Deities

Session 13 - Tower Magnificent

With the Behren defeated and the path to the underdark opened for the Myceloids of Eldoreem valley, the party regrouped and struck off towards the center of the mist-shrouded land. There, by word of the Emerald Regent, they were to hunt for a staff which perpetuated the curse of eternal fog upon the land.

On their trek, after fighting off several of the valley’s dangerous inhabitants, the band of fledgling gods came upon a curious camp. Heavy canvas, wet with moisture and supported by stout wooden poles, formed a ring of tents. A metallic miasma hung heavy in the air, and soon revealed itself to be the roiling the alchemical experiments of a wyrwood from Galgate.

Calling itself Regare, it explained that it was a member of a race of artificial warrior life forms created by a Samsaran to defend the Free Cities Peninsula. Regare was in the valley to study the telepathic properties of Mindslayer Mold and how the mold might be incorporated into the form of the wyrwood to enable better battlefield communications. Considering the wyrwood had a culture of the mold growing upon its back, you figured Regare took the work quite seriously.

The alchemist asked for assistance from the party, explaining that supplies of bodily fluids to sustain the mold were running low and Regare cannot generate the correct fluids on his own. In spite of its pleas however, only Cyrus agrees to help. Afterwards, they move on.

In short order, the party finds itself at the base of Tower Magnificent, the half mile-high glass structure built by the mighty Ketoras at the center of the Eldoreem Valley. They combat and soundly defeat Erathis in a different artificial form here. Apparently, she made her way into another artificial body and then set out for the staff (containing a fraction of deific power that it does). Erathis appeared to be acting in collusion with a strange insect-like creature called a Xill. Laurian later explained that the Xill are a creature from what was once called the ethereal plane. With that plane lost, it’s natural the Xill would be seeking other perpetually misty places to make their home.

Not breaking their stride, the party enters Tower Magnificent, to find it little more than a hollow glass tube. Inside they battle a trio of salt mephits and air mephits and are triumphant, but not before losing all of their potions. Even still, the party manages to secure a hidden cache of strangely powerful potions of levitation and make their way up the tower. Along the way, they claim former staff of the Emerald Regent, breaking it down into its individual components. As a result, the mist that once shrouded the valley begins to break apart – truly, the staff’s power had been twisted to form the mist.

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Session 12 - Eldoreem Valley

With the deadly assassin vines cut down, the burgeoning pantheon, undaunted by their struggle with mere plants, crossed through the once-hidden doorway embedded into the mysterious wall which extended in both directions into the mist. Beyond the threshold they were greeted by and open muddy field whose borders they could not discern through the fog.

An iridescent film covering much of the ground was the only real thing of note in the area, the source of which they quickly discovered were battle-trained flail snails! Riding atop the creature was Fiff the Myceloid (mushroom man) and his shepherd-dog-equivalent mud elemental. Fiff proved both duplicitous and stupid – after failing to capture the party with a cloud of spores and some strikes from his flail snail, Fiff surrendered when his mud elemental fell.

From Fiff the party learned much:

  • Fiff’s grandfather’s generation was transplanted to the Eldoreem Valley from their underground realm to serve Kettoras as farmers of their purple-capped mushroom delicacies (which, by the way, were planted in the live but paralyzed bodies of halfling slaves!)
  • Kettoras mysteriously abandoned the valley (the party later learned that the fad of the purple mushrooms had passed in Paravahl), and since then the Myceloids had eeked out a rough living in the dangerous valley.
  • The Myceloids can’t leave the valley because of the Behren, a terrible creature which guards the path back to the underdark.
  • Fiff has been training himself and his mount for battle due to the inroads a strange creature has been making into the valley recently. Previously, the snails of his ranch were used for racing.
  • Incidentally, Caelynn managed to gaze long enough at the flail snail trails to realize that they were in fact great epics traced upon the ground; she now can write in the language of these noble creatures.

Seeing that the only thing keeping the dangerous Myceloids in the Eldoreem Valley was the Behren, the party decides to dispose of the creature and empty the valley of the mushroom men. As they gathered to board Fiff’s modest boat for the journey to the Behren’s cave, the Emerald Regent reaches out to them through Laurian’s communication stone.

Spilling forth from the image of the tiny fey was genuine surprise that the party managed to survive as long as they had and open indignation at the terrible condition of his kingdom Concopion. The Regent quickly regained his composure however, and offered the party a deal – reclaim his staff, bound by the power of Kettoras in the overseer’s tower. The Emerald Regent supposes that the power of his staff is being twisted to create the eternal fog that plagues the valley. In exchange, the Regent offered to allow the halfling refugees to settle in his kingdom.

