Monday, March 28, 2016

The Scholars of Rilenia

Carissa had never understood the reason for all of The Scholars secrecy but always secretly enjoyed the cloak and dagger nature of their communications and meetings.  Carissa could always tell when one of the messages had been crafted by Elkanzibar due to the playful nature of the message and his latest message certainly lived up to his reputation.  The message included a mathematical riddle that once Carissa solved, revealed the location of the next meeting.  The answer was the chemical compound for Sodanum and that answer provided Carissa the location for The Scholars of Rilenia next meeting.

Arcanthorth Vigmatto

One of The Scholars, Arcanthorth Vigmatto, owned a Riverboat he had christened Sodanum in an effort to convince other elves that the source of his wealth was the family's salt rocks and not gambling.  Given the general disdain the rest of the elves held for old Arcanthorth this naming subterfuge had failed.   The Scholars meeting would occur aboard the riverboat gambler Sodanum.  Carissa was thrilled at the prospect of having more to do this time than to confirm the groups lack of progress in finding anymore of the ancient tomes.  Gathering up her latest research, Carissa packed a small case and made her way down to the river walk.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Veteran's Redoubt

Veteran's Redoubt had long served as Emmerdin's first line of defense against the mountainous border of Bouvaldia as well as first warning against frequent monstrous threats provided by the native orcs and giants.  The grounds of the Redoubt are littered with broken blocks of worked mountain stone. The main garrison house still stood, carrying visible wounds from years of attacks as well as The Sundering.

Veterans Redoubt was considered the extreme western edge of Emmerdin and as such the most dangerous place in the Duchy.  It was in fact a sort of sick joke that the Redoubt was named Veterans, because anyone who lived there was a survivor and therefore a veteran of one type of battle or another. For the last several years Veteran's Redoubt served as the base of operations for The Order of the Lynx, a reward of questionable merit from the previous Duke of Emmerdin for services rendered.

When The Other Guy Followers arrive, they are positioned behind the rectangular broken remains of a former building and a large battle is taking place between The Order of the Lynx and a company of Orcs.   The Lynx are barricaded in the main garrison while the orcs having moved in two large pieces of unique siege equipment.  Not far from the siege machinery another group of Orcs surround the Redoubt's well, their sorcery causing the waters to froth, boil, and bubble.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

3/16/16 Virtues Session 36: The Other Guys 1

Raelyn Cromartie
Rograr Anvilstriker, a dwarven monk from the monastery. Darinia Ononia, the comely cavalier half-elf woman who comes mounted on a great elk. The dwarf Heneregard Firecaster, best friends with Barit Coinmail and former waiter now warpriest of the Builder. Raelyn Cromartie the beautiful human sorcerer and Shade Fletcher a man who lurks in the shadows with his bow and fletchings.

Our mission was to travel with the 'lost' halfling knight of the Lynx Palicia through the passes and terrain between Boulvaldia and Emmerdin Pac Napiay to open a dialogue with the knighthood as our overall function were as emissaries spreading word of recent events and Admiral Melandrach Olithir's formal bid for Duke of Boulvaldia.

Two days into our travels, as Palicia leads us through the varied rocky landscape we happen across an expanding sinkhole occupied by hostile pony-sized ants. These ants, some of which flew, proved especially tricky on the difficult terrain along with their hive-mind and penchant for grappling opponents.

We dispatched the queen scattering the colony to the hills. We recovered some treasure from the colony's past victims and continued our slow climbing travel for two more days. Palicia proved very valuable and resourceful in avoiding the 'swamps' and tricky paths passing old strongholds along the way.

Entrance into Emmerdin was met with literal style as many grand and detailed etching as well as stone carvings marked our entrance into the duchy. Finally, after another day of travel we encounter sounds of battle that foreshadowed our discovery of the order of the Lynx locked in mortal battle with orcs and dark engineers.

