ATC Away From Starshine

Away From Starshine

Explore Wreck of SeaCatt Reefs
Aug-13
800xp for all
extra 200xp for those who touched the alter Basil, Hunter, Obadiah

2000 gold per character.

Primaries
Mojo,Pavelow,
Ogrel, Basil
Suibhne(aka Siv), Feyren
Hunter, Obadiah

The captain of our charter takes our group to the island where the other 3 groups went and left. The group comes around the point on the island and sees a battered wreck of a ship near completely out of the water in a shallow lagoon. As we approach on the beach, an odd reflection is noticed in the water and a few go look. It was the cloak clasp of the Azure order along with a bitten boot, the boot's teeth marks could be those of sahuagin. Basil finds a seaweed snare trap in the water and decides we need to get out. While doing so, Mojo steps on some bottle holding red stuff, a few more discovered and we think it's blood to alert any nearby lurking sahuagin. As the tide was coming in, the blood scent wouldn't be tasted for a few hours yet.

We board the ship through a break in the hull, and after some searching around realize something very odd: this ship is older than it seems. It looks like it's only a 10 year old wreck instead of being 100 years old. Also, we found parts of an Azure blue cloak and area that indicated a fight happened. During the early search phase, small blue-ish crabs were marching about until it was noticed they were marching in a pattern to a hole and each had an odd blue hue to them. Each was carrying some snippet of wood, coral, or blue cloth. Upon investigating the small opening, Hunter finds a larger hole in the flooring partially covered by a box. After moving the box, he finds a small rock outcrop has punched up thru the hull and in the outcrop was a cave entrance from where blue light was emitting, with a few crabs being seen going in or coming out of. Group formed up and headed into cave.

On other side, see small piles of "stuff", all finely sheared into small pieces by the busy body crabs. The piles seemed to be offerings of some sort. This cave complex is very odd, no way physically possible to be this large given the rocky outcrop we just walked thru. The cave is all glowing from various "crystal" stalagmite formations around a meandering wide pool of water. Also, we notice the water is coming in with the advancing tide. Party heads into cave as there is a very bright glow farther down.
On the way, Obadiah is attacked by some crystal snake that spits shards of glass into the eyes, blinding him. This crystal snake blends in well around the crystal stalagmites and is very fast. Hunter kills one but we end up disturbing another "nest" , Mojo advises group to bypass it and we march in deeper water. Basil notices an "egg" of the crystal snake and takes it.

Finally, we reach the glow and it seems to be some altar on a spit of land with a very bright object glowing on top of it, along with a small chest and a set of 2 flickering altering images, ring, helmet, shield, etc. Hunter watches for a bit and then flicks out a hand to grab one while it's a ring and she does so. She immediately looks stunned in awe of something and kinda drops to the ground (missed save). Obadiah reaches the alter, tells everyone "don't do anything to desecrate" then touches the alter and prays to Ardneh, Obadiah locks into a trance (misses save) for a round then tells everyone its okay, as we are chosen and these will be payments if you agree. Basil follow suit and touches he altar (no save), goes into trance for a round and comes out of it. Pavelow grabs for a ring image successfully and avoids a trance (makes save). Basil tries to get Pavelow to give ring back as he is not giving himself in service for the reward.

[Metagame notes: The 3 characters were in the presence of a god we now know as The ALL. His real name was not given because that would impart on us some power and would risk him being found by the Shadow. This is an LG god. After Obadiah (priest of Ardneh) said his god wanted us to help Basil (paladin of Ardneh) willingly submitted so he did not roll a save and was drawn farther in. He does not know he saw anything different than the other 2 though]

At this time, a big splash is heard and Suibhne grabs the glowing ball and heaves it into the water. As we watch for a couple rounds to see what is making the splash, a large monster, made of seaweed and vines and kelp, climb out of the water onto the land. Mojo charges it, closely followed by Hunter and both attack with Mojo whiffing futilely, Hunter gets in three poor hits. A second one appears and Basil takes it on with a mace but couldn't hit the broad side of a shambling mound. Then Hunter and Basil proceed to have the snot beat of them by the two monsters as the rest of the party assists the attack. Pavelow uses Silent Image of a huge armored warrior to distract Basil's opponent, saving Basil from being roped and engulfed. The first creature is killed and screams out in a hissing moan, "For the wonder of The ALL", Basil stops his attack and tries to get everyone else to do so but the second monster continues to attack, so is also killed by flame ball, magic missile and sword. (by Hunter!)

We opened the chest and inside was a scroll. When it was removed a spell of preservation was broken meaning it is now a regular scroll and not one that will be unable to decompose. It was not a magic scroll but contained some history of The ALL and how things were set up with Oden. It also contained the locations of the 4 staff pieces we must obtain(see bottom of article for details). Once we have them we will be able to light the candle at the healing pond. The person or group who lights the candle will be given the power to determine the fate of Predellan.

Basil and Obadiah explain the visions they each had and between them and the scroll we learned The ALL: The Hunter remains silent, just muttering "same thing", but says that ring is hers.
[please edit and correct this list - especially Tom - to make sure we have them correct. Much knowledge was passed but not sure how much the characters know]

is a god whose world was overtaken by The Shadow plane (the same Shadow plane that was attacking us in the last campaign and who we stopped when we closed the portals - this turns out to be significant)
fled here and was hidden by Odin and the other good gods in order to recuperate and prepare for retaking his world
the arrival of The ALL weakened the planar fabric and things known as the Evil Uglies were coming through. They were not from the Shadow Plane.
was involved in creating demigods from 2 spirit creatures: bird (Honne), cat (Tatumae) but not fox (Kitsune) to fight the Evil Uglies. What happened to the Fox (Kitsune) is unknown, but hasn't been heard from in 1000 years.
protection was also accomplished by making the entire world forget about the existence of Predellan, including all the gods. The people of Predallen and even Honne and Tatemae were made to forget The ALL.

What else? Did we get any information on how all knowledge of Fox disappeared? No. A hypothesis is that she became the human that founded the royal line. No evidence, though.

We also learned and pieced together that the conditions for the "forgetting" are disappearing since the threat from the Shadow is gone. The population remembering things, the documents being found, etc. are all a result of the portals being closed and the Shadow influence lessening. Since memories are returning time is more critical.

We know there are 2 other groups who are a couple days ahead of us with probably the same information we have. One group is from the Black Tower so obviously evil. The other group contains elven and half-elf members so probably can't be trusted. We need to beat them to the candle with our staff. The magic involved will produce 3 copies of the staff so all parties are capable of acquiring all of the pieces even if 1 group gets to a location first. The first group to get to the Candle will decide the future course of Predallen.

Also remember that in a prior session the group received a clue from the retired Emerald leader to follow "The ALL" and the Snow Order knows more than letting on. The Azure order was here trying to get information and were rebuked (by DI or bad luck?). Politics of the Orders will be in play so we need to tread carefully but quickly. Are they waiting for someone to put together a staff then attack them?

