Dragonlance Chronicles

Spectre of Sorrow: Ep. 7
Clash of Fire and Darkness

Clash of Fire and Darkness
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There is a sudden deep rumbling sound from the volcano, a reverberation that causes the ground beneath your feet to tremble. A flaming spume explodes violently from the mouth of the peak and a noxious black cloud billows upwards, blanketing the sky in cinder and ash. Trails of molten light streak through the clouds, fragments of rock hurtle through the sky and strike the ground with concussive force. Unfortunately, the strength of the explosion is strong enough that some of those fragments are heading directly towards you.

The Peak erupts, sending an ash cloud 50 miles around the mountain and blotting out the sun for nearly a week. Immediate dangers include falling rocks along with toxic fumes 10 miles from the Peak’s epicenter, with chocking soot and ash 20-40 miles away. The toxic gas is slow-acting, doing small amounts of nonlethal damage over a course of several hours to those who fail a Con save and the kender are also a handful. Spade Spadestomper stepped up as well as Parrick Whistlewalk who gave a good showing of himself.

When the group reached the 20 mile radius zone they were set upon by the enraged former lover of the dragonspawn creature the party slew in the Peak of Malys. He arrived with 6 of his best warriors and attacked the party. Bloodmane, singled out the Solamnic Knight as the cause of his troubles.
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The group had a rough fight, but they were able to drive off the pack of dragonspawn. Bloodmane escaped swearing revenge at a later time…

The group tried to head for Port Balifor, but turned northward after saving a darknight from a strange cougar creature that was attempting to capture members of the party. After a couple days the group then ran into a group of Ogres and killed them all save one, who ended up following the party. The group endured the negative effects of the environment for days, but managed to come out as they reached the 50 mile edge of the radius blast from the Volcano. There they met up with two sets up darknight patrols, the first they were able to easily talk their way past, but the later insisted the follow them to the city of Darkhaven. They were led by a stern Captain Velaria Grimstone.
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Tyric took a liking to the Commander and attempted to enter negotiations with her, but was quickly rebuffed. It may have been his timing as he was playing poker with some other soldiers while camped out when he “made his move”.

That night the group was quietly lead away by some newcomers who reached out to Skywarden. They promised to lead them away from the darknights to a safe place. The group followed them into a ravine deep in the mountains. The village is located in an enclosed encampment with stone ramparts. The phaethons live in stone buildings surrounding a central open square with goat pens and gardens. After the PCs are gifted with clean water from the spring and goat meat and cheeses, the 3 village elders will come out to meet with them.

Three phaethons, two men and one woman, approach from one of the buildings. All three resemble bronze statues, noble and exquisite, their features serenely beautiful.

When they speak, their voices are melodious. “Welcome, fated ones, to our camp,” says the woman, who wears the medallion of Habbakuk around her neck. “Please, partake of our hospitality and rest, for your destiny weighs heavy upon you and the road ahead is long. There is much that you must know.”

They tell them that the Key of Quinari’s magic is not in the music box, but the melody contained therein, which can open a portal to the ancient burial grounds of the dragons of Light, located somewhere in Nordmaar, a nation to the north. To aid them in their quest, they will give the PCs a precious relic, one of the Tears of Mishakal…
…which will be needed once they pass through the portal to the Dragon’s Graveyard and in future endeavors. The other Tear has been corrupted by Chemosh millennia ago, and is now being held in the dungeons of Darkhaven. Once they have both, the knowledge required to purify the Tear can be found in the town of Flotsam to the north of Darkhaven, “your next stop on the journey to Nordmaar and the Dragons’ Graveyard.”

Priceless Artifact Count is now at 4?

The Tear of Mishakal is a Major Artifact glowing with a blue radiance, acting much like a charged item. It has 20 charges which can be used by a non-evil wielder to cast spells of restorative nature (the more powerful the spell, the more charges it consumes). Its most powerful spells (heal, raise dead, heroes’ feast) can only be used in conjunction with the other Tear, which must be uncorrupted. The Tear regains 1 charge per day at daybreak. Additionally, the Tear can convert a gallon of normal water to holy water after 24 hours, and bestows a continual Shield of Faith (armor class bonus) and Dimensional Anchor spell, the latter of which prevents the use of teleportation magic and dimensional travel as long as the wielder carries it (and even if overcome the Tear is left behind and dropped). The only exception is the Dragon’s Graveyard, to which it is attuned. The corrupted Tear is similar, except that it casts death and evil magic, glows with a sickly green light, regains charges at night, and can only be used by non-good characters.

The PCs now have a new mission: infiltrate Darkhaven. Before that is some good news: the Phaethon can safely escort all the Kender to Port Balifor, accompanied by Elijayess (whose path is different from the PCs now), and Parrick Whistlewalk tells the PCs that they can make use of the underground goblin tunnels if they want to get into the fortress without being spotted.

To make a long story short the Stronghold was infiltrated from the Goblin Tunnels. The party fought a variety of undead and easily handled the undead, the guards inside, freed some prisoners, defeated a Greater Shade, and acquired the corrupted Tear of Mishakal.

The party then made their way to the coast, ran into Lord Garth
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who took exception to a Knight of Solamnia traveling with Kender, Bull-men, Bird-men, and Mages. Unable to stifle his irritation he insulted members of the Tyric’s party, ignoring some all together, and generally was an obnoxious ass. However, that is his prerogative as a NOBLE. He also "technically’ holds the title of a Knight of the Rose. Unable to come to any kind of middle ground on the traveling arrangements, Jak the Minotaur threatened and assault Lord Garth, slew his horse, and the group did leave him to die just North of an enemy Stronghold with no transportation.

For the second time in a ten day, a powerful enemy promised retribution on the Solamnic Knight Tyric.

The group continued on the Coast and met up with a whaler ship, and on a different night a crew of Privateers. Eventually, they reached Flotsam.

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Key of Destiny: Episode 6
The Peak of Malystryx

Chapter Six: The Peak of Malystryx

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The city itself was a grandiose city unlike any kind on Ansalon. Tens of thousands of Kender lived happy and carefree until Malystryx struck. Her magic and armed forces slaughtered them until the haphazard streets ran red with blood. Kender across Goodlund were sent running from the havoc and devastation, spreading word of the massacre from one to another across the continent. This event left many kender afflicted and afraid, something which has truly not happened since the Cataclysm. Even the “true” Kender are filled with a faint sorrow of the loss Kendermore.

The shadow of the Peak of Malys shelters the ruins of the dead city from the morning sun. When its rays finally do shine upon it mid-day, it only adds to the extreme heat of the lava flows nearby. Today the city is home to gnolls, goblins, and other creatures drawn to the site. Undead kender continue to wander the wreckage, filled with both a need to return to a semblance of their former lives and a burning need to make others suffer as they did. These creatures are known as the Forlorn Kender…

The group approached the ouside of the northern area of the city. A large breach in the wall appeared to be an opportune point of entry. However, the group was set upon by a group of Vamperic darkspawn kender.
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This was a long, but victorious battle for the party of heros. With the use of two protection from evil spells, the group dispatched the entire brood of “gully dwarf-like vampires”.

The party entered the city and noticed exploring Kendermore is like viewing a graveyard of Ansalon’s cities. Architectural styles from nearly every major culture was replicated within the city limits: delicate elven spires lay smashed amid the golden plates that once covered the Khurish onion-styled domes and the castle-like foundations of Solamnic buildings. The streets are a confusing maze of paths, alleyways, and winding roads bereft of long-term planning. Now that everything lay in ruins, traversing the city is even more difficult than ever.

While they traveling through the town they found out many of the traps through the city were still armed. At one point Eli was severely injured by multiple incidents. They decided to hold up in the area where the Temples were located after a hard half day of exploration.

Some of the party were awakened the next morning to find a group of Ogres down the street were attempting to capture kenders and force them into a press gang.
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The lead kender (making a strange whirring sound with his hoopak which caused the noise the party initially heard, continued to taunt the ogres from atop a building)

You scum-sucking, toenail-eating, puppy-beating, ugly sonofa…oops!" the kender’s arms flail as one of the ogres slams his fist into the precarious structure, causing it to shudder and almost dislodge the youngster from his perch.
“Get that little bastard!” the largest and heavily armored ogre roars down the alleyway as he uncoils a giant whip from his waist.
“Who you callin a bastard!” shouts the kender as he scrambles to safety. “At least my mother didn’t sleep with a goatsucker bird!”
With a roar of rage the ogre takes a few strides forward as he cracks the whip forward, its spiked leather slashes through the air and wraps around the kender’s leg. Before the kender can give a startled cry, the ogre pulls back, yanking the kender from atop the wall and to the ground with an audible “thump!”

