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The Legacy of Marianasu - DM Downrightamazed

Game Master downrightamazed

The great captain Korius Merit, of the Paladine of Izmir, summons a group of warriors of the air to retrieve twelve evil artifacts; the legendary Abominations of the long-dead archmage Marianasu.


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@Aylaeth: Beltz shakes his ghostly head again. "Mm. No, none of that sounds familiar at all, though I might be confusing things by using the word "prison". I call 'em prisons 'cos I hate being all cooped up and trapped like that, but these were gems blessed by Iomedae and Torag themselves, and I was interred with a legion of mighty dwarven warriors that should have included my son Wolf, to sleep beneath the Mana mountains until we were once again needed to combat the Metallum. We beat that thing back once, you know, and we can do it again." He pauses and looks with dismay at his incorporeal form. "Heh. Well, in spite of us bein' dead, that is."

"But that's part of what's so disturbin', you see; I should be there, not here in the south, and I should be...well, intact, not a damned ghost." He scowls. "Everything's all messed up and wrong."

"Anyway! You want to know about the Metallum, well, we don't know a whole lot. No one does. What we do got seems to have been enough, though. It's a hive-mind, so you gotta destroy or drive out all of it. A little bit won't do. Nor will a lot bit. It's all or nothing. We destroyed almost all of it, but that last little bit retreated so far back into the mountain even our mighty southern cousins couldn't dig it out. It was in our last battle with them I was mortally wounded and agreed to be put in the gem to heal and await an opportunity to destroy the Metallum. Staying around to build was important, but the Metallum consumes ore and earth and would just destroy everything I built, so destroying it was more important so my buildings could stand and all dwarves could continue to craft and mine and build."

At your offer of help, he looks you over, then looks over Sir Damian. "I appreciate the offer to help, but unless you're really powerful wizards who don't look the part, you're better off staying out of it. Those weapons you got will be smashed to pieces in seconds if you hit the Metallum with it, and it'll eat all your armor. Only thing can really hurt it is powerful magic and weapons made of its own flesh. Likewise, only thing defends against it is its own flesh."

Private Conversation:
Beltz speaks with you quietly in the corner at your behest, and seems neither surprised nor fazed when you tell him of the evil in his ranks. He shrugs. "Oh, yeah, I know a coupla the guys are in line with different gods, but they follow the codes and don't harm no one, so I let 'em stay on. Worth it to have their skill around. Been workin' with 'em for decades and had no trouble. Thanks for th' warning, though; much appreciated."


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

Gah!!!!! I want to be in that room so freaking bad!!!!!
I'm over here going OH! OH! OH! I know some of those answers!! I've even talked to the Metallum Aeternum


Heh. Noooooo meta-gaming! Naughty, naughty magus!


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13
DM Downrightamazed wrote:
Heh. Noooooo meta-gaming! Naughty, naughty magus!

*sulks in corner* but I KNOW things!!!... :p


@Min and @Livain: Eventually the two of you are able to pull yourselves together. Min through sheer will and the camaraderie of the Warbanians and the friendship of his Silastrix companions, Livain through spending time safe in the arms of her loving husband and life-partner. Both of you Skyknights are made of stern stuff, and even though you are unable to return to the room with the paintings because of lingering magics, there's nothing stopping you from exploring the rest of this...place.

Sharp-eyed Aylaeth is sure to return any items you might have dropped in the painting room, reuniting you with your weapons so you can avoid going forth with anything less than full strength. The sylph then re-joins Maiathreen in the Rune Room and continues working.

The two of you begin by picking up where you left off in the hall filled with doors. At first you are meticulous, checking every door thoroughly and searching every corner of each room. After a few hours of this, however, it gets extremely tiring and you begin just kicking doors open and noting with a bored expression "Oh gee, another empty room." Eventually you start to notice echoes, and a particularly...scorchy sort of smell, like burning rock, leading you both to conclude that a large chamber of some sort is up ahead, possibly with many braziers or fireplaces. You are a very long ways away from the others now, so your meticulousness returns and you hunker down as you finally near the end of the tunnel. Approaching cautiously, weapons drawn and every sense stretched and alert, you peer around the corner.

The first thing that hits you is the heat; it is as if you stepped into a blast furnace. It was getting warmer as you walked down the hall, but neither of you paid it much mind, but now, you see the source of the heat...

This is no mountain. This is a volcano; a live volcano.

You are on a ledge and down about 500' or more beneath you is a massive lake of molten lava that must be a quarter-mile across, at least. You have journeyed to the center of the volcano, obviously, and are staring into the hellish fires of its burning core.

After this revelation, you realize that the tunnels and rooms in this place are far more than you could explore in a day, or even a week; The ledge you are on completely circumnavigates the core of the volcano. It is about 250' across to the other side, meaning the ledge you are on is about 800' around, and every 50' there is another tunnel entrance. Every 100' below and above you is another ledge with a similar distribution of doors, which after a quick bit of math gives you a total of 320 doors, give or take, including the one you just came out of.

That's a LOT of exploring...


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Min had barely pulled himself together, the images were still running through his mind as he passed by the room with the painting's. It wasn't uncommon for him to stop and shake his head, leaning against the wall.

