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Sword Coast and Beyond
The Coming Together
5th of Flamerule

Each member of the party descends on the small town of Greenest for their own reasons. What they find as they arrive is a town under attack and in shambles. Banding together, they decide to help the town and find out what in the nine hells is going on.

It isn’t long after they enter the town, that they are confronted by a small band of kobolds...

Comprised of two well-trained fighters in Elissa and Draak-kor, a nature cleric name Mal and a … uhhh … a Tolly, they dispatch the small lizards quickly. Moving further down the street, the party starts picking up citizens in need of assistance. Everyone tells them the Keep is the last safe place in town and begs them to escort them there before the villainous raiders close off access.

The group encountered several more small groups of kobolds. They were equally as easy as the first group. Yet, as they travelled closer to the keep, the kobolds were joined by rugged looking mercenaries.

If they weren’t chasing and harassing the citizens of the town, the kobolds and mercenaries were carrying away large amounts of valuables from the town. During one encounter, the groups was aided by a mysterious tiefling. He showed an expertise with his bow and rapier. Especially from the shadows. Each encounter was getting tougher for the group and there was a feeling the raiders were closing down from behind. With this in mind, the stranger was welcomed into the group.

The Keep was in sight. Just up the hill. The winding path led to the gate, but it doesn’t provide any cover. The citizens rushed forward while the group held the rear. With the citizens safe, the group moved toward the Keep and to safety. Looking back to wave a indignite gesture at the bad man who was calling off the attack, he saw one winged kobold swoop down to drop a rock onto Mal’s tender head. The blood was bright red as it flowed from her crown. Defying the other’s request to rush into the Keep, Tolly made his way back to the fallen Mal. He poured a homemade potion into mouth and watched her flicker back to consciousness.

Inside the relative safety of the Keep, the group began to strengthen themselves with healing from the town clerics. A man of notable stature was organizing the defenses with the help of a sturdy dwarf at his side. It was soon discovered these individuals are Governor Nighthill and Costall Escobert the Red. Reports were coming in that the raiders were ramshacking the entire town. Fires were ablaze everywhere.

Amid these reports, Governor Nighthill introduced himself and thanked the group for helping his people to safety. Congratulations were interrupted by a panic coming from the sallyport as it came under attack. Nighthill instructed several of his guard to rush to the scene before turning to the band of adventurers. “I call upon your aid again. You have shown yourself capable in a scrap. Can you push back these intruders?”

The fight came in two waves as the raiders (kobolds, acolytes and guard drakes) broke down the gates. The success of the group was at the cost of Tolly being impaled upon a spear. Luckily, Mal came to his rescue this time. While giving the halfling his rest, the group sent for a cleric to mend the doors before the secured them with reinforcing bars.

The rest was useful as another report came in that the raiders were attacking the town sanctuary. A large contingent of people fled to the church when the raids began. To make matters worse, another report indicated the raiders were spotted near the grain mill attempting to burn it down. The group had to make a decision. Save the people in the sanctuary or save the food the town will rely on through the coming winter.

With the front gate and the sallyport no longer options to leave, Escobert the Red recalls there is a tunnel that leads out of the Keep to the stream south of town. It hasn’t been used in ages, but was installed for just such occasions. It is cool, dark and damp as it leads from the storage room to the stream. The strange tiefling, Bob Blackhead, offers to scout ahead. In the darkness, the rest of the group hear the sound of a large swarm of rats, followed by the thud of a body on the clay floor of the tunnel. When Mal arrives at Bob’s body, she sees a massive amount of rats climbing all over a form on the ground. Pressing the swarm back into the crevasses that they emerged from showed the body of the tiefling. It is at the moment, they realize what Tolly was talking about when he was mumbling, “Rat has an eye! Rat has an eye!” Bob was missing his left eye. It, apparently, had been popped out by the rats and carried away.

