Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review 08/27/2014

After killing the female Parakosis, the other dragon Damalaris fled. Jaren dedicated some time to constructing a dire fort, marking the western most point of our planned territory. It was adorned with basic symbols of dragons along with deeper subtle symbols of sin, but when it came time to hang a dragon skull over the door we discover the body of Parakosis was gone. The dragon Damalaris had come back for its mate. Versel marked the Three Lakes as ours building the Dire Fort which took on an abandoned and desolate aspect. 

From here we teleport to Stormhaven after a 'four-month plus' absence. In the Vault Lair Auge and Durg notice the scents of other dragon-kind in our sanctum, although nothing was missing Durg was not pleased. Heading up to the Cinder Block we are pleasantly surprised to discover that the people took our meaning when we named the Neutral Grounds. It had become a place of refuge where there was always a warm fire, food, and Supplies. Obviously our presence caused a stir and before long we find Pilini and Claret who has everything well in hand. 

As we came in one of the first things spotted was the dour uniformed Spellguard, very much militarized under Joscelin and other much less staunchly dressed. These uniformed individuals were deemed the judged; a process a former black crown wizard goes through for crimes against the 'crown'. During this week-long pretrial the wizards stay in a rented common area of the Cinder Block eating, practicing and preparing for their trial by combat. The arrangement has created a new profit center for the Cinder Block with 160 in sixteen weeks. 

Conversation moved outward to the drift downs, it is here we learn of the jailer personal war with the Navy and many sailors are feared to be imprisoned; and that Uvrock was part of the massive armada that came upon the Dire and Dragon docks.  There have been several attempts at sabotage in the docks but the overwhelming majority support the new docks so no plan ever gets any traction however piracy is on the rise. 

It was also during our conversation with the two that we learn Twilight House works exclusively for SONS or Joscelin and that the warehouse portal is offline and does not function. 

4 pm Embassy. Here we find a note apologizing for their intrusion and insist no ill was intended. The note cam with two names: Bale and Cose Tasar; and two symbols draconic and wrath. We can find them at Twilight House. 

Contacting Nissian we schedule a meeting with him for tomorrow 11pm. We pick up on the morrow with the promise of a week (possibly more) in Stormhaven. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1, 000 Years of Jerit McCaugh

Faced with an entire new world to explore, the half-elven son of the former high mage of the Evening Isles Jerit McCaugh took up the family's quest in being the ultimate source of magical knowledge.
 Traveling the world over, creating detailed records of the magics he encountered, as well as the actual communities they grew up around, Jerit became a known figure to several of the world's societies.
 Once the McCaugh felt he had covered enough of the world's mysteries, Jerit retired to the elven dutchy of Tier na Somenhiem, the home dutchy of his mother. Moving into the forests, he created a tower by magically twisting 5 huge redwoods into a single spire. Bringing a halfling assassin, and the halfling's wife and children, into his service as a butler and cook. Jerit is now busy publishing his writings and intends on finding a wife and having his remaining relatives continue to flesh out his research.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Flashback: Runemaster Tower

Keeping watch over the City of Webs was the immense stalactite named Runemaster Tower, or to uneducated the Dangling Tower. It was the largest stalactite over Ched Nasad; intricately carved with arcane symbols in patterns that formed larger empowered sigils focusing the arcane energies around it. It was the seat of arcane power. 
In Ched Nasad arcane magic and its use was a carefully regulated and policed to protect the structural integrity of the ancient calcified webbing that supported the entire drow city. The only way to practice arcane magic in the drow city was with the possession of a House Rune. Similar to the watermarks in Stormhaven, each house in Ched Nasad had unique House Runes as well as magical signatures specific to individuals of their house. Only the drow Runemasters of the tower knew the secret magic behind the creation of House Runes. It was a structure any drow or visitor to Ched Nasad would recognize immediately just as Shar Auvryndar did the night he and his companions found it. 

Shar remembered what grandfather Domarlynnas recounted back in Skullport. "While you and the rest of the family were holding off House Ta’alen in battle, I saw it when Runemaster tower let go. It was the death blow for the city." He had said. 

Shar imagined Runemaster Tower breaking free from the city's cavern ceiling, a lightning blast severing the tower; its enormous size falling and smashing through thousand year old web thoroughfares and byways, to come crashing down here... in Cormanthor.   

