Monday, August 22, 2011

Talk around the Fire

Chadwick stood watch, eyes roving over the dark moors. The night air was humid, both with moisture from the moors and the recent rains, and alive with the sounds of night creatures. The chirping of the crickets, burping of frogs and cries of birds weren't enough to drown out the approaching footsteps, though. Chadwick turned and regarded the approacher.
"Hail, Chadwick, it's just me, Bordane," said the figure, stepping closer to show his face.
Chadwick grimaced, the young Agundar was not a favorite of his. Well trained with a sword, he would admit, and Bordane would never let anyone forget it. However, he'd changed since their escape from the Cult...
"No relief from the heat, it seems," said Bordane, his voice low so as not to carry.
"Get on with it, why aren't you asleep with the others?" Chadwick asked, eyeing the young man out of the corner of his eye.
Smiling a slight smile, Bordane nodded to himself and said "I feel your hate."
"What? What're you talking about now?" Chadwick asked, confused by the cryptic utterance.
"Your hate, for the wyrms, I can feel it. Like a campfire on the plains, it lights up the darkness. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Name me one emotion that's as constant. Love? That can be broken with but a daliance. Joy? (snort) That can easily turn to tears. Courage? How many tales have we heard about battle-hardened veterans fleeing the battlefield, trying to save their lives. Courage is fickle. But hate... hate, my friend, is something everyone can feel. It can put steel in your spine when other men's bowels have turned to water. It can keep you going when others have dropped from exhaustion. It's something that needs to be fed and nutured and will repay you ten, nay, a thousand-fold, " Bordane looked intently at Chadwick, watching his eyes as they became distant with thought. "You hate dragons, and why not? Their age is done, no matter what these Cultists say. They would be nothing more than cruel overseers and anyone who is not a dragon would be nothing but slaves or worse. I've forgotten most of my history lessons, but I'm sure that's how it was, ages ago. Humas sought their slaughter, and so should we."
Chadwick closed his eyes, and asked, "Is there a point to all this, Bordane?"
The young man made a noise he hadn't made in months, a wry chuckle. "Just wanted you to know I understand, and approve. Feed the fire, my brother in arms."
With that, Bordane turned and walked back to the camp and Chadwick was left with new, troubling thoughts.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Journal entry Eva (On the road to Secomber)

Eva awoke early on the 6th day; she had hardly slept that night. Going about her morning chores she continued to recite her words in her mind. She knew there would only be one chance to address the group on the subject that had seemed to tear them apart.

Wayne’s condition hadn’t changed. The dead stares & random mumblings had become her trademark over the years. Seeing Wayne in this condition she could see why people reacted to her as they did. “Tempest, guide him back to us if that is his destiny” she prayed.

Turning to face the company she meets the gaze of every member in turn. Her once radiant eyes now cold and dark showed no signs of life. Her eyes locked with Chadwick’s as she spoke “fear not our litter bearers” she said. They have no quarrel with us, their ambitions for wealth and power departed this world with their souls. Their souls have proudly taken their place in the Wall of Faithlessness. The City of Judgment is Myrkul’s realm. His hospitality is well renowned, they shall not return to us in this lifetime.

I have faced the prejudice of the dead my whole life. Those that fear the dead are blinded by the thought of what they may become. So they strike out, because they have been taught to fear death. As if ridding the world of the walking dead would save their souls. They only think of the dead as abominations against nature. But I say the walking dead are just another tool in the cycle of life.

We have been taught to be resourceful. When Tauron hunts a dear and makes the kill he isn’t limited to use certain parts of his quarry and discard the rest. He takes the meat for our dinner, the organs & entrails are fed to his dogs. He can take the hide for clothing or tack; the bones can be made into tools or weapons none of this is seen as unnatural. The walking dead are an extension of this, just another resource to be used.