Acting quickly, Mal stops the flow of blood and pulls the patch Bob is wearing over his missing orb socket. With the renewed healing, Bob is persuaded to continue out of the tunnel. To be honest, it doesn’t take much prodding. As they exist the tunnel, they are confronted by a mob of kobolds and raiders. Before they can warn others, the party squashes the battalion and moves to head toward the sanctuary.

The grounds of the sanctuary are lightly obscured by the smoke of fires used by the raiders to flush out the citizens inside. A patrol is circling the building while a small group set up a battering ram at the front door. Investigating the scene under the cover of the smoke, the party is able to get the drop on a few of the raiders trying to sneak in the back door. Acting quickly, the group gathers the folks inside and ushers them out of the sanctuary just before the front door caves in from the barrage of the battering ram. They are able to quickly usher most of the group back to the Keep.

News wasn’t getting any better upon their return. If all the attacks by the raiders and kobolds weren’t enough, the Keep was now being attacked from intermittently by an adult blue dragon.

Many guard on the top of the Keep had already lost their lives to the powerful electric attacks of the dragon’s breath. Cautiously, the group climbed the tower steps and attacked the dragon has it would get close enough to barrage the tower. Eventually, it looked like the dragon became bored with the attacks and flew off.

There was a bit of respite for the Keep and it’s occupants before dawn. The raiders seemed to be retreating to some degree. It was at this point, a dragon-type humanoid approached the front of the Keep gates with twenty or so kobolds. With them were a woman and several children. This half dragon creature called out for a challenge! If someone will challenge him in one on one combat, he will free the woman and children. If not, they will leave with them. A guard called out, “That is my WIFE! I will do it!” The guard looked weary from the night and heavily injured. As a proud and honorable knight of her land, Elissa could let this stand and insisted she will stand in his place. She limped out to meet the large half-dragon.

The battle was brief. The half-dragon, after establishing the rules, engulf the beautiful fighter in his electric breath weapon. She fell from the damage. The smell of burning, electrified flesh filling the air. Calling out the Keep, “This is your CHAMPION?!”, he sinks his weapon into the fallen fighter.

True to his word, he tells the kobolds to release the prisoners as they stride out of town.

Healers quickly approach Elissa and stop the bleeding. More healing would be require to bring her back to consciousness.
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Adventures in Astaria
Session 4 Summary - The Chase, Sudden arrival.
  • With guards arriving on the scene, Gwain handles the inn fire scene, allowing Lark and Rhyzan to give chase to the fleeing cultist.
  • Serenia, meanwhile, is heard to maniacally cackle following a violent pulse of negative magical energy, before racing off back through the burning tavern and escaping view.
  • In an effort not to lose their only lead, the others decide to ignore this for now, and give chase for a few blocks in the right general direction
  • Making no contact as the edge of town comes into view, Lark ingeniously thinks to scan the emotions of those nearby, singling out particularly negative emotions amidst the general air of fear, Lark singles out two noteworthy points; Presumably Serenia, giving off a cacophony of aggression, hatred, bloodlust and spite; and the cultist, who had made quick pace to the southern stables.
  • Guided by this information, the pair spot the cultist as he flees on horseback, but with bonds of light Lark rips him from the saddle, delaying his escape.
  • With raw strength failing to escape the bind, the cultist dispels the magic in his vicinity, allowing him to re-saddle the horse with only a few hundred feet to spare.
  • Rhyzan calls off the chase at this, encouraging Lark to save her energy, and for the party to regroup before pursuing once more.