Ever prudent, Laurian reached out at the end of the conversation, posing the details of the party’s dilemma – should they in fact leave the magic that shrouds the valley intact? If they remove the shroud, not only would the halflings become the Emerald Regent’s subjects, but they may become vulnerable to outside threats which could take interest in the newly-revealed valley. The decision is unanimous however – the valley is too dangerous in its current state.

Underworld by eWkn
by eWKn

Ever fearless, the party takes to the waters of the small stream outside of Fiff’s house. He leads them across Eldoreem Valley and to the cave of the Behren. The entrance is a massive gaping hole in the side of the mountain which radiates a wet chill. Before long, the party is faced with the dread enemy of the Myceloids – a giant slug. The battle that ensues is epic – but Fiff fell in the combat, leaving a fleshy smear behind on the rock as the only evidence he was ever there.

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Session 11 - Legacy of Kettoras

As the party left the uruk camp, suspicions arose between them since only Graver and Caelynn knew the language of the half-orcs. Their bickering was cut short as a snow storm threatened on the horizon. Such a storm would be dangerous for the 300+ halflings they were escorting through the mountain pass of Kettoras – they needed to reach the Eldoreem Valley, and quickly. The party delayed any decision on the logistical challenges of getting the halfings into the valley prior to the storm; instead they chose to focus on the hill giant threat first.

The following day, as the party scouted ahead of the caravan, they turned a bend and spotted the hill giants lounging in a soaking pool. Charging ahead, the troupe fought valiantly, cutting down the violent creatures; though in the process Leantha took several mighty blows which shook the mountainside and the landslide-prone rock. With the creatures defeated, they took to exploring a cave down the hill and adjacent to the path.

Thief - Dust to Dust Furnace by matlatart
by matlatart

It quickly became apparent that the cave was special somehow, as an oppressive heat radiated from it. Inside, the party found Fee-air-fin, a Salamander and Lieutenant Commander of the 33rd Bronze Regiment for the City of Brass. Fee-air-fin had long been imprisoned in a massive brick furnace and used to heat the cave and the hot springs above. Kettoras had imprisoned him for being a part of a group which tried to extort Eldoreem’s delicacies from Kettoras, and forgot about him when the valley was abandoned. After some discussion, the party worked out an arrangement to free Fee-air-fin, but in exchange he would remain for a few days longer, his presence heating the cave so the halflings could find shelter from the storm.

After weathering the storm with the halflings in the cramped cave, the party again set out, making fast progress to the valley despite the snow. Cresting the final ridge, they spied the valley itself, filled to the brim with an impenetrable mist and pierced only by the top of an intricate crystal spire. It was not long before they determined the spire rose 2,000 feet from the base of the valley to terminate in a grand study positioned over the mist and in the center of the valley itself.

Descending into the mist, the party immediately felt how much warmer it was and concluded from the strange plant life that the mist itself was permanent. A dangerous and alien world riddled with fungus spread out before them and they encountered several threats. First among them was a Basidirond, a dangerous creature that emits a hallucinogenic vapor. Though they survived the encounter and cut down the creature, it was not without struggle – as such, they proceeded cautiously.

It was not a long trek on the mist-shrouded path, surrounded by the strange calls of plant predators, before the party came upon a wall of vines. Seemingly innocuous, they quickly discovered that the ivy was in fact assassin vines and struggled valiantly to cut them down. Underneath the tangled web of deadly foliage, the party found a doorway which led beyond a stone wall that both blocked the road and trailed off into the mist.

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Session 10 - The Crowded Pass

In response to Adelaide’s prompting and the destruction of a fellow god from their pantheon, the party worked quickly to assemble the halflings and depart Paravahl. Through their coordination and effort, the party quelled the doubts of the former servants and assembled them into a caravan. Their pace was slow, but gradually the displaced people were making their way to their new home.

On the pass by box 426
by box426

A couple days into their trek, the party encountered signs of trolls deeper into the hills. Scouting ahead, they run into a bridge, under which lived two trolls. They demanded something in the giantish language and when the party didn’t respond, they attacked. Both Leatha and Cyrus were hurled off a nearby cliff, only to be saved by a twice-invoked feather fall spell and the web of a phase spider.

