Four Fables

Chapter 32: The Rise and Fall of the New Oracle
2-20-12 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 21:1209

The fight continues in Keegan’s estate. Leo and Delad knock Keegan out and realize that he has sharpened his own teeth and has been eating raw meat of a deer, putting to rest the fact that Keegan was not a real vampire, just keeping an old Richter family trait alive (eating raw meat is an old custom for his family from long ago). They begin to search for their party realizing they might be in trouble. But now the castle has turned against them: vampires (who are the remains of Keegan’s staff) attack, ghosts spooking them, bushes giving off strange poison vapors, and spectral hands attacking them from the Richter family portraits on the walls. This haunted castle attacks them but they are successful in getting to the party in time.

Meanwhile the attack continues with Teman hurting the party and Yuma as well. Thorin bursts through the window with Yuma and things seem well until Teman is not happy and chases after them. To make matters worst, more vampire spawns come to Teman’s aid from the woods who attack Thorin.

The battle continues on the ground as Balasar continues to get mind controlled by Teman and levels Delad in the fight. Thorin continues to try his best to heal Yuma and the party and all seems lost until an older looking Shintaro shows up in the battle (about 50 years old). He summons a tiger from the Feywild and the two help tremendously in the fight, eventually bloodying Teman.

At that point, Teman uses a magical item to push and paralyze the group and gives Thorin the choice: Either Yuma will be feast upon, or him. Thorin is hesitant at first, but eventually gives his body to be devoured. Vampire spawns begin to poor out of the woods and rip Thorin’s armor and weapon apart, and in the process, his body is devoured. Teman spits upon him and all seems lost until Gunnarr rushes from the woods with the local militia, giving chase to the vampires. The party comes out of their paralysis and, in anger, destroy Teman with Leo chopping the vampire’s head off.

Jayden, desperate to heal his best friend, begins to drag Thorin’s body to the tree where Nephelim’s door has been drawn, while Shintaro says, “It’s too late.” The party, broken, stare at his lifeless body in the quiet rain. Until suddenly a familiar female figure comes out of the woods. Delad recognizes it to be Hulda who stoops down and says, “I hope I’m not too late.” She whispers, “Awaken, Thorin my love…” as she plunges her teeth into his neck. At first all is quiet as the group stares in disbelief and confusion and the silence shatters as Thorin begins to cough. Thorin feels fine, even stronger than before and sees the love of his life, Hulda caressing his face. He smiles and is overjoyed to see that she has saved him. But then she reveals that she has changed him entirely saying, “I’ve waited for this moment and now I don’t have to hide it from you anymore. We are one in the same now, Dhampyrs (half vampire/half human), Vrylokan heritage is what makes us live forever! We can be together now!”

Thorin is confused and checks on his mother as Hulda holds his hand. Yuma’s sight has returned and for some reason the traumatic experience that has happened to her (Teman and her’s pilgrimage to the Sun Dial, etc.) has been forgotten. All she remembers is that she decided to take a pilgrimage (she thinks she went by herself) to the Sundial, stayed at Keegan’s estate out of the kindness of his heart for her late husband’s (Teman) friendship with him, and that Teman never survived the “Brother-Sister War” of Lykovia recently. She is glad to finally meet Thorin but claims he is cold to the touch.

Thorin does look the same, but he seems a bit paler, his eyes are glossed over with death, and his canines are much more enhanced than they were before. Even worst, he feels the Oracle power of “Channeling” slowly weakening in his mind. But that doesn’t matter to Yuma, she claims the trip was good and is glad that she is reunited with her son. She sees Jayden and doesn’t recognize him.

Hulda, who is being eyed up by the group is quite honest with them: she works for Vecna and is glad that Teman is now dead (along with the curse on Keegan’s estate). She is only here to save Thorin and let him know that she loves him. Thorin is upset to hear that he is now part undead as he has sworn his life to kill all undead and is even contemplating his own suicide because of this. Jayden and Shintaro view this is as a win for them while Delad is not happy and takes a few bashes with his staff against Hulda’s face and she just takes the hits. He yells that this is not right to Pelor, “How can you be the Oracle if you are undead!?” In a huff, he enters Nephelim’s door and closes it behind himself. Leo seems hesitant as well and even tries to attack Hulda as she leaves. Her presence does not seem welcome and she disappears with a cast of a spell. Thorin, still questioning everything, does not seem happy that Leo just attacked the love of his life.

As Hulda disappears she takes Thorin’s holy symbol as a memento for herself and leaves her necklace behind in his hand (his new ki focus magic item). Thorin takes Yuma inside and finds that the Oracle armor to be a good fit for him (as the armor is much heavier than he used to be able to use, but with his new racial powers and relying more on being a battle cleric he can use scale armor now) as his last bit of armor was destroyed. Yuma also begins to pack her things as she prepares to go home (hopefully with Thorin she thinks) and notices the morningstar she brought. She was going to donate it to the Sundial temple but thinks that Thorin should have it. After all, it was his father’s weapon before his death.

