Shades of Shadora

Climbing the Overwatch

The team started the Overwatch climb. Like the ten thousand
steps it was long and tiring. Lashaur lead the party by twenty
meters watching for enemies. For several hours there was no
movement and little change of scenery. Steady upward trudging
was the rule. As the party rounded a corner they were greeted
by a grim totem of two giant skulls held up by broken spears.
Ahead was Lashaur creeping forward to investigate a huge pile of
bones. To Lashaur’s left was a tunnel entrance, to the right
near the bone pile a circular pit three meters across. As
Lashaur entered the bone pile he bumped a long bone likely from
a horse, it fell causing a small avalanche of bones around him.
Movement from the wall above Lashaur drew everyone’s sight, a
green Wyvren was looking down on Lashaur from above. It raised
its head and let out a shriek.
Lashaur grabbed a handful of arrows and smashed a vial of
Dragon’s Bane over them. Simon rushed forward and threw his
spear doing a glancing blow off the Wyvern’s head. Prospero
prepared a bolt spell but something when wrong, blasted off the
ground he landed stunned in rough terrain four meters above the
party. Almost immediately he was confronted by a second Wyvren,
this one had a chain-mail clad rider sporting a flail. The
Wyvern above Lashaur let out a blast of flame that he deftly
dodged. Roku gazed into his Orb, Tenk moved, Dane fired a bolt
that skipped off tough Wyvern hide. Arghmon cast a blast of fire
on Prospero’s opponent but something went wrong, the blast
incinerated an unoccupied part of the mountain. Trish moved
forward to find an opponent.
Prospero quickly slashed his Wyvern opponent, to no effect.
Roku deftly climbed up engaging the Wyvern near Prospero, his
slash glanced off the beasts tail. The Wyvern snapped at Prospero
who countered wounding it. It’s tail swung at Roku but was
blocked, the rider looked at Prospero and opened his mouth
breathing fire which was deftly dodged. A fourth Wyvern emerged
from the cave engaging Simon and Trish, Simon launched his spear
at the one above Lashaur this time wounding it, Trish slashed. A
fifth Red Wyvern climbed from the pit to attack Lashaur on the
ground. Even as Wyvern reinforcements continue to arrive the
party gained the upper hand. The two Wyverns on the ledge were
felled, the grounded ones near Trish and Lashaur did not last
much longer. Dane and Lashaur held good positions, loosing venom
coated arrows into the Wyvern’s and cultists. Two more Red’s landed
carrying three cultists each but it was already to late for them.
Arghmon’s cursed wand summoned a swarm of ghosts that forced three
cultists to the edge, Prospero’s blast collapsed it from under them
sending them to their death. Simon disabled one of the cultists,
leaving a prisoner. In a last desperate bid the last cultist ran
and jumped from the cliff, sprouting wings and gliding away. The
Wizard’s, Dane, and Simon all fired at him but it was an arrow
from Lashaur’s bow that drove him into the ground.
The prisoner was tied and the battle ground policed, four
Wyvern nests were found each with three to six eggs. These were
smashed, Lashaur found an old chain-mail coat in the bone pile
and packed it away. Simon began questioning the prisoner. He was
cooperative and helpful. He described in detail how they had
taken the Overwatch, its communication and spying apparatus, and
how he had aided in the torture of the Bander Priests that had
tended the equipment. A few of the Bander Priests survived and
were imprisoned within the temple.The Nyan temple had been
replaced by a temple to Hyalorm the Queen of Wyrms. He told
of a force of dozens of Cultists and Wyverns. Ahead on the trail
there was a steep stair cut into the mountain that lead to the
summit and the temple. The stair was exposed and with the
mobility of the Wyverns anyone on it would be subject to attacks
from the air above below and the sides. The climb would take over
an hour and sounded like suicide. The psuedo-dragons and cultists
also had night vision so darkness would not cloak us. Once all
the questions had been answered Simon took to the pit lifted
him and tossed him into the wall. He fell the thirty meters
landing in the Wyven’s nest at the bottom.
After two further hours of hiking the party reached the stair.
The party agreed that climbing them would be suicide and so
discussed possible other options. Trish suggested that Prospero
tunnel to the top, Prospero could summon a gnome but it would take
weeks to tunnel to the top. Simon recalled a time when the party
had been pursued by Dwarves riding gnomes, and he had a bound
Gnome from the Earth Temple. A plan was devised, Simon would order
his Gnome to carry four of the team to the top. Trish, Prospero,
Lashaur, Roku, and Telpurr would be carried by the Gnome. Once they
had reached the temple Telpurr would signal Simon through their
linkage and Simon would teleport to his location with Arghmon and
Tenk. Grimclaw and Dane would remain at the base of the stairs and
wait for a signal from Prospero to start up. The party executed the
plan, Simon released the Gnome, and ordered it “Take these four
safely to the top of the stairs and the Temple beyond.” The Gnome
in a huff seized them up and disappeared into the Earth. Simon,
Arghmon, and Tenk started up the stairs to divert the attention of
the temple and its watchers.
When the four arrived the Gnome released them in a darkened
chamber, “Normally I would kill you for this insult but today I
release you and depart.” He quickly dissolved into the ground,
Prospero realized their error, and queried Lashaur, “Has your Rune
Link severed?”, “Yes” was his immediate reply. Within the temple
Telpur’s link to Simon would be blocked, there was no way to summon
them. The team heard voices and Roku quickly cast invisibility on
himself and investigated. A heavy voice, a Lazur voice was speaking
to two cultists about the incursion down the mountain. They were
overconfident saying none had returned and the problem was solved,
the Lazur demanded confirmation. Roku quickly returned and with a
whispered warning to the party, Prospero quickly cast invisibility
on Trish, Lashaur moved around the corner out of sight seeing light
in the other direction. The two came around the corner and spotted
Prospero who inquired after the nearest tavern, as the pair drew
their weapons Roku ran one through and Trish cut down the second.
Roku reported a Lazur and a Wyvern around the corner to rimnward.
Lashaur crept around a corner spinward and spotted a barracks area,
he reported ten cultists and two Lazur. With no idea of the
direction to the entrance the party was trapped. Lashaur spied a
small tunnel three meters above above party. With Roku’s help
Lashaur climbed to the crevice and crept along. Around a corner
was a Wyvern nest with a Green faced away from him. Roku and
Prospero joined him in the old lava tube. Lashaur sent two arrows
into the Wyvern killing it, with Roku’s silence spell on the first
arrow it died without a disturbance. The far side of the nest
looked down into the barracks Lashaur had spotted. A new plan was
needed.

