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Chronicles VI:I
THE storm subsides yet there is a disturbing presence in the air that prevents recuperation from the battle. Ulixes attempts to remove the affliction form Aenoq but the effect doesn’t seem to work on his intellect although it does dispel Ravu’s curse. Aenoq re-absorbs some intellect back from the ether but is still no smarter than a dog.

PROCEEDING through the ruins an long empty courtyard is first explored. One area appears to be an area of funeral pyres. Ulixes curiosity overcomes him and he attempts to excavate around one, discovering strange carved forms of an ancient language on them. Backtracking the party heads north towards one of the taller building-like structures. Scouting ahead Shen sees a night priest standing at a table full of books and scrolls, pacing and mumbling to himself, apparently confused and distraught. He does not heed their calls. The party passes through the gap in the enormous stone walls, Amoth hanging back. A smell of ozone produces itself and hairs begin to rise. Then from the left down a long precession corridor a thunderous crack is heard as brilliant blue streams of electricity washes over the three lead adventure. Ulixes is badly wounded in the attack and suffers a critical injury.

THREE of the men run across the open ground and take cover under the structure. Amoth remains behind cover and begins sorcerous counterfire. Shen tries to communicate with the priest. The priest seems to react, commanding that the attack be stopped and threatens them but this appears to be an attempted distraction. From the shadows, a large snake-like monstrosity with a devilish human head appears sending more lightning toward Amoth, even though he is invisible. Ulixes and Aenoq engage while Shen launches arrows. The naga tries to drain the life from Ulixes but he resists. The naga threatens “you cannot destroy me” and is then felled to the sand which absorbs it. The priest and the table vanish into thin air, an elaborate illusion it would seem.

WOUNDED but not able to rest the party moves on to the the grand courtyard. At the far end is the largest structure. They cross the courtyard, spread out two to a side. Runes begin appear. It is unclear if they became visible or magically appeared. The runes begin penetrate the minds but the party’s now hardened mental resolve resists the demonic powers. As they approach closer, a table is seen inside the structure that looks identical to the one in the previous building. Then magical darkness enshrouds everyone, only Amoth can see with his sorcerer’s eyes. A huge green demon with four tentacle arms and a fanged mouth coalesces from the shadows. Its evil presences begins to scatter the senses of all but again, mental fortitude protects them. Stunning words of demonic power are whispered but to no effect. The giant claws are wickedly deadly and deal more damage to the already wounded Ulixes. The creature maintains darkness while grappling and holding at bay Ulixes and Aenoq, slowing their attack. Aenoq is sliced and crushed by the beast as the blackness overcomes him. Shen works around the darkness and several arrows find a deadly mark. Amoth forms the magical darkness into a shadow demon which begins attacking the Guardian. Blood is spilt but the demon is destroyed and banished back to the shadows.

IN the lower level of the structure the table appears to be real. On it are Ravu’s journal and magical research as well as several gems, likely used for conjuring demons. Traversing the second level, Shen suffers an accident and falls, severely straining his back. In the second level, a skeleton is found buried in sand. It contains old armor and coin. It also contains a fine steel scimiatar likely of old Turanian design, with jeweled hilt and pommel.

WITH the demon guardians temporarily banished the party finds time to bind their wounds and rest. Aenoq feels his intellect slowly return from the dream god's mind.

RAVU’s journal indicates Ravu’s next destination to continue his soul-swapping research – ancient ruins in Shem, near the Shem/Turanian border. A three week trip across some of the most hostile and desolate lands in Hyboria - the Red Wastes of the Shan-e-Sorhk.

