Chornalth Adventures - Liga (Current: Emerald & Diamond)

Arc 1, Episode 8, the Jade Frog
Three Trials for the Foreigners

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 3rd of Harvester, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

As the ship sailed into the harbor, the party took in the sights in the harbor. Hundreds of fishing boats, and the only other foreign vessel in port was flying the colors of the Lordship of the Isles. The city itself was constructed mainly of white (or whitewashed) stone, and was surprisingly clean and modern-looking. The group recognized immediately that they were in a foreign land, as there was almost none of the racial diversity they were familiar with in the north; every human face they saw was of Touv descent, with a few wemics present. They also took note of the heat; nearly 95 degrees in the early morning, and likely due to grow warmer as the day progressed. The group girded themselves with spells and potions to protect themselves, then set off into the city. Hofketter, the captain of the ‘Thunder of Iron’, told the group that he would wait for their return until the 18th, at which time his ship would lift, with or without them.

Following their guidance crystal, they soon come to the steps of the main Temple of Vogan in the city. The guards at the top asked them their business before passing them to a young female acolyte named Wallah, who in turn bade them wait in an audience chamber for Asada, the High Priest.

Squizzles detailed the nature of their quest, and Asada seemed somewhat bemused, explaining that they were the second group in as many days to come seeking the “Most Holy Relic” of his temple. He described this group as best he could, saying that there was an elf, a dwarf, a winged horror, a pair of individuals wearing armor similar to Meroln’s, one of whom had translucent symbols circling his head, a brutish priest with small tusks, a tall drow in robes, and finally, a weird, largish dog with spikes growing out of it’s fur.

He then stated that he had offered the Frog to them, on the condition that they complete three quests; he went on to offer Squizzles and his companions the same deal, naming three different quests, namely the clearing out of a nest of kamadans that had been plaguing traffic on the road to Ichamamna, the recovery of a powerful sacred staff from a vile mchawi (wizard) named Mbebwe, who was said to live in a ruined tower on the outskirts of Ichamamna, and finally the recovery of a live, adult gorillion, which he said his temple planned to train for combat in the arena. Gorillions, it was said, lived in the Zolteo, through which they would have to travel to reach Ichamamna.

hepmonaland_map.png

Two days out of Ikelan, as the group entered the Zolteo, they encountered a group of dead Touv, their bodies showing signs of snakebite, teeth, and claws. They found tracks leading into the jungle, and sent Justinian up into the canopy where the tracks ended. Soon enough, a pack of kamadans leapt down from the trees and attacked. Though hard pressed, Meroln finally demonstrated that gravity could indeed be a powerful ally; and that when he could manage to score a critical hit, it really, really meant something. Five of the six kamadans were slain, the sixth having been set aflame by Elerra and having fled into the jungle.

A further survey of the trees after the battle revealed a nest in the crook of some branches about 90’ up, and five kittens were found. After a brief discussion Elerra incinerated the kittens in their nest, and the party moved on.

The following day, another dead group of Touv were found along the road, but these had clearly been slain by humanoid foes, as their bodies were stripped and they’d been nailed to trees beside the road. Later in the day Elerra spotted a man with reddish-brown skin trailing the party from the opposite side of the river. Wilfred overflew the man’s location on Mekkatorque’s back, revealing several more of his companions, and discovering that they were armed with longbows, which they promptly unleashed in his direction. One of the others also fired an arrow with Deeper Darkness on it along Wilfred’s flight path, temporarily blinding him. But the width of the river mostly prevented any reasonable exchange of combat, so the two groups settled (for awhile) into the followers and the followed.

Finally, Elerra had had enough. Walking to the edge of the river, she shouted at the men trailing the party, and one of the arrows they unleashed in her direction found it’s mark in her thigh. She argued strongly after that point that the group should ambush the others before they ambushed them, and as night fell, both groups retreated into the jungle on opposite sides of the river to make their plans.

Ultimately, the party went south, the natives went north, and both sides began crossing the river to ambush the other. The party spotted the natives crossing, however, and turned back to meet them at their own abandoned campsite. As we broke for the evening, the two groups were primed to meet under the twin crescent moons, to shed one another’s blood in the dark…

It is now the 7th of Harvester, 599 CY.
XP: 1571
(does my failure to have to repeat typing this 3 times show?)

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Arc 1, Episode 7, the Message
Echoes of Yesterday and Tomorrow

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 12th of Goodmonth, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

Soon enough, the party smashed their ambushers, taking only three prisoners. Amongst their effects, the party found a wanted poster with a decent sketch of Sam, offering a 4k gp reward for him alive (1k for his corpse), said reward being offered by an entity identified by Squizzles as the Fiend-Sage of Rel Astra.

Questioning the prisoners revealed that the reward was only half their reason for the ambush, the other being a desire to take one of the Frogs from them (assuming that had been their errand). The cleric’s holy symbol (a disfigured golden medallion that might have once held a device resembling a frog) led the group to strongly suspect that he, at least, was a member of the Blessed Children of Anura. The cavalier’s saddlebags were found to contain a standard that several recognized as belonging to a band of mercenaries calling themselves the Black Rook Company.

Alexia wanted to turn their prisoners over to the authorities, so they marched them to Womtham and did so. Balking at a long march/sail back to Greyhawk, they settled in for the 25th, when they would be able to once again use their invocation to teleport to the city instead. While in Womtham, the group did the usual array of shopping and researching.