The party actually used diplomacy with the Ogres and it worked. They convinced them to leave the area and the kender behind. (Nice!) The group returned the wounded Kender tot he Temple where Eli (still injured himself) elected to watch over them and wait for the group to return from the Mountain. The party stayed the remainder of the night in the safety of the temple and headed out at first light (relative term) for the Peak of Malystryx.

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The Peak is one of the tallest active volcanoes on Ansalon, more than 15,000 feet above sea level. However, the party is only 3,000 feet below its tallest point. Due to the high altitude and thin air, people in the group who fail a Con save can become fatigued after several hours. Prolonged exposure can cause damage to ability scores over time. And that’s not counting the volcano’s noxious fumes.

*This was a great environment challenge that was actually not hand waved aside as 99% of previous “challenges” have been dealt with. The environment was actually the enemy and it was nice to see that represented in the game. The players suffered from the effects and harsh environment, but used magic to overcome this with an end run around alternative to the rope trick. (The only spell I have ever banned in my game) While I honestly did not mind them using it in this instance as they were in dire need of getting off the mountain after a few failed checks, I strongly dislike “I win button” spells used to get out of challenging encounters used repetitively.

The group decided to forge an attempt to scale the mountain entirely and entered in area PM 2, the “secret” entrance pointed out by Deuce Spadestomper back in Kendermore that the party aided in freeing the kender from the Ogres. It’s relatively easy to scale and leads into the home of the Phalanx Ant Colony, one of the sapient factions within the Peak. It’s the safest entrance of the three into the Peak and the party choose well. The almost immediately met up with worker ants who they seemed surprise had the ability to speak. They followed the ants to seek out the Queen.
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The players learned that the head of the dragonspawn and ogre factions united in a tenuous alliance. Grigolthan is an ogre mage who unsuccessfully attempted a ritual to ascend to the status of ogre titan (like a magical uber-ogre), but since the ritual required elven blood it backfired and degraded his body and mind. Grigolthan seeks to retry the ritual, using the blood of over 100 kender over time as part of an experiment. Grigolthan convinced Sindra, leader of the dragonspawn, to unleash the energy of Malystryx’s taint he believes the afflicted kender carry within them. Through this, they theorize, will the dragonspawn regain their former power and be able to reproduce (created dragonspawn are infertile). If all goes according to plan, Grigolthan becomes an ogre titan and Sindra can regain her glory.

The ants will escort the party via one of their networked tunnels
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The party were left adjacent to the room where the Kender were being kept captive. The party drilled holes in the weakened wall to spy on the guards. They saw the slave pens of the underground chambers of the map above. The top of the pit is covered by an iron grating, below which 21 kender are being held, all suffering from various forms of undernourishment. Dragath, a dragonspawn barbarian guards the room and she quickly noticed the party somehow. She immediately flew into a rage and approached the hole in the wall, but was skewered through the wall by the pcs driving their weapons into her!

She was summarily dispatched quite easily! (which surprised me) the party brought their A game. After she was hacked down, the group rescued the kender who were kept in the large hole after moving the grate aside. From there the group slowly moved into the next room.

Wanna Be Titan
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The next room is the ritual area where Grigolthan lairs. A large pentragram of silver contains a dragon skull on each tip over a circular pit of blood. At its center a pillar of yellowed bones rises. The wanna be Titan attempted to use the Staff of Bones in his possession to animate the corpses of the 13 kender zombies at the bottom of the pool to fight for him. However, the entire party was too fast for him (Damn low rolling initiative!)
Much like his Dragonspawn ally, the group hit him with everything they had and he went down like a bitch. Seriously, he didn’t even get a turn. There were multiple critical hits there would be no Titan spawning on this day.

*Grigolthan was a glass cannon. Since he acted last against such a brutal attack, it was all over but the crying for him.

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After killing the ogre mage and ruining their last chance ritual, Sindra show’s up and is super-pissed at the party, unfurling her Hellfire Whip and threatening to “Burn the flesh from your bones and you. Will. Buuuuuuurrrrn!”

*These three should have teamed up against the group. That is what happens I guess when the party comes through as secret passage wall by burrowing ants…
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Sindra appears to be a formidable opponent and conventional logic would say the party (after fighting Dragath and Grigolthan) that they would have an uphill battle. The party spanked her. They took away her fire whip, beat her down, and she was even denied revenge in death as she began convulsing in her death throes the group rolled her into the large bloody chamber under the iron pentagram to explode under the blood pit. They laughed and mocker her before she died making fun of her retarded wanna be titan ally. She died badly.

The minatiour, who was wielding the shard of light then begins to notice that the blade’s light flickers in tune to a glimmer at the opposite end of the room, leading into the armory. There the party finds a beautiful lance of burnished silver, its haft shaped like the head of a dragon of purest gold. The image of a beautiful elven woman coalesces into a nimbus of blue light in front of the weapon. “Finally, you have overcome great hardships to release us from the darkness! Come, heroes… take up the lance and embrace your destinies!” Then she vanishes along with the shard of light’s glimmer, plunging the room into a faint darkness.

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This elven ghost was Kayleigh, and this lance is no ordinary magical Dragonlance… It is Huma’s Lance, the very one wielded by Huma Dragonbane in the Age of Dreams to banish Takhisis from the mortal realm in the Third Dragon War!

This baby’s a Major Artifact…

Priceless Artifact Count: 3 (Key of Quanri, Shard of Light, Huma’s Dragonlance)

Huma’s Dragonlance

The Dragonlance of Huma was the first Greater Dragonlance created, and wielded by Huma against Takhisis herself at the end of the great Dragon Wars that ended the Age of Dreams and began the Age of Might.
-If wielded by somebody other than a lawful-good creature, the Lance of Huma is treated as a Greater Dragonlance.

-When wielded by a lawful good creature, the Dragonlance of Huma is a +3 Keen, holy, wounding lance that glows with an inner light. It grants Advantage on all CHA based rolls against good aligned people. It grants Advantage on all Intimidate checks against evil aligned people. It ignores Resistance of dragons. It grants resistance from all Dragon attacks and advantage to saves. It deals an extra +3d6 vs. Dragons. When used against an evil true dragon it deals 2 points of permanent Constitution drain (no save) with every hit. If the wielder scores a critical hit it deals a number of points of Constitution drain equal to 5 + wielder’s level + wielder’s Charisma modifier. Once per day it can cast dismissal on any evil outsider (who suffer a penalty to their save equal to 5 + wielder’s level). It can even be used against divine entities and their servitors!
Once per Month, it can cast Gate/Plane Shift.

-It bestows Disadvantage on all rolls onto evil creatures attempting to wield it, and deals 3d6 radiant damage each round, with an addlt +1d6 accumulating every round after. (Ignores any resistance to radiant damage)

*The heroes gaining access to this weapon will have drastic, far-reaching effects into the adventure. Not only is it instantly recognizable to Ansalon’s major orders (Knights of Solamnia/Neraka, Wizards of High Sorcery, etc), its presence can be sensed by clerics of evil deities, true dragons, and good/evil outsiders. Doubtlessly many of these groups will seek to part the lance from the PCs’ hands for their own use (whether to safeguard it, destroy it, or study it).

After leaving the mountain the party headed back to the oasis to return Grigolthan’s staff to the witches. The elf and the kender will strike out towards Port Balifor.

Level Up: Level 7

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Key of Destiny: Episode 5
Across Sand and Sea (two)

Key of Destiny: Chapter 4 & 5
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The party successfully fended off two Scraggs (Sea-Trolls) that boarded the ship. The quick thinking of Tyric combined wit Skywardens mobility minimized the loss of life for the elven sailors. (two crew died, 4 wounded)
The ship Captain was grateful the party and offered to return their goods from Port Balifor free of charge.

Port Balifor’s a rough and tumble port town on the west side of a mountain range which protects them from the worst of the Desolation. It’s a smuggler’s den which over the years has been occupied by the Dragonarmies, Dark Knights, and most recently the forces of Malystryx. The last one in particular brought great ruin as red dragons flew by breathing fire on houses and smashing buildings for sport. The locals got tired of rebuilding every few months and discovered a network of massive sea caves in the cliffside with the help of the dwarven community. Huge sections of town were left in ruins as they went to live in these caves, and the refugee population of afflicted kender made residence in what is known as “Gloom Town.” The neighborhood is filled with traps and they never bothered to rebuild the homes, not wanting to alert the dragons that anyone was living there.

