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Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 464 posts (2,241 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters. 72 aliases.



Shadow Lodge

I'll go first:

Adventure: The Purloined Press

Participating NPCs: Sclavo (Primary), Amaya, Ermolos, Tarvi (Secondary)

Summary: Sclavo draws the PC's attention to a warehouse in Rego Scripa, not far from Taranik House, that contains a number of abandoned printing presses. They are completely functional, but have been forgotten as a result of governmental beaurocratic shuffling. Additionally, they bear a functional seal of Aroden's Eye, able to mark any printed products as 'official and government sanctioned'. If one of these presses could be secured for the use of the Children of Westcrown, they would be able to distribute tales of good deeds and inspiring words to the masses, powerful writings in these troubled times. Through Sclavo's connections, all necessary supplies for such printings will be taken care of. He's even managed to secure a scroll of Shrink Item to assist in the recovery of the machine; unfortunately, he does not possess the skill necessary to activate it. The warehouse should be mundanely locked and guarded by regular dottari during the day, with a skeleton crew of dottari and some guard dogs in the evening.

Scaling: The warehouse is controlled by Order of the Rack Hellknights rather than the Dottari. They seized the presses from a number of publishing houses thought to be spreading revolutionary propaganda. Those organizations have been disbanded, and as such there are no 'rightful' owners to claim the languishing machines. Guards should be replaced with Hellknights of an appropriate level; Magical locks and wards should be used to increase the difficulty of the encounter as well.

Shadow Lodge

Hey everyone,

I'm running two iterations of CoT right now; we're not far into the story by any means. My one group has been pretty RP heavy, and have spent several weeks with the other members of the Children of Westcrown. They've taken a number of them under their wing, and have formed close relationships with most of them. They've helped to outfit the other rebels with gear, and made some minor renovations on the old temple to make it a better place to stay and train.

Catching wind of the bandit group calling themselves the 'Bastards of Erebus', they decided it was time to act as heroes and rid Westcrown of these fiends before they harmed any others.

They decided against bringing any of the untrained rebels with them on this mission, and opted to take only Janiven as accompaniment.

They weren't particularly stealthy in their engagement of the tieflings, and a full scale assault in section 10 ensued (a wounded Ostenso, Vethamer, Dravano, Palaveen, and 7 tiefling rogues stood against a handful of humans with poor light sources). One character charged into this mess despite the warnings of his comrades, and he was promptly knocked unconscious. Seeing the mass of cackling tieflings advance upon them, the rest of the party fled, their hearts heavy with loss. Janiven was quite emotional on the way home. Arael stormed out into the night when he heard the news. Many of the other 'Children' are now second-guessing what it means to be a champion of the people.

Here comes the hard part; in the night, Palaveen had the 'mummies' use their magic (Charm Person + opposed Charisma checks) to fish information out of the captured PC. (Who did a great job roleplaying being tied up and interrogated with enchantment, by the way). However, now the Bastards know all about the Children of Westcrown, their member base, and all about their headquarters in the abandoned temple of Aroden. I don't imagine it will be too long before they come to pay a visit to the 'Children'.

How do I play it out from here? What would Palaveen do with that kind of information?

I think it's possible that the Bastards will still be slightly reeling from the damage dealt to their hideout before the major confrontation, and will be too busy to confront the PCs for a few days (giving them time to act). It's also possible that they stage an all-out assault against the 'Children', in which case I have an interesting battle ahead of me.

The other option is that the PCs decide to temporarily disband the rebel group, and lay low. Or move the operation elsewhere; where would some other suitable places in Westcrown be found?

Shadow Lodge

Sorry for those of you who though this was going to be a 'how-to', it's more of a 'how do?'

My players, mostly new to DnD, have played through D0, Hollow's Last Hope, made a bit of a name for themselves in town, and have a bard in the party. They've certainly heard the Ballad of Glintaxe a number of times.

When the party defeated Graypelt, I even used some frightened miner kobolds running up the stairs to get away from 'Glintaxe' to prevent merging of the module with D1, Crown of the Kobold King. Terrified themselves, they followed the kobolds' lead and high-tailed it out of there to prepare.

Long story short, all they know of what is below the top level of the dwarven monastery is this 'Glintaxe'. They've spent the last three or four sessions planning between themselves how to take out a 'ghost'. The cleric has prepared only 'undead-related' spells. The wizard's stocked up on magic missile scrolls. He's excited to use his 'channel energy' ability against the thing.

As I've mentioned, they're new to the game, and so have never fought a ghost. Likewise, they've never fought a Gelatinous Cube, either.

We game tonight, having left the game on 'pause' at the top of the stairs.

How do I make them not KILL ME after the jig is up? How did your parties handle it? I'll give a full report later.

Shadow Lodge

Last Call!


The moon is bright tonight. It's position in the sky asserts that it is probably close enough to midnight to justify meeting the General mentioned in the letter.

The small lumber town is quiet, except for a few rowdy drunks leaving the taverns. It's easy enough to make your way there more or less quietly and unnoticed.


Hey everyone, it's about time we started our discussion thread. We've all put work into our characters, so let's not waste it!

Once I hear that everyone's characters have been finalized, I'll start the gameplay thread.


As the windows begin darkening with twilight, several gamehall employees enter, carrying torches shaped like pitchforks skewering burning heads made of straw and cloth to light several large braziers, giving the hall a more infernal hue. A hush falls over the gathered crowd as a short man climbs to the central podium, accompanied by two gorgeous “succubi,” and stands before the gold, chain-shrouded chest there with a demoness on either side. He wears a formal suit, and his thinning black hair is slicked back. His left arm ends in a stump just above the wrist, and affixed to it is a bronze cap from which protrudes an oddly shaped key.

“Welcome, one and all, to the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall and your chance to cheat the Devil and win back not only your soul but all of his gold as well.” He says this last as he pats the large chest before which he stands. “I hope you found your reception by the Devil’s lovely temptresses suitably entertaining.”


Some commotion down at the Wharf startles Yelex awake. A little shaky and disoriented, he sits up in bed.

Lock-Jaw stands, dutifully and blankly, staring at his master. He makes no movement when Yelex wakes up, instead waiting on his command.

The snapping fingers comes soon, and before long Yelex is feeling a little better, his blue lips tingling from the tincture.

Heading out onto the street is an easy task; the sun is on vacation, it would seem. And the clouds have come out to play. Thick, dark, rain-clouds flutter past the sky, mingling with the Blot. Yelex's sensitive eyes thanks the dimness that has been cast over the entire town.

He doesn't get far before he feels a little collision in his legs. Spinning to face the problem, he spies a little kid running off in the other direction. "Sorry mister! I guess I should watch where I'm goin'! I'll learn my lesson!"

Yelex watches the Dog Biter scamper, but he hears a little terrified shriek behind him. Another one has apparently been using the diversion to pick Lock-Jaw's pocket, coming up with a handful of bone instead.