Life is like a potion. Strong and potent each one created for a purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled the potion is expended, the vial discarded without a second thought. But there are a precious few of us that have been blessed with a gift. Those of us resourceful enough to use those discarded vials. We can benefit from the walking dead, as one benefits from the hunt. Wayne being here is proof of that.
Horrific, what is Horrific? One would say cutting the heart from your enemy and consuming it raw on the field of battle is horrific. How would that ritual be looked upon in “civilized society”? No my brothers and sisters that practice, along with our new found followers should not be made known in Secomber. Tomarrow when we reach the city we will proudly carry Wayne into town ourselves.

I have sworn an oath! And it is as true today as the day I swore it. That oath extends to any and all followers that answer my call. You may not always agree with my methods but our cause is one. As long as I am in my right mind, I shall not betray this company or the legacy of our heritage.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

From the Journal of… (Return to Secomber)

(Briar) the first day on our way back to Secomber was ruled with the stench of years of feted water and moss beds being washed away to reveal even greater atrocities underneath. Sounds of the high Moor’s great beasts could be herd constantly over the broken limestone terrain.

Although it disturbs me greatly, I cannot deny using skeletons to transport the fallen Wayne is a good idea. I watch Chadwick and hope he does not act out against the undead, such an act would cause me to question loyalties. I don’t want to choose sides.

Tonight brings no rest for me as I am still troubled at the magical change many of my items have experienced. Indeed I must focus on my new weapon. As I write this I can hear Wayne’s random blathering but I can also detect Eva quietly singing lullabys in her sleep. There is something unnatural at work with her.

The next day offers nothing but rain and growing tention amongst the Nine; I for one cannot wait to return to the city. The messenger-drake has returned with replies to Tauron and some of the others but mysteriously none to anyone else. I wait for a sign from Mielikki to no avail, I pray and fear the distance may be too great.

(Eden) Day three. The days are hellish and the terrain is hostile, it is the words of Tauron that encourage me and give me the strength to continue. Each day he proclaims we are closer. To what I would ask, all he would say was we are returning to more comfortable means. But I sense it is something more; his faith is as strong as ever. I was fearful at first about returning to people and all the stares and foul glances; each step north strengthens my resolve.

The bitter night invites more nightmares about the last two months and something I can never remember when I wake except I seem to hear the maniacal laughs of fey.

(Griffith) Bordane has insinuated himself as party leader in my book. It was the fourth day on our return to Secomber; it was Bordane who got Chadwick to back down when arguments flared about our undead entourage. Chadwick had been silent until the subject of waltzing back into Secomber with our undead concierge came about.

“In our condition mayhap they think us all undead and come down upon us!” Chadwick asserted. It was clear to me he was increasingly prejudice regarding the undead.

The cooler night brings cooler heads as the whole point was argued down because Chadwick had never said anything until now. Bordane as well was silent until Chadwick lit his temper. I believe Bordane has changed in the months since we left Waterdeep; He has personified his fighting style; he is often underestimated, you just never suspect it is him.

Day five. I have discarded chances on retrieving the mace and talisman and have instead embraced the new powers of my items. A mace was too simple of a weapon. A blessing from Mask I warrant; it seems that many of my items have taken on the properties lost on other items. A theft has occurred, gratitude to Mask. Furthermore there is a sword back in the city that will elevate me and with the chance that Mask has indeed manifested, mayhap Mask would venture to a city. I feel Waterdeep should be our ultimate destination.

Midnight brings the feast of Saints Justus and Pastor, two street urchins killed by a priest of Waukeen over a basket of fruit. The nights are getting longer now, gratitude to Mask.

(Chadwick) Day six. Until the cult intervened in my course, I held on to the image of my older brother Panricon, the shining image of the family, and coveted that image; I have since reevaluated my course. What does he know of trials or of quests? Wardens Walk indeed; what has he taught me through instruction or deed? While I did mourn his death, I feel no need to peruse further in his honor or footsteps. Eden and Griffith have shown me a new course to tread upon one that more complements the nature of our ka-tet.