After that discussion the group determined the "daylight" sphere should be replaced. Mojo went in to swim and finds……(Tom scaring the bejesus out of me at first, "There are things down there") …… treasure. Art, gold bracelets, statuettes, golden mugs, jewelry, all worth hundreds of gold each. Thus the 2000 gold each character (thanks Suibhne). Mojo points out this stuff is old and seems unique so have to pawn it off piece meal to not attract suspicion, otherwise a certain library administration may want it back for free.

And Mojo did put back the daylight sphere and we headed out after waiting a day, as the tide came in and the current was too strong to get thru out of the cave. We have yet to explore the rest of the wreck. Where did the other 2 groups get their chests? Maybe they do not all contain the same information.

For Dave's explanation, see The ALL

Staff of Prophecy of the Chosen Ones (Part One)
The head or top of the staff is in Starshine in the library in a museum in the basement of the building. Odd and ends from the War to Cleanse the Lands of Evil were stored down here for scholars to study at their leisure. All types of things were shoved into this area over the centuries: pieces of armor, odd weapons, works of art, stonework,and anything anyone could picture that really are not worth much but some person could find of interest to study a culture or period of history. Hardly anyone goes down into that basement any more, perhaps just once in a while to confirm some information they had read

Staff of Prophecy of the Chosen Ones (Part Two)
This piece is at location D10 on the map Dinashampton Hill. In the old days this city and area used to be the wine country of this land run by one of the first Houses. The
scroll says that the Dinashapton's where the first tribe "clan" to pledge and fight along with the sisters to clean the lands of evil. As a reward they were given a number of gifts "rewards"
to show the gratitude for the sacrifices the leaders and their people made, including this land area. The people of Dianshamton retired from the efforts after years of warfare
and heavy loss of life that left them almost leading to the extinction of the entire tribe. When the great change happened and the land started to turn to dust they all packed up
and moved away, ending the tribe's bloodline.

Staff of Prophecy of the Chosen Ones (Part Three)
The next piece is at Snicthmes Barrows! A small army died at this locale fighting the good fight with the sisters. It was after this battle that the sisters realized that this land could
not be won over with just the people of this land, that outsiders had to be brought in to repopulate and work the land and even fight for it in the end. The ones lost were laid to rest
here with great fanfare and honor, but something has gone wrong over the centuries and the dead do not rest well in the place where they should be resting.

Staff of Prophecy of the Chosen One's (Part Four)
Another piece is at Whelarder Temple.
This Temple was the birthplace of the Orders. When the Orders where first founded they where all trained together in a secure and out of the way place. However, as time went on and
every order grew larger and with the building of Starshine it was decided that the Homes of the Orders should be close to the place of the operations of the kingdom. Over a long
period of time the Temple was slowly emptied and left to whoever wanted to live there. It is rumored that some members of the Orders make pilgrimages to this Old Temple for personal reasons.

Explore "The Wreck" and go to Dinashampton for the Second Staff Piece
Aug-27
713xp

Primaries:
Mojo, Pavelow, Kevlar
Ogrel, Saffron,
Hunter, Zephyr
Suibhne (aka Siv)

Tell our fishing boat captain to hang around as we will be back. Explored the rest of the ship. Nothing found except when entered the main captain cabin area. The receiving room was empty but the main doors to what we think is the captain's cabin is barred by a large piece of wood as if to keep something inside. Siv casts detect enemy off rod, gets a "hmmmm, maybe" vibe, so not conclusive. Party opens the door and enters, in the gloomy light we see a room with a door out the back, big bed, and cabinets on one side, a big desk and wall chart on the wall above desk. Standing near the desk is a figure, as it turns we see it is an "undead", but it just watches us at group slowly enters the room and form up. Siv takes wide route to the back door and the "captain" just follows his movement. Then Hunter takes a step to the desk, the "captain" steps over one step as to block it. Zephyr steps up behind Hunter and casts light, the "captain" lunges forward and gives a hard two handed shove on Zephry causing some subdue damage, nobody else moves, so Mojo goes over to the desk and the "captain" attacks Mojo, the group piles on and fight over in a couple rounds. the "captain" already had looked beaten up, with cuts and tears in his clothing and leather vest. Zephyr casts speak with dead, get answers that other groups had come here. Asks why he is still around "I am here to protect the future of Predallen". and spell runs out.

Group searches the cabin, Ogrel trips an fire ash trap in the cabinet but dont think anything worthwhile destroyed. Mojo looks into ceiling for anything with no success, Hunter climbs up and looks to see a long metal tube. It is a case for the "odd" special looking "magical" telescope inside that seems not to focus on anything. We try to use it focus on the old map, nope, then out the stern balcony, nothing. While out there, Mojo checks out the ships name, which is "The Future", Mojo walks back in grumbling about moronic captains having nothing better to do than stay dead.

Our hired captain is surprised to see us back, says nobody had gone back twice. He ports us back to his fishing village, explains the other groups all had horses, came across the land and headed back out. We ask if anyone in village can do identify, he gives us a name but says the guy is a bit addled in the brain. Pavelow decides to chance it and have the old mage try identify on his new ring but he fails pretty quickly. Pavelow asks some background questions, finds out the guy is past adventurer gives some information of the area, Zephyr changes his mind and asks the old mage to try again with Saffron singing out song of "how beautiful it is, with righteous and hopeful thoughts". And old guy succeeds, sees the special filigree on the telescope, asks where we got it, explains the device is used to find parts of a special staff. However, the primary user can use it to find "Whats most important to them" if that is more significant than finding the staff. This binds the user to the telescope until mission accomplished or the user is killed.

After some discussion, determined Zephyr is best choice to focus on finding staff pieces. So given the scroll locations, we decide to go for Dinashampton with it so close, after loading up on supplies. A storm is brewing and our hired captain says need to wait 3 days for it to blow over. Instead we decide might save us a day to go overland. Again, the wilderness types sense the heat/wind/dryness is unnatural, especially that close to shore and oncoming storm. Zephyr uses the telescope and it gives him a bearing and zoomed in image of a tower standing out among wind/sand blasted ruins. After 2 days march, we reach edge of ruins, see in a kind of plaza a set of skeletons hanging from large stakes and hooks. We bunker down for evening away from the plaza but sleep was denied as 1st watch hears a slithering noise, like sand shifting and sliding. Hunter and Mojo wake everyone up and gear up. A minute later, 5 "sand" people attack us, quickly latching on two members, with "arms of sand" grappling them. It was a serious fight, fortunately, Pavelow had cast "Prot vs Evil" on a couple fighters and it prevents summoned/conjured creatures from attacking them. It was then cast on two being sand-gulfed and they are free, with Siv taking some heavy damage, but the sand people seeing they could not hit, found new targets and Pavelow is one and he drops(he did not P.of.E himself first), but all 5 "sand people" are killed, the bodies falling apart with only human bones remaining, which we douse with holy water. We later notice next morning the bones we saw earlier on the stakes are all gone. On 3rd watch, Suibhne and Zephyr hear a tinkling bell sound. Suibhne tells Z going to check it out. He sees what feels like a vision of the past(like opening scene in Guardians of the Galaxy on the dead planet), as he watches this cart and people move along, the land changes to pristine state of green and clear road and intact buildings before fading away into the town.