After they moved further into the bowels of this strange fortress, he couldn't help but feel the increasing heat crawl from his boots to the top of his head. By the time they had reached the Volcano core he was sweating buckets. "This is gonna take longer then we thought. Perhaps we should get back to the others, this is way over our heads now."


Female Silastrix Archer 11 - HP 93 AC 24, T 16, Flat 18 - F+7 R+8 W+ 4 Init +8; Senses: Darkvision Low-Light Vision)

Livain smiles for just a moment before smacking her hand against her forehead upon seeing the massive size of this complex and realizing it could take weeks just to search this place. She takes a deep breath....and slowly releases it as she tries to keep her sanity. She nods distractedly at Min's suggestion of heading back to the others, while mumbling softly but not so softly as to not be heard. "Of course we're in a live volcano why wouldn't we be? Couldn't be somewhere nice like a mineral hot spring oh no of course not!"


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Min ignores Livain's comment and turns to return to the others and let them know of their discovery. A live volcano? The Red Dragonflight doesn't cease to amaze and if only their ingenuity could be turned to doing good acts...

That thought caused him to remember what Avenaada had told him, something he continued to forget despite wishing he could make it happen. All people are one, the only thing that separates us is Purpose. But how do you change a persons or armies purpose? Kill Kalaroth? Unlikely... Min shook his head and blinked as sweat stung his eyes while him and Livain made their slow way back to the others.

Much Later Back in the Rune Room:

Min frowned as he gave his report of their findings down in the bowels of the live volcano they were all standing in. He added at the end though. "... WE could see what type of civilization stands in the distance, whether its human, elf or other humanoid and see who commands them. It be even better if we could get a map of some sort as well. The downside is the journey to such a local will be long, at least a day to get there..."


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

"Its all fine and well figureing out where exactly we are right now, but shouldn't Sormfare have maps of this region? I mean how many live volcanoes of this size could there be in this region?" Maiathreen says after listening to Livain and Min's discoveries about being inside a live volcano.


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Min rubs his head and looks at Mai unsure. "We don't even know which region this is, somewhere in the south is a broad area, and you'd be surprised how many volcano's there are in the world."

He looks to Aylaeth then. "Are we taking those abdominal paintings with us? To see them properly... disposed of at least."


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

While Aylaeth was at first somewhat surprised to hear the ghostly Dwarf's casual acceptance of those of evil alignment amongst his followers, upon further reflection, she supposed it was not all that unusual after all. A Crafter used the tools available to him after all, and the Master Builder would not be anywhere near the first, not the last, leader to accept the aid of those willing to help him, regards of what lied in their hearts.

Her disappointment at the apparent inability of either they or the spirit Dwarves to help each other was genuine, but her surprise was slight. It seemed this was not a mystery for them to solve. She could think of nothing further that needed doing here. Except taking care of the paintings, of course.

Turning to her captain she says "Sir, I believe there is nothing more for us here, and I must hurry back to my research. I strongly recommend we very carefully wrap these paintings and take them with us, for they are far too powerful to leave for the wrong hands to get a hold of them." If Damian agrees she helps him cover and bind the paintings most securely, wrapping each twice if possible, and helps him carry them back. Before she leaves, she stops to pick-up and put in her haversack the dropped weapons that her companions had left on the floor during their magically induced panic.

Much Later:

After she and Mai have given their reports, and Mai and Livain have given theirs, the magus first corrects Min before stating her own opinion "Actually Min, I'm fairly certain, based on the type of rock found here, that we are in southern jungles around Dambulla and Maho regions, so it sholdn't be too hard to place and find this base again, should we so wish."

She then turs to Damian "Sir, I agree that the Lieutenant's report makes it clear that we would never be able to search this entire volcano in any kind of reasonable time-frame, but I would very much like to at least quickly search the passage leading out of the Rune Room. If there's any chance we could find trail of whomever was chanting in here, they might be able to provide very valuable information. Other than that though, I feel we should quit this cursed place as soon as possible."

She then turns to Min "As for the civilization in the jungle, I too am very curious about it my friend, and it is quite possible more important information could be found there. Perhaps even potential allies. It us just as possible however, perhaps even probable given it's proximity to this Red Dragonflight base, they we would find enemies there instead. We have no reliable way of finding out without going there. And making the trip there would take time we simply do not have. Our mission to destroy the Abominations is far too important and time sensitive to allow any more delays than those we've already taken."

Turning back to Damian "Sir, I will of course follow whatever you command, yet it is my strong recommendation that Maiathreen and myself use the teleportation magic available to us to return us all to Stormfare as soon as possible."

Turning to Min once again, and perhaps with a thought to appease her Half-Elf ally, she brightens and reaches into her haversack saying "Oh! I almost forgot! I cannot imagine this belonging in any more appropriate hands than yours Min. Please take it." and she hands him the Lionheart banner.

Understanding her friend's aversion to the paintings and wanting to re-assure him, but having no intention of seeing them destroyed, she adds "I promise you they I shall see to their safe placement Min. I'm thinking in the Great Tower under Van-Heara's protection is likely the safest place for them at the moment."


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

If we really need to figure out where we are, I could take a potion of invisibility and fly over to the stuff Min saw...if worse comes to worst, I use the potion and run like hell back here....


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Min mentally shrugged off being outvoted by the other members of the party and secretly was thankful they had voted against his suggestion. In all honesty hee wanted to make sure Lin was alright, his own emotions were frayed beyond reason and he had been soldiering forward despite how he felt.

