Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tragidore: Ahead of schedule

“Bishimzon…” came a male voice from beyond the wizard’s slumber. The voice was neither hurried nor elevated but nevertheless echoed subtly within the prison halls. A rat squealed nearby.

The wizard opened his maniac eyes and looked at the solid cell door, a dim familiar light bleed out from the bottom casting dim light across the wizard’s eyes.

“Bishimzon it is time, we have to go. The time you have been waiting for is near.” Said the voice, it had a charismatic quality that Bishimzon recognized, it was handsome and undeniable. “Honestly we have to go now; the guards will come out of it soon and might suspect something. I am here to bring you in ahead of schedule.”

Ahead of schedule? The wizard stood somewhat dazed and pressed his back against the stone wall of his isolation cell and waited for the door to open.

Handragath has made all the necessary arrangements and is ready; early yes but operations are finally on course again.” As the owner of the voice unlocked Bishimzon’s prison cell, the wizard shored up his will for the assault that might come- he was expendable was he not?

As the door opened light lanced into the cell briefly blinding the cult of the dragon wizard. When the light blindness wore off he at last saw Rathwill, the speaker who was holding out a scroll to the wizard. Rathwill closed the cell door behind him, dimming the light and leaving them both in the small isolation cell.
“You didn’t kill the gaurds?” Bishimzon asked unbelievably.

“Dead bodies cause investigations, I intend to keep your escape as quiet as possible.” Rathwill replied in his plaintive style.

“Damn I was hoping to kill a particular guard before I died in this dark hole, or take him with me. What about Nhar-del?” Bishimzon asked referring to the necromancer held in maximum security.

“High Priest Ryngoth says let him rot.” Rathwill replied. “We embrace a new faith now, a goddess and She promises new and forgotten magic. No longer ancient Velsharoon… alas much has changed in your absence.”
The Goddess

Bishimzon took the handed scroll, held it up to the low light, and immediately recognized a teleport scroll. Obviously Rathwill wanted the wizard to read the scroll and transport each of them form Swift Prison. Teleportation was a perilous venture with one target, keeping distances relatively short was ideal, but with two individuals as targets for the transportation magic, the spell was sure to go awry. Rathwill saw the trepidation in the Bishimzon’s wild eyes and reassured the wizard.

“Have faith.” came Rathwill’s persuasive and enthralling tones placing a forceful hand on the scroll.

“Where should we go?” Bishimzon asked taking his eyes off the scroll to look at Rathwill.

“To rendezvous with Handragath first,” the cultist said, “then to a portal that has been opened to us since after the godswar, a gift from our goddess that will take us to our operations and to where the cult of the dragon’s highest goals will be realized.” 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

After the Stair

Vicarzo DeMarcain
Somehow this Stranger had fallen from challenging the stair with an aspect of envy to this post in the relatively new Zhentarium holding of DaggerdaleVicarzo DeMarcain had been chosen to be the new face of Beryl Mine.  Odd for a Stranger to be the public face of anything but it was important to the current Zhent leadership to utilize the trade lane they had opened with their conquering of Dagger Falls. Vicarzo DeMarcain was uniquely positioned to lead this new effort due to his talents with the Lycanthropes that populated the area near the mine.  The aspect of envy had left Vicarzo strangely charmed, enthralling to those under the curse of the moon.   When that “gift” was discovered, Lord Ferestian Halaster had sent Vicarzo to Daggerdale as his offering towards the capture of Daggerdale.
Dabraham Vistani
Vicarzo’s had assumed the identity and form of a murdered nobleman from the region, Dabraham Vistani, usurping the nobleman’s estate and wife Merasteel as well. Merasteel Vistani was a fascinating woman, she had seen through Vicarzo’s magical alterations of form, knowing that the Stranger was not her husband within hours of his attempted ruse.  To Vicarzo’s surprise she made it very clear that she no longer loved her husband and was quite pleased with the news of his death.

Merasteel Vistani

Merasteel Vistani simply wanted a seat at the table of new Zhentarium power in Daggerdale. The Lycanthrope collection under Vicarzo’s leadership proved to be a key factor in the Zhentarium success, allowing their agents to travel through areas of the dale that the locals were afraid to use.  Dabraham (Vicarzo) utilized his newly acquired estate to provide the Lycanthropic troops a staging ground while Merasteel utilized her divinations and devotions to Bane to aid them.  The very mine that Vicarzo had been “rewarded” with had been abandoned due to the were-creatures in the area, so the reopening was also meant to show the new Zhentarium leadership's power.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tales of Falling Stars (The Widow)

Hoekun Yamun was a visionary among his people, the Tuigan; horse-lords and nomads to those unenlightened of the West, vicious barbarians to the honor-bound populace of the East. To Hoekun it provided him with many enemies of which to conquer as well as resources for him to control.

