Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Zadrian's Down Time

In the two weeks of downtime Zadrian is able to complete two new magic items, the second of which requires the assistance of the Wendell Rasierik to complete.  Zadrian is confident the priest will provide his assistance because the item will be given to Wendell when it is finished. Not only do the items reflect our experiences but I hope they enhance our reputation in Tragidore for handling supernatural problems.  We ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Goggles of Night (6 Days to Create)
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd  Slot eyes; Price 12,000 gp; Weight —

The lenses of this item are made of violet crystal.
Even though the lenses are opaque, when placed over the eyes of the wearer, they enable him to see normally and also grant him 60-foot darkvision.
Both lenses must be worn for the magic to be effective.

Craft Wondrous Item, darkvision; Cost 6,000 gp.
This content was created for the Pathfinder rules by Paizo Publishing LLC and is part of the Pathfinder RPG product line.  Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Equipment (OGL) © 2012, Paizo Publishing

Gloves, Ghostvision (2 Days to Create)
Aura faint divination and evocation; CL 5th Slot hands; Price 4,000 gp; Weight —

These gloves are made of pale gray silk; each is adorned with an embroidered silver eye on the back.
Once per day the wearer may activate them, as a standard action, by bowing her head and pressing her hands to her eyes. The embroidered silver eyes flare and open, and when the wearer lowers her hands, deep pools of swirling gray mist hide her own eyes and allow her to more clearly see the restless dead for the next 10 rounds. While active, ghostvision gloves grant the following effects.

The wearer can see all undead within 60 feet clearly, including ethereal undead and incorporeal undead hiding in objects or walls to a depth of 5 feet.
If the wearer has the channel positive energy class ability, she may expend one use of channeled positive energy to make a ranged touch attack against one undead creature within channel range. If the ranged touch attack hits, she rolls channel energy damage against that target (affecting no other creatures), except she rolls d12s instead of d6s.
While the gloves are active, constructs and living opponents treat the wearer as blind.

CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS (Met with Wendell's assistance)
Craft Wondrous Item, detect undead, searing light, channel positive energy class ability; Cost 2,000 gp.

This content was created for the Pathfinder rules by Paizo Publishing LLC and is part of the Pathfinder RPG product line. Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Equipment (OGL) © 2012, Paizo Publishing,

04/22/15 Tragidore Session 8: Defeating the Erodaemon and Instrducing a Cleric of Two Gods

The session began in the midst of combat between the five heroes of Tragidore against Annabeth, Shaysera, and Taergan Flinn. The battle raged through the alchemy lab, Annabeth’s gruesome lair, the prison dungeon, as well as a secret passage that linked the lower-level with the spiked-pit trap from the entrance above. While each foe proved to be elusive, summoning aid or calling upon bear-constructs, it was only after the daemons were destroyed and Taergan was given nowhere to run did the alchemist surrender.

In the after math of the battle both Branda and Igneous were released while Taergan was locked up waiting to be extradited to Tragidore for his crimes. But the Tulles were not the only ones remanded to the dungeons; two Caliban experiments (who were later put down) and a human cleric who, after receiving healing, also aided in the fight against Taergan and his accomplices.
Alaric the Valiant

The man’s name was Alaric, a man out of time; he is the only surviving member of ‘the Valiant’ a military unit of clerics highly trained in arcane magic during the Weeping War centuries ago. Many of his unit fell to Annabeth’s lies becoming abandoned ones, but Alaric held to his faith and resisted only to have his soul stolen into a gemstone. Over the untold years his soul was bartered and traded but never consumed until on the night the Time of Troublesended and the old gods and new gods took their respective places in the planes- the soul of Alaric the Valiant was freed from his faceted prison and brought back as an incarnate. This turn of events incensed Annabeth but intrigued Taergan who began his experiments on altering the Caliban’s physicality using Alaric in his twisted processes.

