Siliceous

Almost an Angel
Almost an Angel

Kissandi Saga Part 7

Recently, the group had found their way into the Shadowfell, trying to find a way to destroy the rift that had opened into Lambasa, the capital city. After an arduous path, the group found themselves at what seemed the heart of the maze.

March 2, 994 @ 3:00 pm

Completing the challenge, Kobhein, Drake, and Rabbit shut down some of the active powers on the altar, in the crystal balls, and in the cultist.

After reviving Kissandi and Tilly, the group discusses the difficult choice that lies before them. The realization that if they see out their mission to shut down the rift, they will not be able to leave the Shadowfell the way they came in, but if they leave now the rift will remain open.

As they are talking, they notice the presence of another humanoid hiding in the room. He is called out and met. His name is Malgrim and he is an experience human rogue. He seems only interested in helping Kissandi and seems to think Kissandi will help him someday in the future. The group does not appear to understand him, but he has gained enough trust to join in the mission.

The scholars continue to be argumentative and want no part of staying in the Shadowfell and insist on someone helping them return to Lambasa. Rabbit sees this as a chance to help save Tilly who has clearly been affected by entering the Shadowfell. Ven “Drake” Roberts also says he must leave, and wishes Kissandi and Kobhein well. They all depart.

Kissandi, Kobhein, and Malgrim continue on. They begin more work on the altar area. Kissandi is drawn to face the demon that possessed the shadar-kai and heads through the arcane archway. Kobhein and Malgrim follow.

The gray haze settles throughout this space. A slight wind blows through. Nobody can see beyond 10 feet away. Malgrim’s attempt to break a sunrod is not effective.

Therapin, the suicide demon’s voice can be heard echoing in the space. A clouded battle is fought in what seems to be an MC Escher painting.

The suicide demon demoralizes the group, at one time making Kissandi cut herself, at others suggesting the heroes give up and to release themselves to her control. This sometimes stops the heroes, but only for moments as Kissandi, Malgrim, and Kobhein continue on in the battle.

Therapin says, “there is no way to escape the Shadowfell if you close the gate and there is no way to call Fyria back here! She has been loosed upon your world, you gnats!”

Partway through the battle, Kissandi is confused about whether is was Therapin’s face or the Raven Queen’s face she saw in a vision and carved into her thigh. The feeling of unease eventually lifts with Kissandi reassured in her faith.

When Therapin is bloodied, she starts to spawn demonic manifestations that repeatedly do flyby attacks and annoy the heroes.

Barely surviving, the heroes defeat Therapin. Kissandi destroys four of the remaining six manifestations before being knocked unconscious. With little health left, Malgrim is able to destroy the remaining essence of the suicide demon. Unfortunately, Kobhein did not make it.

Reviving his comrades, Malgrim and Kissandi realize they need to recuperate before continuing on. They are inspired by their heroic victory, but demoralized that their battle with Therapin was not needed to shut down the rift or to find Fyria.

Rabbit and Tilly arrive back in the hall, stating they have brought the others to safety and want to aid in closing this rift.

After recovering enough to carry on, but giving more time for the rift to solidify, the heroes work again at the altar. Malgrim studies the symbols, Kissandi prays to the Raven Queen, while Rabbit and Tilly help out.

The walls of the hall dissipate and now the group stands at the base of a hill, atop which is a marvelous pool of radiance. Four tents stand at corners of the base of the hill. Above the pool of radiance flies Fyria, shadow angel, not looking to happy to have been recalled to this space. Also hovering around the edges of the pool are four shades of fallen heroes.

Kissandi and Fyria challenge one another about the path of the Raven Queen and whose path is true. Kissandi, for today, is unsure which path has been chosen by the Raven Queen, or are both true paths?

A battle ensues. Kissandi and the others quickly fell the shades of fallen heroes.

A githyandki shade appears and does battle with Rabbit and Tilly as Malgrim works at defacing the many markings on the well, seemingly battling the power that has opened the rift.

Kissandi, after becoming invisible to Fyria, the shadow angel, does a flying charge just hitting Fyria in mid-air. Kissandi falls and lands in the pool of radiance. The liquid is thicker than water. Fyria uses shadow wings to obscure the zone around Kissandi, and then charges into the liquid, battling Kissandi in a space now unseen to the others. The two fight. Kissandi is able to make it to the top of the water by using various escape powers, only to be pulled back under by Fyria.

Eventually, the killing blow is leveled on Fyria. She bursts and those near her are swallowed by darkness, almost knocking them out. One of the halflings is able to offer a final prayer that helps mute the power of the well and close the opening to the rift to Lambasa.

The heroes have done it!

The essence of the area itself seems to shake. The darkness gives way to light. The groups reemerges in the hall they had found the shadar-kai who were controlled by Therapin.

