Heroes of Barsaive

A Message In Bone 1
May 1st, 2011

Our brave adventurers continued their search of the Burning Caves in order to locate and kill the Water Lane Gang. They encountered many hazards of the caves, including jets of fire and acid, sudden drops, and dangerous cave gas. The oppressive heat also took its toll, seeming to affect Tuzigoot the most.

The PCs also discovered and fought several other denizens of the caves. A dragon scion of Charcoalgrin had laired in the complex. Strange skeletons of a lost age drifted among the chambers. Azers had also made their home here.

Finally, the PCs found a chamber that presumably contains the treasure the Water Lane Gang sought, and the Gang itself, studying the complex lock (which filled the outer chamber with sigils on the floor). The Water Lane Gang fell after a brief but spirited resistance, and the PCs considered whether, having accomplished their goal, they should move on, or if they should try to open the chamber containing dangerous and powerful treasure from time long forgotten themselves. (OK, who am I kidding. OF COURSE they decided to open the door.)

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Fatal Learning 2
April 17th, 2011

Our heroes had captured Hefera, so they prepared to return him to Icewing. First they left the elf girl Suverial with a dwarf wrangler whom Hefera had threatened.

Then they sped across Barsaive, propelled by their magic steeds combined with other ritual magic provided by Rathann. This allowed them to cross over 1000 miles of territory in just a week. The adventurers did a thorough job securing Hefera, and his only opportunity for escape came when an aboleth ambushed the PCs as they arranged a river crossing. However he was placed in enough danger by the battle that he had basically no opportunity to make any real effort to flee.

He did, however, spend the trip expressing his superiority and haughtiness, and that his trick with Aardelea meant that he would succeed regardless of what happened to him personally. This arrogant streak lasted right up until he met Icewing personally, when he broke down in fear and awe. Icewing, however, ate him, then asked the PCs to take his bones and leave them in the bedchamber of General Nikar as a warning against the Therans meddling in the affairs of dragons.

In order to accomplish this, the PCs needed to kill and assume the identities of the Water Lane Gang, an adventuring party known to be sympathetic to the Theran cause, or at least mercenarial enough to work for them. They learned from an agent of Icewing that the Water Lane Gang was searching The Burning Caves for an ancient vault of pre-Scourge treasure. Then, outside the bar, they were attacked by Horror cultists who follow the Great Hunter, Verjigorm.

The PCs headed to the Burning Caves to implement this plan, and started searching it. They encountered many natural hazards of the caves, and also a windrage harpy and her pet black pudding, who were surprisingly acid-themed for what they assumed would be a fire-based gig.

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Fatal Learning 1
April 3rd, 2011

Just after coping with the aftermath of their battle against the slavers atop Moon Spear (determining what happened to Aardelea, releasing the prisoners, and so forth), the PCs were confronted by an unusual eladrin identifying himself as Rathann, who appeared nearly from nowhere.

Rathann claimed to be an agent of the Great Dragon Icewing, who also seeks Aardelea due to her unique magical powers. He asked the PCs to track down Hefera, the Theran agent who had taken her, and return him (and her, if possible) to Icewing’s lair in the Throal mountains.

The PCs, accepting this plan as being as good as any, pursued Hefera southward as he fled towards Sky Point. They were waylaid by a firbolg and his pack of moon hounds on the way, but quickly gained on the wizard with their supernaturally fast summoned mounts.

In a riverside town, the PCs fell into an ambush left by Hefera. Somehow he had arranged for a trio of hags to wait in the town, one of them impersonating the head woman, who attacked the PCs when they asked around about Hefera.

This battle was short but harrowing. The dream hag put much of the party to sleep, then gave them nightmares which meant that in the real world they were attacking their allies. Only Molokhai escaped this fate, initially, but soon Petr threw off the veil of sleep as well. Tuzigoot and Cro-Mag were not so lucky, and landed not a single blow against the enemies, whom the spellcasters slew and drove off.

Thus the stage was set for the PCs’ confrontation with Hefera, whom they found attempting to acquire new horses in another town. The might of the adventurers’ considerable power fell upon him and his allies, and their resistance was spirited but brief.

However the little girl traveling with them turned out to not be Aardelea at all, but an elven girl named Suverial whom Hefera had kidnapped and convinced to pretend the role. So the PCs were faced with returning to Icewing with Hefera a prisoner, but not having found the little girl they sought.

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Return to Hanto 2
March 20th, 2011

Continuing on their trek across Barsaive, the PCs finally sight their destination: the village of Hanto where they rescued Aardelea from the Grim Legion many months ago.

The village had been destroyed by a massive explosion, but the adventurers found no corpses among the wreckage. A curse denying entry to common folk lay at the outer boundaries. In the center of the village, a strange signpost of sorts sat in the crater formed by the explosion.

