Turakian Age- The shadow you cannot see

Panthers, Druids, and Cultists Oh My!
Burial Ground for one of the Lord of the Graven Spear's Generals

Maps to Burial Grounds

Our new found companion, Valesca, told us she had a map to a burial ground for one the Lord of the Graven Spear’s generals.

This burial ground was near Elvenholme and was reported to contain artifacts from a great battle between Lord of the Graven Spear’s army and the elves.

We had an uneventful trip to the area near the burial grounds.

Burial Grounds

Laurelinda needs to learn one important thing about scouting

As is our usual practice Laurelinda was scouting ahead of the party. She is good at keeping us on the path to our destination. And she is absolutely brilliant at finding places to camp (usually close to water, shelter, and defensible). She is terrible at one thing though as a scout.

When she finds something she doesn’t always come back and let us know what she has seen. She just figures things will work out. Most of the time this works out without any trouble.

This time she let us ride up to a stranger she had talked to and had decided to continue to scout around some more. She and Tōns had spotted some men laying in ambush on a hill.

The Skyfather showed me that Tōns was someone I could trust.

Sergeant Edwane would have been pleased

Sergeant Edwane is the small unit and tactics instructor for The Hellreavers.. His lectures could be quite boring at times. The class shined when we had to actually practice what we were learning. I think Sergeant Edwane would have been impressed with out initial encounter with the Graven Spear cultists.

Once I got the information from Laurelinda, I pieced together a plan. Eli the Storyteller would stay with the horses. Arya and I would hang back and wait for Laurelinda, Valesca, and Tōns to work around to the opposite side of the hill.

The plan was to have Arya use her blast of wind to knock them down and then Tōns said he could ask the plants to entrap the men. At that point Laurelinda and Valesca would look for targets of opportunity.

As all that was happening I would charge up the hill on horseback.

Love it when a plan comes together

The plan worked perfectly. We thoroughly decimated the cultists on the hill. But we didn’t realize until the fight was about to start that there were other cultists hiding behind a fortified position near the burial ground entrance.

Three things happened that helped neutralize the threat. The first was Laurelinda and her expert ability to hit a target many yards away. Valesca then surprised me when I found out she had beaten one of the cultists senseless. And seeing the strange occurrence of the cultists literally fighting each other and killing each other. When I mentioned this later I couldn’t help but notice that Arya had a funny look in her eye.

Burial Ground

Another Ulronai

What I didn’t see was that there was a Ulronai named Kaze, who was on the same quest as our previous companion was on…. Find all the broken parts of the Graven Spear so it can be used to break the Ulronai curse.

The Skyfather showed me that Kaze was someone I could trust.

Knock knock … Anyone home

Well it turns out the cultists we found were the rear guard for the actual tomb raiders. Our quickly actions prevented the rear guard from being able to raise the alarm.

Arya has the unique ability to get into people’s heads and read their thoughts and memories. She was able to find out where and what kind of traps and obstacles were going to be in our way. With that knowledge we quickly gained access to a large burial chamber.


Within the chamber we found the cultists and their leader.

We have developed a set of tactics that works well for us, although we are having to adjust with all the new people who joined us recently.

We keep Arya near the back because she has the ability to use her magic to soften up any massed troops and to help attack any singularly dangerous opponents. Also Laurelinda is best when she can use her bow. My role is to draw the enemy to myself so my companions can flank them and attack them from all sides.

Our three new companions understood their roles and acted in good order.

Once we were in place I gave Arya the signal to use fireball on the mass of cultists near the far end of the room. The explosion was dreadful. Many of the cultists robes and uniforms caught on fire. Others moved into place along the edges of the room

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Arya was able to use one more fireball on the entire group of cultists, including their leader before we became fully engaged. I for one was grateful for her actions because I found myself surrounded by the cultists who were capable with their weapons. A few of them were able to get past my defenses.

Kaze demonstrated that he was truly a Ulronai because he jumped right into the fight. His blade was whirling and flashing as he cut down cultists who were near him.

The leader of the cultists was truly a dangerous man. He had a great deal of skill, was wearing plate armor and he possessed a terrible weapon that looked like it was part of the Legendary Graven Spear. His skills caused me to be worried because he was able to wound me a few times.

