Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 17: The Vein of Veles

As episode 17 begins, the heroes have split into two parties: the newly re-embodied Baenland Guards Enya’s body in a safe storeroom of the Zobeck House of Healing while the rest of the patients run wild due to a distraction that Orlando created in order to provide the party’s escape. Meanwhile, the rest of the party traveled through Zobeck, navigated the sewers and now arrived on the outskirts of the Cartways Black market. They did this with an unconscious Vesper who was rendered inert by Zed out of fear that she harbors the Abyss Father, which apparently even the Gods fear.

The Shadows in the Market

  • Zed and Enya survey the Black market before rushing in. There are multitudes of miscreants, misfits and unsavory types (some 300 that were visible). Some are haggle in the center chamber, which served as the staging area for a once vast mining operation below the city. Multitudes of tunnels lead out into dark places from the main area where the market and the hub of the Cartways resides.
  • The cartways market was a massive shanty town which consisted of make-shift buildings and tents. Down many of the tunnels were rows of tents which served as squalid dwellings of the vagrants which consider the Cartways home.
  • Amid all of the hustling which echoed through the large chamber in a roar, Zed’s keen eyes fell upon an unusual sight. 7 -8 hood figures whos faces were hidden in the dark recess of their hoods. They were positioned in clandestine and dark corners on the outer edges of the main market area. They appeared out of place and worked a little too hard at blending in to the crowds in the market.
  • Enya also surveyed the situation, when she noticed in the north west corner of the market one of the tunnels was barricaded as if to suggest that it was unstable and unsafe to enter. It slowly opened, revealing the illusion that it was a barricade when in fact it was a secret door. Any arm reached out and siezed a nearby vagrant. Enya immediately noticed the dark skin of the shadowy figure as the unsuspecting soul was pulled into the darkness within.
  • Zed and Enya decided to investigate, with a still unconscious Vesper thrown over the shoulder of Enya’s Gearforged chassis. Prototype Seven was still tucked away in the bag of holding and this was the cartways after all and folks carrying around unconscious drunks was nothing new.

Lorill Joins the Party

  • Zed and Enya entered the hidden tunnel and instantly heard a commotion up ahead. A quick investigation revealed that two Shadow Fey were engaged in battle with a half elf thief and they decided to enter the fray and lend their aid.
  • The battle was not easy, and resulted in Lorill being rendered unconscious; however, tenacity prevailed and the Shadow Elf cleric was eventually taken down as the Warrior blew a horn which caused an earthquake in a radius of 60ft. inside the tunnel. The falling debris threatened to bury the heroes as the remaining Shadow Fey misty stepped to safety.

 

Meanwhile, Back at the Asylum

  • As Baenland scooped up the ash of the Phoenix who had just exhausted her celestial energy to return Baenland and the Widget the Midget (the Mad Magician) back to their respective bodies. When the energy was released, this pushed the phoenix into the cycle of Ash.
  • The mad magician erupted into a frenzy of speech, insisting that he must return back to the Vein of Veles to continue his experiments. He feared leaving the area in a highly unstable state as the vein itself was the intersection of a massive ley line that intersected with a doorway to the Shadow Realm. Baenland bid the gnome good riddance for he had grown weary of the gnome’s intervention into their affairs.
  • The mad magician took his leave not knowing that he was the very magician that the rest of the party was seeking out in the cartways.
  • The gnome was not gone long before the entire asylum buckled under the weight of a massive concussive blast. Baenland heard it from somewhere behind him and suddenly pin holes of light began to pierce through the room where he was waiting. Peaking out of one of the wholes revealed that an entire wing of the asylum was now in rubble, revealing the streets of zobeck beyond. The city was now under siege as the Shadow Fey Blooding had now begun; Fey of all sorts and types were overrunning the city while chaos and mayhem ensued.

The Assault on Zobeck

  • Realizing that the situation had become critical, Baenland decided that the best course of action would be to find a way to exit the Asylum and re-join his friends without destroying the lifeless body of Enya who was still in Prototype Seven’s Chassis.
  • Baenland grabbed a panicked nurse and convinced her to help locate a means to keep Enya’s body in “suspended animation”. She indicated that was such a means, but it resided in the chamber of the head Physician on the other side of the asylum, and she agreed to lead him there.
  • Baenland was forced to put down several erratic insane who were in a frenzy and threated to subvert his mission to acquire an item from the doctor’s office.
  • Reaching a stairwell that was missing the corner section of the wall, Baenland was interuppted by several Fey that had made there way into aslyum to wreak havoc, The large fey litterally removed its face to reveal a large eye where his face had been; Baenland was stunned by the horror of seeing such an atrocity.
  • He discerned that it was a Fiarsi’dhe (Fear Smith translated in common) and this battle was going to be fierce. To make matters worse, the Fear Smith was soon joined by two additional imp-like fey. Baenland’s might and valor was unwavering and he stood his ground against the beast.

City Under Siege

  • Enya, Zed, and the newest party member Lorill emerged from out of the cartways to discover that Zobeck was under siege from a massive army of Fey. Realizing how dire the situation had now become, they ran toward the aslyum, almost reaching it before a fey and her pet took notice and momentarily halted their progress to the aslyum.
  • The Blood Hag attacked Lorill, threatening to render him unconscious once again. They decided the best course of action was to continue on to find Baenland, while the Hag and her pet pursued them relentlessly.
  • Their persistence paid off and soon they party was reunited even if it was in the midst of combat.
  • The struggle was long and hard, but eventually the heroes once again prevailed.

Next Episode: The Beginning of the End

As the military might of Zobeck defends the struggling city against the Shadow Fey blooding; the heroes take a few moments to consider what to do next. Will the heroes be able to find the whereabouts of the Vein of Veles in order to find the means to reverse the affects of dimensional travel gone awry or will this prove to be a fool’s errand. Will Zobeck fall during the envasion or will the city rise and defeat that which would raze it to the ground?

Meanwhile….

The Dragon Soul seethed within him as he recalled the moment of his own betrayal by the Lord’s of War. He had wrought a betrayal of his own by handing over his kin to be trapped within the Phoenix Vessel. Believing that the Lord’s of War would honor their bargain was his gravest mistake; but one he would soon right.
The great tree was now in sight and it was none to soon for he had grown tired of this frail mortal body and longed to return to his own. He looked down at his bound phoenix captive. He could see a hatred of her own and it burned within her eyes. He could care less as he pushed her onward to the great forge which lie beneath the roots of Yggdrassil. They would all pay, every single one of them!

Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 16: Stranger Things

  • The defeat of Manus resulted in a concussive blast so powerful that the heroes found themselves hurling through dimensions. The souls of all that Manus had consumed were being released by the thousands.
  • 30 Days have passed since the heroes first entered the Bastion of the Broken; they have been unconscious for 29 days.
  • The heroes awake to discover that they are in the psyche ward of the House of healing in Zobeck.
  • Zed picked up 7 more of the souls that were released; it’s becoming quite crowded in his Halfling body.
  • Enya is now in Seven’s Chassis, while Seven is once again in the Prototype Seven Doll.
  • Vesper’s Wolf Brother is now a man (very hairy), while Vesper seems to have suffered no after-affects at all, except an unusual predilection toward the Phoenix and throngs of dying birds every time she nears a window.
  • Baenland is now a gnome and Exon is half goat.
  • Guild-master Orlando pays the party a visit and agrees to orchestrate their release, providing a distraction by opening the doors on all of the room on this ward. While the insane run wild, the heroes made their exit.
  • The bodies of Baenland and Enya were being sustained by a magical force that resides in the house of healing; the discovered if the bodies are moved, the suspended animation fails and the bodies begin to die. This caused Baenland to stay behind to watch over the bodies until the others bring back a “cure” for their afflictions. Well there was that and the matter of him not wanting to be seen as a gnome!
  • The heroes now all but sure that Manus, the Father of the Abyss was not killed during the Battle in the Profaned Temple; rather, he hitched a ride to Midgard by using Vesper as a host.
  • Vesper was drawn to one of the Phoenix’s who was found to also be a “patient” in the house of healing. Zed jumped into action to prevent this, by rendering Vesper unconscious.
    While Baenland guards the bodies in a safe storage room, The rest of the party ventures through Zobeck (with an unconscious Vesper in tow) to the sewers below Zobeck and eventually arrive at the Cartways Black Market. The black-market is a shanty town of Misfits, miscreants, and the generally socially unacceptable topside and is run y criminals of all types.
  • Meanwhile, during the mayhem of pyschiatric patients running wild in the Asylum, the Phoenix arrives at the room where Baenland is hiding out. She opens the door and releases her celestial energies-ripping Baenland out of the body of the gnome and returning him to his body. The former gnome body that he occupied now also contains it’s rightful owner. He introduced himself as Widget the Midget, otherwise known as “the mad magician” and he was glad to be free of the abyss.

Next Episode: The Vein of Veles

Will the heroes discover a means to return them to “normal” (whatever that means for this lot), before they are discovered missing in all of the mayhem?

Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 15: Legacy of the Betrayer, Conclusion

Previously, in the Phoenix Odyssey 5e Campaign: All of Zobeck’s gearforged have been rendered into a coma-like state. The heroes knew it was the plan of the King of Hate in collusion with Shadow Fey to transplate the original souls in the soul gems with those of disembodied spirits that wander the Shadow Roads. After consulting with Priestess Lena of the Temple of Rava, the disclosed the long-hidden secret of the King of Hate or the Betrayer as he was first known. After withdrawing the blade that pierced the betrayers heart (soul gem), the heroes became recipients of the same curse which bound the betrayer and were transported to the Bastion of the Broken, the true location of the Betrayer’s exile.
The heroes have slogged through the depths of the Bastion of the Broken and arrived at the Temple of the Profaned only to be ambushed by other Prototype Gearforged. After defeating them, out of the swirling morass of abyss that completely engulfed the ceiling of the chapel, there emerged a massive being who called himself: Manus, the Father of the Abyss.

An Indecent Proposal

  • Manus spoke in a raspy whisper and as he spoke, the heroes realized that he wasn’t truly speaking with words; rather, he was speaking directly into their minds.
  • Manus: “We have noted thy effort, and concede that thou art resourceful and tenacious. Perhaps we shall not consume thee, but instead present thee with a choice.”
  • Manus then offered his proposal in return for allowing him to take one of the party as a temporary host and thus finding passage out of the Bastion of the Broken, he would not consume the heroes and offer them the power to slay the gods.
  • Manus was full of great boasts and believed that all of the God’s of Midgard were vile posers were all destined to be consumed by the abyss.
  • No small deliberation ensued among the heroes, but as they debated the proposal, his abyssal tendrils began to consume the entire temple.
  • Prototype Seven produced the blade of the Abyss that had originally pierced the heart of the betrayer. It could be seen that this played was altered and was a fusion of both the radiant energies of Rava and the dark energies of the Abyss. Calling upon the might of Rava, Seven was able to channel enough divine energy through the blade to reveal that everything they thought they saw was mere illusion and they were completely surrounded by the abyss; perhaps even somewhere deep within it.
  • The Mighty Rangeress Eyna, having a very unique sensitivity to other-wordly portals, discerned that each of the eyes of Manus were in fact gateways to other worlds and they bubbling pool of abyss that formerly resided on the illusionary altar, was yet another portal which possibly led somewhere deep within the Shadow Roads.
  • The proposal of Manus to take one of the heroes as a temporary host was a terrifying notion only rivaled by the revelation that his new intended host was none other than the phoenix.
  • This was all that the heroes needed to hear, before bravery and bravado took over, causing each of them to leap into action.

The Struggle

  • Prototype Seven leapt right into the swirling abyss that spanned the full length of the temple ceiling; he was able to grasp the form of Manus and attack. Manus appeared to have the ability to shape the abyss at will and the entire mass above them turned into razor sharp spikes, as gravity reversed and most of the heroes were impaled upon them before once again falling to the ground.
  • The battle was intense, yet the heroes risked all to prevent Manus’ diabolical plan from coming to fruition.
    Suddenly, after much struggle, the tide of battle turned and the abyss that masked Manus’ true form began to break apart; eventually it was destroyed.

The Conclusion

  • The defeat of Manus resulted in a concussive blast so powerful that the heroes found themselves hurling through dimensions. The souls of all that Manus had consumed were being released by the thousands.
  • Zed was the first to awaken. He found himself lying in a recovery bed, and attendant nearby. Asking the attendant where he was and how he got there, he was shocked to discover that his voice sounded as a woman! To his horror, he spoke with several new voices and the reality set in; he had now acquired Seven additional personalities, suggesting that some of the souls who were released from Manus had attached to him as he was hurled out of the Bastion of the Broken.
  • Enya was the next waken, only to discover that she was somehow in Prototype Seven’s Chassis. What madness is this?
  • Vesper woke next and immediately inquired of her wolf brother Bane; He now had the form of a man, (al be it a somewhat hairy man; but a man none the less. He spoke rapidly and just as excitedly as Vesper.
  • Vesper, seemed strangely unaffected by the travel through dimensions; yet she also did not feel quite herself. Before she knew what she ways saying, she blurted out: “We really need to find the Phoenix!” A wry smile on her face and an odd gleam in her eye.
  • As usual Baenland rolled his eyes at her, but then discovered that he had also undergone a similar strange transformation; he was now within the body of a gnome!
  • At that moment, Vesper’s bag of holding began to quiver violently as the top flew open and out emerged the smaller doll version of Prototype Seven that was discovered during their jaunt in the Grey. Somehow prototype seven’s soul was back in the doll. It’s left leg still broken and one of its eyes hanging from the socket.
  • Lastly, Exon the Sorcerer also discovered that his lower half was now that of a goat,, making him the target of many a cruel joke.
  • The heroes has been unconscious for over 30 days and news of how they mysterious arrived back in Zobeck was quickly becoming the tale of legend.

Next Episode

As the denizen’s of Zobeck prepare to laud the victory of the heroes, will they be able to find a way to return to their former state, before the great celebration begins? But while a fleeting victory has been won, the war is only just beginning as a sublte darkness creeps into Zobeck, while no one noticed.

Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 14: Legacy of the Betrayer, Part III

As the adventure has unfolded, the heroes have learned that the first “Right Hand of Rava” was also the first vengeance paladin. He was known as the Betrayer to the Daughters of Rava, but known to others familiar with his legend as “the King of Hate.” The heroes are traversing the Bastion of the Broken in order to destroy the well of souls, which is believed to hold captive the souls of Zobeck’s Gearforged. It is believed that destroying the well will free the souls to return to their original souls gems, where they were formerly joined. Whether this is true is largely unknown.

Priestess Lena’s words still echoed through their souls: “Trust nothing, trust no one; learn to see passed the illusions that mask the truth of that place.” Even the gods dare not gaze into the abyss for fear that it would consume them. The heroes transgressed the edict of Rava to never disturbed the sword she used to slay the betrayer, but it was the only way the knew of to travel to his realm of exile.  The heroes arrived into the Bastion of the Broken a battlefield graveyard, cursed to forever bear witness to the betrayal of Rava’s first Right Hand.

