Tironde

Don't Split the Party
or it's not much of a party

As Vret, Fortis, and Kuori corner the cultists of Orcus aboard a food storage ship near the front of the Armada, Kayda is attacked by two masked assassins aboard the Bronze Goddess. Kayda knocks one attacker overboard while grappling with the other. She disarms and defeats her, then leaps up toward the rigging hanging from the mast. Deftly cutting the right rope in midair, she cuts a counterweight and sends a twenty-pound steel pulley swinging across the deck to knock the other assassin into the water again, this time fatally.

The others rush in to stop the nefarious cultists, but as they do, the leader summons four skeletons from eerie green portals. Vret nearly burns the boat down to the water, but the leader of the cultists reveals himself as a ghastly undead servant of Orcus and conjures a wave of deathly chill before escaping into another portal. His magical residue, however, condenses into a Power Jewel (a 10-inch icicle, shaped like an elongated teardrop) which hangs suspended in the storeroom surrounded by flash-frozen flames. Vret, Fortis, and Kuori come up on deck from examining the Jewel as they see crewmen rushing toward them with waterbuckets, seeking the fire.

Kayda gains one Poisoned Dagger +1, adventurer’s vault p75. It is needle-thin but razor-sharp
Kuori gains the Power Jewel as described above, adventurer’s vault p176

Reset party to 4,500 experience points.

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That Smell

Click Here for Quick Summary

Long Summary:

Aboard the Bronze Goddess, Vret assembles the team for an important meeting, where he reveals the prayer book of Orcus he found on the Monarch’s Vengeance. Fortis warns that it is nasty and shouldn’t be trifled with, that, “You can lose more than just your life by reading this.” And he was right. Inside, a bookmark reveals a ritual to Orcus being planned by the hidden cultists in The Armada. Fortis strikes out brashly towards the Monarch’s Vengeance to find the source of the corruption, Kuori in tow. Vret notices two shifty figures leaving the ship and shadows them all the way to a grain barge at the front of the formation.

Kuori and Fortis go on a manhunt through the Monarch’s Vengeance, with Fortis citing a grave emergency and that he was searching on direct orders from the admiralty of The Armada – he order the sailors and soldiers out of the barracks and placed the ship on “lockdown.” Meanwhile, Kuori smells a foul odor emanating from the ship. She convinces Fortis grudgingly (he couldn’t smell it) to follow the smell with her, eventually converging on the grain storage ship just behind the Sovereign. Vret gets there first and locates the cultists chanting their evil ritual behind a storeroom door. He attempts to baddassly kick in the door, but ends up just foot-knocking. He backs off and takes aim at the door from back, as Kuori and Fortis catch up. Kuori bashes in the door and meets the axe of a mean-looking soldier. Fortis and Vret let loose with LIGHTNING ARROWS as the view spins, whirls, and fades out to the credits of this week’s installment.

Oh, and this is while Kayda and Marukh are playing cards back on The Bronze Goddess.
:)

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Onto the High Seas

The group headed west, continuing on the road toward the sea. Near midday, they reached a rise and found themselves overlooking a small harbor with a scattering of buildings, mainly warehouses and taverns. Haela’s Landing, they found, subsisted mainly as a stopover for trading vessels running the coastline routes, but at that particular time a swarm of vessels dotted the harbor, anchored in perfect gridlines to one another. The group headed into the Red Flagon Inn to find drinks and locate a suitable captain to carry them to Kyne.

One stately-looking human in a fine naval uniform was sitting in the back of the common room. Kayda and Vret sought him out while Fortis, Marukh, and Kouri sampled the local libations. Kayda negotiated passage with Captain Vala Sanzur on The Bronze Goddess. That afternoon, they boarded the fine vessel for the first time, and The Bronze Goddess joined the fleet arrayed in the harbor, near the back of the formation. The group learns that the formation is a great migrant merchant fleet, The Armada. Captain Sanzur is a trader but frequently takes on passengers such as these.

Over the first couple days of the trip, the group explores The Armada a little bit. Kuori practices on the deck of The Bronze Goddess, where Jak, Stephano, and Markus become her favorite sparring partners. She also wandered a few ships over and joined a mock boarding on the military escort, Monarch’s Vengeance. During the skirmish, Vret stealthed into the lower levels of the guard ship, and something drew him into a soldier’s barrack room. He found a chest containing some traps, and a prayer book of Orcus. He was nearly discovered by the villains, but managed to hide under one of their beds, while overhearing that they planned some sort of vileness on board the Sovereign.

