AncientPact

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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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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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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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 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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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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Blackout

Lithium’s contacts via his mother’s side of the family have put together a few pieces of information, and confirmation that if the four lost skyships are found, there will be a reward. Further, if the skyships along with the crew are found, the reward will be even greater. The ships had been hired by a wealthy patron, the crews signed on to confidentiality agreements. The possibility of loss was high, but the patron paid the expensive bonds that House Lyrandar required. Still, they hadn’t asked for enough to truly cover four skyships, since it hadn’t seemed feasible that all four ships had been lost. Working with House Sivas, hundreds of Sendings have been sent out, none of them within reach. This indicates one of two things, either the targets of the Sendings are dead…or they are not in this world any longer.

With that in mind, you have travelled throughout Khorvaire. Some of your travels were to maintain relationships, others were to follow leads. You know the patron who hired the four ships is a dwarf named Borndak Khalvonson. Borndak controls a large portion of the trade in Siberys shards, and is highly ranked Concordian member of the business alliance, The Aurum. Borndak has a reputation for ruthless business negotiations, his competitors in the Siberys trade often backing out of deals rather than to compete directly with him. Borndak works out of Korth, capital of Karnath. Borndak was not on the ships, and is reputed to be quite angry at having lost the four skyships, but not angry enough to close ties with House Lyrandar, after all, all of the Great Houses are huge consumers of Siberys shards. You’ve learned that Borndak is a collector of unique things, that he has a predilection for women who are just as unique as his collection, and that while he considers himself to be one of the foremost scholars on ancient objects and antiquities, in truth his knowledge extends only far enough to impress his trading partners.

As you travel, you hear more of these Riedran ambassadors traveling throughout Khorvaire. It seems wherever you go there are stories of a representative of Riedra making negotiations with the local political leaders. You have yet to see any of these Riedrans, but through several dream sendings, Samhain has encouraged you to follow his lead on Riedrans traveling to the Talenta Plains. It seems that at least four groups of Riedrans have travelled to the Talenta Plains and none of them have left. What could so many Riedrans be doing there? Its up to you to find out.

Having hired a halfling raptor rider by the name of Aug, you have been lead deep into the Talenta Plains. Aug says he was hired by a few people with strange accents (like Denar’s) a year before to take them to one of the old temples. Since then, Riedrans keep coming, though none of them have left. The temple is forbidden, Aug’s people have tails of serpent people with feathered wings eating the insides out of people and sending them back to their camps with monsters hiding iside. However, Aug is glad to take coin to bring foolish Big People to the temple, though he won’t go all the way, just far enough to indicate the path into the valley where the temple lies. Aug says farewell and good luck, and you head into the valley. Brilliant Light. A snake eating its own tail. A pulsing dark sphere sending tendrils of black energy out into the world like a sickly parasitical plant.

Lithium screams, glowing wings stretching out from his back and sinking into everyone’s heads. You open your eyes as if you can see for the first time. You stand in front of a massive obelisk. This large egg-shaped structure is thirty feet tall, engraved with strange swirling patterns which if looked at cause you to get distracted as your eyes follow the curves up ad around, inside and outside, and all you can think of is….eternity. Each time this happens, someone or other interrupts it, breaking you out of your trance, just as you break your allies out of their trances when they look at it. Denar says one thing as he looks at the monolith. “Hanbalani”. He was standing in the middle of a circle formed by the rest of the party, holding up a dagger made of purple crystal, when you all awakened as if from a dream.

It has been nine months. You don’t know what has happened over the past few months, though Theran is angry, he scaled down the cliff, got his own teleport ritual (and gummy bears), and has been teleporting things back and forth between your secret fortress. You never replied to any Sendings from Theran, Samhain, or anyone else. You’ve learned the hanbalani, the obelisk you were standing in front of, was a gift to Fairhaven in Aundair, from Riedra. The obelisk is smaller than the obelisks in Sarlona, which Denar says are well over a hundred feet high. The obelisks radiate peace and tranquility, apparently they are a gesture from Sarlona as a wish for the War to never start again. Wroat, the capital of Breland, Korth of Karnath, and The Great Crag (capital of Droaam) have all accepted these gifts. The rest of the countries are unsure whether to accept the monoliths at this point, though Riedra is supposed to be in intense negotiations to get them outside of all of the major cities of Khorvaire.