It has stopped raining tonight; the Peddler’s moon regards us all with distrust. Tomorrow we shall see Secomber before the rise of the Peddler. I will watch Damian closely as he rejoins society with his deadly progress; he is a lightning storm looming over the horizon. Damian is his father’s son, mayhap I will follow in his wake and reap the rewards.

(Wayne) Carried aloft upon a litter of useful items by a pair of skeletons, Wayne often has his eyes wide open: one all white and colorless, one a black dead thing; he speaks in random… “History is written by the victor. Never forget the Face of your Father. A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. The White Stallion heralds victory. In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. Only the dead have seen the end of war. Time is the thief of memory. When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die. Older men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die. History is written by the victor. A Black Stallion portends death.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pater Smerve

Pater Smerve stood up in his stirrups to see over the heads of the front lines. Being a druid, he looked upon the small community, and they were small in more than just numbers, as his flock. He was a brownie, and sat astride a giant frog, two feet long. His flock were a mix of fey creatures; brownies, pixies, faeries, all living in the High Forest. They had suffered for years with the constant threats and violence from the evil alchemist Garegamel. Finally having enough, the fey community joined with the other small villages in the forest to put an end to the mage once and for all.

Jaime Farstrider, backwoodsman, fur trapper and "all around best satyr o' the woods" to hear him admit, had came forward to help the other villages band together with the feys for the overthrow. These villages were tiny, did not appear on almost any map and for the most part, did not even have names. Garegamel had imposed taxes, to provide for his protection, and had demanded a yearly "donation" of a young maiden. It wasn't known what happened to the girls but all agreed that it was nothing good, as they were never seen again.

Pater knew his people's part. They were to provide distraction as the main force of leprechauns and elves hammered at the mage's defences. He knew that many, if not most, of his people would die, but with the blessing of Sylvanus, there'd still be enough flock to persevere and thrive. Pater looked deeply into the eyes of his people and they looked back at them. He saw a myriad of emotions; fear, hate, resolve. He understood and felt all of that himself. He allowed himself a little smile as many of the fey followed in his footsteps and had painted their skin a deep blue, from a paste made from common berries they'd found. Eyes brimming with tears, he could hear the sounds of battle just starting. Fiery explosions, screams of pain and ringing of metal filled the warm air.

Raising the sickle made from a sharped jawbone, Pater turned his mount towards the wizard's tower and led his people to freedom...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pages from the Necronomicon

In the magic-dead ruins of Myth Dorado; in the bowl of Turqual’s lair, the twelve new undead spirits raised their feral faces to the night sky and released baleful shrieks, haunting growls and woeful howls; creating heart stopping fear in any creature unlucky enough to hear them. With awareness came the deep self loathing and utter pity at their new existence as an undead. In haste they tear apart their lifeless corporeal bodies in rage; undead are hated in the natural order of beasts and creatures.

The spirits of the twelve did not join Malar in the beastlands when killed; they stood a mockery. Fueled now by hatred for their murderers; to be denied entrance into the blessed beastlands; and to become that witch they despise focuses their consuming purpose and shapes them into a naturally created form of undead.

Finding focus for vengeance, the twelve revenant lycanthropes rise from their graves to hunt down and kill their murderers. Devoid of any compassion, emotion, or logic, they have but one purpose, and will not rest until they have found vengeance.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tales from behind the mask.

“I have news Koris Jaradeth admits, though quietly- that criminal activity is increasing in every ward.” Chad “the Chameleon” stated with pride trying to discern a reaction, hoping that his information was more valuable to the masked priestess than his counterpart who waited his turn to speak.

The Chameleon stood easy, wearing matching bracers and boots of Catoblepas hide and the trappings of the High Ward; he has single thin blade styled with a coiled chameleon. For months since his arrival, he has tried in vain to join or simply gather a small fellowship of rouges to improve his financial condition. Recently things have changed and there is intrigue afoot. “I believe that this marks the beginning of organized crime to Waterdeep.”