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Chapter 31: The New Oracle
1-30-12 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 21:1209

The group follows Gunnarr to the last known whereabouts of Oracle Alvis in the midst of the rainy midnight. They find a small shrine to Pelor that was recently made. A ghost of a small girl, named Sara, is haunting the shrine and the Oracle was trying to solve why she was there but went missing while in the midst of the investigation. The party investigates but Shintaro receives word from a wind spirit that is whispered into his ear that he must go and seek council with the primal spirits of Resen. He explains he will see them soon, if not in the morning at the main port. The party finds that Sara was killed there by one of the people who made the small shrine recently. Her bones are found and the culprit is taken away. Sara rejoices and leaves for her rightful resting place. Her bones are burned (as per Pelorian custom) and the ashes leave a simple message as to where the Oracle is: “East Bittercliffs.”

The party hurries to the Oracle who appears to be possessed with madness at the East Bittercliffs. He immediately attacks the party giving a formidable fight for them. In the midst of the battle, Leo notices that there are ethereal chains locked onto the Oracle. They knock him out but notice that the chains are slowly ripping his soul out of his body.

Oracle Alvis comes out of his madness and recognizes Thorin. He explains that a group of demons have entrapped his soul and are now ripping it into the Abyss. He tells Thorin that a new Oracle must emerge and protect Resen and the citizens here and, though Thorin denies it, the Oracle has seen that he is the best candidate in front of him before he passes. Speechless, Thorin receives the sacred armor of the Oracle and is given the ancient power handed down to each Oracle throughout the ages: “Channeling.” With this power the Oracle is able to hear the millions of prayers from believers of Pelor. With the proper ritual, the Oracle can hear certain, important (to Pelor) prayers. Alvis’ soul begins to be drawn upwards by the chains and his final words are, “Don’t worry about me, I’ve failed Resen and Vecna’s power is growing stronger according to the demons, that is why they have defeated me. I will always love you Thorin, use the ‘Channeling’ to help Pelor’s cause.” His soul is then ripped away. Thorin begins contemplating how he can get Alvis back but is interrupted by the flood of prayers that enter his mind. Through the pain, he is able to focus on his mother’s prayer that becomes quite clear stating, “Lord of the Sun, bestow my husband Teman the power to protect us in this evil place. Protect Thorin and guide him back to me.” Thorin and the group take Alvis’ body and send a message to Gunnarr what has happened while they rush to Keegan Von Richter’s castle.

The group goes to Richter’s estate and, with Thorin’s new Oracle powers, the evil divine ritual that was protecting the castle breaks at the mere glance of Oracle Thorin’s eyes. They investigate the large mansion and proceed through the empty first floor. They enter the 2nd and find a scared Teman who is searching the castle for Keegan. He says Yuma is fine in the tower library to the east and asks for Thorin to help him protect her. “Keegan has gone mad and claims he hungers for blood. After you left he began ranting how bad the food was. He left for his private studies in the west end of the castle. Strange things started happening, the walls moved, the furniture attacked us and a strange humanoid creature with fangs and red eyes attacked us!” Teman says that Keegan and his lackey, Lem, went to the west. Delad and Leo rush to find Keegan while the rest follow Teman. Leo finds Keegan first. He’s in his armor along with Lem, both ready for a fight. A bloody carcass lays on his table as his own face seems to be covered in blood. “At last, my guests have returned! Have at thee!” Keegan immediately attacks saying, “Get them, Lem!” They begin to fight but before Delad can enter the private studies the door mysteriously closes on him with Leo fighting Keegan and Lem alone. Delad finds he is not alone as two red-eyed humans come lunging at him from the rafters of the castle.

Thorin and the rest rush to the tower and Jayden gets there first (though he had to break through a magical barrier in order to get to the room she was in). “Are you ok, Yuma?” Jayden asks. Yuma rises to her feet, grabs her walking stick and pulls a sword from it, “I recognize the voice of my dead husband’s killer, AH!” and she attacks Jayden. Jayden tries to calm her crying how sorry he is for his mistake. Thorin and the rest get upstairs to where she is and begin to calm her down. Seeing that they are safe, the group takes the chance to talk and find that Teman is not looking like his usual self. Yuma cries in Teman’s arms saying how she misses Thorin (her late husband). Teman says, “I love you Yuma. You are my everything, I would do anything for you! After the war in Lykovia, I didn’t know what to do. Something had changed in me while on the battlefield, so I returned to you and was able to convince you to come on this pilgrimage with me hoping to find answers. I’m sorry you couldn’t actually see the Sundial with your own eyes, it’s my own fault…” He begins to sob, “If I could have saved her from the sickness, her eyes would have been fine. Instead, my own addiction is the cause of this! It’s my own fault she can’t see!” He cries some more as his rapier drops to the ground. “I can’t deal with it anymore! She needs to see me again, there’s only one way. I must finish what I started.” He takes Yuma in his arms and pulls her dark gray hair away from her neck. Teman begins to caress her and kiss her and the group notices a gleam of white sharp teeth from Teman’s mouth." Thorin pushes him away and Teman yells, “Don’t get in my Thorin!” and attacks the group.

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Chapter 30: Gunnarr's Arm
12-19-11 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 21:1209

The group tries to enter Keegan’s castle but find that it is protected by some divine ritual where the whole group will need to focus their energy on. But Thorin is busy making a linked portal ritual in order to get back to his home and find out what is happening with the Oracle. The reason being is that after the group had their battle with the 6 sisters, they heard a loud, sonic scream from miles away and recognized the energy make to be from the Oracle himself, in battle.

