Land of the Dead Gods

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Continuing the 18th of Leaffall
Planning head back to the Leeside port and hire ship

  • Koogel mentions that his ancestors talked to him in his dreams
    • Provided more information about his boots
    • Koogel can return home whenever he wishes
      • Doesn’t know if this is a one way trip
      • Doesn’t know if this would be Kutz (Koogel’s home) or Pelambris’ home
  • We depart for Leeside

We camp for the night

  • John can’t get to sleep, feeling uneasy with a stabbing pain in his gut
    • One of John’s wounds from the last battle also hasn’t healed
    • This reminds John of shade rot
      • Affects ability to heal and causes some discomfort
      • Realizes that his wound isn’t going to heal very quickly without magic
    • John beckons Brethen to heal him with the red orb
    • Brethen tries to cure the shadow rot, but is unsuccessful
    • John takes the orb from Brethen but is still unsuccessful with curing his wound
  • While unable to sleep, John plays with his ring
    • John is able to cast a ray of darkness
    • Is able to create darkness around himself
    • Can cast darksight on himself
    • Can teleport via shadow

The 19th of Leaffall
Come morning, John has gotten scarcely any sleep and has not healed

  • Koreloff shoots John with a healing arrow
    • John feels a bit better, temporarily
    • John’s wound doesn’t heal

Koogel meditates on his boots and thinks about home

  • Sees visions of Amete’s Hope
  • Doesn’t get any further insight into Pelambris

We head back toward Leesides

  • John continues trying different shadow magic spells en route, without success
  • John notices a wild man up in a tree with a bow, about 50 feet off
    • The bow is drawn
    • As John calls out, two arrows streak out of the trees from the presumed Resk
      • Koogel takes a lot of damage as he stops both arrows with his body
  • Battle ensues
    • Koreloff notices another couple of opponents on the ground
      • Koreloff plugs three arrows into the opposing archer, but the target maintains his balance
    • Koogel attacks one on the ground and discovers two others crouched nearby
    • John shoots a spear of dark energy into a tree near one of the Resk, leaving a large hole
    • Raylek follows up on Koogel’s target with another couple solid hits, but he’s still standing
    • Another two appear, but larger, more muscular, with two-handed clubs
      • They choose to pound Koreloff
      • Koreloff puts three devastating shots into one of them before stepping back
    • John creates an area of shadow around one of the archers in the trees
    • Raylek gets a wicked double hit on this opponent
    • Koreloff hits the first archer, who falls out of the tree like a sack of potatoes
    • John throws a ball of black energy at one of the larger opponents, who cringes upon absorbing the vicious hit
    • Brethen slams his balls again his opponent so hard that the opponent is fazed
    • Koreloff pursues one of the larger retreating Resk
      • Jumps in front of him, drives three arrows into his chest, and the hulking opponent collapses
    • Koogel dispatches his opponent by hacking his leg off
    • After Raylek takes down his opponent, the remaining two run off into the jungle
    • Koogel interrogates the survivors
      • Learns no information
      • Attack was simply because we were here
      • We threatened them and the one guy agreed to not attack us, however much that is worth
    • After the battle, John performs some first aid
      • Koogel has a bad reaction to the herbal compress, resulting in reduced for the rest of the day

We continue on our trek

  • John notices that his shadow rot is finally clearing up after the additional healing he required

The 23nd of Leaffall
We arrive at Leeside

  • Koreloff seeks to purchase all the arrows in town
    • Manages to acquire only 166 arrows
  • We seek out a boat to take us down the coast a ways
    • John speaks with Zendal, some old guy hanging out on the docks
      • Zendal tells us that there’s a desert by our destination: “a big huge dead area”
      • There are snakes, scorpions, “sand giants”
  • We hang out by the beach, drinking beer until the fishing boats come in
    • John approaches the crew of a ship, buys them drinks
    • John negotiates with Captain Meso to ferry us for 5 gold a day
    • Raylek buys 3 kegs: 1 for the glove, 1 each for us and the crew on the boat trip

We head out that evening on our trip to the second artifact on this island

  • Koogel uses his boots and attempts to influence the seas to speed our journey
    • We make unusually good time, surprising the captain
    • We cut the outbound trip in half
  • Raylek also calls upon Waterboy to assist in speeding our travel
    • The ship captain eventually asks us if we have had any influence over the unusual speed of the trip
  • We arrive and the captain requests that second half of the payment
    • John informs the captain that we made double the speed, so we’re even
    • The captain is not pleased, and tells us to get off his ship

The 29th of Leaffall
We are on the shore

  • We see grasslands that eventually becomes more sparse with plant life
  • John encourages us to start off on our trek immediately
  • It is approaching dusk, the temperature is still about 90
  • We begin setting up camp
    • Koogel begins searching for the best campsite, vantage points, etc.
      • Koogel thinks about setting up camp, and a couple fires and five tents appear, plus a picnic table with food
  • The temperature drops at night to about 50
    • The night is uneventful

The 30th of Leaffall
We awaken with breakfast food is already on the table for us

  • We notice the silhouette of a mountain range in the distance
    • Dominates the skyline probably hundreds of miles away to the south, which is where we’re heading
  • We manage to travel about 40 miles
    • The ground gets harder, fewer plants
    • Some cactus type plants, a few animal tracks of mostly small animals
      • Occasionally see strange trails of a differentiation in the hardened mud
        • Different color, but not raised or anything… no idea what it is

As evening approaches, we make camp

  • We rough it, instead of burning all the points in Koogel’s boots with the luxury campsite

The 1st of Darkfall
In the morning, we notice Brethen didn’t get out of his tent

  • John finds him sleeping in his tent, with strange root-like things grown over him
    • Koreloff has heard legends of “sucker bush” in the deserts, which is attracted to moisture
      • It pushes up through the ground and can actually kill people
    • John tries again to try waking him, unsuccessfully
    • Koreloff starts cutting away the hairy root-like growth
      • As he pulls if off Brethen, he sees the marks where the roots attached to his skin
      • Raylek carefully tries to get some water into Brethen
    • We manage to awaken him, but Brethen appears to still be drugged

We head off into the desert

  • The ground begins looking more like a traditional sandy desert
    • Brethen returns to normal after about an hour
  • Evening approaches and we prepare to make camp
    • Koreloff notices some of these presumed sucker bushes
  • John has us hike off a quarter mile and check it out
    • The area seems clear

We make camp

  • Raylek decides to sleep on top of his black jaguar blanket
  • The rest of us attempt to sleep on top of bedrolls or tents for the night
  • The night is uneventful

The 2nd of Darkfall
We head out again

  • Koreloff has noticed a couple different types of tracks
    • A very large herd animal with wide feet
    • A pretty large 4-legged creature, perhaps like a turtle
    • A large scorpion, probably 10 feet long

We arrive at the dunes

  • We find it rather taxing to get up and down the dunes
    • On one of the dunes, Brethen falls and tumbles to the bottom
  • Koreloff notices some horse-like animals in the distance
  • As Raylek is climbing a dune, he thinks he hears a cracking sounds coming from the other side of the dune
    • Brethen throws a ball into the air to check out the other side of the dune
      • Brethen sees nothing unusual
    • Brethen and Raylek head to the top and don’t see anything unusual
    • Brethen throws a ball down to the bottom of the dune
      • Brethen sees an opening in the dune beneath where we’re standing
      • There may be a reddish colored light inside this cavelike opening
  • We descend, giving the entrance a wide berth
    • Brethen chucks a ball into the opening
      • Stone floor, and the “cave” opens wider inside
      • A fire burns about halfway to the back wall
      • There are four very large (15 feet tall) humanoids in the cave
      • There is a large upside-down turtle shell near the fire
    • We decide to expedite our departure from this area
    • We successfully avoid fighting giants

Approaching evening

  • We find a place that seems clear of sucker bush and make camp
  • Brethen chucks balls up on top of nearby dunes and John casts darksight on Brethen
  • The night is uneventful

