Chornalth Adventures - Liga (Current: Emerald & Diamond)

Chapter Three, Session 18: The Spire of Nothuul

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
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
Arimura Kasumi, Human Fighter, Unicorn Clan

Our session began on the 21st of Sunsebb, 1150 I.C.

After spending a few days arranging for their Teleport to Greyhawk, Minister Seppun called the group back together and had a middle aged wu jen who called herself Garada Aliann send them on their way. However, instead of arriving in Greyhawk City, the party found themselves standing in a meadow. Climbing a nearby tree, Zeshyn spotted a city in the distance, which turned out to be Hardby, but the group quickly caught their bearings and soon were sailing the Selintarn northwards to Greyhawk.

Arriving in Greyhawk on the 24th, they quickly found the College of Magic and after being bounced about for awhile, were eventually directed to the office of Silvas Defari, the high elven Dean of the School of Conjuration in the College. After asking of their business with Tenser, he told them that it might take several days to get back to them, and recommended the nearby Inn of the Scarlet Basilisk. Seeking to learn new spells, Cortana applied to the college, and then leveraged that position to get herself and her companions access to the fruits of the School of Enchantment’s magical items (at a mere 20% markup).

It was not until the 27th that Dean Defari called them back to his office, stating that Tenser had agreed to meet with them at his fortress, which he gave them directions to. The party then hired a Rhennee barge to take them near Tenser’s fortress, where they were received by a woman calling herself Jallarzi Sallavarian, who escorted them within the keep and to Tenser.

Tenser, after hearing the party’s story, took them into the catacombs beneath his fortress, and into a pocket dimension where he kept the Esoteica Ebonwand. The party spent an hour or two questioning Sia Draja, the book’s guardian, before returning to the upper reaches with Tenser. While Sia was often vague with her answers, it was fairly clear that it was very likely that Durklemes sought the books for a couple of reasons. One, access to the rituals within would likely allow him to negate the limits placed upon him by Fu Leng, and might even allow him to reverse their roles.

Other facts learned was that Sia Draja had lain buried in the catacombs beneath Suendrako, the former capital of the Suel Imperium, until unearthed by a cloud giant of the Skath (not to be mistaken for the Glasatru, whose minions the party had already encountered). While she could not detect nor divine the locations of the three copies she knew of (one more than the number sought by Durklemes), she did know that one copy had been held in the city of Si’tair.

Consulting with Tenser, the party acquired maps of the ancient Imperium, and Tenser offered to Teleport them directly to Loftwick in the Yeomanry, so that they might use Slerotin’s Tunnel to enter the Sea of Dust. First, however, he would provide them with scrolls of the spells that the party who had wrested the Esoterica away from the Skath had used to contain it. Furthermore, he would find other mages of Good character to contain the volumes if the party could locate them.

Tenser offered to host the party at his fortress while he made inquiries, and on the 2nd of Needfest he introduced them to Khelben Blackstaff, a mage from Toril who had the means and will to aid them. He gifted the party (Ozawa specifically) with a ring by which he could be summoned once the book was secured. The following morning they departed for Loftwick.

Two weeks later, they emerged from Slerotin’s Tunnel into the town of Lerarrafat, where the first purposeful crops had been successfully planted in the wastes of the Sea of Dust since the Rain of Colorless Fire. After another week of travel, they spotted a tall tower in the distance, the only structure they’d seen since they’d departed Lerarrafat.

The tower stood 100’ tall, with a diameter of 60’. Zeshyn climbed to the top, figured out how to open the apex (though it took Kasumi & Ozawa’s muscles to actually leverage it open enough to be used). Inside the tower, they found a variety of skeletons on the topmost level, quite obviously the remains of meals had by something large. One floor of the tower was full of what Cortana identified as some type of power crystals, which had maybe powered the defenses that had allowed the tower to fend off the destructive Rain?

About halfway down into the tower, however, the party was confronted by an old woman who identified herself as M’sokinae, and that the land in which the tower stood had once been known as Nothuul. Despite the party’s suspicion that she might be a blue dragon (they’d found the corpse of a roc that had been electrocuted a few miles away from the tower), Cortana led the charge to attack her, managing to trap her human form in a conjured Spiked Pit.

This proved to be the high point of the combat from the party’s perspective. What emerged from the pit proved to be an Old Bronze Dragon, un-amused by their trespass but willing to allow them to live after putting an appropriate level of fear into their hearts. Two days later, following M’sokinae’s directions, they found the acres of debris that were all that remained of the city of Si’tair.

While trying to match the clear areas between piles of debris to roads marked on their maps, Kirigaya fell through the surface and into the sewers that had once run beneath the city. Said sewers, untouched by the Rain, still boasted placards set on the walls that named the streets, which, after casting Comprehend Languages, Cortana could read. The party soon found their way to the proper part of town where it was believed the Ebonwand had had their chapterhouse.

