- Chapter One
- Chapter Two
- Chapter Three
- Chapter Four
- Chapter Five
- Chapter Six
- Chapter Seven
- Chapter Eight
- Chapter Nine
Seven years ago in the small town of Fallcrest, a gang of bandit hobgoblins had essentially shut down safe travel west of town. Lord Markelhay hired Crixus the Blade Whisperer and his old friend Udoros Riverking to track and kill the bandits. Udoros scouted the hobgoblin encampment and discovered that the gang was actually more of a small army and posed significant danger to the existence of the town. Given this information, the Lord raised the gold reward in order to enlist practically every able-bodied adventurer in town. The cousins Heskan and Kun Kneebasher and the sage Jeddin were key in decimating the hobgoblins, and the five men formed a tight-knit group of fast friends. After killing the hobgoblin clan, the five continued to adventure together throughout the wilds of the Nentir Vale for years. Three years ago, the five parted ways to take care of personal business, agreeing to meet again at the Blue Moon Alehouse in Fallcrest in three years' time.
Three years later… The group met up in Fallcrest once again to rehash old story, talk about the glory days, and drink fine ale. Noticeably absent was Udoros, whom had left to see to his people in the Winterbole forest to the north. In Fallcrest, the others were approached to aid a bandit who was going by the name of Keljack. When meeting with him, they realized he was pitting their group and two other groups together in order to find the best one. One group were tieflings led by the famous Char, and the other a band of gnomes led by Flip. After a bar brawl, our heroes proved victorious. Keljack informed them that they his family was cursed, and this adventure beyond the protective walls of Fallcrest would lead them to helping him understand that family curse and hopefully break it.
Our heroes traveled with Keljack and his companion, a large brute named Fool, to the southern swamp. There they inadvertently freed a wizard imprisoned by one of Keljack's ancestors in a large red crystal. There was a fight, it did not go well for our heroes, and the evil wizard got away. This floating bald man wore pure black robes and launched beams of black energy at the party. He easily floated away across the swamp, after defeating the party. However, Keljack's family curse was gone, and he was very grateful to our heroes. He also insisted they start calling him Kellem Jackson, his given name. He vowed to the party that he would give up his banditry, and the party defended Kellem as a changed man to the Lord and populace of Fallcrest. Kellem proved a good friend, and went off with Fool the ogre to help him rescue his clan from slavery to a dragon.
Tracking Bageron to the blood tower and finding death and undeath
Fearing what damage the freed black wizard could do, now that he was on the loose, our heroes returned to Fallcrest to consult with Nimozaran the Green about what he may know in regards to who this wizard was, and why he was imprisoned. Not long after, our heroes were given notice that a strange red tower had risen out of no-where in the lands southwest of Fallcrest. They assumed this was not a coincidence.
Once arriving at the Blood Tower, the party entered through a window sixty feet up. The party found creatures that were the dead bodies of former local farmers. Confused and horrified by this new dark magic, the party found a young man seemingly controlling the dead-but-not-dead creatures. Heskan and Crixus chased the boy down into the woods, eventually catching him and discovering his name was Willas. Kun and Jeddin continued into the tower. They discovered there was a connection to the freed wizard (named Bageron) and this tower. They discovered that this tower's denizens were involved in studying life, death, and undeath. Kun and Jeddin continued to explore the tower without Heskan and Crixus, and they found themselves confronted by a beautiful witch-woman (the mother of Willas). Anefsina the necromancer witch took Jeddin prisoner, while Kun escaped narrowly and jumped out of the tower. Plummeting sixty feet, Kun found Heskan and Crixus and went back in to save Jeddin. Anefsina had been torturing Jeddin with a foul black Necromancer's Dagger. Jeddin was restrained and halfway disemboweled by the dagger. Kun raced through the tower to save Jeddin, and succeeded, but only at the cost of his own heroic life. Anefsina's dark magic had destroyed him. Jeddin, freed and weakened, took the dagger from Anefsina and slowly murdered her with it, getting his revenge. Searching the tower thoroughly, the party found tomes regarding magic rituals exploring the boundaries of life and death. They took their prisoner Willas, the tomes, and Kun's corpse, back to Fallcrest.
They went to Nimozaran again, and he tried the rituals. Nothing happened. Nimozaran believed the ritual to be divine in nature. He suggested the heroes go travel to Hammerfast to speak with the priest Kendred of Ioun. Willas told the party that Bageron was some ancient wizard that had begun his family's necromantic cult hundreds of years ago. Bageron summoned the blood tower out of the very ground just recently, and gave Anefsina tasks to further the necromantic cause as well as magic to creature undeath. Bageron had continued on, leaving Anefsina and Willas to begin building an army of corpses. The heroes had caused all of this destruction, by accidentally freeing Bageron.
Resurrecting Kun and saving the Library of Highforest
The heroes (what was left of them) traveled to Hammerfast, and asked Kendred to perform the ritual to bring Kun back. He did successfully, and Kun was brought back to life. This was the first time such magic was known in the Vale. Kendred also helped describe to them the nature of the body, the soul, and anima (life force). He also suggested that they travel to a remote library/school, the same school Jeddin used to be part of in the forests northwest of Hammerfast. Kendred said that the scholars at the Library of Highforest would know more.
Our heroes traveled to this school, but they discovered it to have been recently destroyed. This was a shock to Jeddin, who spent his youth here. They suspected Bageron might have visited this place too. They investigated, and during this snooping around, the gang discovered that there was a bad seed who delved into forbidden and forgotten magic. This same magic was related to the bloody tower and the freed wizard. Two hundred years ago a scholar named Greldin fell under the influence of some unknown evil and caused havoc to the area, and though he was stopped and slain and his fell knowledge eradicated.. his legacy on the Library was that the sages there became uneasy about sharing any information about darker magics. Jeddin himself delved too deeply into these hidden mysteries and was asked to leave the Library years earlier. The party discovered that Greldin had been a part of Bageron's cult, as had the current scholar and Master of Records, Ulferth. Apparently Ulferth was in contact with creatues in the "Great Deeper Dark" - some strange other place of soul energy and the dead. Ulferth made a bargain for some knowledge and apparently in the exchange, the undead poured into the library and killed the scholars.
The party made their way through the school, where they found that a prominent sentinel of the school (Baelard) had sacrificed himself to temporarily stop Ulferth. Our heroes couldn't help this fellow, but they could finish the job he started by destroying the dark creatures outright. The party put Baelard's spirit and Ulferth to rest permanently, and Kun saved many priceless artifact tomes from destruction in the library. In the process, the party learned about soul-storage from what had been done to Baelard and Ulferth.
The Library of Highforest restored and cleansed of evil, Kendred and fellow Ioun priests began arriving to rebuild the library and save what tomes they could. The party went back to Fallcrest.
Uniting the entire Nentir Vale to stop General Thorgrim's invasion force
Udoros finally met the party at Fallcrest. They told him about Bageron and that they had a pressing need to stop this dark wizard immediately lest more undead destruction be wrought upon the Vale. They all felt responsible. However Udoros had a more pressing need. His tribe, the Snowfang, had been nearly wiped out in the northern Winterbole forest. Udoros needed to make sure the hundreds of refugees had some safe place to live, and then he needed to get revenge on the Tigerclaw tribe and Bitterstrike the dragon who had killed his people. The party agreed to help their friend.
