Campaign of the Month: May 2008

Dragonhunter Cronicles

Welcome to Janliff

Our heroes bide their time in Crestpeak Citadel, waiting for Tacoma to heal. As they waited the local Captain of the Guard informed them that the strike team had returned from the nest. They found it empty except for the queen’s corpse and some eggs. The shadow spiders were nowhere to be found. Everyone noted this irregularity with concern and assured the Captain that the spiders had been there when they left. Finally, after 2 days he is well enough to travel on.

On the road to Janliff the party encountered a pile of burnt wreckage by the side of the road. Curious they stopped to investigate. They found that the debris was from a set of wagons, dragged off the road and burned. The wagons had been there for about 3 weeks. Next to wreckage was a large area of ground that had been upturned. They dug it up and found a corpse, buried and rotting. With that gruesome yet perplexing find they ended their investigation and reburied the body. As they continued onward they found two more sets of burned wagons, very similar to the first.

It was dark by the time the companions finally arrived at Janliff. Thankfully they had made it through the night without being attacked. When the guards on the wall saw who was approaching, they gladly opened the gates and let them in. The lieutenant on duty even gave them an escort to the Governor’s home. Governor Marcelin Lajana’s home was guarded by 2 men, one a member of the House Lajana Guards, the other a King’s Guard. They were greeted by one of the Governor’s servants, surprised to have guests arriving so late. Unfortunately there were only 2 rooms available for them to stay in due to another guest of the Governor’s, Lord Cantus Arith. With Lord Rheoban and Lord Felix (with Kylee) staying at the Governor’s home, the others were given rooms at the Blue Moon Inn.

The next morning they begin their investigations into what is going on and trying to find out if they really is a dragon nearby.

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Spiders in the dark

Having delivered After the Fall: Extraplanar Creatures to Laretha, the party has been told that there might be a red dragon near the town of Janliff. Laretha and Matrius want them to investigate these reports, find Matrius’ contact (a merchant named Terick), and negotiate a meeting between Lathrotha and this new dragon. If the red dragon will not meet with Lathrotha (or possibly if it knew of Lathrotha and still didn’t contact her) they are to kill the dragon. The party has obtained a catapult armed with a barbed net and mounted in a wagon.

On route to Janliff the party found a nest of Scourge outside of Crestpeak Citadel. In a vicious battle that left Tacoma seriously injured they managed to kill the nest queen, but fled the strange shadow-like spiders that defended the nest. Our heroes are now in the citadel receiving treatment. The local authorities have been informed and will be sending a strike team to cleanse the nest.

It will 2 full days of rest for Tacoma to be fully healed. Everyone else who isn’t fully healed will require 1 full day of rest. Everyone who took lethal damage will have scars. Tacoma will have lasting damage to his left shoulder causing a minor reduction in movement range (this has no game mechanic change). The healers at the citadel, skilled as they are, can only do so much even with their magic.

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Home Again

Our heroes left the vault and headed back to civilized lands. On the way back they narrowly avoided a pack of mantises, tore apart some stalkers and watched a harbinger fly overhead. Thankfully they and the scouts they hired all made it back to Prylin safely.

On the road between Prylin and Salinea they were passed by a trio of riders galloping hard towards Prylin. One of the rider carried a banner, a white lion on a field of green, the banner of House Thoeman. The riders could only be royal messengers with an important message. The party soon found out what was so important when the arrived at Salinea. The gate guards wore black armbands and informed them that Crown Prince Helius, next in line for the throne, was dead. Apparently he had died while hunting in the western mountains. No one knew the specifics of how he had died. As they continued towards New Allar they heard many rumors, but no solid facts.

