Aleview

Aleview, 20 years later, take 11

Guildmembers attended a dinner party at the mountainpass lodge.

A mist descended on the party, blocking out the sunlight. Strange noises were heard outside. One of the party guests went to investigate, and the guild joined him. They found nothing, and the guildies headed back inside. A scream from Gustave Lillavivut Rucht rose up outside, and when they rushed out again, he was gone. Instead they found a headless horseman charging them down. The horseman, and the gibbering heads that followed him, attacked the party, trying to gain entrance to the lodge. They were held at bay by the gate, and the guildies escaped back inside. Investigating further, they discover that Eli Van Hassen, the new owner of the lodge, and his daughter Talitha both know something of what’s happening, but are less than forthcoming about it. They manage to piece together the following…

A few months back, a hydra crept out of the woods, and stole off with livestock from the area. It’s body was scarred, and a few of it’s heads were missing. It was weakened, but it was too much for the retainers here to fend off. They lost sheep, horses, and a few employees and neighbors. A man rode in from the Guildhall to help. He rode in on an old nag, jokingly dubbed Spitfire. He stayed at the inn, playing a silver stringed lute and singing ballads that inpsired him to take up adventuring. Talitha Van Hassen was smitten with the adventurer, followed him around, hanging on his every word. The adventurer felt some pull towards her as well. Eli watched his people fawn over this newcomer, and saw his daughter grow besotted with him. His heart burned with hatred that his only daughter was falling for this bragging fool.

For weeks this went on, the adventurer and some of the retainers seeking out the hydra’s lair. The men finally discovered the location, and vanished for a tense 2 days. Most of them returned, bloodied and bruised, but victorious, laying 3 great reptilian heads out for all to see. For weeks more, the adventurer stayed, getting to know people, walking with Talitha.

Eli Van Hassen could take no more, yet neither could he simply order the man banished or slain. His employees and retainers would just as soon kill him as this hero. He decided he must turn the people against the adventurer to drive him out. Talitha wept at this, but she obeyed her father in all things, and agreed to his demands. The retainers set upon the adventurer, dragging him from his horse. He grabbed a rusty sickle from the fields and defended himself, slaying several before they overwhelmed him. He was dragged to a block of wood, and there, at her father’s behest, Talitha told the people horrid lies, claiming that she’d been taken advantage of and ravished by the man.
Eli sent his guards forward once they crowd was enraged, and the adventurer screamed his innocence, begging Talitha to recant. He was forced down onto the wooden block, and with a dull thud, the axe severed his head from his neck, the hero dead.

His body was dumped in a shallow grave, the people bitter and betrayed. One week passed, and a storm brewed. There was no rain or lightning, but a thick fog. A sudden, unending thunder deep within the fog resolved itself into the beating of a thousand hooves. The noise was deafening, but no horses were seen in the moving mist.

The following dawn, the men found their crops and gardens trampled under uncountable hoofprints.

===============
Realizing this, the majority of the party took action, drying to drag Eli out to face the horseman. Some of the party abstained from this action, viewing it as cruel and dark. Talitha screamed and cried for her Daddy. She threw fist and nail at the men trying to drag her father outside, but they simply shrugged her off, telling her it was for the best. The ground and buildings and all that was within, seemed to act to protect Eli. Chairs moved into the guildies’ path, windows cracked and broke letting insects in, floorboards broke under their weight. The horseman appeared outside, sensing that Eli’s fate was drawing close. The horse and rider took turns trying to destroy the protective wards that Eli had hidden underneath the grapevines of the long, low wall surrounding the lodge. The guildies tried to reinforce the wall, while changing tactics, and attempting to convince Eli to volunteer himself to the horseman. They battled against swirling masses of heads that rolled and flew, biting and grabbing on. Eli was convinced that he could face the horseman, but only if they took Talitha away to protect her. As she was drug outside the back door, Eli went out the front to face his enemy. He had no remorse or shame about his acts, viewing it as the right thing to do. The horseman took a swipe at Eli’s neck, as Eli knelt on the grass. The blade passed through harmlessly.

