Trees of Prophecy

Meeting 16
DM's Recap

Upon the party’s return to Il’ Mendrash, Lord Samael Blackthorn ran out to greet them with a large scroll in his hands. He looked concerned.

He explained to the party that His Holiness, Ivoxam, High Priest of the Church of the All-Father had ordered a holy war against the members of the party and their unholy fortress of paganism. He and his holy army had already departed Queensport.

Lord Samael began reading the charges, but the party stopped him, thinking they had heard all of them. They joked, “Being a demon… Consorting with demons… Worshipping false gods… Corruption of the youth… etc., etc..”

They debated about what to do… The main point of contention concerned whether to use The Fatebearer. Gias wanted to dismantle the weapon or to threaten with it, but never actually use it. Xander didn’t want to use it for fear that there might be a lot of innocent people caught within the 5 mile blast, but thought that it should be kept to deter attackers. Celthalion, Corporal Scale, and Ms. Snarls thought that they should use the weapon.

The other topic of conversation was how best to fortify the city with the time and resources they had available.

While most of the party was discussing the morality of the situation and how to fortify the city, Maldora crept off to find her mother who was hiding in the darkest of shadows that could be found mid-day in an open field. When Maldora explained what The Fatebearer looked like, Chillon fainted. Maldora was rather upset about this and started screaming and hitting her mother to rouse her. After some time, Chillon awoke. Maldora asked, “what? Does the statue look like dad or something?” Chillon just babbled a bit and avoided the question. When she had recovered her wits, Chillon asked to see the statue. Upon seeing it, she fainted again. Maldora was eventually able to rouse Chillon again, but Chillon wouldn’t talk about the statue… Except to say that they needed to use it to destroy humans. Chillon said that she could get a victim to kill himself and that they could destroy the human army without the approval of the rest of the party! Maldora was almost ready to get the sacrificial daggers when she realized that Xander Drake Aelarin had all of the daggers on his body for safekeeping.

Maldora, currently without sacrificial daggers, returned to try to convince the party to use the weapon. An accord was eventually reached: the party would send a messanger and warn the approaching army to turn back. If the army did not turn back or surrender, the party would use the weapon to destroy them.

After some discussion, the party ordered the construction of two guard towers and a wall to help stand against Ivoxam’s armies.

They realized that they did not know many things about the weapon: how long was the recharge time? How long did it take to fire once the dagger had killed someone? What was the trigger? The party decided to consult the expert: Elvira Fatebearer.

Since time was of the essence, teleportation was necessary. Fortunately, Sal was around to facilitate their teleportation needs… For a price.

Everyone was teleported to the New Ak’Anon Research Center (NARC) for a meeting with Elvira Fatebearer. They had questions, she gave them answers. The recharge time was about a week. The trigger was a “command word.” Since Duamerbrax was a dullard, the command word had been set to “Duamerbrax.” After death, the weapon would fire as long as the command word was spoken within 15 seconds of death.

A long debate ensued about the best way to trigger the weapon after the knife had killed… Eventually, it was decided that Maldora would bring The Fatebearer to NARC and that Elvira would use scrying to determine when the command word needed to be uttered. Once the weapon fired, Maldora would teleport back to Il’ Mendrash and join the others should a battle ensue.

While she had the chance, Maldora asked Elvira about the chimera… She said that she knew something was up, her mother had fainted upon seeing the statue, Elvira had a painting of the chimera over her desk, and no one wanted to talk about it. Maldora asked, “is it dad or something? Just tell me.” Elvira just looked away and said she would not speak of the matter. Maldora fumed.

The party teleported back to Il’ Mendrash but was waylaid within the Ethereal Plane by some foulspawn. The foulspawn were easily dispatched and they appeared in Il’ Mendrash.

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Meeting 15
DM's Recap

The party was discussing using dark necromancy to speak to the dead and find Duamerbrax… Near Sal’s wagon. Sal, who was the master of dark necromancy (but only between 2 and 4 am), was eager to help.

He mentioned that Duamerbrax had a small army with him (and a dragon). The party would need some extra help or they would surely perish. Fortunately, Sal had just the thing and this thing was free (at least for a while).

Sal took the party around to the back of the wagon and warned them that what he was about to reveal was a foul, cruel, malicious creature who lived for battle. A being that lusted for carnage. A being who would gnaw your knees off while you were sleeping just to hear you scream…

He revealed a 3.5’ tall cage, covered in a black sheet. The being snarled. When he whisked the sheet away, a gnome was standing in the cage, dressed in full plate armor, weilding a mace and a shield. It snarled. It drooled. It hissed.

Sal revealed that this creature was called Ms. Snarls and would help them in their quest to defeat Duamerbrax. He warned the party not to feed the beast anything but raw flesh, for it was ill-tempered.

Xander mentioned that Sal have oversold the gnome, but Sal knew better and just chuckled to himself. “Watch out for your knees” was his only response.

Overhearing the commotion, Corporal Scale, high commander of the Il’ Mendrash division of the Holy Army of Silsarcia, came over to see what was going on.

Sal revealed Ms. Snarls to him. Ms. Snarls snarled.

After some small talk, the party decided to begin the necromantic ceremony. Gias led the ceremony and Maldora assisted.

When Gias finally summoned the spirit forth from the body (using Sal’s Speak with Dead), the spirit said “Woah, man! Who are you? Where am I? Do you have anything to eat? I got the munchies bad…”

Gias told the ghost that the ghost was supposed to be answering questions, not asking them. The ghost vaguely understood and told Gias to ask his question.

Gias asked “Do you know the location of Duamerbrax and his troops?”

The ghost, being more cooperative now, responded in an eerie voice… “Yes! OOOOOOOh!” And he disappeared.

