Four Fables

Chapter 4: Six Degrees of Separation
First 4th edition session

(This side story took place in another time and place from our story but is relative to the main plot, the players didn’t know when it happened until the end of the session)

Timespan: 1st Collect 3:1174

Thorin Lotus I, Jayden, and Yuma Lotus have been an adventuring group for quite a few years now. Usually they were hired by towns and Thorin’s church of Pelor for help. They were recently hired by Councilman Horatio Pashin to investigate a lair in the Yalin mountains. His city, Pashin, wants to use it for part of their mining. He wishes to go with them to make sure the group does not take anything that might be of dwarven treasure. He hires Dyluck (who is taking care of a small elven baby in his backpack) as well since it was his advice that showed him of these mithral enriched caverns. The group is hired to clear out the caverns so the dwarves can inhabit them again since it was originally theirs many years ago. Horatio has promised 500 GP to each person for their involvement.

While exploring the caverns they come across a band of kobolds led by a wyrmling white dragon who has taken hold of part of the caverns. After a few battles, Yuma feels pains in her stomach. They had been getting worst with each passing day. She’s for sure now, she’s pregnant with Thorin’s child but she fears to tell him while in the midst of the current expedition.

Upon defeating the last of the kobolds and the dragon the group notices another iron-bound door leading further into the mountains. As they regroup and decide which room to investigate further, they notice Dyluck is missing. The earth begins to shake violently as they had noticed slightly earlier in the midst of battle.

They all go inside what appears to be a temple and see Dyluck putting his baby on top of a table. He begins chanting from a book the group has never seen before. Within moments, statues on either side of Dyluck light up with a red glow and transfer their light onto the baby. Thorin, realizing the evil intent of Dyluck, raises his flail and begins to charge at Dyluck. But before he reaches him, the rocks above collapse onto Yuma and Horatio’s legs. Thorin hesitates and then feels a stab in the back…from Jayden.

The half-elf pulls the poison tipped dagger out of Thorin and laughs. “I’ve waited years to do that!” He then looks at Dyluck and asks, “Is the enchantment done, master?” Dyluck says, “Yes, the elven boy has been marked by the gods. When Delad is old enough, the mark will grow in power and we will be able to usher in my Great Theory!”

Thorin hits the floor, paralyzed, while Yuma and Horatio can only look in horror. Dyluck takes the baby, now with a dark red circle emblazoned on his back, and proceeds towards the door with Jayden. Dyluck says to Jayden, “I knew your few years with this group would be beneficial to my plan, it worked perfectly. Let us leave before the ancient temple of Sehanine collapses. We will take Delad to the monastery where we will disguise ourselves as his parents and leave him in the monk’s care. Come Jayden!” The ground shakes even more and the two betrayers walk towards the door. As Jayden passes Thorin he smirks and kicks him saying, “Goodbye old friend, I’m sorry your death is not as honorable as you would have liked it.” He laughs as he walks away, “at least you will be buried here with your wife.” Dyluck yells at Jayden, “Hurry, boy!” Jayden looks up and snarls, “Yes…Master Stondylus.”

More rocks begin to fall as they leave, but Yuma and Horatio are able to push the rocks off of themselves. Horatio leaps up and begins to pursue the mages, “I’ll get them, you get Thorin out of here! We don’t have much time ’til the whole place caves in!”

Yuma rushes to Thorin’s side. He coughs up some blood and, even with all the effort Yuma tries to make, she finds that the poison is running it’s course inside him and he’ll be dead within minutes. After some sobbing, Thorin raises his head to Yuma’s cheek and says, “It’s ok, you go on, save yourself.” She grabs his hand, realizing this is their last conversation, “You know…I’m pregnant.” He looks surprised, “Really? That is so amazing.” he coughs out. She continues, “I know it’s a boy.” He replies, “How do you know?” She smiles with a tear in her eye, “Women just know these things, trust me.” He asks as rubble continues to fall down around them, “What’s his name going to be?” “Well, I thought we could name it after my father.” He retorts, “Cecil?! No way!” She smiles confidently, “I love you, Thorin…Thorin, we’ll call him Thorin.” She continues to cry as he gives her one last kiss and mutters, “Sure…Yuma, I love you t-“ and his last breath is given. She cries until finally Horatio comes back in and pulls her out against her will. They escape just as the cavern caves in on itself. Horatio says, “They got away…” he looks at the woman and says sadly, “I’m sorry about your loss, Thorin was a good man.” Yuma wipes her tears and says confidently, “Yes he was,” she then puts her hands on her stomach and continues, “HE will be a good man.”

