Iberra

The Story So Far... Pt. IV
An attempt to summarize over a year of Tuesdays.

The party trudged north through the Cinderlands, wading through drifts of ash, cinders stinging their exposed skin. They slogged through a oily swamp, and as they reached the twisted trees of the far side, were attacked for the first time by the strange undead of the area, Lantern Jacks.

After a short battle with the Jacks, the party learned that in order to effectively fell the creatures, their skulls needed to be broken, releasing the violet light that filled them to dissipate in the open air.

They made their way further north, towards the small village of Droma. They take rooms at the village’s small inn and rest for the evening. Their rest is broken by a scream in the night, and they rush outside to find the village under attack by more Lantern Jacks, lead by a strange creature known as a Cinderwight.

After aiding the villagers in the defense of their town, they return to their beds and sleep fitfully for the remainder of the evening. The following morning, they seek out the village elder, Elder Graham. Graham knows a little of Mordan, and makes mention of the Order of the White Wyvern. He directs the party to seek out the Order’s abandoned meeting hall in the ruins of Passwall, only an hour’s ride east of Droma, where they might find more information about the Order and the last days of Faradrim.

The party purchases horses from the small hosteler near the inn, and ride out towards the ruins. On the way they encounter a small group of skeletal goblins, animated by the same violet fire as the undead that attacked them in the swamps and breached the palisades of Droma.

In the early afternoon, the party reached Passwall.

“The trees thin as you approach the forest’s edge, and across a broad, muddy field stubbled with yellow grasses, you can see the ruins of Passwall ahead of you. Long abandoned, the stone structures have crumbled and weathered, and you step across a long line of broken stone that may have been a wall long ago, or the foundation of some grand building. Towards the center of the ruins, buildings still stand, roofless, with partially collapsed walls. Shoddily constructed wooden pallisades have been erected in the narrow alleys between the remaining structures and the windows have been blocked with criss-crossing splintered planks, creating a crude but effective wall around the village square, the only visible entrance being a narrow gate set into a long stetch of rough log pallisade at the southern side of the square, battered and hanging ajar. Skeletal heads are piked at intervals along the walls, bleached white by the sun, strung with leathery tendon. The black silohuettes of carrion birds wheel overhead in the grey afternoon sky.”

The fortified square appears to have been converted into a makeshift camp by a tribe of goblins, though many of the goblin huts within the crude walls are heavily damaged. The party is attacked by another group of goblin Jacks, leading them to believe that the goblins suffered an attack similar to the one faced by Droma, and recently.

In one of the intact goblin huts, the party discovers Deego, the sole survivor of the attack on the village by the ‘glowskulls’. The question him about the ruins, hoping for information leading them towards the Order’s lost meeting hall. He makes mention of a ‘white monster room’ accessible through the ruined city’s sewers, and after being bribed with food, agrees to lead the party through the tunnels.

They make their way through the crumbling passageways, negotiating treacherous walkways and elaborate drainage systems. They battle an otyugh and are separated at one point by a collapsing floor. They finally reach the ‘white monster room’, bloodied and weary, after several hours.

“Dominating the center of the room is a large statue of a wyvern, carved from some gritty once-white stone, now grey with age and slick with green brown algae. Decayed and water damaged tapestries hang unevenly on the walls, their designs long faded and illegible.”

They discover the skeletal corpses of several men and dwarves seated around a long, low table, and a large book, bound in cracked ancient leather. Garran touches the book, and is immediately stricken by a strange seizure of sorts. A spirit remains, guarding the knowledge held within the ledger’s pages. He manages to convince the spirit that he is not an agent of Mordan, and in fact, seeks a means to destroy the evil spreading again from the Cinderlands. The spirit guarding the tome grants him the ability to read and speak the lost language of Faradrim. So gifted, the seizure subsides, though he is left unconscious.

The party makes their way back through the sewers of Passwall, this time carrying an unconscious halfling. Upon reaching the surface, they rest in the failing afternoon sun, and Garran regains his senses. As the night begins to fall, Deego notices spots of violet light appearing among the ruined buildings outside of the goblin palisade.

The party rushes to close the gates and readies themselves for the attack. Deego leads them to a machine, built by his ostracized and eccentric father, that may aid them in holding back the rapidly converging horde – a small, steam powered catapult of sorts.Garran and Deego manage to get the small machine running, and with Brutus tossing them up armloads of debris and buckets of coals from the firepit, they begin to bombard the Jacks as Adarra, Mariss, and Mo the Grand hold the gates.

The siege breaks only as dawn drew near, and with half the ruins alight from errant catapult shots, the Jacks retreated into the darkness. The party rests, and saddle their horses for the return trip to Droma, leaving a proud Deego the default king of the southern goblin tribes.

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The Story So Far... Pt. III

The party returns to Theradyn and rests, working at their chosen professions, practicing their skills. Garran discovers that by adjusting the tension of the spring in his bracer design, he can turn the utilitarian item into a rather effective short-ranged weapon. He packs the bracer with broken glass and dubs it the Mucksweep Facemangler.

