Monthly Archives: January 2012

SOW Chapter11: Synopsis of Recent Events

Synopsis of Recent Events

Back to the Feywilde

The party is reformed again


Dinner is deadly

And Now a Synopsis of Recent Events

Trellara NightshadowOne of the coalitions members, Trellara, a Savage Elf Druid, has discovered that Cachlain, the Stone-skinned King, an evil fomorian giant who has long been a thorn in our hero’s sides, has again interposed himself in the affairs of Klarn. Hidden deep within his the underworld of the Fey Wild, Cachlain has been secretly assisting your enemies. In response, the surviving members of the coalition decided to dispatch a new team of heroes to the Stone-skinned King’s realm hoping he can be persuaded to stop aiding the coalitions enemies, the invading githyanki. Trellara’s most ambitious hope is that Cachlain might even be brought to the Coalition’s side, with that in mind, she authorized the coalition’s messengers to return a powerful artifact, the Seed of Winter to the fomorian king … The very device the king had provided to the dragon Chillreaver to attack Klarn’s defenders.

Taer Lian Doresh

 

Sidgevin

This decision proved controversial, leading to a further splintering of the coalition. As the decision was announced, one member of the coalition, Sidgevin complained bitterly. When it became clear that the other members of the coalition disagreed with the Vindicator, Sidgevin flew into a rage and resigned from his leadership role from the Seven Platinum Shields Coalition vowing to fight for Taer Lian Doresh on his own.

With the matter decided, the mission moved forward. Getting to Feywild proved to be challenging, instead of finding an ally waiting within the known portal to the fey realm the heroes found a dangerous assassin lying in wait for them at the portal, the assassin who had already slain the Coalition’s paladin Kalad. In the course of their battle Bairdyn fell, only to be later saved by Doctor Manne-Crocre. The assassin, Vaneval did not survive.    

InziraAfter defeating the assassin, the coalition’s agents found their mission had been anticipated by powers within Feywilde. Upon entry into Feywild they were immediately intercepted and ultimately captured by firbolg giants. Waiting with the giant were an eladrin scout, a messenger from Inzira of the Frostwhite Forest and Shaden, now Cachlain’s personal guard. After challenging Shaden to a one-on-one duel, and defeating Shaden and taking his sword as their prize; the firbolgs escorted the Coalition’s envoys to the eladrin encampment under the control of Inzira, an eladrin, Tulani of Winter, Daughter of the Frostwhite Forest. She claimed the Seed of Winter actually belonged to her. Before her claim could be tested the eladrin camp was attacked by the powerful forces of Inzira‘s sister, Jelendra, the Tulani of Summer. The coalition‘s agents joined with the eladrin guard defeating these attackers and saving the life of one of Inzira’s generals which prompted Inzira to propose an alliance, even agreeing to allow the party to take the Seed of Winter to Cachlain’s court after hearing their plan. It became evident that Inzira shared their hope that the Seed of Winter would likely gain them an audience with the King and hopefully lead to the formation of an alliance. Inzira had her own reasons for wanting an alliance with Cachlain, she explained that both she and Stone-skinned King shared their own common foe, another fomorian giant, one Inzira called Sangwyr the Butcher.

Evil EyeWithin the King’s Court

As the heroes arrive within Cachlain’s Feydark Court. They are immediately surrounded by cyclops guards. Next the King’s disembodied eye appears glaring in the open air above the heroes. Cachlain bellows orders that Bairdyn and Ssarina are to be taken prisoner by the guards. When they resist, the two heroes vanish, and the rest of the party is led forward to stand before the king within his throne room.

Within a massive throne of purple crystal stands on the far side of this room. Cachlain sits there, his grotesque eye peering over the group taking them in. Like other fomorians, his body was deformed, and his wart-covered purple skin had plates of stone bonded and embedded in his flesh. It looked like armor each piece was carved with elaborate designs. Next to the throne was a smaller seat, and as they entered, a human rose from it. He’s was a determined looking, bald man, and he carried a staff of office. His eyes darted among the heroes as he prepared to speak when two others burst into the throne room, a drunken, swarthy looking knight, and the monk Chen.

The unique feature of this chamber was the floor set with giant panes of glass—or maybe smoothed crystal—forming windows that revealed an open arena far below. Gladiators were battling there, and the king was busy sneaking glances at the fight.

