Adventures in Thary

Etir's Interim-shuns
Ha. Get it?

Etir is aware that he playing D&D. Etir is deadpool. We know this.

Enclosed is what has occurred in the interim since the party’s last adventure.

At approximately time o’clock, the universe was temporarily clusterfucked right in the knee anus. Etir is aware that the DM, or grand wizard but less racist, had yet another concussion so he wasn’t surprised when the food beverage he was thought-hugging suddenly developed a far-right opinion about mid 80’s noir films.

In the brief discussion Etir had with this food beverage Etir seriously contemplated extreme acts of modern terrorism directed at Ben Affleck’s self-esteem, but, like a male playboy wearing a fannypack, it doesn’t exist.

Etir was also dimly aware that the class Deacon was in was also very boring.

Bye!

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Adventures as of 1-17-16

The party, after weeks of travel, come to the town of Leptis Magna, a farming community that seems peaceful and calm. The farmers are in their fields tending to their livestock and crops and wave cheerfully to the party as they walk past, happy to see some new faces as they move towards the walls. The walls are made more of sloped dirt then stone, and the entryway has no gate but is guarded. However, even from outside the walls the party can see the church of Vita standing tall on a hill in the center of town made of stone.

As they approach the gate the guards ask what their business is here and they say they are looking for a family reunion of sorts with Zarik’s father. A quick glance at the necromancer and the guards say he doesn’t look familiar but they wish him luck and cheerfully step back and let the party into town. Filing in one after the other, they look around the simple houses and shops. As they begin walking through they reach a crossroads, one of many leading straight to the church and standing in the center of the road is a figure under a white sheet.

They approach the figure and try to get its attention, Draka going so far as to poke it. Although it is fleshy and yields to the pressure, it is cold and unresponsive to the touch. Saneic looks over the sheet and declares the absence of traps, though they are all still off put by it. Questioning many of the villagers who do not seem concerned by it, they learn that bodies of the dead have been returning from the grave and simply standing and staring at the church of Vita. They do not seem to harm anyone or even do anything other than stare in rapt attention, ignoring everything else around them. The head of the church, Farther Noka, will be along shortly to bring the creature to its final resting place.

Shortly after, the elderly man approaches and sees the party standing there, asking them what they are doing to the poor creature. The party merely states they were walking into town when they came upon it and stopped to see what was going on. Father Noka explains that he is going to come and put the creature to rest in the graveyard, Etir asking how exactly he plans on doing that and hinting at fully dismembering the corpse. Noka, alarmed at the violent reaction to the simple creature and explain no, he is merely going to put it down quickly. Asking about Zarik’s father, Noka says he has no idea, but to try going to the Bold Hawk’s Hall, the largest inn in town and says they might find information there. He then takes a longer look at Zarik and says that the wizard may be interesting in the wizard enclave, Astrological Silver.

The party, mostly because of Etir’s almost panicked rushing to it, choose to go to the inn first. The bar is mostly empty save for the sun elf barkeep, a human man, a moon elf woman, and two metal dwarf men. Saneic making note that none of these people resemble Zarik. Approaching the barkeep, they begin asking him questions when he notices Shar. Asking if the druid is a follower of Shenora the nature goddess, she stammers and tries to claim she is, but the barkeeps eyes narrow as they realize he knows she is lying. Etir, taking the initiative, comes between them and asks about playing in the bar tonight and if there are any openings. Thumbing through a book, he notes there are no acts tonight and offers Etir a free room if he performs well.

Zarik then asks about his parents, and the barkeep turns his attention to him. However, he manages to see Zarik’s horns small as they may be. Etir jumps in again and mentions that they are fake as Zairk is part of his act. The barkeep is hesitant but nods, allowing the explanation. He then explains that while he doesn’t know anything about Zarik’s folks, he did hear that someone looking something like Zarik had come into town recently, noting that he isn’t sure if it was an older fellow and that he had a hard time telling how the younger races aged since they all seemed to just suddenly turn all. Shar makes a dry comment in her mind to which Etir groans at and turns away, moving to the moon elf woman in the corner.

The human man by the bar introduces himself as Primus and offers to help the group search for the stranger in town. He mentions that he has to go back to work soon at the farm but says that around sun down he will be back at the bar and able to help them out. Etir, over by the woman, notices she is staring at Primus intently, and Khyber goes over to her as she notices Etir and introduces herself.

The woman shakes Khyber’s hand quickly before letting go, reminding the party of a small frightened bird and introduces herself as Ríoghnach. It doesn’t take much prodding before she tells Khyber about her feelings for Primus as Shar and Saneic join them. The three women offer to help her get Primus’ attention, as the woman has been unable to simply come out and say that she has feelings for him. Saneic even going so far as to use her sending stone to ask Gamer if he has any insight. The startled thief sends back a flustered response saying how every relationship is different and that he does not have much dealings in these matters.

While Etir tells the girl that he will put on a performance that will sure to sway him to Ríoghnach, a group of people all wearing robes walks into the inn, talking amongst themselves of the stranger messing up the lessons and taking up all the headmistresses time. The party then sets a time to meet Primus at the inn and heads off to the Enclave to ask about this stranger.

When they get to the open air teaching spot, they are only greeted by the sight of the empty desk, several empty benches, and a single elderly moon elf relaxing on a bench. Zarik asks the man about his parents and the letter he received and merely states that there is an abandoned house outside of town that is certainly somewhat interesting to adventurers like them.

Before setting out for the house, the group decides to have lunch and quickly calls forth a hero’s feast. While eating the meal and discussing what to do next, Shar spots someone watching them from the tree line. The person is draped head to toe in cloth, obscuring any and all details about them. Shar writes this down on a piece of paper and, Etir taking the note and folding it into a paper bird and throwing it around so other people can read it without it appearing odd.

Khyber takes this distraction to get up and sneak away with Amren, going around and behind the figure and having Amren tackle the stranger. The group hears the snarls of a wolf and the piercing scream of a woman as they all shoot up and run for the woods, Shar shifting into the shape of a wolf on the way.

While pinned down by Amren, the girl looks at Zarik and confuses him for someone else, asking him ‘Malexik, what are you doing he…’ before trailing off and saying she had confused him for someone else. She asks Khyber if the wolf will let her up, to which she does and the girl stands up as a ball of light starts circling her head. She examines Zarik, and then Boney, turning to Shyr and asking the cleric how he can be ok with the skeleton as the party notices the holy symbol of Vita on her and mentions the demon lord of the undead Viorun.

When the topic of Zarik’s family comes up she gets skittish, saying she doesn’t want to talk where people may be around, even refusing to talk in a magically made zone of silence that Etir could make. While questioning her about her intentions, the orb of light turns into a Coure, a celestial pixie like creature and says that the girl is trustworthy, and the group agrees to meet with her the next day where she will take them to meet her brother and they will explain.

Khyber, having vanished from the group at this point starts tailing her, along with Shar in the form of a cat as they two meet up having had the same idea. They arrive at the abandoned house outside of town and watch the girl go in, Shar sneaking in through a loose board on one of the windows. Khyber attempts to get in through the door but sees the door is trapped and instead gets in through the window, gently knocking the board out of place and getting in just as Shar turns into a rat and goes under the closed door out of the room, as she casts a spell to speak with animals.

As Shar sneaks into the new room, she hears the woman talking to someone for a few moments before something grabs her and hauls her into the air by her tail, in a panic calling for Khyber for help and the ranger kicks the door down, greeted by a man in armor and a cloak holding a sword to the rats belly. Khyber attempts to tell the two that she was tracking a bounty and just happened to stumble across them by accident, but the girl recognizes her and states flatly that they had a deal, prompting Khyber to secretly tell Amren to go get the group.

Shar, in the middle of tense negotiations, finally returns to elven form and the four begin to converse tersely. The two strangers mention that they are in fact hunting a death cult that is in the town and Shar and Khyber notice two holy symbols around the man’s neck, one from Shenora and the other from Botuna, goddess of good luck. He even pulls on the holy symbol around Shar’s neck and makes note of her being a druid of the fey lords. As the two discuss what to do with the two interlopers Khyber and Shar mention that Amren is now on his way back to the party. In an attempt to keep them party from bursting in ready for a fight, they agree to let Shar go and explain what she can, keeping Khyber here with them as a show of good faith that they will not betray and kill the two strangers, and Shar flies off in the shape of an owl.