They decide to give up on Yuma and find out what’s going on back at the Temple. They reach Thorin’s home and are greeted by Gunnarr. He tells them that he has grave news for them, and Thorin sees Gunnarr’s missing arm and is rocked back to the past as he remembers what happened to his best friend.

2 years ago, (on 1/3/1207) the group was getting ready for Oskoor’s big ceremony. They have a day to rest and make Delad work off his debt as being a stowaway. Vince is contacted by his business associate, Nord that he must find an item from the ancient shifter civilization in a temple located in a secluded woods.

Vince convinces the party to go there that day and they explore the temple once dedicated to Erathis. They find it was desecrated by cultists of Orcus and while looking, a wight gets up who holds a strangle purple gem around it’s throat. The heroes spooked at their first sight of an undead destroy it quickly. But the gem grows in power as night falls and the heroes realize the temple is now being surrounded by thousands of undead creatures who are coming from the woods and the ground. The party spends the whole night fighting off and fending the temple from undead getting in. At the end of the night the party decides they must try and destroy the gem thinking it will stop these undead from coming again but Hulda claims it’s missing. Everyone begins to look and in the process a secret compartment is found in the temple that once had the artifact that Vince was looking for. They know this because the Scarlet Corsair’s calling card (a red feather) was left their and with closer investigation, the group realizes that this happened earlier today.

Accusations are sent flying and the party is able to find that Hulda had been lying, trying to hold onto the gem herself for some reason. Thorin, not wanting to deal with the truth, decides it’s time to break the gem with Gunnarr’s and Hulda’s help. By praying to Erathis and other gods, the group is able to reconsecrate the temple and shatter the gem, but at a price. For some reason, Gunnarr’s damaged arm (as some necrotic energy had withered his arm in the fight from one of the purple glowing zombies) was infected even more so by the power of the shattered gem. Thorin realizes he must cut off Gunnarr’s arm in order to save his life before the gem’s energy can turn his best friend into a the walking dead. He does so with hesitation but he is able to get the whole party and the severely hurt goliath back to the Temple of the Sundial so that Gunnarr’s wounds can be treated.

Present day: Gunnarr explains to Thorin that hordes of devils have tried to take down the Oracle and the Sundial covertly. “They succeeded and before I could do anything, he was gone. We don’t know where he is and we need your help. It’s imperative for you to find them for the Keepers of Ancient Ones have tasked me to protect him.” Confused, Thorin and company eventually put two and two together: Gunnarr is “Agent Rose,” their contact in Resen for the Keepers.

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Chapter 29: The Dinner Party
11-28-11 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 20:1209 to 3rd Rise 21:1209

After meeting with the Oracle, the group splits up once again. Shintaro needed to commune with the primal spirits of Resen for their help. Those spirits agree to help him for the fact that he is now one with the ancient king Quang Ziu. He sacrifices his knowledge of rituals in order to be able to summon the primal spirits to his aid. The specific primal spirits were trusted “soldiers” of Princess Wei, Quang Ziu’s daughter from long ago.

The rest of the group is able to attain (through the bumbling idiots at the local militia’s prison) the prisoner and ex-lover of the Queen of Corsairs, Farnqua. He agrees to Delad’s proposition of leading them to the Queen of Corsair’s base in exchange for freedom.

The whole group eventually meets at the Richter Estate. They enter the gates and travel up to Keegan’s castle. They are greeted by Lem, a quiet and easily scared servant of Keegan’s. After traversing the maze-like castle, they stumble onto Keegan who has been preparing their meal (his staff is away). They are greeted in the banquet hall by Thorin’s long lost mother, Yuma Lotus and her 2nd husband, Teman Loot’sko. They have been living with Keegan since Teman was under Keegan’s rule in the Lykovian army. Jayden is hesitant to meet her for fear she might recognize him but that doesn’t matter for the fact that she is blind herself from a fever a few years ago, Teman claims.

After a good dinner Thorin and Yuma take to the balcony outside to discuss his adventures thus far. He is happy to see her but knows he must break the news of the fact that her husband’s killer is now friends with her son. She seems bitter about this and distant and before more is said, they are interrupted by Teman who takes her to bed.

Keegan offers the group the 6 sisters, the greatest masseuses in all the land. They visit his hot spring outside for a warm bath and massage. But in the midst of their “pleasant” massage, Delad and Jayden (who are not getting the massage) notice these sisters are in actuality hags who are slowly killing the party. Battle erupts and the group is victorious. Shintaro finds a fire elemental who has been trapped in the springs and lets it go free back to the Feywild. The “sisters” almost killed Farnqua as well but he was saved in time. The group finds notes to their “master” that it is important for them to kill the heroes that night but no name is given.

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Chapter 28: The Joust
10-24-11 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 20:1209

The group rests for the night but is unable to get a full night’s sleep for some reason. They continue their business as they visit the Temple once again as a full group. Delad is able to take his daughter and convince the Temple orphanage to take her in (it was a bit hard since she is part drow). They part ways and Delad does not seem to be challenged for the fact that he was giving up his daughter.