He took the banner hesitantly and went rigid for a moment about what was planned for the paintings. He shook his head though expecting no less of arcanists and scholars, even if they were his friends. Crushing down his annoyance he inspected the banner. "I swear when I find their commander he will have hell to pay and why were they here as well? Their order got around it seems or perhaps the Lionhearts were working with the dragonflight. I hope not though."


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

Oh, oops! My Bad, I had been thinking that Min was still on the side of the Lionhearts and wanting to find out what really happened to them. She wouldn't have been as cheerful presenting it to him otherwise. Sorry!

As none seem to object to her request of exploring the passage leading out of the Rune Room, Aylaeth nods her thanks and heads through the open doorway, quarterstaff in hand, familiar in your normal location on her head, she leaves ample space and time for any who wish to join her down the passage.

DRA, are we considered as having slept and had spells memorzied again and such? If not, I suggest we do that first before doing anything else, as we've been up a Looooong time now and we all certainly need. Oh hey, and with that in mind, is anyone needing healing still?


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

I have two spells left before we bed down (if we bed down). 1x CSW and one CLW if needed. :)


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

Looks like you might need them the most Min!


Aylaeth only:
Some of what Beltz's ghost says rings immediately true; "The City Under the Mountain" is someplace you've read about, but never visited, supposedly an architectural and magical marvel, but notoriously difficult to find. It was built by the mad archmage Aban -- who dwells there still -- opened as a sanctuary for all free beings who wished to withdraw from civilization and live out the span of their lives in peace and quiet, undisturbed by the concerns of the outside world.

The City was built in an anonymous peak in the Mana Mountains, somewhere west of Manaus, by dwarven Master Builders who you now realize were Beltz Wellrock and sons. You recall a legend of a sleeping dwarven army in that city, and now it makes sense; they slept there, in the one place they wouldn't be disturbed, to await their chance to once again fight the Metallum Aeternum. It doesn't explain at all why Beltz and his 12 favorites are here, but then the ghost of the dwarf himself can't explain that so it's a mystery to all involved.

You can't verify Beltz's claims about the power and strength and relative invulnerability of the Metallum, but it wouldn't surprise you if he was completely correct, give what little you do know about that creature, namely that it is swift and strong and well-nigh indestructible.


After their conversation with Aylaeth and Damian, the dwarf ghosts float about the place, trying to figure out where they are and why. You don't see them for many hours.

Little else happens during this time when Min and Livain are exploring and Aylaeth and Mai are working. Sir Damian takes the Warbanian mercs and explores the open door at the end of the "Rune Room".

At the end of it all, you all regroup in the rune room. Min and Livain give their news about the vast size of this place, and Damian and the Warbanians corroborate it; the other door in the rune room leads to a fork in the tunnel, one passage leads directly out to the side of the volcano, but the other leads past seemingly endless rows of rooms, much like the hall Livain and Min explored, and eventually to the volcano's core. They found nothing save for empty rooms. They did, however, manage to successfully verify where you are; north of the volcano is a very large lake, and one of the ziggurats peeking up above the jungle is a familiar landmark to some of you. These two features allow you to name where you are; Maho, southern capitol of Dwarvenkind. The dwarves of Maho are famous for not only their tremendous skills as miners, but also their wonderful hospitality and gregarious personalities.

After this, Aylaeth and Mai share their discoveries about the rune room and what it does and what it's for, and everyone reflects on the awesome might the red dragonflight could command were they to succeed in carrying out their plan, and how this might interfere with or relate to your current mission.

As the group of you are thinking, the ghost of Beltz Wellrock re-appears, this time alone. It takes a moment to keep Maiathreen from trying to destroy the specter, but in the end Captain Lamorak and Aylaeth are able to settle the agitated magus.

"I believe we have a lead in what might have happened." intones the ghost of the Land's greatest builder, "But we have to visit our southern cousins first and see what they know. I'm not looking forward to this." The ghost scowls. "That's not why I'm here, though. I'm here because you lot seem like good folks; you're well-spoken and you respect order and you remember your manners, even when a damn ghost is talking to you." He smiles ruefully. "So I'm going to tell you something that might save your life; in my three hundred years of living, I built most every kind of structure there is to be built in most every part of the Land there is to build, and if you're ever in a building that looks like it was made by dwarfs, look for the Wellrock and Sons inscription on one of the stones -- should be one in every room, near the floor, hard to see. If you see that, then you can rest assured that no matter how bad things might get in that place, there's an escape route through the everywhen. Just find the inscription, and there'll be a door that'll lead you out." He nods gruffly. "I thank y'all and wish you the best. I have a feeling we'll be meeting again before this is all over..." and with that he vanishes down through the floor, seemingly in a hurry.

DC22 K(Arcana):
The Everywhen is a plane where time is a fixed constant and all live moves around it. There are some structures in the land that exist in this plane; fixed and immovable in time. What their purpose is, no one has ever been able to determine, but it is known that travel through the everywhen, while a great way to get from place to place, is actually rather dangerous and often has unintended consequences, like becoming one's own grandfather, accidentally knocking down a city, or other things.