As we ended for the evening, Kasumi had almost walked into a Gelatinous Cube that had somehow survived the ages living in the sewer, and her paralyzed form is mere moments away from being engulfed by the cube… it is the 12th of Fireseek, 1151 I.C.

1000xp

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Chapter Three, Session 17: Swear by your power
You hit him so hard, you killed his body and his soul...

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
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
Arimura Kasumi, Human Fighter, Unicorn Clan
and Special Guest Star: Ts’oth’ula, Flumph Binder

Our session began on the 27th of Ready’reat, 1150 I.C.

Continuing last week’s fight, the group slowly winnowed down the guards Chan Clar had, and after getting caught in a couple of traps, finally made their way into his inner sanctum and soon enough defeated him. Searching his HQ, they find an impressive amount of drugs, paperwork detailing his operation, and more importantly, his own personal notes on the recent summit he’d attended in Arfa Dumor.

Most specifically, that he’d been tasked with helping to locate copies of an ancient tome known as the Esoterica Ebonwand, an ancient tome that Durklemes had expressed intense interest in owning, not merely a copy of, but all the copies of. Among the notes was one entry where Chan Clar had clearly written off one such copy, noting that it was currently in the possession of a foreign wu jen of great power, Tenser, member/ex-member of something called the Circle of Eight, an organization that even Cortana had heard distant rumors of.

Ts’oth’ula knew a little more about the tomes, indicating that they had been the product of a mad archmage of the Suel, a people lost to a magical cataclysm over a millennia ago. Each tome was the soul-prison for a powerful mage that had wronged the author, serving now as guardian (and table of contents) for the tome in question.

When brought around for questioning, he demanded that Cortana swear on her power that the stated terms of his agreement with them would be carried out, i.e. that he would be allowed to live, and transported to Otosan Uichi to be “tried for his crimes” (knowing, as he did, that as a citizen of the Empire of Suhfang, he’d committed no crimes within the Emerald Empire…)

True to his bargain, he told the group of his impressions of Durklemes, mainly that the eredar was firmly in control of his city, feared but respected. His relationship with Fu Leng was less certain, that while compelled to loyalty, he was clearly hatching his own plans whenever his master’s compulsions allowed him free reign. He also stated that Durklemes was more interested in the weapons offered by the folk of Neulund than those of Granbretan. Ts’oth’ula, for his part, learning that the party would be traveling by ship, begged off, and said he would meet up with them in Otosan Uichi.

On their return journey to Otosan Uichi, they took passage aboard the Gentle Dahlia, a ship of the Crane Clan. About a day before making landfall, they were intercepted at sea by a ship flying the colors of the Lion Clan, that demanded the Dahlia allow them to board & search. Finding nothing , the ship departed. On reaching Otosan Uichi, the party quickly learned that two small clan wars had recently broken out, one between Lion & Dragon, and another between Crane & Phoenix.

Minister Seppun agreed with the party’s assessment that the timing of these wars was suspicious, as both started within days of the other. However, he mused, ferreting out the causes of the conflicts was outside the talents of the group (Kasumi having petitioned already that she be reassigned to this group, as her role in Tsonlai had clearly been exposed at this point)., but they might have more luck locating this Tenser and learning more about the Esoterica; he was certain that at least one of the wu jen he had access to knew the City of Greyhawk well enough to Teleport the party there, once she could be located.

As we ended for the evening, Minister Seppun released the group for a few days while the aforementioned wu jen was located and brought to Otosan Uichi. It is now the 18th of Sunsebb, 1150 I.C.

6500 xp

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Katsushiro Final Report-Kasumi's first report

My Lord Daimyo

As instructed I am sending you reports.

After defeating the Hags, which did feel good in the short term, but the long term we ended up the same place as we started without a rudder and adrift. We decided to head back to the capital to report back and regroup and decide our next course of action.

During the meeting with the imperial magistrate, we learned about a number of people that where at the meeting dubbed the meeting of evil, and we were shown the 200 page document that the minister had on the meeting, one name stood out, one Chan Char who resided in the city of Tsonlai in the Celestial Empire of Suhfang, and the group decided to go there interrogate this individual then eliminate him.

I listened to the plan and quickly decided I could no longer in good conscience stay with the group and keep my honor intact, so I let the group know of my intention to head back home, wishing them well within the mission they were to embark.

This is my final report on the mission I had been assigned.

You’re most honorable Samurai Mirumoto Katsushiro
-———————————————
Minister Seppun

The individuals you mentioned in your last report arrived, I updated them with all of the information I had acquired on the underworld figure Chan Char. This individual never leaves his place without five guards at the minimum sometimes more.

We consulted for a time and we decided to go out into that part of the city and start asking questions and throw some money around in the hopes we either found him, or he found us. In the end he found us, or more to the point one of his Orc guards, which oddly enough are only found as guards or within the City guard, something worthy of note, in one of the citys inns.

