Category Archives: The Destined

Session 53 – A New Age

Porodo fires a catapult at Necros, but he is not bothered. Necros begins to pay attention to Eilenos, however, as he smites all of the evil creatures around him in a blaze of holy glory, destroying scores of them.


Porodo shoots an arrow into Grom’s head, doing 98 damage. Grom is not happy.

Imra casts “embiggening” on Eilenos and he grows large, getting stronger and tougher. He strikes at Necros but Necros isn’t fazed.

A beam of light comes from the heavens and lands next to Grom. The biggest Dwarf we’ve ever seen emerges — it’s Krodmich! He strikes a mighty blow on Grom and screams “Get off of my field!”

Nadia, Charon and Berethenu also strike good hits on Grom. Grom strikes back, sweeping Nadia and Berethenu and causing massive damage on both of them.

Necros is taunting Eilenos, which frustrates him, and his attacks have been ineffectual. He says “I don’t need Berethenu’s help to defeat you.” He drops his sword and reaches out with his mind, attempting to control the nearby zombies to his will. Necros looks afraid as Eilenos begins to win in the battle of wills — he sees in his mind all of the threads of control Necros has over the zombies, and is able to tap into and control them. They begin to attack the evil forces. He doesn’t notice, however, that Berethenu’s armor falls off of him as he does this. The other characters notice that there is a purple haze of evil magic that is coalescing between the two, and finally cocooning around Eilenos.

Sarthisis creates a portal underneath Grom, and he falls through. It empties him from the sky and he falls hundreds of feet directly on top of the cloud where Necros and Eilenos were. Imra uses her elemental powers to blow the fog away, and they see that Necros has been utterly destroyed by Grom. However, Grom gets to his feet after the fall. Stranger still is that where Eilenos was standing is now a knight of chaos, wearing corrupted armor and holding a tainted sword.

Charon gets an idea and jumps through the portal, drawing his swords and doing an acrobatic flip on top of Grom and stabbing him deep through the chest.  However, the force of the fall hurts him greatly — but Sarthisis magically takes the damage to himself and falls unconscious. Imra rushes to heal him.

Eilenos taps into his new abilities and enhances several nearby zombies.

The battle continues for more than an hour, and it is a rout — the evil forces have been defeated. Eilenos shuts down all of the zombies, and they fall. Josephus, or Enigwa, as he is properly known, goes to Necros and Grom. He calls all of us to them, and says that we have fulfilled our duty.

Porodo has his rangers, he says…Sarthisis has taken control of the realm of flame. Krodmich has been brought back to reclaim his throne of Iron Hallow Hall. Grom has made too much war over Juravia, and overstepped his bounds. Charon, who has shown his valor, will become the new god of war. He says that he doesn’t know what to do with Eilenos…he assumes that if he misueses his power, he will take it away. As part of this, he must right the wrongs that Necros perpetrated on the Elves. Eilenos agrees. He says that Nadia will be brought back to life and will be the new god of justice. Imra will become the queen of the elves.

He says that he could have fixed the wrongs of his own famly by himself, but he wanted us to have free will to fix things since it is our world. He hopes that we will continue to do the right thing with the power we have gained, for the betterment of all.

Enigwa then fades away.

THE END

Session 52 – The Siege of Skraag

Eilenos visits the local temple of Berethenu looking for some guidance. He causes quite a stir as he has come in with his full armor on. The parishioners point and whisper. The priest approaches and asks if he is indeed the champion of Berethenu. 

The rest of the group are just hanging around the city.

Suddenly the whole team is simultaneously transported to a mountaintop in a large mountain range. We seem to be in the mountain range just outside of Skraag. We are north of there, and are not sure how far. All of our compatriots are with us, including Nadia and the king of Dunmeshi, all of the mustered forces, and Josephus who looks more “with it” than he usually does. He looks like he has a plan.

Josephus addresses us the whole group and says, “We are about to embard on a monumental task. The Dwarven kingdom has been infested with creatures born of Grom, and I have underestimated my son’s desire to populate Juravia with his people. He, along with his brother Necros, have caused this chaos and now I need your help to set things right.”

We agree, somewhat shocked of the revelation that we have been in the presence of the All-Father himself, and that Josephus was him all along.

Josephus tells us that we are about a day’s march from Skraag, and since he is not a tactician he needs our help to do that. He casts a haste spell on Porodo’s best rangers, and they take off ahead of us to scout out the route. They have speaking stones with them, so they can report back immediately.

We have 8 pieces of siege equipment including towers, catapults and rams.

The scouts return and give us the exact layout of the city. It is in between mountains and there is only one pass coming north to the city, and it is on a narrow ridge. Our siege machines will not easily fit here. We decide to sneak in and break their defenses therefore allowing our forces to ride and teleport in unopposed to finish the job.

Porodo and some of his rangers climb up the east wall and go to the tower; Sarthisis flies up here as well. Imra flies up to the mountain and asks the Eagles there for help, and they agree. The Shadow Hunters climb up the west wall, preparing to rain arrows down on the city. Eilenos waits with Nadia and the king of Dunmeshi at the bottom of the mountain with the cavalry, awaiting the battle to start and ride in to attack. The other forces are further down the mountain, and will be teleported into the city by Sarthisis and Josephus.

Porodo communicates with his rangers and tells them to start firing flaming arrows into the city. Once Eilenos sees this, he rides in with the cavalry and breaks through the gate, attacking the enemy. Nadia is particularly effective, slaying enemy after enemy while gaining barely a scratch, inspiring our fighters to a frenzy. Sarthisis opens portals to the elemental plane of fire and they swallow the biggest enemies, the trolls, and their siege equipment, then he begins shooting fire into the crowd. Eagles swoop down from the mountain and pick off random orcs. The orcs are taking huge losses and the battle seems to be going in our favor.

Suddenly the ground begins to rumble and a group of orcs comes pouring out of the gates of Iron Hallow Hall. The orcs are screaming that “there are stuntees in the deep!” We see the dwarves are attacking from inside the mountain.

The shaking worsens and the ground in the Hearth Plain inside of the city cracks open. Berethenu breaks through the earth and flies a hundred feet or more in the air. Following him is the huge, gnarled form of Grom himself who climbs out with his legions of demons. Behind them comes Ennar and a group of his demon hunters. There is a purple necrotic mist that descends over the area, rotting everything. Just then, the huge form of Necros descends from the clouds.

The battle is joined!

Session 51 – Mustering Forces

We decide to head back to Dunmeshi Castle. Sarthisis simply thinks it, and a portal opens to the castle.

About a month has passed since we left. The king says that the ruling council of Darnya was possessed by a cabal of demons. This is why they were acting hostile recently. Aliga went and figured this out (likely meaning that he slew all of the affected council members), and is staying there to help out as the loss of the council has caused a power vacuum.

We meet with the king and Josephus, and they let us know that the forces are mustering to take on Skraag, but it will take a while. The Jungle Protector, Black Mountain Brewing Brigade, the Wood-Elves, the Corsair Queen, and the Kingdom of Hamsburg will likely come to our aid.

Session 50 – Into the Fire

We continue across the bridge, and go left down a path. Nearby we see a circle with a fire in the middle, and several cultists in a circle doing a chant. We immediately move to attack and take them out.

We take out several, and the elementals that they conjure. Finally htere is only one left, but he is wounded. Imra uses her mental powers to read his mind, trying to determine where the flame lord is. Among his thoughts of his injuries she is able to determine that the flame lord is nearby.

Porodo fires off an arrow at the guy, striking with 104 damage, which blasts him into another dimension consisting only of pain and suffering for the rest of all eternity.

The plunder includes 3 magical daggers and cloaks.

We continue on up the path, and soon come to the end where the giant statue stands. Below it is the flame lord, standing over a dozen feet tall and holding a huge sword, in front of a giant basalt throne.

image

Imra uses her magic to shrink him down to size, but he immediately grows back to his former size again. Nadia runs forward and strikes him with her sword, which actually damages him. Eilenos strikes him as well and wounds him, but it only seems to make him angry. Porodo shoots an arrow dead into him, but it just buries itself in his armor.

We continue fighting him, and finally Porodo strikes him again and Sarthisis hits him with a blast that knocks him down. He is unconscious.

We hear from Sarthisis’ bag a cheering sound. The fire staff is telling him to take the Flame Lord’s power. Sarthisis goes to him and stabs him, and fire comes out of the Flame Lord and into him. There is a nova of flame that erupts from him.

Sarthisis is now the flame lord of the second realm, and is completely immune to fire and fire attacks. Once he sits on the basalt throne, he can sense everything that is happening in the realm of fire, and what the other flame lords are doing. He can also sense the flame lords that are on other planes. He can create portals from the plane of fire to anywhere on Juravia that he has previously visited, and can create a portal back. Others can also travel with him. He can sense when people are tapping into elemental fire, and can grant them power or take it away.

