Eberron Omega

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Background
The early adventures

Background:

Each of the members of Omega Company had his own reasons to join. Some did it for money. Some for fame. Some to escape. Some for a sense of purpose. But what they found there was much, much more. Through their early exploits, the members of Omega bonded quickly and fiercely, knowing the only way to survive the horrors they faced, was through brotherhood. They possessed an unusual kinship and found this bond easy to achieve. Little did they know, Fergus Curren had a much bigger plan in mind for them when he brought them together.

The Early Adventures:

Initially, Omega Company was comprised of Kae’lyn, Harlos, Gurney, Zed, Dez, Oshserath, and an unnamed Artificer from House Cannith. Kae’lyn vanished before the first trip underground. The Artificer vanished after returning to the surface the second day. Gurney, managed to accompany the group for quite some time, only to be replaced by Tripper later. But this didn’t dissuade Fergus. His core members were still intact. And the addition of Tripper to the group was a blessing to be sure. A warforged is always a welcome member in Fergus’ book.

The first mission Omega set out on was one into Dorasharn, the underground of the great city of towers, Sharn. They were to recover a lost schema for Elaydren d’Vown of House Cannith. Within the depths, Omega did recover the schema, but they also faced off with Saber, one of the Lord of Blades’ lieutenants. They also had a tense moment between Gurney and a muckraker Goblin named Skakan, showing Gurney’s true distaste for the species.

On returning to the surface, the schema returned, the group quickly set out on another mission for Fergus. This time to a small mining town called Hyde’s Pass, north west of Sharn. The townsfolk were suffering from a deadly disease, acquired from their tainted water, which comes from a well within the mines. Omega was to investigate. Once at Hyde’s Pass, Omega discovered many things. For one, they found the mayor, Cristo Fendas, to be under some sort of (yet to be discovered) influence. They also discovered within the mine, a group of displaced kobolds (who Omega escorted to a new home later), as well as the source of the tainted well, a slightly crazed Orc Druid named Roc Shearclaw. Roc revealed to the group that the mine was above a seal containing a daelkyr, and he tried to stop the mining, but was met with resistance that grew to violence. Poisioning the well was his last option. The group followed up on this lead and discovered some shady dealings with the mayor, which they promptly took up with the Zilargo Gnomes, who greatfully took up the investigation from there.

Zed chose to remain with Roc for a few weeks, learning what Roc could teach him. During this time, Tripper took up smithing and began his path to Artifice. The rest of the group killed time on the side. When Zed returned to Sharn, it was just in time for the Hunt of Balinor, which the group participated in. This marked a surprise return of Gurney, who made the event very exciting, if nothing else. Fittingly, Zed won the Hunt and pulled in a little coin as well as some acclaim. Gurney vanished from Sharn before Osh could smite him.

The next event for the group was a trip back into Dorasharn, after reports of strange creatures and aberrations were sighted emerging from the depths. In the lowest level of their previous excursion, they discovered a secret entrance, that they descended. Within, they found a Byeshk hammer, as well as facing their first aberrations. Deeper inside, they discovered a ceremony to the Dragon Below, of which the focus was a Bright Naga known as the Queen With Burning Eyes. The host was a crazed Aristocrat named Vestan ir’Simul. When faced with death, both the Naga and Vestan dove into a pit, presumably to their deaths. Brainwashed worshippers left behind were questioned, but to no avail.

On leaving the depths this time, the group was confronted by a sly figure named Travack who represented Demise and the Order of the Emerald Claw. They demanded the return of an amulet the group had found while within the depths. The group obliged to avoid any major conflicts.

When Omega returned to Fergus to get their next mission, they were accosted by the head of Boranel’s Dark Lanterns, Ariel Faldren. She revealed that Fergus had left Sharn for Flamekeep to investigate the disappearance of the militia he had formed there, just as he had in Sharn and several other nations on Khorvaire. Fearing for his safety, Ariel requested Omega pursue Fergus to ensure he didn’t meet any foul ends in Flamekeep.

It is here that Omega Company’s Journey and discoveries truly begin…

Return to: Main Page

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Chapter 1 - Derailed
The first step is the hardest

Breland One of the benefits of working for Fergus is unlimited land transportation. Upon joining his services, each member is given nationally recognized papers for both Orien coach and Lightning Rail. Only one exception exists, and that’s Thrane. Because Thrane refused to recognize Fergus’ militia, he holds no authority there. Omega, and most everyone else, feels this may be why the militia he set up there (against the Cardinals’ will) disappeared.

Omega boarded the Lightning Rail for Thrane, and headed out. Several days into their eventless journey, as the rail passed north of New Cyre, the conductor pulled the rail to a halt. Just ahead, a group had formed a rail block for all passing trains. Leading this group was a burly Bugbear, and to a lesser extent, a man named Mordius (who the group later finds to be an exiled Artificer from House Cannith). The group had many wounded and demanded boarding on the train, which the conductor obliged, though with conditions the Bugbear refused to comply. He became irate and Tripper attempted to subdue him, but the Bugbear ended up fighting Tripper to the death.

The remaining of the group boarded, and the train began its journey again. It turned out, they were fleeing a ruined Vathirond just ahead. Days before, an army of undead rose up seemingly out of nowhere and sacked the city. No stranger to attack, being on the border of Breland and the Mournland, Vathirond held up for a while, but the wave after wave proved too much, and those who could, fled. Not many remained.

As the train neared Vathirond, the smoke was clearly visible from miles away. The city was completely sacked. The conductor sped past. As they went by, it was noted that literally thousands of undead, both Skeletal and Zombie, milled about the streets. Mingled in with them were goblins. They were not being attacked, and it was deduced that they had some meaningful part to play in it all.

Just over a mile beyond Vathirond, someone spotted something amiss ahead on the tracks. A huge section of the tracks were missing. They had been torn from the ground. Realizing there wasn’t time to stop, the conductor looked to Omega Company for suggestions, to which Tripper recommended he try to jump the gap. So the conductor increased speed. But this did not work. The train quickly derailed as soon as the track ran out and the cars spun and flipped out of control for several hundred feet, until grinding to a halt 100 feet away from the tracks and ahead of the gap. Most everyone died in the passenger car Omega was in. Of the remaining, Mordius, a Hobgoblin of House Tharashk named Ruksak, a female Shifter named Maleena Littlebear joined Omega in gathering the survivors and surveying the wreckage.

Train Wreck As the group emerged, beaten but not stirred, the spied movement in the woods on the other side of the tracks. Slowly, but steadily, undead began to filter out of the foliage. In the middle of the mob, emanating a dark radiation, stood what was to become the party’s nemesis. Dughan Rendclaw. Hovering above were Dughan’s 2 faithful guard gargoyles. The party set to work on the mob while the rest of the survivors huddled behind the wreckage for safety. The battle turned south quickly as the gargoyle’s were dispatched. Seeing his imminent demise, Dughan summoned a giant skeleton, then vanished as it emerged from the ground. His misty form disappeared into the woods nearby. The group presumed he was headed to the nearby farmhouse. They dispatched the remaining undead, and set quickly to work on securing the train for the oncoming dusk.

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Chapter 2 - The Dream
Dream Warriors (YES! DOKKEN!)

Everyone secured, Omega set up watch (which was basically Tripper, who doesn’t need sleep), and set to rest. In the middle of the night, Tripper noticed something odd, and tried to wake Omega to investigate, but he could only get Osh awake. Everyone else, including all surviving passengers, was in a catatonic-type state. What Tripper had noticed was a Kalashtar Psion lurking on the perimeter of the wreckage. When he realized he had been noticed, he approached. Never giving his name, he explained he was hunting a rogue Quori who had been shell-hopping and this was the last place he had tracked it to. Tripper explained the state of the rest of the party, and the Kalashtar demanded that the Quori must be somehow responsible. He explained that the only way to get them out of their state would be to enter their dreams one by one and pull them out, physically. Since Osh and Tripper couldn’t dream themselves, the Kalashtar would have to employ a Dorje he had with a power that would allow them to physically manifest into the dreams. Unfortunately, in this state, should danger come their way, they would be susceptible to death, unlike the dreamer.

They journeyed into the nearest person, realizing immediately that somehow, all the dreams had been combined into one. Something very powerful had to be responsible for this, and it was immediately clear that it was not the Quori.

Meanwhile, each member of Omega experienced an odd dream-state in which they began to realize they were dreaming, and they slowly joined together within the dream, emerging together in a cave with a keep in the center. Many lizard-like creatures milled about, generally ignoring them. Off to their right, they noted a caravan carting in a prison cage that contained a Human of the cloth. They couldn’t make out exactly what religion. With him in the cage, however, were 2 figures not unfamiliar to Harlos. Both of his parents. Both alive. They were drug, unconscious, from the cage to the gate, and greeted by a nasty-looking illithid. Before Harlos could react, the doors ominously closed behind them. One word echoed in his mind. A name. Gribnakh. As soon as this had transpired, the small party recognized a familiar voice to their right. To their surprise, Tripper was attempting a negotiation with the lizard-creatures. And he was succeeding. They crept toward the cart and Harlos managed to release the lock, but they were caught in the process, and a battle ensued. The reunified Omega company made quick work of the creatures and set about exploring the grounds as they queried the Cleric. It turns out he was the very same Silver Flame Dez bumped into that day in Sharn. He had moved about Breland, trying to find his head and his focus, and he landed in Vathirond. The day before he was to set out again, headed to Flamekeep to confront his former tutor, Vathirond was sacked by a massive horde of undead, lead by Twin Vampire Brothers (Ares and Dughan Rendclaw) and a small band of Goblins. Kae’Lyn did what he could, but the forces were too great for him. The last thing he remembers of the fight was being clubbed from behind and seeing the wicked face of Ares above him, laughing.

The next thing he remembers is being locked up in a cage in some room, presumably underground with all the mold and mildew, with two other carcasses that might have been goblinoid at one time. The twin vampires would repeatedly come in and torture him just for fun. He explained that he was much happier here in this dream state, and when they got to the door of the keep, he elected to remain outside, as he didn’t wish to wake up any sooner than he had to. This time of peace served his will more aptly. The group vowed to come into Vathirond and try to rescue him once they escape this dream state.

On the outer grounds, the group discovered a small throne with remains on it. Out front was staked the rotting head of an illithid. To the left of the keep was a small inlet. Inside was an odd structure. Several holes in the floor radiating a pinkish light. Inside was a large, open container of ectoplasm, and floating about within were bodies. Grafting Pools On further inspection, they were alive, but horribly disfigured. Unnatural parts had been stitched on or replaced, and they appeared to be incubating. The group attempted to rescue some of them, but were met with hostility as they emerged, so they mercifully put them down and headed to the keep.

Once inside the keep, the building seemed much smaller inside than the outside suggested. As most dreams go, not a lot about the place seemed to make sense. The group entered the first door on the left. Inside was a lab, and caged in the corner was a very ashen-looking illithid. He stared blankly at the group with red, dry eyes, but he did not advance. The party took that opportunity to leave him be and exit the room. It did not pursue.

In the room opposite that one, the group found a study and a hidden cache, but nothing of any great significance that would follow them out of the dream. They continued on, attempting to locate the illithid and Harlos’ parents, but every turn brought them back outside the keep. Eventually, the group abandoned the hunt and followed the Psion out of the dream.

When they exited the dream, several of the train riders remained comatose. As Harlos and Tripper argued over the ethical nature of euthanasia, an undisclosed person slipped in and executed them anyway. As well, the Psion managed to slip away in the confusion. It was later concluded by Osh that the Psion could very well have been the one to cause the stasis in the first place. But no evidence could be found.

The next day, Omega employed the aid of the riders and righted the engine and one car onto the tracks. They safely loaded all but one on board. Maleena opted to head out on foot. As Harlos pursued her, she turned and her face distorted, then re-emerged to that of a Rakshasa. MaleenaHe gave an evil grin, then shifted back and vanished. Harlos heard him laugh in his mind, then carry off in the distance.

