Friday, 21 October 2011

Chapter Seven: Homecoming - Session 49 - Unholy trinity part 2 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

Heroes' families
Khan and Chacri
Straw God's emanation

As it turned out, homecoming was the hardest part of all adventures. Ren and Connal had fought with dragons and demons, braved ancient past and explored flying islands, they ventured deep into Underdark and far to the North, but were nervous coming home. What will parents say? Is Aplleshade the same village they left?

Luckily there was no signs of destruction, not counting strange burned structure on nearby hill. Old neighbors recognized and rejoiced at their return. Parents welcomed them with an open arms. Everybody was keen to hear what had happened to them and where they had spent all those years. It was Jarod and Steven who first noticed little details that escaped sons of Aplleshade's attention.

There were a lot of crows and birds everywhere. The seemed to watch and follow people. Something strange was carried on in countryside, what Jarod discovered. Something alike to  pilgrimage or wandering camp was formed and under guidance of some elders all the children were moving to Stepple Falls. When Connal and Ren asked certain questions, the were hushed. Local patrons left tavern before sunset. When darkness fell some tongues were loosed.

It wasn't that all good and beauty in Appleshade. Abundant wheat were bought at cost of sacrifices to Straw God. Although good folk bowed before him, the were ashamed of practice and did what the could to avoid his harsh and demanding commandments. At early spring the smuggled children put and gave to the god an animal. At autumn they burned criminal in Wicker Man. Heroes learned that birds spied on behalf of Straw God and that animals avoided an old house near village's perimeter.

Entering Khan's house was difficult but eventually Jarod defeated locks and traps. An old man wasn't an old anymore. He and Chackri greeted them heroes in their true, human and tiger-like forms. Khan excused and explained he could not reveal his true colors, as he was in little and petty conflict with others like him. He chose Apllesahde as a place to wait out but one of his enemies, was after him. But heroes dealt wit that problem log ago. while he was indifferent about happenings on island, as a small fraction of paying a debt he revealed how and where to find Straw God. Both parties split in good relations.

Armed with a knowledge, heroes moved against a Straw God. The traveled through fertile fields, deep into something was collective consciousness of agriculture. Straw God was nothing more and less than wide gap, filled with garbage. In it's maw dead animals, rotting wheat, leaves and roots were boiling. This mass erupted and took form of a roughly humanoid monster that without thought attacked, smashing fists and slamming blows. Whole party engaged it with Ren taking leading role and Connal casting spells. With Jarod and Steven's abilities, heroes deposed demi deity as many other demonic or angelic monsters before...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Chapter Seven: Homecoming - Session 48 - Unholy trinity part 1 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

Bartender - and former knight of Helm
Druj - an ogre millman and resistance champion
Hieronymus - a druid

Heroes chose Cloister of Healing dove ruins as a place of return. The hid cylinder in a one of a traps and set out to investigate state of things. Bartender the had spoken years before revealed that Averwest had fallen on hard times. Soon after party's venture into catacombs,  plaque eaten crops and famine began. Chauntea's priest were unable to stop it and soon people turned to older cults, that provided healthy wheat. Winters became harsh and harsher, trade faded and internal struggles began. Some villages like Lakhell had been lucky and disappeared from peoples minds, other fell victim of raids. Soon civil war raged on, warred between princedoms, cities even neighbors. Forests became dark and brooding, populated with vicious animals and beasts.

After years of turmoil, thee powers emerged: straw God situated in the center of island. Consisting verdant lands, including Appleshade, it paid homage to lord of fields, scarecrow, pagan deity of vicious agriculture. South and west was under rule of Bane'church. It's priests came with amnish traders, soon eradicated them and installed iron fist tyranny. North fell under influence of Dominator, mysterious figure hailing from over the mountains and forsaken land there. He claimed right to rule Averwest in name of it's salvation.

Heroes decided it is time to act. Knowing that spellcasting is forbidden and somehow detectable, they took their chances and next day teleported to Konarch and hid cylinder next to portal, leading to Icewind Dale. After inspecting state of affairs there, the were downtrodden. An old and crazy druid was presumably dead, his circle devastated. Legats, the emissaries of Dominator, ruled village with fear and terror, everybody was suspicious of each other. Knowing that cylinder of Nether was as beacon of light in darkness, heroes decided to strike home and re write laws of Averwest's magic. Whole process took a week during which Steven studied arcane texts and altered them with Connal's help, while Jarod and Ren stood vigilantly on guard. Finally day had come and inscriptions were ready, cylinder of Nether was spun one more time and Wave around island shook violently. It's laws of magic was altered and disconnected from Mystra's essence. Heroes sank Cylinder deep in stone and caved-in passage. Then they teleported to Tristor, to finally go home.

