Friday, June 24, 2016

06/22/16 Virtues Session 49: Three Tomes of Crystal

Gallant Spy
We begin this session catching up with Rydin and Syrendross at the Gallant seeing Favray off, but before he goes, the drow makes good on his map of the underdark- specifically leading us to the Staff of Power that once belonged to Myrddin Og.

Also, while at the Gallant, Syrendross receives a message from Ornap the summoner. The message confirmed the details of the Waverly farm transitioning their tobacco crops to hops to sell exclusively to Harbinger industries has been satisfied as well as a warning. The message further laments that Bathanon simply ‘will not let it go,’ and warns that someone at the Gallant is watching us and to be on our guard.

Leaving behind Rydin, because the elf does not wish to provoke any further awkward encounters with Echn Syep’s family; and Syrendross, because the drow lacked any more protections against the harmful effects the duchy had on drow; the rest of the Heroes of Virtue traveled to the border crossing into the elven duchy of Miar Moshea.

Forty miles later Dramen, with Markalis Cryssal in tow, Dolgrin, and Kyras enter the capitol city of Ferraq Tulle to a formal gathering replete with announcements, trumpets, introductions, and gratitude for returning Markallis.

Once received a student of Viralla asks if there is any immediate danger that could possibly accompany the hero’s return. The student is hastily informed of Cothar, mind flayers (illithids), and (contract) devils.

Creature comforts are provided as one by one people of note drop in and out before the formal midday gathering in front of the King of the Elves. Ambassador Korleigh Lockshire, Daughter of Dumah Lockshire, the Duke of Lockshire, anticipates our travels to Lockshire promising to carry word of our deeds here to her home. Others come and go, each one secretly counting our numbers noting the absence of Rydin (Echn) and Syrendross. Korleigh even breathing a sigh of relief after hearing the elf and drow had not come to the clearing at the end of the path.
Farraq Tulle
Time passes until a formal midday meal is set out with the royal elven court, the King Miraq, Viralla, Ky Shea, Ferrum Vigmatto and Korleigh Lockshire. Six of the kings guard and some of Viralla’s top students round out the assembly. The heroes of Virtue are each announced, even the absentee members, formally as, friends of the crown, our achievements including the border crossing trial and the peaceful recovery of Markallis (who was not present but resting comfortably).

Bards play anthems from each duchy including a national anthem for Bouvaldia, which did not have an anthem until now- called ‘St. Callis Bay.” The heroes are gifted with a scroll of the music.

During this time the heroes see many pages delivering messages as well as replies from the busy king, including one that raises an eyebrow.

It eventually comes time for the  Heroes to tell their tale of Urbport. Dramen begins with meeting Maradrell Cryssal, her confused state and how mind manipulation of the mind flayers connects back even to the border crossing trial  which had conflicting testimony there as well; and finally the Landing- where some of the party believe  had contract devils and mind flayers. However when the Riverboat Gambler Sodanum and Arcanthorth are mentioned at the Landing, Ferrum appears surprised and even asks when we had dealings with him.

The King asks if we believe Markallis was manipulated, to which the answer was yes, the heroes indicating the physical evidence that can be seen on Markallis.

There follows a formal presentation to our ambassador’s tome as well as the verification scroll after which Miraq Moshea signs the books with an added gift of giving us time on our quest: the King of the Elves assures us that when we present ourselves before the King of the Isles that Miraq promises there will be a designee from Mogerin to add there to sing and support our cause.

During the luncheon Dramen asks for a word with Ferrum Vigmatto when the second course is served followed by the presentation of ribbons, tassels, and crystal figurines of us.

The King finally excuses himself, it was at this time Viralla approaches Ferrum for Dramen, but returns with unfortunate news that he cannot (or will not) meet with us. Nevertheless Viralla offers to take Dramen to her place and to Ferrum Vigmatto’s after.

A short time later, after the King’s Luncheon, Viralla takes Dramen and the others to her smallish crystal home. Proving to be larger on the inside, Viralla takes Dramen to the ‘map of the ways’ a three dimensional crystal chamber showcasing the Ways/ Lay Lines before the Earth became its own plane. Some areas of the chamber were clearly identified with symbols. 

She hands the wizard Karlottle Senger’s Workbook, a key to the map’s symbols as well as other collected works on the Ways. Making more sense to the ‘four command phrases’ leaned from before, Dramen learns that Senger was trying to craft something to manipulate the Ways. (amulet of the planes?) Attempts to track our past travels through the Ways using this new map were unsuccessful.

A few hours later Viralla leads Dramen, Dolgrin and Kyras to Ferrum Vigmatto’s, an extravagant crystalline home that original building has been added on to over the hundreds of years, each new addition conforming to the home’s perfect geometry.

