Session 37: The First Night Home
We begin the session on the boat home. Sahra requests we attempt to identify the box and Asir prepares the ritual. He finds it does not require attunement and finds that it is some sort of teleportation device that is triggered from outside the box. Sahra then writes a note to introduce himself and puts the note in the box. When he checks, he finds someone has written on the back of his note “This is not your box, please return me where you found me.” The note also smells of a sea breeze. He writes another note asking if this needs to be returned to the manor on the cliff. He gets an answer of “Yes.”
We then discuss how we want to move forward from here and the estate.
Abd then spends some time attempting to figure out the origin of his spells and why it has changed. He finds that this whole situation started when he became disillusioned with the church and the being that has answered his prayers instead of Haku, and the presence seems familiar.
Akhmed then spends some time writing lyrics to the tune that was caught in his head. He writes a tale of his heroics that he knows is not the original lyrics but he thinks is pretty good.
After a calm voyage, we arrive back in Hazouz. When we leave the boat, there was a group of gnomes giving us (mostly Kerim) the stink-eye.
There is more than the usual amount of royal guard activity at the docks. Asir speaks with them to get an idea of what is going on. He gets told of a problem at the City of Hallal, with it beseiged by fantastical creatures. We then head home to get settled and prepare our tithes. We take the time to identify the saddle and find it to be a Saddle of the Cavalier.
We determine that the minimum tithe for our bounty is far beyond our means, so we look to sell the whip to get us some liquidity. We believe it to be worth a fair bit of money (90k) so we think this could really help us.
Abd heads to the Temple of 1k Gods to give a tithe for everything that isn’t the scroll of True Rez, Lyre, and Whip. He goes to speak with Hasim. He also shares news of Haroun and Hallal.
We investigate the market and find the Fakar Family has established quite a presence and control of the market, though not everyone is pleased with this. Galel still has a good presence, though now it looks like Jarnaah is starting to establish herself. Neither Jarnaah or Galel’s holdings are anywhere close to the Fakar Family.
Asir spends his time in the marketplace being very showy and telling the tale of Hersenkas, omitting Aurilandur’s involvement. He uses the lyre and the story is acted out in wispy, ghostlike forms.
I set up a meeting with Galel over tea to examine the whip at our household. I give him the first look at the whip to see if he is interested in either purchasing or auctioning for us. This gives Asir a minor heart attack but moves forward with buying what we need.
Kerim and Akhmed head to the Den of the Hidden Blade to do some betting. They find Jarnaah is the announcer for the fights. Akhmed attempts to set Kerim up in a fight that he is not likely to win. They then watch a rat race..well, a race between guards that were momentarily got turned into rats. They watch a series of pit fights and Akhmed makes some bets. He then spends money and time speaking with the victors of the evening, a merchant (Carafia) and her scaly guard. He spends 100g buying the scaly guard a bottle of drink, known as the Heart of Fire, which she quickly downs. As they are heading out, Kerim is given a heads up from the merchant that they may have work for our family. They are invited to come to the house the day after our meeting with Galel.
Sahra goes to the guardhouse and speaks with Sergeant Hadish and shares with them the information about Haroun.
We all meet back at home for our celebratory feast and preparation for the coming days.
Session 36: Rises and Falls
The fight begins! Asir tries to run, but he is cut off by a skeleton, so he calls upon the Flaming Lance of Probably Shouldn’t Do That and stabs it. Sahra throws up a flaming sphere, and then the skeletons become infused with moonlight. Then one crits Abd for half his health. Time to go!
Aegis fireballs the king (because that will work out). The King shows up, begins smiting people, Akmed, Aegis, and Kerim get charmed. Mass Hysteria. Asir begins a jaunty tune to ward off further fear and charming. There’s some fighting, we’re doing okay having decided to instead of run stand our ground, and then…
The banshee wails. Asir falls to the ground. The skeletons close in on Kerim. Aegis’ Fireball spell kills one banshee, but the King beats the shit out of Akmed. Healing flows. Then another Banshee wails and Abd falls to the ground, as does Akmed. Aegis responds with fiery lines of death and provokes the ire of the King. Aegis’ magics protect him from one swing of that dread sword but not the second, and it hurts him pretty bad.
Sahra is super pissed, and seeks Dread Vengence! With a roar of anger, he directs his flaming sphere upon the banshee what done it, and lets loose a mighty Thunderwave! However, instead of the usual sound and fury, a wave of eerie starlight flows forth that, in addition to its usual effects, manages to renew his fallen family members.
Refreshed, we begin the fight anew. Kerim continues to wreck skeleton booty, and everyone else piles onto the Skeleton King. Unfortunately, Kerim gets afeared of a mirror. Skeletons pour in. One is intercepted by Asir, but the others surround Kerim. Abed blasts the King with a Thunderwave, and is swatted down in return. Aegis burns the king, and is summarily felled. Kerim fends off more skeletons, but is nearly dead.
The King swings at Sahra, but misses. Akmed lays into him with his blades, and with that mighty attack, the King’s animation fades. Asir throws one final fuck you fire lance, but it doesn’t take for…odd reasons. The family, battered and scratched, reunites the children with their parents and the captain, found sleeping in another room. The family gathers some valuables, including a scimitar dropped by the King after his defeat, a whip, and a lyre.
Kerim is met by a Fae Knight, and is restored of his soul. He trades out his evil demon sword for a silvery awesome one that is cool. Some other stuff happened. They sail for home!
Session 35: The Skeleton King Rises…Literally
We enter the eastern building and find a local scriptorum with lots of notes on the running of the town. Aegis takes a book, which is totally a great idea and could never possibly bite us in the ass.
We get to the throne room, and the King and Queen are there, along with Lady/Princess Orelander and two other Fey, a male and a female. The captain is there too. Orelander is screaming about betrayal and how could you and whatnot. The family steps in and gets pushed along the wall by the swirling ice wind of Orelander’s fury. Asir tries to go get the Captain and pull him away from all the craziness.
Then Orelander goes to strike the Male Fey, and the Female Fey leaps in the way, and is struck dead. The Male Fey, and the King, are healed by the blood of the Female Fey, as their wounds are linked.
The king then invokes his right of audience with the Queen of Air and Darkness. Shit gets real dark, and then…we wake up in front of the gates we started this whole mess on.
Asir gets angry and tries to storm into the Eastern Building again, but a wailing cry frightens him and some others. He begins a jaunty tune to ward off fear. They enter. Weird writing is carved into the walls, floors, and ceilings, coating in something that looks like blood, but isn’t exactly.
They proceed through the building, finding all sorts of horrible ruins. And then, Esha steps into the throne room. The Undead King rises with the words “The Traitors have Returned”. All hell breaks loose. Sarha becomes afraid of a mirror, and then his brain explodes when Aegis tries to Banish the Skeleton King. Who then summons skeletons. Essentially, we’re right fucked.
Session 34: The road to the End
We take a moment in our safe spot to investigate the shadow which is still surrounding us. Through our magical investigation, we can rule out many of the more well know maladies. We believe it likely causes you to suffer the effects of necrotic and cold damage more harshly.
We decide it is a great idea to bloodlet the poisoned members of our party. After much emo cutting, we do get the poison out, right along with our dignity.
We move into the next room, where we see supplies have been hastily removed. Moving on, we hear a low moan from one of two doors but we hear nothing from the second. We slowly open the door, causing a shrill screaming sound.
The door opens to a room with multiple tables and a place for servants to cook and eat their meals. One of the two doors to this room has been barricaded closed. Akmed hears the moaning in the previous room getting louder so we move the table to block that door. We hear some incomprehensible mumbling among the moans. While exploring the room, Robbie takes some food from one of the tables as he moves the table to barricade the door we came through.
We continue our exploration through the next door which leads to the kitchen, then on to the formal dining area and a great hall. We proceed slowly, finding many abandoned rooms on this wing of the keep. The great hall has three doors, other than the one we entered. Behind one, we hear skittering of vermin, one sounds like violence, and the last leads to a ballroom which is empty, save a group of guards talking on the other side of the room. We decide to backtrack and see if there are any other paths available.
Finding none, Asir approaches the guards. After a brief palaver, and getting checked over for bites and claw marks from the beasts. He gets told that everyone should be moving to the eastern building on the second floor as a defensible position. We move to the courtyard entrance from the grand hall into the courtyard and we see skirmishes of the guards fighting against townsfolk and Fae knights.
We sneak our way through the courtyard to the eastern building.
Session 33: The MVP is….Prestidigitation!