Horatio goes back to his home to tell of the bad news of the mines. Yuma tries to search for Jayden and Stondylus but does not find them. She gives birth to Thorin and raises him for a year until she leaves him for some mysterious reason on the steps of their church, The Sundial, on The Island of Resen. She is never seen again.

Thus is the story of Stondylus, Delad, Jayden and Thorin Lotus II 34 years ago…

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Chapters 1-3
D&D 3.5 sessions

Timespan: From 2nd Rise 3:1207 to 1st Work 2:1207 (roughly 2 months)

Chapter 1: It All Started With a Mine

The party, who had been traveling for a bit as adventurers, started by entering the town of Rullmenn in the Country of Cush. They met Father Yorick there and were told of the Burning Plague that was afflicting Duvik’s Pass, a mining town not far from Rullmenn. They went there, disposed of Jakk Torn Claw, a cleric of Gruumsh, and saved the town, but found that Oskoor’s brother, Misako, had died from the Plague while mining there. The plague also infected Delad and so the group was told to find Kyrynn, a Cleric that was last seen in Newkeep.

The group traveled to Newkeep and found a new buddy for their group, Gbaja, the half-orc ex-Gruumsh follower. He left his father’s army for he felt that his father, Thrull, was wrong in the way he managed the savage orc army. The new group found that Kyrynn was trying to stop the evil wizard, Stondylus, from attacking the countryside 5 years ago but his group and he failed. Kyrynn was cursed into a two-headed ettin, but luckily, our heroes were able to cure him and in return, he followed them back to Duvik’s Pass and cured Delad just in time. Also, when Jayden, the amnesiac half-elf sorcerer, heard the name Stondylus, he remembered, for some reason, that he was the apprentice of the evil wizard. He remembered his latest research was something called, “The Great Theory.”

When Delad came to, he remembered that he had a vivid dream from his teacher, Master Ryosuke. In it, Ryosuke told him of the evil wizard Stondylus, and how he must stop him. He found out that his tower that he lived in was in the Glubroon Woods, one week’s ride west of Rullmenn. Ryosuke said, “There you will find out more about your purpose as the prophecy that must be fulfilled. Also, you will find the past memories of your half-elf friend, Jayden.”

Chapter 2: What Lies in the Tower?

At this point everyone wants to know where this wizard is since no one has heard from him for 5 years, until now. He destroyed Newkeep’s old home and terrorized Duvik’s Pass in the past. As the group travels to Rullmenn first they find that the whole town was decimated by the orcs of Gruumsh. While looking for survivors, they find Gbaja again (as they separated after helping them fight the two headed ettin), who finds a young human teenager by the name of Rothia. This mercenary decides to help the group since they saved him. Gbaja found out his father’s army (followers of Gruumsh) had joined sides with Stondylus. Gbaja again decides to join the group as he does not like what his father is doing.

For fear of his dwarven town in Pashin, and to give the councilmen the information he has found about Stondylus and the Orcs of Gruumsh working together, Oskoor parts ways with the group in haste to warn them. Oskoor does so, and learns that the Orcs seem to be on the move as Pashin’s scouts have learned. They prepare for war and fear that it might be their mountain kingdom that will be attacked by the orcs soon. The councilmen also tells Oskoor that the The Unforgotten Brothers have been seen in the jails of the Gruumsh army. Oskoor, ready to find his lost brothers, joins back with the other heroes in hopes to find them at Stondylus’ tower. The rest of the heroes ride to the tower and begin to explore the ancient looking tower. It is encased by a force field with what seems to be a ghost inside of it, as if trapped by the magical barrier. Delad stays with the horses as the rest of the group ventures underneath the tower to try and find a way in. Oskoor rides to Glubroon woods and finds Delad outside. They both leave the horses in the woods, in hopes they can find them again, and venture into caves that lead underneath the wizard’s tower. They find that the area around the tower seems quite empty as they thought that there would be part of the Gruumsh army encamped here. They eventually find the rest of the heroes in a secret room in the tunnels underground. They catch up and rest there for the night.

After that, the group continues to search the tower and eventually find a way in. They are now all together except that during one of the nights they spent in their secret room underground Rothia goes missing while they were all asleep. They did find his equipment strewn about in one room with what appeared to be a hatched dragon egg that was inside of Rothia’s backpack, a secret he had kept from the rest of the group. With no body or dragon to be found, they continued on their journey to find Stondylus. After further exploration of what was once an old temple to a forgotten god the group has found a secret tunnel further into the wizard’s lair.

