Rise and Fall of Arela

Session 34 Recap
Diplomatic A.F.

A quick glance through the door revealed the the royal chamber, filled with guards and courtiers and lots of other powerful-looking members of the court. Ignomine tried to push his way past the guard on the other side of the door, only to be told “You do not have permission.”

Thinking quickly, Drael summoned a Greater Image of the gold dragon guard they had just defeated and had it walk to the door to say “They have permission.” Nonplussed, the guard let the party through the door, though Polycarp elected to sneak through the door on the other side of the chamber.

The party briefly tried to quietly discuss their strategy, only for Ignomine to announce in a loud voice that he demanded an audience with the regent, the gold dragon and leader of the draconids Tamarind, titled “His Resplendence” and “King of Justice.” This was apparently not the best approach, as the loud demand scandalized the court. Ignomine pushed on, using every ounce of his diplomatic and negotiating skill to point out that the “King of Justice” was acting out of character, refusing to even meet with envoys from other nations and performing actions that would result in war, despite neither participant wanting it. This prompted some murmurs in the court.

Tamarind, however, reacted with rage and anger, considering it an insult and blatant insolence for someone to have the audacity to question him. Ignomine’s diplomacy kept things from escalating to blows, and it seemed some of what he said was getting through. Then, a dragon dressed as an advisor stepped forward and began whispering in Tamarind’s ear. Taking a gamble, Ignomine decided to advance and Detect Evil, revealing the advisor to have the same aura as the Vord and Tamarind infected with the same influence. Artas Menethar used his knowledge of the past to realize that the advisor was actually a Vord Construct, an artificial creation made to resemble a dragon.

The Vord Construct advisor instructed Tamarind, saying he “should not tolerate these insults” – and here the party’s luck ran out, as the regent responded “I agree.”

Taking that as his cue, Polycarp used his hidden vantage point to ambush the advisor with a blast of arrows, landing three and dealing devastating wounds that would have felled a lesser creature. Vyktor, with the help of Raven, cast Luck on him. With Polycarp’s unnaturally fast reflexes he was able to get off another round of shots, dropping the evil influence before it had a chance to act.

With the advisor down, Ignomine decided to try and purge its influence on the ruler, casting Protection from Evil, but the insidious spell had been in place too long and was too strong to remove. However, it appeared that Polycarp dropping the advisor was enough to render the king unconscious from the sudden shock. The guards advanced, ordering everyone to give him room, and a few moments later Tamarind regained consciousness and the vision faded.

Back in that vague whiteness, a voice revealed that in the past they were not able to detect and stop the Vord’s influence, resulting in a catastrophic war between the dragons and the other denizens of Arela and the eventual near eradication of the dragons on the continent. As their vision returned, Ignomine discovered he had a chain around his neck with part of a holy symbol key on it in the form of a golden circle.

The party then moved on to the next door in the complex shaped like a key, and once again found their vision blanked out before discovering themselves in a different time and place. This time, it appeared they were part of a marching army, serving as the delegation sent ahead. They were approaching city walls that they recognized as those of the city of Ceres; however, it appeared that the walls were held by a tribe of orcs. The party realized they must be observing the conquest of the continent when they recaptured the Great Cities from the native humanoid tribes that had been holding them ages ago.

Again one of the advisors among them gave them context, revealing that the army was on the move and hard pressed by hordes of undead, and that this fortress was their only avenue of escape. The entire legion was doing its best to make an orderly retreat, but they were on the verge of collapsing and suffering heavy losses; every moment of delay resulted in hundreds of soldiers’ lives. They needed to get through these fortifications if they were to even have a chance at survival, let alone if they were to succeed at retaking the continent.

Ignomine stepped forward to begin the negotiations, speaking to them in Orc, requesting that they open the doors and allow them inside. The Chieftain seemed surprised that they could talk, but refused. “Never open doors. Never anything from outside. All dead.” Ignomine continued, explaining their situation and that they were fighting the undead, but were close to losing. The cheiftain continued to refuse, insisting that because they were outside the wall it meant that they were undead and not to be trusted, that there were too many undead for anyone to fight without succumbing.

The other party members helped explain that they had an entire army, thousands of troops that were trying to cleanse the entire continent and make it safe again. The chieftain was dismissive, saying it was impossible for there to be that many people. Eventually, they worked out that they could only convince him if he saw it with his own eyes – so Vyktor and Drael offered to fly him high enough to see the 200,000 legionaires and the mass of undead they were fighting. When they returned, the chieftain was persuaded and the doors were opened, and the vision faded. As before, a voice revealed that in reality the desperate leaders slaughtered the orcs and took the gates by force, resulting in many needless deaths, and Ignomine found that the shank of a key had been added to the golden circle on the symbol around his neck.

The last door revealed Ignomine, alone, facing a heavily armored orc in a forest clearing, his compatriots no longer in evidence though they were able to perceive what was happening from that bright white interstitial space. It appeared that the orc was preparing for a one-on-one duel, and that this would determine if the armies of the continent could continue on their conquest west towards what would become the cities of Troy and Partha. Ignomine was now reliving the last moments of Legis Vigilium, and the duel that resulted in his death.

The voice and the orc revealed that the armies wanted to pass through orc territory, and that rather than resorting to a pitched battle they had agreed to a duel of champions. This would prevent a slaughter, but would still result in either Ignomine’s death or that of the orc leadership. Ignomine kept trying to figure out a way out of the duel, of killing the other orc, or dying, but there seemed to be no choice to avoid the fight – until he remembered the story of Legis Vegilium. With a start, Ignomine realized that there were no witnesses to the fight, and in a flash of insight realized that Vegilium hadn’t lost the duel, he had surrendered to save the humanoid tribes. Terrified but at peace, Ignomine sheathed his blade and knelt before the warrior. “You realize what this means, don’t you? You’ll die,” the orc asked. At Ignomine’s nod, he then took his blade and plunged it into Ignomine’s heart, and he felt himself die.

The rest of the party then found themselves back in the temple complex, sans one half-orc, but with the holy symbol left on the floor, completed. They made their way back towards the exit of the complex, but as they passed the curved wall with the key relief they saw it was now glowing. They placed the symbol in the recess, activating the sigil and opening the doors to the circular room. It revealed what at first they believed to be Ignomine standing in a heroic pose on a plinth, but was really just an inert statue. Vyktor, with a burst of insight, took the holy symbol and placed it around the statue’s neck and with a flash of light Ignomine was restored.

The voice revealed that Legis too had deliberately sacrificed himself to spare the nonhumans, and that the general of the armies had to go the long way around their territories. This explained how a supremely masterful warrior like Legis could lose to a capable but outmatched “primitive” and the general’s consternation at the loss. The voice also explained that only with friends and allies could the mission be completed – had the party not been present, Ignomine would have perished.

As a reward for completing the quest and regaining his awareness, Ignomine discovered that he now held a blazing sword of sacred might, a Holy Avenger elven curve blade. In addition, the holy symbol allowed the summoning of Lawbringer in times of great need.

Humbled and awed, Ignomine and the party made their way out of the temple and watched as the statue slid over the opening, then turned and made their way to their next destination.

Session 33 Recap

The party made their way back to the tavern room they’d been staying in, glad to finally be free of the dungeon. Since their appearance in the streets would likely draw unwanted attention (given that the Kharlus family assumed they were all dead) Drael went out to collect Ignomine’s items left in Content Not Found: gabriel office. Polycarp exacerbated their paranoia by telling everyone that guards were on patrol and looking for them, resulting in everyone spending a lot of time planning and preparing for a danger that wasn’t there. On Drael’s return he surprised everyone with a recent acquisition, a rat-person slave he’d purchased named Jinx and her mastiff-sized rat-dog pet, prompting a heated discussion about the support of slavery. Polycarp had also relayed some truthful information he’d discovered: the armies of Kharlin were clearing out the swamps south of the city, forcibly removing the kobold inhabitants.

Given this information and their recently gained freedom, the party attempted to contact Gaius Cerris using the water-bound coin, but to no avail. Uncertain if it was because he could not answer or if the magical barrier they’d moved through had damaged it somehow, they elected to continue on. Seeing as they didn’t know what they could do to help the kobolds and based on conversations he’d had with Father Gabriel, Ignomine suggested they’d check out the memorial to Legis Vigilium.

