Ramirez goes back to Drezen where he attempts to convince a faction to send troops to guard Cayden Cailen’s temple. Irabeth suggests that the Sword of Valor can summon a good outsider who could protect the temple. But they have to get buy in from Arune before this can happen since this could upset the balance of power in the area.
Arune is understanding but suggests that Nia and he are present when the summoning occurs so that the PCs can keep the good outsider from going on a rampage of slaughter on the various evil factions in the area. Plus he would be helpful in the summons since there needs to be a certain number of Good and/or Lawful divine casters needed to complete a summons.
The rest of the PCs arrive and Quinnlyn figures out that there are 3 settings on the summons. The lowest setting would allow for summoning a relatively low powered outsider of CR10 or lower. That would be fairly easy. The middle setting would allow a more powerful outsider such as Astral Deva to be summoned and would be much harder. The highest level would be a “break glass in case of emergency” summons and would summon a much more powerful but unspecified outsider to be summoned.
Quinnlyn spends a hero point to ensure success of the summons. An Astral Deva appears and looks like it was about to attack Arune and Nia, but the PCs quickly step in and explain the situation. It agrees to guard the shrine until additional priests and worshippers of Cayden Cailen arrive who can garrison it permanently.
Afterwards, Quinnlyn sees Nirmal teaching Lann and Wendaug how to summon a wolf who can be a permanent loyal companion. Quinnlyn is alarmed at how close the Druids and Mongrelmen have become and steps in. She finds out that the Mongrelmen have decided to spend time living in both the forest and the city and then will decide where they want to live permanently. She gets Lann alone and then accuses Nirmal of being a child stealer who kills people and steals their children. Lann is insulted that Quinnlyn would say this about his friend and asks for proof which Quinnlyn cannot provide.
A lingering issue for the city is that the land around it is highly corrupted and unsuited for farming at the moment. Perhaps the Mongrelmen or Orcs could survive on what is grown, but less sturdy people such as humans and elves would find it inedible.
Kayden picks up the ventriloquism device from Aravash and presents it to Baron who is overjoyed. He hugs Kayden and then says that he has information about Kayden’s parents. They were last seen fighting demons deeper in the Worldwound. He cautions that the Worldwound has a way of corrupting even highly good souls with prolonged exposure.
Joran says he is just about finished with altering the Corruption Forge into the Redemption Forge. He needs Good and Lawful divine casters to finish the process so Quinnlyn and Arune will help with Sosiel as backup. Valin tries to convince him not to go through with the Geas, but Joran is insistent. Valin has no choice and accepts the Geas to bring back Millorn. Ramirez will join him since Quinnlyn is needed for the Forge and Kayden is mayor.
Valin and Ramirez take Aravash, Nia, her companion Bear, and Lann with them to Kenabres with a few teleport spells from Aravash. They run into Nestrin and Yarick as well as Horgus and Klarah.
After some rest, they go into the crevasse using fly, levitate, and hanging a rope into the underworld. Lann sees signs of demons and says they are ahead. The party buffs up and approaches.
The party sees a hezrou, 2 gugs, and an apocalypse locust. The fight starts off well for the party. Valin smites and one-shots the locust and Aravash deals heavy damage with empowered fireballs. But the hezrou casts blasphemy which greatly weakens and hinders the party and then teleports next to Aravash. Aravash desperately tries webbing the demon but fails. The gugs quickly kill Bear and have Valin on the ropes with a grapple and double team. The rest of the party desperately try to save Aravash but roll poorly and the hezrou forces Aravash to spend 2 hero points to avoid death.
Eventually Nia attacks a gug to divert attention away from Valin. They finally take down the gugs between them and Valin is freed to be able to smite and kill the hezrou.
PCs decide that they’ve spent too many resources and head back where they meet an old friend. Q cackles at them and cuts the rope leading to the surface. It promises to lead more monsters to them while the party attempts to rest. Aravash manages to cast see invisible and then magic missiles the annoying quasit but doesn’t quite kill it. It flies away where it will quickly heal up.
Between Ramirez, Aravash, and Nia, the party has just enough resources to get to the surface where they will rest and lick their wounds.
End Session 35
PCs are preparing for another sortie. Horgus interrupts and asks to see Valin and Ramirez alone. He’s ready to call in the favor that Valin owes him from session 8.
Horgus explains that someone is blackmailing him. He wants Valin to find the blackmailer and make sure the information isn’t released. He warns that if the info is released, he would be ruined and the supply lines to Drezen would be threatened.
Valin asks if he could do the favor later since diverting from the Geas would cause him immense grief. Horgus says he doesn’t have time and the blackmailer must be stopped. He did mention that the blackmail message was delivered by a quasit.
Valin and Ramirez discuss and decide to pursue Millorn since they could follow up the quasit lead at the same time.
Ramirez gets a message to meet privately. The message was signed by Faxon. Ramirez meets him and Faxon states that he is the blackmailer and he will make sure to be well away from Millorn in the next 2 days. Valin will have to make a choice to honor the Geas or honor his favor to Horgus. Faxon has deliberately timed the blackmail to occur at the worst possible time for Valin. Faxon offers to tell Ramirez about Horgus’s secret, but Ramirez refuses. Faxon does state that Horgus’s actions might be considered evil in some circles but not in others.
Ramirez and Valin meet with Horgus. Horgus is reluctant to tell his secret, but finally agrees to tell Ramirez but not Valin and puts his fate in Ramirez’s hands. Horgus’s motives are partly selfish and partly altruistic. He was afraid that Valin would throw him in the dungeon if he knew the secret, but he also didn’t want to put Valin in position to be a lawbreaker if he agreed to help.
It turns out that Horgus wasn’t really Horgus. His real name was Darrian and he was the son of a servant of the Gwerm household and the real Horgus’s friend. When they were 10 year old children, demons attacked the estate and slaughtered both sets of parents. The demon went after Horgus instead of Darrian. Later on, crusaders found the estate and mistook Darrian for Horgus and Darrian, being very scared, didn’t correct them. The other Gwerms hadn’t seen little Horgus for years and joyfully accepted Darrian as the heir and eventually he inherited everything. This was a crushing secret that Horgus had been keeping to himself for decades and he seemed relieved to get it off his chest.
Ramirez knew this was a mess, but wasn’t sure how to handle it. He decided it was best to let Valin in on the secret despite Horgus’s wishes since he needed Valin’s support. He hatched a plan to have Horgus apparently commit suicide over the revelations and then spirit the body outside of the city where he would be revived and take another identity. Valin didn’t see a better alternative and reluctantly agreed to the plan.
Ramirez gave Horgus a potion that would appear to kill him. At the appropriate time, Horgus would imbibe the potion and the PCs would rush in and take the body away for “proper funerary rites”. After they got him outside the city, they would consult Kayden and Arune and arrange for a new identity for Horgus.
When the party went underground, Ramirez told Aravash, Lann, and Nia that they were to teleport to Drezen and wait until further word was given. The NPCs wondered why they needed to go and asked if they could help in whatever project the 2 PCs were working on. Valin then explained out loud to the 3 NPCs the situation and the exact plan that was in progress. Ramirez slapped his forehead in exasperation and Aravash cast see invisibility and cursed as a quasit flew away.
PCs decide they have to abort the plan and have Aravash teleport them to Horgus’s chambers. They see Horgus trying to drink the potion and Klarah grabbing his arm and trying to get him to stop. They notify Horgus that the plan was blown. Klarah, not realizing what was going on, took the opportunity to get Nestrin and Yarick.
Ramirez decided to spill everything since things were such a mess now. There was no way that the truth wasn’t going to come out and he figured that it’d be better to come from him rather than whatever fiendish way that Faxon would’ve released the news. He explained the whole mess to Nestrin, Yarick, and Klarah.
Yarick immediately declared that stealing the identity of a high noble was a severe crime and got ready to throw Horgus in the dungeon. Valin and Ramirez protested and said that Horgus was needed to maintain supply lines to Drezen and that they could punish him after the war was over. Yarick stated that the Law was very clear about the consequences of the crime. Things got heated and Valin drew his weapon on Yarick. Yarick was essentially daring to have Valin take a swing at him and moved to grab Horgus. Valin looked at Nestrin for support but Nestrin decided that as a high priest of a Lawful goddess, he couldn’t sanction Lawbreaking and wasn’t ready to start a war with the Cheliaxans anyway at such a delicate time in the war against the demons. With no support from Nestrin, Valin decided against taking a swing at Yarick and let him take the prisoner away. He did make some threats against Yarick which were laughed off.
With the Horgus situation in flux, the PCs decide to rest a day and continue the search for Millorn. Nia calls Wolf to replace the dead Bear. They go down the crevasse yet again and set off again. A quasit with a white flag approached and let them know that Faxon is interested in a parley. The PCs agree and Faxon shows up. He smirks and lets them know how interesting he found the events of the last day. He also let them know about Millorn’s situation.
It appeared that Millorn had gone even more insane than before. He had also gained a great deal of power as well through unknown means. He had opened a portal to Maelstrom and beseeched its inhabitants to come through to fight the demons.
Faxon offers to let the party through to stop Millorn and the portal without any opposition. When the PCs ask why, he says that the entities going through the portal are dangers to all, even demons. He figured if the PCs attacked, it was win/win for him. If the PCs destroy the portal, a threat to the demons is eliminated. If the PCs die, it eliminates a dangerous threat to the demons and possibly weakens the portal defenders for a later demonic attack.
PCs eventually run into an area of wild chaos. Valin and Lann are Lawful and take some penalties in the area. They see Millorn in the center of the cavern in the middle of a ceremony. He doesn’t seem to notice them. There is a shimmering portal at the end of the cavern.
Aravash puts black tentacles in the area which severely damage Millorn. He doesn’t seem to react and the PCs ask Aravash to dismiss it. They do notice that time seems to be running faster in this area than normal.
Ramirez gets ready to head toward the portal to cast dimensional anchor on it. However, 5 strange entities appear. They seem to be some sort of Proteans and other Chaotic creatures. They seem strangely serpentlike and their forms are constantly shifting.
Wolf launches himself at one of the creatures and misses. The large Protean guarding the portal launches a warpwave at Ramirez and it turns him into a chipmunk! It also Slows half the party.
Valin decides that retreat is the best option at this point. He orders the rest of the party to grab Ramirez chipmunk and run away. The Proteans are content to tear Wolf to shreds and don’t pursue the PCs.
PCs are unable to dispel the polymorph on Ramirez and go to the surface where Nestrin is finally able to. They do a little research on Proteans and get ready for another expedition to the underworld.
End Session 36
Glorious Chaos – Imentesh Protean
PCs regroup after the aborted encounter with proteans. They prepare anti-Chaos spells for the next encounter.
Before they reach the Proteans, they see a bunch of entities that look like several demons were mashed together. It looks like the demons had launched a failed assault on the proteans and were transformed in the attempt. There were 4 complete Warped Ones and a number of incomplete ones.
PCs are hindered and discomfited by the weird effects thrown out by the warped ones including Aravash becoming skeletally thin and all his equipment dropping. Valin was blinded and Lann had his face frozen in a Joker mask. But some good old fashioned melee resulted in all 4 warped ones dying and the party healed up without using too many resources.
The party forges ahead and run into the proteans again. This was another rough fight. Ramirez and Nia were Slowed by Glorious Chaos and Valin took Ramirez’s Slow effect upon himself. Chaos beasts proved to be nothing more than target practice for Lann and Nia, but Naunets put a lot of acid arrows on Valin. Glorious Chaos turns Aravash to stone.
Ramirez manages to get close to the portal and dimension anchors it which shrinks it. Glorious Chaos dispels the dimension anchor but Ramirez uses a hero point and places another dimension anchor which closes the portal completely. Glorious Chaos is furious and pummels Ramirez with the help of a Naunet flanking buddy.
Just when it looked like it was going to be a total party kill, the proteans’ chaotic nature takes over and they dimension door away. The GM missed that Imentesh’s get 4d6 sneak attack damage, so that would’ve resulted in 16d6 extra damage to Ramirez over 2 rounds which would’ve killed him.
PCs heal up from the harrowing fight and grab Millorn. He babbles about being so very lonely and cries about missing Glorious Chaos. It’s apparent that being tormented by Q for months had caused him to completely snap.
Nestrin says that since the insanity wasn’t magically caused, a spell wouldn’t be able to undo it unless it was a wish/miracle. It would take a lot of therapy to try and undo the damage.
End Session 37
Airelle – Sylph bard. Family friend of Kayden and Ramirez who had saved them in the past and put them on the road to adventure.
Xanthir Vang – Head of the Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth
Kamilo wakes up from the coma that she was in after recovering from Deacon’s attack. Kayden and Quinnlyn are called by her and she explains that Deacon has become even more terrifying than before. He was able to smite her during his attack which indicates that he has learned some of the secrets of being an anti-paladin.
A blue skinned woman comes into town. Airelle tracks down Kayden and says she has some information about his heritage. His parents were from the Wintersun clan in old Sarkoris. They were a well respected clan of barbarians, bloodragers, and sorcerers. Kayden’s parents went deep into the Worldwound to fight the demons at their source and gave him up for safe keeping in Osirion. They haven’t been heard from in a long time.
Airelle mentions that while the land around Drezen seems to be highly corrupted and unsuitable for farming, there were a few dozen farmers that seem to be doing pretty well in farming and getting crops from the soil. PCs are intrigued and want to investigate how this was managed.
PCs speak to Arune who tells them that he has agents investigating, but has determined that the crops are safe to eat.
PCs investigate themselves and find that while some farmers were successful, there were also many farmers who weren’t. There seem to be a distance between the 2 groups of farmers. PCs visit a group of the successful farmers and determine that they have something to hide. They are engaged in the normal backbreaking work of getting crops from the ground but healthy green shoots are everywhere.
PCs ask the farmers the secret of their success. The farmers refuse to answer. A sense motive check reveals that the farmers are somewhat ashamed of their actions but feel that they made the right decision. PCs badger the farmers some more to answer but get nowhere.
PCs then visit some of the unsuccessful farmers. They reveal that a monstrous undead druid with horns came to them with an offer. They will promise 10 years of good harvests and a measure of protection in exchange for a farmer’s firstborn child!
Some farmers had already accepted the offer reasoning that they can always have more children, but will starve to death without the ability to grow crops. Also they have seen Nia and Nirmal and think they are fine children who any parent would be proud to accept. Even though druidic training is extremely harsh with a high fatality rate, it is a chance for their children to achieve greatness, or at least much more than they could achieve as a farmer. It’s clear that the farmers who haven’t accepted the offer yet are sorely tempted.
PCs don’t like the arrangement, but they can’t really do much since it was freely entered by both parties. It also helps with the supply lines if food can be grown locally instead of having to be carted in from Mendev.
Kayden makes a mental note to see if he can conduct some experiments to speed up the recovery of the soil near Drezen. Quinnlyn also experiments and determines that a consecrate or hallow *might* allow for growth of crops if kept continually on the soil, but it would be nigh impossible to conduct this over 100 square miles of land. A wish or miracle might also work but that is obviously much beyond the power of anyone around. There are no druids in the area who are powerful enough to do this other than the Siabraes.
Anevia reports in and says that Nirmal and she have been reconnoitering the area. She has discovered that Baphomet has established several bases in the area garrisoned by his Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth.
The Templars are an organization under the patronage of Baphomet who specialize in infiltration and corruption from within. Their agents and spies working undercover had already spelled ruin to many crusader groups and caused the loss of many battles during the war. Their head is a wizard named Xanthir Vang who is rumored to have killed Valin and Quinnlyn’s parents. He is somewhat more than human now, but rumors are that he is not a conventional lich. There is an outpost nearby that might provide more clues.
Kayden and Quinnlyn grab Kamilo, Gherne, and Nurah for this mission. They get close to the outpost where they get attacked by a Retriever and 4 babaus. The babaus are somewhat annoying by dispelling some buffs, but Kayden kills 2 by himself with his spells. They managed to flank him but mirror images plus a high armor class keeps him from receiving any damage at all. Meanwhile, Quinnlyn casts holy smite plus summons a legion archon and 3 lantern archons vs the retriever. But it spider climbs along the canyon walls where Gherne and Kamilo couldn’t reach and flanks Quinnlyn along with the last surviving babau. Between them, they take her down and force her to spend 2 hero points to avoid death. Kayden finally gets in position to cast fly spells on the melee bruisers and Kamilo rapidly takes down the retriever with a smiting full attack.
Gherne makes a survival check and finds a cave where the PCs can rest.
End session 38
Jerribeth – Mysterious beautiful Elven woman who corrupted Staunton Vhane.
PCs forge ahead over the broken ground. Of the group, only Nurah is at all stealthy and she spies ahead and reports an outpost. It’s impossible to approach without being detected and when Kayden suggests invisibility, Nurah mockingly asks if he forgot that a single babau lookout could easily see through the invisibility.
PCs decide to press ahead and walk directly at the door. At the door, they are stymied again since none of them can detect traps or pick locks and the door is too solidly built to bash down since it was built to withstand siege equipment and heavy duty magic. They finally decide to simply knock on the door.
Inside they see a mysterious beautiful Elven woman, Kiranda, 2 fake Staunton Vhanes, and 3 Vrocks. They get ready for a major fight, but Kiranda smoothly introduces the Elven woman as Jerribeth and states that they want to talk instead of fight. Nurah remembers Jerribeth mentioned in Staunton Vhane’s journal as the woman who lured him down the road to ruin and turned him from Iomedae’s service to Baphomet’s service.
Jerribeth discusses and tells them that she doesn’t want to kill them. She wants the same thing they do, to take down Xanthir Vang. She feels that she deserves to be head of the Templars instead of him. When the PCs asks why they should trust her, she replies that she is not interested in the crusaders at all, feeling they are a minor issue. Her main focus is dealing with the Siabrae druids who she feels is the true threat to the demonic invasion. She mentions that the PCs will have to deal with them at some point anyway.
They bargain and she tells them about Xanthir Vang in exchange for Quinnlyn’s promise to tell her how to give the final death to the Siabraes. She tells them that Xanthir is a Worm that Walks, an extremely rare form that arcane spellcasters sometime take after death. They have a single mind but many of the traits of a swarm. She mentions that Xanthir moves around various safe houses in the Worldwound but doesn’t give any of their locations since she expects to take over the Templars when Xanthir is dead and doesn’t want the organization to be too damaged in the process.
Quinnlyn is now obligated to tell Jerribeth how to permanently kill the Siabraes if she finds out. But she secretly resolves not to do any investigating; moreover she’ll purposely be left in the dark about on how to do so, if any of her colleagues ever find out. If she never finds out the secret, she will never be obligated to fulfil the bargain.
Jerribeth leaves the outpost for the PCs, feeling it is unimportant.
PCs speculate about the conversation. They’ve found out very important information that the demons aren’t any sort of monolithic bloc. They have factions and infighting like everyone else and it might be possible to play the factions against each other. Jerribeth probably wouldn’t directly move against Xanthir because they both have a superior who probably keeps them in line, but obviously they don’t like each other and might covertly work against each other.
PCs return to Drezen where Valin and Ramirez have returned and report what happened in Kenabres.
PCs and Arune consult and decide to send Tieflings and Orcs to man the outpost with strict orders to retreat if there is a major attack. Arune’s assessment was that the outpost was defensible unless the demons mounted an all out effort to destroy it. He thinks the tieflings are elusive enough to get away if there is a major attack and if the orcs stay to get destroyed, oh well.
Kayden tells Othirubo to take charge of the garrison with these orders. Othirubo protests that demons don’t take betrayal well and might very well mount the major attack on the garrison to destroy them but a fabulous diplomacy roll by Kayden gets him to agree to the mission anyway.
Valin tells Joran that he has Millorn but he’s insane and kept by the church of Iomedae for his own protection. He wants to take Joran to Millorn in Kenabres. Joran says that wasn’t the bargain. He has done his part in converting the Forge and wants to take Millorn and leave. The two of them get into a heated argument and Valin decides he couldn’t adhere to the spirit of the geas since if Millorn can open permanent portals to Maelstrom, he is extremely dangerous. He brings Millorn to Joran and then immediately arrests Millorn again. This technically fulfils his paladin’s oath since he brought Millorn to Joran, but obviously violates the spirit of the agreement since he immediately re-arrested him and didn’t give Millorn to Joran’s custody. Valin swore to Iomedae to rescue Millorn and return him to Joran, but he can’t in good conscience release him in his current state of madness. Valin still feels obligated to ensure Millorn is fully cured before releasing him to Joran.
Joran is extremely mad. He spits in Valin’s face and stomps out of town declaring loudly to everyone that Valin Oathbreaker is never to be trusted and has no honor. Nobody should ever make an agreement with him again since he will violate it as soon as it is convenient for him.
Kayden realizes that Joran will be a major future threat. He mentions out loud that he wouldn’t mind if an accident happens to him. Arune overhears him and talks to him privately. He says that Joran will be a major future security risk with his knowledge of the Forge and the castle defenses. He wants to know if Kayden will authorize a hit on Joran. Kayden thinks for a bit and decides he’s not ready for cold blooded murder and lets Joran go on his merry way.
Valin asks Arune to arrange for Millorn to be secretly sent back to Kenabres for treatment but to pretend that he is being kept in Drezen for security.
End session 39.
NPC quick reactions to Valin’s decision:
Airelle – “I’m going to have some new stories to tell after I leave.”
Anevia – “It sucks, but he had no choice.”
Aravash – “I am glad. The proteans are a major threat that we are ill-equiped to deal with. Plus I never liked Joran anyway.”
Aron – “Good. It’s nice to see that some paladins are practical.”
Arune – “Beautiful! Twists wording as well as any devil. I am glad he’s practical unlike most of his brethren.”
Baron – “I’m glad I threw in my lot with Kayden instead of Valin. I can trust Kayden.”
Elspeth – “Gherne is being dumb. Valin made the right decision.”
Gherne – “He may be my brother, but this was an ill action. A man is only as good as his word.”
Hana – “I am happy I turned away from Iomedae. If he can violate the spirit of his oath for the ‘greater good’ and retain his powers, but I lose my powers for the same thing, she is not worthy of my reverence.”
Irabeth – “I know all about having to make tough decisions for the greater good.”
Kamilo – “I trust Valin and support any decision he makes.”
Lann – “Oaths should be kept. I am disappointed in the surface worlders.”
Millorn – “Where are my parts???????”
Nia – “The Great Ones are right. Worshippers of Iomedae only keep their oaths and bargains if it is convenient for them. We must be ever vigilant and never let them betray us again.”
Nirmal – same as Nia
Nurah – “Pinheads are funny!”
Othirubo – “Sucks for Joran, but we do not need another powerful enemy in the area.”
Sosiel – “This will turn out poorly.”
PCs are still worried about a spy in their midst. Faxon had some information that would’ve been hard to get without detailed knowledge of what was going on in Drezen. PCs figure that Nurah and Aron were the most likely suspects with Hana and Othirubo as potential but less likely suspects.
PCs see Tark and Merit about to leave with the Orcs to the outpost. They speak and Tark sadly says that he realizes the nature of the suicide mission that the PCs are sending the Orcs on. He says that if his people were to be wiped out, he will die with them. PCs protest and say that the orders were that the Orcs were to retreat if the demons mounted an all out attack, but Tark pointedly looks at them and asks if that were likely or reasonable. PCs ask what could be done and Tark says to leave the Tieflings behind. The Orcs can handle minor attacks or skirmishes, but not a major assault. If the Tieflings were around, it would guarantee a major assault by the demons but there is a chance they won’t bother if it were just the Orcs at the outpost.
PCs tell a clearly relieved Othirubo that he doesn’t need to man the outpost anymore.
PCs take stock of the current situation and decide they want to get another task off of their To Do list. Now that Kayden has teleport, they will bring the Siabrae Druid request for a personal meeting to Queen Galfrey.
PCs grab Anevia and Aravash and put them to work on spying on Nurah and Aron. They make a cover story that hunting down and killing Faxon was their first priority but will secretly go to Nerosyan to speak to Queen Galfrey.
PCs teleport into the midst of the city where they are met by a heavily armed patrol. They are sternly told that no teleport is allowed into the city for security reasons. All teleports must be done outside the city in front of the gates.
Nerosyan is a heavily armed fortress city. The ground has been cleared for over a mile around it and anyone approaching will be seen from far away and can be attacked with spells and missile fire long before they can reach the gates. The army is very heavily armed and composed of highly experienced soldiers. Contingents from dozens of nations are garrisoned here since it is the front line of the fight against the demons.
PCs request an audience with Queen Galfrey and are granted one after 40 minutes. Before they tell her about the Siabrae’s request, Kayden asks her to pardon Horgus since he says the good that he did far outweighs the crime he committed. Valin asks that if pardoning was not possible that she find another skilled merchant who can continue his work and keep the supply lines open to Drezen.
Galfrey frowns and says that while she is sympathetic, Mendev is still a nation of laws. Plus some powerful interests in court such as the rest of the Gwerms would oppose a pardon. Galfrey is powerful, but she can’t simply rule by decree without getting critical support from the other powerful nobles in Mendev. She promises that she will look into the matter and see if she can come up with a solution.
