Chornalth Adventures - Liga (Current: Emerald & Diamond)

Chapter One, Session 06: Blades in the Night

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer, Crab Clan
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 6th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

Relaxing in Tokigogachu after the Battle of Ja’mer on the night before the Ambassador planned to leave, the group heard many folk in the tavern turn their conversations towards concerns that had preceded the attack of the sahuagin; a series of murders involving young Samsarans, and the discovery of a murdered human male, whose body was discovered near a cache of papers that many speculated were coded messages intended for the Kolat. Ultimately, it was decided that these were local matters for the locals to solve themselves. The group boarded the Songbird on the morning of the 7th, and set out for the lands of the Crane Clan.

After many hours, they returned to the coast of the mainland, sheltering for the night in a cove. The next day they arrived at the Daidoji Training Grounds, where the Ambassador toured the facilities and ultimately decided to spend the night. Sometime after midnight, as Kirigaya meditated in the gardens, he noticed figures moving furtively through the halls, moving towards the wing where he and his companions were housed.

He was still bringing up the rear as the vanguard of the figures tripped the Alarm spell Cortana had warded the Ambassador’s door with. Combat ensued, but as the fortunes of the assassins slowly turned against them, the last of them took poison rather than be captured. One, however, had merely been knocked unconscious, and under questioning he revealed that he and his companions (all of whom were Bamboo elves) were members of what he called Clan Widowmaker, who had been hired to kill the Ambassador. Among the effects of the leader of the group was a scrollcase containing excellent sketches of each member of the group, with notes detailing their Clan affiliations, favorite food/drinks, and other personal information.

Katsushiro thought that perhaps Clan Widowmaker was an offshoot of the Spider Clan, which he remembered as having been destroyed some 300 years previously. Leaving the elf in the custody of the Daidoji, the group went out the next morning to leave, but found that someone had planted object on the hull of the Songbird that proved to radiate faint divination and illusion magic. After removing the object (and affixing it instead to a merchant’s cart), the group also spotted a flash of light from a stand of trees 500 yards away. When observing the area via Cortana’s spyglass didn’t reveal any information, they flew the Songbird in that direction for a closer look.

Flying 30’ above the treetops, Na-Helena gazed down into the foliage with the spyglass, then suddenly handed it back to Cortana and leapt overboard, plunging 100’ to the forest floor, drawing her greatsword on the way. As she landed (with the most of the rest of the party slowly Feather Falling behind her (Zeshyn remaining behind, as he could easily fire his bow at that range)) she struck at the trunk of the tree she was next to, pinning a Vanaran to the tree.

Under questioning, the Vanara owned up to being the leader of the elves who had attacked them the night before. He refused to answer any other questions, and he, too, was turned over to the authorities at the training grounds for justice. Later that evening the group arrived at the famous Seven Fold Palace, where, after sending a message back to the capital asking after the Ambassador’s delegation, she spent three days training and painting with the artisans there.

Once the painting was finished, the Songbird visited the village of Musume Mura, where a shrine to the First Hantei Emperor exists, memorializing his proposal to the woman who would become Empress Mioko. Departing mid-afternoon, the Songbird arrived at Kyuden Doji (Esteemed Palaces of the Crane) before nightfall.

Once there, they found that the Ambassador’s message had been answered; negotiations continued, one junior ambassador had returned home after a “severe allergic reaction” to something he had eaten, and one senior Sibeccai assistant to the Senior Ambassador had vanished without a trace. Katsushiro availed himself of the library, researching the fall of the Spider Clan, learning that most of their remaining strength had been absorbed by the Mantis Clan as they rose to power. The librarian had no further documents, but referred Katsushiro to a collegue of his who specialized in the minor clans, named Gantashi Goru.

After engaging in the Tea Ceremony, Goru proved to have more information than the books in the library, revealing that the parts of Spider that didn’t join Mantis wound up divided among the Scorpion & Crab clans. Clan Widowmaker was mostly an unknown, though he agreed they might be a sub-clan.

After several days in Kyuden Doji, the Songbird sailed northwards, following the coast, passing Otosan Uchi, and eventually making port at Toshi no Omoidoso, the City of Remembrance. There we ended for the evening, on the 12th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

1000 xp

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Chapter One, Session 05: Baby Shark, Do do do

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer, Crab Clan
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Content Not Found: mirumoto-katsushiro-2, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 24th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

We began the evening with the group being feted at Kyuden Hida, the principal fortress of the Crab Clan, and one of the wonders of Rokugan. Excess loot was sold, purchases made, and after two days the Ambassador set a course for the Islands of Silk & Spice, the lands of the Mantis.

After the better part of a day, the Songbird finally arrived at the island known as Tsaedo, in the Tokigogachu province, where they found the village of the same name. However, the famous village was obviously overcrowded, as it was surrounded by a sea of tents nearly as large as the town itself. The group soon learned that the lesser fishing villages of the island had all been suffering predation by a sudden influx of sahuagin, who had apparently driven off the merfolk of the Nurai Clan that had been friends and allies of the residents of the islands for as long as anyone could remember.

Katsushiro & Ozawa sought out Suguru Mirona, the samurai in charge of Tokigogachu’s defense. Though his first impression of Mirona was dis-favorable (Mirona was of middle years, and grossly overweight) Katsushiro eventually saw that he still carried himself as a samurai, though perhaps one soon to retire. He appealed to his visitors to ask the Ambassador to use her flying vessel to travel to Dol-garvai, a larger island further east, as he feared that the vessel he had sent there to plead for reinforcements had been sunk by the sahuagin. He also gave them a requisition for the herbs that the local shukenja would need to brew a potion (a Free Action/Water Breathing hybrid) that would allow him to take the fight to the sahuagin if necessary. The Ambassador of course agreed, and set off the following morning. As Mirona had feared, the vessel he had sent had not arrived, but the local Magistrate assured the Ambassador that aid would be forthcoming. The herbs needed were stowed aboard the Songbird, and it returned to Tokigogachu the next morning.

