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The Seer's Journey - DM Downrightamazed

Game Master downrightamazed

A young refugee girl, blessed by the gods with foresight, is accompanied by six warriors to one of the most dangerous places in the world, where a great hero will die.


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The Steadfast slams and slices through the rough ocean waters, headed north. It catches up with the ring of silhouettes that are pacing it, and as it does so, the archers fire arrows underwater at the same time the ballista crews fire bolts. The battle mage completes a spell, and a dome of arcane energy spreads over and around the ship.

Spindly, hideous limbs of some sort slap up over the railing like articulated sticks covered with slime and brine, but the sailors stationed there are prepared and chop viciously into them, forcing them to withdraw back into the deep. A wind elemental summoned by the ship's druid hammers into the sails and sends the boat powering forward at an astonishing rate of speed, quickly leaving the silhouettes behind, which gather into a cluster and continue to pursue, despite their enormous speed deficit.

Once a certain distance from the enemy -- whatever they were -- has been attained, the battle mage dismisses his spell. The druid, however, summons forth fresh elementals to aid the boat in maintaining speed. The sailors all work hard to keep things on course.

After dinner, as people are milling around on deck, a sickly green glow becomes visible from the shoreline to the east -- The Scrap City.

Funny that this gods-forsaken place, so rarely spoken of, should not only be mentioned but now come within your sight, both in the same day. The glow over that place is shimmering and difficult to watch, like the borealis in the north, or faerie fire or wills-o-the-wisp. You are too far out to see with naked eye whether or not there is movement within that place, but the lookout is eyeing it closely with her spyglass, and as you pass, you see her shake her head dismally and make notes in the log she keeps.


The rest of the journey passes uneventfully, if fretfully due to your pursuers not giving up, and soon enough you come to a jagged and dangerous-looking rock formation; Kalaroth's Teeth. On top of the largest rock is Van-Galazzan, waiting for you. "COME, FRIENDS, COME QUICKLY! THE GRINDYLOW PURSUE YOU STILL! YOU MUST BE SWIFT!" he shouts, pointing back at the cluster of silhouettes that continues doggedly to pursue you.

The druid summons an ice elemental to freeze the water into a bridge. "No time for the dinghy!" he yells over the pounding and rushing surf "The mind-maggots are ANGRY, I've never seen them so determined! Get out of here!"

You all haul forward and down and onto the bridge, Hurin and Justahl and Jorzan keeping close eye on Cassandra as the rest of you watch the surrounding water.

Set into the rock upon which the Prefect of Stormfare is sitting is an incredibly massive pair of doors; they are near 80'x80' in total, and covered with draconic runes.

If you speak Draconic:
The runes say "May these doors serve all dragons, that their work be expedited, under the Eyes of Kalaroth, that dragonkind may forever rule."

Set into these doors are a pair of recessed handles far too large for any creature smaller than an ancient dragon to even wield, much less operate. The great Van-Galazzan gets in front of these doors and, after speaking in the draconic tongue, heaves the doors open, his enormous muscles straining mightily with the effort. As he hustles you in, you see the Steadfast wheeling around and hear the shouts of the battle mage and druid casting spells. Van-Galazzan unleashes a tremendous gout of flame outwards, melting the ice bridge and causing something to scream. You see horrid slug-like creatures, their mottled flesh maggot-white and their convulsing bodies covered in those rubbery stick-like appendages you saw earlier, lurching and vaulting disgustingly forth out of the ocean. They are covered in malevolent eyes, both fierce and eerily calm. They regard you.

They have come for you.

"IIIIINNNNNNNNNNN!" Yells the Prefect, and he hurls you all inside, heaving the doors shut behind him just as a second great wyrm brass dragon rockets in overhead and unleashes fire on the Things in the ocean. You all tumble down into darkness...


*BOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!*

The mammoth doors shut with an incredible echo that goes on for a long, long time.

The fall doesn't hurt anyone more than scrapes or bruises. You all call out to each other to verify everyone is there. All are accounted for. There are sounds outside the doors, but they are distant. In the dark, Cassandra lets out a low wail.

"nnnoooooo, no...owwwwwwww"

There is a bit of fumbling around as people look for torches while those with darkvision attend to your tiny charge, but suddenly the question of darkness is rendered moot as there is a blast of light all around you, briefly shocking but fading quickly, and then suddenly all of you can see clearly as you are bathed in the carved recollections of the times of the terror and glory of Kalaroth, the Dragon God.

Though it was apparent to those with darkvision that there were carvings on the walls, the carvings were very indistinct and difficult to make much of without the benefit of full light or full-color vision. The thick coating of dust that has slowly accreted over the centuries has dulled the effectiveness and clarity of the carvings.