Well, the one Cortana and I spoke to him, and expressed our interest in speaking with his boss. While we waited we noticed the other Orcs letting people out but not letting anyone else in, during this point we discussed our plan and decided our best bet was to attack the individual that arrives and interrogate him before we disposed of him. After a bit of a scuffle in the Inn, we were able to subdue, and capture the individual only to find that it was not Chan Char just one of his lieutenants, as we were short on time we decided to take our prisoner and quickly make our way back to the office. Apparently Cortana has an ability that allows us to quickly traverse the rout through a shadowy realm.
In this realm we met another interesting individual, something that called itself a Flumph, by the name of Ts’oth’ula and had a strange high pitched voice, this individual had a lot of information for Cortana stating that she should not use the Shadow way as it was extremely dangerous for her and her companions.

Once back at my office Ts’oth’ula the Flumph gave us some interesting information on Durklemes, that he is a lieutenant of Fu Leng, and that Fu Leng used a grimoire to summon this Durklemes… but Fu Leng no longer has this book as it was stolen by Cloud Giants, and that this Durklemes is interested in finding that same grimoire.

We also learned that this Durklemes is trying to bring about the Starstone prophecy and has made deals with multiple Hag covens to bring this prophecy about.

‘The Starstone prophecy, wherein a fragment of a shattered world steeped in evil untold millennia ago would be drawn down to impact somewhere on Liga, initiating a spreading contagion of death and undeath.’

We then questioned our prisoner Chan Char’s lieutenant one Qortimus who was able to give us information on his boss’s home base and then drew us a map, then we killed Qortimus before heading to Chan Chars base to capture and eliminate him.

End Report.

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Chapter Three, Session 16: Fellowship of the Flumph
Flumphs on Parade

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
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
and introducing:
Arimura Kasumi, Human Fighter, Unicorn Clan
and Special Guest Star: Ts’oth’ula, Flumph Binder

Our session began on the 24th of Ready’reat, 1150 I.C.

After receiving their briefing from Minister Seppun, the group spent the following day acquiring supplies, and were Teleported directly to the offices of the shipping company that served as a front for the Rokugani IS in Tsonlai. They quickly became acquainted with Arimura Kasumi, the operative currently in charge of local operations, who tried her best to bring them up to speed on the city’s underworld.

After their consultation, it was agreed that the best course of action was to travel to the section of the city where Chan Clar was known to frequent, and ask around until they either found him, or he found cause to find them. After about three hours, they were approached by an orcish mamluk who asked them their business with Chan Clar. After telling the orc that their business with Chan Clar was between them and not for the ears of a servant, it took another hour before Ozawa noted that the bouncers at the tavern were letting people leave, but actively turning people away at the door.

Soon enough, a robed figure entered the bar, flanked by four guards (one guard fewer than the minimum of five that Kasumi had assured the group was his minimum complement). As he drew close to the group, they launched their assault, causing the remaining customers in the bar to flee. “Chan Clar” encased himself in a Glass House and allowed his guards to deal with the party, occasionally casting spells but mostly watching how well his guards fared.

When he was finally down to just the one guard still standing, he called for a truce, and agreed to talk. Eventually the party decided that he was stalling, awaiting reinforcements, so Cortana Dispelled his Glass House and the others attacked. “Chan Clar” dropped a Fireball at his feet but he was quickly knocked unconscious and Cortana used her staff to flee the bar with her companions.

While traversing the Shadow landscape, a strange, piping voice could be heard warning the ‘daughter of Argus’ that she was in great danger, that Durklemes was watching for her here, and that she and her companions should not remain. Fortunately, the distance back to the shipping office was short. The piping voice proved to belong to Ts’oth’ula, a pale-white, luminescent flumph.

rpfdk0ensap11.jpg

Ts’oth’ula identified “Chan Clar” as Qortimus ‘the Reaper’, a nagaji sorcerer and lieutenant of Chan Clar’s. When they roused Qortimus, the party used Ts’oth’ula’s strange, otherworldly appearance as a threat, convincing the lieutenant that it was ready to eat his brain if he didn’t answer their questions, but Qortimus didn’t know much. As it happened, Ts’oth’ula had answers that the party did seek, including the following:

Durklemes was summoned to this world by Fu Leng, and the grimoire used was later stolen by cloud giants.
Durklemes is very interested in obtaining that book, or at least, one of the copies of it.
One of Durklemes’ plots concerns an alliance with multiple hag coveys to help bring about a prophesy known as Starstone, wherein a fragment of a shattered world steeped in evil untold millennia ago would be drawn down to impact somewhere on Liga, initiating a spreading contagion of death and undeath.
Chan Clar is not, in fact, a dragon, just a mortal man who follows the path of the Dragonfire Adept {Dragon Magic}.
Another group of Draeni exist on Liga; a portion of the ship that crashed and brought Cortana to this world also landed in Granbretan. Currently the survivors are slaves to the Granbretanians.

