World of Kyhermainn

The War of the Black Blood: Act 07-08
The Battle of Tor'Marden

1) Characters talk about stuff (Time with NPC’s)

a. The evening before going to battle, the Characters have an extended discussion with ISODE, NINEVE, and KERILD about the nature of the ‘Monstrous Army’ that was besieging TOR MARDEN:

DESCRIPTION OF THE MONSTROUS ARMY:

The Darkbrood come in many forms, but there are basically two different kinds that will be encountered:

“Consumed”:
The “Consumed” are creatures that have been consumed by a magical scalding, foul dark ichor. They are composed of a normal (if not warped) physical shell (little more than a skeleton) on the inside and a heavy coating of the Ichor on the outside. Their limbs are rubbery and they are capable of limited shape-changing, elongating them, reinforcing them, or hardening them to face different enemies. They usually exhibit the behavior of vicious rabid animals, always hungering for more victims to consume. They are believed to have no minds, no souls, no individuality whatsoever, and will pursue victims so long as they still remain within their field of sense (sight, smell, hearing, etc.) They make muffled, gurgling sounds vaguely resembling a liquidy growl, despite having no discernable mouths, at least until they need to grow one. The Ichor burns and scars the flesh of their opponents if subjected to lasting physical contact.

“Taken”:
The “Taken” most often appear as short humanoids with bizarre, usually malformed features and Ash-Gray Skin. They have Onyx Black Eyes and angular teeth. They do not possess the shape-changing abilities of the “Consumed”. They can be described as similar in appearance to an Orc/Goblinoid cross-breed, but are most often short and thin. The most bizarre feature of the “Taken” is that they seem to have a glimpse of individuality. They seem as if they are actual, independent functioning humanoids, each able to converse normally, though they rarely seem to. Most take the form of warriors, though some are known to function as sorcerers and clerics.

Some “Taken” are twisted mockeries of immensely powerful beings; their most feared armies are led by what the Torins refer to as “Primarchs” and “Hierarchs” – twisted forms of immensely powerful priests and sorcerers. These deadly beings make use of the corrupt Darkbrood magic, which is drawn from the unknown source of the creatures – and in the vein of Elemental magic regarding the Darkbrood Ichor.

It is almost certain that the “Taken” are the physical remnants of corrupted Torins and other humanoid creatures. While having ashen-gray skin, the blood of the “Taken” is the same vile Darkbrood Ichor that coats the “Consumed”, making a battlefield even more dangerous. This is a power the “Taken” take advantage of commonly in battle in multiple ways.

“Darkbrood Ichor”:
Severe exposure of Ichor to the skin is devastating. Parts of the body exposed to the Ichor die, and after a time become stained an ashen-gray color. Portions of the skin must literally be re-grown, which means physically removing the skin. This naturally causes extreme scarring, but is only part of the healing process.

For as a portion of the body has been consumed by the Ichor, so has a part of the soul. Victims suffer varying debilitating effects until the soul has been healed. This is actually an easy process, but takes time. The victim must concentrate on what it is to be themselves: Total Isolation in one’s preferred environment, where one feels strong or at home, a place that reminds one of oneself. Not just ANY Place, but the contemplation must make one remember “What it means to be who and what they are.”

Land exposed to the Ichor becomes burnt and barren, as if seared by acid. It can recover if treated, but the process will be a long one.

2) The Characters prepared for battle:

a. FORDREN’S SPEECH

b. Description of Charge:

i. The sounds of arrow fire from behind you sounded out as thousands of archers rained down death to weaken lines of pikemen that had been moving forth to shield the Darkbrood army from the cavalry charge. The horsemen trampling over the dull gray corpses not more than a second later, trampling across hundreds of dark warriors in the process, reaching the walls of TOR MARDEN.

ALTAYIR Vision 1: A massive castle on a hill, bordered by three rivers, surrounded by legions of dark beings…at night, but illuminated by a full moon…

ii. The Cavalry then swings at the wall, to begin a new sweep to destroy the Darkbrood severed by their charge, as your group and the host of Torin infantry line up to hold the line intersecting the castle wall as the Cavalry destroys the creatures behind you.

ALTAYIR Vision 2: A miniscule Cavalry charge pulling back before striking the army of dark beings…and pulling back to a peninsula, suicidally sealing themselves off.

iii. The Darkbrood instantly respond; arrow fire is merciless, raining down upon your lines, but most unable to pierce the wall of Galtshields and scattered magical barriers.

c. First Battle (Darkbrood Minions):

i. With most of their cavalry off to the north to deal with the army of Solathaim to the north, the bulk of their heavy infantry begins coming your way, including many huge, twisted monstrous creatures of war.

ALTAYIR Vision 3: A suicidal “last stand” of a small number of warriors against hordes of dark beings….

ii. Your group stands firm against the Tainted’s infantry, with Brandr, Lyssandra, Isode, and Kerild wading into their lines as Dravis and Altayir, and Nineve devastated their ranks with Spells, Invocations, and arrow fire.

ALTAYIR Vision 4: A series of magical duels, followed by warriors charging in the background of this “last stand”.

iii. After some time, cheers of victory could be heard from behind you as the Cavalry annihilates the remaining resistance to your rear and swings around to help you push forward.

d. Second Battle (Multi-Headed Hydra):

i. The Darkbrood challenging your infantry line then gave way to the oncoming huge beasts of war, twisted into almost unrecognizable forms by a black slimy substance that seemed to coat them. To your left, a group of blue steel-clad warriors braced for the charge of a group of four huge rampaging trolls, while in front of you a massive, hideous creature with five heads trampled over a few surviving infantry in order to feast upon you, after consuming the corpse of one of the larger darkbrood warriors in its way.

ii. You all converged upon it, with Brandr and Lyssandra drawing its attacks while Dravis and Altayir attacked from a distance. It tore through your lines, and badly wounded Kerild in the process. It absorbed any injury it endured from its body, and when one of its heads was attacked, the fluid form grew a series of tendrils which melded together, seemingly attempting to form a new head.

iii. After a hard struggle, you severed each head and burnt it with flame and spell, slaying the creature.

e. Third Battle (Darkbrood Minions):

i. Almost as one, the entirety of the Darkbrood engaging your army withdraws to regroup, pulling back to the south to where their reserves & leadership likely were.

ii. Following the second repulsing of the Darkbrood war beasts, the Solathamic Army to the north led by RHULRIEN was heard battling the Darkbrood on the other side of the castle.

iii. A wave of magical light pulsed over the entire Torin force; replenishing the health and magical energies of everyone within the army; calls cried out praising it as the work of the ARCHDRUIDESS LARRISSAH.

iv. FORDREN ordered the Infantry to take up a defensive position outside the main gate to TOR MARDEN, and is about to lead his Cavalry to aid his old friend and the Solathamic army, in order to trap and destroy the remainder of the Darkbrood not able to withdraw as quickly as possible.

v. For a few moments, there was a calm as both sides regrouped; the Infantry waiting at the gate as FORDREN’S cavalry aided RHULRIEN’S Solathamic Army.

f. Fourth Battle (Darkbrood Reinforcements/Arrival of Tourlack):

To the south, however, the huge host of darkness at the center of the Darkbrood encampment mobilizes; regrouping far more quickly than anyone expected them to.

i. As the Darkbrood advanced, they were set upon by TOR’MARDEN’S siege engines, firing over the Infantry.

ii. It was then that the Characters again fought back the Darkbrood onslaught, with ALTAYIR warping gravity (Spacewarp – P7) to thin out their numbers, etc.

iii. Behind the army, the Characters saw one lone dark figure far in the distance ascending alone above the Darkbrood army, into the clouds…

iv. Soon enough, though, TOURLACK took the field:

DESCRIPTION OF TOURLACK:

You recognized him the second you saw him. Almost seven feet tall, naked, and wielding a huge, monstrous black blade, it didn’t seem as much a man as a force of nature. His skin was coated head to toe a garnet brown from bloodshed upon thousands of his enemies; only his wide eyes, black as night, and his gaping maw, lined with terrifying, elongated, sharp teeth stood out.

Like a whirlwind he approached the forward ranks of the army, swatting away the two spheres of gravity that Altayir had summoned as he moved across the field at an unnaturally rapid pace, followed by legions of twisted followers…

g. Characters’ Flight:

i. DRAVIS realized that now was the ideal time that RUMELL had described as the time to leave. He prepared to cast Shadow Walk, and told everyone to come to him.

ii. LYSSANDRA stood frozen in hatred, glaring at TOURLACK. When spoken to, she said that he could be stopped right here – that thousands if not millions of deaths could be avoided if they could destroy him here and now.

iii. ALTAYIR and BRANDR stood with LYSSANDRA, preparing to pull her with them if need be, when DRAVIS cast Shadow Walk. The only one who’d heeded his instruction was KERILD, so the two vanished into the Shadow Realm.

iv. The need to pull LYSSANDRA from the field was interrupted by the charge of FORDREN’S Cavalry, which had returned from aiding RHULRIEN’S army. The first son of Caelthash obviously was ignoring ARCHDRUIDESS LARRISSAH’S warning…

v. With that, LYSSANDRA relented, getting on the goat ALTAYIR had mounted and stormed off to the north, to the Portal, with BRANDR racing behind them with his Boots of Speed (?).

vi. BRANDR called upon his Figurines of Wondrous power to produce Goats. He told ISODE and NINEVE to get on one; he then produced another for ALTAYIR and LYSSANDRA; they then slowly began making their way through the Infantry (they were at the front) to head north.

vii. The Characters then saw the lone figure that had ascended into the sky above the Darkbrood army outstretch his hands as the clouds churned forth with the black ichor and rained down upon the Infantry. Those without Galtshields quickly swung them into position.

viii. ALTAYIR quickly raised a magical defense to protect as many as he could, and called out to the Torins to seek shelter under it; many did. As the ichor rain began to come down, those who couldn’t drew their weapons and slit their throats en masse left and right to spare themselves from the ichor, which warped their flesh instantly.

ix. Hearing strange things behind them, the characters turned around to look behind them at the battle that was taking place:

1. TOURLACK crashed into FORDREN’s Cavalry, and literally halves of men and horses could be seen hurtling away from the zone of death around him.

2. The Infantry was holding its own, but it was clear that the battle was going to be a bloodbath, with no certain outcome.

x. DRAVIS, approached where he felt the portal had been, but felt a powerful presence upon the area; he dispatched LOIASH into Kyhermainn, who instantly emerged back into the shadow realm in terror at what he saw – a massive two-headed serpent, sitting at the spot where the portal must be. DRAVIS then moved away from the area, trying to head back to find where the other Characters were to warn them – unaware they had left.

xi. ISODE & NINEVE were riding one of the goats, racing to the portal, followed by ALTAYIR & LYSSANDRA, with BRANDR racing behind them. They were struck by a massive beast and knocked off their goat.

xii. The Characters soon saw a massive, two-headed serpent was blocking their path. They fanned out to attack it.

xiii. The battle was pitched and difficult, but soon seemed to turn against the Characters. They had already been fighting all day, and the beast was tremendously powerful. Soon, in a last-ditch effort, ALTAYIR called upon Vertoman for aid, and opened a Gate (P7); aging five years in the process.

xiv. Time all around ALTAYIR seemed to freeze as a tall figure robed in black emerged from the gate. The figure remained silent, as ALTAYIR asked it for aid. The figure then waved its hand as the remaining Characters were pulled out of the timestream along with ALTAYIR.

1. LYSSANDRA recognized the robed figure instantly, referring to it as “MADOR”. She clearly didn’t have fond feelings for MADOR.

2. MADOR made strange sounds that almost sounded like laughter at LYSSANDRA’S dismay.

3. DRAVIS appeared, brought back from the Shadow Realm with KERILD. He explained that he’d seen the two-headed serpent and was trying to find the group.

xv. MADOR then raised his hand and the outline of the portal was moved 20 feet away, and it opened. The Characters said their goodbyes to ISODE, NINEVE, and KERILD.

1. KERILD wished the Characters well, and asked the characters to simply “remember us”.

2. BRANDR asked ISODE to come with them, but she regretfully declined, saying that she could not leave her people – and the Kyhermainn they came from was not meant for her.

3. NINEVE seemed heartbroken to watch ALTAYIR leave, but simply said “Goodbye, Hantryrn…”

xvi. The Characters stepped through the portal and emerged into a dark cavern…..

3) THE RETURN:

a. Upon emerging, DRAVIS, ALTAYIR, and BRANDR felt this horrific sense of pain, loss and emptiness within them as they re-emerged into the modern Realm of Kyhermainn – though this soon faded…

b. They then set out, and emerged from a series of caverns near the PRAYING ROCK where they had started their journey. Some time had passed, but BRANDR’S horse had eaten a great deal of the grass around the tree he’d been tied to. It was emaciated and starving, but alive.

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The War of the Black Blood: Act 06
The Torins

All Dates Unknown (The Age of Heroes)
There are 4 months, each w/120 days – Hathamal [winter], Lavennah [spring], Lathesma [summer], and Murloch [autumn]

If anyone asks, the current “date” is: the 15th of Murloch 1299 of Argus’ Calendar (early Autumn)

NOTES:

1) DOWNTIME: The Characters had spent 10 days in CASTLE THRELL awaiting LARRISSAH’S RITUAL

> A. DRAVIS: Spent time learning as much of Shadow Magic as possible:

> B. ALTAYIR: Spent time with NINEVE

> C. BRANDR: Spent time with ISODE

> D. LYSSANDRA: Spent time away from the city.

2) WENT OVER TIMELINE:

> A. DAY 1 (The 15th of MURLOCH, 1299 of Argus’ Calendar [early Autumn]): Day when Characters emerged in the Age of Heroes, seeing the battle. Later, BRANDR fell in the caverns.