Now, though, the carvings all glow with some bizarre internal light. You can see the floor of the tunnel you are in is builded entirely of marble; great, glorious sheets of the stuff. No dwarf nor halfling nor other race of industry and stonework could ever have cut and carried stone slabs of such incredible size; each one is fully 50' long and covers the entire 100' of the tunnel's width. The ceiling, too, is 100' up. The walls and ceiling are stone, but again the slabs used are of tremendous size, and the stone, though dusty, is of the highest quality.

The carvings on the walls make the ones on the doors look like a child's scribblings. An impossible multitude of draconic forms dance, run, fly, fight, and flirt on the walls. They cavort and gambol, they mince and pounce and stride. In all kinds of activities are the great flying beasts here captured; some are reading, some practicing magic, some are playing games or strange, giant musical instruments. Other flying creatures are present as well, though they are at a level below all the dragons. In this strata creatures like elementals and birds and pegasi and sand rays and other things are visible. Behind them all, at regular intervals along the wall, is the Godhead of Kalaroth, his distinctly draconic face floating behind and above everything, looking down on his people with a look of what could conceivably be benificence.

At the bottom of the walls, rendered in unpleasantly accurate detail, are creatures that do not fly; humanoids and sauropods and ursine; ungulates and cephalopods and all manner of thing. All are in chains, or laboring under the watchful eyes of draconic guards. A gruesome execution is depicted.

These carvings continue, uninterrupted, along the wall as far as you can see. The light glows from wing outlines, some geographical features, and from the eyes of every dragon. Whether the site is glorious or an abomination or somewhere in between is entirely dependent on the individual viewer's relationship with dragons and opinions on slavery and subjugation, but this much is inarguable; not in any of your lives have you laid eyes on a site such as this.

"...Behold." rumbles Van-Galazaan, who entered with you, and even the Great Wyrm sounds hushed by what he sees. "Behold the time when Kalaroth ruled, days gone by some five thousand years now, and days that must never return. Come. We must depart. I fear that every minute spent in this place is like a month of agony for the child."


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

Tensing and keeping ready for anything as it becomes clear that the shapes are indeed hostile, Jorzan find himself pleasantly surprised at the professionalism of the crew in dealing with the threat so rapidly and efficiently.

Showing his respect and appreciation to the Captain, First Mate and any crew he happens upon he, stops below decks to let Justahl know that all seems fine and well before finally heading to the rear of the ship to watch their pursuers quickly fade into the distance.

When he notices the actions of the lookout, not having anything better to do, at least not quite yet, he makes his way up to the crow's nest once again and asks to borrow the spyglass, turning it upon Scrap City.
Perception: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (1) + 18 = 19

After comparing notes with the look-out, he makes his way down and finally looks for the half-orcess. Finding her, he looks up and says with a straight face in a voice pitched for her ears alone "So I hear you have some talent at punishing those as have misbehaved. Well, I've been a very bad boy." it is not until the very last that he let's her see the glint of a smile in his eyes. Ball's in your court or fine to fade to black Mr. DM

@Astar: were you going to look into figuring out what Justahl's strange compass is? Figure you have the best bet at being successful


@Jorzan, earlier:
The lookout, not minding some company, hands over the spyglass. You see the same thing she did; there is a lot of movement in the scrap city. The green glow of necrotic arcane energy makes it difficult to distinguish much beyond basic forms, but it's clear that a large population of humanoids is moving around. At this distance, you can't tell how many of them are living and how many undead.

When you find her, the half-orc sailor smiles in turn. "Haha!" she says, and quickly shucks her shirt, revealing her impressive...attributes and her beautifully muscled torso. In one easy motion she shuts her door. "That's what you said last time, ye rogue. You need a new line." She teases, but her smile is genuine. She steps in close and embraces you. "Luckily for you, I'm a sucker for shadowy humans. How did you get up here from Xai Xai so quickly, you clever man?"

I can't put a spoiler in a spoiler, but if you Sense Motive on her, she's not lying or being duplicitous in any way.


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

With the half-orc:

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (16) + 16 = 32
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30

Noting the gathering of humanoids, but knowing there was little to nothing that could be done about it at present, Jorzan files the information, making not to mention it to the others next meal time.

As he quickly realizes that the sailor is taking him for someone else, clearly one of his brothers, Jorzan pauses for a beat, a rush of varied emotions surging through him. 'The hell with it' he decides wryly to himself, 'Been much too long since an oppourtinity like this presented itself. And besides being fun, might be something interesting to learn here." Taking off his own top he thus gives himself a few ticks to think of a response, as well as gather all the memories and knowledge he can of Xai Xai.

Knowledge(geography Xai Xai): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9 (plus whatever is common knowledge?)