Graver and Caelynn were able to cut down the injured trolls, and Colette the phase spider quickly returned the ‘disgusting’ humanoids back to the bridge. She gifted a strand of her rope to Leantha as a nod to their divinity. After the battle was resolved, the party was confronted by the Emerald Regent, leader of the fallen fey realm of Concopion. He claimed that the trolls were sentries for his kingdom and demanded recompense for their deaths. Two from the halfling forces in two days else a storm he would visit upon the caravan. Either that or sleep with two of his daughters.

After a short debate, Graver and Cyrus accompanied the Regent into the secret paths of Addaric and slept with two of his dryad daughters. They returned later that day, and the party discovered that one dryad had gifted the two with flowers known only to grow in the lands of Shinael.

The following day, while scouting ahead, the party encountered a band a half-orcs. They managed a peaceful, if tense, encounter with them – learning that the three (Dorn, Kal, and Gurg) were brothers. They were travelling the hills surrounding Paravahl to seek redemption of their tribe name which fell to dishonor when they fought Overlord Rughru in his effort to unite the clans. The brothers sought the hidden paths of Addaric, kept by the Emerald Regent – if Chersky could gain access to those paths, they could travel and strike any land they choose without warning and without vulnerable supply lines.

At the end of their discussion (almost all in uruk, and only with Graver), the half-orcs warned the party of a band of hill giants that lives in the mountains ahead.

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Session 9 - The Play

osmadth bancur slums by nurkhular
by nurkhular

Being a spell of limited distance, Laurian’s summoning on the water elemental quickly expired once the party exited the courtyard. With a wet pop, they were sent cascading to the cobblestone streets just outside Tower Progenerate. Looking behind, they saw a pitched battle between the evokers and a group of monks bearing tabards emblazoned with a sphinx – Leantha’s new mercenary order in Paravahl.

Fighting down a straggler evoker who managed to pursue them, the party made good their escape from the ambush by following Therese, de facto leader of Sphinx Paravahl. Therese told the party the story of the Sphinx order:

The Umbral Soul monk order in Paravahl could never be officially chartered, largely because many in the city see their focus on physical and spiritual perfection through connection with the shadow to be a misunderstanding of Shadrathir’s teachings. When the Order of the Sphinx was formed and chartered through the Cathedral of Bureaucracy, the monks saw that the order’s tenants were largely in line with their own and volunteered to become part of the organization, effectively disbanding their former order. Therese currently holds the position of Talon Leader within the organization.

bayon temple cambodia by elementality
by elementality

After a brief trek the party arrived at the headquarters of Sphinx Paravahl, where they found Eunice. Eunice explained that she hired the order in haste to engage and distract the evokers in order to allow the party to escape. Eunice had connected the dots with her spies – the members of the Intrigue Indexing Institute’s steering committee, after listening to Graver’s rants, were personally visited by Adelaide herself. One in particular made haste to Tower Progenerate, very likely to deliver the knowledge of the party’s plans to lower the restriction on violence in the streets at just the right time.

It was only seconds later that a delivery Imp arrived, bearing the following message:

To my “Key” associates – I hope this letter finds you whole and well. It is with deep regret that I must inform you of a terrible misstep on my part. Shamefully, I must admit to being out-maneuvered by the Cathedral of Bureaucracy.

I came to an urgent summons from a member of the Intrigue Indexing Institution. He expressed grave concern for the seditious speech from a group of kayal striking down the pretender gods infesting our city. In my attempt to assuage his concerns, I fear I may have revealed too much, and placed you in danger.

Please accept these gems as a token of my contrition. I wish I could present these to you in person, but the situation within the city has grown ever more dire with each passing day and all my efforts must be bent towards the restoration of our prosperity.

I urge you to act with caution in the days ahead as the edict of marshal law winds down – the situation within the city is more volatile than ever and I fear you may be caught between my efforts to restore order and the Cathedral’s grab for power. Please be cautious, eschew conflict if you can, and avail yourselves of the services I’ve offered.

In this time of strife, I take comfort in knowing that the generous Priesthood of Shadrathir and the innovative minds of the Apothecary Society are working hard to obliterate the plague that scourges the halflings. It is my fear that they will not be able to withstand the trials the kayal must endure in the years ahead; it is better that they be freed altogether. As such, I have identified a location for their resettlement – Eldoreem Valley. Even when their health returns however, I would fear for their safety during the trek.

