Session 5: A Messenger From the Tide

After completing their preparations for the rest of the day, Avaniel Cerelion, Bu-Jinwen Nivaye, and Jozan left Marco’s Glass and Compass after a rough night of burglars. With minds still unease at the motivations of the previous day’s attacks, they were bound to meet with Augustin Gonzalo to discover if he had any leads on nobles requesting help. With one recommendation in hand, the group felt confident that with a little more effort, they could quickly make their way to Urima.

On the way, their thoughts were broken by the thunderous booms of cracking rock and smoldering buildings. Not far from their position, a man unleashed torrents of fire upon a plaza while commanding a throng of murderous, disgusting draugr. The sickening monstrosities from the deep swept the swath of civilians about with great axes while letting out great battle cries. The adventurers were quickly forced into the chaotic melee as the sinister caster watched from his perch upon a rooftop. The town guard responded as the battle rolled on, cutting the draugr apart bit by bit as the companions finished up their group.

When the smoke settled, the guard squads quickly moved into the building on which the caster stood atop while archers were dispatched to adjacent rooftops to prevent escape. The caster called out for the troops to come up and receive a message from his masters. Jozan and Avaniel, feeling confident in their ability to defeat the sinister being with the support of the incoming troops, opened fire upon the robed figure. The missiles bounced impotently off of a field of some type. The being retorted by drawing lifting his rod and unleashing a great fiery ball upon the center of the plaza, scorching Jozan, Bu-jinwen, and Jang. All but Jang lay helpless from the onslaught, bleeding profusely as their life drifted away. A distraught Jang was unsure of what to do.

Another boom sounded as the first troops tried to engage the mage. He responded that he came only to deliver a message, not to fight. Avaniel moved to stem the bleeding on his downed companions. Medics began to pour into the courtyard, assisting as best they could, healing the stable Bu-jinwen. Kaspar Ottokar arrived back from his meeting to see the ensuing chaos. He moved to help Jozan after first aid was applied, and used the healing wand Jozan carried to heal him to consciousness. After some short debate, the group quickly retreated from the courtyard to go to Augustin. Kaspar stayed behind to assist the medics.

The group was greeted at the Gonzalo home by a young man. He took them to the meeting hall in the building to talk with the old veteran. While engaging in greeting pleasantries, a man entered the hall from the private workshop of Augustin. The man wore a yellow cape and a red beret with a small feather in it. He introduced himself as Roger, and the young man from before was introduced as one of Augustin’s students, Alexander Scipio. Roger seemed quite agreeable and amiable, a charming personality that took well to the group. Augustin seemed oblivious to the attacks of the last days, and seemed very worried of the implications it hate for the safety of the city.

The gathered group talked of the Mouth of Chaos to Augustin, and showed him the sketching of the illusory runes outside the cave. Roger quickly grabbed it nonchalantly and examined it playfully before giving it to Augustin. The old military man had no knowledge of the rune, claiming it to be too ancient. He recommended taking it to Desov to see if someone at the colleges of magic there would know something. Avaniel noted that Roger seemed very focused on some line of thought in his head as the conversations continued. The companions continued to speak with Augustin. Jozan noted Roger seemingly drawing out the sketch he had made using paper and quill from Augustin’s desk. He precision in making the symbol was much greater than there’s had been in copying it from the outside of the cave. Roger folded the paper and put it away as the conversation shifted to acquiring more recommendations.

Roger set about writing another document using many colors of ink while Alexander suggested speaking with a noble by the name of Sosimo Primo Santos. Augustin thought perhaps talking with one of the guard captains he knew, Junipero Olegario, might garner good results as well. Augustin was somewhat upset when he discovered that Roger had forged a writ of recommendation to the adventurers to rush them on their way to Urima. The writ was signed as Florant Asparago Durigo.

The group left, bound for the defense office where they could find Captain Olegario. Once they tracked him down, the group questioned him about what happened with the sorcerer after they left. Junipero explained that the attacker’s name was Ludovic, and that he represented a group of individuals that he named as Those Whose Names You Are to Impure to Speak. He relayed to the travelers that Ludovic had said there was a war occurring between his masters and a group of dark creepers in the area. The same dark creepers had been the ones to burglarize the inn the party had stayed in the previous night. Ludovic claimed that explosive mechanisms lay underneath one of the civilian districts of Ailead, planted there by the dark creepers for some unknown purpose. The sinister man suggested tracking down the forward base of the creepers via intel he had given the captain on a scroll.