The 3rd of Darkfall
We head out again

  • The mountains are getting closer
  • A couple of us see a structure off in the distance
    • Hard to see details, but regular shapes appear to be a building or at least man-made
    • Probably about a quarter day’s journey out and on our current path
  • The ground is changing back from sandy to desert scrub
  • As we close in, the structure appears to be a couple hundred feet long and 50 feet high
  • We continue to approach El Scorpion
  • We reach the carved structure and find a set of stairs near the front, with double doors in the claws
    • Koreloff sees bipedal tracks leading at least up to the stairs
    • Brethen sees an altar on the back (top) of the scorpion, where the stairs lead
    • On the doors are ten letters, five carved decoratively on each door
      • Koreloff starts pressing the letters, and they slide in as he presses them
      • About five minutes afterward, a grinding sound is followed by the pincers quickly closing
  • Brethen knows of a scorpion god called “Esheah”
    • The combination to the structure is E-Sh-E-A-H
    • The doors open upon punching in this combo
    • There is a long corridor following the shape of the building
    • We see no bones, tools… just dust and sand

We enter the scorpion structure

  • We follow the hallway down to the main area, where is opens up wider and higher
    • There is a green glow off to the right
      • There is a floor-level pool filled with glowing green liquid
      • In the pool on the front wall is a short ledge with a pair of double doors in the wall
    • Raylek creates an ice bridge to the ledge and finds no traps
      • Opens the doors, which open into a room with another set of double doors 60 feet away
      • There’s something off to the left, and mosaics / murals on floor and walls
        • Desert scenes and writing in runic
      • Brethen, via his balls, notices a corridor with stairs leading down
  • Inside the room
    • John reads the runes
      • There’s a story about Esheah and how he controls life with the poison he wields
    • Raylek opens the other set of doors and finds a 40 × 80 foot room
      • Raised stones with carvings every five feet or so
      • The stones seem to have holes drilled into them along the edges… may be a trap
      • The words carved into the stones seem to be names of poisons
    • Koreloff pushes down on the “shadow wasp” stone with his piece of airship wood
      • The stone requires a lot of force to move it
      • We decide to investigate this room later
  • We descend stairs
    • The stairs go down about 30 feet
    • There appears to be light coming from below, Koreloff hears torches crackling
    • The hallway opens into a 30 × 40 foot room with torches along the walls
      • We see a writhing mass of snakes on the floor
      • Brethen summons a lava elemental and commands it to destroy all the snakes
        • The lava elemental stomps on and blasts the snakes, filling the room with the sound of popcorn
    • A somewhat dark-skinned man in greenish robes appears from one of the corridors
      • Asks us why we’re destroying their creatures, tells us we must stop
      • Brethen dispels the lava elemental
  • Koogel asks about the artifact, is told there are none except for the artifacts of Esheah

Koogel decides we will attack, misses with his lightning bolt

  • Raylek forms a block of ice around the robed opponent’s head
  • Koreloff gets three good arrow hits
  • A blackfire elemental and another lava elemental are summoned
    • A bolt of energy shoots out from the hallway and hits the blackfire elemental
    • The popcorn sounds resumes as the snake stomping begins
  • After being hit by one of the priests, the lava elemental begins acting erratically
    • Attacks Koogel, who dodges and runs over to the priests
  • Koogel nearly kills one of the priests with a devastating attack; the priest drops
  • Raylek follows Koogel’s lead, but misses with both swords
  • Not to be outdone, Koreloff misses so badly that he nearly knocks himself out with his own bow
  • Brethen has to dismiss another elemental because it’s gone crazy
  • Raylek and Koogel hear some muttering from the room next door
    • We see a guy on the floor grabbing his head, surrounded by broken ice
    • The guy that Koogel knocked unconscious is healed almost completely by one of the presumed body mages
  • Koogel, Raylek and Brethen team up brutally on the formerly unconscious priest
  • John is attacked by a priest and paralyzed for 7 rounds
  • Ice Head screws up a spell and stuns himself for 4 rounds
  • Koogel attacks a priest, knocking him out, but this enthusiasm causes him to stun himself
  • We ultimately defeat all of the priests
    • No weapons, only old school mail shirts

Searching the rooms

  • First room
    • Doors are barred, which we remove
    • Found barrels of water, barrel of raw meat
  • Second room
    • Remains of various creatures
    • Brethen scopes out the room with his balls, sees a huge, gold scorpion curled up in the corner
    • Koreloff puts pool poison and a ghoul arrow onto some meat and throws it to the scorpion
      • Scorpion eats it, seems to suffer no ill effects
  • Third room
    • Doors are barred, which we remove
    • Two giant scorpions in opposite corners
    • An alcove a few feet off the floor, with small wooden box sitting in it
    • The scorpions happily eat the meat that Koreloff attempted to poison with the pool juice
    • We summon elementals, which kill the scorpions
    • Raylek retrieves the box and opens it
      • A poisoned needles shoots from the box
      • Raylek takes a bunch of damage from the venom
      • Box contains a pair of filigree chain metal bracers of a bronze-gold color
  • Koreloff takes ownership if the bracers, and the scorpions disintegrate

John checks out the room on the other side of the dart traps

  • John’s shadow elemental died while trying to traverse the traps
  • John shadow teleports with Brethen
  • The hallway leads to the exit at the other claw

Both groups meet outside

  • The scorpion temple seems to have also deteriorated and appears much, much older and weathered

Brethen describes the 13 dead gods, as he knows them

  • Shondar, god of shadows and things that are hidden
  • Encharya, goddess of love, lust and emotions
  • Tharus, god of thievery, quickness and luck
  • Dunarus, goddess of retribution and fury
  • Sucram, god of mischief and entertainers
  • Pelambris, god of seas, sailors and change
  • Akharam, god of sunpower, leadership and protection
  • Eortha, goddess of earth, strength and nature
  • Ariel, goddess of air and weather
  • Hethas, god of life and death
  • Niala, goddess of healing and living things
  • Archimedes, god of knowledge and reason
  • Lishara, goddess of crafting and civilization
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The 7th of Leaffall
We decide which boons we accept from the Earth Lord

  • The team, excepting Brethen, asks for armor

The team gets 80 XP (add in any additional bonuses)
We decide to head out to the artifact near the center of the bay

  • Prior to resting, we search the corpses
    • We collect 51 gold, 38 silver
    • Two blood knives
      • Made from blood stone, which sprouts spikes upon meeting skin and it absorbs blood
      • Once inserted into a body, will form spikes that make it difficult to remove
  • We rest before our journey
    • 5 hours of uneventful downtime
  • It’s afternoon when we get up and set out on our trek
  • Koogel uses his superboots to speed us up
  • The terrain is a bit more wooded and jungle-like than near the breach
  • We pass some rivers en route and see wildlife, but no people
    • We notice a couple of old buildings and small villages that have fallen into ruin
    • Brethen and John are aware that this island has varied terrain (jungle through desert and some mountains)
      • We know essentially nothing about any people or civilizations here
  • We camp for the night
    • Night is uneventful, except for the distracting noises

The 8th of Leaffall
We head off again into the thickening jungle

  • It gets more difficult to make out way through the jungle, but Koogel’s boots seem to help him
  • The three of us in the rear see Koreloff jump backward suddenly
    • It seems that Koogel just walked across some quicksand without noticing it
  • Koogel decides to pay more attention and slow down a bit

We eventually find a clearing suitable for camping

  • Koogel attempts to collect some bananas from a tree and fails
  • On John’s watch, Raylek gets up to take a leak and a very large black panther introduces itself
    • The panther attacks Raylek but misses
    • Raylek gets a couple hits in, including a solid slice across its flank
    • Battle ensues as the beast follows Raylek back toward camp
    • We take it down, Raylek skins it and puts it into his glove

The 9th of Leaffall
We head off again

  • About four hours into the journey we notice the jungle thinning
  • We pass another ruined tower, similar to what we saw near the blood breach
  • We begin entering a somewhat hilly terrain

The 13th of Leaffall
We’ve been travelling for several uneventful days
Off in the distance, we can see the intact walls of a city near the inlet

  • The wall appears to be well built, about 40 feet tall with armed guards
  • There is one large gate and a smaller gate
  • The people appear to be relatively dark skinned
  • There are some ships docked, but none appear to be Ton-tian
  • We notice no traffic going into / out of the city