When done, the lie comes smoothly and easily to his tongue along with a rakish grin "Hey if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And as to my arrival, like you said babe, I'm shadowy, I don't have to travel in a straight line from place to place like you normal folk. Now enough talk! I didn't come all this way to trade words with you."

If possible, he'll also try and subtley gather what info he can from her as to her name, who exactly she thinks he is, and their past history and stories together. Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11 and/or Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17; Sense Motive?:1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

Not particularly bothered by the darkness, nevertheless Justahl is about to bring fort the Daylight when the point is made moot by the sudden blaze of light from the statues.
Flinching a little from the sudden blaze of light, Justahl is rendered speechless by the sheer glorious beauty of the construction... devoted to brutal oppression. Finally noticing Cassandra's distress, he rigs her seat on his backpack again and settles her in as he stands up again.
He stops next to Astar, and pulls out the strange spiky compass.
"Astar, what do you make of this?"


Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Gray walks silently at the end the group. Taking in the sights of the massive walls.


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Watching the crew preparing for a serious battle got Hurin's blood up, but he realized that this was not his battle to fight. As frustrating as it felt to not lend his blade to aid the valiant crew and as bad as he wished to exact some revenge for Jann's lost vessel, he had to get Cassandra to safety as he ushered her across the bridge and through the open doors.

*BOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!*

The mammoth doors shut with an incredible echo that goes on for a long, long time.

Amazingly the dragon hurling the party through the doors didn't result in any serious injuries as Hurin used his ability to see in the dark to try to roll with and shield Cassandra from harm as armored bodies and a partys worth of gear and weapons lands in a heap on the marble floor. "it's all right everybody, we're all here. Cassandra's right here with me shes just a little scuffed up.

There are sounds outside the doors, but they are distant. "Gods speed to those brave men and women out there. In the dark, Cassandra lets out a low wail.

"nnnoooooo, no...owwwwwwww"

Hurin helped Cassandra stand as he almost frantically checked her over for missed injuries. "Sir Justal, I can't see any injuries on her can you come quickly!" There is a bit of fumbling around as people look for torches, but suddenly the question of darkness is rendered moot as there is a blast of light. Though it was apparent that there were carvings on the walls, the carvings were very indistinct and difficult to make much of without the benefit of full light or full-color vision. The thick coating of dust that has slowly accreted over the centuries has dulled the effectiveness and clarity of the carvings.

Now, though, the carvings all glow with some bizarre internal light. The floor of the tunnel you are in is builded entirely of marble; great, glorious sheets of the stuff. No dwarf nor halfling nor other race of industry and stonework could ever have cut and carried stone slabs of such incredible size; each one is fully 50' long and covers the entire 100' of the tunnel's width. The ceiling, too, is 100' up. The walls and ceiling are stone, but again the slabs used are of tremendous size, and the stone, though dusty, is of the highest quality. "damn this took some doing, maybe the dragons couldn't use smaller more intricate blocks. . .,this is f@!&ing amazing, I am not going to admit to it out loud though."

The carvings on the walls make the ones on the doors look like a child's scribblings. .

"...Behold." rumbles Van-Galazaan, who entered with you, and even the Great Wyrm sounds hushed by what he sees. "Behold the time when Kalaroth ruled, days gone by some five thousand years now, and days that must never return. Come. We must depart. I fear that every minute spent in this place is like a month of agony for the child."


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Hurin watches the paladin closely as he loads the little girl into his backpack to see if his face says anything about her condition. Not seeing any sign of concern on his face the dwarf relaxes a bit and takes a moment to look around and nods his head in agreement at the dragons words. "Aye, if this place is causing the little one harm let's be leaving as soon as possible. Lead on."


Jorzan, with the half-orc:
You don't know much of anything about Xai Xai except that it is said to be a very pretty coastal town somewhere between Lesotho and Katapesh. The sailor, from what you can tell in the brief bit of actual chatting you do, knew "you" simply as a tumble in the hay not two weeks back, when she had a bit of shore leave in Xai Xai. She seems disinclined to talk, being more of a woman of action, and is put off by your efforts to get more info. She's grateful for the brief time you have together, though, and sees you off with an enthusiastic kiss shortly before you have to leave the boat.


None of you are able to see anything physically wrong with Cassandra, but she sort of clutches at her head until Snowy flutters down and lands on Justahl's shoulder, near her, at which point she finally relaxes. The bird makes a low hooting sound and fluffs its feathers and sort of settles in, looking rather comfortable.

Van-Galazzan begins trundling steadily down the long corridor.


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

Seeing Cassandra in distress makes his heart clench, but when the Owl lands and Cassandra relaxes, so does Justahl. He reaches up and pats her little hand before turning around and looking at the rest of the company.
"Everyone alright? Ready to travel? You all have light sources who need them?"
When everyone signals yes, he will march in Van-Galazzan's wake.