The PCs then tell her about the Siabrae Druid request that she makes a personal visit to them in the woods. Her face shows sadness and she says that she needs a couple of days to prepare. During that time, the PCs should not leave Nerosyan.
PCs tour the city and make some arrangements. Kayden and Ramirez especially gather some ingredients for a ritual to be performed later but all of them meet some of the powers in the city including the Knights of Ozem, the most elite paladin order of Iomedae.
They see Nestrin and Liotr teleport outside the city and come through the gates. Captain Estrin is with Liotr and he exchanges veiled insults with the PCs as he enters the city. They say they have been summoned by Queen Galfrey for an important meeting.
The PCs are summoned as well. Queen Galfrey explains what happened with the Siabrae Druids and the Barbarians from decades ago. At that time, Mendev, the Druids of the Green Way, and the Barbarians of Sarkoris all had an alliance against the demons. The 1st Crusade was very successful but the demon attack during the 2nd Crusade was overwhelming. The Druids and Barbarians wanted to stay and fight for their homeland, but Terendelev and Galfrey decided that they couldn’t win the fight. They pulled back their armies rather than supporting the Druids and Barbarians and used the time to setup the line of Wardstones along the border. They didn’t think they could win the fight and were afraid that if the Wardstones weren’t setup, the demons might possibly overrun the entire world, not just Sarkoris and Mendev. Needless to say, the Druids and Barbarians didn’t agree with the decision to sacrifice their country and the forests and to this day insist that they could’ve won if they had support that fateful day.
Queen Galfrey declared that it was a matter of Honor to meet with the Siabrae druids. She decreed that if she didn’t return, Liotr would be the new King and Nestrin would be Chancellor. No one was to declare war or get revenge in any way regardless of what the Siabraes do to her since that would be a war that no one except the demons would win.
PCs are chilled by the thought of Liotr as the new King. He would probably promote Estrin to governor of Mendev and detail him to run the home front. They have seen firsthand that Estrin would burn dozens of people just to ensure that a few witches and/or cultists don’t escape. Plus Estrin obviously despises them and was killed by them in the past. There would be a major drop in support from Mendev to Drezen if he were promoted and potentially the supply lines might be cut off completely even if Horgus was restored.
PCs volunteer to accompany Queen Galfrey on her visit. She smiles and says that she may be selfish, but she could definitely use some moral support during the trip.
End Session 40
Khraigorr “Half-Face” – Legendary barbarian chief. Most revered Barbarian Chief currently alive. Got his name from a savage struggle with a powerful demon named Gashgelag where he got the scars that gave him his nickname
Queen Galfrey unexpectedly delays the trip to the Siabraes. This gives the PCs some time to wrap up their affairs while she makes preparations.
Kayden and Ramirez combine on several potions and rituals designed to cure Baron of his injuries. They didn’t want him beholden to the druids, so they researched the ritual. The ritual basically “kills” Baron but allows him to be reincarnated with a small bonus to become a more pleasing form. The ritual works and he comes back as a human with the outer appearance of a tiefling. Baron is extremely grateful to Kayden and his alignment shifts from Chaotic leaning towards Evil to Chaotic leaning towards Good.
Meanwhile, Valin wants to try and find the red dragon Agmar and potentially recruit him to the defense of Drezen. He gathers up 5000 gold as an offering. Ramirez is busy with brewing potions for the ritual, so he gathers Kayden and Quinnlyn.
He asks if Lann knows anything about Agmar’s whereabouts. Lann doesn’t know anything, but points towards Nirmal since he constantly reconnoiters the Worldwound area close to Drezen.
As he approaches Nirmal, Nirmal sees Quinnlyn and walks away. Valin sends Quinnlyn away and asks if he’s seen Agmar. Nirmal says he’s seen the sign of dragons in a certain area but he never had the courage to get close since any dragon could kill and eat him.
Quinnlyn later goes to Nirmal and apologizes for speaking ill of the Siabrae Great Ones. The apology is accepted.
Valin gathers a party consisting of himself, Kayden, Quinnlyn, Nia, and Aron to search for Agmar. As they ride toward the area that Nirmal pointed to, they see a massive rainstorm ahead. This was no ordinary rainstorm as it was raining eyeballs, ears, noses, hands, feet, and other body parts.
Nia says that it would probably take half a day to go around the rainstorm. The PCs don’t know how much time they have before Galfrey summons them, so they decide to forge ahead. They determine that the rain of body parts, while disgusting, wasn’t poisonous or damaging. Kayden and Valin are able to hastily create impromptu umbrellas while Quinnlyn uses her shield. Nia will shapechange into an earth elemental and earth glide underground to avoid the rain. Bear refuses to enter the rain and Nia dismisses him. Hoods are placed on the horses to keep them from bolting.
In the middle of the rainstorm, they see 2 Mohrgs and 2 other unknown skeletal entities with bows. The 4 entities seem to be trying to piece together whole bodies out of the rain of body parts. The PCs decide they don’t want to waste the time or resources to fight these things and go around them. As they leave them behind, they see some of the pieced together bodies start to twitch.
Further along, they hear thunder and lightning. They get hit by a large lightning strike which damages them and kills their horses. Eventually Kayden and Quinnlyn cast enough resist energy spells to get everyone through the area.
Finally they get through the rainstorm and it becomes clear that there is more than 1 dragon in the area. Nia reports 1 dragon that’s definitely Agmar and another even bigger dragon hunting him. There are 2 dead chimeras in the area evidently killed by the other dragon.
Nia scents the other dragon and Kayden casts see invisibility. He sees a gigantic dragon that dwarfs any monster he’s ever seen before. As it approaches, the PCs decide to retreat and Kayden teleports everyone out before the dragon can spot them.
Kayden and Ramirez have enough time to complete the Baron ritual before Queen Galfrey summons them. PCs head back to Nerosyan with Nia in tow.
PCs approve of this solution, but obviously have to have buy-in from Horgus and Klarah. They speak to Horgus who is saddened, but obviously prefers this solution to spending decades in a dungeon. Horgus now calls in the favor that Valin owes him and asks that Valin marry Klarah. If he couldn’t marry her, he wanted her to be happy and he knew that Valin wouldn’t mistreat her.
Valin agrees and proposes to Klarah after explaining the deal. Klarah frowns and asks him if he loved her. Valin candidly admits he didn’t love her but might grow to love her in the future. Klarah is clearly displeased with his answer and that her marriage is just a political game and asks for time to give her answer.
The next day, Valin sees Yarick leave her residence. He asks for her answer and she accepts the proposal but it’s clear that she’s not happy that she’s marrying someone who doesn’t love her. She’s marrying out of her duty to Queen Galfrey and so that she can stay in the area and learn the business of being a merchant. She remarks that Yarick had also proposed to her.
The marriage is conducted and consummated and the PCs go with Nia to visit the Siabraes.
Nia says that just like Nerosyan, the Druids have a strict policy that nobody is to teleport into the forests. They must teleport outside and be led in. No exceptions would be made and no warnings would be given. There had been too many attempts in the past to infiltrate the forests by the demons.
PCs teleport outside the forest where they are met by 3 undead treants. The treants see Nia and allow them to pass. As they enter the forest, they see a bunch of Barbarians riding mammoths enter as well. The barbarians have been invited into this meeting by the druids since they had also been betrayed by Galfrey in the past.
In the meeting, Queen Galfrey is met by the hostile stares of all 13 remaining Siabrae Great Ones including their leader Auzmezar, plus Khraigorr Half-Face and other mighty barbarians. They speak and argue with each other and finally Galfrey says she puts her fate in their hands to pay for her actions decades ago.
Kayden speaks up and asks Auzmezar if there was any solution that wouldn’t involve Galfrey dying or suffering a fate worse than death. Auzmezar stares at Kayden and says that Blood must be traded for Blood. When Kayden asks him to clarify his statement, Auzmezar declares that there is a way for Terendelev and Galfrey to make amends. Terendelev’s blood must be added to the forests to strengthen the bloodlines. In two years when Nia becomes of age, Kayden must sire a child with her who will be raised as a druid so that Terendelev’s blood can be added to strengthen the forest.
Nia looks shocked and Kayden thinks about it. He agrees, but he gets the druids to agree that if another acceptable solution is offered before Nia turns 16, he can back out of the agreement.
Quinnlyn speaks up and tells the Siabraes about her conversation with Jerribeth and her desire to find out how to give them the Final Death.
Just when the PCs thought the issue was done, Khraigorr’s voice booms out and he states that while the Druids have had their concerns addressed, there has been no recompense to the Barbarians for her betrayals.
Valin attempts to speak up, but Khraigorr sneers and declares all Iomedaens to be Oathbreakers. He challenges Valin to step up to him with his weapon drawn if he would contest that. Valin steps up but does not draw his weapon. He says he is not an Oathbreaker. Khraigorr asks him about his promise to Joran. Valin says it would be too dangerous to release Millorn to him and Khraigorr frowns and says that just like Galfrey decades ago, Valin decided to break his Oath just because it was inconvenient to keep it. If he didn’t want to break his Oath and didn’t want to release Millorn, he shouldn’t have given his Oath to begin with. Khraigorr demands that Valin draw his weapon. Valin knows that he would get slaughtered if he does so and refuses to pull his weapon. Khraigorr is disgusted and punches Valin, knocking him back and rattling his head.
Kayden asks if there is anything that can be done. Khraigorr says disgustedly that since Galfrey is now under Auzmezar’s protection due to his deal with Kayden, there is nothing the Barbarians can do to her now. Kayden presses on however, not wanting the barbarians to leave mad. They are a power to be reckoned with and he wants them on their side. Khraigorr looks intently at him and says he knew Kayden’s parents. He asks if Kayden, grandchild of Terendelev, would be willing to live permanently with the barbarians since he is one of their people. Kayden frowns and declares that despite his blood ties to the land, he was not raised here and it was not his home. He says that if he was forced to live here, he would feel imprisoned. Khraigorr declares that barbarians believe in Freedom and would not force Kayden to commit to living with them.
Finally Khraigorr looks at Queen Galfrey and tells her that he’s heard stories about her prowess with Longsword and Shield. He would like to test his Axe vs her Swift Sword in a duel. This will be a private duel and while the intent isn’t to kill the other side, if it happens, so be it. Queen Galfrey accepts knowing that this is the only way to resolve her feud with the barbarians.
End Session 41
See No Evil – Blind Pilgrim
Hear No Evil – Deaf Pilgrim
Speak No Evil – Mute Pilgrim
PCs wait for word of the results of the Galfrey/Khraigorr duel, but nothing happens. They check with Nia who tells them that they are not authorized to enter the area of the forest where the duel occurred and will be attacked on sight if they go there. She did say that the Siabrae Great Ones would have a vested interest in Galfrey’s survival since their bargain with Kayden would be void if she were killed in the forests.
PCs speak to the Huron, the barbarian chief who is Gherne’s father, and ask what they would do if Khraigorr didn’t return. Huron shrugs and says that Khraigorr’s son will be acting chief and will take control of Khraigorr’s tribe until he returns. If he doesn’t return, the son will become permanent chief. It’s apparent that there was a high attrition rate with barbarian chiefs and the succession rules were very well established.
PCs wait several days and then decide that they couldn’t wait indefinitely and decide to leave and go back to Drezen.
Back at Drezen, Arune assures them that everything is ok. Valin wants to prepare for another expedition to visit the dragon, but finds that he is having massive nightmares and headaches when trying to sleep.
Over the course of a week, the nightmares and headaches steadily build up to the point where Valin knows he needs help. He requests that Ramirez goes to Nerosyan to visit Nestrin and ask for his aid.
Ramirez teleports to Nerosyan where he takes the opportunity to get better cooking and brewing equipment. He speaks to Nestrin who frowns and asks that Valin comes to Nerosyan where he can personally look at him. Nestrin is now Chancellor of Mendev while Galfrey is missing and must do his best to keep things in order while she’s gone. He tells Ramirez that if Galfrey doesn’t return within a year and a day, Liotr will be crowned the new King of Mendev.
Ramirez also runs into Airelle who chats happily with him and shows him the best shopping areas of the city.
Ramirez teleports back to Drezen where he explains what happened. The PCs decide to teleport back to Nerosyan with Valin and see if he could be helped.
Nestrin puts Valin to sleep and inspects him. He calls planar ally and an unknown archon appears. The archon tells the rest of the PCs that Vorimoraak must be slain by Valin to end the nightmares. He doesn’t know exactly who or what Vorimoraak was, but it’s clearly something linked to Valin’s childhood and an evil ritual that was attempted upon him. He says that Vorimoraak would be located about 50 miles west of Cayden Cailen’s shrine.
PCs grab Kamilo and leave Drezen. At the shrine, they see that the Astral Deva called in session 35 was preparing to leave. Enough priests and warriors of Cayden Cailen were here to ensure the defense of the shrine from all but the most potent of demon attacks, especially since they had been very busy fortifying the shrine.
PCs decide to step out on foot since they didn’t think their horses would survive the journey inside the Worldwound area. By this point, Valin had the effects of Fatigue due to nightmares and headaches and lack of restful sleep.
On the 2nd day of the journey, they see 3 robed humans in the distance. One had a blindfold, one had ear coverings, and the last one had a gag on his mouth. They appeared to be unarmed.
PCs chat with the 3 and find out that their names were See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil and that they were pilgrims. None of them detected as evil. The 3 of them spoke mysteriously (Speak No Evil obviously kept quiet) and mentioned a journey that they had to undertake. They did not explain why unarmed disabled pilgrims were able to journey safely in such a dangerous area. PCs follow them for a bit but decide that the journey was too far out of their way and decided to continue with the mission.
After a couple of hours at high noon, they see some mysterious rock formations and notice that the entire area was much brighter than even the high noon sun could explain. They get closer and trigger a Symbol of Insanity on one of the rocks once they got close enough to read the runes. Kamilo and Quinnlyn became insane. A mysterious, very bright, emaciated, flying child appeared and put a wall of force around Valin and Kayden. Ramirez dispels the insanity on Quinnlyn and Kayden dimension doors out of the wall of force with Valin. Kayden unfortunately teleported within line of sight of the Symbol and becomes insane.
Ramirez is blinded by a burst of blinding light from the entity, but Valin lays on hands and cures the blindness.
Quinnlyn tries to summon lantern archons and summons 4 of them to put some pressure on the bright entity. Unfortunately they appear in front of the Symbol and all of them become insane and start gibbering, attacking themselves, or attacking each other.
Ramirez tries and fails to dispel the insanity on Kayden. Kayden starts frothing at the mouth and claws himself in the face, but eventually has a lucid moment and dispels the insanity on himself.
Meanwhile, Valin tries to get into melee with the entity and runs over the rock formation which reaches out and grabs him. It’s some sort of crystalline ooze and it does a lot of damage, nearly squeezing him to death over 2 rounds. Quinnlyn tries to use Greater Command and orders the ooze to release Valin, but the ooze is mindless and ignores her prattle. Finally Valin spends a hero point and frees himself.
Ramirez gets close to the entity and hits it a couple of times but is rapidly pummeled with burning rays and burning touches. He is forced to retreat and heal himself. Valin lands one good smite on it but is encased in a wall of force and sits out the rest of the encounter.
Eventually all the PCs get their act together and focus fire on the entity. Between smiting arrows from Kamilo in her brief lucid moments, magic missiles and cold dragon’s breaths from Kayden, and holy smites from Quinnlyn and Ramirez, it finally falls.
End Session 42
Vorimoraak – Vrock antipaladin with knowledge of rituals
After the prior fight, the party decides to continue onwards. They run into 4 locust type demons. 2 of the demons were apocalypse locusts and the 2 larger ones were revealed by a Knowledge Planes roll to be Derakni demons.
This was a relatively routine fight after some smites and death wards were put up. The only interesting part came when Valin and Kamilo dropped their swords to pull out bows to shoot at the derakni demons.
The deraknis knew they didn’t stand a chance against smiting paladins so they grabbed Radiance and Kamilo’s longsword on the ground. The PCs furiously attacked them to try and rescue the weapons and manage to kill the one with Kamilo’s longsword but the other one had a chance of escape. It needed to roll a 10 on a d20 to make a concentration check to teleport out but rolled a 9 just barely not escaping and is killed.
PCs need to rest and a survival roll by Ramirez tells them that the safest place to rest is back at the rock formation where the purplish crystal ooze was. Valin is able to somewhat come to terms with the nightmare and finds that there is an inner core of rage within himself that he could tap but his instincts warned him that it would be extremely dangerous. Valin becomes Exhausted from lack of sleep as his nightmares still haunt him.
PCs continue the journey and Quinnlyn casts a divination spell and asked what could help win the fight against Vorimoraak. The answer was that Valin must reach within himself for strength.
That night, they are met by Vorimoraak and 2 vrocks. Vorimoraak appears to be a large 10’ tall woman. She smiles and taunts Valin, saying that he is her creation and must be thrown away like all toys that have outlived their purposes.
Valin’s rage at her overcomes his Exhaustion and he loses the penalties. In addition, Valin gives into his rage and gains +6 str and con and -2 AC just like a barbarian. In exchange, he loses all paladin powers except for Smite.
The fight is chaotic for awhile as vrocks can only do moderate damage to PCs and they don’t do much to the vrocks due to mirror images, but eventually Vorimoraak manages to disarm Valin. One of her vrocks grabs Radiance and flies away but is concentrated upon and dies. Vorimoraak then grabs Radiance and threatens to teleport away with it unless Valin accepts a one on one duel with her. Valin under rage at first refuses to duel and gets ready to attack her, but spends a hero point and refuses to give into the rage within himself.
Valin gets back Radiance and loses the +6 str/con but gains back his paladin abilities. Vorimoraak is down to 2 images left and she had lost her heroism during the battle due to a dispel magic from Kayden plus she was fatigued with a boneshatter spell from Quinnlyn as well as having a little battle damage.
Valin spends the first couple of rounds in the battle trying to buff up with displacement and weapon bond. Vorimoraak charges a couple of times and lands a couple of hits, but only 1 actually hits due to the displacement. The rest of the duel consisted of them trading full attacks. Valin couldn’t land many hits but did devastating damage with each hit. Vorimoraak landed many hits with 5 attacks each round but Valin’s lay on hands kept on keeping him chugging along. Valin eventually uses up 9 of his 10 lay on hands in this duel and was 1 full round attack away from dying since he also used all of his hero points in the fight, the last one to kill Vorimoraak.
Radiance glows happily and gains the Called weapon property.
End Session 43
PCs return to Drezen. Klarah is waiting, having heard news of Valin’s nightmares and coming over for support. She mentions that Yarick has become Mayor of Kenabres with Nestrin gone and had increased taxes by 25% for goods shipped to Drezen. He justified the tax increase by saying that he needs the funds to fight off demon incursions from the crevasse in the city. PCs send Klarah back with a message to Yarick asking if he will rescind the tax increase if the PCs take care of the demon incursions.
PCs speak to Aravash, who was in conference with Peri, next. Apparently Aravash had neglected his spying duties, becoming fascinated with Millorn’s case. He requests 5000 gold from the PCs to pay Peri and reveals that he has found a major reason why Millorn’s treatments had not been helping him get better. Apparently at some point in the past, he had inadvertently taken Q as an unwanted Familiar. This unwanted link is causing a strain on both of them and driving both of them nuts. This would also explain Q’s unholy fascination in tormenting Millorn.
Aravash tells them that he needs Q captured alive if possible to bring to Millorn’s presence so that Millorn can dismiss it as his Familiar. It *might* work if Q were dead, but it would be much better if Q could be brought in alive.
PCs then speak with Anevia. She says she’s pretty sure that the spy is either Nurah or Hana. Both of them are very sharp and careful but seem to be putting on an act. They seem to be aware that they are being watched and are acting outwardly normal. Othirubo is an outside possibility as the spy since he’s very smooth and oily and a bit of a snake.
Baron greets Kayden and gives more details about the turncoat succubus. He says that he doesn’t know too much about her, but she was a high up and a favorite of Nocticula, the Demon Queen of succubi. The demons apparently took her defection so seriously that they weakened Castle Drezen’s defenses and took many troops away from Staunton Vhane in order to send more forces to hunt her down.
Huron and Gherne arrive in town to meet Kayden. They tell him that since he’s the last known living member of the Wintersun clan, he is entitled to join the next Clan Meet. This is essentially the equivalent of a Norse Althing. Kayden does not know much about this since he wasn’t raised as a barbarian, but he accepts.
The Althing has thousands of mighty barbarians, bloodragers, sorcerers, and skalds. It is apparent that there are far more barbarians in the Worldwound area than previously suspected.
Huron tells Kayden that his father’s name was Marhevok Wintersun, son of Terendelev, and his mother’s name was Jayna and that she was a mighty sorcerer in her own right. He says that they sent him away to the South when he was a small child because they wanted to make sure that the line of Terendelev didn’t die out with them if disaster hit the Wintersun clan. Huron also gets a little emotional and mentions that if Jayna had chosen him instead of Marhevok, he might have been Kayden’s father.
Marhevok and Jayna had taken their entire clan except for Kayden toward the Worldwound hoping to be able to close it. Huron says that while Marhevok wasn’t particularly wise, he wasn’t a complete fool either and wouldn’t have done so without thinking there was a reasonable chance of success. That was the impetus to sending Kayden away as a child. Marhevok had free reign to do what he wished with his clan, but he viewed himself as more of a caretaker of the blood of Terendelev.
Kayden is the last survivor of clan Wintersun and the son of the chief. He can take the Wintersun name if he wishes since his deeds and accomplishments would allow for it. Apparently it’s a custom of the barbarians that nobody can take the clan name until they’ve earned it. A young warrior going through adolescence had to make a name for themselves before earning the clan name. Kayden takes the name and becomes Kayden Wintersun and is entitled to a seat among the council of chiefs.
One of the reasons the Althing was called was to determine the fate of the Wintersun clan. The rest of the chiefs had to vote whether to erase Wintersun from the clan lists or whether Kayden by himself was enough to keep the Clan alive. The PCs ask how long it would take to make a decision and found out it would take a week. The first 4 days of the Althing was celebrations, young warriors boasting about their deeds and trying to find mates, resolving of weregilds and feuds, and important marriages. The last 3 days of the Althing would be to discuss serious business such as whether to keep Wintersun as a clan, determine how much power and prestige that Khraigorr’s son had earned, and who should be sent to negotiate with the Siabrae druids and the Crusaders. They also had to make contingency plans depending on whether Khraigorr and Galfrey returns.
PCs resolve to use the time to try and find out what happened to Kayden’s parents and whether their strategy to close the Worldwound had any merit.
End Session 44
PCs trudge toward the Wintersun Hall along with Gherne. A little chat from Gherne reveals that Marhevok and Jayna were a bit standoffish and didn’t mingle much with the other clans. Whenever their presence was required at an Althing, only they attended as they invariably kept the rest of the clan home.
Quinnlyn sees a demonic patrol far away, but the PCs cannot do anything to avoid the encounter since they have no stealth to speak of whatsoever.
The demonic patrol turns out to be 2 Incubus fighters riding Rift Drakes along with a Derakni demon and 2 Apocalypse Locusts.
The 2 incubus riders swoop in and do tremendous amounts of damage to Ramirez and Valin with a charge. Their drakes both breathe acid on the party and rapidly deplete the party’s health. The derakni gets a crit on an enervation and gives Gherne 5 negative levels.
The PCs counterattack. Quinnlyn succeeds on making an incubus plus derakni retreat with a greater command. Ramirez keeps getting knocked down by one of the drakes and is very low on health but redeems himself later in the fight when he crits an incubus trying to skewer him with a lance charge and nukes the incubus. Valin and Gherne take out an incubus and drake between them and the derakni never makes a save and flees. One of the incubus’s manages to teleport away after both drakes, both locusts, and the other incubus gets killed.
End Session 45
PCs recover from the prior attack and regroup. They don’t have much time as they see an enemy force approach. Apparently the incubus who escaped had notified his superiors.
PCs see 4 greater elementals appear along with Towlee and his pet Allosaurus. There is an air, earth, fire, and water elemental. Towlee says that Zanedra gives her regards. PCs hastily buff up as the enemy approaches and the fight erupts.
The elementals start pounding the PCs and things start getting worse when a couple of dispel magics fail to get rid of an elemental. Towlee uses greater command and forces Quinnlyn and Gherne to fall prone. But the elementals have low AC and are easy to hit. Between hasted attacks from Ramirez, Gherne, and Valin plus lightning bolts and dragon’s breaths from Kayden, the fire and water elementals eventually get killed. Things look a little brighter when Quinnlyn dispels the air elemental, but Towlee summons 3 babaus through a scroll and they plus Earth and the Allosaurus eventually takes down Valin and almost brings down Gherne but not before 2 of the babaus are killed off.
Ramirez manages to land 3 hits and take out Earth after Kayden lightning bolts it plus Towlee. Towlee decides he’s too outnumbered and disappears. After that, the PCs mop up the last babau plus the Allosaurus.
