Sevænus AG

To Venture Once More
The tropics, hot and sticky.

Returning home, the party learns that Lord Blackwall is responding well, and the cure they helped retrieve is working. Meanwhile, they are trying to find a reason for the assassins. In other matters, the retrieval of the goblet is a good sign. The next item required is the “pure jewel”, but no one seems to know what that means, perhaps a precious stone of some kind. The clues of “jungle” and “sea azure” seem to refer to the wilds on a peninsula to the southeast, the natives there frequently refer to the great water as the Azure Sea.

Traveling southeast for almost two weeks, the party draws the ire of a clan of Girallon (four-armed white gorilla creaturtes) by accidentally wandering into their territory while traveling through the warm jungles. A battle near a small jungle waterfall with 3 Large and one Huge left the Girallon dead and the party injured.

Deep in the jungle the party finds a large temple surrounded by a large wall. As they try to pass through he gate, a trap is sprung closing the doors and gates to the gateway. Other doors open revealing the 2 Gorgon guardians. A lengthy battle follows, and luckily no one was petrified permanently.

After climbing over the wall, they have to cross a large open area of dusty, sandy dirt scattered with large stones before another wall well over 100 feet away. Trying to move through this area, the rocks start to move, a couple rise to stand on short solid legs appearing to be living boulders, the others unfurl large bat-like wings with the appearance of rough stone. Once again combat ensues leaving 2 Galeb Duhr and 5 Gargoyles dead. The party retreats for some much needing healing.

Near the center of the village a large ceremony is taking place and everyone seems to be in attendance. As they approach the party sees the crown of snake-like people who are watching several reptilian creatures in armor and/or clerical vestments. They seem to be in the middle of some kind of ritual. At the top of a pyramid like structure can also be seen what appears to be a small girl with dark hair. They seem to be angry with and a little afraid of her, although she looks to be rather complacent.

They get fairly close using a stealthy approach, but they are eventually spotted. The majority of the creatures flee to elsewhere in the village taking cover and hiding; however, the guards and priests attack. They party amazing survives a large battle with 12 Pureblood Yuan-Ti, 2 Halfblood Yuan-Ti, and 1 Yuan-Ti Abomination, but still suffers significant damage, including Dagen and Lorien being poisoned and taking some CON damage.

Through all this the young girl has remained at the top of the temple and waits patiently until the party approaches her. With some halting unsteady speech she explains that she is the “Jewel of Purity”. Her name is Taeriss and she had recently been talking in tongues (when she also recited the Song of the Shadow). The village also determined her to be of an unacceptable moral fiber and she was to be sacrificed. She was not concerned, for one of the visions she had seen was of the party rescuing her and taking her with them, as she is also a part of the prophecy.

A search of the temple finds a treasure store that the party takes with them.

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The Journey Continues
Survival is under-rated.

After a relatively uneventful trip home, the party takes some time to rest and train again. Lord Blackwall is still not doing well, and Marda is not sure how much longer she can hold off the poison. They have not identified it, but have determined that the poison is magical in nature and is actively fighting against their efforts to cure it. Research indicated that a magical plant found in caves near a lake to the south may help. It is unsure how, so they need as much as possible of a full plant.

Travelling south, the party starts looking for caves. Once they find a promising location, they venture inside. The first foray into the cave the encounter a band of grimlocks and a black pudding. After the first hit on the black pudding, they quickly learned that edged weapons are a bad idea, as it splits into two different puddings. After defeating the grimlocks and pudding, moving further into the cave they find a pair of carrion crawlers and what appears to be a beautiful woman. Because of her behavior, the group retreats for a time before returning. They end up fighting two of the creatures, which are actually intelligent magical plants. Upon defeating one, they take the body/plant and withdraw.

With the return of the party and the poison from which an antidote can be diluted, the group trains again. Time, however, is running short, as the prophecy has been related to an upcoming astrological event. Kel’Mazod has determined the location of D’Hadra. It is an isolated village in a remote valley north near several very large lakes, and the party needs to head there as quickly as possible.

The party gears up and sets out to the northeast as directed. After running out of road going in the direction they needed, the group ventured overland. Along the way, in the forested wilds, they were attacked by 3 ettin. After a small skirmish, two ettin were down and the other ran away.