  • Meanwhile, in the great forest of Nagreau, the young mage Kalanchoe "Kalan" Radichi, was revisiting the spot of a previous encounter with nature that left her very soul poisoned.
  • Upon returning to the site of the incident, she stumbled upon a Fae, minute and delicate, she spun atop a pointed toe, her leaf-like dress fluttering. The green glow she emanated flared and fell, pulsing gently, a magical up-draft to her softly pointed, butterfly-like wings, the light rippling over their translucent and pearlescent surface.
  • upon spotting the young mage as she gasped a breath, the Fae turned and fled through a gently moving arch of vines, before it sealed shut once more, forming an impenetrable wall of thorns.
  • A strong gust of wind unsettled the leaf covered floor, as a scattering of debris rolled past her feet, drawing her gaze to the right.
  • A little way off, a certain, gnarled tree caught her eye.
  • Gnarled bark cracked as mute green veins of energy rippled along its curvature. The bark slowly moved, leaning forth from the trunk itself as a head followed by torso formed. The bark melted back into smooth wood, and with a blink a pair of softly glowing eyes opened. As her eyes adjusted further, she made out the form of a woman, of about human size, fluidly reaching out an arm, whilst the other, like her torso, remained melded into the tree.
  • With a warm wave of zeon, a voice reverberated within her. Speaking not aloud, but to her very essence. It spoke:

  • "You came here once before, did you not. You dare to once more endeavour to reach our children beyond the thicket? Was our warning not once enough? There are many who would seek to harm us, and you humans, self serving, vicious, are not welcome here. You take from the land but feel no remorse in not paying back.
    There is a coldness set upon our haven. Can you not feel it? Once again something of your people plagues us I know it to be true. Who else would create such malice and wish it upon another. Yes... humans are a most bewildering race, so transient but live with such a fierce spark, if only you would take a little longer to learn, to listen, to feel before you lay down your mark on this plane. I suppose you would not understand.

    We cannot remove that which you have laid here. It sits within a place no being of nature may enter, lest we wither and die like that place itself has.

    Even if you would seek to help us, I fear you are not ready. I respect that you may communicate with me with such eloquency, the others of your kind are so obtuse, loud... I too respect you are closer to nature than most, yet you do not understand her like you do her pets. Grow young one, and should the goddess bless you so, we may well meet again. Until that day, take your humans and their vile magics, and leave."

  • Without pause, the dryad retreated back into the tree from whence she came, and with a cold snap, the connection with her cut in an instant, leaving her feeling very, very alone.
  • the following day, the forest was silent to her, despite hours of searching around the area.
  • Kalan was surprised greatly at the appearance of Alexander Araldir, Grand master of the Arcane College.
  • After a short conversation, her help was enlisted with a pressing matter with the young mage Lark, whom she had helped guide during her internship a year earlier.
  • with a flash of light and immense burst of zeon, the pair teleported, landing in a corn field in Abal, near a thousand miles away.
  • He told her to "get some sun", and pointed out a nearby town, before disappearing as abruptly as he had come.

  • The party meanwhile, had regrouped, offered their condolences to the inn keeper, offered to return to help with repairs, and hit the road with great haste.
  • A fast pace pressed through two days of riding, reaching a small town at which a split in the trail had been marked by a burned out building, clear evidence of the cultist's presence.
  • Lark earned the respect of the locals by repairing the damaged building, furthering the name of the college whilst also obtaining information that the assailant had stolen a new horse, and rode on in a south-easterly direction.
  • In order to keep pace, the party traded in their horses for fresh legs, and continued to press the pace by taking shifts sleeping in the back of the wagon.
  • A full days ride lead them to the outskirts of Gilamoor, a dilapidated town, and hive of the more unsavoury seafarers.

  • During this time, Kalan had explored said hive, finding a fish market, notice board, grocers, chartering and navigation stores, and particularly rowdy inn at the top of the harbour building, a ramshackle patchwork of building and ship, crested with a ship mast, crow's nest and all.
  • She took the advice of the shopkeeper to not stay in town as a lone woman, and instead took some purchased produce to camp on the outskirts, finding a suitable hide between a few trees at the roadside.