Again Laurelinda skill with a bow may have saved my life because she was able to cause hurt him enough that he was momentarily distracted. At that point I struck him with the mightiest blow I could muster. Skyfather must have been looking kindly on me at that moment because I struck the leader down. Without Laurelinda striking him first I doubt I would have had the chance to hurt the leader of these cultists.

I tried ordering the remaining cultists to surrender but they would not. They insisted on fighting to the death. Just when it looked like the battle would be over the cult leader stood up and engaged us again. Fortunately for us, the rest of the cultists were mostly defeated and we were able to kill him in short order.

After the battle was over we found that Tōns and his panther had been wounded fairly severely. Tōns was able to draw upon the power of nature to heal himself and his panther.

Kaze and I were also wounded. Skyfather blessed us both with healing after I implored on the Skyfather for a blessing.

Aftermath

What did we find

Graven Spear cultists had reforged or reworked much of the elven armor and weapons for their own use. This also permanently tainted what they had made.

Arya and Valesca found some items of value including personal items, jewelry, tapestries, and a small amount of silver.

Valesca was unhappy about how little was collected. She was also mad that Arya insisted we try to find the rightful heirs to the items we found. At that point Valesca said the silver was all hers because the map had brought us to this location.

It is interesting how quickly money and items of value can cause everyone to get upset.

Kaze found a diary and map which the cult leader was using to identify other locations where the broken pieces of the Legendary Graven Spear might be.

Time for a new door and lock for this tomb

Laurelinda went off to find a good place to camp and do some hunting. The rest of us moved the bodies into the tomb, brought the large logs into the tomb and we covered everything with dry tinder and Arya ignited it. The fire burned for hours. The smoke and stench rose up all afternoon and most of the evening.

In the morning we noticed that part of the tomb had collapsed in on itself and Arya was able to move massive boulders into place to block the entrance.

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The Succubus Song
Eli's Journal

It had been many months since I left Aarn. It was a tough choice to leave my mother and sister behind, but a story teller can only repeat the old tales for so long. Eventually a man has to go out and experience his own adventures and create new stories.

I found myself on the other side of the world, traveling with a merchant caravan. They weren’t very exciting, but it was better than traveling alone. The countryside seemed peaceful enough on the surface. My first hint that something was up was when the hawk I had befriended suddenly screeched out a warning of danger, before flying as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

That was when I noticed that the land was quiet… deathly quiet. I began to softly sing a beast summoning song, hoping to find a friendly creature that could tell me what going on… but there wasn’t a living animal for miles in any direction. I warned the caravan leader that something was up, and he told his guards to be on alert.

We approached a small village, and even at a distance, we could see that there was something odd. The men were all armed, and the women were in chains. Just as we pulled the caravan to a halt, we were approached by a beautiful Elven woman. She introduced herself as Lorel Linda, and was obviously a woman of the woods. She warned us of what we had already noticed – that there was something odd going on in the village. I asked her in Elvish if she had noticed the missing wildlife. She seemed surprised that I spoke the Elvish tongue, and her tone towards me warmed considerably. She called her companions forward to discuss the situation. We were joined by Arya, another Elven woman who seemed to be a spellcaster, and Eltrois, a human Hellreaver. Valesca, a human woman who had also been traveling with the caravan also stepped forward to join the discussion.

We realized that we needed more information, and decided that our best bet was to talk to one of the women from town. Seeing as how they were all being kept in chains, we thought that they would be the most cooperative for giving us straight answers. Lorel Linda and Valesca snuck in to town, and returned with a couple of the formerly captive women, who seemed very grateful to be free.

The women told us their tale – that 5 soldiers had come to town, accompanied by a beautiful woman. They all seemed to be unusually devoted to this woman, and took her to see the Lord of the village. The Lord began summoning all of the men in town to the keep, and when they returned, they all seemed to be controlled. Shortly after, all of the women in town were put in to chains.

Both Eltrois and I came to the same conclusion – that the beautiful woman had to be a succubus. We decided that we needed to go to the keep and confront her, hoping to free the Lord and the rest of the town from her control. In order to get to the keep, we would have to pass through the village. We figured that the men in the group could just walk through, and pretend to be charmed if necessary, but getting the women through might be a problem. Lorel Linda and Valesca are both skilled in sneaking, so they opted to skirt the edges of town. We decided that Arya’s best option was to dress in some of Eltrois old clothes, and I did my best to disguise her as a man.