View
Journey to the Overwatch
The party approached the ridge line as the mists started to form. Fear of the mists kept

everyone’s pace up. Twenty meters from the ridge dark shadows passed over head and with heavy
thuds three Chimaera’s landed before us. One spoke to Lashaur, then in the lead, “We know you
harbour the thief Roku, if he hands over the crown we will let you live, our master demands it.”
The party didn’t hesitate but leapt to battle, Simon grabbed Dane and teleported behind the
center Chimaera drawing his blades and wounding it. Prospero seized Tenk and burrowed behind a
second enemy drawing Kindred he wounded it as well. As the mists formed Chaotic Newts rose
from ravines and crevices surrounding the party, Grimclaw ran forward and crushed one with a
might pounce. Four for the Chaos hoard rushed Trish, for more surrounded Lasher, two attacked
Roku and two more attacked Arghmon. Those rushing Trish where slashed down as they arrived.
The Chimaera’s attacked Simon, Prospero, Tenk and Dane. Dane took a butt from a head and was
knocked back and down, luckily she was not wounded. Tenk was not as lucky and was wounded
and knocked down and back. The Chimaera on Prospero had a tail with three eyes, no doubt a
chaos taint, a wall of acid rose between the party and the ridge. Lashaur surrounded by the 4 Newts
teleported into the clear on the ridge and shot his bow wounding a Chimaera.
Simon killed his Chimaera foe and moved to aid Prospero as Tenk retreated out of reach. Dane
was confronted by a chaotic Newt while the third Chimaera flew forward to engage Roku. The others
began dealing death blows to the Newt’s that had surrounded them. Arghmon drew out the chaos
wand we had discovered, he aimed it at the Chimaera attacking Roku, out of the wand came many
shrieking spirits in a cloud, the Newt’s on Roku immediately fled, the Chimaera was surprised but
continued to fight. Simon slashed gravely wounding the Chimaera and cutting off his tail, Lashaur
fired and finished off the second Chimaera. Tenk threw his spear to help Dane but the Newt deftly
caught the spear and flipped it around.
The party had gained the upper hand, Roku and Lashaur finished the last of the Chimaera’s as
he threatened Roku. The other chaotic Newt’s were destroyed. Those still below the ridge ran
forward, all made it save Arghmon who tripped and fell engulfed by the mist. Roku quickly readied
his rope and grapple but Arghmon heaved himself to his feet and leaped to the ridge. When he
stood he was white, shaking and covered in sweat. No doubt the mist had affected him. As
Arghmon’s run from the mist was playing out Prospero and Arghmon scanned the battle field for
new foes, they saw some type of guardsman or soldier moving away from us into the hills.
Lashaur quickly picked up the man’s trail and the party followed him into a hidden valley were
they saw a series of cave dwellings. Lashaur and Simon scouted ahead and identified a sentry on
high ground, Simon teleported to his ledge and knocked him unconscious. From questioning the
team found that the villagers were survivors of Glynn. Simon requested that the guard lead us into
the village, he would only allow a single person without weapons, none in the party were ready to
accept this. As the negotiations struggled Trish stepped up and agreed to swear the guest oath. The
guard Starn, was very impressed with the Lady Trish and agreed. We proceeded to the village.
The village head man was Carl and he was adamantly opposed to aiding us in our quest. It soon
became an open debate with his advisers and Starn. The advisers agreed to aid us against Carl’s will,
after a bribe by Lashaur, Starn agreed to be our guide. He went to the village and returned with
horses for all, “We should get moving before Carl notices that we have borrowed his horses.”. With
Starn’s horses and guidance we made it to the base of the Overwatch in hours instead of days. The
party camped the night at the base of the Overwatch. Before the rising of the sun Starn set us on
our way. The way up was a steep winding trail with no cover and many stretches of difficult terrain
where falls would need to be guarded against. Starn agreed to wait 3 days under cover of the cave
he had found. The trudge up the mountain began, as the Sun arose Simon broke into dance at the
day and the rising of the sun. As he concluded he made a prayer to Bander, “May the Sun of Lazur
daze our foes while the shadows and illusions of Bander blind them to our presence.”