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

With a brief wave and a smile to his paramour, Jorzan hurries with the rest across the bridge, noting the words in Draconic before the doors slam shut. As they all tumble into the darkened room the agile rouge is one of the few to land on his feet.

Fascinated by the the massive room around him that he can see through the darkness, he immediately stops his inspection at Cassandra's moan, instantly moving to her side and placing a comforting had on her shoulder. When Justahl's puts her in her backpack seat and Snowy lands and seems to comfort her, Jorzan nods a silent thanks to the mysterious owl.

As the party readies itself to leave, the Shadowdancer moves off a bit and concentrates in a way he just seems to instinctively know and a few seconds later, another Shadow splits off from his own shadow as Zan returns at his master's summoning.

As they great dragon begins to move off, Jorzan hurries to catch up, craning his neck up to speak to the ancient wyrm. "Van-Gallazzan, as this group is rather...conspicuous in their approach, with your permission I'd like to scout ahead, to make sure that nothing catches us unprepared."

If given permission to do so, the Shadowdance then wraps the shadows close about himself self and speeds ahead, his dark companion not far behind him.
Jorzan Stealth: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (4) + 22 = 26
Zan Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10

Looking back and noticing his companion to be sticking out far too much in the bright corridor, Jorzan mentally orders the Shadow to pass into either the floor or walls, and thus move more unseen that way.

What is the intensity of the light in the corridor? Zan gets +4 in dim light and -4in bright light. Also, does the entire place seem to be lit up, or just the immediate area the party is in? If the former, Jorzan moves far enough ahead that he is in an area of darkness, if the latter, he moves far enough ahead that he is just out of sight and hearing range.


"May these doors serve all dragons, that their work be expedited, under the Eyes of Kalaroth, that dragonkind may forever rule."

The words carved in Draconic runes on the massive door echo in Nasmarra's mind as she silently floats to the ground while the others tumble. While she can truly deny gravity through her magic, the pair of high-laced shoes that she wears allows her to control any descent, or ascend if she wills it. The shoes were waiting for her when she arrived at the Great Tower, as were the magical mana pearls, and shifted in appearance when she put them on for the first time. She imagined her prior regeneration, a male sorcerer named Jaosaran, would not have liked them with the heels that they now bear.

Nasmarra summons a light in her hand, a simple cantrip requiring as little thought or effort as repeating a favorite phrase. Burrowing into the mind of another being is far more difficult. The mental discipline required to inject her own thoughts into the minds of others makes the simple conjuration of light a trivial matter. Her eyes gaze out upon the carvings, running over them with little external reaction. Internally, her mistrust of dragons, even those who have proven themselves friendly, grows seeing the extent of their fallen empire.

Nasmarra said little to the others during the half-day on the sea, apparently busy staring at the white owl. She has noticed the quiet glances between comrades-in-arms, those who have done battle together, about the strange new addition to their number. Nasmarra tends to simply watch others, slowly intuiting as much as she can about them. Thus, it likely comes as a surprise when she engages Kelne without warning after hardly more than a few sentences the past day. "The vampire Keshla, the alchemist feared her. I felt his terror, the abject fear he very name invoked. His fear was so strong that it grew to hate in order to not consume his very being. She is a dark and terrible figure in his mind, existing as much a specter of the possibility of the punishment for his vicious sins as she is an actual being. You do not fear her as he does. Your hate is from a different source."


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Edited for Nasmarra's post, since I hadn't picked that up before my own.

Well, the frescoes certainly illustrated Van-Galazaan's point. Kelne wouldn't care to see days such as those come again himself, though whether every dragon agreed was a separate question. Not all of them were benevolent, as the black and red dragonflights demonstrated. Still, for the moment, the dragon doors were useful, even if the ambience and the place's effect on Cassandra meant he'd prefer to spend as little time here as possible.

He turned at Nasmarra's interruption of his thoughts, "No, I hated the one who made her that way," he said, "And I hate the thing she's become. When I get the opportunity, I'll put her to rest. Fear doesn't really enter into it."

"I think I'll join you, Jorzan," he said, deciding that at least the appearance of doing something constructive would serve to settle his own nerves. This place had not been built with them in mind, and he was getting a distinctly hostile vibe from it, abandoned or not. No doubt there were good reasons why the land's dragons didn't make routine use of the doors, for all their apparent utility. Best to be through quickly and without fuss.

"Hurin, Astar, if you two could form a rear guard. I don't know what the Grindlowys' chances are of forcing the door, but I'd be surprised if they didn't at least make the attempt."

With that, he slipped ahead, keeping pace with Jorzan while hugging the opposite side of the hallway. The place wasn't exactly condusive to stealth, but the same applied for anybody else lurking about, and with a modicum of caution, he felt he had good odds of spotting any others before they spotted him.

