Category Archives: D&D

Raven’s Keep: Recap Part 2

The Depths of Madness, the Descent

Having discovered the existence of a hidden undercity, a historical abnormality that most of the locals have little knowledge of and even fewer care to recall, you have descended into Hatram’s Boot’s ancient, mysterious, underground; into the forgotten lair of the townships most famous citizen, its founder, long-dead Baron Rindaelle. He was the first baron of Tinar and Ailbe Murchadha’s first apprentice. As a boy, Rindaelle served the oldened mage, Ailbe faithfully, even though the mage often mistreated the boy and derisively referred to him only as ‘Dog’, but in the end, the boy got the better of the mage, whom is now better remembered as the Fishermage.

The Fishermage’s life’s goal, had been the capture a legendary creature known as the Fish of Wisdom. The legend says, at the dawn of time, a twisted aberration called an aboleth ate seven hazelnuts that had dropped into the river from the great tree Yggdrasil and gained all the knowledge contained in the Seven Realms of Man, and that the fish never truly dies, but rather reincarnates at random intervals separated by centuries as marked by the stars, reoccurring throughout eternity as it travel through those seven realms gaining knowledge of all that comes to pass. Hence, the Fish of Wisdom never really dies, but it does need to be renewed, at that time perhaps once or twice a millennium … if captured and eaten, it grants great insights and knowledge to any creature that might consumes it. Having waited a lifetime, Ailbe Murchadha was cheated after he’d finally captured the fish, only to lose the boon of infinite knowledge to his young apprentice. Afterwards, Rindaelle capitalized on his gift of knowledge, using it to become a great hero and the first Baron of Tinar.

Rindaelle’s new found intellect and the curiosity it garnered came at a steep price. His curiosity became both unquenchable and undying, so much so that it speared Rindaelle recklessly headlong into the age-old pursuit of certain unknown and forbidden studies better left untrodden. It would have been more merciful if this knowledge had remained lost; if indeed, the Wildlands had stayed lost, adrift amid the churning black seas of infinity. It was not meant that Naessa should voyage far, but the Baron’s study soon led to the creation of the secretive cabal of templars called the Kaorti, and which them he pieced together enough of the previously dissociated knowledge available to open a terrifying new vista of reality that had until that moment been closed to any inhabitant of Naessa. Knowledge of a type to drive men mad from its revelation or to send them screaming to an early grave.

Having discovered that the quaint town of Hatram’s Boot’s sits atop the ruins of Rindaelle’s secret abode. The survivors of the Keep’s expedition, Sayberion, Brand, Allison, and Karis, joined be recently discovered construct, AE-615, a robot storing the consciousness of another of Raven’s Keep’s survivors, you have now descended into the sewers in pursuit of kidnapped townsfolk and your fellow explorer Nyssa, whom is counted among the town’s missing, but it is not only these people you seek, but also the blue crystal called the Tear of Majere.

These things have now become interwoven, somehow tied together in ways that to date remain unclear, but even so, the connections of which, are ever more evident. Your descent begins normally enough, with a feeling of dread hanging about the place, as if something is horrible is about to happen. The air is damp and still, and a rotting stench fills the air as you find yourselves trudging through dark water-filled passages, disgustingly wretched, filthy water that carries raw sewage and other less easily described refuge, potent enough to kill rodents as evidenced by several horribly bloated, furry dead bodies you have spotted drifting amidst the other waterlogged debris.

The normalcy fades as the stench intensifies in the stretch of the tunnels that take on a different, more beautiful, but also more sinister appearance; the plain tunnels are transformed with the addition of statuary, odd carvings of serpents and forgotten, ancient gods … The sense of dread rises in your mind like the bile collecting in your throats, dread born of the expectation of hidden threats that you know must be waiting in the tunnels ahead.

Just beyond, as the sewer returns to its more familiar appearance, a wretched creature rises before you. It looks like a gigantic lobster armored by a green plated exoskeleton, and with a nest of pink tentacles writhing just below its head and two massive, wickedly serrated pincers. Sayberion advances, but staggers, a victim of a sudden, unexplained vertigo. The monstrosity charges snatching him up in its massive claws and deposits him forcefully back into the mucky water of the sewer where he immediately begins drowning. A battle ensues, the first monster, joined by a second. Brand and Allison attacking; Brand launching a dozen arrows into the fray together with Allison’s eldritch blasts, and with the robot, AE-615 pushing the monsters back, until Sayberion recovers enough to join in and finally kill the monsters.

Continuing your advance, you turn left at the intersection of the tunnels. There you find a larger chamber filled with glowing, squirming flora clings to the walls of this area, especially thickly in the chamber’s northeast corner where a large collection of loose debris had been gathered together like massive a rat’s nest, but the room is dominated by a huge, unmoving waterwheel draped in wispy strands of the glowing fungus matter lies half submerged in the waterway; it draw you focus allowing a bizarre trio of weird humanoids to draw close, crouching low, sneaking near as you approach, as the largest, hulking, fourth horror explodes from the nest in an ecstasy of violence. All four of the attacker are hairless and fibrous, their skin spasming tremulously as they confront you; their eyes ablaze, their fangs-bared. Two are emaciated with huge milky eyes looking something like tentacled, skinned humanoids. Another has arms that split at the elbows into two usable limbs giving it a total of four arms, and the last looks like a bloated, but much more horrific ogre with exposed muscle for skin lurking amidst the animated glowing slime of the corner. You recognize their ilk quickly, having faced similar aberration in the dark cave next to the Forlorn Tower.

Another battle follows, even larger than the first, and eventually joined by an even larger chuul, the lobster-like monsters you’d first entered in your approach. Brand fires another dozen arrows, while Sayberion and AE 615 take the fight to the monsters, but in the end, it is Allison’s arcane fire that destroys the monsters clearing your way to forge ahead through the sewer to a narrower passage located just beyond the large chamber where you again turn left proceeding in single file through the narrow hall to descending stairs leading to a natural grotto. The stench is appalling, and in the cavern, lie the carcasses of several large carrion crawlers littering the floor, each head opened for access to whatever passed as the monsters’ brains. Even over the stench of rot, you smell something burning. Deeper in the chamber, something giving off a soft light.

Before you enter, Brand spies out a hulking green, worm-like creature with a tentacled maw clinging and waiting in ambush, on the cavern’s rough ceiling. Oddly, it has a dark collar and seeping wounds in its head.

A battle follows, the green worm, joined by a seconded brownish cousin, equally large, both massive, fat, and grotesquely pulpy, each being over four-foot-long, centipede-like things possessed of over a half-dozen long tentacles protruding from their heads, squirming spasmodically beneath the worms’ monstrous, pincer-armed heads.

The fight breaks out there at the entrance of the cavern, the worms’ massive fat bodies precluding any easy access to the chamber beyond. Again, both Sayberion and AE 615 move to the front to engage the worms. AE 615 uses his weight and power to push his worm back enough to allow Brand enough room to squeeze in to the chamber behind him, but as he does, another, yet unseen assailant nearly takes Brand down attack from behind. Brand spins on his heels just quick enough to see, a small, filthy, dwarf disappear. A bizarre looking fellow, dressed in reeking black rags, wrapping him head-to-toe, leaving only his huge white eyes and his long-pointed nose visible.

Perceiving his Brand’s peril, Allison calls forth strange spirits to protect Brand. They flit around Brand fiercely; angelic-looking sprites that surround and protect Brand, and draw a derisive response from Allison’s impish familiar shouts:

“Oh, how truly pathetic, first you pick on those juicy worms, then all you ‘big’ tough guys team-up on one little fella, and you bring a bunch of pesky fairies to defend yourselves! Damn, maybe I should be worried, who knows, I’m even smaller than that guy … Maybe I should be ‘nicer’ to all of you … Its dangerous being a ‘monster’ these days. Funny, that we are all dying like flies down here, while enjoy yourselves laying hands upon one another while your vicious little fairies wax poetic upon his poor little ass!”