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Farewells

Ergodoth, the veridian scourge of Mt. Kamek, lay in a spreading pool of dragon blood in the center of the great chamber, seven feet away from the still body of Lukham Nardud. The dragon was slain, the princess was saved, but at what cost? Marukh silently laments over his brother’s rapidly cooling corpse. The dragonslayers and the dwarves made a somber procession down the mountain bearing the fallen champions before them. The dwarves of the Kirun Kingdom worked through the night to clear a plaza of rubble. The next morning, all gathered in the square for a funeral befitting eleven fallen dwarven heroes, liberators of the land. The patron deity of the dwarves, Moradin, intervened to create a worthy memorial stone to commemorate the sacrifice. The crowd pays their respects at the memorial stone and eventually begins to break up and go separate ways toward their long tasks of rebuilding the city.

The group meets with Prince Thori and the princess, who hands over Lukham’s last articles in a sack to Marukh. It is revealed briefly that Ergodoth is trapped on the other side of the disc from Rhaegos, as Marukh stuffs the goods back into the bag. As the group prepares to bid adieu to the Kirun Kingdom, three metallic streaks fly through the sky and impact in the western wall of the city. Thori and his guards follow the group as they rush to investigate. A young boy climbs out of a crater below the wall and says, “Hi!”

The group then makes introductions with Fortis, who suggests that he is the offspring of Erathis and Kord, sent to the material plane in order to gather followers and become a full god of the pantheon. The group is doubtful, so he proves his lineage by rebuilding the city wall he destroyed upon entry in record time (thanks, Mom). The group decides to head back to Kyne to report in to Librarian Ono about what’s going on in Nyonad Wyndill. Fortis decides to come along, to increase his fame and notoriety and try to gain some worshipers. Thori sends the group west down the river where they can catch a ship to Kyne. Camping overnight on their way to the coast, the group is happened upon by a duo of direbears, which they dispatch easily before heading back to bed.

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Through the Emeralds and the Jewels

With the respirators assembled, a very tired Lukham talks with Kayda about acquiring the sueyasem stimulant to keep the fighters awake during an attack. Together, they head to the mushroom caves and meet a shady-looking dwarf who provides some drugs as thanks for saving his life from the dragon’s foul toxin. Lukham dons a mask to crush the shrooms and distributes it into the other masks before sealing them and finishing them. By noon, the assembly line shuts down with 30 complete masks ready for service.

At the lunch table, in what was once the poison ward, Lukham and Vret disagree on assaulting the dragon. Vret does not want to be associated with this fight, and sees it as a waste of life and resources when the dwarves should be relocating and rebuilding their lives. He leaves, and Lukham and Marukh go to talk with Prince Thori about the attack. They come to a decision on a night attack, when they hear the sound of warhorns in the distance announcing the arrival of hundreds of dwarves eager to reclaim their home. Soldiers in shining bronze armor lead a column of civilians into Kirun Kingdom, back into their home. Thori brings them all into the now-crowded underground complex and they rest for the night’s assault.

In the afternoon, Kayda tells Thori of the old mining tunnels within Mt. Kamek, as well as the stories she dug up from the archives. Kuori finds a friend among the dwarves who teaches her the technique of the giant, two-handed, triple-headed flail.

At twilight, Prince Thori rallies the troops once more, and Lukham distributes the safety masks (Marukh demos). Lukham makes the decision to keep one mask back in reserve just in case Vret changes his mind. As the dwarves charge toward the mountain, Vret does – his priorities realigned with his focus on the Raven Queen’s will.

Thori leads 2/3rd of the dwarves into the old mining tunnels and sends two squads on their own toward the main dragon entrance. The party catches up to those ten brave dwarves (including the one with the flail) and helps them into the tunnels. Nobody can make the jump to catch the ledge to the upper tunnel, so they are forced into a downward sloping tunnel leading the the pits of emeralds, deep below Mt. Kamek. A lake of Molten Emerald spans between the heroes and a tunnel leading back up. A few stumbles here and there on the rocks threaten to burn the party to molten slag, but only Kuori is seared, while emeralds rise from the liquid and begin to whizz toward the good guys. Two huge emeralds sprout limbs and charge at the dwarves. The dwarf with the big flail, the de facto squadleader, tells the party to go on without them, that they can handle these if the group will face the dragon. A dwarf takes a crystalline claw across the face just then. Marukh tells the group they don’t have forever on the filter masks, and they move on up the tunnel, leading to Ergodoth’s lair.

