DM-Camris' SECOND DARKNESS Part 3: The Armageddon Echo (Inactive)

Game Master Camris

SECTION SEVEN: In Armageddon's Shadow
The city of Celwynvian hides a terrible sin. For countless centuries the elves of the Mierani Forest have barred outsiders from the fabled City of Emerald Rains, in a desperate attempt to contain an ancient shame. The Drow.
In the battle to retake the ancient city, the heroes join in the final assault on the Drow Headquarters...


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The game continues here from the previous episode, DM-Camris' Second Darkness Part 2--Children of the Void.


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Dotting...


Female Human

Dot


Male Half-orc Warpriest 7 [ HP: 53/53 | AC: 21 T: 11 FF: 20 | F: +10 R: +6 W: +10 | Init: +2 Perc: +9 | 1st: 4/5, 2nd 4/4, 3rd 1/1 | B 6/6, SW: 7/7, F 4/5, SA: 7/7 ]

Dot.


Female Human

Liz will approach the others at the casino. Hey, hey. I found out that some of Slyeg's men were following me around, seems that he really wants his skymetal and will be coming after us for it.


Those of you who accept the invitation arrive at the Gold Goblin Gaming Hall to find it as busy midday as usual.
Those of you who remember owning the place see almost none of the old employees. There are more roughneck sailors, miners and forgers than you recall; more danging girls and fewer of the well heeled clients than the old days. That lent itself to a more raucous atmosphere than it used to have.
Was it just last month? You must be getting old.

When you enter, one of the girls immediately grabs you and leads you upstairs to one of the private card rooms.
The place is resplendent with red velvet and gold braid. There is a nice smorgasbord laid out to one side against the wall, and on the other a baccarat gaming table arranged for all of you. Standing in the dealers place is Kwava, dressed oddly in a formal dealers vest and jacket.
Phlegmatic as usual, he arched an eyebrow and gestured at the seats.
"Would madame and gentlemen care for a few hands? The house has advanced you all one thousand in chips in gratitude for past favors."
He professionally pushed forward a stack of chips to you as you sit.


At Liz's outburst, Kwava put his finger to his lips, went to the door, looked out either way down the hallway and drew the heavy curtain across.
Returning to the table, he twisted one of the light sconces and you feel the sounds from the exterior muffle to near silence.
You also hear sounds coming from this room that you don't make; the sounds of riffling cards, and random words like 'Two', 'Check', 'Banquo', and 'Out'.
Kwava nods at this, satisfied.
"There. Now we can talk in confidence."


Female Human

Ahem, yea. well we have some unhappy people checking in on us.


Kwava nodded.
"Yes indeed. Something about missing Skymetal? Fortunately for you, there are a number of charlatans wandering about today, selling artifacts and skymetal shards from Devil's Elbow."
He riffled a deck of cards with aplomb.
"That will attract a lot of attention away from you. They shouldn't realize it's a lot of colored obsidian until tomorrow at the earliest."
He leaned forward.
"But I was hoping you could tell the tale of your adventures on the island, and what you found there."
He looked at you with some intensity.
"And... who."


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Zephram says, "I would imagine that much of it remains, still, on the isle."


Female Human

Well, we did encounter some elves who were doing some experiments on the strange creatures there and they were rather dark-skinned. Pretty much all of them are dead as far as I know. Liz looks at the others. We found some books, right?


You have Kwava's interest now.
"Tell me."


Male Half-orc Warpriest 7 [ HP: 53/53 | AC: 21 T: 11 FF: 20 | F: +10 R: +6 W: +10 | Init: +2 Perc: +9 | 1st: 4/5, 2nd 4/4, 3rd 1/1 | B 6/6, SW: 7/7, F 4/5, SA: 7/7 ]

Rezol rolls his eyes, mostly uninterested in the discussion. "Damned elves put up a hell o' a fight. They was good for that, at least."


Male Human Wizard 8

"Dark eleves. The same as were in collusion with Saul before we....dealt with him. Experimenting on the Akata to creat who knows what. Ther's even circumstantial evidence they may have somehow been behind the Starfall itself." Zane says calmly.


Female Human

They set up shop for quite some time. Had a lot of skymetal. Liz produces some of the notebooks they recovered


Kwava eagerly listened to your tale of desperate heroism, the seige, the descent into the cliffside caves, the hidden outpost of evil black elves, and what you found in the journal you captured.