Back at the Bold Hawk’s Hall, Etir seems to manage getting Primus and Ríoghnach together with his bardic talents setting the mood. As Etir is performing however, the barkeep gives Zarik a letter, one seemingly from his father again. This one is warning him of two tieflings in town hunting him, a ranger and a sorcerer, and that they are extremely dangerous. As Zarik shows the rest of the party the letter, Amren bursts in and pounces on Shyr who wryly greets the wolf. Amren looks back and forth quickly from Shyr and Saneic, barking and making a commotion, prompting the barkeep to remind them of the deal that Armen could only stay so long as he behaved. As they are leaving the bar with the excited wolf to try and calm him down they bump into Shar who had transformed in an alleyway and quickly explains what has happened in hushed tones. Amren has had enough however, and begins rushing off back to the house to his master as the party gives chase.

When they get to the house several moments later, the two strangers and Khyber hear Amren slamming into the door in desperation. The man holds his sword to Khyber’s neck, telling her to control the animal. She tells him if she loses her head, he’ll lose one of his own and he looks down to see her rapier against his crotch. The girl, having had enough of the two of them arguing, pushes them apart and goes to the door to talk to the guests. As soon as the door is opened however, Amren bursts into the house past the girl with Etir holding on, trying to stop the massive wolf and failing.

The girl stands angrily at the door, arms crossed and stating they had a deal again, Draka taking the time to apologize and explain they had been betrayed more often than not. Sighing, the girl nods and steps back, allowing the party entry. Saneic does a quick sweep with her eyes and notes nothing is trapped from what she can tell, as they file into an old indoor garden room. The two strangers explain slightly what they are doing in town and Zarik shows them the letter he got. With a swear, the man says that they know him and the girl are coming for them, as the girl turns to the party and asks them to trust her and the man for just a moment. The man takes his time sniffing at the party and then shaking his head at the girl, telling her they are free from taint.

She then turns to Zarik and asks him to drop his hood again, to which with a slightly exasperated sigh he complies. Saneic then asks them to show the party their faces and tell them their names. The girl removes the wraps of cloth from her face, revealing a small slight girl with dusky red skin, red eyes, blue hair, a pair of goat ears, and small pointed horns on her forehead as she introduces herself as Zanirith. The man lowers his hood, showing his face. Despite the blue skin, white hair, and jet black eyes, he is a mirror image of Zarik. Zanirith turns to him and tells him ‘Malexik, I think he may be our brother.’

Zarik mentions he was an only child, before the party reminds him that he himself said both his parents were fully human. Zanirith says she thinks that they may have the same father, Farzule, who they think may be the head of a cult to Viorun. Khyber mentions that she is now very glad she didn’t maim Malexik, to which he chuckles and agrees.

The two siblings turn to Zarik and ask if he would be willing to kill their father to help stop the schemes of the cult, Zarik stating he would have no issues to killing a figure who has never been involved in his life anyway. With a warm happy smile, Zanirith asks Zarik how old he is, and learning that he is 23, turns to Malexic and states ‘Well now you finally have a younger sibling.’

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Adventures as of 1-10-16

A silent curse goes through the groups minds as the dragon stops falling and resumes it attack, seemingly no worse for wear. The party begins to to move back into formation to fight the beast when Saneic sees almost imperceptible magical threads connecting the dragon to the floating crystal nearby and calls for the party to break the crystal in desperation, thinking the crystal is somehow preventing the death of the dragon, while firing a barrage of arrows at it.

Without hesitation, Varren moves towards the crystal, ripping into it with his otherworldly powers and removing massive chunks of it, but it stays in the air, feeding the dragons power despite it. Zarik, seeing how heavily the crystal is resisting every attempt of the party so far to destroy it, comes up with a plan. Dodging around the now panicking dragons wild flailing, he grabs onto Shar (currently in the form of a magic enhanced flaming Rhino) and uses dimension door to jump them…a hundred feet above the crystal. Shar’s only thoughts before the fall being ‘That fucking necromancer.’

While Zarik’s magic stops gravity from rudely reminding him that he belongs on the ground, Shar has no such protection, and plummets horn first towards the gemstone. With a sound of screeching metal, she punches through the top of it and for a split second is able to marvel at the swirling vortex of color greater then even an aurora in the center of it before it violently reacts to the druids intrusion and explodes, Shar’s last conscious thought directed towards Varren ‘Please catch me’ as the impossibly sharp shrapnel tears through her body.

Seeing the crystal come to an end before it’s eyes, the dragon makes a snap descion and dives into the water. Draka attacks the dragon, wrapping his chains around the creature in an attempt to stop it, but either from its own sheer bulk or its panic, is able to throw off the chains and submerge into the dark whirling vortex of water around the city. The dragon gone, the party makes a dash for Shar.

Shyr, upon reaching her, uses his magic to help her regain consciousness as she slowly opens her eyes. The disoriented druid is suddenly swarmed by Khyber and Saneic as they hug her close. Chameleon jumps over everyone and lands on top of his master, curling around her as he makes sure she is ok. In an almost reverent and awed tone, Shar tells the party what she saw before the explosion and asks if anyone knows anything more about the crystal. No one seems to though and as the party turns to ask Meepo, they find him standing off on his own several feet away, taking the city into view and hearing him state he never thought he would see it.

The insectoid warforged are now noticeably silent and unmoving, Khyber taking the time to kick more then one of them in frustration. As the party stands in a group about what to do now, they begin gathering samples to take back to Mettius, taking several pairs of armor, weapons, one of the strange corpses, two of the warforged themselves, and some of the crystal and begin the slow journey through the caves back to the surface. One of the nights spent in the caves, however, the party feels the mountain shake and a terrible sound rip through the caverns and all look at each other grimly, all assuming it to be the dragon escaping to wreak havoc on the surface…

Getting back to the blocked up hole leading to the dwarven mines, the party talk Meepo into letting them put him in chains to lie and tell the dwarves that he is there prisoner, and he reluctantly agrees. Draka knocks on the stones loudly and calls out that they are alive, the caverns are cleared out, and the would like to get out now. The dwarves wait a few moments, and some of the party hear them send others to fetch Grateam and tell him the group is back.

They let the party out, who very thankfully take a deep breath of the noticeably cleaner and nicer air in the dwarven mines as the tension starts draining out of all of them. They are lead back to Grateam’s office and the elderly dwarf is currently enjoying the ale they brought him at their last meeting. His rosy red cheeks and glassy eyes taking them all in cheerfully and offering them a glass of the ale.

Although drunk, he quickly gets down to business, dismissing many of the things the party have and only taking an interest in the items made of Zheechdrain metal and claiming one of the warforged bodies. He is curios about Meepo but before he gets to ask to much, Amren licks him and Shar states that the wolf has taken a liking to the kobold and the party intends to give it to the massive canine. Being drunk, Greteam quickly changes the subject and does not want to dwell on the implications. Instead he gives the party a small chest of 5000 GP as thanks for the mine being cleared and sends them on their way, Varren discussing quickly plans for a weapon he would like constructed that Greteam agrees to have his smiths work on for him.

Setting out the next morning to head back to Mettius, the group shows up at his house in Istrus much to the shock of the gnome servant who opens the door. Quickly turning red when she misspeaks and calls them the suicide group, she rushes them inside to Mettius’ study and dismissing herself. While even less concerned then his servant with societal norms, he is none the less happy to see the group even stating he likes Meepo since no one else he has ever met is shorter then him.

When shown what was brought back, the normally quick speaking chatty halfling almost passes out when he stops breathing from shock, looking at all the items and hearing what the party found, mostly the cube they found which he calls a Thought Cube, and the corpse of what may be a Zheechdrian, as none have ever been discovered. Agreeing to attempt to avoid bloodshed, if only so he would not have to give hazard pay to whoever he brings down the mine with him, he starts making plans for a full fledged archaeological expedition down the caverns.