John leads us directly to the main gate

  • As we get about 20 feet from the gate, a guard approaches with his pike out
  • The guard responds to John in a stilted common
    • The guard seems to speak a dialect of Ramanthian
  • John feeds the guard a line of bullshit about us being archaeologists and historians
  • The guard allows us in, but advises us to not make any trouble
  • Guard tells us that the walls and guards are primarily to keep out wildlife
    • There are some other cities, but no recent conflicts between Leeside and the others

We enter Leeside

  • There is a variety of homes of moderate construction quality
  • Some street vendors, including a guy selling meat on a stick
  • We head toward the docks
    • Two big piers, each with one large ship docked
  • We find a rustic tavern with some sailors, and we are approached by the inn keeper
    • We order their finest ales
    • We are told that we would likely not find horses for sale in Leeside
    • We get locations of some shops
    • Are told the ship traffic is mostly with Sarunir and Ormosaea
    • The “Resk” make it dangerous to travel outside the city
      • People a bit larger and uglier than us, wild men in the mountains
  • We do some shopping
    • Koreloff picks up some arrows
    • Koreloff finds someone to try fashioning arrowheads from the blood dagger
      • Koreloff ends up with 5 bloodstone arrowheads
    • We pick up some iron rations
    • We stop at the alchemist’s shop
      • Probably the best stocked magic shop we’ve ever visited
      • In addition to the Resk, we are warned of the valley of shadows
        • Dark even at noon, populated by shadow creatures
    • We stop at the butcher and pick up a side of beef
    • Raylek finds a tannery and exchanges the panther for a full-sized, tanned skin
  • We eat, drink, and head back to bed

The 14th of Leaffall
We head out on our quest

  • Halfway through the day, the earth rumbles and rises, and the Earth Lord emerges
  • Earth Lord offers us the armor as compensation for our service
    • Raylek receives chainmail armor, grey to black in color, cool stealth abilities
    • John receives what appears to be very light clothing
    • Koreloff receives scalemail armor, the scales look almost like feathers with a light bluish tint
    • Koogel receives a hard leather armor with buckles and straps all over, and many scabbards built in
  • The rest of the day is uneventful

The 18th of Leaffall
We’ve been making good time and having a generally uneventful trip

  • About three quarters through the day, we see the top of a dark dome in the distance
    • Appears to be simply a dome of “darkness”
    • This appears in the valley between some mountains and a higher hilly area
    • Sounds like the valley of shadows

We continue toward the dome

  • It appears to have a rather defined “edge” where it appears, and grows darker toward the center
  • John starts into the sphere, even with darksight he doesn’t seem to see as well as expected
  • John notices some flying forms up in the sky in the darkness
  • John detects that he’s surrounded by shadow magic

In the dome, Brethen and Koreloff notice scurrying creatures that look like bipeds moving on 4 legs

  • Koreloff preemptively attacks the approaching welcome party
    • A solid 3 hits that should be fairly devastating, but the target doesn’t seem particularly affected
  • Koogel charges in and gets a solid attack, producing a vicious wound to its chest, it goes down
  • Raylek follows and gets a light hit in
  • Battle continues
  • Brethen is attacked by the flying creatures
    • Slightly smaller than a man, with claws, beaks, wings
  • We take down the last of the three ground creatures and focus on the flyers
  • The flying beasts appear to retreat
  • We search the dead humanoid beasts but find nothing

We continue further into the darkness

  • Darkness increases as progress
  • We notice remains of some small ruins as we proceed
  • Occasionally we see movement on the left and right in the darkness
  • Koogel notices two large shadows in the distance in front of us
  • John yells out “greetings” in the language of shadow
    • Vulg asks what John’s doing here, says this is a place for creatures of shadow, not the enslavers of them
  • John summons a blackfire elemental, angers Vulg for enslaving one of the shadow creatures
  • The large shadowy creatures start approaching from a hundred yards off
    • Vulg dismisses John’s blackfire elemental
  • Koogel charges up to attack, describes the monsters to the group
    • Somewhat humanoid, dark greyish flesh, 15 feet tall, massive, look strong, some chain armor
    • Kurg armed with massive two-hand sword, Vulg with massive two-hand maul
    • Koogel gets six quick hits on his target
  • The monsters seem to absorb damage like big, dark, deadly sponges
    • Raylek joins the fray, swings wildly in the dark and nicks himself
    • Vulg pounds Brethen halfway into the ground with his maul
  • John runs over, grabs Raylek, and shadow teleports to where he believes the sphere is
    • We arrive in total darkness, even with darksight we can’t see
    • Raylek starts feeling around for the artifact
  • The rest of the party continues the battle
  • John walks toward the source of the darkness
    • Grabs something metallic and round, picks up the ring and puts it on
    • We notice the shadows beginning to dissipate
  • Koreloff gets in an excellent hit on Kurg, stuns him for several rounds
    • Koogel follows up and takes down Kurg
  • We focus on Vulg, who is fazed and slowly taking more and more damage
    • We eventually whittle him down as the shadow dissipates
  • With the shadow dissipating, the shadow creatures scurry off looking for darkness
    • We see them start to drop dead in the brightening light
  • We search the area but find only corpses
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Continuing the 6th of Leaffall – early evening Cenerthan Time (CT), dawn local time
We are at the edge of the breach, contemplating our tactics

  • John plays around with the rod some more
    • Believes it is a 4th level universal matrix
    • Can hold 40 SE
  • Our team begins strategizing… this could take a while
    • Eventual plan is to somehow disable the towers; no idea how we’re going to do this yet
    • John summons a wolf
      • Wolf cautiously approaches after a half hour
      • John commands the wolf to check out the tower, but is informed that they’ve lost pack members there
      • John probes for more info, doesn’t get a lot of insight
      • John commands wolf to take a lap around and sniff for recent signs of humans
        • No traces of recent humans, just the strange invaders
  • We plan to sleep until after midnight and begin our excursion during the night
    • Nap time is uneventful
    • We observe regular shift cycle of 4 hours at the camps

We head off toward the old stone tower at about 2 am

  • There is a fire atop the tower and at entrance
  • Plan is to stealthily approach using cover foliage, use entrance and take stairs
    • Raylek sneaks up and hits the first guard in the back, who is stunned
    • Koreloff gets 3 devastating hits on the 2nd guard with ghoul arrows
      • Guard is stunned for multiple rounds and suffers severe damage
    • Brethen embarrassingly hits the first guard in the ass with his balls and further stuns him
    • John hits the first guard with a sphere of blackfire
    • Koreloff shoots the second guard again, thrice in the head
      • One arrow enters through the guard’s eye socket, scrambling his brain
    • Raylek gets two wicked hits, the first guard’s throat is pierced and he chokes on his own blood
  • We search the corpses
    • They wore an oddly cut scale mail and were armed with swords: broadsword and bastard sword
    • The bodies have small 3-inch bony spikes protruding from their bodies
  • Brethen scans the inside of the tower via a thrown ball
    • 3 humanoids around a table, one dressed differently from the rest, and another two lying down
    • Stairs ascending along the outside wall
  • Koogel notices that he can concentrate on his boots and gain an additional attack per round
  • John shapeshifts into a guard and enters the tower
    • Walks directly toward one of the sleeping guards, nonchalantly sticks the soul knife into the guards eye
      • Brethen sees the other guards notice the incident and cries out, “It’s on!”
    • Koreloff launches 3 arrows at the “leader” or whatever the differently dressed fellow is
      • Gets 3 solid hits with ghoul arrows, stunning him
    • Raylek gets a couple decent hits on one of the others at the table
      • A guard cries out, “We’re being attacked!”
    • Koogel charges in, attacking the “leader”
      • Takes out the leader in a flurry of attacks
    • Raylek gets whacked with a heavy, two-handed mace
    • John stabs the other still-sleeping guard in the eye
    • Koreloff aims for a guards head
      • Hits hard with three shots, stunning the guard
    • Raylek returns another hit against his opponent, stunning him
    • John runs upstairs and hammers a guard with a ball of disruptive energy
      • Two guards return the favor with a war hammer and a broadsword
    • Vicious battle continues, as we learn how hearty our opponents are, with well over 100 life points
    • Raylek jumps in to help John, performs a devastating attack on a previously untouched guard
    • Brethen pushes a guard down the stairs, shattering his leg
    • Some unarmored mage-like figure descends from the roof
      • Casts reddish energy which forks to attack 3 targets
      • Koogel, Raylek, and John all feel pain coursing through them as their bodies absorb the damage
        • The body mage was using a bone break spell
    • Brethen and Koogel work together to dismantle the mage before he can cause more damage
    • We ultimately manage to finish off the remaining guards and prevent any from escaping
  • We search the corpses, but find only armor and weapons
    • The mages (“leader” from first level was also a mage) had only their clothing