What Shar and his companions encountered was a wide butte of worked black stone the top of which was an uneven slope that gave it dome shape. Runemaster tower penetrated the earth like an assassin's dirk and had came to rest with all but the top most level below ground. The stone black monolith retained all the outer designs of Runemaster Tower but had no apparent entrances. 

Approaching out of the shadows Shar produced his House Insignia, crafted by an unknown mage from this same tower decades ago, Shar suspected he knew how the renegade drow were coming and going. 


Inside what was once Runemaster Tower, High Priestess Telefe Drodeen began the profane words of invocation in the high speech of the drow clergy; this exclusive language was taught to only a few because it was said Lloth herself taught the language to her first daughters. 

"Great Goddess, Mother of the Dark, grant me the blood of my enemies for drink and their living hearts for meat. Grant me the screams of their young for song, grant me the helplessness of their males for my satisfaction, grand me the wealth of their houses for my bed. By this unworthy sacrifice I honor you, Queen of Spiders, and beseech of you the strength to destroy my foes." 

The ceremony of words was required as was sacrificing one of her most powerful clerical spells to strengthen her connection with Lloth. When she completed her invocation she bent forward and took up a twisted black mace. 

The Rod of the Recluse was crafted from the chitonous leg of a drider. It looked ornamental rather than serviceable, but upon Telefe's command the rod secreted a deadly extraplanar poison that could be delivered with a touch and thanks to the Runemasters it was a relic that only responded to her own commands. Telefe felt the willing rod twist and flex in her hands and voice of Lloth in her ear. Again speaking from the mouthes of her children. 

“...sacrifice the grandson of Darien Auvryndar to me, earn my assurances lowly creature and I will bestow upon you the title of Arachne..." 

To do otherwise would damn Telefe to the abyss.


In the next room Princess Zara Nasadra practiced her disciplines with her runestaff, feeling the intricate carvings along its length as she brought it about in a defensive stance. The ebon shaft was half again as tall as the young drow girl, and was her Runemaster father's life-work; completed on the day of his death- the day Ched Nasad fell. It was also the day Frizzt Boz'Wevial swore his life to protecting the only living Princess of Ched Nasad as well as a sorcerer of the bloodline of the First House. 

Outside her personal chambers Zara could hear Frizzt organizing the other drow to defend the tower complex, his impassioned words reminded her of his oath and his newfound penchant as her manservant and protector. 

Wiping the sweat from her brow she then dawned her magical cloak over her naked body, stroked her eye wing perched nearby and padded lightly to her chamber door. She opened it to find Frizzt speaking curtly to drow from both Houses. 

"Two groups of three, one Drodeen warpriest with two Nasadra duskblades. The third warpriest will stay below to protect the High Priestess' twins and make sure the slaves do not attempt an escape. Then," Frizzt continued. "Myself, Priestess Telefe and Princess Nasadra will come up after you make initial contact with the intruders." 

Zara crept up slowly behind her manservant, her lithe form was sensual under her drow crafted cloak. "The Priestess says there is a group of six surface dwellers traveling with a renegade drow." Zara advised. "This drow is Shar Auvryndar and is to be captured. The others may die for their inconvenience." 

Endrenn Allerendris did not have a choice really; lead Shar and his companions to Runemaster tower or suffer humanity's justice in Tragidore. She was nevertheless grateful when the Red Wizard approached her with a proposition. 

"I will stand with you and your kin against the people of Tragidore and to show my sincerity I will release you. I do not pretend to understand all of drow politics, I do however know the value of a highborn Auvryndar noble. I will release your restraints when the proper time presents itself and immediately move to neutralize Shar and you..." The Red Wizard tore a page from his tome, folded it and secreted it between her breasts. His sultry eyes met hers. "Tear this open and it will become an assassins dirk. You will use it to kill the Inquisitor." 

Endrenn believed that time was soon at hand; after hours of vigorous travel Endrenn led them to where she sent scores of Tragidore men all year: a black stone dirk in the heart of the elven forest. 


Nostalgia stuck Shar unexpectedly causing him to pause before the back domed monolith, behind him Meaghan placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. To Shar's right and left were his companions along with the elf-drow Endrenn. Shar's eyes focused on his House Insignia and pressed it to Runemaster tower's stony exterior. It was how one accessed private rooms and corridors inside fortunately it worked from the outside too. 