Naga of Departed Souls (3900 XP)
Guardian Daemon of Dagoth Hill (5000 XP)

Total XP 106712
Individual XP 26678
Session: Daggoth Hill - Friday, Mar 17 2017 from 9:30 PM to 2:30 AM
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Epic × 2!
Pointer-left Smiling_dungeon_master_thumb
Posted by the GM
Return to Eberron - 5e
36. The Burning Farmstead
36. The Burning Farmstead

Alfrigg felt, more than heard the sound of the massive, ebony coloured horse striking the ground. It reminded him of the time that his great-father’s chimney had collapsed, scattering a cloud of ash upwards in one massive and gritty wave. Alfrigg coughed and waved a hand to clear away the greyish cloud and felt a brief wash of heat and the creature died as he ran onwards. He only had eyes for the doorway before him and he’d be darned if some infernal, flaming horse was going to get in his way. He’d trust to his fellow party to fell the beast and the bloody tentacle-faced creature astride it. These blasted creatures had boarded up the entire farmstead and left the occupants inside to roast like potatoes in a pan! Alfrigg seethed with anger at the cowardice of it and gripped his axe tighter as moved. That doorway was boarded up good, but luckily for him, he’d brought his own key. 

Thysper took a deep and calming breath. His sharp elvish eyes focused down-range while his thoughts raged inside him. At the corners of his vision he could see the flames burning; dancing with glee, feeding upon the thatch like some hungry and malicious fiend. It was alive. It hungered and fed and consumed all before it. How could it not be alive? Thysper’s heart beat fast in his narrow chest and the irises of his eye’s flickered from purple, to amber, purple to amber. He took another deep breath. Be one with the arrow. There is nothing but the bow. The arrow and target are one. He loosed. The greenish projectile streaked through the air with a faint whizz. Thysper moved, ducking to grab his pack and running towards the flames. He did not look upwards as he ran down the ridge. The beast awaited him, it’s orange tongue flicking like some fiery serpent, it’s flaming maw agape and hungry. He could not see it. He would not fear. In the distance, the wizard fell. 

Cedric moved with what urgency he could as the strange humanoid thumped to the ground ahead of him. Selph looked largely unharmed from the icy blast the tentacle-faced wizard had unleashed, though he had been hit squarely by the spell. The gnomes attempt to counter the arcane magics had been washed aside in the frozen fury of the spell, but the gnome had stood firm, almost defiant. Aernard had not feared so well. Cedric looked upon the frozen form of the ranger – a translucent statue frozen in time, bow-raised against his fiendish foes, as defiant as Selph if not as resilient. Cedric grasped his talisman, the holy symbol already seeming to gather in and reflect the light of the day. He whispered a prayer to Dol Arrah and thanked her for her blessing – a whispered benediction to her who grants solace to all who walk in the light. Moments later a loud crack sounded, followed by a tinkling sound, like glass upon a table.
“Yes my friend,” Cedric replied as Aernard moved awkwardly out of his frozen prison, shaking and shivering, doing his best to stride forward and raising a hand towards the still burning roof. “Fiends.” 

Selph cast a quick glance at the half-frozen form of Aernard. That word. He was talking nonsense again. Cold? Selph didn’t know what the elf was complaining about? The spell wasn’t that bad. If anything it was getting a little warm standing this close to the fire. Selph watched as the small elemental creatures began to crawl forward towards Alfrigg, scrambling across the ground and roof like some magmatic primates. The building was aflame and only getting worse and if something wasn’t done soon, the dwarf would be pulling well-done corpses from between the charred timbers. As always, it was left to him. Well, if heat was the issue, maybe a little rain would dampen down the conflagration. Selph saw it form in his mind. It was not thought. It was real. He knew it was real. There was no gap between thought and reality. Rain. It fell; thick, fat droplets like the tears of the sky itself. First in smatters, then increasingly heavy, and soon, a mighty torrent like a ship-sinking cemaros in the Sea of Storms. Selph watched, transfixed, a calm and sense of peace coming over him. He marvelled at the creation. The flames danced it fits, drowned by the waters and tamped by the sudden winds. It retreated from the roof with a smoky hiss. Selph watched as the small magmin’s looked up, bemused by the sudden downpour, before rushing forward to swarm Alfrigg, who had made his way to the door. An anger suddenly gripped Selph, growing out of the calm. Darn those creatures and their fiery hearts! He motioned with his hands, slashing them down as though trying to cut the air. The temperature around the house suddenly dropped and a tinkling sound filled the air. The magmin’s squealed as icy spears shot downwards from above, piercing their skulls and popping them like lava-filled bladders. Selph watched as Alfrigg shielded himself from the hot magma. Something felt right about that iciness. Selph reached a hand out again, trying to grip that feeling. He looked at his hand. Turned it over. I look great he thought, the feeling of rightness fading.