After forcing Qortimus to draw them a map of Chan Clar’s fortress, he was eliminated and the party planned to assault it the following morning. As we broke for the evening, the battle had commenced; one guard slain, and the fortress was awakened to their presence. Ts’oth’ula has produced a shortsword (from somewhere) and is ever so slowly advancing… It is dawn on the 27th of Ready’reat, 1150 I.C.

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Chapter Three, Session 15: You're going to make someone very happy...

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

Our session began on the 27th of Patchwall, 1150 I.C.

We ended last session with a combat brewing, which we got into directly. Cortana fled the house she’d cornered the matriarch in, but only after the matriarch had struck her a blow with her club. Once outside, however, the crone dropped her club and tried to play as if she’d been attacked by Cortana, but her bluff failed, so Katsushiro and Ozawa quickly pummeled her into unconsciousness. The other four hags tried various diversionary tactics, trying to rally the dwarves to their defense, but by the time any of the villagers actually arrived on the scene, there were two dead hags to put the lie to anything but the party’s version of events. Two hags did escape, however.

Questioning their prisoner, Sakura revealed that the deal the hags had struck; for the dwarves manufacture of weapons, a local tribe of oni, (the Chugach), would supply the dwarves with food. When asked about the vision Kirigaya had witnessed, Sakura would only say that their prayers had been offered up to an enemy of Fu Leng, the “that which comes to remake the world”. More she would not say, so when they felt they had as much as they could get, they executed her. The dwarves, now leaderless, were told that their best bet was to go and dwell in Hadrik’s Folly, as the villagers there would likely welcome them and that there was strength in numbers.

The cave where the hags exchanged weapons for food was interesting only in that it held the corpse of the cyclops the party had fled earlier that year. No clues were found there, but eventually they located some boot prints outside the cave that led southwest. When they finally set up camp five hours later, a Chugach scout was spotted and run down.

Under questioning, he told the group there was a reward (5000 gp) for Cortana’s capture and subsequent delivery to the city of Trothgir. The weapons were being stored at a nearby fortress called Zenwei, and that the Chugach numbered 100 strong. Despairing of tackling so many, it was eventually decided that they’d scout the location of the Chugach camp and give that information to the samurai of Clan Crab, who had the strength of arms to properly deal with them.

Several weeks of travel saw them in Otosan Uichi again, where Minister Seppun gave them access to a 200 page report one of his agents had written regarding the summit held in Arfa Dumor over Brewfest. At his suggestion, it was decided that the group could be useful in taking out some of the potential allies Durklemes was gathering to Fu Leng’s cause, before they had a chance to combine forces.

One such potential ally, Chan Char, was known to live in the city of Tsonlai in the Celestial Empire of Suhfang, one of Rokugan’s neighbors to the northeast. He was known to be an arcane caster of some sort, specializing in draconic magic, as well as being a figure in organized crime. Local authorities, it is suggested, will not mourn if bad things happen to him,and might even be of assistance. In addition, he offers to have them Teleported directly there (though they will have to secure passage aboard a Rokugani ship to return).

On learning the direction the rest of the group is intending to follow, Katsushiro elects to leave the group and return to his daiymo for the time being. As we ended for the evening, it was the 24th of Ready’reat, 1150 I.C.

2000xp

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Katsushiro Report 3
Katsushiro Report 3

My Lord Daimyo

As instructed I am sending you reports on the moon and its people and events within.

I wish to begin by thanking you for allowing me to continue on in this group, even if at this time I am questioning whether this is the wisest course of action, but as my report will show I am honor bound to continue at this time.

We began by traveling by ship to within a few days outside the ancient city of Arfa Dumor, As we were on our way to the city, we spied a band of Oni traveling towards the city, Initially we let them go before Cortana convinced the majority of the group to attack them, I spoke out against this but was over ruled.
The Attack did not go as planned and everyone but myself was forced to flee, due to my situation I had no choice but to surrender, the group was able to negotiate my release, and we continued on into the city.

Our time in the city was fairly uneventful although we did learn a few things. The being that runs the city is named Durklemes, and looks like a red skinned version of Cortana, but in a reddish tone. Cortana claims he is of a demonic race of beings called the Eredar, supposedly a powerful spell caster who has the ability to call in others of his kind, Cortana seems emphatic that all of our ills are caused by this creature. We saw no signs of this creature’s power or his abilities. What we did find was a city being rebuilt, and learned that slaves and drugs where being run through and to this City and that the Mantis Clan was heavily involved.

After a few days in this town we quickly traveled back to the Capital to make our report, I contacted my father and we made our report to Minister Seppun. After waiting a few days, my father arrived and left just as quickly after we gave him the information he had, and said he would contact us. We waited a bit of time not sure what to do, until we got information that my fathers keep had been attacked and that I had to head home quickly, the rest of the group came as well. Blaming myself for this, I spent the rest of that day and much of the next meditating at my mother’s grave to come to grips with what happened. The group waited for me before deciding our next move which was to head back to the capital.

