Bond of Brothers

A Brother from another Mother
30th Session

From the Journal of Alexi Goldenscale:

We proceed down to the jail checking each cell as we go along for signs of Scorpius, unfortunately the all the cells are empty except for the Githyanki who is still in his cell shackled up. We proceed down to the mindflayer cell and notice that the door is open! With Quinn in front we proceed down and peer inside.

Inside the mindflayer is free standing there while Scorpius stand beside him glassy-eyed. The mana-mithril shackles lay on the ground. (GM: hehe.. game on!!)

I attempt to negotiate with the Mindflayer but unfortunately he makes unreasonable demands and also mind-controls Scorpius to the back corner where he begins to cast something that is not arcane wizardry!

Finally taking a chance I use my mage hand to lift up the shackles and put them on Scorpius before the mindflayer can stop me. (GM: lets get it straight.. Alexi initiates combat)

Combat begins!

Luckily through the use of our team’s presence we are able to limit the ability of the mindflayer and he is not able to mind control any of us. (GM: complete B#llshit!!)

Unfortunately during the fight Quinn channels Paladine and it sends a ‘ping’ through the dark that eventually gets sensed. I feel the presence of Udoonin scrying the location and I take the risky step of engaging him in a battle of wills. Although revealing my new found power I believe I did the right thing as this way he did not have a chance to call for reinforcement to be sent to the jail. I turn the scrying energy against him and can see him in the Ziggurat room on top of it using a device that is shooting a necrotic beam into both Justarius and LaDonna. I channel my radiant powers through the connection we now have and manage to make him catch on fire (with radiant damage!). He attempts to flee with two underlings in tow but I use my channel divinity ability to stun them all and then slide them into the lava. They all cry out in pain. Udoonin eventually teleports out and I believe he has gone back to his secret hiding spot. As my last act before the connection is lost I manage to disrupt the machine and it releases Justarius. LaDonna unfortunately is still being hit with the necrotic beam.

The others manage to defeat the Mindflayer and I explain to them what is happening. I tell them we must proceed at haste to Ziggurat room. On the way Quinn & Redegar speak to the Githyanki and Quinn makes a blood oath with him to hunt down Ergoyptis the Beholder. The Githyanki is now an ally! (GM: well as much as one can be)

We make haste through the Dark and the Githyanki points out several passages – One leads to where the mages are being held, another leads to the dark but the main way he leads us heads towards the ziggurat.

We arrive in the main room and it’s empty except for the two mages up the top. I head up to them quickly while the Githyanki and Redegar head to a table on the far side of the room that has their equipment. I check over Justarius and he is unconscious but seems fine, unfortunately the beam is still hitting LaDonna. (GM: right between the eyes)

I scry over the device and discover that this like that stone in the Death knight’s crypt, in that it has a piece of Udoonin’s necrotic soul infused into it. I call over Caleb and Quinn and tell them to prepare to strike the ‘Udoonin force’ that will be expelled. I channel my power into the machine and succeed in expelling the Udoonin force. Quinn and Caleb quickly attack and destroy it before it can get away.

The machine stops working and LaDonna falls to the side. I head over and start to examine her.

Just as I’m about to check her for residue necrotic energy, I sense powerful magic being worked. Ergoyptis is coming!! I warn the others and tell them he is teleporting in to the top of the Ziggurat. The Githyanki and Quinn prepare for his arrival while the others help me move Justarius and LaDonna from the top of the Ziggurat.

Ergoyptis teleports in and I can tell immediately he has been altered! He’s been infused with necrotic energy and I warn the others. Quinn calls on the power of Paladine by slamming his Dragonlance into the Ziggurat. It actually breaks open! (GM: not breaks open – he cracks a hole in it) Inside the Ziggurat is hollow but there is a monstrous necrotic force in there! (Is this the conduit of Udoonin’s power??). Caleb & Lon heads off to help Quinn and the Githyanki with ‘Necrotic Erogyptis’, while Tiny and Redegar help me with LaDonna and Justarius. I finally get a chance to examine LaDonna and I can tell immediately that she has been infested with necrotic energy just like Karnak was, but it is slightly different. I could draw the energy out but it must have a receptacle otherwise it will explode. I pull out the piece of mana-mithril I had been keeping and use that to contain the dark energy I expel from LaDonna. I am successful and she is now in the same condition as Justarius. As I turn to tell Tiny/Redegar that we can move them both back to the passage I see them both turn and charges down a passage way (The one Quinn had gone down to kill Castor the first time). …. CRAP now what am I going to do? (GM: hopefully die)

From the Journal of Tiny
For the first time in a number of the days the “fear” I have had has been replaced with a sense of righteous power and fury! I will continue to follow Lord Quinn’s example, I agree this evil must be destroyed!

From the Journal of Lon
Do I really need to say it?…….

From the Journal of <someone>
This is most unexpected….but I can use this situation to my advantage…I will still be able to complete my mission….

From the Journal of Udoorin (GM: Dun Dun Duhhhh)
Ahhhhhh…. NOOOO!!!!! How can this be!? How was this possible!! That puny mage… the twin of the Knight!!! How can he have such power!! And in my moment of triumphant glory!!! Such pain!!! I never thought to feel it again…..

(Udoorin closes his eyes and forces himself to breath deep breaths to calm)
Perhaps I was over confident…. this is a warning… <uknown> is warning me…. I must not make this mistake again…

Plans will have to change…. The twin has the two mages now…. so victory will not be complete… but I can still exact the plan… It will still have an excellent effect…. The mages will still have to spend times licking their wounds….

Keldros….these event change everything…. but…. perhaps it was for the best….. the young one has now shown himself, he is the vessel….yes, he has had a victory.. but I will not be caught unawares like that again….there will be consequences.. I must now regroup… this is what I want you to do Keldros…we will turn this setback into a victory!!!

From the Journal of Mind Flayer
WTF!!! How did these noobs kill a Lvl 20 solo!!!! So BS!!!!!!!!

Grappling with Hard Choices as a potential Ally appears!
29th Session

From the Journals of Quinn and Alexi Goldenscale and Redegar Bloodaxe

After defeating the dark elves in Scorpius cell we decide on a plan. I use my hat of disguise to make myself look like the dark elf cleric and head out to examine the other cells. There are 7 others, down a long passage, either side. I head to the cell directly across and peer inside. There seems to be a figure inside, I try to get a better look but he seems to blend in with the darkness and the low-light source doesn’t help. I eventually work out it’s a dark dwarf. I try to question him but being in my Dark Elf disguise he is too scared to even speak.
I decide to check out the cell that is directly north of Scorpius’. Peering inside I see an Illathid!! (Mindflayer), he’s looking at me and I quickly close the peep slot. As I do I hear the Illathid’s voice in my mind ‘Release me, I can help you. Release me!’ I try and get additional information from him but he doesn’t seem to want to give more. He has mana-mithril infused bracers! (Alexi Note: He can still use his telepathy WTF) I decide to leave him for now and check on the opposite cell. (GM: you were sh#tting your shorts!!)

I finally see a human. Inside in a large male. Looks to be a barbarian. I approach and ask him in common what he is doing here but he repeats that he won’t answer any of my questions. I remove the disguise and he seems shocked. I tell him we are here to save some mages that have been trapped down here and we can free him. He seems eager to comply and I render the mana-mithril bracers inert and he is able to break them with ease.

As I sit in this god forsaken dungeon, prisoner to an alliance of dark elves and humans, I wonder whether I will ever truly have a home or tribe to go back to. What does Thaneborn really mean now if I have no people to lead!! Contemplating these issues my mind wanders back to how my tribe could have been taken so easily by this new evil threat. We have held and lived in the Vingaard Mountains for many centuries. We know the mountains, we know all its secret passages and crevices, we would have known of any troop advancements against our kin before they could reach us. I can only think of only 2 possibilities, either someone or something has infiltrated their way into our community or someone in the tribe has turned traitor. Either way, I vow to find out how this happened and seek retribution for my dead kin. (GM: pretty smart for a barbarian :P … thought you haven’t had much to do for a while other than sit and think :P)

Brooding over these matters, I am interrupted by the dark she-elf, who has probably come here to torture me again to extract information on other clans and kin in the area. Either way, I will remain defiant and stoic until the very end, as my mind and strength will allow it. She asks “what my story is?” I look up at her and in a strong and determined voice tell her “I’m not telling you anything”. She turns to leave and says that you can stay here then. As if, the dark she-elf would let me go. But then I notice a movement from her and she transforms into a robbed male figure. (GM: he gets mistaken for a woman all the time) The male asks “Do you want to escape?” My initial reaction is how can I trust this person? Is the dark elf playing tricks or is this person really offering to help me escape? My mind races to take advantage of this opportunity, even if I am being played by this she-elf. I offer to help the robed man, on the condition that if he can break me free from these bonds and help retrieve my items.

I lead him back to the others in the cell and we formally introduce ourselves. His name is Redegar Bloodaxe and he is a barbarian from the shadow panther tribe (GM: black panther party?) up in the Vingaard Mountains. He was captured and brought here.
He remembered some details about his time before he came to be trapped in the cell
which he relayed to us.

I am introduced to a small war party of 6 humans, and from my immediate perception, I am wondering if this really is a ruse by the she-elf. They appear to be kind enough and formally introduce themselves. Likewise I inform them of who I am and tell them I’m from the Shadow Panther Clan (GM: BPP) in the Vingaard Mountains, which was destroyed by a reptilian looking race. A big human steps forward and converses in my native tongue and tells me he is from the Ghost Bear Clan (Note: I’m going with Warren’s suggestion below). I greet him warmly in a traditional bonding of clasping arms.

Quinn appears perplexed or puzzled about my Clan name and relays a particular memory to me of another barbarian with a two-handed axe which has some similarities to me (then again most barbarians do look alike – it’s hard to tell them apart, like chinese really ). I advise him that I’d be happy to discuss this further once we are out of this dungeon.
I tell the group that I was onset by a group of 8 reptilian creatures, of which I slayed 6 before being captured by a robed one and brought here through a shimmering magical door. I was transported into a dark room underground with very little lighting, but I do notice during my escort through the passages, dark skinned elves and some humans moving about as if they were all working with the reptile creatures.

Going past one room, I see some reptile creatures and their human allies bring forth a black robed woman with iron grey hair and a red robed male with a limp, who seemed to discuss something with a floating creature with eyes as hair and a big central eye. I overhear the words “Udoorin was right, you are an arrogant people, and now that arrogance will help to wipe out your entire brotherhood” (GM: correct!)

Soon after that, I was taken into a chamber that appeared out of the wall. Within the chamber was a vile looking robed figure. The figure came forward and put its hands on both sides of my head. I’d never felt this type of mental pain or intrusion before and in the end I was unable to resist and I passed out. (GM: was a good mind rodgering)

Most importantly he reports seeing two mages (Red robe with a Limp – Justarius and a Black robe woman with Iron-Grey Hair – LaDonna). (Alexi Note: One other thing, he told us that a mage appeared and put their hands on his head before blacking out…. Is there a chance that Redegar is an unwitting sleeper agent? I’ll have to see if he will allow me to examine him for Udoorin INFESTATION!). (GM: well it IS one of his special plays :P)

When this Redegar started talking about his tribe (Shadow Panther), my thoughts went back to the first time we were chasing Castor and the hidden stairway that lead down into the sewers. We saw a barbarian back then and I am positive that the fellow looked a bit like this Redegar; same bloodline for the barbarian had an axe symbol around his chest. (GM: now you can’t really say why you feel this way, but yes – Quinn does feel there is a connection..) This fellow though was talking orders from the shaman that was leading the group. From the story Redegar has told us, he might be related to this barbarian that carried a two handed axe. At least it seems we have the same enemies, for now. Alexi is not so sure but we do not have time at the moment to argue since we have more pressing issues to deal with. For now we fight together to rescue the mages and get out of this underground hell. The big surprise was when Tiny greeted Redegar in his own native tongue – Tiny is a member of the Ghost Bear Tribe (okay – made that up but it sounds cool) and knows of Redegar’s tribe. Very interesting indeed! I also make another discovery – what happens if we put a fair bit of mana-mithril in the lava stream? Beholder lair go boom? Sounds like a plan to me. (GM: I’d ask a gnome)

After talking with Redegar he agrees to help us in our fight (although I can tell he’s not that interested in saving mages he knows this army has to be stopped). (GM: only good mage is a dead mage)

As we are discussing a plan we hear noise coming from the passage. We hear some (we assume dark elves) come take the dark dwarf and we can hear him yelling out. He’s terrified. He is taken back up the passage.

We wait a while and I head out and check the other four rooms. The two near the exit to this ‘cell block’ are empty while the closer ones contain prisoners as well. One is a Githyanki who is bound – head, and arms with mana-mithril infused bracers and the other is a gnome who has had his eyes ripped out and his mouth sewn shut D:

I head back to the others and we discuss a plan to handle the next room where he assume there is a force of dark elves. I come up with the idea to pretend to be a dark elf cleric and ask for their assistance with the Githyanki as one of his binding is about to break and hopefully draw them into a surprise attack.

The others agree (GM: GM rolls crap again) and we all head up and the others (including Scorpius) hide in the first two cells while I bluff the situation.

Inside the room is a leader, a cleric, a mage and three warriors (I couldn’t see the assassin), and they fall for my bluff. The cleric and three warriors proceed to follow me down to the Githyanki cell. Quinn (Invisible thanks to Scorpius) pushes the door close to prevent the others from seeing what happens and we attack the cleric.

Scorpius cast the invisibility spell upon me so that I was able to stand with Alexi as he opened the doors from the cell block. More Dark Elves and it appeared that they had not been alerted to anything so far. As we prepare to let loose the ambush, I wonder about the illithad and the githyanki. These planar creatures, as I understand them from what Alexi has told us, are not races to be trifled with, but as combat begins all thoughts of them are pushed from my mind. Alexi springs the trap and Redegar charges in with only his fists! No fear at all as he grapples one of the Dark Elves and pins it to the ground. I charge and strike (with only a mumbling of ‘Paladine’ under my breath) and strike one down. Redegar grapples again and takes another one down – unbelievable but as a tactic it worked. With the last of them dead we made our way to where Lon, Caleb and Tiny were busy fighting 3 more, one of which was a mage.

Eventually we kill the mage and one other while Alexi, Lon and Tiny have run off after the ‘Captain’ that is trying to escape! I did miss and hit the wall behind the mage before he died – the blow cracked the wall and was ‘hopefully’ not heard too far away. I also point out a trap door under the bed to Lon – Caleb had seen it but not mentioned it! The others return to say that the Captain was dead and that the ‘Mordor Sword’ was melting along with the body of the Captain. It is at this point we decide what to do and I ask ‘where is Scorpius’? Alexi and I think the same thing – the illithad has taken control of him and is using the weak brained fool to try and undo its bonds! We gather as a group and head back towards the cell with the illithad. (GM: trust a mage)

The group appear to be led by Alexi and Quinn, who have some similarities of their own and they discuss tactics of what to do next. I tell them were my equipment is and describe the lava room with a pyramid shape structure. It appears they have some knowledge of these creatures and what they are up to (which leads me back to my original train of thought – am I being played by the she-elf). (GM: Alexi always has an angle ) It’s agreed that all the other prison cells are checked first before advancing forward.

There are number of other odd looking prisoners of which I have never seen in my lifetime, but Alexi believes that none should be released on the basis that they would cause more detriment to the group than being helpful (hmmm is that she-elf thinking to keep the tough guys out of the play?). We finally move up to the end of the prison cells, where Alexi decides to dupe the guards, by using the she-elf’s voice (hmmm) into thinking there is a prisoner escaping (well yes I AM) and we catch them in a surprise ambush when he leads them down to the back prisoner cell.

With no equipment and nothing but my bare hands, I focus my rage into taking out the leader and launch into a full run and take down the dark elf cleric in a grapple to the floor, with the belief that the other warriors of the group will soon follow my lead. I am heartened to hear that Quinn has entered the fray and dispatches one above me, while I’m still wrestling on the ground.

I hear arrow shots from behind me, spellcasting from Alexi, as the war party appear to work in synergy with each other. (GM: you realise they have fought together a number of times) I continue to grapple with the cleric on the ground, when Quinn piercers the dark elf and I am free to stand once again. But only to be ensued upon by another dark elf. He cuts me with his blade, but I shrug it off and grab him in a bear hug and take him to the ground as well. The close quarter fighting tactic is working to my advantage here in the prison cell area, and as we hit the ground, I slam his arm down to try and knock the weapon out of his hand, and in the process, dislodge his arm from its socket. I hear him squeal in pain and I quickly clasp my hand over his mouth and grab his head in a lock to continue twisting and turning to end the dark elf’s life by choking and breaking his neck. The dark elf goes limp in my arms and I throw him off. Quinn finishes off the remaining dark elf in the cell before he hear the main door to the prison open and a new battle unfolds in the next room. I see a blur of motion from Caleb and Tiny as they attack a more skilled dark elf in the next room and force it on the run. Lon moves in and launches a few arrow shots at the dark elf on the run. Tiny continues to follow, while Caleb has sighted a new target. Alexi, Quinn and I move up to the room and give aid to Caleb, who is fighting a robed dark elf. I spring into a mighty leap and try to body slam the robed one into the wall. He is hit but manages to remain on his feet, dazed and surrounded by Caleb and I. Quinn kills another that was lurking in the shadows and moves to join our fight, while Alexi joins the pursuit to chase down the dark elf that seems beyond our reach.

We kill the robed dark elf and from the sounds of things Tiny and Alexi have managed to catch the other dark elf. I find an axe and decide to use it until my equipment is recovered.

We manage to dispatch the three warriors and the cleric easily but unfortunately the other dark elves in the other room hear us and the fight is on in the upper room. Quinn and Redegar manage to kill the wizard and assassin while Tiny and I chase after the Leader. Unfortunately it looks like he is going to escape us but luckily (Alexi: Funny how that works out) he’s using a ‘mordor’ weapon and when I cast my new radiant ability that would stun a necrotic or dragon being he is affected because of the weapon. Tiny and I manage to reach him where we kill him and the weapon starts to seep into the ground. (GM: was major b#llshit)

I manage to save the second sword which looks like a flaming weapon +?

There is also on the mage a skull rod, robes and boots (all magical). On a table back in the main chamber there are an assortment of weapons. I see Redegar has picked up an axe and I can already tell it is magical! (Unfortunately it is not his equipment).
From what Redegar told us we are now South East of the main chamber where the pyramid is. Interestingly Lon discovers a secret trap door under a bed that is in the main chamber that seems to head west.

We now have three ways to go. There is straight west, north-west or through the trap door. There is also the dilemma of the GIthyanki and the Mindflayer. Could we let them loose to cause havoc in the underdark so we could have an easier time finding the mages, can we trust them or would they turn on us!

As we are discussing the plan, I happen to ask where Scorpius is. Tiny races back to the cell that he was hiding in (At the initial attack) and notes he has gone. (Alexi Note: Oh crap…. No willpower…. Mindflayer who can still use his telepathy through the bracers…. We’re fucked!) (GM: no.. its GM payback time!!)

We race down towards the Mindflayer cell hoping that he is not free! (GM: hope is always good)

From the Journal of Tiny
I never expected to find a fellow clansmen down here. It’s been so long since I thought of my parents people, but this confirms it.. whether I want it or not, its part of my blood…

From the Journal of Caleb
The time is near, I can feel Mishakal calling to me…. I pray I will find the strength

From the Journal of Lon
Sigh…. another human.. great.. just what we need…. “f#cking humans”

From the Journal of <someone>
Something is not right Keldros…. While my plans are proceeding as thought, I sense something new…. something….hmmmm…. something not as it should…. and it is close…. {the dark figure looks hard at Keldros} … this is most unexpected…..

From the Journal of <someone>
Yeeessssss my child…. come to me…… you will be very useful….. now, the tables are turned…

Death Knights, Destroyed Libraries and The Dark
28th Session

From the Journal of Quinn and Alexi Goldenscale

That night Quinn, Richard and Karnak stay at the Inn (The Fat Duck) that they were directed too by the Lord, where they retired for the evening. Quinn awakes in the morning and heads down for breakfast. He finds out from Richard that Karnak is currently asleep as he was on duty last night (‘protecting Quinn’s room’). (GM: Hard night on the pi$$)

Today I awaken to the knowledge of two things. One, Alexi was dead and may never come back, (GM: well we can only hope…) and Two, The fight for honour and justice must continue no matter the cost. (GM: more xp for you!!) I prayed long to Paladine, asking not for myself, but for Alexi, Lon and Caleb for they were at a place beyond my reach and I could not help them with what was to come. ‘Grant me the strength to continue, Lord Paladine, for today I am feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders.’
To take my mind off of what had happened I went down to the practise yard very early and began to do the training manoeuvres my many teachers drilled into me. Sword and Shield like my Father before me. Would anyone spar with me this morning? No, for the damage I did to the practise dummies from the ferocity of my strikes put fear into anyone watching. That was not my intent, but with what had happened I needed the outlet. Nessie was still recovering at the inn from the ‘Mordor Spear’ that wounded her. It is best she rest for I sense a time will come once more when we think back on this as a ‘quiet time’. (GM: that is a very good analogy)

I still cannot believe Alexi, my little brother, is dead… but I decided that I would not laze around. I went back to the inn to wash and get changed and then informed Richard that I am going riding and wish to see the old city to see if I can locate the temple or library. I believe people have the sense not to argue with me today.

It is now 6 days remain until the group must be ready to leave for Sancrist with the Lord Hargoth. (GM: you know you will never get there right?)

Quinn decides he wants to visit the old temple in the ruined part of the city. He along with Richard & four members of 1st squad mount up and head towards that section of the city. (Nessie is still recovering from the attack and remains behind as does Karnak who is sleeping).

When this part of the city was badly damaged it was decided to do rudimentary work on the outer gates and instead wall off that section from the rest of the city. A newer version of the library was built to replace the old one (None of the books were moved to the new location!) (GM: it was thought that one day they would come and move the books, but it never happened) and a temple dedicated to the seeker gods was also built in the newer city. The large marketplace was moved to the north part of the city. Since then this area has remain broken and desolate except for those too poor to remain in the city and those who seek the riches that were left.

Quinn heads off with the group and they arrive at the portcullis that leads to the ‘old city’. Where there should be two guards there appears to be no-one. Further investigation leads to the discovery that the two guards are asleep in the guardhouse. Quinn graciously ignores the blatantly dereliction of duty and gets one of 1st squad to open the gate. (It is quite hard). (The guards eventually wake up and one of them trying to redeem himself heads off to inform the Lord about Quinn’s trip).

It is a fine day for a ride and we quickly make our way to the inner gate to the old city. There is a guard house but no guards – strange but we open the door to the guard house and they are all inside asleep. No discipline! I order members of 1st Squad to open the gate and they do; of course this causes the guards to ‘awaken’ and they mutter something about letting the Lord know (yes run along and do that) but they do not try to stop me. We enter and I am amazed at what I see – this part of the city is a true ruin and there are many people living in the area. It seems the poor and unwanted come here to escape – I can never allow this to happen to the lands of Goldenscale. All must be cared for, even in times of harshness or war.

Heading into the old city Quinn and the group finally reach an intersection. One of the guards dismounts and examines a fallen over signpost. He explains that straight ahead leads to the large marketplace while it seems the temple is located on the hill. Unfortunately due to damage most of the sign is indecipherable and he can’t pick where the library is.

Heading towards the hill there seems to be three structures that cover the majority. One of them is the temple, another that seems to be almost built into the hills is a large structure (that we would lately discover is the library). The other is probably the most mysterious of all. It is a large tower. Quinn having seen a few towers in his day correct identifies it as a mage tower (Smaller than Whupus’ tower and the Tower of High Sorcery at Wayreth but comparable to the ruined mage tower in the ruined city). (GM: what else would he think it is?)

As with any city, temples and libraries have a tendency to be built in places that one can see all; a vantage point if you will. With the signage not able to give us a direction, we head to the hill that overlooks the whole area and we are rewarded, for here we have the Temple, the Library and most astonishing of all, a ruined Mage Tower. Richard thinks it is a defensive structure but I assure him that is not the case. It is definitely a Mage tower though not as big as the ones I have seen.

Arriving at the temple it is actually not as ruined as the other buildings but it has been claimed more by nature and the guards have to dismount to cut a way through the brush to reach the entrance. Finally reaching the temple the party dismounts and Richard assigns one of the soldiers to remain with the horses.

The temple is made of white marble and back when it a sound structure must have been a wonderful site. Quinn notices some statues around but unfortunately they have been broken and can’t be identified if they display a patron god.
Up the large stairs leads to the main structure. What originally was four large pillars (one has fallen and caved into one of the others) has caused part of the roof to cave in but it seems the main structure has survived.