Udoros took the party to Winterhaven and met with Lord Padraig. The Snowfang refugees camped outside of town, but Padraig would not let the refugees enter. Erban the monk joined the party briefly during this period of time, and left not long after to stay in Winterhaven. Erban spoke against letting any shifters into Winterhaven, calling Udoros and his people "savages." Suddenly the Vale was being invaded by an army from the west, led by a werewolf named General Thorgrim. The army was intent on conquering the entire Vale. The party united the entire Vale against the threat in short order, even traveling to the Winterbole and enlisting the frost witches of the forest and the traitorous Tigerclaw tribe. The combined forces of the Vale prevailed, and the party killed General Thorgrim. They even prevented the evil army from permanently summoning a gigantic purple worm. Andromeda the silver dragon helped, and Udoros jumped onto the purple worm and eventually even jumped inside and killed it from within.
Udoros defeats rival Scargash, regaining his clan honor and the blade Snowfang
The army stopped, Udoros faced off against Scargash, chief of the Tigerclaw and evil slaver who had organized the assault that had wiped out Udoros' tribe. Scargash had personally killed Udoros' father, Chief Utan, and Scargash still held the Snowfang. That blade was a tribal heirloom and incredibly important to Udoros' people. The two had a personal duel, and Udoros prevailed and slayed Scargash. Udoros performed the blood eagle and ritually mutilated Scargash from the dishonor Scargash had brought all shifters with his slavery and murdering of innocents. The Tigerclaw tribe was half scattered after this, but Udoros had reclaimed the Snowfang and the party returned to the south.
The Snowfang refugees still needed a home. And Kun's people, hundreds of exiled dwarves, also needed a home. The party had a solution. They were going to take their clans and unite them, settling the local ruin of Gardmore. In the Gardmore Downs, the town had been conquered by groups of orcs, ogres, and bandits, hundreds of years earlier. The party decided to cleanse the ruins of evil and settle their people there permanently.
Reclaiming the ruins of Gardmore to settle dwarves and shifters together
The party prepared carefully and then scouted the Gardmore ruins extensively. With help from the dwarves and shifters, the party battled the orcs of Gardmore and won many large-scale battles and decisive victories. Eventually, Gardmore was cleared completely. The party met a beholder trapped in some ruins, and the beholder and Jeddin made a partnership. The group eventually slayed Bakrosh, the leader of the orcs in Gardmore. They found Zarel Gardrin, daughter of the founder of Gardmore who had been turned into a vampire against her will hundreds of years earlier. The party saved Zarel from her affliction and the woman and Udoros struck up a romantic relationship.
Jeddin had sexual relations with the nymphs in the local Feygrove, who then told the party many secrets of the region. Jeddin was left without the ability to have children after this, but he didn't mind much.
Crixus met his long-lost son Evan, whom Crixus had thought dead for most of his life. Apparently Andromeda had lied to Crixus and smuggled Evan to the Fey. Evan had been raised by Andromeda's friend Valfarren. Crixus' relationship with Andromeda soured after that, but Crixus decided to spent most of the rest of his time getting to know his son.
The party traveled to the Fey inadvertently themselves, meeting the Lords of Mithrendain and stopping an attempted coup there. Saffrenia, one of the Lords of Mithrendain (the greatest eladrin elf city known in the Fey), was almost assassinated by agents of the coup, but the party saved her. Then the party met the Lords, one by one, and investigated. They eventually discovered that Lord Dresyae was in league with a creature named Jelvistra. The party killed both Dresyae and Jelvistra, and Saffrenia and the other Lords allied Mithrendain with Gardmore and rewarded the party with Dresyae's estate in the city as an embassy to Gardmore.
Not long after this, the party stopped a dwarf named Olek Runecutter from summoning a creature from some other place. The dwarf thought the summoning would be holy and help protect the Vale, but this was clearly not the case. Olek seemed a good sort - he had just grown disillusioned and saddened by the evil in the Vale. Olek taught Kun some runecarving thought long lost, and settled in Gardmore.
Finally, the party held a great festival in Gardmore and auditioned various bards for the position of Bard of Gardmore. Jagos the Bard won, and traveled with the party for some time after, writing great songs about the party's adventures in preparation for sharing the songs with the Nentir Vale afterward.
Finding the corrupted Tear of Ioun, killing Shathrax the illithid, and finally stopping Bageron and his necromantic cult
Some friends of the Lords of Gardmore formed their own adventuring party, called the Stormcrows, and began undertaking missions to make the countryside safer. This group consisted of Kellem Jackson, Lenna, Rubor, and Talen (Jeddin's apprentices), and others.
A well respected nobleman from Winterhaven named Lord Criswell brought about three hundred refugee citizens from that town to settle permanently in Gardmore. These folk had grown sick of the tyrant Erban's theocracy there. The Lords of Gardmore agreed to this and accepted Lord Criswell and his people into the community.
Madness in Gardmore
People began going missing around Gardmore, seemingly at random. One of the missing was a local lecherous mage named Croetus. Poer the spymaster sought out one of his contacts in Gardmore, Gerald Roy (a local smuggler), to keep an ear out for suspicious activity and help with solving this mystery.
Gardmore was later attacked by huge floating brain-like creatures with beaks and tentacles (grell) from some horrific distant place. The party defeated them and discovered that the creatures were after something called the Tear of Ioun. After some research, the party learned much from a pretty Ioun priest pilgrim named Deirdre with whom Kun had become romantically involved.
Ioun History and the Tear
Hundreds of years ago, Ioun blessed a man named Estered with a fist-sized teardrop shaped crystal relic shining like a miniature sun filled with knowledge. This event occurred in the center of what later became Gardmore, and so the area is now a pilgrimage site for Ioun worshipers coming to walk in the footsteps of Saint Estered. The crystal, called the Tear of Ioun, was protected and studied by an order of Knight-Scholar Ioun worshipers named the Kaorti.
Ioun commands her mortal servants to pick up knowledge in all forms and disseminate it. Rather than hoard this learning, Ioun's servants awaken mortal minds, enlightening all with perfect understanding. However, even fanatical worshipers understand that some knowledge is too wicked to be freely circulated. Thus, in their search for learning, Ioun's priests concealed certain tomes and scrolls within holy places. Some zealots believed that all knowledge, no matter how dangerous, should be free. Leading this reckless charge were the Kaorti and their charismatic young leader, Volarn.
Deirdre then told the party that the Kaorti conducted some forbidden ritual with the knowledge they gained from the Tear if Ioun and disappeared long ago with the Tear. The Kaorti's ancient temple fortress in the mountains was not far from Gardmore to the Northwest, and Deirdre had thought about visiting the ruins during her pilgrimage. If some evil creatures were looking for the Tear, that Kaorti fortress might be a place to look for more clues.
The Forlorn Tower of the Kaorti
The party followed the grells' trail of destruction out of Gardmore right to the Kaorti fortress in the Kadagast mountains. They encountered some primitive people living in the wilderness near the ruins named the Harrowfolk. Their leader, Vaymeer, was afraid of the Kaorti ruins and told the party that anyone who went inside never left, but occasionally some horrific creatures would come out and wreak havoc. The Harrowfolk also described some people that had gone into the ruins a week earlier, and these descriptions matched the Stormcrows.
The party entered the forlorn tower ruins that were formerly the Kaorti Temple. Perched on the edge of a ravine, it was a tall, crumbling tower. A sparkling waterfall spilling from hundreds of feet above struck the tower, vanishing for a time before spewing out of the spire's front and tumbling down into the ravine beyond. The party found many partially eaten grimlock corpses on the ground outside the temple. Inside, they fought a deformed and mad Rubor (his eyes were on small tentacles outside his head), a stirge swarm, and a flesh golem Rubor seemed to have stitched together. The group incapacitated Rubor, hoping to save him from his curse later.
