The Fortress of Zhon

The Halls of Zhon
Riddles in the dark...

A Parting Gift

You waited around uncomfortably while Taklinn read the final rites of passage. Gavinn remained utterly silent and contemplative throughout the process. Yet at the final readings a light twinkled in his eyes. He turned to you with a sudden smile spreading across his face. "My little lambs, I must admit that I cannot let this great warrior die spending his final days tormenting himself for something he could not have helped.

Before he left to convince the mighty warrior of aiding your cause he left you with a parting gift. A prized possession and your new guide on your adventures, Libby, the enchanted book. Though, not making a great first impression you decided to keep it referring to it as “her” and the “goddamned book”. Curiously enough, before you moved into the fortress none of you took the time to ask Gavinn on how exactly a floating book of sass might be of some use to you in this doomed citadel. Still, you gathered together and moved into the fortress to see what might await you inside.

A voice in the shadow

The sheer immensity of the halls of Zhon were astounding. Carved with deft hands by ancient Dwarven artisans in ages past, these walls stood testament to the Creon Empire’s dominion and power. As you wondered through the halls a voice, loud and cackling echoed within your mind, “Welcome fools, for fools you are venturing here…Though if you make it to me I may have trinkets I could part with…provided you can accomplish a few trivial tasks I have for you…”

You desperately searched the halls but no where could you find the source of the taunting voice. Yet, deep within the halls you discovered a festering pile of rotting corpses. The voice came again, quYickly almost with a sad and apologetic tone, “…haha, sorry about those…they were other fools who thought to find their fortune here.”

You angrily demanded answers and shouted into the darkness but were only met by further taunts. You decided to press on and see if this maddening voice might have some sort of point…or be able to deliver on his promise of valuable trinkets.

The Hall of Heroes

As you continued into the depths of Zhon you discovered the hall of mighty heroes from
when the empire was in its age of might. Taklinn discerned that they were carved by the hands of Khaor-Loss, a renowned Dwarven architect and artisan who disappeared centuries ago somewhere within the Tomb of Giants.

The clues on the base of the statue highlighted the subject as a great hero and dwarf friend, though his name was too worn to be legible. You pressed on curious of what else you might find within these vaulted halls.

The altars of sacrifice

As you journeyed deeper within the fortress the presence of Libby began to grind your teeth. Its constant baiting and insults were beginning to get on your nerves. For the most part, ignoring the flying pain the ass seemed like the best way to deal with it. Yet, obnoxious flapping books were not your only concern.

You came to a set of enormous stone doors, barred and unmovable and very near to them, a single column, ringed with blades and altars. As you drew near a voice cackled seemingly from the darkness and reverberated it’s loathsome derision into your very minds. “I see you have found the entrance. Have fun figuring this one out. Admission is not free…” Stone walls shot down from the roof forcing you into close proximity of the column and altars.

As you gazed upon the altars you saw a decrepit monument with four glowing altars each with different sacrificial offering piled on top. On the gold altar were piles of memorabilia, personal affects and children’s toys. on the red altar, piled high are sacrifices of blood, flesh and body parts. On the blue altar you found items that glow with a faint magical property. Although they seem to possess magical properties they are all mundane items. A wash cloth, a cup and a pile of spoons. And on the green altar you found pieces of rotting tissue, dead plants and molding pots of viscous liquids. You don’t know what they were comprised of, but it smelled horrendous.

You realized that sacrifices in the same nature as what had been previously paid was required to pass through the great doors. AS you each contemplated what to place on the altars. Davlin took the time to shit in the corner, which greatly displeased Brother Taklinn. In the end the choices were made and placed on the altar. As you placed them a terrible rumbling was heard and from the ceiling a swarm of spiders descended on you. You dealt with them quickly enough and the walls retracted back into the ceiling.

The Door of Riddles

You came upon a great Dwarven door. Taklinn alone could decipher a means of opening it. He recited the riddle, “I open at the close, when blood lies softly on the hero’s shadowed floor.” After much debate, and a lot of trial and error, Libby was able to fully decipher the meaning of the riddle and you progressed further into the ancient Dwarven built fortress.

Trials upon Trials

Deeper in the hall, through a maze of traps, beyond a locked cell hiding a gargantuan monstrosity you came to the court of the undead. Trapped once again and locked in captivity with these aged skeletons, your only key to escape was yet another painful riddle, “Thou who art undead art chosen…in thine exodus from life seek out the ancient land of lords…when the awakening words art spoken…the fate of the undead thou shalt know…” It appeared that this ancient court of nobles has kept vigil until one might come and speak the words of awakening. Though what those words might be none could say.

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A Path of Burdens
Zhon weighs heavily upon your shoulders

A Path of Burdens

Over the top!

The towers roundabout steps and observation platform provided little ease of escape for you as you flew from the undead horde. You weighted your options carefully. Several plans were suggested though none seemed particularly desireable. Taklinn mentioned charging at them full force; a bold but ultimately futile end. He seemed to think that facing the enemy head on would be better than trying to circumvent the problem. Lautrec mentioned that perhaps the tower might be brought down upon your enemies, the seemingly dilapidated structure might prove the most effective weapon against the vast horde. Taklinn outright rejected the notion and further ignored any comment made by Lautrec, the minor respect he had for the knight seemed to evaporate with the sound of his voice.

Cade ultimately provided the best option and the means to accomplish it. The party would rappel down the side of the tower with Cade taking point and providing a well rigged climbing route as he had a climber’s kit with him. As he began to put on the climbing shoes and mentally prepping for the task ahead, and epiphany struck him; Cade barely knows how to use this equipment. The party then began to argue slightly as to who should take the lead position, the path down wasn’t particularly difficult, but required that the lead climber rig up a piton path to ensure the safety of the rest of the climbers. It was Davlin who came forward and took the mantle of responsibility. His background as a forest guide lent greatly to his ability in rappelling down the side of the tower. Having lead many strangers through the wilderness in Maw had given him ample practice in navigating these sorts of dangers.

With a nimble foot and fast hands, Davlin rappelled safely to the ground with a strong support system in place for any who would follow. Carefully, he surveyed the area at the bottom of the tower for any present dangers and signaled that the remainder of the party should join him. Taklinn was next over the side of the observation platform. Dropping too quickly onto the angled slope of the tower’s roof caused him to quickly stumble over his own feet. He slid to to the roof’s edge and fumbled desperately, trying to gain a foothold, but his fingers fell short of the edge and he fell off, landing with a loud thud next to Davlin. Rahm came down next, swiftly and with little trouble. He and Davlinn continued to survey the area for any potential trouble. Lautrec came down next, sliding the last five feet to the ground, his heavy armor, though very protective, was difficult to maneuver in. Finally, Cade took up the rear making sure to disassemble the climbing rig so that his kit could be reused. Upon pulling out a stubborn piton, Cade lost his balance on the roof and fell backward off the tower landing with a painful sounding thud next to Taklinn. The two smallest members of the party groaned as they stood up and quickly quaffed a health potion before beginning their tactical retreat.