Three days later the group, along with the remaining five samurai and perhaps sixty bushi and shukenja waded into the sea near where the principal undersea village of the Nurai was known to lie, and soon found that it, too, lay in ruins. A sign proclaimed that these waters were now under the ‘protection’ of King Moti. Unable to track the sahuagin effectively under water, it was agreed that there was sufficient time to visit the next village that was known to the land dwellers, and it was near this second village that the sahuagin attacked, aided by many sharks.

In the resulting battle, both Na-Helena & Cortana were grievously wounded, but the group ultimately prevailed, and a group of Nurai warriors were freed to help rout the sahuagin. As we wrapped up the evening, the group had returned to Tokigogachu to be hailed as heroes of the Battle of Ja’mer (the name of the Nurai village where the battle had taken place).

As we ended for the night, it was the 6th of Readying, 1150 I.C.

4th level. By popular demand, we reset xp and began using the Medium xp track at this point.

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Chapter One, Session 04: The Claw of Fu Leng

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer, Crab Clan (absent)
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Mirumoto Katsushiro, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 19th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

We picked back up where we left off, in the middle of a battle with the hag, who , after calling for aid in the form of three hellhounds that rose from the earth around the altar, promptly used her innate Invisibility, Pass Without Trace, and Pyrotechnics to cover her escape. After slaying the hounds, they realized that she was long gone and searched her hut.

The hut proved to be a pit of debauchery, where the bodies of two more dead dwarven children were found freshly butchered. The only item of note found inside was the staff she had brandished to drive them south before (Cortana would eventually Identify the staff as imparting the feats Ley Line Magic, Howling Spell, and Ley Line Walker).

Meanwhile, Kirigaya investigated the altar at the base of the crater, discovering (and promptly shattering) a dagger made of hematite. He very much wanted to destroy the altar, but it was too heavy to budge. It was eventually decided that the Songbird should be brought to bear on the problem, which it accomplished by tying the altar, lifting it 500’ into the air, and then dropping it onto the hag’s hut.

Returning to Hadrik’s Folly, the group explained that while they had likely broken the hag’s base of power in the area, she had escaped and would likely return to work more misery against the town soon enough. While several members of the group clearly wanted to pursue the hag, Katsushiro clearly disapproved, and only his vow to protect and defend the Ambassador brought about his somewhat lackluster agreement to embark on the mission. After reviewing some maps of the local area, the group decided that the hag’s coven, if it were nearby, likely was based in the hills further southwest of the crater, along the same ley line the town and the crater shared. (The crater itself had served as a nexus for three ley lines).

On returning to the crater, it was quickly discerned (by Cortana, using her new staff) that one of the ley lines had already drifted free of the nexus, and that the remaining one would likely soon follow suit. Advancing along the stable line soon brought them to a low range of hills, one of which proved to have a number of fallen stone pillars near a cave entrance whose details were occluded by a spell of permanent Darkness. venturing into the cave proper soon found the group faced by three branches; the leftmost having a breeze of fresh air, the center the scent of brimstone, and the right the stench of decay. The group chose to explore the center. Zeshyn remained with the Songbird as guard.

Another 60’ of gentle downward travel brought them to a chamber with a spiral stone staircase hewn into the center of its floor. The stairs led another 200’ downwards, ending abruptly in a large cavern (it’s full dimensions eventually being discovered as being 100’ wide, 250’ long, with a ceiling of 50’). the remains of the collapsed stairs could be seen scattered on the ground beneath. A piton was driven into the wall, a rope attached, and the party descended…

One feature which quickly caught the eyes of the party was a formation of black jade located near the center of the cavern. Several members recognized it as a representation of the Claw-hand of Fu Leng, the Dark Kami who not only brought about the formation of the Shadowlands, but had been it’s erstwhile ruler since before the formation of the Empire of Rokugan.
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A deepening cold affected the party as they approached the formation, making their breath visible. Standing atop it, Kirigaya noticed a network of small aqueducts overhead, that emptied themselves into a raised basin at one of the far ends of the cavern. Numerous stone buildings also surrounded the Claw, most of which were empty and deserted, but several showed signs of recent occupancy, based at least on bare footprints in the dust and other indications. One building, however, was a bit cleaner than the rest, and they found two notable locations inside. One small chamber held a pile of skulls (mainly Human and Dwarven, but a few Nezumi as well), and another had a trapdoor that led down to a chamber larger than the house itself.

Said chamber had two walls of books and scrolls (mainly histories written in Nezumi), and two murals. One depicted the fall of Fu Leng and his “unification” of the Shadowlands. The other was a quabbalistic pattern showing magical symbols and strange portraits. While searching that wall for hidden doors, Ozawa touched one of the portraits, failed a save, and soon was heard having a one-sided conversation with a voice in his head, a voice that was predicting the death of his older brother in a year’s time and his younger sister’s claiming the family’s titles for herself; why should this happen, the voice asked, when Ozawa was clearly more worthy?

Exiting the basement and emerging once more into the cavern, the group quickly spotted the figure of a young woman in a diaphanous gown (that seemed to flutter in a breeze no-one else could feel) standing atop the Claw. She hailed them, identified herself as Atamma, the Guardian of this cavern, and told the party that they could not depart while “Munil” rode in the mind of Ozawa. However, the spell she cast to ‘free’ Ozawa of his possession instead put his consciousness to sleep and left Munil in charge of his body. Combat quickly ensued.

