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The Maddening Roar

Session 028
Dragons and Prophecies

Aboard “Rygar’s Doom,” the airship captained by Leena Aksom, the party headed back to Sharn.

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Session 026-27
A Vampire In The Sky

Tivira and Saiph managed to catch a ride with Captain Leena Aksom on ’Rygar’s Doom,’ a privateer airship. While ’Rygar’s Doom’ was fast, it would not be able to catch up with the ship that Nemis, Kin, and Jak were aboard, ’Cloud’s Destiny,’ for three days.

Aboard ’Cloud’s Destiny,’ Jak, Kin, and Nemis searched the ship for Lucan. In the cargo hold, they found a locked storage door for which the key seemed to have disappeared. The group was informed that behind the door was an extra-dimensional space used for storing large items. Nemis used a Knock ritual to unlock the door and inside, the group found Lucan.

A vicious battle ensued that spread from the cargo hold up to the deck. Just as Lucan appeared to be attempting to flee the ship in gaseous form, Jak hopped aboard a small airskiff tied to the side of ’Cloud’s Destiny’ to follow. Seeing that his escape route was cutoff, Lucan headed back down into the hold of the ship, followed by Nemis, Jak, and Kin.

In the hold, the group found Lucan in a small room wildly swinging the Soul Blade at a magically suspended dragonshard crystal. Jak recognized that the dragonshard held the imprisoned elemental that provided the airship with power and that if the crystal was destroyed, the airship would fall from the sky.

Before long, Lucan had destroyed the crystal, freeing the elemental and sending the airship plunging to the ground. The explosion knocked Lucan to the ground and temporarily knocked the Soul Blade from his grasp. His expression suddenly changed and the vampire yelled to the gathered party, ‘The sword! Destroy the sword! Forged in Mabar, sundered in Irian. You must…’ At that point, the sword briefly shook and then flew through the air into Lucan’s hand. Lucan’s expression changed again and the vampire struggled to rise to his feet. Jak took the opportunity to end the vampire’s life with a swift slice of his own Blade of Annihilation. Jak attempted to pick up the Soul Blade, at which point the tiefling heard a voice in his head.

‘Who is this that wields Kallas? You will take me to Karrnath immediately.’ Only with a great force of will was Jak able to release his grasp on the sword.

Meanwhile, the ship was tumbling out of the sky. Nemis, Kin, and Jak fought to make their way through the ship and help the passengers still onboard to airskiffs. Unfortunately, many fell from the ship as it twisted in freefall. Jak, Nemis, and Kin managed to reach the extra-dimensional storage locker just before the ship crashed. Inside, they were safe from harm.

Those aboard ’Rygar’s Doom’ saw ’Cloud’s Destiny’ plummet and Captain Leena ordered her ship to drop to try to assist the survivors. On the ground, they found only a handful of survivors, including Jak, Kin, and Tivira. While the rest of the group helped the survivors and gathered the dead, Tivira picked up the Soul Blade with a telekinetic power. However, even without touching Kallas, the sword spoke to Tivira, demanding that the kalashtar take it to Karrnath. Tivira managed to move Kallas into the extra-dimensional space and drop the sword there, preventing it from communicating or controlling anyone.

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Session 025
The Party Splits!

The party met back up at the inn. After a short deliberation, Saiph and Tivira made their way back to the Aundairan Embassy, determined to find Ambassador Neya Krell. Meanwhile, Kin, Jak, and Nemis raced to the airship docking station to prevent Lucan from leaving.

When Kin, Jak, and Nemis were nearing the station, they noticed a white cloud racing toward the same location one street over. The cloud seemed to briefly form the face of Lucan and it turned and looked at the group. A hint of recognition shone in its milky white eyes as it saw Jak and Kin, and it then turned back toward the station and increased its speed. The group immediately knew that the cloud was the vampire Lucan in gaseous form.

By the time the trio reached the base of the airship tower, the white cloud was just reaching the top. The tower was largely an open-air metal lattice, except for two levels where the airships dock, which were solid platforms. Two airships were currently docked at the tower, one at the very top and one on a middle platform. The elemental that powered the topmost airship was active, while the lower ship seemed to be shut off at the moment.