Quinn, Richard and three soldiers head up the stairs into the ante chamber when suddenly Quinn stops. A great evil is emanating from the chamber. Quinn immediately draws his Dragonlance and the other soldiers responding to his reaction draw their swords too.
Calling forth the blessing of Paladine Quinn channels his bless towards the darkness and he manages to make it retreat before the bless ends and the darkness resumes its reach to the chamber entrance.

As Quinn approaches with 1st Squad there is a laughter (GM: evil laughter) coming from the chamber before the words ‘DARKNESS’ and a fear effect expands out to cover the entrance. Quinn manages to resist it but unfortunately Richard and 1st Squad feel its full affects and they all turn and flee away!! (D:) (GM: that was an epic fail roll)

Quinn begins to call upon Paladine and manages to push the darkness back he pushes into the temple where he discovers that the evil presence is Udoonin!! Who has corrupted a knight (death knight!! And his retainers!!). (GM: yes a little present from Udoonin)

Quinn begins to chant the Knights of Solmanic song and proceeds to push the darkness back. He eventually manages to push the darkness back revealing a death knight and three retainers who attack!

Paladine grants his blessing and the area is bathed in radiant light that hinders the undead. Quinn yells out his battle chant and is preparing to launch his attack when from behind him bursts forth Karnak to launches himself into undead calling on Paladine’s blessing as well. While he attacks the minions, Quinn faces the death knight (mono-e-mono). (GM: hmm, seems Karnak got over his heavy night)

The fight is intense but Paladine’s strength was strong in his two champions and they managed to defeat the death knight and his minions. As the skeletons crumbled an evil essence left the death knight and fled down stairs at the back behind the altar.
Quinn and Karnak proceed down the staircase until they reach a crypt that is under the temple. There are four sarcophagus. Proceeding carefully Quinn heads towards the last one where he senses an evil presence, peering in Quinn notices there seems to be a stone that is infused with mana-mithril, this is what is putting off the evil presence. Beside it is a sword (Holy Avenger +6!!!!!). (GM: don’t say I never give you anything epic) Quinn is able to observe that the stone and the sword seem to be fighting each other’s presence, and Quinn (correctly) hypothesis that the sword is preventing the stone from reanimating the deathknight and his minions. (GM: yes, very good xp coming your way) Quinn orders Karnak to go find 1st Squad while he attempts to try and expel the evil presence from the stone.

The Temple – even though I cannot see what the statues are that once stood outside the building looked like, I know this is a temple of good, dedicated to the Gods of Light. I stride forward, Richard and the other three members of 1st squad not far behind me… and then I am struck by the presence of evil and it is coming from directly in front me! The Temple has been corrupted!

Anger awakens within me. Alexi gone, evil seemingly able to hold sway over all that is good in the world and now this! It SHALL NOT BE! Not today, not ever again! I raise high the Dragonlance and call on the blessing of Paladine and the power of Light spreads out from me and into the temple. But while I was successful, the evil has a foothold and pushes back and a voice echoes from the Darkness as a sense of fear and dread emanates from the temple entrance back towards me. I hold strong, but Richard and the members of 1st squad run in fear. (GM: to be honest they don’t have your faith)

But I was not to be denied entry; kneeling and smashing the Dragonlance to the ground at the entrance of the temple I raise my voice and sing the song of the Knights Oath and drive the evil backwards. I move forward all the while singing and smashing the Dragonlance to the ground. (GM you have done this action enough times now to realise it is an action that can release a Paladine smite, soon you may get an extra power on your character sheet for it) Radiant light emanates from the lance and bathes the area in Holy Light until I am finally close enough to see the altar that has been smeared in blood and faeces. I also know who my true enemy in this place is – Udoonin – even dead he wants our destruction. He taunts me talking about his glory and undeath and I reply about how there is no body that will help him against me! (GM: yes.. that took a little of his fun away) As a final insult to him before combat, I talk of meeting a girl (his daughter) and about how she ran like a coward with her pet dog. This he did not like. (GM: no, didn’t like that either)
And so here in a Temple to Kirn-Jolith, The Knights Parton God, I battle Udoonin’s last line of defence – a Death Knight and his three Skeletal Warriors. The Death Knight, a true Fallen Knight, wears the armour of a Knight of the Rose and this makes me wonder who the poor fellow was in a previous life. But no matter, battle is joined as Karnak appears from nowhere yelling his battle cry to the glory of Paladine and strikes at the first Skeletal Warrior. They move to engage him while I step towards the fallen one.

The battle was epic (GM: yes.. I really wasn’t sure if you could pull this one off) – with only faith as my shield I defeated the Death Knight, a Fallen one, in single combat and with Karnak’s help we destroyed three Skeletal Warriors. With the radiant light still flooding the chamber I moved around and the essence of evil was removed. The Temple of Kirn-Jolith was cleansed and the only place the evil remained, where Udoonin remained, was in the crypt under the temple.

The ‘Mordor Sword’ the Death Knight used has disintegrated under the Radiant light of Paladine and the Knight of the Rose armour is purified just like the altar and temple area! Praise be to Paladine! Karnak fought well and has become a true follower of Paladine.
(GM: consider this battle another turning point of faith – or major Paladine events for Quinn, so far you have had three – Nessie, Healing Karnak, and now this – cleansing the temple and releasing a fallen one from evil clutches)

With Lon providing an exceptionally strong link to the image of the hill overlooking the city, I am successful in teleporting us from the summit with the crystal. I warn Caleb and Lon that there might still be an evil force in the city (I sensed the ley-line from the weapon that hurt Nessie) and we proceed to the front gate where Caleb announces our presence to the guards (As Quinn’s companions) and while the Guards hesitate Caleb convinces them to go get a member of 1st Squad to vouch for us. (I have raised my hood as I don’t want to startle the citizens of the city with my altered appearance {and hopefully don’t reveal my transformation to Udoonin or one of his followers}). (GM: smart.. very smart)

Eventually one of his squad appearances and luckily it is Tiny Tim and we are immediately escorted in. Unfortunately before I could calm down Tiny at seeing me alive he loudly asks how I was brought back to life. I can see the citizens of the city who were there at the entrance are now staring at me (Alexi Note: FFS what did Quinn tell them….). I finally pull Tiny aside and ask him where Quinn is and he informs me that he has headed for the old temple in the ruined city. I tell him to lead us there as Quinn might be in danger.

As we reach the gates leading to the ruined part of the city I firstly notice there are a lot of citizens standing on the wall looking out towards a hill, I also notice that Richard Day is here and he seems dismayed even scared. (GM: you actually missed that he was “not right”) I ask him what is wrong and he tells me that there is a fearful presence in the temple and he could not stop himself from fleeing. I sense necrotic energy within him amplifying this fear. I reach out and attempt to infuse him with radiant power to combat the fear. I succeed and he seems at least just shaken up now. I ask him to go back and get 1st Squad and bring them to the temple. He heads off to wherever the rest of the soldiers are.

Just as we are about to head into the ruined city Taal arrives on horseback and tells us he’s heard from the citizens there has been loud booming sounds coming from the temple. (Alexi: He isn’t able to hide his surprise at my new appearance). (GM: no.. that was a WTF moment, even though he did try to act cool)
We head out towards the temple and as we approach I briefly see Karnak at the entrance before he rushes inside (Alexi Note: ….What’s wrong now?!?!?..).

Karnak and I briefly look outside and can see in the distance that a crowd of about 100 people has gathered at the gates and are even sitting on the walls, waiting to see if anything else is going to happen. Seems my display of Holy Power was able to be seen across the city… I yell out for 1st Squad to get them to assemble but they are nowhere to be found. Not good. Karnak follows me back inside the Temple and we go down the stairs into the crypt, with the Holy Light of Paladine still shining brightly from the lance.

In the crypt are three stone sarcophagi’s that held the Skeletal Warriors we defeated, and behind them is the one the Knight was buried in. As we look around my eyes are drawn to the carving on the chamber. They depict battles from the Goblin Wars and show my Father in one scene fighting a great demon and we as the Knight that once was laid to rest here. I see the coat of arms but do not recognise it straight away but it is familiar. This Knight must have died here defending the city and perhaps he was a companion of Fathers. Truly an amazing find, but I was soon to be shocked again; inside the sarcophagus was buried a magnificent sword, an item of true knightly power. But next to it was a black stone, a stone of such vileness that is was the thing emanating what was Udoonin himself! Or part of him.
I tell Karnak to go back and find 1st Squad and Caleb’s Acolytes so that we can purity the crypt and return the remains of the warriors and knight to their resting places after he secures a large iron bound box that we can use to put the stone in as it must be removed from the crypt. Just exactly how we will do that I am not sure. I remain concentrating on the power of Paladine and keep a hand on the sword to help give it the strength to resist the evil of the black stone. (GM: yes … even now with the death of his minion, you feel Udoorin’s power trying to leach out)

We proceed in and down the stairs where we see Quinn. He is standing over a crypt attempting to channel Paladine it seems to try and combat a necrotic presence I sense. I head over and I see immediately we are in great danger. The stone contains a portion of Udoorin’s presence (Alexi Note: Holy crap!!) and it has been infused with mana-mithril. Quinn’s actions could dispel the presence but it would surely detonate the mana-mithril. Not even having a chance to greet him I tell him to stop as the item is extremely volatile.
He steps back and asks how we can destroy it. I tell him I will separate the mana-mithril and then expel the force and tell him and Karnak to be ready with the Lance. Quinn reaches in and grasps the sword from inside the sarcophagus and passes the lance to Karnak and they both stand ready. I use my arcane power to separate the mana-mithril and it seeps away from the stone, I then channel my new radiant power (GM: using the shiny new powers!) directly into the stone and I am able to dispel Udoorin’s presence from it. The force manifests itself as a shadowy presence and attempts to flee but luckily Quinn and Karnak are ready and they both attack it and the holy weapons made to destroy it. Unfortunately the feedback from the explosion hits all three of us and I am not able to defend myself as I’m still concentrating on the mana-mithril. The death-throw of Udoorin’s presence hurts but I am able to keep the mana-mithril contained and eventually render it inert. (Alexi Note: When concentrating on the presence I realised this was the force that had been powering that necrotic lance that was affecting Nessie, hopefully she will be feel better – I must go see her and make amends for my past actions).

We all take a moment to ponder the situation and Quinn gets Caleb’s acolytes to attend to returning the skeletons to their proper burial.

I am overjoyed to see Alexi, Lon and Caleb come down the stairs to the crypt, but my surprise turns to amazement as I look upon Alexi – he has white hair and he outfit has touches of… a priest?!? (GM: oh Alexi… burn!!) What has happened to him? I am still touching the sword and have pondered touching the lance to the rock, but when Alexi says it is Mana-Mithril infused with a portion of Udoorin, I am so glad I did not. The plan to remove the Udoorin Force from the mana-mithril is worked out and Alexi forces what is Undoonin from it and into the air. I use the sword from the dead knight (for it is an item of great power) and Karnack and I hit and kill this portion or essence of Udoonin. The backlash is substantial but we prevail and Alexi makes the mana-mithril inert. (GM: mostly luck I’d say)

I head away from the crypts and move to the centre of the room and attempt to see if perhaps my new form power could ‘consecrate’ this room to prevent Udoorin from corrupting those soldiers again.

While this is going on the others have gathered around the main sarcophagus and Quinn recognises that this sword belongs to Sir Petru D’Avalon – Knight of the Sword. These others were his retainers and Quinn remembers reading his father’s journal that D’Avalon, De Brassi and our father were all together on this mission 30 years ago when they defeated the goblins. The Holy Avenger +6 is his family weapon and although Karnak & Lon are both in awe of the weapon, Quinn decides to return it and re-inter it with the body. (GM: what!!! he won’t take it!! what type of power gamer are you!!!)

As we stood there after putting the essence of Udoorin to death I smile and turn to Alexi and wrap him in a huge bear hug!! (GM: bit of “man” love) The joy is plain to see on my face and that of the others in the room! We head back upstairs and I want to know all that happened and Alexi gathers his thoughts. I take the time to look at the sword and recognise the heraldry; it belongs to the D’Avalon family. Father’s journal talked of his friends Sir Petru D’Avalon – Knight of the Sword! (and he was carrying a Holy Avenger Broadsword – Crest of D’Avalon is on it) and De Brassi – they were all here at the battle of Korval all those years ago. The only reason the sword and armour were buried here was because there was no heir… and then I make a decision that the others question, especially Karnak; I will return the sword and the armour to the tomb below so that the items remain with what is left of the body of Sir Petru D’Avalon. I get a sense that this was the right thing to do and that Paladine and Kirn-Jolthi are pleased with what I have done this day. (GM: yes, but Lon thinks you are a noob)

Yes they were all excited to see Quinn so happy, but unfortunately I was about to put a damper on their spirits. (GM: trust you!)

I ask them all to come up to the next level where I explain exactly what happened to me (See Adventure Log 27A – Mantle of the Radiant Servant of the Gods of Light). I explain what happened to me to the main group (Quinn, Karnak, Caleb & Lon. (Alexi Note: I will tell Taal what happened as I’m ok with Lazarus learning what has transpired). Unfortunately one thing I didn’t think about until after the meeting with the gods (GM you forgot the little nugget, that it was you who sent the mages in the first place) Gods was the action (Or non-action in this case) of not telling the mages it was a trap. We now have confirmed cases of Udoonin being able to corrupt unwilling beings which means we just handed him a giant force that is incredibly powerful. (GM: YOU handed him a giant powerful force) I explain this and they all look visibly upset (I guessed they would have a similar reaction {Force of Evil destroyed} and could accept that but this has changed everything). Good news however is that I think that if we find this location to the Place of Power of Paladine where the knights were formed, and there must be something there that our father wanted to get because he saw that the order of knights were losing their focus, there could be something there that will unite the knights! (Alexi Note: And if Quinn was the one that brought it back…).

I tell Quinn that the decision on what our next action should be lies solely with him as I cannot take the risk that people will start accepting my decisions as orders. (Alexi Note: King priest 2.0 !! D: ) I first want to find this information in the library, and Quinn agrees.

The information about what happened to Alexi sours the day, but it is best that he tell us this now, rather than later. A second King Priest – I will not let that happen, (GM: but I would) but we do need to locate the Place of Power from the library next door.

We head over to the library and Quinn inquires about 1st Squad. I tell him that I saw Lieut Richard Day earlier and he was infused with a magical fear (GM It was actually quite more) but removed it and told him to go get the rest of 1st Squad. Becoming concerned that perhaps I did something I use my moonstone orb to scry for Richard, and what I see is horrible! He is inside a stable of some kind and he is eviscerating members of 1st Squad!! I tell Quinn and he and Karnak leave off towards the city immediately. (Alexi Note: I am worried that perhaps my magic had some effect on him and he has done something to the opposite effect of the fear and turned him into some monster that is killing his men as punishment for their weakness. (GM: wish I had thought of that) I should have gone with Quinn but before I can turn around Taal turns up).

This situation with Lieutenant Richard Day and 1st squad is unbelievable. What power does Udoorin have at his disposal? Karnak and I ride back at full speed to find Day and the others as quickly as possible. We arrive and find that Udoorin’s corrupting power has resulted in the deaths of 6 members of 1st squad and only Lt Day and one other soldier badly hurt, while there is only Tiny and one other guard still fully fit for duty. Lt Day is given aid from the acolytes of Caleb’s but he remembers what he did after the evil was removed from him. I pray to Paladine for guidance and try to rally him with a ‘Will you serve me?! But he is too far gone and is put into a deep sleep to help him forget what has happened.
I leave Karnak to clean up the situation and meet Sir John Jr on my way back from getting my armour. He accompanies me back to the library where I introduce him to my ‘dead’ brother, brought back to life by the power of the Gods themselves.

For once I got to experience what Taal looks like extremely surprised when he first noticed him (Alexi Note: hehe – HOLY SHIT BALLS was the comment) and I explain to Taal what has happened to me and he seems to take it all in. While we are waiting to hear back of Quinn’s return he explains some information about the library (and the mage tower). (Alexi Note: Didn’t notice the mage tower that was a bit of a noob mistake… of course I would love to investigate it but we have more pressing matters to attend to – I make such a comment and even Lon looks surprised – hehe). (GM: yes not like the old Alexi at all)

This library here (compared to the new one that has been constructed later) contains a massive amount of knowledge and power according to rumour as it was started by a powerful mage that built the tower (Alexi Note: To build something like that we’re talking Whupus level!!).

He explains that there have been various forces vying to get in there. Forkner has been sending people into the library to reclaim some of its wonders, (Supposedly he has guardians protecting it) there is also a red robe that tried to gain access through the proper channels and once I hear of this I tell them that he could have got to here easily without the Lord’s support. There has also been shadowy creatures as well and from what Taal has gathered from the citizens that these creatures caused a massacre a few weeks earlier to a bunch of thieves who were tried to scavenge for anything of value. Taal eventually tells me that Lazarus wants information about the wizard who lived in the tower. (Alexi Note: I suppose I could have ask Whupus when I see him later as I assumed he would have checked out any potential unfriendly neighbours before moving in). (GM: well.. you know Whupus…likes to be in the know)

Quinn finally returns (and introduces me to Sir John Jr of Kent) (Alexi Note: More hero worship for Quinn I see), and he explains that it was corruption of Udoonin that caused this. (Alexi Note: At discovering that this was Udoorin I am devastated. Once again I underestimated him (GM: yes you did… xp for character roleplay) and this could have been prevented if I had bothered to look deeper beyond the magical fear. I am thinking that anything in the future to do with Udoorin will have to be done with almost over-paranoid care to make sure this never happens again. I worry for Lieut Day and how this will affect him – perhaps there is some solace I can provide). (GM: I keep telling you Udoorin is a genius but no one seems to believe me)

Taal had headed off during our discussion to talk with some of the poor who are scavenging in the ruins and he returns with information. He explains that they have seen a figure in a red robe roaming through the library early last week but haven’t seen him since. We head into the library and Taal explains where he thinks the secret entrance is. As we get closer to the place I instantly recognise the magic. Someone has laid a magical trap on the entrance (A well covered hole in the ground). I tell the others to step back and I dispel the trap and use my knock ritual to open the hole. I then proceed to put my own arcane lock on the hole tell the group (Including Lord John the PW: DC 45 Donut).

Also up top I sense another area where it seems a ritual has occurred. I manage to sense that the ritual was a discern location ritual and it is very faint and I caught the very last trances of it. (GM: really you shouldn’t have .. but you have an epic arcana)

(Alexi Note: Something of interest with my new powers it has had an effect on certain things I would not have expected. I put a light spell on Quinn’s Dragonlance as we needed a light source and the spell has seemed to be amplified. (GM: it has gone OP!!!) The radius was much greater and it seemed to make the Dragonlance gleam even brighter than normal. I had also pulled out my familiar to get her to investigate a possible other entrance on the other side of the hill and she has a radiant glow as well and when she flew looks like a large fire-fly!!). (GM….sigh…. I miss the little demon, but a little sprite with radiance coming out of its a$$ is kind of cool also)
We proceed down underneath and what is interesting is that this under level of the library is surprising well intact. We spread out and explore and I find the first room with books inside!! Realising that I could have problems understanding these books I casted a comprehend languages ritual before we came down and it certainly helped because these books are incredible old and diverse. (GM: very..VERY old)

In a small circular room filled with books we find a skeleton that is holding a book. It looks like before he died he wrote something inside a book (Which is about exotic plants, written by a famous Master Herbalist) he has written ‘It’s been four weeks, no food or water, the master is not going to return. I’m going to die, I wish I had the strength and courage to do it myself as the pain is just excoriating. Praise be to Paladine’.

I do a quick search of the books looking for key words – Magic, Knights, God of Lights, Paladine, Knighthood, Wizards. (GM:.. what do you think this is… google!!!!) Unfortunately finding no more useful information.
We head further into the main chamber and there are two interesting things. One is an extremely large massive magically locked metal door blocking a passage (15 feet). What is most interesting about it (Alexi Note: And why I didn’t sense it before is that it is shielded to putting off an aura) is that the door has been attempted to be open numerous times by various methods. It seems this might be what the other parties were looking to get passed.
What is also interesting is a giant hole in the ground of the main chamber… oh no they have been digging from the dark!!! (Alexi Note: CRAP). Quinn and Lon try to calculate the depth of the hole but they never hear the rock fall!!!

I decide to examine the door and I notice that they all back up (Alexi Note: Ye of little faith). Working along the lines that I managed to work out the protection word on the Monastery Inner Sanctum I use my (ALL POWERFUL) power and manage to crack the lock on the door (Alexi Note: That was one of the hardest things I have ever done! {DC 60 – Rolled a 62}). (Door PW: ‘Open Says a Me’). (GM: truly epic, this lock was the stuff of legend)

We proceed into the room and inside is a large library room. There is also a giant hole in this room as well. (Alexi Note: Udoonin is in a class of his own, most mages will magically protect a door or bar the walls but not underneath. It must have taken months). (GM: refer previous genius comment)
I sense the presence of a magically scrying effect within the room and eventually track it down to the south west section. It’s a wizard eye ritual and I manage to gain control of it. I sense torment and pain from the conjuring who I am eventually able to get information from him. He’s our missing red robe!! His name is Scorpius and he’s been taken to the Dark. They have been making him Wizard Eye the area for days. He is incredibly scared but I manage to convince him to show me where he currently is and he shows me a jail cell. He then screams in pain that they are coming and I he breaks the contact from the pain which I assume is whipping. I look to Quinn (Alexi Note: With those puppy dog eyes) and he nods. I tell the others to gather and start the ritual to teleport us to Scorpius. John Jr looks excited and has a heated discussion with his ‘guard’ (PROTECTOR) and eventually the guard knocks out John Jr and carries him out. Taal also seems reluctant to come and I offer him to go inform Karnak and the others where we have gone and he agrees. I look at him and tell him the PW to the door and tell him to lock it behind him. He repeats it back to me correctly in arcane language (Alexi Note: Well surprise surprise). (Quinn, Alex, Lon, Caleb & Tiny Tim). (GM: you are not the only one with secrets)

I cast the teleport ritual and sense a barrier blocking me. I punch through and we are teleported into a cell where there are two dark elves (a male and female) whipping a red robe (Scorpius). We attack them and manage to defeat them (Alexi Note: The woman turned out to be some type of cleric who made her blooded companion explode to do massive damage to all of us – Vindictive and Heartless). (GM: but effective)

We heal up and Scorpius manages to relay us some information. He hasn’t seen Justarius or LaDonna but he has seen Maji-Anders (One of the Council of 7 Black robes) who has been corrupted. There are a few mages down here and he knows that the dragon eggs have been moved (Alexi Note: Dammit).

Scorpius is eager to leave and he finally explains that he was trying to get into that library because there are rumours of Lost Arcane Items. He can’t teleport himself out and pleads with me and I start to cave but his attitude hasn’t impressed Quinn and he tells me that he needs to stay. (Alexi Note: I understand he has been put under incredible strain but his lack of loyalty to his fellow mages or his head of the red robes makes him despicable). (GM: really? very harsh.. the poor guy has been through hell….. there is a saying “everyone breaks on the third day”)

One thing the last few months has drummed into me is this; Udoorin and the forces of the Dark Queen have had years to plan their takeover of the Solamnia and all that is good in the world. We are forever playing catch up but perhaps with this attack into the ‘den of evil’ we will have surprise on our side for once. The Black and Red mages must not be allowed to be corrupted to the patch that Udoorin wants for that would be a blow I do not think the Mages would recover from. The Knighthood would be decimated and the people enslaved. We had no choice but to go… (GM: there is always a choice)

And so with our allies top side warned, we teleported in the beholders lair to rescue this Red Robe that had been forced to watch for them. The battle in the cell of the red robe was ferocious! Two Dark elves were there and even though we were successful, it showed me just how fanatical these followers are. The female priest killed her male counterpart in an act of mystical sacrifice, and did terrible damage to us all. It did not save her from dying at our hands, but it was shocking none the less, And now with the Red Robe Scorpius saved and with us we prepare to save as many Black and Red Robes as possible. Still seems wrong but in the greater seem of things we will need these people in the long term as we fight this war.

From the Journal of someone
Yes my child, my plans are proceeding as I wished. We have the mages, we have the knights, we have the dark. Now we must wait, as ordained.

From the Journal of someone #10
I have seen the burning, I have seen the death. I will have my revenge

From the Journal of Richard
What have I done……

The Radiant Mantle from the Gods of Light
27A Session

From the Journal of Alexi Goldenscale

I awake to find myself in a place of nothingness. I am standing on the ground but all around me is white opening space. I am in plain white basic robes like when I was an apprentice back at magic school and when I try to sense around me I notice that I don’t have my magic. Internally I feel naked without my magic but for some reason I am not worried that I will be harmed here.