Aernard read the strange note over Cedric’s arm as the tall, armoured cleric held it out. Cedric read it aloud in his clear, deep voice, but Aernard gave it only half an ear. He recognised the handwriting. Many a time he had held a similar missive from Rean and his ranged ahead of the unit as a forward scout. Orders in one pocket, a cipher in the other. There was no cipher needed here, but the script was unmistakeable. He looked down from the note to the spread-eagled corpse they surrounded. Venmore. His cowl had fallen back to reveal his face and instead of showing some tentacled monstrosity, the face was now cold, dead eyes above a hollowed-out section, as though his nose and mouth had been scooped from his face. This land continued to throw up the unexpected. He should expect no less for such a hapless soul. If you associated with fiends, your soul was already damned. He gripped the pommel of his short sword, tamping down his anger. He used his foot to raise the cowl again. There were children about and this was not a sight for young eyes. He looked up from the body and caught Selph staring at it. The gnome looked up, some hint of understanding in his eye. Aernard watched the gnome warily. If what his elvish brother said was true, then Selph was hiding something, and a tingle had started to develop in Aernard each time he thought upon it. There was much happening. They were trapped in a strange land, their time short, their task urgent. Danger was all around and they were alone. All they had was each other to rely upon as they sought to face down whatever evil the Gatekeeper spoke of. Aernard took a sip from his flask, using the crimson liquid to warm the coldness he still felt from the wizards spell. Yes, only ourselves to rely on, he thought, casting a glance at Selph, and maybe not even that.  

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Epic × 3!
Leading someone to the light while others are in the dark
Thedian was happy to be back in Torch as it signaled that the latest leg of their journey was at an end, though he was at the same time truly sad as it concreted the fact that his friend Bricktooth was gone from the party. He had stayed in Scrapwall to be with his family and with the groups departure and return to Torch there would be no last minute change of heart. Thedian could not be selfish though and knew that the Teeth, Thedian's name for Bricktooth and his clan though he had long ago figured out that Tooth was not a family name, needed Bricktooth more and that they would have to continue without him. Thedian didn't talk much to anyone on their initial return as other's had better relationships with the key members of Torch, as well as he was not keen on talking to Khonnir after he had heard that he used to be a member of the Technic League.

"I would not have helped save him had I known." Thedian thought to himself as he eyed the man during the groups conversation with him. "I do not trust him wholly."

As the day turned into night Thedian went through all the things he knew he'd have to take care of before their journey led them away from Torch again and also before another member of their party left them. Sumov would not be continuing on with them and Thedian had need of information that one of Sumov's contacts could provide to him. Thedian made sure to catch Sumov when he was alone not wanting the rest of the group to think his focus was not on their main mission.

"Friend Sumov I need you to check with your family and provide me information on Sanvill Trett. He was sent to meet with one of your kin to be placed with a caravan so that he could stop his association with the Technic League. He was also to provide me with information on my missing mother."(awaiting other part of conversation from Sumov.
Thedian spoke quicker than he normally did hoping the speed of his words would effect the speed of the return of information.

Trusting in Sumov's abilities to get him his required information it was time for Thedian to once again take care of something without the group, including Sumov, knowing about it. He pulled the hood of his cloak over his head and kept to the shadows and avoided the main streets. Without his armor on Thedian was able to show the elven grace and stealth he possessed making sure to not catch anyones eye before he made it to the temple of Brigh. He nodded a greeting to Joram Kite the cleric of Brigh not saying a word as the old priest knew why Thedian was here. He continued down a hallway until he came to a closed door where he breathed in deeply and tried to clear his head.