When the group made known their desire to break the travel embargo, Olegario proposed a deal. If the group found the forward base and disabled it, he would give them the recommendation they required. Looking at the scroll the captain had shown them, Avaniel was able to get a fair idea of the region of coast the creatures would be stationed at.

Session 4: A Conflict Amongst Men

After dispatching the demon that was ruining the Gonzalo workshop, Jozan and Avaniel Cerelion took a moment to explore the rest of the complex, taking care not to disturb the barred door in the back. Bu-Jinwen Nivaye absentmindedly left the workshop, too deep in thought over the loss of time it might take to get back to Urima. After a small trek back through the lab to see a large creature through a grate, the original pair relinquished and went up to speak to the aging veteran.

Augustin Gonzalo gladly provided the recommendation that the group had earned. He mentioned his inability to set the group up with more work on the present day with the troubles with the embargo proclamation tying up many of the nobles he knew. He instead offered the group the chance to stay at an inn free of charge until the next day when he could set up meetings with his peers. The group took up his offer and began the journey through the hospitality district of Ailead to Marco’s Glass and Compass, an inn of fair condition.

On their way through the district, the group was surprised to see the drains to the city sewer system burst open and flood the whole of the street with the aquatic, goblin-like creatures known as grindylows. The tentacle footed fiends writhed about, attacking the citizenry around the area as guards blew alert horns. The party worked within the tight confines of the back alleys to fend off four such foes. After successfully driving the quartet to death, the group resumed their journey to the inn. Night began to fall as they reached the inn’s door. The streets were beginning to be lit by city workers while others carted off the bodies of the grindylows.

After settling into their quarters for the night, Bu-jinwen was woken up in the middle of the night to sounds coming from the adjacent room. When he opened the door to investigate, he noted a small creature covered thickly in beat up, black clothing trying to tinker with the lock of another room. The rest of the group woke up to the sound of the warlock casting a sleep hex which incapacitated the creature. As the magic user moved into the hallway to try to recover the body of the intruder, he was ambushed by a second. All about the inn, sounds of panic and hustling filled the air. There were clearly more than two of these creatures inside Marco’s Glass and Compass, but only these two seemed to threaten the companions. After dealing with the menace, Jozan looked outside to see the town guards chasing more of the creatures out into the streets. As they fell, the creatures burst into light and disappeared. After the chaos had ended, the guards took a preliminary assessment of the losses incurred by the inn and its patrons.

After waking the next morning, Kaspar Ottokar attended to business elsewhere while the others prepared for the day ahead. A second guard questioned the adventurers about any motive the burglars might have had since they were the only ones to have been attacked. Being clueless as well, the adventurers could give no help. The guard produced a map and asked if the group could give any information about the location of it. They were unable to, and the guard left back to report his findings.

Session 3: The Decorated Veteran

Fresh off acquiring a new member to their group, Avaniel Cerelion, Jozan, Kaspar Ottokar, and the stoic Jang entered the port city of Ailead. Entering through the production section of the merchant district, Kaspar soon broke off from the group to get a reward for the adventurers as they waited in the grand plaza which held the fountain monument known as the Fountain of Indomitable Spirit. The group watched and listened to an official Tribunal Republic messenger speak about a string of burglaries about the town as well as the trade and travel embargo to Urima.

Meanwhile, another man listened to the announcement as he recovered from a brush with otherworldly forces in a strange, new land. Bu-Jinwen Nivaye listened to the messenger’s announcement with great frustration. He needed to return to Urima with haste in order to secure the safety of his mother.

The adventurers all approached the messenger to question him about the events he spoke of. The group had a great desire to make its way to Urima, and they were told the only way to be exempted from the embargo was to be either military or have favor and recommendations through reputable sources. The group asked about the bandits thinking that some service to the guard could garner a recommendation, but they were quickly downtrodden that for the majority of the day the watch officers would be at the Republic Amphitheater receiving orders on how to enforce the boycott. Kaspar returned with payment slips that the group turned in before resuming the search for Augustin Gonzalo. After finding his location, the group made their way to his home.