The party took the strange orb to the temple of Heironeous in an effort to have it’s properties identified. The young acolyte tasked with the job was nearly killed by a strange backlash of energy from the orb when he tried standard methods of identification. Confused by this, the party leaves the orb in the care of Father Geolin Orrenti, allowing him some time to study the strange object.

Several days pass uneventfully, and then one evening a letter arrives, bearing the crest of High Councilman Brogan Lassiter. The letter calls them to a private meeting at Lassiter Manor the following day.

They consent, and attend the meeting. There they meet Brogan Lassiter and his steward, a young albino cleric named Aerik. Lassiter expressed his thanks to the party for ending the undead threat from the Monastery and purging the bandits along the Bridge Road. He asked their permission for Aerik to cast a Zone of Truth over the meeting, since they had need to speak to each other with complete honesty, and lacked the time to grow to trust one another implicitly.

Lassiter asked them immediately if they knew of the Faradrim Hand. He explained a bit to them of the history of the Cinderlands, as he was something of a scholar of Faradrim lore. He asked them about the orb, saying he was made aware of it by one of his contacts in the city bazaar when MacElroy’s agents attempted to sell it.

“I have read of it. It is said to be a lock of sorts, binding away the evil power in the Cinderlands. It must have been stolen, plundered by treasure seekers, possibly in the employ of the Hand, possibly not. If it were to be destroyed… I shudder to think what could happen. It is called the Mordan Stone, and there is only one place it will be safe. The enchantments protecting the stone weaken the further it is carried from the Cinderlands, the stone becomes brittle… weakens. It must be returned to it’s place, and hidden away from those who would seek to destroy it. I implore you… complete this task. For all of our sakes. I know where the stone need be taken. I have pored over forgotten maps, and long lost writings detailing the stone’s proper resting place. We must leave, at once.” “I implore you. You know the words I speak to be true.

The party debated whether or not to trust Lassiter, but eventually consented due mostly to the Zone of Truth spell over the meeting area. The following morning, the retrieved the stone from Father Orrenti, and meeting Lassiter at the gates, rode hard for the Cinderlands. Near midday the following day, they reached the place indicated on Lassiter’s maps. Lassiter’s soldiers drag back a huge stone slab in the ruins, revealing a stone staircase into darkness.

“Within, if this book is correct, will be a large stone plinth of some kind. A gold cradle, built for the stone, designed to focus it’s warding powers, and to keep it safe. There may be traps, be wary. Once the stone has been replaced, return to me, and we will reseal the chamber for good. My men and I will depart, back to the banks of the Greyribbon, and make camp. We will return at sunset tomorrow, and the following day, and the day after that. If three days pass and you have not returned from the crypt, we will have to assume that you were killed inside, and we will reseal the chamber, caving in the entrance if possible to prevent the stone being removed again. Good luck to you all.”

The party descend into the crypt, navigating traps and several ancient puzzles. They finally reach the end, and discover the golden cradle Lassiter had described. They place the orb in the cradle, and immediately, they can tell something is wrong. The crypt begins to shake, loose stones clattering down, huge lengths of chain begin to drop from the darkness above, and the cradle itself glows white-hot and melts, sending the orb rolling from the pedestal.

Garran snatched up the orb and the party fled the catacombs, dodging falling rocks and shadowy hands grasping from the darkened alcoves along the way. They escape the tomb, and make their way across the blasted landscape towards the Greyribbon river, and Lassiter’s camp. When they arrive, they discover that he has been joined by more soldiers, now numbering nearly fifty. Brogan Lassiter and Aerik ride out to meet the party alone, but well within shouting distance to the armed soldiers standing ready behind them.

Lassiter thanks the party for helping him free Mordan. He refuses to answer any of their questions and mockingly urges them to flee for their lives before night falls and Mordan emerges from his tomb. He offers them horses to make good their escape, and turns to ride back to his waiting soldiers. The party is enraged at the betrayal, and despite being horribly outnumbered, Mariss puts an arrow through Aerik’s left eye, killing him instantly. Barely restraining his rage, Lassiter rescinds his offer of the horses and drags Aerik’s limp corpse onto his own saddle, and rides back to his forces.

The party watched in helpless frustration as Lassiter and his men dismantle their camp and ride out, leaving them stranded in the knee deep drifts of grey ash and the fields of stunted yellow grasses of the Cinderlands, the ground trembling slightly beneath their feet.

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The Story So Far... Pt. II
An attempt to summarize over a year of Tuesdays.

Upon reaching Theradyn, Mo parted ways with the party and headed to the local tavern, The Silver Cup. The adventurers returned to the guildhall and reported in to Fallon about their adventures before retiring to the barracks hall at the top floor of the guildhall.

Garran Mucksweep managed to put the finishing touches on an as of yet unnamed spring-loaded bracer design with the help of his Tinker’s guildmaster, Abelarn Paterwalus.