Alexis met a strange fellow who maintained a clockwork-smithy outside the city limits named Abrigat, who was working on a clockwork dragon for Lord Marthos of Rel Mord. Abrigat confided in Alexis that Lord Marthos had assured him that very soon, a wealth of innovation in the field of clockwork engineering would “be writ among the heavens” and that the field would never be the same (this being the reason that his clockwork dragon was mostly frame and boiler at the moment).

He also discussed the amazing clockwork man, Progilius, who had recently vanished from Rel Mord along with a band of hobgoblins (who had previously served with distinction on the City Watch). The two spent most of the day together, talking shop.

On the 25th, the group gathered outside of Womtham and cast their invocation, returning them to Greyhawk City.

On entering the Green Dragon Inn, several members of the party spotted the ugly guy from their first errand’s fight drinking alone near the back of the room. Elerra decided to keep an eye on him while the rest of the group met with Galen and brought him up to date on their mission.

While Elerra kept watch, “the ugly guy” was joined at his table by a woman, who sat and spoke with him for some time.

Meanwhile, Galen thanked the party for another successful mission, and paid them the balance owed to them. They went on to tell him about the ambush and the lurker in the bar, but he did not seem overly concerned. When asked about the progress on the Frogs, he said that only two remained beyond his reach, and offered the group 5000gp to recover the nearer of the two, known to be within the city of Ikelan on the continent of Hepmonaland. He further agreed to arrange for a spelljammer to transport them there and back, as the sea lanes in that region were controlled by the Scarlet Brotherhood. He asked the group to return the next day, when he would have some additional assistance to lend them.

Upon joining Elerra at her table, the woman who had been speaking with “the ugly guy” rose and made her way out of the bar; Sam trailing her and Squizzles training a second woman who appeared to be trailing her as well. Elerra went and sat down with “the ugly guy”, who traded banter with her for awhile, talking about a recent battle in the swamp near his temple, involving a bunch of hobgoblins who had appropriated a tower, enslaved some lizard-folk and used them to force a local circle of druids to force-grow them some trees. He further told the tale of how a group of adventurers riding hippogriffs, had rallied the lizard-folk and attacked the tower, but the hobgoblins had managed to escape in a strange spelljammer they’d built from the wood they’d forced the druids to grow.

Elerra finally rejoined her companions around the time that Sam and Squizzles returned, having lost the women they were following.

The following morning Galen informed the party that he had booked them passage aboard the ‘Thunder of Iron’, and gave Alexis charge over a floating crystal sphere containing a wizened creature resembling an imp; he explained that while within 30’ of it, they would be able to freely converse with the denizens of Hepmonaland. He also provided a 7" long crystal he said would guide them to the Frog.

The next morning, the group boarded the ‘Thunder of Iron’, a Hammership crewed almost entirely by Giff, with the exception of two human wizards who operated the helm. The main axis of the ‘Thunder’ held a massive bombard, which the Giff agreed to demonstrate once they’d cleared the “bubble” (as they called it) that dominated the Flanaess and rendered gunpowder unreliable. Said “demonstration” deafened nearly everyone, and threw many to the deck. The next day, the ‘Thunder’ put down in the seas a few miles from the bay on which Ikelan sat in the coast, and began sailing into the harbor…

It is now the 3rd of Harvester, 599 CY.

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Arc 1, Episode 6, the Message
Why are they always picking on me?

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 2nd of Goodmonth, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

As the party began making arrangements to travel west, Meroln received a Sending from Tenser, requesting that the group meet with him at his castle before setting out for High Mardreth. Upon arriving there two days later, Tenser informed them that he had been invited to a Wizard’s Conclave in Womtham, and offered the group the opportunity to travel there via a Teleport Circle, understanding that their mission for Galen was time-critical.

Once in Womtham, the group quickly exited the Lucent Tower of Wizardry and entered the city to purchase supplies for the rest of their journey,. After another 4 days of travel, the party arrived at Gul Shaledep, and sought Nethin‘s Armory in the tall-town outside the city. Some of the party spotted a pair of dwarves following them through the marketplace that preceded Nethin’s place, and Elerra, Squizzles, and Sam went back to try and confront one of their tails.

The dwarf, who never identified himself, seemed moderately hostile to the group, and gave the distinct impression that he was with the city guard or some similar security force. The dwarf questioned the presence in his city of a drow, a kobold and an illithid, and vowed that their presence would be carefully watched until they left.

Meanwhile Wilfred went in to ask Nevin about his sword, Bloodweaver. Other than details Wilfred already knew, Nevin would only say that the sword had been forged to slay a dragon, but that the hero it had been made for had failed in his quest. Bathing the weapon in “the heart-blood of a red dragon” would probably awaken it’s inner worth, and that perhaps the blood of another kind of dragon might work just as well; Nethin could not say for certain.

The only other moment of interest was when Alexis identified the bas-relief over the gates to the city proper as being in fact a pair of colossal stone golems shaped like angry dwarves.

After leaving Gul Shaledep, and making their way up into the mountains, the party soon ran across a troop of orcs, who initially seemed disposed to avoid the group, but Sam insisted on drawing their attention, a circumstance which required Squizzles to defuse; t seemed the orcs were concerned that the “illithid and the drow” were recruiting, a situation the orcs had no interest in being a part of.