> B. DAY 2: DRAVIS, ALTAYIR, and LYSSANDRA encountered ISODE’S RANGERS; journey to CASTLE THRELL – journey took 2 days…

> C. DAY 4: Characters arrive at CASTLE THRELL, and meet LARRISSAH early that morning (they were ‘fast tracked’ in because of their “dire illness”). They also were reunited with BRANDR. They spent the afternoon in LOR’THRELL; ALTAYIR ordered his armor; it would take 2 weeks.

> D. DAY 5: The following day, they traveled back to the GREAT HALL to speak with LARRISSAH, who gave them a quest along with ISODE’S RANGERS to the VALE OF THE GUARDIANS. It would take them about 2 days to find it – after “getting lost”.

> E. DAY 8: The Characters reach the VALE OF THE GUARDIANS, after 2 days “getting lost” and 1 more day journeying; there they battle the NATURE ELEMENTAL.

> F. DAY 11: The Characters returned to CASTLE THRELL, and spent 10 days awaiting the preparations to be completed for LARRISSAH’S RITUAL.

> G. DAY 21: The Ritual is enacted; it takes 2 days

> H. DAY 23: The Ritual is complete; Characters need 2 days to recover

> I. DAY 25: Characters resume exploration of the Age of Heroes

> J. DAY 28: KERILD comes to the Characters and asks for their help, claiming TOR MARDEN is under attack. The Characters meet with LARRISSAH and FORDREN and decide to aid the Rangers in their defense of their home.

> K. DAY 30: The army assembled by FORDREN sets out for TOR MARDEN.

> L. DAY 36: The army arrives outside of TOR MARDEN and prepares to attack the following day; ALTAYIR, DRAVIS, and BRANDR have a strange experience having a telepathic conversation with RUMELL.

3) ITEMS (Given):
From the Vale of the Guardians:
> a. Robe: Robe of Holding (Has 20x Pockets, each with Deeppockets spell)
> b. 2H Sword: “Archiveld” (2H Sword +3; +1d6 Lightning Damage; True Defender [AC + 3])
> c. Armor: Improved Plate: +3 Arrowbane (Prot. from Normal Missiles)
> d. Ring : Ring of Holiness (Pr)
> e. Scroll: Scroll of Creation
> f. Potions: 1x Potion of Regeneration; 1x Potion of Extra Healing
> g. Bag: Wind Pouch
> h. Sword: Shortsword +4 Defender
> i. Quarterstaff: Staff of Battle
> j. Medium Shield: +1 Galtshield
> k. Comp Short Bow: +2 “Herrowmor” (can be wielded regardless of Strength)
> l. Arrows (22x) +3 arrows

> m. Treasure: 880x MP, 4360x PP, 7313xGP

> n. 4x Art Objects
>> i. Golden Lute (1200gp)
>> ii. Silver Circlet encrusted with Emeralds; interwoven with draconic imagery (6000gp)
>> iii. Quiver of Golden Leather (200gp)
>> iv. Suite of Gold plates and china (3000gp)

From Ragnor:
> o. Potion: Potion of Extra Healing
> p. Bow: Composite Short Bow +2 of Distance
> q. Helm of Armoring +3
> r. Ring of Regeneration
> s. Arrows +1 (28x)
> t. Boots of Speed
> u. Two Hand Sword +2 Silver Dragon Slayer
> v. Armor: Splint Mail +4


SYNOPSIS:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

SCENE ONE: NARRATION: AFTERMATH OF THE RITUAL

“Each of you now seems to have a somewhat greater understanding of the world around you. Not exactly in a manner that can fit description; you simply ‘feel’ more a part of the world, as if you are more attuned to it. It isn’t as if you have been enlightened to the secrets of the world, or have any glimpse of a level of hidden knowledge, but you can tell – you can feel – that there are such things, and their existence brings with it a comfort in knowing they are out there, even if you cannot understand what they even are, or what they even mean. It is as if there are much fewer questions of ‘why’, and far more contentedness in knowing things simply are as they are.”

“You feel as if your consciousness has expanded, and is interacting in most subtle means with forces around you that you can now if not recognize, at least perceive – that bid you welcome into this new world. With it comes a level of confidence in an understanding of the greater world around you, and a realization that there is – and has always been – forces far greater in number interacting with the world itself around you than you had ever considered. Their mysteries remain, but simple awareness of them brings contentedness to each of you.”

A. LARRISSAH’S RITUAL, as it turns out, lasted almost 2 days (46.9 hours = 2814 min).

B. Following the Ritual, LYSSANDRA and NINEVE helped the Characters back to the WESTERN WINDS TAVERN, while ISODE and KERILD tended to the dying J’HANAR.

SCENE TWO: DRAVIS’ DOWNTIME

A. Two more days passed before the Characters were in decent form to really mill around.

B. DRAVIS initially insisted on spending the time in his tower on the outskirts of town, but LYSSANDRA told him that there have been reports that it wasn’t exactly…safe outside the city right now. In the next few days, he returned to his research, and found:

A tome called the “Methods of Shardcraft”, containing three spells that tapped into the Shard as well as the Plane of Shadow. These spells would prove to be difficult for him to have learned recently (all else equal), and he could transcribe them only because of his recent familiarity with Shard Realms:

> i. Shadow Blink (W3)
> ii. Turnshadow (W6)
> iii. Blacksteel (W1)

The following day, he found one last tome nearby the Methods of Shardcraft that seems somewhat out of place – unlike virtually all the tomes he’s read lately this one seemed difficult to really decipher the script of; even the title “Honouriconium” seemed strange, given the material dealt with magical deceptions and fabrications. Considering the lack of such concepts that Dravis had observed, he thought it might be interesting. Though it took some time to learn that there wasn’t much emphasis on Shadow sorcery, he still found a few relevant incantations within its pages…

> iv. Zala’s Deception (W5)
> v. Warp Sense (W2)
> vi. Mailed Might (W3)
> vii. Material (W3)

SCENE THREE: WHAT’S GOING ON?

A. After recuperating for 2 days, the Characters were now ready to go.

B. LYSSANDRA told the Characters some things she’s learned:

> i. Apparently, the titanic battle that had transpired a few weeks earlier had led to a SHAL’MAEAN victory, but there was a great deal of trepidation among the people (for them, that is…), because “THE THRONE OF PELLIUS IS EMPTY…” (she said mockingly, revealing her frustration)

> ii. LYSSANDRA said that PELLIUS had ruled SHAL’MAE for thousands of years, and was now “no more” (though she didn’t get the impression he’d died – at least in the conventional sense.)

> iii. The people of CASTLE THRELL were gravely concerned, and had pinned their hopes on LARRISSAH leading them – though she didn’t rule; she’d mainly come to aid PELLIUS.

> iv. Interestingly enough, there seemed to be really not that much discussion of any of the details of the war itself. They just didn’t seem to be too important to anyone.

> v. From what she could tell, there were actually two “enemies” that CASTLE THRELL faced – one seemed to fit the description of the forces of WHURMAT (based on the history of the War of the Brothers); the other she believed to be the VEKNOR……

SCENE FOUR: WILL YOU HELP US?

A. Three days later (DAY 28), KERILD arrived at the WESERN WINDS TAVERN – he claimed that “The Dark ones are marching on TOR’MARDEN – We need aid”; and that ISODE was getting word to LARRISSAH, and was asking for the Characters’ aid also.

> i. NOTE: J’HANAR was now “gone”; and TOR’MARDEN was leaderless…

B. Soon enough, a Herald found the Characters and said that their presence had been requested by LARRISSAH

C. The Characters traveled to the GREAT HALL and found many warriors are preparing for battle. Upon entering, they (specifically) were invited in by the Herald….

D. LARRISSAH and FORDREN were examining a map of this overall region, which BRANDR recognized. The bottom right corner of the map seems to be singed and burning slowly, though no smoke seemed to come from it.

> i. It was assumed that the map’s charred areas represented areas taken by the monstrous armies that the Taral were warring against.

> ii. Flanking LARRISSAH were two cloaked figures who clearly were not Torins. They seemed tall and lithe; more so than Torins, and seemed almost Celestial in origin. They stood by LARRISSAH in silence, with their heads down.

E. LARRISSAH still appeared somewhat weakened; her face a pale white. FORDREN appeared agitated, and neither acknowledged the Characters’ entry at first.

> i. LARRISSAH mentioned that “they chose this moment” knowing J’HANAR would not be at TOR MARDEN and that she was weakened; she reasoned they were “Servants of the DARKBROOD”.

> ii. FORDREN seemed very eager to meet the army attacking TOR MARDEN, but LARRISSAH cautioned FORDREN, saying “they were led by the BLOOD LORD, but in a ‘new manner’”.

>> 1. LARRISSAH also warned FORDREN about standing against the BLOOD LORD himself, for he was “aided by foulness most dark.”, and that “He may no longer be defeated by the sword alone; for he now must be imprisoned to be defeated.”

>> 2. This concerned FORDREN, who apparently was unaware of it.

> iii. LARRISSAH said that FORDREN must lead the relief of TOR MARDEN, but that he must not go into battle with the BLOOD LORD himself. FORDREN didn’t seem to care, claiming he was “his father’s son”.

> iv. LARRISSAH said that the BLOOD LORD’s general was the true threat, and that FORDREN could not fall if SHAL’MAE was to survive.

> v. LARRISSAH counseled FORDREN to avoid the BLOOD LORD himself, and concentrate on devastating his army before he can take the field, and that he must “use his best judgment” and _"prepare to suffer grave defeat if he was to one day know victory." _

>> 1. She elaborated with: “There are three paths before you, Fordren. One leads to your doom, and then the doom of Shal’mae. One leads to the end of our world and the beginning of the next, and the other…the other is known only to the gods themselves; for I no longer hold their favor.”

>> 2. FORDREN seemed gravely concerned at the last part…

> vi. LARRISSAH then tried to reassure him, claiming: “Nonsense. Choose your future, Fordren. Two of the three paths lead to our survival. Soon there shall be a reckoning between two storms. One day there shall be a castle with a new king. One day there shall be five armies on one hill. One day there will be either victory or defeat. For now, do as you must and will.”

> vii. Other things mentioned:

>> 1. The BLOODLORD had had a son, though she didn’t know what that meant yet.

>> 2. She claimed PINNACLE was still in the area, but was tending to his wounds; he might aid FORDREN or not.

>> 3. LARRISSAH claimed FORDREN couldn’t fight the BLOOD LORD because “The Throne of Pellius was empty”. He seemed sick of hearing it too…

F. ALTAYIR – Towards the end of their conversation, ALTAYIR seemed to hear faint, barely intelligible whispers in the back of his mind (the words seemed alien, yet somehow, familiar…)

> i. “Our Forty-two bravest will stand with you….”

> ii. “You must…..open the door…..”

> iii. “Serallium-Torvaren. Sel-forethei Cor Norem…”

G. As ALTAYIR’s eyes narrowed, trying to understand what he’d heard, he realized that LARRISSAH had stopped speaking in mid-sentence and was staring directly toward him. Silence filled the room.

> i. ALTAYIR then seemed to ask LARRISSAH as to what the meaning of the words might be; she ignored him momentarily and turned back to FORDREN, telling him to gather his reserve forces…

> ii. FORDREN spoke to BRANDR, claiming that TOR’MARDEN’S WARDEN had come to him and mentioned that BRANDR had had an interest in taking to battle – and that he was cordially invited to join them.

>> 1. BRANDR suggested setting out now with ISODE’S RANGERS rather than wait for FORDREN’S force to assemble, but FORDREN counseled otherwise, claiming that getting into the Castle (the only rational choice) would be difficult for a group of 7x warriors.

>> 2. FORDREN then departed to assemble his force; they’d leave in 2 days…

> iii. LARRISSAH then seemed to turn to leave, but she was approached by ALTAYIR as the others left with FORDREN

>> 1. ALTAYIR asked LARRISSAH about his visions and the voices he’d heard, and she was expectedly somewhat elusive, appearing very tired and clearly not fond of being questioned by “mortals” – though ALTAYIR could also tell there was something else about either him (or the Characters in general) that seemed to bother her…

>> 2. LARRISSAH does tell ALTAYIR that their enemy (The DARKBROOD) was: “… our ancient foe. They seek to corrupt and destroy us. They seek to enslave us and bring about their darkness across the face of all of Kyhermainn’s Garden…”

>> 3. As ALTAYIR turned to leave, LARRISSAH turned to him and said “The visions will only get worse…”

SCENE FIVE: TO THE DEFENSE OF TOR’MARDEN

A. Two Days passed as FORDREN gathered his army to head Northeast to TOR MARDEN.

B. NOTE: LYSSANDRA seems to be having a more and more difficult time understanding the Characters. While realizing this, the Characters also seemed to realize they had a much easier time understanding their Torin allies. Soon, it seemed evident that the Torins possessed and shared a limited form of empathy or telepathy, which they were now able to understand…

C. NOTE: Also during this time, BRANDR asked ISODE to clarify many questions he’d had about phrases, meanings, etc. She “leveled with him and the group” on what many things meant…

> i. ISODE claimed that the “THRONE OF PELLIUS” was indeed an actual throne (two levels above the courtyard where LARRISSAH dwelled) where PELLIUS ruled over his kingdom of SHAL’MAE for thousands of years.

The phrase “the throne of Pellius is empty” meant simply that PELLIUS was no longer upon it – he has “passed on” or “moved on”. She doesn’t imply that he “died” per se, but her tone of voice carried with it a tone of disappointment – more like he abandoned the land and “moved on” to dwell with the deities.

> ii. The DARKBROOD were indeed an ancient enemy of not only the Torins, but of “all existence”. They “were corruption incarnate”. From her perspective, they had been the sworn enemy of the Torins, and the latter had been battling them her entire life.

> iii. The DARKBROOD had not always been in this region, but had slowly advanced from the south over the past few centuries. However, this latest war was not the first time they had fought the Torins; they were believed to be ancient enemies from before time was time.

