Eberron Omega

Chapter 11d - Changing with the Tide
Some plots, and pirates, change like the tide.

061610 Game Night Recap:

Omega cram inside the small vessel alongside the guards and make way farther out to sea where they join up with an only slightly larger submersible with the brand The Iron Keg on it. Boarding it, they meet a grinning female Halfling named Mallum, a snooty male Half-Elf named Prine, and the captain of the vessel, a rough looking white-haired dwarf named Braran.

Prine and Mallum

The same line of questions as the guards comes from Braran and a few of the party can sense a bit of hesitation in his replies, as though he’s searching for the right words. But when the question is asked of how Omega feels about the Seadragons and they reply that they care little for them, Braran’s hesitance in response is noted again as is his relief in transmission of the conversation to Prine and Mallum when they start up a chorus of discontent for the Seadragons, allowing Braran to turn his attention to navigating the ship.

Braran

_Mallum, the female halfling, pulls a hatch on the top of the vessel closed and twists a metal handle, sealing it shut. Then, the vessel surges forward and down, plunging beneath the surface of the sea. You feel pressure in your ears as the metal contraption dives deeper and deeper. This seems routine to the others, as they laugh and sing about their victory. After a time, Prine speaks a command word, causing a bright light to burst from outside the ship. You can see it pierce the dark waters, illuminating vast outcroppings of rock under the waves._

The submergible surfaces about 2 days later as it nears its destination. Fog envelops the ship, making it difficult to see anything. The vessel keeps moving straight ahead, and you soon see the other vessels from the raid surface behind you. Finally, the fog breaks and sunlight fills the sky. Ahead of you is an immense white cliff. Carved into it are hundreds of archways, staircases, columns, and windows. This immense city is bustling with activity. Your vessel pulls into a dock at the base of the cliff.

Lastpoint

Braran, Prine, and Mallum exit the vessel first. As Tripper and Ethos breach the hatch, they note a Half-elf with a look of alarm on his face as he sees them. He turns immediately and bolts the other way into the stronghold. Moments later:

Mika approaches, walking with her head held high. She shouts, “You seem in good spirits, brave friends! I look forward to hearing how we won the day yet again. But first, tell me about these newcomers you’ve brought with you.”

Braran steps up to explain, rather reluctantly, that the group aided them in their raid and asked to join their cause. Mika, looking a bit annoyed, hesitated in her response then threw a line of questions at Omega about why they were in Lhazaar in the first place, etc, to which was disclosed the situation with Zed. At this, Mika beckoned them to follow her to her throne room to discuss this further.

As they travel to the throne room, they travel a series of winding corridors and up many sets of stairs. They pass through enormous, lofty halls that serve as gathering places, and vast dwellings where extended families live. As they walk, Mika tells them that she has become cautious of newcomers lately, and that she wants to make sure that anyone who seeks to join her is as noble as the soldiers who make up her raiding parties.

_You enter an ornate hall—the court of Mika—and continue into her throne room beyond. The furnishings are decorated with exotic gems and stone, some of which look like they were gathered from the seafloor. A throne made of crystal and filled with slate-gray sand sits on a raised dais. Behind it is a row of columns, and between them you can see the sky outside.

You hear a noise that lets you know there are people hiding somewhere in this room, but despite catching the occasional glimpse of movement, it’s hard to pinpoint where they are._

As Mika approaches her throne, two human assassins appear, each wearing a dark cloak and brandishing two short swords. Mika shouts for help and adopts a defensive stance, but she is unarmed and outnumbered.

Mikas Throne Room

The two assassins set quickly to work on Mika, one tossing a vial on the ground filling the area between Omega and Mika with a dark smoke, obscuring their view. They fan out, taking shots from the snipers hidden at the sides of the room as they go. The assassins actually seem to be making good work of Mika before Omega turns the tide on them, sending one to the floor. She quickly tries to scamper away through the pillars at the back, her destination of the balcony and the sea below evident. But she is felled before she can escape by Astrid and Tripper pursues another around the side path. The 2nd sniper is cornered by Corwyn and Astrid and utterly destroyed. The only remaining assassin, the sniper, is held for questioning by Tripper. He claims he was hired by Rygar, but knows nothing more. He is ushered to the cells by guards and Mika thanks them for their aid.

She goes on to say: she already figured the assassins were sent by Rygar. This wasn’t the first of such attacks. As far as they know, none had escaped to tell Rygar where they are. Mika then talks to the PCs, explaining why the raids have been taking place, but first allows herself to loose her ruse as Omega were clearly not fooled by it. Before their eyes her image melts and contorts and she slims down and grows taller, taking on the form of a male elf. He reveals he is Prince Kel of the Grey Tide and that Thon is correct in their location of Lastpoint.

According to Kel, prior to Rygar’s coming to power, one of Kel’s trusted dignitaries and close friends, Lord Felmorra, disappeared. He was also one of the most outspoken opponents of Rygar and vehemently opposed his position as “leader” of the Principalities. Kel is thoroughly convinced that Rygar is responsible. No actual proof is at hand to this claim, however.

But Kel goes on to say that the region is no stranger to the creatures of the deep wreaking havoc on the shores and the Grey Tide had made an agreement with the Seadragons to combat this mutual foe. The Grey Tide would fight and the Seadragons would supply them. However, Rygar has not held up his end of the bargain, and Kel feels this is a possible sign of his abducting Lord Felmorra. Kel claims that his raiding of their supply ships is only fair to hold them to their end of the bargain. But it’s also meant to show his weakness and inability to protect his people. While he does hold the largest fleet in the Principalities, Kel feels his power was obtained unjustly and that his followers were coerced into supporting him. Also for this reason, the Grey Tide could not hope to withstand a full attack in retaliation from the Seadragons, so they disguised themselves as Cloudreavers to deflect any direct revenge their way. He goes on to say that no one in the area really likes the Cloudreavers, so it’s relatively justified.

Before he dismisses himself, Kel says he’ll let the PCs have some time to think about whether they want to join him. He gives them a place to stay, but regrets that he must post guards just in case.