The horseman backed away, and wandered off down the road, toward his shallow grave. Eli and Talitha followed after him. As the horseman neared the grave, he began to fade from view, and vanished entirely as he reached it. Some of the party members dug up the grave, as to rebury him properly. Talitha wept the entire time, yet Eli stood, unemotional.

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Aleview, 20 years later, Silvervale

The adventurers tracked down clues leading them to a northern town called Silvervale.

They sought out a man known as Magrak, the mayor of Silvervale. The townsfolk pointed the way to the town hall, the charter, and eventually to Magrak himself. His yard was laid out with traps, and he burst forth through his front door to engage the party. It was discovered after his defeat, that he was a changeling impostor. The true Magrak was imprisoned inside his home. He spoke of someone coming to his door, and he answering, meeting himself, then waking up later in this prison.

While the party rests in Silvervale, the community of were-folk discuss things with the real Magrak, and the party. The Northwood has come to be called the Forest of the Damned, as people go missing there, and the terrible noises that rise out of it. Several of the children are sketching things, and share them with you.
They say they’ve seen creatures like these floating around the woods, tearing things to shreds. There are more and more of them as time goes on. A name is mentioned, Open Sky. This druid used to call the Northwood her home, but a trio of kindly old ladies called on her one day, and the people of Silvervale showed them where to find her. The woods began to grow dark after that, and that’s when Magrak’s impostor took over.
From the description of the women, you note certain similarities to Aunt Agnes, the ‘kindly old lady’ you met in the Bogmire. If they were truly Hags, like Agnes, you know they have very powerful magics at their command.

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Aleview, 20 years later, take 3

A different group of adventurers set off from the hall this time, seeking out the rumors of the missing caravan from Moanhollow outpost. They traveled to the great trees, and rose in a platform, hundreds of feet into their boughs. A priest, Brother Edgar, was there with some other folk, mostly hunter types. They had made this Eladrin outpost their home, and looked unkindly toward outsiders. While tense discussions took place, with weapons drawn, a scream was heard to the south. A large, lumbering creature was coming across the bridge from the old section of town. Spikes adorned it, and zombies were attached to those spikes. A brief battle later, and the animated monstrosity was defeated. Brother Edgar informed the party that it likely hailed from the Nations of the Dead. Moanhollow kept the old section of the outpost walled off, as it was filled with undead. The caravan was sent out to deal with this problem.

The party set off in search of the lost caravan, traveling to the Desert of Wyrms, on the road to Stygia. They found the wagons, but not the people. Statues of Bullywug and Lizardmen were found inside one of the wagons, and a note. An old chest was found buried in the sand. The note warned not to open the chest, nor to dally in the chasm nearby. They traveled through the chasm, into a cliffside cavern. More bodies were piled here, and they spoke with some Medusae. They completed the caravan’s mission, trading the old chest for the blood of a Medusa. Returning to Moanhollow, they made their way into the tomb of an ancient knight, and sprinkled the blood of the Medusa on his weapon. He rose, and told of his legend. He had entered the underworld to retrieve his lost love, and not knowing it’s power, stole a weapon from the guardian of underworld. The dead followed him back to Moanhollow, and those that died nearby were cursed to rise again. Now that said curse was lifted, he could rest, and the dead would fall silent at last.

One of the adventurers retrieved the knight’s Mace of Disruption. Also found were scrolls of undead disruption, and they held onto the remaining Medusa blood, in case it came in handy again.