Cortana quickly put Ozawa/Munil to Sleep, while the rest of the party brought Atamma down, her death revealing her as the hag that had escaped them before. Exiting the underworld and returning to the Songbird, they returned to Hadrik’s Folly, informed the headman that the hag had been dealt with, and sailed northwards once more, finally sailing over the Wall and eventually arriving at Kyuden Hida, the capital of the Crab Clan.

As we ended for the night, it was the 24th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

1200 xp.

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Chapter One, Session 03: The Hag
Stormclouds Gather

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer, Crab Clan
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Content Not Found: mirumoto-katsushiro-2, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 16th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

The Songbird set down outside the small village of Hadrik’s Folly, some 15 miles south of the Wall. After alleviating the fears of the community, the ambassador spent some time learning about life beyond the Wall from the headman of the village, Hyou Tadageri. he told her that while life was hard, the main threat to his village came in the form of a hag who had been stealing cattle and children. While he did not know the exact location of the hag’s lair, he offered to send along one of the villagers who would recognize it if he saw it again.

The next morning the party set out, and soon located the hag’s hovel, perched above a huge crater with a stone altar at it’s base. On spotting the Songbird, the hag quickly fled into her hut, returning with an ornate staff that she used to somehow manipulate the ley line the airship floated on, causing a surge the flung the small vessel nearly 80 miles further south.

Once the party recovered their bearings, it quickly became clear that they were not only lost, but that they had been flung free of the line, causing the ship to barely be able to gain altitude and to handle quite sluggishly. A new, weaker line was soon found, and it led them to another village. At the second village, however, no sooner did the alarm bells that had rung to signal the Songbird’s citing cease, then new alarms rung out, signalling an attack.

Four oni, led by an ogre mage, approached the village with torches, which they quickly used to begin setting the villager’s homes ablaze. while the villagers evacuated their homes and fled to the keep on a nearby hill, the group took on the attackers, killing the oni and eventually driving the ogre mage to retreat. The group then helped the village put out the fires and salvage what they could.

The next morning the Songbird set sail, trying to find the attackers lair. Helena, guided by the force, soon located a pit a few miles away, one that angled down into the ground. Traveling down into the pit, after several hundred yards the party found a huge cavern, stocked with stolen supplies, livestock, and a working forge. Unfortunately, the smith who ran the forge, a huge cyclops, was also present. The party wisely retreated and returned to the village they’d left earlier that morning.

After telling the villagers the location of the pit, the village headman offered to put the party up for the night, and in the morning offered them a reward. He led them to a cleft in one of the nearby hills, where the guardian Kami bestowed on each of them a gift; a ribbon that conferred the Iron Will feat for so long as it was worn. The group spent the remainder of the day traveling north to return to Hadrik’s Folly.

Not willing to risk the Songbird again, this time the group approached the hovel on foot. Arriving at the crater, the sighted the hag dragging a dwarven child by one leg out the door of her hut. Katsushiro & Helena instantly charged, drawing the rest of the party along behind them. As we broke for the evening, the hag had vanished, the samurai and the ambassador had reached the hut, and Katsushiro heard a voice saying “While you waste time here, I am off to the village to claim another innocent…”

As we ended for the night, it was the 19th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

1300 xp.

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Chapter One, Session 02: Gnome Alone
Honor trumps alignment

The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer, Crab Clan
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Content Not Found: mirumoto-katsushiro-2, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

Our session began on the 8th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

On reaching the Gentle Lily, Kagoki’s finest (well, only) inn, the group quickly discerned that conversations first stopped, then resumed in whispers when they first entered. Katsushiro singled out one of the knots of whispers and after some minor missteps, discerned that it was not the presence of his band that provoked the change in the room but some local problem from a few days prior, centered around what he referred to as “a band of out-of-control dwarven children” raising havoc and getting themselves arrested. On further discussion, the group decided to investigate further the next morning.

Before doing so, however, they went out to check the ship, where they found one of the aforementioned “dwarven children” hiding out. Introducing himself as Gilligan Oregatos, he explained that he was a gnome, from a city he called Greyhawk, and that he and his companions were on an mission of exploration for something he called the Society of Gnomergan. He further added that he and his companions had done nothing wrong, had been attacked, their possessions confiscated, and the bulk of his party incarcerated.

While Cortana remained behind with Gilligan, the rest of the party went to see the local Magistrate. Though the hour was still early, he invited the party to break fast with him, and got brought up to speed on his version of events. He claimed that they “dwarven children” had arrived in the town, put on a display of their gadgets, and disrupted the work in the area (he boasted the Kagoki was the center of Clan Scorpion’s agriculture). He then stated that most of their gadgets and the bulk of the prisoners had already been transferred to a local monastery, so that the shukenja there could divine the purpose of the gadgets and use their magic to force the interlopers to confess their true purpose.

The one item he had retained was a lump of silver metal about the size of a hand, that the party eventually managed to get working, though they didn’t know how to use it properly. Going downstairs to the jail (which everyone thought was perhaps a bit large for a “sleepy agricultural center”) to interview the remaining prisoner.

Alexos Wandfarr proved to be a surly yet visionary gnome, dressed only in a burlap sack. He espoused that the Magistrate and his men were barbarians, opponents of progress, and that borders were imaginary lines that would be gone in ‘50 years’, ushering in a new age of commerce, travel, and communication across the world. They really couldn’t get much out of him except that he seemed to have little respect for laws and authority. Eventually, as they conferred with the Ambassador on how she’s like to proceed, Cortana rejoined the group at the jail to see what was taking so long. It was finally decided that there was little they could do for him or his compatriots, but that they needed to decide what to do with Gilligan.

