Dominium

In Kajaan
Session 7: In the barrow under Witchhenge

The party continues to loot the elven barrow under the hill called “Witchhenge”. Opening another of the arched doors of stone, engraved with elven designs and symbols, they find the tomb of an elven queen. Within is a sarcophagus adorned with suspicious wave symbols. Believing the sarcophagus is trapped, the party’s patented remote opening method is applied. No trap is triggered and the remains within appear to have been previously looted.

Disappointed by the lack of loot, Gunga Din (Randy) lunges hastily toward the other door in the room, and narrowly avoids falling into a disguised pit. Bob the Bold (Dennis) helps him off the ledge, and the party finds a way to pass the door without falling into the water-filled pit.

A similar sarcophagus is found in the next room. This one adorned with a tree motif. It is apparently untrapped, and the body of the elven queen within is unlooted. She yields up a silver torc with the all-seeing eye design, an ouroboros ring, and a collection of elven coins and gems.

Back out in the corridor, the party investigates another door only to discover it is suspiciously cold and damp. Beyond they find a short corridor and an elaborate but rusted metal door that is tightly sealed. The sealed door opens into a vast cavern, half-filled with brackish water. A glowing pedestal breaks the surface some 60’ from the door. To make matters worse, there is something very much like a cross between a halfling, a frog, and a piranha swimming in the water. At least four of them it seems. They dislike loud noises, as Durian (Robert) discovers, but like sandwiches, as Väinämöinen (Connor) learns. There is what looks to be the spectre of a maiden chained to the pedastel. Deciding that the whole thing is altogether too complex a puzzle, and having lost a perfectly good waterskin in the process, the party decides to abandon the room. Damek the Unpleasant (Fritz) seems to be frustrated.

Further on the party finds that they have come full circle, back around to the access shaft of the barrow. Between them and safety however, is a family of poisonous spiders and their webs. Swarmed by spiders, Gunga Din is mildly poisoned by a bite, and finds his strength reduced. In the ensuing melee, Akron (Ken S) ignites the webs with a ray of magical flame and incurs the wrath of the mother of the brood. Her poison turns out to be more harmful, and he finds his strength sapped considerably when he fails his fortitude check. The party unites to fight off the swarm. In the aftermath, Damek laments the failure in the water cavern, and it is suggested that spiders may appease the halfling piranha-frogs.

Feeding spider carcasses to the halfling piranha-frogs distracts them enough that Damek is able to swim out to the pedestal. There he chats up the bound spectre of the elf maiden, and learns that the “all-seeing eye” that Ajatar stole, is supposed to be on the pedestal. Returning it will “please her greatly”, whatever that entails. Always eager to please, despite his “unpleasant” moniker, Damek swims back to report his findings. He is unmolested, either by the halfling piranha-frogs, the party, or the spectre of the elf maiden.

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In Kajaan
Session 6: In the barrow under Witchhenge

The party continues to loot the elven barrow under the hill called “Witchhenge”. Opening another massive set of stone doors, they are confronted by a corridor lined with small, arched doors of stone, engraved with many elven designs and symbols. Durian (Robert) opens one and discovers a sarcophagus adorned with suspicious sun symbols. It is determined that the sarcophagus is trapped, and a remote opening method, involving some rope, is devised. Opening the sarcophagus triggers the trap, incinerating the helpless rope.

The party is then confronted by the occupant of the coffin, a Wight dressed in the tattered raiment of an elven king. In the ensuing combat, Bob the Bold (Dennis) unleashes the magic of the Shield of Blinding that the party had found earlier. While it blinds the Wight, it also temporarily blinds Whitey (Ken M) who was caught in the “blast radius”. The party takes advantage of the Wight’s inability to see and rains death and destruction upon the creature, finally reducing it to a heap of bones and ash. The rewards include an amber-adorned crown and a masterwork dagger with a wave-edged blade.

A similar sarcophagus is found in the next room. This one adorned with black crystal bars instead of the sun motif. It is apparently untrapped, and the body of the elven king within is not animated. A masterwork short sword with hilt guards in the form of seahorses and a polished sea-green marble in the pommel, and a crown of black crystals adorned with a mountain design, are found within. Another chamber contains a horde of zombie guards, which are expertly dispatched.

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In Kajaan
Session 5: In the barrow under Witchhenge

After a Wight drains Gunga Din (Randy) and Väinämöinen (Connor) of some of their life-energy, the party retreats to the village of Rauma where Brede the Cleric is able to restore their vitality.

The party then returns to the elven barrow under the hill called “Witchhenge” to finish looting the tombs. After exploring several looted crypts they discover a chamber with four pools fed by fountains of green marble sculpted to resemble mermaids. Akron (Ken S) determines that the water itself has some magical properties (it turns out to be holy water) and that the fountains have a stronger magic to them. The party collects the water, and decides not to meddle with the fountains themselves.

The next chamber contains two mysterious dragon sconces that are revealed to be trapped. A pressure plate in the center of the room is triggered and a fiery blast ensues. Healing magic is copiously applied. It is determined that the triggering of the trap exhausted its resources, and so it poses no further threat.

Beyond this room is a long chamber lined with stall-like alcoves. Each contains a skeletal guard in rotted leather armor embossed with the now-familiar triangle-eye sigil. They are armed with leaf-bladed spears. A brief combat ensues, and the skeletons are reduced to their components, and then systematically looted of any valuables. A masterwork dagger with a winged hilt guard, and a lapis lazuli marble set in the pommel is the highlight.

Searching through the rooms beyond reveals some burned remains, another room of stall-like alcoves, unoccupied this time, and a chamber with the mysterious triangle-eye sigil engraved on the floor. The party then discovers a maze of twisting corridors which Gunga Din determines to be trapped with pressure plates and hidden crossbow arrays. More healing magic is applied.