It is here we begin next session.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

03/09/16 Tragidore Session 17: The Fall of the Cult of the Dragon

At long last the heroes of Tragidore seem to have caught up with the vile and elusive cult. After Yontryl of the Iron Hand revealed the secret passage; something she learned after 'questioning' the three captured cultists from Darnarest's tower. The passage's exit was fashioned into a memorial for an unidentified elven spell-danger, but was in fact a secret exit the Elven Royality used in wartime; a physical retreat due to the mythal restrictions on magical travel. After powering through the resident haunt the heroes were successful in locating the secret passage.

The narrow escape linking Castle Cormanthor with the Polyandrium was dark and ancient; it had a shallow trough that led to regular grates low along the walls for both air and excessive rainfall. The passage was not straight but turned and curved, descended and ascended; presumably to account for elven city buildings above. About a half hour into the delve the heroes encounter a turn in the passage and a cave-in which was quickly cleared with the help of four summoned small earth elementals.

After bypassing the collapsed tunnel the heroes could begin to feel the welling of energy like slowly walking into crashing waves of a magic ocean. With each wave, random wands and staffs were recharged of some of their lost magic as darkvision potions were spontaneously reconstituted. Magic rippled down the walls like light reflected off a pool of water as the first sounds of voices were could be heard. These were exclamations to a higher cause and proclamations to their dragon masters.

Following the passage around one final series of curves the heroes find that the escape passage comes up under a grand throne. A gilded grate under the throne's seat faced out on a cavernous audience chamber. The ceiling featured the elven pantheon looking down upon the elven races depicted in historical scenes on the chamber's walls. The floor featured tiled geometric designs focusing that converged on a swirling pool of raw magic. A black oily substance congealed like stains of blood in spots along the surface. Clearly visible through the thin delicate mesh were four cultists ceremoniously removing magical armor and clothing and casting them into the pool of radiance- all save for their iconic draconic masks and a single weapon; however they were not the only individuals present, the frightful presence of dragons could be felt if not immediately seen.

After disrobing stood a masked man holding a magical sword and plain unadorned shield, this was Ellis Giraud; another masked man, this one a naked spellcaster with locks of white hair and a familiar staff- the Dragonservant Holgast Raiserik; a masked nude woman with scarlet hair and a flaming longsword- the Blood-drenched Antipaladin Luersa; and finally to the right of the woman- a raven haired girl with an uguly vile mask but with skin as white as snow- Midnight.

Opposite these four, unseen until the heroes acted, were two dragons: Palasiraks and Dagaronzie, the half-dragon Marjon and three dragon-kin.

Upon seeing this creature the heroes' memories came back in a flood. Events from the Time of Troubles come back as everyone remembers how Dagaronzie evaded them throughout the year but, as fate would have it, the dragon has finally been confronted and the heroes become fully restored to tenth character level.

As the last drop of dragon blood fell, the sun crested the horizon and dropped its warm radiance across Myth Drannor ending the Cult of the Dragon's plans for the Pool of Radiance.

Somewhere in dark room and an unknown amount of time later Holgast Raiserik opened his inhuman eyes. Eyes that no longer saw things in normal light spectrum; instead the archmage could see deep into the heat spectrum- he had the dragonsight. Furthermore he felt that his arms and legs were different, lighter and quicker to obey the mental commands of his nervous system. Holgast smiled as he regarded his scaly skin and his new body- everything had worked perfectly. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Journal of Marcus Wands: Myth Drannor

1 – Cormanthor Castle. The castle is completely intact, but Jared and I found it an impregnable stronghold of devils and gargoyles.

2 – Speculum. This old mages' hall is in disastrous condition. Our attempts to descend into the hall met with attacks from devils and ghastly a mutation of a mind flayer. We vacated the are immediately. 

3 – House of Song. The old Oghma temple is largely intact, but we had no time to research it. Strange music emanated from the temple at times. We have noted it for our next expedition.