We open the day fighting for our lives from the dark things, that are kinda like the plagued insides come out. After a long fight and many status conditions later, we slay our foes. Some of us are poisoned, some are limed in shadow, but we all still breathe. During the fighting, we notice a couple of the Elves in wintery garb are watching the fighting in the streets.
We sneak around to speak with one of those figures, who, after some discussion, allows us to know that Princess Aurilandur has a horse in this race and is seeking to overthrow the current regime of the land. He advises us that if we want to assist her, we should go inside to ‘cut this problem off at the head’.
We turn away to find our way into the castle. We head around the back of the castle and head into the cisterns to sneak in. While more of us become poisoned, we do make our way into the cellars of the keep. We make our way to a side room and clean ourselves up a bit. We find a storehouse with barrels and crates.
Session 32: Lore and Legends
We return to town the evening of the third day. We begin discussing how we want to move forward. We contemplate picking a side in the perceived conflict to come, storming the castle, or just awaiting the chaos to come.
Myself and Sahra go to the library to research. Sahra looks up diseases and finds there are many mentions of things we would consider like the flu. There is a story of the first pilgrims in the area dying to a massive disease or parasite they caught that many of them died to before they were saved (the saving has a large religious connotation). The people that fled were mostly elves fleeing Nog and the Geomancers. There was also mentions of demon and devil princes worshipped by the Geomancers which led to a religious persecution. There was mention of the Dawn Titans (aka, Cold Gods of the Elements, as we have seen above) as worshipped by those against the elves who fled.
We determined the four Cold Gods of the Elements were Kossuth, Istishia, Grumbar, and Akadi.
The Sanctum Empire is recapped in Session 14. The Children of the land were Sham’ahlone, Esh’riak, Ha’Rabar, Janu’bonal.
Aegis looks up legends of the area:
We found that the creation of the town started when the elves called out to their Eldest for saving against the diseases plaguing the land. They were answered by Anam and Abaine who provided them the strength to survive and thrive here (sounds alot like someone struck a fae deal).
The Gates were said to be watched over by Anam (Female who watches over the gates at night) and Abaine (Male, who watches the gates during the day). It is said that something strange happens in a time of strife, though those times never touched this land, according to the legends.
We fast forward to midnight, as noone has any other ideas on what to do. We notice that as the crowd gathers, more and more people are looking sick and the sickness seems to have progressed. The sense of unease runs high as the ceremony nears.
Again the king and queen ride out, this time with an older male between them as the intended Chosen. I notice a strange flicker out of the corner of my eye, seemingly similar to the elven-like person in dark blue armor and finery (who led us to the fae princess Aurilandur) who is there for a moment, then gone. Sahra notices the fire as conjuration and a teleportation spell clearly takes the person. He also notices the faces in the fire were illusion. Once the teleportation is done, a storm immediately strikes overhead (the faces in the fire frowned momentarily before disappearing).
A few of us see more of those dark armored elves casting a spell, though they are still flickery. We head for cover in a tent and hear a series of loud screams as some people see a woman regurgitate a large black lump which quickly grows to the size of a person. We prepare for battle as we end the session.
Session 31: Flame, Fae Faces, and Fog
We head back to the inn and attempt to remove the monkey bitis. We attempt to dispel the magic and it has no effect, though the magic is not expended. We decide to stay at the inn and listen to some stories of the Lord and Lady as well as try to see what the people think about the disease and go visit the gate tomorrow.
Sahra and Kerim take the opportunity to scout out the keep and see if it has any weaknesses or hidden entrances. They find that the keep is fairly well protected, with murder holes and guards patrolling regular paths (though they do not seem on high alert). There is also a courtyard visible through the wooden door.
While this occurs, the rest of us, led by Asir, ask about the Lord and Lady. We are explained that the Lord and Lady are the protectors and patron/matron of the town. They do not rule, as there is a king (Heus) and queen (we are given a name, but it immediately slips our mind) who have been ruling for quite the time.
After the conversation ends, we find that Akmed has gone missing. We track him down to a stall in the marketplace where he is getting his monkey bite looked at by an apothecary. (We come in to him saying “You are thoroughly Cursed!”).
We decide to hold out for the nightly festivities. I do some woodcarving and get some progress done, but it seems different somehow. I begin adding details, starting with a picture of the scales toward the middle of the staff. While I am carving, it feels like the wood is somehow wriggling or writhing in my grasp, though it does not seem to be opposing my carving, just wriggly.
Asir finds that the top right building on the map is a library, though he does not take the time to investigate further.
Akmed finds himself whistling the catchy tune he discovered and performing basic kata with his swords. People passing seem to nod approvingly.
We have dinner and the door to the keep closes in the evening as people are revelling around the bonfires.
Late at night, the keep gates open again and a line of troops trumpets out. An white armored male (elven) figure in white and a woman in black armor and clothes with another elven female in between smiling and waving. The two armored figures are clearly taller than everyone else (like a foot taller than the other elves, though they appear elven as well).
When they get close, the female in black closes her fist and the fire goes out. Then the Male in white raises his hand to the sky and a large tree grows from the bonfire, though it has no leaves (as a tree in winter) as the crowd goes wild. They people raise their hands and a hush falls over the crowd.
The elf woman in the middle gives a speach about being chosen and going to serve the lord and lady and the crowd cheers again. She walks up to the bonfire and puts her back to the tree where she is bound and blindfolded. She gives a speech about not being worthy to see their faces but hopes they favor her to join them. As she said that, the black and white flames engulf the tree and the woman and we see two, very clearly fae (elves that were not elves) faces appear in the fire, smiling. When the fire dies down, the woman and the tree are both gone.
As the fire is out and the crowd noise is high, I decide to create a bonfire at that point to see if there is a reaction. The crowd goes wild (except one small boy carrying a torch and oil gets sad as I took his job). I stop concentrating and the job does his duty to light the fire.
Kerim takes the time to investigate as the King and Queen form a procession back to the castle.
I take the time to go to bed, to help with my exhaustion.
As the rest of the family wraps up and heads to the inn, a thunderstorm suddenly forms, dousing the fire before stopping as suddenly as it started. The music and revelry die with the fire. The people are clearly shocked and appalled at the rain. It is explained to our family that while it rains in this town, it never rains during the festival.
Akmed and Sahra have a toddler fisting drawing competition to draw the fae faces from the fire.
We sleep and arise the next morning for our nature walk. We take the 4 hour walk to the gates and find them to be open (its the middle of the day). There is a thick fog through the gates and we can see jungle through the fog. Through experimentation and foibles, we find that anything we send into the fog is redirected back at us, including if we walk through.
We then go to a pool to attempt to summon another fae. Sahra casts the spell and after a moment, we hear a splashing in the water. We look to see a two foot tall, elf like creature crawling out of the water. The creature looks kinda bad. Matted hair, sunken eyes with black circles, it kinda looks like a creature not accustomed to water. It also has a bad wet cough. It gives us its names as Muta.
We ask him about the gates but he says he knows nothing about any fog gates in the area. We lead him to the gate and he says he cannot see any fog. Aegis walks through the fog again but he sees it as me walking out, turning around, and coming back. Akmed shoots himself yet again trying to prove the point. The fae will not believe our story and he believes we may be playing a trick on him.
He then hacks and coughs up a black goo spot, which we promptly smash with the feets. He says he has been sick “a while” more than a couple days.
We ask about Anam and Abaine and he recognizes them as his Liege lord and lady. We talk about the festival and the king and queen. He says the King is ok but the King’s Sister is way better (though we make a great deal of effort to get her name, it never seems to work). He describes that the King and Queen are always Twin siblings and whichever of the current king and queen first give birth to twins, the new twins take over the ruling of the town.
We ask about who may want to disrupt the festivities with the rain that was experienced. He said he can’t talk about it but she is nice, but not nice. When asked, he illuded to the fact that the person who may want to disrupt the festival may be a “Countess” of the Winter Court. He gives us advice to keep our eyes open in dark corners.
We make it back to town uneventfully.
Session 30: They who what talks with birbs
We split into teams to accomplish our goals. Team ‘Find a way out’ goes first.
I banish a squirrel and it seems to be native to this place, as it returns one minute later. Sahra then casts a spell to speak with woodland animals and asks a bird about the unusual happenings. It indicates there are dead-not dead scary humans in the town. we learn that there are sometimes scary people around and sometimes not, and people disappear all over town but not at a specific time or spot.
