Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle

The Sanctuary of Animus (part 2)

So after resurrecting Wren the party decided to go back to the temple (because the 1st attempt went so well). A sending to Simon confirmed they shouldn’t wait for him. So back to the desert.

The druid and his troglodytes were gone (although the bodies and the smell remained. The party moved into the temple and found a door that the druid had clearly been unable to open. Malaena was able to open the door as a cleric of Mirala’ana. As they were closing the door behind them some sort of plague-serpent-thing attacked. After a nasty plague filled battle they defeated it, cast healing and restoration and moved on.

The next room led to a trap, but, after Takeo fell in, Wren was able to disable it. Then they moved into a room with 2 Golems (one with an eagle head and the other with a jackal head). More fighting and eventual defeat.

At the end of that battle the party was low on spells and resources. The plan is to rest here so Malaena can get spells and Takeo and Dusan can bond with mythic items.

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The Rescue of Wren

Simon in his attempting to track down Wren’s current location was given a contact and told not to bring any clerics or paladins with to do the meet and return of Wren. The catch, the location is Saltmourne keep. With Dusan and Malena in a bag of holding, Simon and Takeo teleported and windwalked in to the keep. They were granted an audience with the current ruler of the keep. The being in question said his name was Tully which Simon was able to remember a similarly named individual from his ancestors time adventuring. He told the group a tale of how he had ingratiated himself into the camp of Kel’Dan. He gave us a fair amount of information regarding the consequences of many of Wren’s actions.

Tully then gave us the key and a distraction to help recover Wren as well as a couple of cloaks…of Undeath? Simon and Takeo were able to recover Wren and return with everyone to Mystrul. There, several conversations ensued.

Where does this lead? What with the party do next? Where did Caiden go? Tune in next time.

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Wren's Adventure Log
adventures in failure

My friends,

I scarcely know where to begin, but you all deserve an explanation. A letter seems the best method as it does not require you to be anywhere near me. I understand your wariness, your distrust and even your anger. I deserve no less. My apologies don’t undo the damage I’ve done. They will likely ring hollow in your ears. I don’t even know the extent of the trouble I’ve caused and so I cannot even begin to make amends. Yet it needs to be said. I regret everything, I am sorry for all of it, I repent of all my actions.

Below you will find my account of everything that has happened to me since I left you in Wayreach. I hope you find it helpful as you discern what is to be done with me.

On the way back from the battle with Rashid at the Corbin farm Kal’Dan spoke to me for the second time (you’ll remember that he approached me in Cor Ferrea as Simon). This time he told me if I didn’t leave Wayreach he would tell the Red Friars where I was. In hindsight I’m sure now that he wanted me out of the fight at the Monastary of the All Seeing Eye. However, at the time I was certain that he would use the Red Friars to make things much worse in Wayreach and things were bad enough. He offered to give me leads on how to prove the Red Friars were corrupted. I was foolish. I took his deal. Thomas chose to come with me, to watch my back. The long term plan was to allow Kal’Dan to get us out of Wayreach, get a lead on the Red Friars and then give Kal’Dan’s agents the slip. My intention was not to work for him, but to use him as a means to an end. Deal with some of the Elder Evils and try to get back and help in Wayreach when you were closer to the monastery and once Bratirion was stronger. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, believe me I know.

We left the city. We met with Kal’Dan’s agent, who was, of course, Rashid. It was a trap, of course. The next day we were told we were being teleported to Sacra Terra. Instead we were teleported to Old Din Gareth. The spellcaster who took us there had been instructed by Kal’Dan to imprison me there. She used Thomas and the threat of death on Old Din Gareth to make me submit. They promised to take Thomas to safety if I complied. So I submitted.

The next thing I knew I was free and being taken to Moon Base Alpha. Klinendekkerdor had intervened on my behalf. He made a deal with Kal’Dan. He convinced Kal’Dan that it didn’t serve any purpose for me to be imprisoned. I was to be held on MBA until the end of the month. I would be given training against the Elder Evils and so my imprisonment would serve a purpose, make me more useful in the fight against the Elder Evils. In exchange, Thomas’ safety was guaranteed. The deal would be void if I left early. I spent my time on MBA training against the Elder Evils.