On the flight in their airship Retribution they were attacked by kobolds riding flying dragon-like creatures called jungle drakes. One managed to land on the deck and slammed Vyktor, piloting the helm, and Ignomine with a ball of lightning cast from an iron ring on his finger. Polycarp promptly one-shotted one of the flying ones with a barrage of arrows, sending the drake and its rider plummeting. Artas meanwhile challenged the one on the deck, distracting it long enough for Vyktor to turn invisible and escape. Ignomine attempted to attack it, but the now-pilotless craft made footing unsteady and he missed entirely.

Belowdecks, meanwhile, Drael, GS343, Godfrey, the dragon, and the other members of the crew had no idea anything was amiss, beyond the sound of a few heavy thumps on the main deck as the third rider-drake pair landed and attacked Polycarp, attempting to grab him in its claws and rend him to tatters. The drake that Artas had taunted charged over the wale on the poop deck to get to him, frustrating his rider’s attack on Ignomine. Polycarp was able to escape the grapple and set up a shot, giving Artas an opening to taunt the other drake and keep it away from Polycarp. Ignomine, meanwhile, continued to swing futilely at the rider as the ship careened out of control.

Drael, suspecting something was amiss, checked the grated hatch from below to discover a full on melee happening on the deck above him. Quickly assessing the situation he cast Enlarge on Artas though the grate, then called down a Flame Strike, severely wounding a drake but also catching their ship on fire. Polycarp took his prepared shot, knocking out the third pair’s rider and allowing that drake to wander away of its own volition. Drael summoned an Aqueous Orb, dousing the flames he’d started. The crew’s momentary worry at the damage was alleviated as the engine crystal momentarily hummed and a significant part of the charring was repaired. Meanwhile, hidden from everyone, Vyktor used a mysterious blood rite to extract one of the spells from the downed kobold spellcasters.

This would not be the end of their encounters on this trip, however, as they were shortly accosted by a Disintegration ray, discovered to have come from a mysterious flying human figure. Vyktor’s preternatural magical reflexes allowed him to react unnaturally fast and stun the origin of the spell with a Sound Burst, preventing it from getting a second shot. The stunned human drifted downward and aft as they raced past. A second flying man appeared, blasting Ignomine and Vyktor with a Fireball. With a quick order to get them out of there, GS343 slammed on the acceleration and quickly left the mages behind, probably part of the same Kharlin force harrying the kobolds.

The team finally arrived at the Memorial for Legis Vegilium, partway on the (not Great, just okay I guess) Causeway between Kharlin and Parth. Wondering where to land, they finally elected to pick a clearing some short distance away in the forest and make their way there on foot. Once at the memorial they found a group of traders resting in a clearing beside it. A quick conversation with them made it clear that nobody actually visited the memorial, a traditional looking marble temple with columns supporting a wide roof and a statue underneath. A quick investigation revealed why: when they approached the memorial, only Godfrey, Ignomine, and Raven were able to ascend the steps, while Vyktor and Artas found themselves physically unable to move forward. Polycarp and Drael meanwhile hung out with the traders. It appeared that only those who lived following the ideals of Legus Vigilium himself were capable of approaching.

Ignomine, Godfrey, and Raven went forward, inspecting the statue of the hero and its simple inscription:

Legus Vigilium
Company of the Southern Road
Opened Arela to Civilization

Dissatisfied that this was the only thing they could find, Ignomine used his recently reclaimed Hedge Wizard’s cloak to Detect Secret Doors, revealing a hidden entrance underneath the statue, but without any obvious way to activate the statue or move it out of the way. At a loss, he began to pray to Abadar – feeling a faint gust blow by, he turned to see Lawgiver standing behind him. “Only the Worthy may enter,” he intoned, leading Ignomine to have a minor crisis of faith on whether he was worthy or not, or if risking himself for this challenge was irresponsible given he’d need to prepare to stop the evil they’d unleashed with releasing Rovagug. Lawgiver was cryptic, but insinuated that completing this challenge would be necessary to complete that task. The construct went on, “Those that enter will be Judged,” and further explained that others might enter, but the judgement for their actions would fall upon the one who advocated for them. Raven and Godfrey, meanwhile, were flummoxed on who or what Ignomine was talking to.

A short conference with the group followed, Ignomine asking if his friends were willing to go through the trial with him, and if they were willing to at least try to observe the ideals that Vigilium followed to avoid. They did so, with some griping by Drael about almost getting killed the last time they’d encountered something like this. With that agreed, Ignomine led them onto the memorial plinth, the others no longer blocked by its magical field. He pushed the statue easily aside despite its massive size and led the part down the steps leading to the secret trial beneath.

The first room was strangely shaped, comprised of an otherwise bare hallway that looped into a big circle and leading to an exit directly opposite. This hallway then ended with two short branching hallways off to the right, which led Vyktor to realize made them in the shape of a Key. They also discovered a hidden sigil, which when touched whispered “For the worthy” in their minds. Seeing no other options they approached the first door, which whispered “Make sure you’re ready,” as they entered, and were suddenly blinded with a flash.

As their senses slowly returned, their vision fading in from white and their hearing returning from a high-pitched whine, they found themselves standing before an elf in military regalia. “…must secure peace. Remember our mission depends on it.” The rest of the party looked just as they had before, but the room they found themselves in wasn’t where they had walked in and was richly decorated with six statues of dragons with elemental magic blasting into the air above them in the cavernous room with enormous double doors at either end. After a short wait a side door opened and a humanoid wearing golden armor in the shape of a dragon approached them. With a perfunctory “No admission,” he stabbed the elf in the throat, leaving him to collapse in a heap at his feet. “Leave now,” he ordered, and turned as if in dismissal.

Polycarp immediately responded, but restrained himself to see what Ignomine would do. Vyktor had no such compunctions and attempted to cast Slow but to no avail. Again the guard ordered them to leave, but Ignomine went forward and used Breath of Life to restore their apparent leader for this expedition. With confirmation from the elf and the realization that their efforts might be necessary for a greater lasting peace, he then demanded an audience with the guard’s liege… whoever it was.

When the guard made it clear that he would not let them pass, the leash was released and Polycarp, Drael, Vyktor, and Godfrey loosed their assault. Polycarp punctured the guard with several arrows, Drael drained his power with Ennervation, Vyktor cast Debilitating Portent, and Godfrey… missed. Not to be outdone, the golden dragon guard responded a Ray of Exhaustion and Dominated Artas, trying to convince him to leave. Ignomine attacked, and Drael hit the guard for more negative levels, severely hampering his ability to fight. With the help of their elven leader they were able to subdue the guard and go through the side door, revealing an enormous courtroom full of more disciples.

“This will probably take a while…” they realized.

Session 32 Recap
Free at last! Free at last! Thank Gods Almighty, we are free at last!

While they rested and unobserved by those sitting watch, a dark and deadly force crept among them. Sending its feathery tendrils into the room just inches from the ground, a silent killer rolled among the party’s sleeping forms, flowing into their noses and mouths. By the time Raven and Vyktor noticed what was happening, Gabriel and Vyktor’s mother had succumbed to its influence, as had Artas. Polycarp and Ignomine were able to resist its effects, while Drael was alerted by Vyktor’s cries of alarm before it engulfed him.

Vyktor’s mother, Father Gabriel, and Artas all stood up, guided by some foreign intelligence to perform its task. Most of them began walking to the room where the vord dragon was held captive, and Drael desperately built a Wall of Stone to wall off further influence from the Bane Fog’s malign influence. Unfortunately, this meant that Father Gabriel, who had started walking off in the other direction, was separated from the rest of the group and performing who knew what dastardly task.

Frustrated by conflicting motivations, Ignomine growled “Save him” to Drael before racing off to tackle Artas. Using his Paladin’s Sacrifice, Ignomine tried to take on the compulsion magic affecting Artas himself, but succumbed to it instead. He was rewarded for his hasty action with poison from Artas’ armor spikes as well.

Drael, rolling his eyes at Ignomine’s order, nonetheless teleported into the room and flew above the mist, but did not see Gabriel anywhere. Artas, now released from the compulsion’s effects and seeing Ignomine muttering “Free the dragon”, tackled him in kind and poisoned him. Vyktor’s mom, also acting under compulsion, demanded that her son remove the stone wall that blocked her.

