Saturday, 30 March 2019

The Party

I have been chosen to represent the elves in a special council of the five kingdoms. Personally, I cant think of a better choice. Being a paladin of noble blood I perfectly embody the task. So I have left Boismere with my loyal attendants, Greenburn, Violet and Leonidas. Before leaving the motherwood we meet up with another elf called Liana Nectar who would also be at the summit. As a druid she if often found quietly observing what is going on around her but from time to time she will carry on and on unconstrained by norms or expectations.

Upon reaching Stavrodromi, which Im told this is an ancient human word for crossroads, clearly whoever named the city is very clever, at any rate… Upon reaching the gates we are greeted by the local watch and escorted to the city hall where we are to meet up with the rest of our party.

The first of our companions is already there waiting for us. The dragonborn Heskan, native of Stavrodromi, is a strange creature. But then this is a strange town with all manner of beings living within its boundaries. Perhaps it is fitting that they chose an urchin to represent them on such a noble quest.

The next to arrive is the dwarf, Kokic, representative of the nation of Throg Duthrum. While I will never understand the ways of the dwarven people, it is apparent that Kokic is loyal to his comrades and true to his word, no matter the cost.

Our party is rounded out by a human who could be named nothing other than Monocle D. Tophat. He represents the kingdom of New Brunswick and, much like his home land, is shrouded greatness, mystery and chaos.

In the morning we set off on our journey to the summit. We are to meet with a great Amethyst dragon. Very little is known about this species of dragon. In fact, the only references of them is in ancient texts that have long been deemed obsolete. All modern accounts of dragons have removed this breed because it was believed the had been extinct.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

The 5 Kingdoms – Prologue

The Great Ridge, a mountainous region that is nearly impossible to traverse, splits the kingdoms into three regions. To the far west there is the great Elven forest of Boismère. Closer to the ridge, the humans and halflings call Old Brunswick their home. Just south of the ridge the land of Stavrodrómi serves as a gateway between the east and west. Here you will find the most tolerant and diverse collection of people including half-orcs and dragonborn. In the east you will find the radiant human town of New Brunswick. Not to be mistaken for its inferior predecessor, the dirty and smelly Old Brunswick. Far to the northeast is the mountains kingdom of Throg Duthrum. Here the dwarves have build their mighty castles and forges.

These 5 kingdoms lived in peace for centuries. Then, nearly 64 years ago, a great gold deposit was found in the Great Ridge by the humans of New Brunswick. With the help of the dwarves they mined the vein and became very prosperous. Soon after the western kingdoms started mining the vein as well. This led to a great war. Many died as the greed of men enveloped the realm. But this greed attracted a new danger, dragons.

While the war raged a group of 7 dragons came to the region and began claiming the mines and the gold within as their own. Unable to stop them, the kingdoms retreated back to their home lands. Since then there has been no war but there has been no peace either.

Friday, 6 July 2018

The Forest of Wisdom

After another day of celebration we are approached by Mayor Nibson. He has a somber look on his face and is acting quite strange. It seems that one of the residents of Alna, Nia, has left the village. Apparently there was a disagreement between her and the elders. Nibson has asked that we find her and apologize to her for the village. The mayor believes she has fled to the Forest of Whispers. Our third trial will be to find her and try to convince her to return.

The next morning we head off and journey 2 days to the north. The journey is uneventful and brings us to an ancient druid circle. This place has not housed any ceremonies in quite some time but its familiar nature makes for a good place to camp. Or so we thought. Before dawn we are attacked by a pack of ghouls.  We manage to destroy them but unfortunately the encounter seemed to be to much for one of our party members. In the morning, Nihil decided to leave the group and return to a life in the forest. Hopefully we will join up with her again some day.

After saying our goodbyes, we continue our search for Nia. Before leaving, our ranger friend spotted a set of tracks the lead to the west. We decided to follow them and after an hour we came upon an old, rundown plantation house. From the outside the house looks as though it hasnt been inhabited for decades. Strangely, there is a light coming from inside.

While the rest of us are coming up with a strategy for what to do next, Grulog, once again, gets bored and decides to kick in the door. With the decision made, we enter the house. The interior of the house looks very different from the exterior. Everything is well kept, candles light the moment you enter the different rooms. There is however a strange moaning or wailing coming from the second floor.

