenli, while also dealing with various requests from his smithy.  Wauldmur also arranges for metals to come from the dwarves of the Malachite Fortress since his supply in the region has been cut short.  The metal is a higher quality than what the Lathenmire smithies can provide.  Mort collects some gold at his shop while he runs around gathering goods and labor to help his friends with their projects.  Dayvorus spends most of his time teaching his students, preparing them for his upcoming absence.  He also visits the Cathedral of Weeja where he meets with Ike Iverson, who tries to convert the wizard to the faith.  Dayvorus also gains access to the extensive arcane library and spellbook library of the church.

SESSION 36: Vacation for the Restless

The heroes leave first thing in the morning.  They prepare their wagon for the trip to Redgorge with Dodak.  Along the way, the heroes fight against a fierce stone giant, that ambushes them in the night.  The heroes fire many spells and arrows at the giant, while Mort and Mia brave it head on.  Eventually the giant is felled and the heroes return to their rest.  After a few days, the heroes reach Redgorge and make preparation for Dodak’s friend to ferry them to Redport on the sea, down the Red River.  They encounter an allosuarus and a band of gnolls on their trip down the river, but manage to dispatch both entities without much trouble.

Soon the heroes are resting in the poor inn at Redport, which is little more than a handful of ranmshackle shacks (mostly made of old ship parts and driftwood).  A few fisherman are the only permanent residents.  The inn owner informs the heroes that they will likely come across a merchant heading south, but it may take a number of days.  So the heroes stay put as Kenli tries to train Mia to get used to being on a boat, Wauldmur lends his muscle to the fisherman by making repairs, Shensen and Kianya enjoy the beaches with Dodak, and Mort and Dayvrous drink merrily as they wait for merchants to arrive.  After a few days, a sturdy caravel arrives with many men and their curious captain.  He introduces himself as Captain Kurgan Hrustus of the Silver Wyvern.  At first, he does not seem eager to help Mort, and does not take kindly to Dayvorus’s presence.  Eventually, Mort and Dayvorus are able to convince him to take them southward to the fishing villages along the rocky coasts on their way south towards Viana.  They make no mention of Nal-Kashel.  The heroes pay the 500 gp in total for their ferry.  The next morning the heroes load up and set sail into the wide blue ocean.

The first few days turn out okay, with little to report besides an occasional dolphin or whale sighting.  Only Kianya appears to have taken ill to the movement of the waves.  On the third evening at sea, the heroes find a pirate vessel from one of the Fire Islands, come directly towards the ship.  Dayvorus manages a well-placed fireball, that kills some men and sets their mast on fire, but soon the enemy ship slams into the merchant vessel and the heroes are forced into combat with the pirates.

SESSION 37: Pirates and Tentacled Beasts

The heroes continue their fight with rowdy pirates.  Arrows fly across the gap between the ships from both sides.  The shipmates and pirates felling each other with blood spewing off with each strike.  The smell of burning wood and oil increases as the mast of the pirate ship continues to burn from Dayvorus’s fireball.  The heroes manage to fell the pirate captain and most of the pirates.  Captain Kurgan bids them all to flee as the pirate vessel is consumed in flames.  Wauldmur grabs the corpse of the pirate captain with his magical strength and accepts the last pirate’s, a young selicean man, plead for surrender.  Soon the pirate vessel is sinking below the waves as the heroes find little loot on the pirate captain.  The young pirate is taken to the brig, where the heroes talk with the man.  

The learn that his name is Tobon, and he was kidnapped by the pirates when they raided his village on Tabanya, about 5 years ago.  He is not more than 18 winter old and is eager to return to dry land.  Kenli convinces the Captain to release the prisoner to him when they reach the fishing village.  Captain Kurgan informs them they are only a day away from Highwater, where they can head south to find the villages along the rocky coasts.  The next day the heroes are dropped off via rowboat in the small fishing village of Highwater.  The heroes head to the inn where they acquire the only rooms.  Kenli tries to find work for Tobon in the village, without much luck.  Tobon agrees to accompany the heroes to Blackcove, a village to the south.  The heroes learn from the innkeep that Blackcove is very suspicious of outsiders and is rumored to be a former Nomenir colony.  The next morning the heroes head southward along the beach-side road.

After a day of travelling, they come across a rocky coast where they find a fisherman being attacked by giant crabs.  The heroes leap into action and quickly fell the beasts and save the man’s life.  He introduces himself as Adler, a resident of Highwater.  His wife, Sara, was from Blackcove and the two of them went to the newlywed altar on an island off the coast to consumate their marriage, as was the custom of her people.   However, strange creatures came and kidnapped her.  The creatures attacked the village too and took many peoople.  Adler barely escaped and was heading towards Highwater by boat.  However, a storm struck him and ran him out to sea.  He was just coming to consciousness when the heroes found him.  He begs the heroes to save Sara and villagers of Blackcove.  He refuses to head to Blackcove and flees northward towards Highwater after Kianya heals his wounds. 

The heroes quickly head southward, and after many hours reach the nearly abandoned village in the evening.  A storm begins to brew as they explore a few ramshackle houses on the shore.  Many of the buildings are broken and abandoned.  Eventually they are approached by a man named Gervus who runs the lighthouse.  He doesn’t say much about what is happening and bids the heroes to join the village assembly this night at sundown at the lighthouse.  The heroes meet a few more villagers who provide almost no information or are down-right crazy.  Eventually evening draws near and the heroes enter the lighthouse with the villagers.  Inside are about 40 scared villagers.  The heroes try to learn about what happened. 

They learn that the village has Nomenir descendency, but also are ‘blessed by the sea’.  Many of the villagers grow gills or webbed appendages and help the fishermen by diving deep and corral the schools of fish.  These gillmen were the first to disappear before the attacks.  Fish-like monsters began raiding the village and taking the villagers.  They blame a man named Gerlach who often explored Nal-Kashel and once rambled that “the village was doomed by their heritage”.  The villagers only wish their fellow people saved and the attacks to end.  They offer 1000 gp and a Nomenir relic for the heroes to save them.

During the talk, a great tentacled beast attacks the lighthouse.  The storm surges as well and the waters rise, trapping everyone on the second level.  The heroes manage to sever many of the tentacles that reach out at the villagers, but one villager is killed and three more are taken by the beast.  Soon the beast disappears and the storm dies down.  The next morning a villager named Estian agrees to row the heroes over to Nal-Kashel.  Tobon stays behind to help take care of the villagers.  On the way to Nal-Kashel, Estian seems to come under a spell and turns into a fish-man.  He rocks the boat violently trying to knock the heroes into the water.  Eventually he flees under the water and the heroes manage to get the rowboat to the shores of the ancient island…

SESSION 38: Nal-Kashel

 The heroes land on the shores of the ominous island, the wedding rock gleaming in the sands.  Dayvorus notes that powerful enchantment auras emanate from the altar, and becomes sickened for a moment as his mind is bombarded by false memories.  Soon the heroes make a quick camp along the high cliffside to dry their clothes.  Afterwards they climb the broken road up into the first tier of the three-tiered island.  After a couple hours of roaming around the ruins, they began to manifest fish-like qualities as if their bodies are being shaped by the powerful transmutation auras, which emanate from the island.  The heroes fear these changes may be permanent, but continue their search of the island.  The heroes have a battle with some oozes that are quickly dispatched.  Then they explore more ruins and make their way up to the second tier.  Here they find some will’o’wisps that were once used as streetlamps.  The heroes are able to learn a bit of information about the island from the mystical balls of light, such as the location of the “Amulet of Aulus”, the graveyard, and the power of the island’s observatory.  

Next the heroes explore a growing tower mentioned by the will’o’wisps.  They fight against a frilled lizard inside and kill it.  The heroes then find themselves in some sort of magical aquarium with a giant globe of water.  Suddenly, a tentacle reaches out and grasps Kianya, pulling her inside.  Soon Kenli and Dayvorus join her as a giant octopus grabs them.  The heroes have much trouble fighting the monster in the globe of water, but through many well-placed attacks, and Shensen’s lightning storm, they manage to kill the beast and release their friends.  Inside the ruins, the heroes find a powerful cloak that turns the wearer into a manta ray.

Next the heroes head to the observatory, finding a very intricate powerful Nomenir artifact composed of many swirling spheres and intricate lenses that seem to enhance starlight.  It seems to have been crafted with the purpose of creating powerful magical effects that expand across the island, such as enchantments, weather control, or something else.  Dayvorus has a hard time deciphering its inner workings, but determines that a lens is missing to deactivate one of the active glyphs.  Dodak translates some writings along the columns of the chamber, which indicate that “in the case of a missing lens, consult your professor,” and other useless information.  While the heroes are exploring around the observatory, Kenli catches a glimpse of some fish-like men dragging some villagers down towards the northeast shore.

SESSION 39: Free the Slaves!

The heroes rush down towards the cliffside of the northeast coast, finding the drop to be nearly 180 feet below.  There is a trench, partially submerged in water, where many villagers mindlessly dig.  The fishmen cannot be seen, but the villagers continue to work as if under some mental domination.  The heroes find a stair down the side of the cliff to the sandy coast below and explore the dug tunnel into the island’s interior.  Only more villagers can be seen inside, although lurking underwater are some of those fishmen, called skum.  The skum and the villagers suddenly attack the heroes and they are forced to kill off the skum and flee before they hurt the controlled villagers.  Most of the villagers seemed to have undergone the transformation and are now fish-like gillmen, in many ways worse off than the heroes themselves.  

The heroes then head to the graveyard dome where they first fight off some ooze-like monstrosity.  Afterwards, the heroes explore what appears to be some sort of magical repository that can summon the likeness of one of the Nomenir masters to give predetermined lectures.  Dayvorus figures out that the magical device relies on the sacrifice of living energy, but it must have Nomenir blood.  The heroes guess that the skum have such blood as they are likely the descendants of the Nomenir that once dwelt here, like the people of Blackcove.  So the heroes return to the beach and retrieve some of the skum bodies and add it to the sunken pool near the magical device.  The heroes are able to listen to three of the lectures.  Most of the heroes find the lectures boring and confusing, but Dayvorus and Dodak learn a bit about the workings of the orrery in the observatory.  They also learn that replacement lenses are kept in the armicillary tower next to the observatory.  The same tower the heroes had observed floating around the island in the chaotic whirlwinds above.  The heroes return to the observatory’s side tower and prepare for when the tower returns nearby.  Dayvorus then casts a levitation on himself and ties a rope off on the floating tower.  Kenli bravely climbs the rope into the tower before the tower itself is too far from the others.  The tower is dangerously shaky and unpredictable, making the two heroes quite careful as they climb about.  They find the giant missing lens in the second floor.  Kenli manages to pry it free and leaps back down the lower tower after the tower returns in its orbit.  Dragon’s Wing safely guides the half-elf to the ground.  Dayvorus is force to climb down, and barely makes it safely to the surface.

The heroes return to the observatory, where after an hour Dayvorus manages to re-align the missing lens, and watches as the glyph amplifying the mental domination deactivates.  The heroes return to the beach and the tunnel to find the villagers in a confused state.  They no longer seem controlled, however, they realize that these skum are their ancestors and family.  The gift of the gillman was actually due to the centuries-old ruse where the former Nomenir skum impregnated the women brought to the wedding rock, using the hazy memory modifying powers of the altar to hide the deceit.  The heroes manage to convince the villagers to flee, so the skum attack them.  After they kill off the fishmen, Sara Vanderholt, Adler’s missing wife, appears as a near-skum.  She says that the missing sorcerer Gerlach is the secret to all this.  He has a hidden lair under the island, the entrance is somewhere in the center down near the deep pools.  She agrees to take the villagers back to Blackcove.  She also mentions that Gerlach was looking for a cure that would remove the taint of the gillman from their people, but that he became a skum himself and lost interest in the cure.

The heroes then head off to explore a broken library, where they kill off some rust monsters.  They then discover quite a few old Nomenir tomes made of copper plates.  Dayvorus finds a magical circlet of blasting as well. The heroes then decide to pursue a rest near the will’o’wisps before they venture down below the island.  On the way to resting, they come across what looked like a villager in need, but was actually an illusion.  The creature was really a giant chuul, which nearly made a meal of Kenli and Wauldmur.  Eventually the beast was slain and the heroes had a good rest.  In the morning, they find their transformations worsening…

SESSION 40: A Dip in the Natatorium

The heroes continue towards the natatorium in the center of the island.  On the way they find a woman being chased down by three cloak-like monsters.  They eventually reach her and one of them engulfs her just as the heroes reach them.  They fight against the cloakers and eventually slay them, but the woman, one of the lost villagers, is slain during the battle.  The heroes then continue to the natatorium.  Inside the large ruined structure they find two pools of murky water that once were used as hot baths.  Many skum then leap out of the pools and attack the heroes.  They quickly dispatch the fish-like creatures and continue exploring the ruins.  The find a fish-like suit of banded mail along with many levitation potions.  The heroes then enter into the duct-like inverted pyramid structure in the center of the complex.  They all work their way down to the bottom to find only a stagnant puddle over the slate floor.  Kenli and Mort search about and discover that the floor is an illusion.  With some effort, Mort is able to open the secret portal beneath him, narrowly avoiding the fall after the iris-like door slides open.  Kenli and Wauldmur then explore down the tunnel, Kenli with his magical bow guiding him to safety, and Wauldmur using his spider-cloak to scuttle along the walls.  

Beneath the ruins, the heroes find a large domed structure like the organic shell of some deep-sea creature.  Eventually the rest of them climb down via a rope into the waters.  As Dayvorus swims about as a manta ray, using his magical cloak, he runs into a giant moray eel with a few electric eels.  They fight off the foes in the waters.  Dayvorus is nearly killed by the moray eel, but eventually the heroes prevail.  They then climb out of the watery area down a curving tunnel where they run into some alchemical oozes.  They quickly dispatch them, with Kenli making a perfect shot with a blunt arrow that fells one ooze instantly.  

The heroes then hear cries for help around the next bend, where they find some villagers calling for aid.  The heroes gather in the room as Kianya tries to heal the villagers.  She soon discovers that the villagers are merely an illusion and the broken wall tumbles and falls over the heroes, injuring them greatly.  The heroes heal up and continue down the corridor, facing off against more cloakers.  They then charge down another corridor facing off against some chuuls.  They prepare for the battle carefully, however, with Wauldmur leaving some magical webs to slow the beasts.  The webs fail to do much, though, as the chuuls come barreling down the corridor.  Dayvorus attempts to throw a fireball between them, but he fails to aim properly and it explodes in his face, burning much of his own party.  The heroes persevere and continue their attacks.  Many of them face near death, but eventually the chuuls are slain.  They heal up and explore the ruins, finding an elemental summoning gem in the waters.  They then begin to discuss whether they should press on, or get some rest first.

SESSION 41: The Curse of Heritage

The heroes decide to press on and continue down the strange organic-like structure.  The corridors continue to curve and stretch, leading the heroes to a few dead ends a broken pathways.  They eventually come across a lit corner with a few feet of water flooding the floor.  Many skum are using pickaxes and shovels to tear down at the wall where water seeps through the cracks.  The heroes rush into battle with the skum and have many of them near death, when a sorcerer skum, presumably the missing Gerlach, comes from around the corner and unleashes a powerful bolt of lightning through the party and the skum.  Many are injured and most of the skum die.  

The heroes charge in at the sorcerer.  Kenli then seems to lose control of himself, as he fires his bow point-blank at Dayvorus.  He manages to shake off the dark tendrils of power that entered his mind and he and Mia chase after Gerlach.  Meanwhile, Dayvorus then succumbs to the dark whispers and throws fire spells at his friends just as two chuuls appear to come down the corridors, trapping the party between them.  Kenli retaliates by breaking the elemental gem and releasing the fire elemental to aid them.  They quickly learn that the chuuls are nothing more than an illusion.  Gerlach manages to cause great harm with his powerful lightning bolts and deathly touches of negative energy.  Mia is blinded by a disease caused by the sorcerer as well.  

Suddenly, a giant tentacled beast breaks through an illusory wall and strikes at the fire elemental.  Before long the elemental is return to its home plane and Wauldmur and Mort face off against the tentacled beast while Kenli and Mia try to keep Gerlach under control.  The beast is identified as an aboleth, a powerful psionic aberration of the Far Realm.  It must have used the power of the orrery to amplify its mental domination powers over the skum and villagers.  The heroes eventually fell the beast after Mort, Kianya, and Shensen are infected with slimy skin.  Soon Gerlach is almost felled as well, however, he pauses after the aboleth’s death and pleads for peace.

The heroes agree and he tells his tale about how he tried to find a cure to the gillmen becoming skum, however, he became a skum himself just as he found the formula.  Then Mohl’mog, the aboleth, began to control his mind to force him to help free the beast into the sea.  Gerlach begs the party to take the last of the formula for themselves, as it will not cure the villagers who have already succumbed to their skum heritage.  He then impales himself with his own trident.

The heroes find his lab and the last of the formula.  After some time, Dayvorus manages to finish the concoction and the heroes imbibe it on their return journey to Blackcove.  They rest of the villagers are quite grateful for all they have done.  They seem to have embraced their strange heritage and only wish the heroes to not spread the word to other towns.  The heroes then head back to Highwater on foot with Tobon, where they meet with Captain Kurgan Hrustus on his return journey to Rizzi from Viana.  He offers them a ride for 300 gp and take them to Redport, where they find a ferry to Redgorge and soon return to Kulderon.  

When they reach Kulderon, the heroes find Kenli’s shack has been destroyed by a fire over a week ago.  Only a strange demonic symbol provides some clue as to what happened.  Thankfully his new hunting business was left untouched.  Tobon becomes his new manager, helping with the day-to-day operations.  Dayvorus then researches the symbol at the esoteric library at the Cathedral of Weeja.  He learns that it is a marking symbol for Nabasu demons to mark their prey.  It seems Kenli’s been marked…

SESSION 42: Hulk Smash!

The heroes return to their regular work.  Kenli tries to rebuild his home, Wauldmur enchants his old Kalruan sword, Mort trains in alchemical process with Weer, while Dayvorus crafts a magical belt to help him carry more things.  After a few days of mundane activities, one evening, while the group is heading to the Dancing Dragon to meet with Shensen and Kianya for an ale, a huge umber hulk smashes through the side of one of the warehouses on the street.  The crowds of people immediately panic causing chaos on the streets.

The heroes move in to try and stop the beast.  Wauldmur directs the crowds out of harms way while Mort climbs atop the buildings to get closer.  The beasts seems transfixed on destroying the buildings while Dayvorus and Kenli pelt it with spells and arrows.  It then slams into another building and disappears in the ruined contents.  Many town guardsman join in the fight with their halberds.  Then a woman climbs to her windowsill with her baby trying to flee, where Dayvorus levitates to her and safely brings her to the ground.  Then the umber hulk explodes out of the warehouse attacking Kenli.  Its confusing gaze leaves many disoriented and unable to act properly.  An elven thief gets caught in the chaos and wanders aimlessly close to the beast.

The chaos and magical confusion makes it hard for anyone to properly harm the beast.  Three guardsman are knocked to the ground by its claws, while Wauldmur tries to stab at it.  A couple agents of the new Magical Task Agency appear and throws some magical bolts at the beast.  Eventually the beast is slain and the heroes return to their normal thought patterns.

The guards take a statement from everyone and the heroes investigate a little.  They learn that the beast destroyed mostly the warehouses of Maavu Arlintal, a prominent merchant.  Mort is unable to get much from Maavu’s clerks, they don’t seem to know where the merchant is.  The heroes head to the tavern for healing and a good night’s sleep.  That night, Mort sneaks in to Maavu’s offices, but doesn’t find anything unusual in the office or the accounting books.

The next morning the heroes receive the town newspaper of their heroics the night before.  They also learn that the Stormblades have destroyed access to the Deep Underground from the Malachite Fortress while fighting against some Duergar dwarves.  Taxes have also been raised yet again to help pay for the increased town security.  A delivery boy then brings an invitation from Celeste Ehkani for dinner the following evening at the Cusp of Sunrise, an exclusive club for nobles.

The heroes do more work at their businesses before their dinner.  Kenli and Mort try to get more information about why an umber hulk might be summoned in the city, but don’t find any leads.  Dodak seemed convinced that such a creature may have just burrowed up from the Deep Underground.  At the very least, the battle got the heroes notice from the nobles.  The next evening, the heroes prepare their best clothes and enter the Cusp of Sunrise.  The doorman greets them and takes their ranged weapons for safe keeping.  After an awkward moment, the heroes eventually hand over their invitation and they enter into a grand library where many nobles are socializing.  The luxury of the place is astounding…

SESSION 43: The Missing Dwarf

The heroes enjoy some of the luxuries of the Cusp of Sunrise.  They chat with Lord Vhalantru and Lord Taskerhill for a bit.  Ahnkin tries to belittle the heroes in front of some yes-men lesser nobles.  Vhalantru then shows the heroes all the Cusp has to offer.  They play a dice game called ‘gemsnatcher’ with Adrick Garthun, a prominent importer.  The dwarf has a strange eyepatch of a black gem and all his teeth are gold.  Dayvorus ends up winning the pot.  The heroes then join the Lathenmires for a demonstration of a Kalavarian steel spiked-chain, Beswick Lathenmire’s newest toy.  However, no one seems proficient with it.  Beswick then tries to pry from the heroes if Wauldmur and Gernezarn are the only smithies getting ores from the Splintershield dwarves of the Malachite Fortress, but they refuse to say.  After a fine meal, the heroes meet with Celeste.  

She is accompanied by an emaciated, near-death dwarf who claims to be Davked Splintershield.  He is under a curse by his late wife and he must make amends with is three disowned sons to remove it.  He has made amends with two, but needs to find his son Zenith Splintershield, the former commander of the Malachite Fortress.  Zenith has been missing since he led a squad of dwarves into the deep underground in a mad crusade to “cleanse it of evil” ten years ago; the same reason the Malachite Fortress was left unguarded when the heroes found it.  Davked and Celeste explain that they have located Zenith.  He is being held prisoner by kua-toan cultists in a shrine called Bhal-Hamatugn in the deep underground.  With the entrance blocked near the Malachite Fortress, the heroes will have to find another route.  They mention that Lord Vhalantru knows the relative location of a hermit named Crazy Jared that once spoke of a fissure to the deep underground called the Pit of the Seven Jaws.  Davked offers the heroes 4,000 gold coins to each of the heroes if they can bring Zenith back alive.  They will also earn membership at the Cusp of Sunrise through Celeste.

The heroes agree to rescue Zenith and promise to return the missing dwarf to the Cusp.  The heroes then run into Lord Vhalantru on their way out, who invites them over for dinner the next night.  The heroes comply and find themselves at the fine mansion the next evening.  Vhalantru’s manor has an elven theme with beautiful woodwork.  He also shows off his prized life-like garden statues of the previous adventuring bands he has shown favor to in the past.  He hints that the Eternal Embers may be joining the ranks.  The heroes then have a fine ten-course dinner, each course paired with one of the nobleman’s finest liquors.  By the end of the night, the heroes are quite inebriated.  However, they manage to get the map they needed to Crazy Jared’s hut.

The next morning they set off hiking their way through the mountains north of Kulderon.  After a few days of hiking, they fight off against a stone giant, but otherwise it is uneventful.  Finally they come to the area marked on the map and begin searching the expansive alpine meadows for the hermit’s hut.  They then see a blast of fire over the next hill.  They rush towards it to find an old man, who must be Crazy Jared, fleeing from a conflagration of what once was a hut.  Behind the flames lurks the dark form of a red dragon swooping in for another attack.  

The heroes rush in to save the old man.  As soon as they get close, the old man begins reciting an epic poem about the situation, the effort seems to bolster the heroes efforts as they fire arrows and spells at the dragon overhead.  Mort rushes out to get a better angle and the dragon swoops on him and nearly burns the rogue to a crisp.  The heroes keep trying to attack the creature from afar, but eventually the dragon swoops down and breathes fire over the heroes.  Kianya counters with a burst of positive energy, healing their wounds.  Then Wauldmur and Mia rush in at the dragon, while the others fire arrows and throw spells.  Wauldmur feels Dragonsbane tingle with an excited energy in his hands as he cuts at the dragon.  But the dragon manages to soar high overhead out of range before the heroes can fell it…

SESSION 44: Bhal-Hamatugn

The dragon continues to soar above the heroes into the clouds and out of sight.  The heroes talk a bit with Crazy Jared.  They learn that Jared seems to be under the belief that he is King Jared IV of the fictitious realm of Anduria and that his meager shack was in fact a grand castle.  He blatantly uses an illusion spell to make the area seem like his beloved realm for himself and the heroes, but doesn’t seem to see the disconnect with reality.  He informs the heroes that the Pit of the Seven Jaws is a couple days march to the north and marks it on their map.  He also tells the heroes that the red dragon, Gottrod must be a spawn of the infamous Hookface, and recently was in a battle with a black dragon named Dhorlot.

The heroes head northward through the alpine meadows, narrowly avoiding a hungry roc by crawling into a small cave the first day, and fighting off a pack of wild dire apes the second day.  They reach the opening of the pit and rest before daring to enter in the early morning light.  The pit has a metal grate stairway heading into its depths.  As the heroes reach about halfway down the 60 ft pit, a giant cryohydra emerges from a fissure at the bottom of the pit.  Its seven heads snapping and biting at the heroes.  Wauldmur, Mia, and Mort engage in melee while Kenli, Shensen, and Kianya make ranged attacks.  Dayvorus throws a few spells.  Eventually they are able to knock the beast out after succumbing to freezing breath sprays.  The heroes then quickly burn off its heads to ensure its final death.  The heroes find a corpse of a poor shadmar warrior at the base of the cave.  Kenli dons its wonderful mithril armor, while Wauldmur takes the well-crafted bow.  

Soon the heroes are marching their way down the dark caverns of the deep underground.  Many days go by, though it is hard to tell given the lack of sunlight.  The heroes enjoy the ape-jerky Kenli made for the journey.  The heroes then reach a huge cavern with a wide lake glowing with phosphorescent fungi and mosses.  A grand fish-like temple dominates the cavern.  The heroes work their way down the ledge to the shore of the cavern’s lake.  Mist obscures the far shore.  Soon a boat floats out of the mist with a frog-like humanoid upon it.  The koa-toan greets the heroes in its own tongue.  Kianya uses her magic to translate, “Do you seek the smoking eye?”  The heroes are puzzled, but Mort eventually communicates with the creature through gestures and they accept his offer of a ride to the temple across the lake.  After they are dropped off, the mysterious kua-toan returns to the mists.

The heroes then begin to climb the high stairs into the mouth of the fish-like temple, when bolts come firing down on them from koa-toan soldiers hidden in the eye sockets.  The heroes try to retaliate, while Mort and Kianya rush into the temple itself to take cover.  The mysterious koa-toan returns to fight the heroes as well.  Soon a great battle erupts in the antechamber of the temple with the heroes using the best of their tactics to fell the soldiers.  The kua-toans seem to be crazed and unwilling to surrender.  Eventually, they all lay dead and the heroes explore the area.  They find a fresh fresco depicting a plate-mail wearing humanoid with a black sphere for a head.  Kenli also notices fresh kua-toan egg shells on the floor.  The heroes then discover two prisoners, a human named White-Eye and a halfling named Cherrit.   Neither seem too trustworthy and their reasons for being their aren’t determined.  They seem to hate each other intently as they both spill lies about the complex and their motives.  The heroes decide to leave them sit for the moment.  

They then head down a deeper corridor into a partially submerged torture chamber.  A mummy then jumps out of the water and attacks Dayvorus.  Wauldmur and Mia succumb to irrational fear and remain paralyzed while the others fight.  Kianya blasts the undead creature with positive energy and eventually they manage to fell the mummy.  Mort and Dayvorus seem to have contracted Mummy Rot and their bodies begin to wither away.  The heroes try to decide what to do next given their conditions… 

SESSION 45: Priests and Devils

The heroes heal up and press on, down the dark wet corridors of Bhal-Hamatugn.  They eventually come to a dead-end.  With some quick searching, they find a secret door at the end of the tunnel.  The stone door swings into a huge chamber where a faint red light glows.  The heroes find themselves with many koa-toan soldiers on high balconies and priests ready for their arrival in a pool of water in the room’s center.  The heroes rush out to repeated bursts of magical lightning from the priests that seem amplified by their shrine.  The shrine itself is a giant statue of a lobster-like deity, later identified as Blibdoolpoolp, the evil kua-toan mother deity.  The heroes take much damage as the priests climb to the balcony around the shrine throwing bolts of lightning.  Mort and Shensen manage to sneak away to the side balcony to fight off some the soldiers.  Shensen takes the form of a giant predatory cat, but soon falls prey to a lightning bolt that nearly fells her.  Kianya likewise is nearly felled by a well-placed bolt of electricity.  The heroes desperately fight on, finding their arrows more useful against the priests.  Mort leaps to the center balcony from the side and slashes and cuts at the priests as he repeatedly leaps and dodges around their blows.  Eventually the priests and soldiers are slain.  

However, the heroes noticed that the statue glows with magical energy as a ball of fire appears on the center balcony.  Dayvorus identifies some sort of conjuration effect, but is not sure of its origin.  The heroes decide not to wait and find out.  They flee to the middle balcony’s double doors and head down the hallway.  Mort blasts himself on a trap, and nearly dies from its concussive result.  However, Kianya puts him back on his feet and the heroes close the doors to the main chamber.  They are able to unlock the other doors and flee down the main stairs to the beach outside the building in the enormous underground cavern.

The heroes then search around the mostly abandoned kua-toan homes to find a safe spot to rest, especially considering Dayvorus and Mort’s worsening mummy rot.  The heroes rest, spending part of the time in Dayvorus’s conjured extradimensional space.  Mort’s condition worsens to the point the rogue loses consciousness as his skin decays off his body.  The heroes eagerly await dawn for more healing spells, as Kenli stealthily explores the main shrine chamber with Mia.  The chamber, however, appears untouched with only the bodies of the kua-toans missing.  He returns and he and Kianya pray at dawn.  Kianya is then able to remove the curse from both Dayvorus and Mort, but she can only takes away Mort’s disease and heals a portion of his skin wounds.  The heroes then return to the complex.

The return to the main shrine chamber, this time looking for clues.  Dayvorus tries to study the shrine’s magic as another inferno grows, this time much faster, on the center balcony.  He identifies the conjuration aura as some sort of interplanar connection.  It is confirmed as the flames dissipate leaving an erinyes devil playfully eyeing the heroes as her new prey.  She flies towards the half-orc wizard and cuts him with her glimmering red sword.  The heroes try to retaliate but the devil is nearly invulnerable to all their attacks.  Mort runs around and leaps to the floor of the chamber,rushing to the center balcony, hoping for some way to return the devil to her home plane.  Shensen and Kenli take to the top balcony for a better shot against the flying devil. The others brace themselves and try to fight back against the superior warrior, but the battle looks grim…

SESSION 46: A Drowned Battle

The heroes fight on against the devil.  Wauldmur and Mia continue to land blows, but the devil’s resistance makes the attacks almost useless.  Dayvorus tries to touch the devil with his spectral hand while Kenli and Kianya send ranged attacks.  Mort fails to find any sort of means to break the conjuration from the statue while Shensen continues to throw down bolts of lightning on the devil.   Eventually the heroes manage to send the devil high into the chamber to tend her wounds.  She then summons two bearded devils on the balcony to attack Waudlmur and Kianya.  Then she teleports out of harms way.  The heroes take out the devils and heal themselves before deciding to head down the hallway on the highest level.

Wauldmur uses his magic cloak to climb like a spider to the balcony and sends down a rope.  The heroes then find a lever that drops the walkway allowing the others to cross.  Then a bolt of lightning strikes Shensen and Dayvorus from down near the statue.  An armored kua-toan is seen below, who quickly flees into a back room with his duergar slave.  The heroes make chase and head down into the chamber behind the statue.  There they find the healed erineyes and the kua-toan high priest.  The battle gets grim as the devil fires deadly flaming arrows at all those near her and the kua-toan seems bolstered by priestly magic making him neigh impossible to land a blow upon.  Then the devil makes things worse by flying out of the room and locking the door behind her.  This leaves only Kianya and Dayvorus in the main chamber with the devil.  The kua-toan then sends the waters of the small room to fill to the ceiling, leaving the heroes gasping for air and trying to fight in underwater conditions.  Shensen transforms into a shark and bites at the priest, but has little effect due to his armor and she soon reverts back.  Wauldmur and Kenli both find themselves near death as things get more desperate.  Meanwhile, Dayvorus and Kianya are unable to open the door as the erineyes fires flaming arrows into their bodies.  With a last ditch effort, Kianya and Dayvorus push hard on the door against the weight of the water inside, while Mort assists from inside.  The door then opens, sending the water rushing out into the main chamber, and leaving most of the warriors on the ground.  The battle then erupts again as Kenli, Wauldmur, Mort, and Mia attack the armored kua-toan priest from all angles.  Meanwhile, Dayvorus is knocked down by a flaming arrow and nears death as the devil grabs his lumped body and flies high into the air.  She demands that Shensen send a bolt of lightning at the statue’s eyes or she will kill Dayvorus.  Shensen complies and the devil seems freed by the magical energies that brought her here.  The lawful devil keeps her side of the agreement and flies away, leaving the poor half-orc wizard unconscious at the top of the statue.  The warriors in the other room manage to knock the priest out.  

Wauldmur admires the fine dwarf-crafted mithril full-plate worn by the priest.  They don’t manage to get much information from him and they kill him.  They only learn that Zenith is on the third floor, but may need a key from the first floor.  So they explore down the hall of the first floor after some healing and looting of the priest’s chambers.  There they get a sneak attack on the guards in a water-logged room.  However, it becomes apparent that there are millions of small dragon-like worms in the water biting at all that come there way…

SESSION 47: The Death of Shensen

   The heroes try to assail against the tiny dragon-like worms as they manage to take out the kua-toa guards.  The heroes then make it to the other side of the stairs after nearly being eaten alive by the dragonlings.  The heroes then head up the stairs towards a large ornate door.  Mort fails to find a deadly lightning bolt spell that nearly kills most of the party, but fatally wounds Shensen.  The heroes morn the passing of the half-shadmar druidess.  Wauldmur takes one of her fingers in the hopes that someday she can be resurrected.  Dayvorus then cremates the body with a fiery jet and collects her ashes.  The heroes then decide to return to the abandoned house in the kua-toan village to rest.  The heroes rest for a whole day waiting for dawn.  Kianya is able to remove the mummy’s curse from Dayvorus as well.  

The heroes then return to the ruins only to find many prepared kua-toan soldiers ready to meet them.  Battle ensues as Wauldmur and Mort jump into the melee.  However, shortly later the sounds of a large beast is heard down the side corridor.  Wauldmur finds a large black dragon preparing a volley of acid towards him.  He stands firm as the acid drenches the hallway, sizzling the stone and flesh in its way.  Wauldmur brandishes Dragonsbane as he steps towards the reptilian monster.  Kianya, Kenli, and Dayvorus all lend protective enchantments to the former soldier as they take out the kua-toans as well.  Wauldmur shares some blows with the beast, before the dragon manages another deadly breath of acid that greatly injures the heroes.  Dayvorus throws a well placed fireball as Kenli sends a pair of deadly arrows into the dragon’s heart.  It falls dead.

The heroes loot the dragon’s treasure past the door that killed Shensen.  They then explore a long hallway of craft rooms, but find nothing of much worth.  They then find a large shrine room where Mort is attacked by a hidden wraith.  The heroes manage to send the wraith hiding as they explore the next hall.  Wauldmur manages to lift the portcullis to the next chamber as Mort rolls under to open the lever.  The heroes only find an abandoned room for the kua-toan children.  Kenli notes that the place has been abandoned only recently, in the past day or so.  The heroes then decide to check the third floor, deciding that the rumor of the key must be false.  They head down the third floor corridor and head to the left.  They find a nondescript room where Mort looks for traps.  Suddenly, an assassin jumps down and attacks the rogue, stabbing him with a poisoned dagger.  Mort drops near to death as the assassin grabs the rogue and threatens to finish him should the heroes attack him.  Kianya is able to stabilize Mort and the heroes agree to let the assassin go free.  However, Wauldmur sends a web to capture the fleeing assassin, however, he still eventually gets away.  

The heroes then press into the next room, expecting to find Zenith Splintershield.  They do indeed see the dwarf, however, he seems deranged as he sits stooped forward on a skin throne holding a glowing orb of light.  Many headless corpses hang around the room.

SESSION 48: Crazy Zenith and the Hunting Demon

The heroes cautiously approach the mumbling dwarf, ignoring the twitching, headless corpses hanging from the ceiling via nooses.  Suddenly, the dwarf stands and throws the glowing orb in his hand against the far wall.  Then he charges at the heroes while chanting ominous prophecies.  The heroes exchange many blows with the powerful warrior, who accepts them with little thought in his full-plate armor.  His deadly blows with the dwarven waraxe nearly fells each hero that takes a bone-crushing blow from the dwarf.  The heroes fight hard against the warrior as Dayvorus contends with some unseen monster.  The wizard manages to endow the ability to see the invisible and sees the troll-like elemental, an invisible stalker, for what it is.  He also notices a strange tattoo on Zenith’s face that was not seen before, in the shape of the planar symbol for Carceri, the prison plane.

Wauldmur inadvertently steps into the glowing disk on the floor and is transported on the lobster-like god statue in the main chamber, far from the battle.  He rushes back, using his spider-cloak to climb the wall.  As he reaches the third floor balcony, he is stabbed by a piercing dagger from the kua-toan assassin that fled earlier.  The dagger’s poison seeps into the warrior’s veins and he feels much of his endurance fading.  The former soldier retaliates against the assassin then rushes back to Zenith’s chamber.  The heroes find that Zenith is too strong a warrior for their combined might, especially as their healing abilities run dry.  The heroes all leap into the teleportation circle and form a battle plan in the main chamber.  Soon Zenith appears in the chamber as well and leaps from the top of the statue onto Wauldmur.  The soldier is nearly killed by the deadly attack.  Dayvorus then manages to touch the dwarf with a ghoulish spell, paralyzing him.  The wizard then knocks the dwarf’s head hard with his staff, knocking him out.  Mort ties him up quickly.  Dayvorus bestows the see-invisibility enchantment on Wauldmur to look out for the invisible stalker.  The heroes then gather their belongings, as well as Zenith’s, and leave Bhal Hamatugn.

They see no sign of the invisible stalker as they cross the shallow lake and return to the tunnels of the deep underground.  After many hours of travel, they manage to rest in a side cavern.  They also note that Zenith seems much more calm and docile after leaving the kua-toan temple.  The heroes continue their journeys back towards the Pit of the Seven Jaws and the surface.  On the way, a cave-in leaves Kenli trapped on his own end of the tunnel, while Mia is nearly crushed by rocks, and Mort managed to sidestep to the other side.  The heroes try to pry the rocks clear to get to Mia and Kenli.  Kenli, on the other hand, is accompanied by the hideous deep laughter of a nabasu demon.  The bat-like necrotic demon slams Kenli into the wall, conveying how he has watched the half-elf grow into the hunter, but now the hunter is still too weak to be worth the effort.  The demon then slams the half-elf against the wall and bites hard into him.  The half-elf then collapses into a pool of his own blood.  The heroes manage to get Mia free, but decide to rush around through a side passage, finding it reconnecting with where Kenli was stranded.  They find the half-elf near death, but alone.  Kianya is able to revive him and they continue on their way.  Not far down the tunnel, however, is the bloodied feathered remains of an erineyes, likely slaughtered by the nabasu demon.  

Eventually the heroes reach the surface and sleep under the open sky.  The next day they travel through the alpine meadows back towards Crazy Jared’s hut and Kulderon.  That evening they are attacked by a gargantuan roc that nearly takes Dayvorus for a meal.  The heroes are helped by Vhandrio and Vhara, the shadmar they rescued from the deep underground.  That evening they share a meal with all the shadmar and rejoice in their good fortunes.The next day the heroes have tea with Jared before continuing their journey to Kulderon.  After a few days, the heroes step into their city’s gates.  They head to the Cusp of Sunrise where Celeste and Lord Vhalantru take Zenith to bring to Davked.  Celeste begs them to return the next morning for their rewards.  The heroes comply after a night of well-earned drinks.  When they return, Vhalantru hands them their rewards, but informs that Celeste was called back to Rizzi on an imminent family matter.  Additionally, Davked and Zenith headed back to Kalavar.  The heroes take their gold and decide to spend the next few days making the most of their fortunes…

SESSION 49: Kianya is Kidnapped!

The heroes work hard on their businesses. Dayvorus makes a few magical items for the group.  Kenli expands his hunting operation.  Wauldmur resizes his new mithril armor.  Mort visits with his grandfather.  They restock on their healing wands as well.  Mort arranges a memorial for Shensen which brings a good following of her friends, including the Striders of Farlen Windrider, with Earondel, Tulus, and their leader.  Meerthan, an elf disguised as a dwarf who leads the striders, explains Shensen’s past before she joined with the Eternal Embers.  That night the heroes notice the Kianya didn’t join the memorial, despite being somewhat close with Shensen.  

When they head up to her apartment, above the Dancing Dragon, they find it torn apart.  All her belongings are thrown about and a bloody symbol is painted on the wall.  They recognize it as the symbol of the Cult of Nalit.  It is quickly identified as sheep’s blood by Kenli.  Mort and Kenli also manage to find a clue left by the priestess:  it seems Kianya managed to stab her dagger into a map on the table before she was captured, it stands at an awkward angle on Mekphatis, capitol of Arathkelsara.  They try to get information about town about the cultists and where they might have gone.  Mort learns from his usual contact with the thieves’ guild that the cultists took Kianya towards Redgorge, towards a boat they had station out at Redport.

The heroes try to get preparations together to chase after the cultists.  Wauldmur and Dayvorus talk with Lord Vhalantru, who is unable to provide any direct assistance.  They also learn that Kulderon will be employing many more half-orc mercenaries to beef up the town guard.  Kenli has more luck, as he is able to convince Dodak to accompany them to Arathkelsara as a cultural adviser.  They set out after a few hours, heading first to Redgorge, then ferrying down the river to Redport via Dodak’s merchant friend.  They are able to bargain for a ride with Captain Kurgan Hrustus of the Silver Wyvern again.  He admits to the heroes that he is in fact a privateer in the employ of Korenell.  He pirates on Arathian vessels bringing weapons to Korenell for the covert war for the holy land.  He usually flies the flag of Elmo of Migara, but becomes a pirate when an opportunity strikes.  Though he says he has no particular love for Korenell either, they just pay well.

After 22 days aboard the Silver Wyvern, the heroes reach the outskirts of Mekphatis, the shining city on the sands.  Suddenly, Captain Kurgan notices an Arathian Warship heading his way.  He sets the heroes out on a row boat for the rest of their journey and bids them farewell so that he can outrun the vessel.  The heroes say their farewells and row for many hours on their way to the city.  Thankfully the warship ignores them.  Along the way they are attacked by a giant squid, which nearly eats Wauldmur, but they manage to send it fleeing.  They then dock in the Foreign Quarter of Mekphatis.  They head to the Pharoah’s Rest Inn and sleep for the night.  The next day they talk with the innkeeper and learn they need to acquire foreigner’s passes to be allowed entry into the city proper.  They learn that most people bribe their way to get papers, but a few have been able to talk their way through.  Since their coffers are running low, the heroes stand in line at the Foreign Dignitary’s Bureau.  After an hour of waiting, they meet with the bureaucrat.  He not-so-nonchalantly says a 500 gp bribe will grant a pass per person.  However, the heroes know they cannot pay that amount.  Kenli stages a disturbance while arguing with the man, while Mort swipes some existing papers from the man’s desk.  The next few hours, Mort and Dodak forge some fake papers for each of the heroes.  They then try to make their way into the city’s market district.  They are able to get through just fine and search about the market for information and the symbol of the Cult of Nalit.  Dayvorus manages to learn from a Sister of Sol that Kianya has been captured and that a Sister will come meet them at the inn that night.  Kenli learns a little from a poison merchant, also a Nalit cultist, after seeing the symbol on his stall.  Mort meets with some black market fences and pays for information.  He learns that Kianya is being held by the Nalit cult for an exchange.  They want one of their leaders, a vile man named Nephastus.  They hope to exchange one for the other with the Sisters of Sol.  

That evening, a Sister of Sol named Tahutia meets with the heroes.  She explains that the exchange is expected, but Kianya can be rescued first.  She is being held in a fortress outside the city in the great desert.  They plan to head out at midnight to the fortress where the heroes hope to try and rescue Kianya, before the Sisters are forced to release Nephastus.

SESSION 50: The Desert Fortress

The heroes make some preparations before heading out that midnight.  Tahutia leads them through parts of the city, then out of one of the gates, into the great desert beyond.  They travel for nearly an hour before reaching a squat, square fortress on a small hill among the sand dunes and dusty trails.  The heroes send in Mort and Kenli to do some recognizance before they make a plan to attack.  Wauldmur drinks his potion of hiding and applies keen edge oil to his sword before sneaking in with the rest of the heroes.  Kenli appears to be spotted, however, by unfortunately scaring off a desert hare.  This attracts arrows from the arrows slits in the fortress walls.  The half-elf returns fire and tries to maintain their attention, as the others sneak in closer.  

Eventually, a sorcerer seems to join the archers and sends magical bolts towards Kenli, causing great pain.  The other heroes, however, get in place.  Wauldmur is attacked with a blindness spell, but manages to shrug it off.  He then begins blowing his Horn of Fog creating a wide row of thick mist towards the entrance.  Dayvorus then uses magic to create the sound of twenty soldiers marching towards the front gate.  Mort silently slips in next to the front portcullis and readies himself for any that might investigate the sounds.  Kenli keeps trading arrows with the archers above, trying to distract the guards.  Eventually a guard steps out looking for the soldiers he hears.  Mort steps in and slashes at the guard.  Soon Wauldmur and Mia join him as Kenli and Dayvorus take the rear.  They head towards the entrance.

Then a great fog rolls in from the inside of the fortress with a globe of darkness to follow.  Not one of the heroes can see much of anything as they blindly attack the enemies, trying to penetrate the fortress.   Wauldmur sends a web that only complicates the entrance with thick sticky webbing.  They make it into the entry chamber and take out a few guards and cultists.  Much of the web is burned away and the heroes try to enter the main chamber.  Mort succumbs to blindness by a cultist.  Then a great darkness spreads over the whole fortress, leaving everyone blind.  Then Wauldmur is able to secure the inner door and the heroes maintain control of the entry chamber as they heal they wounds with wands.

They then open the door a couple times, as Dayvorus throws in a deadly ball of fire.  It seems to take out a few enemies in the darkness.  Dayvorus tries to dispel the darkness, but fails.  However, it soon goes out anyway as the heroes ready another assault into the main chamber.  They are then greeted by a large band of soldiers and cultists, as well as sorcerers throwing balls of fire down on them.  The heroes manage to hold their line, taking out many of the enemies.  Kenli dodges many bouncing flaming spheres that are intent on burning him.  Mort is knocked out for a moment, but is soon rescued by Dayvorus.  The half-orc then falls under a silence spell and is forced to flee the fortress to avoid afflicting his friends.  Eventually the heroes hold the entryway while fighting against the fortress’s leader, a powerful dark priest named Nakamen…

SESSION 51: The Search for Treasure and Glory

The heroes hold their ground as they continue to fight against the remaining cultists. Dayvorus and Wauldmur flee to the outside, where some invisible sorcerer sends a ball of flame at them.  They manage to dodge it, however.  Kenli faces off against Nakamen as Mort goes down due to the cleric’s floating sword of darkness.  Kenli is knocked near death, but manages to slay Nakamen in the process with a well-placed arrow.  The heroes heal up and scare out the remaining cultists who flee into the desert.  When the heroes give chase, they find no remnants of them in the shifting desert sands.

The heroes search around the fortress, finding Kianya manacled in a lower chamber.  She warns them that they must leave immediately.  The heroes struck fortuitously the same night most of the cultists were out.  Nakamen was simply a lower general of the cult and that most of their soldiers and leaders were off trying to rescue Nephastus.  So the heroes flee into the desert with Tahutia, making their way back to Mekphatis.  Once they return to the city, Kianya and Tahutia explain that the stronghold that the cultists destroyed last night was simply a decoy and that Nephastus’s true location is secret.  The Sisters of Sol are most gracious for the heroes’ efforts against the Cult of Nalit, but Kianya warns them that the cult will never forget their actions and will likely seek retribution.  The next morning Dodak is delighted to see Kianya during breakfast.  Kinaya explains that she talked with the Sisters and they have another mission that they have asked of her before she returns to Kulderon.

The desert sands have shifted greatly over the past few weeks as a great sandstorm, rumored to be caused by war between fire and air elementals, unearthed many old ruins and pyramids in the shifting sands of the underdunes.  One of these sites is the rumored site of the Four Pharoahs of Ascension of Arathian ancient history.  The Sisters of Sol wish to search the ruins and acquire the artifacts of this tomb before robbers do, in order to ensure that no evil spoils the land.  Kianya’s contact is a Sister who goes by the moniker Mithril Scarab.  She meets with the heroes, who are eager to help Kianya on this quest and explore the ancient pyramid.  The Scarab explains that the way to the pyramid is unknown and that many artifacts from lesser pyramids might lead the way.  She then takes the heroes to an underground auction where such artifacts are being sold.  She leaves the heroes there as she meets up with a contact who has additional information.

At the auction, the heroes watch many items get sold to two old collectors, the Arch Docent of His Pharoah’s Exhibitory, a public museum of sorts, and the Crook Bearer, an old curmudgeon with armed guards who collects relics for his personal collection.  Additionally, the heroes find a minor noble of Kalrua, Paracount Julistar, who seems to have assembled a team of tomb robbers to find artifacts for Baron Elod Levente of Solca.  During the auction, the heroes employ a beautiful woman named Neferet Anu, who offers her services as a translator of ancient Arathian.  Coincidentally, one of the artifacts sold, a statue, depicts a woman that looks identical to Neferet.  Other items include some scrolls of papyrus and charcoal rubbings purchased by Wauldmur.  A bronze statue and the woman statue purchased by the Crook Bearer.  And some carved veinstones purchased by the Arch Docent.  Julistart only purchased some gold coins at the beginning, however, he tried to claim that the papyrus scrolls were fakes, but Wauldmur called his ruse and purchased them.

The Scarab then meets with the heroes after the auction, as Neferet joins them.  She takes them to the home of an old man named Raegos, the only living person who has seen the inside of the Pyramid of the Four Pharoahs of Ascension.  The blind man wears a blindfold over his eyes and uses a system of strings to find items in his home.  He explains his expedition to the heroes.  He describes how they left with 10 men over 50 years ago, led by a Kalruan man named Imnvitus.   Imnvitus was a scholar who seemed quite interested in astronomy and seemed to believe that something was in the right place for their expedition.   Imnvitus used a magical mask to summon the pyramid from another plane of existence.  He describes the inside of the pyramid and how by seeing all four symbols of the pharoahs inside the pyramid one turns into a mummy, as their bowman did.  This is why he wears a blindfold, as he has seen three of the symbols.   He was the only one to escape and he believes that since he recovered the mask when Imnvitus was killed that he was able to escape and live. 

Kenli then notices that a small shadow was at the tent’s wall and rushed out to find a bald halfling escaping into the crowds.  He gives chase, but loses the small form.  The heroes then decide to split up as the Scarab leaves them to their quest.  Mort, Kenli, and Dayvorus tries to learn about the halfling as well as the location of Paracount Julistar.  They eventually find them together at a tavern.  They meet with the band of tomb robbers, His Baron’s Expeditionary, learning that the Paracount and his team wish to be the first to find the pyramid and explore its treasures for the glory of Kalrua.  Meanwhile, Wauldmur and the others make their way to the Exhibitory and speak with the Arch Docent.  They learn that the mask displayed there is a replica and that the Crook Bearer inherited the real mask from his father.

Dodak, Mia, and Kianya return to the inn, where Dodak expects to make copies of the writings they purchased at the auction, as well as make sense of them.  While the others make their way to the Crook Bearer’s mansion on the high hill.  Dayrvous manages to convince the guards to let them enter and they meet with the old man.  Through some clever charm spells and good diplomacy, the heroes get the Crook Bearer agree to letting them borrow the mask, provided that they return it, and provide 40% of the treasure uncovered to the Crook Bearer, and he is sending four guardsman to ensure they keep their word.  Dayvorus notices that the mask has quite a powerful conjuration effect and must be the real mask that summons the pyramid.

The heroes then have Neferet take them to the magical markets, where they purchase supplies and two camels to carry them.  Dodak and the others join them, although he did not finish his scribing.  By that evening the heroes get their expedition together and head out into the great desert on their way to the Underdunes.  They are searching for the site of the four small pyrarmids where the Pyramid of the Four Pharoahs can be summoned.  The heroes make camp that night in the chilly desert winds when they are attacked by a giant hieracosphynx.  The bird-headed lion-like beast deafens the group as they try to defend the camels from its claws…

SESSION 52: The Desert Winds

The heroes fight against the hieracosphinx, with Kenli landing some deadly arrows into the creature’s flank.  Soon the beast lays dead and the heroes are able to finish resting.  That morning they are approached by a band of arathian guards sent by the Crook Bearer.  They inform them that their contract is null and void due to the use of charming magic and that they must return the mask.  The heroes decline and allow the arathian soldiers to return to Mekphatis and the Crook Bearer.  They then set out into the desert heat, thankfully they are able to cloak themselves in magical protections from the heat.  Kenli alone deals with the hot sun, but his practiced breathing and gait keeps the worst of the heat away.  He does suffer from some minor heatstroke before the night begins to fall.  

The heroes are just settling into their encampment when they hear a girl’s voice cry out for help.  The heroes are suspicious of the noise and send Mort and Kenli out to take a look.  They see the horns and head of a young blue dragon.  They quickly return to the encampment and prepare their defenses.  Before they can fully organize themselves, however, the dragon swoops up from the sands beneath their feet.  Wauldmur is struck hard by the dragon’s onslaught as his sword pulses with anticipation.  Then Mort leaps into the fray, his rapier’s point luckily finding its way into the beasts heart with one well-aimed thrust.  The dragon falls over dead a moment later.  Wauldmur gathers some scales from the dragon as Dayvorus attempts to preserve the heartblood for magical experiments.