While I was there I was allowed to look in on Ondoron, but never interact with anyone here. I saw the battle at the Monastery of the All Seeing Eye. The image went black just before the dragon was going to kill Simon. So I saw the consequences of my actions. Later I was told that Takeo, Derek and Simon survived but that Dusan, Malaena and Caiden were raised as undead. I believed this until yesterday. I was also allowed to hear the news from Luminairre about the Lord Knights’ council. That same day I was allowed to see images of the bodies of both Ser Helion Titus and Ser Maximus Aquilinus. The day after I was sent to the front lines of the battle for Heaven.

I served on the front lines from the 30th until an unknown date. There was no sense of time there. I had been promised I would be returned to Ondoron on Darkherald the 1st. I fought the Elder Powers beside seraphim and demons and watchers and Klint’s LGM (Little Green Men). I learned much and gained power. I also began to doubt what I had been told by the watcher of gnomes. It was hard to know who was on which side.

Then one day I was scouting for my team and a figure found me. He told me I was about to be betrayed by my team. They were going to let me die in the next attack. He offered to bring me back to Ondoron. He spoke of fate and he seemed to be Romd. I know now he was really Kal’Dan – again. By going with him I broke the agreement and compromised Thomas’ safety, though at the time I believed my agreement was with his watcher and so he would be safe. Another error. More consequences.

I awoke in Ghoul Reef. I was told they found me on a sinking boat. I’d been unconscious for three days. I awoke on Brightleaf the 38th. The woman who nursed me said I was sunburned and dehydrated when they found me. She figured I’d been on the boat at least a week. I have no idea if I was really on the boat that long, it certainly doesn’t fit my timeline. Bratirion was gone. All the rest of my equipment was recovered. My hosts tried and could not remove the ring that protects me from the Red Friars. They feared I would lose the finger. Later when Simon tried to find me I couldn’t remove it either.

As soon as I could I contacted Simon. Then while he was trying to locate me, Turry showed up. He told the locals I was a missing necromancer from Larecan. I hid while they searched for me. Eventually they found me. The authorities of Ghould Reef caught Turry in a lie and Turry abandoned his forces and took me to a deserted place. He asked me to prove I wasn’t an agent of Kal’Dan or he would kill me. I told him my story and he said he would turn me over to Simon. Then he took me to Saltmourne where I was put under a spell. The rest you know better than I do.

I hope this account is helpful to you as you make your discernments. Know that I see the errors I have made and repent of them, but I recognize that does little to gain your trust. I believe I have intelligence that can be of help to you regarding the Elder Evils, but I also appreciate any information I give you will be suspect. I want nothing more than to be of help to you, but I understand that I have caused so much damage it may seem wiser to … I will abide by whatever decision you make about my fate.

I make only one request. If you can confirm that Thomas is in Old Din Gareth, please, do everything you can to free him.

~ Wren

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Session 65

The party successfully provoked the leader of the desert giants into combat, where he was forced to retreat. Successful, they returned the pharaoh’s gold.

They were then allowed to meet the Mother of Sphinxes. After presenting her with a text from the fortress of Cor Draconis, the party asked her where they could find the former Archseraph’s fortress and successfully answered the riddle she gave them. Her servants were sent to draw p a map to the location while the party settled in for the evening.

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Session 64

Excerpt from Dusan’s journal:

The evening after the meeting with the Sphinxguard, we discovered a previously-unseen side-effect of Oracle Caiden’s brief touch with death: a terrible allergy to Xethan sunlight. We were forced to leave Caiden behind in the capital for the time being.

Perhaps, in this empire of the sun that time forgot, the harsh judgement of Lunarus will afflict any corruption it shines upon, untempered by the mercy of civilization and unguided by wisdom. Their ways have not changed since the early days of humanity, and in their obstinate ways, I see a reflection of their tyranny in my own empire. Having remained unchallenged and undefeated for so long has convinced the people of Xethis of the virtue of their ways; their endurance despite constant threats from their neighbors they consider proof of the propriety of their methods. Only the most stubborn of Imperial patriots could not see the possible connection between the misguided nature of the Xethans and the problems that now face our beloved empire in the south.