Gias shook his head, “well, that was the last of my money. Can anyone spot me for more components so we can try again?”

Xander spotted him the money.

Gias and Maldora performed the necromantic ritual again. This time the ghost said “Woah! It’s you again! What do you want?”

Gias responded: “Where is Duamerbrax?”

Ghost responded: “Freyr’s Basin.”

Gias: “What is Duamerbrax’s next target?”

Ghost: “Odin’s Navel. It’s east of Thor’s Point and north of Freyr’s Basin.”

Gias: “Thank you.”

Gias released the spirit so that it could continue on its way to the afterlife.

The party was discussing various tactis and strategies, Corporal Scale offered to bring half a dozen troops to the battle…

Meanwhile, Maldora noticed that all of the dragonborn corpses had become infested with maggots.

She used the Dark Speech to create a Hive Mind from the maggots. She commanded them to follow her and take the shape of Gias Marcalles. The maggots tried to climb atop each other and move like a drippy humanoid with a wolf’s head.

The rest of the party didn’t really notice.

They set out to Odin’s Navel, trying to head Duamerbrax off before he arrived at his destination…

The party explained to Ms. Snarls and C. Scale that they were pursuing the Fatebearer, a weapon that was used to destroy their home town as well as several other towns in Zanthia. They explained that the weapon was triggered by someone being killed by a specific ritual dagger. Once the victim died, the weapon would destroy everything in a 5 mile radius.

Xander was able to find a secret path through the woods that allowed them to get in front of Duamerbrax and his troops… They saw that Duamerbrax had 25 troops and a white dragon with him.

After some strategizing, it was decided that Celthalion would infiltrate the group and try to get the ritual daggers from Duamerbrax.

Celthalion dawned Xander’s scorcher’s cloak and ran forth to meet Duamerbrax. Seeing his cloak, they did not engage him.

Celthalion explained that Aganazzer had fallen. He explained that they were continuing his work. He explained many things and the dragonborn believed every word of it. They accepted him as one of their own and were honored that he would join them.

Although Celthalion was denied the honor of killing himself to trigger the weapon, Duamerbrax granted him the honor of killing any Zanthians who escaped the blast.

This was when Celthalion glimpsed the weapon for the first time. It was a massive statue of a four-headed chimera made from some strange, silvery, shimmering metal. The same metal from which the daggers were made. The chimera had two lion heads, a spider head, and a human skull head.

Eventually, Celthalion signalled the party and they emerged from the woods. Celthalion yelled that the party must have followed him and that they were hunting him. Duamerbrax declared that he would avenge Celthalion and Aganazzer.

Battle ensued.

Near the end, Maldora had her swarm of maggots try to suffocate the dragon by climbing down its nose and throat. The dragon was coughing, bleeding, and near death…

Maldora and Ms. Snarls threatened the dragon, promising to call the maggots off and let the dragon live if the dragon would join their cause. If the dragon refused, they promised to make the dragon endure an unimaginably slow, shameful death.

The dragon accepted the terms of surrender and promptly fainted.

Ms. Snarls named the dragon Fluffy.

Celthalion and Corporal Scale negotiated the terms of an alliance between the remaining troops and the party.

With a dragon and 25 warriors, the party began their return to Il’ Mendrash…

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Meeting 14
DM's Recap

The party began in the ruins of Il’ Mendrash. Gias and Xander decided to give the holy relics they had reclaimed from the dragonborn, Maldora and Celthalion decided to pawn theirs off.

After searching the ruins, Maldora acquired a heap of residuum from the remains of the altar that Aganazzor had disenchanted…

Then they saw the statue, a 15’ tall bronze statue of Aganazzor dying atop a heap of fallen plant creatures. The members of the party and the Yuan Ti were all present. The members of the part looked like they were lamenting Aganazzor’s demise while Aganazzor was handing them his ritual book.

The party decided to leave the statue alone, although they were confused about its meaning.

Everyone decided to go back to Thor’s Point to deal with the citizens, except Celthalion, who decided to stay at Il’ Mendrash and look for further spiritual guidance from Bheilorveilthion.

Upon returning to Thor’s Point, the party met with Lord Samael and Braxx Braxxson. The party told Samael that 50+ tents and food enough for a few weeks were available at Il’ Mendrash now. Samael was pleased and ordered the citizens of Thor’s Point to prepare to depart to Il’ Mendrash immediately.

Braxx spoke up to the party, saying “Great work ye’ did at the mine and at Il’ Mendrash, but I’ve still got Iron Cobras overrunning my workshop!”

After talking it over a bit, the party decided to go down and clear Braxx’s workshop of cobras.

The workshop was a huge, underground factory containing 9 layers: storage / storefront, alchemy lab, library, sleeping quarters, kitchen / eatery, workshop, holding cells, giant gears, and a machine that was powered by those gears.

The party descended through all the layers until they reached the giant gears. The gears were still. The room was a chasm, though, and from the gears, the party could not see the bottom. After they had progressed along a few of the gears, a helmed horror and a couple homonculi advanced on them and attacked. The helmed horror flipped a switch, which set all of the gears in motion. A fight ensued atop the spinning gears and the party emerged victorious.

Once the creations were dead, the party descended into the final room. This room contained a broken machine, which seemed to use the power of the gears for some unknown purpose.

The party harvested some residuum from the corpses of the homonculi. When the party returned to the surface, Braxx greeted them. He was dismayed about the state of his workshop and decided to stay behind to rebuild. Apparently, the party’s delay had cost his workshop dearly.

Braxx did bestow upon Xander a set of armored tail spikes before descending into the depths with his son.

The party returned to Il’ Mendrash with Lord Samael and the rest of the townsfolk.