Meanwhile Branda and Igneous relay their time in Taergan’s dungeons and just how much the alchemist had lost his way listening to the lies of the erodaemon, as well as what they understand of the rest of Bitter Manor. Taergan, his apprentices, and the daemons only occupied the first and lower levels. The remaining floors were occupied by other sinister entities. However the battle was harrowing and exhaustive and necessitated a full-nights rest. The rest period was uneventful however faint child-like cries echoes through the old manor house, and upon waking the heroes notice it has started to snow.
Refreshed and leveled up, the heroes explored the remaining rooms and secret passages of the first floor then to the second level to find a library, display room, and finally a burned-out master bedroom. Several clues led to a conclusion that dragon-fire was the cause, given the dragon fear and thundering roar heard during the battle with Taergan the previous day. Found among the burned-out remains were blackened draconic iconography as well as the immersion list with a few familiar names among unknowns.

As snow continued to fall, on the third floor the heroes encountered attic whisperers and Caitrin Deveraux another echo of a woman damned because of Annabeth’s lies. After defeating the Bitter Manor dinizens it was decided to hold up until the snow storm broke before making the slow trek back to Tragidore. There was the division of treasure ending with Cadthronn getting the next first pick of loot. We begin next session after a two-week period of downtime with a firm series of knocks at the door. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tragidore: Choices Made

Aurora’s footfalls made small crunching sounds over the fresh Mistledale snow fall as she made her way to The Gentleman’s Mage. The Sembian merchant heiress had arranged the wholesale acquisition of the contents of the Gentleman’s through political favors and her family’s name.

It was actually a blessing that the recent- no, ongoing circumstances in Tragidore forestalled the auction of The Gentleman’s Mage so that she could properly set plans in motion. Lacking some influence she was able to spend her downtime increasing her hereto unknown public profile and now with the acquisition in place Aurora Tenloss can finally have the Grand Opening she wanted; ahead of schedule.

Masten Lutar
Pausing briefly in front of the miniature of the city, a magnificent display of craftsmanship, when Matsen Lutar approached from her left, he was dressed in a parka and wool cloak but his hands were exposed as were the eight rings he wore. He smelled of spiced wood and conspiracy.

“A message from Father Dournas,” Matsen said once he was sure they would not be overheard and handed over a small scroll to Aurora.

After reading the message she looked at Matsen in outrage. “I will not publicly support a deity I do not agree with.” She said in a hushed tone. “What do I have to gain to do so?”

“Aurora you know it will bring more souls into the faith and besides you need Dournas’ political savvy and perspective. You do remember I was sent here to protect and advise you?” Matsen said passively.

“I would say ‘need’ overstating my position; I have grown quite popular since I was sent away and I am quite capable of protecting myself.” Aurora said raising a delicate hand to thumb a lock of hair from her eyes.

“Nevertheless, it is commonplace in Sembia to afford traveling clerics a measure of respect by sending a message to the people Aurora- your clientele that you hold tradition in high regard.” Matsen said.

“We are not in Sembia, besides I do not need a history lesson Masten, now if you will excuse me I have another appointment.” Aurora said to Matsen turning to trace a path through the snow to The Gentleman’s Mage.

Jonark Uptal
Inside The Gentleman’s Mage shop of alchemy, fine tailors, and recoveries Jonark Uptal walked impassively down the rows and behind the counters casually inspecting the shop’s wares waiting for his morning appointment.

The murder of Tolger Mann was a blessing in Jonark’s eyes he mused, because it gave Jonark just the weight he needed. Before now the only promising avenue for him was the abandoned alchemist’s townhome, but a complete storefront was beyond hoping for. Seizing it would give him the resource to reaffirm his position in Tragidore and therefore retain his seat on the Mistledale Council. If he could not reaffirm, then he could find himself replaced on the Council.

A rapping at the door stole Jonark from his inner thoughts, composing himself he opened the door careful not to let the wind blow it open and allowed Aurora Tenloss into the establishment and after a few moments the two of them were enjoying warm tea.

“I want everything in here including whatever is in the loft above and cellar below.” Aurora said with no break in her conversational tone.  

“Of course,” Jonark said fingering his amulet. “and you must agree to promote my election at every turn. I do not care if you are getting your nails done or peddling your goods, I want your outward verbal support. Are you comfortable with that?” Jonark asked as he produced the contract legalizing the transfer of the Gentleman’s Mage to Aurora Tenloss.