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

@DRA:

Can I assume that the rest of the party told Aylaeth about their encounter with Dantoor and the others and all they learned about the 'Sleeping Army' that they had released? Aylaeth wasn't there but Damian and the others would know more about what Betz is talking about, wouldn't they?

And also, if Aylaeth knows anything about Mai's Metallum dagger, perhaps she could bring it up to him?

Also, if Min would have told her about the metal rings with the red bands around them she could perhaps ask Betz about those too.


@Aylaeth:
I actually wouldn't assume any of that. You'll have to see if the others bring those things up. Ask them in OOC if you want to meta-game it, thought doing so would make me sad. Meta-gaming makes me sad.

Regardless, Beltz is gone. No more questions for Beltz. He's not hanging around for 20 questions, he's got stuff to do.


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

"Wait...did he just say Wellrock? His name wasn't Beltz..was it?


M Brownin (Half Pale Skin/Half Dark Skin) Healer 8/Merchant 3

Argh!! %@%$#&^%@$ Just lost a 30 min post! Grrrrr

So DRA, with what Betz said and the info Damian and the Warbanians gathered, are we now fairly certain that the civilization in the distance is Maho? If so...

The magus opens her mouth to speak to the ghost but he is gone before she gets a chance. Scowling in frustration for a few moments, she finally nods her head to herself and turns once again to her Captain

"Sir, with the words of Betz just now and the information that you and the others gathered earlier, I feel I must reverse my previous position. I now feel that, if that city in the distance is indeed Maho, we need to go there, regardless of the delay it will cause us. My reasons for feeling so are several. First, the Southern Dwarves of Maho are powerful allies and well known for their hospitality, and I feel we have an obligation to make sure they are aware of the Rune Machine in this Red Dragonflight base and the incredible threat it, and all the other such machines, represent. Second, I am sure that there will be clerics or mages of sufficient power and ability there who will be able to then spread awareness of this threat to all our allies across the Land much faster than we would ever be able to do on our own. For if the threat of these Rune Machines goes unchecked, the threat of the Abominations won't matter too much. Thirdly, if we are indeed as far South as Maho, I fear that we may not have enough Teleportation magic with us to be able to get all of us back to Stormfare safely" and at this she gives a glance around at their now sizable party "It is my hope that those same mages or clerics in Maho may be able to get us all back to Stormfare much faster and more safely then we could manage on our own."

She then turns to Mai "Why, yes, his first name was Betz. Do you know of him?"

@All: Please assume that Aylaeth also gave a full report to everyone about all that happened in the painting room earlier with Betz. There is no reason why she and Damain would have kept all that secret from the rest of the part after all.

DRA, there's no info on Maho in the 'What you know about the Land' document, so here' some Knowledge rolls for Aylaeth

Rolls:

K Geography: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 9 + 2 = 15
K History: 1d20 + 13 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 13 + 2 = 27
K Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
K Nobility: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 7 + 2 = 18

K Nature: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 9 + 2 = 17 (For possible dangers in the Jungle between here and Maho)

Ada'an's Aid
K Geography: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
K History: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
K Local: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
K Nobility: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17

K Nature: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

MIn stares in utter shock of the sudden appearance of the ghost and before he's able to react the dwarven ghost is gone. "I missed something didn't I?"

When Ayleath changes her mind about exploring Min looks at her questioningly and says nothing, clearly hewasn't the only one whos mind was scattered. He focused more on the banner, he needed to find a more decent library to learn more about the Lionhearts. Izmir wouldn't allow it and outright forbid such research, perhaps Stormfare or even Maho had a decent pool of knowledge on the subject. He nodded however as Aylaeth finished speaking, just becuase he was annoyed didn't mean he wasn't listening. "Sounds good, we probably should move in force and once we are close have Livain and Mai perform aerial recon, that way we are close enough to support them from the ground if things go wrong." Min wraps the banner up as he waits on a response and slips it into his pack.

"First things first though... Time for us to get some rest."


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

Ha! She's not "scattered", she just got new information! Big difference between heading all the way there just to find out if they're allies and heading all the way there knowing they're allies ; )


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

Knowledge Arcana:1d20 + 18 ⇒ (18) + 18 = 36


DMPCing Captain Lamorak:

A good soldier needed two things to make a successful plan; as much relevant information as could be had -- but not a jot more -- and a solid team to carry out that plan. Damian already knew he had the latter, so it was time to work on the former.

"Everyone voting in favor of taking a rest is correct; that's definitely our first order of business. Min, Aylaeth, you two go double-check the rooms closest to the exits. Take two of our Warbanian friends here with you. I want a place to sleep that's NOT in the middle of a giant spell-web and in which we can also establish a defensible position, preferably one with multiple exits, if you can find one. We know a number of the Red Dragonflight escaped, and we have to assume that by now they know their attempt to create another..."rune engine"...here in Maho has failed, so they may be coming back to finish the job. We need to be prepared for that occurrence. " He nods at Min and Aylaeth, knowing they'll carry out their orders to the utmost of their abilities. The captain then turns to the Silastrix.

"Maiathreen, Livain, as soon as the two of you are rested, I want you to fly to Maho and scout the situation there. Take teleporting magic with you so you can escape in a hurry if need be, but I want you to fly as fast as possible and verify that Maho is in fact, still a friendly city. The presence of so small and under-manned a force of Red Dragonflight so close to the city gives me pause; where were their supplies? Where is their extra ammunition? Either they were teleported here directly by the demons and priests that were with them -- something I wouldn't put past them -- or they've taken the city and are using that as a base of operations."