Outside of town the paid visit to Druj, an ogre they saved fifteen years ago. He revealed that hard times had befallen on those, who live under Bane's rule but he was able to play both sides. At glance he was millman that co-operated with rules, but secretly he kept stash of food to help villagers survive cold of winter. He gave heroes shelter and food, and before sunrise party moved on, crossing borders of Straw God's dominion.

Land was indeed verdant, each field guarded by scarecrows and huge mulches. There were dark and brooding atmosphere around them, like abundant crops were paid with terrible price. Guardians' eyes seemed to follow heroes, so at first opportunity the stepped into shelter of Hyreonymus' Groove. Soon the made a camp and when fire was lit, a figure appeared. It was a stag, big and bold, that for some reason seemed like one, the had freed from trap years ago...

It was an old druid himself. He allowed heroes to camp in his woods in times of need, revealing it was one of the rare places free from blight of monsters of darkness. He proved true bartender's and Drujs' story but wasn't able to tell what has happened outside of his groove. So heroes slept under canopy of leaves and prepared themselves to homecoming.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Chapter Seven: Homecoming - Session 47 - Godess of Magic

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

The Friend
Helena the Witch
Rumbur, shy giant
Madame Eva, gypsy seer

Session began with heroes gathering information. they contacted with Reiner but he was nowhere to be found. Connal reached his brother who surprisingly told him to "not to listen to gossips". Suspicious and unsure, heroes climbed down to Cedarspoke.

City has been rebuilt, it's black tower replaced by magnificent fortress. While there was an discreet monument dedicated to restoration of dogas, almost no one remembered heroes who defeated fallen angel fifteen years ago. Heroes began to search temple of Mystra in hope priests will direct them to the Magister. cleric welcomed them warmly and listened to their story. He pointed at enchantress who lived in city. She seemed to be favored by goddess of magic but was rarely seen. Her apartment was at "Stars and stones Inn", famous for an luxury rooms  and discrecy.

Heroes checked in and began to search. Enchantress room was locked and secured with spells. Jarod contacted with The Friend, who now was called The Baroness but she was not able to help in breaking in or providing any new information. All in all heroes decided it's time to do something now.

At night party disabled traps and magical alarms and entered Enchantress room. It wasn't used in years, dusty and silent. Inside wardrobe however there was a portal, leading to glade with lamppost in the middle of it. Heroes took survey of surroundings and moved in direction of mountains. Soon they arrived at crossroads, where little goblin was sitting. He was murmuring to himself and very agitated. He explained he is watchman of goblin's Market. To see one heroes had to turn right five times but no merchant showed up. When asked for the Enchantress pointed mountains.

At the base of range heroes had found door, but it was magically closed. Golden stag explained the need magical ring to open it. Ring was in possession of large sheat-fish, that lived in lake. Party moved there and began to looking for it. Soon sheat-fish appeared and admitted he has ring and will gladly give it back to characters but for a price... There was a giant living nearby who was fishing on him. If giant was persuaded to stop, ring will be heroes'. So party moved to look for giant. He was called Rumbur, was nice and little shy bloke. He also had nice home in an old mine, greeted party warmly, offered his bread, butter and cheese. He complained on witch that took his magical pot of fish. If he got one back, he'd stop hunting sheat-fish. So heroes went on to find witch. She was living in swamps with her two young children. She admitted pot was in her possession, as her kids were growing and always hungry. Heroes arranged Rumbur to baby-sit them, so witch had some time to herself. All went back to Goblin Market, where Ren met once again gypsies. This time it was time to draw a card from a Madame Eva's Deck. It was a Chariot.

So, all company went back home, and finally heroes were granted an entrance to the enchatress' hideout. there they found her chambers, treasury and guardian, a colossal gold dragon. Great wyrm encircled her slowing time but gave pass to heroes. The stated their cause but the Enchantress or Mystra herself was indifferent. she said that what has to happen, will happen but gave some instructions to how to rescue Averwest.