The journey through the village turned out to be easier than expected. The possessed men mostly paid us no mind, with a few warning us that we shouldn’t be there. We approached the gates of the Keep and there were no guards on duty. We scouted around a bit, and narrowed down that the succubus and her victims were in the Lord’s manor. We all set up defensive positions, as Eltrois opened the doors – and seemed to be momentarily stunned by the sights within. As the door swung open and the rest of us caught sight of the succubus, with the 5 soldiers standing at her defense, we were momentarily stunned at the sight of her as well.

Luckily, we were able to quickly come back to our senses. Eltrois, who had found himself surrounded by all 5 of the soldiers, drew a glowing sword, and easily sliced through 3 of them, leaving them bloody and unconscious. You would think that this sight would have made the others hesitate, but they didn’t seem to notice or to care. I guess the succubus’ hold on them was too powerful. Arya spoke a few words and I saw some glimmering crystal shards fly over my shoulder towards the succubus, only to shatter against an invisible wall. Valesca began climbing the wall to gain access to an upper window, looking for a better vantage point.

I attempted to use a Lullaby on the remaining two soldiers. This song is usually pretty effective at putting normal men to sleep, but the succubus’ charm must have given them some resistance to it. Their eyes fluttered a time or two, but they remained on their feet.

Arya must have decided that a direct attack on the succubus wasn’t going to work, as she used another spell to pick up a large bear rug that was on the floor, and used it to wrap up the succubus. Eltrois took advantage of the now helpless succubus and drove his sword clean through her head. With the succubus dead, the soldiers quickly came out of their stupor.

At about that time, Valesca emerged from the back hall with the Lord in tow. He was wrapped in nothing but some thin bed clothes and looked to be flushed and a little embarrassed. He thanked us for saving him and his village from the succubus.

After Eltrois patched up the injured soldiers, we sent them riding to a nearby monastery to fetch a priest. With everything that the men of the village had done while charmed, they were going to need a priest to help them atone. We then went to the village to see that the women were freed from their chains, and to prevent the women from taking revenge on the men for their abuse.

We ended up spending about a week in the village, waiting for the soldiers to return with the priest. I spent most of that time in the tavern, doing what I do best – drinking, telling stories and flirting with the women (and some of the men). They seemed especially impressed by the illusionary visions that accompanies my stories. Eltrois spent some time telling me of the party’s past adventures, and even paid me a bit of silver to start working their adventures in to hero’s tales. Valesca also told us of tomb in the area that was rumored to hold the treasures of some long forgotten Elven heroes. We decided that it would be a good adventure for us to undertake together. We all had reasons for wanting to visit the tomb – whether it was to eradicate the evil demons that lurked within, or to gather the treasure to sell, or to return the treasure to the Elves.

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Beauty with a beast inside
She might be good looking ... Unfortunately she really is a she-demon

Endings and Beginnings

We found that Maeven could not control her rages any longer. We took her to a place where she and those around her would be safe.

Our Ulronain friend decided to continue on his quest to put the Graven Spear together with the hope of defeating the curse on his people.

Elvenholme

And so Arya, Lorel Linda, and myself traveled to Elvenholme. We have spent a number of weeks here. The elves are a pleasant people. I enjoyed my time with their story tellers and in their tea and wine shops. After a time though I was itching to leave and find out what the next chapter in our lives would be.

I noticed that Lorel Linda was also complaining about being cooped up in a city. She is a twitchy elf. For someone who has lived at least 200 years longer than I have she doesn’t seem very mature to me. She acts more like a teenager.

Arya is stoic as ever.

Trouble always finds us

As we were enjoying some tea, Arya’s mentor sent a messenger to come and bring us to see him. Advarn is an elven mage who commands a great deal of respect among both elven and human mages.

We found Advarn with an elven scout who reported that villagers from a nearby village in the Mhendarian Palatinate were behaving oddly. The men were moving about freely in the town but all the females (young and old) were chained up during the day (while doing their work) and then locked up at night.

This is exactly what we were looking for – a reason to get out of town.

Trip to the village

As we traveled to the village I reviewed my holy texts because there was something about what we were told that tickled my memory from one of my demonology classes. After a few hours of looking I became convinced we might find a succubus had taken over the town.