Soon the heroes are traveling through the hot day.  The heroes notice that a large band of soldiers seem to be following them from afar.  Rather than wait and see who they are, the heroes continue out ahead trying to avoid them.  Hours later, the heroes continue to evade the group behind them as a terrible sandstorm engulfs the region.  The heroes press on, although they are sure they are lost.  They cannot see very far in front of them as the sand whips around in a blaze of hot wind.  Suddenly, they become aware of the sound of a great slide of sand rushing for them from the high part of the dune they are traversing.  The heroes all take off, trying to run to safety in the loose sands.  Dayvrous attempts a flying spell, but finds the winds of the sandstorm more dangerous and is forced to take to the ground and run with the others.  Wauldmur throws Neferet onto his shoulders and runs as Kenli sends Mia to follow the running Mort, Kenli, and Dodak.  Kenli bravely stays with the camels trying to convince them to run with him.  He at first fails to get the stubborn creatures to move, but eventually convinces them to run as a great wall of sand nearly engulfs them.  Most of them avoid the avalanche of sand and remain upright, however, Dayvorus and Mia are nowhere to be seen in the blinding sandstorm.  With some searching, the heroes are able to locate the two and dig them out of the sands before they suffocate.  Dayvorus decides to protect everyone in an extra-dimensional space, as the heroes climb a rope into a magical pocket of safety.  Only the camels are left in the storm below, where they seem content as they huddle together under the dangling rope.  

The heroes wait out the storm before continuing onward.  Soon night falls and they decide to rest.  Just as dawn approaches, Wauldmur notices that the soldiers they had seen had finally caught up to them.  He recognizes the Baron’s Expeditionary led by Paracount Julistar, along with a dozen or so Elite Kalruan Guards and Arathian Soldiers, likely men of the Crook Bearer.  Wauldmur meets with Paracount Julistar, learning that the Crook Bearer had negotiated for the Paracount’s group to retrieve the mask from the heroes and explore the pyramid on their own.  However, the two groups make an agreement and a contract that allows the two groups to work together.  It is agreed that all arcane knowledge is for the Eternal Embers, and wands and lore items are negotiated individually upon discovery, additional artifacts are to be given to the Crook Bearer.  The mask remains in the hands of the Eternal Embers.  The Baron’s group need to rest, so the heroes rest with them throughout the night.  Kenli inquires about Wauldmur’s Kalruan heritage, which sparks the telling of many stories about each of their pasts, with each member of the Eternal Embers getting to know each other better.

The heroes then leave as soon as night falls with the Baron’s Expeditionary.  By midnight they reach a valley surrounded by tall sand dunes.  Nestled within are four large pyramids of green stone in the sands.  The pyramids are at least 100 to a side, and about 500 feet apart.  Paracount Julistar then dons the magical mask.  Suddenly, an enormous pyramid appears such that the four previous ones are its base.  It is more than 600 feet tall, and 750 feet or so to a side, all made of perfectly smooth fitted blocks of green veinstone.  It is certainly is the Pyramid of the Four Pharoahs of Ascension.  The heroes have Scepter levitate up its side, puttting climbing pitons every so often, then leaving a notted rope down its length all the way to the small entry shaft about 300 feet up the southern side.  Soon the heroes and the Baron’s Expeditionary are descending the shaft as Dodak stays behind (secretly holding onto the mask).  They find an extensive census on the walls of the long entry shaft as it descends downwards into the pyramid.

The heroes come across a strange arch as they reach the main floor deep in the pyramid.  Neferet says it reads, “The Point of No Return”.  The others are reluctant to look at any of the symbols.  Just as they make their way down the entry corridor, a twisted mummy appears around the side with death in its eyes…

SESSION 53: Runes and Pharoahs

The heroes fight against the mummy down the pillared corridor.  The Baron’s Expeditionary assists and soon the mummy is taken down.  The Paracount wishes to rest back at the camp and the Eternal Embers agree.  However, they soon find that the archway does not allow them to exit.  Some unseen barrier prevents them from walking through to the exit corridor.  The heroes and the Expeditionary decide to rest in the corridor instead.  Dayvorus provides a safe extra-dimensional space for his friends.  After an uneventful rest, the heroes continue exploring the main floor while the Paracount and his men try to find a way through the exit.  The heroes come across a large chamber with tiered shelves filled with 56 clay jars sealed with wax.  Dayvorus decides to examine one of the jars and opens it, finding disembodied organs along with a ring finger with a ring upon it.  The Cursed Rune of Subjugation is visible upon the ring.  Then all the embodied organs break out of the jars and swarm over the heroes, trying to strangle them.  The heroes fight against these undead pieces, eventually eviscerating them to the point where they stop moving.  Dayvorus wears his new Ring of Counterspells, carefully covering the rune with a cloth to spare his friends.

The heroes then find themselves in a room covered in hieroglyphics.  Mort and Neferet translate most of the walls.  On one wall is written how the Fiend Pharoah, Hetshepsu betrayed his peers and “he was given the number that befits a traitor.” Another wall reveals numerous equations using a base-11 number system.  Kenli is quick to note that they look like star charts for a planetary event that occurs once every 56 years, however, he is unsure of when that event will occur again.  The floor of one area depicts each of the four cursed runes, however, without their encircling, which makes them safe to view.  The runes are Subjugation, Fealty, Reckoning, and the Desert.  Another wall tells stories about the pharaohs, how they treated their servants with vile punishments.  The final wall depicts glyphs that refer to “Dominions of the Black” that will return one day.  Neferet also discovered a section that informs that the Radiant Pharaoh’s tomb can only be open by a descendant and depicts a symbol next to the passage.  Neferet points out that she has a birthmark matching this symbol, however, she says it must be mere coincidence.

The heroes then take the golem-powered elevator down to the bottom floor.  Here they find a large room filled with rivers of gold.  Skeptical about the gold, Wauldmur explores the room with the spider-like powers of his cloak.  He incidentally sees the entire room as the Rune of the Desert.  The heroes tell the Baron’s Expeditionary about the room and soon they are exploring the treasures within.  The Eternal Embers, however, remain skeptical.  They also learn that due to the terms of their contract, the Eternal Embers are due none of the gold found within.  Hrokon dons a golden helmet with the Rune of Subjugation on it, unintentionally forcing everyone to view it.  The heroes leave the Baron’s Expeditionary to explore the treasures as they head to the third floor.

On the third floor, the heroes find illusionary windows depicting scenes from an ancient Arathian city.  They then enter a large room with a floating sarcophagus.  Soon the sarcophagus vanishes as a beautiful nude woman climbs out, presumably the Radiant Pharaoh.  She sits on a throne behind a secret door, which also causes the entrance to seal shut.  The heroes are trapped with a magical wall of force between them and the pharaoh.  A huge golem then steps out and it becomes clear to the heroes that each side of the room is a balanced scale.  As the golem steps on his side, the heroes’s side rise towards the ceiling.  Soon the golem begins pulling heavy weighted stones from the alcoves in the wall and placing them on its platform, causing the heroes’s platform to rise again.  The heroes quickly join in the game, quickly laying out the heavy weights.  The heroes are quite successful, crushing the golem, along with a summoned earth elemental, against the ceiling.  The pharaoh seems angered by this and ceases the game.  The wall of force dissipates and the elemental and golem rush at the heroes as the pharaoh casts powerful spells at them.  

The battle is fierce and the heroes get close to death numerous times.  The golem is impervious to magic and the pharaoh seems a skilled conjurer.  She summons shadowy-black tentacles with sharp barbs that claw at the heroes’s feet, pulling them in place.  Meanwhile the elemental and golem slam the heroes hard.  Eventually the elemental returns to its home plane and the heroes manage to fell the golem.  However, the radiant pharaoh manages to escape up a ladder at the back of the chamber.  They find they cannot chase her as the trap door on the top has been closed tight.  Mort then explores the sarcophagus in the room, finding a bed of silver coins and a flask.  He inadvertatly shows the flask to the others, a Rune of Fealty emblazoned on its front.  Only Kianya and Kenli managed to turn their heads in time.  Due to his seeing three out of the four runes, Wauldmur decides to wear a blindfold henceforth.

The heroes return to the bottom floor, hoping to see how the Baron’s Expeditionary have fared in their treasure hunting.  When they reach the bottom floor, they see many mangled bloodied body parts scattered in the hallway.  Paracount Julistar is huddled against the wall pleading for help, with much blood around his clothes.  He only says, “He’s coming…”

SESSION 54: Pharoah’s Gold

The heroes pull Paracount Julistar up and heal his wounds.  They then head back into the chamber filled with gold at his request, trying to find Hrokon.  They find the half-orc, stunned and half-buried in the river of gold coins.  They manage to pull him free and learn that something threw a lightning bolt at them, then some monstrous creature tore at them, eating Xaven and Scepter. The heroes prepare themselves before entering the chamber.  They carefully enter, surrounding the chamber from both ends.  Mort and Wualdmur reach the center, where Mort finds an inscription on the side of the sarcophagus in ancient Arathian:

Beyond this world has left my health,

Surrounded in death with my wealth,

Enter my island, cast an eye,

Go your way and prepare to die,

Voice regret, I’ll hear not your plea,

And in the end you will serve me.

 However, as Wauldmur and Mort wait for the others, a giant mummified blue dragon bursts from the golden river and spews a thundering lightning bolt on the heroes.  They all then see the Rune of the Desert upon its chest.  Most of them barely survive the attack and they all quickly flee the chamber before the dragon can deliver the worst of its attacks.  The heroes regroup and consider other options.  They eventually decide to send Mort in on the back of Wauldmur, who uses his magical cloak to climb like a spider to the top of the chamber.  Mort then drops, floating to the ground slowly and safely as his shadowy cloak surrounds the rogue.  He then inspects the sarcophagus.  He manages to get the lid off and inside finds the mummified body of a humanoid.  It appears a normal corpse and so he steals its golden, gemstone-adorned circlet, each moonstone ring on its fingers, its snake-like crooked rod, and some cobalt blue bracers.  Mort also notices that the sarcophagus has a false bottom, but decides to return.  Wauldmur then throws down a rope, tied to his waist, and Mort grabs a hold, safely being pulled towards the end of the room.  

The heroes examine the contents of his haul.  Dayvorus dons the bracers, finding them to be a great magical shield.  Mort takes the crooked rod, believing it to be the same rod that enabled the pharaoh to transform into a swarm of blue serpents. The other treasures are stowed, as Hrokon is content with his haul of gold he took from the river.  Mort and Wauldmur then use the same clever system to bring Mort back to the sarcophagus.  He examines the false bottom and finds numerous obsidian tiles and blue-dragon scales, all shaped like some sort of interlocking puzzle pieces.  They return to the others and Kenli and Julistar move away from the others to try and figure out the symbols they form without harming the others from cursed runes.  They find that the obsidian tiles form a Rune of the Desert, thankfully they both had seen it already on the dragon’s chest. The blue dragon scales, however, seem to form an ancient Arathian hieroglyph for “exit”.  

The heroes then head for the exit, finding that the anti-life barrier allows them to pass.  However, when they finally reach the outside of the pyramid, they find a shadowy desert in perpetual twilight.  Dayvorus is confident that it is not Enelis, they are not on the material plane anymore; he thinks it is some sort of demiplane.  The heroes then believe they must defeat all the pharaohs before they will be free.  So they head to the top floor of the pyramid.  There they find a strange wall with a giant number that seems to be magically counting down to some event that should take place in the next few years.  They are uncertain to the accuracy of their judgement.  Kenli finds a giant telescope and, after adjusting the lenses, incidentally views the Rune of Reckoning.  He also gets a glimpse of some strange purplish planet, or at least it seems like a planet.  It has a purplish crystalline quality.  Many crystal-like chunks seemed to be orbiting around it.

The heroes then discover another black sarcophagus.  They prepare themselves and Mort opens it.  The Pharaoh of Numbers emerges as a giant cloud of tiny hieroglyphic numbers and equations formed into a twisted cloud with sharp claws.  The heroes fight this strange undead horror, who is joined by the Radiant pharaoh.  They manage to quickly dispatch both of them.  They find a few small tokens in the pharaoh’s tomb, but the greatest treasure seems the small locket carried by the Radiant Pharaoh.  It appears to be a very tiny spellbook filled with many powerful and ancient spells.  The heroes then head for the exit, believing that pharoahs are finally defeated.  Dayvorus and Paracount Julistar sneak back to the treasure room to fill their bags with coins.  The heroes emerge back into the Arathian desert with a glorious bright sun in the midday sky.  They all climb down glad to be back on Enelis again.  However, as soon as they reach the ground, the pyramid disappears as if it never was.  The four base pyramids remain.  Dodak tries to summon it back with the mask, but it seems to have no effect.  Dayvorus, Hrokon, and Julistar are dismayed to find their gold disappeared with it.  Thankfully, the other treasures remained. The heroes pack up their camp and head north to the river that flows back into Mekphatis.  They use the feather token they found to summon a giant swan boat.  To their great fear, a giant symbol of reckoning is emblazoned on its side.  They expect Wauldmur and Dayvorus to change into mummies, but thankfully, with the defeat of the pharoahs, the curse seems to have been broken.  The heroes look forward to bringing the news to Raegos as they swiftly float down the river, people, camels, and all, reaching the city as evening draws neigh. 

SESSION 55: Return Journey and the Dwarf

The heroes return to the hot city of Mekphatis just as evening takes hold.  The remainder of the Baron’s Expeditionary take off without much conversation.  Paracount Julistar mumbles something about getting revenge as he trudges away.  Neferet admits to being a spy for Julistar, names Lonicera.  She only shrugs as she says, “Until next time…”  The heroes head over to the house of Raegos, sharing with him the good news, that the curse of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension has been broken.  He is overjoyed and invites the heroes to stay for a meager dinner.  They then head to the Crook Bearer’s home explaining the relative failure of the mission and return his mask.  He informs them that he filed a complaint against them, but the Sisters of Sol had vouched in their favor.  He decides to drop the charges since they returned his mask.  The heroes then go about the expansive markets one last time to sell their jewelry from the tomb and do some light shopping.  They then head back to the inn on the dockside to rest.  In the morning, Kianya informs them that the Sisters of Sol appreciate their attempt and Kianya gave them one of the recovered artifacts. Dodak manages to secure an Arathian merchant ship to return to Redport, however, it will cost much of the gold they just procured.  Soon the heroes are sailing the long journey across the Inner Sea.

During the sea journey, Dayvorus cloisters himself away while exploring the secret spells hidden in the Microticon, the tiny spellbook he found on one of the pharaohs.  There are many dark spells written in the tiny writing.  The eager wizard learns what he cans and soon masters some of the more advanced spells.  Meanwhile, Mort spends a lot of time talking diplomacy with Dodak, hoping it will improve his skills when dealing with others.  Mort also finds himself busy teaching his skills in alchemy to Kenli, who is eager to craft various poisons to help on his hunts.  During the training, Mort finds he is not so eager to study alchemy anymore, however.  Wauldmur also seeks help from Mort during the trip, trying to learn better ways to move his feet and be more acrobatic in battle. Wauldmur was greatly influence by the Sisters of Sol and their combat style.  He was able to acquire some tomes on the fighting styles of the far west, spending many of his hours honing his skills into the new discipline.  Before long, the trip ends, and they heroes take the usual riverboat to Redgorge, then a wagon back to the city of Kulderon.

When they return home, they meet a friend of Dodak’s named Grimsli.  He is a dwarven paladin of Solarus and the new Temple Guardian for the Solarus Temple in Kulderon, taking over for Marcus. The dwarf also appears to wield Durindana, claiming that after it was returned to the church, the sword had chosen him over the other potential knights.  Grimsli also bears a silver dragon on his shield and armor, a symbol of the Order of the Silver Dragon, a knightly order of Solarus.  The heroes have many run-ins with this new regular patron of the Dancing Dragon.  The heroes also find that their invitations to the wedding of Elyin Ursage had arrived and they have two weeks before the event.  Grimsli is also attending, as Elyin was an old friend from back when the retired ranger was active.

Over the course of the next week, the heroes work hard on their businesses.  Grimsli begins looking into starting an inn near the temple of Solarus, Kenli expands his hunting operation as he begins crafting poisons, Wauldmur works hard on making a chain barding for Mia, then adding a classroom to his smithy, Mort works hard at adding a clockwork shop to his business, now named Mort’s Meat,Locks, and Clocks, and Dayvorus returns to teaching at the academy.  Unfortunately, Dayvorus’s long absence made the staff at the academy upset with the wizard.  They put him on a probation period. However, the wizard soon redeemed himself by making some magical discoveries.  The wizard was also able to sell an important thesis to the Temple of Weeja on the strange demi-plane that he examined during his last adventure.

Soon the week ended and the heroes took off towards the town of Bellis, north of Salrina along the river.  The invited their new friend, Grimsli, to travel with them and soon were sharing many tales of their adventures.  They made it past the Lucky Monkey, noticing that it had a “Coming Soon” sign posted and was looking in much better shape. They were then attacked by a pair of dire tigers in the hot humid jungles.  However, the heroes quickly dispatched the beasts.  Unfortunately, one of their draft horses was killed.  Grimsli was able to patch up the other horse before they set out again.


Grimsli of the Brongodak clan, or “Stonehammer” in the Nomenir tongue, was born an only child to Grispha and Astriphic Brongodak.  They never had much coin, but they managed to keep a reasonable roof over their heads in the bustling trade city of Kalgorret.  Kalgorret is a beautiful city on the Mirrormor Lake.  It is the only dwarven city predominantly on the surface, although numerous underground dwellings and structures exist below the city streets.  As such, it is the number one trade city for the dwarves, with numerous districts where other races feel at home.  Due to this, the church of Solarus was always quite big in Kalgorret. While most dwarves worshiped their own pantheon of deities, many found the positive teachings of Solarus to be quite attractive, as worshiping the sun goddess in any other underground dwarven city would seem counterintuitive.   The Brongodak family were very active in the church of Solarus and known for their generosity and kindness.  Despite their poverty, they managed to volunteer much of their time for the church’s many outreach programs for those even less fortunate than themselves.

                Grimsli had a very cloistered childhood as he studied the teachings of Solarus in the schools the church offered. Grimsli often dreamed of running off on adventures fighting giants and dragons.  He was inspired by stories of his ancestor, Brogan Brongodak who single-handedly defeated a red dragon during a great battle. However, the young dwarf spent much of his youth studying at school and avoiding fights with the neighborhood children, who would often tease him for his poverty.  When the dwarf was still  quite young, he and his parents went out into the lowland country to visit some relatives.  However, shortly after arriving, a band of vicious orcs attacked their camp.  The adults sent the children to safety, including Grimsli, but his parents were killed in the attack.  Grimsli was sent to live with his grandparents, Taniol and Liha, back in Kalgorret.  They didn’t have much wealth either, but they made do, pushing the young dwarf to stay involved in the Solarus church.  The whole ordeal stirred within the young dwarf a desire to defend the innocent and help others as best he could.

                When the dwarf reached his adolescent years he was working at the church as a choir-boy and caretaker of the grounds.  A cadre of knights were staying at the temple in Kalgorret, from the Order of the Silver Dragon. One of the knights, a human named Auric, took a liking for the young dwarf.  He noticed that the dwarf had an interesting aura of goodness about him and offered to take him as his squire.  Grimsli graciously accepted, bidding farewell to his grandparents as he left with the Knights on adventures throughout the region.  Grimsli spent most of the time taking care of the camp with the other squires, and fetching weapons for Auric when they were called for.  However, through this time in service he learned much about duty and the protection of the innocent.  He learned what it meant to be a knight and stand for goodness and righteousness against prevailing evil.

                After many years of serving as a squire, Auric heartily recommend the dwarf to be granted full knighthood in the Order.  Thus Grimsli begame Sir Grimsli Brongodak, Knight of the Order of the Silver Dragon, one of the Swords of Solarus. It was during this time he went on numerous adventures, fighting undead horrors threatening small villages, driving back orc brigands, or felling dangerous dragons and giants in the mountains.  He would often have to tend to the sick and wounded, using his mystical connection with Solarus to call on magical healing powers.  Auric had retired as a paladin, and now worked the forges for the knights at Kalgorret, repairing weapons and armor as needed.  Grimsli often accompanied the retired knight, telling stories about old times and laughing late into the night.  He also became acquainted with Thora Muddstone, a rising priest in the clergy of Solarus in Kalgorret.  He and her brother Tulus would often get into heated debates about lawfulness and order.  Years later, both Tulus and Thora left Kalgorret to pursue work in the far south.

                One day, after returning from a mission in the mountains, Grimsli returned to the temple in Kalgorret to find a holy relic of Solarus had been brought to the church for safekeeping.  It was Durindana, the Sword of Saints.  The former keeper, a man named Marcus, had left the clergy as the dwarven-made weapon no longer answered to him, thus he returned it to the church.  It is said that the blade would glow with a great light if ever a worthy wielder had touched its hilt.  Many of the Knights of the Order had visited the shrine in Kalgorret to grab the sword, but many were disappointed by the result, it would not illuminate in their hands.  Upon hearing of the sword, Grimsli decided to try his luck and see if Solarus truly favored him.  When his stubby, dwarven fingers grasped the blade, it did indeed glow with a bright light.  However, he also had a premonition.  He saw a great evil stirring in the shadows of a distant world, a great evil that had been slumbering.  He did not know why, but knew he must head south to Kulderon, as that was where Solarus needed him the most.

                The priests offered the sword to the dwarf, since Solarus seemingly had chosen him, and knew it would do well in his service.  Grimsli then explained his vision to the high priests of the church.  The bade him to take the now vacant guardian position at the temple of Solarus in Kulderon, the very temple where Thora Muddstone had now become the High Priest.  It was thus that Grimsli bade farewell to his family and friends in Kalgorret and traveled to the humid jungles of the far south, waiting for the moment when Solarus would call upon him.

SESSION 56: Woodland Wedding

The heroes continue out of the humid Southsea jungles northward towards Salrina.  The going is a bit slow due to the single draft horse pulling the wagon, but they make it without incident in a couple days.  In Salrina, Grimsli is able to get a discount on a fresh young horse.  They then follow the north road towards Bellis along the river.  They spend the next few days encountering only a rare few merchants and travelers as they play cards, chat, and sleep on their northward journey.  As they get near to Bellis, they are suddenly assaulted by two furious gorgons.  Dayvorus calls for help as they gore into the horses, dropping them immediately; the wagon halts.  The heroes leap from the wagon charging at the monstrous beasts.  Soon one of the gorgons unleashes a cloud of noxious green gas that soon renders most of the heroes petrified as stony statues.  Mort and Grimsli manage to keep fighting as some of the others eventually return to flesh.  Before long, they are assaulted by another cloud of gas that renders Dayvorus permanently petrified.  The heroes manage to slay the beasts, however, and pull the finely-shaped half-orc statue onto the wagon as they continue towards Bellis.

When they reach the town, they find a beautiful, flower-covered village, where their preference for bees and their products is more than obvious.  Taverns offer mead and honey cakes, and many fine-crafted wax candles are for sale.  Grimsli brings the heroes to his old friend, Elyin who is busy with his wedding preparations.  Elyin mentions that gorgons have been the source of trouble in the area recently and offers the last of his Stone Salve to Dayvorus.  He also thanks the heroes again for saving him in Rizzi. He bids the party a good time in town and returns to his preparations.  The heroes then revive Dayvorus and spend the night drinking mead and getting to know the town a bit.

The next day the wedding festivities begin.  Late in the morning, the heroes arrive to the grove where the ceremony is to be held.  They find a huge tent set up filled with food (fried fish and roast pork) and plenty of mead, a large area for dancing with numerous musicians playing fast-paced tunes, a beautiful gazebo prepared for the ceremony near a small temple to Venya, goddess of love.  There is also a huge maze-like rose garden.  The heroes first speak with some young kids who are fishing, where Kenli and Mort help them out. Dayvorus gets some food as he chats with Revas, the cook.  He learns about the biddings placed on the bridesmaid’s cakes, where winners earn the cake and the rest of the evening with the baker’s companionship.  He sees a pale gnome try to bid on a girl’s cake, but learns from others nearby that Lumi would not want to have to spend the evening with the gnome, named Tenzekil.  Thus Dayvorus outbids the gnome to spare Lumi.  Wauldmur and Grimsli manage to get everyone to play in a horse-shoe tournament with the blacksmith, a half-orc named Halak, who scares the other townsfolk with the warpaint on his face.  Mort wins the tournament earning some gold and a healing tonic.  Dayvorus manages to find Lumi, a beautiful gnome, in the rose garden. Tenzekil seems to be begging her for her affection, but she refuses.  Tenzekil then screams at her and marches off.  Dayvorus learns that poor Tenzekil has succumbed to an affliction called the Bleaching two years ago when he lost his zeal for life.  It was believed to have started when Elyin returned to town and started winning the honey-gathering competition.  Since then, Tenzekil has been roaming the forest, looking for a cure.  Recently he had disappeared for many weeks, and everyone was surprised to see him return for the wedding.  

Meanwhile, Mort and Kianya dance for the crowds, drawing much applause and attention.  The rest of the heroes play a drinking game with the plentiful mead.  After seven pints of mead, Grimsli remains untouched by the drink as the rest remain quite inebriated.  Poor Kenli doesn’t seem to be able to hold his drink at all, and Mort soon has to escort him out back to vomit. Then the ceremony begins and the crowds gather at the gazebo.  Mort and Kenli find a tree to rest under away from the crowd as the others take seats.  As the priestess begins to sing, a sudden buzz fills the area as swarms of bees begin attacking the crowds of people.  Everyone panics and runs and chaos ensues.  Wauldmur and Kianya help the crowd get to safety in the temple as the others fight off the bees.  Dayvorus throws balls of fire at them, setting fire to the gazebo in the process.  He manages to douse the flame with a blast of cold energy.  Mort turns himself into blue snakes and begins gobbling up what bees he can.  After the bees are scattered, Tenzekil uses some magic to make a pronouncement:

“Fools! You shall rue the day you shunned my pallid condition

and laughed at my losses! Know your doom has come! When

Queen Rhoswen arrives, all will perish—you will choke upon

her mist, die by her thorns, and fall before her armies! May

you forever suffer the curses of the Fellnight fey! Tenzekil shall

have his revenge on you all!”

Then a bunch of gnome-sized thorny creatures come rushing in, quickly transforming into giant versions of themselves as they attack the heroes.  A great wall of thorns appears and blocks the heroes from Wauldmur, Elyin, and his ranger friends.  The heroes fight against these fellnight spriggans eventually slaying and burning them.  After the battle Elyin meets with the town council as a great mist surrounds the land, making vision beyond 20 ft impossible.  They send everyone home to safety and the council begs the heroes for their help.   Elyin and his rangers plan to prepare the town for a possible invasion, fearing the armies Tenzekil promised.  Elyin recommends that the heroes seek out the druid Devarre to the west, hoping that he might have an idea about the mists.  Dayvorus confirms that the origin of the mist is magical in nature, and believes it would be quite powerful magic to cover such a large area.  Thus the heroes prepare to head into the misty woods.

SESSION 57: Fey-Folk and a Drunken Treant

The heroes head out into the woods, finding the forest not only full of the cloaking mists, but the trees and plants seem darker and full of thorns as if some shadowy force has possessed the land.  The wander through the forests trying to head in the general direction the town council pointed them, to where the druid Devarre dwelt.  They spend the whole day travelling and then camp for the night, spending much of the time in Dayvorus’s magical dimensional space.  In the morning, they find a wounded dryad fall into their camp.  She seems near death and falls in Kenli’s arms.  She begs them to head south and rescue her sisters from the monsters that are burning their trees.  She then dies in Kenli’s arms as her tree is destroyed far away.  The heroes rush off southward, taking a couple hours to reach a cleared area dominated by a giant burning bonfire.

Around the fire are many of the twisted spriggans tormenting a dryad, who is crying out at the burning wooden effigies in the fire.  The spriggans only laugh cruelly as they throw more brush on the flames.  The heroes rush in attacking the spriggans.  The plant-like gnome creatures immediately grow to giant size and fight back.  The heroes notice that a unicorn is also wounded and unconscious near the fire.  When most of the spriggans are killed, one of the remaining ones grabs the dryad and holds her over the fire.  This causes the heroes to back up and lower their weapons for a moment.  The spriggan then drops the dryad in as it runs into the misty woods.  Mort leaps into the flames and pulls the dryad out, while taking much damage from the flames.  The others manage to fell the remaining spriggan.  Grimsli and Kianya heal everyone’s wounds and revive the unicorn.  The unicorn introduces himself as Palombier, and the dryad is Fira.  They tell the heroes to continue to the northwest and they shall find the druid.  Fira gives them a magical flower to “see past the glamer and reach the druid” when they reach the “fey-mound in the hill”.  So the heroes press on, bidding the unicorn and dryad farewell as they rush off into the misty forest. 

An hour later, they find themselves taking cover as a huge tree falls over.  It then gets back to its feet.  It appears to be a giant drunken treant.  The heroes approach the treant trying to reason with him, but he seems to be hallucinating in his drunken state.  He attacks the heroes and animates nearby trees to do so as well.  Grimsli and Kianya try to get him to drink fresh water from the dwarf’s overturned shield, but he doesn’t seem to know what is going on around him.  Eventually Grimsli convinces the treant to drink, and he begins to sober up.  He sends the trees back to their place and drinks more water before talking with the heroes.  His name is Vinroot and he has been drinking ‘nodrim’, a strange humus-smelling root drink.  Grimsli tries it and manages to gain bark-like skin for a couple hours and grows an inch in height.  The heroes learn from Vinroot that the forest is overwhelmed by these fellnight fey and must have come from Queen Rhoswen’s prison plane, the Fellnight Realm.  She was one of the Firstborn who was imprisoned by the others for working with dark magic. She was imprisoned thousands of years ago, well before the memory of men. He mentions that the faengard must have been broken, the barrier that barred the fellnight fey’s entry to this world.  He points them towards Devarre’s home and continues his trampling through the forest.

The heroes reach the fey-mound as night draws close.  They use the magical flower and the illusion dissipates as the mound suddenly has three large eldritch stones upon it and a cabin can be seen nearby.  The heroes approach the cabin and knock, but get no answer.  Grimsli then enters to find the druid ignoring him.  He speaks up and startles the old man.  They try to talk with the druid, but it slowly becomes clear that there is something wrong with him.  Grimsli detects an evil spirit inside the druid just as Devarre attacks.  In a few moments, the heroes manage to paralyze and tie up the old man after they knock him unconscious.  Mort notices a flicker of light leave his head, perhaps the spirit that was possessing him.  The heroes rest the night at the cabin with the unconscious druid.  In the morning, they talk with Devarre, who seems to have regained his senses.  They learn they must go to Dead Man’s Drop, a waterfall north of there, as that is the source of the mist.  The druid remains to bury his animal companion and to try and unite the fey in the area.

The heroes reach Dead Man’s Drop later that day and soon find themselves at the source of the mist.  A great torrent of misty vapors pour from the center of the upper pool that feeds the waterfall.  The heroes share a water-breathing potion and explore the bottom of the pond.  At the source of the mist is a pile of wardstones hidden in a submerged cavern.  The heroes grab the stones and return to the surface.  They are then attacked by water elementals, which they are quickly able to dispatch.  Then Tenzekil’s voice echoes in the ravine:

“Well done, but the wardstones will

do you no good! The first army of Queen Rhoswen has already

arrived. She will claim this forest, and you can do nothing

about that. Now put the stones back, lay down your weapons,

and perhaps we’ll let you live!”

Over forty spriggans and numerous bee swarms can be seen in the area.  The heroes are surrounded by the fellnight fey and their minions.  They give each other tentative looks as they quickly decide their next move…

SESSION 58: The Fellnight Realm

The heroes look upon the surrounding hordes of fellnight spriggans on the high cliffs around them.  Each monster has a thorny dart ready to throw down upon them.  Tenzekil is on a far ledge leering at them.  The heroes decide to leap into the waters and face Dead Man’s Drop.  Thankfully, their shared water-breathing potion was still active, and they found the torrential waters less of an obstacle.  Kenli had to force Mia into the water, despite her better judgement.  Soon the heroes are all swirling around the waters.  Grimsli moves slowly as his heavy armor and his bag full of the wardstones keeps him heavy.  Dayvorus manages to cast a short-ranged teleport, pulling Mia with him, safely to the shore below the falls.  The others all plummet over the 50-ft. drop.  Kianya is the only one who manage to hit the rocks below, but thankfully her helmet and armor protect her from serious injury.  Both Grimsli and Wauldmur manage to quaff levitate potions and safely float to the water below.  Kenli entrusts his fall to Dragon’s Wing, which floats him to safety.  Mort descends as a slow-moving ball of shadowy tendrils safely to the shore.

At the bottom, they find Palombier and the other unicorns charging in to try and rescue them.  Palombier mentions he is there to return the favor for saving his life.  The heroes quickly leap aboard the unicorns backs and rush into the forest away from the horde of spriggans.  Almost unseen to the eye, the unicorns instantaneous shift in a great teleportation to a new part of the forest, coming to a halt in a clearing filled with all sorts of fey creatures.  There are a tribe of centaurs led by Oreius Dawnsprinter, a tribe of wild elves led by Lielaera Shantru, a whole host of fey creatures of the fey court led by the satyr Maligorn and the nymph Aripha.  Vinroot and the treants are in attendance as well.  The groups seem to be arguing whether they should join Queen Rhoswen and clear the humans from their native forests, or fight against her in order to prevent her shadow magic from reaching Enelis. The heroes plead with the groups and eventually get them to agree to work together against the evil fey queen.  They decide it best that the heroes sneak into the fellnight realm and try and reactivate the faengard, the magical barrier that can prevent her entry.  To do so, the heroes will have to repair the faengard with the wardstones they procured, then retrieve the Crook of Cildhureen from Rhoswen and activate the faengard from her tower. Meanwhile, the rest of the fey and others will hold the entrance to Enelis to prevent the spriggan army from marching in.  Devarre agrees to bring a contingent of men from Bellis.  The heroes then rest among the fey, where they are attacked in their dreams by a powerful enchantment by Queen Rhoswen.  Aripha then casts a protective enchantment around the heroes to protect them from further intrusion, and to make their passage invisible to the evil queen.

The heroes are transported to the small hillock that serves as the planar entrance to the fellnight realm by the unicorns, while the rest of the fey march to hold the entrance. The heroes enter the obscure portal by simply walking down the hill’s other side.  They find themselves in a perpetually twilight forest filled with ancient star constellations and a pervasive evil energy.  They spend the first day marching through the wild forests, avoiding contact with any creatures.  The next day they reach a high hill and see around them many campfires of armies waiting to march to war.  As they continue, they come across a curved wall of piled stones, identical to the wardstones.  The heroes investigate the wall as a swarm of bees moves in to block the worn path through a break in the wall.  They suddenly find themselves attacked by two invisible pixies and the bee swarms.  During the battle, Kianya appears to be controlled by some evil spirit and Kenli becomes charmed by one of the pixies.  Dayvorus throws many powerful evocations as Wauldmur tries to stave off the bee swarms.  Mia is put to sleep by one of the pixies, while Grismli does his best to knock Kianya out so that she can do no more harm.  Tenzekil appears and begins throwing deadly spells of lightning upon the heroes from high in the sky. Dayvorus manages to strike the gnome with a bolt of lightning as well, but nearly kills Mort donning his snake-swarm form.  When Wauldmur kills Tenzekil’s pet giant bee, he begins to curse Rhoswen.  Then Kenli comes to his senses and fires a deadly arrow into the gnome’s chest, dropping him out of the sky.  

The heroes patch up their wounds and talk to the wounded gnome.  Grimsli manages to convince the gnome to help them defeat Rhoswen.  He promises to show them a secret passage into the palace, but dares not go any further than that.  The heroes grab their gear and prepare to follow the gnome into the gloomy forest towards the palace.

SESSION 59: Tower of the Fey-Queen

The heroes trudge along in the gloomy, foggy forests of the Fellnight Realm.  They see little as they travel eastward, only the occasional sighting of some blighted evil-looking bird or rodent.  Eventually the heroes come to a high hill overlooking much of the surrounding area, they find that there are many spriggan army camps around them, and at least two in their path eastward.  They decide to cautiously aim for a path between the eastern camps.  They eventually cross a river and continue making their way closer toward Queen Rhoswen’s tower.  After many hours of travel, the group decides to rest.  Dayvorus conjures an extra-dimensional space for the heroes to rest in.  However, after they rest and prepare to exit the hidden hole, they find many spriggan guards upon worgs waiting to ambush them as they exit.  The heroes prepare some defensive enchantments and then rush out of the extra-dimensional space, striking at their foes.  

During the battle the heroes manage to knock many of the spriggans from their worgs.  An invisible will’o’wisp manages to attack Tenzekil and kills him amid the chaos.  Kenli fights off against an invisible pixie, but eventually knocks the wee sprite out of the air with a well-placed arrow.  Wauldmur, Mort, Mia, and Grimsli slay the rest of the spriggans.  Wauldmur receives an enchantment from Dayvorus to see the invisible will’o’wisp, but the creature manages to escape.  The heroes rest some more as they bury the sad little gnome.  Kianya is able to commune with the dead gnome’s spirit and learns how to find the secret entrance to Queen Rhoswen’s tower.  After the heroes prepare themselves, preparing spells and prayers, they venture forth to find the hidden entrance.

They come within sight of the massive tower many hours later.  The giant structure has three tall towers and appears to have been grown from a single impressive thistle.  It is covered in thorns with a menacing aura of power. The heroes head to the north of the tower and find the secret cavern that Tenzekil’s spirit spoke of.  They enter cautiously and follow the underground river for at least half a mile, eventually finding themselves in a large cavern with an underground pool.  The heroes inadvertently set off a shrieker alarm, causing two mushrooms to emit a high-pitched screech.  When Kianya attempted to silence the mushrooms, she found that they were embedded in a large earth elemental.  The heroes quickly dispatch the monster, but find themselves surrounded by spriggan guards.  They quickly dispatch the guards as well.

The heroes then take out some deadly assassin vines as they search around the debris and treasures left by the vines.  They pocket some coins, but Kenli also takes a fine figurine of a silver raven that can act as a messenger.  The heroes then enter into the dungeons freeing a man named Cort Fenlen, one of the missing lumberjacks.  He says they have been interrogating him and his friends for weeks, but only he is left alive.  The heroes leave him to his unlocked cage as they explore.  They soon find themselves attacked again by spriggan guards with their satyr commander in the torture room.  Soon the enemies are defeated, although Kenli and Mia are enchanted by the satyr’s song of fear and end up running straight back into the forest.  The heroes are eventually rejoined after Wauldmur and Mort look for the half-elf.  The others searched around the dungeons.  They find two magical truth-telling candles in an interrogation chamber, but little else.  The heroes continue to explore the depths of the tower…

SESSION 60: Tower Tricksters

The heroes continue exploring the expansive, thorny tower of Queen Rhoswen within the Fellnight Realm.  They find a fanciful bedoom with a few trinkets within.  They then head to the next floor above them using a wide circular stairwell.  They find some storage rooms at the top which contain only various foodstuffs and items to furnish a ballroom.  Grimsli decides to try some of the aged cheese. The heroes then head out into a small barracks where they fight off against some spriggans.  Afterwards they explore a nearby large chamber filled with many draping vines and thorny columns.  They find only an illusion of Queen Rhoswen pacing in the large chamber, occasionally sobbing.

The heroes then head into the main courtyard, facing off against some gargoyles that were hidden in the high hedges.  After the gargoyles are defeated the heroes head into the northern chambers where they sneak past many barracks.  Eventually, they open one of the barracks’ doors and are forced into a grand battle against all the spriggan guards on the first floor.  The spriggans even release their worgs to help in the battle.  The heroes face little real danger against these enemies and manage to fell them.  They find nothing but numerous barracks and a smelly worg kennel on the first floor.  

After much debate on which stairs to use, the heroes continue upward to the second floor using the same stairwell they had come from.  They find a long hall with a few spriggans patrolling the corridors.  They manage to kill off the spriggans and find a large ballroom to the north.  In the fanciful ballroom they find another elaborate illusion.  This time there are what appears to be a cadre of fey violinists playing a rousing musical tune as numerous masked dancers prance about the chamber.  Grimsli detects some evil at work in the chamber, but is unsure how it pertains to the illusions before them.  The heroes avoid the ballroom and head into a nearby kitchen.  There they run afoul of two satyrs.  The fey tricksters pull out their pipes and immediately begin playing songs of fear, causing most of the party to flee and cower in a corner of the hallway.  Only Kenli, Mort, and Grimsli remain spared.  Grimsli, however, is soon put to sleep by the other satyr.  One of the satyrs then attempts to slit the dwarf’s throat, but fails.  Mort then slits that satyrs throat after leaping over the trickster.  They manage to fell the satyrs, but soon Kenli is trying to take out what he suspects are three invisible pixies.  Mort and Grimsli come to his aid, as the others continue to cower in the corner…


Mort, Kenli, and Grimsli continue trying to strike at the invisible sprites and pixies as they leap about the kitchen.  The tiny arrows keep piercing their skin or ricocheting off their armor.  Eventually the others return to their senses and stop cowering in the corner.  One by one, they return to the kitchen to help their friends battle the unseen foes.   Within a few minutes the heroes are able to take down the little tricksters.  The heroes then explore around the kitchens, and they find a large garden terrace covered in strange fruits and vegetables.  While Kenli attempts to examine the strange pale apples, suddenly a large plant creature strikes at him.  The heroes quickly take out the strange beast and continue exploring the palace.

They head up a wide staircase to the next floor, suddenly finding themselves in Queen Rhoswen’s throne room.  The Queen seems most displeased and quickly summons a large, stormy air elemental to attack the heroes as the rest of her spriggan minions follow to attack.  A great battle breaks out in the throne room.  Numerous spells are thrown and weapons slash and dance as the heroes fight their way towards the evil fey sorceress.  Rhoswen then points a deadly finger at Wauldmur, instantaneously turning the spinning warrior into a tiny songbird.  Soon after that, Mort is also transformed into a songbird.  The other heroes soon reach Rhoswen, only to find out that she was simply an illusion.  The real Rhoswen appears from a nearby pillar and throws spells at her enemies.  Wauldmur finds he still has his sense of self and frees and rallies the other songbirds (including Mort) in the room to try and distract the Queen.  Soon Rhoswen flees through a nearby pillar and the heroes head upstairs looking for her.  They find her poised in her bedchamber, but they are cautious of another illusion.  Kianya strikes and proves its the real Queen and soon Dayvorus is throwing spells as Grimsli, Kenli, and Mia fight off another summoned elemental.  As Dayvorus thinks he captured Rhoswen in his summoned black tentacles, she manages to transport herself to the far side of the room through the tree-like pillar and strikes at Dayvorus and knocks Kenli to the ground, bleeding.  Then with a furious anger and dedication to goodness, Grimsli leaps and strikes the evil Queen with Durindana.  The sorceress screams as her mangled form oozes a bubbling black blood as Durindana pierces her heart.  The fey queen collapses on the ground, she is no more…


The heroes watch as Queen Rhoswen’s body becomes a swirl of shadows and dark energy.  The maelstrom eventually implodes leaving nothing behind but the clatter of her staff on the floor.  The heroes quickly revive Kenli and heal their wounds.  They find a few rare bottles and fanciful jewelry as they look about the bedroom.  Dayvorus examines the Crook of Cildhureen, learning about its unnatural connection to the Plane of Shadow.  They then find the magical floating disc that carries them to the top of her thorny tower.  At the top of the peak they find a magical fey circle as the epicenter of Rhoswen’s magic.  Dayvorus examines the area and begins to formulate a ritual that should reactivate the Faengard using the staff.  The others go about searching the rest of the tower, but return with only a few trinkets, a magic sword, and a magical crossbow.  They also find a scrying mirror that depicts the villagers of Bellis being overrun by an army of spriggans. It takes Dayborus a couple hours to understand the web of magical energies surrounding the tower, but he eventually is able to devise the needed ritual.  After many minutes of intense concentration, archaic verses, and arcane gestures, Dayvorus manages to reactivate the Faengard.

Instantaneously, the heroes watch out in the distant as all the mists and spriggans return to the Fellnight Realm.  At the same moment, they notice that the thorny tower of Queen Rhoswen has lost its green springiness and has begun to crumble and collapse.  The heroes rush down the tower, Wauldmur flying beside them, Mort safely carried in a small birdcage.  The heroes reach the secret cavern entrance and race down the underground corridor as they hear the tower collapse above them.  They decide to sneak their way southward towards the mountains in the eternal twilight.  They march as much as they can, resting for awhile, then continuing their march.  When they reach the mountains, they find many spriggan armies filling the valley towards the fairy-ring that will take the heroes safely home.  They decide to cross the mountains into the southern plains and head westward towards the forest.  For nearly a week they traveled across the Fellnight Realm, avoiding the spriggans camps.  Eventually they reached a river that proved difficult to cross.  Dayvorus used his magic to transport himself, Kianya, Mia, and the birds, while Kenli and Grimsli were given a water-breathing dweomer.   Unfortunately, the heroes find a giant fellnight crocodile inhabiting the river-bottom.  Kenli is bitten and thrown around, left bleeding unconscious as the current takes him.  Thankfully Mia rushes out and saves him.  Grimsli, on the other hand, charges in slashing in the water at the beast.  The giant crocodile simply swallows the dwarf whole, while Grimsli struggles to fight back inside.  On the shore, Kianya and Dayvorus throw spells at the beast, eventually felling it.  The heroes are forced to chase the floating corpse of the crocodile nearly a mile before it washes ashore, and luckily they find an unconscious dwarf inside.  The heroes heal up and set camp, enjoying tasty crocodile meat as Kenli takes as much of the rare hide as he can get.  The next day they cross over the Faengard, Dayrvorus notices that the Crook of Cilhureen burns as he passes, but its magic seems to remain intact.  After a few more days of travel, the heroes return to the fairy-ring and Enelis.

On the other side, they are greeted by the unicorns led by Polombier.  They teleport the heroes to Bellis where they manage to get negotiations for the protection of the forest started between the fey kingdom and the men of the region.  They find that they were only gone for a couple days in this world. They enjoy the wedding of Elyin Ursage, say their farewells, then take off towards Kulderon.  When they reach the city, many days later, they find that people are treating them differently, as if everyone wanted to keep them at arms length.  They find a flyer that explains that Baron Elod Levente of Solca in Kalrua has placed a 10,000 gold bounty on any member of the Eternal Embers.  The heroes then head to the temples of Solarus and Weeja for a cure for Wauldmur and Mort’s transformation, but find no hope.  Finally, at the Temple of Korrond, Jenya Urikas is able to provide scrolls to save the two men.  The heroes then head to Dodak’s office to learn that the he has another quest for them to explore the lost city of Saventh-Yhi, the City of Seven Spears. In the meantime, Dayvorus leaves the Crook of Cildhureen for the sage to study.


The heroes enjoy a day of relaxation and returning to their businesses in Kulderon.  The next night as they gather for a good time drink at the Dancing Dragon, they notice that Dodak has not joined them as he usually does when they’re in town.  In a bit of a drunken stupor, the heroes head over to Dodak’s apartment where Mort picks the lock to let them into the darkened rooms.  Dodak doesn’t appear to have returned home for the evening, perhaps even longer.  They head over to his office at Bluecrater Academy where they find his office unusually dark and shadowy.  The dwarf is not to be seen and in the corner of the office they find a swirling vortex of shadows.  Dayvorus identifies it as a portal to the Plane of Shadow.  Kenli sends his silver raven to bring Kianya to aid them.  After she arrives, they all bravely enter into the foreboding portal.  

On the other side they find a distorted colorless version of Dodak’s office where a ghastly shadowy form of Queen Rhoswen seems to be sucking the glowing life-essence out of an unconscious Dodak.  The heroes spring into action, but find most of their weapons have little effect on the shadowy monster.  Thankfully Grimsli and his sword, Durindana, easily penetrate the monster’s shadowy essence along with Kianya’s rays of searing light.  Soon the beast dissipates and the heroes return to Enelis.  Dodak explains that he was examining the staff when he found himself pulled into the shadowy world and quickly overwhelmed by some monster.  Dayvorus takes the staff back from Dodak.  The heroes ensure that the dwarf is okay and head to their homes. The next day, Dodak explains to them that the finding of Saventh-Yhi was a crude hoax by a colleague of his in the Historical Society. Unfortunately, he had already booked travel to Viana for the group and was really looking forward to exploring the jungles.  Since people around Kulderon have been giving the Eternal Embers the cold-shoulder lately, due to the large bounty on their heads, the heroes agree to accompany Dodak to Viana and take their shot at finding the lost city, even if numerous expeditions by others have proven unsuccessful.  Dodak says they have a few days before they need to head to Report via Redgorge.

During that time, Dayvorus is able to write together a thesis on his experiences in the Fellnight Realm and sells it to the Cathedral of Weeja.  While there he is also able to look into their library on information about the Crook of Cildhureen and the Shadow Plane.  He learns that Rhoswen’s spirit may never be vanquished as long as the Crook remains.  In the meantime, Kenli makes some record profits as many nobles eagerly sign up for hunting trips.  Wauldmur’s smithy is also doing quite well, and his night class for the working poor is quite successful. Mort’s clockwork shop adds much gold to his coffers as well and people seem to like the idea of a shop where you can buy everything from clock-work toys, reliable locks, down to a deinonychus sirloin. Grimsli rushes about town trying to get materials together to add a bar to his rental hall, hoping to turn the space into a comfortable inn for travelers and pilgrims.  Dayvorus finds that Emmaline is pregnant and the gang celebrate with much drink and excitement for the expecting couple.

Soon the heroes are off to Redgorge by wagon, then within a few days down the Red River to Redport.  In Redport they meet Captain Alizandru Kovack and his first mate, Alton Devers of the small merchant ship, the Jenivere.  They find that there are a few other passengers heading to Viana that will be joining them for the last leg of the journey.  There is Ieana, a very quiet and shy Astonian scholar, she doesn’t say much and doesn’t join them for dinner the entire trip.  Then there is Aerys, a half-elf buccaneer with a penchant for alcohol who seems agitated most of the trip as she scribbles in her notebook. Galik is a gnomish bard and Historical Society member, although now in poor standing after attempting to sell a fake relic before fleeing Rizzi. Eilaf is a large Noradric man with a big sword, he was very quiet as he observes those around him.  Sash is a fiery red-haired woman who seems quick to anger and quite uncomfortable as they get closer to Viana.  Finally, the ship carries a prisoner named Jask who is being returned to Viana for trial.  The heroes learn little of these travelers as they only see most of them during dinner where the crew shares a meal with everyone on board.  However, after many nights of travel, the crew sit down to dinner with the passengers, when darkness comes to the heroes as a nefarious poison takes effect in their food.

The heroes awaken on a stranded beach in the early morning.  A few monstrous crab-like creatures awaken the heroes, but they manage to scare them off.  All the passengers are with them on the shore, no sign of the crew, but there are markings as if they had all been dragged to the shore safely with their gear.  They otherwise seem stranded on the beach.  The heroes find a wreckage of a ship nearby and head towards it as the other passengers stay behind, mostly bickering with each other.  Meanwhile, the heroes find the wreckage of the Jenivere.  Oddly enough, they find some supplies on the ship, along with the captain’s log, some maps, and the dead body of the first mate and cook.  The first mate appears to have been stabbed by a rapier.  Also, the lifeboat appears to have been tied to the broken ship before it too was ravaged by the rocks to ruin.

The heroes take the supplies and return to the others.  They make a nice shelter out of the supplies and rest during the extremely sweltering midday.  Through the Captain’s log and the maps, they learn that they are on Smuggler’s Shiv, an island north of Viana in the Fire Islands that is known to be exceedingly dangerous for ships and always avoided.  They also learn that the Captain had a strange growing obsession for Ieana and he may have wrecked the ship at her request that they might live their lives out together here.  The heroes also learn more about each of their fellow passengers and get them all to agree to help the survival of the group.  

Aerys Mavato wants to command her own ship someday, either as a merchant, navy, or pirate captain, she has also been an alcoholic for much of her life, as she cannot stand the way men treat her, seeing only her beauty and not her personality.  After Grimsli is able to cure her alcoholism, she shares her notebook, a large epic poem called the Abendego Cantos.  She agrees to serve as the camp’s guardian.

Jask Derindi is freed by the heroes and he is quite helpful.  He is an older Seclician man and devoted cleric of Armathon, god of magic.  He claims to be framed for treachery in Viana.  He has lived the past decade in Korenhold as a scribe, but has recently been found by the Viana government, shackled and was being sent home for trial.  He gets excited as he recalls that one of the real traitor’s accomplices, a pirate captain named Kinkarian, had a ship called the Brine Demon that was rumored to have crashed on Smuggler’s Shiv.  He begs the heroes to seek it out since there might be proof of his innocence on board.  He also agrees to serve the camp as a medic.

Eilaf is not as old as he looks, as a brawny noradric man.  As Wualdmur gets to know the mercenary, he learns that Eilaf had troubles with his father that resulted in him incidentally causing his father’s death.  The young Eilaf then fled as a stowaway on a ship owned by the Ariana Consortium.  He worked for the Consortium to pay his debts off for over a decade and has just recently been free to pursue his own interests.  His sword is his only prized possession.  He tells Wauldmur and Grimsli about a treasure that might be located on the island and thinks the gold will help him start a new life in Viana.  He offers to share the gold with them if they can help him find it.  He shares a treasure map.  He agrees to serve as the camp’s defender by planting traps for dangerous monsters in the area.

Sasha Nevah was hard to open up to, but Mort and Kenli got along with her well.  She has a thirst for violence and adventure, and besides Jask, seems the only one not upset by being stranded on the island.  She relates that her mother is a high-ranking member of the Crimson Blades assassin’s guild and wanted Sasha to climb there ranks, but she admits she’s too reckless and impulsive for such orderly pursuits.  He mother cut off Sasha’s pinky finger as a warning to get her act together. They also learn that her mother sent Sasha to Viana to help with some Crimson Blades business and knows that when she returns home, she’ll unlikely be allowed to leave again. Hence her lack of eagerness to reach Viana’s port. Kenli and Mort take her our hunting and the three of them manage to capture a few dimorphodon eggs and Sasha delights in raising one of these poisonous pterosaurs.  She happily agrees to help serve as a hunter for the camp.

Galik Aberwhinge is a smart-mouthed gnome bard and Historical Society member.  After his ordeal in Rizzi, he is not in good standing.  However, after learning they are on Smuggler’s Shiv he begs the heroes to help him find the Nightvoice, a Historical Society ship that wrecked on the island.  If he can get any information pertaining to the vessel, he thinks it’ll improve his standing with the Historical Society when he can get to Viana.  While Galik can get on the others nerves with his sharp-tongue and criticisms,after the heroes agree to help him, he begins to use his silver-tongue to help keep the groups morale up and serves the camp as a good entertainer.