Given a moment to collect his thoughts, Mettius also informs the party he took the liberty to redirect their mail to his home and hands several party members letters, Shyr, Zarik, and Draka. Shyr reads his and glances from the paper to Shar, his mouth forming a grim line. Etir, once again forgetting boundaries, looks into Shyr’s mind and his expression mimics the cleric’s as Shar asks whats going on. Shyr merely states that he would like to discuss it in more private circumstances. Khyber asks for some books on the warforged before leaving and Mettius hands over several personally translated tomes to her, telling her good luck.

He gives the rest of the party 10,000 GP and says there is much potential for more to come there way for the discovery of the city. He also states he would be more then happy to work with them again and says he will send letters to Draka’s house in the capital if he has anymore work for them. Before leaving, Mettius asks Meepo to stay so they may discuss the goblinoid issue in the caves and he agrees, stating to the party he would like to stay at Draka’s house while waiting for them to come back form their adventures and take care of the place in their absence. The party agrees and wonders aloud if they should pay him.

Finally dismissed by Mettius, the group heads to the inn, Zarik heading to his room right away and closing the door. Shar asks again what Shyr’s letter said, and Etir blurting it out as Shyr tries to find the words to tell Shar he had one of his friends check in on her druid grove only to find out she had been excommunicated from it. Viably hurt, Shar says she was afraid that would happen and asks Saneic if she use the sending stone to talk to Gamer and send him a letter to get to the grove in an attempt to fix the relation.

Shyr takes the time to check on Zarik, the necromancer being rather short with him and telling Shyr he is fine and nothing is wrong. Shyr is not convinced but leaves him be, sternly warning Etir, who had gone with him, not to pry into Zarik’s mind and to respect his privacy.

The next morning the party slowly makes their way our of their rooms and down the stairs, to see Meepo waiting for them in new clothes and wearing a shiny new badge, which he is eagerly showing off, showing his new stature as a minor diplomat. The party makes plans to head to the capital to drop Meepo off at the house before traveling forward, when Etir, unable to stop himself, peers into Zarik’s mind to see the letter. Right away he is filled with regret and apologizes.

Irritated at the doppleganger, Zarik throws the letter down onto the table for the party to read. Its a letter from his father, who Zarrik explains, was thought to be dead by the necromancer, asking him to meet him in the town of Leptis Magna. He states he is not sure if it really is his father, or if its his birth father of the man who raised him, explaining to the party that neither of the people he called his parents were teiflings. After some discussion they all agree that they want to help Zarik with this, no matter what he decides to do, and soon the party makes plans to head to Leptis Magna, stopping by Mettius’ home to secure safe passage for Meepo, who wishes them all good luck and tells them a meal will be waiting for when they return.

The party then heads out, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, to the town where the letter tells them they will meet Zarik’s father…

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Adventure as of 01-03-16

As the party awakens, everyone begins realizing that their are voices in there head. As the party shakes the grogginess from their minds and prepare breakfast, several members begin attempting to focus on the voice in their minds and hear what it is saying, but no one seems to be able to tell, as if the voice is merely whispering just enough to be heard. While listening, Shar and Khyber here a slithering noise as if a giant slug of some sort. After finishing the meal the party heads out to go and meet the warforged dragon.

While backtracking their steps from yesterday, the party finds a massive monstrosity blocking their path. Its huge fleshy body seems half formed and unfinished, and before it comes completely into view Khyber launches an arrow into it and scores a lethal blow. As they walk around the corner of the rock wall and see the full horror of the creature in view for the first time. A massive central trunk of the creature, surrounded by tentacles, the main trunk having a face at the end, all made up of gathered corpses. Around the head is a many fleshy prongs tipped with a claw as long a grown man. At the center of the face is a mouth surrounded by eyes and Khyber’s arrow barely visible inside the creatures head. Fluid and ichor drip continually from its form as it seethes and writhes in pain.

Suddenly a voice echos in their minds, asking them to come closer so it can know its enemies, Varren knowing the voice is full of malice and contempt. He moves forward and attempts to bully the creature into moving out of the parties way. It laughs, the sound echoing horribly in their minds and uses its tentacles to gesture to itself, asking if it looks like it can move and showing him that it is rooted to the ground. Saenic asks it what it is and it turns its attention to the half fey, merely replying ‘Freedom.’

During the conversation it mentions it children going forth to infect everything, Saenic gasps that they found the plague. With a jagged smile it asks the party that the Zheechdrians could not stop it, what makes them think they can? to which Shar comments on all the dead spawn around it, Shyr telling it that the lethal blow Khyber landed on it is slowly killing it. It smiles terribly at them again, seemingly unconcerned by its impending death.

Khyber, stating again she will never be anyone’s slave, takes another shot at the creature, wounding it further. Varren attempts to converse more with it, as its wounds begin to take their tole, the doppelganger hears a thousand voices speak as one in his head, stating ‘We win.’ As Draka lands another blow on it. Saneic ask’s it it’s name, and as it falls apart it says ‘I am Aton…’ Expiring before finishing its sentence.

Varren looks at the creature in dismay, wondering if he could become like that creature, with Shar trying to comfort him, saying she rather doubted it since the bodies making it its mass seemed to have no say in the matter of their consumption. Noting that the corpses of more of its spawn located past it seem to be blackened and burned, Shar mentions in a hopeful voice that slaying it may have ended the threat it carried, with Varren doubting it, saying he thinks they only killed this instance of it and that as a hivemind it may be active elsewhere…

Heading deeper into the cave system, the party begins seeing more and more evidence of Zheechdrian civilization, writing on the walls and other things, though the party cannot read it. Saneic and Varren both try, and the letters and words swim and shimmer as if alive, causing them to have headaches before they give up. As the cave system finally opens up into one massive cavern, a huge roar rips through the air and Shar nods grimly and states, ’Hello beastie."

The cavern is massive, with the city itself surrounded by a wild underground river making it dangerous to cross. The city itself seems intact from the distance, and a massive floating crystal hovers with no seeming means of suspension at the center. The party begins to make their way down towards the city slowly, taking care to move quietly as possible towards the river. Varren dives in and looks around quick, buffeted by the wild current and seeing and hearing nothing before jumping out and beginning to help ferry those who cannot fly across.

Walking into the ancient ruins, they party first makes note of the architecture. Either through design or ravaged by time or by the goblinoids, the buildings are all very open aired, with little in the way of walls and leaving themselves exposed to the elements. While hiding in the shadows from these buildings they make note of many insecticide metal creatures, similar to the ones first encountered in this cave, however they either do not notice or care about the party and leave them unmolested. Seeing the massive sight of the dragon fly overhead, they watch it move towards the crystal and land their, making note to head towards it.

Along the way they see several corpses is various positions, all covered in armor and wielding weapons. Its clear the city was under siege at the time it was swallowed by the earth. Looking at the bodies the party notes that the skeletons are very different from any of the modern common races. The skulls are elongated and have no jaw or nose, merely eye sockets and a large crest coming up from behind the skull. Where a fleshy body would have ears, several desiccated cartridge tentacles extend and move towards where the shoulders are like hair. A few of the bode’s armor is burst open from the inside…

Getting up to wear the crystal floats, the party sees the massive stone on top of a ruined tower on a cliff that was forced up from the ground level when the city fell. Laying on the ground in front of the tower lays the dragon, the light refracting off its metal skin. Suddenly lifting it head to wear the party stands, it tells the intruders to identify themselves and moves forward, perching onto a ruined building and gazing towards them. The party notices that it has no eyes but its head follows them unerringly. Varren attempts to speak to it and says they are here for knowledge. The several strips of light running the course of the dragons body dims for a moment before brightening back up and it snarls at them and lunged forward before stopping.