A succubus takes advantage of the weakness in all men … We are so easily manipulated by a pretty face and especially by a pretty woman who takes an intimate interest in us. I spent extra time in prayer every morning and evening as we traveled.

I thought about the recent history of Mhendarian Palatinate and realized that the local lord for this village acts as a stabilizing influence within the Mhendarian Palatinate and keeps the entire area from falling into a civil war.

Arrival at the village

We arrived at the village and started observing what was going on. Everything was as the elven scout told us.

After a while we noticed a caravan heading towards the village. The last thing we needed would be more people in the village under the influence of the succubus. So we sent Lorel Linda to stop them from going into town. We quickly convinced the caravan master that we should move away from village.

A quick discussion revealed that the caravan had a couple extraordinary guards. Eli the Storyteller is a bard from everywhere. Valesca is a bit of a mystery. Apparently she is able to get in out sticky situations.

After observing the village for a day we decided on a plan of action. We needed someone to go into the village and get one of the women out of the village so we could talk to her. Lorel Linda and Valesca volunteered to go into the village. While they went into the village we prepared the area near the caravan camp to prevent anyone from just riding into camp.

They came back with two women. We talked to the women and found out that a strange woman came to town with five (5) knights were a part of the Mhendarian Palatinate army. After they went to see Lord Walter, who is the lord of the village.

We needed a way to get into the main keep without causing a ruckus. Eli was able to disguise Arya as a man. The three of us walked right into the keep. Lorel Linda and Valesca were able to sneak into the keep.

She devil in the flesh


We approach the door and I peeked through the door. I saw the five knights and the succubus.

There are times when I should really remember my training and think before I act. Instead I charged right into the room. The Skyfather did protect me when the succubus looked in my direction.

In the first rush of the attack I was able take down three of the five knights. The other knights were then attacked by my companions. Arya used her powers to grab the bear rug on the floor and wrapped up the succubus in it. I was able to kill the succubus fairly quickly after Arya’s used her spell.
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Our new friend Valesca was able to sneak into the manor house and free Lord Walter.

Once the succubus was banished all the men returned to their normal selves.

Immediate aftermath

The men freed the women once they were free of the succubus’ power. After doing what I could to heal the knights who I had wounded, I then gathered the men together into the local temple to start a service of healing and penance. Once they were all on their knees praying for penance and it was clear they weren’t going anywhere I went to find the local tavern.

I found my companions enjoying a round of ale and enjoying the women who had just been freed.

We sent the knights to a nearby abbey to get priest to deal with the spiritual and moral fallout from this event. They returned within a short period of time.

Things left to do

Question the knights

  1. Where did they find the succubus?
  2. Where were they going?
  3. Did they have any strange encounters prior to meeting her?

Succubus

  1. I will collect as much blood and flesh as I can from what is left of the succubus.
  2. Write a short letter to my order about our encounter
  3. See if Lorel Linda or Valesca can search for any personal effects left behind by the succubus

Lord Walter

  1. Ask him to send word to Advarn in Elvenholme that all is safe now
  2. Ask him to send my letter back to Aarn and The Hellreavers
  3. Find out if he has any personal enemies who might have summoned the succubus and sent her here
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Rescue a Duke and Defeat a Demon, Mage and a pack of demonlings
Time to 'kill' Darsmakul again

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Sa’ Akiv meet us inside his personal pocket universe. He told us that our trip would take us a few hours inside of his universe. Normally the time to travel to Maeven’s ancestral home would be measured in months.

Sa’ Akiv showed us the inside of the fortress and manor house. He deposited us in the courtyard between the outer wall and the manor house. Maeven knew where a secret entrance would be and got us inside the manor house.

We then had Ithra and Loriel Linda circle around to the front entrance of the manor house. Maeven and I rushed into the main hall.




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  1. Eltrois
  2. Maeven Landa Deriné
  3. Arya
  4. Loriel Linda
  5. Ithra
  6. Hellreaver Knight
  7. Hellreaver Knight
  8. Darsmakul
  9. Targa the Black
  10. Maeven’s mother and brother who were turned into undead
  11. Demonlings

  1. Eltrois
  2. Maeven Landa Deriné
  3. Darsmakul
  4. Targa the Black


      Maeven rushed towards the mage who was standing over her father swinging her two handed sword and she was able to land a solid blow. The mage, Targa the Black, was able to absorb her blow because his own magical protections enveloped his body. He returned Maeven’s blow with hell fire. We later found out the hellfire burned thru Maeven’s armor.