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Aleview, 20 years later, take 2

After dealing with the whackiness of the Hag magic, a collection of adventurers meet Benowin, a half orc guild member. He had offered some coin, way back when, to a couple of younger adventurers. He recognizes the mage in this group as one of those he had hired, and ups the price a bit this time around. They set off to the Cursed Wood, north of the main road out of Aleview, in search of …well, an ass kicking little girl. The last time the mage went in search of her, she and her companion were a little bit inebriated. The tales of a shape changing little girl with a gigantic splitting axe were less than believable in the hall. This time, a larger group(Tiefling Pyromancer, Dwarven Cleric, Dwarven Paladin, Dwarven Warpriest, Shade Nethermancer, and a Vryloka Assassin) were sober(except for Hydrix the Paladin, obviously) when they encountered the girl. Tall weeds and grass had overgrown the area, and she snuck up behind them asking for food. The Nethermancer pulled some meat from a magical robe of meat recovery, and the girl set off into the woods again. The paladin tried to stop her, but stumbled in the tall grass. They found a small cottage, and this time the paladin had a bit more luck. He burst through the wooden door as though it were paper, and through an even sturdier door behind that. The party searched the house, finding 2 dessicated corpses tucked into bed. The pyromancer detected an odd looking floor board, and the paladin, perhaps compensating for his failure in the grass, elbow dropped through the floorboard, to retrieve a note.

They encountered the girl outside, with a pack of wolves and stray dogs. The mage unleashed a fireball destroying most of the pack, and the little girl waded in swinging her axe. The assassin climbed on top of the cottage for a better vantage point, eventually leaping off on top of the girl. The axe swinging child changed form from human to wolf, and then a hybrid of the two forms. A long battle, and the girl was near death. The assassin suggested that she surrender, or else “I’ll tear apart the corpses of your parents.” That had the intended effect, and the girl surrendered. They brought her back to the guildhall to discuss her background, and determine where the note was from, a town called Silvervale, far outside of Aleview.

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Aleview, 20 years later

From the guildhall in Aleview, new adventurers mixed with old set out to the Bogmire, in search of the source of local rumors. They trek into the swamp, and find an enchanted bridge, leading to a charming hut in the middle of a pleasant meadow. The smell of baking comes from the yard and hut, and cookies, pies, and other treats are laid out on tables. Inside, they meet a sweet old lady named Aunt Agnes. She makes them feel at home, and they chow down on some snacky goodness. A satyr is inside enjoying treats as well. Aunt Agnes sends them to find a Bullywug named Glurp and bring him back to her. They are set upon by a huge crocodile hiding in the swamp, and one of them is swallowed whole. The croc is eventually harmed enough that it regurgitates the prey, and they travel into the Bullywug lair. They meet Glurp, the Bloated. They talk him into traveling back to the hut, and he dines on baked goods filled with bugs and other lovely things. The kindly old Aunt Agnes changes her tone, and everyone that’s eaten one of her treats suddenly feels a bit strange. They twitch, and shrink, and then poof. Rabbits remain where the cookie munchers were. The rabbited folk can feel a pressure on their precious little ears, and after some investigation, they discover it resting on top of Aunt Agnes’s oven, while the unbunned are battling with the evil Hag. The bunnified paladin can’t manage to push the flickering gemstone, the source of the hag’s power, over the edge of the stove, as his little feet thump ineffectively, so he signals frantically to one of the mages. The mage then disables the gem, shattering it, and ending the enchantment. The other mage has destroyed the hag, by this point, rather disturbingly, eating her soul in the process. Glurp is grateful for the rescue, and hands over his magical belt. The unbunned paladin takes it for safe keeping, and the group returns to Aleview.