Stealth: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (6) + 18 = 24


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

Just realized that if we're scouting, we might perhaps need perception rolls too Perception: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (4) + 18 = 22


Male Human Fighter (Lore Warden) 8 / Wizard (Scroll Scholar) 1

Astar was stunned by the room's illuminated revelations. His eyes practically popped out of their sockets as he scoured each engraved surface, committing what he could to memory. His neck craned each direction, he spun in circles, and he laughed like a child with a new toy.

He showed some small restraint, in that he didn't attempt to begin the task of replicating each set, or even to take a linear reading of the frescoes. Regardless, his mind was focused on this entirely unique treat- much more exciting than a sea attack. He was taken out of the moment thoroughly, to the point that Justahl's question about the compass was met quickly with an awe-infused reply.

"What do I think of this? Too many things. This is, I am fairly certain, one of the greatest things in this world, in terms of sheer knowledge value."

Everyone swarming around him though, with more present mindedness intent, caused him to catch up to the moment. He exhaled, deflating somewhat, as he drew his scimitar and looped its cord around his wrist.

"Rear sector secured."

As the mental calculations for the approximate materials and construction required to lever open the doors was spontaneously working in his mind, Astar called cheerfully up ahead to Van-Galazaan.

"You know I'll want to visit this place again at some point."

He let the echoes carry the implication of neverending persistence in this matter to the recipient.


The Halls of Kalaroth are sufficiently well-lit along their entire length such that no one in the party requires any aid to see. While dim enough to allow the cavernous height of the place seem extremely ominous and imposing, the light is just bright enough that any creature with normal vision can walk without fear of stumbling, though with the perfectly smooth floor, there's little chance of that, anyway.

Jorzan and Kelne take the lead, Van-Galazzan shrugging expansively at Jorzan's query. "There is nothing in these halls that will harm us. At least not physically. You may go wheresoever you wish, as long as it is forward, for that is the only direction this tunnel goes. If you reach the doors, you will have to stop, for they can only be opened by dragonkind." The ancient brass dragon continues forward at a lumbering lope, staying near Justahl and Cassandra.

The prefect also seems largely unconcerned by the minor tarrying of Astar and Gray, knowing that as mages look around, they may learn of the danger of letting the red dragonflight succeed, and also that eventually you will all reach the end of this tunnel.

Astar:
The carvings are impossibly rich in detail, and even a light glance tells you that some of the gems are worth rather a lot in terms of both simple monetary value as well as for studying the rarity of the cuts. Indeed, a jeweler would likely give her left hand to be able to see the work on some of the precious stones down here, assuming they could even be taken.

As you walk along, falling a bit behind the others, your keen mind begins to unravel -- almost against your will -- a pattern of numerological significance in the repeating motifs. That number is 1163. Over and over again. It is not at all clear to you whether it is one number, four numbers, or some other permutation, but you keep seeing it; 1,1,6,3. You also see the draconic words for "dimension" and "seafarer", but buried within other symbols.

Low in the earth, you think you feel a deep, deep subsonic rumble. When you concentrate on it, you see two fire-red spots in your mind's eye, like they eyes of some massive, world-sized beast. In the unknowable carvings across the vast and shadowy ceiling, you begin to fancy you see a larger unfolding of the same pattern.

1...1...6...3...
1...1...6...3...
1...1...6...3...
dimension...
seafarer...

@Hurin and @Jorzan only:
You don't even need to look closely to tell that some of the gemstones embedded in the wall are incredibly valuable, and cut in an ancient manner that any jeweler would probably kill to be able to study and learn from.


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

Jorzan nods at the ancient wyrm's words but keeps his own council to himself. For in his own experience, the words or sentiments 'Nothing to worry about, we are perfectly safe', were a clarion call for trouble to arrive. Determined to look even more carefully and be even more prepared for trouble he continues on, if the trip did indeed prove to be uneventful , he would be happy to be wrong.

He notices to the emperor's ransom and more adorning the walls, but even his roguish instinct towards is not enough motivation to make him wish to mess with the hall of an ancient dragon god. No, no thank you, he already had enough problems of his own.


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Hurin does a double take on the gems embedded in the walls of such ancient and complex cut that they defied belief. Hurin walked over to admire a few chioce gems but took care not to touch or otherwise disturb them. "Dragons are well known for their need to compile hoards, there has to be a damn good reason that these have been left here . . ." Hurin clears his throat, "Ahem,Prefect, pray tell what culture cut these stones? Their cut and polish is amazing and I have not seen their like before anywhere else."

"Hey Astar if you want a lesson in geometrics here it is!"