As the cloud passed over the top edge of the uppermost platform, it congealed into a solid form.

Two large baskets, one for passengers and one for cargo, were making their way up and down the side of the tower, each held up by two metal cables as wide as a blacksmith’s bicep. The passenger carriage was currently holding two gnomes, a female human, and her two sons, and it was about halfway up the 150-foot-tall tower and slowly ascending. Suddenly, just as Jak, Nemis, and Kin reached the base of the tower, one of the metal cables holding up the passenger carriage was severed from the very top. The cable whipped down and the carriage flipped on its side. The two gnomes managed to stay inside of the basket, but the woman and her two children fell out. The woman grabbed the lip of the carriage wall with one hand and one of her sons with the other, but one son fell.

Jak and Kin rushed to catch the falling child. Jak was a step too slow, but Kin, with her mechanical reflexes and athleticism, managed to leap and grab the son, transferring much of his impact into her own body. Nemis quickly rushed over and healed the two. From high above, the woman screamed as she struggled to hold on to the carriage and her other son. The two gnomes did not appear to have the strength to pull her up on their own.

Jak, Nemis, and Kin raced up the staircase inside the tower as the winds started picking up outside — a storm seemed to be blowing into Trolanport.

By the time the trio got level with the basket, it was swaying heavily in the wind. Jak and Kin timed themselves with the carriage’s arc and leapt across the distance, both landing safely on the basket. Together, they pulled the woman and her son up and they threw a rope to Nemis. Kin jumped back to the main tower structure and used the rope to haul the carriage toward the tower. After several brief minutes, the group had managed to save all of the passengers. The mother, with one child in her arms, raced down the stairs to get to her other son. Kin, Jak, and Nemis continued running up the stairs.

At the top, they found that the airship was slowly pulling away from the tower, and half-elf crewmembers were retracting the 15-foot-long plank that allowed passengers to board the ship. Three gnome workers, their eyes clouded over and their actions stiff and awkward, blocked the passage. Realizing that these gnomes were likely charmed pawns of Lucan, Jak did not wish to harm them, so he conjured a hellfire blast, but weakened it enough to only knock the gnomes to the ground, allowing Kin to run past them and leap across the 15 feet of empty space (150 feet above the ground) onto the ship. Once there, against the loud and angry complaints of the half-elf crew, Kin extended the plank again, allowing Jak and Nemis to rush onboard before the ship left.

Meanwhile, Tivira and Saiph returned to the Aundarian Embassy, where they saw a large commotion of gnome guards investigating the events of that evening. As Saiph and Tivira walked past the gate that led into the courtyard where the party had been held, they saw several bodies of Aundairan guards, but they did not see Lucan’s body. The pair slinked around to the rear of the embassy building and managed to unlock a backdoor and enter the darkened hallways within the governmental building.

After a few minutes of searching, they found a room that they believed to be the ambassador’s personal office. Light shone from around the edges of the doorway, and Saiph and Tivira opened the door to see Neya Krell sitting calmly at her desk, writing into a large leather-bound journal. Neya was shocked at the sight of Tivira and Saiph, but she seemed to quickly recognize them from the masquerade ball.

A long conversation ensued in which the party learned that Lucan and Neya had a long history together, probably as spies or agents of their respective nations. It seemed as though they might have been romatically linked as well. Neya said that Lucan had sent word to her just a week ago (around the time that Lucan became a vampire) saying that he needed new identification and passage to Karrnath. Neya owed Lucan a debt, and this was her way to repay that. She knew nothing of his current state until he arrived at the ball and they danced and she realized that he was cold to her touch.

She ordered her personal guard to look into the matter, and she fears this is what caused Lucan to attack the guard. She doesn’t know why Lucan wants to go to Karrnath, but she knows he is very dangerous.

In return, Tivira and Saiph (mostly Tivira) divulged that they were working for the King’s Dark Lanterns and were just supposed to bring Lucan back.

