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Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #13
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on February 14, 2020, 03:37:48 PM »
Session #13

Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham
Zug, a Half Ogre Ranger guild from Kitar

The morning after the party was attacked by the troll the party splits up the treasure from the knoll attack from two nights ago and gets ready to leave camp and head to Storm Port.

Zug asks them to wait a little bit for him and he heads off into the forest. About an hour later he comes back with a small bird on his shoulder and carrying a muddy old cloak wrapped around a bunch of treasure. Apparently he talked to the woodland animals to help him in tracking down the home of the troll in a muddy hollow of a fallen tree. In the treasure is gold, platinum, gems, a potion of healing, an Ioun Stone and a magical javelin in addition to all the other random items he grabbed from the troll lair.

The party sets out and has one last night of camping in the forest before making it to Storms Port. That evening, Akronos gets a message from Master Elodin through a Sending spell. Elodin tells him “Challenges finding the Conclave ruins. Narrowing in but taking longer than expected. Most likely they are blocking us. Fifth rune has failed. What’s your updates?” Akronos responds back that they are about to enter Storms Port in search of the remains of Hardin.

On their travels they have asked Zug about Storm Port and Hardin and have gathered the following:

Storm Port was lost to Duthelm in the last war and the loss is still keenly felt by those who fought the war. Storm Port was originally populated by people from both countries but during the Demon War 150 years ago it became a Duthelm town. Many in Kitar still feel that Storm Port is theirs but the feeling is not longer mutual.

The city is made up of sturdy buildings with stone, timber and stucco and large eves to help keep the rain off the buildings. The buildings definitely feel a lot like Myranor.

Storm Port is a shadow of its former self. With Kitar owning and controlling the channel access to the ocean, shipping and trading with the outside world by sea ended with the Demon Wars. It is now the fishing capitol of Duthelm as well as a military outpost. The signs of its decline show in a lack of upkeep in the buildings and the roughness of its citizens.

It has been a long time since Kitar forces have been at their walls but the fortifications are still very evident even if a bit rundown. Storm Port is heavily fortified against invasions and has a large garrison of the Duthelm Military for patrols and strikes against Kitar or any internal uprising. The military plays a huge role in the economy with about 10% of the towns 8,000 population being military and another large group being military support. The bulk of the population is tied into the fishing trade but the military is the main purchaser of the fishing trade and what the town relies on to survive. While Duthelm isn’t currently at war, they have been ready to be at war for most of the past 150 years and often in skirmishes with neighboring countries. The city is a melting pot of races and is made up of humans, orcs, half orcs, ogres, half ogres and the occasional halfling, saurian or other race. There are no elves in the city of Storm Port and very few Saurians that aren’t in the military as members of the Berserkers.

Despite its small size, Duthelm maintains a large standing army and wields it like a machete. Any problem that arises - be it rebellion, incursion or other - is usually solved by sending out several battalions to ride out and slaughter the problem.

The armies of Duthelm consist of a ragtag miscellany of orcs, ogres, saurians, humans, goblins, half breeds and the occasional trolls. On the whole, they are unorganized and lack discipline. But what they lack in order, they make up for in sheer numbers and raw brutality. Standing out from the ranks of common warriors are three groups... the Orcish Rippers, the Ogre Iron Fists and the Saurian Berzerkers.

The Rippers are are highly skilled orcs known for their spiked armor and their whirling, rapid attack style.

The Iron Fists are are ogres that wear extra heavy plate armor and wield huge spiked iron gauntlets. They close range with their opponents relying on their armor to protect them from ranged weapons and then pummel their opponents with crushing blows.

The Berserkers are all Harothi Saurians that take aggression to new heights. They rush into combat with no regard for style, enter a berserker rage and attack with suicidal ferocity.

Having grown up in Kitar and being a part of their military protecting the nation against raids by Duthelm and the ever present threat of war, Zug is also familiar with the basic history of Hardin the Crusader who is a great hero of Kitar.

Hardin died behind enemy lines in Duthelm territory in the town of Storm Port. He was a native of Kitar before the demon war and returned there after the war to continue fighting Duthelm. He dedicated his life to regaining as many towns and lands as possible for Kitar and led many army crusades into battle. Storm Port was in many battles during the war, but it was the site of the last remaining serious offensive against Duthelm by Kitar after the war. Without Hardin leading the efforts to regain lands, Kitar lost the will to sacrifice more lives in exchange for retaking more territory.

The next morning the party has their cover story ready as traveling merchants with their cart full of wine, traveling from the Duthelm city of Dominion with wine stollen from the Falkir Clans to sell. They approach Storms Port from the south and enter the poor district outside the walls. This is where more of the commoners, poor fishers and farmers live as well as access to the unregulated docks.

They continue through the poor district and approach the large gate to the walled city. The gate is functional but shows signs of neglect, kind of like the four guards that are at their posts there. One of them nods to the party as they come in with their covered wagon containing their carefully staged merchant wears as well as a hidden elven bard. They aren’t challenged or charged an entry fee, reflecting the lack of organization of Duthelm and Storm Port.

They party rolls into the city and discreetly checks the magical finger of Geldan to see what direction to go to find Hardins remains. It leads them a short ways across the city to a large statue by the harbor.

This is a large and elaborate statue in one of the squares overlooking the harbor. There is a sour odor in the air in this area. On a raised platform is the statue of Hardin laying on his back, being torn apart by burrow hounds. His face is upturned and his mouth is open in a scream of agony with three burrow hounds bitting him from different directions. A Knight of the Abyss is pinning him to the ground with a spear through his chest. There is a plaque that states “Site of the final battle where Duthelm defeated Kitar. This monument is dedicated to the army of Duthelm and the guards of Storms Port for their valor and sacrifice.” In smaller text it states “By the oder of the city guard, do not damage this monument upon pain of death.”

Just down hill from that statue is a slab marking the spot where Hardin died in the final battle. The slab has a plaque on it stating “Here lies Hardin, buried in a shallow grave, the last of the Kitarian invasion.” In smaller text it states “By the oder of the city guard, do not damage this slab upon pain of death.”

While the group is looking at the slab, a huge ogre in heavy armor comes out of the guards headquarters on the west end of the square and walks over to the monument. He drops the heavy, spiked gauntlet off of his right hand and pulls his cock out of his trousers. He arches his piss high in the air and after a slight adjustment his piss starts splashing in the open, screaming mouth of Hardin. It was apparently mostly full already and after it has overflowing for a bit he adjusts his aim to piss in the agonizingly wide open eye of Hardin. The ogre pisses like a horse and chuckles while taking his time at it, nodding to the rest of the party with a grin on his face.

The urine runs down the statue and through a cleaver design it drains over the slab covering Hardins grave before tickling down the cobblestones and down to the harbor. Once he is done, the ogre puts his cock back in his trousers, puts his iron gauntlet back on and goes back into the guard headquarters.

The party decides to get a couple hotel rooms close by and have Otep and Zug watch the activity around the statue. There is a bar on the east side of the square and as the regular city traffic on the harbor slows down in the evening the activity in the bar picks up. The city night life is wild and unrelenting for hours. Pissing on Hardin seems to be a regular pass time and even the tough women of Storm Port join in the sport and squat directly over the slab and piss on his remains as a sign of defiance to Kitar and support for Duthelm.

Around three in the morning the activity has died down to just a trickle and the fishermen haven’t started going to the harbor yet. The party decides to put their elaborate plan into action.

The plan is that Akronos will levitates the slab while hiding in a nearby buildings shadows. As soon as the slab is a few feet off the ground Otep will push it out to the harbor where Akronos will release the levitate and let the evidence disappear. Lutheo will take the shovel that they bought and dig up the “shallow grave” to find the skull of Hardin. Meanwhile Theren will be hiding in the shadows with Akronos and be ready with an illusion to cover up Lutheo if someone happens to stagger by. This is the plan, but it didn’t last for more than a couple seconds before it fell apart.

Apparently the party should have checked to see if the statue and slab were magically warded against being tampering with or damaged. When the slab was levitated it activated a Magic Mouth spell on the statue, emanating from the mouth of the Knight of the Abyss yelling “Guards, Guards, Fools are Damaging the War Monument Again! Surrender Now Fools or Feel The Wrath of Storm Port! Yours will be the eye we piss in.” At the same time both Lutheo and Otep feel the tingle of magic upon them but fortunately they resisted whatever the effects were. The ground, statue and floating slab are suddenly outlined in a green light giving off dim light in the area.