  • The party, closing in on the town, detected a pair of magical presences, and noticed an abandoned horse to the side of the road.
  • Piecing the clues together a second too late, the wagon reared to a halt in the face the cultist in the centre of the road, detonating a well placed fire mine, blowing the wagon, and leading horses, to oblivion.
  • Lark and Rhyzan both sustaining severe burns, pile out of the wagon and douse their flames, while a relatively unscathed Gwain hid in cover.
  • Rudely awakened from a deep sleep, Kalan shifted into a feral form, gaining vicious claws, and the night vision of cat's eyes, observing, if clumsily, from the brush.
  • The cultist slowly moved forwards, gathering zeon for an execution, only to be taken by surprise by the towering Gwain.
  • Seeing an opening, Kalan leapt, shearing the cloak from the cultist's back and leaving long, deep cuts along the man's back.
  • In a weakened state, the man was easily taken into bindings of light once more by Lark, before being knocked unconscious by a most disgruntled, now flame-free Rhyzan.
  • The two mages once more recognised each other, confusedly greeting one another before recouping from their wounds, and gathering their belongings.
  • The final question lays in the tattered remains of the cloak, weighed down by something heavy in a compartment inside...

  • Acts of greatness:
    Lark - Kindness upon kindness, Lark took great efforts to offer recompense for the misdeeds of other magic users, repairing one building and arranging to help another. This again furthered the reputation of the college in rural Abal.
    Rhyzan - Keen eyed as ever, Rhyzan scouted ahead, keeping a tail on the fleeing cultist right down to the final moment he got his revenge.
    Kalan - Adapting to her new surroundings, she made the most of her natural capacities to incapacitate the threat to her fellow wizard, despite the severe disorientation of being rudely awakened by a bang.
    Serenia - AWOL.

    Key information:
  • The box and the dagger are likely in the same location or direction. Likely to have been separated due to Serenia's sudden dart in the opposite direction.
  • The cultist was making haste for Gilamoor as opposed to the previously thought departure location of Cavenden?

  • Loot:
  • A heavily loaded cloak.
  • Root vegetables and dried fish... yay!

  • Intrigue points:
  • The Dark sequence
  • The visions
  • In the name of the college, retrieve the box, explore the dream's meaning

  • Lark:
  • Report to the college as her story unfolds

  • Rhyzan:
  • Pursue the escaped cultist
  • Stop the cultist's boat escape
  • Interrogate captured cultist, find new lead on the box?

  • Serenia:
  • The other half calls
  • The other half called?

  • Kalan
  • A coldness in the forest, a dryad's warning, a dryad's plea.
  • Alexander's game - explore the meaning of your abrupt reassignment