Upon approaching the sign post (festooned with arcane sigils and magical dangly bits), it came to life, sending a pulse of world-rending energy that disoriented and harmed the PCs and pulled a pair of Fell Lingerers through from the Feywild. These undead eladrin share some of the qualities of ghosts, but are not incorporeal. However, as the PCs soon discovered, upon being slain they become proper ghosts.

After killing each of the lingerers twice, the PCs searched for clues as to the whereabouts of the missing villagers. A caravan of large carts had left the village recently, and the PCs chose to follow it. Following the trail and other clues, they wound across Barsaive to the southwest, eventually determining that their destination was a slaver camp on the pillar of Moon Spear in the Tylon Mountains.

The base of Moon Spear was defended by a small fortification staffed with some human Theran soldiers, some goliath thugs, and a pair of war scrags. In the close confines of the fortification, Petr and Molokhai’s war magics rent a brutal toll on the foes, but unfortunately, Cro-Mag took the brunt of many of those same attacks.

At the conclusion of the battle, the only slavers remaining were the human army veterans, who briefly tried to flee and were captured. They told of the raid on Hanto, and that the Theran wizard Hefera had ordered them specifically there, in search of Aardalea. Two days before, after their return to Moon Spear, he had met up with other compatriots and left the slaver camp, borne into the sky by a flock of birds.

The party then ascended the winding path up Moon Spear, using the superior speed of their phantom steeds to evade the traps and defensive fire from above, though Petr and Molokhai both lost their mounts.

Atop Moon Spear, the PCs faced the bulk of the remaining slavers, including the leader, a retired Theran general named Gustibus; a Questor of Dis; a quartet of dwarves; and more goliath legbreakers.

This battle was complicated by Molokhai’s over-eagerness to bring the enemy into range of his deadly Prismatic Bolts, which resulted in the bulk of the opposing forces engaging him in the opening moments of the battle. When he fell, Tuzigoot used his Death Spiral ring to teleport by his side, and the battle was split in two.

While this caused complications that meant the party could not bring its forces to bear most effectively for some time, eventually things were brought under control, and the PCs slew first the dwarves and goliaths, then the leaders of the camp.

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Return to Hanto 1
March 6th, 2011

The adventurers set out on the overland journey from Bartertown to Hanto, speeding along much faster due to the use of phantom steeds.

On their way they found a destroyed caravan being ransacked by a land scrag in a strange cloak. Shortly after battle was joined, it became clear that it was not a cloak but a cloaker, and the scrag was Horror-tainted. Much fearing its strange moaning, the party targeted the cloaker preferentially and slew it quickly, and only then turned their attention to the scrag.

The heroes chose next to stop by the twin villages of Cherrypit and Yellowspring, between whom they helped negotiate a peace on their last journey. When they arrived at Cherrypit, however, they discovered the city under attack by strangely powerful plague victims. Investigating their source in Yellowspring, they discovered the entire town wiped out, and the victims of a Horror-construct plague (known as Meazels) the only remaining inhabitants.

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Imprisoned by the Passions
February 20st, 2011

The brave adventurers made plans to depart the Badlands, but were waylaid on their journey out by a dust Horror and the dessicated corpses of his previous victims. Cro-Mag was dragged deep into a silt pool and away from other members of the party, and Petr and Molokhai were swept into the vortex of the dust Horror itself, but eventually, they prevailed.

Upon returning to civilization, Petr decided that the party should find Krathis Gron, an ork who was organizing her people to return to the ork ancestral homeland of Cara Fahd. She was known to be traveling the length and breadth of Barsaive, imploring orks to join her in rebuilding the ancient kingdom.

It took some effort to track her down, and while doing so, the PCs were attacked by a squad of Theran soldiers. Despite some difficulties in killing the squad of archers, the PCs prevailed, though they couldn’t help noting that the archers had an unusual attack. They subdued the squad leader instead of killing her, and interrogated her. When this failed, they killed her and used magic to interrogate her corpse. They learned that the squad was sent to particularly use the Theran spellbows on the party by a Theran ork special agent, Palinque.

Disturbed by this news, the PCs finally located Krathis Gron in the Throalic protectorate village of Red Pot. She had been jailed by the town for inciting treason by convincing every ork in town to leave for Cara Fahd, and one of the town leaders had died in the jail while talking with her, adding murder to her crimes.

The problems of Red Pot were just beginning, however, because a day after the PCs arrived, 200 orks from the scorcher Broken Fang tribe arrived, along with their leader, Charok Redhand, and demanded Krathis Gron’s release. As an obvious neutral arbiter, the Throalic captain in town, Stetgarth, appointed the PCs to resolve the situation.

And this they did, crafting an agreement that met each side’s financial and political needs so perfectly that the death of the merchant (determined to be in self-defense) was quietly forgotten about. Having freed Krathis Gron, the PCs met with her, and experienced first-hand her single minded passion towards her goal. However, thinking that a strong Ork nation on the edge of Theran territory would be a boon for Barsaive, the PCs offered their aid and Krathis Gron accepted.