Instead of pushing the slab that is now glowing green and floating five feet off the ground across the square and into the harbor, Otep pushes it just a couple feet so it is off of the grave site and he runs back to one of the buildings surrounds the square.

Theron acts quickly and casts Silence on the statue, cutting it off in mid repeat of the warning cry.

Lutheo casts detect magic and determines where the skull of Hardin might be and starts digging in that spot. The ground is hard packed with a layer of compacted sand on the top so digging isn’t easy. Akronos raises the glowing slab another 30 feet in the air.

There is the sound of guards string in the command center that boarders the square to the west, followed by and running booted feet. Theren casts an illusion to cover Lutheo while he digs. When Theren concentrate on his illusion, his silence spell ends and the statue alarm spell starts screaming for the guards again. Lutheo abandons digging and runs towards the harbor and round to the eastern edge of the square. Akronos decides they can’t miss this opportunity to unearth the skull so he casts Exploding Earth at the gravesite and memorial statue. The explosion of earth, paver stones and bones is spectacular, damaging the statue of the defeat of Hardin in the process.

The falling debris, glowing statue that has just been severely damaged and glowing slab 30 feet in the air is what the guards see as they come running into the square. Apparently this isn’t the regular minor damage to the statue or drunkard getting too frisky in his show of disrespect to Hardin that they usually see.

With the guards coming into the square, Akronos throws the snatch pit onto the ground and Theren casts invisibility on Akronos and then jumps in the pit, suspecting that an elf in the area will be executed on sight. Akronos picks up the snatch pit and runs to the site of the exploded earth to try and find the skull of Hardin. Otep has made his way around to the east end of the square and joins up with Lutheo.

Akronos realizes that he is the least qualified within the party to find the Skull of Hardin because he has poor human eyes that don’t work nearly as well in poorly lit areas as everyone else in the party. He calls Lutheo and Otep over to join him in the search in the dark for the skull. One of the guards confronts Lutheo and Otep as they get closer, telling them to stay out of the area while the guards investigate what went the hell just happened, but while the guard is talking to them, Akronos turns them in visible. Unfortunately, to concentrate on the invisibility spell Akronos has to let down his concentration on the levitate spell and the slab that is glowing and levitating 30 feet off the ground plummets to earth.

This is where the session ended. Everything is going perfectly according to plan, if the plan was to create chaos, destroy the square and the war memorial statue, wake up the city and summon all of the guards within a ten block radius.

Next session: The party will pick up the skull that is laying at Akronos feet and saunter out of town, celebrating their smooth recovery of another skull of the Conclave of Freedom!

Experience from session #13 will be combined with session #14 when we see how it all plays out…
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #12
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on February 01, 2020, 09:11:10 AM »
The party has just made off with the skull of Saint Kelandor the Healer, having stolen it from the Basilica of Imarus in the early morning hours. They checked the map and find that now with Kelandors skull is in another realm in the bag of holding, the map now points to Storms Port in the boarder town of Duthelm.

They return to the wizards guild of Aridorn and meet up with Hessen as previously planned. Hessen has agreed to teleport them on to another destination in exchange of being owned a favor or a proprietary spell by Master Elodin. He tells them that the closest location that he knows a teleportation circle for is in Myranor, the capitol of Kitar.

The party decides not to waste any more time in Aridorn since the Church of Inthar might figure out what happened and hunt them down. They have Hessen teleport them to Myranor after just a short debate.

The teleportation circle of Myranor is located out to the east of the harbor on a section of rocky outcropping. There is a seldom used path from the circle into the harbor and to the gates into the town.

Myranor has an impressive harbor with many docks. There are large towers overlooking the harbor to provide protection in case of invasion. Much of the shore along the outer city wall consists of hard, sharp black rock with numerous caves and blow holes. Waves often crash spectacularly against the black rocks and jet out of blow holes. Small boats are often crushed between the waves and rocks during storms.

Lutheo grew up in a small town in the nation of Kitar. He educates the party on what he remembers of the nation as well as the little bit that he knows of Myranor from the few visits he had as a child before his parents disappeared on a mission and he was taken in by the Ynthar monks.

Kitar has the feel of a frontier. Hardy woodsmen, trackers, adventurers and wilderness guides populate the taverns and towns. Kitar is mostly a human nation, however, elves, half-orcs, half-ogres, and dwarves are also common with the occasional grum and saurian. It is not unusual to see borrellian traders on market day either.

Myranor is a large and varied city with a number of excellent inns and guilds. Like Kitar, the population of Myranor is a mix of hardy types - farmers, hunters, trappers, woodsmen, sailors, soldiers and mercenaries. Myranor is a strong community where men survive by their wits and their blades, but it is also a fair city ruled by a just king, King Davillon Arkain.

The Royal Palace of Myranor is the governmental seat of the nation, residence of the royal family, headquarters of Kitar’s military forces and university all in one. Within the large castle is the main conference hall where King Davillon meets with his Council of Advisors.

Myranor is a very heavily fortified city. It's northern location and past history make it the first line of defense against Duthelm for all the eastern lands. For these reasons, Myranor is built to withstand a siege.

Myranor has two city walls - an outer wall and an inner wall - which divide the city into three sections. Both walls are immense things being 100 feet tall and 36 feet thick. A walkway runs along the top with crenellations for archers to take up positions and guards to patrol between guard towers. This city was built to withstand a siege and it shows in the walls.

The two walls divide the city into three sections: the outer city, which is mostly hovels and shacks; the middle city, which is home to shops and taverns, craftsmen and freemen; and the inner city, which is the sanctuary of the nobles, scholars, priests and the wealthy. At the center of the inner city is the royal castle.

The city is made up of sturdy buildings with stone, timber and stucco. Large eves help keep the rain off the buildings. Night comes earlier this far north and it feels a little oppressive having instantly come from the warmer and sunnier south. Fall has already arrived here while it is still probably a month away back in Aridorn.

The city guard keeps the peace in this frontier city. They patrol in groups of four (three fighters and one officer). City guard wear shining chainmail, very heavy cloaks (to keep out the cold), high leather boots and iron helms with visors. They wield broadswords and large shields bearing the standard of Kitar. There are no city restrictions on wearing armor or weapons. This is the frontier after all.

The party splits into two groups to move through the outer city and enter the gates of Myranor. Theren and Lutheo go in first with Akronos, Otep and Ceress following about an hour behind. It is just about noon when the second group enters the city. Theren and Lutheo go a few blocks in and get a room at The Tall Trees Inn, a nicer inn with good meals and comfortable beds. Akronos, Otep and Ceress take the first inn inside the walls, the The Creaking Mast, a decent inn with filling food for hardy seaworthy types.

The party take most of the day to rest up and practice their new skills. They meet up in the evening to discuss next steps. They send a message by scroll to Boazman and let him know that they left Aridorn and shall never return. He responds later in the evening with a short message of “Good to hear”.

After some discussion they decide that Akronos should use his new Sending spell to contact Master Elodin and let him know they have succeeded in retrieving the skull and are now in Myranor to head to Storms Port.

Master Elodin responds back with “Contact Henrik in Myranor. He is ex-military and well known to me. He will help with the mission, no questions asked. I’ll let him know.

The next morning they party gears up and checks with a guard station to see if they know who Henrik is. The guards don’t know Henrik is but they suggest that someone in the Kitaran Army station might know who he is. With directions they find the army station and track down one of the older timers that knew him. He lets them know that Henrik is retired and living in the inner city district near the Black Square. 

The party heads up in two groups and each is met by the guard at the inner city gate. The guards have been informed by Henrik to expect them due to the contact from Elodin. The guards give them an escort to Henrik’s house just off a market square with black cobblestones.

When they knock on the door they are greeted by a staff member who lets them in and takes them to a sitting room. He notifies Henrik who comes in shortly. Henrik a human wizard who is ex-military. He is about 6‘2“ tall and has broad shouldered with a full beard. A typical northman of Kitar. He doesn’t fit what the party would consider a wizard but apparently he has a long history of friendship with Elodin.

