Thursday, September 29, 2016

09/28/16 Virtues Session 60: To The Flying Tower

Our session begins with Dramen, putting the finishing touches on a magical bow and quiver for Ainau Triskellion, as well as spell gathering for both Dramen and Syrendross before the Heroes of Virtue venture forth.

After outlining a basic plan and casting some preparatory spells, Dramen teleports our characters to the Water-tower north of Naper’s Dawn. It was the last place our characters had seen the flying tower, our character’s would-be Trojan horse.

Arriving, our characters did not see the flying tower at first, we take cover behind a hill where boulders were stacked for ammunition, our characters instead observe giants and giant kin gathering and stacking trees.

Thinking the tower was close, Syrendross appears high in the sky to find the flying tower hovering over Ground Zero where resources were being staged before being loaded onto the tower. Ettins, trolls, ettin-trolls, as well as other true giants, some as tall as twenty-four feet in height, toiled in the shadow of the flying tower clearing trees and gathering building materials. The region came with a sense of loss as we flew closer the screams of the victims of war became more noticeable.

Closer now, our characters see a northern area of Ground Zero has been excavated revealing a passage. Beyond that a familiar mantiore takes to the air as a drow antipaladin, Shar and Alicia’s infernal son, emerges from the passage. This begins a short-lived pursuit of the antipaladin before our character’s agree that our original plan was to take the tower.

We shift our attention to the tower and it’s magical properties. Outside it took the form of a seventy five foot tower without a base, seemingly able to change its appearance as the master of the tower wishes much like a mage’s mansion. A trap door leading into the tower sat at the top of the tower guarded by winged minotaur flying about.

After creating a diversion and using magical device skill (including the name of the sin of lust) we gained access to the tower to find a space inside the size of a small county. A valley rolled out before us populated by giant-kin bartering noisily (including a certain ten foot tall blue-skinned giant) while to the sides hundreds of winged minotaur were stationed in various activities. Farther ahead and at the opposite end of this extra dimensional/ pocket plane was a seventy five foot fortress as well as the presence of a powerful entity. 

Dramen teleports us across the valley to the upper most balcony where our characters find a 300x300 room just inside the fortress with a massive map, rune casters, war dogs the size of elephants, giants and the gnome warlord; beyond this enormous room is a chamber featuring a giant spiral ramp leading to the other levels. Outside the fortress were slave pits and a large well and a military post on a grand scale.

Combat ensues, which is where we begin next session. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Hag Who Loved Me

The Ambassador
The Ambassador studied himself in his lover’s boudoir mirror, making sure he had cleaned himself up from their morning tryst, smiling at its recent memory.  Mangarel, the beautiful woman who so easily seduced him the night before stepped into the chamber, moving behind her new lover with a soapy sponge.  The curvaceous redhead pressed her naked flesh against his back as she applied the sponge while cooing into his ear her appreciation of his manhood.  For several moments The Ambassador found himself lost in Mangarel’s charms until his desire to see his lover lead his eyes to gaze upon the mirror.  

Mangarel’s appearance shocked the ambassador, a scream erupting from his throat, before her grip upon him intensified, earning his cooperation and silence.  

Mangarel The Pit Hag Familiar
The Pit Hag Mangarel, now fully revealed to the Ambassador, flexed her grip upon him and said, “So Ambassador, tell me your King’s plans!”

Familiar's Illusion looks like Master

Thursday, September 22, 2016

09/21/16 The Celestial Child

The Holy Man
For the patrons and staff at a dusty roadside inn, the day begins as usual, but when a near-dead Stranger arrives and odd occurrences escalate throughout the night, it's a harbinger of the terror to come.

As the horrifying nature of the situation sinks in, help arrives in the form of a Holy Man, who tells a pregnant barwench that her unborn baby is a celestial chosen of Mystra, and he will do anything to protect it against Delrach the Vile.

Friday, September 16, 2016

09/14/16 Virtues Session 59: Agents of the Crown

Anxious to be gone from this cavern, especially in light that the shadow roper likely originated through the Ways to meet its end here with our characters; and the fact that other entities have tried and either moved on or was destroyed by the ropers whilst investigating the lava encased staff of power.

