Thursday, May 26, 2016

05/25/16 Virtues Session 45: Welcome to Urbport

Our session began with Dramen piloting a phantom chariot under the cover of Rydin’s illusion of a cloud bank along with, the druid Kyras, and arcanist Syrendross.

We approached a deepening weather pattern that resolved itself into the Font of elemental air. It was through this portal that a clan of deep-earth elementals returned Dolgrin, Barit and new and improved Lapis. This transportation temporarily calmed the weather anomaly and made it even more difficult to notice the font of air without magical aid. In this vein the Dramen and Syrendross study the surrounding land below the Font of elemental air making note of landmarks and typographical details.

While away the paladin Dolgrin and his followers aided the clan of deep-earth elementals in fighting off the vile elementals that were trying to enter the Evening Isles through the Ways/Ley Lines. Through this deed Lapis becomes faster, larger and stronger.

Later, around two in the afternoon, we arrive to the edge of Urbport to find a wide, albeit narrow coastal city. Low lying marshes cradle the city of ten to fifteen thousand residents of varied civilized races; docks stretch the coastline and reach out into the ocean like fingers from the Isles clawing for purchase.

Instead of a bay, Urbport sports docking platforms as well as dry-docks for ship repair and a strange stone pillar jutted out of the water to the city’s east. The pillar had a strange glowing light floating above it.

The city itself was a conglomerate of structures and styles totally devoid of the pretentious use of crystals in their culture. The bustling city possessed industry, a police force, training ground for open field games as well as fine amphitheater for public speaking. Wealthy estates rested comfortably upon higher ground that had paved roads and the only area of city planning and organization.

Rydin and Dramen scanned the city for symbols of the Eye and or elven house glyphs and while they did come across a half dozen said Eye ‘locations’ only one bore both the Elf symbol as well as the symbol for the Eye.

Abbott Emsin

After some deliberation we decided to land in the amphitheater and after speaking with a couple officers of the peace we made our way to the temple noted for the duel elf and Eye symbolage to meet Abbot Emsin.

The Temple of Knowledge and Creation had a dome that functioned as a telescope for the seekers of knowledge to track the Evening Isles course across Earth’s oceans, a hobby Syrendross started since the beginning of his quest on the Isles.

When we catch up to the Abbot, he and a half dozen scribes were tending to the care of the hundreds of scrolls entombed in the lower level for preservation. This fascinates us especially after learning a recent event altered the islands course across the planet. We know that event being the breach we closed not too long ago.

We donate all the magic items recovered from the Monk (Agent of Tiamat) as a donation to the cause (9,000 gp total value). The Abbot invites us back tomorrow for a private meeting with his professor colleagues as well as VIPs at the next full assembly in two days.

He speaks of the Landing after the question of magical materials is asked and directs us to Charmichaels when asked about Kasil.

Charmichael’s proved to be a stone structure similar to a longhouse but with a high-end flare with public and private common rooms as well as single or suites for single evening or longer stays. The food was fine and the expense low as we ease ourselves round a companionable table. We find blind Kasil deep in his cups being tended to by the friendly but quiet Chumly.

After following the blind man into the restroom Dramen introduces himself where the boy-wizard realized Kasil was too inebriated to speak to us regarding large subjects like the Ways. “Viralla said to look for you, we need you clear.” After sobering up and another trip to the john the old elf was at last ready to speak intelligibly.

Dramen did most of the talking however each of us had something to add when speaking about the Ways. At first he was at a disadvantage but he spoke frankly after formal introductions, his experience when traveling the Ways.

We talk of our journey and defeat of Tenebris and our fear that the collapse of the transitive pocket dimensions will equate to more evil unleashed upon the Isles. He relays his travels through elemental fonts… except the last journey whereby he was evasive in the details but it was the return jaunt that blinded him and he was under an oath to never reveal the reason for the journey.

The blind man speaks of his travels to Shadowgate populated by many drow.  Kasil believesthat the cost of travelling the Ways is energy dispersed to the source.  Some magic is, instead of dispersed, are changed, sometimes for the worst as it was explained his magical eye item was what contributed to his blindness. Kasil also mentioned that there were individuals collecting information on the Evening Isles in Shadowgate during his time there and mentions the drow Yathizar as an acquaintance. Before his blindness Kasil revealed himself to be a Shadowdancer who utilized the slow rate of time in Shadowgate to help clients complete magical items. 