Allison ignores the imp and presses forward, eventually trapping the dark creeper in the deepest end of the cavern and forces his surrender. The poison harvester, for that’s what he is, acquiesces, and offers to lead you to Hatram’s Boots surviving hostages in exchange for his life.

Raven’s Keep: Recap Part 1

You now know that the Blue Crystal, known as ‘The Tear of Majere’ was once housed within the Forlorn Tower you located at the foot of the Kadagast Mountains. Both the Crystal and the Tower fell under the sway of a corrupt cabal of priests, called the Kaorti, centuries ago. This cabal had abandoned the teachings of Majere and in secret they changed their allegiance to the darker more corruptive force of Grithstane. Thereafter, they turned the stone’s power to the task of opening a hole to the Outside, an effort that ultimately led to their destruction. With the Kaorti gone, their temple fell into ruin, but it is now apparent that the Tear of Majere survived them. For untold centuries it laid within the Kaortis’ ancient tower, corrupting the tower to its foundation by its mere presence. Seemingly over those years, the ancient tower absorbed enough of the Tear’s essence to draw the Stormcrows whom desperate sought ‘The Stone’, but as you encountered the Stormcrows the stone was no longer there; a fact that incensed their already crazed leader, Black Elomiir. He blamed you, certain that you were responsible for the theft of the stone, but how the Crystal had come to be at the Red Keep is still a mystery to you. The fact that you had carried it was all the proof that Elomiir had needed, and he, along with his cohorts, the Stormcrows, had done their best to kill you and recover ‘The Stone’. Fortunately, you had left it with Nyssa back in Hatram’s Boot, but now it seems that ‘The Stone’ might be responsible for that town’s growing list of sorrows and swift decline.

Entering Hatram’s Boot, a pall hangs over the frontier town, casting this once-vibrant place into the deepening, nebulous shades that seem tainted of madness and a new smothering fear. Within the town you find tensions greatly magnified as townsfolks that once welcomed of the pilgrims, have in your absence grown to distrust and even abhor them, and perhaps their attitude has not only changed towards the pilgrims but to your party as well. Strange occurrences had been happening since your departure, and the townies are fixing the blame upon the pilgrims.

You have also been told that terrors have been stalking the streets by night, and there have been a series of unexplained murders and kidnappings taking place since your departure, and most recently, both ‘The Stone’ and Nyssa have also gone missing. These mysteries along with the nagging fear that more horrors might yet spill forth from the Kadagast Mountains, has led to the spread of this new pervasive paranoia that is now rapid amongst the townsfolk, almost all of whom seemed to be watching you suspiciously now that you have returned to Hatram’s Boot.

As you make your way to the center of town, you find the attendance at the Temple of the Starry Night to be even higher than it was before you’d left, and while the townsfolk are keeping to themselves, you find the pilgrims far more welcoming, even relieved by your return, especially those whom had pledged their service to Rinaldo, but it is clear these pilgrims are fearful too. In your absence they had flocked to Nyssa, but now that she is counted among the missing, the desperation of the pilgrims is clear. The pilgrims aren’t much help though. They say her kidnapping happened silently, under the cover of the night, and in the morning both she and the crystal were gone. That night, had been a bad one, the townies had hidden in their homes, not even daring a peak out their shutters, but the pilgrims tell you stories of screams and shouts that echoed through the streets throughout the night. Listening to their tale, it is all too obvious, if these grim, enigmatic threats are not stopped soon, the flame of Hatram’s Boot’s very soul might well flicker out, a victim of this swelling, enigmatic madness.

Having rested that night, in the morning your party split-up to explored Hatram’s Boot by day. Again, you sought out several of well-placed townsfolk that you’ve become familiar with over the course of the day. Your goal was to locate clues about Nyssa’s fate, and you planned to gather again that evening back at the Blue Plate, the tavern at the foot of the temple. Some of you had sought out the smuggler, Gerald Roy, while others chased down the scholar, Master Vyen; regardless of your source of information, those clues you gained overlapped on several key points. You have discovered that Hatram’s Boot was built upon the back of an older ruin. Master Vyen, explained the many believed the Forlorn Tower to be the site of Baron Rindaelle’s Tomb, but the sage suggested that he believed it more likely that the Baron had hidden beneath Hatram’s Boot itself. And on the other side of town, Gerald Roy also pointed to a ruined understructure, which according to him, might be reached through the town’s sewers. Other than that, relating to the murders and missing people Gerald Roy professed loudly the he was not being involved, and declared that no one was more eager than he, that things might be returned to normal, but he was equally clear that he wasn’t going to involve himself. For those present it seemed obvious that Gerald Roy was not very anxious to go missing himself, but then he did give-up a name of someone that might be involved; a name he’d withheld during your first meeting with him, that of a grey-robed mystic named Kylus. Gerald fingered Kylus as the one who had originally hired the Stormcrows, and he told you the wizard had secured a room at an Inn called ‘The Red Rooster’.

Regrouped, you descended upon the inn, led by Rinaldo’s henchmen, Rarder and Eonwic, both of whom were familiar with both the inn and its proprietor, the hot-tempered, Magden Tyr. Magden was a no-nonsense woman, whom was indeed possessed both of a fierce attitude, but an equally a kind heart as demonstrated by her concerned over the recent absence much closer to herself, that of her young ward, a girl whom had been in her care until she too had gone missing.

Thus, you found Magden, anxious to help and she confirmed what Gerald had claimed, that Kylus had, and was still renting a room, and, Magden also confided that it had been over a week since anyone had seen the grey mage. Furthermore, Magden had not bothered with the room, for Kylus had made it clear the he was ‘very’ private and he had paid a month in advance. Still, she wouldn’t be a party to any of the recent crimes, and if Kylus might be involved, Magden wasn’t about to let him hideout at the Red Rooster. And even if he wasn’t involved, it was Magden’s firm opinion that the ‘strange old bird’, might very well know something about what happened to Aurelia (Magden’s own missing ward). She gave you her leave to open his room, agreeing to let you in to investigate his room. As the venture went forward, and it was easy to see why the Red Rooster was well-spoken of, the inn was extremely clean and well-kept, a fact Allison quietly perceived, realizing that the inn must have a minor magical ward that repels offensive odors, from those mundane sources of fetor such as the adjacent stable, the town’s sewer, and the nearby riverfront district. Kylus’s chambers were up on the third floor, up two flights of steps and at the end of a long hall. Magden being a good hostess, filled you more gaps on the way up.

“Those Stormcrows were strange birds too, but they were clean and polite to the staff, and Kylus, took care of their bills too, and he paid for everything.” She pauses for a beat and then adds, “But as I said, I haven’t seen him since just after them Stormcrows left, and no one has seen him for over a week. And, as you can see the door to his room is still locked.”

“Not that he was anything to look at—just a man, not really large or small, but he didn’t wash enough, and his black mop was always greasy, a gloomy sort of fellah, all in gray.”

So, it must have been the inn’s wards that prevented anyone from noticing the overwhelming stench contained inside Kylus’s room, for after picking the lock, you were hit full-on with the fetor of decay. Seated there in a chair before a small table, sat a dried corpse in gray robes, its head grotesquely deflated, sagging forward; its chin is resting upon its chest, and atop the skull, you spied four jagged holes, as if something had burrowed through the man’s skull. They are the telltale signs of a mind flayer, and Kylus had been dead for weeks.