Omega follow their guards back to the guest quarters as they part ways with Kel.

The guards escort Omega to the guest quarters where they see their rooms. Along the hallway, there are roughly 10 rooms. As they usually do, they select the 5 grouped closest together and they each are escorted to their own room to get settled in.

As they’re each getting themselves settled and ready to gather together again to discuss what they might do, the itching (and warmth for Tripper) they’ve been experiencing the past few weeks intensifies to the point where they each buckle in pain and scratching. Then, just as suddenly as it had come on, it vanished. Completely. No longer itching at all. In the wake of the episode, as they each inspect themselves wondering what the Hell just happened, they see markings left behind. At first glance, they think the markings nothing more than bruises from the intense scratching. But after a moment, they each begin to realize the markings seem unnatural in a way. Almost like tattoos…

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Chapter 11c - Puzzles
...are fun

060210 Game Night Recap:

Omega boarded The Herald after divvying their spoils and saw Capt. Squiddy across the deck admiring the sea. They approached and he asked if they were successful to which was replied they believe Zed to be locked away in Dreadhold, but they have not confirmed it yet. They also reveal the deal made with Ryger to which Squiddy jests at Omega’s “jumping into the politics of Lhazaar with both feet.” Among the information, they also inquire Squiddy’s advice of the 3 possible locations Ryger suggested they go to intercept one of the raids: Sabronport of Redwatch Island, Pellen of Seventh Island, and Kapram of Thrug Island. Squiddy gives them a brief overview of the three Frontier Trade towns and Omega makes a temporary decision to aim for Kapram once they’ve settled their affairs in Regalport. The group decides to bed down for the night and head to the service district in the morning to find the Kundarak office to investigate more on Zed.

The following morning they make way through town, past the Pirate Exchange and into the only slightly more upscale Service District. The Dragonmarked house block is relatively easy to find. The house crests of Lyrander, Thuranni, Kundarak, and Cannith to name a few stand out boldly amid the other shop signs. Though, only Kundarak’s building is anything to be considered well-maintained. The other House buildings appear shoddy and worn with disinterest. Despite the bitterness of winter setting in, all the doors to all the offices stand wide open, awaiting business.

Kundarak On entering the Kundarak office, a narrow deep room lined with waiting couches and 2-man tables all with shaded everbright lanterns for document perusal (kinda like a library reading area), the dwarf behind the long desk that bisects the building sits up with an eager start as though awakened from a very bored daze. He sits tall and bellows out eagerly, “How may I be of assistance to you today?”

Omega stated their case, directly and to the point. The dwarf, Thrili d’Kundarak, a balding middle-aged dwarf, strokes the long pointed jet black goatee that hangs between his thick bushy mutton chops and says he can pull the information for a fee, but that he isn’t privy to all the information they seek. After some deliberation between Tripper and Thrili, Thon interjects in Dwarven that Tripper doesn’t understand “us mountain folk” and warms Thrili over. Thrili decides to offer the info and search for free and does his search. From the mountain of tomes and ledgers behind the long desk he pulls a few books bearing the crest of Galifar and thumbs through them looking for Zed. Finding nothing, they dig deeper, narrowing the time of capture down and he finds that in that time frame only 2 incarcerations were put on record. One was a crazed Gnome Dragon Below cultist leader named Fairn Thistledown. The other was a nefarious Cloudreaver smuggler named Capt. Rachel “RumRunner” Churchill. After being prompted, Thrili reads more of the ledger that states Churchill turned out to be a changeling, but the events of the trial were such that s/he was tried and convicted, no evidence to keep s/him free. Remembering the acquisition was made by a Bounty Hunter, they inquire about him, but Thrili is reluctant to disclose any of that information saying they don’t like to dissuade the keepers of that trade from continuing to do business, so they prefer to keep that information secure. Omega instead acquires the name of the judge for the trial, Lord Hunfrid Farington, male Half-Giant and owner of the Farington Manor just on the other side of the Garden District of Regalport.

Leaving Thrili, Omega make way to Farington Manor. Once there, they’re greeted outside the gates by a regal-looking dwarf, clean-shaven and slicked back brown hair, who asks their business. Not sure what to make of Omega’s tale and apprehensive of an attempt on Lord Farington’s life, he suggests they all disarm and meet the Judge in open ground with the gates between them. After a few moments, Lord Farington emerges with a large, well-armed Warforged bodyguard at his side. Omega then state their case of the incarceration of their friend and how they seek to verify it, to which Lord Farington defensively claims they were just Cloudreaver sympathizers. After a bit of tactful diplomacy, Omega do eventually convince Lord Farington that if they’re able to capture the real Capt Churchill, and bring her before the court, could they have Zed set free, to which he begrudgingly agrees, though he proudly claims the law didn’t fail. Satisfied that Zed actually now is in Dreadhold, Omega thanks Lord Farington and leave, plotting what to do next.

With the puzzle pieces starting to fall together, one piece that just doesn’t seem to fit continues to bother Tripper and he insists the party revisit their old contact Rohari Shalepick at the Wet Casque. It happens, being just around lunch, Rohari (or RS, as Tripper likes to call him) was at the bar downing ale. So the party approaches him and inquires just how he knew it was Zed who was imprisoned and not Capt Churchill. RS flashes a badge hidden in his vest and explains that he was the Bailiff on duty for that trial and remembers both names and the scenario. Further pressed about the Bounty Hunter’s name, RS eventually caves on the information when Omega convince him they’re interested in learning the trade from him. He didn’t know exactly where Kelyl would be, as the Hunters typically stay mobile looking for their marks, but said you can keep a lookout for his ship, Qabalrin Scourge, a soarwood Wind Galleon modified so the sails are everwhite, magically enhanced to never soil, and the hull has been treated a shadowy black and then covered with patches of chitin plates to pattern armor.