Saiph noticed that a bookshelf filled with tomes on the local laws and customs of the various nations showed that Neya had recently been reading about the laws of Karrnath. This caused him to become suspicious (what doesnt?), so as the pair turned to leave, Saiph stole the large leather-bound journal from under Neya’s very nose. Neya saw this, of course, and she flipped a switch under her desk that triggered a magical alarm. Tivira and Saiph fled the embassy before they could be caught, and they made their way to the airship tower.

Along the way, Saiph looked into the journal, but found all of its pages blank.

At the airship station, they found the woman crying while holding her two sons closely and the two gnomes sitting pensively at the base of the tower. Halfway up, they found the darkened airship and they decided to see if they could either find the crew or pilot the ship themselves to catch up with the ship that they knew Jak, Kin, and Nemis were on (they could see its lights off in the distance).

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Session 024
A Masquerade Ball Full of Intrigue

The party captured the red-haired woman a few yards in the forest and discovered that she was Lucan’s sister. She claimed that she was Lucan’s sister and that Lucan had appeared at her apartment in Sharn, suddenly changed and needing help leaving the city, and she agreed to help her brother. The party allowed Grilsha to continue driving the carriage and Lucan’s now-empty coffin to Trolanport and gave her the impression that they would be heading elsewhere.

However, the group instead sped to Trolanport ahead of Grilsha. Once there, they discovered that the word “krell” likely referred to Neya Krell, a diplomat from the nation of Aundair. Neya Krell was holding a masquerade ball in two days, the day that Lucan and Grilsha would have originally arrived in Trolanport.

Nemis, Kin, and Tivira scouted out the city and the Aundairan Embassy, the location of the masquerade ball, while Saiph made his way to the local House Medani safehouse, where he managed to secure an invitation for himself and a guest to the ball.

That evening, Saiph and Tivira bought costumes and masks and went to the party, which was held in the courtyard of the Aundairan Embassy, while Kin and Jak bribed some of the staff and made their way into the embassy through a backdoor. The tiefling and the warforged watched the events unfold from a window high above the courtyard.

Saiph and Tivira quickly spotted Neya Krell working the crowd. Saiph also identified Lucan standing sullenly in one corner of the courtyard. A few minutes after Tivira and Saiph arrived at the ball, they observed Lucan approach Neya and the two made their way to the dancefloor. Saiph and Tivira did the same, dancing close beside Neya and Lucan. They overheard the following snippets of a conversation between Neya and Lucan:

Neya: “…traveling papers…” “…Karrnath…” “…airship leaves tonight…”
Lucan: “…gratitude…” “…debt to…”

In addition, Saiph saw that Neya very smoothly slipped a large envelope into the inner pocket of Lucan’s coat. At the end of the dance, Tivira pretended to trip and fall into Lucan and during the disruption, Saiph used his aberrant dragonmark to pick Lucan’s pocket, stealing the envelope for himself.

After the dance, Saiph and Tivira made their way toward the door. They noticed Neya walked up to one of the guards, a female, and whispered something into her ear. The guard then removed some of her outer armor, donned a very fancy cloak to cover what she couldn’t remove, put on a masquerade mask, walked up to Lucan, and asked for a dance. Lucan seemed annoyed, but agreed.

Saiph and Tivira started to leave. As they were just at the exit, they heard Lucan shout, “You traitorous witch!” When they turned around, they saw the female guard on the ground and Lucan standing above her, looking down. Lucan also suddenly had the Soul Blade in his gloved hand. The vampire quickly ran the sword through the nearly helpless guard and killed her.

The guests screamed and Tivira and Saiph used the commotion to exit the courtyard. The last they saw before they were out of the embassy was Lucan surrounded by Aundairan guards and Neya quietly and calmly leaving through a side door. Jak and Kin were tempted to help the guards, but they, too, left. The part met back up in their room at the inn, where they discovered that the envelope had two items: traveling identification papers with Lucan’s picture on them, but with a different name and listing his nation of residence as Karrnath, and a letter of credit from Aundair for several thousand gold.