The lights dim again and when they brighten, it asks the intruders what their purpose is again. When Varren tries to explain again that they answered the question already the lights dance again and the dragon sits on the ground, watching them and mentions why they would be down here for knowledge, if they are after what its masters knew. While talking to the dragon it begins behaving erratically again, pitching forward and smashing its head onto a massive rock and having freezing hanging moments in its speech as the party begins to question it about the parasites and other information about them and the Zheedchrians. It is clear the dragon is having trouble keeping control of itself and Saneic suggests leaving and coming back later, much to Varren’s agreement. Khyber however, refuses to leave without more information about the warforged.

The dragon switches personalities again and demands the party leave, seeming to go still as they discuss among themselves and try to convince Khyber to go. The party fails and the dragon seems to hit a limit when it suddenly leaps forward and attacks. Flying over them it lets loose with a rain of metallic shrapnel that damages the party heavily, Meepo falling into a pool of his own blood. Shyr revives the tiny kobold and tells him to leave as Shar commands he animal companion to stay by him as he crawls onto the cheetahs back as a mount.

The dragon then lets loose a blast of sonic energy, hurting Draka and Boney as it attempts to planeshift Shar, who had transformed into a Rhino and swelled with the fey magic gifted to her by her patrons, busting into flame as a headplate spring from her neck and she rammed into the dragons side, though Zarik cancels the spell just in time as she winks out and then back into the plane.

Finally after a very nearly lethal fight the dragon is felled by Saneic’s bow and she continues to shoot her arrows into the creature to make sure it stays down. Taking a deep breath the party begins to relax, just as a bright flash of light fills the air and the dragon gets back up with an angry snarl…

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Adventures as of 12-20-15

As the party stands on the other side of the raging underground river, Varren begins making a simple rope bridge across it and succeeds, allowing the party to be able to get across should they need too. After, Shar (transforming into a porpoise) and Varren dive into the water to look around, seeing nothing and managing to fight the quick current to get back to the safety of dry land.

Listening to the sounds of the cave, the party begins making there way even deeper into the forgotten caverns and soon Shar tells the party of the invasive smell of acid permeating the air. Shortly after announcing this to the party, the sounds of the creatures begins to fill the chamber they are in, Shar shifting in the the form of a bear and Shyr casting a spell to protect the party from acid, learning from previous encounters with them.

Kyhber and Saneic draw their bows and fire, striking two of the small creatures down quickly. The remaining ones turn tail and flee, a rapidly and irritating habit they seem to have acquired. Varren rushes after them, intent on ending their threat for good, unaware of more of them hiding in the shadows as they let loose a torrent of acid, Shyr’s spell thankfully holding strong. The fight is fast and and deadly, the magic helping to keep the creatures from using their acid to the best of their ability, but one of the creatures running off to gather reinforcements. After the creatures are put down the party discusses them again, noting that a few of them were larger and had arms then past examples, and that some were speaking in backwards Draconic stating ‘Gather’.

Meepo, not willing to let more bad news simply slide by without notice, mentions that the running away to draw victims in has never happened before, and almost seems like a trap. Something that they had previously been unknown to do. The party reflects on the horrifying thought that these monstrous abominations may be growing smarter before assuring a now almost speechless terrified Meepo that they would protect him and pressing on.

Shar, again in the form of a wolf, begins to scent more of the smell of the creatures and even notices that one of them may have gotten away without the party noticing. Varren, picking up on these thoughts takes off running in the direction of the trail and ends up setting off a trap, just managing to avoid it. the party takes this time to catch up with him, with Saneic berating him for setting off the trap instead of letting her check for them as they move. Finally realizing he had not at the point actually informed the party what he was doing and forgetting that only he could hear Shar’s thoughts, he informs the party that one of the creatures took off during the fight and that he was pursuing it.

Saneic propeses that she and Shar go first, Shar to track and herself to check for traps. The fact that is her sunrod goes out she can hold onto Shar’s wolf fur being an added bonus. Varren agrees and follows right behind, ready to intercept anything that may move against them. Shar does mention that many of the creatures have made their way through the area and some time later she loses the scent, managing to pick it back up shortly after.

Passing lower into the caverns, they come across a very strange area. Instead of the cool cave air, the air feels warm and humid, with spores floating softly through the air. The walls are completely covered in a strange fleshy growth that Kyhber and Shar think resemble a cancer more then a fungus. Kyhber scrapes her rapier across one of the growths, puncturing it. With a wet splat a mass falls from the thing, something resembling a fetus. Observing it, Saneic finds that the sac was filled with acid and that the fetus seems unharmed by it. Looking at Kyhber they both acknowledge that it has to be the creatures they’ve been fighting. Observing the wall behind the now damaged sack, it seems fine, unharmed by the appendage.

Draka tries using the fire from his sword to set them alight and Meepo tries freezing them with his ice, but the growths seem unaffected by both. Observing the sacs and the creature closer, Zarik idly mentions they seem to be some sort of aberration, something that should not exist, the remark illicting an angry smack on the head from Varren. Saneic asks the party if they think that maybe this was the plague that the Zheechdrain device had mentioned before, Shyr agreeing with her. Observing the growths even more closely, movement can be seen inside them, meaning that the creatures inside are alive, and probably growing.

Seeing little options left, they decide to destroy the growths as they move, heading even further into the now warm stick air of the caverns as now Khyber begins tracking, as Shar has since lost the scent, coming to a fork in the road as a large rock separates two routes. Spotting a group of the larger creatures up ahead, Shar casts a camouflage spell, allowing the party to get closer then previous times, close enough to hear the creatures speaking again, hearing them say ‘gather’ backwards in Draconic. Suddenly one of the creatures leaves its group and begins moving towards the party and spotting them, hissing ‘Zheechdrain’ before launching itself at the party.

Sadly the quick scuffle alerted the remaining creatures to the parties presence before they were ready, rushing towards the unprotected party as Draka and Varren in front set themselves up to let the creatures smash into them and keep them from the rest of the party. The creatures seem even larger and hardier then before, hissing in rage at the interlopers as they step over their own fallen members to get at the party. Soon, Shyr turns and moves away, back towards the split in the path and swears, announcing to the party that they were being flanked as he sets himself up to hold them off to protect their back lines. Meepo momentarily freezes in terror as the thought of being in the nest of these creatures proves to much for him to handle.

Khyber, enraged at what these creatures are, lets fly with a storm of arrows. The projectiles take their tole, ripping into the creatures with abandon. Shyr just manages to get off another spell of acid protection before another torrent of it washes over them. Attempting to get a small breather to regroup, Zarrick summons undead ogres to soak up the some of the hits. Surprisingly, as soon as the undead appear, the creatures turn on them, ripping into them with a furious abandonment surpassing their previous rage.

The moment of fresh air allows Shar to summon her own assistance, a Rhino dropped right in front of Shyr and Meepo as it rushed, its horn laying low several of the creatures before being taken down and being sent back to where ever it was called forth from. After the loss of one summoned creature, Shar brings forth a Unicorn, asking it to heal Shyr as Meepo’s magic causes him to grow larger and stronger as the creature acquiesces to Shar’s request and heals Shyr, keeping him up as he protects the party’s back.

Meepo, watching Zarik’s mastery of magic continue, finds a renewed strength from his friends and even causes his magic to strike Boney, as well as Draka and Varren. The magic warping around the skeleton causes the crystals in its eyes to react, shooting out pure arcane force in a line, obliterating everything in front of him. Soon the creatures stop coming and the party retreats to a hide away to heal and sleep for the night…

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Adventures as of 12-13-15

Holing up in the hidden room for the night, the party begins to rest and prepare for the coming day. Throughout the night the sound of skittering claws on the rocks outside but nothing seems to find its way into the chamber. However all is not normal during the night as Steve, Etir’s harp guitar seems to start floating over him and the strings start merging with Etir’s flesh.

Come morning Etir has been completely subsumed and replaced with another entity seemingly named Varren. He explains that his existence and usurping of Etir’s body is an agreement between the two to help keep Etir alive and to help give him some relief from the creatures that are setting off some of the psychological scars in his mind.

While leaving the room the party finds one of the creatures. It hisses at them and seems to begin to run before the party obliterates it with extreme prejudice, leaving nothing left of the body. Moving deeper into these cursed caves the party begins to hear draconic being spoken by mysterious voices. Meepo explains the party needs to get passed them to get deeper and that there is a very dangerous underground river rushing through that would most likely drown any who fall into it.