Van-Galazzan nods sagely at Hurin. "That is because those stones pre-date free dwarves in the Land, friend Hurin. Your people were little more than broad-shouldered peches in Kalaroth's time, as all humanoids were similarly poorly treated." He shakes his great head in sadness. "Those gems were cut by a variety of races. Dragons knew the techniques, but humanoids had the tiny hands to do it. It became an obscene contest of wealth and subjugation to see which dragon had not only the most valuable gems, but the most skilled gem-cutting slaves. Kalaroth encouraged all of it, of course."


The rest of the trip passes with no difficulty. The Halls of Kalaroth are certainly unsettling, but no harm comes to any of you. At the end of the tunnel -- and it does end abruptly, terminating in a pair of doors as huge as the entrance -- Van-Galazzan rears up and with a mighty effort pulls the doors open.

A blast of shockingly cold air rushes in along with some snow flakes. Looking out you see woods and rolling hills. It is snowing heavily, blanketing all the world in a layer of pure and beautiful white flakes.

Van-Galazzan steps out with you, though you know he will be heading immediately back to Stormfare, right back the way you came. He seems more himself outside of the halls; they had a subduing effect on him. "YOU ARE FOUR DAYS DIRECTLY NORTH OF KURGAN." he booms in his characteristic bellow. He looks at each of you in turn and nods, seemingly in satisfaction. Lastly he looks at Cassandra. "I KNOW NOT WHAT PURPOSE YOUR PRESENCE AT THE WALL PLAYS, LITTLE ONE, BUT CLEARLY IT IS VITAL WE KEEP YOU MOVING, AND GET YOU THERE. THE META-MACHINE THAT TURNS THE GEARS OF THE MULTIVERSE HAS A PLACE FOR YOU IN ITS SYSTEM, IT SEEMS. GOOD LUCK, ALL OF YOU. MAY YOUR GODS BE WITH YOU, AND BLESS YOUR JOURNEY."

With that the Great Wyrm backs down into the dragon tunnel once again, and closes the doors behind him, leaving you all standing in the snowy landscape.


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"Farewell Mighty Van-Galazzan and may you also find success in your own purposes. In the last 48 hours I have learned we have more enemies at gates unknown than I could have ever imagined. May your honorale ancestors be watching and with you."


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

Sir Justahl salutes the dragon.
"Inheritor guide you on your way, milord."

After the gates close, he gives a sigh and looks at the odd compass again. Why was this given to us? He wondered. No one knows how to use it!

"Looks like we walk." Again a pang of loss; Nouhves should be here with him.


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

Jorzan's relief at reaching the end of the tunnel without incident is short lived, as out in the 'real world' once again, he knows their time of danger truly starts. Deciding to limit his goodbye to the Great Wyrm as a silent salute, Jorzan first looks to Cassandra, making sure she is warm and well and thinking of Tanel, knowing his departed friend would be glad to know his items were being put to such good use protecting the Seer from the bitter cold.

Thankful of his own magically warm vest, Jorzan begins looking carefully around, consulting with Kelne as they try to determine exactly where they are, and the best route from here. As well as assessing the weather and looking for possible places of shelter, should they need it.
Perception: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (12) + 18 = 30
Knowledge(geography) the area (and Kurgan?): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Survival: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22

Out loud he says "So what do we know about this place, Kurgan? For we must decide if at this point we are safer entering any city, or avoiding it."

Finally, wanting to make sure no trail of theirs might possibly lead anyone to the dragon doors, he pulls out one of his wands and uses it to cast a spell which will completely prevent any trace of their passage.
Uses wand of Pass without Trace. What CL level are level one wands again? Also, is Kurgan somewhere that was already on our planned route?


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Knowledge (Geography) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24

"We're a bit off our original route," Kelne remarked, tapping the labeled city on his map and tracing his finger north roughly four days' march, checking visible landmarks to fix their position, "Enough so that I'm inclined to plot a new one, rather than attempt to regain it. We can strike northeast, skirting the Frost Kingdom and eventually rejoining our original northern route further down the trail. That's the route I favour."

"Alternatively, we could head southeast and use the roads to take us as far east as we can before striking out for Allemagh and the Wall. That route does take us through the heart of the Frost Kingdom, and there's a risk we'll encounter roving armies. Too much of one, I think, to make the route viable. In either case, we'll need to acquire some mounts, but we should be able to get them at a smaller settlement rather than Kurgan." He examined the map in search of any such settlements which might serve their needs.

"I'd prefer not to spend four days marching in the wrong direction, and I'm uncertain of our reception. Kurgan may be friendly enough, but it's no less likely to contain hostile agents than any other city. Better not to chance it. Justahl, while I've got the map out, I'll take another bearing off that compass of yours, see if I can triangulate where it's pointing to," he concluded. Two bearings might well be sufficient to establish a location, depending on the angles.


