Lord Marmion's Bane
3rd Earth day of Bone Moon
A number of members from Fortunes Keep gathered at the Waystation formerly known as Kamats Place in Last Gate Woods.
These members were as Follows –
Drokal Greyspire – Priest of many different things Also Our Party leader
Ivak Greyspire – Barbarian, and major pain in the arse!
Doshan Greyspire – (Not really sure what he exactly does, turned up a little bit late, I think he got slightly lost on the way)
Gob – Warrior. Just… Gob.
Kurt Polarise – Warrior of the Crusaders and Kass saver
Kyle Ompak – Warrior of the Rangers and beatings taker
Ksndra (myself) – Mage of the Red School, headless chicken and scribe
Jon Barleycorn – Hospitalars sect
Markus – Barbarian and White Path, not as big a pain in the arse as Ivak but still a pain in the arse!
Driedyn - Priest of the Grey Path, aspirant Priest of the White Path
Lying Dog, Running Dog, Snarling Dog (Scorch) – The Dog Pack – Forestals (Scouts)
We were guided in our mission by High Priestess Kiara of the Seers
I should also mention Bob, the Waystation Keeper and Awesome Cook.
We all gathered, introduced ourselves, and were given a brief rundown by Kiara about her needing our aid in a personal mission from the Dread Lord Araikis and that she’d explain it all more clearly once at the Waystation. With this we started to make our way towards to the Waystation.
While chatting amongst ourselves and getting to know one another and, for those of us who had met before, getting reacquainted we were then set upon by a group of Hordelings.
After we had run over all the Hordelings we were then attacked from what seemed to be nowhere by spiders and they all looked the same and I couldn’t hurt them. I have decided that their webbing skills are second to none and had to be freed from their webs by Gob several times.
After this, for some reason unclear to me, my writing goes a bit squiggly and can only make out “Squiggle squiggle Poisonous, squiggle, spiders, squiggle eecckk.” Bugger.
So anyway from what I can make out, we fought something with poison and possibly something else with added spiders.
We decided to regroup at a small shack which we came across while the dog pack was out scouting. This is where Doshan caught up with us. We saw some figures coming towards us that decided to put a spell on the shack that hurt everyone inside every so often. Luckily I was standing just outside at this time and wasn’t affected although others were. It turns out this group of people were members of the Shadowsfall, intent on carrying out a contract that has been placed upon Drokal and Ivaks heads for, in the Shadowsfalls eyes, breaking the laws of Orin Rakatha.
Ivak kept sporadically bursting into flames as we approached the figures until at last we reached them and dispatched them all. We weren’t going to roll over and let them take Ivak and Drokal now were we? (Though at one point in the mission they could have quite happily taken Ivak for me!)
So after we got rid of them, we finally got into the Waystation to find some Morgothians and members of the Wizards Conciliums Purple Guard already there.
The members of these factions of note are:
Nolam (Morgothian) - Formally of Barad Tirgul, Was a personal Guard of the deceased Lord Carfleen
Claudius and Justin (Wizards Concilium) – College of Mana Studies (Claudius kept trying to persuade me to join them, which upset Scorch and Justin ended up upsetting several people, including Gob, which is never good)
Also in the Waystation when we arrived was a Reader called Barnado. Apparently he was looking for someone called Crescenzo, who had, unsuccessfully, tried to kill Barnado and told us if we found him and returned him to Barnado he’d reward us, whether Crescenzo was dead or alive. (We saw no sign of him. Oh bugger.)
The Wizards Concilium and Morgothians departed and Kiara explained to us that the Dread Lord Araikis had sent her on a mission for her Baroness of Darkholme promotion and we were to aid her. This mission was that she was to go and find a shrine, complete a ritual on it and then bind a spirit from the shrine into an item and take it to the Dread Lord and we were to help aid and protect her.
A short while later, an envoy from the Thissessin, Ssthesser and his guard, arrived to inform us of our mission and what it would entail.
They informed us that they are happy we have cleansed their eyes and that their waters are clearing. I took this to mean that they are grateful for the fall of Barad Tirgul and their freedom from Carfleen.
However they told us that our minds are currently cloudy and that they will help us clear our minds by sharing their whisperings and visions with us if we completed their mission.
They told us that there is an ancient shrine that has been hidden away for many, many years. However, since the closing of the gates, this shrine has resurfaced and is heavily guarded. They want us to find this shrine and dispatch the guards and then, in payment they offer us knowledge and information in the hope to help us prepare for the next coming Cataclysm (Or kittyclasim as Doshan calls it). They also said they could hope to offer us the same service as offered to Barad Tirgul. Ssthesser gave the Dog Pack directions to where they thought the general idea of the area of the shrines location was.
After the Thissessin envoy had departed, a member of the Pordaradrim arrived. He informed me his name was Duran. Drokal, Doshan, a few others, and I had a very interesting conversation with him while the rest just milled about and drank more beer (Not that drinking beer was a problem, we were drinking beer while talking. But obviously not drinking beer and talking at the same time, because that would just get very messy)
He was explaining to us about the impending Cataclysm and its portents and what had happened due to previous Cataclysms.
He confirmed that the Cataclysm is indeed going to happen and that come of its indications have already come to be and that others are still to come into fruition.
The closing of the Ways and everybody being confined to Orin Rakatha along with the rise of the Mist Lord were portents of the Cataclysm. Duran also informed us that a star will fall from the sky and land on Orin Rakatha, Similar to what happened at Starfall Lake.
He also told us that the Wizards Concilium are trying to open a world window and that that could be a bad thing and it could go horribly wrong with alarming consequences and could be working with what is left of the members of Barad Tirgul.