Should your path take you from the city, I offer you thrice as many gems that are with this letter to accompany the halflings over the Pass of Kettoras and to their new home. Already arrangements are being made to assemble the items necessary to relocate our esteemed neighbors. Such haste is an unfortunate necessity as I cannot guarantee the continued will of Paravahl in this matter should I be unable to restore the index.

May the shadows conceal you from your enemies,

Adelaide Omenra, Supreme Potentress of Paravahl and Headmistress of the College of Divination

Eunice was obviously flummoxed, but could prove nothing. So the party took action to make their way out of Paravahl once and for all. Loose ends reared their ugly heads however when the party was invited to Tower Requiem at the behest of Shadrathir. On their journey it became evident that the city was in chaos – riots wracked the streets, the stability index had tanked and the collection was nigh, and many had not the means to pay it.

abandoned gothic cathedral by i-netgrafx
by i-netgrafx

Meeting with Shadrathir, the party learned that there were Praetorian Guards stationed about Tower Prescience and the Cathedral of Bureaucracy. The shadow goddess shared what she knew:

”The wizardess (Adelaide) has gathered her most trusted lieutenants and stormed the Cathedral of Bureaucracy. Rumors abound that she’s taken the halls of Enchantment Maintenance. It’s unlike her to attempt the futile – no mortal magic can make more than minor adjustments to the energies that bathe the city. Its power is sealed within a vault crafted by Dumathoin himself at the height of his power. Tell me, what do you know?

After some discussion, the party realized that Adelaide was using Perfections Key to gain access to the enchantment of the city. They also made the connection that the rumors of efforts to kidnap the reborn Scarceno were connected to the entire operation – she planned to somehow use Scarceno to impact the city’s enchantment. Just as the final connection was made, Shadrathir imploded, consumed by a hungry power and nearly swallowing the party as well. The party fought off the terrible creatures of the void that stepped through the rift and in the end Requiem collapsed. Shadrathir was now the sole source of power for the city’s enchantment.

Adelaide wasted little time, making the following declaration via massive magic illusions wreathing Tower Prescience:

Citizens of Paravahl, hear my words. I release you from the burden of intrigue. The oppression of the Bureaucracy is ended, and a new era of freedom begins today – the tax is no more. With solemn determination, I claim the mantle of wizard queen of the new Paravahlian Empire. The season of our isolation is ended – it is time to turn our gaze outward to the threats that have plagued our sovereignty. It is time to claim our rightful inheritance as bold leaders of a vast new civilization where progress, wealth, and prosperity are abundant. It is time we band together with the blessing of the Shadrathir and prove to the world that no force can tame the shadow we will cast across the land. It is time that the cities of old rise again to restore what the other races have squandered. It is time for the glory of the Kayal to return and woe be to any who oppose us.

It was the dawn of a new age for the city and all about them the party saw the abundance of power in the enchantment bring the city back to life.

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Session 8 - Par for the Course

Following the previous night of debauchery, the party set out to lend assistance to the halflings of Paravahl, isolated as they were in the hastily-constructed plague camp outside of the city. While there, they encountered Figgery, and set about coordinating various ways to lend aid to the plague-stricken population. Cyrus, using his skills at healing, moved about the population assisting the doctors which could in turn aid their fellows. Caelynn with her affinity with death, set about easing the transition into the afterlife of those too far gone to help. Leantha lent assistance to Cyrus, working on the isolation protocols between the healthy and the sick. Lastly Graver set about giving a speech to inspire those halfings that would survive to strive for an independent existence.

Trouble brewed at the camp in several forms however. First, there were rumors of a many-horned, red-skinned, polite creature moving about the populace. That, coupled with stories of miraculous recoveries and sudden disappearances, led the party to conclude that Dantalion was moving about the sick and offering them wishes in exchange for their souls. Secondly, Graver’s speech was rudely interrupted by marauding trolls. Thier heroic defense of the helpless halflings was greatly appreciated, and evidence in the form of an uruk axe embedded into the back of one of the trolls suggested that the creatures were driven out of the nearby hills.