Treasures are found including:

  • Shadowfell Signet LVL 19
  • Shadowfell Gloves LVL 16
  • Shadowrift Blade LVL 17 (short sword)
  • A bag that Kissandi knows she needs to take and not open, the Raven Queen told her about it earlier – it is to be a gift to help convert a powerful unbeliever later.

March 3, 994 @ 1:00 am

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A Deal with the Dragon
A Deal with the Dragon

March 14, 994 9:00 p.m.

The party heads in the direction of the front doors, 4 severed fire giant hands stored to use for safe reentry…

Spotted high above by Tyzzer, the dragon, Brazzemal effortlessly flies down towards the party.

Neither side intimidated, a negotiation is made. The dragon says Snurre is dead. Brazzemal says he killed Snurre because he ran to him seeking protection, not a very kingly thing to do.

Brazzemal wants the heads of the Queen, the fire giant forge master, Snurre’s sub commanders, and the volcanic iron golem in exchange for Snurre’s head. The party seems content with the deal. Brazzemal tosses what appears to be Snurre’s iron net to them and leaves.

Charzin leads the party back into the fire giants home, using the severed hand to seemingly deactivate the door.

The group first goes a new direction, listening first, then surprising the kitchen staff led by Sulfuria. A handful of azer servants were quickly destroyed. Sulfuria seemed to try to escape but was quickly boxed in and destroyed. A seething flaming shard was freed after the fight. Rowena made a brief kinship with it and it followed the party until the next battle began, before escaping. The party found a small sack of coins with 250 gp.

The group continued until they reached the armory where they dispatched 4 hell hounds, two fire archons, and a azer pyromancer who led them. Lots of giant weapons and armor here, but nothing of note. The group reached a milestone and gained an action point.

Next up, the group headed into an area with 6 azer blackguard. Ja’Elle tried to start the fight off with a bang, but ended up taking lumps from many of the very prepared azer blackguard. Rowena immobilized and moved the encroaching azer. Charzin kept them at bay. Tyzzer commanded his allies to strike them while they were down. Bui magnificently weakened the enemy with the power of his god and the standard of the silver dragon. After half of the azer fell in the battle a dwarf slave in manacles stumbled out of a nearby doorway asking for help. Tyzzer went to see how to help. The group defeated the azer. The manacles on the dwarf prisoner came off very easily when Ja’Elle looked to remove them.

We left off about to take a short rest, to talk with the dwarf prisoner, and to continue on through the entry level of Snurre’s lair.

March 14, 994 11:30 p.m.
Party Gold = 222,750 g.p.

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Running Away?!?
Running Away?!?

March 13, 994 1:15 p.m.
Party Gold = 222,500 g.p.

Snurre was the first to run, but wouldn’t be the last…

The party had Snurre fleeing for his life. A quick conversation about whether to press the pursuit or to catch their breath did not hinder the group from pursuing Snurre. The secret tunnel split in two directions. It was dark.

Charzin tracked and found fresh footprints. All but Ja’Elle headed that direction. Ja’Elle scouted the other direction and searched unsuccessfully for a secret door at the end of the hall.

Charzin discovered an illusory wall. Behind it was a volcanic iron golem that looked exactly like Snurre. Charzin charged it. It’s volcanic aura was intense. It was very difficult to get away from it. Tyzzer, Rowena and Bui joined the fight as Ja’Elle slipped past and ventured down a long stair-well.

Charzin and Tyzzer locked their focus on the iron golem. Rowena and Bui heard loud crashes from down the stairwell and then the groan of their halfling ally as he received a barrage of hurled rocks from hill and stone giants readied behind a secret door he pulled open.

Bui was able to save Ja’Elle. They made their way back up the stairs with the hill and stone giants ending their pursuit. The volcanic iron golem battled on. Charzin was knocked unconscious. Tyzzer was dying, too, but stayed on his feet groggily.

The group slowly made their retreat to the secret door leading to the great hall of Snurre. Barely escaping, the volcanic iron golem did not follow them into the great hall.

The group limped back out of the home of the fire giants and back to their cave. They took an extended rest, but their dreams were dark and full of questions.

The giants and their allies now knew their home had been breached and by whom. Where did Snurre go? How could they defeat the volcanic iron golem? What was in the treasure chests near the iron golem? How to get past those hill and stone giants? What about Brazzemal the Red Dragon?

It has been rare if ever that the group has needed to retreat. The question of their mortality pressed into their minds. Charzin reinforced this with his requests to return to Lambasa. Tyzzer insisted that they return with the head of Snurre.

On March 14, the party set out and hid until they were able to find fire giants leaving their home and heading out. They found 2 and 4 medium hell hounds. A quick fight that took very few resources of the party led to a victory and 4 fire giant hands, intended for use on the front door for safe reentry.

March 14, 994 9:00 p.m.
Party Gold = 222,500 g.p.