The party then came across some sleeping grimlock women and children hiding in a corner room of the temple. Bulwark entered in order to investigate the room and a grimlock woman wearing plate armor and armed with a longsword stood up. Bulwark immediately cut her down, then killed the shrieking women and children, saying "grimlocks are evil, everyone knows this."
Higher in the tower, the party discovered a crazy deformed Talen, a mad imprisoned Lenna armed with a staff of fiery might, a beholder eye of flame, and two destrachan farspeakers. Poer crawled along the ceiling through the waterfall and encountered floating armor guards in the next level. Lenna was able to communicate that a man named Cylus had hired the Stormcrows in Gardmore to come here to the Kaorti Temple and get the Tear of Ioun. Being here had apparently driven all of them mad and they began to worship the Tear of Ioun itself. So the Stormcrows had simply stayed here in the tower, until recently when the Tear was stolen by some strangers.
The party went to the top level of the tower and discovered Elomir the elf and Kellem Jackson, the final members of the Stormcrows. Elomir commaned a grell, two destrachan far voices, and a gray heap of glistening flesh with three eyes set on a tentacle and a huge maw containing row upon row of black teeth. Elomir also had Kellem tied up and heavily wounded, but Kellem managed to help during the fight to defeat Elomir. The entire room was filled with the taint of some aberrant place.
As the group left the Kaorti temple ruins, they passed through a Harrowfolk ritual in the woods. Some sort of witch doctor females were ritually having sex with and sacrificing a willing young male according to primitive Harrowfolk traditions, and the party chose to ignore this and move along quickly.
Putting the pieces together: Cylus, Bageron's servant, had hired the Stormcrows, but Cylus is dead now
Back in Gardmore, Deirdre helped the party remove the evil taint from Rubor, Talen, Lenna, and Kellem. Kellem had seen the grimlocks' corpses as the party exited the tower, and the healed and rescued Stormcrows confronted their friends the Lords of Gardmore about this. Apparently the grimlocks were hiding from the evil creatures in the tower, having been rescued by the Stormcrows before the Stormcrows went crazy. A grimlock named Denva had joined the Stormcrows before the mission in order to come save the grimlocks from this place, and Bulwark had slain Denva the Stormcrow and her family. Bulwark did not apologize for his actions but justified them further.
More people around Gardmore had gone missing in the interim, and Gerald Roy had no new information for Poer. Poer did manage to track Cylus, who had hired the Stormcrows to retrieve the Tear of Ioun, to the very small Red Rooster Inn run by Magden Tye. Cylus was a desicated corpse in robes; apparently someone else had found him first.
Jeddin worked a ritual called Speak with Dead and the party spoke with Cylus' corpse. They questioned him at length and discovered that in life, Cylus was a wizard in service to Bageron the Necromancer. Cylus had gone to serve Bageron because Cylus was interested in the secrets of the Outside, or the Far Realm, a distant maddening area of space and time. Cylus knew Bageron was working on a device to rip a hole to the Outside, but that he needed a vital component: the Tear of Ioun. Thus, Bageron sent his servant Cylus to find and bring the Tear back to him. Cylus learned that the artifact lay in the Kadagast Mountains, but he lacked the resources and courage needed to retrieve the item so he hired the Stormcrows. Before they returned, however, a horrific creature burst into Cylus' room, stunned him, and killed him.
Jeddin realizes that the creature Cylus describes is a mind flayer, which only he knows about. The mind flayer ate Cylus' brain and must know about the Tear of Ioun and anything else Cylus knew.
The city of Gardmore continues a descent into madness. Bulwark activates the slumbering warforged units with commands to escort forcibly all citizens to the Abbey until things are worked out. The citizenry begins to panic and go mad, and many develop strange growths, much like the Stormcrows did when they were near the Tear of Ioun. Dergan the dwarf almost started a street riot, but Kun knocked him out immediately with a hammer thrown into Dergan Ironhammer's face. Things calmed for the moment, the Lords of Gardmore continued searching for clues. The party investigates the crime scenes where people had gone missing, and eventually Kun used a magic ritual to turn the party into tiny-sized beings. Then they entered the sewers, which they suspected were the source of the attacks and missing citizens.
Tracking the madness in Gardmore to the secret sewers and an illithid's lair
Inside the sewers, the party discovered many aberrant creatures and missing townsfolk in a vast underground complex. Jeddin finds a small black stone in the sewers which he thinks might be something called an umbral stone. Croetus and others were transformed and down below, attacking the party on sight. Eventually the Lords fought their way to Shathrax the mind flayer in his sanctuary. They defeat and destroy the mind flayer, but do not find the Tear of Ioun again. Jeddin discovers a dark shrine surrounded by an area of psychic stain in Shathrax's lair, and tries to use the umbral stone. This allows Jeddin to transmit his soul into the Great Deeper Dark.
Jeddin, in a thick darkness, travels in moments, in a way he could not define or describe, to behold Bageron. The bald Necromancer is surrounded by souls of innocent people writhing in agony. Bageron holds the shining Tear of Ioun above him as he drains the souls into it. Once Bageron notices Jeddin's presence, the Necromancer uses the Tear to grab hold of Jeddin's mind. In the natural world, Jeddin's body falls to the ground. When he wakes up, Jeddin knows the Necromancer is inside his mind but is unable to warn his friends. Jeddin, according to Bageron's wishes, tells the party that he knows where Bageron is, and can lead them to the Necromancer's ritual site.
On the way out of Shathrax's underground lair, the party discovered the Ioun priestess Dierdre, with whom Kun was romantically involved, had been fatally attacked, corrupted, and disgustingly transformed by Bageron's agents fleeing with the corrupted Tear of Ioun. Dierdre tearfully bade Kun goodbye and Kun swore to recover the Tear and free it from its taint, as had been Dierdre's dream.
Bageron's plot and Jeddin's decision
Jeddin knows the world is imperiled and that an ancient and insane wizard works to rip open a hole in reality and to unleash abominations and plunge the world into madness and despair. If Bageron succeeds, chaotic energy will wash across the world, altering all it touches. There isn't time to raise armies, not a moment to call forth powerful allies, so close is Bageron to achieving his goal. Though Bageron was inside Jeddin's mind, Jeddin was also able to discern the whole truth of Bageron's plans.
The Kaorti had long ago been an order of priests dedicated to scholarship and Ioun, and were given the Tear of Ioun, a shining stone vessel of vast knowledge, to study and protect. Bageron, a charismatic priest of the order, sought all sorts of knowledge, even that of the forbidden sort. He came to believe that the Tear could be used to open a portal to one of the greatest mysteries of existence; the Outside, the Far Realm, distant space. He carefully executed a plan to explore the Outside, arrogantly believing his brilliant mind had thought of every needed protection and every contingency, but no mortal mind, however brilliant, can truly comprehend the Outside.
Bageron build an orrery powered by the Tear of Ioun and succeeding in opening his portal, then he and his followers stepped through. However, the orrery failed, and the Tear absorbed the energy of the Outside, irrevocably corrupting it, exploding the orrery, and almost destroying the temple-fortress housing it. The Kaorti name became a curse among those of Ioun's followers who knew the truth.
Bageron, now a totally different being, learned countless dark secrets in his hundreds of years in the Outside. Eventually he overcame death himself and became immortal, and then he discovered how to manipulate animus and soul energy. Then he came to know a powerful malign being in the Outside known as the Black Maw.