A servant receives the ambassador and offers refreshments and comforts until Ferrum arrives. When he does he seems a large presence. He was asked what was the nature of his confusion; Ferrum's response was that was surprised to learn that his brother Arcanthorth was already in Urbport and not where Ferrum thought: ‘he made great time if that’s the case.’

We reiterate Arcanthorth’s last testament that he wanted his seedy reputation to stand but he was always loyal to the king.

A short time later Dramen, Kyras and Dolgrin reunite with Syrendross and Rydin at the Gallant, (insert encounter here) but the reunion was short lived as Dramen, Syrendross, Kyras and Dolgrin leave for a certain mine house to complete the Eye contract. 

Along our journey we happen across tracks belonging to not one, but three ettins approximately eight to ten hours old as well as a cleaned and eaten wolf about a mile from our destination.

A short time later we encounter the three ettins chewing on dead humans, elves and half-elves. We killed the ettins in short order and had Lapis bury the dead after Dolrin performs last rites.

Closer to our destination some of us find traps of the noise making variety before finally finding the intended mine house.  The mine house is much like we have seen before with three service buildings, however this mine used to be an amber mine.

A woman’s voice hails us and offers us refuge from the ettins. Chanys was her name and we hastily inform her that the ettins as well as any help arriving are dead. However after Dramen divulges the reasons for our visit, she quickly leaves to retrieve Juidor.

Fitting the profile for the job, Juidor questions Dramen’s expertise while the rest of us discover the origins of the ettins…

Dramen is informed that the crystal tome is fragile beyond anything and dates back centuries. Dramen asks as to book’s origins (still thinking the iJob is for only one crystal tome) and is told someone Juidor knows for a long time presented this book to him as proof that ‘dragon’s lied’ and for Juidor to judge and decipher the words himself.

Entering the mine, Dramen sees the chamber where the tome is located is lead lined and protected from theft. Tools are readily available to handle the delicate pages but Juidor warns of unnecessary handling of the book for obvious reasons. The tome, Juidor states, is fragile, ancient and its contents to be kept in strict confidence.

Meanwhile Dolgrin and Syrendross discover  a new mine tunnel withseveral broken pieces of amber that the ettins appeared to have been encased in until  Juidor's company mined the amber and  they unwisely freed the hungry ettins. The amber was minedto pay for the iJob. Lapis closes the mine tunnel after the amber was collected.

In the secured room Dramen estimates deciphering the crystal will take a week until it is revealed that there are two more books as part of the contract making for three weeks of downtime. Nevertheless this book must be first translated, but at first glance it appears to be an ancient spell books of seventh level magic. The virtues are mentioned as heavenly and sins are that of hell; theories connect sins with drow. There is a mention of a great elven ‘event’ and how a spell came to fruition then follows how other spellcasters improved on the idea and thus created new spells.

It was here Juidor decides to tell Dramen about the other books and when we decide to take three weeks of downtime.

We are awarded 5,000 exp and the Amber covers the cost of approved creations. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Order of Ash and Cinder

The Pentagram flared, powered by the soul of one of the promised.  The Ashen Clergy assembled in the summoning chamber, beginning their prayers while they waited for the Elven Druid Wo'Kish to arrive and name which of The Promised had failed.  The Ashen were still praying when The Contract Devil appeared , the pentagram’s magic holding the Devil in place.  To The Ashen’s surprise two more devils appeared in the Summoning circle, a barbed creature and a glaive wielding devil with a writhing beard.  The devil’s seethed in anger waiting to punish whom-ever had trapped them in the Pentagram.  

I've got the details right here
Wo'Kish entered the chamber in a rush.  It took all of the elf’s discipline to master his adrenaline and carefully speak the word of binding Cothar had taught him.   The Devils calmed upon hearing the word of power and awaited their Caller’s terms.   Wo'Kish invoked The Order’s ancient Pact; the Contract Devil immediately recognizing the ancient terms.  

“Bathanon The Promised  has failed in his contract and the target has survived.” Intoned the Druid

“The Soul of The Promised has paid our price.” The devils replied.

“Then go now and revenge our broken promise, our order must be avenged.” Wo'Kish ordered

“Where does your vengeance lie?” the thirteen clergy inquired.

“The Minions of Virtue of must die!” The last sentence reverberated in the chamber , the voices of the clergy, devils and druid entwined. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Stonelord Surprise

Cothar the Trustarian Ruined!
The stink of the virtues was all over the Stonelord when he entered Cothar’s chamber, interrupting his negotiations and bindings. The dwarf’s arrival would destroy another of Cothar’s identities, ruining several years of work for the Truenamer.  The individuals the Stonelord traveled with also radiated power but The Master of the Word understood there were no negotiations to be had with a Paladin.  