Soon after, Justinian returned from scouting ahead, and said that he’d found the matriarch’s village. Following his directions, the party made their way up a narrow switch-back trail loaded with ambush points until at last coming to the village they sought. The party took note that there were few hill giants in evidence, mainly adolescent males. Orcs abounded, obviously subservient to the hill giants. Signs of past troubles were also to be found, five of the original long houses had been burned down, leaving only one remaining.

Eventually, Elerra and Squizzles divested themselves of their weapons and entered the longhouse to deliver the scroll to Yorglak, the matriarch. As she read the scroll, both detected a faint luminescence radiating from the parchment, and both also noted that her demeanor changed slightly after having read it; but upon her pronouncement that her servants had been told that they were free to leave, the whole party was only too glad to beat a hasty retreat from the village.

Four days later, on the road to Womtham, Justinian again returned from his wanderings to alert the party to an ambush being planned along the road ahead. The party made plans of their own, and sprang their counter-attack. Deeper darkness plunged the southern side of the road into darkness, while the northern side was Entangled. Despite this, the leading edge of the group was soon charged by a cavalier (Dallas) and an anti-paladin (Xanax), while a sorcerer (Gareth) and a ranger (Lasko) provided ranged support. Eventually Justinian engaged the Tactician (Zobek) who, in one of the trees, had been directing the combat and eventually covered himself in Oil of Daylight when Elerra moved her Deeper darkness to cover his location. Charbo, their cleric, had only just exited the wall of swirling mist she’d raised earlier, and was moving towards the injured members of her party.

As we broke for the evening, Dallas lay dying, Xanax was nearing his end, Zobek hung from the straps holding him in his tree (courtesy of a failed sleep poison check), and Sam was near death from multiple wounds, as the ambushers had been focused on him for several rounds…

It is now the 12th of Goodmonth, 599 CY.

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Arc 1, Episode 5, The Lapis-lazuli Frog
Oh no you don't!

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 19th of Reaping, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

The party quickly eliminates Rafael, Kalmad, and Muldar, causing Farrad and Anton to flee the room. At some point when nobody had their eye on him, Squizzles vanished, ending his chant (though the effects did linger for a time). Anton is eventually run down and captured, leaving Farrad to eventually be cornered by Wilfred, who had heard him demanding help from a strange creature covered in black scales and wearing only a breech-clout. This creature refused Farrad’s demand, and stood by impassively as Wilfred and Farrad exchanged blows, ultimately resulting in Farrad’s death. After the battle concluded, Squizzles reappeared in the space he’d been before, telling a strange tale of having been summoned away to defend a weird-looking golden blob against an encroaching horde of violet insect-things aboard some strange flying vessel.

Meanwhile, upstairs, the creature who identified itself as Klusk, servant of Arquen, offered the group no resistance as they searched the thieves den, recovering both the Frog and the Reliquary they sought. Eventually Klusk was released, and he departed in one of the boats stored in the cave below. Perhaps an hour after Klusk’s departure, the party found a letter from Arquen, promising Muldar sponsorship in something called the Path if he could steal the Frog and then overcome the party.

Returning to Barkhoury later that day, the group separated to sell the goods and treasure they’d recovered from the lair, selling almost everything except a small wooden case containing 4-1 ounce vials of a dry red powder identified as ligablood (a universal enchanting component). A small crest on the bottom of the box identified it’s origin as someplace called Delvenbrass.

The party, having completed their task for the constabulary, was welcome to remain in Barkhoury for as long as they wished, but when Luna became full on the 25th, they elected to use their incantation to return to Greyhawk.

After bribing their way past the night guards at the gate, they rode directly to the Green Dragon Inn and were pleased to find Galen waiting for them. He paid them the balance he owed them for their labors, and then, rather than send them off after another Frog, asked if they would be interested in another mission, this one to deliver a message to a hill giant matriarch somewhere above the Flinty Hills north of Nyrond.

The party agreed to the terms, then split up on various shopping expeditions. Wilfred, Elerra, and Meroln stopping at the Grey College to see if any of the learned sages there knew anything about the Path. Dal Vantak, a gnomish sage held to be an expert in magical societies, knew nothing of the Path, but he did bring in another sage, Lumal Kendar, who was an expert in languages. He felt strongly that the writer of the letter, because of his style of penmanship and his unusual last name, might be from a nation he referred to as Sa’han, said to lie far beyond the mountains that separated the Bakluni Basin from the Celestial lands of the Far West.

Wilfred also asked about his sword, Bloodweaver, but was told that he might have better luck in the dwarven city of Gul Shaledep (which, conveniently enough, was also located in the Flinty Hills). Nethin Hammertoe was said to be the finest sword-smith of the age, and one who also took a keen interest in the history of swords in general.

As we broke for the evening, the party was beginning their preparations to sail north along the Selintarn to the Nyr Dyv, and hence to the port of High Mardreth in the County of Urnst. From there, they could travel by roads to Nyrond, and into the Flinty Hills.

It is the 2nd of Goodmonth, 599 C.Y.

XP: 1300

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Arc 1, Episode 4, The Lapis-lazuli Frog
Can we adopt him?