End Session 46
Marhevok Wintersun – Half-dragon Fiendish Bloodrager. Wintersun clan chief tainted by the Abyss. Son of Terendelev and Kayden’s father.
Jayna – Sorcerer. Marhevok’s wife and Kayden’s mother.
Jirel – Bloodrager. Kayden’s sister.
Mano – Barbarian. Kayden’s brother.
PCs find a cave and rest securely for the night. In the morning, they set off toward the Wintersun Hall. Gherne is able to track a party of younger Wintersun barbarians toward a secret entrance to the Hall. The PCs debate whether to enter the secret entrance or to enter from the front gates. They first decide to enter from the front but see a half dozen Drake Riders in the air patrolling over the Hall. They agree that they can’t beat that many riders and decide to enter through the secret entrance.
PCs are attacked by 6 younger warriors but Kayden has no problem intimidating them into submission with a cold breath in front of them. He introduces himself as the son of the clan chief and gets them to lead the party toward their leader.
Their leader turns out to be Jirel, a fiery young redheaded bloodrager who happens to be Kayden’s sister.
Jirel explains to Kayden that Marhevok and Jayna are involved in a ritual that might be able to seal up the Worldwound, but in a way that promises to be far more dangerous. The purpose of the ritual would be to split off the Worldwound into thousands of smaller pieces all over the world where each piece can be closed by a sorcerer/wizard/cleric though dimensional anchor or lock spells. The fact that there would be thousands of little portals to the Abyss scattered all over the world would simply be collateral damage in Marhevok’s eyes. Jirel seems to hint at more information toward Kayden using non-verbal cues, but Kayden is unable to pick up on her meaning.
Jirel and later her brother Mano make clear their contempt for the 2 Iomedae worshippers.
Mano later introduces himself as Kayden’s brother. He’s a huge hulking redhead who seems to have a prior rivalry with Gherne. Both of them seem eager to test and see which one of them is better.
Jirel and Mano check with their parents and report to the PCs that they can have an audience in the morning. They also make clear that they will support their parents over the PCs if it comes to a fight.
Jirel and Kayden chat while the rest of the party attempts to make friends with the younger clan members. Valin and Quinnlyn succeed and get a favorable reaction from the young warriors and draw a couple of clumsy seduction attempts which are gently rebuffed.
In the morning, they meet Marhevok and Jayna. It’s clear that Marhevok has been almost completely taken over by demonic influences. The blood of Terendelev shines brightly in him, but there is massive corruption to the point where he looks more like a demon than a human. He has massive horns growing from his head, spikes growing from his shoulders and arms, and clawed hands and feet. Jayna is a dignified woman in her forties who seems to radiate a sense of quiet power.
Valin determines that Marhevok detects as evil, but Jayna, Jirel, and Mano do not.
Both sides debate. It turns out that Marhevok believes that the major weakness against the demonic threat is that only a small fraction of Golarion’s power is turned against the demons. If the ritual succeeds, then almost all of the world’s casters would be forced to turn their attention on the demons in an attempt to close all the mini-portals scattered around the world. When the PCs point out that millions of innocent people would die in this process, he shrugs and states that the strong will emerge. The strong always do so in any population under attack. PCs can’t change Marhevok and Jayna’s mind although they get some cryptic hints in some of her comments.
PCs reluctantly decide that they can’t allow Marhevok and Jayna to continue and end the conversation. Jayna asks if they want to fight immediately or in an hour after both sides have time to prepare. The PCs decide to fight right there and then.
During the fight, it becomes very apparent that the PCs are completely outmatched. Jayna throws a fireball on the group which turns out to be a Merciful fireball with only non-lethal damage inflicted and quickens a haste spell. Valin moves next to Marhevok, smites, and misses but Marhevok’s return Smiting Hasted full attack does about 200 damage and drops him in a single round. Oddly enough, that damage also seems to be non-lethal. Mano also quickly drops Quinnlyn with non-lethal damage from his falchion. After inflicting minor damage on Mano and Marhevok, Ramirez convinces Kayden that the remainder of the party has no chance and they surrender.
Jayna comments out loud that she hopes that Kayden got the aggression out of his system and states that the PCs are to be exiled from Wintersun Hall. As they get ready to leave, she uses the Message spell to have a private conversation with Kayden. She states that she knows Marhevok’s plan is insane. However she feels that she needs to somehow remove the demonic taint from him before she can oppose him. She has been secretly sabotaging the ritual for the last 3 months, but she’s pretty sure she can’t stall for much longer. The trouble is that the rest of the clan is honor bound to obey him so she can’t publicly oppose him and she doesn’t want any clan members killed if she can help it. She mentions that when Marhevok goes into one of his rages, he “kills” a clan member who triggers the anger. She had secretly made his amulet of mighty fists into a merciful amulet so that anyone he attacks is only unconscious instead of dead. After staying out of his sight for a few days, his addled mind forgets and the clan member can operate normally at that point.
PCs leave Wintersun Hall but resolve to return and fix the situation in the future.
End Session 47
Jayna speaks privately to Kayden before the PCs leave the Hall. She says that it is almost time for the Wintersun Clan to reveal themselves to the world again and asks him to take Jirel with him so she can have some experience of the world. She requests that Kayden leaves Gherne behind so that the defenses of the Hall can be maintained. If Gherne or Mano are needed in the future, Kayden can simply return Jirel and take one of them. She also asks Kayden to promise not to reveal the Wintersuns at the moment to the World until Marhevok is dealt with.
Kayden asks what story he should tell the Clans. She says he should claim to be the acting chief of Wintersun and promise to rebuild the Clan in the future. Jirel will have a cover story as a mercenary who has been hired as his bodyguard.
Kayden fills in Valin and Quinnlyn on the conversation and promises made when they wake up.
PCs return to Drezen to gear up. They get an earful from the merchants who are extremely pissed off since not only Yarick in Kenabres, but also the new Governer Estrin of Mendev, had raised taxes by 25% each. This level of taxation would be enough to cripple the economy of Drezen if nothing was done about it. It would be very difficult to do anything about it since the vast majority of supplies would have to originate or transit through Mendev and Kenabres to get to Drezen.
Kayden and Ramirez do some calculations and determine that they can probably teleport in about 2-3 wagonloads of goods a week into Drezen between them, bypassing the most onerous of the taxes. They would have to make contacts outside of Mendev, but they could probably depend on Horgus for that issue. The vast bulk shipments of food and building materials would still be taxed, but it would significantly lessen the burden for the town.
PCs meet Arune next and see he has been very busy. The foundations and altar had been laid for a new temple to Asmodeus. Arune had also been busy with recruitments casually mentioning about 15 new clerical recruits for Asmodeus and an unspecified but larger number of soldier recruits. He mentions that training of all these new recruits was obviously for the greater good of the town since it would add a lot of new defenders.
Arune says he’s heard news about the Nerosyan front and it was bad. Without Galfrey’s personal power and leadership, the Crusaders had suffered a number of serious reverses and the emboldened demons were getting more aggressive.
Arune asks about the striking redhead next to Kayden and Valin blurts out that she’s Kayden’s sister getting a bit of a dirty look from Kayden and Jirel. Arune’s eyes become a bit calculating and he mentions that he would love to speak to her in the future.
Valin and Quinnlyn then check with the Iomedaens. They work out the chain of command as Quinnlyn first, Kamilo second, and Valin third. Irabeth is leading the military arm of Iomedae and is currently standing outside the normal church structure. Kamilo is her second in command as well. Apparently their recruitment efforts have not been nearly as successful as the Asmodeans since the standards for a paladin recruit were vastly higher than for an Asmodean recruit. They had a bit more success with clerical recruits, but still do not have parity. They mention a huge money shortage as one of the reasons since Mendev and Nerosyan had massive problems of their own and couldn’t spare much for Drezen.
An overview of the town showed about 5000 inhabitants with the population expected to grow tremendously in the foreseeable future. With the Sword of Valor protecting the town from direct demon attacks, it was a very attractive place for desperate people to immigrate to. More and more farmers were also taking the Siabrae druids’ bargain for good harvests and protection.
PCs decide to return to the Althing to give a story to Huron and the Clans. They see a very tense situation as Tark and Scar along with most of the Orc tribe are facing the majority of the barbarians. Both sides have their weapons drawn and it’s obvious that the slightest hint of aggression would set off a bloodbath. The orcs would be annihilated since they are heavily outnumbered but they would certainly extract a price from the barbarians.
Kayden screeches a sonic burst to get everyone’s attention and asks about the situation. It turns out that Tark had convinced Scar and the rest of the orcs that their best bet for the future was to petition to join as the newest Clan among the barbarians of Sarkoris. However there was a lot of bitter blood between them and the barbarians were refusing at the moment.
PCs first speak to Tark privately. Tark says that the only future he could see with the orcs was annihilation. By joining the clans, they would be part of a larger alliance and could potentially survive the demon wars. Also he hoped that exposure to the barbarian ways over time would change the orcs so that their temperament would match that of the barbarians.
So far it wasn’t looking good for their chances to join. Due to the bitter feuds and many skirmishes between them in the past, the barbarians were strictly adhering to the rule that the orcs had to have enough great deeds to be accepted among the Clans. Another possibility would be to have a champion beat the barbarian champion in single combat. Tark nixed the idea stating that Scar was no match for Huron or other senior barbarian chiefs and he personally was too old to stand a chance. Tark looks desperate since he staked all his prestige to get the orcs to show up.
PCs discuss among themselves and think the best bet is to ask the barbarians for a great deed that the orcs can accomplish for them. They ask Huron who appears to be acting leader of the Clans with Khraigorr missing. Huron says emphatically that he wasn’t going to risk the orcs joining the Clans without some assurances. The barbarians had lost too many of their young people and children to rape and murder in the past to orc incursions and raids. He wants someone he trusts such as Kayden to warrant the orc’s behavior. None of the PCs can agree to warrant their behavior since they were all too busy with the demons and running Drezen.
When pressed upon the challenge, he demanded that the orcs bring Marhevok and Jayna back in chains to the Althing. Some angry discussion continued and eventually a compromise is reached where the PCs would ask Irabeth to resign as leader of the Iomedaen military to become the orc tribe chief. Irabeth seems to have bypassed most of the barbarian disdain for Iomedaens and is someone that Huron would trust to watch over the orcs and punish any who get too far out of line. She would also be someone that Scar would accept since she had beaten him in single combat in the past. For this request, Valin demands a favor from Tark which is given.
Kamilo would have to take Irabeth’s place as head of the Iomedaen military in Drezen. There would undoubtedly be some shake up of the Iomedaen chain of command in Drezen.
PCs then discuss in private what they should say to Huron about the Wintersun Clan. Valin states out loud that he wants to tell Huron everything, not realizing that this would lead to a barbarian war party invading and wiping out the Wintersuns. He considers Marhevok’s plan much too dangerous to take any risks. He doesn’t consider Kayden’s promise of silence binding to himself since he wasn’t awake when the promise was made.
This draws an angry response from Jirel and she declares that if Valin is going to follow through on this and kill all her family and loved ones, she would challenge him to single combat and cut off his head. Jirel knows that if Marhevok’s plan is exposed at the moment, the rest of the barbarians would send a war party to wipe out the Wintersuns and this fuels her anger. She thinks this is Valin’s motive for wanting to reveal the plans, not realizing that he had no such thoughts. When Valin refuses the idea of single combat, she sneers and calls him a cowardly cur who is a disgrace who has no honor and even willfully violates his own paladin code. Jirel’s view is that for a tight knit group, the Oath of one is binding on all. If her mother had made an Oath, she would consider it binding on herself.
The two of them come to blows before Kayden intervenes. He says flat out that he wasn’t going to tell Huron or anyone else about the situation until he has a chance to resolve the problem. He points out that even if the barbarians mount a full war party, it wouldn’t be easy since the Wintersun Hall was swarming with demons and the Wintersun clan was both mighty and deeply entrenched. Casualties were sure to be extremely high. The end result would probably be that the Wintersuns would be completely annihilated, but the barbarians would be severely weakened in the process.
Valin then states he will accept the challenge after Marhevok is dealt with, realizing that he couldn’t violate his paladin code.
Kayden speaks to Huron and says he claims the title of chief of Clan Wintersun. He says he will do his best to rebuild the Clan in the future. Huron agrees with this due to his respect and fondness for Kayden and the prestige that Kayden had accrued already. Kayden is evasive with Huron about the fate of the Wintersun Clan.
The PCs gather and Kayden states that he needs to go back to Wintersun Hall to speak to his mother. She is the linchpin to the planning since if she opposes the PCs and supports Marhevok, they stood no chance of success.
That night, Kayden teleports to the Hall while invisible. He makes contact with Jayna and they speak. Kayden tells her what happened and asks if there is anything that could be done to avoid an invasion from the rest of the barbarians. Jayna says she does have one plan that might work. She needs Kayden to gather Huron and have him issue a challenge for single combat to Marhevok. With Khraigorr gone, Huron has the best chance of any of the remaining chiefs in defeating Marhevok. Marhevok would be honor bound to accept the challenge. She says that Huron should have at least an even chance of winning but there was no guarantee of the outcome of such a mighty duel. Also, she tells Kayden that she thinks the demons will mount an assault while Marhevok is preoccupied. She will need Kayden and his friends to help fight off the demonic assault while the duel is happening.
Kayden teleports back and speaks to Huron and tells him about Jayna’s plan. Huron gets emotional when he finds out that Jayna is alive and it’s clear that he still has feelings for her. He agrees to the plan and mentions that while growing up, Marhevok always had greater natural talent, but he always had more skill. He’s eager to test himself against Marhevok. He quizzes the PCs about their fight vs Marhevok and prepares for battle.
End Session 48
Lini – Jayna’s faerie dragon familiar
Huron tells the PCs that the demon attack on the Wintersuns will likely be extremely ferocious while the 2 clan chiefs are dueling. It’s best to take as many people as possible for the trip. The 4 PCs, Jirel, and Huron take up 6 spots, leaving 2 available between Kayden and Ramirez’s teleport spells. PCs discuss and decide to bring Irabeth and Lann on the trip. Irabeth because she can accrue some prestige that might help her in her thankless job of directing the orcs, and Lann because he has become a fearsome demon killer.
PCs go back to Drezen to gather Lann and Irabeth. Valin discovers that Arune has been making the Asmodean faction extremely powerful in town. They completely outclass the Iomedaens and would have no difficulty wiping them completely out if their leaders aren’t around. Arune *probably* wouldn’t do this as it would cause the Asmodean faction major problems in the Worldwound area, but it’s worrisome that he has all this influence.
PCs teleport to Jayna’s hiding place where they are met by Lini. This friendly, affectionate, and curious faerie dragon quickly warms up to the PCs, especially Kayden since he is her mistress’s son. Lini has been kept away from the main Wintersun Hall most of the time due to the danger posed by Marhevok.
Lini leads the party toward Wintersun Hall through the secret entrance. Jayna meets the PCs, having dismissed the usual guard at the entrance. Huron greets Jayna with joy. During their exchange, it’s quite clear that while Jayna regards Huron as a good friend, she doesn’t have the same feelings for him that he has for her.
She leads the party toward the main hall. Marhevok looks at them and asks Jayna if she is betraying him. She responds that she is saving him. Huron delivers his challenge for tribal leadership which is accepted by Marhevok. It’s clear that Marhevok regards this as a life and death challenge. Kayden secretly asks Jayna about whether Marhevok’s amulet is merciful. It still is which is basically guaranteeing that Huron wins the duel since as an invulnerable rager, his DR is doubled vs non-lethal damage and it will be hard for Marhevok to land meaningful hits.
The Hall’s defenders split into 2 groups. The 4 PCs plus Lann form one group and Jirel, Mano, Gherne, Irabeth, and Jayna form the other group. This way all approaches to the defenses are guarded.
PCs wait for a bit and then a group of demons teleport in. 2 hezrou, 2 vrocks, and 5 babaus.
The fight starts off badly for the PCs. Kayden tries to force punch a hezrou which fails, leaving him extremely vulnerable. One hezrou delivers a blasphemy spell that dazes Valin, Lann, and Kayden while also weakening them for 9 pts of str damage. The other hezrou grabs Kayden and roughs him up. Between that hezrou and a vrock, Kayden nearly dies before Valin and Quinnlyn come to the rescue.
On the other side, Ramirez tries to singlehandedly hold off the other hezrou and vrock. He takes a huge beating, but finally kills off the hezrou. After the vrock’s mirror images get dispelled, Ramirez lands 3 consecutive critical hits from his glaive, dealing 365 damage to it and turning it into a fine red mist.
Valin and Lann finally takes out the other hezrou. The 5 babaus started the fight just attempting dispel magics, but finally teleport all around Valin and Quinnlyn. This leads to a holy smite from Quinnlyn that ruins their day and leaves them easy targets for the rest of the PCs. The final vrock has enough and teleports away.
PCs spend some time healing and rebuffing as it’s clear there will be at least one more wave of demons arriving.
End Session 49
The walls of Wintersun Hall crashes down and the PCs see Staunton Vhane, Chorussina, 2 vrocks, and 5 babaus. Staunton Vhane is very different from what the PCs remember as he’s come back as an undead graveknight. He states that he welcomes the chance for vengeance. Chorussina chimes in that she calls dibs on the “pretty one” while pointing to Kayden.
Quinnlyn leads off moving to the front of the party in order to cast a boneshatter on a vrock. It takes some damage but mostly shrugs it off. That puts her in a vulnerable position as Staunton and a vrock both lands hits on her. She is finished off when Chorussina puts a wall of force around Lann and then summons 3 babaus around her who tear her to shreds and force her to spend 2 hero points to cheat death.
Valin is trying to hold off the 3 summoned babaus and a vrock by himself, but he gets smited by Staunton and greatly weakened. Kayden helps by putting a wall of force around Staunton and a vrock, but a magic missile from Chorussina knocks him unconscious and almost killed.
Kayden and Ramirez are on the defensive from the babaus and Chorussina. They see that the party has no chance and decide to get out of dodge. Ramirez quickens a dimension door to Lann and teleports out with him using his standard action. Kayden quickly follows, leaving Valin and Quinnlyn behind to be captured by Staunton and Chorussina.
End Session 50
Kayden, Ramirez, and Lann return to Wintersun Hall. They see many dead demons there as the other team has beaten off a major assault. Huron has won his duel with Marhevok and carries his unconscious body into the room. They will have to decide how to deal with him afterwards.
PCs explain what happened and plan a rescue party. The rescue party will be Kayden, Ramirez, Lann, Irabeth, and Jirel. The remaining defenders stay at Wintersun Hall in case there is another major attack.
PCs frantically try to find a spell that would track down where Staunton and Chorussina took the prisoners. Finally they ask Jayna who suggests that a highly experienced ranger like Lann can use mundane tracking methods to find them.
Lann is easily able to track the evil party despite the fact that they were flying. He leads the rest of the party to a small building which is obviously their home base. A stealthy approach finds that the door is trapped but nobody in the party can disarm the trap.
Kayden and Ramirez decide that they don’t want to deal with the trap. As the party buffs up, they dimension door everyone into the building with a few of them taking damage as it is a completely blind jaunt. The building has a deeper darkness effect, so only Lann and Irabeth can see. They see a Tarry Demodand, a Hezrou, a Vrock, and 4 Babaus in the room.
The demodand does a chaos hammer on the party before Kayden is able to dispel the deeper darkness. The hezrou lands a blasphemy that greatly weakens the party. The battle then resolves into a series of smaller skirmishes.
Jirel and the Vrock fight one on one. Jirel greatly outmatches the vrock, but its mirror images keep it hanging around for awhile. Irabeth and Lann try to take on the demodand. Irabeth smites and hits it, but her longsword is stuck in its body and she is disarmed and it does grievious damage to her with its twin shortswords. Lann does a great deal of damage to it before being surrounded by babaus.
Kayden and the hezrou are facing off. Every time the demon gets close, Kayden smacks it with a battering blast spell and knocks it back while doing force damage to it, but it does land a couple of hits through Kayden’s mirror images.
Ramirez is opportunistically hitting any target near him.
Finally a greatly weakened Irabeth finishes off the demodand with her backup morningstar. The vrock gets one last screech off and stuns Lann and Irabeth before Jirel finishes it off. The remaining babaus take advantage of the stunning to drop Irabeth and greatly hurt Lann but Ramirez kills 2 of them. Jirel and Kayden finish off the hezrou between them.
Finally only a single babau is left. It grabs Irabeth and demands the party promise not to take anything from the room in exchange for her life. Lann makes the promise, but there are at least a couple of loopholes in the promise. First of all, the party promised not to take “anything”, not “anyone”. So they can grab Valin and Quinnlyn and the 2 of them can grab their own gear. Secondly, the prisoners were located underneath a trap door in the floor. Technically they were in a different room so the promise wasn’t binding.
The prisoners are freed and grab their gear. However they find that the silver scales are missing since the demons would find them very interesting and would want to investigate them. Also the PCs figure that Staunton and Chorussina are part of Jerribeth’s faction, otherwise they would’ve probably killed the prisoners.
End Session 51
The strike team takes Valin and Quinnlyn back to Wintersun Hall. They are woken and the team explains what happened during the rescue.
Valin uses ultimate mercy to raise a dead Wintersun clan member and then makes a soliloquy.
“Let’s get on with this foolish challenge. If I win, you must vow never to raise a hand against an Iomedean unless in self-defense, they are corrupted, or purposely siding with the demons. Moreover, you must bridge the gap and seek reconciliation between our people.
Now before we begin Jirel, know this. You are laboring under a misconception; I never intended to threaten you, your family or tribe. Quite the contrary, I intended to stay and raise each fallen member of the Wintersun clan regardless of your response or outcome of our duel. My only objective was to stop Marhevok from opening demonic portals across Golarion. So if you intent to go through with your threat and “cut my head off”, obviously, I won’t be able to full fill my promise to your clan.”
“So what say you Jirel, are you going to through…” Jirel interrupts Valin and states her conditions of the challenge.
Jirel states that it wasn’t just the threat to her family that caused the challenge. It was Valin’s callous disregard for Kayden and Gherne’s honor. If Valin had spoken as he threatened, it would’ve caused Kayden and Gherne to lose honor as well since they had promised not to speak about the Wintersuns when they left the Hall. If he didn’t think their promise was binding on the group, he should have either said so at the time it was told to him, or asked permission first before threatening to speak.
As the entire party was well aware, once you got a reputation as an oath-breaker or as someone who couldn’t keep a promise, it became exceedingly difficult to shake off especially by the barbarian and druid factions due to the great betrayal in the past.
Jirel’s condition if Valin loses is that he is to not step foot in Wintersun Hall or at any Althing without her permission. The duel is set for the next day after both sides are at full strength since it would be dishonorable to take advantage of Valin’s current weakness.
Kayden and Jayna then discuss what to do with Marhevok. Just killing him and resurrecting him probably wouldn’t cleanse the corruption.
While discussing, Jayna gives a brief history of the Wintersun Clan.
At one point, they were called the Grunhuld Clan instead. However due to constantly fighting the demons and being exposed to awful forces, the clan was corrupted. It looked like the clan was going to be doomed to slow extinction as all their children would become corrupted as well. Terendelev saw the situation and compassion moved her heart and she mated with the Grunhuld chief and birthed Marhevok. She was hoping that her bloodline would clear the corruption and the children would become non-corrupted. A ritual was conducted that would hopefully cleanse the entire tribe at the same time. The Grunhuld chief, in awe of the honor that he received, then renamed the clan to become the Wintersun clan. It was supposed to be Winterson in reference to Marhevok being the son of the Great Winter, Terendelev, but he changed it to Wintersun so that the clan wouldn’t be such a target for the demons until Marhevok was grown enough to fight them.
All looked well while Marhevok was growing up and he eventually married Jayna and produced 3 fine children of his own. However eventually the corruption in the Grunhuld bloodline manifested itself and he became corrupted by demonic energies.
Jayna with Kayden’s help does some research on the corruption and she says that the only way to clear the corruption was to find something of Terendelev’s that was extremely important to her. Kayden pulls out his silver scale and explains its properties to her and asks if this was a suitable object. Jayna looks at it in hope and disbelief and says it probably was. However she warned that if it were used to clear Marhevok’s corruption, its powers might be endangered. She asked if Kayden was willing to sacrifice such a powerful artifact.
Kayden without a moment’s hesitation agreed. Redeeming his father was far more important than any trinket, no matter how powerful or useful.
Jayna, Kayden, and Jirel then combine on a ritual to cleanse the corruption. The ritual is a success as the inky blackness leaves Marhevok and enters the scale. Jayna cries joyful tears and hugs Kayden.
Kayden loses the power of his silver scale, but he gains an additional hero point that regenerates each day due to his sacrifice.
Marhevok wakes up and it’s clear that he has lost years of his life. He has very little memory of what happened during the last few years.
The next morning, Huron privately asks Kayden whether he wanted to remain the Wintersun clan chief. Kayden refuses stating that he had enough to do as mayor of Drezen and fighting demons.