The group has explored the evil wizard Stondylus’ tower and found his dead body. In the process a ghost that was haunting the tower has escaped once the force field that was encasing the tower had been shut down. Within the tower, the group finds diary notes from the wizard of his Great Theory. Jayden recollects some more information on himself. He remembers being the Wizard Stondylus’ apprentice at least 5 years ago. Jayden grew up under his tutelage ever since he was a boy, the wizard seemed to never age himself even though he was human. Jayden figured it was some sort of spell or deal with a devil. After hearing the “Great Theory,” Jayden felt it was a golden opportunity for him to try and take over Stondylus’ position as he developed a close relationship with him. During the past few years Jayden and Stondylus found themselves trapped in this tower by the wizard’s folly of trying to put up a force barrier but misjudged the placing of it (in order for the party to get into the tower, they had to lower the force field, letting the ghost get away in the process). Luckily they had been onto finding a way out and Jayden decided to kill him in his sleep once the door out of the place was made. After killing him and leaving the tower the rest is hazy to Jayden. After that, all he remembers is finding himself stranded on a beach where Ralph had found him and took care of him.

The party, feeling as though they had accomplished their goal, decided to leave the tower through the portal Jayden walked out before when he was originally trapped in this tower. Unfortunately, the party was surrounded by a small orc troop of 100 or so soldiers who were part of the Gruumsh army. They took the party hostage and were knocked out.

Chapter 3: Stondylus Lives! (So to Speak)

The party had managed to escape the orc encampment and found themselves in the woods not far from Stondylus’ tower. After all the running they realized they had separated from Delad. The road they are on takes them to a nearby traveling band of gypsies. They offer food, water, and a place to lay for the night. They tell the heroes of the recent orc activity in the area because they are getting ready for war against the mountain dwarves. The party tells the gypsies their story and how they are trying to rescue the Unforgotten Brothers and they applaud their efforts. Even so much as they offer to trade with the party a variety of magical weapons and armor. After trading, the next morning the gypsies tell them of the orc’s main headquarters at the abandoned keep of Xul-Jarak not far from the dwarven mountains of Yalin. Gbaja remembers this is where his father had planned to rebuild the keep for their village and he takes the heroes there.

The group attacks the orcs in the keep and make their way down to Gbaja’s father, Thrull, as he tries to sacrifice to Gruumsh the dwarven brothers Oskoor had been searching for. They stop him and kill him.

Thrull’s dying words are: “Gruumsh lives! Stondylus lives! When one of us falls, the others grow stronger through the wizard’s power! His power leaves me now to embody the next chosen one! They will be twice as strong as I was! That is the beauty of the wizard’s final experiment!” He gasps and falls dead on the ground. A ghost rises from Thrull’s body. A familiar smirk comes from it and looks right at Jayden and he floats upwards into the ceiling and disappears.

Upon defeat, the remaining orcs that lived scream in panic and run out of the cavern screaming, “Thrull has been vanquished! Run away! The enemy is invincible!” Word spreads and it seems the keep is quiet again.

Gbaja takes Thrull’s club and becomes the leader of the newly made tribe of Ijon. Chief Gbaja takes those that wish to be with him back into the woods and mountains to create a tribe their centered around the god, Pelor. Gbaja parts ways with the group and says they are always welcome in his village.

Luckily for Oskoor, the Unforgotten Brothers have been found and saved! The group travels a couple days to the Yalin mountains and find the dwarf kingdom of Pashin is intact as the Gruumsh orc armies had fled upon hearing that their chief is dead. Oskoor has been named a town hero upon their return. He has accomplished his life mission. Oskoor decides to stay in Pashin and guard his city as a high ranking general of their army. He bids farewell to the group and encourages them to come and visit his home of Pashin anytime.

As a cleric of Pelor, Thorin’s missionary work is never over. He has wronged the rights today, but there is much pain and evil in the world for him to cleanse. Especially as his friend Jayden suffers from amnesia, he feels he must find out with the sorcerer about his past, where the spirit of Stondylus went, and how to stop the prophecy from coming to fruition.

As for Jayden, he has helped Oskoor’s people, but whatever happened to Delad? In fact, what happened to that ghost of Stondylus that left Thrull’s body? And there is still a few years of his mind that he has forgotten. It seems Jayden’s quest to find out more of this Great Theory and what evil deity Stondylus let into this world might become apocalyptic in nature. But they do not fear this, it only makes them more intent on finding out where the ghost of Stondylus went.

Thorin and Jayden leave the Yalin mountains in search of the next step to their journey. What lies next for our adventurers? Will they find out Jayden’s past? Will they finally destroy Stondylus? Will they find their old friend Delad? Will they stop the Great Theory from causing the whole entire plane of existence to crumble?

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