Apparently the Pordaradrim are planning on gathering up as many plant forms and an animal forms as they possibly can and hide in their tower until it is all over.
He also informed us that the Shadowsfall appear to be not only fighting with people outside of the Shadowsfall but also with each other within the Shadowsfall. This is apparently to remove the possibility of any witnesses. This makes me wonder what they are up to. I’d figured they’re rather corrupt but to be taking out their own kind to hide their corruption is another level in my eyes.
Apparently another sign of the coming Cataclysm is the “Disposed returning to their towers”. Could this be the case of the Valdamar returning to the tower that the Shadowsfall issued an edict about them taking the tower illegally and declaring them Towerless?
He also enlightened us into the fact that the Thissessin revere the Mystics and want the Mystics agenda to be carried out fully. There is a whisper that the shrine which the Thissessin want us to go and investigate for them may also be connected to the impending Cataclysm yet to be mindful of the Celestial Bureaucracy may be working against the Thissessin. (I figured my notes out at last Drokal!!!)
The coming of the first Cataclysm resulted in the Towers being brought into existence.
The second Cataclysm resulted in Hordelings and the Mists being created.
After our conversation was over, Duran departed and we all had a few drinks and mulled things over and finally went to bed.
(Please excuse me if I get anything wrong or I don’t make sense for during a slight part of the report for fire day, Ivak spilt candlewax over my notes and buggered them.)
We were woken up by Bob for breakfast and were immediately stormed by Hordelings. Most of us gathered up and went to see them off. Kyle and I had just stepped out the building when Kyle realised he’d misplaced his swords so I threw him mine and sent him out to fight them. I’m not a happy or energetic person in the morning.
So, after the Horrible, Inconsiderate, Early Morning Attacking Hordelings were destroyed we went and had breakfast and made ourselves some lunch to take out on our journey to this here shrine we were looking for.
As we set off we sent the Dog Pack off scouting. They soon came back telling us they had spotted some more Hordelings. However, what we actually came across was some more of them really annoying spiders that we encountered the night before. However, we could actually see them this time and there were red ones, green ones and black ones. It turns out those green ones really hurt with their venom (Luckily I didn’t get hit with any!) and I still couldn’t hurt any! That is until I turned my attentions to the black ones and realised I was actually hurting them! HUZZAH!
This is one of the areas my notes get a little smudged. (Thanks Ivak!!) IF I’m right I believe that the spiders killed or almost killed Gob, Kyle and Doshan.
So after we destroyed all the little buggers, we healed up, regrouped and carried on our path.
Drokal instructed the Dogs to go and scout the area while he, Doshan, Jon and Driedyn invoked.
While they were invoking the Dogs came back and told us they had seen some people having a conversation.
While we were all deciding what to do and waiting for those invoking to finish, Gob and Kurt decided to wander off up to where Running Dog said he had seen them to find out what was going off. They were soon followed by Ivak and Markus and they, in turn, were followed by more till there was only a few of us left with those invoking. When they had finished we went off after the rest of our party, cussing them as we went.
Turns out at the top of the hill were a bunch of Valdamar. Their leader identified himself as Sir Rafael of the Crusifustc sudds Cruciform Swords.
He claimed he was in the area looking for an antifastic ancient artefact. Apparently the Relic was ion the area and was part of a shrine. (I was starting to get fed up of hearing about shrines)
It is held in high regard and of exceptional interest to the Swordsworn. We were told it was what it was, it looks exactly as a Cruciform Sword should and should we find it, the Valdamar are more than willing to negotiate a deal with us for it, whether that be in hard payment or in payment of knowledge of previous Cataclysm.
As the Valdamar departed we espied some more spiders, this time two green ones, further along the path. Now, Gob is given a kill word each day, so that he charges at our enemy and dispatches them quicker. Now our Glorious Leader had given him the word Hedgehog as his kill word and the party were, unfortunately, hedgehoging in our fighting a lot. Before anyone was prepared and without thinking our Glorious Leader, without thinking, shouted down the rest of the party further along the path, “Now then don’t hedgehog!” And that was Gob storming off into the spiders.
In a combination of my own stupidity and my inability to hurt these spiders, I got myself killed. I somehow, however, managed to keep my drink in my tankard!
When I came round the spiders had all been dealt with and Gob had put his door shield on me! THAT was hard to push off! SO after I got up, brushed myself off and everyone else was healed we carried on our path. As we reached the top of ANOTHER hill we caught sight of some Morgothians at the top seeming to be performing a ritual. So, us being us, decided to go and kick it over.
The next thing I know, everyone’s being feared past me and power drained left right and centre! We managed to get rid of the Morgothians and stop their ritual. I discovered they had shiny sparkly things being used in the ritual and wanted them; But Doshan wouldn’t let me touch it till we knew what it was. So we got Kiara to commune with the ritual and find out what it was. While Kiara was communing, we healed everyone up; Drokal appeared to be missing a leg at one point and all gathered to hear what Kiara had to say.
Apparently this wasn’t just a ritual; it was in fact a new Morgothian shrine that was being used to summon a wraith, so we were quite glad that we had interrupted it. Now we knew it was no longer harmful, Doshan and Kiara said I could have the items from the shrine and keep them. I did however, loose one item to Gob. But I didn’t mind as I had the rest of them.
We carried on a bit further and came up on the shrine. The Thissessin were correct in their assumption that it would be guarded. There were a lot of Halmdonian Heights Knights guarding the area and they really did not want us up there. Markus, being a good sphere user, went to parlay with them, but they just made him paranoid so he ran off and hid in a bush. One of the knights named himself as Sir Guilden (I think). They then made all the other users of the good sphere paranoid, just like Markus, and wouldn’t let any evil sphere users up. All blessings seemed to stop working as well. So we were like fish in a barrel. Easy pickings. So much so that both myself and Kurt were killed. The party backed off and retreated to the bottom of the hill where we decided that anyone effected by the effects being given off by the area were best to stay down there and the rest of us run to them when we needed healing.