The masked priestess stood perfectly still, her perfume overwhelming the senses of both initiates. Wearing robes of the sheerest material coupled with the lantern light from behind accentuated her shapely athletic figure. With the voice of silk she thanks Chad and asks Bartolus Menk to present his information.

“Mother there are newly discovered passage ways behind the few known trapped doors in the Dungeon of the Crypt under the City of the Dead. With these doors now overcome, new unknown riches await down these unexplored passages.” Grasping his ogre-bane longsword and waiving his other arm for emphasis.

Bartolus Menk was an imposing figure, scars and muscles covered his average frame. His boots give him the swiftness to use two blades in combat- a feat of both strength and speed. Bartolus grew up in the punishing streets of Waterdeep learning how to fight at an early age. Going from job to job as a mercenary to city guard in the City of the Dead; he recently settled on an adventuring career.

“My companions did not return as I from the large skeleton warriors we first encountered unfortunately. But with a more capable group…” Bartolus let his voice trail off hoping his implied plea would be understood.

The priestess grinned and worked these two initiates into her plan. Indeed explore the passages and if they return all the better; she will then focus every resource at her disposal in the church to bring about the end of house Roaringhorn.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's only the beginning

Lakari waited nervously outside the noble’s estate. Though she had played this game a hundred times, tonight felt different. The priestess had completed her post sacrificial ritual on time but had only received a fraction of the blessings. It seemed as if Bhaal had his focus elsewhere & had only paid her prayers lip service. She had retraced her steps over the last few weeks, and was sure she had done nothing to upset the lord of murder. Nastorrian had chosen this mark sanctioned by the church; she was doing Bhaal’s will. She knew her lord’s motives were his own, and she was confident they would be reveled in time. So she waited for this evening’s entertainment to play out so she could get back to Nastorrian and discuss her anxieties.

Tonight’s version of the game was one of her favorites. Dullards dispatch! It requires slipping the mark a cursed Hat of Stupidity then inviting him out for a night of drinking and gambling. The hat guarantees they bring plenty of money and little else as body guards and weapons will surely hinder his entertainment. This particular target was a former adventurer; Cork Renford had crossed the wrong people and his time had come. He had married into a small noble family and had all but ruined the family name. Lakari could hear Cork before he exited the estate. Already drunk he was boasting about his gambling skills and his plans for this evenings jackpot. Lakari had to move fast, as Cork made his way through the streets he was drawing way to much attention to himself. The hat had eliminated most of his common sense and what it hadn’t stolen the liquor had claimed for itself. It wasn’t long before Cork was throwing his money around and would be broke before he reached his destination. If she hoped to make a profit of this endeavor she had to strike now. Moving through the alleyways she plotted an intercept course that would provide her the most beneficial place to strike. As Cork rounded the corner Lakari struck, two quick blows and the target was down. Looking around she knew she was in the clear.

She enjoyed the subtly of her signature finisher. A quick spell that would snuff out the life of her latest victim, as well as increase her abilities for a short time. She felt using Bhaal’s power for the killing stroke was a fitting way to show respect to the lord of murder. As she began reciting her spell she knew immediately something was wrong. Not only was the surge of power absent but the more she reached out the farther away Bhaal seemed. Then all at once it was gone. The connection with the church, the support of other followers, even the blessings of the lord himself all vanished. She had never felt so alone as she did right now. She quickly fished the remaining coins out of her prays pocket and rushed towards the City of the Dead. Something was seriously wrong and she hoped Nastorrian would have some answers.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tales from the Circle of Eight

While the story remains popular bard's tale even today, nevertheless no one quite remembers just how long the tradition of the Regifting had been observed…

Looking down at the hand dealt to him and then over the pile of gold to the seven other wizards and magi who were in-kind drawn into card game, Mordenkainen grimaced as he did not have the gold to wager for much longer. Mordenkainen was an inner planes traveler and current leader in the Circle of Eight, a group of arcane spellcasters from across the known worlds.