Group heads out in morning, along the way, see armor remnants but no battle damage. Zephyr uses telescope to lead us to a mostly intact tower. The base of which has a large hole in it and kind of smoothed out path to it. Group decides a frontal approach is best, Mojo asks about buffing, party decides not yet. As we get within 100 feet of opening out comes out some sand abomination monster (think "brain" bug from Starship troopers but with real big legs and similiar sized piranha mouth of teeth), lead fighters begin shooting arrows, casters put up some spells. Sand Piranha charges moving over 150 feet in a round, bashing and over-running the length of the group along the way, dealing damage. Mojo kinda freaks out, goes werewolf mode but also goes into rage as well and attacks the Sand Piranha. It takes a whole round to turn around, then charges group again getting as many as it can that is in the way. The group all do some serious damage back at it, but Saffron is Mack-trucked and drops, Zephyr goes and drags her out of line of fire, or thinks that may be the case. The Sand Piranha stops at entrance and turns around. Pavelow casts stinking cloud on it and blocks vision. Mojo charges up to edge of stinking cloud howling and screaming and pacing along and stops. Which aligns Sand Piranha at Mojo and……. Zephyr and Saffron. The sand beast charges, Mojo swings and hits. And Sand Pirahna dies, the skin ripping open and explodes in avalanche of sand, burying Mojo. The party starts to hastily dig thru the sand, finding bones of a dragon and then an odd part, like its part of a staff. Hey mission accomplished, forget digging out Mojo for a round or two. But Mojo is dug out, at least his head until sure the rage is already worn off.

We search the area some more, finding some treasure in the monster lair. 3400gp in gems, which will all be kept in group booty for buying horses when we can. Mojo still in werewolf form, uses scent to cast about for the other "competition" groups, instead picks up scent on edge of ruins of Fox lady and something else.

End of mission log.

Across the Desert

We headed Northeast across the desert towards a military outpost in that direction; the nearest place where we could buy horses. We soon heard a horse in distress, and Mojo tracked it down and saw a path leading onward. We healed the horse which had been attacked by the sand creatures and found the remains of the Azure Order party. The final two members were dead, and two sand creatures were roaming the area. We killed the creatures and looted the Azure order leader to find a few things of interest. First, she had her notes on each of the other groups, written in journal form showing an increasing knowledge of who they were and who was supporting them. Her notes on us showed disdain in the early entries, but increasing respect as time went on. She sent letters to her superiors telling them to support us, and she carried a reply addressed to us should she find us. It is a gilded invitation to meet with their leaders and talk, safety guaranteed. The leader also carried a letter from the leader of her order giving her authority to command any other Blue Order people and requesting everyone, on Her authority, to aid and assist the bearer of the letter.
A short ways beyond that was a stone ruin consisting of an obelisk and walls around it. There was writing on it, but all faded. With a little experimentation we learned that by rubbing sand on the writing it "healed" the stone and made it more readable. We "shined up" the back wall until we could make out the gist of what it said. It was a picture of a warlord with a dragon mount, looking evil and nasty. We decided to stop healing the shrine and to leave immediately. We had to kill 2 more sand creatures patrolling the other side of the site.
We then travelled uneventfully to the fort, except for seeing a patrol of soldiers on camels. it seems they are the current commander's idea of a "desert force" and are the subject of much debate. We bought our horses and stayed the night, and broke for the night there.

Fox's Advice

First thing, we voted on accepting the invitation of the Azure order and nearly unanimously decided to reject it. Then, as we were forming up to leave the town on our new horses, Fox approached us and talked a bit and allowed us to ask her questions. First, her advice to us was not to race to the finish for two reasons: First, we are the only group that knows where the candle is, and so the other groups will be slowed in trying to find that, and secondly because even if we are well intentioned, the candle lighter may really screw things up if he/she doesn't know the situation in Predallen and balance the various needs of the peoples and groups. She wants us to talk to the Heads of each of the Orders, to Tatemae and Honne, the governing council, etc, at least as much as we feel we need to in order to understand the players and set up the new ruling order in Predallen. We certainly need to find and talk to the "ghosts". To do this return to the White Temple, find them, and TRACK them. They are physical beings and leave footprints. She can't speak too much more, or we will be overbalanced in the race, and the powers aiding the other groups will be able to pin us to the ground and rip our heads off, as Fox did to that orc. She did say that the Butcher is not the being being tortured, but that was one of his minions. The Butcher is on his plane and trying to get back here, and that obelisk we found in the desert was him, and once the obelisk repaired itself, he would come back. He is the one guiding the Black Tower group, though they don't fully understand this. The All is the helping/guiding force behind the Elven group. Fox has been our guide, under the guise of "The Gremlin" because she is not allowed to show herself under her name as part of the Forgetfulness Agreement and Spell.

We rode to the town on the coast because the road was best going that way. As we went, again Fox showed herself, this time as a minstrell alongside the road with a crowd around her. She sang a lament, enchanting the crowd to listen, as she sang in sorrow about the end of the age, and the dangers to come. Clouds formed over their heads which formed into first a black fleet flying the Black Tower flag and coming to invade Predallen, then to another fleet, coming in from another direction, intent hostile. As the song came to an end, Fox disappeared. With Ogrel's help, Zephyr threw a booming voice across the crowd, "Heed the warning of Fox. Pray for the peace of Predallen". (or something like that; I don't remember exactly). We then went on, to the port town. At an inn there, a maid kept staring at us. We nearly made a scene, but calmed it down and found out the elven group had been through and had paid her to look out for groups of well-equipped outsiders, and if she saw any to send an addressed letter to them. The address is an inn in Starshine. We paid her more and went on to Starshine, leaving her with the envelope and a description of the orc group she was looking for.

At Starshine we learned that Tatemae had come back to the capital and was planning on staying awhile. The people were happy over this news. We decided not to deal with the Elves, nor the Azure order, but to quietly head to the Library and find the staff piece. Afterwards we could decide what to do once that was in hand. We used Hunter's friend who uncovered the hidden Forgetfulness as our first contact, who guided us to the Key Holder, an elderly woman who carried a key about 3 feet long and very ornate. We went down to a huge set of doors which she opened and let us in without asking too many questions because we showed her the Letter from the Blue Leader giving her authority to do our business. She mentioned that the Elves had been down weeks before and spent 2-3 days down there before leaving, and an orc had come as well, but quickly left (we think it was the orc that Fox killed, and he was returning with help to try to find it again). Anyway, the Basement is almost as big as the city above filled with nonmagical or residual magic from all the Evil Uglies vanquished. Whole buildings were broken down, carried here, and reassembled. It would take days to search it all, except that we had a telescope that soon pointed us exactly where to go. We went to a small shrine, opened the door, and took the staff piece off the wall. All but one failed our saves, and while we don't know the effect yet, metagaming had Tom acknowledged that those characters would start having nightmares from the Evil Uglies that had been banished (Zephyr +50 xp). We fit the two staff pieces together, and they are now one again, and can't be un-stuck. We left the basement within about an hour and let the Key Holder know we would be back now that we realize the size of the holdings and the need for more guidance before coming here.