After the battle with the trolls, the party wrapped up their efforts at the halfling camp and returned to Eunice’s apartment. There, they met with Orrin who had some interesting news to report from the Fetchling Board in the Lost Shepard Tavern. He explained that the board is where job announcements for mercenary fetchlings are posted – recently, “Harvester,” the best fetchling band in the city, took a high-profile job posted by the College of Divination. He explained it was a kidnapping – and the client was paying through the nose to make sure its done right and the target a was kept a secret. Orrin seemed convinced that the news was important and had an idea about how to get the identity of the name of the target – many of the highly-placed professors in the College of Divination frequent a brothel named Notion – if they worked together one of them is bound to find a professor in a vulnerable state that would be willing to share the details of the operation.

brothel by dhattura
by dhattura

The party agreed to set out to Notion, some eagerly, some reluctantly. Once there, it became quickly apparent that Orrin was a regular and his story, though true, was simply an excuse to visit the establishment. The party was there already however, and each member was treated to a customized experience and substance, as recommended by Ophidior, the maitre d’:

sulyya springs by bloodlineV
by bloodlineV

  • Graver – plied with Elven Absinthe and escorted to the soaking pools where he encountered Kaetoridax, a wyrmling magma dragon who offered to join him on his adventures.

throne room by lafemmedart218
by lafemmedart218

  • Caelynn – plied with Aether and escorted to “the throne” – an attraction where one takes a seat in a royal’s chair and waited on hand and foot by an army of servants. Later she realized that the ‘servants’ are other Kayal that get titillated by groveling and serving others.
  • Leantha – plied with Feyleaf and taken to the meditation halls – a peaceful attraction where privacy, veils, and pillows are accompanied by soothing music. She later realized the hall was more of an opium den than anything else.
  • Cyrus – plied with Dwarven Fire Ale and taken to the wrestling vats – an attraction consisting of pits filled with various substances where competitors wrestle physically. Orrin was there as well and the two had a grand time pitting their strength against one another.

Finally, at the end of a long and interesting evening, the party inadvertently stumbled upon the information they sought – the College of Divination had hired Harvester to kidnap a Samsaran named Scarceno.

The party spent the following day recovering from their experience and lying in wait for Adeliade’s plan to come to fruition – lowering the restriction on violence in the streets after luring the last pretender god Hextor out of the College of Evocation. At dusk they were ready, and approached the college’s tower, Tower Progenerate, to face the false god.

The entire encounter proved to be a cunningly devised trap for nearly everyone involved however, as once the party lured the Raksasha out of the tower, several evokers revealed themselves and stripped away the illusion that wreathed the party in Kayal guises. The evokers proved duplicitous, and betrayed Hextor to the party, who cut him down readily.

During the battle with Hextor, Caelynn received a message from Laurian through his communication stone. Through happenstance, he had been conscripted with the evokers into laying the trap for the party. He revealed that the intent of the evokers was to burn the party with fireballs once Hextor was cut down and advised them to take cover in the fountain that lay in the center of the courtyard that was their battlefield. The party complied, and Laurian surreptitiously conjured a water elemental to carry them from the courtyard before they were cut down. He continued to provide magical interference as they made their escape.

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Session 7 - Faith and Factions

observatory by pavellkid
by pavellkid

Bursting in past the threshold of the door to the observatory, the party confronts Dumathoin, nearly finished with work on a suit of armor. Graver openly challenges the pretender god and is nearly struck unconscious in the battle. The party is triumphant, but not before the old god of crafting escapes in lesser form.

The party then wastes little time, following a lead on the location of the old goddess of Civilization Erathis. A note from her in Dumathoin’s lab speaks of a plan which requires her to operate out of the Cathedral of Bureaucracy – a temple to the systems which keep Paravahlian society in check and functioning smoothly.

At the Cathedral, the party is met with bureaucratic resistance in the lobby, but cut through the red tape by simply ignoring it. With the assistance of Eunice, they manage to locate the pretender goddess, but the rapid transit system for the Cathedral doesn’t function for them (as they are not citizens of Paravahl). Hoofing it on foot, the party encounters a pair of morlocks, which Eunice derogatorily calls “natives.” After cutting down the creatures, the party finishes it’s hour-long trek through the halls of the Cathedral to the meeting hall where Erathis waits.

courtroom by M-Wojtala
by M-Wojtala

Entering the hall, they find a disused senate-style meeting room, the center of which is occupied by Erathis and a Praetorian Guard. Erathis, shaped into a new form as an ice golem, gloats about her protection – she’s declared the meeting hall as public protest area which is banned from violence under the decree of the Potentress during marshal law. Eunice, regulatory master that she is, quickly identifies a way to supersede the goddess’ maneuver and sets to work at a plan while Graver assaults her with words.