“It is to you Mord and your copious resources!” mused Finian Garwoode a rude wizard from the Realms known for his tricks and misdirections."or would your rather employ... 'creative tactics' to tip the balance in your favor?"

Fisban the Fabulous, a power from Krynn, looked down his nose at Garwoode and snorted- seriously at his end with incessant taunts of that one. He nevertheless kept out of this new contest at the table as their was more at stake here than just the gold at the table.

Mordenkainen regarded his colleges and then his cards. “I’ll see your raise Garwoode of the brown robe,” pushing the meager remains of his gold into the pot. “And raise you a... MAGICAL SWORD."

Fisban hid his face in his hands as Mordenkainen reached into the sleeves of his astral robes and produced a lusterless dark longsword and placed it upon the table in front of the Circle of Eight.

Before Garwoode could protest Fisban interjected, “You know the stakes here Mordenkainen. Who here could or would brandish such a weapon?” "What..."

“Its ok,” Garwoode announced to the surprise of the Circle, and with a smile said “Let him win his gold back.”

Garwoode walked away later that night with most of the gold and the magical sword.

At their next palaver, the Circle was treated to song and dance as Mordenkainen celebrated his birthday. Wishing no ill will toward a fellow wizard of the Circle of Eight and because it would continue the rivalry; Garwoode gifted the sword back to the man of the hour: Mordenkainen.

And so as a present on golden birthdays, anniversaries, or a gift at graduations or dedications, the same magical longsword was passed along to a new bearer as 'initiation' into a select group of elite wizards, magi and sorcerers that continuously regift Mordenkeinen’s Sword.

" A Druid's Bag of Tricks"

This old, fine book is a masterwork spellbook, though it holds no spells or arcane notes. A thick leather spine is attached to covers of polished darkwood that always have a rich gleam, as if they had just been oiled. The book holds 150 pages of green tinted vellum that have been sewn to a leather spine and glued to the covers. The entire book has been treated with unguent of timelessness, and is in pristine condition despite its great age. The text and illustrations are inscribed with a glistening ink made of tree sap, mercury and silver powder. The book's author identifies himself often, signing the cover and nearly every illustration with his name, Elnar Allylan. The text clearly reveals him as a ranger, and the book is written in a flowing, precise elven script. It is never revealed in the book who the druid is that teaches him all the things he records in this eloquent collection of lore.

The first 25 pages list detailed instructions on how to make the three types of Bag of Tricks from the core rulebook. It includes drawings of the rare plants, herbs and oils to be worked into the pelts of the types of animals to be summoned. These ingredients actually make up most of the expenses in the construction of these items.

The next 25 pages give instructions and description of a fourth type of Bag of Tricks, called a Druid's Bag of Tricks. Instead of holding random selections of animals, these bags are designed to hold specific animals that are called forth like the creatures in a bag of tricks. These animals are wondrous items in their own right, called Trick Totems, and are created with a process described later in the book. A druids bag can hold any number of Trick Totems, but the bag itself doesn't summon forth animals as the lesser versions do. Any trick Totem pulled from a Druid's Bag has a duration of up to 1 hour instead of 10 minutes. Any Totem stored in a Druid's bag need only rest 4 hours before being called again. Caster level 9; med conjuration; slot - ; price 16000 gp
Requirements: craft wondrous item ; summon nature's ally V ; cost 8000 gp

