Sunday, October 4, 2015

09/30/15 Virtues Session 21: Piercing the Veil

You killed my son, my only boy.” The corpse of Noel voiced through busted teeth, and rotting flesh pointing at Rydin with a crooked taloned finger.

Overhead the cackling mantical flapped his horrific wings as the cleric Chriay cursed, his silence defeated by the drow arcanist. The moon had retreated behind thick clouds as if hiding from the undead soul knight, the former Sheriff of Hillshade and Denosia the failed cohort.

Noticeably shaken Rydin took up his elven curved blade and silently vowed to destroy the cleric for this atrocity.

Not so my lady, your son died valiantly defending the innocent.” Rydin answered more to himself that to the undead woman that came at him.

All around the magus his friends took up arms against the undead forms of their old friends as above in the night sky Syrendross took aim at the mantigal. This was the length their adversaries would go to hunt down and defeat the agents of Virtue. We must be wary of whom we befriend, Rydin thought as he surged with insight at the notion of a dwarven cohort.

The game session begins after a couple of weeks after our battle with the behir and the discovery of the Aegis of the Ages. In that time Dramen was successfully able to commune with his host Smendric to ensure that agents of Virtue would be tasked with transporting the invaluable treasures and knowledge to a more secure location. In the meantime Syrendross and Dramen commit this location to memory if teleportation was necessary in the future. Dolgrin and Rydin discovered together that while the elves used existing dimensions for travel it was the dwarves that anchored way-points to earth.

We were also able to create modernized versions of ancient forgotten magics as we all waited for members of the Order of the Lynx to arrive as guardians of the knowledge until such time as the Dragons of Virtue and or our hosts secure the Aegis.

On the morning of day ninety-six five knights of the Lynx, led by Echs, informs us that he was made aware of our situation and purpose as well as the value of the Aegis of the Ages. They have come prepared to stay up to a month if need be. Kyras warns them of some of the local dangers including the cottage over the cave, although they have heard of a ‘dark knight’ in this area before, as well as the Ogres Gerdo and Kerkenilin who serve the giant king. Although they did not seem to put much stock in what was likely another giant-come-lately who fancied himself Macron.

Noon we depart to the lower reaches, blasted volcanic regions, and foothills were we first encountered a flying scout that portended a battle ahead. Though Syrendross was able to startle what was known as a mantigal away, we soon encountered the main group tasked with hunting us down.

In the night we came upon a evil cleric and the mantigal who was accompanied by the dead and reanimated corpses of Sheriff Radolia, the widow Queylia, Ranger Denosia and his mother Noel. It was an emotional battle but one we were able to overcome. Using some of our gear lost when Syrendross, Kyras, and Dolgrin perished they tracked us down in an attempt to finish the job.

In the end we gathered our belongings and buried the dead- Dolgrin laying them to rest, and continued down the slopes to the Elemental Font. Two days after leaving Echs and the Order of the Lynx we see that the five score of dwarves at the Elemental Font was now also populated with some refugees seeking refuge from the chaos of the duchy.
We spend time with a dwarven spell-caster named Osera who sealed the font all those years ago and offered to remove her doings. She tells us that concentration and visualizations will help us get to where we want to go- Bouvet Keep. We will undoubtedly encounter several symbols that Kyras, via his host, will use to guide us but to be wary of sigils marking House Teppes that signify evil sympathizers could be present.

We discuss plans; Kyras holds to the notion to travel to Miar Moshea post-haste, but is persuaded that while a good idea it very well could be our next destination after we deal with Count Kierkin and his asshole brother the inquisitor Zaid Aclair. (DM Bovet Keep post imminent)

After a time the dwarves lead us to the Elemental Font whereby Osera unseals the Ways calling upon pacts with elemental lords as Dramen watches enwrapped with curiosity. Once completed the ground trembles creating a stone staircase leading down beneath the Font. As we pierce the elemental veil reality is spun like a vortex as we enter the Ways.