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In Kajaan
Session 4: In the barrow under Witchhenge

Exploring the elven barrow under the hill called “Witchhenge”, the
party pushes open two massive stone doors to find an ornamented chamber
faintly illuminated by patches of phosphorescent mold. Faint sounds and
signs suggest the room might be inhabited. After tossing several coins
(illuminated with “light” spells), the party ventures in to examine the
altar and wall carvings that adorn the room. Traces of mold, tracked
across the floor, reveal that the room was recently occupied, but no
longer.

Durian (Robert) experiments with a familiar design carved in the
floor in front of a relief of a royal-looking pair of elves. Damek the
Unpleasant (Fritz) impetuously tramples on the design and promptly
vanishes. Akron (Ken S) bravely follows the vanished Damek, but the
rest of the party decides to turn their attention to other things. The
altar attracts everyone’s attention, and it is revealed that the top of
the altar appears to be removable. Unfortunately, it is also revealed
that the top of the altar is trapped. Several party members take damage
from flying darts. Various treasures are found within the altar: gems,
golden housewares, a dragon-adorned dagger, and a bag of elvish coins.

Meanwhile, a secret door has been revealed. After Väinämöinen
(Connor) secures the other exit from the room, the party passes through
the secret door into a chamber with three sarcophagi. The last
sarcophagus holds a vicious undead creature that drains Gunga Din
(Randy) and Väinämöinen of some of their life-energy. Despite that, the
party manages to re-kill the thing. In the grave-wrappings within the
sarcophagus, they find a polished sun-shield.

Pushing further into the labyrinth, the party faces off against a
band of zombies. Unbeknownst to them, Akron and Damek have faced off
their own zombie band, and are even now exploring a separate section of
the dungeon.

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In Kajaan
Session 3: In the barrow under Witchhenge

Temporarily abandoning the mystery of the missing king, the party decides that looting the elven barrow beneath Witchhenge will be more profitable. While journeying along the forest road, they encounter members of the mysterious Brotherhood of the Black Swan, a local band of thieves. Local officials and prominent merchants in Rauma seem to regard them as a scourge, while the general populace tolerates them.

A lone boy wandering down the road turns out to be Nezumi, who acts as a scout for the Brotherhood. A pair of powerful-looking fighter-types, one armed with a mighty sword who calls himself “Great Blade”, and the other who bears a notable hammer and is referred to as “The Thunderbolt”, suggest that the Brotherhood is aware of their presence and is prepared to defend their turf. The party and the representatives of the Brotherhood then part as amicably as possible, and go their separate ways.

Upon arriving at the barrow-hill, the party gains access to the shaft/chamber at the core of the hill. Descending, they find an ornate, dragon-head mechanism that turns out to be a trapped door latch. Several of the party members are exposed to a kind of poisonous gas as a result.

Operating the latch reveals two chambers, one full of webs, and the other relatively clear. The party chooses the clear path and is confronted by a host of animated skeletons that they reduce to shards and splinters after a spirited fight. Amongst the items recovered is a magical elven bow and a quiver of magical arrows.

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In Kajaan
Session 2: In the hamlet of Rauma

The party meets with Brede in the common room/courtyard of the Highwater Inn in Rauma. Brede explains she believes that the phoenix mark the party bears is a sign that they have been sent by the goddess Jovas to unravel the mystery of the missing king of Kajaan. She also explains Mead Paw’s claim that the recent appearance of an old, homeless blindman, known as “Blind Maddy” may be connected to the king’s disappearance.

Mead Paw claims to have seen the vizier Ajatar attack the king with some kind of magical device or jewel, which he then hid. Coincidentally, Brede’s superior at the local temple of Jovas, the priest Blackthorn, received a secret delivery from Ajatar which he hid in the temple. Blackthorn refused to discuss it, and when Brede persisted, he banished her from the temple precincts.

Brede urges the party to investigate the temple and see if they can discover what this secret may be, and if it has any connection to the disappearance of the king. The party journeys to the temple of Jovas, a construct of standing stones, massive trees, and the illusion of a larger tree towering over the temple atop a hill in the nearby forest of Fomar. They find the priest Blackthorn to be courteous, but not very helpful. At the temple they meet Ancasta, a Forestkith disciple of Jovas. They learn from her that the Forestkith that attacked Wixarika and her fellow rangers were probably motivated by their totem, the “Ogre King”.

The party locates the Forestkith camp in the forest, and manages to behead the “Ogre King”. The Forestkith retreat behind their palisade of thorns, apparently disheartened at the fall of their totem.

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In Kajaan
Session 1: Arrival at Witchhenge

The party arrives mysteriously via an inter-planar gate known as Witchhenge atop the hill of Sidh-dhruim (shee-thru-eem). The standing stones, carved with ancient Sidh (elven) symbols, form a ring atop the hill. Here they meet Mesikämmen (Mead Paw), who was posted here by a local mystic named Brede, in case a band of travelers should appear. Mead Paw explains that beneath the hill is a barrow of the ancient elves.

Mead Paw notes that the members of the party bear the phoenix-mark on their hands, a tattoo-like symbol that suggests a connection to Jovas, the goddess revered by the local populace. He encourages the party to journey with him to the town of Rauma to meet with Brede, who may have some insights into their mysterious appearance and the phoenix mark.

Along the road to Rauma, the party meets a small band of rangers, led by Wixarika, who are beset by goblin-like Forestkith. The party helps repel the Forestkith and learns from Wixarika that the small kingdom in which they’ve found themselves is called Kajaan, and that the king of Kajaan, one Lemminkäinen, is missing. His throne has been occupied by his former vizier, Ajatar.

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