Eventually they came to a rough, steep mountain range. After a bit of searching they eventually found a rough pass to get through. Beyond was what appeared to be a peaceful valley with a good sized town in the middle of it. They proceeded to the town, where the were looked at very strangely but no one accosted them. They noticed that the town appeared to be almost entirely human and nobody other than themselves was armed. Later the did see some city guard that were armed. They made their way to the Meister’s house and explained what they were doing there. They were informed that no one there knew anything of a temple other than the few in town which they doubted had anything to do with their quest and certainly didn’t have any ancient relics in them. After dinner at the Meister’s house, they were given the use of a large house on the city square to get some rest with palns to meet with the town Elder’s the next day.

However, overnight there was quite a commotion when some Babau demons were attacking towns people in the square. The group readied and rushed out to help, which probably saved several townsfolk as the demons reacted to a new and greater threat. The group was having some limited success, but seemed to be losing ground as more of the demons made their way toward the party. But before things could get out of hand completely, a horn sounded in the distance and the demons started to flee and teleport away.

The next morning it was be learned that a girl and her mother were missing. Investigation revealed a trail that led up into the mountains, eventually ending on a narrow mountain path/ledge. This path led right to the front of a temple built into the cliff face. There the mother was be found poisoned, beaten and crying softly. She lived just long enough to indicate that her daughter had been taken inside.

As they enter the temple, they learned it was much larger than in appeared from outside. The went down some stairs and out the back. The first part of the temple was built into the walls of some kind of pit or volcanic vent with access bridges crossing from side to side. There they were attacked by 2 Rast and a dozen Githzerai, several with bows. After surviving the battle, they found a location on the middle bridge where some kind of sacrificial rite had been performed and the girl had been killed.

With renowned vigor from righteous wrath they moved forward to find some sort of planar gate. A quite foray revealed that it was exceedingly and uncomfortably hot beyond the gate. Using the Tembral Shard they pierced an illusion to be aware of 20 Githzerai and 2 Scorpionfolk waiting to ambush them. They stepped back through the portal where they healed and rested, then they prepared some and moved into the portal ready for combat.

This time there were 20 Githzerai and 4 Scorpionfolk. Fortunately, 2 of the Scorpionfolk turned out to be illusions. After a short battle, the group was once again victorious, and proceeded forward to the large Temple that looked a lot like a Shinto shrine. Moving to the upper level, they investigated a statue there and found an old crusty goblet in its hand. Breaking away the crust, revealed a orange-ish crystal goblet. It also revealed a secret passage down inside the shrine. Moving carefully into the shrine, they inched forward until they found an ornate locked door. Thunk got a little excited and tried to force the door triggering a trap. With few people aware or ready, they took some pretty good damage from a Cone of Cold spell.

Attempting for the better part of valor, they decided to cut their losses and leave. However, when they exited the shrine and started for the gate, they noticed several Salamanders, including a very large one, guarding the access to the portal. A large battle commenced, and things were NOT looking good for our heroes. Thunk and Lorien both went down, and everyone else was hurting pretty good. They did manage to take out the Salamanders only to find that the crystal goblet they had found disappeared when they passed through the portal.

So, after a trip back inside the Temple, they managed to get past the door and find the treasure room. They scooped up all the goodies, including a less fancy orange-ish crystal goblet, and left verifying that this goblet would remain when passing through the portal.

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More Than Meets the Eye
A Prophecy *and* Assassins

After returning home, the party takes some much needed time to rest and train. During a celebratory banquet, there was an assassination attempt on the royal family. Four Vadashek assassins rudely disturbed the festivities. The attempt left several guards dead, one of the assassins dead, and Lord Blackwall incapacitated from poison. Marda heals him to a point, but says she has only slowed it down. The assassins are identified as members of the Vadashek assassin clan.

Following directions based on research by Kel’Mazod, the group travels south toward “Tembral”. Along the way, they encounter and kill 5 bugbears.

In the southern swamps, they come to the small village of Lin’stoar. Overheard rumors lead to the mayor’s house where a large charred hole has been ripped in the wall. Apparently, the mayor’s daughter has been kidnapped by ogres. Detect Magic shows faint traces of Illusion & Evocation magic. An inspection of the tracks indicates that the creatures that took the girl were not ogres and they headed off into the swamp.

The villagers say that part of the swamp is a very bad place. A witch-woman named Crazy Hattie used to live there. Supposedly she died, but the strange happenings did not stop.

Following the tracks into the swamp leads to a small house. Inside the house, a secret passage is found down to a large underground temple. Inside is a great quantity of undead creatures. It takes three ventures into the temple to finally destroy all the undead, 20 small zombies, 16 medium zombies, 2 large zombies, 10 medium skeletons, 2 large skeletons, 12 ghouls, 2 wights, a shadow, and a vampire spawn. The mayor’s daughter had been sacrificed in a gruesome way. Parts were taken to return to the family for identification. Among the treasure, they find a small wooden box containing a purple crystal.