During our discussion, Rydin Meirdarel experienced a realization that earth was once a pocket dimension in the ways.  From that realization he surmisess\that the other quasi dimensions have the potential to become worlds as well.  The Avatars know that should a dimension become become advanced enough and choose to civilize they could begin the process of becoming a world or joining a plane.  The dimensions that are breaking down do not have the features to give the realm substance and thats why they begin to break down
Cothar the Truenamer

It soon became clear that our knowledge equaled Kasil's. When asked if he knows anyone else with information on the Ways Kasil directed us to the Landing and a feared individual named Cothar. This referral came with a warning that Cothar will use us to his own ends. The blind man knows him as notorious and a seldom seen Truenamer.  Rydin Meirdarel explained to the party that the effect Kasil witnessed Cothar use was a 9th level spell Unname. When the conversation wanes we learn that when it comes to the elven kingdom, Kasil considers the Moshea family as the cause for the rift between the elves and half elves.  All but Dolgrin socialize deep into the night enjoying the entertainment and securing a room for the night. We begin next session the next morning (day 134).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Inner Sanctum of The Eye

Theophrastus entered the chamber and placed the deciphered scroll upon his master’s desk praying that he went unnoticed.  His prayers were answered in the negative.  The leader of The Eye lifted his gaze from the tome he was inscribing to discover the source of interruption.  Theophrastus was shocked to see a smile cross Alcippus’ face and even more surprised when his Master bid him to deliver the message directly, simply stating, “I need a break from my work.”

Theophrastus handed Alcippus the message, certain that the message was quite important if it had advanced through all The Eye’s protocols to arrive at The Sanctum, sometimes derided by the other students at Eresus as The Socket.  The jest was due to most students never seeing their leader work, “Where does The Eye rest?” If the other students had any appreciation for the magnitude of Alcippus’ knowledge and position they would not risk disparaging their teacher.  Someday they would learn and Theophrastus thought on that day, many would tremble.

The old master’s hands unrolled the parchment slowly as he read, a look of concern crossing his features before a grim smile took over.  “Theo, this is the rarest of occurrences, a welcome interruption.  You have brought me a message that I believe will pave a new path forward for The Eye, even under the tyrannical rule of The Mother Dragon.  Come with me Theo, your lessons will now take you into the world and your final destination will have you delivering my answer to The Great Wyrm’s court!” 

At his master’s words, Theophrastus realized his day to tremble had just arrived. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

05/18/16 Virtues Session 44: Advancing the Plot (Agents of Tiamat)

Our session began immediately after the events from lastweek at the elemental font; as we begin the earth elemental Lapis detects a ‘call’ from within the earth elemental font. Responding to the instance Dolgrin as well as Barit Coinmail enters the font with the hopes of reuniting in Urbport.

Now with our campaign smaller by head-count it now became practical to look for other modes of travel to the trade city, especially with Elvin riders along our road, possible drow arcanist haters with unknown intentions.

It was Dramen with the final idea of a phantom chariot to speed our way past the elves and hasten our miles to Urbport. With his unique flare Dramen was able to cart us one hundred miles in twenty-four hours avoiding attracting curiosity until we reach a shire-like glade with crystal domiciles indicating a small settlement. We investigate the settlement thinking it will advance the plot.

Who's a good boy?
On the ground Kyras notices the druidic work of possibly a blight druid or a volcano based druid that operates with ash as indicated in some of the gardens. Later finding out the ash is a boon from Wo’Kish. We find a path that leads to one of two wells where an armored griffon was refreshing itself. The creature was breathtaking and the first of its kind seen for each of us. Near this amazing specimen was a group of elves discussing the finer points of being an elf when we approached.

Our presence had an immediate effect with one elf changing into a hawk flying away the remaining two- a male (elf) named Markoth and a (elf) woman named Gabby. Both Kyras and Rydin state plainly we wish to rest awhile in good company.

Meanwhile an elf ranger recalled his magnificent griffon, Kyras attempted to compliment the rider and his mount but was oddly regarded as the ranger and griffon flew off. The presence of Syrendross was having different effects on the elves.
Elf Archer

All at once archers began to flank the group, but oddly it was Markoth who deescalated the situation indicating that ‘he’ (Syrendross) was like the others and unfamiliar with customs. Latterin, the spokesman for the archers, began to question Syrendross but it was Rydin Meirdarel, declaring his Seyp heritage, who said the drow was friend. Syrendross offered a hand in friendship to Latterin to which it was uneasily accepted. 