Having no idea where to go I choose a random direction (east) and start walking that way. I’m not sure how far or how long I walked but it felt like hours, although I never felt tired (and I know that my endurance is not that good).

After a while I finally notice something in the distant. As I approach I see that it is a humanoid. Eventually getting close enough to see that it is a knight holding a Dragonlance. As I reach the knight he raises his visor and I see it is my father! (ALEXI – I AM YOUR FATHER!!!! Well yes you are…)

He comes forward and hugs me and while he seems glad to see me he also has a sad look on his face. I ask him the lingering question… ‘Father am I dead?’ He looks grim and says to me ‘It remains to be seen’. He tells me that we have only a little time before he will have to leave me and he urges me to ask any questions I have.

‘Father, this quest that we are on, are we following in your footsteps or has it all been a sham?’ He sigh and tells me that initially we were following in his footsteps but others have twisted the quest for their own means. He tells me that he came to this part of Solmania looking for a temple of Paladine. Not just like the ones that we have found on that map but a ‘Place of Power to Paladine’ that actually caused the other three temples to be constructed around it. (He had found the River of Healing Temple instead of this other one). He said that he went to Korval and searched in the library but he didn’t find the information. He confirmed that it is there in the library hidden!! (Alexi Note: I wonder if Taal knows the secret location). He explains that this Place was where the Knighthood was founded by Vinas Solamnus, it is their Ancestral Home, where the power of Kiri-Jolith, Paladine and Habbakuk were given to Vinas Solamnus and the three orders of knights (crown, sword, rose) were founded.

He warns me that the path that we have started down will be hard and could lead only to sorrow!

I ask him what happened on his final mission and he tells me that he and some of his men went to combat bandits that were threatening our land and while riding they were ambushed by the bandits and then some of his men turned on him and his loyal followers! I ask him if it was our uncles doing and he tells me – YES!!!

I ask him what he would like done if Quinn returns to take up the mantle of Lord of Trinity Keep and he looks at me and emphasises this point – He wants Quinn (and myself) to follow our own path, don’t do what you think I would expect, he wants us to live our own life and be happy in that life like he was.

He comments that Quinn has many of his qualities – Honour, Obligation & Duty and while I have these to a lesser degree it is my mother’s burning need for freedom and kindness that fuels my desire to protect the dragon eggs.

He warns me that our time is short and he points over to a figure who is approaching and he takes our final moment together to tell me that he is incredibly proud of both of us and that I must always do what I feel is right for myself. He looks slightly sad and I feel that he is worried about what is about to happen next.

The figure approaches and I instantly notice it is my god Solinari! I bow and even my father bows to the god.
‘Gentleman pardon the intrusion but I am here to guide Alexi’. I turn to my father and he says to me as a farewell – ‘My Son be brave and be true to yourself’. Solinari leads me away, and we actually seem to shift and we are suddenly near a group of people who are around a large circular table. There are 4 men and a woman. As we approach I realise these are the gods of light!!

Solinari is leading me to the stone crystal table but before that happens I stop and ask him some questions.

Solinari – ‘are you happy with the choice I have made?’ He looks at me grimly that says ‘It has yet to be seen!’

Is this about the disturbance I felt – ‘Yes! That is what we are going to discuss.’
This is about Udoonin isn’t it! – (Alexi Note: He doesn’t want to answer but I insight that yes it does!)

He’s not dead is he…. – ‘No!! … He’s started along the path of an ancient prophecy but it is probably best I explain about the ‘Deal of the Gods’ first. Gilean made a deal with Nuitiri – in return for a service – but I will leave it for others to explain’.
Just as we are about to arrive he pulls me aside and says I will give you a piece of advice that I have given to others that have stood here – ‘Sometimes in serving others we best serve ourselves’.

We arrive at the table and I can identify each of the gods by what information I have read about them:

Solinari – Human Mage
Mishakal – A beautiful blonde woman she is actually looking into a pool that is behind the table
Seated at the table – Monk – Majere (black hair)
Kiri-Jolith – Full plate
Habbukak – Ranger type fellow
Branchala – Bard type fellow

Just as the gods are preparing to sit I lean over to Solinari and ask him – when was the last time a mortal was here – He tells me ‘Before the Cataclysm’!!!!!!
As the other gods sit down it is plain to see that Mishakal is running this ‘meeting’ as the other gods defer to her. I do notice that Paladine is missing and when I ask and she smiles telling me that he has returned to fight the Dark Queen!

The gods go on to explain in detail what this ‘Deal of the Gods’ is. Eons ago Nuitiri was angered that Tahksises was stealing his followers. He made a secret deal with Gilean to gain access to divine power and he secretly taught this to select followers. He kept this a secret from everyone!
In return for the service – he created a safe place where Gilean’s followers could keep the Torim and continue their work of recording the history.

(Alexi Note: This explains that presence I found back at the monastery outside Caleb’s room. Nuitiri had made a deal with a god…. I hypothesied it was Gilean for perhaps some information… but Divine magic, so unexpected!!! I can understand his desperation though. Takhisises has certainly shown she is the ultimate seductress at recruiting black wizards to her cause. So back then he was working for Nuitiri, and then when we fought him outside the corrupt temple of Paladine in the ruined city he was working for Takhises (Her amulet I used to enrage him is evident of that).

They go on to explain that the situation has changed. Although not confirmed they believe Udoonin has abandoned Takhisises also and has made deals with demons for his power now.

I explain that I feel that it has a high probability as we saw the demon prince when we went through that portal that was created after the destruction of that rod.
Kiri-Jolith speaks at that point and mentions that there have been some probing attacks by Demons on the Abyss and the Heavens but have been easily repelled but he believes they are only preliminary attacks.

I ask if they believe he is going to open a portal to let the demons through and they confirm that is what they suspect. I ask them why they have not brought this to the other gods and they respond that they only have speculation and they believe Takhisises is aware of the situation and still hopes to turn it to her advantage (Alexi Note: Considering the cleric of Takhisises inside the portal that would seem reasonable too).

Mishakal explains that they have decided that the way to combat this is to assist someone to fight Udoonin – to do a similar process to what Nuitiri did and grant divine powers to someone that can channel them with Arcane into a radiant form that counters the necrotic of Udoonin.

They explain that by what I did with trying to absorb Caleb’s channelling I have unlocked the first part, and this meeting has been called as they are wanting to know if I am willing to follow this path. There will be a tremulous responsibility and power to blend the divine with the arcane is not natural and within the world of krynn it is considered blasphemy.
They choose that moment to explain why Udoonin has worried them more. There are several prophecies that relate to a mortal if they were able to channel both divine and arcane. These prophecies were made during the time of the High Lord and even the gods themselves do not fully understand their purpose. There is one in particular they feel that when we killed Udoonin, it started him down a path towards completing. The prophecy relates to ‘One who is dead and who is now alive with combine divine and arcane will destroy the spine of the world. While Udoonin is not the first to combine the gifts he is the first to have taken it this far and start down the prophecy. Unfortunately the gods do not know what the spine of the world refers to as the prophecy is shrouded in secrecy.
They explain that places of power (like the temple to Paladine that father was looking for) that relate to the High God may contain some information that links to the prophecy. They also say they believe Gilean and his followers that Nuitiri hid have knowledge relating to the prophecies.

Due to the horrible nature of the prophecies that is part of the reason why the prohibition of Divine/Arcane (Radiant or Necrotic) was agreed by the gods in the first place.
The gods explain that they look at this option as their way to uphold the balance, to counter Udoonin.

(Alexi Note: They have convinced me of the severity of the situation and that the radiant power would be used for a greater purpose then just to protect the dragon eggs).
I ask them: What would they require of me if I take up this mantle:
They explain that with this power I would never be the same again, my magic would be altered. I would still have my arcane power but I would have to forfeit some of it to connect with the divine power they would give me. I would learn to use radiant magic to its fullest potential, with arcane and divine radiant spells. This would provide a shield with which to fight the necrotic/demons. Eventually I would have the defences to fight the corruption of Udoonin.

Solinari speaks now and points out the this power would go against the teachings of the high sorcery and if I continue there will be repercussions, I may become an outcast and not enjoy the traditional path that other mages enjoy, but Solinari does say at the end – ‘Something must be done’

He goes on explain that I must have concerns – he does as well, but Udoonin has become too powerful and I have shown that I have some aptitude and control of the raw power (Alexi Note: They are referring to the work that Caleb & I have done together, as well as my ability to use the staff of the beyond).

They then provide me with the three options:
1) I could reject their proposal and I would be returned to where I was when I was pulled and I would follow my fate (Alexi Note: I would be dead as the feedback from Caleb’s channel was too strong for me to control).
2) I could be returned to my body but I would contain the 5 charges of power that I absorbed and I would be able to use these charges to infuse my spells for a limited time (Alexi Note: This would almost feel like being a dabbler of divine power and as I rejected that option when I first attempted to observe the power I would not choose it again).
3) The Third would go down the full path, to combine my power. There would be no way to turn back as the divine magic would change me.
They await my response:

I immediately reject the option of having 5 charges explaining that to have charges of the divine power is abusive of its nature. It is too important to consider doing such an option and that is why when I had the choice to absorb the power into the orb or myself I chose myself as it was too valuable to do any other option. (Alexi Note: I’m certain that many of them are not happy that this is the option that they are left with but they realise that something had to be done, but that didn’t mean they were just eager to choose me, I had to convince them. Most of them were impressed with that answer and I could sense that there had been a change in the overall mood of the situation).
I understand their concerns with the power and explain that they don’t wish to create another King Priest and that I don’t wish for that either. Mishakal explains that I wouldn’t just be a King Priest, my power would be 5x that and that I could rule the world if I wished to abuse this power.

I ask about the staff and they confirm that the staff is linked in a way and that there is a prophecy that an arcane/divine user is able to channel the staff, but they know little about it.

They once again reinforce that with this power I will be changed. I will be feared and I will be considered an abomination and many who you may have called friend will shun you.
I go on to explain that I would hope to use this power to protect the eggs that the wizards are rescuing from in the dark….

The gods look at each other and finally it’s Mishakal who talks: It turns out that the wizards have failed, it was a TRAP!!! They knew!! (Solinari didn’t!! – he’s visibly upset). I ask why they would do this and they explain that they think that Udoonin is not aware of exactly how much they aware of the situation and while it is callous and terrible they couldn’t take the chance that the other gods would find out… (Alexi Note: If this action isn’t enough to make your robes take on a grey colour then I don’t know).

I actually call them out on their decision and while they aren’t completely happy with their choice the big picture means that the black robes will be severely hampered for a long period. (Alexi Note: Solinari seemed to appreciate my defence of the mages).
I ask them about what this power would have on the dragon orb and they confirm it has arcane/divine powers and that it would be attuned to my special gifts. (Alexi Note: If it’s linked to me then it’s linked to Udoonin!! He (or one of his minions) will have to show up at Sancrist as it is too bigger prize to not try and gain).

I explain about Udoonin will have to make an attempt to get it and they say that Paladine has foreseen this and that he is currently handling the situation!!
I ask about the other Dragon Orb (In the hands of Raistlin?) and Kiri-Jolith steps in and says we can’t tell you that information but that at the moment they aren’t as concerned about any other dragon orb except this one at Sancrist.

I ask them about how this would work and they explain that each of them would provide essence that would be imbued into me. (Alexi Note: I can understand their risk now, while Udoonin has reached this point after following Nuitiri and Takhisises, they would be granting me power that they cannot take back, I would be in essence a Demi-God! D:)
It is Majere now who speaks and explains that with this power I will need to seek enlightenment, I will need discipline (Alexi Note: Which can only be made through action! – I also feel that while the others seem convinced he still is not fully swayed).
I explain that while my actions since I have begun this quest have not always been ‘lawful’, I have always stayed true to my belief in the light.

Majere agrees and says although your motives have been pure, your methods were not: With this power you will have temper your lawful and justice tendencies (the power will influence you to take) with goodness, ‘seek this power not for yourself but to serve others you best serve yourself’. (Alexi Note: Exactly how the King Priest started – all in the name of law and justice led to his horrible actions).

Majere also asks if by taking up tis mantle that it would one day take me away from my brother – that I would be changed physically mentally and spiritually. I answer that I always knew that eventually we would have to separate and I am prepared for that but it is our unique differences that have allowed us to succeed this far.
Majere seems to accept that answer and he looks to Mishakal.
She looks around the table and asks for each God’s decision.
They all give their approval (even Majere!) and she asks me to come with her to the pool.
The other gods stand and come over to the pool as well.

They each begin channelling and I see part of their essence leave their bodies and go into the pool. When they have each donated their portion Mishakal raises her hands over the pool and the essence begins to float up. She then turns to me and directs the energy at me. The power enters me!! I feel an overwhelming burning sensational and I can’t help but scream at the pain I am feeling. Just as I’m about to be consumed by the power I find myself opening my eyes and seeing Caleb beside me. I look around and notice we are at the summit on the white portion. He turns to Lon – ‘It is done’. Lon is crying (Emotion!!) and they both look extremely relieved. I sit up and look around… everything seems different.

Caleb & Lon both gasp and Lon hands me a mirror. I look at myself and I have been changed. My hair has grown out and is now a bright blonde colour. I even notice a slight glint in it. My body is also changed, I look extremely cleaned and the wound from the dagger in my stomach is completely healed and gone. Even some spots on my body from sunburn have been healed and my skin is now the same colour like when I was a child.
I can Caleb is greatly relieved and I sense that he feels this was his fault. ‘Caleb do not worry this was not your fault this was my own hubris. I attempted to channel some of Mishakal’s power. I have instead been granted something greater. I have taken on the mantle of the Radiant Servant of the Gods. We must hurry and get to Quinn, he’s in great danger.

They both seem surprised but quickly gather my items and I dress. I take the opportunity to ask how they managed to get here and they explain they used Quinn’s device to teleport to Whupus’ tower and the Lon would not take no for an answer and Whupus teleported them to the summit. (Alexi Note: So Whupus knows something has happened, I will have to go speak with him soon).

I pull out the teleporting crystal that Timothy gave me and ask them both to focus on the rise above Korval and I use our combined focus to alter the crystal to teleport us to the rise.

I have a lot of explaining to do…
I am worried about the future though. This ancient temple of Paladine is important to find but I am worried about the mages trapped in the Dark. If Udoonin corrupts them they will become his slaves and with their knowledge of the Tower it will be extremely dangerous.
One thing is very clear though – We must go to Sancrist and stop Udoonin from getting the Dragon Orb.

Additional Notes:
I have gained the skill – Radiant Imbue – +1 to imbue something (I feel I could do this to an item but without more study I don’t know what I’m doing).

Curosity Bitched Slapped the Mage
27th Session

From the Journal of Alexi and Quinn Goldenscale

(GM: so many good titles to choose from this session!!)

With the worg contingent of the goblin army defeated we survey the area. I notice the flaming sword of the worg captain has fallen to the ground. I head over and immediately start to examine it.

Quinn looks around and notices that Nessie has gone missing. He and the rest of 1st squad immediately set out to find her (locating tracks heading away from the city).

I should not have galloped away but when I could no longer feel the connection to Nessie I knew something bad had happened. I was thinking the worst; she was dead and I had failed Paladine in my oath to protect her. Finding the trail helped and I did so with ease – I obviously did listen to Lon when he was trying to teach us about the wilderness and how to track! Karnak was close behind me and Lt Day was there to keep the men together and follow orders, while I led the way through the forest to the clearing where a battle had taken place. My heart was racing but I kept my composure. I also knew that I had left Alexi behind, but Lon was nearby, so I knew he would be safe. Besides who keeps whom safe of late with those two. (GM: hehe Lon wouldn’t like that!)

I identify the weapon as a Flaming Longsword +2, as I come out of my trance I notice that everyone has left except for Taal. (GM: it would be like.. WTF!!!!) I ask where they have all gone and he said they are trying to locate the dragon. He then directs my vision toward the city.

The goblin army have sent a force out from their main army to check where the worg force had got too. This force is approximately 40 infantry including a shaman and an ogre. Taal (using a spyglass) shows me that these goblins have been altered. They have been corrupted and mutated by necrotic magic. (GM: Nasty!)

I had been preparing to withdraw and meet up with Quinn and the others but upon seeing the necrotic I knew I had to act. (GM: Plus I wanted to level) Taal asked what would be effective against such creatures and I told him Radiant damage. He then asked if we needed to get Caleb back here and I told him that there is no need. (GM: so arrogant!)

I launch my radiant offensive spells at the group, aiming for the shaman and the few mutated goblins around him. The spell works to great effect and most of the army (including the shaman) turn and flee. (Some of the mutant goblins caught a blaze from the radiant damage).

It turns out Lon had gone ahead to scout and he was still there, he took the opportunity of my attack to launch arrows at the ogre. (GM: actually he just wanted to try out his new bow) He is successful in hitting it.

I manage to lay more area spells on the army and a goblin sergeant with the force manages to rally some men and they attempt to turn around and attack. I cast an ice-storm on top of them and manage to kill the rest of the army except for the sergeant and ogre (The shaman has fled away). (GM: Ding!!!)

The ogre getting angry at Lon’s attacks launches a large boulder it has been holding directly at Lon in a massive throw. Unfortunately for the sergeant the Ogre slipped on the ice on the ground (from my ice-storm) and the boulder throw went askew and hit the sergeant. The rock throw was with such force that the sergeant was crushed from the attack. There was even enough force from the rock that it continued on until it hit a tree (That tree got ripped off its roots with the force)!!

Sensing our chance both Lon & I concentrate our efforts and we finally drop the ogre. As we finish with the force I hear in the distance Quinn’s horn. I also hear a message from him in my mind telling me he needs us here there is something wrong and possible invisible creatures.

I call out to Lon but he doesn’t seem to respond (He had gone stealthy again). I notify Taal and we mount up and head off to find them.

The tracks in the clearing indicated to me that fell magic had been used and even though I could not see or feel Nessie, I knew she was somewhere nearby. But this meant that her attackers were here to, somehow hidden by magic. I dismounted, thrust the Dragonlance into the ground and looked around; I was positive I was being watched but could not pin-point from where. Karnak had also dismounted and was standing nearby – he too could feel the wrongness with the area. I could also hear Lt Day, 1st squad and Caleb approaching from behind. To alert Alexi of the danger here I tried to gain some surprise upon the enemy. I gave a short sharp blast on my Horn of Summoning (ah la Boromir from LOTR) as with it I was able to let my allies know exactly where I was and to also send a message to Alexi, warning him of the danger and that Nessie was missing or badly hurt!

At this point a number of things happened – I could see in front of me a shimmer like something was hidden (GM: like a heat wave shimmer) so I grabbed the Dragonlance and attacked; did I hit, I do not believe so, but it did reveal a hidden enemy, just not in the way I had hoped. A black robed mage appeared a short distance away from me and launched a magical attack that I knew I could not dodge; but the attack never reached me as Karnak threw himself directly in front of the incoming wave of magic. The spell hit him and threw him to the ground behind me, unconscious. Caleb and his acolytes came to Karnak’s aid, with Caleb blessing once more the Dragonlance, imbuing it with the power of radiant light. Caleb is able to help Karnak back up and he looks to re-joins the fray, but not before Tiny is badly hurt as he bounces off a magical shield that was surrounding the mage. Then a shadowy beast appeared from where I saw the shimmer and strikes at me as I go to charge the mage. It was a trap they knew I could not resist.

I charged forward and struck in rapid succession badly wounding the mage. It was just as well, for when I gazed upon him I could see that he had been corrupted by the evil necrotic energies he was wielding. Lt Day charged the Shadow Beast, while Karnak eventually was able to rise and followed me. Unfortunately the mage ‘disappeared’ from view (I thought he had teleported, but I would not be able to confirm this until later) so I move and attacked the Shadow Beast – it is almost dead, and the mage is still nowhere to be seen. Releasing that Alexi has arrived; I shout out that there is a corrupted mage around here somewhere and to be careful.

Taal and I arrive and immediately I know something is wrong. Quinn manages to shout out there was a black robes mage that went invisible. (The others at this point have focused their efforts on a shadowy creature. Arriving in the area I examine it magically. I can still see some of the remnants of the necrotic damage and for a brief moment I am able to sense Nessie’s presence. She is north of here. Unfortunately I cannot tell if she is hurt or not but I can imagine what horrible things they have done to her.

I cast my true sight and look for the mage. He’s not near me but I notice another shadowy creature that had been sneaking around behind the warriors to attack Caleb’s acolytes (who had been attending to Karnak after he had taken that massive blast from the wizard).
I immediately trap him with my fiery constrictor spell.

The others manage to dispatch the first shadowy creature and they turn to the one I have restrained. I notice that Quinn has headed away South East (hunting for the mage I assume) so I follow in the hopes that I can spot him. (Karnak follows as well) while Lon, Caleb & First Squad take on the creature. (GM: you mean the bunch of “red shirts”)

I locate the mage and he is attempting to flee. I cast my Otiluke’s resilient sphere and trap him inside hopefully so that Quinn and Karnak can come closer. The mage manages to teleport out of it but he is no longer invisible. We chase after him and eventually he falls at the hand of Quinn and explodes (dealing damage to both Quinn and Karnak).

The sphere stopped the mage from moving so we were able to close the gap between us, but once more he teleported away. My frustration was starting to tell and I had even considered throwing the Dragonlance like a spear, but that might not have worked out too well. (GM: THAT would have been interesting!) Finally Karnak got close enough to charge and hit the mage, giving me the needed boost to quickly close and strike the mage dead. I did not expect the mage to explode on death, but everything seems to be doing just that when I slay them with the Dragonlance of Paladine.

We head back to the group only to discover that the creature that they were fighting against had used an ability and had gone inside Tiny’s body!! Luckily we had killed the mage just as it had and the creature had been unable to take over Tiny’s body but unfortunately with the mage’s defeat the creature’s dying had a horrific effect on Tiny’s body. Luckily Caleb was there and was able to exorcise the creature and Tiny was fine.
Also with the defeat of the mage Nessie’s presence was no-longer hidden from Quinn and we locate Nessie to the north.

She is not well. She has a spear stuck in her wing and I examining the item it’s the same necrotic item as the sword and dagger! (GM: like a Mordor blade… hmmm I seems to like the LOTR references)

Caleb & I immediately begin the remove affliction ritual to remove the item from Nessie. As we being I immediately notice that for some reason Caleb has managed to channel the divine power that he actually doesn’t need my help. Being connected to the ritual I actually notice two things. One is that I can sense a ley-line, it seems to head back to Korval, I could attempt to trace it but instead I sense something else.

Ever since I began this quest and we encountered Udoonin and learnt of the Corrupt Good Dragon Egg ritual I have kept my focus on trying to find a way to protect/save/defend the eggs and people from these necrotic power. I know that I would need to combine both arcane and divine essence of light to counteract the necrotic power. With Caleb’s increased strength there is excess divine energy being channelled. Seeing my chance to be able to try and combine the power I manage to siphon some of the divine energy from Caleb. (GM: now here comes the fun part!)

As the power comes towards me I have a choice, I can either absorb the power myself or store the power in my orb. I weigh the decision and decide that this power is too important to store into orb and instead absorb the power in to myself. As it enters me I feel incredibly powered and then suddenly darkness… (GM: EPIC BITCHSLAP!)

Caleb finishes the ritual and the spear dissipates into nothingness. Nessie already feels better but she is still weak. As Caleb stands up to tell everyone he and Alexi were successful, he turns to see Alexi fall to the ground…. Alarmed he races over and examines him. He checks and then turns to Quinn… ‘He’s dead! (GM:..Jim..) But there was no feedback from the necrotic power I don’t know what happened.’

The rest of the party is shocked by what has happened and 1st Squad and the others are unsure what to do. Caleb starts to become hysterical and it finally takes a ‘glove slap’ from Lon before he snaps out of it. (GM: not an epic bitchslap, but still, a bitch was slapped) He once again examines the body and turns to Quinn… I can attempt to resurrect him but I would have to go to the summit and hope Miskhal grants me this blessing. Quinn agrees and Lon says he will go with Caleb too. Lon, Caleb, 2 of his acolytes take Alexi’s body and use Quinn’s teleportation device to get to Whupus’ tower where they hope Whupus will teleport them to the summit.

The third creature that had appeared was some kind of undead thing that was intent on killing Caleb and any others that got in the way. The terrible part was that it tried to possess Tiny as it died (as the mage died I learnt later) but we could not let this happen. Caleb called upon the power of Mishhal and the evil was banished from Tiny’s body. Lt Day and 1st squad had come upon the location of Nessie so I rode out there immediately and was horrified by what I saw. In her wing was a black spear just like the short sword blade and dagger that had hurt me and Alexi.