Heroes hastily returned to Cedarspoke and teleported to Averwest in order to save their home!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 46 - All the petty lies of Carlin the Grey part 3 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

After two weeks spent on cleaning mess, healing wounded, arcanists' forces gathered on border Grey Haunt's domain border and War council began. Carlin the Lame or Archgod of Magic as he ordered to call himself took possession of Cylinder of Nether and with help of it woven his essence into system of magic. Lacking skills and intelligence he used raw power to achieve end other achieved with help of knowledge. Nevertheless, his domain was blight upon Netheril's face and it's existence threatened empire and magic. Iolaum concluded that if cylinder was removed, Grey Haunt will fail and peace will be restored.. Moreover, heroes could with help of it protect their home island. They suggested they could be able to save Mystra too.

War Council agreed that it was necessary to attack simultaneously: armies were ordered to march inside domain of Grey Haunt, while on border magic battle erupted. Meanwhile heroes were to sneak inside Carlin's hideout and to deal with cylinder of Nether. While flying to desert city, heroes witnessed with their eyes what Grey Haunt had created. Where they saw desert previously, there were green pastures and forests. Where dry land was, verdant landscapes erupted to existence. Ruined and bleak city was replaced by bursting and alive metropolis. Above it a huge colossus loomed, a mountain carved in shape of new god of magic - Carlin the Grey. Everywhere were signs of his propaganda, statues, sculptures, paintings. Ren recognised images of himself, Connal, Avelon and Kyril, all presented as treasonous, petty individuals, fruitlessly conspiring against benevolent Carlin.

While they were looking around, an army began to march out of city. It consisted legions of gnolls, orcs and desert barbarians. Cirles of yuan-ti slithered in their wake, huge bats flew above, all bent to destruction and dedicated to their master's cause. Bur he had chosen to remain hidden inside mountain.

Party moved to Grey Haunt's hideout. Doors they entered a monastery was reinforced and defended by potent trap. Jarod was struck by Death Spell but thanks to Connal's magic he survived. Uppermost room was stable. It was guarded by nightmare that attacked heroes on sight. It was defeated and they found chained unicorn, named Niriam. It warned heroes about two iron golems, that guarded throne room nearby. After defeating them, not so small task, heroes explored area: there were plenty of other rooms and staircase there. On the other side of Gates of Justice was a prison full f people and cliff to two them down. Other rooms consisted of bookkeeping chamber and foundry, where Moloch, a huge iron monstrosity was kept. Inside it's belly was huge oven, where many people died. Behind Moloch's chamber was a shrine dedicated t outer beings, but heroes kept out of it. Descending by staircase hidden in study, heroes discovered second prison, where hungry men were kept. Forced to endure horrors beyond imagination, they were slowly turned into ghoules. After dealing with them and searching rest of complex, heroes found a hiding chamber, where behind a band of wights Carlin covered.

Undead were no match for heroes. Quickly dispatched, they proved to be no guards for Carlin, who teleported himself to niche in vast, vertical tunnel. But he underestimated Ren, who jumped upon him and chocked his undead life out of him. But heroes realised, that Carlin, despite his lack of power, knowledge and intelligence, achieved semi lichedom. He used Gorma's body but where was his phylactery? Nervously heroes sorted options and remembered that during exploration, they had seen many objects of magic exhibited. One of them was crude magical ring, crafted by Carlin himself. Ren fetched it, while rest of party harnessed cylinder of Nether. When grouped again, they used scroll Iolaum gave them and triggered dispell of time conduit spell.

Whole party arrived in cave of fire. Heroes thrown Carlin's phylactery into fire, where it melted, destroying his spirit for ever, once and for all. When they got out of cave, found glade as empty, as before. In the Nroth snows must have fallen deep, but here, in the Vilhoon Reach air was warm and pleasant. Looking at stars, Ren knew it is few days after Midwinter. Next morning Connal contacted with Reiner, priest of Mysta, sent to Averwest. He replied with surprised: "Are you alive? Where have you been for last fifteen years??"

Behind a DM screen
- All heroes advanced one level up, Steven two.
- Lich's spells and statistics were based upon Carlin's.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 45 - All the petty lies of Carlin the Grey part 2 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

Heroes stepped once more into a portal. They chose to arrive in ruins of Al-Asif, one year after it's fall. What they found, were a ruins of once domain enclave. Party made camp among the devastated towers and walls. Surrounding country looked the same as they remembered it. While heroes prepared for night, Steven tried to reach Iolaum via magical crystal but instead found no one linked to it.It was definitely strange, but wizard concluded it could be connected to magical whirlpools or changes in time passage.