A son of the Khan of his Noyan tribe, Yamun strangled his own father to usurp his title. The murder was the first in a long string of draconian measures which made Hoekun Yamun the eventual ‘Khahan’ or ‘Dragon-Lord’.

After gaining control over his own tribe Yamun went on to eventually lead them against his against his Tuigan neighbors. With startling resourcefulness Hoekun gained the alliance of the Basymit Tribe, and together they sought out others. After each victory, the Yamun sent emissaries to the next tribe with a simple offer: join him or die.

That night it rained a spectrum of colors and stones as the Great Destroyer torpedoed through Selune’s Tears and began to plummet toward some place in the North, somewhere in the Endless Waste.

Hoekun witnessed this phenomenon, and mounted his horse to approach what fell from the stars. It was a dragon, the largest creature Hoekun had ever seen. Like an alabaster mountain it moved, then spoke proclaiming to be the Stormdragon incarnate.

“You will unite your people and wage war against the people of Kara Tur, bring down the Dragonwall, and secure for me the Seven Aspects of Dragon-kind and you will be the Khahan of your people.” The Storm Dragon said.

For Yamun the greatest joy a man can have is victory; to conquer one’s enemies, to pursue them, to deprive them of their possessions, to reduce their families to tears, to ride on their horses, to make love to their women! He would do this service for the Storm Dragon and then, rule from the Dragon Throne.

(Four months ago… Midsummer)

Smoke from the funeral pyre drifted through the Widow’s nose and finally upward to the naked midsummer night sky. Red embers rose to join the distant white stars against the milky-way backdrop. A tiny dragon coiled around her shoulders like a mantle comforting the Widow and her unborn child. Around the pyre, five Tuigan tribes gathered to pay homage Hoekun Yamun, the Dragon-Lord, the Khahan. Tribal Khans, and their emissaries from the horse plains had arrived over the past couple of days to offer gifts and condolences, but each Khan was keen on the vacancy left behind as well as the men and war-horses under the deceased Khanan’s control.

The Khahan’s widow regarded the tribal leaders warily, careful of subterfuge; she worked quickly and spoke to her adopted people.

“Tuigan Khans and brave warriors I want to extend to you gratitude on behalf of my late husband the Khahan…” The widow said, her voice carrying unusually far on the preternaturally calm night. Just then a star streaked across the sky tearing a white arc along a perfect fabric of indigo.

“And to proclaim blood of the Khahan lives in me,” indicating her pregnancy. “His blood for war invigorates me and I will lead us to great victories. The gods will not deprive us of our conquest.” Her assertions came with mixed responses, most notably from the tribal Khans who stood statue-like with fists symbolically at their sides.

“You words are indeed spirited.” Came a retort, it was the tribal leader of the Hoekun tribe, her late husband’s original tribe, “but tradition does not, to my knowledge, recognize a woman as a Khan to say nothing of the absurdity of an outsider.”

At this several tribal leaders nodded their unspoken approval as a horse stomped for emphasis. The widow stood stoically letting each of the Khans state their claim and objections.

“Warriors should be lead in battle by a man not a sow that is only capable of cooking and producing children.” This new line of talk came from the leader of the Basymits tribe, a small tribe known for training the youngest warriors.

Still the widow stayed silent on her small pale horse.

“You do not even wield a weapon.” Said the Naican tribe leader, a jovial and sparkle eyed warrior who in the widow’s opinion was too handsome and pompous for any use. She was beginning to lose support in the eyes of the Tuigan.

After composing herself she waited for solemn silence to return. When only the crackle of the funeral pyre could be heard, she spoke. “Brothers and sisters of the Tuigan, there was no Khahan before my husband and he, with his insight changed that and banded the five tribes and their clans. You supported him in his crusade into Kara Tur despite your tradition- do you doubt his choice in a wife? Would you so too, soil his memory by doubting his wisdom? And…” The Widow now directly addressed the Naican tribe leader, “my weapons are my words. In the west wars are not just won by strength and steel, they can also be won with words.”

