So our characters have still had a daunting task before them. All these powerful creatures and them stuck in the middle. They figured that allying themselves with one of them was the best route to go. However next came the question of which one. After much debate they decided that it was between the Ahmut and the King. However they had one ace in their pocket, the Ogre that they had save a few years back.
They met with him to find out what he knew of the time before. He was able to shed quite a bit of light on things that they hadn’t been able to figure out. Perhaps the most notable of which was him telling them of the Great Curse or that the Treant that they had worked under was really one of the original signers of the first contract.
After they had learned what secrets he had for them, they decided that the King was their best bet, so they traveled back to the capitol. There they were greeted by a member of the shadow council. He told them that he had located the person who had killed the treant. After gleaning what information they could about the Treant’s attacker, they finally met up with the King.
We left our heroes in the middle of their conversation and we’ll have to wait a ful week to find out all of what they learned.
When the characters get back to the capitol after theirbrief foray into the swamp, they go to the next meeting with the shadow council. There they capitolize on the fact that none of the shadow council fully remembers the events of the last few months, and convince them that they are indeed members of the inner circle.
They trick one of the members into a revealing a contact in the forest who might have knowledge of what has been happening in the world. So they set off into the forest with their contact.
He introduces them to a curious creature who refers to itself as killowren. It also refers to itself as plural and in the third person. However Killowren tells them many interesting things, not the least of which is that they are somehow marked by their dealing with the wyverns. It also introduces them to some of it’s fellow forest magical creatures.
A squirrel, a tree, and a pair of identical wolves are added to the conversation.
Unfortunately they learn little more except that for a long period of time people didn’t seem to be able to notice magical creatures, they also figured out that there were no humans who signed the first contract. Armed with this added knowledge they went back to the capitol.
While waiting for the second meeting with the Shadow Council our heroes decide it’s time to do a little research. The Witch keeps looking into magic and how to unravel it after it has been combined with another type of magic, while the Shade researches artifacts.
Little information is to be found on artifacts, luckily for the characters the Shade has an immense library and is obsessed with lost knowledge.
He is able to determine the location of a powerful shield that was discarded years ago. They go into a swamp in search of the shield, however things are never that easy. First no one knows the exact location, second even the locals are affraid of the swamp where the shield lies, and third the forest comes alive to stop them.
The first obstacle in their path is a forest that rearranges itself, the trees literally get up and walk to new locations o that the landmarks the group believes that they know are not good landmarks. After they solve that problem, and get back on track the forest gets more aggressive. Things finally end in a massive battle in which the characters have to kill a giant tree person.
Eventually somewhere in the muck they locate that which they came for and leave the swamp hopefully forever.
In lihgt of recent events and the on going problem of juggling so many enemies/friends/unknowns, the group decided that it was time to close up loose ends. One of the biggest of these is the Shadow Council. A group of highly powerful and influencial nobles, who seem easily duped, need to be dealt with.
Information needed to be gathered as to the exact situation going on inside the shadow council. So a few of the memebers went in a spied on them to find out what was going on. The answer was not pretty, they weren’t really sure as to what was going on, apparently entire chunks of their memories were missing and they were each thinking it was another of the shadow council.
The characters are going to try to use this information to take over and use the group for themselves, however they are going to wait for the next meeting. In the mean time they are doing research for many different purposes. Including how to unravel the very fabric of magic once the two forms have been intertwined, how to create the best cokie possible, and where to find powerful artifacts to aid them in killing the more powerful magical creatures that are arrayed against them (such as Lord Nightmare).
After dealing with the shadowy figure who betrayed the Shadow Council and then disappeared into the night, our motley band decided that it was time to go check with the duke.
In their travels it was decided that in order for things to get better, they must start from scratch, overthrowing the king and the reigning nobles. The best choice for a new king would be the duke. He is in a position of power, one of the wealthiest nobles, a simple man, but a wiley family member behingd him, and a large and powerful army. So in their visit with him our heroes decided to ask him to be a party to their betrayal and he agreed.