Sarthisis takes the fire staff out of his pack and tries to break it. The former elemental tries to ask for mercy but he breaks it, and she screams in terror.

The group briefly discusses whether to let the former flame lord live, but Sarthisis levitates him into the fire. He regaions consciousness as he burns to death. He takes with him several magical items, as we didn’t search him before putting him into the fire.

We take his great sword, and in addition there are several magic items in a box nearby; a pair of spider boots, the Tome of the Unseen (invisibility spell), a magical fire saber, and two potions of healing, $300k of coins and $7k of gems.

Session 49 – Into the Fire

Porodo sees that the nearby tracks go to a wall. There is a small hole on the wall and Sarthisis presses into it. A doorway opens and a cavern ascends.

At the top we go across a wooden bridge over the falls. In the center there is a platform with a huge pile of gold on it.

As we walk onto the platform, Eilenos sees a fire drake descending upon us and tries to attack it, but his sword bounces off its scales.

The others move to attck but the drake buffets its wings and tries to blow us off the platform. Eilenos is taken off guard and falls backward 20 feet down into the lava, and is seriously hurt.

The others continue attacking and Charon jumps on his back. Sarthisis sets several elementals on him as well.

Due to his fire invulnerability ring, Eilenos is able to recover and climbs up the platform. He strikes the drake in the belly, and the drake strikes with his tail. Eilenos strikes again and takes him down.

We loot the area but don’t care too much about the gold. Sarthisis takes some jewels, but there are also several magical items: a wand of mini fireballs, which Charon takes. Also a pendant of awareness, a dagger, and a blunderbus.

The blunderbus also comes with an “instruction manual” which Josephus looks at. He says that the book is about the lost art of gunsmithing, which the Dwarves haven’t done for generations. We give the gun to Josephus for him to use.

Session 48 – Into the Fire

We all gear up with rings of fire protection given to us by the Dunmeshi. With them we take no damage from background heat (the temperature in the Realms of Fire), 4 points of armor against direct heat attacks, we can walk through lava unharmed, and we have a +2 trait roll bonus against fire spells.

We open up the portal to the Realms of Fire and jump through. We immediately feel the heat and see fire all around us. We proceed across a bridge that goes over a river of flame. Ahead of us we see a huge statue that is “crying” lava and looks like it is screaming.

Suddenly there is a booming voice, which we assume to be the local Flame Lord, that tells us if we want to fight, we can, but it is ultimately fruitless. We may win, but in the end the spirit trapped in the staff will betray and kill us all. He suggests that we ditch her and team up with him to defeat one of the other flame lords.

We consider it briefly, but decline (since he is surely lying to us as well) and rush to attack. We go across a lava floe to an island of ash, where a dozen or so normal looking desert-garbed dervish warriors are around a camp fire.

Two hydras ascend out of the lava pool and we strike them down.

Eilenos, struggling to get across the lava, is suddenly blinked to the middle of the battle and strikes down one of the soldiers. This was probably Josephus helping out with a quick teleportation spell.

Session 46 – The Wood Elves

The elves give us supplies including some magical items. We are also given a guide who will help take us through the forest. Before we can depart, sentries come in from the forest and sound the alarm — six dragons are inbound and ready to attack!

Sarthisis relates that there are several types of dragons. It appears that the ones coming are Swamp Dragons, and they spray noxious fumes. As they come closer, we see that the dragons have riders upon them. There is one huge dragon and five smaller ones. They fan out to attack.

Sarthisis sends air elementals and fireballs toward them. The big dragon descends and the rider lances Eilenos, and the dragon shoots its noxious breath at us. Eilenos barely gets out of the way in time, but is wounded. Imra uses a spell on the big dragon and it shrinks to the size of a large dog. It climbs out from beneath the saddle and rider. Sarthisis roasts it (and nearly Eilenos as well) with a fireball. Charon jumps out of a tree and stabs one dragon, killing it instantly. He jumps off the dragon to safety before it hits the ground. The other dragons and riders are dealt with.

Eilenos believes that Marta, the goddess of beasts, has taken sides against us. She must have sent the dragons and the riders.

Imra thanks Sarthisis for using her during the battle.

We go to Anthal and let him know that we are heading out. Our guide comes with us. It takes 3 days of walking to exit the forest, and we head into a small town called Sundale. The guide says that we should go to Fort Stone. The road will take us to Dunmeshi. It will take us four days to get there from here.

The doorman at Dunmeshi doesn’t let us in, though we describe our mission and ask to speak to the master of the keep. We tell him that we are adventuring on behalf of the king of Iron Hallow Hall, Krodmich, but he doesn’t believe us because Krodmich is not with us. We mention Josephus, and suddenly he appears through a portal. He gives Eilenos a huge battle-axe and asks him to “Hold Krodmich for a moment.” Eilenos is startled, but assents. The guards recognize Josephus and let us all in to the city.

Session 45 – The Wood Elves

We head into town and buy a horse and cart. While there, we hear from the locals that there are Wood Elves in the forest that are wild and potentially dangerous. Josephus advises us to stay close to the river as we travel.

Setting off, we travel for a while and soon Porodo finds human tracks going to and from the river. However, we don’t see anyone and feel it is safe to bed down here for the night. During first watch, Aliga hears something and sees four humanoids to the north. He quietly wakes the rest of the group.

The humanoids are a group of elves, and they don’t seem particularly friendly. They ask us what we are doing there. We tell them of our quest and they actually know of Josephus. They invite us to their village. They are a tribe from Trevenfal, and have separated from their brethren in Elleday due to a fundamental schism.

The elves escort us to their home. As we travel, the plants bend to get out of our way and let us through. We see the tree city up ahead, but the trees do not look natural. Above us we see many walkways. They bring us to rooms that are meant for visitors. We drop our things and they take us up to the city center on a lift. We go through the market and up another lift to a building with large spires and a blue energy field around it.

We are taken up inside and there are many guards with natural looking armor. There is an elder sitting on a wooden throne, wearing a cloak of leaves. His name is Anthal. We tell him about our plans, and he offers to help us get to the castle. He will also help us retake Skraag when the time comes!

Session 44 – Hamsburg

We see humanoid figures in the dark, probably less than twenty of them. Several fighters seem to be out in the front area of the house.

We see a figure behind the house glowing with fire. Sarthisis hits him with three fireballs, but they do not seem to affect him. The figure responds with a huge blast of fire that injures Sarthisis. He blacks out and begins attacking the party. He manages to miss Porodo by pure force of will.

We defeat the fighters and then team up to kill the wizard. He goes down after a brief battle. We check him and he has a magical scourge (a cat o’ nine tails) called the Scourge of Unhealing Flesh, staff, Cloak of Greater Protection, and non-magical manacles. His followers were carrying a non-magical symbol that looks like a scourge with manacles attached to them. Charon takes the magical flail.

The staff seems to have some fire powers that it gives to Sarthisis as he wields it. Suddenly it speaks to him — the staff is sentient! She says her name is Ilira the Igniter, and is the spirit of a Flame Lord. She is trapped within the staff and wants our help to be released. Porodo asks her how she can help us in return. She says that there can be only six Flame Lords at a time, and that they are not necessarily evil. If we take out Cinder, the flame lord who destroyed her body, she will take his power and then help us clear Iron Hallow Hall of orks. To get to Cinder, we must travel to the elemental plane of fire. She can take us there.

Josephus suggests that we leave for Hampton, northwest of here, through Jagen’s Wood. Hampton is the most powerful of the Five Kingdoms — rich and with military might. Josephus says that we should meet him at Dunmeshi Castle, which is closer to Scragg. He needs to leave to attend other business. He enters a small portal and disappears.

Session 43 – Hamsburg

Walking through the razed town, we don’t see anyone else alive after the orc attack. The group tries to check for a trail where the orcs may have come from, but we can’t find anything.

On the other side of town, we see a farmstead off in the distance. Above us, there are clouds massing for an oncoming storm. We think that perhaps it may be magical in origin, but the senses of the people in the group say otherwise.

We head toward the farmhouse and on the way we see orc tracks going through the fields. As we get closer to the house, we don’t see any more orc tracks but there are human boot prints everywhere here.

Aliga checks the house and finds nothing. Porodo goes in the basement and there are barrels of rotten food, but he finds a trapdoor underneath one of the barrels. He calls the rest of the group down.

We open the trapdoor and it is a shaft that descends for quite a ways. Eilenos descends first and sees that there is a long stone hall. The others come down and we start searching around.

We hear a scratching nearby, but we’re not sure what it is. We go through a door and there is another stone room with a basin in the center. Next to that is a forge. Another couple of rooms on this floor do not have anyone in them. In the south room there is a spiral staircase that descends.

On the lower floor there is what appears to be a chapel or worship area with pews and an altar. Sarthisis has his lizard knock over the altar to see if anything is underneath, but there is nothing.