Vyktor instead used Protection from Evil to clear Ignomine’s compulsion, who in turn tried to lift it from Vyktor’s mother and luckily succeeded. Drael continued to fly through the hallways, trying to find Gabriel, and noticed that the pit trap in front of the door to the control room had been triggered. He flew over and used Mage Hand to open the door.

With the situation with one half of the group resolved and with Drael relaying updates through Raven but not knowing if the mist was in the control room itself, she decided to take the one most likely to resist its effects and grabbed Ignomine to teleport him into the room. Gabriel was there, moving the crystals to a new (and presumably bad) configuration. Ignomine grappled the High Priest of Kharlin, forcing him to drop the crystal in his hands. Raven began trying to reset the configuration, even as one of the banks of yellow crystals began increasing in brightness.

Drael flew into the room and assisted in restraining Gabriel, stuffing a sock in his mouth after he began casting a spell that luckily Ignomine was able to interrupt or resist and pin him to the ground. Between Raven and Drael they were able to return the crystals to their original location, though not without some of the yellow ones starting to crack from an apparent overload. As the do, however, there is a brief moment where some of the party sensed some kind of dampening effect on their senses momentarily lifting. Vyktor teleports the rest of them into the control room, and the party resumes their attempt at resting, though taking care to have Polycarp disable the door to prevent new incursions of either mist or mind-addled party members messing with the crystals.

Incensed at what he assumed was the dragon going back on its word, Ignomine decided it was time to confront the ancient beast. After safely ensconcing the Invisibility-cloaked Vyktor’s mother and Father Gabriel in a Rope Trick, the group armored themselves up and strode into the dragon’s chamber to demand its life, only to be stymied by the dragon’s thick armored hide, Quickened Black Tentacles, and Wall of Force, despite its restraints. Having failed miserably, sensing an almost impossible battle, and starting to doubt the dragon was actually responsible, the party decided to explore for alternatives.

They found a room packed with the corpses of those that had apparently trapped themselves within, trying to wait out whatever apocalypse was chasing them. Two bodies outside also had letters in ancient Drow, apologizing for their failure and their fate. Among the desiccated corpses they found two amulets, both for Magic Circles though one for Good and one for Evil.

The next room they explored was full of drow ghouls, perhaps the very doom the ancient drow had been trying to avoid all those millennia ago. Vyktor dropped Black Tentacles, dividing the monsters and slowing their engagement while the party tried to take down the others. Two Grave Knights charged Artas and Ignomine at the front, allowing Ignomine to smite one to devastating effect. Drael finished it off with a well-placed volley of Magic Missiles. Polycarp unloaded on the other with his quiver of Daybreak Arrows.

Artas, seeing that the ghouls were getting free of the tentacles, cast his Grasp of the Dead. Despite this one of the ghouls was able to charge Artas, and their leader called upon its unholy god to smite Ignomine and revealing itself as a Grave Commander. Drael casts Invisibility on Polycarp, which allowed him to unleash an invisible fullisade of brilliant arrows against the Commander for a devastating 115 damage. The monster staggered but somehow managed to stay standing.\

The ghoul bowman abandoned its weapon and charged Artas, attempting to bite him but his superior armor and magical Shield prevented the pestilential attack from getting through. Ignomine meanwhile smote the Commander in turn and obliterated him. Drael continued to run interference, using his Aqueous Orb to harass and displace the other ghouls while he hit them with more Magic Missiles. Polycarp finished off the bowless ghoul bowman with some excellently placed shots just as it was attempting to feast on Artas again, finishing the melee.

Further in the room they discovered a side chamber with a diagram marked with all sorts of ancient arcane and drow symbols. Working together, Artas and Vyktor were able to piece together that it described the room in which the vord dragon was restrained, though its current state did not match the diagram. It appeared like it was an attempt to repurpose the sector’s defenses and use the dragon as a way to power them, while simultaneously containing it. They also discovered another room with crystal sconces, though they lacked operating crystals.

Finally, they found a door wedged shut. As they attempted to force it open by pounding on it, something on the other side responded with pounding on its own. Readying themselves for another attack, the group motioned for Artas for force it the rest of the way. As he did so, Artas’ doppelgänger fell through and collapsed into his arms, beaten and bloodied, gasping “I’m so glad I finally found you.”

Suspicious, they motioned for Raven to use one of the charges from her wand of Cure Light Wounds on the familiar stranger. The Artas-double then slowly changed, revealing itself to be the shapeshifted form of their Bronze Dragon! Ignomine immediately set to healing the rest of its wounds while it explained that it had been searching after the party for some weeks, despite GS343 assuring it that they were dead.

Overjoyed, the party gave it an update on where they had been (conveniently leaving out details about the Vord dragon) and discovering that this complex must have had a time dilating effect as well. They decided that since Artas was unlikely to be able to escape the containment field, and being unwilling to drop the field by killing or releasing the dragon (and thereby setting everything else in the complex loose too) their best option was to get GS343 to assist them in bringing down the field.

Vyktor went back to the Rope Trick to collect the two civilians, then led them and the dragon outside of the containment field to teleport back to their rooms. He returned shortly thereafter with GS343, who was overjoyed (if incredulous) that they were all still alive. Calling upon its curiosity, they convinced the construct to aid them in assessing the control panel and trying to disable the field long enough for Artas to escape, but without allowing all the other nasty things to be set loose upon the city of Kharlin above. But first, they had to get it through the containment field…

Fearing that the field might kill it just as it had nearly killed Artas, the set Vyktor on one side and Ignomine on the other prepared to cast Breath of Life as GS343 rocketed through the barrier. It made it most of the way through before collapsing in a heap, luckily brought back from the brink by Ignomine’s touch. From there, they surveyed the diagram room and crystal control rooms, before deciding on a plan.

Though they could theoretically use the ship control crystals to increase their odds, they decided to risk using just the existing crystals. Most of the group readied themselves just outside the barrier while Drael and GS343 stayed by the control room. Warned that there may be only seconds while the field was down, Drael prepared his Cape of the Mountebank to allow him to teleport himself and the construct directly to the exit. After a quick prayer to the fates by the party, GS343 began the sequence.

The crystals began sparking just as Raven relayed that the field was down, and Artas charged through. Met with heavy resistance, he nonetheless made it through the barrier. The control room meanwhile was engulfed in flames and explosions, just as Drael wrapped the construct in his cape and teleported them out, just in time for them to pass through and escape, and for them to make their way back to their rooms and safety.

Session 31 Recap

Artas continued forward into the hallway with dusty footprints leading to a closed door. Ignomine opened the door, only to immediately get grabbed through the darkness and suffered a debilitating drain of his life force. Polycarp came to the rescue, wedging the door and allowing everyone to flee into the former Cloudkill room. Drael dropped an Aqueous Orb spell on the door and threw up several stone wall barriers to delay the hostiles, also using a Ghost Sound to try and mislead them.

Unfortunately the monsters were not fooled, and one of them used Stoneshape to bore through the first of Drael’s barriers. Hearing them coming, Drael cast Haste on the party just as the doors opened. Polycarp, ready with arrows nocked, utterly destroys the unfortunate Skeletal Champion that opened the door first and drops it instantly. Just as his last arrow was loosed though he was engulfed in a pillar of unholy flame, and the part sees a skeleton mounting on some unnaturally large wolf.

Artas used his Tremor Strike, but only succeeds in knocking the skeleton off the wolf it was riding. The other skeletal champion tried to force its way into the room, but Artas and Ignomine cut it down as it tried to pass the gantlet they had prepared for it. Unfortunately this allowed the wolf to charge past, and despite a strike by Artas it was able to reach Polycarp, tripped him and knock him unconscious. One of the enemy spellcasters cast Mass Inflict Wounds, but luckily Gabriel and Vyktor’s mother were hiding in a closet close to the trap door Artas had triggered earlier and avoid the worst of the damage.

AG2 throws a Flame Strike at Artas and Ignomine, seriously damaging them, while Drael cast Invisibility on Polycarp to allow him to escape the wolf’s slavering maw. Unfortunately he is bitten during the attempt to dodge away, though the chaos allows Raven to use Mage Hand and close the door, blocking the enemy spellcasters and buying time for Vyktor to cast Mass Cure Light Wounds and rejuvenate the party somewhat and for Polycarp to hide in a cubbyhole for a surprise attack.