Now that the tower has been secured…

  • We search the area for signs of reinforcements approaching, find none
  • John retrieves his soul dagger from the dead guard
    • Koogel and Raylek both find no difference after letting it sit in a dead guy
  • John searches the tower
    • Table has the odd dice the bloodlings were playing with
    • Some bedding, but nothing of value lying around
  • We evaluate the metal pole atop the tower
    • Shiny, brushed metal appearance with a slightly reddish tint
    • Toward the top of the pole, some runes are inscribed
    • Koogel touches the pole and it feels like cool metal
    • Raylek tries climbing the pole and ends up tipping the whole thing over
      • It falls flat onto the top of the tower, Raylek barely escapes serious injury
      • As it falls, the phase between the planes gets narrower until it blinks out of existence
      • Now the blood plane has “shorted” between the two adjacent metal poles
    • We manage to push the pole back upright, but the field doesn’t “pop back” to this pole
    • John attempts to damage the pole with a mace, but only produces scratches

We plan to take out additional poles / “blood towers”

  • At the next tower, we see additional towers lying on the ground, and one being worked with hammer and chisel
  • John summons two black skeletons to attempt pushing the tower over
    • A mage reacts, yells out, and casts bone break spells on both, hitting one
    • Two guards attack the injured skeleton, killing it… the skeleton explodes violently
      • Injuries to all within 30 feet, and the tower falls down
      • The fallen tower breaks the blood plane breach into two separate breaches
        • The space between reverts to the earth plane and whatever was inside the blood plane, disappears

We head to another tower

  • Koogel kicks a rock and alerts guards to our presence
  • John summons 2 skeletons, as guards start to approach our position
  • John also summons a lava elemental
  • Brethen notices a rune start to glow, out of the ground, in the middle of camp
  • Skeletons are ordered to push down the tower
  • We see something like a red water elemental (probably a blood elemental) emerge from a tent
    • Blood elementals:
      • Rarely found on earth plane
      • Can sense life / blood
      • Have blood attacks that can cause creatures to suffer bleeding-related damage
  • The skeleton successfully pushes the tower over onto the blood elemental
    • The rune, which was within the blood plane space, disappears

We head to the other intact section of blood plane

  • We notice two blood elementals in our path and we give them wide berth
  • John summons a skeleton are we are still travelling toward the camp
  • We arrive near our destination camp
    • Brethen and Koogel spot another rune in the ground at camp
    • The black skeletons arrive
      • The first skeleton on the scene successfully pushes the tower down
    • We see a mage, two blood elementals and a bunch of guards… we depart

We haul ass over to the last intact blood plane breach

  • En route, John summons another skeleton
  • As we approach the camp, we notice another rune in the ground
  • John sends a skeleton in
    • We see 4 blood elementals, two mages, and numerous guards
      • We attempt to skirt around camp and come back from the south
    • We decide to head off to another tower
      • The skeleton eventually succeeds in taking out the tower
      • The remaining towers now only support 2-dimensional “ribbons” of breach

We head off to a tower in the north to disrupt the remaining “ribbons” of breach

  • As we run past a camp, we notice it also has two mages and blood elementals

We approach our destination

  • John looses a skeleton
  • We notice two mages and two blood elementals with the guards at this camp
  • As the skeleton attempts to push over the tower, 3 guards attack it
    • Two more blood elementals appear
    • The skeleton is taken down and explodes
      • The tower topples as all nearby bloodlings take damage
    • We come to realize that the runes in the ground are actually warning devices that sense earth power

We take down the last poles that supported breach “ribbons” and haul ass away

  • As we make our escape, Brethen summons the earth lord
    • Earth lord shows up, we explain our accomplishments
    • The earth lord says that he needs us to also destroy the remaining mages
    • The earth lord also provides earth gems to help Brethen and John recharge their SE
  • We return to the fight and eventually wear down and destroy the remaining mages
    • They were blood druid / earth druid combos that had bone break and could massively damage earth elementals
  • The earth lord buries the metal towers in the earth so that they cannot be reused
    • He believes they managed to prop open an existing breach and continue enlarging it
  • The earth lord explains that Koogel has Palumbrus’s boots
    • Koogel’s speed of travel may explain why Palumbrus was able to seemingly appear at will
    • Palumbrus was the god of speed and travel
  • The earth lord offers boons to the members of Brethen’s party (excluding Brethen)
    • Offers increases to strength or metabolism
      • Koogel accepts 2 point boost to strength
    • Could probably have a friend create light, silent, effective armor for Raylek
    • Is willing to provide one additional travel to anywhere on the planet
      • Balks at John’s requests for various service levels of Earth Lord’s Taxi Service
    • Can provide certain earth powers, spells
    • Could provide earth sense (ability to sense earth power and creatures with earth power)
View
20131109

Continuing the 3rd of Leaffall
We search the large room in detail

  • Koogel decides to eat one of the tubers
    • It’s a little bitter, but otherwise similar to a potato
  • Koreloff investigates the “statue” of the dude with the hammer
  • The statues appear to be stone
    • Koreloff taps both of them, and they feel like stone
    • Koreloff doesn’t notice any unusual features
    • Raylek notices that the bottom of the dais appears to have a gap between the front panel and the top edge
      • Raylek opens and finds a drawer with a fitted void for a foot long dagger; rotted cloth lies on top
    • Koreloff checks for a similar feature on the spell caster
      • Finds a metal rod about foot long, inch in diameter, embellished with four green gem studs
  • John plays with the rod and tries to get some reaction
    • Can add and remove SE
    • Tries putting in SE, aiming it and trying to “cast” something; no success
  • Raylek confirms the crates are all grubs and tubers
  • No other interesting features on the statues

We decide to explore through the double doors

  • We stack crates in front of the tunnel as a warning device
  • The doors swing freely, into the large room with the statues
  • The very large room behind the doors contains
    • A broad, one foot high raised dais with a stone altar
      • Behind the altar is a fresco of a battle scene between elementals, armies and a few very powerful looking people
        • John and Brethen are confident that this painting represents the god wars
      • The altar holds silver candlesticks with some burned candles
    • A jumble of eight to ten chairs are piled in two opposite corners
  • Raylek searches the altar for traps, finds none
  • No blood on the altar
    • Raylek takes the tarnished silver candlestick holders

We enter into the adjacent room through a slightly ajar door

  • See remnants of curtains or draperies and some furniture piled along the walls of the room
  • Seems like something may have been bedding in the piles of this room

In the next room

  • There is some furniture in this room, some beds
    • There are old weapon racks on the one wall, with a single, brittle, ancient polearm
    • This room was probably a barracks
  • The breeze we’ve noticed seems to be coming from this room
  • There is a pair of massive doors on the one wall

We proceed through the massive doors

  • They open onto a large balcony, with an ivory colored balustrade
  • The balcony is about midway between floor and ceiling of a 100 foot high room
    • Stairs descend on either side of the balcony
    • 30 foot tall statues stand on the floor by the stairs, and a matching pair on the other wall
  • The room is absolutely massive
    • A glow emanates from the far side of the room
    • In the middle of the room is a giant pit, vaguely oblong, extending wider than the walls
      • The walls over the pit have partially collapsed into the pit
  • Koogel descends the stairs
    • At bottom of stairs, finds a large quantity of dried blood and drag marks toward the pit
      • John believes the blood was spilled within the last few days
    • Tied to the baluster is a rope that leads to the pit, hanging down into the pit
    • Koogel goes to peer into the pit
      • Two creatures leap out of the pit to attack him
        • Grey skinned, hunched, hairless creatures with hand-like appendages on all four limbs
        • Legs and arms appear to be all the same length
        • They have a large, wide, dangerous-looking mouth
  • Koogel is hit by one of the creatures’ claws
    • Koogel gets in a fairly solid hit of his own
    • Koreloff scores a vicious hit and the target tumbles back into the pit
    • John plays with his rod, tries to force the creature of the edge; fails
    • Koogel takes more damage from the remaining beast, as several more climb up
    • Koreloff nails one with a wicked hit and the beast crumbles to the ground
    • More creatures climb out of the pit as John fumbles his spell
    • Brethen flings his balls at one of the pit monkeys
      • His balls connect in a stunning attack on the beastie’s own balls
    • Koogel destroys his opponent as more creatures appear
    • Raylek is bitten and clawed, despite being possibly the most benign of our party during this fight
    • As our crew fights valiantly, we hear scrambling that sounds like even more pit monkeys coming
    • Koogel, already stunned, is brutally attacked
      • Koogel is practically shredded to pieces – he looks dead
    • We retreat to the stairs in order to present a wall of defense
    • John casts a disruption sphere at a group of the pit monkeys
      • 3 of them crumble away, the lone standing pit monkey calls out and retreats into the pit
    • The rest of the pit monkeys that are still standing, follow in retreat