The kid is startled, and wishes he didn't spy under that dark cloak. Backing away from the pair, he starts yelling; "A monster! A monster! Help!"


Getting out of bed before noon today seemed a lot more like wishful thinking than a remote possibility, on account of Dirty's throbbing headache. It was hard enough to remember what he drank last night, let alone where he was.

And then it all started coming back. His room and it's familiar shapes began to swirl back into focus. And swirl they did. Nausea envelops him.

When he finally makes it to the outside world, it's almost too much for him. Perhaps it was the sensitivity from the hangover, but a stench seemed to hang in the town. Heavy, and sickly-sweet. It was almost enough to make his stomach completely abandon him.

Thankfully the sun was obscured; dark rain clouds raced by, briefly mingling with the blot, and exaggerating it's size. Ominously, the clouds gave a vision of what the town would look like it the blot covered the entire sky; a gray, sick town, with far too many shadows and hiding places. A good town for someone like Dirty.

The soft padding of feet behind him alerts him to a presence; spinning around, he spies an attractive woman approaching him, her curly black hair spilling around her shoulders, wearing a delicate purple that garment hugs her curves.

"Cloud-gazing are we? You're not one of those fancyboys are ya? More interested in staring at the sky, than what's right in front of you?"

She circles slowly around Dirty, enticing him, but never giving up eye-contact.


Getting out of bed before noon today seemed a lot more like wishful thinking than a remote possibility, on account of Dirty's throbbing headache. It was hard enough to remember what he drank last night, let alone where he was.

And then it all started coming back. His room and it's familiar shapes began to swirl back into focus. And swirl they did. Nausea envelops him.

When he finally makes it to the outside world, it's almost too much for him. Perhaps it was the sensitivity from the hangover, but a stench seemed to hang in the town. Heavy, and sickly-sweet. It was almost enough to make his stomach completely abandon him.

Thankfully the sun was obscured; dark rain clouds raced by, briefly mingling with the blot, and exaggerating it's size. Ominously, the clouds gave a vision of what the town would look like it the blot covered the entire sky; a gray, sick town, with far too many shadows and hiding places. A good town for someone like Dirty.

The soft padding of feet behind him alerts him to a presence; spinning around, he spies an attractive woman approaching him, her curly black hair spilling around her shoulders, wearing a delicate purple that garment hugs her curves.

"Cloud-gazing are we? You're not one of those fancyboys are ya? More interested in staring at the sky, than what's right in front of you?"

She circles slowly around Dirty, enticing him, but never giving up eye-contact.


The beginnings of light start to break through the haze above Riddleport, and Ozbadin wills himself out of bed with a groan. It’s not enough to startle or wake Starla, however. She couldn’t be stiller if she were a corpse.

This morning was not a time for being idle, however. There was plenty of work to do.

Following such an ostentatious display as Patros described should be easy enough; the problem was the attention an entourage like that would generate. It would serve a boon in terms of tracking down the group’s whereabouts, but could attract undue glances toward Ozbadin himself.

It was best to lie low, and in the shadows, in these delicate moments of reconnaissance.

He dressed quickly and quietly padded out to the street. He would do best to keep his ear on the ground this morning; perhaps he’d call in a few favours from some old friends.

Starting by the wharves is a logical choice for a calculating individual such as Ozbadin. Like a hound, he should be able to follow their path; starting with their arrival, tracing their route and eventual destination would be child’s play for him. Ozbadin could do it by scent alone.

And the scent was the first thing that hit him. The wind was blowing strongly off the water, into the mainland. As he got closer and closer to the wharves, the fish-mongers were smelled long before they were heard bickering and shouting over prices.

While he scanned the layout of the temporary fish market, he failed to notice a Halfling approaching from behind. His squeaky voice jarring Ozbadin into action.

“Some snappers, sir? Very cheap! Very Fresh!”


Habit. Duty. Routine. Desperation.

There's any number of reasons for Mordecai to uphold his daily appearances at the City Mortuary. The coin is fair, and there is no shortage of the dead in Riddleport.

A familiar walk, Mordecai takes the same lonely route through the Rotgut district every morning. This morning he travels early enough to avoid contact with anyone. After a night of revelry, the entire district sleeps as the dead do.

But something strange was in the air this morning. As soon as he left his home, Mordecai could sense it. Was it a smell? Was the wind moving strangely today? The sensation was indescribable, yet present everywhere he walked.

So when he saw the lifeless body, carelessly thrown in an alley not so far from his home, he almost expected it.


Something strange is in the air today; Bex sniffs a little, instinctively, as he heads through town. It could be whatever he was slipped last night, or it could just be in the wind, but a strange smell definitely hangs around the entire Rotgut district. Looking around, the fast movement of the clouds can be seen. Dark and ominous, storm clouds begin their march over the town. Darker still, the Blot remains unmoved and unaffected by the wind.

Weirder still, Bexilarius seems to have a follower. Despite the solid kick, the grubby halfling can still be seen following at a safe distance behind. He pretends to not be following him, but is far too obvious; any time Bexilarius turns around the halfling feigns interest in a nearby shop window, or bit of refuse on the ground. The reason he would be so enamoured with Bex is not readily apparent, but he continues to follow him all the way to the Publican.

Even for midday the Publican is a rowdy place. There are few seats available, and the patrons seem to be in a competition over who can yell the loudest.

One particular gentlemen occupies the entire front table to himself. By standing on it. Swinging his large club around his head, he seems to be engaged in re-enacting some glorious fight. Jumping and lunging on the table, he ends up knocking most of the mugs over in the process.

Arnando Rolf stands behind the bar, hands on his hips, shaking his head at the man. Though the tale is being told for the room at large, Rolf's patience means that he's the only one still listening.

A young half-elf woman sits at the bar, barely paying attention to the story. Her long wavy red hair threatens to fall into her mug every time she turns her head.


Dawn came quickly, and Andrei was prepared. Checking and double-checking the cache of weapons hidden on his person was something of an automatic process for him. He had done it enough times.

Everything seemed to be in the proper place, except for a single dagger. A grim souvenir, he twirled the thing in the dawn light. Nothing special, but deadly enough in the right hands. Which it obviously had not been, just last night.

It had a strange weight in his hands; there was a lot of potential in this dagger. Too bad it was wasted.

A strong wind was developing, even this early in the morning. The clouds seemed to be busy, racing across the sky, as if they were trying their hardest to get away. The blot stood, unmoved; it didn't seem to share the same concerns as it's sky-brothers.

"A candlemark after dawn..."; Andrei remembers his promise from last night, as well as the promise of his pay. That was more than enough to start his feet moving.


Hey there! Discussion Thread time!

I'm going to repost everything I mentioned earlier regarding character creation here in one place:

Early Part

Spoiler:

Riddleport is a den of sin, don't kid yourselves. There are plenty of bad men and naughty women to go around. Life in the town is tough; you need to be strong, quick, or smart enough to survive the streets. You've got a little power, a little respect, and a few enemies.