As we are surveying the room an old hag enters. She invites us to join her for dinner in the other room. While the others join her, I decide to slip away to investigate the second floor.

After taking a secret staircase in the study I can hear the moaning getting louder and louder. Finally I find the room that all the noise is coming from. I quietly open the door and before I can blink a banshee rushes past me. At this moment the true nature of the house is revealed. The house has not been up kept. It was all an illusion. The banshee disappears through a hole in the floor toward the dining room, and my friends. I follow it as fast as I can but before I can do anything the beast bellowed its terrible wail. And that was the last thing I remember.

I was revived by our druid to find the banshee slain and the hag now freed. As it turns out, she is the woman we were sent to find, Nia. She has been under the banshees spell and unable to think freely for many years. When we tell he of Mayor Nibsons apology she agrees to return to Alna with us.

Along the way we encounter some ghouls again. Its no wonder that druid circle has been abandoned. Other than that, our journey is uneventful.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sempronius is Missing

When we awoke in the barracks of dragon mountain, Sempronius was gone. After a little bit of investigation, we realized that he wasnt just gone. He had been taken. Not only that, but the Yellow Orb was missing too. The abductor appeared to disappear into the wall. Go through the court yard, meet up with some companions and then vanish through another wall. Just on the other side, we found a used teleportation circle. We quickly drew a copy of the circle in the hopes that someone would be able to translate it for us. With nothing left to do here, we traveled back to the Shining Tower.

On the second night of our journey to The Shining Tower, a young dwarven girl came to Garruk in the night. She told him that we were not worthy of possessing the pendants and that if we wanted our friend back we would have to trade them for him. Garruk felt that the dwarves were not the threat as the girl seemed to be enchanted. We decided to continue and seek out a wizard in The Shining Tower.

When we reach the city gates the guards stop us and we are required to identify ourselves. It seems the upraising of the followers of Odin is getting out of hand. After we are approved, the guards inform me that Selus would like to see me. Cole searches out a blacksmith and Garruk goes hunting for magical items.

Selus welcomes me and invites me into his chambers. He congratulates me on all the work we have been doing to find the orbs and pendants and tells me that I have been promoted to the position of Inquisitor. With this title comes both perks and responsibilities. I am to continue my quest for the orbs and report back with any information I find as often as I am able. To help me in this quest I am granted free stay at any of the temples of Zues. Additionally, I have been given a beautiful suit of plate armor. This armor, which is adorned with golden lightning bolts offers magical protection against both thunder and lightning attacks. I have no doubt that I have found favor with Zues as a gift so great could not be earned without it.

When I present the drawing of the teleportation circle to Selus he suggests that we report to Stormgear. Stormgear interprets the runes for me and explains that the spell would take one past the Silent Planes. Unfortunately, he is unable to use the teleporter to transport to locations other than the other teleporters. He suggests that we find a wizard who is capable of casting teleportation.

The next night there is a small banquet to celebrate my promotion. I am introduced to the Head Inquisitor, Stannis, and several of my contemporaries. Stannis seems unimpressed but everyone verifies that he always comes off that way, no matter the situation.

With all of our affairs in order, our next task is to find a wizard who will be able to help us track down Sempronius. Hopefully we run into Chandra and Grim along the way and they can help us rescue our lost friend.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Cove of Storms

After a day of celebration with our friends in Alna it was time to set out again. The second trial would take us the the Cove of Storms, a three day hike, due east. The purpose of our journey was to each recover a glisten shell.

The trek there was uneventful. The cove was surrounded by high cliffs. Despite the coves name, the water lapped gently on the pristine white beach. The sand was smooth and there were small sea creatures and birds playing in the sand and around the 3 giant rocks that were scattered on the beach. In the center of the cove there emerged a a stepped pyramid upon which sat six glisten shells.

It seemed that this was going to be a very easy task. Kriv would use his Cloak of the Manta Ray to swim out to the monument, collect the shells, and we would be on our way. Then, as we approached the boulders, everything changed. It turned out that they were actually giant crab men. Though we doubled their numbers these creatures were powerful foes. It took some serious team work but we managed to defeat them.