The duel is held between Valin and Jirel. Jirel agrees to let Ramirez stand by with a breath of life spell just in case. Both sides spend the first few rounds buffing up, but Jirel’s mirror images prove to be the difference. While Valin was hitting images, Jirel was hitting him and after 2 full attacks, multiple hits, and a critical hit, Valin is brought to 0 hit points and concedes the fight.
The party then drops off Valin back at Drezen and then teleports to the Althing which was winding up. Jayna had already teleported the Wintersun leaders. The other clan chiefs look shocked at seeing the legendary Wintersuns make an appearance after such a long disappearance but Huron and Kayden’s word was good enough for them to be accepted. After some discussion, Jirel is named the next Wintersun clan chief.
Quinnlyn takes Jayna aside and tells her that Valin meant well. Jayna says that it is appreciated, but she has to recognize that the Barbarians had great enmity toward the Iomedaens. The Great Betrayal resulted in literally millions of deaths in Sarkoris and Valin and Quinnlyn still served the one who ordered that betrayal. It would be a long slow process to heal the enmity.
The party returns to Drezen where they meet up with Valin. Valin finds out that the Iomedaens are in a very precarious position. Kamilo states that they were being out-recruited 5 to 1 by the Asmodeans. This was due to 3 primary factors. Lack of money, much higher recruiting standards, and the fact that Arune was an administrative genius.
Clearly the Iomedaens needed to find a revenue stream since Mendev and Nerosyan weren’t sparing any significant resources toward Drezen. Valin also suggests lowering the Iomedaen recruiting standards.
Kayden has implemented a 10% tax rate for goods teleported in by himself and Ramirez so that the town has a revenue stream of its own. He makes overtures to Lann to have him lead the town militia, wanting an alternative to Arune in place. He also makes other long term plans for city infrastructure.
PCs ask for help from Aravash in finding Valin and Quinnlyn’s missing scales. They catch him and Peri negotiating. Apparently Aravash wants Peri to be his full time familiar since it would save him money, but she was holding out for better pay and working conditions from him.
The PCs interrupt the negotiation and bargain with Peri. For 1000 gold, they can have 6 yes/no answers to their questions. Ramirez is the only one who has any unspent gold left and he makes the payment.
After the 6 questions, the PCs determine that the scales are located in an area to the southwest of Drezen. However there was still a very large area to search and the PCs would have a lot of work to find the missing scales.
End Session 52
PCs start focusing on recruiting for their factions. Valin has some success in getting more recruits, but is rebuffed when attempting to make alliances. It appears that most other good factions are either without a major presence in Drezen or are too wary to enter any entangling alliances. They may help informally, but none of them want an official alliance. Kayden has a little more luck. His taxes are generating a good amount of revenue and the town militia is getting off to a good start although there is a lot of catching up to do since it has to be built from scratch.
Baron comes to Kayden with some information. His contacts have revealed that Xanthir Vang, frustrated at a lack of progress, has assigned a specialist troubleshooter to hunt down the turncoat succubus. The specialist’s name is Januuricka and she is rumored to be a major league badass cleric who uses her clerical powers to buff her hand to hand combat prowess. Baron warns that there is some secret about her and that she is able to tear apart seasoned barbarians and paladins in just seconds.
Nia gets back to town with news that Galfrey and Khraigorr are still alive. The Great Ones wouldn’t reveal anything more about it, but they confirmed the fact that they still lived.
PCs decide to explore a small forest located to the southwest where 2 rivers meet. They take Nia with them. Nia takes a look and states that the river is highly corrupted. It’s fairly easy for the PCs to cross with a fly spell, but Nia’s Ape companion doesn’t like flight. Even Nia can’t calm him down, but Kayden finally is able to do so and gets it to cross.
As they walk ahead, Nia warns that the demons have corrupted the forest. There is an unnatural taint about it. As they walk deeper into the forest, the stench gets so bad that the PCs start to become sickened. They decide to teleport back to Drezen to prepare better.
PCs return the next day with Planar Adaptation spells prepared. This stops the stench from sickening them.
As they wander ahead, Quinnlyn senses a trap. PCs hastily buff as they run into a Retriever, Bebilith, Putrid Ooze, Slime Demon, and a Bodak.
The fight is relatively routine, but the Retriever manages to turn Quinnlyn to Stone. The Retriever, Bebilith, and Bodak are killed off and the Putrid Ooze and Slime Demon retreat. Ape received 7 negative levels from the Bodak and Nia received 2. Ramirez loses 8 points of con from the bebilith’s rotting poison.
PCs are forced to return to Drezen to get Quinnlyn un-petrified.
End Session 53
While PCs are recovering from the fight, they try and make further progress with faction affairs. Kayden does well and gets a good solid core for the town militia going. Valin makes an effort to improve hearts and minds and uses a hero point to make big gains with the merchants and farmers. Arune also gets a good roll and improves the standing of the Asmodean faction.
Nia says that something about the swamp bothered her. She felt that the unnatural influence there wasn’t demonic, but came from something more primal.
Valin and Quinnlyn are met by a Legion Archon who brings a message from Liotr that they are summoned to Nerosyan. Kayden and Ramirez decide to go with them since they are the ones with the teleport spells.
As the party prepares, Anevia finds them. She reports that her sources tell her that Joran has been snatched by the demons who are getting him to build another corruption forge. She doesn’t know whether he is working for them voluntarily or whether he’s being coerced. Her source says that the demons think something like the corruption forge is the only thing that would allow them to destroy the captured silver scales.
PCs then teleport to Nerosyan where they are ushered into an audience with Liotr and Nestrin. Both of them are very haggard and show signs of immense stress.
Liotr tells them that the war isn’t going well and he requests that Valin and Quinnlyn bring the Sword of Valor from Drezen to Nerosyan until things stabilize against the demonic armies.
PCs are clearly unhappy about leaving Drezen defenseless and ask if there are any alternatives. Liotr says the city is desperate. It will fall in a matter of weeks unless something is done. Drezen might be able to survive without the Sword of Valor since the demonic forces there are much weaker than the ones attacking Nerosyan. Liotr also says that he is open to alternatives such as a mighty champion or great general that can stiffen the armies.
PCs confer and Kayden decides to take action on his own. He takes Quinnlyn to Wintersun Hall where they are met by Lini. Lini tries to play with them, but Kayden is firm and gets her to tell Jayna that they are outside. Jayna lets them in.
Kayden requests that Jayna and Marhevok come with them to Nerosyan and act as champions against the demons. Marhevok is the son of Terendelev and Jayna is a very mighty sorceress so in terms of both power and prestige, they should immensely help the crusaders. Quinnlyn says that the Iomedaens will reward them greatly, but Jayna dismisses any thought of payment. A humbled Marhevok says that he will serve as penance for his actions while under the corruption.
Jayna asks doubtfully whether 2 people would make enough of a difference. She says that she’s heard word about the military prowess of Arune and suggests that they bring him along to become overall general of Nerosyan’s armies. After all, the 2 of them would be most effective if a clever general would be able to position them for maximum effectiveness.
Jayna then asks for Kayden and Quinnlyn to send 3 of their friends to help guard Wintersun Hall while they were gone. The defenses of the Hall had to be maintained at all times. This is readily agreed upon by the 2 PCs.
Kayden knows that he must get agreement from Arune to get him to abandon his post in Drezen and suffer a big setback in positioning his faction while he is gone. He teleports with Quinnlyn back to Drezen to speak to him.
Kayden explains the situation to Arune. Arune is doubtful that the Iomedaens would actually agree to let a worshipper of Asmodeus lead their armies but Kayden and Quinnlyn assure him there would be no issues. Arune then asks what was in it for him. Eventually an agreement is hashed out where the Iomedaens would take no action to stop any Asmodean expansion in Drezen while he is gone. He would also ask for 1 Favor each from Liotr and Nestrin for this task. While he is gone, he would leave Hana in charge of the Asmodean faction in Drezen.
PCs then decide who they want to go to Wintersun Hall. Sosiel and Gherne are not available at the moment for garrison duty. Arune suggests that they absolutely need an arcane caster to replace Jayna and they decide on Baron. They then recruit Aron and Anevia to fill out the Hall’s defenses.
Kayden also suggests to Nia that she uses Wintersun Hall as her home base to investigate the corruption of the swamp. He casually mentions that she should work closely with Mano to integrate their fighting styles clearly hoping that Mano, also having the blood of Terendelev, would be a suitable replacement for him in fulfilling the Siabrae bargain that was made.
Kayden brings the 3 NPCs to Wintersun Hall and then teleports back to Nerosyan. He quickly explains the deal to Liotr and says that a great general such as Arune plus 2 powerful champions such as Jayna and Marhevok should be enough to stabilize the situation.
Liotr and Nestrin are clearly not happy with owing favors to a worshipper of Asmodeus, but have little choice. Liotr remarks that if they do nothing, it would be a guarantee that the city falls but at least this way they have a chance. They agree to the deal.
PCs return to Drezen. Kayden appoints Hana to be overall military leader in Drezen over Valin’s objections. Valin prefers Kamilo to be military leader, but Kayden doesn’t want Arune to feel aggrieved or threatened in any way for making the deal to lead Nerosyan’s armies and thus puts his picked replacement in charge.
The next day, Kayden and Ramirez teleport south to pick up another shipment of goods. Horgus meets them and asks in confusion what they were doing there. He says they already picked up the shipment a little while ago.
Kayden is furious. Clearly another arcane caster who is adept at disguises had hijacked this shipment. It was easy to deduce that this was Faxon’s doing. Kayden decided he couldn’t do anything about it at the moment, but resolved to get Faxon afterwards.
The next day, the PCs grab Gherne and teleport back to the swamp. Nia’s words jog something in Ramirez’s memory and he realizes that the heart of the swamp didn’t contain demons, but instead contained Qlippoths. Qlippoths were an elder fiend race that predated the demons by aeons and were the original inhabitants of the Abyss. The demons had mostly overthrown the Qlippoth, but not completely. Apparently there was a pocket of the elder fiends corrupting the swamp.
End Session 54
PCs do some preparation. They cast resist acid spells and get ready for a fight. They meet up with some zombie animals which are easily destroyed but waste time and eventually the spell expires. PCs recast the resist acid as individual spells to lengthen the duration rather than communal spells.
Eventually the PCs track the scales to a very deep part of the swamp. But they realize that trying to fight the inhabitants while underwater would be suicidal without preparation. So they try to lure the defenders out.
Valin and Gherne stand waist deep in the water with the rest of the party ready to react. The bait works and 2 putrid oozes attack from surprise underwater. They hit both of them and drag Valin underwater. 3 Qlippoth also appear: a Chernobue and 2 Nyagoths.
The Qlippoth auras are mostly saved against, but the Chernobue quickly has Quinnlyn on the ropes, draining 4 con between its slams and poison. Gherne withdraws from his putrid ooze opponent to help against the Qlippoth, but Valin sticks around to kill off a nyagoth and is quickly pummeled unconscious, needing to spend 2 hero points to cheat death, when he is ganged up on by both putrid oozes.
Ramirez, Gherne, and Kayden finish off the other Nyagoth but the Chernobue locks in on Ramirez and poisons him as well as doing a great deal of damage. Eventually the 3 remaining party members gang up on it and take it down.
Valin and Quinnlyn are healed up and Ramirez tries to swim the 50 feet underwater to get the scales but the putrid ooze blindsight allow them to attack and do a great deal of damage. Ramirez dimension doors above the surface and the PCs realize that they can’t just do a snatch and grab and have to prepare for an underwater fight to have a chance of success.
End Session 55
PCs do a lot of preparation to be able to operate underwater. Ramirez brews up a bunch of potions and the spellcasters load up on spells to help underwater such as water breathing and freedom of movement.
They enter the water and see a Chernobue, Gongorinan, Nyogoth, putrid ooze, and stone golem in the shape of solid water.
This battle starts out rough at first as Kayden gets turned to stone by the Gongorinan. But the fighting turns out to be surprisingly easy as the fully buffed PCs tear through the defenders. Even down a member, this was a far easier fight than the earlier one.
PCs find the missing silver scales buried in a box at the bottom of the swamp.
PCs drag Kayden to the edge of the woods without incident and then Ramirez teleports to Baron who teleports there and takes the party back to safety.
End Session 56
Ferris – Valin and Quinnlyn’s foster father
Rita – Valin and Quinnlyn’s foster mother
Sophia – High up in church of Iomedae
Mr XYZ – Crimelord in Nerosyan
PCs return to Drezen and take care of some town business. Ramirez spends a couple of days developing the finest ale that he could brew. Kayden tries to determine how Faxon compromised his merchant network but doesn’t have the slightest clue with a low Knowledge Local and a poor roll. Quinnlyn finds out that recruitment for Iomedae was poor for paladins and clerics, but was decent for ordinary soldiers and workers.
Valin finds out from Kamilo that while Arune has stabilized the situation in Nerosyan, it has come at a major cost. Apparently large numbers of Paladins had Fallen, not being able to reconcile their codes with serving under an evil general and following orders such as retreating and leaving behind fallen comrades. Arune would immediately force the Fallen paladins back into action, retraining them as cavaliers or fighters if necessary. There was nothing militarily wrong with Arune’s strategy and tactics, but it was awfully convenient for him that these actions also just happened to greatly weaken the Iomedaen church.
A Legion Archon messenger arrives and delivers a message that Valin and Quinnlyn are to immediately report to Nerosyan but doesn’t give any further details.
Valin and Quinnlyn try to get Aravash, but he’s in the middle of a complicated experiment and his servant refuses to let Valin in.
PCs gather Sosiel and they teleport to Nerosyan. They enter Liotr’s chambers where they are met by Liotr, Nestrin, and an imposing woman wearing Iomedaen armor with a very prominent holy symbol who introduces herself as Sophia.
Liotr and Nestrin report that Valin and Quinnlyn’s foster mother, Rita, has disappeared and they fear the worst. They direct the siblings to speak with Ferris to find out more info and to investigate the disappearance.
The PCs meet up with Ferris who says that Rita was investigating something and mentioned a name. Skulgrym. He is frantic to get her back and says she kept a journal and some investigative notes somewhere that the PCs should look at.
The PCs retrieve the notes and find out that Rita was investigating Skulgrym for a very important but unspecified reason. The journal says she was going to an information broker named Faxon to get more information.
PCs are chilled at this and decide that they need to replace Sosiel with Anevia since she had much better contacts and investigative skills. Kayden teleports to Wintersun Hall to grab Anevia and he substitutes Sosiel in her place in order to maintain the Hall’s defenses.
Anevia spends a couple of days making contacts in Nerosyan and discovers a fairly robust criminal underground despite the fact that it was the Crusader capitol. The war effort plus the fact that there were armies from dozens of nations of all different alignments made law enforcement very difficult. Also the Iomedaens had to tolerate a certain amount of vice and smuggling to keep troop morale up.
Anevia sets up a meeting with a contact who demands certain assurances that he wouldn’t be immediately arrested. The assurances are granted. During the meeting, the crimelord keeps his face masked and only referred to himself as Mr XYZ. He says that he might be able to arrange a meeting with Faxon, but Faxon would demand the same assurances. To arrange this meeting, he demands a limited favor from Valin and Quinnlyn. He could use the favor to be pardoned or released if arrested, but not for something major like murder of an innocent or allying with the demons.
Quinnlyn tries to get Mr XYZ to setup an ambush for Faxon, but XYZ is clearly terrified of Faxon and refuses. He snorts at Quinnlyn’s promise to not mention his involvement saying that Faxon definitely had the resources to find out and he REALLY didn’t want to get on Faxon or Hosilla’s bad side. Mr XYZ will only agree to setup the meeting and nothing more.
Word arrives that the meeting was set for 3 days later. During this time, the PCs take care of a little business.
Valin and Quinnlyn are met by Sophia who tells them that the high ups in the Church of Iomedae are very concerned with Liotr and Nestrin’s poor performance. Sophia wants their support if it becomes necessary to relieve and replace Liotr. Sophia has a great reputation in Lastwall fighting the undead minions of Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant. She specializes in fighting undead but freely admits that there’s a lot she still needs to learn about demons.
Kayden meets his parents, Marhevok and Jayna. They exchange pleasantries and Jayna promises him that she will personally craft an empower rod for him in a few days time.
The next day, all the PCs meet with Arune. Arune asks if they will be available if needed militarily, and the PCs agree to help during any time period that Drezen is safe.
The PCs finally meet with Faxon with both sides guarding against treachery. Faxon has Hosilla, Chaleb, and a few other unknown people with him.
Some angry negotiation occurs. Quinnlyn asks Faxon’s price for the information about Rita and Faxon demands a Favor. He will use it as a get out of jail free card if captured or might cash it in earlier if he finds something amusing to do with it. Quinnlyn at first refuses but realizes that she has no real bargaining power at the moment since Faxon holds all the cards. She at first wants the Favor to apply only to Faxon himself, but Faxon isn’t about to throw Hosilla and Chaleb under the bus with the 2 of them right there. They negotiate it down to Faxon being able to get away and Hosilla and Chaleb allowed to issue a Challenge of Single Combat for their freedom if captured. The Favor only applies if Faxon’s info is truly useful in finding Rita. Faxon also agrees that the Favor would only apply if the PCs beat them, not applying if other Iomedaens or Barbarians do the deed.
Faxon states that Rita went to him for information about Skulgrym. He told her that Skulgrym was located in Icerift Castle in the North. Skulgrym seems to have both fighting and magical abilities and indications are that he has something to do with Galaphon’s soul, perhaps possessing it. The news comes as a shock to Valin and Quinnlyn as Galaphon is their biological mother whos death helped inspire them to serve against the demons and to this day serves as motivation against the demons.
PC make some preparations. They first meet with Nia and question her on the defenders of Icerift Castle. Nia states that the defenses are very impressive. The demons obviously valued Icerift Castle more than Drezen since the defenders were much stronger. They patrol about 10 mile radius from the castle with Drake Riders, babaus, and other demons. There was also a strong undead contingent in the castle. Only the threat of Siabrae involvement kept the stronger defenders pinned in the Castle during the assault on Drezen which was fortunate since if they sent reinforcements from Icerift to Drezen, the assault would’ve been impossible.
PCs teleport north of the Castle and trudge towards it. Quinnlyn spots Drake Riders patrolling and since the PC party has a couple of very noisy visible people, it would be impossible to approach without being spotted. Fighting all the defenders of the Castle was obviously suicidal.
PCs return to Drezen where Valin tries again to speak with Aravash. He is finally done with his experiment and expresses annoyance as Valin accusingly confronts him about being absent without sending notice to the PCs. Valin does apologize and smooth things over.
PCs ask if there were any options other than a frontal assault on the castle or a completely blind teleport. Aravash thinks for a moment and says it would be possible to polymorph them to Earth Elemental forms and Earth Glide under the castle to bypass most of the defenders. He would need money to provide the scrolls that Kayden would cast on the party. The PCs have very little money left and are forced to sell some of their magic items to get the scrolls even with Aravash only charging actual cost for the scrolls instead of market price.
End Session 57
PCs wait a couple of days and pickup the scrolls from Aravash. Anevia suggests that the group needs to get closer to the castle before using the scrolls since she was afraid the scrolls wouldn’t last long enough to get the party into the castle from 10 miles away. She will scout ahead of the party to find an out of sight area for Kayden and Ramirez to teleport to.
Anevia asks for an extended invisibility spell from Kayden, but nobody in the party has an extend rod. Anevia sighs and disappears. She reappears a bit later with Aravash’s extend rod that she “borrowed” from him.
The PCs teleport North of the castle out of patrol range. With an extended invisibility spell plus her natural stealthiness, Anevia is able to find a good staging area. She goes back to the party and draws a crude picture of the landmarks and gives a vivid description of the area. The description is just good enough for Kayden to teleport there, but Ramirez veers 8 miles off course. Ramirez at first starts walking toward the staging area, but rapidly realizes that he would be spotted long before he arrives. He finally realizes that he could simply teleport again and does so without error.
The staging area is within a mile of the castle which is enough time for the PCs to get to the castle within the polymorph duration of the scrolls.
PCs enter and find a huge ice cavern underneath the castle. Eerily, it appears abandoned. The PCs search for a while and feel a tingling sensation that Ramirez recognizes as similar to being in the presence of a Wardstone. The PCs follow the sensation and arrive outside a door. There is a Forbiddence spell in the area that keeps Kayden, Ramirez, and Anevia outside the door. Valin and Quinnlyn are Lawful Good and enter without any problem. They find a dormant but intact Wardstone!
PCs speculate that the demons probably couldn’t reach the Wardstone due to the Forbiddence and couldn’t destroy it anyway. With their short attention spans, they probably forgot about it but superstitiously avoided the ice cavern anyway since it would be uncomfortable for them. The PCs might be able to use it to their advantage as long as they don’t remind the demons of the ice cavern. A serious enough threat by the PCs might draw in a higher level entity among the demonic forces who might investigate and find out about the Wardstone if they’re not careful.
PCs have no choice but to leave the Wardstone. Due to its inherent design, it couldn’t be teleported and it weighed too much for them to try and haul away. Any attempt to carry it away would easily be spotted by the demons and then they’d have to fight the entire castle defenses which would be suicidal. The only way they could activate it would be to seize the entire castle and ritually consecrate the entire area first. That would have to wait for the future.
PCs have used up a lot of higher level spells for all the teleports used. They decide to rest a day in the ice cavern before attempting the rescue.
In the morning, Anevia gets another extended invisibility spell and stealthily scouts upstairs into the castle itself. She is very cautious and doesn’t explore very far, but she finds a shrine room desecrated to Deskari with the prisoners including Rita. It is under constant guard. Anevia finds an alcove nearby that she draws and goes back to the party. She grits her teeth and says that she had to watch a priest sacrifice someone to Deskari, but she couldn’t intervene by herself against all the defenders. Kayden and Ramirez dimension door to the alcove but have a mishap and everyone takes minor damage.
PCs decide they didn’t want the hassle of entering through the door and decide to dimension door into the shrine room. They dimension door in and see a number of defenders plus 4 prisoners in cages. Fortunately the bars of the cages were set very close together apparently to prevent guards from “accidentally” killing prisoners. There is also a shrine to Deskari at the back of the room. The defenders were a Hezrou, Athach giant, a weird looking gargoylish Inquisitor, a horned Kalavakus demon, and a Mohrg ranger who was strengthened inside the desecration field with an evil shrine. There are also 2 random babaus.
The Mohrg does significant damage to Ramirez but is focus fired upon and falls relatively quickly. A Blasphemy from the Hezrou dazes Anevia and causes significant str damage to the PCs. This was a brutal fight. Valin had his soul enslaved by the Kalavakus and then was dominated. At various points in the fight, Ramirez and Quinnlyn were dropped and Kayden was brought down to 0 HP. Anevia was also seriously threatened taking enormous damage from sneak attacking babaus after falling prone after failing a save for Greater Command from the Kalavakus. The giant, inquisitior, and kalavakus proved to be the biggest threats. The athach had huge damage plus poison, the inquisitor had Second Judgement plus Bane for lots of damage and high AC, and the Kalavakus with haste, dominate person, and greater command was a nightmare.
The turning point in the fight was when Kayden used a hero point and dispelled the domination on Valin. The PCs started whittling down the defenders starting with the hezrou and then the kalavakus. Anevia finished off both babaus while still prone while barely not getting killed by them. Eventually the PCs used weight of numbers to finally finish off the athach first and then the inquisitor.
The PCs are completely spent. It turned out to be fortunate that they rested before fighting. Otherwise they wouldn’t have enough teleport spells to get all the prisoners free. The PCs take who they could first and then Kayden makes a return trip to gather the rest of the prisoners just before demonic reinforcements could arrive.
PCs level up and gear up.
End Session 58
S’thath – Serpentfolk Sorcerer
PCs revive Rita. Rita tells her story. At some point, she looked to find Galaphon’s soul in the afterlife but couldn’t find her. She got worried and her investigation led to Skulgrym. Faxon was the only source of information she had and the investigation led to Icerift Castle. Rita tried to infiltrate and find further information, but was captured.
The information she did manage to gather was that Skulgrym was going to try and use Galaphon’s soul to be able to enter the Ravenlord ancestral mausoleum. Skulgrym intended to desecrate the tomb of heroes and initiate a ritual of evil. Rita mentioned that the Ravenlord ancestral mausoleum was located relatively close to Wintersun Hall and it might be wise to gather a Wintersun who might be familiar with the area to lead the party to its destination.
Kayden and Quinnlyn teleport to Wintersun Hall where they speak with Jirel. Jirel ok’s the request and suggests Mano to guide the party since he was very familiar with the area. She also gives permission for Valin to enter the Wintersun Lands as long as he doesn’t enter the Hall itself.
PCs gather outside the Hall and grab Mano. Mano knows the location of the Ravenlord crypt and leads the PCs there. He does warn that a group of Serpentfolk had gathered around the crypt and claimed the land there for themselves. The Serpentfolk were evil and had clashes with the Wintersuns, but they also opposed the demons and on occasion had fought the demons alongside the Wintersuns.