D. NOTE: Also, while they waited, ALTAYIR considered the list of visions he had gleaned with JHALAMYRN, and kept drawing a blank regarding “You must speak with the spirit of Mierna.”

> i. BRANDR then spoke up about a strange dream he’d had after falling in the caverns several weeks earlier. He described a dream that had felt so real to him in which he’d been rescued by an old woman who had tended to his wounds and was asking him about his quest, etc. She was a kindly old woman who claimed she was just an old healer; she never gave her name.

>> 1. BRANDR said that she had been ‘very easy to talk to’, and he found himself telling her all about his life, his quest, and his exploits; even the great battle they’d witnessed when they’d first arrived.

> ii. BRANDR supposed that this might have been “the spirit of Mierna”…it was very disconnected with his actual recovery, which took place at CASTLE THRELL. As he recounted the story, he seemed to remember the old woman’s final words in his dream very clearly:

“I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for, son. You have what it takes to find it. May the gods bless you and your friends on your journey.”

> iii. No one had a clue what this meant, but they acknowledged the possibility that BRANDR had spoken with ‘the spirit of Mierna’.

E. NOTE: Throughout the day, ALTAYIR began ‘perceiving’ in the distance a fluctuating circle, almost resembling a large rift, or perhaps a conduit – sometimes there, sometimes not., far far away.

F. The journey to TOR MARDEN would take SIX DAYS once everyone was assembled, and set out.

SCENE SEVEN: PRELUDE TO BATTLE / THE UNEXPECTED MEETING WITH RUMELL

A. After journeying with the army for 6 days, the Characters saw TOR MARDEN in the distance.

B. Throughout the journey, ALTAYIR had continued to perceive the fluctuating circle, which seemed to be directly behind their destination; they had approached it the entire time.

> i. ALTAYIR then put his Spectacles of Eagle Eyes on, and his vision raced forward to the center of the circle far in the distance, where he saw what appeared to be a somewhat bored looking man clad in nondescript bluish robes, with a white shirt and somewhat unkempt brown hair.

>> 1. The man seemed surprised by ALTAYIR noticing him, but looked up and silently mouthed “Take your time…” in a somewhat condescending manner.

> ii. ALTAYIR then attempted to telepathically contact the man, and did so, again surprising him. Then, using their newfound Torin Empathy/Telepathy, ALTAYR was then able to connect DRAVIS and BRANDR to his telepathic communication.

>> 1. LYSSANDRA, ISODE, NINEVE, and KERILD could tell they were experiencing a shared vision, but couldn’t hear any of it…

C. The man introduced himself as RUMELL, a servitor of CHRONISH – the Characters remembered that name because:

> i. LARISSAH had said RUMELL had wanted to speak with them and “would find them.”

> ii. ‘RUMELL’ was the name of the LORD BISHOP OF CHRONISH in KADGAR from the Characters’ own time in the Age of Mortals. GABRIEL ARCADES had gone to RUMELL with questions about his and his family’s newfound slow aging and vitality, etc., RUMELL had asked him about “visiting the Throne of Pellius”, and gave him the ICE DAGGER KEY that he gave to them to investigate how to defeat TOURLACK.

D. RUMELL introduced himself, speaking in a very nonchalant manner; half complaining about his existence, the gods, LARRISSAH, etc., and half asking them questions:

> i. HIS QUESTION: How have you spent your time? (What are you doing here?)

>> 1. He lectured DRAVIS for focusing on spells and trinkets instead of caring to save the histories of the Age of Heroes that were lost.

>> 2. He Half-praised ALTAYIR in getting to know NINEVE and learning of the ways of the Age of Heroes at the Temple of Vertoman.

>> 3. He gave backhanded praised BRANDR for his time with ISODE, in the tavern with KERILD, and spending time in the “day-to-day mundanities” (since that’s really all he could do…)

>> 4. He scoffed at LYSSANDRA for her pointless activities, though she was outside the conversation…

> ii. DISCUSSION: The multifaceted benefits CHRONISH used when using Time Travel.

>> 1. “In the very rare instances when travelers have traveled through time, it was to serve multiple purposes. He explained how that the main reason for their appearance was likely to convince LARRISSAH to “give up her struggle because she was ‘in the way’, etc.”

> iii. DISCUSSION: The “difference between deities and non-deities”

>> 1. “Mortals can comprehend the concept of Infinity; deities can understand it”.

> iv. DISCUSSION: Specifics are not ‘known to’ RUMELL even if they are –

>> 1. “Time is a great wall with every event, no matter how great or small recorded – but a mortal mind has only a candle and a mortal mind’s memory. Only an infinite mind could truly see all the points in time…”

> v. DISCUSSION: RUMELL’S speculation on the Deities’ overarching plans for the world:

>> 1. “Assuming the deities aren’t suicidal, and the fact that in the 1st & 2nd Ages, each time there has led to a stalemate that has degenerated the world…..whatever the deities’ plan is, it seemed that….”

“they think you’re the only ones who can win…..”

E. RUMELL then told the Characters that they must go into the battle the next day; that they must “see their enemy with their own eyes”, then warned them that they best not die in the battle, but escape it to return to their own time – at the conduit where he ever-so-eagerly awaited them, to return them to the Age of Mortals – and their showdown with TOURLACK

F. ALTAYIR then broke the connection, and the three men looked at each other silently; their companions didn’t seem the wiser.

G. They then tried to settle down for some sleep, knowing the following day was going to bring with it the fight of their lives. At least the first part…

View
The War of the Black Blood: Act 05 Supplement 01
Brandr's Fall

Brandr’s Fall:

The characters quickly surveyed their immediate area. Brandr and Lyssandra approached the last Fire Giant standing, whose mind had been apparently damaged by one of Dravis’ spells. Though wounded, it boomed forth orders to non-existent minions, but still posed a threat. The two warriors shared a glance and Brandr nodded. They approached from opposite sides and lunged in. Lyssandra struck low with her blade Tideripper to bring it to its knees, as Brandr went in high, burying his axe into the giant’s throat, silencing it, as it collapsed to the ground, dead.

Dravis examined the massive catapult and called out to the warriors. Brandr and Lyssandra turned to run to him, when they all saw a large number of additional Fire Giants traveling up the mountain path towards them, pushing two more massive catapults. “I want to use this…” Dravis muttered to himself, looking at the enormous black metal catapult that stood before them. “I don’t think we can…” Lyssandra replied. “It took four giants to push this thing. Even if we took an hour, I don’t think we could turn it.” Brandr chimed in “I don’t know how to use one of these things either. Do any of you?” Dravis gritted his teeth, but realized they were correct. “Are we going to fight a dozen more of these giants?” Altayir asked. The companions looked at each other, and realized the wisest answer was ‘no’.

“We don’t know where we are, what’s going on, or even how we got here.” Lyssandra spoke up. “We need to get out of here and get answers before we get into an even bigger fight.” Altayir muttered “It’s not as if Fire Giants don’t deserve it…” Brandr nodded “True, but I agree with the elf…let’s get a handle on our situation first. Then kill them.”

Dravis nodded, and pointed to a small bit of shadow along a nearby rock face. “Looks like a cave; we may be able to hide in there…” he looked off to the side, and then back “yeah…it might work. I’ll see if I can give us a few more moments.” Altayir then turned to the warriors. “I’ll be right back.” He concentrated, calling upon Vertoman, and his body became shadowy and translucent, as he assumed a ghostly, wraith-like form and descended into the cavern. A moment or so passed and he re-emerged, and reached forward with a ghostly hand to wave the others down.

Brandr and Lyssandra scurried into the cave, which seemed to open up into a small cavern before narrowing to a gap about three feet wide – perfect to ensure the giants couldn’t pursue them. Altayir followed in Wraithform, as Dravis concentrated, casting a Wall of Gloom, before falling in behind them into the cavern.

After climbing downward for quite a ways, they reached an opened-up cavern that bottomed out, descending into the darkness, but allowing them to walk. They continued on quietly for about half-an hour, each with their minds scouring various notions for what was going on or where they were. Soon, they heard the sound of an underground stream and found a large chamber, worn down by the stream over time, but filled with many luminescent plants and mushrooms. The glow of purples and blues coated the interior of the chamber with dim light, and the entire area was soothing to behold. Given the condition that everyone was in, it seemed this was the ideal place to make camp.

Altayir examined everyone’s wounds, and called upon Vertoman to heal Brandr and Dravis. Lyssandra gripped the pommel of Tideripper and politely declined, saying “I’ll be fine.” They then settled down to rest. The rocks, though hard, seemed slightly spongy on the outside when rested upon; they seemed more comfortable than one might have guessed.

As they sat, preparing their various rations, they finally began to contemplate what was happening. “We must have gone back in time” Altayir reasoned. “This realm – the sky – that is Vertoman. The stars were the same; there were just many, many more of them. The realm; this place. This is Kyhermainn – though where, I cannot be certain.” Dravis looked up “Back? So I guess we need to be really careful and avoid doing anything that could mess things up?” Lyssandra spoke up “I am no scholar when it comes to time travel; it’s too bad Terris isn’t here. But in our many discussions, he presented a philosophy that time is like a river; throw something in the river and it will cause ripples. The bigger the rock, the bigger the ripples. But it will always eventually flow around it and eventually if you go far enough downstream, you’d never realize it, no matter how big the rock was.” She continued “If that’s the case, who knows how far back we’ve gone? If this is the Age of Heroes, we could have gone back over five thousand years.” Dravis asked “Are we certain we’ve gone back in time? Not forward?” Lyssandra answered “I am certain. That was Pinnacle – it could be none other. Pinnacle, the father of the Silver Dragons, whose legend is known far and wide. Tales of him fighting alongside the armies of good during the Age of Heroes are well known…”

Altayir pulled forth his holy symbol and began to pray, as Brandr spoke up. “Chronish is the god of Time. Would he allow us to go back if we weren’t supposed to?” “Maybe” Dravis answered. “He should have been able to stop us if he wanted to.” Altayir then spoke up, having finished his prayer “Our battle with the Fire Giants wasn’t critical one way or another for our path. Vertoman suggests that it was as it was supposed to be.” Dravis nodded “Fair enough. But either way, we need to find out what we’re doing here, and where ‘here’ is. For right now, we can probably assume that we’re…‘supposed’…to be here, and that this is the journey that Count Gabriel told us about when he gave us the dagger the high priest of Chronish gave him. We need to find this ‘Throne of Pellius’. But for now, I could use some rest…”

“Before then though…” Lyssandra spoke up. “We should come to an understanding. Whatever we are doing here, we would be wise to keep our true nature and origins to ourselves as best we can, at least for now. If others find out where we are from, they would either not believe us – and could see us as tainted by madness…” Dravis spoke up “or they would believe us – which would doubtlessly be worse.” Altayir and Brandr both nodded, and the four finished setting up their encampment as they continued discussing their predicament.

Altayir and Dravis rested while Lyssandra and Brandr settled in for a watch. Lyssandra said she’d scout ahead for a short while in case the cavern was home to something besides these gorgeous flowers, but wouldn’t venture out too far. Brandr nodded; both of them could use some time to think. She returned a short while after, claiming that she couldn’t find any other inhabitants ahead, but that the cavern did descend into a massive chamber. Not long after though, Altayir, and then Dravis awoke, fully rested after no more than four and a half hours. No one asked questions, as Brandr and Lyssandra took their turns resting.

Upon awakening, each felt fully refreshed after only a few hours, just like Altayir and Dravis. Dravis then called upon the power of his staff to Find the Path, calling upon it to show them the ‘way to the Throne of Pellius’. Both the priest and the Shadowmancer seemed to see an invisible magical path leading forward and down – deeper into the cavern. After each had made preparations, the four set out. They followed the stream as it wound up and down beneath the earth, and at several places, felt the distant sounds of loud thundering above them – they must be beneath the massive battle.

An hour or so later, they emerged into the massive chamber that Lyssandra had described from the night before. It was immense, nearly vanishing into the darkness all around them, but illuminated in scattered areas by patches of luminescent plants similar to the ones they had found earlier. The path they traveled descended into the massive chamber and along the right side of it – going quite high before entering another fissure in the rock face. Brandr gritted his teeth, realizing this was the only way forward; as long as the path didn’t become too narrow, he felt he’d be fine. About halfway up, though, the path did indeed narrow – to barely two feet across. Dravis motioned to Brandr to walk past him, as the wizard took up the rear; claiming that he could magically catch the warrior if he fell. Brandr agreed, not exactly happy about the path in general. Lyssandra, with her elven vision led the way, followed by Altayir, Brandr, and Dravis.

Then, a massive shudder ripped through the cavern as a thundering boom came down from the battle above. Brandr cursed as the whole cavern began to shake and pebbles pelted him from above. The narrow path beneath their feet began to shake, as heavy rocks began to fall upon them from above. Then, another lurch cracked the rock above them loose, and out of the darkness could be heard a massive landslide. “This way!” Lyssandra shouted from ahead, but it was too late. The path collapsed, and with it fell Altayir, Brandr, and Dravis. Lyssandra lunged forward to grab the nearest person she could – Altayir – and only with her great strength hung on to him, the priest howling in pain as his shoulder dislocated. Dravis, not expecting to fall, cast his Feather Fall spell, but had to cast it on himself. Brandr reached up, trying to grab hold of anything, but fell into the darkness, screaming. Above him, he could hear Lyssandra screaming out for him as he vanished into the darkness. After descending for several moments through the rock and dust, he uttered a brief prayer to Caelthash before feeling a massive crash…and then nothingness…

  • * *

His head felt dizzy; but his body felt still. There was a lingering pain throughout his whole body and centered on his side, but it was dull and muted. The smell of what seemed like nutmeg filled his nostrils, and he slowly opened his eyes. This didn’t seem like Caelthash’s Halls of Glory…or any of the Eternal Realms. He glanced down at his sheet – there were small traces of blood, but nothing that would account for the injuries he’d sustained. So…not dead, not recovering from being buried by a mile-down underground avalanche…

This whole thing – the epic battle, the place with the gears – it had to have been a dream. It had felt real enough, but his aching wasn’t where it would have been had it happened for real. In a way, Brandr was relieved – between the magical portals, shifting through time, and seeing armies of archangels, this simple quest had seemed to escalate quickly into something over his head.