Sensing that the wolf was the real leader and the most dangerous threat, Ignomine called down the divine fury of his deity in a smite and slashes at it for several strikes. Artas delivered a massive blow of his own, grievously wounding the wolf but received a counterattack in exchange. The AG open the door again and try to enter the room as well, but Artas’ superior positioning allows him to attack them on the way in. The distraction was enough for Polycarp to spring from hiding and unload into the wolf, turning it into a cloud of mist and revealing its nature as a shape-changed vampire.

The tide of the battle now turned, Ignomine used Litany of Righteousness to obliterate one of the AG. The other, sensing its fortunes going against it, attempted to escape by sinking into the floor, but Vyktor identified the spell as Meld to Stone and successfully dispelled it, allowing Polycarp to finish it off once and for all.

Beaten, battered, broken, and drained, the group took stock of their options. Trying to rest, the party decided the Cloudkill room is the best defensible option, allowing Polycarp to trap one of the doors and jam the other two. The party then took a full day to shake off the accumulated effects of their many battles, using their spells to remove the various wounds, curses, diseases, and drains upon their life.

Unfortunately, during first watch that night they were ambushed by insubstantial wraiths who were not deterred by their precautions, led by the Mummy Lord they had encountered previously bashing in the door. Woefully unprepared for a protracted battle, the party struggled to their feet to defend themselves. Luckily Polycarp’s paranoia allowed him to get off a shot against the Mummy Lord, buying valuable time for the others to get up.

The wraiths attacked next, and Ignomine called upon the Grace of Abadar to get to his feet and cast Magic Circle Against Evil, seeking to at least help the others with their defense against the life-sucking spirits. Artas meanwhile nailed them in place with Grasp of the Dead, summoning skeletal hands from beyond the grave to clutch at them, preventing the Mummy Lord from connecting with his attack.

Drael struggled from sleep to begin summoning some Lantern Archons just as Vyktor’s arrive and start blasting the wraiths with holy light. With them taking some of the pressure off him, he then cast Slow on the wraiths to further debilitate the spirits and hopefully level the playing field. Polycarp took the opportunity to unload more shots into the Mummy Lord as Ignomine used a smite to attack one of the wraiths. Artas meanwhile used Tremor Strike to knock the Mummy Lord to the ground. Surprisingly, the wrapped corpse decided to crawl towards him and touch his leg to infect him with mummy rot, but luckily Artas’ hardiness allowed him to resist the affliction.

Drael’s superior numbers of Lantern Archons joined the fray, and his Magic Missiles joined the cascade of blasts of light from his and Vyktor’s summons. Artas, Polycarp, and Ignomine continue striking at the undead, but the Mummy Lord responded with a blast of heated sand. Drael responded with fiery breath of his own, scorching its dry and dusty corpse to ash and cinders. Gabriel channeled divinity and Vyktor cast Mass Cure Light to boost the party. Without the Mummy Lord to lead them the group is able to whittle down the remaining wraiths until their unhallowed spirits are permanently laid to rest. Exhausted, the party resumed their interrupted rest to try and get back to something resembling full strength.

The next day they explored some of the new rooms they uncovered, including a long narrow room lying along the length of hallway. Inside they found weapons racks containing ancient Arelan Steel drow weapons and a small dais with an engraved skull upon it. Ignomine tries to Detect Evil but is stupefied by the overwhelming aura of evil emanating from the skull. While he recovered, Polycarp examined the rest of the room and discovered two secret compartments, one by a weapons rack and the other in the dais itself. The one by the rack contained an evil black gem, while the dais contained an evil scroll that Vyktor quietly determined was Evil Miracle. Unfortunately, just as he was opening the scroll a fierce black light from Power Word Kill struck Polycarp down, a trap he was unable to disable in time and killing him instantly. Vyktor instantly stepped up, using Breath of Life to restore him to the land of the living. Fearing to touch the skull after this terrible display, they used Mage Hand to lift and inspect it, discovering that it is scriven with fine runes throughout its surface and that unnatural darkness permeates its interior, making its eye sockets preternaturally black. They carefully placed it in cloth wrappings to prevent accidental touching, then stored it away with the rest of their horribly evil artifacts. Still not fully recovered from the past days’ events, they went back to the room to rest.

Session 30 Recap
Interview with a Vord Dragon

The party continued to explore the complex, revealing new rooms and hallways in the labyrinthine structure.

While exploring one old dustry room, Polycarp discovered two trapped secret doors. He dried to disarm the traps, but accidentally triggered an apparatus that poured killcloud through vents near the ceiling. Luckily Vyktor had cast Delay Poison, which nullified its effect… for the time being.

Artas Menethar and Ignomine hacked open one of the secret doors with their Arelan Steel weapons and surprised a some bugbear Vord zombies as well as a giant spider and its accompanying swarm of spiderlings. The swarm engulfed Artas and tried to burrow into him.

The giant spider scurried over the ceiling and into the hallway, giving Artas and Ignomine the chance to hack at it and bring it down. That threat taken care of, Artas charged the zombies, spraying some of the swarmlings he was resolutely ignoring. Together, Artas and Ignomine bro-can out against the zombies, allowing Polycarp to take one out from range and Drael to finish another with Magic Missiles. With all the enemies dead, Drael took care of the Kill Cloud trap by sealing it behind a thin layer of stone. The ceiling was not just a liiitle bit closer, but seeing as nobody had been here for centuries the odds were that nobody would notice.

That threat taken care of, the group proceeded to explore allowing Polycarp to discover another secret door and unlock it. Given past discoveries, Artas goes through first and discovered a Vord Knight standing guard in the hallway.

Seeking assassination over open confrontation, Drael steps forward and cast an illusory wall to disguise Polycarp’s approach and killing shot… or it would have been, if he hadn’t missed an oblivious stationary target. All four shots go wide, alerting the knight and its allies. Polycarp fled through another door, which revealed a room filled with Drow statues and an even bigger Knight .

Polycarp had to dodge out of the way past the smaller knight while Ignomine tried to bar the way. Sensing that the battle was going to go poorly for the group, Vyktor cast Black Tentacles to try and lock down the two smaller Vord in the statue room. Raven flew forward and used Mage Hand to close the door and buy them some time to hide from the huge knight’s attacks, though the smaller knight with an orb on the end of one of its appendages teleported to the back of the group, foiling Ignomine’s attempts to protect the front.

Now at their unguarded flank, the Vord was able to attack Vyktor’s mother and Gabriel, the priest of Abadar. Ignomine raced to the back in a desperate attempt to defend them, but not before the priest was struck down. Together, Artas and Ignomine were able concentrate fire and prevent the knight from attacking their other allies. In the distance, the huge Vord knight let out an ominous shriek. To the dismay of the party, a chorus of shrieks answered it.

Finally felling the single knight that could see them, the party attempted to retreat to a hallway for a strategic defensive advantage. Unfortunately, they hadn’t counted on a Vord Mage hiding invisibly in the same hallway. Frenzied battle ensued as the combatants vied for advantage; Grease laid at the top of the stairs to hold the defense, an aqueous orb to block ranged attacks and occupy the vord, smiting evil to defend against terrifying foes, the Vord Mage throwing a Suggestion to sabotage one of the fighters.

This last action threw the party into disarray, as Polycarp and Artas were hit and succumbed to the Vord’s influence, chasing after two Knights who were merely luring them away from the battle. They chased them by compulsion, through hallways and into a grand descending staircase ending in a gigantic portcullis shrouded entirely in shadow.

The knight slipped through the bars of the portcullis, only barely visible through the darkness. Having “caught” the prey they were compelled to pursue, the two readied their attacks, but were hit with a massive mental presence that simply said


The rest of the group caught up, noticing that the Vord have temporarily suspended their attacks. Fearing to enter the darkness, Ignomine used Dispel Magic on the area of magical Darkness, revealing one quarter of a huge cell chaining a huge beast with massive claws and wings. The portions of the creature they could see appeared to be a Vord-infected dragon.