We went back in and defeated all but one Halmadonian that had some strange facial markings on his face. One was an hour glass and the other a set of scales. I, once again, couldn’t hurt him and everything else that anyone did to him was reflected on whoever dealt the damage. In the end, Lying Dog, Running Dog and Scorch beat him down, after Scorch realised that throat slitting him may be a bad idea. As the Halmadonian was dying he put a pendant around Scorches neck and placed his essence into it. He then appeared to transfer his spirit into Lying Dog. Both occurrences were slightly concerning.
As we made our way back to the shrine, a wraith appeared that soon disappeared off.
We made our way back down the hill to heal up and discuss the plan of action with Drokal and the rest of them that remained at the base of the hill. I was the first one down there and found them all lying on their backs as if they had been slain. In a bit of a panic I ran back up the hill, calling for Kiara who raced back to them with me. As we got there Kiara tried to discern the nature of their states when Drokal appeared to come back to life suddenly and scare the living daylights out of us! Little gits decided to trick us and, and needless to say it certainly worked!
We decided to see if we could all go up to the shrine so Scorch had a bless put on him and went back up with Doshan to see if it would disappear. Needless to say the bless disappeared within a certain distance of the shrine so we decided to move the healers part way up the hill, just below the distance where the effects were removed so we didn’t have to run as far down the healing for healing.
Kiara went and started her ritual, with the rest of us that could go near it to protect her. While she was setting up I had a better look around the cave it was in and discovered a number of pretty shiny things on a smaller ritual further up which Kiara said I could kick over and destroy and keep the shiny things.
As she started her ritual we became under attack by spirits and wraiths, which could only be hurt by power damage, so I just stood and watched and kept an eye on Kiara.
Scorch became effect by a spirit rack and the poor puppy ran screaming down the hill like nothing on this realm!
The warriors took it in turns to run and receive some healing from the group further down the hill which seemed to work really well.
When Kiara’s ritual was finished, something didn’t quite go to plan. We were expecting a spirit to appear in front of her that we would have to subdue so that she could put it into an item given to her by the Dread Lord. However, no spirit appeared and the effects that were being given off by the shrine seemed to have stopped so Drokal, Markus, Jon and Driedyn could return to the party at the site of the shrine.
Kiara said I could have all the pretty shiny things that were lying around the shrine so I gathered them all up and put them in my treasure bag. I didn’t do too badly; I got a number of bracelets, and a few necklaces, some gems, a couple of broaches and a ring. So I was quite happy.
Kiara however, didn’t seem herself so Drokal discerned a spiritual presence on her and it turned out she had become the shrine. This was quite worrying as we had already been told that during the day the shrine was connected to the evil sphere, and at night connected to the good sphere, and at dusk to the neutral sphere and at this time it was currently daytime. We decided that seeing as we had the shrine embodied in Kiara there was no need to wait at the shrine for the Thissessin to meet us and that they would come and find us when they were ready as they could still perform their ritual to get their vision as we had everything they needed with us. As we moved out we took a path that ended up at a barrier with barbs on the top. Kiara decided we were going to climb over it as a short cut which resulted in her getting stuck and ripping a huge hole in her trousers which she was not pleased about. It was quite funny though.
As the rest of the group climbed over the barrier, the Dog Pack had gone off ahead and ran back to inform us there was a Shadowsfall member approaching. This pleased us all so much. They were, once again after Drokal and Ivak. A bit of invoking took place and then we went after the Shadowsfall. They were quite a nasty bunch, but we ran them over quicker than the group the previous night. One, however, did manage to get away from us and run off. They also informed us that the contract was for the loss of one spirit strength from them both.
On the walk back, after climbing a very, very steep hill, we came across some Dymwan walking by with some skeleton and what appeared to be a half dead Halmadonian Knight (No shame there). We let them on by as we really couldn’t be bothered to fight due to the walk up the hill and plus, we really didn’t want anyone else after us as we had enough on our plate as it was. As we rested I sat down on a bench on which Ivak used his strength and pushed me off and then sat on me. If that wasn’t enough, he had been putting sawdust in my hair, my hood, my bag, anywhere he could all day along with giving me verbal abuse all day, in which Markus joined in with. I’m really not used to that kind of treatment. Pains in the arse.
It appears there are a few pages of my notes missing and something rather rude scrawled in my book. I have an idea who that was but no proof. Oh dear. So I’m going to have to try and rely on my memory to fill in the blanks. However after a point on fire day my memory gets rather hazy. I have no idea why that could be….
On the way back to the Waystation, we encountered a group of undead in the worst place to fight in. we were tripping up over trees that had been felled all over the place. We killed all the undead and I learnt how to use my cloak to parry with more. And then broke it.
We returned to the Waystation and I went off to sort myself out. While I was away, an envoy of the Thissessin arrived. They had gone to the location of the shrine to meet us and were not very happy to find a) us not there and b) the shrine gone. Apparently someone explained that we did have the shrine, it’s just inside of Kiara and they went off to go and fetch their shaman.
When I got back to the tavern from the sleeping quarter there were a lot of strange people wandering around. A man named Lo Ping explained that they were from the Celestial Bureaucracy and that he was from the Starry Wisdom Sect. He said that there was a comet that had appeared in the sky and that there are ancient texts which speak of the comet appearing and that when it does there will be five people stood in a circle speaking in tongues that were once forgotten. He also said that the appearance of these five is a sign of the third Cataclysm arriving.