The Dark Knights operate openly in Port Balifor, but even then they avoid large sections of town, keeping close to their headquarters in night patrols. Upon arrival the group separated as Skywarden went to seek out his contact. He was approached by a dark night patrol, but he kept his cool and was allowed to go on his way on the condition he would be in the city long enough to finish his business and then leave. The rest of the party ventured into the underground cave system near the shore and began haggling with different business owners on selling the goods they brought from Ak-khurmann. After coming to a deal with a group of afflicted kender on a price, the party made their way to Hopes End. The most popular bar in town and met with Sherriff Harlowe Barstool, an afflicted kender, robbed of his childlike wonder and constant desire to “borrow” things due to the immense trauma of Malystrx’s siege of Kendermore. He is the closest thing the town has to an authority figure, and he’s cut down men and ogres several times his size.

Harlowe is an afflicted kender with a scar over one eye and short, spiked yellow hair. He dresses in a black overcoat and carries a hefty serrated falchion in a scabbard on his back.

Meanwhile, Skywarden circumvented a few trap in the downtown area that has been vacated by all but the kender. This area is known as “Gloomtown”. Halfway to the other side of town he ran into Blight Thistlegnot. (nephew to the sherriff) After a short discussion, Skywarden revealed he was looking for Kron. Blight believed his story and lead him into the ruins of an upturned land wrecked ship, the Peryton.

You are led by the kender, climbing over fallen planks and timber frames, through the hole in the side of the shipwreck. Within, lanterns and hanging sheets of canvas form a sort of warren of dimly lit rooms and offices, where other kender sleep, throw dice, carve scrimshaw, and converse over maps and charts. The largest of these makeshift rooms offers a magnificent view of the bay through a series of portholes, and a desk made from a brightly painted wooden door supported by barrels.

A grizzled, serious-looking kender with iron-gray hair looks up from a bundle of hand-drawn maps. Beside him a well-muscled Wilder Elf in a red cloak looks on silently.

“So,” says the kender, removing a lit cigar from his teeth and exhaling smoke. “Are ya here to join the cause?”

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DM Note: It’s like all the kender in Port Balifor just got a serious Badass Upgrade or something.

Kronn’s “cause” is basically reclaiming the lands of the Desolation from the remaining forces of Malystryx (who scattered into separate groups upon her death). He’s enlisted the help of experienced Kender veterans and Elijayess, (“Eli”) the elf, to scout the land beyond the mountains every week. His nephew, Blight, convinced him to remain in Port Balifor after one-too-many dangerous encounters which nearly claimed his life.

After Kron hears Skywarden story he nodded and accepted it and decided to go about his business. “You’re in good hands with Elijayess,” Kronn offered Skywarden. “Fella’s got something on his mind, but he aint’ never let it get in the way of the cause. He will get you to where you need to be…as long as you continue the cause”

The party was given two weeks worth of food and water, a pair of tents, bedrolls, and other supplies. Once they’re ready to depart Elijayess will lead them out of town without delay, up the shoreline slope and the mountain trail beyond…

At this point “Eli” becomes a party of the groups (Barb 2, Ranger 3)

He lead the party through the mountain pass. They traveled for 3 long ardeious days through mountain passes. One day saw the party run into an insane Giant who blamed the worlds problem on the party. On the follow day the two goblins fell into a fissure that opened from an earthquake. This was not the worst of what happened as soon after a rockslide, caused from the earthquake, came tumbling down and filled the entire fissure. There was a long debate on what could be done for the goblins, but in the end the knew they would be surely dead by the time they could move 40’ of rock to get to them… the party night pourt a vial of holy water over the graves to the irritation of Jak the Minatour…

There goes another investment wasted.

The followind day ELi leads the party through the mountains and the party came across a small camp and spring.

Everything that you have heard about the Desolation is true. As a matter of fact, you probably have not heard the worst. Even with the Red Marauder dead these last six months, the Desolation has not changed. The mountains still spew their bile, the earth shakes in pain… it’s a tortured land."

Elijayess sighs softly, his gaze turning towards the campfire as he stares into the past. “In a way, it is worse than when the Silvanesti Forest was caught in the grip of Lorac’s Nightmare. There was something to fight against, some hope to hold on to… here in the Desolation, however, there is nothing.”

Gazing up once more, Elijayess offers a small, sad smile. "But that is neither here nor there. We have a long journey ahead of us. Get some rest; we shall leave before dawn. Luckily, it is still winter, so we shall only travel for a few hours before the heat gets too bad and we have to find shelter. After the heat has passed, we will then travel some more until nightfall. Unfortunately it is too dark to traverse the mountains at night. Once we get to the desert, however, we will only travel at night. Although more creatures come out then, they are less dangerous than the desert heat.

Finally, you see a crest and hill, spread before you, is the Desolation.

The desert sands are black and crimson, a field of soot seemingly stained by the blood of every living creature that has been slain upon the harsh sands. The sky is covered by the black shadows of smoke belched from volcanic peaks scattered throughout the Desolation.

Even across the great distance separating you from Kendermore, you can see the infamous Peak of Malys towering high in the distance, a dark shadow illuminated by rivers of lava spilling from its lip. Kendermore sits in the shadow of the peak, a journey of many days across some of the most unforgiving land in all of Ansalon.

The Desolation was formerly known as Goodlund, home to lush forests, rolling plains, and the sprawling city of Kendermore. This region was home to the majority of Kender in eastern Ansalon, before the Dragon Overlord Malystryx came along.

Malystryx possessed great sorcerous powers, and she used it to shape the region to her twisted whims through the use of her skull totem. The fertile region gave way to a barren wasteland filled with treacherous crevices, active volcanoes which fill the sky with soot and ash, and lava floes which continue to reshape the land to this day. The region is now simply called “The Desolation,” and it’s one of the most dangerous places climate-wise in Ansalon. Traveling to Kendermore, and thus the Peak of Malystryx, from Port Balifor takes 80 miles and thus approximately 3 to 5 days. However, Elijayess heavily cautions to only travel at night for the heat is so great it can kill even hydrated people.

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Only the most resilient flora and fauna adapted to survive these changes, and even then Malystryx’s lingering magic spawns new, insane mutations of creatures seemingly daily. Hundreds of thousands of dire boar herds serve as the primary food source for dragons and humanoids, as farming is impossible in this region. Giant scorpions are all over the place, and the most common animals are mule deer, mountain lions, crows and vultures, silt snakes, desert hares, and mountain rams. However, many of them stick far from the desert, and dragons are the top predators; all over animals know to avoid them like the plague.

Halfway to Kendermore, the terrain turns rocky and the flat land gives way to hills and thorny undergrowth. This place is known as the Crags, as Elijayess informs the party, the former site of the Wendle Wood before Malystryx burned it to the ground. Even then, the numerous hiding places and small springs around the area make it filled with the most life in the entire Desolation. Creatures from all over congregate to the area and attempt to hold it.

Elijayess knows of one spring which is neutral territory, looked over by a trio of three hags known as the Oracles. As long as they do not spill blood they can rest up in safety and restock their water supplies. A crescent-shaped pond with trees surrounds three sides of a small hill, from which green flames emanate forth from a cave overlooking the area. The Oracles watch the party descend the slope to the pond and greet them.

“Greetings, strangers…” the one in the center speaks in a low, sultry tone. Dressed in a loose caftan of nearly translucent white silk, her pale skin contrasts against the flowing raven locks that cloak her shoulders and back.
“Welcome to our spring…” the one to the left picks up, her voice a soft whisper. A delicate hand reaches up, brushing silvery white hair back from an equally delicate elven face. Her caftan is of sheer crimson silk that matches the stain of her lips.
“We have been waiting for your arrival.” The last one finishes in a deep, rich voice. Her hair is of a brilliant shade of scarlet, her skin a rich shade of ebony that marks her of Ergothian heritage. The flowing black silk caftan molds itself to her strong body as she holds her hands out in welcome.

The Oracles are three hags, Sorrow (black-hair), Mourn (elf), and Lament (Ergothian), their true forms disguised.

As you speak, the three Oracles all gaze at you with their dark eyes.
“Yes,” murmers Sorrow.
“We shall answer your questions,” murmers Mourn.
“But first, you must agree to our price,” continues Lament.
“For one question, you must agree to carry a burden we shall place upon you,” Sorrow says in a smooth, sultry voice.
“For two questions you must agree to carry a burden we shall place upon you and you must perform a task for us,” Mourn whispers softly.
“For three questions you must agree to carry a burden we shall place upon you, you must perform a task for us, and you must also give us something you hold dear,” Lament murmers deeply.
“Do you agree to our price?” the three speak together, their voices melding in an oddly disturbing symphony.

The oracles answered two qustions to Skywarden and Tyric. They were asked to wear an amulet for 30 days and retrieve a staff somewhere near the peak of Mayls in return.