But all was not dark, for the party met and befriend a broken gearforged who also had no memory chip. Prototype Seven “adopted” him and named him rusty. Rusty now rides upon Seven’s back and offers occasional discourse.

The Approach to the Temple

  • The Heroes managed to pull of a short rest, providing a minimal amount of recovery. Nothing beyond that was possible.
  • They also discovered that they must traverse this graveyard of gearforged parts. It was noticed that many of the parts have undergone and aberration of flesh and metal and were no longer strictly gearforged metal.
  • Cries of anguish could be heard from several of the lucid gearforged; mostly likely due to the agony of their torture.
  • Due to Vesper’s aversion to shoes, she walked about the ground and noticed that it was not completely solid; giving way slightly. It felt as if the ground itself was made of flesh.
  • The closest gearforged was approached, where the black morass of the abyss poured out of it creating a giant black serpent-like appendage with red eyes. This gear-forged, as well as several others had been bolted into the wall of rock, preventing their movement away from their place of anguish.
  • As the heroes battled with the abyss host gearforged, it didn’t take long to discover that each time the abyss host landed a hit, it left worm-like abyss larvae on the victim; they began to burrow.
  • Kino the cleric was quick to leap into aid his struggling comrades; with some effort, he was able to produce enough flame to kill the abyss larvae without wounding his companions too deeply.
  • After the heroes prevailed over the host, they decided to avoid any others at all cost; carefully traversing the sea of gearforged parts.
  • It was soon noticed that much of the abyss substance that had infected just about everything in the area, was leaving its host forming a trail of slithering abyss that seem to be following directly behind Prototype Seven. By the time they reach the steps to the temple, there were hundreds of these abyss-like creatures that were following behind Seven.

Temple of the Profane

  • The face of the temple was inscribed with depictions of desecration of Rava.
  • The large doors opened easily, as if to suggest that all were welcome to enter in blasphemy to Rava.

Room of Reflection

  • The entry way into the temple was line with mirrors and benches that were placed in front of them. This suggested that the worshipper would first inter into a time of reflection before entering the inner chamber of the temple.
  • Seven was having none of it, so he approached the first mirror in order to smash it, when he noticed that the mirror showed a reflection of himself not as a gearforged, but rather a human who totally being consumed by the abyss.
  • Vesper also gazed into the mirror and saw a reflection of herself, also consumed with the abyss and strangling Kino the cleric.

Nave of the Unholy

  • The doors from the room of reflection opened into the main nave of the temple. Torches made from gearforged body parts lined the rows of benches leading all the way to the opposite side where an altar resided.
  • On the face of the altar an inscription: “There is peace within the void”. On the top of the altar, a black morass of abyss bubbled out. It moved as if it was somehow sentient.
  • Seated upon the benches were gearforged that seemed “hollow”. They were “alive” but transfixed toward the altar area as if totally immersed in worship of the Eye of the Abyss upon the altar.
  • The heroes slowly made their way to the altar, when a thud was heard behind them. A single gearforged had dropped from somewhere above. It was completely consumed with abyss, but the inscription upon his chassis was still readable: Prototype 2.
    Prototype 5 and 3 dropped in front of the group. All of them bore blades that looked exactly like the one which pierced the Betrayer’s soul gem and Protototype 7 now had in his possession.
  • Prototype then admonished the other assailants as he pointed to Seven: “This one to the eye; the others to their deaths.”
    As the struggle with the other prototypes ensued, the party noticed that the ceiling in the nave was swirling with the abyss; it threated to pull them in.
  • At this time, the gearforged upon the benches began to stand up and almost in a single-file order, began to approach the altar and cast themselves into the swirling abyss, into which they disappeared.
  • As the struggle with the fallen prototypes commenced, numerous gearforged had cast themselves into the eye upon the altar. Prototype decided to put an end to this, so he made his way to the eye and pierced it with his sword.
  • An extremely gaunt and emaciated old man emerged from the eye: “I must insist that you do not do that again.”
    The Betrayer: “It is good that you have arrived my son. Come and take your place within the abyss and receive the power to slay Gods.”
    Prototype Seven drew his blade and pierced the man through, without hesitation. His essence was completely consumed by the abyss and it was absorbed into the swirling mass of the abyss within the ceiling.
  • After the fallen prototypes were vanquished, the large abyss vortex within the ceiling began to take on a definite shape, as ribbons of the material began to reach out.
  • Kino, threw up a heal to his companions and then immediately attack the monstrosity that emerged from within. He was swallowed by it. It was the father of the abyss.

Next Episode: The Conclusion of the Legacy of the Betrayer

Will the heroes be able to survive their encounter with the Father of the Abyss?

Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 13: Legacy of the Betrayer, Part II

During the last episode of the Phoenix Odyssey, the heroes attempted to cross the bridge that spanned the roughly 400ft chasm only to discover that when Vesper was halfway across, the statues that were holding the chains which suspended it, let go, dropping the bridge into the chasm and Vesper into the mouth of a hungry Dune Mimic. A fierce battle was waged which rendered Vesper near the throes of death, but the heroes prevailed to discover that all of the items in the chasm were not the trickery of the mimic.

All That Glitters

There were many items that were lodged within the sands, but it would take considerable effort and even more risk to reach and acquire them. Zed the rogue, immediately noticed part of a cloak protruding from the sands. He also noticed that the sands often moved as if in response to any movement anywhere in the chasm.

The risk was extremely great, but Zed evade several attacks from many serpent-like creates that appeared to be made of sand; this was in addition to swarms of rust beetles that occupied the chasm.

Kino discovered that it was incredibly difficult to cast divine magic within the chasm. He gathered his wits and nimbly traversed the fallen bridge to reach the other side of the chasm. No treasure was worth losing his life over. He climbed his way up the rock face and arrived at the top on the  other side, awaiting the arrival of his companions.

After much struggle and effort, several items were recovered from the sands: a bag of holding, cloak of invisibility, and a dragon tooth dagger.

The Way of Sorrow

A lake of black abyss stood in between the heroes and large rocky canyon ahead. One solitary decrepit road provided a way across. The road was garnished with similar statues as those which adorned the bridge. Large long dead trees protruded from the lake. They were covered with the same material and several hang over onto the road.

The large crow aberrations were flying overhead and so the party decided not to risk an attempt for Vesper to fly them across as an eagle.

The heroes also noticed that on the other side, the road lead into a small canyon that was “guarded” by the towering walls of the rock cliffs. On the opposite side of the canyon, a temple had been carved into the face of the rock. This must be their destination.

The heroes cautiously made their way across the road. Attacking the first statue, revealed that it was in fact a crumbling statue. It was still a glorious triumph which was worth of bard songs.

The trees trembled when anything wandered too close; as they trembled the released abyss residue into the air. This drained the life-force or “constitution” of any not powerful enough to resist it. Prototype Seven fell prey to it.

The next statues did animate and attacked, attempting to push the heroes into the lake. No small struggled ensued, but the heroes eventually prevailed.

The Temple of the Profane

The massive opening in the rocks which provided the way to enter into the small canyon revealed that the canyon was essentially a graveyard or junkyard of gearforged parts. There were also some gearforged which appeared to be somewhat intact and lucid; however, they appeared to have fallen victim to the abyss which tainted everything and were in agony.

It was immediately noticeable that many of them bore the crest of Old Zobeck. Were these the gearforged that fought against the betrayer?

Next Episode: The Temple of the Profane.

Will the heroes succeed in discovering and destroying the well of souls before they themselves become permanent residents of the Bastion of the Broken?