Ergodoth rests in a huge chamber lined floor to ceiling with emeralds of many sizes and shapes. He sleeps on a 30-foot emerald dais, and has a cage behind him of pure emerald containing two dwarves. Lukham steps up and shouts, “Hey Ergodoth – remember me?”

The dragon sleepily banters for a moment, but an arcane probe from Lukham which bathes the area in purple light which flies down the other exit, startles him. He talks of how he likes his home and wants to not be disturbed. He sings in a low rumble, and the emerald crystals resonate in harmony with his deep baritone (baritone for a dragon).

“You make me hungry again, you should probably leave now.”

“No, We are going to kill you now.”

As Ergodoth rises to face the group, Prince Thori leaps from the opposite tunnel opening with his great warhammer, Gardain, and flies toward the ancient green dragon…

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Dr. Lukham, Medicine Dwarf
Sixty-two out of sixty-three ain't bad

The stalwart herbalists return from their foray with a plethora of foxbark. After a brief discussion of the treatment plan, Dr. Lukham gets to work right away turning the foxbark into an oral serum, which the party administers to the poisoned dwarves in the underground hospital camp. The serum of foxbark cures 38 of the 63, as the green tinge fades from their skin. Four of the still-poisoned dwarves twitched after the dose, and flatlined – a quick shock from Lukham’s power-arm defibrilated and stabilized them, to gasps from onlookers. Dr. Lukham and Dr. Kayda confer about what to do with the other sick dwarves. Eventually, they concur that the remaining foxbark should be mixed with the remaining fire salts and given as a booster dose. The fire salts bubbled and oozed, but they forced it down the gullets of the other sick dwarves. Twenty-four of the dwarves were healed, but sadly, one passed after administration. Lukham made the scientific observance, “Well, 62 out of 63 ain’t bad.”

With the dwarves (mostly) saved, they turned their thoughts to Ergodoth, the ancient green dragon responsible for the whole calamity. Ready to plan for their next action, they consulted Prince Thori, who explained his plan of attack. Thori was not willing to risk lives in an assault unless he could negate the poison of the dragon. As Thori and Vret debated the futility of a direct assault on the dragon, and the motivations behind it, Lukham reached a brilliant idea. He hurriedly sketched the plans for a rudimentary respirator with a foxbark filter to neutralize the poison gas. Kayda thought the foxbark would sedate the wearer too much, and suggested a layer of suyeasem (a mushroom with stimulant properties) to counteract. That night, Lukham worked to prepare filters for the rebreathers while the others slept.

In the morning, the party split up to accomplish more at once. Marukh and Lukham took Thori’s iron to a small forge up on the surface and forged the framework for the respirators for the next 20 hours, returning the next morning.

Kuori and Vret ventured back to the forest to gather more foxbark. On their way back that afternoon, Vret spotted an angry ogre rushing through the woods like a bowling ball. They made their way back to the city with haste, narrowly avoiding being caught by the berserking giant. They dropped the foxbark off at the forge, then Kuori went back to the hospital camp to pass out. Vret kept watch over the dwarves while they worked the bellows and pounded the molten metal over the anvil.

Kayda, determined to learn about the origins of the dragon, brought Waru on an adventure to find… a library. Being unable to read dwarven, Waru had to translate for her. After a few hours of searching, they returned from the ruined library with 100g of library fines, and copies of Bremer’s Fables, Cartographer’s Reference: Mt. Kamek, About the Marshlands, On Mt. Kamek, The Potion of Time, and Five Dwarves in Chaos. Bremer’s Fables told some interesting stories of “The Spider and the Hare,” the tale of “The Three Foolish Kings,” and “The Beast Under the Mountain.” The Cartographer’s Reference showed a very detailed sketch of Mt. Kamek, with some sort of chamber deep in the mountain with the dwarven rune for “Emeralds” marked prominently. Kayda returned to the hideout with Waru, where he helped her decipher some of his favorite readings.