They decided that they wanted to confront Duamerbrax, even though they did not know where he was, but they realized that they should stay with the townsfolk until reinforcements and supplies arrived.

Two days passed and the reinforcements came, led by the Bearded Psilon Sal, Master of Importing and Exporting. The High Priest of Silsarcia had appointed Sal to lead the envoy and Sal decided to stay at Il’ Mendrash with the party to act as the Master of Trade.

He sold Gias a spell that would allow him to speak to the fallen dragonborn. With that, Gias planned to find Duamerbrax’s location…

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Meeting 13
(DM's Recap)

The party began by performing the ritual to bring back all of the fallen denizens of Thor’s Point. Once alive again, many of the townsfolk began shielding themselves with their hands and screaming. After a minute or two, they realized that they were no longer being killed and calmed down a bit.

When people had composed themselves, Xander told them to all gather in a circle near where the party was standing so that they could be told what was going on. People were somewhat taken aback my Xander’s tail, Maldora’s extra head, and the strange wolf-man who was present. After Xander finished explaining what had happened, the townsfolk were a bit more understanding.

It was suggested that everyone move into the Cave of Trials since it would provide shelter from the elements. Additionally, there was a small supply of food in there that the townsfolk would hopefully hold the townsfolk over until supplies arrived from Silsarcia.

Gias was reunited with Lady Olivia. And although she didn’t know what to make of his new wolf visage, she was happy to see him and grateful for all that he had done to bring her back. Gias told her that she would be the keeper of the new temple of Acna when it was rebuilt at Il’ Mendrash and she was glad.

Xander was reunited with his parents. And although they didn’t know what to think of his tail, they were happy to see him and grateful for all that he had done to bring them back. They were quite relieved when Xander told them that he had saved Zachariah from a crime lord and that Zachariah would arrive at Thor’s Point in a couple days.

Maldora was reunited with Chillon. She was irritated that Maldora hadn’t come to find her sooner; she had been waiting for almost an hour! Although Chillon did not thank Maldora or express any concern for her wellbeing, Chillon did give Maldora another of her father’s books: Concerning the Worlds Beyond.

That evening, Lord Samael and Braxx Braxxson talked with the party about the situation. Everyone agreed that moving the town to Il’ Mendrash was probably the best option since they were charged with rebuilding the temple there anyway. The party wanted to go find and stop Duamerbrax, but agreed that they should stay with the townsfolk until supplies arrived.

Braxx explained that he had surveyed the area and had found a few issues that the party would need to resolve before they could continue rebuilding. Il’ Mendrash was still inhabited by some dragonborn soldiers, several miners were trapped in the Black Iron mines, and his workshop was overrun by clockwork horrors (including the party’s favorite Iron Cobras).

The party set off at once to free the miners. In the mines, they noticed that a large chasm had been opened (probably by the Fatebearer’s blast). They decided not to explore it and pressed deeper into the mines, looking for the miners. When they reached the end of the path, large firelashers assaulted them.

After searching for a while, the party found the miners hiding in a small branch of the mines along with a large cart of recently-mined Black Iron. The party sent the miners off to town and said they had business to deal with.

Although burned and blistered, the party decided to head immediately to Il’ Mendrash and hopefully catch Aganazzer’s soldiers in their sleep.

Upon arriving at Il’ Mendrash, the party saw that the number of remaining tents had been greatly reduced. The dragonborn who remained seemed more concerned with looting the ruins than with fortifying the area from Umbar or Zanthian goons.

Xander snuck into a tent and removed weapons and armor from the sleeping soldiers while they slept.

Maldora, claimed that she was going to look for scouts.

Celthalion and Gias hung back since they were wearing heavy armor that made sneaking nearly impossible.

Having convinced the party of her noble intentions, Maldora actually snuck into a tent and killed a sleeping soldier. When asked about it later, she convinced everyone that she had the soldier was a scout and had been ready to attack her.

The scream of agony awoke the rest of the camp and a large battle ensued.

After the fight, Celthalion acquired an Enhanced Shield of Bashing off of the captain.

Everyone was getting ready to start pilfering the holy goods from the fallen soldiers’ camp, but Gias protested… The meeting ended mid debate.

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Meetin 12
DM's Recap

With Aganazzor dead and a hundred armed soldiers nearby, the party had to act quickly. There were only two NPCs nearby: a soldier and the Yuan – Ti. They decided to intimidate the Yuan – Ti into dropping his weapons and surrendering. He was, however, unimpressed by their effort. He offered the party a piece of advice, “How about you just run away?”

They ran.

10 seconds later, the Yuan – Ti yelled for aid. The dragonborn had no chance of catching up.

The party ran to Zachariah and the wagon. Zachariah revealed that a scary tiefling had appeared at the wagon and cursed at him a lot. She went on about trouble at NARC (New Ak-Anon Research Center) and threatened Zachariah’s life if he didn’t relay the message.

The party returned to NARC. Zachariah freaked out when the party was greeted by demons, but everyone gave him some suggestions on how to stay safe: stay in the wagon, don’t insult the demons’ mothers, don’t say anything, and don’t go in any holes. It seemed simple enough and Zachariah was calmed.

The party went into Elvira’s tower and saw her behind a desk, writing something on paper. She explained that she had figured out how to use the Temple of Change to alter creatures… That was the good news. The bad news was that the experiments had kind of backfired on her and the temple had been overrun by altered humans, angels, and Alejandros Jodorowski (the dwarf who had tried to arrest the party twice already). She needed the party to clear the temple out in exchange for the ability to use the Temple when it was clear as well as a large stipend.

The party agreed to do this if Elvira would agree to contact the High Priest, tell him that Aganazzor was dead, and try to find Duamerbrax’s whereabouts. She agreed.

