In Voltai
Session 21: Clearing the tunnels

Following the orders of Fort Moradin’s commander, Kitmun Darkhelm, the party clears the recently-excavated tunnels and caverns in the cliff behind the fort. It is made clear that the dwarves of Flamescale Forge, a rival to the Soulscale dwarves of Fort Moradin, are behind the incursion.

Session 1-5: Slide's experience
What it has to do with Halflings

Shadow isn’t much to me. Seems like an OK guy. Tends to keep to himself from what I can tell. Anyway, the boss wants us to case the Jaundiced Jellyfish.

Sounds like a loser place to me and very likely no reward in it at all. Most likely some flee bitten wenches and old scabby bartender owner serving up watered down drinks and bad jokes.

So Shadow and I head down there. Only it aren’t what I expect, no. Its actually kinda nice. A family of Halflings named the Clappets own it. Husband and wife. The place seems like you’ve always been there. Even the loud and annoying body guard they’ve hired for security seems to fit the place.

However, this Randoon character is a bit off putting. He constantly talks about the woods and back home and being a shaman. He seems to follow the Goliath around as if he’s lost in a fog.

The Goliath is funny. He talks like he’s stupid but there is a brightness behind his eyes. He’s so much nicer than Bedros Bedros that I can’t take my eyes off of him. I keep expecting him to use his size to try to leverage an advantage over me. He’s strange.

He really hates Pirates too. Apparently, there is reason to fear that some pirates will be coming here to settle an issue with Cordoroy.

When the Pirates come I can tell everyone is scared. My own sense of smallness kicks in. But I know something that the rest don’t seem to fully understand. I try to convey a sense they shouldn’t be afraid but I don’t know the words or how to convey the feeling. The best way I know is to just put the Pirates to the sword.

So as Corduroy charges out into the street to meet the pirates I shoot out running past him and lay down a barrage of knives aiming only for their eyes. Several of these pathetic individuals go down with the slick metal shafts of the throwing blades just barely sticking out of their skulls. A couple of others dodge or get lucky and the just temporarily blinded. As Shadow slinks into the fight another goes down and soon the rest of the pirates run off.

Randoon looks down at me and says, “That was amazing.” As he makes hand jesters in the air trying weekly to imitate the techniques I used. I just smile and shrug, “A lot of practice.”

As we return to the Inn there is a bit of a celebration. However, as the evening begins we learn some dire news. A local baker has been kidnapped by the pirates. Corduroy is enraged, “Pirates have kidnapped the baker. We need to save the baker.”

So off we head in the dark of night to the ship where these pirates have her.

I get caught up in the big man’s anger and propelled along with him. He is so friendly and accepting but yet so courageous and brave I can’t help it. This feeling of euphoria is a bit intoxicating and soon I find that I’ve jumped onto one of the ships with him and am going to toe to toe with these pirates. As I get knocked overboard into the water I wake up. I’m a killer not a fighter I remind myself. Use my size to my advantage, I mutter to myself.

Soon we have the pirates either dead or running as most of the party musters on one side of the ships and we take down the weaker members of the crew.

Over the next couple of days I keep trying to find ways to impress everyone. We find ourselves hired by a book worm kind of guy. He is paying well so we go for it. Shadow works a good deal with him.

As time goes on I realize that this group is starting to change. Randoon seems to be realizing his own goals. Before too long I find that I am thinking of these guys as closer to me than the guild.

In Dominium City
Session 5: The Wrong Box

At the Dockside inn known as the Jaundiced Jellyfish, party negotiates with Elysia of the Shrine of Ioun and Clappet the innkeeper in the aftermath of the fight with Vanargen, a Master of the Order of the Starry Night. Elysia has accepted custody of the Rod of the Hidden Star that contains the Revelations of Melech. Clappet wants the body disposed of quickly and quietly before the Jellyfish gets a bad reputation.

“Captain” Sackwidth Morehouse, the rambling drunk is overheard talking about a “cask as big as a man” at the nearby Dockside Cross Winery. It sounds like this might be a good place to stash the body. Slide and Shadow stealthily confirm that the old ruin will be a good place, and the party does its best to transfer the body without being seen.

In the ruins of the winery the party discovers one intact fermenting cask, nearly 10’ in diameter, which is protected by spells and an elaborate mechanical-magical lock. Randoon determines that the arcane magic involved has created a sort of secret chest to which Sackwidth is connected, and from which he draws treasure as needed. It appears impenetrable at this time.

At this point the party is ambushed by a band of goblins tattooed with the red fist of the Vandals, a thieving guild that does not normally operate in the Dockside district. Curiously, the band is led by one of the city guard, Johnn the Uncouth, who is known for his corrupt ways. The Vandals are mostly slaughtered and Johnn flees.