The swimming pool

The initial plan seemed to be to head back to the entrance of the fortress and try to move northward into the fortification. Taklinn proposed heading back to the healing font to get some rest and garner some morale. The fountain, however, proved to be tainted by the corruption that lingered within the fortress. Frustrated and exhausted by your prolonged battles, you took a short rest at the giant bonfire near the gates. T

he carnage still littered the nearby area. Despite Taklinn’s early efforts to cleanse the festering grounds, a sense of unease permeated the air and hung upon you like a thick a fog.

Legion

You rested, though your mind was wracked with the things you had witnessed in this place. You had been here only a short while yet Zhon was testing your resolve. It was hard not to feel as though you had been lost at sea for some time and you started to look at your companions in a darker fashion. You pushed these thoughts to the back of your mind and pressed forward. Taklinn taking command once again suggested the Northward route, as cobble path would surely lead to somewhere.

Cade and Rahm took point while Lautrec, Taklinn and Davlinn hung in the rearguard. Rahm headed East, toward a rocky hill, as you moved up the cobblestone path while Cade moved further North, discovering a bridge that spanned a vast gorge. Taking great care with his approach, Cade began to creon the bridge. Though his vision was obscured by the darkness he was able to see a large amount of undead guarding the bridge arrayed in a fighting position that spanned the bridge itself. Cade and Rahm quickly retreated back to the rest of the group’s position to discuss their options. On the trip back, though Rahm maintained a stealthy pressence a flight of arrows flew through the air and pierced his armor.

Retreating back to the cover of the rearguard position, you discussed what might be done. It seemed like there was no option but to push forward through this undead legion. Taklinn expressed a need for caution when approaching the bridge but LAutrec was having none of it. He strode boldly from the cover of the ruins and made his charge against the legion. Cade flanked out to the West to try a more tactical approach. Rahm struck East to see is there also might be a way to circumvent this problem while Davlin Taklinn brought up the rear.

Battle on the Bridge

Lautrec continued his headlong charge undaunted by the arrows that bounced harmlessly off of his armor. He came to grips with the enemy even as they manged to pierce the plates in his armor with javelins. Checked in his charge by the Javelin that pierced his armor, Lautrec lacked the defense necessary to stop the hail of arrows that ultimately brought him low. Lautrec lay on the bridge slowly bleeding out by more than a dozen arrow wounds.

Seeing your ally brought down so quickly made you rethink your tactics and you tried to develop the best way to deal with the menace in your path. Taklinn, undaunted by a legion of undead warriors through his fireball into the ranks. The explosion rattled their teeth and armor, yet, most were unscathed. Having depleted his most powerful spell to little effect, it dawned on Taklinn that this might not be the best way to approach a legion. He silently cursed Lautrec for leaping into the fray. Perhaps there might be a better solution?

Bartering with Bones

With no capacity for a flanking maneuver, and being confronted with a two rank deep legion commanded by two orc centurions and supported by two compliments of goblin rangers, you felt the party had little chance to cross the bridge alive.

Using guile and cunning, Cade had closed with the undead legion without their knowledge. Peering out from the corner of the bridge guardrails, he could easily see how desperate the situation had become. Lautrec lay bleeding on the ground, his chest riddled with arrows and javelins. As he struggled to breath, Cade took stock of his options. A notion came into his head and he quickly shimmied up the bridge posts. With a smooth, surefooted run he made his way to the Orc Centurions.

Caring little for safety, and no longer concerned with stealth, he violently shook a bag of coins at the menacing foes, grinning ear to ear. Though, as he approached with his plan slowly forming in his mind he realized that he had neglected one very important piece of information: he doesn’t speak Orcish. Still, undeterred, Cade continued trying to get their attention.

The Orc centurions growled in a strange language at Cade. At their Utterance Rahm’s ears perked up, and he began translating this peculiar bartering among enemies. “Cade, he is asking if we would buy their honor.” Rahm shouted, trying not to get pierced by a legion’s sword. “And I think if we play this right, we could succeed. His friend is weary, though.”

" If it keeps us from dying on this bridge, I am OK with it." Cade shouted back at Rahm, trying to hold the attention of the centurions. “What would you have me relay to him?” Rahm asked, tension edging his words. “What’s happening up there?!” Taklinn, having been kept out of the loop by his rear position, was now approaching the scene and assessing this very strange event.

“Don’t send any more fire this way just yet.” Cade said, shooing his mentor. Taklinn felt hurt at the Halfling’s words muttering, to himself, “not even a little?”

Rahm began rapidly translating, attempting his best at diplomacy. The Centurions, more curious and greedy than anything else, began to listen to their proposition. The Orcs were in disagreement with each other, not fully being capable of deciding whether they should just simply kill the ones with gold or abandon their post for a Halfling’s purse.

While the orcs argued among themselves, Taklinn realized that there may be a way past this, after all. He revived Lautrec, much to his chagrin, and from his pack he pulled the Scepter of Gwynn. Holding it aloft, he moved towards the undead horde with a grim look in his eyes. Rahm, sensing the change in their attitude towards their enemies took on a new tone.

The Legion immediately responded, snapping to attention and making way for the holders of the scepter. Cade, his plans shot to ruin, placed his purse back on his belt and climbed down from the bridge guardrails. You continued past your enemies, sticking close by each other with the scepter never fully out of your sight.

The Dragon

As you made your way past the ranks of vile creatures that yearned to taste your blood, you felt a sense of relief as anxiety passed into almost hope. Yet, even this was to be short lived.

You felt the air around you beat in a furious pattern as sweat dripped from your brow. Char and ash stirred in the wind as sulphur and brimstone filled your nostrils. An immense shape thundered to the ground and erupted in a furious roar as fire dripped from it’s fanged maw.

The dragon paused it’s rage only for a moment as the horde cowered and prostrated themselves to the beast. The eyes of the dragon, nonplussed, glowed with a bright ember. In a flash the entire horde evaporated into piles of ash, their screams still freshly echoing off the canyon’s walls. It then turned it’s attention to you and the curious item you held in your hands.

A Deal is a Deal

You spoke with the dragon at length. Rahm, somehow, seeming able to communicate with the beast in its own tongue. You tried your hand at bartering for safe passage, but, the dragon was a different sort of trick. Able to see through your threats and find any bribery utterly pointless, it seemed to continue bartering with you if only to disprove your arguments and laugh at your naive mortal concepts.

Lautrec, a true paladin of war, held little favor in discourse with a creature hellbent on destruction. The notion of having to talk with this foul beast drove him to the point of rage and with a mighty warcry he leapt into battle, his two Khopeshs raised high. Despite Taklinn’s insistence that there must be a way around the dragon, beyond dying in attempt to kill, Lautrec was determined to see evil vanquished.

His Khopeshs sang as he cut through the air and into a part of the dragon’s flesh. Without warning and with a speed that froze you in your feet, the dragon picked up Lautrec and crushed him in its claws before devouring the knight whole. It’s belly shook with thunderous laughter, a response to the knight’s courageous attack.