Resources

10 Ways to Maximize the Fun Factor at the Game Table

Few quick thoughts, when it comes to playing in games I DM. This could be helpful when deciding upon your actions during our sessions.

  1. I NEVER intend for there to be only one path to completion for ANY conflict I throw at you. Conflict can be anything that resists your goals or stands in the way of what you are doing.
  2. One failed roll (diplomacy, deception, stealth, etc..) is never a final outcome. If you don’t at first succeed, try again.
  3. Combat is one possible solution to resolving conflict. If murder hobo is the first thing you reach for, that is your call as the player; however, regardless of how a conflict is presented to you, combat isn’t always the only solution.
  4. Some fights will find you struggling against mooks that range from significantly to substantially higher level than you are. Choose your battles wisely, and never assume they are all winnable.
  5. Even though we joke about players being killed, on principle, I as a DM am not out to kill you. I believe my role is to support you and set you up for moments where you can do cool things and look cool while doing them.
  6. Without risk, there is no reward. Games are about taking risks. Don’t be boring!
  7. Players die because of their own mistakes, not because I am trying to kill you.
  8. If you are not making consistent progress toward the group’s main goals, it is because you are de-railing yourselves and making choices that are unnecessary.
  9. When I design encounters, plots, etc.. I start with a seed and only add enough detail to briefly describe it. I do not have a pre-determined outcome; in fact, as I prep, I have written as a reminder: “Play to see what happens”. Keep that in mind.
  10. Solutions are as narrow or broad as your capacity to be creative. Creativity is always rewarded.
Adventure Chronicles Campaigns Star Wars Awakenings

Smuggler’s Log 7: The Citadel

  • Awakening in their cells, Sarenda, Z and Rallyin were surprised to see two strangers in adjacent cells. Lillith the Mirilan, and IG-38 the Assasin droid.
  • Also surprising was finding that Riff and Vexis were missing, and that Tam was not waking up.
    After nearly a day, tam was taken away, hopefully for medical care.
  • Days passed during which the group awaited their fate, while toying with the food dispenser droid that came to feed them 3 times a day.
  • After a few days of waiting, under advice from Sarenda, Z manages to short out the ray shield locking him in his cell.
  • After freeing the others, they began to search the base looking for their friends, their belongings, and a way out.
  • After a cursory search of the accessible areas of the understaffed outpost, they managed to find all of their gear except for their light sabers. They also located a secure floor they could not access.
  • With her excellent hacking skills, Lillith was able to get them access to the secure floor.
  • There, floating in Bacta tanks, were Vexis and Tam. Freeing them, they searched the rest of the floor.
  • In a research lab, they managed to find their light sabers, a strangers green bladed light saber, and what they believe is a Sith holocron.
  • Through a door leading off of the lab, they discovered a corpse hanging from chains in the wall.
    Fearing the worst, Z started swearing about cleansing the entire base, thinking it was Riff, their missing friend.
  • It was actually a human woman matching the description of the captured Jedi Master they were sent to find.
Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 12: Legacy of the Betrayer, Part 1

Formerly in the adventure, the heroes delve into the Grey and discovered that the King of Hate was colluding with the Shadow Fey to draw out the souls of all of Zobeck’s gearforged into a device known as the Well of Souls. Their diabolical plan was to replace them with the souls of disembodied shades that wander the dark roads, effectively raising a new army in order to destroy Zobeck from within.

Priestess Lena of the Temple of Rava now reveals a dark secret about the King of Hate and charges the heroes with the task of destroying the well; will they be able to destroy the well and return the souls of the missing gearforged to their rightful soul gems or will they too succumb to the power of the King of Hate?

Teaser Recap

During previous episodes of the Phoenix Odyssey:

  • Temple of Rava: Destroy the Well; Seven’s missing chassis.
  • Arcane Collegium: Destroy the Well; Crawford Adley Acquisition specialist.
  • Hollingsworth: “The transfer of wealth will happen after the ceremony; must be registered at the court in Zobeck
  • The Room of Remembrance: Baenland sees that the corpses encased in glass have both changed; Godwyyn is missing, but the note is left. All that remains of his mother is her charred corpse.

Downtime Shenanigans

Three days have passed since the last adventure. The mood in Zobeck has taken on a darker tone as much of the rumor mongering of the return of the Shadow Fey, a flaming woman destroying outlying homesteads and villages, and the catastrophic red sun and tainted ley lines now seem to be true. Many within the crossroads are preparing for the end of the world while others prepare for Ragnorak, a war that has long been prophesied to bring the destruction of the Gods themselves.

Even against the backdrop of impending doom, the heroes took a much needed three day hiatus to prepare for what lies ahead. But their brief respite was not void of shenanigans…

Baenland

Believing that the River Court of the Arbonesse possess needed wisdom and resources regarding the return of the Shadow Fey, re-emergence of ley lines now tainted, and the discovery of the mysterious Phoenix, Baenland has been keeping the court informed. Believing that the journey would almost certainly take the heroes there, Baenland began to seek out passage by river to venture to the River Court. Receiving a mysterious invitation for a clandestine meeting at a seedy tavern in the Kobold Slums, Baenland and Vesper arrive to discover the tavern is under New Management and now called, “The Bawdy Rose”.

They were met by a halfling slave who was sent on behalf of one of the Nobles within the River court. The slave first delivered the news that Baenlands parent have been arrested on accusation of sedition and treason. It wasn’t long before this was used as leverage in order to “encourage” Baenland to perform a task for noble, who for now, chooses to remain in the shadows. The halfling spoke of civil war erupting as various noble houses now vie for an open seat within the River Court. A King’s Table has been called, and a tournament has been invoked to decide which noble will rise to power and status. The shadowy noble intends to invoke an archaic law which states that a champion can be appointed to compete on behalf a participant.

The slave also informed Baenland that discreet passage would be arranged for him and his company and that all would be made clear if he should reach the river court alive.

Vesper

Vesper was seen very little the past few days, choosing instead to remain in seclusion pondering the meaning of her new compact with the Green Gods and what being their Green Herald entails. Turning to the trance for answers about Yggdrasil-the Great World tree, she reached out to it many times and could feel her soul becoming more and more intertwined with its ancient presence. It was when she accompanied Badland to the Bawdy Rose that her suspicions were confirmed, there was a plethora of animals of all varieties that were following close behind, but not daring to draw to close.

Arriving back at her room, her trance was disrupted due to an incessant tap the window. It was a large crow that was working diligently to get her attention. Drawing the window, the bird stepped in and Vesper discovered that he was very mouthy and impatient. Apparently, the Herald of the Green has the ability to speak to animals, and all seem to be aware that she was the new Herald.  The crow had told her that he had been cursed to this form and looked to the Herald to change him back. Not realizing the full extent of her Heraldic powers, the crow agreed to return in a day or so, giving Vesper some time to understand her new duties and powers as the Herald of the Green.

As a side note, Baenland has now grown very suspicious of Vesper’s new propensity to hug every tree she sees…

Zed

Zed took the occasion to discover why he was wanted by Zobeck authorities and also who and why a local crime group also wanted him dead. His persistence and skill as a shadowy rogue paid off. Zed discovered that his “other” personality was contracted by Izachar, the leader of a local crime syndicate known as the Cloven Nine to steal a curious gold coin known as the “Coin of Mammon”. The coin was in the possession of Zobeck City Council member Halsen Hrovitz IV, who incidentally was a very prominent merchant Lord. The coin was stolen; however, the theft also went terribly wrong. He was discovered by the wife of Halsen and was thus forced to slit her throat in the struggle.