Maldora explained that they had killed Aganazzor because he would not return her love and run away with her. Celthalion agreed that Aganazzor had broken Maldora’s heart and that he had to die. Elvira sympathized.

When asked where she got the test subjects, Elvira responded that she had resurrected a few of the Zanthian troops who had the audacity to come to NARC and attempt to arrest her.

When asked what sort of alterations had been made, she explained that she had to use what she had available: eyes, mouths, and plasma from the gibbering mouther; scales and acid from the black dragon; and various parts of a couple aberrations she had encountered in her journeys into dark places. The human and angel experiments were fairly successful, but the dwarf had grown too large and had popped out of his cage.

The party brought one of Elvira’s tieflings to man a cannon. The cannon was placed at the door of the citadel and pointed inward.

The party went forth into the temple to find that the angels’ wings and flesh were ruined and half-dissolved by acid. The humans possessed mouths all along their arms as well as translucent, gooey bodies. The dwarf was 15’ in diameter, covered in fat and slime. His arms had been replaced by giant tentacles. His eyes were now on stalks. His mouth had become large enough to eat an entire leg in one bite.

When the party saw the dwarf, they attacked. The tiefling hit Alejandros with the cannon ball, but his fat absorbed it.

Alejandros cursed them for doing this to him and warned that Ivoxam would hear of this atrocity.

The fight was brutal. The humans had gained the power to create mouths on their enemies. These mouths would bite their host. At one point, Alejandros picked Gias up, placed Gias’s entire torso in his mouth, and bit him. Gias contracted Filth Fever, everything in the world smelled awful to him and he vomited constantly.

The fight ended when Maldora choked one of the humans and threw him into a wall near the entry way, killing him instantly. As the human issued its death shriek, a mouth formed on the tiefling cannoneer, bit him, and killed him.

Disgusted, the party stormed up to Elvira, who had just finished a conversation with the High Priest in the Comm Tower. Maldora shrieked at Elvira for sending them into such a disgusting fight. Gias told Elvira that she should only use willing subjects in the future. Elvira thought that might be a safer bet, should things go awry again.

Elvira told the party that the High Priest was coming to NARC to congratulate them on their success against Aganazzor. She also told them that they were free to use the Temple, if they had enough residuum.

They waited for the High Priest, who arrived three days later on the back of the White Dragon that the party took from Zanthia so long ago. The High Priest came with the Oracle.

When he dismounted, he congratulated the party and revealed that he had big plans for this new part of Silsarcia. He had political goals that he wanted to achieve and new lands to rule… He talked for a minute or two before being interrupted.

“What about the Temple at Il’ Mendrash? Someone needs to defend it so the Zanthians don’t get it!”

“What about Thor’s Point? You said you’d help bring back our fallen friends.”

“Has any progress been made restoring my monastery?”

“Il’ Mendrash needs defense so Umbar doesn’t reclaim it.”

The High Priest smiled. He said that he was appointing a powerful ruler to govern New Silsarcia. Someone whose authority would be unquestioned. Someone who was loyal to Silsarcia.

The party interrupted, “Elvira???”

The High Priest said no, it was the Oracle.

Shrieking and waving fingers about wildly, the Oracle thanked the party for what they had done to secure Il’ Mendrash and the surrounding lands for Silsarcia. She declared that the party would rule Il’ Mendrash and the surrounding lands (including Thor’s Point) since the party had proven that they had the skill, drive, and loyalty required of rulers.

She gave them a scroll that would allow them to resurrect all those who had fallen at Thor’s Point. They would be as they were before the attacks, although they might be afflicted with nightmares and some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of being killed by a weapon of such evil and power. She said that the fortification and defense of the area now fell upon them.

The High Priest informed them that he had vast resources coming up from Silsarcia to aid them in fortifying and rebuilding the area. He informed them that they would now work directly for the Oracle, Duchess of New Silsarcia.

The High Priest and the Oracle hopped atop the dragon and flew to Eiden’s Roost, Aganazzor’s old capital. They had to quell any rebellions and assert the authority of Silsarcia over the area. They left.

Maldora and Gias approached Elvira after the High Priest had left and discussed the possibility of using the Temple. After talking about it, Gias spent his fortune on changing his head to be like that of a wolf. He gained a powerful War Howl that would terrify foes. Maldora spent most of her fortune growing an additional head, that of a black dragon. She gained a powerful bite as well as the ability to spit poison.

The party marched to Thor’s Point to begin the ritual.

The scorched lands around Thor’s Point had begun to bloom with twisted and alien plants. The great scar in the earth that was created by the Fatebearer had filled with sap. Sap overflowed, soaking the ground for many yards beyond the hole itself.

A couple twisted creatures (Grells) descended upon the party as they approached the center of Thor’s Point. The party was victorious and began preparations to restore their friends and family.

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Meeting 11
DM's Recap

Feeling somewhat bad about ridiculing and beating Zachariah, Gias and Xander talked to him about what he had been through and what had happened to Gias’s father. Through the conversation, Zachariah revealed that Aganazzer had recently poisoned the entire populous of Freyr’s Basin. The place had become a graveyard.

Although somewhat disheartened that they had not moved quickly enough to save Freyr’s Basin, the party marched onward to Il’ Mendrash.

The party left the wagon (along with Zachariah and some guards) a few miles outside the ruins.

The party began marching to the ruins, along with 13 of their soldiers. Celthalion saw some dragonborn scouts hiding in the bushes. When the party got close enough, Celthalion stood tall and exclaimed “Come forth from the bushes! We mean you no harm.”

The dragonborn soldiers came forth, but kept their weapons sheathed. Celthalion and Maldora talked to the soldiers about wanting to speak with Aganazzer. After a bit of discussion, Celthalion convinced the guards to escort them to Aganazzer at once.