The next 50 pages detail the harvest and preparation of animal and dire animal pelts to craft them into Trick Totems. A Trick Totem comes in three levels of power: least, lesser, and greater. A least Totem can be made of any animal with a CR of 3 or less. Lesser totems are made of any animal with a CR 4-6, and greater totems are used to conjure an animal with a CR 7-12. Most Totems are made of dire versions of animals. Totems can be stored in a Bag of Tricks, and indeed must rest in one between summonings. They are never summoned randomly by the Bag they are in, nor do they count against the one at a time rule for animals summoned out of a Bag. In fact, any number of Totems may be summoned from the Bag that Carries them. A Totem serves as any other animal from the bag would, for up to 10 minutes. After it's used, a totem must rest for 8 hours before it can be summoned again. Note that Totems stored in a Druid's Bag have extended duration and lessened rest times. A gray Bag of Tricks can hold 3 Trick Totems. A rust Bag can hold as many as 5 Trick Totems. A tan Bag can hold up to 10 Totems. A Druid's Bag can hold any number of Totems.

least totem CL 9 ; moderate conjuration ; slot - ; price 1700. Requirements; craft wondrous item, summon nature's ally II, hide from animal ; cost 850 gp

lesser totem CL 9 ; moderate conjuration ; slot - ; price 4250 gp. Requirements: craft wondrous item, summon nature's ally IV, animal hide ; cost 2175 gp.

greater totem CL 9 ;moderate conjuration ; slot - ; price 8000 gp. Requirements: craft wondrous item, summon nature's ally V, animal hide ; cost 4000 gp

These 50 pages are filled with illustrations and notes on expert techniques of skinning and tanning the hides of nearly every dire animal and their mundane cousins found in the authors home forest. Illustrations of rare plants and herbs needed for the treatment of these hides are also included in that section.

The next 25 pages describe a mystical ceremony by which creation of Trick Totems is possible without any knowledge of the spells or feats normally required. The author describes and illustrates an exceptionally rare night flowering vine found only in remote groves of a forest. He gives a meticulous account of the process to correctly harvest and dry and grind the blossoms, and mix them with a blend of pollens , and spring water from a magic pool that the author claims brought beloved pets back to life. When a hide is treated this way, it is transformed into a Trick Totem.

The last 25 pages are the authors illustrations, notes, and lore research into 5 different magical beasts. Giant Eagles, griffons, pegasus, hippogriffs and manticores are all written about in some detail.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tales from the Evermoor Way

The Guntar “Griz” Griswold could not remember a time when he was this busy. A craftsman through and through, he was also a civil engineer; a lover of dogs; and thoroughly enjoyed the city life of Waterdeep. He loved a good bard and a cozy seat at the bar. He was always reluctant to adventure however, claiming there would be no one to care for his ‘best friends’ Thomas, Odie, Ren, and Mordred if he were to perish. For Guntar Griswold there was no other creature capable of such obedience, loyalty or duty than his hounds.

A foray in to under mountain on a wager over the winter months settled the dwarf’s nerves for adventure and garnered him a most unusual item: a spade of colossal excavation.

Griz was already a member of a gild and indeed, that winter the dwarf became a crew onto himself as a public works employee for Waterdeep. But a new endeavor promising ‘historical’ work and a ‘chance to see the untamed North’ came about that spring. He was apprehensive, it would still be government work and would get him out of Waterdeep for a time; something his friend Mason at the Pampered Traveler said he needed to do once and a while. A summer vacation of sorts. Little did he expect that news of his aid in the extension of the Trade Way would gain him popularity and renown as the record rains that summer created a market for the dwarf and his fabulous spade.

With a grunt Griz gathered his tools and wiped the rain and sweat from his grisly brow; the Evermoor Way was finally completed and in time for Sheildmeet. Heading for the Yartar gates he walked past the Halls of Happenstance and watched the priests of Tymora attempt to count the multitudes of traders, outcasts and even Uthgardt arriving for Shieldmeet. That would not be him as he was venturing forth to the start of his next job, he motioned for his dogs to follow when a rumble shook Griz to his feat. Looking around dazed and confused he watched in horror and in speechless fascination as his four closest friends and companions joined and shifted to form a humanoid figure.