One other thing happened while I was meditating I found that Omoyari (Compassion), the Katana of my Daisho had woken up, when I remove the blade from the sheath it sounds like my mother’s sigh, every time I draw the blade I always see my mother’s smiling face and it gives me glee.

Once back in the capital, we started to look into the ships and the captains, this is when I started to question if this is the right group for me, when they wanted me to do a number of dishonorable acts to get the job done, the first was to capture and interrogate a captain, that one I just walked off, as I considered walking away, but at the time I felt I owed them for getting me back. The second time, was when Cortana wanting us to lie and go in disguise, which I flatly refused, and they dropped it.

Our travels continued finally taking us back to the cave with the clawed hand dais, that we saw before.

Sometimes I wonder if Cortana is doing this on purpose and is not understanding Honor and what it means, or she just does not care to understand, either of them makes me wonder about her, as I have tried to explain it to her more than once and she just does not care to listen.

I will send a new report in the next few weeks

You’re most honorable Samurai Mirumoto Katsushiro

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Cortana's Journal - Entry Three
Cortana's Journal

Cortana_s_Journal3.jpg

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Chapter Three, Session 14: The Hand in the Clouds

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

Our session began on the 3rd of Goodmonth, 1150 I.C.

As Katsushiro arose the next morning, and set himself to sharpening his weapons, he noticed that his katana made a strange, new sound as he drew it from it’s sheath, something almost akin to a woman’s sigh. Examining the blade, he also saw what he first thought to be a flaw or blemish in the metal of the blade, but it seemed to be a trick of the light. As he sought to perfect it’s edge (a familiar ritual by now), he found it difficult, and to his horror, he saw the blemish spread like cracks across the entire blade, until the metal seemed to flake away, revealing a more perfect blade beneath the skin the blade had shed. (The katana is now +1).

Later that afternoon, however, just after lunch, a messenger summons himself and his companions to a meeting room, where he is informed that he must return to the lands of the Dragon right away; his father’s fortress has been attacked, and there is no sign of his father. His companions agree to accompany him, and using post horses, the journey up into the mountains is embarked upon.

As his father’s fortress sat well towards the north of the mountain-fastness of the Dragon lands, it took several weeks to make the journey on horseback, arriving on the 3rd of Harvester. It was obvious long before their arrival at the fortress that a battle had been fought, for the highest tower of the keep was missing. On arrival, the group was greeted by General Mahato Krisha, sent by Mirumoto Uso himself to guard the sky dragon’s fortress from ambitious nobles and opportunistic dragons alike.

Interviews with family servants revealed that on the night of the attack, Katsushiro’s father had disappeared around mid-morning, reappeared before dinner, and then retired to his private quarters in the uppermost tower of the fortress, as was often his wont. Sometime after midnight, a storm had congealed overhead, with strange, red lightning striking the tower several times to little effect. Finally, what appeared to be a clawed hand made of cloud-stuff and lit by red lightning had reached down, grasped the tower, and pulled the upper three stories into the overhanging clouds and then vanished.

Not knowing what else could be done there, but suspecting that the attack was linked to the dragon’s promise to his son to investigate Arfa Dumor, plans were made to make the long journey back to Otosan Uichi, there to investigate the links between the Mantis Clan vessels they had seen there. However, Katsushiro’s sleep was interrupted by a strange, black-robed man with an odd accent who entered his room unannounced. Introducing himself as Tethersco Mhoar of Saphet, a friend and associate of his father, Nakadai.

After assembling the others, Tethersco explained that he and Nakadai had belonged to a group known as Ternocki di Irthir (Scales of Knowledge), and that when Nakadai had failed to appear at a meeting two weeks prior, he had set out to investigate why he had failed to appear. At said meeting, it was hoped that he could add some details to a “Calling” that group had detected, a summoning of various fel personages to an unknown location on the upcoming 4th of Brewfest. Seeing the conditions, he feared the worst. Knowing that the group would want to return to the capital quickly, he showed them the location of a secret portal in the upper reaches of the ruined tower that led directly back to Otosan Uichi.

A few days of searching gave them knowledge, but few answers. All of the ships were known vessels, common in both Mantis ports, as well as those of the Crab, Crane, Lion, and Phoenix. Most also made port in Behow, calling upon the port of Zagmuria there. Deciding that they were perhaps too famous now for casual visits to Mantis ports, they elected to check out Zagmuria first, arriving on the 25th of Harvester. They located two of the Mantis-crewed ships that had been in port at Arfa Dumor when they’d been there, as well as one of the unknown, foreign vessels. Seeking the captains of those ships, one was said to have a home on the outskirts of the port, but another was currently lying drugged in the local equivalent of an upscale opium den.