We are awarded 2,000 xp and will begin next session traversing the ancient Ways. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

09/23/15 Virtues Session 20: Aegis of the Ages

“Look Gerdo a drow,” Kerkenilin said to his slow-witted companion. The two ogres were busy gathering tribute for their giant leader but were soon distracted by the sounds of mortal combat.

“Do you think the giant king wants a drowie elf?” bumbled Gerdo speaking aloud earning a club against the side of his prodigious head.

“No you fool, the drow are sly creatures if we side with him then maybe we can bring King Macron word of an alliance as well as treasure for the giant.” Kerkenilin said over the sounds of battle beyond.

Although the two ogres had not entered the chamber beyond, the clamor of the fray reached their dull ears nonetheless.


“Friendship you fool, now take up your weapon dumb-ass and let's help the drow.”

Our session begins in the chaos of combat against the Behirs and the advanced troglodytes; the battle was well fought and when the smoke cleared we proved victorious earning our third mythic tier.

We discovered a fossilized dragon (regarded as the Sage Dragon) in the chamber that lead down to what we learned was the Aegis of Ages, a repository of knowledge for the evil faction of the Eye before the Dawning. Arcane runes and sigils lined the walls of the fossil as well as the spinal steps that lead to the heartstone. Dragon heartstones come from evil dragons while elemental fonts are from virtuous dragons.

During our descent each of us felt an awakening connection to our Avatars, similar to dying as some of us have already experienced. During this time Kyras is filled with the knowledge that the entirety of the Evening Isles itself falls under his protectorate, that all the isles are his druidic domain.

We are naturally overwhelmed with all these works and going through the repository to understand the Ways will necessitate time. This world was at first a pocket dimension and that some of these works were aimed to prepare this plane for the Abyss or Hell. This dark influence of that time naturally attracted creatures through the Ways, sometimes monsters and at other times Portal People. It was soon realized that whoever controls this information could most greatly affect the rules that govern the magical that encompass this world.

Both dragon factions are looking for this place; the dragons of sin, to likely propel this world to the lower planes while the dragons of virtue would see the coming of a monotheistic Creator.

We discussed spending two weeks to a month here, but a month was likely too long as we would like to prevent the coronation of the Count as the new Duke at Bouvet Keep.

We recover 50,000 gp each in treasure as well as two potions of each level first through third mythic level as well as 4,200 exp.
Some of the gear not spoken for:
Amulet of mighty fists +1
(2) Belt of giant strength +2
(3) Cloak of resistance +1
Monks robe
Rod of cancellation
Staff of Tricks
Robe of arcane heritage
Studded leather +3
Drow hand crossbow +2 (w. 6 command undead bolts +1)
Wand of bears endurance (6 charges)
Cloak of Fangs
Ring of Swarming Stabbs
Ring of Jumping
Masterwork chain shirt

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Aegis of the Ages Volumn III By Oculus

These spells represent the work and discovery you make of the ancient world’s magic and your translations into “modern” magic. All the arcane casters worked on these spells together.

Create Demiplane  School conjuration (creation); Level cleric/oracle 8, sorcerer/wizard 8, summoner 6, witch 8; Subdomain greed 8  Casting Time 4 hours Components ?
Effect extradimensional demiplane, up to 10 10-ft. cubes/level (S)
Duration 1 day/level or instantaneous (see text)  This information missing from source material, possible errata (probably same as greater/lesser versions, see below)

This spell functions as create lesser demiplane, except the area is larger and you can add more features to the plane. You can use this spell to expand a demiplane you created with create lesser demiplane (you do not need to create an entirely new plane using this spell), in which case it has a duration of 1 day/level. Alternatively, when cast within your demiplane, you may add (or remove) one of the following features to your demiplane with each casting of the spell, in which case it has an instantaneous duration.
Alignment: Your plane gains the (mildly) chaos-, good-, evil-, law-, or neutral-aligned alignment trait (see Alignment Traits). You cannot give your demiplane an alignment trait for an alignment you do not have.
Bountiful: Your demiplane gains a thriving natural ecology, with streams, ponds, waterfalls, and plants. The demiplane provides enough plant-based food (nuts, grains, fruit, fungi, and so on) to support one Medium creature for every 10-foot cube of the demiplane. The demiplane does not have any animals unless you transport them there, but the ecology can sustain itself for as long as the demiplane exists without requiring watering, gardening, pollination, and so on, and dead organic material decays and returns to the soil in the normal manner. If your demiplane has ambient light, these plants are normal, familiar surface plants; if it is a realm of twilight or darkness, these plants are fungi and other plants adapted to near-darkness or underground locations.