I will say more on the necessity of mercy in our more civilized, more developed morality later, but seeing what could be reflected in an ancient, sand-etched mirror has given me much to ponder.

In order to prove ourselves to the Mother of Sphinxes, we set out on our mission: to recover the misappropriated taxes of the Xethan Pharoah and bring the half-draconic giant in charge of the bandits to Romd’s Justice. Through the arcane manipulations and amazing bluffs of Simon, we were able to defeat or rout the nine giant bandits with no serious injuries.

We prepared a trap for the half-draconic leader, something to attract the creature’s attention and play on their ego, and lay in wait when Simon received a sending from Lauren Brightguard. According to Simon, she could be found in the fallen empire of Seran.

I do not know if the timing on this message is a blessing or a curse. Regardless, I suspect the next couple of days to be even more trying than we previously expected.

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Session 62 & 63

The trip to Darkstar Castle led the party forward to Cor Draconis where Count Blackhammer was already meeting with Taio Valerian and that Ser Laurenia Luminairre and Lord Lanternbearer were already in residence. The party discussed current events and the Count Blackhammer acquiesced and is going to stay put.

Simon then used a large number of teleports to move Warden Voltarus out to Cor Draonis he also with Dusan’s aid attempted to retrieve Wren. Either a simple Freedom is not enough to free her or she has been moved. There was a search by Malena and Takeo through Dragon mountain. This lead to the finding of some building materials and an ancient tapestry of Bahar and the Outer Guardians. There was also a consecrated temple to Bahar with a Scale similar to the one used to create the Dragon Knights. With a false wall in the temple there was a secret chamber that held a large container that the was labeled in draconic as being the Blood of Bahar; though most of the party was not told of the last part.

The Codex Trileen, an odd book written in a made up language was found as a good option as a gift for the Mother of Sphinx. The next morning the party departed for Xethis to arrive in its brilliant sun and capital. The group was able to make its way to the compound for Oazahoar, the guardians of the mother. They were given their test of strength, a quest to take down and commit justice on a group of Desert Giants and their half blue dragon leader. While they had been a simple nuisance they recently struck a tax caravan and made off with several trunks of the Pharaoh’s coin. On the morning the plan is to utilize wind walk to find and deliver justice to these brigands and return with the tax money.

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Session 61

The party, upon concluding their deliberations all moved on to start the rounds by sending off a few sendings. Lord Demonbane was able to be contacted and he will be brought in touch with Lord Wolfson shortly as he finished recovering from his adventures in the Blood plains. The Lord knights have taken the responsibility of contacting the other three Lord Knights currently out as regional field commanders, Lady Sara Sunblade, Lady Mara Aurellius, Lady Regina Oakshield. A sending to Ser Titus was not returned or responded to, causing the party to fear the worst.

Serena Fireborn joined the party in travelling to Phoenix to begin networking with clerics throughout Ashwick and Trigonum.

When delivering news and plans to Lord Wolfson, the briefing turned into something needing a bit of libations as Lord Wolfson found out the identities of three Oracles, as well as Dusan’s heritage. The party also found out the location of the form Archseraph’s stronghold that hold the key to healing Duke Tyrin Ashlane as well as Caiden. Lord Wolfson contributed that there is in fact an Inquisitor’s blade available for purchase.

While the party heads out to Darkstar Castle to speak with Count Arthis Blackhammer Lord Wolfson will be dispatching Warden Saber Voltarus to retrieve Count Angelo Atretheon and his son Thomas Atretheon who recently entered Wayreach.

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Session 60 (minus Wren)

Upon returning to Mystril Keep, Dusan shared some of what he and Lady Fireborn had learned of the situation in Trigonum. Thomas Atretheon had convinced his father, Count Atretheon, to lead reinforcements to Cor Ferrea in Wayreach. Unfortunately, the Count, Thomas, and many of the other soldiers are now unaccounted for. Survivors from the sack of Cor Ferrea as well as retreating Atretheon soldiers do not know where either the COunt or his son are. Count Blackhammer is preparing to lead a rescue mission to Wayreach, but knows little about the situation that awaits him in there; as neither Blackhammer nor his troops have darkvision, they are likely to be slaughtered in the now perpetual (literal) darkness of Wayreach. If Blackhammer and Atretheon are both lost, the people of Trigonum will not be able to unify in the face of the coming invasion.