After the battle

  • Koreloff uses the one-time power of his bow to restore life to Koogel
  • Koreloff provides additional healing to the rest of us
  • Brethen tosses a ball into the pit
    • Sees jagged, very steep walls
    • No pit monkeys are spotted clinging to the walls
  • We search the area
    • No hidden compartments on the archer statues
    • Koreloff believes that the bow style is a thousand years old
    • We notice that the breeze is coming out of the pit
  • John and Raylek shadow shadow teleport the rest of the party to the other side
  • We notice some markings on the floor before the chest in the alcove
    • No one in the party recognizes the symbols of the two runes
  • Raylek walks up to inspect the chest
    • As Raylek steps forward, he hears stone grating behind him
      • The stone statues raise their bows and the knights begin moving
  • John runs up to the chest
    • It is a stone chest and the glow emanates from the marbling
    • Raylek finds no traps except for the two runes in front of it
    • Most of us are behind the chest, as a giant stone arrow explodes against the wall behind us
    • The knights begin moving toward us
    • We begin sliding the lid and one of the runes activates
      • Fire explodes in a 30 foot radius
    • John steals a bag from the crypt and we run off
    • John is hit again with a huge stone arrow, and another hits Raylek
    • John shadow teleports back to the balcony with Brethen
    • Raylek shadow teleports with Koreloff and Koogel back to the balcony
      • He takes two arrows during the process

We evaluate our new artifact

  • A pair of half height boots
    • Appears to be very nice leather
  • Koogel puts them on, they fit very nicely
    • Koogel tries numerous things and at first, the boots don’t seem to do anything for him
    • When he concentrates, he seems to be able to move and travel faster, which also affects the rest of us

We head back to other areas we haven’t investigated

  • One room has two pillars, 14 chairs in disarray
    • Seems otherwise empty, nothing of interest
  • The other room is 40 × 40 feet
    • A number of spigots protrude from the wall about 5 feet up, appear to be leaking water
    • Floor is sloped toward the side with the spigots with a gap along the lower side where water drains
    • In one corner, near the leaking spigot, is a pile of minerals
      • Appears to be a human skeleton beneath the minerals
      • There is a black dagger near the skeleton, appears to match the cutout from the other room
      • Appears to be a soul knife
        • Known to do soul damage during attacks, can hurt things immune to physical attacks
  • In the bug tunnel, Koogel mudwarps us past the pit
    • After meandering for a bit, the tunnel opens into a larger area
      • Some supplies in here, and some spots that look like “bug beds”
    • We decide that there’s probably nothing else interesting down here, we head back

We head back to the crevasse

  • Brethen summons the Earth Lord
    • He still needs our services and could use the service of our entire party
    • He is willing to return us to wherever we would like to be placed
      • Assuming we survive to return, we could save weeks of travel
    • The Earth Lord explains:
      • There’s been an incursion of the blood plain into the earth plain
      • The forces have created a more permanent breach
      • Earth Lord would like us to close the breach
  • Brethen says that we’ll call upon him in a couple days after we’re healed

The 6th of Leaffall
We spent a few days recuperating and training in peace

  • Brethen calls the Earth Lord
    • Earth Lord forms a globe out of dirt, points out Bythitrion, which is where the breach is occurring
    • We are told that we could be dropped near the camp
  • Koreloff discusses the god wars with Earth Lord
    • They fought the gods because the planes beings resented certain constraints placed upon them
    • Killing the gods was a mistake, as demonstrated by the breaches over the last centuries
    • Koogel has Ertha’s sword
    • Raylek has Ferris’ gloves
    • Erthis had the death orb and the life bow, which Koreloff now has
    • Brethen has the red orb, Denarus’s power source, and Secrum’s juggling balls
    • We learn that there are likely god items in other planes
  • We join hands and the Earth Lord takes us into the earth
    • After 10 hours, we pop up in a grove of trees
    • It is a similar climate and about dawn; it doesn’t feel like we’re in the blood breach yet

It’s now early evening Cenerthan Time (CT), dawn local time
We head in the direction of the supposed breach

  • We come to a ridge and the sky has a strange cast of green to it
    • Looking down, we see a “phase” between the blood plain and ours
      • There are a number of metal pillars at each cusp of the breach, about 30 feet tall and 5-10 diameter
    • We see camps near these pillars
      • The humanoids are green-complected with spiky skin
View
20131012

Continuing midday of the 2nd of Leaffall

Brethen decides to try something with the orb

  • Gazes into the orb and thinks, “oh great red orb, which path should we take?”
    • No effect
  • Thinks of using the SE that John put into it, but again no dice

We evaluate the area

  • Lots of vegetation
  • Some very large birds off in the distance
  • The hole we’re nearest is about 300’ down on the opposite side of the crevasse
    • About 10’ diameter, fairly circular, seems unnatural in its geometry
    • Not all of the holes / “cave entrances” are so round

Koogel decides to mud warp us down to the hole beneath us

  • We are at the entrance to what appears to be a natural cave
    • Probably about 20’ across, well packed ground
    • Appears to be a tunnel that makes a turn farther in
    • Koogel hears some cracking, like something being splintered… bones, wood, rocks

Torches are lit and we proceed deeper into the tunnel

  • John uses his dark sight powers to look farther than the torchlight carries
  • John and Koogel stealthily move forward; suddenly the bone cracking sound ceases
    • They notice broken up pieces of bone lying on the ground
  • John steps a little farther into the tunnel
    • A pair of creatures like wolf pups, about 4’ at the shoulder, appear
    • One of the wolf pups jumps at John
    • Both of the creatures start growling and yapping
    • John attacks one of them with blackfire and hits; the target yelps and looks injured
    • John retreats
  • We hear a loud yowl
    • John and Koogel see a much larger version emerge
    • Koogel charges and attacks
    • The rest of us charge in

We engage in a bit of battle with at least three of these wolf-like beasts

  • Koreloff, Brethen and Raylek see only the large one
    • We’re generally missing horribly, but the creature seems very solid… possibly armored
  • Koreloff nails the pup that jumped on Koogel’s back and it crumples to the ground
    • The enraged parent viciously attacks Koogel
  • Raylek shoots a frost bolt into the ceiling and icy debris rains down
  • Another large beast enters, with another pup trailing behind
  • Koreloff rips a wound along the side of the first large beast
  • John destroys the pup in the other room; it disintegrates and falls to the ground
  • Raylek hits the large one with an ice bolt, but it still seems to be shrugging off the injuries
    • The battle continues and it’s taking forever to whittle these creatures down
  • Koreloff gets a wicked triple hit on the beast that’s been ripping us apart
    • Multiple hits to the abdomen and back… the creature crumples to the ground
  • John gets a solid hit on the remaining large wolf beast
    • It is enraged and seeks revenge for the death of its mate, but fails miserably
  • Raylek changes targets to the pup and hits with two stunning attacks: the pup goes down
  • John gets in the last hit on the lone standing beast