It was about midnight, during Connal's watch, when he saw something disturbing. All around lights and shades were creating. Transparent at first, they solidified and became more substantial. When he awoke rest of party, streets and houses were visible. Ghostly human figures moved around, carrying about their business. When party readied themselves, all around them was Al-Asif again, reliving it's last day of existence. Connal tried contact spectral humans, but was pierced by cold and grave chill. when heroes discussed, what should they do, Ren saw that Al-Asif inhabitants began to notice them. soon crowd gathered around and murmur spread, saying" It's them!" Heroes decided it is time to flee. Steven cast a teleport spell and transported whole group to village, where he spent some of his pastimes.

It turned out, village was small, clean, peaceful community. while heroes mad a big entrance, materialising inside inn, they were quickly accepted, served meals and rented rooms. After a full night rest heroes decided to contact Jamal and find out, how to meet Iolaum one more time. Arcanist has not responded immediately. Instead, next morning he sent heroes familiar looking box with scroll. It was spell of teleportation to fixed location. Alas, it has not worked as intended.

After completing the spell, heroes found themselves in dark cave. At first glance there were no exit but soon the found a passage, leading to much larger chamber. Flying familiar reported strange things: valley, fields of wheat, river in middle of cave, along with the village. Soon heroes found that land too. They speculated it could be an illusion or pocket plane but came to no conclusion. Instead they found village and it's inhabitants. All butchered without mercy. Connal ordered burial and for few hours heroes gathered dead bodies. When they finished task and were cleaning themselves, Jarod heard cries for help. From underneath pile of dead he rescued a girl. Stiff and scarred she was alive... at leas she looked like living being, until she tried to tear rouge's throat. Suddenly all of dead rose and attacked heroes.

It was first combat on such a scale. Connal was channelling positive energy time after time and Steven burned marching dead with area blasting spells. While Jarod and Ren fought single enemies, it was area effects that allowed heroes to defeat undead. When finished with wights, heroes moved on and found a corridor, leading up. There was a steamy, hot and humid air coming from it and soon the emerged in middle of... jungle. Travel through it was difficult but proved to be fruitful. In swamps heroes found tracks of village butchers. It was one big hove like of oversized bull. Before the had time to inspect it, whole party was attacked and swallowed by giant fly-trap. It's poisonous lashes stroke, flowers tried to devour heroes but once again magic and fists proved to be able to defeat even most inhuman monster. What more, inside of i's stalk was a half digested, winged Minotaur.

Soon heroes escaped from savage garden and found a gazebo with teleportation circle. It was place the were meant to arrive but for some reasons spell had malfunctioned. Reaching gazebo was not a finish of adventure. In halls of place above it a viscous battle raged. Human screams mixed with bull-like bellowing. Waves of magical energies engulfed a crystal dome above great hall. At first heroes dealt with blood-mad Minotaurs. They were brutal adversaries but spells and arms felled them one by one. After dispatching three of ravening monsters, heroes moved upward and soon arrived on balcony.

Upon a platform a raven-haired man with beard, fought a hard fight using waves of magic in way, no hero except of Steven has witnessed. It was magic in Netheril's Arcanist way and it's target was flying warship. contrary to "Sky Mill" it used balloons and sails to raise into air. Before heroes had chance to join combat, it was struck down and cast out of heavens.

Meeting with mysterious wizard had place after mess was cleaned and wounded treated. To heroes (and players!) surprise he introduced himself as Iolaum, tutor of Jamal and first among  Netherils's Arcanists. He had no recollection of heroes, claimed never met them and certainly hadn't given them crystal. He explained the war was waging between Arcanists and Grey Wraith, who crowned himself emperor of Magic. In reality it was petty magician, even not considered Arcanist, but with sheer of luck or moreover lies and intrigue he came into possession Cylinder of Nether. It was stuff of pure magic, potent artefact, able to redefine laws of Wave and magic. With it he was trying to usurp rule over Netheril.

Heroes in meantime explained (once more), why they came to Netheril. Iolaum deduced the can join forces and solve their problems at once. If heroes were able to take possession of Cylinder of Nether and removed it from Netheril, it would not threaten it's magical nature. What's more, if they define magic according to their desire, the would be able to prevent Spellplague, save Mystra or even halt colliding worlds. The only obstacle wa Carlin the Grey or isn't him, like Ren deducted?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Third birthday!

It just occurred to me, exactly three years ago we met at Adrian's place, discussed things with Terence, Jarecki and our generous host.Happy birthday!

I thought I'll share some thoughts about running campaign, Pathfinder, Forgotten Realms but on a second thought, I'll do it when campaign will be closed.