So break it down for me;

Who are you then? A drifter? A famous prostitute? A contract cut-throat or desperate cut-purse? A Cypher-Mage working her way to the top?

Why are you respected (or feared)? Do you have a terrible temper after a few drinks in the tavern? Do you have a list of contacts that make you the preferred go-to guy? Do you shoot burning fire out of your hands at anyone that pisses you off? Are you a lucky gambler?

Who hates you? Surely enough you've spent enough time in town to garner the distrust of at least one person or group. Why? What did you do?

There's plenty to do and see in Riddleport, so let's make it come alive. Get dirty.

--
In regards to mechanics and flavour, I'd like to run the Pathfinder BETA rules. If you want to play anything from another book or source, run it by me. (I have a secret love for the 'factotum' class from Dungeonscape. Monstrous races are acceptable. No drow, however.

Character Generation stuff

Spoiler:

HP: Standard. (Max at Level 1, +1 for favoured class.) Use Invisible Castle for all rolls after that.

All characters receive Weapon Finesse for free.

Traits are as per usual for the Second Darkness campaign (one standard, one campaign). If something gives a bonus to an old skill, have it apply to the new skill (ex. +1 to Gather Info gives +1 to Diplomacy).

Take the 'average starting gold' for your class, sort out your equipment out of that.

*Skillful - All characters get 2 extra skill points per level. These points may be spent on Craft, Knowledge, Profession or Perform skills only.

Skill points; Don't forget that when you take a level in your favoured class, you also get +1 skill point! That's a little obscure piece of info that I found the other day!

Abilities are to be purchased using 'High Fantasy' as per the Beta rules (so 20 points, PFRPG style).

Anyone wanting to play a race not covered in the PFRPG, run it by me. I may add or remove something. Especially considering classes with LA, and such.

Additionally, I use Action Points in my games. A quick breakdown can be found in this, my DM profile.

Religious Notes

Spoiler:

There are a number of Tieflings already in town, some with a deal of power. One of the town's Overlords is one, Shorafa Pamodae. She's also a High Priestess of Calistria.

This would be a good time to talk about religion. In Riddleport, there are a few temples. The two most prominent are The Publican House, which is a brewery/alehouse/temple of Cayden Cailean. The second is Caliistria's temple which doubles as The House of the Silken Veil, center of the 'hospitality' industry.

Besmara has a temple at the Fish bowl, but people tithe there more out of fear than worship.

Gozreh certainly has a presence, and would-be druids would feel her power in the waters whether they want to or not.

General Note

Spoiler:

A general note, as well. Don't feel pressured into creating the most vile characters you can imagine. Riddleport is full of charismatic and unscrupulous ne'er-do-wells, sure, but they're not necessarily monsters.

While I'm not allowing 'Good' characters from the start, I'm more than willing (and excited) for characters to become good over the course of the game. It's possible, but again, no pressure.

Let's gamble!

If you want to forge any relationships or prior connections to other characters, now would be the time to do it. Talk amongst yourselves.

Roll Call

N Cleric of Nethys; Cyphermage - yoda8myhead
NE Necromancer - Otto Ringus
NE Half-Orc Druid 'Gierixa' - Jal Dorak
CN human Rogue 'Dirty' - TerraNova
Tiefling Monk - Rob Mccreary
cleric or druid - Set
??? - Scranford

Shadow Lodge

Can't believe I'm doing this. But I'm itching to run the PBP Second Darkness. My table group is slow on the uptake, and I'm not sure when I'll have the chance to run it for them.

Very excited, as I'm sure you all must be. In fact, it's a requirement for joining this game.

I'm looking for active players, thinking of capping somewhere between 5 and 7, but I can be easily persuaded otherwise.

Also, and most importantly, I'm looking for players who would like to run a character that is not really on the up and up. In fact, it's a requirement for joining this game. No Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Chaotic Good characters are welcome here. Anything else goes.

Riddleport is a den of sin, don't kid yourselves. There are plenty of bad men and naughty women to go around. Life in the town is tough; you need to be strong, quick, or smart enough to survive the streets. You've got a little power, a little respect, and a few enemies.

So break it down for me;

Who are you then? A drifter? A famous prostitute? A contract cut-throat or desperate cut-purse? A Cypher-Mage working her way to the top?

Why are you respected (or feared)? Do you have a terrible temper after a few drinks in the tavern? Do you have a list of contacts that make you the preferred go-to guy? Do you shoot burning fire out of your hands at anyone that pisses you off? Are you a lucky gambler?

Who hates you? Surely enough you've spent enough time in town to garner the distrust of at least one person or group. Why? What did you do?

I currently only DM one other PBP. It's called Strange Loops. Feel free to check it out for yourselves to get an idea of my play style.

There's plenty to do and see in Riddleport, so let's make it come alive. Get dirty.

--
In regards to mechanics and flavour, I'd like to run the Pathfinder BETA rules. If you want to play anything from another book or source, run it by me. (I have a secret love for the 'factotum' class from Dungeonscape. Monstrous races are acceptable. No drow, however.

Ok? Start talking!


Gameplay thread here.

Spoiler:

For posterity, the intro threads are located here:
Lyrandar Twins
Sim
Starlan
Iri and friends

Remember that telepathy is shared by all, so try to remember to use the bold tag when possible!


Everything was calm just a moment ago. As calm as things get for Irirangi, anyway. She knows she probably strayed a little too far down the towers, but it was as if she moved within a daydream. It was a harmless stroll, regardless.

Until, the mad kobold lunged out at her from the shadows; snapping her out of any fantasy. Not expecting combat, she was unable to defend herself from the flailing creature. It lunged for her neck, screaming “Xint, Xint, Xint!”. It managed to get a hold of her holy symbol, but was unable to pull it off of Irirangi with a single tug. Pulling furiously at her amulet, the kobold was suspended above the ground. Iri reflexively tried to pull the creature off of her; the kobold responded with a similar reflex, chomping down on Iri’s left hand.

The pain in her hand was just enough to throw her off balance, and give the kobold the upper hand in the tug-of-war. Clutching Iri’s holy symbol in its little claws, the kobold took off back into the shadows that it came from.

Holding her wounded hand, Irirangi looks around for any sign of movement, spurred on by Benefor’s prodding.

Perception check please?


The night was unexpectedly cool; the oppressive and sticky heatwave that had plagued Breland for the past week was over, making Starlan Benex’s trip to the King’s Forest more bearable. It was enough that he would have to work only by moonlight to harvest the night-blooming flowers Zillia requested. Working through the night in the suffocating heat of a tropical forest, combined with his normal courier duties, would probably pull the normally perky Halfling over the edge into the realm of exhaustion.