Omega headed toward the farmhouse to investigate where Dughan might have gone.

Once finally inside, they found nothing of significance upstairs. Downstairs, on a workbench, were random components used in repairing Warforged, but nothing more. However, someone did discover that the well in the basement was actually a passageway to a tunnel underground. Farmhouse Descending the well, Omega discovered a cave-in and the remains of 3 un-recoverable warforged buried in it. Tripper managed to pull several useful components from the scrap and Zed employed an Earth Elemental to push a passageway through to the other side. The tunnel already lead south. On the north side of the cave-in, it was discovered that it continued north and it was concluded that this must have been some sort of underground escape tunnel for refugee warforged attempting to escape the oppressive rule of Thrane. The group decided to head South, since that was the direction of Vathirond, electing to further explore the tunnel at a later date.

After a few hours of walking, the tunnel curved West, and using his survivalist skills, Zed determined they were close to Vathirond. As luck would have it, the tunnel branched south (continuing west as well), and the party headed that way. Not 200 ft in, they came to a stone sewer exit that opened into an underground dungeon of some sort. It was blocked off by a heavy rusted gate…

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Chapter 3 - Of Undead
The Endless Dungeon Awaits

I. The Lower Tunnels

Leading the way, Zed neared the entrance to what would later be known as the Lower Tunnels. The rusted gate hung wedged, barely touching the floor in places. The musty, dank air hung thick in everyone’s throats. Except for Tripper, of course. But even he could feel the humid weight in the air, expanding his wooden cores and making passage uncomfortable. There was no light this far underground. Luckily, the group had paid back in Sharn to get semi-permanent Darkvision. More than the musty air, though, the atmosphere was one of ominous suffocation. It gave an oppressive overtone, bordering on Claustrophobia. Regardless, Tripper stepped up to lift the gate leading into the 10×12 hallway beyond.

Astonishingly, Tripper could not, after several attempts, raise the gate. Zed moved in to “show Tripper how to do it.” Remarkably, after one try, he was able to lift the gate free of its hold. Tripper claimed he had loosened it for Zed. Once through, the group winded through the hallways, searching out for traps. The first room they came across was empty. At the second one, they narrowly avoided a pit trap that lead to a junk room. After coming out, they caught a glimpse of a tentacle escape around the corner. They pursued, but whatever it was, it had escaped.

In the next room they came across, they encountered a massive crystal-like spider that attacked them as soon as they entered. Tripper, exploring a new perspective on life, opted to try to reason with the beast. After much delegation, mostly because of Tripper’s refusal to kill a creature who may well be just defending itself, the group finally collaborated and destroyed the monster, Osh removing its skin to be used later for armor. On searching the room, Harlos discovered a secret door at the back.

Through the doorway, another chamber opened. But this one appeared to be much better kept. It was divided by a wall with a curtain. Beyond that was a grand piano, and a throne-like chair on a dais. The group fanned out and approached the chair. Tripper attempted to hide behind one of the wall curtains. Osh went straight up to the chair. Upon doing so, 2 spirits emerged from the wall, attacking him, then bouncing back into the wall. The battle ensued, and no sooner did it, but the doorway to Osh’s left burst open, and a Vampire who looked identical to Dughan came forth. He exclaimed at the “racket” that was being made, and how his brother was too incompetent to take care of his own problems. He passed by Tripper unsuspecting, and planted a cyst directly into Osh’s brain. Tripper came up behind and lashed at Ares dealing significant damage. The group moved in for the kill and made short work of the otherwise powerful foe, catching him in a pickle as his misty form became his dead form and back again until they finally destroyed his coffin in the next room. Lying next to the coffin was a disabled Warforged, Tome, who joined the group after being brought back to consciousness. Exploring the remaining rooms of the chamber, Omega found a cell containing Kae’lyn, who eagerly accepted their rescue, and another chamber with 4 chests, containing some useful items.

The group rested then pressed on exploring the remainder of the lower tunnels, mostly to help Kae’lyn locate his missing gear. The reamainder of the lower floor was relatively nondescript. All rooms being used mainly for storage.

II. Subbasement

Ascending the stairs to the subbasement, the group moves east. The first room nearly caught the team in a crushing rock trap, but they avoided, gathered the treasure, and moved on. Around the following corner, the team encounters two Bloodmote clouds that nearly bleed a couple of members, but they systematically reduce the swarm and press on.

They come to a bend and a door on the left (south). Tripper enters first, into a room with giant ants. THe room appears to be a foodstuffs storage, but the ants want a different meal. When any flsehy creatures tried to enter the room, the ants went crazy, but they left Tripper alone, so he explored the room, finding nothing of real interest, so the group moved on, leaving them be.

At the next bend, the head North then West to a small room that offers them 3 phase spiders. After a shaky fight, they finish them off and seal themselves inside to rest. During the evening, there was a scratching at the door, made by some Tomb Motes. They prove no match for Omega, though, and the team moves on, back to the bend and NOrth. At the end of the hall, past one door, they encounter a Spirit Naga in a small room. They make short work of the beast and backtrack to the skipped door from which emitted a soft, sweet music. On entering, they encounter a Spectral Lyrist. Osh attempts to read her thought, to which she laughs and attacks, realizing she cannot sway them. Dez counters her charms with his own music, and the group dispatches her quickly. They destroy her instrument for good measure.

Through the other side of the room, the explore the hallway they passed up earlier. Only one room occupied that hallway. Inside was nothing more than a ruined throne and some tarnished gold coins. The group toys with it, but decided to leave the gold alone, bypassing the haunting of the Invisible Stalker inside.

Back down the hallway toward the Spirit Naga room, they turned north and discovered a dead end room that was some sort of underground garden with fungus and a pair of will-o’-wisps. The room actually turned out to be a sucking air trap. The door closed in and the air began to rapidly be sucked out the SW corner. Luckily before anyone was lost to the trap, Harlos disabled the trap at the same time Zed worked a hole in the door. The will-o’-wisps were sucked through the far hole.

Passing back to the last fork, the group heads further in west to a dining room. In the south mirror, they notice a pair of red eyes leering at them. When they approach it, it screeches forth shaking up most of the party, but Tripper breaks through it and hacks away, but Only magic and some lucky strikes take the Wraith down. Though it was unnecessary, they shatter the mirror to be sure. Through the across doorway, they follow the hall north and find the exit. But to the south is a door and the sounds of a rowdy group beyond. On the East side, they also find a secret door. The group splits and engages the room from both sides, finding a group of Ghasts playing poker with fleshy appendages as ante. The Ghasts rampage Omega, but OMega makes short work, again, of the group. Aside from some dice and cards, nothing of real use is in the room, though, that appears to be an underground well they were guarding.

Omega decides to backtrack and make sure they explore every room. The first room they uncover is a secret room filled almost to the rim with gargoyles. Easily enough, OMega funnels the gargoyles to their death. But during the battle, Tripper notes a strange rumbling in the walls and ceiling around him. Others confirm. The next room they come to, Harlos discovers a trap, and bypasses it. On opening the door, 3 wraiths charge out from an underground stabling. Harlos decides to set the trap off to catch the wraiths in the effects. Unfortunately, the trap is a HArm spell that not only hurts him, but heals the wraiths. After a little struggling to regain his power, Kae’lyn manages to hallow the ground, vanquishing the undead and clearing the area for a night’s rest.

The final room they backtrack to, at first glance, appears to be empty, but on entering, they discover that it was an illusory wall concealing a Gauth and 3 Ettercaps. The Gauth gives the party a little trouble, but being beholderkin, Omega focuses their efforts on him, offing him quickly. The Ettercaps are little challenge after that. Among a selection of really nice items, they discover all of Kae’lyn’s belongings. Having cleared the floor, and made it this far, the group decided to press on topside to the next level.

III. Basement

Coming up to the next level, the Basement, the halls look nothing like the previous floors. SOme sort of cave-in has occurred, though they cannot asses how long ago. THe only accessible halls lead North and East. Omega heads east first. Straight ahead they see one door, but to the north, down a long hall, lies another. Beyond which, Kae’lyn feels a very strong evil eminating. OMega decides to go straight first, addressing the evil second. On entering the East door, they see a large, almost empty room. Across the entryway, on the back wall are two tapestries, at the foot of which, lie chests. HArlos braves the trek and heads in. In one chest are 200 gold and a hidden cache of 1400 more. Harlos discovers both. In the other chest, Harlos bypasses a rather nasty Geas spell trap. DEciding nothing else will happen, a few others enter, after which time a Bulette blasts through the floor, causing a cave-in. Some fell, some didn’t, but they all went in and engaged. Dez charmed the Bulette and the group decided to encourage it to seek its food on the surface, preferrably in the form of goblins.

They work their way back up and head to the single, evil room. Inside they find a sepulchur fallen in by the cave-in. Emerging from it, a rotting mummy. Accompanying him, two Greater Shadows. Omega makes a mockery of the undead and sack the room, finding plenty of treasure.

Heading back north, they find the exit and a door. Through the door, they find a dining room, empty, except for a bookshelf. Among the books a Manual of Gainful Exercise.

One more floor.

IV. The Main Floor

Working their way up through the rubble, OMega finds this floor to be almost entirely caved in, save one clear path leading east to a room and west to a ladder. Omega moves east first to find a bedroom. INside, the only real threat, violet fungi, the group avoids it, snags the treasure, and moves to the ladder.

V. Ending at the Beginning

Climbing the ladder, Harlos peers through the trapdoor to find the “exit” to be the inside of a sepulchur. Omega clears the opening and gathers themselves. They are in the sepulchur of the founder of Vathirond, dead in the middle of the southern graveyard behind the Sovereign Church.

VI. Undead Abound

Omega cautiously emerges from the sepulchur into the graveyard. Open graves lie as far as they can see. An unsteady silence whisks across the dead grass. A chitter draws their attention one direction, while a scuffle draws it another. Slowly a muffled groan creeps in from the distance. As they peer north to the town of Vathirond, all they see is smoke, flame, and a horde of undead. Suddenly, as they near the church, bits of graveyard and tombstones animate and form into a massive figure that lunges toward Omega. They run toward the church, fighting as they go. At the same time, more TOmb Motes pop up. The Motes are nothing more than a hindrance Omega makes a joke of. The Grave Dirt Golem Poses a real threat, but after a bit of a slug out, OMega drops it in a pile of ash.

Into the church, OMega finds a strange calm. The sanctuary seems to have remained relatively untouched among the death all around. OMega decides to make a break for it through the front doors, moving west and north, bypassing the major hordes and head straight to the docks where they hope some of the ships remain intact. Just as they are about to exit, they hear someone yell “NO!” and catch sight of a little girl fleeing from somewhere beneath the church outside. She runs toward one of the zombies crying “MOMMY!” A man bursts forth from a cellar door aside the church just as Tripper blasts from the church in pursuit. They both get to the girl, barely in time, but the attention of the hordes is now on them, and the garrisons turn and move in. Two large groups lead by Karrnathi Zombies, split around a mansion and attempt to flank OMega, but Omega systematically shows the horde why they just cleared an endless dungeon with nary a scratch.

They gather up the survivors who were hiding under the church and follow their original plan. They manage to move to the docks unscathed, but when they get there, there are ships in tact, but they appear to be guarded by goblins.

The goblins sound the alarm, and engage Omega. One ship in particular spouts a Half-vampire who Omega subdue. It turns out he was guarding Dughan’s ship, with his coffin aboard. On a quick search of the goblins who were slain at the docks, a note was discovered among them.

_Ogaar:

Duun Tan, o agaan duun aluulkakec Agen ac men okaaguur. Duuc men dhuugaan an tuuc, rhec terthec der ar daan ghoul tuuc rhaan akaan duun kaaluul’daan Shagaar Druulkaluul, or rhaal’duugaal akaarach muulkaan daaraan daakhaal molkac tuul’daan dhuul an.