Elemental: Your plane gains the air-, earth-, fire-, or water- elemental dominant trait.

Gravity: By default a demiplane’s gravity is normal and oriented in one direction, like what most creatures are used to on the Material Plane. By selecting this feature, the plane’s gravity is heavy, light, none, objectively directional, or subjectively directional.

Seasonal: The demiplane has a seasonal cycle and a light cycle, usually similar to those of a land on the Material Plane, but customizable as you see fit (for example, your demiplane could always be winter, day and night could alternate every 4 hours, and so on).

Shape: By default, the demiplane has a fixed shape and borders. By selecting this feature, you may make your plane self-contained so it loops upon itself when a creature reaches one edge (see Shape and Size). You may designate areas or locations on the edges of your plane where this occurs (such as a pair of secret doors or a path in the woods) or apply it to the entire plane.

Structure: Your demiplane has a specific, linked physical structure, such as a giant tree, floating castle, labyrinth, mountain, and so on. (This option exists so you can pick a theme for your plane without having to worry about the small details of determining what spells you need for every hill, hole, wall, floor, and corner).

You can make this spell permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 20,000 gp. If you have cast create demiplane multiple times to enlarge the demiplane, each casting’s area requires its own permanency spell.

Create Demiplane, Greater School conjuration (creation); Level cleric/oracle 9, sorcerer/wizard 9, witch 9; Subdomain solitude 9   Casting Time 6 hours
Components V, S, F (a forked metal rod worth at least 500 gp)
Effect extradimensional demiplane, up to 20 10-ft. cubes/level (S)

This spell functions as create demiplane, except the area is larger and you can add more features to the plane. You can use this spell to expand a demiplane you created with lesser create demiplane or create demiplane (you do not need to create an entirely new plane using this spell), in which case it has a duration of 1 day/level. Alternatively, when cast within your demiplane, you may add to your demiplane (or remove from it) one of the following features (or any of the features described in create demiplane) with each casting of the spell, in which case it has an instantaneous duration.

Energy: Your plane gains the (minor) negative- or positive- dominant energy trait. A plane cannot have both the negative-dominant and positive-dominant energy traits.

Magic: Your plane gains the dead magic, enhanced magic, impeded magic, or wild magic planar trait. If you selected dead magic, you are trapped within your plane unless it has a permanent planar portal (such as the portal feature, below). If you selected enhanced or impeded magic, choose one type of magic to be enhanced or impeded, such as “effects with the fire descriptor or that manipulate fire” or “death spells and spells from the Death or Repose domains.” A plane cannot be enhanced and impeded for the same kinds of spells.

Morphic: You may use move earth at will in your demiplane at one-tenth of the spell’s normal casting time, and can reshape normal plants in the same manner (such as by twisting trees into a fence or humanlike shapes). You are even able to affect rock formations with this ability, though the casting time for this is only half normal.

Portal: Your demiplane gains a permanent gate to one location on another plane, which can only be used for planar travel. This location must be very familiar to you. This gate is always open and usable from both sides, but you can secure it using normal means (such as by building a door around it).

Time: By default, time passes at the normal rate in your demiplane. By selecting this feature, you may make your plane have the erratic time, flowing time (half or double normal time), or timeless trait (see Time).

You can make this spell permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 22,500 gp. If you have cast create greater demiplane multiple times to enlarge the demiplane, each casting’s area requires its own permanency spell.