View
Preparing for the Overwatch

The party entered the Gardener’s Path and within minutes were returned to the Dyrad’s
Grove. Lilia met us and thanked us for our service, she said she could feel the changes we
had made to her fen. From the spring in the grove she again offered all in the party a taste
of the water from her rune scribed ladle. All wounds and fatigue lifted from the party as
they drank. Lashaur showed Lilia the Gardener’s bow he had found, and she shuddered. “The
bow of my husband”, where did you come by this? Her husband had been missing for countless
years, the entity in the bow, Ivan, addressed her. His remains were not in the Chaos Nest,
perhaps he still lived. Lilia asked Lashaur to accept the mission to search for him. He
replied that he and the team would do our best. As far as Ivor recalled he had been given
to the Rune Lord Yale, where the husband Zephery was he did not know. We had hoped to find
elves in the Vale of tears after taking the overwatch, perhaps they would have news.
Lilia handed the heavy leather satchel with numerous pockets to Simon, “You have held
up your end of our bargain, here is mine. Provide these to the Lady Raven, she will be able
to make the draughts you requested and many others. Too, give her a message for me. Her
Mother forgives her and would welcome her return with open arms.” Simon accepted the satchel
and message, Lilia opened a new Gardener’s Path to return them to the edge of the Marsh
and Lord Raven. Upon exiting the path the Newt Shaman was waiting with questions, after
hearing of our exploits he suggested that Tenk return with him to the tribe, Tenk declined
and said he would accompany us further.
The return to Fort Raven was interrupted by a pursuit by several Griffins, these were
evaded successfully without injury. The King Griffin would need to be meet, this constant
dogging or our every step was becoming intolerable. Once finished with the Overwatch we
would need to parley with him.
Once at the Fort Simon confronted the Lord Raven with fire in his eye’s, “You sent us
into the marsh without telling us that in addition to raven eggs you stole the Dryad
daughter?” He continued as the Lord Raven cowered back, “In any alliance there will be a give
and take, you have mislead us twice. Once with the mock execution and now with the marsh. If
this happens again it will be the last time. Do you understand!” The Lord hemmed and hawed
but Simon forced him to look him in the eye and give an unequivocal affirmative. Simon
stepped away, “Very well we will speak no more of this.”
The Lady Raven took the satchel, Simon delivered his message and it brought the lady to
tear’s, “She has forgiven me, thank-you so much I have missed her dearly.” She quickly
departed to brewed a potion to restore Lord Jessup. Simon went to his room to recover his
spells. Lord Raven aided the rest of the party prepare for the morning departure. He spoke
of the upcoming High Holiday with some dread, “It is likely that the Volcano priest’s will
choose Fort Raven for their target this year, with the welcome of the Dryad we will abandon
the fort for the immediate time and dwell with her hoping for the best.”
Lord Jessup quickly recovered and promised to continue his arguments to this father Lord
Seahall to fight the Lazuri. He departed with his entourage as the party was mounting the
giant ravens to the flight towards the Overwatch. As Lashaur mounted the Lady Raven came from
the Fort red eyed with weariness, “I’ve laboured though the night but these potions of Dragon’s
Bane should aid you in your quest”. The Lord Raven gave us the final instructions, on meeting
after the mission and re-emphasized the danger of the High Holy Day, twenty days remained. If
the Fire Temple was not captured by the day allies would die. Simon promised our best but with
no guarantee’s.
The party took wing once more and again was troubled by the Griffin’s this time they were
evaded by flying through a storm. We covered more distance than we had expected and landed near
the Spiderwood. Using the Gardner’s Bow Lashaur summoned a Gardner’s path and within minutes
the party and covered a day’s journey towards the Overwatch (coreward). Once clear the party
was attacked by a variety of plain burrower’s. They were killed but in order to hide their
presence the the party’s course and pace was changed slowing them. What should have been an
easy hike to the hills became a desperate race as the sun began to set and the Mists of
Madness began to rise.