On the way back to town, they come upon an overturned cart with an old man and an injured old woman. The group is very suspicious and approaches cautiously. But, when they cast a Detect Magic spell, the area is enveloped in a magical fog. A battle ensues against 2 annis hags and a green hag. The 2 annis hags are killed, but the green hag escapes.

However, after all the battles, the group is a bit worse for the wear. Several of them were energy drained and suffering from a negative level. And, Dagen had been Cursed by one of the hags.

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And So, It Begins.
A Prophecy of ill omen

After a relatively uneventful trip home, the party again takes some time to train and rest. During some discussion and research into the found items (a medallion with the name “Roland Darksbane” and a Holy Symbol for the god Tolmet, a symbol that Dagen recognizes from the scene of his parents deaths), the group decides to talk to Marda. Janella takes the medallian, as Roland Darksbane happens to be her father’s name.

At the keep, after the coversation with Marda, the group is informed that there has been some information indicating that they are all tied to the mirror somehow. They gathering with several others in a room with the mirror. When Lorien Blackwall joins them, suddenly the mirror flashes and several persons (Dagen, Finn, Janella, Lorien, Thunk, Wollytonks, and Zo) see a series of images that they all translate the same into a Prophecy, the Song of the Shadow. Five gems have appeared on the frame of the mirror; a moonstone in the top center, a pearl in the upper right, a jacinth in the upper left, an amethyst in the lower right, and an emerald in the lower left.

Some discussion yields that the Endroc Empire was an island nation off the coast to the southeast, long since gone but there are some ruins, Tembral is unknown by anyone, and D’Hadra was somewhere up north.

Based on this data and the feel that time is important, they travel overland to the coast, hire a boat and explore the islands of the former Endroc Empire. They find an island chain with an old fortress and a small chapel. Inside the chapel they find evidence of a sacrifice and encounter some Imps, Howlers, and Durzagon. After a short battle, the surviving enemies appear to teleport out.

Further exploration leads to the far end of the island and the fortress ruins. Getting there proves a bit difficult travelling along rope bridges, one of which is broken. The fortress is in ruin, but still relatively in tact. Several forays into the fortress involving combat with many Kuo-Toa, a Sea Hag, and a couple of Chuul, result in victory and treasure, but no artifact. A locked room in the basement is broken into, where they find a chest. Inside there is some treasure including a green crystalline knife with a leather wrapped handle.

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Something is Up...
A ship in the desert, what could go wrong?

The party takes some time to rest, heal, and train. After this brief respite, they are summoned once again by Lord Blackwall. As they are escorted into the main hall, they notice very few courtesans in the hall. This appears to not be a social call. Along side Lord Blackwall are a thin white-haired advisor,Kel’Mazod; Tharssen; a tattooed woman with flowing robes and a white blindfold, and a dark figure hidden by the cowl of his cloak.

The woman is Marda, Prelate of the Enlightened Savants of Thoth, also known as “Sisters of the Light”. She has a missing compatriot that was tasked with the retrieval of an artifact. The missing Sister was sent with a small retinue quite some time ago and is more than two weeks overdue to return. The man in the cloak is her protector, Pactra. She will explain that with the recommendation of Tharssen and Lord Blackwall, the Enlightened Savants of Thoth would like to hire the party to escort her and assist in the retrieval and return of both the compatriot and the artifact. Marda has a special link that allows her to know if the other Sister, Lythea, is still alive and in what general direction. Pactra’s only duty on this expedition is to maintain the welfare of Marda, for which she assures you that he is more than up to the task.

After some preparation, the group sets out to the Southwest, following Marda’s “link”. After 9 days, Zo finds some tracks and while following them, the party finds the ruins on an ancient ship in a small box canyon. Some investigation reveals that there are some undead creatures on the ship. What starts out as a small battle, quickly grows into a fight for dear life. With some timely intervention by Marda and Pactra, the battle is won. A lot of damage was taken, and Zo was drained a level, but Marda is able to set that right the next day.

Continuing to follow the “link”, they now travel more westward. After another 6 days, while finding some tracks intermittantly, they eventually come to a more rocky mountainous terrain. Encountering a patrol of 3 rat-men creatures, a small battle follows and the rat-men are dead.

Another couple days west, and Marda says the direction now has a feel of “down” as well as west. Some looking around shows that there are several opening that could possibly be caves. Several are no very deep. But they find one that obviously goes deeper. Exploration shows that this is not the right cave as it is the home of a 6-headed Hydra. Oops!! A large battle leaves a dead Hydra.