We quit there, at Starshine, with the staff piece. We can decide to talk to the various orders now, since all are headquartered here at the capital, to Tatemae, or whatever. At a minimum we need to include the White Temple in our route to the Candle.

Meet and Greet the Predallen "Lions" in their Den
Oct 8
500xp, 500gp each from gifts from Azure Order and Tatuma. Blue gifts sold for cash immediately.

Primaries:
Mojo, Pavelow,
Ogrel, Saffron,
Hunter, Zephyr
Suibhne, Arranz

After visit to the Library "Indiana Jones" Archives, decided to change decision and visit with each of the key groups/players of Predallen. That night a few of the party suffered nightmares, including of note Arranz. The nightmares relate to the siege of the Butcher and his castle by Tatemae and Honne. The odd "vision" was the "dreamers" notice during assault on the Butcher walls, a group wearing symbols of the Fox sneaking into the fortress without being noticed, then the vision ended.
(Dave's Edit: I heard that they attacked and broke through a wall, aiding in the fight against him, but from a different direction than the Honne/Tatemae forces and wouldn't have been seen by them. They fought the Butcher, but without anyone else knowing. My characters remember this interpretation anyway.)

First Chat - "The Elven group"
Still cautious, party went in as two groups, 4 openly to send message, and the other 4 spread among the crowd at the inn. The inn was very high class, and a combo bar/restaurant/meeting place. Several guards were watching everyone and 2 more guarded the stairs. Mojo, Saffron, Zephyr, Arranz the four to make contact thinking to meet them in room on main floor, instead invited upstairs. Other four try to join but was blocked by the guards, another message sent up to the elven group and they stated we were being deceitful by trying to bring all eight. In order to avoid a brawl, the other four were left behind and proceeded to meet upstairs in large conference room.

The "Elven" group arrived and consisted of a half-elf in plate armor(likely paladin), Elf(mage), and Human(Ranger). The human was the one who tried to stop us on the road to Predallen.
The motivation of the elves:
-is too much chaos on the land,
-too much risk to let others determine the outcome
-these 3 have taken an oath and are of one mind on saving predallen
-want to establish order on predallen as in mini-elven homeland
-elf high priest had a divine intrepretation of situation but vague on the "solution" from "The ALL"
-they believe us too volatile mix to come to a correct decision if happen to light candle first
-stated Odin did not elevate Kitsume/Fox to demi-god because did not trust her, and she is our "benefactor"

Got them to agree on common ground, Black Tower must not win. Elven group said that is the priority to destroy them first, then they will deal with us as needed. (Non-aggression until the Dark Tower group is dead, then deal is off. - DEH)
We exchanged intell on Black Tower. Elven group shared
-orc leader is #2 in Black Tower nation, and is a mage
-half orc is skilled tracker of people,
-missing orc is a high level assassin
-some ogre fighter of strength/speed

We told them ogre is Big-Boy, under some type of mental control but hates the Black Tower, and would fight them if control is broken.
The elven group was stunned to learn Fox killed the orc assassin and describe the event. It changes their perspective of Fox positively.
Told them of the vision from Fox of the two fleets from Elves and Black Tower coming to Predallen. They were surprised at details we relayed, one about the dream Arranz as an elf had (per rules, elves do not dream, so very disturbing) and about a fleet but human stated no fleet on the way, then he noticed the other two trying too hard to be poker faced and that they knew fleet was ready. The elf and human of the elven group walk out in hallway to have intense discussion, meanwhile Pavelow as one of the four left behind, had snuck upstairs as a servant and hid in a closet, happened to hear bits of the chat. They wanted to chat amonst themselves and contact homeland, but wanted to meet again next day, we suggested Crazy Joe's.

Met at Crazy Joe's, and the human was running the conversation, his two companions not very happy about it. He wants us to get a message to Fox and meet Kitsume. Topic: what is her role? We said we would try.

On walk to and back from Joe's, more stories of Fox/Kitsume doing her mini-show vision to warn the people. Also, no nightmares for anyone 2nd night.

Second Chat - "The Azure Order"
Their HQ was a few hours outside of Starshine. It was the largest and most elaborate/expensive of any we have seen. See Azure soldiers for first time as they escorted us in. Recieved many stares from the people. Noticed inside the inner sanctum that only humans were about, no diversity of races inside. The Azure council was 7 women, all dressed in blue, skin and eyes tinted blue(unknown why), met them in a meeting hall and they were around a large glass/crystal object that had multiple flickers and shadowings of blue flowing inside. The council spoke in turns, like a ritual, of specific statement, with a spooky smoothness as one stop talking and another would start. They wanted to explain the justification for the actions the Azure order has taken:
-to give balance to the orders
-provide unification after the civil war
-for greater good of all
-they need to be kept in power, after all is OBVIOUSLY the ONLY logical option
-they are not concerned with any entity that may arise, they are confident they will continue to exist
-they want us to chose in their favor and willingly to grant us assistance to go home or money

Some in the group surmise the "blue" crystal is former blue souls of council being preserved. Zephyr sneaks in a detect evil and the council radiates some levels.
They provided us with 200 gold of "trinkets" each for coming to them. After we leave the council room, Hunter unleashes an emotional tirade on the Azure soldiers, how can they stand and support this atrocity. Luckily the guards did not react immediately and party was able to calm down Hunter. Also as we leave next day, we over hear gossip on the Azure streets, "finally all 3 Chosen groups have been talked to, relieved and now positive Azure will remain!" type of attitude.

Third Chat - "Tatumae"
Her office complex are inside the walls of Starshine. The atmosphere is very relaxed in outer offices and we are expected as "Guests of Kitsume". Walked unattended down hall to her main office, only a single guard by door challenged us until we said we were "Guests of Kitsume", then announced our arrival to Tatumae and let us in her office, then guard left. Her office was huge 30x20 room, one wall complete with pieces of armor, shields, weapons with various battle marks on them and some of very old style. She is dressed casually as well. We explain to Tatumae of our presence and meeting of her sister Kitsume. Tatumae reflects upon re-discovering of memories of Kitsume.
Tatumae is asked what does she want from the prophecy:
-she starts by pointing out pieces of armor/weapons on the wall, reciting names, places, battles. Each of a companion/soldier who had fallen. She wants their sacrifice to be not in vain.
-she also does not want to allow such a war to happen again
-wants a lasting peace that has been earned by her dead soldiers
-Mojo asks, even at lost of her existence and she said yes emphatically

She is asked about Azure order and she confirms souls are put into the giant crystal. (They have a second Blue Sphere in their basement filled with more souls. They hope to use it's power to elevate one of them to Godhood. Tatemae thinks it'll never work so hasn't done anything about it. - DEH) She does not like it. She also has intervened and stopped the blood sacrifices at temples, much to our party surprise. We state we have heard otherwise but she insists she would know and only was done to keep magic power to survive. Closing of the portals ceased the need. Tatumae also states that she realizes now duped by Butcher and is aware of Black Tower plans. It was the Butcher, mimicking as the Fox, caused Honne to attack Fox temple. Tatumae believes some things she blamed Kitsume for was the doing of the Butcher. Tatumae is also curious of where Kitsume got her powers, it took Odin AND other dieties to elevate the two sisters. Odin revealed that he saw probabilities and the best longest solution was to exclude Kitsume. Predallen is key spot as it is axis of portal lines from various planes where edges are weakest.