Create Demiplane, Lesser  School conjuration (creation); Level cleric/oracle 7, sorcerer/wizard 7, summoner 5, unchained summoner 6, witch 7 
Casting Time 2 hours  Components V, S, F (a forked metal rod worth at least 500 gp)
Range 0 ft.  Effect extradimensional demiplane, up to three 10-ft. cubes/level (S)
Duration 1 day/level   Saving Throw none; Spell resistance no

You create a small, finite demiplane. You must be on the Astral or Ethereal Plane or on a plane that has access to one of those planes (such as the Material Plane) to cast this spell. When you cast the spell, you decide whether the demiplane is within the Astral or the Ethereal Plane. It is filled with air or water (decided by you). The plane is generally flat and featureless, such as an earth, stone, water, or wood floor. The “walls” and “ceiling” of the plane may appear like solid earth, stone, wood, or water, or they may end in mist, a featureless void, or a similar unreal-looking border. The plane’s environmental conditions are those of a temperate spring day on the Material Plane. You determine the plane’s light level (bright, normal, dim, or darkness), which affects the entire plane.
There are no native creatures or plants on this plane, though you may bring some there (if the plane’s light is bright or normal, it counts as sunlight for growing plants). The environment of the plane counts as normal terrain for the purpose of effects that target earth, stone, wood, and so on. For example, you could use move earth to create a hill or wall of stone to create a barricade.
When you finish casting this spell, you may bring yourself and up to seven other creatures to the plane automatically by joining hands in a circle. The demiplane is another plane of existence, and therefore is outside the range of any spell or ability that cannot affect or reach other planes. Creatures can only enter the plane by the use of planar travel magic such as astral projection, etherealness, or plane shift. You are considered “very familiar” with your entire demiplane.
As a standard action, you may eject a creature from your demiplane. The creature may resist with a Will saving throw. An ejected creature goes to the closest plane to your demiplane (usually the Astral Plane or the Ethereal Plane, but if you cast this spell on the Material Plane, the creature is sent to the Material Plane). When the spell ends, the plane dissolves, and all creatures in the plane are ejected in this manner with no saving throw. The plane cannot be dispelled, but a creature on the plane can destroy it by using limited wish, mage’s disjunction, miracle, or wish and making a successful dispel check.
If you are within the demiplane, you can add to its area by casting the spell again. Alternatively, you may cast this spell again to reset the duration of an existing area to that of your latest casting. If the duration on one area of the demiplane ends and other parts remain, creatures in the expiring area are shunted to remaining areas. If a collapsing portion of the demiplane would leave one section cut off from other sections of the demiplane (for example, if there were three areas connected in a straight line and the center part expired), the stranded sections count as separate demiplanes under your control. You may reconnect these stranded sections by casting the spell again to create a linked area between the two.

You can make this spell permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 17,500 gp. If you have cast create lesser demiplane multiple times to enlarge the demiplane, each casting’s area requires its own permanency spell.
Section 15: Copyright Notice Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jason Bulmahn, Tim Hitchcock, Colin McComb, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor.

Elemental scale School transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 standard action Components V, S, M (a reptile scale)
Range touch   Source: Deep Magic
Target one kobold, dragon, or creature with the reptilian subtype per level
Duration 1 min. per level Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); SR yes (harmless)
Elemental scale confers a +1 natural armor bonus to AC that increases by 1 every four caster levels. In addition, the spell provides an energy resistance of 5 for one of the follow types, chosen at the time of casting: Fire, cold, electricity, or acid. This spell is rather common among dragons and kobolds, and virtually unknown among non-reptilian spellcasters.

Memento Mori School necromancy (necrophagy) [evil]; Level antipaladin 1, cleric/oracle 1, sorcerer/wizard 1 Casting Time 1 standard action Components V, S, DF
Range personal  Source: Deep Magic Target creatures within sight
Duration 1 round    Saving Throw Will negates; SR yes
You transform yourself into a horrifying vision of death, crawling with maggots and rotting away, exuding the stench of the grave. All creatures that see you are entitled to a Will save; those that fail lose their next standard action (or lose all actions next round if they roll a saving throw of 1).  Those that roll a successful saving throw are immune to further castings of this spell for 24 hrs.