The soldiers led the party to Aganazzer’s camp, on the outskirts of Il’ Mendrash. The camp housed around 200 soldiers. These soldiers were preparing cannons and catapults with burning oil. They were pointing them toward the heart of Il’ Mendrash. The party was brought to a small camp with a bonfire and some roasting meat. They were told to make themselves comfortable while the soldier informed Aganazzer of their arrival.

The party sat, ate, and talked until the soldier came back, disheartened and a little scared. He reported that Aganazzer refused to leave his current position at this time, for he was busy. Aganazzer did, however, invite the party to the temple for a parley. Celthalion glared at the soldier. The soldier cowered and Gias called for Celthalion to stop staring at the soldier for it was not the soldier’s fault.

Everyone agreed that going to meet Aganazzer was a good choice, so they went.

Celthalion knew the way to the temple, for it was where he would often come to pray before Aganazzer destroyed Thor’s Point. It was about two miles from their current position. On the way, the sky changed from clear to black. Rain poured. Lighting struck several places near the altar. After about 20 minutes, the lightning stopped, the rain stopped, and the sky cleared again.

The party approached the altar and noticed Aganazzer sitting on the altar. Two soldiers stood nearby as well as a Yuan Ti. The charred remains of several dragonborn lay around the altar. The altar itself was also charred.

Aganazzer looked exhausted, but lifted his head to look at the party. He greeted them. The party introduced themselves, but did not disclose that they had come from Thor’s Point. They told Aganazzer that they had been sent by the High Priest of Silsarcia to make him answer for his crimes.

Aganazzer’s response was long, but he told them that Silsarcia did not understand his cause. He said that the Silsarcians claimed to be trying to free the Elder Gods, but they were not willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Aganazzer had sacrificed. Aganazzer had fought. Silsarcia had talked. Silsarcia had schemed and plotted, but with no results. Aganazzer had undone the bindings on this temple, the Great Temple of Acna.

The party was confused. They had not learned about any bindings or many of the other things Aganazzer mentioned. So, Aganazzer explained the situation to them…

For a long time, Umbar the Great Tree tended to the lands of the Western Continent alone. There were many flora and fauna, but he was the only mighty creature. He preserved the lands and made the flourish.

Everything was good for Umbar. Until creatures from the stars beyond the world took notice of the lands he had created and descended from the Void to pillage, burn, and destroy his paradise. Umbar was mighty and was able to destroy all of the creatures he encountered. Unfortunately, he was only one creature and could only be in one place. Vast expanses of the continent were ruined by these creatures because he could not defend against them all.

Using Supernal, the language of creation, Umbar the Great Tree created the Elder Gods (Acna the Wolf, Eiden the Eagle, Psil the Serpent, and Ulrach the Spider) to help him defend the lands from these invaders. Eiden defended the skies, Acna and Psil defended the earth, and Ulrach descended deep beneath the earth.

Umbar taught some of the High Speech to the Elder Gods, but withheld much of it so that the Elder Gods would not grow too powerful. The Elder Gods were able to repel these invaders.

Eventually, when the original humanoids (who are rumored to have had four arms and to have been diminutive) emerged on the eastern continent, Eiden flew over the Dividing Sea to see them. He wanted to show them the lands of the West and so he carried many of them on his back and flew to the Western Continent.

Upon reaching the Western Continent, the humanoids were lost. They had no shelter, they had no knowledge of the lands, and they had no way to live.

Acna guided them to the fair lands of the continent and taught them to take shelter within nature. Acna taught them what foods could be eaten and many other things.

The humanoids survived, with Acna’s help.

Psil wanted to help the humanoids and teach them the lore he had learned, but Umber had forbidden teaching any of the High Speech to the humanoids. Psil went against Umbar’s decree and taught a limited amount of the High Speech to them anyway and the humanoids became powerful and proud. With Psil’s aid, they were able to create powerful tools and machines that could do impossible things. They created machines of Changing. They created machines of Communication. They created machines of Teleportation and Enchantment and even machines that could alter the flow of time.

Umbar, angered by Psil’s disobedience and also by the humanoids’ arrogance, destroyed many of the humanoids’ creations (with Eiden’s help). He also forbade Psil from communicating with the humanoids.

Psil was displeased, but obeyed for a while. The humanoids had learned from him, but he had learned from them, too. Psil began using the High Speech to alter the birds and beasts of the lands, creating crossbreeds and new species.

His finest work was the Dragons, a cross between the Eagles and the Serpents and his finest dragon was Bheilorveilthion the Crimson. He taught Bheilorveilthion most of what he knew of the High Speech and Bheilorveilthion became as powerful as the other Elder Gods.

After creating the Dragons and many other beasts, Psil began experimenting on the humanoids. He was able to create the Psilons in his image. He taught the other Elder Gods how to create humanoids in their images, and they did.

Upon hearing of these things, even Ulrach emerged from her deep chasms to create some servants in her image. This was the only time Ulrach emerged from the Depths in known history.

Umbar sensed that his relative power was waning and that the other Elder Gods, along with their creations, could rise up against him.

Fearful, Umbar made a band of humans mighty and like gods themselves. Umbar charged them with capturing the Elder Gods and imprisoning them beneath the earth in exchange for immortality and immeasurable power. The humans accepted. These men and women became the members of the Norse Pantheon.

A great war was wage and in the end, the Elder Gods were trapped beneath the earth. Umbar rooted himself deep into the earth and let his roots pierce all corners of the land. In order to keep the Elder Gods imprisoned, he had to connect himself to the most powerful of the ley lines in the land.

Umbar ordered the Norse Gods to climb his trunk and live above the world, in the clouds. They obliged.