Finding the goblinoids the seem to be wearing armor made of the war forged and right away begin to fight the party. They are dispatched with a brief struggle and one of them taken captive. When questioned all he says at first is that he will one day be the master of all of them before Varren rips his way into the creatures mind to obtain the information inside. When asked about the city in the caves the creature lies and says that they built it, to which Varren replies by breaking his finger. Shyr and Draka right away protest to the torture of the prisoner and Varren apologizes.

The torture works however as it tells them they found the city and made it their own, using what resources had been found there to make weapons and armor and Varren painlessly exacutes the creature by snapping its neck.

Getting to the river the party crosses it by way of spell and Varren asks Meepo if they have to retreat if he could freeze the river for a bridge, to which Meepo sheepishly says he would try…

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Adventure as of 12-6-15
Leaving the Silver Leaf Inn into the depths

While relaxing after the stressful events of the day, the party slowly make their way upstairs in various states of sobriety. Shar Kyber and Saneic all share a room, along with Amren to keep and eye on the heavily intoxicated Kyber and Shar while Etir, Draka, Shyr and Zarik all grab separate rooms for the night after checking on Boney and Steve the harp guitar. Sleeping in real beds for the first time in awhile, the party quickly drifts off to sleep and finds a peaceful and uneventful nights sleep.

Come morning, Draka quickly uses his horn to summon a Hero’s feast at the one table on the second floor of the inn. The sudden loud noise causes the Smiling Man to rush rapidly upstairs in alarm before seeing a calm group of adventure’s all enjoying their breakfast. Smiling wearily he asks the party of the food at the inn was not to their taste before assuring them he had no issues with outside food as it was not food that he made his wealth on. Saneic takes this time to ask him if he knows anything about her sister, to which he sadly answers that all he knows is that she is extremely powerful and extremely dangerous. Etir then asks how to find the inn again should they need it, to which he replies with a sly grin that the inn appears randomly based on its own musings and desires and to find it again is all based on chance.

After finishing their meal the party leaves the inn and steps back into the caverns, Etir handing Saneic his glowrod so she can see in the oppressive darkness of the caves. Shortly after leaving, they begin to hear noises in the caverns, strange growling and skittering sounds along the walls just past the range of their vision. As a strange creature comes into view it snarls and spits acid at the party who quickly move to dispatch the creature. Shyr makes it to the creatures first and begins the attack, using his shield to deflect the two closest from him as they dive. However, his shield now away from him and exposing his chest leaves him open to the other creatures hiding in the shadows. A wave of acid washes over him before he can react and he goes down, unconscious from the potent acid.

The party rushes to Shyr’s aid and Shar calls upon her healing magic to get him back up as Draka whips his chains towards one of the creatures. His weapon hits home but the slashing action of the chain splashes acid over both himself and Shyr. Zarik causes the earth under the creatures to pitch and roil, crushing all but one of them as they fall to the magic. As it turns to attack, seemingly uncaring of the fate of the others, Saneics arrow pierces it and it falls to the ground limp, a hole going neatly through its head.

With them dead Saneic takes the time to examine the bodies. They have no eyes, no ears, no nose, seemingly no way of sensing its environment. Their skin is covered in chitinous plates, and their blood is seemingly a powerful acid. Their jaws shoot forward similarly to an eels and they seem to mix reptilian and insect traits. While carrying nothing of real value Saneic does make note of what was discovered and puts it in her bag. Asking Kyber and Shar, neither of them seems to know what these creatures are or where they come from.

While continuing their exploration of the caverns, Etir does find a secret door. Letting the party know they quickly set about to attempting to open the door. While Saneic checks to see if the door is trapped Etir can detect magic on the other side of the door and alerts the party to a faint transmutation aura. Filing that information away Saneic announces the door does not seem trapped and manages to find the opening mechanism but the door seems stuck. After several attempts the party forces the door open into a cramped small room. In a small corridor off from the main room they find the source of the magic, a small metal box.

Before grabbing it, Saneic finds a pressure plate trap under the box and sets about disarming the trap. While disabling it she makes note that the trap is very very old but that the parts are seemingly in good condition, much better for the apparent age of the trap. Finishing her job she grabs the box, surprised at how light it is, yet it doesn’t yield to the pressure of her hands as the metal holds its shape. Looking at it, Zarik mentions that he’s heard of these boxes before, it was a Zheechdrian method of storing and transferring messages. Etir takes the box from Zarik and manages to get it open, and Zarik gets the message to play, the voice emitting from the box speaking in an unknown language but another voice in their head speaking common, though the message seems to skip several words.

“The…have…the outer……the city. …Warforged………tactics, are being…out faster then they……themselves. We’ve……with the other cities…to this…infection, and now…we are…our own. The counsel….considering…actions to…the plague though…hierarchics…unconvinced…………… However I remain unconvinced. Perhaps……time…ceremony……completed and…swarms…dealt with with with with with with”

Once out of the room Saneic quickly detects another trap and disables it. The trap is a tripwire and is much newer, let alone cruder, then the pressure plate. Shar growls, looking at Etir and thinking the word ‘Kobold’ at him so he can tell the party. Remembering the corpses in the cave the party takes a moment to talk when Draka comes under attack, several bolts striking his armor and leaving him unscathed as his ring goes off a moment before a magic missile hits him.

The party attempts to use diplomacy with the kobolds, and one of the creatures flies towards the party and hides behind Draka while the others ready to attack again. Attempting to intimidate them seems successful as the kobolds flee. Before getting away however, Etir enthralls them and causes them to stop fleeing, now just standing around milling about.

With questioning, they discover the Kobold who ran to them is named Meepo, and so far know he speaks Draconic and Gnomish. However, he is extremely scared of taking the time to speak in the open, nervously looking around him at all sides. The party manages to get some info out of him, like the fleshy things that kill people and then cause the fallen to get back up and that the kobolds follow the bigger goblinoids in the cavern. In an attempt to disable the group of enthralled kobolds, Shar drinks their blood until they pass out and the party takes them and Meepo to the secret room they found before.

Once out of the open Meepo becomes much more conversational. He tells them that he’s been down in these caverns since he hatched, though he would happily leave if given a chance. The rest of the kobolds likely would not however, as they follow the bigger goblinoids and they want to take back the city they used to dwell in. The party at one point mention the warforged, causing Meepo to perk up, as he explains about a massive mechanical dragon who lives in the city, made of metal and gears and extremely hostile. At the knowledge of a warforged dragon Kyber becomes ill, which causes the overfed Shar to join her. Zarik mentions humorously mentions that she is pretty much just vomiting blood, to which she snaps back “At least theres no toenails” causing Zarik to shudder in memory.

Meepo goes onto explain that the caverns have several levels as it slowly declines deeper until it reaches the city. He also offers more information of the fleshy creatures he mentioned before. He tells the party they are basically parasites, killing their prey and turning the body into an incubator for more spawn. The body then gets up and finds more people before exploding and releasing the the newborn monsters to attack the more victims. He mentions that they spit acid as well and the party realizes that Meepo is talking about the same creatures the party fought before.

With a whispered oath Shyr looks down at himself while Saneic and Shar both panic internally. Rushing to him, Kyber and Shar both find that besides some scaring from the acid he seems to be fine, prompting Meepo to tell the party that the creatures have to kill their target, no merely knock it out. Feeling tired from the long day (night? Time is strange down here) the party decides to bunker down in the hidden room while Etir mentions something about someone named Varren before bunking down for the night…

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Adventure as of 10-25-15

The party arrives to the dwarven fortress-city of Dheg Kuldir, the massive stone walls around the city and melding into the mountain as if an extension of it creating an impression of sturdiness and power. Before reaching the gates of the city Etir mentions that he remembered hearing that many dwarven cities were a beurcratic nightmare to get into, having waiting lists and having to properly vet the visitors with proper authorities before being allowed in.