In New Allar they sold off the non-magical loot they recovered from the vault with the exception of the golem’s body. Tacoma also sold a map of the vault to the Explorer’s guild. After a brief shopping break they headed on to Haven. Once there they divided the magical loot and reported in to Commander Matrius. After handing over the gauntlet and the locked book the party told him about the other items they retrieved from the vault. He expressed great interest in the other books they found and offered to buy them. After some negotiation the party did agree to sell the books rather than turn them over to the Academy or the Sages. Commander Matrius thanked them, requested that they continue to keep their mission a secret and said he would likely have another job for them in a couple weeks.

When Lord Rheoban returned to the Lajana family manor he found a message waiting for him. Apparently a Servant of Jura had stopped by requesting that the party speak with Jura as soon as possible. When the party assembled at Jura’s Shrine, they were led back down to the underground spring of the River Avon. When they arrived, Jura dismissed her Servants, leaving the party alone with the Primarch.

Jura told them that she had a mission for them. She wanted them to find Kirronan the green dragon. According to Jura, he is somewhere in the Black Marsh. Jura believes that Kirronan knows something about the Scourge. It is the heroes job to find Kirronan and figure out anything he might know about the Scourge. When they return, Jura will tell them about the ancient serpent in Haven.

The scouts took the magic axe, magic morningstar, feather cloak, 1 guardian stone, and some money as payment.

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Fun with Quest-Tec

Our heroes made their way through the vault, evading traps and destroying guards. Eventually they found and destroyed the magical construct that controlled the traps and thoroughly looted the vault. Now it is time to return to Commander Matrius.

Identified Magic Items

Golden Clawed Gauntlet

Extendable Pole

Storm Stones

2 Amulets of Protection

2 Guardian Stones

5 Flame Arrows (1 used)

Eviscerator Longsword

Unidentified Magic Items

Mysterious Locked Book

Book of Fire and Lightning

Screaming Book

Magic Full Plate

Magic Harpoon

Magic Morningstar

Magic Axe

3 Magic Cloths

Feather Cloak

5 Lightning Arrows

5 Frost Arrows

5 Acid Arrows

Non-magical loot

One metal golem corpse.

A small piece of white and silvery fur on a silver chain. Identified as a good luck charm from before the Scourge.

A bronze medallion imprinted with the Quest-Tec logo.

A silver cup with images of musicians around the outside.

An ivory statuette about 1 foot long of a man in full plate holding a longsword, point down.

A painting of a lord on horseback. A bronze plaque on the wooden frame states “Lord Einol Poril”.

A black stone staff with silver inlaid runes.

A gold and ruby necklace.

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A Dinner Party

Quick rundown: The party went to meet Commander Matrius. He gave them a job to retrieve 2 items from a vault in the Kynic Hills. The party recruited the 3 scouts who originally found the site in exchange for equal shares of loot. On the way, they were attacked by bandits. The bandits were killed and 3 captured. Those who were captured told the party where their stolen items were usually dropped off. The party spared the bandits in exchange for their assistance. The party has decided to investigate the bandits’ drop-off point, a warehouse in Faircross.

I’ll have the full log update finished eventually.

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Of Liches and Dreams

“The world is at a tipping point. You must grow stronger and confront the evil that threatens. Seek the ancient serpent in the Stone of Heart’s Water. Seek the power of the blood at the peak of ice. Seek the one that is many beyond the ruins of greatness.” -Message in the Dream

The adventurers made their way up the mountain on the trail of the necromancer, Kindar. They caught up with him at a small cave. After hacking their way through a number of zombies they found Kindar at the back of the cave, ready for them behind a line zombies. With the zombies to slow our heroes down it was clear that Kindar could use his earth magic to escape well before they could kill him. Instead of forcing Kindar to flee they chose to try talking him down. Kindar claimed that he was studying necromancy so that he could destroy the Scourge. The first step of his plan was to perform a ritual that would grant him great power over the dead. Through a series of negotiations, Lord Rheoban managed to convince Kindar to give them first a copy of the ritual and then the actual book of necromantic lore that he had been studying. Kindar also agreed to bring the crystal, formerly part of the seal on the demon of Millkeep, back to the cave after he finished the ritual. With this agreed upon, the heroes left, allowing Kindar and his remaining zombies to escape.