He also lets on that if they need a bounty, he has a hefty stack, most of which contain Cloudreavers. RS also informs Omega that the Hunters typically keep to territories, akin to a grid, where they hunt and usually don’t stray too far from that grid. So, if you want to find one, you can just patrol that grid. Since their destination, Kapram, is where Capt Churchill was accosted, Omega felt it was a pretty safe bet that this Hunter’s grid was there. One final piece of information Omega pull from RS is that Capt Churchill pulled in a bounty of 45,000gp. But there are bounties for some of Princess Mika’s Lieutenants that could bring in double that. As well, while it’s unprecedented, if a bounty was wrongly claimed RS notes the party responsible for righting the bounty would likely be compensated somehow, even though the original bounty had already been cleared.

Kapram Going back to the Herald, Squiddy sets sail and they make way to Kapram. A day later they make port and Omega disembark telling Squiddy he might want to leave port and return in 2 days to get them and that if they’re not there, give them a week then check back again. They then make for the Sitting Duck Inn, a moored ship that was converted into a tavern and small inn. The town, otherwise, is very small and scattered, totaling 200 in occupancy on a busy day. Inquiries of the locals return confirmation that this town lies in the bounty hunter’s grid and that there have been attacks by Cloudreavers of late, though there’s no pattern to the timing of it, they feel they’re due another attack, since it’s been so long.

Submersibles As dusk falls, the prophetic claim comes to fruition as 6 metallic pill vessels surface to a call of alarm from the single dock of the town. Omega comes out to view the situation and see the anchored merchant vessels out in the bay being boarded as well as the docked ships. Thon and Corwyn note that the lightning strikes from the submersibles to the merchant ships are aimed in such a way as to not harm anyone, just cause damage. They also note that the assailing Dwarven pirates are not striking killing blows on their victims.

Deciding, finally, to infiltrate rather than exterminate, (a debate Omega held for several days on how to proceed) Omega set forth to “attack” the town guard and put on a display to show the pirates their support in their cause. Successfully stymieing the meager town guard, Omega meet up with the Dwarven pirates on the docks and request to join the group out of love for piracy. The spokesperson for the group, as dumbfounded as the rest at the unexpected support, suggests they meet their Captain, Braran, aboard their Submersible Flagship Morn’s Quarrell.

Omega agrees and they board the vessel. Morn's Quarrell

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Chapter 11b - Meeting Ryger
Being dominated isn't all that bad.

051910 Game Night Recap (brief and no frills):

Omega left the Wet Casque and headed straight to the Rusty Anchor.

Rusty Anchor

EotLQ Box Text:

_Waves of drinking songs and hearty cheers flow out the wide-open double doors of the Rusty Anchor, a large, three-story tavern in the midst of the Pirate Exchange. Everywhere you look, a different sort of entertainment is in progress. A wide stage features jugglers, musicians, and other performers, while tables at one side of the hall are a venue for an intense arm-wrestling competition. Near the wide bar, a list of names and numbers is chalked up on a slab of slate. An adjacent cleared space serves as a knife-throwing alley, where patrons hurl blades and insults with equal dexterity. In the center of it all stands a railed platform a few feet above the floor. The tables there give a clear view of the Anchor’s entertainment, but are all currently empty._

Inside they found a rather humble establishment, given its size (2 stories and a cellar). A bard was singing poorly on stage. All the tables were full, but as Omega made their way in, a table opened up and a burly Lizardfolk in the corner spied out Thon as his Valenar companion moved across from him and proceeded to display their intention there, arm-wrestling competition.

As Omega weighed their options, a man and a small entourage entered to which the barkeep called out “Ryger!” and he replied in kind. Prince Ryger moved toward the middle of the room, watching the knife-throwing competition now in play by a Talenta Halfling and a salty Goblin. Attempting to cash in on Ryger’s interests, Ethos played up Tripper’s abilities in arm-wrestling until the Lizardfolk called him to a competition. Meanwhile Thon engaged the Halfling about learning how to throw daggers.

While Tripper lost a round then won a round of arm-wrestling, leaving the draw as the outcome, Thon bested the Halfling in a trial match. Ethos stepped up and took a turn at the blades for actual coin and bested him heartily. The Halfling took his losses on the chin and went back to the bar. Ryger clapped appreciatively of the displays of Omega and nodded to Ethos saying he looked “familiar” to him, though in appearance and not visage.

A few moments later Tripper moved in to ask Ryger for a moment of his time. When he asked to move to some place private, Ryger had the barkeep dismiss the entire stock of patrons. Tripper then let on why they had come. Through the course of the telling Ryger did recall Zed setting up shop to recruit, but had heard so many rumors of his disappearance, he wasn’t sure what was truth and what wasn’t. He suggested visiting a Kundarak emissary to see if they had him on record as the best place to start.

After a pause, he also made a request of Omega in return for him pulling some strings to get more info for Omega. He asked that Omega infiltrate the Cloudreavers organization and try to reclaim freight he had lost to their raids. And, if it should happen their organization is disheveled in the process, a hefty bonus might appear in their payment.

Inspired Shock Troopers Omega agreed and they parted ways with Ryger. Heading back to The Herald, Omega was ambushed by 4 female Reidrans (Inspired), who made no claims, only issuing scant commands in their native tongue. Through the battle Ethos and Thon did become dominated and turned on their allies, but the tide of battle shifted when one of the Inspired fell and another fled, fearing for her life. When the last one also tried to flee, during the pursuit, several members of Omega caught residual telepathy of a conversation presumably going on within the Inspired where the vessel wanted to surrender but the other self did not. Eventually the other self won and she committed suicide with a resistant hand as she lay pinned and surrounded on the docks.

Tripper rifled through the bodies, collecting anything of note he could find, and they continued back to The Herald. Among the loot, 2 of the assassin daggers bore a symbol, Omega discovered later to be a bastardized symbol of the Path of Light (actual PoL symbol below). Path of Light

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Chapter 11a - Rough Waters
Good wenches, better ale

050510 Game Night Recap:

Before disembarking from Stormhome, Tripper makes a final sweep to catch any disenfranchised Warforged who might rally to his cause. They set sail the following morning and make good time, taking great care to avoid the Thrane patrols in their path.