Several bribes and some illicit purchases later, Cortana and Kirigaya slipped into the private room where Captain Ganshei Hapuun of the Spirit Badger lay wrapped in his visions. Bringing him around and Charm Personing him, they learned several names. Two of Durklemes’ lieutenants, named Kadair and Boffa, handled most of the shipping in and out of Arfa Dumor, and that imports consisted of a variety of goods. Slaves, timber, luxury goods, etc..One young Mantis nobleman, Seido Takeshi, had once talked Hapuun into taking him along on a voyage four years past to Arfa Dumor, where he’d partied with the locals for several days before sailing back. They also learn that ships had been hustled out of the port recently, to make room for mysterious ‘visitors’ who were due to arrive soon.

Deciding the they wanted to question that nobleman, they sailed to the Mantis lands, specifically to the port of Goraiku Shiro, reaching it on the 5th of Brewfest, where the celebrations were ongoing and raucous. Cortana, who had disguised herself with Alter Self, managed to seduce the young nobleman, and during pillow talk afterwards, plumbed him for information. he seemed mostly vacuous, but she spotted an Arcane Mark on his left clavicle, in the shape of a seven-fingered clawed hand that reminded her of the altar to Fu Leng they’d previously seen in the Shadowlands.

After relaying this information, the group decided that revisiting that cave was perhaps wise, to see what else might be learned. That journey tok several more weeks, and they finally arrived at the village of Hadrik’s Folly on the 26th of Patchwall. The villagers greet the party, and when questioned, report that they have had no further trouble with missing children. They do state that they haven’t heard from the nearby village of Gothold in several weeks. The party says they will investigate.

Gothold proves to have been razed weeks past, but there are signs that a large number of people traveled in the direction of the cave. Inside, they find the dwarves, who are repairing the underground village. Met by Zyemu Sakura, the Matriarch of Clan Zyemu, she bids them welcome and allows them to investigate. But things don’t add up. There are no guards, above or below ground. two forges operate, one apparently making weapons scaled for creatures larger than dwarves. The altar is clean; cleaner than it was on their last visit, though none of the dwarves claim to have any interest or interaction with it; “It don’t bother us, we don’t bother it” they all say.

Kirigaya, however, braves the cold at it’s base and sits in mediation. In his vision, he sees the lights of the village go out as one, and five dwarven matriarchs approach the altar (Sakura at the center of the formation). The other four matriarchs take positions around the altar, led by Sakura who stands upon it, raising an invocation in an unknown language that holds definite notes of necromancy; he also notes that their faces are all up-cast to the ceiling.

After sharing his vision with the others, Cortana gets Katsushiro to distract one of the elders so she can plumb one of the kids for more information, but to little avail. Finally, she has the others keep everyone out of the Matriarch’s Residence (the same building with the basement they’d investigated on their last trip) while she accosts Sakura, trying to see if she bears an Arcane Mark like the young nobleman did. Outside, the party sees two other Matriarchs approach the building and begin talking nearby. Inside, Cortana soon learns that Sakura isn’t a ‘person’ for the purposes of Hold Person, though she allows the examination to see what Cortana knows/suspects. As we broke for the evening, Sakura has cast Charm Monster at Cortana to no effect, and combat is certainly about to erupt…

It is the 27th of Patchwall, 1150 I.C.

1000 xp

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Chapter Three, Session 13: The Ruins of Arfa Dumor
Run Away!

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

Our session began on the 4th of Wealsun, 1150 I.C.

The following day, the group boarded the Kitsune’s Pursuit, and spent two weeks sailing south to a small cove perhaps 50 miles from their true destination. The captain of the Pursuit, Daidoji Hinto, told them that he would try to await them there, but if discovered he might have to leave the cove. If he could, he would return by the 4th of the High Summer Interval; if he had not returned by then, it would be because he would never return.

So the group unloaded their mounts, and set off down the beach towards the pirate haven they’d been directed to investigate. That night, towards the end of the first watch, a group of over a dozen oni passed close past their encampment traveling south; trailing them, Kirigaya discovered a small box containing six bags of coarse powder that one of the oni had dropped on the beach. They returned to the campsite, but couldn’t identify the contents of the box.

During the middle of the third watch, Cortana was awakened by nightmares of the Fall of Argus, the original Draeni homeworld.

The following morning, the group set out to track down the oni troop that had passed them earlier, looking to give them a fight. After an hour’s travel, they found the body of one of the oni being tossed by the waves, after apparently having been murdered by his fellows. A check of his gear revealed an empty belt pouch that could have contained the box they’d found. Several more hours later, the finally located the oni’s camp, and after a brief strategy session, launched their ambush with a Fireball that burst amongst the tightest concentration of their foes.

As the battle began, several of the oni charged Cortana at a dead run, clearly intent on bringing down the wu jen who had attacked them. Several more surrounded Katsushiro’s horse as he charged into the fray, limiting his mobility. As the fight played itself out, it quickly became obvious that the party was outmatched; several were near death, none of the enemy had fallen, and Kirigaya had been forced to heal friend and foe alike just to give his allies any aid at all. With the death of his horse, Katsushiro knew that he could not escape, so he bade his companions to flee if they could, and reluctantly, flee they did. Katsushiro was captured by the oni, who after a brief rest, bore his bound form with them ever southwards towards the pirate stronghold that was obviously their final destination as well.