Anybody looking for info on Kurgan, give me a K(Local) check, please.


Kelne is unable to make heads or tails of the weird, spiky compass you were given. As soon as the Callistrian northman takes hold of it, the needle starts to spin lazily around in an anti-clockwise manner. For Justahl, it just points right at him no matter what he does.


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

Knowledge(local-Kurgan): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16 Kurgan

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17 Allemagh

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10 Frost Kingdoms

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22 natural terrain lay of the land using K Nature to help chose a path.

1d20 + 14 ⇒ (18) + 14 = 32 perception

"I don't suppose the dragon mentioned how to use that device you are holding did she? That doesnt look like your common lodestone magnetized needle and case."

waiting on info from checks if any


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Hurin moves easily across the snow leaving no trace of his passing behind him. Turning to look back at the doors and seeing that Jorzan was using a wand to do the same Hurin speaks, "Good thinking. Anyone who knows we were in Stormfare aren't going to have a hard time figuring out where we've got to and they will try to pick up the trail here. . . . In fact if I were them, I'd lay an ambush right here. . ." Hurin unbelts his massive Waraxe and scans the landscape around him.hopefully anyway with my perception check "Kelne I can't fault your logic, but I am guessing others would figure we would take those same courses of action. What do ya think Astar? Grey? And especially you Jorzan, out of all of us you specialize in getting into and out of places unseen. What is your counsel?"


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

Before setting out, Justahl remembers something.
Digging around, he pulls out a Gorumite Prayers scroll, with certain passages underlined.
"Didn't this scroll come along with the compass? Maybe it has coded command words or something?"


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Kelne shrugged, "That presupposes that our enemies are familiar with the dragon doors and knew where we would be coming out," he pointed out to Hurin, "They're not exactly common knowledge. I think we have a bit of a grace period yet before they figure out where we are, most likely by scrying out Cassandra in some manner. As I've said before, she's apparently a very easy person to find."

"In order to ambush us, they first have to get ahead of us," he went on, "Easier said than done, given the present difficulties with teleportation. I'm inclined to pick a more or less direct route and try to cover some distance for a while. Our presence here is already unexpected and likely to see our enemies scrambling to reposition themselves if they want to intercept us. Further attempted trickery would only serve to slow us down."

"Now, our immediate move," he said, returning to the map and tapping a marking not far from their position, "There's a section of one of the Uniter's Walls a few hours walk from here. They often serve as gathering places for gypsy tribes, merchant caravans and rangers. Definitely a good place to barter for some mounts, it's just a question of whether there's anybody there just now."


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"well . . . I hope you are right because for not knowing we were comin the Grindylow sure had a big armada waiting for us, but yeah the dragon pretty much told me the same thing, they will come no matter where we are, so I guess you are right again. Better to cover ground faster than try to get all sneaky and delay ourselves getting to the wall. I was just hoping someone might know of another good option we just haven't seen on the table yet."

The dwarf puts out his hand. "you mind if I have a look at that thing?" Indicating the compass.

Hurin will try using his knowledge engineering to look the deice over to see if he can see what it is designed to do, deduce how it works, what its made of, and see how it reacts when he holds it. 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26Knowledge engineering


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

Justahl will also recite the underlined Gorumite passages, to see if the compass reacts.


Male Human Fighter (Lore Warden) 8 / Wizard (Scroll Scholar) 1

Mind buzzing as he slipped along in the darkness, pausing here or there to take a mental snapshot, or think deeper on what he was seeing, Astar eventually caught up with the rest of the group outside of the doors.

He briefly considered adjusting to the colder clime with a spell, but decided to revel in the sensation. For now, at least. His grin was wide enough from all he'd just seen, and that would be more than enough to sustain him for now.

Finally noticing everyone fretting about the compass, he decides to scope it out, starting by casting detect magic on it. His gaze intensifies on the thing.

(Not sure what I need to do for the spell, if I need to roll or whatever. I'll make the religion and arcana checks once the spell is sorted.)


As Kelne and others plan a route, the spiky gorumite artifact makes the rounds; first Hurin holds onto it for a second, and when he does the needle swings wildly around, not stopping in any one place for more than a couple seconds. Astar takes it next, casting a spell and contemplating the thing from all angles. As the scholar thinks on what his magics have told him, Sir Justahl takes hold of it and reads aloud the passages underlined in the document, and something strange happens.

At first the paladin's eyes glass over, then he draws his longsword and babbles a bunch of nonsense words -- those of you trained in linguistics and/or medicine immediately recognize he is experiencing glossolalia.

Then, the spikes in the compass slam into Justahl's hand, but he does not react. He lets his blood drip into the snow and takes a few steps forward, making a line with his blood that points roughly north-northeast. He raises his sword and points it in the same direction. "TO GLORY!" he shouts.