4 – Tyrintar's Hall. This building is haunted by the undead. The central banquet hall still is relatively intact, but undead dine there.

5 – Irithlium. The walls of this old hall of magic still stand, and the dungeons beneath its ruins may have potential, but a curse affects mages here. Regardless of what precautions we take, we suffer severe headache and fall unconscious in this area.

6 – Tyryl Towers. The upper parts of this school were mostly blasted away in the Battle of the Army of Darkness, however, the two westernmost towers still stand. These are to be avoided at all costs. They are haunted and guarded by some sort of magical ghost. Much of the subterranean area of this school of wizardry remains intact, but the old lich of the school, Azimer, is too temperamental and insane. Somehow, he decided we were allies of the missing prince of Scardale, Lashan, and he beacame quite determined to destroy us, succeeding to some extent. We were forced to flee. The next expedition should be prepared to destroy this lich, so that we can conduct our research properly.

7 – Shaundakul's Throne. There is evidence that this temple honored a forgotten god Shaundakul. We were unable to tell whether he was an elven or human god, but we suspect the latter.

8 – Dragondark Tower. The upper levels of this school of wizardry were completely destroyed, but there are signs that lower levels still may be reachable with proper equipment.

9 – Windsong Tower. The walls of the greatest of Myth Drannor's wizard schools still stand, but whatever is to be found is underground. We entered these levels and found them highly intact but also filled by a pervasive, sickly magic that tried to draw us inwards and succeeding in winning some of us, who did not return again.

10 – Ursplindaar. This library doubtless held knowledge that was priceless, but everything that is on this site was blasted away, and we found no trace of it.

11 – Sanctorioum. This great library too has vanished beyond all trace.

12 – Incanistaeum. This was our one success. The upper levels of this great school of magic are partially intact but have been emptied of all treasure. We did succeed however in searching the first underground level, and this was the source of most of the magic returned to Waterdeep from this expedition.

13 – Tower of the Hand. The temple to Azuth may house lost Myth Drannor's greatest magical treasures, but as far as we can ascertain, the temple has vanished completely.

14 – Hall of the Guild of Naturalists. The eastern face of the hall has been blasted away, but the remaining walls still stand intact. However, this structure would more rightly be called the Hall of the Guild of Stirges. We turned back.

15 – Glyrryrl's Pool. This area too is completely mage cursed.

16 – Thelenaeum. The old hall of mage philosophers may indeed prove to be another great discovery. The upper level is fully destroyed but the subterranean entrance seems to have been fully protected by rubble. We descended a ladder in a shaft some two hundred feet and checked the beginning rooms. We had the impression the Thelaneum has been genuinely abandoned since the fall.

17 – Lathander's Farm. This colony of purposeless monk-priests seems to have set up a protective zone around its settlement that keeps devils out. We sought no contact or strife with the Morning Lord's priests – this time.

18 – Burial Glen. This is a doubly dangerous area. Undead haunt it by night, devils steal tombstones and drop them upon your head by day.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

03/02/16 Tragidore Session 16: Plots Revealed

Indrith Shalla- Priestess of Lilith
The heroes from Tragidore came into the ruined House of Song, an old theater-temple to Oghma, to find five robed humanoids gathered at the five points of a pentagram sketched on the theater’s floor. The diversion, for that is what it was, had luke-warm success but at the end of the session the heroes, with the help of Yontryl Amatar, defeated the secret priesthood of Lilith.

Along with helping Yontryl recover the Key of Irithlium, the heroes captured Orbakh’s Bone Mantle and Ivory Scepter; Shamoor’s Mirror Mask; and Salvarad’s Winged Mask, as well as ledgers, journey books, and correspondence that reveals the threads and machinations of this sect of Lilith faithful.