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 44 - All the petty lies of Carlin the Grey part 1 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon
Elaya - Dagmara

Fall of al-Azif was terrible disaster, that rocked and shocked not only earth itself but magical energies of the Weave as well. Mythallar exploded and in one instant many living beings cried out in fear and perished. Form of the wind saved heroes from death but their essence was dispersed and it took some time for them to recuperate. When they finally did it a servant girl guided heroes to door, behind which was a huge, vaulted chamber. And material world. There they were met by middle-age, ordinary man, whose aura of power was unmistakeable. He introduced himself as Iolaum and guided heroes to library and office.

Asking many questions and listening patiently, Iolaum learned of heroes' deeds and adventures. He was very inquisitive concerning fall of Al-Asif and interested in many topics, alas he was not able to hear anything about Netheril's future. Finally reaching Faerun's most learned sage, heroes were granted with an opportunity to ask questions, the answers for which they were seeking for. Iolaum had not granted straight and immediate answer. He admitted he needs time to find answers. In exchange he asked for little help in acquiring a relic long lost, he located. To guide heroes during this adventure, he introduced Elaya, an elven arcane archer, who was his aide.

When heroes agreed, the were teleported and found themselves in desert. All around there were cliffs and sand and in a skyline tall mountains were visible. Heroes moved on and soon a ruined city appeared. In rock walls that encircled it were cut temples and building, worming deep inside mountain. heroes began to poke around ruins, finding traces of struggle and desperate defence. At one pint they stumbled upon a ritual bath and sensed, that their mere presence was a blasphemy to that place.

Deciding there is nothing to gain here, party moved on and climbed up mountain. Atop of it was huge boulder, blocking way inside. After removing it, one by one heroes descended into cavern below. There they found six mummified corpses in strange tiaras, bearded and all male. Behind them was corridor: low, narrow and uneven. Here and there were even smaller corridors more like tubes, leading to very cramped cells. Everywhere there were almost no furniture or any items. Also there were no sign of religious symbols, arcane items or any other things like that. Finally heroes discovered a large chamber. Large in sense of that barren, narrow dungeon. It was room about twenty feet long and wide with simple altar and no other furniture. Heroes began search for hidden passages, items left or traps, even watering down the floor. When it froze to ice, it was sure sign, something bad was happening.

Suddenly all around there were full of apparitions and phantoms. Bearded, harsh and stern faces gleamed with hatred on trespassers and blasphemers. Everything that heroes had seen leaded to conclusion that some orthodox and strict sect had taken place here. Ghosts of those monks attacked in silence only grave chill of their presence speaking of their power. Moreover Connal's holy power seemed to be ineffective, fortunately ordinary weapons and Steven's spells still had effect.

After defeating congregation, Jarod searched chamber once more and found secret doors. Another narrow and low corridor led to chamber well below. there was prize, heroes and Iolaum sought: a tall, magical cylinder engulfed in calm blue light. Ren, Connal and Jarod inspected it, finding it covered with some strange marks, letters and hieroglyphs. they called Steven and Elaya and then all the hell broke loose. when wizard closed in, cylinder began to spin, emanating bright light. Steven retreated above but cylinder spun faster and faster. He contacted Iolaum via small crystal but he was not able to help. Heroes tried do something but had no idea what to and when they began withdraw, a blinding light exploded.

Next thing the saw was fire. It was everywhere around, burning and devouring everything on it's path. Heroes ran through long walkway. finally they got from hellish chamber to find themselves in broodingly familiar place. It was cave leading to gate, they used to travel to Netheril. Apparently magical auras thrown them back to their time. Deciding the want explore what happened, heroes ventured outside. to their surprise they have not found "Sky Mill"! Flying ship was gone and nowhere to be seen. What more curious and disturbing, seeds Ren had been planting had grown into thin, young trees. It was obvious that something bad happened. Heroes decided it was their duty to finish whole affair and after rest descended one more time and crossed portal again.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 43 - One thousand and first night

This is second of reports that should be posted long ago, but I had no time or rather no will to write them. This is issue I'd like discuss in greater detail in a future here or on on my other blog.

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

Heroes were set free to their own devices and left to live as they please. With Steven help they mad way around a city. It was full of shadowy squares, white, flat topped houses, minarets, secret gardens and bazaars full of wares and merchants. While city was bursting with activity and everywhere was common day magic seen, party was still keen to find and meet Iolaum. At first the wanted to meet with reigning arcanist Al-Asif, but it turned out that his palace was locked and guards turned everybody off. Moreover nobody cam out of it and nobody went inside for weeks.