About 17 days into the trip, the Herald ran into a heavy storm. Squiddy took on a very serious visage. 3 days later the Herald was abruptly stopped as tentacles smashed into the sides of her, jarring her to a near halt.

Kraken The ship had been entrapped by a Kraken, 4 of its mighty tentacles standing like towers near the “4 corners” of the ship. Sahuagan scurrying up each and trying to board the ship.

The crew set quickly to work fighting back the Sahaugan but the tentacles threatened to smash the party and the ship. In an effort to fight the beast back, Omega set to anything they could to force the tentacles to retreat. Just when they had come near the end of ideas on escape, Tripper donned his circlet and spoke into the mind of the beast asking it what it wanted. It conveyed an image of “sacrifice” in return. Shouldering the responsibility himself, Tripper cast his prized spiked chain toward the center of the ship where a Sahaugan quickly snatched it up and dove into the ocean. Almost as soon as he hit the waves, the tentacles pulled away and the ship moved off.

Regalport2

The remainder of the voyage to Regalport was uneventful. Once in town, Omega got their bearings and set to the first tavern they liked the sound of on the way to where Prince Ryger would be. Inside they met up with a dwarf at the bar who revealed Zed was actually a prisoner in Dreadhold, supposedly having joined with the Cloudreavers and was accosted on a raid. A member of the Cloudreavers was present in the bar and the group approached him, but he shied away and proved useless to Omega. After a brief and embarrassing scuffle for the reaver, Omega decided to move on to find Prince Ryger. Regalport 3

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Chapter 11 - To Regalport
Vampires can't breathe water!

041410 Game Night Recap:

Omega jumped into action, having Dughan in the bellows and 2 waves of zombie hordes between them and the river. After a very brief deliberation of tactics, Tripper (carrying the bellows), Corwyn, and Thon sprinted out the broken front gates behind Rusty who was already working on clearing a path through the sea of walking corpses. Ethos mounted the Griffin after Tripper’s failed attempt to do so, and took to the air for aerial support. Astrid levitated up to take her position atop Rusty.

The Horde The 3 escorts (Tripper, Corwyn, and Thon) muscled their way through the dense crowd of zombies at a brisk pace, aided by a well-placed fireball that thinned the herd out just enough to give them passage along with a volley of arrows from Ethos above, as well as Thon and Corwyn’s aid to help shrug off any who might have snagged them along the way.

Ethos continued to take out as many as he could that would get in the path of the runners, while Astrid lay a cover fire from behind at various intervals, thwarting any pursuit.

Once through the second wave of the zombie horde, only a scant few roamers stood between the escorts and the water and they broke into a dead sprint. Ethos continuing to pin zombies in place, creating a path for the runners, while Astrid lay a pattern of elemental death behind for any walking corpses foolish enough to pursue. And many did. And died. All the while, Rusty happily and eagerly swept through the crowd, bodies and body parts flying this way and that. As well, the keep was not stagnant, the ballistiae and ranged fighters continued to thin the horde from within the keep walls.

Once to the water, Corwyn and Thon ran interference of any attackers while Tripper attempted to submerge the full bellows. It took a couple of attempts to position himself properly to sink, but finally doing so, he slowly descended to the river bed where he secured the bellows to the floor with stones. Content with this solution, knowing from his discussions from Corwyn that Dughan was surely already dead after just being submerged, he made his way back to the surface.

After about an hour, Tripper arrived back on shore to find his friends and the keep making final work of any remaining zombies. A party was formed to investigate the woods where they emerged and they found no more. To be safe, Tripper asked Astrid to burn down the old farmhouse nearby to hide the underground passage to Vathirond and eliminate any possible cover it might provide for future attacks.

Back in the keep, Tripper finished his arrangements and everyone bedded down for the night. But just before, the group questioned Ol’ Salty on the best possible means of getting to Lhazaar, to which he suggested getting a soarwood ship, as it’s the best thing short of a Lyrander ship for speed. Also that Vathirond docks are about all they have at their disposal.

The next morning they made way to Vathirond to secure a ship to get to Lhazaar. There, they went to the old church, now a Deneith/Brelish Army strong hold. Inside Tripper approached the most official-looking person there and asked about a ship, to which he got a snide reply, but his equally sarcastic response softened the harsh Captain and he got a recommendation to seek out “Troy” at the docks. “You can’t miss him.”

At the docks, amid the average-looking dock workers a single human stood out staggering about the docks singing incoherently to himself. He was dressed so flamboyantly it was almost comical. The stereotypical “pirate captain” with the high boots, long dark coat, and the typical tricorner hat with a long white feather. Apprehensive about the man, guessing him to be “Troy,” Omega polled a nearby worker of the “best” captain at the docks. The reply was “Squidsy.” When asked what boat, he pointed to the only white boat at the docks. When they queried his ability, the worker noted he is renowned for his ability to avoid trouble, particularly that of territorial routes of dangerous sea creatures. When queries about “Troy,” the worker only laughed and said he was the “luckiest Captain he knows of, but he’d never work for him because no one who ever does work for him will do so again. He’s a rather unorthadox captain.”

With this information, Omega thanks him and moves on to the white ship being careful to avoid “Troy” who nearly staggers right into one or two in the group, completely oblivious of them.

The Herald At the white ship, they each make way up the gangplank behind some deckhands. On board they see a stocky, fit dwarf, bald with a short gray bushy beard barking orders to all the deckhands. He is covered in tattoos, several of which Astrid recognizes as Karrnathi army-related. Tripper wastes no time in introducing himself and asking for assistance, but is immediately met with hostility from the dwarf who makes all sorts of racist and seemingly unprovoked attacks on Tripper. The exchange elevates to violence just before Tripper finally storms off the boat and the slurs and insults continue to volley back and forth from dock to deck while Astrid tries to intervene. Meanwhile Corwyn interrogates some of the deckhands to find that the boat is a soarwood boat.