Finding nothing else at the inn, the day drew toward its inevitable end, and you returned to the town’s square and the Temple of Starry Night, but in the square, you chanced upon a massing of rabble-rousers.  The gathered people, no doubt counted amongst the loudest of the grumblers. They had been drawn together in the square by a charismatic dwarf named, Dergan Ironhammer, a respected smith from the Low District. He had position strategically, standing on a wooden box that was set at the foot of Baron Rindaelle’s statue, where he was bellowing to anyone who would listen. “The enemy is all around us!” He said, pointing an accusing finger at the Temple of Starry Night. Worse, Dergan claimed that the town’s watch itself was almost certainly a party to the villainy that was threatening the town. Madness had already taken root amidst the crowd, and the crowd’s rising ire was making it dangerous and unpredictable. Your party acted swiftly, countering Dergan’s arguments, and calming both the dwarf and his angry followers, and in the end, Dergan even admitted that he had felt an unnatural rage come over him seemly from out of nowhere. He described it as something squirming inside him like a wild beast gnawing upon his soul, and asked he asked to be taken into custody, leading to your introduction to the head of Hatram’s Boot’s guard, Clipper Harras.

Clipper Harras congratulated you upon your efforts in the square and explained the knew of you by reputation, due to your previous intervention against the monster in Hatram’s Boot’s square, but then the color of his conversation grew darker—Harras admitted that he and his men had been all but completely ineffectual against the recent string of kidnappings and butchery in the streets at night. Harras offer to deputize all your entire party, admitting that he hadn’t the faintest clue about what was really going on. He said, “Hatram’s Boot needs you. The trouble … It’s these vanishings, the attacks. Hells, everything . . . We don’t have the resources to deal with this, and we need someone of your capability to find out what’s going on. Will you help us?”

Of course, you all agreed, and began discussing plans to explore the sewers and you made a list of tools that might be helpful your planned exploration.

And Harras quickly agreed to provide whatever you might need, anything that was within his reach, as led you through Hatram’s Boot’s darkening streets, to the town’s stores. Suddenly, your passage was interrupted by the starkest horror you’d seen yet. This time it was not a mere tale of woe or another vague description of a crime yet unseen, rather this was something truly horrific; an attack taking place right before your very eyes. A man appeared transfixed, tentacles bursting from his body as he left a trail of bloody footprints behind him as he fled from an alley . . . A woman screams, a bloody pool spreads, as an much larger, hulking monstrosity emerges from the deeper darkness of the alley!

The hulking aberration pursues rudely; the stumbling man, unbalanced by his numerous flailing tentacles, his face, a twisted knot of pain and fear; his clutching fingers wrapped tightly around his own throat, so tight it left him drooling and choking as if he was vainly trying to strangle himself.

He moans and stumbles forward, as the larger monstrosity gives chase; it is a hybrid-thing, grafted from numerous powerful, human bodies, but not in the semblance of a man, like the golem of the Forlorn Tower, no this new monstrosity was nothing of the sort. It moved rapidly in a shuffling, helter-skelter, jerky fashion upon three sets of powerful, humanoid arms and hands, all supporting a great torso that housed a massive jaw, and upon that same torso sat a comparatively, normal-sized head from which sprang a great, massive, three-pronged tongue, and this unspeakable horror was as large horse.

Sayberion charged, but the monster grabbed him easily, slapping him aside with the oversized tongue as if he were merely a toy, and then caught and dismembered the tentacled man before your very eyes. Scattered in the back of that alley, there was a large pile of bodies, yet more names to add to the growing list victims of the Hatram’s Boot Horror. What followed was a most desperate battle that proved to be a true test of your combined mettle, and it took every one of you, all working together to defeat the monster. And in the end, you were victorious, but the battle had pressed you hard, too hard to continue any further that night, so you retired back at the Red Rooster, having acquired the necessary gear from Clipper Harras, so you would be ready to search the sewers in the morning.

That evening, as you lay resting, another mystery befalls your party. Rinaldo, who here before, despite the extreme oddness of his initial appearance among you, and the most peculiarity stories you have heard of his origins; he has never in the long months since he has joined you ever been the cause of worry. Not until this night, there in the relative safety of the inn, Rinaldo fell into a fit of profound restlessness, one from which he has yet to recover.

While everyone was interested in getting some rest, Rinaldo simply could not. At first, he bore his difficulty in silence, but that ended when he shut his eyes. Instead of falling asleep, he fell deep into some unknown abyss of the mind, wherein he found himself assailed by dreadful visions of a sort he was reluctant to describe.

As morning arrived, it was obvious to all of you that Rinaldo hadn’t slept. He was in worse shape than he had been the night before. The Hatram’s Boot Horror had almost killed him, yet here in the room he looked worse. He sat alone in a corner, quaking and shivering, pallid as a ghost, yet gleaming with perspiration, and clearly weakened by whatever he’d been enduring. So diminished was he, that it made your blood run cold just seeing him there. He seemed haunted by an infernal medley of passions, all vaguely visible through his eyes, and the thought came to more than one of you, that you were seeing into the eyes of a man whom had lost his soul.

Rinaldo’s outward form seemed unchanged, but that physicality was just a mask for the hell within. None of what you saw promoted action, this was not the furious lust of battle, nor the hate that burns like fire, only a sense of loss, loss bereft of any hope, and a vacuum filled with horror, horror that shrieked aloud in the silence. Though Rinaldo’s teeth were shut and his lips were sealed, the utter blackness of his despair was clear without any words. Initially, there was nothing to account for it, but then it occurred to you, that maybe it wasn’t what you saw, but rather what you weren’t seeing that was the cause.

For his own part, Rinaldo resisted your probing, insisting you were all worried over nothing and that no doubt he’d be fine, but soon it was even more evident that his ailment was something more serious. Perhaps, an undetected disease or a curse. And then you recognized something stranger, and less mundane than any of that. As Rinaldo struggled to his feet, and then staggered toward the open window to take in the morning’s sun, you realized that he cast no shadow. It immediately became obvious that his shadow was gone. If you live to never see such a thing again, you should be happy. For now, it would be hard to say whether it will be easier for Rinaldo to endure life without his shadow or to be forever swallowed by the darkness as he once was. There in the room, it was as if the all the weight of his long years had suddenly fell upon him. He is like a man no longer belonging to this world, and it seemed that you could see a devil leering out from his eyes as he gazes upon you.

Since then, try as he might, even with your encouragement, Rinaldo has been unable to generate a shadow of any shape or size, and without his shadow, he seems to be deprived of even the simplest of his powers. Given this newly discovered limitation, Rinaldo finally confides that over the previous night, as he shut his eyes, he realized that he was no longer alone, or rather that we are not alone.

“I was being watched, watched by many sets of eyes.”

“At first, I tried to look see them in the darkness; normally, things are clearer to me there, and for a moment I imagined that I had seen something. Now, I can’t be sure, maybe I only fancied that I’d seen something, before I could be sure, visions engulfed me…  of those nightmares we fought in the alley; that poor man staggering, transforming, the writhing tentacles and the monster that pursued him. I heard a chant:

 O friend and companion of night, thou who rejoicest in the baying of dogs and spilt blood, who hath wanderest in the midst of shades, who longest for blood and bringest terror to mortals: Gorgo, Mormo, The Thousand-faced God, looks favorably on your offering!

Other hideous monstrosities followed—Did you see the sewer grate in the alley, all the blood draining down, pouring in? . . . In the darkness, there was a disembodied eye, I swear it! And in the room, a pack of sinister men, little men with split, cloven-feet, and their master called, and he answered; BLACK ELOMIIR—Do you remember what he said to me? What he promised he would do?”

Sayberion grabbed Rinaldo, “Take courage man, what are you talking about? Who are you talking about?”

Rinaldo’s face ran blank again as he quietly repeated the name: “Elomiir, Black Elomiir! He took him; he took Ankoma . . . And now he’s gone, but he’s coming back. He’s coming for me!”