Despite several attempts, heroes were not able to enter it. Walls were guarded by magical wards, palace watchmen, but something sinister was in the air. After much deliberation, there was a suggestion to seek other arcanist. Steven happened to know one, that lived outside of palace. He led his new friends to his compartments, hidden deep in the luxurious districts of city.

What they found, exceeded their expectations. Arcanist Jamal was lying on his bed, shaking and trembling. Around it was a protection circle drawn and ashes of scroll were scattered on bed. A careful search proved, that he cast a spell called Astral Projection and ventured outside. It was obvious that something went terribly wrong. Search proved to be fruitful, Jarod found a case that contained a second copy of spell. Heroes decided the do not want to venture into Astral Sea and called Jamal back. After feeding and taking care of him he revealed that he had tried enter a palace but failed. Something terrible and evil happened there. Wards were still strong and kept something inside, but it was matter of time, when the will have fail.

Heroes decided it is their turn to act. The made agreement with Jamal, that he will teleports them to Yolaum's enclave but first the wanted to inspect situation inside palace. They were to meet at dawn and leave Al-Asif despite their findings.

Getting into palace was no small task, but heroes succeeded  in it. Inside they found a living hell of people dying in most inhuman ways, working themselves to death, living in constant fear and terror. In main chamber, a former throne room, the found a large table and crude gate. Dome above it was shattered and moon shone on table. It was a Midnight Clock and upon it's flat cadran there were many strange, mysterious and blaspheme symbols inscribed. Soon somebody approached, so heroes hid. It was lean and tall an with little, pig-like eyes and thin beard. He was constantly murmuring under his breath of greatness he will achieve, glories he deserves and enemies that plague him. while he was about to perform some magical ritual on Midnight Clock, hereoes took action.

It was Ren who attacked first, stunning mysterious figure. Seconds later Jarod sneak-attacked him twice and Connal finished enemy, calling a column of holy fire. In that last moment it became obvious that petty magician was weak and almost devoid of magical craft. Carlin the Grey, because it was him, died on knees, slain in less than one round! But it was too soon to celebrate victory. Moon's ray was travelling around clock and something else came through the door. It was bloated and overgrown, mutated and malformed man, arcanist and lord Al-Asif. Flesh was his, bot no will or soul. His body was shell, a merely vessel for demon, who erupted from inside and furiously attacked heroes. It was Chain Devil, who had been summoned by arcanist and broke free. His intention was to come back to his hellish home and when the gate opened, he went there but Connal, keen on finishing him, anchored demon and drawn back to city. More fierce fight erupted and than something became apparent.

enclaves as flying cities are known are linked to their creators. Mythalls that give them magical energies to exists are directly linked to their creators. with Al-Azif horrible death, whole magic was gone. City has crumbled and fell down to earth. It was desperate fight, heroes had to defeat demon, before city smashes to the ground. Just before it crashed down, demon's mortal part was killed, Connal transformed his friends into ghosts and flying city smashed into ground, destroyed forever!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 42 - The Green Shadow part 3 of 3

This report is a first of series much delayed posts, I hope write during this week. As we are going to play this week, I'd like to catch-up, before memory will fail me. This meeting took place on March 12th and was strange one. first of all we introduced Leon to party and have been waiting for Jarecki, whose duties kept from playing. All in all, session was brief and segmented.

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

Last mission laid before party was a Winter Tale. Heroes returned to a castle, only to find it in ruins. There was chill in the air and coldness all around. Heave snow covered all country and only crows and wolves were left for company. Ren decided to scout ahead while Jarod looked for camping site. After much deliberation, the decided to go into marshlands, where they suspected winter's Queen dwelled. From what they heard, Isandrea, bitter over quarrel with Syntira and mourning his late husband, joined hag coven.

That night, under a full moon, the caught glimpse of wicked shape moving between trees. Soon Jarod found a huge cauldron and to their horror heard childish screams from inside it. When trio of hags gathered around it, it was composed of creatures they have encountered during their previous adventures, and when the lit fire under a bowl, reluctantly Jarod and Ren attacked.

Playing their speed and manoeuvrability, heroes were able to rescue cooked children and slay all wicked women. Just when the last of them was killed, Winter Queen appeared. In the same moment Jarecki returned in words and diplomacy, that are Connal's field of expertise, he calmed her anger and explained situation. when Queen agreed she led heroes to castle high in mountains and while she walked, spring has returned. Soon after also fay came out of hiding and castle was full of laughter again. Called by it, Syntira appeared to reunite with her mother. Heroes have succeeded, all wrongs were repaired.

