Mythra

Down Below

Discovered the ruins of the old city beneath Winecrest- Sanctuary

Dandrabar’s Wonderworks: Construct shop * iron skeleton

  • Glass armoir of clocks = Well of Worlds – 12 portals and 7 gold rings which acted as keys- places known: Hell?, Mechanus?( pcs kept the 7 rings ,but left everything else in place)
  • Dandrabar’s workbook and the magical compass- ensorcelled to protect the place from evil…Firo figured the effect made the place invisible to evil creatures…

Found the fortified mansion of Lord Mayor Sila Frost- weird undead nutcase…but was friends with a 1-armed wizard named Tanatalus….pcs figured( correctly) that it was Artemis Drake( treachery afoot).

Discovered the Hall of the Sons of Vanshar – faced traps and spell-stitched otyugh…then finally ran into Jarandrael….used Nimbles as a blocking tackle and Jacob slung the magic of the ring of the Valiant Guard to expel the Grimorden possessing him…unfortunately, the elven runeblade died.

Exploring further fought some summoned devil and a runehound then made their way into the Black Sphere…a holy place that seemed to be dedicated to Vanshar and 7 other dieties lost to antiquity…the Council of Midnight. Within they were met by Tantalus- one armed and one tentacled wizard and a creepy looking magical rift in the center of the temple. He offered to let them live if they but gave him the book of the Aberrant Lords…they of course refused and were quickly engaged in a tense fight for their lives…he threw many spells ,but crafty Nimbles saved the day with timely magical missiles of force which finally overcame the powerful mage. He was unhooded…it was Drake ,but unfortunately his skin began to bubble and melt away as if made of wax….a clone relayed through Firo’s knowledge of magic…Damryn discovered two texts in a hidden compartment in the altar- one a journal of sorts of the leader of the Sons of Vanshar and the other another un-readable text written in glowing golden text…unearthly in texture and sight.

Damryn discovered that his beloved Church had not always been so narrowly structured and in fact Vanshar had originally been believed to not only be one of 8 powerful creator entities ,but also of a dual nature having both a lawful/justice oriented side and a wonderlust/freedom aspect called the Wonderbringer.

Following some info on the location of a library in Sanctuary the group came upon a great unmarred and completely barren looking two-story building. After trying to break through its defenses they were greeted by two magi: Naran- dark skinned male unhappy in the extreme to be bothered and Cindra Kahn a friendly and attractive older lady who shared a lot of info with the group. The Magi were trying to find a way to heal the World Wall that had been damaged by none other than Artemis Drake when he was an apparentice in Starcrest, and she offered to aid the pcs in the future if she could….she also interpreted the language of the new dark tome they had found in the Black Sphere to be written in Great-Speech…supposedly the language from which current day Celestial is from…supposedly a language strictly for divine creatures….the antithesis of DarkSpeech( spoken only by great evil demon gods and their ilk). The pcs were not allowed to explore the library as it was claimed by the Magi , and they were advised not to be so ‘forceful’ on the door if they came back to visit someday.

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An Aboleth? That Doesn't Make Any Sense.
friends in low places

PCs returned triumphantly through the streets of Haskenport and were rewarded with small gifts and the town’s thanks. The mayor asked for help serving her rogue hubby with divroce papers ,but Kethra refused. Besides bad weather, the Gray Gull made it into Winecrest harobr before the poop hitting the fan.

The ship was stopped some 2-300 yards from the docks by the tentacles of a large sea creature(aboleht) and his fish-liek minions( kuo-toans) boarded and engaged in an attempted slaughter. The fight was fast and furious and the aboleth kept attempting to dominate Sir Damryn’s mind to get him to toss the book out into the briny depths. His faith and mental fortitude was too great and after the destructions of his shell encrusted minions the fell beast slinked away to the ocean depths vowing to return soon to get the book.

The city council was deeply embroiled with the Rainlands Consulate due to a recent murder of Etien Aubrecht, the representative of the magical academy of Redhurst which shortly thereafter left the city. Also, Clea Pentalldrin was with the wizard when the elf attacked and if not for a man named Master Zacharus would have surely been deflowered and likely killed. The council led by the Empirial Advisor,Captain Lance Daerdran , the mayor,Ephrom Malconen, and Kethra’s father,Elias Stonebridge, wanted the culprit, an elven attache of the diplomat Shivara Dawnflower to be handed over to the city for punishment. The elf leader refused and a tense ‘stand-off” of sorts ensued.

The pcs were summarily brought into the conflict through fate and connections all around including: Lady Astasia( a citizen friend to the elven peoples), Master Zacharus(human mentor of Jacob and currently sworn bodyguard to the elven diplomat), and their own desire to find a way to the Rainlands with the winter season upcoming.

After all was said and done they agreed to pursue this diplomatic aid, Jarandrael, to save him from whatever has possessed him. As by sharing information, Master Zacharus and the elven diplomat and the party believe the elven warriror-assistant was possessed by one of the Grimorden. The group was warned of the high skill Jarandrael possesses and not to take him lightly.

They were given a note to meet a local rogue named Vender willing to sell a map that would supposedly lead them to the murderer. He had gone on a a killing spree of killing prominent half-elven citizens after he escaped imprisonment from the Consulate( oh yeah, unbeknownst to the leaders of Winecrest…if that were to leak out…things could get quite…well, ...ugly).

Anyhoo, they visited the wizard Artemis Drake to find a way to protect the book. He helped them figure out it was a book titled “The Tome of the Aberrant Lords” and spoke of the powers of the lords beyond the stars…in particular one called Cthuhlu. They decided it best not to leave the book with him as he admitted he would be more than tempted to peruse the tome. But he offered what help he could and off they were to make the deal with this man named Vender.