Tatumae is asked what message she wants to send to Kitsume, Tatumae states she is hurt not yet visited her and wants Kitsume to come and talk. Tatumae hopes that Honne changes from her craziness and will agree to a talk.
We let her know of the Butcher obsidian portal; she is aware and also is no longer sure what true cause of the desert is. (She knows, but isn't ready to deal with it. It will take all three sisters to defeat the Butcher.- DEH).

Continue the Meet & Greet + New Anarchy
Nov 5
XP, 700 total

After a visit to Psycho Bob’s Magic Emporium we went to Tatume’s office to talk to her again and ask questions about the Fox and their relationship in the past. They were 3 sisters and as far as she knew the only spirit creatures on Predellan. They got along very well and would team up to take out the demons once the invasion started. It was Odin’s decision to not raise Kitsume because he felt she was too much of a wild card and could not tell which way she would go so he only raised the other 2. Tatume did not know how Kitsume received her powers or when since there has been little contact. She asked again that we tell Kitsume to visit Tatume if we speak to her. She also provided us “free pass” letters to visit the other orders that had a 1 week time limit. The letter said the head of the order had to answer our questions and they were not allowed to touch us for a week.

We took our letters and went first to the Emerald order proper and talked to the new head mistress (all orders are lead by women). She is young and is the one who deposed the previous head who we talked to last time. The new Emerald leader is basically a nazi brown-shirt claiming she is just following orders but she really loves the orders she is following. She was a total snotty bitch and claimed the old mistress had to be removed because she was not following protocol. She said they had specific mandates to collect information and there were guidelines on who was to receive the information when collected. The old mistress was slow or negligent passing on some information because she was showing favoritism (I can’t remember if she said who it was to). We asked what her preference would be if the prophecy was true and things could change. She said she would prefer that the Emerald order return to the initial role of being teachers and chroniclers of history. She would rather be that than a spy. She also thinks that what Kitsume is doing going along the coast doing her magic show of doom is not helping. She also believes Honne was wrong with the war, also is mentally broken and Honne needs to be fixed. She said we have taken enough of her time and gave us a snippy goodby and left telling her assistant to be cordial to us.

Her 14 year old assistant, who we named Page-tard, was also the assistant to the former head and was never replaced so he showed us to the door. On the way we decided the green bitch was going to treat us to lunch. While preparing for the meal, Page-tard let it be known that he doesn’t like the new head bitch, he is a believer of the Prophecy and Honne. Stated the emerald order bitch was hiding information from us on the other prophecy groups. There is a scroll on her desk detailing the information. An invisibility spell later and we had the info from that spell plus a list of names of people who are spies. The scroll showed that she has been in regular contact with the elven group and clearly supports them. The nice thing was there was no scroll about us and it appears that the other 2 groups are behind us in the race.

Next stop was the dreaded Scarlett. Their temple is built like a fortress outside the city. Very militaristic older woman (not armored), clearly perturbed about Tatume making her talk to a group of nobodies while she is still trying to contain a revolt in the east. And foreigners at that. She has no opinion on Prophecy, too much real stuff to deal with first. In particular the "resistance" interfering with the orders selection process. We got her opinion on the various orders, she was concerned whether this was a loyalty test.
Black - farthest from original charter mandate, no longer needed
Snow - most trustworthy, could do better, should revert back to original mandate
FreeTraders - should operate openly for Predellan
Azure - believes they are heading in wrong direction, does not like them creating the giant blue orb
Emeralds - not too concerned, ok with change of leaders but did prefer the previous leader

The big revelation from her was that she had never received orders to stop collecting sacrificial people for the temples despite Tatume’s insistence that the sacrifices has been stopped long ago. After a what-did-you-say exchange our group + the scarlett headmistress all mounted up and rode straight to Tatume’s office. She didn't bother pulling together an escort/guard sure that we would not hurt her and if anything happened to her we would get the blame regardless of what happened. The meeting was a little intense with Tatume being somewhat miffed that orders she clearly assumed had been issued had not been received let alone acted on. We were dismissed and told not to leave town as the Snows would want to talk to us tomorrow.

That night there was a commotion at the library which we investigated. A group of carriages were parked in front and some loud voices were heard inside (no details). Then a very upset Tatume showed up and she ushered a bunch of bookworms into the coaches and they took off out of town. The next day we visited the library to talk to our friends there. Things were in a tizzy because most of the scholars had been removed just as they were learning all this cool new stuff because of the un-forgetting. They’re going to be gone for months and the research will be set back. They’re off doing some auditing of the various orders. Not just the Scarlett but all the orders. We surmised that Tatume was sending people out to investigate if many commands sent to all the orders had been delivered or ignored. And as luck would have it at that point we were summed to Tatume’s office to speak to representatives of the Snow.

The Scarlett commander was there, looking physically uninjured but drained. They really only asked us 1 question after we recounted our story of the meeting. Do we think she is telling the truth? Our summary was yes, from her reaction we think she was genuinely surprised at hearing the collections were supposed to have stopped. Additionally, we asked what the Snows would want with the prophecy. Their wishes were:
-they want to order of law
-some other group to be the jury instead of them
-want to have cooperation but not out of fear
-believe there's no need for blue orb but seems to be working in scope of charter
-want all orders to be useful, not abusive
-believe Honne is in extreme state by what happened in West, per West Snow leader
-East Snow leader thinks Honne aligned with "bad things"

Scarlett leader gave insight that thinks Honne is caught up in revenge aspect. Snows tell us to talk to the ALL

We were released but asked for and were granted one more audience with Tatume before we left. It was a quick discussion about the situation and the anarchy we started (Go Team!). She was appreciative of us discovering the issue but lots of investigation was needed to learn the extent of the problem. As a thank you we asked to be teleported to the Citadel of the Snow to save us days of travel. She personally demi-god moved us and our horses the next morning. Apparently she was weak from blowing all her spells the night before bringing in the Whites and issuing person orders that would not be be ignored. We passed on the chance to attack her in this weakened state.

