Roving Around Athas

Moving Chess Pieces

Quick summary: Our heroes got back to what they have come to call Birkenshire, their keep.

They received the Urikite envoy and parlayed with Korsun for supplies. The Urikite made it known that the Balacian delagation under Nara Docistus openly attacked his largely unguarded delegation.

Ambrose, recently returned to Birkenshire to keep the heroes up-to-date, informed the party that Nara Docistus was under the pay of Davalcon, and was not acting on the authority of Andropinis.

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The Fall of Valthrun
Some People Just Need to Die

Time passed this particular session: Three days.
Total time passed overall: Twenty-eight weeks and four days.

Our heroes donned disguises and were taken as new recruits for Children of the Dragon by missionaries in Celik. A middle aged preacher by the name of Janus Januson and his assistant Isaiah Herdship were convinced that the heroes were willing to learn more about the faith, despite possibly being slightly mentally unstable and heavily cloaked.

When the party was brought back to the cult lair, Janus initiated a baptismal ceremony for the party. Our heroes, thinking on their feet, dumped their baptismal tub of scalding water over Melhavoc and themselves rather than expose their disguises by putting their hands in the tub.

After being initiated into the cult, our heroes investigated the cult complex. Valthrun, who had something of a hidden research lab at the site, used Isaiah Herdship to delivery information and fetch supplies. A deal of some sort was offered to Drax, and

Valthrun collapsed the entrance of the cult complex and had servitors attempt to kill the PCs. The PCs teleported back into the compound and had a final show-down with Valthrun, but not before resurrecting and then re-killing Isaiah to fuel one of Valthrun’s teleportation portals.

Valthrun died in a fit of hurbris, unable to grasp on to the ledge of his platform, plummeting to the ground.

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The Journey to Celik
On to the Giant's Ribs Mountains

Total Time Elapsed This Session: One Week.
Total Time Elapsed: Twenty-eight weeks and one day

Our heroes traveled to the ruined city and Mareneth Outpost of Celik to gather provisions and information concerning their journey into the Giant’s Rib Mountains.

They were invited to court with the leader of the outpose, Korsun Mareneth. Korsun attempted to have the party ambushed and killed, in an attempt to send Sager’s body back to Davalcon in order to refine him into a few orbs.

The party killed Korsun’s men and bullied him into submission. They have a tentative treaty with the city.

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The Keep Spreads

Note to the players: we are back on the bandwagon after a month’s haitus.

Time Elapsed this Session: Four Days.
Total Time of Athas: Twenty-seven weeks and one day.

A few key things happened during this session:

  • The party declined Al’Akbar’s offer to be their personal apothecary. (declined)
  • The city of Balic sent a delegation to collect taxes (2000gp a month) and demand a garrison headed by Nara Docistus (declined)
  • Tyr sent a representative, Ranez Pawtracer, with the demands that (1000gp a month) be paid in taxes. (accepted)
  • A Dray, by Furysneak Hophron, petitioned asylum for his people in the land surrounding the keep. (accepted)
  • Members of the Children of the Dragon petitioned to build a temple either on the grounds or near the keep. (declined)
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Finding a Cook

Time Elapsed this Session: 2 Days.
Time Elapsed between Sessions: Two weeks
Total Time of Athas: Twenty-six weeks and four days.

A few quick things. The party hired various support staff for the keep, including a cook named Bantia Travelsworn and a master blacksmith named Tonust “Zappa” Backbreaker. They were unable to locate a master apothecary, so they traveled to Altaruk to secure the services of one and set up supply routes.

House Wavir, House M’ke, and House Vordon will be supplying the keep for 500gp a month.

Avery Hawknose, while the PCs were in Tyr, apprehended a doppelganger spy. He had an encrypted note on him that I have given to the party.

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Upkeeping the Keep

Arriving at the keep the party briefly talked to one of he hill giant laborers. Construction on the keep was well under way when the party arrived, the hill giant estimated that maybe two weeks remained before the keep was finished.