We skip to the other group who is working the crowd. He finds that some people who don’t live in the town are from Sahu (an island, also an old name for the Isle of Serenity), Nog (an old name for one of the ancient kingdoms), Qadar (an old name for an even more ancient kingdom).
They find the festival is to Anam and Abaine. People speak about being sent to the great beyond to join their lord and lady. We learn that those honored have spent the year proving themselves in the trials, though there is one day for others to prove themselves through competition (usually on the last day).
It is also noticed that there is more than a few people who seem sickly and coughing.
Akmed asks a guard about the competitions and ends up enrolling himself, The Magivigant Akmed.
After some more questions from the birds, the family meets at the inn.
We share our stories and seek more information about the disease. Sahra turns into a mouse to gather it. He determines that those of us who were bitten by the bad monkey smell like the flesh is dying, but slowly. The other sick people in town smell similar but different. Like they could be related, same family but different strains, maybe? He notices it is similar to the smell in the presence of the winter fae.
Session 29: “Islands are Just Giant Land Boats”
We head toward the keep and find that while the portcullis is closed. There is a set of large wooden doors that Kerim notices to be slightly shimmering, almost mirage like. Something strange is afoot but we will not let it prevent us from our goal. Along the door, some of us notice some burn marks arond the door. Upon investigating, Asir finds some elven runes in the stone around the door that appear that they may have been a magical trap at one point but it does not look like it was reset from its last activation.
We approach the door and Asir attempts to pull it open. He ripples for a moment and nothing happens. Akmed believes that the door itself may be an illusion and attempts to walk through the area as if it were not a door at all. He ripples a moment and disappears. After some individual discussion, we all follow. We get a strange feel of momentary minor nausea and feel like we are being pulled backwards.
We then find ourselves on the opposite end of the bridge into the town, though the town no longer looks worn down and there are people around. Guards are in the tower and there are people (almost all elven) moving along the bridge. We move forward to attempt to find out what is going on. We walk into the town and find that it is now a hustling and bustling city. Hundreds of vendors. I get distracted and wander toward some merchants selling woodcrafts while some members of the family continue to the inn.
Asir speaks with the innkeep and finds that the other people from the ship have not been through. They are told that there is a festival going on, which increases the traffic through the land. They are told it is the Festival of the Lord and the Lady, Abain and Anam.
I speak with and talk shop with one of the wood workers, eventually purchasing a small (palm of my hand size) statue of two foxes as well as a block of marbled white and black wood to do my own work on.
The other group moves on to the barracks and find that one of the guards has seen our ‘friends’ as guests in the palace. While we cannot go to the palace directly, as we have no invitation, they would only be able to carry a message for us. we are told that in 6 days, there will be a great feast and the doors to the keep will be swept open for the town to enter.
Akmed speaks with the royal blacksmith at his tent and after some haggling, purchases a set of swords. We then go on a pastry spree, so Kerim can experience what good service feels like.
We head back to the place where we appeared in this town and through some investigation, we find that there is a series of magic effects on many items in the area, including the road, the lamps, and the wooden doors, though the doors give a different feel than the others. Aegis studies the road to see if he can replicate the spell which sustains the road on the Manor Al-Marduun.
We head back to the inn and Asir entertains the folks with his barbery to secure us rooms. After we head to bed, about an hour after we go to bed, we are awoken by a commotion from the square. The people who actually choose to stay awake see people celebrating and ritually burning people on a stake, consumed in black and white fire.
We also receive a return letter from our ‘friends’ in the castle. They state that they are happy to be guests and since they arrived late, won’t have a part in the festival until the great feast. We head back to bed and get a nice night’s sleep.
Also, Islands are just giant land boats.
Session 28: Blessed Kingdom of Who Now?
As we sleep and take our watches, Kerim makes his way through our trail of devastation. Sahra and I get awoken from our exhausted stupor by mean old Abd. We begin to explore our way across the bridge. Akmed notices translucent being in the water below the bridge but we don’t feel threatened as we move forward. About a quarter of the way across the bridge, the jaunty music begins again. It gets louder as we go further and further toward the castle. We begin to hear the hustle and bustle of a city all around us, though we see no people to generate the sound. We continue to make our way to the castle. I notice that the castle gates seem built similarly to how the sorceress’ home was, though the castle is clearly not a single piece.
Outside the gates, we find a pile of gear, that looks like it belonged with the family from the boat. This pile includes broken weapons. We make our way through the gates, finding a courtyard of ruined stalls and corpses. Nature has clearly had it’s way with the remains and we don’t see evidence that these bodies take nightly strolls. We find tracks that lead in multiple different directions. We follow the tracks to the left.
The building looks in a state of obvious disrepair. Among the buildings as a whole, we see that many of them have stained glass work, mostly animals. The building we are looking at looks like an inn. I send Esha through a window and find that the bar appears also made from wood grown into the shape and does not appear to have been harmed by time. We enter the inn and found some chests also made from the special wood, though there are no people apparent. We do a more thorough search and find a stone lockbox with a rusted lock. Asir picks the lock and finds a journal with several illuminated pages which he believes would be worthwhile to sell (25g per each page if seperate or 110g if sold as a whole). He also finds a fine mail shirt. It is very light and has a greenish twinge, but we still think it may be detrimental to wear in the desert.
We head to the next building which appears to be a forge and stable. We head in and find the store front for the forge, including rusted horseshoes, rotting sattles and tack. Still no signs of people.
The next building has multiple doors. We go through the first door and see a room with a barred wall. I send Esha beyond the bars and find a stone door leading further in the building. We go back and head through the front door. We find a desk with some stuff in it, which Asir pockets and another stone door. Kerim attempts to wedge open the door with the sword but it doesn’t quite work. Kerim allows the sword to assist him in opening the door, which allows Levistus to influence us. He pulls the thoughts from myself and Asir that we have, in fact, double crossed him. The door does open with the effort.
We open the door and find a largish looking creature making its way away from us. They appear and older looking person, covered in blankets crawling away from the door. The skin looks black, misshapen, bleeding, and unwellness seems to permeate. This room looks like a meeting or off duty room for the military barracks we are in.
Upon closer inspection by Esha, it appears to be a woman, hair coming out in clumps, clearly in a very sick state. This appears to be the old woman from the boat, based on her clothes. She wants nothing to do with us and attempts to always get as far from us as possible. The family decides that there is not much else for us here, so we begin to make our way out. Abd gives her some opium to pass out, after determining that she is too far gone. He leaves and Akmed attempts to give her final respite. After he cuts her throat, he finds a strange stone looking thing fall from her throat as he gives her peace. He wraps it in a strip of the silk she was wearing and heads over to find us.
We head to the first building on the right side. This building smells terrible (like a pile a rotting produce and grain). We open the door and find the obvious piles of rotting vegetables and grains, though it is not as rotted as we would have expected, given the rest of the town’s disorder. We investigate further but find nothing of value.
We head to the next building, with more stained glass (including what looks like an armored female figure?). Kerim opens the door, which was stuck, and hear some muted whispering. After some calling out by Asir, we hear a child respond. We find what appears to be the children (boy and girl) who appeared to be hiding there. They told us that their grandma protected them from the monkeys but ‘they’ came and stole their parents and the rest of their family is dead. We fed the children rations and good berries. We then asked them about who took their parents. They said their parents were taken by ghosts from the keep, who then told the children to run and hide. We equip the children then head out to investigate the keep.
Session 27: Boo-ty calls
We join the combat, reigning lightning, arrows, and holy radiance (and fire lances? way too many fire lances) among our foes. We embrace our true selves through the combat, stabbing from Hell’s heart, sacrificing ourselves for our family, Embracing wrath, and trying again (cause it couldn’t possibly fail a second time). It’s an exhausting process.
When our foes wane, the door begins to open. Akmed pushes it open and we retreat through the gate. We find ourselves on a cobblestone road leading to a valley. A light fog covers the land. We notice a castle in the distance.
After some discussion, we begin making our way toward the castle. Akmed begins humming a tune, that we all believe to be kinda catchy. There are lamp posts shedding a light glow along the road on our way. The fog seems to wax and wane as we get closer to the castle.
After a bit, we hear a chilling scream, which is a bit unnerving, but nothing too frightening. Asir begins to play a jaunty tune, which keeps our spirits up, despite the screams.
After quite a bit of time, we make our way to the castle. We see a (~mile long) bridge and guard towers but no signs of people. We see a tattered cloth, mostly a white field with a little green and a gold border. The castle seems very large but in disrepair. We go into a guard tower, clear ourselves a space, set watches, and take a rest.