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Embarrassed by Maggots
Embarrassed by Maggots

March 13, 994 – 1:00 p.m.
Party Gold = 222,500 g.p.

As told my King Snurre Iron-Belly:

Until the past two months, everything had gone to plan. The lesser giants had served me well. Conquest and plunder had been easy. The response from the little ones had been weak.

The fall of Nosnra and the Hill Giant Steading was somewhat expected. Even so, the first significant defeat was noticeable. Then, in seemingly a short time, Thane Arnak stopped aiding the cause and Jarl Grugnur’s demise and the bitter civil dispute within the Frost Giant ranks had severely weakened some very useful allies.

Even without these leaders, confidence still surged in my veins that with the power that still remained behind me, these would be the days that my people would remember as the Ascension.

I fully expected who had broken the weaker links to arrive. I had thought of it often. How great a story it would be to strike these maggots down in my own hall. To burn them where they stood.

The fight began, my confidence was complete. I and my guard would squash these pests.

To my great surprise, this took an unexpected turn. First, my enemy did not come forward to challenge me in my Great Hall. Instead these puny ones stood at the far end of the hall using electricity to weaken my fire giants. Not only this, but the heat of the hall and from the weapons of my fire giant kin, the azers and my pets Smoke and Scorch did not seem to have much impact on them.

Their priest destroyed many of the young fire giants and the smaller hell hounds. The female elf wizard used his wrongly held power to keep me, His Majesty Himself stuck to a spot that was too far to give inspiration to my men and too far to throw my net on the enemy.

To a man, all of my guards and even those Isent Scorch to bring to fight were destroyed by the enemy. My two pets were destroyed before my eyes!

The smallest of the small was able to dark, tumble and jump around while dealing vicious blows to his kin. The sword mage teleported and kept many of my men at bay, including the dark elf for a time. Their commander, called Coach by the sword mage, kept control of the battlefield only because I, King Snurre, could not approach what had mistakenly become the battlefield. How infuriating it all was. How awful, unexpected, and demoralizing. Having to retreat from such weaklings. This was shameful. The only way to offset this embarrassment would be to bring these intruders their complete destruction.

There is still a way back to power. Every glorious tale has it’s moment of despair. This must be it.

But first, following the dark elf through the secret door is needed to turn to welcome these uninvited guests to what they deserve!

Next time…in “hot pursuit” of King Snurre Iron-Belly

March 13, 994 – 1:15 p.m.
Party Gold = 222,500 g.p.

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Entering the Hall of the Fire Giant King
Entering the Hall of the Fire Giant King

March 12, 994 -1:00 a.m.
Party Gold = 222,940 g.p.

Last time the party had defeated young red dragons and the dragon-worshipping kobolds to clear out a safe cave not far from the home of King Snurre, in the heart of the volcanic region.

Approaching the base of the volcano at 6:00 a.m., the characters use Ja’Elle to scout the entry doors. He sets up about 150 feet away, hidden amongst the rocks. The others stay back 200 feet further. Giants arrive and use the door around noon.

The group decides to try to find other entries. Charzin puts on some equipment and makes his way around the area and then makes a second wider loop finding no other entries.

Rowena flies on her bird, finds a chimney entryway on top of the volcanic hill. She drops a rock, lit with magical light and it goes down at least several hundred feet, deeper than the base of the hill.

The group decides to climb the hill and Bui makes a magical safe-house for the group to take a rest. Charzin stands guard on the roof of the house. As the others drift into sleep a huge red dragon emerges from the chimney, fully extends his wings, and scares the crap out of Charzin, who is speechless. Brazzemal the huge red dragon intimidates Charzin. The other party members, now awake again, emerge and try to reason with Brazzemal. Rowena unsuccessfully tries to play Brazzemal against Snurre, discovering they are at least allies. Tyzzer attempts to find out what Brazzemal wants, also unsuccessfully. Rowena tries and fails to give an offering of her staff of storms. Ja’Elle tries to sneak away, but Brazzemal will have none of it. Brazzemal welcomes you to dinner and flies back into and down the chimney.

The party puts on fresh clothes and descends the volcanic hill. Ja’Elle stays and scouts out the door again. Bui uses a sending ritual to see what’s taking Ja’Elle so long.

The group returns to their cave and rests.

March 13. The party sets out again and gets ready for the next raiding party. At about noon, another raiding party returns back towards the Hall of the Fire Giant King. The group ambushes them.

With Tyzzer and Charzin taking some damage, the group expends very few other resources (Charzin spent an action point, but he starts with two after an extended rest). The last fire giant is subdued.

Rowena uses comprehend languages to talk with the fire giant. After a little while, the group turns to violence to try to get info from him. Then, they drag his unconscious body to the front door and use his hand to open the door. Ja’Elle, at Charzin’s behest, kills the giant, attempting to use his body to prop the door open.