I cradle Nessie’s head on my knees as Caleb and Alexi start the ritual that will allow them to remove the spear and let Nessie start to heal herself again. I can see the white light of godly power come down and envelop Caleb, then the spear and finally Nessie. The evil of the spear is removed and with it the corruption that was hurting Nessie, but as the spear is drawn forth and removed I notice some of the white light move back towards Alexi. The spear is out and Nessie immediately starts to breathe better, as do I. And then the unthinkable happens; Alexi collapses!! We check his pulse and he is no longer has one – HE IS DEAD!?!?!?!?! This is not possible?!?!?!?! (GM: oh yes it is…. GM 1 – PC – 0)

I leaped up and checked Alexi and found it to be true. He was no longer breathing and was indeed dead. (GM: wrapped in plastic) I called upon Paladine and the Gods to help but nothing! Caleb did not understand what had happened or gone wrong. I said I saw the light flow into him but that was all – Alexi could not BE DEAD?!?!?! Lon intervened and got Caleb to thinking correctly and came up with the answer being at the summit and that he could use his powers there to focus on bringing him back. I prayed for guidance and knew that I had to step up and take control. I gave my teleportation device to Lon and had Caleb, two acolytes and Lon take Alexi’s body back to Whupus’s tower so that they could travel to the summit much faster.

After they had left I steeled myself and took command, ordering that we would form up and prepare to make sure the siege of Korval was lifted. As we climbed the rise we saw that the goblin army had already left – Alexi had destroyed a company of goblins and an ogre and this had called for the swift retreat by King Grug.

Drawing attention back to the army Quinn leads the rest of the troops back towards Korval to see what the situation is.

When they arrive they look around at the carnage and Taal explains that before they came to the group that Alexi had taken the opportunity to wipe out this force. Taal takes out his spyglass and shows it to Quinn. Looking through it seems the goblin army have fled. The command tent is abandoned and the city is no longer under-siege.

Taking the opportunity the Harogthian forces examine the command tent and the space the army was using as living area. There’s a distinct separation of the goblin force and their Dragon Army allies. It actually seems there was approximately 20 dragon army personnel and 150 goblins (made up of two different tribes). There are some wagon trains that contain fresh food and supplies. The crates show they are actually Korval merchandise. There are also two dragon army catapults that have been left by the army. (60 goblin forces dead now, no humanoids though)

As Quinn, Richard and Karnak are examining the command tent (they have taken everything but evidence shows they are highly organised – sand box, figurines and maps) but eventually one of the soldiers comes back and says there is something important you have to see.

They follow him and past the dragon army behind a small creek is a glade that shows evidence of corruption (This is where the wizard was staying). Quinn orders that no one go near it as the corruption is still prevalent. (GM: there was a tent in the glade also)

Quinn heads back to the command tent and Taal mentions that it looks like the Korval forces are preparing to send out an emissary to meet them.
1st Squad stand in formation and Quinn (and the main party) go to meet the emissary.

After using Taal’s spyglass to watch the dust clouds of the retreating army well in the distance we head down towards the city. We ride past and can see the signs of battle at the front gate; stones and goblin body’s lie everywhere. A large battering ram and two dragon army catapults were used to attack the city and they would have gotten through. The defenders of the city watch us from the walls as we ride into the goblin camp. Eventually I expect someone will come out to parley with us.

The goblin camp was well laid out for offensive and defensive action. The human advisers certainly had things well in hand. Finding the human area of the camp and its Dragon army setup and supplies leads me to believe we had arrived just in time to break the siege. Now the glade area near the shallow creek was a place of corruption so bad that I ordered no one enter. We will have to burn the glade to the ground to destroy the taint. And that might not be enough…

The wagons we found were full of fresh food and goods. It seems the city tried to parley with the goblins but something went wrong, or the goblins went back on their words. I would believe that. The command tent held maps but they had been taken when the goblins cleared out, but they did leave behind figures to represent troops and such. This was a well thought out siege. From what I have seen there were approximately 150 goblins, 20 ‘other’ humanoids (ogres etc) and at least two humans which are probably the two advisors we could summon with the pearls. Of the army about 100 were dead thanks from our efforts and the defenders of the city. There were also at least two different tribes, the two most prominent being the Red Hands and The Scars (as the Lord of Korval later told me, but I get ahead of myself. Not knowing Alexi’s fate is weighing heavily on my mind).
1st squad is very quiet after everything that has happened. Alexi’s death has hit them hard; I will not morn – now is not the time for such things – we have too much to do and my men are counting on me. I must hold to the hope that Lon and Caleb can bring Alexi back from the dead. Paladine protects… (GM: Quinn taking this way to deal with the situation, meant he didn’t have to role morale for his men. they saw their leader dealing with it, so it steeled them to deal with it also.. at least for the moment)

Taal says that there is movement at the walls of the city so we form up with myself in front and Taal (with the flag of parley), Karnak and Lt Day behind me. 1st squad has fanned out in a protective shield from the goblin defences just in case and then the four of us ride to the mid-point between the city and the goblin defences and wait.

Quinn and party are met by 5 people. The head emissary is a man dressed in full plate like a cavalier. He raises his helm and announces himself as Sir John Kent of Korval, representing his father Lord John Kent, Lord of Korval. He greets Quinn and asks if they were the people that saw off the goblin invaders. Quinn fills him in and also mentions that we killed a corrupted black mage, John Jr looks a bit startled at that and asks are you sure he was black and not red and then explains that they had turned away a red robe mage who had come earlier and requested to be able to view the library and its content.
Quinn introduces himself and his companions detailing that his brother, a white robe mage has fallen in combat saving the city.

The young noble welcomes Quinn and his companions to the city and invites them to inside so that the Lord can greet them personally.

Quinn accepts the offer and the Hargothian force is welcome into the city. During the journey inside John Jr and Quinn exchange some information. Quinn explains that the Hargothians were finally able to come after removing the black dragon army and explains how they had planned to attack Korval after Hargoth had fallen. John Jr seems surprised by that information and explains that the dragon army were dressed in red! (Red Dragon Army here WTF!!). (GM: yes red not black)

Quinn explains that Hargoth had the problem of spies in the city and that is why the fight was so much more intense due to the efforts of the traitors working from the inside. John Jr asks if the Solmanic Knights are mobilising to move and Quinn explains that there is a minor knight force at Hargoth but is he only a squire – a knight in training.
Quinn details that now the city siege has been broken the city will be safe until after winter now.

Was I ever as ‘wide eyed’ as Sir John? At some point I am sure I was but it is hard to remember when that was. Sir John and I are the same age as well; he is ‘wet behind the ears’ and I have the experience and mannerisms of a veteran. War changes a man… I explain about the glade at the shallow creek and that no one should enter – it is a place of pure evil. When I speak of Alexi’s death it is hard, but I carry on and gladly accept the invitation to enter the city, meet with his father and rest. Sir John will organise scouts to patrol the lands to the north and also make sure no one goes to the evil glade.
When I spoke of traitors and such he says that no such thing was possible; all Korvalians are loyal to the city! I find it hard to believe myself. He is disappointed when I say the Knights are not coming, but do say that the city is safe from the Goblins and Black Dragon Army now. This is when Sir John surprises me with ‘Don’t you mean Red?’ Red Dragon Army troops here?? What is going on…

I ask about the wagon and yes it was tribute but then the goblins wanted women as well and the Lord of Korval told the goblins to get stuffed. (GM: basically flipped them the bird!) Good for the Lord; I am glad there is some backbone in the city. It is at this point that he says that it was 25 years ago that the city was last saved by a Solmanic Knight, and I say yes it was ‘Lord William Goldenscale’ my father. Sir John takes a while to answer and then he releases what I said. He is all ‘you are his son??’ Oh My God moment for Sir John!

The conversation continues as we move through the city towards the Lords residence. He explains that each year they have a holiday on the day of liberation by my Father and that there is a statue in the middle of the city to him! The old part of the city has not been built back over and that is where the old temple, library and market square are located. I ask if the temple has been rebuilt and the answer is no as there is a temple to the New Gods in the city. I could not help myself and say we turned away from the Gods and the New Gods are blasphemy as I serve Paladine! I launch into an edict of the glory of Paladine and I think I intimidated poor John into submission. Luckily at that point we arrive at the statue. It is our father and below it is Solamnic writing – ‘Honour is my life’ and below that in ELVEN is ‘My love, My Life’. Mother was here and it was done well after the statue was made. Lt Day has the men go to the Guild Halls we have been assigned so that they can relax. Karnak and I follow Sir John to his father’s home.

John Jr takes Quinn towards the Lord’s manor and along the way he points out a statue that the city commissioned celebrating William Goldenscale’s liberation of the city. The statue is a magnificent edifice of our father and inscribed on a plaque detailing his deed of saving the city. What is more interesting is a phrase engraved below the plague… It’s in Elven!! ‘My love my life’ is the translation.

John Jr leads the Hargothian troops to the use of some of the city guildhalls for their accommodation.

The group finally arrive at the manor house where Quinn is greeted by a portly gentleman in noble outfit. He is Lord John Kent of Korval and he greets Quinn warmly. He also introduces his Advisor – Falkner (Weasel of a fellow) who doesn’t hide his disdain for Hargoth. (GM: see wyrmtongue ah la LOTR)

The procession through the city draws much attention, particularly Nessie as they are looking at a real Gold Dragon, even if she is small. (GM: well Quinn does love his fame) We arrived at the Manor House of the Kent family; no castle here as the city was not built for war. Myself and Karnak dismount but Sir John Jr pulls up between two wooden steps and is then hooked up to a winch system and lifted up off his horse. He will have to get different armour if he plans to ever ride into combat.

Lord John Kent of Korval is a portly gentleman in robes and it is easy to see the family resemblance, who greets me warmly and says it is an honour to meet the son of the Liberator. We are in your debt, and I respond that I was only doing my duty. I am introduced to his advisor, Falkner, a weasel of a man, and no doubt a man that enjoys secret communications with Lazarus. I introduce Karnak, a trusted officer and Taal of Hargoth. Taal gives a flashy bow and says that I speak with the full authority of the Lord of Hargoth. (GM: making sure the Lord .. and the advisor… know that Quinn can speak with authority) That would be something he and Lazarus cooked up between them before coming here!

I give a brief overview of the last month or two from Hargoth; the defeat of the Black Dragon Army and the defence of Hargoth. The Lord of Hargoth’s wounding and recovery, plus the return of the Gods of old for I travel with a Cleric of Mishkal. Falkner scoffs at this and I talk of Paladine again, but Sir John steers the conversation away from this, puts Falkner in his place and we go inside and wash up before going to the feast in my honour. (GM: yes.. he put the advisor back in his box)

After the discussion that becomes a bit heated the Lord invites Quinn and his companions to freshen up and come to the feast that has been prepared.

Taking a chance to freshen up Quinn quizzes Taal about the political situation in the city.

Taal explains about Falkner – he is old though he does not look it – he served Sir John Kent’s father as advisor as well. He is the one that keeps the city running and is also the one the keeps a very isolationist policy. He is the reason why the two Lords have never been able to make a pact of understanding and why the relationship is Neutral to friendly at best. I too disagree with the dealings with the goblins – they should have worked with Hargoth and eliminated the threat. It is possible that Castor has agents in the city and we know for sure that Lazarus has a cell here. (GM: yes he does) Taal does confirm that Lazarus and Falkner do converse via other means. (GM: yes they do)

Quinn, Karnak and Taal are led by servants to the feast and the spread is spectacular. (Not mage tower worthy though :D). (GM: no.. the TOHS is some epic shizzle feasts) It seems Korval is quite a city known for its luxury items that is partly the reason why the city has been able to keep their independence from Hargoth as merchants will take the time and expense to bring their goods to the city. The city is particularly known for a certain silk that is grown by a unique species of spider that live in caves. There is also a merchant within the city that is able to produce Ice (even in the middle of summer!). Another particular occupation that the city is known for is a scribe service that is well known to translate manuscripts into different languages. In fact the Lord of Hargoth used this service once on a gift he received of a dwarven manuscript.

Quinn and the lord discuss various topics but eventually the focus is back onto the goblin army. Falkner eventually explains that the goblins have two factions. ‘Red Hands’ are led by Grudd at the citadel and throughout the years he has absorbed other tribes into his forces. One of these being ‘The Scars’ (GM: Quinn gets the feeling, whatever else they may know, it seems Korvalians know about goblinoids)

The conversation with the Lord of Korval goes well and confirms many things we knew and did not know. The main goblin tribe is the Red Hands, led by King Grug and he has conquered most of the other tribes in the area. The citadel belongs to the Red Hands and will be where the Dragon Army advisors are based. It would be good to infiltrate the citadel and deal with the threat once and for all but other matters of more import await me. I will be staying at one of the best Inn’s in the city with Karnak and Lt Day; people are also starting to get the feeling I am not one to be trifled with at the moment as my mind drifts to how Lon and Caleb are going with Alexi. The thought of never seeing Alexi’s smiling face again is hard, but I push those thoughts from my mind. I made a promise to Mother that I would always keep him safe. (GM: well you f#cked that one up didn’t you Quinn!)

Before the feast finishes John Jr comes again to speak to Quinn and tell him he they have arranged for rooms at the city’s best inn for his officers. Quinn accepts the offer and they prepare to leave. As Quinn is about to leave he set upon by a young woman. Her name is Dianna Kent and she is the daughter of Lord John. She isn’t trying to hide her interest and it looks like Quinn will have a hard time trying to averting her advances. Quinn has proven himself in being able to handle enemy army advances, it has yet to be seen if he can handle the advances of a different kind!! (GM: I bet he is about to get pwned!)

Lady Dianna Kent; Father was right, women are the greatest challenge… umm this is going to be dangerous! I think I will keep Nessie close by from now on! (GM: like she could help)

From the Journal of Caleb
No… oh no!!!! what has happened!!! Alexi is dead!!! How can this be!!, how can it be him…. Mishakal told me this would be my burden to bear, my path….. I do not understand ……

From the Journal of Lon
How could I let this happen…. She gave me one task, and that was to protect the brothers…. I have failed…..again…..

From the Journal of Taal
Oh shit…. Lazarus is going to blame ME for this!

From the Journal of Elsewhere
Run… RUN!!!! there is to many of them!!

What are we going to do master?!!

It’s a trap! they were ready for us…. bring all our brothers back to the main chamber… it is there we will make our stand! If it is our time to die, then by the gods we will take as many of them with us as we can!

Master… Master! … Korish thinks he can open a portal…. but he is wounded and needs help

Have some of our brothers provide assistance… what of the front?

Master – I am told that we cannot affect the creatures. It is like they are immune to our attacks. We continually fall back…

A curse on Takhisis!! this is her doing!! How could we have been such fools… so arrogant!!


From the Journal of the GM
I got one! I got one! I got one! I got one! I got one! I got one! I got one! I got one! I got one!

You Got to Have Faith, Fa-Faith, Fa-Faith!
26th Session

From the Journal of Quinn and Alexi Goldenscale

I teleport the entire group back to Hargoth and immediately I see something is wrong from the forlorn looks the guards are giving us. We finally find out that somehow Karnak has died…. (GM: He’s dead Jim…) How is that possible, I examined the necrotic injury and I knew that it would take a couple of weeks before it would reach dangerous levels! Caleb is also distressed and immediately heads off. We all follow and head through the infirmary and continue down to the Morgue. On the way through the infirmary I notice that Marcus is awake and sitting up. I greet him surprisingly and tell him I will come back.

We head down and under a sheet is unfortunately the body of Karnak. Sensing that something changed with the necrotic wound he had received from the short sword, I try to detect for any residue necrotic energy. It seems that it did not dissipate when the body died and instead was spreading over his entire body in what I assumed could have eventually raised him as some undead being. (GM: Correct) Expecting only remnants of the power I’m instead hit with a massive backlash. (GM:pwned!!!) The necrotic presence had grown greatly. The power pushes me back and I would have landed hard (GM: on your a$$) if Lon hadn’t caught me. Weakened from the attack I manage to mutter that ‘something is wrong, and the necrotic energy is still in him and it’s growing.’

I felt a great sadness come over me when the guards at the garrison said Karnak had died. First because we had lost an ally, but mostly because we had lost another companion to the forces of evil and I felt some of that burden. And then I felt anger… Alexi was right though, Karnak’s wounds were NOT that bad and he should have lived! Caleb did not understand it either for he had personally treated his wounds and KNEW we had time to save him. All I knew was that I had to go see the body with my own eyes and lead a pray vigil to a fallen companion.

We arrived and the infirmary and headed down to the morgue for that was where they had taken Karnak’s body. We entered and lying on a cold stone slab with a sheet across him was Karnak. I walked over and pulled back the sheet and was horrified by what I saw; Karnak’s face was twisted into a horrible expression and it did not look like he had died peacefully in his sleep.

But like all things the Dark Queen or her minions touch, the death of Karnak was a trap set for us. Alexi had used his magical ability to sense that something was wrong and Caleb believed that the body had moved a fraction. All I knew was that when Alexi collapsed mumbling ‘something was wrong’ and pointing towards Karnak I knew I had to act, as I thought Karnak was alive and that he was being controlled like Lazarus was! It was time to destroy the evil in him once and for all.

‘PALADINE!’, I screamed as I placed my left hand on the face of Karnak and held aloft the Dragonlance with the other and prayed, willed the affliction to BE GONE! A light of purest white came down from the heavens and engulfed myself and Karnak and then the room (and later I found out the whole infirmary building). In my effort to banish the evil and ‘otherness’, I was successful! (GM: Praise Jesus!!!) The BODY of Karnak had been cleansed; but I also knew at that exact moment that I had to make a choice. Karnak was dead. He was no longer there… unless… I concentrated my will and prayed to Paladine once more, calling upon the Gods of Light to help me restore Karnak. My prayers were answered.

To the amazement of all, Karnak got up from the stone, turned and knelt before me and offered his life to me. ‘Serve Paladine and you serve me’, I responded. Karnak is like the phoenix – he has died and been reborn, shedding forever the vestments of evil for his heart is pure for he can HOLD the Dragonlance. I too am different – Paladine is with me for I know I can give blessings on others and heal their wounds thanks to the power of Paladine. (GM: both Quinn and Karnak have taken the next step on their paths)

Quinn did the most unexpected action at that point and started calling on Paladine and attempted I don’t know what but almost like the exorcism that he did to Lazarus.
I don’t fully understand what happened but there was a giant beam of light that extended from his body that spread across the whole of Karnak’s body and then expanded out (like one of my fireballs) and suddenly the room stills.

Quinn looks jubilant and suddenly Karnak opens his eyes and sits up. The scars (from his many battles) have been erased and he no longer contains any necrotic presence at all. (GM: he is as smooth as a babys ……..)
The weakened state that I was in was completely erased by Quinn’s ‘raise dead’. Karnak gets off the table and kneels at Quinn’s feet and pledges his loyalty to Quinn and Paladine. It would seem he’s had a conversion of faith because he is suddenly like a different person. One of Caleb’s acolytes comes forward with Karnak’s clothes but he says that he wants them burned as he wishes to shed himself of his former life that contained great evil. Quinn gives him his Dragonlance to hold and he accepts the weapon and raises it shouting Paladine’s name. The Dragonlance even glows slightly and both Quinn and Caleb take up the chant shouting Paladine and Mishkal. Caleb then decides to have an impromptu service.

The blessing of Paladine has touched everyone in the infirmary. Those that might die will now recover! Those that were with fever of broken bones are mended. Only those whose lives have been full have risen to be with the Gods. This is a glorious day! Though Caleb really needs to work on his speeches… (GM: yes much sucking)

Having seen enough religious experiences for one day I leave and head up to the infirmary to talk with Marcus.

Of all the divine magic I have seen performed this truly was the most majestic. What Quinn did was what I had read that Knights of Sword could do way before the cataclysm and the rise of the Kingpriest. There were rumours that true good clerics back then could perform resurrections but even the mages (and most of their records that survived the cataclysm showed no evidence of that ability. If I had not seen it done with my own eyes I would not have believed.

As I head up into the infirmary I look around at the patients. It seems that they were all affected by Quinn’s channelling down in the morgue, Marcus is even standing up as I approach him. I ask him about what happened and he said there was a brief light from below and suddenly he felt refreshed.

I ask him about what happened with the Irda and he tells me that Lazarus interviewed him but since then the Irda had died during the interrogation. After purposes telling Lazarus not to do that I’m instantly suspicious. I’m going to have to grab Quinn after they have finished their religious orgy downstairs and get him to come with me to see him. I ask about what the Irda did and asked of him. Marcus explains that he had been preparing to shut-up his shop one day when the (dead) Irda woman came in and captured him. They then tortured him for information about his contacts inside and outside the tower. They also questioned him about me. SIGH (GM: Alexi is such a celebrity)

It’s interesting to see which parts of the Dragonarmy want us dead. The warriors focus on Quinn while the magic users focus on me, it’s an interesting paradigm. Perhaps it breaks down to the basic contest of contenting against your equal. (GM: this is quite a good observation… and so far it is mostly true)

I was extremely glad that Marcus has recovered from the attack its people like him that get little recognition but that have aided us so much that it really make the difference in this war. (GM: cant discount the “little people”)

I ask him about what he will do next and he tells me that he has been summoned to the tower to report to Justarius. I offer him passage on my teleport as I want to check on Ladonna’s progress with the retrieving the dragon eggs. He accepts my offer and I told him I would come and get him when I leave (within the next day).

I also warn Marcus to probably leave the infirmary now as I can hear footsteps coming from the stairwell that leads to the Morgue. He inquires why and I explain that Quinn has cleansed Karnak and managed to raise him in full health. He stares at me and then the group as they walk into the infirmary with Karnak holding Quinn’s Dragonlance like a banner and he looks shocked. (GM: stunned mullet comes to mind)

Instead of following my advice he gets sucked in with the rest of the populous in the infirmary that surround Quinn & Karnak. Sensing that they won’t stop from surrounding him (and seeing that 1st Squad was actually having trouble keeping them away) I use the gem and convince Quinn that he should address the masses so that they don’t cause any injury in this ‘riot’. He agrees and motions for silence so that he can address them. Deciding to have some fun I use my prestidigitation to make his armour shine. Quinn addresses the people and thanks them for their support in Paladine and the Gods and asks them to return to their tasks as we are still at war. The way they all left with adorning faced lemmings makes me sigh but at least we have the support of the city if we require their aid at a later date. (GM: Quinn secretly loves it)

Stepping out on to court yard around the infirmary I see there are people everywhere and they all want to be next to me and feel the blessing of the gods. Alexi was right for me to speak to the crowd. The situation could have turned into a riot and there would have been deaths. Instead I held up my hand and the people went quiet. ‘The blessing of Paladine and the Gods of good is upon you all. Please, return to your duties as we all serve the gods in our own way. We still have a war to win. Praise be to Paladine!’ Luckily it worked and disaster was averted. Karnak continued to carry the Dragonlance aloft, held high like a flag and as a symbol of all we hold dear.

I approach Quinn and explain we have to talk to Lazarus. Karnak is going to get changed, Caleb is going to stay in the infirmary and Lon (having enough of humans for a while) heads off to ‘commune with nature’ in solitude. Nessie comes with us. We head up to Lazarus’s tower first but are told he’s not here. Sensing that if she is still alive she would be kept in the dungeon we head off. On the way to Lazarus, Quinn told me that he now has the power to heal…. WTF (He explains that he is still a squire on his quest to become a knight this is just a small gift from Paladine). After getting past the guards (which includes a pathfinder & flamboyant mercenary) we are escorted into the dungeon where Lazarus is standing looking out a window while I see two scribes writing information down on scrolls. He explains that the death ‘rumour’ was just a ruse for extra protection and Quinn expresses his sympathy for the death of the pathfinder. (Well that is something I didn’t know that the ‘pathfinder’ was actually an agent of Lazarus). (GM: well duh!!) He explains that the Irda has blocks in her mind similar to Castor and that he could break her but she would die in the process. I ask for some time with her and he allows us through the door to her cell.

Inside is a main in black robes (Not a high sorcery mage) who has a large bandage around his eyes (He’s blind). He’s just sitting there on a stool facing the woman. We approach her and she’s awake. She’s been bound on a chair with the anti-magic bracers. Surrounding the chair is an inscribed circle and candles all lit. This must be what they are using to contain her power with the anti-magic device destroyed. Her body language/pose is strong and she gives nothing away (she will be tough to crack, but hopefully she can be provoked like Castor).