As your desperately tried to keep your bowels from evacuating into your pants, you noticed a distant figure approaching the beast from the opposite side. Whether it was friend or foe you could not say, though perhaps this new challenger might prove diversion enough for you to escape unnoticed.

The dragon would not be swayed though. You held the scepter of Gwynn, a mighty prize in any hoard. Taklinn began inciting the dragon’s wrath, despite Cade’s warning, and the dragon began rearing up for what would surely be your last moments alive. Yet, from the back of the bridge, the armored figure began charging to your location.

Mysterious Stranger

The armored figure violently slammed into the rear of the dragon, causing it to lose it’s footing. Seizing the opportunity, the man shifted his weight, and with great effort shoved the beast to the edge of the bridge.

Inspired by this show of might you quickly rushed to his aide, throwing everything you had at the beast. Taklinn called upon the Lightbringer and summoned the divine blades of his ancestors to taste the dragons flesh, while Cade nimble ducked and slid from one side of the beast to the other, dragging his blades across the dragon’s hide. Rahm took to the front, battering the beast with a flurry of tremendous blows while Davlin took steady aim and filled the air with his arrows.

Together you slew the great servant of Calinda, and with a final shove from Tarkus, the unkown knight, the beast slid off into oblivion.

You attempted to thank this man for his deeds, but Tarkus simply shrugged, gave his name and continued back the way he came. You followed him trying to ask as many questions as possible. His only response was a simple shrug or grunt.

Eventually, you came to a great portcullis that lead into the actual fortress. The gate seemed rusted shut and any attempt you made seemed for naught. As you began discussing the finer points of infiltrating a fortress, Tarkus sat aside his shield and sword. He gripped the bars of the gate, and with a grunt of effort, ripped it up from it’s ancient resting place. You moved through the gates and into the courtyard.

It took some convincing, but, Tarkus came with you and there you were met by your long lost friends.

Reunion and Sacrifice

You were elated to see Heike and Gavinn alive and well again, yet the horrors at which they had suffered left you shivering with fear. Barely escaping with their lives, the two told tales of what had transpired below.

They also brought with them Dahlia, who had fallen to the manifested evils of Heike’s memories. Blessing her body, and consecrating the ground in which she was laid to rest, Taklinn felt there was little else he could do, clearly seeing the anguish within Tarkus and Poosh. The two friends then stood back to back. An eternal vigil on the grave of the one they had sworn to defend.

Gavinn turned to you, “Now, things will start to get hard. Stay close, little lambs, The Fortress has only just opened to you.”

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The Adventure Continues
Our Heroes are Tested

The Adventure Continues

The Path From the Pool

The group ceased their revelry in the rejuvenating waters of the Lightbringer’s baptismal font and continued West, gathering up some health potions along the way. At first they encountered only ruins yet, beyond this there seemed to be several lights glowing in the distance. Readying themselves for battle you chose to defend a narrow path between to large ruins. Davlin moved into tactical position while Cade scouted the enemy ranks. Goblins, more of these damned creatures seemed to lurk about than usual. Yet, with Taklinn at the helm, you leapt into battle.

Their encampment proved little challenge even as they surrounded you on all sides. You managed to cut down their leader and show no quarter to what remained. Something began to gnaw at the back of your mind, however. Are you truly crusaders who bring with them the Light and all of it’s glory and purity? Or, are you mere marauders who massacre what may only seem evil?

The group seemed more concerned about what lay just over the next horizon than the implications of their actions and pressed further West. There seemed to be some commotion out that way and you found several ruins and heard what sounded like distant battle. Yet, the ruins caught your eye, if only because of the notes left by the mad acolyte.

Drinn the Digger

Within a large ruined tower you encountered Drinn, the insane archaeologist who had stumbled upon possibly one of the greatest discoveries in the forgotten fortress. You approached him cautiously. Even as you extended your hand peace, your companions flanked and surrounded the lone man. He seemed harmless enough, yet, he continued muttering what seemed like phrases and talking to himself:
“….iit burns………touch….it burns……it..the it….THE” he said with a fevered tone. “Do you need help, my friend?” Taklinn called trying to assess the situation. " ….help..?" Drinn seemed more confused than anything, yet, Taklinn continued talking to him. The smell of burning flesh was pungent in the air. “You seem troubled. We may be able to assist you. Stop the burning.” “You cannot stop.” Drinn laughed, his voice high and cracking. " Can you show me what you have there?" Drinn seemed to be holding something large against his chest as he rocked back and forth on the ground. " …it came to me…The…the others..fled when it came to me…." “How inconsiderate of them! Can I see it?” Taklinn edged closer to Drinn while signaling to Rahm, Davlin and Cade to find other areas to approach Drinn.

In the distance the sounds of battle were beginning to fade, yet, remained unmistakably clear. " …it is mine…." “Oh of course! I don’t want what is yours. I am a servant of Light – I don’t wish to commit thievery. You’ve merely piqued my curiosity. Perhaps if I new what it was, I could stop it from hurting you.” " It was….IS his…." “Whose?… Taros?” Taklinn said with some trepidation. The cultists’ handiwork still hung fresh in his mind. " …it’s mine now…but he longs for it….he is near Taros has no power here!!! NO POWER" " Praise the Light! We don’t care much for Taros either. May I come inside?" Taklinn said with a sigh of relief. But, he still didn’t fully understand what was happening here, he began to move closer inside of the tower. “…it is mine….” " I don’t want it. I am Brother Taklinn, sevant of the Light, and you are?" " I serve none but him..he has called for me now…we will be one now…..I and it…." Drinn slowly began to slump over, his body emanating bright light. "Who is “he”, friend?" said Taklinn. “Can I know him too?” “it is done…..” and with that Drinn’s flesh began to flake off in asg as the his body became a bright beacon, filling the room with blinding light. “I… guess not.” Taklinn said edging closer to what seemed to be a dead Drinn.

New Light

Yet, as his ashes fell piled on the ground, the light from the item he was holding close to his body began to fill the chamber to the point of causing blinding pain. A shock wave erupted from the item knocking down Cade and Taklinn. In the area where Drinn was there lay an intricately detailed staff that arced electricity form multiple points. It cast a dull glow on the ground and looked to be made of solid gold. Taklinn approached and grabbed the staff and was immediately met by pain as electricity arced from the staff and through his body. Though in minor shock from the experience, Taklinn recognized it as the Scepter of Gwynn, though of it’s history or nature he could recall very little save that is designed only to harm the unworthy. Rahm and Davlinn attempted to touch and were both shocked while doing so. Taklinn Shrugged and strapped it to his pack. There seemed to be some commotion to the South, it looked like there might be some sort of small settlement there.

Not all is as it seems

Cade took point on scouting out the settlement area. If you could call it that. It seemed like there was only a tall, run down tower and two houses in dire need of repair. Yet, as Cade approached he heard the distinct sounds of two people arguing. An enraged man and a helpless woman were in the midst of a very heated discussion.