Apparently this comet will be at its brightest in six to eight moons time.
They then, having tried to sell me a lady called Ling Ling and me refusing, I am not that way inclined, and trying to purchase my shiny tankard off me, (I Must admit I did get annoyed with them, especially when Ling Ling was up against me!) Gob took them up on their offer of Five Guests for an evening with Ling Ling and then got told he wasn’t allowed to by someone (I’m thinking it may have been Bob).
Two more people appeared, both from Fortunes Keep. One was a Sorcerer of the Red School primarily, like me, and Yellow secondary. His name was Malcolm and lives in Aether Town, Just like me, and spends his days reading reports. The other was known as Bernard who is a Forestal. Apparently they were about because they are out scouting.
All of a sudden, all those in our party that were aligned with the Evil sphere in some way became affected by something. Gob grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t stop hugging me so the annoying young lad from the Wizards Concilium cast sleep on him, to which Ivak broke him out of and Gob was very confused and rather angry.
Kiara started Shouting at Markus, Calling him an Evil Hospitalar. I’d have been okay with that if he was a Hospitalar; But I wasn’t too bothered as he’d been driving me crazy all day.
Drokal, Doshan and Lying Dog all seemed to have been knocked unconscious.
After everyone seemed to be returned to normal, Gob was insistent we should have put Kiara in a box, buried her and left her with a pipe to breathe through. He didn’t understand the reasoning behind why that wouldn’t be a good idea, so we got him to hold his breath for as long as he could, and, inevitably, passed out.
I started to get an idea of where the mood of the evening was going to take us when I returned into the Waystation to find Markus, Driedyn and Drokal, trying to force Scorch to play shlop while Markus was sat on him. That poor little puppy.
Suddenly the Shrine inside Kiara changed into its good mode.
A dark shadowy figure approached and made himself known as Saladeen (or as Markus kept calling him, Salad-man, the silly boy) and was a representative of the Dread Lord, wishing to know how we were getting on with our mission.
He told us that there were members of the Once Vanishing Tower in the area and one group had been dispatched with a letter that the Dread Lord wanted intercepting. He said that these and Melnomebeans Melnoben can’t say it or spell it so I’m just going to call them Melnobs, will be travelling in groups tonight and tomorrow and it can’t be said for sure which group will have the note on them.
(After spending a long time interpreting my notes I have managed to work them out. Sort of. Really shouldn’t drink and write.)
Saladeen impressed on me that as it has been such a long while since this area has been open to investigation so there will be many different groups around the area from different towers. Also that the name of the wood, The Last Gate Woods, is important as its where the last gate to close was and has been mentioned in many prophecies in the past. However not all of these prophecies are valid.
Saladeen departed and the Thissessin arrived with their shaman.
As the shaman started the vision he ran his blade across a lot of our bodies.
The Vision was of two people. This is what we were shown.
An amount of gold was being negotiated between two people. Thirty Gold pieces to hunt down a beast of legend. The hunter was not convinced thirty pieces was enough as it was a legendary creature and he had lived his life to hunt it. Though he agreed to hunt it for the agreed price.
The hunter killed the beast but took his own life as the innocence of the creature weighed heavy on him, bringing darkness to his soul. There was a knock on effect of this to who I assume hired him to kill the creature, neither of them could take on the darkness of the task.
The one who hired him had a wife, who he loved, and was full of prudence, virtue and holy, yet also had a mistress, Jewel, who was a Hospitalar and the Heights would not approve. To them marriage is a sacred bond yet he couldn’t choose which one to be with.
The knight had 6 other man after him, all of equal strength of arms; the hospitalar decided to hide him away. He had taken to the darkness even though he still carried the light in his heart. He had to serve those that were against everything that he had stood for.
So what we figured out was that Lord Marmion was one of seven Halmadonian Knights of Virtue
These seven then destroyed all innocence and ended up in the darkness.
To Protect Lord Marmion his lover hid him away, binding his spirit in a shrine, hence the good and evil sides to Kiara’s effects, as he once was good but then got turned evil when pulled into the darkness.
We aren’t sure if the other 6 were bound or not, and whether their spawn may be coming to find Lord Marmion.
At the start of the last Cataclysm the Halmdonian Heights were at war with the Dark Aspect who was trying to keep someone safe who had gone to the darkness.
We’re now wondering if the Dark Aspect and the Knights of Our Dark Lady are the same people or are linked.
We were also told that the Knights of Our Dark Lady had claimed the Ikarthain Triangle as their own.
After the Thissessin left, there was a moment where all Evil sphere users dropped to the ground and required a lot of healing.
All of a sudden some more members of Fortunes Keep arrived, these being Smudge Whelk, Kudos and Sun Tou (Sorry if I spelt any names wrong, I’m not very good at it!) along with some of the Morgothians that are looking for a new home and that Justin from the Wizards Concilium. They had all come along to celebrate the life of Gomric ‘The Legend’ Greyspire with the rest of us.
Needless to say there was LOTS of drinking, a game of Liar Dice that could have gone horribly wrong after Gob lost due to Justin apparently cheating. Several games of forced and willing shlop. And Poor Scorch got slightly abused in a friendly way by Drokal and I and a few others. Poor puppy. He is such a good sport!
During the evening conversation between Smudge, Scorch and myself turned to what had happened earlier on in the day and the amulet around Scorches neck. Smudge offered to remove the amulet and destroy it so he took Scorch off and returned a short while later, having destroyed the item.
We all woke up for breakfast looking a little bit worse for wear after the night before. It took us a while to come around but a nice breakfast from Bob helped a lot!