Quickly, the group enters. Rowena and Bui spot a small fiery creature behind a curtain. Gong! The azer hall warden saw the group, too. Charzin killed the azer gong boy.

Ja’Elle looked around the corner, saw and was spotted by (?) King Snurre (?). The large fire giant is protected by 3 other fire giants and 2 large hell hounds.

Fighting time!

March 13, 994 – 1:00 p.m.
Party Gold = 222,500 g.p.

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Establishing a Base of Operations: Dragon's No More
Establishing a Base of Operations: Dragon's No More

March 11 late morning (11 am)
Party Gold = 190,540 g.p.

The group moves through the billowing volcanic ash towards a cave, in hopes of setting up a safe location to use as a retreat point from the Hall of the Fire Giant King, if needed…

Ja’Elle scouted ahead. Rowena spotted a trip-wire trap just before Ja’Elle triggered it. Ja’Elle was easily able to disable it. He found and disabled a pressure plate trap not far away.

The group ambushed a gaggle of kobolds, who were quite resilient. When the kobold chargers were destroyed, they made one last charge before burning out. At least four of the six burned out trying in vain to attack Charzin. The kobold mages were able to get off a dying breath area burst attack that softened up the party a bit. Tyzzer directed the attack as the others picked off the kobolds one by one. One kobold did escape. When Charzin ran after it, he sprang a trip-wire poison gas trap. The party decided to take a short rest and go slowly.

Ja’Elle was able to disable two more traps along what was an hour hike into the cave passages. Eventually, the party discovered a dragon lair inhabited by one adult red dragon, three red dragon wyrmlings, and two kobold mages.

A stoneskin application by Rowena and a blessing from Bui giving everyone temporary hit points negated much of the enemies attacks. Rowena was able to slow the dragons from escaping with a ball lightning. Ja’Elle used his daggers to critically hit and kill the wyrmlings. Charzin kept the adult dragon near him by threatening to destroy the eggs, by using his swordmage power to lasso the dragon, and by jumping on the dragon’s back. Bui saved Charzin from a long fall when the dragon was eventually able to tail slap him off.Throughout, Tyzzer was able to give extra attacks, allow his allies to switch spaces with allies to allow for important uses of his allies abilities, and even do some solid damage with his magic axe.

In the end, all the enemies were killed and the party took control of the cave as a base of operations. There was a large treasure (to be added soon) and 12 red dragon eggs left after the battle. The treasure included fifteen 1000 gp gems, a 3,000 gp value sapphire adorned tiara, and three diamond rings (1,000 gp value each) mixed in with a pile of 15,000 gp (placed in chests by the party). The group also discovered four potions of vitality (to be distributed in our next session).

After an extended rest, the party leveled up (now level 18) and decided to send Ja’Elle out to scout. He did and this is what you now know:

Nestled deep within the icy peaks of the King’s Mountains is a chain of volcanoes surrounded by an ashen plain of basalt crisscrossed with rivers of magma. Dubbed the Hellfurnaces, these angry volcanoes send plumes of smoke into the darkened sky, and embers fall like hot rain upon the land. You traveled across this hellish expanse to the foot of a steeply rising hill about three hundred feet high.

Smoke pours from numerous vents atop the hill, and occasionally some of these holes spurt jets of flame as well. Beneath this mound of slag and black rock lies the Hall of King Snurre (pronounced Snur-ee). Obsidian doors set into the base of the hill are the only visible entrance. They appear unguarded.

March 12, 994 at 1 a.m.
Party Gold – 222,940 g.p.

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A Demon, An Undying Cultist, and Powers from Beyond
A Demon, An Undying Cultist, and Powers from Beyond

Kissandi Saga Part 6

Last time, a difficult choice was made to take an extended rest. Some group members had saved out of their conditions caused by the Shadowfell (Rabbit, Kobhein and Drake), but others are still affected (Kissandi and Tilly).

Now, the group has the group has found themselves already within the Shadowfell itself.

March 2, 994 @ 1:30 pm

Kissandi lets the others know that she deserves all of the credit with the Raven Queen and the others are not needed and can leave. She can handle it herself. Tilly pipes in and says she could handle it herself, too.

Drake and Rabbit attempt to calm Kissandi, telling her she can have all the credit and assuring her they are here to help Lambasa and the lives of innocents against this imminent threat.

Tilly quickly moves forward. The others try to catch up. Two bodaks and a nightwalker emerge from the shadow. Tilly is quickly dropped unconscious by the nightwalker. Rabbit emerges to bring her back to consciousness. Kissandi, Kobhein, Drake, and Rabbit fight off this evil force, taking some significant wounds in the fight. Kissandi finds more power from the Raven Queen as she uses radiant energy to diminish the nightwalker. Drake does himself significant damage as he breathes acid to protect his allies.