And just then, there was a knock upon the door, timid at first, and then louder, and more persistent. Still unarmored, Sayberion released Rinaldo and grabbed his sword, before rising and moving to the door. Once there, he quickly worked a latch set over the door’s peer-hole. Calmed, by what he saw, he sheathed his blade and opened the door revealing a young red-haired boyish lass, both easy on the eyes and of cheery disposition. Lifting an eye, Sayberion asked the girl why she was there.

The girl was Magden’s daughter, Wendy. Pardoning her intrusion, she announced that your party had a visitor waiting downstairs in the common room. Quickly gathering yourselves, you sent Brand and Karis as envoys. They find a young runner waiting in the common room, a boy of dark complexion. The boy says, “Gerald Roy, has sent me to fetch you. He says he found something you should see, something he found last night.”

Finding that the boy knows nothing more himself, Brand and Karis agreed to follow the boy back to Gerald Roy, well knowing that the scoundrel’s lair was not very far from the Red Rooster. As the pair arrive they find Gerald seated at study wooden table feasting upon breakfast of hen and biscuits, both drowned in a thick gravy, and as he washes it down with an equally heavy ale, Gerald invites them both to join his repast. Gerald looks-like he’s been up all-night, which he probably had been.

Gerald says, “I’ve been following-up on our conversation, and I had some of my men searching out the entrances to the sewers, but they didn’t get far before they found something I’d call queer. Something new, that wasn’t there before. And, I thought I ought to tell you about it before you go out there; which I’ll do on credit, seeing as we’ve established an understanding, but I’ll expect a cut on anything good that comes of what I’m about to tell you . . .  Do we have a deal?”   

Condition accepted, Gerald led the pair to the edge of Hatram’s Boot, where despite some initial protests, the envoys follow the smuggler out of the town, satisfied by his promises that they won’t be going far.

“It’s just short trek off-road, some ways through some shrubs and trees to the top of an embankment.”

At which point the stench had begun to fill the air, easily identified as the warming smell of raw sewage. Some little ways further, at the foot of the embankment, and about twenty-feet below they spied a rough-hewn, wood-lined canal which serviced a slow-flowing, befouled, waterway. And, a short way beyond that, at the point where the canal emerged from the underground sewer, seated within the sewer’s disgusting discharge, they came across a non-functioning bot. A robot, of a unique-looking, hybrid design, being of medium size. Larger than a man, but not much, was sitting there inert within the canal’s slow-moving, fell-smelling, sludge. It was likely damaged and at least for the time-being, it was in stasis.

Upon further examination, Karis determined that the robot’s study design and accouterments suggested that it was likely a defense-bot. One of sort developed to defend its owner from attack built to interpose itself into the line of fire for its master. Karis said it was half-sentinel and half-service bot, and a design of both human and Thuu Marth technology. Neither Karis or Brand could find anything that helped them determine how or why it had come to be there, but other than obvious immobility, Karis found few signs of actual damage, other than a missing power source.

Examining the robot Karis explained, “Service robots are built to deal with human needs, and are equipped with the tools needed to fulfill their role. For example, (pointing to the downed bot’s shoulder) this is a shield generator; meaning, this bot is built for defense. Whereas a domestic robot works as a general housekeeper, and would be equipped with cleaning instruments. And this, (he adds, pointing out a hidden compartment) houses tools for basic repairs. In fact, there are still some very workable tools here, and with a little work and some elbow-grease . . . I think I might be able to get this rust-bucket running— given those extra batteries we recovered back at the Red Keep.”

Raven’s Keep: A Surfeit of Ghouls

20 Gersmoan 57234

As related by Allesson

AllessonI am a bard, but most bards travel, and in Raven’s Keep there was nowhere to go, those who leave are most often exiled like Jack Girth, John Raven, and Arcturus Rann. Bards are also professional story tellers, verse-makers and music composers, employed by a patron, to commemorate one or more of the patron’s ancestors, mine then is Raven’s Keep, but I don’t want to write histories about the city, those living there are pleased enough with themselves as it is, and the really exciting people, the leaders have already gone. It is my turn now and that’s why I’m here.

Now, specifically, I would class myself a lower class of poet, contrasting greatly with the great names of legend. For example, playwright William Shakespeare, and composer of devotional poetry and songs Rabindranth Tagore, they known as “the Bard of Avon” and “the Bard of Bengal” respectively, or Lord Mendel, who is the greatest of the Lords of Klarn or as they’re better known the Lords of Mendelland, after that great bard. And so I thought I have long hoped that I too might someday be great. After all, my training has been impeccable, and I have had lifetimes of study, with all known knowledge available at my fingertips, and in Raven’s Keep that means more than it might in other places; in Raven’s Keep you learn to ask new questions like, what makes you who you are?

That’s what happens when you can change your body, your mind, and you relationships like your clothes. Imagine living in a city where all of those things are negotiable. The limits of your body no longer apply, you are what and whoever you want to be, and on top of that we are immortal. It is enough to drive you mad, and for many of us it did.

The worst of them is Blern; at least if there is anyone worse, I don’t want to meet them. They say he suffers from a delusional disorder. When he was exiled, nothing and no one seemed entirely real to him. He decided that the world was whatever he would make of it, and he felt trapped by it; it was his keeper and since nobody else in it was real, it didn’t matter what he did to escape. There was conflict–an accident–his family, his friends, all gone, dead, and he was damaged beyond repair. He needed to wear special equipment to keep him alive; he was what he sought to become, the living death. His mere presence could kill you, and so he was sent away. Since then, his name has gained new meaning in Raven’s Keep, a word of gibberish that can be substituted with any other word, referring to nothing and anything at all at the same time with equal specificity, like going out and blerning yourself.

He was the first exile, but he was sent out into the old dead world, the place we called the Wildlands. But, he was happy to go; he wanted to leave. He wanted solitude, at least that’s what we were led to believe; that is what we’ve been told, but that was before. Now, I have encountered the man myself and I can tell you, he is a stranger man with stranger purpose than that.

Unfortunately, in the wilderness Blern was not alone, and he discovered that his very presence had become corrupting. Over time he used that fact to form his own tribe, a group he named the Friends of Entropy. They became an army of violent thugs that harassed, intimidated, and terrorized the good folk of the frozen north of this world, Naessa. Among them, this Raven Keep’s outcast became a leader, and they called him Blern the Stranger, a force of chaos and great power filled with deadly purpose. While I was briefly imprisoned among them, I overheard a strange claim. They said they want to end all life on Naessa and to destroy all the technology we brought with us from Raven’s Keep, but that didn’t stop Blern from collecting our technology and equipping his growing army with our technological marvels. One can’t help but wonder if he succeeds, having destroyed all other life of the time, will they turn their weapons upon themselves or will they instead turn their wrath upon Raven’s Keep itself.

The Red Death (as they are also now known) can be identified by black uniforms that cover their bodies, and the varied masks that hide their faces. Calling themselves the ‘Red Death,’ they have now embarked upon their stated goal to bring about the end of all life, and I believe in time, the cessation of Raven’s Keep. Blern is especially interested in destroying all equipment of robotic nature. Theirs is a nomadic society, and they are now traveling southward across the land in small groups, spying out populated areas to raid or attack, and whenever possible, they steal babies both humans and otherwise, intent on raising them up to bolster their numbers and to prepare a second generation of the Red Death should it prove necessary. Their signal consists of cleaning the blade of a dagger with a cloth, until that cloth turns red with blood, then thrusting the dagger through it.

I have escaped that I might tell you this; they are waiting for you now, outside beyond this dungeon, but they have not yet approached the house itself. They have their own reasons to stay clear of T’yog who is much feared in these parts; then too, while I was with them, they encountered fearless hog-faced brutes as they approached the Devil’s House, and those beasts have added to their distrust. I escaped in the chaos of one of their attacks. Of course, I headed in the only direction that I knew they wouldn’t follow, to the Devil’s House itself.