We split up into 2 groups and moseyed around the citadel looking for ghosts. Eventually we saw an old man and between tracking and scent and see invisibility and the tracks in the snow on the ground we managed to nab an 80 year old man running away from us. His complexion was very pale but he was a physical being, just from another plane where The ALL was his god. He took us to a cave about half hour walk away, kept warning us we were "DEAD" if not real prophecy group, in the cave had a handful of people from his world there. The crystal snakes were from that world and a portion of the path in was guarded by them. At the back was a large iced over pond under which The ALL resided. We are told the story of The ALL

The ALL was lonely on his world so created two sons from his essence.
The two sons became lonely so two wives were created but the world was mostly barren.
The sons went to other dimensions to bring back things to populate their world.
The sons and wives then took control of world to maintain order.
One dimension trip lead to an all white sky with a black sun, they were horrified and fled the place but shadows saw them and chased leading to a huge battle.
The ALL absorbed his sons/wives to save them, fled to Predallen to ask for help from Odin.
The ALL alone was who raised Kitsume. Doing this took away some of his power and delayed his recovery but he thought it worth the sacrifice. The image was him arguing with Odin that the 3rd sister was needed to have an advocate who would speak for the people. When Odin didn’t do it, the ALL did it on his own.
His recovery is coming close to being complete. The fever is gone and appetite is back. Just a little lingering cough and some stiffness in the shoulders but that will work out.

Communing with him required Basil going into a trance where you would receive visions. There was no true conversation, just a series of images.

The Blacks

There was an image of the black tower armada. Not a large number of ships(4-6) but very powerful and well armed. They were about a day away on west side of Predellan
The Black fleet being driven by "unnatural wind", an evil cleric seems to be leading.
Vision image heads to under deck, sees army of unnatural creatures, then vision clicks away.

The Elves

There was an image of the Elvin armada. Many more ships than the blacks, over a dozen, but smaller.
Sees each ship with a winged horse creature on the stern of each ship. Ship crew are mix, elves, humans, half-elves.
Vision image sees map, fleet is one day east of Predallen.

3rd Vision

On a mountain on Predallen, next to a Honne temple made of ice, unnatural look to it.
Many weathered ice sculptures surround the temple, of people, creatues. Temple "Feels" abandoned, empty and haunted feel.
Vison walks to ledge looking into deep ice crevasse, just know many people jumped from here but not for a long time

4rth Vision

on volcanic high ridge, a Tatume temple
volcanic rock construction, with decorations but old decorations, feels nobody here for years
head to a ledge, see into a lava pit, knows many people have jumped but been a while since.

5th vision

sees the Butchers Obilisk in the desert, no people around (not sure of my note, like i forgot to write something down)
Basil asks why elevate Fox

6th vision

shifts to Last King Island
See's Odin and shifting form "The ALL"
argue on Fox, The ALL says need Fox, not right to exclude
Odins says no and leaves.
Fox appears and makes deal to be elevated but deal is loses sisters

We ended in the cave. We’ll have a chance to talk to the people there if we want.
I do not feel we are closer to making a decision on the fate of this land once we get the staff. Where do we go from here? Hayden would like to talk to Kitsume again if we can.

Question we forgot to ask Tatume: Why did she ambush and imprison Frey’s daughter in that tree? or was it some being disguised as Tatume?

end

The Meet & Greet with The ALL + New Anarchy
Nov 19
XP, 700 total

The group picked up questions with The ALL followers after Basil communed with The ALL. The communing effort is like latching on to memories and ride the "current" to see vision of actions.

The beings of the ALL have a magic cloaking that makes it hard for people to see them in Whitestown as they sneak around. They do this to get stuff they need but The ALL insists they provide a return of something as payment.
The "cave" area we are in is a pocket dimension created by The ALL and our group is the first "Prophecy" group to be successful, other groups were frauds and killed. The ALL felt guilty about his/its impact on Predallen and believed it needed a representative for the people. The Butcher is a High Ranked devil, and has to be subtle in influencing events else risks attention from his own Devil leaders. The long war with the "Evil Uglies" was mostly successful in sealing the island off from more devils/demons for now.

Question from last session: Why did Tatumae ambush and imprison Freda, daughter of Freya? Freya was helping Fox in going out and healing land. However, "something" (the butcher") impersonated Freda and did something to annoy/attract Tatumae attention that Tatumae felt need to act and stop Freda. So likely another example of the Butcher stirring the pot and causing conflict among the sisters and other "Good" players. We ask how can we tell of impersonators and The ALL followers say the image is "imperfect", something is off like a small birth deformity or speech or how they act.

Basil when to commune again with The ALL, to ask about the "Sacrafices" that have continued. Get vision of a scarlet soldier, leading a group of sacrifices on road, officers come down the caravan order all soldiers and officers to march away about an hour and then come back. When do so, all the people for sacrifice are gone from carrying sedans/carriages. Soldier confused and feels this is insult to the people and there role. Basil tries to catch memory for sacrifice candidate and is thrown out of communing, severe headache.

Zephyr tried next as wants to learn about The ALL and get better understanding. After a bit, asks about how to contact Kitsume/Fox, sees her at woodland temple writing on parchment, she looks around. Zephyr is then thrown out of commune with headache. Hayden tries next, regarding question who started fires in the Starshine library. Vision of a "real" ghost, likely from treasure history vault under the library, it walking thru, then right behind several seconds is an imp. The imp goes to a particular spot on bookshelves, removes a book, replaces with another book. Then fire starts, The ALL followers state only imps they aware of are used by the Butcher. Hayden next tries to find the Black Tower group and sees them far to north in ruined old training center of Predallen orders. Sees Big-Boy get up walk over to a rock, write something on it and drop it written side down. Later we find out he was able to sense the vision as he wrote, "Free me or Kill me".

Party is done with The All decide to head north for next staff piece, and viola, Kitsume is waiting for us outside Whitestown. She sternly warns us to NEVER use The ALL to contact her again. It pushes the line of the rules, in particular since The ALL is technically adversary in the Game of Predallen Prophecy. Kitsume confirms the story of Freda ambush, and only recently discovered Freda was free. We ask about the "mystery shadow" in the vision at Pools and she saws it was a piece of The ALL to be added as ingredient to the lighting of the Prophecy candle. It provides option for the 3 sisters existence after the Prophecy. She believes in Predallen and her position the people deserve to exist, not at risk because of fault of leaders. Kitsume is asked about the "Sacrafices", she gets a bit tense and asks what we know, and we tell her everything about it, including Tatsumae knowing and investigating. She very pointedly changes the SUBJECT. Tells us the imp is stealing books from library for Butcher, does not know why. Tell her Tatsume feels hurt that Kitsume not visited, Kitsume says there were reasons but now has to go in order to explain the "sacrifices". She confirms the Black Tower three are:
-Abomination Evil Orc Cleric
-Assassin Orc, person hunter
-BigBoy

Party discussed whether talk to Honne next or set off after Black Tower Orcs, and after vote, it was Black Tower Orcs. Mojo retells of an old Black Tower Orc twisted proverb:
"Build a person a fire, warm them for a day. Set a person on fire, warm them for the rest of their life!"