One of the mercenaries, Andal Swornsword, approached the party and brought them up to speed on the status of the dried well. Andal was responsible for supervising the transportation of supplies and the logistics of constructing the keep. He informed the party that since the well had run dry, 500gp a week would be required to supply the keep with enough water for all the laborers.

Our PCs ventured into the dried well. The party encountered two points of note:

  • At the bottom of the well, a cavern with a natural spring was fueling a non-sentient giant water elemental and several smaller water elemental spawns. Said elemental was preventing any water from leaving the cave. A glowing eye of Dagon sat at the back of the room, claiming obvious responsibility for the well problems.
  • Also at the bottom of the well was a huge construct, a clockwork Designator.

The PCs were able to activate the dormant construct and easily convinced him to help the party purge the well. The clockwork construct, nicknamed RJ by Sager, was used to freeze the giant water elemental in place while the party destroyed the smaller elemental spawns. Destroying the elementals caused the water levels in the well to rise rapidly and nearly trapped Drax in a watery grave.

Several key points were revealed by RJ. The Designators were created to be servants of Athas and his master race, halflings. All other races were meant to be either exterminated or subjugated under halfling rule. The sorcerer kings seemed to sealed Raajat away “beyond the Gray” for reasons RJ did not specify and likely did not know.

The PCs emerged from the well and supervised the rest of the construction of the keep. Melhavoc concocted a plan to create a distillery and ice-making revenue streams, which currently is generating 2500gp a week.

Time Elapsed this Session: One day and two weeks.
Total Time Elapsed: Twenty four weeks and two days.

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Post Trial Tribulations

The party, acquitted of their crimes (actual and falsified, right?), left the courthouse to discover the grisly scene of Raulf Neville, his Templar escorts, and six templar witnesses with heads on pikes outside the Templar’s Courthouse. Their eyes were missing, and the heads were removed using teleportation magic.

Sager was given a letter from a Xalos the Stonecutter, asking for information on his people, Shardminds.

Snapgnaw, after witnessing the heads on pikes, sprinted to Xalos’s store front. There he met a Xalos, and proceeded to ask him for advice. “Xalos” answered the questions to the best of his abilities.

Melhavoc, meanwhile, was in the middle of throwing a party. A massive one that disrupted the normal flow of events in the Noble District.

Drax, Sager, Shin, Cvrem, and Sausage roamed the market. Drax got a letter from Avery detailing how they should stop fucking around with geopolitics. The letter also noted that their keep was well under construction, but that the well had run dry.

The party reconvened a day after the trial. Melhavoc and Sager exchanged information and noted the insanely contradictory pieces they knew about Xalos.

The party made way to interrogate Xalos, and they discovered “him” during a shift change. Two doppelganger underlings were trading shifts. Snapgnaw immediately killed one and forced the other to surrender. Said underling wasn’t able to tell them much, the boss was a man named “Gind.” But there was also the cat. The cat man they all feared.

The PCs informed the Psion Overmind/Magistrate Ambrose Ivory. He joined the PCs to investigate their claims. The doppelganger underling took them to a lab that the cat man used sometimes. He torturned people there, and our doppelganger friend wanted nothing to do with the lab.

The PCs encountered some cultists and a beholder. PCs defeated my poor beholder and purged the lab of cultists. Deciding to take a look their keep, the party left Tyr with Ambrose’s caravan.

Time Elapsed this Session: One Day in Tyr and A week and a day of travel.
Total Time Elapsed: Twenty-two weeks and a day.

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The Trial of the Athasian Adventurers

This was a long and elaborate session. I will copy and lightly edit my campaign notes for the session just so I don’t have to repeat everything over again:

Most of the party was held in a dungeon called “The Pit.” Located near the edge of the Smith District and by the walls to the Templar District, the pit is a former quarry heavily guarded by both militia and templars. The quarry rests at a nadir of 200 feet below the Smith District proper. Cells are hollowed out areas in the quarry, with the only exits being heavily guarded ladders connected to scaffolds.