The heroes immediately traveled back to Eriley to figure out where the necromancer would be performing his ritual. Looking over the tome of necromancy they saw that the ritual needed to be performed in the Tomb of King Drath. A local bard said he knew where the tomb was and agreed to help them find it. So in the dead of night, they hurried back up the mountain, but in the darkness they were unable to locate the tomb. With no other options they waited for morning. While they waited, Lord Felix, Lord Rheoban and Rayn studied the tome of necromancy (renamed the Book of Treason) hoping to gain some insight into how they too could become necromancers.

In the morning they found the Tomb of King Drath, an ancient king known for advancing the arcane arts. In the entry chamber they found several empty coffins. As they approached the main burial room they readied themselves to fight what was certainly a large pack of undead. However, when they opened the doors to the main room they found it mostly empty. At the far end was a simple stone throne, in the middle a pedestal with a magic orb. Around the pedestal was the arcane circle needed for the necromantic ritual. Lying next to the pedestal was the body of Kindar, dessicated and thoroughly dead. In a corner was Kindar’s backpack and his copy of the ritual. Of the zombies, King Drath and the crystal from Millkeep there was no sign. Before leaving the tomb they dismembered Kindar’s corpse and took the pieces with them.

The heroes returned once more to Eriley to send a message, about Kindar and a strange dream they had, back to the Academy and decide what to do next. Kindar had said that he planned to start his destruction of the Scourge in Old Allar so they decided to head there. They headed to New Allar to prepare for the journey. While in new Allar, Lord Felix, Lord Rheoban, and Rayn continued their study of the Book of Treason. Lord Felix was especially studious managing to gain an academic understanding of the basic principles of necromancy. However, when they woke up the next morning, they found that the book was gone.

While in New Allar they recieved a letter from the Academy. It was a simple order for them to return to Haven and report to Grand Magus Alain. Before leaving they made a quick check of the local rumors, in case word of a ancient skeleton and a dozen zombies were around. No one had heard of any undead, but they had heard of unrest in several town. Peasants all over the realm were outraged by the heinous and unprovoked brutality of the Defenders in the Massacre of Prylin.

When they arrived at Haven, the party immediately returned to the Academy. However, after a brief wait at the gates, the Grand Magus’s assistant came out to tell them that now was not a good time and they should return tomorrow morning. Instead they spent the day investigating the strange dream they had had. First they went to see if they could get a meeting with Jura, the elemental Primarch of water. They went to Jura’s shrine and spoke with its servants, telling them about the dream and their desire to speak with Jura about it. The Servants told them that the party would need permission to speak with Jura, but the message would be relayed. Now waiting on two meetings, the party went to the Library to do some studying on their own. As nobility, Lord Rheoban and Lord Felix were allowed into the public section of the Library and Tacoma got a meeting with an old friend, Sage Rosemary, but the others were turned away by the Keepers of the Tomes. Tacoma convinced Sage Rosemary to investigate their cryptic dream, but Lord Rheoban and Lord Felix found nothing helpful in the multitude of ancient books.

The next day the adventurers once again approached the Academy and were once again met by Alain’s assistant. However, this time he brought them inside to a small conference room. A few minutes later, Grand Magus Alain entered. He first questioned them about this dream they had had. Then he asked for their report on what had happened with Kindar. He then thanked them for their assistance and told them that the Millkeep demon, Kindar and Drath were Academy buisness and they need no longer worry themselves about it. When the party asked about their dream, Alain said he could not tell them anything about the “ancient serpent”, but gave a vague idea what the other parts might mean. It was clear that he wasn’t telling them everything, but there was nothing they could do about it. The party then returned the items from the Millkeep mages as well as the magic orb they found in the tomb of King Drath. Alain’s assistant gave Kane the book about dragons with instructions to have it back within a week, then escorted them out of the building.