Vender was a despicable sort whose personality grated on Kethra. But with some diplomacy a deal was made and the map was obtained. The party went to the entrance to the sewers wherein lied a hidden entrance to some old parts of the city upon which Winecrest had been built. The pcs were warned that J was an elven master of runic magic and battle, a Runeblade and to watch out for runic-traps. They ran into several and they also encountered some tiny creatures called Meenlocks whose mental attacks took their toll on Kethra in particular( their assaults causing her a heightened state of paranoia causing her to have trouble focusing) before they could send them fleeing…a few in pieces. They would not be surprising this Runeblade…..

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Post Traumatic Stress
  • The pcs agreed that brother Tyran should stay on the island and helped him bury the dead, and start a signal fire for the returning Grey Gull
  • Tyran gave the pcs about 1000 gp to gather runners/delivery men to take word to Monastery of the Sanguine Soul that the Abbey needed more recruits and that there was a great evil let loose …the Shadow king and the Grimorden, and to hire some metal workers to re-forge the Trifold Gate.
  • the pcs left the next day and made it to Haskenport for the last day of a trademoot wherein they learned that a uniqyue order of Vanshar serviced this small town called the Order of the Pale Rose-who believed in blood sacrifice( animals…they claimed) and other ideas that are heretical to the main faith. Sir Damryn was not pleased .
  • The town mayor Valerie Velusco( on behalf of the high priestess of the order of the pale rose, Anna Bettencourt, offers the pcs 500 gp to investigate an old manor house ont he edge of town that a local ranger noticed had been taken over by humanoid squatters. Though Sir Damryn and priestess Bettencourt made for a tense negotiation, the deal was made.
  • The pcs explored the manor house…it was apparently willed to the church by a fairly famous ,but allegedly a bit addled paladin named Reynard Hasken( a friend and contemporary of Sir Damryn’s grandfather). The encountered a barbarian woman who claimed to be a princess from one of the far northern Frostmere Giantslayer clans. However, the pcs quickly discovered her ruse and discovered it was a familiar foe: Madriga- the hag who had killed so many children in Dunharrow some weeks back. The party made sure that her reign of terror ended that night. They severely trounced and slew her and her two lycanthropic minions.
  • Exploring the rest of the house they discovered some love letters from Reynard to a mysterious lover named M’hira who was apparently in some far off realm, world or distant plane.. They also discovered in the basement some dead fish-like men with one barely hanging on to life. The exit from the basement was through a straneg metallic blue door. Jacob followed the door and saw a large stone creature walking along the waters off the dock to a partially submerged sea cave.Unwisely he called to it and then it returned to proceed to beat the stuffing out of the group before Firo proved his value again casting a fireball on it which did not hurt the berserk Clay Golem,but did drop it underneath the dock. This gave the group the time to grab the living mer-man, named Kadre, and flee back to town.
  • Finding themselves unable to heal the mer-man, they reluctantly turned to the Church of the Lifeblood and the heretical pale rose order. Though wearing a not so subtle grin ( knowing the paladin was seeking her aid). the high priestess healed Kadre( who himself was reluctant to enter the church) through the use of some disturbingly powerful blood magic. Sure of some sort of deviltry in this order ,but unable to find any evidence, Sir Damryn reluctantly left ,but not without checking the slough behind the church for human remains. There weren’t any ,but his suscpicions remained.
  • Returning the next morning to the manor house, they discovered that the golem( apparently left by Reynard) was gone and his treasure( that the mer-men were seeking to aid themin defeating an “ice witch”) was un-guarded. Again, old Reynard seemed to be resourceful as the magic on the treasure chest summoned a bizarre creature made of ethereal “snot” [ ectoplasm]. Though the group managed to defeat it, it did some significant damage almost killing Jacob. Luckily, Nimbles magical staff healed them up and they discovered the thing kadre wanted was what they had been seeking…another artifact of the Vigilant Guard- the Wynysar Bracers. Though he wanted the bracers to protect him and his brothers from the control of the hag int eh sea cave, he was an honorable sort and asked only for some way to aid his brethren. His story and bravery touched the hearts of the group and they went with him through the underwater cave and into the icy domain of the sea hag , Thurza.
  • An intense battle was fought between the ice hag and her ogre minions. She seemed to wield great magic and was at first able to counter some of the party’s most potent spells such as Nimble’s Slowing spell. However, eventually the group defeated her and as she died she called to Kethra with a far off look in her eye…saying only the cryptic words:”Mother, you shall not have my coven.”
  • The pcs took her wand and gave it to Firo as it seemed to enhance his specialty of evocation magic. They freed a few of the surviving members of Kadre’s clan…though they were called mer-men by the locals, Kadre told the pcs that his races actual name was the Seelen. He and his brothers parted ways promising to return the kindness to the group in the future should they ever need it. With the challenge that lay ahead of them, the defeat of the Shadow King and his minions, the group would likely need all the help that they could get.
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Betrayal at the Abbey
A Monk by any other name
  • Abbott Ezran and Brother dern lead pcs down to the lower cellars where Kethra sees the shadowy lithe figure (perhaps from the statue area on the surface of the island). This figure beckons her to follow her around a corner and sends her a telepathic message to do so. Due to the arrival in the gate area, Kethra and company are side-tracked by the 6 white-eyed monks { a.k.a. Soul-Bled ] and 2 dark-eyed monks [Grimorden possessed] who are guarding what is left of the Trifold Gate, along with , of course, a plethora of smoky demonic entities swirling above near the ceiling.
  • The monks and the pcs engage in combat all the while Abbott Ezran yelling for one of the devout of Vanshar( Sir Damryn, Kethra, or Brother Tyran) to go to the last gate and free its lock to let loose the vengeance of the Seraphim.
  • It turns out to be a ruse when brother Tyran finally manages to do it a dark cloud of smoky demonic spirits pour from the gate and a giant figure of a dark knight called the Shadow King emerges from the gate. The Abbott himself and brother dern reveal that they are indeed possessed themselves by Grimorden and enjoy the shock it causes the party. The Shadow King commands his Sentinel ( Brother Ezran) to allow the pcs to live ,so that they can revel in the knowledge that they have served their new lord and master admirably even though their lives may indeed be short lived.
  • Unfortunately, during the gate turmoil, both Sam and Jacob are possessed by Grimorden. Once the Shadow king leaves the group decides that they caqnnot suffer the Sentinel/betrayer to live and the fight is on. Kethra( pushed on by the magic of her necklace) causes the demon in Sam to strike at her furiously apparently deathly afraid of its power. Soon it is discovered that the necklace can drive out the demons as its smoky form hurtles from Sam’s open mouth. Unfortunately, the demon’s must take a horrible toll on the bodies that they possess for Sam’s limp body is left apparently lifeless. After a long fight with the possessed Jacob and the Sentinel, the grimorden decide to vacate the premises( so to speak) and catch up with their brethren. Jacob seems to be made of sterner stuff as he narrowly survives the exit of the demon.
  • The shadowy figure that Kethra saw turns out to be the ghost of an elven female who tells the party that their only hope now is in the secrets of Diamisin’s Tower…the one outside the Abbey that they had been warned away from earlier by the Tyran.
  • It becomes apparent that the tower is magically protected for as the group attempts to gain entrance they are bombarded by attacks made up of summoned beasts. Though the fights are not easy, they do prevail and find themselves in the upper room wherein they meet the ghost of Diamisin Wynysar who relays that his family was bound some centuries past to this island as guardians. He created an order called the Vigilant Guard to keep the evil of the Grimorden in the Shadow World through the complex series of the Trifold Gate and the mighty magic of one he referred to as the Kith of Kyonin. He further tells the pcs that his wife Esmira and he had lost their son during the last climactic battle against the Shadow King and his demon minions( the Grimorden) wherein this Kith of Kyonin worked such magics to disembody the demons and hurtle them to a nether world trapped by the power of the gates and the Wynysar family Kith Stones.
  • Diamisin tells the party that they might be able to salvage the gate and use his family’s Kith Stones to again imprison the Grimorden and their awful dark lord ,but they would first to need to contact some Kith of Kyonin to find out if such mighty magics could be used again. And unfortunately, the Grimorden and thei King would not wait for that…they would likely begin an age of darkness that would threaten to sweep across all of Mythra. He then gave them leave to take whatever they wished from his tower , and issued a final warning to take care of the tower’s guardian.
  • Lead by Nimbles keen nose for magic, the group found the following items: A suit of extremely rare and ancient elven chainmail which fit Jacob like a 2nd skin and had magic held within it that could only be activated by a blood relative of its creator…whomever that happened to be. A signet ring of the Wynysar family that held the same properties that Kethra’s ring held. Apprently a powerful ward against the Grimorden. And a book of spells that perhaps had once belonged to Diamisin Wynysar.