Carefully dismounting her steed she continued, “I can speak the languages of the East and the West, lead us to unknown victories, and if I need a weapon Naican fool, I will just take one of yours.”

This last bit of theater incensed the Naican leader. He spurred his horse and charged at the Widow his spear leading the way. Screams and gasps followed as the Widow side stepped the spear, grabbed the shaft and pivoted it down sending the Naican up and off his horse and on his back. With the man’s spear in her hands she spun it dexterously over her head and brought the spear tip down in a deadly thrust only to stop short a hair’s breadth from the tribesman’s neck.   

“Join me or die.” She said. These were her husband’s words, the Khahan’s words- and if she would be the Khahana of the Tuigan, they would be her words now. She knew the answer before she asked; such a display was embarrassing to the Naican’s honor.
Naican tribe leader looked up, the stars in the sky seemed doubled from thrown on his back- the ultimate dishonor among the horse-men- by a woman no less, “I will never follow a woman…”

Without another word the Widow thrust the spear through the man’s throat drowning out his disrespectful words.

The Khahana stood tall, her husband’s funeral pyre burning low in the background, and the traitor’s spear in her hand she regarded to the Tuigan horde. “Let us retaliate against the west and exact a toll for the folly their godsfall have wrought and to those who betrayed my beloved and your Khahan. They are vulnerable and many of their churches are in disarray as priests and clerics scramble to reorganize. We will leave the Endless Wastes behind, break open their temples and exact vengeance.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

04/01/15 Tragidore: Session 6 Dreams to Remember

Zadrian’s dinner date with Aurora occured at the Feast Hall of the Black Rock Company.  Two jovial halflings, Whem & Wisslow were the hosts, laughing and singing while providing a full array of entertainment.  Most of Tragidore was present including Zadrian’s companions who Aurora paid for along with Zadrian.  It was noted that Sembian beauty paid with with a draconic coin of Sembian origin. ​​Tragidore’s residents, weary from haunts and tragedy desperately needed a night of joy and the mood was a good one.  Zadrian and Aurora, in between good food laughter discussed their mutual interests. Aurora explained she had arrived two months ago during the High Harvest Tide.  The region is an important one due to Mistledale being such a good point of distribution, locations along the river are very valuable. It was during this discussion that she inquired if Zadrian had heard of a secret north flow which neither he nor the rest of his companions had heard of.

Cadthronn held discussions with a strange looking individual later revealed to be a magically disguised Yontryl who informed Cadthronn that our common enemy is The Cult of the Dragon.  Other information that was picked up during the party was that Tarbash and Robeland Lukka, gnomes that weren't the only ones raiding the weeping war graves.  Other recovery teams were out there doing the same and if the rumors were true those other teams held pacts with Demons.  Due to our previous experiences some of us wondered if the other teams weren't actually in league with Daemons.

The next morning we left for Hope Hollow and the rest home/asylum. Along the way we ran into more of the Caliban monstrous humanoids, which we quickly defeated.  Our travels were not done with danger however as we soon encountered a strange haunt,  a woman who spoke of a ring and a love lost.  The haunt drew Wendell and Zadrian over the cliff's edge falling into the river waters below where a camouflaged Shrieking Eel known to the locals as a Tizheruk grew to a giant size and attacked.  Arne’s bloodrage took hold and drawing his great sword he charged over the cliff side biting his blade deep into the Eel while Zadrian was successful at stunning the creature with a Color Spray.  Once stunned the giant eel was quickly dispatched.  On the river bottom we recovered the bodies of the woman whose haunt had pulled us over the cliff along with the bodies of an unfortunate vagabond and some pilgrim. Utilizing detect magic we were able to recover the engagement ring the woman had spoke of in her haunting.

Travel to Hopes Hollow was roughly another hour after our encounter.  As we approached the village we read the city sign that had been vandalized to read Hope is Hollow.  A crying woman was approaching from the far side of the sign.  Too many haunts had threatened us recently so the group was on guard. None of us was surprised when the woman was revealed to be an Ephemeral Echo, a haunting dead creature incredibly jealous of the living. Our battle was difficult but the Echo was finally destroyed when Zadrian’s Scorching Ray flared, his flames consuming the horrid haunt.