He has spent many years of his life in the service of the Kitar military fighting off Duthelm skirmishers before retirement.

The party has questions for Henrik about Storm Port and he helps provide them with as much information as he can.

There has been an embargo with Dathelm for many years and the city of Storm Port sees many smugglers coming and going. It houses spies for both sides. The party will probably have to travel in by foot or wagon since shipping into the city from Kitar is illegal.

He can lend the party a horse and wagon but he won’t go with them. He can also recommend a guild to help them, Zug, who served with him back in the military. He sends his servant out to notify Zug to come to the house.

Storm Port was lost to Duthelm in the last war and the loss is still keenly felt by those who fought the war. Storm Port was originally populated by people from both sides but during the Demon War 150 years ago it became a Duthelm town. Many in Kitar still feel that Storm Port is theirs but the feeling is no longer mutual.

There are no elves in the city of Storm Port and very few Saurians that aren’t in the military as members of the Berzerkers.

Storm Port is a shadow of its former self. With Kitar owning and controlling the channel access to the ocean, shipping and trading with the outside world by sea ended with the Demon Wars. It is now the fishing capitol of Duthelm as well as a military outpost.

Storm Port is heavily fortified against invasions and has a large garrison of the Duthelm Military for patrols and strikes against Kitar or any internal uprising. The military plays a huge role in the economy with about 800 of the towns 8,000+ population being military, another 800 being military support personal. While probably 1500 of the population is tied into the fishing trade, the military is the main spender and even the main purchaser of the fishing trade.

The party asks Henrik about Hardin and he tells them that Hardin died behind enemy lines in Duthelm territory in the town of Storm Port. He was a native of Kitar before the demon war and returned there after the war to continue fighting Duthelm. He dedicated his life to regaining as many towns and lands as possible for Kitar and lead many army crusades into battle.
Storm Port was in many battles during the war, but it was the site of the last remaining serious offensive against Duthelm by Kitar after the war. After his death in battle there, Kitar didn’t have the stomach to continue the offenses and an uneasy truce was called. Many boarder skirmishes still happen, but the two nations aren’t currently at war, just enemies.

Despite its small size, Duthelm maintains a massive standing army and wields it like a machete. Any problem that arises - be it rebellion, incursion or other - is usually solved by sending out several battalions to ride out and slaughter the problem.

The armies of Duthelm consist of a ragtag miscellany of orcs, ogres, humans, goblins, half breeds and trolls. On the whole, they are unorganized and lack discipline. But what they lack in order, they make up for in sheer numbers and raw brutality. Standing out from the ranks of common warriors, are three groups... the Orcish Rippers, the Ogre Iron Fists and the Saurian Berzerkers.

The Rippers are are highly trained orcs known for their spiked armor and their whirling, rapid attack style.

The Iron Fists are are ogres that wear super heavy plate armor and wield huge spiked iron gauntlets. They close range with their opponents relying on their armor to protect them from ranged weapons and then pummel their opponents with crushing blows.

The Berzerkers are all harothi saurians that take aggression to new heights. They rush into combat with no regard for style, enter a berzerker rage and attack with suicidal ferocity.

All of these forces can be found in Storms Port, ready to raid into Kitar or put down any rebellion that rises in this part of Duthelm.

At this point, the door to the sitting room opens and a huge half-ogre squeezes through the door. Henrik gets up and greets him warmly, introducing the party to Zug, his former captain and now friend. Now Zug works for Henrik as security and all around muscle. He is a powerful fighter that uses a two great axes with ease and obvious joy. At the offer of being the parties guide Zug says in his broken Rukemien language “Zug happy, get mud between toes again! Piss on trees, sleep in the rain! Hopefully killing and much fun.” Apparently the city is no place for a civilized half-ogre for long and he loves getting back into the woods.

Zug takes them on a supply run and helps them get outfitted to look like they are from the north. Akrons stocks up on empty wine bottles to fill up along the road to Storm Port to help with their disguise as illicit smugglers.

On their way to the city of Storm Port they will have to spend several nights on the road. The first four nights are still in Kitar territory and they are able to stay at small inns along the way. During these travels Zug asks Otep if he speaks the mother tongue and when he finds out that they share the language of Orcish they have a vibrant conversation. It turns out that Zug isn’t as stupid as he sounds, he just has challenges with the over complicated Rukemien language.

After passing through the small town of Trails End they enter the neutral zone between Kitar and Duthelm and have another four nights of camping under the start before they will make it to Storms Port. On the second night of camping the party is ambushed in the middle of the night by a band of Gnolls, lead by a Gnoll lord, a Gnoll in a frenzy and three of their burrow hounds. It’s a bloody battle with Zug getting dropped, Akronos’s new spell failing him miserably and almost getting him killed and most of the rest of the party cut up at least a little bit before all of the enemies are killed, the last while trying to run away.

On the bodies of the gnolls they find 110 gold, 7 gems worth 50 gold each, 5 gems wroth 25 gold each, two potions, a Staff of the python and a Wand of magic missiles.

The next night also sees trouble for the party when during the second watch a troll charges into camp. Theren deftly dodges it by turning invisible and it rushes past him and attacks the sleeping Lutheo. The battle is swift with Lutheo being nearly killed and the party getting in some great hits on the troll to take it down in record time. The toss chunks of the troll on the fire to make sure that it doesn’t disturb them again that night.

The next morning Akronos offers to split up the treasure from the gnolls. He says “Zug, you have been a great guide and powerful warrior.  We happily share in the loot.  You take 25 gold, these two gems and as many spears and the glaive of their leader if you like.  Everyone else gets 17 gold and 2 gems.  I’ll take the wand and the rest of the items we will sell as part of our trader disguise.

By the scowl on Zugs face, Akronos realizes that his math might be off and he says “I should never try to split of treasure before my second cup of coffee. We’ll split the loot amicably around the campfire after everyone has their coffee.”

Zug says “Coffee Good!” and wiggles his toes in the dirt in front of the campfire. He goes back to gathering bones from the troll that didn’t burn in the fire from last night and snapping them like twigs and tossing the pieces into the fire. He gives Akronos a big smile while he does that.

This is where Session 12 ends.
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #11
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on January 09, 2020, 01:47:08 PM »
Session #11

The party has spent the last two and a half months traveling to the Great Temple of Thandrimora to ask the monks of Ynthar for advice. Given that the symbol of Ynthar is so heavily associated with everything they have found, they believe this to be the best place to get confirmation on what to do next. Since Lutheo and Ceress had spent years training there, they feel they can trust them.

The party was given a warm reception when they arrived at the temple. Lutheo and Ceress were welcomed back by the monks that they had spent so much time with before leaving about 4 months ago. The party asks to speak with a master and they are granted an audience.

Master Ta’hana sits with the party and reviews all of their findings. They talk for hours about what the party has witnessed, what they have found and what they have deciphered in the book of banishment found at the ruins of the Conclaves stronghold.

As a group they come to the following conclusions:

From the book they are were able to discover that each of the Conclave members dedicated their mind to the banishment, their bodies were present and they sacrificed/tied a portion of their soul to insure the banishment would work. This is in line with the three paths of Ynthar, the paths of the mind, body and spirit.

The banishment needed to break Draxorith into the three separate parts of mind, body and soul to insure they could succeed in banishing the mighty greater demon.

The finger on the chain and map were probably made by the Black Sorcerers to track Geldan (using his amputated finger from the historic battle of Storms Port). This is probably how Duthelm found the secret hideout so quickly after the banishment, using the map for general location and the finger to pinpoint him.

They surmise that the fingers enchantment continued to work pointing to Geldan even after death. When his remains were taken out of this realm by being put in the bag of holding, the finger then pointed to the next closest Conclave member since they were all tied together through their dedication of their souls to the still active banishment.

Similarly, the map pointed to Geldan but they are unsure how it picks the next Conclave member to highlight since it isn’t based on proximity. This is a mystery that they will have to see if they discover in due time.

