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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
    Viewable by: Public
    Tags: GM , Journal , Recap , Summary
    Through the Looking-Arch
    My head swims with all the various events shown to us by the portal, and I take the earliest opportunity to retire to some privacy. I begin conjuring illusions from my memory, and then comparing them against my journal to see which relate to events in our past. Hopefully I've gotten my mind into some sense of order now:

    * A Red Woman is sorting through gems, and handing them over to Drow
    * This reminds me of Vaniffer - a half-demon dancer\concubine from Greyhawk city.
    * Before the timeskip, she led the Eternal Flame cult, one of the four factions serving the Elder Elemental Eye, AKA Tharizdun. The gems had to do with a ritual to free Tharizdun.
    * She led the gnolls of the Hellfurnace Mountains (banished Longtooth, whose band wiped out Ganaway), and was involved in the kidnapping of Taggus' uncle.

    * A meteor hits a dome (the World Shield), and drow are picking up pieces of meteorite.
    * This also happened before the timeskip - we were assisted in gathering meteorite pieces by the sage Quizlat, who used a magic telescope to put together a map of where they had fallen.
    * Back then, Vaniffer's gnolls were trying to gather the meteorite pieces, as part of the cult's plans for freeing Tharizdun.

    * A sinister, hunched-over figure in dark robes, leaning on staff with tentacles, leaves the ruined dwarven city (Besilmer?) from a side room.
    * This was the long-forgotten kingdom of the Blusterhelm clan - known for mining mithril. Their king, Torhild Flametongue, was known for a magical axe - Orcsplitter.
    * Before the timeskip, the ruined city was being used as the current site of the Temple of Elemental Evil - dedicated to Tharizdun.
    * We fought the various elemental cults, and disrupted their plans to harness the power supply of a trans-dimensionally stuck device (ie: Tardis) to break through the World Shield. The dark-robed figure is presumably a high-ranking cultist or one of their allies.
    * This is where Oscar got his Iron Fang (aka Sonic Screwdriver)

    * A Red Woman sits in a well-decorated throne room speaking to people in red-inscribed black robes and 'black thorn' necklaces.
    * These cultists are a faction of the Scarlet Brotherhood called the Black Thorns - before the timeskip, they attacked Varis in Hokar.
    * Apparently, during the timeskip, the Scarlet Brotherhood took over the Sea Princes region. It's unclear what happend to the previous leader - the Plar of Hool.

    * A vampire follows us out of the portal from Barovia; Later, he is in a dungeon, speaking with Black Thorns cultists.
    * It's unclear if he's allied with the cult, or simply sharing information (about us?)

    * In regards to the Storm Giant King Hecaton - Oscar (during his time as a fire giant) is holding a key and is locking a big portal door. He takes a jeweled cask and sneaks away. As he leaves the Hellfurnace Mountains, a Drow watches him go.
    * This is presumably from the time of Oscar's engagement to a Fire Giant princess, and the chaos he caused on his way out (pissing off Snurre).

    * Wierd fire giant rods/flails have inscriptions of tentacles
    * We encountered a group of Fire Giants with these rods in the Barrier Peaks - they are presumably now involved with Tharizdun as well.

    * King Snurre stands over a huge metal figure in pieces with indentations for gems (something about the number 333). It is apparently an Ancient Suel construct. A wizard in ornate robes floats in the distance, surrounded by demon lackies, controlling the construct as it crushes armies.
    * The only ancient Suel Wizard we're familiar with is the Plar of Hool (a Suel Lich), who hired us to clear out the Temple of Elemental Evil.
    * We ended up in Sigil & then Barovia before we could get paid for our efforts (10,000gp each). We still have a fingerbone he gave us - if crushed and eaten, it takes us to his teleportation circle in Hokar (again, probably under the Scarlet Brotherhood's control now).

    * Tharizdun (the Chained God, Elder Elemental Eye, etc.) - shown as a cloud contained within the World Shield. Down under the world; a circular chamber with chaotic faces (happy, crying, etc.) - slumbering, but waking.
    * Tharizdun is an Elder Elemental God - The current Gods locked him within the World Shield by turning his own power against him (a partial trap he weaved around himself). He can influence the world, but can't break free without aid.
    * We may have stopped the plots to free him pre-timeskip, but he's constantly recruiting new followers and making new plans, and it has been a long time.
    * It's unclear if the circular chamber also refers to Tharizdun, or something else related to him.

    * The Snow Queen's Iceberg fortress - The Snow Queen holds a black pearl, and a giant kraken rises up and grabs the iceberg.
    * Possibly she's using it to move her fortress?