Hoping the worst of our trip was now behind us the party headed into Hopes Hollow but was dismayed to find an angry mob with an incarnate, Bethany Solerer in its clutches.  The “Mayor” of Hopes Hollow, Lerral Armonde was trying to quell the crowd and save the incarnate, who was dragged towards a gallows pole.  The party became involved and noticed that there was one voice that had the crowd riled up and charmed to do his bidding.  Before the instigator could be captured, he used his magic to turn invisible and leave town.  The Incarnate was saved and taken to the “Mayor”s house.  As it turned out, Learal was newly returned to Hopes Hollow, and the title of Mayor was self-appointed, primarily for the purpose of residing in the mayor’s home.  Agreeing that we would bring Bethany with us to Tragidore when we left we asked Learal to guard the incarnate while we investigated Mother’s Care rest home.

Hope's Hollow Instigator
As was suspected by my mother’s former colleagues something was obviously wrong at the Mother’s Care rest home.  A man sat in a wheel chair out in the fenced yard outside the home, his mumbles unintelligible to us.  We entered the main hall not moving twenty feet before an office door swung open briefly revealing horrid nurses wearing tattered uniforms and operation masks, quite small with pale hands. No sooner were they seen before the office was thrown into a magical darkness. Zadrian was in the hall, nearest the office when the doors opened. The roguish wizard spoke through a message spell Alan Kordova had provided, pleading for Alan to throw his fireball into the darkened room.  Alan obliged his companion since he was much further along in his wizardly studies than any others in their group.

Dark Folk
The fireball didn’t erupt fast enough to prevent two of the disorderlies that Arne identified as Darkfolk from escaping the room to attack Zadrian. No sooner did that battle enjoin before Doctor Tiffin and his horrid patients entered the hall and attacking the others. The patients were unfortunate souls tortured by the doctor, now with small bloody tooth mouths, a pale child like horror. 

Arne and Zadrian dispatch the two Darkfolk and the battle is turned against the Doctor and his minions. With the Doctor destroyed the group spreads out through the home finding evidence that the man in the wheelchair had been the fiance of the woman who had thrown herself over the cliff.  It appeared the doctor had fallen sway to the great seducer that plagued Tragidore.  Continuing their search the party finally found Dern Fosimuth, the reason for their journey.  The former adventurer is in horrible shape, his legs amputated when he had been captured by the drow.  He insanely explained away his torture, saying it was because clerics were made examples of by the drow.

Dern was crazed and seemingly near death, his words blurted in a rush as if the words themselves were painful to say, “ There's not time, Terrigan Flynn keeps him here, that sumbitch plans to murder the other two, we have to warn them, the house in the hollow in Verduran's Forrest, stronghold of many factions….Strongbox, his piece of the watch, find Flinn and make him confess, under the mayor's house...” His piece of the watch we understood, Zadrian’s mother’s group was called the goldenwatch, and they all had carried a piece of the Weirding Watch…we would return to the Mayor’s house before returning to Tragidore.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tragidore: The Manor House

Tristeza House was built by one of the greatest and most tragic of the Kordova family’s patriarchs: Alderlard Kordova, the first in a long line of family engineers, architects, and builders. A few decades after the Weeping War five wealthy nobles gathered their individual investments and used Alderlard and his blueprints to build a manor house along the river in an area of Cormanthor called the Verduran woods where they could enjoy their privacy while keeping close to Tragidore, Shadowdale, and the Ashaba River.

Over the weeks the construction site was plagued with mysterious accidents and mishaps that resulted in several unexplained deaths. Alderlard undaunted continued his efforts with singular purpose but when it was well after the promised deadline for the keep's completion the five nobles returned to find the manor finished but Alderlard had gone mad during its construction.

Over the decades the house has had several owners and occupants many of whom are rumored to have met with some tragedy or betrayal; the most recent occurred during the godsfall when the unfaithful Tristeza couple poisoned one another with drink during an ugly love affair over the same Woman. It is has since been referred to as Bitter Manor. Whatever the name, it is said that the manor house has an extensive network of secret rooms, halls, and sub-levels engineered by Alderlard the mad that have not yet been discovered or occupied in decades.

(Fifty Years ago… Feast of the Moon)

“Are you sure the Zhents are in there?” Dern Fosimuth, cleric of Gwaeron Windstrom asked Rhoma Vistani who looked at him incredulously. Doubt did not often come between the members of the Golden Watch, but ever since Dern announced his imminent departure from the group and from the Harpers, he was becoming more hesitant in his actions and overall less willing to venture far from Tragidore. In truth Dern did not want to accompany them on this bounty at all but eventually acquiesced when Taergan Flinn convinced Dern he would only be there to heal and provide medical treatment to the group if necessary.

