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The Tempest - by Kevralyn Soulfire

Air Day


Approaching the Ikarthian Triangle, we killed some hordelings who were angered at towered folk, and claimed to be followers of the Mist Lord.  Entering the Triangle, we encountered cult followers of the "Winter Wolf" who had with them wendigos, or similar.  When these were slain, the spirits would jump into the dead bodies of the humans with them, animating them once more.

We arrived at our outpost for the meeting, meeting someone calling himself Master Pathfinder Birch, although he was in disguise.  

Already presence were the Reader: Crescendo and his Kalid Valdemar guards.  The Reader are known to use the Valdemar in this fashion, but we remained watchful over whether any historical agenda relating to the ex-Valdemar Tower (the Tower of the Four Winds) was present.  

A Sorceress, Franklyn, of the Red College of the Wizards Concillium arrived shortly afterwards.  Her master, Rufus Ash - whom we had formerly met and agreed to liaise with a few moons earlier - had already departed for the Void in order to release the Fire Wind.  This was not among our plans and not one we necessarily thought advisable.  We later decided to make an early start the next morning in order to intercept him.

Lastly, a representative of the Labyrinth of Xenos arrived, as expected.  They expanded upon the history of the winds and related matters.  It conflicted with some information that we had already obtained, for example, the 'fallout' between the Winds as witnessed in visions seen in the ex-Tower of the Four Winds.  I seem to recall they said that the Dark Wind were expelled for Necromancy, whereas our vision had shown the North Wind being the first Wind expelled.  The LoX are known for their historical records so this discrepancy was strange.

With the representatives departed, I relayed a letter I had received from Orlon Tenquil, Head of the Blue School of Magic, in which he told me what he knew of the former Tower of the Four Winds.  He had suggested we visit the Shrine of Storms, as it was an area that the airborn constructs involved in the Grand Conjunction had wished 'purifying'.

Before we retired, a partially defective drone came in to chat with us.  Apparently he had met Giles in the Tower of the Four Winds before, and wished to convert him into a drone.  Giles, however, had already departed for the night, so he was disappointed in his desire.


Water Day


In the morning, we were assaulted by the Spirits of Ice and Evil of the North Wind.  A number of people decided to wastefully break their bones in order to stay awake prior to their arrival.

We departed as planned to the centre of the Ikarthian Triangle, where the Void is, to see if we could head off the over-eager group from the Wizards Concillium.  As one might expect, we ran into several sets of minatours and drones along the way, who we dispatched.  Getting closer to the Void, we found that our power was being unpreventably drained from our bodies.

At the Void, we met the Void Engineer High Enchanter Demoragees, who I have met previously within the Ikarthian Triangle while performing various rituals at the Shrines to thwart the ambitions of the head of the Shadowlords who sought to become the aspect of the Wolf.  On that occasion, we worked with Demoragees to prevent the late Master Path of the Kalid Dothloadass Legion from gaining control of the Void and he related some history on the Valdemar Tower.

Demoragees spoke with us at length, and informed us that the Wizards Concillium group had already departed into the Void about a day earlier, assisted by a LoX crew including a Void Navigator.  The Void Engineer offered to provide us transport should we wish to travel into the Void after them, however we declined this offer.  He also pointed out the locations of various shrines.  Apparently information on the Shrine of Storms was held at the Shrine of Time.

Again, Demoragees mentioned a number of things that seemed slightly out of kilter with the information we had already obtained.  One point of general interest - you can prevent your 'spirit' from being drained within the Void if you are ensorcelled (which he also offered to perform on party members if any desired such).  Many senior members of the LoX are highly ensorcelled humans so this would explain how they are able to withstand its proximity.

We returned to our base where we partook of lunch.  Some LoX drones burst into the building.  One surmises that they were the type of drones deployed to search for enchanted items.

