Dominium

In Keskellä Seinää
Session 47: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Beneath the mountain range Keskellä Seinää (the Middle Wall), that divides the Confederacy of Tolaria from the Middle Kingdoms, the Dwarves of Soulscale founded their forge, or clan. Why they fled the vast cavern and the city they built there is a mystery. Perhaps a mystery to be solved by an intrepid band of adventurers …

After searching the four guard towers that flanked the entrance to the cavern, the party pushes through the strange black sand and ruined cobbles of a road towards what appears to be a wall or causeway of some sort. Scrambling over the stones the party attracts the attention of a pair of galeb duhr, boulder like creatures that haunt the underdark. The galeb duhr and their kin are distant relatives of the dwarves … After defeating the monsters, the party pushes deeper into the cavern.

Shortly thereafter they discover what appears to be a sort of fortress built upon an outcropping of rock. They locate a stairway that leads them to a barred gate. In the courtyard of the fortress there are signs of life. Creatures hiding in the shadows. What sort of creatures they are, and what they intend for the party remains to be seen …

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In Dominium City
Session 29: A Change of Management

Events have been moving at a rapid pace. The Shrine of Ioun is occupied by Protectorate soldiers and Pius Acharnes Eleftherio, a high-ranking official of the Church of Erathis, and scion of the House of Eleftherios, second only to the ruling Ellinikons. Cordroy’s Security Service has cost Mr. Garrig Bohtha, the head of the Shades in Dockside, dearly in skilled thieves and thugs, and the security of his business is in danger. He arranges for Mr. White to be severely beaten and left on the front step of the Jaundiced Jellyfish, instructing Christopher to lurk nearby (but to be seen) and to flee towards the Dive Inn where Bohtha has arranged an ambush. Of course, our heroes oblige …

The Dive Inn looms ominously over Lampblack Alley, halfway between two legitimate streets. It is three stories high, but the interior is gutted, and features two balconies, rather than upper floors. A mix of halflings, and down-and-out looking humans are gathered around small tables tucked into shadowy corners, while in the center of the room are a pair of ship’s masts complete with crow’s nests about 10’ up. Regulars tend to sit here, and the wait staff must scramble up cargo nets with skins of liquor, or hoist trays of food up from below on a pair of winches. Midas, the innkeeper, a bald, portly, one-eyed, shyster of a human with a black kraken tattooed the length of his right arm, mans the central bar, keeping a sharp eye out for the legitimate city watch and warning some patrons to pay their bills before they pass out.

The party have been here before. They’re wary of the incontinent halfling, Privy. And of Bilirubin’s “chonklit monkeys”. They’re on the lookout for Shades. And, for Sackwidth Morehouse, the retired captain and Jaundiced Jellyfish regular, who was among those missing from the party’s inn after the raid by the Shades. They explain to Midas that they would like to acquire the Dive Inn. They make an offer he really can’t refuse.

Naturally, there is a bar fight. The Shades take the worst of it again. One of them flees through a secret door to Bohtha’s hideout below. “Hands” Dandy is captured, and reveals that Sackwidth and the Dragonborn (drekansbörn) Leynir are being held there. The party heads below to deal with Bohtha directly …

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In Tolaria
Session 46: The Many-Pillared Hall

A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright. — J.R.R. Tolkien

The party determines to continue from Bellisima Ford on foot, into the mountains that divide the Confederacy of Tolaria from the Middle Kingdoms. Following an ancient road of cracked cobbles, spot a curious clearing in a grove of trees. The clearing contains some stone ruins and an ancient waypost of Dwarven design. The runes upon it spell out “Soulscale”, one of the Dwarven forges (clans) with which they’ve had dealings in the past.

Following the path of wayposts, they discover an ancient door set into the cliff. Opening it reveals a many-pillared hall. The floor is adrift in strange black sand, which is revealed to be very like iron filings, and oddly charged. Passing into the chamber and attempting to probe its boundaries triggers a static-storm of electrical energy. Crossing the chamber directly, toward a set of elaborate gold-plated doors avoids the trap.

The doors, leading deeper into the mountain, are locked. But Wisp has a way with locked doors and discerns the combination of mechanical turnings and positionings that are necessary to open the things. In the process, she receives a jolt which temporarily numbs her legs. But, the scene of the vast cavern beyond causes all of them to forget the winter and troubles of the outside world, eager to discover what treasures the Dwarves of Soulscale may have left in this apparently abandoned place …

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In Dominium City
Session 28: The Fall of D'sdayne

The door to the Jaundiced Jellyfish creaks open further … but the neighborhood is eerily silent. Beatrice the baker and her son Belek are hiding nearby … The party returns to find Pericles D’sdayne, the Shadar kai nemesis of Shadow, in his familiar pimp hat and Eladrin noble disguise. To send a message to Cordroy’s Security Service, the Shades of Typhon have kidnapped the Smirn family, and told the party it’s time to vacate.

Naturally, the party rejects this. In an intense fight, D’sdayne is finally killed, and his Shade allies routed, but not before it is learned that the Smirns are being held in the former Santorin Trading Company warehouse that House Kerameikos had purchased as a base for the party. The Shades of Typhon, who the party have learned are connected to House Monastiraki, have made their play.