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Session 023
The Hunt Begins

Saiph gathered his companions and went to the top of Myriad Tower at nightfall, according to the instructions. Inside the tower, they found Trelib d’Medani standing with an aging man who had clearly seen much military duty. Trelib welcomed Saiph and had the elf introduce the rest of the group. The elderly man was introduced as Viorr Maelek, a captain of the King’s Dark Lanterns.

Trelib explained that Viorr had a task for the group that would require them leaving Sharn, a situation that would be most beneficial considering their current predicament. However, Viorr was not fully convinced of the group’s abilities, so he asked them to trap a live ape within his greenhouse.

Kin quickly recognized that several of the plants within the jungle-like greenhouse could be harvested and concentrated to produce a narcotic, and she and Nemis prepared a crude extract and laced several pieces of fruit with the drug. Tivira then used her shaped consciousness and mage hand abilities to place the fruit near the ape. Soon enough, the ape ate the fruit and succumbed to the narcotic, making it easy for the group to bind him and bring him back to Viorr.

Impressed, Viorr explained that a member of the Dark Lanterns, a human named Lucan Stellos, had recently broken into a secured vault and stolen a magical sword dubbed the Soul Blade. Lucan had displayed several unusual abilities, such as a power over the minds of the vault guards as well as an ability to walk down the wall of the building once he had the sword.

A thorough search of Lucan’s home revealed little, although the Dark Lanterns were able to magically determine two pieces of information: that Lucian was heading to Trolanport in the gnome nation of Zilargo to the east, and the word “krell.”

Viorr stated that Lucan had a little over a full day’s head start on the party and he urged them to move quickly. He handed the party a letter of credit from the nation of Breland and said that House Vadalis magebred horses would be waiting for them at the eastern gates of Sharn.

The party took off and pushed their steeds to catch Lucan. Four days later, almost halfway to Trolanport, they came upon a black carriage matching the description of one Lucan was seen leaving Sharn in. The group quickly hatched a plan wherein Tivira, Kin, and Saiph would appear to be agents of the law chasing down Jak and Nemis. Using this ruse, the group sped past the black wagon, getting in front of it where they could lay a trap.

As they passed, they each surreptitiously glanced at the carriage. A red-haired woman in her mid-thirties was driving the pair of black horses. She was the only visible occupant of the wagon. However, inside the carriage, Saiph noticed a coffin-shaped box that appeared to be opening slowly as the group sped past.

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Session 022
Wanted

Read the in-depth Session 022 recap here.

It was evident that the guards sought to arrest the party, and the group moved quickly to evade the members of the Sharn Watch. While Tivira conjured the sound of a loud explosion in a nearby alleyway, Nemis brought forth a great light while simultaneously teleporting into a nearby tavern. The rest of group hurried away in a somewhat confused, haphazard manner, but they all managed to avoid capture.

While the rest of the group found an abandoned tenement in the lower reaches of Sharn to hide away, Saiph carefully made his way to a House Medani enclave, where he was apprised that individuals matching the party’s exact (and unique) description were seen by many witnesses murdering two jewelry store owners and stealing several thousand gold pieces worth of merchandise. Saiph suspected that this might have been the work of the Tyrants. With his House Medani connections, Saiph determined that a contact for the Tyrants recently met with a particularly large human who matched the description of Vestan ir’Simul’s bodyguard.

Saiph relayed this information to the rest of the party and the group laid low for a day, carefully deciding their next step. The party felt certain from their brief conversation with the Queen with Burning Eyes and this current situation with the Tyrants being hired to frame them for murder that Vestan must know or suspect that the party is aware of his affiliation with the Cult of Belashyrra. They decided upon a miniature terrorism campaign directed at Vestan’s business interests, starting with placing small amounts of a purple mold in the coaches of the Red Eagle Skycoach Company.