Ar o ghaar akec or Rhaal’dac’n kaarerakaan, druun khruur maarekhakhaan duun dhaan. Or draach dan okec duun al ac daan talec or Zakheguuc.

Ar ach huun tuur, daan Zalkegaan maac daar shuuklec draac rhaal’duul daan shuc or Zakher, daan dhuukaar or den shekhec. Daagaan agaan duun okakaan. Okaan an rhaal’duul daan taguukharlon akerthaan daan shuc. Daan okhaar an merthaac ac daan hagaar, akhaach. Daan ter an rhaakaar daan maarthuukaan or Ghel’duul Ghaguun, Zakher’n taalaar kuugaan.

Okaan duul or daan okhaar, daan dech magaan duun ogarthelakhaan duuraan shuuklec, A’l togaan, an Shagaar Druulkaluul ken druul daagaan, duun.

Huul kon, Tan.

Shuul’duukaach Shorlaar_

Translated it reads:

Orders:

To Slack, you are to accompany Aries in his endeavor. Though his force is strong, by siding with it we may soon be able to recollect Cavern Dromaka, our beloved ancestral home these wretched humans stole from us.

If you meet any of Breland’s resistance, do not hesitate to flee. Our deal was only to aid in the sacking of Vathirond.

If all goes sour, the Vampires keep their coffins deep below the crypt of Vathir, the founder of this city. There are two entrances. One is below the sarcophagus inside the crypt. The other is hidden in the graveyard, itself. The switch is beneath the headstone of Milla Markos, Vathir’s secret love.

One way or the other, we will have to eradicate those coffins, I’m sure, as Cavern Dromaka lies down there, too.

Good luck, Slack.

Colonel Chugger

Omega, after silencing their foes on the docks, take the steamship and Dughan’s coffin and head out on the open water. Once they hit the Thrane river, at the deepest point, they shove Dughan’s coffin overboard, sinking it beneath the heavy currents below. Omega then heads north.

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Chapter 4 - Thrane
HALT! In the name of the...slightly corrupted and narrow-minded law!

Thrane On their journey north, OMega discover a stowaway in their hold. A fish-man from Lhazaar who was aboard the ship when Dughan seized it. He managed to stay hidden the entire time, but made his presence known when he found Dughan to be gone. Omega allowed him to join as they needed to fill the party hole about to be made by Osh. Planning to head to Sarlona, his homeland, Osh sought to have his cyst removed as well as getting his crystal armor made. He was to part ways with OMega, and head out alone, while OMega went into Flamekeep to find Fergus.

I. Aruldusk

On docking, Osh bids his farewells, and Omega moves inland. Just as they’re about to do some shopping and mingling, the midday worship begins, and all shops close. After a brief interlude, the city opens back up and gets about its business. Some religious rabble try to start something with Omega, but they hold their tongues and move on, finding a shop to sell some items.

Once inside they strike up a conversation with a rather chatty dwarf selling rare wares. He allows the group to hock some of their lesser used items for a healthy coin, but isn’t willing to take the more mundane items like swords and armor. The group befriends him and he tells them if they ever need any information, or have any to give, he’d be a willing recipient. Unfortunately they don’t have anything at this time. But they do find out that the nearest Teleportation station is in Sigilstar, just a quick ride north, so they set out immediately.

II. Sigilstar

Once in Sigilstar the group sets about immediately to find the teleportation site, foregoing any further delays. They find it easily enough and make the proper payments to jump to Flamekeep.

Flamekeep III. Flamekeep

When Omega arrives in Flamekeep, they are not actually in the city proper. The teleport station lies in the village just outside the southern city walls. They make their way directly to the city entrance from the port station. City Entry

Flamekeep 2 From afar, Flamekeep resembles a gigantic fortress enclosed by high walls, its buildings perched atop a rocky plinth surrounded on all sides by a water-filled crevasse. Deep within this crevasse sits the city’s bustling harbor and more crowded districts. The magnificent Cathedral of the Silver Flame, its white alabaster walls agleam, surmounts the rocky plinth—a glorious beacon visible for miles in every direction. West of the Cathedral rise the slender spires of Thalingard, the ancestral home of Thrane’s kings. Unlike the Cathedral, the royal palace is sculpted from gray rock and looks somewhat glum by comparison.

Flamekeep is a city much like Rome. Tall stone structures surround you arched in many forms and fashions. The outer wall is foreboding and oppressive. But it offers a strange sense of comfort, too. It would take a massive army to lay siege to this city and succeed. Guards mill about patrolling the parapets above and the yard below. A great deal of traffic comes in and out of the city in succession. Mostly they are peasants and pilgrims. A handful of merchant carts are mixed in, but not as many as would be in Sharn. Still, this is one of the larger cities on Khorvaire, and the sense of the urbane gives you some sense of security as opposed to the dank, dreary dungeon or the vast, empty plains. As is to be expected, the mark of the Flame is everywhere. Standards fly at every post on the wall. A flag is hung on each side of the main gate. And every soldier and guard bears the mark visibly somewhere on his person.

The day is bright and sunny, only a few scattered puffs of cloud are sprinkled in the sky. The heat is high, and humidity from the waterway makes it stuffy. Aside from that, it’s a rather pleasant day. A slight breeze wafts in every few seconds, lifting the standards to attention and rustling the flags normally pressed hard against the cold, grey stone exterior wall.

Upon approaching the main gate, Omega is halted by a sentry who bears the mark of the flame on the front his vestment. He holds up his hand to stop them as they approach, but he does not look directly at them. They get the impression this is just another routine stop for him. They also notice that only a few people are stopped. Almost like random selection. But everyone with visible weapons or traveling in groups larger than 4 are stopped.

“Hail, travelers. What business do you have in the great city of Flamekeep this day,” he says in a very hum-drum and somber tone, suggesting a slight tinge of boredom. The guard continues on, as though reading a speech, basically ignoring any attempt at questions the group may have.

The guard insists that all weapons be peace-tied while in the city. He explains that should they be caught drawing their weapons, thus breaking the peace-tie, they will be fined. If they use their weapons (this includes magic), they will be jailed for one night per offense (i.e. per swing) as well as fined for drawing the weapon and charged a fine to cover the cell usage and any meals they eat while incarcerated.

“Vigilantism is not tolerated in the Great City. Should you find yourself on the business end of an unfriendly blade, you would be advised to signal authorities. Guards patrol regularly throughout the city and servants of the Flame are never far away.”

Should you go hostile against an official, meaning anyone ordained by the Church as an official of the great country of Thrane, the punishment is imprisonment (including hard labor – length pending sentencing), fine, and banishment. Killing an official, regardless of the evidence to your innocence is punishable by death. Consider yourself warned.

Any length of stay longer than a month requires a visa. If, after a month has passed, you are caught without the proper paperwork, you will be exiled from the country. Return without proper papers brings a sentence of death. Consider yourself warned.

No adventuring party may set up business here. That is to say, if you’re looking to charter yourselves here, cast out that thought forthwith. Only those who follow the proper channels and join the proper organizations first, such as the Argentum, may do adventuring business in Flamekeep. That being said, many successful business ventures have come from Flamekeep through these avenues. Breaking this law brings the same punishments as extending your stay without following the proper procedures.”

The guard sent them about their way with one final word, “keep your wits about you and keep your nose clean and you will be okay. Your friend here (motions to cleric) should have told you all this before. Enjoy your stay in the Great City.”

Various members of Omega start to try and ask questions, but the guard brushes them off and attends to the next group behind them, so Omega move on into the city proper.

Within the Wall

Thrane architecture features Galifar-style towers and keeps, deep-wood long homes, and Flamic-style cathedrals and public buildings. In some places, the older-style construction has been modified to incorporate Flamic elements, while newer buildings fully embrace the Flamic style from the ground up. Flamic architecture features tall windows and open arches to let in light, and incorporates an open, soaring use of space to revere the power of the Silver Flame. From urban centers to the larger villages in the countryside, Thrane surrounds itself with religious symbols, edifices, and art that makes the entire country feel like an extended church.

The worn, stone bridge that leads to the city transforms into an elegant cobblestone street at the threshold. It is roughly 20 ft wide to the right and left as smaller roads branch off. The main path is 40ft wide, however, straight ahead it winds up a hill leading to a towering Cathedral.

The Cathedral has white alabaster walls supported by massive f lying buttresses and fitted with dozens of tall, stained glass windows set in ornate, wrought iron frames. A depiction of the flame on each and a Coatl ghosted in behind. Several pilgrims and a few officials are coming and going along the path, but it is not as busy as the main roads. Four fully-plated guards are staggered across the entry way. Anyone who attempts entry is stopped and questioned first. It is noted that some pass through without being accosted, though, it is unknown why. No “official” is stopped.

Directional road maps lend more insight to the layout of the city. To the west is the dock ward. There are found merchants and hospitality. To the east you see more residential-type buildings. These are much more high classed than the ones on the outside of the city. The social hierarchy is blatantly clear in the city.

Omega decides the best course of action is to go straight to the information source, the church. So they make way to the Cathedral right away.

The Cathedral

Upon approach, the guards halt the group. The typical business of “State your business…” ensues. They inspect their gear for peace ties. Then they hold out a tithing plate for offerings. A few coins are tethered, followed by “May the Flame bless you and keep you,” from the guards, and the guards wave Omega through.

It is noted as Omega climbed the hill, several citizens and even a couple officials are eyeballing them hard. Some point and whisper. But as they pass, they do nothing more.

The interior of the Cathedral, with its silverinlaid black marble floors and pillars, seems a perfect marriage of majesty and decadence. Deep within the Cathedral, beyond heavy doorways and well-armed warforged guards, sits the Chamber of the Flame. The Flame itself rises from a fiery pool at the center of a brilliant circular mosaic of floor tiles. In addition to housing a veritable swarm of clerics and paladins, the Cathedral is home to the offices of the cardinals and the private chambers of the Keeper of the Flame, Jaela Daran.

Most within are worshipping. It is not time for service, so the halls are relatively empty save a scant few parishioners and a few acolytes. A couple of party members attempt to hail an Acolyte or two, but they prove less than helpful, not knowing anything of worth. After a while, it’s determined that most of these people don’t know much of anything useful. they do find that the Cardinals are in session and cannot give audience and the clerics are all about town on business.

Thalingard

Omega decides to move on to inspect Thalingard for any possible leads.

A gray stone causeway connects the Cathedral to the tall spires of Thalingard.

Dez relays to the party that it is customary for the imperial ruler of Thrane to name the royal palace after himself (or herself). Thalin was the last of Thrane’s true monarchs, and thus the palace retains his name.

Thalingard has narrow spires that reach higher than any other structure in the city, including the Cathedral. Although stocked with vigilant warforged guards, it feels strangely empty and neglected. It clings to the west side of the city’s central plinth, its sheer walls and precarious balconies looming high above the rest of the city. Thalingard serves as the primary residence for Thrane’s royal regent, Diani ir’Wynarn.

Dez recants for everyone that every few months, Diani leaves the city and retreats to Silvercliff Castle farther north. The Council of Cardinals pay little heed to her coming and going unless they need her for some diplomatic function. Diani keeps Thalingard clean and ready for visiting dignitaries and important gatherings, but she considers Silvercliff Castle her “nest.”

Finding nothing of interest, they go back into the Cathedral. Once there, Tripper engages in an exchange with one of the Warforged guards. Her proceeds to assist the guard in understanding that his position hasn’t really changed. Even if he believes he is free, he is still being treated very much like a slave while in the service of the Church. After a lengthy debate on the matter, the guard eventually comes around and decides to look into options outside of Thrane.