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Don't Cry for Kirun

From atop “The Heatshaft” (or Mt. Kamek as the surface-dwellers call it), five heroes look down from lofty heights on the ruin that once was the great Kirun Kingdom.

  • Kayda, despondent after the second abandonment by her lost love, Terran.
  • Kuori, strong and eager, always ready for anything.
  • Vret, whose sharp eyes search the ruined buildings for threats or survivors
  • The dwarven brothers, Lukham and Marukh, share a moment of pain as they see their home in utter ruin.

The group makes its was down a treacherous trail to the base of Mt. Kamek and to the outskirts of Kirun. Clouds of dust ring the piles of rubble comprising most of the buildings. A bolt of green lighting streaks randomly around the metal rooftops and steeples. Lukham leads them all to his old shop, on the ground floor of a near-collapsed building. A bronze automaton, long since out of power, holds the last beam up with frozen servos. The group pokes around as Lukham retrieves what he came for, and they each find a souvenir. Marukh finds an ornate armband (Collar of Recovery). For Kuori, Lukham resizes a pair of magic boots from a four to an eighteen (Boots of the Fencing Master). He then slots an add-on into a socket in his armor, and it briefly energizes before settling down (Repulsion Armor +2). Vret’s sharp perception finds a magic cloak, which shimmers like a heat wave (Cloak of Distortion +1), and Kayda find a new jacket (double check appearance – Warding Spirit Armor +2). On the way out of the shop, Lukham bids a solemn goodbye to his enterprise, kicking the automaton out of the way and walking away from the building in a cloud of dust.

The group returns to the entrance of town, where they notice two figures ducking into a building down the street. They stack at the door to breech and clear. They end up meeting two dwarves, Walu and Waru, who are collecting supplies for the wounded. Upon realizing that Lukham and Marukh are Kirunian, they lead the heroes down into the tunnels where the dwarven refugees who are still in the town are hiding out. Most of the dwarves fled, but some stayed behind to care for the wounded and are resolved to take back their land. Prince Thori, youngest of the ruling family has taken de facto command of the underground resistance/hospital effort and talks with the party about what happened when the dragon Ergodoth burst forth from Mt. Kamek and attacked the city. Lukham asked how they could help, and Thori asked him to find a cure for the dragon’s toxin, which had laid low the majority of the resistance.

Lukham gets to work on synthesizing a cure for the toxin. Using a blood sample from an infected dwarf, he successfully breaks an alembic and loses half of the sample while distilling and downsampling it. Because of the small sample size, he was unable to determine a sole ingredient in the cure, but three items seemed to neutralize the poison: Deadly Nightshade, Fire Salts, and Foxbark.

The group heads out to the woods south of the Kirun Kingdom to gather Foxbark. After half a day’s walk they find themselves deep in the forest. Kuori plops down a big crate and guards the area, while the others go out foraging. Kayda, Vret, and Lukham gather a good deal of Foxbark, and Marukh comes back wrangling a live fox. Which barks when struck with treebark. He leashes the fox and they head back to the resistance headquarters as the sun sets on the valley below Mt. Kamek

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Ring of Fire
It BURNS!

As Modulo is away, the group rests, and eats. Lukham finds some Mushroom Jerky, heats it up, and shares. Lukham asks Vret why he was looking for them. To which he responds, “I’m looking for my past.” Ealodel, the Captain of the Guard in Valaris, pointed him toward the group to hopefully find his direction. The group briefly discusses the metaphysicality of traversing the planes back to the Prime Material Plane (Home).

Fourier returns with Modulo and talks with the group about Mt. Wrathful, the Heatshaft, and the former visits by dwarves. The dwarves used to visit them and trade with them by traveling down the Heatshaft, but lately it has gotten much, much too hot for traffic. Fourier tells Modulo to show them to see Athar, a magic specialist. That night, Lukham solders on his Rhaegos soultrap disc as Vret watches. They have a little talk before bed.

Also, Dwarven is now equivocable to “The Sims”-speak.