She does not respond to my initial questions but Quinn finally hits a nerve when he mentions Vingarrd Keep. She shows surprised but quickly reverts back to her bored expression. Taking extreme measures I use the hood of disguise (taken from her sister’s dead body) and transform myself into her sister. She doesn’t like that. (GM: not at all)

I then force the issue by asking if I use the friendship bracelet I wonder who the two people I would summon here. That instantly gets a reaction. Mentioning the bracelet has her worried the most. She is scared of the possibility of using it and summoning those two people here. (GM: you realise she is scared, more so than upset you found out… could be an important distension)

Sensing she is revealing too much she attempts to break free. This is confirmed by the black robed figure who it seems she is fighting against. “She’s attempting to break free again”. Quinn is contemplating nudging her with the Dragonlance to break her concentration, (GM: I think Quinn is thinking something a little more forceful than a nudge) I instead look and see if I can aid the man who is holding her. I sense that he is a sorcerer and he is also using wild mage to contain her. Quinn proceeds with nudging her but it seems to have no effect. (In fact 3 candles go out and she seems to be winning). Having a flash of an idea I get out the Wild Mage Wand of Conjuring and give it to the sorcerer in the hope that he can channel its power. (GM: that was unexpected) Not expecting it to work so well he takes the wand and instantly looks revitalised and powerful. (GM: rolling natural 20 will do that) He steps forward (with no vision he steps between us) and proceeds to place his hand on her head and commands her to tell him her secrets. She screams and it looks like that power boost from the wand ensures the sorcerer’s supremacy and he mentally connects with both Quinn & I and we are able to ask her a few questions in which she is forced to answer.

Q: Who do the two pearls link too?
A: I find out that the pearls are linked to two men. Verrayo & Ror. They are two of Arakises’s chosen (advisors).

Q: Why are you here?
A: To kill the mage Alex,

Q: Why?
A: Udoonin fears his power

Q: Is Udoonin alive?
A: He is beyond death (GM: and pissed off looking for a piece!!!)

Q: Why are you working with the Dragon Army
A: Honour demands Service

Q: Do you know Jark the Ogre Magi
A: Yes

Q: When did you last speak with him?
A: 5 Nights ago

Quinn asks the next question
Q: How did you get the knights to charge at Vingarrd
A: We get no answer and she seems to be resisting

I ask the question a different way hoping to bypass her block
Q: How does Edwin and his family fit into your scheme?
A: I was a servant of Lord Edwin Garth of the Vale at Vingarrd

Q: Is Edwin’s father complicit in the attack?
A: Yes

Q: What would it take for you to agree to testify this information?
A: Again no answer and she manages to break the mind contact.

I was hoping for a different answer when Alexi asked the question of the Irda’s role at Vingarrd Keep. Edwin’s father complicit in the attack by sending the Knights to their doom; there will be a reckoning at Whitestone, I fear. It is good to have the names of the two chosen servants of Arakiss that the pearls are connected to. This will help us at some point I am sure. And then there is the traitor Ogre Mage, Jark at the Tower of High Sorcery. Alexi and I should march in there and capture him; (GM: yes please try that approach.. that would be fun to GM..hehehe) Stupid mages and their idiot laws. Unfortunately my mind keeps wondering to the Knights and the actions of some of those in charge… it will get worse before it gets better. I need to find a temple of Paladine in the city (if there is one) and mediate with prayer for a while.

I was not particularly surprised that she has blocks in her mind, especially after finding out she has had dealings with Udoonin. We got some extremely useful information from her however. The knowledge that Edwin’s father was complicit was probably the most disturbing. I know Quinn was raised to revere the knights and having seen father in action even I considered them one of the embodiment of good in the world, but the Master of Justice working with the dragonarmy, it’s almost hard to believe. Jark, that bloody ogre magi, I’m going to have to plan how I’m going to handle that. Perhaps a large argument in the dining room where there are plenty of witnesses. The council knew that he was dealing with the Irda so the charge of wild magic won’t have any consequences but perhaps bringing his liaisons to light might be appropriate. (GM: well. Alexi is already considered a “black robe” stone cold killer!)

She is unconscious and the sorcerer is greatly weakened, we help him back to his seat (he dropped the wand and I gathered it back up again).

We head out and report the information we have gathered from her to Lazarus. I mention the names Verrayo & Ror and he says that he doesn’t recognise although I’m not so sure. (GM: with Laz, can you really be sure of anything??) The thing he can’t hide is his shock of the possibility of Udoonin still being able to interact with the dragonarmy. (GM: yes … very true you have got him there) There is talk of his essence being stored somewhere and even the horrible thought of his spirit being implanted into a body (whether willing or not). Disturbing to say the least. We discuss the situation with Edwin and his father and what evidence would we need to get him removed as the Master of Justice (There are not a lot of options unfortunately) I know Quinn is uncomfortable with what may lay ahead and eventually the decision to stop/allow Edwin to come on the journey to Sancrist is left to me.

Quinn heads off and I go and see Edwin as I think it’s time he and I discussed a few things.
I arrive at Edwin’s chamber and it seems he is worried for his life as there is a guard outside. Amused at the guards annoyance at this assignment I am invited inside after making my presence known. He enquiries as to why I am here and show him the letter from his father address to him. He is visible upset and I explain that traitors within the city had been using mail to pass messages to spies and that every piece of mail has been examined. I draw his attention to the contents in the mail particularly his father’s mention of ‘dirty’ on the Goldenscale name and reinforce that even I know that is not standard knight protocol. I also tell him that the Irda woman was able to be interrogated before she died. I explain that he has been cleared and that she duped him for his access to the keep, unfortunately it was not the same for his father. I explain that she was a servant to his father at Vingarrd and that he was the one who ordered the knights to ride out to their death. He’s complicit. He immediately tries to defend his father and once again point to the letter as evidence of his father’s corruption. I tell him that Quinn hasn’t seen the letter and that I have no intention of telling him of its presence. He seems visibly relieved at that (I’m sure being challenged by a squire and losing a second time would be disastrous for him). (GM: safe bet there) I remind him that I believe everyone deserves a second chance and he will have to consider which side he will stand with – His father or the knighthood when the time comes. (GM:Alexi was laying it on thick… diplomacy FTW!)
I also bring his attention to the dragon orb mentioned in the letter and reinforce in him the disastrous consequences if anyone at the Whitestone council even used the device. He makes a quip at me asking does that include myself and I cryptically reply that ‘this isn’t the dragon orb I am destined to use’. (GM: these are not the droids you are looking for…) He looks slightly puzzled at that and I leave.
I feel like I have made some progress with him but we will have to see.

Out of all the situations I’m dealing with this is probably the most unusual. The knighthood is definitely not my forte but frankly Quinn is a political lamb to the slaughter at the moment (GM: seems everyone can see it but him… not uncommon with people that hold themselves to lofty standards) and I need him concentrated on keeping everyone focused on the matter at hand, rather than shattered his optimistic view of trusting in ‘Paladine’ to set the course. (GM: Alexi.. trying to be the power behind the throne….) Of course Edwin was shocked his mail was read but I think my explanation of all mail being examined for traitor messages mollified him a bit. (GM: it did) Seeing it plain in black and white that his father was going to blandly abuse use his political favours to discredit the Goldenscale family I think was a big wake up call. I know he sent a letter that contained something similar but I believe that was just a knee-jerk reaction to see Quinn after so long. Embellishing the Irda’s information was helpful too. Confirming his mistreatment and then shoving it back on his father I hope has helped us. He definitely has a choice to make and I would not deny him the chance to redeem himself at Sancrist. I guess we will see. I still have several contingencies if things go bad.

I enquiry of the Steward (must as him his name!) (GM: crap.. better make one up) about if there are any Temples to the Gods of Good, Paladine in particular, in the city. He says he will get some people to go through the Sage’s library of maps and get back to me. I thank him for his trouble and head to the Blacksmith to first see how my shield is going and to drop off my armour for repair. The shield is finished and he has done a magnificent job – it is truly a masterful item. I then give him my armour and he gets to work on it straight away. I tell him it can wait but he will not hear of it. I head back to the garrison to go over my gear and relax but soon realise word of what happened at the infirmary has started to spread around the city. Best to keep a low profile for a bit. (GM: pleaaasse!!! as if you could)

As the trip to Sancrist looms soon I am worried that members of our party are not so entrenched in the idea of going. I bring both Lon & Caleb aside individually and ask for their help as we will need them both if we are going to be successful. They both agree: Caleb – ‘It is my destiny’, Lon – ‘Where else would I go’. That seemed easier than I expected but I don’t think they completely understand the political ‘mine-field’ we are heading into but oh well.

Part of my plan to make sure the black robes are following through on the Good Dragon Egg collection involves making them think that Nessie is the Good Dragon emissary here to keep track of the progress. I explain the idea to her and she seems sceptical and wants Quinn’s approval. We find Quinn and I explain that when we finally contact the Good Dragons and they find out that the Evil dragon broke their pledge they are going to be incredibly pissed and especially when they find out about the Corrupt Dragon Egg ritual. It would be good if we reminded the black robes that their cooperation in this matter would be ideal. When I explain it that way they both agree. (I also bribe Nessie with a free meal of her choice and the deal is made!!).

Nessie and I head off to Marcus’ shop and he’s waiting outside. Also here is Lon…. Oh no he’s on to me!! When I query his interest in the trip he says that I need protecting….. Preparing to disprove his assumption I instead (roll a 1) agree with him and we all head off the tower. (GM: such a noob!)

You’d almost think I had a wicked moustache and sneaky grin for all the trust that everyone has in my actions. I don’t just come up with these random ideas, I use my superior intellect and use the most appropriate tool for the job. Nessie’s presence cannot be underestimated. (GM: actually for what you are trying to do, I’d say she is key) She is the only good dragon that we are aware of. Her presence in the tower and at Whitestone must not be low-key, she must be flaunted. (GM: like Quinn in a city!!) Her political capital must be utilised. Fine so I eventually had to break down my plan for her and Quinn and of course they agreed with me. The black robes need to show their commitment to make amends for their atrocious behaviour. I took a great risk with making that deal with Ladonna and I need to make sure that Erik and she are following through on their part of the deal.

Arriving in the teleporting room I check with the white robe apprentice if Erik or LaDonna are here. It turns out all the black robes gathered and left on a mission (to get the eggs, zzz waiting a week to go). They seemed to have gathered every black robe in the tower and called in most of their battle mages. I also managed to find out that Justarius went as the red robe representative – extremely interesting….Well it seems my trip here was a bust so I show Lon & Nessie to the dining room where they both very much enjoy the meal. (Lon has fish, Nessie has Haunch of Beef, a Haunch of Lamb, Haunch of Pork and some chicken!). Looking around to see if there is anyone here and I notice Gwarvel is here (fuck..). I head over and he greets me in the only way he can (GM: like an ass!) ….we jib at each other and I manage to find out that Jark has gone too… I ask him about Udoonin and if he knew if he had a daughter and explain that LaDonna might have this information and he doesn’t appreciate being my messenger. Changing tact I ask him if he has ever heard of Bloodwitches. He instantly goes pale (even more so for an elf) and he asks why. I tell him that considering he is an elf perhaps he knew something about the elven bloodwitches, (oh that’s right I’ve shoved his elven superiority right back at him), he is flustered and gets up to leave. (GM: Alexi put him back in his box) As he goes I say ‘perhaps you will be able to ask Ladonna that question at some point’. He’s too upset to rebuttal and just say that he’ll look into it. (Bazinga that shizzle) (GM: right on!)

Having no luck with my investigation with Erik or Ladonna I head off to see Marcus. He has been giving one of the guest rooms (it’s quite nice!). We discuss the situation and he says that he will remain here awaiting Justarius’s return. I ask if he is willing to allow me access to his shop while he’s gone and he graciously agrees to give me the password to his arcane lock (Loren). Wishing him well I head off to see Lon & Nessie. Having some free time I go and identify Lon’s mana-mithril bow for him. It’s a Lighting Strike Bow +3, one of the few times I’ve seen his eyes light up when I explained what it does 

I also took the opportunity to try and channel into the moonstone orb for a memory of Castor & the ‘apprentice’, unfortunately for me I now cannot remove the ghastly memory I saw. I saw (a younger) Castor and the woman engaged in intercourse both of which were speaking arcane. In my peripheral vision I could see Udoonin watching (GM: he likes to watch!!). So he’s the mastermind of this awful ritual. I’d hate to think what they were doing but I’m not going to wade through this memory to find out and bounce out quickly.

Leaving the room I was using to examine the moonstone surprisingly I see Rasmus in the hallway. He greets me and I ask about his search for the eggs and (he seems happy to discuss it openly) he regrets to tell me that he has lost the trail. He makes the mistake of commenting ‘isn’t it unfortunately that Timothy’s master wouldn’t keep the eggs safe’. (WHUPUS IS TIMOTHY’S MASTER DUN DUN DUNNNN). (GM: I hate ones!) He realises his mistake and asks for my discretion. I ask if he has news from Timothy and he tells me that he’s still hunting around in Neraka. That is quite a dangerous place to go I comment and he says that it is important part of the mission. I ask if he knows how many caches there are and he says he thinks there is five. I make my opinion of their actions known and he delivers the same ‘ends justify the means speech as well’, I tell him I’m not convinced and he tells me that I will learn that once I fall off my pedestal things are a lot different. Lighting up the mood I tell him that I’ll simply use a levitation spell. (GM: actually was quite funny!) He laughs and the tension is broken. I repeat the offer that my brother and I are more than willing to assist if he discovers any caches and he thanks us. He heads off.

The disappointment at finding the black robes were all gone to collect the eggs was definitely the low point of the journey but that encounter with Gwarvel was well worth the trip. Lord your elven superiority over me, bitch please….how an annoying individual like him managed to make it onto white council of seven is beyond me but at least I have some ammunition on him. (GM: maybe because he is a powerful mofo)

Seeing Rasmus was a surprised and his openness to talk was even more interesting. When he voiced the ‘company line – ends justify the means’ I would have not expected anything less from a red robe but I’m pretty sure secretly he was happy it was me that saved him and not the other scenario.

Whupus is Timothy’s master, well was that surprising but when I think about it, it makes perfect sense. The reason Timothy gained access to the tower in the first place and Whupus’ reactions to everything he has done. This will be something new to ponder.

I teleport the three of us back and we check in on Quinn. It seems since his ‘baptismal’ moment he seems quite eager to locate a temple of Paladine in the area.

This is indeed an opportunity we cannot pass up. The River of Healing was the site father was looking for all those years ago! We do have a better idea of how to get there as we are pretty sure we know that the part behind the monastery will lead there. The other Temple to Paladine, Wings, on the coast is closer but the river of Healing was important to Father so we will go to Korval first, (GM: yeah!!! finally!!!) visiting the library there for more accurate information, before continuing towards the monastery. Alexi is pleased with this plan as he wants to go to the library at Korval anyway. Of course this is where we will find out just how truthful Castor and the Journal are…

I get the Lieutenant to organised 1st squad, plus making sure we have enough rations for a week journey and we plan to leave the next morning. I advise the Steward and he says he will inform the Lord and Lazarus of our departure. I pick up my armour later that night (the Blacksmith is a man of much talent) and give my spare set of scale and the bastard sword to Karnak, blessing them and hoping they will serve him well. Karnak arrives and I am amazed by what I see. He has taken his pledge to me seriously. He is wearing a tabard of the Goldenscale Family over his armour. (Gm: he certtinally looks different, more sure of himself, more stern, more serious)

In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, we are off, with 8 members of 1st squad, the Lieutenant Richard Day, Myself, Alexi, Caleb (and his 4 acolytes) Tiny, Karnak and the swashbuckler from earlier, Taal. Lon left an hour earlier and is scouting well ahead while Nessie is flying overhead but once we are outside the city limits she starts to hunt. On the trip one thing is obvious, the Lieutenant and Karnak do not see eye to eye. I will have to do something about it but they make work it out themselves.

One of the keep scholars consulted some old maps and found two locations nearby. There’s one near the River of Healing in the mountains to the west as well as one north of the city. Although the one north of the city is closer, Quinn remembers a mention of the River of Healing in his father’s journal. Perhaps that was what he was actually trying to find!! I mention that the fake letter (if it had intended for us to head there) wanted us to go to Korval and use their library. (GM: don’t discount this) (Being the knowledge buff that I am, I convince them we should head to Korval otherwise us searching for the River of Healing blindly would be a waste). Having a week to go before we must return to head to Sancrist, Quinn is eager to head off and races off with the Lieutenant to organize the troops/supplies for our journey.

Taking the last free moment I’ll have I go and check if Marcus has any interesting rituals in his shop I can learn before we go. I learn Tenser’s Floating Disk ritual before turning into the night (I know Quinn will want to leave early tomorrow). (Other rituals I wish to learn at another date: ‘Detect Object’, ‘Detect Secret Door’, ‘Silence’),

Getting up in the morning I head out and see what Quinn has decided to go with.

I’m pretty sure even I couldn’t hide my curiosity and blatant leading of Quinn to decide to go to Korval and then onto the mysterious River of Healing Paladine Temple. Ever since I heard that Korval City contained a library that housed many of the books removed from the ruined city before it was abandoned, I have been eager to investigate it. It is of course a scholar’s dream! (GM: oh yes!)

We are a party of 21:
Quinn, Alexi, Caleb, Karnak (Warlord – who is now an official part of our group), Lon, Nessie, Richard (1st Squad Lieutenant), Tiny, Taal (The Mercenary guard in the dungeon – He’s Lazarus’ representative), 5x Caleb’s acolytes, 6x 1st Squad.

I give Taal a rough time hoping to rough him up but I’m pretty sure Lazarus has already told him about my ways. He eventually throws me a bone and says Lazarus is after something and he (Taal) knows an entrance to the library. I’m sold and am nicer to him on the trip (He also flatters Quinn and I both lolz).

We are travelling to Korval and one of the things I notice is that Karnak and Richard are butting heads. (Both thing their Quinn’s #1 man). I motion Quinn aside to sort it out and he tries but I think he personally likes the attention (sigh). (GM: he loves it!)

Lon has been out scouting and he flashes (with a mirror!!) when we are about 1 mile from the city. Richard and Karnak start arguing about what Lon’s signal mention and eventually I cast the ‘sending’ ritual and ask Lon: ‘They are both noobs!!, Korval is under attack, Goblins and Worgs’. I tell the others and Caleb asks where they could have come from. Having a chance to look at the map before we left I said it’s probably from Draco Citadel. Karnak agrees and explains that the Dragon Army made trades with them for food/gold etc, and eventually they were going to come here and both groups take the city but because of Hargoth holding that plan never came ahead. Their leader is a goblin king called Grug. Its approaching winter and they probably don’t have enough supplies to last hence this attack on Korval.

I recommend that I head down there and blast us a way into the city but Quinn doesn’t want to announce our (my) presence just yet. He sets up a trap and Lon and some of 1st Squad act as hunters and draw most of the worgs riding around the city (15) to us over the ridge so that we are not seen by the army.

We annihilate them (including a leader with a flaming sword) and as the last few are trying escape I sleep the furthest away and cast a wall of fire to block the rest. Caleb drags the sleeping worg and goblin to us and we survey the under siege city. There is a command tent on the other side of the city and luckily for us they didn’t notice our strike.

Ok so perhaps my plan of just going in and wiping out the enemy force was not the best idea but when do I ever get to do any practical training. It’s always detecting magic this, identify magical item that. This will be interesting to see Quinn in battle as this is his first ‘army’ sized leadership task. He certainly seems to be following in our father’s footsteps.

Taal happened to make an interesting point before we arrived to find the city under sieged. We were an army force from Hargoth coming unannounced to a separate individual city state (that from what I understand doesn’t have the best relationship with their larger neighbour). If we save this city from the goblin army we will have generated much goodwill and we will be able to proceed unimpeded. 6 ½ days until we are due back in Hargoth to catch the boat to Sancrist. We have limited time and cannot waste any of it.

The ambush worked out almost perfectly. We are unsure if Caleb was seen walking up and dragging the warg and goblin back over the rise. Time will tell, though of more immediate concern is what it is Nessie is hunting that she deems is ‘dangerous’. With the attacking forces cavalry dealt with, we will have a bit easy time and we currently still have surprise on our side. I am glad we did not attack as a full frontal assault! Now to assist Nessie…

From the Journal of Karnak:
I have been reborn!! All my life I have been searching for something….. but not knowing what that something was…. I now know… Paladine has spoken to me, through he true servant Lord Quinn. I now know what I must do. I must take up Lord Quinn’s mantle as my own and serve him to wipe out the evil, and bring peace to the galaxy… er land.

From the Journal of Edwin:
Quinn’s brother has brought me much to ponder (GM: this is our other daughter.. Dotties sister) I must see father as soon as the ship docks at Sancrist Isle. we have much to discuss…

Light and Darkness at the Summit
25th Session

From the Journal of Alexi and Quinn Goldenscale

After discovering that the dagger that Lazarus had thrown at me had left a similar wound like Quinn’s I ask Caleb to examine it. He tells me that this isn’t as powerful and he removes it from me. I do notice though that he drew the evil into him….. If that happens with Karnak and Quinn then we’re going to have a new problem. I’ll have to see if I can come up with a way to counter it.

Needing that ritual so that Quinn can go to the monastery tomorrow (and Marcus still being unconscious) I head off to the tower to buy some scrolls. I manage to procure 2x Remove Affliction Ritual scrolls. Now I can head back to Hargoth and hopefully remove this disease from Quinn.

I teleport back and go and find Caleb to see what he needs to prepare for the ritual. I find Caleb and ask him if he’s ready to do the combined removed affliction ritual and he seems confused. I question him further and he seems to have no knowledge (or forgotten) everything that happened between Quinn’s visit to the chapel and Lazarus’ need of healing after he was exorcised. That is worrisome. I’m thinking that he was impersonated by the Irda (And they were the ones to recommend the combined removed affliction ritual) or something happened to remove the knowledge from him (God interference??), plus there was the weird situation where he ran off after examining Karnak. (Another mystery to think about).

He is concerned about Quinn and so we head off to examine him. After an examination he agrees that we would both have to perform the ritual (But he says until I told him the idea he would have not considered it). (GM: Dun Dun Daaa!)

I have a thought that we might be able to use the Orb of Oradia and the Chalice of Chale (White robe item and cleric item) and that they might have some effect because we are working together. I ask him to try using the Chalice as a focus. He examines again and then suddenly starts to perform the ritual. (WTF). Wishing I had at least had a chance to study the ritual scroll I use the orb and focus blindly on the scroll. I sense that the orb is channelling but has no exit point. I focus that power on the wound and I feel the mana-mithril separate from the wound which allows Caleb to remove the evil from the wound. Once again I watch it be absorbed by Caleb and he collapses after having seizures. His acolytes are beside themselves and try to rush towards him. I order them back and ask if Caleb has any holy water that he has blessed. One of them says yes and races off to the chapel (He was back so fast it felt almost instantaneous). Having another interesting thought I use the water and fill the chalice and force the water down Caleb’s throat. It turns out I’m brilliant as after he drinks the water an evil presence leaves his body and disperses into the air. I sense Caleb will recover now as well as Quinn. They will be weak but will be able to make the journey to the monastery.

I am released from the evil that was on the verge of killing me, thanks to Alexi and Caleb. I do not remember much of what happened but I am grateful none the less. I feel surprisingly well considering what has happened. Soon I will ride towards the monastery to meet with Captain Harkin after a rest.

The reminder of the trip to the monastery tomorrow reminds me of the letter that Farra had on his corpse when he died and the mention of a tome. I’m pretty sure it’s the Tome of the Grandmaster but I go and see Lazarus to confirm.

It turns out to be correct that Lazarus wanted to make sure that the Tome was secured and now he knows that Caleb is going to move it to a safe location he is happy for that to happen. I ask him about various other things and he does mention that he has heard rumours about the Disks of Miskshall and a Blue Crystal Staff. I tell him of the information we know and I try to get information about the Elven Blood Witches (mentioned in the letter to Koos) but he tells me he knows nothing (not entirely sure about that). He does happen to mention that he had an agent in Silvanesti but he has lost contact with them and he is unsure why. I ask him to interview the Irda woman if she awakes while I’m away and I get the impression he’s willing to go in with torture straight off the bat but I convince him to hold off as it would be better if she was a willing witness at the Whitestone Council.
Hearing that Marcus has been brought to the infirmary (The circle had dissipated) and I head over to see how he is. He is still unconscientious and I’m concerned as to why. I’m wondering if there is some wild magic residue still inside. I use the orb as a focus and what I find is disturbing. There is wild magic inside of him and it seems to be ‘eating’ his magical power. Luckily because he is only a dabbler and not a full-fledged mage it cannot grow into an incredible dangerous force. I sense that he is fighting it and he is in no immediate danger but he will probably remain in the stupor unless I do something. I get the sense that I could probably overpower the wild magic force easily but I’m unsure of the damage to Marcus.

It is getting late and I want to examine the magical items from the Irda as they may help me with Marcus’s condition.