This minor blessing in mind, Starlan uttered a quiet prayer and took off on Dragonheart, up and out of tower filled Sharn and toward the King’s Forest. Trading spires of stone for the spires of tall-growing trees, he pressed his Glidewing deep into the forest. Recently, Breland had increased logging activities around the forest, gradually shaving down the perimeter of the wood. If Starlan was to harvest a substantial amount of such a rare and elusive flower, he would have to get to the oldest and tallest trees; he would have to fly on to the heart of the forest.

Handling his mount expertly, he made good time and covered a significant distance. However, as he ventured deeper into the wood, he began to feel the slightest anxiety well up inside him. He had no intention of getting lost or stranded, but if he did, he may not be found for some time. Working at such heights, even for a native of Sharn, could prove dangerous with even a tiny slip.

Before too long the telltale flowers of the ‘Demon Bane’ plant appeared; they began their midnight dance as they opened in response to the moonlight. Starlan’s sensitivity to these kinds of events sent a buzz running through his whole body; soon enough the quiet forest was alive with a kind of primal electricity. Insects began to respond to the silent communication of the flowers, and in turn, predatory creatures began to respond to the insect activity. Starlan smiled to himself as bats and nocturnal birds began to swarm around him; on his large mount, his movements echoed their own, but he dwarfed them considerably.

He, too, was drawn to the flowers’ call. He needed them, but he wasn’t sure why. He had been put through enough tests as part of his Druidic initiation, that he had moved beyond simple blind faith, into a kind of trust.

Setting upon his work, Starlan began to harvest the fragrant blossoms, eager to meet Zillia’s expectations.

Ok intro! Yay! May I please have 3 Perception checks from you?


We can continue discussion here. Sorry Gamer Connection!

Spoiler:

I will repost the character creation guidelines that we established in the other thread, for reference.

- Starting at Level 2
- Every character receives Weapon Finesse for free for weapons they are proficient in (if you know how to use a rapier, you know how to use a rapier.)
- 32 point Standard point buy
- Max HP at first level
- 900 gp starting gold
- No Dinosaurs. (Maybe dinosaurs, if you convince me)
- Dice rolls are to be made using Invisible castle
- Skillful - All characters get 2 extra skill points per level. These points must be spent on Craft, Knowledge, Profession or Perform skills only. These bonus points are multiplied as usual at first level (so 8 skill points usable on Craft, Knowledge, Profession and Perform skills at level 1, and 2 such skill points every subsequent level). In addition, all Craft, Knowledge,Profession and skills are considered class skills for these skill points. These skills get overlooked much too often! (snagged this one from a game I play in; great idea!)
-Alpha 2 rules

+++Shifter Fixes:
+2 Wisdom. The feral and animalistic qualities of shifters lend them sharpened awareness, perception, and insight.
+2 to Acrobatics and Climb. This replaces the bonus to now defunct skills.
+1 Shifter feat at 1st level.

+++Changeling Fixes:

+2 to any one ability score. 1/day this bonus can be changed to affect another ability score. This reflects their shifting personas.

-Skill Focus: Changelings receive Skill Focus (X) as a free bonus feat at 1st level.

Sim's intro thread is here.

The Lyrandar twins' thread is here.

Once the others finalize backstories/connections/days in the life of, then we can continue! Mystery, Danger, Treasure, and Magic awaits! *spooky sounds*


Ellirayne woke up to the sounds of rushing servants and House-workers crashing around outside her door. Throwing on some basic clothes, and taking a quick look at her hair in a mirror on her way, she rushed out into the foyer and across to her brother’s room to see what the commotion was. Her brother, Deerian, was already headed to meet her, similarly disheveled. His hair was askew and his shirt wasn’t quite buttoned up in sync. Ever focused on his duty as a guardian, he had remembered to grab his weapons belt; his trusty rapier and dagger scabbards hanging from his hips.

A buzz was in the air. Literally. The permanent Alarms located in the docking bay reserved only for the heads of the House were ringing throughout the tower, signaling either the arrival or the deparature of a skyship. But who could it be? The twin’s parents mentioned nothing to them of leaving, and as they were (until very recently) sleeping in their chamber on the level above, they couldn’t be arriving from anywhere!

The group of people running about, including the twins, made their way up the fantastic and ornate spiral staircase to the docking bay at the very top level. The workers first to the big double doors pushed them open and ducked just in time to see the fantastic airship make a daring sweep above their heads and around the chamber in order to execute a 180* turn, and dock perfectly. Whoever was piloting that ship had tremendous skill, finesse, and gusto!

Standing on the edge of the ship was a tall, silver haired half-elf. His close cropped hair followed the line of a scar around his chin, and glittering diamonds in each of his ears seemed to catch the light at every angle. His tight fitting leathers revealed a slim but muscular build, and in a matter echoing Deerian, a beautiful scabbard held a rapier at his side. Instead of a dagger to complement it however, three short wands hung from the opposite hip.

He jumped off the ship and onto the ground, landing with a loud clap of his hands that seemed to reverberate like thunder in the open chamber. “Goooooooood Mor-ning!” he shouted, to the puzzled look of standers-by.

Scanning the room, his eyes rest on the two twins. In a swaggering stride, he moves over to the two. “My my my, look how you have grown!” He circles the pair, judging them as one would judge an antique piece of furniture; checking them up and down, analyzing how the effects of time have weathered it. “I remember when you were two little children, running around, sowing chaos. You were always wild little children and I see that some things never change!”, he says, poking at Deerian’s wild tuft of cowlicked hair.

“Now. Where’s a hug for your old uncle Flash?”


Located in exclusive Skyway, Vraxeris Manor had a privileged vantage point; it's gaping windows gazing out beyond the limits of the city proper. The morning sun played on the water of the Dagger River; the heatwaves rising up gave the promise of a beautiful day.

Sim looked around his chamber. It was exceedingly opulent; lavish fixtures and beautiful antiques surrounded him. But the corners seemed dark, the shelves seemed dusty. His expensive breakfast sat, untouched, on his dresser. He felt distant from it all. It was all in stark contrast to the warmth of the sun.

Leaning on the windowsill, Sim closed his eyes, and let the sun wash over his face. He tried to stretch that moment into eternity. A passing cloud was enough to bring him back, present in this day. Turning from the window, he took a few steps around his room, gathering the courage that he would need to face today.

His birthday.

Or rather, the birthday of Sillas ir'Vraxeris, the young man he had murdered and whose identity he had stolen a few years prior. A shudder passed through him. Even now Sim heard the hurried movements of servants outside his chamber, busily preparing for tonight's celebrations. He had feigned illness every other year, but was determined this year to accept the event with open arms.

Almost unconsciously, his hand slipped to his coinpurse. He chuckled to himself at the hefty weight of it. What more could he possibly receive? He had not known want or lack since the day he stole Sillas' identity.

A knock on his chamber door instinctively shifted his hand from coinpurse to rapier hilt in a flash. Catching himself, he let go of the weapon; years on the streets honed his reflexes. No amount of pretending could erase his true past.