PCs cannot approach the crypt by stealth and decide that they didn’t want to fight the entire Serpentfolk tribe just to get to the crypt. So they rest for a day to prepare a Tongues spell to be able to parley.
They meet a patrol of Serpentfolk who are initially hostile, especially at the sight of Mano. They finally agree to lead the PCs to their elders with the promise from Quinnlyn that she would slay the Guardian of the crypts. Apparently the Guardian was some sort of powerful entity that would protect the crypt and keep intruders out. After Quinnlyn explained the conversation to the rest of the PCs, Kayden asked doubtfully whether the promise was wise. After all, the Guardian could be a non-evil entity or could possibly even be one of her ancesters. Quinnlyn curses, but it’s too late to retract the promise as it had already been made. Quinnlyn clearly thought the Guardian was some sort of demon.
PCs meet the elders of the tribe. They have their weapons drawn and look hostilely on the PCs. In the negotiations, they mention that Mano had killed numerous members of their tribe. They state that the crypt was forbidden ground due to the Guardian. They make clear their intentions to claim the crypt as soon as the PCs destroy the Guardian and finish their business in the tomb. But they do agree to allow the PCs to pass.
PCs see a structure built on top of the crypt. Quinnlyn sees a trapped door but nobody knows how to disarm the trap. Kayden decides to just disintegrate the door instead which leads to a combat.
PCs see a Serpentfolk sorcerer named S’thath, Syricta, Dorvae, Leukodaemon, and Baykok. The fight erupts. PCs take a little damage at first from the Leukodaemon breath of flies and the Syricta poison cloud. The Dorvae also manages to feeblemind Kayden. But Mano becomes a one man engine of destruction as he takes down the Leukodaemon and Baykok in consecutive rounds. S’thath has enough and he dimension doors away with the Syricta. The Dorvae also dimension doors away.
PCs discover a trap door to the crypt itself.
End Session 59
Skulgrym – Powerful Nabasu demon
PCs use comprehend languages to read some of the S’thath’s notes. It appears that he was trying to find a way to follow Skulgrym into the tomb to find some sort of prize inside. He was an opportunist who even if he couldn’t get whatever Skulgrym was after, was hoping to at least be able to scavenge the tomb afterwards.
PCs enter an area of deeper darkness. The door had ornate carvings dedicated to Iomedae but had been desecrated with blood, feces, and symbols of Baphomet. PCs have nobody who can pick locks and Quinnlyn is reluctant to let Kayden disintegrate the door since it was at one point dedicated to Iomedae.
Kayden decides to dimension door through the door. There is some resistance and only Valin and Quinnlyn are able to make it through. A 2nd dimension door is finally able to get the rest of the party through the door.
PCs see some sort of ghostly entity with Iomedaen markings on its ghostly clothing. PCs talk to the entity which recognizes Valin and Quinnlyn as Ravenlords, but cannot let them pass because their names are not written in the Ravenlord geneology book. The entity emphasizes the last sentence but the PCs don’t pick up on the hint and fighting starts.
The enitity puts up an Anti-Life shell and gets off 3 Harm spells, a Slay Living spell, and a drain of 3 con on Mano before the PCs figure out what they have to do. Kayden dimension doors again past the entity, finds the geneology book, and quickly writes down Valin and Quinnlyn’s name in the book. The entity stops the fight and allows the Ravenlords plus their guests to pass.
The PCs surmise that since the tomb was overrun over 20 years ago, there wasn’t any opportunity for Valin and Quinnlyn’s parents to write their names in the book. The Ravenlord ancesters had to coalesce together and stay on this plane to defend the tomb from being desecrated by demons and other evil entities and became the Guardian. Skulgrym had apparently bypassed the Guardian somehow with Galaphon’s soul since Ravenlords and their guests were apparently allowed into the tomb and Skulgrym would be recognized as a Ravenlord.
PCs have expended a lot of resources in the 2 fights. They decide to proceed cautiously and see what they could turn up. In the main catacomb, they see Skulgrym, a Piscodaemon, Lamia Matriarch, and 2 regular Lamias. PCs decide that they couldn’t fight this group in their depleted condition and Quinnlyn asks Kayden to teleport the party back to Drezen. The decision to retreat was a hard one as it would give Skulgrym another day to desecrate the tomb and time to reinforce, but the PCs feel they had to do it.
PCs return the Drezen to rest. They prepare for a major fight and return. The Guardian now recognizes the Ravenlord scions and lets the party pass. The PCs get back to the room and find the catacomb and bodies greatly desecrated plus 2 additional reinforcements. A Leukodaemon plus a Mohrg. The Mohrg looked like it was raised from one of the Ravenlord ancesters who was buried in the tomb.
The fight is a tough one. The Matriarch is able to haste her group and uses a quickened slow spell to negate the PC’s haste spell. She is also able to cloud kill and quicken a dispel magic to remove Valin’s Death Ward. That allows Skulgrym to give Valin 8 negative levels between his Life Drinker axe plus a quickened enervation critical hit. A lamia also has a critical hit on a wisdom drain to drain Valin of 6 wisdom. Valin is also sickened, con drained 2 Con from a Cloudkill, and fatigued by a boneshatter spell. Valin wisely decides to retreat.
The PCs are on the ropes. All of them had some con drain and Quinnlyn has lost 6 Wis from lamia touches. All were sickened as well. Mano is markedly less effective in this encounter than his previous one, missing very often and getting paralyzed by the Mohrg.
The turning point was Ramirez first using holy smite which Skulgrym failed the save. Rather than being blinded, the failed save forced Galaphon’s soul outside of him. This allowed Quinnlyn to cast a banishment spell that sent Skulgrym away.
The remainder of the fight was still tough, but the tide slowly turned as the Leukodaemon, Piscodaemon, regular lamias, and Mohrg were taken down. The Lamia Matriarch had enough and dimension doors away.
PCs spend time recovering from the grueling fight. Quinlynn talks to the Guardian about her promise to kill it. It gives her permission to kill it, saying that promises must be kept, but warns her that she must find some way of protecting the Ravenlord Ancestral Crypt from demons and desecration.
End Session 60
With the Guardian dead, Quinnlyn figures that there’s no way to protect the ancestral mausoleum without tying up too many resources. She sets up a plan to move whatever she can to Drezen and consecrate a new ancestral burial site.
She enlists the help of Kayden, Ramirez, Aravash, and Baron to help move stone coffins, bodies, and anything portable. She has to leave behind the heavier items such as ornate doors, wall paintings and bas reliefs, and pillars. It would take about 2 weeks to complete the move since the stone coffins were extremely heavy and only a single one could be moved per teleport spell. About 6-10 Ravenlord ancestral bodies were missing and unaccounted for having been removed by Skulgrym before the PCs could force him away.
Quinnlyn speaks to the Serpentfolk who are wary but agree to not move in until she was finished. They make it clear that they laid claim over the area once Quinnlyn was done moving what she could.
After 3 days, Anevia reports to the PCs that one of her contacts had reported huge demon movements in the Worldwound toward an old abandoned shrine to Desna. Baron chimes in that he believes that Jaruunicka had probably found the traitor and was moving her troops there.
PCs agree that massive demon army movements required investigation. They grab Lann and do a little research. Apparently the old shrine to Desna was at least in the general neighborhood of the Qlippoth swamps. PCs teleport just outside the swamp.
Lann scouts ahead and reports heavy demonic forces including dozens of drake riders in the air. It would be suicide to fight the entire demon army and the PCs aren’t close to being stealthy enough to sneak by. He does say that it might be possible to go through the Qlippoth swamp and follow the river to swing around the majority of the demon army. He can tell the general direction to the Desna shrine by following the movements of the demons.
PCs move into the swamp and then are telepathically contacted by Qlippoth. PCs try to convince the Qlippoth to let them through so they could fight their ancient enemies, the demons, but negotiations break down as the Qlippoth insist on the return of the silver scales that the PCs took from them earlier.
The Qlippoth have strange alien thought processes and no common ground with good mortals. They view all mortals as their enemies as it is mortals who eventually become demons when they die. Even good mortals are their enemies since they foster stronger mortal societies and set the foundation for future mortal generations who would produce more demons. The safest thing from their point of view would be to kill all mortals so that the demons would not have a constant supply of reinforcements.
The PCs start preparing for a fight.
End Session 61
PCs hastily buff up as a powerful Qlippoth force approaches. The PCs see an Augnagar, Chernobue, Gongorinan, and 2 elder lightning elementals.
The PCs are on the ropes early as the Augnagar hits them with Waves of Exhaustion and the lightning elementals keep disarming the metal weapon wielding front line fighters, Valin and Ramirez. The PCs all save vs all Qlippoth auras except for Lann who is confused for a round.
Quinnlyn tries and fails a banishment spell on the Augnagar that puts her in a very vulnerable position where it is able to constantly full attack her.
Quinnlyn is brought unconscious from damage but is brought back with a Heal spell from Ramirez. Ramirez tries once to pick up his glaive but after taking an attack of opportunity and being disarmed again by the elemental, he gives up on that and just casts spells for the duration of the fight.
Valin has the Called weapon property that allows him to call the weapon to his hand but it does consume his swift action every round and means that he can’t lay on hands for himself.
Eventually the PCs start taking out the enemy. The first enemy to fall was the Gongorinan who collapses after an empowered boneshatter spell from Quinnlyn cracks its exoskeleton. Kayden is working on the lightning elementals with cold spells since he learns to his regret that the Qlippoth are immune to cold damage. Lann keeps plugging away with his bow at various enemies but is missing a fair amount against the Qlippoth between their AC, protection from law, and the Chernobue aura.
Eventually the enemy is reduced to just the Augnagar who does a final full attack that forces Quinnlyn to spend 2 hero points to cheat death. It also curses her with a stench aura that makes her stink worse than any skunk who ever lived as Quinnlyn’s stench now gives -8 to stealth checks and sickens all within 30 feet of her. She also takes 5 con drain from the curse. Valin then kills the Augnagar with a critical hit.
End Session 62
Jonal – Secretive worshipper of Desna
PCs return to Drezen and heal up from the fight including healing Quinnlyn of her con drain and stench curse.
PCs prepare and return to the Qlippoth swamp. Lann believes that the Qlippoth would have to take some time to regroup since they had lost some very powerful defenders. He thinks it will be safe to travel through the swamp.
The PCs travel to the swamp to the river. It is pitch dark by the time they get to the river and PCs have to sleep there since Kayden and Ramirez need light to be able to memorize the area for teleport. They don’t want to use a daylight spell since it would be a glowing beacon to everyone in the area including the demonic drake riders.
They first try to sleep in the swamp but the Qlippoth telepathically blast their thoughts and keep them from resting. The PCs then look for an area near the river but over 100 feet from the swamp and manage to rest while avoiding an encounter. Kayden and Ramirez now memorize the location and the PCs return to Drezen.
Baron sends word to Kayden that he has important info. Kayden teleports to Wintersun Hall and speaks to Baron. Baron says he found more information from his source, but his source was compromised and killed in the process. He’ll try to recover the body so that other methods such as Speak With Dead might be used.
Baron reports that the source wasn’t able to find out Jaruunicka’s secret, but found that she was a mercenary who worships Sifkesh, the Demon of Heresy. Her payment for services was a Wish to be provided by her employer. Baron also speculates that both Xanthir Vang and Jerribeth have at least one demon in their employment who can grant Wishes. The Wishes would explain why Jaruunicka was so lethal in combat and why nobody was able to find out much about her.
The turncoat succubus was obviously of extremely high importance. Staunton Vhane had to divert some of his best troops and leaders to help in her search. Baron states that he believes it would’ve been impossible for the PC army to have taken Drezen if Staunton Vhane had his entire army available to defend it.
Baron and Kayden come to an arrangement where Kayden would teleport in once a day to check in. It’s possible after a particularly tough fight that Kayden wouldn’t report in, but if he doesn’t show up for 2 days in a row, then Baron would know that the PCs got into some major trouble.
Baron ends with a caution to Kayden to be extremely careful. Jaruunicka was utterly dangerous and Baron chokes up and states that he didn’t want to lose his spiritual brother to her.
Kayden returns to town where the PCs do some research. They find out that Glabrezu demons could grant Wishes to mortals. Further deep research also reveals that mysterious Lilitu demons could also grant Wishes. The PCs also confirm that both Xanthir Vang and Jerribeth have at least one Glabrezu working for each of them.
The PCs debate whether to go after Xanthir Vang’s Glabrezu first to weaken Jaruunicka since stripping her of a Wish would be immensely valuable in a fight but they decide to go after her immediately since with such a large demonic army under her, she was sure to be able to capture or kill the renegade eventually no matter how powerful or well hidden the renegade was.
PCs debate whether to go to Nerosyan or the Siabrae Druid woods as the next step but agree to go to Nerosyan to try and find more info on the Desna shrine. They turn up no leads except for Ramirez who finds Jonal, a low level acolyte of Desna drinking at a bar but appears to have no knowledge of the shrine.
Valin and Quinnlyn are summoned to report to Sophia. She says that she doesn’t need to relieve Liotr and Nestrin yet as the situation has seemingly stabilized. The demons had pulled several of their armies away from Nerosyan for some reason and the pressure on Nerosyan was greatly reduced. It becomes clear talking to Sophia that she had about the same rank and stature of Queen Galfrey. She had the authority to relieve Liotr and Nestrin but would only do so as a last resort as she was very reluctant to interfere with the local chain of command.
PCs can turn up no leads and are about to return but Ramirez recalls his conversation with Jonal and a retroactive sense motive check determines him to be higher level than he was letting on. The PCs track him down and after fully explaining the situation including the mention of the renegade succubus, he agrees to cooperate. It’s clear that Desna has an extremely decentralized organization and that her worshippers didn’t particularly care about property but greatly cared about people. That was why Jonal wasn’t too concerned about the abandoned shrine earlier but now was fully cooperating since it was a chance to save someone who might be very important to Desna and her church.
Jonal says he will contact other worshippers and get back to the PCs. A day later, he returns with a rock. He says that once the rock gets within 10 miles or so of the shrine, it would start getting warmer as it got closer. He requested that the PCs not lose the rock as it was holy to Desna.
PCs then return to the river and are ready to search out Jaruunicka and the renegade.
End Session 63
Jaruunicka – Annis Hag cleric of Sifkesh. Living engine of destruction
Silent – Stealthy Hobgoblin Ranger archer
Tolo – Incubus Anti-paladin
Arueshalae – Heretical Succubus who had turned away from the evil of the Abyss but is still unsure of herself and her place in the world
PCs proceed underwater for a day. It is incredibly slow moving since some of them wear heavy armor without Freedom of Movement underwater. They make up very little ground and it’s a grueling march.
When the PCs camp for the night, Kayden takes Quinnlyn on his nightly conference with Baron. Baron is looking sad and fearful as he reports that he managed to recover the head of his source but the demons had made sure that the source couldn’t be brought back from the dead since the body was animated as undead.
Baron had arranged a Speak with Dead with the head and had found out some vital info. Apparently Jaruunicka didn’t work alone but had a strike team. The members of the strike team that were known by the source were a Lamia Matriarch, Incubus Anti-paladin, and a rotating demon that Jaruunicka would often replace depending on the needs of the mission. There was a final member that wasn’t known at all but was rumored to be pretty lethal. A casual sense motive from Kayden showed that Baron was terrified for Kayden and for himself.
Before Kayden left, Baron asked for a vial of his blood. Kayden hesitated, but agreed figuring that if Baron was a turncoat, the PCs were doomed anyway.
Kayden and Quinnlyn return to the camp where they report the news. Lann doubtfully asked if Baron could be trusted. After all, it was awfully convenient that Jaruunicka had tossed the head of his source away instead of animating it as undead or otherwise disposing of it. Also, it wasn’t that long ago that Baron was chaotic evil and a mortal enemy of the crusaders. Kayden states that he had no reason not to trust Baron completely.
As the PCs get closer, Lann reports the location of Jaruunicka’s command tent. However it would be impossible to approach without the entire demon army converging on them. Clearly the PCs had to find some way of drawing off the demon army before they could attempt to eliminate Jaruunicka.
PCs discuss among themselves. The options they considered were getting the Siabrae Druids to mount a diversionary attack or to get Arune to take the Sword of Valor and lead an army to attack the demons. Both options were rejected as nobody wanted to pay a price to the Siabraes and nobody wanted to risk the loss of Drezen if the Sword of Valor was moved from the city. Finally the PCs decided that they could try to start a battle between the demons and the qlippoth.
After some brainstorming, the plan is to kidnap a demonic general and Geas it to lead the demons on an attack on the Qlippoth swamp. What works in the favor of the plan is that Jaruunicka was known to delegate command of the army, preferring to annihilate any important enemies by herself.
Kayden takes Lann on a scouting mission while invisible. Lann has unbeatable stealth while invisible and is able to warn Kayden when to keep still through a series of pushes and pulls on a rope connecting them. Eventually they get to a point that wasn’t being viewed by the demons and Kayden takes 20 and finally spots a succubus who looks like she had command authority. The problem was that neither of them had a way of taking her prisoner. Lann only had lethal arrows in his quiver and Kayden didn’t have any Merciful spells and couldn’t one-shot her anyway.
The 2 of them return to camp. More brainstorming results in the PCs resting for the night and Quinnlyn memorizing Touch of Mercy. She would have to join the next scouting mission since the spell wouldn’t last long enough to allow Lann his ambush shot. She would have to take off her armor for the scouting mission since otherwise she would make too much noise.
The 3 of them move invisibly back and wait for a moment when the succubus was alone. Finally Quinnlyn casts Touch of Mercy on Lann who launches a full attack on the succubus. Poor luck on attack rolls left the succubus barely conscious but Kayden uses a hero point to break her Spell Resistance and Magic Missiles her unconscious. Kayden quickly teleports everyone back to the camp with the prisoner.
The succubus is Geas’d and released. A little while later, the demonic armies start moving away toward the Qlippoth swamps. Apparantly it didn’t take much for them to take a chance to attack their ancient mortal enemies.
After the attack was underway, the PCs quickly buff up and approach the command tent. Jaruunicka and her team were waiting. Jaruunicka laughingly states that the PCs did her a favor since she didn’t want any witnesses to how she was going to crush the PCs. The battle erupts.
It becomes apparent that Jaruunicka and her team was more powerful than the PCs and well prepared for them with Communal Resist Cold. The Lamia Matriarch was quick with Haste to buff her side and Slow to remove the PC’s Haste. She made an impact throughout the fight by dispelling Kayden’s Mirror Images, Dimension Anchoring Ramirez and Kayden to stop their teleport tricks, and Ray of Enfeeblement to greatly weaken Valin.
The surprise members of Jaruunicka’s team were a Hezrou Ranger who greatly hampered the PCs with a Blasphemy spell before being killed by Lann, and Silent, a hidden hobgoblin Ranger archer who did terrible damage to Quinnlyn and Lann before Lann kills him in a very impressive wave of archery.
Tolo does his part in hurting Quinnlyn and taking out Lann, but it was Jaruunicka who did the lion’s share of the work, taking out Quinnlyn, Ramirez, and Valin in succession but not before Valin healed Quinnlyn conscious. Valin, Ramirez, and Lann all had to spend 2 hero points to cheat death due to her destructiveness. Apparently a hag cleric buffed up with Divine Power and Righteous Might and able to cast Harm spells and with Fury of the Abyss and Scythe of Evil was a pretty tough opponent. Go figure. :)
Eventually there is only a greatly weakened Quinnlyn and Kayden left while the other side still had Jaruunicka, the Lamia, and Tolo left. Kayden was still mostly functional, but he didn’t have mirror images up and was dimension anchored so he couldn’t escape to get help. Jaruunicka offers surrender to Quinnlyn who sees the writing on the wall and agrees to surrender. Kayden follows with his own surrender.
As Jaruunicka’s team gathers the prisoners and starts the process to disarm them, Baron suddenly appears with Jerribeth. He says to Kayden, “Sorry buddy, but you’re far more important to the Crusade than I am.” He then makes a Wish. “I wish that Kayden, Ramirez, Valin, Quinnlyn, and Lann are all safely inside the Desnan shrine with Arueshalae the Succubus.” Jerribeth looks disgusted as it’s pretty clear that Baron had tricked her into thinking that he was betraying Kayden and was going to screw him with the Wish. It was pretty apparent that Baron had sold his soul to Jerribeth for the Wish, but the peaceful smile on his face as he transitioned to Chaotic Good from Chaotic Neutral showed that he thought the sacrifice was worth the price no matter what horrific torments Jerribeth would put him through.
The PCs then are transported into the Desnan shrine. Apparently the Wish had a couple of other beneficial side effects as it protected the PCs from the Forbiddance effect on the shrine and also restored all PCs who were below 2 Hero Points to exactly 2 Hero Points.
They meet a sad looking but regal Succubus who introduces herself as Arueshalae. The PCs introduce themselves as well.
Arueshalae explains that she was a vile sinner but contact with Desna had made her see the light. She had done much evil in her existence but was determined to make up for all her prior acts.
She stated that due to her change in outlook, she had lost of number of demonic abilities including teleport. It was apparent that even if she could teleport, she was pretty discouraged as she didn’t feel that any place would accept her as all the various factions such as Crusaders, Barbarians, and Siabrae Druids would kill demons on sight.
Arueshalae states that she had killed many demons to protect the shrine, but she couldn’t hope to defeat Jaruunicka and her team alone. She also says that Jaruunicka always kept at least one Wish in reserve for emergencies and would have replaced any lost team members by the time of the next fight.
Brainstorming between her and the PCs resulted in a plan. Arueshalae and Quinnlyn would together draw off 2 members of her team, leaving the remaining PCs to fight her and only 2 teammates instead of all of them at once. That should greatly improve the PC’s odds for the next encounter.
End Session 64
Further brainstorming between the PCs and Arueshalae results in a slight change in plans. Ramirez will replace Quinnlyn to help Arueshalae.
Arueshalae will try and split off either Jaruunicka or 2 of her team. A mass fight with everyone might prove problematic since Jaruunicka would be greatly strengthened by the Lamia’s spells.
Arueshalae predicts 3 potential scenarios:
1) Jaruunicka would attempt to follow by herself. With Ramirez in ambush, the 2 of them would fight her 2 on 1.
2) 2 of Jaruunicka’s team would follow. It would be a 2 on 2 fight and Arueshalae and Ramirez would stay and fight.
3) Jaruunicka would take 1 of her teammates to pursue. In this scenario, Ramirez and Arueshalae would flee after drawing them away from the rest of the fight. Jaruunicka was too powerful to fight if there were equal numbers.
While this was going on, the rest of the PCs would attempt to kill off whoever didn’t pursue.
The plan works. When Arueshalae appears, Jaruunicka becomes impatient and chases her alone. The PCs wait a bit for Jaruunicka to leave and then attack the rest of her team.
They see the Lamia, Tolo, and a Vrock wearing a breastplate. The 4th member of their team was hidden, but Kayden casts See Invisibility immediately and spots Silent who was apparently raised from the dead by Jaruunicka.
PCs have learned from the prior fight. This time, Kayden immediately dispels the mirror images on the Lamia and Valin and Lann quickly put her on the ropes. Valin is surrounded by the Lamia, Vrock anti-paladin, and Tolo and is quickly in dire straights as he takes immense damage and 8 pts of Wis Drain from the Lamia’s touches. Lann is forced to shoot Tolo as Tolo and Silent focus on him, viewing him as the biggest threat.
Kayden finally takes down the Lamia with a lightning bolt but Silent takes down Lann, forcing him to use 2 hero points to cheat death. Lann however had greatly weakened Tolo and an empowered boneshatter from Quinnlyn takes him out. Silent puts Valin down with a flurry of arrows, but Valin successfully plays dead as his Heroic Defiance spell keeps him conscous.
Finally the Vrock anti-paladin is taken out and Kayden offers surrender to Silent. Silent is outnumbered 3 to 1 and badly hurt at this point so he drops his bow and surrenders.
End Session 65
Jaruunicka furiously chases Arueshalae who leads her into a trap with Ramirez waiting. They both turn and fight. Jaruunicka views Arueshalae as the biggest threat after seeing what she had done to some of her demonic troops and immediately moves to disarm her. Arueshalae gets her bow back but finds it difficult to get a clear shot as Jaruunicka puts up multiple Wind Wall spells to protect against arrows.
Ramirez and Jaruunicka trade melee attacks and a critical hit by Ramirez forces Jaruunicka to use a Heal spell on herself. That saves her life as Arueshalae finally gets a clear shot and does 147 damage to her. Ramirez rolls poorly and can’t hit her to finish her off.
When the rest of the PCs teleport in, Jaruunicka decides she has enough and uses Word of Recall to get away.
End Session 66
PCs discuss what to do with Arueshalae. She fears that every faction in the Worldwound area would kill her on sight. The PCs brainstorm for a bit and Ramirez suggests that she stay at Cayden Cailen’s shrine that was recovered in session 34. Cayden Cailen and Desna were close allies and his priesthood should be willing to accept her as long as Ramirez explains the situation.