Starting at the point which the Auvryndar house rune touched the stone, a tunnel began to borrow an opening. The tunnel looked to be at least twenty feel long before it ended in silent darkness. A strange odor began to waft out from the opening, it had a heavy earthen aroma. 

"I do not know how long this will stay open," Shar said. "We should prepare immediately."


Through her eye wing companion Zara Nasadra could see outside star light cast into Frizzt's alchemical garden and workstations.

"Movement in your greenhouse Frizzt." Zara said informing the others of the tower breach.

"Did not take Shar long to discover how to get in... do they have Endrenn with them?" Frizzt asked Zara, concerned. 

"Yes." came the female reply. 

Taking one final look at her beloved twins before the warpriest took them below,  Telefe then turned her hate and rage to thoughts of the intruders. "Warpriests lead the duskblades to the alchemy level." She said as the Rod of the Recluse writhed about with purpose. 

"Hold that last." Frizzt said knowingly overstepping his station as a male. "Hold them as our second line, fortune favors us High Priestess." 


It was Sanford in the lead with Blain the dwarf at his hip, both moving at half speed as to not make any unnecessary noise, although a ten foot round tunnel would probably give them up regardless, thankfully Sanford and the gunslinger did not rely on stealth. 

Claudia and Elad moved in tandem, reconnected in form and style; whatever had come between them in recent days seemed now forgotten. Things were different with Elad, Claudia mused, after the night the Lamia was killed Elad seemed to have a new perspective on Tragidore and more importantly his obligations to the Shadow Thieves. She did not want to have to kill him. 

Shar and the Red Wizard paused at the tunnel opening, Tyrus giving Shar a gesture that said 'after you.' Behind Shar the Inquisitor followed, the elf-drow Endrenn in her custody. Lastly Tyrus, with one last sinister look at the forest he followed his companions into the drow complex. 

Overhead the vile gaze of the invisible eyewing watched it all. 


"Not yet damn it!" 

The tunnel opened into a foggy and damp chamber, Sanford doubted he could see five feet in front of him. The heavy sweet smell of flowers washed over the large fighter threatening his allergies when he noticed...

Struggling on the floor beside him was Blain, thick green vines coiled around the dwarf constricting the air from his lungs stealing away his breath and pleas for help. Sanford drew his blades and began to cut away the vines. His efforts were slowed and then halted as more vines coiled out from the fog in an attempt to bring down the burly Sanford next to the gunslinger dwarf. 


"Now Priestess send in your teams." Frizzt said after Zara relayed what she saw through the eyewing. 


It was not working. Every time someone got close enough to sunder the thick green vines that were constricting Blain a new branch would respond threatening to entangle them as well. Shar looked for the source of the creature to target with a spell but could not see through the thick fog. Meghan handed off the elf-drow prisoner to Tyrus whom the Red Wizard accepted eagerly. Claudia Kelton and Elad Edals dragged Sanford away before more vines made his rescue pointless. Blain was gone, dragged into the fog. 

From the darkness drow elves charged the companions with blackened weapons and deadly skill. The female warpriests immediately moved to contain Shar while the male duskblades descended on Meghan, Sanford, Claudia, and Elad. Tyrus, the Red Wizard, in a moment of extacy freed Endrenn and turned his betrayer attention on Shar. 


It was only two days ago when Shar rescued Endrenn from her own form of servitude. Speaking moments after the Lamia was slain Endrenn told Shar she was also a slave to Zara and Telefe. They scorned her surface elf heritage and said she was an abomination. 

"If what you say is true then you will get a chance to prove yourself." Shar said in drow. "You are taking us to them."

In her own act of betrayal Endrenn took the weapon Tyrus gave her and buried it in the Red Wizard's neck staining his robes a deeper red. There was a bright and sudden arcane backlash knocking Endrenn unconscious to the stone floor.


Frizzt could hear the duskblades and warpriests fighting Shar and his companions in his alchemy garden of horrors. With alchemical bombs in hand Frizzt was just about to enter the fray when dazzling light flooded room. Screams of pain drowned the din of battle as the light sensitive drow were caught off guard. 