Through the use of Legend Lore, Master Ta’hana was able to confirm their suspicions that the gem holds the soul of Draxorith. Based on the circumstance of finding the gem on the body of a dead Black Sorcerer near the banishment chamber as well as notes in the final pages of the banishment book wondering what caused the banishment to fail, they surmise that this separation of the soul probably happened prior to the banishment and is what caused the banishment to only partially succeed. It was probably a defensive measure taken early on by Draxorith like a Lich using a soul jar. Maybe the Black Sorcerers brought the gem with them in an attempt to use it to undo the banishment, giving Draxorith an anchor close by to help retrieve him, but instead they died in the final battle leaving the gem, the answer to the reason the banishment failed, right there for all these years, unknown to anyone but some of the highest ranking Black Sorcerers.

Given that the banishment probably failed due to not having Draxoriths soul in the banishment, the only way to complete the banishment is to throw the gem in the banishment pit. But since the Conclave members had to bind their souls to the spell, had to physically be present and dedicate their minds to the activation of the spell (which is still running), it is most likely that the remains of the six Conclave members will also need to be there to complete the banishment. Without this, the warding may unravel and Draxorith will once again be unleashed on the world to wreak havoc.

During these conversations, Ta’hana assures them that they have done the right thing so far. He lets them know that the church of Imarus has no rights to the bones of Kelandor, the Conclave member interred  there. He will point out the folly of the church of Imarus being attached to material things and the mysticism surrounding remains of the dead, although apparently this one does have some mysticism due to the tie to the banishment spell.

At various points, master Ta’hana encouraged each of the characters for their futures. He tells Otep that he is wiser than he gives himself credit for. He encouraged Theren to follow the path of getting his head out of the stars (and the bottle) and into the soil, less Moon and more Shadow. To Akronos he subtly mentioned that he should return home before too long. Lutheo he told to continue to walk the path and get your hands dirty but also look to lead down the path for others need your guidance. Ceress was encouraged that it is time for him to come out of mourning for who he has been and fully engage in who he wants to be.

Ta’hana sends the party to dinner with the monks of the temple while he and the four other masters meet to talk about next steps and how Ynthar will be involved.

The dinner is simple but excellent. They haven’t had this good of food in a long time. Otep asks one of the other monks about this and is told that a regular practice among the faithful is the Three Day Cycle. Adherents study each discipline for one day and then begin again. The first day is completely devoted to physical training. This includes exercise, weapons practice, running, swimming, yoga, martial arts and gymnastics. The second day is devoted to study, intellectual pursuits and magic. This usually involves reading and may also involve visiting a local library, solving puzzles and riddles, magical research and engaging in discussion with learned scholars. The third day is spent meditating and in deep contemplation. This day may also include resolving problems, confronting fears, honoring the past, planning for the future, trying something new, fasting, feasting, arranging flowers, gardening, creating art or anything else that enriches the spirit. This third day, the "spirit day", is a deeply personal day and it may take many different forms. Many of the monks in the temple have found a deeply satisfying joy in cooking and the results is an active, meditative culinary masterpiece that everyone gets to join in.

Otep is impressed with the diversity of the monks given that there are humans, elves, grum, dwarves, half orcs, saurians, phellysians and others. The fact that they are not all just traditional monks but also clerics, wizards, fighters, paladins and more intrigues him. When he talks of this later with Master Ta’hana, he is told that Ynthar isn’t a religion so much as a philosophy and way of life. The monks who study here are studying that way of life and philosophy, not specifically the martial arts of being a monk, although some of course are monks in the martial arts sense. Otep is given the invitation to return once his mission is accomplished if he would like to study the way of Ynthar.

Master Ta’hana has met with the four other Masters of Ynthar currently in residence at the temple. Master Michael (a human monk from Drakell), Master Elodin (an elven Wizard), Master Agoch  (a dwarven paladin) and Master Edwin (a grum cleric).

Currently in attendance at the Temple of Thandrimora are five masters, fifteen monks, thirty two apprentices and fifty two initiates. There are many other Ynthari monks elsewhere in the world. Some come to Thandrimora from time to time. Most make a pilgrimage here at least once in their life. The three lesser temples are little more than ruins that lie in hostile territory.

The Master Monks can’t spare more than a small but strong party without leaving this last remaining temple of Ynthar woefully undefended. They have agreed that Master Agoch and Master Edwin will lead a party of 5 monks to find and kill the necromancer at the ruins of the Conclaves banishment site.

The party should continue upon that path of retrieving the other skulls and meet up at the banishment site to complete what was started 150 years ago.

Otep and Ceress have great skill in surviving in the outdoors and paid close attention to the surroundings when they escaped the digging camp. They give Master Agoch and Master Edwin detailed descriptions of the area to help them find it. They also agree to leave the book of banishment with the masters in hopes that it having been created at that site will give it a strong binding to the location and they might be able to use it to help magically pinpoint the location. Master Elodin has all of the notes that Boazman and Akronos made while translating the book over the past three and a half months copied so Akronos can keep the originals and the Masters can have a copy.

Master Ta’hana introduces them to master Elodin the top ranking wizard within the monastery. Elodin is a tall Elf with long white hair in a tight ponytail braid down his back. He is old even by elven standard and whipcord strong. Elodin provides Akronos with the spell Sending so they can communicate more while the party is on the road. Akronos asks for a couple other spells including Levitate which might come in very handy in lifting the lid off of the sarcophagus of Kelandor and Elodin is happy to help the cause. Akronos then thinks to ask for a long shot and asks if Elodin can recharge the ring of fireballs. Apparently this is well within Elodin’s skills and he has it accomplished before the party leaves the temple.

The party asks if the Masters will be able to provide them with anything else to help in their mission. Ta’hana explains that they live rather simple lives and most items in the monastery are the personal belonging of a monk that brought it with them and will take it when they return to the outside world. They do collect up several potions of healing, lots of holy water, 5 pearls that can be used for identify and 1,000 worth of gold for them.

The Monk Santiago who was the mentor for Ceress before sending him out to the world meets with Ceress to see what his progress has been. After an unarmed sparing match and then a match with swords (both of which Santiago easily wins), he offers up a magical long sword to Ceress. The hilt is intricately carved and by tracing the lines with the eye or hand it could be used for meditation. He wishes him well and looks forward to meeting up with him at the ruins of the Conclave since he has volunteered to be one of the five monks going on that mission with the masters.

With the blessing and encouragement of master Ta'hana the party sets about a plan to steal the skull of Kelandor from the Basilica of Imarus. They spend the next two days practicing this plan while at the monastery to make sure that everything will go smooth when it comes time to execute the heist.

Master Elodin agrees to teleport the party back to Aridorn. He provides them with a letter with his personal seal and lets them know that they can present this to the wizard Hessen at the guild in Aridorn and he will assist them with a teleportation circle to another city when they’re done with their mission there.

Master Elodin uses a Sending spell to contact Hasson and alert him to their arrival. When they teleport into the courtyard of the wizards guild of Aridorn, Hessen is waiting for them.

The wizard Hessen of Aridorn is a butt ugly half orc with a rough demeanor. The party informs him that they will be needing to teleport out early the next morning. He laughs and says that he’ll be happy to have master Elodin in his debt. Normally he would charge 2500 gold pieces for such a service but Elodin has promised him proprietary spells in exchange.

After Akronos and Lutheo make a quick trip out to barter a deal to exchange Lutheos magical short sword for a magical rapier the party lies low in the wizard school for the evening.

They head out first thing in the morning before the Basilica opens to the public. They travel in small groups to not be seen together and when they get there they spread out in the public courtyard with the locals. A couple of the party purchase some meat pies from a local vendor and wait for the opening of the Basilica.

Two Civilars flanked by four Militants come promptly at 8:00 and open both the large double doors in the center of the front of the church as well as the sets of double doors on each side. The civilars go deep into the church and the militants take up position by the doors.

There are plenty of locals waiting around to enter the church at first opening and after a dozen or so go in Theren passes by each party member and gives them Bardic Inspiration on his way in. The rest of the party moves in and takes up their designated positions.

Theren and Otep go to the area dedicated to the Demon War hero’s that contains Kelandors sarcophagus. Lutheo and Akronos go to positions across the isle from them. Ceress goes to the far end of the Basilica and waits for the signal.

Theren bribes and uses his power of Suggestion on the local that was already at the shrine of Kelandor so they could have it to themselves. He gives him a gold to go out and purchase a meat pie for Theren and keep the change.