"I'm going to do a double-check of our perimiter and make sure it's secure."


It doesn't take long for the captain, Min, and Aylaeth to find a good spot for you all to sleep, and with the five mercenaries bolstering your ranks the mages are able to get a full and uninterrupted rest as their individual constitutions demand, and do so while knowing the area is as secure as it can get.

As soon as Livain and Mai are ready, they walk out to the balcony Min found earlier, and fly south towards the dwarven kingdom.

Any preparations before the Silastrix take off on this scouting mission?


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

"Well Luckbringer had once told us of a story where a dwarf named Beltz Wellrock and his son Wolf were among the first to meet and fight the Metallum by using their own flesh as weapons. Like this dagger here. Maiathreen says showing his dagger as a visual aid. According to one of the Liberators a dwarf by the name of Gotrek freed Wolf and nearly 500 dwarven warriors. According to whatbhe told blue Belts died in the final battle....which from what we just saw seems that was true."


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

As per the Captain's orders, Aylaeth hands Mai a scroll of Teleport, knowing her fellow Magus would use his excellent judgement in using it.

As they make their final preparations, the Slyph takes her Silastrix friend in an embrace. Hugging her tightly she whispers in her ear "No matter what Livain, stay safe!" and then, pulling back says to them both [b]"I know I don't need to tell you this, but I will anyway, take care of each other!"

Although she knew well how capable and deadly the wedded pair were, especially when it came to protecting each other, the Captain's comments had caused her to have some trepidation about the two of them heading there alone. While she herself was a scholar and a trained soldier, it had never even occurred to her that the great Dwarven town of Maho might have been overrun by the Red Dragonflight. But then, that's why Damian was the Captain, for he did think of such things.

As she watches the pair take off, she whispers a silent prayer to Abadar to keep them safe. Then turning to her commanding officer she asks "So, what now Captain?"

Earlier with Mai:

Aylaeth takes the proffered dagger and studies it closely while listening to the rest of Mai's tale. When he finishes she says "How did you get this Mai? This is very interesting. I really do wish I had had the time to speak with the Professor more before he had to head off. I wonder how he is faring. But it is passing strange that Master Wellrock didn't seem to be aware of any of the events that the Liberators told you."

DRA are they any rolls possible for determining how the ghosts might not have been aware of their deaths or the events leading up to them? And also anything further she might be able to learn about the Metallum that is not already known?


Captain Lamorak watches the lifemates fly out over the jungle canopy, two bright and winged creatures under the blazing southern sun. A flock of native birds whirls playfully around them in a riot of color before dissipating back towards the jungle floor. "Blessing of the Inheritor on you both." He says after them.

Damian then turns his attention to Aylaeth and takes a resigned breath. "Now, we wait. But we do not do so idly; tell me, what are our options for getting a message back to Stormfare immediately, given what we have in our posession? Assume there is no aid to be had in Maho; that we are utterly cut off and on our own. How would we get message back to our allies?" The question is addressed primarily to the sylph magus, but is clearly meant for all in earshot; Min and the Warbanians included.


Aylaeth Brely'an wrote:
DRA are they any rolls possible for determining how the ghosts might not have been aware of their deaths or the events leading up to them? And also anything further she might be able to learn about the Metallum that is not already known?

Such a roll is unnecessary; Beltz was mortally wounded so wasn't completely cognizant of what was going on, but he knew his number was up; he's not confused about being dead, he's confused about where he is and why he's there. As for the metallum, Beltz has told you about all anyone knows.


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

Spell selection for the day.
Spells Prepared: shield (2); shocking grasp cold damage (3); infernal healing; bears endurance; ablative barrier (2); mirror image; frigid touch; bladed dash; haste; vampiric touch; displacement
Will hopefully work for a scouting mission wishing I had a wand of invisibility or even vanish but, que sera sera.


Female Silastrix Archer 11 - HP 93 AC 24, T 16, Flat 18 - F+7 R+8 W+ 4 Init +8; Senses: Darkvision Low-Light Vision)

"Thank you Aylaeth, take care as well. We'll be fine" She says with a smile as she hugs back. Turning to her husband. "Are you ready my love?" She says with a quick kiss and a laugh.

After taking off she can't help but laugh as the colorful flock of birds fly around the two of them. When the birds return to the jungle she becomes more serious knowing they were possibly heading into dangerous territory.


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

"Oddly enough the Metallum gave both me and Livain one of these daggers after telling us about the Skyknights....we still don't know why." Maiathreen says with a shrug. "If Beltz was dead it makes sense that he wouldn't be aware of what happened to his son....but what's odd is that he is here instead of in the mana mountains."

Later
Maiathreen finishes consulting his grimore and places his spells to memory. After Livain and Aylaeth speak before he can say anything Livain kisses him and jumps back with a laugh. He smiles at his wife and nods his head just glad that she wasn't terrified anymore like she was yesterday. He remembers hearing her mumbling in her sleep, but he was unable to understand what she was saying.

"Well we'll be back as soon as we can get a clear picture of what's going on in Maho. We'll be sure not to get in over our heads." Maiathreen says to Damian before he and Livain take off.