Astrid does eventually get some useful information from the dwarf, but not much. And just before he finally tries to kick them off the boat, a stunning half-elf dressed in simple, but commanding attire emerges from what is apparently the Captain’s quarters. He approaches apologizing for his First-Mate Bento’s rudeness, dismissing him as “passionate” and saying he fought for Karrnath in the Last War and has a particular disdain for Warforged. After some negotiation and diplomacy, Astrid and then eventually Tripper work Squidsy into an agreement to escort them to Stormhome, his destination, where they will then determine the next course of action to get them to Regalport, Lhazaar.

Amid the negotiations, Squidsy questioned Tripper’s claim of being proprietor of the keep that protects Vathirond, to which Tripper replied by having Tome launch a fireball into the sky. On seeing this, Squidsy allowed them a hefty discount noting their honorable intentions, thus far.

They set sail a day later after Omega helped with the repairs on the ship. The journey north was gloomy under the looming dread of the Gray Mists of the Mournland, but nothing ever came forth to issue a challenge. Once past the mists and around Thronehold, they made good time and arrived at Stormhome a day earlier than planned, thanks in large part to Astrid’s offering to feed everyone from her bag of provisions. This freed up the cooking duties and allowed those sailors to assist in the sailing duties.

Stormhome DMG entry on Stormhome (Squidsy wouldn’t have issue revealing this info): STORMHOME Island Paradise; Population 14,000 Until House Lyrandar secured rights to this island at the mouth of Scions Sound, Stormhome was a rugged and desolate place, a windswept rock home only to a garrison of demoralized soldiers. Six hundred years ago, Lyrandar chose this spot to build its enclave and used weather-controlling magic to divert the worst storms away from the island. The results were astonishing: Storm home became an island paradise, a testament to House Lyrander’s wealth and power. Stormhome remains part of Aundair but is left to its own devices, making it an ideal retreat for foreign dignitilries and nobles. Even Queen Aurala seems enchanted with the place, spending a portion of each year in the company of Lyrandar’s baron, swapping secrets and rumors to the dismay of both their advisors. As the premier destination for the wealthy and powerful, Stormhome has emerged as a hotbed of intrigue and agents come to broker alliances and gather intelligence about their rivals.

Once docked, Squidsy says he’ll be back after reporting to his benefactor. The group has liberty to explore the island as they wish and seek out new passage, if need be. When Squidsy returned he said he was granted leave to take on a new contract, if he wanted, which meant he could continue to Regalport, if Omega wanted to hire him. Still with 34 days on the journey (give-or-take), Omega weighed the option of paying considerably more to charter a Stormship and shorten the trip by half, but ultimately they decided to stick it out with Squidsy, even after his insistance that they at least reveal a portion of their reason for going, so he could be sure he could trust them aboard the ship. In the end, Squidsy accepted one of the acquired Khyber Shards as payment for the journey to Regalport. Dragonshards

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Chapter 10a - Protecting the Keep
Who doesn't love a self-aware Warforged Titan? Seriously.

Brelish Crest

To be expanded later:

033110 Game Night recap:

Tripper, Corwyn, and Thon left Sharn for Wroat to meet with Boranel Wroat

In the meeting you found Boranel willing to assist against the raids on the keep, but not really able to help against the Aberrant threat Omega faces, though he was highly interested in the subject.

Rusty He handed Omega a small offering of assistance in the services of Ariel (the Dark Lantern who had been working with Omega already) as well as Rusty, a decommissioned Warforged Titan with a unique “condition.” As well as Rusty’s Artificer who appeared to not even be needed as Rusty seemed to be pretty self-aware.

Omega met up with Astrid in Wroat and they all journeyed to Vathirond uninhibited.

Adamant Keep

Karrnathi Zombie Once there, they made way to the keep to get a report and secure Rusty and during the meet and greet Ethos flew in overhead on a Griffin. While in the air he spotted activity to the north in the southern forest. On being spotted a small undead army emerged along with a massive Nightwalker who pursued Ethos back to the keep.

Karrnathi Skeleton From within, the walls secured, the undead horde met an unplanned for resistance in Omega Company and Rusty and they made a mockery of the invasion, capping it with an unintended ambush on Dughan who lead the attack into the keep.

After expending his resources, Dughan was bested and he turned into mist form to escape back to his coffin, but Tripper had his specially-made bellows brought to him during the battle, expecting this move. He engulfed Dughan inside and Omega makes plans to push through the undead horde to reach the river in time to submerge Dughan, destroying him for good.

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Chapter 10 - Rising Tide
Some dogs just don't know when to stay down.

031710 Game Night Recap:

Stepping through the portal in the keep, Astrid, Thon, Corwyn, Harlos, Dez, and Tripper all emerge in a small dry and featureless room. Dez groans and says “we’re in the Cogs under Sharn.” Astrid turns to inspect the way they came to ensure the portal wasn’t still active, and it was not. Not satisfied with this result, however, Tripper insisted they bury the room from the outside to ensure no one happens upon it, just in case. With the room secured, the party moves on through the vast dungeon, surprisingly empty, and relatively quiet. The bustle of activity remains subdued even through the sewers until they hit the Undersharn marketplace. They emerge from Undersharn on the lowest level of the Central Plateau, which is fortunate, as the company plan is to get their half devoured friend on the disk to a healer of Jorasco as quickly as possible.

Sharn from the Streets

Parting ways with Omega, Astrid cancels the disk and Tripper takes Dane and carries him to the nearest lift. Up one level they reach the Dragonmarked house district and find the Jorasco house of healing, noted by the House Crest emblazoned on the front of the otherwise clinically sterile and plain building.

Jorasco Enclave

At the entryway they are greeted by a Halfling dressed in typical business attire, but with a lab coat over top. He asks what they need and Tripper asks him for help aiding Dane. As he describes how they came about Dane, the Halfling inspects the man and his injuries, but only after Tripper offers to sign over his Kundarak bank account to pay for Dane’s recovery, does the Halfling agree to take Dane off their hands. He says there isn’t a lot they can do for him as his injuries are well beyond anything the house can do, but they have options they could consider (like warforged component replacements for his legs, as Tripper suggests).