Saneic, remembering her message stone, asks Gamer if he has a way into the city for them. He responds a few moments later, telling her to wait patiently, but he can get them in with little issues. Indeed half an hour later the party, now hiding in the trees by the road, see a small lore dwarf leaving the city tossing something up and down in the air, Saneic noticing that it is a pair of dice that seem loaded. Smiling at the party and telling them to wait, she approaches the dwarf and makes a subtle hand gesture that he returns and then introduces himself as Bramgus, an ‘associate’ of the Gamers. Handing her the papers from his pouch he tells them to wait a bit longer for him to leave the road and then to head to the gates, that everything should be taken care of and tells her good luck.

After waiting for Bramgus to leave sight, the party moves to the city gate and hands over the paper. The guards gaze at the paper and then look at the party questioningly, double and triple checking the papers before telling them that they are allowed into the city but to behave themselves as they will be watching them. This is shocking as even with proper papers and vetting it still takes a few days before visitors will be allowed into the city.

Once inside the city the party makes note of just how many of the dwarven buildings are surprisingly above ground though they are still made with metal dwarf design in mind being short and defensible more then homey, reminding somewhat of the city of Istrus. Walking around they question a few of the locals on how to get to the Emberforge residence and more importantly, how to get inside. The villagers questioned are more then happy to inform the party the best way to get into anywhere important is with a gift, either something of dwarven historical purpose or some very very fine alcohol, preferably also of dwarven quality.

Questioning about dwarven brewers the owner of the Gruesome Tree pub is mentioned more then once and so the party heads that way to ask about purchasing a keg of the best alcohol they can. Getting to the pub, the owner Votdrilla Brewhide points them to the Gruesome Tree Brewer instead of the pub, saying she sells by the pint, not the keg and has no way of transporting kegs back and forth outside of the shipments from the brewery.

Getting to the brewery they meet with the head of the business, Kastun Bonebrew, who seems untrusting of selling an entire keg to outsiders. When they explain why they want the keg, to get an audience with the head of the Emberforge family he relents and offers them a barrel of Garnet Ale, for a hefty price of course. Etir asks what the price of the keg would be and the old dwarf smirks and sets the price at 900 GP a barrel. Etir, unwilling to part with that sum of money readies himself to try and haggle Kastun down when Saneic jumps in and plops the sack of gold down. The dwarf is surprised but happy with the quick transaction and quickly orders the workers to get them a barrel of the ale which Draka easily shoulders and the party departs for the the Emberforge home.

With the mention of the Garnet Ale, the vanerable dwarf happily allows the party into his home, a grand but tastefully built mansion that seems oddly well guarded for a simple home. Grateam Emberforge brings the party to his study where he drinks a glass from the cask happily as the party introduces themselves. As he finishes the glass he peers at the party over his fingers and wonders aloud why a simple band of adventures would be coming to a simple mine with such a prestigious gift. Zarik explains that they were sent by Mettius Paesentius Maltinus to search for supposed ruins of an ancient Zheechdrain city that may or may not be in the recently excavated branch of the mine.

Some tense negotiations later and Emberforge grants them access to the new branch with the following conditions. 1) Anything found in that branch of the mine is his, as it is his mine and his property. Anything to be given to Mettius is to be shown to him first to see if he wants it. 2)Once in the shaft, they will be trapped inside, as the creatures who slaughtered the exploratory force sent into the caverns are still down there and he is not willing to risk unleashing them onto the city. 3)They will not be allowed back out unless the guards and Grateam are convinced they are not attempting to escape from some terrible monster by getting past the heavy stone doors that were erected to keep the beasties in that shaft. The party agrees and the shaft is opened long enough for the party to get in and then sealed behind them.

As the doors are sealed behind them Saneic and Khyber are left in complete oppressive blackness, being the only members of the party without dark vision. Etir hands Khyber a sunrod to see with and Saneic stays close to her, their elven blood allowing them to see much further then they would otherwise. Almost right away they are set upon creatures made of the same metal as Sonny though shaped like insects. Zarik’s magic makes quick work of them and some of the remains are placed in the bag of holding. Picking a random passage way to go down, the party descends deeper, even finding a pile of kobold corpses and other goblinoids that no one in the party has seen before.

The party, growing tired from being down the caves for an unknown amount of time, start looking for a place to camp for the night before hearing the muffled sounds of music and the smell of food. Growing cautious and wary of what might be making them, the party slows down and clumps closer together, hoping not to run into a party of kobolds and others. Soon however, when the party reaches a three way split between in the caverns, they find a strange and ornate wooden door seemingly placed inside the cave walls and from where the music and smells seem to be coming from.

Shrugging to each other, they open the door and are awed by the sound of music and the pleasant homey atmosphere of the room behind the door. Etir mentions hearing of this place, naming it as the Silver Leaf Inn, a magical inn that seems to appear and disappear at random, who’s barkeep gives food and drink for free and staying the night costs not money but strange things such as the color of ones eyes, the feel of their hair, or favors to be named later. Boney and Steve seem stuck outside the inn, and Etir mentions that undead creatures are barred entry, and that all forms of violance and ill-will are forbidden here, so Zarik tells him to stay outside and guard the door.

Soon after walking into the inn a small gnomish creature appears before them and tells them that someone is here to see them as he tells them to wait and goes upstairs to fetch their guest, at which point a blast of thunder and a portal open up, a man stepping through as a audibly annoyed voice comes from down the stairs, chastising the man from the second floor, stating that he hates it when the man does that.

The man and Shar know each other and begin to converse. It quickly becomes clear that this man is a fey-demon, the court of they fey Shar worships and that he has a mission for her. An extremely powerful and dangerous force was recently released and it needs to be stopped before it can form physically telling her to seek the Obsidian Blades for help. He tasks his druid with this errand and gives her his name ‘Waltru’ the druidic word for death. Shar accepts the quest eagerly, and he offers her a ring to help her accomplish this before saying his goodbyes. The small gnome reminds Waltru of their deal, to which the annoyed fey demon nods confirmation vanishing with a crack of thunder and portal again, much to the small gnomes irritation.

Finally introducing himself to the party, the small gnome calls himself the Smiling Man, at which point Saneic notices how many fey are in this inn (indeed all the patrons except the party are fey) and quickly pulls up her hood, scanning for her twin sister and her friend Aysu. Relieved that her sister is not their and saddened her friend is also missing she turns her attention to the Smiling Man. Shar mentions that the Smiling Man is an extremely powerful neutral fey, strong enough to resist the courts and stay unaligned.

He grins at this and motions for Saneic to follow him to the bar as the rest of the party begins to take seats and eat from the food that appears without prompting from the plates set out. Following him, Saneic doesn’t notice Khyber and Shar sitting close by, eavesdropping on the conversation to make sure the Smiling Man means no harm.

At the bar he tells Saneic he is always surprised to see an unaligned fey in his bar, let alone a half fey. He does note, however, that he relatively anonymity is currently keeping her safe from the machinations of the courts, at least for now. Switching topics quickly, he asks her what she knows about her mother as well as mentioning he knows how nasty her father was.

Saenic mentions that all she knows is that when her mother and father met, she had blue eyes which she passed down to her daughters as well as that according to Aysu, she was a member of the forest court, which Saneic used to justify her closeness to the forest court. The Smiling Man motions for her to come closer and explains about her mother.

He explains that the Aysu was wrong, but this was because she herself did not know the truth about Saneic’s mother. He tells her that while she had been an ally of the forest court at the time, she was more powerful then powerful enough to stay neutral and tells her that her mother is known as The Blue Lady. The mention of this fey cause the eavesdropping Shar and Khyber to choke on their drinks, relaizing that The Blue Lady is a fey strong enough to go head to head with the lords and ladies of the courts and win.

Letting the information sink in the half fey just gazes at the Smiling Man for a few moments before he asks her is she would like to meet her mother, motioning towards a woman standing by the fireplace covered in blue cloth and light blue skin. Saneic moves towards the woman and then stops short, wondering if she wants to meat the creature who had left her to her father’s cruelty. Before coming up with an answer herself, the Blue Lady turns around and notices her, asking Erdudvyl what happened to her face and mocking the half fey to be more careful with the fire she loves so much.