Omega, frustrated that they cannot get anywhere in the information epicenter of Flamekeep, decide to try their luck in the western wards of the city. Commercial District

Upon entering the commercial district, you are immediately aware, if you weren’t already, that you’re in the hive of Silver Flame zealotry. A wiry-looking man stands on a crate on the street corner blaring at the top of his lungs to any who would listen about the evils Karrnath has presented and how they are not done.

Asking a passerby, Omega discovers he is a man whom folk call “Orison” is a discharged cleric of the Silver Flame named Lusef Arcarion who witnessed a few too many atrocities during the Last War. Now, he’s been reduced to a raving street preacher who anxiously warns passers-by that the war isn’t over and that “The Karrns are coming!”

Harlos notices a tattered piece of parchment nailed to a post catches your attention. It reads: “Warforged soldier for hire. Comes with adamantine body, bastard sword, and shield. Inquire at the Rusty Anchor.” So they decide to move on that lead. If, for nothing else, to hire some more muscle, but once inside the Rusty Anchor, they do not find any warforged. Thinking it a dead lead, they move on.

Buildings line the streets in divvied blocks. Roughly 10 stores make one city block. Most anything can be found along the streets, but a vast number of eateries are what consume the shops.

A handful of inns can be found throughout the district. Of note, there are three: The Virtuous Fox Bed & Breakfast, The Illuminated Path, and The Oasis Inn. Next to each Inn is a pub. These are the only pubs you will find in this district. Public drunkenness is a serious crime in Flamekeep. Excessive drinking as a whole is looked down upon. So pubs don’t survive very long in the city, if at all.

The Three Pubs are: The Cup and the Blessing, The Knight’s Club, and The Wandering Coachman Tavern.

Dez notes on Thrane cuisine in general: Utilizing thrakel spices cooked in thick sauces, Thrane cuisine tends to be heavy, filling, hot, and delicious. Thrakel-seared beef in red sauce, three-thrakel fish stew, and the traditional silvered vegetable skewers are particular favorites in Thrane and beyond. The people of Thrane also enjoy their desserts, but here they take a different tack. To counter the spicy nature of the main meal, Thrane desserts tend to be sweet and served cold. Beesh-berry sorbet on top of silverfruit pie is considered the best of many tempting desserts.

The Commercial District spills over into the Dock Ward. The group decides to entertain the Virtuous Fox as it sounded like a place “flamers” might frequent. Itching for a scrap, they head that way, into the Dock Ward Dock Ward

The smell of the sea trickles over into the commercial district as you near. You know where you are without even asking. Ships of all shapes and sizes clutter up the docs. This area is bustling and crowded. Merchant tents and booths line the streets and every manner of trading is going on. The crowded market becomes almost unbearable to maneuver at times. On the waterfront lies the market, on the cityfront, the street is lined with numerous offices, Inns, Pubs, and traders. A few fencers and financers can be found if you look hard enough.

The third building to the south is an inn named the Rusty Anchor. Several pubs you notice are: The Choral Connection, Barnacle Bill’s, The Sand Bar, and The Salty Slug. A couple of Inn’s you see are Compass Rose’s Rest and Landlocked Egen.

Omega realizes that they have attracted the interest of some very heavily armed and armored paritioners of the Silver Flame. As best as they can tell in their unsuspecting glances, they are officials of the Theocracy. They are keeping their distance, but they are most definitely following Omega, eyeing them with great concern.

Virtuous Fox Virtuous Fox

Inside the Virtuous Fox, the group discovers a Warforged sitting alone at a table. The room isn’t terribly busy. One attractive waitress is working most of the room alone. Dez proceeds to hit on her and wins a “meeting” after her shift ends. The barkeep/owner of the Pub is a ruddy dwarf. Harlos strikes up a conversation with him while Tripper engages the warforged, who turns out to be Tower, the blade for hire from the flier. Tripper and Tower share a brief conversation as Tower isn’t the sharpest tack in the box. He does discover, though, that the warforged known as Tower fought for Thrane in the dying days of the Last War, and now that the war has ended, he doesn’t quite know what to do with his time. He’s looking for direction and a way to use his martial prowess (since he doesn’t know a trade). A dwarf suggested that he draft some notices and post them around the city, and Tower has taken the suggestion to heart.

They do manage to convince him to join up with them, but no sooner does this occur, that the doors burst open and 6 guards all clad in Crimson dressings under Heavy Plate spill through.

The head of the guard, a Human female who does not introduce herself, cries out that Omega is under arrest for crimes against the state and will come peacefully to await their trial the following day. Omega hesitate, desperately wanting to destroy the guards, but instead they attempt a negotiation. Seeing it not working, they converge and decide it would be best to go along for the time being, as they don’t want to be on the entire nation’s most wanted list.

In their cell later that evening, after a lengthy discussion on escape, Omega is startled to attention by a small hole in the cell wall that grows into a cavern entrance. Emerging from it, a young girl.

Before you stands a chocolate-complected, 11 year old girl. As she draws back the hood of her graycloak, you see her dark hair is cropped short and soft, gray eyes look gently upon you. A level of wisdom and compassion lives behind those eyes that should not reside in one so young. She presents her hands, a sign of peace, and whispers…

“Well met, men. I am Jaela Daran. For those who do not know, I am the Keeper of the Flame and advisor of the council of Cardinals. I have come to give you some valuable information. I know where your friend Fergus is, and if you want to save him, you must go with me now.”

Omega, completely taken aback and off guard, stammer out a few questions to which Jaela answers:

The party asks why she doesn’t just overturn the Council’s ruling. She says she has no proof to back them. Only the word of a trusted informant. That would not be enough to turn them and it would expose the informant, doing much more harm than good.

The party asks about Fergus. She gives a scant bit of information about the corruption of the council and how she is working to expose them. They ask how they’ll escape. She tells them she has acquired an airship with an ally pilot who will take them directly to Fergus, who has been taken to a remote ruin in Valenar, in the Blade Desert.

Finally, Tripper comes forth after much silence in the exchange (very unlike Tripper), and he asks her one simple question, “Do I have a soul?”

Jaela’s face draws and she looks on Tripper with pity when she replies, “it is my belief that you do not. I am sorry, my friend, but I have had no teachings on the matter and no word from the Flame saying such, so I must hold that it is true. But take heart, this is solely my belief. What you believe is what drives you, what makes you who you are. Hold fast to your beliefs, and they will make anything possible.”

Jaela hands each party member a small vial attached to a lanyard made of very strong woven silk threads. She explains that within it is blessed salt water and a small pile of red choral at the bottom. The vial has an ivory base and a green swastika etched into the side. It will last for one week of constant taint exposure. During which time it absorbs the taint slowly decaying the choral, then blackening the water, fully turning the ivory black. At this point, the vial is useless and must be destroyed, else the next to wear it will absorb the corruption within.

The group then spills one by one through the tunnel which leads out the back of the tower, right next to a ladder. They ascend to a landing platform veiled by dense fog, where waiting for them is all their gear…but no airship. Suddenly, out of nowhere swoops in a smaller vessel with a fiery flame ring. Aboard all that can be seen is a Half-elf, and no other crew. He cries out to them to board quickly or the trip will end rather abruptly. Without much hesitation Omega ascends the rope ladder and they ship fires away from Flamekeep at lightning speed.

Zephyr Zephyr

Aboard the ship, the group discovers another occupant, a small warforged who introduces himself as Slink. he reveals the group has boarded the Zephyr, captained by one Finneas Slade, a Windright Captain of House Lyrander. Once settled in, Slink trades places with Finneas and he formally introduces himself. He gives the group an ETA on their destination and they all turn in for the night. Finneas

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Chapter 5 - Valenar
A Desert Oasis - Not my Wonderwall

Valenar Omega are aboard the Zephyr for several days before they see the bright, vast emptiness that is the Blade Desert, the gateway to Valenar. As arid as it may be, it is a very welcome change to the gloomy shadow of Cyre, the Mournland, that accompanied the group to their West most of the trip.

Finneas maneuvers the Zephyr just west of Taer Elladorn to a smaller nomadic settlement he says is named Rina. He sets the ship hovered just outside the village to not arouse suspicion and the group leaves. They ask if he will be back to pick them up, to which he has no actual answer. He says the deal was only to get them here and that he has other deliveries to make. But if he is able, he will try.

With no more than a hope, Omega moves on into Rina.

Rina Rina

The settlement is walled-in by 15ft spiked logs. While the wall is permanent, the buildings appear to not be, save the western structure that appears to be some sort of tavern or inn. The group moves from building to building asking questions about the ruin, coming to the same end. nothing. In the Bazaar, they make due with some supplies and take a chance with a Deck of Many Things which comes out well in the group’s favor. After some crafty thinking on wishes, the group establishes no need for money again, Tripper gets a Keep of his own in Breland near Vathirond, and the group is pretty much on easy street. After rounding up some gear, and Dez parading as King Boranel for kicks, they move on to the inn.

Gear Inside they do drum up information and a bearing on the location of an old ruin, rumored to be south of the settlement. Omega then goes to secure transport with the Camel Trader near the entry. Dez makes use of his charm and seduces the trader’s assistant into sweetening the deal. The group arranges to pick up the camels later in the day, when the desert begins to cool.

After several treacherous days passage through the Barren Wastes, Omega finally arrives at the location. From above it would appear as nothing more than a couple of buried obelisks and a slight depression or dune. Easily missed. But at ground level, it is clear that the obelisks are actually entry markers to a descending hill, presumably leading down into a ruin. Omega enters carefully.

Desert Ruins L1

In the entryway they are faced with a double door ahead, a smaller door to the right and 6 statues, 4 of which are armor and 2 that are in front of the double doors resemble rust monsters. Omega uncovers a small pool behind the smaller door and also discover a secret door to the left (east), behind which lies an ancient Dhakaani library on Drift Magic (desert spells) and something called Incarnum. Dez uses his Bardic abilities to retain as much of the information as possible in a short time.

They then move back in and cautiously approach the doors when everything closes, the Rust Monsters animate, and gas begins filling the room. Harlos disables the gas trap while the group tries to make short work of the monsters. Once done, they notice a blood trail leading from the entrance to the doors. They press on.

Just past the doors Omega is greeted by a Sphynx. They try to reason with him, but it turns out he has gone insane and pushes to fight them to the death, which they oblige. Just beyond him, they see a vast chamber at the end of which is Fergus. They move in and investigate the stage Fergus is on. Finding a cache of useless stuff behind him, they then attempt to move him after a failed attempt at reviving him by Dez. As soon as they pick him up they hear a click, and rumbling. Dez and Harlos manage to escape the trap, but everyone else succumbs to the floor cave-in that takes almost the entire room to the level below.

Sand Dragon Quickly emerging from a slumber, a small sand Dragon pops up and hisses his annoyance at the interruption. Luckily he decides to press past the group to his freedom. But Omega had bigger problems to deal with.

Crawling Apocalypse Crawling Apocalypse

The floor gave way to a room filled with a sandy floor and a nasty undead abomination Corwyn explained was a Crawling Apocalypse. After several close calls and near deaths, Omega finally manage to silence the beast for good and make their way back through the ruins to the entrance.

As they enter the front room, Corwyn immediately takes Fergus to the pool and heals him. They then hear a thundering outside and a massive demonic entity emerges. Warduke Following him is the same Rakshasa that left the party at the train wreck. He goes to explain that he and the group have the same goals, it seems, and he is interested in helping them with all he knows. The fish-man gets cocky with him and he answers with a successful Finger of Death that leaves the fish-man a pile of ash on the floor.

The Rakshasa, named Hektula, reveals Gribnakh is a target of Pazuzu, his master, for his abominatory heritage of half-demon half-illithid. It’s also revealed suspicion that Gribnakh intends to follow his beloved Vol into lichdom, and that Hektula believes Gribnakh to be in or near Lahzaar, where Vol holds residence. He leaves as cryptically as he came by saying he would assist them further when the need arises.