After narrowly avoiding disaster, we gathered our prizes and began the trip home. Along the way we are confronted by a party of gnolls. These primitive creatures were little challenge for us as we quickly dispatched them. With two more encounters under our belts we were able to return to Alna more powerful than we left.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Cave of Shadows

For a little while now, I have been calling the village of Alna my home. Nestled in the woods, it is a place that is surrounded by natural beauty. It is unencumbered by buildings, walls, fences and other things meant only for keeping people out. Those who live here do so for two reasons. One, they are no longer welcome where they came from and two, the other residents have chosen to let them stay.

Today is a special day for a small group of us. Today is our name day. Our group is as diverse as the population of Alna. There is the dragonborn sorcerer, Kriv. The lizard folk, Lish and the half-orc, Grulog, both of whom are barbarians. Then there are the wood elves. The ranger Nihil and her druid sister whos name I cant seem to recall.

The mayor, Nibsom, summoned us to the center of the village. A small crowd gathers and he explains that in order to remain in Alna, we must prove our worth. To do so we must undergo 3 trials. Each more difficult than the last.

Our first trial takes place in The Cave of Shadows. Almost immediately upon entering the cave we could tell it was a dangerous place. Four giant spiders were milling about in the first rotunda. With two powerful fighters, a couple of spell casters, a master archer and my stealth there was no doubt the six of us would be able to handle four spiders without much trouble. Unfortunately, while we were finishing up the first two, some of us werent paying attention, and two more fiends snuck in. This mistake nearly cost us everything. We managed to overcome this surprise and learned a great deal from the encounter. Badly hurt, we decided to make camp for the night. But not before dining on some delicious spider stew!

In the morning we went further into the cave. Here we found a strange shrine. on the floor there was a very large blue glyph. On one wall there was a gigantic stone cauldron with a red liquid in it. The liquid had the consistency of cherry flavored sugar water. Though, non of us dared drink it.  The back of the shrine had a strange statue in it. It appears that the jaw of the statue opens and closes but we were unable to find a way to activate it. Perhaps the most perplexing thing was the four scarecrows laying randomly around the shrine.

After a little bit of investigation, Grulog got bored and threw one of the scarecrows into the middle of the glyph. The moment the straw hit the ground the glyph turned red and all of the scarecrows sprang to life. Having learned from our mistakes in the previous battle we defeated them in no time flat. When the last pile of hay met its demise, the jaws of the statue opened. Inside we found six, round, golden coins. Each coin had a hole in its center and one of our names on it. We have completed the first trial. Time to head back to Alna and find out what we face next.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Man in the Silent Planes

The road to Blackstone was uneventful. When we arrived we were reunited with our ranger friend, Garruk. He has a new traveling companion, a warlock called Sempronius. The gods have a strange sense of humor. A month ago I had never heard the name Sempronius and now I am looking for a bard and have a traveling companion both by that name.

In Blackstone, Elizabeth of the order of Hera gives us information about a man named Dros Maji. Apparently he nearly overthrew the whole order some time ago and has been exiled to the Silent Planes ever since. She tells us that he should have information for us about the pendants. First, as promised we must bring the Amulet of the Unnamed One to Selus in the Shining Tower so that he can examine it. Satisfied that the amulet is in safe hands we head to the Silent Planes.

The Silent Planes are as strange a place as you have ever been. The moment you enter this realm you are overcome with a strange combination of peace and terror. There is absolutely no sound. Your mind is allowed to wander, free of any distractions. This can be comforting but a weak mind can quickly get lost. It is in the deepest silence that we must truly listen.

After wandering for a couple hours we spot a single stone building in the distance. On each of the four sides there is a tent. As we get closer we can see there are 3 men standing guard outside the structure. These men are the Monks of the Four Elements. They have been charged with the protection and imprisonment of Dros Maji. As we approach the monks are rightfully suspicious. When we explain that we are here on business of the Temple of Zues they agree to let us question their ward.

Inside the stone box that is Dros Majis cell there is nothing but an old, almost ancient, man chained to the rear wall. He can hardly be considered a man anymore. His body has been consumed by dark magics for so long that it is impossible to tell if he is still among the living. I have no doubt that his soul waits at the gates of Tartarus where it will meet its final judgement when his body is finally put to rest.

Our interrogation of Dros Maji proves to be surprisingly fruitful. We learn that he once had the red amulet. When he wore it he claims to have seen the light. It gave him a direct link to the unnamed one. A direct link to “Baloc.” While under its power he wanted nothing more than to bring peace to the world, by any means possible. Since the removal of the amulet everything has become muddled in his mind. Nothing seems real.