A room off to the right appears like a bedroom. There is a loose brick in the wall and behind it seems to be some magical items. We open it up and there are several items here:

Small book – green leather with a tree on it
Brown leather (larger) – beasts on the cover
Brown leather – screaming face. This is a torture journal.
Scroll — non-magical, a list of 15 names. Off to the side there are names of seven places.
Slaver’s shackles — magical shackles that slow the person down
Sack full of gold

The text references “Malignus” who Eilenos remembers as a follower of Galignan and Necros. He amassed power and wealth and an army of followers. This group must be a cult of his followers. The book has dates of all of the torture victims. One of the names, Carter, is listed in the book and rings a bell. Porodo remembers Carter was one of his rangers. Unfortunately he was likely killed here about three months ago.

In the next room there are a bunch of torture victims. We free two of them, an elf and a Merikii and two seem to be okay. They say that they were kidnapped by cultists, but they seem to have left recently. We find their stuff in a nearby chest and they gear back up.

The new people, Charon and Imra, meet Nadia and Josephus. Josephus says that they have the touch of destiny about them, and that they should come with us.

The weather hasn’t changed, and it is still raining hard, so we decide to stay here for the night. Aliga is nominated to watch, and in the middle of the night he sees something outside and wakes the rest of the group.

Session 42 – Hamsburg

We sail from Nyambe to the Five Kingdoms. We arrive in Rodare in the country of Hamsburg, and dock. However, we see smoke off in the distance and realize that the city is under attack. We rush off of the docks area and into a building where we see villagers being attacked by savage men.

The group, including Josephus, jumps into the fray and starts taking down the men one by one. Eilenos fires off his crossbow and misses, and then is blindsided by one of the savages, who takes him down to the ground. Sarthisis turns and immolates the man with a firebolt, and Josephus rushes to heal Eilenos.

We hear a loud noise and suddenly a giant wyvern descends into the area and begins to attack us. Porodo climbs up a building and attacks him with his sword, but jumps off the building, injuring himself.

The ground begins shaking and through the earth comes a huge ork, collapsing part of the building in the process. He immediately attacks Krodmich and knocks him down. The ork brings his huge double axe down on Krodmich and it creates a swath of ice for more than 30 feet. Everyone manages to get out of the way, but a giant icicle goes through Krodmich’s chest.

Sarthisis aims his magical weaponry at the wyvern and torches it in a ball of flame.

Eilenos and Aliga team up on the ork and cut him to ribbons.

We rush to Krodmich and try to tend to his wounds, but Josephus shakes his head gravely and says that nothing can be done. With his dying words, Krodmich says that we must take his axe to Skraag and free his homeland. Josephus bends down next to Krodmich and waves his hands over him. His body turns to dust and disappears into a small pouch that Josephus carries.

Sarthisis cuts the wyvern’s head and tail stinger off to take it with him.

We look over the fishing village and find no survivors. We think about it, and we believe this was a deliberate trap that was set for us by Grom.

Session 41 – The Tomb of Antinius

The next morning, we leave for the mountains and Antinius’ tomb. It takes us 4 days to make the trek using Sambuto’s tree portal magic. As we come out of the last portal, ahead of us we see the largest mountain we have ever seen.

Suddenly Krodmich has a strange tingling sensation at the base of his skull. He asks Sambuto about the history of this place, and he says that it is strong with Berethenu’s magic.

We ascend and approach a cavern mouth that is covered in mist. Sambuto says that it is a whole day’s journey to the tomb from here. We take it slow as to not lose our footing as we go deeper into the mountain.

Finally we come upon a steep decline of about fifty feet. Sarthisis uses his magic to make us float gently down the slope. As we continue, the ground flattens out. Now Krodmich can’t even concentrate because the buzzing in his head is so overwhelming.

Suddenly we see a blue light ahead of us. Two torches are mounted on the wall in the cavern ahead, on either side of a huge stone door. There are strange writings on the door, and even Nadia with her translating orb cannot decipher it.

Eilenos, however, can make out the words. They are as follows:

The Vault of Truth
Sanctuary of the Just
Final Resting Place of the Lightheart
Birthplace of the Stone Children

Treachery, Malice and Scorn Beware
For the God of Justice Protects
This Sacred Ground

Aliga checks the torches and they seem not to be trapped. He checks the door and it opens a crack. Krodmich is now in a ball on the floor in pain due to the buzzing.

Eilenos gives him a root which does not seem to help. We decide to take him into the room, and suddenly the buzzing is replaced with a feeling of absolute contentment. As we come into the room we see that the walls are made up of the same blue stone as the door. On the floor there are huge crystals coming out of the floor in a huge tusk-like formation. In the center there is a huge casket made out of stone.

We see at the foot of the casket a stone chest made out of the same material. Sambuto motions to Eilenos to open it. He finds a shield and helmet in the box, and goes to put them on. As he does this a blue swirl of mist coalesces above him and it forms an old, but powerfully built man. He speaks, and welcomes all of us in turn. He says that we may ask any questions.

Eilenos asks how he may rid himself of the evil that is constantly tempting him. Antinius says that he must look inside himself if he must do this.

Sarthisis asks what they must do to win the war against Necros and Grom. Antinius says that Skraag is a stronghold for Grom, and that his is likely trying to escape Mulkra by using the power of his followers. Freeing Skraag would be a huge strike against the evil in the world.

Eilenos asks if he may use the gifts Antinius has given him, and Antinius says that he may, but not until the evil has been purged from him. Suddenly all around Eilenos goes dark, and his demon sword and the blade of Berethenu leap out of their scabbards and stick into the ground. Above Berethenu’s sword he sees Antinius’ visage and it tells him that he must choose. Necros appears above the demon sword, cackling. He says that Antinius is a liar and he cannot offer everything that he says. Antinius says that there is some truth to what Necros says, and Eilenos can freely make his choice as he wishes.

Eilenos says that he has worked very hard to cleanse himself from the evil that once consumed him, and though he has had a difficult path he will not betray the faith that Josephus and his friends have put in him. He picks up Berethenu’s Will and holds it aloft.

Having chosen, the demon sword comes out of the ground and Eilenos sees a shadowy version of himself form next to it. He seems to have all the powers of the necromancer as if Eilenos had been training in the dark arts rather than becoming a Berethenu Knight. He moves to attack Eilenos with his unholy powers.

The others, including Sambuto, attempt to help in defending against it, but there seems to be a magical sphere around the two of them that they cannot penetrate. For a protracted battle they fight each other, and finally the real Eilenos is able to defeat him and he disappears in a puff of smoke.

Antinius says that Eilenos has passed the trial and he is now the true heir, and wishes him good luck on his quest. He then turns to Krodmich and gives him a special magical axe made out of stone, which is supposedly the first axe forged by Dwarves. He said that with this, Krodmich must help Eilenos on his quest since he will certainly need help along the way.

With that, Antinius says that he is weary and must retire. His ghost fades from view.

Session 40 – The Isle of Nyambe

As we are regrouping from the last skirmish with the necromancer, we notice that our distraction of all the attacking kobolds will not last long. We exit the necromancer’s tent and quickly make our way towards the leader’s tent.

Sarthisis takes the most direct route by running directly through the barracks tent nearby. He lights his fire spells and starts burning everything around him. An ork tries to take a swipe at him but misses. The rest of us attack the orks around the tent.

We continue on to the leader’s tent and kill all of the orcs in one of them. Sarthisis burns two orcs in another tent to death. We venture into the main part of the tent and we see Sambuto and Josephus surrounded by a bunch of dead orcs. We look around the area for treasure, and find a couple of chests. Aliga tries to open one of them and is struck by a trap — a poison needle. Krodmich disables a trap on the second chest and opens that one and the third. We find see hundreds of gold coins. Some of us grab coins on the way out.

Josephus and Sambuto say that they made their way in the other direction and they have not seen the orc captain. Just then we hear bellowing from outside the tent saying “Who invades my village?!!” We run out and see hundreds of orcs surrounding one huge orc, apparently the leader. Sambuto says that one of us will challenge him, and he accepts. Sambuto says to Eilenos that this would be a good test for him to see if he is worthy of Antinius’ legacy.

Eilenos is not sure about this, as his shield is destroyed and his armor badly damaged, but he decides that if he must die, this would be a good time. He steps forward and yells “I challenge you!!” in a loud voice. As he does, Sambuto presses a weapon into Eilenos’ hands and he realizes that it is the famous warhammer that he has been seeking, Grom’s Bane. It glows with otherworldly light.

He goes into the ring and they begin fighting. The orc’s huge blade glows orange and Eilenos notices that it bears runes of pain. Eilenos strikes him several times with Grom’s Bane but takes a few hits from the orc’s sword. Luckily the orc loses his grip and the sword goes spinning away. Eilenos uses this opportunity to strike him hard with the hammer and his sword, and though the orc pulls out a long knife, Eilenos finally defeats him.