Omega gives chase only to find him vanished. They camp for the night in the safety of the ruin, then head back to Rina the following day.

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Chapter 6 - Tarus
One thing about Breland I could never stomach. All the damned vampires!

Arriving back at Rina, Omega is relieved to see the Zephyr waiting for them outside of town. When they get there, they meet up with Finneas and set up transport back to Sharn with a battered Fergus en tow. Just before departing, the group is approached by a Valenar elf named Onavel who says he was sent to accompany Omega to assist in their mission. When questioned on this, it is uncovered that Hektula had lead Onavel in their direction, which bothered Omega a little and they were instantly cautious of their new companion.

After a bit of drama trying to figure out how to get Onavel’s horse aboard the Zephyr, the group set off to Sharn.

A quick stop in Wroat left Tome to handle all the administrative duties of getting Tripper’s keep legally in place and the remainder of the group went back home to Sharn. Once there, they each went their separate ways to get some much-needed rest before moving on to investigate more on Gribnakh. Once at each of their homes, they each discovered an invitation to a hunt the following night at the house of an aristocrat named Tarus, in addition to revelation of information potentially helpful to Omega.

Converging and discussing the matter, the group decides to proceed cautiously to find out what Tarus knows that can press their mission along.

A short ride north of Sharn, Omega finds the mansion off the Orien trade route. When they arrive, they are greeted by a butler/servant who says Tarus will be along shortly and the group can make themselves comfortable at the dinner table which is strangely set outside.

After a while, Tarus arrives and dinner begins. Not everyone trusts the meal to eat, but some do. It’s noted that Tarus does not eat anything. The conversation turns south relatively quickly and the group uncovers that Tarus is a vampire. They make relatively short work of him and the werewolves imprisoned in his barn and set about searching his estate.

Minor traps and creatures aside, the mansion was a relative dud, save one room with a ledger documenting goods and services to Q’Barra as well as a hunting expedition there and some information that Omega decided might actually have some significance to their mission after all.

Within the ledger, mention is made of a collection of 5 stones of Byeshk infused with powers that, when used alone, each will have some sort of effect that can weaken or otherwise give the weilder advantage over aberrations. However, when used en tandem, project a mystical harmony that counters the very nature of aberrations, bringing peace to their chaos, order to their insanity. One of the pieces is said to have been forged into a mighty Flail, locked away in a forgotten crypt in the swamps of Q’Barra.

Taking the information along with a map of Q’Barra, Omega sets off to find the first stone.

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Chapter 7 - Q'Barra
Proof that Gygax hated players!

Q'Barra

After chartering a vessel to travel to Q’Barra, Omega sets off to search for answers and to find this mysterious tomb potentially holding a great weapon to combat Gribnakh (all information in the ledger and journal from Tarus’ study). Q'Barra Murks

They arrive in Newthrone a week later and set about investigating, starting with a house Tharashk outpost. Inside they manage to hire a guide who they’re to meet at the airship dock later. Not much else in the town gives them any more insight. Omega does their best to steer clear of too much interaction as they note Inspired are rampant there and the information they possess could potentially get them unwanted attention.

When they arrive at the dock, they run into a funny-looking fellow who introduces himself to them.

First Contact with Brea

Omega learns that they can only get Airship passage as far East as Ka’ Rahashan. From there they would have to by foot through the Basura swamp to the area the tomb is supposed to be located in. They could get a guide in Ka’Rahashan, supposedly.

Ka'Rahashan Ka’Rahashan

Ka’Rahashan is relatively hospitable, considering the location. The Dragonborn village is home to a great many religious artifacts of the race and, thusly, none of the adventurers are left to wander unaccompanied. But when they entered seeking a guide, they were promptly taken to the village elder. The elder granted them a guide on the condition that they do battle in their arena first, which Tripper did. Taking on 2 of their finest warriors, Tripper proved his worth by besting them both alone. The least battered of the two set out with Omega the next day to guide them to the heart of the Basura Swamps where the fabled Tomb was said to be.

After about a week travel in the treacherous terrain, they all arrive at the site of a ruin. The guide says he will stay outside for 3 days and no longer. If they do not return in 3 days, he will assume they perished and he will go home.

082207 Game Night Recap

You guys started in the hallway. After a few minutes of inspection, Harlos realized the ceiling was trapped. He tinkered with it, and with Tripper’s help, you bypass the trap (which turns out to be a crushing rock trap that would have dealt 16d6 damage). You open the door to discover a blank wall of earth. After some debate, you deduce this isn’t the entrance to the tomb, so you venture out East combing the hillside. After a little ways, you discover a second mound of cave-in similar to the first, so you dig through to discover a tunnel:

Brilliant colors are everywhere; pigments painted on stone are undimmed by the passage of decades. The floor is a colorful mosaic, featuring a distinct, winding path of red tiles forming a 2-foot-wide, meandering trail south down the corridor. A few chips and gaps reveal that cement or plaster covers the underlying stonework of the corridor, and it mostly provides a smooth surface for the many illustrated scenes.

The images depict fields with cattle grazing, a copse with several wolves in the background , slaves—human, orc, elven, and strange human animal mixtures of pig-human, ape-human, and dog-human—going about various tasks. Certain frescoes are more focused and show rooms of some building—a library filled with many books and scrolls, a torture chamber, and a wizard’s work room. Chairs, windows, boxes, bales, doors, chests, birds, bats, spiders, and all manner of things appear on the walls.

In the mosaic on the floor, Harlos discovers a pattern. It’s something written in common runes:

ACERERAK CONGRATULATES YOU ON YOUR

POWERS OF OBSERVATION. SO MAKE OF THIS

WHATEVER YOU WISH, FOR YOU WILL BE MINE IN

THE END NO MATTER WHAT!

Go back to the tormentor or through the arch,

and the second great hall you’ll discover.

Shun green if you can, but night’s good color

is for those of great valor.

If shades of red stand for blood the wise

will not need sacrifice aught but a loop of

magical metal—you’re well along your march.

Two pits along the way will be found to lead

to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall.

These keys and those are most important of all,

and beware of trembling hands and what will maul.

If you find the false you find the true

and into the columned hall you’ll come,

and there the throne that’s key and keyed.

The iron men of visage grim do more than

meets the viewer’s eye.

You’ve left and left and found my Tomb

and now your soul will die.

You first turn your attention to the path and Harlos leads the way to the first image, the one with the box.

Two jackal-headed human figures in this painting are portrayed as if holding bronze chest—which is real, and protrudes slightly into the corridor! The chest is hinged on the bottom so as to allow the lid to swing down.

Most everyone sees that the box is trapped with a poison spike, so Tripper triggers and dismantles it. The box opens, and Onavel looks inside, discovering a level, which he promptly tugs. The floor beneath him gives way, and he narrowly misses falling into a poisoned spiked pit trap, thanks to Harlos’ aid. Tripper descends into the pit to examine the contents and pulls out a pair of Goggles of night.

You move on to the next mural.

This portion of the fresco illustrates an iron door that evidently confines some sort of a horrid creature (its clawed and scaled hands grasp the bars of its small window) that can be loosed to torment prisoners.

After some inspection, Harlos finds that the wall is not what it seems, Tripper gives it a good punch, and part of the mural falls away, revealing a door. The group moves on, deciding to explore the whole hall before passing the door.

Down the hall, you all narrowly miss another pit trap, before Harlos decides to search every step for them. After a while, it is noted that there is a pattern to the traps, and it somewhat follows the red path.

At the end of the hall/path, there is a giant Green Devil face on the wall that radiates evil and magic. His mouth opens into a black void.

A fork of the red tile path leads directly to a leering devil face set in the mosaic at the corridor’s end. The devil’s mouth gapes wide and empty—in fact it is dead black, emitting no hint of light and allowing none entry.

On the left wall is an arch with 3 colored stones.

A section of the red tile path leads into a mist-filled stone archway. Three large stones are embedded in the arch. Each has a different hue—yellow on the lower left, bluish at the top of the arch, and orange on the lower right.

When Tripper gets within 5 feet of it, they begin to glow. Yellow (lower left), Blue (top), Orange (lower right). Tripper tosses a useless potion through. You hear and see nothing.

The group decides to skip this, and head back to the door, but not before exploring each pit. In one of two pits that does not contain spikes, Harlos discovers a secret passageway, but it appears to only go one way, out into the pit. Harlos rigs the pit to remain open, and the party proceeds back to the door.

Opening the door reveals a small path. The group enters the path and Tripper opens the next door. As soon as the door is opened, light from Osh’s Torch reveals, in the shadows, a large 4-armed creature.

A grotesque, winged humanoid with a horned head and stony hide lunges, its four arms each tipped with wicked rocky claws. Around the creature’s neck is a collar studded with huge, gleaming gems.

Battle ensues. Continued…

So monumental that it bears the official title of “The Battle.”

I awarded a surprise round to both parties to set the stage. There was no official “surprise” as all parties were aware of each other at the same time. In the surprise round, Onavel (who won initiative) sprinted into the shadowy area only to get clobbered (critical hit a.o.o.) by the creature with one swing, sending him flying back out of the shadow and into the illuminated hallway. Tripper and Harlos followed. Everyone else, except Osh, filed into the room. The creature slammed Tripper, to minimal damage (thanks to his DR).

In round one, Onavel regained his feet and tumbled into the creature’s range, Harlos flanked him and took a few jabs, Tripper wailed on him, and Brea attempted to flank as well, but fell victim to his a.o.o. again as Onavel did. She took massive damage and fell unconscious where she landed in the hallway. The creature cut loose on Tripper landing all 4 arms, a bite and a gore, rending Tripper for roughly 100hp. Dez began singing and successfully cast Slow on the creature, significantly crippling his ability to deal damage. Corwyn sprinted into position and took a swing, and Osh attempted to mentally grapple the creature, to no avail.

The next round, Onavel Pulled the Elder Mountain and dished out a painful blow to the creature, Harlos jabbed at him again, but the creature’s DR shrugged most of it off. Tripper wailed on him again, and Brea stablized, but didn’t wake up. The creature, highly annoyed at Onavel, but slowed by Dez, used its one attack to swat him into the wall, dealing a significant amount of damage. Dez attempted to Charm the monster, but it resisted. And then the battle came to a remarkable conclusion.

Corwyn turned to Onavel and performed a Lay on Hands to secure him, then turned to the creature. With a furious swing aimed at the creature’s head, Corwyn dismembered him in one swipe. BA is the first official critical instant kill. 2 natural 20’s and a confirm. :)

The creature slumped to the floor and bled out on the spot.

Harlos snagged the collar, and he and Tripper examined it. They found a secret compartment in it containing a small strip of parchment which Tripper deemed magical in nature. Dez cast Read Magic, and the parchment revealed:

_Look low and high for gold, to hear a tale untold. The archway at the end, and on your way you’ll wend.

A._

In the upper and left walls of this room are doors. The group proceeded through the left one first, leaving the upper one for later. Within the first door:

This small chamber is empty of scent, stain, or decor. Only the dense layer of dust reveals the uncounted years since any moved through this chamber since the present.

While standing in the chamber, an arrow fired and hit Tripper. After searching, Harlos discovers the arrow slot and disables it. He also discovers a secret door. What follows are 7 more rooms similar to this one. Arrow slots and secret doors until the final secret door that has 7 studs on it. Along the way, Tripper smashes each arrow slot, destroying them.

The group falls back to explore the other door, to find a path similar to the other, but no secret doors, no arrow slots, and it dead ends in the 4th room.

The party moves into the room with the final secret door, and sets up camp for the evening with Tripper on watch.

The game will resume on the following calendar day with you all refreshed from an eventless night’s sleep.

090507 Game Night Recap

You left off in the hallway of the secret doors and arrow-slit traps. You guys rested the night and began the next day by studying the 7 pegs on the secret door in front of you.