Thedian did not like being secretive, nor doing anything that gave him a feeling of being underhanded but this was something he had to do. He remembered the dream he had the night that he had branded Sanvill Trett, the one where Desna had spoken to him. "Now go. There are those that praise false idols and I need for you to show them the power of a true deity." That is what she had said to him. Thedian was about to show someone the love Desna could give.

He opened the door and a half smile crossed his face as he saw her. "You're a sight for sore eyes. How are you doing this night Lady Meyonda?" He bowed out of respect and to overt his eyes to not get lost in hers. Thedian knew there was something about her the first time he had meet her. Even though she had been his enemy he could not help but see parts of his mother in her. The strong will, but an underlying softness, the religious fervor though for the wrong god, and her unique though stunning beauty. He took an empty seat by the door and meet her eyes again awaiting to see how this meeting would play out.

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Season 1, Episode 11 - Love Bites

It was after dark in Collinsport, and the Slayer and her friends were on patrol in St. Catherine's Field, one of the city's larger cemeteries. Seamus had some concerns over Astrid's recent performance in the field, and was using this opportunity to critique her to speak. At any rate, Ben, Blaze, Chloe, Robert, and Cory Jennings had all tagged along. Rumors were that a large nest of vampires had taken up residence somewhere nearby. In between the banter, the group noticed that the old rectory near the east side of the cemetery seemed like it would be the perfect place for a group of vamps to hole up.

Astrid approached the two-story house quietly, clambering up the side and through an upstairs window. It had been boarded up, but the Slayer was able to wrench the boards aside with a minimum of noise. Ben and Blaze took up positions near the front door, while Seamus and Cory stood back. Robert and Chloe crept around the back, and the young male witch used a little spell to pry the boards loose over one window in silence as Chloe Collins sent one of her drones flying up and around to get a good look at the place.

As it turned out, the place was far from empty. Astrid moved through an upstairs room to a landing overlooking the main room below. There were seven vamps there, mostly young women, all led by a blonde who looked like she had stepped out of an episode of a 90s sitcom about a bunch of friends. There were also four bodies on the floor, but all were beginning to stir. Freshly-made vamps, without a doubt. Using the clever little sub-vocal communicator Chloe had whipped up for them in her workshop, she let the group know what she'd seen, and then leaped down and straight into action. A flying kick, a quick stake, and one vamp was dust.

Ben and Blaze were through the front door and into the midst of the vamps in a hot second. Blaze's twin composite blades cut down one of the newbie vamps, while Ben's axe took the head of a second, leaving twin piles of dust on the floor. But the rest were on them just as quick, fangs bared, punches flying, and hands grabbing as they tried to weigh them down with numbers. Astrid went at their fashion victim leader, exchanging a flurry of blows and kicks with the vamp.

Chloe circled around, using her drones to blind a few of the vamps while launching arrows from her composite bow. Cory shifted into his werewolf form, and charged in, claws tearing. The remaining vamps broke and fled, and Cory launched Blaze out the window after one! Ben chased down another, and both of the football players dusted their vamps. The leader meanwhile had tipped over a candelabra and set the place ablaze, jumping out a window on the far side. Astrid leaped through the flames, tumbled out the window after her, and pursued the blonde vamp into the cemetery. As the blonde hefted a tombstone to smash Astrid, Robert tweaked her hands with a little hex, and the heavy stone crashed down on her head. It was almost anticlimactic when Astrid drove a stake through her heart.

But things had been a the dust-up. And Ben and Blaze were fairly dismissive of Astrid as they left. Seamus was annoyed with her, but that was just Seamus. Cory left without saying much of a word, and Robert was kind of short too. Chole seemed just fine towards Astrid, though. Maybe it was just a guy thing?

The next day at school, it seemed like there was definitely something going on. People were cold or even downright rude to Astrid. Josie blew her off on the way to class, and Maryanne ignored her completely. Meanwhile, Jason Stoddard had arrived at school, and the gang could see a whole gaggle of girls talking to - and outright flirting with - the Collins's cousin. It got worse. During first period, Ms. Darcy had Jason move to the front of the class and stuck Astrid in back - right next to Laura Collins. Some of Laura's little gang of mean girls did everything shy of pick a fight with the Slayer, only to have Laura put them back in line. Apparently she had enough cold contempt for Astrid normally, that whatever was affecting everyone else had no hold on her.