Session 26: It’s a (Tourist) Trap
We awaken the next morning to find we are still alone, the two sailors nowhere to be found. We make ourselves a modest breakfast and begin searching for the crewmen. We find nothing.
We begin to gather wood to attempt to fix the boat when we are approached by a boat of gnomes and our cousin, Akmed. He is well met and the gnomes offload some stones and other building and excavation materials. We are provided the bill of lading from one of the gnomes to give to the captain of our vessel. We are deciding whether to accompany the gnomes back when we hear a blood curdling female scream. We gather our gear and head out to investigate.
The town is filled with broken and worn buildings and items. This is suuuuuper spooooky town time.
Past the town is overgrowth and heavy vegitation leading to the mountain. Akmed finds some tracks leading into the rainforest and we head that way to follow. We find the remains of a camp spot and two sets of tracks away, leading in different directions (one more inland and one back toward the beach). We follow the inland trail and find two smaller trails which appeared to have been somewhat recently cleared by scimitar/machete. After some investigation, we believe tracks on the path on the left seems only slightly more fresh. We follow that left path which appears to go toward the mountain. After a bit of travel (30-40 minutes) we hear sounds ahead.
Asir sneaks forward with Esha and finds a ruin that appears vaguely familiar. He finds some vaguely humanoid furry creatures running around and playing in the ruins. We head to the ruins, as Sahra and Asir assure us these animals are of no consequence. They retreat as we enter the ruins. Through exploration, we find a set of stairs that appear recently used. We follow the stairs down. The stairs lead to a basement with casks and other goods that appear to have been a monestary. We also find some chests and what appears to have been an active dig, including holes where the chests likely came from.
We head back up top and look around the ruins to see if anything seems out of place. I find a place that was likely the previous night’s campsite. Asir finds some theatrical equipment, costumes, and fake weapons. We head back to the fork in the road and head back to the straight path. This way we find another campsite and area that appears even more recent than the last ruin. Travelling further down the path, we smell a foul, sickly sweet smell. We find two “masses of grossness” ahead and we recognize the clothes of the sailors from the ship. They appear ripped to shreds, teeth marks, scratches, etc. We believe the marks are likely caused by the furry creatures we encountered (damn monkeys).
We continue along the path and find a cave mouth leading into the mountain, though the tracks lead away. As we walk away into what is now evening, a heavy mist begins to form, limiting our visibility. Asir believes that the mist is likely magically derived. We continue along the path which is now leading slightly uphill. Ahead of us through the mist, we see something on the ground in front of a set of gates.
We approach slowly to find the middle woman from the family was lieing on the ground. Asir turns her over to attempt to render medical assistance to find her skin leathery and her face stuck in a position of abject terror.
Beyond the body the gates stand. One is black with white embossing, and one white with black embossing. One side appears happy and whole buildings while the other appear monstrous and destroyed buildings.
Asir attempts the bardic knock spell, aka opening the door, but it doesn’t work. I have him step aside to try the sorcerer knock spell, Knock. When I cast, the door shimmers and glows slightly and we begin to hear lyre music from an unknown source. I attempt to open the door but it fails to open and the shimmering stops, but the lyre music does not. We begin to see ghostly figures in the mist going in and out of the gate road, though they disperse when they get close.
We find wording along the door that appears an older dialect, we catch words here and there which appears to be a welcoming message, which includes “Behold the blessed kingdom of Hersenkas”. Sahra remembers that name as being a place that Kahin used to go to. His sickle then begins to warm at his side and we huddle to the door, attempting to find our way in while bracing ourselves for what is coming.
Session 25: Weeeeeeee’re Sailiiiiiiiiiing Awaaaaaaay!!!!!!
After waking and discussing our options, we decide to find a boat. Asir disguises Sahra, in case Haroun is looking for him and we set out. There are more and more people in the black and red garb as we head to the docks, but the overall feeling is slightly more relaxed.
We negotiate passage on a pleasure craft with the caveat that Asir provides nightly entertainment. We are sharing the craft with the crew and one seemingly well to do family (older gent, older lady, younger gent and lady, and 2 children). We believe them to be above us in station but slightly below the people we saw at the auction.
We head out and begin sailing south. We are told that the first port of call is a secluded island where there is said to be a treasure, which we can buy in to assisting the search for. We decide to stay on the boat for the excursion. We pull up to a dilapidated dock (though the dock appears to be made of new wood, made to look old). The captain attempts to again convince us to go. We do not believe in the ruse and fail to fall for the tourist trap.
We spend the night socializing with the two crew members left on board. We are then jostled awake in the middle of the night by Sahra to find seven squat humanoids with scaly blue green skin who are going through some boxes and a chest we believe were likely taken from below deck.
We fight the dickens out of those guys…and the ship apparently. We win the fight but the leader got away. Asir mends what he can as the rest of us go back to bed.
Session 24: The New Deal
We continue our discussion on how we should proceed with contacting the Gloaming Fae to return the glove. We decide to have Sahra complete a ritual at a natural water source to attempt to reach out to her to return the Hand of Frost. We end our reservation at the Snoody Bee Arms and begin to head out.
We leave the hotel and find there is a commotion in the streets. People are speaking in hushed tones and there are armed and uniformed men (in Sultana’s guard garb) heading to the Foundary as well as heading to the manor on the cliff.
Rumors in the town indicate that the Sultana is dead, the Sorceress on the cliff had stolen a powerful artifact from the church, and the foundary riots are increasing.
We head toward the clean water past the foundary and find that the area around is barricaded. We are warned to not approach, for our own safety. We decide to skirt the barricade to the south to attempt to get out of the city and find the river there. We find there are more and more people attempting to leave the city before something bad happens.
As we leave the city, we see a contingent of men wearing red and black, with Haroun on horseback speaking with some members of the city guard.
We head back into the city to attempt to find a place to perform the spell. Through negotiations (and terrible bribery), we find a merchant who was willing to allow us use of his room.
Sahra casts the ritual to summon the fae. After about an hour, a 2 feet tall figure appears in the circle. She takes the offering in the circle and requests water when asked.
We speak with this fae and make arrangements to speak with the queen to return her glove. We are told the Queen will be in contact with us and we allow her her leave. We leave the shop and head to find an inn to stay. We head to the docks to perform this search, in order to find a place that is relatively quiet. We make our way to the Sleeping Pixie.
Asir gathers rumors that the riots in the foundary are gathering even more strength, so much so that the captain of the guard was said to have needed to make an appearance.
We call it an early night. Sahra is awoken at about midnight to the temperature in the room, suddenly dropping. He sees a person in shining blue armor, wearing a lance, pointing ears, and seems a bit androgenous. When he speaks, he states that the Queen wishes an audience with the kind Kahin. He gathers the rest of the family and returns to the guest. He instructs us to walk through the doorway, which is now rhimed with frost.
We find ourselves in an audience hall before a throne. The room is very cold. The throne is occupied by a woman wearing fur. She has slightly blueish skin and glittering insect (dragonfly like) wings. She wears a crown of twisted white wood. She is surrounded by the frost fae similar to the one summoned. There are also other guards similar to the one whwo retrieved us. We are given the signal to approach. We bow and provide proper respect to the Queen.
We create a deal with the Queen to return Kerim’s soul in exchange for the High Hand of Frost. In addition, once Kerim’s soul has been returned, we also need to perform a task for the Queen, with one right of refusal. We agree and sign the contract, choosing to give the High Hand to her. She stated she would send us word within a fortnight and sends us back to the inn.
We decide to sleep and wake up to find a boat back to our house.
Session 23: Magical Journeys and hard choices
After our rest, we make our way out of the den to head back to the central hub. There comes a scent of perfume around the last mirror. As we step through, we find ourselves alone in a narrow, seemingly unending corridor. We each investigate our halls in our own way, finding strange magical features, unique to each.
I personally find myself whisked down a magical waterway into a room with a pool. In the room is a balance in the center, currently balanced and empty. There is also a massive throne and a gavel. The gavel and throne is made of wrought iron with wave patterns. There are also ice steps that lead to the plates of the scale. I begin testing the scale with my staff and the water in the room.
We all eventually end our trips standing before a door at the end of the hall. We all step through our respective doors to meet each other in a much larger hallway. The larger hall has 7 doors, 3 on each side and a fancy door at the end of the hall. The side doors appear to be guest rooms. The fancy door is also a jar, and a little open. This last room is a super fancy bedroom. The room is very large and appears someone has rifled through. Sahra finds a chest under the bed, though no one else seems to see it. He crawls under the bed and moves the chest out, which seems to pop into existence when he pulls it out. Asir uses the key to the house to open the locked box. Inside is a blue leather glove with white embroidery.