“You lying bitch! I’ll have your head if you don’t speak the truth! Enough men have died today on your account” the man shouted angrily. “Please! I don’t know what you’re referring to!” The woman sounded utterly distressed. Cade, trying to rush to the woman’s rescue began trying to break down the nearest house’s door, thinking the arguing had to be coming from there. Taklinn hurried to his side. As they forced the door open they discovered the house to be entirely empty. The argument seemed to be echoing to them from somewhere further South.

" I will wipe that lying grin right off of your whore mouth. By all the glory of the Warbringer, I swear it!" the man was surely of the Order of The Warbringer. But, even knights know courtesy. Perhaps this brute had grown a thirst for bloodshed. “Please m’lord!” the woman seemed to be sobbing now. “Save your begging for the afterlife. Mercy is not my domain. Justice…justice will prevail here.” the Warbringer said. Utter disgust seemed to edge every word as he spoke to the woman.

Quickly, Taklinn dispatched Davlin to quell the trouble and end any man who might hurt a woman. Davlin turned the corner and the sight he saw struck him dead in the chest. Between to large piles of mutilated bodies stood a knight in golden armor wearing the raiment of the Warbringer. In one hand he clutched a cruel, scythe looking weapon. In the other he gripped a woman by her hair. Both were spattered in blood and gore. The woman seemed in dire straits, balling and pleading with the knight.

Oddly, the knight seemed relieved at Davlin’s sight. “Good sir elf…” he began. “Thank the gods!” Taklinn strolled around the corner completely nonplussed. “Hello friends, what’s the news? Lovely day, eh?” he said, a halfhearted smile on his lips. “Soon…it shall be.” the knight said, his voice grim and determined. “How much for the woman’s life?” Taklinn asked, his hands slowly moving to his hammers. “…never enough.” the knight replied. The knight raised his cruel weapon high, as if to bring it down on the woman at his feet. Swiftly, with a deft hand, he brought the blade through the air with a sigh. The woman’s neck opened in a spray of blood. She collapsed to the ground, motionless. The only sounds were the slight gurgling noises she made as life ebbed from her body.

The Battle is Met

With a silent battlecry, Taklinn met this act with holy fire. The fight raged for a time, the knight was no trifle. Through it all he denounced their actions, “Fools! Don’t you see? I’ve saved her! I’ve saved us all!” Whether he spoke with the madness still fresh from the slaughter he had been a party to or blood lust none of you could say. Still, with steady resolve, you managed to batter at his thick armor and bring him to his knees. “May the light never see your folly!” “You are the fool! The Light sees all!” Taklinn cried defiantly. " May the light judge your sins" the knight said, steadying himself for further combat. Yet, as the fight progressed, he seemed to be holding back. Paladins, even ones as dishonorable as this, normally attack with the holy magic given to them when they take their oaths. Yet, this knight only relied on steel.

“Should we retreat?” Cade asked sensing that something was not entirely right with this paladin. Taklinn, slowly coming to the realization that he may have jumped in over his head, began to calm down and approach the situation with a bit more diplomacy, “The Light forgives foolishly, friend! May we do the same?” The knight spoke more with the sounds of exhaustion than fury, “Now you wish to speak?! You, who would desecrate my brothers?” he said motioning to the pile of crusader’s whose bodies had been burned to ash by the holy fire of Taklinn’s spell.

“What did you expect? You acted without mercy, without honor!” Taklinn said, his voice etched with anger, “And flames are a better fate than what would have otherwise become them here in this dark place.” “Honor. Mercy.” the knight said quietly. “I suppose those concepts would come easy to one like you. One who sees this world in perfect black and white. But, you have not hunted creatures such as this witch. You haven’t had to make the hard choices. This world is gray my friend! I pray that you live long enough to learn that one day.” “Perhaps you should consult the Light more and your blood-thirsty Warbringer less.” Taklinn said, a little lost at what exactly to say. “I know the thirst for revenge. I know it well. But it will gain you nothing. Did her blood bring your brothers back from the pale?!” with that both the knight and cleric seemed at an impasse.

Cade pulled his blades from their sheathes and made his way to the knight with grim determination, “I have heard enough of this garbage, armored-swine!” “Come then, naive children, come and see what honor buys you!” With that the battle was joined once again. Both sides felt a renewed frenzy to bring the other to their knees. Cade had the upper hand and pierced the knight’s thick armor. He fell to the ground, blood pouring from multiple openings, “Fools….she will come for you…..she thirsts for your blood…run children….run while you can….”

Fallen and Risen

Taklinn knelt beside the knight, praying with him and invoking the light. “I sure hope he wasn’t a good guy…” Cade said wiping the blood from his rapier. From nearby the body pile, a figure began to emerge, casting off the charred flesh and burned clothing of the dead. Hysterical, cackling laughter started in low and echoed high throughout the settlement. A voice, ruined and husky voice spoke from the figure, “Fools!” it called, “You should have heeded the paladin’s warnings!”

Though drastically changed, none could mistake it for belonging to any other but the woman who had just been slaughtered by the knight. She had emerged from the pile a ruined shambling monstrosity with eerie speed and a cold gaze. Flesh hung loosely from her bones and open wounds covered her malformed body. She lurched toward Cade at a surprising pace. She grasped him causing a great deal of damage and draining the life from his body. The fight was vicious, the woman had arisen as a wight and was quicker than she appeared and more than eager to steal life from your souls.

Taklinn, through either realizing his mistake or desiring more bodies on the field revived the knight. He surveyed what was happening and leapt to battle the undead monstrosity attempting to turn her with holy spells. She drained Rahm and continued fighting on, malice in her eyes. Yet, with the combined efforts of the companions and the knight, she fell at last. The knight, breathing heavy with the effort of fighting the risen undead said, “I told you…damned fools.” Rahm, also reeling from exhaustion could barely form a sentence explaining he was going to lie down for a bit in the house.

A Chance for Talk

Despite apparent distrust on both sides, you and the knight made a pact of truce as you tossed the woman’s body into the burning flames in hope that her spirit might finally be at peace. The house you had barged into earlier appeared suitable for a moment’s respite. There, the knight known as Lautrec told his story.

A Knight’s Tale

Lautrec was a knight of the Warbginger’s Holy Order. He and his companions were on an advanced scouting mission. Apparently the Warbgringer’s expedition had landed on the rocky cliff face far to the North in a region known as the Tomb of Giants. Though it appeared abandoned it offered little in the way of sustenance. Many scouting parties were sent out. Lautrec admitted that few were expected to return with good news or at all.

He and his companions had pressed further into the souuthern region than any before them. The thought that they might be close to somewhere hospitable kept them going, for they still had yet to come to a fresh source of water. The day they found the mountain range of Zhon marked the same day as when they discovered fresh water and the horrors that awaited them on this continent.

In the evening a small group of women sheepishly approached them. The women were covered in dried blood with bits of gore hanging in their hair. They looked as if they had seen horrors beyond count. One of them, who introduced herself as Sheila, spoke for the group.