The knock came again, louder this time.

Shadow Lodge

Hey there

a quick little breakdown of the party structure;

Ayver, Human Female Druid with Ape animal companion; influential member of the Bronzewood Lodge.

Nameless, a Fighter/Rogue Human Male; grew up on the streets of the Free City.

Arcaniss, a Spellscale Sorcerer/Dragonheart Mage Male; flashy. Has wings and a breath weapon, and is not afraid to use them!

Sjatchlex (Shadowtalk in draconic), a Male Dragonwrought Kobold Telepath. An old friend of Allustan who was contacted to help brainstorm this Age of Worms nonsense.

---
Hall of Harsh Reflection -

After meeting with Allustan and Marzena, the party was given documents that they were charged with bringing to an old friend of the mages. Couple with the notes containing the research and knowledge of the undead monstrosities known as the Spawn of Kyuss found in the area, the party was also asked to bring some of the artifacts found in the tomb of Icosiol in the Whispering Cairn.

The party tied up some loose ends in the ramshackled town of Diamond Lake, including paying Mazros a sum to keep him quiet and run things as normal. The gnome merchant Tildwoad also gave the PC's a contact for a potential buyer of items in the Black Market Disctrict of the Free City.

Setting out on the road to the Free City, the party was attacked by two Troll brothers, who seemed to be desperate to mug the party. They were dealt with swiftly, bleeding their backstory into nothingness...

Approaching the city limits, the PC's were confronted by a staggering queue of people, caravans, goods, and even exotic animals, waiting to gain entrance to the city. Arcaniss took to the sky to survey the scene, noting nothing extraordinary beyond the routine city guard checkpoint.

After a few long hours of waiting, the guards came to inspect their goods. Initially cautious because of the large ape and kobold in the group, they came upon some items that they considered contraband in the city. The poison bolts specifically, and strangely the potions they inspected were accused of holding hallucinogenic items in the vials. “You never know what worms can do!” The proposed confiscation of these items was countered by an on the sly bribe that seemed to work well enough to get the guards off their back.

Once inside the city, they noted that many residents were excited over the prospect of the Champion's Games. Indeed handbills and giant banners were plastered all over the most populated districts of town, some even counting down to the day, only a couple weeks away.

While observing a circus-like procession of performers and wild animals in cages, the group managed to get tangled in the throng of people gathering to watch. A particularly large cage contained a Chimera - a hybrid creature with massive wings and the head of a predatory cat, huge goat, and blue dragon. Almost ineffectually the Dragon head roared while gouts of electricity splayed across the bars of the cage, dissipating effortlessly.

Distracted by the procession, and focused on this magnificent and terrifying beast, obviously enraged by its confinement, Arcaniss did not feel a potion being lifted off his person by an enterprising cutpurse. Nameless' keen senses attributed to his street savvy nature allowed him to spot the thief that had an eye on his wand belt. Though successful with the lift, he was spotted and a chase began.

Before any distance could be made, the enraged chimera burst through his cage that had been weakened by repeated electrical attacks. The beast pounced upon the closest bystander, pinning him to the ground with a massive paw. The creature roared at the rest of the crowd, who had begun to flee at this point.

Torn between catching the escaping thieves and stopping the rampaging creature, the party split its resources.

Ayver and her ape growled defensively, eyes sharp and focused, and both began to crackle with magical energy as they charged toward the furious beast.

Arcaniss, not one to be shown up in displays of power, channeled his passion and intensity into a searing blast of arcane electricity, simultaneously wounding and cauterizing the massive creature. The strike did well to distract it from the helpless and unconscious townsperson.

Sjachlex focused on penetrating the mind of the thief, locking his mind away and preventing him from escaping.

Nameless seized the oppurtunity to grapple and bind the defenseless thief. Confident that he was effectively held, Sjachlex turned his focus once more to the mind of the enraged Chimera, finding it even easier to infiltrate and shut down.

The furious Druid and her ape managed to knock the helpless creature unconscious, while Arcaniss flew like a hawk to spot the remaining thief. In the confusion he seemed to have slipped between some buildings and down an alley, only to disappear at the end of the road.

The grateful performers, once again in control of the beast, thank the party and offer them two protection potions that seem to crackle like fireflies inside the glass walls, oddly reminding them of the chaos that just took place.

The party convinces the thief, through a successful show of force on Nameless’ part, to take them to their hideout, in the hopes that they can intercept the other member. (Who thought a random potion and a drained wand of Unseen Servant would be so missed? Note to self: Don’t take stuff from the Players). The thief, who reveals his name to be Sald takes them to an unassuming building on the other side of the Market District, and even teaches them the secret knock to be let in to the building (knock, knock, cough, kick the door). He convinces the party to let him do the knock so that the person on the other side of the door does not suspect anything. In reality Sald manufactured the ‘secret knock’ in order to buy him a chance to slip a potion of invisibilty into his mouth while he coughed. When the invisible Sald kicked the door he activated a pressure plate that allowed him to fall as the floor in front of the building gave away.

The PC’s spotted the deception and triggered the same plate one by one, with the Ape waiting outside, too large to squeeze. They fell safely down many feet with the help of a chute and were promptly dropped into a room that would act as a holding cell, if the door leaving it wasn’t already unlocked and open. Only two other doors led out of this room, and both were closed. The amount of time that had passed would not have been enough for Sald to escape using the doors.

Knowing that an invisible Sald was somewhere in this room, the party used their skills as efficiently as they could to catch the thief. Ayver shifted and twisted her body, transforming herself into a large bat; with echolocation it was no problem to spot the huddling thief in the far corner of the room. Sjachlex reorganized the synapses in his mind, allowing him to feel the air as a touch, transferring that information to his visual receptors, he could spot the thief easily. Nameless, though hampered in the darkness of the cellar, used his polearm proficiency to do a sweep of the room, both isolating where Sald was not, and keeping him from moving around. Arcaniss, waiting for a cue from the rest of the party on the location of the Thief, was preparing the beginnings of a spell that would incapacitate their combatant.

Unconscious and helpless, the intruders tied up Sald and prepared for him to wake in order to interrogate him further.

A sharp slap on the face was all that was needed to wake the thief, who quickly surveyed his surroundings and his bonds. After a brief struggle, Sald was convinced his capture and his capturers were not to be surpassed easily.

The party searched the rest of the basement floor, finding some sleeping arrangements and a protected chest. Easily unlocking and disarming the trap mechanism, Nameless found a jewel-encrusted goblet, as well as a note to unnamed individuals that essentially explained the chest’s contents as part of a contracted heist. They were to extract a specific object from the Manor-Keep of one of the ruling Lords. Associates from the Thieves’ Guild were to come pick up the contents, and reward Sald and his partner Aregen with entry into the Thieves’ Guild. They confiscate all the goods.