He heard a pot being stirred nearby, and slowly opened his eyes to survey his surroundings. He lay in a simple bed, his gear – weapons and all – by his side. Looking around, he was within what seemed to be a simple thatch hut, with a few tables nearby covered with scattered jars and herbs. The sound of the pot stirring came from his right, where he saw what looked like an old woman preparing a soup. He lay there quietly for a moment, his head still reeling in dizzying pain. He was no condition to stand, but reached into his bag to snatch a dagger – just in case. The old woman didn’t seem to notice.

Soon, she turned around and approached him with the pot in one hand and a crude mug in the other. He closed his eyes quickly, but she stopped just a few feet away, and cleared her throat. He opened his eyes to see her looking down at him with a warm, friendly smile. “Are you Brandrvarr?” she asked him in a raspy, yet motherly voice. “You’ve been talking a lot in your sleep.” Brandr studied her quietly, his head still hurting and his vision still blurry. “Don’t worry, son.” she said, pouring some of the pot’s contents into the mug. “You’ve had a busy day. Would you care for something for the dizziness?” Brandr raised forth his hand, but couldn’t muster much of a response otherwise. She placed the mug at his lips, waiting to see if he resisted. He chose not to, given the circumstances, and she helped him drink it. The drink was quite warm, had a hint of nutmeg and…perhaps a pleasant taste of cinnamon to it. He coughed slightly, but managed to get most of it down. Whatever it was, it seemed to help alleviate the nausea, and his eyes managed to calm down and focus.

The old woman was dressed in primitive robes; her long white hair unkempt and knotted, but her eyes brilliant blue and her smile warm and pleasant. Soon enough, he regained his senses, and asked “Who are you? What is this place?” She responded “This is a small hut, and I am just an old healer that’s settled down here. When you’re able, feel free to gather your weapons and gear.” She then turned back to a nearby table, leaving the pot and mug in case he wanted some more of the warm concoction. “Do you know of a battle nearby?” Brandr asked. The old woman turned around to meet his gaze, shaking her head “Not too close, but I’m sure there’s one somewhere nearby though.” “Who is fighting?” Brandr asked. She turned her back to grasp her own mug, sighing. “Sons. It’s sons that are fighting. A few daughters also. But mostly it’s Mothers’ sons fighting and dying out there.” Brandr could tell there was more to her words here, but he needed to know what had happened to him. His eyes widened slightly as he gathered himself together. She realized he wasn’t satisfied with her answer, so she elaborated. “Tourlack. You mentioned ‘Tourlack’…and ‘Gabriel’. I’m certain they’re probably two of the ones out there…”

He looked around – the herbs looked somewhat normal, if not mundane. Could he have been dreaming all this time? The very idea of traveling to the ‘Age of Heroes’ was somewhat farfetched, and seemed more so with every moment. “I need to find an elf. An elf, a wizard and a priest.” Brandr said, trying to test getting up. “Of course” she responded, sitting down next to him with a smile “But it might be a day or so before you’ll be good enough to set out. In the meantime, tell me what’s got you in such a hurry.” Brandr’s eyes narrowed; “Why are you so interested?” he asked warily. She looked down with a smile and then back towards him, as if laughing on the inside. “I’m just interested in a good story. Feel free to make up a story if you wish; it doesn’t matter. I just enjoy hearing about young folk and their travels…”

Brandr nodded. “First, though…where did you find me? How did I come to be here?” The old woman shrugged. “The forest brought you here. You were ailed. It does that from time to time.” Brandr grunted…that was not exactly helpful. “I mean…where?” “Ah…a nearby clearing in the woods, near a shrine to Caelthash. I can show you where tomorrow if you’d like. Then you can go and find your friends.” The warrior nodded, laying his head back down to rest. He’d go ahead and tell her. Why not? She seemed warm and easy to talk to, and the strange part wasn’t even real anyway. Might as well add a few bits to make it more interesting, and leave out some boring parts. Good stories always needed some embellishing…

  • * *

After about an hour of listening to Brandr describe the war that had befallen Taralmainn, of the rise of Tourlack and Count Gabriel, she thanked him and began to cook some mutton for dinner. Brandr almost couldn’t help himself; she was very easy to talk to; warm and nurturing, almost as if she were imagining reliving her own youth as she hung on every word. He’d stopped before getting to the part he’d hallucinated, beginning with the strange ‘Gear Realm’. He couldn’t remember the strange names Altayir had mentioned they’d have to find; not that it mattered anyway. She seemed to enjoy his tale, incomplete as it was, and she then served the mutton along with some soup with carrots.

“This Tourlack, you say, is a dark warrior from the ancient times?” she asked. Brandr nodded, chewing the mutton and preparing to drink his soup. “And he wishes to conquer the realm of Taralmainn? For what purpose?” Brandr stopped for a moment. Conquerors often throughout history rarely needed much of a purpose beyond the advancement of their own power or that of their kingdom, but creatures on the order of Tourlack surely had darker purposes than mere conquest. “He serves Whurmat; and is a member of the ‘Veknor’; that’s all I can remember right now. Reason enough to fight him. We just need to find out how…” “Ah yes…the ‘Veknor’” she mentioned “Servants of darkness? They would be getting something out of their service, wouldn’t they? Have some reason…some goal?” Brandr shrugged “Likely. It doesn’t matter much to me. I know they serve dark forces, and Caelthash leads me to fight them, like he did my father. The details I know are up to my companions; I’m slowly learning how everything is fitting together.”

She smiled, and then stepped away to begin to clean up the bowls and plates. He was tired once more, after having stood up a short bit, and decided to lay back down; tomorrow would be a busy day. As he drifted off to sleep, the last thing he felt was her hand on his cheek, as she said “I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for, son. You have what it takes to find it. May the gods bless you and your friends on your journey.”

  • * *

Brandr awoke a short while later to what almost sounded like a harmonious chorus of music far in the distance. He was in a bed – a different bed, his entire body aching and bruised, his side aching – the same wounds he’d seemed to just have recovered from. A tall, athletic man with red robes approached him. “Brandrvarr. You are awake. Good.” “Where…where am I now?” Brandr asked. The robed man responded “You are in Castle Threll. We have tended to your wounds, for they were severe. You were beneath the battle, in the Chasms when Pinnacle struck his killing blow on Charrax the Black.” Brandr’s eyes snapped open. Was it a dream? Another dream? No, no, it couldn’t be. Back in this realm? Where was he when he spoke with the old woman? What did she say her name was?

He looked around to survey his surroundings. He was in a place unlike any he’d ever laid eyes upon. Around him there were many beds, with what looked like many powerful warriors resting from battle, being tended to by various men and women clad in various robes. The walls were made of marble, fine construction with an almost luminous quality to them, with gorgeous tapestries and carved designs adorning the various walls. In the center of the chamber was a fountain…or a…spring… that was lined with many colorful flowers, and the melodious sounds he’d heard seemed almost to be distant harmonious chanting. Was he…dead? There was a brief pause as the man in red waited, almost as if awaiting the answer to a question. Brandr thought for a brief moment, remembering one of Areg’yor’s many annoying sayings – ‘If you’re delirious and don’t know if you’re dead or alive, break wind. If you can, you’re still alive. There’s no gassin’ in the Halls of Glory…’ Brandr followed the advice. If it was true, he was alive. The man’s eyebrow raised, as he asked “are you better now?” “Just fine” Brandr said as he sat up. His whole body ached, but the bruises were gone; as were any wounds.

“I am Tebarus, a healer.” the man said. “Your wounds have healed nicely, and you can leave when you are ready. Though I am sorry to tell you…you have the illness…” “Illness? What illness are you talking about?” Brandr enquired. “Yes, a much more advanced stage than I have ever seen…” Tebarus continued before interrupting himself. “Wait, what do you mean ‘what illness’? There is only one, thank Lavennah. You are fading; far more rapidly than anyone I have ever seen.”

Heavy footfalls could be heard approaching, as a large man in heavy-sounding armor approached. He was quite tall, seemingly in his mid-forties; his face weathered by battle and his receding red hair cut short. His armor seemed to be highly advanced, constructed of a strange bluish-tinged metal that – was seemed as flexible as leather – with overlapping plates, and his breastplate was adorned with a symbol of a golden sword overlaying a white circle with a left-to-right diagonal line beneath. Brandr recognized the symbol as an early, more intricate incarnation of the holy symbol of Caelthash. His booming voice seemed to fill the chamber “Tebarus. How is our guest?” “As fit as he can be, given his flirting with the Chasms. He must have fallen in a landslide.” The tall blue-clad warrior looked at Brandr with a discerning eye “I am Fordren the Red” Brandr’s eyes widened as the man continued “You are lucky. When we prepared these lands for battle, Larrissah was concerned about the Tainted using the Chasms below, and shaped the conduits to deny them easy access to our lands, while enabling us to use them to move around the battlefield.”

Brandr heard every word – not that it made any sense to him. He was remembering tales told of a legendary warrior named Fordren that was supposedly a strong ally and follower of Caelthash during the Age of Heroes. Areg’yor had told tales of Fordren and his stalwart ally Rhulrien and their many heroic deeds; the two were legends to the Taral, especially the followers of Caelthash (though Rhulrien was a Solathamic warrior). Supposedly Fordren had saved Marduk Keep from a great land Linnorm named Xiil, killing it with his bare hands after the foul creature bit his sword in half. Legend had it that Fordren struck the top of Xiil’s snout with the lower half of the broken blade, and pierced the Linnorm’s jaw with the top half. With his great strength, he grasped the two ends and pulled tight, keeping its mouth shut. As Xiil’s snout filled with the acid it had planned to spray down upon Fordren, the creature choked and drowned in its own vile ichor, unable to breathe.

Brandr looked at Fordren’s left hand – sure enough it carried the deep scar of his own blade’s top half. It…it seemed to be him. When Fordren had finished, Brandr remembered that he would best keep quiet about his origins and replied “It is truly an honor to meet you, Fordren. Your legend is spoken of far and wide.” Fordren nodded “Well met. Your name is ‘Brandr’, is it not?” “It is.” Brandr acknowledged, as Fordren continued “Suffice to say, the conduits Larrissah crafted beneath the battle carried fallen warriors back to us, and denied use to the tainted. I don’t know of such things, but they to aid us…you in particular.”

Brandr nodded as Fordren glanced at Tebarus, then back to him. “In his wailings, he said he needed to find his companions – a wizard, priest, and an elf” Tebarus mentioned. Wailings? Brandr wondered. That wasn’t good. He chose to keep quiet just in case, until he could learn what all they knew. Fordren then continued “Tebarus claims you are quite ill. A shame. But we have found a few others that seem to be greatly ill as well, that have traveled here along with a group of rangers from Tor’Marden. I believe they are the companions you spoke of. I will take you to them if you wish…”

  • * *
View
The War of the Black Blood: Act 05
The Age of Heroes

All Dates Unknown (The Age of Heroes)
There are 4 months, each w/120 days – Hathamal [winter], Lavennah [spring], Lathesma [summer], and Murloch [autumn]
If anyone asks, the current “date” is: the 15th of Murloch 1299 of Argus’ Calendar (early Autumn)

SCENE ONE: THE ARCHDRUIDESS LARRISSAH:

1) DESCRIPTION: Approaching LOR’THRELL (Castle Threll):

Battlelore: Horns of Gondor
Heart of Courage – Invincible; Waking Up – Oblivion ST; Signs of Life – Pink Floyd (humble nature introduction)

> A. Picture Comparison: Lorthell (Age of Mortals) vs. Lor’Threll (Age of Heroes)

Castle:
You follow the river to a seemingly familiar overlook, and gaze down into a valley, and behold a vast and beautiful castle, gleaming in the sunlight. Its seemingly golden walls stand proud and tall, with an otherworldly strength, meeting at multiple massive spires that seem almost to stretch up into the clouds themselves. As you examine the construction, the layout, and the position near the river, this reminds you or Lorthell. It’s then that you realize that Castle Threll is…Lorthell.

People:
As you approach, you pass many people who seem to be coming and going, each seemingly youthful and energetic. They seem pleasant, well-clothed, and not wanting for anything. There seems to be a great deal of activity as many commune with each other and seemingly the land itself.

Interior:
You pass through the front gate of the Castle, over a drawbridge made of wood and reinforced by a bluish metal. The land here is lush, blooming with various flowers, and gardens bloom in front of most of the buildings. There seems to be an aura of peace permeating the area, as motes of light seem to drift in the air all around you. Finely constructed wagons pulled by powerful, white horses pass by as many of the townsfolk give you curious, yet friendly smiles. The winding road is paved with stone as smooth as if it had been tempered by a flowing river.

Guards and warriors clad in the strange bluish plate armors seem ubiquitous as well throughout the city. Those standing in position seem emotionless and stock still, while those walking through the streets seem as energetic and warm as the rest of the townsfolk.

The Great Hall:
You continue up the hill towards the inner keep, and the Great Hall, passing through another massive set of walls, these seemingly of shaped stone reinforced with a whitish metallic substance. Blue-clad warriors mix about with others in fine clothes and bright faces, and you approach the entrance to the glorious Great Hall. It seems to have towers stretching up into the heavens themselves, capped with finely-shaped stonework. As you enter, the entire interior seems to be formed of shaped and smoothed marble, and you marvel at how surreal and beautiful the mere foyer is.

> B. The Characters waited with ISODE, NINEVE, and KERILD, but the heralds informed them that LARRISSAH would see the three of them first…..