With their quest completed, heroes returned to crossroads and found, that they also freed twins from their task. After an awkward farewell, party set out to tree-gate. There they one more time met with Isandrea, Kiander's ghost and Syntira. They thanked one more time and shown a way back to Netheril.

What heroes found out after returning, was a thick, ancient and verdant forest. There was almost no trace after Falcon's Hollow and Siriana was barely a small fishing village. Wandering around those wilds heroes came to realisation, that correcting events in Green Shadow had an impact on Prime Material world too.

While staying in Siriana, they were witness to sight incredible and fascinating. Sky darkened on midday and floating city swam across the blue sky. Soon winged riders descended to see, what has happened. Arcanist Al-Azif of Al-Azif domain wanted to inspect sudden reformation of land. Heroes were taken high above to city, where they were questioned and allowed to stay in a city. Their guide was also newcomer, a wizard Steven, whom they met.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 41 - The Green Shadow part 2 of 3

It's been a month since last session, yet I found impossible to write even shortest report, not mentioning full length recap. I it quite ironic, as those February meeting was the best we had in a year or so. Finally freed of rules' shackles I was able to concentrate on story and climate building. Adventure turned out to be fun, interesting mix of combat, thinking, problem solving and most of all, roleplaying.

While I've been a little afraid of playing on convention, it was nice experience and great fun. Sadly, Paweł decided finally to quit our group. It;s a great loss, as he is nice fellow, good player and quickly became very important member of our party.

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian

Heroes returned to brother's tree and stated the have helped Isandrea sent her wishes to sky and create a new star. They asked seelie one what is her next fault and should the do. He explained that Isandrea fell in love with a human. There were a great deal of issues between the Fae and humans, as those first lived in forest, and later cut trees down to settle and farm the land. In tragic past, Isandrea had to choose which side she is with: her kin, or her lover's close ones.

Heroes moved on and once again entered a deep forest. Will o' wisps circled through night shade, animals beaked and trees were singing summer song. After a day of travel, party emerged from wood to find crude hamlet. It's human inhabitants were suspicious at first but later greeted heroes wit arms wide open. When Connal cured sicc, Jarod began to scout village and Ren met with villagers. They were simple and humble folk. Their life depended on river, as well as all other human settlements. Problem was that the were afraid to go deeper into woods as for some strange circumstances Fae never came closer to running water. With growing number of people it was inevitable that some forest cutting will take place and war with the Fae will erupt.

At first heroes tried to convince people to live in harmony with forest creatures, but their words fell on deaf eras. It seemed those humans involuntarily crossed border between Prime Material Plane and Green Shadow and for few generations they lived uncertain and afraid of their surrounding., Now, with their numbers growing, the were gaining confidence to carve themselves some land.

Soon it became apparent, that a young ranger named Kivander. He was secretly dating with young noble Fae Isandrea and wondered, how to carry on with his life and love.Red discovered his secret and asked for meeting. Isandrea dimly remembered heroes. The soon decided that it is necessary to guide human colonizations in a very special way: on one hand it must be allowed to grow settlements, on the other hand Fae lands were not to be disturbed. While humans lived along the river, it was decide that bes course will be to create a one bed.  Connal and Jarod moved to small lake discovered nearby to ensure it's spirit agrees. After a long and funny negotiations with not so bright, womanizing Aquarius, the got his agreement and traded ring +2 for ring of three wishes. That Fae wasn't particularly bright.

Meanwhile Ren began to prepare villagers to splitting river. When he talked with host of them suddenly realized that someone or something is mimicking his voice to deliver much more cruel and war-monging message.With Kivander's help he spotted a young woman hiding in crowd, who was manipulating his voice with spells. He rushed to her, grabbed and than an illusion fell down, revealing a hag, hiding among humans. It was no night hag this time, but green one. After a quick fight monster was beaten and dead and as her pans to turn humans and Fae upon each other.

When river was split and humans future peacefully assured, Isandrea and Kivander asked Connal to perform their marriage ceremony. Some weeks after celebrations, heroes felt urge to come leave village and traveled to the Tree.

This time it was unseelie brother's turn. While mocking heroes, he explained a terrible loss waited for Isandrea. Her only remain of love, of long dead beloved husband, a daughter was to be presented in court. But on that fated night. Her name was Syntira and she was maid of extraordinary beauty. Heroes set off and soon found themselves in wicked, black forest. Rain was pouring and road ahead climbed high up to castle on the highest mountain. Soon a black kinght blocked the path, challenging one of heroes to combat. Connal accepted and fought with courage. His newfound shield  and hammer became very useful and he defeated opponent. When heroes resumed climb, they saw the Black Knight once again standing on duty.