She said that there village had been brutally put to the torch. Some mad noble woman had decided that everyone in the town would burn for a cruel god of some sorts. The name Taros was on all of the women’s lips. The noblewoman then rounded up the survivors and took them to some dark fortress to the North. Sheila said they were bound for sacrifice to this strange cult. The woman apparently escaped by the skin of their teeth and only after having watched their friends, neighbors, kith and kin tortured and mutilated.

Lautrec said that his men were stirred to action. Though they numbered only a dozen they would bring this noblewoman and her cult followers to justice. In retrospect Lautrec remarked at how odd it all seemed now. None of the women bore any sort of mark or wound from their escape and for having been captive for as long as they were they still seemed very well fed. But, most of all, every woman carried an odd amulet that bore an image of an eye. They also mentioned a weapon that might be used to battle the noblewoman, but how could she know a thing like that?

Lautrec and his men marched through the evening, yet, the closer they got to the fortress the harder it began to tell time. The sun, it would seem, would not rise on such a doomed place and thus remained in total darkness. One by one Lautrec’s men disappeared into the forest. Quietly, quickly something was killing them, or worse, gathering them. He and what remained paid little heed. They chalked it up to the evil that surrounded the fortress and the cruel noblewoman who could only be responsible for it all.

At the very feet of the walls of Zhon, the women begged to take camp. They feared what might be on the other side and pleaded with Lautrec and his men to take rest outside the walls. Rest did not come easy nor last for very long. Lautrec awoke to find that only he and his three best men were all that remained of their company. Them, and the woman Sheila.

The others had been taken in the night and their tracks lead clearly through a secret passage in the walls of Zhon. Lautrec had his suspicions about the Sheila but they pressed on. It was only when they were in the settlement did the trap finally spring. There Lautrec bore witness to his men being slaughtered and mutilated like common pigs to these cackling she-demons. In his fury he cut three of them down. His men joined him in battle and they fought the witches, their cultist followers and any who would stand against them. In the end though, only Lautrec remained, he and Sheila. It was there and then that you found him.

Trouble Arises

After hearing his tale you gave him your condolences, little else you could do for him. Lautrec came to the conclusion that fighting with you might bring some good back into his life. Losing his men had broken him down, trusting sheila had nearly driven him mad. He warned against staying in this place too long, but concluded one grave was as good as another.

You barred the door and rested for the evening, regaining your vitality and pondering on what your next move might be. When you awoke things were slightly different than you had planned.

Shamblers and Lurkers

A large collection of moaning and shuffling sounds came from outside of your cozy companion cottage. Somehow, during your slumber, a horde of undead had risen and was roaming about the ruined settlement. Were the remnants of the people who lived her so long ago or the corpses of the recently slain brought to life by some devilry? It mattered little, there were dozens of them and only five of you.

As Cade surveyed the area for threats Taklinn burst out into yard with Lautrec quickly at his heal the two fanned out and began to turn the undead. Their combined power outright slew 10 of the shamblers and sent the rest scattering to the winds. Taklinn found a new appreication for Lautrec, even if he still despised the man’s ethics. Yet, these actions would not go unnoticed. For, though they had managed to clear a path of escape, the enormous horde was also now aware of everyone’s presence. Quickly you stole into the night, Davlin managed to cut down several on your flight from the settlement, yet, more appeared from the shadows.

Rahm took to the North trying to find the best route of escape while the remainder of the group formed a plan to seek refuge within the large stone tower in the center of the settlement. Rounding the corners of the base of the tower, backtracking to find the entrance, Davlin continued to pelt the horde with arrows as you desperately sought a door. Rahm fell back to the group’s escape route discovering the North held nothing of interest but a vast gorge.

Cade eventually found the entrance to the tower and with a swift hand, and swifter feet, began the ascent to the top of the tower with the rest of the group in hot pursuit. Lautrec and Davlin held watch at the door and funneled the horde through the entrance, cutting them down one at a time. At the top of the tower the group realized there was little chance of escape so they joined with Davlin and Lautrec. Brave and efficient, though their tactics might have been, it soon dawned on all that they would run low on arrows and spells before the horde would be dwindled to a more manageable number.

Thinking quickly on his feet, Rahm dove into the horde and drove them back from the entrance. Taklinn covered him with an eruptive orb of fire. With a swift hand Rahm shut and barred the entrance and the group quickly retreated back up the stairs. There only hope now might be to rappel from the highest point and continue their flight from the settlement.

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The Fortress of Zhon
Unholy slaughter and ancient mysteries litter the long forgotten fortress...

The Fortress of Zhon

Ruins upon ruins…

The trail from the charred husk of Stronghold lead to a vast fortress that seemed to be birthed from the very stone it was set against. Long forgotten, The Fortress of Zhon loomed out of the woods like a cyclopean monolith from a bygone era. Gavinn was somewhat remiss to tell you too many details of the fortress. Yet even he could not lead you in without disclosing some of its past and why it lay so abandoned now.

Centuries ago it was constructed, carved and crafted through magic and masonry from the mountain on which it sat. Zhon was to be a beacon of hope and a demonstration of power. Those who landed on Creon’s South East coast could not make any headway inland without passing beneath its notice. Yet, this proved its ultimate downfall as the Cult of Taros washed up on these shores so many years ago. It was here the cultists established their influence and eventually lay claim to the rest of the Creon as well.

You decided that making camp was your best course of action, as no one was too keen to explore the ruins at night. Yet, your evening would not prove to be peaceful…

Heike’s Called To Action

Heike awakens from his restless slumber to hear a faint cry in the distance. Springing into action he immediately journeys off into the darkness. What he finds surprises him at first. A lone elf girl stood in a field ringed with trees and a light fog. Again and again she called, “Tarkus! Tarkus!” though whether it was a language or a name Heike could not tell.

From out of the darkness Gavinn emerged to Heike’s side. He advised caution, though the Elf maiden (Elves age at a much slower rate than other mortal races) appeared to be more distressed than anything else. Slowly, the fog banks around the edge of the forests grew thicker despite a slight breeze. From behind you heard a rough voice growl what could only be orders into Heike’s ears. Gavinn too had his arms raised high, though he was able to converse with the voice in the same language. Eventually Heike was allowed to turn around as Gavinn began making introductions in the common tongue.

The voice belonged to a tall and well muscled half-orc covered in animal skins and warpaint. His bow never wavered as he pointed the arrows inches from Heike’s face. After some talk it was concluded that neither Heike nor Gavinn posed any true threat. Poosh, however, wasn’t particularly keen to take on any more in his party. He referred to Tarkus, his leader, with reverence and devotion and motioned that you should follow him to Dahlia, the distressed Elven maiden.

Dalhia seemed to recognize Heike and Gavinn at once and leveled her blade with Heike’s throat, muttering curses for him and Cade Thorngage. Poosh advised caution and with Gavinn’s help was able to talk her down and the four of them made way for camp.