Aganazzer finished his history lesson and explained that they were all about to be under attack by Umbar’s servants…

Maldora developed a huge crush on Aganazzer.

Shortly thereafter, legions of plantfolk emerged from the ground and threatened to overtake the camp. Had the party not been there, they would have surely succeeded.

After the fight, Aganazzer thanked them for their help.

The party and Aganazzer debated about whether freeing the Elder Gods justified killing thousands of innocent people. Aganazzer said it was totally worth it and that without the Fatebearer, the Great Tree’s roots could not be broken. The party asked Aganazzer how Silsarcia was able to undo the bindings on their temple, but Aganazzer did not know. The party was split about what to do, for they agreed that freeing the Elder Gods was vastly important.

Sensing that her friends were about to kill Aganazzer, Maldora offered him a choice: He could run away with her and be her love, her first male love at that, or he could die.

Eventually, the other party members made Aganazzer agree that if they should find a method to free the Elder Gods without massive slaughter, he must consider it. Aganazzer agreed, but was doubtful that they would find anything. He was also doubtful that he would survive this day since he had exhausted himself twice (once to break the bindings and once during the battle) and the party had revealed that they were from Thor’s Point. So Aganazzer gave his ritual book to the party, telling them to go and undo the bindings themselves if they didn’t like his methods. It was his way of keeping the mission going, even after his soon-to-be untimely death.

The party thanked him for the book and swore that they would try to find a less catastrophic way of freeing the Elder Gods.

Celthalion was not pleased, though. Celthalion raised his axe and declared that Aganazzer must answer for his crimes. Aganazzer had killed everyone that the party knew and he had killed thousands of other people at Freyr’s Basin. His crimes must be punished and Celthalion would do it.

The party slew Aganazzer.

The meeting ended.

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Meeting 10
DM's Recap

With the gibbering mouther defeated, Elvira had some of her mezzodemons gather some of the mouther’s remaining teeth, eyes, and bodily ooze. The party had time to notice a small pictogram of them talking to the high priest of Silsarcia on one of the Comm Tower’s spires. Understanding that it was a communication log of some sort, the party looked briefly at the other pictograms adorning the wall. The previous ten pictograms featured a female tiefling (presumably Elvira Fatebearer). In some, she was talking to a dragonborn commander, but she was talking to a dark cloud with teeth and eyes in several others.

Before the pictures with Elvira, there were hundreds of pictures with small, four-armed humanoid creatures talking to other small, four-armed humanoid creatures. Other times, the small humanoids were talking to a giant snake, dark clouds, dragons, and a giant tree. The party asked Elvira if she knew that the pictures were there and Elvira said that she did, although she seemed rather uncomfortable and tried to change the subject from the communication log. The party did not press her on the matter, instead changing the subject to Aganazzer’s whereabouts.

Elvira, relieved to be talking about anything different, told the party that she did not know where Aganazzer was, but knew where he was going… The ruins of Il’ Mendrash (the ruined city near Thor’s Point where Celthalion had a vision of Bheilorveilthion the Crimson and was granted his armor). Aganazzer was heading there to begin rebuilding the great temple.

The party plotted for a few minutes before a few demons stormed up the tower and announced, “Lady Fatebearer, the Aelarin has had some unusual reactions to the Temple…”

Xander Drake Aelarin finished climbing the tower and looked unusually grey of skin. He also had a 3’ long black dragon tail that he was partially able to control emerging from his tailbone.

The demon continued, “We have a full set of completed reports that you may view at your leisure, your lady.”

Although Elvira was worried about how the party would react to this, Xander coped by telling a few jokes at his own expense. Gias was even heard saying, “I want to be a mutant! Can you make me spit poison?”

Relieved, Elvira said that she would keep the party informed about the progress of her research.

They spoke cordially about the party’s plan to go and meet Aganazzer, although revenge seemed to be on the minds of the party members. Their conversation was interrupted by a strange noise emerging from the east… It sounded like “Caw… nnnnngh” Celthalion, Gias, and Xander correctly identified that the sound was like that of a crow. Maldora correctly identified that the sound was like that of a flesh golem.

Trying to figure out what the sound was, Celthalion dubbed it a “Crowlem” and the name stuck. After a minute or so, the crowlem landed on one of the spires of the comm tower. The crowlem looked to be a very old bird, many of its feathers were gone, flesh had been grafted onto it in various spots, and small vials with bubbling green liquid stuck out of its neck. The crowlem squawked again, the vials bubbled.

The party noticed that the crowlem had a message tied to its foot. Xander grabbed and read: “To Master Xander Drake Aelarin and Master Anduren of Aruthiel” Xander read the address aloud, pronouncing the second name “Arden of Arthus?” Gias corrected him and revealed his history to the party.

The note was from Gias’ old loan shark: Kellare “Cutthroat” Fellmaro. Kellare had captured Xander’s brother, Zachariah, and was holding him ransom for the full amount of money that Anduren owed him: 350,000 gp (the original loan was for 50,000 but 20 years of compound interest does horrible things to debt). Alternately, if the money was not available, Kellare would release Zachariah to Xander in exchange for Xander killing Gias.

Xander summarized the party’s motivation and situation: “Kellare must be pretty stupid. I don’t care about my brother, let him die. However, we don’t need another enemy left alive. I say we stop by his place and kill him before we confront Aganazzer.”

Gias knew where Kellare’s hideout was and he led the party there. They left the wagon behind a small hillock and approached. The prison camp was on a hill with well-trimmed shrubberies and trees. A cobblestone path led up to the mansion. People were outside in the pond swimming, talking, and writing poetry. The party was too appalled to notice Kellare’s scouts watching them.