This being was more powerful than most of the charlatan beings Bageron knew 'gods' and 'primordials' to be in reality. The Black Maw offered Bageron a place as its apprentice. For a fee it would greatly increase his knowledge and power, revealing many of the secrets of the creation of the universe and reality itself. In exchange for this position, the Black Maw desired for Bageron to go back to the Nentir Vale and reclaim the corrupted Tear of Ioun, then use it to acquire and contain a massive amount of soul energy, and gift it to the Black Maw. Bageron accepted, returned to the Nentir Vale, and began this quest.
Over time, he built a small cult of followers to help him achieve his goal, using necromancy to create soldiers and attract helpful evil wizards. And then his plans were thwarted for a few hundred years when Kellem Jackson's ancestor trapped Bageron in a red stasis crystal to try to protect the Vale. When the Lords of Gardmore inadvertently freed Bageron from this crystal, he immediately set upon finishing his task and his ritual was almost complete. Shathrax the mind-flayer had divined a bit of the plan and had temporarily stolen the Tear, but Bageron's agents had stolen it back as the Necromancer finished his ritual. Jeddin knew where it was happening. Not far from Fallcrest, near some standing stones in a clearing. He took the Lords of Gardmore there immediately.
The final battle at the Nessus shrine, Jeddin takes Bageron's place (and the Tear)
The Lords arrived on their Great Eagles, attacking the resurrected death knight Elomir and the large and small undead creatures all around the standing stones. Upon victory, Jeddin showed the party how to get to the very ancient and secret underground place nearby where Bageron was completing the ritual. The location was the last cult-shrine of the Nessus cult, an evil cult from the long-fallen Bael Turath empire. Completely underground deep under the standing stones, what was left of the Nessus shrine was small, only a few rooms, and completely inaccessible except from Bageron (and Jeddin, having Bageron's knowledge of the needed ritual). The Nessus cult was one of sacrifice, so their residual magic worked based on sacrifice. The standing stones contained a small altar with a recently dead body atop it. Jeddin shouted for the party to follow him, then stabbed the ritual dagger into the fresh corpse and disappeared, teleporting deep down into the Nessus shrine. Bageron had stabbed the corpse, sacrificing the person to gain access to the shrine, and some of that magical energy from the sacrifice was left for the party to use to enter the shrine as well.
Jeddin entered the shrine first. He saw a large cage filled with small children in the room, and he knew Bageron had them here to serve as sacrifice material for other Nessus-based powers. Knowing his friends were coming soon and that they would not approve, but also knowing the extra power was necessary to defeat Bageron before the ritual completed, Jeddin summoned forth black tentacles and smashed the children to death in moments. He absorbed the power from this sacrifice, and empowered his allies as they arrived to the horrific scene. Jeddin's power boost allowed him to be free of Bageron's mental control, and he suggested to his friends that Bageron must've killed the children recently. Hurrying into the next room, a large library and workshop, the Lords of Gardmore faced Bageron.
Inside the library, a huge orrery spun, the corrupted Tear of Ioun at its center. A massive violet tendril with weird musculature ripped through a hole in the growing portal, as Bageron chanted to complete his ritual. The battle was decisive and close, and Bageron died only a moment before the ritual completed. Kun was ready to claim the corrupted Tear of Ioun and set about purifying it, when Jeddin saw his chance. He grabbed the Tear from the orrery and answered the Black Maw's summons, taking what had been offered to Bageron for himself. The Black Maw took Jeddin to the Outside, claimed the corrupted Tear and massive amount of soul energy, and began revealing things to Jeddin, changing him and greatly enhancing his power. The Black Maw taught Jeddin the secrets of the creation of a world.
After stopping the Black Maw from entering their world, the Lords of Gardmore didn't get much reprieve. Bulwark was left underground when the rest of the group escaped. Jagos decided that he was done with the risks of adventuring, and went back to Gardmore to finish his songs about the heroics of the Lords of Gardmore as he had been hired. Down two members of the party, the Lords looked for a replacement and found an unlikely candidate in their cells. Grom Acidfang joined the group in search of gold. Dorrin, the Winter Knight, an ally of Udoros also joined the party, completing the group just in time.
Word came to the group that Giants were attacking the Nentir Vale, a group of them outside Gardmore itself. Kun summoned his spirit eagles, and the party flew over the giants to observe the threat. A few giants, and some elementals were attacking what we later learned was Rrowthar, a Torrian (a large lion-like race). The Heroes defeated the Giants, and the elementals, saving the Torrian. Thankful for the help, Rrowthar explained why he was in the area. He was in search for the Lords of Gardmore to take back to the City of Argent, where a threat looms. An invitation letter was presented from Obanar, the Last Guardian of Argent.
The group decided to accept the invitation and head to this City of Argent, a city that none of them had heard of before. Rrowthar had a scroll that opened a portal to the city, and the group was teleported there immediately …
The battlements were under attack as they stepped through the portal. The group held off the attackers, while an older man worked on activating defenses. When the last of the creatures fell, the old man, finished activating the defenses which seemed to also repair any damages done from the attack. More creatures were still within the gates though, and the man told Rrowthar to lead the group to the vaults to head them off. There were more elementals and giants found withing the compound, but the heroes were able to make quick work of them. They found their way down to the vaults, and there they encountered Brevin Foss for the first time. He made off with an item that the heroes, at the time, didn't know of its importance.
With the creatures within the wall taken care of, the old man introduced himself as Obanar, the last remaining Guardian of Argent. When questioned about the Guardians of Argent and Argent itself, the heroes learned a great deal. The city was a place haven for the Guardians, which were Heroes of their land sent to help protect the world from greater evils than the typical local could take care of. They dealt with the same things that the Heroes have been finding themselves dealing with; great powers that took all the efforts to remove the threat. It has been some time since any hero has come to Argent, and Obanar was unsure why the Narath Empire has not sent more champions since Obanar. The Heroes were able to determine through their own history knowledge that Narath had fallen more than a century ago. Obanar, tired of waiting for Narath to send more champions, took it upon himself to seek out new blood to help protect the world from itself. When Obanar was informed of an item removed from the vault, he went into detail about the threat he is currently facing. The item stolen is a catalyst for a great threat to come.
Breven Foss stole a piece of the Divine Engine, which is an item that was used to imprison a primordial by the name of Piranoth. If he is able to find all five pieces of the Divine Engine, he will be able to release the Primordial to our world. It appeared to him that the Giants have teamed up in this endeavor which explains the attack on Argent as well as the Giant activity in the world. The Heroes agreed to take on the mantle of the Silver Cloaks and become Champions of Argent and help with this threat. When asked what can be done, there were many options of things that needed to happen. The first they decided to take on, was to find the rest of Rrothwar's people, the Torrians, and bring them back home.
Locate the Torrians
To locate the Torrians, Obanar mentioned that we should all drink a mysterious vial of liquid that would allow us to see events that happened in the past. The party was able to observe what happened that took the Torrians away. In the parties observation of the past, it appeared the leader of the people, Thror, seemed to be possessed, and in that possession, he convinced the rest of the people to leave Argent.
The party was able to track down where the Torrians moved to and came under attack outside of the village. The torrians showed signs of still being under possession. Those that were knocked out seemed to have been able to snap out of it. The party moved them inside Kun's dimensional doorway to be able to talk to the Torrians without the worry of the possession happening again. They were able to determine that the rest of the village is also under possession. The party devised a plan to bring in as many Torrians as possible into a protected ground, which would be conjured up by Kun's ability to summon a Sacred Temple of Ioun. In doing so, the demon was not allowed to enter, and they were able to make a plan to get the Torrians back to Argent. In doing so, they met one of the possessed Torrians named Gruthow which was the new leader of the Village. In talking with the party, they discovered he was possessed by a demon by the name of Physandos. The party was able to push the demon out of control of the Torrians, and its spirit rushed back to a cave that was north of the village.