Taking precautions Frizzt appeared briefly at the lab's entrance. Smiling the drow alchemist could see his man-trap plant had captured on of the intruders; the duskblades are one on one with the humans; and the two warpriests are tangled up with an Inquisitor and their quarry Shar Auvryndar. 

Frizzt was about to let fly his bombs when he saw Endrenn lying unmoving on the floor, tangled silver hair covering her beautiful features. The normally composed Frizzt Boz'Wevial screamed and began to throw bombs, oils and bags into the fray in a fit of rage. These concoctions did not explode but instead released dire boars, porcupines, and worgs to give him and his fellow drow strength in numbers. 


The Priestess Telefe ran in behind Frizzt, her eyes finding her quarry target center. Her warpriests had Shar backed into a space between two alchemy workstations and the wall. The duskblades however were outmatched. The humans had split into a men and women formation dropping two Nasadra duskblades in less than a minute despite the large animals now trampling the room. 

Telefe was about to relay to Zara what she could already see through her eyewing when one of the human women came to Shar's aid relieving him of one of his combatants. The woman had a blue aura that insulted Telefe's profane awareness. Without a thought the Cleric of Lloth charged into Frizzt's green house toward the human inquisitor the rod of the recluse leading the way. 


Shar fought off the drow warpriest as best as he could but in three curt strikes from the drow woman left Shar injured, winded and off balance. Meghan was a better combatant by far, but he could not rely on her for aid now. Looking around everyone was locked in mortal combat with a drow or an enraged beast. 

Avoiding another warpriest attack Shar's eyes fell on Frizzt and then Tyrus's grimore lying next to his body. The Red Wizard acquired the tome by recently murdering a necromancer from Thay, the tome had the taint of sin; it was also Mystra's will that Shar should recover it. Leaving Meghan one against two Shar moved for the book just as Frizzt began his scramble for the book. 


Frizzt, aside from being an alchemist he also bore the mark of sin, so when he saw the Red Wizard's tainted book fall unattended to the ground an overwhelming sensation of avarice flooded him. He moved for the book. 


In a lower level of the tower Zara watched the battle through the eyewing with growing interest. Frizzt's alchemical creatures were all dead as was his horrific plant; Telefe has joined the fight with the human inquisitor, as the warpriests are now one on one with a large man and a sly scoundrel looking human who looked to have just backstabbed one of his own companions- the girl!

"The High Priestess needs healing or she will fall." Zara impassioned to the drow warpriest tasked with keeping the twins safe. When the warpriest began to protest Zara added, "I am not the healer you are- I will protect the twins." 

The warpriest only hesitated once then ran up to the next level unaware she had been tricked.


Shar reached out and grabbed the top of the tainted book just as Frizzt grasped the bottom. Envy, wrath, all the sins within and the magics to enhance them- all contained upon ancient scraphite. Inhuman sacrifices to facilitate each sin to one's self or others. 

Shar remembered Meghan's teachings that as Monitor of Magic he cannot allow such a taint to magic exist. It must be destroyed or secreted away from evil forever. 


Zara Nasadra, now alone with Ebomara and Maastick Drodeen, watched as the last duskblade fell and the last warpriest join the battle giving tactical assistance to the High Priestess. Another drow fell as Frizzt and Shar wrestled over a book, its cover and pages turning and flapping chaotically. Zara then recalled her abyssal companion. 

"It is just us now, right?" Asked Maastick. 

"That's right my consort, its time to go." Zara said thinking of how she will miss having a man servant then looked at Maastick with amorous intent. She was the last princess of her house and these two were about to be the last Drodeen nobles. 

"Where are we going?" Asked Ebomara. 

"To start a new family." Zara answered as her eyewing entered the chamber. Gathering the twins close Zara cast teleportation. It would be centuries before Shar heard the name Drodeen again. 


Seconds ticked by and it seemed to Shar that it was just him and Frizzt fighting for the tainted book. Then it let go sending Shar and Frizzt flying backwards; Shar into Meghan and Frizzt into Telefe. The book tore open releasing a torrent of magical energy throughout the alchemy lab. 


Two days later Meghan along with Sanford, and Elad Edals led forty two men and husbands back to Tragidore to a bitter sweet homecoming celebration. Ice wine, food and music. Blain Brightmantle, and Claudia Kelton were honored for their sacrifice in returning the town's men; there was no mention of Tyrus Skullstorm. 