After planning for a while, Maldora hopped atop her orcs and decided to walk in the front door, posing as a stripper. Given to Kellare as a gift by a friend.

They approached. The people at the pond ran away, screaming, “Orcs! Demons! We’re under attack!” They had clearly returned to Zanthia. The orc who did not drum knocked on the front door. An armed guard opened the door, “how can I help you” he asked. When he saw the beasts at the door, he screamed, shut the door, and locked it. There was a bit of yelling and the guard reopened the door, gulping. He said, “come in, the boss will see you.”

Maldora introduced herself, “I am entertainment, sent to you as a gift by a good friend of yours.”

Kellare asked, “who do I know that could afford such a fine gift?”

Maldora, thinking on her feet, responded “Aganazzer.”

Kellare responded, “is that so? Well then, come in!” (Kellare had no idea who Aganazzer was)

Maldora was kind of creeped out and decided that she didn’t really want to go in. Kellare eventually convinced her to come in. Maldora noticed that Zachariah was sitting, tied to a chair next to Kellare. The crowlem sat atop Kellare’s shoulder. Twelve armed guards stood around in the room, half terrified, half aroused. After talking for a while, Kellare asked Maldora “what are the chances that your friends would come and rescue you if anything bad happened to you?”

Maldora, sensing the threat, responded by threatening to kill everyone in the room if Kellare so much as made an inappropriate hand gesture at her. Kellare recoiled and offered her a seat, far away from him.

Maldora sat down and everyone was so distracted that they didn’t notice Xander sneaking in the back. Xander had a look around but didn’t see Zachariah.

Eventually, Gias and Celthalion decided to set the building on fire. Using their Adventurers’ Kits, they ignited an outer wall of the mansion. Kellare ordered several of his men to go out and put the fires out. Gias and Celthalion then decided to storm in and attack Kellare and the crowlem.

Combat began. Kellare ran and cowered in the corner… The years had been bad for his nerves and mental state.

Celthalion killed Kellare “Cutthroat” Fellmaro while Fellmaro was crying behind a chair, waiting for the fighting to end.

The party made it out of the building (with Zachariah) and managed to loot some fine silks, cheeses, and artwork, but the other prisoners all died, buried beneath the mansion.

Zachariah begrudgingly thanked Xander for saving him, although he was ashamed that he had to be saved. Xander punched his brother a few times to get him to stop whining. Zachariah revealed that Kellare’s men offered him a job as a tour guide, but instead kidnapped him and brought him here. Although Zachariah had no part in selling the party out, the party almost decided to leave Zachariah to starve to death in the woods. Maldora said that she would go with Zachariah and drop him off at Queensport, she wouldn’t just leave him here.

Zachariah thanked them for taking him along. He asked if they would let him go clean off in the pond before they left… He had been stuck in a dungeon for weeks and felt horrible.

Eventually, Zachariah was allowed to stay in the back of the wagon, but was told to be silent or be abandoned.

That night, Gias had a dream about Acna. Acna complimented Gias’s prowess in battle and his desire for the hunt. The next day, Gias felt his holy symbol’s power grow.

The party continued on their way to Il’ Mendrash… They encountered an owlbear and a shadow panther along the way. The meeting ended on the road.

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Meeting 9
DM's Recap

After defeating and looting the dragon, Xander began glowing slightly and his skin became grayish in color. The party emerged from the Temple of Change and went back to talk to Elvira.

Elvira listened to the party’s description of the events and decided that she needed to run some tests on Xander to see what exactly had happened to him and determine any possible side effects. Xander was sent away.

The remainder of the party talked with Elvira and after her curiosity about the temple was sated, she agreed to talk to the High Priest of Silsarcia with the party. The party started trying to figure out the best way to walk to the High Priest, but Elvira laughed. She started ordering some of her demons to prepare the Comm Tower and said that walking and talking “in-person” was becoming obsolete.

As she began to explain what they were going to do, trumpets were heard from outside the tower. Elvira was a little put off by people using musical instruments so loudly and the party emerged from the tower with her.

A few hundred feet away stood 500 Zanthian soldiers, 12 Zanthian hippogriff warriors, 2 angels, and Alejandros Jodorowski (a dwarf that the party had chained to a tree and left for dead atop the Holy Mountain). Elvira approached the small army and asked what they wanted.

Alejandros responded, “we have come seeking Elvira Fatebearer. By order of Ivoxam, High Priest of Zanthia and right-hand of the Queen, she is wanted for heresy, consorting with demons,...”

The present party members mentioned that they had heard this before and the dwarf looked at them and remembered…

He continued, “And now this! Consorting with known terrorists, harboring known terrorists…”

The party and the dwarf exchanged some snarky remarks. Elvira ordered her canoneers to man the canons, her garlbura to smash the irregular infantry, and her imps to follow her and defeat the hippogriffs. She said that the angels and the dwarf were the party’s to handle.

The party defeated the angels and the dwarf. Afterward, they helped the garlburas kill the remaining irregulars.

After the fight, Elvira thanked the party, gave them another stipend, and told them that she was ready to go talk to Silsarcia.

After sacrificing a human to power her infernal machine that ripped a hole in reality, Elvira projected the images of the party and herself onto the High Priest’s altar. The party convinced Elvira and the High Priest to ally under the following terms: Silsarcia would provide Elvira with all the funding and manpower she needed and Elvira would provide Silsarcia with weapons and access to the Temple of Change.

Elvira closed the communication, but a Gibbering Mouther appeared out of the hole and started shrieking at the party. The party slew the mouther and the meeting ended.

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Meeting 8
DM's Recap

The party arrived at New Ak Anon, but found that it was deserted. Ruined metal structures arose from the ground, many of them had been destroyed seemingly 1,000 years ago. Some of the structures are covered in glowing arcane runes.