Sovacles and Cachlain

Unbeknownst to the party, both the knight, Strider and Chen, had been sent to Cachlain’s realm by other Coalition leaders, Strider by Simberious, the clerical leader of Thax Parkas and Chen by the githzerai elder, Odos. Simberious hoped the party might succeed, yet he also feared they might not be successful so he sent Strider ahead of the party so that he might smooth the way for their other envoys; likewise, Chen was also sent to back-up the others and to aid Strider. When they heard the envoys had been captured, they rushed to aid the travelers.

Acting as a solicitor, Strider argued for the release of Ssarina and Bairdyn, but the King wasn’t interested. He toyed with the knight, calling him Sir Farts-a-lot, and causing sounds of flatulence to explode from Strider’s general direction … Only the King’s councilor, Sovacles was truly focused on the party, and he was far from friendly. The situation became increasing hostile, and eventually the Doctor sequestered Sovacles from the chamber. The King was undisturbed by the councilor’s absence, having noticed that Shaden’s sword the Wicked Fang was missing. Cachlain began taunting his former personal guard, announcing that his title would be changed to ‘The Maid of Honor’. Eventually the Doctor’s theatrics captured enough of the King’s attention to bring up the Seed of Winter and Inzira’s offer, but then the angered councilor reappeared, and the King ordered the party out of the throne room promising them a follow-up appointment at some later time of the King’s choosing. The King directed Shaden to take the party to the ambassador’s chambers.

Map: Stone-Skinned King Ambassador's Quarters

When the travelers arrived at the ambassador’s quarters they were surprised to find them already occupied by Bram Ironfell (formerly of Overlook) and his entourage of githyanki guards, and several other visitors but Bram quickly agreed to vacate one of his rooms to make space for the Coalition’s envoys. Bram also invited the new arrivals to a diplomatic dinner. Several of heroes accepted Bram’s invitation to dinner, they included: Lucian, Strider, and Chen. The doctor had decide to accompany Shaden on a tour of Cachlain’s domain, together they venture as far as the arena cells.

Dinner Guests

Also at the dinner was Marrot the Fool, Lady Sanja of Brindol, Troke of the Circle of Crownstone, Bram Ironfell, and Droeth of the Ulahcouram. Bram also had four personal guards, githyanki all … As the Coalition envoys arrived he quickly dismissed the guards to the outer hall. Those at the table introduced themselves:

Droeth: This laconic cyclops speaks for Uluhcouram, a fomorian monarch and close relative of Cachlain. He didn’t appear to have any pressing business, and he stated the he had been in Cachlain’s domain for a while, just wasting time. He appeared to be a lazy, uninteresting toady.

Lady Ariane Sanja : A haughty tiefling, she claims to be a direct descendant of one very familiar with the githyanki and their ways. She was there to discuss slave trading operations in the world and has come to propose sharing resources with Cachlain.

Troke: Dissatisfied with his treatment here, this satyr came to resolve a territory dispute with the king, he complained he hadn’t had an audience for nearly a month. He represents the Circle of Crownstone, a collective of fey who live in lands that border Cachlain’s domain.

Bram Ironfell: This infamous wealthy dwarf was recognized principally for his reputation as a traitor to Overlook. Here now he was representing githyanki interests in Cachlain’s court.

Marrot the Fool: The jester appears to be a gnome. He wears a mask that gives him the mirthful and craggy appearance of a grandfatherly gnome. In his hand he carries a mock scepter that serves as a symbol of his station as a ambassador for Taer Lian, the Fortress of Faded Dreams. Strider knew Marrot as both mystery and mountebank. He had the gnome perform tricks that amused, twisted, and suspended disbelief for a people already infused with magic.

Over the course of the dinner Marrot tended to dominate discussion, tossing out a variety of witticisms over appetizers. Soon it was evident that all was not right when Strider’s face fell full on into a his own bowl of soup. Lady Sanja, Troke, and Chen also loss consciousness leaving only Lucian, Bram, Droeth, and Marrot awake. Lucian had been careful to avoid the food and refreshment thereby avoiding Marrot’s poisons, while Bram’s dwarven toughness had apparently prevailed. Droeth’s form began to shift as Marrot turned to Lucian, held out his hand and said.

“Diplomacy only serves to make the future moron-certain, I’ll be taking the Seed of Winter now. Of course, you might chose to resist and the last thing I want to do is hurt you, but I assure you it is still on the list.”