Standing on top of his fallen foe, Eilenos holds his blade aloft and it glows white due to the presence of Grom’s followers. The orcs shy from its light. He calls to them that they will leave this place and never return. They stand still for a moment until one of them says “We must listen to the chieftan!” They go back to their tents, peacefully.

Sambuto congratulates Eilenos on his victory and says that he now believes that he is truly destined to be the champion of Berethenu. Sambuto says that he will keep his word and lead the party to Tabu-taabu Mountain, the resting place of Antinius himself and the location of the final piece of Antinius’ Trappings.

On the dead chieftan is found his sword and long knife, which Porodo takes for himself. He also takes the chieftan’s ring, realizes that it is a more powerful version of the magical ring he already has which increases his defense. He gives his old ring to Eilenos.

We see that there are human slaves being held here, and Eilenos orders that they be freed. The orcs comply, and the slaves go off to their nearby village.

It is decided that the party must rest, and rather than staying here we have Sambuto take us to a nearby group of trees and create a portal to a safer area in a large tree grove. Here we sleep and Krodmich and Nadia repair everyone’s damaged armor.

Session 39 – The Isle of Nyambe

In the Jungle Protector’s cave, we have been mended and he offers us a stew that smells of bananas. A few of us try some and it tastes very good.

He introduces himself in exceptionally good common as Sambuto. He says that we are obviously not from this area, and asks what we are doing here. Eilenos says that a grave dangers faces all of Juravia, and we require his help. He says that he knows of this danger, as strange beasts have been seen here, orcs in particular. Sambuto adds that he knows of Antinius and recognizes the armor that Eilenos wears. He is skeptical, however, if Eilenos is up to the challenge. Eilenos says that he is Antinius’ heir.

Sambuto says that he knew Antinius many years ago. (The group remembers that Antinius was alive thousands of years ago.) He says that he fought with him and that he was the finest man he had ever known. He died of old age, and his remains have been interred beneath the largest mountain peak in all of Nyambe.

The Jungle Protector says that in order to prove Eilenos is worthy, he must travel to Sueta, a nearby village to the south, which has a large group of 1-2,000 orcs that has set up camp nearby. They have killed random villagers and kidnapped a few people, but he cannot discern their true purpose yet. We must find out a way to root them out. They are led by a fearful orc named Ruck, and also his right-hand man, a necromancer. If we kill the two of them, the rest of the orcs will no longer be organized and flee. We must go there quickly.

Sambuto gives each of us a head-rest to sleep on instead of a pillow. These are enchanted and will cause the user to get 8 hours of sleep in only 4 hours. They also have a small drawer on the side of them, and can hold up to 50 coins or a small item.

Eilenos thanks him for the gift and asks if he can hazard a question. “What manner of a man,” he says, “lives for many thousands of years and looks no older than our ranger friend over there?” The Jungle Protector says “Truthfully, I do not know why I am still here.” Eilenos accepts his answer and looks to Josephus to see what his reaction is. He looks humorous and secretive as usual.

Sambuto gives us some banana flavored beer and Krodmich starts fixing the group’s armor. Soon afterward we bed down and Sarthisis asks if we need to stand watch. Sambuto says that no one comes near here, so no watch is necessary. We sleep for 4 hours and wake up very refreshed, as if we had slept a whole night. Food and gear is packed up and we head towards the village.

A few hours later, as we are traveling through the jungle, Sambuto stops and starts chanting towards two trees. A wall of green swirling energy appears and he walks through it. We follow him and have a tingling sensation, and soon come out into a similar forest. He leads us out of the group of trees and we travel further. Later he does the same thing, chanting in front of two trees and taking us through another portal. In the area we come out to, we see a group of orc-monkeys similar to the ones we were attacked by. They come within a few hundred yards and see Sambuto, and turn away.

The entire journey takes us only 4 days of riding the camels (with Sambuto walking) and going through these portals to go the 600 miles of our journey, which we had previously estimated would take about 30. It is more hilly near here, and he takes us on top of a ridge and asks us to move stealthily. We look down and see a large group of tents. In the front we see a stockade with people held prisoner, and to the right is a fenced are with horses. A large three-story tent is on the left and probably holds the necromancer and his men. The huge tent in the rear is most likely where the leader resides. Several green tents are guard posts. The large tent to the rear-right is the mess hall, and several gray long tents are either barracks or host the women and children.

Sambuto says that he has one other ally in this fight — he can summon a small group of kobolds that will assist him if necessary. He calls and two meerkats appear. He speaks to them and they scamper off. Sambuto says that he tasked the meerkats with summoning the kobolds for him. About an hour later, a band of lizard-like kobolds appear. They have spears and bows.

Our group sneaks down toward the encampment near the necromancer’s tent. We signal the kobolds and they begin firing flaming arrows into the tents. As the confusion begins, we attack. The orcs from the nearby guard tent move to defent and we fly into them, swords raised. As we are fighting, we all hear strange chanting emanating from the necromancer’s tent. Eilenos recognizes that it is a very powerful spell that is being cast; the sorcerer is creating an abomination, a four-armed undead behemoth with bone scythes protruding from its appendages. It bursts from the tent and charges at us, frothing. Eilenos turns and casts a spell at the creature, and it flees in the other direction briefly. It then turns back around towards the party as the spell is broken by the necromancer.

Sarthisis calls a fire elemental and it begins to burn the necromancer’s tent. A few more undead emerge as the tent starts aflame. Eilenos chants a spell to protect himself from undead and charges towards the tent. He attacks the necromancer and Sarthisis’ elemental burns him badly. Soon he is destroyed and his minions as well.

Eilenos cuts the head off of the necromancer and Sarthisis searches through his belongings. He has special armor with many pouches of magical herbs, and also a magic staff, as well as 200 gold. Sarthisis takes the staff after Eilenos determines that it is not evil. The lizard feels that his magical power has been expanded.

We move on towards the leader’s tent and further destruction.

Session 38 – The Isle of Nyambe

We set off towards Nyambe, along with one of Chiana’s trusted captains. Some of us watch the sailors in action to try and see how things work on the ship. Porodo stays with the captain to learn how to navigate and is able to learn simple things.

Tombo is the capital of the northernmost nation of Boroko on Nyambe. We arrive there 5 days later and the captain asks us if there is anything else we can do. We say no, and thank him for his services. We survey the area and there are many plains and hills, and the city has a Mediterranean flair. It is warm here, and there are many large insects. The captain says that it is a large continent, 3000 miles south.

We ask about passage south toward the jungle, and we are told that it is very dangerous there, what with large monkeys, orks, and dragons. When we ask more specifically about the Jungle Protector, we learn that he has been seen all over the continent. In fact, he was seen in the area very recently. He was spotted tending to some wounded animals in the southeast of town only two days ago.

Sarthisis purchases a map, some herbs and magical focus items, and helps Eilenos and Krodmich purchase some chain mail repair kits as well as some binding kits for Porodo. Porodo also buys a large “great-bow” and razor-tipped arrows that go with it. Porodo also purchases a small colobus monkey as a companion.

Afterwards we start looking for transportation. We decide on 7 riding camels and 3 pack camels, and bead armor for them in case we run into trouble. 800 pounds of camel food is purchased as well.

We set off southeast towards the pass across the plains. The trip will take us almost 50 days so hopefully our supplies will last. We pass small huts where tribal folks dwell and also some packs of animals on our first day.

The second day we come upon a large wood, and decide to ride through it. Midway through our ride, we are suddenly attacked. Eilenos gets a lump of dung in the face, and Porodo does as well. We see above us a group of orc-monkeys hurling their own feces at us, and a huge four-armed one in the middle. They jump down on top of us and start attacking. We fight back and bring them down. Eilenos pulls out his “evil” sword and puts it to use, and notices after a while there is blood cascading from the blade.

Suddenly as the battle is ending, another huge four-armed orc-monkey jumps out of the trees at us, but before it can attack we see a blade come through its chest. He falls, and behind him is a 7 foot, thin black man carrying a falchion and a huge alligator head is used as his gauntlet. We thank him for his assistance, and he says that he will help our wounds and that his home is nearby.

He leads us to a small hut with jars and bottles lining the walls. He uses some foul-smelling paste to heal our wounds.

Session 37 – The Dead Isles

We come to the shipyard and the ships are finished being prepared. They had to cut down many trees to make the ammunition for the ballistas. Chiana takes Krodmich aside to their workshop area, and presents the dwarf with two huge ancient metal cannons. The cannons are the fabled creations of an ancient dwarf that previously Krodmich thought was fictional. She also gives Krodmich two huge leather-bound books written in dwarven that outline step by step how to create gunpowder and also how to create the runes that power the cannons.

Chiana explains that one of the original dwarves who helped carve out these caverns was the one who created the cannons. Krodmich thanks her and says that these are priceless gifts.