Heike met Lyle, the group’s cleric and de facto leader in place of Tarkus. Lyle seemed agreeable enough though some exchanges between Gavinn and Lyle about what transgressed beneath the walls of Anor Londo left Heike wondering if these people could truly be trusted. Poosh left on a scouting mission while the group relaxed in front of the fire, tension seeming to calm at the moment.

Dalhia seemed inconsolable and out of sorts yet the group maintained its quiet serenity. Heike pondered on the scenes he had just witnessed. Out of the darkness Poosh rushed back to camp, he had found Tarkus’ trail and lead down to a rope bridge, though beyond that he dared not go for it fell beneath the walls of Zhon.

Without warning, debate or even a second though Dalhia was on her feet and running in the direction Poosh had come from. The group quickly assembled to chase after her, though the path would be quite treacherous…

The Depths of Zhon

Before Heike could even get within earshot Dahlia had disappeared through the fog that amassed thickly on a rope bridge whose final destination none could truly say. Lyle and Poosh rushed after her, leaving only Heike and Gavinn to ponder their fates. It seemed any who ventured into the fog quickly vanished from sight and sound.

Bravely, Gavinn lead the way urging Heike on to the rickety rope bridge. The pair crossed slowly, as the old bridge swayed. A gust of wind blew out of the canyon and caused further trouble for the hapless adventurers. The bridge tossed in the wind so violently that Gavinn was tossed over the side. With his grip slowly he fading he turned to Heike and shouted, “Fly you fool…” With that he fell into the fog.

Heike continued on his trek and eventually made it to the other side of the gorge. He gathered his courage and marched onward. He found himself on a cliff face that lead to an ancient temple that seemed to be molded from the mountain side. Tall columns lead to a ceiling beyond view. Within were obscene carvings and depictions of slaughter and mutilation. Above it all was the ever watchful eye.

Heike took a few furtive steps into the temple, he remembered these symbols and the promises of danger they held. From within came the loud cry of a woman. “Dahlia!” thought Heike and pressed forward. Immediately he was met with a gruesome scene of flesh and blood littering the entrance hall. Undaunted, he made his way through the temple.

The temple proved to be a maze of horrors. Finally, in one of the lower antechambers Heike found Dahlia, alone and covered in wounds. She seemed shocked at something she had found deeper within the temple and begged Heike not to go further. Eventually, after some convincing and a few health potions, the two made their way into the temple. Corridors lead to traps, flying death worms and giant flesh golems. The icing on the cake though was the room of illusory treasure chests. Beaten and bloody the pair finally stumbled upon Poosh tied to a column surrounded by traps and spike walls. Dahlia managed to free him and carried his limp body out of the trapped room singlehandedly. The joy she felt at being reunited with Poosh would prove to be short lived as the slithering stomping horrors of the deep began to chase after them. They raced up some narrow stairs and thought their misery was at an end, but, it would not prove to be so.

Waiting at the top of the stairs near the exit to this wretched temple stood a single figure. A large whisp of darkness floated about and eventually morphed into an apparition of Heike’s former master. Without thought, the trio leapt into battle. The shadow broke down into apparitions of Heike’s parents and then again into his smith master. The trio found themselves surrounded and overwhelmed by progressively smaller pieces of Heike’s memories.

Heike was the first to fall, overwhelmed by his past memories, he struggled to maintain consciousness as they surrounded him and attempted to steal his soul. Dahlia was next, though she fought to the last, Heike’s tortured memories proved too much for her as well. They surrounded her unconscious body and managed to eat her soul. Heike proved his resilience and managed to fight, even from the depths of unconsciousness, and staved off death through sheer tenacity. Poosh fought valiantly as well, though his arrows failed to hit many of their marks, it was enough to distract the memories long enough for Gavinn to arrive. Poosh soon fell regardless however Gavinn managed to drive the remaining memories back into shadow.

Meanwhile, Back At The Gates…

As Gavinn headed off after Heike, you were left to your own devices. Though relative calm in your camp was disrupted by the sounds of distant screams. You rushed through woods to the very gates of Zhon. There you were met by a gruesome sight, mounds of mutilated bodies were piled high at the very doorstep to the fortress and a great seal of the Eye of Taros, written in blood, lay on the ground. Taklinn immediately began purifying the ground, for none were brave enough to pass over the accursed eye. Once the seal was broken the party broke through the gates and into the courtyard.

Atrocity met atrocity as seemingly endless bodies were piled high in a great sacrifice of fire. A cackling acolyte of Taros began conjuring the fallen to his aid and the party was met with a small army of undead. They were dispatched easily enough but, they left no clues on their bodies. It seemed as if Lady Calinda had gathered her followers and some stray villagers to this place if only to purify it with the blood of innocents and fire.

The group began exploring the hollowed ruins of Zhon, but met little luck until Rahm stumbled upon a building that looked freshly refurbished. After pressing your way through the locked doors you were met with another acolyte and his slain brother. One of the walls even opened up to reveal a mound of oozing flesh and eyes. After cutting down the horrors you scoured the place for souvenirs and clues. You found only the journal of the acolyte, it detailed the horrors they had committed at this place and detailed his slow descent into fevered madness, there was little left for you to find.

You left the house and continued West. The journal mentioned something being uncovered there that filled its writer with dread. On the journey you discovered a graveyard, upon entering a host of zombies rose from their graves, yet, after careful maneuvering and direction from Cade the group was able to make short work of the horde. The young halfling was beginning to prove himself a reliable commander.

Further West you pressed and there you found a holy font of rejuvenation. You all stripped down and dove right in.

And this, my little lambs, brings us up to date…

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Trials of Rhun
Trust is hard thing to come by in a land of tribulations...

The Trials of Rhun

In the court of the Lightbringers

Our adventurers found themselves at the mercy of a band of Lightbringers holding martial dominion of a strange province. Though on what land they were shipwrecked none would say, only that their fate lie within the stronghold.

Manners are not within easy reach

As you approached the stronghold most of the peasants, farmers and villagers greeted you with a mixed sense of disgust and outright animosity. Their anger seemed to be directed towards you because of other things that were developing within the province. It was palpable as many tried to spit in your face on your long procession to the keep. Yet, you made it sounds and safe, though bound tightly with rope.

The Court of Rhun proved slightly less hospitable than the village below.

You were greeted by the Lady Calinda. A beautiful and stoic woman who gave no hint at her true motives. She asked you small cryptic questions, and before she could explain much or answer any of your questions you were sentenced to hang in the village square. With that she left you to stew on your impending fate in the main hall.

Answers yield only more questions

Lord Ozric

Heroes become auxiliaries

Though you would die as easily as she may have wished. Lord Ozric returned in steaming anger and promptly set you free. He had a proposition that may spare your lives, provided you were willing to face horrors beyond imagining. The Village of Dondenn had not been heard from for a long while. Lord Ozric set you on a scouting mission to find out what exactly had happened there and why the village was so silent. He took Rahm the Swift as hostage while you got outfitted and set out on your way.