Now that the camp and shelter are up, and they have some supplies.   Dodak mentions that Kalruan colonists tried to colonize the island nearly a century ago and there is rumored to be an old lighthouse on the southwest tip, although it was never operational. The heroes agree its time to explore the island and see what secrets the jungles have in store for them. Perhaps they can also find other members of the Jenivere‘s crew.


As the night draws in, the heroes and their new companions settle into their makeshift beds in their rather well-built shelter.  Grimsli and Kenli take the night watch, using the magic of Solarus to watch the night through without fatigue.  During the night, they see glowing phosphorescence in the water washing in the surf, mostly from glowing algae and plankton, but there is also the occasional humanoid shape floating in the depths, beckoning them to join them in the sea.  The heroes ignore these ghostly shapes and the night is otherwise uneventful. Dayvorus has a strange dream that seems to be a faint remnant of what happened to the Jenivere and the influence of Ieana on Captain Kovack.  The heroes spend the next day gathering supplies for the camp and trying to keep morale up as the gravity of the situation begins to dawn on them.  They explore a bit of the peninsula that they are stranded on and learn the shape of the northern spur. That night, both Grimsli and Kenli feel like some large beast is watching them and they hear a faint sound of large bat-like wings flapping around above them, although nothing is in sight.  The next morning, Kianya relates a dream of a red-eyed beast in the jungle watching her.  Kenli learns it was at the same place he had heard and felt the uneasiness last night.  So they head out into the jungle to that spot to find a blood-drained body of a monkey hanging on a branch.  Dayvorus also had a dream involving a snake in his soup bowl, and he thus suspects snake poison may have been involved on the night they fell ill

The second day, the heroes head out early in the morning and explore the area around the island.  They find many derelict ships crashed on the rocky shores of the Shiv.  One of which is the Brine Demon, where they find a dead skeleton grasping a small locked coffer.  Inside the coffer is plenty of evidence to help prove Jask’s innocence.  They also find a strange locket of a red-haired half-elf woman.  The heroes also find the remnants of an relatively recent camp where they find Captain Kovack’s hat and Ieana’s scarves.  Kenli is able to follow their tracks inland where it eventually leads to a game trial that appears to still be in use.  Mort has to stop several times along the trail, as he finds dangerous snares aimed at catching man-sized creatures.  The heroes then reach a ruined camp that appears to have been abandoned for at least a few years.  In the ruins, they find a small dagger engraved with the crossed red sabers of the Crimson Blades.  The heroes then return along the shore and return to their camp.  That night they are attacked by the ghost of a pirate captain, who seems desperate for the locket casually resting in one of Kenli’s bag pockets.  They are able to fight it off, but Kianya notes that ghosts will always return as long as they have unfinished business. Dayvorus had another dream as well and gains an idea of how First Mate Alton saved the heroes on the day of the crash.  

The next day the heroes set off again in the morning along the beach.  After they pass the camp ruins they found the previous day, they come across a giant crab on the beach, the size of a small house.  On closer inspection, they find that the crab is long dead, but is being manually animated through a series of pulleys and ropes.  Inside they find a strange bird-like humanoid named Pezock.  After they prove their trustworthiness, Pezock invites them in for some poorly smoked fish and raw sea urchins.  The bird-man explains how the southern end of the island has many human cannibals in a fierce tribe.  He also relates that he saw what must have been Captain Kovack and Ieana travel southward towards the cannibal camp.  The heroes learn that Pezock was unfortunate to find a portal to Enelis from wherever he comes from and joined a ship called the Crow’s Tooth, which based on the fact he said its captain gave him his sawtoothed blade he carries which bears the Crimson Blades symbol on its side, must have been operated by the infamous assassin guild.  He does not speak the Common tongue well, but the heroes were able to convince him to join them to fight the cannibals.

The heroes then traveled along the beach towards the grayish, strange island in the distance.  However, the tide was too high to try and cross towards it, so they continued to explore a few derelict ships on the shores.  In one ship, they battled against some vile dread skeletons which sapped poor Pezock’s strength.  The heroes were able to destroy the undead, but Pezock headed home until his strength could return.  The heroes then sent Kenli to explore another ship on a small scourge of rock about 200 ft off the shore.  However, the half-elf only found more undead sailors and quickly swam back to his friends.  The heroes then climbed up the rocky cliff-side above the beach using a set of well-knotted ropes and vines, seemingly placed intentionally.  At the top they found another game trail and followed it southward into the unknown jungles of the southern end of the island.


The heroes follow the worn game-trail southward through the jungles of Smuggler’s Shiv.  Kenli quickly notices that there are many more humanoid footprints heading to the west at a junction.  The heroes cautiously head westward, eventually sending Kenli and Mort out to scout ahead, expecting the cannibals to be nearby.  The two scouts sneak down the trail, finding a huge native lizard chained to a tree along the path up ahead.  Behind the lizard a few wooden shacks can be seen at the foot of a tall, somewhat broken, stone lighthouse.  The scouts sneak through the jungles around the lizard to look more closely at the area.  They see many tanned-skinned, heavily scarred men and women with unnaturally sharpened teeth; it is the cannibal camp.  Kenli notices that the cannibals show many deformities and abnormal growths, clear signs of inbreeding over the generations.  Many of the cannibals work about near a large bonfire in the center of the cannibal camp, at the base of the lighthouse.  To the south, the scouts notice a small paddock with four human-sized animated skeletons within.  The decide to return and report their findings to the rest of the group.

The heroes debate about the best way to assault the cannibals’ camp.  They decide on a coordinated attack on the front path, where Wauldmur, Kenli, and Grimsli fire their bows at the lizard, felling it from a distance.  The heroes wait a few moments, expecting the cannibals to come rushing towards them after noticing the loss of their pet.  However, the heroes get impatient and begin slowly moving in.  When they turn the corner in the path towards the camp, they find that the cannibals have been waiting for them, javelins at the ready.  The wild men throw javelins and brandish their rusty scimitars as they charge towards the heroes, their sharp, crooked teeth bared.  By happenstance, Dayvorus and Mort take the brunt of the first wave, fighting them off with spells and rapier as the others join in behind them.  Soon a great melee breaks out and the heroes slash, cut, throw flames, and make many well-placed shots against the wild cannibals.  However, soon they are assaulted by a second wave of cannibals, even angrier than the first.  They are joined by the skeletons from the paddock too.  A well placed fireball and lightning bolt by Dayvorus dampers their momentum, but the battle gets fierce as the heroes barely can stem the tide of wild warriors.

From somewhere unseen, a cannibal witch begins throwing powerful spells at the heroes.  First she summons a deadly crocodile, then she saps some of the lifeforce out of Wauldmur, then she conjures a powerful cloud of noxious gas that leaves most of the heroes stumbling blindly as they clutch their stomachs in sheer agony.  Kenli falls prey to a powerful enchantment that leaves him in fits of hysterical laughter on the ground.  Wauldmur is nearly killed as an unfortunate step puts him on his backside, allowing the red-haired chieftain of the cannibals to slash him mercilessly. Grimsli bears his shield and stands over the fallen warrior fighting back the band of raging cannibals, trying his best to protect both Wauldmur and Kenli.  Wauldmur manages to summon a spider webbing to engulf the cannibals around him, but otherwise plays dead in his weakened state.  

Soon some of the heroes recover and manage to return to the battle.  Mort cleverly sneaks around through the jungles and throws a fiery bomb at the witch, then he leaps in slashing his deadly rapier as he flips behind her and stabs the thin blade threw her wicked heart.  Kianya manages to send waves of healing energies to her friends, reviving them for battle.  Soon the heroes are rallied and bring the final assault to the cannibals and their red-haired barbarian leader.  A few more moments and the heroes stand amidst a pile of smelling corpses and sticky webbing, having just fought the fight of their lives…


The heroes look about the cannibal camp, stepping past the great collection of newly felled corpses.  They look through the ramshackled shacks looking for any sign of treasure or clues.  They find a guest room where Ieana and the Captain must have stayed for some time, as there were wrappings of rations from the Jenivere. They also learn from the pieces of wreckage and the Bael shrine that the ship these cannibals came from was called the Thrune’s Fang, a ship believed to have been owned by the Thrune family of Kalrua.  It sailed from Kalrua to establish a colony in the south nearly 70 years ago.  The heroes find four consorts of the chieftain in his chambers, they are quite scared and do not speak a language the heroes understand.   They let them leave, but soon learn that they threw themselves down into a pit in the center of the camp.  The heroes also find many mechanisms for the lighthouse and believe with some work they could get it operational and possibly signal ships to save them from the island.  The heroes then head down into the great hole in the center of camp.

Down the hole, they find that three of the girls that jumped down are no longer in sight, but one has broken her leg from the all.  Kianya heals her, but she seems upset by the action and cowers in the corner.  They heroes find a network of smoothed caves under the camp that head downward towards the base of the cliffside on the ocean.  They fight off many ghouls and ghasts that seem to rule the caves, feasting on the sacrifices sent down by the cannibals above, including the three newly arrived girls.  They also find a remnant of leather scrawled with blood-writing.  It was written by Captain Kovack.  It seems he was infected with ghoul fever, but as the madness overtook him he was able to relate how he came to his senses in the cavern after Ieana abandoned him.  Her magical charms must have run out and the Captain begs for someone to find and kill her for what she has done.

The heroes also find an immense cathedral beneath the island.  They decide to rest before exploring it further.  They take the cannibal girl above and rest for the night in the camp, sending Kenli’s silver raven to the other camp to let them know all is well.  The next morning, they explore the cathedral in earnest.  Before the enter, however, great bolts of lightning strike across the sky and the island rumbles like thunder.  Not sure what it means, the heroes head down below, back to the ancient cathedral.  They find the remnants of an explosive trap on a giant snake-adorned door.  Inside they find a 10,000 year old altar to Ydersius, an ancient deity of the serpentfolk from when they had empires spanning the southern jungles.  It describes a ritual to activate large monolith stones on the island, one pictograph shows the stone turning men to zombies, another strikes lightning from the stars, and a third changes the tide to crash ships on shore.  This last section has been recently cleared of dust.

The heroes decide to return to the Jenivere camp and bring all the survivors to the more fortified cannibal camp.  They make the long trek back, then convene with the crew and Dodak over lunch, then gather supplies and head to the cannibal camp in the evening.  Just as they arrive they again see the lightning across the otherwise clear sky and hear the thunderous roar of the island’s rumbling.  The heroes then gather for a game plan while many of the other survivors work on getting the cannibal corpses down the hole into the caverns.  Dodak also examines the Ydersius cathedral, not knowing what to make of the matter.  The heroes spend the night and head out the next morning to search around the island for clues about these monolith stones, suspecting that Ieana is somehow activating them, but for what purpose, they are unsure.  They head to Red Mountain, the giant spur of reddish rock on the eastern end.  There they get a wide view of the island, but little else.  The rocks seem unnaturally red and even have a strange taint of evilness about them.  

The heroes press on and explore the much of the jungles.  They eventually meet a tropical dryad named Aycenia.  She relates much about the arrival of the cannibals and the ancient evil that seems to have always been on the island.  She begs the heroes to remove the blight on the small island to the north, where her “…roots cannot penetrate.”  The heroes head north, resting a couple hours at Pezock’s crab shack for the low tide.  They then cross over into the blighted island.  They find a silent eerie island covered in strange fungal growths.  Not a sound can be heard outside of the waves crashing at the shores…


The heroes explore the fungus covered island.  Kenli notes that the fungus seems derived from a species only found in the Deep Underground.  The heroes run into some fungal creatures with crude spears, but Dayvorus quickly dispatches them with a flick of his wrist and a deadly fireball.  The heroes look about the shoreline, finding a shipwreck on the western coast.  A tangle of vine-like fungal strands connect the mainland cliffside to the shipwreck.  The heroes carefully climb across, with Grimsli unintentionally taking the water route.  As they climb on-board the ship, many more of the fungal humanoids attack with their much larger leader.  The heroes quickly fell these creatures and explore the ship, finding it to be named the Nightvoice.  In the cargo hold they find many humanoid corpses that are covered in fungus with some sort of shrine around the bodies.  They also find a few trinkets and the captain’s log.  A quick perusal of the log identifies shows that it will take many hours of work to make sense of it, as it was heavily damaged by molds.  The heroes return to the strange island and explore around the coastline, find a strange spurt of rock on the eastern side, also connected by those long fungal tendrils.

The heroes head across the tendrils, finding a deep cave.  Around the entrance are many fanciful shrine-like objects.  Kenli surmises that the fungal humanoids must have worshiped something here.  The heroes head into the cave finding it thick with a violet pulsating fungus in large batches.  One of the batches attacks and the heroes quickly dispatch it, however, Grimsli takes a painful touch from the fungus, finding his flesh dissolved right off the bone.  The heroes then try to burn away the strange fungus, but that seems to attract the progenitor of the fungal blight, a huge fiendish violet fungus creature.  The heroes fight back the large beast, both Mort, Grimsli, and Kianya feel the deadly sizzle of its touch dissolving their flesh in spots.  The heroes eventually fell the beast, seeing a decaying skeleton within its core.  Upon its death, the fungal blight begins to decay and die away, all over the cavern.  The heroes head out of the cave to find that the entire island has begun to decay and wither to the ground, leaving a nutrient rich mud ready for the jungle to reclaim it.  The heroes climb their way back to the mainland and return to the lighthouse camp.

They find Dodak still hard at work trying to get the mechanisms for the lighthouse in place and the mirrors properly aligned, hoping it will attract a rescue ship.  Gelik is quite thankful for the captain’s log from the Nightvoice.  He offers to tell them anything he can learn from it.  In fact, as the heroes rest that night, he stays up and reads, piecing together the captain’s stories.  The Nightvoice was on an exploration mission many decades ago, determined to find a link of the ancient Xaya society on Xelhasa.  He explains that the Xaya were an ancient people as powerful as the Nomenir and is said to have driven the prevailing serpentfolk empire out of the southern jungles in which the Kulderon area is included.  In fact, the lost city of Seventh-Yhi was a Xaya city founded just after the serpentfolk empire was said to be defeated.  Based on the log, Gelik shares that the Nightvoice did indeed find such relics linking Xelhasa as the origin of Xaya culture, even though only primitive tribes-folk are thought to dwell in Xelhasa now.  The log also says that the crew found a strange fungal pod that spread a deadly mold, killing the crew.  The captain decided to wreck the ship on Smuggler’s Shiv in order to keep the fiendish pod from reaching the mainland.  His last entry indicates that he would take the pod on the shore of the Shiv to find a safe spot for it.

The heroes decide to explore the jungles with Eilaf, to eventually make their way to what they believe to be the treasure spot.  The heroes find an abandoned cabin of the former captain of the Thrune’s Fang, however, they only learn that the captain left his crew after his priest, Nylathati began to influence them towards cannibalism.  The heroes then fight off a giant fire lizard before they reach the treasure spot.  After much digging, they find a wood plug in the hole with the corpse of a back-stabbed dwarf on top.  Under the plug, they find a deep shaft into water.  The heroes send Mort, Wauldmur, and Grimsli to explore where they fight off two ghasts.  They eventually make it to the treasure hidden in a J-bend.  They take the coins and trinkets up to the surface, giving half the coins to Eilaf, who is very grateful, happy to retire if they ever reach Viana.  They all return to the lighthouse camp as the day reaches early evening.


The heroes set out the next day searching the wide jungles for any sign of an underground cavern or cave that might indicate where Ieana headed.  After a long fruitless day, the heroes decide to head back to Red Mountain and re-examine the area for a clue.  They find a small trail that leads off away from the mountain.  As they head towards the inner sea cliffs, a great bat-winged demon-like monster attacks them.  The great red beast quickly throws Kenli to the ground and begins draining the half-elf’s lifeblood with its long fangs. Dayvorus enchants the heroes with a hastening effect and the heroes keep throwing attacks at the creature.  However the assault has little effect as the beast soon throws down Wauldmur to feast on his blood instead of Kenli.  Grimsli shouts some prayers to Solarus to cast the demon from the world as he assaults it with his blessed weapon, greatly injuring the demon.  Soon the heroes are able to make a conjoined attack that fells the beast.

At the end of the path the heroes find four stone spires with a small pyramid-shaped stone covered in runes in the center.  The heroes look over Dayvorus notes on the findings of the ruins under the cannibal camp.  They decide to re-enact the ritual to see what it might do.  Dayvorus finds powerful water-based enchantments that suggest the stone interacts with the sea.  The heroes use the blood of the slain beast against the runes, then Kenli has a small venomous snake lick the blood, then Wauldmur pours down water spreading the blood down the sides through specialized troughs, using his helmet as a bowl (of purest mithril metal).  Then Dayvorus shouts, “Ydersius”, and a great bolt of lightning strikes from the stone into the sky.  Thunder roars around the area as the water down in the inner sea descends quickly, lowering the water level by at least 20 feet or more.  A pair of ominous stone doors are revealed in the lower cliff-side that was once submerged, they open as the water around them reveals them completely.  The heroes quickly descend the 100 feet into the now opened bay.

At the bottom of the bay, they find a wrecked ship with a poor stranded water mephit who seems to have lost his wizard master.  He offers the heroes a magical rope and confirms that a snake-headed person went through the “scary, vampire-doors”.  The heroes head into the doors, noting that they have carvings of vampires on the outside.  They quickly ascend the stairs into the hidden temple finding a large hall.  They fight off a few serpent-folk skeleton guardians.  They then search about the complex.  They find a large scriptorium where Mort is able to decipher a few interesting facts about the temple.  It was built by the ancient Xaya people on top of an ancient serpent-folk temple dedicated to Ydersius, but has now been converted to the worship of Zura, demon goddess of cannibalism and vampires.  The people who once resided here had a hatred both for serpentfolk and the “misbegotten of Saventh-Yhi”.  This confirms that the Xaya were in this region, and did indeed build the city of Saventh-Yhi somewhere either in the southern islands or on the peninsula, as these cultists intended to return to the city to enact revenge.

The heroes then find a small room containing a pool of warm blood.  Kenli and Mort are trapped inside as they explore, leaving the others to fight against some gibbering mouthers.  Kenli and Mort face off against some creepy enchanted bone-dolls with a deadly touch.  However, soon the heroes vanquish both foes and Mort is able to get the trap to reset, opening the doors.  The heroes then continue on into what seems to be the main temple chamber.  A giant statue of the demoness Zura is depicted with a deep trough of warm blood running through the chamber.  Behind the altar steps a serpentfolk in robes once worn by Ieana.  She introduces herself as Yarzoth and the heroes are able to converse with her and she casually explains how she posed as Ieana and dominated the Captain to get this far.  She admits she was searching for these ruins trying to find Saventh-Yhi, though she wouldn’t explain why.  She soon tires of the conversation and demands the “warm-bloods” leave her to study as she was on the brink of a discovery.  The heroes persist, and she then commands her undead servants to attack.

The heroes fight as the many deathly skeletons strike at them while Yarzoth launches deadly spells from behind the altar.  Most of the party is sickened by a powerful evil dweomer, but do their best to keep the skeletons from overwhelming them.  The battle continues as blades slash against unyielding bones, spells fail, and arrows fail to find their mark.  The weakened heroes find the battle turning against them…


The heroes continue to strike against the skeletons who guard over Yarzoth, the serpentfolk cleric.  The skeletons continue to drain the heroes’ strength with each touch, making each hero’s attack less sure to strike true with enough force.  However, they are able to destroy the skeletons and fight off against Yarzoth herself.  She launches numerous deadly spells, but they fortunately have little effect on Wauldmur’s mind or Grimsli’s body.  She then summons a deadly, fiendish constrictor snake to strangle Dayvorus, but Kenli fells it quickly.  Kianya is touched one too many times and falls to the ground unconscious with no strength remaining to keep her upright.  The heroes press on with Dayvorus launching numerous spells at the serpentfolk cleric to little avail, finding her natural magical resistance too much to penetrate.  However, Mort, Grimsli, and Wauldmur manage to surround her and press in their attacks.  She strikes many times with her deadly bite, causing ever more poisons to circulate in Wauldmur and Mort’s blood.  Grimsli is able to ignore the poisons due to his natural dwarven resistance.  Then Yarzoth takes many wounds from Mort’s deadly rapier, causing her to attempt to flee, but as she does so, Mort, Grimsli, and Wauldmur all strike at once, piercing her flesh with three deadly blades.  Her corpse drops to the ground in a pool of blood.

The heroes treat their wounds as best they can and Kenli offers a potion to restore Kianya’s strength.  They then search about the large chamber, finding numerous ancient Xaya carvings.  Mort also finds a large bound journal where the carvings seem to have been meticulously copied and interpreted by Yarzoth, although none of them can read the script she used in her notes.  They then find that the altar to Zura, demoness of vampirism and cannibalism, is the source of evil on the island.  Grimsli presses his hands to the cold stone and prays to Solarus as he imbues it with all his remaining positive energy.  The altar cracks and breaks, sending a massive invisible wave across the island, hurling many of them to the floor.  The evil has been broken. Dayvorus then discovers that if blood is placed on the statue’s lips he turns gaseous and then floats into a small tube that leads to a secret chamber.  It appears to be where Yarzoth was resting when she wasn’t studying the carvings.  Mort joins Dayvorus in order to disable a trap, but fails, finding himself cursed and transmuted into a crude bat-like humanoid.  They find a few powerful scrolls in the secret cupboard and return to the others through a similar gaseous device.  Then all of them return to the lighthouse camp to share with the others.  The finally arrive late in the night and rest until morning.

The next morning, the heroes head to the dryad, Aycenia, and tell her that the evil is no more.  She heals some of their lost strength before they leave.  At the camp, Dodak informs them that the lighthouse is missing too many mirrors to be effective at all angles, so they must choose where to face it.  They decide to use the divination scroll they found to ask Solarus’s angels for assistance.  They receive a typical cryptic response:

Point the light to the sun as it sets, on the third night, the stars will be bright, 

and a ship will lead you on the path to the pillars of light.

While it was clear where they must point the lighthouse mirrors to be rescued, the pillars of light was an unknown phrase.  The heroes spend the next few days resting, while Dodak and Mort work on translating and deciphering Yarzoth’s work.  They succeed in deciphering it and learn that the Xaya who built the temple of Zura on the island were exiled from the legendary Xaya city of Saventh-Yhi long ago.  The city is protected by magical wards that make finding it impossible to those outside of the city, hence why it had never been found all these years.  However, the cult knew that in a military outpost outside the city called Tazion, they could use something called the “pillars of light” to find the way to Saventh-Yhi.  The notes accurately describe the location of Tazion, deep in the jungles east of Viana.

As predicted, on the third night a merchant vessel rescues the heroes and their new friends, taking them briskly to Viana.  Upon reaching the colonial city, they all say their farewells and separate.  They then speak with the guards of the Baron’s Palace and get Jask free from all charges.  They also find that word has quickly spread that the way to Saventh-Yhi has been found and the general location of Tazion becomes known.  However, only the heroes have knowledge of the “pillars of light”.  It becomes clear that there are 5 factions competing to be the first to reach the island.  Each group approaches the heroes offering 500 gold to each hero to join their expedition, and one additional sign-on bonus. 

  • The Historical Society wishes to acquire the relics and riches to share with scholars and museums, with Gelik working on the expedition.  They also offer each hero a magical compass.
  • The Ariana Consortium is a greedy merchant guild from Astonia who wishes to exploit the riches of the city for their own coffers.  They are rivals of the Historical Society.  Eilaf seems to be joining their expedition. They offer the heroes plenty of potions and scrolls.
  • Captain Lewynn, a Pirate of the Fire Islands, wishes to find the wealth of the city to improve her own station among the pirates.  Aerys seems to be joining with her.  Their rivals are the Crimson Blades. They offer a buccaneer henchman for each hero.
  • The Crimson Blades has a mysterious motive to find the city and offer the heroes plenty of poisons for the expedition.  They suspect Sasha is still involved with them, despite her desire to leave them.
  • The Viana Government is also launching an expedition led by General Havelar to conquer and control the city to expand Viana’s influence in the region.  Jask is helping them now that he is a free man.  They offer a soldier henchman to each hero.

The heroes have a lengthy discussion concerning who to join in the race to Tazion, but after a vote they all decide to join the Historical Societies expedition.  They feel that the Society’s goals best match their own.

And so the heroes begin to plan their expedition which is expected to leave in the week…


The heroes speak with Amivor Glaur, an Angmarian leader of the Historical Society’s expedition.  He seems to have great knowledge of the area and has successfully led numerous expeditions into the eastern jungles. The heroes go over their contract with him, where they are given 500 gold each up front and promised an additional shared 1000 gold bonus when they reach Saventh-Yhi. He shows them a land-route that he intends to use instead of the river-route that he expects most other teams to use. It allows the heroes to take minimal supplies so that they can restock in Kalabata before heading along the river northward into the deeper jungles. He also arranged for some merchants to meet with the heroes at the lower harbor black market.

The heroes head to the black market and purchase a few items after perusing the wares for a couple hours. As they return to the Society’s warehouse they hear screams and see a crowd of people rushing towards them. Mort and Kenli easily scramble up the sides of nearby buildings, as the others climb behind a low-wall into a courtyard.  Grimsli just steps to the side into an alley as the horde of people scramble by, all screaming about rabid dogs and the Freemen Insurgents.  The heroes are forced to fight against a pack of mad, feral dogs as they make their way towards their warehouse operations. As they get closer, they hear more people screaming about a fire, and one person tells them that the Historical Societies warehouse is under flames. 

The heroes rush to the warehouse and attack the few insurgents throwing alchemist’s fire at the building. They manage to fell a few of them and the others run off.  Kianya throws water spells at the fires, combined with a bucket brigade by the rest of the party, and they soon get the fires under control. They then find Gelik who informs them that the insurgents tore through the building before the fires and kidnapped Dodak as they headed northward to the Arcadian Whaling Company.  The heroes rush to the fortified whaling operation, cautiously entering the front office into the broad courtyard.  A giant whale carcass spills blood upon the cobbles as they look about. Then some insurgents come out of hiding and fire at the heroes. Their leader, a violent man named Umagro shows Dodak with a knife upon the dwarf’s neck, warning the heroes to not come closer as he hides up on the ceiling of the tallest building.  However, the heroes charge in, fighting against the insurgents.  Mort scrambles quickly up the ladder to the roof of the building.  Just as he arrives, Umagro spits at him, blaming Mort and his friends for the slave trade.  He then slits Dodaks throat and kicks the dwarf down the slanted roof towards the ground below.  The dwarf’s body slams into the ground.

Mort screams in rage and rushes at the insurgent leader, they cut at each other in a deadly duel of blades.  Meanwhile, Kianya rushes around the building to heal Dodak before he dies. Wauldmur concentrates on a few of the insurgents; Dayvorus throw a few spells; Grimsli, Kenli, and Mia take on the many insurgents that come rushing out of nearby buildings, brandishing clubs. Mort slides off the roof, using his shadowy cloak to safely land next to the healing hands of Kianya, who patches both Dodak and Mort.  The others manage to take out many of the insurgents. Umagro leaps from the building and stabs Dayvorus from on high, rolling to his feet. But is soon knock down by the wizard with a flaming blast.  Soon the guards arrive and arrest the remaining insurgents.  Dodak finds a small note hinting that someone told Umagro that the Eternal Embers and the Historical Society were involved in the slave trade.  He reckons that one of the rival factions intended to sabotage their expedition by inciting the Freeman Insurgents against them.

The heroes return to the warehouse and rest.  The next day Amivor sends them out to find local wiseman known as the Tempest to serve as a guide on the expedition.  The heroes head northward to the rocky cliffs by boat and call down the mysterious druid from his cliffside cave. The dark-skinned wild-looking man greets them impatiently, but they eventually get him to come down and meet with them. He agrees to serve as their guide if they can perform two tasks that he believes his deity wishes of them.  First they perform the Task of Water, by retrieving a single black pearl from the ocean depths.  The heroes take their boat and find a helpful village of natives. They are able to trade for a guide and some useful pearl-diving equipment.  Soon Kenli is diving and finds a black pearl.  However, he has to fight off a nasty kelpie first.  They return to the Tempest, which they also know as Nkechi. He gives them the Task of Wind, they must retrieve a single complete feather from a stormbird.  They head northeast to a high prominent cliff.  Dayvorus uses his magic to teleport himself, Mort, and Wauldmur to the top. Mort uses his shadows to hide himself as he searches the giant bird’s nest in the heavy rain.  He manages to find a feather quickly and they teleport to the safety just as the giant stormbird, Chirok, attacks them.

As they prepare to depart, a tribe of Ijo warriors greets them and says Chirok must have gave them her blessing, but they have a right to the sacred cliff. Their strongest warrior challenges Wauldmur to a wrestling match for the feather. Wauldmur quickly wins, using his magical belt to his advantage.  The warriors are quite impressed and invite the heroes to their village for dinner and rest.  The heroes join the tribesmen and find themselves surrounded by happy tribefolk sharing good food and many stories late into the night.


The heroes say goodbye to the tribesfolk and head back to the ocean cliffs and Nkechi’s cave. They show the black pearl and stormbird feather to the shaman, who then takes it to inspect up in his cavern.  He then pops out nearly half an hour later, beckoning for the heroes to climb the treacherous cliff to him.  Only Grimsli and Dayvorus struggle to climb the slickened walls of the cliffside, but soon they are all gathered, sitting in a circle in the shaman’s comfortable cavern.  The shaman paints their faces as fragrant herbs burn in a brazier in the center of the room.  He then eats a bit of root and has them do the same.  Soon the hallucinogenic effects overtake them and they all enter a dream-like trance.  They see themselves float up above the southern jungles where the sky turns red and their bodies reform into animals. Wauldmur is a wolf, Kenli a leopard, Kianya a lioness, Grimsli a boar, Dayvorus a monkey, and Mort a hawk.  Nkechi himself appears as a giant crab.  They then see the lost city of Saventh-Yhi in the jungles, but a dark storm-cloud begins to surround it.  Then a giant dream serpent, the essence of Yarzoth, strikes at them.  Together, they are able to fell the beast in their animal forms, with Kenli making the final blow.  He manages to decapitate the serpent, who changes shape vaguely into the decapitated serpentfolk deity, Ydersius.  After the ominous event, they return to their senses back in the shaman’s cave.  Nkechi sees that a great evil is coming to the jungles and claims that his deity wishes him to join them in their quest.  So they set out to return to the city.

They make some last-minute preparations for their expedition, learning that the rest of the crew plans on being many days behind them.  That last night Mort and Grimsli speak with Umagro, trying to get him to understand that they do not support the slave trade, however, the former slave seems unwilling to listen, too consumed by hatred.  They then join the others at the tavern where Wauldmur, Kenli, and Dayvorus proceed to get quite intoxicated.  The next morning the three of them suffer from their evening choices as they head out on the long expedition towards Kalabata and Tazion.  After a few days, the heroes reach what appears to be an abandoned mine.  Amivor had suggested they go through the mine to save time.  While camping the night near its entrance, Kenli and Grimsli meet a strange, young northern girl named Athyra who seems to hunt in these jungles with her deinonychus companion, Jaji.  She relates that her parents were killed in the mine when she was young and warns them of the undead inside.  The heroes decide to go in the next morning anyway and Athyra asks them to recover her father’s locket.

The heroes fight their way through the abandoned salt mine, learning that the miners have become strange salt wights.  They then find a strange blue globe inside the mine, it radiates a strong necromatic and negative energy aura.  The heroes destroy the undead within and retrieve Athyra’s locket, as well as a deed to the mine itself in her name.  The combined positive energy of Kianya, Grimsli, and Nkechi destroys the globe, thus ensuring no more undead will rise again.  The heroes then make it out of the other side of the mine, where Athyra, on her fast mount, was able to meet with them.  She thanks them for the locket and deed and begs them to see her again when they pass through.

The heroes continue onward, looking to rest with a bunch of merchants in a caravan heading to Viana.  They entertain themselves with a violent cock-fight, where Kenli, Dayvorus, and Mort lose some coin.  In response, Mort manages to steal some back, but Kenli only manages to annoy one of the leader’s thugs.  This leads to a bare-knuckle duel, with more bets being put on Kenli.  Kenli barely manages to beat the large man, after his hunter’s instincts kick in. The ringleader refuses to pay, but in the end, hands over all the winning of the night to avoid a fight.  In the end, the heroes come out a little bit ahead.

The next night, after the heroes traverse much of the expansive savannas between the hills and the jungles, they find a small native village on the edge of the jungle.  The villagers invite them to trade and share in their dinner.  Dyavorus speaks with the village shaman and learns that the village has been attacked by a chemosit, a large demonic brain-eating ape-bear, each night for the past 2 weeks. They offer to help destroy it.  Meanwhile, Mort joins in the acrobatic entertainment and really impresses the villagers. They offer one of their daughters to the young rogue, who graciously accepts and spends the night with her on the far side of the village.  The others, however, sleep in a hut prepared by the shaman with some goat’s blood, to attract the chemosit.  She wishes them good luck as night falls and the heroes wait for the beasts to come out…


The heroes wait patiently through out most of the night, listening intently for the chemosit.  Then a great ape-like beast tears off the front of the small hut. The heroes rush out with Kenli and Wauldmur felling the beast quickly.  A thunderous roar from the nearby canopy brings two more chemosits to attack.  Only Kianya seems shaken up by the roar, and soon the heroes dispatch the beasts.  They pile up the corpses before returning to their hut for sleep.  The next morning the old shaman thanks them for their heroic work and gives them two gifts.  One is a shrunken monkey head that she tells them will dispel evil demons, the other is a treasure map to a sunken ship in a lake near Kalabata.  They also learn that Mort has inadvertently married the girl he had relations with. Her name is Chana and agrees to wait for the rogue to return to the village on his way back to Viana. Nkechi promises to help the rogue sort out the cultural differences when they return.

The heroes continue on into the wide savannas and grasslands, facing off against a group of ankheg’s in the open fields.  They dispatch the large insect-like creatures easily. The next day they fight off against a pack of giant vultures. Then the following day they reach the outskirts of Kalabata where they find a gallows tree with many hanging corpses of Vianan soldiers.  Nkechi notes it is the work of the Zali tribe. The heroes inspect the corpses to find that they are in fact plague zombies, animated and eager to kill.  They are able to quickly dispatch them, as Dayvorus seems more than eager to throw balls of fire these days.  After a few hours, they reach Kalabata as the night draws in.  The city is much like Viana, with broken scattered huts of poor natives surrounded by the rich vistas of the northerners who conquered the region.  Numerous Xaya ruins dominate the hills, many fixed up and used as homes for the rich and powerful.  Down by the docks things are quiet with a sense of danger and dread in the air.  Nkechi warns them to be wary and to trust no one.  They get near to the Shrunken Head Tavern when a native child approaches them, she sells them a few trinkets and offers to bring them to the tavern.  They take the wooden fetishes which she says will tell the nearby tribes that they are friendly. Mort notices that she sends a sign to someone hidden in the shadows and keeps an eye on her as they head to the tavern.

When they reach the tavern Mort sends the girl off and outs her for her treachery.  She runs into the alleys.  They then meet with Cheiton, a large burly dwarf with lots of experience in the region.  He warns them about the dangers ahead: such as the xenophobic Zali tribe that is at war with the Viana government and hates foreigners.  He also warns about the Eloko headhunters, spriggans of the jungles that delight in collecting scalps of larger humanoids as well as eating them.  And the worst, he warns, is the demon-worshiping ape-like charau-ka as they are fierce warriors and typically have powerful magic users among them.  He explains that they have a parcel of supplies ready for pick up at dawn by the docks. He also notes that the wooden fetishes they bought from the girl will most certainly invite hostility from the local tribes, so they discard them.They then retire to Cheiton’s house to get some sleep.  Mort and Wauldmur use Grimsli’s magic to keep watch over the night while the others sleep comfortably in Cheiton’s guest rooms.  However, late in the night, assassin break through the windows with poisoned daggers ready to kill.

Mort manages to fell one of them as they burst in and rushes at another before anyone is awakened.  Wauldmur rushes up the stairs to help.  Meanwhile, an assassin breaks into Grimsli and Kenli’s room, but is unable to harm the dwarf much before they retaliate.  Dayvorus and Nkechi fall prey to the assassin’s poison before they can react, and they are paralyzed.  Nkechi has his throat slit, but thankfully Wauldmur intervenes before Dayvorus suffers a similar fate.  Kianya’s also has her throat cut, but Kenli managed to scare the assassin in mid-stroke, so she barely survived the attack.  Cheiton is killed in his room before anyone is aware.  Mort uses his scepter to turn into a swarm of snakes and chases out the assassins as the rest of them are killed.  Kenli helps track the last one down and they interrogate him.  They learn that the Crimson Blades hired these local thugs, hoping to slow them down.  They let the thug go, hoping it will help deter others from attacking them.  Mort and Kianya take Nkechi to a local shrine of Bacco.  The others bury Cheiton in his yard after noting the location of his sister in Viana, based on his letters.

They set out at dawn, retrieve their parcel, and sneak out of town quickly; hoping not to arouse suspicion for what happened.  They follow the river along past the lake, meeting with many friendly tribes-people along the way.  The next day, in the tall grasses along the river, they face off against an ambush by Zali warriors, but Dayvorus blasts most of them and scares away the rest.  Later that day they find a hippopotamus scared rushing towards them, fleeing from a lizardfolk hunting party.  Dayvorus likewise evaporates the lizardfolk as Kenli tames the hippo.  The next day they reach the Screaming Jungles where the high-pitched cacophony of monkeys nearly causes them to go insane. However, they persevere and continue following the river as the land rises steadily upwards and northward.  As they head through a dark part of the jungles, where the canopy nearly blocks all light, they see many humanoid corpses rotten and torn apart ahead of them.  Then something comes rushing out of the jungle…


The heroes prepare themselves as a rushing dire ape bursts from the darkened canopy.  They quickly fell the large beast before it can injure anyone.  However, out of its broken form rises the wispy essence of a shadow demon.  It vanishes instantly, hiding in the shadows of the trees.  It manages to throw a few deadly spells at the heroes, including summoning some shadowy crocodiles. Kenli considers using the monkey’s head to dispel the evil demon. However, the heroes persevere and try to slay the elusive demon.  It temporarily possesses Dayvorus, trying to use the wizard’s scrolls against the party, however the frail half-orc is quickly pinned down and the demon takes into Wauldmur’s body instead.  There it is able to cause more injury, however, the others manage to knock Wauldmur to the ground and slay the demon as it exits.  Kenli sighs in relief, knowing he can still save their new monkey-head for the Nabasu demon that hunts him still.

A few day of travel go by and the heroes pass some obvious fresh tracks heading into the nearby jungles.  Kenli and Mort decide to explore the tracks and follow them to a nearby clearing.  They find a boar with its entrails laid out for mystical inspection.  They are then ambushed by a Zali necromancer and his troll zombies.  They call for help as Kenli is struck blind.  Kenli and Mia slay the necromancer as Mort uses his scepter to take the form of many snakes.  Dayvorus uses his magic to teleport the others to the clearing and with much effort, they slay the trolls.  They find a powerful mask on the necromancer that Kenli soon adorns; they also find a magic spear from the nearby cairn.  The heroes then continue on their journey.

A day or so passes as the heroes find themselves leaving the jungles into more wild tall grasses along the river side.  They are ambushed by a band of Eloko headhunters.  However, they all fall quickly to the seasoned heroes.  A few more days pass and the heroes get to the point where they must leave the river through the hills towards Tazion.  They find four beautiful native women bathing in the river.  The women quickly dress and introduce themselves to the heroes, begging them to join them for dinner as the evening grows late.  The heroes comply and enjoy a feast of wild rice, fish, and frog legs.  Mort and Grimsli notice that something is wrong, as three of the women seem glassy-eyed and always allow the leader, Zakiyya to answer any pointed questions.  Soon Mort draws his blade and confronts Zakiyya, who turns out to be a succubus who has dominated the other women  through some profane ritual.  The heroes scare Zakiyya away, knowing she will likely return. The other women thanks the heroes for their efforts, but worry of the return of their dark mistress.  The heroes are left in a moral dilemma deciding what action to take next, stay and wait for the demon to return, possibly losing their lead in the race.  Or continuing on to Tazion, leaving these women to their eternal damnation by the demon succubus.


The heroes prepare themselves and wait through the night, expecting the evil succubus, Zakiyya, to return.  However, as the morning comes the heroes become convinced that the demon is gone for good.  The spirit dancers offer the heroes each a tattoo that will help link them to their spirit animals.  Due to time constraints, only Grimsli, Wauldmur, and Mort are able to receive them, as it take several hours.  Soon the heroes are out marching westward through the rocky hills towards the ruins of Tazion.

The next day, while traversing some particularly rocky outcroppings, Kenli notices a large giant up ahead.  The heroes rush in, finding themselves beset by two hill giants.  With a quick tactical attack, they manage to fell each giant without too much issues.  They continue on through the hills for another 2 days until entering a wetter jungle on the far side.  As they head through the jungles it becomes clear that things are a bit more wild and dangerous than the other areas that they have traveled through.  As evening causes the light to dim, the heroes reach the outstretched ruins of a broken circular wall around the ancient outpost of Tazion.

They find a break in the wall and quickly enter, although Mort and Kenli are briefly detained by a barbed net trap.  As they enter through the thick jungle trees within the outer wall, they come across a band of charau-ka, the demon-worshiping ape-men that Cheiton warned them about.  Dayvorus throws mighty fireballs at the enemies, weakening them greatly, but they press on.  They seem quite adept at throwing rocks with painful accuracy, and pelt the wizard with many of the blunt instruments.  The heroes cut their way through the band, eventually slaying them.  They quickly press through the trees, finding a circle of ruined stones around a large gaping pit.  There is some writings on some of the pillars.  The heroes see four charau-ka attempting to push a man into the pit, where numerous tentacles seem to be reaching for him.  The heroes rush out and slay the charau-ka along with the tentacle beast.  Wauldmur and Mort both end up at the bottom of the pit and bring out some lost relics.  The man thanks them, but seems apprehensive.  The heroes learn that his name is Vaygus and he works for the Crimson Blades.  Although he does not tell them much, the heroes let the man run free, knowing that more members of the Crimson Blades may be about the ruins.

The heroes head northward to the center of the ruins, where they find a large towering structure, mostly crumbled and broken as towering baob trees tear the stones apart.  Many pools of dark water surround the structure.  They cautiously climb the broken wall and work their way into the ruins proper…


The heroes turn a corner in the ancient Xaya ruins of Tazion, finding many charau-ka armed and ready on some narrow bridges over pits of black, glossy water.  The heroes charge around the bend and attack.  Mort simply leaps to the make-shift bridges and cuts away with his rapier.  The heroes press in as more charau-ka arrive from an adjoining room.  The heroes eventually fell the remaining beasts and enter to the back chamber.  They find a large burning pit with three bodies, drenched in sticky tar, hanging from the rafters, ready to be burned in sacrifice.  They pull the people down, finding them to be local Zenja tribes-people.  Dayvorus uses his magic to understand the eldest’s brothers native language.  They learn that he and his brother and sister were taken as a band of more than 100 charau-ka attacked and ransacked their home village.  The zenja man also mentions that he saw a man sneaking around the previous night.  The heroes suspect that they saw a member of the crimson blades.  The heroes escort the captives out of the ruins into an area of thick jungle many hundred feet away, but still within the outer wall of Tazion.  The night begins to creep in and the heroes formulate a plan for the night.  Kenli and Mort take guard, hiding among the foliage as the others sit about and eat, sharing their rations with the former captives.  After a few hours, quietly talking under the shadow of darkness, Dayvorus creates an extra-dimensional space and they all climb up a rope inside, leaving Kenli and Mort to guard.  

In the middle of the night, in the wee hours of morning, a couple charau-ka warriors sniff about the area, looking for the scent of men.  Kenli quietly draws his bowstring as he feels the warriors are getting too near the hidden rope dangling near a tree’s trunk.  Thankfully the vines hanging everywhere helped disguise the rope.  The charau-ka, however, seem to make the assertion that the heroes headed south and leave the area.  Many hours pass and morning arrives peacefully.  The heroes then sneak their way across the overgrown ruins to the edge of the outer wall of Tazion, where the zenja captives are safe to run into the wild reaches beyond.

The heroes then return to the ruined building where they found the captives.  Mort and Kenli scout ahead past the great black pond to the northern end of the ruins.  They find a giant elephant statue, and beyond that a couple angry charau-ka warriors.  Kenli sends his silver raven to call the rest of the party to them while he and Mort try to fight off the enemies.  The others rush towards them, following the silver raven back to its master.  The battle gets fierce as a great charau-ka priest appears and send deadly spells and powerful blows upon Mort.  Grimsli slips as he rushes towards the battle and falls head first into the bubbling tar pit. Thankfully, Wauldmur heard the splash and rushes back for the sinking dwarf.  Meanwhile, Mort and Mia are being devastated by the powerful blows of the charau-ka priest.  Dayvorus and Kianya send what spells they can, but the priest stands strong.  Kenli fells the priest’s large snake, and continues to target the priest.  Soon Mort falls as Mia tears into him due to the priest’s domineering magic.  Dayvrous risks his life saving Mort from the brink of death, and before he drops himself, he unleashes a felling lightning bolt into the priest, knocking the unconscious charau-ka into the wall.  Meanwhile, through much effort, Kianya and Wauldmur manage to pull Grimsli from certain doom at the bottom of the tar pit.  As Mort comes back to consciousness, he finds that his ancient Arathian snake rod saved his life by giving his soul a temporary vessel as his body was unstably damaged, however, having expelled this power, the rod crumbled to dust.

The heroes regroup and find a magical moonstone in an elaborate bone monument of Ydersius.  They then proceed to explore other ruins of Tazion, where they are ambushed by a charau-ka patrol…


The heroes quickly vanquish the charau-ka patrol and continue to the western end of the ruins of Tazion.  They come across many ruined buildings and take a closer look at the stonework.  Dayvorus finds a small opening and the others join him to explore.  Inside, they are attacked by a huge water elemental hiding among the few puddles.  They fight back at the beast, some safely behind the narrow openings of the underground chamber.  Eventually the elemental is slain and the heroes find that the underground chamber is an extensive aqueduct system for the ancient fortress.  The heroes follow the underground tunnel to the east, noting a broken passage midway that used to head to the north.  They then find themselves climbing out into another ruin.  Mort finds that the place is covered with slithering snakes, although only a few are large enough to be dangerous.  The heroes fan out and quickly fell the dangerous snakes and crawl out of the ruined building back into the jungles of Tazion.

The heroes then head northwest into the jungles, searching out the walls of Tazion for more ruins.  They eventually come to a large stone ziggurat covered in jungle flora. The heroes enter the through a side door, finding a chamber dedicated to a demon lord of warfare and the sun.  They then find a connecting chamber dedicated to some forgotten goddess of the stars.  They fight off a few mithril constructs shaped like deadly snakes before continuing to the next chamber.  

They then enter a courtyard where a plant-like beast forces Mort to hallucinate some horrible events as Wauldmur quickly fells the beast.  The heroes then enter the main chamber, finding it overrun with gigantic wasps.  The heroes struggle a bit with the wasps, as Mort, Kenli, and Mia are infused with much of their slowing poison.  However, the fiendish queen is felled and the heroes decide to find a place to rest, despite the fact that the sun has not even reached high-noon.  The climb into the nearby jungles and rest a couple hours before climbing into Dayvorus’s extra-dimensional space and resting most of the day.  After a long rest, the wizard prepares some new spells, and the heroes return to the ziggurat as night overtakes the sky.  Inside they find two more chambers, one dedicated to the dark tapestry of the Far Realm, the darkness between the stars; and the other devoted to the moon.  They also find a giant wasp nest in the center of the main chamber, but no wasps remain.  The heroes then enter into the back chamber finding four floating Xaya statues.  The statues seem to pulse as they float in the air above the pillars…


The heroes get closer to the Xayan idols to find that they are animated constructs imbued with magical energies.  The idols attempt to fascinate the heroes with shimmering lights, asking them to lay down their weapons and accept judgement.  However, Kenli feels compelled to attack the idols which results in them going hostile.  The idols use many enchantments to hold the heroes still or keep them distracted.  However, soon the heroes are able to break and destroy the stone constructs.  When they are destroyed, a faint spirit-like energy is released which seems to enter the heroes’ minds.  They all gain memories of how to operate a strange arcane device featuring a large column which uses crystals to shift swiveling subsections.  They leave the idol room and continue exploring the ancient Tazion ruins.  They decide to climb to the next level and peer into another room which contains the very columns they had gained familiarity with through the idols’ memories.  There are four columns for each celestial body: the moon, stars, sun, and the darkness between the stars.

Kenli identifies the gems embedded in the great rooms ceiling as star constellations from many centuries ago.  Dayvorus likewise identifies the grid-like pattern on the floor as a map of the southern jungles as they appeared many centuries prior.  He also spend some time examining the columns and believes he can activate the columns with the proper gemstones.  Remembering the magical moonstone they found as the eye of the charau-ka’s snake effigy, Dayvorus is assured that it will activate the moon column.  They head to the next room over to find a great ancient genealogical tree on the wall, indicating places that the ancient Xayans traveled in the area and made settlements.  They can trace the Xayan people from their ancient homeland beyond the sea through the islands of the Selicean Sea into the southern jungles near Kulderon.  Some archaeological notes scribbled on the wall next to the tree shows that some explorers, perhaps only a century or two ago, deciphered a few of the settlements on the tree.  It indicates the following places: Tazion, Kazara, Taifon, and Saventh-Yhi.  This suggests that some other explorers may have found the ancient city centuries prior.

The heroes are then attacked by what seems to be a charau-ka hunched in the top corner of the room.  It throws spells down at the heroes, causing them to be unprepared as sticky webbing fills the chamber.  At the same time, two charau-ka warriors rush in from the column room throwing stones.  The heroes prepare for battle.  Wauldmur is almost immediately enthralled by the charau-ka in the corner who seems to have some sort of dominate mental hold on the warrior.  The others fan out avoiding Wuldmur’s deadly blades as they try to combat the ape-like humanoids.  Dayvorus throws some spells as Kenli fires his arrows, but finds it hard to hit the spellcaster.  It becomes clear that something is amiss and the heroes throw off the illusion of the charau-ka in the corner.  It is really a serpentfolk sorcerer throwing deadly spells at the heroes.  Lightning bolts, disabling enchantments, and plenty of fire and pain is released by the sorcerer.  The heroes struggle as Wauldmur attempts to kill them, against his own will.  Eventually the other charau-ka warriors are slain and the heroes run around away from Wauldmur.  The heroes gang up on the serpentfolk sorcerer using their best teamwork.  Mort leaps up at the monster as Mia climbs the broken walls to bite at the snake.  Eventually Grimsli downs one of Dayvorus’s levitation potions and floats up to attack the sorcerer, felling it with a deadly strike from Durindana.  On the snake’s corpse, they find a magical sunstone, a diamond, and a black opal.  The last magical stones for the columns to activate the pillars of light…


The heroes decide to head out to rest before trying to activate the pillars of light.  They head back into the eastern jungles of Tazion and rest in Dayvorus’s extra-dimensional space.  The next morning, they head back towards the ziggurat, but find many Ariana Consortium mercenaries in combat with some charau-ka.  After the charau-ka are defeated, their leader, a bald sorcerer named Dargan Etters, speaks with the heroes, trying to learn how long they have been there and what they have found.  The heroes are able to keep most of their information secret, and explore more of Tazion as Dargan and his band explore the ziggurat.  The heroes then later return to the ziggurat to find Dargan and his men still there.  Eventually they agree that the magical stones to activate the pillars need to be found and decide to each split up to look for them.  The heroes only pretend to go searching, but sneak back towards to the ziggurat and activate the pillars of light.  The magical light amplifies the sunlight and focuses a beam on a spot on the ancient map carved into the floor.  Additionally, an illusionary view of the great city of Saventh-Yhi can be seen above the map.  Kenli notes the locates and discerns that the ancient city should only be a couple days travel to the northeast from Tazion.  The heroes then deactivate the pillars and sneak out of the ziggurat, however, Mort is sure he heard the sound of someone hiding in the chamber, suspecting that one of the other factions just learned the location as well.

The heroes rush to the exit of Tazion where they run into Armivor Glaur and some Historical Society agents.  He says they just arrived and moved past a large Ariana Consortium camp on the southern end of Tazion.  They were preparing to make a camp on the eastern end of the ruins.  The heroes explain what they found and they agree to pack up and head as a group towards the ruins of Saventh-Yhi.  After two largely uneventful days of hiking through thick jungles, they reach a high cliff with a nameless waterfall pouring down, beyond the cliff appears to be only more jungle-covered ridges.  However, Kenli insists this was the location marked on the map.  The heroes find that the trail to the top of the ridge is so overgrown it will take the expedition team at least 2 days to clear the trail to bring up supplies and provide a reliable supply train back to Kalabata.  So the expedition starts on clearing the trail while the heroes use their climbing skills and magic to reach the top of the ridge.  After crossing the ridges threshold a great illusion is dispelled from their vision, a huge ancient city, mostly well preserved, appears before their eyes.  They see seven large ziggurats with 100 ft tall spears reaching for the sky on their tops, marking each district of the ancient city.  The heroes climb down the trail towards the ruins.  They fight a few wayward pteradons crossing a bridge before coming across a ruined building.  Mort finds some ghostly ants that scares him away from the area along with the complete lack of animal life.  So they head down into the ruins proper and explore.  Dodak is able to note that each of the spears of each district contains a magical effect that is applied to help those of the district.  There are seven districts:  military, mercantile, artisan, government, residential, temple, and farming.

The heroes are attacked by a dangerous chimera on the streets as they explore, but manage to fell it without too much harm.  The heroes then find a strange building covered in many simian skulls.  Inside they fight off some ape-like kech’s before heading back northward to find a place to rest.  They enter a small village and take residence in an old keep for the night.  The next day they head out to explore the ruins…


The heroes set out that morning as the fog from the lake sweeps over the ruins, making visibility difficult.  However, they manage to explore a few structures as they make their way through the old mercantile district to the ziggurat in the center.  Upon reaching the top of the 100 ft high ziggurat, as the day grows closer to noon and the fog burns away in the heat, the heroes can see much of the ancient city.  The seven spears of each district stand tall over their corresponding ziggurats.  The flooded lake in the center seems to be obscuring many parts of the city beneath its relatively clear waters. 