Not only is Zed wanted for her murder, he is wanted by Izachar because the coin was never delivered. It was also discovered that the coin may have been sold to one Crawford Adley, Acquisition Specialist, for a small fortune. Zed had no knowledge of any of the events committed by his alter ego, and most importantly where he stashed the money.

Kino

Kino checked in with the Order of the Griffon Riders and discovered that the Griffon Riders are in a moment of crisis. Word has now begun to circulate in Zobeck that the Shadow Court has indeed managed to free themselves from exile, though it is not known exactly how. Multiple accounts have been received that they were in league with a group of powerful mercenaries that aided them on this side of the Shadow Realm; the result was the execution of all of those in Wallowsford and spies that have been dispatched to Wallowsford have not reported in or returned.

The mercenary group left Wallowsford and headed to Zobeck; while in route they slaughtered city militia that were attempting to protect the outlying regions after multiple attacks had occurred in the area. Eye witnesses place a very powerful flaming woman with the group; but accounts suggest that the mercenaries are now in Zobeck working to aid an impending Shadow Fey Invasion from within. A new arrival to Zobeck corroborates this story and was witness to the atrocities that were committed there (Nasty Jack & Godwyyn Wyynbow).

A mighty blow was dealt to Zobeck as the gearforged represent the majority of the military might of the city and it would surely fall if the attack happens while they are down. Rumors of suspicious activities are being reported in the cartways below the city; since we don’t have the manpower to investigate, the city council is now deliberating sealing it shut to avert them being used as a point of entry for Shadow Fey Troops.

The Betrayer’s Legacy Revealed

The priestess of Rava (Lena Ravovik) sents an urgent summons to the heroes; she is requested their presence at the temple of Rava. When the players arrived, they were escorted to an exclusive area within the lower level of the temple accessed by an ancient order of Rava priestess called “the Sisters of Rava”.

“As the ancient key turned the lock, the sounds of vast mechanisms hidden within the towering door echoed through the chamber. Hundreds of runes formerly not visible, could be seen etched within the frame and door; they are brilliantly illuminated with divine energy; it sizzled and crackled, caused another louder disturbance somewhere deep within the door. Then almost as suddenly as it began, all of the sound and activity ground to a halt; the hinges on the door creaked loudly and the door slowly opened of its own volition.”

As the heroes entered the Chamber of the Sisters, their eyes were instantly drawn to the walls of this ornate chamber. The entire room was a seamless work of art: the ceiling, the walls, even the floor revealed one extravagant mural that depicted the story of Rava through the ages of Midgard.

On either side of the hall are a series of life-sized marble statues, effigies of former priestess of bygone ages. Each statue faces a door at the opposite end of the hall.

Priestess Lena:
“I do not take my next actions lightly and I fear the consequence of what I am about to do will be grave; yet the hour seems dire, Rava has grown silent, and the time to break with tradition seems to be upon us.”

“You see a female priestess will train her entire life to assume the role of the Prime Priestess of Rava. The training requires that a certain knowledge be passed from one prime to another; it can never be written, only spoken, for it was not meant for another mortal man to know it, lest he develop the hubris to once again presume to take his place among the Gods.”

“Our order is known only among the primes who have come before me and those who would come after”. This burden is granted only to a carefully select line of women. It is told to us that after the betrayal of Rava’s first right hand, she would never choose another from among men, for his propensity toward corruption and malice was great. This was the treachery of the first and only right hand of Rava…that is until now.”

She looks at Prototype Seven.

“This man was the first priest of Rava; the first to swear an oath to the Goddess and then break it. His story was forged within the cinders of the world flame long ago, and when the flames of the forge subsided into embers, he and his legacy were forgotten entirely by all, but a select few; passed down through each generation to the daughters of Rava and entrusted with this knowledge, to ensure that the mistakes of the past would not repeat themselves.”

“But he was not only the first priest of Rava; he was something else entirely; he was the first to receive the cinder of immortality that the world flame granted. A single ember, that was forged into a gem, a soul gem that was planted within the first Gearforged-the first Paladin of Rava. This cartouche tells his story.”

The Living Cartouche

Mural Section 1

  • Scenes of beauty; appointment of Rava’s first right hand.
  • Rava appoints a vengeance paladin (right hand) to execute her judgment when needed.
  • King of Hate was the first; Seven is the second. The first ended in betrayal, will the second?

Mural Section 2

  • The Great battle and Rava’s Right hand leading an Army of Gearforged to battle against 5 ancient dragons.
    The scene shows the dragons decimating their armies.

Mural Section 3

  • Shows the right hand reaching out to the abyss in anger and shame over his defeat.
  • Right Hand became “faithless”, believing Rava to not have the power to win her own wars.
  • That which the God’s fear, reached out and deceived the King from the “true” path.

Mural Section 4

  • Shows the right hand making war against the gearforged with an army of abyss-touched gearforged.
  • The gearforged have manifestations of the abyss
  • The former right hand is completely consumed with the Abyss.

Mural Section 5

  • Shows the defeat of the right hand by Rava herself: she has pierced his heart (soul gem) with his own abyss blade.
  • Upon the battlefield of Rava’s slain gear-forged, the King of Hate wars against Rava herself.
  • The first appearance of Legacy of the Betrayer: the well was first used to draw Rava into this plane and bind her here.

Mural Section 6

  • Shows a great war that has enveloped all of Midgard in flames; At the center of the flames is an abyss-touched phoenix with the right hand and armies of abyss-touched gearforged.
  • The scene ends at the doorway to the next area: Tomb of the Betrayer.

The Tomb of the Betrayer

Priestess Lena Ravovik: “And now you behold what no man has seen since the Betrayer’s story ended; and only sisters of the order have witnessed since.”

After offering a solemn prayer to Rava, the doors into the chamber opened and its secret was revealed.

Priestess Lena reveals the secret within the tomb:

“This chamber is a sacred place of Rava. The room is lit by the flame of hundreds of candles that appeared to burn without ceasing. In the center of the room upon a patch of earth that is littered with blood, lies the inanimate shell of a gearforged; the first to be exact. Inscribed upon the chest plate were two words, ‘Prototype One!’ He appears to be frozen in time.”

“Slightly above the inscription, a large blade’s hilt protrudes from the area where a normal human heart would reside; yet where the heart should rest, there is only a single gem and within it a single flame ever burns. An ember of the world flame, created within the great forge and imbued within the soul gem. The blade appears to be partially consumed within the gem so that only the long hilt remains visible.”

“Running along the long metal hilt are strands of black morass; living manifestations of black abyss, which appear to be escaping from the gem. The black strands appear to be moving, yet somehow frozen in time.”

Priestess Lena Ravovik: “It might interest you to know, that the betrayer still rests upon the very spot where the goddess pierced him through. Zobeck, was quite literally built upon the place of his defeat. Now we discover the answer to a question I have been pondered since our first visit. ”

“I am certain that there are many pressing matters that require the attention of heroes such as yourselves; however, the gearforged represent the majority of Zobeck’s military might; without them, the Free City is sure to fall. To free them and destroy the well that holds their souls is certain to deal a crushing blow to the ruminations of the Shadow Fey and would almost certainly cause this entire city to be in your debt.

The Curse of the Betrayer

Priestess: “Once granted immorality the first gearforged could not truly die; while his ‘body’ and the soul gem that once contained his soul remains here on consecrated ground, his soul remains elsewhere; where, I do not know. If my suspicions are correct, I believe his soul is also somehow connected to Legacy of the Betrayer.”