After some careful study, Harlos not only figured out the trap, but managed to bypass it. As he opened the door, you discovered a long (about 160ft) hallway decorated with several colorful creatures holding orbs.

The floor of this long, wide hall is inlaid with tiles, and the walls and ceiling are painted with figures of animals and strange signs and glyphs. Humans and humanlike creatures hold painted spheres, each a different color from the next.

From north to south (right to left) on the wall in front of you, you see:

GOLD sphere held above head by a naga.

ORANGE sphere held waist high by a mummy.

PURPLE sphere held at feet by a minotaur

BRONZE sphere held waist high by a nymph.

GRAY sphere held at shoulder by an owlbear.

BRIGHT BLUE sphere held at feet by a sahuagin.

WHITE sphere held above head by a red slaad.

TURQUOISE sphere held at shoulder by a satyr.

SCARLET sphere held waist high by a mind flayer.

PALE GREEN sphere held at feet by a medusa.

On the opposite wall. in order:

PALE BLUE sphere held at shoulder by a werewolf.

SILVER sphere held at feet by a four-armed gargoyle. (on the door you came out of)

GREEN sphere held high above head by a half-orc.

YELLOW sphere held at shoulder by a falconheaded creature.

PINK sphere held high above head by a yuan-ti.

BLACK sphere held at feet by a hydra.

PALE VIOLET sphere held at shoulder by a kuo-toa.

RED sphere held waist high by a skeleton.

BUFF sphere held at feet by a white- bearded human wizard.

INDIGO sphere held high above head by a batwinged woman.

Harlos was quick enough to point out that there might be significance to the positioning of the orbs, since the walls appear to be segmented in 4s, and the characters are holding the orbs in 4 different positions. Though, no actual pattern could be determined.

Tripper detected magic throughout the hallway. He decided to move Orb to orb and try to better determine the magic. He moved to the Orange Orb first. After jabbing at it with a dagger, he managed to disbelieve the illusion and found a door behind it. He and Harlos studied it and Harlos found and disabled the trap on it. After opening, they discovered it to be nothing more than a trap, as a solid wall laid behind it.

Next Tripper went to the Red Skeleton and jabbed at it, finding an empty space from about waist-level, down. After a few moments, he managed to disbelieve the illusion and discovered a crawl space. Dez went inside until he came to a bend, then an apparent dead end. This entire time Brea was clueless and saw through none of the illusons.

When Harlos came to the dead end, he discovered a secret door, but no traps, so he pushed in on it. When he did, the entire crawlspace dropped 10 feet, but Harlos (already being on hands and knees) came out unscathed. Back in the main hall, 10ft in all directions from the opening caved in 10ft deep as well. Everyone managed to avoid the intentional cave in. They all dropped in and followed Harlos into the room past the secret wall.

The adjoining room was 60ft by 60ft and had this description:

The chamber is bare but for three conspicuous chests, each about 4 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. One appears to be of gold, the second is silvery, and the third is constructed of hardy oak banded with thick bronze.

The group went to the Silver one first. Harlos found and disarmed the trap. Upon opening, they found a nasty dart trap inside that could have shred Harlos to bits. And a crystal case (appraised at 1000gp) with a ring inside, later identified to be a Ring of Levitation.

On to the Bronze Chest. Both the Bronze and Gold radiated Conjuration magic and had no mechanisms in either that looked like traps. Harlos behind and Tripper in front, they popped open the chest and a Large Bone Golem appeared. The fight was quick and relatively painless, though he proved a slightly formidable foe with his damage reduction. Without Tripper, it would have been a longer battle.

On to the Gold Chest. Same scenario. Upon opening, 12 tiny vipers sprung out. Harlos quaffed an Antitoxin immediately, and the group managed to dice all 12 within 2 rounds (I believe).

Nothing else was found in the room, so the party went back to the main hall. Nothing was in the 2 encounter chests.

The next Orb Tripper tried was the Black one with the Hydra. Same scenario as the Red one with the Skeleton. Harlos went in the crawlspace first, this time. It went on for quite a long crawl, gradually downward. Tripper followed, and the rest of the group followed a little later. After a long crawl, they came to another dead end, which obviously was not. Upon opening this secret door, the group discovered a large Chapel. Northern section text:

Chapel accoutrements fill this chamber, including great wooden pews on either side of a central mosaic path that leads toward an altar on the far side of the room, which is separated from the pews by a wooden railing. Scenes of everyday life are painted on the walls, but all the people are portrayed with rotting flesh, skeletal hands, and worm-ridden orifices. Yet depicted amidst these disturbing portraits are various symbols of readily recognized benevolent deities.

The closest 2 pews radiated magic. Harlos discovered traps in each, and bypassed them. Nothing was inside. The remaining pews contained many coins in each. Nick noted the amounts.

At the southern end of the chapel, you see this:

Behind the wooden railing is an opalescent blue altar, which is set before a tiered dais that supports a well-carved and padded wooden chair. Two large brass candelabra, each holding five white candles, stand on either side of the dais. Two large white pottery urns, each stoppered with brass, sit in each corner. A human skeleton wearing badly rusted and torn black chainmail lies dead in the southwestern portion of the room, one outstretched arm seeming to point into a mist-filled arch on the southern end of the west chapel wall.

The group decided to tackle the Dais and Altar first. Dez jumped on top of the altar and a lightning bolt shot out from it. Everyone evaded it to some degree except Tripper who took the full impact. Harlos studied it after, realizing it had automatically reset. He managed to bypass the trap only to discover another trap behind it. He quickly pulled off a rapid trap bypass on it, too, discovering it was an explosion trap that could have been very nasty. He released the traps, and the group vowed to never touch the altar again.

Nothing special was discovered about the candlebras or the chair. No one really wanted to tough the urns. The group then turned its attention to the smoky arch. After some study, they determined it wasn’t a trap, per se. Tripper tested it with the reaching arm of the corpse on the floor. After no actual results came, Dez volunteered to enter. He passed through, and a couple of sensations came over him, but he shrugged them off. As he emerged on the other side, he was in a 10×10 blank cell. Nothing at all inside. He spoke to the group, and they decided there was nothing special about it, so Dez came back through. He took a minor amount of damage on the return, but nothing other than that. No one else passed through.

Harlos gave the room a thorough once-over and discovered: Search check of the eastern wall in this area reveals a small slot with the letter ‘O’ faintly traced above it. The slot is of sufficient size to accept a coin or a flat gem. It is also just right for insertion of a magic ring.

They decided to insert the Ring of Levitation in. When they did, a secret passage revealed itself, burying the ring in the process. But on the other side was a short hall and stairs leading down. The passage lead to a sharp turn right and ended in a stuck door. After many tries by the group, Dez managed to unstuck the door only to reveal a pit on the other side, which he dexterously avoided. The scenario repeated itself 2 more times. Everyone except Tripper managed to jump over the pits. Poor Tripper fell into the first 2 and climbed out, and just didn’t even bother on the third. He just jumped in, then climbed out. After the third, the hall cornered right again into a 160ft hallway ending with a door.

Upon approaching the door, it was discovered that it radiated magic, was heavily locked, not trapped, and gleeful singing was heard on the other side. Harlos barely managed to bypass a very tough set of locks (Open Lock DC 41). Upon opening the door, the singing stopped, sounds of panic and running ensued, and a small fading light was seen about 50ft away in the darkness beyond. The group pursued, slowly. After about 30ft, the floor began to slope down, northward. Everyone but Tripper managed to scurry back to the door. Poor Tripper slipped and slid down the hall into a pit of moletn lava. Luckily as he breached the end of the hall, he snagged the ledge, so only half of him got immersed, but it burned him severely, incinerating most of his joints. He drug his burning body up after an unsuccessful first try (doing an additonal 30-something points of damage, melting the non-adamantine parts). Once he finally fully emerged onto the hall, the burning was so severe, he bottomed out, disabling on the spot. The group could only watch, horrified, as the trap had reset as soon as he fell in.

Harlos slowly moved down the hall and found the tripping mechanism for the trap, disabling it. Then the group drug Tripper’s body back down the 160ft hallway to the corner, and the group stopped there.

100307 Game Night Recap

Picking up from the corner refuge after bringing Tripper back to functionality, the group decides to head back the way it came. Passing through the closest pit, Onavel senses something strange about the south wall there. On inspecting, Harlos finds a secret door. The group moves through into a stairwell, leading down to a short hallway that turns right. However, as they start to descend the stairwell, Onavel has another strange sensation that something isn’t right with the walls again. Harlos inspects them thoroughly to uncover another secret door. Breaking the illusion, a magically sealed secret door is revealed.

Its mechanism is beyond Harlos’ skill, so Onavel begins hacking at it. After his Elder Mountain maneuver proves ineffective (compared to other doors), Tripper steps in and charges through it. The hallway beyond turns right (south), and leads to something akin to a laboratory. A thorough search of the desks, tables, and shelves in the room turns up nothing of interest except a mummified hand on one desk. Corwyn reasons it to be a graft of some sort, and Harlos packs it for later.

In the center of the room are 3 large vats of murky water. Onavel steps over to the Easternmost one and jabs his sword in and swirls it. As he does, the vat bubbles, then congeals as it grows out and over until a massive jiggly cube stands before the group. The group wastes no time in dispatching the gelatinous cube. Onavel looks again into the vat and discovers half a key. He retrieves it and moves on to the second (middle) vat. He swirls it again and discovers the other half of the key at the bottom. He reaches in to retrieve it. When he pulls his hand out, it begins to burn and itch, but is remedied after he cleanses it back in the first pool. Nothing is found in the third pool. The two halves do fit together, but need to be fused, so they are pocketed until later.

Harlos inspects the rest of the room more thoroughly, and finds yet another secret door in the southwesternmost corner. Beyond is a short hallway that turns left (south) to a descending stairwell, then turns left again into a long hallway. 20 ft into the hallway lies a 30ft long, 10 ft deep pit filled with spikes. On further inspection, it is revealed that medium creatures can maneuver the spikes safely. While the group deliberates the ins and outs of this possible trap, Dez barrels into it. When he gets just past 20ft in, his next footfall springs the trap. He leaps up and back, narrowly escaping a mass of spikes that shoot up from the floor, then retract back in. Harlos, who is standing on the back edge also narrowly avoids being spiked as the spikes shoot out just past the crest of the pit.

Harlos descends into the pit to disarm the trap. After a few moments of inspection, he discovers the pressure plating and competely disables the trap. The group passes safely through the pit. In the corridor beyond, the group sees only a dead end. Harlos inspects the walls as they go, and finds another secret door on the north wall.

On the other side of the door lies:

Rotted sofas, several thronelike chairs, small tables, braziers, vases, and dented, chipped, even broken urns lie in disarray about the chamber, as if purposely tumbled and looted. Only the tapestries, featuring weed-grown rocks and greenish scenes of undersea life, seem to have escaped such rough treatment.

Harlos moves in and yanks the Westernmost tapestry aside. As he does, it immediately transforms into a slimy substance, but falls safely ahead of him. Behind the tapestry he sees an opening at the NW corner of the room. He then moves to the NE corner where a door lies as Onavel moves in to address the other tapestry. As Onavel nears the tapestry, he emits a cone of fire from his sword and jumps back as the tapestry comes to life, just as the other, but falls safely to the floor in front of him, singed. All this time, everyone else is moving into position and Tripper is holding the door. Just before Harlos reaches the door in the back of the room, the room begins to shake violently. Everyone but Corwyn manages to stablize. Corwyn collapses and takes a small amount of damage from the fall. Harlos checks the door and finds it to be a similar trap to those found in the hallway with the murals and orbs. After 2 attempts, he disarms the trap, then immediately moves to trying to disarm the shaking room trap. After some help finding it, he eventually locates a part of the mechanism and bypasses it. The group then proceeds to watch as Onavel, who has been randomly destroying furniture as he waits impatiently, smash the chests and coffers. Several of the coffers release small vipers after smashing, which the group quickly dispenses of. Some of the coffers are empty. the rest contain either gold or sapphires. None of the chests have anything in them. Harlos did succeed in picking the locks of one chest and one coffer prior to Onavel’s rampage.