It continued:


…which the party summarily ignored, because fuck listening to a potentially violent hive-mind controlled imprisoned hyper-intelligent magical murderbeast. The creature continued to issue alternately using threats of using the dozens of Vord Knights under its control and cajoling with bribery to try and coerce the group into releasing it, but through a combination of logic, bravado, and idiot-savant stupidity the party were able to wring a concession of letting them pass and continue to explore without committing to releasing the creature. “We’d rather prove to ourselves that freeing you is the only option,” though the magically-inclined members of the party noticed that the same magical energy barriers that had blocked their egress in other locations also seemed to flow into the creature’s chains… implying that breaking through or releasing the barrier would also bring down whatever was keeping the creature imprisoned.

The party continued their exploration, discovering a room that seemed designed to contain different types of undead, including a pile of skulls, animate skeletons, some Vord, and ghouls, all restrained against the walls in small cubby holes. Another room contained some device that seemed to be repurposed into restraining Vord specifically, as well as an array of crystals like those seen in the airship and in the mountain base.

Passing by one of the hallways, Polycarp noticed that the way was open and had a magical barrier similar to the one they had passed through on their way into the complex. The group gathered around, trying to decide if they’d found their escape or another avenue towards further imprisonment.

Session 29 Recap
Wait, where were we again?

Seeing the Keepers and skeletons milling about in the Causeway, Drael cast a Silent Image over the hallway to disguise their presence while Vyktor assessed the Antimagic field they had passed through. He determined that it would block the Cloudkill defenses that had just been activated, which left them a small amount of time to recuperate – assuming they weren’t noticed first.

Ignomine, still sapped by the effects of whatever was slowing his movements and reducing his strength, attempted to Lay on Hands to cure it. Attempts to cure Vyktor’s mother and Gabriel, the cleric of Abadar, likewise failed, indicating that what was plaguing them was not a disease or curse. In no immediate danger, the group decided to rest while Ignomine prayed to receive spells from Abadar, including the ability to Delay Poison.

The hour of preparation passed uneventfully, but moments after casting the spell the zombies reacted to the noise and use of holy energy, and a long prehensile tongue lashed through Drael’s illusion to strangle him. More of the zombies turned toward the commotion, and several Keepers erupted from the Croach and began dancing to alert the other Vord in the area.

Polycarp risked injury to shoot an adjacent zombie while Artas used Spider Climb to cling to the wall and splatter another zombie by falling like an avenging spiky-armored meteor. This didn’t stop the Keepers’ alert, so Drael sought to distract them by summoning a herd of horses to stampede through the area. Several of them fell as they were attacked, but it succeeded in mashing the Croach in a huge area and disguising their movements. The party maneuvered to mount the surviving horses and hopefully escape.

Ignomine, seeing that Delay Poison worked on his condition, casts it on Vyktor’s mother and Gabriel, allowing them to mount horses while the rest covered their retreat. Vyktor cast Silence to further dampen the Keepers’ knowledge of them, though Drael used the opportunity to shoot a Magic Missile through it and blast one of the Silenced Keepers. He then breathed a gout of flame on another, allowing a horse to escape, though another panicked and bolted into the dim distance. Down the causeway, the shrieking of Vord Knights mixed with the screaming of mangled horses.

Plague and Void Zombies swarmed the party, but a rejuvenated Ignomine wielding found armor and weapons was able to fight them off while the Cleric and Priestess fled on their mounts. Vyktor covered the vanguard, rushing ahead to clear the path. He cast Slow juast as he was noticed by the Vord Knights, but only managed to hit one of the four. They charged the half-drow, taking him to half health in a moment’s breadth. Artas used his Spider Climb to retreat, while Ignomine withdrew and Drael summoned more horses. Polycarp, trusting in his fleet feet, deals a devastating blow to one and a crippling shot to another.

As everyone caught up to Vyktor they realized they were helpless on horseback. Artas, thinking quickly, intimidated them with a glare to buy time. Raven entrances them with a spell, staggering one, while Polycarp finished off another. With the most dangerous warriors defeated the party fled, sacrificing more horses to the horde of undead and glowing green monsters.

They fled through the underground Causeway, dodging zombies and Keepers, until the reached a dead end blocked by what appeared to be a corrupted purple worm. It lay dormant, and beyond its slumbering hulk appeared to be a sealed an locked door – one closed and barricaded for centuries.

Polycarp continued his string of competence and bravado, racing back to draw off another Vord Knight, miraculously resisting its venom as he attacked it alone. Having drawn its attention, he sprinted back between Artas and Ignomine, ready to strike it as it passed them. Their prepared attacks pummel it to the gooey floor, and Artas finished it off with an executioner’s strike.

Their forward passage stymied, the group backtracked looking for other means of escape. Between the efforts of Vyktor’s mom, Raven, and Vyktor, they discover secret doorways almost invisible behind layers of grime and dust from centuries of neglect. The room contained two suspicious mounds. After sealing the doorway, they broke them open to reveal skeletons the immediately collapsed into dust, but left an Arelan Steel chain shirt and leg braces, and the corpse of a drow paladin skeleton with lots of gear. Seeing no other immediate options and reasoning the room had lain undisturbed for quite a while before now, the group settled down to rest and recuperate.

Rejuvenated and finally having a moment to take stock, the party decided to deal with some rather pressing issues that they hadn’t addressed in the panicked flight of their escape over the past few days. Drael still had his slave’s collar locked around his neck, and as they had no way of knowing when it could be used against them again they decided to take a gamble on removing it. The powerful enchantments and locks on it could only be removed by the slaver, but Polycarp was willing to try to remove it. With dextrous fingers he felt around the mechanism and just about had it… and then a blast of power struck down both Drael and Polycarp.

Ready for just such a disaster, the rest of the group sprung into action. Artas deftly sliced off Drael’s head, allowing Vyktor’s mother to remove the band. Gabriel replaced Drael’s head, and Ignomine and Vyktor both cast Breath of Life to restore their friends to life before their spirits had fully departed. Momentarily traumatized but otherwise ok, everyone decided to rest again while Vyktor explored a means of escape with an unsuccessful teleport.

Drael, only slightly discomfited by dying, being decapitated, and revived moments later, scouted invisibly in flight and discovered more hidden doors. Polycarp used Artas’ Spider Climb trick to unlock the door after a magical Open/Close attempt failed. Drael summoned horses to distract the shambling horde, leaving five Keepers and two Grave Knights facing the party. Drael tried to draw them off with an Aqueous Orb but only extracted one of the Keepers, leaving the others to spit their debilitating acid at him.

One of the Grave Knights slashed Ignomine, leaving him teetering until a rescue by Vyktor, and countered with a critical hit. Artas and Ignomine resume their Bro-Tank routine and manage to take one of the Grave Knights down with lots of fancy footwork. The other Grave Knight managed to take out Artas though, and a shadowy specter of the fighter immediately popped up in his place.

Drael is reduced to a drooling shambles by more Keeper venom draining his Wisdom, though his Aqueous Orb managed to pick up more Keepers before they could escape its range. Gabriel did what healing he could, while Polycarp’s sharp senses picked up the combat happening far in the distance and Spider Climbs back to the group. Vyktor revives Artas before the shade can act, to the relief of everyone in the party.

The Keepers continue trying to dance their alarm, but are successfully thwarted by the Aqueous Orb or others’ attacks. Polycarp finally arrived on the scene and immediately critted the surviving Grave Knight, shattering it and eviscerating a Keeper in quick succession. Everyone sprinted to the door, Ignomine making it moments before another attack, and just as Polycarp slams the door shut and disabled it.

The party then explored down the pitch-black hallway using a Light spell, shortly revealing a Seal of the Empire of Arela engraved into the floor. They discover a door Polycarp is amazingly unable to unlock, and Artas used his Arelan Steel greatsword to hack his way through. In the room are piles of rusted weapons and armor, a treasure chest with ancient platinum pieces in it, and a stairwell up to a block with a magical barrier on it. Vyktor studied it while the others explored, foolhardily disturbing a mummy and getting Artas blinded.

Drael held off until Ignomine was able to arrive, cast Haste on everyone, and then sent Raven to alert Vyktor to the danger. The mummy cast Greater Darkness, Ignomine took the front line but was unable to find the mummy. Searching for it, they open the door to reveal a room full of scaffolding, decaying banners, and words written in Undercommon saying “They left us behind” and “They ate ”/wikis/Telchin/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Telchin".