Aurora considered the subtext in each of her encounters today she was getting used to subterfuge in the face of ambition. But after a long glance, neither of them looking away, she signed the papers then suddenly stopped. Jonark reached over and grabbed the papers before she could protest.

“Wait the date of sale is at the end of the week! You snake! Why is that?” Aurora said, her face taking on reddish hues. This turn of events would delay her Grand Opening, so much for being ahead of schedule she thought morosely.

“It is the day after the election; this way I am sure that you will support my campaign because of I fail to reaffirm in Tragidore then this transfer will surely be delayed until another Councilman is appointed- if it goes through at all.” Jonark said coarsely through a smirk.

“Go to hell Jonark. I will honor the agreement with a small caveat.” Aurora said, her own smile emerging through her fiery beauty.

“Oh? And what it that?” Jonark asked, honestly taken aback.

Aurora took a measure of the man and spoke, “You are going to pronounce your faith in Waukeen tomorrow along with me at the site of last week’s dragon attack or I assure you that thirty days into your term as Councilman- evidence will begin to surface that you hired a necromancer with treasury funds to animate the corpses of deceased of this city for…”

“Enough!” Jonark interrupted menacingly grabbing her forcibly with an exotic metal right-arm extended from the sleeves of his finery. “Woman, I could crush you, tear your throat out.”

Aurora was shocked as she struggled for breath, and then finally pressed her magic ring on Jonark’s bald head. The resulting impact separated them, each being knocked back to opposite walls. After a few moments Jonark Uptal regained consciousness and found himself alone, pissed as hell, and contemplating his next move.

Aurora’s Grand Opening Updated:

Drow Items
(2) +1 Spider Silk Armor                               1,160 gp
(2) +2 Adamantine Lt. Mace                         11,005 gp                            
(2) +2 Cloak of Resistance                             4,000 gp
(3) +1 Mithril Rapier                                      3,020 gp
(3) +1 Mithril Elven Chain                             6,100 gp

Amulet of natural armor +2                            8,000 gp
Full plate +2                                                    5,650 gp
Burglar’s buckler                                            4,655 gp

Longbow +2                                                    8,375 gp
Shortspear +2                                                  8,301 gp

Belt of incredible dexterity +2                        4,000 gp
Eyes of the owl                                               4,000 gp
Headband of ponderous recollection              5,100 gp
Mnemonic Vestment                                      5,000 gp

Manual of gainful exercise +1                        27,500 gp

Ring of counterspell                                         4,000 gp
Ring of protection +2                                       8,000 gp

Choker of the Siphoning Scorpion                   8,000 gp
Quicksilver Gloves                                           7,000 gp
Gossiper’s Gourd                                              12,500 gp
Goblet of Liquefied Cognition                         18,000 gp
Familiar’s Soulstone                                         10,500 gp
Crest of the Fallen                                            12,000 gp

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Immersion List

Bishimzon- old wizard from Hillsfar, currently held in Swift Prison, his talents will aid the Endeavor by eliminating tainted or otherwise malign recovered magic

Handragath Zhion- well established among his peers, he seems like the logical choice to lead the Endeavor in the Polyandrium

Holgast Raiserik- Patriarch of his family in Tragidore, he commits to a score of arcanists through his various contacts for the Endeavor

Naergoth Bladelord- failed Cult leader in Sembia, nevertheless a skilled fighter, his ‘contribution’ will be to Beautiful Flower

Rathwill- a seemingly gentle, cultured man is a manipulative master, and in my opinion one of the greatest single forces for evil loose in the Dragonreach. 

Marjon- half-dragon, born in Myth Drannor and with that comes a wealth of local information- Marjon is also the recognized tribal leader of the dragon-kin

Zilvreen- from Saerloon he is a dangerous and soft-spoken master thief given to the use of poisons and potions, he will be of great use in crypts

Ellis Giraud- a bastard of his noble family in Saerloon, a capable tactician- vicious, deadly, and endowed man- my personal guard?