We had another nice visit from Hordelings and dispatched them quickly.
After we’d gotten rid of them, Saladeen appeared again and wanted to speak to Drokal. Drokal wasn’t around at the time and Doshan went to find him, in which time Gob told Saladeen that he was party leader. Saladeen reiterated what he had said last night, but in easier terms for Gob to understand. Gob insisted he would smash the Once Vanishing Tower groups along with any spiders we may come across. Apparently Kiara had a vision and saw the note near a nest of spiders. The fact she had it in such a short space of time was an effect of the shrine inside of her. However it had now turned evil, due to it being day time, and that was concerning. We also discovered we couldn’t cast Good Sphere with her anywhere near the casting.
We made our lunches and headed out to intercept this note.
We came across a number of spiders, the first group we encountered seemed to have some REALLY Squidgy humans with them, even squidgier than me, and I didn’t think that was possible! The humans seemed to be being controlled by the spiders.
Then we came across some Melnobs with some hepaths and hide to fight them on a steep hill. Poor Kurt ended up doing rolly pollys down the hill backwards!
After they were dealt with we came across some more spiders. These ones however seemed to be rather intelligent and realised that there was a way in for us to get to them so started webbing it up to bloke our way. They got dealt with after a good load of shouting at Kiara to go away coz she was stopping people from healing and being healed.
We then came upon the Valdamar envoy that we had met the previous day.
Sir Rafael informed us that they had been to the site of the shrine and that the bottom of the shrine was missing but that the top was still in place, Along with all the wards that had been placed upon it. This confused us, as we thought that we had taken the shrine with us in its whole capacity, but apparently, there was the body of a knight lain in a tomb above the shrine itself. Which we completely missed. Clever us. Good Scouting.
They said they had a scout out in the area keeping an eye out for Melnobs. Sir Rafael seemed very interested in Kiaras “predicament” and one of their priests offered to commune with her to find out what she had in her head. Kiara, however was not happy with that idea and refused the priests help. I can slightly understand her point of view, she is a dark seer so I’m sure she has many skeletons that she wishes to keep fully in the back of her closet, and who knows what this priest would have found out. Sir Rafael went to speak with her himself to see if he could persuade her to let his priest commune with her but again she refused, on the basis that they are not part of the Valley Alliance but that she would be happy for one of the Valley members to do it. To be honest I don’t think she’d let one of us do it either and was just saying that to shut Sir Rafael up.
As Sir Rafael re-joined the rest of his group, the scout that he informed us about returned to him, having found 3 different groups of Melnobs, one in red, one in green, and one in a brownie red. They all appeared to be acting independently, and fighting against each other. Yet at other times they would combine together the fight the Wizards Concilium.
As they carried on their way, and I pulled more leaves out of my hood that had been put there by Ivak, we wondered off up a path where we encountered a member of the Kalid, from the Children of the Brood.
He gave us a bit of verbal abuse and ran off, so a few of our members went to invoke. He came back and caused an earthquake which broke them out of their rituals. More members of the Kalid appeared with many spiders.
We made our way up the hill fighting back the spiders towards a tree with a spider in the middle and what appeared to be a next in it. We tried to fight out way towards it but the spiders kept on spawning. They were so hard to kill and ended up killing Kurt, Markus and Driedyn and almost took out Kyle but we managed to get some healing to him.
We managed to fight out way through the spiders towards the nest where we spotted some Egg Sacks up in the tree. Ivak and Drokal destroyed the bags, with poor Drokal getting paralysed while waving his hammer in the air. That was quite funny.
Once the bags were destroyed we managed to dispatch the rest of the spiders and Kalid. At this point I was running out of Magic, the healers out of power and we were looking the worse for wear.
We took a moment to gather ourselves and then realised that Driedyn, Drokal and Ivak were nowhere to be seen till we looked down and saw them on the floor. The Spiders and Kalid had managed to take out 4 of our members, one of the twice and almost take out two more.
After healing everyone back up, Doshan, Drokal, Scorch, Ivak and Kyle had become covered in baby spiders and they were making them all itch.
As some of our party went to meditate, as the combined amount of good power in the party was running low, the rest of us kept a look out. Shortly a Hepath appeared and started towards us. It stopped a short distance and made a gesture towards us as if it was trying to steal part of our spirits or trying to determine what we were. I haven’t encountered a hepath that did that before. It then left and those that had been covered in spiders then seemed to have larger spiders appear from them, Ivak had one appear from his arm, and I must admit it was rather gross. However, I’m not led to believe that the hepath and the spiders appearing are in anyway related, I think that the spiders they released from the egg sacks managed to work their way under the skin of those covered in them. The hepath then reappeared and continued in the same manner that it did before. In the distance we spotted more hepaths and some Melnobs appear with what appeared to be Wizards Concilium with them. This was slightly odd, seeing as we had been told that the Melnobs and Wizards Concilium in the area were fighting one another and these seemed to be performing a ritual of some sort together, calling out to someone called Banor we figured out in the end (there was a lot of variation on what we all heard, until we heard it clearer).. I didn’t notice how ever that two of them had some exquisite shiny robes on. I did express that if we were to kill them I’d quite like to strip the bodies and take the robes with us as I’m in the market for a new wardrobe. May have to go pay a visit to Kudos at some point.
Anyway I digress.