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The party left the next day, in the afternoon they arrived at Kendermore…

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Key of Destiny: Episode 4
Across the Sand and Sea

Key of Destiny: Chapter 4

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Now that the PCs have the Shard of Light, they must reunite with the Mikku and make the trek across the Burning Lands to the port city of Ak-Khurman. The nomads are chilling out in a scenic citrus grove right by an oasis, and are more than happy to meet the party and ask them what happened. Asmara in particular will be interested in their information. The tribe as a whole cannot accompany the PCs, but they can lend the assistance of two skilled scouts, Kalid and Qatan (two 4th level Rangers). “Besides, it would be well for us to hear news from our friends in Ak-Khurman.”

-The region between the oasis and Ak-Khurman is a giant salt flat known as the Burning Lands. In times past it used to be a salt lake which supported some life, but after the Red Dragon Overlord Malystryx wrought changes to the region of Balifor, the lake dried up and now crossing it is incredibly dangerous. There is no plant or animal life in this area, and it reaches 120 degrees farenheit during the day and near freezing temperatures at night. They cared little for the areas history of a divine fiery pillar, or dwarven fire people roaming about.

The group had little trouble traversing the dangerous area. They travel at night, sleep in the shade in the day. Now they have clerics in the party, water is not an issue. However, there was a couple bumps in the road. It took the party 4 days to cross and in that time they fought off two monstrous scorpions and saved an elven family from a fire elemental. (including healing their injured child)

-The port town of Ak-Khurman’s a small cosmopolitan city ruled by the Khan of the Mikku tribe. For a time it served as a port of call for sailors, pirates, and merchants, but in recent years it’s faced major changes. Resistance against Dark Knight domination made the place a haven for the Legion of Steel, and surges of elven and kender refugees from Silvanesti and the Desolation respectively resulted in some more hardship. However both groups managed to adjust well enough where in other places they’d face extreme discrimination.

The party spoke with some legion of Steel members that seemed to be reasonable authority figure. They learned a little about the Khan and current social issues that were presenting challenges in the town. On the first night they stayed with the family of the elven family they rescued in the Salt Flats. They were offered money as a form of payment, but notably declined. (Although, the group later decided to go into a business venture selling the elves fruits/vegetable, wine, and limbus bread. The idea they would take it with them to Port Balifor and everyone would make a profit)

The next day the group searched through the city learning that gaining passage to Port Balifor would be no easy task as there were lines of people attempting to “interview” for the ability to pay for passage out of Ak Khurman.

dl-_left_hand.pngThey also visited a few local establishments. The city’s lighthouse is home to the Red Robe Wizard Zoe Left-Hand. She operates a magic shop and can thus buy and sell related equipment to the PCs, and help administer a Test for mages seeking to join the Wizards of High Sorcery. This was the case for a young aspiring white robe mage named Nathan Strange. The party Knight Tyric took a liking to the young man, and went out to speak to him after hearing Zoe had all but refused his request to administer the Test. (She later revealed to Skywarden that she felt he was not ready and it would only lad to his failure, and potential death) Skywarden noticed there was something awe inspiring about this human, but could not place exactly what it was at the time.

The party browsed the magic shop and traded a couple items for magic weapons (spear) and armor (breast plate) all with engraved Lunitari symbols. They also agreed to take on the young mage and train him to be a proper adventure. If it worked out, then he would be ready to take his test. However, part of the bargain Tyric struck with Zoe was that he must also ensure his aid during the test if he was asked to do so, even at his own peril. He agreed. She also gave them a man named Rand to find at the local Inn who could potentially assist them in finding passage. While Tyric and Jak headed to the Inn, Skywarden went to the docks and discovered more information on the ships. One being the Levin bolt and another the Swift Arrow. He met with a strange half elf after several hours passed and was given a letter of signed by the Knight Commander of the legion of Steel if he agreed to pick up “packages” for the half elf Joe Dirt. This was after initially meeting with Lucas Rand at the Gonorrhea Inn and Smoke House. He was disappointed that Lucas could only help with passage on the Levin bolt and this caused him to seek other means to gain access to the Swift Arrow (the eleven ship).

Meanwhile at the gonorrhea Inn and Smoke house the party Met up with Luca Rand who said he would help get passage on the Levin Bolt, Skywarden departed, but the Goblins (one allowed in, Alpha, and one out, Beat) ate, drank, and met up with the establishment proprietier Nasty Nellie. She took Jak into the back “for coffee”, but soon Jak was calling Tyric over to help out…dl-_finish_her.jpgthe two experience a level of depravity they had never experienced as the woman was exceptionally hedonistic and vile. Also, Nathan Strange spent most of the time silent as the grave on stage surrounded by women after divulging it was his 18th birthday to Tyric.

Eventually, the party me up again as a messenger delivered a note to Tyric hat Skywarden saw Mumbar and his horse on the deck of Levinbolt while he was waiting in line to speak to the Captain of the Swift Arrow.

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Meanwhile, outside Jak found that Beta (who was tied to a post in front of the Inn) had drawn a large paying crowd by engaging in “inner species erotica” with the help of a man named Kelly who was attempting to set up a gnomish fog machine in the ally.
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Tyric caught up with Skywarden, but not before almost being trampled over on the way to the docks by a freak run away bison heard that had escaped their captors!! He managed to save several citizens in the street with his magic and formidable constitution (he was run over), and one of the people who saved was the daughter of a noble merchant who helped him expedite getting Mumbar of the Levinbolt as gratitude for saving his daughter.

Mumbar attempted to get out of his fate by revealing the whereabouts of Skywardens friend. However, even though he eventually divulged the information (he was kidnapped by a sorcerer in the Salt Flats) he was still hung as a horse thief.

The party finally came together shortly after on the Swift Arrow and set sail the next day under choppy water and bad winds. A few hours into the trip they heard noise above deck. They ship had been boarded by Sea-Trolls!

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Key of Destiny: Episode 3
The Shattered Temple

Key of Destiny: Chapter 3
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The Night of Betrayal was an incident which happened 700 years ago and expounds upon much of Caeldor’s backstory. The party noticed several “spectral flickers”, as they entered the Temple. (Basically shades of memory from the Ethereal Plane persist in the temple; not true ghosts, the emotions of that one night combined with the curse essentially replays the scenes again and again as illusions which cannot be affected by outside forces. Like a bad replay of a VHS recording) Through this, the PCs witness the atrocities committed and Caeldor’s (aka The Betrayer") depravity.

The party learned he was a former priest who grew angry with his inability to extend his life so threw in with a cult of Ogres and agreed to slay everyone he lived with on his path to becoming a lich.

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The Shattered Temple was once a grand place, a pyramid-shaped sandstone structure hewn by dwarven masonry. Despite its location in an out of the way location, great care was given to its planning, as it was one of the few Istaran temples in the region and the Empire and Khurish people both take their religion very seriously. Almost all of the rooms succumbed to the ravages of age and no maintenance, but many of its magic rooms and traps persevere. It is now inhabited mostly by oozes, vermin, and the undead.

A loud shout rises on the air, piercing the calm night with an alarm. “Ogres!” Suddenly, the sound of heavy booted feet, followed by the echoing war of bloodthirsty warriors, drowns out the sound of the alarm as a horde of ogres tears their way up the temple steps. One burly ogre, his tusks wet with crimson blood, leads the pack, pausing long enough at the temple entrance to swing at the tall, smiling statue of Mishakal with a single mighty blow. Bending over, he lifts the cracked marble head of the goddess from the ground and hefts it over his head, releasing a booming warcry that is quickly picked up by the other ogres in the valley.

“Ogres testicles on the Minotaur horn! It looks like a tennis ball…” -Birdman

This was probably the most brutal fight of the night. Right off the bat. By the end of the fight the Goblin Beta was slain and ogres were stacked like chord wood in the small room.

The group made their way through the temple levels, seeing more scenes of what happened to the people who lived there. They picked up a few magic items and slew several beasts like mimics and large spiders. They bypassed Ochre Jelly and Cubes. And learned that a former priest Caeldor was the cause of the slaughter.

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They came upon a large library and found a fellow explorer who guarder her identity, but was otherwise friendly until she was put upon by the Knight’s advances…

Well, it seems as if I am not the only one whose curiosity has been piqued by the temple’s reappearance. Welcome, fellow explorers, my name is Anasana." Her voice is warm and heavily accented and her tone seems sincere.

She gave the group some useful information and talked about the “Tears of Myshikal”. However, after receiving a “Dick Pick” she turned to gaseous form and left the party forever.

“I find a nook in the library and draw a dick sketch!!” -Knight of Solamnia

Lower Levels

The group made it into different rooms that were full of statues of Good Gods, some of Neutral Gods, and one room with Evil Gods. When the party was in the room with the Evil Gods, they witnessed a vision of what transpired when the Temple was attacked. A cleric was parying to the statue for help. It animated and said it could not help him in life, but it would grant him vengeance. The statute of Takhesis turned and said to the party, “Yes, vengeance shall not come from my hand…but from yours!”.