The party is persuaded by Kouros and Bedros Bedros of the Blackbirds, the thieving guild that employs Shadow and Slide, to search for Grint Venitari, an ally of Slide’s and a fellow guild member who is missing. Kouros and his goliath friend are “persuaded” to donate some funds to the party. It is learned that Venitari was last seen doing business with Mother Calana, the head of the Mortuary Church of the Raven Queen. Venitari may be connected with a series of grave robberies that have occurred recently, but his intentions are unknown.

In Dominium City
Session 4: Double Dealing

Having escaped the ruins of the Inverted Tower of Falco Aesalon, the party is once again in the sewers beneath the Archos district of Dominium City. Just as daylight beckons they are confronted by a doppelganger posing as a fallen invalid, more flying sheets of aberrant undead flesh, and a submerged gelatinous cube. After a tricky fight, which saw Cordroy the goliath engulfed by the cube several times, the party wins free.

Once free the party heads for Daylain’s shop, the Wonders of the Fey, where Shadow’s ally can help identify the treasures they’ve won from the Inverted Tower. They then concoct a plan to sell the Rod of the Hidden Star and the contained Revelations of Melech to Elysia of the Shrine of Ioun, as they suspect Vanargen’s motivations. However, they plan a double-cross hand-off to Vanargen so that they will be able to collect both the fee he offered for their services, and the reward offered by Elysia.

Slide hires a halfling errand runner named Callous, an employee of Ah’nika Tupelo’s “boarding house” across the square from Daylain’s shop to alert Elysia and Vanargen about the timing of their meeting.

The meeting the next day at the Jaundiced Jellyfish proceeds according to the party’s careful choreography. Vanargen however turns out to be a formidable opponent. Elysia’s timely healing helps the party win out, and it is proved once again that the best way to deal with a spellcaster is to get up close and personal with some sharp steel.

In Voltai
Session 20: Trouble at Fort Moradin

The Dwarves of Soulscale Forge have a problem at their border keep, Fort Moradin. Patrols have been sent out from the fort and have failed to returned, having apparently been ambushed.

One such patrol, led by a Dwarven soldier named Dhatri, has so far avoided the ambush. However, Dhatri suspects that the commander of Fort Moradin may be involved somehow, and he enlists the help of the party to learn what the real situation is at the fort.

Fort Moradin stands on the border between Kajaan, and the Dwarven nation of Voltai. On the road through the foothills of the mountains of Voltai, the party meets a merchant caravan associated with Mathonwy’s Merchant Company in Rauma. The merchant tells of some odd tensions at the fort, and suspicious activity. The commander of the fort has not been seen for days, and his Lieutenant is running the fort in his absence.

The small collection of outbuildings along the road are sealed up, and there is little sign of activity. Fort Moradin is built into a cliff face and guards a narrow canyon-pass leading into Voltai. A merchant shouts from a cracked warehouse door that the party is not welcome here. Finally they are able to contact a young shopkeeper who explains that the garrison at the fort has been depleted and it is rumored that a witch is haunting the place, prophesying doom. The party are urged to talk to the herbalist at the fort, who may know more, as he has treated a few of the ambush survivors, including a young woman who survived a caravan ambush.

The few guards at the fort are wary of the party, but finally yield to their wiles. The herbalist is very nervous when questioned, but finally reveals that the commander of the fort is, in fact, hidden within the apothecary suite.

Opening doors reveals that Kitmun Darkhelm, the commander, is being held in thrall by a witch-like being disguised as the young ambush victim. She is accompanied by a party of small, cloaked figures who flit through the shadows throwing knives as they do. The party vanquishes the witch and her minions, and frees the commander from her spell.

Darkhelm reveals a secret passage that the witch had used to access the fort from caves within the mountain. He urges the party to clear the tunnels while he re-establishes his authority in the fort, dealing with the wayward lieutenant.

In Dominium City
Session 3: Beneath the Streets

At the Shrine of Ioun, the party negotiates with Elysia, an official of the shrine, to pay their respects at the Aesalon family crypt. Elysia seems well aware that the party intends to use the secret entrance to the sewers that the crypt conceals as part of a quest for the dangerous Revelations of Melech. She urges them to deliver the Revelations to her, and hints that she will pay more than Vanargen offered, and that he may not be as trustworthy as he seems. She suggests that the Order of the Starry Night are a corrupt cabal of sorcerers intent on contacting the Far Realm for nefarious purposes.

In the sewers below the crypt the party confronts some aberrant lobster-headed halflings. The vile creatures are defeated despite the odd mind-scrambling traps they have prepared in the dark waters.

A waterwheel mechanism in a vault plastered with glowing fungus is revealed to be a key to a hidden doorway, and the party gains access to the legendary Inverted Tower itself, the place where Falco Aesalon and the Order of the Starry Night conducted their experiments.