Celthalion detected the scent of insects and heard a gnashing, burrowing sound coming from deep within the earth. There is no sign of life, however.

Gias examined some of the ruined buildings, hoping to find clues. He did not find anything useful, but did notice that some objects in the ruins seem to have been disturbed or removed recently.

Maldora and Xander looked for holes that the bugs might have dug through to the surface. They found a deep hole that seemed to go for a great distance southeast toward the lake. The hole was 4’ diameter, so they decided not to descend. Instead, Xander sent one of his soldiers down to investigate stealthily… The party waited… After a few minutes, a shriek emerged from the hole, followed by the sound of crunching bones.

The party moved southeast, deciding not to linger near the hole.

After investigating a few more buildings and finding nothing, giant bugs wielding tridents ran toward the party while they were riding around in the wagon they bought from Sal.

The bugs clicked and clacked at the party in Abyssal. No one spoke Abyssal, but Maldora decided to give it a try anyway. She began flapping her arms around and clicking back at the bugs. She seemed to insult one of the bugs’ mothers or something because they immediately began clicking angrily and waving their tridents at Maldora. One bug restrained the other while he calmed down and they motioned for the party to follow them southeast. The party obliged and traveled toward the lake, led by the bugs.

In the confusion, Xander escaped, hid, and followed the group from a safe distance.

The party arrived at Elvira’s research camp in the southeastern part of the city and she told them many things about herself and Aganazzer. Mainly, that she was, more or less, an independent contractor with a genocidal hatred of humans.

She developed the Fatebearer, a weapon that was used to destroy Thor’s Point. She originally pitched the idea to Xyron, but they were too disorganized and had no real direction. She pitched the idea to Silsarcia, but they wanted to use it to prevent any sort of war. When she pitched it to Aganazzer, he immediately gave her funding and wanted to use the Fatebearer against the Zanthians as often as possible. She said that this seemed like a good fit for her and started working with the Scorchers.

She’s now working on some other, better weapons that she is trying to finish, but Aganazzer hasn’t sent the promised reinforcements so progress has halted. Maldora was fascinated and wanted to learn more about the weapons, Elvira’s research, and how more humans could be killed.

Elvira explained that with the next weapon she was developing, she would have pinpoint accuracy. She revealed that the Fatebearer was somewhat imprecise and required a lot of resources to use. She offered the party a 2,000 gp stipend to help her access and secure the Temple of Change.

The party, most of whom want to prevent the Fatebearer from being used again and prevent “needless” death, agreed to help. They did, however, demand that Elvira would engage in “good faith” negotiations with Silsarcia and switch her allegiance if Silsarcia would provide the funding and manpower she required. She agreed and led the party to the Temple of Change.

The door to the temple was protected by numerous ward and enchantments that greatly harmed anyone who came in contact with it. It also seemed to be impervious to damage. Elvira mentioned that her demons would not go near the temple, claiming that an ancient evil was inside.

Maldora, with Gias, Xander, Celthalion, and one of her soldiers as support used Words of Corruption to begin disintegrating the door. The dark words were enough to open a small section of the doorway, but channeling these words caused her soldier to incinerate and Gias was knocked unconscious.

Maldora stopped channeling the spell and allowed the other party members to recover. She began chanting again almost immediately, however, with four of her soldiers assisting the effort. By the time the door was opened, all of her soldiers except one existed only as ashes.

The party went into the temple.

Downstairs, they saw eight skeletons walking around and performing various tasks. The skeletons took no notice of the party.

A large table, covered in runes, blood, and scales sat in the center of a room with 8 side chambers. Each side chamber’s walls were covered in runes that Maldora revealed to be instructions to operate a machine. The side chambers each had an empty orb atop a pedestal and thousands of gold worth of residuum.

The party examined the orbs, the residuum, the runes, the table, and the skeletons. Not seeing an “ancient evil,” they decided to leave and tell Elvira that they had completed the terms of their agreement.

Suddenly, portcullises slammed down, locking the party within the room. Nothing else happened. Xander, not really knowing what else to do, jumped on the table in the center of the room.

Immediately, all of the orbs shot magical energy into him, knocking him unconscious.

A black dragon with the ability to steal life energies emerged and explained that he was a priest of Psil who had used this machine to transform himself into a dragon. After the transformation, he killed all eight of the priests involved in the ritual and was locked within the temple forever.

Now that the party has opened the door out, he claimed that he was going to eat them and escape. Unfortunately for the dragon, the party killed him by using the table against him…

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Meeting 7
ADD Version

The High Priest gave the party a map of the Scorched Foothills, two dozen soldiers, and a mission: Acquire the foothills for Silsarcia. The High Priest outlined three possible ways by which to acquire the Scorched Foothills: Kill Aganazzer, rally other powerful leaders against Aganazzer and drive him out, or convince Aganazzer to surrender to Silsarcia. The party plotted their course and began planning how to find and kill their enemy who had destroyed Thor’s Point.

The party encountered a flock of shadowhunter bats and fire bats. Three of Gias’ men were lost in the skirmish.

The party arrived at Aganazzer’s capital and began looking for information about where to find him. Although no one gave them specific information regarding his whereabouts, several people told them that Fort Vindication would be the best place to find out.

Instead of investigating Aganazzer, Maldora looked for information on her sister, Elvira Fatebearer. One of Elvira’s old boyfriends told Maldora that Elvira was down in New Ak’Anon performing magical weapon research.

The party decided to go to New Ak’Anon and get information about Aganazzer from Elvira Fatebearer.

On the way, the party encountered some rage drakes and spitting drakes.

Maldora also continued researching her father’s work and unlocked the secrets of Words of Corruption.

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