They go to see the Oracle and are met by one of his pages, Cyndree, who they also met the other day when they first saw the Oracle in the temple during the funeral. He tells them that the Oracle is having breakfast with General Keegan Von Richter VIII, an old ally of his. Cyndree leads the party to the Oracle and they all sit and Thorin has another flashback of the last time he sat across from Keegan. It was right after the pirate attack 2 years ago, the Oracle planned a festivity for their dwarven friends and had a joust tournament. Thorin entered the games himself giving his famous horse, Idunn, as his wage and, after hearing that Sir Keegan wished for the kiss of Hulda as his prize, the cleric asked for the same. Thorin did seem a bit jealous to Hulda’s date that she brought along to accompany her as well, a disguised Delad (dressed as a noble merchant) who was just looking for a way off the island as Hulda was able to help him with funding for his trip off of Resen in exchange for accompanying her at the festival.

The joust went well with Thorin barely making it to the finals. He battles Sir Keegan and, though he shows first blood, he is able to cut down Keegan in the match. As Keegan yields to Thorin, the whole festival is attacked by half-orcs. One calls out to Oskoor claiming the dwarf killed his wife and child. Oskoor, looking worried, tries to escape, but realizing the fact they are all surrounded the group and the dwarf counterattack. In the midst of the fight, the group is able to recognize Delad for who he really is. They stop the half-orcs (while some get away, including the one that called out to Oskoor) and with some hurt the Oracle is able to heal most of the half-orc prisoners and villagers and urges the festivities to continue as the local militia is able to calm things down. Thorin is declared the winner and receives his kiss from Hulda. Thorin remembers this situation for some reason as he continues his meal with the Oracle and Keegan in the present.

Thorin and Delad reminisce with Keegan and actually find out that Thorin’s mother and husband (Yuma Lotus and Teman Loot’sko) are living with Keegan in his estate. He arranges a dinner that night for them to meet up.

The Oracle is able to help Thorin and the party out as much as he can with advice on what to do next in their mission (as they explain their story to him). He explains of a very powerful ritual called “Exorcism” that might give them the ability to stop Stondylus, but with that ritual it requires them a focus item and for them to create this ritual with the undead being in the plane of the Shadowfell.

They continue their conversation now switched over to Balasar as Alvis outright attacks him. He realizes that something evil is in him and challenges the dragonborn. The group is confused but has noticed that Balasar has been acting strange. Balasar tells the group they have nothing to worry about. However, Zehir begins to tell Balasar that he must choose between him or his friends and Balasar, with much dismay, chooses his party.

Zehir curses Balasar, bringing him to an inch of his life as necrotic energy surrounds him and exits his body. His wings rot off and his arms and legs atrophy, he is weakened beyond belief. But with the help of the Oracle, realizing an evil presence had left, his warm smile came back again to the dragonborn. Balasar is quite weakened but is able to see the eyes of Malakiy. The group sees the angel (all but the Oracle as he claims he has been unable to communicate with Malakiy as of late in his prayers) and he says to Balasar that Pelor is here for him, he will never let him down. He says, “When you are ready, if you so wish, you can be a scion again, a scion of Pelor.” Balasar, unable to speak, acknowledges the angel. Before he leaves, Delad is very forward with the angel and asks what they must do with the portal, should it be closed or not? The angel explains that Pelor has entrusted these heroes with their decision on what to do with the portal if and when they find it. Delad begins to glow red, and another prophecy has been given: “Let it be known, the elf has always been concerned of the portal. It is because he is the gatekeeper to the portal that his concerns are genuine.”

With that, the group is left with them talking about their decisions on who is part of the prophecies and what to do with the portal. With that, Jayden gets fed up with their bickering and leaves the room. Shintaro begins to talk to the Oracle and their attempts to contact the Queen of Corsairs. The Oracle wants their help because of her stranglehold on the black market of Resen and so he decides to help out the group with forces and ships to aid them in exchange for names of who is part of the Keepers of the Ancient Ones. Thorin gives the name of some (Kyrynn and his goons, etc.) but not his mother or sister. The Oracle is upset, knowing he withheld some names and the group leaves as Thorin is quite upset that his father-figure is disappointed in him.

Balasar, with some strength, as they travel through the markets near the temple, comes across two shifters, Hazel and Ashbrook, trying to sell goods for their temple. These same two were the ones that Balasar was about to kill for Zehir as he was commissioned to do so. Instead, he is able to donate to their cause and lift some of his guilt from his shoulders.

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Chapter 27: How They Met
9-17-11 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 19:1209

The group settled into Resen, in Thorin’s old house. As Thorin reminisced and was able to help the group remember what they already do know of Resen, Leo and Balasar had a small talk in the common room.

When the group was ready, they split into two groups. One headed to the southern ports of Resen consisting of Balasar and Shintaro while the rest went to the Sun Dial of Pelor. Delad would have gone if had it not been for his child keeping him up throughout the night while they traveled through the portal. Delad and her were fast asleep in Thorin’s bed.