In the cave, Physandos was possessing an Adamantine Dragon by the name of Urthix. In defeating Physandos, the party freed Urthix who was grateful for not being under the demon's control, and bestowed his small horde of treasure on the party. With the demons defeat, the Torrians minds became un-clouded, and they packed for traveling back to Argent.
Argent Under Siege
When the party returned from freeing the Torrians, they found Argent to be under siege by Hill Giants. They had to move into action immediately to protect the defenses from being destroyed. Fighting a Hill Giant Shaman, three Hill Giants and a Roc to clear the landing platform, they lost Grom from the battle. He was picked up by the Roc and thrown down a 250 foot drop. He was able to hit the ground unscathed, and met up with the group at the next battle. After defeating these enemies, they ran to the south gate, and encountered a Behir, a Hill Giant and an Earth Archon. While this fight was harder, they dispatched the enemies with expert skill and were able to keep the defenses from being damaged. After a quick chat with Obanar, it was decided they could probably follow the Giant supply lines back to where they came from to cut off the danger at the source.
Kun summoned his spectral eagles to aid the party in following the supply lines. They were led to a compound that was filled with Hill Giants, Rage Drakes, Ogres, Fire Elementals, an Earth Giant and an Earth Titan. Then party ended up alerting the entire compound they were there, and ended up having to fight them all at once. Luckily, due to luck and skill, they were able to survive, and found out that Beven Foss was here working with the Giants. He was able to escape again due to the party trying to fight for their lives. With the army dispatched, the lines of the hill giants broke up. The party did take one of the Hill Giant Shamans back with them to Argent as a way to save his life. He in turn became a Silver Cloak and now resides in Argent with the Torrians.
Implements of Argent
The party was told that Obanar would be able to make Implements of Argent, items that will augment the powers of our party. For this, he is in need of Skymetal, which can only be found in the past. To get to the past, Obanar needs a crystal that s held by Qwor, a ghost of a guardian located in the Necropolis. The party was able to convince Qwor to helping them and obtain the crystal.
With the crystal in hand, Obanar sent the party back 600 years to the manor house of the wizard Acererak, in the empire of Beal-Turath. As the party entered the manor, they were attacked by Warforged guardians, hidden amongst some statues. They were able to find two pieces of metal on this first level behind some hidden doors.
On the second level, they found a wizards workshop. Here the party was attacked by a Bone Naga, some Word Wraiths and two Demonic Flameskulls. After they defeated them, they found a secret door with small scale models showing plans for a tower to be constructed filled with traps.
On the last floor, they encountered the wizard Acererak. They were able to convince him they were from the future and that they were in need of the Skymetal. After much discussion, Acererak decided to help the party, and gave them 4 more pieces of Skymetal. The party returned to Argent, and gave the metal to Obanar to start the crafting process.
The Astral Sea
To search out information on Piranoth's Bane (Divine Engine), Obanar sends the party to the Astral Sea to find the Astral Giants. Obanar didn't know the location of the Temple of Inchoate Mysteries, but told the party that they could get information from Black Harbor, and seek out githyanki that can lead us there. Obanar teleports the party, and there they meet with a Githyanki by the name of Akrathial. After some bartering and showmanship, he agrees to take the party through the Astral Sea and drop them off at the temple. The trip was pretty smooth and they made it to the temple with no foul play. Akrathial stated he would stay there and wait for them for 1 day. On the temple steps, the party was attacked by the Astral Giants, but they talked their way out of that battle. They didn't come to harm the giants, so they wanted to figure out why they were aggressive to them. They found out very shortly after.
The giants took them farther in the temple, and as they reached the summit, they were attacked by the Astral Giants and a group of Drow. The party made sure to not attack any Astral Giants, but dispatched the drow quickly. They learned that the drow were influencing the giants, and they were able to free them of that influence. The party is given a ritual that can be used to repair the Divine Engine and put Piranoth back into his prison. He also is able to tell the party where the five pieces are. Two with the fire giants at Flamefall Tower, one remains in the Frost Spire, one is possessed by a djinn named Kaseem and one already in the hands of the enemy.
The party takes this information and returns back to Argent to make the next trip in trying to recover more pieces.
The Court of Fallen Leaves
When the party returns, Obanar asks the party to go on a diplomatic mission to the Court of Fallen Leaves looking for help to defend against the Giants. Obanar opens a portal to the Court, and the party finds itself traveling again. Here, they find that there are three members of the court that need impressing before they will discuss aiding them. Lord Maervik, Lady Tarentia and Lord Kaerwyn. After impressing them easily, the Court asks the adventurers to take care of a fomorian giant nearby and recover an item. If the party recovers the item, they will support the effort against the giants.
The party went to fight the fomorian, and found that there was also a Cyclops and a gloomweb that also resided in the cave. The a small struggle, the party came out victorious and brought back the Chalice of Autumn's Regret that the court wanted back. With the chalise returned, the Court offered an army to help with the threat of giants.
Attack on Flotsam
After a return to Argent, Obanar told the party they would need to travel to Flotsam, and meet with the djinn, Kaseem. He was one of the holders of the divine engine pieces. As the party arrived, the town had been attacked, and the arrival was too late. The party helped clean up and talked with Kaseem. He informs the party that he can take them to the Frost Spire where another piece lies. He warns that this will not be an easy task, but they have heard that before and succeeded.
After Kun successfully warded the party against the cold, they moved along to find what they needed. In the first building they found, they encountered a Tower of Ice, which held Zaelex, an Ice Elemental that the party quickly dispatched. They discovered a Tome of the Frozen Gate, which told of the materials they would need to create the key to get to the Inner Sanctum. Specifically they needed to forge a key of Pure Elemental Ice. As they searched the island for the ice, the party met up with a frost giant by the name of Gorrik Frostcaller, who wanted to aid the party in exchange for seeing the Inner Sanctum of the Resting Place of Sulkar, and to escape the spire with the party. With the aid of Gorrik, and his Pure Elemental Ice, they were able to bypass some of the terrible places on the island, and head directly to the Frozen Forge. There, they met up with a frost giant that did not want to help the party, and instead, attacked them as well as Gorrik. After his demise, the party was able to forge the key, and Gorrik took them to the Inner Sanctum. There they encountered a battle that bards would sing about until they lost their voice, if only someone knew the tale. Breven Foss made an appearance, as well as a Frost Titan, and many Frost Giants. As well as those, there was a beating heart that a ritual was being performed on. Kun realized that this was being used to awaken a beast, and the party had to act quickly to dispatch the enemies before the ritual could be completed. With seconds to spare, they did just that. They found a piece of the divine engine with Breven, and found a plaque and map of a place known as Flamefall Tower. They returned to Kaseem with his item in tow, and made their way back to Argent.
Obanar explained that there should be some pieces in Flamefall Tower to the divine engine, and as such, the party needed to rush to get there. This is where things started to take the wrong turn. It was found out that copies of the divine engine pieces were made, and the engine was able to be completed. Slowed down by multiple creatures, the party moved through a portal that trapped them, thinking it was the way they needed to go to get the engine. They were too late. Piranoth was being summoned, and they could do nothing about it. All they could do was dispatch of the Fire King in the tower, and find a way to stop Piranoth. The party took a teleportation circle to the Primal Chaos, and there, fought a battle that many didn't feel they would survive.