The path to the village

The forest was teaming with wild goblins willing to slash your throat, but the intrepid adventurers continued onwards and towards the smoking horizon. What lay in wait for them none could anticipate.

Burned to the ground

The villagers were slaughtered and their houses lay in burning heaps. Their flesh was all scarred and you noticed that this was not the work of Goblins or rampaging Elves. Suddenly from the shadows emerged a monstrous mass of flesh and tentacles, it’s slavering maw agape with razor sharp fangs.

The heroes banded together and discovered that fire was its weakness. Heike, together with Davlin Xiloscient and Cade Thorngage manged to cover the beasts in fire. It fell to the ground writhing in pain and wreaking of decaying flesh. As you searched the area you noticed it left a trail. Cade Thorngage, Heike, and Davlin Xiloscient set out to find its source while Brother Taklinn Lightbringer remained behind to tend to the dead.

The secret cave…

After much wandering you found the entrance to a peculiar cave. It’s existence seemed almost out of place amongst the peaceful forest. Yet, the beasts trail led into the bowels of this accursed place and you decided to journey into its depths.

The cave was filled with strange carvings of a peculiar eye wreathed in flame. Traps also filled this place from room to room. It took careful navigation and the clever tactics of Cade Thorngage to get through it. Finally though, you came to a large room. At the center was a sacrificial dais covered in blood and mutilated corpses. An insane man named Barroken turned to face you screaming, “You will all burn for Taros!”

The battle was long, Barroken had many tricks up his sleeve. But, in the end he was no match for the warriors. As you investigated his remains you found several odd trinkets, all with the moniker of the great eye wreathed in flame. You decided to inspect the dais and the surrounding carvings. As you did you began to feel light headed, you could swear that you heard faint whispers as the room began to spin. In the interest of time, you booked it out of the cave and back to relative safety.

Reunited…and separated?

As you made your way back to Dondenn you noticed that Cade Thorngage was not among those returning from the cave. There was little time to reflect on this, however, as Elves filled the air with a volley of arrows. Your best bet was to run for your lives. Eventually, you made it to a place of relative safety.

Time, was again, not on your side, as you took your first rest in days spiders poured out of the woods and into your camp. You fought valiantly slaying them all in the dark. You placed their remains on spikes as warning to any other who might disturb your slumber. In the morning you struck for Stronghold. Cade’s disappearance weighed heavily on your mind.

Mystery in Stronghold

Upon returning to Stronghold you noticed that many were readying themselves for battle. It seemed as though the entire assembly of Lord Ozric’s men were called upon. You met him in the local tavern where he unloaded more bad news upon your troubled shoulders. It seemed as though Rahm was suffering from some deadly malady and the only answers lay in an archaeological dig far to the North.

You met Gavinn, who was too friendly, and far too capable of slipping into or out of the shadows for your own liking. Yet, you had no other option for a guide to the dig site. You asked Lord Ozric if he might spare any men from his campaign against the Goblins. He stated that that was an impossibility, yet, he knew of a warrior on the outskirts of town who might be able to accompany you.

Dimo Higgins, the half elf warrior, proved to be a jolly companion. Eager to prove himself the “Goblin Hunter” he gladly joined your company and became the most devout in proclaiming his love of adventure and capacity for slaying. You learned of his love, the maid Sheila, and how he fell from the favor of the village of Stronghold. He sought to bring honor to his name and Sheila back to his home.

With new friends in tow you struck out for the dig site.

Desolation for diggers

The archaeological dig site was quite impressive. The area seemed to be carved into a massive cliff face, and it seemed as though entrances (or windows) dotted the mountainside.

You found the campsite utterly devoid of life. As you searched the area you found blood trails leading to an entrance in the cliff face. Moreover Gavinn found a journal with several pages missing from it. It appeared to detail the happenings of the diggers, though it stopped abruptly after an entry specified something about a lower level and the carvings beginning to make sense.

Without delay you hurried into the cliff, Dimo leading the charge. Gavinn was the only one to waver in the charge downwards. This prompted immediate distrust from Taklinn who demanded that Gavinn join them. Gavin, however was fervent in his decision to remain up top. Heike eventually managed to convince those willing to go to leave the old man behind. He didn’t really have much of a place to go anyway. Down you all went, into the pit of darkness.

The Caves of Taros

Inside the caves darkness permeated your every movement, indeed, if you didn’t watch your step, you could easily get lost. The further you ventured, the more traps you found. Traps and wandering monsters. You cut them down easily enough, but still managed to get turned around a few times.

Throughout all of it you saw the Eye of Taros (as you came to learn what the symbol meant) branded and hidden in all of the carved tapestries of the depiction of the Gods. At first, with subtlety and then steadily growing in size and prominence until it desecrated all other depictions of the Gods.

Pushing through traps, moving through tiny corridors, fighting off wave after wave of evil creatures you eventually discovered the passageway down. The closer you got to it the louder you could hear echoing chanting come from below.

The secrets of Barroken

Upon entering the lowest chamber of the dungeon you discovered a massive pile of charred skeletons and heard the fevered pleas of a dying man mixed with the lusty chortle of a familiar voice. From the shadows you saw the burning dais rise from the ground and Barroken laughing wildly. “Burn for Taros!” He cried loudly, and the battle was joined.

A fierce wizard, you locked horns with him and took him down with relative ease. Though in the fight, you seemed to forget that you had seen this man somewhere before. When, seemingly from nowhere Rahm the Swift leapt from the shadows. With a warning of the doom awaiting Stronghold he urged you guys to quickly run from the cave. That’s when he appeared.

Up from the depths of the dais rose a terrifying figure. Hard to behold, seemingly crippled with oozing pustules and laughing hysterically, Ghauroth came forth. With his hands he shot fire in all directions, Dimo bravely charged forward to come to grips with the enemy. He fell at Ghauroth’s feet, Sheila’s name was his dying breath. Ghauroth drank deep of his soul than surveyed the room and made quick work of Taklin and Davlinn, he had his eyes set on Rahm and Heike. Rahm took the opportunity to try some innovative tactics. First, tossing a bone from the pile in Ghauroth’s direction only to have it land a few feet in front of him, next he tried inciting Ghauroth’s wrath by peeing on the bone pile. It didn’t seem very affective.

With hope seemingly lost the heroes banded together, waiting to face death in each other’s company. Out of the shadows appeared a coughing swearing Gavinn. He laughed at Ghauroth, who seemed distracted at being unable to notice Gavinn. It gave Gavinn enough time to launch a rather large lightning bolt into the heart of Ghauroth weakening him to such a degree that he fell to his knees. With a well placed shot Davlinn finished Ghauroth off, he fell to the ground cursing saying, “burn for Taros” as blood spurted from his neck.

Gavinn ushered everyone out of the cave, commanding that no item from either wizard be taken with you. No one seemed to take the time or care to carry Dimo’s body from that pit of despair. And there he shall remain, until his bones turn to dust.

