Heroes of Barsaive

Lost in the Dreaming 3
June 26th, 2011

The strange shadow version of the Blackheart Liferock in the dreamworld turned out to be a trap for the Blackheart Brotherhood laid by the Nightmare Keeper, a unique and powerful creature that lives in dreams and feeds on nightmares.

The Nightmare Keeper had imprisoned the remaining souls of the Brotherhood in eerie crystalline spikes; torturing them. To battle her, the PCs could engage her directly, or free the faded remnants of the goliath, who would join the battle and provide aid.

The goliath in the spikes also could participate in the battle to a limited extent. They called the dream-Dawn, which burned everyone not in shadow, and willed various other parts of the battlefield to grant benefits to their rescuers.

The battle was long and hard. Cro-Mag called on the ancestors of his home liferock, and was joined in battle by a towering Aspect Of Rage. Together, they occupied the Nightmare Keeper while Petr slung battle-spells from afar. Tuzigoot and Molokhai, meanwhile, almost completely dedicated themselves to freeing trapped goliath, though Tuzigoot kept up a regular stream of dream manipulation to cause shafts of sunlight to burn the Nightmare Keeper.

Once the Keeper was slain, the PCs marshaled their considerable persuasiveness to convince the freed goliath that they were, in fact, real people, and could leave the dreamworld. Having restored the Blackheart Brotherhood, they discovered that the Thundersky moot and the Ironmonger moot were near going to war over the disappearance, each believing the other responsible. With the goliath’s return making it clear that this was not the case, the PCs were rewarded with many treasures by the grateful groups, including Stone Pendants, allowing the company to link their patterns to the Blackheart Brotherhood.

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Lost in the Dreaming 2
June 12th, 2011

The PCs continued their journey through the land of dreams, seeking the lost Blackheart Brotherhood. Amongst the strange and shifting places and images, they entered their own memories of the great serpent temple of Serastis, where a group of barbed devils waited to attack them. The temple soon changed into the floating city of V’strimon, but the battle continued with the combatants hardly noticing.

Later the PCs found themselves wandering through caves of mirrored crystal, and facing the strange and enigmatic nerra. It became clear that the nerra in the cave with the PCs were the reflections, and their true foes were on the other side of the mirrors. Attacking through the mirrors, however, had a distressing tendency to break them and create more nerra.

Eventually the trail of the Blackheart Brotherhood led the PCs to the Dreamspace linked to the Ayodha Liferock, which the goliath had sought. However the space was corrupted and unusable, and the PCs were forced to withdraw.

Later the PCs battled a group of marut across a string of floating islands. Molokhai was slain in the battle, but remained in the Dreaming (as expected), but as an observer, able only to change the battlefield by his will alone. Once the marut were driven off, however, the dreamscape shifted and he was present once more.

Finally, the PCs arrived at what appeared to be their starting point; the dreamworld surrounding the Blackheart Liferock from whence they entered the Dreaming. However, it was clearly not the same place, and the liferock was surrounded by smaller crystalline formations of an unknown nature.

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Lost in the Dreaming 1
May 29th, 2011

Fresh from their great successes in infiltrating the Triumph, the PCs were nonetheless saddened by the defeat of the Throalic army by Theran forces. After returning to Bartertown, they learned more detail of the tragic battle. Apparently the Therans called for a parley, but were simply using it as an underhanded method to attempt to kill King Neden.

Our brave adventurers then returned to Icewing for their reward, and got the Hammer of Nemar Firewalker Named by the great dragon. They then made plans to perform a series of personal missions. First they looked into the story of the Net of Dreams, learning about its past by using a ritual on the shores of Lake Ban.

Next they investigated the owners of the troll fetish they found in the badlands, and learned that it bears the moot-mark of the now defunct Skytoucher trollmoot. The few survivors of Skytoucher moot founded the Thundersky moot nearby, so the PCs journeyed across Barsaive to meet with them and present the fetish.

After some initial confusion over which ancient troll relic the PCs were returning (since they carry the shield Skyfury and the Hammer of Nemar Firewalker) the PCs were able to explain their purpose. The trolls, however, asked them to look into the mysterious disappearance of an entire goliath brotherhood that lived nearby, the Brotherhood of the Blackheart Liferock.

After some investigation the PCs determined that the Blackheart Brotherhood entered the liferock to travel through the deep dreaming to the Ayodha Liferock (now under the Triumph), as a request from Omasu of the Liferock Rebellion. Molokhai modified a goliath ritual so the PCs could follow them in and rescue them.

(The dreamworld has special rules)

The world of dreams was strange and shifting. In a great battle against ice devils from the nearby Astral Sea, the very force of gravity itself was random and fickle. Despite the benefits granted in dreams by the Net of Dreams, Molokhai found it difficult to master this strange space, though Tuzigoot seemed to do so naturally.

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A Message In Bone 2
May 15th, 2011

The PCs had slain the Water Lane Gang, and thus were done with their business in the Burning Caves. However their curiosity and/or greed led them to try their hand at opening the vault which the Water Lane Gang had come to plunder, to see what great and powerful relics of a previous age had been stored away.

The lock proved moderately challenging to open, but with some persistence the PCs were able to achieve mental dominance over all eight runes at once, and open the vault. Inside they found a room with … guards? prisoners? … evil fire creatures, whom they slew.

Thus the treasure was theirs. The found The Standard of Glorious Battle and Storyteller.

Having accomplished this side task, it was time to deliver their macabre package to General Nikar at the Triumph. With some time to plan ahead, the PCs considered their options and invested in a few magic items to support their plan to sneak in to the fortress, and Cro-Mag made efforts to become more intimidating.

Just as these operations were wrapping up, the PCs learned that Throal was marching an army on the Triumph. When a Theran force sallied forth to meet them and avoid a siege, the PCs took the opportunity to move in with their unusual delivery.

Turns out, a combination of his study and magic made Cro-Mag a terrifying sight to behold. A mere glare and the guards parted for him almost all the way into the inner sanctum of the castle, and the operation was implemented without complications.

Unfortunately, on the way back to Bartertown, the PCs saw the aftermath of the battle between the Therans and the Throalic army, a battle which the Therans won handily.

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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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