As Eunice’s plan comes together, the party sees that she has called together the lead committee of the Institute of Intrigue Indexing – to which she is head. As they near a quorum, Graver lays on this philosophy thick, spouting words that could easily be seen as seditious; even still, the words seem to have an effect on a few of the committee members. Finally, the members are gathered and the meeting is called, negating the protection Erathis enjoyed. The party then easily strikes her down – even still, her soul gem is recovered by Dumathoin’s lesser form and the make good their escape.

Leaving the Cathedral, the party makes their way back to Eunice’s apartment, but not before following the noise of construction to Requiem, the Temple to Shadrathir. There they find Bartholomaus and eventually the reformed and potent Shadrathir inhabiting the form of a shae. They entreat her to send her clerics to help the halflings and she agrees. They also ask her to back Adelaide for leadership of Paravahl instead of her own hierophant Illarion. She doesn’t commit on that point though. In a different line of conversation, Shadrathir inquires about Scarceno, pointing out that he contains a fragment of her power.

Wrapping up the busy day, the party retires to Eunice’s apartment, meeting with Adelaide to tell her of their exploits. They formulate a plan to openly challenge the last pretender god Hextor in the streets, timed exactly with when the Potentress will lower the restriction on violence in public. The diviner tells the party however that she will need a full day to make arrangements for such precise timing.

That night, Graver, Caelynn, and Orrin head out to get drinks at the Oculus, a bar in Paravahl – but not before witnessing the rather bitter relationship the fetchling has with his parents. Despondent, Orrin hits the drinks hard along with Graver and eventually they stumble their way home. Graver ends up spending the night with Eunice, the evening’s activities a haze at best.

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Session 6 - Keys, Wishes, and Consequences

the round door by anderius
by Anderius

At the behest of two wishes, the door of the vault which held the Pefection’s Key opened. Within, the party found three sarcophagi – two buried and one open. From the one open coffin emerged a mummy which attacked them immediately. They easily struck it down however, and acquired the key with ease from there.

At that point, what was left was the remaining wishes for the party – they went as follows:

  • A wish by Cyrus to set Dantalion free of the magic circle.
  • A wish by Cyrus to have Dantalion appear to them in a moment of need. Dantalion in turn gave a Bracelet of Friends to Cyrus with a single charm for himself.
  • A wish by Caelynn to have Genoa unburied. Dantalion in turn used the magic circle to complete a planar binding spell, summoning Fwaeef, an elder air elemental, and binding her to the task.
  • A wish by Graver, to free from slavery all the halflings in the City of Paravahl.

At that point the entire group made their way outside of the city, and Dantalion inquired to Caelynn about the innocent souls that she had in her possession. Caelynn declined to trade them, and the devil took his leave.

The party then set out to exit the Genoan crater. But, in the canyon-path through the crystal ring, they encountered Harkir, who demanded the soul gems they carry. The party swiftly trounced him, despite a charm spell which had been laid over Caelynn. In response to Harkir’s failure, an Accuser Devil appeared from invisibility and tried to seize the gems itself, but it failed. The party interrogated the creature and discovered many things:

  • Dantalion had been trapped by the circle for hundreds of years.
  • After being summoned by the fetchling expedition party earlier, Dantalion made contact with the Accuser Devil, sending it to scout the nearby area and begin learning about the nearby Ganesh tribe of Vishkanya.
  • Dantalion eventually devised a plan to use the Accuser Devil’s bite to sicken the young boy of Harkir, and demand that the shaman sign his soul away to free him and cure the child.
  • Rohini interfered with the plan however when she realized the boy was dying as an innocent and took him to the ritual tent to beg for Keb-etchet’s mercy.
  • Furious, Dantalion was at a loss as to what to do until the party arrived. He then instructed the accuser devil to tell Harkir to let them through to Genoa, even though it was forbidden. The devil threatened Rohini’s life to secure the shaman’s compliance.
  • After the party freed Dantalion, he once again instructed the accuser devil to threaten Rohini’s life, instructing Harkir to take the soul gems from Caelynn.