Ramirez teleports to the shrine with Arueshalae and a minor diplomacy roll gets the Cayden worshippers to agree to grant her sanctuary.
The rest of the PCs teleport to Drezen and try and figure out what to do with Silent. They figure out that Silent has some info about Jaruunicka’s safe houses, but probably doesn’t know the one where she is hiding out. They offer him his life for cooperation, but it’s clear that he’s a mercenary and killing is all he’s good at. To him, life in the dungeon might as well be a death sentence. PCs are reluctant to hire an evil assassin like him so they Geas him to stay in the dungeon quietly until his trial.
A few days later, the PCs teleport to the Cayden shrine and talk to Arueshalae. They find that the garrison isn’t very happy with her around since while they accept that she’s not malevolent, they find she’s a wet blanket. None of them feel like drinking or partying with her around and her earnest sincere attempts to repent for her past sins. Ramirez assures them that he will make it up to them and promises them a barrel of his finest brew.
Arueshalae is a font of information about Xanthir Vang and how the organization works. Xanthir Vang apparently only had minor concerns with the Crusaders. He was mostly concerned with a rare crystal mined from the Abyss called the Nahyndrian Crystals which could be distilled to form Nahyndrian Elixirs. Drinking these Elixirs would either kill a demon or make it much more powerful. He was working on a process to refine the process so it was more efficient. This means using less crystal to form the elixir, lower the fatality rate of demons taking the elixir, and increasing the power gained by any demon imbibing the elixir.
Xanthir Vang apparently had a safe house which was secured against teleportation. Nobody could teleport in or out of the safe house, but they could teleport within it. Arueshalae warns that Xanthir is a very brilliant wizard, second only to Areelu Vorlesh in intelligence in her experience. He would move the safe house if he was sure the PCs knew about it. She didn’t know what sort of army he had, but he did have the command authority to have a very large army if he felt he needed one. He also consults with Jerribeth, Staunton Vhane, and Jaruunicka at the safe house.
PCs ask about Baron’s fate. She frowns and says that Jerribeth is not the type who enjoys being tricked even though she loves tricking others. She says that Jerribeth will make Baron regret every moment of his existence for the next century and that she probably took him to her lair in the Abyss.
Arueshalae mentions that both Xanthir Vang and Jerribeth have a boss who keeps both of them in line. Her name is Hepzamirah and she is rumored to be Baphomet’s daughter.
PCs realize they need more info about Xanthir Vang’s safe house. He had apparently cleared it for over a mile around the safe house and had patrols everywhere. The PCs would be spotted long before they got to the safe house even with invisibility due to their general lack of stealth. They have to find out more information before they can strike.
PCs first ask Nia if she and Nirmal could scout out the area. Nia says it’s too dangerous with someone like Xanthir Vang around. Only a Great One could do so successfully without risking death or capture.
PCs brainstorm. Kayden is in favor of making a deal with Silent. In exchange for freedom 1000 miles away, Silent would spy and gather the info. Silent is important enough that his presence in the area wouldn’t draw too much unwanted attention. There would be a Geas placed on him as well to ensure his cooperation.
Valin doesn’t like the idea of releasing an evil killer like Silent and decides to try and bargain with the Siabrae druids. Kayden teleports him outside the Druid forest. At first the undead treants outside wouldn’t let him in, but he eventually persuades them to lead him to the Siabraes. After a long labyrinthine passage, he finally gets an audience with 3 Siabrae Great Ones. The Siabraes state as the price of their help that Valin and Quinnlyn must deliver to them 6 pounds of Nahyndrian Crystals after they defeat Xanthir Vang. Valin and Quinnlyn are then unceremoniously dumped outside the forest.
PCs discuss their options. Valin is leaning toward the Siabrae offer and Kayden wants to make the deal with Silent. They eventually agree that the deal with Silent is probably safest, but no decision would be made without further thought and discussion.
End Session 67
PCs decide after some discussion to offer Silent a way to rehabilitate himself. With good service, he could eventually be a full citizen of Drezen. Silent mulls the offer, but it doesn’t really allow him the freedom to do what he is best at; killing things.
PCs put Silent under a Zone of Truth and determine that if paid, he will not betray his employer. They pay him 5000 gold to scout out Xanthir Vang’s defenses. PCs decide that a willing helper would be better than a resentful person under Geas. Silent will return in a week, but he will not guarantee that he will provide useful info. He will only guarantee a good faith effort to get the info. It will take him a week to get the info.
Valin is very unhappy with his marriage. Klarah is never around Drezen, preferring to do lots of hands on work in learning to become a merchant lord. She is channeling her loveless marriage into becoming a workaholic in learning all the tricks of the merchant trade and list of contacts from Horgus, but it’s clear that Drezen’s supply lines will be in good hands if anything happens to Horgus. Valin secretly loves Kamilo. He thinks that given a chance, Kamilo would return his affections, but it would not even occur to her to interfere with a lawful marriage, especially between 2 people that she greatly respects and admires.
PCs go to visit Arueshalae. Ramirez is a bit alarmed at the low morale of the Cayden worshippers at the shrine. Valin takes Arueshalae for a little talk away from the garrison which allows them the freedom of at least a bit of wine and unhealthy but delicious food away from her mildly disapproving but somehow terrifying stare.
Jonal appears, saying that he had a dream from Desna that he was to appear here and guide a certain important personage into learning the ways of Desna. It was a good place for him to be useful with his powers unstable and out of control at the moment.
After a week, Silent returns and details the defenses of the stronghold. The walls of the stronghold were 20 feet high, just high enough so that anyone without a reach weapon could not hit someone at the ceiling, but anything with reach could do so. Xanthir Vang didn’t trust demons, so his personal bodyguards would be constructs who would have enough reach to hit anyone at the ground or ceiling. Silent warns that Xanthir Vang had an ace in the hole that Silent couldn’t figure out because he didn’t want to get within Xanthir Vang’s presence. Silent asks for 1000 gp more to setup a landmark where the PCs could teleport to within 100 feet of the stronghold. This uses up almost all the rest of the PC’s gold. It will take him 3 days to set it up.
PCs go to visit the orcs where they find Irabeth and Anevia enjoying a quiet moment together. Irabeth had made some strides in beating some of the worst behaviors of the orcs out of them and guiding them into being more like the barbarians. The barbarians were the best group of people to pattern the orcs after and hopefully over time, the orcs would start adopting the barbarian ways and traditions. The PCs ask for Anevia’s help and she agrees, but it’s clear that she’s a bit reluctant to leave Irabeth at the moment.
PCs brainstorm and Ramirez scrapes up 1000 gp by selling some wands to ask questions from Peri. She gleefully pockets the gold and in the course of questioning finds out that Xanthir’s bodyguards were Golems, there were multiple types of golems, there were no anti-paladins in his presence, and there were no traps of any sort, mechanical or magical.
PCs decide they need a big bruiser to deal with golems. They ask Mano. Mano is willing to help, but he suggests to Kayden that this would be a good opportunity to mend fences between Valin and Jirel. He suggests that Jirel be the one to go with the party. Kayden makes the suggestion to Valin who is initially reluctant and almost offends Mano, but catches himself in time. He agrees to the suggestion.
End Session 68
Xanthir Vang – Extremely powerful and brilliant Wizard. Became a Worm that Walks after his death.
Jayna arrives in Drezen. She shows Kayden some of the tricks in quickly pulling Rods into and out of a Handy Haversack. She says she’s been doing some research and found a way to recharge Kayden’s scale. It would involve drawing some power from the other 3 scales. She also mentions that the scales would completely fail if used against any entity who was a more powerful caster than Terendelev was.
Kayden mulls the offer but rejects it despite Valin and Quinnlyn’s urging, not wanting to weaken the other scales. Jayna leaves disappointed, but accepts Kayden’s decision.
PCs go to Wintersun Hall and get Jirel’s permission to allow Valin to enter. After Kayden explains the importance of the mission to kill Xanthir Vang, Jirel agrees to go on the mission.
Silent returns and tells the PCs that he killed 3 woolly mammoths in a small cluster and left his arrows in them in a pattern. It would look natural to the demons since he was known to practice his skills in targeting anything he could shoot. The 3 dead woolly mammoths would be the landmark for Kayden to teleport to. Silent asks for 1 gold piece per PC as a retainer as an assurance that he wouldn’t skip town. He did state that if the PCs didn’t return in 3 days, he would assume they were dead and would leave on his own.
PCs have to figure out how to enter a secure area like the stronghold. Silent says a skilled lockpicker could get in, but it would take time which would allow patrols of drake riders to attack. After some discussion, Kayden sells off a rod in order to buy a scroll of disintegrate.
Kayden gathers the party and can’t quite understand Silent’s drawing of his landmark. The party goes through a series of painful mishaps and land just outside the Siabrae forest with a single dead woolly mammoth with no arrows in it. Kayden tries again and lands in a completely unfamiliar area with another single dead woolly mammoth. Kayden is disgusted and returns to Drezen vowing to try again the next day. He doesn’t want to enter combat with too many of his more powerful magics already expended.
The next day, Kayden finally gets it right and gets the party underneath the woolly mammoth bodies out of sight of the patrolling drake riders. The PCs decide on a hasted dash toward the stronghold and almost make it but a sharp eyed drake rider spots them and a fight erupts.
There are 2 drake riders, a retriever, and 2 babaus defending the area. Jirel immediately massacres the retriever in a single round while Quinnlyn hurts a babau with a spear of purity. The drake riders charge in and do some significant damage to Quinnlyn and mild damage to the rest of the party but Kayden disintegrates a section of wall and then when the rest of the party enters the stronghold, seals it off with a wall of force leaving the drake riders and their drakes outside. Only a single babau was able to get in to warn Xanthir Vang.
Inside, the PCs find a series of weak encounters that either die quickly or run away due to being much weaker than the PCs. They find a room with 3 strange alien entities that were dissecting dead bodies, but decide to avoid the encounter despite the clear evil of the entities since they wanted to be at full strength before fighting Xanthir Vang.
PCs enter a room and find Jerribeth, Staunton Vhane, and Kiranda. They are sorely tempted to attempt to kill the mocking Jerribeth, but decide that Xanthir Vang was more important. Clearly this would be a major fight with 3 extremely powerful entities and even if the PCs won, they would have no resources left to fight Xanthir Vang. All the PCs refuse Jerribeth’s playful offer of granting a wish to them.
Eventually the PCs find Xanthir Vang’s room and hastily buff up before combat starts. They find Xanthir Vang’s ace in the hole as he apparently had 3 simulacra of himself with each of the 4 Xanthir Vangs plus a different golem at each of the 4 corners of the room. The 4 golems were an iron, stone, clockwork, and leviathan. Also here was the solitary babau demon who was part of the outside force opposing the PCs.
Combat erupts. Xanthir quickly hits the PCs with Waves of Exhaustion and puts Jirel in a force cage. He summons 3 babau demons who greatly damage Quinnlyn who is forced to heal herself. Kayden and Ramirez attempt to put as many area effect spells as possible on Xanthir and manage to greatly hurt him which forces him to use a limited wish to heal himself. Eventually Jirel breaks down the forcecage and then destroys the stone golem and leviathan in a single round in an awesome display of destruction. The other golems are whittled down but do significant damage to Valin who is forced to run away to be healed by Quinnlyn. Meanwhile Xanthir is blasting the PCs with empowered fireballs but does relatively little damage since the PCs have 30 pts of resistance up, but a failed save by Quinnlyn results in her shield being broken. The fireballs also get rid of the babaus that he summoned earlier. The simulacra are somewhat annoying in getting rid of the PC’s haste, dispelling a few spells, and shooting magic missiles, but they are definitely much weaker than the real thing and quickly turn into mere nuisances.
Eventually Xanthir loses most of his defenders and decides he can’t win. Xanthir’s defensive setup come back to haunt him as he cannot teleport out of the stronghold. Instead he discorporates and his component worms start dropping into various cracks in the floor. PCs have to hunt him down again in the citadel, but both sides have been greatly weakened by the fight. It’s clear that Xanthir Vang will try to rally any remaining defenders in the fortress except for Jerribeth who gleefully wants him dead so she can take over.
End Session 69
Aldrus – Siabrae Druid
Hand of the Inheritor – Iomedae’s Herald
Bomaris – Bloodrager from the Wintersun clan
PCs spend a little time in recovering from the fight. They then go track down Xanthir Vang and find him in the room with the 3 Brain Collectors. The scene is daunting as in addition to Xanthir and the Brain Collectors, there is is a Derakni and a Kalavakus demon as well as no less than 8 half-fiend minotaurs in the room.
The PCs are in dire straits as the Kalavakus immediately enslaves and dominates Jirel. It becomes a numbers game as all the monsters can focus on just the 4 PCs who are very low on resources. PCs do whittle down the monsters, slowly taking down minotaurs but the PCs are being whittled down as well as each of them are taking terrible damage. Xanthir Vang also summons 3 babaus to add to their woes.
Eventually things look very bleak. The PCs are out of area effect spells and all their higher level magics and all of the PCs are down more than half their HP. Xanthir still has about half his HP although he was very low on spells as well. The 3 brain collectors were still around as well as the kalavakus, 1 minotaur, and 1 babau.
At this time, Silent shows up out of hiding and massacres Xanthir Vang from surprise. He laughingly declares that he never liked Xanthir anyway and asks the PCs if they got their money’s worth from the 1 GP each of them paid him. PCs agree they definitely got their money’s worth.
The 3 brain collectors see Xanthir Vang dead and decide they don’t need to continue fighting. They ask the PCs for a truce so they can leave the castle and return to their homes. PCs are very diminished and are very tempted by the offer, but Valin refuses and wants to fight to the death. He wants Silent to join the fight since the fighting would be very scary if he didn’t join, but Silent charges 5000 gp to fight. The PCs agree and after Ramirez dispels the domination on Jirel, it becomes mop up on the remaining foes.
Valin suggests searching the entire castle, but Kayden is appalled at the idea, not wanting to run into Jerribeth, Staunton Vhane, and Kiranda in their current very weak condition. Silent also refuses since he is not suicidal. The PCs decide to go to Xanthir Vang’s room to grab as much Nahyndrian Crystal as possible and then immediately flee the stronghold as soon as they can.
Valin and Jirel take the first steps toward reconciliation. Valin can now enter Wintersun Hall or Althings without asking for permission from her first.
PCs finally return to Drezen where they see a bustle of activity. They are immediately summoned to Nerosyan and they see Jayna with Marhevok and Mano who grabs Jirel. Apparently the barbarians were summoned there as well.
PCs arrive outside Nerosyan and are pulled into the palace. Inside, they see Queen Galfrey along with Khraigorr Half-Face, a Siabrae Lich Druid who is introduced as Aldrus, and a glowing angelic entity who the PC clerics recognize as the Hand of the Inheritor, Iomedae’s personal Herald!
Queen Galfrey looks tired and a little diminished but she looks happier than the PCs have ever seen her. She explains that while pretending to be held by the Siabraes, a grand alliance was forged between herself, Khraigorr, and the Siabraes. Galfrey also called the Hand of the Inheritor as well since the mission was so vital. Apparently when Areelu Vorlesh created the Worldwound, she used a book called the Lexicon of Paradox and then tore out the pages for the ritual so that nobody could ever undo her work or recreate the ritual. She then hid the Lexicon. The Siabraes got wind of its location, but they needed a mighty party to be able to recover it and they couldn’t afford to let the demons get wind of the plan since Areelu Vorlesh herself would be sure to intervene if she had any inkling that anyone was after the book. With the book, there was hope to be able to actually close the Worldwound and end the war.
Galfrey (currently a Gray Paladin due to her association with the Siabraes), Khraigorr, Aldrus, and the Hand of the Inheritor then managed to adventure and recover the book. That explains why Galfrey would apparently abandon her responsibilities for the last few months and why the Siabraes were so secretive about the matter since they couldn’t afford to risk the chance that Areelu Vorlesh would find out.
Khraigorr briefs various barbarian leaders such as the Wintersuns and Huron and Gherne in the same manner.
Galfrey is happy at the news of Xanthir Vang’s death and declares this was the moment to strike. She was tired of being on the defensive all the time against the demons and declares that it was time for a counter offensive. She needed to borrow the Sword of Valor from Drezen to launch an attack on the demons and draw their attention. She assured the PCs that the Siabraes and Barbarian clans would join in the defense of Drezen if demons attacked.
While the demonic attention was diverted by the Crusader offensive, the PCs needed to go on a secret mission.
There was a place in the Abyss called the Nahyndrian Refinery that refines Nahyndrian Crystals into Nahyndrian Elixirs. That place must be destroyed.
There was a portal from the Nahyndrian Refinery to Golarion that also must be destroyed. Hopefully the PCs could use closing this mini-portal as practice and gain valuable knowledge when it comes time to close the Worldwound itself.
Finally in their travels, Galfrey found out that Baphomet and Deskari were making overtures to Nocticula to try and set up an alliance. If Nocticula agrees to join the other 2 demon lords, all of Golarion would be in trouble since she was thought to be one of the 5 mightiest demon lords after Lamashtu and probably about as powerful as Baphomet and Deskari combined. The alliance must be disrupted at all costs.
Apparently the other 2 demon lords needed Nocticula since Nahyndrian Crystals were mined from dead demon lords and Nocticula’s realm had over 30 of them as she specialized in killing other demon lords. Each demon lord she killed was turned into an island in her realm. Her realm would thus be a rich source of Nahyndrian Crystals.
Galfrey then says that she is temporarily abdicating the throne and putting Sophia in charge of Mendev. Galfrey says she is needed in the front lines since the mission was so vital. She would also need Valin to stay behind instead of going to the Abyss with the rest of the PCs since she needed someone she trusted for urgent tasks that she couldn’t handle herself.
A bloodrager from the Wintersun clan named Bomaris volunteers to join the other PCs into the Abyss to replace Valin for the mission.
End Session 70
Kenemen – Divine Scion and noted demon hunter
Galfrey continues briefing the PCs about their new mission. The Nahyndrian Refinery would be the main target. The PCs needed to investigate, find information about the fortress and their leaders, and then mount a strike to destroy the Refinery. A very prominent paladin named Yaniel had already tried to investigate the fortress and was missing and presumed lost. Yaniel was the former owner of Radiance which was very worrisome since she would’ve never voluntarily have abandoned the weapon.
The next mission would be to close the Midnight Portal near the Refinery. The PCs would be given a page from the Lexicon of Paradox and taught a ritual to close the portal. The ritual would have to be done simultaneously on the Material Plane. That task would be take care of by Galfrey, Khraigorr, Aldrus, and the Hand of the Inheritor who would fight their way to the Golarion side of the portal and draw away the demons’ attention from the PC mission.
After the portal is closed, the PCs will have to visit Nocticula’s realm and convince her not to ally with Baphomet and Deskari. PCs ask about the possibility of simply killing her, but Galfrey looks appalled and warns them that Nocticula was far too powerful and would destroy all of them easily if they attacked her directly. She was said to be about as powerful as Baphomet and Deskari combined. It would have to be a negotiation.
Khraigorr claps Bomaris on the back and tells him not to dishonor himself, his clan, or the Kellids of Sarkoris.
PCs wonder where to begin in investigating the Nahydrian Refinery. Aldrus overhears them and suggests that they contact some of the demon-spawn that they’ve consorted with in their adventuring.
PCs start with Arushalae. They see her teaching Jonal some of the finer points of his powers. The 2 of them seem to be putting the Cayden worshippers to work in upgrading the defenses of the shrine. The worshippers were hard at work but looked unhappy, sorta like a kid being forced to eat their vegetables. It may be good for them, but they weren’t happy about it. They were drinking water instead of wine while working.
PCs ask what info Arushalae had on the Refinery. She said that there were 3 main leaders. There was the head of research who was Othirubo’s former master. The 2nd leader was a powerful lamia matriarch named Ursathalla. Her mindset was kinda strange, but Arushalae couldn’t exactly pinpoint why. Arushalae didn’t have any info on the 3rd leader, but that entity was the head of the fortress and would presumably be the most powerful of the 3.
Arushalae offers to help the PCs on their mission. She can setup a spiritual link with each PC, but she warned them it might be dangerous. She was a succubus and could crush their wills through the link. There would be a temptation for her with such powerful souls who she could manipulate directly. PCs are uneasy at the thought, but Jonal states that he has faith in her. He proposes that the PCs setup a Geas on Arushalae that she wouldn’t abuse the spiritual link and the PCs agree that this was a good safeguard.
Quinnlyn refuses the link, thinking it would violate the tenets of her faith. Kayden, Ramirez, Bomaris, and Anevia accept the link. It turns out that Arushalae would be bolstering their health (+2 Con) and would provide a free group hero point once a day that anyone with the link could use. Arushalae did warn the PCs not to use that aid in the presence of any demon lord, especially her former mistress Nocticula since any demon lord could trace the link and find her if it were actively used.
Ramirez talks to Arushalae privately. He compliments her on her restraint and redemption so far, but points out that she has been unconsciously manipulating the Cayden worshippers due to her sheer force of will and awe inspiring charisma. Arushalae agrees now that this was pointed out and promises to leave the shrine with Jonal after the defenses of the shrine had been bolstered. She would have to work on toning down her presence when in front of other people.
PCs then teleport to Drezen to talk to Othirubo. He seems to have changed greatly as he was dressed like an Asmodean and the weight of responsibility showed on his face. He was still evil, but was moving toward being lawful.
PCs ask what he knows about the Nahyndrian Refinery and his former master. Othirubo states that his former master’s name was Mutasafen and he was extremely dangerous. He could do a lot of damage in a hurry. He also liked constructs to defend him. He wasn’t quite as paranoid as Xanthir Vang, but would have at least as many construct defenders with him as live defenders. Othirubo suggests that the PCs contact Peri. He laughingly wonders whether Peri was Aravash’s familiar or if Aravash was Peri’s familiar.
Kayden then takes this time to set up the town hierarchy while he was in the Abyss. He appoints Kenemen, a noted demon slayer who had some sort of past history with Kayden, as acting mayor. Hana would be acting vice-mayor, then the next in line would be Kamilo and then finally Othirubo.
PCs then contact Aravash and cut him off before he could object by stating it was a matter of life or death. The get him to agree to contact a number of Riftwardens for information about the Nahyndrian Refinery and the Abyss. Aravash tells them to come back that night.
When the PCs return, they see 7 hooded Riftwardens. Aravash tells the PCs since they stated that it was extremely urgent that they had to get a new source of info and presents Faxon to them. Faxon smirks and tells the PCs not to worry about payment. He was getting paid quite handsomely by the Riftwardens.
He gives some further info on the leadership of the fortress and finally gives a name for the ultimate leader. Minagho. He tells them that she is a Lilitu demon and extremely dangerous. PCs want the exact location of the fortress, but he said he need some time and money to find out. He demands 10,000 gold pieces. PCs use sense motive to determine that he wasn’t lying. He did need time and money, but there was room to negotiate on the money. They haggle a bit and wind up with a final price of 5000 gold pieces.
PCs wait a day. Faxon sends the info through Aravash and the PCs learn that the Refinery would be located about 5 miles Northeast of the Midnight Portal. Using that fixed location as a starting point would make it easy to find the Refinery. The message also states that there would be a bunch of ash giants and demodands as guards. Also Ursathalla would most likely have lesser lamias with her.
End Session 71
The Fulsome Queen – Vain Omox demon
PCs plane shift to the Abyss. The area seems to be filled with canyons and rifts. There are thousands of vrocks flying in the air who seem to be ignoring them for the moment.
Ramirez uses his Find the Path spell to locate the Midnight Portal and the PCs travel there as a starting point for their travels. As they explore near the portal, they hear murmering from a cave. Inside, they see 20 ash giants bowing and praying to an unseen but apparently very beautiful entity. The PCs debate what to do and Kayden suggests simply walking up and introducing themselves. The PCs have enough power that they might be able to beat 20 ash giants if things get hostile and could teleport away if they were going to be overwhelmed.
PCs walke up and are met by the ash giants. They decide to take the PCs to their queen.
The PCs meet what appears to be a succubus, but she was made of excrement and refuse. She preens and introduces herself as the Fulsome Queen and asks the PCs if she was not the most beautiful entity that they’ve ever seen. Kayden thinks quickly and agrees, heaping praise on her. The other PCs play along. The Fulsome Queen smiles and coos. She touches Kayden’s face several times, gives Bomaris a full hug, and runs her excrement laden fingers through Quinnlyn’s hair. Only Anevia and Ramirez are left unscathed by her.
In conversation, The Fulsome Queen mentions that she was annoyed by the fortress since they were enslaving her ash giant worshippers. She also tells the PCs that they shouldn’t fly more than a few feet above ground since the vrocks would take exception to anyone sharing their airspace except for a few entities who had an informal agreement with them. The PCs were powerful, but they obviously couldn’t fight off thousands of vrocks. She finally tells the PCs the exact way to get to the fortress.
As soon as they get away, Kayden casts a drench spell to clean everybody up.
Bomaris uses his survival skill to determine that the PCs could take a direct but more dangerous route to the fortress, or a more roundabout but safer route. The PCs decide to take the longer route.