After this Chiana comes out and asks us what our strategies are. Aliga suggests that we use oil and pitch to pour on the creature or the water near it and light it on fire. Eilenos says that perhaps we could use a ship as a decoy and burn it as the snake is wrapping itself around the ship. Krodmich offers to let Sarthisis use his Horn of Summoning to summon the creature if he means to stand against it on the decoy ship. Different munitions including swords or nails to act as a cannon “shotgun.”

We depart, with all of the group on Chiana’s ship which is heavily armed, and Sarthisis is on the decoy ship with a skeleton crew and several cows for bait. It takes us several hours to travel to the south part of the island where it is believed that the snake resides. It is a clear, calm day on the sea. We get near to the supposed lair, and ahead we see a large mass of ships heading towards us. They are flying black ragged flags and are shoddily constructed. Eilenos begins to ask Chiana who these people are, and she interrupts by yelling “ORK SHIPS!!” to her crew. Everyone prepares for battle.

The cannon fires and strikes the side of one of the ork ships, and then we open up with arrows. Soon the orks are within melee range. Three of their ships are cleared within short order and we await the arrival of the other ones.

Suddenly we see the sea snake come out of the water and wrap itself around one of the ork ships. The other orks are reacting to try and get away. Sarthisis has his ship cut loose and brings it around towards the snake to ram it. The ship hits it square in the middle and grappling hooks are thrown around the beast to halt it from escaping. Hails of arrows and a ballista bolt strike him as well. He tries to attacks Aliga but misses. Krodmich rushes in with two axes and slices the beast, killing it.

Most of the orks have abandoned their ships and are trying to swim away, and we decide that we must not leave them to find us another day. We end them with arrows, though we are not happy to attack helpless prey.

Porodo speaks with the local fish and they tell him that its lair is deep under the water, close by to where we are. He asks them to go there and report back about what is there. They leave and return 45 minutes later, explaining that the lair is empty except for some bones. We bring up the sails and head back to the pirates’ lair, towing seven of the ork ships along with us to use for parts or extra ships for fishing.

Upon returning we help look through the ork ships. We find rotten food and ork feces, as well as some crude weapons that they were using. There are several strong boxes with some gold in them as well, which our group appropriates.

Chiana asks us what we would like to do next, and we ask her for passage to Nyambe. We suggest that she start working on the ork ships to get them ship-shape. Josephus tells us to get some rest before we depart, and takes Chiana aside to tell her what she must do next.

Session 36 – The Dead Isles

Spivey says that we are welcomed to stay for the evening to dry out and decide what to do next. We thank him for his hospitality and we are taken to the center of town to an elegant wood-framed home with three extra rooms upstairs. The corsair gives us a token with a seal on it, and says that we just need to show it to the guards and they will allow us through the city.

We rest for the evening and discuss our options of getting off the island. Josephus says that we must not forget what our main goal is — the world is on the verge of a divine war. We need much power to be able to defeat them, and must be mindful of that. Sarthisis asks if we should recruit the pirates to our side, and Josephus says that we can try that if we think it will work.

Later that evening, before we leave, Josephus pulls Sarthisis aside and tells him that it is time for him to learn why he is there. He says that his thinking of recruiting others to the cause — in fact, the history of his people is that they are savage, disorganized and barbaric race. Historically, attempts to ally the tribes of Kithsara have failed miserably, but Sarthisis is destined to unite them. The Kithsara are powerful, and united they will be nigh unstoppable.

Josephus has read from records about the Kithsara that were thought lost. They spoke of a prophecy that one of them will be able to unite the various tribes under one uniform rule. There are drawings of a lizard standing upon a very large stump in the swamp, with legions of other lizards standing before him. All of the descriptions and sketches have also shown this lizard holding forth a rod or sceptre — in Kithsara tongue the item translates to the Sceptre of Command. It looked somewhat like a gnarled tree-branch with vines encrusted into it. It had an orange-ish globe embedded into it. He says that he is having difficulty describing it, so he produces it from his cloak and gives the item to Sarthisis. He says that he does not know how the item works, but perhaps it is meant for Sarthisis.

Sarthisis, as he is examining the item, notices that his pet lizard is staring at it intently. The magic must work on lizards after all.

The rest of us have come to the town square and ask to speak to Spivey again. He appears a few minutes later and Sarthisis explains the situation of the outside world. Spivey seems to think that these issues do not concern him. Sarthisis is adamant that they and their people are in great peril. Spivey says that we will have an audience with their high priest to discuss the matter, though he knows nothing of the terrors that have been occurring, and furthermore does not believe in gods such as Necros and Galignan.

We are taken up a winding path to a small shrine near the town on the craggy side of the hill. There is a relief on the wall of a hideous looking demon on a fish’s body. It smells very strange in here; we see small pots with incense burning nearby. Sitting near the altar is a very old human. He points a crooked finger at all of us and asks us what we desire. Sarthisis says that he should be warned of the dangers of the outside world. He gets extremely animated explaining that his god, the Sea Demon (depicted in the mural) protects him and will destroy any enemies. When asked about the sea snake, he says that he is of little consequence and if the Sea Demon wished it, he would already be dead. It is decided that the old man is completely insane and we must move on. Spivey apologizes and says that he will take us to see the king.

Spivey asks us to wait and goes to fetch the king, since this is a most irregular hour. Shortly we are taken into a hall with a large mural depicting a mighty sea battle. There are many bodies laying on one of the ships, and one man is standing on the bow of the ship harpooning a sea monster. There are a few small chairs arranged here, and on a dais there is a throne. Presently, from behind the throne, steps a red-haired woman of astonishing beauty. She seems haughty and sarcastic, and asks us how we have come here. She introduces herself as Chiana Mcgirk. When we explain the situation with Elleday, and she has a very serious reaction, the first of such since we landed on this island. As she is contemplating this, she brushes her hair back and several of the party see that her ears are slightly pointed.

Chiana asks us what we need, and we say that we need men and ships. She says that they are much more than a simple fishing village, and she will show us. We follow her down a long corridor through the mountain and we see an odd bluish light. The hall opens into a giant underground cavern, and from the walls and ceiling we see blue crystals, and on the floor there are piles and piles of gold and jewels. She explains that they have been high seas business-people, and they had been raiding ships for many years. However recently they have stopped the practice since they have so much. She says that maybe it is time for them to give back some.

Sarthisis suggests that we give the money to the other, smaller countries that might need it badly at a time like now. Chiana asks about the state of the other countries, and we give her the bad news. Sarthisis suggests that a naval force could do a great amount of good to assist the cause. Chiana says that our immediate problem is the sea snake, but we can use some of their thirteen ships to combat it. Four of them have ballistas.

Chiana says that they will begin preparing immediately, and we are shown to some rooms to stay for the night in the meantime.

The next morning we eat and gear up. By now the ships are ready. Spivey seems surprised that the King is as fired up as she is.

Session 35 – The Dead Isles

Sarthisis looks on the pirate ship for any other loot, and finds a small chest with 300 gold. He distributes this money among the people on the ship. This makes him a very popular lizard with everyone in short order.

We realize that most of the people on the ship are not speaking Common, in fact they are probably being taken to Nyambe to be sold as slaves.

During the nights of our trip we drink and celebrate with the captain and crew. The crew plays dice and card games.

Sarthisis asks some of the natives any information about Nyambe. They say that it is sparsely inhabited with no major cities. There are some larger settlements but they are nothing compared to our large cities. He asks about the “Jungle Protector” and they say that he is known by many names which translate into “Spirit of the Jungle” and the like. They think he is a male human, but they are not sure because he moves extremely fast, faster than a man should be able to. He has been spotted all over Nyambe, and almost every village has had sightings of him. Generally he doesn’t talk to anyone, but often shows up to help hunting parties who are in trouble. It is rumored that he took out an entire party of 30 orks who were attacking a small village. He also protects areas of the jungle from being cleared and settled, and has helped animals who were injured.

An old man on our ship claims that he has seen the Jungle Protector once; he was holding off a bunch of orks who had attacked a herd of elephants. He killed all of the orks with a gleaming warhammer that seemed to flash with every strike. This sounds like Grom’s Bane, warhammer of Berethenu’s champion.

Sarthisis suggests that if he has this hammer, we may want to find something that we can trade him for it. Eilenos suggests that we may be able to barter with him if we help him rid some evil from his island in order to get his favor. He also notes that it may be difficult to convince someone of such tried neutrality to give up his weapon for our cause.

We are told that in addition to the many tribes (of which some aren’t even accounted for) there are groups of large, warlike, sentient gorillas. The orks and the gorillas spend a lot of time fighting one another, and this “Sprit of the Jungle” allows them to their own devices and has not destroyed them. One of the largest settlements is on the northern shore which is where most ships come in, and items can be traded with the Nyambe people. This is where we will be landing.