The heroes decide to head towards one partially submerged building on the eastern bank of the mercantile district.  They swim across the gap and enter into the strangely muted and darkened building.  In the entrance hall they find some murals and writings on the walls.  With much deciphering, Dodak is able to identify the building once served as the city’s treasury.  The heroes search the rest of the upper part of the building, eagerly looking for ancient treasures, however, they only find empty vaults and a group of deathly shadows eager to sap the life from the living.  They are led by a powerful shadow lord. They manage to fight the haunting undead away, but Wauldmur, Grimsli, and Kenli have much of their strength taken from them as their muscles grow weak and cold from the shadowy touch. The heroes find a small fortress on the south side, an old guardhouse, while looking for a merchant’s guild to give them more information about the district’s magical spear in the ziggurat. They then find the old guildhouse down the street and spend much of the day learning more about the merchant district and the powers of the spear to enhance commerce.  They also learn that only one spear may be able to be activated at one time in the city.

They decide to explore a manor on a northern hill, but on the way they are ambushed by a hungry crocodile of monstrous proportions.  It manages to swallow Kenli whole as the others waylay it with many attacks.  Soon Mia is swallowed as well, but thankfully the heroes fell the great beast before it can do more harm.  The heroes take some of its meat and head to the manor.  Upon reaching the site, Kianya and Grimsli sense the presence of benign spirits of the dead who wish to impart knowledge to them.  They decide to camp and sleep there for the night, allowing their dreams to be influenced by the spirits.  In the morning, they seem to recall strolling along the Military District and feel like they have some familiarity with its streets and the intimidating power of its spear.  That morning they head to the base of the waterfall and check on the progress of the Historical Society explorers.  They find that they have just finished and Amivor and his team are ready to enter the city and make camp.  The heroes lead the team to the ruined guardhouse they stayed in their first night and work to make a campsite.  During the day, they talk with Amivor who warns them that the Pirates of the Fire Islands and the Ariana Consortium will be right behind them.  They also got in a small scuffle with the Consortium’s mercenaries earlier resulting in the death of one Society member.  

After the camp is set, the heroes head out in the middle of the night towards the treasury to find the mysterious shadow lord who escaped them the other day.  On the way, however, they are ambushed by the giant night bat they had seen flying around the mercantile ziggurat.  It swoops in and grabs Grimsli in its mouth.  Mort reflexively leaps up and grabs onto Grimsli while stabbing at the beast.  Kenli and Wauldmur shoot up at the creature, but it begins to swirl up into the night sky, cloaked in the fog, taking the dwarf and wayward rogue with it…


The heroes fire what projectiles they can at the giant night-bat holding Grimsli in its gaping maw.  Mort continues to dangle from his hold on Grimsli’s legs as he strikes up at the bat with his pointy blade.  With a few successful arrows, the beast is quite injured as it climbs higher in the sky.  Mort makes one final death blow, before leaping off the beast and floating to the ground safely in a swirl of shadows.  Grimsli, unfortunately, slams to the ground hard with the carcass of the bat.  Thankfully his armor absorbs most of the hard landing.  The heroes continue heading to the shadowy treasury looking for the shadow-lord and its minions.  They make it into the building only to find a handful of lesser shadows grasping at them from the floors and walls.  The heroes make short work of the shadowy undead and decide to continue searching the district for the shadow-lord.  On the way, they are ambushed by a pack of wights, but manage to fell them quickly.  As they head back to camp, they notice a shadowy glimpse of a pair of chimeras in the moonlight, but decide to check it out later as the fog is getting too thick.

Upon reaching camp, they decide to rest until morning.  Dayvorus scribes some new spells to his spellbook as the others prepare their plans for the day.  Amivor tells them that his scouts found that the Viana military has set up camp along the exit path along the river, seemingly controlling the entrance and exit of the ancient city, trying to exert their authority on the region.  He doesn’t suspect they’ll cause any problems as long as the Historical Society stays on their good side.  He also relates that a group of HS members are trying to clear the northern route along the mountains from Kulderon to create a path for a fortnight journey to the city if things with Viana go sour.

The heroes head out towards where they saw the chimeras.  Kenli believes them to likely be perched in the tower on the southern island.  The heroes head to the island and prepare their assault on the nearby beach.  However, they are waylaid by a chimera hiding in the thick jungle behind them.  Soon two of its kin join in to fight as well.  The heroes are hard pressed as the beasts spew much caustic acid at them and their numerous bite and claw attacks nearly fell Wauldmur, Kianya, and Kenli.  The heroes manage to fell the beasts with much effort.  After healing their wounds, they climb up to the top of the old tower finding a smelly nest filled with numerous bones and carcasses.  Amid the debris, the heroes find a lot of glimmering coins and a few magical trinkets.  Dayvorus finds a magical spellbook satchel carrying the spellbooks of a powerful wizard named Edren Lekadnus.  In an adjorning room, they find the corpse of the dead wizard, he seems to be only a couple years decayed and bears a Ariana Consortium pin on his tattered robes.  How he came to be there is still a mystery.

Grimsli has a strange premonition from Solarus that something is wrong, but is unsure what it means.  The heroes then search about the area some more, but the torrential rains and fogs cause them to return to camp.  Upon returning, they find that the camp is largely destroyed and more than 2/3 of the members lay dead.  Amivor and Gelik seem quite injured but are able to tell them that Dodak has gone missing.  A great green beast with tentacles, the size of a house, tore through their encampment along with another camp to the east.  The beast attacked and ate many people before tearing back the way it had come towards the center lake. The heroes chase through the path of destructuion to the docks, finding the camp of the Pirates of the Fire Islands.  The pirates seems to have suffered much destruction as well.  Aerys and Captain Lewynn tell the heroes that many boggard tribesmen attacked with the beast, that they seemed to be worshiping. They all left when the beast went back into the deeps of the lake.  The heroes follow the path down to the water’s edge, but from there it grows dark as the sun itself begins to set….


The heroes mull about near the waterside hoping to find some sign of Dodak or the beast that may have eaten him.  However, they  eventually decide to return to camp and rest for the night.  The next couple days, the heroes stay at the camp hoping to hear some sign of the missing dwarf, but also to help rebuild the ramshackle walls around the old keep and take stock of the group’s supplies.  They also help tend the wounded of the few survivals of the Historical Society.  During one of those days, the camp is attacked by a three giant parrot-like birds eager to be-head the heroes.  Mort manages to instantly fell one of the beasts by sticking his steely rapier into its eye.  The others were killed shortly thereafter.  The camp greatly enjoyed the fresh meat. 

 One morning, the heroes decided to try and look for the missing dwarf and continue their explorations of the city’s ruins.  They head down into the mercantile district and climb to the top of a ziggurat.  As the morning fog clears away, they are able to see northward at a large plaza where a battle seems to be taking place.  The heroes rush over to the area, reaching the spot in about an hour, however, they find that the battle has long ended.  The Viana military seems to be holding the location.  The heroes approach and are able to learn from the soldiers that there is a charau-ka army taking residence in the Military District of Saventh-Yhi.  The soldiers also point out that the large fortress on the hillside nearby is likely their home encampment.  So the heroes decide to head out towards the fortress, thinking that perhaps Dodak was kidnapped by the ape-like brigands.  

When they reach the base of the fortress, the heroes are attacked by a few charau-ka scouts, firing small bows from high on a cliffside.  A giant ape also rushes down the stairs towards them.  The heroes make short work of the ape and fight their way up the stairs towards the fortress proper.  Upon reaching the top, they burst in the door to find an ambush of many charau-ka and their dire-ape pets ready to fight.  A great battle ensues and the heroes find themselves greatly outnumbered.  Dayvorus throws a fireball up at the archers above them, while Kenli manages to throw his javelin of lightning at many of them.  The battle gets fierce and the heroes prepare their greatest magic and skills for the assault…


The heroes fight hard against the charau-ka army.  The ape-like creatures seem to be gathering more of their numbers in their home fortress, sending forth many able-bodied warriors and dire-ape pets.  Soon their chieftan, a giant white angazhani,an albino girallon, with four great arms leaps down from the upper balcony and begins pummeling the heroes with deadly axe attacks.  The heroes do their best to stem the flow of charau-ka warriors while trying to keep their front line.  Grimsli and Kenli get separated from the group and have to fight their way back as the heroes attempt to flee.  Dayvorus provides enhanced speed with a hasting spell and they are able to flee from the fortress.  Mort manages a hampering strike on the chieftain just before he leaps off the cliff and floats down to the ground in a swirl of shadows.

The heroes head south and head towards the main plaza of the military district.  They are able to observe a large contingent of charau-ka warriors engaged in some sort of martial/spiritual dance led by a shaman on the ziggurat. The heroes sneak past the plaza and explore some of the eastern sections of the military district. They find a large temple dedicated to Nurzgal, demon-lord of combat and warfare.  Although Kianya notes that in ancient times, Nurzgal might not have been considered a demon-lord. The heroes then head to the northern section of the military district, behind the ziggurat as the afternoon rains plunge the city in thick fog and rains. The heroes find a small tower and proceed to seize the tower from the charau-ka guards.  Mort sneaks in and begins the fight.  Soon the charau-ka guards are dead and the heroes flee the area before the rains subside.  

As the heroes return to the entrance pillars, they find that the Viana soldiers that once guarded the area are all slain, clearly by a charau-ka retaliation.  The heroes head to the Viana government’s encampment, find a large wooden fort carved out of the jungles.  They meet briefly with General Rotolius Havelar, and he thanks them for informing him of the loss of his men.  They share some of their knowledge of the region, however, the heroes are afraid to divulge too much to the eager general. It becomes clear that the general wishes to control the region and control the artifacts and relics within.  In the end, the heroes head to their own encampment and rest for the night.


The heroes awake the next morning and begin gathering their things for another excursion into the ruins of Saventh-Yhi.  However, Dayvorus begins to frantically search the area, finding that the Crook of Cildhureen is absent from his belongings.  Kenli searches the area for any tracks of possible thieves, but there is no sign.  The heroes conclude that either the Crimson Blades or the shadows of the ruins must have stolen the powerful staff.  The heroes decide it better to use what magic they can to try to find both the missing crook and the missing dwarf, Dodak.  Dayvrous takes some time to learn some spells in the various spellbooks he carries.  The heroes then escort the wizard to the southern end of the merchant district.  From there, Dayvorus summons a powerful magical steed to carry him, using powerful divination magicks to try and locate both the crook and the dwarf.  He rushes through the merchant and military districts in the late morning as the fog clears, hoping his spells will lead him to some clues.  As the wizard explores down into the farming district, he narrowingly avoid some boggards.  He then travels northward through the temple district where some deadly mantises kill his magical horse and the half-orc falls hard to the ground as ready prey for the giant vermin.  Thankfully, the wizard is able to teleport himself quickly away and summon another mount to return home.  He brings the bad news to his comrades, finding no sign of either the missing crook or dwarf.  The heroes then rest for the night.

The heroes decide to head along the southern coast towards the artisan district in the morning.  On the way, they are attacked by a giant dinosaur-like animal, which they manage to quickly kill and take its juicy meats.  While Kenli cuts the meat off the giant beast, the others notice that there are many ruins just under the surface of the lake.  The heroes then proceed up the giant stairway into the artisan district.  They find many well-tended terraced gardens along the high climb, guarded by life-like statues of elder people.  When they reach the top, they find many tribal soldiers, clearly of Xaya descent, blocking their passage.  It seems the ziggurats on the plateau is home to the Tribe of the Sacred Serpent, an art-focused tribe trying to perfect their craft.  Their leader, a man named Osond, greets them in the Nomenir tongue.  He invites them to meet their spiritual leader, the Radiant Muse.  The Muse is an angellic lillend who seems to know much about the area.  She asks that the heroes vanquish a nearby vampiric beast that has been preying on the tribe.  Upon doing so, she promises to ally with them and allow them passage in her domain.  Additionally, she seems to be able to read their thoughts, and grows worried finding that the Crook of Cildhureen is lost in the city.  She warns the heroes that Queen Rhoswen could regain her power by taking advantage of the magic of the city’s mantle.  

Taking this grave news, the heroes decide to head to the government district.  The heroes sneak past the military promenade, taking advantage of the afternoon rains, and head along the broken bridge to the central government district.  They find that many serpentfolk warriors guard the bridge and are forced to fight their way through, even though one warrior managed to escape.  They are successful and soon reach the other side as the heavy rains continue to downpour.


After felling the serpentfolk, the heroes strike into the government district of Saventh-Yhi trying to find a place to get away from the pouring rains.  They find a long building nearby and attempt to enter, however, they find that there are numerous serpentfolk using the building as a guardhouse.  After a quick battle, the heroes search the broken building while waiting for the rains to subside.  The heroes search around the northwestern side of the district, finding little of interest as the post-rain fog fills the ancient city.  The heroes fight some more serpentfolk in the fog near the entrance to the district’s ziggurat.  Dayvrous then casts a spell to try to locate the missing Dodak again.  This time, the spell detects the dwarf’s presence somewhere to the southeast.  The heroes rush towards the southern end of the island, but run afoul of a giant two-headed snake beast.  Grimsli slashes Durindana at the snake, severing it into two beasts.  Soon the heroes are able to slay them and continue towards Dodak’s signal.  

They find the spell pointing towards a giant forum building shaped like a giant egg.  The heroes, feeling their spells and wounds are too much, seek shelter in a building on the west side away from the forum.  In the meantime, Kenli sneaks into the egg-shaped building looking for Dodak.  Inside, he find a hellish scene, numerous corpses of tortured victims hang from the walls and ceiling of the large chamber.  In the center, numerous tables and torture devices surround a person.  The person appears to resemble Dodak from behind, and he is cutting into someone else on a table with sounds of glee escaping his lips.  Kenli rushes back to the others and they decide that they must try to rescue Dodak, who must be possessed by the demon mentioned in Kianya’s divination response from the angels of Elysium:

To find the dwarf, seek entertainment, and southward hence you’ll find the most viscous entertainment known to mortals. 

The stout of heart is broken apart, a mind and soul torn asunder, his heart yet beats, but his soul yet weeps, for a demon strikes with thunder.

They decide to sneak into the large forum chamber and try to knock out the possessed dwarf.  As they make their way in, Grimsli leads the way trying to soothe the frantic Dodak.  However, he detects the evil presence in the form before him while also noticing the the person on the table also looks like Dodak.  Fearing the worst, Grimsli attacks the impostor, summoning his righteous anger.  The others join suite and lay attacks at the fake dwarf.  Soon the dwarf sheds his form into that of a crocodile-headed humanoid with hands that seem to be upside-down.  Dayvorus recognizes it as a raksasha, a demon of this world.  The heroes try to slay the beast but it seems resistant to most of their attacks.  Only Durindana, with its holy glow in Grimsli’s hands, seems to be able to penetrate the demon’s flesh.  After many attacks, the demon vanishes with an invisibility spell and the heroes search about the room.  Meanwhile, Kianya and Grimsli are able to heal and pull Dodak out of the torture table and out into the relative safety outside.  

Grimsli returns to the chamber and searches for evil in the area, finding the demon hiding near the top of the forum steps.  It suddenly reappears and lashes at Mort, who was nearby.  Grimsli charges in to aid his friend and the battle continues…


Grimsli continues to face off against the demonic rakshasa while Mort and the others head outside to meet a wave of serpentfolk coming down the street in defense of their “god”.  The battle outside goes relatively quickly, as Wauldmur slows them with a magical web.  Kenli and Mia join in to take them out.  Inside the rakshasa pelts Dayvrous and Grimsli with numerous bolts of deadly lightning.  Both of them come close to death.  The rakshasa grabs the dwarf’s head and points a deadly spell at him.  He offers to the others that he will not kill Grimsli in exchange for his freedom.  The heroes reluctantly comply and let the beast leave in invisible form.  The heroes take Dodak, who’s mind is lost, to a nearby buildings and rest for the night. 

The next day, the heroes head north and explore a few buildings before heading back to camp to leave Dodak in the care of others.  He only babbles incoherently to himself and seems lost in another world.  They manage to reach the campsite after encountering one of the Vianan fortifications on the entrance bridge.  They leave Dodak in the care of Gelik and Amivor as the head towards the Artist District in search of the vampire that plagues the Tribe of the Sacred Serpent.  They reach the high hills and search many buildings looking for the undead beast.  Eventually, while searching an old guardhouse, Kenli notices Mia acting strange.  Then a monstrous vampiric beast leaps down and strikes at Wauldmur.  The heroes rush to fight, but Dayvorus and Kenli are paralyzed by fear upon looking at the monstrous entity.  Grimsli and Kianya use their holy magic to strike at the beast while Wauldmur and Mort lend their blows.  Soon the beast is defeated, although Wauldmur and Mort feel as if their life essence was sapped by its vampiric powers.  However, just as they though the danger was over.  Mia rushes out of the guardhouse and takes off into the foliage of the nearby hills.  Kenli rushes after her with the party right behind him.  He follows her tracks far into the hills to a small glade, where she leaps from a high tree onto Grimsli.  The heroes prepare their non-lethal weapons and strike at the panther, trying to subdue her, believing her to be possessed by the vampire’s spirit.  Soon the panther is knocked out and the heroes tie her up before taking her to the Radiant Muse.  

The Muse thanks the heroes for their efforts and assures them that Mia will be fine by the next day when the vampires spirit is unable to bury itself and regenerate.  She also makes them honorary members of the Tribe of the Sacred Serpent.  The heroes then join the tribesfolk for the remainder of the day learning about their many crafts and trying to impress them with their own.  The next day, the heroes find Mia is restored to normal and they head north to explore more of the Artist district, now that they have the Muse’s permission.  They find a great statue of Saventh herself, depicted holding the severed head of Ysersius.  Soon a few snake swarms attack the heroes, but thanks to some well placed bombs and fireballs, the snakes are destroyed.  The heroes are forced to save Mort and Dayvorus from their deadly poisons, with Mort coming near to death.  They are restored and ready to explore the writings on the many pillars around the plaza…


The heroes search around the great pillars covered in ancient Xaya writings, as the great statue of Savith stands tall over them.  Mort spends a couple hours examining the ancient runes as the others mill about and poke around the area.  Mort learns the story of Savith leading a great army of Xaya warriors from some place called “the islands” after a serpentfolk army failed to invade.  The ancient Xaya then marched into the southern peninsula conquering the serpentfolk where Saventh-Yhi stands and driving them into the deep underground where Ydersius was beheaded.  He learns that there are many underground vaults deep between the city and some sinister darkness further below.

The heroes then head south and around the Artisan District, looking for places of interest or other writings.  They come across a giant pen of basilisks in an ancient game field.  They later talk to the Radiant Muse about the basilisks, where she confirms that the old tribefolk offer themselves to the creatures to be forever cast as statues with their final breaths.  The Muse also asks for their help to deal with the plague left behind from the vampiric beast’s attacks.  Grimsli is able to cure many of the disease, and promises to return to heal the final victims.  The heroes then move to the southern shore to explore some of the underwater buildings.  Kenli swims down deep finding a rotted skeleton clutching a sword in the sand.  Wauldmur comes down to help and prys the sword free.  Dayvorus identities the ancient weapon as an excellent choice when underwater.  

The heroes then decide to head north to confront the charau-ka in the Military District just as the afternoon rains begin.  As they reach the entrance bridge, however, they find that the Vianan defensive fortifications are smoking and under attack.  The heroes rush up the hillside and up the steps into the battle, finding the guardsmen largely overrun by furious charau-ka.  The heroes strike at the enemies as the thick rains pour.  Drenched and exhausted the heroes fight their way through the enemies as many guardsmen continue to lose their lives.  Dayvorus provides a magical haste spell that quickens his friend’s attacks.  He also throws a few deadly spells in the rare moments he can get a glimpse of the action through the rain.  Wauldmur and Mort chop down many foes as the work their way deeper.  Grimsli, Kenli, and the remaining guards hold the defensive.  Then a group of dire apes and the angazhani leader rush in felling most of the remaining guards and causing much pain to the heroes.  Wauldmur is then dominated by the angazhani’s magic and forced to slaughter the remaining guards and attack at Mort and Kianya. Then the angazhani releases a scream of terror that causes fear to stir in the heroes’ hearts.  They decide to flee down the stairs as the dominated Wauldmur searches them out to slay them…


The heroes rush down into the jungles from the extended stairs that lead up to the Military District of Saventh-Yhi.  They band together and rush through the jungles away from the place where Wauldmur’s mind was overtaken by the powerful anganhazi, Olujimi.  The heroes reach their campsite just as the rains begin to increase in strength.  They sit at camp and try to come up with a plan for rescuing Wauldmur from his domination and possibly defeating the charau-ka leader.   Dayvorus prepares some new spells while Mort finds a rapier on loan from the Historical Society.  

After an hour, they head back towards the entrance bridge as the rains fade away and the thick fogs begin to gather near the lakeshore.  They find most of the charau-ka bodies on the battle site have been removed while the bodies of Viana’s soldiers have been eaten and defiled.  The heroes head towards the fortress, expecting the charau-ka leader and his new thrall to head there.  They climb up the winding stairs around the cliffside to the front door, finding no resistance.  Then Grimli leads the way into the fortress, Durindana held high to light the way.  They find it quiet and empty.  However, the dwarf detects the presence of the vile charau-ka above them on the second floor.  So the heroes march into the courtyard to find Olujimi and Wauldmur waiting for them.  Then charau-ka begin to break out of every door and entrance-way ready to attack.  It was an ambush.

The heroes fight hard against the charau-ka as Kenli manages to close the door to the entrance chamber where more charau-ka can be heard.  Then Olujimi throws a stone emanating supernatural darkness into the area, cloaking everything in impenetrable shadows.  The heroes try their best to fight their foes in the gloom.  Suddenly Olujimi himself seems to teleport into the chamber and begins thrashing wildly at his enemies.  The heroes decide to flee as Wauldmur joins the combat, slashing his deadly blades at his companions.  Each blow testing the warrior’s sanity as he must helplessly watch his body perform its master’s commands.  The heroes decide to flee the ambush with Kianya and Mort heading west and climbing over the wall, with many enemies behind them.  Dayvorus, Kenli, and Mia escape out the front entrance while Grimsli tries to catch up with numerous charau-ka behind him.  Thankfully, Olujimi and Wauldmur retreat to the inner chambers as the charau-ka chase out the heroes.  However, Wauldmur manages to break off the domination and makes a break for it with Olujimi striking at him and chasing the warrior out of the fortress.  

The others head back to help Grimsli escape, but are joyful to find Wauldmur rushing down the stairs with the giant white-ape, Olujimi swinging at him from behind.  Eventually the heroes all regroup on the crumbling stone stairs on the north side of the fortress, a 100 ft drop to one side, and a high cliff on the other.  Olujimi marches towards them as they decide to flee or make a final stand…


The heroes fight against Olujimi and his charau-ka guards on the high cliff.  The wind rustling against them as they strike at the great white four-armed ape.  Grimsli prays to Solarus to bless his sword as he strikes at Olujimi.  With many well-placed blows, the great ape seems greatly injured by the holy blade.  Olujimi then teleports himself away, leaving the heroes to charge into the fortress and fell the remaining charau-ka guards.   Mort notices that Olujimi seems to be leading a ritual atop the ziggurat with many charau-ka warriors. The heroes find the fortress empty and decide to head to the Viana encampment to gather some help to finish off the charau-ka leader.  General Rotilius grants the heroes only six of his soldiers as many of their men are greatly injured.  The heroes offer what healing they can to the soldiers before heading back towards the military district’s plaza.

When they reach the plaza they are attacked by some four-armed girilions. The battle attracts the attention of the charau-ka on the ziggurat and they seemed to have finished their ceremony.  The giant demon-like ape statue on the top of the ziggurat comes to life and soars down towards the party.  Kianya recognizes the half-fiend beast and begs her friends to flee.  Soon the heroes are scattering as the beast lands on some of the Vianan soldiers, tearing their limbs from their bodies.  The heroes send the remaining soldiers back to warn their encampment as they themselves head to the Pirate’s camp.  They warn the pirates of the coming assault of the charau-ka army led by the newly released demon.  The pirates thank them and prepare to flee.  The heroes then reach the Historical Society’s encampment and tell Armivor to do the same.  The Society members prepare their escape as the heroes remain to hold back the advance scouts of the charau-ka warband.  The heroes easily defeat them and flee into the jungles as the demon can be seen flying on the horizon.

The heroes then lead the Historical Society members to the Artisan District to find shelter with the Tribe of the Sacred Serpent.  The Radiant Muse provides more dire warnings about the demon, for she herself was the one who turned it to stone many centuries prior.  The heroes rest for the night among the tribesmen.  In the middle of the night, Dodak is visited by the Radiant Muse, who seems to cure his mental illness.  The next day, Dodak seems normal again and eager to explore the ruins.

  The heroes first set out to clear out an old fortress for the Society to use as a new encampment.  It seems empty and safe, but there is still an eerie feeling about the place.  The heroes then head to explore a submerged ziggurat in the lake of the Farming District.  They build a quick raft and head over to find a small building atop the ruins.  Inside is a sickly green light emanating from a glass bottle.  They quickly learn that a demon is bound inside the bottle, offering its expertise in arcane lore and spellcraft.  It seems eager for the heroes to ask it questions and Dayvorus devises that the creature will be freed when enough questions are answered.  The heroes wisely decide to leave the demon alone and consult the Radiant Muse…


The heroes try to ask the Radiant Muse about the demon-in-a-bottle, but she seems to not know of its existence, and suggests it may be a newer addition to the city.  The heroes then return to the submerged ziggurat and throw the annoying demon’s bottle into Mort’s magical bag, keeping its constant insults and taunts silenced.  The hope by holding the demon themselves, it will not fall into the wrong hands. The heroes are preparing to leave, when a giant frog-like monster with four tentacles and a giant gaping maw climbs on to the ziggurat.  Atop its massive head is a stalk with three eyes.  It sends out a spiky tongue as it charges at the heroes.  Wauldmur and Grimsli rush in to attack as Mort sneaks around behind the beast.  They quickly find that its tentacles have a deadly grip and each of them suffer significant constriction pain.  Kianya tries to keep them healed as Dayvorus throws spells and Kenli fires arrows.  Eventually the heroes are able to wear the beast down and Mort manages a final attack into its eye stalk, felling the beast.  The heroes then notice on the far shore, that many frog-like boggards are fleeing having now watched the death of their “god”.  

The heroes head to shore and decide it is best to start searching for the shadows and Queen Rhoswen.  They make a quick stop at the Historical Society’s makeshift camp within the tribal ziggurat before heading into the old treasury tower in the mercantile district.  They find the place empty and abandoned, not sure if it is because it is midday, or if the shadows have truly abandoned the place.  They then head to the old pirates camp only to find major destruction from the charau-ka attack.  They search a few more locations in the area but ultimately decide to return to the farming district.  There they face off against some boggards in the afternoon fog as they explore an old agricultural records building.  They easily defeat the frog-like warriors and Mort is able to learn a little about the history of the farming district and the power of the district’s spear.  They then head to a mysterious island on the eastern edge of the district where they find a magical effigy of the giant froghemoth they had slain.  Dayvorus is able to discern that the effigy was made to ward the farming district from some undead creature, but he is unsure of which creatures and why.  The abandoned den appears to have belonged to some sort of boggard alchemist or shaman and has been abandoned more recently.

The heroes then head back to the artisan district as night falls, heading to the old fortress to ensure that it is safe before they allow the Society to set up camp there.  The night goes without any issues and gives time for Dayvorus to study the demon in the bottle.  He learns the the demon is a powerful Hezrou demon of the abyssal swamps and that it might be best not to release such a powerful creature.  The next morning, the heroes prepare for the day’s ventures…


The heroes spend the next day helping the Historical Society members prepare camp in the abandoned fortress.  It takes the rest of the day, but soon they have a defensible position with all their gear and supplies ready for use.  The next day the heroes decide to head out to look for Queen Rhoswen by searching for the shadow-lord that attacked them in the old treasury.  Dayvorus uses his magic to search for the undead shade as the heroes reach the eastern end of the mercantile district.  They search from one bridge to the other without any luck.  They then decide to cross the northern bridge into the government district’s western island.  They have some trouble getting everyone across, but soon they stand on the central area.

The heroes begin searching about the area, with Dayvorus still using his magical sensor to locate the evil shade.  They come across an ancient Xaya forum with many large columns that seem to spell-out ancient Xaya laws.  Mort sets to read what he can of the writings when the heroes are attacked by a pack of zombies (most of them former Vianan soldiers and pirates).  The leader of the zombies is a boggard shaman.  The shaman tries a few spells on the heroes, but is quickly subdued.  They decide to take him back to the camp to interrogate him.  Before they do so, however, they search the rest of the island, finding only a wand of strength for their efforts and learning some mundane details about Xaya law.

The heroes return to camp and interrogate the boggard shaman.  Grimsli leads the interrogation with the aid of Dayvorus’s magic to be able to speak with the frog-like creature. They learn that he was scouting the city for the “voice of the swamp”, which might refer to the froghemoth that the heroes killed.  The shaman insists that the “voice of the swamp” has returned and he does service for it.  They also learn that the effigy of the froghemoth was made by the shaman to ward off the vampiric beast which the heroes had felled.  The shaman had consulted the demon-in-a-bottle to learn how to construct it and likely consulted the demon numerous times beforehand.  The heroes also learn that the “smelly ones” of the temple district are to be feared as they worship a “false god” and have great power.  Kenli slays the shaman and they burn its corpse before heading out.

They decide to head to the ziggurat in the farming district to see what it might teach them.  They head straight up the stairs in the thick fog of the late afternoon to find a host of boggards charging down at them.  Dayvorus slays most of them with a well-placed fireball.  The rest of the sub-chieftan barbarians charge at the heroes along with their formidable leader. The leader wielded a large falchion and nearly kills Mort, Grimsli, and Wauldmur.  Eventually, however, the heroes were able to slay the tough warrior.  Dayvorus grabbed the large sword for his own use as they searched about the make-shift hut on the top of the ziggurat.


After searching the Farming district’s high ziggurat, the heroes look about from the tall vantage.  They decide to head south to explore the farm-house ruins along the flooded marshes.  On the way there, however, Kenli spots something shimmering in the waters.  Upon closer investigation, the heroes find many valuable trinkets that seemed to be left in offering to the now-slain frog deity of the boggards.  Grimsli finds a much needed ring to aid his swimming, while Kenli grabs an ancient Xayan serrated longspear.  The heroes then search about most of the farming districts southern homes, but turn up little other than a few clues to the district’s history and its spear’s power.  

The heroes then explore near the ancient dam that once controlled the water flows from the rivers into the city’s central lake.  It is horribly damaged and might explain why much of the city is now under water.  The heroes attempt to cross a nearby bridge, but after Kenli smells something horrible near the end, they turn around and move around through the thick jungles instead.  They reach the Temple district and immediately head into the district’s heart.  They are then attacked by a giant camulatz, a head-severing parrot, which seems eager to feast on them.  After many brutal attacks from above in the thick evening fogs, the heroes manage to injury the beast enough to send it fleeing.  The heroes then are attacked by a group of troglodye hunters, bearing the foul stench Kenli smelled earlier.  Trying not to lose his lunch, Dayvorus throws a fireball at the hunters.  They are all felled instantly in a fiery inferno and Wauldmur confirms they smell worse when charred.

The heroes then head north into the main plaza as the sun’s light grows more dim and and the fog begins to lift.  They are attacked by more troglodyte scouts and soon fight their way up into the ziggurat of the Temple district.  The heroes are then waylaid by a giant fiendish mantis which keeps Wauldmur held within its deadly clutches.  The camulatz returns to pester Dayvorus, but Grimsli and the wizard make short work of it.  Mort, Wauldmur, and Dayvorus all nearly face death as the fight on the ziggurat stairs increases in intensity.  Many troglodyte warriors join the fray with their deinonychus pets causing much mayhem for the heroes.  Just as the heroes recover their health and vanquish most of the troglodytes, the fog clears and they see the high priest and his acolytes descend upon them, eager to offer blood to their mantis demon-lord…


The heroes charge at the high-priest and his acolytes on the high ziggurat in the temple district of Saventh-Yhi.  They manage to fell the fiendish giant-mantis blocking their path and fight head-long into the priest and his minions.  Wauldmur is knocked out many times, never quite able to stay upright.  Mort, Grimsli, and Kenli manage to make many devastating attacks while Dayvorus throws the last of his spells.  The half-orc summons a rolling ball of fire to attack his enemies as well.  Just as the tide of battle is turning, the troglodyte high-priest withdraws into the ziggurat’s upper chamber and closes the door.  As the heroes charge up after him, another fiendish mantis appears to attack them outside.  When Grimsli and Wauldmur manage to get the door open they find the high-priest recovering a serrated blade from a hidden compartment, brandishing it at them.  Grimsli nearly swoons from the powerful evil aura emanating from the sword.  The high-priest then disappears into thin air.  

Grimsli closes the door, leaving Wauldmur inside to fight the invisible priest.  However, soon Wauldmur is slashed so expertly that he falls to the ground again in his own blood.  Grimsli hears the commotion and opens the door again, rushing in to tend to Wauldmur’s wounds and fight the invisible priest.  Meanwhile, outside the others manage to fell the fiendish mantis and come rolling into the small chamber to flush out the invisible attacker.  They take many wounds and the battle slowly moves outside after the priest seems to teleport out of the chamber.  Dayvorus takes a fierce series of cuts and the others rush out to aid him.  The battle continues and the deadly priest manages to fell Wauldmur, Grimsli, Mort, and Mia.  Then, a squad of Crimson Blades assassins and priests charge in to help kill the high-priest and claim the sword for their own.  After they do so, they attack Dayvorus, Kenli, and Kianya, demanding their surrender.  They regretfully comply and the whole party is tied up and nearly all their gear taken from them.  The Crimson Blade leader, a vile elf named Chivane, who now wields the Mantis Blade, orders them to leave them to die by wandering beasts.  The Crimson Blades then rush out of the city leaving the heroes to die.

The heroes desperately try to escape, but find the professional assassin’s bindings too advanced.  After many minutes of trying, however, Sasha comes and cuts them free.  Kianya is then able to revive the party and they all take cover in the small room atop the ziggurat as night falls.  Sasha explains that the Crimson Blades only came to Saventh-Yhi to find the Mantis Blade, a vile weapon created by the demon-lord Lascer long ago.  The ancient Xaya worshiped the mantis-like Lascer as a deity of war and monsters.  The Crimson Blades now are fleeing the city to escape the strange shadow that has enveloped the magical barrier covering the city.  Sasha decided to forsake them after they killed her pet dimorphodon. The heroes rest for the night, but find the next morning that the sun cannot be seen, only an unnatural darkness covers the sky.  They head quickly back to the Historical Society’s camp.  Armivor explains that all members are hiding at camp since the shadow appeared over the city during the night.  The heroes grab what supplies they can from the camp’s stores and prepare themselves to find out if this dome of shadow will block their escape.


While the heroes rest in the Historical Society camp, Wauldmur, Mort, and Kenli head to the border of the shadowy dome covering the city, just a couple hundred feet from the keep.  Mort steps through and finds that despite the cold chill it sends down his spine, he is able to pass through the barrier.  Just then a group of shadows attack them.  They find their non-magical weapons do little to harm the shadows and try their best to flee.  Kenli, adept in the ways of the jungle, runs as fast as he can to get magical aid for his companions.  Mort and Wauldmur, however, try their best to step away from the shadows in the thick undergrowth, slowly succumbing to their strength-draining touch.  Soon Amivor and the others rush in to help, dispatching the wispy shades.

The heroes then return to the keep to find that the Society explorers are under attack by more shadows.  The heroes rush in, doing what they can to stymie the invasion.  After dissipating the remaining shadows, the group gets together and discusses the situation.  Amivor decides to abandon Saventh-Yhi and the heroes agree.  After a few hours of packing their things, the Society is off with the heroes.  The heroes, however, return to say farewell to the Radiant Muse and the Tribe of the Sacred Serpent, who are also fleeing the city.  The Muse does not seem happy with the situation, knowing it was the heroes’ fault, however, she also says she has foreseen their return to Saventh-Yhi some time in the future and the defeat of Queen Rhoswen.  She is also convinced that Rhoswen cannot escape the boundaries of the city’s magical dome. The heroes head out of the city, finding that the Pirates and the Vianan Gov’t have also abandoned their camps.  

For now, Saventh-Yhi, the City of Seven Spears, will be known as the Umbral Dome, a strange shadowy bubble on the jungle landscape, and Lair of the Queen of Shadows.

The heroes catch up to Amivor and the Society, finding strange humanoid tracks leading towards the north road to Kulderon.  Kenli follows the tracks and the heroes head back to their home city.  The north road follows the mountains in the sharp, cool hills.  After a few days of travel, they come across a dead human in the road.  Upon investigation, they are attacked by a pair of hill giants in ambush.  They quickly dispatch their foes and discover more corpses.  It appears a Crimson Blade assassin killed his fellows for a bag of loot, only to be waylaid and killed by hill giants.  The heroes find most of their stolen gear in the possession of the corpses.  However, some things seem to be missing, likely with a different band of Crimson Blade assassins or their leader, Chivane, who now wields the Mantis Blade.

The heroes are fortunate to run into the Historical Society’s restocking caravan and are able to hitch a ride to Kulderon.  After two weeks of travel, the heroes reach the high obsidian walls surrounding the caldera of Kulderon.  There is a large commotion of their return, as many thought they were dead.  Lord Vhalantru and Lucias Verado restore their ownership of their homes and businesses, and their managers are grateful for their return.  Coryston, bartender of the Dancing Dragon, shares much of the news of the city since they left.

The taxes seemed to have gotten worse, with the taxes hitting the merchants and upper class the most. There have also been an increase in half-orc mercenaries supplementing the town guard, taking residence in the Minuta’s Board flophouse.  The Last Laugh’s jester coins are in greater circulation, but the economy seems to be doing generally poorly, with wages dropping.  There is much dissent among the commonfolk against the rule of law.  Mort learns that his grandfather passed away, leaving his shack to the rogue.  He also learns that a woman, possibly a relative, was looking for him a few weeks ago.  Kenli learns that the famed hunter, Ramman Dresdan, an orc ranger, seeks to meet with the half-elf.  Dayvorus learns that Emmaline and his un-born child are doing fine.  He also learns that Zordan is addicted to krenf and in some major money problems with the Last Laugh, he was begging for 1,000 gp.  Grimsli learns from Thora that Solarus has given her a prophecy concerning the paladin:

“Ancient evil has always loomed near, awakened by hope and a valiant man’s fear, rising to strength with organized actions, an onslaught ensues upon divergent factions. Provincial emancipation can follow legional decapitation.”

The heroes spend a few days recovering from their ordeals and are ready to enjoy their city life once more.


The heroes return to their city life, working their respective businesses.  Kenli meets with Ramman Dresdan, the famed hunter of the region.  The orc offers to join into Kenli’s business as a partial-retirement for himself; helping Kenli manage the establishment, lead hunts, and capturing exotic creatures.  He promises to build a new creature habitat as his contribution.  Wauldmur meets with Zakgad Splintershield who wishes that Zenith’s sparkling mithral full-plate armor be returned to the dwarves of Kalavar.  Wauldmur returns the armor and even fits it to Zakgad in exchange for a fair amount of gold and increased iron shipments for his smithy.  Grimsli works on adding a kitchen to his growing establishment, while Mort begins construction of a greenhouse to expand his growing mercantile dealings.  Dayvorus and Kianya work hard at creating a new healing wand for the group.

One night, Dayvorus and Kenli use some invisibility magic to steal a small coffer of gold from Minuta’s Board, a flophouse where all the half-orcs in the city’s guard are staying.  Kenli only makes off with a small amount, getting partially seen in the process.  Pilok Minuta blames the theft on the Last Laugh thieves guild.  Dayvorus then enjoys a few drinks, telling tales of adventures to his fellow half-orcs.  That night, Mort meets with his Last Laugh contact and learns that things might not be as bad as he thought.  The contact had plenty of harsh words to say about Terseon Skellerang, Captain of the Town Guard, for his increased “law and order”.  The half-orc mercenaries in the town guard do seem to be doing a good job keeping the peace in the growing dissent, which is making things more difficult for the Last Laugh.  If anyone is causing trouble or uprisings, it would likely be the merchants or nobility, hit hardest by the increased taxes.  

The next evening, Dayvorus finds that Emmaline has been kidnapped, only a blood-written note was left behind, reading: “If you want her back, head down the south road, bring your friends.”  Dayvorus rushes to the Dancing Dragon, gathering his allies to help him.  They make their way down the slope of the south gate into the rolling hills near Kulderon, just as the sun begins to set.  Then up ahead on the road, they spot a glowing body.  They cautiously approach when Kenli notices a large frost giant trying his best to hide in the trees.  The heroes spring into action as their would-be ambushes also leap out of their hiding spots.  They find that an evil adventuring group called the Necrocants, composed of some intelligent undead and lead by a dark priest.  They wish to kill the Eternal Embers to gain the bounty on their heads placed by Baron Levente of Kalrua.  A great battle ensues and the heroes fight for their lives…


The heroes continue the fight against the evil Necrocants, who are trying to collect the bounty on the heads of the Eternal Embers.  Wauldmur charges in with Grimsli behind, striking at the evil cleric, ghostly rogue, and deathknight.  Dayvorus tries to fight off the worm slowly eating his intenstines as he throws spells at the enemies.  Kenli fires what arrows he can, although his curse makes him far less accurate.  Mia charges in and attacks in her more bestial form while Mort tries his best to stand up and defy the magical orders forcing him to his knees.  Eventually the heroes are able to slay the deathknight and knock Kyron Bonesworn, the evil cleric, down to the ground.  Grimsli strikes with Durindana and smites the ghost and it dissipates. Mort manages a well-placed strike on the flying necromancer as she comes in to drain his lifeforce.  She then flees to Khyron and the two of them teleport to safety. The heroes destroy the remains of the frost giant and head back towards town.  

The heroes reflect on the battle and take time in the next few days to put the finishing touches on their new experiences.  Grimsli meets with many new initiates willing to join in the Order of the Silver Dragon and follow him as a leader.  The dwarf works on expanding his gathering hall by adding a kitchen.  Kenli continues to expand his operation with a taxidermy workshop, spends some time learning how to evade fireballs, and teaching Mia some new tricks.  Wauldmur expands his knowledge of fighting techniques and continues to work on a new chain shirt for himself.  Mort adds a few new rooms to his operation, including a soup kitchen and sleeping area for the poor and destitute.  He also studies a new language with Dodak and practices his precision strikes.  Dayvorus spends much time working on his dissertation on the magic of Saventh-Yhi, but also manages to research many new spells and learning spells from the books he has discovered.  Kianya finds her service to Sol has greatly increased the strength of her prayers.  The heroes also decide to build a headquarters for their adventuring group and many contribute resources for its eventual construction.


The heroes continue working on there various businesses and the construction of their stronghold. Wauldmur finishes his masterfully-crafted chain shirt and is forced to fire a stealing employee.  Dayvorus finishes and sells his tome on the magic of Saventh-Yhi.  Dayvorus also begins working towards his tower to accompany the stronghold.  After a week of work, the heroes get word that traveler’s have gone missing along the trade road near the Lucky Monkey.  Not wanting to waste any time, Dayvorus teleports the group in two batches arriving within minutes of receiving the request for help.

The heroes speak with Shela Marsh, Oren’s wife, about the problems.  She explains that four travelers have simply gone missing, likely killed by some dangerous denizen of the nearby jungles.  The heroes wait until morning to go searching the area, trying to find evidence at the last place of attack.  They eventually are ambushed by the creature, a huge green dragon.  The heroes face off against the beast, nearly succumbing to its deadly acidic breath.  Wauldmur and Grimsli manage to hold the dragon at bay as Dayvorus attempts to throw spells at the resistant dragon.  Kenli fires what arrows he can after scrambling away to safety.  Mort uses the power of his cloak to sneak around the dragon.  Kianya spends much time brandishing her holy symbol to heal her companions.  While the beast was occupied by Wauldmur and Grimsli, Mort leaped upon the dragon’s back, finding a narrow gap to plunge his pointy rapier into the beast’s supple flesh.  He pierces its heart and the beast falls.

The heroes looks around the area, expecting to find the beast’s lair.  Sure enough, they find a small cavern about a mile away.  Inside they find a pile of glittering treasures.  They are forced to kill the dragon’s young wyrmlings, who try to defend the lair.  They then share the loot and return to the Lucky Monkey.  Wauldmur dons a fanciful mithral breastplate adorned with Nomen symbols of Numenor, the Platinum Paragon.  Kenli takes a pair of healer’s gloves, while Mort dons a glowing leather skull-cap.  The group share many potions, scrolls, and wands between themselves.


The heroes decide to walk home to Kulderon with their bounty, enjoying the sites along the road from the Lucky Monkey.  The the first day and a half are uneventful, but are then attacked in the evening on the second day just outside Kulderon.  Mort gets the feelings of something strange going on, and soon they find a group of mercenary brigands attacking.  Wauldmur, Grimsli, and Kianya do their best to not cause mortal wounds to the bandits, but the others slay mercilessly.  Dayvorus torches many of the men with fire, while Kenli’s arrows pierces many hearts.  Even Mia munches on a couple of the brigands.  Mort stabs a few in their exposed backs.  After the battle, the three remaining bandits plead for their lives.  The heroes learn they are out of work mercenaries, saying the Blue Duke and his half-orc mercenaries have run them out of their contracts, so now the rob to earn their keep. The heroes make a deal with them and offer them honest work and labor at their stronghold construction site.  They then reach Kulderon in the night.

The heroes continue working at their businesses for the next couple weeks.  Nothing too exciting happens over that time, Kenli taxidermy’s the green dragon they felled and sends it to the Lucky Monkey, Mort is robbed by the Last Laugh, but then manages to impress Lady Knowlern with his growing emporium, Wauldmur is commissioned by the town guard for some weapons, and Dayvorus makes a magical discovery.  Gold pours into their coffers, as trade and labor exchange, and they enjoy a restful time in the city.  Dayvorus takes some time to create a few magical items for the group, creating a magical quiver for Kenli and a giant’s strength belt for Wauldmur.  Wauldmur creates a masterfully crafted sap for Mort.  Mort’s soup kitchen for the poor finishes and he sets about to add a glassworks to his growing emporium.  Grimsli adds a flophouse to his small inn for pilgrims, and Dayvorus begins construction of a magical repository to add to the stronghold.

They then send their business to work crafting supplies for their stronghold.  Kenli’s enterprise produces as many leathers as they can, Wauldmur’s smithy makes all the metal fasteners and nails, Mort and Dayvorus help arrange for the labor and wood to arrive at the site for construction.  The heroes chose a site outside the city, on a rocky hill near Kingfisher Hollow, about a day’s walk from Kulderon.  While still within Kulderon’s regional domain, they are outside the city and its property taxes.  Though they are such Kingfisher Hollow will likely make a claim of some kind.  They still need to get official government approval for the operation.

One day at breakfast, the heroes get word of a large demonstration at the town hall, to protest the rising taxes.  The heroes work for the day, then decide to go to the demonstration in the evening.  On the way, they run into Jenya Urikas, she is worried as she hasn’t seen Alek Tercival in quite some time, she heard that he was going to be at the demonstration and asked the heroes to send him to her afterwards.  The heroes then reach the protest, finding a large crowd of over 700 people (mostly merchants) crowding the area in front of the town hall.  Tax collectors cram through the crowd into the town hall as many people boo and shout at them.  Then Maavu Arlintal, a charismatic merchant, takes to a dais and begins a long well-spoken speech about the town’s ills over the past year and how the town guard has failed to protect the citizens from them. He issues a challenge from Alek Tercival invoking the Law of Peers, an ancient law allowing one of the five founding families to challenge the competence of the town guard captain, in this case, Terseon Skellerang.  After he issues the challenge, Sergeant Krewis, a younger sergeant of the guards, approaches Maavu to arrest him.  Then a youth screams out with a knife (Mort identifies him as a possible Last Laugh member) and attacks one of the half-orc guards, a riot breaks out and madness ensues…


As the chaos erupts around the heroes, they try to rush to the dais where Maavu stands and where Sergeant Skylar Krewis tries to keep back the horde of people trying to injure him.  Kenli, and Kianya take to a nearby roof after Grimsli calms down the nearby crowd.  Waudlmur and Grimsli then pushes through the angry mob in to protect Skylar from danger.  Mort squeezes through the people to try and find the provocateurs who initiated the riot and killed the half-orc guards, however they manage to escape into the crowd.  Wauldmur carries Skylar out of the chaos and Grimsli escorts him down a back alley.  Wauldmur and Grimsli then try to help Maavu from some invisible beast.  Meanwhile, Dayvorus, failing to calm the crowd with a loud, magical voice, instead summons the illusion of a giant red dragon to scare the people away from the town hall.  The people scream, claiming Hookface has returned.  However, Kenli’s spell mires many of the townsfolk into the mud, unable to flee from the fake monster.  Kenli fires an arrow at the town guards, trying to get them to stop shooting at Maavu, thankfully Kianya heals the soldier before he dies.

Soon the chaos breaks out away from the town hall as Kenli releases the holding spell and both Skylar and Maavu escape.  Maavu tells Wauldmur to come see him in Redgorge before he disappears, giving him some mysterious code word. The heroes head to the Dancing Dragon (except Kenli who doesn’t want to be seen since shooting the guard).  After many tankards of ale, the heroes hear of a fire broken out at Minuta’s Board, the poor flophouse where the half-orc mercenaries are staying.  They rush across town to help with the fire, Kenli arrives as well.  They soon see two huge fire elementals burst out of the burning building.  They rush in to stop the beasts.  Wauldmur then hears a screaming young girl inside the flames, and he rushes in to save a young girl.  Meanwhile, Dayvorus polymorphs one of the elementals into a mere harmless salamander and the others send the second back to its home plane.  It then takes the group and many helpers to put out the fires with a bucket brigade.  The Blue Duke, leader of the half-orc mercenary troupe supplementing the town guard,  stops by, furious about the racism that must have caused someone to burn down the inn.  The heroes escort the young girl, Lucinda back to the orphanage.  They learn that Terrem has been adopted, but oddly enough, he told stories about the large beholder that rescued him from the Malachite Fortress and how the beholder said he would be adopted someday. It turns out that it came true.  The heroes then finally get some sleep.

The next day, the heroes learn via the newspaper that Maavu will be sentenced to death when he is found and that the Alek’s challenge is null and void since they government feels that the paladin is possessed by a demon.  The heroes talk to Jenya about Alek and learn that he has been missing for awhile.  The Star of Justice gave a cryptic response to his whereabouts:

“Late on the path of justice, trapped between glass and stone, he weeps where many can see him, but he can see only himself.”

The heroes then head to Tygot’s Old Things, to try to find some of the items Alek has sold him recently.  They are able to purchase a fine silver plate bearing some connection to the demonskar and the spell-weavers that once dwelt there.  On the back is a crude map carved by a giant of some kind.  It leads to a place called Vaprak’s Voice.  The heroes then speak with Dodak who confirms the demonskar origin of the strange plate.  The heroes then depart for Redgorge, arriving the next day.  They then have a secret meeting with the leaders of the Chisel, a secret organization founded after Sarubar Spellmason, to promote good in the region and expand the arts and crafts.  The Foreman tells them that something evil stirs in the region, but they know not what.  But they do know about a plot brewing in Kulderon to seize Redgorge to hunt down and destroy the Chisel, for fear of their interference in Kulderon’s government.  He is convinced that Captain Skellerang may be the source of Kulderon’s corruption and wants to destroy them before they expose him.  Alek’s challenge was a plan hatched by the paladin and Maavu to try to end the corruption in the city. The Chisel leaders now need the heroes to track down Alek Tercival so that he can rescind his challenge and put an end to the hostility and the coming siege of the town by Skellerang’s half-orc mercenaries.


The heroes stay the night in Redgorge, talking with Mikimax the bartender and the Honest Minstrel to prepare their gear and a rowboat for travel down the Red River to the spot where the headless-demon statue can be found.  The next morning, while they are eating breakfast, a man offers to join in service to Grimsli on their quest.  His name is Oswyn and he is a paladin-in-training, worshiper of Solarus, and admirer of Grimsli and Alek Tercival.  The heroes then set out down the river, taking many hours to reach the shore where Kenli spots the broken statue.  They are then ambushed by gnoll hunters as they set their boat to the shore.  They quickly dispatch the hunters and search the area.  They find only a hunting trail as depicted on the silver plate and follow it northward.  After a couple hours, they find a small cave where Mort discovers a forest sloth.  The heroes quickly dispatch the enraged beast and find the corpse of an ogre in the cavern.  Grimsli also finds one of Alek’s empty wands, signaling they might be on the right track.

The heroes then continue on until night falls.  Mort and Kenli use Grimsli’s magic to watch guard as the others climb into Dayvorus’ small dimensional pocket to rest.  In the night, the two guards are approached by an angel who claims to be Nidrama, an goodly protector of the region.  She claims the heroes could find Alakast and use it to fight the Lord of the Demonskar, she also warns them that the Lord is aware of their approach.  She is the same angel that gave Alakast to Surabar Spellmason centuries ago when he first fought Nabtathoron and the demonic legions, now celebrated in the Demonskar Ball.  She leaves the following warning to help them find the staff:

Seek Alakast in the lair of my false sisters, beyond the watchful eyes of the north.

The heroes then continue the next day, entering the “round cave” mentioned on the silver plate.  It appears to be a wide smooth pipe that heads into the heart of the Demonskar, where jagged mountains of obsidian glass and clouds of noxious gasses are found.  After exploring many of the tubes’ various avenues, then heroes fight off a curious vrock demon as they get too near the Demonskar itself and the hordes of fiends that lie in wait.  They then rest outside the tunnels before proceeding the next day into the area shown on the silver plate.  They quickly learn why the area is called Vaprak’s Voice as they come to two giant chimney-like tubes that hum out deep notes.  They march their way down the winding path into a deep depression in the landscape that is filled with a caustic pond.  They quickly dispatch a steam mephit that emerges from the pond’s depths and head westward towards a large iron portcullis.