The party races to the warehouse and fights a deadly duel with a quartet of Shades veterans. They extract some info from one of the survivors before Shadow offs him for his defiance and smug manner. The Smirns are rescued and the Jellyfish secured. House Kerameikos agents Tyson and Dargon Asp are hired to provide additional security there.

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In Tolaria
Session 45: There Across the Frozen Water Lies ...

Having rescued Väinämöinen, the party seeks refuge at the wall protecting the city from the chaos of the chasm. Captain Petruchio and his guards direct them to Caius Garibaldi, Tolarian commander of the Angasin mercenary forces hired to protect the city, and now de facto ruler of the city of Tolar.

Garibaldi can spare no resources beyond access to a boat to travel upriver. The party hopes to make their way back to Kajaan, to recover the last of the Tears of Selûne. And so they begin that journey under the grey light of winter skies, reflected in the dark waters of the river Inverno.

After several days of travel upriver, the party arrives at the village of Bellisima Ford. The place has been assaulted by aberrations from the distant chasm. After driving off a few of the remaining creatures, they think it’s possible there may be survivors. The strange priest, Father Darius, causes quite a stir when he finds a terror-stricken woman who insists that he is dead, and wonders why the party is unable to see the evidence of this terrible fact …

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In Dominium City
Session 27: Backdraft

The warehouse trap arranged by the Shades of Typhon has explosive repercussions for the party. Cordroy and Shadow are closest to the blast, but Cyrus and Randoon are not too well sheltered. In the aftermath, the Shades plant the remains of several Vandals. It’s clear to the Blackbirds of Terminus — who rush to the scene — that the Vandals (and possibly Cordroy’s Security Service) were behind the incident.

Miraculously, our heroes have survived. But now they face their old employers who are eager to retaliate against anyone with the audacity to destroy Kefallinia’s warehouse — supposedly owned by the Aklan Sun Trading Company — but actually a Blackbird stronghold.

Despite the evidence against them, the party manages to talk their way out of the situation, and even negotiate a sort of truce with Hilt, the leader of the Blackbirds. The Shades of Typhon are a threat to the Blackbirds, but it’s possible that the Blackbirds and Vandals united might be able to defeat the Shades. Hilt agrees to an alliance if the party will deliver the Dive Inn in Dockside to him.

The party then turn their attentions to Kalliban, market master of the Goblin Market. They convince him that alliance with the Blackbirds against the Shades of Typhon will be worthwhile. He agrees to pass this information up the hierarchy of the Vandals organization.

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In Tolaria
Session 44: Leap of Faith

Stealthily approaching an encampment of the besieging force in the ruined quarter of Tolar, the party comes across a man, apparently abandoned in the swirling snow by the enemy. The man appears to be a priest of Erathis — he wears brown robes embroidered with interlocked circles (in groups of nine) and a white tabard with a torc of silver and gold set with amethysts on the gear teeth of the cog of Erathis — who has been grievously injured in the recent past. His wounds are healed, but his garments are tattered. He speaks of miracles which have befallen him on a mountain, somewhere beyond …

Just beyond the encampment the party sees a dragon which is being fed some kind of ammunition which is fueling its barrage of the walled and warded portion of the city. The feeders are strange, aberrant beings such as those they party has encountered beneath the Fane of Iolar, and in the chasm. They appear to be magically igniting the ammunition with electrical energy before feeding it to the dragon. A strange, sphere-like statue or automaton stands motionless on the edge of the chasm, near the dragon.

Led by Väinämöinen, the party finds a concealed location within range of the dragon, and prepares an ambush. Väinämöinen creeps in amidst the enemy with one of the “batteries” that Wisp has pilfered. He hurls it at the automaton to no affect. He then seizes an ignited battery from one of the aberrant soldiers, and hurls that at the automaton as well. The thing sparks briefly to life, but freezes again.

Gunga Din, Bob the Bold, and Zalumna charge in amongst the scattering soldiers and begin to slay them. The dragon bathes them all in a cloud of stinging frost and then leaps from its pedestal into the fray. Bob intimidates the creature with a defiant shout, his sword and shield glowing with the radiance of the moon, Selûne’s holy light. Meanwhile, Väinämöinen has clambered up on the automaton hoping to disable it, or to activate it against the dragon. He ties a rope to the thing.

Zalumna and Bob drive the dragon back to the edge of the chasm and, as it struggles to fly clear of the fray, Väinämöinen leaps upon its back. He struggles to tie the rope to the dragon as well as it rises up into the swirling snow of the night, quickly vanishing from sight of the party. Seeing that his attempt to lasso the dragon has failed, Väinämöinen leaps clear, hanging on to the rope, and plummets into the chasm …

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In Tolaria
Session 43: Winter's Teeth

A song she heard
Of cold that gathers
Like winter’s tongue
Among the shadows
It rose like blackness
In the sky
That on volcano’s
Vomit rise
A Stone of ruin
From burn to chill
Like black moonrise
Her voice fell still… ― Robert Fanney

The party emerges from the Shadowfell into a Tolar gripped by a dread Winter. Who knows how much time has passed? Missiles of icy-electrical power bombard the city, coming from the chasm opened by the fall of the Tear of Selûne. Dodging through the ruined quarter, the party determines they will seek out the source of the bombardment and put a stop to it.

