Party: Alena, Gorm, Samson, Parsa, Zebak de-Sumarr
NPCs: Brayne, Fosco Crumbuckle, Kael, Petrie the Gnome, Stupid Bird, Flomodin, Pazaal, Hegrein, Castamir, Gibraal, Sir Lionas, Mayor Gorel, Sheriff Colilias
The story so far…
Flanaess Years 567-575
Picking up five years after the end of the last campaign, the newly founded faith to Lothar, the god of Light, has taken the Flanaess by storm. It has become the fastest growing religion in recorded history and risen as a major faith alongside the other greater deities. The war of darkness was brought to an end through the combined efforts of the party and the armies of all the realms of the Flanaess South of the Shield Lands as well as the Al Karak Elam, newly emerged from their self inflicted isolation. The arch-lich Tauralathan slew the demi-god Iuz and took over his lands and power base adding it to his own. The death knight, Lord Mordan was re-imprisoned by Modianteous, the high priest of Lothar and his followers and Demogorgon was defeated with the Demongate closed thanks to the party. The Great Kingdom’s reunification of the East was foiled when its Prince Argot was found to be a vampire lord bent on bringing the world under his rule and he was slain by the party’s resident archer-ranger, Gazanfer.
When the war ended, all eyes turned towards the North. Towards the lands of Tauralathan. With Iuz gone, what were Tauralathan’s plans? When would he strike? The armies of the South lay in ruins with the efforts of defeating Lord Mordan’s undead and demon hordes. But nothing stirred in the North. Nothing. Scoutings returned no word of armies massing and no sign of an impending attack. In fact, all attacks had ceased from the North with Tauralathan seizing power there. With no threat pending, no doom about to befall the realms of good and just and victory in everyone’s hearts, a tranquility befell the lands as people returned to their homes and began rebuilding civilization. Demons and undead are not an uncommon sight. Not all were slain in the wars, and a surprising number of demons both great and small fled across the continent once through the Demongate. They did not rally to their demon lord’s need, and since they passed through the gate and were not summoned, they were free to do as they pleased. It is not uncommon to find armed groups of men and women dedicated to hunting down demons and undead. Often sponsored by local lords and in some major cities are organized through guilds. It is also not uncommon to receive word that demons have amassed under a single powerful greater demon. It is now taken with a grain of salt that both the demons or undead and the groups assembled to destroy them are needed and a part of life itself.
Flanaess Year 576 the month of Flocktime
Newly raised to a full fledged priest of Lothar god of Light, Alena was summoned by her elder, Flomodin and given the task of assembling a group to travel from Highfolk to Mineville deep in the Southern Vesve Forest to investigate rumors of people’s loved ones returning from the dead and happily cohabitating amongst the living.
For this endeavor, Alena encountered and recruited completely by chance a grey elf magic-user named Parsa who was visiting Highfolk from his secluded elven stronghold in the Yatil mountains, and a halfling-for-hire named Fosco Crumbuckle from the Southern dales. Each was hired with the promise of 25 gold upon their return and given a stipend to acquire the supplies and equipment they would need along the way. Alena also gained a tiny gnome follower named Petrie the Gnome before leaving the city on the church funded expedition, but he followed behind undetected for many weeks. The group departed on the 9th day of Flocktime from the Eastern gates of Highfolk.
Reference the map of the Southern Vesve for locations.
Travelling through the Vesve forest, the group arrived at Flameflower, a thriving high elven forest town, by the 14th day of Flocktime to restock supplies and some rest out of camp. While there, they uncovered additional rumors and wary details about their destination. The grey elf, Parsa was of particular interest to the high elves of the village who recognized him for who he was on sight. Once hearing where he was headed, they insisted that he allow the accompaniment of a mute ranger named Brayne to protect him. Brayne’s hometown was Mineville and he reportedly still had family there. He would act as guide and personal guard for Parsa until their return to Flameflower.
Departing Flameflower, the group travelled for about a day until they came across an odd scene. A man on his knees at a crossroads speaking with what was must have been a devil simply by it fitting the classic description. After seeing what was clearly a deal being struck, the group attacked unsuccessfully and was forced into a dialog with the devil whose name was Pazaal. Alena made it clear her disdain for the creature, but he offered his assistance in the future nonetheless should she call his name three times.
By the 19th day of Flocktime, the group arrived at Mineville and had encountered the community leader Hegrein, a wise woman. Strange things were afoot and all was eerily unnatural. Everything. No birds or insects could be heard for miles approaching the village and everyone encountered behaved in a peculiar manner.