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 18th of Reaping, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

We left our companions asleep in the Golden Voyage, an inn just off the Street of the Jugglers in Barkhoury. At perhaps two hours before dawn, Elerra was awakened by someone (or something) standing on her chest and demanding that she awaken. The someone introduced themselves as Justinian, repeated his demand that she get out of bed and awaken her companions, as he explained breathlessly “They’re almost here!” Questioning the atomie further as she got out of bed, she learned that “a bunch of orcs” were coming, that “they think you did it” and that she and her companions had been followed by the small fey because they were "going to be heroes! " and that he, too, wanted to be a hero “again”.

As she was awakening Alexia and Wilfred, the sound of marching feet could be plainly heard in the street outside. Looking out her window, Elerra could plainly see four orcs in the tabards of the city watch gazing back up at their windows, while others could be heard making their way across the common room below. Elerra cast her Deeper Darkness at the orcs on the street below, blinding them, and then she and Justinian made their way out the window and across the street to hide in an alley. The orcs suddenly blinded, began blowing a whistle.

At the sounding of the whistles, the orcs who had been pounding on the doors of the others kicked them in. Wilfred, who had used a potion of invisibility had Mekkatorque, his eidolon, opening the window as this happened, and the orc who stood there ordered Mekkatorque to stop (which didn’t stop Wilfred from exiting the room, via the now open window). The rest of the party, in various stages of undress, surrendered to the orcs and were taken into custody.

As the party was marched off to the jail, Elerra and Wilfred crouched in an alley across the street from their inn, discussing what to do next. Justinian insisted that they needed to stage a rescue “because that’s what heroes do!” A variety of plots were hatched as to how they could get to the jail without being spotted on the streets, plans which were complicated by the fact that when Wilfred’s eidolon got too far away from him, it vanished, spurring the orc guards to summon more orc guards, who were sweeping the streets back towards the inn searching for the missing members of the party. Elerra sent Justinian off to see where the guards were taking the party, eventually leaving the alley as the orcs got closer to their hideout.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group are led to the jail, and informed that they have been accused of burglary, and possibly murder, should the Priestess Yulana prove not be raisable. The constable informed them that the Temple of Geshtai they had visited the previous day had been robbed earlier that night, the Frog statue they’d asked about stolen (along with other items), and the Priestess Yulana murdered. Another priestess was currently attempting to raise her, and if that attempt failed, then the party would be held guilty of her murder, as well. It was claimed that an acolyte had identified the group as the thieves. The group was then taken downstairs and locked in separate 10×10 cells.

Outside, after having used Suggestion on an early-rising merchant into smuggling them closer to the jail, they reconnect with Justinian, and eventually decide to send him inside to scout the best route to the cells of their companions. Justinian becomes invisible and flies off to the jail, only to emerge a minute later dueling an equally tiny, wispy humanoid form wielding a falchion. Seeing as Justinian was leading the fight towards them anyway, Elerra finally decides that it would be easier to surrender and walks out into the courtyard just as a grossly overweight man emerges from the jail and nails Justinian with a Hold spell. Wilfred also decides that surrender is in his best interest, and the two of them, Elerra carrying Justinian, are processed in the jail and placed in cells near their companions (Justinian is taken and given a cell of his own).

After two hours of incarceration, the group as a whole is taken from their cells to a conference room on the third floor, and informed that Yulana was successfully raised from the dead, and that she exonerated the group. The constable, the Honored Kalishek dar-Tahan introduces himself, offers apologies to the group for their arrest, then begs their assistance in bringing the true thieves to justice.

He explains that Yulana indicated that the notorious Muldar abn-Tul, a water sha’ir with a grim reputation, was the true thief, and that he and his band of fellow miscreants have no doubt retreated to their island hideaway, known as the Grim Spire. The Grim Spire was described as a bleak rock outcropping that rose 150’ out of the sea, whose interior works were only accessible twice a day, at low tide. Kalishek offered to transport the party to the Grim Spire, along with 40 of his Uruzary (orcish militia) to deal with the army of thieves Muldar was known to keep on hand to guard his hideout. After Squizzles haggled with him over terms, he agreed to send along a high level priest to buff the Uruzary, so that they would be better able to deal with the thieves.

Discussion then turned to the Uruzary themselves; Kalishek revealed that in ages past, orcs had controlled the entire Bakluni Basin, ruling it as an empire, with humans as slaves. But the humans had allied with the jann, risen up and overthrown the orcs, until today orcs roam “free” only in the tiniest portion of their former lands, farmed for soldiers, soldiers that were gelded like cattle before being sold. Rather than shame, he explained, the Uruzary had incredible morale, and viewed being selected for this duty as the highest of honor.

The group was turned loose in town for several hours. At 2000, they set sail aboard a pair of galleys, and at 0100, they and the Uruzary stormed the Grim Spire. After about 20 minutes of overcoming the thieves, the party finally reached the final stronghold of Muldar and his lieutenants. Sam led the charge into the room, followed by Elerra, who cloaked most of the room in deeper darkness, which shut down most of Muldar’s associates.

As the party takes out Muldar’s rogue and spellthief, Elerra drops her darkness, revealing the positions of Muldar and his followers, one of whom is scrambling back to Farrad, the Priest of Ben-hadar, for healing. This is where we broke for the evening.

It is the 19th of Reaping, 599 C.Y.