Priestess: “His soul gem was the only one of its kind, fuzed with an ember from the great forge, it rendered him immortal. When the abyss touched it, it’s taint also reached into the Betrayer’s soul. Since he cannot die, the Gods decreed that the blade which pierced his chassis would forever remain, binding him to his fate. None can remove it except the Right Hand of Rava. There has only been one…until now..(looks at Seven).”

“While it is true that as the right had of Rava, you can remove the blade where no other mortal can, to defy the will of the God’s by removing the sword, is to drink of the same curse that binds him and thus causing the God’s to also turn their scorn upon you.”

The Well of Souls

Priestess: “I cannot say for certain, where the well resides, nor how to destroy it; however, I believe the blade which pierced him, holds the answers we seek.”

Priestess: “I warn you, that it was the decree of the God’s that the blade would never be disturbed; the one who would defy their will drink of the same and share in his fate.”

Priestess: “The place you were before was only a manifestation of Seven’s connection to this sordid story; this time I fear that you will venture into the abyss itself. It is told that the abyss is the consummation of hate, void of any life, only void; and it’s black heart corrupts everything it touches.”

“You must peel back the veil of illusions that surpass the truth of that place; I dare say trust nothing and no one for all in that realm are manifestations of a dark heart and the damnation of one whom the Gods have shunned.”

“There may be one glimmer of hope; if the betrayer’s soul now walks in Midgard, then perhaps he will not be able to resist your efforts within the abyss.”

The Door in the Sword

Priestess: “I offer you this admonition; if you come across the King’s dark heart, take no delay in driving your sword straight through it. Perhaps it falls upon mortals to end what the Gods began.”

Priestess: “The place to which you now venture was not meant for the living; it consumes all life, and taints all it touches with its dark hate. The longer you remain in that realm, the more its curse will feed upon you and the more you will grow hungry to feed upon its hate.”

“Take care, for while the place upon which you now stand is consecrated to Rava, the place to which you journey, would be its opposite and I cannot know if the powers of the Goddess reach into this darkness.”

The Bastion of the Broken

As Prototype Seven Pulled the blade from the Betrayer, the heroes received the curse of the Betrayer;  The sword became a door and when the heroes awoke some time later they were some place in between places. Even this place did not seem to escape the scarlet hues which now afflict all of Midgard. It illuminated a place of death and desolation; a barren wasteland of ash and smoldering cinders.”

An arid wind echoed through the valley; it carried upon it the stench of rot and decay and it was quite putrid and overwhelming to the smell. As far as the eye could see any direction-evidence of a great battle; the remains of the fallen littered the landscape, each in varying degrees of decay.

The implements of war were scattered about the massive battlefield; some almost entirely buried by the smoldering ash and pools of bubbling pitch and tar; they now stood frozen in time as monuments to a war once fought and lost.

It was then that a grisly reality became apparent; the remains of hundreds of gearforged littered the landscape like trash that had been carelessly tossed to the ground. Just on the other side of the waste-length wall that surrounded the small area where the heroes stood ,  a soft moaning was heard.”

The Court of Castigation

Slight movement a short distance away drew the keen eye of the group; A fallen gearforged appeared to move; its head turned revealing the side that was facing out of sight. The chassis fell  over revealing large sections missing and swarms of small beetles feeding upon the metal. It was then apparent that the small piles of rust that littered the battlefield were the remains of their previous gear-forged meals.

A caw could be heard in the distance, followed by the flapping of wings. A raven-like bird swooped down and landed upon a rusting gearforged chassis. It appeared to pull out of it a memory gear and flew off. The large bird then dropped the coin in a chasm north of their position; it glimmered from the scarlet rays that permeate this “Bastion of the Broken”.

Rusty, the Broken Gearforged

The heroes then discovered a broken gearforged nearby, that had no memory of who he was and no legs with which to stand. They named him Rusty and Seven loaded him in his backpack and carried him with the group as they headed toward the chasm where the creature had flown.

Chasm of Greed

The chasm seemed to extend for miles on either side and was roughly 400ft wide to cross. A lone bridge spaned the gulf of the chasm; it swayed and creaked as the wind disturbed it. The bridge was suspended by two massive chains that were held in the hands of two large statues that adorned the entrance to the bridge on either side of the chasm. Like everything else in this realm of decay there statues also fell prey to varying degrees of deca. The one on the left was missing a leg; it was crumbling on the ground beneath it. Its right hand held the chain that suspended the bridge. Its left hand held a staff that was fashioned out of the same ore that statue was formed. The shaft spaned over 12 feet tall and was topped with a perfect circle with a portion of the very top missing.

The right statue held another massive chain within its left hand; its right arm had long since fallen to the ground and lie crumbling below where it was once attached. It too probably held a similar staff, but it must have succumbed to decay some time ago.

Below, there were no sounds of rushing water, only mounds of shifting sand as the wind blew it into small dunes that filled the gorge. There were hundreds of items protruding from the sand: gold coins, a crown; jewelry of all sorts with various gem inlays. Just then, the formerly seen large raven-like bird approached the gorge again with a new spoil that it had retrieved from the battlefield. The creature dropped a small sphere of some sort. It glowed as it hit the sand below.”

Vesper launched out on to the swinging bridge and the sand below began to swirl. Reaching just about the middle, the statues released the chains holding the bridge and she plummeted into the sand below. To make matters worse, as she made contact with the stand, it affixed itself to her form and she was affectively grappled while the giant dune mimic prepared to consume her.

Baenland made a daring descent into the gorge to mount a rescue, but not before the mimic swallowed her; Vesper fell unconscious, with the end of her life almost assured.

Kino scaled half way down the chasm wall and managed to land divine healing upon Vesper as the beast opened his mouth once again to try and consume Baenland. This attracted the attention of a swarm of Rust Beetles who swarmed the newly arrived Prototype Seven.

The Heroes managed to best the beast and run off the rust Swarm; thereby saving their fallen comrade from certain death.

Next Week: The Legacy of the Betrayer Part 2

Can the heroes survive long enough within the Bastion of the Broken to find the well of souls and destroy it before it is too late?

Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 11: The Reqium of Zobeck

TEASER RECAP

The Shadow Fey Mistress of Pain

  • The Mistress of pain stepped through the Gate; a bridge between realms. Hollingsworth’s lifeless corpse was one of 13 that were on display in the center square of the wine village. The blood dripped from their bodies, staining the stone below.
  • “Revel in the glory of it, my brethren! The Shadow Realm is no longer our prison; the old roads are open once again; and soon the streets of Zobeck will run red with the blood of all her treacherous brood! Let the blooding begin.

The Emissary of the Shadow Court updates the King of Hate:

  • The Emissary of the Shadow Court placed the guise upon his face and as the many other occasions that he donned it, he was in the domain of Hate and the King who ruled it.
  • “Oh Great and Supreme Majesty of Hate, I bring news from the Queen of Night and good tidings that herald your return to Midgard.”
  • The Well of Souls receiving the souls of the gearforged of Zobeck.
  • Souls of disembodied Shadow Fey replacing the souls sent to the forge
  • The Exile of the Hated King is soon to come to an end; his vessel awaits in Zobeck
  • The King of Hate vanishes just as he is about to sink his great sword into Vesper the Wolf.