The Cowl is a Hat of Disguise (Equipped) (Level 10 – Wondrous Item)
Necklace of Fate +3 (Equipped) (Level 12) –
Friendship of Bracelet (Equipped) (Level 18 – Wondrous Item). Extremely interesting item. The Bracelet contains 5 pearls that can be imprinted with a person’s blood. Once per day I can activate the bracelet which allows the wearer to teleport one of those people to them (Works as long across any distance as long as they are on this plane). Currently two pearls are in use. I happened to notice when I firstly examined it that there were 3 of the pearls covered in blood. I assume when the ranger died that it reset (I actually discovered that after further examination). I also get the feeling that activating the bracelet unless the target was magically attuned to the wearer they would not know that the bracelet has a new owner.
Wild Flare Dagger +3 (Kept on my person) (Level 12) – Although an Arcane Item has an affinity for Wild Magic.

I take a moment and study the Wild Magic Wand and while attempting to sense it I have a ‘Eureka’ moment. I sense the wild magic and am able to understand it. It is a Wand of Conjuring +5 (With Wild Magic imbued into it). Knowledge that I gain (#20) is that Wild Mages are Sorcerers like those mages of old that could draw and wield tremendous power but had no control and as happened during the 1st dragon war the mage can spiral out of control.
After this moment of insight I feel that I have taken a great step into understanding Wild Magic (And that I would be able to save Marcus with little effort). (GM: It is like you have taken a first step in a long journey… but certainly a very big first step)
Unfortunately it is late and I need rest before we head off to Whupus’s Tower and the Monastery tomorrow.
We teleport to Whupus’s tower and the others head off to the Monastery. Lon had seem interested in staying with me but luckily I managed to convince him that Quinn and Caleb in their weakened state require him more.
Entering Whupus’s tower I’m treated to a fabulous variety of breakfast including many of my favourites and I do indulge before Whupus turns up. He greets me warmly and acts the ultimate host. (GM: The hostess with the mostess) He allows me to ask him some questions and he also brings up that I have become a topic of conversation in the Tower (that’s I’m an up and comer to watch out for). (I’ve got to live long enough for that to happen!!).
I ask him about the Irda and he actually has a legend that I have never heard before: It involves an Irda king whose daughter was saved by a human slave. As thanks for his aid he freed the human and invited him into his household. Eventually the charismatic human convinced the king to free all the human slaves. The king attempted to do so but the people and the other nobility revolted. His family and retainers managed to escape and they fled to the far West and now live on an island uncharted by life on Analson. The other Irda remained and they became the Ogres we know now. Both City and Forest/hill dweller types (similar to Dwarf differences). I take from this legend that Irda definitely consider themselves superior and I’m wondering what convinced them to help the Dragonarmy or were they blackmailed? Whupus told me that he believes they have innate shape-shifting abilities (then why did they need the hat of disguise?!?!)
I ask him about the four relic artifacts and for once I catch the emotion where he looks sheepish. He said he knew of the items and that he was deliberating how best to handle the situation and that we ‘fell into his lap’ and proceeded to let us handle it.
After breakfast Whupus invites me into his sitting room. It is a sight to see. He has an invisibility spell on the balcony that looks out to the Ruined City. I comment that this view must have been extraordinary back when the city was intact and he comments that he has a painting of it in his laboratory where he can see it the most (Spends a lot of time in his laboratory!).
I finally find out what Whupus wishes to know. He wishes to know what exactly happened between Quinn and Castor. I explain about the gods interceding (Paladine working through Quinn, while the Dark Queen took manifestation to block the first killing blow attack from Quinn). He seems extremely interested and pleased that the Queen had to resort to such a response. I don’t fully understand the laws the Gods have but Paladine and Miskhall have only ever worked through Caleb or Quinn never doing something themselves while this action by Takhises was extremely unusual (But since when has evil ever followed the rules…).
As we are sitting there discussion the situation with ‘The Dark’ there is suddenly a ringing bell sound. Whupus looks at me and says ‘Interesting, your master has arrived’.
Timothy turned up with Rasmus who he says was being held by some ogres. He asks if we are able to go and secure the good egg cache and find out what information Rasmus has. He gave me a crystal which allows me to teleport us to the place. Gustaf & Borris have gone to scout out. He told me that it was critical that he gets back as he has others waiting in Sanction. He heads off immediately.
I will have to contact my brother to see if they can get back so we can go save the dragon eggs.

We gather a group around us and use the teleport gems to get us to Whupus’s tower. He is outside as if expecting us. I am glad he is not an enemy. Alexi will stay with Whupus as he has business to discuss, while myself, Caleb, Lon, Nessie (though she flies off in search of much deserved food), the Steward, Lieutenant, Tiny, a Pathfinder (Ranger) and a Red Shirt of 1st Squad continue on to the monastery. Lon and the Pathfinder scout ahead while Nessie flies off to feed but I do notice that there is something ‘not right’ with Lon. He is angry and does not like those he is travelling with, especially the Steward and the Pathfinder. (GM: very true… Lon is just not himself)

We stop for lunch in a clearing and Lon says we are being tracked. He also says that he will go ahead alone as the Pathfinder is useless! I tactfully tell the Pathfinder to give Lon his distance but Lon tells the man to stay out of his way! I command Lon (not sure how good it was though) to walk with me and he does. We have a discussion on the merits of being nice and he says he has no time for these ‘humans’. I am ‘human’ I respond and he is not amused at all and says something along the lines of ‘yeah right’. I smile at him for I know the truth of my heritage and I am at peace with it. I will have to speak to Alexi, and then I remember the gem and do so! (GM: such a mundane noob) Alexi says that things have happened in Hargoth while I was hurt and Lon is blaming Edwin and all ‘humans’ for the betrayals we have been experiencing. (GM: that is actually very close to the mark) Alexi and I will have to sit down privately with Lon once we get back to Hargoth.

Lon moves ahead to scout while I send the Pathfinder to look for tracks and basically make him feel useful. Unfortunately I have to agree with Lon – the Pathfinder is not the best tracker or able to move stealthily, especially if I can see him! I inform the others to mount up and continue moving but warn them that we are being watched and there could be an ambush somewhere ahead. We continue on and Lon reappears and says there are 10 figures, cloaked but he cannot make out what they look like. They are taking great pains to hide themselves. Nessie arrives back, FAT from feeding, but she is very, very happy. She even lets people scratch her belly. (Beached as…bro)

We finally arrive at the ‘ambush’ site. The Pathfinder makes a complete ass of himself! He is trying to hide in plain sight or behind a twig!! What is wrong with this man?!?!?! We move forward and I try to think about what I would do in this situation and eventually work out it’s a fake, one a fake, on a fake! I am facing someone is that is learned in the ways of war. A dangerous opponent indeed and I will have to be more on my guard than ever. (GM: yes very experienced..or very cunning) Lon returns and says that the ambushers have left, heading towards the monastery. I explain about the opponent we are facing and also say I have no idea what the Pathfinder was doing… it is also apparent that the dwarves have arrived for Lon saw then flight in earlier.

We get to the point where the hidden path leads off to the monastery’s secret entrance, going single file to help cover our numbers. I get the weird feeling we are being watched but we arrive at the entrance, open it and stable the horses. We lock the door behind us and travel up to find that nothing has been disturbed. The light that glows from Caleb’s medallion is sufficient for our needs; Miskhal is with him and us. Caleb gives me the Shield of Miskhal and says ‘It is needed.’ Say what?!?! He also says that the Mirror and the book have a place to be soon. Cryptic as ever…

We enter the temple (pancakes!) and find nothing has been touched and then exit the building and freak out the dwarves as they did not expect us to enter from behind them! It seems the three dwarves that travelled with us under the mountain and to the summit are not here. I apologise for the delay in arriving and explain some of the things that have happened. Captain Harkin tells of the siege on their capital and the loss of life to the farm steads outside the capital. He also explains that there was no help at all from the city of Solanthus or the 500+ knights stationed there. Bad tidings indeed… (GM: you could tell he was quite upset about it)

The siege was suddenly lifted and I say that this was probably because of the defeats the Black Dragon Army suffered here in the north. The army has been routed and retreated – I am able to provide detailed supply lines for the Captain and if these are still located where they are and the dwarves destroy them, the Black Army will not be able to regroup under summer, if at all in the south.

I then fill him in on the purpose of the meeting – the council at Whitestone in a month’s time. The Thanes have declined to send anyone thanks to the actions of the knights in the south, but I do convince the Captain to come along as an observer so that he can report back. I even have a drink of ale – wow that stuff is strong! We talk of the dark dwarves and elves – they have seen them as well. More bad tidings.

I am considered a friend to the dwarves here and prove that there are honourable knights still. I introduce the Steward to the Captain and they discuss Hargoth and its Lord’s position. The Captain is welcome as a guest of the Lord at any time. Captain Harkin decides that if he can make it back to Hargoth in two weeks he will come to Whitestone. It is at this point we see two Blue Dragons approaching… Where is Caleb? I order everyone else back into the temple and three of the dwarves and griffons will ride interference. But it is not needed as the Blue Dragons are heading straight to the Summit. I contact Alexi via the gem to explain and he tells me about some dragon eggs. I say Caleb is missing and once we realise that we are not the targets Alexi is teleported to the summit (ugh) and we are all air lifted via griffin to there as Alexi says ‘Caleb’ is here and so is Castor’s apprentice!!

After having a chance to question Rasmus I realise that we have a very limited time to retrieve those dragon eggs before they will be moved. I use the communication gem to contact Quinn and he seems eager to go after he fills me in on what’s happened so far with the dwarves and the almost ambush. He tries to gather everyone but Caleb has gone missing! I seek out Whupus who agrees to teleport me. I ask him to send me to the summit (I meant to say Monastery, but didn’t realise) so he teleports me into the Summit. (GM: your such a noob) Turns out to be a stroke of genius on my part! :D. It turns out I found Caleb. I look out onto the plateau and I see him standing there holding his medallion of faith. He performs a mass ‘turning’ on a group of ‘undead’ (Between us are some necrotic undead creatures (some ghoul types and 4x more substantial ones). Attempting to sense the magic of those creatures I instead sense something else….There is someone in the room and its necrotic…. It must be the apprentice!! I instantly go invisible and activate my true seeing – Nothing near me. I use the gem and inform Quinn that Caleb is at the summit and we need help. He mentions that two blue dragons flew overhead of the monastery heading for the summit (So this is her way out).I step onto the white platform and attempt to sense again. I feel it is over near the black platform and moving close enough I finally notice the apprentice! It’s a woman and she has some kind of necrotic wolf creature. She’s staring directly at me and I finally say ‘shall we end this charade’, and we both drop our invisibility. We have a staring contest for a while before Quinn enters. She seemed excited to finally see us and said the usual diatribe – Going to kill you blah blah blah. Turns out she is Udoodin’s daughter (Quinn mentions ‘are you following Castor’s plan’, ‘it was originally my fathers!!’ dun dun dunnn, and it also seems she can talk to the dead and she is prepared to continue Udoonin’s plan. (She let that slip when I mentioned it’s unfortunately that Castor, Udoodin and his apprentice are all dead). (GM: you get the feeling she gave more than she meant to, but her blood was up with meeting you both)

We arrive at the summit to find Caleb here, the medallion of Miskhal blazing with light that is killing the weaker of the undead creatures that are guarding the entrance to the cave. The two Blue Dragons are also forced away by the power of good. (GM: they were!! News to me…) We land and Lon and I go into the cave while the others all spread out to take down the forces of the Dark Queen. Inside I come face to face with the apprentice – she is smug and has some kind of were creature (wolf?) with her that is totally corrupted like the Kapak. The apprentice shies away from the Shield of Miskhal. Ha! It is possible we have her trapped here but she uses a bracelet to open a portal and escape, but not before says the ‘Plan was her Father’s, not Castors!’ Alexi also says that the portal opened to the entrance of the mines on our family’s land. Not good at all.

With the dragons not landing she is trapped. I point that out to her and she laughs, ‘I have a way out!’ She activates her bracelet and a portal appears. She escapes through and it closes. As it closes I attempt to sense it (even though it’s on the Black platform). I manage to only sense a fleeting presence. Luckily using more mundane senses I was able to see the place she went too. It was a cave entrance. The mine entrance that is on our land!! I tell that to Quinn and he agrees! (I also sensed that the power on that bracelet has now depleted. That was her final way to escape).
We go outside and unfortunately the area is a mess. The Dwarf Captain is injured and all of his brethren have been killed ( ), he mourns over a fallen comrade.
As for our group, The Lieutenant, Tiny & Steward are all gravely wounded. Nessie is fine of course but unfortunately we lost the Red Shirt & the Pathfinder. Caleb is tending to the wounded but he seems distracted. Al l of the undead have been destroyed.
I explain what happened and first Caleb is upset we let her get away but I manage to improve his mood by telling him that you have destroyed her forces, she will have to rebuild. He seems happier, and proceeds to heal the others.

While Caleb is tending to the wounded I go in to the summit room and look around for any necrotic residual and there are some sigils on the back of the room. While examining them Caleb and Quinn come in with Quinn holding a shield (I remember that Shield from inside the Grandmaster room). They do something up on the white platform and there is suddenly a bright light that expands around the whole room and suddenly everything is back to normal. There are no more sigils and the shield has gone.

I am bathed in the Holy light of the Gods of good. I feel refreshed and afterwards she that the evil sigils are gone from the cave, as is the Shield of Miskhal, though it has not gone far for it is now ‘within’ my sword! On the blade under the pommel is the symbol of Miskhal and Caleb calls me the Defender of the Disks. I am also immune to magical sensing \ scrying and that I have a task to perform. Alexi does not seem happy with the answer.

Caleb explains that Quinn has been granted a gift from Mishkall, he is now the Defender of the Disks. There is now a symbol of Mishkall on his sword. When I try to detect the magic from it I sense nothing. He is now immune to my sensing! I ask Caleb what this now means but he seems reluctant to tell me more than that Quinn has a task to perform now. He’s keeping secrets from me…… grrr I’m really starting to hate that. The dwarf captain is preparing the bodies of his fallen soldiers for return on the griffon to their home.

I help Captain Harkin with the griffons and his fallen comrade and make sure the supply line information is with him. I say a blessing to Paladine for those that fell in battle this day and the Captain tells me that he will be there when the boat leaves. This war just became personal to him. (GM: that is very true)

We teleport back to Whupus with our wounded. Whupus looks annoyed but agrees to care for them while we go after the eggs (He won’t allow for the eggs to be stored at his tower if we are successful at getting them back (scumbag).

As we are escorting Tiny, the Lieutenant & the Steward to their rooms I see Gustaf and Borris are back! I greet Gustaf and introduce them to Quinn and the rest of the party. (Actually Borris and Nessie get along well – Is love in the air!).
Gustaf explains that he had to return as the wagons and cavalry had arrived back at the homestead (Shit they are moving the eggs).

We quickly get the group together (Caleb, Lon, Nessie, Quinn, Myself + Gustaf & Borris) and we teleport out to the forest outside the homestead. We arrive and Lon and Gustaf do some scouting, there is nothing here…. They have gone. Lon & I check the cellar and it has been cleared out and I sense the necrotic presence has gone. We decide to follow the tracks of the wagons under the assumption that they are two hours in front of us.
We race off after them. We eventually reach a field where Lon shows us that the wagons gathered together and disappeared. I attempt to sense magic and as I thought they have been teleported out (FFS). I am luckily to catch an extremely faint reminisce of the teleport and the necrotic presence. They have gone south of this location. Not as far as Silvanesti I think. From what we could work out there was three wagons each able to hold about ten eggs (30x dragon eggs in total).

Admitting defeat we teleport back to Whupus and I inform Rasmus of our failure… Understanding he is grateful that we attempted to save them. I tell him the residue I found and he says that he will begin to search for them immediately. I tell him that if he finds them, to call on us as we would be greatly interested in helping to rescue them. He agrees. Gustaf & Borris are going to help Rasmus and I thank them for their assistance in this matter.

Taking back the injured I teleport us all back to Hargoth.
Time to see if the Irda woman has awoken. I’m curious to ask her about her need for the hat of disguise (Considering that every story I have heard about the Irda speaks of their innate disguise ability), and her connection to the Vingarrd Keep attack by the Blue Dragon Army.

We were too late to save the eggs, but this information regarding the
Green Dragon Armies movements will be useful. I am starting to feel the exhaustion come upon me but I will not show it to those around me. Once back at my quarters in Hargoth I took a bath and wrote these journal entries. The next few weeks should be quiet, but as I have learnt I doubt that will be the case. I will speak with the Blacksmith and find out how he is going and do a check of the defences tomorrow. I will also find a temple to Paladine, take my sword and the shield with me, to pray and meditate in piece in the early hours before everyone is up.

From the Journal of Someone #4
Oh… to just kill them both then… that would have been so sweet, I could almost taste it… I have to control my rage.. one day it would get the better of me, just like father. Regardless I know where they go… and surprises can be fun too!!

From the Journal of <someone>
I knew they would retreat to the tower… so predictable, so stupid… just as I planned….

From the Journal of someone #5
Master….. the Klatsch found them, but as you ordered they did not attack, just observe…… um.. mmmaster, .. um… if I may ask, why did not let them attack… wouldn’t killing them solve the problem?

From the Journal of Caleb
Gentle Mishakal… your humble servant knows you are wise, and basks in your goodness…. but bane of darkness, your unworthy servant again begs that he be allowed to turn from the path before him. He sees the death coming, and while you have chosen the one… it may be to much…. please holy Mishakal… allow your servant to pick another path…

From the Journal of Lon
Its getting worse… the more I see these humans, their lies, their deceit… the more rage I feel. How can Alexi and Quinn still want to help these people?

Spies and Politics – All the Rage
24th Session (Start of Act 3)

From the Journals of Quinn and Alexi Goldenscale

It is the 5th Bakakul of Darkember 351 (29th of November) The White Moon is Waning.

I am preparing to leave for the Wizard of High Sorcery tower with Erik (to sell off our excess items and report the information about Castor) when the steward comes and visits me. He hands me a letter addressed to Edwin. It’s from his father and it seems like the knights have found a Dragon Orb (CRAP). There is to be a White Stone Council Meeting (Features Knights, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes etc) and Edwin’s father (The Master of Justice) wants Edwin to be there as he thinks there is going to be important events happening. He also mentions that he has looked into Quinn (FFS) and he initial couldn’t find anything of use, but he did found a scroll in his tent (suspicious) that will have detrimental effect on Quinn’s chances of becoming a knight.

This is indeed distributing news and I’m not sure exactly what to do. I initial decide to keep this from Quinn and the others and perhaps I am able to deal with Edwin myself. We are due for a showdown anyway. (GM: Keeping info from party members for their own good.. I know another player who does that……hehe)

The steward mentions that Lazarus is interested in the information about the Dragon Orb, and I take that chance to ask how Lazarus is doing. After some prodding I discover that the steward is worried about Lazarus, he seems to be second guessing himself and isn’t his usual self. I had not considered the effect being sucked into one of the plains of the Abyss could have a person’s psyche. I intend to speak to the others and we’ll all go and confront Lazarus and hopefully pull him out of this toper after I get back from the Tower.

Alexi is heading off to the Tower of High Sorcery with the Black Mage, Erik to plead Erik’s case in his ‘unknowing’ help in Castor’s escape. After that Alexi has other business he must attend to. The magical items we have gained through our battles with the Dark Queens forces will be put to good use as Alexi is looking to trade some of them to help me gain items that will help in future battles. My real goal is to locate the Goldenscale Family’s armour and sword Father was wearing before he was betrayed and captured by the Queens forces. They are mine by birthright and low to the person that has them when I catch up with them! Before he left, Alexi mentioned something about we all go see Lazarus on his return. I hope Lazarus is not tormented by something that happened in the Abyss. I have also picked up an escort wherever I go. With the chance of a spy in the city still possible, 1st squad members are watching my back at all hours.

I teleport to the tower with Erik and he goes off to throw himself at the mercy of LaDonna (Good luck with that). I sell our excess items and manage to procure a bastard sword +3 for Quinn and some new Sunleaf robes +2 for myself.

I am called for the council of three meeting where I fill them in on the death of castor and the Whitestone Council Meeting with the Dragon Orb coming up. I volunteer to be the representative at the meeting and they agree (They hadn’t sent anyone to the first meeting but this Dragon Orb has them concerned and so they are getting involved). The council of three has also agreed to go and collect the cache of dragon eggs from ‘The Dark’. Thanking them for their time I head off to Montague (Red Robe Council member Artifact Specialist) where I show him the necrotic short sword he asks me some questions and using the gem I confirm with Quinn that the Kapak was altered and that the short sword is extremely dangerous. Montague mentioned that he is surprised that anyone hit with the item was still alive (GM: Very surprised) and that he said the wound would definitely remain and that it would act like a beacon for other some type of weapons. Hmm Quinn didn’t mention anything about a wound I’ll have to get Caleb to check.

When Alexi’s voice came through the communication gem I was at first surprised but also glad to know that he was well and that things at the Tower ‘had gone well’. When he asked about the Kapak that carried the blade that struck me, I felt ashamed for not telling him about the wound, it not healing properly, and also about the amount of ‘blue energy’ I might have absorbed when I killed Castor. I remember saying that yes the Kapak was different \ corrupted (GM: Corrupted is the right word…..) (it was something you do not forget!) and I mumbled something about the wound, not healing, blue energy and such. I think I will be seeing Alexi sooner, rather than later.

I met Timothy where he firstly apologized for his behaviour with the Demon Warrior captain and then telling me that he is going to Sanction to try and find more about the Corrupt Dragon Egg ritual. I ask if he would like assistance but he tells me that my attending the Whitestone Council is crucial.

Having completed everything I set out here to do I teleport back to Hargoth (I was going to talk to Timothy again but he was in Talia’s chambers – honestly!!!). (GM: Might be his last chance for a while to get lucky… can you really blame him)
I arrive back in Hargoth and fill Quinn in on my task as the Wizard’s representative at the Whitestone Council Meeting. I cast the ritual for him and he makes contact with the Dwarf Captain Harko Dagarkin.

The message to Captain Dagarkin – short but to the point and he will gladly meet us at the Monastery of the Purple Lotus. I am well enough at this point but after being examined by Caleb and then Alexi, (both are not happy!), the journey there will be taxing on me but one I can manage. (GM: Quinn needs to roll and endurance roll to see exactly how well he is)

(GM: Cant find the note to Captain Harko… but in essence it was to the dwarf to get him to come to the summit)

I am unsure how Karnak is going – will he be ready to leave with us to go to the Whitestone Meeting? Alexi voices his concern over my wound and about how ‘evil will be drawn to it’. I say it will make it easier for us to find, then. My humour was not appreciated… After this it is time to go see Lazarus, so we all trot off towards his tower at the Keep. If Alexi is right about a possible infection \ disease, we had best help Lazarus now! He heads off to see Marcus first and I go towards the infirmary to find Caleb and check on Karnak.

I told Quinn about Lazarus and that I think that his trip into hell has affected him. I think we have to take this head on and confront him (We can’t have him incapacitated especially when we go to Sancrist. Quinn agrees. He’s going to find Caleb while I’m going to see Marcus to gather some scrolls and supplies. We are also going to visit Karnak as he was present at the attack on Vingaard Keep and he might know something about the spy that we can use. (I suspect they will be at the Whitestone Council meeting, especially if word of the Dragon Orb is out),

I head off to see Marcus as I want to buy some scrolls and supplies. I arrive and find that his shop is closed. That is most unusual. As I’m about to turn away I happen to catch a merchant who asks me if I want to buy a necklace. I buy a necklace and then try and fish for information. She does say that she saw one of the keep’s men come and see him and they both left together. Should be back in 3 days or so.
Lon had come with me and I haven’t been able to hide my uneasiness since I read Edwin’s letter. He finally queries me about it and I decide to show him the letter. He is immediately pissed off (he never saw the first one :>) but finally agrees with me that we should keep this from Quinn. (GM: yes he did agree to that)

Before arriving at the infirmary, I find out that Caleb is preaching at a Chapel. This is good news so I head there with my bodyguards in tow. 1st squad stay outside but I enter and leave my sword at the door for this is a safe place and I will not need it here. Inside is Caleb, speaking of the glory of Mishakel, Paladine and the Gods of Good.

He is passionate in his prayers, if not the best of speakers. (GM: and that’s putting it kindly) The people are listening and nodding as are the seven (yes seven!) acolytes he now has. This is great indeed! When Caleb starts to sing in Solamnic about a tale on the origin of the three Orders of the Knighthood, A Knights Prayer I am overcome with joy. I listen intently and eventually I remember where I have heard it before. Father spoke it as a prayer each night. Praise be to Paladine! When Caleb finishes I yell ‘Praise be to Paladine’ and so does Caleb and then ‘Praise to the Gods of Light!’; unfortunately the chanting and cheering leads to ‘Praise Quinn!’ and I have no idea how this started – I even tried to stop it, (GM: He loves it!!!) but it took some effort but we manage to get the sermon back on track. After this I leave and Caleb comes with me to infirmary.