When I arrived, I found the place in disarray. The main gate to the courtyard had been ripped from its moorings, and in courtyard there lay a mauled hulk, the body of a great beast; it had been skinned and beheaded, injures beyond the capacity of the great wolves that had set upon the body. Those wolves, as well fed as they were, didn’t hesitate to turn their ire upon me. I took cover in the nearby tower that waited just to the right of the broken gate where the tower door was hanging ajar.

This interior of that chamber was another bloody scene of overturned furnishing and alchemical sundries, no more comforting than the courtyard itself, and with the wolves still on my heels, I made for the stairs, but there too, my way was cut-short . . . Above me snarled a great black hound, sleek, with burning embers for eyes. I stood frozen as it leapt over me knocking me back down to the floor of the entry, but it wasn’t after me; instead it attacked the wolves. The wolves held their ground for a moment, but before long it was evident that they were no match for the hound and they turned and fled. The black hound gave chase, and with the courtyard suddenly cleared, I made my way to the main house. The main doors there were also gone. Scattered remnants of the courtyard’s gate lay on the ground near the entry, but that too had been knocked aside. Stepping over the rubble, I made my way inside and everywhere I looked there were signs of struggle.

Not knowing how long I might have, I determined to find any shelter that might avail itself to me and I suppose I was following the trail you had all had left behind. It led me to down a narrow hall to the right of the entry, and from there to an open black door beyond which waited a descending stair. I descended quickly until the stairway ended in a large circular room that smelled strongly of rot and old earth. The air was moist, and slime coated the walls; there were scattered debris, old pieces of wood and patches of congealed mold clinging in clumps to the room’s curving wall. In the center of the room waited a large open pit, but the floor of the chamber was also littered with the bodies of several very large, hairy-bodied spiders; thankfully all lying dead on their backs, their legs curled in death-rigor above them. There was a rope tied off from one of two great iron wheels that were embedded in the room’s stony wall, the other end hanging down the open pit. Given the circumstances, the rope was the most inviting item in the chamber, and so without further deliberation I took the rope in my free hand and I began to descend. Immediately, I noticed the ropes manufacture, clearly it was from home, and I realized that whoever had set it was likely another survivor from Raven’s Keep or failing that, at least likely to be human.

Still holding the rope, I dropped about five body lengths, as I did I began to notice that I was being watched. Strange globes, had presented themselves, they were the size of oranges, slime-covered like the rest of the wall, but eyes none the less; they were embedded in the wall of the pit; they looked like the eyes of monstrous beasts. They were will hidden, but I could see them as they popped open. As I slid by, they glared at me from a variety of positions in the well and they followed my every move, but already the walls of the dank pit fell away opening in the center of the ceiling of a much larger, water-filled chamber below. There was no solid ground, only the dark water, and it of questionable depth, but the rope had already been stretched out diagonally crossing the room and extending through the room’s only visible breech, an egress leading to a rising stair. The air of the chamber was rank, but there was no choice, I had to continue my descent, but the rope went slack and I dropped into the dark water below. That is when the others heard me, as I splashed into the water.

As I mentioned, I am a bard, and party to that I have always been a collector of antiquities: books, lore and artifacts . . . Things not often appreciated in Raven’s Keep. Of course, upon their approach, I recognized Sayberion and Nyssa immediately and I quickly surmised the identities of Halbrandir and Ankoma, but I did not then, nor do I now recognize you, by anything other than reputation, and by that I mean the legend of the changelings; a race engineered by Blern, another of his subterfuges intended to defeat and replace the ruling family of the city. I had believed you all destroyed in the wake of Blern’s exile. In ancient times, it was the Bards that were the keepers of tradition, the memory of the tribe – and we have been the custodians of knowledge; as Bard, a poet and storyteller, one who has trained in a Bardic college. I recognized you when I saw you, but how you have survived I do not know. In time, we shall have to come to terms with that, but for now I will tell you about what you have missed in your delirium.

As a Bard, I chose to nurture my ability, storytelling is what I do, and in the telling perhaps we can learn more together. Now, I can tell you about the basic nature of these catacombs. The true entry to this place was a portcullis blocked archway; it stood ominously waiting before us as I met the others, and there were two large statues, one on either side of the entry, and a methodical thudding, together with the clicking of gears which poorly masked the deep sounds of echoing anguish, the cries of the torture leaking through from somewhere deeper in the necropolis that waited beyond the archway.

statue-male-egyptianstatue-female-egyptianThere was also a sickening, mephitic blast of queer aspect, stale, fell, noxious, like the air of a befouled, ancient tomb only much worse. The chamber was large and tall, cone-shaped, and highlighted by the two tall ancient statues; one was male and the other was female, both portrayed wearing strange, but like attire, Egyptian attire if I am not mistaken, and I believe the statues represented the builders of these halls, ancient halls, with ancient secrets, not often visited, yet clearly occupied, yet by whom I wonder?

Our meeting was interrupted by a hail of javelins, a trap, well sprung at the same time as the drop of a half-dozen heavy, slicing, bladed pendulums that blocked the arch before us, and the appearance of other monstrosities. They emerged from behind the statues and they attacked–ghasts and other more ghoulish, dog-like hybrids of equally foul demeanor; those were even more hideously malformed, corpse-like aberrations with a crooked spines and bent limbs wrapped with thick folds of skin or sinewy muscle. Their hairless, gray-green bodies were covered with eruptions of large, swollen pustules. They were groaning, perhaps in pain, perhaps in hunger, and as they came at us they began snapping, oversized jaws like rabid dogs.

We fought our way through them in a hurried battle that was both brief and disgusting. The boils of the dog-like ghouls exploded as we struck them squirting out secretions of burning pus. After we destroyed the monsters we gathered at the portcullis, and working together we managed to raise it, but having no way to fix the gate we had to let it fall behind us and proceed.

We found that we had entered a vast expanse of dark corridors. Admittedly, my arrival had been the cause of some strife; the gnoll, Ankoma, in particular was notably irritated by my presence and uncomfortable with my arrival, but just as I had recognized the other members of your party, I too was recognized by them, and so by them at least, I was quickly accepted, and wherein I was not, Brand quieted the more bestial gnoll speaking out on my behalf. I had never imaged the gnolls would be as intimidating as your Ankoma certainly is; he is large, powerful and strong and he had dressed himself in the head of the dead owlbear I had encountered in the courtyard. And that was where I met you. You were slung over the gnoll’s shoulders; he was mindlessly carrying you as if you weighed nothing at all. He had tied you off like an unwieldy, fleshy cape or captured prey I couldn’t tell which, but you seemed to be in the midst of a fevered dream. Behind your closed lids, your eyes were busy, rapidly darting from side-to-side and your lips were mouthing unspoken words, as if your vocal cords were clumsily groping for sounds that never came. As you struggled I caught glimpses of thought, idle telepathic whispering . . . mumbles about floating polyps, and visions of an alien vista built upon the corpse of a dead god. As interesting as this was, my examination of you came to an end as we found a hole in the wall of one of the corridors.