Afterward he fell silent. He seemed to be thinking very hard for several minutes before he looked up again.
Kwava pauses for a minute to gather his thoughts, a deep furrow worn into his brow.
“These are... grave tidings.
"When you discovered Vancaskerkin was working with one of the dark elves, I could hardly believe it. Now I realize there are far more
terrible events in motion.
"If the drow have learned how to pull stars from the sky, none of us are safe."

He went to the door to check for eavesdroppers, then he turned back.
“I'm afraid I must ask a great favor of you.
"My employers, the Shin’Rakorath, have only recently revealed to me the full extent of the drow menace in Celwynvian. As much as I would dearly love to see the city, they have ordered me to remain in the Riddleport hinterlands to keep watch for any further drow influence. Yet they have also expressed interest in hearing from you directly.
"This journal you found, combined with the one recovered some time ago from Vancaskerkin’s drow accomplice, would be of great use to my kin in the Mierani Forest.
"The Shin’Rakorath and I ask you to carry these journals to Crying Leaf, a small camp in the eastern reaches of the wood.
"Take it to Eviana, the leader of Crying Leaf. She will know what to do.”


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Zephram says, "I'm sure pulling a star from the sky isn't a simple or casual magic, even for them. They seemed very interested in studying the creatures and the starmetal, which implies it may have been the first time they've done such a thing."


Female Human

Well since we're in danger of getting visited by the local crime lord, it seems best we take a vacation. So I'm up for heading out.


Female Human(Shoanti) Skald 8

Nakoda had been helping herself to the spread of food lined up along the wall, not finding it at all ironic that she hated the Goblin, but loved the food. She did have a hand in improving the kitchens, after all. There was a change in her appearance, it seemed. Over her eyes, she sported two new tattoos that carried a bit of a different quality than the others that had already adorned her skin.

As the tale was retold, she added in some notes in the retelling, but did not object to anything that the others said. "I have disliked this town since I arrived. I will go", she volunteered. It was past time for her to be leaving, and seeing an Elven city would undoubtedly be far more comforting to her senses than this city. Almost to herself, she added, "With luck, I'll not return."


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Zephram says, "There a small matter of commissioned work, but then I'm good to go. "


Male Half-orc Warpriest 7 [ HP: 53/53 | AC: 21 T: 11 FF: 20 | F: +10 R: +6 W: +10 | Init: +2 Perc: +9 | 1st: 4/5, 2nd 4/4, 3rd 1/1 | B 6/6, SW: 7/7, F 4/5, SA: 7/7 ]

Rezol shrugs noncommittally. "I'm jus' glad t' be off that stinkin' rock. I'll go where th' fight is, an' it seems the rest of these folk are glad t' take me," the half-orc says with a boastful tone.


Female Human

Well I reckon we should get stuff ready. We'll need horses and a wagon since I am no good riding.


Kwava:

Clearly relieved at your agreement, he pulls out a common map of Varisia.
Putting his finger on the map, he showed you the route was not so much a highway as a winding dirt road that quickly becomes a Varisian caravan path. It leads north from Riddleport, following the Velashu River for much of its length, rarely veering away from its winding course to reduce travel time.
The route to Crying Leaf follows this road until the Calphiak Mountains recede to the west. About 45 miles north of Riddleport, a hunter’s
trail branches off to the west—it is this road that leads to the rim of the Mierani Forest and the settlement of Crying Leaf.

Looking up at Liz, he frowned.
"Well, you see, the road to Celwynvian isn't so much a ROAD, per se, as a set of trails. A horse could make it through, easily enough, maybe three to five days; but something with wheels is likely to make the trip caravan slow. That, or walking, perhaps, would make the trip at around 11-15 days."


Female Human

Horses then, we should have enough from our little expedition. Ohh...I am going to be so bow-legged

Liz everyone is ready, Liz goes and buys a horse,saddle and other stuffs.


Male Human Wizard 8

"Alright we should get ourselves any necessary gear and prepare." Zane says pensively. Once the group separates he makes his way to meet Samaritha.


Female Human(Shoanti) Skald 8

"Agreed", came Nakoda's assent, neatly eating the items on her plate as she listened to the others plan. The food here was good.

Nakoda spent the remainder of the day talking with the Elders and preparing for the trip. There was little need to go out into the city, so she did not. Her attitude had been generally unemotional, but the thought of finally leaving this city gave her a bit of positive air, despite the fact that they would be heading into more-- and likely greater-- danger. However, the chance to spend a few days in the wilds pleased her. Certainly there would be less threat than there was on the island.