They also find stairs that lead to the upper street-level floor. Taking the bound Sald with them, they search this top level. A crude table and chair set, made from some old crates, some wine, a box of outfits, and other miscellaneous gear were found. Sjachlex decides to probe the mind of their captive; while he’s in there, he implants the idea in Sald’s mind that they were indeed the Thieves’ Guild officials sent to collect, and that they essentially robbed the wrong people. The helpless Sald could not fight the violent reworking of his mind; his memories were twisted until he saw the party in a positive light. He was unbound, and the rest of the night was spent with wine and long stories by Sald.

Before dawn, Aregen returned to his home and heist droppoint. He was initially uncomfortable with the PC’s presence, but with Sjachlex’s suggestions, and Sald sitting unthreateningly with the others, he cowed to their story.

He himself was on a secondary mission for the Thieves’ Guild initiation. Using the hijacked potion of Fly, he was able to nab Lord Astor’s flag right from the top of its building.

He retrieved the enormous flag from his Handy Haversack, and began telling the tale of the heist. The PC’s willingly accept both of Aregen and Sald’s Haversacks under promise of return from the Guild.

However, Aregen had failed to notice the worm that was lying dormant in the potion. Shortly after he arrived back at the safe house, he began feeling quite ill. Eventually he went to bed. Ayver’s growing uneasiness caused her to go and check on the infected thief, who was now coughing up a little blood.

Her healing powers did what they could to repair his tissues, but he was certainly infected with something.

Having to meet Eligos the next day, she and the other party decided to bring both of them to him as well, in case he would be able to diagnose something about his infection.

Leaving early in the morning, the PC’s encounter what locals referred to as “the Rain Barrel Man”; he stood on top of a weathered rain barrel in the middle of the crowded market district. He ranted and raved about coming doom, while everyone but children, who delighted in throwing rocks and mud at the man, ignored him.

When the group walked closer, they heard more clearly his ranting; “Listen to me, you children of the Free City, and hear the doom that builds before your blind eyes. You in your house of Gold and you in your hovel of mud and even you in your mail of metal, none of you are safe from the doom, from the Age of Worms. Oh yes, It is coming. Have you not heard the dead dragons roar? Have you not smelled the rot festering under your very nose? Have you not dreamt of the worm that walks, bringing decay to all he touches? Fools, you are all fools! Your doom is upon you! The end is in sight and none of you shall be spared. Decay is the future, and the future is here!”

They walked on by and ignored the man, though not without feeling personally touched by his mad ravings.

They left the market district, and entered the garden district, where Allustan’s instructions told them they would find Eligos. His opulent mansion was managed by his aged Elven manservant Pollard. They meet with Eligos, who is initially indifferent to them, but when Allustan was mentioned he changed his attitude. It was revealed that Allustan, Marzena, and himself were all students under the tutelage of a man only referred to as M.

Through some prodding (and probing), the M. revealed itself to be for Mordenkainen. The party pleaded their case, giving Eligos all the info they had on the cults, the worms, and the artifacts they found in the Whispering Cairn. Coupled with Marzena and Allustan’s notes, he pledged to commit his research to uncover what he could in his Great Library. As for the infection of Aregen, Eligos admitted he knew little, and that maybe he should be taken to a healer. Eligos asked for a few days in order to research. He suggested that they stay at one of his friends’ inn in the city, under discount of course. The party agreed and departed for The Crooked House tavern, in order to establish their accommodations.

---

Sald and Aregen, growing more impatient, reluctantly agree to stay with the PC’s while they organize their rooms.

Entering the Crooked House, which is just that, slightly off skew from the shifted foundations, a jovial gnome greets the group, and introduces himself as Tarquin, the owner. He appears to be in the middle of serving a meal, and asks the party if they would like to join. They negotiate a fair price for inclusive drinks and meals while they stay, thanks to their mention of Eligos. Tarquin mentions a live show that is to take place shortly that evening.

The party, overjoyed at the possibility to rest and have some entertainment, quickly go to work on their free drinks agreement. As the night progressed, the Party got increasingly loose with their talk and with the gear they were flashing. At the height of it, they brought out the stolen goblet, and Arcaniss went to work searching for any magical qualities it contained. With Ayver’s assistance, they were able to discern the magical properties to be related to a healing quality. After a little application of logic, including ingesting poison, they found that it could neutralize any poison put into it. A hefty sum must have been paid for such an item.

When the bard performer arrived, the party had already had enough of him. Throughout his performance, Sjachlex incited random audience members to hurl insults at the performer. The party decided as a group that maybe inciting a mass dance choreography would better accompany the performance. The kobold used his considerable telepathic and mental skills to control the spontaneous dance.

As the night grew on, Aregen felt increasingly more ill. He retired to bed with Sald, in one of the single rooms overhead. Concerned that their negligence had implicated a (more or less) innocent person in potential wormy doom, the party decided to go check on Sald. Seeing his condition worsen, Ayver searched within herself for a spell that could undo his condition. Placing her hands upon his coughing and sputtering chest, she channeled a primal desperation, and focused on pulling the sickness out of him. Aregen collapsed on the ground, coughing up thick blood, and with it, tiny green worms. The worms desperately bore out of his flesh and lungs, before dying as they exited his body. Ayver worked quickly to heal the wounds created by the process, and left Aregen unconscious in his bed. Satisfied that she had done all she could to remove the worm, she retired to her own bed.

The next day was spent milling about the market, and spending their hard earned cash. A group such as them certainly was not unusual on these streets, but still unique enough to draw attention.

That night at the Crooked House, just as the rest of the party went to bed, Ayver noticed the door to her room opening. A merchant stepped in and then promptly excused himself. He claimed to be in the wrong room, and she watched him enter his own room down the hall. Embarrassed, she gave him his privacy.

Less than a quarter of an hour later, a commotion was heard downstairs. Running to check out the event, the party came across Tarquin unconscious on the ground and with a dagger sticking out of his chest, as well as the same merchant from a few moments prior, currently engaged in inciting the crowd against the PCs.

He claimed that not a moment prior, the kobold came down out of his room, walked up to Tarquin and stabbed him brutally in the chest.

The party tried to protest, but the drunkenness of all those involved, coupled with eye witnesses of the event made calming the crowd too difficult.

A fight eventually broke out, though the party managed to incapacitate the patrons without killing anyone. Ayver ran to tend to the hurt gnome, healing him. During the fight, one of bar patrons ran to get the watch. Once they had incapacitated the merchant, and bound him, the watch arrived. They heard the story, searched the merchant, and found the exact same daggers on the body of the ‘merchant’. In addition, a key was found on his body. The key head was shaped to be a ship being pulled under by a giant octopus. The party managed to ‘forget’ they had the key on them. When inspecting his room, all manner of outfits, disguises, etc were found. The watch took the man into custody, and thanked the party for their help in apprehending the con man. Tarquin offers them free room and board for a month.

The next day, still unsettled by the previous night’s incident, the party decides to take matters into their own hands. They head to the jail, and Sjachlex’s smooth talking mind control allowed them access to the cell.