2) DESCRIPTION: ARCHDRUIDESS LARRISSAH:

Music – We are Flesh and Blood – Ron Jones (ST:NG ST)

You enter into a side chamber and are led around what must be the Great Hall itself; the herald walks calmly past massive warriors and finely-adorned nobles, as the air itself seems filled with life. Lining the walls of each hallway are long planters filled with exotic and beautiful blooms from seemingly all over the world, given sunlight from amazingly-crafted openings which seem like mere slits in the walls, but in fact allow for light to illuminate the entire walls.

You step out into a large courtyard, the air filled with the sound of a pleasant spring and stream that seems to flow down through a finely crafted aqueduct. The whole courtyard is filled with more beautiful plants and trees of white wood and verdant leaves, watched over by multiple exotic butterflies and birds. A path of finely-carved marble is laid out through the courtyard, leading to the center, where a pool of water rests between the two most massive trees.

In front of the pool rests a single figure, who slowly rises as you approach. She wears a finely-made long, backless flowing white dress that seems both simple and yet has an air of elegance to it. Long golden hair hangs loosely, waving in a non-existent breeze over her shoulders as she turns to gaze upon you. She seems to emanate power and grace, as if she herself was from the realm beyond, that the gods call home. Her brow seems surrounded by a dim illumination when she is still, as if she was beloved by the light itself.

She holds a tall and athletic build; her very skin seems the color of ivory, and her eyes are the hue of the deep ocean. Her features are human, but also…something more. She is beautiful, if not nearly divine in appearance, despite the simplicity of her demeanor and dress.

Her warm, yet hypnotic gaze showers over each of you as she silently approaches, as you each stand in awe of one of the most legendary figures in all of Kyhermainn’s history – who some claim is a daughter of Kyhermainn herself; who had along with the fabled Lord Argus the Wise led humanity from the forgotten lands of Amergosan across the sea to the lands of Pergan and Taralmainn, who had shaped the Shrine that had held Tourlack in check, and whose name is sung in praises by all who know it – the Archdruidess Larrissah.

She then rests her warm gaze to the Shadowmancer, and asks:

“What are you doing here, Dravis?”

3) THE CONVERSATION WITH LARRISSAH:

ST NOTES:
+ LARRISSAH is an immensely ancient and powerful being. She is as such a being barely incomprehensible to the Characters, and comes across as distant.

+ Though distant, she seemed to have much pity for the Characters.

+ SHE DOES NOT LIKE BEING QUESTIONED BY MORTALS…..

> A. DRAVIS, somewhat caught off guard, answered as best he could, defaulting to the characters’ purpose of defeating TOURLACK.

>> i. LARRISSAH claimed she knew of DRAVIS and LYSSANDRA because they had: “…..passed into one of the blessed places that I have crafted a Shrine to the Realms – any who does is a person who is known to me if I behold them.”

>> ii. She was vague what this meant, though.

> B. LARRISSAH then wondered who the Characters were – “why those so out of place would come here”, “where they were from”, “why they have come to find her”, etc. She believed that a great journey weighed heavily on their minds.

> C. ALTAYIR quickly opened up, explaining to LARRISSAH that the Characters were from far in the future, and that they sought her assistance in taking steps to get closer to an understanding of ALTAYIR’s vision, etc. and further their goal of defeating TOURLACK.

>> i. This immediately drew “shushing” from LYSSANDRA, who’d made it a point – that the Characters agreed on – that they shouldn’t make mention of their true origins.

>>> 1. LARRISSAH then seemed to be dismissive of LYSSANDRA, mentioning “Elath’s children don’t seem to have the courage to venture this far…”

>> ii. ALTAYIR responded it was likely pointless to try to hide anything from LARRISSAH.

>> iii. LARRISSAH herself acted as if this wasn’t much of a revelation, claiming that she was sometimes “cursed by prophecy”.

> D. At some point during the discussion of their journey to LOR’THRELL, she asked if they have lost a member of their group recently, and reintroduced them to BRANDR

>> i. LARRISSAH also knew some of what BRANDR had ‘wailed’ about, but this only dealt with TOURLACK, etc.

> E. ON THE VISIONS:

LARRISSAH’S INPUT ON ALTAYIR’S PREMONITIONS:
Altayir Premonition
(Believed Meaning)
>>>> Larrissah Knowledge

+ “Only by Torin hand can he be confronted.”
Unknown
>>>> This seems exceptionally clear to her, but she is dismissive of it, realizing that this will take care of itself if the Characters are “cured”.

+ “Only by the grasp of the son of a Torin and son of a traitor can the three-blade be broken.”
Unknown
>>>> This also seems clear to her, and she asks BRANDR about his father. The rest will become clear in time also…

+ “Only by the three-blade being broken can Tourlack be imprisoned once more.” (FIGURED OUT)
So long as the three-bladed sword is united, Tourlack is upon the world of Kyhermainn.
>>>> No additional knowledge

+ “Only by Tourlack’s imprisonment can Tempest’s children be saved.” (FIGURED OUT)
If Tourlack isn’t stopped, he will eventually gain enough ground, power, and people in Taralmainn to gain enough strength to wash away the remainder of resistance and take over the realm.
>>>> No additional knowledge

+ “Only the shadow of one who released him may even find the way.” (FIGURED OUT)
Only Dravis can find the way to the land of Shal’mae.
>>>> No additional knowledge

+ “You must go to the land of Shal’mae.” (FIGURED OUT)
_ An ancient name for the early Torin kingdom that encompassed the lands of Taralmainn just after the Torin exodus from Suthmerai/Amergosan. Shal’mae existed possibly in the early days before Caelthash and Whurmat fought each other at Kadgar._
>>>> Obvious at this point…..

+ “You must find the Throne of Pellius.”
Unknown
>>>> The Throne of Pellius is not in the Great Hall – it is where his spirit rests eternally rather than succumb to illness – the great Pool of Larrissah…

+ “You must speak to the spirit of Mierna.”
Unknown
>>>> Larrissah seems somewhat annoyed by this, but does not elaborate…

+ “You must bathe in the waters of Larissah.” (PARTIALLY FIGURED OUT)
Larrissah was a Torin arch-druidess during the Age of Heroes who along with Lord Argus the Wise led a mass exodus from the Torin homeland (now Amergosan) to the western lands of Taralmainn and Pergammon, etc.
>>>> Larrissah understands these completely, and gives the quest to the characters to find the Muraychas Root, though she will be vague in answering any questions. (Again, she does not like being questioned by mortals.)

+ “You must regain that which was taken from you by your dear, sweet mother.”
Unknown
>>>> Larrissah understands these completely, and gives the quest to the characters to find the Muraychas Root, though she will be vague in answering any questions. (Again, she does not like being questioned by mortals.)

> F. LARRISSAH claimed the Characters were “very ill”, and that they: “come from a place that is colder and darker than the imagination can fathom, a place where the children of the Torins huddle together in scattered realms around the few places of light in fear of the darkness that surrounds them.”

> i. Interestingly enough, she seemed to feel as if “curing their illness” was far more important than assisting them in defeating TOURLACK.

> ii. She seemed fairly blasé about the Characters quest, and their goals, but she did act as if helping them was something she needed to do –

> G. ISODE’S RANGERS: LARRISSAH asked the Characters to remain nearby as she called upon the Rangers that the Characters had ventured in with.

>> i. ISODE addressed LARRISSAH and told her of their mission:

>>> 1. It was given to her, NINEVE, and KERILD (by “J’HANAR the WOUNDED”.)

>>>2. The Lord of TOR’MARDEN, J’HANAR THE WOUNDED has become badly ill. He once received visions from many of the gods, and became fortunate because of this gift.

>>> 3. However, he became greedy and chose to use the visions selfishly, to gain power for its own sake. Now only MURLOCH sends him visions.

>>> 4. He has now come to regret his actions, and does not wish to succumb to the disease. He seeks the MURAYCHAS ROOT, in order to save others – and thereby redeem himself…

>>> 5. ISODE says that they have searched far and wide for MURAYCHAS ROOT, but have found none; their only hope lay with LARRISSAH.

>>> 6. ISODE tells LARRISSAH that her group had been sent by J’HANAR, but they had gotten caught up in the monstrous battle that had taken place all throughout the area. They had to evade a slew of Giants, and Wyverns were sent after them – and they likely would have been slain if it were not for the intervention of the Characters…

>>> 7. They believed that their quest is blessed by the gods, because they were told “they would find a Seer at the Praying Rock that would be able to aid them” by J’HANAR…

> H. ISODE then spoke highly of the Characters to LARRISSAH, claiming they greatly aided her Rangers in their flight from the WYVERNS.

>> i. LARRISSAH asked the Characters if they would journey with ISODE’S RANGERS, since they seemed to share the same goals; and she would speak with them the following day.

SCENE TWO: SOME TIME TO KILL IN A SECOND AGE CITY:

1) The Characters had an afternoon in LOR’THRELL……..

> A. DRAVIS: Originally intending to spend the majority of his time in his ‘traveling tower’, Dravis changed his mind and spent most of his time in various libraries trying to find useful spells, items, etc. to bring back to 753 CC.

> B. ALTAYIR: Set out to have a set of Eliphus armor crafted for him.

> C. BRANDR: Spent most of his time in the company of ISODE.

> D. LYSSANDRA: Not feeling particularly welcome, LYSSANDRA just left and met up with the characters later…

SCENE THREE: LARRISSAH’S QUEST

1) The following day, LARRISSAH told them that there were three remaining MURAYCHUS ROOTS that she knew of upon the World of Kyhermainn; but only knew where two may be found.

2) She contemplated, and told the Characters that they would travel to the VALE OF THE GUARDIANS – for within it in a spring of life rested one of the final MURAYCHUS ROOTS

3) THE VALE OF THE GUARDIANS:

> A. The Path to the VALE was the “easy part”. LARRISSAH told the Characters that they possessed one of the Three KEYS OF INGRESS, created long ago (this particular one by VERTOMAN). They would reveal to the wielder (if a follower of Vertoman) the path to wherever they chose (as per Find the Path).

>> i. The Characters must simply get lost, then use the Key…

>> ii. The VALE OF THE GUARDIANS would test their wits as well as their strength…

4). Once finding the MURAYCHAS ROOT, they were to return it to her. There she would cure them, and make them ‘whole again’, along with J’HANAR THE WOUNDED, for whom ISODE’S RANGERS were questing.

5) She also said she would send word to TOR’MARDEN to J’HANAR THE WOUNDED, so he could come to LOR’THRELL…

SCENE FOUR: TRAVELING TO THE VALE OF THE GUARDIANS

1) 2x Day journey filled with interesting Roleplay….

2) After the 2x days, the Characters found a spot where none of the seven of them had been before – and were ‘lost’. When the Characters used the key, it pulled them towards a dense, beautiful forest.

3) Soon, they found a Conduit to the VALE OF THE GUARDIANS

SCENE FIVE: THE VALE OF THE GUARDIANS:

The Conduit led to the first of three Challenges:

1) THE FIRST RIDDLE:
The pathway led to a large gate with a great chasm, and what appeared to be the ruins of a once-magnificent bridge that has since been destroyed. On the other side appeared to be a rocky canyon. The other side could clearly be seen, but there was a veil of light that seemed to fill the Chasm.

> A. In front of the broken bridge was a single large tablet, inscribed with the words:

Only one color, but not one size
Stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies
Present in sun, but not in rain,
Doing no harm, and feeling no pain.
Whether you are first, or whether you’re last
Only by me may you pass.

ANSWER: A Shadow – DRAVIS must use SHADOW WALK (W7) to get across, and let the others through…

2) THE SECOND RIDDLE:
After the Characters emerged on the other side of the Bridge, they continued on, through the rocky canyon, until it narrowed to a gap only a few feet across. Within the gap, though, lay a massive tree – on fire, yet not burning.

> A. In front of the tree, there was a burned corpse clutching a scroll, which read:

What force and strength cannot get through, I with a gentle touch can do.
And many in the street would stand, were I not a friend at hand.

ANSWER: A Key – ALTAYIR must place the key in the fiery tree – the Ice formed a barrier that protected the wielder from the flames, melting as it approached the tree and evaporating – extinguishing the fire, allowing the Characters to proceed.

> B. At first, DRAVIS attempted to put the fire out; and LYSSANDRA moved towards him “just in case he was wrong”. A lance of flame burst forth from the tree towards DRAVIS, and LYSSANDRA leapt in front of him, absorbing the flames, though her beautiful blue cloak was ruined. She told DRAVIS disapprovingly “it was magical”…

3) THE THIRD RIDDLE:
As the Characters passed the Tree, they approached another massive Chasm – the bottom was clearly visible miles down.

> A. In front of the Chasm is a single stone; chiseled in it are the words:

I cover what’s real, hide what is true, but sometimes bring out the courage in you.

ANSWER: Fear – BRANDR must leap – facing his fears. There is an “invisible” lake not but a few feet down…

4) As the Characters swam across (they must), they found themselves in a winding garden, seemingly wonderfully tended to. At the middle, they found a beautiful grove, flanked by two massive Statues – one of gold, the other of silver.

5) THE GUARDIANS:
At the center of the Grove was a large, majestic looking reddish-purple blossom – a MURAYCHAS ROOT.

> A. As the Characters approach, the area animates, and the MURAYCHAS ROOT is protected by a NATURE ELEMENTAL

> B. The NATURE ELEMENTAL spawned EARTH ELEMENTALS….

> C. The Characters concentrated on the NATURE ELEMENTAL, and defeated it.

SCENE SIX: THE RETURN TO LOR’THRELL WITH TEN DAYS TO KILL:

NOTE: Many details later filled in between sessions via E-Mail.

1) DRAVIS: Spent most of his time in various libraries trying to find useful spells, items, etc. to bring back to 753 CC.