Modulo leads them to Athar, who sells them a Scroll of Endure Elements (traded for the golden necklace)

The group treks north, through a mushroom bog, and into an upward-sloping tunnel. They successfully sneak past a group of Wildlings

Vret – perception – sees a fireball coming at Kuori and says “DUCK!”
Kuori – athletics – rolls out of the way of a boulder which starts rolling down after her
Lukham – arcana – strengthens the shield to deflect a fireball from kayda
Marukh – religion – prays to avandra in dwarven, but avandra doesn’t know dwarven
Kayda – arcana – uses Fluffy to form a shield, but he gets hit by a big fireball and de-resses
Vret – endurance – trips on his way down the ramp

The rune in the center of the platform says [Dwarven] “Fleg Wanrag” – “Stand Here”

Marukh hops onto the rune and is sucked up into the Heatshaft. The party follows suit. A charred dwarven corpse on the platform falls over as the Heatshaft takes the party away in a flash. They hurtle through the fire and the flames and arrive on the edge of a volcanic crater, which the dwarves know as the summit of Mt. Kamek. They look down on the ruins of their homeland. Kuori asks where they are.

“This is Kirun Kingdom,” says Lukham. “Or, was.” [/singletear]

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Down the Rabbit Hole

As Rhaegos breathes his last, the ground literally opens up beneath our heroes. They fall into a large crack in the temple floor. For the record, Marukh stays at the top, then realizes he’s the only one still there and dives in after Lukham and the others. Each member sees a spectral apparition specific to him/her on the way down a swirling shaft of bright, psychedelic colors. The corpse of Azgalorn makes a large dent in the floor of the circular chamber they all safely land in. As the group explores a strange, underground cavern they encounter Vret, an elven archer who was searching for them when he too fell into a hole in the floor. Together, they defeated a swarm of fungus-covered evil monsters and their hive. They then found a giant cavern containing large mushroomtrees, glowing in the darkness , outside the town of New Ruhn. They were greeted by a small, mushroom man who intruduced himself as Modulo, a businessman of the New Ruhn Myconids. He invites the party into his home and they rest while speaking briefly about the new plane they’re in, The Deepening – a subrealm below the Elemental Chaos. Modulo became very concerned about the way the party arrived, and went to find Governor Fourier to meet with them….

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Rhaegos the Mad

As the group prepares themselves to hunt their true quarry, Rhaegos the Mad (aka Rhaegos the Terrible, Flying Scourge of the Night, The Mind Killer), they find their way to just outside the grand central chamber of the ancient temple in the city of Nyonad Wyndill. However, before they can enter the chamber, Lukham comes rushing down the hall trailing a stream of blue magic from his hand. He huffs, and he puffs, and he shows the group what he discovered while he was away from them – a magic-powered spotlight capable of shining a bright light over 50 feet away. He powers It with runic channels dug into the stone disc.
The group enters the main chamber cautiously, at first, until Marukh shouts, “Hello!” into the darkness. He is answered with a deep, resonant, “Hello,” that rattles the entire room. Lukham’s spotlight catches the outline of a scaly tail, and he swiftly aims it up toward the geode chandelier above, dimly lighting the whole room and revealing Rhaegos himself. The evil orium dragon, young in appearance but sly in words, demands a tribute. He turns down gold, gems, and precious jewels as uninteresting to him, and begins to attack, but Kuori and Marukh rush down the stairs first.
Azgalorn, disgusted that Lukham will not offer MILES as a tribute, as he would have been the interesting trinket that Rhaegos desired, puts a blade to the dwarf and threatens him. Lukham refuses to give up his robot companion, so Azgalorn strikes him with the sharp side, wounding him. Marukh however does an about-face and redirects his righteous fury from the dragon to the tiefling, striking him down with a mighty blow. Or, well, distracting him for Lukham’s steel fist of fury to give him his final lights out. Azgalorn stabilized after his betrayed allies struck him down, but a spray of poison from the dragon proved to be too much for him to bear. In true tiefling fashion, his final breath erupted as a small fireball which nearly gave Kuori a hotfoot.
With their focus now fully on Rhaegos, the party (and Terran) took the dragon’s best licks and kept on ticking. Terran, full of battle fury, leapt onto the back of the dragon and dug his daggers into its neck. Rhaegos tried to make a desperate escape down the tunnel, but Marukh caught up, and his sword caught in between two scales in Rhaegos’ stomach, slicing it in twain. Marukh rose, covered in dragon entrails, as the deathrattle of the Last Lord of Nyonad Wyndill shook the foundations of the temple.

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