The Flying City of the Four Winds

Several days passed while traveling to Zobeck aboard the Flying City of the Four Winds

Vesper Has Another Vision

  • Her bare feet touched the road once more; she’s travelled there several times now, but only when tranced. She felt free again and like a young wolf cub she began to run-the wind brushing up against her face was bliss. Her shape changed mid-step and her dark elven countenance gave way to a beautiful coat of fur. It was unlike anything she had ever seen, still just as magnificent and mesmerizing as the first time she saw.
  • She was drawn to it and she knew she couldn’t resist its call even if she had wanted to; she did not want to. Its great branches extended high into the heavens, far beyond where the site of mortals can gaze. Its roots dug deep into the ground, becoming one with the earth it was once planted in.
  • The carvings etched into the great tree were legion and they glowed with an effervescent radiance that illuminated everything around it. Everything was beautiful when seen through its light.
  • She ran harder and as fast as her legs would carry her; hoping that somehow she would reach it first this time; yet it was only folly. As before the great tree, is consumed in flames and soon after the heavens and the earth follow.
  • A voice calls out: “Yggdrasil burns and both the earth and heaves are consumed within its flames. The great serpent wakes and feasts upon the ashes of its destruction. The end has come.”

Arrival at Zobeck

  • Prince thanks PC’s & offers a horn that can be blown; if the city is within range, the horn will be heard and offer aid as a gratitude of thanks for the heroes lending their aid during the elemental incursion. Baenland has the horn.
  • The enter the city through the South Gate to discover that fear-mongering opportunists have seized the opportunity to cash in on the current crisis.
  • Zobeck has always been the city of enterprise and all serious business-minded entrepreneurs would never let a good apocalypse go to waste. Signs of the times are seen all through-out the city; from doomsayers with signs “the end is nigh” to street vendors selling “end of the world” novelty items, the more industrious seek to capitalize upon the apocalyptic hysteria.
  • Virtually every merchant is running some type of “end of the world” special and there are even Shadow Fey “COS” players roaming the streets.
  • Rumors abound the weapons have gone missing and shadows lurk in the cart ways, evidence of the preparations for the upcoming siege of Zobeck.
  • Being the only gearforged walking around the city at the moment, Prototype Seven draws much attention, with many believing that he is a walking miracle of Rava and that this is an omen of good.
  • Gearforged are revered and respected in the city of gears; Seven much more so being that he has not succumbed to the blight.
  • Now sooner had the heroes entered the city when a town crier could be heard entering the vicinity and posting a new bounty: Zed the slicer; Bounty 10,000 gold wanted dead or alive. For the murder of 11 of Zobeck’s finest.

Herald of the Green Gods

  • Porevit and Yarila, the Green Gods have taken notice of Vesper and have a proposition for her. The Golden Cat finally appears again, and this time reveals himself only to Vesper: “Come little one, you have an audience with the Gods; oh, when is the last time you have eaten meat”?
  • The Golden Cat leads her to the temple of Porevit and Yarila); after making proper offering, the vines around the columns reach out and transport Vesper to the Elder Grove deep within the margreve; here they task Vesper to be the Herald of the Green Gods, and charged to remove the taint from the ley lines which flow from the great world tree, Yggdrasil.
  • The Green Gods show Vesper that all ley lines flow from the forge of the world flame which rests beneath the roots of the tree; if the ley lines are tainted, this means the forge itself is tainted. The Forge and the World Tree (Yggdrasil) are the twin hearts of Midgard and if one ceases to beat, the other is soon to follow, which means the end of mortal life and a Ragnarok for the Gods.
  • Yggdrasil presents itself to one whom it deems worthy: “If she calls to you in dreams and visions, this is a good sign.” An inspection of Vesper reveals new tattoo, that of the great tree; this is the beginning of the attuning; Vesper’s spirit is becoming one with the Great World Tree and this is the true nature of the Herald of the Green Gods.
  • The great tree connects all of the Shadow Roads, and as the Herald, Vesper can now begin to sense the presence of doorways and if she wields the Lantern of Revealing (Hollingsworth’s Treasure Room), it reveals the door. This lantern will also protect the party as they travel through the Shadow Roads, as long as they stay within its light.
  • Unfortunately, the original Lantern of Revealing that was found among the items in Hollingsworth’s Magnificent Tapestry, has been lost to the heroes; they will need to find a new one.

Zed the slicer: The Plot Thickens

  • Meanwhile, while Vesper is becoming the tool of the Green Gods; Zed, Seven, and the newest party member Kino, cleric of Rava make haste to the Temple of Rava to see about Prototype Seven’s new chassis-promised to him from the Gear Goddess.
  • There journey is cut short, as an attempt is made upon Zed’s life; the would-be assassin missed, as he attempted to stick a blade into Zed’s side; he immediately fled the scene, with Zed in hot pursuit.
  • Ducking into an alley, the assailant led Zed into a trap, where two other lie in wait. As Zed turned the corner, the ambush was triggered as two others swung clubs as Zed passed through. Zed was ready for his trusty blade of warning performed its job flawlessly and Zed easily evaded their clumsy attempt.
  • A struggle ensued, as Zed’s new cleric comrade Kino followed behind ready to come to the aid of his charge. The beneficent Zed gave his assailants every opportunity to surrender; however, they would not have it, bent on bringing Zed to the Mouse King-citing that the debt he owed must be paid.
  • There was no doubt about it; both of his persona’s equated to double trouble! Zed was being sought by a crime boss of Zobeck and his alter-ego was wanted for multiple murders!
  • The rest of the party, who by this time was also enroute to the Temple of Rava where they had all previously agreed to meet, heard a commotion and decided to check it out. Their curiosity paid off, as they discovered the rest of the party engaged in battle with common thugs.
  • Another joined the fray from a side door next to a building where they were fighting; the scantily clad wench screamed for the guards and accused the heroes of assault, but only after she drew a dagger from her hip and launched it at Zed. The number 9 imprinted upon her ankle, providing a clue as to which gang she belonged.
  • One of the other gang members was close to death, severely miscalculating the might of the heroes; therefore, he fled down the ally, also calling for the guards-while he claimed to be assaulted.
  • The mysterious lady with the number 9 disappeared back into the tavern side door; the music within flooded the alley as the door closed behind her.
  • Vesper wild-shaped into a giant again, and with Baenland upon her back flew off and onto a neighboring roof top a safe distance way. Zed followed after “Lady 9”, into the same door she had retreated, only to find himself in a very precariously awkward situation.

Zed’s Great Performance!

  • Zed was frozen for a moment as he realized he had stepped through the door and onto a make-shift stage where 9 drunken sailors with very hairy legs and chests were dancing the can-can, while dressed in lady’s attire.
  • At Zed’s appearance, the crowd went wild, slamming their tankards upon the table, while shouting “Dance! Dance! Dance!”
  • Zed gave the performance of a life time as the crowd hooped and hollered!
  • Zed then took the opportunity to escape back out the side door, before an encore was demanded; yet feeling fulfilled and assured in the knowledge that should he retire from roguery, he had “other” skills to fall back on!

The Birth of a Gearforge (Prototype Seven, Part II)

  • The heroes finally arrived at the gates to the Temple of Rava; they were greeted by a sobering sight; for there were the motionless gearforged lined in the temple, being tended to by priests of Rava.
  • When Lena Ravovik lays eyes upon Seven, she immediately recognizes him as she has dreamed of him for days.
  • Lena Ravovik: “Curious that the Goddess would take such an interest, in you; You don’t look like much, but I suppose you must have it where it counts ( 🙂 )to get this far in your journey. Come, let us see what we can discover about you, this will be necessary for what is to come next.”
  • Priestess Lena consults all known history off gearforged that were reborn in the template and was perplexed to discover that there was no written record of seven’s “birth”.
  • Lena Ravovik: “If you are Seven, what happened to the other six and what exactly were you were a prototype of?” Yet, Seven could offer her no answers, for he had not accepted the offer the Gear Goddess to receive his lost memories.
  • Ondli Firedrake (Priest of Rava for the dwarves) joins the conversation. “Curious, I too was warned of his coming in a vision from Rava. Surely this means that his original soul is dwarven and my dear Lena, as you well know, the blight that plagues the gear-forged prevents us from performing any rites of soul forging. Something blocks our spell work.”
  • Seven and crew spill all that they know to the priests, and offer a stern admonishment to remove the soul gems of all the unconscious gearforged, less they return as a “Trojan horse” invasion; the blooding of the Shadow Fey. The priests are grateful for the information and admonish the heroes to destroy the well of souls, being the only way to release the true souls that belong in each lifeless gearforged. The heroes agreed that this was the best course of action.