View
Destroying the Chaos Nest

The stairs into the chaos nest was covered with rotting debris
and waste, it was slippery and had an unpleasant smell. The light
was dim, Simon’s sword glowed, Prospero’s staff gave off a blue light,
flames flickered from Arghmon’s staff, and Lashaur’s ring gave off
the light of a torch. It seemed the blackness sucked up the light.
At the bottom of the stairs was a ramp the led to a long passageway.
As the party reached the end of the ramp there was a scream and light
about ten meters ahead. A princess was being dragged away by Gargoyles,
they quickly vanished down a side passage. Simon and Roku turned to
each other and smiled knowingly, a trap, but whose trap was it. They
leaped forward past ajar doors that they knew held other enemies, to
engage the Princess. As Trish always says the only way through an
ambush is to push to the other side as rapidly as possible. The
team exploded into action as creatures of chaos attacked from all
directions.
It was as if the team had entered Hell itself, a wave of horrors
surrounded and attacked them. Zombie’s, Ice Demons, a Giant Man-Spider,
Minotaur’s, Gargoyle’s and the Vampire Princess all attacked. Arghmon
released Wild Fire into the fray, and formed a wall of flame blocking
the Minotaur’s and Man-Spider from reaching the team. Roku with Simon
engaged the Vampire and Gargoyles that were waiting around the corner.
Tenk attacked Ice Demons, while Lashaur fired his bow. Dane searched
for cover slashing at zombies with Prospero at her side.
From the rear of the party a creature shaped lie a hat dropped upon
Arghmon covering his head and emitting a horrible scream. Grimclaw was
spooked by it and ran back up the ramp. Simon freed Telpurr from the sword,
he drifted to Wild Fire as Simon beheaded the Vampire. Roku dropped back and
aided Dane with the zombies. The Minotaur’s charged through the fire aiming
for the sorcerers near the back of the party. Their charge lead them past
Simon and Roku, each took one down with a swift swing of their Katana’s. An
Ice Demon cast some type of spell on Lashaur and he disappeared, the creature
was quickly dispatched by Tenk but Lashaur was gone. As Telpurr healed Wild
Fire Simon teleported behind the Man-Spider surprising and wounding him.
Roku moved up to help Simon as Arghmon rid himself of his new hat burning
it and tearing it from his head. The corridor where Simon fought the Vampire
suddenly filled with Zombies, Arghmon and Prospero used their powers of
sorcery and the corridor was filled with blazing flames and falling rocks, the
Zombies were destroyed. As the battle was winding down the Man-Spider touched
Simon with his staff and Simon disappeared. The party finished the remaining
horrors and quickly began to search for the missing members. A glance into the
nearest rooms showed nothing but long dead dessicated corpses. Prospero ordered
Telpurr to lead them to Simon using his link. Prospero, Grimclaw, Arghmon, Wild
Fire, and Dane moved into a corridor leading core-ward following Telpurr while
Roku started healing Tenk from the wounds he had received.
The short corridor lead into a tomb that had obviously been looted by the
forces of chaos. Inside were four Thought eaters. Prospero and Grimclaw
leaped into battle, while Arghmon and Wild Fire moved up to aid them. The
battle resolved quickly, one of the beasts had attached to Grimclaw but
before he could crush his skull he was dropped by Prospero. Wild Fire’s
flaming breath was particularly effective. In the core-ward/spun-ward
corner of the room was a perfectly formed circular corridor. Telpurr advanced
down it while the other took up guard positions, it appeared the corridor went
a great distance without variation or change of direction. Suddenly Telpurr
floated through the wall of the corridor, moments later Simon and Lashaur
appeared, Telpurr followed. Lashaur told of tale of being trapped in a
gelatinous cube that he could feel was slowly eating him. He used his teleport
spell to free himself but was in a exit less room with the cube, then Simon
arrived in the cube as well. He escaped in a similar manner to Lashaur and
together the they sliced it down to scrap size. Simon cast his fire blade and
destroyed it. The team reformed in the crypt, and searched the desecrated tombs
while keeping a keen watch for their enemies.
We discovered many treasures:
From a Squire’s tomb a Master Work Silver dagger that stored the essence
of magic,
From a Priest’s tomb a Journeyman Staff called “Impediments”, it carries the
spells Barrier and Lockmaster.
Potions of Shape Change and Heal Body
Scrolls of Sever Spirit and Flame Weapon.
From a Dwarf’s tomb Superb Chain with an embedded Truestone with many
spells one likely lost since the chaos wars, a Teral Relic Blunderbuss and
Powder Horn with magic runes.
From an Elf’s tomb a Elfin Gardeners Longbow that had matrix’s for many spells.
From an Xern’s tomb a Superb Crossbow with divine matrix’s.
From a Priests tomb a 1st Empire Coin, with some unknown magic.
From a Mawla tomb a wax sealed jar with runes of xarandar engraved about edge
From the Thought Eaters a Black wand that clutches orb filled with swirling shapes,
but what it does none can tell.

The treasures were quickly disturbed for no sooner had the search ended than a new
Chaotic hoard attack the passage way leading to the crypt. Dane and Tenk held the
way against a new wave of evil. Prospero seeing they were over-matched cast a
spell into the corridor, stones rained down on the chaos spawn and the corridor
was cleared for Simon, Lashaur, and Roku to charge out. Back in the main
passageway the trio found a Fire Demon called a Shiner, Vroks, and more undead.
The Shiner retreated to an unsearched portion of the ruins driven off by Arghmon
who followed. The rest of the party dispatched the Vroks and other enemies. Once
the corridor was clear the party followed the light generated by Arghmon, he said
he had seen the Shiner walk through the wall rim-ward.
Investigating the party found a broken magical seal, likely an artefact that
had held the Chaos in check. An opening in the wall was discovered, hidden by a
clever illusion. The party moved though the illusion into a large audience chamber.
The walls echoed with the beating of a heart. In the chamber were Vroks, Zombies,
the Shiner, and a Liche. To the side of the Liche was the Vampire that Simon had
already downed once. Simon slashed down a Vrok and stepped forward. Prospero moved
into the room and dropped rocks on several of our foes. Roku engaged a second Vrok.
Simon seeing a direct charge to the Liche would take to long once more used his
ring and appeared behind the Liche surprising him. A quick slash with his Katana
finished the Liche and his Sashi drove the Vampire back, to his surprise the heart
beat on. As the others fought to cross the room to aid Simon the Vampire levelled
its gaze on him, his swords drooped and gazing at the Vampire he crossed the space
to her. As the Vampire reached for him an arrow from Lashaur bow struck her in the
chest, effectively killing her and turning her to dust. Simon woke up from a daze
to see the Shiner fleeing through a spun-ward wall, Simon realizing it must be another
illusion shouted for support and leaped into and through the wall finding himself
in a secret corridor. Simon was quickly followed by Roku and Prospero.
Simon raced down the passageway seeking the origin of the beating sound. At the
end was a beating heart the size of an elephant the Shiner beside it. Tentacles
reached out as Simon, Roku and Prospero neared. Without hesitation Simon used the
sever spirit scroll they had discovered in the crypt. The heart staggered and made
a horrible wail, but resumed beating. Simon and Roku fought to free themselves of
the tentacles while Prospero attacked the heart with magic. Once free Simon attacked
the heart while Roku slashed and destroyed the Shiner.
No one knows who cast the killing blow on the demonic heart but when it died
a howling wind began and drew it into the void beneath it. Simon off balance from
his last attack followed it into the void, Roku leaped from the doorway and
grabbed his ankle saving him. Together they scrambled out of the sink hole that
was forming, as they fled down the corridor Simon shouted if you want to live run,
even as they ran the floor below them was plunging into the void. The group
sprinted through the ruins, falling rubble and debris closing routes and injuring
team members. Somehow the team made it out, last was Arghmon and Lashaur, running
up the final ramp the tower above collapsed, Roku and Simon raced back into the
ruins and quickly cleared debris to free the two and helped them to the surface.
The question then became how much of the disk would the void consume, they ran
from the ancient walls heading into the marsh when the site with a rumble and a
cloud of dust collapsed into the void. Crevasses formed heading into the marsh
from the sink hole, streams diverted into the hole, as the team thought the end
had come a mighty groan issued from the hole and the the collapse and ruin ended,
the hole began filling from the diverted streams and a new lake began to form. The
team considered taking time to rest and recover but thought better of it, the
Gardener’s path was near they entered leaving the area as fast as they could.