We all meet up and go and check in with Karnak. Along the way I mention about the short sword and how it should have affected Quinn more than just the entropy. It turns out Quinn has been keeping secrets too and the wound has gotten worse. He also seems to have absorbed some of the mana-mithril into his body (From Castor’s explosion) and that the mana-mithril is being absorbed into the wound!!!

Caleb & I examine the wound and it definitely is getting worse, and unfortunately it has both arcane/divine aspects to it (Udoorin bullshit) and so we will both have to perform a remove affliction ritual. Caleb knows it but unfortunately I do not have that one so it looks like I’ll have to go back to the tower to buy a scroll.

We’re talking with Karnak about the spy and unfortunately he told us that it was Xanos that dealt with the spy. He did mention that they communicated through an emerald ring so that is something at least. He also tells us that Xanos had told him that it is the very last person you would expect…. I hope that means it’s not a knight. It looks like Karnak was also hit by the sword and he is also infected. When Caleb tries to ascertain the status of the affliction he suddenly acts strange (Praise Miskhall and runs off – He sensed something in Karnark – will have to investigate further on that).

The wound in my shoulder is not getting better; if anything it is worse, with both Alexi and Caleb saying they are NOT HAPPY. The arcane \ divine influence is not good. Caleb casts a spell on me and says that in a week I will need to have two rituals preformed on me to totally remove the ‘darkness’ that is infecting me. Alexi will get a copy of the ritual he needs from Marcus, once he is able to find him, or go back to the Tower of High Sorcery to get it. Karnak tells us information about a ring the spy was wearing – this is good news and will hopefully help us to find said spy. I am also glad that Karnak is doing better, not well enough yet to travel, but better none the less. And Caleb senses good things about Karnak. Paladine works in mysterious ways… The spell by Caleb has invigorated me, so off to see Lazarus we go.

We decide to head off to see Lazarus in his tower. We finally get permission from the steward and he lets Quinn & myself into the room. The room is completely dark and Lazarus is behind his desk doing something. We go and open one of the windows and he instantly reacts. He’s changed…. He’s infected!! It’s definitely something evil as my radiant damage spells seem to upset him greatly. We finally manage to defeat him (Quinn performed some kind of exorcism!) but not before Lazarus threw a dagger at me that I can tell is not just a standard dagger. Lon helped to remove it but I can tell I’m going to need Caleb’s help. One other issue we had. One of my radiant damage spells I was unable to prevent Quinn from getting hit. Instead of him being hit the spell was absorbed into his wound. I don’t think anyone else saw it but this is greatly disturbing.

Lazarus was in bad shape and we found out exactly how bad when I opened the curtains and we could see that ‘something’ had possibly travelled back with us during our rescue and was in possession of Lazarus’s body. Battle started and I managed to pin the ‘Lazarus-Demon’ against the wall of the room with his own bed. The creature was evil and threw a wicked blade at Alexi – it struck him and he fell to the ground. I kept pushing the bed against the Lazarus-Demon, but time was running out. I had already screamed ‘Paladine’ and ‘Get Caleb!’ earlier so 1st squad members and Lon were almost to the room. The blade did not keep Alexi down for too long (though Lon had to help pull it out) and we kept pressing the attack. The problem was we did not want to kill Lazarus! While a member of 1st squad held the bed, I called multiple times upon the Power of Paladine until the beast was finally pulled, by the power of my faith and the divine will of Paladine, from the body of Lazarus and into me. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it was successful! After that I collapsed on to the bed…

I remember getting my 1st squad guards to help me to my feet and asking that the curtains and windows be opened. No one had any idea how the blade got into the room – was it the spy? It is at this point I see the outline of a person hanging outside the window! I grab a dagger from one of the guard’s belts and throw it, hitting the shape and watch as the figure misses the window sill and plummets out of sight towards the base of the tower. No hope of survival from the ‘thunk’ we all heard. I do not go to investigate as I cannot walk without the aid of others.

After the fight Lon opens up the window as to allow some fresh air and light back in. Quinn happens to notice a person suspended outside the window and throws a weapon that is lying on the floor. Even after the exertion of the ‘exorcism’ he has fantastic accuracy and the person loses their balance and they fall to the ground. They unfortunately can’t save themselves and they are ‘smeared’ over the floor. Picking up the magical dagger and storing it for later I leave Caleb to administer aid to Lazarus and Quinn and feather-fall out of the window to check out the body. Lon follows using his very nifty magical rope.
Loot: Fomorian Dark Blade +5 (Necrotic – Evil) – Similar to the short sword) (GM: the word the best describes it is “corrupted” )

As I reach the bottom I notice a large crowd are forming and Edwin is here. I ask for his aid and convince him to erect a perimeter around the body.
I check for magical items and I sense immediately that this is not standard arcane magic. Its wild magic… (Another renegade zzz).

There’s a tree branch wand, necklace, cloak and bracelet. (GM: gotta love Phat Loot!!) I remove each item with my mage hand and when I remove the cloak the figure suddenly changes. She is still a woman but definitely not human. She can’t be… but my eyes are not deceived. It’s an Irda. (Irda were an off-shoot of ogres that wanted to turn away from Takhises. According to legend the appealed to Paladine and he gave them their freedom and they did not become corrupt and change to hideous creatures like ogres). Why she is here and what is she doing watching Lazarus. Showing her to Lon he also recognises what she is. I immediately put the cloak back on her and she transforms back into the woman. Looking at the woman again I notice that I have seen her before. She was the merchant who was outside Marcus’s shop when I went past there recently. This is definitely suspicious. Edwin & the steward wander over and I show them the woman. Edwin instantly recognises the woman and although he tries to hide it Lon & I get him to spill the beans.

Loot gained: Tree Branch Wand, Necklace, Cloak & Bracelet – Wild Magic items, plain dagger
Edwin knows her. She is a scarf/necklace merchant who has a sister. It turns out the sister and Edwin are involved. I ask where he met her and he tells me Vingarrd…… We’ve found our spy (spies!!!). She has been pumping Edwin for information without him realising it. I ask about what they have spoken about recently and it was about Quinn. (Sigh). (GM: well he is the star)

I ask the steward to remove the body (minus the cloak) to a secure location, while the four of us (Steward, Lon, Edwin & myself) are going to their shop. (Which is right near Marcus’s).
We head off and Lon goes around the back. I get Edwin to go and knock on the door (It took some convincing but assuring him that we would take her alive at all costs, settled his fears). I go invisible and stay near why he knocks at the door. Unfortunately it was trap and he was blasted back 20 feet. He was fine just wounded. I get the Steward to him while I deal with this witch. I can see two people in there. Marcus is unconscious and tied to a table (They must have been torturing him for information). I yell out ‘Surrender Witch’ (GM: Lon thought you said “Surrender Bitch!” ) but she does not respond and I can sense power is being drawn into the room. Not giving her a chance to complete her spell I cast a sleep spell and luckily it affects her and she falls unconscious. We enter and it’s another Irda.

We tie and secure her while I examine Marcus. He’s been tortured but he’s ok. Unfortunately he’s inside a magical circle that is putting off massive wild mage energy. I unfortunately just don’t know enough to break it without risking him. I can sense that the Irda has had to reinscribe the circle a few times so it will eventually dissipate. Lon & I check their shop and it is most unusual. There is absolutely nothing in here it is completely barren. The only thing of notice is a magical dagger on the woman which I take).
Loot: Magical Dagger – Wild Magic.

Being concerned about the lack of anything here I ask Edwin if the he and the woman ever met anywhere else and finally he admits to having several rendezvous at the Golden Arch Inn in the City. The steward tells me that the Innkeeper was on Lazarus’ list of potential traitors… (GM: suspects.. Laz isn’t that blunt to use the word traitor without knowing for certain) Things seem to be matching up nicely…. Edwin is really upset at this point and doesn’t know what to do. (I can tell he’s worried that he will be branded a traitor or worse by the knighthood). (GM: yes.. he is worried) I tell him that now is not the time to be worried about that now and that he can atone for this as well as the letter he sent to his father.

Oops Lon didn’t know about that so I explain the situation. He then does the most unexpected thing. He puts both his swords away and puts on a glove. He then punches Edwin straight in the face and Edwin drops like a ‘sack of shit’. He tells me that he wants to get away from this cretin and that he will go scout out the Golden Arch Inn. After conferring with the steward (who tells us that Lazarus had someone watching the Inn) we agree and he heads off.

We wake up Edwin and send him off to the infirmary while the steward and I will take the unconscious woman there too where she will be shackled with those magical cuffs.

I am carried to the infirmary as the pain from the wound in my shoulder is pulsating and I have lost all control my left arm – it hangs limp at my side. Caleb arrives after seeing to Lazarus (he is fine – my removal of the entity cured him) and he checks me. New diagnosis – I have a day or two at most now… Later I see Edwin come in and go to the other end of the infirmary – what happened there?

We meet back at the infirmary with the band, and explain the situation – I include Edwin in the discussion. (He doesn’t seem happy but complies) Lazarus is going to make contact with his source. I try and get him to reveal his source (I hate people keeping secrets from me) but he deflects my imitation and tells me that he has given his honour not to reveal his source. (GM: he was being nice… he is not the type of guy just to say f#ck off Alexi!!)

While Lazarus is away I discover that Quinn’s little exorcism has exacerbated (GM: nice word!! ) the wound and that we will have to perform this ritual now within 48 hours and Caleb doesn’t even want Quinn to go visit the dwarves tomorrow at the monastery. We discuss various options (including Quinn not going) but I can tell that would be a huge problem. From my history dwarves are very sensitive about protocol and Quinn not being there would be greatly offensive. Looks like I’m going to the tower tonight.

Lazarus comes back and tells us what he has learned from his spy. There is a person that frequents the inn at the times that the Edwin and the woman have been in there. He seems to be some ranger/hunter. Unfortunately they don’t know where he comes from but tells us there he is there now.

Not wanting to give him a chance to find out about the death and the shop explosion while the others are discussing the situation, I grab the cloak and put it over myself. Instead of being just tied to one image I sense I can create the image I wish to maintain and it is imprinted for each other time you equip it until you change.
I walk into the infirmary now looking like Edwin’s girlfriend and the others are surprised. When I show them it’s me I tell them my plan of hoping get in there and lure him outside where 1st Squad will be waiting to capture him.

Hopefully the plan will work – I feel useless sitting in bed but I must conserve my strength for what is to come. Edwin had triggered a trap on the door to the lair of the spy \ spies shop and they have been found to be Irda? Creatures of the Dark Queen? They are but a myth, but as we have found out of late, tales of the past are always based on some kind of fact. Edwin, the Steward, 1st Squad and I (Woman) head off to the inn.

As we approach I am wondered Lon might decide to shoot an arrow at me I create a brief flame around my palm as we come into view so hopefully he realised it me. Edwin and I enter and luckily it is just the ranger and the inn keeper in the room. I instruct Edwin to get us drinks while I choose a table next to the ranger.

He immediately whispers to me that I’m supposed to make contact tomorrow. I bluff that there’s been a development and that we may have been discovered (I should have tried to get him back to the shop but oh wells). I almost manage to convince him but unfortunately he senses something is wrong. I make an all-in gamble and shout – ‘they are coming in the back-door get out’ and then teleport and go invisibility (still in the room). I was hoping he would run out the front door but instead he pulls out both his daggers and stabs himself in the chest (DAMMIT, suicide pact!!).

The Innkeeper attempts to run at this point and Edwin surprising me flings one of our drinks and knocks him out. (GM: well he IS a warrior after all)

1st Squad and the steward enter and I explain what happened. We tie up the Innkeeper and try to get him to tell us what he knows. He’s not very helpful and finally Edwin assists with the interrogation and he tells us that he had the ranger followed once by his stable boy. It turns out the ranger headed to the hills in the north….. Well that explains a lot. He was being controlled by Ergoyptis, and we knew that Ergoyptis had one more trick for the spy to perform before Arakisas would considering dealing with him like Lucian.

At least we have the Irda woman alive. If she was the spy at Vingarrd then we have a valuable hostage that we can take to the Whitestone Council. (GM: Still an IF at this stage.. but very possible) I’m worried that two Irda are working for the dragon army and this will require more thought. I wondering if the mages will want to know about the Irda’s involvement. I’m thinking of letting Marcus notify them as to not make out I’m bothering them.

I send a mental message to Timothy telling him about the Irda but I get a jumbled response back that he was in the middle of a magical battle and he is unable to help me. (GM: more like "F#ck off Alexi, I’m busy!) I wish he had not gone off to Sanction by himself that is far too dangerous. (We all know what happened last time he did this…)

I hope the Irda will be prepared to bargain information for her life as we are now at a dead end (literally) with the ranger dead. I’m still not sure what to do with Edwin, I’m going to have to come up with something soon. This trip to Sancrist should be very interesting.
I’m wondering whether having the four relics might help with the remove affliction ritual that Caleb & I have to perform on Quinn as they have blended arcane/divine magic. I might have to ask for the staff back from Montague and trade him this new dagger (Which I have been infected by that I need Caleb to save me from).

It seems the machinations of our enemy run far and wide. Finally we may no longer be playing catch up and can start to make plans to stop them. Alexi says he will go to the tower tonight and get the ritual he needs to remove my affliction – that is good for we have to meet the dwarves at the monastery tomorrow! Nothing will stop me from doing me duty! But to end the day came more bad news – Edwin and his Father still plot and more against the Goldenscale family. Why does he hate us so? And what is this ‘scroll’ that was discovered that can tarnish or hurt our name that the letter describes? Alexi is not at all happy with Edwin and Lon would like to do more than merely punch Edwin. Nothing will happen to Edwin, unless Honour demands it. (GM: spoken like a true knight – your sure that’s what your father would say in the same position, your mother and Lord Hector on the other hand completely different story)

From the Journal of Caleb:
Mishakal my lady, I know you are speaking to me though one who is not of your followers. I hear your call gentle Mishakal, and will heed your warning! My blade, and my life are yours!

From the Journal of Edwin:
How can this be! Why is everyone against me!!! Not only have I had to make a deal with Quinn, that peasant slave who follows the brother around struck me!!! I should call him out!! But I can’t, Quinn’s weasel brother knows I consorted with the merchant girl.. And now the Lord seems to be favouring the strutting Quinn!! over me!!! A squire!! over a spurred Knight!!! ……………What? Oh a knock at the door…. yes, can I help you? What did you say!??

From the Journal of Someone #2:
Prepare….. they will be coming soon…

Victory is in the Eye of the Beholder
23rd Session (End of Act Two)

From the Journal of Alexi and Quinn Goldenscale

(GM: Alexi XP for post name… very smart)

With Castor escaping the keep is in an uproar. Quinn & I after being debriefed by the steward (Lazarus’ Second-in-Command) head back down into the dungeon to deal with the necrotic short sword the kapak commander had. It has since ‘absorbed’ the acid that was the death-throw of the Kapak. The necrotic pool from the black robe mage is also nearby.
I start to wonder what the implication that pool of necrotic damage for mage. I try to sense it and am incredibly disturbed by what I get. It doesn’t seem to be arcane sorcery magic it’s something else. (GM: Bad JuJu comes to mind) In fact it seems very similar power to the short sword. I would hate to think what the black robe did to himself to gain this power (Possibly thinking he sold his soul!?!?) (GM: Your pretty sure that’s true.. but the question is to whom – one important thing to remember when we are talking about proper magic, and the gods enforcing the “proper” magic rules… remember that comes from Nuitari, Lunitari and Solinari. Those three banded together, the other gods including Paladine and Takhisis have agreed to the rules of magic (not that they had much choice) and have said they will abide by them, but they certainly do not have the same “buy in” that Nuitari, Lunitari and Solinari have, who are the guardians of the magic.)

We examine the short sword and try to work out a way to move it. I attempt to use my mage hand and when it reaches the short sword it gets sucked into it. The short sword absorbed my mage hand!! That just makes things interesting. We find some ‘blacksmithing tongs – long’ that we use to grab the short sword and deposit it in a large iron box. We take the iron box back to Quinn’s suite above the garrison.

Getting the cursed weapon into the iron box was simple in the end. The tongs, which would normally be used to inflict pain, allowed me to pick up the sword and place it in the iron box that Tiny brought down. To be safe I took one end of the box and Tiny the other – I do not want anyone else to get close to it. The trip back to the garrison is watched by crowds of people come to see the ‘Hero of Hargoth’. I was just doing my duty as a Noble and Knight-in-training, helping to protect the people against an army of evil; but the more I say this, the more praise I get! It makes no sense to me. Must also have a word with the Lieutenant and advise him to not allow the notoriety of being in ‘1st Squad’ to go to the heads of the troops. Hmmm perhaps they will need extra training… that will bring them down to earth! (GM: you are sure 1st squad is starting to think of themselves as better.. it will be a fine line in keeping them down to earth against not losing the swagger 1st squad has that will make them better fighting men)

We discuss the situation with the mage and we agree to give him first aid. I feel that if he still is dedicated to the ways of high sorcery then he could be an available source of information.
We head back to the garrison and along the way the citizens of Hargoth practically fall on their feet to praise Quinn….. 1st Squad are celebrities in the city. (Big heads…)
From an earlier conversation with the steward I was interested to see the anti-magic device that Lazarus was using to prevent magic within the dungeon. They are bringing the broken device to me.
Once we get the iron box back to Quinn’s suite I put an arcane lock on it (DC 36, PW: pancakes).
We go down to the first level where 1st squad are guarding the mage. They have stripped him of all his items.

With the iron box in my room and Nessie standing guard over it, with more guards outside the door, Alexi and I head down to see the Black Robe Mage. On the way I ask the Lieutenant if it is possible to talk with the city’s best Blacksmith, as long as he is not busy attending to the rebuilding of the city’s defences. The steward is in the room when we arrive and has brought a healer with him whom is tending to mages wounds. I notice that he has been stripped and bound, with his clothing and items on a table ready for Alexi to look at. As I move towards the mage I notice he is not pleased with my presence and then I see him catch sight of Alexi – I could see the cogs turning in his head as he realises it is a White Robe in the room with him, and then he looks at me again and he recognises who we are! I walk next to him and whisper ‘it seems our reputation precedes us’. He is not happy and draws a blank face as the healers finishes up. Also in the room are two guards with drawn weapons and the Lieutenant. Security seems more than adequate – the prisoner bound and gagged with no chance of escape. I mention to Alexi quietly that the mage has recognised us and that I will go upstairs and clean up as my armour needs work and I and covered in blood and gore. Alexi is going to finish going over the items from the mage and then in an hour we will interrogate the prisoner.

The mage is being tended to when we turn up. His nose is broken and he’ll probably always have that unless he finds a way to fix that.
Quinn discusses the security of the mage with the Lieutenant of 1st Squad while I examine his items. Each of his items are magical – There’s a Wrist Sheath, Silver Dagger with a big red ruby on hilt, a dark green spell book, a ring, necklace, boots, his black robes (have those eye symbols on it) and a belt pouch. Except for the eye symbols on the robes he looks very much like a black robe mage of High Sorcery

Quinn decides to go and clean up and we’ll meet up to discuss our next move. As I am about to leave the room I hear ‘We need to talk’. I turn around and the black mage is looking at me. ‘Send the “mundanes” away, we need to talk’. I get the Lieutenant and the guards to step out for 5mins (He wasn’t happy). While the black robe tried to play it cool I eventually came out point blank and said for his actions of aiding the renegade Castor he would be taken to the Council for judgement. He concedes the point and we have a real discussion. His name is Erik and he did not know that he would be rescuing Castor (He was actually really upset by it). He proposes that he will provide us information and he will return himself to LaDonna (Head of the Black Robes) and report his indiscretion. He seems sincere and he does not wish to waste a lifetime of work for his magic to lose it over this. He confirms that they have gone to the caves in the north but what he does tell us is that the caves are actually way more extensive then what we know. The cave system is Ergoptis’ (A giant beholder) domain. He has ‘charmed/controlled’ dark dwarves, dark elves and gnomes to do his bidding. There is a cache of dragon eggs down there. I question him if he knows any details of the corrupt dragon egg ritual and he is unable to hide his surprise and guilt from me. He explains that the staff we have (The staff of Koos) {It’s original name is actually The Staff of Suha, Suha was a famous red robe wizardress who made a prophecy many years ago about ‘The Master of Past & Present’}. This was one of her earlier magical items in her career. Eric goes on to explain that with the staff, and three other items (A Chalice, Shield & Orb) the dragonarmy have been experimenting further on the dragon eggs. With us having the staff, Ergoptis has got the gnomes to build a contraption that will create a replacement staff. They will have it soon unless stopped.

As a way to reinforce his guilt on his helping the renegade I ask about the black robe mage that was killed in the dungeon passage that left the pile of necrotic ooze on the floor. He explains that his name was Tark and that he was once a confidante of LaDonna (uh oh), he had not seen Tark in the last three months but he was shocked when he saw him before they came into the keep. He explained that he was heavily involved in these dragon egg experiments and that he had spent a lot of time with Udoorin (Udoorin’s corruption is disgusting). Erik goes onto explain why he thinks the dragon army spent so many resources on getting Castor out (He only knows a few things, the Blackdragon army didn’t tell him any more then he needed for whatever task they needed him for (The rewards for helping must be great, because I know mages wouldn’t be happy being subservient like that). They were incredibly upset when Udoorin died, they needed him to perform some ritual (I’m thinking opening up a portal so that the demon prince’s forces could come through). By also capturing and delivering Udoorin’s apprentice to the mages (From up on the summit above the monastery), the army needed Castor to perform this task now. Erik goes on to explain that there is one more who can perform the ritual, Castor’s apprentice. Supposedly he has the item that Castor needs and will keep it until Castor requires it for the ritual. Castor will require some time to be able to perform the ritual. If we capture him then we would buy ourselves weeks before Castor’s apprentice could attempt the ritual but he needs more preparation. He goes on to explain that Castor will be in the caves for maximum another 12 hours before we will lose our window to capture him. He can use the staff of Suha to teleport us into the deep inner sanctum of Ergoptis stronghold.

I tell him I will discuss his offer with my brother. While he makes a quip about me being his pet I make the point that I need to convince Quinn to let him live and he seems to accept that. He also somehow knew about the event with Demon Warriors and Timothy’s actions. I’m not sure how though. (GM: yes the timing doesn’t work out here)

As I am being helped out of my armour the Blacksmith arrives. I really did not expect him to come so quickly but he bows and says Lord and such. I correct him that I am just a ‘Sir’ – one day I will return home as Lord Goldenscale but that time is not at hand. I explain that I am after a masterwork heavy shield that can have my family’s emblem imprinted on it, as my last one has been destroyed. He says it will be an honour to serve the ‘Hero of Hargoth’ and he will not accept payment! He explains that the Lord of Hargoth is paying for it but I give him a handful of steel after asking if he has any children; mouths to feed and all that. He takes it but will take little for himself and give the rest to the fund that has been setup to help those who lost homes and loved ones during the siege. The blacksmith leaves and I bath – it feels good to relax for a while. Not too long after this Alexi arrives and tells me of what the Black Robe has told him.

I go up to Quinn’s room where I explain all I have learned from the Erik. I manage to convince Quinn to accept the mages offer but Quinn makes one slight change… Quinn is going to kill Castor (No more capturing), I still think that he’s more valuable alive but I don’t think I’ll have much choice). (GM: Good Roleplaying here.. it is becoming apparent to those who knew your family that in this case Quinn, like his father, if he believes he is right, is willing to do what is required and Alexi, like his mother, always tries to see the good in people – extra XP awarded)

I suggest Quinn talking to the mage to discuss the ‘tactical situation’ of what forces Ergoptis has. We go back down and talk with the mage

As I speak to the Black Robe I notice that he is truly surprised but how accepting I am of magic. I tell him that I grew up around it and understand that magic can be a boon. It normally comes down to the person wielding it and it is with this statement that I realise something no one else has – Castor HATES the Mages of the Tower of High sorcery with a passion. (GM: Jackpot! – major enemy milestone found – major XP will be awarded if can be prevented) The women he loved died there doing her test and everything he has done since that moment has been about getting him closer to his ultimate goal – REVENGE! I say to ‘Erik’ and Alexi that Castor’s goal is simply. He will absorb the mana-mithril’s power and then use the focus and magical artefacts to destroy the Tower of Wayworth. Seems I hit the mark there. Mundane indeed… (GM: XP awarded to Quinn – well done, pulled it out of you’re a$$)

With Quinn’s excellent deduction Erik seems eager to give us more information about the mana-mithril and Ergoptis. (GM: basically you scared the s#it out of him)
Ergoptis is the leader/God of the Cult, he’s enslaved the gnomes, dark dwarves and dark elves and he has been using them to mine the mana-mithril from in the cave system. Erik knows that the dragon army are mining from five sites. This cave system, one in Solamnia (On our Keep’s land!!), one at Neraka and two in the South (Abanasinia). The Dragon Army is preparing to attack in the North (We assume the High Cleric’s Tower) {The military dispatches mention after Vingaard, Palanthas was next, plus the note that Koos has on him that mentioned the knights had retreated to the tower).
We mention that we think Lucian (Leader of the Black Dragonarmy) is coming to Hargoth but Erik confirms that he has been summoned to Neraka (to answer for his failure – with his life I assume :>).
Erik will need an hour to prepare the ritual that he will use to teleport us into Ergoptis’ sanctum. We go and prepare.