> A. Over the first 10 days upon returning from the Vale of the Guardians, Dravis was able to find three books dealing with shadow magic. Each book had a great deal of generalized information, and many spells. The first was a tome simply titled “Light and Dark”; it seemed to be an introduction to maximizing and removing shadow from the immediate space around an individual. If Dravis didn’t know any better, he could swear the book seemed to be almost written for young adults. Within its pages, however, he found the spells Stealth (W2), and Moonglow (W1).

> B. A day or so later, he found a different tome that had been tucked away behind some other books, and appeared to have a mundane lock upon it. The title was “Bellatoren Regnem Umbra, Volume I”. It seemed to deal with combating creatures using shadows, and was highly informative, apparently having been written by a warrior/wizard named Laudine of Kresslan. In its pages were the spells Shadowshield (W4), and Phantom Blade (W5). The following day, Dravis found “Bellatoren Regnem Umbra, Volume II”, containing the spell Shadow Burst (W2).

2) ALTAYIR: Spent time with NINEVE

3) BRANDR: Spent time with ISODE (See Writeup)

4) LYSSANDRA: Spent time away from the city.

SCENE SEVEN: THE RITUAL OF THE MURAYCHUS CLEANSING:

1) After nearly two weeks, the Characters were called to the Great Hall, into LARRISSAH’S COURTYARD. They were each given a set of white robes to don, and told to meet at the pool.

2) While there, they found an old, almost crippled man barely able to stand, dressed in dark gray robes. He claimed he was J’HANAR THE WOUNDED of TOR’MARDEN, and that though he was thankful to ISODE and her RANGERS, he would not be participating in the ritual.

> A. J’HANAR claimed that he had made a peace with MURLOCH, and that he wanted to meet the Characters before he met death.

3) DRAVIS, ALTAYIR, and BRANDR each changed into the white robes and entered the pool. LARRISSAH enacted the ritual, which seemed to take quite some time; though the characters couldn’t tell how long. Time itself seemed to pass quickly, and they eventually exited the water with a newfound feeling of strength and a much stronger connection to the world around them.

> A) LARRISSAH mentioned that LORD BISHOP RUMELL, follower of Chronish had sent word that he had an interest in speaking with them, and would do so fairly soon.

> B) She then claimed that rest would do each of them well, and then retired…

View
The War of the Black Blood: Act 04
The Kingdom of Shal'mae

NOTES:

> Ken unable to make it.

ADVENTURE

All Dates Unknown (The Age of Heroes)
There are 4 months, each w/120 days – Hathamal [winter], Lavennah [spring], Lathesma [summer], and Murloch [autumn]

If anyone asks, the current “date” is: the 15th of Murloch 1299 of Argus’ Calendar (early Autumn)

SCENE ONE: RP: WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
1) The Characters analyzed their situation…

> A. Where were we? When were we? What happened? What was going on?

> B. TIMELINE: The Age of Heroes (2nd Age) was believed to have lasted over 5000 years. The Characters could have been anywhere between 700 to 5000 years in the past.

> C. LYSSANDRA mentioned that “PINNACLE” was the name given to the father of the Silver Dragons. What he is doing here is beyond her.

2) THE BATTLE:
> A. The battle continued below, but the ‘monstrous’ army was slowly being pushed back.

> B. Whatever PINNACLE was doing above the dark clouds is unknown, but it was loud.

> C. A few moments later, another even larger contingent of FIRE GIANTS approached – a dozen or so – pushing multiple Siege engines (the group the Characters took out was the first group of 6x to make it to the top…) The Characters needed to escape.

3) The Characters got a chance to stop and breathe…

> A. They made camp at an underground stream with beautiful flowers and mushrooms, etc. and discussed their situation.

4) The following day, the characters set out trying to find the THRONE OF PELLIUS via DRAVIS’ staff. They find a winding series of caverns and a large, cavernous chamber. Along the way, BRANDR fell during an underground landslide.

> A. The other Characters think he’s dead. (TRUTH: he got sent through a conduit – they’re all over the place here during the 2nd Age.) BRANDR ends up being sent to a series of caverns near LOR’ THRELL (LORTHELL, capital of SHAL’MAE). (The Conduits have been recently ‘Shaped’ by LARRISSAH).

> B. LYSSANDRA was very irritated. She was “tired of losing people”. She revealed her true form when she climbed down to help tear through the rubble with her claws.

5) The Characters emerged from the Caverns and saw a winding river in the distance. They headed towards it, and realized it was the VERDAIN RIVER. Not long after, they found the PRAYING ROCK (there was no portal to MECHANUS now, however…)

6) DESCRIPTION OF THE REALM:
This place is seemingly out of dreams. Everything just seems more…alive. The air is more crisp, the trees seem taller, and the plants more colorful. The sky is far more vibrant, with Vertoman more prominent and circled with a set of rings in front of a backdrop of beautiful celestial clouds and stars supplementing the constellations that you are more familiar with.

The grass was greener. The light was brighter. With friends surrounded. The nights of wonder.

SCENE TWO: ENCOUNTER: TAINTED WYVERNS

7) To the THRONE OF PELLIUS

> A. DRAVIS created Phantom Steeds for himself, ALTAYIR, and LYSSANDRA, and they soared high through the skies.

> B. Characters heard someone approaching, heard signs of battle below. Approaching the PRAYING ROCK was a small contingent of Torin warriors (Rangers) fighting a flock of WYVERNS; the former were being chased and appeared to seek shelter in the rocks. One had mentioned something offhanded about finding ‘a seer’…

> C. The Characters descended to assist the Rangers in battling the Wyverns. They were able to defeat them, but of the Rangers, only three remained out of nine – though they claimed MANY dead Wyverns were nearby – (they’d handled themselves well, but lost their escorts).

SCENE THREE: RP: ISODE’S RANGERS

8) The Characters were approached by ISODE, NINEVE, and KERILD – they were clad in finely-crafted leather armors and cloaks. They claimed they were actually on a vital mission, and could use the Characters’ help, after burying their six dead comrades.

DESCRIPTIONS: These humans (Torins) were somewhat taller (by roughly 4 inches) and robust than the Characters were used to seeing. Their clothes were finely crafted; even the more “savage” Druids and Rangers had fine cloth and well-tanned leather, though obviously stained and damaged from recent battle. They were clad in leather and painted with tattoos.

> A. ISODE: Standing 6’ 0", ISODE had long red hair pulled tight in a band around her head. She carried a massive Two-Hand Longspear made of heavy bone and tipped with platinum, coated in runes, and on her back was an ornate Composite Shortbow cut from bronzewood.

>> i. PERSONALITY: ISODE was the leader of this group, and as such was shrewd, fearless and gallant. She was thoughtful, but decisive. She pitied the Characters, but was hesitant to help them (at first).

>> ii. ST NOTES: INTERESTS: ASTROLOGY, OMENS, CRAFTING, ART, HUNTING; She will be (somewhat) attracted to BRANDR due to his passion, etc.

> B. NINEVE: Standing 5’,10", NINEVE had long, curly blonde hair seemingly woven together with living flowers. She had green eyes and wore a green gown, though clad in protective bracers and a heavy cloak. On her back was a massive Composite Longbow that almost looked cut from pure ivory, and a heavy staff of gold and wood that seemed to have grown around each other.

>> i. PERSONALITY: NINEVE ws a kind-hearted healer-type, with a beautiful demeanor who took to the Characters instantly as soon as she learned they were “ill”. She came across as somewhat submissive, but only in a caretaker-mindset.

>> ii. ST NOTES: INTERESTS: HERBALISM, ASTRONOMY, MEDITATION, ANIMALS; She had a friendly attraction to (DRAVIS/ALTAYIR) due to their “bleakness”, if only to “cheer them up”.

> C. KERILD: Standing 6’ 1", KERILD had long brown hair, interspersed with what seemed to be green leaves. He wore a brown heavy leather cloak over stout leather armor, and carried a massive Scythe with a long, silvery blade, and a bronzewood Composite Shortbow similar to ISODE’S.

>> i. PERSONALITY: KERILD was a fairly easy-going man who suggested helping the Characters. He enjoyed joking and is light-hearted, but was intent on accomplishing their mission.

>> ii. ST NOTES: INTERESTS: PHILOSOPHY, SONGS/POETRY, FALCONRY, BREWING

> D. NINEVE observed that the were Characters were “ill”, but seemed unclear as to what that meant…

> E. At one point, NINEVE told ISODE to “stop” as she clutched her amulet, likely meaning that the latter was trying to read the Characters’ thoughts. NINEVE seemed to trust the characters.

> F. NINEVE asked what had transpired, who they were, etc. Eventually NINEVE and KERILD convinced ISODE to let the Characters travel with them to CASTLE THRELL to meet LARRISSAH, though ISODE mentioned that the THRONE OF PELLIUS was “empty”.

9) ISODE’S MISSION: ISODE has been tasked with a vital mission (by “J’HANAR the WOUNDED”.)

> A. J’HANAR was a nearby Torin Lord of TOR’MARDEN [a castle between present LORTHELL & MARDUK KEEP] who received visions – but used them selfishly.

>> i. Now he was selfish and sought power for its own sake.

>> ii. J’HANAR was ill & afflicted with SYONOCHIUS, and would die without MURAYCHUS ROOT.

>> iii. However, he was regretting his ways as he succumbed to the disease (down the road he will sacrifice himself by becoming a servitor of MURLOCH, giving the Characters the MURAYCHAS ROOT.)

> B. ISODE and her cadre (after dealing with the Fire Giant artillery) were separated in the battle and made their way to the PRAYING ROCK.

> C. ISODE was sent to retrieve MURAYCHAS ROOT by J’HANAR. They have been less than successful, and are en route to LARRISSAH to ask her where it can be found.

> D. They believed that they would find a Seer at the PRAYING ROCK that would be able to aid them. (They were told this by J’HANAR THE WOUNDED).

SCENE FOUR: RP: THE LOR’ THRELL

10) (HEAVY DESCRIPTION) Characters (With ISODE’S RANGERS) set out for LOR’THRELL.

SCENE FIVE: RP: THE ARCHDRUIDESS

11) (HEAVY DESCRIPTION) Characters met LARRISSAH – who asked the Characters a strange question:

“What are you doing here, Dravis?”

> A. Ended in Cliffhanger……………

View
The War of the Black Blood: Act 03
The Throne of Pellius

NOTES:

1) DRAVIS PLAYER CHARACTER INVOLUNTARY ROMANCE!: MERIEL (HalfElf Rog/Wz7)

SCENES:

1) The Characters caught up to THE HUNTRESS at the site of the ambush on GABRIEL. She told them they were making good time; the tracks were less than a day old at this point.

19 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Kings Day)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

2) The next morning, as the Characters camped quietly, they are happened upon by GABRIEL in a copse of trees filling his waterskin; he had apparently escaped. He said he was in a huge hurry to get back to LORTHELL to prepare for a series of raids coming down from EVESBROOK from the Northwest.

3) DISCUSSION WITH GABRIEL:

> A. Discussion of GABRIEL’s capture, escape, and relations with EVESBROOK:

GABRIEL was convinced DUCHESS MYRA of EVESBROOK was behind the kidnapping attempt. His captors had said that EVESBROOK’S warriors likely sought to annex LORTHELL lands, etc., taking advantage of the war with the Angmarin. GABRIEL thought this was a quick ’King’s Ransom’ attempt to extort lands without starting too much trouble with LORTHELL’S allies.

> B. Discussion of ALTAYIR’S prophecies: GABRIEL didn’t know too much about the prophecies, but mentioned a conversation he’d had many years ago in Kadgar:

>> i. For many years now, neither GABRIEL nor his family (father, mother, or brother CAIN ARCADES) had shown any telltale signs of aging, nor had he even gotten a cold in over a decade. GABRIEL was somewhat concerned about this, and what the people of LORTHELL might believe, etc., and several years ago traveled to KADGAR to try to speak to LORD BISHOP RUMELL of CHRONISH.

>> ii. Supposedly, RUMELL – renowned as exceptionally wise, yet maddeningly distant and cryptic (and seemingly ageless himself, for obvious reasons) – had responded that this wasn’t ‘of Chronish’, and that he didn’t believe that the lack of aging would cause a problem for either GABRIEL or CAIN’s rule in Southern Taralmainn.

>> iii. HOWEVER, Just as GABRIEL was about to leave, RUMELL asked “Since you have now become a Count, and have rulership as a task, would you be interested to visit the THRONE OF PELLIUS?”

>>>1. GABRIEL asked what it was, to which RUMELL claimed it was the site of an ancient kingdom that ruled these lands in another time – and that many Taral nobles had longed to discover its whereabouts.

>>>2. GABRIEL had no such appetites, having things to do, but was interested in at least learning of the THRONE, etc. RUMELL then presented GABRIEL with a magical dagger – seemingly crafted out of ice…

>>> 3. RUMELL then said if GABRIEL ever had interest in visiting the THRONE OF PELLIUS, to take the blade to the “Young Right Eye of the ‘PRAYING ROCK’” – a place that could be found “where the VERDAIN splits…”

>>> 4. GABRIEL took the dagger, somewhat unnerved, thanked RUMELL, and left.

>> iv. GABRIEL produces the Dagger from a pouch (going to war he didn’t know if he might need a magical dagger), and presents it to DRAVIS.

>>> 1. IF the Characters were intent on finding the THRONE OF PELLIUS to help defeat TOURLACK, he would be in their debt – but he could not leave his army to assist them.

>>> 2. GABRIEL claims that the fighting has been difficult – he has to keep his army alive and intact, and use unconventional hit and run tactics (that most of his warriors – being followers of CAELTHASH – loathe).