It all reached a boil at lunch. Not only did Ben try to pour milk all over Astrid, but Blaze decided to yell "food fight!" Literally everyone targeted the Slayer, pelting her with meatloaf medley and noodle surprise. She ran out, straight to the library, and locked the door. Seamus went from disappointed at her shoddy reflexes to realizing that it should simply be impossible for everyone to hit the Slayer with public school food.

Astrid cleaned up as Robert made his way to the library after lunch. He was well, and decided to look into the matter. Although he was somewhat contemptuous of Astrid's plight at first, he did some research and cast a few divination spells. Something was really, really wrong. He and Seamus dismissed the idea of a curse, and this definitely wasn't a blanket spell affecting the school. Something had literally re-written reality, making Astrid a sinkhole of negative energy. The same thing had happened to Jason, only in reverse - he was a literal girl magnet. Only one thing could alter reality this way - a wish. But genies had certain tells, and no demon lords or demi-gods were about. This could be only one thing.

A vengeance demon.

Robert was able to brew up sort of a magic Prozac in his cookies, and by the time Blaze, Ben, and Cory joined them, he had them all cooked up. Their feelings for Astrid normalized (more or less) and it seemed something in Chloe's cybernetic architecture made her immune to this subtle reality alteration. But this was all temporary stopgap. The situation was bound to get worse. They had to figure out what had happened, and who was responsible, and put an end to it before things turned really ugly.

Astrid sneaked out the back of the school after hours, and the rest of the gang went back to their homes (or in Blaze's case, Collinwood) to get a night's rest. Unfortunately for Astrid, things had gone from her dad avoiding her when he got home, to him packing up her stuff and leaving out brochures for a military academy! She left out one of Robert's cookies for him, and things were smoothed over, at least for now.

The next day at school was even worse. Astrid was greeted with cold silence and murderous stares from everyone. They saw that Jason was greeted with awed whispers and longing looks from some, jealousy from others. But that all changed when he snagged his pants on his locker door and they tore, revealing just a little too much skin. With a chorus of shouts, nearly all of the girls and a few boys started chasing after him, hungry for more. The gang realized he would likely be torn apart by the mob, and while Blaze and Ben ran interference, Robert distracted most of the crazed teens. They got him to the library, and figured out what to do next. Robert had spoken with him the day before, and managed to work out that he'd talked to a cute sort-of-goth-in-a-nerdy-way girl named (he thought) Carla at the shop, and inadvertently made a wish. It had to do with rejection for Astrid and love for him, but it had all gone horribly wrong, as was the case with most vengeance demons and their wishes.

With very little else to go on, Astrid, Ben, and Blaze decided to head to the comic shop. Robert and Seamus did some research, and found a ritual to summon a vengeance demon named Vincarla. With a few misadventures along the way, including a high-speed pursuit by Collinsport's finest and a few shots being taken, the trio that headed to the local comic shop arrived, sneaked in the back, and managed to give Chloe a remote hook-up to the place's digitial security cameras. A quick review of the footage revealed Jason's mystery gal, and worse yet, Astrid saw she was there!

Without a second to spare, Astrid went to confront her. Even though Astrid caught the vengeance demon with a solid punch, she only smiled, revealed her true face, and teleported away. "Your suffering is only beginning, Slayer!" The trio hightailed it out of there and back to school. A plan had been put together. Robert and Seamus would summon the vengeance demon and try not to get killed as Ben, Blaze, and Astrid tried to get her power center away from her and smash it. Chloe and Cory would run back-up, and keep Jason safe. Based on her cute, sparkly nose-ring with the shiny green stone, they figured this was likely the trinket they needed to smash.

Things hit a snag when Astrid got spotted by the student body, and had to leave in a hurry. She ran off, trolling a crowd of angry students, and made her way into the nearest cemetery. The underground passages and utility tunnels beneath Collinsport actually sounded safer than aboveground right now!