Shintaro and Balasar leave for the ports and after much prodding with the locals they find that The Queen of Corsairs is the one who has destroyed much of the history of shifters here on Resen. She’s known to “find you when she needs you, not the other way around.” Balasar is also able to get in contact with a half-orc by the name of Ollorry but doesn’t find any info. to help Shintaro out. However, Balasar is lying as this is his Zehir follower contact. Ollory tells Balasar that he must prove his worth to Zehir and kill two shifters who have converted to Pelor and Melora as they used to be followers of Zehir. Their names are Ashbrook and Hazel and they work at the small temple to Melora and Pelor in the harbor.

They then visit a shifter temple to Melora and Pelor and begin to talk of Shintaro’s beliefs and wishes for the past to be rediscovered for the Shifters. Sister Lillie (and old shifter with an irish accent and always offering fruits and vegetables to visitors) speaks to them about this and how the Queen of the Corsairs has destroyed many of the old books that had their history believing that “the history means nothing to them, only the future is what’s important.”

With not much luck the group leaves and they realize they are being followed. Thinking they have the upper hand, the ambush goes off still and Balasar and Shintaro are surprised. These cloaked shifters deal a lethal blow to them and say, “The Queen will find you when she needs you. This is your only warning, stay away from her.” Bitter, the group goes back to Thorin’s house.

The second group traveled many hours by carriage (a common way of traveling through the hilly roads of the island) to the temple. There they found many people gathering for what was a long awaited funeral of Aleska Anima. They found interesting news of how she was an orphan here just like Thorin and was adopted by Leo’s father. Some called her a war criminal while others thought she was a saint, so it was a long time coming for her funeral to be honored in the great temple of the Sundial of Pelor. The group tried to enter the service but could not due to the masses. Eventually after the service was over (Ralph was able to catch part of it by sneaking inside), the group goes in to inspect the body under the cover (no casket as this is common for a Pelorian funeral). Though, under heavy guard and Leo’s anger the group was identified as the ones who “killed” Emperor Rallis.

They were about to be put under arrest when Thorin stepped in to ask for a meeting with the high priest, Oracle Alvis. The guards argued and eventually heard an old and small voice coming through the back rooms of the temple. A door burst open as the Oracle came through. He embraced Thorin and recognizes the Heroes of the Portal and asks the guards to stand down. “While here this group is welcome and safe!” the Oracle proclaims.

The group finds out that this is Aleska’s body as it was delivered by General Abana from Kinsmet. He wishes not to see the heroes for fear that he let them down since he could not clear their name in Kinsmet. Also, he technically must arrest them if he sees them so, with the help of a loophole, he sends his best wishes to the group and says he will not be able to see them while they are here in Resen. The oracle is glad to see Thorin and Jayden (after all, this is where they met) and, after hearing their problems, says he will help in anyway he can. But he has previous engagements and must leave, but that Thorin and him will reconvene tomorrow at the temple.

While with the body of Aleska the party is able to contact her through a ritual using her old body. They ask what they should do with Stondylus and she is not much help. But she asks a question (which is uncommon with this ritual) herself, she asks Leo why is he still alive? He tells her of how they were able to escape Rydelle City and fleed the country. This answer seemed pretty obvious so it was strange why Aleska would ask that specific question to Leo.

Before the group leaves for Thorin’s home, the cleric shows the group the actual Sundial. He describes that many people pilgrimage here in hopes to come in contact with Pelor and relive past memories that they may have forgotten in their own lives. As soon as Jayden and Thorin touch the actual monument, they have a recollection of what happened 2 years ago.

On 1st Rise 2:1207 we experience how Delad, Thorin, Ralph, and Oskoor first met. The seas are quite rough on the Island of Resen as their recent bout with the month of Entropy created many horrible storms. Thorin and Gunnarr, best friends, have been charged by the Oracle to welcome/escort their dwarven brothers of Moradin (Strahm and Oskoor) from the port of Resen to the Oracle’s manor home. They meet at the docks along with a half elf merchant by the name of Vince and a stowaway elf (they later find out this is Delad). They try to capture the elf but they are confronted by the shifter pirates of the Scarlet Corsair who wish to kill the group and mug them. The group handles the pirates and goblins and Delad even helps them, but once the local militia come to make arrests, Delad makes a getaway.

The present day Thorin looks back on that event as being the first time they all met. He also recollects the fact that those pirates were apart of the Scarlet Corsair’s crew. One of the pirates who has been imprisoned from that event for the past 2 years was the lover of the Scarlet Corsair, his name was Farnquaa.

The group talks about their findings for the day and realize that the Scarlet Corsair and the Queen of Corsairs might somehow be related; the lover who is imprisoned might be a vital person for the group to use.

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Chapter 26: A Quest for a Nap
6-13-11, 7-30-11, 8-11-11, and 8-15-11 sessions

Timespan: 3rd Rise 16:1209 to 3rd Rise 17:1209

The heroes decide that they need to make a hasty retreat out of the drow/demon war that is going on in the Underdark, but not without looking for Delad’s daughter. He starts to remember his training with Master Ryosuke and senses her presence through his psionic training. Jayden senses that someone or something is scrying their presence through arcane means. They begin their escape out of the temple of Lolth and come across an escaped slave from deeper in the Underdark, Hannu. He helps the group in their fight against the drow as long as they escape the Underdark with him and they agree. He does not know anything about the people scrying on the group and heroes believes him.