Even should Cothar succeed in destroying the do-gooder,  the dwarf’s destruction would only summon the direct attention of the cursed virtues.  With a thought Cothar dismissed the Magnificent Mansion, depositing the majority of his enemies into the sea along with several of Arcanthorth’s customers.  The resulting chaos provided Cothar the opportunity to drop his current guise and planeshift home, a place no virtue would follow. 
Cothar Master of the Word

Thursday, June 16, 2016

06/15/16 Virtues Session 48: New Azurite

We begin this weeks session with a combat between the stalking Dolgrin, Kyras and Rydin as well as Barit and Kotri against the sinister Bathanon, the powerful druid, and ‘not-man’ gnoll from the night before.

As combat waned the druid and gnoll escapes by virtue of plant teleportation; Kyras chases Bathanon briefly through the streets of Urbport and appears to slay the man before he is ‘recalled’ seemingly not by Bathanon’s own doing.

When word of this reached Dramen and Syrendross at the Stone Spire, Dramen being familiar with the half-basement hideout, teleported the two Archmages to their friends.

After finding a map Bathanon and the two others used to mark their buried treasure and a quick sweep by Lapis through the half-basement, uncovers 15,000 gp in various jewelry and valuables as well as magic: verdant boots; monkey belt, greater; +1 weapon/+1 special ability (given to Barit); metamagic rod, minor (+1); ring of the sea strider; rhino hide; a ring of force shield and three potions of CCW.

As we were gathering the hoard a knock at the empty storefront reveals Favray who also followed the clues to our location. This prompts a casting of non detection from Syrendross and a scenic change to Charmichael’s.
Favray of New Azurite
Favray reports to Syrendross and the heroes what he has found out about Bathanon. Favray had tracked Bathanon along the Slice until somewhere around the Elemental Font of Earth, the assassin Bathanon seemed to be tracking someone- and that someone is here in Urbport. Furthermore Favray believes (although wrong) that Bathanon is here for Markalis or Maradrell and the target is expected upon the riverboat Sodanum. We later believe Bathanon’s target was likely Arcanthorth Vigmatto and not one of Cryssals; but before that Syrenross puts Favray on Maradrell watch for the next twenty-four hours.

Exiting Charmichael’s we saunter our way down to the docks where we are approached by a couple of half elves who attempt to steal our attention to their own mercantile interests. Rydin greets these two, states we are searching for a friend and learns where not to find that certain someone. The half elf mentions The Depths, an exclusive location marked by a distinctive buoy in the waters; and an area of docked ships around a gambling riverboat near what we know of as The Landing. 

We book passage with one of the half elves to the riverboat Sodanum. Near The Landing we see many well traveled experts, deep open canals and lanes between each length of dock as well as armatures that carry spell effects into the open sea waters instead of lighthouses one may expect. The Landing marks the beginning of open seas as well as the anchor for the armatures that extend outward like bony fingers. The Landing is a shantytown surrounded by well made vessels from around the world.

Arcanthorth Vigmatto
Armed with locate creature we disembark on the Sodanum and are pleased to be approached by none other than Arcanthorth Vigmatto (Known as the feuding lover among elven nobility, Arcanthorth’s scandalous reputation is audacious in rumor and fact.  His longest held feud being with his brother Ferrum, supposedly over Arcanthorth bedding his brother’s then wife.), the brother of Ferrum Vigmatto (A traditionalist of the old order, Ferrum seeks to restore Miar Moshea to its ancient customs, status and structure.).

Topless females explained the games and buy-ins within the private games and non-traditional auctions. Arcanthorth escorts us into the inner sanctum where the individual Cothar was literally auctioning trust. Smoke and warm bodies choked the forty by forty lecture style room. To Syrendross and Barit, Cothar appeared as a terrible twelve foot tall figure auctioning his services in binding individuals within groups into a pact. Some are human, some just appear human.

Present at this event was our target Markalis. This was followed by a brief exchange between the truenamer and the paladin and combat that plunged Syrendross, Markalis, and many topless ladies into the sea waters when the magnificent mansion was dismissed. At the end of the chaos we regrouped with a dazed and confused Markalis at a nearby docked ship. Markalis displayed scars from wounds consistent with parasites and mind flayers behind his neck.
Dramen teleports most everyone including Markalis to the border crossing while Syrendross, Kotri and Lapis tarry in Urbport a bit longer to retrieve Favray before teleporting and rejoining everyone at the border between Lockshire and Miar Moshea.

Before thanking us and making his way back to his home, Dramen asks Favray if he is familiar with the minehouse five miles from his own (where the decipher crystal tome quest is located). While he does not know much he is aware that many of the crystal mine houses are very similar design and layout.

Favray expresses is graditued and asks Syrendross to spread the good word of his drow community; New Azurite, Rydin giving the drow Favray three 500 gp necklaces to increase his renoun among his own people.

We are awarded 5,000 xp and begin next session entering Ferraq Tulle, the capital of Miar Moshea