We then open the box to find a really well made vase, which most of us to believe is the vase stolen from the temple. We decide that we will go forward with our duty and leave the vase there. We mend the box and leave.
We sneak our way back to town and go back to the Snoody Bee Arms to rest, recuperate, and burn the damn box. A few of us over indulged and called it an early night, though Sahra and Kerim talk and investigate the small black cube that Sahra got from his hallway adventure.
The next morning, Asir heads to Obak to let him know that the deed is done. We are offered more work, if we are interested.
Asir takes a moment to identify the box. He finds it to be indestructible with an illusion over it. He knows that if you put something in the box and close it, conjuration and transmutation would occur.
We then discussed our next step, Fae, Devil, or Box.
Session 22: Man Bear Cow
As we catch up to our intrepid band of heroes, they are being sieged by a minotaur and a giant bear. We take a ton of punishment from a charging minotaur before we do enough damage to cause the minotaur to ‘retreat’. And by retreat, we mean that the bear and minotaur voltron into the great Manbearcow.
Lightning and thunder are flying around in the whirl of claws and fur. We don’t look so hot in this one. In this time, Asir decides that he really hates the bear, enough so that he invokes the will of Nahas Al Aizdira to smite the bear, causing a heron to manifest on his head.
We eventually defeat the cowstrosity and through teamwork and cooperation, we move the resulting ‘bear goo’ into the cauldron and a door appears. We then try to use the remaining bear goo to heal ourselves with.
We head through the door that appears and walk into a parlor with chairs, some hookah, a fireplace and other lounging accoutrement. Beyond this parlor is an antechamber and treasure room, Though we saw no sign of the High Hand of Frost.
Session 21: The halls of mirrors
We begin the session in the foyer of the Grand Mage’s mansion of Ash. At the end of the hall, we see three mirrors which reflect the world with their own unique view points. After Aegis sends Esha through the mirror on the right and she is unable to find her way, the group heads to get her back.
We enter a winding hallway with large statues carrying mirrors and a wall of thick black smoke at the end. There are strange chimes heard through the hall. After some thought, Asir believes that if he performs the call and response correctly, it may disable the guards on the room. After some trial and error (and the threat of some ominous drumming on failed attempts) he successfully solves the puzzle and the smoke wall is dispelled.
We then find ourselves in a room with some large wooden Acorns and a recessed area with a deep deep well. After some investigation and thought, we find that we can move the acorns, which raise off the floor into a high table or altar while also opening to create a couple of basins. This causes grooves in the floor to drop away, allowing the water to fill the grooves and creating some arcane symbols as well as causing some strange crystal growth in the room.
We determine that this is likely a room for some religious ceremony and decide it is best to return the room to its previous condition, before heading back. We head to the next mirror in line and find a similar hall, this one smelling very pleasant to each of us (though not the same scent). We still see the large statues carrying mirrors and at the end of the twisting hall, we see a basin of wood, seemingly held up by a series of scarred figures. We believe this basin to have held blood in the past. Sahra gives of himself with the scythe and we find that this amount of blood is woefully inadequate. We say that we believe this most likely would be a place for sacrifice and verbally wish we had brought something to perform the ritual with. Someone suggests a bear or a cow, as they have lots of blood. No sooner is this suggested than we hear a growling sound from back in the hall.
We investigate to find a very large bear had come out of one mirror, and a bull/cow man out of the other. Abd notices that they each have a faint sunlight glow. The session ends as the bull man stomps his hooves and lowers his horns for a charge.
Session 20: The Art of (Poor) Interrogation
After some discussion, the family sends me to bed. Asir and Sahra head out to the market and purchase a copy of the identify magic item ritual. We go to sleep and have a comfortable and enjoyable rest. We wake up and Asir takes the sickle to his room and casts the ritual to identify. It is a “Weapon of Warning” as well as having some other minor enchantments upon it and being silvered.
We head out later that day. We head toward the main gateway hub of teh city (being led by someone who is decidedly not me). There are guards stopping and frisking people in the square. We get through and head toward the cliff face. We get to the dwelling that is the entrance to getting up the cliff face. Asir heads closer and hears a couple of voices inside. We take a moment to discuss things in a local tea shop.
Asir scouts out the home and finds two people having a conversation. One half elf and a man with red tinged, wrinkly, leathery skin. Eventually, the red skinned man stabs the half elf. Will decides to attempt to freak them out and knocks on the door while invisible. No answer
(Well now, who could that be?
I say “Who is it?”
“Who is it?”
There’s no answer
“WHO IS IT?”
They’re not sayin’ anything)
He heads back to his perch and finds the men are gone and the stabbed man is likely to have been dragged off. Asir heads back to the table and tries to appear without drawing attention. We head back and enter the building after clearing the lock and security chain.
The entry room is a clear foyer and we shut the door behind us, in dim light. we sneak our way through the dwelling and find the red skinned guy washing up, no bodies to be seen. There is a shimmery black barrier in the room behind him.
We ambush the poor lad and after some talking/yelling/intimidation, we determine that the red skinned man works for Obak and has retrieved a brass key that belonged to the sorceress (has a stylized M). After some discussion among the family, we decide to attempt to smooth over the death threats by talking to Obak and explaining our situation. We apologize to the red skinned guy and make our way out.
Asir speaks with Obak and we become business partners after explaining the situation. No harm, no foul. He stated that he needs a piece of pottery placed into the estate we are attempting to enter. He looked at the map and made some notations regarding where we are going. We decide to pick up the piece to be delivered in the morning.
In the morning we head to Obak and he gives us the box to be delivered with the instructions to place the item in the main bedchamber, prominantly displayed, then dispose of the box so no evidence of it remains. He also advises not keeping the key when we get done.
We head off with his well wishes on the way to the caves. We head through the caves without incident and come out in an alley with fine stonework a short distance from the main street, where pedestrian traffic lingers. This is a really high society part of town. We take a side route onto the property of the big mansion at the end of the road. On the property it appeared that this was once a well kept forested area, which is now overgrown and thorny. The gate for the property appears to be made of silver. The key we have works well to open and lock the gate.
The paved approach to the manor is lined with statuary and has a hedge maze around the western face of the mansion. We enter the mansion and find that the entire building and its contents seem to be carved from a single piece of wood. We take this magnificent sign as a good place to stop and awe for the night.
Session 19: Where is my mind?
We leave the inn and I start leading us to the cliffs overlooking the city using the map we acquired. I am so great at this that I lead us in the complete wrong direction. In a more affluent area of town, we come across a hooded figure with a green robe with gold trim casts a spell that releases a cloud of tiny winged pixies at us and Kerim’s sword goes cold.
We begin fighting through confusion, sleep, DRAGONS!, dancing lights, and strange plant cover on the ground. Over the course of the fight, we sustain great injury from the necrotic plagues sent by the enemy caster. As I lay dying, a blue glow gathers around me. After a few seconds, a wave of healing rushes from me, healing myself and Asir (who lay nearby dying as well), though it exhausts me in the process.
With the magic of the pixies faded and they returned to their home, we gather a foothold against the enemy spellcaster. We eventually win the fight, through Sahra’s vengeance and I exhaust myself healing everyone from the brink of death.
We take the enemy Kahin captive and we learn about an assassin’s organization called the Golden Palm (followers of Jasan). We know that the Golden Palm was supposed to have been disbanded in the previous regime, though the past lead, Taka, now serves on the ruling council. We are told this druid was ordered by the ‘grandfather’ to kill us and that they have renounced the ways of the Golden Palm after they were ‘betrayed’ by Taka.
We eventually make our way back to the Greedy Maiden Inn to get some rest. We notice that the sickle from the druid seems to radiate magic. I investigate it to determine how to anchor magic to my own staff and find that the metal appears like silver but probably isn’t and it radiates a light similar to moonlight. I think use of the item would cause pain to the user, though no malice is felt. It seems to be anchored in religious rite.
We also find a metric ton of money and a scroll of True Resurrection as well as a small clenched fist made of crystal and a wanted poster with our likenesses.
Session 18: The ride of Shame
We get out and speak with The aged master about our less than successful journey We chit chat a bit before hunkering down to fall asleep, setting watches.