Siegfried and Pots seem to be well-connected in this prison complex. They asked for a bust of Tehosian before helping the party. The PCs agreed and managed to clandestinely get the bust for the duo. This may have enabled the party to essentially buy one of the jurors, Gavin Sul.

Melhavoc, on the other hand, was put in an extremely lavish manor under house arrest. She had much more access to the outside world than the rest of the party. Shortly after her arrest charges were dropped, and she was free to move about the city again.

The People of the Court
Ambrose Ivory — Prosecuting Magistrate
Judge Xalos the Stonecutter
Judge Gavan Sul
Judge Tyrell Shahram

Opening Arguments
Snapgnaw is a known mage and obviously a Balician Spy
Drax the Destroyer is a known Balician gladiator
Shin and his cohort Groot are known Zigguraut tresspassers.
Melhavoc the Shadowlady is a known whore
Sager is obviously an abomination and/or creation of Snapgnaw’s
Cvrem is a spy from Urik.

Snapgnaw
“This dray, he was duly elected in his to represent his district and enclave in Balic.”
Exhibit 1 — The Election — A Poster
“We have witnesses who can say he casts magic with reckless abandon
Guard from House M’ke Caravan — Raulf Neville
“We saw him decimate a group of elves with a giant orb of terror. He always wore a hood to conceal himself.”
Halfling traveler — Babwa Swiftfooted
“He dazzled us with magics and made us all afraid. He convinced us that the monster who ate our dead comrades heads was to be placated.
Altaruk citizen — Darrio the Drunk
“Him and the minotaur consorted with a djinn! I saw it with my own eyes!”

Drax
“We, too, have witnesses of this man’s past in Balic”
Mincewind the Scarred
“My fierce enemy in the pits. He killed his master in cold blood.”
“We also have a picture of Drax. This is a giant mural on the colosseum in Balic”
Exhibit 2 — Image of the Mural of Drax

Shin
Witness: Guard from Zigguraut — Serah Mildrow
“We saw him and the minotaur racing up the zigguraut. They scared me and my children."

Melhavoc
“This is the tub deposits of sarin grain in the ruins of the M’ke compound.”
Exhibit 3 — Tubs of sarin grain
“These poisons could only be obtained in Balic, and are extremely expensive. They were obviously going to be used to kill a large number of people.”

Sager
Just look at this creature. He’s obviously an abomination made by a defiler.

Cvrem
Exhibit 4 — The Family Tree of Cvrem

The Big Case
The party was to sneak into the city of Tyr via the M’ke Caravan.

Once inside the city, the party was going to begin a reign of terror by killing a large portion of the population.

Instead, the party had to first contend with Lorek the Stubborn, who must have uncovered their plans and notified Yorin Janusen. They went to slay Lorek. Unfortunately, Templars could not arrive in time to save Lorek. The party managed to escape the M’ke compound through tunnels that were connected to the sewers and Tyrian Undercity.

Meeting with Cvrem, a spy from Urik, the party scaled the Ringing Mountains and the Forest Ridge only to elude our corps of psions. They consorted with unspeakable horrors in the Forest Ridge and returned to the independent city of Freedom to plot the demise of Tyr.
Leaving Freedom, the party went back to Altaruk. They narrowly missed being intercepted by our psionic overminds in Altaruk when the suddenly left for the dessert to consort with savage hill giants.

Our friend Yorin Janusen, a former merchant and bounty hunter of repute, was able to help our apprehend the party by offering a “clandestine” way back into the city of Tyr. Yorin is now dead and cannot testify before us to verify all of this.

We hereby formally charge Snapgnaw, Cvrem, Drax, Sager, and Melhavoc, along with the minotaur Groot, and the abomination Shalhai in absentia with crimes against the city of Tyr. Attempting to assassinate King Tythian, the murder of Lorek the Stubborn and a dozen of his employees, and attempted sedition and rebellion in land under the protection of Tyr. We hereby present all this evidence for examination by our jurors for King Tythian the Liberator.