Additionally, the Endless Library has the red orb and has been abusing its powers for centuries.  He also knows that at one time there were believed to be orbs at the Shattered Isles, Dragons Run, and White Run. If this is true then we now know the location of all six orbs. He advises us to seek the bard Sempronius if we want more information.

We passed White Run on the way to the Silent Planes. It seems the gods want us to travel there next. I have no doubt that Cole will agree with me. As we passed the cursed land on our journey here I felt a longing in him to travel into the death and return to something.

 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Chandras Trial

Our return trip to Three Rivers was uneventful. We had a few days to prepare for the trial so we gathered information on what the prosecution was planning. It seems that they were planning on pinning all of the atrocities that happened in Mine Town on Chandra. This trial, like all the trials of men, was going to be a farce. Judgement should be left in the hands of the gods.

After the prosecution made their claims we presented our defense. We displayed that Chandra could not have acted alone. The cell doors in the basement of the magic shop were far to heavy for someone of her strength to open and close. We also displayed that once under the control of the amulet, a person can be compelled to do very absurd things.

Fortunately for Chandra, this was enough to convince the judge to set her free. He did place one caveat on her release however. She was to be released into our custody. And with this, any wrongdoings she committed would be ours as much as hers. We agreed to this and will be returning to Blackstone and then the Shining Tower in the morning.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The Shining Tower

In the morning, Garruk decided he must head back to the mountains. We bid him farewell then Grim, Cole and I use the teleportation chamber in Blackstone to travel to The Shining Tower. Here we are greeted by a young priest of Zeus who escorts us to the high priests chamber so that we may present our findings.

The high priest, Zetus, welcomes us and listens to our story. We tell him about Ricky Vallish and Chandra. We tell him about the goblin attacks on Mine Town and the orange orb. We tell him about the unearthed glyph in the mine and the matching amulets. Lastly we present to him with Chandras amulet. At this point, the scholar standing next to Zetus requests to be dismissed. Zetus grants this and tells us to follow this man into his study.

The scholar, Selus, asks if he may examine the pendant. He explains that it is part the holy symbol for The Nameless One. The points represent each of the 6 core attributes of all living creatures. It is believed that there is an orb for each though only the location of the purple orb was known. That is, until we learned of the orange orb.

The purple orb is imbued with great wisdom. The red amulet that we recovered from Chandra is believed to be linked to intelligence. This may explain why she was suddenly able to cast spells. It may also explain why she lost her memory when the amulet was removed. It is no coincidence that Ricky Vallishs companion Weblar, who possesses the orange amulet, is so capable in all things related to strength.

Selus asks if he may study the amulet. He suspects it will only take 2-3 months to do so. We assure him that he will have his chance but first we must make sure that we return to Three Rivers before the trial starts. He is disappointed but understands that it is in the interest of good that we must leave. Arrangements are made for us to teleport to Blackstone and travel by horseback to Three Rivers. We depart in the morning.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Prophesy of Doom

Our journey to Blackstone took just over a week to complete. Along the way we encountered some orcs and an ettin. During the battle with these monsters we witnessed for the first time the true power of Coles new sword. He was striking with a bloodlust the likes of which I had never seen before. After a kill he seamed to be without control, seeking death regardless of who his prey was.

Upon arrival to Blackstone Bertha is returned to her family. They have little to offer by way of payment though their gratitude is well felt. They do tell us that there is a rumor of a darkness or doom of some kind lingers in the mountains.

Satisfied that this task is complete we move on to the Temple of Hera. Here we meet with the priestesses Elizabeth. She confirms the rumors. She has seen visions and in them the titan, who is only known as “The Unnamed One”, awakes. It is still unclear who is awakening this fiend and what they intend to do when they have completed their task but it is certain that they must be stopped, and at all costs.

We tell Elizabeth of Ricky Vallish and his quest to bring back the city of Krinton. She assures us that Krinton is but a fairy tale and anyone who seeks it will find nothing but an endless maze of riddles and nonsense. She also tells us that there is a member of the party of adventurers who destroyed the mine 75 years ago who still lives. The human bard, Sempronius.

After 4 days of research Elizabeth concludes that she is unable to fully understand the powers of the amulet with the facilities available to her. The necklace should be taken to The Shining Tower where the high priest of Zeus can study it. She offers to make arrangements to teleport us there in the morning.