After reporting to the Grand Magus, the party headed back to the Shrine of Jura to see if they could get an audience with the Primarch. The Servants greeted them and confirmed that they could speak with Jura. They were led deeper underground to a mighty river, rushing under the city. From the rushing waters rose a large face, the water elemental Jura. The party first asked what Grand Magus Alain wasn’t telling them, to which Jura replied “That which he is not allowed to tell.” When they asked about the ‘ancient serpent’, Jura confirmed that it knew what it referred to, but said it “is not my place to tell.” Jura did refer to the ancient serpent as a ‘she’ and when the party offered to perform a service, Jura agreed to tell them about it, after the service was complete. Unfortunately, Jura did not have a service in mind at the time, so it said that a Servant would be sent to them when there was a task. Though the party asked several more questions, they got little new information. However, when they asked about New Allar, Jura became visibly agitated.

After their meeting with Jura, the party headed back into the city to try and figure out what to do next. As they were settling in, they received messages bearing a green seal of a lion and a sword. The messages said:

Congratulations on your work in Prylin. It would be my pleasure if you and your friends could join me for dinner tonight.

Sincerely,

Commander Matrius

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In Pursuit of the Necromancer

With the demon defeated our heroes found themselves returned to the material realm, surrounded by the corpses of those the demon had taken. They searched the mutilated bodies, 14 Defenders, 12 commoners, 5 Magi, and 2 House Lajana guardsmen. The Defenders had standard swords and armor, nothing particularly interesting. However, the mages had much nicer equipment. The fire mage had a mage-crafted longsword. The air mage had a magical amulet and sword. The earth mage had mage-crafted full plate and a mage-crafted mace. The water mage had slither scale armor and a magical staff. The party took the swords and staff, but left almost everything else. Then they went back into Millkeep and alerted Lord Muciel of what had happened. They also sent another letter to Grand Magus Alain.

Having found out that the necromancer had stolen one of the crystals that had sealed the demon away, our heroes decided that they had to track him down and recover the crystal. First they headed south to Stoneforge Citadel, home of House Garen. The trip was not long, but they left late in the day and night fell without them reaching their destination. Already close to Stoneforge, they decided to press on through the night. However, not long after full dark they spotted winged forms coming at them from higher up the mountains. Ten gargoyles, armed with bloody spears, descended upon them. After a fierce battle our heroes managed to kill the gargoyles, but were left bloodied and bruised. They staggered on to Stoneforge and spent the night at the local Healer’s guild.

The next day the local healer mage examined them and used his magic to heal their wounds. After thanking the healers and giving a gracious donation to the guild they began to ask around town about the necromancer. From the guards pointed them in the direction of a merchant of ‘unusual ingredients’ in the lower city who had reported seeing someone matching the necromancer’s description. The merchant told them that the man he met had had a list of items he wanted and had appeared to be preparing for cold weather travel. The items were the sort used in alchemical formulations or arcane rituals.

Continuing their investigation in Stoneforge, Lord Rheoban met with the local alchemists guild to ask about the ingredients. They knew of no formulation which would use such ingredients and said that they was more likely to be used for arcane purposes. They also made the exhaustive climb to the Eerie, frequent stopping point of Salos, Elemental Primarch of Air. The Eerie, high in the mountains, was a large open area of structures, clear, crystal-like columns, and wind chimes. Here the Followers of Salos learned how best to serve the Primarch. The Followers of Salos at the Eerie had not seen or heard of the necromancer, so the party rested their for the night.

The next morning the party awoke to the wind chimes sounding loud notes. Salos had returned to the Eerie and our heroes were given the opportunity to speak with it. The swirling mass of wind and cloud that formed the elemental spoke with clear almost musical voice which hinted at unknown amusement, as though it saw something funny that no one else could see. Salos had not seen the necromancer, nor did he seem to care. When the party listed the ingredients the necromancer had purchased, Salos told them that it sounded like the ingredients for troll soup. Salos did tell them about a conversation it had had with a red dragon residing high in the mountains to the east. Salos also helped them return to Stoneforge Citadel by throwing them off of the Eerie and catching them back at the bottom.