During the course of the day, the group had learned that Augustin was a very highly decorated and respected military tactician before retiring. After turning in the package to the older gentleman, the group listened as he briefly addressed the meeting of leaders from Urima, Daramis, Perosh and Sinohi for a intercontinental relations summit. He proposed that, given the state of the world, war was an inevitability. Noting the look of adventurers, Gonzalo offered to help the group with a recommendation and connections to others with pull to get the companions to Urima if they would help him deal with a demon in his workshop.

After the group agreed, Gonzalo produced a magical item that housed his workshop. Inside, the group found many curiosities but found it difficult to locate the demon. A closing of a door alerted the group to the presence of the demon in an art gallery. A pair of the creatures attacked the group with putrid clouds, mangled claws and ferocious teeth. Avaniel was grievously wounded and fainted as the others struggled to recover from the nauseating cloud. Bu-jinwen’s eery hex magic allowed for the group to finish off the rampaging monsters in a magically induced slumber. The group currently stood in the basement, recovering from their wounds. They waited for the chance to claim their recommendation. Jozan carefully pulled out the sketched rune in his bag and his hand trembled slightly at the thought that the old man might have some answers regarding the ancient symbol.

Session 2: Cults can't Identify Your Wands

Avaniel Cerelion, Jozan, and the faithful Jang left behind the Mouth of Chaos to claim their reward from the huntmaster. On the way back, they engaged a large coyote rummaging through a pack. After killing the beast, Jozan searched the satchel to discover a note claiming that the blank coins in the bag were meant for internal use in the Rule of Gold al’Ailead, a merchant banking interest in Ailead. With no signs of death, and no one retrieving the pack, Jozan took the coins with him on the journey.

The trio arrived at the Huntmaster’s Lodge (Ailead) at night time. Going inside, they caught the last of the night’s hunters finishing their meal. The huntmaster was surprised with the speed at which the group had handled the situation. He introduced himself as Ishak al’Derya and invited the group to discuss the events that they witnessed in a side smoking room. He produced the reward of one hundred coins, and asked where the group found Garret and if they knew why he committed his crimes. Worried about the claims Bertram had made concerning Ishak, Avaniel attempted to mislead al’Derya with a far less dramatic account than what actually occurred. The huntmaster saw through the lie and, after being lied to again, was thoroughly distrustful of the half-drow. Seeing the situation deteriorating, Jozan attempted to salvage what information they might learn from the official by giving him short statements on the events of the Mouth of Chaos. He dared not mention that either of them had clearly heard voices in the cave, and, seeing the reaction of the men in the room as he talked, he had a strong inclination that these men belonged to the cult.

Ishak nonchalantly commented that it would probably be best if these trivial events did not go to the authorities. Avaniel and Jozan had no objections despite the questions they had concerning the cave. It was indeed probably best if they not let anyone in power know of the troubling coastal cave. As the night concluded for the men who were dining, Ishak invited Jozan to speak with him in private. He clearly did not have trust in the ranger to share his secrets in his presence. Upon settling with Ishak and his men in the smoking room again, the huntmaster invited Jozan to join their cause, the deciphering of the voices in the Mouth of Chaos. He claimed there were a few in their group, and all were devoted to this cause before Bertram holed up in the cavern making entrance there deadly. Jozan said he would consider the offer, and, on his way out, he noticed the material the men had been smoking was the same herb that the men in the Mouth of Chaos had been burning. Sampling it quickly, Jozan noted it as a slight psychotropic effect on him that also made him less focused. Considering the night finished, the two men and their camel companion camped out for the next two days to recover.