Rhoma the Golden Watch's wizard nodded a silent answer to Dern’s question, looked out from her vantage, and could hear the signal from Branda Tulles, their rogue which indicated to Rhoma that Branda and her lover Igneous were in position near the bridge. As usual the half-elf Taergan was nowhere to be seen; searching the stone bridge for traps or similar subterfuge she mused. 
The early evening was overcast and a chill breeze was beginning to blow gently down the Ashaba Valley causing the Manor Houses’ sparse foliage to wave subtlety. The effect seemed hypnotic to both Rhoma and Dern.

Inside the old manor house the leader of the Zhentarim River Lords, Jonark Uptal awoke to his magical ring signaling an alarm. Instantly awake he drank a potion, took up his pack and weapon, and began to kick awake his two companions.

“Hey what the hell?” protested Cassomir, a middle-aged wizard for hire out of Dagger Falls. “A simple ‘wake up’ would have done just a well and with better results I’m sure young-master Uptal.”

The Daggerdale wizard had an annoying ability to find just what agitated you the most and be able to exercise it as often as situations allowed. Jonark hated his youth but ignored the wizard and turned his attention to Tanodar, a beast of a man and cleric of Bane whose anger and reflexes warranted more careful arousal.

“You two get up, I need you to focus or we are as good as dead. This exchange is important and everything I have worked for, everything I have sacrificed has led me to this exchange. So don’t mess it up.” Jonark barked as he gathered his alchemy as well as the precious soul-gems. “We have company.”

“Is it your contact?” asked Cassomir belting on his components and taking up his walking-stick as Tanodar gathered his heavy mace and trusty steel shield.

Jonark looked up at a cracked window overlooking the eastern forest canopy and considered the time of day, it was just after dark. A purplish glow had settled in the eastern sky.

“No, it is too early.”

On the other side of the cracked window the alchemist Taergan Flinn watched this scene play out. He and his fellow Golden Watch members had tracked the River Lords to the manor house earlier today and waited for just the right time to strike. Taergan was vain, fancied himself independent, and would not suffer the Harper code; he instead preferred a straightforward information gathering approach. They called it reckless, Taergan said it was because of his gold-elf blood that he was just naturally ‘adventurous’. Let them believe what they want; Taergan was here to find out what made these individuals such people of interest in the eyes of the Harpers.

Igneous and Branda hunkered low where the manor house bridge met the eastern shore. The Ashaba was calm and icy giving it a magical-like clarity even in the twilight hours. Together they could see Dern and Rhoma in position just as unconsciousness took them both. Like all magical forms of sleep it came suddenly and without prelude like falling into a well of darkness.

Alodia Nasadra emerged from obscurity out of the forest like a shadow. Intricate luminous webbing clad her lithe drow form without mind for protection but instead for seduction and coercion. A deadly viper curled around her off-hand while her entire right arm was a fantastic adamantine prosthetic limb.

The drow woman considered her sleeping victims but wasted no time and climbed up the side of the stone bridge traversing as would a spider on a wall to the manor house.

The moments stretched into several minutes making the wizard Cassomir more than a little nervous, many of his protections had expired and more were due when he broke down and asked, “Why don’t you tell us why we going through all this trouble Jonark?”

From the front door Tanodar looked toward the sudden outburst from the wizard, briefly stealing his attention from his post. Jonark went from irritated to irate but before he could respond Taergan Flinn boldly stepped out from the shadows of the upper level.
Taergan Flinn

“Yes, please Jonark share with us why we are ALL here.” Taergan said, his words matching his tone of bemused curiosity.

The sudden presence of the half-elf caught everyone off guard, but since Taergan did not strike when he had the chance, bespoke much to the young aspiring Jonark about this individual.

“Who the hell are you?” Cassomir said now utterly paranoid stepping to the side placing a pillar between himself and the newcomer mumbling the words to more defensive spells.

“All right, I’ll go first,” Taergan said in the spirit of diplomacy. “I travel with four bounty hunters who are outside this very moment who are interested in the lot of you. I however come as myself and am most curious as to why you are so important.”