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Aleview, Session 10

Having dealt with the gnolls, the party descends into the depths beneath the throne of yeenoghu. They detect some creatures running by below them, and allow them to pass. They proceed into a mossy cave, with Sever in the lead. He encounters a mossy duplicate of himself, and feels lessened somehow. The rest of the party joins him, and they battle duplicates of themselves, who have stolen key abilities from them. The Avengers cannot use their Oaths, the Cleric and Paladin cannot heal, etc. As those creatures fall, a larger amalgam of the duplicates emerges and battles them, using their combined abilities against them. Defeating that creature, they continue on and find odd translucent tendrils on the ground, leading down a passage. More and more of these are found, converging at a point in a large room. It’s filled with thralls, the mind flayer lich they are seeking, and a huge brain in a vat of goo. They party is teleported around the room, beaten and knocked senseless. The brain controls the creatures to do it’s bidding. It’s been cut off from it’s society of thralls and brains, and is using the other creatures to dig it’s way back through a cave in. The party eventually defeats the creature, releasing it’s hold on the others. The Illithid King joins them and they make their way out.

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Aleview, Session 9, sort of

Information missing, quick version however;

The party followed the crazy old feller to a cave entrance. He got out his map, which only he could see…and tried to enter. Gnolls guarded the entrance. A Genasi Anthropologist was hiding in the area studying the creatures. She gave the party some gnoll bitch urine to mask their scent and let them enter the cave. Sickly, twisted, and demonic gnolls were inside. Some aggressive, some not, some too sick to do anything either way. At one section of the cavern, another cast-down deity was found. Yeenoghu and his exarch Nezrebe. The party managed to chat their way to Yeenoghu’s good side, while Nezrebe succumbed to illness and battle. Yeenoghu agreed to grant blessings to some of the party in exchange for assistance in battling Asmodeus and Orcus. An opening in the floor is discovered, and it seems that the party is headed there next. Unfortunately, Yeenoghu used this as his own personal commode. It will not be a pleasant trip.

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Aleview, Session 8.5

(Majestic DM voice)
3 months previous:
2 humanoid figures walk through a forest in the dim light, as the sun filters down through the trees. One of the figures drags a deer, bound at the feet. It struggles limply.
Tussin: “You expect me to believe that Dajani told you to make me drag the deer, specifically me? Grab hold of this thing you lazy bastard.”

Oland: “I’m not one to go against orders. Besides, it wasn’t Dajani, it was Nazin. Do you want me to tell him you didn’t appreciate his command?”

Tussin: “Nazin Redthorn told you to tell me to drag the deer? You’re a real piece of work, you know that. I’ve never even met him. Gods, Dajani herself has only addressed us as a group. I doubt either of them would recognize my face, let alone know my name to tell you. I’ll drag the damned thing, but only because I don’t want to listen to your bullywug anymore.”

Oland: "Fine, fine. We’re almost there anyway. Stop up. I’ve got to make it drink this. "

Tussin: "By the gods man, that smells like Orcus’ sweaty taint! What in the nine hells is it?

Oland: "Nevermind that now. Let’s just drag it out there before the Blackburrow sentries catch wind of us. Use your dagger, slit the beasts throat when we’re in the clearing. We say the words, and we’re gone, simple as that. "

Tussin: “Oh yes, drag the beast, slit it’s throat, say the words. You’ll recall we’re the same rank. How about I leave the beast here, and you can go slit your own throat for all I care.”

Oland: “Are you still mad about the barmaid? She wasn’t interested in you Tussin, for the last time, you’ve a face like like a wet sack of potatoes. And you smell like the potatoes have turned.”

Tussin: "Fine, here, look at me, here’s my potato sack face looking at my dagger, it’s done. I’m surprised the gnolls haven’t smelled my stink from here. You’re right, how could a fat old warty barmaid be interested in the likes of me.

Oland: “Say the words Tussin, we’ve got to say the words!”

Tussin: “I’ve got a few more words I’d rather say right now you woman stealing bastard!”

With that, the 2 men skulk off back into the trees.

==============
‎(Still all majestical)
Upon returning to Aleview, Ghed spots you and hurries you off to a warehouse. Inside, you find an odd collection of creatures.
You recognize Grundbar the Dwarf from the silver mines, and close by his side is a Goblin in a dragon costume. Some Ogres mill about, in a foul mood, as they are eyed by some sturdy adventurer types. The Wizard King and Akivasha rest upon some crates, far from the rest of the gathering. Apparently the floaty bearded dude can actually touch the floor when he chooses. There’s a collection of citizens as well, most of which wouldn’t usually be seen together. Some are peasants, others middle class, and a few of the nobility. This last grouping seems to be getting along swimmingly.