*Once the tower guardian was dispatched( apparently some semi-sentient ooze that could summon beasts at will), they bedded down in the tower for the night before seeking out ruins at the North end of the island where the bluish magical energy that seemed to control the still ragin storm outside. Late that night they were visited by lone survivor of a ship headed for a Trade Moot in a nearby coastal town. His name is Firo(human) and was known to Jacob when he was but an apprentice. Apparently he had grown in power since those days and proved his value to the group through his ability to translate High Elven( Diamisin’s diary) and magical scripts( the spell book). Though he was told of the party’s current quest and predicament, he still seemed to want to join up especially since he had no where else to currently go.

  • The next morning the group went to the ruins and promptly were met by shadowy dogs whose very location was obscured by the shadows in which they had been summoned. Thanks to the quick thinking of the new member, Firo, who cast stones of light in the midst of battle, a fight that could have been quite deadly became nearly routine. Searching the runes a strange metallic box was found with the bodies of several dozen orcs lying about it. The orcs were indeed dead ,but their bodies seemed to have been nearly perfectly preserved. While analyzing the box, a few Soul-bled monks rose up from the dead orc bodies to harass the party for a few rounds. Then discovering that the box had its own magical defenses when one of the party was zapped by necromantic energy when they tried to close it. Finally, a gem not unlike the gem keys that had locked the Trifold gate was discovered amongst the bodies and throught he use of specialized telekinetic magic, Nimbles and Firo together were able to close the lids of the box while Damryn put the gem lock in place. Afterwards, Nimbles made sure to hide the location of the necromantic/shadow “battery” through the use of soem stone melding magic. The group then left to rest and wait for the return of the Gray Gull.
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Tale of 2 Monks
A little Supernatural Fun
  • Midnight Promenade- Jacob “sold” his ‘golden ticket’ to dance with Lady Astasia to Etien Aubrecht for a ‘favor to be named later” actually the next day he said.
  • The party agreed to help Brother Tyran the next day by travelling with him to the isle of Ielmiran ( Guardian in high elven) on the Gray Gull to help the Order of the Paragon Rose( sect of Vanshar-worshipping monks who believe in seeking self perfection) with some deciphering of runes and ancient elven writings.
  • Next day Etien’s surprise comes to fruition as the Redhurst Acadamy of the Arcane shows up on the doorstep of Winecrest with much fanfair and magical showmanship. The group is invited to the evening’s special performance of “Daerlian and the Dracolich” at the theater in the masive campus of Redhurst and are given a free two night’s lodging at the Acadmey’s Ram’s Head Inn. But unfortunately, they must be leaving to help the good brother Tyran. Along the way, they find a disheveled and quite pungent Sam standing dazed in front of a local tavern.
  • Clea, kethra’s daughter, insists on joining the ACADEMY and Kethra couldn’t really say no ,but she warned Etien to take care of her daughter “or else”. He agreed to give her the protection afforded to all students ,but first would be the cost of the entrance exam and of course passing it. The former was no problem…in a week’s time Clea would find out the latter.
  • Trip on the Gray Gull interesting of course. Jacob and Damryn saved a sailor named Rolff who offered them his family’s “good luck” charm in thanks. It turned out to be indeed magical ,but what effects were not known.
  • About 6-7 hours out from the island on the 2nd day, a lone row boat and single sailor was brought aboard. It was Brother Herod who was apparently sick enough of the ways of the Order to make his way out onto the open seas to find a merchant vessel. However, Brother Tyran was quite taken aback by his fellow monk’s sudden change of heart( he had been a devout follower under an oath of silence for the last 3 years). Anyway, after he presented the Gray Gull’s captain with a diamond the size of his palm with a stylized purple E in it’s center in high elven script, suspicions started to mount. He wanted the captain to turn the ship around and take him back to the nearest port( Winecrest). The captain had a hard time saying no, so the Damryn and Nimbles made it easy on him. The little sorcerer charmed the captain into handing him the gem and took off for the hold. Herod gave chase and grabbed the sorcerer offering to send him overboard if he did not return to him the gem. Then the paladin stepped in to protect his ally and an argument ensued which ended when Herod’s rage got to a point that his voice actually changed and his eyes turned black. He appeared to be possessed and was more than willing to kill the knight and his companions. A quick ,but difficult fight ensued with the inevitable death of Brother Herod( and susbseuent slow decaying and disintigration of his body) and the escape of the possessing entity in small tornado of black smoke hurtling back towards Ielmiran. This led to great fear in the younger monk and of course the group suspected quite a different reception at the isle than they had first counted on…they were on high alert.