Following the lunch, we headed towards the Shrine of Storms, which was in an open space at the top of a very tall and relatively steep hill.  Upon our route, we met a number of groups from the Catacombs of Asherai, although their skull tabards made us initially believe they were Dymwan.  Their references to the darkness existing without light however revealed them as Catacombs-dwellers, possibly those who had followed Otion Wraithchild from the Plane of Maeglor.  One group had with them several undead, including a spirit of pain.

The approach to the Shrine was guarded by a number of blood creatures.  We fought our way through those and came across a large Catacombs group performing a ritual at the Shrine itself.  Fortunately their leader was susceptible to extended range firebolts, and so we disrupted the ritual quite easily.  However the fight was a brutal and bloody one, involving the corrupted Blood Wind Herald (a monk and evil priest who excels at leaching large amounts of blood from your body, including from a distance).  We were fortunate to have Brother John who could stop the bleeding.  Eventually the Catacombs group lay defeated.

We approached the ritual in order to identify (Lutomi) and commune (Brother John) with it.  There were four different entry points in the ritual, via which Delta, Lancorrin, Giles and Caradac uniquely entered.  There within the ritual we found components of the mandala (the device created by the LoX to hold the Fire Wind), and several ritual markings that Lancorrin noted.  We returned to the outpost.

After dinner, we headed to the nearby Shrine of Time, where the Labyrinth of Xenos had said that information would be held on the Shrine of Storms.  The Shrine however was warded, but the four people who had stepped through the ritual entry points earlier had received embodiments that allowed them to pass through the wards.

At the Shrine was a Djinn, a Master Archaelogist, who went gaseous on occasion.  He spent most of his time taunting, and was expecting the return of his High Priestess Seer.  We later deduced she had been the one leading the ritual at the Shrine of Storms, who we had earlier killed.

We were assailed repeatedly by undead, while the four with embodiments unlocked the ward bit by bit.  Eventually we recovered a journal and letter in common magic runes, and killed the Djinn.  

Quicksilver and I read out the journal, which made quite an interesting read, and contained instructions on the rituals that the Catacombs had been performing - there were a number available, such as summoning and binding any of the Winds.


Earth Day



A great racket nearby alerted us to a large group of 'Winter Wolf' cultists trying to perform a ritual nearby.  For some reason they were unable to use the Shrines directly.  We killed them while learning that they were trying to embody the aspect of the Winter Wolf upon Orin Rakatha.  It should be noted that before this 'Winter Wolf' business, the aspect of the Wolf was assumed by a former member of the Kern Valley, Alabrion, turning it towards neutrality and brown magic.  (Before that, one may read the story of the Ravanon...)

We had intended to visit the Shrine of Time, but the Shadowsfall in the area were so numerous that the route there was temporarily impassable.  Some Shadowsfall visited us at lunchtime.  We had been forewarned, prior to our mission, that quite a large number were in the area and wanting to know what the Valley encampment was for.  These Shadowsfall who spoke with us were not hostile, and made enquiries about people in the area - they didn't seem particularly concerned about our activities.  A number of them appeared to share Giles's opinions of a certain Judge who had been performing a ritual in the Tower of the Four Winds at the end of the previous year.  They may also have been concerned that certain activities might have been represented as "the will of the mystics" when this was in fact not so.

Departing the area, we met some strange creatures, who may have been men-hadim.  Some were striking with poisonous blows, as previously Caradac had reported the men-hadim did.  (On that previous occasion, the men-hadim had been guarding the shrine of the Oracle of the Blood Wind).

Lancorrin reported that Crimson Feast of the Kalid were ahead (they often seem to be around the Ikarthian Triangle when matters of the Wolf aspect are at stake).  Giles acceded to my request to speak with the Feast first, opening dialogue with the words "I am Giles, Assistant Guildleader of the Grey School of Magic, and I probably killed your fathers".  Interestingly, the Feast had a number of healers who were curing and resurrecting without using the Good Sphere.

Moving further on, we came across further Winter Wolf cultists: to all intents and purposes a mix of barbarians and wolves.  We finally approached a ritual site in amongst the trees.  The Wolf Cultists had summoned the White Wolf and were backed by several wendigo spirits (who struck with  powerful spiritual blows and were flinging around wizardry level white magic).  This was a tough fight, and Toshiro apparently had his throat ripped out by the White Wolf.  Eventually, we prevailed.