During the final watch, Raha (of the Pearl Cities) comes up. Stating that he had swam from the south on pilgrimage, he asks if we were responsible for the shipwreck at the cliff base. When Kerim begins to charge down the cliff, he is assured there is noone there in need of assistance. He invites us to breakfast when the family awakens. After a brief breakfast, we head down the cliff.
When down on the cliff, we investigate and find that the ship was in fact, the ship we rode in on, though we see no sign of persons or cargo. We are contemplating how to get back to Hajal when we are able to flag down a ship and negotiate passage.
The ship (Al Maizkawi) is owned by warrior-slave dwarves (Manluks?), who grant us passage in the name of General Okin Abd al-Talibilm. They also swore our accord in the name of the “Blood-god” a warrior god who rose his way from slavery to divinity. We board the ship and make our way.
We ride through some unsavory and unpleasant weather, we find ourselves back in Hajal. We find room in the Snoody Bee Arms. We keep our ears open in the common room and find that many tongues speak of increased tension in the foundry, due to the rumor that the marshall’s flail is in the foundry and there is an increased military presence there, causing unrest.
The next morning, we go with Asir to introduce himself to the head merchant of the area who gives us some more information about the town and where we may be headed.
Session 17: Oops…
We manage to sneak past the Bone Devil Imp room and continue making our way through the passages leading to Kerim’s soul. We are making good progress through a series of rooms and halls until someone cough Kerim cough trips over a freakin table and gets us in a fight that we do not win.
After taking the failure on the chin and get brought before a projection of Prince Levistus, where our negotiations did not quite go as planned. We agreed to entreat for the prince and the brazier of contempt as well as another deed to make up for our rudeness of sneaking into the tower. He explains that there is a person in Hajal who is “tedious” and is holding an object he should not. We are explained that we should ‘remove’ this person (Prince Anjar bin Alura) and ‘return the object’ (the High Hand of Frost).
After the deal is accepted, the prince provides Kerim with a two handed sword made of a black metal and inset with gems as proof of his acting as his advocate with the brazier. He waves his hand and we are returned to the base of the statue, where Asir vents his frustrations, sets his new motto as “Fuck that guy”. We decide to call it a night and give ourselves a chance to cool down.
Session 16: Mission might be possible?
We head on our way and sail toward a peninsula. On this peninsula is a giant statue that looks like it used to hold a spear but has crumbled and worn. We make shore and begin to climb a set of precarious looking steps up the cliff face.
While looking for an alternate method of going up the cliff face, I find a stash of stuff including a scroll of Dream, a potion of healing, and an oil of etherealness.
We also see many small holes along the cliff face. Deciding the best method to determine what is in the holes, I stick my hand in and get bit by a venomous serpent, who then gets fried to a crisp.
We manage to climb our way up the treacherous stairs to the top and find the statue is very large (400ft). It appears to be made of marble and there is a placard but we are unable to read it. Sahra recognizes the statue as a likeness of Ahr Rebar (associated with life/death/craftsmanship and is called the holder of the sky).
We find a variety of caches, provisions, water, etc from other pilgrims but noone is at the spot when we arrive. After a time, someone Sahra recognizes (Aged Master Thalith) head up the cliff face with a female.
Upon telling him the story, The aged master tells us that the hags that took Kerim’s spirit work for Serula Illiene (An Archfey of water, goddess of the nixies, this fae was summer but became unseelie at some point in her history). He lets us know that he speaks with all sorts of spirits on his travels and has heard about those hags gaining prestige from the horn.
We further discuss our options to determine how to proceed with returning Kerim’s soul.
We discuss that Serula may be interested in an item long lost to her called the High Hand of Frost, taken by a sorcerous (Haraiah Al Mabum) some time ago. Last heard, she was called to be magical council to Prince Anjar before she disappeared. Kerim recalls that Haraiah is the magus who created the estate above the city.
After much deliberation, we decide to head into hell to steal Kerim’s soul back from Levistus. We are given gifts from the Aged Master and he prepares a gateway for us to head to hell.
We sneak throughout the hells til we find ourselves to the self proclaimed “Bone devil imp room” and we call it a session.
Session 15: The devil’s in the details
In the night before, we dream that we are cold beyond belief and we have a small flame that we are trying to use to thaw the ice that is enveloping us.
We wake and prepare for the coming exorcism. We hear a rumor that the grand marshal’s ceremonial weapon was stolen. She is Princess Hana Bin Alura (The sultan’s eldest daughter) whom we were supposed to go introduce ourselves to.
We head to the Mosque of Hajama to meet up with Imam Ramadayah bint Kolos min-Hajama to perform the exorcism. We go into the room for the exorcism and begin the ceremony. After many Banes and hold persons, the exorcism doesn’t appear to be effective.
We talk with the devil and he states that he was just in posession of the body but since we attempted to forcefully eject him, he is now going to take a more active role in his oversight.
As part of this, the devil states that he wants to use Kerim as a means to work with the Brazier of Contempt. I send the devil a message asking what was paid to the hag for this soul and was told that he gave the silvered horn of Thyrana, then I am blasted with psychic energy.
Abd attempts to give Kerim protection from good and evil but is failing at contacting the possessed Kerim. When Abd finally makes contact and casts the protection and Kerim is able to, for the moment, shake off the devil’s influence.
We are left with a few courses of action: 1. Entreat with the Brazier of Contempt for the Devil, 2. Have Kerim take a pilgrimage to attempt to get the gods to help, 3. enlist help from the enemies of the brazier or the devil, 4. Attempt to find a trapped Djinn to bargain Kerim’s soul for its freedom.
Levistus is the imprisoned devil prince who rules the 5th hell, Stygia. He uses avatars and other tools to work as he is stuck in an eternal ice prison. He was placed there by Asmodeus.
Thinking about the Horn of Thyrana I remember that Thyrana is a Fae Lord who took the form of a Unicorn headed creature. They were opposed by several other lords and was eventually slain, though the horn was never recovered by the fae lords.
We then work to get passage and on our way to the place of power that Sahra is aware of. We charter a ship and are on our way.
Session 14: Intrigue in the City
In the aftermath of the fight, I head down to Kerim’s bunk to see if there is any further sign of the glyph. The rest of the family stays on top of the deck and speak with the captain regarding what happened. Kerim finds an iron stylus by the foot of his bunk.
We do our watches and myself and Abd notice that Kerim is whispering to himself in other voices. We speak to each other and believe that since Kerim was killed by a Hag, his soul may have been stolen by the hag and then potentially traded to the devil who is now apparently plaguing us.
We come up with a plan on how we can deal with Kerim.
We dream of a Castle that is carved of a giant mountain of ice in inky blackness, until the inky blackness turns into the night sky and we eventually see a giant woman (the castle comes to her kneecaps) next to the castle. The castle itself gives off an aura of servitude, though no one is in the castle that we saw.
Abd remembers that in the Empire that predated Nog, there was the Sanctum Empire and there was a story of Sultana Dono’krusia Night Maiden Who ruled jointly with her husband, Earthen Sultan Kre’mos. They had 12 children, 4 who opposed them (Who became the Cold Gods of the element, the rulers of Nog), 4 who stood with them, and 4 who stood with the land.
We then remember that the four children who served under the sultan and sultana were Desert Pasha Vor’voros (A giant person made of sand), Sifu’nas of the Sky (A man made of clouds/wind – Day sky), Radiant Kai’apir (Made of the sun and fire), and Pto’sidato of the Ever-reaching Abyss (Man made of water). We believe this to be connected to our dreams.
Rumor’s among the sailors:
O’Bak is the ‘Best Merchant Around”
Phul’adia is a weaponsmith who’s father was recently missed.
Some worry about ending on Taka’s (The Hatchet-Gnome of the Sultana) bad list.
We are given advice to hide our magic (especially me) so as to not draw the attention of the Brotherhood of the True Flame, who only believe in the power of fire magic and are said to have a presence in the city in the last couple months.
We head into the port. The city seems grimy and smoky and less than pleasant. It smells of the foundaries and kilns of the industry of the city. The only clean spot seems to be the Sultan’s palace. There is also a house on the cliff above the town.
After securing some rooms at an inn, we head to the Grand Mosque. Abd leads the way and we meet with Imam Raman Bin Alura Min Najam. He lets us know of the thefts (Pto’Sidato’s vase from the Sanctum Empire) and skirmishes the temple has been struck with recently. His disdain for the priests of the City of Delights is unwilling to accept Abd and our help. We then go to find the other priests from our city at the Temple of Hajama.
We confirm the information provided previously and find that there is also some unrest in the foundry.