    * Mordenkainen - in a study somewhere, head in hands; other wizards nearby & upset. We see a wizard walking into the wastes (of Suel)
    * Presumably this was someone trying to retrieve Suel artifacts (which seem to factor heavily into Thazridun's plans).

    * Blackened circle of stones in Valley of the Mage - Valley Elves kneeling in front of Thing in circle.
    * This may explain why they are shunned both by light and dark elves alike - the first thing that comes to mind would be that they aided Tharizdun.
    * However, Tharizdun may now have Drow working for him in addition to the Valley Elves? It's not clear yet.
    * Battle of Em-radin Meadows? Original Temple of Elemental Evil?
    * The door containing symbols of all the gods likely has something to do with all of the gods joining together to trap Thazridun.

    * Petrified Tree\Tower in Valley of the Mage - was around & alive during the age of the Dinosaurs

    * A villiage surrounding a tower is wiped out by a huge landslide. Cultists enter tower and leave with Black Orb (like the one downstairs?). A Black Orb hovers in a stone circle, with black-robed cultists around it.
    * The Black Orbs may be a sort of power source for various Ancient Suel Artifacts (the mephit touching the one downstairs seems to have partially-activated the Arch).

    * Zepheros - in his tower drinking tea.

    * Storm Giant King Hecaton - in warded room, banded up & unconscious; This may be in the Hellfurnace Mountains - specifically in the mountain keep near Kusnir and Ganaway, which we defended from an army (Fire Giants leading Gnolls, Hobgoblins, etc.). Bands of fire giants are maurading in the Sea Princes region.
    * Pre-timeskip, we saved Gerd, daughter of the Fire Giant Bloodfyre. She had apparently been kidnapped by an Ogrillion wielding an arifact called the Gauntlet - with the intention of starting a war.
    * Gerd was trapped in 'The Prison', a magical book with 36 compartments controlled by black and white gems (located deep within the keep) - this could be where Hecaton is now?

    * Suel Empire Dragon Sword - A Knight comes from the shadows and stabs a powerful wizard (the one controlling the construct from before?)

    * Ancient White Dragon from the Snow Queen's Fortress - Female, and meeting with weird dragons; A war is starting? Dragons are no longer being controlled?
    * This may be retaliation agains the giants, an attack on us to recover her eggs, or both. If we have some way to return the eggs unharmed, it might be a good idea.

    * Someone is trying to poke a hole in a barrier to get in. A Fire Giant cleric tries to cast a ritual to break into Barovia, while King Snurre watches impatiently.
    * This was from when Snurre was trying to reach Oscar, after his flight from the engagement, and the resulting chaos.
    Session: Valley of the Mage! - Tuesday, Feb 13 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    Viewable by: Public
    1 comment
    Discoveries Abound!
    Numeria is a country that isolationist, xenophobic, and hostile to any that aren't from here. Even the merchants don't want to deal with you if you aren't from Numeria and you don't have ready cash. In such an environment, much of what you can get accomplished doesn't depend on what you can do but rather, on who you know.

    So when we started to explore the Valley of the Spiders, a valley that is isolated and cut off from everything around it, you know that I am saying something about its isolated nature. And it turns out that the valley has good reason to be isolated. Not only is it patrolled by giant robots much like Hellion, but it also inhabited by strange alien plants, a cult of crazed anti-technology zealots, and outsiders who thrive of giving pain. It is not what I would call a vacation spot.

    And we have a new member in the group. He calls himself Tnahcrem. He is a member of the striz race. The strix resemble humans in size and build, but are distinguished by their jet black skin, their 12-foot, raven-like wingspan, and their strange facial features. Strix have pointed ears, slitted nostrils, and eyes without pupils which, due to their large size, appear to glow in the half-light of the evening. Their eyes are fixed within their head, so to look around they have to move their entire head making them look either slow and somber or jerky and skittish depending on how fast they move. Strix stand just over six feet tall, but considering their size, are quite light, weighing around 170 pounds. The thing is, I thought they never left their homelands in the far west of Cheliax, but I guess every rule does have its exception. Anyhow, he is a gunslinger and deals an impressive amount of damage with the black powder weapons he uses. I suspect he is seeking more powerful and versatile weapons here in Numeria, but as long as he is willing to help us and keep our confidences, I don't have a problem with that.

    We also met Paeytr, a druid that apparently lost his mind in some mishap. He was clearly crazy, talking about the "Great Tangerine" in the sky. Hadris was able to mix up some concoction that healed his mind and restored him, but he seems a bit more lost now than he did before he realized what happened to him. Still he has been a great help and a font of information.