In the time I have left before we leave I go to see Karnack and find that he is recovering from his wounds though not conscious. Caleb is there and I explain what is about to happen and gathers his gear, bows to his two acolytes (new followers of Mishakal!), and says he was meant to come on this journey. I also go to the Lord and explain the plan – it is our only chance of getting Castor and stopping something evil from happening. By the time I return to the others my armour is ready and I have another round shield to use. I make sure people have extra rations and water as we prepare to leave – this is just in case something should go wrong. I ask Alexi about sending word to the Dwarves but that will have to wait until we return – I pray that Paladine guides us and we do make it out alive.

I go and speak with Marcus (Mage shop owner) and I explain the situation. (He does comment to me about ‘Erik the Vain’. He actually has a small sample of the mana-mithril but he had not done more than some preliminary tests on it. (GM: he didn’t really know what it was and didn’t want to blow himself up) I have a letter that I had written to Par-Salian describing the situation with Erik and the mana-mithril and he ensures me he will send it to the tower along with the sample. (I make a character reference for Erik in the hopes he won’t be expelled). (GM: Alexi RP XP awarded)
He also has a ritual scroll that I can use to send a telepathic message to Lon asking him to return. I cast the ritual and Lon acknowledges my message and tells me he will leave scouts to watch.

I return back to Quinn suite where the anti-magic device has been brought in. I examine it. It seems to be a glass cube that when complete contains something within it which provides an aura of anti-magic. I feel like it has also been modified to increase his range to the whole dungeon area. (I would be interested in talking to Lazarus to see how he came by this).

With not being to do more with the cube I have a look at the scrying device. I decide to attempt to use it and I scry for Timothy. I manage to see a blurry image of Timothy talking to a hooded figure in a dark area, unfortunately I did not attempt to cover my tracks and I believe I was sensed. I see Timothy raise his hands and mutter some words and I am suddenly kicked out of the image. Thankfully no feedback.
Lon turns up and we explain the situation and he is eager to get Castor (He agrees with Quinn that death is the only option for Castor). (GM: he is happy to discuss type of death/pain levels though)

We gather in the room where Erik was being held. He tells us that we will have one hour and then then the staff will activate and only anyone touching the staff or the person holding the staff will be teleported at that time. It will begin to pulsate 15, 5 & 1min to go. Erik casts the rituals!

The five of us (Quinn, Lon, Nessie, Caleb & Myself) are teleported into a dark cave. From the side we hear what I believe is some kind of Elvish and we are attacked. In the end we defeat two dark elves and 12 giant spiders (They would bury into the ground and come up underneath us and attempt to drag us down). One Kapak and Dark elf manages to escape. Luckily we killed a dark elf captain who was using the orb artefact to mine the mana-mithril. When I hold both it and the staff together I get a sense that they are linked. I am able to determine that the orb is the ‘Orb of Oradia’. It is a fantastic item for detecting magic that I make use of it through our journey in the cave. (Loot also 2x Pick Axe Mana-Mithril tops, and a decent piece of mana-mithril).

The blessing of dark vision given to me after the first battle in the caves – it seems I must accept my elven heritage; nah embrace it, if I am to truly come become the man my parents (mother) wanted. I smile as I write this, Alexi and Lon would probably be nodding sagely about now… (GM: more so… finally the thick headed knight gets it..)

We proceed through the cave system until we reach a room with symbols on floor tiles. It would seem to be some type of trap/puzzle. There are some words in elvish on the opposite side of the room that reads ‘Embrace Uniqueness’, There is also a sword tied to a rope that is suspended in the air over on the back left of the room. I use my mage hand to try and move the sword and somehow it makes the elvish words change to ‘Neighbours the same, death is thy name’. We spend some time trying to figure out the riddle but we are wasting precious time, in the end I cast a dispel magic on the room and deactivate the trap. We are able to pass it and loot the Longsword (+3).

We proceed down the passage and we reach a blank wall. When we examine it closely there is some elvish script again with what Lon tells us is the word ‘closed’. I ask him what the word for ‘opened’ is. After he says it aloud the script changes on the wall to ‘opened’ and a door in the wall opens. (Pretty easy to pass).

In the next room we encounter three gnomes (one mage type) working on what I assume is the contraption that is building a new staff. I get the sense that one of the artefacts is up on the ledge that the machine is on. There are also some clay statues on the sides of the room. From what Erik told us, these gnomes are being controlled by Ergoptis. (I don’t want to hurt them if we can somehow break his control on them). I attempt to cast a sleep spell on the mage and one of the gnomes. Unfortunately it needs a round to effect the gnomes and so the mage activates the clay golems before falling unconscious. While Quinn, Lon, Caleb & Nessie keep the golems and the other two gnomes occupied I attempt to disable the clay golems now that their master is unconscious. I am finally able to deactivate the four golems and by this time Quinn, Lon, Caleb & Nessie have got the other two gnomes to surrender. The contraption looks like it has been infused with mana-mithril. I activate one of the disabled golems and get him to destroy the machine. There are massive explosions and the golem is badly damaged but he manages to remove the chalice from the machine before it destroys itself, putting the machine out of commission. Once again holding the chalice with the other items I am instantly granted its name and purpose. It is The Chalice of Chale.

We discover that although the gnomes surrendered their complete free will is under control of Ergoptis. The gnomes tells us that Ergoptis has the shield and that the dragon eggs are in the Ziggurat. They have also don’t know or have seen Castor. We knock them out so that they won’t be a bother until we are out of the cave system.
We move on as we only have 15 minutes remaining. We look into the next room and discover a large cavern with many of these giant blue mushrooms around. I recognise them. They are called ‘Mushrooms of Light’ and if exposed to light they are highly explosive. They are also an incredible unique spell component if harvested. Unfortunately we do not have the time and to ensure we can quickly get through I dispel magic the area and all the mushrooms disappear. (GM: just like Teemo)

We finally make it into the largest cavern we have seen so far. Ahead of us is a river of lava with a giant Ziggurat behind it. There are two platforms which seem to magically fly over the lava river if someone steps on it (We secretly observe a dark elf do just that). There is also a high ladder and bridge above us that continues over the top of the Ziggurat. On top of the Ziggurat we see Ergoptis (He really is a giant Beholder), there is also a robed Bozak, and the shield is hooked into device of some sort on top of the Ziggurat. Unfortunately no sign of Castor. There are also dark dwarves working on various parts of the Ziggurat (Construction Works). We send Caleb and Lon up the ladder as they are the stealthiest of our group so they can get a better look.

While we are waiting we finally see Castor come out of a passage from behind the Ziggurat. He has been changed. It seems like he has absorbed the Mana-Mithril into his body and he looks dangerously ‘buff’ and he glows blue. He seems to be talking to Ergoptis. Lon (pulling a Timothy) starts to move forward along the bridge and pulls out a particular arrow {One for Castor} and starts to head across the bridge. I dimensional door up behind him and manage to stop him from revealing us. (GM: lucky)

As this is probably our last battle down here I use many of my daily spells I had been keeping. (GM: blowing your load..) I blur myself (Invisible) and grant myself true sight. I manage to spot the Kapak we had fought earlier on the other side of the bridge near the Ziggurat. I proceed over the bridge and prepare for Quinn to create a diversion. One thing that I notice when I get close is that there is a magical force field around Ergoptis and the shield. That will have to be broken before we can attempt to grab the shield.
From our vantage point we wait for Quinn to create a diversion.

It was strange but I do not remember mumbling my words! Maybe these Dark Dwarves are hard of hearing? (GM: rolling a 1 is a b1tch) I act as the diversion and have successfully walked up to a second dark dwarf and slain it as all hell breaks loose. The other challenges we faced to get to this point were nothing compared to this battle. The Beholder was huge and with its other minions and Castor I did not know if we would live. Castor had to be eliminated and that was all that mattered. What happens on the other side of the ziggurat I am not sure, but I could see Castor and so I charged and did not stop until I got to him. When I hit him with the Dragonlance he pulls back in fear – it hurts him and strange ‘blue’ particles spray into the air. How much of this mana-mithril has he absorbed?!?!

The battle begins. I immediately begin a contest with Ergoptis to bring down his force field. After a three round mental battle he eventually drops the force field himself as he has been unable to use his eye attacks on anyone.

Caleb & Lon managed to kill off the dark dwarves and Quinn has taken off after Castor (He ran out of the room back towards the passage he went earlier). Nessie went after the Kapak. One of the dark dwarves still alive ran towards the bozak and knelt at his feet, the bozak seemed to be channelling something into the dwarf. Unfortunately for him with Ergoptis dropping the force field I unleased my full power at them. Firing fireballs and prismatic beams at the top of the Ziggurat caused the dwarf to be obliterated and the bozak takes feedback from his channelling. Ergoptis also did not seem impressed but he has Caleb and Lon to deal with.

Unfortunately Ergoptis activated a petrified beam at Lon and he was frozen for most of the fight (he was not there for Castor’s end ). Luckily Caleb is able to retrieve the shield while I keep the Bozak and Ergoptis busy. Nessie continued to fight the Kapak.

Castor is a true coward – he teleported away but he was not able to escape me. Down the passage we went until I caught him and knocked him down with the lance; with each strike more of the blue energy leaves his body and sprays around him. He struck back and I was blinded and he used this advantage to disappear. Castor’s problem though was that his absorption of the mana-mithril prevented him from being ‘fully hidden’. I got closer to where I was sure he was and called upon Paladine. I felt his guiding hand as I drew back the lance for the final strike that would end Castor’s life once and for all. As the lance stabbed down at Castor, I could see him, hands up trying to fend the strike off. He was doomed… until the power of the Dark Queen herself intervened and stopped my blow! The force of the counter jarred my arm, but I was able to hold firm. In the next instant both gods were gone. But it did not matter as I recovered faster than Castor and still drove home my strike, and Castor died split on my lance. Then he exploded, and somehow, I lived.

I see a giant explosion coming out of the passage (I assume something has happened to Castor), unfortunately for our party the time is short and the staff has started to pulse (1min left). I yell out to Caleb, Lon & Nessie and create a Wall of Fire between us and Ergoptis so hopefully we can escape. We head towards the back side of the Ziggurat where we meet up with a very singed and battered Quinn. As we gather around he tells us that Castor is no more. We quickly grab the staff and I activate it. We are all teleported back into the room where Erik stands with most of 1st Squad. I feel completely drained and can barely stand but am able to tell Erik that we were successful in gathering the items and stopping Castor for good.

I believe with the death of Castor and the reclamation of these items we have saved Hargoth from any future attack for a while. I wonder where we will go next. I feel like after reporting in with the mages that we should head to Palanthas and then maybe the High Clerics Tower. I think my brother has done more than enough to qualify to become a knight.

It is over – Castor is dead and the city of Hargoth is safe. The Lord would love for Alexi and me to stay in the city and make it our home, but the Knighthood beckons me, and Palanthas and the Knights at the High Clerist Tower may need our help. I must have word sent to the Dwarf Captain (if he still lives) of the boat that brought us to Hargoth and the Dwarven Griffin Riders so that they can act as witnesses for me. Edwin’s honour currently remains intact, as per our agreement, but if he breaks it he will face me in honourable combat. The Lord of Hargoth will hopefully provide me with letters for Palanthas or the Knights, or whomever he deems necessary. Maybe even letters of recommendation for me and about my deeds to help me become a Knight? I finally feel that my achieving my Knighthood is within my grasp.
All honour and praise to Paladine.

From the Journal of Caleb
You were right my mistress…. It was my destiny to accompany the brothers to the dark. I thank you for the strength to help their task and recover the relics. Castor is dead, and while it was necessary, I pray to you oh holy mishakal, and commend you his soul.

From the Journal of Lon
Castor is dead….. not by my hand… but by one I call brother. It is proper… it is done…. You may rest now precious one…..

I…..I thought I would feel something… closure… satisfaction… revenge…. but all I feel….. is sadness…..

From the Journal of Minion
Lord….. I have just received word from Ergoptis… the brothers made a raid against him. They had the staff and were able to gain entrance behind the barriers. A battle ensued, and the brothers escaped again! But not before killing Castor and retrieving all three other items. The gnomish contraption was destroyed also. Ergoptis has failed.

From the Journal of <someone>
Whhhat! The relics stolen….. Castor dead?? …. Ergoptis has failed? How is this possible What power do these brothers have?? So now not only do I need to deal with the rebels in the south, I now need to deal with these brothers…

Send word to the apprentice… preparations must begin now…..time is short, and with Castor’s untimely death, we are now behind.

Make contact with the spy… I know it will be risky at this point, but we have no choice… I have a task for the spy that if completed will aid our plans.

As for Ergoptis.. tell that floating puffball.. he has one chance to remain in my good graces, and redeem himself.

Now… leave me !!!! I have just received word that Lucien has arrived….I must “talk” to him…

End of Act Two

The Importance of being Castor
22nd Session

From the Journal of Alexi and Quinn Goldenscale

After the fight with the demon warriors we head off to the Keep (Quinn is worried that this might have been a diversion to free Castor {this actually proves correct}), we also have to get Lazarus some medical attention. Quinn runs out with Lazarus jumps on his horse and rides off to the keep. I look after him with dismay… my horse isn’t here. I had to find an alternative method.

Getting Lazarus back to the keep for medical attention was paramount and with the danger over I knew I could leave Alexi to make his own way back to the keep. But really, a donkey? What was he thinking! While I waited for Alexi to arrive I asked if anything ‘strange’ had been going on, but the answer was no.

We arrive at the keep (There’s a donkey lucky to be alive). (GM: The donkey’s feelings were mutual) Quinn has sent the Lieutenant to guard the Lord and to send a contingent of soldiers to the roof where the Sgt is. We race down to the dungeon and discover from the guards at the top that Karnak came through here 45mins ago with 2 guards…… We send one of the guards to get more men, the corporal and another soldier (Tiny Tim) come with us while the last soldier locks us in behind a portcullis.
As we look towards the dungeon we notice there are four bodies on the floor, one appears to be Karnak (They are either dying or already dead).

From the Gates of Hell and into the fires of betrayal; I had feared that I had made a mistake trusting Karnak for a mere second when the guards at the top of the dungeons had said he had entered earlier. But I dismissed these thoughts straight away for I knew deep down he was true to his vow. (GM: From this I take it Quinn still believes in his initial view that Karnak is honourable – i.e. I assume that is how you are playing Quinn) Seeing him on the floor, more than likely dead greatly saddened me but I ‘knew’ that something was not right about the scene before us. Hopefully we would not be too late from stopping Castor from being freed!

Quinn is suspicious. I cast my true sight and Quinn is correct again. There are three Kapaks (One who looks like a leader) and a black robe magic behind them {He’s powerful}. They luckily don’t notice my spell and I am able to surprise them. Before they have a chance to ambush us I cast ‘Glitterdust’ (GM: Such an OP spell – I really detest it) and they are all blinded and their invisibility fades. The combat begins. Nessie charges the mage while Quinn faces the Kapak leader. The Corporal and Tiny take the two remaining Kapaks. This allows me to launch my destructive spells on the enemy.
The Kapak leader seems to have a short sword similar to the dagger that Udoorin had (It drips black goo – nasty). (GM: yes, not a nice weapon)

Ah Glitter Dust. It is without a doubt Alexi’s finest spell (GM: fu#king bulls#it is what it is!) and it has gotten us out of so much trouble. His power grows daily and the flames of destruction he can also cast gives our enemies pause. When the figures were outlined my suspicions were proven correct but to me there were just an obstacle stopping me from getting to Castor! I was very pleased that I had sent guards to protect the Lord of Hargoth and to alert all the soldiers of the Keep. With these enemies here, I had no way of knowing how many more were within the keep and who their targets might be. We could have used Timothy’s magic about now as well but it seems the Council of Mages cannot be relied upon. (GM: Yes fair call re Tim)

I am unable to launch all my spells at the enemies unfortunately because I would hit the Karnak (he’s barely alive). (GM: from memory it took a nudge from Quinn to remind you of that…..) I manage to teleport in, grab him and blink out. (GM: good use of skills – extra XP given) The Kapak leader manages to nick Quinn with that dagger and I watched aghast as Quinn dropped . (GM: Dropped like a sack of s#it!!) He managed to overcome the entropy, (GM: extra XP as GM had to look that word up…nice!!) otherwise he was in grave danger.
We unfortunately lose the corporal but we manage to destroy the kapaks and the mage (The Mage dissolved into a pool of necrotic damage {extremely nasty}). (GM: I forgot to check for your passive perception on that – remind me next session – you may get some more info)

The battle before the entrance to the cells was terrible and the Corporal gave his life trying to kill the Black Robe Mage and the three Kapak’s. The foe the Dark Queen has now employed against is truly evil, for the blade that hit me and dropped me to the ground in one hit was like nothing I have ever felt before. (GM: Very true – and you would know the feeling again if it happened) It also meant that Castor was of great importance to someone! (GM: duh) Though we were all wounded (Nessie did well to keep the Black Robe busy) we were victorious.

We proceed into the dungeon and inside is a horror to behold. There are two {Castor & a Drunk} cells open out of the six, but what is horrifying is that in the centre of the room is a body on a table {The Drunk} cut open in some kind of ritual. I also notice that the anti-magic shield has gone. {I believe this horrible ritual was responsible for removing the anti-magic zone). Quinn also tells me that the Scrying orb is gone, and that there is blood everywhere in that room. Inside the torture chamber are the bodies of two guards who have been stripped of their uniforms. Quinn suspects that Castor is close and in disguise. While maintaining watch in the outside room I sense an invisible force up near the roof. I cast a sleep spell at it and am successful. We capture a Quasit (Imp). I go in and examine the Scrying orb hoping to see if I can track it. I manage to discern a trail that heads directly up. Unfortunately they had also left a trap and I find I access to my magic is blocked. {Most annoying}.

Looking upon the cell room was like looking at the altar room of the church in the ruins north east of Hargoth. Evil magic had been cast and when Alexi said the anti-magic zone was gone I knew we were too late but I had to check to be sure. All the cells were empty and in Castor’s cell he had drawn an ‘eye’ on the wall. I crushed it with the end of the Dragonlance and then checked the scrying room only to discover that the orb was gone. I yelled out to Alexi that there were some symbols drawn into the blood of the floor – another eye and some squiggly lines, and then headed into the torture chamber. The discovery of the missing guards confirmed my fears – Castor is gone!

Quinn is convinced that they were heading for the roof so we leave the dungeon and proceed to the top tower where the Sgt is. Towards the top we start to see bodies (Both Guards and Kapaks). Evidence of Lon is here as well. Quinn and Nessie reach the top first

Clutching the bound quasit and seeing the rear guard action by Castor’s men against Lon and the Sgt on the roof gave me some hope. I ordered Nessie to go there and stop them from escaping (if possible) and I then turned and gave the quasit to Alexi, well more like threw, and took a path that would take me straight to the portal. Alexi had mentioned in the past about a mage losing a familiar and that it could have a bad effect on the owner of said familiar. “Kill the quasit. Now!” I yelled back as I charged off. I did not look back to see what Alexi would do but I am glad he did the right thing as all I wanted was Castor, ‘Dead or Alive’ now. Charging to the portal I saw Nessie fly down to attack and I saw another Black Robe Mage (this one with the ‘eye’ symbol all over his cloak and robes fall to the ground – Alexi had killed the quasit). By the time I arrived all I saw was the portal starting to collapse and a dark cave on the other side; Nessie was on top of the Black Robe. I walked up and smashed my armoured fist into the mages face with all my strength, taking the frustration of losing Castors escape out on him. Sadly I enjoyed it. (GM: good roleplaying XP awarded) (GM: and stove in his face, nose, cheek)

I reach the top finally and notice a Black Robe mage maintaining a portal for the enemy to escape through. I cannot see Castor. I’m not sure how Quinn knew but he asked me if killing the imp would have any effect on the mage. Knowing that it would while they go to help I am left with the horrible task of killing the imp. Even though it’s a creature of evil I’m still upset about killing any creature in this fashion. I choose the least painful method and stab the imp through the heart killing it instantly. (GM: good roleplaying XP awarded) It has an immediate effect on the black robe mage and he collapses. I retrieve the scrying orb.
Lon, Quinn, Nessie and the Sgt manage to clear up the rest of the enemies.
During the fight on the roof, we unfortunately loss the life of Vincent (Dragon Slayer). (GM: yes) Who died saving the SGT’s life.
Castor has escaped and the enemy expended a lot of resources to get him out, why is he so important! (GM: fair enough call, Alexi would know while there are a number of black robes on Krynn – they are not so numerous that they can just keep sending them in to die, also as Alexi has said this could have some serious outcomes from the council depending on how it is reported and played out)
We proceed back down into the keep and check the Lord – He’s safe, as well is Lazarus. Lazarus’ second in command is going to start and work out if we were betrayed from within. (GM: and check if he needs to clean house again)

Vincent died a hero, saving those he fought with. The Sgt was distraught with grief and I well understood his feelings but I found it difficult to think about this as Castor was gone! I vowed before the Lord and others that Vincent would be given a true ‘Hero of Hargoth’ funeral and his family will be helped. I will personally give my own money if the Lord does not. I have much anger in me at the moment. Why is Castor so damn important?!?!?!? There were only two questions on my mind – was the other ‘mage’ that got away one of these ‘Dark Elves’ we have heard mention of and why was Castor so important?

I realise after the fight that the portal could not have taken them very far (Only 400 yards or so) (GM: yes you are fairly certain) and Quinn says he saw the inside of a dark cave. I suspect that they are currently in some caves found to the north (Could that be where the Cache is!!). Lon heads off to scout the area.
This inability to cast spells is becoming annoying so I go and seek out Ralph (The Red Robe who owns the magic store in town). He says that he had the same thing happen to him back in his youth and he was able to remove it by using a scroll of dispel magic. He happens to have one and I manage to remove the block from my power (phew). As a thank you I offer to replace the scroll and give him the extra Blink Ring (I looted from Castor the 2nd time). He seems happy with that. I check with him also if he has been in contact with Timothy recently. I infer he knows about the incident in the garrison and he is not impressed with Timothy. I understand his concern but still think Timothy is hasn’t gotten to the point where steps might have to be taken. I do have the concern though ‘What will happen if Talia is killed’. I will have to think more on how to handle Timothy. It seems he has taken Talia to Palanthas. I ask him to pass on if he manages to talk to him that I could really use that rune he was going to give me that I could use Koos’ staff to pinpoint where the corruption dragon egg ritual has been happening.

Hmmm perhaps we are in luck – if they could only travel a certain distance from the Keep roof then there is a chance we can recapture Castor and those with him! Lon has gone to investigate with chosen men of the garrison that know the area so all is not lost. As for the mage he is to be kept under guard with the Lieutenant, 1st Squad and now Tiny on guard back at the Garrison building. It seems the ‘problem’ Alexi has from trying to follow Castor from down in the dungeons is still with him, but I am sure he will work it out.

More questions have arisen for the resources thrown at us make no sense to me. Tactical it was a mistake, for the enemy has lost its Mage Killers, and Castors troops \ henchmen in the city are now depleted. It is time for the Black Robe to tell us what he knows.
I have used many of my spells but I also think it’s important we check out those caves if we have a chance of capturing Castor again. I think we should head out there as soon as possible.

From the Journal of Lon
Somehow I just knew Castor would get away. That snake has had enough lives to be a stinking cat. I don’t blame the lads, they have done all they could, but I will be having words with Lazarus. IF he is as good as I’m told he should have foreseen this. Well no longer… If I find the snake he will die, no locking up, no questions… I will look into my eyes as the light leaves his….

From the Journal of Tiny Tim
Oh my… I can’t believe I’ve just fought with the Heroes of Hargoth. I mean…. I almost craped myself! That death and blood we found in the dungeon, how can they remain so calm and resolute? All Sir Quinn wanted was to get to the enemy and make them pay for their foul crimes. And his wizard brother… he was right there beside him, and if I’m right for part of it, he wasn’t even able to do magic!!
They are true heroes!!

From the Journal of <someone>
Yes…., Castor has slipped the brothers net… for the moment…, but there is still danger. Send word to Ergoptis.. it seems the servants of the foul one will become his problem after all. And……. remind Ergoptis of the importance of Castor, and my reward for failure……. My general tells me the battle is close, I want no loose ends that could tip the scales of the outcome not in our favour.


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