Ariel Manx- my weapon x, my spy

Nevessam- privileged noble and arcanist, referred to the Endeavor by Holgast Raiserik, authority on the Scarab

Supreme High Dragonservant Faerlaur Onthim- from Urmlaspyr Sembia, he supports the Endeavor with his followership of 6 clerics, 13 inquisitors and undead walkers

Ryngoth- an unforgiving and forgetting cleric who is not above slavery

Shamoor Emeny- 1st cleric under the Dragonservant, greedy and distrustful

Salvarad- man? Woman? (many faces) 2nd cleric under the Dragonservant, outspoken and charismatic- likes to hide in the open

Indrith Shalla- High Priest from Elversult, a convicted of murder who proclaims to be the voice of her goddess

Bitter Manor Treasure (The End of Tragedy)

Rooms 6 Alchemy Labs, 1 Ballroom, 1 Barth, 10 Bedrooms, 4 Book Repositories, 1 Burial Ground, 5 Cells, 1 Ceremonial Room, 1 Common Room, 2 Courtyards, 1 Crypt, 2 Defensive Walls (stone), 6 Kitchens, 1 Nursery, 1 Office, 2 Secret Rooms (Passages), 3 Sitting Rooms, 4 Statues, 1 Storage, 2 Trophy Rooms, 3 Traps.
Cost to Create 595 Goods, 34 Influence, 590 Labor, 18 Magic (26,510 gp)
Notes: Roof collapsed (third floor damaged)

Calibans on the Road to Tragidore
(3) Hand Axe (6 gp), (6) Alchemist Fire (20 gp), (3) Tanglefoot bag (50 gp), Coins totaling 15 gp. (Sembian Coinage) (Alaric takes everything) 

The Grave Yard, Mausoleum and Manor House Bridge
Cloak of Resistance +1 (Cadthoronn), Icon of Aspects (Wendell), Bracers of Armor +1 (Alan), Falcon Cloak (Wendell), Scroll of charm person, floating disk, mage armor (x2), summon swarm, touch of the sea, true strike, unseen servant, urban grace; wand of cure light wounds (25 charges) (Cadthronn), wand of mirror image (10 charges) (Arne) as well as scrolls pertaining to and information on the Scarab of Nasadra. (Wendell takes potions and scrolls)

Tristeza House
Dulvan: +1 leather armor (Cadthronn), +1 short sword (Zadrian), +1 light crossbow )Wendell), whispering gloves (Zadrian), cats paws (Wendell), potion of protection from law, potion of invisibility, potion of endure elements, potion of bear's endurance, potion of cure light wounds (2). (Alan takes potions and scrolls)

Taergan Flinn: +1 chain shirt (Alaric), +1 dagger (Arne), headband of vast intelligence +2 (Zadrian), potion of resist fire 10, potion of undetectable alignment, Potion of mage armor, potion of blur, potion of protection from law, Potion of magic fang, potion of protection from chaos, wand of cure light wounds (25 charges) (Alaric), a weirding watch. (Alan takes potions and scrolls)

Tiller Merseine: mstrwk studded leather, mstrwk morningstar (Alaric), oil of magic weapon, oil of shillelagh, potion of enlarge person, potion of mage armor, potion of remove fear, wand of color spray (15 charges) (Alaric), assisting gloves(Arne potions/oils)

Franz Dorthin: mstrwk studded leather, mstrwk lt. mace, oil of magic weapon, oil of magic stone, potion of reduce person, potion of mage armor, potion of bear's endurance, wand of cure light wounds (24 charges) (Wendell), assisting gloves(Arne potions/oils)

Annabeth: Candle of Invocation, Deathglance Locket (Zadrian), Gorget of living whispers (Zadrian), (5)smoky gray Soul-gems. (Tolger Mann, Ina [The Jilted Bride to Be], Filus Berot [Former Mayor of Hope’s Hollow], and Milsa Meet) The Codex of Arnlaug (Cadthronn) and The Shield of Vladik.

Bright Evening Star (Cadthoronn)

A wide masterwork tapestry of green-and-gold silk; its design resembles a family tree of events and dates that illustrates Annabeth’s lies and daemonic influence since Tragidore’s founding.