The party ended up in the room dedicated to the Gods of good and found what was presumably the Betrayer body over a sarcophagus with the Shard of Light driven through his corpse. At that point, they witnessed the final fight in the Temple…

The Betrayer stands before the large sarcophagus, his hands held high as he gazes up, his voice echoing through the chamber as he offers a prayer to Chemosh.
“Dark God of Immortality, He Who Stops Death, I devote myself to you, in body, in mind, in heart, and in soul…”
As the Betrayer repeats his prayer, he does not notice the door opening or the young acolyte entering with the glowing short sword in his hand. In the same vein, the young acolyte does not seem to notice the large skeletal creature lurking in the shadows of the crypt.
“Halt, Betrayer!” the acolyte cries out.
Startled out of his prayer, the Betrayer turns around, his eyes gleaming from behind his skull mask as he stares at the young man. Suddenly, the Betrayer begins to laugh, a cruel, mocking sound that causes the acolyte to tremble.
“Ahhhh, so you are the one who would face me, Neran? You have not even put on the white robes of Paladine what makes you think you can stop me from completing my ritual?” The Betrayer shakes his head, clucking his tongue.
“Ye…yes, Betrayer. I shall be the one who will bring you before the gods for Justice,” Neran replies softly, clenching his jaw as he takes a step forward, rising the short blade before him.

..

The fiend roars as the holy light blinds it. Before the fiend, or the Betrayer, can respond, Neran rushes forward at a dead run, the blade held forth as he skirts around the fiend toward the evil priest. Time seems to dilate, the moments stretching out as Neran lunges forward with his sword…
…as the Betrayer yells out a final, desperate phrase…
…as the fiend turns and swings is glaive toward the boy’s unprotected back…
…the Betrayer’s body jerks as the glowing sword pierces his chest with enough force that the blade embeds itself into the stone sarcophagus beneath him…
…Neran screams in pain as the fiend’s weapon slices through his spine, tossing him to the side where he collapses in a faint…
…the fiend roars in victory as he turns and swings his weapon once more toward the injured boy…
…Neran closes his eyes, clutching his medallion with a bloody fist and whispers something that only his god can hear…
…a brilliant explosion of light explodes out from the acolyte’s body, throwing the fiend across the room as a golden radiance infuses the walls.
As the blinding light fades, the Betrayer lays lifeless upon the sarcophagus, his body pierced by the holy blade. Neran lays on the floor, a peaceful look upon his features, his spirit already carried away to join with his god. And a fiend summoned by the Betrayer howls in rage as it finds itself trapped in a crypt by the last words of a hero who history would remain unknown for many, many centuries…

This is when they were set upon by a bearded devil that had been trapped in the room all these years. One member retrieved the shard of light after examining a skull mask laying next to the sarcophagus. The Devil was quickly dispatched before everyone even had time to act! Flawless Victory.

The group then made their way out of the temple…
bq). As you finally reach the fresh, open air outside you feel a burden has been lifted off your shoulders.

“You have found it,” comes a soft voice from behind you, a voice you’ve heard before. Turning around, you see the strange apparition of the young girl Uleena, who stands there gazing at you with those strange blue eyes that know too much.
bq).
“You must hurry, for the sands of time are slipping away swiftly… the shard of light is a key, a key that will allow you to find what you seek in the ruins of a city that once felt no fear, but now lies beneath a shadow of fire and death…”

Without waiting for a reply, the young girl turns and disappears into the depths of the temple, leaving behind only a faint scent of lilac floating in the air.

The ruined city of which she spoke is Kendermore, once the home of the Kenders before Maylstryx the Red Dragon Overlord destroyed it. The once-fertile region around the city has been warped by the dragon’s magic into a barren wasteland known as the Desolation. The Mikku tribe the party reunites with tell them as much, and offer to escort them to the port city of Ak-Khurman, where from there they can sail to Port Balifor which stands at the edge of the Desolation. They also inform the Knight that “his man” rode off with his horse in the middle of the night, and the “other” birdman went after him.

The Mikku suggest that not only is Ak-Khurman the closest city of any kind, it is held by the Legion of Steel and thus friendlier to the party, as it is rumored that the Khan is seeking an alliance with the Knights of Neraka.

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Key of Destiny; Episode 2
The Mystery Unfolds

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Khur is an arid nation of desert and badlands, flanked by Neraka to the north and Silvanesti to the south. The majority of its people are nomads divided into seven large tribes, with a few large cities. The Party will need to travel between 50-75 miles from Pashin to the ruins of Hurim, averaging 3 to 5 days of travel.
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Southern Khur is a land of extremes, of great heat in the daytime and bitter cold at night. Clouds are sparse, leading a famous poet to describe the night sky as “a polished bowl of obsidian, scattered with a glittering spray of diamond dust.” The group had a couple environmental checks regarding heat exhaustion and stroke. They primarily overcame this by pitching a tent against a sand dune in the day and traveling at night.

The party grew in size in the first encounter when it met two Aarakocra who were being swarmed by a dozen strange mechanical creatures being controlled by a thin and gaunt humanoid who was intent on returning them to a well hidden underground complex. (Who knows what lies under these sands?)clockwork_abomination.png

The group attacked the creatures and saved the “bird men” who managed to escape in the process. While their tactics were reasonable, the sheer number of the foes combined with their sorcerous master proved too much for the party to overcome and resorted to guerrilla warfare tactics by hitting and running and hiding. The machines controller was having none of it, and refusing to allow his minions to be separated in a search returned to the dungeon below. The party (after a brief meet and greet with the birdmen) left the area.

The group traveled hard nonstop until they came upon the Miku Tribe.

In the distance you begin to make out the sounds of laughter, of voices raised in conversation and song.

You can spot the source of the noise. Situated in a dry gully is a large nomad encampment. Bright, colorful tents are spread like a field of windflowers, vivid even in the dying light of the setting sun. The camp’s arranged in concentric circles, the largest tents situated near the center, ringing an enormous bonfire.

Most of the campers are situated near the camp’s heart, where a celebration is being held. Scantily-clad figures wrapped in billowing scarves with gem-like hues dance about the bonfire, accompanied by a boisterous cacophony of dozens of instruments playing a raucous tune.

The Mikku are a tribe of performers who’ve traveled the length and breadth of Khur. They’re camping out in preparation for the annual Khur festival, months away but no less eager for practice. They were initially friendly and invited the group into their campsite by Alakar the Silent, the tribe’s leader. Alakar encouraged them to join in the festivities and feel welcome in the camp. As a sign of hospitality, they offered salt with their meals. A bond of salt signifies that the guests will come to no harm as long as they remain within the giver’s house (or tribe, in this case). This was actually a real-world tradition among Arabs in the distant past btw..

This did not last long as one of the young and brave defenders of the tribe (who fashioned a cloak from a bull) nick named “Minotaur” choose to challenge the party’s Minotaur to a fight. He was instantly gored by the Bull-Man and went down immediately. Frightened and shocked at the brutal response many of the Mikku left the area the party was in, including Alakar who helped carry away the young man who unfortunately died of his wound. Talk about a Kill-Joy! ::crickets:: ok…

The group turned in, but not before the groups Knight was approached by a seer named Asmara. She pointed at him as her eyes turned white…

“And one shall stand upon the backs of nature’s builders, walk across a floor that lives, and speak to a voice that is one above the many.”

This was not the last strange encounter he had either, as later in his tent he was approached by the apparition of a small girl, whom he demanded leave his tent at once! It however, wasn’t listening to his demands…

“You must hurry… the winds carry the voices of many spirits, and they are crying for help. You must keep the key safe otherwise all will be lost. In the temple of the betrayed, you must find the shard of light. It shall lead you on the path you have been chosen to walk.”

Before he could further insist she leave the sound of high-pitched whistling blew open the leather flaps of his tent wide and a whirlwind tore through the opening.

The group awoke to the noise (along with half the camp) as they were attacked by two Air Elementals. This was the lonest fight of the night and it was a knock down drag out. In the end almost the entire party was down (as well as numerous Mikku) before the Air Elementals were destroyed. The group’s previous encounter with “The Minotaur” seemed to not be forgiven, but temporarily forgotten for fighting the creatures off and saving some of the Mikku. After the chaos the group spoke with Alakar and discovered the ghostly child that visited the Knight was their daughter who died a week prior. This was seen as a sign and the Mikku offered to take the group to the Forsaken Valley.

The Ruins of Hurim

The Mikku stop outside the entrance to the valley proper. There is a citrus grove to the north of Hurim the Mikku will stop at, and told the group they will wait for a week for the them. After giving them supplies and a back-pounding slap on the back, Alakar prays that the Gods watch over them and that they might meet again.