On their way back to the ship, it was pretty much decided that they’d take Gilligan a distance from town and set him loose, not wanting to simply hand him over to the authorities. Gilligan was very disappointed with this turn of events, and he asked the group to take him to a certain set of coordinates…. where, nestled amid a huge field of barley, they found a field of Black Euroth, a dangerous narcotic outlawed everywhere in Rokugan (and elsewhere, as Gilligan clearly recognized the plant from his travels. The party then believed that the gnomes had been incarcerated not because of their disregard of borders, but because they’d discovered the field.

Returning again to Kagoki, the party confronted the Magistrate anew, and his assurances that the field would be eradicated and those responsible punished sounded hollow to the group. After a fair amount of back and forth, Katsushiro finally drew on the Magistrate, and a melee ensued. Four guards and their dogs joined the fray, but in the end, Cortana put the Magistrate to sleep, and as the guards and their dogs succumbed to their wounds, the Ambassador finally called upon the remaining guard to surrender.

Kirigaya healed the guards, they took the Magistrate prisoner, and took him to Beiden to face judgement from his superior. In the end, Kagoki’s Magistrate was stripped of his position, and it was agreed that the gnomes would be released, but that they would be escorted to the Celestial Sea and told in no uncertain terms that they were to leave and not return. (Everyone was fairly certain that the field (and fields like it) would remain; Scorpion Clan was notorious for keeping their nobles hands clean of the vices they supplied).

After Beiden, the Ambassador said that she wanted to see the Wall, so the Songbird set sail south. Cortana deduced from conversations she’d had with Gilligan that the Songbird sailed along ley lines much like the Society did. Sometimes they traveled slowly, sometimes quickly; they took meandering routes, all in accordance with the presumed strength or intensity of the lines they followed. Cities and sites of magical significance always sat at the juncture of lines, both drawing power and energizing the lines themselves.

They sailed along the Wall for several miles, stopping occasionally at watchtowers and garrisons to learn news. Eventually they sailed past the wall, towards a small settlement that sat in the Wall’s shadow…

As we ended for the night, it was the 16th of Fireseek, 1150 I.C.

850 xp.

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Chapter One, Session 01: A New Adventure!
...an Oriental Adventure!

In the Flanaess, it is 605 C.Y., nearly 5 years after the events of the last campaign. Many things have changed, though many also remain the same.

In the Empire of Rokugan, it is 1155 I.C., and here, too, much has changed. Before the coming of man, these lands changed hands many times. In ancient pre-history, it is said to have been the center of a great empire of the Naga. After the Naga rose a mighty kingdom of ogres and hobgoblins (though many learned Samurai dispute this claim, ruins exist). Later rose the Nezumi (another claim many scholars dispute, though their ruins are everywhere in the Shadowlands and elsewhere). With the fall of the Nezumi, the Leonid, Crane, and Kitsune kingdoms flourished, at least until the Suhfang Empire came to conquer them a little over two millennia ago.

With the wane of Imperial interests (and civil war erupting in the Principality of Chomur), Rokugan was left to chart its own course 1200 years ago. When the great Kami fell to earth soon after, all the tribes and kingdoms of what would become Rokugan pledged their support to Hantei in his battle against his brother, Fu Leng, who had already conquered the Nezumi, Ogres, and Uz of the south (what became the Shadowlands). Five years ago, the skies were full of dire portents. Meteors fell to ground, one opening a pathway through the mountains into the lands west. The turquoise moon, Celene, now is clearly a living world, whose ambassadors come to Emperor Toturi’s court, offering ancient wisdom and the friendship of their Emperor of the Diamond Throne.

In recent years, other strange events have plagued the Empire. The seaports report strange new visitors. Two years past, a great metal ship passed over the Empire, and attacked the Hidden Watch keep that overlooks the Beiden Pass before continuing on it’s way east, towards Behow. New types of oni are reported massing in the Shadowlands, doubtless the foreshadowing of renewed war.

You, young heroes of your clans, are summoned to Otosan Uchi, the capital of the Emerald Empire of Rokugan, on the 1st of Needfest, to celebrate the New Year with the Emperor and his court.

Our adventurers are:

Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Content Not Found: mirumoto-katsushiro-2, Half-dragon Samurai, Dragon Clan
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and finally, the NPC;
Irda Na-Helena, Huchard Mystic (Knight-chandler), Jade Guardian (of the Diamond Throne)

The group reached the Imperial Palace as the New Years Celebrations were just kicking into gear, and were all duly impressed by both the variety and volume of the food and entertainment on hand. After several days of being left mostly to themselves (though each had been assigned a goji (a page/bureaucrat in training)) to help them navigate, they were informed separately that the emperor requested they meet with him privately on the evening of the 4th. Arriving at the appointed location, each was surprised to find that others were apparently also invited to this meeting (the party then greets one another, introductions are made, etc.).

When the Emperor arrives, pleasantries are exchanged before the Emperor lays his charge upon the assembled ‘young heroes’. The Huchard, giants from the revitalized moon Celene, are among the honored guests at this celebration. As part of their ambassadorial outreach, they wish for the least member of their staff to be given a tour of the lands and people of the Emerald Empire, a tour led not by bureaucrats, but by young citizens of the Emerald Empire. This is the task he has set before the PCs, to be the hands and eyes of the Empire, to guide this young ambassador in his name. The PCs are then introduced to said ambassador, Irda Na-Helena (for convenience’s sake, she has reversed her name and surname as is customary here).

