Four Fables

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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Chapter 22: Resealing the Tomb
2-28-11 session

Timespan: Entropy 11:1208

The group was able to take the skull and proceed back to the statue to try and return it to it’s rightful place in order to lift the curse. While they travel back, Shintaro (with the aid of Lin Yao and King Quang Ziu) is able to create a new spear from his own totem.

The group ends up in the room with the statue again but this time Valmour, the one who hired the group to help, became impatient and went down with his group to take the statue for themselves. But, unfortunately, they are morphed by the curse as well and attack the party. Delad goes to put the skull back while the rest of the group (with Shintaro not far behind) fights off the cursed miners, knocking them out.

Upon sealing the tomb, the curse is lifted and the miners (including Valmour) are saved. Valmour apologizes for his greed and gladly gives the deed of the Dibon Ruins to the party. They begin to make preparations to return to Edom in order to get to the The Island of Resen, but find that the month of Entropy has greatly affected the Amber Sea. The rains have turned to acidic rain and are now starting to flood various areas in the desert. Kyrynn’s scout tells them that they must return to Edom immediately by trekking through the acid rain in order to help Edom from becoming flooded. They need a solution quickly as they only have a few weeks until the rain is at it’s worst.

The party agrees to go with the Keepers and Valmour’s group back to Edom immediately.

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Chapter 21: The Small World of Nephelim
1-21-11 session

Timespan: From Entropy 10:1208 to Entropy 11:1208

After the intense battle the characters search the room a bit more and then decide to rest for the night. They decide to use Delad’s new knife, the Exodus Knife of Nephelim, that he found in a past fight. As they create the door on the wall, it morphs before their eyes as what appears to be a prison cell door reinforced with metal plates. They enter it hesitantly and the door opens with ease. They find themselves walking into a lovely town with no one there. A small building is in the center and, after further inspection, it seems the rest of the city is just an illusion with walls of backgrounds depicting the city. The small building is the only place for the party to really go as it seems the area around them is only about the size of a 20 foot cube.

As soon as the last person enters a small humanoid figure darts by them all at the speed of light to try and go through the open door. Before anyone can do or say anything, the short fellow hits the door opening by an invisible force. It hits the ground with literal birds and stars circling it’s head, ‘Ouuuuuuuch! That’s smarts!’ The hairy-top headed creature says rubbing its head. ‘Guess I can’t leave then!’”

The group begins to talk to the creature and find out his/her name (as no one can tell what gender or race it is) is Nephelim. The creature seems to be able to morph and create inside the small 20 foot dimension to it’s liking but can’t leave it. She/he shows it’s power by being able to do more back flips then Delad and being able to turn Thorin into a bunny rabbit so he/she can play with it.

Nephelim also seems to enjoy games and any question the characters ask, it will play “stone-papyrus-blade” (essentially rock-paper-scissors) to decide if she/he will answer the questions. When asked a question that he/she doesn’t want to answer, he/she will cheat to win but hates it when the party tries to cheat. It will also buy/sell items like normal for “shiny” things (better deals are given when playing it’s game).

When asked why he/she is here it answers that Sehanine trapped it here because she didn’t like Nephelim. That was almost 7 months ago he/she says.

They stay the night and get some much needed rest. During the night Jayden finally notices that Ralph is not with him. That morning the group is able to buy equipment from Nephelim in exchange for “shiny” things. Not understanding why he/she needs gold when he/she could probably make it his/herself, the group continues to buy some equipment from Nephelim and some even get better deals by playing it’s favorite game and winning versus Nephelim (Leo’s really good at the game apparently)

The group leaves Nephelim after being asked if they can figure out how to get the fey out. They agree and search the mines some more. Jayden finds Ralph outside of the door in the mines and he says that he wanted to make sure they were protected from the outside. Jayden says ok and they continue on their way.

After avoiding and almost avoiding some traps, the party stumbles upon a battle happening deep within the mines. Some of the cursed miners are fighting a group of warlocks and what appears to be a priest. The party begins to help the group of non-cursed people and the battle turns to their side but all of a sudden, the non-cursed group begins to attack the party. The party takes care of both opposing sides and capture the priest. He throws a skull to the feet of them and says, “Take it! I don’t want it anymore, this is too much of a hassle!” he tells them he is Eibon, a Keeper of the Ancient Ones. His group proves this by showing them the tattoo on them.