The local temple to [[St. Cuthbert]] was boarded up and looked abandoned for years. Upon entering, the party found two priests frozen in chant yet still alive. In a hidden basement they found what must have been all the children of the village in a similar frozen state. Investigation and reading of the priest’s journals revealed that a great evil had befallen the village. By the time the threat was recognized to be as serious as it was, there was no way for two priests to stop it. So they performed the Chant of Warding Against Infernal Damnation. This chant wards an area against any chaotic evil, non-Prime Material plane creature from entering and suspends those within in a frozen state to preserve them. It is considered a last ditch effort when all else fails and the innocent must be protected.
With the journals indicating that the mines were the source of the infernal damnation, the party decided it was time to investigate. Soon after entering, the party encountered Brayne’s grandmother and grandfather who had both died twenty years previously. Both seemingly alive and well. One thing led to another and the party killed Brayne’s grandmother only to see her transform into an acid vomit spewing and terrifying demonic hag. The party killed her after a struggle and escorted Brayne’s grandfather along with 4 other survivors back to the temple where they would be safe.
The party returned to the mines a couple of more times, encountered more villagers brought back from beyond that turned into terrifying demon hags once slain.
Exploring some of the more finely hewn sections of the mines, the party found a deep pit and a horrible stench. This was clearly the defecation room, where the workers would go rather than heading back up to the surface so they could keep working. Peering down the pit, the party realized there was something down there. A brief conversation revealed that a minotaur named Zebak de-Sumarr had been tricked into coming into the mines by Hegrein. She told him, Castamir, the man he sought for slaughtering his tribe and mate and taking his unborn calf from the womb was inside. Alena parlayed with Zebak and gained his oath of fealty in return for helping him out.
Deeper in the mines the party found a room with hundreds of human bodies hanging from the ceiling. All of them had blood sigils of Nerull to preserve them from rotting. They also discovered a man named Gregory who was working in a room filled with barrel upon barrel of a black powder that he said was to be used in the great ritual of awakening. And incident occurred with some hag women and the party discovered that he black powder exploded when set aflame.
Further exploration revealed that the great ritual of awakening would set free the giant demon, Gibraal, who laid buried deep in the mine. Soon after this, the party witnessed a fleshy orifice in the wall partially uncovered emitting a human, dazed and incoherent. Without further investigation, the party charged and slew the Gibraal cultists and demon hags, released the prisoners being held in the room and set the place ablaze. Ensuring that the blaze would not reach the room with the explosive powder before they made it out of the mine. The resulting explosion collapsed the mine and ended the threat of Gibraal.
The party took the freed prisoners back to the temple and soon dealt with the infested village. Moments after defeating the cultists, three Knights of the High Forest arrived led by a high elf named Sir Lionas. The knights accompanied the village survivors back to their garrison before they would see them to the temple of Lothar in Highfolk to be cleansed of their demon taint while the party set fire to the village and left the area with haste.
Breathing some relief, the party makes their way to a nearby town called Tarkhog to visit the adventurer’s booths and some local merchants. Long the way, they encountered the remnants of a battle site where bodies of goblins, two priests of Nerull and two Knights of the High Forest are found. Further down the road they find an unconscious woman tied to a tree. They untied her and carried her to Tarkhog with them, leaving her at the temple of Elona to be cared for. After visiting the adventurer’s booths and getting settled in the Dashing Dryad Inn, the group reported to Tarkhog’s Mayor Gorel (also the owner of the Dashing Dryad) and Sheriff Colilias the battle remnants that they’d come across not too far outside of town.
That night Alena and Parsa had nearly identical visions of a terrible ogre attack on Tarkhog that wiped out most of the inhabitants, and set the town ablaze. The next morning, Alena sent word to Elder Flomodin back in Highfolk about all that had transpired in Mineville and about her vision and intention to aid these good people. As the group was reporting their fears to Sheriff Colilias, Lt. Garfunkle the Brave stumbled into town, battered, weaponless and wearing smashed armor. He reported his patrol being attacked by many ogres at a nearby farm. They were responding to a survivor they encountered along the road and had little doubt that a patrol of heavily armed and armored knights would be more than a match for a group of ogres. What they encountered were heavily armed and armored ogres who worked in coordinated unison and with purpose. They were slaughtered.
As the party gathered supplies to go investigate, they encountered and recruit three new members of the party. Gorm, a human druid/elemental magic-user, Samson, a human fighter and Kael, a human bard. Gorm was hunting down Castamir, one of Iuz’s old henchmen who now has fealty to Tauralathan and is responsible for the slaughtering of his entire tribe. Samson was out to make a name for himself and Kael was fleeing justice in from the free city of Greyhawk (but that’s not what he told anyone).
Kael got off to a rocky start with everyone, slinging insults and attempting to kill Gorm’s Stupid Bird. He even managed to be backhanded by Zebak before any hellos were exchanged.
Having gathered their supplies and new party members they set off to investigate the farm attack.
Continued in Session #10 entry.