Mind's Eye Map School divination [ink, mind-affecting]; Level sorcerer/ wizard 2
Components S, M (ink and material to record the map) Casting Time 1 standard action
Range 60 ft.  Source: Deep Magic    Target one creature
Duration concentration, 1 min./level Saving Throw Will negates; SR yes
A mind’s eye map allows you to magically craft a map taken directly from the target’s mind, using yourself as a conduit. You spill a steady stream of ink upon the chosen surface for the map, which slowly undulates and forms shapes that perfectly copy the target’s mental image; 100 sq. ft. of space may be mapped per minute. The map is only as complete as the target knows or can recall, and it includes any illusions, visual tricks, or inaccuracies the target witnessed. If the target is unwilling, you may attempt to forcefully extract the mental image, but you must succeed on a touch attack and paint a cipher on the creature. An unwilling target is allowed a Will save; success negates the spell. Another mind’s eye map reflecting the same mapped area cannot be created from the same unwilling target until the caster advances in level (or until the target becomes willing).  If you paint the cipher on an unwilling target with arcane mark, the DC for the Will save increases by +2.

Blood Armor School necromancy (necrophagy); Level inquisitor 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, witch 2 Components V, S, F (foe you have struck with a meleeweapon within 1 round)
Casting Time 1 swift action  Range personal
Target you   Source: Deep Magic     Duration 10 min./level
Saving Throw Fortitude special (object); SR yes
When you successfully strike a creature with a melee weapon and deal damage to it, you can cast blood armor as a swift action. The blood flowing from your foe magically increases in volume and forms a suit of plate armor around you, granting you a +6 armor bonus to AC for the spell’s duration. Additionally the armor prevents any of your own blood from flowing too copiously, making you immune to bleed effects. Unlike mundane armor, blood armor has no armor check penalty, arcane spell failure chance, or speed reduction.  Unlike mage armor, blood armor is not a force effect and thus incorporeal creatures can bypass it normally. The foe you strike must be one that contains blood—targets immune to bleed effects cannot be used as the focus for this spell. If the focus of this spell has divine blood (demigods, outsiders with 20 or more HD, or characters with godling class levels from The Genius Guide to the Godling), the blood armor also gives you a +2 bonus to Will saves.

Caustic Blood School transmutation (necrophagy); Level antipaladin 3, druid/shaman 2, inquisitor 3, ranger 3, sorcerer/ wizard 2  Components V, S  Casting Time 1 standard action
Range personal    Source: Deep Magic   Target you    Duration 10 min./level

You cause your blood to spray and become caustic whenever it is exposed to the air. While you and items in your possession are immune to your caustic blood, others can be badly damaged by it.  When you take damage, as a free action you may make a single ranged touch attack at any target within 30 ft. (even if it is not your turn). On a successful hit, you deal acid damage equal to 1d6 hp plus your Constitution modifier (minimum +0). If you are suffering from a bleed effect, you add double your Constitution modifier (minimum +0), and you may make one such attack at the beginning of each of your turns. After the spell has been in effect for 10 min. or after you have made a number of attacks equal to your caster level (whichever comes first), the spell ends.

Spellcaster's Recoil School conjuration (teleportation); Level cleric/oracle 3, inquisitor 3, magus 2, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3  Casting Time standard action  Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 2 ft./level) Source: Deep Magic
Target one creature Duration 1 round/level   Saving Throw Will negates; SR yes

Manipulating the powers necessary to invoke any spell is a complex balancing act, and the target of this spell suffers a minor backlash when unleashing that power. Whenever the target successfully casts a spell or uses a spell-like ability, it is teleported 10 ft. in a random  direction. In addition, it is staggered until the end of its next turn. Roll a d10 and use the rules for splash weapons to determine the direction the target is teleported. On a roll of a 9, the target is teleported straight up, while a result of 10 teleports it straight down.  If the target’s destination location is occupied, such as by another creature or a wall, the target does not teleport but is knocked prone instead.