We had been following the sounds of misery through the maze of halls, a task made more difficult due to the ever present echoes, even so judging by volume, we were drawn in by a noisome snarl of toppled scaffolding and broken shelves that lay on either side of a large gaping hole. Miscellaneous tools were also lying scattered across the floor. Extensive damage had occurred at the collapsed southern wall, creating the large hole, and provided egress to a much larger natural cavern beyond. Shards of rubble were poking through from the other side which was also the source of the cries of torment. Moans and shrieks echoed as a mob of hideous undead brutally beat helpless victims and hurled them headlong into a gaping pit. A few victims struggled vainly, but to no avail. Their merciless assailants bore into them that much harder, first dragging them and then kicking them into the chasm. In the pit, the victims were barely moving; they weakly stared from blank sunken eyes as their fate was inflicted upon them. Without hesitation we rushed the pit, as those pitiful wretches writhed in feverish delusions as death took hold and was ripped away. Struggling to maintain coherence, I saw one poor dying farmer almost make it out, before another one of the monsters kicked him in the face sending him sprawling back into the mass of churning bodies waiting below.

pit-churning-bodiesAnd so, another larger battle began against the undead things that guarded the chambers here, but like those other before, they seemed ill-prepared for such a competent team of combatants as we. The fighting ire of Raven’s Keep had been raised, and was on display as we mauled them, a task made easy after Sayberion rebuked them, sending all but one of them scurrying to the far side of the chamber, where Nyssa could pick them off individually, setting them aflame one-by-one with burning bolts of fire.

We tried to execute a rescue, but the victims were too far gone, a fact made clear by one of the victims who yelled:

village-victim“Away with Ye … I know who you are, and what you brung. You are devils, devils and worse. You’re no better than the monsters that came after Ye. Rydalka is dead; my folks is dead … dead as this pit, deader! And yer friends were looking fer you, the Monster in the Mask, hims what with the blue glowing eyes. They kilt everyone, everyone they could catch, but the old ones they couldn’t get away. They was tortured and they died slow. It was you he wanted, you he was looking for. The ole ones didn’t know, and they died for nothing.

Those who knew you, they died first; Swayne died fighting, and Trella, she was burnt in her hut. I heard her screams as we left, but that wasn’t the end of it. They all had masks, but the one in black robes, with the white mask, the NOSTS, they wanted the BODIES TOO!

Arnthrud and Yrsa were lucky, they died in the wilds, the rest of us, anyone captured was thrown in here … And it is all your doing. AND NOW IT’S MY TURN!”

We were forced to kill them all after the boy attacked us. The pit had changed him like the others. It was as if the pit transformed them into evil manifestations of themselves. After the victims had been put to rest we searched the chamber, and searching for magic, Nyssa found a discarded stone scarab that held an enchantment. She gathered the stone up and then we moved on.

glowing-fountainUntil the corridor split in three directions; to the south the passage formed an alcove with a strange but beautiful glowing fountain. Water spilled from the center of the fountain, pouring out from beneath what looked like a large eye into a large stone basin.

And there was a west passage, blocked by a reinforced wooden door emblazoned with a strange incantation, and to the east a massive ten-foot-square slab of solid granite rests in a wheeled track permitting it to slide left or right to allow or deny access to the northern hallway; it was slightly ajar.

The inscription read:

Si un homme meurt, peut-il revivre?
Tous les jours de mon temps j’attendrais, jusqu’à ce que mon état vînt à changer.

 Given my training I was able to attempt a translation the archaic script, loosely stated it read: ‘If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, until my change comes.’

With the others prompting I gave voice to the inscription and the door opened. Past the door the hall extended another 50 feet before a chamber was revealed. Thick iron chains lined the interior walls of a T-shaped room, linked, and they are welded into a single, massive candelabrum, twisted branches of symmetrically positioned blackened chain. There were scores of half-burnt candles hanging there. Within the confined space the air was stifling with greasy soot and the unbearable scent of rotting flesh. An oversized granite altar served as the room’s centerpiece, behind which, in a rounded alcove sat a beautifully crafted statue of a nearly naked man of good-physique and bearded face seated upon an anvil. I believed it to be a representation to the Roman god Mulciber, the celestial artist, the son of Jupiter and Juno. He was considered as the manufacturer of art, arms, iron, jewelry and armor for various gods and heroes. And, at the far end of the room, there was a slightly raised dais holding several long knives, a glass alembic, and six bisected skulls filled with strange, putrescent powders, and a scroll tube. In truth, we were all so distracted by the scene, and perhaps, already made too inert to the smell of decay to realize our danger.

hulking-bruteHiding behind the alter, a hulking brute lied in wait, a colossal, barbaric, blasphemy with glaring red eyes suddenly emerged; it wielded a massive axe easily in its left, bony, yet obviously powerful claw. The thing had at one time been a man, it was clearly similar to the other mountain-dwellers we had met, but he was no longer truly alive. He licked parched, dead lips appraising us like we were fattened prey, and he the famished beast. His mere presence filled me with an unwelcome dread – his features were dog-like, pointed ears, bloodshot eyes, flat nose, and drolly lips, and the thought of those jaws closing upon my throat were enough to drive me to madness, but Sayberion cut the distance between us and imposed himself between me and that monster, and then the others closed in upon him. The monster didn’t survive our press; powerful as it was, it fell under the storm of blows that followed and afterwards Ankoma took the monster’s axe.

Now, all of us being in need of rest, we settled in. We have conducted a thorough search and among the implements stored in the chamber we have found a scroll tube and a parchment. The parchment reads thus:

‘The essential Salts of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole catalog of zoological representation in his own Study, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the like Method from the essential Salts of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestor from the Dust where into his Body hath been incinerated.’

foul-smelling-serumAnd then to there is the serum, it is a foul smelling concoction, an odor so dense as not to be masked by any amount of herbs, and it is a wickedly, thick, veiny, evil-looking, greenish brew that is more likely to make one ill than to do anyone any earthly good.

Prophecy: Episode Thirty-Four: The Chornicles of Klarn: The Darkness Shall Be Overcome

Episode Thirty-Four: The Chornicles of Klarn: The Darkness Shall Be Overcome
( 5/13/06)

[Featuring Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smitty, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

From the Journal of Aerdaluna

6 Planting 592

Last night was horrific. The evening went from bad to worse. After we climbed out of the hole we considered resting somewhere. The general consensus was to continue on as Sapphire might not survive the night.

We continued to look for where they may be keeping her prisoner. In our investigation of the buildings, we encountered two other beings that gave us pause.

The first creature nearly killed us, however, as it was a powerful creature of immense darkness. It would appear and then disappear and when there was not completely there. It flowed around us as a darkness, imperceptible, then striking sapping our very life forces. It stalked us in the night as if we were food in the say that a cat will play with mice before feasting on them.

It was able to exert its huge alien mind upon some of my lesser companions, in particular, it confused Smokey who alternatively would attack whoever was near him or would wander in a daze. The creature’s powers were vast as I was unable to easily dispel the magical compulsion it had placed on Smokey. We were forced to wait it out and to protect ourselves from him, I held him in place with my own magics.

While I focused on restraining Smokey, Lorel had moved into a position where he was able to get a few shots off at the creature. The Bow of Corellon was fully able to affect the shadowy creature of night even as it stalked us. Between that and the few lucky blows that Silent Pete, Smitty and the others made on it, we were able to discorporate it.

The next was one of the head monks, now a vampire. He challenged Silent Pete to single combat. In exchange he promised to give us a clue as to where to find Sapphire. Silent Pete agreed and while he leapt to the rafters to fight the unholy creature and while it was distracted by writing down its clue, Lorel and I gave each other knowing glances. We destroyed him as soon as Silent Pete had maneuvered him into a more accessible position and had removed the amulet from his neck to which he had tied the clue.

The clue, “xyz” led us to consider that perhaps we needed to navigate the winding trail that we had first seen when we lodged in the hut that the monks had first put us in. At the end of the trail was a huge stone building.

 

Supporting Cast

The Silent Companions

Cicily Green

Treasure

Smokey

Charley

Nebula

Night

Villians

Nightstalker

Morel? (Vampiric Monk)

Experience Gained

4800 xp

Treasure Gained

maybe

Equal Share = ?? gp

 

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-Four: The Chornicles of Klarn: Family Business

Episode Fourty-Four: The Chornicles of Klarn: Family Business
(3/16/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Hal) HalWithPlactery_sm.jpg

Setup camp, fended off vampiric squirels and fang dragon

Got to town, saved a few townspeople, but not all.