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Arc 1, Episode 3, The Emerald Frog
Kobold Performance Modifiers

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 2nd of Growfest, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

After some discussion, it was decided that since the Tome of the Black Hand did not specify that the ulna, hair or blood all needed to come from the same creature, that they could very likely harvest an ulna from one of the dead goblins upstairs, trim some horse hair from one of their mounts, and Alexis volunteered to donate the blood that would be needed. After gathering the materials, and waiting an additional time to allow the effects of the Symbol of Pain to fade,

Using the Tome as their guide, they activated the symbols on the menhirs and opened the gate. On the far side they found a larger circular room than the one they had just left, almost 50’ in diameter, with a ceiling perhaps 40’ high, overlooking three floors of display cases and alcoves. In the center of the main floor was a circular metal dais of some kind, where a bubble of some translucent purple energy held a spectral undead creature at bay.

On the far side of the chamber stood a cluster of five creatures, near a conveyor belt that stretched through another gate of some type that had obviously been wedged into place. strange cables snaked between all of these devices, and the entire scene was dimly lit by the strange flickering illumination they provided. Beyond the gate, the conveyor belt crossed some unknown gulf before disappearing into the hold of some strange vessel.

Elerra identified four of the creatures as probably being githyanki, while Wilfred identified the largest one as an ethereal, a type of inter-dimensional merchant (and added that most of the strange magi-tech devices in the room were of their manufacture). A brief verbal exchange where Elerra pointed out that the ethereal and his group were outnumbered, the ethereal released the undead darnoc caught in the prison bubble and combat ensued.

While Eodain and his companions moved to fight the darnoc, Meroln charged one of the githyanki. The githyanki and the ethereal quickly surrounded Meroln, and he fell beneath their attacks.Before the githyanki could press their new advantage, however, the ethereal was killed, after which they all fled the chamber, knowing that the gate holding open their access to this tiny demi-plane would soon be collapsing. Only the soul-knife who had felled Meroln failed to escape, losing his head as the conveyor belt carried his body to the closing gate. Meroln was revived as the party turned to the Eyes of Domm to see how they fared.

Eodain and his group finished off the darnoc at the same time, leaving the two groups to pick over the leavings of the githyanki. Several objects proved to be magical, but the Eyes of Domm were interested only in the Emerald Frog, which was in the second crate the group pried open. other loot left behind by the githyanki included an odd spellbook that contained only the spell Fireball and then a guide to a pair of feats tailored directly to the casting of that or a similar spell (Cometstrike and Implosion), a guide to the construction of several low-level clockwork devices, The fourth item was a large leathery scroll, nearly the size of a small tapestry, that gave instructions for an Invocation that would allow up to 12 casters to cast a Teleport Circle on any night when one of the moons were full.

After more discussion, it was decided that Squizzles and Varian would return to Rel Mord, to consult with the Eyes’ superiors there. After three days of travel, the pair arrived in the city, walking the last mile so as not to overfly the city with the dragon. Once they reached the Temple of Boccob, Squizzles plead his case before Sargil, the high priest, shamelessly dropping Tenser’s name and deftly failing to mention Galen’s. Sargil, bemused yet impressed by the kobold bard’s command of the common tongue, bade Squizzles to stay the night, while he checked on his story. The next morning, Sargil, having checked Squizzles story, told Varian to transport Squizzles back to his group, and to allow them, this time, to collect the Frog and give it to Tenser.

With Squizzles returned, the party made their way back to Nessermouth and made their way back to Hardby, though a storm made the return trip days longer than their previous one. Another day and a half saw them once more in Greyhawk City.

Arriving at the Green Dragon Inn, they were met by Galen, who accepted the Frog and paid them their fee. A further contract was offered, this time for a Lapis-lazuli Frog, involving a journey further than before; nearly 3000 miles (as the crow flies; significantly more traveling overland). It took months, but the group arrived in the city of Barkhoury on the 16th of Reaping.

Galen had indicated that the Frog in question could be found in the Temple of Geshtai in Barkhoury, but Barkhoury had three temples dedicated to the Rain Goddess. The second one that they visited, however, had a number of frog statues decorating the interior fountain. After discussing their options in the inner chambers, they asked for an audience with the High Priestess of the temple, Yulana dar-Alad, who listened to their tale, then bade them to return on the following day, when she should have a decision.

As we left the group, they had taken rooms at the Inn of the Golden Voyage, awaiting the dawn…

It is now the 17th of Reaping, 599 C.Y.
XP: 1860

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Arc 1, Episode 2, The Emerald Frog
Unlikely Alliance

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently 13th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

Once having signaled the Blackwater Dancer to return to shore and pick them up, the group boarded the barge and set sail once more for Greyhawk City. Several spells were cast in an attempt to discover the frog statue’s nature, but all that could be revealed was an aura of mild transmutation and the sense not merely that there was more to the statue than they could detect, but that the statue itself had a personality.

After about a half day’s sailing south on the Nyr Dyv, Elerra (who was carrying the party’s prize) began hearing a voice in her head, a voice that offered magical knowledge and power. While tempted to keep this to herself, she soon decided to inform the others about this development. It was decided that it might be best to purchase a lead-lined box to keep the frog in, to block it’s telepathic contact, lest it possibly possess her, but there were none to be had on the river.