Shadows flicker and follow, dogging their steps. They resolve into a band of hideous aberrations, the kinds of creatures the party fought in the depths of the chasm. Creatures that now seem to be freely roaming the surface … The party is victorious after a fierce fight and they press on towards the chasm through the night …

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In Dominium City
Session 26: I'll Follow You to Hell!

Cordroy, the beloved goliath leader of the party, has vanished under mysterious circumstances. The Eladrin, Sgt Nicodemus of Firegate Station is at the Jaundiced Jellyfish to question Sackwidth Morehouse about the disappearance. Clappet & Ersa are concerned. The Jellyfish just doesn’t feel right (or as safe) without the big blue guy.

Sackwidth Morehouse reveals “the giant went on a voyage.” The details are a little sketchy, but he says he got a tip on some treasure from the “eladrin boys”. The one with the “fancy hat” was particularly helpful, according to Sackwidth, suggesting that Cordroy meet Captain Hieronymos of the Jacynthe, near the Archos ferry dock at Blackfriar’s Square on the river Fire.

Having overheard the questioning, Cyrus, Shadow and Randoon set off to the Archos Ferry Dock. Here, they get more information from Cyprian Liosia, a member of the Liosia merchant family that owns the Golden Lion trading company. There are four Kerameikos soldiers with him. Also, Unger the Dwarven ferryman offers a few insights.

The Jacynthe is docked near the bridge, positioned to conceal a sewer entrance that the Shades of Typhon are using to engage in clandestine activities, including the imprisonment of Cordroy. Having scouted the situation, and questioned Captain Hieronymos — a wild-eyed derelict wearing gaudy, but soiled cloak and clothes that reminds the party of a dissolute circus clown who smells of brandy and devilweed — they creep into the sewer.

Below, they fight an elusive gang of Shadar Kai disguised as Eladrin, members of the Thieves’ Guild the Shades of Typhon. As the fighting wanes, one of the Shades seeks to escape into the warehouse above via a trapdoor. The party follows warily. Shadow finds Cordroy chained to a pair of anchor bolts set into the floor. Next to him is a pile of boxes surrounding a group of kegs. The goliath mumbles something about needing to keep the chains tight … Shadow deftly picks the lock and the manacles fall to the floor, releasing the tension on the chain. The room explodes in fire, shattered glass, and shards of wood …

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In Dominium City
Session 25: Things That Go Boom in the Night

Having battled the halfling Death Dealers amidst the stalls of the market, the party pursues one into the black interior of an abandoned grain silo. Motes of grain-dust fill the air, along with a pungent, moldering smell. The creaking of beams in the darkness above reveal a number of Death Dealers assembling an ambush. Higher up the party hears the terrified, muffled squeakings of one of the captive halfling boys.

In the battle that follows, Cyrus, Randoon and Shadow leap about in the darkness pursuing the stealthy Death Dealers. The situation edges towards dire. The battle in the market wearied them all. Randoon calls up a ball of fire …

The silo survives the detonation that follows Randoon’s blast. The charged atmosphere of the silo magnifies the fireball in spectacular fashion. While the party suffers, the Death Dealers are destroyed. Miraculously, the captive halfling boys survive and all return, blackened and bloodied to the Jaundiced Jellyfish.

At the tavern, they meet a band of Dragonborn (drekansbörn) raiders (sjóræningjar) and their shaman (heilagur maður) who have come to Dominium city to sell some of their loot. Skálinn the shaman sees the dead (dauður) as Cyrus does. He reveals that a dead girl (dauður stúlka) is watching Cyrus, but does not know the reason. He also says that Doresain, of the White Kingdom (hvít ríki) is “lurking” in the city. Doresain is seeking to unleash Timesus, “That Which Waits Beyond the Stars” (það sem bíður handan við stjörnurnar). Skálinn also sees Shadow as having “Shadow, the Gate Knife” (myrkur, hlið hníf).

The party ponder the old drekansbörn’s revelations and warily eye the five massive sjóræningjar that crowd the small common room of the Jellyfish. Their captain (skipstjórinn) is Egil. Leynir is the laughing one. They are followers of the Raven Queen (drottning Hrafn) like Cyrus. Each wears the yin-yang sigil of Eilífr.

During the Dawn War Eilífr was killed by the primordial known as Erek-Hus, the Demon Prince of the Undead (konungur drauga). With a rough-hewn axe of adamantine, the Prince of the Undead split Eilífr from head to tail, cleaving the dragon god into two equal halves. No sooner did Eilífr’s sundered corpse fall to the ground than each half rose up as a new god — Bælðær from the left and Thátturóreiðu from the right. Drops of Eilífr’s blood, spread far and wide across the world, rose up as drekansbörn.

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