The heroes begin to scour the southern end of Phaervorul (where the drow refugee camp was) and, so far, have only found surviving drow, demons, undead, dragonborn raiders, a human wizard who is a part of the upper world’s group “Mages of Saruun,”(he gives them information about the attackers of the drow are being led by Zirithian, a high commander of Orcus, a demon lord who wishes to gain the godly powers from the Raven Queen) goblin and troll slaves, and many, many drow zombies who wanted the brains of the heroes while they tried to sleep through the night. After taking the drow merchant’s house from the demons and trolls that tried to fight them there, the group comes across a scared drow maid servant. They find a drow baby with a slit throat as the servant said that she was crying while they hid from the demons so she had to kill the baby. The baby looked exactly like Delad’s child but, for some reason, Delad knew it was not her. Puzzled, the group tried to interrogate the woman but she killed herself in the process as well. After a long night of fighting, the group was able to sleep and found some of Irrbryn’s clothes on the bodies of the dead goblins and Delad feels her presence close to where they are staying that night.

As Leo settles into a restless sleep after a hard 48 hours, images of the murdered baby haunt his vision. He tries to shrug them away, saying to himself that Drow are evil and the evil they inflict on each other is deserved and even welcome in the eyes of the goodly people. Absently, he rolls over and scratches at the pendant hanging around his neck. In a dream, the celestial stallion, Whitestar, comes to him and speaks with the voice of his father. “Do not shun the innocent, my son. The servants of Lolth are her victims, not her children.” Leo wakes with a new desire to save the Drow people from Zirithian, hoping the light of Pelor will pierce the hearts enshrouded by Lolth’s webs of deceit.

In the middle of the night Delad is awoken by a baby crying. He looks over to Leo and finds that his eyes are wide open. At this point, Leo’s dream is still happening and Leo is asleep but his eyes are wide open. Freaked out, Delad wakes Leo and finds that after a few hours of sleep, Leo is fully rested. His sword glows and the image of his father appears and begins to train him in a new paladin technique where he is able to meditate for only a few hours while still keeping watch over his friends while they sleep themselves.

Still hearing the crying, Delad asks if Leo can hear that and he says, “No.” Delad begins to look and doesn’t find any baby (or zombies anymore for that matter) in the house. He realizes that his monk training is kicking in and Irrbryn is not far from him. He and Leo begin to track her down in the caverns of the town. They sneak around and find, not far from their camp, a wizard’s tower. They climb the walls to the top and enter a window. They find glass tanks full of drow babies that all look like Irrbryn in the bedroom. All of a sudden, footsteps can be heard coming up the stairs to the room they are in. They hide but Leo is found by a drow necromancer who does not seem too alarmed of his presence. He says he is Jhaelant and he originally worked for the Matron who ordered him to create clones of Irrbryn, the seed of Delad. He wants the demons to destroy the drow so that he might be left alone from the drow society so he can continue with his “experiments.” He doesn’t know why the Matron wanted clones of Delad’s child and, growing tired of Leo’s questions, the drow begins to attack Leo. Delad comes out of hiding and strikes the drow down with ease.

Seeing he is outmatched, the drow strikes a deal with the heroes. He offers the real Irrbryn who is safe in her crib downstairs. Delad is able to retrieve the baby and she seems unharmed. The drow offers his life in exchange of removing Talebrina’s hold on Delad’s mind. In a couple of days Delad will succumb to her will again unless Jhaelant removes it, which won’t be hard since he helped Talebrina with this ritual on him in the first place. The drow removes the affliction and Delad feels much better. He also offers the powers of the shadow magic to Delad so that he can continue to use it even though Talebrina cannot use him anymore. However, the only way he can do this is if the blood of a drow innocent is used for the ritual. Delad’s choice is simple: Kill Irrbryn and gain the powers of the assassin or use Time Transcendence and become a full monk again. After looking at his child, he says, “I will become a monk of Pelor then.” The ritual is complete and the drow takes his leave for good.

Delad realizes he must now use Time Transcendence again to relearn the basics of his monk training from his master Ryosuke. He does so and is restored to his original power as a monk, leaving the assassin ways behind. Leo, proud that Delad made the right choice, helps Delad back to the camp because, after using this technique, Delad’s energy is sapped and this takes a toll on his body giving him horrible migraines throughout the night. Delad is haunted by the fact that he can only use this technique two more times before it destroys him.

With his new power and his baby in hand, Delad tells the group its time to go to Resen. They prepare a magic circle in an abandoned part of the city’s buildings and begin the ritual. In the midst of it, they are swarmed by demons and undead who try and stop their getaway. But the group is victorious as they receive some help mysteriously from the other side of the ritual that shortens their time to complete the spell.

They then take the time in the portal to rest as they are slowly traveling through the magical plane to Resen. They reach Resen in a part that Thorin has not seen in a long time: his old house on the island. The group then decides to split ways to find clues on where they should go next. But before leaving they find a note from Agent Rose, a follower of the Keepers who tells them that they will be in touch soon and to take this moment to rest and explore the peaceful city-state of Resen.