Heading back towards Ailead, the group encountered an oddly dressed traveler given the landscape. Tripping to the floor, his pack dumped the contents of a box, some of which shattered. The mutton chopped man made a mad dash for the group yelling for help, his wine colored robes waving in the wind. Smoke filled the air and dissipated to reveal a pile of bones. Suddenly, with great clacking, they stirred. Rising up to take on a human shape, the trio of skeletons produced battered swords to accompany their mangled mail armor. The group engaged the skeletons, and, with the newcomer’s help, they repelled the undead attack. Jang had been injured grievously, much to Jozan’s dismay. The man introduced himself as Kaspar Ottokar, a delivery worker for Academia Schule der Zauberei in Woristrom. He said that he was out here to deliver conjuration capsules to an Augustin Gonzalo in Ailead. He invited the group to come with him. Lacking a reward of his own to give them, he claimed agents inside Ailead should provide some payment to the group for their help.

Session 1: A Forest, a Cult, a Cave

Jozan made his way out of the desert with his new companion Jang. Upon going to the town of Ailead, he made his way to the bulletin board and discovered a bounty to track down Bertram Garret, who was accused of hunting out of season and assaulting the huntmaster. Avaniel, whom was also aware of the bounty, made his way to the huntmaster’s lodge where he and Jozan met and agreed to team up.

The group assisted Dagget in binding his friend, Forgwid, of his wounds before reconstructing a broken bridge to continue on their journey. The group met Eric Stilson, a blacksmith from Ailead, who was out camping with his son, Warren. An heirloom necklace was stolen by a darkhollow bird, but the duo could not think of a way to track it down and continued. The trail became difficult to follow as the group they chased cleaned up their tracks periodically. The group happened upon a trio of guard dogs protecting the hastily broken down remains of a camp. A pair of hunters lie dead in the clearing, dead by arrows and bite marks and looted.

Trying to make up time, the group spotted a root walkway that might have cut their travel time drastically. Being unable to fathom a way to get Jang up the wall, they thought it better to continue on the road. As light began to fade quickly, the group crashed through the thick woods following their prey. Happening upon a patch of woods densely packed with white vines and trees, the group quickly discovered the vines were in fact strands of web from a giant spider who engaged them. Poisoning Avaniel, the spider continued hit and run tactics until the group managed to put their mettle together to defeat it. Upon searching the remains of a previous victim, Jozan was able to procure a wooden wand whose properties were not discovered as of yet.

The group moved further uphill to the west until they hit the coastal cliffs. Being unable to spot a trail that went another direction, Avaniel elected to scale down the cliffside to see if he could spot a way they might have gone. Seeing no piton marks or ropes, it seemed fairly evident Garret and his group had not scaled down in this fashion. The ranger did discover a cave down the cliff’s side that sprouted light from a fire, confirming suspicions that the bounty was close. The group lacked rope to reach the cave in this method, and, seeing no clear way to the cave while being battered, they decided to make camp.

The group discovered a patch of rocks they had noticed before bore old runes of illusory magic that concealed a tunnel entrance down the cliff. After going down the winding path, the emerged into a large room that served as a camp for the hunters. The mouth of the cave created a panoramic view of the ocean in the sunset. During the course of the journey, many questions had arisen regarding the events of the assault and the group’s purpose in general. Avaniel confronted Bertram in the coastal cave where he confessed to attacking the huntmaster after believing he would attempt to kill him. He reasoned that the huntmaster thought he would contact the tribunal council in Ailead whom might send for the Royal Alchemy Society based in Daramis.

Bertram then asked if Avaniel could hear the voices of the cave. Both Avaniel and Jozan, who was hidden, attempted to listen to the voices the cult spoke of. Both were able to hear noises that seemed like a congregation of voices and thoughts, revealing that the hunters spoke truth and were not the victims of madness. Upon listening more and relinquishing a degree of control, Jozan was able to focus on a single, more powerful voice among the thrall. In very broken words and fragments of sentences, it described itself to something as “supreme in this realm” and “linked to death as the very characters that make it’s title”.

Deeming the group dangerous, Avaniel and Jozan engaged the cult. During the brief skirmish, Jozan noted that an eagle he had summoned with his magic appeared to decay, molt and melt slightly in the cave’s inside before reaching the end of its appointed service time. The battle ended with three members of the cult and Bertram dead. After confirming Bertram’s identity via his hunting license, the group left the cave to report back to the huntmaster, go to Ailead, and hopefully get some answers about the cave, the huntsmaster’s involvement, and the runes outside the cave.


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