Session 13: Wise choices and shaking off the devil
After the fight, we say the appropriate prayers. Afterward, we search the sahuagin, hag, and troll bodies for their filthy luchre. We find a stack of gems and a heartstone. We share this loot with the captain.
A day or two later, we make port in Wasat (The Middle City), which is in the teritory of the Grand Caliph. The ruler is Caliph Haroun Al-Rakas. The first mate tells us of the recent gossip, in the last year, a great Wizard has recently moved to the city and has taken residence on the cliff.
We head to the temple of Haku and get our barbarian friend’s spirit returned to his body. We then make our way back to the ship to determine what to do next.
We head to the Blue Slug and spend some time gathering rumors and relaxing.
The first night back at open ocean, we dreamed of a watery hand reaching out for us.
The next day, we find a strange section of water next to the boat that is not reacting as expected. After some members of our party go to investigate they find a burning rune on the inside of the boat. It is thought to be the rune of Prince Levistus, known as a demon lord (or devil lord). Some idiot decides its a great idea to touch the rune. It then changes to a purple and blackish glow and sends an icy blast into the water. This blast of ice creates a small island of ice next to us with a portal on it. I send Esha through the portal and see a large mountain made of dark ice before Esha’s perception is torn from me.
We begin a fight with some crazy imps and a mysterious humanoid. After some rough patches, we finally routed the fools. The barbed devil eventually left through his portal and we killed off the little spiny devils.
Session 12: Trolling and Death
We go to see Jarnaah in the morning. After eating some free baked goods (and a stone) we give the panther statue to Jarnaah.
She helps us outline our options for travel: either work as clean up/janitorial/pit bosses on the Sultan’s Carnivale or use a quicker, more militaristic method of travel. We decide on the militaristic route.
Abd speaks with Aminah regarding the upcoming trip
Imam Raman Bin Alura Min Najam – Keeper of the Great Mosque in the city as well as the mosque to Najam
We get our affairs in order and head to the ship. Aboard the ship, we speak with the captain, a dark elf, and introduce ourselves and provide our capabilities.
After the introductions, the ‘wizards’ head above deck and the others sit to begin rowing. We get out of port and leave.
As we leave, we notice a spiky looking ship going in the opposite direction.
We survive to the first shift change and relax for about an hour when we hear a loud ringing and a call to arms.
We get upstairs to see some of the crew fighting ‘people fish’. There is also a ship next to us made of coral that has 3 shrouded figures and two hulking figures on board.
The battle was long and tough, with much bloodshed on both sides. In the end, the foes were vanquished and our poor Kerim had taken his last victory.
We spoke with the captain and determined that we would go to the nearest town to attempt to beseech the priests of the area to raise the dead crewmen, including our dear Kerim.
Session 11: Artsy Auction and absconding
We being the session and Asir begins stalking and shopping to begin the pursuit of his target.
Abd Continues his enchanting research on developing a new spell in the library and successfully completes his goal.
I continue working on the wooden Armor for Galel. The rest of the family continues work on the roof of the estate and get it 70% done before running out of materials.
On the nights leading to the Gala, we get dreams of rains of fire and the falling of a comet from the sky.
I set up a meeting for Galel at the Taj Marduun to present him his armor. I sell it to him for “What he believes it to be worth once he has seen the reaction of the people at the Gala”. He stated that in addition to that payment, he extends an invitation for myself and my family to the gala. I thank him for his honor of myself and my family.
Sahra and Asir head to the bakery to gather rumors and a snack. They hear many rumors confirming that the auction is to sell many stolen items and it seems more people know about this shady dealing than would be expected.
We receive a package containing 8 trade ingots (worth 50g each) and the invitation to the gala.
We head to the gala (On The Comet’s Fury) after disguising ourselves in appropriate costumes.
We head into the well guarded ship for the gala. When checking our money in, we notice quite a few people have brought exorbitant amounts of money in a show of wealth.
We also see a listing of many items, including:
A fine metal box who will bind and bring luck to its owner
A Gavel Looking Hammer – of the Headpriestess of a powerful genie cult
Set of 3 Talismans with the Aspher symbol (a 9 spoked wheel with a blacked out center)
A longsword of the crusaders of Qadar
The onyx Panther Statue among other statuary
Some Journals are also for sale in lots
We are lead into a converted living quarters in the ship where the gala is underway.
After making the initial respectful greetings to Galel and Renald (who has a similar unease about the evening), we mingle and make fools of ourselves.
We are told to watch out for a man named Carafia (Sahra believes this name to mean Salamander).
We then prepare ourselves for the auction.
The first item was a set of Iron Bracers whom were said to be owned by a warrior of the pearl cities whom was never defeated in battle. Which eventually sells well above our price range (Just over 5k) to the faruq family.
The next item was the Qatar longsword from the great warrior who deposed the kingdom of the geomancers with a symbol of the Lion’s of yesterday. The sword of Min Zan starts the bidding at 30,000. The bidding war goes between Jarnaah and Galel. Jarnaah ends up buying it for 85000 gold pieces.
The ash staff is the next item up. I give a look of disgust. The staff once belonged to a priest of the far south, said to have great magical and historical significance. It starts at 300g. And it goes for 1000g to the fakar family.
The next item was the mirrored shield. It was said to have been found in the high desert and had been lost in storage until a family was forced to sell it. The shield appears unblemished and must obviously have some magical power, but the mages could not determine the enchantments. It started at 10000 g. There are many bids before it gets sold to A buff dude named Carafia for 45000g. People are quite surprised it went for that high a cost.
The medalions of the Wizard Priests of Nog (3 talismans). The are believed to be from a single individual (the venerable Wheda). We get outbid by the Faqar Family for 700, after some flirting between Asir and Cpt Mahdi.
The ring was said to be from a foreigner who didn’t speak the language but was said to protect you if you were at sea.
It goes for 300 to the Manzel family.
The next item is another ring donated by the Brotherhood of the sails. It is said to hold great elemental power and is said to be good for sailors. We win the bid for 500.
The next item is a brazier that was obviously one of the stolen items. The story is saying that it was liberated from one of the tribes of the desert. Carafia makes another big gesture to win the bid at around 30000 g.
The onyx panther statue is next, starting at a bid of 500 g. After a brief non-verbal with Jarnaah, We bid to take it for 700.
On the gavel, there is a big bidding war, won by the Arba family at 95000.
There is an orb, seemingly filled with lightning, purchased by the manzel family.
There is another, seemingly filled with a dust storm, purchased by the Taruq Family.
The Arba family purchases a lot of journals for 35000.
The vases go to the fakar family for 15000.
The fine metal box is the last item and the bidding is fast and furious. While the bidding is happening, we hear a knocking, thumping sounds and high pitched noises coming from the box itself. The box was won by the Fakar family wins it for 82000 gold.
When the auction is complete, you hear a loud commotion and the city guard bursts into the room. we gather our items and make our way out of the ship, swimming away and returning home.
The ring is a ring of water walking.
The panther is a figurine of wonderous power.
We receive a package from Jarnaah with 1000 g to repay us for obtaining the panther statue back.
We need to talk to Jarnaah in the morning.
Session 9: The Visions
Date: 7th of Kawafil
We conclude our mission at the mine and after a brief talk, we decide to head to the City of Intrigue.
We return home to prepare.
I dream of a completely flat desert with sand in all directions, in front of me a pair of great hands push out of hte sand and I see a great humanoid made of sand rise and create sandstorms. He is then slowly whittled away by scratches and gouges until he turns to nothing.
While others are are out talking, I complete my first scepter and head to the market to sell it. I am able to sell it to Galel’s agent for 15 g. She tells me of something he is looking for.
He is looking for wooden armor (Breastplate, bracers, greaves) to be crafted for the gala in 5 days. I purchased a set of cypress wood to craft into this armor for 40g.
Session 8: The Mine Monsters of Midnight
We wake up the next morning and go about our business again.
Asir heads to the marketplace to purchase some new armor.
Sahra speaks with Ghazal who lets him know that Nahas Al’Aizdira is not friend with the wind princes as many efreet are. Especially hostile toward the Mirror of sorrow.
Nahas rules over the spire of the calling bells.
Kerim speaks with the foreman of the mines to explore options to make money. Miners have been disappearing and there is a mystery afoot. Joinkies!
Abd speaks with Aminah and gets a lead toward where his vision may be.
We then get a visit from my master, Renald. Renald tells Sahra that he is seeking a blade, black as total darkness but shines with the radiance of the night sky that may be in the sanctum city. Sahra agrees to search for the blade and is paid a retainer of a jade scroll case with a druid cantrip in it.