Just then, a Dread Vord Wraith burst through the wall and attacked Gabriel, just after Artas had left the room. The Mummy Lord rounded the corner and speared Drael, cursing him with mummy rot. Drael blasted him with his Dragon Breath in retaliation. Ignomine finally manages to get into the hallway and chops the mummy in half. Gabriel blasts the wraith with Cure spells, distracting it while Polycarp sneaked in and unloaded a fullisade of arrows. Ignomine kept it pinned with a savage slash long enough for Drael to finish it off with a Magic Missile.

The party continued to tentatively explore the ruined hallways only to get blasted by a burst of lightning, sending the group scattering. Some hide while others dodge behind the apparatus until Polycarp succeeds in disabling it. He then examines the hallway for more traps before discovering a small, loose floor tile hiding a small tunnel. The rogue squeezed himself down, sees ghostly shapes floating towards him from the corners, and yells for the group to yank him up. Thankfully the specters stop at the border of the room, allowing Artas to make his way in there and finish them off without danger to the rest of the party.

Free of hostiles, the party crept into the room and reveal wards written by ancient drow. The two doors in the room are revealed to be trapped, nearly killing some of the party members. Ignomine channeled divinity to heal the party, and the group decided to leave well enough alone and not risk opening a hole into the Underdark. They climbed back up out of the hole and try to go through the stuck door.

Inside the room is an ancient siege engine, partially disassembled. They explored the rooms, Polycarp unlocking several doors as they are found. Behind one is the distinctive green glow of the Croach. A quick round of preparations by Vyktor later they burst through the door, revealing four Vord Knights. Polycarp’s ambush blast devastated one of them, while Artas terrified them, Drael summoned his laser light show of Lantern Archons, Ignomine Smote one down, and Polycarp slays the last with a Bleeding wound.

Session 28 Recap
"I said I'm not dead yet"

In the midst of the battle in the hallway, Vyktor healed Artas enough for him to regain consciousness. As he did so, the Cacodaemon that appeared when he was shot disappeared. He also de-gassified Ignomine, who tried to heal his staggered condition with a Lay on Hands, but to no effect. Otherwise useless for battle without equipment, without spells, and crippled by whatever was afflicting him, Ignomine picked up Vyktor’s mother.

Meanwhile, a Hawk familiar that had been snooping around invisibly during the battle and delivering a Touch of Idiocy to Vyktor was Glitterdusted, which allowed Polycarp to unload a fullisade that took the raptor out. Far in the distance (from the direction of the fireballs) the party heard a scream of rage and pain with its death. Polycarp once again mentioned chicken wings.

With Artas awake, he managed to struggle to his feet and then unleash a wave of destruction on the Terracotta Soldiers, smashing them to bits. One of them started glowing and vibrating alarmingly, which was Artas’ cue to bail – good thing too, because the explosion took out the other damaged soldiers.

The Wall of Stone that Drael threw up to block the hallway was successful in delaying the cavalry, enough that those with spellcraft heard the use of a Disintegrate spell to bore a hole through it – and then a curse as they ran into a second Wall of Stone blocking their passage.

Vyktor continued to delay many of the soldiers with a zone of Black Tentacles, forcing the spellcasters to waste more spells dispelling them and struggling in the attempt. Raven dropped a layer of Grease, and three more stone walls blocked the second hallway. A summoned Azata Bralani archer harried the casters, shooting them to interrupt their spells and waste more resources that would otherwise be used to hurt the party. Inside the room also stood a massive construct, not unlike the one that they had found below the cottage some time ago. It looked recently repaired.

The three casters in the large room, two of whom carried sticks of some kind and one with a pouch and white robe, then vanished. The Bralani pursued them via their presumed escape route down the stairs, but triggered a trap, then disappeared through an antimagic field. Artas followed to see what happened and barely dodges the trap. As he came back a secret panel in the stairwell opened, allowing a black-robed person to attack Artas… but poisoning himself on the armor’s spikes in the process. The attack staggered Artas, but his counterattack rejuvenated him, allowing to follow up with an even more devastating blow. The black robe falls and tries to counter, only to be finished off with one final strike by Artas.

This entire time allowed Ignomine, struggling from weakness and carrying Vyktor’s mother, to shuffle across the room. Informed by Artas of what lay ahead, he turns back to help the others, and slowly shuffled his way back.

Polycarp meanwhile was hurriedly unlocking doors hoping to find gear to help in their escape or else restore the party to some semblance of competence; instead, he found a room full of those greenish zombies chained to the walls and tables full of notes and various devices. He looted the notes and metal bits, but gets cursed in the process.

Back in the hallway, Raven’s Grease spell proved prophetic as some Rock elementals merge their way through the wall but slip and fall before they can attack the party. Another of the walls explodes after several fireball blasts to reveal a group of human soldiers. At the far end of the large room, the large hangar doors that everyone managed to miss opened up to reveal a zombie troll with metallic plates welded onto its body, a hammer for a left arm, and a strange pipe-like device for its right arm.

Ignomine, sensing an opponent he might actually have a chance against, declared his smite and began to shuffle towards the undead troll. Vyktor then shut him within a Resilient Sphere, leaving a disappointed by relieved half-orc. Unfortunately, a battle mage made his way through the same secret panel that the black robe had used, allowing him to attack Vyktor with a fireball. Polycarp exacted his revenge with another devastating volley of arrows, taking him out in a single round. Ignomine began shuffling back to the group.

Back in the hallway with the slippery earth elementals, Drael tosses them hither and yon with an Aqueous Orb, making the world’s worst dirt-flavored salad dressing. He also summons a Stone Call, pelting the soldiers with rocks and making their motion slowed and laborious… but also unfortunately releasing one of the chained undead.

Then a voice came echoing through the hallways, booming through magically enhanced means. “I am ”/wikis/Adhac%20Yaman/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Adhac Yaman, leader of this facility, and you will be taken alive." The walls began rumbling, and apparently some device countermeasures were in the process of being activated. The soldiers had also made a quick retreat, leaving them alone.

Polycarp made a hasty investigation of the zombie room, revealing that it too lead to an anti-magic field. Vyktor meanwhile looted the copious pile of notes of the massive construct in the main room and inscribe an invisible Arcane Mark in a hidden location in the hopes of tracking it at some point in the future. Drael and Vyktor cast Haste and Bull’s Strength on Ignomine, at least allowing them to all flee down the stairwell just as the countermeasures were about to fire.

They rushed through the antimagic field, though Artas curiously had to force his way through as if something was repelling his progress. On the other side the party saw a tunnel looking like it lead to another one of the underground Great Causeways, this one with more of those shambling green corpses and what appeared to be (currently) quiescent Vord.

The question now was, how were they going to get out of this new debacle?

The College of Kharlin
Where the group ponders ethics for no reason

Like any good prison breakout movie, we didn’t go in a linear, one story arc. We took three tacks because, as you will see, separating the party is really the best way to go about screwing everybody over.e
We decided to take three different routes.
1. Temple Travels – Vyktor, Iggie and Artas were going to go to the Temples of Alion and Abbadar to try to talk to the high priests about Vyktor’s mom and the horrible, magic box.
2. Follow that Man – Drael was going to go stalk Arden and see if he could figure out any info on the restricted space of the college for intel on the whereabouts of Vyktor’s mom.
3. Sneaky shit is best – Polycarp entered the undercity for three goals
a. Find a back way into the tower
b. Find a map of the college
c. Find out who killed his parents and why
Scene 1:
Vytkor, Iggie and Artas (now known as VIA) head to the Temple of Alion, but nobody was really home. All the clerics have left the city and have headed north.
In the Temple of Abbadar, they see the head dude, but he is speaking to some richies. Vyktor slides over and creeps on their personal space so that eventually the priest talks to them and the richies take a hike.
The high priest unsurprisingly doesn’t believe anything they have to say about Vyktor’s Mom, the box or the gubmint of Kharlin being sons of bitches. He says, “Vyktor’s mom is a traitor. Oh shit, you’re a paladin of Abbadar! You ain’t going nowhere.” And tells them that he’s going to go check on the box and seals and check out the story. And he says when he saw the box last time, there were four seals left unopened. And Iggie can’t leave the temple until he gets back because they’re going to use him as a healing machine.
Scene 2:
Drael stalks Arden at the college, bumps into him and invites Arden to dinner to talk about ruins and shit. Oh, and constructs we found in the temple near the cabin in the woods. Arden starts acting all sketchy and shit, but Drael rolls low and really thinks they’re hitting it off. Arden invites Drael back to the “lab” to see some things. I think this will end very well.
Scene 3:
Polycarp stakes out a spot in the undercity near the college. When a mark, I mean student, comes out of the college and into the undercity, he creeps behind him, steals his notebook and then tells the kid that he found his notebook on the ground. They talk and it turns out kid works in a bar. They go to a bar filled with Drow. Polycarp buys rounds of drinks for a group of Drow. After some small talk, Polycarp asks them if they know how to get into the school from the undercity. One knows “a guy.” The bartender overhears all this and Polycarp makes a side deal with him to get people who can get into the restricted area. Kid says nobody likes him. Polycarp asks if they’re going to have any trouble. Kid says no.