Verdict: Not Guilty -2 Guilty -1.

The party was acquitted of all charges.

Length of the Trial: Two weeks.
Total Time Elapsed: Twenty weeks and six days.

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Belegand’s Prophecy and The Third Orb

Belegand’s Prophecy
Who hath walked among the land of the dead,
In trails of trails of tears, blood, sweat, and glee.
Hearts won, minds lost, saviors, wicked, and mad,
Shall you really bring the tyrants to knee?

But first, the Deep One wakes,
Always to the beat of some maddened theme.
Sealed away by our long friend,
Yet ever-sleeping is a fleeting scene.

No matter, history remembers well,
Softening those sickly sweet dreams of yore.
Waiting ever waiting ever wanting,
A taste of your blood and soul, nothing more.

The PCs left Kelethin without Valthrun. For some reason, Valthrun insisted through mind blasting Cvrem that an emergency had come up, plans had changed, and he would meet the party in Pharlos as soon as he could.

The party used the portal in Kelethin’s Temple of Corellion to travel to Pharlos. The Temple-City was under heavy siege by demons at this point, and the party met the Belegand Ildir. As the majordomo of the temple, Belegand had a prophecy for the party, which I have included at the top of this entry. Belegand’s final act was to grant his loyal servant Sager freedom, on the condition that he help the PCs for a small while, at least.

The PCs entered the next room and defeated a group of demons on the cusp of taking the third Orb of Amplification. They were able to kill said demons and take the orb for themselves. At that moment, Dagon’s eye was able to manifest itself in the room. He asked Snapgnaw to give him the orb, as per their agreement. Snapgnaw refused, and had his ability to hover stripped from him. Dagon’s eye vanished, but not before threatening the party on no uncertain terms of their mistake.

Valthrun appeared shortly thereafter. He figured out way to return to Athas from a rift to the Abyss opened by the eye of Dagon. Using Belegand Ildir as a willful sacrafice, Valthrun created mass portal to Athas — Specifically, Tyr. Valthrun shapeshifted into a man known as Yoren Janusen, and handed the party over to the Tyrian authorities.

We ended the session with the party arrested and imprisoned in Tyr.

Time Passed this Session: Less than half a day.
Total Time Elapsed: Eighteen weeks and six days and less than half a day.

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Beaching Kelethin

Briefly:

After breaking camp, the remaining PCs discovered that Groot and Shalhai disappeared in the middle of the night while the party was sleeping (or, in the case of Shin, slightly spacing out). No trace of them, or their equipment, was found.

Trying to navigate through the Blackwood proved to be rather difficult. Cvrem and Snapgnaw determined there were certain patterns of powerful enchantment cast on the entire forest. They correctly deduced there would need to be some sort of waystone that they would need to find the city of Kelethin proper. This is when the party met Valthrun the Backward, shape-shifted into an elf.

The PCs saw through the ruse with Valthrun; however, they all agreed to truce: Valthrun had most of his cultists wiped out by the packs of manes and various demon hoards. He was pondering his next move at a nearby Runegate to Kelethin when the party stumbled upon him, and decided it would be best to enter the city of Kelethin together and seek a way to either return to Athas or grab the Orb of Amplification and then return to Athas if possible.

The party entered Kelethin under a ruse. Cvrem and Valthrun impersonated elves and turned the party over to the city militia, only to then later orchestrate a prison break. The party noticed how certain white-robed elves and how they can see past shape-shifting.

The party, without Valthrun, entered the Temple to Corellion. Inside was a portal to Phralos. Mildred was here meditating. She was killed by the party, as was the temple guardian. Snapgnaw revealed his ability to hover in order to vanquish the temple guardian.

The party ended the session waiting for Valthrun to arrive in the Temple of Corellion before departing to Pharlos.

Time Passed this Game Session: Four days.
Total time… in the campaign: Eighteen weeks and six days.

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