During the battle, Lackey, Lester, and Uehara calm the waters and remove some of the arcane and divine energy from the pool and the surrounding font. In doing so they are afflicted by the Shadowfell, becoming very argumentative.

The clues clearly lead into a building nearby. The group enters, goes into a deeper room in the building and sees a great hall with a pool of blood in the middle that actively flows out and into four grates in the floor. The pool seems to not lose any blood. How strange. Standing in the pool of blood are five shadar-kai. There is a large statue on a platform. There are two staircases leading to a raised area of the room atop which stands an alter, two raised clear spheres and a chanting cultist. Various statues and paraphernalia lines the raised area around the alter.

The leader of the shadar-kai approaches, his dark eyes focused intently upon the party. He appears to be timid, or maybe frightened, but not necessarily of you and your companion. “I am Gruthow,” he says. “Who are you?” Together, the group diplomatically introduces themselves, helping Kobhein along the way. “Why have you come to this place?” he asks. The group explains their history very well. Gruthow and the other shadar-kai listen to your words with great intensity. “Why do you bring back memories of distant times?” Gruthow and the others appear confused and conflicted. The situation isn’t all that it appears to be. The party uses their insight and streetwise to understand the shadar-kai are deeply frightened, and not by the adventurers. They shift their eyes to each side, as though looking for someone or waiting for something to happen. Gruthow chooses his words carefully, as though someone else was listening to this exchange. The shadar-kai are acting like a people who have been threatened, mistreated, and intimidated. In some ways, they behave as slaves might.

Gruthow suddenly grows tense, as though every muscle in his body has turned to steel. An uncharacteristic smile spreads across his face, and he says in a higher, more shrill voice, “Champions, huh? They’ll let anyone call themselves that, won’t they? Tell me, is Old Elrilmarioum, that weakling wizard, still alive?”

Rabbit and Drake diplomatically keep Gruthow and the other shadar-kai talking and try to help them. Kissandi starts to make her way around the shadar-kai towards the platform with the chanting cultist. Kobhein watches Kissandi for instruction. Tilly is in her own world. The smart-ees are still arguing with each other.

Gruthow ways, “I am Therapin, and these are my happy followers. Perhaps you’d care to join us? I could have a lot of fun with the likes of you.” The voice that has identified itself as Therapin jumps from shadar-kai to shadar-kai as it talks to you. First it emerges from Gruthow, then from a shader-kai female to your right, then from another shadar-kai in the back row. “You have come to my home, threatened to take my property, and you expect me to welcome you? No, no, that is not the way I work, you arrogant gnats! Lay down your weapons, listen to my whispers, and perhaps you will see that the life I offer is not so terrible.”

Kissandi and Kobhein attempt to get around the shadar-kai. The shadar-kai attack, albeit unwillingly. Kobhein is dropped unconscious. Kissandi makes her way through and to the alter. Drake administers his potion to Kobhein, healing him.

As the group continues, the work against three challenges, the shadar-kai, the demonic possession, and the alter/magical sphere/cultist problem. Kissandi attacks and drops the cultist, only to see him reanimated by the powers around the alter and the magical spheres. Rabbit does heavy damage to one of the spheres.

Whenever a hero misses in an attempt to help, Therapin yells, “Your weakness is clear! You are not worthy to even bow in my presence, let alone challenge me. I would not even accept you as a blood sacrifice.”

After the group nearly frees the shadar-kai, Kobhein tries, but fails to deal the end to the demonic possession. A dark cloud of malevolence rises out of the collected shadar-kai and roils above them. “You are pitiful creatures!” cries the voice of Therapin from the dark cloud. “Let us finish this1 I await you!” With that, the cloud drifts through the archway out of the room. Gruthow says, “the demon has gone through the archway, to awaken more!”

The shadar-kai, one by one, collapse after Therapin departs. The group continues, but fails to destroy the power that emanates from the altar area. In fact, the spheres reconstruct and power surges back. Some of the statues animated into undead cultists. The group destroyed some of them.

Next time, the group tries to remove the power from the altar area and then may possibly follow the path that the demon Therapin took.

March 2, 994 @ 3:00 pm

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With Hope Fading Kissandi, Drake, and Sojourners Trudge On
With Hope Fading Kissandi, Drake, and Sojourners Trudge On

Kissandi’s Story Part 5

March 2, 994 @ 3:00 am

After climbing the fence and defacing the obelisk statue the group was able to damage it enough to shut it down temporarily from reanimating the dead. However, the rift to the Shadowfell is not here and it is still open. Until it is shut down, defacing this secondary post will only slow down the reanimation process of the undead.

The academics ask how they can help. After some more careful inspection of the obelisk statue, traps are found and expertly disabled by Tilly with Kissandi’s assistance and her thieve’s tools. Tilly does see a vision of a Suicide Demon and describes it to the group. The group does not believe this is Fyria’s image. Other clues are deciphered by the academics and the adventurers that show recent markings in different dialects and languages (forms of common), that necromancy was used and originated from multiple sources, that the clues were riddled with real and false traps, and a map leading deeper into the graveyard to another location.