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Into the Badlands 2
February 7th, 2011

As the PCs descended into the kaer through the collapsed upper levels, they were ambushed by the strange, twisted people, who could flicker through time and space. A battle in the rubble-filled hole ensued, though between Molokhai’s various teleporting abilities and Cro-Mag’s incredible leaping, the terrain was not much of a challenge.

Deeper in the kaer, our brave adventurers found another group of twisted folk working strange forges, accompanied by a Horror Construct ooze. Some clever maneuvering and a Nail of Sealing allowed them to cut one of the foes off for some time, so the battle was rather lopsided.

Finally they came to a central room of the kaer, which seemed to have been converted into a throne room. Here they faced one more twisted folk, this one even further unstuck in time, and the ghost of a terrible Horror Construct, a beholder. The terrible might of Cro-Mag and Petr fell on the twisted folk and he was nearly killed in the first few seconds of the battle, but he hung on to slip away in time and send alternate versions of himself (from other times and places) into battle in his stead. The ghost beholder, meanwhile, hovered over the fray and blasted eyerays at anything that moved.

After a few hairy moments, though, the last of the twisted replicas fell and the ghost beholder was blinded and brought down to ground level, and the PCs prevailed. The kaer thus being secure, they proceeded to their original purpose, which was the discovery of the nature of Derita’s Silk Tailed Wailer. This took a number of rituals, first to learn the Key Knowledge, then to investigate the Research Knowledge, but they finally learned the details of the contract Derita signed with Harjarlifax, and Tuzigoot wove another Thread into the blade. The party also learned that in order to Weave the next Thread, they themselves would have to negotiate with Harjarlifax.

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Into the Badlands 1
January 23rd, 2011

After dealing with the Yuan Ti as requested by Throal, the PCs decided to research the story of Derita’s Silk-Tailed Wailer, in the hopes of allowing Tuzigoot to Weave further Threads into it. They determined that the best course of action was to find the hometown of Derita, which has been lost in the Badlands.

Molokhai’s exceptional research skills gave the group a good route to take into the Badlands, which they took on summoned flying horses. The party encountered a variety of dangers, including a roper which almost killed Cro-Mag, a group of giant scorpions, and a death knight on a charnel hound mount (which also almost killed Cro-Mag).

Finally, they found the ruins of the village they sought deep in the Badlands. Immediately adjacent to the village were the collapsed ruins of an underground kaer, which Molokhai saw was occupied by strange creatures unstuck in time.

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Fortress of the Yuan-Ti 5
Thursday, December 30th, 2010

The PCs stepped through the portal and entered the main temple of the Fortress of the Yuan-Ti.

There they faced an evil priest, a group of yuan-ti archers, some abominations, and a ti-khana raptor. The priest lurked in the back on a step pyramid with the archers, while the other forces engaged.

The PCs chose to withdraw into the staircase and engage the melee combatants while the majority of them had cover from the archers and ranged spells of the priest. This almost worked, but the abominations were able to drag at least one combatant out into the open with their constricting snake tails. However the abominations and raptor fell, and the archers and priest did not last long after.

At the end of the battle, the PCs discovered the sword they sought, Lictor, sitting atop the altar, but it was sucked through a portal by dark magics before they could recover it. After resting the night due to the exertions of the battle, they ventured into the Horror-infested space beyond.

There our brave adventurers were attacked by several swarms of mirrorshard horrors, who could cut them with their infinitely sharp blades and dominate them by reflecting the soul. However they made short work of them in battle. Then they faced a more powerful horror, who could spawn pod-copies of itself, and explode them to injure his enemies.

Slaying the last horror, the PCs recovered the sword and left the temple, leaving none alive in their wake.

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Fortress of the Yuan-Ti 4
November 28th, 2010

The PCs retreated back outside to the slaves to rest a while, and hid among them while a yuan-ti patrol came out to look for them. During this extended rest, Tuzigoot and Cro-Mag told a garbled version of their life story, trying not to reveal their anti-Theran sentiments to Kaalan. However, they managed to talk themselves into deeper and deeper trouble, and ultimately spun an implausible tale involving time travel to account for the mistakes in their stories.

Returning back inside, they found the main hall guarded by more yuan-ti soldiers, as well as a pair of feather crested caimans and a demonic yuan-ti with powers of the mind. In the aftermath of this battle, Kaalan slipped away, having realized that the party was lying to him.

The PCs then returned to the last of the three towers, and descended the open elevator shaft they found. On the middle floor, they found a forge of creation, which they used to perform the legacy upgrade ritual to the Scepter of Akarem the Mage-Builder and to the Amulet of Dirac Tol Amarra. At the bottom they fought a group of yuan-ti wizards in a library, and made short work of them. In the library, Molokhai found some ritual books.

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