Following Brea, who had positioned herself just outside the NW tunnel, the group moved through the path, which curved around ending in a descending stairwell facing East. The hallway beyond intersected about 50ft past the stairs. Brea moved up to the intersection and peeked around the corners. 30ft ahead was a door. the hallway to the right (south) ended in a door. The hallway to the left (north) was longer and ended in double doors. Just before stepping into the center, she spots a trap and calls on Harlos’ trap-disarming skills. He comes up and disarms the trap, but notices an unsettling cold from beneath the floor there. As well, he can hear something scratching on the wall beneath him, as though it’s trying to get up to him and can’t. He notes this to the rest of the group.

Everyone decides to move north to the double doors. Upon opening them (no traps, no locks), Harlos finds a blank wall. Onavel points out the riddle, noting False to be True, and Harlos inspects the wall further, finding a secret door. Brea also points out that these doors are the first she’s seen thus far that hinge in both directions. Harlos closes the double doors and pushes in on them rather than pulling, but they do not open in. He then opens one, shielding himself with the other, and finds the secret door to be smaller than the larger doors, and it is slightly depressed from the pressure, so he pushes in further and slides it. As he does so, the rest of the wall around it slides away and a thick gas starts to fill the chamber around him, 30 ft in both directions. Everyone else had fallen safely back to the intersection. They hear doors click and open beyond the mist, but nothing else. Tripper rushes into the mist as everyone moves into position in the hall. As Tripper finds Harlos, Harlos is stumbling through the mist back toward them. Tripper notes the mist would put anyone asleep who inhales it. Dez then dispels it, and the party moves forward into the hallway beyond. Ahead is a stairwell leading to apparently nowhere, and a set of double doors just before it on the right (east), which are open.

Onavel and Brea run to the doors, Onavel noting a secret doorway on his left (west) as he passes. Onavel spots a massive rolling elephant made entirely of stone, apparently moving in their direction. Brea holds at the entryway, but Onavel charges in to attack, but his fire cone washes harmlessly over it. Harlos, Corwyn, and Tripper move up to the doorway, as Dez covers their backs at the intersection.

The massive golem, that takes up almost the entire hallway, barrels forward, rolling over everyone in its path except Harlos and Brea, who dodge out of the way, up the stairs. Several of the group get pot shots in on it, but it doesn’t seem to do a lot of damage. All this time, Dez has run up the hallway to see what is going on. He meets the thing almost head-on and does an about-face in the other direction. the Golem follows to the double doors, but promptly returns direction without turning around. Onavel meets up with it and deals a massive amount of damage, and Tripper follows him slamming into the creature and thoroughly destroying it with a charged slam attack. Victorious, the group slides up the odd stairwell, and rests for the evening with Tripper keeping watch in front of the double doors.

101707 Game Night Recap

The following day, the group emerged from the odd stairwell to follow the path from whence the rolling construct came. Finding it nothing more than a dead end, the group backtracked to the secret door Onavel found nearby. After discovering the trigger, Harlos opened the door to reveal a narrow passageway leading north. The group followed the path to the ending which was a curving stairwell leading up to a 10ft hallway, ending with a metal door.

The group approached, and investigated.

A door forged of gleaming metallic alloy with massive reinforced hinges bars passage beyond this point. Three vertical slots mar the door’s surface at waist height. Each slot is about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.

Harlos peered through the slots to see a massive chamber on the other side, filled with pillars. A faint orange glow shown across the room, beyond Harlos’ darkvision range. Referencing the riddle again, the group concluded this was the right path. After some deliberation, it was suggested that the slots were the right size for swords to be placed in. Immediately after doing so, the door slowly opened. Harlos investigated, but only 30 seconds after doing so, the door slammed shut flinging the swords out. Harlos narrowly missed being bludgeoned by the door in the process. It was then decided that Tripper destroy the hinges and remove the door entirely. After a few minutes of slamming, the wall gave way and the door collapsed harmlessly, if not very loudly, to the floor. The group peered into the chamber beyond.

Scores of massive columns hold up a ceiling tiled in dark stone. Across a gulf of darkness, something glitters with orange light.

Prior to entering, the group buffs against undead, assuming this is near the Lich’s chamber. The group enters the room, fanning out a bit, and immediately heads left (north) toward a door.

This small door seems to shimmer with a faint blue light. A sturdy brass ring hangs enticingly at the center of the door.

They note a throne on a dais to the right (south) and a large green devil face on the wall up and left of the door they’re heading toward. Onavel wanders off on his own during this time. Spread out, the group prepares for Tripper and Harlos to open the door. Bored, Onavel leans impatiently against a pillar and immediately levitates into the air. Dez swipes a grappling hook from his pack and flings it at Onavel, but he misses it in his flurry. As he ascends, he tries to grab another pillar. This results in him shooting up even faster. As he clears the top of the pillars, a breeze begins to push him in the direction of the devil face. As he nears Harlos, he throws his own grappling hook toward Onavel, who catches this one. Harlos secures it to Tripper, who prepares a dagger to cut the line just in case. Onavel attempts to pull himself down, but the force against him is too strong. Dez then casts a Dispel Magic on Onavel and he plummets to the floor, tumbling 5 feet past Harlos, taking minor damage. Onavel then stands, trying to regain his composure, and declares touching the pillars is a bad idea.

The group then returns to the door, which is emitting a faint blue light. Harlos flings the door open to find…nothing. The room is empty, save a little dust. So they move on to the next door. This one emits a violet light.

This small door seems to scintillate with a faint violet light. A sturdy brass ring hangs enticingly at the center of the door.

Using the same process as before, Harlos flings the door open. As he touches it, it gives off a slight green light. The chamber beyond…

This 10-foot-square chamber contains many martial war decorations, which consist of crossed swords over round shields.

Harlos inspects the doorway. Finding no traps, he steps inside. As soon as he does so, the walls around him animate and everywhere there was a shield and swords, now stands a stone figure armed with 2 swords, and they all swing at Harlos. An amazing display of dexterity ensues as Harlos dodges and deflects every single attack, then tumbles out of the room. As he clears the threshold, the constructs phase back into the walls. Rather than face the room from the inside, the group decides it’s best to just destroy the room from the outside. So Onavel and Tripper set to smashing the walls 5 ft at a time, until all the outer walls are destroyed. Confused, the constructs attempt to animate at every breach, but when no one is inside, the immediately remerge with the walls.

When all the walls are gone, the group approaches the door. The last 2 constructs come forth and the group quickly disperses of them as only they can. They open the next door and peer inside.

Water spills from a wall basin onto a sodden floor strewn with decayed bones and rotted equipment. Runes are carved in the northern wall.

Everyone hesitates to enter, but Onavel, in his brash fashion, trods inside. When nothing happens, the rest of the group enters. A search of the room reveals a bag of 743gp, a potion of Reduce Person, and a +1 flail with the name “Shatterskull” carved into the handle in Dwarven. The runes read:

“YOU WHO DARED TO VIOLATE MY TOMB MAY REMAIN

AND DIE SLOWLY OF STARVATION, OR ESCAPE TO CERTAIN DEATH.

WHATEVER YOUR CHOICE, ACERERAK THE ETERNAL

WATCHES AND SCOFFS AT YOUR PUNY EFFORTS AND ENJOYS YOUR DEATH THROES.”

The group decides there’s nothing more of interest here and moves on to the final doorway, which also emits a blue light. Following the same procedure as before, Harlos swings open the door. This time to find:

A large wooden sarcophagus rests upon a low stone table. Broken and looted chests, urns, and coffers are scattered about on the floor.

Onavel and Tripper remove the lid to uncover a mummified humanoid. Harlos’ closer inspection finds a green gem in an eye socket and a ring under his hand wraps. As Harlos tries to pry the gem out of the eye socket, the body comes alive and grabs his arm. The gem disintegrates. Tripper smashes relentlessly at the body, and Onavel takes a few swings as well. The creature is quickly dispersed and Harlos pulls his arm away with the hand still gripping him. Tripper obliges Harlos and removes the hand. Harlos takes the ring and Tripper identifies it as a Ring of Fire Resistance, Minor (resist Fire 5). With nothing more of interest in that room, the group moves on to the area with the faint orange glow.

When they get there, they discover the glow to be a gem in the middle of a pile of rubble:

Cinders, ashes, charred bones and skulls, and the crisped and blackened remains of gear, clothing, arms, and armor are strewn about a huge, glowing orange gem.

Tripper inspects it as Corwyn warns it emits an overwhelming evil. As Tripper touches the gem, it triggers in his mind that he could be granted one wish if he activates it. Rather than relaying this to the group, he simply states this item needs to be destroyed, and he stashes it in his pack for later. The group then moves on to the Throne.

A stark black dais holds an obsidian throne inlaid with silver and ivory skulls. A crown and scepter rest upon the throne. The crown is golden, while the scepter has a silver end, and one of gold.

The group approaches the throne and inspects it. Harlos grabs the scepter and declares he will attempt to touch the silver end of the scepter to the silver crown inlay. The rest of the group moves back. When he does it, the throne sinks into the floor revealing a passageway down and south. The group moves into the passageway, leaving the crown untouched.

The room beyond is a cornucopia of materials ending in two metal doors atop stairs.

The steps, wall, and ceiling of this stairwell are each apparently forged of a separate precious or semiprecious metal. A bronze key lies untended on one of the steps.

The six steps are made of onyx, pink marble, lapis, black marble, serpentine (golden), and malachite (re s p e ctively, from lowest to highest). The walls are lined with copper (untarnished and gleaming) panels set between rare woods inlaid with ivory. The ceiling is silvered iron, formed so as to reflect and multiply light. Upon the fourth step is a large, cylindrical key of bronze. The doors on the south wall are apparently made of mithral The doors set on the southern end of room 28 are 14-feet wide and 28-feet tall (and 3-feet thick).

Harlos approaches and inspects. He realizes the inlay for the keyhole in the doors is an indention that matches the size of the ends of the scepter. After much deliberation, it is decided he place the silver end of the scepter in the inlay. When he does so, he feels a sensation as though he’s being pulled away from that place. But he resists. Convinced that this is the answer to the riddle, Harlos flips the scepter and places the gold end in the depression. The doors silently swing open. The room beyond…

A silvered ceiling reflects a grand room with inlaid ivory and gold tiled walls and a polished agate tiled floor. A hulking black iron demonic sculpture rests in each corner of the chamber, each bearing a distinctive weapon. In addition, the chamber contains a gold filigreed bronze urn from which issues a thin stream of smoke, two iron chests, and a granite sarcophagus which is plainly inscribed with the name ‘ACERERAK.’

Each iron statue is 9 feet tall and is forged of black iron. The statue to the northeast stands with a saw-toothed two-handed sword raised to strike; the statue to the northwest has a huge, spike-ended mace; to the southeast the sculpture readies a wickedly spiked morning star, and the one in the southwest has a glaive. Each has a magical aura. Each has an evil aura as well and the visage of each of these iron statues is most fearsome and terrifying.

Deciding that this is an “obvious” trap, Onavel sets toward the one in the NW corner, smashing at it. It splits in two and falls over revealing a trap door beneath. He sets about the room attempting the same, but no other trap doors are found. Before exploring further, they decide to inspect the remainder of the room.

The Sarcophagus reveals nothing. It is empty. They move on to the chests. After allowing Tripper to set off the 3 traps on each chest, and break the last of 3 locks on each, they open the chest to find 10,000 gems, which Onavel estimates to be worth about 50gp each. When they later leave the dungeon, they find these to actually be only quartz flints worth nothing more than 1cp each. They had been enchanted by an illusion. Enjoy your 20,000 quartz flints, fellas! LOL!