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I charged down Darsmakul with my sword drawn. The sword was glowing blue along the runic verses and it was making a singing sound. I landed a strong blow against Darsmakul. In turn Darsmakul slammed his powerful claws against my armor. Fortunately I was protected by sturdy chainmail armor, Arya’s armor protecting potion, and my sword. After dancing with Darsmakul for a few more moments I was able to land a very strong blow against his mid-section. He collapsed at my feet. At that point I noticed that Darsmakul had a few of Lorel Linda’s arrows in his back and side.




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I took a quick survey around the room and saw that some of my companions were battling a horde of demonlings, that Maeven was quickly about to dispatch Targa the Black and decided the best way to end the fight was to present Darsmakul’s head to the remaining demonlings.

Since I know that demonlings are generally cowardly, if they saw their leaded banished back to hell they would probably leave as well. A few well placed blows and Darsmakul’s head was separated from his neck. I then presented the head to all who remained and said “Your master is banished. Leave for hell or you will be banished as well.” The demonlings promptly left.

At this point Maeven saw her mother and brother and went insane. It looked like she was going to kill them. We were able to subdue her.

Aftermath

Maeven’s mother and brother could not be restored to their previous lives so The Hellreavers and I were able to dispatch the undead creatures, rebury and consecrate their graves to prevent further acts of black magic. We were are also able to keep Targa the Black alive. I had hoped to find out more about the enemies plans by getting him to talk to us.

We found out that Maeven’s father’s soul had been corrupted by black magic. The duke was unconscious and best place to take him to was Elvenholme to restore him to his normal self. After Maeven recovers her wits she commands us to take her father to Elvenholme and have him cured. She will stay at the castle until new troops arrive and instructions from the king come back.

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Tower of Bone
50 flights of stairs...
After going to The Hellreavers outpost we headed to the Tower of Bone. I have faced many horrifying and distasteful tasks as a Hellreaver, but seeing the Tower of Bone was one of the most depressing things I have ever seen.

I knew we would have to climb 50 flights of stairs, with our equipment to get to the top of the tower, which is where Sa’ Akiv told us the chest contain the Bloodstain Scrolls of Thronek would be. After climbing many stairs and not falling down the spiral staircase we made it up near the top.
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Along the way a voice kept trying to taunt Sa’ Akiv into doing something rash. This wasn’t a concern for us because Sa’ Akiv stayed in Aarn. After a while it started taunting us by saying that it was going to enjoy us as a tasty morsel.

We did find laboratories, libraries and Sa’ Akiv’s bedroom.

Finally we found the way to the top floor. I felt an overwhelming evil on the other side of the door. We burst through the door and filled into the room to find one of the most dangerous undead creatures, a Vampire Lord. Because of our overwhelming force we were able to force the Vampire Lord from the tower and cause it to retreat.

Kal-Turak the Ravager then spoke to us inside our heads because he was angry that we had defeated his minions. He gave Maeven a vision that her family castle was being attacked and her father was being directly attacked. At this point Maeven went crazy. Fortunately we were prepared for her this time.

We swiftly knocked her out and tied her up.

By using Scrying stone Arya was able to contact the mage’s guild in Aarn. She spoke the guild master and Sa’ Akiv. Sa’ Akiv told Arya how to open the portal so we could step into his personal pocket dimension.

We couldn’t leave our animals so we had to get them up 50 flights of stairs. It was crazy! But we couldn’t leave our animals out where the undead that wander through the Whispering Wastes exist.

Arya successfully opened the portal and we stepped thru.

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Dem Bones Dem Bones Dem Dry Bones
What were they thinking.....

We found out that Sa’ Akiv was holding an item called the Bloodstain Scrolls of Thronek. Sa’ Akiv had placed them into a chest which prevented the Bloodstain Scrolls of Thronek from randomly teleporting away. The chest also prevented any magical tampering.