Ghed: “The Iron Circle has grown a lot more aggressive. They’ve got patrols wandering the streets at random. They strike down anyone that gets in their way, or doesn’t answer questions. It seems you’ve pushed them a bit harder then they care for. Some of the people have had enough and are finally starting to fight back. They are less than organized, but they’ve finally agreed on a name, that’s something, hah!”

One of the upper class people joins you, “Greetings. We are the Knights of the Crescent Moon. We fight alongside you, against the beasts of the Iron Circle. Our crest represents the bright sun of righteousness eclipsing their standard.”

One of the lower class chimes in “That’s not what we said. The Crescent Moon shows the power of the little man. The moon goddess is granting us a bounteous harvest, and she smiles upon us, and blocks out the burning sun of the Iron Circle.”

The noble speaks again, looking embarrassed, “Well, I thought mine was better. Ghed has brought us all together here, representatives from groups you’ve allied yourselves with. We are throwing in with you as well, we’ll show these bastards that they can’t take our property from us.”

Ghed speaks up, forcing his way in front of the noble, "My old party and I have been keeping track of the creatures you’ve garnered good favor with. I think we can assemble a small force of decent fighters. I hesitate to use the word army, it’s well shy of that. It’s not going to be enough to storm the Iron Keep fortress, but it might be enough to distract their forces and get some folks on the inside. If we can deal with their commanders, I think the rest might falter.

Ghed: “If we can get the main force occupied with some good old fashioned chaos and chicanery, a smaller group could accompany you inside. That little Goblin feller has a few rituals he’s preparing. He and the Kings are going to try and perform scrying magic on the fortress. If all goes well, they’ll be able to give us the map of the keep, and a report of the creatures inside. They won’t be ready for a couple more days, but it’s exciting news. When they’re ready, I’m sure they could use some assistance from the likes of you. Until then, carry on as you would, but be careful. Don’t drawn any attention to us, or these fool Knights. I think the upper class are more filled with bravado than actual bravery.”

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Aleview, Session 8
Dragon tracks

Using Ghed’s map to track down the source of the beastly rumors, the party runs into a new companion, Mir. She’s a Dragonborn Sorcerer, also trying to track down the creatures, but for reasons of curiosity rather than gain. As they travel the road, something in the brush seems off. Patches of sand, and weighted down branches catch their attention. The bushes in the area are coated with a thick poison. A noise is heard from a nearby tree, and a small green dragon leaps out at the party, while a brown dragon springs out of the sand in the ground. The 2 wyrmlings attack the party, barking short commands to each other. The party quickly dispatches the green, and subdues the brown. It manages to escape, and flees behind a nearby waterfall, into a dark cave. Beyond the mouth of the cave, coins line the passage, leading back into a large chamber. A 20 foot wide pile of coin and gems is in the room, beside a pile of books, papers, clothing. One of the party detects something on the ceiling, from the sound of it’s breath. A large brown dragon sleeps there, and is lured down with the smell of food. The party manages to charm the dragon so it doesn’t attack, and they try to bargain with it to get something out of the hoard. It’s going well, but a few of the remarks seem to irk the beast, and it’s goaded into combat. Once it’s injured, it’s joined by an older sibling, a larger green dragon. It tried to bluff the party into thinking it’s much older and more powerful than it truly is. The 2 use their deadly breath weapons to try and kill the party, so it can be snacky time. One of the party members uses the Boon it had earned previously, causing the green dragon to be immobilized for much of the combat, reducing the damage it could do.
Once the creatures are killed, sounds are heard from a wall at the side of the chamber. An illusory wall is found, and a man and woman are in the chamber beyond.