Theren then casts silence ten feet above the sarcophagus. Ceress sets off the Combat Shroud in the back of the church drawing the attention of the Civilars and Acolytes and terrifying the worshipers. Akronos uses Levitate to lift the lid to the sarcophagus, Theren throws the Snatch Pit on the floor next to it, Otep grabs the skull of Kelandor and jumps into the pit. Lutheo is ready to run interference if any part of their plan goes awry Akronos lowers the lid while a couple of the Militants are running past to investigate the commotion in the back of the church and Theren closes the pit with Otep and the skull in it and takes the controlling lever with him as he and the rest of the party head for the exit with the rest of the frightened masses.

The two remaining militants guarding the door aren’t able to contain the flow of panicked worshipers fleeing and the party escapes in the confusion.

While in the pit, Otep gets his first experience of pure darkness. With no light source and no friends to provide light or even a comforting conversation panic starts to set in. After just a little bit of panic he decides to do that meditation thing he has seen Lutheo, Ceress and the monks at the temple do. He calms down and finds it to be a surprisingly relaxing experience.

The party meets up a few blocks away from the church, join Otep in the pit and close it back on themselves. They check the map and now that the skull of Kelandor is in another dimension the map no longer points to Aridorn, it points to Storm Port up in Duthelm. 

This is where session #11 ends. The party has collected the second skull and have a clear idea of what their mission is.
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #10
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on January 04, 2020, 06:28:19 PM »
Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham

The party takes the assassin back to their room at the Tangled Riggings Inn.

They have Raradin, the human assassin that led the attack on them. Dead in the Snatch Pit is a human and half orc in chain mail and a human and half orc both in studded leather. All had short swords.

Raradin has a +1 Short Sword, the human fighter has +1 chainmail, the half orc in chainmail had the Snatch Pit and the half orc in studded leather had the Combat Shroud. In addition to the standard gear they have a total of 250 in gold pieces on them.

The party interrogates Raradin and finds that he is a local member of the thieves guild and was running this team, hired in by Delmanakan to kill/capture as many of the party as possible. Tobar was the human fighter in chainmail and he was one of Delmanakan’s crew that was put on the snatch team to insure all the items on the captured party members got back to Delmanakan instead of ending up in the Aridorn underworld. Raradin doesn’t have much more information than this except that Delmanakan seems very powerful, he has at least five more very tough guys with him and has hired in a slew of other muscle in town. He is well guarded and well entrenched, using multiple layers and buffers to protect himself as if he is used to working in a dangerous, backstabbing, treacherous environment.

Raradin tried to trade his little bit of information for his life. He was to bring the prisoners dead or alive to the warehouse like usual. He never saw anyone at the warehouse when dropping off Saurians, just dropped the body there, dead or alive and pick up his reward from another drop spot two blocks away. He was given this assignment through a street urchin. His description of the party was very detailed, down to what they were wearing and carrying. His instructions are to bring as many bodies as possible to the warehouse and all of their possessions. He was told that eyes would be on him at all times to make sure that every possession makes it to the warehouse in addition to having Tobar assigned to his party.

Up till two days ago the bounty was just for this grouping without the specifics of what they were wearing and looked like. Any Saurian that was thought to be suspicious would do and bring in a bounty of 50 gold but if they turned out to be the right one the bounty would go up to 1,000 gold. “It was a slow way to make 500 gold but a good way to get paid to practice ones craft”  Raradin said.

The Snatch Pit works like a Rope Trick but on the ground instead of in the air. Six people can survive in it for up to 4 hours. They can see out of it and can open it from inside if they closed it from the inside. It can only be opened from the side it was closed from. That is where the lever will be that opens it. It can be deployed on any relatively flat surface like a floor or road. The interior is 8’ by 10’ and 8’ deep. You can look out of it if you closed it from the inside.

Raradin offers the party that the head fo the thief’s guild would pay 5,000 gold for his return. The head of the guild is Kazik and according to Raridan he would pay this price then make Raradin an indentured servant for buying his life. Not exactly attractive to Raradin, but better than being dead.

The party spends some time debating if they could come up with a way to cash in on this opportunity and still survive the deal. They think of detailed plans of brokering in through Drakos at the Kettle, of using the reward to put out a bounty on the head of Delmanakan or a couple other opportunities. In the end, Otep decides that they all sound too dangerous and he walks over and takes a hatchet to the head of Raradin and kills him.

With this lack of leverage, a bounty on their head and uncertainty on if retrieving the remains of the dead conclave members is the right thing to do, the party decides to leave the city and travel across the country to ask the monks of Ynthar what they should be doing and what the items that they have found mean.

It is a long and boring trek. A week into their ride west they think to contact Boazman and ask him to send a letter to Drakos claiming it is from Ceress. The letter proclaims his victory over killing Raradin and that he and the party have left the city. Drakos is to get this information to the head of the thief guild in hopes this will help provide relief to the other Saurians getting slaughtered in the city. 

During this long trek Akronos spends a lot of time studying the Conclaves banishing book. He deciders much of it and finds that the first section was dedicated to banishment analyzing in general, all the how’s and why’s of banishment spells.

The second section was dedicated to Ynthar and the three paths of mind, body and soul. When he got deep into this section of the book it talked about all living things being made up of the mind, the body and the soul. The Conclave were all practitioners of Ynthar and decided to weave this into their banishment in an attempt to break Draxorith into these three separate parts to make it easier to banish the greater demon. The cost to them would be substantial though since they would all need to be there physically during the opening and closing of the banishment gate. They would all need to put their minds to the task of casting the greatest spell any of them had individually cast while wearing it into one incredibly powerful spell. And most critically, they would all need to dedicate a portion of their soul to the ritual in order to fracture Draxorith and then seal the gate forever against his or his minions attempts to bring him back.

The third section was dedicated to the riddle and trap coding. Each master was assigned to creating 9 symbols (three sets of threes) that would be anchor glyphs forever binding Draxorith to the banishment. To insure that each glyph was working properly they created a page in the book that had all of the glyphs on it tied to their corresponding glyph so that they would light up when detected for magic. Boazman had explained that this is the only part of the book that detects as magical but when Akronos detected for magic on it, all but one of the glyphs showed as magical.

A frantic set of communications back and forth with Boazman confirmed that they all showed as magical just three weeks ago when he handed off the book. All agreed that this wasn’t a good sign and that Akronos should monitor the glyphs closely. Over the remainder of their trip to the monastery, two more glyphs stopped detecting as magical, as if their corresponding anchor glyphs had been snuffed out.

After two and a half months of travel across country, the party finally makes it to the Great Temple of Thandrimora.

Ceress and Lutheo are greeted warmly by the resident monks. They ask to speak to a master and are given an audience with Master Ta’hunaga, a human monk from Myria who stands about 5’2” and looks to be ancient.

The party shows Master Ta’Hunaga the gem, map, finger and skull of Geldan. They tell him the whole story and ask for his guidance.

He asks them many questions and confirms some details for them.

This is where session #10 ended.

Next session: Has the party completed their mission and are now free to buy an inn, retire and leave the saving of the world to the monks of Ynthar? Will they continue to help with this mission that they stumbled into in some capacity? Will Master Ta'hunaga spank them all for not coming to him sooner, or spank them for not trusting in themselves to finish what they started?
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #9
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on December 13, 2019, 02:30:08 PM »
Session #9

Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham

The party takes some time to discuss their options and next steps. They consider talking to the Church of Imarus about what they are doing and why they need the skull of one of their saints. They decide to wait a little while before doing that. Instead, they will explore why so many Surians have been killed in the city over the past several weeks.

Before launching into their search they get a scroll message from Boazman that he has his note book on the coding in the demon banishing book that he would like to give the party before he leaves. He arranges to meet with Akronos at the Black Mug cafe down by the docks and shows him the coding method used. He explains how it shifts from page to page.

He explains that there are multiple sections of the book; one dedicated to banishment analyzing in general; one for Ynthar and the three paths of mind, body and soul; one to the riddle and trap coding; one to the gate with a full map of the symbols that has each symbol actually light up individually when detected with magic and explains that this is the only part of the book that detects as magical; one detailing out the limits and range of the banishment pull and the plan to lure in Draxorith and the questions on why it didn’t work. Possibilities on why it didn’t work is that it was too far a pull through the ground, too much magic deflecting/shielding stone in that area of the ground or unexpected defenses of Draxorith as a Major Demon.