The party had two options: use the divine engine to send Piranoth back to his prison, or defeat him once and for all. This was no small task either way. The engine pieces lay in spots around the Chaos, blocked by minions and chaos itself. This included a Fire Titan, Earth Titan, and a Frost Titan, as well as Piranoth himself. As the party scrambled to get the pieces to fit them back together, Poer tried to keep the elementals at bay, and Udoros kept his daggers deep into any that came close. The battle almost came to Piranoth becoming the victor, until a timely blow from Udoros vanquished Piranoth forever. It was this day, that the party came to realize how powerful they truly were, and it took some time to let that soak in.
With the Primordials defeated, Udoros departs for the far south, while a new pirate threat emerges.
The huge warrior in white-dragon scale armor finished cutting down the giant beast. Sinking his ancestral blade, the icy Snowfang, deep into the primordial's mushy flesh, Chief Udoros (though the ability of his magical helm) felt the creature's soul attempt to depart and knew it was dead. As was his practice, Udoros quickly chopped off its head and its hands (and put them in his magical head-and-hands bag) so that if some necromancer brought the body back it would be minimally dangerous. The big shifter felt accomplished. In recent months he had honed his skill in battle so much that he could essentially kill beings that were once as powerful as the supposed 'gods' in mere seconds. Witnessing Poer lock the primordial, Piranoth, into some magical prison, and then Kun spending just a moment to assemble some permanent divine prison-device, disabused Udoros of the fleeting notion that his own power was exemplary or unique. His friends and he were something strange in their world now, something awe-inspiring.
As Kun finished constructing the divine engine prison and began the exit portal ritual, Udoros thought about finally going home to Gardmore. He wanted time away from adventuring. He wanted time with his lady, the lovely Zarel. His wooing of the beautiful woman had been brief but intense, and he knew they were special to each other. They respected each other. Udoros respected other women, such as his lieutenant Sasha, but that was the respect of a fellow soldier. He respected abilities and courage; but he had never known a mate, a lover, like Zarel before.
After leaving the Winterbole and becoming a wilderness guide, Udoros lived for most of his life alone in the wilds. His friends were wolves and birds, and he never felt lonely, though he did not see other people for months at a time. Now, years later, he was Lord Protector of a city and the Western Claw, a figure of prophetic salvation to thousands of shifters. Zarel had spent weeks teaching Udoros diplomacy skills and habits, and now he was more refined in speech and behavior than any of the other Lords of Gardmore. This was fitting, since Udoros' function in Gardmore's leadership was as a mediator and ambassador to other cities and settlements. In the past, Udoros had resolved disputes among the other Lords (sometimes Crixus the town judge and Heskan the police head feuded) and had imposed peace with other settlements by simply standing ominously and glaring a silent peacekeeping threat (his skill in combat being undisputed and unmatched). However, Udoros was achieving a new understanding of the importance of leadership and the social framework (and friendship) with his new knowledge of diplomacy and resolving conflicts through shared goals and discussion. He felt that he was becoming a new person, a better person. And he had Zarel to thank for it.
As soon as Kun finished creating the portal out of Piranoth's elemental hole, Udoros decided what he wanted to do now. He saw his life open up before his eyes, and he knew he had a plan. Securing the faded city of Argent and the new divine engine, Udoros and the party returned to Gardmore. He immediately left his friends and went to his woman. Zarel was waiting. As soon as he stopped hugging her tightly in greeting, the shifter formally proposed marriage according to the customs of his tribe. Udoros offered Zarel his huge blade, hilt first, aimed at his own heart, and bowed his head silently. Zarel understood, and accepted joyfully. They laughed and embraced and shared thoughts and plans long into the night.
At the Gardmore Council Meeting the next day, Jeddin finally explained to the Lords what he had been up to lately. Udoros mostly understood - apparently Jeddin was up to some sort of weird experiments in his tower, which was now dangerous to enter. He seemed to be the same old Jeddin, and Udoros trusted him but didn't care to learn about the dark magics he was exploring. Poer shared some information about Erban of Winterhaven creating some alliance, the Nentir Coalition, with the Saruun Mages of Thunderspire and some bandits in Raven Roost. Apparently Erban had even gone to old Lord Markelhay of Fallcrest with his offer of alliance. Erban knew that Markelhay was Udoros, Kun, and Jeddin's old friend and would never join their enemy. That could only mean that Erban had also gone to the leadership of every other town in the Vale. That bastard needed to be put down, sooner or later.
Udoros stood and shared his plans with his friends. The next three days would be his wedding feast and celebration - he and Zarel were getting married. After that, they'd travel far to the south with a small party to accost the mages of the Iron Circle and free the enslaved shifter tribes Beasthide, Swiftwing, and Cliffwalk. The Iron Circle had enslaved these thousands of shifters many years before, and Udoros was their only hope. He was powerful enough now, he thought, but he was still taking Zarel, his lieutenant Sasha, and the mages Rubor and Talen. It would be a journey of months, at least, but he felt confident. They would travel in the magical floating tower that the lords of Mithrendain had gifted the party. The tower moved somewhat slowly, but travel would be safe, high above the clouds.
Cyrus, the man who'd just joined their last adventure in time to help fight the most difficult battle of their lives against the primordial Piranoth itself, stood and spoke at the meeting last. Cyrus had come from some pirate city far to the southeast, and wanted the Lords to accompany him back there and help overthrow the local lords. It seemed this city, Scuttlecove, was a blight to the safety of its region, the Midnight Sea, and Cyrus led some organization that was trying to take over to better the city. Udoros listened with keen interest about the southlands, as he himself would soon be traveling over them and then back through them with his shifter cousins. From Cyrus and Poer, he learned of Moonstair, Nera, Sasserine, and Rethmil, places he would visit the further south he went. Most of the area south of the Vale was either mountain-covered or a vast dangerous jungle, so the return journey would be difficult and time consuming. The other Lords of Gardmore agreed to help Cyrus and travel to Scuttlecove, so their course was decided.
The next three days were feasting and celebration. Udoros and Zarel were joined in matrimony by Elder Sangir of the Snowfang, and the whole town was in attendance. Udoros spent a heap of gold on the affair, sharing his treasure with his people and friends and sharing more than a little libations. Zarel and he had their chests pierced and blood drawn, as part of the ancient ritual. Then Sangir mixed their blood in the waters of the River Nentir, and they each drank of the combined mixture.
The ritual and joining complete, they enjoyed the party and made preparations for the journey. Ajani Swiftstripe would speak for Udoros while he was gone, and Lord Criswell would assist in running the town. After a week of festivities and then preparation, the southward bound rescue party entered magical floating tower and headed off south to Rethmil. With Kun, Dorrin, Quinn, and Poer all leaving Gardmore at the same time, Udoros spared a moment to worry about his home and his people. He'd wanted to spend more time at home, instead he had only further diminished it of protections by taking great warriors with him. Well, the town's magical protections would surely keep it safe in their absence. Udoros turned south and focused on the journey before him.
The party, now including the rogue, pirate Cyrus, began their journey to Scuttlecove. Scuttlecove is known for being a harsh town of pirates, cultists, and drug dealers. Kun uses his ritual to summon spiritual eagle mounts for all. They arrived in Scuttlecove in the cover of darkness and land atop Eralakni's Emporium, the secret hideout of the Protectorate. Cyrus explains to the party that the Protectorate has only just started their plans to take control of Scuttlecove from the Holy Triad and to stop the impending invasion of the Crimson Fleet.