    But Paeytr wasn't the most interesting person we have met. We also have met Isuma, a kasathan! And a kasatham that was apparently alive and conscious when the Divinity crashed! The Divinity? Well, that's the name of the starship that crashed during the Rain of Stars thousands of years ago! And that is just one of the many secrets Isuma holds. I am sure she is getting tired of me asking questions, looking for clarifications, and just generally writing down almost everything she says. Luckily she seems just as fascinated by arcane tricks as I am by the knowledge she holds. So we can trade. Though I must say, the information I am getting would make a book that either the technic league would kill and assassinate to keep from coming out, or a book that no one unless on opium would believe. Still I am taking notes.

    Isuma also told us of the Dominion of the Black: an organization dedicated to obscure goals but apparently technologically advanced to incorporate biological mechanisms in their hybrid techo-arcane devices. Isuma doesn't think much of them and warns us that they are an antithesis to life as we know it. Still the secrets they much hold. However, if they are half as dangerous as Isuma makes them out to be the Dominion of the Black should be approached with great caution.

    Tomorrow Isuma joins us as we continue to explore the Valley of the Spiders looking for Casandralee. A great many discoveries await us as well as great danger.

    What else is new, right?
    Session: Iron Gods Game - Friday, Feb 09 2018 from 3:30 PM to 8:00 PM
    Viewable by: Public
    1 comment
    Tags: Journal , Prajit , Recap
    Confidence Regained?
    Perhaps that is an overstatement. I am still afraid that I have fallen and then somehow been forgiven, but that would still mean I might fall again. But...Irori's gifts have not forsaken me. So whatever it is that I have done...or that a doppelganger or one of these mirror creatures, taking my guise, has seems that either it was not I who did it, or I have already been forgiven, or I have at least been granted a reprieve from needing to atone until I remember what it was that I did.

    I do not know for certain that this is true. Perhaps I shall find myself powerless at a critical moment. I do not believe it would be Irori's way to punish my companions with such a withdrawal, so hopefully if it happens I will be the only one to suffer. But as long as his power remains with me, at least, I must try not to let my fear of failure cause me to falter. My friends and brother are depending on me, and my journey toward perfection must not be abandoned over the apprehension that I may have strayed from the correct path.

    Perhaps, least until I am more certain that I am still worthy of the Master's hand...I should focus my attention on perfection of magic and body again. I fear I may have neglected them a bit in favor of spirit already.
    Session: The Thrushmoor Terror, session 5 - Saturday, Feb 17 2018 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    Viewable by: Public
    Tags: Irori , Journal , Pace
    I'll regain control! | FIREBALL YOU SPIDER BITCH!!

    The wispy black haze parts my vision, showing me once again the things -he- is doing whilst using my body as his unwilling puppet upon otherworldly strings of madness. We were in a unholy college of sorts, with people covered in eyeballs as it's students and faculty. What a strange place.


    Now we're in a library upon which a spiraling staircase goes on into infinity both upwards and downwards. A lumbering creature as it's caretaker moves the same way as the staircase, moving closer to us in a menacing and yet mechanical way. Alex destroys one of them with his hammer, causing a strange blood red substance to leave the creature and go into him. I wonder if this is some kind of power transference? I wouldn't be surprised, as we're in some kind of approximation of a video game world. I'm curious if such a transference would go to me or -him- should -he- destroy any of these things.


    Alex finds a way out of the room after we had become trapped, phasing out of our perception upon walking through the door. -he- follows through the door and I feel that queasy feeling of transportation once more.


    I sigh as -he- pushes this poor invalid over a balcony into the lake. Why is Leif helping this madman!? Can't he realize that -he- is not me!? This is so aggravating!


    I can feel a great surge of energy as a large amount of that blood-like substance passes from the horrid spider creature and into my body. The blackness around me seems to recede by a great deal! I can see more, feel more! Could I possibly gain more control over my body if -he- kills more of these things!?


    We were back at the home of that puppet, Marie, as Joey had gotten himself gravely injured. It was hard to tell whether -he- was legitimately concerned for the health of Joey or whether this was some madness filled obfuscation of the truth. Parsing anything of substance from -his- madness was difficult even on my strongest of days.


    Though this place is a strangeness in every way to my senses it gives me the hope of control that I can't ignore.

    I can only hope that -he- doesn't figure it out.
    Session: Game Day - Saturday, Feb 03 2018 from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM
    Viewable by: Public
    Tags: Alex , BROKEN , Joey , Journal , Kevin , Leif , Recap
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