Returning to our encampment, we found Simian (currently the Oracle of the North Wind) awaiting us, with numerous spirits of cold and evil.  We exchanged pleasantries and then engaged in combat.  When we destroyed Simian's form, a number of our party became possessed and sought to attack us.  We disabled these people, and fortunately - after a while - their possession wore off.

At dinner, we were joined again by Franklyn, and two Sorcerers from the White College.  They spoke with Quicksilver, but seemed quite keen on the North Wind.  During the quiet time over dinner, Quicksilver was assassinated by the disguised Pathfinder.  This action later transpired to be by Nosirrah Horst, the Rogue Seeker.

In the evening, we departed to the nearby Shrine of Time.  Earlier, I had heard that the Ikarthian Triangle had been breached - there were certainly a number of normal hordelings around the Shrine which would back that theory, as the Ikarthian Triangle was designed to keep these creatures out.

Approaching the Shrine, we heard some loud noises coming from the Void, and turned to see explosions of Fire illuminate the sky in the distance.  The hordelings around the Shrine was espousing the virtues of the Mistlord, and so began a very tough fight.  Eventually, we wound up talking to one of our opponents, a Mistweaver, who said he would depart the area.  We gathered that some sort of ritual may have being performed at the Shrine, although we were unable to say whether we had disturbed it or not.  Communing with the Shrine of Time caused us to jump around in Time, and the night became darker.  With no more hostile forces in the area, we returned to retire for the night.

Fire Day


In the morning, a minor essence of the Fire Wind joined with our group.  Its communication facilities were limited.  A Pathfinder brought us news of a nearby boating accident: it seemed that a large ship had 'crashed' into the land (far from any water).

As we set out to investigate, we were assailed by some forces of the Dark Wind that were imbued with plenty of Evil power, powerdraining a number of people to unconsciousness.

We then encountered "The Servant", who had been ordered to protect "The Pure One" by "The Magus".  As he felt obliged to protect the route we were seeking to approach, we fought him and his minions, removing the minions.

We then found the ship, which was a Labyrinth of Xenos construction.  With the crashed ship were a number of drones repairing it, the Void Navigator, the Void Gatekeeper, and a sizeable force.  Before discussions had even begun, Draal managed to incite a fight, to which I called a halt after a couple of minutes.  We were informed that inside the ship one of the hierarchs of the Fire Wind dwelled, so we asked to speak with her.  The LoX went to see if they could fetch her, but reported she was pre-occupied.  The minor essence of the Fire Wind who was still with us indicated she was casting, and hence not responding to external disturbances.  The LoX wished us to leave the area, and promised to assist us once they had fixed their ship.

The options we were presented with were either to unprovokedly attack the LoX close to their Tower, knowing that due to their 'hive mind' they would largely be alerted to our hostile actions and could easily launch major forces in our direction, or to leave and trust that they would work with us.  But I considered it likely that once they got the arc of fire within their Tower, that was the last we would see of it and so decided that we should attack.

We then swiftly defeated their forces, having had time to assess their tactics and get into a better position, and found "The Pure One" within the arc, protected by an aura that repelled those with connections to the Evil Sphere.  It transpired that she had been 'occupied' in casting a spell that prevented the ship from moving - and had caused their ship to crash in the first place - and welcomed our rescue.

Returning to our outpost for lunch, the Pure One told us about her family: there are three siblings (The Pure One, the Servant and The Half-Breed), and her father (The Magus).  The hierarchs represent different aspects of Fire, for example The Pure One represents the "warmth" of the fire.  All the hierarchs have followers.

The Dark Witch is the Dark Oracle and had been living with them in the arc (a constructed reality).  The Dark Witch had corrupted the Half-Breed and caused divisions amongst the family.  Putting this information together, we surmised that the LoX had lied heavily to us about the history (such as the Dark Wind being exiled first for Necromancy) which had differed from the visions other Valley groups had witnessed in the Tower of the Four Winds.