Much of the Cult of the Dragon’s plan has been plotted behind the scenes by Lilith’s Priesthood including the preiesthood's current location the House of Song where the Lilith faithful practice their dark arts. For over a year the Lilith Priesthood solved for many of the Mythal’s magic limitations with metamagic components save for necromancy and the creation of undead within Myth Drannor.
Capitalizing on weakened and disorganized faiths in the aftermath of the Time of Troubles, the new Priesthood of Lilith (formerly Shar, goddess of night and loss) facilitated a way for the Cult of the Dragon to move art and magic excavated during the Endeavor through Aurora’s mercantile exchange  through Waukeen contacts and associations

The goal for Velsharoon’s clerics for the Cult is to taint the Mythal to overcome the restriction on creating undead so that the Cult of the Dragon may raise an undead dragon if Dagaronzie does not survive the Immersion (see contingency plan); but the Lilith Priesthood have lied to the Cult and the clerics of Velsharoon and hoped to eventually betray the Velsharoonites including the Supreme High Dragonservant. 

The Immersion Ritual, is a kind of magical baptismal rite; it immerses certain key Cult individuals into a Pool of Radiance, made exponentially more powerful by the sacrifice of hundreds of magical items over the coarse of the Endeavor, so that Cult of the Dragon may operate unrestricted in the Mythal- if they survive. This too was a lie for the Priesthood of Lilith, for they have successfully overcome the Mythal's ban on certain magic on their own; however there remains an untested theory in regards to the creation of an undead dragon. 

We pick up next week after your two hour rest in a rope trick with Yontryl, as promised, leading you to the secret passage to Castle Cormanthor. 

Castle Cormanthor

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Journal of Marcus Wands: The Mythal

Marcus Wands
"A mythal is a powerful magical effect created by a group of spellcasters to protect and ward a large area with numerous powerful enchantments. The earliest mythals were created by a circle of High Nethereese Mages; a creation that sometimes required the willing sacrifice of the lead caster's life, a result that lead to the first mythal's being named after its creator. Mythals could permanently alter The Weave to create an area wherein the normal rules of magic no longer applied. A typical mythal prevented certain schools of magic from being employed while empowering others. It could restrict access to the warded area to certain classes of beings. In addition, many mythal characteristics corroded over time, and if not maintained could become corrupted.”

The following are notes and observations my associate, Jared Mallred and I employed on magic and its behavior in Myth Drannor during our ten-day survey; to explore the lost elven city at great personal risk and plumb the Mythal’s secrets…

Jared Mallred
In past experiments never could I nor Jared magically divine Myth Drannor, the Mythal defeats all such magical scrying, as well as attempts to magically transport ourselves to the city without the aid of a gate which is exactly how we arrived at this ancient and magical ruined city.

Pleasant as the climate is it only makes this haunted city, still at one with the forest, that much more surreal. Haunts, some malign- while the majority are ‘mythal echoes’ of the souls who lived and died here.

Light spells are enhanced somehow lasting twice as long as normal creating dim illumination in even the darkest of nights while glammers, patters, phantasms and shadows fail completely.

Our early tests indicate an ease in summoning and calling spells but due to the thin planar fabric in and around Myth Drannor, spells within these schools will more likely than not produce undesirable results. Although abjurations produced better than expected measurements by all accounts.

Some observed continuous spell-like effects during our brief survey include: feather fall, resistance to fire 5, ward-like spells seem to be permanent once laid, furthermore spells from the fire sub-school always have their energy type changed to cold.

In addition, Mallred and I can happily confirm natural occurrences of Blueglow Crystals and their recuperation properties; whether these crystals have the ability to cure feeblemindedness, disease or remove insanity remain untested.

Low magic spell effects seem to be unaffected from magical surges but plant-affecting spells always surge with magical energy to create chaotic results.

Successful Tests: recharged a wand and a staff, language-based spell restriction are lifted,

Unsuccessful Tests: Animate a dead corpse, spontaneously enhance a spell with metamagic, recharge a necklace of fireballs. Charm enchantments and compulsion experiments were inconclusive and has likely destroyed Jarred and I’s working relationship forever.