Saneic, taken aback by the casual snide remarks from her mother tells her she has no idea what she is talking about, that her father caused these burn scars and causing the powerful fey to realize that for the first time she is speaking to her other daughter.

They converse for a time, causing a commotion as they begin to exchange heatedly in an argument. At one point Khyber even stands up from her seat in jumps into the conversation, trying to stop the fey’s cruel comments about Saneic’s fondness for the mortals, especially her friends and teammates. Shar quickly grabs the ranger and forces her back down and telling her that no matter how much they may wish too, they can’t interfere in this. Soon the Smiling Man comes into the conversation, seeing the anger and rage growing in Saneic’s mother and reminding her that no violence is permitted in his Inn. One final jab from Saneic sends her over the edge and she moves to attack her daughter and is quickly shunted out of the Inn to parts unknown.

Turning to the half fey, Smiling Man mentions that he thought that the exchange would go in a very different direction then it did, seeing as how the Blue Lady has been to the inn many times and knows the rules very well. Here Shar and Khyber run to her and hug her tight to comfort the small girl, though she seems to have no emotions towards the encounter as the Blue Lady was only a mother in the most basic sense of the word. Shar and Khyber announce that at this point they plan to get her drunk anyway with Saneic mentioning that the only person she had ever viewed as a mother has long since died and the only father figure she has is the Gamer.

The Smiling Man laughs at this, mentioning that he knew the Gamer well, though he had never mentioned her. Saneic chuckles sadly and says she had figured it was a one sided relationship and that he had more then likely known her heritage from day one and only seen her as a very powerful tool. Smiling Man cocks and eyebrow at this and says it is equally likely she was never mentioned to protect her, as though violence is not allowed inside the bar, information can travel fast and far from words spilled here. Saneic thinks to ask him about the marking on her glove the Corpsewalker had left on it. He goes quiet and grim before telling her that explaining about it would risk his neutrality but let her know that is was not good and to watch herself. He bows to them and explains that Waltru had bartered for rooms for them for the night, so that may rest freely here before leaving them to themselves.

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Adventures as of 9-22-15

The party looks around at the intricate stonework, covered in writings none of the party recognizes as it has not been maintained. Suddenly a rush of cool air swirls around them and the sound of claws moving over the stone can be heard as the feeling of dread sweeps over everyone. They all have the overwhelming feeling this tomb was never meant to be found.

From the darkness a voice rings out, calling for the party to halt their approach in an Ovidean accent. Draka, stepping forward asks the voice if anyone had come through here, hand on his chain ready to fight. The voice chuckles, stating that its mistress had in fact come through, and asks if they intend to fight in her lair. Draka grimly utters that they cannot leave and the voice laughs louder than ever.

Suddenly two massive brazzers ignite, revealing a wall with an opening, along with a raised dias on which a massive stone coffin sits. With better light, Zarik tells the party that the writings on the walls seem to be prayers to the gods and fey along with warnings stating that anyone here should turn back now. With the lights on the party finally sees the source of the voice and see a man in Ovedian armor standing in the gap with his weapon drawn.

Shyr sees this in grimly states that his name is Secundus Trebellius Priscian, a high ranking member of the Ovedian military who is very powerful. Draka warns the party that someone is hiding something with illusion magic as his dragon heritage allows him to see through it as the spell drops. Seemingly out of nowhere a legion of soldiers appears, all vampire, as Emmeranne finally makes an appearance. She asks the party if they’ll join her, speaking to each of them about their desires and wants, causing the party to resolve themselves even more for a fight.

The fight is long and hard as Draka and Shyr wade into melee to tear apart the hordes of the dead. Emmeranne points her finger at Zarik as he is struck with a ray, as he finds himself robbed of his magic and unable to bring it forth. As Draka and Shyr continue to use their magic and strength to fell as many of the creatures as they can reach, as Emmerane then turns her attention to Draka as she holds aloft in another hand a massive chunk of crystal. Uttering words that consume the gem another ray strikes Draka as blood erupts from his mouth, agony forcing himself to his knees momentarily as the spell wracks his body.

The legion swarm the party, focusing attacks on whoever they can reach and stepping over felled allies with no concern. Shyr grips his holy symbol and thrusts it into the air, calling on Vorishin and and turning a third of the vampires to ash with a blast of radiance. Etir pulls out a magic horn and summons forth a horde of barbarians as Khyber and Saneic fire on Emmeranne. Khyber’s arrows either miss of are swatted out of the air though Saneic’s missiles manage to strike her. Shyr calls out to his goddess again, blasting the lesser vampires into ash again as the light fills the room. Secundus continues to stand between the party and Emmeranne, unmoving as she turns Saneic to stone as the half fey targets her again. Zarik’s magic finally returns to him as Draka flies past Secundus and strikes at Emmeranne as she pulls out another crystal, though a much smoother one, and smashes it onto the ground and causing an earthquake to strike. Soon the chamber begins to collapse and Emmeranne vanishes as the rocks fall on top of her.

The party rushes back as Draka grabs Saneic’s stone body and Secundus charges towards them in a rage, screaming “NO!” as stones collapse on top of him as well. As the stones stop falling the party breaks back into the tomb to look for the two vampires. Reaching the stone coffin Shyr mentions that the presence of small altars to the gods and fey in one place is very odd and he can sense a darkness in here. Observing the coffin they can see that whatever magic was on it to protect it are now gone and the edge of the lid is moved as they peek into it. Throwing caution to the wind they open the lid the rest of the way as dark laughter suddenly echos around the room for a few moments before it fades. In the coffin lies a single dessicated hand, looking to be celestial in nature. Etir takes it, as pain wracks his body, and ties it to a staff before placing it in a bag of holding.

Managing to get back to the surface the party notes that the entire tower has come down and it takes some time to excavate themselves from the ruins. They search the tower but it seems that most clues have been ruined and only manage to find a few gems and such as town people start coming up to them and asking what happened, blaming them for the fall of the tower. Shyr dryly reminds the party they are not welcome in the city and they all agree to leave right away.

After traveling for several more weeks the party comes to Istrus, a military city bordering a massive desert and filled with darker creatures. The guards of the city demand to know what the party is doing here as Draka mentions that no one is allowed to walk all the way through the city as the gates on the other side are kept secure unless soldiers are being sent out. Shyr attempts to talk to the guards, but they react coldly to the cleric. As Shyr looks sheepishly at the party in apology another guard walks up to them and after confirming who they are tells them a noble in the city wants to speak with them.

Using the clout of the noble, they finally secure passage for the halflings and Draka goes with the guards to escort them. They halflings give Draka some gold and smile sadly at them, preparing themselves to be in darker lands from here on out. Returning to the party the guards then escort them to a noble the learn is named Mettius, a halfling scholar and eccentric who specializes in ancient lore and civilizations.

Finally getting to Mettius’ home, the party finds a house that is very out of the ordinary of Istrus. While most of the buildings are made of stone and seem to be created to withstand siege, this home is made of wood and has large windows. The guards knock on the door and a halfling answers, ushering the party inside, thanking the guards, and then closing the door in their faces as he takes the party to the dining room. He seems completely unfazed by the party and their animal companions and knows a disturbing amount of information about the party and their previous adventures.

He tells the party he has a business proposal for them and begins speaking about the Zheechdrians, the powerful enigmatic race who created the Warforged before the Deluge. He tells them that the race passed off their labor onto constructs, as well as the business of war, and eagerly began to work to find ways to push more and more of their menial tasks onto their constructs. However they soon became convinced to do more would require creating creatures who could think for themselves and soon gifted them with sentience. Soon a civil war broke out and the race and civilization ended when the deluge wiped them off the face of the world.

He explains that he believes that a new ruin may have been found in a dwarven mine. He asks the party to go down there and bring back proof of some sort that there is indeed a Zheechdrian ruin of some sort down there. He explains that it will be very dangerous and the mine shaft had been closed down due to several of the miners being killed as they explored it. He gives them a small manual on the civilization to assist in identification and hopes that at least one of them will make it back alive to tell him about it. Khyber then asks him that any and all information gleaned about the warforged be translated and a copy given to her so that she could read it, to which Mettius agrees.