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Used the last two spells before bed, CSW 3d8 + 9 ⇒ (4, 8, 8) + 9 = 29 and CLW 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8 37 + 23 gives him full HP :)

After taking two full watches so the others could rest Min continue to try and focus on the bond, trying to feel out where or how Lin was doing but in the end it came up empty and inert. Wherever they were the bond did not function there. His only hope was the Lin followed what he had told her, in the event he didn't return she was to continue on. As much as the events of yesterday continued to haunt him, he could only hope that she was alright. When asked by Captain Camian if he knew of anyway s to communicate with the others in Stormfare, he shrugged his shoulders and looked lost. "I don't have any abilities of that kind. I normally can summon Lin to my side but our bond is broken for some reason. I can't even feel in what direction she is or how she fares... It is unsettling."


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

Before the Silastrix leave:
Just before the pair take off, Aylaeth suddenly remembers something and shouts "Hey wait! Here, take these. They should help you both return to us safely should things not go well." and she quickly fishes out of her haversack two potions of invisibility and hands one to each of them.

Now:

Thinking briefly Aylaeth shakes her head and answers the Captian "I too neither have the magic or abilities to send a message to our allies. The only thing I can think of Captain would be for Mai or myself to use the wand to Teleport to Stormfare, and give the message personally and then bring back more magical help for the rest of us. Or, we could use the scroll of Greater Teleport. That would allow all of Skyknights to make it to Stormfare, and again, then we could send back others to bring all of our brave Warbanian allies home. But I simply do not at present know of a way that could get all of us safely back in one shot. And this of course doesn't consider those poor children sir."

OMGosh! The Children!!! Good thing thing our PC's aren't as forgetful as their Players are, seeing as The Children are the entire reason we Came here in the first place! : P

Positive that Livain or one of the others had made sure the children were alright while she was conducting her research, Aylaeth gathers food and water and makes her way to their holding room once again. She lets the others know of her plans, so any who wish to go with her can, and pauses before the door to allow anyone with her to prepare themselves. She also reminds them not to use lethal force on the children if at all possible. Taking a deep breath, firming herself emotionally to continue her horrible ruse, and as well to help save herself from the stench she knows is in the room, she opens the door and steps though.

In a rough an angry voice she yells "Here maggots! Come eat and drink! If you're going to be of any use to me, you'll need you're strength. While I'm at it, are any of you wounded or need medical aid? For there's pitifully few of you left as there is. If any of you decide you can die before I tell you you can, I promise you, I'll follow you to the Abyss and make you regret it for all eternity! Now come eat! And by Pitt! That smell! I'll have no more of it!" And, while the children eat, she uses her prestidigitation to rid the room of it's smell and clean up some of the worst of the disgusting mess.


Male Elf Witch 5 / Ranger 1/ Eldritch Knight 5

Belsarios continues to research dusty tomes.....

Ley lines

Spoiler:

1. map or graph
2. making them visible to the shadow-dancer
3. preventing a ritual to take over another......a ward or protection

upgrades

Spoiler:

assume my upgrades are in budget
and available


@Min: Despondent about the loss of your connection with Lin, you take to wandering around the cavernous and strangely empty...whatever-this-is that you find yourself within. Looking for some fresh air, you make your way onto the balcony, thinking maybe you'll watch your friends Mai and Livain as they wheel away to Maho. As you sit there, contemplating their flight and your situation, you feel a nudge at your mind...a sense of...of tugging...of a pull...

And then with an almost-audible snap you connect with Lin. The Bond is more impressions at this distance; emotions and sensations rather than actual telepathy, but still, you feel her powerful heart, her soaring emotions and worried thoughts. She is there. Sitting outside, on a high rock ledge, you wish you could send her flying down here, but for now this will have to do.


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Min pauses in his wanderings he had been watching Aylaeth deal with the brainwashed children and that had made him very sad. When the bond suddenly snapped to life he felt a surge of strength and renewed vigor. The paintings image had left him down and off kilter now he knew it had been wrong. At least for now. He'd never get rid of the images he saw or the doubt in his mind but this connection was real and she was here.

Leaving Aylaeth with dealing with the children Min stole his way outside the fortress, he wasn't a fool however. As much as it gladdened him to know she was so near there was something off as well, how she had gotten here for one thing and... He shrugged off the last thought, aiming to deal with it once he saw her, he picked up his blades and armed himself appropriately before climbing out onto ledge where his allies had taken off from.


Captain Lamorak stands for a moment, thinking. He dismisses Min and the Warbanians, then speaks privately with Aylaeth.

"Aylaeth, a Captain must juggle many responsibilities; the success of the mission is paramount, but cannot be achieved if the men and women of the team are unable to perform at peak. All angles must be considered as much as possible. It is with this in mind that I've decided the following; you and Min are to return to Stormfare immediately. Take the wand of Greater Teleport and as many of the children as you can. They are, after all, the entire reason we are here. I will remain behind with the Warbanians and await the return of Maiathreen and Livain, and keep an eye out for any further trouble."

"Sending you and Min back achieves two things; firstly it reunites the two of you with your mounts, something I consider of paramount importance. Valuable to me as Keythan is, Tora'an and Lin are much more to the Skyknights than simply mounts, even special ones. Indeed, they are team members. Secondly, as my Lieutenant, Min can speak on behalf of me in requesting aid from Van-Galazzan, Van-Haera, or whomever else is willing to help."