They cannot seem to get through the portcullis and soon a hill giant throws rocks down at them from a small hole in the wall above the door.  The heroes try to retaliate, but soon the giant rushes away, possibly to get reinforcements.  Mort then uses his cloak to hide in the shadows and slips into the small hole above the door.  With all his strength, he is barely able to work the winch and raise the portcullis, letting his allies inside.  They head down a tunnel into a giant smoothed room bearing a huge conference table meant for much larger, possibly six-armed creatures.  They are then greeted by three trumpet archons that praise the heroes for their heroics and their fight against evil, they offer Grimsli to drink from a golden chalice.  Grimsli feels odd about he exchange and throws the cup to the floor.  The archons claim that his heart must be tainted by evil and they disappear.  It is then that the heroes hear the sound of many giants marching towards them…


The heroes prepare themselves as the five two-headed ettin-giants charge in at them.  But as they prepare to meet their enemies, the northern door opens revealing four hill giants charging in as well.  The battle is then fought on two fronts with Wauldmur, Dayvorus and Mort taking the ettins, and the others fighting off the hill giants.  Soon the giants are all slain and the heroes head down the northern corridor to explore.  They come across the giants’ sleeping chambers, finding a few relics to pocket.  They also find a giant make-shift door of wooden logs that is far too large for any of them to move.  They then head north towards a glowing blue light where Mort finds an angry fire giant tending a magical blue-flame forge.  He throws a molten anvil at the rogue.  The heroes then charge in to fight the giant, many of them being struck by molten anvils as they charge in.  Then they face the giant in melee, with Kianya barely keeping the warriors on their feet.  Soon the giant is nearly felled and he drops his hammer, calling for truce.  The heroes listen to the giant, learning that he is named Dugobras and used to work with the Ebon Triad with Triel, Skavan, and Tarkilar.  He was helping them build some magical construct of some kind for another group.  However, he left them shortly before Triel stole the wands of control water at the Lucky Monkey and killed Sarcem Delasharn, the former High Priest of Korrond in Kulderon.  He came here to work the magic forge he heard existing here, making a convenient alliance with the hags that run the place. He offers the heroes his treasures in return for his freedom.  The heroes accept and let the giant go.  Mort then discovers that the giant’s treasures are trapped and barely avoids fire and shrapnel as the chest explodes.  Most of the treasures are ruined, by they gain some coins and a wand.  Dayvorus also confirms that the strange platinum and silver cage-like contraption, which is covered in strange runes, matches some of the pieces they found in the ruins beneath Kulderon where they fought the Ebon Triad.  He is not sure what it was meant to be used for, but the runes point to powerful conjurations and necromancy dweomers.

The heroes then continue exploring, finding a giant alchemical construct creating a strange liquid that pools into the center of the room, and then soon evaporates.  It seems to be in endless supply, though impossible to bottle and take with.  Dayvorus determines the elixir would grant great strength (as he notes is depicted on the hegemonic plate), but he is unsure of what the other consequences of drinking it would be.  The heroes recall Alek Tercival’s strange strength over the past few months coupled with his erratic behavior, so they choose to ignore it and continue northward, coming to a large throne chamber.  They are then attacked by hag covey that rules the complex.  Each of the three hags have hairy cricket-like legs and brown motley moth wings.  The battle is fierce and the hags try many powerful enchantments on the heroes, however, they prevail, felling two of them.  The third hag escapes using its invisibility and flight.  The heroes find two protective rings on the hags and continue on northward.  In the next chamber, they find a giant chair facing a marvelous hexagonal mirror.  Mort finds Alek sitting on the throne, madly worried about some danger befalling Kulderon.  However, Grimsli quickly determines that it is not really Alek they speak to.  The creature then dons its true form, that of a humanoid with smooth mirror-like skin.  It’s fellow nerra jump out of the mirror and attack, but the heroes quickly fell them.  Their leader manages to fall back into the portal-like mirror.

Wauldmur and Grimsli prepare to jump into the mirror-portal to look for Alek, but Dayvorus stops them as he examines the hegemonic plate again.  He notes that the cipher on the side of the plate clearly is connected to the starry mirror:  3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3.  The heroes continue to puzzle out the clues, knowing that they must be quick to find Alek before the hag returns with allies, but they must be equally sure they are not trapped somewhere by the mirrored device.


The heroes continue to ponder over the mystery of the starry mirror, seeing deep within its depths.  Inside they barely see Alek Tercival helpless and in despair sitting on the ground next to a large iron door.  While the others ponder the device and the cipher’s riddle, Mort, Dayvorus, Grimsli, and Wauldmur explore the passageway to the west where they fought the hags.  They find the hags’ bedchamber guarded by four six-armed skeletons.  They manage to defeat them without much effort and gather what treasures they can from the room.  Mort finds a hidden shelf in the wall containing a quarterstaff covered in a silk cloth.  Inside is Alakast, the mighty weapon of Surabar Spellmason and bane of demonkind. Wauldmur happily wields the staff as they return to their friends.  After many minutes of trying to solve the riddle, they then send Grimsli into the mirror with a rope attached.  Unfortunately the rope seems to sever shortly after he enters, leaving nothing to which to pull him back with.  Grimsli finds himself in a small pentagonal room with five matching mirrors, each with a faint colored light in their depths.  The others soon follow inside the starry mirror, each finding themselves alone in their own pentagonal room.  Kenli screams for Mia, as the panther was no longer with him.  The others hear him and learn that they can shout to each other and hear faintly.  They soon learn they are all in different colored rooms, though a few of the colors match, despite everyone being alone.  After a long time of trying out patterns, Dayvorus eventually deciphers the clues and devises the correct pattern for freedom from the starry mirror.  The other heroes follow suit, leaping through the right combination of colored mirrors.  

They all then arrive in a small chamber with a plain mirror behind them.  Alek Tercival sits on the ground and the iron door bars the way out. The door has clearly been scratched at vainly and Alek’s hands are bloody and blistered.  He seems to be confused and mentally unstable, frequently whispering, 

“When the final cage is shackled, the burning doom shall rise.”  

Grimsli manages to convince Alek there is still hope for him to stop Kulderon from seizing Redgorge and the Chisel.  He eventually regains some sense and agrees to return with them, but still whispers maddened prophecies in his insanity.  The heroes rest for many hours, so that Dayvorus can study his spells to find a way to get them out of the chamber.  The others tried the door, but it was sealed too well and they did not have the combined strength to break it open.  Kenli is quite saddened that Mia is lost to him and reminisces. After resting, Dayvorus casts a spell on Mort that turns him into a cloud of ash and smoke, he then swirls through the small crack under the door.  He finds a ruined temple building on the other side with naught but a broken entrance into a wide desert on the far side.  He then returns to normal form and release the bar from the door, opening it for his companions.  They all head out, finding the vast desert discouraging for their current predicament since there are no deserts near Kulderon. They worry they are no longer on Enelis, but stranded on some other world or plane. They decide to rest until daybreak before traveling away from the ruin hidden in the sand dunes. As they sit down, however, a giant glabrezu demon appears at the entrance.

Dayvorus recognizes it as Nabthatoron, the demon-lord of the Demonskar.  The good news, however, is that Dayvorus is sure they are on Enelis still, as Nabthatoron is said to be banished to Enelis until he can destroy Redgorge for his failing centuries prior. The heroes leap to their feet and try to fight the demon.  Nabthatoron, however, seems only eager to kill Alek, saying that he wishes to see a war between Kulderon and Redgorge so that his demon army can destroy a weakened Redgorge.  The heroes find the demon more than a match for them.  Even Alakast seems to do little against the mighty demon.  Alek is soon killed by the glabrezu, who then teleports away, leaving the heroes in their misery, lost in the desert. Greater haste spurns them on too, now that they know Nabthatoron will march his own army to Redgorge.  As Alek died, Nidrama spoke through him, telling the heroes to “trust the sign of the Smoking Eye” if they wished to save Redgorge. The heroes look about the desert again, deciding to take Alek’s corpse with them to hopefully revive him and end the siege of Redgorge. 

Just as the heroes decide to head back in to rest again, a group of babau demons attack, a likely parting gift from the fiend. The demons quickly leap down from the dunes, slashing with their piercing black claws.  They manage to surround a few of the heroes slicing and cutting.  Kianya is knocked down by one, and the other decides to tear her body apart, killing her.  It is then that a mysterious stranger appears, dismissing one of the babau demons back to the Abyss.  Soon the heroes fell two of the demons and the last is dismissed as well by the stranger.  The stranger then introduces himself as Kaurophon.  His fiendish heritage is obvious in his deformed form, but he seems to wear the sign of the Smoking Eye on his robes.  He claims to be a traveler of the planes for hundreds of years.  He also admits to scrying on them, as he has needs of brave heroes for a quest and learned of their heroics. 

He explains that he wishes the heroes to save a layer of the Abyss from the evil demons that inhabit it.  In his travels, he has found a layer of the Abyss called Occipitus.  Long ago, a fallen angel named Adimarchus led a demon army to attack Mount Celestia, causing great havoc. In order to remove the demons from their home, the angels cast a chunk of the goodly plane to the Abyss, sending the army back to their home and creating Occiputus, the 507th layer of the Abyss still tainting with goodliness.  Adimarchus then ruled this layer for many millennia, but is said to have disappeared about 50 years ago, likely killed by a rival.  Adimarchus left the Test of the Smoking Eye for another to claim the layer as their own.  Kaurophon wishes the heroes to try the trials of the Test of the Smoking Eye so that the plane might be ruled once more. The ruler could even pull the plane back to Mount Celestia if they are pure of heart. 

Grimsli notes that Kaurophon has an evil aura, but the half-fiend explains it is due to his evil heritage, though his motives aren’t completely clear.  He explains that as a half-fiend there is few places he can belong. But should Occipitus be ruled once more and the evil there vanquished, he could call it home.  He offers the heroes transportation to Redgorge to aid in the siege.  In exchange, he wants the heroes to promise they will allow him to take them to Occipitus and try the Test of the Smoking Eye to claim the realm. The heroes eventually agree, and to seal the deal, Kaurophon casts a powerful binding spell on Wauldmur, so that if the heroes do not keep their word, the warrior will be greatly cursed.  He apologizes for not being able to trust them fully.  But he keeps his side of the agreement and soon teleports the group to Redgorge instantly.  Before parting, he then teleports away and returns with Mia, saying he was sad to see through his scrying that the great cat could not follow its master.  He also warns the heroes before he leaves, that a group called the Cagewrights are up to great evil in Kulderon involving a planar ritual and might be behind much of the turmoil in the region. He promises to return to them in time, after he completes some preparations.

The heroes then separate, some staying in Redgorge, as Mort, Grimsli and Dayvorus teleport to Kulderon with Alek and Kianya’s bodies.  They get little help from the Cathedral of Weeja, mostly due to teleporting into their library in the middle of the night.  However, Grimsli is able to garner aid from Thora Muddstone at the Temple of Solarus.  She is able to raise Kianya back to life with a scroll, but it seems Alek was unable to return. His soul either refused, or something blocked the power, she was unsure.  Meanwhile, at Redgorge, Wauldmur looks on from the obsidian walls seeing a great army of half-orc mercenaries led by Captain Skellering, the Blue Duke, and the Stormblades.  They are camped just outside the walls.  Mikimax, the innkeep in Redgorge and member of the Chisel, explains the army just arrived and will likely state their demands in the morning. 


The heroes spend the rest of the night trying to look upon the army of Kulderon from the high obsidian walls of Redgorge.  The others return from Kulderon with Dayvorus’s teleportation, bringing Kianya with them.  After a few hours, as the dawn reaches the city, the Kulderon force marches closer to set a camp and they send forth a small contingent of cavalry with a flag of truce.  It is led by Terseon Skellerang.  With a magic voice enhancement, he proclaims that the people of Redgorge should send forth the members of the Chisel to end the hostility, otherwise they will attack at dusk.  Grimsli tries to reason with the aged captain, but he seems determined to make the Chisel suffer for their interference in Kulderon.  The contingent leaves and the Chisel members meet with the heroes in their hidden meeting room.  Oliron Masht and the other Chisel members help the heroes formulate a good defensive plan.

They decide to repair the old breach in the walls, with Grimsli leading that group of citizens.  Wauldmur and Kenli agree to help train the citizens in combat.  Mort, Kianya, and Dayvorus choose to get some rest.  At the end of the day, the wall is repaired and the citizens are more competent in combat.  The Kulderon army then sieges the walls, with Skellerang’s troop attacking the north wall with the Kulderon guards and the Blue Duke attacking the west wall with the half-orc mercenaries.  The battle is fierce and quick as the enemy uses siege ladders to try and climb the walls.  The heroes try to defend the north wall but are waylaid by the Stormblades from above.  The flying adventuring troupe send arrows and spells down on the Eternal Embers.  However, with a few quick exchanges Kenli manages to kill Annah Taskerhill and the heroes capture the unconscious Todd Vanderboren.  Zachary Aslaxin II and Cora Lathenmire manage to escape.  The Redgorge defenders also appear to be successful in repelling the first attack, although they took some casualties.  The Kulderon army retreats back from arrow fire and leaves their attackers to guard the wall.

As darkness falls, Mort and Kenli decide to sneak into the Kulderon camp.  Mort masterfully makes his way to the battering rams and attempts to disable them.  He is successful on one, but the other breaks and nearly injures him.  He manages to escape, knowing the siege engines will take some time to be repaired.  The two return to Redgorge and the heroes decide to get some sleep at the inn.  In the middle of the night, they are awoken by citizens screaming for their help.  A small band of saboteurs have flown onto the north wall and are trying to weaken the gate.  The heroes rush there, with Wauldmur, Grimsli, and Oswyn choosing to leave their armor behind.  They find an ogre magi and two powerful half-orcs trying to open the gates, the guards are dead. A great battle is fought with the ogre magi chopping down many foes, using its natural invisibility to its advantage.  Dayvorus throws many fire spells and Wauldmur smacks the ogre magi with Alakast.  Kenli makes some well-placed shots, but the half-orc priest summons an earth elemental that nearly fells the ranger.  Mort and Mia tears the other half-orc warrior, with Mia nearly killing him. The panther then falls prey to a fatal spell by the priest. Wauldmur is nearly killed twice by the ogre magi, who then nearly kills Oswyn, Kianya, and Grimsli.  The earth elemental then slams Dayvorus and Kenli, knocking them to near death.  With all the party nearly killed, Mort desperately fights against the priest, making many well-placed strikes with his rapier. The ogre magi then flies away with the fallen half-orc warrior, the priest flies after them.  Mort and Wauldmur do their best to revive their companions and Kianya is able to get everyone back on their feet.  Kenli morns the death of Mia, and everyone comes to realize how desperate the situation is.


The heroes patch themselves up and inform the Chisel of the attack on Redgorge’s gate.  After surveying the damage, they determine that the heroes arrived just in time and the damages can be repaired by morning.  The heroes head to the Redhead Miner’s Inn for some much needed rest.  The next morning they watch the Kulderon forces seeming to be waiting for something, suspecting that the sabotage on their siege engines have delayed them.  The heroes keep vigilant on the wall as Dayvorus decides to use scrying magic on Terseon Skellerang.  He learns that the siege engines are indeed slowing them down and that their scouts have noticed strange flocks of birds fleeing from the west.  The heroes suspect that the demon army soon approaches.

The rest of the that day is a tense silence in Redgorge. But that evening adds panic to the situation as a handful of vrock demons fly into town torturing the townsfolk, swooping near them.  They telepathically send a message foretelling the painful doom of the villagers.  The heroes are forced to intervene and protect Oliron Masht from an attack.  They quickly fell the winged demons raising the spirits of the townsfolk.  With the fear of the approaching demon army, the heroes head out to speak with Terseon and negotiate a joint defense plan.  However, the captain does not seem eager to believe such things and sends scouts to confirm their story.  The heroes return to the wall.  However, just as it grows dark, Skellarang and his entourage appear at the gates to speak.  A meeting is held in which an agreement is made.  The public will be informed of Alek’s final words to rescind the Law of Peers challenge. In exchange. Skellarang promises to leave a small contingent of soldiers to help hold the wall when the demons attack so that the heroes can sneak past their line and fell Nabtathoron.  They expect the demonic army will collapse back into chaos if their leader is dethroned., hopefully fleeing back to the Demonskar. The Blue Duke refuses to help with his mercenaries without plenty of payment, of which no one can afford. The agreement also states that any member of the Chisel caught in Kulderon will still be brought to justice.  However, since their identities are unknown, they are relatively safe.

Soon the army of Kulderon departs leaving a small contingent for the heroes’ plan.  As the night grows dark, the heroes hear screams as a small band of babau demons sneak over the wall to kill Redgorge citizens.  The heroes rush into action fighting off the ebon-skinned clawed horrors.  During the battle a vrock demon swoops in from above, nearly felling Dayvorus.  The others manage to take out the babaus, but the vrock gets away.  The heroes decide to rest until morning, and thankfully there was no more attacks throughout the night.  The word at the wall is that Nabtathoron seems to have gotten his army under control, but they retreated into the cover of a nearby woods for cover from the bright sun.  The heroes now prepare their battle plan for the upcoming fight with the demonic general.


The heroes rest for the morning.  Kenli and Grimsli pay their respects to Mia and the others keep an eye out at the wall, talking tactics for their upcoming battle with Nabtathoron.  Then as the sun reaches its peak, the demon army can be seen coming towards the town’s walls in a furious frenzy.  The heroes take the moment to rush out of the gate and sneak into the boathouse along the river, hoping the demons did not see them pass by.  They wait many minutes, until the army crashes into the dark basalt walls of Redgorge.  Then the heroes sneak out of the boathouse and approach the demon army from the rear, looking for Nabtathoron.  They spot the demonic general and head towards him, the demon sees them as well and charges in their direction as the rest of his army busies themselves with the Regorge defenders.

The heroes prepare a few protective magics, not expecting the demon to reach them yet.  However, Nabtathoron teleports directly to them and strikes angrily at the heroes.  First he speaks a word of power, stunning Wauldmur in place.  Then he sends Grimsli and Wauldmur high into the air with his magic.  The others do their best to lay attacks at the demon, but his powerful hide and evil aura reflects most attacks. Dayvorus dispels the reverse gravity effects, sending Wauldmur and Grimsli to the ground, hard.  Kianya then heals them.  Grimsli then rushes in to battle the demon with Durindana glowing brightly.  Mort keeps rushing in with deft stabs that seem pointless against the demon.  Dayvorus throws what magic he can, but finds the demon’s hide too resistant.  He however does manage to greatly drain the demon’s life energy.  Grimsli manages many powerful blows against Nabtathoron as the holy blade burns through the demon’s flesh.  Then Kenli is able to fell the demon with a final well-placed shot.  Before departing to the Abyss, Nabtathoron promises to find and torture them.

A flying vrock demon notices Nabtathoron’s death and sends word to the demon armies.  They break and flee towards the Demonskar leaving Redgorge and its defenders.  The heroes find that there are many among the dead, but the village is saved.  Waudlmur hands the Chisel Alakast and they offer the heroes refuge in their secret headquarters anytime they may need it.  The heroes rest for the night and head back to Kulderon the next day.  After a few days of travel, in which Kenli finds a new animal companion, the heroes find the city awaiting them.  They find there is a tenseness in the air as the news of the demons and the war with Redgorge has left many feeling insecure and unsafe.  There is much news about people moving away from the region, particularly the merchants who find the taxes unbearable.  But otherwise things are as they were before in the bowl-shaped city.  

The heroes work at their businesses for the day, talking about their plans for their stronghold.  Then that evening they meet at the Dancing Dragon where Kenli relates the news he received from his father in a letter.  His father begs him to find him in the Wildren Forest by meeting a contact in Servel named Lindrikus the Blind.  Devils have killed Kenli’s mother and his father wants help seeking revenge.  The others agree to join Kenli in his mission and leave the next morning.  They also learn that Kianya intends to head back to Arathkelsara, believing that the evil that Sol sent her to defeat was Nabtathoron, and with her mission completed she can return to helping the Sisters of Sol in their ongoing battle against the Cult of Nalit.  The heroes are deeply saddened by the news as they prepare for their own journey.  Dodak informs them that they can take a boat from Kingfisher’s Hollow to Pensberg to quicken their trip to Loyolla.


Before the heroes head out to Kingfisher’s Hollow, they stop at a few shops around Kulderon.  The heroes first head to Tygot Mispas’s store to sell their fanciful art trinkets from Vaprak’s Voice.  They then stop at Gurnezarn’s smithy to find that the old smith sold his shop to the Lathenmire’s so that he can retire in Rizzi.  He says that business has been bad for him with the tax hikes and he wishes Wauldmur luck with all the changes.   Afterwards they head to Skie’s Treasury to sell their remaining items.  Outside the shop, they run into Zakgad Splintershield, dressed in his re-fitted mithral armor.  He takes Wauldmur aside and tells him that Zenith has gone missing, kidnapped or killed by bandits on the road to Kingfisher’s Hollow last week.  He asks that the warrior let him know if he hears anything, but also asks for silence on the issue, not wanting anyone else in town to learn of the dwarf’s disappearance. 

The heroes then head out to Kingfisher’s Hollow, stopping at their prospective site for their company headquarters, then marching past all the extensive plantations outside of town.  In the town, they find a riverboat that will take them to Pensberg.  A kindly gnomish coffee merchant named Boern offers to take them for free if they help load the sacks of coffee beans in the morning.  They set out first thing in the morning, stopping later that evening near the end of the river to meet with some green-orc traders.  The kindly orcs offer many natural and wild trade-goods.  The heroes then reach Pensberg a few days later, travelling along the coast, stopping at Poretta, a small fishing town. 

 In Pensberg the heroes rush off to explore the markets and learn more about the Kingdom of Loyolla.  They find a Historical Society lodge and learn much about the nation’s history and struggles from the historian Ianis.  They learn about the ongoing war deep in the woods to the west. They learn that over the years many of the Rangers of Loyolla have resigned to join the wild elves of the Aulathunmar Valley in their war against the Kalruans. The king of Loyolla would not grant the rangers permission to fight even though they recognize the wild elf society as its own sovereignty.  The Kalruans see the territory as theirs and the elves that dwell there as subjects to be removed. Thus, despite the War of Devils being officially over, the Kalruans still wage war with the elves and the Loyollans will not help them.  Kenli understands that his father was one of these rangers and his birth was a result of the rangers intermixing with the elves of the valley during the War of Devils.

They then book a river-ferry up to Servel, reaching the small town in a few days.  Along the way they see many logging camps and villages catering to the vast amounts of lumber heading down the rivers towards Pensberg.  In Servel they quickly find Lendrikus the Blind at the White Stag Inn.  Grimsli heals the old ranger’s vision as they share tales and Lendrikus explains Halldor’s predicament.  It seems Halldor has become obsessed with fighting the Kalruans and their devils since his wife Aetariel was killed last year.  Lendrikus mentions there is a camp that he usually uses and offers to take them there.  So the heroes get some supplies and take a row-boat up-river into the heart of the Wildren Forest.  

The great forest is a collection of stout oaks, majestic ash trees, and tall pines with a vibrant untainted beauty.  They find the camp hidden near the river’s edge and Kenli’s grandfather, Artem, sneaks up on them.  Soon they are at the camp talking about what to do about the Kalruan patrol that had been hunting for them. Halldor explains that last year they helped the elves push back the Kalruan siege.  The Kalruans seemed to stop their war effort for the past year, but kept a few camps outside the valley.  As Halldor and his group tried to leave the valley and return to Loyolla, they were ambushed by a patrol of devils led by a Bael priest. They managed to kill Aetariel and continued to chase and hunt the elves and rangers, felling most of them as they tried to escape.  They have been playing a cat and mouse game for a year now, with many casualties on both sides. Now only Artem and Halldor remain in his group, the other rangers headed home, no longer seeing a need to fight simply for the ranger’s vengeance.  Halldor knows that the Bael priest and his devils still hold the border into Auluthunmar and have a camp there.  He suggests that together they could strike the camp with hit-and-run tactics to lure out some devils, then strike at the priest to gain his revenge.  The heroes sit with the vengeance-sworn ranger and his sharp-tongued father-in-law to discuss possible battle plans.


The heroes spend many hours discussing a possible strategy to strike against the Kalruan camp situated on the border to the Aulathunmar Valley.  They rest for the night, with Wauldmur, Grimsli, and Kenli taking watch.  In the morning, they decide to set out towards the camp, discussing strategy on the way.  Lendrikus takes the boat back to Servel, wishing them all luck in their quest.  The heroes spend the next few days traveling through the deep woods of the Wildren Forest, following the river into the mountains.  The land rises steadily upwards and the forests get thicker.  They forcefully push themselves for several days as they try to reach the camp as quickly as possible.  For many days they spend up to fourteen hours trudging through the forest in a clamoring line before dropping to the ground to rest at the end of the day.  Thankfully, Grimsli was able to expel their exhaustion with prayers upon reaching their evening camp each night.  

One morning, just after resting, but before the devout could say their morning prayers, Kenli sees a flock of creatures flying in their direction.  Upon closer examination he identifies them as abishai devils.  They seem to be making an arbitrary flight pattern, but soon swoop towards the heroes.  They’ve been spotted!  Kenli shouts for the others to awake as Wauldmur and Grimsli spring into action.  Soon the devils surround the camp, swooping in to attack.  The heroes and their comrades are surrounded by abishai of all varieties, trading blows.  A black abishai screams a fear-inducing death-cry, sending Kenli and his falcon fleeing for the woods and leaving the others somewhat shaken.  The battle gets more heated, but the heroes manage to fell many of the weaker white abishai.  The larger red and blue devils makes combat difficult, but soon the heroes fell many more and the final three teleport to safety.  

The heroes continue on at a more reasonable pace, worried now that they might be ambushed by devils at any time.  After a couple more days, they reach nearer the enemy’s camp.  Just as the party is preparing to rest for the night, Kenli overhears shouting far ahead.  As the sound grows closer, the heroes prepare an ambush, hiding in the woods.  Soon five patrolling Kalruan soldiers stumble into view and march right into the ambush.  The heroes then spring into action and quickly dispatch the Kalruans, felling two and knocking out three.  Grimsli revives the fallen soldiers after Mort ties them to each other and a nearby tree.  They are able to glean some information from one of the soldiers who seems to respect Wauldmur for showing hope to the Kalruans that they can defy Bael and the dominance of the Barons.  Some keep his wanted poster as a symbol of hope.  They learn that the camp has many devils and soldiers guarding it and that there are patrols circling the wide region.  Halldor and Kenli concoct a sleeping poison on the soldiers and leave them without their equipment as everyone finds a new place to camp.  The next day they close the remaining distance and Mort and Halldor head out to scout the Kalruan camp.  They find that the camp seems mostly occupied by Kalrian soldiers with only a handful of devils, some barbazu (bearded devils) and red abishai.  Mort gets a glimpse of the priest and finds that he greatly resembles Wauldmur, suggesting that the priest they have been after may indeed be Wauldmur’s brother Konrad, known to have attained some status in Bael’s cult.  The heroes absorb this new information and begin to prepare for their assault.


The heroes discuss there upcoming assault on the Kalruan camp, preparing many spells and tactics to aid them in their efforts.  They plan on a portion of the group charging in the front entrance, drawing their enemies out.  The others will teleport with Dayvorus into the camp and attack from the rear. Halldor and Wauldmur want to focus on rushing in to kill the leader of the Kalruan band.  Dayvorus and the other spellcasters prepare the group with many powerful enchantments and abjurations. Then the heroes splint into their groups, with Grimsli, Oswyn, Artem, and Kenli taking the front assault.  They charge in and manage to draw out many of the Kalruan soldiers and bearded devils.  Then Dayvorus conjures a dimensional portal in which he, Wauldmur, Halldor, and Mort slip into the center of the camp.  

A great battle breaks out with Grimsli and Oswyn doing their best to keep back the wave of devils as Artem and Kenli support them with ranged attacks and spells.  Meanwhile, in the camp, Wauldmur rushes off into the nearby building looking for the leader and his possible brother.  Mort, using his shadowy invisibility, follows the former soldier.  Dayvorus and Halldor do their best to slow the soldiers who are racing out of the camp, however, soon they must contend with a few devils intent on killing the wizard and ranger.  Grimsli and Oswyn take down a few of the devils, but the many Kalruan soldiers turn and chase after Kenli.  The deadly arrows from Dragon’s Wing soon slays many of these soldiers.  

After felling a lesser abishai demon, Wauldmur opens the chamber to find his brother Konrad waiting at the door for his entry.  The Bael-worshiping priest touches his glowing hands to the warrior with a slaying spell, but thankfully Wauldmur was able to resist its effects.  Konrad seems quite surprised at seeing his brother so deep in the forests.  However, Wauldmur has little concern for his evil kin, thrashing with his swords wildly at the priest.  Konrad attempts a few deadly spells on the warrior, but Wauldmur’s steeled discipline keeps his mind sharp and focused.  The two argue about who is the true betrayer while exchanging blows.  Soon Halldor enters behind the warrior and starts firing deadly arrows at the priest, his target of vengeance.  Then Wauldmur makes the killing blow as his brother begs for mercy.  The priest is felled and Halldor’s vengeance fulfilled.

Outside the small building, the others have finished off the devils and soldiers, and only three injured soldiers yet live.  The heroes grab what goods they can and set fire to the complex, watching the remaining soldiers scrambling out of the burning wreckage.  Soon the heroes are on their long journey back home.  They head to Brindonford and look about the city that Dayvorus grew up in.  Albrith wasn’t home, however, and the heroes soon continue on their journey to Pensberg by getting a ride on a trade caravan.  After a week of travelling, they reach the grand city and sell what goods they can before searching for passage to Kulderon.


The heroes quickly find passage on a merchant ship to take them from Pensberg back to Kingfisher’s Hollow and Kulderon.  After many days, they return to their home city.  They learn that there was a funeral service for Alek Tercival and the Eternal Embers were formally pardoned by Vhalantru, who is acting Lord Mayor while Navalant is unavailable.  Otherwise, things seem to be about the same as when they left.  Many merchants still complain about the rising taxes, but at least there is no longer any war or demons to worry about.

The heroes work hard at their businesses trying to enjoy life back home.  Kenli shows Halldor his establishment and the old ranger is more than happy to stay and help him for the time being.  Grimsli attempts to add to his Ironspeech inn for pilgrims.  Kenli gains some resources for Target’s expansion and also helps the others find labor.  Wauldmur seeks to add to his smithy.  Mort greatly expands his Emporium and works on adding well-equipped guards to keep an eye on his merchandise as well as a new fine jewelry shop.  Dayvorus keeps excavating the stone beneath his house and adds rooms to expand his magical repository and library.

Grimsli also spends the time trying to research how he can transform Durindana from a sword into a dwarven waraxe more suitable to his training.  He also is forced to convince Kristof Jurgenson, priest of Solarus, that the Temple of Weeja’s new construction (adding to the height of their already tall tower) was not intended to block the morning sun from shining on the Shrine of Solarus.  Although Kristof shares how much better things used to be before Embril Aloustinai began preaching with her oratory prowess, Grimsli is finally able to convince Kristof to let the matter go.  Grimsli and Thora also send a formal letter to the Cathedral of Solarus in Hopesdawn for permission to alter Durindana. Grimsli and Dayvorus also journeyed to the library at the Weeja temple to look into ancient research on the transferring of a weapons magic into a new form.  After convincing Ike Iverson to let them in, despite the construction, Dayvorus only learns of the name Greymach the Forger, an ancient Nomenir scholar and creator of magical weapons in the early days of the Nomen arrival on Ularin.  Dayvorus suspects that more information could be had in the great libraries of the Temple of Armathon in Hopesdawn.

After a few weeks of working on their businesses, the heroes then find Kaurophon’s shadow at the Dancing Dragon as they toast to Kianya’s birthday in her absence.  The wizened sorcerer and Dayvorus then explain what they know about the planes beyond Enelis.  He also seems to be somewhat in a hurry to get to Occipitus, saying that there are others with sinister intentions now seeking to complete the Test of the Smoking Eye and claim domain over the Abyssal layer.  He offers to give them a day to gather what they may need before they leave for Occipitus.


Kaurophon provides the heroes with more information concerning the planes and the various factions that vie for power.  The heroes decide to wait until the next day to leave for Occipitus.  The next morning they do some shopping around Kulderon. The heroes then suit up wither their supplies and allow Kaurophon to whisk them away to the 507th layer of the Abyss.  

When they arrive at Occipitus they see giant mountain range all around them, like they are on the edge of a great basin.  In the center is a giant skull spewing flaming plasms from one of its eye sockets.  The stream of plasms spread out after reaching high above the land and they fan out to the edges of the mountains that ring the basin.  The glow from the flaming plasms create a burning sky.  The ground seems more like flesh than dirt, complete with bone-like projectiles to serve as trees.  The strangeness of the land puts everyone on edge.  Kaurophon explains that they are a few days from the beginning of the test and they head out across the fleshy plains.  On their travels they also see many ruins of once great celestial structures, now nothing more than rubble and ruin.

The heroes notice a large tribes of some fiendish looking centaurs watching them from afar, following them for much of the day, just out of bow-shot.  They then come across a great thunderbeast herd.  They decide to avoid the beasts and continue on.  As they crest over a hill later that day, they see a giant 12-ft tall demon with a hyena and snake head.  The great demon, a molydeus, tries to recruit them for the Blood War.  They try to barter for their lives, but fail to impress the demon.  Soon they are running for their lives as the molydeus casually chases after them into the occipital woods.  The heroes manage to fall into a deep ravine with a large carcass of some unknown creature.

The molydeus seems to have given up its chase and they find their way into a passage below the beast.  Inside they find the home of a devil named Fjhull Forked-Tongue who has been cursed by Adimarchus to help those in need.  The heroes take advantage of the devil’s hospitality, taking a few items, and resting for awhile.  They then set out again the next day.  Before long, they see a giant comet strike the ground not too far from them.  They decide to ignore it, but after a few hours, the creature within the meteorite chases after them. The demonic retriever strikes and the heroes are forced to defend themselves.


The heroes fight valiantly against the metallic retriever.  It fires a few beams of magical energy.  One hits Wauldmur, turning him to stone instantly.  Mort manages to shatter the construct with a few well placed shots, its metallic pieces crumbling to the fleshy plain of Occipitus.  They then notice a note scrawled into its metallic plate, written in the abyssal script.  It says, A taste of things to come, to Kenli.   Kenli shivers at the thought of the nabasu demon hunting him, and that it would send such a powerful construct to hunt him down.  Kaurophon suggests they leave the statuesque Wauldmur behind, but the others refuse to abandon their friend.  Grimsli and Oswyn decide, with much physical strain, to carry the statue for the rest of the day. They must be extra careful to not let any portion get broken or chipped.

The heroes then face off against a fiendish wyvern that notices them while hunting buffalo.  The heroes quickly fell the beast after Grimsli manages to sweat out the creature’s deadly poison.  The heroes then reach a small squat fort on the plains.  They find strange gaunt humanoids called githzerai.  They welcome the heroes and trade for a rare litheria blossom, giving a stone salve to restore Wauldmur.  They then speak with the heroes about themselves and Enelis.  The next day the heroes set out, avoiding a cacklestorm in the morning by wearing wax in their ears.  That night they set a fire and try to have some sense of normalcy under the burning sky.  A large blue toad-like creature, called a slaad, joins them speaking cryptically and chaotically.  Dayvorus somewhat understands its ramblings, as it keeps repeating, “Sends planes the mind schizophrenic of madness Carceri a from across.”  Though he is not sure what would draw a chaotic creature to seek such a phenomenon out.  The next morning, the heroes enter the ossaic forests, running into a large pack of cranium rats hiding in a patch of razorvine.  Dayvorus manages to burn the rats to ash as the others are stunned from psionic energies.  They then pass a gate to the quasielemental plane of vacuum before resting for the night.  

The next day, the heroes enter the celestial ruins, seeing miles of torn rubble of once beautiful buildings, statues, and fountains.  The heroes face off against a pair of fiendish minotaurs before reaching the Cathedral of Feathers to begin the Test of the Smoking Eye.  They break into the cathedral’s front doors where too driders swoop down to attack them.  Soon the driders are defeated, however, and the heroes let one flee into the ruins.  They notice that occasionally the cathedral shifts into a flashback of its former self, where all the rubble disappears and it appears to be on Mount Celestia again.  Many tiny feathers float in the air during these instances.  Then, just as suddenly, it returns to its ruined self, covered in rubble and debris.

In the next room, the heroes are waylaid by a succubus and her noble salamander ally.  The succubus attempts to dominate Wauldmur, but fails.  The salamander then sends a wall of flame to divide the heroes.  Wauldmur, Mort, and Grimsli move in to attack the salamander, and the others throw spells and arrows over the flaming wall.  Kaurophon manages to blast the wall with a cone of cold energies, but then the succubus leaps onto Dayvorus and kisses him, draining his soul.  The half-orc succumbs to her magical charms and gives in, but thankfully Oswyn slices the demoness in half with his mighty sword, saving the wizard from eternal damnation.  Wauldmur easily defeats the salamander with his deadly blades.  The heroes then take their enemy’s magical spears and continue searching the broken ruins.


The heroes continue to look about the celestial rubble of the Cathedral of Feathers on the abyssal layer of Occipitus.  They explore a ruined meditation chamber and a library, finding a few ancient treasures. They are also able to explore some of the temple as it flashes back to its former glory for a few minutes, appearing as it did back in Celestia.  The heroes then head down the long stairs behind the ruined statue of Orcus into the basement of the cathedral.  In the antechamber they find a mummy left by Adimarchus that tasks them with choosing their next course of action in the Test of Judgement. They must choose to slay a bebelith demon or an avoral agathian to reach the next chamber.  The heroes almost immediately decide to fight the demon rather than the agent of good, heading into the northern chamber.  Kaurophon stands guard at the entrance of the antechamber wishing them luck.

They find a huge chamber with many wooden walkways suspended by silk threads over a deep pit filled with deadly spikes.  The heroes spread out as they cross the wooden bridges. Soon the spider-like bebelith demon strikes down at Kenli as it drops to the suspended walkways.  The heroes quickly encircle the beast sending their best attacks against it.  Grimsli is able to slice the beast with his holy sword while Wauldmur and Kenli lend what aid they can.  Mort is bitten by its poisonous bite, his skin nearly melting off as the poison courses through his veins.  They heroes then fell the demon and Kenli is able to tend to Mort’s wounds before the rogue perishes.  The heroes continue into the next chamber to find a lantern suspended from a chain attached to a four-foot darkwood rod.  The mummy then appears and presents the lantern to Grimsli, saying that it will guide them to the next test, the Test of Resolve.  The heroes follow the guiding light of the lantern into the next room where they meet the avoral agathion.  They free the champion of good before gathering Kaurophon and heading back out into the ruins.  They decide to rest at the cathedral before continuing on.  

The next day, as they traverse the celestial rubble, they come to a great rift.  The rift descends more than a mile into the marble surface, although at this point it is only 20 feet wide.  The heroes traverse the gap through various means, finding a ghost of a hound archon on the far side with two others.  It begs the heroes to help their souls rest by defeating its beloved, who was turned into a spectre by Orcus’s undead minions decades ago.  The heroes follow the archon ghost to the Hall of Trumpets, despite Kaurophon’s disagreement.  There they descend into the old crypt and defeat the four spectres who haunt the locale, freeing their souls and that of their loved ones.  The heroes are rewarded with the option of a rod, a trumpet, a staff, or a stone.  They choose the rod which can magically enhance spells to cause no permanent harm.  The heroes then return to following the guiding light of the lantern on the surface.

They then pass a few slaadi raiding a celestial crypt, but decide not to confront them.  After many more hours, they reach the edge of the celestial rubble where a tremor zone begins.  The flesh-like Occipital flats ripple and convulse against the celestial rubble’s marble.  The heroes rest for the night.  The next day they continue by leaping over the edge of the rubble onto the shuddering flats.  After a few hours of careful and stressful travel the heroes cleverly avoid a flock of vrock demons by hiding in sheets of fleshy dirt.  Then, a few hours after that, they try a similar tactic against a group of fiendish wyverns, however the wyverns were not fooled.  The creatures descend on the heroes lashing out with their poisonous barbs.  The heroes fight against the beasts, trying their best to retain their foothold on the trembling, fleshy ground.


The heroes fight back against the fiendish wyverns, eventually felling them as the ground continues to tremble beneath their feet.  They continue marching through the tremor zone on the plains of Occipitus for many hours, occasionally succumbing to the violent rumblings and falling to their knees, embracing the trembling ground.  The lantern of guidance continues to lead them on with its shining light towards an unknown destination. They later see a flock of giant fiendish eagles soaring towards them and they all take cover in the cut fleshy dirt, finding safety for the time being.  After a very long day of traveling, they reach the other side of the tremor zone, collapsing to the ground in exhaustion.  They rest for the night in peace.

The next day the heroes work their way around a very high ridge, trying to avoid the ire of the swirling plasms in the sky.  The long detour aside, they find themselves at the ulcer flats.  A large flat plain filled with bubbling ulcers spewing a red acidic liquid that resembles blood by sight and smell.  They decide to work their way through the ulcers rather than take another long detour, using the guiding light of the lantern.  After a couple hours of traversing the dangerous landscape, the heroes come across a pack of babau demons.  The heroes quickly vanquish them, while avoiding the splattering fountains of the ulcers.  A few more hours pass and the heroes reach the other side of the ulcer flats, finding themselves in a land of many hills.They then encounter two human women, one a cleric of Weeja. They say they are from Kulderon and are trying to find a way home after losing their group.  They claim to have originally been looking for a Weejian artifact lost to the Abyss.  Kaurophon refuses to use his only means of plane shifting to assist the ladies, so they continue towards the celestial ruins.  The heroes then reach the Plains of Cysts.

The heroes then carefully navigate the maze of cysts. Each cyst houses a good-aligned creature or artifact left from the great war, their contents slowly getting absorbed into the evil plane.  The heroes get distracted by a treasure in one cyst, but find that they are teleported to the beginning of the maze.  They learn that Grimsli must continue on the path as the lantern bearer if they are to reach its end.  Along the way, they fight off an abyssal basilisk that tries to prey on them.  They also find the other Weeja clerics who claim to be looking for the Lens of the Blacksun.  They relay that one of their clerics tried to steal a scroll, so they sent her away.  They presume the other women that the heroes saw was in fact a demon misguiding their former ally.  The heroes then find the end of the lantern’s maze and find themselves teleported over 100 miles to the far side of the central Occipital skull, into a great fibrous forest.  Another mummy proctor informs them that the Test of Sacrifice is all that remains, with the lanterns light now leading them towards the giant skull at the center of the plane.  

After a night of rest, the heroes meet a small warband of azata from Elysium who offer the heroes many riddles, wine, music, and respite otherwise not found in the gloomy plane.


The heroes say farewell to the azata as they prepare to continue through the Occipitus wilderness following the lantern of guidance’s path of light.  They leave the fibrous forest behind and enter the wide plains.  After a long day of travel, they prepare to rest for the night, but see a band of Occipian centaurs on the horizon again.  They decide to leave them be and camp anyway, using Grimsli’s magic to keep watch for the night.  Sure enough, before the heroes are rested, the centaur band charges in at the heroes.  The battle is quick and decisive, with Dayvorus throwing many magical blasts of energy before the centaurs near.  Then the flying wizard and the invisible Mort chase down those that fled and fell them before they can recruit others.  The heroes then rest for the remainder of the night.

After a few hours, the heroes are rested and return to their travels as the open plains begin to give way to the ulcerous pools of acidic blood.  As they are winding through the narrow trails between the oozing pools, Kenli and Mort spot a dark form on the horizon, a black dragon!  The heroes scramble to prepare defenses and meet the attack.  The dragon opens with a breath of caustic acid on the front-line as the heroes throw spells and arrows up at the hovering beast.  Many spells by Kaurophon and Dayvorus penetrate the dragon’s defenses.  A few well placed arrows and the creature scrambles high in the sky to flee from the torrent of attacks.  However, it then shatters from one of Dayrvous’ spells, just as a plasm flies into it, scorching it to ash in an instant.  The heroes note the raw power of those plasms.

The heroes continue on for a bit before resting again.  Then after a few hours into the next day’s travel, the lantern leads them to a pool that seems to lead to an underground tunnel.  Outside the oozing pond, a wounded angel is skewered to the ground with two spears.  Grimsli heals the astral deva and he thanks them and greets them as Saureya.  The black-winged angel seems to know Kaurophon, having helped the sorcerer solve the clues leading to the Test of the Smoking Eye.  The angel admits that he was a prisoner of Adimarchus since the falling of Occipitus and helped the fallen planetar develop the Test of the Smoking Eye when the demon-lord ruled here.  The angel refused to give them any tips to solving the final test, saying it’d do little good. However, he does warn them that a rakshasa and a fire giant just passed through recently to complete the test.

So the heroes quickly descend into the caustic pool of ooze, eager to catch up to the other group. Below they find a swirling tunnel that rises up into what can only be the great skull at the center of the dark plane.  In the peristaltic tube the heroes run into the rakshasa and fire giant, noticing that they also possess a lantern of guidance.  The heroes charge into combat with the enemies.  Wauldmur is nearly felled by the giant’s strength, but Mort manages a deadly slice at the giant’s neck, felling him quickly.  The rakshasa, however, proves more formidable, able to resist their magic and attacks.  Eventually the heroes wear him down and he flees with a plane-shift spell, dropping his lantern.  

Meanwhile, Kenli accidentally awakens a berserked clay golem that rushes at the heroes after the half-elf.  The golem resists all their magic and most of their attacks, worse still, its own attacks seem to resist magical healing.  The heroes continue to strike at the construct, hoping to defeat this enemy blocking their way to the final test, the Test of Sacrifice.


The heroes fight back against the clay golem in the peristaltic tubes under the skull of Occipitus.  With a well-placed strike from Mort, the clay golem’s skin cracks and weakens.  A few well placed arrows from Kenli and it is near breaking.  Then a flaming gust from Dayvorus sends the golem crashing to the ground in a pile of shards.  The heroes heal a few of their wounds, pick up the extra lantern of guidance, then head into the next chamber.  They find a giant throne and the remnants of another clay golem.  The lanterns guide them up a spiral staircase into the next chamber, higher into the skull.  

In the next chamber they come find a giant brazier burning a great black, silky flame.  Kenli and Mort notice a skeletal figure standing in the burning pyre.  It is a lich, an undead spellcaster of great power.  It conjures forth many beasts to attack the heroes, summoning an insect-like xill, a huge earth elemental, and a fiendish lion of great proportions.  The heroes fight back against the lich’s minions while Kenli desperately sends arrows to the undead spellcaster.  Dayvorus finds most of his spells to be useless against the lich.  Wauldmur and Grimsli take much pain from attacks, and the lich summons a fiendish wolf as well.  The heroes manage to fell the liches minions just as he uses a dismissal spell on Oswyn.  In an instant, the paladin disappears, sent back to Enelis.  The heroes launch their attacks at the lich, but find his defenses impenetrable.  The lich leaps off the brazier, it’s hands glowing with malign energy as it touches Kenli.  The half-elf falls to the ground, dead, the color drained from his face.  Grimsli angrily charges at the lich, slicing it with his holy sword. However, the lich retaliates with a deadly touch that drains nearly all the dwarf’s stamina. Then Mort and Wauldmur join the fray pushing back against the lich with useless attacks.  Dayvorus continues to pound against the lich’s defenses with a ball of flame, eventually succeeding in breaking through.  As the lich is burned by flames and cut by Grimsli’s holy sword, it eventually flees using a plane shift spell.

The heroes use a few healing potions and wands on themselves.  Dayvorus notes that the brazier and black flame emanate a powerful evil energy.  Grimsli checks on Kenli, finding that although the half-elf appears quite dead, he is really just permanently paralyzed, but otherwise alive.  It is then that Kaurophon, who was mysteriously absent during the battle, laughs evilly from somewhere high in the room, likely invisible.  He thanks the heroes for getting him this far, but now wishes to claim Occipitus as his own. A blast of cold energies strikes at the heroes and they take much pain from the sharp cold energy. Wauldmur and Mort mistakenly believe Kaurophon flew up the nearby staircase and they rush to catch up to him.  However, the sorcerer throws spells at Dayvorus.  The two throw a few spells back and forth, even though Dayvorus cannot see the invisible sorcerer. Grimsli desperately pulls the paralyzed Kenli into a side tunnel, using a healing wand of himself.  Dayvorus thows a fireball at the sorcerer, who then retaliates with a powerful telekinetic force that throws Dayvrous hard into a nearby wall.  The half-orc then flies away to recuperate with healing potions.  

Meanwhile, Mort and Wauldmur reach the top of the stairs, finding themselves in the giant skull’s eye socket where the streaming plasms eject into the sky.  A mummy proctor in golden armor greets them:

Adimarchus, Most Potent Ruler of Occipitus, bids you welcome to the Final Test of the Smoking Eye. A worthy successor to the throne of Adimarchus must complete only one more task.  To rule Occipitus — to grasp power and use it for good or ill — means to sacrifice everything you hold dead.  The final test is this: sacrifice an ally to the plasma, and Occipitus is yours!

Mort and Wauldmur ask the proctor about the sacrifice, but receive no answers.  Wauldmur then desperate jumps into the flaming geyser saying he offers himself as a sacrifice for Mort. Mort then watches the soldier’s body immediately disintegrate in the flames.  It is then that the mummy repeats the rules for the final test, speaking to someone unseen behind Mort.  The rogue realizes that Kaurophon must be behind him, but the sorcerer picks up the rogue with telekinetic force, dragging him closer to the flaming geyser as a sacrifice.  The wily rogue manages to focus his mind and break out of the sorcerer’s mental grasp, floating to the floor.  It is then  that Wauldmur reappears, body intact, standing near the geyser in a flash of brilliant white light.  His right eye socket is now empty, a faint light and a constant stream of pungent smoke now emanating from it.  It is then that Dayvorus and Grimsli reach the top of the stair.  Dayvorus uses a powerful scroll to dispel the sorcerer’s invisibility and flight, sending the half-fiend sprawling to the ground.  Wauldmur doesn’t understand how, but he consciously becomes aware of the plasms around him and commands one to stream into the sorcerer, burning him up in a instant.

It is then that the heroes find that Wauldmur has become one of the inheritors of the Smoking Eye.  The warrior can feel the presence of Occipitus and feels he has great power when he is on the plane, especially in its central skull.  He also understands that he was saved only by the virtue of a powerful deity that wishes to see Occipitus ruled by someone with good intentions, able to steer the plane back to its rightful place on Mount Celestia.  The heroes stand in awe at what they accomplished, and what it means for them now that they have no discernible means to return home.


The heroes spend some time to rest on Occipitus, safely in its central skull.  Wauldmur uses his new-found abilities to view various parts of the plane, finding a small town of lost celestials and fiends on the edge of some ruins.  He also observes that the lost priestess of Weeja is there as well.  The heroes decide to use Wauldmur’s powers to teleport to the town.  There they are greeted by lantern archons and hound archons that ensure they mean no harm as they reach the town.  The town’s sheriff, a wolf-headed agathion, greets them explains that the celestials lost here when the plane fell banded together with some of the fiends stranded here.  They formed an uneasy alliance that slowly grew into the small village.  They rely on each other for mutual protection and survival, forcing them all to relinquish their strong morals (good and evil) for something in-between (neutral).  As beings of the plane itself, they had to become what the plane now was, a mixture of both. He also mentions they get so few travelers in these parts, so are eager to trade.

The heroes head to the general store and chat with the somewhat creepy wolf-headed daemon proprietor named Yllia.  She shows them a few trinkets and strange magical items. They end up purchasing a couple bloody-fly charms that enable body parts to regenerate.  This soon comes in use when the fiend offers to tell them where a portal that leaves Occipitus is in exchange for Dayvorus’s tongue.  Kenli agrees to cut out the wizard’s tongue to give it to the fiend.  Dayvorus then eats the bloody-fly charm to grow a new one, though the pain is tremendous.  They learn that a portal exists on the back of the town’s inn in one of the arches, but the tattoo-artist in town likely knows the key to use it.

So the heroes head to the tattoo parlor and speak with the mute succubus, Chiryn.  She relies on her telepathy to communicate, but is able to show the heroes some of her magical tattoo options.  The heroes all decide to get small matching tattoos of their Eternal Embers symbol.  Mort decides to cover his back with a large succubus tattoo.  The heroes then learn from Chiryn that the portal’s key is feelings of hopelessness.  They then head to the inn where the babau demon proprietor offers them a strange whiskey-like concoction that taste much like sour vinegar.  Grimsli seems to enjoy it.  They also peruse the innkeepers many strange trinkets he has collected, deciding to purchase his Gorgon’s Salve to stave off petrification.  The heroes rest for the night at the inn, finding the morning’s meal strange but acceptable.  They then decide to look for the missing Weeja cleric. 

They soon find the missing cleric still with her mysterious companion.  When they talk to them, the companion, Synia, does most of the talking again.  The two seem eager to use the portal that they too had recently learned about.  The heroes show the portal to them, but then confront Synia.  They know something is strange about her and how she seems to command Karolyse.  She changes form, showing that she is truly a succubus that was accidentally freed by Karolyse in the ruins.  She has longed to escape Occipitus for 50 years and tricked the poor cleric to try and steal the plane-shift scroll from her superior.  She bids the heroes goodbye and steps through the portal, leaving the charmed cleric in a daze.  The heroes are able to talk some sense into Karolyse and she understands her situation.  She decides to travel with her fellow Kulderonites to return home.  They all step through the portal, hoping it heads some place better than Occipitus.

On the other side, they find a scorched, barren land covered in blasted basalt.  The smell of sulfurous fumes fill the air and the land is dotted by constant explosions as great balls of fire continuously stream from the red sky.  They see trickles of blood in the rocks forming small streams.  Dayvorus identifies the plane as Avernus of Baator, the first of the Nine Hells.  Nearby they see a large bearded devil, pulling a great barbed spear from a fallen succubus’s corpse. The heroes manage to convince the devil that the succubus was a present from them, and they ask how they can leave Avernus.  He simply points them towards a cave far to the east where a witch lives, believing she probably knows a way out.  The heroes then set out across the blasted landscape, traveling for many hours in the extreme heat, trying to avoid being struck by one of the falling balls of flame.

They eventually cross a river of blood where the foul stench of hot blood and coagulating scabs makes them nauseous, but after many hours of travel, they reach the cavern and find the witch.  She tried to capture them in a web, but then uses some sort of holy water to verify they are not fiends.  She then invites them into her cave, where it is safe from the frequent explosions.  They find a small hut inside the cavern and she offers them much food and water.  They learn that she is also lost and stuck on Avernus, however, she knows there is a great pillar of skulls made of the heads of former sages who cheated someone in their former lives.  She believes they would know of a way to escape Avernus.  