Then the shine leaves his eyes and he shakes his head. He gives a short "Hey, ouch!" and drops the compass in the snow, and looks at his hurt hand and now-pierced gauntlet.

Justahl, you take 1d4 ⇒ 4 damage from the thing.


Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Looking to Justahl curiously. Watching someone speaking in tongues is something new to him.

"Sir Justahl, did you get a vision? or perhaps the compass gave you a mission....anything? Does anyone know exactly whats in the direction he pointed?"


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Hurin inspects the device and even gets out a magnifying glass to examine its finer workings. Handing it back to Sir Justal he reports, "well it's definately built to indicate a direction of travel, but not based upon the principles of magnetism. The case on it is . . .?"

SHHHAW-SHANNK! the paladins hand is pierced by magically evoked spikes from the very device the dwarf was just holding in his hand, "Holy Torag! Look at your f+@!ing hand!

The knight does not react. He lets his blood drip into the snow and takes a few steps forward, making a line with his blood that points roughly north-northeast. He raises his sword and points it in the same direction. "TO GLORY!" he shouts.

Expecting the paladin to next yell out "I'm good!" Hurin thinks to himself, [i]"man Justal must have a pair on Adamantium . . ."[/b]

Then the shine leaves the knights eyes and he shakes his head. He gives a short "Hey, ouch!" and drops the compass in the snow, and looks at his hurt hand and now-pierced gauntlet.

As the cleric asks the knight if he had visions Hurin takes a bearing on the line of blood in the snow.


Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Knowledge religion check per DRA 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11

Survival check to see if I can get a bearing 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

Coulda sworn I already posted this...but ok, one more time

"I'm with Kelne on this." Jorzan replies curtly to the Dwarf This snowfall's going to continue for at least another day, so it should cover our tracks quite well. I'm just using the wand right now close to the Dragon doors to help prevent any finding it, or following us through it. East is the direction we wish to go, so looks like The Uniter's Wall it is."

As Justahl goes through his routine with the compass, Jorzan looks on, seemingly more curious than concerned with strange events. When it's over, he takes off his glove and holds out his hand for it, saying "I'd like to see if it has the same effect or result when someone else does it. And by the way, did anyone understand anything he said just then?"

Completely unconcerned about the pain, knowing he'd suffered far, far worse in his life, he places the compass on his palm and reads the same passage on the scroll Justahl did.


Linguistics 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (19) + 17 = 36

Nasmarra listens to the words that Sir Justahl spoke, allowing them to echo endlessly through her cavernous mind. She repeats them over and over, trying to make sense of them. As she allows them to fade to whispers, she grabs Justahl's hand. As she holds the connection between them, she snatches his gaze and holds it with her eyes. She mouths the words that he said, over and over, while holding onto his gaze in a nearly hypnotic intensity.


Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Gray takes the scroll from Hurin after he is done. Looking it over Gray starts reading it out loud to him self.

k-religion
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

"Hey! OUCH!" Justahl wrings his hand in pain.
"What was that? Oh, that stupid compass!" He says as he sees the compass in the snows, along with his blood. He pauses in confusion.
"What just happened? I don't seem to remember anything after reading the scroll." He looks at his sword, puzzled.
"And why do I have my sword out?"

He is startled as Nasmarra grabs his hand and stares deeply into his eyes while whispering oddly disjointed phrases.
He holds still for whatever she is doing for what seems to be a long time. With her in his personal space. His cheeks burn a little red.
"Ah, Nasmarra? This is a little uncomfortable..."


Hurin tries getting a read on the line of blood, but can only determine it points North-Northeast, there's no other information to gather.


Jorzan takes the compass and reads the lines, but nothing happens; the needle just spins around in an anti-clockwise manner, much as it did for Hurin, who you all note did not read aloud the lines in the document that Gray Moribund now holds.


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

"Well, you pulled your sword, started speaking in tongues and pointed it in that direction, shouting 'to glory'," Kelne informed Justahl, checking the map for any interesting geographic features on a north-northeast bearing.

"Can't say glory is particularly high on my list of priorities," he went on, "But that does give us a better idea of how the compass works, if not precisely what it was pointing towards."


Male Human Fighter (Lore Warden) 8 / Wizard (Scroll Scholar) 1

Piece by piece, ideas were coalescing into concepts. The sensations derived from detecting its magical fields were aiding in this quite a bit. Justahl's glossolalia, and resulting actions were more data to be added. Astar set his mind back to hook into any similar objects or rituals he'd come across in his many studies.

(Religion)1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
(Arcana)1d20 + 18 ⇒ (8) + 18 = 26


Jorzan tries getting a read on the line of blood, but can only determine it points North-Northeast, there's no other information to gather.

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