10,000 gp

Caitrin Deveraux: Amulet of Grasping Souls
Eternal Youth
This thick volume contains the findings and experiments of Taergan Flinn, a frustrated and aging half-elf who, in his prime, was a brilliant alchemist and fearless adventurer. Afflicted with magical aging fifty years ago he searched for the secret of magically restored youth, enlisting apprentices to assist in his research documenting his discoveries.

The notebook reveals how Flinn first obsessed over magical paths to immortality; wanting something more permanent than expensive elixirs, and without the eternal commitment of undeath.

He experimented on ways to transfer consciousness from one body to another, and decided to use a group of calibans he discovered in the Verduran as test subjects. His first attempts to transfer consciousness completely failed. Thinking the problem was that the creatures were too dissimilar from himself, he tried altering their biology to better match his own; but all he managed to do was create a few dozen violent monstrous ‘clones’ of himself that were released into the wild.

Then about a year ago the notes take a stark turn as the fiend Annabeth, an erodaemon-a creature devoted to severing the bonds between friends or families, enticed Flinn with the secret of restoring his own youth in exchange for him betraying his former adventuring companions.

Eternal Youth now turn journal, recounts how Flinn saw Annabeth ‘the Woman’ among his friends and family during Rhoma’s wake after she died. The death broke Flinn’s resolve resulting in him accepting Annabeth’s offer which began the plotting of events leading to Moonfeast and his elaborate trap.

Saysera, a Venedaemon (the sandcloak thief) an outsider fanatical to the concept of death by magic was summarily brought in as to also aid in Flinn’s research.

In addition Eternal Youth details the secrets behind the creation of an Embalming Bear:
The bear carcass, taxidermy process, and armor for an embalming bear cost 900 gp in raw materials alone. In addition, the construct must be injected with 1,200 gp worth of special embalming fluid.
Embalming Bear
CL 8th; Price 18, 500 gp

Requirements: Craft Construct, animate objects, minor creation, creator must be caster level 8th; Skill Craft (taxidermy) DC 18; Cost 10,300 gp

04/15/15 Tragidore Session 7: Bitter Manor

Session began in the former Mayor’s home in Hope’s Hollow. After speaking with Lerral Armonde, the assumed Mayor who just returned to the area, she assured the group that she would try to rebuild the community as soon as she finds out who to trust.
On the journey back to Tragidore Arne was able to track the individual identified during the riot, the enthraller was using magical aid to hasten his retreat to the city. Along the way the group encountered a group of similar looking calibans who stopped at the cliff exactly where the jilted bride haunt was located. Getting the drop on the monsters the Tragidore heroes defeated the calibans, recovered some treasure and with Wendel taking the necessary dive down the cliff, destroyed the haunt.
In Tragidore the heroes went to Trinity church and introduce Bethany Solerer (incarnate) to Anna Pimm. Here the group also learned both Rantal and Verith were away to attend a religious retreat, Gideon Rasierik was resting/exhausted from scribing his books, and find also recovered a note from Igneous:
We received word that Taergan is being held against his will in the Verduran. We have set out to find him at a place called Bitter Manor at once. Please bring whatever you need and join us as soon as you can. Bring word of Dern’s safety with you. –Igneous.
With a blessing from Azuth, who in his wisdom granted you the ability prepare spells again before going north in the Verduran and along the River Ashaba to rescue the married couple, bring the alchemist Flinn to justice, and uncover the mystery behind the entity called Annabeth.

More edits and info to come

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tragidore: After Hope's Hollow

Lerral Armonde cautiously approached Mother’s Care Home; she padded the satchel that contained the cache of scrolls Zadrian left for her knowing that if any maleficent supernatural spirit were to manifest, she could get escape. Lerral was trustful of the Nether Scroll group and the report of their findings on the Home, but nevertheless caution was what kept one alive. She did not after all know if the callous orator was about or if he had fled or if the chaos he wrought was lasting.

The night came on fast alongside a thick onset of clouds bringing with it a wind that blew Lerral’s cloak open causing the gust to prickle her dark flesh.