View
The Chaos Nest's Front Door.

The team reconnoitered the the entry to the Chaos nest.
Simon climbed a tree to view the interior of the ruined
structure. The entrance was guarded by two by Eye Tyrants,
one was truly enormous. Upon the mound were Chaos Apes, and
skeletons. From Simon’s perch it appeared that the wall
covered the entire site. At the far end of the ruins was a
large statue which somehow caught Simon’s glance. The statue
was of a beautiful naked Journeyman woman. Simon appeared to
freeze when he looked in its direction. A whispered hiss brought
him to his senses and he scampered down. Whenever someone in the
team moved the nearest, smaller, Eye Tyrant would drift in the
direction of the party. The party would wait quietly until its
suspicions eased and it moved away.
Roku moved spinward to see that Simon’s guess was correct,
unfortunately he could find no opening in the wall. He did notice
that the wall was holed and would be easy to climb. He signed in
the slave language, the party moved to Roku. Simon moved up to try
the wall once at the top the Statue again caught his gaze and he was
mesmerized. A well thrown rock from Roku brought him to his senses.
Unfortunately the inquisitive Eye Tyrant had spotted something and
with apes and skeletons started to move towards the party. Battle
was joined.
Tenk the Newtling spit in his hand and summoned a Undine,
Argmon released Wild Fire his salamander and sent it to the top
of the wall. Lashaur engaged the Eye Tyrant with his bow while
Simon moved into the open slashing down a Chaos Ape. Wild Fire
fired several cones of fire from the wall into the interior. Many
skeletons and a Bonelord fell under his attacks. The smaller Eye
Tyrant was quickly dispatched by attacks from several team members.
Simon attacked the larger Eye Tyrant to be blasted by three of the
eyes. One of the attacks flung him back into the trees twenty feet
back. Dane stepped up and fired her crossbow striking the tyrants
main eye. By the time Simon recovered the tyrant had been dispatched
by missile weapons. Before it’s demise it possessed Tenk’s undine
and sent it against him. He was smashed into the wall, while Roku
stepped up and dispatched it. With the Ape’s and Tyrant’s killed
the remaining Bonelords and skeletons were quickly destroyed. Wild
Fire took a serious wound as it destroyed that last of the Bonelords.
Prospero moved up the stairs into the ruins and the gaze of
the statue. He could feel the pressure of its magic trying to take
his gaze. But he could tell this was all wrong this wasn’t a Journeyman
ruin, no doubt evil magic was at play. As he approached he noted magical
runes on the stone pedestal that the statue sat upon. With his Earth
magic he deformed the base causing the rune’s to break. A blast of
malevolent chaos magic blasted out of the statue, fortunately no one
was injured. No longer hidden by its illusions the statue became the
image of the Chaos God Lurkolaze. An ugly terrifying demon covered by
fanged mouths, bloody eyes, and writhing tentacles. Know as Elemental
Chaos, The Voice of the Void and Lord of Horrors, Prospero used his
earth magic once more deforming one of the statue’s legs causing it
to topple and shatter. A quick search of the ruins identified a working
stairway that lead downwards. The team formed into a marching order
with Simon and Roku leading the way, Grim Claw was rear guard. The
team moved into the nest.