Soon a fight broke out, Lucian was out numbered. Bram took cover under the table, while Lucian retreated.

Oni SpiritmasterIn the hall beyond the dining hall, the Doctor and Shaden had succeeded in freeing Shaden’s friend Maxyzne, but they hadn’t found the other missing envoys, Bairdyn or Ssarina. With Maxyzne they had made their way back to the dining hall only to find their way blocked by Bram’s guards. Shaden ordered the guards to give way but they declined and the guard’s forms began to shift much like the cyclopes had in dining hall.

A huge fight broke out both inside and outside the dining hall. It was fought hard on both sides. Lucian was nearly killed but over the course of his heroic struggle both Strider and Chen had been awakened in time to help save the dark sorcerer. The cyclops Droeth had been an imposter, and actually turned out to be an oni spiritmaster. Bram’s guards had also been imposters, at some point the real guards had been replaced by shape-changing rakshasa warriors. It had taken everything the heroes could muster to defeat these foes and ultimately they could not stop Marrot who managed to capture the Seed of Winter escaping into the ambassador’s chambers in the room beyond the dining hall. Surprisingly, Bram had proved to be a useful ally to the Coalition’s envoys during the dining hall battle.

 


SOW Chapter11: Entering Feywilde

Entering Feywilde

Enterng the Feywilde

Challenged in the night, brought light


Now meet Pyradan

Entering Feywild

Standing before the great golden metal doorway that bars the Feywild portal the quickling called Freak reveals an archaic looking key and fits it to the golden lock.

Past the doorway, waited a brightness beyond simple description. Anyone standing in front of the doorway becomes a silhouette of shadow due to the blinding light. The light pulses like a quickened heartbeat, revealing a well lit passage that is lined by short posts, each topped by heads or skulls, but it is hard to discern in the bright light, the color of the shapes being washed out by the bright light. The ground itself looks wet, as if covered of a shallow sheen of water. The broad doorway allows the four heroes to step through together, and together they disappear into the pool.

Feywilde 

As they emerge in brightness, dry. They find themselves surrounded by circle of tall, columnar stones, the stones are in turn ringed themselves by glowing runes. As the heroes begin to take in their surroundings, the runes quickly dim and to the amazement of all the sky follows suit, the light of day withdrawing until it is focused tightly on the circle of stones. There the heroes find themselves standing within a column of light, as this all was happening, the moon had raced across the horizon in pace with the darkening sky only to freeze above them crowning the glowing pillar. Taking in these events, the heroes barely had chance to notice the verdant grove that surrounded the stones. With the moon stopped above, hovering vibrantly in the sky high above the tallest of the ancient trees of the grove, the heroes had already forgotten the rest of their briefly glimpsed surroundings. Now hidden by darkness a steep cliff waiting to the west, where a cave mouth stood a short way from the circle of stones. At the cave’s mouth there were two enormous doors made of entwined wood and vines that spanned the entrance to the tunnel opening beyond the mouth of the cave. None of this was of any concern to the heroes as a feminine voice called out from the sky.

“You would fight in my domain, would you? Fine, then. Entertain me.”

Shadowclaw

 

Suddenly, two great winged things, passed overhead, briefly throwing the party into darkness as they passed overhead breaking the column of moonlight. The monster appear to be formed of shadow, drawn from the moonlit sky. From the heroes vantage point it is impossible for them to determine where the night ended and the monsters began as they danced in the sky upon their great wings just beyond the light. Humanoid warriors were mounted upon them, large warriors wearing great headdresses crafted to look like ravens, each carrying enormous pikes with the same raven’s beak motifs as the warrior‘s headdresses. One begins a steep dive racing toward the heroes at great speed, its impressive size revealed in the monsters approach. The mysterious voice from the sky giggles in thundered echoes as the monster races through the night sky.

 

“In days gone by there was a land where the nights were always dark,
And the sky spread over it like a black cloth, for there the moon never rose,
And no star shone in the gloom.”
 
“Will light or darkness, on this day hold sway?
Only you can say upon which your path lays”
 
“Each day a fight, twixt that fell and right
Tis only your acts which bring this to light.”
 
Ecstatically, the Doctor calls out.

“Oh Queen of air and darkness, I have heard your shrill cry!”