>>> 3. He also tells them that the war will have to continue through the Winter – for the Ankmarin are actually salting the farmlands they take – likely as part of a strategy to starve out the Taral in the long run…

GABRIEL’S INPUT ON ALTAYIR’S PREMONITIONS:
Altayir Premonition
(Believed Meaning)
>>>> Gabriel Knowledge

+ “Only by Torin hand can he be confronted.”
Unknown
>>>> Gabriel is aware of the scholarly definition of “Torin”, but feels some sense of understanding of what the word means – but in a way he can’t describe – like “the feeling of water”.

+ “Only by the grasp of the son of a Torin and son of a traitor can the three-blade be broken.”
Unknown
>>>> No knowledge.

+ “Only by the three-blade being broken can Tourlack be imprisoned once more.” (FIGURED OUT)
So long as the three-bladed sword is united, Tourlack is upon the world of Kyhermainn.
>>>> No additional knowledge

+ “Only by Tourlack’s imprisonment can Tempest’s children be saved.” (FIGURED OUT)
If Tourlack isn’t stopped, he will eventually gain enough ground, power, and people in Taralmainn for the Primordial to gain enough strength to wash away the remainder of resistance and take over the realm.
>>>> No additional knowledge

+ “Only the shadow of one who released him may even find the way.” (FIGURED OUT)
Only Dravis can find the way to the land of Shal’mae.
>>>> No additional knowledge

+ “You must go to the land of Shal’mae.”
Unknown
>>>> There’s something familiar about that phrase……

+ “You must find the Throne of Pellius.”
Unknown
>>>> Gabriel mentions an encounter with RUMELL, the mysterious High Priest of Chronish of Kadgar…..

+ “You must speak to the spirit of Mierna.”
Unknown
>>>> No knowledge.

+ “You must bathe in the waters of Larissah.” (PARTIALLY FIGURED OUT)
Larrissah was a Torin arch-druidess during the Age of Heroes who along with Lord Argus the Wise led a mass exodus from the Torin homeland (now Amergosan) to the western lands of Taralmainn and Pergammon, etc.
>>>> Larrissah’s name is revered by many followers of Mielikki, but little of her is known. (slight bio)

+ “You must regain that which was taken from you by your dear, sweet mother.”
Unknown
>>>> Gabriel has a very limited insight into this; it seems to be a truth to him, but he can’t explain what this means…

> C. Discussion with BRANDR of VENRICK: None (for now)

>> i. GABRIEL didn’t have long, so BRANDR had a choice – he could go with GABRIEL and accomplish his own goals, or he could continue on his journey with DRAVIS, ALTAYIR, and LYSSANDRA which seemed clearly more important to defeating TOURLACK (which GABRIEL confirms).

>> ii. Frustrated, BRANDR chose put off his own quest for the greater good for now, but made it a point to tell GABRIEL he needed to meet with him upon returning. GABRIEL said he didn’t know where he would be given the circumstances, but he eagerly awaited the groups’ return and was looking forward to speaking with BRANDR.

> D. GABRIEL and THE HUNTRESS departed, bound Northeast toward LORTHELL.

> E. The Characters turned west, and headed toward the VERDAIN RIVER. They arrived 4x days later.

22 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Dawn Day)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

4) THE PRAYING ROCK:
Four days later, the Characters approached the fork in the VERDAIN RIVER and began to search – it was foggy, but eventually they saw the PRAYING ROCK… [ALTAYIR]

> A. The Characters found a small underwater cave where the ’Child’s’ Right Eye was that lead to an open cavern (LYSSANDRA scoped it out).

> B. They investigated the cavern – drawing the ICE DAGGER, which quickly seemed to function as a dowsing rod – giving a slight pull forward…

5) THE DWARVES OF SAKERLINE:

> A. The Characters felt a slight shift in gravity after traveling for a while. DRAVIS realized they’ve likely passed through a CONDUIT

> B. At some point, they heard a loud “BOOM”, as a gunshot went off in front of them and they hear a loud voice calling out:

“You have entered the Realm of Sakerline! State your intentions; this Dwarf’s got eyes that can split a chigger in half from a hundred yards!”

Music: “Battle of New Orleans” – Bill Haley

> C. The Sakerline Dwarves:
>> i. Heath (found in the cave – sounds like Ellis from L4D2)
>> ii. Tee (found in the cave – sounds like the guttural growling south voice)
>> iii. Jim Bob (the leader – sounds, well, like W)

> D. HEATH and TEE asked if the Characters were “Damn Yang-marins”. When they were satisfied they weren’t, they said they’d take the Characters to “JIM BOB”.

>> i. TEE then brought around the PITTER……[DESCRIPTION]:

> E. HEATH and TEE took the Characters to the small settlement of SAKERLINE, a small dwarven village situated within a series of caverns.

>> i. En route, they sang: “A Balrog went down to Moria…”

> F. The Characters got several interesting glances from the townsfolk, but soon arrive at a large wooden building that apparently was the Great Hall. Stepping out is a Dwarf with cropped, salt-and-pepper hair and a long beard, apparently heading home for some dinner – the Thane of the Sakerline, JIM BOB.

> G. JIM BOB asked the Characters how he can help, and they asked where they could find the THRONE OF PELLIUS (or whatever). He said there was a Cavern that leads to the “STICK REALM” just over 7 miles away. (He then gave them each a…stick.)

> H. He told HEATH and TEE to take them as far as they could go on the PITTER.

> I. HEATH and TEE did so, and lead them through the winding Caverns until the rocky terrain is too narrow for the PITTER – and tell them “yall come back now, y’heer…” before dropping them off and heading home, singing “I see Vertoman rising…looks like, he’s really, really pissed…”

> J. The Characters then reflected upon this interesting experience and chose never to speak of it.

6) The Dagger continued pulling the Characters forward, until they reach a place where the cavern slowly smoothed out into corridor, with smooth stone walls and floor – leading to a circular portal…

7) The Portal lead directly to the WHEEL OF TIME on MECHANUS (no time to screw around)…

8) WE LOVE TIME (The Wheel of Time)

> A. The Characters emerged onto the large GEAR [DESCRIPTION: The Gear the Characters stood on had two primary Portals; MECHANUS itself could be seen all around them. There was a single statue facing the portal (“guardian” – a Per.)]

> B. The Dagger was pointing in the direction of the central mechanism with the strange glyph symbols. As it got closer, the ice started to melt, revealing a simple Silver Rod within it with small runes upon it – resembling a key.

> C. Then, the symbols on the mechanism began to shift one by one, and the dagger was pulled into the oval circle near the middle.

>D. There was a brief flash as all the symbols glow. (The GUARDIAN did not seem to notice.)

> E. The Silver Rod now pulled away from the mechanism and begins pulling away. The Portal has moved – it is now on the right, but it still leads to the Cavern… It began to ice over again as the Characters got further from the mechanism…

9) The Characters approached the Portal; it seemed to have a bluish haze to it. Upon entering it, the Characters felt as if they are underwater, but could reach the surface…

10) They emerge from a river, and behold a lush and beautiful realm… (RIVER VERDAIN)

11) THIS REALM:

> A. A strange place – but it is LOYASH that swears that it is KYHERMAINN

12) Then, the Characters hear sounds of a massive battle taking place over a nearby hill. In the valley…..

DESCRIPTION OF THE BATTLE: See Below…..

13) THE BATTLE: The Characters were then attacked by a group of 5x ashen-skinned FIRE GIANTS, who were hoisting into position a large catapult to bombard the Army of TEMPEST. They defeated them and a Flame Serpent summoned by their shaman.
>
>
>
>

DESCRIPTION:
300: Rise of Empire ST / Track 02 (Marathon)
(Describe as Night…..)

You hear distant thundering and chaos…

0:00 – 0:49: Introduction of Scene (49 sec)

You look down into the valley and behold two seas of warriors in an ocean of chaos. To the right, you see what must be tens of thousands of metal- and leather clad warriors clamoring for the front lines, of various shapes and sizes – along with many monsters and beasts. To the left, you see a densely-packed formation of several thousand warriors, mostly clad in a dull bluish armor, but flanked by chariots and horsemen – and flying Banners of Tempest – the Lord of Storms. (To 0:31)

In the chaos, you hear chanting from the latter group as arcs of magical energies emanate from them and are hurled at the larger monstrous army, heavily scorching its front lines. Multiple fingers of flame and lightning descend from the heavens and scorch the gray-clad force as sorcerers and deities alike invoke their wrath. (To 0:49)

0:49 – 1:15: Quiet drumbeating… (26 sec)
1:15 – 1:35: Ascending background (20 sec)

The enormity of the battle and the power that is being wielded defies all but the wildest of imaginations. Missiles of fire and light fill the skies over both armies; as the thousands behind the front lines lift shields in defense. Magical death is unleashed on a wide-scale, but clearly the balance is hurled by the legions of Tempest, as thunder and lightning boom and crack in the distance. (To 1:14)

Ancient legends spoke of days when the servants of the gods – and even the deities’ very children – fought directly upon the world in their name against hordes of foul monsters and beasts that sought to overrun their realms. (To 1:29)
The sight presenting itself before you must be nothing less than these legends come true before your eyes. (to 1:35)

1:35 – 2:05: Ratcheting back up; still quiet (no horns) (30 sec)

A left flank of the monstrous horde begins a sustained charge against Tempest’s army as the right flank of the latter falls into position, forming up with what seem to be fields of wispy magical protective energies flowing in front of them as they lock their shields and prepare for the charge. (To 1:50)

The horde slams into the braced warriors, collapsing their ranks in two places over a hundred-yard front. Additional blue-clad warriors form up behind the beleaguered right flank, diving in to slay those who managed to get through the lines. (To 2:05)

2:06 – 2:11: Brief quiet….
2:11 – 2:13: Three pangs
2:13 – 2:16: Brief quiet….
2:16 – 2:19: Three pangs
2:19 – 2:22: Brief quiet…. (16 sec)

Thunder seems to erupt from the sky beyond the black clouds, (first three pangs) followed by a terrifying screech. The clouds seem to part as a massive dragon – black as the night itself – falls right-side first out of the sky.

2:23 – 2:49: Three pangs leading to extended loud battle.
Then, emerging from the dark clouds directly above – with its elongated jaw buried into the black dragon’s neck and its powerful claws digging into its chest – is an immense whitish-silvery-scaled dragon with a wingspan almost a quarter of a mile long, descending from above and slamming the screeching black dragon into the heart of the monstrous army, slaying thousands in a single instant. (To 2:47)

2:49 – 3:12: Air of desperation / ascendency / (Forming Up) (0:49)
A gout of flame from up above belches down upon the silver dragon as it turns to look up; painfully charring its scales. But the massive creature glares back up and swings its wings wide, bounding back upward into the clouds. The black dragon flaps its wings like a wounded bat, righting itself before rearing back into the clouds in pursuit. (to 3:09)

3:12 – 3:36: Horns quiet; back to “tactical action” (24 sec)

What seems to be playing out in front of you is a conflict likely borne of centuries, if not millennia. The armies, the power, the dragons – it all seems like the tales of fabled days long ago, or disastrous portents of destruction that many claim will consume the realm in the days to come. (To 3:27)

Even after several moments, you can only stand above the struggle in shock – shock jarred only by the thunderous footfalls from behind you…………. (To 3:37)

3:37 – 3:54: Falling off into silence

View
The War of the Black Blood: Act 02
The Count of Lorthell

16 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Gods Day) (Early Evening)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

1) Characters had just finished fighting a pack of LARGE VAMPIRIC WOLVES that had been sent forth by a roaming cavalry squad.

2) Now, the Cavalry squad itself led by RAGNOR of the GOLLASHK bore down on the Characters and the Caravan.

THE CARAVAN:
> 4x Wagons of supplies, food, etc.
> 4x Priests of Mieliekki:
>> LADY LENA KOLLAR (P7)
>> MARELDA LANG (P5)
>> JONAS LANG (P4)
>> LUCAS FAUST (P2)

ESCORTS:
> BRANDR
> DRAVIS
> ALTAYIR
> LYSSANDRA
> 6x Lorthell Guards (F4)
> 6x Men-at-arms (F4)

3) They settled in for a long battle (more or less), which led to the deaths of two of their escorts.

> A. The Ankmarin Cavalry were using the wolves for scouting. They’d found the Supply Point, and were scouting the area out. They’d used the wolves to draw out the defenders and were coming in to mop up.

> B. In a pitched battle, 2x of the LORTHELL GUARDS had fallen, but the Caravan didn’t lose anything else, and the Characters slew all of the ANKMARIN CAVALRY and RAGNOR.

> C. During the battle, a figure galloped in from the northwest, shooting down fleeing Ankmarin raiders after wounding their horses. It was a slender, armored woman with long red hair. DRAVIS moved forward to meet THE HUNTRESS

>> i. THE HUNTRESS claimed that COUNT GABRIEL had been captured and she wanted their help to release him.

>> ii. She kept her distance from the Caravan; knowing she did not have the best reputation to the Taral people…

> D. The Characters spoke with THE HUNTRESS and decided to continue escorting the Caravan to the Supply Point (they were less than a day away), while she followed the tracks of GABRIEL’S attackers and left a trail for them to catch up.

4) Upon reaching the Supply Point – a small stone tower with a wooden palisade and a protective regiment – LENA KOLLAR thanked the Characters for their defense of the Caravan; for they would have likely not made it without aid. The Characters prepared to leave.

> A. LENA pulls BRANDR aside and cautions him about THE HUNTRESS; claiming she is well-known to be a bloodthirsty bounty hunter and assassin – without loyalty.

5) The Characters travel back to the site of the battle, where they look for signs of THE HUNTRESS’ trail. Instead, they find a raven that circles them incessantly and seems almost to call them. They proceed to follow it, and it leads through some woods to the site of a battle…

> A. 23x corpses littered the ground (14x of them dead Lorthell warriors; 9x slain unknown men in armor). The ground was littered with arrows, most of them in the Lorthell warriors – clearly it had been an ambush.