Bahrash has grown a pair of wings in the past nine months, though they are still young and have a ways to go yet, the rest of the group has found they too have gained new abilities in the past nine months. Denar retains the crystal dagger, as well as a signed seal granting passage throughout Riedra for himself and his companions. Everyone also finds that they have a few more items while have lost others.

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From darkness to understanding and back again

After recovering from their amnesia, the group, left with only the Barracuda, are determined to retrieve their lost skyship, The Crystal Eye. While moving around, looking for clues, they are approached by two groups in an explosive confrontation that nearly results in bloodshed.

House Orien offers lucrative contracts as mercenaries working for the house, as well as allowing to keep the skyship, The Crystal Eye. House Lyrandar on the other hand offers the group full membership within the House, lower ranking nobles as it were. As full members of House Lyrandar, the group would receive less direct compensation, but a greater percentage of contracts. The group chooses to become members of House Lyrandar, ignoring the subtle threats of House Orien.

The group heads off with a new skyship under the command of Captain Thalin d’Lyrandar. They hire a crew of House Lyrandar half elves to operate the Barracuda in their absence, receiving a percentage of profits the ship makes. Heading to the last site where the Crystal Eye was seen, they had to the site of the rift, the Gray Isle.

Convincing captain Thalin d’Lyrandar to go through the rift, the ship passes through the rift and everyone on board is jolted by the dimensional travel. When they recover their senses, the skyship is stuck in a complex web like that of a colossal spider! They look over the side, expecting some monstrous threat, only to see a group of pale yellow skinned humanoids running over the thick cords of webbing. They ignore the group’s calls, promptly splashing paint on the ship’s side and forming strange runes.

The group leap off the ship and begin attacking the strange humanoids but aren’t fast enough. One by one the humanoids fall into the chasm underneath the spiderweb, but too late, the skyship begins to shrink dramatically and is pulled off into a high tower overlooking a city nearby. The group slaughters the remaining members of the gith party, but their skyship is gone.

The group enters the city, abandoned and empty. The city is ancient, gothic, with high spires. They wander around, getting closer to the tower, and apparently the destination of their stolen skyship, when something occurs throughout the city and the city is suddenly full of life once again. A wide variety of races, all living, not dead shades despite this being Dolurr, the land of the dead, are suddenly occupying the city. The group, shocked by this happening, are even more shocked to see the gith coming down the street being lead by a priest-like gith who holds a staff. Above the staff is a rift in space through which the group can see a glowing symbol shaped like that of the infinity symbol. Seeing the rest of the city populace quickly hiding from the gith, the group hides as well, watching the gith walk by. The gith seem to be looking for someone(s), the party?

The group hunt around, trying to figure out whats happening, when an hour later, the group black out, waking back up where they were when people first appeared. By talking to the populace, its apparent that everyone is stuck in an infinite loop. Only one thing can end the group from its loop, dying too many times in a row causes the person to turn into dust.

Every hour, of every day, is repeated, but healing is only accomplished every day, so thus a person can die. The group try to talk with the oldest member of the city, everyone else being strangers who were caught in the trap of the city, but the oldest member says his secret for survival has been to turn in miscreants to the gith, and the group has to fight off the gith. As the group fights, the city resets, and the group decide to begin trying to take the tower.

Assaulting the city through many many hours, they work their way slowly in, changing their tactics just as the owner of the tower changes his patterns in response to them. Ultimately, they make a deal with the master of the tower, an ancient giant known as The Lord of Time.

The Lord of Time has been stabbed in the stomach with a spear by his ancient enemy, Baphomet. The spear has been enchanted so it can only be touched by the hand of Baphomet. The Lord of Time, possessing the 4 air ships, the Crystal Eye, and the group’s newest skyship, shrunken in a birdcage like structure, he uses the skyships to entertain him, as his life consists of repeating the last hour of his death, until he can figure out a way to counter the spear stuck in his side.

The group makes a deal with the group to kill Baphomet, and give them a mercury-like object shaped like a dagger. Stab the demon lord when he is weak, he says, and they will be able to overcome the Iron King.

The group heads to the Plane Below, defeating a treant who guards the portal. Standing in the realm of Baphomet, at least an aspect of the demon lord. They worry how they are to overcome the being. In the Chaos Below, they stand on a donut shaped asteroid, above them, they can see the castle of Baphomet, a structure shaped like a giant conch shell, surrounded by deep canyons formed like a massive labyrinth and beyond that, a river of magma.