Jonark and the wizard exchanged worried glances then each looked to Tanodar who was suddenly and wordlessly clutching his throat. Blood stained his breastplate as it spilled silently from between the cleric’s tense fingers in a futile attempt to stop his bleeding. A few disturbing moments later the great cleric Tanodar, the Villain of Hillsfar was dead.

Deep in Dern Fosimuth’s mind the sentient sword Clarity urged him out his fascination just as Rhoma Vistani was doing the same; neither had any idea of how many minutes had gone by but there were now sounds of battle coming from the manor house. Dern prayed to Gwaeron Windstrom that Igneous and the others were not in dire straits and fighting without them.

Without heed to stealth or caution the cleric and wizardess ran toward the bridge only to find Igneous and Branda sleeping peacefully on a cold bed of moss, Igneous snoring lightly.

“And now you,” Taergan said as Tanodar was still in his bloody death throws, “I would advise the condensed version.”

After immediately identifying the half-elf as a neutral player in this game and the fact that Jonark was down one henchman left him really no choice. 

“I am brokering soul-gems for Tragen Gundwynd’s Divine Amulet. The weapon of legacy from the Weeping War! A relic that has the potential to unite the dalesfolk,” Johark said, his passion was undeniable.

“Soul-gems?” Taergan began to inquire when no sooner did Tanodar breathed his last when a lithe drow woman entered the manor house like a whisper. She stepped over the dead cleric retrieving a deadly dagger from the man’s throat cleaning the blood off the blade with one fast flick with her adamantine arm.

“Shut up and play along.” Jonark instructed Taergan.

Taergan Flinn decided there and then that only one person was leaving here with the soul-gems. These gems, he remembered could be used to unlock more alchemical discoveries and if the Harpers didn’t know about them- all the better.

More out of habit than anything Taergan stepped into the shadows leaving Jonark who stood facing the drow woman. Cassomir, with newfound courage, stepped up between the two to translate the exchange.

“You have the souls of the men who hunted down clan Nasadra?” the drow woman asked through the interpreter wizard. During the Weeping War a famed unit of Torm clerics called ‘the Valiant’ were decisive in routing drow aggressors; most notably clan Nasadra from Myth Drannor.

“Were you able to recover the Divine Amulet?” Jonark asked before he revealed the truth of his findings.

Taergan was watching it all and knew instinctively that Jonark was holding back something and that Cassomir too was waiting patiently for a chance to act; Taergan took two vials between his fingers from his sleeves and began to mix them, in the other hand was a alchemy bomb.

Her only answer to Jonark’s question was the Divine Amulet in one metallic hand and a potion, her means of escape, in a natural ebony hand. The act was intended to convey her level of readiness.

Seeing the object of his goal Jonark Uptal quickly quipped, “Unfortunately was I was only able to recover three of the five commissioned I’m afraid; I do hope that is not going to sour our exchange, I am more than…”

But before the translation was finished Alodia Nasadra moved swiftly to imbibe her potion but Taergan instantly rendered the contents of the vial inert. This sparked a flurry of activity from each individual as Jonark, Cassomir and Taergan moved to overwhelm the drow woman.

Meanwhile outside the Harpers, after gathering themselves, began crossing the one hundred eighty-foot length of the manor house bridge.

Alodia allowed Jonark a glancing blow with his mace across her metal shoulder so she could instantly slay the wizard with a quick throw of her dirk. It was a common tactic against unobservant sentries and overzealous wizards who thought they had the upper-hand, but it also gave Taergan the chance to punch Alodia in the face with an alchemy bomb. The bomb was laced with a sonic effect that caught the drow woman off guard and off balance.

Again Jonark came at the woman but was caught by the drow’s metal arm lifting him off the floor by his neck.

For the second time Taergan reached into his sleeves and produced three vials of liquid; components that were harmless by themselves until combined... Taergan splashed the three vials at the drow causing her skin to melt off where the liquids adhered to her flesh.

The drow screamed dropping Jonark to the stone floor. She turned her full attention toward Taergan who thought this had suddenly turned badly.

Alodia stepped toward the half-elf kicking the dead wizard Cassiomir as she did. From the wizard’s robes dropped a soul-gem. She bent over and picked up the gem with her adamantine arm causing intense pain as skin continued to burn off her flesh.

“You will pay for that!” Alodia screamed in drow lunging for Taergan with the soul-gem.

Outside, the Harpers assembled near the manor house's entrance. From here they could see the double doors to the keep were open and that there is a dead body just inside the entrance. Dim lights revealed the form of a large man when suddenly a dire scream of anguish issued from inside the keep.