The heroes rest with the witch then head to the pillar of skulls, travelling many miles again.  They then reach an immensely high pile of heads in various states of deterioration. As they approach the cacophony of arguing voices, the skulls go silent and one dominant voice ask them what they want.  The heroes have to choose between knocking the dominant giant skull into the depths of the pillar, or sacrifice one of their own.  Wauldmur then knocks the head in and another head seems to take dominance.  It tells them of a gate, but is immediately corrected by another skull.  Eventually they come to believe the new skull as it becomes dominant for a short time and learn of a portal to the south that requires a brick from the Avernus road as a key.  The heroes then leave quickly before the skulls can shout to attract devils to their location.  

In the distance they see a giant fortress that belongs to the arch-devil Bel, the ruler of Avernus.  The fortress seems the size of many cities stacked on themselves, the largest structure any of them have every seen.  They then see a great army of armored devils in the distance stretched out on the great road  for miles to the fortress.  It is led by the great pit fiend, General Bel himself.  They must wait many hours for the army to continue its march down the road to fight in the Blood War.  The heroes then head quickly towards the stone arch to the south.  Dayvous splits off, flying fast to grab a brick from the road.  They then see a group of over fifty abishai devils flying towards them from the fortress.  They rush to the archway, trying to get through the portal before the army of flying fiends descend upon them.  As they reach the portal, however, another fiend blocks their path.  He demands they take an orb with them into the portal, or he will stop them long enough for the abishai to arrive.  Grimsli reluctantly agrees and the heroes step through the portal just as the abishai reach out for them with their claws.

The heroes find themselves in a strange city.  An empty alley-way of sorts.  Across from them is an immensely tall woman, maybe fifteen feet, she wears thick robes with blades surrounding her mask-like face.  The orb in Grimsli hands shatters into nothing but dust that soon blows away.  The giant lady then fades away slowly into nothingness.  Soon the street fills with various folks, one of which shouts to the heroes that they must be ‘barmy addle-coves’ for standing there.  They smell a painful stench in the thick air that reminds them of a forge, it stings their eyes and throats.  Many strange humanoids walk about in outlandish dress, some trying to sell their wares, others sitting on great chairs carried by four large men, being carried about the streets.  One man greets the heroes politely as he walks by, “Welcome to Sigil, cutters.”


The heroes marvel at the streets of the strange city where angels and devils walk through the streets.  They see few elves, dwarves, and other folk they are more familiar, but they are intermixed with ram-like centaurs and more githzerai. They also see folk that seem to be touched by the planes, aasimon and tieflings, and elemental genasai.  The heroes walk into the main through-way, trying to make sense of it.  They notice that there the city stretches around on the inner circle of a torus, across the smoky haze above them they can just barely make out the tops of buildings on the other side.  The streets curve up and away from them, making their whole position in the city disorienting.  

The heroes wander about aimlessly trying to make sense of what people are saying and where they are.  They come to a giant building spewing smoke from high stacks where the smell of forged metals fills the air.  Across the street they find a small watering-hole filled with various craftsfolk. They learn from the bartender that they might need to find a guide, called a ‘tout’ to help them get around.  They then explore some more as the strange light, that seems to emanate from everywhere, begins to grow, eventually reaching a giant prison complex. In that street, they find a man named Terran who is a reliable tout.  He gets them fixed with a pony cab and they cart around town, first to the marketplace to sell their items and purchase new ones. They also learn much about Sigil and the factions who run the city and the Lady of Pain that keeps even the fiends in line.

During the day, at the Great Bazaar, the largest marketplace any of them had ever seen, they meet a wise old man named Tyrio Thornbird.  He seems to be fascinated by Kenli’s bow and Grimsli’s sword.  He also knows much about the history of Enelis.  He asks to meet them later at a tavern.  The heroes agree and go about their day, exploring taverns, bars and various places to enjoy.  After gambling at the Fortune’s Wheel, and eating at Imbrel’s Happy Tongue, they find themselves drinking in the mead halls of the Twelve Factols.  It is there that they meet a tiefling named Eres Greydark.  She mistakes Dayvorus for his father, as Davor used to sell magic items to her. She tells Dayvorus to talk to Krux the baker about what happened to his father.

The heroes then go to the elven-themed Green Mill Inn to meet with Tyrio.  He has a great knowledge of famous artifacts and magic items, saying he learned much from Dodak when he visited Enelis.  He explains much of the history of each of their legacy items and seems to have something called ‘mage-sight’ that allows him to see how to grow the power within the legacy items. He tells each of them what they need to do to expand their items’ power.  The Staff of Lutherius needs a planar gem that can only be found in Limbo when all the elements meet in just the right way.  Durindana requires an angel of Solarus to bless the weapon. Dragonsbane requires the sword to slay a cold-based dragon of great size. Dragon’s Wing requires it to be bathed in the terrible heat of a red dragon’s breath. And the Cloak of Shadows requires to absorb the magic of the Plane of Shadow for at least 3 days.

After thanking and leaving Tyrio, they head to Krux’s Bakery.  Dayvorus learns that his mother was killed outside his shop 15 years ago by an efreet and his fire genisai band, the Molten Marauders.  They kidnapped Dayvorus after he refused to hand over his staff.  He also says that the half-orc had just exited the advocates office across the street.  So Dayvorus heads next door to learn that his father left him a legacy.  He receives a simple letter that outlines what the wizard must do to follow in his father’s footsteps and carry out his legacy.  The heroes then talk among themselves, deciding that they shall pursue Grimsli’s quest first and seek out a portal to Elysium to find Solarus’s realm.


The heroes return the the Green Mill to rest for the night, enjoying the peaceful ambiance and sweet smells of the elven-themed inn.  The next day the heroes head to the Hall of Information in Sigil where they set up appointments with the offices of Prime Material Relations and Outer Plane Relations for the following day.  Later that day, the heroes walk about the town looking for some fun until their scheduled meetings.  The heroes find a tout who recommends the Bottle and Jug for some rough fun. They find the dark tavern in the Hive caters more to orcs and goblins with bitter drinks and a dangerous atmosphere. They eventually convince the barkeep to let them join in the arena fight with Wauldmur interested in going hand-to-hand with Atha, a cyclops.  In the small hidden arena, Wauldmur battles the cyclops in a painful fist-fight.  The experienced warrior eventually wins, besting Atha and winning the secret grand prize.  Meanwhile, the others make a lot of coin betting on their friend’s success.

The bar owner, Huxon, takes Wauldmur into a secret room where there are many arches with portals.  He tells Wauldmur that he can have his secret treasure in the nearest portal.  The warrior hesitantly enters the portal to find his winnings, however he only finds that he stands near-naked in the first layer of the Abyss near familiar arches.  Fiends fly high overhead and the warrior ducks under a nearby overhang until he can figure out how to get out of there.  Meanwhile, the warrior’s friends wait impatiently for him to appear after the fight.  They soon get angry and forceful with the bar-staff and speak with the owner.  They eventually get Huxon to take them to the portal (after paying him off), they then force the bar-owner into the portal to face the Abyss himself.  They return Wauldur’s gear to the warrior and get the bar-keep to remember the key back to Sigil.  When they return, the barkeep agrees to allow them to use his Abyssal portals anytime and gives the warrior some gold winnings, though never apologizing for his deception.

The heroes spend the rest of the day drinking and relaxing in Sigil, before spending the night at the Green Mill again.  The next day they meet with the officers at the Hall of Information.  They learn that Enelis is not a well-known world and they may have trouble finding a way home outside of a plane-shift spell. They also learn a little about Adimarchus and Occipitus.  They learns that an angel named Ybdiel who frequents the Ubiquitous Wayfarer Inn is a proxy (servant) of Solarus.  They learn that the Plane of Shadow is only coterminous with the material plane and they are best to try to seek a way from there. They also learn that if they go to Limbo they should contact the Shrak’kt’lor Githzerai Embassy in Sigil where an anarch can guide them through the swirling elemental chaos of the plane.

The heroes head to the Ubiquitous Wayfarer having many drinks while they wait for the deva to appear.  They get in a philosophical debate with Guvners and Xaositects, chat a bit with a marilith and planetar, and dance with some imps and githyanki pirates (earning some sweetfire herbs).  They also try to help Mirta, the new half-elf waitress who seems to be struggling. They eventually learn that Ybdiel will not be coming to the Inn tonight and head out. However, they incidentally open a portal and find themselves in a wholly new tavern. The new place is filled with demons of the Abyss and they determine they are back in the evil plane in some sort of strange tavern with what passes for a truce between patrons.  They have to appease an angry bur-lgura and avoid being drafted in the Blood War by a pack of hezrou demons. A vulture-like vrock tells them to be wary as it leaves to chat with an alu-fiend.  

It is then that a man comes into the tavern screaming for help just as a large spider-like bebelith kills him from behind.  A strange ball of light exits the man and enters the bebelith.  It is then that the kindly vrock changes form into a deva, proclaiming that the ball of light was his.  He gets into a fight with the bebelith, in which the heroes try to intervene, however, the bebelith teleports away after the deva is bitten and the poison seems to be killing the angel. The heroes speak with the dying deva and learn of a portal to return to Sigil, taking the deva with them as the many demons hungrily look to devour the angel and the heroes with him.

The heroes narrowingly escape, finding themselves at the Great Gymnasium.  The Ciphers (members of the Transcendent Order) come to aid them.  The deva turns out to be Ybdiel, telling them he must get to Elysium to pass on information he has gathered.  He tells them also that his deva spark, in which he tried to hide in a mortal, somehow had been taken by the bebelith, and he will likely die as a result.  The angel falls into a fevered coma.  The heroes then hear screams down the halls, finding out that a bebelith broke into the Great Gymnasium, killed a man, and used a portal to Elysium.  The heroes take Ybdiel with them and enter the portal to Elysium themselves to find the bebelith and also find healing for the injured angel.

When they arrive, they find an uncanny peaceful serenity, with rolling grasslands, verdant meadows and woodlands, and the bluest sky ever imaginable.  A calming peace fills their hearts and they set out towards some nearby shepherds.  They find them burying the dead Cipher whom the bebelith carried into Elysium.  The beast seemed to feel guilt and did not slay a sheep in its path. The also learn that to get anywhere in this realm of Principality that the direction of travel is irrelevant, as long as they do good deeds along the way they’ll arrive at their destination in a few hours. Thus the heroes happen to save a lamb about to drown and gain a speedy trip to an Inn down river.  There they find the inn has collapsed and they spend a couple hours rescuing those trapped in the rubble.  They learn that the bebelith broke into the inn, but instead of killing those there, it left in guilt and shame.  While the heroes were clearing the rubble, the bebelith teleported in and stole Ybdiel seemingly wanting to help the hurt angel.  The heroes decide to head to the monastery Concalve Fidelis to speak with the monks.  On the way, they learn that the bebelith helped a wagon that was stuck in the mud.

From the monks, they learn that they need to gather the Items of Accord to heal the angel and help the bebelith in its new goodly-path.  He gives them the Chalice of Peace, telling them they need to head to Lake Serene to gather the Waters of Tranquility, then to the mountains to find an immolating phoenix and get a Gem of Harmony.  Then they must take the three items, along with the bebelith and angel and walk the Labyrinth of Accord in the Ornwood forest.  He then summons the bebelith to him, sending Abaia, as its called, to join the heroes on this quest.  The bebelith seems to be less evil in appearance, with a prismatic sheen to its brighter chitin. The heroes learn from Abaia that Ybdiel is safe in a cave and that the bebelith has been looking for a way to help him, but is lost and cannot seem to get around easily.

As the heroes head out towards Lake Serene to fill the chalice with the waters, they are waylaid by a nycaloth (a daemon) who thinks Abaia is Ybdiel in disguise, a battle ensues as the nycaloth summons numerous mezzoloth daemons to help.  The heroes recognize the daemon from the abyssal tavern earlier. Abaia simply drops to the ground, ready to accept its “punishment”.  The heroes must defend the bebelith, though the battle is fierce.  Karolyse takes a fatal blow as the battle gets more desperate.


The heroes fight against the frenzied daemons, greater still to avenge Karolyse’s death.  The battle is quite fierce as Wauldmur and Grimsli both suffer under the deadly axe of the nycoloth.  Soon Grimsli lands some near deadly blows with Durindana, rendering the nycoloth nearly defeated.  However, the beast simply flies into the air and teleports with magic.  The mezzoloths are defeated and the heroes push Karolyse’s body into Wauldmur’s magic bag to deal with later.  They head out then towards Lake Serene where they encounter a pack of moon dogs in the lake’s mists.  The strange, goodly creatures seem hesitate about the bebelith, but the heroes convince them that they are trying to empower the good within the creature.  The heroes then approach the waters of the lake and fill the large Chalice of Peace with the Waters of Serenity.  Mort decides to hold the chalice, using his cloak’s powers to steady it, as they continue towards the mountains to find the phoenix’s nest.  Before they head out however, they rest, finding extreme comfort and serenity laying in the looming light of the realm.

After a few hours after heading out, they reach a mountainside with a high cliff up to the nest.  The heroes take their time and climb to the top of the cliff to greet the phoenix there.  The phoenix is quite interested in their quest and mentions that sometimes out of destruction, creation can find its way.  It also advises them to seek truth, destruction, and peace in their tests of the labyrinth.  Kenli exchanges his rare litheria blossom in exchange for the Gem of Harmony, a huge, almost head-sized diamond.  The phoenix is overjoyed with the trade. The heroes then say farewell to the phoenix and make their way to the Ornwood Forest.  After a few hours, they reach the edge of the forest, but find a great host of goodly creatures and petitioners blocking the entrance, seemingly looking for them and the bebelith.  The heroes immediately step out and offer peace with the leader of the host, a dwarven priest named Palabar.  They explain their quest and the dwarf agrees to let them try the Tests of Accord before passing judgment on them or the bebelith.  So the heroes head into the forest,and Abaia teleports to the cavern to retrieve Ybdiel and bring him with them.

As they reach the center of the forest, they find a great shimmering labyrinth of high hedge walls. Five nymphs greet the heroes, curious as they enter and ensure that they have the three Items of Accord.  The heroes then wander the maze of the labyrinth, finding their flying magic ceases to function. They soon run into the first test, finding the scene shift into an open village with a flaming inn.  They see many evil humans laughing at Ybdiel.  Wauldmur is quick to rescue a child falling from the burning building.  They learn that Ybdiel accidentally gave his deva spark to an evil man who rescued a child, not realizing that he did so by accident, and he was the one who set the inn on fire.  When the man was killed shortly after, he was sent to the Abyss where the heroes saw him killed as a petitioner by Abaia. They learned the truth of the deva’s error and Ybdiel admitted his mistake.

They then head through the labyrinth some more before reaching the second test.  They find themselves in the Abyss with many manes, lesser demons, lurking about the desolate wastes.  Many vrock demons come about to slay them for pleasure.  The heroes have to stop and convince Abaia not to join them, that there is a greater strength in helping others.  The bebelith soon understands and the scene dissipates.  The heroes then reach the center of the labyrinth where they find that Abaia and Ybdiel are laying on the pristine grass before a great fountain, both unconscious.  The deva spark glows between them with a tendril of light to each of them.  Then a greater, evil version of the bebelith appears.  The heroes fight off this evil quickly, felling it and the evil within the bebelith.  The deva spark then breaks free, floating away from them.  Dayvorus at first tries to catch it in the Gem of Harmony, but it flees from him.  As it does for Wauldmur, however, Grimsli is able to pull the spark towards him and into the gem.  

The heroes must then decide what to do with the deva spark, and the five nymphs each reappear and suggest a different option.  It can either be returned to Ybdiel, given to Abaia, split between the two of them, given back to its divine source, or used to create a new being from both Abaia and Ybdiel.  The heroes choose the last option and Grimsli holds the gem aloft using its power to create a new being of goodness.  Soon a half-deva/half-spider creature of shining goodness appears. Although it has features of both of them, it speaks with Ybdiel’s voice.  It assures them they made the right choice and that they are both present in mind within their new form.  The heroes all feel imbued by the goodness they witnessed. Grimsli then asks the angel for a blessing for Durindana.  The angel takes the sword and imbues it with holy power, shining from Solarus herself.  He also reshapes it into the dwarven waraxe that the paladin desired.  The angel also bestows upon Grimsli his own cloak to protect him on his “quest against evil”.  The angel then departs to speak with its deity.  The heroes then leave the labyrinth to find the goodly host had gathered to watch the transformation.  They congratulate the heroes on their success and bring them back to the town of Pax Benefice for much celebration and feasting on the lake’s shore.  The heroes use the break to ponder on what they learned and to enjoy the perfect serenity of Elysium.


The heroes enjoy the feast and rest the night in the deep comforts of Elysium.  The overwhelming peace threatens to enrapture them and, for a moment, they each consider spending the rest of their lives in the perfect peace surrounding them.  However, the drive for adventure pushes them on and they return to Sigil for their next quest.  Once they return to the vibrant city, they seek out the Shrak’kt’lor Githzerai Embassy.  There they meet with Xer’rek, a githzerai anarch, who is organizing an expedition to Limbo to find and return an artifact called the Mind-Mantle from the lost githzerai fortress of Grethdak.  The Mind-Mantle is powered by the same planar gems that Dayvorus seeks to enhance his staff.  Xer’rek ensures them that if they assist in his recovery effort, he will give them a planar gem.  They are informed that they will travel through the Astral plane to reach Limbo, where Xer’rek will use his anarch training to create stability around them as they travel to Grethdak. The heroes agree and purchase a few supplies before they are ready to embark.

The heroes gather with Xer’rek and his two bodyguards, Amruk and Khazera, in a chamber filled with many cushioned chairs.  They sit and Xer’rek begins the hour-long psionic ritual to guide them through the astral plane.  They then find their minds disconnecting from their bodies as they float deep into the Astral plane.  They have their hands linked, strictly told never to let go lest they lose someone to the vastness of the infinite depths.  Xer’rek leads the astral caravan as they float through the expansive space.  After what seems like many hours, they come across large landmasses, vaguely shaped like humanoids.  Xer’rek informs them that these are the corpses of fallen deities, who lost all their worshipers. They are especially careful as they fly past, as Xer’rek also warns them that githyanki pirates dwell on those landmasses.  Unfortunately, a githyanki ship spots them and sails towards them.  The heroes and their new allies are forced to leap on-board the vessel and fight against the githyanki pirates.  The battle is fierce and pirates continue to climb out of the deep hold.  Xer’rek is nearly killed and Khazera is felled by their leader.  The heroes prevail, however, and the pirate captain gifts the heroes his valuable loot in exchange for his life and the ship.  The heroes agree, since none of them know how to pilot the magical vessel.  Kenli dons a new and wonderful mithral chain shirt.  Mort takes the captain’s rapier, named Silverpoint, finding it perfectly balanced and deadly. Mort also takes his magical belt, enhancing his agility.  Grimsli dons a pair of magical vambraces that enhance his healing ability.

Soon the heroes continue onward for many more hours, reforming their extended chain of hands as they float through the expanded space.  They then find a color-pool with swirling prismatic colors, randomly varying from moment to moment.  Xer’rek leads the group through the pool.  They then find themselves on a stone platform surrounded by a bubble of stable air.  Outside that bubble, is a churning chaos of elemental energies.  Fire, water, earth, and air all collide and smash into each other in a cacophony of raw energy. They imagine that exposure to that chaos would be deadly.  Xerr’rek then shows off his anarch abilities and constructs a vast landscape with rolling green hills and a stout stone tower in front of them.  The heroes enter the tower to find comfortable lodgings for them to rest.  The next day, the heroes set out and Xer’rek creates only a flat land bridge of smooth stone surrounded by a bubble of fresh air.  They use this construct to traverse across Limbo, with the bridge always creating more ahead of them and relinquishing itself behind them to the primal chaos.  After a long day of travel through the chaos of Limbo, the heroes still unsure how anyone makes any sense of direction here.  The heroes are then suddenly besieged.  Xer’rek’s land bridge seems to struggle and he has to focus his concentration to maintain it.  Serpentine-shaped proteans then appear to attack the heroes, eager to destroy the order they are imposing on the swirling chaos. In the confusion of battle, Kenli is grabbed by one of the proteons, pulled into the painful energies of the chaos.  The heroes try to fight back against the chaotic creatures.  Amruk is slain and the others make many well-placed strikes. Dayvorus, however, finds that his spells are unpredictable and he struggles to maintain concentration over the wild magic.


Dayvorus’ magic fails in the chaos of Limbo, turning his deadly spell into nothing more the a splash of grease on the protean.  However, the grease was just what Kenli needed to help him squirm his way out of the creature’s tightening grasp.  Xer’rek then uses his psionics powers to switch places with Kenli, puling the half-elf out from the chaotic energies.  The githzerai then easily floats back to the platform using his anarch abilities.  Mort, Wauldmur, and Kenli then assail one of the proteans near the platform, felling it.  Then they send their assault on the final one.  It manages to escape below the platform and the heroes heal up and head away from the area quickly.

After a long day of travel, they finally come to a great fortress standing in the midst of the swirling chaos on a pointed island of land.  It is surrounded by a bubble of air that seems to keep the chaotic energies at bay.  The heroes reach the fortress’s entrance and climb the crumbling stairs towards its two great doors.  They are then waylaid by a few lesser slaad in hiding who do not prove to be much of a danger. However, one of the statues comes to life and nearly crushes Mort, Wauldmur, and Grimsli.  Mort manages to break a crack in its stony form and Kenli places some well-placed shots in the crack, breaking the statue apart.

Inside the fortress, the heroes find a strange room surrounded by many portals that seem to lead to a similar room.  They try a few of the portals and go back and forth between rooms.  Eventually, they find the right portal and find themselves in a new hallway.  In a nearby room they find a great training apparatus of the githzerai that uses currents of pressured water to test their balance and agility.  Mort accidently sets off a trap on the door to the next chamber that nearly freezes the party to death.  However, they are able to heal themselves and continue.  In the next room they find a great meditation chamber that balances chaos and order.  Kenli spots a secret door that leads them down a long hallway.

Mort opens the secret door at the end of the hall that leads into a huge ritual chamber with a swirling disc of chaotic energies surrounding a small gem.  On a high dais is an altar where a strange metallic helmet stands with many energy-like threads reaching out from the top like a medusa’s head.  Standing on the dais is a dark-formed death slaad.  The heroes rush into action fighting against the death slaad and his weaker minions.  Then a swarm of tadpole-like infant slaad come flying towards them trying to feed.  The heroes do their best to combat their foe but feel they might be under-matched against the death slaad.  The dark, chaotic creature unleashes a barrage of negative energy that siphons off their souls.  The heroes manage to shrug off its effects, but Xer’rek falls dead to the blast.  With a furious vengeance, Grimsli leaps from the high balcony onto the death slaad, but the enigmatic creature easily blocks the blow, knocking the paladin to the ground.  The others all aim their assault and eventually fell the creature.  Dayvorus then throws what magic he has left on the swarm of tadpoles still eating at the fallen.  The infantile slaad are slain and a quiet falls over the room.

Dayvorus analyzes the mind-mantle and finds with great care, he can use it to maintain the fortress and possibly to imitate the anarch powers of Xer’rek to let them travel through Limbo.  He also takes the planar gem from its perch, swirling in the chaos disc.  Even though there was little left of Xer’rek’s body after the slaad tadpoles ate him, Dayvorus found the githzerai’s magical headband and donned it, finding his mind more limber and expansive.  The heroes then begin to discuss how they will return to Sigil and get out of the endless chaos of Limbo.


The heroes decide they must brave the wild chaos of Limbo and find a way back to Sigil.  Dayvorus dons the mind-mantle, and is able to maintain the fortress in its current state.  The heroes then explore the rest of the former githzerai fortress.  In an adjoining room, they come across a wild horde of the frog-like slaad.  The creatures teleport close to the heroes eager for their blood and flesh.  The battle is fierce and the heroes barely survive the relentless onslaught.  Wauldmur and Grimsli are nearly killed in the attack, but thankfully Dayvorus manages to summon a swirling vortex of flaming winds to keep the slaad at bay.  Many of the slaad end up fleeing as the heroes begin to take them down.  The halls then return to near silence as the heroes patch themselves up with their dwindling healing wands.

They find that there is little left in the fortress and head out into the wilds of Limbo.  Dayvorus lets the fortress dissolve, and uses the mind-mantle to focus on shaping a land-bridge for them to walk upon as they travel the wild chaos.  All directions seem to look the same to them, so they pick a random destination and begin their hike.  The heroes spend two long days of uneventful travel hoping to find someone or something that could direct them out of the chaotic energies.  They spend the nights locked into a sphere of stone, praying that unseen monstrosities do not interrupt their rest.  However, late on the third day of travel, they come across a warband of githzerai.  They greet the heroes and tell them they are returning to the githzerai city of Shrak’kt’lor after hunting githyanki. They see that Dayvorus wears the mind-mantle and agree to transport the heroes to the city.  After a couple days of easy travel with the githzerai band, the heroes reach Shrak’kt’lor and hand over the mind-mantle to an overly gracious diplomat.  They then find the portal to Sigil and return to the City of Doors.

Upon reaching Sigil, and a consistent corporeal world, Wauldmur receive a magical message from Jenya Urikas:

Strange weather befalls Kulderon, snow and ice fill the mountains. 

Frost giants and white dragons waylay travelers.  

Come home quickly. Kulderon needs the Eternal Embers.

The warrior sends a quick response, telling that they will come home as soon as they can.  However, they still do not know how they will find a way back to Enelis.  They decide to head to the market and do some shopping where they agree to purchase a scroll of plane shift to return home.  However, Mort runs into Tyrio Thornbird again, who informs them that his colleagues discovered a portal to Enelis in an old well near the Green Mill Inn.  He warns that the portal is one-way and he knows not where on Enelis it leads.  The key is carrying any object crafted on Enelis.  The heroes thank the historian for his help and decide to head to Enelis as quickly as possible.  They find the well and leap down.

They find themselves on a pristine tropical beach, the portal exiting from between two crossed palm trees.  Kenli determines that they are quite far from Kulderon, on a small island near Tabanya.  The heroes rest for the night, enjoying the calming sound of the waves on the shore.  Dayvorus then teleports everyone but Mort (due to his concentration limits) to his home, where he startles the quite-pregnant Emmaline.  He returns with Emmaline where they enjoy the beach for a few hours together, then return home with Mort.  The heroes then make for the Dancing Dragon to share some drinks with old friends.  They find that the weather is unusually chilly and they learn that many of the plants are dying from the unnatural cold weather. 

Mort learns that a strange cloaked figure has been asking for him again this week. Wauldmur finds a letter for him at the bar, learning that his brother and sister are looking for  ‘whomever’ killed their brother, Konrad.  Dayvorus learns that Zordan was killed by the Last Laugh thieves guild, likely because of the money he owned them.  Grimsli finds that Oswyn has been busy since he was banished back to Enelis.  The paladin found himself in the middle of the Demonscar and fought his way back to Kulderon.  He has since gathered two dozen able-bodied warriors to fight in Solarus’s name for the Knights of the Silver Dragon under Grimsli’s command.  They have been busy trying to help folks deal with the frost giants now threatening the trade roads.


The heroes finish their drinks and head home for the night to rest.  When Mort arrives at home, he finds his sister Narcissa, who he presumed was dead. She holds him with a spell and asks him to join her back to Astonia to kill their uncle and claim the reigns of the Cult of Hollos in the region.  Hollos being the evil deity of destruction and rage.  Mort refuses and she tries to carve out his heart, saying that a presentation of her brother’s heart would also elevate her status in the cult. Mort manages to break free from the holding spell and attempts to fight back, but her destructive magic seems too great.  He leaps out his window and rushes to Grimsli’s inn to find healing and rest for the night.  Kenli finds equally disturbing news, for when he returned to his camp outside the city, Ramman tells him that his father simply disappeared a few nights prior.  Kenli looks about for any sign of him, but only finds the disturbing symbol of the nabasu demon burned into his father’s pillow. The ranger can only make a promise of vengeance as he joins the others the next morning.

The heroes head out, eager to head into the mountains to see why the region is under this unnatural cold spell. They speak with Ophelia Knowlern and learn she has a package of documents she needs sent to Hollowsky.  Due to the frost giants in the area, they have not been able to keep in regular touch with the town.  The heroes head to the small town, encountering a couple raiding frost giants on the way.  They quickly dispatch them, reaching the town of Hollowsky in the evening.  They deliver the documents to the mayor and rest for the night at the inn.  

The next morning, they begin the long hike into the mountains.  They are waylaid by a nest of remoraz, large heat-filled insects of the frozen wastes.  They take the creatures out with some difficulty, as Dayvorus is nearly felled by the beasts.  A blizzard overtakes them as they climb higher into the mountains.  The cold chill of the wind forcing them to don heavy cloaks and coats to stay warm.  After a long day of hiking and climbing, they reach near the peak of the mountain and see a large crumbling fortress.  They believe it to be the fortress of Jarl Khurok.  The clouds swirl high above the fortress in a slow, hypnotic pattern, as if some great magical force controlled the weather.

The heroes rush into the fortress to get out of the cold winds.  They find a few frost giant guards that immediate attack them.  The heroes soon find themselves in an all-out battle as more frost giants, ogres, and winter worgs pile into the entrance chamber.  Their bodies pile up on the ground as the heroes defiantly slay all who oppose them.  They then are able to search about, but find little of interest, besides a 100-gallon cask of aged dwarven spirits.  Down a broken, icy cavern they run into a large ten-headed hydra, but the heroes act quickly and fell the beast before it is able to do anything more than growl.  Then the heroes find themselves facing Jarl Khurok himself.  The Jarl throws out many powerful cold enchantments and his giant guards deliver many heavy blows.  Wauldmur and Grimsli are knocked out and the others are nearly defeated as their rear fills with more angry giants.  

Mort then uses the power of his cloak to blend with the caves shadows, as Dayvorus casts a similar spell upon himself.  Kenli is backed into the corner of the cavern as the frost giants close in on him.  He then scrambles in his pack for an invisibility potion and downs it, also finding safety in the shadows.  The giants search around haphazardly for the invisible heroes, but presume they ran away.  Grimsli and Wauldmur are carried by ogres into a caged room as their invisible friends silently follow.  After the ogre leaves, Mort quickly picks the lock and they enter, finding the Stormblades are inside as well.  They quickly revive Grimsli and he is able to heal everyone in the room.  Although, Todd appear to have died of hypothermia.  The Eternal Embers and their Stormblade allies then burst forth from the cell striking at the giants in the hall.  Dayvorus casts a spell of haste upon them and they quickly slice down their foes. They then face against the Jarl, where Wauldmur and Grimsli do their best to keep the deadly warrior at bay.  As they wear down the Jarl with many well-placed strikes, Kenli then sends a flurry of arrows into the Jarl’s heart, felling him.  The heroes celebrate the victory with their allies as they continue to fight against the remaining frost giant guards.


The heroes finish slaying the final frost giant guards.  The Stormblades then decide to head back to Kulderon, taking Todd’s body with them. The Eternal Embers stay behind to try to figure out how to stop the winter storms.  They search about the crumbling keep of the Jarl.  They take the Jarl’s magical axe, and find a small locked chamber filled with a few rare trinkets.  Grimsli finds a lost legendary weapon of Kalavar, the Dwarven Avenger. They also find an evil giant’s sword that seems too dangerous to handle.  They find little else in the keep and decide to rest before continuing.  After a long night’s rest, the heroes look about outside, trying to find the source of the strange storms.  They spot a small cave opening down below the cliffside next to the keep’s high perch.  They carefully climb and float down to the landing near the cave and find that a small semi-frozen lake flows into the partially submerged cavern.  Many of the heroes brave the icy waters as Dayvorus and Grimsli fly overhead.  Their bodies shiver from the extreme cold but continue onward.

Inside they find a broken shore and a crumbling cavern covered in slick ice. Down a side passage, they run into a large ice elemental. They dispatch the beast after taking a few hits.  They then encounter a few ice mephits, but find them to be little opposition.  However, Mort trips a trap and is blasted with cold energies.  They continue on to a larger cavern where another nasty trap causes the ceiling to partially collapse on them.  They take many wounds.  Before they can use magical aid, a pack of feral yeti’s charge in.  The heroes dispatch them quickly and heal their wounds before continuing.  Down a narrow tunnel that heads deeper below the mountain, they encounter a thick chill fog.  They decide to head back and check a different route.

The second tunnel heads upwards to a small cavern that has nothing more than a single stone pedestal. Upon the pedestal sits a small shimmering orb.  The magic within the orb nearly knocks back Dayvorus as he peers at it with his magical sight.  Grimsli too nearly swoons by the overwhelming evil inherent in the orb.  Dayvorus studies the orb for a number of minutes, learning that it is the fabled Orb of Winter.  A malignant evil artifact created by evil forces to cover the Material Plane in an endless sea of ice. It grants its wielder numerous magical powers and even immortality, but it has its own malignant intelligence that would slowly dominate anyone who possessed it.  Dayvorus takes the orb for now and the heroes attempt to return to the other tunnel.

As the heroes reach the larger cavern below them, the find that the thick fog has filled this chamber as well.  Wauldmur strides forward, finding a huge hulking white dragon waiting for them in the fog.  They leap into their battle stance, but the dragon blasts them with its freezing breath.  Wauldmur and Mort try to strike at the dragon’s skin as Grimsli moves his way towards it.  Dayvorus and Kenli hold back, unable to see the beast in the fog.  The dragon then seemingly summons a more frigid air that coats the ground with thick ice and begins to freeze their skin.  The warriors make a few well-placed strikes upon the dragon as Dayvorus summons a blast of fiery-hot winds upon it. Mort and Grimsli make some well-placed cuts upon the beast as Waudlmur leaps up and strikes down with Dragonsbane.  The sword glows with a feral energy as it strikes into the white dragon, felling it.  The blade expels a blast of force that sends everyone, including its wielder, sprawling backwards.  When Wauldmur reaches to retrieve the sword, he finds that it had absorbed the dragon’s essence and the blade now tingles with icy energies.  The heroes then look for a dragon’s hoard, but find nothing but a magical rod.  They then painstakingly climb their way out of the cavern through a side hole.  

The heroes then decide that they must put an end to the winter storms, but that only Grimsli has the strength and willpower to confront the evil force inside the Orb of Winter.  Thus the heroes rest for a bit to prepare themselves, then provide numerous protective enchantments upon the dwarven paladin as he takes the Orb of Winter and attempts to will it to end the storms.  The dwarf’s head begins to bead with sweat as he faces off against the darkness inside.  But he proves victorious and the storms overhead cease immediately. The heroes then return to Kulderon with a few teleport spells, taking their well-earned cask of aged dwarven spirits with them.

When they return to the city, they find it already warming and returning to normal weather.  The people are excited and many shout their names and proclaim them Kulderon’s heroes.  It seems the Stormblades have been telling everyone what they had done and have been praising their heroics.  The heroes find they cannot avoid someone trying to buy them a drink and the Dancing Dragon fills with large crowds, all wanting to hear the story of the frost giants and the white dragon.  Unfortunately, Dodak has some bad news for the Eternal Embers.  He has learned through the Historical Society that the Umbral Dome of Saventh-Yhi is expanding.  They are worried that the Queen of Shadows is expanding her reach and may eventually absorb all of Enelis into the Plane of Shadow.  The heroes decide to quickly research ways to permanently destroy the Orb of Winter (which Grimsli still holds for safe keeping).  Then they shall head south and deal with the Queen of Shadows.


The heroes decide to do some research on the Orb of Winter, but find that Dodak knows little about the ancient relic.  Dayvorus checks out the library at the Temple of Weeja and learns that the Orb can likely be destroyed in the burning fires of the Elemental Plane of Fire.  He then sets about to scribe an emergency teleportation scroll as the others check on their businesses.  The next day, the heroes teleport to the valley near the Umbral Dome and walk forth into the shadowy haze of the Plane of Shadow. They climb through the tangle of shadowy jungle seeing a different, yet familiar landscape ahead of them. The angles are sharper and darker, and the plants seem to twist and writhe with malign intent.  Mort finds that his cloak is enhanced on this plane, giving him a more ominous appearance.

The heroes head through the main entrance, finding the old walls left by the Vianan soldiers.  There they are then attacked by Grugonoth, the giant ape-demon released from a statue by a charauka shaman during their last trip to Saventh-Yhi .  The demon struck at them with a couple chupacabras.  The heroes prevail, with Grimsli nearly felling the demon on his own.  As it attempted to fly away, Kenli took it down.  The heroes then stepped upon the high pavilion that connected to the bridge.  They could see a tall shadowy tree like a great tower rising from the top of the government-district’s ziggurat in the center of a shadowy, dark lake.  The tower resembles a darker, twisted replica of Rhoswen’s tower in the Fellnight Realm.  The heroes are then accosted by a band of ghosts bearing symbols of Weeja.  They claw at the heroes and scream insane shriekings that gets into their heads.  Only Grimsli and Oswyn seem unaffected by the insane ramblings. They manage to defeat the ghosts, but there is a bit more tension between them as the shadows contort their minds.  

The heroes then cross the bridge, finding that the troglodytes have become Rhoswen’s minions.  They charge at them on the long bridge, expecting a swift victory.  However, the heroes are also waylaid by numerous undead shades from the shadowy lake below.  They drain their essence and turn their bodies frigid and cold.  The heroes struggle to fight back, but manage to defeat their enemies.  They, however, decide they are now in no shape to confront the Queen’s tower.  So they decide to find a place to rest. 

The heroes climb return from where they came and climb into a building to rest.  They are undisturbed for the long day they rest, however, their minds grow more disturbed and their intentions distorted.  Many of them now second-guess their senses and begin to suspect their friends are not who they say they are.  Grimsli and Oswyn grow worried as arguements and mistrust increase greatly between the others as a paranoid dementia haunts them.  The paladins are, however, able to restore much of the groups strength. They then hear a voice calling out in the street.  Grismli rushes out to examine the source, finding Kianya has come looking for them.  She explains that she was teleported by a wizard of the Sisters of Sol.  She received a sending from the Historical Society that the Umbral Dome was growing and that the Eternal Embers were striking out.  She then joins the others, but does not get much of a welcome due to their paranoia. She uses her magic to greatly reduce the paranoia afflicting her friends. They then set out together towards the tower.  

As they leave the building, they are attacked by a pair of shadowy, giant crocodiles.  They dispatch the beasts quickly and cross the bridge towards the tower.  They then are faced by ten wraiths, soldiers of the Queen of Shadows.  The wraiths give a final warning for them to turn around, but Grimsli charges at them.  The heroes then leap into action striking at the wraiths.  Only a couple of them feel the pain of their life-draining touch before the wraiths are defeated.  The heroes then march up the ziggurat and enter into the tower now growing out of its top.  They are ready to face the evil they inadvertently unleashed on this world.


The heroes enter the thorny tower, cautious of the shadowy tendrils stalking them from every corner and nook.  They enter the tower’s courtyard then check some nearby chambers.  They are then waylaid by a horde of the Queen’s shadowy, troglodyte minions.  The battle goes on and on as the heroes slay the vile monsters of darkness, though more keep streaming in.  Eventually they have slain the last of the creatures on the first floor and explore the rest of the chambers.  They find a few trinkets but little else on the first floor.  They then descend into the basement of the tower where they hear the screams of someone in pain.  They rush into a torture chamber where the bodies of a few tribesmen of the Sacred Serpent lay dead.  They then burst into the nearby interrogation chamber where the Radiant Muse herself is suffering under the hands of shadowy minions.  The heroes leap into action and quickly slay the devoted practitioners of vile magic. Grimsli heals the Radiant Muse and she asks them to step back.  It is clear she has little care for them despite their attempt to rescue her.  She blames them for all that has befallen on Saventh-Yhi and the loss of her tribe. She leaves them after many bitter words.

The heroes then find a dungeon nearby where they rescue Osond and a few members of the Sacred Serpent tribe.  Osond seems to forgive the heroes for their mistake and sees hope in a future beyond Queen Rhoswen’s demise.  They sneak out of the castle as the heroes ascend to the second floor.  The heroes then find a room filled with many shadowy plants where Mort is waylaid by two giant, shadowy treants.  The heroes strike at the tree-like monsters and the few troglodytes minions.  Flame and swords prove painful to the giant creatures and the heroes are soon victorious.  They then search about the rest of the second floor, but find little of interest.  They then ascend to the next floor.

The heroes then find themselves surrounded by thick shadows as the world swirls away into darkness. They find themselves separated from the others and have a sense that many years have passed and they have accomplished great deeds.  Grimsli sees himself as a great knight that felled evil in the lands by wielding a blade of shadow.  Dayvorus sees himself as the center of the multiverse wielding unfathomable shadow magic.  Wauldmur sees himself as the greatest blacksmith in the multiverse, crafting shadow into relics that are desired by all.  Kenli sees himself as the greatest hunter in all the multiverse, able to slay any creature with a single shadowy arrow.  Mort sees himself as a great ruler who brought the world to peace through politics, intrigue, and diplomacy, aided by his shadowy actions.  However, they all eventually see through the illusion and break free.  They walk into the third floor and Rhoswen’s throne room.  The large chamber is cloaked in shadows and thorns with a carpet of dark grass leading to her throne.

Upon the throne, stands a shadowy essence of Queen Rhoswen, a dark spectre lacking her original austere beauty. She immediately tries to turn them into small animals as they strike at her.  Wauldmur quickly learns that the grassy carpet is poisonous as he tries to strike at the Queen.  She keeps shifting her location, using the shadows of the room to favor a new spot to throw a deadly spell.  Her minions charge in and the heroes struggle to harm her as they face the new opposition.  She manages to show Kenli a deadly illusion that causes him to scream in fear and fall to the ground in cold death.  Thankfully, Kianya is able to revive the half-elf as the battle increases in ferocity. Grimsli and Wauldmur strike many blows on the queen as Dayvorus throws a few well-placed spells.  The Queen then shows a deadly illusion to Kianya who also falls dead with fear.  Grimsli then charges at the Queen, felling her with the holy power of Durindana.  Mort then grabs the scroll Grimsli has been unable to decipher and is able to use it to revive Kianya.  The heroes then see that the great tower flashes back to Enelis for an instant, then returns to the shadowy plane.  They are unsure if the evil has been defeated, or if they simply are stranded in the Plane of Shadow.  In the meantime, the Cloak of Shadows absorbs the shadowy essence of the plane and Mort is granted an enhanced affinity to the darkness.


The heroes look about the ruined, shadowy tower of the former Queen of Shadows.  They climb out the place as it slowly falls apart, consumed by the ephemeral shadows of the Plane of Shadows.  They are now certain that they are stuck on this plane of existence and begin to search for a way back to the Material plane and Enelis. Kenli sends his falcon, Obias, high into the dark, shadow-filled sky to search for points of light or another sign of the connection to the Material plane.  However, the falcon only attracts the attention of an umbral dragon.  The shadowy beast flies down at the heroes swooping low to grab at them.  It manages to grab Mort, trying to eat the rogue.  It then throws the rogue towards the ground from high above, only to be disappointed when it finds that the rogue’s shadowy cloak floats him down safely.  The dragon then tears through a fire elemental summoned by Dayvorus before dropping to the ground and slashing at Kenli.  Kenli turns into a bird for a short time and flies away to safety as the others charge in to fight the dragon.  Before long, the shadow dragon is felled and the heroes leave the broken district.

The search around the shadowy version of Saventh Yhi, but find little to assure them of a way home.  They rest for many hours to regain their strength, then search around the edge of the city.  Eventually, they decide to check the old half-sunken tower where they encountered many shadows in the Enelis version of the city.  Sure enough, they find a lingering connection to the Material plane and step into it.  Once back in the real version of Saventh Yhi they are happy to find that the morning sky shines above and the Umbral Dome is truly destroyed with the Queen.  Dayvorus uses his magic to teleport the heroes back to Kulderon where they tend to a few things.

Kenli finds that his father is still missing, but decides to ask Jenya Urikas at the Temple of Korrond for assistance.  She promises to use her divination powers and bring him the answer in the evening.  Dayvorus returns home to spend time with Emmaline, and finds that he has a note waiting for him.  Wauldmur does some shopping at Skie’s, trading his short sword for a magical longsword.  Grimsli checks in with his band of knights and to see the deeds they have performed in the name of Solarus.  Mort walks about town, learning the latest gossip.  He finds out that Terseon Skellerang has formally resigned as Captain of the Guard and has retired in Rizzi.  Skylar Krewis has taken his place.  He also learns that more taxes on merchants and the wealthy have been decreed in the city.  The heroes then meet at the Dancing Dragon to share their news.  Dayvorus shares his note:
     “I found him.  – Eres    P.S. Meet me at the Black Sail Tavern.”

The wizard decides he must hurry to Sigil to find Eres and learn the location of his missing father.  Kenli then receives his divination from Jenya:

Darkness, shadow, and evil’s talons, past the foes of opposite dragons, 
shadow over the empty throne of evil’s glory, they found a worthy leader for chaos’s story. 
Hordes of darkness in opposition, brave the twilight to reclaim the light’s lost composition.

The heroes decide that the riddle must mean that his father has been taken to Occipitus, but they also seem to think that is not yet time to retrieve him, as they must defeat the opposite dragon beforehand.  They expect to eventually head to the Plane of Fire to find the dragon that is required to complete the quest for Dragon’s Wing.  The heroes decide to use Dayvorus’s scroll to step into Elysium and then find their way to Sigil.  They head into the portal and find themselves on the perfectly idyllic meadows of Elysium.  They meet a farmer who has too much wheat to harvest on his own and the heroes volunteer to help.  They work a long hard day in the fields, enjoying the perfect weather and honest work.  They then dine with the farmer and his family before saying their farewells.  Only a few hours pass before they reach the stone archway that leads to the Great Gymnasium in Sigil.

They enter the city and head over to the Great Bazaar.  They purchase a few trinkets from the merchants, including minor rings of fire protection for their expected trip to the Plane of Fire.  They also grab a few needed scrolls for planar travel.  They find the Black Sail Tavern where they meet with Eres.  The tiefling asks for 5000 gold for information on Dayvorus’s father.  The half-orc reluctantly pays her price and he learns the location of a portal to the current headquarters of the Molten Marauders.  Since Eshin’Brak, the efreeti that kidnapped his father, was once the leader of this group, she suspects that they should be able to find the efreeti by questioning the Marauders.  The heroes head into the nearby portal into the Plane of Earth.

In the Plane of Earth, they find themselves in a wide tunnel-like cavern as the crushing weight of endless stone makes the place seem suffocating.  They rest for a few hours before pressing on towards the Marauder’s lair.  They eventually hear faint sounds of people talking in the distance.  Mort and Kenli scout ahead and find a group of fire genasi, efreeti, and tieflings meeting around a glowing altar.  The heroes decide to launch a surprise attack, charging into the wide cavern.  The Marauders retaliate sending a giant fire elemental and many powerful fire spells at them.  Wauldmur leaps from the ledge and nearly fells a tiefling rogue.  Mort finished the tiefling off as he watches his friends on the ledge get pummeled by a blast of fire and wind.  Dayvorus then blasts the Marauders with lightning, felling most of them.  Their leader, Essul the Powerful, then charges at those on the ledge, nearly felling Kenli and Oswyn.  The battle becomes fierce and desperate as the heroes try to figure out who they will capture to learn of Eshin’Brak’s location.


The heroes fight through Essul the Powerful’s allies and the other Molten Marauders.  Essul cuts down Oswyn, then scorches the corpse into two halves.  The giant efreeti loudly proclaims that the “forces of water” will not stop their plans.  The heroes are clueless to what the efreeti is talking about. Kenli and Grimsli keep fighting the genie, tactfully pulling back away from the fiery storm.  Meanwhile, Mort, Wauldmur, and Dayvorus fight against the giant fire elemental.  Wauldmur slays the two remaining Marauder soldiers and goes head on with the elemental.  Mort notices that the fire genasi sorcerer has disappeared by teleportation.  They then focus their attacks, as Dayvorus summons an ice elemental to help.  Soon the fire elemental is killed and Essul is cut down.  The heroes put Oswyn’s corpse into the magic bag to revive later. They find that the altar is missing a giant crystal that suggests it had extremely potent evocation energies, a massive bomb.  

They explore the caverns a bit, noting the instability of the caves.  They then find runic circle of many crystals and arcane sigils, a teleportation circle, but two of the activation crystals have been taken. They then head down another tunnel to find the missing genasi sorcerer standing over a fiery fissure threatening to drop the activation crystals.  After trying to talk the genasi down, the heroes learn that the Molten Marauders planned on bringing the giant explosive crystal to the City of Glass in the Plane of Water to destroy the city.  However, after learning that the heroes did not come here to stop them in their malicious quest the genasi softens up.  He tells Dayvorus that Eshin’Brak returned to the City of Brass many years ago to embrace his Malik (noble) status and to pursue “other avenues of great power”.   The genasi teleports away during a tremor and the heroes chase after him towards the teleportation circle.  When they reach it, they find the genasi preparing to deliver the bomb via the circle.  Mort and Dayvorus fell the sorcerer before he gets a chance, but find that the bomb is already activated and beginning to pulse with dark energy at a more rapid pace.  The heroes also find that the tremors are increasing in severity and the caverns themselves are about to collapse.  As they prepare to fix the teleportation circle, however, mud elementals attack them from the broken cracks in the walls.  They encase some of the heroes in the sticky substance as they desperately try to activate the circle.  Dayvorus chucks the bomb away from them and it seems to expedite the detonation process, pulsing with greater and greater intensity.  Just as Mort is ready to fix the final crystal he is encased by mud.  Thankfully he uses the shadowy tendrils of his cloak to set the crystal in place and the heroes shift into the Plane of Water, just as a fiery explosion fills the cavern.

In the Plane of Water, they find a giant glass-domed city beneath them in an endless sea of bright blue-green water.  As they struggle for air, numerous mer-people guards arrest them and take them into the air-filled city.  Mort, Kenli, and Wauldmur pass out from lack of oxygen, but are otherwise unharmed en-route.  They are all then stripped and escorted into prison cells.  They soon learn that they have been arrested for the very thing they prevented, from plotting with the Molten Marauders to destroy the City of Glass.  Their assigned advocate, a water genasi named Merrick, helps them go over the events that transpired.  They also learn that the genasi is a friend of Eres Greydark. They are soon shuffled into a courtroom where the council members try to pin the crime on them, but too many facts seem against that theory.  The heroes share many heartfelt recollections of their travels together and the good deeds they performed along the way.  In the end, the heroes are acquitted and released.  Merrick offers to get them to their next destination, telling them that he has contact that can get them to the City of Brass to find Davor and Eshin’Brak.  The heroes purchase a few baubles and get Oswyn back to life.  They then travel via a portal to the Plane of Air and the djinn fortress of Hasafeal.

The vast air surrounds them as they walk about the floating island, watching the many airships and zeppelins dock in the endless blue skies.  They meet Jinver, an air genasi friend of Merrick, and arrange passage aboard a small airship to the Plane of Ash, where they can walk to the City of Brass and the Plane of Fire.  The next day, they take off with Captain Festerious, a sassy half-elf swashbuckler, who escorts them to her small ship, the Rugged Dragoon.  Soon they are sailing through the endless skies of the Plane of Air.  Hours pass and they reach the small dormant volcano that heads to the Plane of Ash.  Just as the heroes near the island, a pack of cloud dragons attack.  The heroes suffer under the lightning bolts the creatures spew at them.  Then meet their attacks when the creatures come in close with their claws and teeth.  However, the ship’s magical console is damaged and the airship flies out of control.  The heroes felled most of the dragons, but leave the rest behind as the ship flies at full speed towards the volcano.  The heroes are forced to leap with the Captatin into the caldera just as the ship slams into the side of the volcano.

The heroes then finds themselves standing on the Plane of Ash.  It is a gray lifeless expanse of choking, smoky air above and charcoal and burning embers beneath them. They see a faint red glow off in one direction that they suspect is towards the Plane of Fire.


The heroes walk across the lifeless charcoal surface of the Plane of Ash.  After they rest from their battle with the cloud dragons, the heroes utilize Dayvorus’s magic to teleport as far as he can to the edge of the Plane where it meets the Plane of Fire.  They then hike for many hours, getting closer to the bright radiance that marks the adjacent plane.  As they travel, they are beset upon a hunting magma dragon.  The large monstrous beast soars down upon them, breathing its deadly fire after it encloses them in a wall of flames.  Dragon’s Wing absorbs the impossibly hot dragon flames and becomes imbued with its essence.  The bow now fires flaming arrows for Kenli.  The heroes surround the dragon and attack en masse.  They manage to defeat the beast before it can flee.

The heroes then march until they feel the mystical barrier between the planes. They rest again and prepare for their journey into the Plane of Fire.  Due to the lack of protective rings, Oswyn is willingly shrunken and petrified, then stuffed in Wauldmur’s magical sack.  The heroes promise to revive him after they leave the treacherous plane.  Captain Festerious then dons the paladin’s ring as the others do likewise.  The heroes then step into the barrier and enter the fiery inferno of the Plane of Fire. They see off in the distance ripples of sweltering heat and large magma seas.  On the horizon is a tall obsidian wall on the final edge of the glowing charcoal plain.  The heroes march many hours until they reach the wall and the city’s gates. They are forced to pay a hefty fee to enter the city.  Inside they find a huge 40 mile diameter metropolis of shimmering brass buildings and lava canals.  They first try to get information from people, but only learn that an efreeti named Sir Hash’ekin, Loremaster of the Maliks, might know where Eshin’Brak is located.  The heroes head to the loremaster’s house, but find that he is away for the week.  They set an appointment 6 days from now, but worry their rings’ protection will end before they can find Eshin’Brak.  

Mort, Festerious, and Kenli decide to sneak into the loremaster’s mansion.  They climb over the outer wall, bypass a trap, and climb into the loremaster’s study.  Inside they find information about Eshin’Brak.  The loremaster believes that the Malik purchased something called the Fortress of Sinai and may live there now.  The three sneak back to their friends and the group heads to the marketplace and taverns.  They learn from the patrons that the Fortress of Sinai is on an obsidian island out on the Sea of Fire.  Festeria tries to point out that the heroes owe her a new airship, but the reason with her, offering a share of their treasure.  The captain reluctantly agrees to travel with them for the time being. They rest for the night at the inn.  The next morning, the heroes decide to find a private schooner to escort them to the island across the fiery sea.  They pay the ferryman’s high fee and late that evening they are travelling across the fiery ocean to a solitary small island fortress on a spike of obsidian.