On arriving in Greyhawk, the group repaired to the shrine of Ellistrae that Elerra frequented, hopefully to learn more about it’s properties. Kiamyr Loroth, the priestess who maintained the shrine could do little but confirm that lead would block the frog’s communication, but did add that the statue was intensely evil, and that contact with it should be severely curtailed. The group also asked what, if anything she knew of their patron, Galen, but she knew only that he served what she called a False God, named Mabelrode.

Eventually the party made their way to the Green Dragon Inn, but according to Jenny, Galen was “out”, and might be away for several days. Drawing the party into one of the private back rooms, she told them that should they choose to do so, they could seek out Galen’s partner, whom she identified in hushed tones as Tenser the Archmage. After she left, the party debated doing this, but Meroln argued strongly for only turning the item over to Galen himself.

Elerra and Wilfred got private rooms at the Inn, with Squizzles and Meroln taking the last available room for themselves (Sam having already paid his private room days in advance). Alexis chose to bed down in a nearby inn, rather than ride 15 miles to her family’s estate outside the city. Elerra snuck out of her room to return to the shrine for more instruction, leaving Wilfred a message that she’d left the Frog in her room. Ultimately, Squizzles took possession of the Frog, but he did not stay in close enough contact with it for it to bind with him.

The next morning, during breakfast, one of the innkeeper’s sons informed the group that Galen had returned, and would meet with them in the meeting room in a half hour’s time. Before the meeting, Elerra, who had returned to the inn in the wee hours of the morning, cast Detect Evil before going in to see Galen, to establish that he, himself was not evil (the spell indicating that he was not).

Galen accepted the Frog from the party, and answered some of their questions about the other parties they had encountered. According to Galen, the Mallets of Wastri fervently (if erroneously) believed that possession of all 10 Frogs would either bring their god Wastri to them, or somehow grant him additional power. The Blessed Children of Anura sought the Frogs to help free the Demon-Lord Anoor, while a third group, which the party had not yet encountered, called the Eyes of Domm, was a sect of Boccob worshipers whose goals involved the acquisition and sequestration of dangerous, powerful magic items (like the Frogs).

He further told them that should they encounter any of his brother priests of Mabelrode, that they were not aware of the project that he and Tenser were involved in, and that if encountered, they should be told nothing and avoided if possible. He went on to explain that where he came from, the paradigm was one of Law vs. Chaos, rather than Good vs. Evil, and that while Mabelrode was a god of Chaos, here in this world the majority of those humans who chose to serve him would be considered evil (in addition to being chaotic).

After paying the group for their completion of their task, he offered them a further contract for recovering another of the Frogs, this one cut from a single emerald. he gave it’s current location as within a ruined tower in the Gnatmarsh in Nyrond. because of the distance and travel times, he was offering the group 1500 gp each (half paid up front), and would contribute 1500 gp to the group as a whole for travel expenses. After the group agreed to these terms, he left them to make their arrangements.

The group quickly rejected traveling overland, and decided to take a barge south on the Selintarn to Hardby, and to then take a ship to Nessermouth, and travel up the Nesser to the marsh. Before departing the city, they consulted with a sage who identified the tower they sought as likely having belonged to a warlock named Randolph, who had terrorized the region before being cast down 40 years prior.

More time was spent purchasing supplies and crafting potions and items for the journey, and the party set out from Greyhawk on the 18th, arrived in Hardby the following day, and set sail aboard the merchant vessel Sahuagin Tart (a brigantine with a figurehead depicting a spectacularly well-endowed sahuagin, captained by Reesa Dajur) on the 21st.

After 4 days of smooth sailing, the Tart made port in Nessermouth. The party unloaded their horses and spent another four days traveling north along the Nesser before they reached the Muddy Boots Inn, the last bit of civilization at the confluence of the Nesser and the Duntide Rivers. The Muddy Boots was nearly full to capacity, as twenty soldiers in the service of the Count of Brackenmoor were there blowing off steam. Their commander, Sir Guye of Larmont, spoke with Meroln, asking if it was his groups intention to journey into the Gnatmarsh, and informing him that if that were so, that there was a 5 sp bounty on goblin ears.

Sir Guye also told him that his father had been among those who had besieged Randolph’s tower, and that the “goblin problem” in the ’marsh stemmed from those times. Even with Randolph dead and gone, goblins still patrolled the marsh wearing his device, a black hand.

As the party made the transition into the marsh itself, Elerra and Sam both spotted a armored man riding a “small” blue dragon in the skies over the marsh. As the day wore on, he was spotted several more times, and we was wearing a tabard that Alexis recognized as belonging to the Eyes of Domm.

On their second day in the marsh, the party encountered a pile of 40 or so (ear-less) goblin corpses, slain perhaps hours before. Most of these corpses bore a tattoo of a black hand somewhere on their bodies. A search of the area revealed no tracks, but a nice leather saddle with it’s cinch cut was found several yards away. Late that afternoon, after several more sightings of the dragon-rider, the group came to the Tower of Randolph, and came face to face with three more followers of the Eyes of Domm, who introduced themselves as Gampstel, Eodain, and Elaine. After a brief bit of diplomacy, the two groups decided to ally themselves in exploring the tower, with the ultimate fate of the Frog both groups sought to be determined later.