The hepath that had come close to use then started to attack from a distance with some fire spells. These spells, while hurting the party members affected, appeared to be of some slight use, as it destroyed the spiders that were crawling out of people. If only I’d have known…
The hepath seemed to hold some power over Gob, Ivak, Kurt and Kyle as it seemed to be whispering to them, calling them to it, all the while attacking them sporadically. Kiara and I kept trying to make them come back to us. When the others had finally finished meditating, we all went down to find out just what the hell was going off and ended up in a rather tough skirmish with them. Ivak and Scorch seemed to have been controlled in some way so, thankfully due to a conversation earlier in the day about how to put each party member down without killing each other, Drokal power drained them both to stop them from causing further harm to themselves and to, mainly, us. As we dispatched the Melnobs and the hepaths, the Wizards Concilium declared that we were working against them. This was complete news to us. But I don’t think they are now very happy with us. No surprise there then, we appear to be very good at upsetting people. Oh well. As we dispatched the last two, the humans wearing the lovely robes I coveted so much, Markus, Kiara and myself searched the bodies and found the note that was required by the Dread Lord. Markus however, wouldn’t let me take the robes as it was far too much effort. Meany.
Kiara then tried to take the note from Markus as the Dread Lord required it but we insisted that we give it to Drokal as it was the party that were instructed to get it, not her and he was party leader. Much against her wishes we read the note and it was handed to me to take a copy of it and for safe keeping. (a copy of the letter will be found at the end of this report)
We continued on our path where we came across the corpse of a half skinned rabbit. This made me gag a little bit. A few minutes later I felt Gobs hand on my shoulder where he used his strength to keep me in place while Ivak dangled this corpse in front of me all while I was squealing my head off. He thrust the rabbit at me a few more times, making me scream and want to be very ill before throwing it into the lake we were walking along side of. Annoying man!
Before long we met a man declaring himself to be a protector of the High Priest Darian from the House of Weaver.
He went and consulted with the High Priest to see if he would give us an audience to which he was agreeable.
As we approached we could see there was a member of the Kalid stood alongside a man that appeared to be in the middle of a web with many spiders of different sizes around him.
Both Darian and his protector that we first encountered wore items with a spider symbol across and wore colours of black, cream (It wasn’t quite white enough to be classed as white) and green.
Apparently the Kalid was under his protection and it appeared that some of the Kalid had indeed been hired by Darian.
Turns out it was his children that we had slain earlier on but held no hostility against us. He thanked us for allowing the Beholder to take residence within his house and questioned us about why we were in the area. We answered him as much as we were willing and our reasons seemed to be to his satisfaction. He impressed upon on his that he wishes to open negotiations with Fortunes Keep and offered an open invitation to Lord Veztlar to go and see his collection of spiders and sent the invitation to him with us. He also made it clear that there are avenues of exchange between the two towers that he wishes to explore.
He was most interested in how we managed to deal with his nest of children, and whether it was difficult to overcome. He decided from our answers that he needs to make his nest harder to destroy. Ivak and Drokal offered to give him back some of the baby spiders that managed to escape the fires from earlier, but that hadn’t seemed to be causing any harm to them and returned them to Darian. He took particular intrest in one and decided it would become a yellow spider. He then introduced us to his latest spider creation that nests and feeds and will become strong.
He impressed on us that the land around Last Gate Wood will change and more pits will be dug to breed spiders. The Kalid expressed an interest to breed spiders with urakhi but we all agreed that that would be a bad idea.
Darian asked us not to kill any more of his children and we agreed that we wouldn’t unless they attacked us first, which would leave us very little choice but to dispatch them. He also told us he would call off his pack as we were being hunted the entire time we were there and that those hunting us were close by but that we were unaware of this. He also impressed upon us that his spiders are in many different places and hear many things.
All the time, we were talking the Kalid was trying to incite us but even Ivak was well behaved and resisted his taunting’s.
We returned to the Waystation to find a contingency of Halmadonian Heights Knights inside, led by Sir Borce from the Knights of Chastity. He informed us they were proceding with their crusade against the Dymwan but that three of their members had been what appeared to be kidnapped. Two of them were High Priest, but one wasn’t primarily a High Priest but was priestly in some way.
They informed us they were here as their Watchers Sect had sent a group to the area along with an Adamancer. This sect seek evil items, and either take them to the tower to be investigated and put to “Safe Keeping” or destroy them. Adamancers do this with people, not items. I then realised that they may be interested in Kiara as currently she was an evil item embodied and as This dawned on me I noticed her leaving the building.
Turns out their Adamancer was the person we struggled to destroy the day before and the same one who put the amulet around Scorches neck that Smudge later removed and destroyed. I didn’t this this to be a good thing to bring up so I kept shtum. So glad Markus didn’t know about this as he has a tendency to let his mouth run away with him and that would have ended up very, very badly.
One of the Knights started casting something but I was too busy listening to Sir Borce I didn’t quite get what he was doing. I had my suspicions that whatever he was casting had something to do with Kiara or to be used on her. They imparted to us that there are seven cardinal values within the Heights and that chastity, purity, honour, faith, charity and hope were six of these.
We then asked them about Lord Marmion and they implied they knew about him but that they were not at liberty to discuss him with us.
They also impressed on us that the closing of the ways is only temporary and that, while they are hunting down evil users and are currently on a crusade against the Dymwan, that Fortunes Keep is on their list but rather far down it and that they feel that the House of Weaver will also be entering their list. They still accredit the falling of Barad Tirgul to themselves though. They did though, warn us that while we may be low down on the Knights of Chastity’s list, we may be higher up on the lists of the other orders of the Heights. They also informed us they were unsure if they would, when the time comes, and it will come, come for all of Fortunes Keep, or just for certain orders within out tower and that the Dread Lord and his actions were certainly causing a number of discussions within the Heights and that whether he has an agenda is more of a concern than his power.
As the Heights departed, Urdus from the Shadowsfall arrived. He bore no markings of those out undertaking a contract and insisted he was there to impart information to us and that the contract out on Ivak and Drokal is an illegitimate contract.