After the Emperor excuses himself, the PCs each met with one of their Clan leaders, who all had basically the same message. Keep a careful eye on their young ambassadorial charge. Evaluate her, learn what you can of her, her people, their strengths (and perhaps more importantly, the powers they possess). On the day after the meeting, Katsushiro caught the tail end of an altercation involving a Scorpion Clan Samurai known as Ganshei Baku-rashar, a Hobgoblin of some repute and a messenger, but his roll was insufficient to gain anything more than the Samurai’s name and clan. On the final day of the celebration, the 7th of Needfest, the group set out with Na-Helena aboard her vessel, a brightly painted airship she called the Songbird.

Things the party soon learned about the Songbird: it was cramped. Even though Cortana deduced that the interior of the ship was ever-so-slightly larger than it should be, six people and the Samurai’s horse made for tight quarters. There were no controls; the ship seemed to follow Na-Helena’s silent commands unerringly (though by the end of the first day she made clear that the ship would not fly itself while she slept), and so they put down in an outlying village and slept in an inn.

Several days were spent just taking in the sights, but eventually the Songbird turned southwest towards the Beiden Pass, where two years prior a huge metal airship had attacked the watchtower on the Scorpion Clan’s side of the mountains. Because of timing, the group wound up mooring themselves high in a mountain pass to spend the night. So of course they were attacked.

A force of some type of ghouls set upon the ship, the ones who could not immediately leap aboard the vessel letting out a chilling howl that panicked those who failed their saves against it. Eventually they were defeated, and various facts were discerned by the group’s investigation. The ghouls had likely once been soldiers of the Lion Clan, sent here for reasons unknown (likely an observation post). Said soldiers had been ambushed and killed perhaps a decade ago, but they had been raised from the dead in just the past few days, probably by someone who had arrived at the site of the massacre riding upon a large avian of some sort.

The following day they arrived at the newly rebuilt watchtower, and after being looked over by a Wu Jen who flew out to inspect them, settled down outside the garrison there and received a tour of the facilities. Cortana, trying to gain an advantage of some sort, disrespected the Commander of the garrison who then turned the tour over to his second ( a move that Katsushiro correctly identified as a slight). After the main tour, Na-Helena asked to inspect the rubble from the old tower, a move which she later confided she asked for to help her determine the types of weapons that had been used to destroy it (gunpowder/cannons). Cortana asked for a personal meeting with the Wu Jen, who received her in his quarters. He said that he had no knowledge of any undead in the mountains, but one of his devices had detected faint traces of necromancy recently.

The group soon departed the watchtower, eventually setting down outside the town of Kagoki. And the session ended for the week. 600xp.

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Arc 5, Episode 55, Redemption
... every ending is a new beginning.

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Paladin of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Vivisectionist Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon

We left our heroes in Greyhawk City, selling off their latest stash of loot. and wondering what next would come their way. The following two weeks passed quietly enough, though they received word through the Society that a convocation of their allies would be held the following day (the 3rd of Sunsebb).

Before the event, Wilfred returned to the Grey College to ask after “Crazy Larry” and his health, but met instead with Yulin Hussein, his assistant and unofficial “keeper”. Yulin assured Wilfred that Larry was doing better, and that while his outburst at the Green Dragon Inn was atypical, he often became increasingly irrational as the new year approached. The forthcoming turn of the century might simply be affecting him more than usual.

As it turned out, despite fears that the convocation would be a target, it came off without a hitch. The Harpers and their allies on Beregond had the ritual sites there under close watch, and the Republic and the Wizards of High Sorcery on Krynn were prepared as well. Liga’s sites would be monitored by a combination of the Society, auxiliaries of the Circle of Eight, as well as volunteers from the huchard of Celene, and a selection of other groups who’d been won over to the cause.

Among other matters discussed at the meeting was that while seven sites had been identified on Liga as probable ritual locations, one site in particular, an eighth site, appeared to have no ritual associated with it. This was though odd for two reasons, the first being that in terms of ley line density, it was the equal of Glamour in the sheer number and volume of ley lines that converged there. The other reason was that Meroln had recently been Teleported there by Crazy Larry when he’d rushed to Jenny’s defense at the Green Dragon Inn.

After the convocation, Elerra communed with Ellistrae to determine whether or not that site should be monitored as well, and was told that yes, it should be watched.

Four days later, several members of the group heard an explosion in the vicinity of the Grey College, and moved to investigate. Wilfred, in particular, noticed a huge humanoid form arcing out of the explosion’s nexus, flying north-east at a high rate of speed. Arriving at the scene, he discovered that the trail of destruction led directly to Crazy Larry’s basement apartments, where he found Yulin lying among the rubble.

Yulin bore several deep bruises consistent with having been beaten before having the ceiling dropped on him, and a number of those bruises also bore signs of having been charged with elemental energy (acid burns, frostbite, gravel, etc.). Though clearly shaken, Yulin remained deeply reticent about the cause, saying only that Larry was completely off the rails and that he needed to be stopped, and the Brethren brought together to do so.

Not knowing Larry’s destination (other than roughly in the direction of Tenser’s ruined castle), Wilfred sought out his informants in the Society while Elerra remained on site helping to heal those injured in the explosion. Unfortunately, not much was truly known about Larry, except that he was very old, on the order of more than 200 years, and had looked as old at the founding of the Grey College as he did in the present. Over the centuries, when he had been an active teacher, he had primarily dealt in either elemental spell-craft or chaos magic.