At Eralakni's, the group meets with the half-orc Eralakni and the beautiful red-haired Adjanah (sister to Cyrus and co-leader of the Protectorate). Adjanah explains the plot to take over Scuttlecove. The party listens, and questions her motives. While they suspect that Adjanah and perhaps Cyrus have been up to some pirating activity, it seems that they both (and the Protectorate) generally want to make the citizens of Scuttlecove safe and happy. Their motives deemed goodly, Adjanah and Cyrus detailed the plan.
The city was already on the brink of revolution. The Crimson Fleet pirates (Asmodeus cultists), the strongest faction in Scuttlecove, was poised to take over the city already (along with their allies the Seventh Coil lizard-people and the Sisters of Lamentation harpies). The current rulers of the city, the Holy Triad 3 ur-priests (and their enforcers, the 100ish Monks of Dire Hunger), had been largely holed up in their respective strongholds for a few years, and the Crimson Fleet viewed them as weak and ready to be taken. Adjanah and Cyrus' plan was to wait a few days until the Crimson Fleet had largely defeated the Holy Triad forces (and the Crimson Fleet itself was extremely weakened by this task), and then have the Protectorate and their allies strike at the vulnerable Crimson Fleet. In order to secure victory, Adjanah explained that the Protectorate forces would need to be bolstered significantly with more enforcers at the street level, and the prime ally candidate (and only remaining) was Kedward Bone (founding member of Scuttlecove and extremely powerful wizard). Kedward controlled the drug trade of Scuttlecove in an iron fisted monopoly, and the party knew it would be difficult to secure his aid.
Agreeing on a course of action, the party sought access to Kedward's tower. Unable to gain an audience, they sought a contact within his servants. By the docks, they noticed they were being followed by a homeless dockworker that looked like a drug addict. Cyrus let the man follow him alone down a dark alley, then Cyrus calmly started talking to him. The man was Aaron Islaran, a noble from the far southern city of Sasserine. Islaran had traveled to Scuttlecove after his younger sister run away and ended up here without any further word. Islaran had found his sister's mutilated corpse in the Plaza of Hanging Ruin, and wasn't sure who had killed her. Swearing revenge, Aaron Islaran had been taken in by Kedward Bone, who agreed to help Aaron track his sister's killers in exchange for Aaron working for him as a lookout for interesting people by the docks. It was pretty clear to Cyrus that Aaron Islaran was being honest, but that Kedward had manipulated Aaron and probably created Aaron's drug habit in order to keep him destitute and working out of his biological needs. In the end, Cyrus promised to help Aaron, and Aaron secured a meeting with the party and Kedward (under Kedward's terms).
The wizard's imp servant answered the door, and Kedward had a brief audience with the party. Kedward agreed to help during the revolution as long as he would have a seat on a small ruling council, his drug trade would be unregulated in the new government, and the party secured him a sample of the demon's breath drug from the Porphyry House. Kedward isn't sure what it is, but he knows it's valuable and powerful and he wants to know more. The Porphyry House is relatively new in Scuttlecove and is the sole prostitution house in the city. Kedward arranges to help the party sneak into the Porphyry House in disguise in order to secure his drug sample, then he'll aid in the revolution.
The party meets with Kedward Bone's contact, who remains nameless. He creates elaborate costumes for the party to help them gain access to the Porphyry House. Inside, the party is split up. Cyrus wanted to do most of the talking, but instead Cyrus, Dorrin, and Kun are led to one drow madame, while Poer and Quinn are led to another. The drow conduct interviews, and Quinn lies poorly about his identity. As a result, his madame only allows him to pay for their lowest tier of girl, near the entrance of the Porphyry House. Poer agrees to take the same kind of deal in a nearby room. Cyrus, Kun, and Dorrin get better treatment, and are led upstairs to one of the House bosses, and older drow woman. Cyrus insists that this is Kun's first time, and they want to get him a beautiful girl and then watch. The party pays the drow $80,000 magicked (fake) gold, which she accepts for this unusual request. She leads them to a large open room on the second floor which contains a dozen of the most beautiful women any of them have ever seen. Kun picks the prettiest, and they are all led to their very fancy room and left with the girl.
On the first floor, Poer realizes something is wrong with his girl, and leaves her lying mutely in bed. He turns invisible and goes to explore the House. He quickly explores half of the first floor alone, then goes back for Quinn. He discovers Quinn's armor has been taken and the big fighter is wearing a weird tiny costume. To Poer's relief, Quinn hasn't been with his girl either. The two continue their secret exploration of the House while looking for their friends.
On the second floor, Kun and crew decide to reveal their mission to their beautiful girl, Wilarue, who agrees to help them explore the Porphyry House as long as they help her escape after. Wilarue leads them in exploring the second floor, then the first, and the group eventually meets up with Poer and Quinn. Reunited, the group eventually realizes they've explored almost the entire House. They've discovered that the first floor girls are merely polymorphed sheep kept in a pen (Quinn and Poer were disgusted and relieved!), and that a giant orgy is scheduled in a few hours in a large room deep in the House (where Poer inadvertently became covered in a fine white powder). Poer also discovers the House records, and takes the logs so he knows the names of everyone in Scuttlecove who has slept with sheep (for blackmail purposes later). Finally, the party decides to check out the doorway behind the drow madame's desk. They suspect this door as the key because Poer had teleported momentarily through a wall nearby and discovered deeper corridors back there. To gain access, the party bursts into the madame's office and quickly knock her out. They go deeper into the House, finding a giant porphyry golem, which turns out to be incredibly difficult as an opponent. The party realizes these must be the House's true defenders, as they saw 10 such statues on the first floor near the entrance. Proceeding, the party finds a hall and comes upon an entire drow family. Two younger females and a male wizard are taken down, and then they discover Wulvera, drow matriarch and leader of the Porphyry House, also a beautiful and very pregnant woman.
The party is joined by Tyralandi during the battle, which proves crucial as Tyralandi promises that her charmed gang has engaged the rest of the Porphyry House and is battling all the golems on the first floor. After a quick and fierce battle with Wulvera, the drow matron mixes some potions on her desk and then teleports away. Kun deducts from the small portal circle and runes that she has teleported somewhere else in the House. Cyrus, seeing the bubbling potion on the desk (and knowing that Wulvera is involved in manufacturing some horrible poison named spidervenom or demon's breath), decides to not let the potion finish mixing and smashes everything off the desk and onto the floor. Unfortunately, the spidervenom reacted viciously to this, and exploded a green gas all over the party, which knocked them unconscious.
Waking up, they discover that only minutes have passed. The poison is killing them quickly, and they all have hideous growths, secondary heads, small deformed wings, and so on. Tyralandi seemed to have looted the House treasury and disappeared downstairs to continue the fight. Kun uses his magic on the portal circle and is presented with an immediate mental audience with Lolth, the spider goddess.
Involvement in freeing Piranoth, plan to destroy Scuttlecove and then all the cities with Spidervenom
Crimson Fleet in Scuttlecove
Civil war, Adjanah kidnapped, Seventh Coil snakemen assassins, Red Foam Whaling, the Birdcage harpies and the Sisters of Lamentation, the Minting House hideout of the Seventh Coil
Attack on Crimson Fleet in their secret headquarters of the Wreck
Cold Captain Wyther, the demon Ghourgos, the beholder Vzorthys, the slaad Velzigarus
Adjanah destroys the remainder of the Crimson Fleet and takes their ships, Cyrus opens the treasury, Kun threatens a god
New Scuttlecove Government
Returning to Scuttlecove the party finds the city under post-traumatic stress. Bodies of Crimson Fleet soldiers and Kedward Bone's guardsmen litter the streets. Citizens won't leave their houses and their is no trade or commerce happening. The party takes their rest at the Emporium and then quickly moves to attack the Palace. Arriving at the Palace they find it has been completely deserted. They decide to turn it into the Protectorate Headquarters. Several days later they call a meeting of the New Council of Scuttlecove. The party assembles themselves in a meeting chamber with Adjannah. A guard announces the arrival of Kedward Bone. Cyrus and Peor heads down to the gates to greet him and swear to his protection throughout the meeting.