Tripper then asks the Halfling, who says his name is “Guy,” if he can inspect Harlos and Dez. He says Jorasco healing is limited to that of the physical and that mental magics are best left to the Kalashtar or they could get the services of the Church of the Silver Flame in Flamekeep to inspect them for possession, but he looks them over for any physical signs anyway. After a short series of tests, he returns to say he can see no signs of injury and clears them to leave. While waiting on the inspection Tripper recalls Osh’s father being in Sharn and could possibly do a mental inspection on the two to give them all some peace of mind. Once they leave the Jorasco house and the faint mutterings of complaint from “Guy” about people “dumping their trash on his doorstep,” the party makes way for the Kalashtar district.

Sharn Skyway

Arriving in the Kalashtar district of Sharn, it’s a distinct change of pace. The people there are much more reserved and subdued. The sounds and feel of the streets are calmer and zen-like. As it’s getting later in the day, the everbright lanterns are starting to be unshaded casting fantastic prisms on the streets and walls through the crystals that frequent the decorations. Colors of Gold and Purple are prevalent but the architecture of the structures is very plain and simple with only hints at the exotic origin of their residents. Tripper makes way to the nearest shop, an apothecary of sorts, to ask for directions to Dalserath. Inside an older Kalashtar whose hair is starting to gray is behind a table working on a ruby-colored crystal when they enter. He greets them warmly and Tripper inquires about Dal. The man is a bit hesitant and guarded at first, but Tripper manages to charm him into cooperation. Several streets in, they finally reach Dal’s home, a single-story dwelling and otherwise nondescript.

After knocking on the door and a short wait, a faint shuffling is heard and then a pulse from the door before is slowly slides open and a middle-aged man, bald and wearing nothing of note to set him apart except for a rose-colored crystal suspended from his neck. He is guarded when he addresses them and Tripper tries to explain why they’re there, but he’s not sure about the situation and seems to be hiding something. Once Tripper manages to reveal their working for Fergus, Dal excuses himself and goes back inside. Moments later the shuffle returns accompanied by boot steps and the door opens again to reveal Dal and a familiar face of Fergus standing behind him.

He peers out the door, looking around cautiously and asks if they were followed, then ushers them in quietly and quickly when they respond “no.” Tripper then fills Fergus in on all their happenings since they parted and Fergus fills in points here and there including the purpose of the Keeper’s Key and their imminent need to destroy it. He then reveals to them that Tripper’s keep has been under siege of late by Dughan’s army. And though Tome has managed to keep things at bay, their resources are thinning and they could use some aid. He also says he and Dal have been pursued by assassins and bounty hunters lately. They’ve been veiled by the Kalashtar and are relatively safe where they are for the time being, but Harlos and Dez should probably take refuge in Tripper’s Keep, agreeing with Tripper’s same suggestion.

Dal says he can use kesh to try and see what happened to Dez and Harlos, but it will require them to open their minds to him, which Harlos quickly and vehemently opposes. After some goading, though, he finally submits and Dal sees in both of them that they were at some point controlled by some entity, though it is no longer present. However, there is a residual matter that remains. It’s dormant and appears harmless but knowing anything more about it is beyond his ability.

Feeling everything there is pretty well in order, the group sets out to make way to Wroat to meet with Boranel, but Tripper wishes to make one stop on the way. Back in the Dragonmarked House district, they stop by the House Thuranni headquarters only to find it closed for the evening. However, a gathering at the pub next door draws them in and they find a cornucopia of Dragonmarked houses represented taking pleasure in the entertainment of said house.

Tripper asks the group if they prefer his statement he’s about to make to be over the top, or a step further and they say go for it, so he marches straight in and steps up onto the bar dropping a bag of coin and yells out for everyones’ attention. He then issues a challenge to anyone who comes into contact with a contract for Fergus will meet their end at his hands. After an uncomfortable pause, followed by a myriad of laughter particularly from the table housing a couple of Kundarak Dwarves and Deneith Humans , he then leaves with the rest of Omega en tow. A few Elven eyes follow him suspiciously out the door, but no one pursues.

Making way back to the lift, several of the party notice as they pass the Cannith structure, several shadowy figures skulking away in the alley beyond. Harlos realizes the person in the lead is none other than the Artificer who first accompanied them so many months ago. The group pursues. Seeing a dead Cannith guard at the back door, Tripper issues a challenge to the artificer, who now goes by the name The Artificer, to halt or die. He pushes the two Tharask Hunters accompanying him forward to fight and calls his Iron Defender to take Tripper down. He then starts flinging daggers (that return to him) at Tripper and unloading everything in his arsenal to take Tripper down. But when the first Hunter falls and the second flees, The Artificer decides to try and make a break for it by jumping behind Tripper, Thon, and Corwyn. As he rounded the alley corner, he’s met by a waiting Dez and Harlos. Seeing the familiar faces and knowing he’s trapped, he surrenders and calls the Defender down.

Refusing to talk, Tripper ushers The Artificer into the front door of the Cannith house and pushes him up against the desk as scribes and officials scuttle about in a panic over some disturbance in the house. Claiming the capture of the assailant, Tripper hands him over to the house guard and requests they bring Merrix down to tend to this personally. When Merrix arrives, he greets Tripper and thanks him and the party for assisting in finally executing the task given to him so long ago. He offers they stay the night in his estate, which they agree to, and he says he will meet up with them once he has tended to The Artificer. Merrix

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Chapter 9b-3 - Thon's Revalation
Dughan's depravity knows no bounds.

Later in the evening when you all bed down in Merrix’s estate, you’re awakened by a disturbance among the spirits. They’re roused by something trying to work its way through. Eventually after some resistance (which you later discover wasn’t hostile resistance, rather sympathetic resistance), a familiar image appears in front of you. Marneth. The Druid’s spirit manifests itself to you and he begs you to not give up your quest on the Keeper’s Key. He explains that while the threat may be subdued currently, it is only a lull before another big swell. Even if the aberrations don’t have their way with the artifact, the Lords of Dust could do just as much damage once the Rakshasa realizes how the thing works.