Unfortunately I have no notes of what took place to begin with between the Duegar and Urdus and my attention was taken elsewhere.
A group of people that looked like the Celestial Bureaucracy but weren’t them arrived. Apparently they were part of the Sucocu.
Bob also arrived and told us who were standing outside that we were naughty and weren’t allowed in. Both Markus and I insisted we’d done nothing wrong but Bob obviously had other ideas where I was concerned and made me stay outside. I’m still not quite sure what I did wrong. Gob decided he was going to talk to Bob and try and get him to agree to let me in. During this time many people looked and waved at me and were giggling at the sorry sight of me sate on the floor outside the Waystation and Kurt brought me some of my belongings. Bob came out and said I was allowed back in if I publicly apologised to everyone and promised never to do it again, which I did. I STILL have no idea what that was all about!
As I returned I tried to catch up on what I had missed, which was rather difficult due to the noise coming from the rest of the party and Sucocu playing liar dice.
From what I could gather there are more portents relating to the Cataclysm after the star falling including a grand conjunction where the three spheres line up every seven years. Apparently three years of the evil sphere being more heavily weighed and the time of the conjunction may cause a Cataclysm or may be a portent of one.
At this point the large commotion started taking place and it turned out that the Sucocu had stolen several items from the party including guests from Markus, a sword, a bracelet (of mine that I’d procured earlier on in the mission it turned out!) and Kyles bag. We chased after them, did them in an returned all the missing items to their owners.
When we returned I rejoined Drokal, Doshan, Urdus and others to learn that there had been some spirits hidden in some dolls and there were possibly seven of them. These spirits were of the original seven Halmadonian Knights and that they had all crossed a line and corrupted purity and innocence.
The other six knights now reside in a number of towers and a ritual that was performed had made them immortal.
The power of a Nazgul was used to hide the shrine and this was a deal that had been made by the bane of Lord Marmion. It was betrayed by Jewel, the lover of Marmion who did a deal with a blind sorcerer. Her mind was twisted by the other six knights and the corruption within them all made them turn against each other.
We believed that Lord Marmion was the knight that lay in the tomb that we missed about the shrine we visited the day before that now resided in Kiara. We were concerned that the Valdamar may accidently set him free while they were looking for the sword they were after.
In the days before the world is the way it is now, the other six may have been happy he was set free, but with the world having changed so much, they may be now as he is un aware of the way things are.
We also learnt that to destroy one of the knights we must destroy the other six. However, while one of them remains, so will the others, so they have to be destroyed together. Our hopes are that the Cataclysm may achieve this, but we cannot pin all our hopes on that happening. The other six may also be sending people to us to find out what is going on.
We determined that the seven knights take on the aspects of the seven deadly sins.
Wraith – Hunting Knight. The Original Knight of Our Dark Lady
Gluttony – From the Tower of Orith Nonel
Avarice – From the Tower of the Reader
Lust – Lord Marmion
Pride – Commands the Thirty
Sloth - ??
Envy - ??
The hunting Knight we discovered is the original Knight of Our Dark Lady and may be on his way to find us, with some of his spawn. This may not be a good thing as apparently he isn’t up for discussion and lets his sword do the talking.
The knight of Gluttony we discovered is out and about but will take a while for him to reach us as hes coming from the tower of Orith Nonel and that’s some distance away.
We also learnt that the thirty gold pieces are corrupted and are held by thirty different people. The man that Bernado was hunting, Crescenzo, is one of the thirty and there may be one of them within our tower. Could this be Alessandre who also goes by the name of Martin? Also one of the thirty is struck by a disease that the Dark Aspect once had.
We enquired why Urdus was here and imparting this information to us, seeing as he is a member of the Shadowsfall after all.
He stated he is but one person and that there are others, all be it only a few, within the Shadowsfall that have the same agenda as him. He wouldn’t inform us of what this agenda is due to us often meddling in this and possibly carrying things out in the wrong order or earlier than planned. He is hoping to gain a rapport with us that will be mutually beneficial to us all. He said his agenda is to come to a head in around 18 months’ time, at the time of the Grand Conjunction. However he did state that if he told us what the end means were, we’d probably turn tail and leg it and that it will all be made clear to us at the appropriate time.
He also impressed upon us that the people of Orin Rakatha will be imperative to which way the balance of the spheres lies at the time of the Grand Conjunction. With the ways shut, our land is central to the decision of which ways it will lie and it will be based solely on the balance of the spheres on Orin Rakatha. He also said that there are key individuals, whether alive or dying, that will influence the sway of the Conjunction.
Three of these key people are:
Dread Lord Araikis
The main concern to us all is that these three people are all evil sphere users.
The Pentacle (Mentioned in the letter we intercepted, copy at the bottom of report) appears to be a new organisation that has spread across the towers. We need to look into this and find out more about them.
It was brought to our attention however, that this organisation may have something to do with the portent we were informed about by the Celestial Bureaucracy to do with the five people stood in a circle speaking in tongues that were once forgotten. These five may make up the points of a pentacle.
The Dread Lord and some of his contingency arrived to speak to Kiara and join us for dinner. After a very welcome and warming dinner I went off to Mnemonic and while in this state Ishmal the Voice of the Chosen arrived to speak with the Dread Lord.
Apparently he was asked why Wolfhold fell and that the Dread Lord should not forget his oath to Shytan. I was informed of this as I was otherwise disposed so this may not be wholly accurate.
The Dread Lord impressed on us that things with Kiara had gone to plan and went to have a private chat with her.