Jonark recovered from his near strangulation and could not believe what he saw. When the drow attacked Taergan with the soul-gem all color was instantly stolen from them both, they were changing- no had changed. Jonark stood transfixed at the transformation wrought in the drow and half-elf then noticed the Divine Amulet lying unattended, check-mate he thought.

Jonark bent low, took the Divine Amulet and the soul-gems and reconsidered. “Please consider these gems as recompense for your troubles half-elf, although I think it a paltry sum considering what you have lost today. My hands are bloodied from them already and are lighter without them.”

Taergan Flinn could do nothing but stare at the ceiling of the keep in shock, he showed no sign of comprehension. Without further word Jonark took a dagger from Taergan’s possession, turned to Alodia who also shared Taergan’s look of disconnected shock, and drove the dagger into her temple.

“I’m sure you will able to convince your compatriots that you were successful in turning the River Lords against themselves.” Jonark said, “In the meantime… long life.” This last statement came with a laugh that followed his wake.

(Two weeks later… Mother’s Care Home)

Taergan Flinn, Mother’s Care Home first patient, awoke surrounded by The Golden Watch.

“Hey,” Rhoma said smiling, honestly pleased to see Taergan awake. “How are you feeling?”

An Older Taergan Flinn
Taergan was about to speak when he saw the uneasy way each of them looked at him. 

“Fine, tired- please my flask, I need a drink.” He said as he laid his head back lacking strength until his flask entered is vision.

Taergan took it but stopped when he saw his hands- they were different, discolored and wrinkled. “What has happened to me?” Taergan said emotion welling up in his throat.

“Taergan,” Dern Fosimuth said. “I estimate that your battle with the Zhents has somehow aged you. Some strange drow magic judging from the battle scene; honestly Taergan you are lucky to be alive. If it was not for your half-elf parentage...”

“What?” Taergan could scarcely process what Dern was saying.

“By my estimations Flinn it seems you have aged almost fifty-five years.” But whatever else Dern said was drowned out by Taergan’s now familiar dire scream of anguish. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hope's Hollow and Mother's Care Home for Invalids

The Jilted Bride To Be
The Bride:
+1 glamered chain shirt (3,950 gp), +1 longbow with 20 (broken) arrows (2,375 gp), masterwork rapier (320 gp), silver dagger (322 gp), circlet of persuasion (4,500), cloak of resistance +1 (1,000), and the haunted wedding band +1 ring of protection (2,000 gp.). Coins totaling 20 gp.

Masterwork chain shirt (250 gp), buckler (5 gp), battleaxe (10 gp), dagger (2 gp), masterwork composite longbow (+1 Str) with 20 (broken) arrows (500 gp). Coins totaling 10 gp

Potions of cure light wounds, neutralize poison, remove blindness/deafness, remove disease, and sanctuary. Coins totaling 5 gp
Other Gear padded armor, spear, healer’s kit, wooden holy symbol, vial of holy water. ALL RUINED and WORTHLESS

Hope’s Hollow

Dr. Tiffan vials of acid (2), alchemist’s fire (2), greenblood oil (2 doses), tanglefoot bags (2); Other Gear +1 banded mail, +1 heavy flail, masterwork whip, masterwork torturer’s tools (+5 competence bonus on Profession [torturer] checks).  Coins totaling 55 gp

Dark Nurses Each nurse (2) had a disguise kit, a wand of alter self with 12 charges, two potions of cure light wounds, and one potion of lesser restoration, 1 dose of anti-plague, 1 dose of antitoxin.

Dern's strong box (Disable Device DC 25) hidden under the Mayoral House: a wand of lesser restoration (17 charges); a scroll of blessing of fervor; a scroll of consecrate; and Dern's longtime companion, the intelligent scimitar Clarity. Finally, Dem's fragment of the weirding watch is mounted on a copper bracelet, two vials of silversheen, two ioun torches, and a scroll of cure moderate wounds.

Riddle-masters: Whem and Wisslow. (Weekly Dinner-Theater at the Blackrock Feasthall)

What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a head but never weeps?

No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?

I occur once in a minute, twice in every moment, but not once in a hundred thousand years. What am I?

Feed me and I live. Give me a drink and I die. What am I?

I pass before the sun, yet make no shadow. What am I?

Bonus xp for each riddle solved.