The Pure One said she would bring her father (The Magus) to talk to us.  She left, and a while later we were attacked by spirits: knights of the Fire Wind who bandied accusations that one of us was the Dark Witch.

The Magus arrived and told us of the corruption of the Half-Breed and where the Dark Witch was based, as our intention was to destroy her or at least temporarily dissipate her form for a while.  He could not approach her, as she always remained aware of his movements.

We wound our way through a leafy path, fighting several groups of undiscernable beasts: they were dressed in Fire Wind colours but they had the heads of strange creatures.  (Later on Wizard Concillium bodies were found where we slew these beasts).  High Priest Draal also suffered a grievous injury that was untreatable in the field, and left our group to be tended by physicians.  As it turned out, when we approached the Dark Oracle, all those who cast either Black Magic or Evil Sphere were immediately beguiled by her presence and sought to stop the rest of the group through non-offensive means - so perhaps it was just as well Draal was not also with us then.  At the end of a long drawn-out fight, the Dark Oracle had dissipated/disappeared.

Back at the outpost, the Oracle of the Fire Wind spoke with Spark and Wolf about the theories he had for how we could deal with the Winds.  We also had an interesting visitor in the form of Belem de Traverney.  Giles offered to vouch for his safety in the outpost.  However, a disguised Pathfinder who appeared to be with Traverney's retinue suddenly unleashed a barrage of harmful spells and invocations onto Traverney, killing Giles instead.

Later, Caradac announced that he was now a Master Pathfinder.

Belem de Traverney asked how his forces (numerous Pathfinders) could best assist us in our endeavours, so I requested that they draw off the Labyrinth of Xenos forces who we could naturally expect, given that we had attacked them and seized the Arc.

Steel Day


During the morning, we were approached by a Shadowsfall Archivist and her retinue.  She wanted the arc, but we refused her.  She then unleashed a large psionic invocation that caused half the group to be transported to a 'constructed area', fighting swarms of mindflayers and grimlocks that did not stop regenerating.  A few Valley members remained, much to her surprise, as she had not expected psionic resistance.  Spark ensured that the arc was kept from her hands, and the others slew this Archivist.

A separate, large group of Shadowsfall led by a powerful monk arrived and offered to show us how to use the arc in return for giving it to them - but under their terms we could only use the arc once.  We did not agree to their terms.

After lunch, we headed to the ritual site.  On our way, we were attacked by snake-like creatures and other, strange-looking beasts.  I would guess that these are Men-Hadim.  With them was a white creature who was casting a lot of wizardry - possibly from items - including grey magic.  He refused to answer any questions and managed to sprint off rather than be slain.

We prepared the ritual site and called the Magus who consecrated the ritual.  It required a "small" sacrifice from the ritual participants, which seemed to vary according to how many spells and invocations the participant had running.  However, nobody needed resurrecting.

Quicksilver summoned the North Wind, which drew Simian and a number of powerful Wind spirits.  We fought them, while Quicksilver extricated the essence from the North Wind.  We decided not to bind the North Wind into something nor someone.

A large retinue of the Knights of Our Dark Lady approached us: they also wanted the arc.  They were persuaded to put the question of who should possess the arc to honourable combat, including calling off their knife-men (assassins who lurk at the borders of the fight): a good suggestion from one of our group.  The Knights ended up leaving without the arc.

We prepared to summon the Oracle of the Blood Wind in order to find out how to put the Four Winds into balance once-and-for-all.  However, we we received an urgent warning to return as soon as possible to the outpost, as the Pathfinders could no longer hold off the LoX forces in the area.  Belen de Traverney met us there, and announced that the King and Dreadlord Araikas were pleased with our actions.

Reinforcements (blue sorcerers) teleported us out of the area, which was now extremely dangerous.

By my hand,
Kevralyn Soulfire
4th Sorcerer of House Drannath
Wolfhold Ambassador
Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 19:32
 

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