With no further leads in Stoneforge Citadel, the party continued on to the town of Eriley. The guards there immediately reported having an encounter with the necromancer. He had raided a local crypt. The party investigated the empty graves. The grave keeper was missing, but his notes indicated that 23 people had been buried in the now vacant crypt. In the basement beneath the grave keeper’s home they found a tunnel, formed with magic, that led out below the town. Outside they easily found the tracks of a couple dozen barefoot humans leading up into the mountains. The tracks were less than two days old. Our heroes draw close to their prey.

Items Gained: Mage-Crafted Longsword, Mage-Crafted Mace, Swift Blade, Guardian Staff, Amulet of Protection

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Into the Darkness

So our heroes ventured into the mines, accompanied by the four mages and their Defenders, to find the source of the disappearances. Tacoma and the air mage scouted ahead. They found the spot where the tunnel had originally been sealed off. An opening had been formed in it with magic. The air mage headed back to inform the others, while Tacoma waited there. However, while he waited, a wall of darkness rushed out and engulfed him.

The others were similarly engulfed as the darkness rapidly advanced down the tunnel. As they were engulfed they felt agonizing pain, as though something was trying to rip their bodies apart. Thankfully, it lasted only a moment, leaving them in darkness.

Our heroes found themselves in a world made entirely of shadows. The darkness making a solid floor and walls. As they recovered from the shock, they noticed two figures approaching. They were two of the Defenders that the mages had brought with them. However, they advanced with swords drawn in an awkward shuffling gait. As they approached it was clear that their skin had been ripped off. They were dead and doomed, our heroes were forced to destroyed the former Defenders.

The party proceeded through the shadow tunnels and eventually arrived at a large cavern. In the center of the cavern stood a massive creature. Humanoid and darker than the shadows that surrounded it, it was easily 18 feet tall, but thin and emaciated. Around its wrists, ankles, and neck were silvery shackles attached to glowing chains. The chains led to 5 small crystals placed in a pentagon around the creature. One of the chains, attached to its left arm, lay broken and dull and the chain attached to its right arm was noticeably dimmer than the other three.

Standing in front of the creature were three large hounds, their fur a black and their eyes burning red. Two vanished immediately upon the party’s arrival. The third stayed long enough to growl at them, but also vanished.

The party, wary of engaging the creature, instead began a conversation with it. They learned that it had been sealed away long, long ago by mages, which the creature refer to as ‘meddlers’. It also told them that another mage had come by recently and broken one of the seals which bound it their. Rather than being appreciative, the creature was angry that the mage had not broken all of its bindings. The creature gladly agreed to help hunt down and destroy this mage, if the party would only destroy the remaining bindings. It also explained that the hell hounds were “not (its) friends. They are your friends.” It claimed that if it were not for the hounds, they would be dead.

The creature agreed to release the party provided they freed it. After long discussions it agreed to send one of the party members back to prove that it could free them. Tacoma was chosen to go back. He arrived safely and proceeded to send a message to the Academy. Back in the shadows, the others were left to wonder if Tacoma was truly safe. All they saw was Tacoma get wrapped in shadows and disappear. With only the creature’s assurances that Tacoma was safe, the others were wary of doing anything further. As they delayed, the creature became increasingly impatient, demanding that they destroy the binding crystals. To appease the creature without actually freeing it, they told it that they needed more help. Despite its assurance that they were capable, it agreed to send another one of them back. This time Lord Rheoban was sent. He met up with Tacoma and together they began to plan how to get the others out.