"Once in Stormfare, you should get to work on the copied pages from Fen's Omnibus that Pike DePhazz left behind, hopefully leaving the children to the city's care until we can work with them to decide something to do with them, if further discussion is necessary. Min can return here with additional magic -- hopefully -- to help those of us that are left behind return. In this way, we will accomplish several things at once, working in parallel."

"Go ahead and do whatever you were going to do with the children, and also pick out the ones you'd like to take with you. I want you and Min to leave as soon as possible. With any luck, Min can return well before the Silastrix do, and we can have plenty of time to get us all back to Stormfare and back on our mission. We'll inform Stormfare and Izmir and anyone else who'll listen about what we've found. Now that the Red Dragonflight's secret is out, I don't think they'll so easily be able to build these...these...rooms wherever they wish; people will be looking for them."

With that, Sir Damian leaves you to work quickly and execute his orders while he goes to tell the Warbanians what's going on.


Female Sylph Magus (Staff Magus & Cabalist) / 9| HP 72/72 AC 23*or more*, T 14, Flat 18- F+9 R+8 W+9 Init +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Per +9(+11))

Understanding the intent of her commander's message, even if the wordage was wrong, Aylaeth simply says "Yes sir! It shall be as you say sir! And thank you. I know Min and Lin will be just as grateful for their reunion as will Tora'an and I" for after all, Damian was a soldier, he was not expected to know of all things arcane, that was her and Mai's job.

After saluting, the magus hurries to find Min and pass on the good news. Finally finding him outside on the ledge where the Silastrix took wing from, she gently puts her hand on his shoulder. Unable to fully contain her excitement, her face lights up as she says "Min! I have good news! The Captain has ordered you and to return to Stormfare with all due haste! We will be seeing Lin and Tora'an with the half-hour! I will be using our scroll of greater teleport, so we will be taking three of the children with us. Damian will remain here with the Warbanians and the children and wait for Mai and Livain's return. Once in Stormfare, I am to see to the needs of the children and then delve into my research and your mission is to see about returning here with enough magic or aid to get everyone safely back to Stormfare. Isn't it wonderful!"

Her face gets thoughtful for a moment as she continues "I'm sure we won't have difficulty finding the help there that we need, but just in case, perhaps we should bring all of the items we have found here, in the off chance that you will need to sell anything to get the magical aid we shall require." knowing his experience with them, she elects not to tell him that she intends to bring the paintings as well, for there was no need to upset him unnecessarily. [g]"I go now to see the children again, will you come?"[/b]

Once again preparing herself mentally and emotionally before going into seeing the children she also again makes sure there are Warbanians present to make sure none of the children escape to run away. Opening the door and stepping inside she yells "Alright! Pay attention maggots! I need three of you to come with me, so line up in two rows so I can get a good look at you all!" Once they have done so, she continues "You will be performing a secret mission for me, so I cannot have you looking and smelling like filth, so stand still while I clean you up!" while she uses her Presdigitation cantrip to do this, she silently sends a message to Ada'an to scan their hearts to see which of them lean least towards evil. At the same time, she looks to see which ones are most urgently in need of physical care. When she has gathered this information, as well as an accurate count of just how many of them there are, she will make her decision.

Sense Motive?: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Heal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21

Not sure if she's going in to see them again, or if both posts happen in the same visit, but I think it all should go fairly smoothly together


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Min adjusts his gear and looks at Aylaeth strangely for a moment before saying, quite bluntly. "No, I won't see those children, not yet at least. You should also know... Lin is here. The bond is thrumming once more and she is here. She is still distant though..." He was both uncertain and happy at the same time, in fact he didn't know how to feel exactly about Lin's sudden appearance but he would be glad once he laid eyes on her again. "I'm going to seek her out and I will return shortly, I will do as Damian asks in a moment..." He looks to the mountainside, seeking an easy way to ascend and head towards Lin.

I'm pretty sure I didn't misunderstand DRA's post, it sounds like Lin is nearby. So i'm going with it for now~


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

RETCON!

The bond thrummed once more, his connection to Lin was restored and it renewed his strength to carry onward.

For the first time in hours he felt like smiling, a great weight was lifted off his shoulders and he nearly felt like lifting Aylaeth up and tossing her around. However, he kept himself controlled and nodded to the Magus's words. "Then thats what we will do, I can gather up the Red Dragonflights gear and take it with us for trading and at least place it with Lin and the others. "

Min follows Aylaeth down to where the children are and watches intently, sick with the idea of continuing the horrible treatment despite just acting. He watches however to see if any of these children aren't so warped as they appear...

Sense motive 1d20 ⇒ 9


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

Just keep flying flying flying la lalalalalalala


@Mai and @Livain: The journey over the jungle is equal parts breathtakingly beautiful and completely nerve-wracking. You both know that at least six or seven red dragonflight soldiers got away -- including the two priests -- and all signs point to them being somewhere in the jungle right now, maybe headed to a base of operations that you might be flying over at any second.

Twice you catch humanoids moving around beneath the canopy, or at least you think they were, but both times you're unable to get a visual confirmation and you know you can't stop to go down and look; after all, it could be a trap, and this is a scouting mission, not seek-and-destroy. You recall the nets that ensnared you just a few weeks ago in the temperate woods south of Hallas.