You are easily able to secure riding mounts and/or wheeled vehicles as you like.

Zane:
You return to the Cypher Lodge to find Samaritha moving her personal library into an office with a windowed view of the Arch. It seems that the disasterous expedition to Devil's Elbow left a few vacancies in the middle ranks of the Cyphermages.
She greets you with a smile.


Male Human Wizard 8

DM-Camris:
Walking over to Samaritha, Zane takes her in his arms giving her a quick kiss. "Nice view, the window isn't too bad either."


Female Human

Liz trots around rather unsteadily on her horse, her arms sticking out at a weird angle. Oh..I am going to be sore from this. Is everyone about ready?


Zane:

Samaritha hugs Zane fiercely.
"To hell with the view," She said quietly after kissing him a little more thoroughly.
"I should be glad. They could have blamed me for the loss of the whole of our expedition, if I had been more than an intern.
"Now; there are positions that need to be filled, and I am the beneficiary of a number of sudden openings in research management."
She looked into Zane's eyes.
"I am so sorry they aren't taking the clues you found seriously. The stories of black skinned elves are mere legend to them. I know you need to go chase down the source of those elves, and whether they actually can pull a star down from the heavens."
She looked at Zane uncertainly.
"I really want to try to use our archives here to help, now that we know more of what to look for. But... If you need my help, I'll go with you. If you want..." She said tentatively.


Male Human Wizard 8

DM-Camris:
Sighing Zane caresses Samaritha's cheek. "Yeah, even though they won't listen, somebody's got to follow through on this. We're goingto be headed to Celwynvian in the Mierani Forest, following a lead on how the drow were able to do what they have and how to stop them. Given how insane this has all been I don't even know what we'll end up doing after that."

Looking into Samaritha's eyes he gives voice to his thoughts. "The noble part of me is thrilled t the opportunity you have now, to really move up within the Cypermages, to use your talents to help save us all and find some answers. But the rest of me.....if I'm standing in the hell and the chaos trying to face down the world's end.....there's no one Id rather have at my side. I'm sorry....that's selfish."


Male Half-orc Warpriest 7 [ HP: 53/53 | AC: 21 T: 11 FF: 20 | F: +10 R: +6 W: +10 | Init: +2 Perc: +9 | 1st: 4/5, 2nd 4/4, 3rd 1/1 | B 6/6, SW: 7/7, F 4/5, SA: 7/7 ]

Weapon sheathed across his back and all his belongings tucked away in his pack, Rezol doesn't look even the slightest bit discontent to be leaving the city behind.


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Zephram says, reassuringly, "Your natural sense of balance should serve you well, though you don't want to overadjust. Of course, I'm not much of a rider myself."


Female Human(Shoanti) Skald 8

The horse was a familiar creature, for all the little time that Nakoda had spent around them. She preferred her feet, and used them for the most part wherever she could. Heeding the words of warning from Liz, the heavy pick that she had commissioned from the Dwarves was wrapped and placed in her pack, at least until they had left the city. "Nor I", she voiced, getting used to the horse and equipment that she had procured through the Enclave.


Female Human

This has the potential for hilarious mishaps along the way.Everyone have enough food?


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Zephram nods, "I'm not certain that I understand the humour.... However, I purchased an extra week's worth to keep in my saddlebags.... though I imagine we could use magic or spend time hunting if need be."


Zane:

Samaritha shuddered in your arms.
"After what happened on that damn island, I swore I would never venture beyond sight of a good inn ever again."
She smiled.
"Unless... it is by your side."


After Zane rejoins the little caravan...

You set out on the north road in the morning.

Once you passed out of the shallow valley Riddleport nestled in, you came out of the perpetual smoke cloud the forge works threw up. You see the sun shine fitfully over the countryside. After so much time in riddleport, you are surprised at how much color there is in the world around you.

The lands north of Riddleport are sparsely populated, with a few struggling farms near the city and the occasional hunter’s lodge further afield. Farm animals abound here, and many horses and cows placidly looked at you as you passed.