Boazmans workbook has all of the translated pages that he has figured out to date. He has focused on the banishment analysis, why it didn’t work, how it was supposed to work and enough pages from the other sections to identify what those sections are taking about.

He then has to hurry to catch the boat to flee the city with his wife but will be available by scroll if needed.

They party has been careful not to been seen together while in town. They have secured separate rooms in the same inn and when they walk anywhere they walk in three separate groups with about 30 to 50 feet between each group. They have taken the city’s rules about no weapons and armor seriously and those that are wearing light armor take efforts to hid it and smaller weapons are carried but concealed.

They go back to the Kettle and have Ceress talk to Drakos. Drakos explains that Saurians have been turning up dead in the Dockside district of town at a rate of 2 to 3 per day. This is a large section of town that spans all of the docks, warehouses, stores and inns around the cities harbor.

The party decides to get two separate inns in Dockside and try to find out who is killing the Saurians and why. They get a room at the Captain's Galley Inn which is run by Captain Trenchard and another room in the more rundown Broken Mast Inn run by Jonathan. Otep goes to talk to the city guard about joining them (hiring and training happen on the second Tuesday of each month, two weeks away) and also asks about the killing of the Saurians due to concerns for his Saurian friend. He finds from Gurk the Halforc city guard investigator that the dead saurians are being dumped there but are being snatched from all over they city. There has been more snatched around the University districted that anywhere else.

The party spends two days and nights in the Dockside district looking for clues and loosing track of each other with no real plan on how to proceed. At one point they all split up and go out on their own at night with no plan on how to communicate in case they find something or get attacked, but amazingly enough, none of them get jumped and killed.

On the 3rd day Lutheo and Akronos talk to some of the street urchins (Matt, Muddy and Puddles) and after a comedy of errors and missed clues find out that someone by the name of Smiley is willing to pay for information about a saurian traveling with a halfling, elf and halforc. He can be found at the Rusty Blade here in Dockside.

The party moves inns closer to the Rusty Blade and get rooms in the Lost Anchor Inn and the Tangled Riggings Tavern (testing the ability of the creators to come up with enough Dockside tavern names on the fly). Theren goes into the Rusty Blade and asks the barkeep if Smiley is around. It’s early in the morning and Smiley isn’t in the inn at this time. He gets a room and asks if he can perform for the patrons in the common room and spend much of the day just hanging out. Later in the afternoon Lutheo comes into the inn and grabs a seat to enjoy the music. Otep also comes into the inn a little while later, all three of them sitting apart and pretending not to know each other.

Akronos then turns Ceress invisible so he can also enter the inn and sneak around with the plan that he will go upstairs and look through peoples rooms. Ceress successfully sneaks in but forgets about the plan and just hangs out near Otep, being invisible and watching the crowd. Before the invisibility ends he leaves the tavern and finds Akronos waiting outside for him a few doors down.

Akronos and Ceress decide to walk past the Inn of the Rusty Blade while talking and tempt fate just one more time. Sure enough, an assassin surprises them by running his short sword through Ceress’s back right in front of the Rusty Blade. The assassin has four accomplishes that come out of the crown and join in the battle. One drops a smoke screen that creates loud bangs and fills the area with fog, creating a ring of obscuring fog in a twenty foot radius around the combat. The locals on the street flee the battle, noise and fog, leaving the assassins to their work.

With the battle breaking out right outside of the inn, Lutheo and Otep run out the front door to join in and Theren goes around through the back door to approach from an ally. In the short time it take for the rest of the party to join the battle, the assassin has dropped Ceress, one of his crew has tossed some sort of portable hole on the ground and another member has rolled his dying body into the pit. Otep wades deep into combat and lays about the enemy with his mighty maul. Akronos gets out of the middle of the battle and casts spells dropping one of the killers. Lutheo drops one, Akronos revives Ceress just before he slips into the sweet oblivion of permanent death and with the party fully engaged the thugs are quickly taken out. Most of the party has been injured and burned through their resources quickly but they have dropped every enemy. While in the pit Ceress had seen that there was a handle dangling inside it. The party quickly rolls four of the enemies bodies into the pit to loot later and revive the assassin for later questioning. Picking up the handle zips up the pit and they take it and the contents of it with them.

The entire battle took only half a minute and the streets are cleared due to the magical fog and noise so no one is around to see the party scurry off through the nearest ally with the captured assassin in tow.

This is where session #9 ends. The party has escaped an ambush and captured someone that should be able to confirm their suspicion that Saurians are being killed because they only make up 1% of the population in Aridorn so they would be the easiest to narrow the focus for the escaped slave digging team.
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Re: Session Summary #8
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on November 25, 2019, 05:10:53 PM »
More of the banishment gate and glyphs.
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #8
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on November 20, 2019, 05:43:23 PM »
Session #8 Summary

Grab some coffee, this is a long summary due to some character backstory developments, a revelation about the banishment gate and a players recap of the end of session conversation and thoughts about direction for the next session.

Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham

The party returns to Freeport after realizing that the mansion and undead in there are too much for them to take on at this point. They break up into two separate groups and get rooms at separate inns to make sure that they aren’t identified as a party given their unique racial combination would make the five of them stand out.

While in Freeport they sell off the loot they got from the goblin necromancer, Theren buys membership in the mariners guild so he can search old star maps for clues to the Thun Pines poem that he has been trying to figure out for the past 111 years (still no luck on finding anything useful, just like every other attempt at every other opportunity he has had, which has been many) . He is sure that one day he will figure out the mystery of the missing star and be able to reunite all of the elves and bring the Drow back into the fold of goodness.

Akronos works with local merchants to further his trade empire since he hasn’t fully given up his old profession of being a merchant in favor of being an adventurer. Otep uses his share of the loot to buy a cloak of protection from a local merchant (with Akronos help in negotiating) and then buys from the High Street Bakery the best clam chowder bread bowl he has ever had in his life. Ceress goes shopping for some magic items but can’t find what he is looking for at a price he can afford (displacer cloaks are well out of his budget). Lutheo experiments with his Sumerack Shield and discovers that the protective bubble that it makes ins’t just held stationary by the ground that it passes through but is stationary in any space, even in mid air. He tested this by jumping off the roof of their inn and yelling Sumerack, thus stopping his fall to the ground and only falling to the bottom of the twenty foot wide forcefield.

Theren decides to ask the local church about undead but doesn’t get much helpful information. He then goes to the Landlubber's Inn which is located next to the City Militia Hall on the north end of town. He buys a few rounds and plays a few songs before sitting down and talking to the guards to find out more about the haunted mansion and this General Tomas Harn that the warning signs mentioned. He finds that General Harn is the current general of the City Militia and a no-nonsense military man.

When Theren asks about the ghost stories he has heard about the mansion the guardsman tells him that he doesn’t really know anything about it but Kalchick, Captain of the Country Guard at the other end of the bar probably does. With a couple free drinks Kalchick is happy to share “Once or twice a decade a foolish party of adventurers will think they have a chance where everyone else has died before. We don’t like to attract the suicidal so we try to discourage attempts at clearing the mansion.

Some go to the mansion for the hopes of treasure, glory, earning the estate or just as an exciting way to die.

We don’t know why the spirits stay inside the property but one of my primary goals of the Militia is that the spirits never gets out to wreak havoc on the surrounding population.

Here’s the deal that Freeport is willing to make. If someone kills the spirit they can have the estate and anything they find in it but in order to have that deal they must leave all the valuables they have on them with my office. If and when they die the valuables will be sold off and the proceeds will de donated to the local orphanage. If by chance they survive they will be given their possessions back. A couple guards will accompany them to the estate. After they’ve gone in and have been given enough time to die the guards will board it back up to keep the evil spirts sleeping happily inside their cursed mansion. I’ve been on that detail once about 12 years ago. It was a party of seven adventurers including two wizards and one priest. I think they were pretty powerful since the wizards were able to cast a lightning both that forked and hit many targets, but it still didn’t look like it did anything. About half a minute after entering the mansion they started screaming and dying, so what ever is in there is pretty nasty.

Me and the boys on my detail got hazard pay for that days work of boarding it back up but it definitely wasn’t worth the nightmares I’ve had about it.”

Theren asks about other ghost stories as well just to make it seem like he isn’t focused on the mansion and Kalchick is happy to tell him all sorts of tales.