When you ask him how he came to be before you (knowing the answer but asking anyway) he will say he was killed battling a Vampire named Dughan Rendclaw.

In the years that passed since that fateful day Thon, Marneth, and Joth vowed their lives to the spirits, Marneth had moved south and set his grove at the border of the Talenta Plains and the Mournland. The spirits had guided him there to help protect the Halfling lands from the horrors that emerged from the Mournland. Joth had taken his newfound primal fury toward Valenar where the warrior elves embrace such martial ability.

In the days after Omega dispatched Dughan’s army and sent him fleeing for his life, he crossed the Mournland headed back to Lady Vol. When he emerged on the other side, he encountered Marneth and he overpowered the druid, taking his life to sustain his own. Now Marneth’s spirit remains on Eberron, bent on revenge for the loss, unwilling to pass to Dolurrh until Dughan has been slain.

Maleena (the Rakshasa) revealed a cryptic statement to Thon as he was leaving the Dwarven citadel in Khyber. He said Thon and Corwyn now had more in common than he knows and that he had an appointment he needed to keep. It appears this must be what he was talking about, as Corwyn has an unspoken of grudge to settle with Dughan as well.

He goes on to say that he would have told you when you made your regular pilgrimmage, but he doesn’t think you need to take time to make it this year. You have more pressing things at hand. He has relayed this to your fallen comrades and they agree. He will tell Joth, so you needn’t worry about that. He also says don’t let his retribution stray him too far from the course of destroying the Keeper’s Key. That is far more important than vengeance.

He says this is probably the last time he’ll be able to communicate with you in this form. But he will keep watching over you along with the rest of the spirits and you might just see him again soon.

He bids Thon farewell and fades back into the spirit realm.

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Chapter 9b-2 - Astrid's Quest
Tracking down a Lich really shouldn't be this hard, you know?

Once in Sharn, you (Astrid) bid Omega farewell, exchanging your Sivis contact box information so contact can be made if anything new develops. You then make way to the nearest Orien house and secure quick passage back to the school.

When you return to your superior to report, she is at a loss for what to say. She excuses herself to relay your report to the council of the Twelve. You are excused and make your way back to your chambers. It isn’t until the next day that you are summoned to the council. As you stand before the representatives of each major house, you start to actually feel a little anxious. This must be big. The representative of house Phiarlan (your house) is the only one to address you, however, which eases some of that tension.

He questions you on many of the relayed reports to corroborate what they were told. Satisfied, he and the other members nod and he continues. He tells you the events that have transpired are grim at best. A Rakshasa wouldn’t be so careless to reveal himself that way unless one of two things was afoot. Either he’s mad/arrogant beyond repair, or he’s so near his goal he doesn’t care for subtlety anymore. In the case of the latter, we have a potential crisis on our hands. The Artifact that you pursued, as you know, is a component of a larger artifact which we know very little about, except that it is unknown when it actually was crafted. It could be as old as magic, itself. The stolen piece was the only one whose whereabouts were known, and it seems as though we now know the location of the remaining pieces. But to get back there will be a challenge. Portals in Khyber don’t necessarily correlate to your proximity when you enter them. You could enter one from Lhazaar (far east coast) and end up beneath Aundair (very far west). So, it’s impossible to know exactly where that portal would lead.

He continues to say, first they would like you to dig up as much info on this artifact as you can find and suggest starting at Morgrave University in Sharn. From there, we’ll decide the proper next steps.

Making your way back to Morgrave, you hunker down for an extended stay. Digging up information on this kind of artifact, as you well know, will be ridiculously difficult. You scour the University archives and uncover a few leads, but nothing concrete. One of the leads ushers you to an elderly Human historian named Ben. Ben is cordial and hospitable and gives you some information on the item, but none of it is hard fact. Just things he’s heard in all his years working around the Morgrave expeditionary reports. In various diaries some explorers tell of tales in Xen’drik about an artifact that was potentially the cause of the downfall of Giants. Supposedly the Giants unwittingly crafted an artifact that could rip the fabric of space, opening gates to other worlds. The first dimension they opened was the Dreaming Dark, and the Quori Invasion that ensued was apparently the result. The tales go on to speculate that the destruction of this artifact was the cataclysm that ended the Giant civilization. Ben admits this seems a stretch. Much of the Giants’ history is speculation, as it wasn’t recorded the same way we do today. But the more of Xen’drik that is explored, the more mysteries are revealed and uncovered. So, he believes there might be some truth in the story, but embellishment is always possible. However, the name Keeper’s Key was specific in the story. He believes that name originated in Xen’drik. Possibly an explorer or scholar’s rough interpretation of something they found.

Ben apologizes for not knowing more. He suggests you hit the Korranberg library in Karrnath, or even make way to the docks and see if any of the captains and scholars who make regular trips to Xen’drik might have more information.

You do follow his advice on going to the docks, as one of your other leads is a Stormship captain known only as “Skipper.” And while plenty of captains go by that call name, there are very few, if any, Stormships in the harbor on a regular basis. So finding him won’t be an issue. When you reach the ship, Skipper is standing at the base of the gangplank waiting on something. You approach him immediately inquiring about his knowledge of such an artifact. He claims to have heard stories, but he’s never encountered it, himself. However, he does lend you a name of someone who claims to. He gives you the name Shanul Icybrook. He says there’s no way of him knowing where to find Shanul. It’s been a decade or more since She had passage on his ship. But he adds, what’s 10 years to you elves, though, right? And he laughs, implying that Shanul is an elf, herself. He goes on to tell you that Shanul never gave the reason why she sought the artifact, only that she “needed” it. She came away from Xen’drik empty-handed, though. When they got back to Sharn, she asked if he could take her to the Lhazaar Principalities. It was the last he saw of her. He says you could look for her there. It sounded like she knew more than anyone about the item. But the chances of her still being there after 10 years aren’t great.