The paved highway gave out after barely an hours travel, turning into a packed dirt road. The winding dirt road quickly became a Varisian caravan path as it lead north from Riddleport.
The route was only infrequently used by travelers making their way between Varisia and the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, and you meet few along the road. Only the occasional Varisian caravan with a handful of wagons, oxen and families. They waive gaily at you as you pass.
This road followed the Velashu River for much of its length, rarely veering away from its winding course to reduce travel time.


If you have a preferred travel order, arrange yourselves in one please.
And also make a Perception Check. Ranks in Survival gain a +2.


Male Human Wizard 8

DM-Camris(before):
Zane smiles holding her close. "As much as I lve having you by my side, I'm not in a hurry to drag you into danger again. As brilliant as you are at research, you may really be out best hope here, figuring out what the Hells is actually happening here. Just promise me you'll make sure to keep a lot of protective magic around you." he says, pulling her in for a deep kiss.

Zane rides in silence, his eyes taking in the surrounding environment, his mind somewhat distant as they progress.


Male Half-orc Warpriest 7 [ HP: 53/53 | AC: 21 T: 11 FF: 20 | F: +10 R: +6 W: +10 | Init: +2 Perc: +9 | 1st: 4/5, 2nd 4/4, 3rd 1/1 | B 6/6, SW: 7/7, F 4/5, SA: 7/7 ]

Perception: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 9 + 2 = 21

Rezol's eyes peer through the eye slits of his armor as the heavily muscled horse beneath him trots along.


Female Human(Shoanti) Skald 8

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

Nakoda was happy to finally leave the city behind her, departing the confined, crowded, polluted and selfish sentiments for the wide-open spaces of the world, where there was more nature than people. Her mood improved significantly from the withdrawn and sullen attitude that she had unconsciously maintained.

Once they were a day out, she unwrapped her pick and put it back at her hip, not as concerned about the eyes that would see her. She was content to ride at the front, though she would defer to Liz or Zephram if they wanted to.


Female Human

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17

Liz bounces along on her horse, in the middle of the group as they travel out fo the city. Being cooped up in Kaer Maga and Riddleport near all of her life, she is amazed at the change in scenery.


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (4) + 15 = 19

Despite his comments about riding to Liz, Zephram finds himself focusing on the task at hand a little more than the area around him, I suspect if I was the one that fell off, they would likely find that humourous...


Nakoda and Rezol spot the track off the trail, and find the caravan camp spot in time for nightfall.
Those of you with ranks in Survival can help the others with the details of camp life; firewood, hunting, gathering, watering, cooking, tending the horses, cleanup and so on.

The night passes unevenfully.
The next morning is cold and damp under rainfall, and travelling is a mud filled misery until midday, when the rain tails off and the sun starts to shine through and warm everything. The surrounding lands grow even more green and wild.

Perception DC15:

At about noon, any PC who makes the check notices a cloud of dust that seems to be approaching the PCs’ location.

Perception DC25:

A PC who makes the check can make out a host of mounted men riding in
front of the cloud, and that they’ll cross the PCs’ path in about 10 minutes.


Female Human

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31

Liz points to the distance. Dust cloud up ahead, looks like riders as well. Be on us in about 10 minutes.


Male Half-orc Warpriest 7 [ HP: 53/53 | AC: 21 T: 11 FF: 20 | F: +10 R: +6 W: +10 | Init: +2 Perc: +9 | 1st: 4/5, 2nd 4/4, 3rd 1/1 | B 6/6, SW: 7/7, F 4/5, SA: 7/7 ]

Rezol grins, the comfortable weight his his weapon constantly reminding him of its presence. "Let 'em come," he bites out, sounding enthusiastic about the whole situation.


Female Human(Shoanti) Skald 8

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21

Squinting in the direction that Liz pointed out, Nakoda nodded her agreement. Rezol's comment made her grin, and she echoed his sentiment. "A large group, maybe?" That much dust had to be a good amount of people or a large something. Either way, it would be large.


Female Human

Do we want to keep going and move tot he side or get off the road?


Male Sylph Investigator(Empiricist) 7
Vitals:
(HP: 55/55; AC: 18{22}/13{15}/15{17} (+2 vs. ranged); Percep: +15{+14}; Init: +3{+5}; Fort +4, Ref: +8{+10}, Will: +6{+5}; CMD: 19{21}; CMB +6; Inspiration: 8/8)

Zephram says, "I would imagine that would depend on whether we wish to parlay with them or not. Perhaps they could advise us of any risks we might find on the road ahead.... Assuming, of course, they are not actually risks themselves. "

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