Next, the group continues through the graveyard and deeper towards both danger and opportunity and into another statue that is animating skeletons. The group jumps into action against the skeletons. Rabbit goes face to face with a horde of skeletons. After destroying many individual skeletons, Kissandi comes to Rabbits aid. Kobhein goes head to skull with many skeletons. Ven “Drake” Roberts jumps into the fight. Uehara, the female dwarf tinkerer, asks to help with the obelisk statue, but the adventures say to stay safe until the battle is over. Tilly makes her way to the statue and tries to disable the device. She triggers a trap and becomes delusional about her abilities, saying that she can easily handle the rest alone. By the end of the battle, another poison gas trap was triggered and a third trap that made all the markings on the statue become very blurry and untranslatable. After the fight, Kissandi and Rabbit are affected by the Shadowfell, too. Hope is fading for the group.

Something of a map can be made out, but not much, leading the party into what was an area of town, with now destroyed or collapsed buildings and dead bodies, a feast for three slaughter wights and a bodak skulk. Another battle ensues. The wights regularly weaken the heroes and drain them of their energy and will to live. The bodak skulk’s gaze is demoralizing, and nearly deadly to Kobhein who maintains his will to live, just barely. As the wights are destroyed, they explode in an area 5 burst, dealing heavy damage to heroes and energizing their allies to use basic attacks. When the third and final wight blows up, all but Kissandi and Ven “Drake” Roberts are knocked unconscious. Drake is able to administer potions to two allies, and then Rabbit is able to save Tilly. The bodak is defeated, but the party is hurting.

The group finds a smaller contraption that emanates necrotic energy. The group is able to decipher many clues, but loses De La Rosa, the female arcanist, who triggered a trap that cause all party members to see their own face morphed into a corpse and then to an undead being. Kissandi smashed De La Rosa, whose body followed this path that the others envisioned for themselves.

The group learned that the final marking are from beyond this region, but some of the markings are from a local thief named Bantos, who used to be a member of the thieve’s guild, but now has an estate outside of town. The clues also show some of the markings are not from a language/dialect used regularly in Lambasa, that the magic and religious work done originated from multiple sources both in and out of this region, and that the clues are still riddled with various traps.

A difficult choice is made to take an extended rest. This means healing and a better chance of survival, but also likely allowing the reanimation process to speed up unchallenged again.

Some group members saved out of their conditions caused by the Shadowfell (Rabbit, Kobhein and Drake), but others are still affected (Kissandi and Tilly).

Next time, the group has a good clue on how to delve deeper into this gate to the Shadowfell, or are they already within the Shadowfell itself?

March 2, 994 @ 1:30 pm

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New Alliances, a Troubled Old Friend and Into the Hellfurnaces, Seeking a Safe Haven
New Alliances, a Troubled Old Friend and Into the Hellfurnaces, Seeking a Safe Haven

Feb 24 @ 3 pm

The group gives up on finding Kissandi before leaving town, but want to do what they can to ensure her safety. Ja’Elle meets Dryrry at the Thieve’s Guild, asking the guild to look out for Kissandi and to inform her where the rest of the party is going. Ja’Elle also asks about Feck. Dryrry says Knyx trusts Feck, that Feck is in danger, but to contact her, more reputable means should be taken (not rogues). She is said to normally shop at an all day Farmer’s Market. Meanwhile, Bui does a sending ritual to let Kissandi know the party will be leaving Lambasa to head towards the fire giant stronghold.

Approximately 7 pm – The party arrives in the market. The town guard is looking for someone. Maybe it’s Feck. Tyzzer tries to divert their attention. Rowena creates what sounds like a dangerous crime and a woman in despair that leads the town guard away.

Tyzzer finds Feck and asks to meet. Ja’Elle hustles past and gets involved, luckily and skillfully not alarming Feck. Feck tells the group to meet her at 8 pm at an abandoned house to talk.

Feck and the party talk, both seeming to gain the trust of each other. After a long talk, Feck says she can keep herself safe in town, knows she is wanted by the town guard, but after hearing of the party’s forays, says she has a friend who could help the party. She says she will alert her friend and set up a meeting at an abandoned farmhouse in the morning.

Feb 25 morning – Elrilmarioum tells the party to meet him outside of town when they are ready to depart. The party leaves town to meet with Feck’s friend. At the abandoned barn, the group meets the swordmage Charzin (pronounced sharzen). He says he is originally from Aramil and that he was aware of something with the Lambasan Crow and now, hearing there were others interested in opening the case back up, has become interested. However, having had to leave Lambasa for his own safety, he gets word through Feck, another “disgraced” Scarlet Guard member, under cover in Lambasa.