Eibon is only able to say, “Take it, I don’t want it anymore. You can have it. The skull is just too much work!” He snivels and cowers before the group and a new group comes down the tunnel towards them. It’s Kyrynn along with a shifter, Senna, and a couple of mages and soldiers. Kyrynn says that Eibon has been trying to take over the Keepers by finding the artifact inside this mine and sell it to gain a better economic foothold in Edom. This was against protocol and Kyrynn explains he knows this because he is the new leader of the Keepers of the Ancient Ones.

Kyrynn says that Valmour who owns this mine is getting antsy and so he took some of his men who came not long after the party entered the mines and wanted to help find the the artifact. Kyrynn also says this was a test for the group to see if they would be able to help the Keepers for their main goals.

Upon further question of the Keepers main goals, Kyrynn says, "We are trying to get the artifacts away from the evils of the world, especially Stondylus, even though that’s a complicated story,” he says flippantly.

“This is what I think of the artifacts of the Tabula Rasa: Many people believe these relics would answer questions about the past world but does it really matter how the world was created? Would it truly affect our way of thinking? Let’s say we found out what happened during the Tabula Rasa? How would it change our current lives? The reason I say this is because we have found that anything from the prehistoric time that is found has only destroyed many lives and whole nations. It’s never once helped us understand our history. The gods have left these artifacts for us mortals to only tempt us.

The Keepers are a group that has been kept for over a thousand years when the first king of Midia found a relic from the Tabula Rasa that wiped all of his enemies out including his own kingdom. The forgotten clans of the Yaslin mountain dwarves over 700 years ago found a magic machine to excavate their mines. They lost control of the magic and their whole town was buried deep into the Underdark and was lost forever. An elven woman who wished to be the most beautiful being in all of Erryes 300 years ago found an artifact mirror that changed her into what she wanted. She went mad with discrimination against all who she felt was inferior to her and controlled the 3 elven empires of Kehynn and forced them to destroy each other. It took many lives of the Keepers to take those artifacts away from them. No one deserves them! At least that’s what we originally thought. Now, we think we have found a reason to give the artifacts a chance to help us for once.

We have been discussing at lengths about your mission that you have decided to undertake. Our most recent member of our secret society has brought to light about the prophecy that was fulfilled by you, Delad, over 30 years ago. Our new member told me this after I healed you and noticed your mark on your back. This worried me greatly and I tried to search for you but you have all been moving so quickly around this whole world that I couldn’t find you. When I found out from Senna that you were in Kinsmet I knew you’d eventually have to get to Edom. I knew because of you, Kaori Shintaro. Tell us, and everyone here why you are looking for the artifacts?”

Shintaro is reluctant at first, but eventually tells them the whole story of the the kingdom of Lau Jahnan and how he is connected to it. He explains that the King is somehow a part of him now. He strives to resurrect the kingdom to it’s once former glory by finding these 7 artifacts. He’s already found 3 of them that have bits of supernal written on each of them that he can translate.

Kyrynn paces back and forth with one of his servants bringing him a cup of tea, "we already knew about you Shintaro. It’s obvious because of the artifacts you have and are searching for. The primal spirits have given you the conscious of the King Quang Ziu.” With that, a burst of yellow light and Malakiy appears over Shintaro.

“Behold the proclamation has been shown true. Kaori Shintaro holds dominion over the ancient kingdom of Lau Jahnan," the angel says. The holy being disappears and it seems that no one else except the party noticed the angel; as if time itself had stopped.”

Kyrynn continues without skipping a beat, ‘Our friend, Lin Yao, here,’ as he points to the Shifter next to him, "told us of your quest, Shintaro.”

Lin Yao begins to circle you, Shintaro. Shintaro smiles and says, “You’re looking quite well.” The young looking shifter seems to scrutinize and judge Shintaro with his eyes, as if he was an old man. “Hmmm, not too young are you? Weak knees already at your age, I see,” as he strikes his staff at the back of your legs, “knotty hair,” as he pulls on your back arm hair and shakes his head. “I can’t believe the king chose your body when he could have had a younger one! Well, anyhow, it seems you’ve already found me and some of the artifacts of our kingdom. Good, good. You will find the primal spirits, like myself, guiding you to find the rest of them. With all of them, you will be able to find our kingdom on Rhodantus hidden underneath. The artifacts will lead you.”