Most of the Lord Knights are now under the influence of the elder evils. The only real chance the states of Trigonum and Ashwick have is to find and convince the Lord Knights who were not in Rozeril at the time of the meeting of the direness of the situation. Unfortunately, that means finding and persuading them within a week’s time.

Much of the days covered involved travel. The first day Simon returned Wil to Ashwick so that he can assist his father and the Duchess.

The second day started with a trip to Miles Hostiam, so that Milaena could inform her former sect of the dangers of corruption and how best to fight it. After that, Simon delivered the party to Rozeril. Most of the group went off to sell items that the party had picked up in Trigonum but had yet to sell; Dusan and Lady Fireborn went into the depths of Rozeril to search for an item that Fireborn believed would help persuade people to join our cause.

After making their way through the maze of the undercity, Dusan and Fireborn opened a hidden door leading into the office and workspace of Daravin Luminairre. In addition to a series of useful texts and paperwork, two important items were found. The first detailed the nature of the Empress’s Blessing, and where the components needed to unlock it could be found. The second, hidden in a vault in the workspace, was a shield crafted by Ral’Tandrack and carried by the Imperial line throughout the millennia.

The party returned to Mystril Keep once more, and began planning for a series of missions that would be needed before the first of the coming month.

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Session 59 (reunited)

As most of the party recovered under the care of Dax’s people, Simon set about doing as much research as he could. After roughly a week of care, Takeo came back to consciousness, just in time to assist Simon and Derek in gathering information from Rozeril.

The foray couldn’t have been timed better. That day, the Council of Lord Knights met and managed to do more in one day than they had accomplished in most of the PCs lifetimes. Unfortunately, it was all painfully wrong. The corruption that had held in Trigonum had spread to much of the western states, except for the area around Westmarch (home of the Red Friars). Surprise!

Using the flimsiest of excuses, the Lord Knights declared Lord Demonbane a traitor, excommunicated those closest to him, excommunicated nearly half of the Lord Knights not present at the meeting (with the threat to excommunicate the rest if they didn’t give in to the councils demands to turn tail with all of their money and submit to the Red Friars). The threat to Halt Wolfson to abandon Ashwick was going to be unsubtly backed up by placing Wil Wolfson into “protective custody” in Rozeril.

Somehow, despite all odds, Simon, Takeo, and Derek managed to find and free Wil before he was locked away. Wil and Derek now temporarily reside in Simon’s secret volcano lair, along with the other members of the party as they slowly recover from their brush with death.

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Session 58 (restored)

The dragon hinted at previously indeed made its way down into the fray, mauling Millaena as it landed. Caiden, seeing the party faltering under the burden of enormous amounts of negative energy, sacrificed what magical power he had remaining in order to restore everyone present to their fullest strength.

Caiden’s sacrifice worked, but it left the remaining party members without any dedicated healers. Arrayed against them were a corrupted dragon that could inflict negative energy in addition to its already incredible attacks, and the undead avatar of Kel’Dan Melir, a powerful spellcaster in its own right.

Things reverted quickly to their previously horrible state.

Caiden’s sacrifice did allow the remaining party members (Dusan, Derek, Takeo) to distract the dragon and avatar long enough for Simon to destroy the focus for the anti-life shell around the fallen monastery, as well as destroy the altar maintaining the unhallow spell the party had been fighting inside. Simon was swiftly grappled by the dragon afterwards. Takeo and Derek had already fallen to the beast. The fly spell Simon had cast on Dusan turned out to have been for naught, as the avatar channeled enough negative energy into Dusan to put him near death.

Thankfully, a miracle occurred: a small group got the drop on the avatar and the dragon. The black dragon (who insisted we refer to it as Agnes) came down with a human male and some sort of fey female, who held the two creatures at bay long enough for Simon to port back to his volcano lair with the unconscious party members.

The fey female (who goes by Dax) met with Simon the next day to arrange for healing for the unconscious and near-death members of the party. Everyone was transported to a forest where Dax’s “people” had already been at work healing Lady Fireborn after rescuing her. The fey set about beginning the long and involved attempt to heal the party.

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