Having patched things up with Harkir and bid goodbye to Rohini, the party called upon Laurian who appeared through teleportation. The party then showed the Kayal the city of Genoa being unburied by the Fwaeef, and they together deduced that the crater somehow still counted as a planar boundary. They exited the crater and teleported to the Expedition Camp, at the edge of the Kalahari. There, Laurian made contact with Adelaide, who advised that she would prepare the spells to appear the next day.
The following day, Adelaide appeared, secured the key, and advised the party of her precarious position as head of the city:

  • The stability index was on a knife’s edge, an election for Potentate was almost inevitable.
  • Shadrathir has returned and began granting her cleric divine power again and re-appointed her hierophant, Lord Scarn.
  • As hierophant, Lord Scarn has enough influence to compete for Potentate should an election be called. In reaction, the other archmages have thrown in with several other supposed old gods that have suddenly cropped up within the city.
  • Because of the damage to the economy from Graver’s actions, the poor and desperate kayal of Paravahl have flocked to these new faiths and are fueling a cold war to generate intrigue.
  • The bubonic plague has erupted among the halflings of the city, sparked by Graver’s wish (though Adelaide doesn’t know how it started). Soon, she will have to evacuate the halflings from the city. Again, the recent damage to the economy has been enough that the city’s enchantment is too weak to cure the halflings.

In facing these challenges, the party agrees to accompany Adelaide back to the city to help her stabilize the situation. In response to returning the key, they ask for the following favors:

  • Leantha asked that an independent protector’s guild be formed within the city and granted to sigil of a sphinx. The guild is to follow the laws of the city, and entry is available to all that have no criminal record.
  • Caelynn asked for crafting services from the city and that all Kayal be barred from the Kalahari desert forever unless given specific permission.
  • Graver asked that assistance be granted to the plagued halflings of the city.
  • Cyrus asked for crafting services and for the services of Orrin.

The party then traveled to Paravahl by teleportation, arriving at Eunice’s flat where they watched Adelaide coordinate a swift response to the situation:

  • She had the party wreathed in a powerful illusion, making them look like Kayal.
  • She declared a state of emergency, suspending the stability index and making open battle in the streets punishable by death.
  • She ordered the entire halfling population of Paravahl evacuated to below the city.
  • She ordered the city lowered to its lowest point and the stairs extended to the surface.
  • She mobilized the resources of the wizard’s college to assemble the halfling camp and coordinate the evacuation.

As her responsed wrapped up, Adelaide recommended that the party seek out and eliminate Dumathoin so that they could compel the Apothecary Guild to begin fashioning cures for the halflings. The party complied, using their contact with Dr. Tribideux to arrange a meeting with the nascent “deity.” On their way, the party learned that the full resources of the guild were likely insufficient to address the plague afflicting the halflings.

The session wrapped up with the party opening the door to the chamber where Dumathoin was said to be working…

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Session 5 - Crystals, sand, and Riddles

In the wake of the party’s encounter with Keb-echet and the attic whisperer, Rohini is mostly silent – probably in mild shock at the death of her brother. After helping her disassemble the ritual tent, she offers her aid in whatever endeavor the party pursues in the Kalahari. When the party reveals that they are in search for the city of Genoa, Rohini informs them that her tribe, the Ganesh, are charged with guarding the entrance into the crater that contains the city. She offers to guide them to her people – reflecting her new found respect and reverence for Caelynn who treated with Keb-echet.

The trek to the Ganesh encampment is non-eventful, save that the party notes the stone wall ring that circles the Genoan crater is actually glass – incredibly sharp and able to focus the heat of the day to a deadly degree. Rohini does share along the way the story of Genoa:

“Long ago, Death took the city of Genoa to a place of decay and sand rather than let it face a siege by its enemies. Once there, Death claimed the life of all the humans of the city and set them to slave at the menial tasks of his station. He commanded my people, the Vishkanya, people to attend to the physical needs of the city while his new race of the dead attended to spiritual matters.
One day, Keb-etchet came to the shamans of my people, and told them that their service was at an end. He led us out of the city and into the Kalahari – commanding my tribe, the Ganesh, to guard the path to the city. The rest he told to leave and never return, lest we stir the slumbering dead.”

She also shared the recent events that have impacted her tribe:

“Three weeks ago, a group of yellow-eyed shadow men came to our camp. They sought passage into the Genoan crater, but we refused them. They fought past us and mortally wounded Inone. She was one of our best hunters and a close friend. When she passed, my father Harkir told Keb-etchet of the men and, after the reaping, he went into the crater himself.”

At the Ganesh encampment, the party converses first with Harkir, Rohini’s father and shaman of the tribe. Cyrus suspected something strange was going on with Harkir because he heard some buzzing, but found nothing of great import save some tokens of infernal origin. After a time of discussion with Rohini and meditation, Harkir grants the party passage into the crater, but bids them to rest for the night first.