Kyrynn chimes in, ‘the reason we are helping you find these artifacts is because Lin Yao tells us the Lau Jahnan Dynasty has a relic that will lead us to the gods door. Yes, the one that opens every time you become sick, Delad. Now you see why we are helping you use these artifacts? That Door must be closed by any means possible. If you must destroy it, so be it. The gods have already been affecting our world we believe. Sehanine came through and gave the dwarven boy that power in Duvik’s Pass I told you about. Closing the door permanently is our first priority for the Keepers while getting rid of the gods already here will be second, that is why it is imperative for your group to complete this mission. For the sake of the world, if the evil gods come into power here, no mortal being shall be safe.’ He trails off for a moment thinking of the repercussions of what might happen in the worst of scenarios. The group thinks he even feels this way about Pelor after Leo heard his latest sermon in Edom. "You have found many of the artifacts already, so you must complete your journey along with Shintaro here.”

Lin Yao looks at Shintaro again and says with a smile, "You must be confused, Shintaro as I should be over 900 years old, and here I am, younger than you even. Well, the Primal Spirits have bestowed a gift upon me just like they did to you. The King gives you his life power and the same thing happened to me. I was a simple shifter shaman in a small tribe in the country of Cush some 15 or so years ago. After the primal spirits had given me the memories of Lin Yao at a very young age, I slowly became him in every way possible: speech, etiquette, mannerisms, memories, etc. I then went to find out what happened to the others of our kingdom, and found myself in Kinsmet. King Braivemor trusted me for my knowledge of Supernal even though I was only a small child. I helped him translate the scrolls of the warforged to create them as I wanted our knowledge from the Lau Jahnan Dynasty to continue today. I was continuing the King’s work today, some 900 years later. However, it seems the warforged were unable to protect him,’ he turns and bows to Leo, “my condolences Prince Leonus Anima. The 4 artifacts you are looking for are going to be very tough to find.”

Kyrynn picks up as he finishes his tea, "One of them is in the temple of the Sun Dial on the Island of Resen. We have a contact there that will meet you in the fountains of St. Elizabeth when we give him the signal. Don’t worry, he’ll find you when you get there, as he doesn’t want to give his status away. The second is in possession of the king-ahem-I mean co-king, Sir Eglon III and his family in the new nation of Midia-Urartu. The capital, of course, is your best bet to start.

The third is in the city of Frosthaven. Unfortunately, that’s all we know because all of our contacts have been silenced for some reason.

Lin Yao picks up, “we do know that a group of dragons have taken over the southeastern section of Lykovia. It’s plummeted into an eternal snowstorm because of the blue and white dragons that have taken control of the land.” The group remembers that the southeastern section of Lykovia is home to Frosthaven. Already the coldest part of the world. "It’s obvious that your group can handle this though as you’ve proven your worth many times before in Cush and Kinsmet. The fourth talisman is being looked for by our new…ahem, member of our society. We hope to find out soon enough to let you know where to go.

Lin Yao pulls out Shintaro’s gloves. He starts to hand them to the shifter but pulls them away when Shintaro reaches out for them and says, “we need your cooperation for this, Shintaro. The primal spirits of Melora are on the Keeper’s side to destroy this door. Our kingdom will rise again if you’re successful but we’ll need your help until all of the gods are accounted for and the portal is taken care of. Do we have your word as both King Quang Ziu and Shintaro?”

Shintaro says ‘yes’ as in both forms of King and himself. Lin Yao hands the gloves over and says, “Good, King Quang Ziu will become the dominant conscious upon awakening Rhodantus with the artifacts, make sure you remember that. Good luck and may Melora be with you.” Lin Yao then begins to help with the ritual being made by the other mages.

The young girl, Senna, who seems to be in her late teens, is a bit shy to your group at first. But she does come over to you and begins to apologize profusely, “I’m so sorry, my friends and I thought you did destroy Rydelle City with your artifacts. That’s why we attacked you and tried to steal them. Please, forgive me!” She begs for forgiveness from Delad and he accepts it.