Kitsume agrees to teleport group to north ruins. Party loads up on stuff at Whitestown. The BlackTower group left a force of mercs behind, including a hill giant. Group tries to get drop on them but too noisy in attack planning. Stinking cloud and web isolate the bad guys, one leader is basically shot up by magic missile from Pavelow and Ogrel. Hunter and Mojo take the hill giant on with Hunter getting hammered, until a combo round of damage from Mojo, Hunter and finally Siv drop the hill giant.

Zephyr calls out for them to surrender as we realize they are mercs, and get confirmed from female half elf leader. They state the Black Tower group searched floor below extensively, got thier horses, ordered the mercs to guard/attach anyone. Then they disappeared. Group figures out how to "Charge Up" the teleport room to go to pocket dimension for next piece, unfortunately, Basil did not tell anyone what he was seeing and he plus Zephyr disappear. Most of other group except Mojo, "charges" up and dimension out. Mojo waits…………… Then Basil pops back in, says get horses explains what happened. Mojo gets horses and as leading them down, the female half elf looks questioningly. Mojo shrugs and shakes his head. Group is now in a pristine cathedral/training citadel but completely unoccupied. Basil picked up the staff piece he saw when charged up and why those two blinked out.

This place has vast tapestries showing a history of the fight by Honne and Tatumae fighting devils/demons "evil uglies". One of the tapestries shows the Prophecy:

-schism in the future for predallen
-this was predicted by Tatumae and Honne (so our question is how/why did they forget this?)
-they take the blame for failing predallen
-vague reference to Fox as "outside force/influenc"
-shows erratic reaction to Fox/Kitsume by Tatumae/Honne
-mention of "Starting of the End" when the End is Near
-winning faction can determine any combination of fates on "Ruin/Help Predallen" with "Ruin/Help Ourselves"

<End of DR Notes>

Leave the North Training Island - Head East for Honne Temple
Dec 03
XP: 900 total

Mojo, Hunter, Zephry, Arranz, Suibhe(Siv), Obadiah, Lorae, Ogrel

Rested to get spells back, then decided to go visit Honne and then the next staff piece. Headed out of pocket dimension into misty area and found ourselves on the bridge to the east shore and tower. In the tower guarding the approach in the old days, found remnants of camp of the mercs we beat up earlier. Saw a huge chain(like a battleship anchor chain) and lever mechanism, chain leading down into a flooded room. Siv, Hunter, Ogrel swim down see chain hooked to stone block, surmise if pulled out, could drop the causeway. Figured water up higher than land, found another door and was able to weaken via knock spell and water pressure broke door to allow water to escape out another room. This was a battlement room to guard shore approach.

In room found minor treasue:
13 +1 arrows
Potions:
6 cure light
3 darkvision
Glibness
Vision

will be added to group boot list

Continued on the road to next town to east. Along way found a dead guy and dead horse, body had heart removed and a bite taken from it. It was killed two days ago. March farther on and come to an inn, where a group of "Party" Blues paying for drinks/food. Siv, in disguise as tinker trader, goes to check it out, while rest of group circles the area to meet up on other side. Siv reports the murder, finds out this blue group started from Snow Citadel area, which was odd per the innkeeper, he also confirms seeing the BlackTower(BT) baddies.

As we travel, came across another simple grave and Siv checked the body to confirm heart missing as well. Surmise the BT are using special spell needing a sacrifice to get divination help. That night, a group of 5 large wasps(human sized) are seen buzzing in searching pattern heading to our camp, with a lute music tone behind them, like directing. Group hides, Siv tries his own skill on lute using the satyr's all clear sound he learned, a wasp hovers in front of his face with a few others nearby, with 4 humanoids running up and see that they are elves. Arranz is spooked by the bugs and cast web on them catching most. After two wasps are killed and Lorae calls out in elven for a cease-fire. Obadiah is able to heal one wasp to life. This group is in hurry as some humans have stolen wasp eggs from thier wasps nest. Our human scent confused the wasps tracking.

Next morning, Siv is upset over the murders and getting his "paladin" underwear twisted. Insists group should use fly spells to chase/catch up and confront BT baddies. After a strong discussion, pointed out lost too much time to investigate the pocket dimension area for the tapestries. The BT guys are likely in the next town already and need the fly scrolls to get to Honne temple on mountain. Get to next town late in the day, found news 8 horses stolen from farms outside town and per description determine it was the BT group. Plan is for us to rest up over night and get early start to Honne mountain.

Early morning, hear bells and shouts going on. Get ready and head out. Find out Honne is in town going bar to bar buying drinks (we rolled 6 on encounter and Tom rolled high on level, figured this must be Honne).
Siv gets to bar first, see large group of people standing outside staring in. Others inside are sitting at tables and not really moving as Honne walks around asking if everyone having a good time. Siv approaches and tries to go suave on her with pick up lines, Honne for a second flashes a nasty look then calms down, tells Siv to get a drink. Siv freaked out a bit and bolts to back tap room. Rest of party shows up and approachs Honne. Honne appearance is between the two sigthtings we have, once on the Ghost Moon where she looked gaunt and scary hair, the other on the road where Fox was imitating Honne, in bright silver and long flowing hair. As a couple in party bowed to her, she insists that is not needed and wants us to party. We explain who we are and we have questions for her. Honne face expression flickers in annoyance then leads group to another room.

We tell Honne that both Tatumae wants to talk, they have made mistakes. We explain we are the "advocates" of Kitsume for the Prophecy of Predallen.
What does Honne want? She gets agitated and then sits by Ogrel, to start braiding Ogrel's hair. Mojo in "Fight/Flight" mode as a bit unnerved by Honne.
-She responds have you ever been betrayed by those you trusted most? Zephyr says yes, dating a female elf, other male elves in his temple were outraged and kidnapped Z and sold him down the river.
-Honne wants to forget all her failures to Predallen
-She wants the Orders disbanded
-Says Predallen needs to pay restitution to rest of world for piracy
-How can she break up the "industry" of the piracy, too many involved(i.e. Crazy Joe's, the games, the Houses)
-She wants judgement by "outsiders", looking at US, if we need to win, she will fight her sisters if need be
-she believes she is neutral, not one of 3 factions.
-also believes her mind/memory are suspect
-show her one of the Prophecy tapestries from North dimension portal to help her.
-Honne thinks the winners of the prophecy will get one of three options to reset the powers of the 3 sisters, even to lower levels and able to re-assign remaining power to the Winners. !!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Honne is unsure of how much Kitsume has been influenced by The ALL
-also not sure if Tatumae has been "corrupted" by the Butcher
-asked about tapestry stating "Starting of End" is when "End is Near", says that is about end of the sisterhood, allowed the butcher to sneak in when Honne gave power to Tatumae to do "what ever is needed"
-Honne reacts to news of the sacrifices, says too many unknowns and cant trust what is going on
-she is not sure what happens if Orders get banished or restricted
-BigBoy - does not know how to free him. he has an embedded essence in his body. need to know how he became free the first time for self preservation, perhaps forcing BT orcs to issue a suicide order would do it.