Confused and desperate sounds filtered from every avenue in town as the sky became dark and still. In the darkness Griz couldn’t see clearly the individual before him, but in the confusing days that followed Guntar Griswold described a tall muscular man wearing shining polished armor, possessing a great and marvelous sword; the individual did not possess a human head but instead had the head of a handsome noble hound possessing intelligent, deadly eyes.

Review Chapter 3 Session 1

We begin exhausted from our battle with the green dragon Marshana and our two month ordeal of torture. We take time to go through what possessions we have and equipping our Samular kin with treasure at hand. We spend some time in discussion regarding our next course of action and the direction we should walk. Remembering that the river is flooded to the west of the Forest of Wyrms, we decide to head north to north west, presuming that we will hit the trade road and find our way to Secomber from there.

Heading north, several members of the nine note that the comet that was seen in Toril skies before our capture has moved and is very close to the moon. Someone comments that the comet is striking debris in the heavens. Tauron notices that the glowing lights trailing in the sky are actually debris falling to Toril. As we continued north we were surprised when the night sky lit up near the moon, followed a few minutes later by a wave of concussive force none of us had ever felt before.

About an hour later, hidden in darkness, fast moving creatures run by us, attacking as they pass in flight, finally being revealed as Axe Beaks, well outside their normal terrain. Tauron wonders if they have achieved some magical movement, while Damian surmises the concussive blast has terrified the beasts causing their herd to trample and run through unfamiliar grounds.

Bordane indicates an interest in the ruins of a city once favored by Mystra that we passed beneath months prior on our way to our fate with Marshana. It was agreed by all that the Midnight Blue dragon who had stolen our Samular Legacy items likely laired in the ruined city, due to the presence of a magical barrier placed there by the goddess of magic. After our battle with the Axe Beaks, Damian prepped some meat from the fallen birds and searched for a decent camp site on higher ground, hoping to avoid other predators. After a night of rest, all of the Nine wished they could spend another day at rest but knew that to survive, we would need to keep placing one foot in front of the other.

Soon the horizon revealed a rising ziggurat of ancient stone, a land mark leading us towards the ruined city that Bordane felt such a strong connection to. As we grew closer and could see more of the ruin Wayne confessed, that the hatred he had felt yesterday for our draconic enemies was gone, indicating it meant that the Blue dragon who dared to steal some of our Samular items was no longer there. Bordane’s business however, was not complete. Bordane lead us through the magical barrier after Briar suggested we all hold hands while following his lead. Finally through the barrier the Company of Nine comes upon strange tracks as well as a rather large but empty rat’s nest. Soon, scaly bodies are spotted, half hidden but lying upon the ground. After Tauron poked them with a lance, the rest of the party moved forward and studied the two bodies, which were revealed to be dead Yuan Ti. They’re corpses were shredded with such violence and ferocity that Bordane expressed the belief that only a lycanthrope could terrorize a Yuan Ti in such a manner. Damian, upon hearing that, beheaded the dead monsters and prepared to scatter the corpse before Eva intervened, calling upon divine forces to question the fallen scales souls.

It was confirmed by the souls that they served the Midnight Blue Dragon but she had flown north to the Nether Mountains; to a location that caused some to surmise that the blue beast was on the trail of the Nether Scrolls. The souls also indicated that the sudden attacks by the lycanthropes were brought about by the strange heavenly phenomenon surrounding the moon. Eva studied the talking corpses during questioning and as they finished providing what information they could, damned them completely by raising the two as skeletal guardians.