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Chapter 25: Time Transcendence
5-16-11 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 15:1209 to 3rd Rise 16:1209

The battle is won and Talebrina insists that Delad and his friends and her must have another “session.” Delad starts to remember their past counseling sessions while he had amnesia as it was a time for him to recollect on all the “bad” things Master Ryosuke did to him when he was young. He starts to remember the “side room” as a part of his training when he was a young boy. Other students would go with Master Ryo alone in that room and come out crying or beaten. When it was Delad’s turn to go in he would have blackouts. Talebrina is able to bring out more information of what the side room represented, finding a mirror inside, and Master Ryo saying it was a special training called “Time Transcendence.”

Talebrina tried to force upon Delad the insinuation was that Master Ryo raped him when he was a boy in this room but Delad and his party refuses to believe it and find that, through prayer to Pelor, they are able to calm the dark magic that dwells inside of Delad and help him remember his monk training in order to help him remember what Time Transcendence is. Talebrina is stopped by Balasar from hurting Delad anymore and Delad, unwillingly at first, is able to remember how to start this technique. As he utters the words he asks Balasar to smack in the back of the head. Before he can finish the sentence, the blow is made, and all Delad can hear is Master Ryo’s voice.

Delad finds himself in a 15 year old version of himself standing in front of the mirror in the side room, with a younger Master Ryo in front of him. After 5700 students, Master Ryo is successful in training the first person in his monastery to perfect “Time Transcendence.” Delad, with this power, is able to go into the past and talk to Master Ryo. But his words must be careful as Delad tries to warn Ryo about his future and proceeds to have a nose bleed both in the past and the present. Carefully choosing their words, Delad asks for guidance from Master Ryo and asks what can he tell about his tattoo. Ryo doesn’t know much at this time (roughly 1185) about the tattoo other than it’s based on a prophecy but the topic of where Delad comes from did come up as Delad questioned, “Why him? What makes me so special?”

Ryo proceeds to tell of Delad’s past: When he was dropped off as a baby by his “parents,” Ryo knew that they were disguised. But he didn’t care, he saw Delad as a baby with potential and he loved him. He found out while Delad was still a toddler about his prophecy (or at least his understanding of it) and how it was Stondylus who put this mark on him (hence why Ryo told Delad to fight Stondylus a few years ago). Through his contact with Calvin Notesy he found out that Stondylus had bred numerous elves from the continent of Kehynn in one of his hideouts in the country of Cush. These special elves were important to create the perfect baby to hold the arcane mark that is now on Delad’s back. Once Delad was born in the slave pits of Stondylus’ workshop, all of the elves (excluding Delad) were killed by Stondylus.

Master Ryo says, “I never told you this because your family isn’t those elves unfortunately. I raised you like the son I never had. I raised you like the son I never had, Stondylus didn’t take you away from your family, your family entrusted me with you. I love you, son.” Delad, overwhelmed, asks in anger, “Then why don’t you contact me anymore telepathically?” Master Ryo is silent at first and with a grave look on his face says, “Then I must be dead in your time.” Delad is unable to take this all and Ryo says that he must go and that he can only do this most likely a couple more times or else it will result in horrible results for the elf. Ryo’s parting words (as his nose begins to bleed as well) are, “I don’t know what the mark on your back means, but since the gods entrusted you with it, that means they have entrusted their song with something powerful. They know you’ll make the right decision with it, whatever you may want to do with it.” Ryo then smacks him over the head and he returns to his present time.

During this time, Delad’s present self hit the ground upon being struck and fainted for only a few seconds but had much bleeding coming from his nose. Talebrina disappears at this moment and Delad gets up to call her out. He says, “No more games, my master is dead and you need to give me answers.” Talebrina, from the shadows says, “Delad, you know that your master took advantage of you and raped you in that side room. I am your master now and if you don’t obey me, I will turn you against your friends!” At that moment they are attacked by her, a demon-like drow, and a golem that had been protecting the chambers they were in. To make matters worst, every couple of seconds, Delad’s mind is overtaken by Talebrina and attacks his comrades. He eventually remembers his monk training to drown out her mind compelling voice. The party fights and they are almost able to take down Talebrina but she escapes in the midst of all the drow attacking Jayden and Shintaro. During the fight, Thorin finds an unholy altar that would complete Delad’s transformation to become a full shadow magic assassin and decides to destroy it. The rest of the group doesn’t know what happens or what the table was supposed to be used for. The group, on their last leg, enter Nephelim’s room and ask for sanctuary there. He/she agrees only if they win in a game of heads vs. tails. Everyone, except Leo, Shintaro, and Jayden, are able to sleep that night while those still up had to play games with Nephelim.

When the group exits Nephelim’s world back into the Underdark, an ambush is waiting for them by a group of drow wights who only utter their master’s name, “Zirithian”. The group dispatch’s the enemies quickly.

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Chapter 24: The Handmaidens of the Spider Queen
4-25-11 session

Timespan: Entropy 27:1208 to 3rd Rise 15:1209

The party is victorious in creating a shield to save Edom that is now underwater. But Balasar is dying in the canyons of Edom. A familiar voice to him is heard in his head, the slithering voice of Zehir. He offers to him his blood in order to restore his life, but it only works for those who have accepted him as their god. Zehir offers his rescue only if he kills the remaining scions of Midia, including Patrin Basharak. Balasar asks if Zehir will give him the power to save and lead the people of Midia and Zehir responds, “I will give everything in your heart’s desire!”