Speaking with the couple,

Speaking to the humans:
4 Kings, the war: “We have heard of the 4 Kings. It’s said they fought in a great war, with many allies at their side. 4 chromatic dragons aided them in the fight, though most of the chromatics were on the opposing side. Surely the humanoid races would have lost, save for the dragons that protected them.”
Claw of Bahamut: “I’m… not familiar with that, I think. It intrigues me, what else can you tell me about it?”
Iron Circle: “Vile creatures who harass and assault anyone they please. They think everything is theirs, the air, the earth, the water. They are a blight to be eradicated. Asmodeus’ pups he sends forth to be slaughtered while he lies in the back laughing at the bloodshed(At this point the female coughs loudly and shoots and elbow into the man) I’m sorry, what else did you want to know?”
Dragons in the War: "Tales do tell of 4 heroic dragons, downtrodden outcasts from their own kind. They fought alongside the forces of good over evil. The other chromatic dragons were foolhardy and shortsighted though. Giving aid to a creature that seeks to subjugate all life, simply because he will kill your enemies or promises you power, this is a fools errand. The way of life you love will be gone, there will be no hoarding, no hunting, no freedom. It’s makes choosing sides very simple to an intelligent creature(again the woman coughs and elbows the man hard enough to knock the wind out of him. She sighs and begins to rub her temples). Yes, the dragons, umm. There were 4 of them. An arrogant Red dragon who thought itself more important than all others, a boring Gray, a Majestic Green…
(the woman curses loudly at the man in a flurry of draconic. “Ner jas valeij, VUR wux renthisj mrith baeshras. Wux jas thurirl vur mesta loreat.” Anyone that speaks draconic is able to pick out some of the words, “Spear something bleed, AND you speak with animals. You something friendly and something dying.” The tone comes across well through many different languages. The man waits until she’s finished speaking, and a few seconds more, before he speaks again “and a beautiful, patient, forgiving Brown dragon. They fought well.”

A light shimmers around the 2 humans, and suddenly another pair of dragons is before you, one Green one Brown, but these creatures seem much more mature than those you’ve encountered. (Nature med, it’s unclear how old these creatures are, as the old scars covering their scales lends them a worn look. They are the oldest you’ve seen here, by far)
A green dragon stands ready, facing towards you. A wounded brown dragon is behind it, there is a lance sticking out from it’s chest. The Brown speaks to you this time,

“Therrax is a fool, but a loyal mate. I am Kaheste. What do you seek here, and no lies, as my legendary patience and forgiveness have retired for the day.”
The dragons outside: “Our brood is all that is left of Dragons in this land. Most were wiped out in the war long ago, and the rest have been hunted near extinction in the years after. We are doing our part to renew the population, which you have not been helping us with.”
The new war, Iron Circle: “a group of those foul creatures set a trap for me, thinking I was the only dragon here. They did surprise me, and stuck me with this accursed lance, before I fed the lot of them to my children. I’ve no interest in fighting any wars right now, lest my lineage end for all time. Asmodeus commanded many forces in the previous war, and I suspect he will not make his move upon the World until he has such forces again. He will take from those Gods as he can, and then move on the rest of creation. He must take control in each plane of existence to have any lasting power, for to be overthrown in one place would weaken him in another.”
Lance: “Though I worship the great Tiamat, I must have respect for Bahamut. This Lance is powerful, and I feel the life slipping from me. We are using all our magics to slow my death, but it is not enough. I would be greatful to you if you can help.”

The party uses all their skill and even some of their life energy to remove the lance from the wounded dragon. Therrax tells you, “I thank you for your efforts, it remains to be seen if she is saved. You may go from this place with those things you’ve gathered already. Take nothing else, except the lance. I will tell you, the foul rats that did this to her, their leader lies in a great fortress to the west, deeper into the old kingdom of the Wizard. I tracked them after their cowardly attack, but they have a great many creatures guarding the area. When you think you are ready, you should gather what allies you have, then you might stand a chance of taking the fortress. If my mate recovers, you may count me as an ally.”