View
Departing Fort Raven and meeting the Dryad

Lord and Lady Raven threw lavish reception and dinner for Lord
Jessup. Lord Raven introduced the party as retainers he had hired as
problem solvers, our weapons indicated the problems we addressed. As Lord
Raven prepared to give the opening toast the Lady Raven shouted out, the
wine has been poisoned. Everyone froze as she moved about the room
checking each glass. Lord Jessup’s was the only drink that was safe. He
immediately protested his innocence. The Majordomo was called for and
hurried to the kitchen, when he returned he reported that the wait
staff had been drugged and replaced by Lord Jessup’s men. Jessup
shouted he never gave any such order. All eyes turned to the remaining
two wait staff who quickly fled the room, Jessup leapt to his feet and
followed shouting oaths and curses. Simon was close on his heels.
As the two ran into the Great Hall Simon heard the retort of a
crossbow, Jessup fell at his feet with a bolt in his chest. Looking
up at the second story balcony he saw an Assassin of Ard reloading
his crossbow. Simon saw the assassin see though his disguise and say
the Lion of the Dawn lives. Simon shouted to warn the others of
their enemies as he ran up the wall to land on the balcony. Lashaur
and Dain immediately ran for a servant’s stair near them. While the
rest of the party ran for the front door. Lashaur, Simon, and Dane
quickly finished the two assassins on the upper floors. The others
spotted four others in the front of the castle cutting horses loose
from Jessup’s carriage and wagons. They deftly leapt to the saddle
making for the bridge.
Prospero cast a spell changing into an Eagle and soared ahead of them.
Rory seized a spare mount and took off in pursuit. Roku and Argmon each
headed for the Catapults that guarded the bridges. The catapult shots
were very destructive but inconsistent in aim. One engulfed the tower
Prospero had landed in flames causing him to descend and meet the enemy
on foot. Some of the shots dropped rubble in the path of the riders,
Prospero summoned Guardian’s but they proved ineffective as the Assassins
rode past. The catapults, and poor horsemanship took out three of the
riders. The fourth was taken by Rory who had navigated the rubble and
flames and was able to overtake and slash down his foe.
As the party returned to the fort Lord Raven meet them with a smile
you boys certainly live up to your reputation for mayhem and destruction,
no doubt meant as a joke Argmon replied coldly, they will trouble you no
more. As it looked like heated words were about to be spoken the group was
interrupted by Lady Raven, there is time. “Lord Jessup has been wounded
and poisoned, without the correct herbs I will not be able to save him. If he
dies here it could mean war with the Lord of Seahall.” The known location for
the herbs was in the Raven Fen. Our departure was moved up and the team
quickly gathered their gear, Lady Raven warned I will be able to counter
the poison for twelve hours, but after that the young lord will die. We
departed on the Giant Raven’s.
Lord Raven landed at the edge of the Fen, when Simon inquired why
we couldn’t fly directly to the center and find the Dryad. He responded
that it would be a bad idea. Simon’s further questioning lead to the
admission that the Giant Ravens were hatched from eggs stolen from the
fen. The Dryad had a blood feud with the Lord and Lady Raven. The team
dismounted and headed into the Fen.
As the Giant Ravens circled away Roku spotted two Newtlings. The Shaman
addressed Roku, “Roku two snakes, the chief has decided to send his son
with you to learn the ways of the World. It is a great honor”. He looked
disdainfully at the other party members, “Why do you travel with the
no tails?”. Roku spoke with him and the size of the party increased by
one, a Newtling named Tenk. The party questioned him about the Fen and
the Dryad but all he would say is that the Newtlings would not trespass
in her marsh. The slog though the marsh began.
Going was treacherous, vines and thorns pulled on clothes and within
minutes all the water bottles were holed and leaking. Prospero summoned
more water but could do nothing about the path. Argmon suggested a fire
but was voted down by the party, we were after all coming in peace. After
another hour of slogging, Simon had had enough. He stopped and shouted
out “Oh keeper of the Fens, we come in peace. We need your aid but would
offer you alliance against the tyranny of the Lazuri.” Through the marsh
came a woman’s voice, “You came with the thieves and marsh defilers you
think I cannot see beyond my marsh, you are nothing but liars and thieves.”
Simon responded “I am Alexander First Day, we come in peace, my word
is my bond. We arrived with the Lord Raven but were unaware that he
had wronged you. Yet we would still meet with you if you allow for
we fight the Lazuri and their insane plans.”
Silence reigned for several minutes, then a gardeners path formed
and the voice spoke again, “Come to me Alexander First Day, we will meet,
I offer you the protection of a guest, but expect you to behave as
a guest”. The party moved along the path covering miles in moments and
the party emerged into an enchanted glade. In the glade was a enormous
tree, it looked to be very old, this Dyrad was very powerful.
The party was greeted by a beautiful female, Lashaur was smitten,
she said “You bring one of the woods, he shall remain with me”. Simon
responded as guest you are to treat us, he is my friend if he chooses
to remain it will be at his choice not yours. A curt “Yes, Yes of
course” was the reply. Come we will drink the guest cup, she lead
the team to the center of the grove and a spring. From a silver pail
she drew a silver ladle, runes were etched into each. Each of the party
drank from the ladle and all hurt and weariness fled. Negotiations
proceeded, the Dryad had the herbs we needed and many others but
had a problem she wished us to resolve. Within the Marsh was an ancient
chaos nest, recently the Lazuri had fought there way into the marsh and
had somehow re-activated it. Until their meddling it had been a nuisance,
now it was a danger to the Fen.
The party agreed to deal with the nest in exchange for the herbs. The
Dryad opened a gardeners path and within minutes of jogging we were
in sight of the chaos nest. As the party approached a hundred zombies
marched into the Fen. Not as abandoned as we had hoped. The outpost was
on a mound, likely an ancient temple. It was guarded by Eye Tyrants, Chaos
Apes, and skeletons. Within was some type of statue.

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Fort Raven Planning
Arghmon Returns

