AncientPact

Events After The Blight (Out of Game Update)

Leaving the vicinity of what will become known as the Gray Island, as colors begin to lose their contract shortly after the place became a manifest zone, the group heads out.

The ship, inscribed with the name Barracuda, requires extensive amounts of cleaning, and isn’t anywhere near as comfortable as The Crystal Eye. On the other hand, its ability to travel underwater for many hours at a time gives it certain qualities of stealth which the Crystal Eye never possessed. It lacks weapons other than a stout adamantine tipped ramming lance, obviously used to attack ships from below by this once pirate vessel.

Therancontacts you via Sending, lets you know he’d appreciate some fresh rations, he’s almost down to the dried preserved stuff. He’s disappointed to find out the Crystal Eye has vanished. A second Sending has Theran asking someone, perhaps Silkor Chrome, to use their teleport circle to bring him rations, or at the very least, a Linked Portal ritual so he can teleport himself in and out, at least until The Crystal Eye is found so you can resume aerial travel. An alternative is the Eagle’s Flight ritual which can create 8 giant eagles to fly in and out.

At port, Lithiummanages to pick up the latest copy of the gnome produced Korranberg Chronicle. In addition to the random discussions and news, mostly House related, it says that House Lyrandar has announced it lost four skyships, though it hasn’t explained how or why. Its considered a major disaster and the crew(s), registered members of the Windwrights Guild, will have their families compensated and the House plans to investigate. There are several blurbs explaining in the last day or so that the undead that had been bothering most large settlements have returned to rest. Most are happy with this turn of events, though a few, having had their recently deceased family return for the past week or so, are anguished by the second loss of their family.

Samhain visits you within your dreams (all but Chrome. He’s a robot). He tells you that the balance has shifted, Dal’Quor, land of dreams, has moved closer to Eberron. Dreams have begun to take on a reality they lacked before, many are waking up with bruises, even small cuts, which they had taken in their dreams. He says this hasn’t happened in 40 thousand years, not since the giants of lost Xendrik used their magic to seal the gates and send Dal’Quor spiraling off out of reach of Eberron. Agents of Riedra have begun to travel more openly around Khorvaire, ostensibly to extend diplomatic relations with Khorvaire, but Samhain knows they’re up to something. He’s caught glimpses of their travel into The Talenta Plains, which doesn’t make much sense if they’re here for diplomatic reasons, unless the tribal halflings have suddenly become more interested in events outside of their tribes, which seems unlikely.

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A final act of Heroism
(End of Heroic Tier)

After discovering the possible location of where the stolen soulstone was being held, the group headed off into the ocean looking for it. As they got closer, the everpresent storm which had been going nonstop for the last day or so got more violent. Flashes of a strange monochromatic world began to appear in the sky, which Chrome theorized was the group seeing into Dolurrh, the land of the dead.

Their skyship, The Crystal Eye, got as close as it could to the island before having to stop or be attacked by endless hordes of spirits soaring through the sky around the island. The island itself possessed a large castle built to a giant scale, sending a beam of energy into the sky and obviously destroying the gap between the two worlds.

The group approached the island on their soarwood longboat, skimming above the waves. They were attacked by a giant vampiric squid, a guardian of the island, but they fled before one or more of them could be pulled into the depths.

The group invaded the castle, taking out two guards along the way, then a group of patrolling undead lead by a masked necromancer. The group found four Siberys shards which seemed to channel life energy, these were being used to channel the energy (souls?) of Vol acolytes through four points of the castle and up to the main spire.

The group headed up into the main spire, meeting an old enemy, Kanakus, now transformed into a dracolich. The energy of the Undead Blight reanimated his corpse, just as it had many creatures slain within the past few months. Kanakus, still believing he was key to the draconic prophecy for stemming the undead blight, offered to join the group in taking down Keylith, the elven vampire leading the ritual.

Keylith, some drow transformed into vampire spawn, a guardian wight, a few burning floating skulls, along with some more Vol acolytes chanting and beating drums, were found performing the ritual. In addition to Keylith and his minions, a massive mirror displayed a giant 20’ lich performing his own ritual with dozens of lich slaves. The mirror was a limited doorway, allowing minor magic and of course allowing the giant to see what was going on in the room with Keylith. It was obvious what Keylith was doing, but the group was unable to determine what the lich’s ritual was up to.

The group ambushed the ritual, destroying Keylith not once but multiple times, with the lich using the energy of the soulstone to regenerate Keylith. The lich attempted to persuade Kanakus to turn on the party, telling him that without the undead blight the energy powering his dracolich transformation would cease, returning him to true death. Kanakus ignored the persuasions, his desire to be the hero of the dragons proving to be too strong. When Kanakus felt his strength of will weakening against the pleas of the lich, Kanakus flew up and destroyed the soulstone, shattering it and the ritual it was powering.

A massive explosion in the sky occurred, and the castle began to crumble in upon itself. The group tried to drag the body of the not moving Kanakus as far as they could, but it was no use, the dragon was too big and their time too limited. Kanakus didn’t appear to be returned to true death, but he wasn’t moving when the group left him.