We examine the beasts and the cave

  • The wolf beasts skin / fur feels very solid
    • Nobody recognizes what these things are
    • Their claws look like stone
    • The flesh of these creatures seems to be “meat,” but is very dense, different from most animals
  • We can’t identify the bones littering the cave floor
  • There are scraps of leather and what appears to be equipment in the piles of bones
    • This indicates that there have probably been some humans eaten here
  • Koreloff decides to toss one of the wolf beasts out of the cave to see if scavengers go after it
    • We don’t notice anything interested in the free meal

We survey the other cave openings that we see

  • There is at least one more opening of an unusually circular nature
  • One opening on the other side appears to have spider webs in it

We mud warp to the next opening, find nothing

Raylek uses shadow teleportation to check out the cave across the way

  • It may have been once used as a camp / home by someone / something, but is now empty

Koogel takes us to the bottom and we investigate the crevasse as we hike along to the next cave

  • We believe we see some signs of biped traffic down here
    • Seems to be 5 or 6 people, headed the direction we’re going
    • Koreloff believes they were here within the last month
  • We notice two of the large winged creatures, about human sized, heading toward us
    • We run toward some trees for protection
    • Koreloff takes one down with a pair of deadly shots
    • Brethen hits the other, but it continues approaching
    • Raylek gets in another pair of light hits, but it seems mostly unfazed
  • The remaining creature aborts its attack and flies into the hole that is our destination
  • The downed avian has leathery wings like a reptile
    • Huge clawed hands and feet, about 6’ wingspan
  • Three more of the creatures fly out of the cave toward us
    • Koreloff, John and Brethen are attacked
    • Koreloff takes one down
    • Brethen and Koreloff both have spectacular misses
    • Raylek kills the creature that Koogel had stunned
    • Koogel successfully tests his attack of dragging an opponent into the earth
    • Raylek finally gets an excellent hit, and we dispatch the rest of the creatures

Koogel mud warps us to the cave

  • 12’ high entry, about 10’ to 15’ wide, ceiling rises to 40’ about 15’ in, opens to large cavern
  • Floor is very dirty with reptile-bird excrement
  • Numerous ledges along the walls of the cavern
    • Raylek and Koogel climb to the ledges, find rock nests, nothing of interest

Koogel mud warps us to one of the circular tunnels

  • The edges of the walls have smooth grooves “carved” around the circumference of the 10’ wide tunnel
    • Grooves don’t appear to have marks from human tool work
    • Walls appear to be compressed earth with some rock
  • We begin heading into the tunnel
    • Cave meanders a bit, has a 10’ dip at one point
    • Have probably dropped about 20’, turned and are probably travelling parallel to the crevasse
    • About 1500’ in so far, still no forks or unusual features
    • We seem to feel a “rumble,” but not a sudden sound… seems like we just noticed an existing effect
    • After about 20’ further, rumbling is getting louder and we notice some dust falling from the ceiling
      • The bottom of the tunnel collapses beneath Koreloff, who falls 30’ into a similar tunnel
      • Koreloff sees the tail of some kind of worm heading away down the tunnel
    • Raylek pulls Koreloff back up
    • John dodges aside as a worm breaks through the wall, grabs Koogel, and cruises on away
      • Raylek and Koreloff attack the worm that is still passing through
      • The abomination is a segmented, chitinous, brown worm, about 150’ long
    • Koogel escapes the worm’s maw and returns
    • We haul ass the rest of the way and emerge at the other circular opening we’d seen earlier

We go to the surface and collect wood prior to heading back to one of the empty caves

  • We build a fire for the evening
  • Brethen wakes us in the morning after an uneventful evening

The 3rd of Leaffall

We climb down to the bottom of the crevasse

  • After walking along the bottom, we find the tracks we’d see earlier
    • They lead up to the cave near the end
    • We decide to climb up to the cave
      • John turns himself into some kind of clawed giant to assist in climbing
    • We arrive at the cave, which ends at about 40’ in a wall
      • Wall appears to be non-natural, has kind of a marbled look to it
      • Koreloff finds the tracks in the cave
      • In the corner we find a piece of a door that’s opened
      • Koogel tries evaluating the wall using his sword, and he feels that the wall sort of “rejects” him
      • Raylek finds only extremely well fitted large stones, with no other visible surface features
  • We enter a room with four benches
    • Constructed out of the same stone as the wall at the end of the cave
    • We enter the long hallway at the rear of the room
    • Koogel seems to step on a trigger for some type of lightning attack
      • Koogel is hit hard
      • The lightning then jumps to John, Brethen, then Raylek
      • After the dust is burned away, we clearly see the rune that he stepped on
    • Koreloff notices some humanoid tracks from prior visitors
    • At the turn in the hall is a pile of rubble, loosely stacked up to the ceiling
      • Appears to be deliberately placed, not actually collapsed
      • Some (not all) appears to be the same type of rock from the earlier rooms
      • After clearing some of it, Raylek sees that it opens into another room
    • We clear passage to the barricaded room
      • On the far side of the room is a hole dug into the wall
      • There are also a few wooden crates along the far wall
      • At one end wee see a statue, about 12’ tall, in an action pose, wielding a hammer
      • At the other end we see a statue of a caster in the act of throwing a fireball
      • Meanwhile, Koreloff and Koogel search the barracks and find nothing

John enters the room

  • Raylek teleports over to a crate and lifts the lid
    • It’s filled with some sort of tubers, like potatoes or something
      • Raylek cuts one in half and it appears to be a fresh potato
      • Raylek places a crate of potatoes into his glove
  • Koogel confirms that he’s unable to mud warp through the floor
  • All the crates on the far wall contain tubers
  • Koreloff looks down the one tunnel
    • It goes about 30’ before it takes a jog
  • John checks a crate on the other wall, finds it contains dead grubs
    • As we move to check the other crates, we discover a number of insectoid creatures
      • They let out a very loud screech when they see Raylek
      • They act aggressively toward Raylek
  • We engage the creatures
    • Raylek misses with a frost bolt
    • Koreloff destroys one with his first shot
    • After a couple more hits, the bug in front of Koogel lets out another horrifying screech
      • The bug then attacks Koogel with two of its four arms and connects
    • Raylek is hit, then an answering screech comes from the other tunnel
      • Koreloff is hit by the newly arrived bugs
    • Sixty percent of our party is fazed or stunned; things are not looking good
    • John summons a black skeleton
    • Raylek gets pounded by three bugs
    • Koogel takes one down, but is subsequently surrounded and takes a pounding, himself
    • Brethen again pulls out his balls and throws them in a bug’s face
      • The power of his balls stuns his opponent
    • The Black Skeleton appears and whacks a bug
    • Koogel remains surrounded by bugs as we all cluster in a tight, bloody knot in the corner of the room
    • Koreloff rips off an absolutely horrific hit through a bug’s head and out the other side; it falls
    • Koogel gets a couple solid hits in and the last two bugs flee down the tunnel
      • The skeleton pursues its targets
  • Raylek chases after the bugs and the skeleton
    • At a turn, Raylek listens for the bugs and hears both the bugs and a scraping sound
    • Raylek stops before he falls into the pit that caught the skeleton
      • The black skeleton is making the scraping sound with its futile attempts to climb out of the pit
View
20130727

Resuming late day on the 24th of Highsun

We have just entered the town of Stenmore

  • John inquires about places to buy horses
  • Raylek inquires about very large, tall people in the area
    • Is informed that the guard has heard a few people mention huge people recently
    • Supposedly have been attacking or other “bothering” folks, no real details
  • We head off in search of replacement horses
    • Brethen negotiates a trade for the cost of 3 silver for the group
    • We stable our horses and head 3 doors down to the inn
  • We arrive at the inn
    • Small place, a few dining tables, no bar
    • We enjoy some food and ale, and make an early night of it
    • We get some training in and have an otherwise uneventful evening

The 25th of Highsun

We get some early breakfast and ale before heading off

  • They lower the bridge for us
  • The guard wishes us well and tells us to watch for the giants
  • We head off northward, following the river
  • We camp for the night, which is uneventful