On the 4th day it begins to rain rather heavily, and then a great storm begins. The sailors have everyone else go below decks. This goes on for several hours. There is suddenly a great crack and water begins to flow into the boat. We go above decks to see what is going on but there doesn’t appear to be any rocks or anything sticking out of the water. There is screaming coming from the other ship and there seems to be water flooding in to that ship as well.

Sarthisis scampers across the water to the other ship and lets the slavers out of their cages. The captain says that we did not hit ground, but the hole in the ship is so large that it is definitely sinking. We put the lifeboats into the water and throw over barrels and pallets as well.

Eilenos is watching the water, and sees something move. He yells to the rest of the crew. Suddenly we see a large snake-like object begin to wrap itself around the ship. We run to attack it. Our weapons seem to have little effect, but Sarthisis, Aliga and Josephus strike with magical attacks. The creature rears and snatches one of the sailors in his mouth, killing him instantly. Krodmich buries two of his axes into the creature.

The creature opens its mouth and emits a sonic wave that puts several people on the ship to sleep. The others fight valiantly but cannot seem to pierce its hide. Soon everyone has fallen but Eilenos. He sees the captain be eaten. He can’t seem to get through its tough hide and eventually after several minutes he succumbs to the creature’s power and blacks out.

An undetermined amount of time later, we all awaken on planks or barrels. It is daytime now, and to our east we see a chain of islands. We attempt to rope ourselves together so we do not drift apart. Sarthisis grabs a rope and then walks on the water, pulling us along with him to the land, although it is slow going. It seems that we are the only ones who survived.

As we land, we attempt to salvage any goods from the ship that we can find. We see a couple of crates of food and some wine, probably enough for four days or so. We suspect that these may be the Dead Isles, a pirate haven. Porodo checks the horizon in each direction and sees no one.

We begin walking and after several hours, and are extremely tired. Just ahead of us we see large stone battlements coming out of the side of a mountain. There is a valley between the fortress and the wall that we can walk through — apparently it is designed to defend against ships and not land attacks. We see someone walking on the walls as we approach.

On the other side of the fortress there is a lagoon that comes in from the sea, and several docks coming out into the see with small boats nearby. There are a few other buildings and on the other side of the lagoon, there are four large ships docked here. The ships don’t seem to be flying any flags that we can see. There is another fortress further down that is cut directly into the wall of the mountain.

Nadia says that her father had mentioned a place like this, and that we may be at the home and base of the Corsairs. This is likely a fishing village, but deep within the island there is the base of the Corsair king, a pirate king.

We walk around the lagoon and climb on some rocky terrain to get to the town. As we come across we see a fifth large ship docked that is being worked on. As we do, a group of six scaliwags approach us and demand to know what we are doing here, tresspassing . Eilenos explains that they were shipwrecked and they had no choice. They seem somewhat placated but decide that they will take us to Spivey, their leader, to see what he thinks of us.

They escort us into town past a watch tower and a few storage buildings in the town, a fishing guild hall and several fancy houses. We come through a square with several temples, and then finally to a large building called “Winter Hall.” They bring us into a large chamber and ask us to sit down, and then ring a bell. They ask us if they can bring us anything and we decline.

A few minutes later a young, scruffy lad comes running in, out of breath. The others tell him to fetch Spivey. He returns a few minutes later even more out of breath, and announces Spivey, the master of the island. Spivey himself is a powerfully built man with long brown hair in a pony tail. He is wearing a thick breastplate with heraldry of a black eagle and two sailboats, but we haven’t seen the crest before. He addresses all of us as Spivey, guardian of the fort. We tell him our story and he says that the worm nests in the south part of the island.

He also says that the island is part of the Dead Isles. Sarthisis asks if we could get passage to Nyambe, and Spivey says that they do not travel down there. The worm has attacked many ships lately and the local merchants take a long route to avoid the worm, which will take many more days.

Eilenos says that they should find the sea snake’s lair and destroy it, though Spivey says that groups of elite sea elves have tried before and failed.

Session 34 – Gradaine

The battle is finally over and the city has fallen. The king is still very confused about what has occurred and Josephus takes him away to better explain the situation. We begin to heal ourselves and work to fix our armor. Josephus returns a short while later and tells us that we will stay here at least one night. The allied forces will also camp in the area and heal their wounded. They take a more defensive stance within the city, moving the catapults inside. Josephus assists in putting out the fire on the river by calling out water spirits to quench the flames.

The next morning Josephus asks us to meet with him and the king in the main hall of the castle. The casualty reports come in and say that losses on both sides were heavy. Roughly a quarter of our forces perished, with more of those being Dwarves. Over half of the soldiers of Dakar were burned or killed in hand-to-hand combat. The unholy vines have been reduced to husks and are turning to ash.

We come to the great hall, which was also damaged in the fire. The king says that he will lead the survivors out of the city and make for the Midlands to establish a new settlement, since this town has been completely ruined. Sir Bradford and his crew will go with them. Josephus apologizes that he cannot assist with the move as he is coming with us to Gradaine.

Taking all of the supplies we can, we board a raft and travel south on the river. As we go there are less signs of the taint the further south we are. Closer to the city we see cultivated fields and then the city rises up from the horizon. Above it we see spheres above the city, giant zeppelins. Josephus says that he is not aware of how they stay aloft, by magic or otherwise.

We come into the town and we see that it is an extremly busy place. There are barges and other ships passing by and many people about. We come to a dock and disembark. The man who assists our docking asks for 2 gold to dock the ship and another gold for a pamphlet of local areas. A sign nearby says that the city is home to many crafting guilds.

We visit some shops and buy healing roots and armor. Later we search for a high quality inn to stay and decide that we will take baths and have our clothes cleaned. We are brought fresh meat and potatoes. We each get individual rooms with soft beds and are otherwise well-furnished. We stay two nights and then leave the next morning. Sarthisis pays for everything with a flourish since he has quite a lot of gold and jewels stocked up.

At the docks we board a large boat. The fare for all of us is 30 gold, and the journey will take at least one week. The captain warns us that there may be pirates or monsters on the sea during our travels. Nothing happens on day 1, but on day 2 we spot a ship on the horizon, slightly smaller than our ship. The captain says that it looks sinister. Porodo uses his far sight and is able to see that it is a group of dark-skinned bandits that are approaching to try and board us. As they come near they throw grappling hooks onto our ship.

Sarthisis casts a fire spell onto their ship and we engage them as they try to come across. They prove no match for us and fall easily to our blades and bows. In only a few seconds we have cut through their boarding ranks and pushed onto their ship. The remaining pirates surrender and offer to give us their cargo in exchange for their lives.

We go down into the hold and see many cages filled with hostage dark-skinned humans and elves, as well as one Merikii. Sarthisis busts the locks on all of the cages to let them go free. Aliga murders the captain in cold blood after seeing this. Also found are crates with food. We bring the food and captives on to the larger ship and lock up the remaining pirates in the cages. We do some minor fixes on the pirate ship and tow it along with us, planning on giving it to our captain once we land.

Session 33 – The Siege of Dakar

We see above and ahead of us that there is a large terrace with two winding stairs leading up to it. At the end of the terrace there is a huge barred door. Along the wall we see guards on either side, but thankfully they don’t see us. We come down from the wall onto the terrace and see in front of us another wooden door. The more astute members of our party notice that it seems less sturdy than the previous door. Krodmich hacks through the door with his axe after a few minutes of trying. We see several guards in the door waiting to attack when we break through.

The Dwarves break down the door and rush into the room, engaging the soldiers. After a few minutes the soldiers are overwhelmed but one of the Dwarves falls. Krodmich is enraged and is barely held back from murdering the rest of them as they surrender. The remaining few tell us that they are mercenaries and are only doing what they were paid to do. We let them go after finding the key to a nearby door on one of the dead mercenaries, but Krodmich demands some retribution for the death of his friend and busts the woman’s kneecap with the flat of his axe.

We continue through the chamber’s door and see the throne room ahead of us. There are four guards surrounding the throne, upon which sits an female evil cleric. The cleric begins chanting and casts a spell at Sarthisis, which is unsuccessful. Everyone else including the Dwarves charge in and attack. Aliga quickly kills the cleric and the battle is soon over.

Sarthisis, still on fire from one of his spells, looks out the door ahead of us and sees the front of the castle. There are quite a lot of guards here, but they don’t seem to be looking in our direction. We decide to go upstairs instead, and see scores of diseased dead bodies here. In no room we visit can we find anyone alive. It seems that this floor is a guest level with 20 rooms total.

We continue back up the stairs and come into a smaller room. Two guards are in here and we attack them as well. It seems to be a barracks of some sort. We see in a side room that the key opens. Inside there are dozens of treasure chests which have been raided and are empty. On the other side of the large room is another hallway-sized room that holds quite a lot of weapons and armor. Some members of the party take short bows along.