Fought Locke, Melina and an apparently golemified Tuvok.

Giants killed a red dragon and scared away a few other miscreants.

Encountered Pandora who talked with Hal about stuff

Pandora´s other child, Tobias joins our party

Serenity asks some questions and uses his powers to put things together
to reveal what Tobias’s plans really are.

 

Supporting Cast

Sapphire

Simberius

Cicily

 

Villians

Fang dragon

Shadow Squirels

Locke

Melina

Tuvok

Red dragon

 

Experience Gained

6000 xp

Treasure Gained

  • Bracers of AC +4 (Vercinibex)
  • Kukri +2 (Seren’Arty)
  • Amulet of Health +4 (Lu Fang)
  • +2 (Large) scalemail (proof against transmutation) (bag)
  • +4 (Large) greataxe (giant)
  • Green Ring of Dragons (Cicily)
  • Ring of Telekinesis (Seren’arty)
  • Cloak of Turn Resistance (Jack)
  • staff (evil) (bag)
  • Wand of Vampiric Touch (33 charges) (Jack)
  • screaming bolts (Seren’arty)
  • jewelry (tbd)

 

Equal Share = ? gp

 

Prophecy: Episode Twenty-Six: The Chornicles of Klarn: Hell of the Hungry Dragons

Episode Twenty-Six: The Chornicles of Klarn: Hell of the Hungry Dragons (11/10/05)

[Featuring Lorel, Hal,
Silent Pete, Jack, Smitty,
and Serenity, and reintroducing
Aerdaluna, and guest staring
Moondrop, Freya, the Silent Companions, and the virgin maidens]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

 

Tried to give the sword back. Found Aerdaluna. Mistress Kano stole it again.
Fought animated statues and Tun Mi Lung, barely escaped. Saved Mistress Kano.
Also saved a Kender and Lu-fang Jin.

Seer channelled by Cicily Green.

Let the moon beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
To where Lords who rule all things in light and darkness the unseen
I’ve traversed the planes where fate has sent me.
Traveled through both time and space, to be where I must be.

In my thoughts I have seen ringed islands in a dream,
And the faces of those for whom I’ve been looking.
With a boy I don’t know whose eyes glisten like gold,
And with purpose untold come to lead them.

Near the still by firelight and purple moonlight
Where I hear the rested river’s call–the wind is crying,
From a love that never grows cold
And a Pirate’s tale that has never been told.

Beneath a dark stain on this horizon,
Set under a black orb that hides the sun.
Carry with you your swords and clean understanding,
Be wary of the dark orb and claw rending.

Your forgotten guides lies upon your road
To clear the shadows from your souls
Two paths you can go by and in the long run both meet and become one,
But there’s no way to change the road you’re on.

So when your path is clear to you tomorrow,
Heed my words and keep faith in me,
It’s to your destiny he has taken you,
To where what is to be I say must be.

“Quickly now boy to my hands!”

Greetings to you son of Draco.

Who would expect the fate of so many in the hands of one so young?
You don’t remember your parents, heir to the past realize the weight upon you!
It leads you to a spiritual divide.
To succeed you must strengthen your virtues and seek that which is best within
you.
You have purpose here, you body is young but your spirit is old.
Are you not weary of moving from body to body, never achieving your goal?
The world is waiting for you, balanced in black and white for you eye of the
storm.
The soul of the dragon can never truly be contained–chaos erupts at its very
core.
Enduring destroyers of the modern world shadows rising to destroy again!

Above all the very essence of magic is free–its form undetermined, flexible,
Your spirit embattled, forged to bring you to this point.
Are you prepared for your destiny?

 

Supporting Cast

Smokey

Charley

The Silent Companions

Freya

Arty (animated by Serenity)

Three young, beautiful
virgin
women

Villians

Tun Mi Lung

Tun Mi Lung’s animated statues

Experience Gained

4000 xp

Treasure Gained

nope

Equal Share = ?? gp

 

Prophecy: Episode Twenty-Three: The Chronicles of Klarn: Mistress Sandman, Send Me A Dream

Episode Twenty-Three: The Chronicles of Klarn: Mistress Sandman, Send Me A Dream
(8/3/05)

[Featuring Serenity]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Serenity)

I can’t tell how long I was out for, but slowly my thoughts return to me. As the cobwebs clear from my mind a vision passes before my eyes. I see a gaunt man that looks a little like Peter though his face has sharp angled features and rough sun-darkened skin. His arms and legs are bound though he doesn’t seem to mind. Another man reaches out a hand to touch the gaunt man’s brow. The new man is made of stone and metal and wood. They speak to each other but I cannot hear what they say. They part from each other and slowly fade from view though a hazy image remains in the back of my mind. i can tell these are pawns that my mind has naturally reached out to. It is strange that their names were not revealed to me as usual.

I open my eyes. The room looks the same as before except that the chair where Flaxbottom has been filled with a new individual. He appears to be a dwarf, though in the dim light it is hard to determine for sure. Behind me I can feel a presence and I notice a slight movement in the shadows. My arms and legs are still bound to the chair so I feign unconsciousness.

A woman’s voice hisses in my ear, “Fool, do not feign unconsciousness, I have wakened you for a purpose.” The voice is familiar, but I cannot place it. My skin shivers, whether from the heat of her breath on my cold skin or from some half-formed memory I do not know.

She continues, “Do not cry out or we are both dead. Do you understand?”

I consider my options and nod my head.

“I warn you one last time before revealing myself. Should you cry out, those who eat the mind will return and feast on both our liquefied brains.” As she says this she steps around into the dim light.

As before she is beautiful except for the thing of chaos that replaces her left wrist and hand. It is The Blessed, the woman who had slain Iris! I almost cry out, but my control is sufficient to whisper, “What do you want foul murderess?”

She scowls and with a scoff replies, “Simpleton, the creature who accompanied you was not killed by my simple use of brute force. It was a creature of the upper planes. I merely returned it from whence it came. Had you not attempted to foul my plans even that would not have been necessary.” I start to speak again, but she cuts me off, “Enough of the past, we must focus on the present if you wish to survive, we have only a few moments.”

I pause to let her speak. She certainly seems more lucid than she had when
last we met her.

“I will be able to send you back in a limited form to your companions. You will not be completely yourself, but your mind will be whole. Seek solidity and you will find yourself. You must bring a warning to the others.”

There is a movement at the door and the woman’s eyes fill with a panic such as I have never seen before. “Not again,” she mumbles and her eyes take on the crazed look that she had when we first fought her.

She places her hand on my forehead and whispers an arcane phrase. Then as my
vision again became hazy she whispers, “The Seer is fading from view. The
world must end. That which is unseen is not what it seems. All must be freed
from their prisons. That which is not seeming is not natural. The end is near.
The prophet speaks truth. You have a cute tush and pretty eyes today.”

I’m not sure about that last part, but I think she winked and then she fades
into the shadows. The door opens and a putrid light fills the room and shadows
dance on the wall. The smell of alchemy assaults me, the cloying acridness of
preserving fluid most predominant, as again I sink into slumber.

This time though I dream. I feel as if I am falling through many layers of feather-soft glass. Each pane reflects a different scene. Some are grand vistas of natural beauty others seeming visions of people in squalid cities and everything in between. Some are filled with humans and demihumans others with creatures I have never seen before.

The final image is of a dragon biting its own tail that grows to unbelievable size and becomes a natural unclaimed wilderness.

I am floating unable to control my movements. Remembering The Blessed’s words, I seek solidity. I feel myself move though I can not tell how or where. Slowly I feel a vertigo and there is a soft breeze flowing over my skin. I open my eyes to see a blurry image resolve itself into Hal, Lorel, and a young boy, all looking at me in stupefied wonder.

