Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle

Session 50 - Western Party

The attack on the Baron’s keep went quickly awry when it was discovered that the corrupt Baroness’s new enforcers were actually vampires and vampire spawn. During the final battle, a soldier wearing the Baroness’s armor and carrying her weapon came out to attack the party. The wizard working with the party made an intelligent and decisive call in casting Break Enchantment on the soldier, releasing her from the grip of domination she had been under. She quickly turned around and began attacking an unseen caster in the room, who turned out to be the actual “baroness” (who had somehow gained quite a bit of skill in magic and whose personality conflicted greatly with the person she used to be).

Soon after the soldier was turned away from her former master, the “baroness” and her primary enforcer, a vampire monk, fled from the city. Word came quickly from the gates; Torah’s “attack” ended very quickly. Many of the town’s soldiers defected to his side upon seeing him. Those that didn’t bore panther tattoos.

Torah declared a celebration to be in order for returning him to power and freeing the town from the grip of an unknown usurper. As part of his payment, he ensured that the town’s clerics restored all of the energy the vampires had drained from the party’s life force.

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Session 49 - Western Party

After defeating the corrupted dragon at the entrance to the mine, the party moved in to take on the dark priest. What they found was a ritual circle with the priest at its head. Before anyone could act, the ritual was completed… and everything fell apart. A murky pool of darkness formed inside the ritual circle and consumed every one of the ritual casters, dragging them screaming into the darkness. Almost as quickly as it began, the nightmare ended: the pool of darkness disappeared, taking all signs of the casters with it.

When the party returned to the surface, the mining camp had been secured. All of the possessed guards had been taken down, and everyone else was grateful for being freed.

Torah proposed taking what troops they had to make a feint on the town, making it appear to be under attack. While the “attack” was occurring, a small group (guess who!) would sneak in to the Baron’s keep and remove the new Baroness from power.

As the party and soldiers left the mining camp, a large herd of gorgons approached. None of them appeared ready to attack, and actually allowed people to ride on their backs. Torah decided he would use the gorgons as part of his “assault”. Squire Thorn was assigned to keep Torah healed and ensure that no corrupted guards attempted to “defect” to Torah’s side during the attack.

The party made their way into the Baron’s keep via a secret entrance outside the city. Inside, there was a group of giant spiders that attacked the party, weakening them before they even came close to the Baroness.

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Session 47 (Northern Party)

After grilling the Malik’s scout for what information he was (grudgingly) willing to reveal, Simon had enough information to teleport us close to the magma dragon’s lair. The scout refused to go any further (a situation everyone felt comfortable with).

Unfortunately, it turns out the magma dragon made it’s lair within a volcano far larger than any material counterpart. The first entrance that might have been an opening large enough for the dragon was guarded by salamanders, who were quickly dispatched. Soon after, we encounter the first magma elemental inside. After dispatching that, it appeared that there was no good way through the magma for the majority of the party.

The elemental druid set off to find the volcano’s caldera in the hope that everyone might be able to walk down. Unfortunately, the search took far longer than expected. It was nearly three hours of direct flight from the base of the volcano to the top (meaning the volcano was a little over twelve miles tall). On the flight back down, the druid spotted a few openings that had a less magma-filled passage that the first.

The party made their way to one of the marked openings. This one had a magma filled passage as well, but there was space above the magma and along the sides for the rest of the group to try to make it through.

An attempt by the monk to pass by the sides turned out poorly, as he was attacked in the middle of the passage by yet another magma elemental far from the rest of the party. Eventually, through spells, long-ranged attacks, and the monk’s own abilities, the elemental went down.

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Session 48 Western Party

After the great gorgon was slain and Mithos granted the survivors their boons, Torah Gorgonmaster and the remnants of his hunting party (two arcane casters and a cleric) were brought back to life.

After some discussion, Torah decided that the best course of action would be to free some of his soldiers from one of the mines near the town in order to have enough force to drive out the pretend Baroness. The shadeling brought back vital intelligence on how to enter the walled fortress surrounding the mine. The assault itself went about as well as could be expected, until the black robed figure in charge fled into the mine and unleashed some sort of undead dragon that was resistant to arcane and divine abilities.

The battle against the “dragon” was long and painful, but in the end, it was vanquished with no losses on the party’s behalf. Ahead lies the mine, and the corrupted cleric responsible for the “dragon”.

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Session 46 (Northern Party
PLANE of FIRE!!