The party decides to follow the red dot on the map back to Aridorn despite the fact that some of them (Otep) think it might be a trap by the Knights of the Abyss or the demon lord. Due to the cost to transport horses on a ship they sell off their horses and book passage on the Clay Duck, the next ship leaving port for Aridorn. The voyage is pretty uneventful aside for the occasional see sickness. As they pass the point of Lands End they take the gem out of its box just in case the bad guys are magically searching for it. They also check the finger and it is still pointing back to Freeport.

Once they get to Aridorn they are given the same warning at the docks that carrying weapons and wearing armor in the city is forbidden and that they should stow their gear at the first possible opportunity. They break up into two separate groups and head to The Kettle to get rooms and set up a meeting with Boazman. They send Ceress in alone to check with the Saurian innkeeper to see if there are any developments that they should know about. After a moment of talking Drakos recognizes Ceress as the one that was here with the halfling, half-orc, elf and human. He pulls him into a side room and lets him know that someone has been killing saurians in town and to watch himself and his friends. There are probably eyes on the street looking for their group.

Akronos goes to Boazman house and finds out from his wife that he is still at work at the university. The party goes to the university in groups and splits up. Ceress stays outside while Theren and Lutheo go into the library. Lutheo looks for information about the Knights of the Abyss and the king of Mercia during the time when Nikova would have been his advisor. He finds nothing that they haven’t already learned. Theren once again researches Thun Pines and this poem that he has been hunting for the missing name of the star that rhymes with orange but doesn’t find anything.

Akronos and Otep track down Boazman in his office and Boazman is happy to see them and share all that he has learned. With an escort from Otep, he goes back home and retrieves the book on demon banishment, the book of Thun Pines poetry and the poem that Theren has entrusted him to research.

The party gather together and use a Rope Trick spell to insure their privacy in the conversation with Boazman to find out what he has discovered.

Boazman tells them that he has made some good progress on the book of demon banishing and that he has also made some great discoveries about Theren’s poem. Despite the parties interest in the demon banishment, Theren points out he has been waiting 111 years to find answers about this poem and they have only been waiting for less than a month for answers about the demon, so the poem information must comes first.

“I’ve been gotten completely wrapped up in this whole gloomy “we’re all going to die because of the demons” business but I’ve made great progress on researching your book and poem as well.

Thank you for bringing me such a wonderful project. I’ve had a lot of fun researching it and I hope you’ll enjoy the findings as much as I have.

I started with the book since it was a much larger volume to work with. I analyzed the ink and the paper in the book and found it to have a specific mix of hawthorn bark and a wine mixture that were commonly used by the nobility of the Drakkellian Alliance a little over 200 years ago. The paper in the book also supports these findings.

I contacted one of my colleagues in the Drakkellian Alliance and he dug through the histories there for me. What he was able to find was amazing!

The book was written by Gustav Wilder, bard to the nobles of the Drakkelian Alliance and creator of the clues for the Festival of the Coin for more than 20 years. The Festival of the Coin I say!

He was also famous for writing wild poems and stories about mysteries with clues to be discovered during an evening leading to a big reveal in a dinner mystery, kind of like a scavenger hunt for the thinking man. These later became know as “wild goose chases” after his name of Gustav Wilder. Gustav Wilder, Wild Goose Chase. Just brilliant!

Many of the Goose Chases had political humor to them or looped back on themselves with surprise endings that changed the whole meaning and understanding of the rest of the evening. It was absolutely marvelous writing I tell you.

In his grand humor, he later published these under the pen name of Thun Pines. The man was a brilliant writer and this book is apparently a collection of all of his Goose Chases. My colleague estimates that this compilation is worth at least 50 gold pieces and maybe more if you sold it at an auction house in Drakkell where the nobles might bid it up.

In case you haven’t already caught the meaning of the name Thun Pines, it’s a creative anagram for “Snipe Hunt” which is another name for a wild goose chase. You might not have Snipes Hunts where you come from but in Drakkell they will take an unsuspecting fool out into the woods, usually at night, to help them catch the elusive “snipe”.

The funny part is that there is no such creature and you then abandon the fool out there  for hours while you and your friends go back and enjoy a good laugh at their expense! Just plain mean fun but brilliant of Gustav to use it in his writing.

But how does all of this tie into your loose little poem you ask? This is where it gets very interesting. My analysis of the ink and paper stock of your poem shows that it also almost definitely originated in Drakkell.

You see, the ink used was still a mixture of the hawthorn bark and wine found in Drakkell but the scribes of Drakkell experimented for a short time with adding in tannic acids to the mixture. The method was later discarded when it was discovered that iron salts was a far superior mixture. This ink on your poem was only used for a decade or two about 180 years ago so maybe 20 years after Gustav’s Wild Goose Chases.

This was probably written by a copy cat that admired Gustav’s work but you can tell by reading it that it’s not an original Gustav since the wording isn’t nearly as cleaver. Also, there is no word that rhymes with Orange which is probably why he tore that section out, trying to make it a Goose Chase but not clever enough to write it like Gustav would have.

The poem is probably useless and of no value, but this book is a rare find, something that you can cherish for years, entertain your friends with by recreating the original Wild Goose Chases or sell it for a pretty little pile of gold.

I hope this helps and that it’s what you were looking for.”

Theren is crushed to hear this. He has been pursuing the meaning of this poem obsessively for almost all of him elven life, dedicating the past 111 years to discovering the missing star that it refers to, the one that should have rhymed with orange. He starts cycling through the stages of grief with denial and then anger at this discovery. The rest of the party is kind of in shock at the discovery.

They urge Boazman to move on to discuss the demon banishing workbook and his discoveries in it. He tells them that the gate that they found has sixty glyphs inscribed in the stone surrounding it. These glyphs help seal the gate and keep this end of the Conduit closed, even against magical undoing. They are designed to be very difficult to dispel. Each one is the tip of an iceberg of a larger maze-glyph. Each binds a warding spell to it. To undo each anchor glyph, the puzzle it represents must be solved. Each layer is exponentially more complex than the previous layer. Deeper levels of the glyphs contains traps, dead-ends and puzzles within puzzles to further obfuscate and deter resolution of the glyph. The deepest layer is the core layer, the most complex and time consuming. Usually the core layer contains an entire defensive spell within it, designed to injure anyone trying to undo the anchor glyph. The six Conclave Freedom members each designed a portion of the glyphs to insure that they styles were very different and more challenging to undo, if the gate ever fell into the wrong hands.

The party tells much of what they discovered in the ruins to Boazman, filling him in on the parts of the tale that they had kept from him until now. They show him the gem and the map that currently points to Aridon. They show him the skull of Geldan and the magical finger that points to it when it is out of the bag of holding. When they put the skull away to show him that it points to the south west towards Freeport they discover that it now points directly south. Knowing that Kelandor is interred in the Basilica of Imarus they ask Boazman where the church is in relation to them and find out that it is south of them here in the city.

They also share with him that someone is searching for them and killing Saurians in the city. Boazman freaks out and fears for his and his wife’s life and the party encourages him to flee from town with his wife. They take the book of demon banishing back from him and Theren gives him the book of the complete works of Thun Pines while keeping the poem that has been in his possession for so long, even if it isn’t what he thought and hoped it was for so long.

The party sets off to explore the Basilica to see if they can recover the bones of a second member of the Conclave of Freedom.

The cathedral in Aridorn, known as the Basilica, is the spiritual heart and central point of reference for the Imarusian Faith. It is the Basilica that ordains holy law to all other churches and grants right and title to Imarus-ian priests. Diplomatically, the Basilica acts and speaks for the whole faith.

The Basilica itself is considered one of the greatest architectural creations in all the lands. It is renowned for its bells. In total, it has 120 bells, some of them truly massive, which are rung each week to call the faithful to mass. People of the Imarus faith travel thousands of miles to pray here and even those not of his faith come in just to admire the spectacular building that this is.

The heart of the cathedral consists of a dais upon which is a great statue of Imarus and, at the feet of the statue, an ornate throne and stone altar. Sermons are given by the presiding religious official from this illustrious position.

The seating in a church of Imarus is divided up into sections governed by social rank. Around the altar gallery, seating is arranged in a circular fashion. Such seating is reserved for the nobles, the wealthy, the clergy and the favored. The higher one’s rank, the closer one is to the front of the altar.