  • Once on the island the group aided an apparent fey creature called a Selchie after she had a particularly nasty encounter with a gaff hook from one of the Gray Gull sailors who dropped them off. The creature was first in the form of a beautiful woman ,but when the group returned to her a sealskin cloak, she took to the water transforming into a beautiful seal and returned moments later with a leather thonged necklace bearing a roughly cut purple stone with a stylized W in it’s center…again in high elven…Sam was indeed intrigued….this isle’s earlier inhabitants could be ancient indeed.
  • Once on the island itself it became apparent things might be worse than anticipated. A growing storm of lightning and black clouds gathered over the ruins and threatened to engulf the whole sky surrounding the island. The group fought off some white eyed monks who moved like zombies at first ,but retained their martial training. A few of the group noticed a shadowy figure watching them from a distant statue called the Crying Lady ,but concerned with the well being of the monks and urged on by Brother Tyran , the group decided to push on to the Abbey to see what had become of Tyran’s other cloistered friends rather than explore the other mysteries of the island.
  • At the Abbey all outer rooms were dark and the entrance was open to the night air. Coming into the waiting room of Abbott Ezran’s office, the group encountered more white-eyed monks who fought them to their deaths. Finding a secret door, Sam motioned to the group ,but before they opened it they heard sound coming from the Abbott’s office. They entered carefully only to come face to face with the frightened Abbott Ezran and his right hand man who apparentlty had been held prisoner by their white-eyed brethren. Though at first ready to defend themselves, they calmed down and were quite happy to see their heroes led by their dear Brother Tyran. After proper introductions, the good Abbott told the group that Brother Herod had entered the Abbey with some sort of demonic aid and began to possess and/or destroy each monk. He and his friend had resisted ,but they could not defeat so many of these other worldly beings. Herod’s( or the possessing creature’s)goal seemed to be to destroy the Trifold Gate. It apparently was purported to be a true “portal” to the Celestial Realm of Vanshar and his Seraphim. This gate would be the only way that the god’s minions could come to the monk’s aid. In fact, if the last gate were opened by a devout follower of Vanshar while whispering a prayer of Salvation then it would free the Seraphim to come to their aid. The Ezran asked for the group’s aid and begged those of faith to help in defeating the possessed monks downstairs. If their faith held and luck was on their side, the Abbott thought perhaps the final “lock/gem” could be removed and hope for salvation restored.
  • The group tightened their belts and steeled their nerves for an assault on the Trifold Gate. The Abbott warned them that the rest of the brethren were down there and they were not of their own faculties. Furthermore, there were disembodied spirit mists( black smoke) and black-eyed monks waiting to stop them as well. If Herod were to return and destroy the gate, then all would be lost. They needed to hurry and open the last gate before it could be permanently destroyed. They opened the secret door and headed down into the darkness…..
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Home Again

The pcs returned from the Faewylde to find Sam missing. What happened could only be guess at? Did he get lost? Was he  taken by some force? They could not tell. Perhaps they would find out more clues if they pressed on….

Of course that was not to be as a group of Ogres lay in wait for them attacking at the edge of the waterfall. The fight was bizarre and clumsy at times ,but the group prevailed.

Once they arrived in Dunharrow to check on the town , they discovered that time has passed differently since they had left…some 2 weeks had passed…however, they were welcomed as heroes. The town through a brilliant party in their honor and Nimbles took the most pleasure in it drinking well into midnight. Unfortunately, as things wound down a familiar stroke of white lightning hit some 200 yards away and a smell of ozone filled the air. The group hurried the villagers to their homes just in time to see a horrific beast crest the top of the tree line…a creature floating in the sky made apparently of an armored eyeball with 6+ tentacled eye stalks protruded from its "head" with a centered large eye gazing intently at Sir Damryn. The fight was fast and furious the creature hit the drunken sorcerer, Nimbles, with a wave of exhaustion that dropped him on the spot, and in short order both Damryn and Jacob were on the ground under a magically induced sleep. Though Kethra managed to inflict grievous wounds with her unerring bow,  its eye rays kept her pinned down behind a building. As it approached Damryn's limp body, it turn him over and swallowed his backpack and carrying sack. In desperation, Kethra shot it and ran to kick Jacob which jarred him awake. The warrior quickly got to his feet and charged the creature before it could flee with Damryn's gear ( mainly the tome found some weeks back), and as the creature fled under a hail of arrows, Jacob's mighty sword hit home slaying the creature instantly. Within the gory mess,  the book and and all his belongings splayed about ,but seemingly no worse for the wear.