After Wren returns to Amarillo and discovers that the party has been in a fight while she was scouting ahead they compare notes. They determine that with the Herald loose they need more help. So they determine that it’s time to quick dicking around and head to the Plane of Fire and complete the mission Ral Tandrack gave to Simon. So they acquire teleport scrolls and head to the Plane of Fire. Once there they encounter a wandering fire elemental and he accompanies them to the palace of the Malik. They meet with the Malik, who is intending to give the Heartstone to his superior as a gift. He offers to give it to them in exchange for the live egg of a nearby magma dragon. After some negotiation the party signs a contract with the Malik. They are joined by a Azer named Rhogut who will assist them.

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Session 47 (Western Party)
To Dust You Shall Return

After Tyrnan’s untimely passing, he seemed to form a new, undead body from the pink goo that had been his remains. Mithos Ironhorn, it seemed, wished them to continue their trials at full strength.

The third trial was a test of strength and speed. The party was transported to a hallway, where they had to make their way past a portcullis to a set of ropes set in a square room with a sloping floor. They were informed of their task, and then the lava began to flow. Quickly.

Takeo managed the portcullis, while the rest fled into the room and began to claim ropes. Arissa used a feather token to create a tree next to her rope, which made the first half of the journey up the rope an easy one for her. The party members climbed at various speeds, with Alexandra the quickest.

As they attempted to climb, the lava filled the hallway and began to spill into the large room. While the slow demise of Arissa’s tree would not normally have been a cause for distress, the lava had so weakened it that when she fell off the rope and landed in the tree, it broke, tearing the rope from the roof of the chamber and depositing Arissa and Derek in the lava.

Fortunately for the two of them, the lava was not yet deep enough to engulf them. They quickly ran to new ropes and began to climb anew. Unfortunately, their fall into the molten stuff caused a lava construct to arise. While the construct played pinata with those who remained on the ropes, Alexandra hauled Tyrnan, who then himself began to help others reach the top.

Alas for Arissa, they could not reach her before the magma monster whipped her body against a wall and shattered her skeleton into a thousand pieces. The remainder of the group, however, managed to reach the top alive.

As with Tyrnan, Mithos allowed Arissa to continue to the final trial in a state of undeath.

The party was lead to a large chamber, with the only visible exit blocked by a shimmering magical barrier. The only other thing in the chamber was the petrified form of Torah, the erstwhile Baron of Bloodmark. The party took a few moments to enhance their combat and protection abilities, while scanning the room for their foe.

Without warning, Old Ironsides appeared and breathed his petrifying breath over the party. Old Ironsides was the patriarch of all gorgons, and the battle against him was long and tiring. Again and again, he charged over and through the melee fighters seeking to entrap him, and again and again the party had to run to pen in the gigantic beast. Arissa cast her spells from a safe distance, while Alexandra tried to keep up with the charging bovine. (Without much luck, unfortunately, although Alexandra did manage to lasso and climb atop Old Ironsides, digging her blades into his back. He did not approve of this, and managed to dislodge her before she could get in another strike.)

At long last, near the end of their resources and nearing the end of their strength, Old Ironsides was defeated. Tyrnan and Arissa collapsed, finally dead.

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Session 45 (Western Team)
Let the Trials begin!

The team in the west leaves the town of Bloodmark to venture into the wastes and track down Torah as rumors of his death seem to be exaggerated. The team encountered a pair of Gorgon’s while travelling and our new guide and local in Miss Darkpaw as she was petrified in the fight. We also lost a pair of horses in the fight. Worst…she had the map.

After doing some general navigation and searching we found a winding valley that looked to be possibly an old riverbed. We came upon the ruins roiling with a red steam that seemed to come from within and hugged the ground the ruins were surrounded by a long line of gorgon’s standing shoulder to shoulder. Leaving the canyon to try to find a safer way past the gorgons it was discovered that the entire canyon was covered by one of the best and somewhat combative illusions.

Upon riding back in Takeo and Dragon led in, announced their presence and bid passage. Surprisingly, the gorgons turned and then grudgingly formed an honor guard opening and let us through. The team went into the ruins and upon stepping into the steam seemed to disappear. Gathering their wits the team was staring at one of the larger Minotaur they had seen. And yet another diety announced its presence for we were standing in front of Mithos Ironhorn. He suggested we let Alexandra out of the bag we had put her in until we could get her unpetrified. It seems that Mithos and Jagdar have something of an investment in the world and are working with some of the others to make sure that it doesn’t go away. Mithos though wanted to test us before allowing us any true aid and so arranged for us to end up in the Bloodplains. Our options, take and pass his trials and he would return Torah or…walk home. We chose option A.

The first trial was over some black sphere, to push it back and forth by will alone. Dusan with the collective support of the team was successful in pushing it back to Mithos. Then we were faced with a combat trial to destroy a series of undead orc berserkers. Sadly, this trial was not without cost as Tyrnan fell while valiantly holding a flank during the combat.