The group meet a talkative azer, a flaming dwarf-like individual, named Shawg. Shawg tells them he is waiting for the efreet to come, and sure enough, a line of efreet tents pulled by nightmares comes through, picking up Shawg. The group get on board, quickly making a deal with the efreet lord trading Bahrash’s arm for 6 griffins and a ritual to form a crude replacement out of magic.

The group, flying on the griffins they traded Bahrash’s arm for, invade the castle, overcoming Baphomet’s medusa priestess, passing through a mystical labyrinth, and defeating the Iron King, the Lord of Beasts, Baphomet.

It turns out that the Lord of Time only wanted Baphomet’s hand, in order to pull out the spear. Freed of the spear, the Lord of Time tells the group they must leave soon or stay within the time loop forever, and to take the sphere of airships with them. The Lord of Time opens a portal back to Eberron, and the group passes through.

Only to find themselves back in time, watching their past selves performing a strange ritual in front of one of the monoliths. They watch, waiting for the group to snap out of it, when Lithium realizes he must use some of the powers he’s developed to break the enchantment, thus fulfilling the past by freeing their old selves.

Its a paradox, but thats how it happens. The group decides to hide out, try to prevent their past selves from realizing what has happened. They contact Theran, trusting him to keep their secret, and pull their trusted crew of Captain Thalin d’Lyrandar out of their airship and put them on The Crystal Eye. Theran tells them that their hidden fortress is being sieged by dragonborn.

Defending Theran and their fortress, they tell Theran to look for why the dragonborn would have been attacking, and also to keep their existance a secret from their past selves.

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The Touch of Madness [The Tear of Aureon Part 1]
Xoriat is a sea of diseased possibilities, where the stuff of madness seethes in a soup of the incomprehensible and the unnamable—shuddering, squirming, and sentient.

During a shopping trip in the small town closest to their secret fortress, Wellspring, the city was assaulted by a cluster of Grell, great evil creatures high in the ranks of the pets of the Dalkyr. The grell were searching for something called the Tear of Aureon, and believed it was within the city. With the help of Deirdre, a priestess of Aureon who had been making a pilgrimage to the site of one of Aureon’s greatest saints, Estered, the group destroyed all but one of the grell, which escaped.

The city’s mayor, Lord Criswell, asked the heroes to find the source of the madness and put an end to it, promising a reward. It was determined that the origination of the creatures was an ancient storehouse of forbidden knowledge, a sacred temple of Aureon that fell long ago, Forlorn Tower, asking a guide, a local Gatekeeper druid by the name of Brock to guide them there safely.

Brock gladly joined, as fighting the spawn of Xoriat is the primary mission of the Gatekeepers and it was finally time to put use his training. A strange thing occurred before they left though, an elven pilgrim passed Brock a message, a message which flashed with arcane energy upon being read. The moment Brock read the note, his memories were instantly wiped of everything before the point when he joined the Gatekeepers, he now was an elf with no past. Brock had little left, just his training to go after aberrations, and he joined the group to protect Wellspring.

Travelling to Forlorn Tower, the first sign that something was wrong was a corruption in the forest. Strange mutations, obscene colors, pestilent creatures all thrived in the vicinity closest to the tower. When they arrived, it at first seemed abandoned, a great waterfall having long ago torn a hole right through the center of the tower making it an unstable, dangerous, wreck of a place. But soon enough it was apparent that the place was filled to the brim with strange creatures, all of them hostile. The group, over several days, fought their way to the peak of Forlorn Tower. Along the way, they found the remnants of a mercenary group called the Stormcrows who had been hired to find the Tear of Aureon. Utilizing Brock’s knowledge of Gatekeeper rituals, they managed to recover a knight named Denva, who had taken control of the Grimlocks in the area and a sorceress named Shantaira, though little of her sanity remained.

In the end, they had a climactic battle with one who had mastered the Tear of Aureon, Elomir. He was too far gone to be recovered, but the group found out a few facts over the course of their journey.
  • Elomir was the source of the grell, so no more aberrants will be sent to WellSpring
  • The StormCrows had been hired by someone known as Cylus, but shortly after the StormCrows were transformed by the relic, shadowy creatures stole it from them.

Lord Criswell celebrated the group as heroes, Deirdre assumed the mantle of priestess of what had been the abandoned Temple of Aureon, and Denva, Shantaira remained with Deirdre to recover, though Shantaira is mostly catatonic most of the time.

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The Valley of Fyre

This post should be updated soon.

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