The lead shadowclaw rips through the party’s line, trailing shadow stuff in its wake. With weapons drawn Ssarina and Bairdyn stab deep into yielding darkness, finding no purchase, only a sever chill, the chill of the grave and a deep biting pain. In the monster’s passing, darkness clings upon them with waves of pain and sacrifice, followed by a piercing blindness that engulfed the pair completely. The first attacker is followed by the second shadowclaw its rider swinging his heavy pike in a great circle striking both the blinded heroes causing them to recoil with the power of his blows.

The sky calls again replying to the Doctor:

“O young man, and would be slayers, To-morrow you may die.”

Doctor Crocre answers immediately:

“O Queen of air and darkness, I think ’tis truth what you say.
But we may not last till-morrow; unless you light my way, to-day.”
 
Map: MeadowThe sky opens as light begins to spread ever so slightly as if in appreciation of the gnome’s words. The light reveals the shadow monsters and provides an opportunity for Lucian to target the attackers which he quickly takes advantage of. The closest of the night beasts flees circling in a wider arc again taking shelter within the darkness and the second vanishes completely with its rider.

Tense, silent seconds pass then from opposite side of the circle the shadowclaws reappear emerging from the darkness attacking the party from either side. Their riders swinging their pikes with deadly force. Still blinded, Ssarina takes to the air, flying, making even an easier target of herself, in an rushed attempt to pull the monsters away from her allies. For her efforts she is rewarded with a heavy blow, so powerful it drives her back to the ground where she hits hard, but she is still able to spit out a gout of acidic dragon’s breath back at her attacker. Above, the voice in the sky cannot mask its glee, as the sky opens wider extending the light further rewarding the paladin‘s efforts.

Using his guile and wit, guided by the sounds of the battle, Bairdyn dances and spins, still completely blinded by clinging shadows, he dives through the air his blade sinking into the second attacker. With the halfling blade sunk deep within monster’s cold flesh, the creature crashes to the ground and molting shadow, defeated, but its rider escapes the crash, shifting forms to that of a great raven, his cloak transforming into great wings, lifting the rider high into air.

Rewarding the halfling antics the light spreads widely revealing the meadow again allowing Lucian and Doctor Crocre to target the surviving shadowclaw. Working together they cause enough damage to send the second shadowclaw into a slow spiral, bleeding shadow all the way to the ground; the rider of the second monster takes to air joining the first rider. The voice in the sky calls out once again.

“You have embraced war like a lover, plunged into battle naked of senses, called out gloriously, boastfully … proud. Fearless in the face of death. Your day began at dusk, but a new day is on the horizon, born into darkness … Let’s see how fare you in the light.”

As the last of the sky’s enchantment fades, the two warriors land silently and approach deliberately but not in a threatening fashion. As the near the party of heroes the voice in the sky speaks once more.

“They bore two slender pikes of battle,
Upon either side of light and shadow
Their faces, blue-black, luster of coal,
Flying in darkness to test the heroes souls,
I watch in air with deep pool-like eyes,
Swiftly now, fore the star of winter dies.”
 
The tall warriors pause, the closet pointing his pike in the direction of the two great doors at the mouth of the cave lying west of the circle of stones. The second warrior turns waves his pike back in the direction of the downed shadowclaws; both beasts awake and raise their wings whole once again reclaiming their leaking shadows, absorbing the darkness within themselves.

Following the direction pointed out by the first warrior the four heroes walk in the direction of the cave. They try questioning the warriors but they receive no answer. As they arrive at the entrance, Ssarina tests the doors and they open easily, more easily then she had expected given their great size. Inside this cave she sees a blazing campfire surrounded by bedding. In the back of the cave, there is a wall constructed of large, natural stones next to a small pool of fresh water. The cave extends through a passage to the south. A third warrior, a firbolg, larger even than the two riders still outside the cave, sits by the fire carrying two spears, one of which has a hooked point. He rises to his feet, at least 9 ft tall, facing the dragonborn. For the first time since they had encountered these smallish giants, the firbolg, speaks. He says,

“It appears you are worthy to fight. And now that we know you’re a challenge, it will bring us great glory when we capture you for the Daughter of Frostwhite Forest. Introduce yourselves so we might fight as warriors. I am Pyradan, and the fury of the Wild Hunt runs through my veins.”

Firbolg giants