 

Prophecy: Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: A Note for Jack

Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: A Note for Jack
(6/1/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Smity, and guest
staring Freya, Arty, and Silent Pete and the Silent Companions]

Chronicles of Klarn

(Thys si Bysar os Eisalelae)

15 Tylaelael 592 TIa

Ai masaelia cali air ail ti sai caer sai tia bysar syl ail ser Ai cali
pyli mai jhylaes sal tyr jholi. Ai byri sar toraraer aelor thozol os tia
paelolaesali
sai ei teirolar 29 Vaedeil – air calol shael ei Thaedae, si aelia myr
cali shael paraer si 28r, ser sydae ter shi 3 Valol, shor shaer ailael, eir
air air poroler sai caer sas os sosti shoryr Taelaeli eil Jhelae sajol saes
var. Systysyrn shyr shi si Tysol Tyl Thaerolar shaesi Ai mor ail Taelaeli.

Ai eis tylolaer sar eir jhaer thys byrn Ai cali ver Paelaer shaendol ti. Ai
cali thys si tyr caer teiraer shaer codael. Baerdelae myr thys ti mai tia aelaesia
maer air shaer tylaelaer. Mor Ai cali aelylaesaer teiraesor shael si mydi os
shalaer Baerdelae, mes eir sor byrn. Thys sydae Ai aelylaesaer ei maedaes saelol
ei thys os maer.

Ai cali shael salaelol shaerael sai bar tylal valaer eil Ai shar maesol
thys eil eisi sai maraelia thys ei thar thyrdol volaes os aezaedolia tyr
sharaes.
Baerdelae’r mas aer volaer or ei shol vaer vaelal ail si porali. Ai mael
cos sai ailaerondrari si mar os tylys tholol sar air shar ei sholol mar shys
shia ei tyl shai shar sheria saelol maer. Si tal shar sos eil mylia, paeraer
ail ei vyl-caern vyrdi eil si mar. Ci eilai shysi caelia jhyjol taerar kalaer.
Sostaer shael paeraesari Ai syl Ai myr kaer cos calol kyrn sosaer os aerol
vardor eil si oraes ialalysia baesol Baerdelae tadesaer thys ti.

Ai thyl sar cor basti shar Cia’ Sae Mai, shor ei tolys aelalael
ci shar myl eistolardi aelyl, eil mai Ai thyl cor basti tael, Shaeras os
si Mia Pandryl
syl Ai pyr ci shyr cali syr ti car air byr shael thys si aelalael. Air maes
ci air byrn eil ailaelesaer maesal os oli Tyl Baestys.

Ai kai byrn sai mael sor Tyl tholol teiraer tes tysi ail baer os ailysarol
sal aelael vydaes meraelali. Ai pai byr thalys shael orestaesaer eil mai Ai
eis maelol sor talaesal ail maes os tia eiryloraer, Jhysaer, Car os aelael
si shai Bas ail cydaer sar si tae or shael thylyrdol tia var. Cyrn sar Ai eis
shaer eil Ai eis maejol sor Tyl shai air mar byr sai jholi thas thys sor bali
cyrn eir si vali os Vasaer.

Cestia, Eisalelae

 

Translated from the Elven…

(From the Journal of Aerdaluna)

3 Planting 592 CY

I scarcely have it in me to keep to my journal though in truth I have
done so longer than most live. I note that misdated entries fixing of my
deliverance
to a mythical 29 Readying – it having been a Freeday, the entry should
have been dated the 28th, thus today must be 3 Planting,
with best intent, as it is difficult to keep track of time without Celene and
Luna taking their paths. Tomorrow would be the Courting Moon Festival were
I still in Celene.

I am convinced that at least for now I have put Drendel behind me. I have
for the most kept myself well hidden. Nebula scouts for me so my every step
is well conceived. Still I have encountered mysteries beyond the scope of bravest
Nebula, such as this now. For today I encountered a shepherd tending a flock
of sheep.

I have been traveling between two vast mountain ranges and I was searching
for an area to safely ford a fast flowing river of exceedingly cold water.
Nebula’s sharp eyes picked out a bright red pennant in the distance.
I sent him to investigate the splash of color finding that it was a brilliant
sash worn by a monk who was busy tending sheep. The man was thick and stocky,
dressed in a rough-hewn robe and the sash. He also wore heavy looking metal
gauntlets. Times being desperate I thought I should greet him having grown
tired of eating rabbits and the other unsavory vermin Nebula captured for me.

I found that his name was Ku’ Tai Sho, with a minor enchantment
he was soon amicable enough, and so I found his name means, Betrayer of the
Sky Dragon
though I doubt he would have told me had it not been for the enchantment. It
seems he is now an indentured servant of one Count Nemours.

I go now to seek this Count finding myself much more in need of information
than even proper sustenance. I do not favor being outnumbered and so I am sending
this manservant in search of my associates, Lorel, Hal or even the boy Jack
in hopes that they may yet be following my path. Know that I am well and I
am seeking this Count who is said not to live far from this valley known as
the range of Phlarest.

Humbly, Aerdaluna

Prophecy: Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Dream a Little Dream

Episode Twenty: The Chronicles of Klarn: Dream a Little Dream
(6/1/05)

[Featuring
Lorel
, Hal & Smity, and guest
staring Freya, Arty, and Silent Pete and the Silent Companions]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Silent Pete)

I woke with a start; a chilly sweat covering my body. The dream seemed so
real.

Serenity’s eyes slowly open; they are heavy and it feels like they have
been covered with honey. He is in a mostly darkened room; the only light
coming
from tiny glowsticks on the walls and a faint hazy purple light that comes
from somewhere behind him.

His vision is blurry at first; he can see other people sitting in chairs
in the darkened room some he can see clearly others are obscured in shadow.
Quickly, however, he focuses his attention on Pan. Pan is sitting
in
a chair
like the others.
There
are
small ropes that go from the wall to his head. He has worked one of his wrists
free from the bindings that were holding his wrist to the chair arm. Pan
has a panicked look on his face. Serenity watches as Pan reaches up to the
cords
that are attached somehow to his head. Serenity wants to say something, but
he is still groggy from just waking up. Pan pulls on the cords and they rip
free from his head, taking small bits of skin with them. They look like they
have small needles at their ends.

Pan looks over at Serenity and says something, but strangely Serenity doesn’t
understand it. It sounds as if he is listening to someone speak underwater
from far away. Pan starts to work on the strap that is binding his other arm.
Serenity can see that his legs are bound to the chair as well.

Suddenly, Serenity is assaulted with an overpowering spell. It is the
smell of seaweed that has been sitting in the sun for days. Pan is looking
even more
frantic. He is looking at something behind Serenity. Pan’s attempts to loosen
his wrist turn from a focused attempt to the movements of a scared animal.
He claws at his own wrist apparently trying to dig his wrist free.

Serenity watches in horror as blood starts oozing slowly from Pan’s nose.
Tears of pain and terror are running down Pan’s face and soon they turn to
tears of blood. Pan’s struggles slow and stop as he slumps into the chair he
was trying to free himself from. Serenity notices that Pan is not breathing
any more. He can barely make out the shadow of the creature behind him.
While it is probably humanoid, the shape’s head writhes as if covered with
snakes. Again, Serenity is overwhelmed with the odor of rotting vegetation.
Serenity’s
psychic senses are slowly resolving themselves and he can also tell that the
being behind him is a strong mental force. The cords that must be piercing
his own skull start to burn and within seconds he feels sleepy again. As he
sinks back into the oblivion of unconsciousness he notices another shape moving
in
the
corner.
It is the shape of a woman with long hair and missing her left hand.

I knew that Serenity was in trouble.

After speaking to the other companions, I have found that they too have had
dreams of terror, though none as vivid and detailed as my own.

I and the other companions need to find him and free him, but where do we
start looking?