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Aleview, Session 7
Mirrors, vampires, and the loss of a friend?

After dealing with the goblins and the Ice Queen in the upper levels of the silver mine, the party rests up, gaining new powers, and travels deeper into the mines.

The passages gradually become corridors. Writing is carved into the walls, heiroglyphics, pictures in place of words. Gives more backstory of the Robed King after the battle with Asmodeus, and the history of Akivasha. (Written in obscure dialect of common, but decipherable ), "The immortal beauty travelled the lands, the great gods shining their bright light down upon her. From place to place did she travel, granting her blessing to a great many others, gathering followers in her wake. She carved these halls with her alabaster fingers, a gentle caress for each word, and spread her love to all those that could bask in it. "

A midday sun is carved into one section of the wall across from a massive stone door. Searching the sun reveals a faint glow coming from around it’s seams. When opened, sunlight reflects down from above through the mirror apparatus they discovered above. When the sunlight hits the door, it slides down into the floor.

The next hallway contains 3 dented and ancient mirrors of polished metal, that can be pushed and turned into position, reflecting the light deeper into the corridors and chamber. A vampire is here, but weak and pitiful. She dirty, dressed in tattered clothing. She doesn’t want to fight because she knows she’ll be killed. She doesn’t offer that she’s a vampire, but doesn’t dispute it. After some long winded discussions about the mirrors, the party notices the vampire offering up information, that there are additional mirrors hidden somewhere close by. The 2 avengers search the corridor, finding a secret room with 2 mirrors stashed inside. On one mirror, some faded writing is found. It states “Know thy enemy, know thy self”

The Abaddon sees that the reflection inside the mirror is wrong, showing a great slobbering beast. He tries to move the mirror, but the beast comes out and attacks. Allies come to assist, but with each blow to the beast, it turns and deals damage to the Abaddon.
Sever detects something is off, and tries to discern the problem, but fails, twice. Eventually, Ebony sees through some type of illusion, seeing that the beast isn’t quite real. Sever throws his cloak over the mirror, ending the illusion. The beast wasn’t real. The Abaddon thought he was fighting the beast, but was really fighting his friends. The party had the same problem. They saw a beast to fight, but were really hurting the Abaddon.

Once the problem was resolved, the mirrors were moved in a fashion to reflect the light onto the next door, allowing them passage to move along.

Past the door, a passage leading to Akivasha’s chamber lies, with a sarcophagus therein. Upon this great stone box are more inscriptions, but they have faded over time. The lid of the box seems to have moved quite frequently, scrapes and marks along the edges. Another mirror within reflects the dim light up into the ceiling. A fragile wooden door in this room leads to the great hall. The party plans ahead for a change, putting in place a warding circle, to protect against the threats of the undead. The Abaddon opens the sarcophagus, but it is empty. Archleone checks the door out of the room, seeing a large room beyond with a tall woman seated within.
The Robed King is seated in a great hall. She’s tall, beautiful, and completely human in appearance. A lever is on the side of the chair she rests in. When Sever moves toward it, she says “it sets off terrible, dangerous traps.” Odd devices and books are strewn abou the room. Glass vials of liquids, foul smelling potions. Each of the vials has bloody fingerprints etched on it.

Speaking to the seated figure, she will admit her name is Akivasha, but seems somewhat reluctant to talk about anything else. “I am, or I was the Robed King you speak of. I am Akivasha now, King no longer.”

As people examine her chair, she speaks again, ""After the war, the other Kings grew ill. I pretended to be sick as well to maintain the charade. We were friends for a year before they died, but I hid myself still. When they died, all the kingdoms fell into despair and could not recover. People slowly left each land for better prospects. I brought a handful of faithful and tamed vampires with me here and we made a home. I cared for them, and kept them from hunting the people nearby above us, but after a few centuries, someone must have grown restless. I sat in my chair one day, and great pain shot through me. Great spikes have stabbed into my flesh and pinned me here. I’m drained and weak, and grow weaker each year. I’m not sure how long it’s been, but it seems forever. A few faithful remain, bringing me sustenance."