They saw a body laying in the bed in the dirty cell. Upon closer inspection (removing the sheets to question the merchant) they found pillows and blankets used to create the illusion of a body, while the head was a recently severed head. Flashing back to the tavern identifies it as the severed head of one of the city watch that apprehended the merchant “Elaxan” the night before.

Frantic that the merchant is murdering and on the loose, the party splits and tries to track him down. Ayver twists and distorts her body, turning into a magnificent eagle to take to the sky, hoping in vain to get a glimpse of the murderer.

---

Inside the jail, the Chief was summoned and confronted with the head of the city watch guard. Initially concerned with the presence of the PCs, he is easily coerced by Sjachlex’s mental implanting that they are actually a special investigations unit sent by the city watch, who were suspicious of this criminal.

Willing to shelve the responsibility of the inquest on behalf of both the jail and the city watch administration, the Chief shares everything he knows about the event. The young man murdered was named Kerr; he was a single man, living not far from the jail district itself.

The PCs also discovered that there was only a single person scheduled to supervise that particular wing during the evening. This guard was named Shaw, and had just finished his shift. He was found in the locker room, packing his gear (weapons, uniform, and armour) into the standard issue guard bag. The PCs questioned him, but Shaw protested to not know what had happened. Sjachlex took the opportunity to read Shaw’s thoughts, discovering that Shaw was worried about his job; it was found out that he failed to do his rounds that night, instead he was playing dice with some of the other guards who were also reneging on their duties. Shaw’s conscious thoughts removed the possibility of his involvement in the murder or the escape.

When the PCs went to interrogate the guards at the front gate, one of them asked the Chief if Shaw was feeling any better, and if he expected him to be in for his shift today. Taking everyone by surprise, they inquired and found out that Shaw had allegedly left the jail early that night on account of feeling really ill. He was spotted taking his gear as well.

Concerned for Shaw’s identity, the PCs asked him to take them to his house. Noticing nothing suspicious on the way there and nothing inside (save for his wife and children busily making bread), they decided that this identity stealing shapeshifter had probably discarded Shaw’s appearance and was not trying to assume Shaw’s identity any further.

On the way back to the prison district, Ayver noticed a strange commotion in the small park that marks the division of districts. Her attunement to nature helped her sense an excitement in the air. Her eyes and ears were drawn to a suspiciously large flock of city birds, excitedly chirping away in a tall tree. Curious as to the commotion, she prepared for a spell that would allow her to communicate with the birds. No sooner did she finish the spell before she was assaulted by an overwhelming amount of chatter: “Food! Over there! Move over! Food!”. Ayver was pointed to another mass of birds behind the tree, busily picking and pecking at some object. When she managed to shoo the birds from it, she recognized it as one of the standard issue guard bags from the prison; inside it she found a headless corpse, rightfully assuming that it was the body of the murdered guard Kerr.

Taking the corpse back to the prison, they now had enough of the body to attempt a ‘Speak with Dead’ spell. The Chief sent for a priest from the nearby temple of Hieroneous. Because of the condition of the corpse, the connection to its imprinted memory would be tenuous.

As leaders of the investigation, they asked the corpse “Who killed you”, and were answered by “Kerr killed me. Shaw killed me. I killed me”. This more or less sealed their suspicions; there were two shapeshifters, one impersonating Kerr and one impersonating Shaw. Ayver, with her personal experience in shapeshifting, as well as her gathered knowledge, posited that it was the work of Doppelgangers; they possess an innate ability to read the thoughts and minds of others. Sjachlex confirmed that with a simple sweep, say the act of being brought through from entrance to cell, would be sufficient to read the minds of enough guards to know everything about patrol structure, access keys, and the proper routes of escape, and especially which guards were planning on being negligent.

A moment of horror washed across the PCs as they realized that their contact with the creatures would have also exposed their minds. Feeling violated, the group decided to extend their search. They wondered if maybe Aregen and Sald had heard anything within their own range of contacts, and decided to seek them out at the drop point.

Receiving no answer when they knocked on the front door, they immediately became suspicious. Sjachlex mentally commanded his Psicrystal to take the journey down the secret hatch and explore for him.

After a brief tumble, the psicrystal steadied itself and began to search the room. He immediately reported a large pool of blood on the middle of the basement floor, leading to the room where Aregen and Sald slept.

One by one the party tumbled down the chute to inspect. A horror scene was found in their room; cots overturned, clothes shredded, and most prominently was an image, drawn in blood, on the wall. The group recognized it as the same, albeit crudely drawn, image that was found on the key confiscated from Elaxan; a ship being pulled underwater by the crushing tentacles of an octopus.

Steeled by the possible murder of their friends, and feeling somehow responsible for implicating them any further in their problems, the PCs set out to discover more about this image.

Running low on contacts, but recognizing the dark and seedy nature of the events, they decided to make a trip to the contact that Tildwoard, the ask-no-questions merchant of Diamond Lake, had provided for them. They were told to seek out Rivell, who ran an import/export operation in the warehouse district. Nameless, using his contacts within the city, was able to quickly locate her warehouse, characterized by only a crescent moon above the door.

Knocking on the door, they were greeted by a bald and grey skinned human, dressed in a fine suit. He said nothing, but at the PCs mention of Tildwoad, he unlocked the door and led the party to Rivell in her office, taking his place silently standing beside her door.

She was busily writing in a ledger book, her frantic nature accented by the chaotic state of the room; hastily strewn papers, books, odd coins and a few empty liquor bottles provided enough of clue as to her organizational skills.

Playing coy at first, the PCs offered to give her some information as to the whereabouts of a Black Dragon egg, in exchange for information she may be able to provide. Being evasive, she suggested she wanted nothing to do with the egg, and that she isn’t generally in the business of information brokering. Quickly growing tired of playing any games, Nameless brandishes the key, and Sjachlex makes a note of her reaction to the image. Reading her mind is not necessary, as she is immediately visibly concerned; Sjachlex reads that she worries that something may have gone awry with their last transaction. Her familiarity with the image obvious, the PCs interrogate her and learn that a month or so ago she came in the possession of a large scroll; it was brought to her from an expedition to a forgotten temple from the north. She was unable to decipher what it contained, but her sleight magical aptitude and training was enough to tell her that there was something overwhelming contained within.

The image referred to one of her buyers; she knew him only by this symbol, as all communication was sealed and signed with it. He (Rivell wasn’t even entirely convinced that he was a he!) only dealt in person with his own crew, a vast and ever changing group, or so it would seem. This buyer would often purchase her more questionable items, at a price that obviously included silence on both their parts. He purchased the scroll off her for a considerable amount.

She revealed that the warehouse that she met his contacts for deliveries at was called “Sodden Hold”, an abandoned place on the edge of the warehouse district, bordering on the river. It could be found more easily at night, when a soft purple glow illuminated the same symbol they have grown to be familiar with on the side of the building.