Sam defeated the mundane traps on the outer door of the tower, and successfully saved vs. the Symbol of Pain that also guarded the door. Once unlocked and unstuck (thanks to Meroln, Gampstel, and Alexis), the strengthened group moved into the tower, electing to explore the upper works before the lower. In the main room at the base of the tower, they detected a magical candlestick holder, but nobody could read the word written on the base of it. Elerra pocketed it and the group moved on.

On the third floor of the tower, which had obviously been Randolph’s living quarters, Sam found that the scorched remains of the wardrobe there had a false floor. He blew his check for detecting the magical trap on the compartment (another Symbol of Pain) and then failed his save vs. the trap, leaving him writing in pain on the floor. Squizzles moved forward to snatch the contents of the compartment, but he, too, fell victim to the symbol inside, though he managed to pull out the leather-bound tome that rested within.

As the group investigated the final level of the tower’s upper works, someone finally broached the subject of the absent member of the Eyes of Domm (the one outside on dragon-back). Gampstel explained that Varian was keeping the area free of goblins. After sam located the trap (contact poison) on the ladder to the roof, Meroln climbed up, unbolted the trap door, and took a look around; Varian could, indeed, be seen perhaps a mile off, swooping down on what was likely a group of goblins. There being not much else to see, the group made their way to the basement levels.

The first basement proved to be a combination kitchen and pantry, but the level beneath that was bare except for a henge composed of an unknown dark stone (marble?) into which six magical symbols had been carved on the supports (three on each, repeated on both sides). The configuration detected as magical, and the symbols certainly were some sort of activation code, but their exact purpose was unclear.

Stymied by the stones, Eodain suggested that they consult the tome they’d located upstairs, which bore what they assumed was Randolph’s device, that of a black hand. The tome revealed itself to possess four sections, the first of which detailed the nature of bargaining with the Dark Powers for the ability to become a warlock. The next section was a copy of the exact bargain Randolph had struck with Asmodeus for his power (i.e. access to the abilities of a warlock and eternal youth, for the price of several dozen souls a year, contract void should Randolph be killed). The third section was a journal and accounting of every soul Randolph had pledged to Asmodeus (the longest section of the book by far). The final section dealt with the henge in the basement, detailing the construction of a special paintbrush (requiring an ulna and hair from a sentient creature) and the correct order in which to paint the symbols in fresh blood to activate the portal that led to a pocket dimension, where, it was hoped, Randolph had stored his greatest treasures (namely the Frog).

As we ended the evening, the group was arguing about how and where to acquire the ulna, hair and blood, most balking at performing a blood sacrifice….

It is now the 2nd of Growfest, 599 C.Y.

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Arc 1, Episode 1, The Topaz Frog
"Please don't let it eat my brain!"

Our journey begins: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

The party, all of whom were in or near the City of Greyhawk, were invited to attend a meeting at the Green Dragon Inn at 7 PM. As each arrived, they were directed by the fair barmaid Jenny to a back room, which had been reserved for the use by an individual in ornate black and gold armor who called himself Galen. At no point in the interview did Galen raise his helm’s visor to reveal his face.

Galen told the group that he wished to hire them to help him recover a number of items, and that he had it on good authority that they were adequate to the task, as, he explained, he already knew that they would succeed. He then informed the group that as a young man, he had been cursed by an unknown power, and become “unstuck in time”, randomly being projected into the future and the past each day. While this was the first time they were meeting him, it was not his first time meeting with them.

The item he wanted them to recover was a Frog statue carved from a single topaz, about the size of the head of a mace. He further explained that he had arranged transport for the group to the island where he knew that the statue could be found, and that they would encounter “resistance” in recovering it, though he was decidedly vague as to the specifics.

Elerra was hesitant, as she had other business in the city, but Galen arranged for her to meet with her contact that evening and her protestations faded. Galen went on to explain that the frog statue was one of ten similar statues, each of which served as keys to the prison binding the Demon-Lord Anoor, of the 271st level of the Abyss. Alexis identified Anoor has a toad-headed elephantine being of enormous size, known to have vanished about 700 years prior.

Galen further warned that there were others who would be seeking the statue; one group being certain that the full set of statues would somehow bring their god to Liga, another who wished to use the statues to free the demon. He also mentioned a second group of servants in his employ, who would be searching out those statues that were located in the south along the coastlines of the Gearnat Sea, while they would be tasked with those found in the northern regions.

For the recovery of the statue, Galen offered the group 500 gp each, as well as any and all loot they recovered. He also would provide transport there and back. He paid them half in advance, and the group prepared to depart to purchase supplies and meet their appointments, Meroln was quite adamant that the group settle on how the spoils would be divided before they embarked on the journey, causing Wilfred to declare that they should form an official adventuring company, replete with tabards.

The following afternoon the party arrived at the docks, and boarded the Blackwater Dancer, a barge owned by Ketteth Lirman, a human male of obviously pure rhennee blood. After sailing up the Selintarn River to the lake itself, it was another 11 hours sailing until they reached the island they sought. Their mounts and gear were unloaded, a base-camp established, and the party set off on foot along a trail they had located that led into the nearby forest.

After 20 minutes or so of travel, the group came upon the scene of an ambush that Sam estimated had happened the previous evening. Eight bodies lay strewn about a clearing, one of whom whose chest bore an impression from where their holy symbol (Alexis identified the mark as probably being that of Wastri) had been driven into their flesh to leave a mark. All had already been stripped of all their possessions.