She looks at Thorin and says curiously, “Are you the one named Thorin? My mother told me about her 1st husband by that name.” Wide eyed, Thorin asks, “Was your mother’s name Yuma?” and she says yes with a tear in her eye. They embrace realizing that they are half brother and sister. Thorin is excited and realizes that he finally has some sort of family.

Senna explains, “My mother brought me up in Edom all my life. She told me about your father and the great work they did in Rullmenn until his death. She said she couldn’t bear seeing her child not growing up with a father figure and she knew that your father would prefer you to be in the same place he grew up in, the Sun Dial of Pelor.”

“My father’s name is Teman Loot’sko. My mother and he met 20 years ago here and they were very happy. She returned to Edom and began helping the Keepers and he was a soldier from Lykovia. He was a part of a special guard of a diplomat of Lykovia during the war between Lykovia and the dragons that now rule over that part of the country. He left the service and settled in Edom for 12 years or so. Though the army never lost touch with him, or maybe, it was that he never lost touch with the army. You see, he was always concerned about Lykovia and, when I was a little girl, he decided to leave to go back to his services with his majesty’s army, despite what my mother pleaded.

He was gone, just like that, 5 years go by and all we get is a letter of condolences. He was MIA and presumed dead on what is known as the Crimson Warfield. But, what makes this story eerie, was the fact that he came back last year, healthy as can be. The report was wrong, he had a religious epiphany, he explains, from Pelor and in this vision while alone on the Warfield, abandoned, he knew he had to give his life to Pelor and get his family to pilgrimage to the Sun Dial on Resen. He knew the religious affiliation Yuma has with Pelor due to her first husband so she agreed. With my work with the Keepers underway, I stayed while my mother and father decided to go there. She felt it was time to see you, I guess. But the bad news was that we heard from our contact in Resen that she got there with Teman and disappeared almost immediately. I fear for her life because," she pauses for a moment to take a deep breath, “our contact noticed that their behavior was peculiar. I didn’t think too much of it when father came home but after thinking it over, I think something happened to him on that battlefield while he was away and while they were traveling to the Sun Dial, it affected her as well.” She wipes another tear from her eye, "I know you have to go to Resen but can you find our mother as well? Please, my brother!” Thorin agrees realizing his mother is now within reach.

The group continues to talk to Senna and about where they should go next. They know they must take the skull back to the statue in order for the curse to be lifted so they plan to do it, even though they are not too happy with Kyrynn not being as forward as he should have been with all of this. In the midst of their conversation and upon mentioning the name Stondylus they hear a loud “boom” as they hear the ritual is complete that the mages were working on. The mages, after working for a long period of time there in the mines begin to summon the images of their newest member of the Keepers of the Ancient Ones. Jayden hears the most familiar and haunting voice he knew say, “My ssssssonnnnnnnsssssssssss.” The half-elf whips around to think that Master Stondylus is in the room with them, ready to fight and all they see is an image of a familiar dwarf in the magical ritual circle projected onto the wall for the group. The dwarf, they remember to be Councilman Horatio Pashin, one of the seven council members that rule the mighty dwarven kingdom of Pashin in the Yaslin Mountains where your long time friend Oskoor lives. Jayden remembers over 30 years ago how he helped him find the mines in the mountains when he was secretly trying to find the temple to Sehanine to help Stondylus complete the ritual on baby Delad. But Horatio seems a little different though. Bags underneath his eyes show that he hasn’t been sleeping well and his skin seems to be stark white. He smiles wide and continues to talk with the same voice of the ghost, "It seems you’ve found the Keepers now. I’m so glad to hear that, I’ve always thought you should be helping them. Now we can work together.” Jayden, realizing that Stondylus has now possessed Horatio, is quite mad.