Reasoning that the oni had killed their own companion over the loss of the box they’d found, Cortana proposed they they use it to bargain for Katsushiro’s life BEFORE they reached the pirates, where his fate would doubtless be grim. As it happened, the oni proved to be willing to hear her out, and they did agree to return the half-dragon in exchange for the box, but for his ‘treasures’, they wanted Kirigaya’s magic to heal them further. A deal was struck, and once Cortana had set herself far afield, the exchange went exactly as agreed to the surprise of many.

During his captivity, Katsushiro bore verbal insults, but was not physically molested further. His gear was treated respectfully, though the two ribbons he’d received as gifts from Kami were both untied, costing him the benefit of the feats they’d granted. He felt it very likely that his captors would have attempted to ransom him, had they made it back to the city. His captors had spoken the words Arfa Dumor quite often, and he assumed that was the name of the place they were going.

Towards dusk, the party finally made it to the pirate camp, which proved to be a vast, ruined city. Perhaps 30 ships graced her harbor, half of which were clearly flying the colors of the Mantis, and another half of which were clearly crewed by the red-skinned folk of Astariim. The rest were clearly foreign, being unfamiliar in design and purpose (but none bore the markings of Granbretan). As the evening wore on, they made their way towards the docks, unchallenged by anyone.

Plying the locals and sailors with drink, they quickly learned many things. Business was booming. Slaves (human, uz, wayang and others) were plentiful, a new supply of drugs were expected by midday next, life was good. A list of ships and captains were easily obtained. But it was also quickly obvious that the scale of this operation was beyond the means of 5 adventurers to overturn. The decision was made to return to the cove where Captain Daidoji was hopefully awaiting them, and return with what they’d learned.

The following morning, as they made their way out of town through the ruined streets, they found themselves in a wide plaza that piqued their interest. At the center of the open area, a low stone platform stood, perhaps 30’ in diameter. At it’s center lay a depression, perhaps 8’ across, half full of gravel and fist-sized chunks of some type of stone that none of them could readily identify. Near the depression stood a stone cylinder, perhaps 3’ in height, with a concave depression in it’s top. Detect Magic revealed that the chunks of stone still radiated magic very faintly, so they collected some. While the bulk of the party explored the ruined building on the periphery of the plaza, Cortana attempted to sketch the platform, taking etchings of the words engraved around the inner depression (Welcome to Arfa Dumor) and ( Dragarea City) on the opposite side.

While doing her sketch, Cortana was increasingly feeling that she was being watched. Setting aside her work for the moment, she and Zeshyn eventually cornered an escaped wayang slave named Sak. While Sak couldn’t provide them with any information about the platform, he had some pretty alarming information that he could share. The “Big Boss” of Arfa Dumor was named Durklemes, and from his description was an eredar, which was both a type of demon and a corrupted representative of the same race as Cortana, the draeni.

As it turned out, Durklemes’ presence on Liga pre-dated the arrival of the Draeni by almost a decade, a fact that she found troubling. She vaguely remembered a Durklemes who had been a minor lieutenant of Archimonde, one of the main leaders of the eredar in the history of her people, meaning that if they were the same being, he was powerful indeed. Why he had not Gated in more of his kind, or apparently summoned any other members of the Burning Legion was also worrisome.

Rather than flee the city immediately, they remained for several more days, taking an even more careful look around. Durklemes himself was spotted several times, angrily storming about the sections of the city nearest the docks, where most of the buildings had been restored to their former glory. More public works projects could be spotted also, where ruins were being remade by slaves under the watchful eyes of Astariim overseers. Buildings were being not merely rebuilt, but wherever possible, their original scrollwork, murals, and decorations were also being put right. Eventually, though, the group decided that certainly by now word of their fight on the beach must have reached Durklemes’ ears, which might explain his raging behavior when outside his fortress. Better to return with what they knew.

They arrived at their rendezvous on the 26th, but the Pursuit was absent. It did, however, arrive on schedule the morning of the 4th, as promised, though poor winds and contrary currents meant that it was the 16th of Reaping before they arrived once more in Otosan Uichi. Along the way, Cortana remembered two things; they’d met emissaries of the Dragaeran Empire at the diplomatic fete in Dor-Erthenos, and that at a family gathering with Na-Helena, one of her older brothers, Jo-Namur had spoken of a transportation network he’d been investigating called the Celestial Road, that used large disks and orbs of obsidian to teleport travelers and goods across vast distances.