Ocularum   School divination (scrying); Level sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 minute Components S, M (ocular fluid from living creature)
Range touch  Source: Deep Magic Effect one scrying symbol
Duration 24 hrs.  Saving Throw none; SR no

You can paint a glyph with the clear fluids extracted from the eye of any living creature, creating a potent scrying tool. As a full-round action, you can attune yourself to any such glyph you have created that is within a range of 1 mile/caster level. After that round, you see out of that glyph as if you were physically present at that location, including any enhanced vision such as darkvision and see invisibility. You cannot use any senses other than vision through the ocularum. The glyph is nearly imperceptible and requires a DC 20 Perception check to locate. It has 1 hp, and if the glyph is destroyed while you are actively looking through it, you are immediately and permanently blinded. While actively scrying through the glyph, you become unaware of your own surroundings, receiving a –10 penalty to all Perception checks in your actual location and easily surprised. This spell only functions on the plane of existence you are currently occupying.

Portal Jaunt   School conjuration (teleportation); Level sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action  Components V, S, F (A small brass key)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)  Source: Deep Magic
Effect one door becomes a portal to another within range
Duration 1 round   Saving Throw none; SR no

By touching a door or gate with your focus, you turn it into a one-way portal to another such door within the spell’s range. This spell works with any crafted door, doorway, archway, or other artificial opening. It will not work with natural or accidental openings such as cave entrances or cracks in walls. You must be aware of your destination’s location or have line of sight to it. On completing the spell, the touched door opens,revealing a shimmering image of the location beyond the destination door. You may step through the door, emerging instantly out of the destination door. Alternatively, you may allow one other willing creature to pass through the portal instead. Anything you carry moves through the door with you, including other creatures, willing or unwilling.  For purposes of the spell, any locks, bars, or magical effects such as arcane lock are ineffectual for the spell’s duration. You may only travel to a side of the door you can see or have physically been to in the past (divinations such as clairvoyance count as seeing). Once you or a willing creature passes through, both doors shut, ending the spell. If you or another creature do not move through the portal within 1 round, the spell ends.

Dimensional Shove  School conjuration (teleportation, dimensional); Level bard 4, sorcerer/wizard 4
Casting Time 1 standard action Components V, S Range touch Source: Deep Magic
Target one creature touched  Duration instantaneous Saving Throw Will negates; SR yes

This spell pushes your target through a dimensional portal, causing it to reappear a short distance away. You must make a successful melee touch attack to use this spell. If the target fails its Will save, it disappears from its current location and reappears 10 ft. away from you per caster level (maximum 100 ft.). It appears in a location directly away from you. This travel can take it through walls, creatures, or other solid surfaces, but if the distance traveled would place the creature inside a solid object, it instead appears in the nearest open square in the path of travel.
Mythic: If you expend one use of mythic power when casting dimensional shove, the target does not receive a Will saving throw to resist the spell, unless the target is mythic. In addition, you can select the destination of the target, as long as that destination is known to you, on solid ground, and is within the normal range of the shove (100 ft.). The location cannot be within a solid object, otherwise the spell fails.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

09/09/15 Virtues Session 19: Troglodytes of a Different Beat

Syrendross Zov
Rydin cautiously approached the cellar door being careful not to make too much noise. The magus was soberly reminded of Denosia during these type of tasks. The elf worked in silence. With Dolgrin aside him Rydin throws open the door. Beyond the opening awaited dark shapes and the now familiar scent of troglodytes.

“To arms!” intoned Dolgrin as he led the attack against the unsuspecting troglodytes.

“Make room up front.” Dramen said as he unleashed a spell just before Rydin joined the fray.

As the other companions brought their own brand of warfare upon the troglodytes, Syrendross was cautious not to expend too much magical energy, not before encountering the behirs. Around the drow swords sliced the night air and magic assaulted the troglodytes.