Approaching the front doors of the hospice Lerral could smell the fire from Alan’s fireball and the burnt flesh of the disorderlies. Again Lerral was relying on the trust of the five from Tragidore that there were no remaining threats in the nightmarish care-home.

Entering the social hall she could see flashes and horrifying impressions of the battle that took place only hours ago. On her right she could see Zadrian fighting for his life against dark and twisted folk; the brothers Alan and Arne fighting back to back against the insane Doctor Tiffan and the Vulnudaemons; and even now through the gore she could see six ghastly forms, each in stained hospital gowns watching her with wide eyes, and when four of them rose and turned toward her Lerral became paralyzed with fear.

“Hail,” came an unexpected greeting from one of the group; a physically frail and obvious psychologically broken old man.
Lerral Armonde

Looking again Lerral saw that these were not supernatural horrors but the survivors she was told about, they had grouped themselves together in the absence of their oppressors but had only reached the social hall where the battle took place. Two of the men appeared to be in wheelchairs while two more men and two women stood and were in relatively poor condition with deep rings around their eyes and dry chapped lips.

“Hail, I am Dern Fosimuth did someone send you here young Lady?” Dern asked; Lerral noticed he was one of the men in the chairs.

“Yes and well met, my name is Lerral Armonde and I’m here to help you. Is there anyone else alive?” Lerral asked Dern who shook his head.

“We are all that left Miss Armonde. Let me introduce everyone. Lady Bathia Morn and Mistress Daphne Snow,” indicating the women. “My counterpart inthe other wheelchair there is Gill Elmaran, and then this is Naergoth Bladelord and Lancelin Halaster.”
Daphne Snow
As each exchanged greetings, Lerral found she could read their personalities and therefore watched and listened as she one by one pushed each man and woman from Mother’s Care Home to the sanctuary of the Mayoral Home. It took her over an hour, breaking both wheelchairs necessitating the mount scroll but when she was done she had a greater understanding of these individuals and of arcane wizardry.

Dern is an old broken cleric of Gwaeron Windstrom who failed his test of faith during the drow siege of Tragidore. He therefore considers himself a faithless man doomed to purgatory. Gill, mayhap as old as Dern, he is consumed with grief over his foolishness between his bride to be forty-years ago and who he now believes to be a fiend and a liar.

Lady Bathia Morn is from Dagger Falls and suspects that she was being followed for some time when she arrived in Hope’s Hollow over a year ago. She could not offer any more details in her tired and paranoid condition.  Mistress Daphne Snow was from Tragidore and was arranged to marry a noble but after an affair with Alan Kordova Daphne was exiled. Hoping to start a new life in Hope’s Hollow she became one of Doctor Tiffan’s patents and his lunatic nightmare therapies.

Lerral was beginning to have a deeper understanding of things and the world around her; comprehension took hold in her mind as the secrets of wizardry blossomed.

Lancelin Halaster, also under Tiffan’s care for over a year, was evasive when Lerral wheeled him to the safety of the Mayor’s House. He was grateful however but resolved to return to his uncle as soon as he was fit to travel.

Spellforms swirled into focus bringing knowledge as she used the gifted scroll allowing the secrets of wizardry to naturally open in her mind.

Naergoth Bladelord
It was Naergoth Bladelord and his recounting that will live on in Lerral’s mind and forever haunt her for simply asking Naergoth about his time in the hospice. In his terrors Naergoth described a large adaptable creature with pulsating mottled gray and brown flesh. It did not have a constant form other than its six horrific arms and snake-like tentacles, but the most disturbing was the dozens of long, retractable and flexible eyestalks that could hold you in place with its stare then consume you over and over. Even more disturbing was Naergoth described these terrors long before his stint in the Care-home. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tragidore: Ahead of schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

After the Stair

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

Merasteel Vistani

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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tales of Falling Stars (The Widow)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Four months ago… Midsummer)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still the widow stayed silent on her small pale horse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tragidore: The Manor House

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

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

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

(Fifty Years ago… Feast of the Moon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, it is too early.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Two weeks later… Mother’s Care Home)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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