Later when Markoth was leading us away Syrendross immediately questioned him on what he meant by ‘the others’ and (serving truth) that the he (Syrendross) is not associated with whoever Markoth implied to the archers. Nevertheless he was not very forth coming under further questioning, he indicated a cozy place to rest our laurels and was fast to find a way for him to get out of this situation. 

We find a secluded area where Dramen can erect an invisible secure shelter, but before that Syrendross reaches out to his mythic counterpart to reflect on his first act of friendship with an elf who was not already a friend. This connection came with a glimpse of events to come.

Nine hours later- Day 133, we begin another day of riding the phantom chariot south to Urbport; however today is wrought with more sightings of flying beasts, flying dire animals, and similar dangers. More and more non-elves become evident, but it was the flashes of magic and sound of battle away from our path that intrigue us.

Upon investigation Syrendross is reminded of his connection with the Monitor and is struck with a sense of déjà-vu. The battle ahead, behind the terrain, were agents of Tiamat in disguise and in a fighting retreat with a group of elves defending a crystal burial mound later found out to be of the Tugatta family and one unrecognizable clan, but both involving a ‘magical cabal burial mound’ of some kind.

There was a female summoner, a five armed creature, a gill-man, a hobgoblin monk, and a mythic bone devil. Only the monk and the summoner were killed but not before the devil states “until next we meet… agents of virtue…” as he fled the scene; what immediately followed was a frantic race to staunch the bleeding the mythic bone devil inflicted on Syrendross; soon the bleeding stopped but it left the drow fearful of the next time the mythic bone devil appears.

Turning our attention to the elf defenders Dramen, Kyras and Rydin asks a series of questions about the mound but given the presence of the drow they were not sharing with their information. Ryras expressed interest to investigate the mound but was rebuffed. They did however tell us that this mound was not their enemy's only target, the elves said the Agents of Tiamat mentioned needing to be somewhere else tonight (probably to be detailed in a DM post later). 

Recovered from the encounter was 2,500 xp and bracers of armor +2, amulet of mighty fists +1, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1, potion of bears endurance, bulls strength, cure serious wounds, 3 master work javelins, 2 alchemists fire and 223 gold.

We waste no time as Dramen brings into existence another phantom chariot to take us the last leg to Urbport where we will begin next session. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Seeing is Believing

His elven eyes picked up on every low light glint off every facet of crystal the phantom chariot soared over in the night. Rydin Meirdarel-Seyp was lost in thought, a deep contemplation that had consumed him since his mind heard the devil's words identify his virtuous endeavor. His thoughts wafted to recall his mythic sponsors knowledge of she known as Tiamat . . .

Tiamat has very integral and natural ties to the world of ancient earth, ties that stretch back to the very formation of this place, before it was even a world of its own.  You see, then she was more re known as a devil, ruling over its first layer, in essence the door to the Nine Hells ( for that is it what it was known as then) than she was a divine ruler of dragons. She sought to claim the world as a new domain of Hell and use its conquest to launch a war to claim a second layer of Hell to rule over. But the races of elves, men, dwarves, halflings, and dozens of other races including dragons devised a plan to rob the Devils, the Demons, and the Void of Undeath of their collective victories. They decided the world could not be a world of life without a sun. A very squat, dark dwarf named Mobutu was tasked with building a fire, a sun, from a flame from each of the Nine Hells. The races of Heroes would then bind all of the unholy fires' fury within a sphere of goodly virtuous piety to contain and direct the forges of ambitions and mortal accomplishment. Naturally, Tiamat's was the first flame stolen, and through that theft the others grew subsequently easier as Mobutu learned the secrets of Hell. It was also Tiamat that realized that if she held sway over the sins the virtues hoped to contain, it would serve as her second root in the world with a Sun. That was when her plans started to change.

Snapping back, he recalled the vague tidbits his Dragon had told him of the spawn of Tiamat. The power they exerted over the rest of the world, the fact they brought the Mother of Chromatic Dragons to this world. They were just words until today. And it seemed after their inter action with a mythically gifted bone devil, Rydin was certain the sins would be using their devilish minions where their dragons could not go. It seemed just as obvious the evil dragons had been able to establish strongholds in the ways to watch the gates for weakness allowing the dragons to enter through the old roads.