Duke Olithir
A few teleports later and we arrive, with amazing luck, at Bouvet Keep and immediately notice the quiet and stillness in the Main Keep. After startling a chamber-maid we enter the den of the keep to find a pensive Melandrach Olithir. Joyful camaraderie was short lived as we hand him the pledge book filled with names of his supporters for Duke, and fill his ears with tales of how we had to obtain every name. Then we present the dire news of war upon the Isles from a Cloud Continent and the gnome warlord.

Melandrach informs us of messages he has received regarding hostilities and that Kriet Oppenshire was under attack from monstrous forces; furthermore, a dire proclamation, Verik Ny had fallen to giants.

When asked, Melandrach says much of his resources are devoted to rebuilding the docks and waterways. He laments many folk have left with no ships coming in, but will devote troops to this war. That is good news because our characters have come to take him before the King of the Evening Isles post haste.

Rydin mentions the Virtues and Melandrach’s predecessors’ importance Duke Calias Bouvet placed on them officially in the church. Melandrach’s mission now is to find a place for Bouvet Keep because his heart is for the city as Melandrach so he maintains neutrality in his opinion. Melandrach must wrap up some business however, and asks to leave in the morning.

In the meantime Syrendross scrys on Gazalcia to find her in a cage being auctioned off by a grey skinned giant with tattoos on his calves and who’s size is greater than Syrendross’ visual sensor allows. Her buyer is a ten foot tall blue-skinned  humanoid. Eventually she disappears from sight and is replaced by a half-elf bard who Kyras remembers seeing in passing. 

At various times Melandrach checks in with us between callings and his gathering of men and resources. We are fed and watered and allowed to rest and notice that throughout the night activity is on the rise in the Main Keep.

Day 168. Melandrach arrives early with potions and components to resupply, and as we prepare to leave horns sound as if ships have been spotted out at sea. Melandrach exchanges surprised looks before we all make haste to an observation point.

After ten minutes, passing busy soldiers, we look out to sea to witness what looks like six floating islands that turned out to be dragon turtles bearing Koatoa and lizardmen. Melandrach calls forth the navy, confident in his men to defend the city.

An hour later we find ourselves flying with the use of spells, teleported over Triskell. Looking down we see how a manmade lake separates the old west part of the city from the new east side. Spanning the lake is a fifty foot wide suspension bridge that sits as a backdrop to Castle Triskell which sits on an island in the massive lake.

We land at the modest dock that serves the Island Castle and immediately notice people from all cultures from around the Isles as they notice us.

We are accosted by castle soldiers and are soon recognized as Bouvaldian ambassadors who were clearly not expecting Melandrach. Soon we are introduced to a court bard, a half-elf named Sulf Kayh who apologizes for the mistake in courtesy but recovers with an official greeting and announcements.

Our characters state we have come answering the King’s call; and in a few short hours we are shown hospitalities and invited to wait patiently. In the meantime Kotri calls for a castle steward, named Lerk (human, red hair) who at first complements our attire then soon schools us on protocols for a meeting with the King of the Isles.

We are privy to some messages indicating all out war on the eastern coast; a coordinated and magical attacks. But once we provide some firsthand accounts of the battle (giving Sulf Kayh some exclusive prestige)… the king sees us immediately.

Wood Weist King of the Evening Isles
At first we come to the First King’s “Geron Triskellion” throne, before making our way to a meeting with the King Weist, the current king. In attendance were:

The Duke of Verik Ny
Ambassador of Jeshal Macrear
Duke of Kriet Oppenshire
Duke of Mogerin
Duke of Lockshire
Ambassador of Miar Moshea
Ambassador to Emmerdin Pac Napiay (Ysitt)
Duke of Bouvaldia (Melandrach Olithir)

The king, scarred and wearing magic of ancient origins first apologies to Melandrach Olithir for the improper procedure in placing a new Duke, but war is upon the Isles. Dispensing with formality until such a time as it can properly be completed King Weist sits Melandrach Olithir, naming him temporary Duke of Bouvaldia. 

We retell our encounters at the Water Tower, through scrying, and finally the battle at Labiatar’s Hope mentioning Keltischer Sanger and items of antiquity that are at risk; the attack was 200 strong with six giants bolstering the numbers. The mentioning of a dragon at Labitar’s Hope however, unsettles the assemblage revealing hidden ninjas ready to protect the king. Our characters maintain the dragons are protectors of the isles which leads us to explaining our planed offensive to the king.