The trials continue…

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Session 45 (Northern Party)
Specters! (Northern Party 4)

The Party continues to investigate the disappearance of Jorus and Evelyn Truthseeker (no relation)the chief priestess of Rozerus in Amarillo and her husband, a Divination mage (and their servant). While going through the mage’s things Simon triggers a pretty basic trap on one of the spellbooks and is out for the day via Sepia Snake Sigil, until they can get the local temple to undo it.

Finding empty bedclothes, it becomes obvious that something disappeared them. The last time Caiden had seen something like this, it had been at the hands of Shadows. After further investigation, they party comes up with very little but for the journal translations Kaspar has been doing.

The Party decides that they’ve used up the leads here, without a way to track down the incorporeal undead and spends the next day preparing to leave. At about 2 in the afternoon, they are fetched. There’s been a disappearance in the house next to the burnt-out ruins of the witch’s place. The conclusion is obvious and the Party (minus Wren, who was out training) suits up and heads to the ruins.

They soon discover that it isn’t Shadows, but the more fearsome Specters they face. The Master Specter is the child that was sacrificed to summon the herald of Kal-Dan, with Jorus, Evelyn, their servant and the latest victim as its lesser Specters. The battle that ensues is ugly and both Kaspar and Caiden fall to become Specters. During a lull in the battle Simon discusses abandoning the town with Cord, possibly to fetch the Knights, as victory is looking less and less possible. All appears lost.

Then, from the blue, a sword appears. A familiar sword, the Sword of Redemption, last seen bringing Takeo back from the Undead. While Cord takes the attacks of the remaining Specters, Simon uses the sword’s last charge to restore Caiden. With Caiden back in the fight, they slowly, but surely push back and destroy the last of the Specters, including the Specter that had been Kaspar, and the Sheriff.

A victory, yes. But a costly one, and nearly more costly still but for divine intervention…

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Session 44 (Northern Party)
Sinister Happenings (Northern Party 3)

Eragold 25-27

After resting up a bit the party leaves the village of Carollis. Along the way they picked up Cord’s horse and heard rumors of attacks on horses and stories of strange man. Not long after they encountered 3 hippogriffs and killed them, while losing 2 horses. Down a couple of mounts travel was slower. Soon they reached the small town of Amarillo (pronouced Am-are-ee-oh). As they gathered information they discovered that the strange man had been here. Also there have been several strange events.

On further investigation and a long talk with the local sheriff the party learned the full story and were asked to help with the investigation. It seems that a local woman and her son had befriended a newcomer, a witch of some sort. She was able to cure the local woman when all hope seemed lost. Then a strange man came to town and soon after the woman’s house burned and her son disappeared. The boy was the apprentice of the local mage, Jorus. The sheriff sent some men after the man, but they were not heard from again. She went out herself in search of her missing men and discovered that they had been killed and made into zombies. On the day the party arrived the mage and his wife (the town’s cleric of Rozerus) went missing as well. The witch’s journal was partially burned and partially translated by Jorus. On the evening of the 27th the party was in the process of reading over the journal (which is written in Infernal) and investigating the house of the Jorus and his wife.

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Session 43 (Western Team)

After arriving in the town of Bloodmark, Dusan Takeo and Derek soon made their way into the major traveler’s inn in town, the Dragorgon (named after the preserved corpse of a possible half-dragon gorgon shown in the center of the inn). There, Dusan struck up a conversation with a new mercenary in town, while Takeo was recognized by a traveling hisskarssi, Arissa.

Not long after they arrived, a group of guards entered, led by the captain of the town guard. They began searching for a certain shadeling who eventually approached Derek for help after finding the exits blocked. The shadeling claimed (quite correctly, it turned out) that the guards were there to arrest her on mock charges. With their plot spoiled by Derek and the mercenary Tyrnan Ash, the guards begrudgingly left. For the time being.

Not long afterwards, the group met with Arissa, Tyrnan, and the shadeling in the attic of the inn and shared what information they had on Maldedictum Petram and the barony of Bloodmark in particular. Apparently, the new leader of the town, Baroness Iridius, former captain of the town guard, acquired her station in a very fortunately timed series of events recently, and she was “cleaning house” of anyone that had a role in the disappearance of the former baron, a minotaur named Torah Gorgonmaster.

Last reports had Torah Gorgonmaster disappearing on a hunt for a great gorgon in or around one of the ruins outside of town. The group collectively decided to search the area for the rightful baron or evidence of what happened to him in an effort to discredit or overthrow the false baroness of Bloodmark.

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