As they approach the island, efreeti guards fire ballista warning shots at the schooner.  The ferryman turns back and prepares to leave, but Dayvorus uses a short-range teleport to bring his friends to the island’s docks, as Grimsli prays for an angelic blessing.  The dwarf sprouts angel wings and flies to his friends.  As the ferryman sails away, the heroes slowly climb their way up the sprawling obsidian stairs up towards the fortress.  They then find ballista-armed guards awaiting them.  Grimsli attempts diplomacy, but the guards attack immediately.  The heroes then are forced to fight their way up the stairs, felling efreeti guards.  A call to arms echoes around the fortress, which is now certainly alerted to their presence.  The heroes manage to fell the remaining guards in the vicinity, even as Dayvorus is nearly killed.  The heroes heal and regroup, deciding their next course of action.


The heroes march up the wide stairway along the obsidian island fortress upon the lava sea.  The Fortress of Sinai reaches high above the burning oceans and the City of Brass can be seen dimly in the distance through the ash and smoke.  They reach the pinnacle of the island and explore the guard tower, but find it free of any remaining guards.  They then walk into a large marble temple where a strange magical experiment seems underway.  Dayvorus devises that within the large swirling ball of elemental energy upon the altar is a planar gem being infused with elemental magic.   Numerous beams of energy cascade around the room from crystal to crystal before entering the chaotic sphere.  

The heroes head out to explore more of the noble efreeti’s fortress, when they are attacked again by more efreeti guards.  Then they find Malik Eshin’Brak himself throwing balls of fire on his intruders from atop the high tower.  A great battle commences and the Malik leaves his guards to finish off the greatly wounded heroes.  However, with a healing burst from Grimsli the team rebounds and manages to fell the guards.  They then return to the temple, finding a secret trap door down in the lower levels.  Inside they find that the numerous beams of energy originate from some sort of crystal tube where more energy is extracted from some person trapped inside.  After fiddling with the strange archaic machine, Mort and Dayvorus manage to turn it off and free the person inside.  It turns out to be Davor, Dayvorus’s father.  He has been imprisoned by the efreeti for 15 years as a catalyst for numerous experiments on elemental power.  He mentions there are three other wizards, each devoted to the other elements, trapped here as well, although he doesn’t seem to care if the heroes rescue them.

The heroes decide to try and rescue the other wizards.  They explore more of the fortress, trying to find the prisoners.  They come across a fiery smeltery where azer blacksmith’s work.  A battle erupts with the azer during which Eshin’Brak returns with his guards to fell the intruders.  During the battle, the efreeti noble traps the heroes behind a wall of fire and charges on them.  He learns that Dayvorus carries the Staff of Lutherius, an item he has sought for many years.  He believes it to be the key to solving the problems in his experiments.  He charges at the half-orc to take the staff, but the heroes manage to fell him before he can do so.  The heroes then search more of the fortress, knowing that their time is ever short, as killing a respected nobleman of the efreeti could lead to an all out war on their world if anyone discovers their role in it.  The heroes eventually find the missing wizards: Olefious Stormlord, a wizened elf of air magic, Vopan Stonewall, a mute dwarven wizard of earth magic, and Azia the Frostfire, the fabled winter witch who brought the Orb of Winter to many worlds to watch them freeze to a stall.  Grimsli is wary about releasing the witch, but feels it would be wrong to leave her here to die.  Since there are too many of them, Dayvorus cannot use his magic to plane shift them away from here.  Together, they reason that the efreeti must have brought in supplies via a portal of some kind.

The heroes find that an angry stone golem blocks their exit into the courtyard.  The heroes then search about the other way, and find some adamantine vials in the smithy.  Grimsli and Dayvorus leave the others, dodging the stone golem, and climb to the top of the tower to throw the Orb of Winter out into the lava sea before they leave.  As they do so, a great pillar of cold energies bursts forth leaving a permanent pillar of fires trapped in a frozen-like solid existence that reaches high into the sky and can even be seen from the City of Brass.  It later comes to be known as the Pillar of Frozen Flames, a famous tourist attraction for boat tours.  The heroes then make their way down to a side terrace with their rescued prisoners.  They find a stone arch where the adamantine seems to be the proper key.  Soon the heroes are safe in the Great Bazaar of Sigil.  Olefious and Vopan say their farewells, thanking the heroes for rescuing them.  Azia rushes off madly into the crowd.  The heroes then head to the tavern to enjoy a drink with Davor before they see about returning to Enelis.  The half-orc sorcerer decides to return with his wizardly son, at least until his grandson is born.  Kenli can’t help but feel at a loss as his own father remains missing.


The heroes head to the Sigil marketplace to sell some of the efreeti goods they found and to purchase a couple items.  Mort grabs a few books on planar languages to study.  They then plane shift to Enelis, finding themselves back on Smuggler’s Shiv.  Davor seems to be delighted that they are in an island paradise (especially since the cannibals have been removed).  They say hello to Pezock, who is still fishing and living a happy, simple existence on the island.  The heroes then rest before teleporting back to Kulderon. 

Back at the city, the heroes learn that things have been as busy as ever.  Taxes have caused more merchants to leave the city, opening more vacant buildings, especially near Ash avenue.  Vhalantru meets with the heroes for a quick drink, explaining how busy he has been trying to raise revenue on behalf of the Lord Mayor, who is still indisposed. They share some ideas, but agree that for the betterment of the populace, those that are well-to-do should help cover the expenses of the city.  The heroes go about town, greatly expanding their businesses over the next month and a half.   

Grimsli adds proper rooms to his inn and adds a brewery for making fine meads.  Oswyn tries to convince the paladin to send their squad of knights to reclaim the ruins of the demonscar, especially since Nabtathoron no longer leads the demons.  However, Grimsli thinks his unseasoned knights would likely be slain by the demons.  He instead arranges for them to assist the city with patrolling the wider area outside the city gates and to make the trade routes safer.

Kenli adds a group of hunters to his lodge to help with the increasing load of out-of-town tourists looking for a “real-life jungle experience”.  He continues to look for clues about his missing father, but resigns that all clues point to Occipitus, and he is not eager to convince the others to head there quite yet.  In the meantime, he busies himself with assisting the others with various constructions and overseeing the construction of the Eternal Ember stronghold in the hills near Kingfisher Hollow.

Wauldmur adds a sewing room for custom tabards, hilts, and armor coverings to his shop.  He also hires numerous people to help manage and work at his growing smithy.  As the only non-Lathenmire smithy in town, and because of the high quality of his dwarven iron, his business is gathering orders from outside the city as well.  The former soldier also begins gathering guards to help with the protection of his shops.  

Mort continues to expand his famous emporium.  He adds a luxury jewelry shop that immediately becomes a favorite for the nobles of the city.  He hires a large crew of artisans to increase production.  The rogue begins construction on a training space and a printing office for his business.  He also looks to hire numerous guards to help protect his shops as well.

Dayvorus spends much time with Emmaline, enjoying the time they have together before their baby arrives.  Davor is delighted to meet Emmaline, although the alchemist seems less than joyful at meeting her self-centered father-in-law.  Davor, however,  does help take over running the small magic shop, letting Dayvorus concentrate on other things and Emmaline to get the rest she needs.  Dayvorus scribes numerous spells to his new magical book, and he and Davor even discover a new spell.  He adds an artisan workshop to his underground headquarters for the creation of magical goods.  He also works on adding former Bluecrater Academy students as apprentices, eager to help expand his influence in the city.

Overall, the heroes are very happy with the way things are going.  Kenli’s birthday comes around and the heroes take the half-elf out on the town.  Even Vhalantru joins them for a night of debauchery and humorous drunkenness.  For once, Kulderon seems relatively safe, they are loved as heroes and prominent citizens of the city, and nothing seems to be going wrong.  They eagerly await the birth of Dayvorus’s child and the completion of their stronghold.


The heroes continue to work at their businesses and improving their standing in the community.  Kenli regrets to inform the party that he will leave the Eternal Embers for the time being, as he heads south to the deep jungles to hunt and prepare himself for the upcoming confrontation with the demon who hunts him and holds his father captive.  Meanwhile, Grimsli and Dayvorus start preparing for an exclusive weekend-only showing of the Eternal Embers story, titled “Embers Eternal”.  It is a musical play about their adventures and how they became the heroes of Kulderon.  Throughout the weeks, the two manage to gather investors, hire bards and actors, and add magical effects to the production.  

The night before opening night of the show, Dayvorus finds that Emmaline is giving birth.  He rushes to get the midwife he recently hired.  After numerous hours of labor, he greets his son, Dayvan Albrith Burstbearer, to the world.  The heroes come and greet the new addition to their heroic family before returning to the show and business preparations.  On opening night, the show goes swimmingly and the heroes’ tale is known among most of the city.  That night the heroes go out for some heavy drinking and celebrating.  Vhalantru even joins them for the beginning of the night. 

 Late that night, or rather, early the next morning, as the sun crests over the city’s caldera, the heroes prepare to leave the Dancing Dragon.  Wauldmur is only slightly intoxicated.  Dayvorus can barely walk, and Mort stumbles as well.  Grimsli is just a little off, feeling slightly sickened.  Three assassins then charge into the building.  A large half-orc with a huge sword charges at them bringing a sphere of magical silence around them.  The heroes struggle to get away from the deadly sword.  Dayvorus and Mort stumble away failing to grasp the situation and frequently stand gawking at the assassins dumbfounded.  A dark cleric steps in and blasts the room with negative energy, killing Coryston, Eariana, and three bar patrons.  

Grimsli and Wauldmur do their best to keep the assassins at bay, but Wauldmur is knocked down.  An invisible mage-assassin then throws numerous spells at the heroes, nearly felling them.  Things get grim and the heroes are nearly all killed.  Thankfully adrenaline kicks in, and Mort and Dayvorus regain enough sense to help their comrades intelligently.  Dayvorus goes invisible and he and the other invisible mage throw spells at each other in the small hallway.  Grimsli and Mort try to fight  the cleric and the half-orc warrior.  Grimsli calls for the power of Solarus and strikes down the dark cleric.  Mort throws bombs at the other two assassins, inadvertently starting the Dancing Dragon on fire.  They then take down the half-orc, but all get blasted repeatedly by the invisible sorcerer’s spells. Dayvorus gets knocked out and falls to the floor, unconscious, but still invisible.  Mort and Grimsli chase the invisible sorcerer out of the tavern as the flames begin to consume the place.  Wauldmur leaps out a window and runs down the street trying to get help.  Grimsli crawls over the courtyard’s wall and follows.  Mort uses his keen sense to locate the faint breathing of Dayvorus and manages to pour a healing potion down the invisible half-orc’s throat.  The two of them then race out of the tavern.  Dayvorus throws an icy spell at the flame to douse them before rushing off.

Before long, the fire brigade and the town guard come to help with the situation.  The invisible assassin seems long gone and the guard’s take the corpses of the other two.  The heroes rest and recuperate for the rest of the day.  Later they talk to Tulus, who still owns the Dancing Dragon.  The dwarf says he doesn’t have the money to repair it and gives what’s left of the building to Wauldmur.  He also informs them that there is something sinister afoot that he and Earondel, and the other Striders of Farlen, have been investigating and will let them know if they find anything substantial.  Jenya helps the heroes arrange proper cremations of the dead.  Wauldmur pays to rebuild the tavern and adds memorial statues of the fallen.  He also hires a new manager and ensures that the tavern is financially self-sufficient, with all additional profits going to the families of the fallen in perpetuity.  

The next two evenings the heroes are busy with their show.  The first night had significant fewer attendees, but the second night was busy again.  Later in the evening of the second night, after the show, they find that Kianya was in attendance.  She tells them that the Sisters of Sol have been quite successful in Arathkelsara and she is able to leave them for the time being.  Jenya sent word to her about the assassination attempt and Kianya is keen on helping her friends them find the culprits. 


The heroes begin asking around town for who might be associated with the assassins that tried to kill them.  Grimsli asks around to the temples and Jenya says she will allow them to use the Star of Justice for a divination the next day.  The dwarf learns little else at the other temples.  Dayvorus checks at the Cathedral of Weeja, but the reconstruction effort has most of the temple closed and the clerics in the library are of little help.  Calmus Vel tells Dayvorus that the library is closed while the lesser priests live there until the reconstruction of the temple has finished.  Kianya attempts to speak with the dead assassins, but fails to make contact.  Wauldmur talks with Dodak, but the old sage has little to offer them. They also meet with Tulus and learn that a group called the Cagewrights might be causing trouble in the region, but the Striders have little information about the group and what they are up to.  Mort then meets with his underbelly contact at midnight, but learns little for free from the crafty rogue.  He is given a jester coin, however, which hints that the Last Laugh may be responsible for some of the economic destabilization in the city. 

The next day, the heroes meet with Annah Taskerhill of the Stormblades and learn that Todd has been killed and awaits a resurrection in the Cathedral of Weeja.  She explains that Ike Iverson hired them to explore a new cavern under the Malachite Fortress for a possible Kua-toa attack.  They were then ambushed by a large group of undead led by a powerful necromancer.  Their enemy seemed to know all their weaknesses and they barely got out.  Since then, the Stormblades have been pretty sour with each other and may disband.  

Later that day, the heroes head to the Temple of Korrond.  On the way, they are attack by Zarik Dhor, a half-minotaur/half-dragon spawn of Dhorlot, the black dragon of Bhal-Hamatugn.  The dragonspawn demands revenge for the felling of his father.  The heroes try to be diplomatic, but the enraged warrior charges at them.  After a quick battle, the dragon-warrior yields.  He sees that the heroes are strong and were worthy to defeat his father. He flies off into the sky. The heroes heal themselves and meet Kianya at the temple with Jenya.  The priestess gives them the divination response:  “Cages above, bones below; Death the door and magic the key; Knives but dust and souls the prize.”The heroes learn that the second phrase likely relates to Weeja, but are confused somewhat by the other two.  They find it odd that the phrase points to Weeja, suggesting that a worshiper of the Vain Witch may be responsible.  

The heroes head to the barracks to attempt to speak with the dead assassins again.  This time Kianya is successful.  They learn that the assassins were hired in Hopesdawn and brought here to kill them.  They were hired by ‘The Veiled Lady’, which is a common moniker of Weeja.  With another clue pointing to Weeja, the heroes head to the Drunken Morkoth to speak with the Striders of Farlen. They find Fario and Fellian and tell them about what they found.  The two bring them to Earondel, who is disguising himself as a dwarf.  Earondel explains they have noticed that the Cathedral of Weeja has hired mercenaries recently and seems like they are preparing for an attack.  Combined with the other signs, it’s likely that someone at the temple is responsible for the assassins.  Earondel suggests that Ike Iverson may be trying to increase his power with Embril Aloustini away.  He also warns the heroes that they suspect that the temple has a connection to someone high-up in the local government and to be wary with who they trust. 

The heroes rest for the night and decide to strike at the temple the next day in the hopes of getting answers.  After the morning prayers, the heroes march to the cathedral.  Mort picks the door’s lock and they enter.  Inside, they are bombarded by two stone giants, a few half-orc mercenaries, and the cleric, Calmus Vel.  They also find the mage assassin as well.  The mage turns invisibile and blasts the heroes with spells while they fight through the warriors.  The heroes fell most of the mercenaries and charge in at Calmus.  Dayvorus casts a spell that allows him to see the invisible mage and the two duel with spells.  Meanwhile, Mort is nearly killed multiple times by Calmus who fights off Grimsli and Wauldmur.  Eventually, Wauldmur slays Calmus and Dayvorus blasts down the invisible assassin.  The heroes heal themselves and prepare to explore the rest of the enormous temple.


The heroes search through the large Cathedral of Weeja, its main chamber now empty save for the fallen stone giants and clerics.  The death goddess’s temple houses numerous humble living quarters for lesser priests and a few mundane storage rooms.  The heroes find Ike’s quarters.  But only various business related papers are found within.  They also find Todd Vanderboren’s body interred in the temple, still seemingly awaiting a raising.  Dayvorus discerns that the body has been waiting long with numerous spells cast to resist rot, suggesting that the Weeja clerics have been delaying the task for some reason.  The heroes then climb upward and find Embril Aloustinai’s quarters.  In a secret drawer within her desk, Mort finds a few letters between her and someone named Fetor Abradius.  One letter in particular describes magical soul pillars in the ruins of Kurran-Kural, a place that Fetor seems to be currently exploring and researching.  He also mentions the Cagewrights and the Thirteen as allies of her and Embril.  He also mentions the legendary immortal dragon, Vittriss Bale; and she is growing restless.

The heroes continue upward into the temple’s new addition.  Mort finds a long hallway and explores it on his own as the others hold back.  However, as the rogue attempts to discern the safety of the door at the far end, he finds that the hallway itself is an illusion.  Suddenly, the heroes find themselves beset by giant troll-sized zombies in the middle of a giant chamber.  On a giant dais in the center of the massive chamber stands a bone devil.  Ike Iverson can be seen floating the air high above the room near a giant hanging cage of some sort.  The heroes accept the ambush and charge in at their enemies.  Mort and Wauldmur fight against the zombies, as Kianya summons a powerful light to weaken the undead.  Dayvorus finds a corner to throw deadly spells from.  Then a powerful dread wraith reaches from out of the floor, striking at Grimsli.  The paladin makes a few prayers as he goes head-to-head with the deadly wraith.  The bone devil then summons a wall of ice, cutting off Dayvorus and Grimsli on one side with the wraith and leaving the other heroes trapped with the other adversaries.

Many powerful spells are thrown down by Ike, causing much harm. The zombies are strong and their strikes greatly weaken the heroes.  Kianya is able to banish the devil back to Baator with a powerful prayer.  Ike then grows to enormous proportions and walks down to strike at the heroes with his giant sword.  The heroes find themselves in dire straits.  Dyavorus breaks through the ice wall to throw spells at Ike.  Mort is then killed again, but saved by Kianya with a short prayer to recall his soul.  Kianya then dispels the wall of ice.  Then Grimsli is knocked down, but is likewise healed by the cleric before death can claim him.  Even Dayvorus and Wauldmur are knocked down at one point in the battle.  After a long arduous experience, the heroes are able to slay the remaining zombies. Dayvorus slays the dread wraith with a lightning bolt, then manages to knock out Ike with another blast of electricity.  The heroes strip the high cleric of his magical adornments then decide to take him with them for questioning.  They also pull down the strange soulcage from the ceiling of the chamber.  Dayvorus finds the magic of the artifact disturbing and powerful with hints of its construction related to the plane of Carceri.  He is unsure what purpose it is meant to serve.

The heroes teleport to the Temple of Solarus where they convince Thora and Kristof to guard the bound and unconscious Ike.  They then head to Dodak to get information about Kurran-Kural and the soulcage.  Dodak has to study all night while the heroes rest, but by the next day he has pinpointed Kurran-Kural as a spell-weaver ruin just north of the demonscar.  The heroes arrange for Dodak to use Grimsli’s magic ring to remotely learn about the secrets of the soulcage while they are exploring the ruins (the soulcage itself safely in Wauldmur’s magical bag).  The heroes then teleport to the demonscar and hike their way to the area Dodak had suggested the ruins should be, carefully avoiding the demons in the area.  They then find an ancient lava tube and climb deep into the earth, even going underwater for a portion of the journey.  They then find the entrance to a chilling cavern with a broken icy wall at the entrance.  There are signs of destruction at the entrance, where someone broke through the icy wall and crumbled a blocking metal portcullis.  The heroes head into the ruin and find numerous magical coffins holding the floating corpses of spell-weavers.  The complex is unnaturally cold and the air is frigid.  In the next room, they find a magical lattice of thin ice stretching from wall to wall, making travel difficult.  Dayvorus identifies the lattice as containing powerful cold and necromatic energies.  They are then waylaid by an ice devil ready to strike at them…


The heroes hold their ground as the insectoid, ice devil charges in at them.  The devil ignoring the magical ice lattice resonating cold and necromatic energies.  Wauldmur and Grimsli hold the line as Kianya and Dayvorus throw spells at the creature.  Mort deftly moves in like a shadow to strike when openings are available.  Dayvorus throws fire into the room, destroying the ice walls, finding that their magical energies remain.  The heroes then cut down the devil and move to the room.  They carefully make their way through the dangerous ice lattice, but cannot avoid the freezing energies as they push through the wall of magical cold where the walls once stood.  They find another corridor filled the more entombed spell-weavers left in permanent icy slumbers.  They then find a series of doors with more entombed creatures, this time dwarves and elves of the ancient world.  These beings give off powerful auras of agony, despair, and isolation as if some strange experiment was performed on them.  Thankfully, Grimsli withstands these strange necromatic auras and, with Kianya’s help, frees the souls entrapped in these icy prisons.

The heroes then find an empty room with a hole leading straight down, deeper into the ancient complex.  They also confront a giant golem made entirely of iron.  After a dangerous fight, the heroes manage to destroy the golem and climb down into the room’s hole.  The smooth hole shows evidence of powerful destructive magic.  The heroes then climb into another hallway where Mort opens another door into a lattice filled room.  As he leaves to head down a lattice-filled hallway, a tarrry demodand steps out from beyond the room’s door.  The monstrous visage glistens with hunger as it eyes the champions of Solarus.  It swings its deadly blades in anticipation as it wades through the icy lattice with ease. The heroes likewise charge in at it.  Grimsli lands a powerful holy blow with Durindana and then Kianya banishes the demodand back to Carceri with a powerful holy spell.

As the heroes carefully attempt to leave the lattice-filled room, Dayvorus is blasted by repeated bolts of electricity from down the far hallway.  The heroes rush over to help, but soon the wizard is pelted again by magical balls of energy.  The half-orc is then killed by a strange necromatic mist that appears in the hallway.  The mist freezes their bones and slows their movement.  Mort and Wauldmur drag the wizard’s body to near Kianya.  She is able to revive the half-orc, who then dispels the mists. Everyone then tries to strike back at the evil wizard down the hall.  The heroes suspect it is Fetor Abradius that they now face and his many powerful spells nearly fell the party.  The dark wizard lays powerful confusion enchantments and life-draining magics. But the heroes eventually get the upper hand. However, just as Wauldmur lays final cuts and slashes upon the wizard, the wizard disappears with a teleportation spell.

The heroes heal themselves and remove the confusion upon them.  They then look upon the room from whence the dark wizard came.  Inside they find a dark icy matrix that seems to function as a very powerful scrying device.  Dayvorus is able to work the device and decides to use it to find where Fetor escaped.  He soon tracks down the dark wizard to a mountain ridge somewhere far from where they are.  The heroes then decide to teleport to that location in order to capture the wizard and learn about the Cagewrights plans.  Fetor ambushes the heroes with some deadly spells as they arrive. The heroes persevere and climb up the cliffside to finish the wizard off.  However, Fetor foils them again and teleports away, this time without the means to track him.


The heroes rest in the cavern they found in the high mountains.  The next morning they teleport back to Kuran-Kurral to continue exploring the ruins.  They find a large room with two gray, necrotic pillars.  Dayvorus is able to make mental contact with the soul pillars and ask a few questions about their enemies, but they find some of the answers are suspect. They learn very little from these pillars.  They then find a small room containing Fetor’s bedchamber and a pile of curious notes.  The notes are too hard to sift through in the short term so the heroes continue on to another room.  Inside they find a few corpses covered in ancient glyphs.  Mort deciphers the glyphs and learns that the whole complex was devoted to the spell-weaver’s study of the connection between magical cold and death.

The heroes then find a huge chamber with many more powerful soul pillars.  Before Dayvorus can contact the souls inside, Vittriss Bale, the legendary dracolich, attacks from above.  The heroes scramble to fight back, Grimsli dons holy wings and strikes at the dragon head on, but is nearly killed by the dragon’s flurry of claws.  Dayvorus uses his magic to save the dwarf’s life from the impending fall from the ceiling.  Mort then revives the dwarf as Dayvorus and Kianya throw spells at the undead dragon.  Wauldmur tries to shoot some arrows to little effect.  The heroes eventually fell the dracolich and plunder its pile of treasure from the bottom of the chamber.  

Dayvorus and Mort study Fetor’s notes to learn how to better use the soul pillars and learn what the Cagewrights were up to.  They learn that the Cagewrights are a cult associated with the prison plane of Carceri and often consort with demodands.  Their goal is to open a permanent portal to the dark plane on Enelis to unleash the demodands on this world.  They maintain their secrecy by using lesser cults to do much of their work, like the Ebon Triad.  There are always 26 members, thirteen leaders and thirteen apprentices.

Dayvorus then makes mental contact with the soul pillars, asking a number of questions about the Cagewrights:

Who are the Cagewrights?

Those with power, and those without, those who work in shadows, and those who are in the light, those who seek the questions seekers, and those who will attack them.

Where are the Cagewrights?

Deep in the earth and in heart of the jungles, scattered in multiple locations in the region.

What purpose do the Soulcages have?

When cages of metal hold souls of pain the prison shall open.

Who is the leader of the Cagewrights?

The Thirteen lead the Cagewrights.

Are the Cagewrights going to meet up?

The Thirteen will come together at the time of great destruction.

Where will they meet up?

At the point of planar junction.

What is it about Kulderon that makes it useful for the Cagewrights?

The Cagewrights seek the shackleborn, Kulderon has the shackleborn.

Who are the shackleborn?

The shackleborn are those who have the blood of demodands. They have the symbol of Carceri as a birth mark.

The heroes suddenly recall seeing the Carceri symbol on two individuals. Mort recalls seeing the symbol on the young orphan, Terrem, whom they heard from Jenya was adopted by a noble family in Rizzi.  Wauldmur recalls seeing that symbol on Zenith Splintershield’s back when they rescued him from Bhal-Hamatugn.  The dwarf then disappeared when his escort was waylaid by bandits on the way back to Kalavar.  The heroes grow worried that the Cagewrights have already assembled some of the shackleborn they may need for their dark ritual.

The heroes then rest in the cold complex of Kuran-Kurral, taking the time to banish the demon that was trapped in the bottle Mort carried from Saventh-Yhi.  They also destroy Vittriss Bale’s phylactery, sending the undead dragon’s soul to oblivion.  The heroes then teleport to Kulderon, inside the Temple of Weeja to where Todd’s body was awaiting resurrection.  They make contact with Todd’s body, speaking with the dead through Kianya.  They learn little from the dead rogue and teleport to Dayvorus’s home.  Mort gets a note from his usual underbelly contact and goes to meet him at midnight.

Mort finally sees his contact’s face and learns his name, Artus Shemwick.  He was a middle-member of the Last Laugh, but also a cook at Minuta’s Board.  He even worked with Mort’s great grandfather.  Artus says he is leaving town as the Last Laugh has started to associated with some dangerous groups.  He knows that someone influential in the city is involved, but knows not who, or won’t say.  Artus tells Mort to head to Rizzi and follow Lord Mayor Navalant’s trail to find the answers.  Mort joins with his friends and they teleport to Rizzi the next day. In Rizzi, the heroes ask around about the Lord Mayor.  Dayvorus asks his friend Plagus to look into it, while Mort asks around the street.  Dayvorus also learns that Navalant was not staying at the Golden Giant, his usual inn if he was in town.  Mort learns that the Lord Mayor was spotted staying at the Deep Sleep Inn about a month ago, though he seemed to not want to be recognized.  He also was visiting the Winking Eye, a gentlemen’s club, frequently.  The heroes regroup awaiting for Dayvorus to meet back with Plagus to see what the old weaver had learned.


The heroes wait until evening as Dayvorus goes to meet with Plagus, the Weaving Guildmaster.  The old man explains that his contacts have seen the Lord Mayor Severen Navalant in the city.  He has been seen going to the Hall of Records, and seemingly wanted to remain incognito during his stay in Rizzi.  Dayvorus thanks Plagus for the information and returns to his friends.  They stay the night at the inn and head to the Hall of Records first thing in the morning.  After a generous bribe, the clerk shows them the area that the Lord Mayor was studying, it was primarily housing and property records.  The heroes then find a bookmark bearing the letter-head of the Lord Mayor’s office, suggesting he had marked the page.  It shows a few properties that have been for sale by the city management for over 5 years.  One of the properties is Vhalantru Manor, which seems to have been on the books for about 16 years, a note indicates it may be haunted.

The heroes decide to head to the old manor house.  Mort easily unlocks the gate and disarms the magical traps on the front door.  The heroes enter and explore the expansive foyer.  They find small drops of old blood and the tiny fragments of a broken glass vial.  Dayvorus identifies it as an old potion vial.  A final drop allows him to identify the magic as polymorph-related.  They find a few papers left in the house, most day-to-day business notes from over a decade ago.  They also find a love letter for someone named Delores and a legal paper adding Dolares Ettenmire to co-ownership of Vhalantru Manor, signed by Orbius Vhalantru, yet to be signed by Dolores.  The documents look quite old as well.  The heroes then explore more of the manor before finding the cellar.  Inside they find a large, round aberrant creature, floating in the air with a long forked tongue and one huge central eye.  The heroes strike and quickly fell the beast before it harms them.  Dayvorus identifies the beast as a gouger, a creature shaped by arcane magic to hunt beholders, or eye tyrants; powerful orb-like creatures of the deep underground.  The heroes also find the skeletal remains of a human male in a pantry.  Kianya is unable to make contact with the dead spirit.

The heroes then head outside to check the grounds, but are then waylaid by Fetor Abradius and two of his minions, an orc warrior and an undead naga sorcereress.  The heroes find themselves trapped in a cloud of noxious vapors and grasping black tentacles.  Wauldmur and Mort manage to escape and strike at their enemies.  Grimsli prays for angelic wings and flies to strike at the naga.  Fetor throws numerous deadly spells at them, eventually teleporting to the roof to throw more spells.  Wauldmur fells the orc, but then becomes confused by Fetor’s magic and attacks himself repeatedly.  Kianya and Dayvorus find the naga’s spell too nausea-inducing and can do little but cough and wheeze.  Kianya manages to escape the cloud of vapors, but Grimsli had to fly Dayvorus out of the tentacles’ grasp.  Grimsli then charges at Fetor, felling him with deftly cuts of Durindana.  The wizard’s body slides off the roof to the ground in a heap.  Then the dwarf helps Mort fell the naga.  Just as the heroes take their enemies fine magical items, a pack of guards appear to question them.  Grimsli is able to use his diplomatic demeanor combined with their popularity to get out of questioning and detainment.  However, they must drink with the guards at their inn later that evening.

The heroes head to the address of the Dolores indicated on the legal paper.  They find an old woman, Dolores’s mother, who directs them to the Temple of Solarus.  The temple directs them to an inn down the road, where they finally find this Dolores.  She is a pretty woman in her late 30’s who tends the bar and works at the temple.  She explains that Orbius left her standing at the altar, and never showed up those many years ago.  She heard he left town that very day, never to return.  She says she has moved on, married and has two children.  She did not want to be bothered about Orbius again.  The heroes try to piece the information together, trying to figure out who might have been trying to kill Vhalantru, why he abandoned his manor and moved to Kulderon sixteen years ago.  More importantly, why was Lord Severen Navalant interested in this and covertly investigating Vhalantru’s past…


The heroes decide it would be best to make use of all the loot and gear they have gathered over the past few days.  Dayvorus uses a plane shift spell to bring the heroes to the Realm of Principality in Elysium.  The heroes then hide under the boughs of some large trees and rest peacefully over night.  The next day they decide to help a large treant spread it’s acorn to nearby river.  They head to the river, and after a couple hours, they plant the young sapling in the moist location.  They then head to some nearby farms and help the farmer spread piles of manure over his fields.  After a few hours of this heavy work, the heroes say their farewells and travel for a few hours across rolling hills.  They eventually reach the stone arch and the portal that leads to the Great Gymnasium in Sigil.  The heroes head straight to the Great Bazaar and sell their treasures and unused items.  They then purchase a few trinkets to help in their future adventures.  Dayvorus then plane shifts the heroes back to Enelis.  They find themselves in a deep woods, likely somewhere far north of Rizzi.  Dayvorus teleports the heroes back to Rizzi.

The heroes then decide to head to the Deep Sleep Inn to inquire about Navalant.  The innkeeper is able to be persuaded with a generous bribe.  He explains that Navalant came through here over a month ago and stayed at the Inn.  He visited the Winking Eye gentlemen’s club and was asking around for a woman named Mhad Tarhanturk.  A figure known to be involved in shady dealings in Rizzi’s Shadowshore district.  The innkeeper was unsure if Navalant found what he was looking for, but he headed back to Kulderon over a month ago.  Additionally, the innkeeper mentions that Mhad has recently left Rizzi for Kulderon just a few days ago.

The heroes decide to head back to Kulderon and teleport to the city.  They head to Dodak’s office, expecting the dwarf to have finished using the magic ring to learn about the soulcage.  However, the dwarf learned little about the soulcage that the heroes hadn’t already learned in Kuran-Kurral.  The spell did confirm that the Ebon Triad (Triel Eldurast, Skaven Umbermead, Tarkilar) and a cleric named Ghelia Cairnis created the item with Dugobras the fire giant smith.  He learned a short quote from an unknown source:  An ancient hate stolen from the souls of the dead, the cage is but the key to a greater evil.  The spell also confirms its purpose in a ritual to permanently connect Enelis with the prison plane, Carceri.

As the heroes talk with Dodak, Tulus rushes in asking for help.  He explains that Earondel has been captured.  The elf was investigating some strange happenings at House Rhiavadi and a gang of Last Laugh thugs have captured him.  They brought him to the Brass Trumpet, an abandoned inn that serves as one of the guild’s safe houses.  Thankfully, a telepathic bond still connects the dwarf with the elf, so Tulus is able to see what the elf experiences.  He worries as the elf is being tortured by the thugs.  The heroes rush to the inn, finding a reinforced door at the entrance.  After some poor luck with the lock, the heroes eventually break the door down.  They are greeted by numerous arrows from thieves hiding behind a wall with built-in arrow slits.  Mort pushes through into the next room, disabling the trap as he goes.  The heroes rush through the barrage of arrows and fight a large band of thugs in a crude barracks.  The thugs prove unable to stop the veteran heroes and the battle takes them upstairs.  The heroes vanquish the thugs and their assassins.  

Eventually Mort finds a secret door into a dark room with many dark curtains hanging from floor to ceiling, creating a maze. Wauldmur pushes through the room, but then a thug attacks him from the shadows…


The heroes rush into the small chamber as Wauldmur cuts down the curtains blocking their view.  Soon the heroes fight against a gang of Last Laugh thugs and a halfling sorcerer.  The heroes easily fell the thugs and Wauldmur slices the halfling in quarters. The warrior then dons the halfling’s fanciful cape and Grimsli takes his magical climbing slippers.  The heroes then find a secret door into a small chamber.  Inside they find a Last Laugh thief holding a knife to Earondel’s throat.  They recognize the thief as one that has helped them in the past.  They are able to barter with the rogue, giving her freedom in exchange for the elf’s life.  After she leaves and Grimsli patches the elf’s wounds, Earondel explains that at House Rhiavadi he saw some powerful villains gathering for a dark meeting in the mansion.

The heroes rush across town to House Rhiavadi where they manage to sneak up into an upper bedchamber.  Inside the manor, Mort invisibly sneaks into a magically concealed ballroom where the dark meeting is taking place.  He sees Thifirane Rhiavadi, now sporting a menacing eye on her forehead.  She explains the Cagewrights plans for the region, to release a horde of demodands into Enelis after a permanent portal to Orthys on Carceri is opened.  They have gathered the shackleborn and are ready to perform the ritual.  She does not say where the ritual is taking place.  She asks the gathered hosts to help her remove the Eternal Embers before they can spoil their plans.  

The members all introduce themselves.  First is the dwarven merchant, Adrick Garthun, a rival of Maavu. He hates the heroes for impeding on his attempts to fell his rival.  He desires exclusive mining rights to the region.  Next is Khyron Bonesworn, leader of the dark adventurers, the Necrocants.  They hate the Eternal Embers for defeating them when they captured Emmaline to try and collect the bounties on the Eternal Embers’ heads.  Next is Mhad, a shadowy half-elven vampire who runs much of the dark trade in Rizzi.  She has been fighting against the Striders of Farlen in Rizzi and likewise hates their allies, the Eternal Embers.  Next is Vervil Ashmantle, a tiefling sorcerer who runs the underground slave trade in the region.  He also allies with the demons of the demonscar, promising them retribution on the Eternal Embers after the defeat of Nabtathoron at the Battle of Redgorge.  Next is the half-fiend, Velior Thazo, also known as the Jester.  He is the leader of the Last Laugh, but is eager to expand his enterprise and control of the city.  He hates the Eternal Embers for thwarting his efforts.  Last is Zarn Kyass, the Blue Duke, who is apparently an ogre magi.  He relates how the Eternal Embers spoiled his secret efforts to funnel more mercenaries into the city, using Drakthar’s tunnels.  He also slips that he and Vhalantru have been coordinating on the tax increases and bringing more and more half-orc mercenaries under his command into the city.  Now he practically runs the town guard with Skellerang gone.

Mort and his friends flee the tower to avoid fighting all those villains at once.  They stake out nearby, watching the manor late into the next morning.  They watch as each member leaves the meeting, until Thifirane herself leaves and heads to the Coy Nixie the next morning.  The heroes then sneak into her manor again and explore it, looking for clues.  Mort has to knock out a few halfling servants in the kitchen.  They then find a secret study upstairs with six animals in cages.  A monkey gets Mort’s attention and they find Thifirane’s spellbook hidden inn one of the cages.  They surmise that the ‘animals’ are really polymorphed people.  They also find extensive notes on the Cagewrights and the magical contraptions that Thifirane has invented.  One old invention grabs Dayvorus’s attention, a simulacrum suit.  Whoever wears it can completely mimic another person that is hidden from all magical detection.  The suit was given to someone names ‘V’.  They suspect that whomever Vhalantru really is, he wears a simulacrum suit of the former noble.

The heroes then teleport themselves and the animals to Dayvorus’s secret magic chambers.  There he and Kianya are able to break the enchantment upon them.  They are Thifirane’s halfling servants.  She turned them into animals after she made magical copies of them.  Dayvorus teleports them to their families outside Rizzi and returns.  The heroes then try looking for Vhalantru using magic, but it has little effect.  Dyavorus stops at the noble’s house, but his guards say he is away. The heroes then head to the Temple of Solarus to warn the priests there about what they learned, and to make sure the soulcage they have is safe.  Dayvorus then worries about his own family and rushes to his house.  However, he is too late.  He finds Davor wounded and Emmaline and his newborn son have been kidnapped by Vervil and his demons.  The heroes then teleport to Kurran-Kural to use the scrying crystals to try and find his family.  However, their attempts find only darkness in the crystals…


The heroes continue to discuss what they can do to find young Dayvan and Emmaline.  After much discussion, Jenya interrupts by sending a magical message to Grimsli, letting him know that she received a strange note for the Eternal Embers.  The heroes teleport back to the Temple of Korrond to read the note:

Eternal Embers, Your woman and baby are waiting for you.  You will find them in the swamps north of the Lucky Monkey.  Meet at an hour before sunrise or you will find only corpses. – V

The heroes decide to rest and prepare for the upcoming battle.  Davor decides to join them.  The sorcerer then teleports the group to the Lucky Monkey.  The old inn is nearly finished and restored with some workers finishing up the final pieces.  The heroes head out into the dark jungle north of the establishment, knowing that a likely trap awaits them.  After over an hour of hiking through jungles down into the valley, they hit the swamps.  The putrid waters stretch out with only a few flora-covered islands to break the expanse.  After some more hiking through the deluge, the heroes find Vervil Ashmantle standing on an island, Emmaline and Dayvan at his side.  As the heroes approach, Vervil laughs at the heroes for their gullibility as the illusion of Dayvorus’s family dissipates.  Then the full ensemble of villains leap from hidden spots throughout the swamp ready to strike.

Thifirane Rhiavadi and Renita the Necromancer fly above the heroes throwing down deadly spells.  Vervil goes invisible and throws spells down from on high as well.  A dread wraith charges at the heroes, reaching with its deadly touch.  Mhad the vampire leaps down at the heroes.  Wauldmur uses his newly acquired cape to teleport himself, Dayvorus, Kianya, and Mort to a nearby island, away from the barrage of black tentacles Thifirane summoned.  Grimsli and Davor try to fight off the horde of tentacles as the wraith descends on them.  Grimsli summons holy power and faces the wraith head on.  Kianya summons the power of the sun to strike both the wraith and the vampire, Mhad.  Her holy light disintegrates the vampire.  Grimsli then fells the dread wraith.  

Meanwhile, Khyron Bonesworn continues to augment his defenses with spells as he slowly joins the battle.  Velior Thazo, the Jester, strikes from above, but Wauldmur soon slices the half-fiend in pieces.  Zarn Kyass, the Blue Duke, strikes at them with his massive sword, nearly felling Dayvorus.  However, Vervil uses a fireball to finish the job, felling the half-orc.  Thankfully, Kianya is able to revive the wizard.  Wauldmur and Mort are able to strike down Zarn. Adrick Garthun and his dwarven guards soon arrive, but they are quickly cut down by the Wualdmur’s swinging blades.  Khyron then is cut in two by Grimsli’s deadly axe. The heroes then confront the spellcasters along with Thifirane’s golem protector.  Davor finally escapes the grasp of the tentacles and turns into a red dragon.  He soon fells Renita with deadly fire breath as Mort uses a fireball wand to fell Vervil.  Thifirane teleports away as the heroes destroy her golem.  The heroes catch their breath and heal themselves.  They lament not finding Dayvorus’s family, but are joyful that many villains have fallen.  The decide to loot the remains before they continue their search for Dayvan and Emmaline.


The heroes pick through the bodies of their villains, grabbing what few precious magical items they can find.  Davor then teleports the group back to Dayvorus’s secret spell chambers beneath his modest home.  Kianya and Grimsli pray to Solarus at dawn for the magical might they will need in the hours to come.  The heroes then head to House Vhalantru to confront the impostor and gain more information.

When they reach the entrance, Mort picks the lock and they enter.  They find some half-orc guards who tell them to leave.  When they do not, a fight breaks out.  However, Wauldmur and his friends quickly decimate the half-orcs, and Davor blast a fireball in the main hall, starting the mansion on fire.  When more half-orcs come to join the fray, they immediately surrender upon seeing the carnage.  The heroes have the half-orcs help them put out the flames. They then learn that the half-orcs wish to reorganize themselves now that the Blue Duke is killed.  They express interest in still helping the town guard, but they want to be treated like regular citizens and join the city offficially.  The heroes agree to help them reach that status if they continue to keep the city safe.

The heroes then explore the mansion, finding exquisite woodwork and numerous silver filigrees and elven designs.  Upstairs the heroes run afoul of a band of gauths, the smaller eye tyrants that fire a barrage of deadly rays at them.  Davor and Dayvorus manage to take them out with a few well placed lightning spells.  The heroes then find Davked Splintershield staying in the manor.  The old dwarf explains that because of his curse, he stays away from others and that Vhalantru has been gracious enough to let him stay here.  He still hopes to find Zenith and end his curse.  Mort finds something funny about the old dwarf, and tries to stop him from leaving.  The dwarf shifts to his true form, as a doppelganger, who stabs Mort with a poisoned dagger.  Grimsli angrily slashes his wide axe, cleaving the doppelganger’s head clear off.  Mort is able to drink a antidote to save himself a grisly death.

The heroes then find a fall wall in the mansions extensive wine cellar.  Inside they find a smoothed cylindrical shaft that heads down to another chamber.  Dayvorus investigates invisibly, but is still sensed by the demodands down below.  He flees with the ferastu demodands close behind him.  The heroes then waylay the monsters at the top of the shaft, felling them.  Grimsli then uses a blessing for angelic wings and brings Kianya down.  Davor uses his magic to gift flight to himself and Wauldmur.  Mort simply floats down on a bed of shadows.  They find some zombies that they fell easily, but Dayvorus notices that they are mutated with the same Carceri-linked magic affecting the gauths and the doppelganger.  The heroes then descend down another wider shaft down over 200 feet to another chamber.  They see strange round doors with an image of a ten-eyed monster on it.  After much study, Dayvorus figures out that the doors are linked to an eye tyrant’s magical eye stalks.  He decides to try some fire magic on the first door and gets lucky.  The door swings open, but they find three angry nessian hell hounds.  The hell hounds breath deadly flames on the heroes, but the heroes charge forward as Kianya and Grimsli keeps their skin from burning.  Just as the hell hounds begin to fall, two beast-headed humanoid fiends step out brandishing deadly weapons.


The heroes move in to slay the canomorph devils, and within moments, the two are felled.  The heroes explore the large throne chamber from whence the devils came.  Inside they find little of interest, however, Mort finds a giant-sized secret door.  Behind the door, is a small room with two large iron chests.  Inside they find a plethora of gold, gems, and magical items to aid them.  The heroes then began to work out the puzzle of the doors, trying different magic spells on them.  One door opens, revealing a small bedchamber that likely, based on the decor and clothing, was used by Thifirane Rhiavadi.  The heroes also discover another empty chamber.  They then open a third beholder-sized door, finding a crudely bricked room with many treasures and trinkets glinting in the far wall.  Mort recognizes the trap, finding two stone golems awaiting them.  The heroes trip the trap and take out the stone giants.  They then pile up the numerous gold and gems into a pile to return for later.

The heroes then decide to rest in the throne room to regain some magic for the other doors.  After some time, the doors close on their own.  The heroes rest and prepare their spells before finding that the doors are still linked to the same spells.  The heroes then explore more, learning more door combinations in the process.  They find one giant spherical room that is half-filled with water that drips from above.  In an adjacent room, they find a large red-leather book floating in the air.  Mort is able to grab the book from a magical levitation field.  Davor and Dayvorus find that the book, titled Zar’ilkoth Tarteros, details a profane ritual that binds a demodand from Carceri into oneself. It requires numerous rare ingredients and at least three humanoid sacrifices.  Grimsli holds on to the evil book, intending to destroy it later on.

The heroes then climb up and then through another door into an expansive statue room.  Each statue is a life-like representation of a powerful monster of the Deep Underground.  There are also two paintings, one of Kulderon in ruins, seemingly after the Carcerian gate is opened by the Cagewrights; the other is that of a beautiful blonde woman trapped in a soulcage.  Mort gets a strange feeling about that painting and Kianya is able to dispel the binding enchantment on it.  They find that Celeste Ehkani is freed from the magical prison.  She explains that she is actually a powerful azata from Arborea that has been sent on request from a powerful archemage of the north.  She had helped the heroes recover Zenith, hoping that the shackleborn dwarf would draw the Cagewrights out.  However, Vhalantru was one step ahead of her and trapped her.  She teleports back to her patron, promising to return soon to aid them.

The heroes then throw a disintegration ray at the final door.  Inside, they find that Vhalantru (the beholder) is finishing the ritual depicted in the Zar’ilkoth Tarteros. They see two unknown men and Emmaline destroyed to ash by the power of the ritual.  The beholder then turns to the intruders, the faint sparkle of a powerful demodand seen within his large central eye.  He then presses the power of his eye upon them, making spellcasting quite difficult.  He then begins to fire a limitless barrage of deadly rays at the heroes.  The heroes try to get out of the way of the barrage but are eager to confront this enemy.  Davor gives Grimsli magical flight and the paladin soars in to fight the beholder head on.  Wauldmur tried to regain himself after being stunned. Kianya and Dayvorus try a few spell, but they have little effect.  Mort finds his rapier cannot pierce the beholder’s hide.

During the battle, Vhalantru explains how he had his eyes on them since they arrived in Kulderon.  He had been manipulating their actions, trying to get them killed through impossible quests or otherwise stay out of the city as he manipulated things in Kulderon. The heroes learn that Vhalantru encouraged Dodak to share the information about the Sword of Saints with the heroes, hoping they would be killed in the haunted village. He told Skellarang about the orcs to the north and even gave the orcs Dragonsbane to use against them. It was Vhalantru who encouraged them to help the dwarves of the Malachite Fortress, hoping they would be killed underground fighting the shadmar.  He also arranged for Bolar Westkey, the cartographer, to sit next to them at the Demonscar Ball, encouraging the gnome to share his Nal Kashel maps with them, hoping the heroes would be killed on the island that had killed so many.

Vhalantru explained how he sent his doppleganger to appear as Davked Splintershield to trick the heroes into recovering the shackleborn dwarf, Zenith. Now the cagewrights have him for their ritual.  He also told the Nalit cultists where to find Najwa and Kianya, but in the second case he forced them not to kill her, knowing that it would get the Eternal Embers out of Kulderon for a long while as they went off to Arathkelsara.  He was the one who started the rumors of Saventh Yhi, convincing one of Dodak’s friends to play the prank on them.  He hoped the heroes would go searching for the ruins and was even more delighted when he heard their ship was lost at sea.  In the meantime, he manipulated Skellarang to start looking for the Chisel.  He also ate Lord Mayor Navalant and usurped control of Kulderon.  After Skellerang failed to capture the Chisel, he soon at him too, pretending that the old soldier retired.  He was also the one who bullied Ike into sending the assassins.

The heroes desperately try to fight back against the beholder as they learn that nearly all their actions have been manipulated by the powerful foe.


The heroes are continuously barraged by deadly blasts from the eye tyrant’s many rays.  Thankfully, the most deadly rays seem to barely miss them.  The heroes slowly work their way into the main chamber as Davor gives magical flight to each of his allies.  Grimsli confronts the monster head-on barring his holy axe upon the beast.  Vhalantru’s impenetrable skin, however, deflects even the hardest of blows.  Mort uses the power of his cloak to remain hidden whenever possible, sticking to the shadows.  He continuously uses his magic wand to gain some insight into his next strike before flying in with a painful slice of his rapier.  Wauldmur tries to take the beast head-on as well, but the barrage of stunning rays leave him scrambling to find his swords. Davor and Dayvorus continue to throw spells at the eye tyrant, finding that lightning bolts to be the most effective.  Kianya tries to keep everyone alive, and occasionally throws blasts of holy light.  As the heroes close in, the large door seals shut, leaving them trapped with the deadly monster.

Eventually, the heroes manage to weaken the powerful eye tyrant. However, Vhalantru tries to scramble to the surface, using his disintegration rays to blast the rock above him.  Before he can reach towards the opening, Mort slices his magical flotation bladder, slowing his ascent.  The heroes then charge in at Vhalantru to take him down.  The eye tyrant, however, turns on them and unleashes a deadly blast of disintegration rays.  Dayvorus takes the first one, burning into a pile of ash in a mere moment.  Then Davor is struck, joining his son as ash upon the floor.  Then Wauldmur succumbs to the deadly ray, his body eventually disappearing to Occipitus, entrapping his soul within his corpse.  Grimsli makes a final desperate attack that fells the eye tyrant and ends the madness.

Mort, Kianya, and Grimsli mourn the loss of their friends.  They grab their gear and Vhalantru’s simulacrum skin and his notes.  The heroes rest a bit, trying to figure out how to get their friends back.  Celeste then appears, apologizing for not being able to return sooner.  She gives them a bag of platinum coins in thanks for rescuing her.  She then plane shifts the heroes to Elysium to recover from their ordeal.  Once there, they find that she brought all their treasure they recovered from Vhalantru’s manor and Wauldmur’s body from Occipitus.  Kianya then spends the next few days resurrecting her comrades.  She revives Emmaline as well, who is quite worried about her missing newborn son. The heroes head to Sigil where they sell all their treasures and purchase a few new items.  Wauldmur dons a belt that gives him the strength of a mighty giant.  Mort purchases a few scrolls and wands. Dayvorus paid to revive Emmaline, but also gets a few healing potions.  They decide to keep the simulacrum suit in case they need it to ease the tensions in Kulderon.

The heroes decide to equip themselves as well as they can before looking for the Cagewrights. According to the notes they found in Vhalantru’s lair, he was looking for something called the Fiery Sanctum somewhere in the innumerable caves beneath Kulderon.  It seems the Cagewrights did not trust Vhalantru enough to tell him of their lair. They need to find the Cagewrights and put an halt to the ritual of planar junction that will awash the region in demodand armies.  


The heroes finish their shopping and plane shift back to Enelis to start their search for the Cagewrights.  Davor then teleports them back to Kulderon into the safety of Dayvorus’s antitower, his underground wizard sanctuary.  The heroes begin to discuss what to do next as Emmaline heads upstairs to make tea for them.  However, she soon calls for them to come up.  They all climb out into the street to find that crowds of people are either running away or running towards something frightening.  The heroes follow the crowds, finding themselves near the town hall.  In front of the building is a massive crowd of people surrounding a pale ghostly woman.  She turns towards the heroes and calls for them.  They approach cautiously through the crowd and approach the ghost.  The ghostly woman explains that she is a messenger from Kozomagen Lidu, the Lich of Liduton. The powerful necromancer will send her armies to punish the descendants of Surabar Spellmason’s legacy to destroy Redgorge and Kulderon.  She says that after Kozomagen has gathered her power in her ancient crypt, she shall march her armies.

She then wails with a powerful and deadly voice.  Nearly everyone near the ghostly woman falls over dead instantly.  The heroes, however, are able to resist the deathly scream and charge at the banshee.  They dissipate the ghost quickly by blasting her with magic and deftly cuts with magical blades.  In the aftermath, they find that over a hundred people have been killed by the banshee.  Skylar Krewis tells the heroes to speak with him after he deals the with dead, as he has been unable to find Vhalantru anywhere.  Additionally, he feels something is amiss with Thifirane Rhiavadi’s disappearance as well.  

Maavu Arlintal then escorts the heroes to his nearby warehouse to speak with them.  He explains that his family is descended from the ancient line of House Lidu, which extends back into the days of the Nomen Empire. Maavu points out that the ancient crypt of House Lidu was a magical place where the nobles would bury their dead away from graverobbers.  It was disconnected from time and space, likely in another plane.  He suggests the heroes should search for an entrance to this magical place in the ruins of Liduton.  He also gives them an ancient rod that has been passed down through his family that may be the key to the hidden crypt plane.The heroes then teleport to Liduton and make their way into the old ruins where they found Durindana over a year before.  They realize they unwittingly released Kozomagen Lidu from slumber when they retrieved the sword.  Now they find the crypt has changed little, despite some evidence of traffic in the chambers.  They find a giant iron medusa head where Maavu’s rod fits into its mouth like a key.  A portal is opened and the heroes step inside.