The party will have to talk to the dwarves and see if they can convince them to let them in or sneak into the mine shaft. Etir then takes the hand out of the bag of holding and asks if Mettius knows anything about vampiric angels. Mettius shrugs and says that all he really knows about vampires is that the disease can only affect certain creatures, and celestials should be immune to it as they do not really die when slain. Etir nods and places the hand away, breaking into negotiating about the payment for this job. Mettius explains that he is willing to fund up to 50,000 GP for materials and items that will help them in securing what he wants, telling them they are to purchase the items and then be reimbursed from him. Anything past that limit he will not pay for however.

The party agrees to the terms and then leave his home to begin acquiring items and weapons, Khyber purchasing armor for Amren. Soon the party will head out to Dheg Kuldir, dwarven mining city and home to some supposed ruins of the Zheechdrain people…

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Adventures as of 8-22-15

Starting bright and early, the party makes a fresh start on heading back down to the south, avoiding any large towns and roads for the halflings safety. After several days of travel they come to the larger city that seems somewhat derelict and Zarik mentions that he recognizes the it as the city of Cibalae, a past trading hub that has long since lost its glory. At this point in its history it really is more of a town then a city in terms of population but it’s a safe place to be more or less as it does not get attacked very often.

While approaching the town slowly, taking care to hide the halflings as best they can when they suddenly hear some noise in the undergrowth of the forest is alongside and a gnome pops out. While well dressed his clothes are ragged and his hair messed up and appears to have been running away from something. Seeing the party he right away asks the party to take him with them, stating that people are chasing him and that he is just trying to get away. He seems to be telling the truth , and Shar asks him who is chasing him to which the gnome responds that highwaymen have been chasing him for days now.

Knowing that he has seen the halflings, the party threatens to hunt him down should he divulge to anyone about the caravan, Draka even going so far as get right into the small gnomes face and Zarik showing him Boney, saying that the skeleton was the last person to betray them. Shyr, Saneic and Khyber are horrified at the group’s actions and tell them to knock it off, calming the terrified gnome down before asking him his name. With the three party members around him, he takes Saneic’s and Khyber’s hands, thanking the two lovely ladies for saving him from their friends and introducing himself as Iantor the Magnificent, a traveling magician extraordinary!

With the new companion, the party makes the plans to keep the animal companions, Khyber, Saneic, and Shar behind in the woods with the halflings while the rest of the party heads into town to resupply and perhaps rest up at the inn, as Shyr mentions very much wanting to sleep in a real bed for a change. Heading into town however, is an eerie and unpleasant experience.

The atmosphere of the town is hostile and the party can tell they are unwelcome from the hostile body language of the residents. Etir, attempting to smooth over the party’s arrival, begins performing as they move, singing and tumbling around in an impressive display. Getting to the gates of the town, the guards demand they hand over their weapons, as strangers are not permitted to carry weapons inside the grounds of the city. Shyr manages to keep his by way of his standing with his church, and Etir keeps his from the guards thinking he is merely an idiot. They go to take Boney’s weapons but Zarik stops them, taking the weapons from the skeleton himself and handing them over to stop them from noticing the undead creature. A metal dwarf walks right up to Draka and states they may stay the night but she wants them gone by morning with their things. She then leaves, giving the party the very strong indication that the city hates strangers and the guards suggest giving their metal dwarf captain a wide berth.

While the inside of the city is more populated than the fields outside it, most of the buildings here are falling apart and clearly abandoned and the villagers are clearly avoiding any contact they can have with them. The one inn they manage to find is the ‘Dead Cleric Inn’ and they see a sign on the door prohibiting bards from entering. Sighing as they glance at their bard, they head in anyway, figuring at worse they get thrown out of the inn. A middle aged moon elf runs the bar and addresses the party curtly, though accepting their gold and granting them rooms, Etir just barely managing to avoid detection as a bard due to messing with people out of spite.

While in their rooms, Zarik discovers they are being scryed on, to which Shyr angrily goes to the bar keep and demands an explanation Suddenly confronted with an angry cleric, the barkeep tells them to talk to Emmeranne, the local wizard but that he has no idea who could be doing it. They send a horse with a note on it to the party members with the halflings to let them know of the scrying to which Khyber Shar and Saneic attempt to see if they are being watched as well, which to the best of their ability they are not.

Etir takes the form of one of the people he saw as they come in to talk to the locals and try to find Emmeranne, as Khyber decides to head into the city and see what she can find. She walks into a drunk, who begins ranting at her, saying all these strangers are going to bring down ruin on them, saying that whenever strangers stay, they vanish in the night and then some of the villagers will go missing shortly after.

Etir, now in the form of an elderly woman, manages to find Emmeranne’s home and knocks on the door to luckily find the wizard home. The middle aged gnome woman raises an eyebrow and laughs at the figure before her, telling Etir that while the shapechange is close, she can still tell its not who it appears to be. Teleporting him to the block the inn is on, they walk into the inn to the rest of the party as Khyber gets there. While talking Iantor is oddly quiet and tells Khyber in a hushed voice that he does not trust Emmeranne, he does not know why but she gives him a bad feeling.

Khyber lets slip the halflings are still outside town and Emmeranne offers to lay own some protective spells to help and teleports to where Shar and Saneic are. Convincing them she is there to help Emmeranne begins laying down some magic, though Shar keeps a watchful distrusting eye on her. Iantor still cannot explain why he is scared of Emmeranne so Khyber takes him and Draka to confront her at the caravans. Etir in the meantime manages to talk Zarik and Shyr into breaking into her tower to try and learn more about her.

While Khyber, Draka, and Iantor manage to get to the caravans quickly, they find everything alright. Khyber talks to Emmeranne about Iantor’s sense of dread concerning her, to which she dismisses it, saying she has no idea why Iantor does not like her but she is used to mistrust from the city folk. While discussing this with the party, one of the spells on her tower is tripped and she angrily states that her home was just invaded and teleports all the party members with her to her home, where she sees the three members who just come in through the door.

Angrily she says that if they had wanted to come in, all they had to do was ask her, not break in. Etir, Shyr, and Zarik sheepishly apologize and Emmeranne calms down, offering to let them stay the night. Most of the party takes her up on her offer, though Iantor refuses to even consider it and leaves to go to the inn. With a dejected sigh Shyr goes to stay with him, to keep him safe and the party tries to stop the cleric. They have an ominous feeling about the cleric staying at the ‘Dead Cleric Inn.’ He laughs off their worries and says he will be fine, watched over by his goddess. Despite this, Etir and Saneic go with them to watch over them.

Despite this however, Iantor is found dead in his bed, drained of blood with puncture marks in his leg. Shyr wraps the body in a sheet and carries it to Emmeranne’s tower to show the party. Etir, now suspicious, tells Emmeranne to prove she is not a vampire by undressing and standing in the sun. The gnome raises an eyebrow and states that she is not that easy to see naked but agrees to take off her jewelry. After standing in the sun she states that she will make the party breakfast and goes off to start.

Casting a spell, the dead gnome speaks, telling the party all it remembers is a hand covering his mouth and being taken outside, chased down, a searing pain, and then nothing. Discussing what they know about vampirism, they ask Shar what she knows, though she admits to not knowing much. They then turn to Emmeranne, who has returned with food and ask her. She tells them vampires can turn themselves into mist but that they can’t just teleport in and out of rooms. They then decide to try and bury him, and see if he raises, which Emmeranne is very much against. Etir goes to start digging when Emmeranne attempts to use her magic to get into his mind and stop him. The doppelganger gets angry and says that that was completely uncalled for. She then disintegrates Iantor’s body and yells at the party about not leaving things well enough alone before teleporting away.

In a panic, the party rushes to the halflings, worried for their safety, but discovering them in perfect health, if a little confused as to what is happening. Getting back into the city with their weapons, they head back to Emmeranne’s tower and break in again, Khyber managing to find a secret staircase and descending deep into the earth, until finally finding old stonework and coming to a ruined iron gate. The party pushes past and walks into an ancient crypt, their footsteps echoing of the old stone.

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