Scene 1:
Vyktor fakes his way into the library and they go about looking for a map of the college. Artas acts all creepy and shit at these guards in the special section of the library. “Hey, you take anybody back there you’re not supposed to??”
Vyktor reads a book.
Scene 3:
Drow take Polycarp to they guy and he pays down some gold and they find the dude. Polycarp makes a deal with the drow and finds the door.
Polycarp then decides to try to find the crew and hires a kid named Mouse to search the temple area. Finds out that they went to the college. Polycarp asks Mouse if he has any friends he can trust. So now Polycarp has six street urchins under his payola.
As Polycarp hangs out in front of the college waiting for the crew, he sees soldiers approaching. He thinks, “WHAT DID YOU DO, RAY!!!”
On their way out, Vyktor and Artas see all the soldiers and wonder if they are for them or not? Not taking any chances, Vyktor makes them invisible and they climb over the wall on the opposite side and head back to the flop house.
Scene 3:
Polycarp is bored. Goes back into the undercity and has some beers and walks back and forth from bar to station and finds nothing. Head back to flophouse.
At the flophouse:
With the crew – Drael back at the flophouse, C3PO narcs that the dragon left and flew around the city and ate a goat. Also, is he becoming more dragony or Vardy? No Drael. [editor’s note: I don’t remember exactly what happens in the room, but the party – Drael decides to head for the college).
In the undercity:
The party makes its way back to the drow bar the next day, waiting for the college kids. They come. Polycarp makes a scene. They steal their signets and Vyktor scrambles their brains and make the bartender kid look like aces. Who cares, off to the college…..
As they make their way to the door, Polycarp sneaks up and sees two guards. Polycarp tell the group and says, I’ll take them out. Artas, playing the part of Iggie, balks and says no way, let’s talk to them. Polycarp can’t believe his ears. Vyktor has a moral dilemma and asks Raven to do something which she refuses. The conversation goes on for a long time with some other strategies like making Polycarp invisible and knocking them out. Suddenly, Vyktor snatches Raven and thrusts her into his bag of holding and says to Polycarp, “Do it.”
Polycarp needs no other invitation. He sneaks up and let’s a barrage of arrows into the unsuspecting guards….only to find out they are clockwork constructs! All that moral mumbo jumbo for nothing.
The battle is fierce! Artas is knocked out not once by twice! But the team prevails.
Polycarp makes easy work of the door and they are in the bottom basement of the college with the spiral staircase in the middle.
I’m getting tired of typing so I’ll make this quick.
Up stairs.
Fight two guards who have magic. Polycarp does so much damage to one that he falls over and bleeds to death. Glorious.
Through that room is a hallway. Then they are confronted by an Aqueous orb and two dire gorillas. Then spiders. Then Polycarp and Vyktor are Glitteredusted. IT’S DRAEL! He has a magic collar on his neck!! He tells the party, “I don’t want to hurt you, you should just go!”
Vyktor casts dispel evil on him and frees him of his domination.
Polycarp finds Vyktor’s mom, unlocks the door (but trips an exploding trap which does not hurt him! HA!). Priest of Abaddar and Iggie are in other cells. They are all naked. Vyktor’s mom has collar. Raven flies into cells of priest and iggie and turns them into gaseous form and uses her little wings to get them out.
Meanwhile, after 1000000000 perception checks, Artas hears a noise coming from a door. He doesn’t open it and then 3 clay constructs come out. Then he is hit by a fireball from down the other end of a hallway and is knocked out again. Polycarp is dragging naked Vyktor’s mom while he and Drael are trying to help Artas.
I think that is where we left it. Some other stuff happened, but this is the main parts. Feel free to amend whatever I have messed up.
Quote of the night for me:
Tyler: “I like this side of Polycarp.”

Session 26 Recap
We're always been in Kharlin and at war with East Asia

In the Temple of Calistria

The party awoke to find that Drael had absconded, leaving behind only a clumsy note that said he was conducting some secretive business, to trust him, and that he was doing it for the benefit of the whole party. Without any way to do anything about it the remaining party members continued about their business in the city, liquidating some items and purchasing any weapons or components they needed.

Vyktor, after his first successful attempt to scry on his mother and failure to contact her, resolves to try again the next day. His attempt is successful, and he is able to get what limited information she knows. Her captors have been very careful to limit what they tell her, but she’s been able to piece together that they want her, as high priestess of Calistria, to remove a seal on some kind of chest. Currently there are three seals remaining of the original nine: Calistria, Abadar, and Alion. Her prison seems to be part of the original Kharlin infrastructure with added wards to prevent detection from outside, which is why Vyktor had such difficulty scrying on her. They’ve also put her in manacles to prevent her spellcasting, and that one of her interrogators (none of which she has seen) sounded highly educated.

While this was going on, Ignomine decided to take a risk and go about the city to gather information. Kharlin isn’t the most hospitable to non-humans, but he was able to learn a few things. First, that the Kharlin military was in the process of eradicating the goblinoids in the area so that they could eventually march in force to Shivar. There were also rumors of some secret weapon or surprise attack in the works, though specifics were scarce. There was also word that the Order of Alion had recalled all its members in the city to the North, though for what reason was left unsaid.

Furthering their attempts to discover Vyktor’s mother’s whereabouts, Polycarp trailed the interrogator in Vyktor’s mission back to a guard shack. Unable to enter the heavily guarded structure, he executed a plan to disguise himself as a guard and infiltrate the complex while it was less busy. With a help from a Disguise spell from Vyktor, Polycarp easily deactivated the lock and the alarm on the door and roamed about the structure. Its only occupant was a lieutenant asleep in a side room; Polycarp deftly jammed the lock, then went about ransacking the evidence locker for jewels. His attempts to follow the interrogator’s path downstairs were stymied by a gate, however, and in his attempts to deactivate the gate he accidentally tripped an alarm. His forethought jamming the door was rewarded and he escaped before the boots upstairs arrived, and his burglary of the jewels gave an obvious motive for the break-in.

Seeking a new angle to try to find his mother’s location, Vyktor decided to scry on the interrogator seen in his vision. Using a sketch provided by Raven and description from Polycarp, his attempt located his target… but triggered some kind of magical defense. The scry failed, and alerted the target that an attempt had been made from the Temple of Calistria. The party immediately bailed, leaving Raven behind to observe. Thankfully Polycarp in his paranoia had already reserved rooms in a flophouse, so the party was able to relocate without too much difficulty. Some ten to fifteen minutes later the city guard and the military showed up and ransacked the place. All the remaining occupants (mostly acolytes of Calistria) were rounded up and the Temple closed and boarded shut.

Not long after that, a man in leather armor and carrying a sword began patrolling in the area immediately around the Temple, carring a sign that said “Ignomine”. Fearing a trap, Polycarp volunteered to go investigate. The man turned out to be wearing a slave collar and had been purchased by a “Vandelay”, then told to go into the service of a guy called Ignomine that would be somewhere around the Temple of Calistria. Still suspicious, Polycarp stole the scroll tube at his belt and dashed off – though not before more than two dozen archer guards popped up from the rooftops and managed to fill him full of crossbow bolts. In the safety of the room they discovered a standard slave contract and a note from Vandelay – but a hunch from Vyktor revealed that Drael’s original message, which had appeared clumsy at first glance, apparently spelled out “Vandelay” with the first letters of each line. With that reassurance, Ignomine returned to the slave (now talking with the guards) and explained that it was all a misunderstanding. The guards, though peeved that they had broken cover for what turned out to be a mistake, left them alone. The slave, who revealed his name to be Monte Crow, seemed enamored to finally meet Ignomine, who “Vandelay” had talked up quite a bit. “Is it true you really slew a dragon?” he asked in breathless awe. It took some time to explain Ignomine’s exasperated sigh.