Balasar agrees and with that his life is restored along with a blotchy marks all over his scales and a forked tongue, representing the taint of Zehir. He returns, fully restored and ready to kill the scions even though his friends think something might be amiss with him.

They proceed to the magic circle created by Kyrynn and are teleported to Resen. Or so they think! A malfunction happens as Kyrynn realizes one of the party members is changing the coordinates of their teleportation. Before they can react, the group finds themselves in the arcane plane that sends travelers through teleportation. Strange tables make up the only bit of area they can interact with and they remember that most long distant teleportion gates make you rest for a few hours since of the time it takes.

The party goes to sleep there and finds themselves in the Underdark. They are attacked by wight drows and help a few drow fighting the undead monsters. Delad doesn’t recognize it until he hears the familiar voice of his “lover” who took him in in the Underdark during his months of amnesia: Talebrina Xalyth.

After the victorious fight, Delad and Talebrina are both happy to see each other. She explains that she works as one of the heads of the Handmaidens of the Spider Queen. Her current mission is to find out why Phaervorul has gone against their drow House and why there are demons running the streets and overtaking other drow, goblinoid, and duergar villages in the surrounding area in the Underdark. She tells Delad that his time is nigh for his final conversion and the group realizes they have been stuck in that arcane plane for the past 3 months. The group is hesitant to work with the drow and help them in their time of need but they agree when they see how devoted Delad seems to be to his “lover.” He’s even more overzealous as he comes to find that he has had a daughter while he had amnesia with Talebrina. She brings him their drow daughter, Irrbryn, who he named during his other life.

Talebrina asks Delad and his friends to help the drow as they don’t have much left. They are now holed up in a refugee camp with only a few drow left and Delad is quite confused on what to do but still follows Talebrina’s orders. Before the group is able to do much, they are all attacked by the demons and undead from Phaervorul. The party is able to help some of the drow but most have been killed during the fight. In the midst of the battle, the statue of Lolth cracked and a piece broke off.

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Chapter 23: The Shield
3-22-11 session

Timespan: From Entropy 11:1208 to Entropy 27:1208

The group decided to help Valmour and Kyrynn’s group back to Edom as the acid rain began to pour down on them. Before leaving they create an arcane lock to block the mine from anyone getting in with the help of Kyrynn’s men. Then they hurried through the storm, some of Valmour’s men being hurt by it and some being eaten by purple worms as they seemed to not appreciate the acid rain (think of earth worms coming out of the ground after the rain). In the midst of the quick travels the group is attacked by raider gnolls and during the attack a huge purple worm attacks the whole group. Once the gnolls were finished off the party concentrated on the purple worm. Thorin was swallowed whole but, with two horse-drawn carts, rope, and some ingenuity, Delad was able to pry open the purple worm’s maw and dive in to help Thorin. The horse-drawn carts were able to pull out Thorin (who was dying at this point) but Delad was unsuccessful getting out. Luckily, he was able to pull out the Exodus knife of Nephelim and draw a door inside the purple worm. He escapes into the portal and the group is able to finish off the purple worm and let Delad out (he was in a hurry as Nephelim wanted to play games again with him).

The group, winded and exhausted, are insisted by Kyrynn to continue through the rain to Edom. They reach Edom and are able to get some much needed rest. The city seems to be in a panic though; many are trying to fix the water supply as much of it has been tainted with acid. The group decides to help Kyrynn save the lives of Edom and create a large, magical shield that will protect the city from the flooding of the Amber Sea instead of trying to create a mass exodus of the whole population. Kyrynn tells the group that by the end of the month of Entropy, the whole Amber Sea will be submerged and become one with the Aenon Sea to the north. The group helps them create the shield, establish good relations with the people of Edom in order for them not to riot, and even start supplying the city with a new source of water underground. Things seem to be going well for Edom as the flooding envelopes the desert with Edom intact and the new magical Shield stays in place.

However, while they are fixing the city in those two weeks, Balasar is confronted one night by an old friend of his. He hears the old and familiar name to him, “Old Torch” and he realizes that the dragonborn before him is none other than his old mentor/guardian, Patrin Basharak. They talk of old times and how their country is doing. Patrin seems happy about the changes and encourages Balasar that he should be the same. Patrin eventually (almost unwillingly) says that he is there to take Balasar back to Midia-Urartu and to put him under trial in the gladiator arena. Balasar refuses and Patrin says that he must then judge and fight him right now. Balasar accepts the duel and they proceed to a place that Patrin says is “the place I have chosen for you to die.” He takes him to a canyon in Edom full of plateaus. They begin an aerial fight because Balasar realizes Patrin is also one of the last scions of Midia.

The fight is very one sided and Balasar is unable to overcome Patrin at all. At one point, Balasar is stunned by Patrin’s talon attack and falls a hundred feet down into the deep canyon. Still breathing (barely), Balasar is given one last chance by Patrin to give up and let him take him away to Midia-Urartu. Balasar refuses, attacks Patrin and, even though his attack would have been easily dodged, Patrin takes the stab. Patrin utters, “You are not my son,” and with a tear in his eye, he strikes Balasar one final time.

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