The Aarn mage’s guild and Hellreavers order required that we immediately travel to the Whispering Wastes where Sa’ Akiv home (The Tower of Bone) was at. After provisioning with horses, mules, barding, Day Stones, healing potions & salves, food, bandages, holy water, rope, bells, spare shields, and scrolls that provided wards vs. undead (all at the mage’s guild and Hellreavers expense); we headed off.

We knew there was a village that could direct us to a Hellreavers outpost so we headed off in that direction.

When we got to the village, after many days of traveling we found out that they had not heard from a local mining camp in a long time. Since we were in the area and the chest we were going to recover wasn’t going anywhere (we hoped), we decided to investigate what was happening at the miners camp.

Upon arriving at the miners camp we found it in complete disarray. There wasn’t a living soul in sight. Loriel Linda scouted the area and found a single set of tracks that seems to be the culprit behind the attack. The tracks lead from the mine and back into the mine. As the terrain outside the mine was tactically sound for us we set up our attack.

Maeven and I stood outside the mine entrance. All of our companions found good hiding spots that would allow them to rain arrow, sling bullet and magical attacks on whatever came out of the mine. Then Maeven and I started making as much noise as possible.

Within moments a Bone Fiend came out of the mine and attacked Maeven and myself. As planned our companions rained volley after volley and ranged attacks on the creature. Maeven and I closed with it and proceeded to cut it down to size with our swords.

After a short battle the creature was dead and we had escaped with minimal injuries. Upon further investigation in the mine we found the miners bodies. It appears they had disturbed the Bone Fiends’ “sleep”.

We buried the dead miners. Cleaned up the camp and headed back to the village.

Upon arrival int he village we were able to tell them what happened to the miners.

After a good nights rest we proceeded to The Hellreavers outpost.

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Time to close the 'barn door'
Portal under Aarn must be closed

Prologue

After the Night of the Orcs we split up into two groups. Arya, Grace, Ithra, and myself headed across town to make sure that The Hellreavers’ guild hall and our item of power was still well protected. Arya and Grace went to the mages guild. Ithra and I headed to The Hellreavers’ guild hall.

Arya explained to her mentor what we knew and he was able to provide her with a scroll that should be able to close the portal – if she can get close enough to the portal to use it. Arya and Grace decided that Grace would be the best person to carry it.

Ithra and I found out there had been a major assault on the The Hellreavers’ guild hall. The Hellreavers’ were able to repeal the orcs with minimal causalities to the Hellreavers.

We then returned back to The Vault to discuss our plans. We would have to travel to the under-city.

Aarn Under-City

Almost 300 years ago the city of Aarn was virtually destroyed by Stormlord’s curse.

Where is that ‘barn door’?

It was decided that we would provision ourselves with two days of food, three days worth of oil, a couple of lanterns and two 50m sections of rope and leave the next day.

Orc Armies leave a mess

The memories that Arya’s gained from the orc provided very useful directions and we quickly found our way to the under-city of Aarn. Laurelinda again proved to be an excellent scout, no surprise really since she is an elven ranger. Grace was also quite nimble at helping to scout ahead. At one point I swore I had my eye on Ithra when he literally seemed to disappear.

We found the camp where the orcs had gathered prior to their assault on the city. They had found and made use of some of the buildings and ruins from The smell might have been able to guide us. Large armies are messy. Large orc armies are even more so. And then when you confine them in a under-city, the stench was almost overwhelming. We did find a number of dead orcs. Some looked to have been murdered by their fellow orcs and some looked like they died from disease or old injuries.

Into the depths we go

Laurelinda found a large pit that had ladders which lead further below the under-city. The orcs had used the ladders to climb up to the area where they eventually camped. We carefully climbed down and found a large cavern. Laurelinda crept down one of the passages with Grace and Ithra following close behind.

When Laurelinda turned one of the corners she spotted ten lesser demons in the next chamber. After she signaled to the rest of us what she spotted we backed up and came up with a plan. Basically Maeven, Ithra and I would form a choke point in the passage way and taunt the demons to attack us. This would allow Laurelinda to pepper any oncoming demons with arrows, Grace to hit them with her sling and Arya to continue to demonstrate her awe inspiring magical abilities.

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Flashing blades, arrow shots, sling bullets, and lightning

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The first shots by Laurelinda and Grace almost killed the first demon outright. I immediately issued a challenge to the remaining demons to attack us because they were facing a Hellreaver.