Hurim is where things start getting serious. Undead are present, even at daytime (although in smaller numbers), and the curse suffuses everywhere outside the Shattered Temple with a Desecrate spell, buffing undead and evil/necromantic spells. At night an unnatural fog floats above the ground all across the valley. Monstrous scorpions, zombies, skeletons, wights, and kender are but a few horrors that dwell here…

The group fought off a Zombie bear, met a stranger Kender who speaks with the dead and apparently is staying in the area to determine its secrets. They managed to fulfill a Ghostly Knights oath that had kept him prisoner in the Valley for hundreds of years by convincing his subordinates who had become shades to “go into the light”.

As they made their way closer to the temple the kender warned the group of a strange Dryad who had been contaminated by the place and would not allow them to pass.
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Her flesh is dark and knotty like tree bark, with a thick, sickly-looking moss spreading across her limbs. Her fingers end in long, thornlike claws, and her hair crackles in the breeze like the dead leaves of winter. Her eyes glow with an unnatural incandescence as she speaks harshly in the Common tongue. "Be gone now, or your flesh shall be flayed from your body, my pretty flowers shall drink of your blood as your bones are ground into the earth beneath my feet.

This encounter was a cake walk as the party slaughtered the Dryad with little care for her predicament, and made short work of everything else in the area. Onward!

After making their way to a high plateau and crossing a few bridges they arrived at the shattered temple.

The group advanced to level 4!!

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Key of Destiny; Episode 1
The city of Pashin

Key of Destiny; Episode 1
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Prelude
The elves are the race created by the good-aligned Gods of Light. Before they had a nation they consisted of fractured noble houses. The great leader Silvanos managed to unite all the houses and found a new elven nation in the great forests of southeastern Ansalon. Dragons already lived within the woods, and did not take kindly to this encroachment upon their homes. Thus began the First Dragon War. This battle lasted for 350 years before the 3 Gods of Magic (the moons Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari) intervened to help the elves by giving them the Dragon Orbs (known as Orbs of Dragonkind in other settings) to control the minds of the 5 species of chromatic dragons. The elves secured victory with these powerful artifacts, and founded the nation of Silvanesti.

During the War, Quinari, a priestess of Paladine (Bahamut), felt pity on the fallen dragons. She used her healing magic to tend to the wounds of those fallen, enhancing her powers with soothing melodies and earning the respect of the metallic dragons who allied with the elves as a result. After the war, she and Silvanos married, and the dragons bestowed upon her the unimaginative name of “Dragon-Singer.” Gloranthia, leader of the gold dragons, entrusted her with the secret location of the Dragon’s Graveyard, where the spirits of all draconic entities go to die. She used her magic over the centuries to sweep away the bodies of these mighty and powerful creatures so that those with evil hearts could not make use of them. Regretfully, such knowledge was too valuable for any non-dragon to have for long, and Gloranthia magically removed all memories of the place from Quinari before her death. The melody she sung to open the portal survived in vague recollections of her mind, eventually incorporated into the wider elven culture unaware of its true power.

Today 48 SC (431 AC)
The Solamnic knight Tyric and his companion Minotaur Jak have traveled over a year from Northern Ergoth with an artifact known as “The Key”. Entrusted with the artifact by Lord Commander Tasgall they are questing to solve the mystery of how to use the artifact to benefit the Solamnic Order. While camped one cold evening on the plains of Khur, a nomad snuck into camp and made off with the Key. The rogue Minatour noticed and yelled out a warning and followed the thief over the plains to town of Pashin.
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Pashin has a MASSIVE Dark Knight presence. They now occupy the city and serve as its law enforcement in the eastern section. Basically, they’re the Evil knightly order of Dragonlance; the Solamnic Knights being the Good guys and the Steel Legionnaires the more “modern” cloak and dagger counterpart to the older two. When Takhisis (goddess of chromatic dragons and tyranny) was alive and kicking, the Dark Knights were known as the Knights of Takhisis and spiritual successors to the Dragonarmies. Now they’re the Knights of Neraka, majorly situated in said nation and dominated by secular mystics instead of clerics. What resistance exists against them in Pashin consists of the town’s rough and tumble sorts (it was a rather lawless town beforehand), Khur tribes (loosely based off of real-world Arabs) resentful of Nerakan tyranny, elven refugees, and the remnants of the Steel Legionnaires.

The Solamnic Knight Tyric caught up with Jak and pressed a local who was leaving the town into service. Mumbar, a down on his luck astrologer. They searched through the city, getting into fights with leppers, stumbling upon a murder (elf on elf violence), The minatour made his way to the Five Dragon Inn and secured lodging after indian trading (without consent) from a fellow guest things at the inn. This was shortly after he was attacked by a drunken ogre who he beat down and almost killed. (A dangerous city to be sure)

Meanwhile, Tyric took a beating at the hands of three thugs who worked for a local crime lord named Blackbird when he attempted to stop them from collecting money from a courtesan who called herself “Dove”. She was kind enough to get help from a local stable boy who woke the knight and guided him to the Five Dragon Inn where he was reunited with his Minotaur friend and Mombar, who was taking his new “job” in stride…

The next day the group came upon a strange woman who yelled out some sort of prophecy
and then spontaneously combusted! The bystanders who watched this attempted to blame it on one of the Knights squires, but the patrolling Black Guard dismissed the incident as the woman was an elf, whom they view lesser than dogs.

Jak made his way to see Blackbird as an agent approached him at the Five Dragon Inn, and told him about an elven resistance below the town and asked him to make an offer of solidarity against the Knights of Neraka. At least until a decision was made by the Khan of Khur regarding what he was going to do about their presence in the town.

elves.pngThe hero’s went below the city, running into elven leppers, goblins thieves, a disgusting incident involving an obese ghast and his ankle biting ghouls. Finally they made it to the elven resistance hideout. There they met the leader, a woman named Shaylin and her right hand Naelathan Shadowdark (The players recognized him as the elf that killed the other elf in the ally and escaped. However, they did not press this issue)

The woman issued another prophecy and revealed she was responsible for taking the “Key of Quinari” and expressed her sorrow for taking it from the group. She knows they were indeed the people who should be carrying it. She told them she had seen the artifact in a vision in the dunes, a reference to the lands to the north of Pashin, the shattered ruins are Hurim, once an ancient temple to Paladine and the Gods of Light. In times past one of the priests betrayed the rest to a ruthless ogre horde, and since then the place is avoided by the Khurish people, but she knows little more than that.

The party then took the opportunity to rest and buy supplies from the elves and treat their wounds (although they don’t have much). The Knight Tyric lay with one of the sickly elven women and whispered sweet nothings into her ear after a long night in her tent, gone before she awoke…

Early in the morning the dark elf Naelathan escorted them out of town via a secret passageway into the badlands of Khur., The heroes’ journey continued as to the Key’s mystery truly begins.

Elven sickness: The disease afflicting the elves is named Sunblight, and it has stats. It infects an elven or half-elven victim with leprosy and bestows penalties in sunlight and permanent 1d3 Constitution drain every 3d4 weeks. A very slow death, indeed. What’s worst about it is that it’s airborne and does not manifest immediately, and it cannot be magically cured by a spell caster of less than 18th level. Fortunately for the PCs, neither of them (or their companions) are elven or half elves.

Prophecies So Far

PROPHECY & IMMOLATION: ON THE STREETS OF PASHIN, ON THE SOUTHWESTERN EDGE OF THE DESERTS OF KHUR.
You notice a small figure standing in the shadows of an alleyway looking out into the street. A gnarled hand clutches a heavy, black robe tight around the neck. The cowl of the robe is thrown back to reveal a face so gnarled by time an worry that it’s almost impossible to determine whether the figure is male or female, although the figure does appear to be human. Stringy white hair hangs around the human’s face and its pale eyes are completely white with cataracts, rendering it blind.
A stench assails the senses, that of decay and age. Most passersby are avoiding the figure in disgust. Some few throw coppers at the figures feet, thinking this blind old crone is another beggar in the streets.
Suddenly, those blind eyes turn your way and the figure lets out a shriek loud enough to rival a banshee’s. Throwing herself toward your groups feet, she collapses on the ground. Slowly, painfully pulling herself up, the crone gases up at you, her blind eyes open wide with a disturbing intensity. She reaches out, grabbing Grath’s leg with fingers like talons. With a low, deep moan her eyes roll back into her head and she begins to shudder as if in the grip of a fever. Words begin to pour from her lips in a low whispery hiss:
“The stars are set into motion, a plan both cunning and divine; beware of specters in the night, beware of unseen designs; the key you hold, others desire; protect yourself from obsession’s FIRE!” The last word is torn from the crone’s lips with a scream as she throws herself backward. Her body suddenly wreathed with blue-white flames that crackle and dance around her body before exploding outward, catching you in a backlash of ghostly-hued flames.