Perhaps six hours later, another explosion was heard in the city, this time in the harbor district. Arriving on the scene, Meroln was especially alarmed, as the smoking ruins of the Green Dragon Inn looked to hold few if any survivors. Witnesses on the scene reported that as before, a huge humanoid form, wreathed in fire, had fallen from the skies, crashed through the roof, and moments later the entire structure had detonated as the flaming man leapt once more into the sky, dragging with him by the hair the comely barmaid Meroln had grown to care for. They further reported that his path led west/north-west, roughly in the direction of Tovag Baragu, the eighth site identified by the Society.

The party promptly Teleported there, aware that they would have time before Larry’s arrival. Unlike Meroln’s previous visit, someone had placed a sacrificial stone at the center of the plinths, with a humanoid form already impressed into it. Furthermore, a hundred figures in black robes stood ready for some ritual, standing with their backs to the stone menhirs. As the party prepared to deal with these intruders, they quickly noticed six other individuals who appeared nearby as well.

Alexia (of course) recognized Murlynd, and Wilfred knew Zagyg’s appearance as well. Squizzles quickly identified Heward, Kelanen, Krovis, and Keoghtom. As the party realized that a hawk in flight overhead was stilled in flight, the six hero deities assembled pronounced a blessing on the party, granting them a 5 bonus they could use in whatever fashion they desired each round (to AC, attacks, saves, skills, caster level, etc., divided up to suit themselves (3 attack/+2 AC, etc.)).

As the assembled hero deities faded away (without having answered any questions) Larry and Jenny arrived on the scene. Larry landed at the head of the stone like a thunderbolt, slamming Jenny down on the stone (which flowed over her limbs, pinning her in place). While several members of the group were ambivalent about the scenario playing itself out, several chose to attack Larry while Meroln attempted to strike the bonds from Jenny’s limbs.

While Jenny lay trapped, she could be seen whispering, apparently to herself. Sam read her lips, and that she was saying “Carassamon, I require your aid!” It was also at about this time that Elerra and Wilfred noticed an invisible presence on the battlefield, one that proved to be ethereal as well, charging Elerra the moment she used her armor’s etherealness; forcing her back to the material plane.

Finally having freed Jenny, Meroln scooped her up and tried to fly away with her, but Larry first blasted them with a blast of acid, cold, electricity and flame, and them cast a massive Earthen Grasp spell that seized them in midair and smashed them both against the ground. While this was going on, the deva that Elerra had summoned earlier hemmed out the running cultists with a Blade Barrier, and a colossal, ancient wyrm red dragon arrived through the menhirs that Squizzles quickly identified as Carassamon, one of Liga’s oldest living dragons.

With the dragon’s arrival on the field, Alexia and Wilfred had a clearly evil target to focus on, so they abandoned their assault on Larry to deal with it instead. Sam queried Larry about why he’d done what he’d done, and was answered that “I am ”/wikis/dorgha-torgu" class=“wiki-page-link”> Dorgha Torgu! My sins against the elements and man will be forgiven if I can slay this titan before it’s plans come to fruition! Why do you help it? We can end this now, if we work together!"

Her identity now out in the open, Jenny crawled out from under the Earthen Grasp and assumed the form of a massive, five headed dragon. As Carassamon dispelled the Blade Barrier (appearing to tear it asunder with his forelimbs), her ethereal guardian (actually a xill matriarch known as ‘Mother Fess’) fought the deva. Before Carassamon fell, he blasted Alexia, Wilfred, and Squizzles with his breath, and while it hurt them badly, it wasn’t quite enough to slay any of them. Squizzles finally brought him down with a well placed strike of his rapier.

With the ancient red out of play, the group focused their attacks on Jenny/Dhaeros, who proved able to mix spells in with her breath weapons, laying about herself with abandon, but in the end the group whittled away at her health, despite her sacrifice of half the cultists present feeding her their strength. Meroln struck the final blow with a heavy heart, plunging the morganti dagger into her heart. With the titan slain, the remaining cultists fled, as did Mother Fess.

As the group searched the battlefield, they discovered that the cultists present all seemed to be from the Plateau of Va, down in G’dar to the deep south (the pale, dark haired near-men). Larry, or as they now knew him to be, Dorgha Torgu, stood a bit taller than any of them remembered, and for the first time his gaze seemed clear and his mien untroubled. His ripped garments morphed themselves into the traditional garb of the Paynims who were the current masters of the region, and he thanked the group for their aid, and apologized that his madness had prevented him from being able to properly articulate the matter earlier. As the group prepared to depart, he sat at the center of Tovag Baragu, the stones of which had begun to tremble and right themselves. “I have much to set right, my friends. Visit me again some time!”

On their return to Greyhawk, there were no cheering crowds, no parades. Most folk were unaware that anything had happened, but the Church of Boccob and Grey College turned out to thank the group for their efforts. As the new year approached, they maintained their watch at the other ritual sites,and easily scattered the few who arrived to attempt the ritual anyway.

As the new year proceeded, the effects of the First and Second Marks slowly faded, though the inability to modify enchanted items after their completion never really went away. The huchard of Celene began sending numerous trade and diplomatic missions to Liga, even trading their precious liftwood on occasion. The world seemed renewed to those who knew how close it had come to being changed forever…

It is 27th of Coldeven, 601 CY
Campaign Ends.

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Arc 4, Episode 54, the Second Mark
... and so it goes.