Mo the Grand, unsure of his next move, and grateful as he was to the party for his rescue – hesitant about signing on with the guild, began drinking heavily. Already far into his cups, he met a young duergar traveller, Brutus Balzak, and the two began a lengthy debate on the superiority of mountain dwarves over their Underdark cousins. Many mugs and a few punches later, they agreed to disagree and became fast friends.

The next morning, the party woke to find Fallon speaking with Nat Perrin, one of Kemper Vassili’s deputies. The constable was interested in hiring the guild to hunt down a group of bandits preying upon travellers on the southern Bridge Road. Fallon accepted on the guild’s behalf, and the party laid plans over breakfast as how best to draw the bandits from hiding. They decided to disguise themselves as peasants, and Fallon purchased a wagon, which they loaded down with empty crates. He also acquired a skinny, half-blind horse named Lightning, and a flatulent donkey named Eugene to haul it.

So equipped, the party set out down the Bridge Road. The ruse worked, and the bandits accosted them a few miles from the city, making mention of their leader MacElroy. There was a bloody battle, with only one of the bandits escaping, bleeding heavily, into the woods. As the party dressed their wounds and prepared to give chase, Mo the Grand and Brutus Balzak arrived on the scene, and introductions were made.

Mariss Druustya picked up the trail easily enough, and the party gave chase. The trail lead them to a riverside camp and a cliffside cavern system in the midst of renovations. MacElroy had been doing quite well for himself, and was constructing a small fortress in the rock to house his enterprise. The party fought their way through the camp and caverns, eventually finding MacElroy himself.

They conversed briefly, and MacElroy alluded to things that the party did not quite understand.

“I told the other man he sent that I had no idea that that particular shipment belonged to the Hand. It was a misunderstanding. It is my intent to deliver it via courier tomorrow. There was no need for this. I am a businessman, and I desire no bad blood with your master. Instead, you come here and murder all of my men. This is senseless. Take the stone, please. It makes my skin crawl, anyway.”

Once MacElroy realized the party were not agents of ‘The Hand’, he attempted to bribe them, and then flee. He was quickly cut down. Secreted away in his private quarters, the party found an iron-bound chest with interesting contents, not the least of which being several inches of gold and silver coins at the bottom. Most importantly, however, they found a perfectly round black stone, shot through with veins of pale blue mineral, and carved with several layers of arcane and divine inscriptions. The inscriptions were made in a language that none of the party recognized, though they saw similarities in the characters they had seen in the book of Nephren Ka.

Their mission accomplished, they returned to Theradyn to collect their reward and to tend their wounds.

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The Story So Far... Pt. I
An attempt to summarize over a year of Tuesdays.

Our story began when three of our characters, Garran, Mariss, and Adarra signed on as caravan guards with a spice merchant in the great southern city of Rione, bound for an outpost township called Theradyn.

Once within the city, their contracts completed, the small group of young adventurers explored the town, meeting Fallon, the master of the almost entirely defunct local adventurer’s guildhall. They agreed to join the foundering guild, signing the dusty charter that hadn’t seen an entry in over ten years. They set to work immediately establishing themselves within the town, joining other local craftsman’s guilds to practice their trades and build ties within the wary, close-knit community.

At Fallon’s urging, they set out into the forest north of Theradyn, towards the abandoned Whitewood Monastery, seeking a chance to test their skills. In the forest they fought several kobolds and goblins, along with several shambling undead. They also met Captain Rukh Kelstinas of the Northwatch Garrison. Captain Rukh offered them shelter and supplies, cautioning them of the dangers within the forest. He also offered them a bounty on any goblin scalps they could collect, as he believed the goblins to be a far greater threat than anything else in the Whitewood Forest.

They explored the ruined surface structures of the monastery, and ventured into the natural cave system below, battling through kobold warriors and devious traps. Within the kobold caverns they discovered an ally, Mo the Grand, a young dwarf treasure-seeker captured by the kobolds while looting the monastery’s upper floors. Grateful to the party for releasing him and eager for a little vengeance, Mo took up his mace and joined them. As they reached the end of the kobold warren, they met Vigosh, the crippled and half-blind kobold elder that begged them to spare the remaining kobolds lives and offered to reward them if they would aid him in ending the true threat within the monastery ruins – the undead rising from the long abandoned crypts.

The party agreed, after some debate, and after Vigosh promised to reward them with many ‘shinies’. The kobold elder gave them a key that unlocked the passage deeper into the monastery ruins and the crypts beneath. They battled through skeletons, zombies, several ghouls, and two ancient bone golems in their quest to find the source of the evil. Eventually, they came upon the resting place of a weakened and insane demi-lich who called himself Nephren Ka. After defeating him, they discovered his ancient journal, which told of his gradual decline from pious abbot to raving insane death-priest, due almost entirely to his exposure to a strange book bought from a trader said to have once belonged to the dread king of Faradrim, Mordan. They kept the book, recieved their reward from a grateful Vigosh, and returned home to Theradyn.

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