During one of those trips, Saiph was approached by a white barn owl with a missive tied to its leg. The missive read, “Helion [Saiph’s House Medani codename], Northeast stairs. Myriad Tower. Nightfall. Bring travel gear and those you are embedded with and only those that you trust. Give this parchment to the guard near the stairs. Discretion.”

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Session 019 to 021
Lair of the Queen With Burning Eyes

Read the in-depth Session 019 to Session 21 recap here.

The party made their way deeper into the Dhakaani ruins. After falling prey to a mechanical pit trap, the group found themselves at a large intersection. Exploring the southern passage, they found a nest of spiders of all sizes as well as several large and likely extremely valuable Dhakaani urns. The party wisely avoided the spider den and turned their attention northward.

There, they entered a grand chamber filled with 40-foot-tall statues of regal hobgoblins. Hidden among the statues were several mutated goblinoids: dolgrimm, dolgaunt, and dolgarr warriors. These monstrosities were quickly defeated and the party pressed onward, where they found a small, but fairly recent camp where several upper-class individuals had apparently recently spent the night. The identity, purpose, and present location of these individuals was unclear at the time.

Farther to the northeast, the group entered a second region of magical darkness and fought more grimlocks in the blackness. The large numbers of mutated aberrations suggested the work of the daelkyr, and a short time later, the party encountered the Queen with Burning Eyes, a naga devotee of Belashyrra. In the same room sat a 10-foot-tall obsidian egg with a black eye in its center as well as several human and half-human/half-snake cultists.

The Queen spoke directly to Jak, tempting the tiefling with an offer to assist Belashyrra in exchange for information regarding his mother. Jak played along for a short time before unleashing his Blade of Annihilation at the obsidian egg. The rest of the party joined the fray and soon the egg lay in cracked pieces and the Queen with Burning Eyes moved no more.

The group captured two of the human cultists and interrogated them, discovering that the Queen was their cult’s link with Belashyrra and that their cult’s leader was indeed Vestan ir’Simul.

Armed with this knowledge, the group gathered the shattered pieces of the egg and made their way back to the surface of Sharn. However, before they could turn in the surviving cultists to a Medani safehouse, they were approached by a small group of the Sharn Watch.

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Session 018
Into The Eyeless Depths

Read the in-depth Session 018 recap here.

That evening, the party made their way through Sharn, spending some of their hard-earned gold on much-needed supplies. During their excursions throughout the city, Saiph noticed, at various points, individuals that appeared to be following the group, always just on the edge of their vision. These individuals never followed the party for more than a few blocks, and there was never any confrontation, but throughout the day, Saiph felt that as many as a dozen different people may have been tailing his allies at one point or another.

The party eventually went to their respective homes and slept for the night. The following morning, they made their way into the Cogs, where they were to map out recently uncovered Dhakaani ruins for Vestan ir’Simul.

The small, vacant pair of rooms that Vestan had purchased contained a poorly-disguised hidden doorway that led to a circular ramp that descended deeper beneath Sharn. Jak noticed signs of foot traffic leading through the secret door and Saiph noted that it appeared as though someone had tried to cover up the tracks at some point in the past.

The room at the base of the ramp was clearly Dhakaani architecture, with elaborately carved columns and an obsidian altar holding a bronze water basin. As Nemis approached the basin, he triggered magical darkness trap, blanketing the room in blackness. Under the cover of the magical dark, the party was attacked by a number of grimlocks, mutated orcs with no eyes. After defeating the grimlocks, they continued exploring the ruins.

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Session 017
The Crimson Eagle

Read the in-depth Session 017 recap here.

Gnoth’s sarcophagus contained her mummified corpse, as well as a great magical axe, which Kin claimed as her own. In a pair of small stone chests flanking the sarcophagus, the group found several items, including the Guilded Cage. Nemis, attracted to the puzzle-like nature of the box, toyed with it, eventually causing it to transform of its own accord into a different shape. In so doing, a small lid opened on the top of the cube, revealing an interior filled with light. Deep within this light, Nemis could make out two sets of Draconic Prophecy that read:

“Those who seek the shattered souls under the light of Storm’s bright moon when the Endless Night is near shall turn barren lands into Spring’s first blossoming.”