Meanwhile Above Ground

On the way back up to the surface Rahm filled the group in on the goings on of Stronghold. Lady Calinda is apparently possessed or enthralled by the spirit of Taros and has designs on the town itself, were it not for Gavinn, Rahm would still be rotting in her dungeon.

Lord Ozric and his men looked exhausted, yet proud when they met you. Apparently the Goblin campaign had ended well while you battled in the depths below. Gavinn cut in quickly and stated that everyone must quickly head back to the village of Stronghold. You raced back there, praying you would not be too late.

The Ashes of the Innocent

You made it back to Stronghold too late. Whatever plans Lady Calinda had on this place she had already enacted them with great relish. Stronghold was reduced to ashes and ruin. Lord Ozric commanded his men to begin tending to the dead. Gavinn proposed finding the trail of Lady Calinda, though the only option available to you is to seek out the Elves, a plan Lord Ozric would be no fan of.

Journey to the Hidden Camp

The path to the camp was absent of Goblins or their minions, clearly Lord Ozric’s campaign was quite successful. Gavinn maintained quiet optimism throughout the entire journey. Though you had misgivings about his character you feel somewhat more at ease at his presence. Yet doubts raged in your mind about him, how was he able to display such awesome firepower and how much does he really know?

Eventually you made it to a clearing where you encountered the warlike wild Elves. After some quick placating on Gavinn’s part you were allowed into their camp and encountered their Chief Mormegil.

Mormegil was at first mildly distrustful of your presence though after some deliberation with his advisers he proposed an exchange. If you journeyed to the nearby ruins and recovered an ancient tome then he would release Cade, the halfling hostage. After some rapid negotiation by Taklin, you exchanged Gavinn for Cade and made your way to the Elven ruins. Prior to your departure Gavinn had some cryptic words about power being within the crystals.

The Crystals and The Beast

Reunited with Cade, you made your way through the forest towards the Elven ruins.

The ruins proved abandoned apart from the whisps who lit your way and the ancient traps hidden amongst the ruins. As you navigated your way through the treacherous labyrinth eventually you discovered the crystals, moreover, you found the hidden tome the Elves set you out to find.

As you moved in to complete your quest a rather large, foul smelling demon burst from under the ground and charge its way towards you. Action was required and you came together and to out maneuver the beast. Seeing his friends having the situation in hand Heike decided to break open the crystal with the only weapons available to him, his fists! Upon striking the crystal Heike found magical energy surging into his hands, a good thing too, as every attack done to the beast thus far seemed to have little effect.

Davlinn flung himself into the fray hacking at the beast. It roared and slammed into him with it’s claws and mighty jaw. Davlinn would have fallen that day were it not for the timely intervention of Taklin. Sensing the grave danger, and working more out of instinct than anything else, Heike struck out at the beast in rage. The moment his fists touched its carapace the beasts flesh began to slough off and cried out in tremendous pain.

Sensing the path to victory all of you followed suit, blessing your weapons with the energy from the crystals and striking at the beast in turn. Eventually it was laid to ruin and rot, left to decay in the ruins it once guarded.

You retrieved the ancient tome of the Elves and now head back to their camp.

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Goings On in Maw
Crusaders find each other and a new adventure begins

The Adventure Began:

What Happened in Maw…

Maw proved to be flooded with crusaders and travelers all vying for passage to Creon. Some with motivations more inclined towards personal gain.

In Maw the adventuring company met up eventually at the Lord’s Boot Inn. Despite clear differences in agendas, the company banded together when confronted with the large number of thuggish crusaders prior to their meeting with Algernon.

Algernon:

Somewhat different than any had expected, this head of the seedy underworld of Maw was all smiles and help, though his true motivations remain hidden from the group. In fact, despite Cade being caught stealing from his office, Algernon maintained a beneficent tone with the group.

Difference of Opinion:

When confronted with the opportunity to fight for passage aboard a vessel bound for Creon Taklinn’s defiant pacifism prevented the group from quickly attaining passage. Taklinn and Cade headed towards the wharf to see if they could sign on with another crusading party. There they ran into a mysterious man who offered them helpful insight into the situation before disappearing into the crowd. Despite this advice the continued to the wharf where they met several crusaders bound for ships headed to Creon. No one was willing to take them aboard, and in fact, the procession was heavily guarded and attended as Anor Londo had only recently been liberated. Unable to find a peaceful (or profitable) solution to the problem Cade and Taklinn headed back to deal with the Algernon and the remainder of their companions.

Battle in The Arena

The Proving Grounds lived up to their name. Heike especially proved himself capableof deadly force. Despite a valiant effort though, Rahm fell on the field of the proving ground. But, thanks a timely intervention by Taklinn, he did not lose his life. Indeed, Taklinn moved quickly to any fallen fighter healing their wounds and bringing them back from the brink of death regardless of their attitude towards him and his party. In fact, many on his side became cross with Taklinn in his personal crusade to prevent death. Yet, despite this disagreement the party triumphed and earned their passage to Creon.

Life at Sea

Though initially promised a speedy journey to the land of adventure, the trek to Creon took far longer with time passing on without end. The days were spent in contemplation, mild training and an occasional attempt by Taklinn to nurture his much younger compatriots and teach them the ways of the light, not always with positive results.

The days passed in this monotonous routine until tensions grew slightly heated. No one could be blamed, though, as the journey dragged on without end.

Without warning a storm stuck the ship. Waves crashed over the sides and splintered the vessel to shrapnel. The crew quickly abandoned ship while the intrepid adventurer’s clung together for life and safety.

An Alien Shore

Despite the onslaught of the storm the entire party survived as one by one they emerged from the wreckage of the ship, or as in Brother Taklinn’s case, suspended by his britches to a low hanging branch. Together, they bound their wounds, searched for survivors, scavenged and laid rest to the dead.

Davlin lead the party into a clearing in the woods where they found shelter and rest. Or so they had thought.

A Disturbance in The Night

During the dark hours of night a young woman, wounded and terrified emerged from the underbrush. She only uttered “run” before heading back into the cover of the trees. As Davlin began to wake the party a horde of Goblins burst through the treeline weapons in hand. The brave companions made ready to do battle until it became abundantly obvious that this was not a handful, but a full legion of Goblins spurred on by an Orc chieftain. The party fled into the trees, dodging arrows and praying that dawn and the end of the forest might bring some safety.

Hallowed Deliverance

As the party emerged from the forest, the sight of wide open plains ringed by the great forest promised no respite and no cover. Yet, as the party wheeled to come to grips with the enemy, from the crest of a distant hill, a beacon brightly spilled onto the battlefield. A company of knights and horseman rode into the fray, slaughtering the Goblins and laying waste to their ranks. None were left alive and as your were about to thank and greet your heroes they laid their weapons at your throats and demanded surrender. Lord Ozric of the Lightbringers commanded this group of men. They laid heavy charges at your feet and had even arrested the frightened woman. They welcomed you to the land of Rhun and now lead you back to their fort. Though unbeknownst to them, Cade managed to slip a dagger past the guards.

Will you escape?

OR

Face your charges in the Court of Rhun?

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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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