The party, very angry at this point, yell at Kyrynn to explain what is going on. With a sigh, the priest of Pelor explains that Horatio has been with the Keepers for the past 6 months, but he died of a heart attack only a month ago. So Stondylus took over his body to ‘reanimate’ him. The party remembers that Stondylus was never able to reanimate dead bodies before so this must be his new found strength as they recall he is gaining more power for each person he possesses and stays with for a certain length of time. Kyrynn says they needed Horatio’s power because he held sway over many of the votes in Pashin with the councilmen. Pashin’s government knows about the Keepers and helps fund their explorations for artifacts. Since Horatio originally became a Keeper and none of the other dwarves wanted to help, it was necessary to keep Horatio “alive,” to an extent. Stondylus had already possessed the shaman’s body and found the memories of Horatio intact though he was officially dead. Stondylus wants to find artifacts as well and agreed to help the Keepers so long as he can work with them as well. In fact, right now Stondylus is finding clues with their funds to find the fourth talisman that they have no clue where it is. Kyrynn didn’t want to agree but found this to be the only way for their society to stay alive for the greater good of finding the fourth talisman. So he told Stondylus that as long as he didn’t do anything rash while being councilman, than he wouldn’t reveal the fact that Horatio is actually dead and is being possessed by a ghost. Stondylus explains he only wants to find the artifacts in order to learn more about his past as he can’t remember much about it either. He thinks the artifacts are somehow connected to him since he knows Supernal. His theory is that he is quite old himself, maybe as old as during the Tabula Rasa, but he doesn’t know how old.

The group, claiming they will not work with Stondylus, begin to argue with Kyrynn. Jayden begins to question Stondylus about himself, his brother, and who Ralph is. Stondylus doesn’t have too many answers but says, “You should probably go to Frosthaven. There you should find some answers. Besides, do you really trust what I say? It would be better for you to learn of your past on your own.” Jayden, more angry than he has ever been before, tells Stondylus he won’t be so formal with him when he sees him in person again. Stondylus also says, “Don’t be so harsh, I sent a gift on my behalf for you, Jayden.” With that, a dagger is teleported to the party. Stondylus continues with a toothy grin, “You remember your old dagger when you worked with me, don’t you? I made it specially for you. When your brother was being stubborn and wouldn’t let you use his sword that’s stuck in you, we made this dagger for you not long ago. Of course, this was before I learned how to pull out the broken sword myself for you. You remember its name, don’t you?”

The name slips into Jayden’s mind unwillingly as it reminds him of a time of his past that he wishes to forget. The only times he seems to remember of his past life are the ones he wish he could forget. Unfortunately, the name stays and he says it out loud in a soft and disheartened voice: Widowmaker. After Kyrynn and his mages check the weapon, they find it to be totally fine and not cursed or being tracked in anyway. Jayden takes it reluctantly.

Kyrynn and Stondylus talk of the negotiations at Pashin for more money to help back the Keepers in order for them to find the Door.

Kyrynn, although bitter, says that he so far can trust Stondylus and that Horatio did die of natural causes. He also tells the party that some of his men are working undercover next to Stondylus to make sure he doesn’t screw up and, if he does, they will kill him.

Jayden, full of rage, takes Eibon to interrogate him away from Kyrynn. The Keepers resist at first but Jayden tosses the soldiers to the side with his magic out of anger. Some stay and try and talk to Kyrynn. Thorin insists that he take Senna with him to Resen but she says her main job is to protect the leader of the Keepers (Kyrynn who has not been leader for very long now).

Jayden, Delad, and Shintaro talk to Eibon and he says everything that Kyrynn is saying is on the level but doesn’t know anything about who Stondylus is. He agrees to secretly be working for the party to be their eyes and ears while they are away.

When done, Kyrynn says Eibon will be thrown in their special prison called the “Pit.” The Keepers agree to wait for the party to get back to Edom with them after they fix the skull.

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Chapter 20: Continue Into the Darkness
12-23-10 session

Timespan: Entropy 9:1208

The group continued down the mine shafts along the rails. They descended deeper and found a few wights who looked to be miners but not afflicted with the disease.

They then found a larger room littered with bones that had a large gold statue depicting a demon, the statue was breathing out a weird smelling smoke. Before they could get a grip of what was in the room they were ambushed by bone nagas and other skeletal monsters. In the midst of the fight, Shintaro catches up with the rest of the group as he was attacked by the diseased humans that they had originally fought and bounded up by rope. He had to run away but was able to track the rest of the party down and help them in the midst of the fight.

With the fight over, the group began searching the room finding more treasure.

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