The 26th of Highsun

The day passes uneventfully

We camp for the evening

  • While Koreloff is on watch, Koogel is awakened by something snuffling his ear
    • He opens his eyes and sees a wolf-like creature off to his right
      • Very large, grey fur, appears to have working eyes throughout its fur
    • Koogel holds out his hand to the wolf-thing, which steps back a bit and begins growling
  • Koreloff is now aware of what’s going on
    • Sees a few of these very large wolf-things
    • The landscape appears different than what he remembered / expected
    • Koreloff yells to awaken the rest of the group and scare off the beasties
  • Koreloff and John get hits on one of the beasts
  • Raylek is attacked but avoids the hit, getting in a solid hit of his own
    • Yells out, “what the hell are these things and why does the camp look different?”
  • Koreloff gets in another devastating attack with two arrows, but the beast still stands
  • One of the creatures jumps at John, tearing John’s tent apart
    • Most of the wolf-things are snarling and jumping, but not connecting with their targets
  • Koreloff destroys the one in front of him
  • John hits a wolf* beast with a disruption attack
  • Raylek gets a couple hits in
    • The monster responds with a solid hit on Raylek
  • Raylek obliterates the wolf-beast near Koreloff
    • It explodes into a cloud of snow
  • Koreloff, Brethen and John all assault the previously stunned beast and dispatch it
  • Koreloff knocks out the last wolf-thing

We look around, and nothing looks familiar to us

  • The landscape looks different, the stars are reddish, we have no idea where we are
  • Raylek thinks the area smells very “green” like lots of vegetation
  • John looks around and sees the same type of foliage
    • “Rough” looking, thorn bushes, even the grasses appear rough / harsh
    • John sees some white stars off in the distance

John proposes that we break camp and head off in the direction of the “normal” stars

  • After about 10 minutes travel, things turn back to normal
    • We noticed during our travel that things were gradually changing
  • We recognize an area that we had passed the prior day
  • We skirt around the “bubble” of whatever it was and head north, away from it

The remainder of the night is uneventful

The 27th of Highsun
The weather is cool and cloudy

We continue riding northward

Come evening, we are by a fairly small forest

  • We set up camp near the river
  • We do our training and John attempts to fix his tent
  • The night is restful

The 28th of Highsun
It’s slightly warmer and sunny

We continue on

  • We approach the edge of another forest
  • We notice a small cave or burrow entrance
    • About 5 feet wide, near the edge of the river
  • Raylek sends his snake belt into the entrance
    • Appears to be regular foot traffic into the hole: paws with claws
  • Koreloff finds some tracks outside the cave
    • Very large paws (6+ inches, claws about 3 inches longer)
    • Appears to be quadrupedal
  • It is decided that we don’t need to invite unnecessary abuse today

By evening, we again end up in a forested area

  • We sleep soundly

The 29th of Highsun
Weather is similar to yesterday; a little cloudier

We continue on our way

  • We are approaching Feuersberg
  • We decide to skirt around town and head straight to the barn
  • We notice a large group of people between us and the barn
    • May be a festival or party or something
    • Dressed in peasants clothing, most folks are sitting but there are some tents and such
    • Raylek recognizes one of the bar owners from town

We plan for our approach

  • Brethen disguises Raylek
  • We plan to approach the farmer and ask to trade our tired horses
  • John inquires about what is going on
    • It is a “recovery camp” for resting up after the town was attacked
    • 4 or 5 giants attacked a week and a half ago; supposedly they were cooking the townspeople
    • Rathbarrie appears to have joined up with Ulrich and headed off several months ago
  • We head toward the barn
    • John volunteers to assist with the healing
    • Raylek heads off to collect the box
  • While John is working on people…
    • Someone mentions “thank the fates” it’s amazing how well people are doing here
      • John wonders if it has to do with the proximity to the orb
      • John sees what may be effects of magical healing
    • Supposedly, the giants are cooking people up and eating them like chicken
    • Some townfolk managed to take one of them down, but were killed by another
    • Some claim to have seen up to 7 of the giants

We head toward the town

  • We see the 10’ wooden walls with some breaches
  • We notice a couple giants, about 12 to 15 feet tall
  • We make our way to the stables
    • About half of the stable is broken apart
    • There are pieces of horses and there’s blood, but no live horses left
  • John shapeshifts into a giant
    • John walks over to a shattered, demolished area that used to be houses
      • There are 5 giants sitting around a fire, with several bodies roasting over the burning remains of homes
    • John is invited to their group, claims to be from the south
      • “Tarlick” (John) greets Tiny, who claims to be from overseas, following the warlord
      • Tiny claims that the warlord promised riches, but left them behind
      • These giants are from Aggerlandia
      • Claims that the warlord told them they would kill and eat
      • There may be over 100 giants that came here, according to Tiny (if we correctly understood him)

We grab our horses and start back toward University

  • Our trip is uneventful

The 7th of Harvest

We arrive at University late in the afternoon

  • John seeks out the harbor master
    • We notice no Ton-tian in the docks
    • Krismer, the harbor master, says that the last merchant ship headed out to Tarrin two days ago
    • The Ton-tian with the funny ships never came to port
      • Last saw them about the 20th of last month
      • They appeared to head off to the west
  • We trade horses for 3 silver for the group
  • We shop for a couple weeks worth of food for us and the horses

We find a room for the night

  • John plays around with the red orb
    • It takes SE, but John can’t draw it out or cast spells through it
  • Koreloff cuts his finger and tries concentrating on the orb to heal himself
    • It doesn’t seem to be doing much for him
  • We try sensing injuries or causing them, but no dice
  • A couple of us start feeling an affinity for the orb
  • We give up and go to sleep

The 8th of Harvest

We eat breakfast while we wait for The University to open

At The University, we pay 5 gold for the evaluation of the orb

  • It is heavily body magic
  • Appears to be a matrix for body magic
  • Appears to have some healing & damaging abilities, related to body mage craft
  • Koreloff mentions Jermays, who suddenly appears
    • We have a fairly lengthy conversation that generally goes nowhere and provides little information
    • Jermays does provide us with a round of ales before he leaves
  • Brethen takes ownership of the red orb

We decide to head off toward The Sphere

The 10th of Harvest

We arrive in the vicinity of the Sphere

  • Koogel climbs into a tree and spots the Sphere
    • Appears to have been dug up by humans
  • At the Sphere, there are remains of camps and trampled earth on the north side of the Sphere
  • John compares the lights in the Sphere to what he earlier documented
    • None of the lights in the south have moved
    • The light from Feuersberg is gone, but the one to the far west is still unclaimed
    • Of the claimed lights:
      • Cluster of two is near to the unclaimed to west on south side of the sea
      • Cluster of three (Ulrich’s force) very near the one to far northwest
      • Single light between Ramanthe and the ruins
      • Light in Ramanthe remains
      • Cluster of seven (us) near Sphere

We make camp a short distance from the Sphere

  • John conjures up a dark wasp
    • About a foot long, dark colored, makes a buzzing sound
    • Tells it to keep watch over camp
  • The night passes uneventfully

The 12th of Harvest

We set up camp at the edge of the forest, with the river at our back

  • John finally allows us to have a fire
  • Nothing much happens

The 14th of Harvest

A couple hours into our trip, we notice some mountains

  • The landscape appears to be getting much wilder: more heavy brush and difficult terrain

The 20th of Harvest

We’ve made it around the mountains

  • Off to the east, we see what looks like it could be desert

The 26th of Harvest

We’ve reached the easternmost part of the bay

  • While passing the tip of the bay, Raylek notices what appears to be ruins or part of a wall up in the hills
    • We decide to take a look
  • We arrive and see the remains of half of a castle
    • Koreloff looks for any tracks or signs of recent activity
      • Finds what may be humanoid tracks walking through a breach in the walls
      • We find a tunnel goes beneath the walls

The 2nd of Leaffall

About midday, we should be nearing the artifact

  • We come across a huge crevasse
    • About 600 feet across, about 2600 feet long, and probably a thousand feet deep
  • Brethen felt like we were making really good time, and Raylek confirmed it
    • It seems like, in general, everything here is moving at a faster pace
  • We scout the area looking for a way to traverse this
    • We find no obvious signs of tracks, but there are numerous caves along the sides of the chasm
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20130629

Continuing the evening of the 17th of Highsun

We make arrangements with Gator to take us down to the Light Sphere

  • Plan to take the horses with us, lower them into the water via shipboard crane
  • 5 coppers each for the trip