There was however questions about Shar at this one of the freed men Finian Garwoode said, "That drow is the exception to the rule. I expect we will see him again." 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review 8/20/2014

Our session began marveling at Erilis' painting of a uneven rocky shoreline. The scene was a wash in grey with rain and mists around a magnificent castle. The castle had a presence- it was a place of virtue and come to discover it was not at all on the continent. The painting was so well done even the constellations in the painting proved key. 

Teleporting jauntily to said location Auge's suspicions are confirmed that the castle painting landscape was on the Evening Isles. Our arrival was off target, 10 miles off target but we could however see the wake the massive landmass was creating in its westerly course. Auge was able to approximate the Evening Isles current location to be south east of Stormhaven traveling west at 10 - 30 mph. Taking some positive energy damage we could only get within two miles of the island before serious damage sets in. 

Looking about we spot several ships at sea: nine Evening Isles ships and three from other realms. One ship was a total unknown, the second was from the wilds north, and the third- Kracken Bait- bore Stormhaven colors as well as obvious battle damage. 

Flying over to the ship we introduce ourselves to Johnny Sailor, the defacto commander now that the Captain was dead. There were only 100 or so left after an attack separated them from their fleet and crippled them. Jaren offers to make whole their vessel in return for information and membership in our trade fleet. 

Talking with Johnny we learn that the castle in the paining is Castle McCaugh in Kriet Oppenshire a duchy known for their spice trade. Another feature is Watchtower, a northern costal city known for the Naval Base and a Book Bindery. Malese Tar is another community that specializes in ship building and is home to The Eye, a organization of scholars, scribes, and sages. The McCaugh is a title and is like a duke; the family itself is an old family of the Islands. 

Johnny informs us his intentions are to resupply and sail to a port in hopes for new business. He was told he works for us now and he has a new captain... Sorosh. Their task is to discover as much as they can about these topics and find out why we cannot travel to the Isles. 

From here Jaren teleports us to the crystal chamber under the temple of Tiamat in Nimbus. It is here we pay the 15k each in gems and install OUR dragonheart in the Nimbus Lair. In doing so we are now able to sacrifice a dimension door or higher teleport spell or magic item or an abundant step class ability plus a 1,000 gp gem to freely travel between the heartstone in Stormhaven Lair and the heartstone in Nimbus Lair. The process binds our sin to the chamber attracting the attention of mother. 

It was learned the Truename of this heartstone and a key to the truename of the heartstone in Stormhaven. Furthermore our fear aura blazes at a x3 and our breath weapon is improved by half our hit-dice while within 'hit-dice feet' of the heartstone.  The DM spoke of restoration as well as other powers to come...

Erilis approves and tithes 10k in gemstonees to the heartstone in the name of sin and says a prayer that will last for the next two days. 

Next Jaren scrys on the drow Anan Viator to find her fighting with ogre barbarians, some of them sickly with disease. Teleporting to her location we discover that the disease is under control and that after an attack by the Sea King who was patrolling a large area of the ocean, we have only lost 20%. The Sea King was described as a titan and a master of the seas who talked about claiming his tithe as he sundered several ships with his trident. 

We jaunt back to Nimbus with Anan who knows the location of the two metallic dragon lairs we now search for. The first is located at an area of plateaus that each contain a lake that pours into one another in a tiered formation. A good western point for our territory. Anan warns us of elves, wyverns, and other native dangers that use the lakes. 

Monday October 2nd. We teleport before dawn to the three sided lakes startling some birds, glow bugs, wolves and dogs- eventually horns explode as we make our advance to the top lake to add our taint to its placid waters. 

This provoked a response from Hera who clouded the upper lake with fog. Parakosis followed up with an Ice storm. Jaren cast true seeing and moved out of the ice storm. Versel double moved into the icestorm 100'. Durg double move out of the ice storm. Auge resets his initiative. 

Auge double moves out of the ice storm and closer to the upper lake. Hera and Parakosis do things. Jaren evades the moving ice storm and fog. Versel continues to rush into the ice storm and rolls a will save. Durg ends his movement 140' closer to the lakes. 