When the Cloud Continent was mentioned several people had reactions including the stand-in for the Duke of Mogrin who excuses himself to fetch the real Duke who is quickly discovered to have had dealings with the Cloud Continent. The Ambassador to Emmerdin Pac Napiay speaks of a familiarity in his land of the Cloud Continent and that some of the Order of the Linx had traveled there; even Melandrach speaks that Ralikanthae likely knows something as well, as he was lookout steward at the Waterwall. Recess is taken.

Three hours later, the meeting reconvenes sans the Duke of Mogerin. The king begins by stating that for a number of decades a group of rune casters have traveled through the Vale of Secrets to meet or train with the Witch of the Word. This causes a reaction from the Duke of Kriet Oppenshire, and he speaks “Nis”.

After some discussion the King asks if we are Bouvaldians and why we fight for the Isles. Each of us answer in turn accepting the Kings grip, Kyras’ family is ennobled, and our characters are dubbed Agents of the Crown including all the honors and benefits such a title holds.

The King admits to rumors of a dragon ruling the world, but is further sullen when he learns the reality that the Evening Isles represent the one place on earth Tiamat does not hold sway. This has a silencing effect on the representatives of the Isles.
After the meeting Rydin makes inquiries about the outside adjacent embassies to learn that Twilight House is among them, while Syrendross commissions an artist to create a rendering of us before we leave to take on the flying citadel and the Cloud Continent.

Meanwhile rumors persist that the Duke of Mogerin is serving as the king’s ‘guest’ for another day, paranoia about the dragons of virtue, and the absence of the Church in these affairs and that the king plans on handing down orders upon the Church.
Ainau Triskellion
Day 169. Ainau Triskellion unties with Kyras and gifts him with an all weather bag full of components as a symbol of their relationship. Kyras reveals his mythic nature and his avatar status; this comes as a complete relief to her as she shares her own secrets: she believes the Green Faith is the faith of the isles; is 100% sure about the threat Tiamat poses; and believes herself to be the reincarnation of the first King Triskellion and that she is exactly where fate would have her. She is later outfitted with some of our remaining gear and wondrous items.

At the morning’s War Council, the Ambassador from the Hoppen Coast arrives. The King has an amendment to our plan; once we win the flying citadel, allow the flying airships -currently decommissioned- as well as troops to accompany us (aircraft carrier style) to the Cloud Continent, and that his niece Ainau Triskellion accompany our characters in the Kings stead. All is agreed to.

When we pick up it has been 8 days *Day 174 (3 days of adventure plus 5 days downtime) since our talk with Benevolentia and our plan to assault the flying citadel 10 days from then. We are awarded 5,000 xp

Monday, September 12, 2016

Z’hind-del Syrendross: Sixth Entry, Day One Hundred Sixty Seven

Protected in a three inch iron wood box, scorched and blackened from heat exposure, it had house symbol on the lid, one that I recognized immediately. In side the small box, lined with a purple cloth stitched with a symbol of Mystra, was a magical stone from another world.

The stone itself, I have discovered, is commonly called webstone in the Realms or spiderweb obsidian, is a stone coveted by underdark races for its fractal beauty and ability to retain enchantments. Webstone is an obsidian variety in which small pieces of the stone have been cemented together by heat and pressure in an irregular mass; the joints show as irregular, weblike lines. It is usually black with whitish join lines, like this one, but inferrior webstones of brown, reddish brown, and rust-red hues with lighter webbing is also known.

As I bring the stone from its protective box I am struck with a strange feeling of detached nostalgia when I first saw the webstone; then surprised elation when my mind aligned with Shar’s allowing me to recall the magical properties of the stone. Memories came in like a tide reminding me of how the stone originally came to Shar’s possession as a gift of the goddess of magic for heroics beyond the call of valor in saving the celestial child from Delrach the Vile

Thursday, September 8, 2016

09/07/16 Virtues Session 58: Pushing Rope

Mythic Mr. Roper
Our session begins in Ashlye’s druid grove with Kyras’ Green Faith revelation that Restoration is now on the druid spell list (*House Rule)  as the rest of our characters divide the spoils from the past day’s conflicts. Remaining unclaimed magical and wondrous items are:

Brooch of Shielding (one 50 charges, second at 101 charges)
Amulet of Natural Armor +2, (eager) Mistmail, Ring of Spell Knowledge III, Heavy Mace +1, Studded Leather +2, Cloak of Resistance +1, and a Headband of Wisdom +2.