Fleeing down the stairs, the group had to take a different way down than they had gone up, finding two things in an underground grotto. One was an undead skeletal WHALE, modified to be able to house Emerald Claw troops, while the other a sea galleon made to be waterproof and able to travel underneath the sea.

Seeing no other options, the group took over the sea galleon, The barracuda, and took it through an underwater tunnel out into the ocean. Having escaped, they reclaimed their soarwood longboat and went to recall The Crystal Eye by casting a Sending ritual to the spirit within the ship. Unfortunately the Crystal Eye failed to respond, seemingly indicating that the ship was beyond Chrome’s range.

Above the ruins of the castle, a single large rift exists, leading to Dolurrh. Most of the undead have been drawn back where they belong, but many can be seen flying in and out. The island has become a manifest zone of Dolurrh, and the spirits seem bound to remain within the vicinity of the place.

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Judgement

The group traveled to Golden Griffin Fort to meet with Permon, only to be instantly transported to a prison deep in the middle of Argonnesson. 

 There they were told they had interfered with the Draconic Prophecy, and as emissaries of Permonicus (via Bahrash), he was responsible for their actions.  They were put on trial by one of the Eyes of Chronepsis, a dragon judge.  Unfortunately for the party, it was arranged that the particular Eye of Chronepsis was Katanilak, mother of Kanakus. 

This had been arranged by Bakari, an ancient red dragon, who Permonicus had made an enemy of before.  Through a harrowing week, the group defended itself, convincing Katanilak that Bakari had arranged the trial in bad faith.

In the middle of the trial, a bugbear druid by the name of Melgar who had been tracking the party in an attempt to discover what is happening with the spirits, was accidentally brought in by Mobari, the Speaker defending Permonicus in the trial.  Mobari snatched Melgar because he was where a tiefling the party had ressurected should have been, and Mobari sensed that Melgar was somehow entwined with the party.  Unfortunately Melgar didn't help their cause, not ever having seen the party before.  This didn't hurt their cause either however, as the group publicly blamed Bakari for an assassination attempt in the middle of the night and managed to convince Katanilak the Eye of Chronepsis that the whole case was a sham and the sanctity of her court was being threatened by Bakari's manipulations.

After Bakari began to lose the trial and he knew Permonicus would escape, he launched an attack on the group and Permonicus, who was still bound in human form.  Luckily, the group had weakened the restraints on Permonicus so what would have been a one sided battle turned into an epic battle resulting in the death of Bakari's son and Bakari himself fleeing the battle.

Katanilak still had to rule on the subject of whether Permonicus via his minions had changed the direction of the Draconic Prophecy in a manner the dragons didn't want, preventing the undead blight from being saved, so the trial wasn't ended yet.  Katanilak admitted her son might have been mad, and was indeed the draconic scholar who claimed he was required to steer the prophecy in the direction they wanted.  To prove or disprove this issue, the group was sent back to look for the hoard of Kanakus amidst was the fragment of the prophecy that would determine her son's place.

With the advice to "think like a dragon", the group was able to find the hoard of Kanakus and in addition to great wealth they found a fragment with an interesting prophecy.

The son of the eye will choose to open or not open the door to the world of spirits.

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A vision from the past

At the end of last game, Bahrash had received a sending to come to Permon, his superior officer in the Brelish army, back during the war when Bahrash still served in the Brelish army. 

Permon is a commander stationed at a fortress in the hills overlooking the pass between Xandrar and Arcanix.  His base insures no armies from Aundair infiltrate without Breland being aware of it, though the number of men assigned to his fort have decreased in the past couple years as Breland finds it more difficult to justify the budget of a large manned fortress guarding against a threat that might never come. 

The journey by airship takes seven days to return to the lair they captured from Kanakus.  During the journey, for a brief moment everyone blacks out, including chrome.  The darkness lasts but only a second, however in that time, Sam Haen, relays a long message.

Sam Haen appears much the way he was last seen, handsome in the way most kalashtar are, marred by a melted, warped mauve colored hand.   He has one other change now however, one eye, the same side as his hand, is solid white, with purplish streaks leading from the eye in a star pattern from crown to mouth. 

Gesturing with his hand, he relays in a single flash what he has done over the past few months.  How he wandered for a time, considering the removal of his hand but realizing the sickness was within himself, only expressing itself in the hand (and later as the eye).  How he eventually met with Kanataen, a psion of incredible skill relating to the manipulation of the body.  How he learned to control his own body and prevent the mutation from spreading, but unfortunately thus has failed in reversing the changes.

Just as his body changed, his mind grew more powerful, new abilities unlocking like a key turning in a lock by the flesh warping of the Dalkyr.    He continued to search for a cure, exploring the new country of Darguun, looking for some fragment of Dhakaani knowledge that might be able to reverse the flesh warping of the Dalkyr. 

He explains with a flurry of images and direct mental knowledge transference of how while in Darguun he has encountered many instances of spiritual unrest, the ghosts of those long dead returning to right past wrongs or pursue desires long left unfulfilled.  Some of these spirits are violent, while others have learned how to possess those weak of will.  He has managed to fight off many of these spirits, but more are coming. 