  • Side quests:
  • Stirring in the barrows - Thane of Ice awakened?
  • [*] Gilamoor docks notice board
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    Adventures in Astaria
    Session 3 Summary - The hunt and first contact
  • After patching up the wagon, the party spent a long, cold night reaching the peak of the mountain pass.
  • Shortly before reaching Strinehm peak, thanks to a beacon of light from Lark, the party were able to see small shrines dotted in the snow following the road.
  • In the darkness beyond these, Rhyzan caught a glimpse of what he thought to be a crystalline glimmer of light.
  • Arriving in the small settlement, they found shelter in the peak-top temple.
  • The party awoke to an invigorating stew including gnar root, a local rarity, the root of a purple flower, thought to be infused with the warmth of the goddess herself. The people of the town were very kind and welcoming, believing in sharing their resources and offering hospitality to those who need it.
  • Serenia noticed a small trail leading southward into the mountains, but did not pursue further.
  • The town seemed to be mystically sheltered from the treacherous weather thanks to some kind of barrier maintained by the warm glow of lanterns at each entrance.
  • After a short rest, the party made haste down the far side of the mountain, reaching Strinehm fall the following evening.
  • Strinehm fall proved to be a substantial town, with many stone buildings, inns and traders.
  • The party split up to explore the town before settling at the blue horn inn for the night.
  • Recuperated from their mountain travels, the following morning lead to a trail of information gathering for Rhyzan and Serenia, whilst Lark met with the townsfolk and entertained with magical displays.
  • During the day a desperate mother sought the help of a medic when running into Lark, who was able to help a young boy who had badly broken his arm with healing magic. This improved the attitude towards the college in the area.
  • First visiting an inn in the shady northern quarter of town, after losing a couple of rounds of cards, Rhyzan and Serenia learned of a quarrel in a bar resulting in a flaming stool being thrown around, and also of some customers deserting a tavern before paying just down the road.
  • Upon arriving at said tavern, they overheard a quarrel between father and son over stealing food. It turned out that the boy had been in the south side of town during the time of the bar fight, and had then seen the assailants fleeing to the black bear inn.
  • In return for this information Rhyzan kindly levelled the bill for the struggling inn keeper.
  • After regrouping in the centre of town, the group went to stake out the black bear, looking for the culprits, likely to be the lead they were looking for.
  • After a long afternoon of food and drink, the bar keeper tipped off the group that the suspects had returned, two men in long grey cloaks, entered and quickly retreated to their room.
  • Rhyzan quietly followed the men upstairs, and managed to eavesdrop that a third member was missing, that they were to catch a boat with others that would leave in 3 days, possibly from Cavenden.
  • Fortunately, Lark had earlier purchased a local trading route map that ended at Cavenden on the coast, and had relayed this information to the group, making this a recognisable name.
  • Meanwhile, Serenia had persuaded Gwain to throw boost her onto the roof, where she managed to spot a small flash of magical energy, followed by a wisp of smoke from the shuttered window.
  • In a bout of insanity, she threw open the shutter, and clumsily dropped down into the window frame, alarming the two men inside the room.
  • The shock was enough for her to recover, jump inside, and take the closer man hostage at knife-point.
  • In response, the remaining man tore a runic talisman to cast the fire spell "melt" on her dagger, causing it to super-heat, burning her palm, but causing no lasting effect to the dagger.
  • Urgent to let go, Serenia caved in to her bloodlust, slashing out the throat of her hostage, dropping him to the floor in a geyser of blood before dropping the dagger tip first into the boarded floor. (Which immediately started to smoulder as it sank deeper.)
  • The party noticing this commotion whether by magical detection, or agonised scream, rushed upstairs trapping the second man at the end of the corridor.
  • Detecting Lark accumulating magic, he raved of a "shared cause", and pleaded for her to help. When bound by tendrils of light however, he soon turned face, spitting a talisman of incineration at the group, sending a wave of fire down the hall, killing his companion.
  • The flames singed Rhyzan and Serenia's clothes, but caused little more than annoyance.
  • Rhyzan, losing his patience, aggressively interrogated the man, brutally splintering one of his knees, retribution for a smarmy response.
  • Upon realising the man would not talk, and his spouting nonsense of "it's no use." Rhyzan tore his other knee asunder, then ripped a fingernail from his hand, before being stopped from bloody murder by Lark's interjection.
  • They knocked the man unconscious and fled the now burning building.
  • Upon reaching the threshold, Lark senses a strong burst of magic a second too late, as a fireball blasts the unconscious man on Rhyzan's shoulder to pieces, luckily Rhyzan remains unscathed thanks to his unfortunate meat shield.
  • The third mage turns and flees, escaping both visual and magical detection as town guards approach the scene.

  • Acts of greatness:
    Lark - In double-fold effort, to be studious and a great boon to the college, Lark found both vital information for the party's next move, and helped the local people gain a greater appreciation of magic.
    Rhyzan - Face tanking fireballs is kick-ass. Also RAAAEG.
    Serenia - Proving as always, that taking the straightforward approach is overrated, characterful role-play.

    Key information:
  • The box and the dagger are likely in the same location or direction. Possibly leaving the mainland by boat in 3 days time.
  • The boat will possibly leave from Cavenden, though it seems that the cultists? are awaiting further instruction on arrival.

  • Loot:
  • Lots of food and drink. Slight burns.