6) The Characters continued their pursuit…

View
The War of the Black Blood: Act 01
The Converging Paths

NOTES:
1) XP for last adventure = None

2) PLAYER CHARACTER INVOLUNTARY ROMANCE

> A. Chances: DRAVIS (17%); ALTAYIR (17%); BRANDR (20%)
> B. DRAVIS has found a PLAYER CHARACTER INVOLUNTARY ROMANCE!

3) TIMELINE CORRECTIONDRAVIS INTRO should have taken place on 10 BROZNALUM; not 17th.

4) INITIAL PC LOCATIONS:
> A. DRAVIS – with LYSSANDRA arrived in LORTHELL after DRAVIS got his things in order and they made the trip in (2.5 days journey.)

> B. ALTAYIR – had been working with the priests at the Great Hall & Barracks to tend to the wounded and his duties, knowing/sensing DRAVIS would be arriving soon.

> C. BRANDR – had become bored waiting for GABRIEL and had lent out his sword as an escort for supply caravans. (He couldn’t find the Count at this point in all this mess if he wasn’t “known” around here). He’d quickly developed some repute in skill; few skilled warriors weren’t at the front.

People of LORTHELL
1) COUNT: GABRIEL ARCADES
2) GENERAL: GEHRD PRUGHER
3) ADVISERS: SIR RUPERT WENDELIN of CLAN WELZHENN
4) PRIESTS: LADY LENA KOLLAR (Mieliekki)
5) OTHERS:
Locations:
6) TAVERN: The Seventh Stable

SCENE ONE: ROLEPLAY: OLD FRIENDS (Western Woods; Lorthell)
13 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Guilds Day)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

1) DRAVIS and LYSSANDRA traveled to LORTHELL from DRAVIS’ TOWER.

2) Expository dialogue; RP warm up; give John & Ken time to look over characters, etc.

SCENE TWO: ROLEPLAY: ASSEMBLING THE TROOPS (Great Hall; Lorthell)
13 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Guilds Day)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

1) DRAVIS and LYSSANDRA traveled to the Temple of Vertoman, where one of the acolytes told them that ALTAYIR was at the Great Hall. They arrived there a short while later.

2) The Great Hall of Lorthell:

> A. Currently “In Charge” of LORTHELL while GABRIEL was away fighting was SIR RUPERT WENDELIN of CLAN WEZHENN, an older knight and advisor to GABRIEL.

> B. ALTAYIR led DRAVIS & LYSSANDRA into a small office that he’d been allowed to use.

>> i. All that has been known so far was that the initial battles had been scattered across the realm….. [ST NOTE – Critical large battle is in progress…..]

>> ii. ALTAYIR mentioned his encounter with JHALAMYRN; DRAVIS & LYSSANDRA were somewhat dismissive at first, but eventually came clean about their associations with the (somewhat cursed) monk and the incident at the SHRINE OF LARRISSAH.

>> iii. The discussion led to DRAVIS & LYSSANDRA explaining the origins of TOURLACK and the fate of their former adventuring companion KYLE MARTUS.

>> iv. ALTAYIR mentioned the visions he’d shared with JHALAMYRN, which mentioned many ancient names native to this region of Taralmainn. They didn’t recognize the names SHAL’MAE, PELLIUS, or MIERNA; but one with knowledge of the local lore and history – GABRIEL – may. They resolved to find him as quickly as possible.

>> v. ALTAYIR knew that a caravan to the front was heading out the next day…

> C. BRANDR: Had been discussing the outfitting of the latest caravan for the front.

>> i. Two days earlier, a small circle of Taral priests of Mieliekki had arrived in LORTHELL from TANELPORT (Eastern Taralmainn) to offer their services to their “spiritual brothers”. [NOTE: this was likely due to GABRIEL ARCADES’ following of Mieliekki…]

>> ii. DRAVIS, ALTAYIR, and LYSSANDRA approached BRANDR and RUPERT WENDELIN; LYSSANDRA greets BRANDR and introduces him to DRAVIS & ALTAYIR. They make plans to join the caravan and head out the next morning.

SCENE THREE: ROLEPLAY: THE SEVENTH STABLE (Lorthell)
14 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Kings Day)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

1) BRANDR headed back to the SEVENTH STABLE TAVERN for the evening, and invited the others to join him. LYSSANDRA “nudged” DRAVIS and ALTAYIR to come; they all had a decent time.

SCENE FOUR: ROLEPLAY: THE CARAVAN (SW Taralmainn)
15 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Ancestors Day)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

1) The Caravan departed for the front. A few of the guards and BRANDR knew the way (BRANDR had 6already made one trip to the front).

The Caravan
> 4x Wagons of supplies, food, etc.
> 4x Priests of Mieliekki:
>>1. LADY LENA KOLLAR (P7):
>>2. MARELDA LANG (P5)
>>3. JONAS LANG (P4)
>>4. LUCAS FAUST (P2)
Escorts:
> BRANDR
> DRAVIS
> ALTAYIR
> LYSSANDRA
> 6x Lorthell Guards (F4)
> 6x Men-at-arms (F4)

SCENE FIVE: ENCOUNTER: AMBUSH! (SW Taralmainn)
16 BROZNALUM, 753 CC (Gods Day)
BROZNALUM – Month of the Pegasus – 8th Month of the Year – 2nd Month of Harvest Season

1) It was late evening on the 2nd day of the journey; the caravan was searching for a safe place to make camp.

2) ALTAYIR and DRAVIS heard some branches rustling from a small copse of trees up ahead. BRANDR approached them. DRAVIS placed a Wall of Gloom in front of the copse of trees, as ALTAYIR tried to divine whether or not to enter it – replying in the negative.

3) Moments later, bounding out of the woods were a pack of almost a dozen LARGE VAMPIRIC WOLVES.

4) The wolves attacked the Characters, as BRANDR yelled out to the Caravan to stay together.

> A. DRAVIS summoned some Shadows, before cutting loose with a Darkening Bolt.

> B. ALTAYIR invoked Soul’s Angsty Orb, followed by prayers to dismiss and bind the wolves.

> C. BRANDR fended off several wolves with his axe, and

> D. LYSSANDRA fired several volleys of arrows at any wolves trying to bound past them all.

5) Meanwhile, the Caravan was protected by the guards who’d held position, and cooperative prayers being called upon by the Priests of Mieliekki.

6) After a few minutes, all of the WOLVES had been slain, and ALTAYIR gathered the Characters to finish off two who’d been temporarily banished.

7) After the last WOLF was slain, the Characters heard more sounds coming from the copse of trees. DRAVIS sent LOIASH to investigate, and the drake returned a few minutes later as quickly as he could – claiming that a dozen or so HORSEMEN were galloping towards them…

ALTAYIR PROPHECY MEANINGS:
+ “Only by Torin hand can he be confronted.”

+ “Only by the grasp of the son of a Torin and son of a traitor can the three-blade be broken.”

+ “Only by the three-blade being broken can Tourlack be imprisoned once more.” (Figured Out)
> So long as the three-bladed sword is united, Tourlack is upon the world of Kyhermainn.

+ “Only by Tourlack’s imprisonment can Tempest’s children be saved.” (Figured Out)
> If Tourlack isn’t stopped, he will eventually gain enough ground, power, and people in Taralmainn for the Primordial to gain enough strength to wash away the remainder of resistance and take over the realm.

+ “Only the shadow of one who released him may even find the way.” (Figured Out)
> Only Dravis can find the way to the land of Shal’mae.

+ “You must go to the land of Shal’mae.”

+ “You must find the Throne of Pellius.”

+ “You must speak to the spirit of Mierna.”

+ “You must bathe in the waters of Larissah.” (Partially Figured Out)
> Larrissah was a Torin arch-druidess (twin sister of her equal, Aurelis) during the Age of Heroes who along with Lord Argus the Wise led a mass exodus from the Torin homeland (now Amergosan) to the western lands of Taralmainn and Pergammon, etc.

+ “You must regain that which was taken from you by your dear, sweet mother.”

View
Chapter 02: Return to Eranorn: Act 02
The Dark Tower

SCENE ONE: ROLEPLAY: MALDIRAN OUTSKIRTS (Central Pergan)
2 CANNARUS 754 CC (Gods Day)
CANNARUS – Month of the Hydra – Fourth Month of the Year – Second Month of Storm Season

1) Two days after defeating the Wyverns, the Caravan once again approached the northern outskirts of MALDIRAN. Nightfall came, and the Caravan formed up for camp.

2) Late that night, there seemed to be commotion from the woods – as in someone moving haphazardly. Upon investigating, the Characters heard a man’s voice coughing and moaning. He claimed he was a traveler named CASPAR who was with another caravan but got separated when they were attacked by a Wyvern. (He said the caravan was led by the ‘Red Knight’; likely SIR KEARN).

> A) He said he was found by a small group of wanderers who gave him food and drink and brought him back to a nearby tower to the north of the MALDIRAN ruins. He thought there was something strange about them, but was starving, etc.

> B) Soon, they bound him to a spit during the night and he swore they planned to sacrifice him or something else horrific. Just then, though, they heard movement in the distance and left. He tried to free himself, but failed. Not long after, a lone, heavily armored man showed up and freed him.

He said his name was WADSWORTH. WADSWORTH claimed he was a guard on a Caravan who also got separated from it and had wandered in the woods since.

> C) The two of them then fled, but he (CASPAR) was still limping and had difficulty moving. They then heard the sounds of the people returning, and decided to split up to try to escape them – WADSWORTH was faster, but made more noise. CASPAR said he hadn’t seen WADSWORTH since, and assumed he’d been taken prisoner.

3) DIMITRI claimed that he was good friends of a ‘guard’ named WADSWORTH in ERANORN. DIMITRI said he’d like to rescue him if possible – and if CASPAR could be believed.

> A) DIMITRI suggested the Characters go north – around the MALDIRAN ruins, take care of the problem, and meet up with the Caravan on the other side of the city. It was an ambitious plan, but it could work so long as the Characters’ detour didn’t take too long.

> B) SIR RAYNARD told the Characters that he would agree to their detour, but only if one of them stayed behind to help defend the Caravan. RELNIC volunteered. RAYNARD said he would meet them on the other side of MALDIRAN at the southern Watch Tower / Travelers Rest where they had encountered the Trolls – a day. He would rest the Caravan there for one day. (4 CANNARUS).

> C) LORELI eagerly wanted to go with them, but everyone shot her down.

4) The Area:

> A) This area was heavily forested, and the watchtower was supposedly to the north of MALDIRAN on the coast of LAKE ARTER. It was possible for the Characters to take horses, but maneuvering at high speed would be difficult.

SCENE TWO: ROLEPLAY: THE DARK TOWER (Central Pergan)
3 CANNARUS 754 CC (Dawn Day)
CANNARUS – Month of the Hydra – Fourth Month of the Year – Second Month of Storm Season

1) Early the next morning, AUDO, GAVIN, and DIMITRI split off from the Caravan, heading north. Five hours into their journey, they heard someone following them. They quieted themselves and waited, and discover that it was LORELI. GAVIN yelled at her, startling her and she lost control of her horse. She was thrown to the ground. It had been five hours; and was too late for them to head back.

2) DIMITRI was furiously quiet, and GAVIN angrily lectured the girl about her actions; she meekly maintained that she had little concern because she’d watched the Characters defeat three Wyverns and she was certain they could deal with six people.

3) AUDO tells LORELI to stay close to / behind him and they continued on. The Characters approached the tower, and AUDO approached on foot; knocking on the door. It was opened by a middle-aged man who seemed a bit slow, but offering the Characters food and drink.

4) Soon, the Characters heard the sound of someone in the dungeon below them calling for help, and AUDO asked DIMITRI to bind the man. The man then drew a dagger, and moved to attack DIMITRI, and three more could be seen coming down the stairs, two with knives and one with a club.

5) DIMITRI instantly reached into his coat, arming his Cestus, and backhanded the man in a powerful blow. The hit seemed to kill the man, and DIMITRI seemed shocked. AUDO and GAVIN were able to subdue the others easily; and the Characters bound the three men.

6) The Characters then headed below to the dungeon through an easily-found trap door; they descended to find WADSWORTH bound. He was relieved to see them, and shared some remarks with DIMITRI. After freed, he donned his armor and gathered up his weapons. He found it curious that his captors hadn’t taken any gold.

7) After WADSWORTH had gotten his bearings and been healed some by AUDO, the Characters left the three bound men on the first floor, and told LORELI to remain there. At AUDO’s request, DIMITRI gave LORELI a dagger; for what it was worth she said she’d watch the prisoners.

8) They headed upstairs and found a shadowy room occupied by three SPOREBATS. The SPOREBATS were merciless, badly injuring the Characters and almost finishing off WADSWORTH before one of them burst forth with an Acid Blast, badly wounding GAVIN and destroying some of his bags and pouches. Soon, the Characters slew them all.

9) Moments later, the creature controlling the people and SPOREBATS marches down the stairs from the 3rd floor. Its lower half seems to be that of a lion, with four muscular legs and light brownish fur, but the upper half is in the form of a very attractive, yet savage-looking woman, clad with nothing but bizarre, paganistic tattoos. She carried a dagger dripping with poison…

10) The creature attacked, and struck AUDO with her claw, draining a point of Wisdom, while striking with her dagger and creating several Mirror Images (W2) to defend herself. GAVIN used his Wand of Magic Missiles to whittle down the Mirror Images, and AUDO and WADSWORTH bore down on her once revealed.

11) Soon enough, the creature called out for what sounded like a mount to spirit her away, and it sounded like something landed on the top of the tower, as she bound off down the stairs. AUDO got in one tremendous blow, knocking her down the stairs as GAVIN struck her with a Melf’s Acid Arrow (W2) on the way down. The Characters heard a scream from LORELI from the floor below, and upon racing down the stairs, found her terrified, having stuck her dagger in the creature’s brain.

12) Interestingly enough, it remained unknown who actually slew the creature.

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