You leave Skipper and head back to Morgrave one last time with this new bit of information. The search on Shanul brings up a hair more than the search on Keeper’s Key, but it is most definitely enlightening. Shanul Icybrook was a revered member of the Undying Court on Aerenal. Marrying into the house Jhaelian, she held a very high status there. But her fascination with undeath became morbid and the Undying Court cast her out for her twisted practices. Now an outcast in her own land, the elf stole away to Khorvaire for refuge. There she stumbled upon a new religion, one that fed life from life. That believed blood, itself, is the key to life and thus sacred. Seeing this new philosophy as the way to reach her undying goal, she adopted the Blood of Vol as her new spiritual path. The last records of her in Morgrave indicate she served in a Vol sect in Karrnath for over a decade before she went on a pilgrimage to Xen’drik. When she returned from Xen’drik, she made for Lhazaar and was never heard from again.

When you report back to the council, a few members give a knowing nod to the mention of Shanul’s name, but offer no further information. The council decides your next course of action would be to seek out this Shanul and see if you can’t uncover more. So they usher you to Lhazaar.

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Chapter 9b-1 - Ethos' Quest
Tying the pieces together like an ugly quilt.

When everyone else goes through the Sharn portal, Ethos makes for the Droaam portal (closer to Eldeen Reaches). The party decides to split the sending stones between Ethos and Dez so they can get in contact if necessary.

Ethos will return to the Gatekeepers and report what has transpired. Your superior looks grim when you break the news of the Keeper’s Key (the artifact Astrid was sent to investigate) and of Gribnak’s apparent presence. They’re equally concerned about the appearance of the Rakshasa. You find that odd, given the Gatekeepers are typically driven to combat Aberrations, but he will explain that the Lords of Dust aren’t careless. They’re an ever-present evil that soils the surface world. They preceded the Gatekeepers and have corrupted almost every civilization and nation ever to exist. Their plans are so expansive that they take decades to even move one step. That being said, the simple fact of a Rakshasa so openly working with the group can mean one of two things. Either he’s the most arrogant Rakshasa to ever walk the planet, or he’s so near to his goal that he doesn’t care for subtlety anymore.

Your superior dismisses you so he can go talk to the elders about this revelation. He says in parting that you should seek out your old friend Roc to see if he has any news on that end. He should also have some information for you on your Kamestiri suit, as he resides nearest the area it was crafted.

Your journey to Roc is a bittersweet one. You almost feel cast aside. But you’ve come to expect that from the Gatekeepers. You’re not sure if they’ll ever fully accept you. But, in any event, you carry on to Roc with a distinct purpose in mind. When you meet up with him, he’s still in the same grove watching over Hyde’s Pass. He informs you that the town is really coming about and things have returned to the peaceful normalcy that existed when Ethos lived there. On new events, he has nothing to report except that he hasn’t heard from Zed in a long time, which is odd. They communicated pretty regularly for a while, but the communication just stopped all of a sudden. His last known whereabouts were actually in the Lhazaar Principalities. He had been deployed there to recruit for the Gatekeepers. Apparently they’re softening their iron grip on enrollment and allowing an eastern sect to be established with more leniency on racial restrictions. Roc sniffs at this, then ponders for a second before saying he’s surprised they didn’t charge you with investigating it, given the proximity and your distant but strangely relative ties to Zed now. You would most likely respond by saying you just returned from Khyber and communication was nonexistent. And the information you brought back to them most likely took precedent.

In any event, Roc will carry on about old stories and familiarities and such, and it’s a welcome change to the horrors underground you just escaped. You stay the night in his grove and the next day he ushers you to the mountains to the south where after a day or so of travel, you find the entrance to some ruins that could easily be mistaken for a cave. On further inspection, you realize they’re Dhakanni ruins as they bear similar structure and markings to some of the ruins you frequented in Droaam. Delving inside you see no signs that anyone or anything aside from random critters have been in this structure in a long, long while. The structure isn’t massive. It appears to be more like a monastery with remnants of gardens and courtyards long worn away and covered with foliage. Some parts of the structure open up to the sky, but even from above, no one could tell it was anything significant. Nearing the back you find the stairs Roc described and you descended. Beneath the temple are numerous chambers, presumably the dormitory of the monastery. Nothing of note is in any of the smaller rooms. But the abbot’s chamber is your destination. Within you will find what you’re looking for. Among the old ruins of rags and texts you find parchment bearing a ritual for item transference. According to Roc, this ritual will allow you to completely extract the properties of one item and place them in another of your choosing, making it as though the new item exists just like the old one in magical enhancement. In the case of the Kamestiri set, the properties of the new item would work just as if it was the old item. Satisfied with your findings, you start to leave, when a shift in the room catches your ear. Something at the desk moved with the weight of your movement on the floor. Looking the desk over, you uncover a secret compartment hiding a switch. Pressing the switch the wall behind you begins to slide down and behind it lays a fantastically crafted longbow, beside it a quiver full with arrows whose heads are a purplish metal like the flail Tripper carries. The haft of the Bow is also made of this material. Unable to resist, you retrieve both items and make your way back to Roc.

Roc confirms the item as a Dhakanni make, and clearly the pinkish metal is Byeshk. But the item bears some greater property he cannot identify. He declares it a fortunate find and tells you to hang onto it and the scroll, and if you find the item you wish to transfer, bring it back to him and he will perform it for you.

Reporting back to the elders through spell, your superior says the Elders are deeply troubled by what you have told them. They believe that the Rakshasa intends to take Keeper’s Key for himself and use it for some evil end. What that could be, is unknown. But given his seemingly reckless behavior, it appears he might be planning to use the device to unleash one of the dark lords.

By your accounts, the location you were in, in Khyber, lies near the seal under Lhazaar. That area of Khyber is rife with Aboleths, so it makes the most sense. With the disappearance of Zed so recently also in the area, the Elders charge you to make haste to the area and find out exactly what’s going on. Most likely the epicenter of this threat is there. Before departing, you check in with Dez through the sending stone and find they’re not far away in Tripper’s Keep. Roc summons up a Griffon for you and you make quick your journey to Adamant Keep.

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