His journeys fighting these outbreaks have taken him further East, towards the Lhazaar Principalities. 

"I have encountered something strange, a changeling woman, with the Mark of Travel, claiming her name is Silk and that her skyship was taken.  She is offering 10,000 gold to anyone who captures the ship from the thieves who took it. I don't know who this is, but be on the lookout."

"I will continue helping quell the undead uprisings where I can, my ability to manipulate the mind has thus far helped with the possessions, but unless the Aerenal artifact is found soon, its going to continue to get out of hand."

Theran settles into the lair, using his abilities with engineering to begin securing the lair in case some of the surviving minions of Kanakus try to return.

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Descent into Noldrunthrone
A murder and an escape

The group, having scoured the lair clean of draconic servants of Kanakus, draconic scholar of the draconic prophecy, they discovered that he was, at that moment, recovering another fragment of the prophecy in the lost dwarven city of Noldrunthrone. 

 Not satisfied with "only" taking over the dragon's lair, their thirst for vengeance unsatisfied, they immediately headed out for Noldrunthrone in their skyship, The Crytal Eye.  It was far, and they still had some damage from when Kanakus had last attacked their ship, but soon enough [:Theran] had repaired the ship and they were flying over the Mror holds looking for the entrance into Noldrunthrone. 

 While looking for the entrance, they saw another group of adventurers leaving the mountains carrying a fallen comrad.  They made time to rescue the group and their new artificer, [:Chrome] raised the fallen companion in return for the command words to bypass the iron golem defending the forge where Kanakus was busy carving out the fragment of the draconic prophecy.

 With the knowledge from the other group of adventurers, they finally headed into the massive entrance of Noldrunthrone through the Hall of Ancestors.  They were immediately waylaid by servants of Kanakus, mighty dragonborn and drakes, but strangely weakened.  As each dragonborn was cut down, a spirit fled the body of the dragonborn and came into the member of the party who most hurt that dragonborn, weighing the party member down, both spiritually and physically with the burden of a dwarf long dead.

 At first, the party wanted nothing more than to get rid of the spirits and to regain their strength.  Trying to help the spirits by following their muddled requests proved to be tiresome however, and after poking around the wrong building for a while, they decided to move on to taking out Kanakus, spirits or no. 

They experienced a few misteps while trying to invade the highlight of Noldrunthrone, a smithy responsible for smelting and refining the raw adamantite ore into mighty magical equipment using the lava from a volcanic vent and a bound fire elemental.  The battles were tough, things became even tougher when they encountered Kanakus still there, irrationally carving out the fragment of the draconic prophecy for its collection. 

 The battle was fierce, but Kanakus was absent his most powerful servants, who had either fallen to the party or fled, abandoning their master who had gone crazy in the pursuit of the Prophecy, or, as some suggsted, by what he learned.  Kanakus fell to the group, butchered by [:Barash], and they thought to simply leave after sleeping the night in Noldrunthrone.

Unfortunately for the party, the combat with the dragon, the smell of the remains of the dragonborn ambush, had all done their part in drawing the attention of the demons who had destroyed Noldrunthrone so long ago. 

Upon leaving the smithy, the party encountered a strange shadowy being who threatened destruction until [:Theran] convinced the shadowy being that they might help the demon.  They offered to go into the necropolis, the only place the demon had failed to enter, where the demon said it wanted the crown of the dwarven king for its own. 

Through a series of events while wandering the city, the group satisfied some of the ghosts, angered others, convinced the myconids who had evolved in the dwarven tended mushroom forest from an experiment of combining dragonshards with mushroom fertilizer to attack the demons who had amassed to feast upon the dragonborn remains, attracted the attention of and nearly destroyed by vrocks, and finally found a way to escape through a secret passage to the outside.  All at the same time as they set a dwarven Revenant upon the world who is now looking for revenge.

<font>On uncertain land, an unwelcome pact is made with one who is prince and thief, captain and ruler, for the location of the stolen rock from the skies.</font>

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Recap - Encounters with Kanakus

While taking their airship, The Crystal Eye, into the Mournlands, they saw a dragon flying through the sky.  Thinking the dragon meant to attack, the group fired a ballista at it, enraging the dragon.

 The dragon, who they would later know as Kanakus, landed on the deck of the ship demanding tribute in response.  The group declined, driving the dragon off. 

 Later they discovered the dragon had ravaged the Crystal Eye while the party had been preoccupied trying to reseal the dalkhyr that House Cannith had weakened some five years before.  This was also where they rescued Chrome

Declaring revenge, they went after the lair of Kanakus, which their ship, animated by the spirit of Larness as she is, had tracked down.  They invaded the lair, wiping through the forces of Kanakus, but the dragon was off investigating yet another fragment of the Draconic Prophecy. 

 Heading to Noldrunthrone, the party entered the lost city of the dwarves looking to finish the job they had started at the lair of Kanakus.  Finish the job they did, slaying Kanakus and discovering the fragment themselves.

On uncertain land, an unwelcome pact is made with one who is prince and thief, captain and ruler, for the location of the stolen rock from the skies.

 As of yet, the party has not figured out what the fragment means.

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