They reported their findings to Minister Seppun, and Katsishiro sent word to his father, Nakadai, both to see if he had any more information and to warn him as well to the new danger they’d uncovered. He was duly concerned about their findings, and promised to make his own investigations, as well. Word was sent to the huchard, asking for an interview with Jo-Namur, but it took nearly two more weeks for him to arrive.

While they waited, Cortana got Sak a position to be trained as a goji, one of the guides for dignitaries in the Imperial City.

When Jo-Namur finally arrived on Liga, it was the 1st of Goodmonth. After examining the sketches Cortana had made, and examining the chunks of obsidian they’d brought along, he could confirm only that they seemed very like the Celestial Road he’d recently surveyed. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that their impression that the huchard were experts in such magical engineering were exposed as false; while Jo-Namur was certainly researching such techniques, he, himself (and his people as a whole) had no such system in place. He theorized that when the moon had been thrown forward in time, other kinsmen of his researching similar techniques had been stranded in the past, and that eventually, they had perfected what was to him only a theory (given that the Irda of Krynn are popularly (if erroneously) credited with having built the original Celestial Road, he might have the truth of the matter. After all, all modern giants were believed to be the corrupted/devolved descendants of such stranded outposts of the huchard).

He also mentions that it’s just as well the gateway in question was destroyed, as Dragaera City was apparently obliterated around 1400 years ago in an event known as Adron’s Disaster; where the city once stood is now referred to by the locals as the ‘Sea of Chaos’, a vast swath of roiling arcane and chaos energy that seems content to stay where it is… thus far. They have learned to tap it to fuel ‘Imperial Sorcery’ for their own purposes. Cortana grew quite concerned that if the gateway were somehow reopened, that Durklemes might have access to that power himself…

As we ended for the evening, plans were being made, and it was the 2nd of Goodmonth, 1150 I.C.

2000xp

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Mirumoto Katsushiro Report 2

My Lord Daimyo

As instructed I am sending you reports on the moon and its people and events within.

As I ended my last report, our erstwhile companion Irda Na-Helena, had wanted to check out the rumor that the imperial Magistrate had been replaced by a doppelganger. That next morning we went to the cities capital what we did find while there was not a doppelganger but just your standard run of the mill corrupt politico in conference with the Granbretanians to ‘rent’ a local ruin. The conversation we overheard did not sit well with us, so we went in to end it, the action ended with the Granbretanians dead and the Magistrate in chains.
We quickly decided to head out to the ruins, only to find more Granbretanians, and enough stuff to set up shop there for quite some time. Our exploration of the ruins ended with more fights with these same Granbretanians. It ended up with them blowing up the connection to their ship, and almost killing us in the process. We ended up with a prisoner and quite a bit of their gear, a piece of armor and weapons have been given to the Clan for our Wu Jen to look over. We also learned they have a strict cast system that is evident in their helmets, we also learned they were conquerors and used slave labor. From my experience we need to watch out for them.
We then when outside the Empire to the Free Cities, this did not go as well as we hoped as most places we went weren’t all that friendly to us. That went badly as we were attacked by a ship full of Drow, the attack ended up destroying both our ship and there’s, thanks due to Cortana’s well-placed fireball which destroyed the Drows ship. This effectively ended the conflict which left us with the Drows ship’s Captain as a prisoner.

After a bit of interrogation we learned that this Captain was ordered by the Admiral Kestus of the Royal Navy of Fallanor, her orders where to find and destroy the ship in question, our ship the Song Bird, We were accused of Spying, us spying as if we would do anything so dishonorable. We quickly decided to take this Captain with us back to the capital of the Diamond Throne to testify of her actions, that she attacked us without provocation.

As the trip back to the capital would be to long we decided to head back to the closest city and request transport back to the Capital for us and our prisoner. While we were in Khrol, we were introduced to a diplomat from the Kingdom of Fallanor one Mazzik Kror, who was trying to claim Captain Karesta, the captain we had taken prisoner had been over zealous and had grossly ‘misinterpreted’ her orders, something none of us truly believed, this believe was compounded when the guard was found unconscious by poison, and the Captain found in her cell with both her wrists slashed which as everyone know is a near impossibility without some sort of help.
This event changed everything and we decided it was time to get back to the Capital and head back home to the empire. Once we arrived back home, we were debriefed fully for the next few days by everyone from the Emperor to our representatives as well. While in the capital our companion and at this point friend Irda Na-Helena made her goodbyes as her job will take her elsewhere, we all made our goodbyes before we headed home. Truth be told I would be glad to work with her again.

After debriefing, I started to pack up and get ready to head back to our lands for my next assignment. Before I could finish, we were all summoned by the office of the Minister of the Interior, Seppun Kadai. Who did his own debrief and noticed we worked well together asking if we would be willing to continue to work together again as she had some work that he could use a team. The first job he had would take us back into the Shadowlands.

I wish to honorably request the ability to continue working with the team that I have been traveling with as I do believe we work well together and the continued work with such a diverse team will help me become better.

You’re most honorable Samurai Mirumoto Katsushiro

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