Asir then receives a missive from Jarnaah which instructs him to go to the bakery. Who lets us know that someone they know has lost an onyx panther statue.
We head to the mine to investigate the missing miners. When we head in, we observe some holes for giant ants and then find the remains of 5 people, who have had their bones ground into dust and packaged into their own belongings and buried. There is belongings and tools there as well.
We turn around a corner and find a group of beings that appear to be made of starlight. We work hard and dispatch this group. We discover a small altar that appears to have some strange writing on it. After what we believe to be careful deliberation, We smash said altar.
We then return to the surface.
Session 7: Cityscapes
We return to the city and get paid (460 gold). We then head to Taj Al Marduun to regroup. After disguising Sahra, the Al-Rashid brothers head to the temple and the rest of us go to the tower of 1k stories.
The brothers pray and research with the holy people of the church, including Aminah and are given a direction toward someone that the church would like gone as well as a quest to retrieve some relics of Haku from the sanctum city.
Kerim enters the bookstore but almost immediately takes his leave as quietly as he can.
Sahra researches the Dao and lesser elementals.
I research about Marid places of power and read about a genie named “The Fountain of Misdeeds”.
We head to the marketplace and do some business.
Sahra speak ghazal (wife of tariq) who was offering to do research.
Session 6: Whisperings and The Grand Crescendo
We investigate the room of our conquered foe and find the glass shards to look more like pieces of solidified green smoke (also having some strange semblence of emerald). I gather some shards and we move back to explore the other side of the cavern.
We move toward the north side of the cave and after traversing through the firey oozes and our druid befriending some fire dogs, we make our way to a huge chamber with a giant burning brazier under a shell of emerald.
When Sahra touched the emerald, he heard a voice talking about something sleeping in a vault in what we assume is the sanctum city.
I receive a message as well: “From the fountain spills both life and knowing, accounting for the misdeeds of mortals. Judgement comes a swiftly as a river, and gives blessings fleeting, fair, and fickle. Wash away the sins of the father, and bath within the fountain.”
Most of us touch the emerald and receive individual messages.
When Kerim touches the glass, the essence of the Efreet speaks to him, asking him to accept the gift that was presented to him by Haroun. He eventually tells the voice that he will not have this gift, she leaves, taking all the fire in the cave with her.
We leave the cave and notice a caravan off to the side. As we approach, we notice it appears much like Ortindel’s caravan, though there is noone there and no horses in the front. All non-living matter on the wagon is still there.
Khem Nafir – Meh’jet’s successor – Meh’jet was ‘cracked’.
We tell Nabila the story so as to explain why the crown now has two large cracks in it.
I start carving my staff to inlay the green wire into it.
As we progress along the way, we are beseiged by the copper herons of the Efreet. Some of our brothers remember that these birds don’t like loud noises, so we start the thunderclap and musical beats start flying throughout the caravan.
The explosion of the magic thunder and near magical recital of drums dissasembles the dastardly darkness of the frightening flight while one cousin keeps the caravan from a doomed detour and the evening expires.
Session 5: Krazy Kerim Kareamed
We start by noticing that our barbaric cousin is not just suffering the normal hangover. When attempting to cure the poison, Abd has his spell cancelled from something in Nabila’s bag.
Nabila is concerned that her bag is not allowing the spell to cast.
I place the crown on our sleeping cousin, who is then enveloped by a light glow and strange fog, which slowly engulfs us each in turn.
We awaken on a secluded beach with a strange cave . When speaking, we mention the name Mej’het (Al-Qayb) and get reactions from the cave.
We reach the cave and find that the cave mouth is made entirely of glass. The cave itself is made from glass and sandstone.
When we approach, we hear a jackal singing the song of its people.
We venture into the cave and find a weird fleshy thing who introduced itself “I am Kerim As (Nahas) Al Adira made me.”
It was a salamad-Taur. Salamandar body with Kerim’s upper torso. He stated he was captured here by Meh’jet, cause they were unsure if the real Kerim had agreed to the influence of the master.
Our Kerim gets bored and starts battle. We eventually down the fire salamander version of Kerim and end the session.
Session 4: Worm Wrestling for the Win
We wake up (well, most of us wake up, not naming any names…Kerim) in the oasis and go about some basic business before heading out for the day.
We head out, seeing horse and riders along the way that seem to be blowing a shrill horn.
Eventually, as we are travelling on a road in to a somewhat steep ravine, we get attacked by weird worms of woe. As a note, they shoot spitballs made of rocks…that bind you up like tons of cheese.
We are also watched by three riders who leave when the fight ends.
We eventually slash and burn these foes and harvest some gooey worm hearts from the dead. As well as finding a sticky, gooey corroded bag of coins (2500 copper).
We continue our progress, though we still catch signs of other riders mirroring us and keeping us in sight.
We end the session once we’ve reached a safe stopping point with a caravan of Galel’s business (not his personal) and a church caravan.
Session 3 – Remains and Receptions
Nabila Tells us that the half crown is called “Mah’jet’s Eye” and has been in her family for generations
We then head outside to get some food with Ortindel and to get some sleep
We head back into the tomb at the behest of Nabila. She gathers some additional tools from the rooms we have already checked before we move back to the audience chamber. Inside the chamber, we find a hidden chamber that include a bag with 7 weird opaque stones and a well worn saddle, which we took in place of the pay from the Mephit fight.
On the far left, Nabila collected another tool but nothing else of value was found.
We then head into the grand hall. In the hall we find some tables with bodies in the midst of the process of cremation, as well as the tools needed to complete it. On the far end of the room is a door about 3-4 feet up on the wall that is about 3 feet tall. There are also doors built into the walls here.
In the doors are remains in storage, except that second to last one on the right, which contained a ‘juicy’ body in the fetal position. The door at the end of the room was the furnace.
We then go on the road to the oasis, noticing that there is a constant back and forth between sandstorms and stone walls outside Nabila’s family tomb.
We make our way to the Oasis and were scouted by some riders as we slept.
We reach the Glittering Oasis and after a day of totally not telling people where we were or who we travelled with, we had a social soiree with Hasim. Hasim let us know that he is out to teach those damn dirty apes…I mean Heathens of the ghost lands of the gods. He asks Abd that if he not return in a timely manner to send someone out to save him, to which Abd says he will lead the party himself.
Our time at the oasis was also wrought with men wearing a black sash with a red salamander on it. Those guys are sneaky and were keeping tabs on us.
Session 2 – Mephit Mayhem
Resting shenanigans, apparently some people in our family need practice sleeping.
The building came into sight but a Mirage around building caused effort to move toward the building to appear stunted.
Nabila held up a large quartz-like (She called it a sunstone) rock around midday that dispelled the mirage and showed the path to be craggy and steamy.
The building is a large pyramid of medium quality materials. The door of which has a symbol of a bird, which crudely matches the symbol Nabila wears.
Holy room in the tomb disperses Esha.
We come across six burial rooms for low ranking members of the family (or friends, servants, etc). Half of which (the right half after entering the hall) appears to have been defaced, with broken urns and some defenses triggered.
There is obvious wind damage inside the tomb itself, though Nabila does not believe to know anything specific in regards to her family potentially angering a djinn.
We saw more burial rooms past an intersection in the tomb hall.
Some of our family members sense a strange and unsettling presence and the rooms get darker.
Aegis attempts to make everyone feel better by creating a small bonfire in the hall, but an ominous grinding sound from all directions warns better of keeping it lit.
An ominous wind pushes Faycal out of one of the rooms, activating the statues momentarily (to look for the source of the wind). No harm was brought to the party by this action.
This being made of wind soon after captures Aegis and pins him to the wall, providing him a warning to leave, that the “Master would not want one of the others” around.
Nabila then explains that their family had a patron who is clearly opposed by this Djinn. She is also provided a warning calling her one of the ‘others’.
We hurry to the audience hall (up). On the far end of the hall is a throne and on the thrown is a half crown carved out of a single emerald. This crown has a carving of an eye. The feeling of unease is dispelled as soon as this eye is visible. It is very valuable and according to Aegis’s arcane knowledge may or may not be something important. Nabila most likely recognizes this as something she is looking for and rushes to take grasp it.
As she moved forward, we heard a loud shrieking, some pops of magic around the room and 5 imps appeared. Begin Mephit Mayhem
boom boom, hack, slash, OMG the crown is getting stolen!, NOPE! We win. Crown Handed to Nabila by my mage hand (none of us touched it)