During further searching, some more rat-men are seen entering a cave. An attempt at stealth fails, and the guard runs into the cave, only to return with reinforcements, 5 more rat-men. Entering the cave, they venture forth with little resistance, only to find a very large cave filled with Rat-men. Up on a stone structure are a large mirror and a captive Lythea. Marda expalins that the mirror is what we are here for and it should not be broken. All hell breaks loose and with some vital assistance from Marda and Pactra, they day is won, Lythea rescued, and the mirror captured.

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Getting Established
A girl, a cult, a quest, oh my...

After travelling to the town of Harriston, they are talking to the mayor trying to deduce the whereabouts of the marauders, when they are attacked by a group of orcs, gnolls, and dueregar. Fighting them off, they manage to capture one and extract some information as to where to find the marauders. (In some ruins to the southeast.) The captive girls are being sold but they are handed off by the leaders and he doesn’t know the details.

Following the directions, the party ventures into the woods. They manage to dodge some patrols but find the ruins of a church/monastery where they encounter 3 ogres. After some healing, the group follows tracks to the east which contain small human like prints. One night is interrupted as the camp is attacked by giant ants.

Further exploration reveals an area of darkness in a large clearing. Recon shows there to be an iron fence inside the gloom. The gate is located and they dare to move into the darkness. Inside they find a cemetery, several ghouls, and an old church marked with the symbol of Tolmet.

The first sojourn into the church they find two Bloodhulks. On the second foray they first encounter a gnome eamining the gates and darkness. After a brief discussion, they find their mission compatible and decide to join forces, enter Wolly Tonklis. This time in they find a Bloodhulk Giant and an evil cleric in a darkness spell. After a lengthy battle in which several persons are severely wounded, the bad guys are downed and several girls are rescued from on and around the altar. Unfortunately, one of the girls is dead.

Leaving the evil church, it is decided that the best course is to get to civilization as soon as possible. Wolly says that there is a small town of Jersen to the northeast, so that is the way the head. While avoiding more patrols, the party unfortunately encounters 3 giant spiders. The spiders are killed, but not before Thunk is knocked unconscious. From Jersen, they take the road back to Harriston, where they return the dead girl, Sasibel, to her family, and eventually on to Khanssa. One of the girls is Lorien, the daughter of Lord Blackwall. The other two girls, Reatha and Stacy, are healed further and returned to their families.

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Our Story Begins...
One small action can cause a cataclysmic response.

The party was drawn together when they were all within reasonable proximity of a small rural farmhouse that had come under attack by marauding monsters. After defeating several goblins, orcs, and an ogre, they introduced themselves and accepted the hospitality of the farmer (plus anything the creatures were carrying) for reward.

The next morning it was decided that they should travel to the local Lord to report the marauders, so off they went. On the way they had to “remove” several bugbears who had taken over a bridge and were charging a steep toll for the use of the bridge. This was another incident deemed worthy of reporting to the Lord.

After arriving in the free city of Khanssa, they found lodging in the “13 Drakes Inn” and tried to go see the Lord, but were not admitted to see him. As they moved around town, they seemed to attract a lot of attention. Apparently, word of their exploits had reached town. When they returned to the 13 Drakes, they found a note requesting their services.

The note directed them to talk to the proprieter of the 13 Drakes, a man named Tulley. He had previously been an adventurer himself, and one of his companions, a magic-user named Tharssen, was looking for someone to travel west to the dangerous Westmons mountains to retrieve some rare herbs and plants.

The group spoke to Tharssen and accepted the assignment travelling 10 days west to the mountains. After a brief encounter with an Ettin, they started looking for and rounding up the requested vegetation. Luck smiled upon them as they found a rare tendriculous plant as well as a cave with several types of sentient fungus, including a phantom fungus. Loaded down, they returned home another 15 days later. While it was a long time and somewhat difficult, the payday made it all worthwhile.

They took some time to train and improve their skills, shortly after which they received a summons to Blackwall Keep to meet with the Lord. They suffered through some minor formalities of court and finally got to the discussions with Lord Blackwall. He questioned them a bit about their previous exploits versus the monstrous humanoids and their journey west. Tulley and Tharssen then came in and confirmed what they knew of the group’s prowess. Lord Blackwall then explained that his daughter had gone on a trip to visit family prior to the monstrous attacks escalating and had disappeared while travelling. Believing it to be a similar abduction as to those by the monsters, he requests that the group track down the marauding monsters and bring back his daughter and any other captives.

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