Meanwhile, things went about like expected in the school library. Robert and Seamus managed to summon Vincarla, and Robert nearly had a cerebral hemorrhage keeping her from teleporting out. Blaze and Ben went after her with axe and open hand, and found themselves beat up and thrown around the library, right alongside Seamus. But in the end, Blaze managed to grab her long enough for Ben to rip out her nose ring and Seamus to smash it with his cane. With a flash of green light, a howl from the demon, and a rippling wave re-writing things, reality snapped back to normal. Astrid had encountered a small nest of vamps in a mausoleum, but with one dusted, the rest decided to be elsewhere. All was right in the world.

After all was said and done, Jason apologized to Astrid. He realized that it wasn't about the way he felt - it was about the way they both felt. And in the end, they'd be better off as friends. They both went solo to the Valentine's Day dance at school that night, and watched while eating cake. Blaze and Maryanne had a dance, so did Ben and Vicki Winters. And even the chaperones got in on the action as Cory and Angela Darcy cut a rug. But Astrid and Jason shared a laugh as they realized that they were likely cursed to be alone. And then it kind of hit them that, hey, that was likely the case. A sobering thought. Eh, at least they had cake....
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finally at the tower
Wineday, 26th Falkhyn, 1197 md
We wake up and continue on our way. We journey for a while, then see a small, ruined tower where “The Tower” was supposed to be. We keep an eye out for anything suspicious as we approach.
As we get closer, the tower seems to become more impressive, leading us to conclude that the initial appearance was an illusion. The tower rises four stories into the air, barely breaking the treetops in the forest. The only entrance that we see is a stone door at the top of a ramp.
Before we enter, Kelmar flies up to the top of the tower. He sees a telescope there, of fine craftmanship, but nothing else. He flies back down to rejoin the party. Beska sends Eddie the raven up to an upper tower to check out the interior. He sees an alchemy laboratory with all sorts of accouterments. It looks to be in active use, but not at the moment. He flies up to another window and sees a library full of books. In the library is a small red imp scribbling with a quill.
Taranee checks the door to see if it is openable, but doesn’t see a way to open it. We ask Drox to open it for us. It doesn’t look like that will work, so we discuss our options. Beska tries sending Eddie through to see if he can reconnoitre. He scouts the arrow slits in the front; they open into a room that has not been used in some years. At each arrow slit is a weapon rack with a crossbow, cocked and ready. The door to the room is closed.
Taranee and Kelmar decide to climb and fly, respectively, up to the alchemy lab. They do so, and enter the lab from the window. There is a cauldron in the lab full of a viscous grey liquid, looking very much like stone. They exit the lab to a hallway, then follow the hallway to a parlour. Nothing of interest is in the parlor, so they exit to a stairwell going down. They go down the stairs and find a large hall with three doors to the south. It is fairly ornately decorated with a table on a rug. The table has decanters, a tobacco jar, and pipes. There are wizardry-themed tapestries on the wall, and candles floating around the room at about seven feet. They do not hear or see anyone in it initially. As they enter, they see a fireplace against the north wall. They sneak in and start testing the doors.
They open the first door and see a room with glowing arcane runes in the floor. The runes lead to a statue against the far wall. Also in the room are two murder slits oriented towards a central passageway. They check the far door next. They find a very similar room, murder holes towards a central passageway, but the walls are lined with racks of weaponry and there is a smell of mold lingering in the air with a layer of dust on the floor.
They decide they want to bring the party up into the alchemy lab on the second floor. They lower a rope and start getting us up. When Drox ascends, someone tips over the cauldron, releasing a grey ooze which starts attacking us. We take care of the ooze and get everyone else up the rope. Then we decide to take on the imp in the library. We rush in the door and take him by surprise. We take care of the imp very quickly and check out the library. We look through the library and see what we can loot.
Drox checks out the room with the arrow slits. When he enters, the crossbows immediately spring from the weapon rack, hover in the air, and attack us. We fight briefly, then just leave the room, closing the door behind us.
Session: Game Session - Sunday, Mar 19 2017 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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