Standing next to Dramen, Syrendross extended a dark index finger that opened a planar rift transporting his opponent to another where. This unintended and unexpected result flooded Syrendross with intuition about a dragon heartstone.

As Dramen watched in awe, the drow learned that of course, there had to be a heartsone nearby. In Syrendross’ mind-eye he could see such a rich focus of magic, lure and enhance these troglodytes over generations into the advanced creatures they now faced. Somehow he also knew the volcano dwarves’ elemental font was also a heartstone which also meant there was one in Bouvet Keep.

“Watch your feet!” Rydin said to Dolgrin. Now that the cellar way had been cleared with the sudden transposition of one of the troglodytes Dolgrin was eager to press the attack stepping on the elf’s dainty feet in the process.

“Bhah haha!” The dwarf was indeed happy. 

Our session begins as we enter the treacherous Macron Mountains; climbing and traversing what was becoming natural landscape away from the blasted volcanic low lands. It is around this time when Dolgrin finds a newly unearthed path revealed after a minor avalanche of rock. Dolgrin’s connection to Lapis becomes stronger as the elemental eases our passage. Along the way we also see humanoids and beasts of burden in the distance as well as flying humanoids unaffected by the rigorous mountain winds.

We travel until midday to rest; it is here when we begin to feel the high altitude effects. As we rest it occurs to us (via Knowledge checks) that Behirs are snake-like magical beasts with a dozen legs, can swallow-hole, can speak common, and has a lightening breath-weapon. No events occur during the night- as a matter of fact we sleep-in an hour.

We travel henceforth and stumble upon a copse of trees that Kyras recognizes as druids work relatively near a fifty-five foot rock wall to the east. In the darkness Syrendross could see subtle movement along the sheer stone face. Kyras communes with nature in a way as to speak with some shrubbery to learn that the shadow is a kind of lizard-man upon a mount. We proceed cautiously but was eventually set upon by four troglodytes lizard-riders.

After defeating the creatures we again set our travels to the behirs and within a couple of hours we begin to see the use of animal companions watching our movements. It was not long after when we discovered a strangely out of place cottage sitting atop a cave opening. After some preliminary detections we enter the cave to find a manticore magically manacled to the cave. We decide not to disturb the beast, obviously someone’s battle mount, or investigate the cave further. We turn our attention to the cottage, begin to walk the rough path up to the cottage when a feeling of evil strikes Dolgrin as Syrendross receives a cautionary warning from his host personality Shar that this is not the time for ‘this’- meaning the cottage. There was an unknown association with a drow here. After Dramen commits this location to memory we continue to climb on.

We eventually reach a point where we must eschew the horses and travel on foot. Here we begin to feel some altitude sickness, but nothing to roll dice about. Traveling we avoid some troglodytes here and there until finally we come to an abandoned hamlet that now seem occupied by the troglodytes. Kyras identifies a slithering path as well as claw marks indicating the passage of at least one bahir. We agree to take a short break for a few hours to wait for dawn.
At last we begin to search through the ruins and find a cellar door, and after opening we discover three well equipped troglodytes. After sending one to another plan and two to the afterlife we progress into the cellar to discover a labyrinth of large natural caverns, tunnels and burrowed openings. The deeper we went the larger it became accommodating dozens of troglodytes. 

We find ancient leavings as we travel; once such discovery was a secret compartment that the Eye used. It was an old Eye brand but the compartment held an old high-ranking ring of the Eye, three scrolls, as well as three masterwork gemstones ready for enchantment. We intuit that the dragon’s lair was one of the Eye’s bastions of knowledge.

We eventually happen into a large cavern where treasure is literally piled into corners and along the walls. We hear and then see two ogres picking through the treasure, past the ogres we finally see one of the behirs spiraled around a subterranean column, and beyond the cavern narrows into a passage that opens into a chamber populated by many troglodytes. We hide in magical darkness to avoid detection as Dramen attempts to charm the ogres.

The attempt fails and all hell is about to break lose.