LEPER COLONY: IN THE TENT OF SHAYLIN MOONBORN, CLERIC OF MISHAKAL, SEWERS OF PASHIN.
You are wondering why you have been summoned here, are you not? Shaylin tilts her head, patiently waiting for your answer before she continues. “It is because I have seen…” Now a tiny furrow appears between her eyebrows. “I have been having dreams for the past few nights, dreams that are most disturbing and filled with dread, but the details of the dream escape me as smoke escapes the flame.” She sighs softly, looking down at the glowing fire for a few moments before continuing. “All I have been able to remember is that it involves you. All of you.” She looks up, piercing you with her gaze.
Suddenly, her eyes go distant, color draining from the two orbs until they seem a pure, solid white. Her voice falls in to a sing-song pattern as she murmurs,* “There is a pattern, you cannot see. Instead you must set your spirit free. Take the key to the shattered ruins, through the sands and over the dunes. Seek the answers in the sands of time, search your souls and find the sign.”*

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Triumph: 4th Age finale
Dragons of Spring Dawning

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Tanis lifted his gave to the magnificent platform that had remained empty throughout the proceedings. Empty until now. His blood congealed in his veins, his breath nearly stopped again, Takhisis, Queen of Darkness, had entered the Hall of Audience.
Other names she had upon Krynn. Dragonqueen she was called in elven; Nilat the Corrupter, to the barbarians of the Plains; Tamex, the False Metal, so she was known in Thorbardin among the dwarves; Mai-tat, She of Many Faces was how they told of her in legens among the sea-faring people of Ergoth. Queen of Many Colors and of None, the Knights of Solamnia called her; defeated by Huma, banished from the land, long ago.
Takhisis, Queen of Darknss, had returned.
But not completely.
Dragons of Spring Dawning

The heroes have struggled to journey around the continent of Ansalon, and now their final goal lies before them. The heroes leave the volcanic town of Sanction, while there they were able to reveal that the Good Dragons have been kept out of the war because their eggs had been taken by Takhisis followers. They were told as long as they stayed out of the war, no harm would come to the eggs. However, the players revealed that the eggs were being transformed in a dark perverse ritual that turned the eggs into Draconians. Thus, the origin of the Dragon men was revealed. This revelation immediately brought the Dragons of light into the war. dl-_neraka.jpg

After months of continued fighting, with the aid of the Good Dragons, the group made their way across the perilous Plains of Neraka to the heart of the Dragon Empire. Along the way, they encountered the Hidden Light resistance, who gave them helpful advice on entering the city and contacts to meet once they arrived. They party finally entered Neraka itself by passing through the gates of the city. Once they arrived, they began making plans to enter the Dark Queens Temple and work toward their ultimate goal of ending the reign of the Dragon Empire.

The group manages to find Berem the Green Gemstone Man, whom The Queen of Darkness has been searching for, and who is the key to her ability to re-enter the world. Convinced by the party to join their side, he sacrifices himself to seal the gate Takhsis intended to use to enter Krynn. Meanwhile, other party members assault a different part of the city and confront the Emperor himself, during the battle Arakas (who is weakened when his Goddess is denied entry to the world) is felled by one of the heroes and they recover the crown of power.
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The defeat of the Dark Queen destabilizes the temple’s connection to this plane of existence. The temple immediately began to tremble and shake. The exodus from the temple carries over into the streets of Neraka, as the entire city succumbs to earthquakes and tremors. The party Wizards are able to traverse the corridors of magic with their allies, and successfully escape the temple, leaving its other current inhabitants to their doom.

A sound of inhuman scream of agony soar throughout the city. Then with a great crack the Temple of Takhisis explodes. A blinding flash of light shines like a sun as pieces of the temple soar skyward, into the black sky above.

All that nigh the group keeps watch together beneath a clump of gnarled trees waiting for dawn. Weary and wounded. they did not sleep fearing the end of danger was not completely over. From their vantage point, they could see band of draconians fleeing the armies. Freed from the wrath of the dark goddess, most would son turn to robbery and murder to ensue their own survival. There are still Dragon High lords and those loyal warriors that choose to follow them. Perhaps there are other evils to contend with, evils more powerful than the Dragonarmies. But for the time, there are a few moments of peace. With the dawn they made their way across a land filled with draconians, evil dragons, and bandits, but nothing they could not face considering the task they completed.

As dawn begins to approach they look into the sky and notice that the storm clouds are passing and the stars appear. Most noticeable is the fact that the black voids of the Dark Queen and the Valiant Warrior are once again filled with stars. Once again, both gods of light and darkness take their place in one half of the the night sky while opposite each other. And so they resume their endless wheeling, one always watchful of the other, as they revolve eternally around Gillean, God of Neutrality, the Scales of Balance.
With the coming of the new day, as a hint of pink and yellow emerge from the dark purple of the night, they realize that they have done some good in the world, and that this is not the end, but the beginning of a new tomorrow…
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DM Post Script Note:
Congratulations on (almost) finishing a great campaign. LOL, we got 2/3 through it, and the ending was pretty straight forward. This will mater going forward into the 5th age, a new generation for a campaign in the future. Until then, celebrate the victories of a handful of brave heroes who cam out of nowhere to save the world of Krynn, and look to the future. Long live the heroes of the Lance!

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Chapter 8: Deceit (Session 14, 15, 16)
Hero's of the Lance

The High Clerist’s Tower
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The party entered the HCT and searched it from top to bottom. They found an ancient map room, a group of gully dwarf squatters who had been attempting to find a special marble. They were lead by the “fearless” Highphlug the Two. They were friendly, but frustrated they had made little progress finding the orb. (This is largely because they had made little progress pass level one of the tower and were quickly left behind by the party, rather easily)

The group saw several ghosts and specters who had previously lived in the tower. One particularly dangerous undead experience involved a group of “Revelers” who had a strange temptation ability that caused an afflicted individual’s soul to join them in their celebration, leaving their catatonic body wherever they encountered the group.

The group continued up the level’s of the fortress running into a group of Knights who were locked in a continual battle against dark soldiers, forced to fight and die and do it all over again the following day. The group aided them in one battle, and were told about a new figure that recently showed up that had fought against them that showed up about the same time as the Gully dwarves…

The bypassed several traps, and located the Altar of the Orb room, and the (Blue) Dragon Orb. They paid particular interest to the orb rom which had been creatd to lure dragons in to a gruesome death through one of the tower entrances filled with spikes, razors, and hook chains.

The party bypassed a hall of mirrors and had some trouble in a guard room filled with iron golems that temporarily drove half the party back, but others managed to get past them and locate the treasury room, while the Iron Golems were deactivated. (The group found a book of infinite spells, Staff of power, and a set of +2 Plate armor, a +3 long sword, and 23,5000 in stl (Jewelry)

As the reached the top of the tower they ran into a “Philosopher Minion”, a ghost who was aware he was dead who seemed to favor intellectual conversations with an emphasis on historical aspects. He gave them information on the Crown of Kurnos, and the Crown of Yarus which had been in dispute by more than one source… in the next room the group found the remains of the last game played between the great clerics of good and evil, Yarus and Kurnos. The party placed the crown of Yarus on his skull (after a debate) and this released all the spirits from the Tower, brought forth the spirit of Virkhus the Avenger, who offered to aid the party… and unlocked the tower for the Knights camped outside.

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The party made their way from there to the top of the tower… The sound of distant thunder rolled across the plains. From their look out position they could see an army with dragons moving in from the south. A solid wall of draconians and kobold archers crashed across the plains. Their ranks broke against the wall, lead by ogres attempted to cave in the front gates. The party exited the tower and made their way to the front to meet up with their allies who had already been placed in positions by Laurana (Who the men referred to as the Golden General as she was the only one to take command after Lord Alfred Markenin road out to parlay with Lord Soth and the Blue Lady and was slain and drug back to their armies front lines.) and the steadfast Solamnic 2nd in Command, Lord Aurik Archuran.
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Knights! Men-at-arms! Free people of Ansalon!! I will take up the leadership of our forces, knowing it to be a burden to bear and not an entitlement bestowed upon those who send you to die in their stead. Not for power or glory. I will fight and die beside you if you will do me the honor of standing at my side! in the face of this brutish and unreleting evil. I will honor you by facing it head on untilt he bitter end. We will not leave the people of Palanthas to torment and turn away from the despair of Ansalon. I say this place and no further. Not an inch of leniency will be shown to our enemies.

I say they have taken enough from all our people! I say the only thing they will receive this day will be our fury!!! Our defiance to their queen!!! This place, no further!