They recieved a letter from the library saying that an explosive had been found, so they went to investigate that next. While confirming that not only did the explosive work, but that it had been used before as an inert material, they also received a letter about the finding of a large find of quicksilver.
Finally they decided to check in with the King’s Hand. There they found out their handler was dead. He had been killed by a dragon. Not dragon blooded, but dragon. They also found they were needed by the King for a vitally important mission which many others had failed at. He needed them to find out why people were discovering more about magic. In short normal people were maing discoveries about magic that was surpassing what even the most knowledgable witches from a few years back knew.
The King also told them he had been watching them. Including their treachery. When asked why he was taking it so calmly he merely told them that he has known for most of his life that he would be betrayed and killed by a member or members of the King’s Hand, but all would be lost if he didn’t find out what was going on.
When the heroes next returned to the King’s castle they also met with the shadow council. They did as much research as possible on many different things. Long story short it turns out ones of the members of the shadow council had fled. He is also the one that was suspected of giving the shadow council the knowledge of destroying contracts.
The heroes located him and questioned him. As it turns out he was just toying with the shadow council.
The group also learned some information by a meeting that was arranged with the ancient witch who signed the first contract. It turnes out she wasn’t a witch at all, but a hag, a powerful magic creature, who were originally known as healers and spiritual guides, capable of granting powerful blessings. It wasn’t until humanity started turning against the magical creatures that they took on the negative conotation of being evil.
This is a rather poignant time when a huge secret comes to light. First let me talk about the truly super natural creatures that have dealt with up to this point. Two of the dragons lords who have both been gone/asleep since magic has lost it’s power. One troll who again had been out of commision for nearly the whole time. Wyverns who seem to have appeared out of thin air, a sea serpent who again seemed to appear out of thin air. Even the souled creatures from across the sea who appeared to be magical were a bastardized form. The Fish People well we’re not really sure about, but there was no proof that they were creatures of magic.
The merfolk were at the bootm of the lake that held the crystal ball. It was here that they found prof that one of the fundamental questions they had been looking into had been wrong all along. Merfolk are creatures of magic, however they never vanished or had any lapse in existence. They simply avoided humanity after the wars. The even had magic users who used a different form of magic then what the characters were used to dealing with.
The heroes used the magic ball to find the Witches love, then pulled him through a portal just to find out that he too had amnesia.
The merry band of adventurers set out to find a crystal ball, but along the way found a town the was being destroyed by dragons. The townsfolk were starving, because turns out the dragons were eating all their livestock. Out of the goodness of their hearts, they took to the mountains searching for these creatures.
Once they found them, it was quickly apparent that they were not dragons, but Wyverns. A creature that despite their fearsome appearance, has animal intelligence and can be trained. That all started with the Unicorn playing with one using pieces of a slaughtered cow.
So they took time out of the journey to train wyverns, which involved a few flesh wounds and at least a dozen stitches. In the end though it was worth it. Flying around on wyverns is so much cooler then riding a horse, although it does tend to be a lot windier and bumpier.
Because of their new mounts, it took little time to get to the lake where the crystal ball was to be located.
After the heroes made it back to the mainland, they reported their findings to the shadow council. Well maybe not all of them, but just enough to get them off their back for awhile. Then fr the first time in nearly two years they took a vacation. They went off to the land’s of Duke Anthony Stewart. To check in on the Library and collect on a favor owed to the Witch.
The library has been growing well. With the collection growing slowly but surely. Thor Giantslayer has been managing the funds well and has spread word to merchants that he pays top dollar for books. They have been adding wings to the library and even a monastary type building for intellectuals.
The Duke had indeed found a way for the Witch to locate her lost love. It was a crystal ball that was an immensely powerful relic. He did not know the exact location of the crystal ball, but knew the approximate location, so our character’s set off on a grand quest to find it.