After quite a bit of explaining to clear everything up, and Monte discovering that he might have been better off in the fighting pits or as a mining slave after all, the party decided to return to the airship for preparations. GS343, in discussions with Artas and Vyktor, work out a plan to use the infrastructure of the city to find Vyktor’s mother. It turns out that any registered citizen could be tracked while they were within the confines of the city. Since they knew that his mother was clearly near some original construction, they set about adding her to the registry. Unfortunately, without some of his mother’s blood or skin, they couldn’t add her directly, so they worked out a plan to add Vyktor and Raven and track her as a blood relative. One vicious stabbing of Vyktor, and a tiny self-inflicted droplet from Raven later, GS343 had the information to add them to the registry. However, they would have to access the infrastructure terminals directly to do any tracking, so the construct would have to go into the city in “person”.

A surprise came in the form of the dragon arriving and announcing that it too wanted to tour the city. Given its recent interactions with Ignomine the party was apprehensive, to say the least, but in the end decided to take the dragon with them. With the addition of GS343 this caused complications with being able to teleport everyone there, to say nothing of how obvious and distracting the two hangers-on would be. The solution turned out to be letting Raven teleport one group on behalf of Vyktor while he took the next one. GS343 revealed he could fold up to the size of a small box or chest, and the dragon (after some haggling) acquiesced to being stored in the bag of holding for the duration of the tour. Thankfully their selling spree earlier had left enough room to accommodate it, but just barely – there was definitely a fear that if the dragon succumbed to Vord influence while they were there, the party would be in serious trouble and potentially jeopardizing Vyktor’s mother and the rescue attempt.

The party (Artas, Ignomine, Polycarp, Vyktor, GS343, and dragon) teleported into a marketplace close to one of the walls late at night, and with the help of an Invisibility Sphere spell avoided attracting any notice in the deserted bazaar. GS343 directed them to one of the towers set into the wall, and the group made it stealthily past the two guards athwart the entrance despite Ignomine scraping noisily at the last moment. Several flights of spiral stairs down later, GS343 indicated one of the access terminals a short distance away, locked behind a portcullis. The dragon surprised everyone by revealing that this terminal was inactive, or at least had been the last time Vord had been here. Polycarp was able to find the portcullis controls with help from the construct, and interfacing with the terminal confirmed it was indeed not responding. Luckily GS343’s role was in maintaining infrastructure and repairing it would not be an issue, but it would require two hours worth of repairs. Polycarp lowered the portcullis, Vyktor cast Silent Image to hide their presence by the terminal, and the two hours passed uneventfully.

When it came time to locate Vyktor and Raven’s mother, GS343 continued to emphasize that he wasn’t sure he could even do it – but the party ordered him to soldier on, and with that, the construct attempted to locate her. Success! She was located in one of the sub-basements of what was known as the Mammartine Tower, what had once been used as a prison within the fortifications of the old city but was now in use as the College of Kharlin. This matched the description she had mentioned of an educated voice interrogating her.

Now came the issue of how to escape. Vyktor had exhausted most of his spells getting them there and remaining unobserved, so there was no way to get everyone out invisibly. Polycarp elected to sneak up, tap both guards on the shoulder, and then launch himself off into the darkness. The party followed as soon as the two guards were out of sight, only for the entire wall to light up and orders to halt echoed down from the ramparts. They dodged into an alleyway, and a sudden BOOM and the crackle of ozone revealed that the dragon had protected their retreat with a massive lightning strike. Presuming Polycarp had gotten away (he is rather good at protecting his own hide) the remaining three party members and two exotics tried to non-chalantly return to the flophouse… only to be stopped by a Kharlin military patrol of eight soldiers.

Knowing that in all likelihood they’d be detained and questioned, Vyktor summoned a swarm of black tentacles to restrain them, enduring several javelin strikes to continue casting through the pain. The dragon, for its part, launched another bolt of lighting at the leader. Artas then stepped up and, summoning his most fearsome aspect and commanding voice, ordered the soldiers to stand down or else be killed. Attacked, in the night, by only three strangers that had a dragon and summoned a swarm of black tentacles currently strangling and beating his soldiers, the lieutenant relented, Vyktor dismissed the tentacles, and the two groups swiftly went their separate ways.

Once back at the flophouse the group took a moment to recover. Vyktor made a Sending to Drael to inform him of their whereabouts and progress, and Drael responded that he’d meet up with them. Once there, he informed the party of his activities:

  • He’d tried to find slaves that worked in the Keep, but had little luck
  • He also took a tour of the College, and learned they had a high-security area
  • He identified Ormal Ardem, an old aquaintance from the battle at the Ruins, as having access to this secret area
  • He also learned the College was working on or repairing some kind of massive construct, possibly one like they’d discovered in the tunnels, possibly the weapon they were planning to use in the attack on Shivar.

Given this intelligence, the group thought it prudent to inform Gaius Cerris of what they had learned, using their Decanter of Endless Water and his signet coin in order to contact him and relay all that they knew. Now it was time to figure out how they would infiltrate the College and rescue Vyktor’s mother.

Session Recap
Another Big Fight: Death Metal Snow Globe Edition

Below is an outline of a session recap.

- Lots and lots of encounter prep. Artas and Iggy turn into Inflatable Tube Men.
- Drael summons the Screaming Eagles which immediately get Fingered to Death while the Caller in Darkness scares the pants off 2 others.
- Artas and Iggy hang out.
- Mummies and Ghouls appear.
- Vyktor casts BLACK TENTACLES followed by Eredris’ Fireball. Everything dies.
- Polycarp sneaks into a building and finds some Mummies. Mummies also find him.
- Artas and Iggy hang out some more.
- Drael initiates “Operation Disco Pete”. Eredris follows suit.
- The Daemon flies into the air and curses the mortals.
- The Caller in Darkness begins swallowing Archons. One is reduced to blithering stupidity.
- Artas gets bored and steps out to taunt the Daemon. It is pants-shittingly effective. Luckily Vyktor is protecting them from….everything.
- Wraiths walk right past Polycarp and don’t notice him. The Mummies, however, give Polycarp a hug and he begins to rot (not that you’d notice).
- Raven comes to Polycarp’s rescue, turning him invisible.
- Polycarp buggers out through the back door.
- Skeleton Archers “hut-hut-hut” their way out onto a ledge a the far end of the room.
- Drael says “Hey guys, what about Aqueous Orb?” The rest of the party rolls their eyes. The skeletons roll in the ball of water. Drael proceeds to create the most metal snow globe ever.
- Whiskers enter the fray and starts attacking the ghouls. Stock in Blend-Tech™ goes down.
- The ghouls and mummies begin running past Whiskers. Mummy and Ghoul bits stop running past whiskers.
- Artas and Iggy are being mostly ineffective against the Daemon. Iggy because of the daemon’s displacement and Artas because he just sucks at hitting things.
- Vyktor curses the tits off The Caller in Darkness who spends the next 3 rounds with its thumb up its butt.
- Polycarp begins rummaging through the rubble with Raven looking for the thing.
- The Caller in Darkness breaks through the curse and charges Vyktor who becomes grappled.
- Eredris readies his action to activate Anti-Magic Field if Vyktor can get free.
- Vyktor, via some magical bait and switch, slips out of the clutches of the Caller of Darkness. Eredris pops his Anti-Magic Field and the Caller in Darkness is squashed into the Incorporeal plane.
- The party begins unloading on the Daemon and it goes down in short order, but not before targeting Eredris, who succumbs and whose healing is complicated by the Anti-Magic field
- The party cheeses the fight with the Caller in Darkness by playing Eredris shuffle-board
- The rest of the room is ransacked, except for a few of the closed-off buildings that smell bad
- The party returns to the not-robot and they proceed to power junction. What’s your function?
- The not-robot tells the party that they have 3 minutes to decide how to redistribute power to the walls, and that whatever they choose there is a chance that the walls and any thing they draw power from could be unpowered completely.
- The Party decides to draw power from the docks.
- With bated breath and clenched assholes the party watched Vyktor and Eredris fiddle with the magical components.
- To the party’s great relief Vyktor managed to not blow everyone/everything up and saved the day. Both the Walls and the Docks continue to function.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.