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Paladin of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Vivisectionist Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon

When we left our heroes, they were embroiled in a fight with Tierella Yendil and her followers in the Imperial Palace in Glamour, capital of the Lunar Empire. As the battle raged, the only actual fatality would prove to be Mekkatorque, who was slain by a Destruction spell (though Wilfred was able to resummon him back from wherever the following round). The only truly devastating attack against Tierella proved to be of her own doing, when she attempted to use Enervation against Meroln, but he used his Ring of Spell Turning to reflect it back at her. In the end, once her defenders had fallen, she herself was eventually whittled down and slain by Meroln with the morganti dagger supplied to the group by Morrolan.

Once she fell, the party quickly grabbed the weapons wielded by her defenders and her body and Teleported back to Greyhawk to identify and sell off their spoils….

It remains the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 CY
192000 xp (990910 total)
5th Mythic Tier

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Arc 4, Episode 53, the Second Mark
Liars, muggers, and assassins...

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Paladin of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Vivisectionist Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon

The following morning the group navigated the halls of the Imperial Palace with a letter of introduction from Kaman to Tierella, the Undersecretary of Arcane Manifestations and Disturbances. The tall, lovely Dragaeran elf met the group in her office, and listened politely as the group outlined the plot to unravel the current arcane weave of magic and replace it with a newer, more “restricted” one. Eventually, however, she asked for proof, and the only corroborating evidence they could produce was the Puzzle Box they’d recovered several weeks earlier.

While Elerra solved the box, Wilfred let slip that a previous Box they’d owned had reacted explosively to use by a priest of Boccob. Tierella admitted that she was no priestess of any sort, but she still called in an assistant to test the box before she herself tried using it. As impressive as the experience of the darkened throne room was, Tierella still demanded more proof, as an empty room would not convince the Red Emperor that an actual threat existed.

The group decided that perhaps the Esoterica might convince her, so they made an appointment for later that afternoon and Teleported back to Greyhawk City, after Wilfred had made arrangements to meet Tenser at the Green Dragon Inn.

Soon after Jenny showed them to one of the Dragon’s back rooms, Tenser arrived. They brought him up on recent events, but he eventually could be seen looking pensive, as though trying to remember something. It soon came to him that one of the seven names on their list of ritual leaders had been Tierella Yendil, and the group had mentioned that the woman they’d met with had been identified as having been of the House of the Yendi in Dragaera. The coincidence, he thought, was a bit too strong to be ignored, as she had positioned herself perfectly if her goal was to carry out the ritual on the moon above the city.

Elerra decided to contact Ellistrae to determine a future course of action, and asked the following questions:

  • Is Tierella who Tenser believes her to be? Yes
  • Would killing her now prevent the ritual on the Red Moon? No
  • Does she have a Clone prepared? Yes
  • Should we attack her at our scheduled meeting? Uncertain
  • Would going to the Dragaeran Empire get us more information on her in the time we have to stop the Wane? Uncertain
  • Would kidnapping her stop the ritual on the Red Moon? Uncertain
  • Would going through Mordenkainen get us more information on her? Yes
  • Does she suspect us of knowing who she is? Uncertain
  • Is she planning to attack us at the meeting? Uncertain
  • Is there a double-agent in the Society of Gnomergan? Yes
  • Is there a plot in the works to attack the Society of Gnomergan? No
  • Does Tierella have a team assembled for her ritual? Yes

Based on this information, the group asked Tenser if Mordenkainen might have contacts in the Dragaeran Empire, which Tenser agreed that he might, as he had long made it his business to know who the arcane movers and shakers were across the whole of the world, remarking that his network of informants was rivaled only by Wilfred’s group. Tenser contacted Mordenkainen, who soon joined the group at the Dragon.

As it happened, Mordenkainen did have a contact in Dragaera who would likely know Tierella, and offered to take the group to meet with him. Moments later they found themselves standing in mid-air, apparently hundreds of feet in the air, surrounded by the black stone walls of a massive castle. Within moments of their arrival the group was greeted by a stately Dragaeran woman who asked of their business, and then escorted them to a sitting room to await the lord of the castle, Morrolan.

Morrolan stated that he did not know anyone named Tierella, but did recognize the woman they described as likely being the Sorceress in Green, a possibly Yendi arcanist who had not been seen after a failed plot of hers several years past had resulted in her death and subsequent Resurrection. Based on past experience with her, he warned them that she was a mistress of duplicity and cunning, and her practice of magic stretches back thousands of years. He also confirms that she very likely does possess a Clone, so outright killing her will be merely an inconvenience.

He obligingly provides the party with a magic dagger that has the Morganti property, which he explains will consume the soul of anyone slain with it. He further warns them to keep the dagger sheathed until the last moment, as if she detects it, she will likely seek to flee the field of battle rather than lose her soul to it. This is obvious to everyone, as the mere presence of the weapon unsettles everyone in the room as soon as the case it was stored in is opened. They thanked him, especially after establishing that the weapon was not single-use.

Upon returning to the Green Dragon Inn, an altercation could be heard in the main room. Crazy Larry, one of the founders of the Grey College (and an acquaintance of Wilfred’s) was accosting Jenny, heaping verbal epithets at her and obviously working himself up to physical violence. When Meroln interposed himself between them and lifted Larry off the floor, he quickly found himself Teleported several hundred miles away, arriving in the center of Tovag Baragu, where Wilfred recovered him from later.

Meanwhile, Elerra used her hand crossbow to deliver a dose of her Sleep poison to Larry, who promptly dropped like a stone. For her part, Jenny stated that she didn’t know Larry, or why he’d come in and started harassing her. She wound up taking the rest of the day off, as she was visibly upset. She did stay long enough to kiss Meroln farewell, however.