Est Salaries Uth Mithas. Est Salaries uth Mithas!! Est Salaries uth Mithas!!!!!!!!!
(My honor is my life; Solamnic motto)

Shortly after the speech the party emerged from the tower and began defending the fortress. Several spells were cast from the white and black robe wizard including protections spells such as invisible hounds, illusionary and real changes to the environment, which caused the terrain to become a huge obstacle to the approaching army. The gate of the fortress was animated into a terrifying face of the infamous bard, Paul Giamatti which began crushing ogres and draconians and then using their corpses like putty to patch up the holes in the fortress wall!!! dl-paulgiamatti.png

The Noble Ranger Longshadow slew draconians and kobolds by the score, while the warlock activated the Dragon orb in the orb room, calling for one of the blue dragons to crawl (ala SAW) through the tube of doom, meeting a horribly gruesome, and messy end. The Knight “The Answer” eventually road out with a squad of Calvary and broke the Draconian ranks, road over the top of the enemy archers, and slew the Draconian Captain. After this feat, he was noticed by Lord Soth himself, and challenged to a charge which he met head on, leading his men against the infamous Death Knight.

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This is where Soth transported the Solaminc Fighter who was pressing the attack with a group of his men to Dargaard Keep in Nightlund, a human land that shares a border with Solamnia. There “The Answer” struck a barin with The Knight of the Black Rose. In exchange for his mens lives, he would agree to serve Lord Soth. True to his word, his men were allowed to leave with minimal provision and weapons (among them Sir Hank’s mighty sword and famous Armor of Vinas Solamnus); he was then given the option to return to his friends as a spy, or become one of The Black Rose enforcers. He choose the later, and was forced into armor too small for his size “Smedium” battle armor, to begin his lesson in pain and submission to his new master.

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You must know that the act of courage is only the beginning of achieving a victory, not it’s end.
-Lord Soth

With Soth departure, the slaying of one of her Dragons, and vanquichising of her Draconian Captain, the Blue Lady had no choice by to call for retreat. But not before striking out at the groups “Gold General” first. Her attack was interrupted by Sturm who suffered a mortal wound from her, and would have surly died if the remaning members of the party had not immediately intervened. The sounds of cheers arose from the men at the sight of the Blue Lady flying away and her army defeated.

The group took a few days for themselves in Palanthus and met some interesting people… a monster layer from an ancient order, Sir Gregory. A plainsmen looking for noble Silvanesti elves, allegedly to murder them… a shifty looking gnome salesman who promised to meet the group in Sanction with an air ship. A group of gnomes who had a uranium powered camera. A noble on the Palanthus Council who made Longshadow an Earl and gave him land inhabited by a small group of Vikings. And they drove out Sir Brian “Lyin” Williams who had been telling tall tales at many taverns about the group. He was given the option of death, recant publically, or exile. He choose exile.

I was there in the HCT with the Warlock. He turned to me at a moment of despair, and that is when I told him to use the Dragon Orb. Use it now. And he did.
-Sir Bryan

Prior to leaving many of the party found an INN; Goatwhore. Where Honkey Tonk and Techno ruled!!

The group met up at the docks of Palanthus, and sailed away for Sanction.

On the trip they encountered a rogue dragon, were attacked by Sea-Trolls, and suffered from the effects of housing a vampire on the ship (which lead to two deaths, one of which was the Captain of the ship Happy Widow). The 2nd mate took over, and the Vampire (who had be-witched the party Ranger) made himself known to the group when an infamous Minotaur pirate ship attempted to overtake the group. The group Black robed wizard El Morte used an illusion spell to hide the vessel and gain the upper hand for his side, when his ship crashed into the Minotaur vessel after the Vampire “Dracco” flew a delayed blast fireball conjured up by Ash to disabled the enemy ship. The Minatours fought fiercely, but were defeated by the party who had the upper hand after the one two shot before the fight started, it was already over… The infamous Bor Es-Drago, Minotaur Pirate was slain.

The group found 4 chests with 22,000 stl pieces. A charter, signed by the Dragon Emperor Ariakas, commissioning Mad Boris to scourge the seas in the name of the Queen of Darkness. A ring of fire resistance, two rings of protection, and assorted battle axes and swords.

The party managed to sail through a small gap east of Sanction with night covering their entry, as they hugged the coast and bypassed the Emperors’ Blockade. In the distance, they could see their destination. The city of Sanction.

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Chapter 7: War (Session 12 and 13)
On the road again...

Chapter :7 War
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The White Dragon Squall returned with two white dragons in tow, determined to seek revenge for Sleet’s death. There was some confusion in the party as to whether they would attack the dragons or not, as the groups warlock managed to use the Dragon orb to gain control of the dragon. The elf Druid in the party revealed herself to be a silver dragon named D’argent. She informed the group the Good Dragons were unable to enter the war, but was unable to say why. She gave some assistance to the group, and information on the Dragonlances. In the end, the white dragon was slain and the other two were allowed to leave. Promising never to return and mind wiped of the Silver Dragons involvement in the battle.

The group continued North and to Castle Uth Wistan. There they spoke with the Lord Gunthar Uth Wistan. They explained their situation, and decided to travel east to the mainland were the fighting was. The Solamnic Knight informed them he would go north to the Whitestone Council in their stead. After hearing of their deeds, he knighted Hank “The Answer” and assigned him Commander of the Unit of men stationed at the HCT.

Meanwhile, other members of the group got into some shenanigans while staying in the city near the castle, but left the next day on a boat to Cristyne; An island surrounded by white mist acing the trees and ground in delicate splendor. Towering mountains standing in the middle of island. Near the southern tip they found an ancient tower and located a piece of an ancient magic item that appeared to be part of a crown. They also found a demon…dl-_goristro.png
“Watcha gonna do…”
“Hey! That line belongs to the Were-Sharks!”

The crazy demon appeared at first to be unstoppable, and took a significant amount of damage. They party pulled together and managed to take it down before being picked off. The demon promised to return, and swore the group had not seen the last of GORISTRO!!

The group returned to he shoreline and took the ship to Palanthas. The trip took 13 days by sea. One night the group had dinner with the ship Captain who identified the relic they found on the island as a piece of the Crown of the High Clerist, and was glad to hear they were headed to that location. The rest of the journey passed without incident. Soon the ship passed the gates of Paladine and anchors in the magnificent harbor of Palanthas.dl_palanthas.jpg There the group split up after meeting a few natives on the docks, the place was bustling with all sorts of people, doing all manner of things. After getting a hot dog and lemonade “slushy”, the group split up.
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Some members made their way to the great library of Palanthas, and engaged in several activities. Others sought out Astinus the Chronicler, who was expecting them. His attendant, Betrum, met the party with a note explain the following in regards to what Bertrum refers to as “The Crown of Yarus”.

“When the gods sealed the High CLerist’s Tower the High Clerist was crushed beneath a pillar where he sat playing Khas. His great crown, which held his life, was sundered into three pieces and taken by his spirit guards to places of safe keeping. First one pie, then another. Only two pieces do I see…*The Altar of the Ob, The Treasury.”

*Berturm also made reference to a 33rd Khas piece, that of a wizard made of crystal whose powers were said to be connected with the Knights of Solminia of old. It was secreted in the tower long ago.

The group took a couple days to rest in Palathas and took some classes at the library, met some new and interesting people in Palanthas, saved a few beggars from mid-level mafia bosses, and left a mark on the town by creating a incident that scattered like wildfire among the populace when an ill-timed scene went awry and caused damage to the play, and the theatre to be evacuated…
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GOOOOO!!!!”
“IS THAT SOMETHING BURNING!?”
“OH GOD, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!”

The part met up and traveled south under cloudy skies. Rain pelting them the entire trip, turning the road into a muddy morass. Along the way the story of the HCT was told, specifically regarding the night of Doom, which caused the Tower to be sealed for the past 300 years.

The group arrived at the encampment to find well worn tents of every size and description standing in eatly spaced rows. A camp of mercenaries who had joined in the service of the Knights surrounded the tower. There was a great deal of discord amount the Knights. Lord Alfred MarKenin, Knight of the Sword, was undecided as to how to proceed and spoke with Sir Hank about the inability for himself and the other two commanders to get anything done. Lord Aurik Archuran, Knight of the Rose, was full of tales of the ancient, valiant days of the Knights. He was also full of himself and brandy. He had no patience for anyone and was relieved of command by Sir Hank, and replaced by Lord Michael Jeofrey, Knight of the Crown, squire. The Lord Jeofrey, who is easily remember by his high pitched voice, was all for the change and seemed eager to engage in conflict.

Some of the men were gathered up as orders were given out, and Knights began drilling the next day. Change apparently has arrived at the High Clerist Tower…
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