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Even though we have not trained together as a unit and we haven’t known each other for very long, we have become a very effective fighting unit. Between the constant barrage of arrow and bullet fire from Laurelinda and Grace, Arya’s effective use of her magic (especially her blast of wind and crystal arrows), Ithra and Maeven made quick work of the demons.

Both Ithra and I were wounded during the battle. I prayed to the Skyfather for his blessing upon us. The Skyfather graced us with his healing.

Oops we found it

After a short rest we continued on our journey. Eventually we came to a very large structure that seemed to be intact and well lit. The portal was at the opposite side of the structure. Between us and the structure there were four mages standing around some kind of altar. It was obvious they were engaged in some kind of summoning ritual.

They had a dome of power surrounding them, probably to keep anyone from disturbing them while they cast their spell. There was also a second dome of power in the center of the circle – probably where the creature being summoned was to appear.

The hastily laid plan was to have Laurelinda, Arya and Grace sneak along one side of the structure so they could approach the portal to close it with the scroll Arya had received at the mages guild. When they were about 1/2 way there Maeven and I would make a ruckus to draw off any attackers our way. Ithra would position himself so he could attack from the side or behind.

Stupid mages

It is bad enough that mages want to summon things from other planes but why oh why do they insist on summoning demons. And these four mages couldn’t just summon any demon, no they needed to summon the Demon Prince of Power. So not only did they summon him but when they told him they were his master because their contract, they believed him when he submitted to them, and they lowered the inner dome of power.

At which point the Demon Prince of Power caused demons to rise up from inside the bodies of the mages, which resulted in mage blood and entrails being splatter all over the outer dome.

At this point I am thinking, we need to get someone back up to the mage’s guild and The Hellreavers guild house because we are all going to die in about 10 minutes.
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About this point in time another mage appeared and challenged the Demon Prince of Power. I only heard a bit of the conversation but it went something like this:

Mage: Who dares to call me from my realm?

Demon Prince of Power: I dare you know who I serve mortal.

Mage: I will not kneel before Kal-Turak and you may tell your master that.

At this point the mage banishes the Demon Prince of Power, creates a dome of power around himself and unfortunately for us, the dome of power which contains the other demons comes down.

And then it gets worse

Part II to follow….

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Night of the Orcs
There goes the neighborhood....

Clean up the neighborhood

We had all retired for the night at The Vault when we were awoken by the sounds of battle around the city. After everyone was up and equipped I commanded Ithra to climb on the roof and find out what was going on. He reported that there were orcs in our neighborhood fighting the city guard. When we all took a look it was clear the entire city was fighting various pitched battles. Most parts of the city of Aarn has additional fighting men and women, except for the area we live because we are in the craftsmen and leather workers part of town.

We needed to act quickly to rescue families in the nearby area because their homes would likely be ‘invaded’ by orcs if the city guard was overwhelmed. The Vault was the most secure building in the area. I quickly came up with a plan to have Ithra, Arya, and Laurelinda get on the roof and keep the orcs on that side of the building busy.

Maeven and I would go outside and help city guards and rescue families by directing them back to The Vault

Arya used her water wall to keep the orcs from overwhelming Maeven and myself. After a pitched battle with the orcs, our companions on the roof were able to help eliminate the orcs on their side of the building. Maeven demonstrated both her fighting prowess and creative ways for dealing with foes. After we gathered people from the immediate area in The Vault, I instructed the city guard to stay in the building to defend it and the people inside it. Also they should use 1/2 their number to patrol the immediate vicinity – areas easily seen from The Vault.

Arya was able to probe the mind of an orc, before he died, and found out the orcs had come from under the city. The orcs had been brought under the city via a portal. There was a shadowy figure who brought them to Aarn. Arya was also able to discern who the leader of the orcs was.

Battle in the Marketplace

I had Grace and Ithra scout ahead of us as we made our way to where more fighting was at. We came to the central market where Grace reported that two squads of city guard had been killed and there were at least 40 orcs – along with their leader.

We knew we had to take out the leader as quickly as possible.