The next morning Arimenes showed up to thank the group for their efforts and relayed to them the history of the oaken staff that Nimbles wielded. Apparently a group of druids created it to honor and protect nature and if Nimbles kept his heart true to the precepts of Nature then it would do the same for him. It had many powers ,but required the user to be a protector and champion of Nature. The shield however was under a curse by his mother, Queen Mab ( of the Unseelie court), the group decided to let him look at how they might overcome this curse while they traveled to pick up Sam and Dean at the Weary Pilgrim roadside inn. Taking their horses laden with food and drink for the road thanks to the grateful townsfolk, the group made their way to the inn and then on the road to Winecrest.

       With a more luck than  they had seen in a month, the group found themselves in the city within 2 days. They avoided having to wait through inspections thanks to Kethra's wealthy father , Elias Stonebridge, who had apparently recently become Guildmaster of the wagoneer and carvaner's guild.  Taking a stagecoach to the house, Kethra was surprised to find her father had upgraded the old house into a shiny new mansion complete with servants. Clea, Kethra's daughter greeted each of the adventurers seeming to be infatuated with the two strapping warriors, Jacob and Damryn the most ,but finding Nimbles fascinating in his own way. While talking during dinner, the group learned of a Fall Carnivale scheduled to take place the next night. It was sponsored by the most well known noble family, the Astasia's and would be the premier social event of the year. Clea would not hear of a no from anyone and her grandfather had all ready made the arrangements for them to get outfitted properly. Clearly, there was tension between Kethra and her father ,but overall, the Stonebridge estate was a pleasant way to spend the night.

  Sometime eartlier, Sir Damryn made his way to the Cathedral of the Rose in town and discovered it to be in somewhat disrepair and with a few clergy. After meeting with the high priest, Jasep Nicholas, he determined that the faith of Vanshar had suffered greatly in this town and the flock had dwindled as well. In fact, Kethra's father had openly had a major disagreement over tithing with the church and had officially left it. Leaving his own personal tithe to help the once impressive chapel, Damryn returned to join the others and the party that next evening.

The Fall Carnivale had all the accoutrements of a lavish soiree. LAdy Astasia did not disappoint and the place was alive with music , food , drinks, rides, games, and even a small zoo provided through a local hunter named Jarax Hammersworn. The group attempted many games including: The Perilous Climb to the Treasure of the Queen of Spiders ( eventually won by Jacob), The Giant's Mallet ( also won by Jacob), a Knife throwing contest, table game tent( won by Kethra for two tickets to "Winter Ice" an early winter musical to be put on by the Astasia Theater troupe), and even a Harrowing by Madame Hilde( halfling gypsy seer). In fact, Madam Hilde and her whole band of merry making halflings were hired as performers and entertainers by Lady Astasia.

Each individual had his own Harrowing and though not all was ominous, the following was foretold:

Jacob: a conspiracy surrounded the tome they protected, and if an ancient source of wisdom could be tapped, then a disaster linked to the tome could be avoided.

Damryn: his clarity of purpose and loyalty would hold him strong when he would soon face a dangerous and possibly overpowering threat and a powerful woman would need to be swayed to his way of thinking if in the end an acceptable solution were to be found in regards to this impending threat.

Kethra: something in her past was done to her that was ill advised to her or for her( Madame Hilde was not sure), she should be most attuned to the importance of a new arrival in her future( and as well as Damryn- the presence and power of the arcane was to be heightened in her life), and she should stay on her current path in life to avoid upsetting a delicate framework.

Nimbles: the reading was without doubt the darkest of the four as first to be seen was a card that unnerved , even Madame Hilde, as it showed a future showdown/encounter/face-off/decision against some force in which he could possibly bring ruin and pain to those closest to him.

 Lastly, the game prizes were nice ,but the major prize was won by a less-than-impressed Jacob…the first dance of the Midnight Promenade with Lady Astasia. He discussed with his comrades what to do as he was not familiar with such frivolous pursuits such as dancing…especially with nobility. Kethra suggested he attempt to sell it to the highest bidder as she noticed the shades of green many of the more well-to-do party goers turned when Jacob drew out the lucky ticket…especially her father.

 