And with that, she turns to Sever and speaks, “Now, I must ask you to feed me. If you’d be so kind as to cut open your arm and let the blood fall into my mouth.” Sever strides forward to do as bidden. The charming aura of Akivasha is powerful. Each suggestion that she makes is followed without question by Sever.
A voice comes from an adjacent chamber. He yells “Stop! What are you doing? Do not feed that creature!” A large troll comes running into the room. “Please be careful, she’s grown insane while stuck in the chair, she’s very dangerous. Don’t let her appearance fool you.”
“I’m Jaskryn, her sireling. Please, you can’t trust her, you musn’t feed her.”

Akivasha speaks again, “This creature is no child of mine. I hunger, feed me now.” Jaskryn yells for you to stop him!
Sever makes his way to Akivasha, and cuts open his flesh, allowing the blood to drip into her mouth, feeding her. She breaks free from the chair, her back torn open and leaking blood. Her illusion dispels. She screams in agony and frustration. She’s gaunt, her skin is almost transparent. Skinny. Her face is horribly scarred from some old injury, an infection, a burn, something bad. Her hair is sparse, and her lips are retracted showing her bared fangs.
She does a massive amount of damage in her bloodied frenzy, but eventually uses her blood driven healing to calm herself. Jaskryn in the meantime, has run like a mofo’ as fast as he can go.

Akivasha speaks,
“I’m sorry, truly sorry my friends. The blood and the pain pushed me beyond reason. I’ve been entwined with that chair for so long. I did not recognize that creature as a sireling, but I do feel a connection to it somehow. I can feel those that have used my blood to become undead. I think I feel him coming closer now, but something is, different. He’s stronger, somehow. No, more of my sirelings are coming. I could never create a large number of them, as I feared they would turn to darker ways. Something is different, they make a noise in my head. They must be close now.”

A group of creatures come into the entryway, led by Jaskryn. He’s surrounded by a cadre of gaunt looking vampires. “I warned you not to release her. You’ll have to be dealt with I suppose, so we can get her back under control. I can always build another chair for you my dear.”
Akivasha shrinks back at the mention of another chair, cowed by the thought of it. She whispers to the closest of you. “Something is not right, these creatures are not true vampire?”

A familiar female voice echoes in the chamber, Dajani speaks , “I think you’ve said enough Jaskryn. I’m disappointed you’ve let them free Akivasha. I have some more friends on their way to get their final treatments, but this will alter our plans. I don’t think we’ll be able to wait for your research to see fruition now. Eliminate these nuisances and you can finally join the ranks of the Iron Circle. We can find a great many different uses for your talents.”

Akivasha whispers again “I can detect that his masterful research is unstable. You must be careful with these creatures. The energies they have stolen will be violently released when they fall.”

A massive battle ensues. Vampiric minions at the side of Jaskryn, and Dajani brings along some Vampiric trolls. As each of the new vampire foes falls, something odd happens. They explode in a shower of dark energy, their bodies transforming into shadowed bat forms, dealing large amounts of damage to any creatures adjacent to them. As the fight goes on, Akivasha’s gaping wounds continue to drain her of blood and life, and as she sinks into the bloodied state, she turns on those nearest to her to refill her reserves. The explosive energies from the vampiric creatures, combined with Akivasha’s wavering loyalties, and Dajani’s basic dickery, lead to several of the party falling unconscious, and one of them falling by the wayside. Ebony is killed, though her body remains intact. Eventually, due to the healing efforts of the cleric Caelinna, and the limited healing powers of Ebony before she fell, the party manages to scrape through with only one fatality.

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