Setting out at night, they found the warehouse with little difficulty; Nameless’ connection with the city granted them a swift and unfettered mobility. Sure enough, the building was found to have the glowing symbol on its side, with “Sodden Hold” written in fading green paint. The entire building has taken on a green hue, due to the moss that covers its façade. A tall set of locked iron doors marked the only entrance into the building.

Not surprisingly, the party used the key they found to unlock the front door. Preparing themselves for potential conflict inside, Arcaniss warded his body with a protective force, hopefully resilient enough to displace any harmful attacks.

Opening the door, they found a large room filled mostly with crates and boxes of various sizes. Three doors led out of the room, one on the North side, and two on the South side. Inspecting the crates, the party found various items of various sources, including cheap clothing, bulk amounts of mail links, and many containers filled with different alcohols. Deciding to check on the southern doors, Nameless checked each one for possible traps. Finding none, other than a heavy lock on both, he moved on. Sjachlex’s curiosity got the best of him however, as his attempted opening of the Northern door caused a pit to open up beneath him. In an amazing feat of precognition he jumped out of the way, avoiding the fall completely. A gruesome pit filled with many spikes 40ft below made the little kobold thankful for his fast reflexes.

However, at that moment, seizing the opportunity caused by the kobold’s distraction, the closest large crate grew appendages and struck, slamming against the side of the small creature, a sticky substance bound the telepath to the appendages of creature, who began flailing madly.

Cries erupted from the crate, its form now shifting and warping, calling out in Common “Food! Food! Tasty kobold food!”.

Distressed by the morbid implications the cries of “Food!” held earlier that day, Ayver channeled her rage into a furious focus of fire and divine wrath. A giant pillar of flame erupted, catching two more of the flailing morphed creatures in its blaze, equally shattering apart nearby crates and boxes. One of the southern doors was also destroyed in the strike.

Arcaniss unfurled his wings and rushed to the kobold’s aid, only to be waylaid by lashing appendages of two other crates in proximity to them. Smashing into his arm, Arcaniss was pinned against the creature, preventing him from casting any spells. Channeling his frustration and stored arcane energy into a breath weapon blast, he aimed his head at the creature, who had no chance of dodging, unleashing the full fury of the blast and almost disabling the unprepared shifter.

Ayver’s ape, angry and confused at the sudden attacks of these crates, struck with both of his claws at the one closest to him. He managed to strike at the flaming creature, but in so doing had inextricably attached himself to it.

Nameless effortlessly dodged the attacks of the crates, which he recognized as Mimics (creature often taking the place of large chests, crates, etc in order to surprise their victims), and explained that the adhesive of these creatures could only be dissolved with a strong alcohol or with some time following the creature’s death. He struck the creatures with his guisarme, deftly pulling his weapon away before it could get stuck to the creature.

The Mimic closest to Ayver struck her, binding her as well to its sticky frame, slowly squeezing the life out of her.

Each of the Mimics took the opportunity to squeeze their victims to death; Sjachlex, refusing to let this creature crush him, released power from his mental reserves, letting it flow through his body, hopefully strengthening it to resist the advances of the creature.

The smashed containers of alcohol coupled with the splintered crates and barrels helped spread the fire quickly, and before long the party was heating up.

Nameless’ deft strikes helped finish off the creature that was strangling Sjachlex, while Arcaniss and Ayver (now shapeshifted into a crocodile to get a good bite in) took care of the Mimic crushing them. The ape used his large girth to fight back against the creature, who at this point wished he could remove himself, crushing the life out of it.

The party, save for nameless, was still held fast against these large dead creatures, while the room began to fill with flames and smoke. Ever encroaching, the flames reached Ayver’s ape first; howling in pain as the flames danced around his body, burning him horribly, he desperately began to drag the large corpse out of the building. Nearly tearing his own arms off, he dragged the flaming corpse through the iron doors and into the alleyway.

The other PCs, unable to defend themselves or escape the encroaching flames, looked desperately at Nameless for salvation. Nameless responded with a hollow laughter that didn’t seem to belong to him, and simply watched as they burned.

Sjachlex, mostly immobile, concentrated on penetrating the mind of Nameless, and dominating it. Initially resisting the telepath’s probes, Sjachlex desperately sent a surge of power into the fighter’s mind, breaking through and establishing control. Ayver and Arcaniss were now being consumed by the flames, so Nameless’ first orders were to administer potions of resist fire, saving Arcaniss from the flames. Able to dodge the flames effortlessly, Nameless weaved in and out, further providing potions of gaseous form to the trapped PCs, removing them from the hold of the dead Mimic’s adhesive. Like the smoke that was now rushing out of the building, the gaseous Ayver and Arcaniss escaped to freedom.

Nameless was then ordered to find some of the unignited alcohol to dissolve Sjachlex from his bond. Once clear of the flames outside, Nameless was tied up and incapacited. The party at this point immediately suspected that Nameless had been replaced by a doppelganger at some point. Resolving to wait until the fire died down inside before worrying about their new prisoner, they left him unconscious and bound.

---
More to come! The party is divided! What will happen!?

Shadow Lodge

Hey there,
My group just descended into the first temples beneath the mine, the Hextorian Temple. They managed to prevent most of the base knowing about their advance, until the very end.

When confronted in the main battling arena, they fled to the back rooms. They were cornered, and, fearing major death, they fled out out and back up the elevator. This is where we left off.

However! To first get into the mine's secret area, they sucker-punched and stripped the two guards guarding the entrance. So, the guards (plus a few friends) will likely be waiting for them as they ascend back into the mine proper.

I'm concerned with a number of things:

The PC's broke into a legitimate mine on the pretense that there was a cult doing 'something' down there.

They then snuck into the Hextorian temple, and proceded to wallop on them, for no reason.

The Hextorites did nothing to provoke the attack, and were simply defending their temple.

As a LE bunch, I fully anticipate the Hextorites to move for some kind of persecution on tresspassing and murder charges.

However, the local militia and garrison houses the temple to Hieroneous of this town (LG! ack). Nevermind the bitter rivalry between the two god brothers, how would this play out? Would the LG militia have to persecute the PCs for tresspassing unlawfully on the LE territory?

---
I can see this developing as far as creating an opening for a Hextorian takeover of the town...

What are your suggestions for how this would play out? What about other scenarios? What will happen?!

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Additionally, what will happen to the structure of the temple itself? In relation to the other two temples?

This is what is left of the garrison: 4 tiefling guards,4 zombies (soon to be more I assume!), theldrick the cleric, and the other two cleric-lovers.

They used a lot of their consumables in the first battle (potions, scrolls, etc); Which of these would I restock with them?

Will they ask for help from the other two temples? They will surely inform the other two cults, so they will all be at the ready, with extra defenses. Would they trap the area? What kind of traps would be reasonable?

Thanks for any and all help!