Charzin was never friends or associates with the Lambasan Crow, but had seen him perform a few times. The nights leading up the assassination, he noticed a trusted friend, Tabata (pronounced tah-bah-tah) and another associate, Seneca, who were acting much different than normal. Tabata, also honored as a Scarlet guard, talked of leaving town soon and asking Charzin to join him. Seneca, normally a reliable town guard and a great jokester lost his sense of humor, did not show up for his post on consecutive nights, nor did he meet with the group at the bar. On the night of the assassination, both Tabata and Seneca were missing. Later that night, he was confronted by a woman he’d never met. The woman cursed him and said he knew the men who killed the Lambasan Crow. Of course, Charzin had no idea what she was talking about, until later. Seneca and Tabata disappeared from town. Charzin investigated and found other witnesses who reported what they saw to him. He made sure all of their stories checked out. He was certain. He was able to track down his Seneca outside of town and bring him in. Reporting this information and bringing Seneca directly to Van de Vries, Charzin expected everything to be rectified quickly. Instead, the witnesses disappeared, Seneca left town again after being freed, and Charzin was said to be misleading the town with these false accusations, and therefore banished from Lambasa. Before leaving, Charzin checked in with a longtime acquaintance, and now fellow disgraced Scarlet Guard, Feck, to try to keep a pulse on what was happening in town so one day he could help again.

After spending the day and night talking about the Lambasan Crow and getting to know one another, the party and Charzin gain one another’s trust as Charzin wants to help the kingdom and cannot currently help in Lambasa.

Feb 26 morning – the group meets Elrilmarioum outside of town. He tells the party to meet Nan in the King’s Mountains, that he will have done some scouting by now. He teleports them into the king’s mountains as close as he can get them to their intended location, which is still quite a ways away. The group sets out.

Feb 27 morning – The group meets up with Nan. After telling the group to find a chain of caves not too far away from the home of King Snurre that currently houses dragon young and dragon eggs, clear it, and ensure it is a safe haven in case they need to retreat, Nan pulls Tyzzer aside.

Nan tells Tyzzer that he has been like a son to him, that Tyzzer’s work will never be forgotten. With a hand on Tyzzer’s shoulder and an embrace, Nan says, “I am so proud of what you’ve done and know your intentions have always been good.” Tyzzer senses a sadness about Nan and tries to understand more unsuccessfully. Eventually, Nan gives Tyzzer a silver jeweled wristband and says that Nan’s father gave it to him and departs. Tyzzer gives Nan his celestial warhorse, hoping it will serve Nan well. Tyzzer thinks Nan is going to do something to sacrifice himself for the greater good, but cannot be sure that is what weighs on Nan.

Rowena creates a teleportation circle to send the horse back to Lambasa, so they do not die.

The group travels for weeks, towards the basalt mound in the Hellfurnaces, a chain of volcanoes in the hear of the heart of the King’s Mountains. After weeks, the party sees active lava flows and has to navigate through and around them.

March 11 – Within sight of the caves, fire elementals rise from the magma to protect their land. Rowena gives the group mass resist to fire and neutralizes much of the strength of the fire elementals. Charzin starts off his career with a critical hit before drawing the focus of much of the enemy’s attacks and defending his new party. Bui and Tyzzer are targeted quite a bit by a large elemental that throws fire at them. By the end of the battle, much of the battlefield is ablaze. Tyzzer directs extra attacks by Ja’Elle and Charzin to help weaken the enemy. Bui is able to plant the standard to help finish off the enemy.

Weakened a little, the group continues through the lava flow and approaches the cave they recognize, based on the directions Nan gave them…

Next time the group seeks to take the dragon cave, to set it up as a place of retreat in case of need during the assault on the fire giants home.

March 11 late morning (11 am)
Party Gold = 190,540 g.p.

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Kissandi Charges the Darkness
Kissandi Charges the Darkness

Kissandi’s Story Part 4

March 1, 994 @ 8:30 pm

Kissandi and the warforged continue to the house, the suspected third location of four that have helped open the rift to the Shadowfell in Lambasa very recently. Here, they find two shadar-kai tenebrous. Kissandi tries to attack, but they are able to shadowy movement to avoid fighting and taunt Kissandi. The warforged do not get involved in the proceedings.

The shadar-kai say that"Fyria is amongst us, you stand no chance now!" They try to convince Kissandi that they will follow her, that Kissandi should join them and Fyria, as true servants of the Raven Queen. They know that Kissandi is from Tyr and say they believe Kissandi has the potential to be of note amongst the servants of the Raven Queen.

She does manage to notice the same Gloria to Fyria carved into the base of the walls. There is more written here that she cannot make out. She does notice a map on the wall that appears to show the four locations.