Bordane then began leading us through the ruins back towards the large Ziggurat which was lit up by a pillar of multi colored light. Just as we neared entry into the large structure, Bordane turned, pointed down into the bowl of the city and told us to go there. It was here that we found a strange magical pentagram of a sort, with each point having strange symbols and gems, unique pieces of art, somehow powering the pillar of magical multi colored light, the force behind the barrier surrounding the city. After some study, agreement was reached as to the meanings of each symbol and the deities they represent. Bordane first spoke to Tauron who claimed that his weapon desired to cut a swath through the light above Mystra’s symbol, which Bordane encouraged and Tauron declined. Bordane called upon his unique resistance to magic and with bare hand removed the gem, later described as a soul stone. As the moment occurred, somewhere in the heavens, Bane murdered the goddess of magic and that which was prophesied, the godsfall begins.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tales from Zhentil Keep

Lord Ferestian Halaster had spent too much time working his way up through the Zhentarim to allow anyone in his network to go unchecked. That had been his predecessors downfall, considering some problems too small or trivial for his attention. When Ferestian was promoted to overseeing the area covering the Serpent Hills, the domain from Harkstag to Xonthal’s Tower, he needed to know as much as he could about the various Zhent agents they employed there. Ferestian asked for and received permission from the Council of Lords to use The Strangers, specialist Zhent wizards that manipulated magic to alter and change their appearance at will. Three months before Ferestian had sent out a half dozen Strangers and today the first Stranger, Vicarzo DeMarcain returned from Xonthal’s Tower with a report on Hansibal Droun a merchant agent working and residing in the village. The reports from Hansibal had been of little importance or detail in the files Ferestian had reviewed before sending the Stranger. Ferestian was particularly troubled by the lack of detail on those travelling through the Greypeak Mountains.

“Did you know that Hansibal once had a wife?” enquired Vicarzo, “Most of the locals have forgotten her but she was said to be quite exotic.” Ferestian nodded hoping the wizard would continue. “Lots of interesting tidbits on our Mr. Droun, some people in Xonthal’s Tower believe that Hansibal was there when the Darhold nine attacked the tower and if that were true it would have been before he was converted to our cause.”

“Is he compromised?” Ferestian querried. “He should be easily replaced.”

The stranger stared at Ferestian for a moment, his physical form began shifting, startling the Zhentarim Lord. Where seconds before had sat a curly, dark haired, male of medium size and age, now sat a woman whose skin had a greenish brown tint and exotic pale drawn face of regal bearing. “Hansibal Droun has three daughters that look much like this” The shockingly male voice informed, “while the wife was said to have perished at childbirth, triplets it would seem.”

Lord Halaster stared at the Strangers form while moving from behind his desk to the book shelf along the west wall of his office. Pulling down a tome from the shelf he turned the pages until he came upon the drawing, an artist’s rendition of one of the fabled monsters that roamed the Serpent Hills. Handing the book over to the altered Vicarzo, they both stared down at a greenish brown creature the tome identified as a Yuan Ti.

“I think his wife had a secret Lord Halaster, a racial secret.” The Stranger intoned as he returned to his normal form. “She didn’t die, she was revealed, at least to him. I know the daughters have sorcerous powers.”

“What are they involved in Vicarzo? I thought Sorcery was only derived from Dragon Blood?”

The Stranger smiled and responded, “Strangely enough, have you heard of a dragon named Marshana? The daughters recently returned with tales of her from their travels through The Forest of Wyrms.”

Forgotten Realms Calender

It's the End of the World as we Know it.


... Toril...

... mash-up.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Level Up!

"Companions, I thank you, all of you, for your brave and courageous fight for these many weeks. That we deliver the killing blows that killed Marshana and her vile cultists, that we are the hunters of the Cult, is vengeance and richly deserved justice. Tymora must surely smile on our endeavors, for the luck of Her touch was evident every where this fate-filled day. It says to me that luck favors the bold, hunters bold enough to hunt these dragon scourge in their lairs, gamblers bold enough to accept risk to claim success and gain, companions bold enough to take their destinies. Us. We the Company of Nine. Tymora shines on us. And I will reflect that gift with renewed and more fervent faith in Her guiding influence. With Luck on our side, we might even survive our destinies."