As the party availed themselves of the generosity of the Ganesh tribe, Leatha was approached by Saeros, an elf ranger and part of the oasis guard with protects Shinael’s western flank. Saeros told Leantha of the impending change in power in Shinael to the spring court, which tends to take a more active stance in world affairs. He suggests that, should the party travel east towards Shinael, that Leantha consider taking Graver to the city so he may offer cultural insight into the uruk nation and possibly calm frayed nerves. Also, Saeros recently sabotaged an uruk raiding party crossing the Kalahari (probably to Shinael) and fears the reaction of the new court should the warriors make it to the isle. Lastly, Saeros warned Leantha that the God of Death was not in control of the city in its last days – that something darker took over and something mysterious silenced the entire city sometime after the raising of the skysea.

The next morning, the party ventured into the Genoan crater. There, they learned the fate of part of the Fetchling party that ventured there before them – Keb-etchet bound them into spirits of the sand to guard the city for all eternity. They battled and dispersed both spirits, but the city was not to be found.

After a time of searching, the party was approached by the Sphinx Khepera. Uninterested in riddles as her kind usually is, Khepera threatened to eat the party unless they gave her a good reason not to. After a time of talking with the exasperated sphinx, the party stuck a deal – the sphinx would become the totem animal of the domain of protection in exchange for passage. Khepera left the party to their sand dune, under which the city of Genoa rested.

dungeon concept by bpsola
by bpsola

To unearth the city, the party returned to the Ganesh encampment and acquired a camel. They took it back to the dune and slaughtered it to summon Keb-etchet. Caelynn commanded the entity to unearth the city and he obeyed. The trek through the mostly buried city revealed the path of destruction the first Fetchling party forged to make their way to the vault which held the key. The party trekked past giant flies and maggots in a dungeon and shocker lizards in a sand-choked ballroom before finally reaching the vault.

At the entrance to the vault the party found Dantalion, a contract devil bound to a summoning circle. Dantalion informed the party that the door to the vault required two wishes to unlock – wishes that he could provide in an infernal contract in exchange for souls. The party, with some protesting, decided to capture the already-damned souls of the sandmen guarding the Geoan crater. They exchanged two souls for six wishes, everyone (including the NPC Orrin) signing the contract but Leantha. With the contract signed the party used two wishes and the vault door began to open…

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Session 4 - Death and the Desert

Immediately after cutting down the scorpion, the party noticed a figure lurking just outside the light of their campfire. It was the Vishkanya woman Rohini of the Ganesh tribe, guided to the site of the scorpion’s death by magical message from her tribe’s shaman.

Rohini, exhibiting none of the violent barbarism that Laurian claimed the native people of the Kalahari possess, proved to be very inquisitive and curious about the party. In a very old form of common, she inquired about the nature of the party – what were they? In so doing, she forgot her task to put the scorpion to rest and the nature of the land reanimated it as a zombie. When the party promptly cut it down yet again, Rohini explained that anything the size of a person or larger walks again after death if the proper ritual is not done to it. It is a sacred duty of her tribe to try to ease a creatures passage so this does not happen.

In talking further to Rohini, the party learned that she and her little brother were alone in this part of the desert. The finery she is garbed in was to be part of an effort to offer herself to someone called Keb-echet, as he has made it a habit of trapping the souls of dying children who have not yet completed their first hunt rather than let them pass onto the great beyond. Graver, rather smitten by Rohini, offered the party’s help in making her case to spare her little brother’s soul. Together, they ventured to Rohini’s camp where an elaborate tent wreathed in finery awaited the arrival of this mysterious figure.

The next day, as Rohini‘s little brother neared death from some sort of poisioning, Keb-echet, a Shinigami, arrived. Looking like a specter of death he entered the tent, but stopped short when Caelynn confronted him. The two spoke in front of the others, Keb-echet describing that he is trapping the souls of the truly innocent because he does not know where the souls go when they pass beyond the briny veil. It was clear though that Caelynn possessed some sort of authority over the Shinigami – her command to trap the soul of the dying boy and hand over all his trapped souls was immediately obeyed despite Keb-echet’s pet names for her such as “Fledgling End”, “Green Grave”, “Tenderfoot Grim”, “Budding Reaper”, and “Little Death.” As the death herald left, he said that such an act always has consequences, and because Caelynn possesses the gems he cannot himself put down the Attic Whisperer that manifested. The party however, was able to cut down the creature and avoid burning anything more than a small portion of the ritual tent.

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