We come up to the top of the stairs and see four guards in full plate and what looks to be the king standing at the rear of the room. He appears to have veins sticking out around his eyes and face, but they are greenish. He holds a huge jagged sword with unholy vines surrounding it from his arm. Josephus pushes towards the front of us and moves towards the king. Sarthisis casts a freezing bolt at the nearby guard. The rest of us move in to attack.

The king and Josephus begin to chant towards one another. Huge vines come from the king’s hands and envelop Josephus completely. Krodmich slays one of the guards and his armor falls apart, a green goo spreading slowly from the spot. Suddenly a bluish glowing blade protrudes from the vines that cover Josephus. At the same time the king spits a huge green ball of phlegm at Porodo, but it misses. He turns towards Eilenos and from his hand shoots a vine which wraps itself around Eilenos’ throat; he passes out from the pain. Porodo immediately shoots an arrow at the king and the vine retracts.

Josephus emerges from the cocoon, wielding his blue-bladed sword of energy. He strikes the king and blue light floods the whole room. The king screams out in pain. Porodo rushes over to Eilenos and begins to heal him. The king strikes Josephus with a crushing blow. From behind Sarthisis and his lizard attack the king and he drops to the ground. Josephus comes towards the felled man and begins chanting. A huge ball of phlegm comes from his mouth and he passes out. A few moments later he opens his eyes again and they are unclouded. Josephus appears very tired after this ordeal and must sit down. He explains very plainly to Randar what has happened and he seems very overwhelmed.

We look down from the tower and see the river on fire and much confusion in the fighting as Galignan’s control has been removed from the guards. The king looks at us for some answers. He says that a strange hooded figure visited the castle and brought news of ill times on the horizon. This is the last thing that he remembers.

Krodmich looks at the sword the king was using, and it bears the insignia of a dwarven smith named Thalgus. The sword is called “Plague Raiser.” Krodmich remembers that Falgus often works with an Elvish enchanter named Aranthil to make his weapons which are very powerful. Since this is the first evil weapon Krodmich heard they have made, he suspects that they have been turned by Galignan or Necros himself. We must make visiting them a priority after our trek to the south where we seek the Jungle Protector.

Session 32 – The Siege of Dakar

As we quickly progress towards the castle, we are confronted by another group of soldiers. The party rushes to attack and Porodo uses his ability to “roar,” sending five of the enemy soldiers running. We defeat the rest in short order.

A large group attacks us immediately after, but the Dwarves smash them into a nearby wall en masse, giving us a path through towards the castle. A few of the Dwarves come with us as we near the castle wall.

The Dwarves move to set the explosive charge at the base of the wall and we are suddenly attacked by crossbow bolts from above. One of the Dwarves is hit in the shoulder but he pulls it out and continues with his work. Porodo scales the wall using his Spider Climb spell. The rest of us provide the Dwarves cover and fire back. Josephus fires off a devastating spell and blasts several of them off the wall.

Finally the Dwarves finish setting the charge and yell “Fire in the hole!” We scatter and the wall blasts open. Ahead of us we see the lake and the castle to the left. We see that the castle is almost completely covered by vines.

We approach the rear entrance of the castle and see blocking our way a large group of zombies who seem to be made of mold. We form up and Josephus fires a blast of electricity into two of them. The rest of us run up to attack. A few moments later we cut through them and run through the doors.

Josephus produces a pouch with herbs in it, and he passes them out to everyone. He says that it will protect us from contracting any diseases for about six hours. The Dwarves begin smashing against the door and break it open after a few moments. We rush into the castle.

Session 31 – The Siege of Dakar

Reinforcements and siege equipment continue to pour through the portal. When all is said and done 600 soldiers, 40 Berethenu knights, 300 Dwarven warriors with the Black Mountain Brewing Brigade, and also the Shadow Hunters and 100 Rangers from the Long Patrol have joined us.

Josephus calls us together for a meeting after a while, and several members of the other groups join us. He gives us a map that he himself drew, saying that he is something of a cartographer. The map is superb in its detail and shows the area near and inside the city of Dakar, which must sack if we are to turn the tide of the war. The city is surrounded by a 25-foot wall and a river runs through it, but it is also protected by huge gates.

Many suggestions of how to make siege on the city are thrown out, including blocking the flow of the river so it would swell and flood the city, an all-out assault (suggested by Sir Bradford, natch) and digging under one of the gates and planting explosives (suggested by the Dwarves). Josephus is oddly quiet during this time and seems to be listening intently. Sarthisis suggests that he use his “burrowing” spell to dig a small hole in the wall in which explosive powder will be placed and then detonated to blow through the wall.

We discuss the placement of the various buildings inside the city, and realize that though all of its inhabitants are being mind controlled by Galignan’s spores, we must be careful of the civilian casualties and save them by removing Galignan’s control.

Another option discussed is to flood the river with oil and then light it on fire to cause havoc in the city and allow for our assault. On the northeast side is the stable for the cavalry, and we identify this as another possible point of attack since horses certainly are averse to fire. From this area the soldiers would have to cross the whole of the city to attack us, and with the river aflame this would be difficult. Our rangers would be attacking from the treeline.

We decide on the following:

  1. At dusk we will move our forces into place. We will have the 100 rangers from the Long Patrol on the northeast bank of the river in the treeline. The siege equipment will be brought from the northeast just outside the treeline. Bradford’s crossbow men will be hidden in the cornfields further to the east. His Berethenu knights and other swordsmen will be hidden in the forest just north of of the wall penetration point and close to the river. The Shadow Hunters, our group and the dwarves will be nearby.
  2. From the safety of the woods, we will empty many barrels of oil into the river. We will then light it on fire using Sarthisis’ magic or flaming arrows.
  3. The Brewing Brigade will set and detonate a charge at the wall very close to the river.
  4. While the Brewing Brigade is setting the charge, the Shadow Hunters will attack and destroy the middle guard station.
  5. After the walls are destroyed, the Dwarves and our group will pour through the holes and slaughter the cavalry. We will then slip past the fighting and continue south towards the castle.
  6. The rolling towers will be brought up towards the wall to let more of our troops in and the crossbowmen will man them to fire on the enemy inside the city below. The catapults will be fired from the treeline at all areas of the north wall and the northmost bridge to choke the enemy’s advance.
  7. While the assault at the north continues, our group along with the 300 Dwarves will continue south towards the castle and use explosives to get through the wall. We will raid the castle and Josephus will free the king from Galignan’s control.

The first part of the plan goes flawlessly and we are able to get inside the castle with little resistance. The siege machines are attacking behind us as we advance. As we come through the residential area we are cut off from the dwarves and surrounded by a group of 14 troops. A furious battle ensues and we cut down the attackers.

We continue on towards the castle as fast as we can manage.

Session 30 – The Temple of Shalmar

We continue on. There is a large door near the statue and we try to listen at it before it is opened. We hear nothing so open it, but suddenly see several men with armor and weapons before us. Sarthisis slams the door shut. A beat later he opens it again and we run in to attack. There is the slashing of swords and Aliga awakes and decides that he would like to help. The battle is over in a few moments and two of them surrender. Porodo ties them up with rope.

Porodo asks Eilenos to touch the altar to see if it is magical. Eilenos does and he is healed of all his damage. The others try this and their damage does not heal. While searching the defeated thieves the group finds 36 gold. Eilenos and Sarthisis see that the decorations in this room look like a shrine to Berethenu. The fungus that has penetrated the room goes up to the altar but does not reach it.

Sarthisis whispers to Eilenos to take one of the prisoners out of the room and make him yell as if we are torturing him. Eilenos does this and the other man becomes afraid suddenly very cooperative. He tells us of the areas of the temple and that one area leads to the Priest of Krokus. He says that the priest does not use any weapons but uses a staff in his ceremonies.

The prisoner goes with us to the door and knocks. A voice comes from the other side in a language we do not understand. The doors open and two zombies who look like they are made out of plant material open it. Krodmich and Eilenos immediately attack. The zombies take damage. Krokus casts some sort of spell and Eilenos feels that his skin is burning off of his bones. Sarthisis fires off two ice spells and the priest topples over, dead. The rest of his zombies follow a few moments later.

We search the room and the bodies. Krokus has a long knife (magical), a pouch of spell components, a coin purse with 70 gold pieces in it, a staff, a scroll case with several scrolls in it, a necklace, and a ring (magical). Josephus says that the ring gives the wearer protection. Sarthisis takes this. Inside the scroll we find orders from King Randar of Salgrin to release the plague to the eastern portion of the kingdom. We move on.

Through the next doorway to the north, a mixture of bluish and greenish light comes through. Two braziers glow with strange light. Between them is a large dome with pulsating light in it. There is a panel next to the portal. Josephus begins tapping at the controls.

Session 29 – The Temple of Shalmar

We are currently waiting in Hovelton for reinforcements before we quest towards Dakar. Josephus says that he has a small task for us before our reinforcements arrive. We will go to a nearby temple for a mission.