They find themselves each trapped inside a sarcophagus.  After breaking free, they unlock a gear-based puzzle to open the door to the mausoleum chamber and enter a courtyard in a dark, skyless void.  The courtyard is clean and empty with short, gray grass. A host of skeletal guards then charge at the heroes.  They make short work of them and continue to explore the ruins.  They find many tombs of the Lidu family, but little else of interest to them.  Inside one large building they find a crematorium where they face off against an enraged efreeti and some fire elementals.  They find two keys, a mithral dagger-like key, and an iron medusa-head key.

The heroes then find three large buildings seemingly devoted to three branches of the ancient family, each depicted by a different medusa head: howling, mocking, or cross-eyed.  They then find an ancient sarcophagus of the family patriarch but inside is a stairway heading down deep into the earth.  Inside the tomb, down a long flight of stairs, they find numerous catacombs filled with the dead.  In one chamber they find two bright lights and the mummified remains of the ancient builders of the necropolis.  They kill off the deadly balls of light, but Mort, Kianya, and Davor are blinded. They find some magical instruments used for building and destroying structures.  They decide to rest for prayers to heal their blindness.


The heroes cure their blindness and then set about to explore more of the ancient Lidu family crypt.  They find a secret treasure vault that had seemingly been looted, but a few trinkets remained.  They then find a secret chamber with a large bathhouse which contains another secret treasure vault which contained a couple magical ioun stones.  The heroes then leave the deep crypts and explore the three family mausoleums.  They figure out that the center medusa symbol is a teleportation circle and use it to teleport to a large crypt-chamber.  A ghostly captain forces the heroes to answer questions about the Lidu family on threat of death.  The heroes find the clues to answer the questions on the crypt walls and are able to satisfy the ghost, who leaves them in peace.  The heroes then find two identical tombs of twin brothers, but nothing of interest in them.  In the center of the main crypt the heroes find a stairwell that seems to magically connect to three tombs, one for each family branch.  

In the first tomb, they find ghostly apparitions of young girls that circle and taunt them with whispered questions, but don’t seem to hear the answers.  The heroes try to ignore them as Mort checks the large sarcophagus at the far end.  Then another ghost appears of an older girl.  She immediately sends deadly spells at the heroes.  Wauldmur is nearly killed, but his healing amulet saves his life.  They are able to defeat her quickly, sending the ghostly nemhain to rest.  The smaller ghosts disappear with it.  Mort pulls out a magical greatsword and ring from the tomb.  They then find a secret door to a treasure vault.  Inside is a few mundane items on pillars, but they also find a trapped compartment in the room’s center.  Inside they find a magical cloth that connects to an extradimensional space.  This space contains a small study and magical bottle to fill the space with air.  Dayvorus hangs on to the portable hole.

The heroes then head back up the magical stairs and switch to a different tomb.  They descend into a broken tomb where much destruction makes many of the crypts inaccessible.  Mort is able to bypass the trapped doorway into a small treasure chamber. They find numerous gems, bars of precious metals, and magical bracers for Dayvorus.  The heroes then head to the third and final magical staircase into a sad vault filled with child-sized sarcophagi.  They push their way into the next chamber and are attacked by two ice devils.  The devils try to cut off Wauldmur and Grimsli from the others with a wall of ice, but Wauldmur uses his magical cape to transport them to the other side.  The heroes manage to defeat the ice devils and proceed into the next chamber.  Many skulls are stacked on the far wall and the heroes find a medusa-headed amulet in a small pit.  Mort then spots a skull with something under its jaw.  He uses his deft dexterity to pry the skull free without sending the others tumbling.  He finds a strange opal ruby in its jaw.

The heroes then return to the chamber they teleported into from the family mausoleum and examine the medusa etched into the floor.  They find spots for the four ‘keys’ they found and are able to teleport to another crypt chamber.  This chamber depicts some sort of ancient demon befouling the dragon-deity Armathon.  The next chamber contains pools of water and a deadly trap that Mort disables.  They find a secret door and head down a long hallway to another door.  Behind the stone door they find a huge chamber.  They also find Kozomagon Lidu, who immediately sends slaying spells at them.  The heroes charge in to fight, trying to put an end to the deadly lich.


The heroes strike at the lich who continues to throw deadly spells at them.  She heals herself and pushes back against their magical attacks.  Grimsli then strikes down Durindana with a furious vengeance, destroying the lich’s form in a one fell swoop.  The heroes decide to search around for the lich’s phylactery, but find nothing but a large medusa statue with an ominous inscription and a slot meant for a blade.  They head back to the other room they had yet to explore.  Inside they find a large aquarium that fills the room with a chained floating corpse inside.  A shimmering sword with a ruby embedded in the hilt stands firm in the corpse’s chest.   Mort opens the hatch and swims into the murky water to retrieve the sword, but is attacked by omox demons, demons made of slime and mud.  They nearly devour Mort until Dayvorus disintegrates the side of the aquarium.  The rush of water frees Mort and confuses the demons.  The heroes charge in to attack the slimy monster, and soon fell them.  Wauldmur grabs the sword.

The warrior is immediately overcome by some fell power within the weapon, as he tries to resist the urge to strike at Grimsli and Kianya.  He feels emboldened with a strange desires to serve the needs of Asmodeus, the Lord of the Nine Hells.  Grimsli and Kianya are able to use holy magic to break its control over the warrior and Grimsli takes the weapon for safe-keeping.  The heroes then find a small chest filled with numerous and powerful magical items.  They learn that the statue in the other room will enhance the sword if it is pushed into the slot, restoring is full devilish powers.  Dayvorus then figures out that the ruby embedded in the sword serves as the lich’s phylactery, and until the sword is destroyed they cannot permanently defeat the lich.  Additionally, Dayvorus learns that the only way to destroy the evil sword is by pouring the tears of Asmodeus himself upon the blade.  The heroes decide to head to the planes to find a solution before the lich returns.  Davorus plane shifts them to Elysium in the Plane of Principality.

In Elysium, they stand over the clean lake on the perfect, rolling hills.  They are greeted by a trumpet archon that offers to take the sword from them and ensure that the lich cannot escape this plane until she chooses to end her own undeath.  In return, she asks they listen to another trumpet archon who has a request.  They willingly hand over the sword to the force of good and greet the second archon.  It is Nidrama, the holy protector of the Kulderon region, who gave Alakast to Surabar Spellmason centuries ago.  She asks the heroes to consider her request.  She will offer them a divine spark, that will grant them great ability to defeat the Cagewrights and save Enelis from danger.  In return, the goodly powers request that the heroes must intervene at a later time to stop “madness from pouring over the planes”.  If they are able to defeat this greater evil, then each of them will have the choice to keep the divine spark, or to relinquish it.  If they keep it, they can be champions of good on the planes.  However, if they do not relinquish it, they cannot return to Enelis. 

The heroes talk among themselves and agree unanimously to accept the divine spark, gaining much insight and strength.  They then spend a few days in Elysium to recover and rest.  The heroes then head to Sigil and the Great Bazaar to sell and purchase new items to help them in their upcoming struggle against the Cagewrights.  As they share a few drinks at a nearby tavern, they receive a sending from Jenya:  “The Lords of the City are having a meeting at the townhall.  They want you there.  Come home as soon as possible. Jenya


The heroes plane shift quickly back to Enelis and teleport to Kulderon.  They head to the town hall and learn that the leaders of the city wish to schedule a meeting, so they arrange one for the next morning.  They spend the rest of the day at their stronghold, finding the place overrun by nearly one-hundred new Knights of the Silver Dragon under Grimsli and Oswyn’s leadership.  The heroes rest and head back to the townhall for their meeting.  Davor drops them off and heads to Dayvorus’s anti-tower.  The heroes are greeted by a full assembly of the town’s nobility, including Zachery Aslaxin, Anhkin Taskerhill, both Vanderborens, and Lady Knowlern.  The heads of each temple (besides Weeja) are present as well, with Thora Muddstone for Solarus, Jenya Urikas for Korrond, and Karr Holdsen for Hethroth.  Additionally, Maavu, Skie, and Tygot represent the merchants.

Jenya has the meeting start with the heroes explaining what happened to the Lord Mayor and Lord Vhalantru and their role in the matter.  The heroes also explain about the evil Cagewrights and their scheme to summon a demodand army into Enelis.  The Lords of Kulderon then decide they need to find a new Lord Mayor.  Jenya, however, brings up that they could reform the government entirely.  They decide to take the decisions to a vote.  After all the votes are tallied, the have decided that the Lord Mayor’s position would become a democratic position that any citizen can be voted into and would serve solely as a tie-breaking vote for the council.  The Lord Mayor would have executive function to serve the goals of the ruling council. The ruling council would decide most city matters through voting.  Each noble house, temple, and three votes for the merchant guilds would be on the ruling council.  Additionally, five new senators would be added to the council, voted into place by each of the 5 districts of Kulderon (Lake, East, West, North, South).  The Eternal Embers would also have one vote on the ruling council as the leader of their stronghold (they nominated Grimsli).

After the meeting was near an end, Mort and Dayvorus notice a scrying sensor near Lord Aslaxin.  Suddenly, a group of short, derro beserkers appear out of nowhere and strike with deadly axes.  Lord Taskerhill is cut and knocked down, but the others escape as the heroes charge in to protect them.  Soon the derro are felled and their sorcerer leader is scared away via a teleport spell.  The heroes gather the council back into the chamber.  However, they notice that the mountain’s tremors have gotten much worse and dark clouds roll in.  Dayvorus notes that the strange weather is quite similar to that of Carceri.  The heroes worry that the Cagewrights have already succeeded in their ritual.  The immediately set about to evacuate the city as the earthquakes increase in intensity and lava vents begin to explode out of the city streets.

The heroes rush down to the lake at the center of the city where the water is now boiling and a poisonous fog surrounds the water.  The famed Crater Lake Monster, a fiendish morkoth, flies out of the waters, striking at townsfolk.  The heroes rush in to stop the beast.  It summons some demonic vrocks to strike at the heroes as it rains down deadly spells.  The heroes are forced to somewhat retreat, finding the demonic morkoth’s spells quite dangerous.  Grimsli, however, charges in with many blessings to aid him.  The others join the brave dwarf and they are able to slay the beast.  The heroes then look about to the burning buildings, the explosive lava and steam vents, and the constant shaking of the earth.  Their city needs them now more than ever.  They set to evacuating the city and to try to minimize as many casualties as they can in the chaos.


The heroes continue to look for ways to help people evacuate the city as earthquakes, fire, and other dangers dominate the once peaceful city streets.  The heroes notice that some demodands are appearing randomly in the sky above, some falling hard into the ground below.  The heroes rush over to those that survive and vanquish them before they can enslave any townsfolk.  The heroes then face off against a powerful kelubar demodand that forces some townsfolk to do its bidding.  After defeating it, the heroes search around for other townsfolk to help.  On the way, they avoid steam vents, lava fissures and other dangerous obstacles.  The heroes then find a large deep crevice with some townsfolk trapped inside.  The heroes notice the fissure is slowly closing, so they rush down and help get the people out.  Dayvorus and Mort use teleportations, while Wauldmur convinces others to climb into his magical bag to safety.  After they save the people, they watch the fissure close tight.

The heroes then head into another part of the city.  They rescue eight people from a burning building, traversing the smoke-filled hallways to locate everyone.  They then convince an angry mob of people to stop looting and pillaging, convincing them to help others or otherwise evacuate the city.  The heroes then head to another part of the city where they notice a gas-laden explosion is about take place under the city street.  They quickly get everyone out of the area before the street explodes.  They then rescue a bunch of people from an incoming avalanche of debris.  Afterwards, they help excavate anyone trapped inside and use a few spells and manpower to clear the street for evacuations.  

In another part of the city, the heroes find some townsfolk stranded atop a thin layer of cooled magma, too fearful to move.  The heroes head out and try to rescue everyone from the area before the lava vent explodes.  They get everyone out of the way before the vent shoots a stream of burning magma into the air.  The heroes then come across a stampede of fearful horses.  The heroes know they can do little to calm the animals, so they go ahead of the beasts and corral them towards the city exit.  Dayvorus and Davor use flaming wall spells to push the horses in particular directions, while the others clear the streets from pedestrians.  Soon the horses reach the city gate and rush free into the wild mountainside.

The heroes then head down another street where they find another lava vent.  However, enraged fire elementals climb out of the vent eager to attack and burn everyone and everything around them…


The heroes rush out to help the townsfolk get away from the angry fire elementals. The heroes charge at the fiery monsters while also trying to extract people away from the lava geyser.  Mort and Dayvorus save one person, while Davor saves another.  Grimsli and Wauldmur attack the elementals and defeat them, but a nearby building catches on fire.  The heroes get everyone to safety as the area shows increasing volcanic activity.  The heroes then look for more ways to help the populace.  They come across a panicked man holding his child out a window, screaming at his brother on the street below.  It seems the man is too scared to do anything as his building seems on the edge of crumbling.  Mort quickly climbs up to him, which causes him to drop his child in panic.  Mort is able to catch the child as Dayvorus flies up and extracts the now unconscious man.  Mort then finds and rescues his daughter from a closet.  After everyone is away and safe, the building collapses.

The heroes then hear from a guard who is asking for help at the north gate.  The heroes rush over there to find a large crowd of people being stopped by some demodands trying to enslave them.  The demodands have blocked the gate and are not letting the people escape the city.  The heroes rush into action, calming the crowd and having them flee the area while they deal with the demodands.  A powerful kelubar demodand summons a globe of acid fog as the ferastu demodands strike from above.  The heroes manage to take out the demodands after a fierce fight, then open the city gates. They call back the crowd and have them leave the city. 

The heroes then explore more of the city, finding it mostly evacuated.  Suddenly, above them, they hear the roar of a large creature.  They find the red dragon, Hookface, flying towards them rapidly, eagerly spying their sparking magic items.  The great dragon of legend must have awoken from the frequent tremors.  The creature has not been seen in over a century.  The heroes prepare a defense in the center of the city street, standing together and using a few enchantments.  However, the dragon simply flies in at break-neck speed and snatches Wauldmur in its massive jaws.  The warrior struggles to release himself, but the dragon just throws him out of his mouth after they are high over the city streets.  Unbeknownst to the dragon, Wauldmur had a flying spell upon him as he pretended to fall to the ground.  Meanwhile, Grimsli and Kianya continue to enchant themselves for the coming fight, then Grimsli flies into the air to challenge the dragon.  Dayvorus then casts a hastening enchantment on his friends.  The dragon then hovers over them and releases a powerful blast of flames.  The flames are so hot that normal steel melts and cinders.  Kianya, Davor, and Dayvorus are nearly killed by the flames, their bodies seared and mostly ashen.  Grimsli managed to get his magical shield up to block some of the fire, and Mort used his uncanny agility to avoid it.

Grimsli calls upon Solarus to heal his friends, he then charges at the dragon, striking hard with Durindana numerous times.  Wauldmur flies in and strikes the beast from the side as Mort sneaks in and strikes as well.  Dayvorus and Davor throws spells at the dragon, trying to avoid its ire.  The beast looks almost defeated and it tries to fly away, soaring into the air.  However, Kianya pulls herself up and summons a powerful holy strike upon the creature, blasting it out the sky.  The enormous bulk of the dragon falls into the city, destroying a few buildings as it slams into the ground.  Dayvorus sets to cutting out the creature’s heart as Kianya uses healing magic on their many wounds.

The sky continues to rumble and glow with the strange-colored lightning.  The ritual of planar junction continues in the Cagewrights hidden lair and the heroes guess they have less than a day remaining before Enelis is overrun by demodand armies.  The heroes feel up to the challenge as the divine spark surges within them.


The heroes teleport to their stronghold in the hills east of the city.  Many of the refugees are camped around the stronghold as the Knights of the Silver Dragon tend to the wounded.  The heroes get some rest after their long day of battle and evacuation.  At sunrise, Kianya and Grimsli pray for spell-power as everyone discusses means of finding the Cagewrights  hidden enclave.  They go over Vhalantru’s maps of the underground caverns beneath the city and find that there is a tunnel that connects to the Malachite Fortress.  Seeing that as their best option, they have Davor teleport into the city and drop them off at the Kalavarian Embassy. The sorcerer, however, returns to the stronghold to help defend the refugees.

Inside the embassy, they find dwarves trying to hold the structure against the stray demodands still roaming the empty streets.  The dwarves let the heroes inside and bring them down to meet Zhorandhun Splintershield down in the fortress.  The heroes share what they know about the current events with the dwarven leader, who in return offers to send his son Zakgad to escort them down the Deep Underground tunnels towards their goal.  They even send an earth cleric along to open shortcuts in the rocky tunnels.  The heroes have a quick refreshment before setting off with Zakgad down the tunnels.  After a couple hours, they get to a point where the cleric opens a hole in the tunnel wall leading to an old lava tube that goes straight down to the heart of the mountain.  It appears to be several hundred feet deep.  Dayvorus flies down to survey the tunnel as the others very carefully climb down.  When they reach the bottom, Zakgad says his farewell and climbs up.

The heroes notice that the old lava tube is unusually warm and Dayvorus notices that there is a magical aura in the area blocking any divination or teleportation magic.  The heroes spend a couple hours traversing the warm tunnels, coming across some deadly phiuhl’s who escaped from Gehenna, who seem to be dwelling in a large boiling underground pond.  The heroes quickly defeat the gaseous creatures and cross the pond.  A bit later, they pass through a tunnel filled with poisonous gas in which they have to hold their breaths.  Then after some time, the heroes come across two arguing earth elementals.  The heroes learn from the elementals that some “great fire” has taken over their former home at the heart of the mountain and warn the heroes to be wary of fire.

The heroes then travel for another hour before coming across a great adamantine gate bearing a demon-like face that seems both calm and insane at the same time, the heroes don’t recognize the image but they do recognize the Carcerian eye in the center of the gate.  They are certain this is the Cagewrights hidden lair.  Mort is able to disable the magical alarm and trap upon the door, and unlocks the gate.  The heroes then head down a smoothed tunnel.  They come across a large curtain blocking the entrance to a side tunnel.  A tarry demodand rushes out and attacks.  Soon the heroes are engaged in a melee between themselves and six of the foul demodands.  The heroes manage to defeat them without much injury and explore the rooms the demodands arrived from.  They find little of interest, but note strange thin shafts in the walls, allowing sound to travel easily between chambers.  With this in mind, the heroes are extra quiet and cautious as they explore the second chamber.  

In the second chamber, Mort finds a secret door in the cavern wall that leads down another tunnel.  Around a bend, they come across two curtains.  Mort rushes through one curtain and finds a vrock demon standing somewhat unawares.  Mort stabs at its vital organs quickly and it falls before it can sound any alarm.  Wauldmur then fells the second guard just as quickly.  The heroes are glad that they have manage to avoid too much attention.  They continue to explore the Cagewrights lair in the heart of the volcano.

SESSION 149 (Addendum)

As the heroes explore the volcanic tunnel beneath Kulderon, Wauldmur feels a strange inner-sensation. He becomes aware that his innate connection to the plane of Occipitus has been severed, though he still possess his smoking eye. The warrior does not know what caused this event to happen. Mort suggest that another contender has received the Sign of the Smoking Eye.  Dayvorus adds that if another contender received the Sign, and was significantly stronger than Wauldmur, they may have usurped his connection to the plane.  The heroes decide to explore the state of Occipitus after they deal with the Cagewrights.


The heroes continue to explore the Cagewrights hidden volcanic lair.  They enter into a large hallway that expands in two directions.  They choose the tunnel that curves down deeper into the earth.  They find a huge lava lake with small outcroppings of volcanic rock leading to a wide ledge. On the ledge, a large tapestry blocks off a cavern.  The heroes use magic to traverse the lake and Mort checks out the area behind the tapestry.  Before the rogue can get near it, however, a huge creature emerges from the lava, splashing the molten rock near the heroes.  It is a large pyroclastic dragon.  However, the beast doesn’t immediately attack, it seems impressed by the strength of the heroes.

Dayvorus tries to negotiate with the dragon, named Moltenwing.  He convinces the dragon that the Cagewrights will simply bring more competition for the dragon’s wealth by opening the portal to Carceri.  Moltenwing is convinced of the Cagewrights weakness and offers the heroes a large, magical adamantine collar that he was guarding for them.  Dayvorus determines that the collar is capable of absorbing an intense amount of energy, but otherwise is unsure of its use.  They heroes take the collar and leave the dragon to rest in peace.

The heroes then come to another junction where they hear someone playing a pipe organ from another chamber.  The music is horrible, but played with fanatical exuberance.  Mort sneaks into the chamber, using the noise of the music to mask his approach.  He finds a man clad in fulll-plate armor at an evil-looking pipe organ made of bones.  Mort strikes the man with his sap and Wauldmur assist with a few deft attacks.  The man falls over unconscious.  The heroes strip the man of his items and tie him up.  The discover he wears a holy symbol of Adimarchus. Mort then finds a secret passageway hidden behind the pipe organ.  Inside the small chamber is a altar devoted to Adimarchus, demon-prince of madness and former ruler of Occipitus.  Wauldmur feels a powerful connection to Occipitus in this chamber and feels he can harness the power of the small reality nexus if he chooses.

The heroes then continue to the next chamber where they surprise two slimy demodands.  The heroes make short work of them, but the sounds of their combat echoed down the halls.  The heroes then find a thin stone wall behind a double door that seems like it could easily be smashed in.  Wauldmur breaks the wall with his strength, to find a huge minotaur on the other side.  The minotaur slashes with a deadly falchion and throws Wauldmur back, nearly felling him.  The others jump in and strike back at the barbarian.  Kianya heals Wauldmur, who then leaps upon his assailant slashing wildly.  The minotaur soon falls dead from the warrior’s cuts. 

The heroes loot the minotaur’s possessions and find a strange ring.  Dayvorus identifies it as a powerful ring of evil that each Cagewright leader must possess. While the heroes discuss finding the leaders, Mort sneaks back to the unconscious cleric and murders him lest he is freed by his companions.  The heroes then explore the minotaur’s lair and find a few interesting weapons in a training chamber. Wauldmur takes a powerful blade known as the Holy Avenger, a blade created by the church of Solarus to vanquish evil.

The heroes then head back near the organ room where Mort find another thin wall.  Wauldmur easily breaks through the stone revealing a large hall filled with armed and ready haraknin devils.  They bark and howl with their dog-like faces eager to fight.


The heroes charge in to face the haraknin devils who howl and bark at them with hound-like faces.  The heroes quickly close the distance as arrows ricochet around them.  Dayvorus throws some well-placed lightning as Wauldmur and Mort quickly cut down the injured devils.  The heroes then explore a nearby barracks, finding little of interest.  Then Mort disables a trap guarding another chamber.  As the rogue enters the room, he is struck by more haraknin devils who seem to be led by a great fire giant.  Wauldmur rushes in to fight the giant, but is nearly killed by the giant’s deadly attacks and unholy flaming sword.  Kianya heals the warrior before Wauldmur and Grimsli flank the giant and take him down.  The heroes find that the giant inscribed a list of chores along with instructions on how the ritual can be stopped using the dispersement collar. The note suggests that there is still time to halt the ritual’s latent energy and stop the final creation of the portal.  Dayvorus also dons the giant’s magical helmet, granting him the ability to detect the surface thoughts of those around him.  The heroes note the room contains pools of lava used for forging.

The heroes then explore a training room with a spa before continuing into another section of the sanctum.  The heroes come across a room full of perfectly sculpted statues in agonizing poses.  The statues are translucent stone, filled with glowing magma.  The creators of the statues then assaults the heroes from hiding, striking Kianya with a powerful negative energy touch. The heroes quickly subdue the rogue cleric and knock her unconscious.  They learn that she is a worshiper of Verull, god of death and necromancy.  She also was the former leader of the local Ebon Triad group.  The heroes tie her up and wake her up.  They then prod her with more questions, trying to learn what is going on.  Her name is Grehlia Cairnis and she is indeed a worshiper of Verull.  The other Cagewrights did not respect her since she did not submit to worshiping Adimarchus. The heroes learn that she wishes to leave the Cagewrights and the Ebon Triad altogether.  She wants to go to another plane and start her life over.  The heroes bargain for her help in tracking down the Cagewrights and putting an end to the ritual.  In return, they promise to drop her off at Sigil so she can pursue a new life in the planes.

Grehlia warns them about Dyr’ryd, a powerful demodand and leader of the Cagewrights.  She insists that they will be guarding the tree.  In the meantime, Grehlia suggest the heroes head to Thearynn’s nearby chambers and deal with him before heading towards what is most likely a prepared ambush.  She warns that Thearynn is a powerful conjurer and probably the most paranoid of the Cagewrights.  The heroes reach the conjurer’s door and Mort heads inside to investigate.  He suddenly sees something so frightening that he has a heart attack and falls over dead.  The others clamor into the room to see what happened.  The door then closes shut and locks mysteriously.  Kianya and Grehlia are locked outside. Then a disembodied voice, that seems to come from all places at once, begins chanting spells.  Soon the heroes are inside a cloud of hot, swirling embers and ash as large black tentacles grasp and pull at them.  

Grimli manages to get Mort’s body out of the fiery field while Wauldmur tries to open the door.  Dayvorus faces off against an invisible quasit demon, throwing spells back and forth.  Waudmur rushes over and kills the quasit, using his warrior instinct to locate it.   However, then the conjurer summons a wall of stone to separate Grimsli and Wauldmur from Dayvorus.  Then a powerful hezrou demons is summoned and grabs Dayvorus to choke the life out of him.  The toxic fluids on the demon cause Dayvorus to grow weak and sick.  Meanwhile, Grimsli and Wauldmur manage to break a large enough hole in the stone wall to come and fight the demon.  The conjurerer then summons two shadow demons to attack the heroes as well.  Wauldmur and Grimsli manage to fell all three demons without too many injuries.  They then decide to try to get the door open again.  The conjurer begins toying with the nauseated Dayvorus, throwing him and his staff across the room and into the incendiary cloud and tentacles.  Eventually Dayvorus regains his composure and fights against the conjurer’s magic.  Grimsli and Wauldmur pull the door off its hinges and climb out into the hall.  Dayvorus soon joins as the conjurer announces his departure.  Kianya heals everyone with her magic and resurrects Mort to rejoin them.  The heroes then prepare to face more of the Cagewrights, knowing their enemies are now well aware of their presence.


The heroes return to Thearynn the conjurer’s room to look for any sign of the fleeing wizard.  Dayvorus identifies and takes a few magical trinkets from the dead quasit demon that must have served as the conjurer’s familiar.  Mort then notices some strange stones on the ground and climbs up to the ceiling to investigate.  He finds an illusory ceiling and he and Dayvorus climb into a small secret space that grant a good view of the room below it.  They now understand how the conjurer could throw spells at them without them seeing him.  They also find the wizard’s spellbook and some haphazard notes, clearly written by a delusional mind.  The heroes then decide to head down towards where Grehlia predicted an ambush.  

The heroes enter a secret door and find the ambush waiting for them.  A glabrezu demon and some haraknin devils charge at the heroes while an invisible foe throws spells at them.  The heroes hold off the demons and make short work of the haraknins, but the invisible Thearynn throws a deadly cloud of acidic fog at them.  The heroes charge into the room to avoid the fog, leaving Grehlia behind.  The heroes then find two invisible foes have entered the room.  One a deadly assassin, the other a powerful tiefling monk.  The assassin nearly kills Mort with a deadly attack while invisible.  The monk strikes at Wauldmur.  Together the two enemies then injure Grimsli greatly before Wauldmur retaliates and kills the monk.  Then the others help kill the invisible assassin.

Suddenly, a cage of pure force appears.  Only Grimsli is too slow to react and is trapped inside.  A hezrou demon enters the room from the south and attacks the other heroes. Then a deadly desiccating spell strikes at the heroes.  Kianya and Mort both fall dead as their bodies shrivel.  Grimsli is able to revive Kianya, who then revives Mort.  The heroes then heal up and strike back at the second hezrou demon that enters the chamber.  The heroes are hit again by the desiccation spell, but manage to survive this time.  The heroes then determine that the conjurer has fled again, but that the other spellcaster is Freija, a sorceress Grehlia warned them about.

The heroes manage to secure the door into the chamber and Mort locks it.  They take a moment to heal and take the magical items from the dead assassin and monk.  Grehlia joins them after the forcecage and acidic fog spells dissipate. The heroes then charge down the hallway and find another secret door.  Inside they find a bunch of invisible vrock demons and shadow demons, they are led by the invisible Freija.  The heroes charge into the room and are struck by a powerful lightning strike.  Then the demons form a wall that Wauldmur and Grimsli try to hold their defenses against.  Freija, the sorceress, then flies above them and unleashes a spray of prismatic energies.  The powerful magic nearly kills Grehlia, kills Kianya, and turns Dayvorus into stone.  Grimsli is able to revive Kianya and Mort heals Grehlia.  Wauldmur tries to hold the demons back.  Grimsli then turns Dayvorus back into flesh.  The battle looks a bit grim as the heroes try to stay on their feet.


The heroes charge at the sorceress and her demon allies.  Wauldmur and Grimsli go toe-to-toe with the demons as the others try to deal with the sorceress, Freija.  Dayvorus uses a powerful shout that deafens Freija and limits her spellcasting.  The heroes then manage to slay the demons relatively quickly and Dayvorus throws spells at the fleeing sorceress.  Wauldmur then draws his bow and plucks arrows at the sorceress.  Mort flies over and catches the dying woman before she falls into the lava pit.  They strip her of magical items and decide to finish her off before continuing. 

 The heroes then explore Freija’s room, discovering a few more trinkets. They also find detailed instructions for how to use the disbursement collar on the Tree of Shackled Souls.  The heroes then encounter a few demodands who blast them with a fog of acid.  The heroes are forced to retreat and Wauldmur loses his swords to the tarry demodands sticky bodies.  Eventually they are able to defeat the demodands, though they find their resources running quite thin.  The heroes then find a large conference room before heading back the way they came.  The heroes then explore a large lava-based smithery of the Cagewrights containing a few potent magical weapons.  The heroes then head to Shebeleth’s room.  Grehlia warns them that Shebeleth is a powerful loremaster and cleric of Adimarchus, known to have the power to stop time itself.  

The heroes heed the warning, but decide to charge into the room anyway.  They find a large shaggy demodand waiting for them.  They charge into combat and also see Shebelith with a barrier of swirling swords around him.  Dayvorus throws a few spells at the demodand, but the heroes are disrupted by a powerful blasphemy spell from the shaggy demodand.  It paralyzes Mort, and temporarily stuns the others.  Grehlia seemed unaffected and is able to free Wauldmur and enchant his sword with holy energy.  Shebelith summons a powerful boar-headed nalfashee demon that tears into Wauldmur and Grimsli.  Shebelith also throws down deadly columns of unholy fire that nearly kills Kianya and greatly injures the others.  Grimsli is able to keep Kianya on her feet, while Wauldmur uses his holy sword to cut down the demodand and nalfashee demon.  Then Grehlia throws a globe of impenetrable darkness around Shebelith, limiting the loremaster’s spell options.  Dayvorus throws spells into the globe at him, and likewise, Shebelith throws more back.  Wauldmur is able to get Mort moving again with a potion.  

The heroes must continue their fight against the powerful servant of Adimarchus…


The heroes hide from Shebelith behind the curtain of darkness.  The mighty cleric of Adimarchus and loremaster of the Cagewrights cannot see them.  The heroes then prepare to charge in and strike at the cleric when they hear the sound of more demodands charging at them from the hall.  They then find that Kenli is standing near the doorway.  The heroes cheer seeing their friend returned.  Kianya then dispels the darkness and Grimsli and Mort charge through the circle of blades blocking Shebelith and strike at him.  Kenli assist with well-placed arrows.  Wauldmur takes care of the demodands, cutting them down with careful ferocity.  Grimsli and Mort greatly weaken Shebelith just as Kenli lands the final arrows into the cleric’s heart.

With the great enemy destroyed, the heroes take the cleric’s trinkets.  Kenli then explains how he came to be there.  After he had left them, he headed to Saventh Yhi and faced off against many powerful denizens that control the area, trying to strengthen himself to face Nasha-ratha, the nabasu demon that has kidnapped his father.  After some time, the half-elf felt ready to face the demon.  So he headed back to Kulderon to find Dayvorus, hoping to secure passage to the Abyss.  However, he found that Kulderon was in ruins.  He fought off against many demodands before heading to the Eternal Embers stronghold where he helped the Knights of the Silver Dragon fend off the demodands and protect the city’s refugees.  Kenli decided his friends would need his help.  So he headed into the city again and found the dwarves of the Malachite Fortress.  From them he learned of the deep tunnels the Eternal Embers traveled and convinced the dwarves to escort him as far as they could.  After much time, he found the Cagewright entrance and crept his way through the chambers finding the path of felled foes to his friends. 

The heroes delight in their companion’s return and decide to continue onward to find Dyr’ryd and the Tree of Shackled Souls.  They know that the time to end the planar junction was growing thin.  They eventually traverse down a dark tunnel into a huge room with a massive metallic tree.  Upon the tree’s thirteen branches dangle cages with dehydrated corpses of the shackleborn.  They recognize the orphan Terrem and the dwarf Zenith Splintershield among them. The heroes look about, curious as to where Dyr’ryd hides.  Mort then finds him hiding behind the tree.  Dyr’ryd is a massive deformed shator demodand with a second small head and hands on the side of his larger face.  The demodand charges at the heroes throwing deadly spells and thrusting with a guisarme.  The bladed spear itself speaks, barking battle threats as Dyr’ryd attacks.  

The heroes throw all their resolve at the demodand leader.  Wauldmur and Grimsli go head on in melee while Mort attempts to stab at him from the shadows.  Kenli, unfortunately, finds himself paralyzed by a powerful unholy ritual.  Dayvorus then aids his comrades by using a powerful ritual to turn himself into a huge blue dragon.  He then breathes out bolts of lightning upon Dyr’ryd before charging at him with his claws.  The battle gets fierce and Mort is killed and Wauldmur falls unconscious.  Kianya is able to revive Mort and pulls the paralyzed Kenli away from danger.  Grimsli gets some major strikes with Durindana. Then Dayvorus uses his magic to unleash a powerful blast of lightning which finally fells the fiend.

The heroes take the demodands many potent magical items, including Mindbite, the intelligent guisarme.  Dayvorus uses his draconic size and strength to fit the dispersal collar upon the Tree of Shackled Souls.  A great final burst of energy throws everyone to the ground and rocks crumble above them, but the tree’s energy ends and the ritual has stopped.  The heroes find that the field blocking teleportation magic is broken and they teleport to the surface.  They find that a great starry sky greets them.  The planar junction was foiled just in time.  The heroes head to the Dancing Dragon to see what ales they can find, felling a few stray demodands on the way.  Grehlia pesters for Dayvorus to bring her to Sigil, but finally agrees to rest first.  She then receives a sending from the surviving Cagewright members, presumably they do not yet know of her treachery.  They know something is wrong and plan to return to the Material Plane and meet at their rendezvous point.  Additionally, they have sold Dayvorus’s son to a demon-lord of the Abyss, who claims to be the new ruler of Occipitus.  They expect that will keep the Eternal Embers busy while they regroup.  Sure enough, the heroes are eager to head to Sigil and Occipitus to deal with the threat and rescue Dayvan.


The heroes finish a few of the kegs left behind at the Dancing Dragon in celebration of their victory against the Cagewrights.  They then rest for the night in the otherwise empty city of Kulderon.  The next morning, Dayvorus teleports them to the Eternal Embers’ Stronghold where they are greeted by many of the townsfolk.  The leaders of the new town council praise the heroes and promise to erect statues of them in front of the town hall when the town is repaired.  They also declare this day henceforth as Hero’s Day in celebration of the Eternal Embers.  

While the heroes are enjoying the attention and praise from the city folk, they know they must hurry to find Dayvorus’ child, Dayvan.  Although the wizard does not find Emmaline among the refugees at the stronghold to say goodbye, he knows he cannot wait while his son is lost. Grehlia also pressures the heroes to bring her to the planes as they promised.  The heroes plane shift to the Plane of Principality in Elysium where Grehlia furiously leaves the group.  The heroes then practice good deeds along the way, spending the day helping those in need.  Kenli begins to consider his immortal soul and what may happen to it when he passes to the next world.  He also considers where his father might go if he cannot rescue him in time.

The heroes then reach Sigil and immediately head to the Great Bazaar to sell many items and stock up on the best healing and protective devices they can afford.  They then plane shift into Occipitus with the Abyss, finding themselves on the edge of the plane near the impossibly tall mountains.  The burning plasma from the central skull swirl behind them closing the blackened sky in a dome of the reddish glow.  The heroes head out towards the central skull, spending most of the day trekking across the flesh-like surface of Occipitus.  Before long, the heroes are assaulted by a pack of powerful demons.  The heroes rush to defend themselves from the two glabrezu and nalfeshnee demons.  They are able to dispatch them rather quickly and continue on their way.  

It is late in the presumed night as the heroes reach the town of Fara.  They find the town deserted and askew, finding no signs of the townsfolk.  Kenli searches the area and finds fresh humanoid tracks.  The heroes are then accosted by powerful ghouls.  With some quick fighting, the heroes are able to fell the ghouls, finding their faces to be those of the former townsfolk.  The heroes mourn the passing of the townsfolk as they search the town for clues.  They eventually discern that a pack of demons invaded the town and felled the angels who protected it.  Then a large demon corrupted the souls of the humans in the town, which became the ghouls the heroes just encountered.  Kianya points out that it is likely that the demon that created the ghouls is a nabasu demon, since few such demons have that corrupting power.

The heroes then teleport towards the central skull near the tunnel entrance they used the last time to gain entry.  They find the entryway blocked by three seraptis demons.  The four-armed, bleeding demons wield dangerous serrated scimitars.  The heroes engage in combat, but find the demon’ depressive gaze gives them a loss of hope and some suicidal thoughts.  The heroes continue to fight back and try to take out the demons blocking their way.


The heroes strike at the final seraptis demon and fell it.  They then climb up the spiral corridor into the central skull of Occipitus. They enter the main throne room and find a large marilith demon sitting upon the gigantic stone throne of the former demon-lord.  She tells them the others cannot pass, but allows Kenli to head up the stairway and face his fate.  Mort, however, refuses to let Kenli face the nabasu demon alone and strides after him.  The marilith demon then leaps off the throne and attacks them.  The heroes send all they have at the six-armed demon, felling her before she can injury them greatly.  Kenli then races up the stairs, eager to put an end to the nabasu demon and find his lost father.

When they reach the top of the stairs, Kenli sees the nabasu demon flying high beside the burning pyre of plasma. Nasha’ratha seems to have gained in size and strength from gorging on mortal souls in Enelis.  Kenli doesn’t hesitate, releasing a volley of arrows at the monster.  The demon’s new, thicker hide, however, seems hard to penetrate.  The others reach the top of the stairs just as Kenli realizes the demon is holding young Dayvan in its curled hand.  The child is silent and unmoving.  The nabasu demon casually tosses the baby into the burning pyre, saying it has served its purpose in getting Kenli to face him.  Dayvorus goes into a maddening rage, transforming himself into a huge brass-scaled dragon.  Wauldmur and Grimsli charge into the air and cut at the demon while Kenli fires arrows from below.  Mort tries to help his allies. Kianya does her best to blast it with holy magic.  The demon then touches Grimsli with a powerful spell that sends the dwarf back to Enelis in an instant.  He then fires disintegration rays upon Wauldmur, who narrowly avoids them. The heroes continue to cut away at the large demon. Then Kenli hears encouraging words in his father;’s voice, as a whisper in his ear. He aims and takes a final shot that pierces the nabasu demons chest, sending it sprawling back into the burning, plasma pyre, burning into dust.

Dayvorus is distraught over the loss of his son and the others attempt to comfort him as Kenli finds his fathers decaying corpse in the corner.  Wauldmur helps to move the body into a dimensional bag.  The skull of Occipitus then tremors and shakes with devastating power and a blinding white light pierces their eyes.  The heroes feel their bodies disappear and their shapeless thoughts float in the void of the astral plane.  They then see the river of souls flowing past them with all the souls of the material world heading to be judged and sent to their final destination.  Kenli’s father, Haldor, says farewell and joins the stream.  Dayvorus then sees a small spirit swirl around him and leave within the stream.  He then notices that Emmaline is within the stream of souls.  The heroes follow Dayvorus’s disembodied thoughts through a nearby color pool to exit the astral plane.

The heroes find themselves in a verdant forest.  They get the feeling that many days have passed since they were on Occipitus.  Kenli sees his father, in a panther form, say a final goodbye before disappearing into the forest.  They learn they are in the Beastlands.  They plane shift back to Enelis and teleport to the Eternal Embers stronghold.  There they find that the stronghold faced a final demodand attack while they were gone, but the city is now cleared.  Emmaline was killed in the attack and Davor blames himself.  Kianya is able to revive Emmaline and Davor helps Kenli give a proper ranger funeral to his father in Loyolla.  They also learn that Grimsli is stranded in Kalavar and is seeking passage back to Kulderon.  After a few days, they heroes are ready to hunt down the Cagewrights.  They learn from Jenya that a strange madness seems to be spreading through the cityfolk and it may have to do with the demon-lord Adimarchus.  The heroes decide to deal with the Cagewrights first and seek Ramman Dresdan, the ranger, to escort them to Shatterhorn.  The ruins are an old serpentfolk ruin in the eastern jungles and the place Grehlia told them the Cagewrights would flee to.  So they prepare to head into the jungles and face the evil cult one final time.


The heroes head out to the town of Hollowsky as Ramman describes the beauty of the shatterhorn ruins to them.  Suddenly, Grimsli and Celeste appear, having been sent to aid in their quest.  Grimsli is glad to rejoin the group and Celeste thanks them again for their service against the Cagewrights.  The heroes then decide to teleport to the ruin instead, leaving Ramman behind in safety.  They immediately appear in the humid jungles outside the tall, stone spire.  The spire is broken into three pieces that lean against each other high into the air above the dense fog that permeates the jungle.  

Kenli and Mort sneak ahead through the thick fog looking for an entrance into the ruined stronghold built around the spire stones.  As they are sneaking, two angry will’o’wisps suddenly appear and strike at them.  They also see a patrol of orcs on spider-eaters fly past.  The other heroes see these events by virtue of the magical eyeglass Mort wears.  So they come rushing down to help the other heroes and a great battle takes place outside the stronghold.  As the heroes deal with the will’o’wisps and orcs, two dire wolves come charging out of the stronghold and the lumbering steps of a giant can be heard behind them.  The heroes take out the other foes and come into the stronghold where Mort is waylaid by the giant.  The heroes all charge at the giant as Kianya pulls Mort back to his feet.  They take out the giant and explore the ruins.

The don’t find anything of major interest in the old serpentfolk ruins, but they do find an illusory wall within the stone spire itself that has a spiraling ramp down beneath the earth. The heroes head down into the darkness, finding themselves in an ancient serpentfolk crypt with a large snake-like altar.  They are immediately are attacked by a serpentfolk sorcerer and an undead mohrg.  Wauldmur leaps at the sorcerer and cuts him apart with ease as the others take out the skeletal mohrg.  They decide to destroy the altar in the center of the room, since it seems quite evil and malignant. The heroes then explore more of the ruins.

They then face off against four medusas that leap out of false pillars, but quickly make short work of them.  Mort then clears the way around two deadly pit traps.  The heroes then find hallways filled with the buried remains of serpentfolk priests and warriors.  The heroes then head into a larger chamber where they are accosted by a powerful blackguard. However, Grimsli summons the might of Solarus and cleaves off the blackguard’s head before anything else can be done.  They learn that the blackguard was a member of the Cagewrights, confirming that they are on the right track. The heroes then find a secret passage that takes them down to a treasury.  They loot the treasury after Mort clears away the deadly traps.  The heroes then continue exploring the ruins…


The heroes continue exploring the ancient serpentfolk ruins, looking for more Cagewrights. In a nearby chamber, they find the bedroom of the recently felled blackguard.  He had numerous pots filled with the removed hearts of his enemies.  They also find a few magical weapons in the blackguard’s chest, some wrapped in human skin.  The heroes then explore another room that contains a trickling fountain covered in serpentine motifs.  Dayvorus notices the faintest tinge of magic and discovers that a portal to an extra-dimensional space is hidden over the fountain.  The heroes prepare for combat as Dayvorus dispels the portal.  A gnome wizard and two chaotic death slaad emerge from the the extra-dimensional space.  The heroes make short work of the wizard, but as they fight against the death slaad, two half-orc warriors emerge from illusory pillars.  They seem to have been converted into subservient iron golems.  The heroes manage to defeat their enemies and heal their wounds before continuing.

The heroes come across a few more broken chambers covered in serpentfolk murals.  Then they enter a huge chamber with a giant obsidian egg covered in golden runes.  Dayvorus recognizes extremely powerful magic emanating from the egg. Before they can head down the stairs towards the artifact, they are attacked by two elves and two demodands.  The elves fire arrows and bolts at their enemies as the demodands try to hold them off at the stair.  Mort flies around the room as a shadow and slices at both the elves as Wauldmur jumps into the fray, felling one of them.  The other elf is taken out as Grimsli and the others deal with the demodands.  After the enemies have fallen, the heroes explore the egg.  It appears to hold powerful spells within it and the heroes are able to empower themselves with its magic before continuing.

The heroes then head down a hidden elevator shaft, with Mort, Kenli, and Grimsli heading down first.  They come across a small chamber where a powerful six-armed alien seemed to be performing a ritual upon the unconscious body of Embril Aloustinai. They recognize the alien as a spell-weaver like those at Kurran-Kurral.  Mort and Grimsli charge in, but find themselves beset by shadows, sapping at their strength.  The other three manage to head down the elevator and join the fight, but are quite confused by what is going on.  The spell-weaver seems to be an illusion, until Wauldmur discovers the real alien hiding in the corner.  Suddenly, Kianya sprints across the room, picks up Embril’s unconscious body, and plane-shifts away.  Dayvorus then recognizes the black sapphire that was on Embril’s neck as a component to a soul-trapping spell.  He believes that Embril overtook Kianya’s body and trapped Kianya’s soul in the gem.

The heroes make truce with the spell-weaver, who seems to have unwillingly been re-awoken by Embril.  Together, they all defeat the shadows.  The spell-weaver explains that Embril has gone mad and believed she could exchange one of their souls to her dark god to get Adimarchus released from the prison plane, Carceri.  The spell-weaver thinks that some strange madness is sweeping across Enelis and that the heroes should return to Kulderon.  So the heroes teleport back to Kulderon, knowing that Embril is the final member of the Cagewrights remaining.  In the city, on the street outside the Dancing Dragon, they find a giant beholder terrorizing the city.  They recognize it as Vhalantru, except he is much larger and his large central eye is smoking…


The heoes leap into action, flying into the air to fight the giant beholder beast.  Vhalantru throws rays of fire and destruction around him, destroying buildings and setting fires.  Wauldmur and Grimsli face the beholder head on in the air while Kenli and Dayvorus throw attacks from afar.  Mort sneaks in for quick attacks from the shadows.  The beholder nearly kills Wauldmur but the others are able to fell the monster before it can cause much destruction.  Dayvorus then pulls the fires away from the buildings until they go out.  The heroes then teleport to their stronghold to rest and recuperate.  While they eat their dinner, the angel Nidrama greets them.  She tells them that the time has come for them to fulfill their duty to the deities of good. They must travel to Carceri and find the hidden prison of Skullrot, then release and destroy the demon-lord of Madness, Adimarchus.  The demon-lord’s madness is spreading to Enelis and will likely overtake everyone in time. It is what allowed Vhalantru to be resurrected in Occipitus.

The heroes rest and plane shift to Elysium, then teleport to the portal to Sigil.  They then head to the Great Bazaar to sell and buy items for their quest to slay the demon-lord.  The heroes then plane shift to Orthys, the first layer of Carceri.  They find themselves in a great endless bog of dead corpses and fetid waters.  Nasty insects bother them at every moment, taking large bites of their skin.  Only craggy mountains can be seen rising up from the bogs with no flat land between the two terrains.  The heroes teleport to the tower of Harrowfell where they expect to learn the direction to Skullrot.  They meet a powerful marilith demon with a smoking eye.  She was once Adimarchus’s general before the demon lord was tricked by Graz’zt to seek redemption.  Now she explains that Adimarchus’s armies are lost and the demon-lord is trapped in Skullrot, stewing in his endless madness.  She tells the heroes how to find the ancient prison.

The heroes teleport to the bog outside of Skullrot, then teleport to the entrance gate to avoid a giant thunder beast behemoth blocking their way.  The heroes find the tall spire composed of fiendish bones with many cages of prisoners hanging off the tall spikes.  The heroes enter the large iron doors and face off against a number of demodand guards.  The heroes quickly fell the beasts, though Wauldmur is nearly killed.  The heroes then find the massive prison is filled with the howls of insane criminals.  Many of which are fiends, fallen angels, slaad, and demodand traitors.  As they reach the higher levels, they find insane criminal humanoids imprisoned there.  At one cell, they find Embril Aloustinai trapped within the cell, howling madly.  The black sapphire containing Kianya’s soul is no longer around her neck…


The heroes argue with Embril Aloustinai, who seems completely mad in her prison.  They learn that a dark creature waits for them at the top of the tower.  The heroes then cast many powerful enchantments upon themselves before climbing to the top of the tower.  There they find Dark Myrakul, Graz’zt’s powerful servant who has watched over Adimarchus.  The demon-prince of madness sits in the cage, appearing no more than a helpless fallen angel, sobbing quietly.  The heroes leap into action striking at Dark Myrakul and his demonflesh golem.  The heroes make short work of the lichfiend and Mort retrieves the black sapphire necklace containing Kianya’s soul.

The heroes then examine the cage holding Adimarchus.  It looks quite similar to the design the Cagewrights used for the soulcages.  When Wauldmur views the cage with his smoking eye, he sees it as weak and fragile, while the others see it as nearly impenetrable.  Dayvorus then understands the cage had to be given a weakness, an escape, to make the magic work.  The heroes then gather at the bottom of the tower as Wauldmur releases the winch holding the cage.  It plummets to the bottom of the tower and explodes into many pieces.  Adimarchus bursts forth from the cage, donning a more demon-like form.  The heroes engage in combat with the demon-prince, hoping to put an end to his evil and madness for good.  The battle is fierce and both Grimsli and Wauldmur are nearly killed.  But in the end, the Eternal Embers prevail and Adimarchus’s body disappears as he falls.  The heroes quickly plane-shift to Occipitus and teleport to the center.  Inside if the giant skull, they find a rocky hill with the throne of Adimarchus upon it.  The demon-prince’s unconscious form at its base.  Wauldmur strides over and beheads the demon-prince and sits upon the throne.

Occipitus ripples and stretches and takes on a whole new landscape.  It is now surrounded by thick forests similar to those of Kalrua that Wauldmur played in as a child. Then a ring of grasslands more like the plains he traveled to in his mercenary years.  Then in the center is a wide basin, much like the natural caldera of Kulderon, where his throne sits in the center upon a rocky knoll.  Nidrama, the angel, visit the heroes then, asking what they will now do that they have defeated evil.  Will they keep the divine spark and become immortal servitors of good, or give up the divine spark and become mortals once more upon Enelis.  For some it is a hard choice, but eventually they each make it.  The each say their farewells and the group known as the Eternal Embers are no more.


Wauldmur – The Kalruan soldier and blacksmith known as Wauldmur became the ruler of Occipitus.  He embraced the divine spark and became an angelic being trying to hold this fortress of goodness surrounded by the evil seas of the Abyss.  He commanded his armies of volunteer angels and petitioners in a constant struggle against the demon-princes who would claim Occipitus as their own.  The former soldier become locked in an endless battle for the virtue of good.  When not defending the realm, he can be seen flying over the landscape of Occipitus in the form of a large white dragon.

Kenli – The fabled archer named Kenli embraced the divine spark and became a powerful angelic figure.  He gathered bands of guardinals (or agathions) from the beastlands to aid in the defense of Occippitus.  He and Wauldmur enjoy the constant battle and warfare.  Kenli served as the primary scout with his band of beast-like guardinals at his command. He would often be sent out to take out powerful demons with surprise attacks, hunting them much like he had when he was a mortal.  He was also known to sometimes take the form of a large golden dragon, tearing enemies apart in a frenzy vengeance..

Dayvorus – The powerful wizard known as Dayvorus was the most conflicted on his choice.  He did not want to leave Emmaline behind.  He was conflicted between having a family and seeking his own immortality.  He reluctantly chose to keep the divine spark, becoming a somewhat contentious angelic being.  He sent a letter to Emmaline, explaining his choice to her, hoping they would meet again when she passed on.  The wizard spent much time expanding his own personal demiplane and learning more secrets of the multiverse.  However, he could always be counted on to suddenly appear in Occipitus to aid the battle when things were going awry.  He became Wauldmur’s foremost adviser in the celestial realm, always providing broader insights into the struggle to reclaim the plane’s rightful place among the upper celestial realms.

Grimsli – The paladin known as Grimsli returned to Kulderon, giving up the divine spark.  He knew there was a quest he had to fulfill.  Ever since the death of Nabtathoron, Grimsli knew that the demons would gather under a new leader and it would only be a matter of time before Kulderon and Redgorge would be under siege again.  He decided that he would put an end the the threat of the Demonscar once and for all.  He spent a few months gathering as many warriors and paladins to join him as he expanded his inn.  Ironspeech became one of the largest inns in the new Kulderon.  Then Grimsli and Oswyn gathered their armies and marched headlong into the Demonscar.  The battles were long and arduous, taking days.  Eventually Grimsli faced one-on-one with the new demonic leader.  He managed to fell the demon, but had died of his own vile wounds.  Oswyn assumed command of the Southern Contingent of the Knights of the Silver Dragon and built an elaborate crypt to honor Grimsli under the Eternal Embers Stronghold.  Oswyn assumed Grimsli’s place on the city council.  Grimsli joined his ancestors in the heavenly halls of dwarves, living in eternal happiness.

Mort – The young man named Mort also gave up the divine spark and returned to Kulderon.  He and Kianya were immediately wed.  Mort sold off his businesses and the two headed to Arathkelsara where Kianya took over leadership of the Sisters of Sol in their constant struggle against the Cult of Nalit.  Mort served as the groups spy and assassin, as he was ever adept at taking out his enemies unawares.  The Cult of Nalit lost much power and the fear of the “Shadow of Sol” became a whisper on the tongues of many with evil in their hearts.  For the common folk of Arathkelsara, the “Shadow of Sol” became a mythical creature, a shadow that protected the honorable and disposed of the wicked.  Mort and Kianya had many children and eventually the “Shadow of Sol” fell into legend.

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