The next day they received a reply from Grand Magus Alain. It was short, telling them that the Academy was researching the creature and that they were not to release it under any circumstances. Lord Rheoban and Tacoma went to the Lord Muciel and the captain of the guard to get get additional troops to help kill the creature. They were given 8 Defenders and 2 House Lajana Guards. They also convinced the local mage healer to accompany them. Together they returned to the cavern and waited for the monster to bring them back to its realm.

After some waiting, the reinforcements were engulfed in shadows. Lord Rheoban and Tacoma found themselves in front of the demon with Lord Felix, Kane and Rayn. The mage, Defenders, and guards were no where to be found. The demon had consumed them, strengthening itself. It summoned more undead, including the former earth mage, clad in stone armor, and demanded that our heroes break the crystals. With no other options, our heroes attacked the demon and its undead. The undead, a mixture of Defenders and commoners, surrounded and attacked the heroes. The demon defended itself with a mixture of defensive and healing spells. It also summoned up more undead. As the heroes continued to hurt it, the demon consumed the soul of the earth mage to heal itself. It then summoned the fire mage, but was quickly forced to consume him as well. Finally, the demon was so badly injured that it could no longer maintain the shadow realm. The walls wavered and collapsed, sending the party back to the material realm.

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Cleaning Up and Moving Out

With the arrival of the Lieutenant Daniel and his Defenders, our heroes’ reasons for staying in Prylin were quickly dwindling. The rebellion was being resolved, the beasts had been destroyed, and the leader of the crime ring had been driven into hiding. They still had their suspicions of Captain Indorian and his involvement in the rebellion, but after snooping around for a while the next day they found no evidence of wrongdoing. Magus Ellen had brought their payment from the Academy as well as a box to transport the amulet they found on Old Man Jones.

Outside of Salinea they came across a group of Defenders and a destroyed caravan. The caravan had been attacked by a pack of beasts. The Defenders, having found the remains while on patrol, were about to track down the beasts. The party graciously offered to come with the patrol and assist in destroying the beasts. It did not take long for them to catch up with the beasts, a pair of mantises and nearly a dozen grunts. A few well placed arrows took down the mantises, the true threat in the pack, and some quick sword work finished off the grunts. The Defenders thanked them for the assistance and our heroes resumed their journey.

Other than a brief stop in Old Allar to inform the local mining guild about a iron vein they found near Prylin, the rest of their journey was uneventful.

Back in Haven they returned to Grand Magus Alain. They gave their report and handed over the amulet. The Grand Magus informed them that, the night after they left Prylin, Captain Indorian was murdered. He also informed them about a necromancer that was being hunted and that there had been a series of unusual disappearances in Millkeep. According to witnesses, people are being ‘swallowed by the shadows’. The Academy is sending a team of mages to investigate and Grand Magus Alain is sending our heroes to accompany and assist them.

The next morning the party met up with the Academy’s group, four mages, one skilled in each form of elemental magic, and 6 Defenders. They quickly reached Millkeep and began their investigation. They questioned the local mage healer and Governor Muciel Lajana and learned that the disappearances had started about two weeks ago. The first people vanished from the local mines and the sites of the disappearances seemed to be moving out from there. Then they went and questioned the local mine foreman. He told them that there was a section of the mines that had been closed off a long time ago by the Academy because of some magical hazard. He also mentioned that there had been a mage in the mines a bit more than two weeks ago. He pointed them towards the miner that had spoken with the mage. The miner gave them a description of a gaunt man with brown hair and eyes. The description matched that of the necromancer, an adept earth and water mage that had been caught practicing dark magics.

With this information they rejoined the other mages sent by the Academy. The mages had also found information pointing towards the sealed off section of the mines. After a night’s sleep they were ready to venture into the mines and find the source of these disappearances.

Rules Amendment: Heavy armor now reduces lethal damage to bashing on a 1 for 1 basis. Armor with rating Heavy X reduces X points of lethal damage to bashing per strike, damage greater than X remains lethal. Armor piercing reduces the effective armor rating of the target.

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