(Research later revealed that Storm is the largest moon of Eberron, Endless Night is another term for the negative plane of Mabar, and Mabar will be closest to Eberron at the same time as Storm is a full moon in roughly five years.)

and

“When the Crimson Eagle bows to the Queen with Burning Eyes, the blood of the Five will be demanded.”

The 3-inch-cubed Rubicon then closed and began spinning of its own accord, hovering around the head of Nemis.

Considering their task in these ruins completed, the party left and returned to Sharn, where they found a message waiting for them at a House Sivis message center. The letter was from Vestan ir’Simul, who wanted to arrange a meeting to discuss a new business proposition.

Saiph noticed a group of four humans watching the party while they were at the House Sivis message center. It was clear from their manner that the humans were competent spies, but the group scattered through the streets before they could be confronted.

The party was reluctant to meet with Vestan, fearing that he may have discovered that the party was responsible for the destruction of a cell of the Cult of Belashyrra and for the burning of Silas Hiram’s office in the Church of the Silver Flame. Thus, they arranged to meet Vestan at Galdin’s Garden, a high-priced restaurant in upper Menthis Plateau.

The party arrived early to scout out the location, and before Vestan arrived, they were approached by Sergeant Greggar Dolom of the Sharn Watch, who apologized for interrupting the party’s meal, but suggested that the group should meet with him at some point in the future to discuss “a matter of importance to the city of Sharn.” He left the group with his desk number at the Citadel and took his leave.

Later, Vestan arrived, seemingly unaware that the party knows of his involvement with the Cult of Belashyrra. He hired the party to explore and map a new section of ruins that he had recently purchased. After agreeing to the conditions, Vestan gave the party the location of the new excavation site within the Cogs and returned to his home, leaving the party with the bill.

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Session 016
Spirits of the Past

Read the in-depth Session 016 recap here.

Although the party had not yet fully explored the kruthic tunnels, they shifted their attention toward the original Dhakaani passages, hoping to find Gnoth’s Tomb and the Guilded Cage supposedly buried with the bugbear.

In the first chamber they explored, a loud grinding sound could be heard below the tiles of the room’s floor. Several features of the room gave the party reason to suspect that the room bore a trap, and thus the party chose to bypass the room, traveling instead through the kruthic tunnels.

The next room held four statues of goblins and a great statue of a female bugbear, likely a depiction of Gnoth. Tiles on the floor bore a magical aura, and Jak was able to determine that the runes could be depressed in a particular pattern to either summon an elemental guardian of the room or to open a portal from the room. Using the leather scrap found on the body of the Kech Volaar goblin, the party was eventually able to open a secret door behind the massive statue of Gnoth.

Behind a pair of iron doors at the end of the hallway beyond the statue, the party entered what appeared to be the final resting place of Gnoth. A large statue of Gnoth rose from the room’s center, and statues of goblins and hobgoblins stood in the room’s four corners. In alcoves throughout the room, bas-relief depicted all manner of Dhakaani races standing in an honorific pose, facing a dais on one end of the room where a stone sarcophagus rested.

Nemis entered the room, paying little attention to the statues and moved quickly toward the sarcophagus. Almost immediately, a booming voice filled the room, claiming to be Gnoth. The voice labeled the party as tomb raiders and thieves. A translucent spirit taking the form of a great female bugbear rose from the sarcophagus, facing the party with eyes of fire. A pair of skeletons erupted from within two hobgoblin statues and a pair of goblin spirits emerged from two goblin statues. Jak and Tivira attempted to speak with Gnoth’s ghost, explaining that they sought the Guilded Cage to stop a group of cultists from freeing Belashyrra. Gnoth’s spirit claimed responsibility for imprisoning Belashyrra, although it appeared unsure of the party’s ultimate motivations. The spirit challenged the party to battle, claiming that if they were thieves, they deserved to die, and if they spoke the truth, they would fail in their quest should they prove weak.

After a lengthy battle, the party eventually defeated Gnoth and her undead guardians.

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