We depart on our quest

  • We package our sensitive items and food into the empty barrels
  • Upon arrival, Gator maneuvers us as close to shore as he can safely get us, in the vicinity of the Sphere
  • Raylek gets into the water and assists with untying the horses when they hit the water
    • Raylek casts underwater breathing on Brethen and Koreloff
  • Raylek notices some fins break the surface in the vicinity of the ship
    • Shouts out to the crew and asks if anyone knows if we need to be worried about it
      • The crew asks “Where?” and starts looking around
    • Raylek conjures up Waterboy, instructs him to protect us and the horses
      • Also asks Waterboy to bring the meat back to the shore for us
    • Koreloff notices a very large fish, maybe 10’ long or so
    • Raylek sees the same large fish, about 30’ or so from him
      • Fish has a couple dorsal fins, and what appears to be a couple tentacles on the front
      • Raylek takes a defensive “stance”
    • Brethen also readies himself for the piscine interloper
    • John attacks the beast, but misses
      • The creature turns and approaches Raylek
    • Koreloff lets arrows loose and hits hard
    • The creature attacks Raylek, hits him with tentacles
      • Grabs Raylek’s arm, scrapes the hell out of his skin with the abrasive surface of the tentacles
    • John attacks and gets in a hit… the tentacles loosen
    • Koreloff nails the slimy beast with ghoul arrows, but the dreadful sardine spawn shrugs off the paralysis
    • Raylek hits him with a frost bolt
    • Waterboy attacks with a water jet, but misses
    • Koreloff gets another hit with ghoul arrows
      • The fish floats to the surface
  • We continue unloading the horses and get all our gear safely to shore
  • Raylek drags the fish to shore

It is the morning of the 18th of Highsun and we are on the shore

We head off to the east in search of the Sphere

  • Raylek “puts the fish into his gloves” and saves it for later
  • Koogel climbs up about 100’ in a tree to look for the Sphere
    • Spots a north-south trail about 3 miles east of here
  • We head east and find the trail in about an hour
    • We notice no fresh tracks
    • Trail heads through some brush into the hills, and the other end goes south
  • Koogel climbs another tree and scopes the area out
    • Thinks he may see a speck on the sea that could be another ship
    • Believes he sees what may be the Sphere farther down

We arrive!

  • There is a roughly 100’ crater dug out beneath the platform that holds the Sphere
    • The platform is suspended in the air above the crater
  • Koreloff notices signs of people camped nearby probably a couple months ago
  • There are obvious markings on the Sphere
    • Platform is a silverish metal
    • There appear to be lines sort of inside the Sphere, with kind of a 3 dimensional look
    • Little pin pricks of white light scattered throughout the Sphere, toward the edge of the Sphere
    • When Raylek tries to put the Sphere in his gloves, some of the lights seem to change color
      • Not all lights change, but two clusters in particular appeared to change color
      • 13 lights change color
    • Koogel mudwarps beneath looking for some kind of anchor holding the Sphere, finds nothing
    • We notice that the lines form a shape, and one shape looks similar to Cenerthan
      • There are some lights inside of Cenerthan
    • John documents the light patterns and lines
      • He produces a map of the globe and all its 9 continents
  • Koogel summons Jizm Spazm to bury the Sphere
    • Jizm Spazm informs Koogel that “his master” wants to speak with him afterward
    • After burying is completed, we feel the earth shake and a 20’ humanoid figure appears
    • He says he believes Koogel has been using elementals too much with inadequate reciprocity
    • He asks for a piece of Koogel’s soul, and each can call on each other
    • Brethen starts negotiating to donate his soul, makes a deal
      • The Earth Lord takes Brethen into the ground, says he’ll bring him to us when they’re done
    • Raylek wonders what he must do to keep the Water Lord happy

We head off toward the northwest

  • Brethen returns that evening
  • With the spyglass, we can see three ships approaching, one ship leaving
  • The evening is uneventful

The 19th of Highsun

We continue on our trek

  • We notice the 3 Ton-tian ships still a day or two out
  • Continue riding the horses hard
  • That evening, we camp
  • The night is uneventful

The 20th of Highsun

Again on our way

  • The Ton-tian ships are heading into the bay, but we can’t tell if they’re coming to University
  • At University, we change out our horses for fresh ones
  • We continue on, following the river to Feuersburg
  • The night passes uneventfully

The 21st of Highsun

Continuing

  • Koreloff notices a figure off in the distance to the east
    • Ugly looking, huge (probably less than 20’) humanoid, wearing skins, with big double bladed axe
    • Walking north, taking normal strides… for a creature so large
    • Raylek, despite living in this area, is not familiar with creatures like this

The 22nd of Highsun

After an uneventful day, we camp

  • John hears branches crackling while he’s on watch and awakens Koogel
  • John sees giant spiders coming out of the trees
  • Koogel yells to awaken the rest
    • Raylek wakes up, Brethen and Koreloff remain unconscious
    • Spiders attack Brethen and Raylek, as another couple descend from the trees
      • Raylek slashes at the huge bug and gets in a solid hit
    • Brethen summons a lava elemental
    • Koreloff picks off another spider while Raylek slashes at the air
    • John attacks one and some of the creature’s limbs spontaneously shred into bits
    • We finish off the large woodland pests

The rest of the night passes quietly

The 24th of Highsun

After a couple days of travel, we are across the plain of Stenmore near end of day

  • We need to rest the horses for a day after driving them hard
  • We head toward the town
    • There is a bridge spanning the river and a couple guards stand at the road outside town
    • The guards tell us we’ll have to cross before dark, when they pull up the bridge
    • A moderate sized town, there are quite a number of stone houses
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20130413

Probably around midnight 5th of Highsun / very early AM 6th of Highsun

We’re still in the subterranean “city”

  • John was able to determine that Kokkor’s sword was shadow magic
  • John calls out Jermays’ name
    • Asks if the gloves are the item that we sought
  • Raylek tries teleporting via shadows and is successful
  • We try to track where Kokkor and Domico came from
    • Assume that they came down from the surface using the stairs in the store room
    • John peers into the disused store room
      • Cobwebs, some crates
    • In the store room we find a ladder that leads up to a trap door
      • John listens at the trap door, hears nothing
    • John opens the trap door and looks around
      • Appears to open into a small closet with some dry goods
  • John enters the closet and looks into the adjacent kitchen, hears snoring
    • The house does not appear to be that of a wealthy family
  • John attempts to sneak up to where the snoring is
    • After stumbling on the stairs, John continues ascending
    • Finds a middle aged man sleeping
  • John wakes the home’s resident violently and sticks a sword in his face
    • Asks where Domico is, gets confused answer “Who’s Domico???”
  • John throws the father into the son’s room and tells them to shut up and not leave the room until the next bell
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20130316

Continuing the 1st of Highsun (evening)

John proposes that we rest for the night and then head off to the camping army

  • John heads off to the woods in search of Wolfie
    • The same wolf shows up
    • John tells him to meet us in the morning, north of town
  • The rest of the crew enjoys ales at the Portly Boatman for a bit, followed by some time training
  • Brethen sees a municipal notice with 2 silver reward for info on an attack in the city
    • Recognizes that this is a reward for John and Koogel and removes the note
  • Brethen now notices an older notice about some criminals freeing slaves and removes this notice, as well
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20130105

A bit past midnight on the 30th of Summertide
John heads to the Frothy Leprechaun to discuss the message

  • Bumps into Koreloff, describes message and need to gather the crew
  • Meet up with Koogel and Raylek, ask where Brethen is
  • John looks for Brethen and easily finds him, hiding like a black cat on a snowbank
  • Our group heads out to Leder’s, which is locked up at this time of night
  • John insists on trying to wake this fine fellow in the middle of the night, eventually guard answers
  • Jimick eventually arrives, dressed in studded armor with a sword
    • Jimick was asked by other folks what happened to Domico
    • Seems that Domico was asked by counsel to bring ransom to the army
    • Domico hasn’t been seen since, nor have his guards (about 2-1/2 weeks)
      • Jimick responds to question about the rune in Domico’s doorway, says it’s not uncommon thing to do
    • We are offered a job to find out what happened to Domico
    • The counsel was the group that inquired of Jimick about Domico
    • Jimick currently knows nothing about Domico’s departure, his party, or which direction he headed
    • Jimick provides us with a gold each to help us get started
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