The Arcane Collegium

Guild Master Orlando greeted the heroes with some interest, taking the opportunity to tear himself away from the endless debating of the collegiate mages for a moment.

The heroes spoke to him of all that they had learned: world trees, the great forge, the mysterious twin phoenixes, the impending shadow fey invasion, the red sun and the reemergence of ley lines after vanishing for millennia.

In the midst of the conversation, Orlando detected the presence of a powerful evil (no it wasn’t Elric). Choosing to ambiguity over transparency, Vesper deflected his attention way from the Book of Weeping & Reaping which remained hidden within her vestments.

The guildmaster then offered a stern warning: “You cannot dance with a devil and not walk away changed; take heed with whom you dance!”

Master Orlando also informed the heroes that while none are known to know anything about ley line magic since they have been extinct for years; however, there was one former mage who devoted his life to the study of their lore. He is now only referred to as “The Mad Magician”, and hasn’t been a member of the collegium for some time now.

The last that was heard of him is that he was wandering the cartways beneath Zobeck, convinced that there were doors to the Shadow Roads and that veins of pure ley line energy ran like rivers beneath Zobeck.

Lastly, the heroes inquired about procuring another Lamp of Revealing; to which Orlando dropped a name that the the heroes had heard before: Crawford Adley, Acqusition Specialist. It was then that they remembered, all of the curious items which were found in Hollingsworth’s manor, had all come from Mr. Adley- who operates his business from Zobeck. It was Mr. Adley who provided Hollingsworth with the original lantern that was now lost.

The Griffon Riders

As the others decided to take some leisure time and explore the night-life of the city that never sleeps, Kino decided to check back in with the Order of the Griffon riders, who had previously contracted him to ride out and check the rumors of a strange woman who was destroying small villages in the crossroads.

Kino told them of all that he had learned, and they in turn told him of the major concerns that the riders were being dispatched to investigate:

  1. Reports of been flooding in of the woman roaming the hillsides and decimating villages. It is told that she is draining the life from those unfortunate to cross her path. They speak of her being engulfed in flames, yet not consumed. She is now being blamed for the deaths of hundreds and they are mounting forces to bring about her destruction.
  2. They had also received word of a massacre that happened at an old griffon watch tower in the South. Twenty or so farmers and homesteaders were slaughtered; among them a famous retired and somewhat senile Griffon Watch general was found with his throat slit. The griffon watch has dispatched numerous trackers to hunt and bring to justice those who committed this atrocity. There were some speculation that the perpetrators might be headed to Zobeck…

Next Week

The heroes make preparations to return to the King of Hate’s domain within the grey; but first there is the small matter of laying hold of the vast riches of Hollingsworth’s fortune as he promised before his death and betrayal.

 

 

Adventure Chronicles Campaigns D&D - The Phoenix Odyssey

Episode 10: The Flying City of the Four Winds

The Flying City of the Four Winds

  • At the end of Episode 9, the party flees the impending solar storm by flying up to the City of the Four Winds, only to discover that it has trouble all its own. The city under siege by its own elemental guardians that now rampage through the city, killing all in their path.
  • The heroes arrive on the edge of the city and are immediately thrust into the throes of battle.
  • A quick investigation revealed that the city was a remnant of a great fleet of legendary flying cities from the exotic region of Sikkim. The city is a culture of desert dwellers and has its own arid desert-like climate; it’s literally a flying desert city.
  • Various types of serve as the main city guard; some adorned with full plate armor and others in simple official dressing. Apparently, they are usually amenable to all life, but not this day!
    Only moments after the arrival, the heroes stumble upon a fierce battle between multiple rogue elementals, a tenacious prince, and another stranger-a griffin rider, who crash landed on the city as well; his griffin hanging on to life.
  • Baenland, filled with hubris and bravado, saw the elementals as no threat and commenced to laying the beat down upon them.
  • Prince Abbad Shafzar, was most appreciative of the arrival of the heroes and solicited their aid to quell the threat. He called out that the city was ascending higher into the atmosphere to avoid the storm and now they could not stop it. The city had certain “fail-safes” and he was en route to initiate them, when he was attacked.
  • As the battle commenced, the city suddenly tilted off balance as a stabilizer fails. With the city endanger of plummeting to the ground, the prince urges the party forward.
  • Villagers have locked themselves in their dwellings in order to prepare for the worst and escape the wrath of the frenzied elemental guards.
  • Prince informs the group that his father the Sultan is also in danger and urges the party to make haste so that they can also see to his well being; he is sure the sultan will reward them handsomely for their noble help.

The Room under the Fountain

  • After another skirmish with water elemental guards, the prince reveals the location of the latch which opens a secret door beneath a water fountain down one of the side alleys of the city; this is the location of the stabilizer. Many of the city’s functional apparatus are hidden within decorative city fixtures.
  • The Fire elemental sentry guarding the stabilizer room is rampaging; the heroes must engage him.
  • As the battle proceeds, gravity becomes unstable in the city; this forces everyone to fall upwards due to a city-wide gravity flux.
  • The prince attempts to repair the stabilizers; however, having no knowledge of such things, he manages to break it even further.
  • The heroes manage to repair the stabilizer (no thanks to Elric, who was absolutely not leaving his Apparatus).

The Sultan

  • The prince led the heroes into the inner courts of the Palace and to the aid of the Sultan.
  • An attempt was made to rebind the elementals, but it was to no avail; the heroes discovered that the close proximity to the titanic ley line below, interfered with the binding of the elementals as well as the magic that powers the flying city.
  • Sultan Jabar Shafzar appeared to be out of danger from the rogue elementals; the prince had warned en-route that the sultan had not “quite been himself” lately.
  • He emerged from his inner chambers behind his throne somewhat disheveled and acting nervously.
  • The sultan “phased” for a brief moment; to which he promptly excused himself and returned to his inner chambers. The keen eye of the heroes spotted the anomaly instant and their suspicions were aroused.
  • The heroes decided to dispense with cordiality and formality and pursued him into his forbidden chambers; not wanting to be “seen” again, the sultan retreated deeper into the chamber and then down a concealed passage. The prince indicated that this led to the forbidden control chamber for the entire city; even he was not allowed there.
  • Zed easily picked the lock on the chamber door and throwing it open the prince and the heroes were all startled to discover that the Sultan was actually a gnome wearing one of the many fabled “Guises of the Deceiver”.
  • The gnome recounted the story of happening upon an old voz that contained a genie; he wished to be the king of a magnificent city and his wish was granted; although strange things about wishes, there is always a catch.
  • With no clue as to what happened to the original sultan, the prince stepped up to assume the throne in his father’s absense and begins the hunt to discover his fate.
  • Meanwhile the prince rewards the players with Gold, Items, and a new friendship. The Festitivies began as the prince agreed to fly the city to Zobeck and drop the heroes off.
  • They took this time to become acquainted with a new hero, a griffin rider from Zobeck who was sent to investigate strange tales of a flaming woman devouring towns….

Next Week

Zobeck, the free city.