After a five-hour flight you soar over the dwarven capitol city of Maho, and it is still a spectacular sight, even with the thick jungle obscuring much of it from view. Enormous squat pyramids and ziggurats intermingle with rounded turrets and towering obelisks, some as tall as 450' high, at least. You see dwarves and humans and elves and all manner of being moving around below, but you take care to remain hidden from view (and/or invisible) so none can see you.

From what you can tell, everything is peaceful in the city below. There is a central palazzo, an incredibly massive, open-air stone palace that covers thousands of square feet, where you would guess the king (or whomever) sits, and there are a couple other homes that seem likely to belong to magistrates, but there is no clear sign for what visitors to the city are supposed to do, if anything.

DC25 Perception:
As you continue your reconnaissance, you note some men wearing the same ivory-and-silver vestments as the priests of Kalaroth, and you see some people openly wearing the sigil of the red dragonflight. They seem to be co-existing just fine with everyone else, as far as you can tell, and there is no sign of a standing army of dragonflight soldiers.


@Aylaeth and @Min: The children, now terrified that there is some kind of strange conspiracy on top of everything else, stand there glumly while you clean them (and their cell) up. It's easy to spot the most injured; three kids have been beaten within an inch of their lives, no doubt by the others as punishment for some imagined transgression or other.

Unfortunately, all these children have an aura tainted by evil, and in essentially equal measure. Every last one of them.


@Min: You realize when you re-enter the mountain hold that the Bond has gone away again. Taking a moment, you step back outside, and after a few minutes it returns. It would seem the mountain itself is somehow interfering with your connection to Lin...


Male DraRid 9 - HP 66/66 AC 23, T 14, Flat 19 - F+7 R+10 W+6 Init +4; Senses: Superior Low-Light Vision (X4), Darkvision 60ft; Per +14

Min nearly staggers when his connection is cut off again, and after it happens a second time he realizes that there was something gravely wrong with this mountain. He sighed and soldier on to where the children were...

===========================================================================

Seeing the three that were gravely injured he ignores the other and moves to their side, his magics were potent enough to make their injuries vanish and when they were looking healthier. He stood and gave the others a baleful glare, inching the black adamantium blade from its sheath. "No more fighting, if this isn't obeyed I swear I will shave the lot of you from head to toe with this blade. YOU GOT ME!" Any that smart up find the Tuathan directly in their face, barely an inch from them as he whispers in his hardest voice. "Are you volunteering?" When they back down he slides the blade back into its sheath and continues to glare menacingly, like an angry adult scolding a bunch of ill-behaving children. "Rough housing will be allowed! But one more injuries, bloody nose or twisted paw done on Purpose like the those I just put right and I swear you will all have hell to pay. DO. YOU. GOT. ME!"

For lasting affect he stands there and watches them all like a hawk for a few minutes as Aylaeth continues cleaning around them. He was like an angry elven hawk that was hell bent to make its point well known if even one of them stepped out of line. Once they were settled he looked at them one by one, measuring each of them in turn. "So what did they teach you in this heap? Hmm? I'm looking for the three toughest and or brightest to come with us on a special mission. But not just any three of you can go... So which of you can answer where we are? What type of mountain is this? And what was your reason to be here? This is but the first step in the challenge and if your not up for it we can just leave you here in this pit..."

He continued to give them measured looks, bordering between stern or menacing, however these kids took it. But now he was making a game of it somewhat, he wanted to see which would crawl out of their shells and answer. He pointed at the first one to open its mouth to answer, silencing all others as he entertained its right to speak first.


Male Silastrix Magus (Bladebound Kensai) 11 (HP 83/83 AC 30, T 23, Flat 11 - F+9 R+9 W+8 Init +12; Senses: Darkvision 60ft Low-Light Vision (X2), Per +13

Perception:1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25Hmmm.....what to do what to do. Leave now or land and gather information.... Maybe safer just to head back seeing as red dragonflight consider both Livain and myself abominations... I mean neither of us are the most persuasive so gathering information on the ground won't work so well and we kind of stick out a little bit....

Maiathreen gazes out over the city his expression grim. The red dragonflight seems to be here not in mass but enough to possibly pose a threat to them. ::They can't be here for the scenery...are they in control of the city or just a small group...why would the rulers of this city allow them in...unless they are allied which means we've lost at least one ally..::


@Min and @Aylaeth: Aylaeth has just finished cleaning up the kids when Min comes in and all hell breaks loose. The children fall to the ground groveling and begging, not even letting the scout get a word out. They are babbling and begging for forgiveness even worse than they were when they first saw Aylaeth as a bone devil.

"PLEASE GREAT ONE NO"
"PLEASE NOT THE MAGIC"
"DON'T SUMMON THE LEG THINGS DON'T PLEASE DON'T"
"KALAROTH IS OUR GOD THE ONLY GOD WE PRAY THE DRAGON HEAD THE GODHEAD FOREVER"

...and so on. Three of the children soil themselves and all prostrate themselves before Min.

DC20 Perception:
You recall that one of the priests of Kalaroth was an elf, and now you think about it he bore at least a superficial resemblance to Min. These children likely can't yet tell the difference between an elf and a half-elf and just think Min is another priest, an armored one with weapons. Therefore, they are terrified of him.

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