After another hour’s march, the party finally sighted the only building they’d seen thusfar, a tower that seemed to be only half complete, rather than in ruin. Perhaps twenty minutes further along, Sam detected the sound of at least two men griping at one another in Suloise, and returned to the party to plan their next move.

After a hurried conversation, half the party tried to hide among the trees, while Sam, Squizzles, and Alexis stood boldly on the path. As the other group approached, Elerra was certain that she caught sight of something out of the corner of her eye, but could not locate the source of her concern. As the two groups came together, the leader of the other party looked from Sam, to Squizzles, and finally to Alexis before informing them that they were blocking the path, and to please remove themselves so that he and his companions could continue on their journey.

For a moment, it seemed that Alexis and those standing in the road would comply, but Elerra cast a Prestidigitation spell, dropping a wooden replica of the frog statue on the head of the leader of the opposing group. This elicited an instant repsonse in the form of an arrow (which missed), but caused battle to erupt between the two sides.

The opposing party’s leader charged Sam and began hacking away, doing considerable damage. For a few rounds the enemy party targeted Sam exclusively, until Alexis revealed herself as a priestess, at which time the leader turned his attention on her. Elerra brought several of the opposing members down with her drow sleep poison, and once the witch and the vitalist on the other side identified their roles, Wilfred and his eidolon made quick work of them. With more than half of their party asleep or unconscious, the ugliest of the opposing force sought to flee, but was brought down by a Hideous Laughter spell cast by Squizzles while his leader fell to Sam and Meroln.

The sleeping members of the opposing force were tightly bound by Sam while Elerra interrogated the ugly guy. He claimed that his group had been sent to the island by the local High Priest of Wastri, Lemuel, who made his home in the Mistmarsh east of the City of Greyhawk. He further identified the victims of the ambush they’d located earlier as member of a sect known as the Blessed Children of Anura. While the party decided how to deal with their prisoners (Elerra was in favor of simply disposing of them, while Squizzles wanted to turn them in to the “authorities”), their ugly captive pleaded for clemency, further adding that he devoutly wished to not have his brain eaten by Sam.

As we ended for the night, Elerra jabbed the ugly captive with one of her poisoned quarrels, putting him to sleep, then convinced Meroln to untie the three slumbering prisoners. They soon returned to their camp, collected their mounts, and were riding back to their pickup point on the beach.

it is now the 13th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
XP awarded: 656 each.

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Break Between Campaign
E3.5 to Pathfinder

Session 41 proved to be the last update I still had on file for the 2006 campaign, though I know from other emails concerning the campaign that it went on until at least April of 2008. Several faces would change over the course of the campaign, Kitiana would rejoin her companions, and ultimately a paladin from their own time would sacrifice himself on the eve of the spellweaver apocalypse to partially undo their experiment, hurling the moon forward in time over 50,000 years (to the 14th of Patchwall, 600 CY, to be exact).

For whatever it is worth, here ends the annals of the 2006 campaign.

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Arc 3, Session 41, the Future is the Past
Impasse, in a pass.

Our Journey began the 11th of Coldeven, 599 CY.
Last session it was the 28th of Na-Vesto, 6968 G.T.

Our Merry band consists of the following:
Alianna, olven wizard,
Aurelia, half-olven bard,
Drago, human barbarian
Elzedar, mongrelman rogue (absent),
Firax1s, fraal psion (absent),
Lassiter, dwarven marshal (NPC servant of Taz)
Taz, human knight, and
T’riss, drow sorcerer/cleric of Elistraee.

After several days of waiting, the party’s contact among the mercenaries arranged a meeting between themselves and Ka’antos, the leader of the opposing group for the end of that week in a village a few miles outside of the city. Without a quibble, the group marched off to the meeting.

Ka’antos, obviously distrusting to luck, brought several of his own troops as well as a smattering of hired locals to the meeting. Much innuendo was traded, and an offer made for the services of Alianna (Ka’antos, it seemed, would welcome having both Alianna and Kitiana at his disposal) but as diplomacy was never their strong point, the party plunged into yet another melee.

Ka’antos was quickly felled, but revealed to be a succubus who seemed to have only been acting as a mouthpiece for the absent priest. Drago quickly faced himself off against the leader of the Black Rooks who had come along, Janos Tandover’s own younger brother, Thessar. Alianna Teleported herself, Aurelia, and T’riss out of harm’s way while Firax1s faced off against Od’astanos, the secondary priest at the meeting.

Drago fell victim to a Song of Discord, While Taz and Lassiter fought the Black Rook’s elite Frost and Fire squad. Local archers helped distract the party’s spell-casting forces and a dragon-kin warlock helped soften up the fighters on both sides indiscriminately. Just as it began to look like a TPK, a quick succession of lucky breaks turned things around as both Thessar and Od’astantos were felled, causing the local mercs to break and run, and provoked the surrender of the F&F squad.

One of the local constabulary had heard the fighting in the distance and come to investigate, and he took the F&F squad’s remaining troops into custody, leaving the group once again with more questions than answers, but with the satisfaction of knowing that they’d significantly weakened the other side…

It is now the 9th of Al-Gerran, 6968 G.T.
XP: 10,000

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