After this arduous task our characters set out to find Gazalcia, it is late in the day so when she is not at Casa de Calias Syredross decides to use a scrying spell, but when that fails the arcanist concedes the woman is somehow protected from his scrying as per her specialty.

Day 167. After a night of meditation where Rydin focuses on Myrddin Ogg’s Staff of Power and he gains a clear image of the staff. This image along with maps provided by Favray, allows Dramen to successfully teleport us to the subterranean cavern.

In the chamber our characters find pools of violet lava and the ruins of a structure where someone had curated noteworthy items from our hosts, later we learn the lava coloration is a by product of some of Shar’s magic being consumed by the lava flow during the Sundering centuries ago.

Mythic Beard
We find drow sign about the cavern but no where near the staff. As we investigate and theorize ways to bring out the staff from the lava (shadow magic, etherealness, greater blink were possibilities) our characters were set upon by vile ropers. The first a mythic roper, after neutralizing all the spellcasters, was killed by dreadful criticals from Rydin. The second a shadow roper, was destroyed by a single devastating vital strike totaling 170 hit points from Dolgrin.

With no immediate danger our characters had the time to reason out the staff from its centuries old prison; and when finally returned Rydin immediately grows facial hair like his host character. At this point Barit, Lapis, and Kotri become mythic and fully aware of our character’s avatar status.

In the cavern we find a ring of energy dampening, and other items for each of us not exceeding 25k gp. We are awarded +1 mythic trial and 15k exp. We will begin next game session in Bouvaldia on the morning of Day 168. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

08/31/16 Virtues Session 57: This Isn’t The Office

Gnome Gunslingers
We begin this week’s session catching up with our characters (Still late in the day 166) fighting off waves of ogres, winged minotaur, and other vile agents of the gnome warlord and conquering giant king. Our characters were able to save a hand full of academy professors and students ready to risk everything in defense of the vault under the Sun Dial. In relatively short time our characters were successful as Benevolentia crested a ridge turning the tide of the battle for Labiatar’s Hope. The dragon of virtue acknowledges us and bid us to meet her at Ashlye’s grove nearby to palaver. 

After gathering Kotri and Barit, who are both badly injured and out of resources; Nobyka was responsible for keeping them alive during the attack; no one has seen Gazalcia but Ashely was known to be okay. At the druid grove our characters find Ashley, tired and victorious over three ogres, she is happy to see Kyras.

Benevolentia congratulates us, thanks us and is eager to hear our unedited story up until these events. Afterword, she asserts that this attack on Naper’s Dawn is not an isolated attack and similar skirmishes are taking place around the Evening Isles and that the entire eastern coast will soon be at war. The dragons of Virtue believe this is Tiamat’s attempt to draw the dragons to her, leaving the protections of the Isles and leaving the people to unknown danger. What Benevolentia believes is that Tiamat knows nothing of us; while agents of Ash and Cinder know of our Virtuous nature, the agents of sin do not know our true Avatar nature, mythic status or what our character’s presence really portends for the Dragons of Sin.

She further explains that this is a way to gain a move on Tiamat by undertaking what Tiamat expects the dragons of Virtue to do, we go in their stead. Humilitas has a plan that takes us to the enemy flying citadel to take on the giants there; abscond with the citadel and use it to take us to the Cloud Continent where our characters will take the fight to the conquering giant king.

First however, we plan on returning to Bouvaldia and take Melandrach Olithir to Lockshire where surely the King will honor his bid for Duke once he, the King, learns of our character’s plan move in defense of the Isles. And once our characters gain the flying citadel and take it to the Cloud Continent, Benevolentia will make arrangements to meet with a cloud dragon to learn more of the Cloud Continent’s secrets; one, is that the Cloud Continent is much like the Ways in that once a power/entity comes to occupy an area, that real-estate takes on characteristics of the occupier. Also the Cloud Continent move like clouds do and does not remain stationary.

Rydin gifts Benevolentia with Denosia’s old longbow before announcing we will first retrieve Myrddin Og’s staff of power, find Gazalcia, pick up Melandrach before going before the King of the Isles taking approximately ten days before taking on the Flying Citadel. We gain 12,500 xp.