While they were out, Smudge, who was with the Dread Lord and joined us for dinner, told us about his special missions he was in charge of and was trying to recruit people for these.
Kiara and the Dread Lord returned and we were informed that the spirit from the shrine had certainly gone into her and not into the artefact he had given her to place it in. However the shrine we had wasn’t complete due to the fact we didn’t have the body of the sleeping knight that we missed. The Dread lord impressed on us that he was going to go and recover the body and bring it to us this evening so that we could reunite the two.
He then informed us that his Dark Council had now been formed. Kiara had passed her test and was promoted to Barroness of Darkholme.
The council stands as is:
The Darkbringer – Shadowbarron and the leader of the Black School of Magic. He is the Dread Lords voice when the Dread Lord is unavailable.
Lancorrin – Barron of the Adventures
Kevralyn Soulfire – Baroness of the Drow
Erwin - Barron of the Corsairs and Warriors
Kiara – Baroness of the Evil Sphere
As her first duty as Baroness, Kiara promoted Drokal to Priest of the Evil Sphere.
She also gave to Doshan a powerful item. I’m not sure what the item does, there wasn’t time to find out.
It was also Doshan’s day of birth so we had a resounding cheer for him.
The Dread Lord soon departed vowing to return tonight with the body of the knight.
A short while later we were besieged by a number of undead spawn, we believed them to be the spawn of the Knight of Wraith.
They were tough to dispatch but we managed to overcome them all but one mummt who didn’t seem to be hurt by anything we could throw at it.
Then a hooded man arrived who had knowledge of another member of the Valley, Vallen, requesting an audience with Kiara. He appeared to be a member of Dymwan. He took Kiara off for a chat with Drokal and returned shortly after. He stated that he wanted to unbridle her from the shrine that was residing inside of her but she refused to do so.
Appearing unhappy with this the hooded man vanished her and gave us the ultimatum that we let him carry out his ritual or we wouldn’t get Kiara back. Obviously we needed her back so we let him carry on.
Once the ritual was complete she reappeared on his casting matt shouting the odds at him. He informed us that the ritual had separated her from the taint that was inside of her.
It appeared that the good side of the shrine that was inside of her had been taken away. She insisted that she felt Marmion still residing in her and she could feel the evil sphere very prominently.
The Dread Lord returned to inform us he had recovered the body and had placed it at a safe distance away.
Kiara and Drokal then had to explain what had happened with the Dymwan to him. It appears she made a loose deal with the hooded man but then circumstances changed and hadn’t been able to inform him that the deal would no longer be going ahead and he was not happy about this.
Turns out due to the hooded man having the Good Sphere of the shrine in his possession he could then access the shrine and have control of it from a great distance.
The Dread Lord wasn’t best pleased due to the fact he intended to take the shrine into himself.
We determined the fact that to reunite the body and the shrine we needed to cast a holy ritual, an evil ritual and then unshackle the spirit from Kiara and the fact that we had to get the good spirit part of the shrine back from the Dywman.
So off we set to find the Dymwan, hoping that they hadn’t gotten very far as they hadn’t left much before us.
We encountered them rather quickly and reclaimed the spirit in an item from one of them.
Somehow, the quickest, nimblest one of us managed to get hit in the head by a zombie, what was he thinking silly little puppy.
As we carried on towards where we were told the body of the knight was lain we encountered a number of human assassins from the Sucoco, don’t think they were very happy that we’d slaughtered their group of thieving little sods earlier on. They weren’t very good assassins though, running across a great open plain with only one tree for protection in the moonlight and snow…. Doh.
We regrouped after they were dealt with and ran into another group of Shadowsfall, yet again after Drokal and Ivak. They really were getting annoying. They succeeded in taking one spirit strength from Ivak but didn’t take Drokal’s. I, myself, and Jon took a bit of a beating and if it hadn’t been for Kurt and Lying Dog I too would have been killed again.
We carried on our way, wanting to get the ritual over and done with but we kept coming up against more people out to do us over. This time we ran into another group of Kalid. After we dispatched of them a member of the Dread lords guard found us and informed us that a group of mummies attacked the guards at the site of the body and had destroyed all but two guards. One was left with the body while the other came to find us. He then left in a great hurry in the opposite direction so I think the mummies had scared the life out of him.
Needless to say by this time we were trying to reach the body with great urgency. But as always even the best laid plans never go the way they are supposed to and we encountered a number of Melnobs and Hepaths. One of them had a really nice shiny cloak which I tried to remove from him after we had killed him but I got told off and had to leave it behind. Such a shame as it was really pretty too!
Luckily enough we didn’t encounter any more interferences and came across the body. We set up a guard while Kiara, Jon, Doshan and Marcus performed their ritual.
Lord Marmion rose and instantly beguiled us to protect him as the Knight of Wrath appeared with that immortal mummy of his that we had encountered earlier and was followed by Sir Rafael of the Corsel and his envoy. Turns out Sir Rafael is one of the seven Knights. So glad he is no longer part of the Kalid.
After a very tough fight, Lord Marmion took off along with his mummy and was quickly followed by the other knights.
We regrouped and Kiara had been returned to her own previous state.
We had managed to get the vision from the cold ones.
The Dread Lord was happy with us all and the way things had turned out.
I managed to amass a small collection of sparkly pretty things and several new friendships were formed.
So in all the mission was a success.
However, that being said, we have now unleashed seven immortal knights and an immortal mummy, all intent on destroying each other and anyone that gets in their way out into Orin Rakatha. OOPS
And I still haven’t found any sight or information on Evashim. Oh well I can only keep looking.
These are my experiences and what I learnt, saw and dealt with on the mission.
Ksndra (Kass) – Red School of Magic and Valley Member