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Chasing Granny
  • Pcs re-grouped in town to return to the house and try to free the children
  • Sam discovered the existence of a mystic named Arimenes…who might could aid them in their efforts.
  • NImbles scouted ahead and saw that Granny and the Jester had sent 8 of the remaining kids off on the boat towards Gull Island, and were prepping to leave with 3 of the kids in tow likely as "snacks"
  • He tried to slow them down ,but nearly got himself killed in the process only cracking one wheel of the wagon in the process.
  • The group met him on his way back and after a debriefing they rushed to find that the wagon was now being manned by a lone child…JAcob found a trail into the woods…the chase was on.
  • After double-backing around to the lake the group fought the hag and the Jester on the shore of the lake…granny tried to escape into the water with a child ,but Kethra's arrows harried her enough to force her into an invisiblew retreat below the surface of the water while Jacob, Sam ,and Sir Damryn put an end to the Jester on the beach.
  • Damryn and Kethra set about gathering the three kids the wicked duo had taken with them while Jacob, Samn, and NImbles headed out in a dingy to get the 8 children from the island.
  • As the three of them closed in on the island they noticed the children standing as statues on the shore with the various birds flocking around them( sea gulls and such)..but more ominous was a large gray creature the size of an ogre waiting amongst some branches…Nimbles took the opportunity to try to entangle the beast with a spell ,but it tore free and then smashed one of the kids whiel roaring at the three in the boat.
  • JAcob hurried them closer to the shore to attempt to engage the beast ,but the creature's strength was unbelievable…it hammered Jacob furiously and nearly slew the warrior…thinking quickly Sam threw Jacob's limp form in the boat while Nimbles drew the beasts' ire with long range scorching ray attacks ,but managed to just keep out of harm's way by swimming just outside of his reach and ordering the children back into the boat. Sam circled back to get Nimbles and they managed to coerce the kids to follow…though they were clearly not back to normal , they did seem to follow direct orders .
  • ONce back at the village, Kethra tended to JAcob and with some luck , the warrior returned to strength through sheer force of will. The town thanked them profusely ,but did not know what to do about the kid's inability to snap out of the daze the Jester had placed them in.
  • Victor Rosewood , the head councilman of the town, suggested the group head out to the far side of the lake and attempt to find the Fey-blooded mystic, Arimenes. The group decided to do just that and they were off…
  • The trek across the lake was fine ,but the woods where the recluse was said to live was eerie and the group was being tracked. They finally noticed their followers were a bunch of creatures which looked like a cross between a purple monkey and a cat ,but they kept increasingly whispering the word" "hobiyah"...which turned out to be their names. Nimbles recalled legend of such beasts which as they grew in number their courage and size also grew….
  • However, before anything could come of this, they stumbled into a clearing with a hovel in it wherein they met Arimenes. None had seen his likes before…he was about 5'7", reddish brown hair with a beard ,but strangely pointed elf-like ears. He seemed friendly enough as he verified that he indeed was Arimenes, and when asked pointedly of his heritage by Kethra, he said that as far as he knew he was one of a kind.
  • He heard the group's situation out and genuinely seemed sorry that he had been far away on urgent business when Dunharrow had their encounter with the hag and the Jester. He told the group of his efforts to cleanse the region of a coven of hags and that "Madriga"( aka Granny) had been the last and youngest of the clan. Also, he knew of the gray Jester and todl the group that the evil fey had stolen the children's joy and that the only way to return them to their normal selves would be for the group to travel to the Faewylde…the land of the Unseelie and destroy the Jester in his own court, for a creature of the Unseelie could only be permanently slain in his own world/dimension. He knew of how they could break the veil between the worlds and Nimbles' trophy( the Jester's scepter) would be the key. They woudl need to travel to a natural wonder(a nearby waterfall not far from the old Svalich Road) and cross over there…but at night through an Ogre-infested region.
  • After equipping the companions with better cold iron swords and discussing in private with Kethra for a bit, Arimenes regretfully informed the group that he would love to accompany them on this quest ,but he had many enemies in the High Court of Queen Mab( Mistress of all the Unseelie) and that his presence would make their journey even more periless. As they left, he warned them of the increased power that the Jester would have in his own court, and they should seek to defeat him quickly if at all possible.
  • Along the way , the group managed to outrun/outwit a group of 7-8 ogres playing catch with the heads of some victims( seemingly humanoid victims), and found their way to the waterfall and then through the veil between worlds to the realm of the Unseelie.
  • They were greeted to a long expanse of strangely shaped leafless trees which along a pinch point a portion of 4 of the trees came alive and attacked the group with sharp thorns which seemed to sap their very life energy…with quick thinking and team work the group defeated the creatures and headed onward. Their next encounter was more tame as they ran into a short goblyn-like creature with a huge mouth full of large dull teeth and a half-fey centaur with brightly colored gossamer wings, the pair called themselves Maddoc and Thoamaz. The eccentric and somewhat effiminant centaur and the surly goblyn-like creature made quite a sight ,but were of little help in the quest.
  • Travelling further along the ground became swampy and just as the mud became more than just a minor annoyance the group came to a fork in the road with a small hill holding a hut outside of which a large female figure sat with her back to the group whittling. As the drew closer, the woman appeared to be haggered looking with stringy gray hair and a single cyclopean eye in the center of her head…furthermore, she was whittling what appeared to be a bone of some creature with her own razor sharp fingernails. She introduced herself as Drelza and she stated that she knew which road led to the Jester's court. For a small price, she would tell them which one it was….if they disregarded her advice , she told them the wrong path led to certain death by one of the most powerful creatures in all of the land. It was all he could do to stop himself from attacking this apparent hag ,but Jacob bit his tongue while Kethra approahced offering her own beautifully carved mirror as payment. Drelza claimed that she wished to gaze closer upon a creature as beautiful as Kethra and when she stepped up to hand the hag the mirror , Drelza nicked her hand and quickly licked the blood that spilled on her finger tips. Pulling her hand back in surprise more than anger, Kethra asked for guidance…the witch told them to follow the right path….and that for another small price, she would tell them the key to defeating Chortle. Knowing she only wanted a personal item, Sam wisely tossed her his signet ring and asked for the information. She deftly grabbed the ring in mid-flight and sighed somewhat disappointed (perhaps that she did not get a sampling of Sam's blood as well) and proceeded to inform the group that they would need to find the baubles in which the Jester kept the children's joy and destroy them first before they could defeat him. Leaving quickly, the group proceeded down the right path….keeping an eye on the now chuckling hag, the group saw her and her little shelter disappear in a whisp of white smoke.