The group then moves on to the Bronze Urn. Onavel walks up to smash it. When he does, an Efreeti appears and battle ensues. The group quickly realizes, for some unknown reason, none of their magic or magical effects work. But they still make short work of the Efreeti. Tripper steps back out of the room and finds that it is the room that is causing the loss of magic.

The group moves on to the trap door. Opening it reveals a 10ft drop to a 5ft opening that opens again into a 10ft hallway that curves around. Harlos searches the area and finds a secret door. Opening it, he sees a 10ft wide by 20ft deep room with a small depression in the middle. In the depression is a key hole. Harlos attempts to use the key they found in the mirky water vats (repaired by Dez), but a large fireball explosion erupts, destroying the key, and narrowly missing Harlos. He then has Tripper go get the key from outside the AntiMagic room. Turning that in the key hole, the room begins to shake and move and Harlos sprints back to the exit, the floor rising as he goes, allowing him to easily leave. What is revealed in the room’s stead is another room.

A pile of gems, coins, vials, scrolls, and other items lies immediately inside the door of this mithral vault, but against the rune-scribed far wall is a stone bier. On the bier is a thick layer of dust mixed with bone shards and a gem-encrusted skull.

As many of the group as can fit enter the room, and Tripper takes note of the items on the floor. He then taps the skull with his chain and it reacts by raising into the air, turning in his direction and peering into him. He feels a sensation deep within him, a hollow feeling. As though all his essence was trying to be ripped away, but his return pull is stronger, and he escapes the skull’s grasp. While this is happening, the dust in the room swirls and combines to form a ghostly figure.

The group turns its attention first on the ghost and dispatches it quickly. But the skull proves to be quite resilient. Tripper manages to nick a chunk out of it with his chain, but all other attacks prove ineffective until Dez pummels it with a Shatter spell. All other magical attacks bounce right off. Then Onavel squirms his way up front just after Tripper resists another stare down by the skull. Onavel then crushes the skull into dust in a maddened assault. The group then loots the treasure of the room:

• Ninety-seven 10 gp gems and three huge gems (a 1,000 gp peridot, a 5,000 gp emerald, and a 10,000 gp black opal).

• Gems set in the demilich construct: two jewels set into the eye sockets (5,000 gp rubies) and 6 pointed (marquis cut) diamonds set as teeth in the jaw (each diamond worth 500 gp).

• Three potions of cure serious wounds, one potion of heroism, two oils of keen edge, two potions of fly and a potion of greater magic fang.

Two scrolls of command, one scroll of slow, one scroll of arcane eye, one scroll of shatter, one scroll of scorching ray, one scroll of dispel evil, one scroll of Melf ’s acid arrow, and one scroll of power word kill.

• A ring of feather falling, a lesser rod of silent metamagic, and a staff of fire.

• A cursed backbiter spear, and two –2 cursed longswords.

• A pair of goggles of lifesight (see Libris Mortis, page 78).

• A wrapped tower (see Libris Mortis, page 76).

They then inspect the bier and discover it actually holds a hidden compartment. Upon opening, Tripper pulls out an Ogre-sized Heavy Flail that radiates a strong magical aura (Aberration Augury). As he pulls it from the bier, several in the group feel a change in air pressure in the room beyond. They round the corner to find 2 doors. Opening each, they see portals. To where, they do not know. Each portal appears to lead to the same place.

The group discusses and decides not to take the leap of faith, instead returning to the dungeon’s main entrance. It has now been 4 days since entering the dungeon, and they are not sure if they have a way back home waiting on them outside. Tomb of Horrors

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Chapter 7.5 - End Game Begins
The awkward revival of a campaign in a new system and with different players, mostly.

Omega Company emerged from the dungeon anxious about their potential lack of transport as they were positive they had exceeded the 3hr window they left with the captain. Once outside, their fears were confirmed as no transport awaited them. They waited on the hillside for several hours to no avail. Brea, Tripper, Onavel, Corwyn, Harlos, and Dez were stranded in the middle of one of the deadliest swamps on Khorvaire, days from anything remotely resembling civilization. Not wanting to re-enter the deadly dungeon, as well as deciding they’d be better served if transport arrived if they were visible, they opted to set up camp on the hilltop above the dungeon entrance. They noted they didn’t see any signs of life nearby. It was decided it was due to the local inhabitants’ fear of the dungeon.

At daybreak the following day, the group was roused by Tripper as a massive blur in the sky edged closer to them, slowly taking shape into a familiar and welcome sight. The Zephyr. As the airship drew closer, the party could make out the figure and then the face of a smiling Finneas at the helm, blond half-elven hair blowing in the rushing breeze.

With a whistle and a shout, Finneas bade Omega to come aboard as Slink tossed a rope ladder over the side. They all boarded and made way back to [forgot settlement name]. Finneas told Omega that he had a change of heart. On his way to Zilargo for his last shipment, he got an overwhelming feeling of a call to duty. As though he should rethink his current choice of careers and strive for something bigger, which he saw in the Company’s mission. He abruptly turned the ship around and headed toward their last known location. After some minor investigating he discovered where Omega had gone and set out to find them. He offered his services to the group in whatever manner they needed to help carry out their current objective.

The group carried on with stories and such over dinner, and turned in for the night. The next morning, in the courtyard, Corwyn emerged to find Tripper alone with Brea. When asked where the others were, Tripper replied he didn’t know, they hadn’t come out yet. Alarmed at this, for it was almost mid day, the 3 went quickly to investigate. All rooms, including Finneas and Slink’s, were empty. When they asked around, no one knew why, where, how, or what had happened.

Game Night 120909

As Tripper and Corwyn began asking the passersby about their missing comrades, a young scholarly elven woman approached Tripper, inquiring about their situation. She revealed herself as a student of the Twelve and that she had come here in a roundabout way after investigating a missing artifact. She, Astrid, offered her services to aid the party if, in return, it could help her reveal more to the mystery she was trying to unravel.

While they were conversing, a large rock-scaled man of very rustic appearance approached claiming to be a former member of Sigma company who was overseeing this region. He told the group how his party fell apart and how he went back to his home village to convene with the spirits until he was called for again. Which happened to be now, as the spirits and his village elder guided him to Newthrone, Q’Barra to seek out the displaced company of Fergus’ who would happen to be there. He, Thon, began to delve into a discussion with Tripper on the nature of spirits when a large crash and screams poured from the southern apartment alleyways.

A previously unnoticed figure dashed from the shadows toward the alleys which were now congested with fleeing citizens clamoring over each other to get away. The new Omega company followed.

When the group reached the alley entry, Corwyn caught sight of what appeared to be Dez on the shoulder of a slim, greenish-skinned humanoid just as it went around a corner. But between them was a large worm-like creature with a tentacled face (revealed as an oddly formed Grick) who was feasting on what probably used to be a Newthrone citizen in the intersection before them. As well, a Nothic gazed at them in delight from the rooftop above the Grick. Nothic

Corwyn and Tripper set to work pursuing the figures carrying Dez while the cloaked figure, later to be revealed as Ethos, and Astrid volleyed attacks at the immediate threats. Thon and his totem spirit hung back to hold the line so the Grick didn’t get to the artillery.

Dolgaunt When Corwyn and Tripper rounded the corner, they saw on the roof above, 3 tentacled abominations, 2 of which they’d seen before and knew to be Dolgaunts. The third they could only guess was the terror only spoken of in dreams, a Mind Flayer. And it was just as horrible to behold in reality. It wasted no time blasting them with its mental attacks, stunning them just long enough for him and the dolgaunts to steal away along with some of the Gith who carried the unconscious party members. Corwyn and Tripper managed to off 2 Gith and almost rescued Dez, but the Dolgaunts came back and retrieved him before they could pull Dez out of the fray.

Meanwhile, when Tripper and Corwyn rounded the corner to their scuffle, a stalky-eyed orb surfaced on the roof next to the Nothic and began slamming anything in its path with rays from its eyestalks. Astrid managed to lay an electric gate around the rooftop doing a great deal of damage and keeping those foes at bay while the others tried to stop the fleeing Gith, but the 3 intercepting foes proved too much and the party members were stolen away into the sewers beneath Newthrone. A few moments later, the Grick, Beholder, and Nothic were felled and the party quickly pursued the escaping kidnappers into the sewers below.

010610 Game Night Recap:

Kind of a disappointing night. I apologize for that and chalk it up to first-time 4E DMing learning experience.

Omega finished off the threat of the Grick, Nothic, and Beholder and, after a very brief gutting of the Beholder for lootz (coming soon), headed to the sewer entrance. But just before entering Tripper decides to get a brief acquaintance with Ethos, who satisfies Tripper’s curiosity when he mentions Gribnakh and Ethos’ tie to the Gatekeepers.

They all descend into the sewers below pursuing the captors. Once down the ladder, they end in a small room with a door to the east, which Tripper begins to head for, when Astrid and Ethos point out a secret door to the north. Guessing that is the most likely path of the aberrations, the party chooses that way.

Tripper takes the lead and opens the door, then pokes his head out the other side in the dark cooridors just to narrowly miss being smacked by a flying javelin. From the “shadows” of the dark, small scaly reptilians emerge, Kobolds. But these were no pushover Kobolds like Omega had faced before. These were Q’Barra Kobolds. They swarmed Tripper, pinning him just outside the entryway while the others had to contend to attack from behind.

Omega attempted to give quarter, to which the attacking kobolds responded in kind, but were immediately challenged by what appeared to be their leader who barked them into action again. Tripper noted the leader, along with 2 other mage-types were veiled in a sort of focused haze, their eyes a milky white.

As the battle drug agonizingly on, Omega continued to attempt a sort of peaceful end but the kobold leader kept issuing forth commands to press on. Eventually Omega was able to whittle the kobolds down when Astrid summoned an acidic ooze on the leader, silencing him interminably and melting him into the sewage beneath. One of his minions fled at the sight of this, only to meet some horrible end, as Omega heard in the squeal and crunch in the darkness beyond.

The battle didn’t last much longer after that, as the demoralized remaining few flew into a mad frenzy to avenge their fallen leader, striking with less accuracy and opening themselves to less defense.

Once finally dispatched, Omega rifled through the remains, but found nothing of particular note. During the combat, Tripper did happen to notice on the heads of the 3 who were “off” a gash similar to the one he saw on Dez, where there was no blood, but clearly some sort of incision.

Also during the battle, Astrid made everyone aware that some sort of magical device had been activated nearby. So, Omega made way in that direction. Just around the corner of a set of sewer grates lie a larger room filled with crates and such as well as a large sigil on the floor, glowing blue. Standing at the West of that sigil, apparently in guard, was a rigid gray-haired, gray-eyed dwarf in robes, seemingly unaware of their presence.

Omega approached with caution and just as they neared, the dwarf turned and asked them where they were going? Tripper responded that they were in pursuit of their fallen friends and were going through to retrieve them. The Dwarf responded that he would not allow them to pass and an exchange began that led to the Dwarf finally revealing (after much persuasion) that he was placed in charge of guarding this pathway to Khyber to ensure no one from the Dragon Between traverse to the Dragon Below and “meddle in things they do not understand.”

When Tripper finally mentioned Gribnakh’s name, the Dwarf softened his stance and eventually allowed them to pass, giving them an amulet to allow them to be able to return to the surface later from the spot the portal takes them. His only parting advice was to say that while Khyber is treacherous, not every encounter in Khyber will be perilous. There are those who reside there who might be persuaded to assist them as there are plenty of communities in Khyber who consistently do trade with those from the Dragon Between.

In their negotiations, Ethos pieces together based on the Dwarf’s knowledge base, and continual references to knowledges only Dragons should know, that this Dwarf was most likely a Dragon, himself. No more inquiry was made in this, however.

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