Feeling the press of time, the group Teleported back to Glamour, and made their way through the halls of the Palace to Tierella’s office in time to make their appointment. Once safely back in her office, they attacked, but the initial attacks didn’t quite bring Tierella low enough to use the dagger. For her part, she created five copies of herself that arrayed themselves around the room, a move that seemed to lessen the damage she took from any one attack. Even Truesight would not reveal the copies as true or false, and as the room slowly filled with her defenders, room to maneuver became a scarce commodity.

One of her defenders proved to be a cleric, that lived just long enough to cast a Heal on her mistress before being slain. Another defender used a Dismissal against Mekkatorque, though he was soon re-summoned by Wilfred. Elerra retreated to the Ethereal Plane hoping to avoid some of the carnage, but several of the defenders proved to be bearing Ghost-touch weapons. She used her Ectoplasmic Metamagic Rod to hit her enemies with a Greater Dispel Magic, a move which actually killed one of the defenders when the Divine Power spell he’d received was stripped away, taking with it the bonus hit points it had granted.

As we broke for the evening, the group was all still standing, but only a few of the defenders fallen, and the battle was only really beginning to get underway…

It is the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 CY

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Arc 4, Episode 52, the Second Mark
Give me a Perception Check...

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 13th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Paladin of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Vivisectionist Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon

As we rejoined our companions, they still had guards to deal with. While those in close proximity dealt with them, those who stepped away regrouped into Teleport formation to pursue the inquisitors who had taken Dree. Once this was accomplished, the group left the remaining guards behind and pursued Dree and his captors.

Unfortunately, those captors had had a few moments to prepare a surprise for the party, as rather than arriving where they expected, they found themselves in a 20×20 room. Wilfred and Mekkatorque quickly took to the air, bringing Meroln and Squizzles along for the ride. They quickly discovered that the room was actually a shaft, 120’ in height (with a line scratched into the stone at the 100’ mark. While hovering at the 70’ mark, they felt an AOE Dimensional Anchor snap into effect, followed a few moments later by a ghostly hand that penetrated the ceiling above them to deliver a Cannibal Compulsion to Mekkatorque, which caused him to drop Meroln, who then fell to the ground.

Squizzles, who was overcome with disgust at the sight of Mekkatorque’s gusto in tearing at his own flesh, decided to launch himself into flight towards the ceiling, crossing the ‘scratch’, and triggering an Anti-Magic Field which caused Mekkatorque and Wilfred to fall out of the sky, clipping the wings of Alexia, who had also been flying up to see what was going on. Mekkatorque promptly landed on Meroln, who had not yet had a chance to get out of the way.

After several minutes wasted exploring the plain mortared walls of their prison, attempting climb checks, and otherwise stumbling about, the Anti-Magic Field waned, and Elerra’s Locate spell revealed Dree to now be lying in a midden somewhere, with the top of his skull removed. While there was some debate as to whether the ritual that Dree was scheduled to carry out was truly disrupted by his death (given his captor’s obvious interest in it) the group finally decided to Teleport back to Greyhawk to regroup.

Once back in Greyhawk the party realized that it was quite possible that Dree had survived his death at the hands of his captors, as, if he truly was one of the Hierarchs as it was rumored, they had only recently been in the very repository where those worthies stored their Clones against such accidents. This also opened the possibility that Losien might also have had a Clone prepared.

Returning to the crypts to check on the Clones was debated, but since almost two weeks had passed since their visit there, it seemed likely that they had been relocated since then, and there was no telling where Losien might have hidden his, assuming he had one at all. So the group decided instead to Teleport to the underside of the Red Moon and inspect the area for signs of any preparations the followers of Dhaeros might have made there.

Arriving on the surface of the Red Moon they found themselves a but lighter, and found the air thin but breathable. The ground was covered mainly by a variety of moss, and some scrubby-looking trees were visible, all done in shades of carmine and ocher. The only not-red thing in sight was a huge white pylon, 40’ on each of it’s three sides, rising 400’ into the air. The pylon proved to be enameled, and inscribed upon it’s surface were the words “Blessed are the Seven Mothers, Blessed is the Red Moon” in every language the party knew, and many, many more besides.

An examination of the pylon’s base revealed a variety of boot prints, which eventually brought the group to a small shrine perhaps half a mile distant. Meroln also spotted what appeared to be a world not Liga, Celene, or Luna rising above the horizon. Finding nothing definitive, the group eventually decided to Teleport down to the outskirts of Glamour and from there the group made their way into the heart of the Lunar Empire.

While wandering the city looking for an inn, Sam spotted an octopus-headed humanoid kept in a too-small cage in the marketplace. Inquiring of the man who kept the animals on display there, he called the creature a walktapus and demonstrated it’s regenerative abilities by chopping off one of it’s tentacles (which promptly regrew) and then feeding pieces of that tentacle to several other animals. Sam eventually purchased a black-and-white winged kitten from the merchant before moving on.

Eventually taking rooms at the Bed & Flagon, the group spent the better part of the next day or two feverishly making Gather Information checks, trying to ascertain whether the Empire would help or hinder the Wane of Magic if they knew about it. Their travels eventually led them into a local community known as Brithette, a sort of ghetto for expatriates of the Magocracy of Brithos. To his delight, Wilfred was quickly recognized and greeted as a minor celebrity, his work with the Society and the Wane already known to the locals.

As we broke for the evening, Kaman, the local High Priest of Boccob was explaining to the group that if they wanted to pitch their story to the Emperor, the quickest route through his bureaucracy was probably through a group of elves from the Dragarean Empire, who’d come to Glamour three years back and quickly become powerful members of the Court…

It is the 15th of Ready’reat, 600 CY

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