  • Not too long afterwards, the group came upon a the Jester's court…it was an open glade surrounded by small robed figures guarding the place while the Jester sat upon an oddly put together thrown made of wood, animal hide and bone, and an immense rack of antlers from what must have been the most enormous deer anyone had ever seen. He watched as the ghostly images of the children danced in front of his campfire trying in vain to entertain the dark fey. The children's visages were forlorn with a hint of desperation. These ethereal images must have been a manifestation of their predicament,but the group did not wait. The quietly surrounded the encampment with Nimbles traveling all the way around the circular clearing to hide in a small copse of trees behind the Jester. Once in position, Damryn appeared first and warned Chortle to releae the children or face true death. Chortle was much less care-free in personality in his own domain, and so he snarled and told his minions to slay the group.  
  • Damryn charged the Jester forcing him to make an amazing back flip behind his thrown ,but not before the paladin's sword hit home. Jacob closed in as well while the cloaked creatures( redcaps in disguise) swarmed them. At the same time, Kethra and Sam attempted to aid the fight and were attacked as well. Finally Damryn dropped the Jester and with a mighty jump Jacob drove his blade through his chest.  However, the children moved to surround him and it became clear that it was not yet over. When suddenly Nimbles burst through the line of redcaps taking a nasty cut across his back as he dove below the animal furs and under the throne , underneath, he found a locked chest which he hoped were the "baubles" the witch had referred too…knowing time was of the essence he let loose with a ray of flame that burnt the chest to a crisp and destroy some glass items inside. The Jester's body smoked with a inky blackness and the spirits of the children froze in place as they faded away with smiles on their faces….the companions had succeeded. The remaining redcaps fled in terror at the site of the death of their once immortal leader, and the group despoiled his court taking a dozen or more blue gems and two unique items: a staff and wooden shield both worked with excellent craftsmanship and enchanted to some effect….before they could be carefully studied, the group decided it would be best to leave the Faewylde before anything else happened. So, with their booty in tow and a confidence built on saving the community of Dunharrow and their children, the companions set off to the spot in the woods where they had first entered this Unseelie land….
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Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmother's House we go
  • The pcs left the strange old farm and returned to the Weary Pilgrim Inn to rest up for the day and started out back on the road to Winecrest the next morning.
  • About mid-day of the first day, the Sam and Dean, the wagoneers, stopped to water the horses at Saddle-Pond …...a couple of the group noticed a strange bit of lightning some 100 yards not the woods beyond the pond….not long after that four hideously deformed 3.5 foot tallk hounds came bounding over the hill on the far side of the pond….they immediately attacked
  • The creatures were odd in that they had no eyes and their hairless bodies were covered in strange runes…their mouths opened to revealed mucous soaked bone-like protrusions that they must have used for teeth…form this they spat out a line of this mucus that was acidic and quite deadly as JAcob found out being caught in a crossfire.
  • Though the fight was long and dangerous with Nimbles and Jacob taking the brunt of it…the companions were finally victorious and went to investigate the starnge lighting strikes…not surprisingly they found 4 unevenly spaced scroch marks where the odd lightning hit…the company surmised that these beasts had been summoned…apparently to kill them….but the question remained…why?
  • But before the answer could be found the group returned to find Sam and Dean aiding a wretched looking man who had apparently come a long way through the woods and from the shredded remains of his clothing had been attacked by some sort of animal.
  • He introduced himself as Adrian Potter and claimed that he and a old lady named Becka Anders, affectionately referred to as Grandmother, had both lost their children and feared for the safety of the ones of his town….Dunharrow…he pleaded with Sir Damryn and his friends to find the missing children. Of course, the knight and the group could not refuse and followed the man down a narrow game trail…apparently quite old and overgrown requiring them to walk their mounts.
  • Along the way as they turned around a corner around an old oak, a large robe covered man stepped out and demanded a toll….then attacked…the fight was quick and decisive…but the man turned out to be some sort of bestial creature which could not be identified. After deciding to take the creature to Dunharrow in case it might be the thing that had taken the children, the group found that they had lost track of Adrian…he was no where to be seen.
  • Sending NImbles ahead to scout the little halfling followed a fork in the trail to an old cabin that seemed to no longer have any residence….then when finally catching up to the group they came upon Dunharrow which greeted them with an eerie sight…every building in town had their roof covered with crows….they carefully entered the town and headed toward the only building that was not closed up…the tavern: The Burning Branch. There they met the tavern keeper and learned that Adrian Potter( the man that had led them here) had supposedly hung himself some 2 weeks earlier.
  • They spent the night in the tavern( sleeping on the floor) where Sam and Kethra took turns taking watch….they discovered a young boy sneaking out of his house at night and nailing a young rabbit to a tree stump with a kitchen knife…..they attempted to watch that stump every hour on the hours and sure enough a strange man/creature dressed in a gray jester's outfit showed up…unable to avoid detection he tried to escape…the group tried to capture the agile thing ,but with no luck…he escaped to the woods.
  • The next day during a town meeting, it was discovered that 2-3 of the town's children seemed to be under some sort of effect after having met the Jester…also, it turned out that the Jester had been coming to the tavern for several weeks posing as a travellign comedian/bard…but unfortunately, the main joke looked to be on the town.
  • The pcs searched Adrian Potter's old place( the house that Nimbles had found) and discovered that indeed someone had died there ,but no hide nor hair of Adrian.
  • Then fearing the ineffectiveness of their weapons against the Jester in their first encounter, they surmised he was fey and then Jacob went back to town to train some with the cold-iron dagger he had gotten while Samuel went back to try to find more clues from the townsfolk. Meanwhile, Damryn, NImbles and Kethra went to Granny Anders house to see how she had faired.
  • At the lake where she lived, they were greeted by a disheveled and dirty ,but friendly looking old lady . She invited them in and proceeded to tell them the tail of how she had many of the children down in the basement because she feared for their lives from a creature on the island out in the middle of the lake. She begged the group to go to the island to slay it for them. The group instead offered to escort her and the children back to town which she begrudingly accepted. Once they got to the door surrounded by the children, she transformed into a hideous hag and attacked…further more their friend the Jester, Chortle, attacked from hiding. It seemed the two had formed some sort of duo to better feed their dark appetites.
  • Fearing the an inevitable defeat and likely death , Nimlbes yelled for the other two to flee with him through the window…as the children themselves attacked with knives seemingly acting on the directions of the Jester…..however, neither Damryn nor Kethra made it out….Nimbles ran back to get aid , but the outnumbered companions were in a desperate fight for their lives.
  • Dodging children and trying to avoid the affect of the Jester's sceptre( making them laugh uncontrollably for precious seconds), Damryn and Kethra fought brilliantly ,but faced an extremely determined and vicious set of foes. Luck and skill allowed them to deal a telling blow to the hag ,but before Kethra could finish her off, the Jester showed his true power and wickedness…he forced one of the children to stab themselves with the knives…he said unless the two left immediately, the other children faced the same fate….Kethra and Damryn had no choice but to submit…they left the house while watching the children tend to "Granny", however, they vowed to themselves to come back….but would it be in time???
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3 Gremlins Gruff