  • Intrigue points:
  • The Dark sequence
  • The visions
  • In the name of the college, retrieve the box, explore the dream's meaning

  • Lark:
  • The magical census
  • Report to the college as her story unfolds (Lark)

  • Rhyzan:
  • Cultist activity on the plains
  • Pursue the escaped cultist
  • Stop the cultist's boat escape

  • Serenia:
  • The other half calls

  • Side quests:
    [*]Stirring in the barrows - Thane of Ice awakened?
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    Adventures in Astaria
    Session 1 Summary - Arrival and Shadow play
    • Lark arrived in the small town of Brimhaven, greeted by jovial scenes of the census celebrations, after a day of good work, she retired to a lively tavern in the northwest of the town square.
    • Rhyzan travelled into town arriving early evening from the south-west, stabling his horse, and finding a room at the same tavern, where he attempted information gathering to no real avail.
    • Serenia arrived after nightfall, seducing a drunken man into buying her a meal, before having him escort her home only to murder him in his house.
    • All three party members experienced a violent assault on the senses following a falling sensation.
    • Awakened in a room of slate floors and smooth black obsidian walls. Along one wall were desks of strangely filled vials and peculiar laboratory equipment, the others with tall bookcases filled with writings of a runic language
    • Escaped from a fire through a door of solid obsidian by finding two parts of a "key" in the possession a badly dismembered corpse.
    • Fought off a horde of rotten "zombie" robed humans.
    • Upon defeating the majority of the horde, their remains rapidly rotted and were dragged to the floor below.
    • A strong necromancy magic force was felt by Lark as these were assimilated into a giant abomination, the flesh a rotten writhing mass of eyes and venomous ooze, the bone into giant scything talons.
    • A magic barrier that contained the party was entirely destroyed by a stealthy mage who disappeared as fast as she came, though she left a lasting impression on Rhyzan, who saw her run ahead.
    • A focused beam of light fired by Lark forced back the black mist emanating from the creature, burning back its rotten, writhing ooze, and revealed an emerald green crystal embedded within the core of the beast.
    • Following use of light magic, the beast focused intently on the caster, eventually leaping high into the air, cleaving the then flying mage almost in two with a cross-slice of talons, rendering her unconscious.
    • Though incredibly powerful and surprisingly fast, the beast was eventually slain by the assault of heavy blows and light magic, which seemed exceptionally effective, destroying the last of its mass with a final pulse of energy.
    • Serenia seeing the crystal fall, heard a crazed and frantic voice once more from her daggers, urging her to take it to the fallen girl, which upon contact, healed them both fully.
    • Again experiencing a lurching sensation and blurring of senses, each character experienced a vision.
    • Lark - an elegant, beautiful pair of emerald green eyes, a tear falling.
    • Rhyzan - the face of the stealthy mage, flawless pale skin, long black hair and lurid purple eyes.
    • Serenia - lark, first wounded, healing, then smiling gently.
    • The party return to the dark interior of their rooms to find nothing changed except an after-burn of what was once their wounds.

    Acts of greatness:
    • Lark - Repeatedly calling forth the magic of peace, she expertly guided ephemeral shields of light to deflect wave after wave of strike, claw and bite, keeping her unlikely allies safe from harm.
    • Rhyzan - Leading the assault on the oncoming zombies, he falls the first with a single surprise punch, before falling two more simultaneously in a ferocious display of strength.
    • Serenia - In a moment of heroic bravery insanity, she defied her crippling fear, leaping across a crumbling gap in the walkway, before scaling the face of the abomination using her daggers as climbing axes, riding it as it leaped mid-air, before tearing it lethally apart, leaving it open to a final magical assault from the unconscious Lark.

    Key information:
    • None.

    • 50 silver and rations (Serenia)

    Intrigue points:
    • The Dark sequence (party)
    • The visions (party)

    • Cultist activity on the plains (Rhyzan)
    • The other half calls (Serenia)
    • The magical census (Lark)
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