<end of DR notes>

Leave the North Training Island - Head East for Honne Temple
Jan 14
XP: 800 total
4000 gold for all, even those not present

Game time line: July first

Mojo, Zephry, Arranz, Suibhe(Siv), Basel, Ogrel, Pavelow, Kevlar

<continuing chat with Honne from last session>

-Honne mad at Tatumae for murder of Royal Line, her goal of civil war was to imprison Tatumae
-paladins try detect evil on Honne, nothing on the radar

Honne agrees to teleport group but have to head back to abandoned training area. Once get near building, Honne tells us to go ahead she will join up, she had gotten more silent closer to the place.
Group got inside and waited a few hours, before going out in two's to general search. Mojo and Pavelow find Honne in one of the towers, just meditating. They wait and do not try to disturb her. She come out after a bit and states
her sisters are active:
-Kitsume is active with "The ALL", sense of things are on the move. Is The ALL going back to its plane to take it back? Honne not sure
-Tatumae is too pre-occupied with "fixing" things of her govt break down, not paying attention to bigger events going on.

Honne tells to gather group and gives advice>
-Find out if "The ALL" is gone from Kitsume
-need to get Tatumae attention back on The Prophecy
-Honne states Kitsume word is "Good", as some in party worried, but her issue is around details of promise.

Also, during search of grounds for Honne, a confession from mercs with Black Tower is found, they think they will be killed on way back. Want to get word out they were coerced by the contract but no house should assist the BT.

Honne teleports group to Awkers Castle, the gateway island of the pirates. As we march out, people/soldiers in awe of Honne. Two captains with guards started proclaiming "the sisters are joined again". Honne gives permission to let them announce it,
she states to us Kitsume would be proud of her stirring the pot, should get Tatumae's attention now. We use our letter from Tatumae to command a ship be ready so we get the final piece for the prophecy. While sailing, Basel over hears two sailors debating to sink the ship or not, he jumps them and beats one up. Basel tells captain what happened, the captain yells at all the crew no subversive attempts and them yells at Basel dont touch his crew. Basel shrugs and walks away.

Honne offers group 4000 gold per person for the tapestries we brought back from the other dimension(good job Basel and Siv). She will send them to Tatumae to help her remember and remind of their shared past.

Party lands and heads inland to next piece location, the Barrows, (which we all forgot what the background was here and nobody thought to ask Honne, Tom just shook his head, tsk tsk). Siv up front sees a floating light moving thru forest, he moves closer to spy it, throws a rock. The floating light stops, then starts to move again, Siv throws another rock, the light zooms off. Group wants to continue on but are bit concerned if that was some magical watcher. We come upon a battle, the rangers scouted and determined 4 hill giants waited for some time with hidden spots and attacked from all sides a small band of humans on horses, it was bloody and one-sided. The giants seemed to be in hurry to rip off pieces of meat, like very hungry. Seemed a bit out of character for what we know of hill giants. Still head to temple as the giants went another direction. In front of temple, see a few piles of skulls around posts in the ground, most piles very old but a couple relatively more recent. Buff up and head to temple entrance that is very dark, as get close realize no light is shining in, like its some dark portal. We tap a long stick on other side, no trap or pit and move in as group.

Oops. We are all seemingly teleported separately to a huge glowing cavern, with a tower in center with a roofed conical top. We are able to talk to each other but not see and are somehow not able to physically interact. We head to the tower to the door, when group gets there,each is attacked by a vision of the what they fear most, and fight starts. Only to have group hurting each other: web, stinking cloud, etc, most figure it out after a single round and then see some type of demon casting fire balls at the group. Each try to attack but looking mighty grim as hardly able to hit, Kevlar decides to charge into the tower and dodges the demon, he rushes up the stair with the demon attacking him. Once gets to top, he sees a piece that could fit our staff and makes a flying leap to get it and the demon disappears. Meanwhile, Mojo and Arranz go negative and drop in fight with their demon. Mojo misses a special save and losses a Constitution point. OUCH! Group thinks best to get out and just as reach edge of temple clearing, we see a pair of gargoyles fly in and go into the temple. We figure they somehow know when adventures show up and been stealing/hoarding treasure of the dead. We follow them and think they head to a certain peak, we think they are in league with the giants. LOOT!

<end>

Giants, and a Demon Lord
Jan. 28 800xp, 425 gp each, lots magic loot

elapsed game time: about an hour, morning of July 2.

Ogrel went invisible and scouted out the lair. There is a large natural cavern with a large hallway carved out the back. That led to a large rectangular room with ruins on one side and a giant cooking dinner in a large stewpot on the other side. Two passages left the room on the wall behind the giant, and a ramp stairs in the middle of the room led up to a balcony area with another passage out (all three on the same wall). The upper passage led to a gargoyle barracks with 2 gargoyles in the 30 cubbies for them. Heading back down, Ogrel followed the sounds to one of the lower hallways, down which were the other three giants in a large room with beds and tables making bone armor. He then came back to us to report.

We quietly went in and rushed the first giant while casters stinking clouded it and greased the hallway. That giant went down fairly quickly, ganged up on by the whole party. Then, we taunted the other three giants to come singly down the hallway, a waiting game developed as they threw a few rocks and Ace returned a lightning bolt. Meanwhile, we all felt an unnatural vibe pulse over the area. It grew worse and worse each round and left half to party to watch the giants. The others, led by Basel the paladin and Pavelow who told the Basel he recognized it and we had to do something. Down the unexplored passageway was another room with a circular pedestal in the center and all the loot from the generations of victims around it. A black and red smoky cloud was formed over the pedestal and growing as they watched. The gargoyles zoomed by us and left the area calling out, "Master, we come". Unsure what to do and getting desperate, Basel and Pavelow, joined by Siv and Ogrel, found that holy water stopped the portal from opening for one round, and Siv and Ogrel dosed it each round while Basel and Pavelow went through the portal to a plane with a demon/devil lord sitting on a throne. They tried various ways to attack the demon, the throne, and explore the immediate area, but only took more damage as they tried, while Ogrel and Siv kept pouring the holy water and looting the area. Finally, they had used all 11 holy waters in their possession (on demon throne and pedestal) and the portal opened and the demon lord flowed through it, all the way back out of the giant lair and off (we believe) to Snichnes Barrow in the flash of its grotesque body made from tormented souls and body parts. Everyone had to make saves or be stunned and/or stunned with a permanent phobia added to your character.

While the demon portal was being delayed, the giants finally got organized and rushed the hallway taking fireballs and magic missiles. The first slipped in the grease and was killed by Mojo and Hunter. The second lasted a tad longer, and the third was just engaged when the demon lord passed by, stunning all combatants, but the giant longer than our fighters. He didn't get to swing again. Ace's magic changed a nasty battle into a lopsided victory for us, and he finished with about one cantrip left. Hunter and Mojo had only taken one hit each.

Basel and Pavelow returned to our plane just before the portal winked closed, and told us of the view from a room on top of a 40-story tower across a landscape of blackened scorched forest as far as the eye could see, and the feeling from the devil, "It's time to feed". We ignored that, looted the place, and got out, knowing chaos would soon fall upon this place.

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