Those not worthy of seating within the gallery are relegated to the main hall. The front is reserved for those able to make monetary contributions to the church. This includes shop owners, merchants, traders and the like. Further back are the commoners. At the very back, it is open seating for anyone – peasants, serfs and slaves (if their masters brought them to service) and so forth.

It is the grandest structure that any of them have seen. The interior is adorned in gold and magnificent paintings. Along the exterior walls are thirty and sixty foot wide alcoves dedicated to different saints and significant events. They find in on of the sixty foot wide alcoves that it is dedicated to the hero of the demon wars. Along the exterior walls expanse is a massive mural depicting the history of the demon wars with Draxorith leading the Duthelm armies and the Conclave of Freedom and Rukemian armies fighting back. All six members are prominently featured on the near wall of the alcove and the far wall jutting into the church is dedicated to the Kelandor the Healer. Kelandor is entombed in the Basilica as a saint for dedicating her life to healing after the war having spent over 20 years after the war tending to the sick and injured. Her elaborate sarcophagus is here, made of marble and intricately carved.

Despite the church being packed with worshipers and clergy, they subtly check the finger and confirm that it is indeed pointing to this exact spot. They subtly do a detect magic and while they can detect something faintly through the stone, they aren’t sure if the signature matches the other bones and the gem, but they are pretty sure this will be the case when they finally get access to these bones.

The lid is way too heavy to lift and the church is constantly busy with people paying their respects and even paying while at the resting place of Saint Kelandor the Healer. The acolytes inform then that the church is closing to the public at 8:00 and they devise a plan. Theren finds a moment to turn invisible and stays after closing while the rest of the party gets a room at a nearby inn.

After closing, thirty acolytes set to sweeping, cleaning and detailing the whole church. It turns out that a church dedicated to order has a very regimented cleaning program each night after the thousands of worshipers have finally left. Realizing that he won’t get a chance to do anything without risk of discovery he leaves and joins the rest of the party.

They talk late into the night in their room at the inn discussing how they want to get the bones and what steps to take next.

Per some of that conversation:
In his great wisdon Otep summarizes some of the conversation with the following:
We appear to be at a decision point, and we appear to be FAR from consensus.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is where we all stand regarding our next step:

Theren - Let's talk to the His Holiness, of Imarus, and lay out all our cards. 
Lutheo - Let's talk to the His Holiness, of Imarus, and lay out all our cards.
Otep - Wait a sec!
Akronos - Let's wait until everyone's distracted by some festival happening in a few days and steal the corpse!
Ceress - Let's NOT talk to the pope, because he's not going to believe us/dislike what we have to say.

Otep, for a change, definitely disagrees with Akronos, and for a different reason than Theren and Lutheo. 

Theren disagrees, because although that might become a back-up plan, talking to folks might be better as a first step than making an "attack" on a seemingly well-guarded/populated area. 

Lutheo disagrees because it's wrong.  This is a sacred place (despite being a different religion than his own), and desecration isn't good. 

Otep disagrees with Akronos because he's not convinced that collecting skulls is what we should be doing.  For all we know, collecting all the skulls is exactly what the demon may want, which could then free him from his gem-prison!  Who knows???  We certainly can't know, and Otep totally disagrees with Lutheo that we should just "guess" and then trust our guess.  Um, how about asking a professional?  Someone that might know more than us about demons and banishment?  We're only 4th levelers!!!

At first, Otep loved the idea of talking to His Holiness.  But then Ceress shared his opinion that the pope would most likely disbelieve our "story", and may even grab all our stuff from us and do with it what he feels is right, from his particular belief system. 

Ceress isn't the most charismatic amongst us, but his words wrang true for Otep.

So...Otep's opinion is that we should therefore seek guidance from someone of Lutheo's/Ceress's religion, Ynthar.  After all - it's that religion's symbol that is clearly shown on the gem (which we suspect is imprisoning the demon, but we certainly can't even know that for sure). 

And of course, the counter arguments to Otep's plan are valid.  But we're not there, and we are right here now, with a potentially high level priest nearby!  Who most likely DOES know about demons and imprisonment.  BUT, Otep agrees with Ceress.  This current religion's belief is quite different from the information we have discovered, and it would be easy for the priest to disregard our "story".  I wouldn't say we have "proof" of our story - all we have is an evil artifact with a symbol from a different religion on it.  Otep agrees with Ceress - this current religion would probably not be quick to believe all their stories of the demon wars were wrong.  It would minimize their religion's role in the ending of the war.

And, the temple of Ynthar is FAR FAR AWAY!!!  And there's only one temple left?

Otep asks Lutheo and Ceress if there was any way to locate a high priest of their religion that may be closer?  Maybe that person could communicate with the higher-ups in some way, the way we communicate with Bozman on the scroll?  Or maybe that person could help us get access to "magic teleportation" to the temple for communication with the higher-ups? 

We appear to be at an impasse.  We can't follow through with everyone's plan, and we also believe that some of our plans could turn disastrous!

Akronos's plan to talk to nobody and just break open the crypt and steal the bones is A) sacrilegious to Lutheo, and B) illegal and dangerous, if we get caught.

Theren and Lutheo's plan DOES have potential negative aspects.  If Ceress is correct, they could take the gem from us (and Lutheo agreed that they WOULD, if they recognized it as evil and dangerous, yet were not convinced by our "evidence").  Sure, the dude could cast Zone of Truth to see we're not lying.  But that doesn't make our claims themselves the truth.  We may strongly believe something, but it doesn't make it so.  Plus, this is Ynthar doing, not Imarus. 

Otep agrees with Ceress.  It seems WAY too risky to share all the stuff we found, just hoping they totally change their belief-system and agree that their religion actually DIDN'T solve the demon war crisis. 

The ONLY negative to Otep's plan is that it costs us time.  But we don't know for sure that we even WANT to collect these skulls.  And we don't know for sure that we can trust this Imarus religion.  But we DO know that Lutheo's/Ceress's religion of Ynthar isn't evil, and we DO know that they are certainly more involved with these artifacts than this Imarus religion.  Otep says - let's seek out a high priest of Lutheo's/Ceress's religion of Ynthar - however we could do that.  If they exist in a nearer location than the One temple.
The Art of the Game Master / Re: Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by tanis on November 20, 2019, 02:26:59 PM »

Btw, don't forget the turtle, either. I'm pretty sure it had the same answer as the owl.  8)
The Art of the Game Master / Re: Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by David Roomes on November 20, 2019, 12:15:46 AM »
Have any of you ever thought about eating monsters?

What would it mean to eat the heart of a Krallinar?
If you killed the krallinar yourself, then you are a serious badass. Eating the heart would definitely be the most awesome way to celebrate the victory after a long and bloody battle with this beast. Okay, I think the bathyns need a new ceremony involving eating the heart of the krallinar.

Is there a Teddy Roosevelt or Ernest Hemingway of Normidia?
Not yet, but I feel like a new character should be added to Normidia.

What DOES Emerald Prattle Fish sashimi taste like?
The brilliantly colored orange flesh of this fish has a moist, buttery smooth texture and a flavor that is rich, but slightly sweet. The poison tainted meat causes a numbness. It starts with a tingling of the lips and tongue and spreads slowly. It's a pleasant sensation. By the end of the meal, the eater is tingling all over, partially numbed and in a state of bliss and euphoria. It is not for the faint of heart and not for the poor either, since it's a rare and expensive delicacy.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
Three. According to the owl in the old TV commercial. And I trust the owl.
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Re: Session Summary #7.5
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on November 18, 2019, 02:21:45 PM »
Yes, this could have been a total party kill if they pushed it. I didn't expect them to go here yet (despite the finger pointing here) but I wasn't going to bend the world to fit their path. Sometimes the party must get that they can't win every battle.

I had a lot of fun with the creepy aspects. When them come back it will be ramped up a bit as well. I even had sound effects for the wind, voices and screams that they heard as they got closer to the mansion. Here are the links if anyone else wants to use them. I opened them in three separate windows and would add the second one as they got closer and then the third one when they were right up at the mansion.

Wind 1st:
Voices 2nd:
Scream (played at 50% speed) 3rd:
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