The travel is very slow as the PCs are harassed by minor Abyssal predators and have to travel slowly and cautiously. PCs setup watches with Bomaris and Anevia first. Kayden and Ramirez would be next since they needed only 2 hours of sleep with their rings of sustenance.
After the first day, it was apparent that the mountains in the distance were moving. The mountains seemed to be moving in a way to block the PCs from the fortress. The PCs take shelter in a cave while they discuss their options. The cave seems to have a disgusting flesh tone to the walls. Eventually the PCs realize that the cave was the throat of some sleeping monster and hastily leave.
Anevia suggests that since the mountains would keep following and blocking the, that they should simply walk up and confront the mountain. The rest of the PCs agree with the suggestion although they weren’t quite sure how they would go about fighting a mountain.
The PCs walk up to the mountain and a fight erupts. Some knowledge rolls from the PCs let them determine that they were fighting a Carnivorous Blob and 2 Riftcreepers.
The enemies do some serious damage at the beginning with each Riftcreeper landing 6 tendril hits immediately, but they pose very little actual challenge. The PCs are victorious with only a summoned shield archon as casualties as it was crushed and killed by the Carnivorous Blob.
PCs find a place to rest and are only about 1.5 miles away from the fortress.
End Session 72
PCs determine that the Nahyndrian Refinery is too big to take on at once. They decide on hit and run attacks to soften the defenses while they work toward defeating the 3 leaders.
The first thing they need to do is to prepare an escape route and safe house. They decide that the cave they’re staying in is suitable, but they use disintegrate spells to collapse the entrance. There is only a 1 day supply of air in the cave, but 2 party members have a necklace of adaptation and don’t need to breath. The PCs decide to memorize Life Bubble spells for the other 3 members every day so that they could shelter in the cave if necessary without fear of suffocation. Quinnlyn also memorizes Word of Recall so that there are now 3 people with the ability to escape if necessary if things go bad.
PCs decide for their first assault to take a direct approach. They teleport to the outer wall of the fortress and Kayden disintegrates it.
They quickly run into a tough encounter of 2 ash giant barbarians, 2 tarry demondand fighter 1s, and 2 babaus.
The PCs are on the ropes early as Bomaris is taken out by the 2 raging ash giants. Ramirez is next as after the babaus dispel his barkskin and shield spells, he is vulnerable to their attacks. A combination of Anevia and Kayden finally take down 1 of the ash giants.
The demodands prove to be highly dangerous with their faith stealing strikes and staggering criticals with 2 keen kukris disabling Quinnlyn for most of the fight. She forgets to use her ring of blinking which would’ve mitigated much of the damage, but she does provide significant contributions by using channel to bring Bomaris up from unconsciousness multiple times. An ash giant finally does a full attack and forces Quinnlyn to spend 2 hero points in cheating death. The babaus are annoying by casting dispel magics, but otherwise don’t do anything significant.
The enemies and PCs slowly whittle away at each other. Kayden is constantly zapping the foes with area effect spells and avoids most damage due to his mirror images while Anevia is pumping the enemies with arrows and Bomaris is landing the occasional hit each time Quinnlyn revives him. Finally at the end, the last demodand takes down Anevia with a full attack but Bomaris retaliates and takes him down with a full attack.
At the end, only Bomaris and Kayden are conscious and Bomaris has very little health. Kayden hastily teleports everyone away to the safe house and revives Quinnlyn who heals everyone to full health.
PCs take stock and determine that frontal assaults wouldn’t work with the power level of the defenders. They need to get to the 3 leaders as quickly as possible.
PCs resolve to take an ash giant prisoner so that they would have a better idea of how to assault the fortress. They manage to sneak into the kitchen of the fortress and chase away some minor incubuses and capture the ash giant cook, using breath of life to revive him after Bomaris nukes him with a full attack.
After questioning the cook, they determine that the ash giants in the fortress were charmed by Ursathalla and could potentially be freed with dispel magics. He also tells the PCs where Ursathalla’s office was located in the fortress. When questioned about powerful entities in the fortress, he mentions Mutasafen and Ursathalla plus a human woman who wanders around but gives no further details about her.
PCs are pleased by the answers and teleports him away where he is free to be able to join the Fulsome Queen.
PCs make another attempt to sneak up on the kitchen and Anevia stealths up and finds 10 ash giants eating. Ramirez tries for a grand slam and spends a hero point on a greater dispel magic to free half of the giants from the charm effect but rolls low and fails. PCs hastily teleport away, knowing they would get crushed if they try to fight that many ash giants.
End Session 73
Ursathallah – Lamia Matriarch Sorcerer. Head of Security at the Nahyndrian Refinery
PCs discuss and decide to use the information gathered from the ash giant cook to assassinate Ursathallah.
They teleport near the fortress roughly where her office was and disintegrate another hole in the wall.
The first room just had low level defenders that were easy to dispose of, but the next room was much tougher.
As they entered Ursathallah’s office, they see her with 2 lamia lieutenants and 2 kalavakus demons.
The fight is extremely brutal as the kalavakus demons haste the enemies and cause problems for the PCs by staggering them. The 2 lamia lieutenants turn out to be a magus and fighter. They rapidly cripple key party members with 2 wisdom drains from the fighter and 3 wisdom drains using haste and spellstrike from the magus per round.
The PCs have a hard time hitting the lamias since they all had mirror image up. Ramirez and Kayden persistently roll low in dispelling their mirror images but eventually succeed. At this point, Bomaris and Anevia were reduced to catatonic stupor by the wisdom drains. Quinnlyn’s wisdom was reduced to the point where she could only cast 2nd level spells. However a combination of Kayden’s breath weapons and area effect spells plus Ramirez finally getting in position to launch full attacks turns the tide and the Lamia group was finally defeated.
Kayden and Ramirez hastily teleport back to the safe house, taking Ursathalla’s body for later questioning with a speak to dead spell.
End Session 74
Red Scar – Ash Giant spy working for the Fulsome Queen
The remaining conscious PCs take stock and don’t like their situation. With Quinnlyn unable to cast higher level spells, the party has only a single Life Bubble spell available. Plus if they are ambushed, there would only be 2 party members able to fight since Bomaris and Anevia were out and Quinnlyn would have very little effectiveness.
After some consultation, they decide to go back to the Fulsome Queen to seek shelter. Kayden teleports the PCs to her cave but has to leave Ursathalla’s body behind since he didn’t have enough weight limit to take her with the other PCs.
None of the 3 conscious PCs want to negotiate with the Fulsome Queen directly for aesthetic reasons. They finally decide on a rock paper scissors game with the loser having to negotiate. Kayden is the loser and grudgingly walks into the cave to negotiate.
It's as bad as he expected as she coos with pleasure at the news of Ursathalla’s death and the secret to freeing her ash giant followers. She showers Kayden with disgusting hugs. She agrees to provide shelter and protection for the PCs and further agrees to give them a Favor if they complete the job to free all her ash giant followers and destroy the fortress.
The remaining PCs go into the cave where the Fulsome Queen proves to be surprisingly helpful as she turns out to have Oracular powers and restores all lost wisdom from Bomaris, Anevia, Quinnlyn, and Ramirez. She did have to spend 18-36 seconds in a disgusting excrement covered embrace with each person she healed, but the PCs had no choice but to grit their teeth and accept being slimed. They did all profusely thank the Fulsome Queen and praise her beauty. As she preened and displayed different excrement flavored hairstyles for them to look at, Bomaris and Kayden both agree that the medusa hairstyle look was the best suited to her beauty. :)
As they talked, they received a lot of helpful information from the Fulsome Queen. The enemy were taking counter measures against the PCs. They had summoned or called numerous earth elementals to find the PC’s safe house using their earth glide and tremorsense powers. Due to the security risk of the ash giants, they also had assigned an incubus or succubus handler for each ash giant so that they could reassert control if necessary if the PCs broke their control.
She said that she had a spy in the enemy camp. An ash giant named Red Scar who had pretended to be under control. If the PCs mount an attack, they could look to help from Red Scar. She asked that the PCs minimalize casualties among the ash giants as much as possible since they were not operating under their own free will at the moment.
A very useful piece of information was also offered by the Fulsome Queen. She mentioned a gigantic room with a piece of machinery called the Grinder. It was powerful enough to grind through adamantine and was used to grind down Nahyndrian Crystals to a fine powder to eventually be distilled into elixers.
PCs are first given a room in the nursery, bumping the ash giant children from the room. Kayden quickly drenches everyone in the room multiple times to clean themselves off from residue of the Fulsome Queen’s affections. After that, they get permission from the Fulsome Queen to disintegrate another room in the cave complex to have their own secure area and allow the ash giant children back into the nursery.
Quinnlyn tries to word of recall back to their cave to recover Ursathalla’s body, but the word of recall fails. Kayden speculates that the earth elementals found the cave and collapsed it and decides it would be far too risky to try another teleport there.
In the morning, the PCs decide on another frontal assault on the fortress. They again teleport next to the fortress and disintegrate a hole in the wall. Ramirez casts Find the Path to find the nearest path to the Grinder. They easily clear a bunch of minor encounters on the way, using 3 more disintegrate spells to blow through walls and doors. On the way, they meet Red Scar who uses the opportunity to butcher his incubus handler and joins the group.
The Grinder is located at the center of a vast sprawling room. It is a gargantuan piece of machinery that covers 20’ by 20’ and is vast enough to provide full cover to anyone behind it. The 4 corners of the room also had gargantuan sized statues or machinery.
Inside the room was 3 ash giants, 2 advanced elder earth elementals, 2 succubus, and an incubus.
The fight was relatively easy as the PCs focused on dispelling the ash giant’s domination. There was a great deal of movement as everything was spread apart. Anevia did suffer a great loss however as she was dominated by a succubus and forced to drop her bow and lie prone. An earth elemental took that opportunity to shove her and her bow into the Grinder. Anevia did make it out of the grinder alive (barely), but her bow was shredded into confetti.
Red Scar was forced to kill one of the opposing ash giants before the PCs could break its control. He was dropped by an earth elemental but barely survived unconscious. A shield archon summoned by Quinnlyn did save his life earlier when it traded positions with him when he was surrounded by both earth elementals. That shield archon was later shoved into the Grinder and almost killed before being dismissed by Quinnlyn.
The PCs start the process of destroying the Grinder but are interrupted almost immediately by Mutasafen. PCs don’t want to fight him after blowing most of their dispel magic and disintegrate spells and teleport away with all freed ash giants.
End Session 75
PCs rest up. Anevia makes arrangements with the Fulsome Queen to gather materials so that she can create or trade for an impromptu bow to replace her destroyed bow.
PCs decide to take Red Scar instead of Anevia for the next assault on the Grinder while Anevia is crafting a new bow.
PCs teleport to Ursathalla’s office first which is abandoned. Anevia finds and disarms a few traps and then discovers a hidden room. PCs find some correspondence between Ursathalla and Areelu Vorlesh including 4 scrolls of sending which can send a direct message to Areelu Vorlesh! PCs wisely decide not to use any of the scrolls at the moment since they don’t want to draw Areelu’s attention.
PCs teleport to the grinder where they are met by a very strong defense force of Nalfeshnee, Seraptis, Glabrezu, Kalavakus, and 2 Elder Earth Elementals.
This becomes a very long grueling fight that lasts 12 rounds. The PCs quickly focus and take down the Glabrezu before it was able to Power Word Stun them, but lose Red Scar to a domination from the Kalavakus who orders him to toss his weapon into the Grinder and then sit down and do nothing for the rest of the fight.
The Nalfeshnee proves to be the biggest problem, dazing Bomaris and causing him to be staggered for 10 rounds which greatly reduces his damage output. Bomaris is quickly on the ropes from the 2 earth elementals before Quinnlyn summons a Shield Archon who swaps places with him to save his life.
The Seraptis and Kalavakus are eventually taken out, but not before dealing a great deal of damage to Ramirez.
The Earth Elementals go wild in using grapple and awesome blow to send PCs into the grinder. At various times, Quinnlyn, Bomaris, and the Shield Archon were each almost chewed up with only Quinnlyn’s ring of blinking saving her from death and Bomaris and the Shield Archon nearly dying before getting out.
The elementals slowly get whittled down until it was finally just the Nalfeshnee left vs 4 very weakened PCs. The Nalfeshnee decides the odds are too great against it and it teleports away.
PCs manage to destroy the Grinder before any reinforcements arrive.
PCs are completely spent with virtually all their higher level magics cast and they decide to retreat.
End Session 76
Mutafasen – Terrifying Cambion Alchemist. Head of research at the facility
PCs decide that Mutasafen would be their next target. They are warned by the Fulsome Queen that he is extremely powerful and can deal a great deal of damage in a short period of time.
PCs take Anevia who has finished crafting her bow and use greater magic weapon to enchant the bow to a useful level. The only loss is that the bow wouldn’t be holy.
PCs manage to teleport to the grinder room without being spotted and have Anevia scout ahead. She finds an area that she’s pretty sure would lead to Mutasafen but it is guarded by a Nalfeshnee and a handful of babaus.
PCs easily clear that encounter with just a few buffs dispelled by the babaus and Nalfeshnee. However this fight does give Mutasafen time to buff up as well.
The fight against Mutasafen turns into a disaster as he is able to lob 5 force bombs each round with haste and rapid shot, almost killing Anevia and then forcing Ramirez into spending 2 hero points to cheat death from full health in a single round by doing 177 damage and being able to hit even rolling 2’s. PCs know they are completely outmatched and decide to retreat with Quinnlyn taking Anevia away with a word of recall and Kayden taking Bomaris and Ramirez’s body with a teleport. PCs don’t do any damage at all to Mutasafen or his forces with Mutasafen’s displacement protecting him from a potential critical hit from Anevia.
If the PCs had stayed another round, Quinnlyn and Anevia would’ve been taken out by Mutasafen’s iron golems and elementals and Mutasafen would’ve killed Kayden. That would’ve left just Bomaris facing Mutasafen plus all his forces which would’ve obviously been impossible to win.
PCs retreat back to the Fulsome Queen’s cave where they heal up and take stock. They find out later that Mutasafen decides to leave the fortress since it’s apparent that the PCs will never leave him alone and that he’ll never be able to rebuild the grinder with the PCs around. He seems to be a bit like Aravash where research is the most important thing to him and he’ll avoid situations where research would be interrupted.
The Alchemist class seems far too powerful at higher levels and will be banned until further notice. Mutasafen will go into retirement and will not return for the rest of the Adventure Path unless I decide to rebuild him as another class. Alchemists have an almost autohit with touch attack bombs, and even the splash damage from their bombs adds up if they land 4-5 hits each round. 177 damage was done by Mutasafen in a single round without even landing a crit which is quite possible since he has improved critical.
End Session 77
Back in Drezen, Valin and Kenemon are assessing the situation. Valin requests that Sosiel sends a messenger to Nestrin in Kenabres and see if there were any important news.
Nia interrupts them to report that 2 dragons, a green and white, were flying to attack Drezen when they were intercepted by Great Ones and beaten off. They didn’t do any significant damage, but did escape the Great Ones safely. Clearly the Siabraes were honoring their word to Kayden to protect Drezen while the Sword of Valor was gone.
Sosiel’s messenger returns with a message from Nestrin to report immediately.
With Kayden in the Abyss and Baron unavailable, the only person who can teleport available at the moment is Aravash. Kenemon, Valin, and Sosiel gather Aravash who grumbles a bit but agrees to be their taxi service, stating that he needed some supplies and research in Kenabres anyway. PCs grab Aron to round out their party.
In Kenabres, the PCs except for Aravash (who is having a Riftwarden meeting) meet Nestrin and Yarick and see a gruesome sight. For once Yarick didn’t taunt or smirk at Valin as he had a grim face and was clearly disturbed by the security breach.
Nestrin reports that Deacon with a strike team had attacked the shrine holding Millorn and slaughtered 20 paladins and clerics guarding the shrine. Deacon had dawdled around setting up his signature calling card by planting Iomedaen crusader arrows with blasphemous crude drawings in each body and desecrating them. While he was fooling around, a band of Proteans had arrived. The Proteans and Demons had a pitched battle which left some dead on both sides, but the Proteans had gotten away with Millorn.
Nestrin also confirmed the dragon presence and attacks on isolated patrols and settlements.
Nestrin grabbed Valin and tells him in private that Deacon’s attack had to be the work of a spy. While it was plausible that Deacon could’ve used Legend Lore or Commune to find Millorn’s location, the attack was way too precise. The attackers knew the exact layout of the defenses and how powerful each defender was and their capabilities.
Valin suspects Nura since as a bard, she had great informational capabilities. Nestrin did point out that Nura had fought valiantly on the crusader side, possibly saving the lives of hundreds of soldiers. Valin suggests that it’s possible that the spy might be coerced into the act.
Before they parted, Nestrin cautioned Valin to keep the info quiet since it would hurt morale. Furthermore, the Iomedaen position in Kenabres was extremely weak with the loss of so many paladins and clerics. Yarick could completely wipe them out if he were inclined.
Valin shares part of the info but not all of it with Kenemon.
Valin tries to find Klarah, but she isn’t around. He tracks down Horgus who tells him that she is in Cheliax to try and setup some business deals. The merchants closer to Mendev tend to set higher prices since Mendev was so desperate. She could get better prices in Cheliax as long as she fully utilizes the network that Horgus had set up. Valin requests to Horgus to have Klarah meet him in Drezen since he wants to repair his marriage with her.
PCs wait for Aravash to finish his business and meet him. Kenemon suggests ponying up the 1000 gold to Peri to get further info.
Aravash calls Peri who joyfully grabs the gold and answers their questions. Uncharacteristically, she was more helpful than usual and gave them more info than was asked.
PCs find out that Millorn was taken to the cavern underneath Kenabres where he started from. However he wasn’t there now but was taken to the Maelstrom with a portal left in the cavern. Deacon and his strike team was sure to be hunting him down but his Protean defenders were extremely powerful. PCs also learn that the dragon attack was related to the gargantuan Woundwyrm dragon that they had briefly seen in session 41. Agmar was also supporting it although it was unclear whether he was doing it willingly or if he was coerced. At the moment the dragons weren’t allied with the demons, but it would clearly be an unmitigated disaster if they did form an alliance.
PCs debate which threat needed to be dealt with first. Both the Proteans and Dragons were bad news. Dragons were the more immediate threat to Drezen, but the Proteans were potentially the bigger threat to Golarion as a whole.
Kenemon argues that the Dragons needed to be dealt with first since he had made a promise to Kayden to protect the city. Valin views both threats as equally vital, so he goes along with Kenemon since to him, it doesn’t matter what order the threats are dealt with.
Aron states that he is more than willing to help fight the Proteans, but would be of limited usefulness fighting dragons. Aron had to get up close and personal to do damage and dragons were simply too mobile and had too much reach for Aron to be useful. Kenemon suggests using Jirel to round out their party against the dragons.
End Session 78
Fire Scale – Draconic looking serpentfolk. Agmar’s brother.
Valin spends his time trying to improve his reputation with the farmers and merchants as well as Liotr. The farmers and merchants are not impressed by his overtures but he gets some grudging respect from Liotr who doesn’t like him personally but recognizes the good he does for the church of Iomedae.
Kayden’s previous work and outreach to the Siabrae Druids results in an improved attitude from them. Othirubo isn’t quite as impressed and maintains the same relationship as before.
Arune makes overtures towards the Riftwardens and Mongrelmen, but only the Riftwardens responds positively. He is able to direct them to use their magic in innovative ways to help the war effort.
PCs gather Jirel to round out the party.
PCs can’t directly teleport towards the site of the clash between the dragons and druids since Aravash had never been there before and must fly there using a bunch of overland flight spells from Aravash as well as Jirel’s natural flight from her draconic bloodline. They fortunately don’t run into any encounters before they get close enough where Jirel’s survival skill allows them to find the battle site.
They see some dead reptilian creatures as well as dead animals and elementals and even a dead storm giant. It’s apparent that the true dragons as well as the Siabraes kept themselves away from the battle and let their minions fight for them. The fight seemed inconclusive as both sides’ survivors retreated with no pursuit from the other side.
Jirel again uses her survival skill to track the draconic survivors. She finds that they retreated towards the serpentfolk lands (formerly the Ravenlord ancestral lands).
PCs decide to be diplomatic. At the outskirts of the serpentfolk land, they meet up with a serpentfolk patrol who agree to lead them to the leadership, although they did forbid Jirel from attending. The Wintersuns and the serpentfolk weren’t actively warring at the moment, but Jirel had killed many serpentfolk in the past and feelings were still hard between the tribes. Jirel agrees, stating that she would have the exact same policy if a serpentfolk hero who had killed Wintersuns was asking to enter Wintersun lands. Jirel and Aravash retreat toward Wintersun Hall while Valin, Kenemon, and Sosiel proceeds ahead.
PCs meet the serpentfolk leadership and see a red dragon looking serpentfolk named Fire Scale as well as S’thath, the renegade serpentfolk sorcerer last seen in session 59. They had a few menacing looking Syricta bodyguards with them as well.
In the negotiation, the serpentfolk apparently had received an offer of alliance with the dragons to fight the druids and their allies, with the dragons appealing to the fact that they were both scaly folk and have far more in common with each other than with the warm bloods.
PCs ask Fire Scale what it would require to make peace with the druids and/or Drezen. Fire Scale replies that Drezen can make peace with the Dragons by breaking their alliance with the Druids. As for the Druids, he declares that the only way there could be peace would be if the Druids returned every piece of dragonhide armor that they had ever created. There would be no peace as long as the Druids wore the hide and scales of the friends, family, and ancesters of the dragons.
PCs are pretty sure it would be fruitless to try and convince the Druids to return the armor and they have no intention of breaking the alliance with them since it would leave Drezen open to assault by the demons. They buy some time by saying that they would take the message to the Druids and are given a week to do so by Fire Scale.
Sosiel notices that Fire Scale has some of the same features and birthmarks as Agmar, the red dragon encountered in session 26. Valin questions Fire Scale who says Agmar is his brother and a disappointment who must be periodically punished. When Valin asks how they could be brothers, he replies that his red dragon sire had mated with both a dragon and a serpentfolk. Fire Scale asks Valin pointedly if humans never mate with multiple partners.
PCs return to Drezen where they decide how to proceed. Kenemon suggests trying to find Agmar first so that they could get some important info about the draconic plans and leadership.
PCs contact Peri again and are especially nice to her. She preens happily but still collects the 1000 gold from the PCs. After asking her some questions, the PCs learn that the demons and dragons don’t yet have an alliance and they learn the region where Agmar was located. It was the location that frequently rained body parts such as eyeballs.
Aravash hasn’t been to this region either, so the party must fly there as well and fortunately avoids an encounter yet again. They get zapped by one lightning strike before Aravash figures out the pattern and timing of the strikes and gets the party through without incident.
PCs must rest and Jirel uses her survival skill to form makeshift tents out of the body parts strewn around to protect themselves from the storms. Fortunately, no predators were wandering around and the PCs are able to rest without incident.
In the morning, they start tracking Agmar and are able to find him easily. He is in the process of killing a few elementals and it’s clear that he had already killed some animals. Aravash is able to use his Knowledge Arcana skill to determine that he was under a Geas. As Agmar finishes off the elementals and turns to attack the PCs, they teleport away back to Drezen since they had no means on hand to break the Geas.
PCs discuss and Aravash says he can break the Geas since he can cast limited wish in the morning. PCs are able to wheedle Aravash into paying for the cost of the limited wish himself instead of collecting from the PCs.
The next day, the PCs teleport back to Agmar without incident. They are easily able to find him and see that he’s in a deadly fight with Nia and Nirmal and losing badly. As Nia is about to deliver the death blow, the PCs intervene and stop her. They convince Nia and Nirmal to back off, but it’s clear that the two of them are not happy about not slaying an enemy and collecting a trophy that they could make into more armor for the druids.
PCs convince Agmar to return with them and place him in his former lair in Castle Drezen. They notify some of the senior leadership and champions in the town about Agmar’s presence but make sure that the general populace does not know about him.
After questioning, Agmar reveals that he was a disappointment to his father and Fire Scale. Fire Scale had ordered him to slaughter a village and take all their valuables, but Agmar had thought it’d be more profitable to terrorize the villagers and collect tribute instead. That way they’d have a continuing income stream that over time should be more profitable than killing everyone and never collecting any more wealth in the future. Fire Scale was angered by the disobedience to his orders and Geas’d Agmar to slaughter the village anyway. He then put the Geas on Agmar to fight the druids and slaughter their animal and elemental servants.
PCs learn some more info. It was apparent that Agmar had mixed feelings about Fire Scale as his brother had at times protected him but other times had bullied and punished him. PCs learn that the overall leader of the dragons was a powerful female Woundwyrm named Scorizscar who had a council of chromatic dragons. Scorizscar had laid low for the most part when Terendelev was around, but with her death had decided to fill the power vacuum by gathering other dragons and their followers to form their own faction for mutual protection and power. Agmar stated that part of their offer to the Serpentfolk tribe for alliance would be to help them slaughter the Wintersun clan in exchange for their help in fighting Drezen.