In a side cavern, the party encounters a breeding ground for some aberrant worms, overseen by a dark, tentacle-armed humanoid that flung poisoned blades as it crept from shadow to shadow. Defeating the creatures they recover a set of metal collars and a whistle of the same silvery metal that seems to be psychically linked to the collars.

A collection of black candles is recovered, each engraved with the name of a star rumored to be associated with dark fates and the powers of the Far Realm. And, in a massive circular chamber of sacrifice, amidst the ruins of the machine that Aesalon and the order had constructed for their black magics, the party reads the tale of the quest for the Sleeper.

“Where did He come from? Our dreams. Why did He come? We called. From our sleep came the Sleeper. He opened our dreaming eyes by shutting our waking ones. His defeat was but another sleep and waking Him our dream.”

“The Sleeper is the herald. His dreams call to That Which Waits Beyond the Stars. When the Sleeper is awoken, He will dream again.”

Beyond this disturbing revelation is a pair of massive chambers with blade-like turbines, now stopped. Peering at the party from the opposite landing is a creature with fibrous, hairless skin that spasms as it looks about. It is pale and emaciated with huge milky eyes, and has arms that split at the elbows into two usable limbs, and a brace of ivory-handled knives is arrayed on bandoleers strapped to its torso.

This disturbing creature and some flying sheets of aberrant undead flesh hound them as they try to cross the turbine blades. Glowing crystals in the pit below light the room with a sickening radiance that plucks at the strings of sanity in their heads.

The party wins their way past these horrors and discovers a clutch of something like giant eggs of dead flesh. Amidst the eggs they find the Rod of the Hidden Star and, within it, the Revelations of Melech for which they had been sent.

In Kajaan
Session 19: The Great Cheese Race

Back in Old Sarum the party finds that an annual rite, a cheese rolling race, is about to commence. The “famous warband” members are invited to participate. The entry fee of 1gp per person is added to the pot of winnings, each contestant is handed a hard wheel of cheese and a stick with which to steer it. The race starts at the top of the hill of Old Sarum, and follows the switchback streets down towards the lake. There are very few rules.

Gunga Din (Randy) grabs the early lead, closely followed by Väinämöinen (Connor). As the crowd of racers rounds the first bend, Bob the Bold (Dennis) is frustrated with one of the local children and so tosses him aside. In retaliation Ysabet, the innkeeper, trips the heavily armored fighter and he clatters to the ground.

Zalumna (Hillary) loses her composure in the pack and attempts to go through some of the slower competitors rather than around them. Ysabet and her sister Heike are in the barbarian woman’s path, and all three tumble to the cobbles in a flurry of limbs and screeched imprecations.

Through the confusion, Damek the Unpleasant (Fritz) is able to steer his cheese unmolested across the finish line first for the victory. Much celebration ensues.

In Dominium City
Session 2: Hit the Deck!

The party closes in on Captain Flint and what remains of the pirate crew of the Seawolf. The crazed, bomb-tossing pirate and a martial artist with dragon-tooled leather armor are the last to fall and Flint creates a diversion by tossing a handful of gems to the deck, before diving into the dark waters of the Bay of Triumph.

Beatrice the baker (known for her fine buns) is rescued from the dank hold of the Seawolf, and Brim Breethstoke, captain of the Dauntless, the ship held captive by the pirates at the dock, expresses his thanks for the party’s assistance.

Sergeant Nicodemus of the watch arrives to sort out the legal implications of the night’s events and Breethstoke takes the opportunity to lay claim to the Seawolf in reparation for the damage to his ship and business.

The party retreats to the Jaundiced Jellyfish to bandage their wounds and salvage a bit of rest. In the morning, over breakfast and tales of their own daring, they meet Vanargen, the mystical old fortuneteller, who explains that they are just the sort of lads to brave the legendary Inverted Tower of Falco Aesalon, and secure the Revelations of Melech, for which he’s willing to pay handsomely. Sound too good to be true? You’re probably right.

In Kajaan
Session 18: The Flight of Ajatar

Deep in the troll cave, the party battles a trio of trolls and some eerie flaming corpses as it tries to apprehend Ajatar, the usurper of Kajaan. But Ajatar has invoked a ritual that has opened a dimensional door to a desolate region of rocky cliffs and canyons and flees through the door before the party can cut off his escape.

One of the surviving trolls pleads for mercy, and agrees to help the party past the other tribe members that were standing guard at the cave entrance. The party escapes with their lives, a load of troll loot, and a nagging feeling that they’ll be seeing Ajatar again.

In Kajaan
Session 17: Meetings in Old Sarum

The party learned that Ajatar had arranged for a meeting with his informants at a cave to the northwest of Old Sarum. A cave that was rumored to be inhabited by trolls.

Journeying there they discovered the rumors were true. A trio of trolls had been set as guards near the entrance of the caves. Some wily words from Wisp (Lisa) convinced them that it would be worthwhile to let the party into the deeper caves to meet with Ajatar.


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