Auge continues his movement up and toward the upper lake. Hera brings about an interposing hand in front of Versel. Parakosis cast a green electrical effect at Versel to which he responds "don't make me come get you" Durg enters the fog and makes a will save. At the end of the round a draconic voice sarcastically responds to Versel. 

We begin next session at the top of round four.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Cyclopedia of Fire

The Book called to him, or at least that's what it felt like to him when he found it. He knew the time was closing to an end and the lava would again rise to gaurd the only true hoard he had ever seen, but he continued to search until he found it, his Book. The cover was dominated by a scar in the leather, the symbol of greed permanently etched into the magical hide when it was claimed by Avaritia.

As he peered at the book and began to analyze it's properties, he heard his mothers voice tell a story in his head. The effect reminded him of his familiar legend lore spells, but much more personal, even invasive.
" long ago, by your standards, a man managed to escape the growing desert in the north. He spent his life collecting fire magics, and when he believed he knew all the secrets of magical fire, he locked himself in the seclusion of a fortified summoning tower and set about to make this spellbook. He summoned and held at his command a number of salamanders to beat the exotic metals into sheets thinner than the finest of papers. He then slew the salamander crafter and made the cover for the book  out of it's hide, forever rendering the book immune to fire. His dalliance with chaos was of course his downfall, for by the time the salamander had finished the book it's demonic whisperings had driven the wizard to delusions of egoism and power driven madness. He believed with the book he could defeat and command ME."

The Book had power he recognized, very similar to the book he had created and given to his grandmother. The Book held 1000 pages of spells in the same space as normal book of only 100 pages as part of its magic. He didn't recognize the metal, but realized from the lore that it was probably a rarity even in the outer planes. He gazed in wonder at the collection of fire magic collected in this one tome, and marvelled anew when he realized the Book was not yet full! He knew then, immediately that this would be his Book, and it would be into this tome that he would pen his further incantations  and evocations.

Clutching the three books he claimed as his own, and one book for his father, he flew out of the most magnificent library he was likely to ever see. He could hardly wait to devise a plan to earn the favor of another visit to this heaven that his mother held, just outside the grasp of hell.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review 8/13/2014

We began our session after teleporting from the battle at River Wheel Falls with the bodies of Voluntatis and his dragon mate. We appear upon a rocky island in a hearto unknown lava flow. It was the dragons Vovere and Expugnatio that received us in the more than uncomfortable volcanic lair.

Splitting up our recovered items the lava flow began to recede revealing several magma-men, the keepers and protectors of this section of Avericia’s prodigious lair. Taking this as an invitation for services rendered we descend into the treasury depths each looking for something different. This delve into past (2nd edition) treasures grants us each Knowledge (History) as a class skill.

After a time we are eventually brought before Avericia who welcomes us as her children and the accepts the dragonheart stone in her time of labor. An unknown number of eggs where produced during what ended up being a week-long dream-like period of bonding (mother’s marks) and visions (tar pits). Jaren reports our endeavors with the Minotaurs and the drow and we discuss many possibilities for the future as well as territories to call our own on the Continent; a meeting is also scheduled with Vovere and Expugnatio.

Sunday, October 1st. Nimbus.

We rap up this week bringing our dragonheart stone Nimbus and informing Erilis ‘the painter’ our intension of bringing the temple and Nimbus into our territory provoking Tiamat’s blessing for the next 24 hrs. (+10’ movement, bless, +30’ to all vision, and a free re-roll).  

Next week. Treasure grab.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Death of Voluntatis the Bronze

Coralis’ face was stained with still flowing tears, the tragedy that had befallen River Wheel Falls was beyond Coralis’ imagining.  Never before had the elf drawn a breath without the presence and protection of Voluntatis the Bronze.  Word of the breaking of the dam and destruction of much of the water works had already been sent to the Elven tribes and Centaur City. 

Misoak was dead! For several moments Coralis sobbed, his body wracked with a grief that shook the high priest to his core.

Coralis gathered his thoughts and focus, taking a moment to pray.  With his mind calmed the high priest realized that the defeat and destruction of Voluntatis and his spouse was probably the first attack in a draconic war.  The first attack had come while Misoak’s patron Industria sleeps. Opening his eyes from prayer, Coralis knew he must endeavor to awake the Dragon.