PCs discuss what to do with Agmar. Valin wants to reform him and have him become a defender of Drezen. Kenemon doesn’t oppose the idea, but then gets into a very heated discussion with Valin. Kenemon wants to leave Agmar in his lair indefinitely until the dragon issue was resolved, no matter how long it would take, for security reasons. Valin doesn’t want Agmar cooped up for possibly months at a time and would rather free him than put him in what amounts to jail.
Neither side would budge from their position until they finally reached a compromise. Valin would choose 3 “babysitters” to keep watch on Agmar and keep him company. They realize that the babysitters would be needed anyway as even if Agmar was amenable to staying cooped up, red dragons were very mercurial and he might change his decision in the future.
Valin picks Kamilo as one of the babysitters, but fails in getting Lann and Gherne to agree since both of them were too busy to babysit. He then gets his foster mother, Rita, to be the 2nd babysitter and finally manages to convince Jonal to be the 3rd babysitter.
End Session 79
PCs determine to speak with the Siabrae Druids to see if they would be willing to negotiate with the dragons. They first reach out to Nia who’s still a little miffed that she was cheated on her kill of Agmar.
Nia is a bit hostile. Valin wants her to feel included in the decision making of the city. However when he asked about her opinion of Agmar staying in Drezen to be rehabilitated, she states that her opinion is that Drezen shouldn’t harbor a dragon who had killed some of the allies of the Druids. Valin states that he will take her opinion, but says he would still keep Agmar around unless other events force his hand. Nia is angry that Valin was talking about everyone’s rights being equal, but that he clearly feels that some people are more equal than others and that he is one of the “more equal” people making the decisions. Nia is also angry about being asked to give up her protections in battle and scoffs when Valin says he would be willing to fight the demons if forced to give up his metallic armor, stating that he would retrain to fight in lesser armor if necessary. He asks her if getting a powerful ally might be worth giving up her armor. She asks him if he would send his men into battle against the demons in wood or hide armor even if it gained an ally.
She does agree to mention the dragons’ demands to the Siabrae Great Ones.
PCs don’t really have much leverage on the Siabraes. Valin mentions to Kenemon about the Nahyndrian Crystals as a bargaining chip, but Kenemon counsels that they shouldn’t mention the crystals unless absolutely necessary. It would be frightening to find out what the Siabraes could do if they researched the crystals and had a sample to work with.
The next day, 6 Siabrae Great Ones actually visit the town. PCs are taken by surprise since they expected to have to visit the Druid woods. The townsfolk are extremely uneasy and terrified at the sight of the powerful undead druids.
The PCs and Siabraes discuss. The Siabraes state flat out that they would not be willing to give up the dragonhide armor. The Great Ones had less need for it, but it was essential for the lesser druids such as Nia and Nirmal and the later generations. When told about the Serpentfolk being offered an alliance to destroy the Wintersuns, they gave a warning. The PCs are to tell the Serpentfolk that if they attacked the Wintersuns who were close allies of the druids, 6 Siabrae Great Ones would go to their lands and exterminate them completely. They would even wipe out the eggs and young Serpentfolk as well, leaving not a single one alive.
Kenemon asks if the Siabraes had any other concerns. They answer no which Kenemon interprets as them not personally caring about a younger dragon such as Agmar, feeling that he is beneath their notice. Any problems regarding Agmar would only involve Nia and Nirmal, not the Great Ones.
PCs are a bit chilled at the threatened genocide and the absolute confidence that the druids had in accomplishing it. As the Great Ones left, they went to the town square and left 2 lifelike statues of a young couple. Aravash is easily able to determine that these were live people who were turned to stone. The townsfolk are even more terrified.
Valin wants the statues removed, but Aravash and even Sosiel refuse to help, feeling that the Siabraes left the statues for a reason and that they didn’t want the Siabraes as potential enemies. Kenemon counsels that they should find out the story behind the statues before acting.
PCs teleport to Wintersun Hall and prepare to journey to the Serpentfolk lands again. Jirel insists on joining this time since this is a matter that could engulf the Wintersuns in a major war. The party meets a patrol of Serpentfolk and Valin tries to diplomatically negotiate passage for Jirel. The serpentfolk refuses but Jirel then directly threatens them with wrath from not only the Wintersuns, but their Siabrae druid allies as well. That threat works and the entire group is allowed in.
PCs meet the Serpentfolk leadership and see Fire Scale and his bodyguards as well.
PCs try to negotiate, but when Fire Scale hears that the druids wouldn’t give up the armor, he states flatly that there is nothing to negotiate.
PCs manage to get Fire Scale to agree to let them have a private chat with the Serpentfolk leadership and Kenemon mentions the Siabrae Druid genocide threat. However, Kenemon isn’t used to threatening people and the serpentfolk leaders look unimpressed. The serpentfolk suggest that the PCs present Fire Scale with a Challenge. They would agree to terms with the winner since it would be made clear which group was stronger.
Valin presents the Challenge to Fire Scale and negotiates the terms. It would not be to the death and both sides could pre-cast spells before the fight. If the PCs win, the dragons would have to stop attacking Drezen. If Fire Scale won, the PCs would have to stop fighting the dragons. Valin at first wanted to add in a condition that if the PCs won, Fire Scale and the rest of the dragons would have to leave Agmar alone and not make any attempts to retrieve him. But Fire Scale countered that to have that be part of the Challenge, then Valin would have to return Agmar to him if his group wins. Valin doesn’t want that to be part of the stakes so he withdraws his condition.
The serpentfolk have some oracles and clerics ready with Breath of Life spells to restore any of the fallen.
Fire Scale’s party includes himself, 2 half-dragon Syrictas, and 2 half-dragon Gugs.
The fight begins and the PCs find themselves hard pressed. The Syrictas prove to be highly dangerous and repeatedly overrun PCs, knocking them down and causing lots of damage. Fire Scale causes immense problems, spamming Greater Dispel Magic 4 times in a row and getting rid of key protections and buffs including a blade barrier cast by Sosiel and an elemental summoned by Aravash. Inexplicably, Aravash doesn’t use his Quicken or Maximize rods, probably due to lack of experience with serious combats.
PCs manage to eventually take down the 2 Syrictas after a great deal of effort but it takes a great deal of time since it proves difficult to land full attacks and Valin and Kenemon are forced to heal instead of attacking for numerous rounds. Jirel does land a series of critical hits in consecutive rounds.
Fire Scale starts using empowered fire spells and devastates the PCs, causing first Kenemon and Aravash, and then Sosiel and Jirel to fall. Eventually it becomes an undamaged Fire Scale and his 2 damaged Gugs vs just Valin who becomes overwhelmed and becomes the last to fall.
End Session 80
Scorizscar – Female Woundwyrm dragon. Leader of Dragon Council
Snaggletooth – Female Tiefling dragon hunter
PCs are woken up by a Serpentfolk oracle who was tending to them after the battle. As they prepare to return to Wintersun Hall, a gargantuan Woundwyrm dragon shows up. Her stature and presence shakes Aravash.
Scorizscar attempts to persuade the PCs to ally with her instead of the Druids. She warns them that the Druids are not their friends and are far more evil than the dragons. She points out that the dragons and humans have far more in common than humans and undead would have.
PCs are not persuaded. While they have some sympathy for the draconic point of view, they figure that the druids are close allies and significantly more powerful. They don’t want to betray the druids for another evil faction.
PCs eventually return to Drezen. Jirel stays behind at Wintersun Hall to oversee the defenses of the Hall in preparation of a possible attack from dragons and serpentfolk.
Valin and Kenemon are met by Rita who tells them in private that Agmar is not the typical red dragon. He seems to genuinely not want to kill unless necessary, making up excuses to justify this heretical (from a red dragon) point of view such as when he first met the PCs and extorted some money from them to leave them alone.
They decide to track down a lead about dragon hunters in Drezen. Aravash teleports them to Nerosyan to find Mr XYZ, the crimelord from session 57. Meanwhile, Aravash will investigate the 2 statues that the Siabrae druids had left in the prior session.
Kenemon gets a spectacular Knowledge Local roll and not only easily finds Mr XYZ, but even gets him to waive a portion of his normal fees by explaining the seriousness of the dragon threat. Mr XYZ tells them to look for a female tiefling named Snaggletooth who makes a living by hunting smaller and weaker dragons and then selling the body parts to various spellcasters and adventurers.
After Aravash returns to pick them up, he explains what he found about the statues. It appears that a farmer couple had agreed to the deal with the Siabraes but had regretted it afterwards. They had tried to steal their child back from the Siabraes and had gotten caught. Being turned to stone was a lesson for the other farmers and anyone else who had dealings with the Siabraes to never betray them.
Valin wants to remove the statues, but nobody wants to help. Kenemon tries to hire some townsfolk to move the statues back to their farm, but they are terrified and refuse no matter how much money he offers. When Valin tries to convince Kamilo to get the Iomedaens to move the statues, she refuses unless she gets permission from Galfrey or Sophia. She had the responsibility for dozens of people on her shoulders and doesn’t want to risk possible vengeance from the Siabraes unless authorized to do so.
Valin gets Aravash to take him to the Druidic woods where he is refused entry from the undead treants. They do agree to take his request to move the statues to the Great Ones. Valin learns that the druids are very busy and there was only a single Great One in the woods at the moment.
PCs next try to track down Snaggletooth. They find that she is on the hunt from other tieflings who don’t like the sudden attention they’re getting from such powerful adventurers.
PCs are visited by Nirmal who tells them that the Great Ones had decreed that the statues are to be left in the town center for a year and a day. Nobody is to move or do anything with the statues until then at which time they could do whatever they want with them.
PCs are steamed about the decree from the Siabraes but are very cautious about doing anything about it. Valin still wants to move the statues, but Kenemon, Aravash, and Sosiel refuse to help feeling that the farming couple did deserve their fate to at least some extent.
PCs are finally able to catch Snaggletooth as she returns from the hunt with small green and brass dragon carcasses. She was cackling with glee at the results of the hunt and laughing that the metallic dragons were worth far more since it was rare that she was able to kill one. PCs approach her and intimidate her into agreeing to at least temporarily cease her dragon hunts. A sense motive tells them that she intends to lie low for a while, but would return to the hunt sometime in the future when the heat dies down.
Kenemon did agree to purchase the 2 dragon carcasses for her asking price. Snaggletooth was relieved that he offered to purchase the dragons instead of simply confiscating them and sells them with a small discount for a package deal.
Kenemon toys with the idea of raising the brass dragon from the dead, but finds that enough body parts were missing to require a much more expensive resurrection spell. He decides to try to find the little dragon’s parents in the future and return the body to them.
Jonal sets up a conversation with the PCs and their Abyssal counterparts where each side catches up. Kayden tells about their successes in killing Ursathalla and destroying the grinder but doesn’t mention the fight with Mutasafen. Similarly Kenemon and Valin explains the situation with Millorn and the dragons but doesn’t mention their defeat at the hands of Fire Scale.
Peri interrupts them looking frantic. She tells them to go to Aravash and says it’s urgent.
Aravash looks worried and says that he heard through the Riftwardens that the druids had ambushed Fire Scale and his party and either killed or captured him. They were going to turn him into a lich and under their control. One of their great weaknesses was not having a powerful arcane caster on their side, so having a powerful sorcerer such as Fire Scale on their side would greatly increase their power.
For the moment, it looks like the Siabrae threats plus their defeat of Fire Scale had convinced the Serpentfolk to stay neutral.
Valin speculates on whether killing all the Great Ones would potentially allow the other druids to be redeemed from evil. Aravash states flat out that it would be a bad idea even if it were at all possible, and that any redemption would have to come from within. He says that it was the power of the druids that provided the bulk of the resistance against the demons and that the entire area would’ve already fallen without their aid. There were many demonic threats that the druids handle that the Crusaders, Barbarians, and Asmodaens never even hear about.
Arune teleports into town and has a conference with the PCs. He warns them that the killing/capture of Fire Scale would trigger major blowback from the dragons. The main Druidic Woods was too well defended and essentially unassailable, but the dragons would probably attack Drezen and some other target important to the druids. One attack would be a diversion and one would be the major attack. Scorizscar had at least 3 other major dragons in her council. A green, white, and Fire Scale’s father who would be a red dragon. Arune doubts that she has too many true dragons in the council, but even dragon minions such as gugs and syricta’s would be incredibly dangerous.
End Session 81
Arune calls a meeting of all the town leaders and champions. He states that he has mapped out how the fight with the dragons would go. The town has many powerful champions so it was possible that they might beat off the dragons, but it would be a very costly victory. Many of the dragons and their minions had area effects through breath weapons or spells. Plus the true dragons would cause havoc with their dragon fear. Even if the dragons lose, they would certainly take down the army, townsfolk, and probably the entire city with them. Also the demons had taken advantage of the situation to send a large force to threaten the Druid Woods. The druids could only spare a single Great One each to defend Drezen and Wintersun Hall.
When questioned whether they could fight the dragons without the army, Arune states that it would not be a good idea. They needed the army to draw attention and burn off a lot of attacks, otherwise the champions would be focused down by multiple area effects from the draconic minions. Evacuation of the town would also be impossible and hiding the civilians in the dungeon wouldn’t work since the dragons had minions that could burrow.
The PCs ask if there was anything that could be done about such a gloomy assessment. Arune turns the discussion over to Jayna.
Jayna says she had heard that not all powers of Good had been defeated by the demons. It was possible that a bastion of Good had survived the carnage. She had researched and found that there was a shrine of Pulura in the area and it wasn’t confirmed that the high priestess, Eliandra, was dead. There was hope that she was still alive. In the past before the Great Betrayal, Eliandra and her temple had held some influence over both the dragons and the druids.
The PCs must find Eliandra and convince her to intercede in the conflict. This would be a major gamble since without their power, it was much more likely for the dragons to defeat the defenders of the town. The PCs agree that they must take the risk as otherwise all they had fought for would be lost.
Jayna states that she and Marhevok could buy perhaps 3-4 days by negotiating with the dragons. As the son of Terendelev, Marhevok had a certain stature that Scoriszar had to respect.
Jayna introduces the Hand of the Inheritor and says that he must go with them since he was the last entity who had first hand knowledge of Eliandra and the shrine of Pulura. Valin is awestruck at the prospect of adventuring with the personal Herald of his goddess.
The Hand lets the PCs know that the shrine was hidden, but he would lead them to the general area. It was near the foggy plains where the dragons resided, but fortunately? the dragons were on the warpath and wouldn’t be around to intercept them.
PCs reach the area without any mishaps or encounters and proceed. They make good progress but eventually sees a large demonic presence. As none of them were particularly stealthy, they decide to have Aravash go back to town and pick up Aron. At this point, 2 days had been used up.
With Aron around as a scout, the PCs are able to avoid most of the demonic patrols until they reach an area that had to be the shrine. Aron is able to scout and finds an area where they would only have to fight a single group of demons. The PCs decide to attack.
The PCs run into a Shemhazian, Nalfeshnee, 2 Hezrou fighters, and 2 advanced Kalavakus demons.
The fights starts off disastrously as a blasphemy from the Shemhazian causes 9 str damage to most of the PCs and dazes a few of them. The Hand is focused upon by most of the demons and takes tons of damage only surviving from 2 heal spells from himself and Sosiel.
PCs fight back. Sosiel summons a pair of Movanic Devas who start spamming holy smites along with the Hand and Sosiel himself. These spells cause steady damage and manages to blind one of the hezrou.
Aron is very difficult to hit, but has a hard time inflicting meaningful damage to the demons, but does stagger a pair of them. Aravash turns out to be pretty useless as he can’t seem to penetrate any of the demon’s spell resistances, even the lesser demons. Valin and Kenemon find it hard to land full attacks, especially after the str damage, but do immense damage when they get one off.
The turning point was when the Shemhazian fails a save from a holy smite from Sosiel. It had taken a lot of damage up to that point and decides to teleport away. PCs then kill the kalavakus and a hezrou, but the Nalfeshnee is able to see through Aravash’s mirror images and forces him to spend 2 hero points to cheat death as it focuses all its attention on him.
At the end, the Nalfeshnee and a hezrou are able to teleport away as they determine the odds were too great against them with the Shemhazian gone. The PCs heal themselves and lick their wounds after the battle.
End Session 82
Eliandra – High Priestess of Pulura. Most powerful divine caster in the Worldwound area on the side of Good.
Meteor – Red Dragon. Father of Fire Scale and Agmar
After the fight was finished, the PCs quickly try and heal themselves but are interrupted by the Shemhazian and Nalfeshnee coming back with an army of 40 demons.
The Hand recognizes that this would be an impossible fight and leads the PCs through a rift in the ground that would lead to the catacombs underneath the shrine. Suprisingly the demons don’t follow.
It’s an area of deeper darkness that the Hand dispels. PCs see an antechamber with 2 doors. The Hand opens one of the doors and a greater dispel magic effect goes off and wipes out the PC’s deathward spells. At the same time, some green slime starts eating the Hand, causing 2 pts of con drain, and Aravash needs to use a scorching ray spell to burn it off.
There is further deeper darkness and the Hand tries to dispel it. However the deeper darkness is thrown up as quickly as the Hand can dispel the effect.
Eventually the Hand goes by himself into the room. As he goes in, the door slams shut leaving the PCs on the outside.
Aron opens the door, suffering some con drain before Aravash burns off the green slime. Sosiel puts a daylight spell to cancel the deeper darkness and the PCs see the Hand surrounded by greater shadows and a Nightwalker and Nightwing in the back. PCs think they are overmatched and prepare to flee, but decide to stick around for a bit.
The PCs focus their efforts on the greater shadows, eventually wiping them out. However, they swarmed the Hand and kill him with 2 critical hits landing on him. PCs do some damage to the Nightwalker and Nightwing, but they grab the body of the Hand and leave, cryptically remarking that they had what they were looking for.
PCs quickly go through the catacombs, eventually reaching a room with a door. The door had symbols holy to Pulura and Aravash and Sosiel were able to determine that there was a Forbiddance effect that kept the undead from approaching within 60 feet.
The door is locked and none of the PCs could open it. They determine that if they dispel the Forbiddance effect, they could probably get in, but were reluctant to possibly damage the defenses of the shrine.
Aravash decides to teleport in and try to negotiate. He teleports in, but doesn’t return. After an hour, the PCs at first decide to dispel the Forbiddance, but Kenemon gets inspired and bows down to the door and makes a sincere prayer to Pulura to open the door and let everyone in.
The prayer works and the door opens. The PCs enter the room and see an unconscious Aravash. There is a ghostly woman who welcomes them to the shrine. She mentions that the prophecy has been fulfilled and calls a pair of Ghaele Azatas to lead the PCs to Eliandra.
Eliandra is a stunningly beautiful regal Aasimar with an extremely powerful presence. When the PCs mention their quest, she states that it would be possible for her to help, but there would be price that had to be paid. Everyone in the party had to agree to pay the price, but she would not mention what the price would be.
Everyone except for Aron agrees to pay the price. Aron is reluctant, but eventually Sosiel cajoles him into agreeing.
Eliandra quickly dispatches some Ghaele Azatas to call Auzmezar and Scoriszar for a meeting. She uses a Miracle spell to bring everyone to the meeting.
Scoriszar looks stunned at seeing the legendary Aasimar. Eliandra speaks to Scoriszar and tells her that she is calling the Favor that Scoriszar owed her. She stated that when Terendelev was about to kill Scoriszar and her kin decades ago, it was she who intervened and stopped Terendelev. Scoriszar then acknowledged the debt that she owed.
Eliandra then speaks with Auzmezar and stated that when Terendelev and the Crusaders abandoned the druids decades ago, it was her and her seniors who stayed and fought at the side of the druids at a great cost as all of her seniors were killed in the struggle. Auzmezar acknowledged the debt that was owed.
Eliandra then proclaimed as payment of the debt that both sides must stop the war. She told both sides that the druids could keep the dragonskin armor they already had, but could not hunt dragons for more skins. If they want more skins, they would have to bargain with the dragons for the bodies of their dead.
A huge red dragon, Meteor, then shouted that the druids had kidnapped his son, Fire Scale. Auzmezar replied that the druids were not going to return him since it wasn’t part of Eliandra’s Favor, but Eliandra then proclaimed that if they were going to keep Fire Scale to serve them, they could not turn him into a Lich and had to give a druid to serve the dragons. Nirmal is chosen to serve Meteor as compensation and exchange of hostages for Fire Scale.
After the negotiations were finished, Eliandra turned to the PCs and stated that it was time for her to join the side of Pulura. She started rapidly aging and in seconds turned into a pile of dust. It was evident that her youth was only maintained in her shrine and it was sheer willpower that kept her going long enough to broker the peace outside the shrine. A price had to be paid for her aid, but it was she who would pay the price, not the PCs.
Sosiel sighed and remarked that a grand force for good was now gone from the fight against the demons. Pulura would also be greatly weakened in the forseeable future as her mightiest champion was now gone.
Valin now wants to reveal Agmar to the city but Sosiel counsels against it for the moment as it was too soon after the near war with the dragons. Valin speaks with Agmar who is ok with staying hidden for a while considering the alternatives.
Valin makes an overture to Nia, but she is stunned at the prospect of losing her best friend, Nirmal, and is unresponsive at the moment.
End Session 83
The Great Blades – Mercenary trio of permanently enlarged sisters. Murder machines
Big Blade – 1st Sister who uses a mightly 2 handed fauchard in combat
Mid Blade – 2nd Sister who uses a falcata and shield in combat
Little Blade – 3rd Sister who uses 2 kukris in combat
In the Abyss, the PCs take stock after the fight with Mutasafen. They determine that they need to do more training and upgrade their gear to have a chance of clearing the fortress. Fortunately, they learn that the Fulsome Queen has numerous contacts with various merchants and powerful spell casters who can trade for and/or upgrade their gear. The only exception is that her contacts wouldn’t touch anything holy and/or axiomatic or overtly dealing with Good deities. It would take 1-2 weeks for her to return with their gear.
The PCs by now have determined that while evil and somewhat barmy, they could trust the Fulsome Queen and agree to give her their gear to trade in and/or enchant.
In the following week, Anevia and Red Scar do some spying and learn that the fortress has replaced its head of security now that Ursathallah was dead. There was a cleric and a mercenary team with a fearsome reputation who have been known to kill a Marilith demon in the past. Based on Red Scar’s description, they recognize the cleric as Towlee, the cleric from sessions 33 and 46 with the pet Allosaurus. They remember that he worked for Zanedra, the summoner.
Ramirez asks Red Scar to provide a description of the fortress’s leader’s room so he can use his newest ability of Greater Teleport to get there, but Red Scar isn’t able to give a good enough description since the leader didn’t allow low level servants like him close to the room. He does state that it was somewhat close to Ursathallah’s office.
The Fulsome Queen returns with the PC’s new gear, all of it excrement encrusted as usual. She smiles and coos and insists on placing the filthy equipment on each PC personally.
The PCs hastily clean themselves off after she leaves with Drench spells and plan the assault on the fortress. They decide to take Anevia instead of Red Scar since a deadly archer is always useful and she weighs less than Red Scar who would require a 2nd teleport spell to transport.
PCs decide to teleport directly to Ursathallah’s office after fully buffing up. They encounter some minor demons who they easily destroy. Anevia scouts ahead and finds the path to what she thinks is the leader’s room.
PCs move toward the room but encounters Towlee and 3 giant triplet sisters decked out in full plate armor along with his Allosaurus wearing a breastplate. One sister has a fauchard, another has falcata and shield, and the third has 2 kukris.
Towlee smiles and states that he has unfinished business with the PCs and that he finally has enough power to destroy them utterly. The sister with the fauchard introduces her team as the Great Blades. She is Big Blade, the sister with the falcata and shield is Mid Blade, and the sister with 2 kukris is Little Blade. She asks the PCs for their names so that she can commemorate their names and deeds to the bards afterwards who will sing about this battle. The PCs give their names and the battle begins.
The PCs quickly are shell shocked by the sheer destructive power of the sisters. Anevia decides to Quarry Towlee and focuses all her efforts on him which does force him to Heal himself.
Towlee quickly summons a kalavakus demon who hastes everyone and then a vrock to provide flanking against Bomaris. Big Blade grieviously hurts Anevia who receives healing from Ramirez. Little Blade takes down Ramirez in an awesome display of power as her little curved knives hit harder than anyone can imagine based on their size. Bomaris quickly kills the allosaurus without taking any damage in return as Kayden dispels the kalavakus and vrock as well as Mid Blade’s haste. Quinnlyn heals Ramirez and buffs the party. Bomaris and Kayden do enough damage to Mid Blade to force Towlee to heal her.
Eventually, Big Blade hits Anevia hard, forcing her to spend 2 hero points in cheating death. In the same round, she gets 2 consecutive crits on Quinnlyn and forces her to spend 2 hero points to cheat death as well. Kayden recognizes that the fight was hopeless and uses a limited wish to gather the party together and then teleports away. Ramirez follows, taking Bomaris with him.
End Session 84