OrcBattleInMarket.png

Legend:
* L – Laurelinda
* I – Ithra
* G – Grace
* A – Arya
* M – Maeven
* E – Eltrois
* Blue Line – Arya’s Water wall

The plan involved waiting for Arya to enter the mind of the leader and convince him to send half of his archers and swordsmen into the courthouse building to bed down. This worked very well. Arya then brought forth her water wall. The goal of the water wall was to protect Laurelinda and Ithra while they try and pepper the Leader of the orcs. Grace would start a fire on the tent in front of her. And Maeven and I would advance from around a building making as much noise as possible.

At that point the battle was on. Laurelinda and Ithra dispatched the leader fairly quickly with their arrow fire. Arya brought forth at least three fireballs on the orc formations. Grace landed a number of good hits with her sling (I heard a clanging sound every once in a while).

Meanwhile Maeven and I were quickly surrounded on two sides. After many blows had been dealt to the orcs Maeven was able to impress on the orcs that they should surrender. Her killing one of their companions with the two handed great sword made a big difference. Also the smell of burning orc flesh and screams of the dying orcs probably helped convince them to give up.

We tied up the surviving orcs. Killed any of the seriously wounded. Collected up arms and armor from the dead. The city guard showed up to take charge of the prisoners.

By this point in time the fighting around town seems to have stopped. We headed back to The Vault.

Aftermath

I wonder why the orcs attacked? There doesn’t seem to be a purpose to their attack. This thought is nagging at me as we head back to The Vault. In the morning we need to make sure the artifact we took to The Hellreavers is still safe. And also the scrying device is still safe at the mages guild.

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Letters to father

Writing letter to father:
Dear Father, I have arrived in Aarn. Thank you for the recommendation of riding with the caravans, however, even with my prowess at arms, they are not terribly safe. However, if you were waiting to hear of my caravan’s safe arrival in Aarn, it shall not come. Evidently, it was set upon, and all but me were killed. I did look at the the bodies, and it did not appear that I had a hand in any of their deaths. That is a large relief. I awoke in a dungeon, manacled to the wall. A while later, I roused to find my wrists scored greatly by the manacles, with a filthy Ulroni across from me, smiling coyly and speaking with honeyed words. Obviously, he is the reason I was raging, so why was he so insistent on telling me to calm myself? I was trying to free myself, however, brute strength was not enough and I kept passing out. Eventually, a group of travelers entered the prison. One freed me, and I’m afraid I was not terribly self contained. I will not say that I had fear, however, I did wish to be as far from the pestilent Ulroni as possible. The one who freed me was not terribly pleased at the Ulroni either, so he and I got along well, I would say. There was a warrior priest as well. Yes, father, yet another priestly person. He declared the Ulroni to be one of the “good” sort, but I am withholding judgement for now. There were also two elves, one an archer, and the other a mystic type. Arrangements have been made for me to help guard a storage facillity, with the pay being free lodging. I hope this meets with your approval, with an Ulroni in the party (an of course, the priest has adopted him) it is hard to find an inn that will take us in. If it doesn’t, I shall see about arranging lodging at one of the better taverns.
I am in need of a new horse, and while a riding horse is easily acquired, a battle trained beast is going to take me more time. If I am going to continue my lonely sojourning, I need to be as well equipped as possible. The “spells” are still happening, however, I didn’t hurt any of this party either, although I do not recall my actions anymore than I did a week ago. It is my intent, since this seems to be a home base for the rest of the group, to begin having a suit of plate mail fitted for me. This will necessitate regular withdrawals to pay the armor smith. Also, have you ever heard of an ELVEN blade?? I used one, and the thing was incredible to swing. It would not be amiss as a holiday gift, if you were so inclined….
How is mother? I am worried that she will miss me and further deteriot her health. Please tell her that I am well, and I seem to finish battles without a scratch. I will feel out this priest and if he is to be trusted, I will let him know more about my “condition”. But as the others said, the best cure is to be away from home for a while. I love you and miss you dreadfully. I understand that outwardly, you must be circumspect, but please carry my love for you and mother in your heart. You live there, and you are my reason for hope to return.
Your obedient and loving daughter
Maeven

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Riddle of Verlichten Mountains
Riddle me this...

If you are reading then I am dead it time for my treasure to be revealed.
From the land of my Home I have stolen the rod of power
And I have hidden it in the place of greatest tragedy
The first piece of the key is here although it is no key
The next piece shall be found in the place the stone shall show you.

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