The tenebrous toss a defaced obsidian raven statue towards Kissandi. She kicks it back at them. Kissandi tries to convince them to fight, is confused by their knowledge of her past and of her power. She leaves distracted, suffering in her initiative.

She and the warforged continue to the suspected fourth location, a nondescript looking temple from the outside. The warforged make another effort to get more information from Kissandi regarding Ara’s companions and Kissandi’s associates from Terkent, unsuccessfully.

Entering the temple, Kissandi sees it clearly to be a temple to the Raven Queen. A bell with symbols to the Raven Queen brings feelings and messages to Kissandi. A vision accompanied by a flash of light and bad feeling tell Kissandi to deny the Raven Queen. Kissandi, in an effort to center herself begins to cut. The blood and pain will center her thought again, she tells herself as she prays. It feels right. In fact, she feels the need to cut the image of the Raven Queen that she saw recently into herself. She cuts into her thigh, bleeds, and envisions a woman, a priest (?) who will tell her only truths, and Kissandi feels much better. She bandages her wounds.

In a higher place, the second level of the building, Kissandi meets the woman she envisioned and questions her. The woman doesn’t speak, but her voice seems clear in Kissandi’s mind. Kissandi is questioned about a conversion. Kissandi feels it is as if to ask if she has converted an unbeliever. Kissandi questions this. Kissandi is asked who she can convert? A powerful female ally, who only seeks power is all that comes to Kissandi though this voice in her head. Kissandi feels very strongly that she is being told to convert Rowena, or at least try.

Kissandi is told she is being to reckless with the lives of believers, that she mustn’t needlessly throw away their lives (could this mean Haplor could have been saved?) Kissandi ascents.

Kissandi is told when the rift to the Shadowfell is closed, she will find a sack with a skull in it. Kissandi mustn’t open it. She must gift it to her powerful, power-seeking friend (Rowena?) to help in the conversion – it will be a gift of a true believer who departed the natural world for the Shadowfell to better serve the Raven Queen.

Kissandi also is compelled to make better use of non-believers to aid the cause.

Kissandi is told she will have others who come to help her, here in the temple.

The veil drops. The priestess dissipates. The symbols of the Raven Queen disappear from the temple and it now appears a nondescript temple to worship any god. Kissandi feels strongly that what she saw was real. Kissandi is no longer distracted. In fact, her focus has been heightened.

Kissandi hears the presence of many others on the floor below and drops to her knees in prayer.

Soon later, footsteps, the doors open behind Kissandi, and a deep voice tells Kissandi that they have come looking for her and seek a common cause, then depart the room.

Kissandi finishes her prayer and then goes to the balcony. She sees those who will share her path, at least in these next steps. Introductions are made. Kissandi does not recognize their Sojourners markings (one is likely not a Sojourner). They include:

A group of adventurers (Sojourners)
Rabbit – a male halfling axefighting leader and controller, the speaker of the group and a friend to Kaven Windstrike.
Tilly – a female halfling lurker who uses smoke and a short sword.
Kobhein – a longtooth shifter brute who knew Haplor

A group of scholar friends who hope to aid in shutting down the Rift in Lambasa, but who cannot defend themselves (likely Sojourners):
De La Rosa – a female half-elf arcanist (non-adventurer)
Lackey – a male minotaur historian (non-adventurer)
Lester – a male human theologian (non-adventurer)
Uehara – a female dwarf tinkerer (non-adventurer)

Another adventurer/performer (likely not a Sojourner):
Ven “Drake” Roberts – a human controller whose faced is deeply blackened and scarred around his mouth and nose – visibly seeping. He is known around Lambasa (but not to Kissandi) as a freakshow, a human who breathes acid.

Kissandi says you must have done something bad to Ven “Drake” Roberts. He says yes, but says his wounds are not from that, those he was born with.

The group finishes their introductions and sets out to head towards the center of this perimeter of four landmarks.

As they enter a graveyard and necropolis, the world seems different. Dark clouds block out the stars and moon, rain pours down, lightning occasionally lights the night and loud thunderclaps keep everyone on edge.

The buildings appear to sway. It feels as if they are in the Shadowfell or something between the Shadowfell and the normal world.

Zombies attack! The group shows their skills and destroys the zombies very quickly. More zombies spawn. Some zombies that die are able to grab hold of the Sojourners and Kissandi. Ven “Drake” Roberts is able to protect the smarties from the zombies, despite one very close call. To do this, he breathes acid, destroying the zombie and hurting himself.

As the fight progresses and more zombies emerge from the ground, Kissandi is able to locate a subsidiary post that is speeding the animation of the undead here.

Climbing the fence and defacing the obelisk statue the group is able to damage it enough to shut it down. However, the rift to the Shadowfell is not here and it is still open. Until it is shut down, defacing this secondary post will only slow down the reanimation process of the undead.

The group continues through the graveyard and deeper towards both danger and opportunity.

March 2, 994 @ 3:00 am

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