The night before arrival at Fort Raven Simon changed his appearance. To hide
the secret that he and Trish still lived he decided chose a disguise and Nom de
guerre. He took the name Alex First Day and the appearance of a Waymaster of
the Hamar Tayar. As such he shaved his head and altered his fighting suit and
weapons. Foe Flogger would become his offhand weapon while his sashi would become
primary. His Katana Inferno’s Edge he would carry on his back. Further he took
throwing knives in the Hamar Tayar tradition. After arrival at Fort Raven he
requested Lord Raven to put out quires for the purchase of a Chariot and Horses
for Alex First Day was a known charioteer.
As the River Queen docked at Fort Raven’s pier the Majordomo and a small army
of servants arrived to aid the party debark. The Majordomo lead the party into
the Fort and through a maze of rooms and corridors to the War room. The walls
were covered with maps of the disk but a great table in the center of the room
had a huge map of Broad Shoulders. The Lord and Lady Raven welcomed the parth,
, the Lord said with a smile “Let the destruction of the Luzuri and their allies
begin, we will meet at noon, until then recover from your travel”. The Lord asked
for a private talk with Simon, Prospero and Lasheur as the others where shown to
their quarters. The Lord led the three to a door with two guards and explained “A
stranger arrived two days ago, he appears dangerous. He claims to be a comrade,
I’ve given him the hospitality of the fort but he has remained solitary during
the wait. I leave his judgement to you, if a spy he will be executed.”
Simon moved forward and knocked at the door, from within he heard the reply
“Enter”. He pushed the door open with apprehension, the guards shifted nervously
and Simon tensed. Then his face lighted with a simile, “Arghmon”, long have we
missed you. The friends quickly crowded into the room, Lord Raven remaining
outside and still with a look of apprehension. Introductions where made and the
Lord departed on the Keep’s business. Prospero told the guards to bring food
and drink and the friends exchanged news until summoned to the Lord’s planning
session. Arghmon had changed, a darkness was upon him. Walking the Connundrum
his Master had betrayed him to forces of chaos. He would not relate the ordeal
even to Prospero. He had overcome the unexpected and slain his master. The
authorities had understood but couldn’t be seen as supporting an apprentice
killing his master, Arghmon was banished from Emancia. Even with the darkness
upon him the friends were happy he was back.
The planning meeting started with a speech by Lord Raven, then Simon gave
some idea’s. Many plans and strategies were discussed, all had some flaw or
problem. The compass showed Father Vargus residing in the Ruins of Glynn.
Killing him to deprive Volmog of his services was discussed but Simon pointed
out that if he escaped he was sure to identify Simon destroying the secret. A
second thought was to quest for the next piece of the Sword of Doom, the compass
pointed to the Sea of Steam. The general feeling from the allies was that
if we left the region the Lazuri would become resurgent and recover from
the blows we had delivered. Roku suggested the Overwatch, rumours hinted at
devices that can view and signal anyone in the region. Too the dormant
volcano was currently was a hatchery for the chaotic Wyverns the Lazuri use
as mounts. A double blow against the enemy if we succeeded. Prospero asked
that if any supply of Dragon’s Bane could be found, the team would need an
edge fighting the Wyvern numbers that we were likely to encounter. The Lady
Raven mentioned the Raven Fen’s, ruled by a powerful Dryad but it has many rare
plants and herbs. Lasheur suggested the Vale of Tears, if Elves survived there
perhaps they would become allies, bowmen of their caliber would welcome.
So the plan was set, the party was on the move, Raven Fens for Dragon
Bane, next the Overwatch to destroy the Wyvrns and capture its capabilities for
our cause, finally a visit to the Vale of Tears for potential allies.
For five days the party rested and recovered their strength. At dinner
the night before the party departed a new guest was introduced, Lord Jessup.
The son of the Lord of Seahall, a castle spinward from the fort, he was a
captain of ships and patrolled the Sea of Steam for Broad Shoulders, or so
we were informed.

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Cleansing the Sentinel Swamp
How Roku two snake got his snakes.

Cleansing the Sentinel Swamp can be best remembered by the Tempest that
formed over the battle site. Simon’s Ring of Storms lived up to its name, by
the time fighting began the rain was falling in sheets, the blowing wind
grounded the Harpies, lighting strikes landed among the Kur, and the waters
of the swamp quickly rose.
Lasheur, Roku, Dane, and Gurgle, formed a firing line on the near side of
the creek (which quickly became a stream). They were the shield for Prospero
who used the feathered wand to wrest control of the Hydra from the Disease
Master. Simon teleported to the cave near the Disease Master. The battle
quickly devolved into the noise of the storm the bellows of the hydra and
the barking of the Kur. As a Harpy tried to take wing a bolt from the storm
struck it down. Many times the Kur and allies formed and rushed the firing
line, only to be thrown back. Roku and Brine distinguished themselves,
switching to hand weapons as the firing line was about to be overrun. Roku’s
Newt allies were particularly helpful in the rising waters. Attacking from the
shelter of the water the Kur were taken by surprise while trying to cross the
stream. Many were gutted before they realized the were being attacked.
During the course of the battle the Newt Shaman gifted Roku with two snakes
with magical powers. The team now call him Roku Two Snake. Unfortunately
there should have been three but an errant arrow from one of the archers
killed the third. The archers did complain about the wind and rain but other
than the snake their shooting remained good.
In the cave the Disease Master summoned a Chaos Demon, a swirling mass
of blackness and corruption. As it bumped a nearby Kur it was sucked into
the darkness and destroyed. Simon responded with a Mirror Image spell and
drew Foe Flogger. Doing a sweep with the Ball and Chain he knocked a Kur
Berserker into the Demon. The fight became a game of Cat and Kur, with
Simon moving and sweeping always keeping his foes between him and the
Demon. Finally the Hydra blundered into the Demon and both were destroyed
(or at least vanished into the void). Simon exchanged blows with the
Disease Master killing him.
With their leaders destroyed a route began, the Newts moving swiftly
through the water to slay them. Simon found the missing crewman and other
farmers from the region who were to be sacrificed in the ceremony. Roku
two snake talked to the Shaman as the last of the Kur were cut down or
drowned. A group of Newts formed to escort the party back to the stream
and the River Queen. Since the Newt’s God had died (Hydra) Simon talked
up the advantages of Bandar and the powers of Wayfarers. He proposed that
they develop a fifth fighting style. Only time will tell if the proselytizing was
effective. With the rising waters the Newt’s aid was invaluable in returning to
the River Queen. As the storm broke the lines were cast of and the final leg
of the journey to Fort Raven began.