Tyralandi arrives sometime later and Cyrus greets her. To his suprise (and disgust) Tyralandi has a Cyrus clone with her. She explains that she created the clone and shows a romantic interest in Cyrus. Cyrus does not like the idea of a Cyrus clone running around and insists that Tyralandi keep the clone in hiding.
Once everyone was gathered, the meeting began. Kedward began by attempting to set himself up as the High Council and to begin his drug trade throughout any part of the city. After much debate and threatening the party was able to negociate that Kedward was limited to selling any of his drugs on the eastern side river in the slums. In exchange for this, Kedward supplies the Council with a large amount of thugs to serve as a reliable city guard. Kedward also agrees to offer places for those addicted to drugs to pay for removing their addiction. Kun offers to bring some of his clan to serve as peacekeepers, judges, and trainers for the city guard. Tyralandi's only request was to allow any form of prostitution in Scuttlecove which the party agreed to, along with a cut of the profits going towards the Protectorate. Adjannah is voted in as the High Council. All religions are now legalizes and a separate part of town is allocated for a "free-speech" area where any religion allowed to be proselytized.
After the meeting, Kun creates a portal door within the Protectorate Palace. He also sleeps with Adjannah again and gets herpes. Cyrus and Tyralandi begin a romantic relationship but Cyrus learns that Tyralandi has created another clone of himself.
Poer investigates The Violated Ogre and sets plans in motion to shut it down.
Back in the Nentir Vale
Coalition taking over the Vale, Visit with Erban, Banished from Winterhaven, Kun steals Erban's letters and discovers mysterious plans with Clenderi in Nenlast
Investigating the fresh ruins leads first to raising Tanya Silverdusk, then on to Castle Sarwin, an orc encampment, and a huge green dragon. Rumors in Erban's letter of some world-changing thing about to be completed here urge the party onward in haste.
Investigating Castle Sarwin
Letter from Muraxus to Alorzulan the green dragon, plot of multiple evil gods (Asmodeus/Bane, Vecna) to free a trapped evil god that is almost in the mortal world, the evil group has already killed the whole Sarwin family, except for Arezi Sarwin (who has been possessed by Tiboquoboc, the leader of the mortal evil forces). Apparently Clenderi taught Lzierabel some magic spells, and Lzierabel is another evil party member. In addition, Zorkulak (an undead being), Bul (a metal man), Amiryll (a demon succubus), Alorzulan (green dragon), Alraugh (orc chief), and Muraxus prowl the halls of Castle Sarwin.
With Torag destroyed, events have been set in motion that even the world spirits could not foresee. Kun saw something in the power fluxuation that absorbed into all the being present at Torag's demise. He spoke one word: "Interesting." and then carved a sigil in the air, and disappeared.
Udoros, while bringing his people back from the south was visited again by the The Winter Hunter, the wolf spirit that the adventures met at a previous time. He told Udoros that Kun is missing, and that the spirits have seen that Udoros needs to be with his allies, but, he doesn't know why. He told Udoros that he would take him to where they were, and re-unite them. While the traveling took long, mere seconds passed in the world, and for the rest of the adventurers, it was as if Udoros appeared instantly, riding a giant wolf. The Winter Hunter, once in the room, couldn't maintain its form, and had to depart before long. Something was sapping its energy.
As Udoros was being brought up to speed, a Human Male appeared in the room. There were 5 copies of the same being, and he looked to Dorin and told him that there actions have caused an issue that needs immediate attention. His queen needed him. The party had to move quickly as his magics were also being sapped. Udoros was the first to grab one of the vision's hands, instantly disappearing from the room, along with the vision. Dorin, Quinn, Poer and Malachi all did the same. Cyrus stated that while he wanted to help Dorin, he feared the ramifications of Torag's death would have in Scuttlecove and he had to go there to plan for what may come. Tanya swore her oath to the last of the Sarwin family and decided to help guard the castle.
The party appeared in a cavernous area, brightly lit by raw magic swirling around and collecting on a magical barrier that was blocking the only exist. The human started to explain what was happening. The death of Torag opened up a vortex that was sucking up magic. "She", who the party assumed they are here to help, was caught in the vortex. Before he could go on more, the barrier collapse, and the raw magic was sucked out of the room. Along with the raw magic, the magic binding the soul to the being, as well as all the magic from the party. Outside the barrier, they were met by shadows of some long dead creatures. The party engaged them, and defeated them. Moving into the next room, they found another barrier. As the magic swelled in that room, the barrier started to distort, and eventually burst. The part was met with a fresh set of souls that was bent on killing them.
The party continued fighting the souls of fallen warriors and a large shadow dragon. After several minutes of difficult fighting, another magical barrier opened. Malachi was able to see a swirling portal that seemed to be filled with trapped souls, specifically the soul of Torag. The party quickly defeated the dragon and ghosts and moved towards the portal. The magic of the portal was becoming cataclysmic. Something had to be done quickly.
Dorrin seemed to be acutely drawn to the portal. Once he neared it, he could see a form of the Raven Queen. She reached out her hand, calling to him. He took her hand and immediately fell down unconscious. The portal burst with energy and then settled. Dorrin's body seemed to take life again but it wasn't the same Dorrin. The body was similar but the voice that spoke to the party was not Dorrin. The not-Dorrin thanked the group for their help in controlling the portal. After questioning the not-Dorrin, they learned that the portal was some type of soul well. With the slaying of Toreg, the well became overwhelmed with energy. The Raven Queen had called to one of her followers (Dorrin) to help release the power in the well.
The party became angry with the not-Dorrin, thinking that their companion had been tricked into sacrificing himself for the Raven Queen's plan.
Not-Dorrin offered to return the party to any place they desired and they requested to be returned to Gardmore. Not-Dorrin spoke a quick cantrip and teleported the party to their home. As the teleportation magic settled around them they noticed another individual had teleported with him. It was the same Human Male that had brought them to the soul well. To the party's shock, he introduced himself as Dorrin.
Dorrin's new form then explained that one part of his mission for the Raven Queen was complete. He had been returned in a new body with renewed magical power.
The Lords of Gardmore had befriended a teifling cleric, Malachi, during their adventures in Castle Sarwin. But it was all just a ruse.
Malachi stated that he was a former Asmodeus-worshipper and had killed his own brother in the Lords presence to prove his loyalty.
Malachi led the group back to the city of Scuttlecove, stating that some of his follow clerics had also left the service of the church of Asmodeus and were hiding in Scuttlecove. The Lords agreed to help Malachi find his friends, hoping to bring more allies to their cause.
After some searching through the city, they were informed that Asmodeus-worshippers had been spotted entering the tower of Kedward Bone. The Lords quickly entered the tower and confronted Kedward. Sounds of screaming and magic came from upstairs in the tower. The Lords were unable to convince Kedward to stand down and ultimately defeated him.
As they scouted the upstairs the Asmodeus-worshippers, including Lzeribelle, completed their ritual and summoned Asmodeus himself. At that moment, Malachi exposed his betrayal and began shielding his god from the Lords' attacks. Udoros quickly rounded on Malachi and slaughtered him without hesitation. The Lords then hid themselves in their Exodus room.