The temple is a temple of Shalmar, the Goddess of Life. Shalmar was the only god that did not twist humanity to her own ends after the beginning of time, and has mostly left the life on the planet alone. She had approached Necros about his doings, and he murdered her. This angered Berethenu and began the war of the gods, which ended in Enigwa casting Necros into the darkness.

Shalmar’s followers are still active, however one of Galignan’s disciples named Krokus entered the nearby temple and killed all who served there, defiling and turning it into a temple of Galignan.

There in the temple the clerics of Shalmar had a device, a gate of some sort, that could transport people to and from faraway places. They had used it to bring their healing to those all over Juravia but the gate may now be in the hands of Krokus and his minions. We must gain control of this gate and use it to help bring our reinforcements more quickly.

Josephus says that he will accompany us on this mission. Eilenos asks if the group is no longer trustworthy, but Josephus responds by saying that that is not the case, we just may need his help taking down Krokus and his men.

Josephus asks if we have any better ideas since he is not really of a tactical mind. We respond that we will have to see what the situation is with the temple and figure out a plan at that point.

We decide that we must gather as many supplies as possible from the town, though we don’t want to be disrespectful to the dead. We take food, healing roots, armor repair pieces and Eilenos takes a large shield.

We pack up our gathered belongings and head off to the southwest towards the temple. As we get deeper and deeper in the forest, the stranger the vegitation looks. After several hours of riding we see a stone structure; the unnatural vegitation looks like it is creeping up the sides. We see at the front of the temple four huge dogs, roughly the size of donkeys, guarding the area. They are dark and furless, with dense scales. Josephus awakens and says that they are Mul Hounds, which are very dangerous. They apparently have not seen us yet.

We discuss several strategies but then simply decide to charge in and attack. The dogs soon see us and let loose a shrieking bellow as they see the intruders. The party attempts to surround them. After a few minutes of heated battle the dogs are killed. During the battle Eilenos drops his sword (which unknown to him, is cursed) and decides not to pick it up. Krodmich hands him the sword and Eilenos says “I don’t think I need this anymore, it is just extra weight now that I have a warhammer.” Krodmich does not understand why one would not want as many weapons as possible. Eilenos stabs the sword into one of the nearby dog corpses and leaves it there for the time being.

Sarthisis leads the group into the temple. There seem to be no other guards in the area. We soon see two statues, apparently of Shalmar, however the offerings in front of the statues are covered with a thick layer of moss. We see large doors on the left and right and decide that we should tack them closed with metal spikes so we can explore them one by one and not be ambushed. Once this is completed we hear from behind one of the doors loud voices and one man yelling “Get an axe!” Sarthisis squirts oil underneath the door and the the man hacking at the door slips and falls on it.

The men continue to try and break through the door but the spike holds for quite a while, however they eventually bust through. Sarthisis squirts fiery oil in another one’s face as they break through and we begin to attack. They are well-armored humans with blades, axes and chain mail. Sarthisis continues to attack with fire and Eilenos rushes into the room to strike with his sword.

Krodmich uses the Horn of Summoning on one of the men in the room and he charges out through the fire to attack the dwarf. Unfortunately he is burned horribly as he tries to advance and expires in the hallway before he can reach his target.

The rest of the warriors are either slashed or burned to death; Josephus helps out with his staff. As the last one is being taken care of Sarthisis yells for everyone to get out of the way and charges across the hall to the other door. He continues to attack them with fire until they are all killed.

Sarthisis goes towards the large doors at the end of the hall and tries to push through, but they seem to be barred. As he is doing that, a tendril wriggles from a hole in the ceiling and stabs through his armor, wrapping itself around his bones and internal organs. Eilenos begins to load his crossbow to take a shot at the tendril. Just then another one protrudes from the ceiling and stabs Sarthisis in the midsection.

Josephus yells “Get back!” and his hands glow with magical energy. He shoots a ball of flame at them. Eilenos fires a crossbow bolt and misses, and Krodmich slashes it with his throwing axe. The tendrils wither and withdraw from Sarthisis’ body.

We explore one of the hallways to the left and see a statue of Shalmar that seems untouched. We search it and find a secret compartment. Checking it for traps, Aliga accidentally trips the trap and a sleeping gas seeps out into his face. He falls into a deep sleep. Sarthisis finds a necklace with a rose petal carved charm. As he puts it on he feels healthier. Josephus says that Aliga will not be out long and was in no danger of dying, since the clerics of this temple would not have built deadly traps.

Sarthisis throws the Merikii over his shoulder and we continue on.

Session 28 – Phantom Hollow

The party (except for Eilenos) cleans themselves off, trying to get rid of the dragon’s slime that he had expelled onto them. They are feeling slighly sick. They take a look around and find more and more gold, but they can take no more.

We come out of the cavern and see below us, at the bottom of the cavern, is a huge pool of stagnant and fetid water. It smells horrible. We go back and ascend the tunnel, there is a platform there. We carefully walk out onto it and see that it is deserted. However there are weapons lying all around.

Eilenos discovers a magical hand-axe among the scattered weapons. It is very cold; Eilenos gives it to Krodmich. We continue climbing until we reach another platform. Some of us hear moaning coming from above. We take the path up and look around, but see nothing. Porodo dons his “cloak of eyes” and takes a look, but still sees nothing. Eilenos notices that when he puts it back on the second time, different eyes appear.

We come out and see we have ascended to ground level. It is eerily quiet, and almost night. We decide that we will camp here for the night using part of the tree’s trunk. Eilenos heals those who are wounded, but we still feel a bit sick.

We take watch and see nothing during the night. Sarthisis rests to regain his spell power. In the morning, Porodo looks around the area and up in the tree using his cloak. Krodmich fixes the lizard’s ring armor.

The party leaves and travels east and then south, along the border of the Five Kingdoms towards Hovelton. After we get a mile or so out of the Phantom Hollow, we notice that there is unnatural growth around. Vines protrude from the forest, however they look veiny and fleshy. Eilenos pokes it with his sword and a vile ooze trickles out. The party is distracted as a lumbering green mound, appearing like a moss-covered zombie, comes out of the forest near us.

Eilenos jumps from his horse and begins to charge the creature, however as he gets nearer to it he sees a large green cloud protrude from it. He holds his breath and charges through, slashing at it. He takes off an arm with his stroke. The others rush in and attack as well. Krodmich attacks with a torch, attempting to burn the creature. It catches aflame and falls to the ground, no longer moving.

There is moss on the ground near the creature, and we notice that it is quivering. Eilenos doesn’t seem to know what to do about it, but Nadia rushes forward and attacks it with her sword. Sarthisis douses it with oil and Krodmich throws a torch on, starting it on fire. We flee and see that the fire is extending into the forest as we go. The vines are also engulfed. The moss explodes in a huge cloud of spores. We take our cart and leave quickly. We can see the smoke in the distance.

As we travel further south over the next couple of days, we still see the vines everywhere. In several places there are carts by the side of the road that contain dead people and animals. They don’t necessarily look diseased, just as if they died quickly.

Two days later we reach Hovelton, a very small and poor-looking shanty town and farmlands. People and animals all around are dead, lying on the ground. As we come into the town we see someone standing at the center. He is wearing a tattered brown cloak with a hood drawn over his face. He is bent over a dead body, leaning on a gnarled staff. We come closer and Porodo jumps off of his horse to come up behind him. When Porodo is only a few feet away, Eilenos says “Ho there!” in a loud voice. The man turns around and we see that it is Josephus.

“I have much to explain, my friends,” he says. “But first let us give these people proper burials.” We all help him dig a large grave and we put the bodies into it. Josephus says a few words for them.

Afterwards he suggests that we rest in one of the nearby buildings and discuss the matters at hand. He comments about the plague and says that it is our fault. By visiting Phantom Hollow, we have unleashed this plague — apparently it is one of Galignan’s largest strongholds, and the slime dragon one of his pets. Josephus has been in Dakar since we returned from Mulkra. Galignan has assumed mortal form as King Randar of Salgrin, training and strengthening his forces in Dakar. The disease he created is transferred by spores, and is meant to infect men’s minds. This is how he has gained control over Salgran. We tipped him off to our presence by entering Phantom Hollow, and he has infected everything east of the Tarkin River with the plague, causing most everything to perish.

Josephus feels that we must go to Dakar and finish Galignan, which should be possible because he now resides in mortal form. However before that he will need us to follow instructions. He says as an aside, “Why did you travel there?” Eilenos says that it was the easiest way to get to Hovelton while avoiding the forest and Dakar, and he thought that by clearing that area of evil they would be striking a blow against Grom.

Josephus continues, and says that we must travel into Dakar and avoid his army, even before we adventure for Grom’s Bane. As it is, Galignan is only going to get stronger so we must strike now. Reinforcements are on their way and will be here within a few days and our purpose here will be clear. If we do not succeed, Kith-Katal (the lizard kingtom) will likely be his next target.