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A Deal with Chaos

The marsh was overgrown with only dim light filtering in with poor line of
sights, the party could not see the club thrower. Simon and Roku started
systematically moving in the cover on either side of trail. When the strange
whirring sound of the flying club was heard they would dive down. Using the cover
and their stealth skills the two were able to advance to a low tower hidden by
trees, at the top stood an Ogre wielding the throwing clubs.
Simon teleported to the top of the tower surprising the Ogre while Roku moved
to the base of the tower. To Simon’s surprise the Ogre turned out to be a Scorpion
Ogre, the surprise did not slow Simon’s blades as he cut down the abomination. The
Ogre shouted as he fell and others of its ilk and giant scorpions came scuttling
out of the woods. As the rest of the party moved up Roku killed a scorpion while
Simon leaped from the tower and killed another Scorpion Ogre. Simon moved to a
third Ogre Scorpion, Roku killed a second scorpion and Brine and and Prospero
engaged two scorpions, Lasheur let fly with an arrow aiding Prospero. After killing
a third scorpion Roku fired a pistol at a fifth Scorpion Ogre, who responded by
charging him. Prospero and Brine finished there opponents and Brine rushed to
Roku’s aid. Prospero eyed zombies shambling forward, and let fly with a rain of
stone crushing five of eight. Roku’s and Brine faired poorly, both being wounded
and Brine’s right arm was crushed in the giant pincher of their foe. Roku with a
desperate lung finished their opponent.
As Prospero finished his spell several mystical bolts struck him, none did
damage but he decided to find this new foe, and burrowed forward towards a small
hut. As he emerged he spotted an Ogre Hag that spoke, “You are a powerful wizard,
but I have knowledge which you will want. If you kill me it will be lost and with
it your battle against the Kur will fail. My life and freedom and that of my minions
for a secret and power you will need.” Prospero hesitated, not wanting to deal with
the chaotic creature but as Simon had said many times “This is war and the goal is
to win”. Prospero shouted for a parley, the fighting ended and the Hag said she
would fetch the magic that Prospero would need. The tension was high as the group
waited facing their foes. The Hag returned with a feathered wand, “I have made two,
this controls the God of the Newts, one is held by the Kur, they do not know of this
one. Continue along the trail and you will encounter the site of the ritual they
prepare. I have fulfilled my part and will depart.” Prospero nodded and the Hag and
her minions faded into the marsh.
The party started treating the wounded, Brine was upset by the loss of his arm
but was comforted by the knowledge that when we arrived at Fort Raven the damage
could be repaired by a healer. As the wounds were dressed Lasheur and Prospero
searched the Hags hut. To Lasheur’s disappointment only two scrolls and two tome’s
where found, all sorcerous in nature. These were split between Roku and Prospero.
The party moved forward from the hut and discovered the ritual site without
a problem. It seemed like a Kur festival with over a hundred of the beasts and
countless Varls. Harpies in tree tops acted as sentries but seemed more interested
in the Kur antics than on the approaches to the site they were guarding. Roku spotted
a band of hidden Newts, he conversed with the and they provided a guide to show us the
location of their God. Moving to a new vantage point the party spotted the Newt God,
a Hydra with an iron collar on one of its heads. It appeared sickly, with festering
wounds. As a game the Kur drove Varl into its reach to be eaten. Moving closer the
party sighted a cave, near the entrance was a Kur Disease Master, a High Priest. If the
ritual was completed the Mash, Ard, and Lake Raven would all be poisoned with foul
diseases. The party started planning. Out of earshot of the Newt’s Simon impressed
upon the team that the Disease Master and Hydra both must die. Further he pressed Roku
to tell the Newt’s that once dispersed by our attack that the Kur must be hunted down
and killed. None must escape the marsh.

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Chaos in the Marsh

After re-embarking on the River Queen our journey to Fort Raven continued.
For some hours the cruise was uneventful, but suddenly a current seemed
to grab the River Queen and push it towards shore, branches of a giant
tree swept out grabbing at the party, two crewmen were snatched being
pulled to the trunk of the tree. Lasheur shouted out, “Its a Methuselah
Tree, a Chaotic horror that sucks out the souls of its victims.” The
party initiated an attack, Roku leapt forward and engaged a branch.
Lasheur pulled his bow and loosed an arrow, which made a woody thunk
when it hit but proved to be ineffective. Simon ran and jumped into the
tree near one of the crewman and with powerful blow cut the branches
causing the crewman to fall to the ground. Prospero while dodging branches
searched through one of his satchels. In the mean time several
Kur appeared in the tree and skeletal vine horrors dropped from the
tree around the hero’s and onto the ship.

As the party’s attack continued a band of Newts emerged from the river firing
darts and engaging our enemies. The Aquilans, Brine and Gurgle, in shark form
made quick work of two of the horrors while Roku attacked the tree and with
Newt help got the fallen crewman back onto the river boat. Prospero handed
Dane a bottle and told her to toss it at the base of the trunk and then cast
a rain of stone that crushed a good part of the tree. Lasheur attacked with
his sword driving back a Kur. As Dane prepared her throw a screeching Harpy
swept down and grabbed the second crewman lifting him into the air. Dane made
a perfect throw and as the bottle broke a fire elemental erupted engulfing the
base of the tree. As the captain took the helm and drove the ship away from
the shore the final Kur and horrors were cut down and the party leapt back
to the ship. Prospero took aim but thought better of bringing the Harpy down
with a bolt, likely the fall would have killed the crewman. As the Methuselah
Tree collapsed in flames the captain headed up stream and half a mark from
attack moved back to the shore. The party disembarked and set out to find the
missing crewman. Roku shaped some candle wax into ear plugs and handed them
out for the party to when we found the Harpy.

Lasheur lead us through the marsh seemingly in circles until Brine noted
some strange tracks headed away from our course, after a tense discussion
with our tracker it was decided to humour Brine and investigate, five minutes
later the party spotted an Ogre. From concealment Lasheur drew an arrow and
let fly, wounding the Ogre, the rest of the party moved to attack. At the Ogre’s
wail several more Ogres appeared from a Rimward trail. An Ogre near the wounded
one began pounding on an old stump, which produced several swarms of blood crows.
The party battled and killed the Ogres and the crows, Lasheur was wounded but
Simon summoned Telpurr and was able to heal him. Once healed Lasheur started
down the trail that the Ogres had come from. A large club came flying out of
the woods hitting Lasheur in the chest as he stood to see the launching point
it flew out again knocking him to the ground. Roku recovered him and Simon
called to Bandar for aid to heal his friend an ally. A bright light surrounded
Lasheur and he was healed and breathing once more. Time to deal with the club
thrower.

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