OK, not as detailed as the last one ,but here is a bullet point recap: (?)-indicates that I am not quite certain as to this fact….any suggestions/corrections should be forewarded to me by the players where discrepancies are noticed.

  •   Protected Giselle ( little girl) until night fell at the church….Father Mathias helped her memorize the 4 stanzas of the banishment ritual

 

  • Damryn and Samuel arranged a meeting with one of the town's nobles, Ethan Stone at his mansion outside of town to discuss the possibility of him lending them some of his antiue cold iron weapons…they got to use some of the ones in poor shape , but the amazingly crafted dwarven battle axe was not to be had..Ethan offered a deal for the battle axe ,but it was turned down due to the open ended and unclear nature of the committment…Damryn's code would not allow such folly.

 

  • Encountered Bugbear and defated him outside the church….on the way to Old Mad Mary bender's house was tailed by a Yeth Hound which was defeated in the yard outside the old house.

  • Avoided a summoned tendriculos by running through the covered porch and into the house wherein the group was beseiged by summoned creatures including: a centipede swarm and a redcap…all were defeated and Sir Damryn slew one of the gremlins as well….or so it seemed.

  • The ritual was completed and the cursing gremlins were sent back to the fae realm. The rune box was taken to the church in Greenvale for safekeeping.

  • The group searched the house and found a trapped secret compartment in Mary's old room…after some effort by Samuel it was disarmed and an old diary was found along with a cold iron magical dagger. The diary mentioned some "lord" that Mary followed which she had discovered down in the well….also, she it intimated that her purpose in using the dagger was to aid in her control of Fae creatures….so perhaps this Gremlin episode was not so coincidental?

  • After searching the well and coming up empty handed..the group went to town to prove Guiseppie the toymaker's innocence. Their story was accepted ,but they need to intercept the Magistrate Thrask from Winecrest at the Weary Pilgrim's Stagecoach Inn along the way to prevent extending or exacerbating Guiseppi's trial . So they took off the next day with a shipment of toys and a pair of teamsters called Sam and Dean.

  • Once at the Inn , the group discovered a rather boisterous crowd enjoying themselves at a gambling table as well as rumors of a elven spirit called a banshee haunting the nearby woods.

  • Damryn heard a name he recognized and made the acquaintance of a rogue named Trabian. After sniffing about his room with the assistance of Samuel , it was discovered the rogue had a bloody sword hidden under his bed to match his tale ( perhaps tall?) of his recent escape from death at the hands of some goblyns in a nearby farm…of course, his companions were not so lucky.

  • Though unhappy about his trip " all the way to The Weary Pilgrim", Magistrate Thrask's frustration was put to rest by Kethra and the noble  was content to let the town of Greenvale deal with the toymaker as they saw fit….it seemed Guiseppi and  his family were finally safe.

  • After a meeting with Sir Damryn, and sensing the party's growing unease with his outlandish tales and behavior, Trabian attempted to leave in the wee hours of the morning…unfortunately, he ran into Kethra and eventually the whole group who decided that he should show them specifically where his companions met their demise and why he did not have a certain BOOK that Damryn was sure he had …..so, after some sorcerous convincing by Nimbles…he agreed to lead them to the farm.

  • The company found a strange farm as Trabian had implied some 1/2 day's ride from the Inn….apparently now run by goblyns led by a goblyn shaman and an ogress ….who strangely enough seemed to be lovers…the fight did not go well for the goblyns , especially the ogress who found herself on the wrong end of Damryn's mighty lance…the group then pressed the goblyn shaman for more information and searched the odd stone structure which had been used as a hide out by the goblyns…there they found a rather plain ,but elaborate magical shrine …dedicated to what exactly …could not be discerned…but in it they found the BOOK that Damryn sought . Unforunately it had a roundish indentation wherein the bluish gem that was embedded in the shaman's forehead would fit….Jacob decided the most efficient thing to do would be to simply take it from the shaman…unfortunately, when he did this, the gem seemed to take over the warrior and he placed it on to his forehead where it magically embedded itself there and forced him to turn on the party nearly killing Samuel with a surprise attack(?) ...when finally subdued and the gem removed, the group was able to safely store the book, and begin their trek back to the Inn.

    I actually think I prefer this sort of recap to a story one. What do the players think?

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Gaming Schedule 2008
Date and Times

 

Meeting Place: Chez Nichols 

Time: Noon-6p(possibly as late as 8p)

Dates:( all Saturdays)

September 20th                                      October 4th( possibly cancelled due to b-days?)

October 18th                                          November 1st

November 15th( cancelled due to Cabin Con likely??)      Nov. 29th ( Thanksgiving??)                 

December 13th                                      December 27th

 January 12th                                        JAnuary 26th

Boy, we got some stuff going on this fall/winter….any suggestions/concerns folks?

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