After arrival, heroes presented gift and wishes to Queen Isandrea and her daughter. while attending party, Jarod caught glimpse of hagly shape, shadowing behind windows, while Connal encountered  hedged-haired gentleman who stated clear they are enemies this evening. When a midnight our struck, a great fire erupted. Panic swept through hall and guest fled, leaving only queen, her daughter and hedge-haired Fae. He declared war upon queen and summoned his ally: a dragon! Heroes rushed froward, while keeping an eye on shadowy hag and protecting Isandrea and Syntira. Beast was clearly young, but managed to bleed Jarod and inflict some damage to Ren but finally was slain. It;s master accepted his defeat but hag disappeared during fight.

Heroes returned to the Tree and used remaining wishes, preparing themselves to final part of adventure.

Behind the Screen
- Connal gained 14th level.
- Jarod or Ren also gained level.
- It was best adventure since a very long time. I enjoyed it as well as playing on convention.
- We are gonna to have another player to fill up a wizard's role.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 40 - The Green Shadow part 1 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian

Cetus - Paweł (absent)

Heroes decided to rest and search burial mound next day. They made camp in woods and slept night in peace. Next morning Connal cast spells restoring their strength and all three went back to tree and began inspecting entrance to tomb. Stone that was blocking it was round and heavy but heroes quickly removed it. Behind it there was a tunnel slightly overgrown with roots and bushes. It lead to chamber well below tree and burial mound. In the middle upon short pillar an old root was placed along with some treasures. What was particularly strange, treasures gathered in chamber were like fitted for heroes: dwarven armor and bane mace against undead, monk weapons or lucky sword for rogue. It almost looked as Isandrea had defeated similar group o adventurers before.

Characters gathered loot and made way back to exit but this time corridor was heavily overgrown with roots. When they finally returned to the surface, heroes soon realized that their surroundings completely changed. Meadow was gone, replaced by thick forest. Mountains on the horizon seemed more massive, tall and majestic. there were a strange sweetness in the air, stars shone brighter and sky was clearer. Even the themselves looked more regal, noble and resembled archetype of their race or class.

Soon a man, a ranger, approached them. It was obvious he is some kind of ghost, but not malevolent or wicked, but a serene apparition. He greeted them to a Green Shadow, a plane where nature rules, civilization is like a new born infant and where rules of legend or fairytale precede customs of physics or logic. His name was Kivander and he explained that whole demiplane is suffering from curse brought by Isandrea actions. Not only Green Shadow suffered, but Prime Material World too. It was perhaps heroes who were destined to lift off a curse. He himself couldn't take action, as he was part of tragedy, a human husband dryad queen.

Spirit explained that more information can be found at Gnome's Bazaar, only permanent settlement at crossroads of two roads running through whole realm. Heroes moved in direction ranger provided. First day was tough: journey through dense, thick and verdant forest resembled trek across Goro-Goro's jungles. But soon Connal turned heroes into wind and the flew over the hills, forest, rivers, lakes and mountains to find Gonme's Bazaar.

Town was relatively small but bursting with an activity. Two roads that crossed in the middle were lighted by the same magical lanterns, as those near Falcon's Hollow. Heroes arrived shortly before twilight. there were gnomes haggling, unicorns reading fortune, eladrin exchanging legendary tales, people going on with their lives. While Jarod and Connal were booking places at inn, Ren sneaked out to bazaar. But with sun setting a strange change took place. Unicorns were replaced by gypsies, eladrin by creatures of the night. Where love-potions seller sat, a poisoner was offering his wares. Ren decided to read his fortune and met an elderly gypsy woman. She knew him well, despite the didn't met yet. She explained that heroes should seek twin brothers and their Tree. In exchange for help and as a payment, Ren drawn a card from the gypsy's deck. Card was blanc.

Next day heroes looked out two brothers and Tree. The found them quickly. One of them was in shiny armor, with sprite hovering at his hand, with blond hair and smile upon face. The other one was clad in armor of thorns, with jet black hair and dog eating rotting flesh at his feet. Marak, a bright one, explained that fate of Green Shadow and Darkening Moon Vale rests in Isandrea hands. There are four key moments in her life that transformed her into Winterqueen of Hate that declared war against humans and feyfolk who opposed her. If wrong can be repaired, perhaps peace and serenity will reign. One happened in Spring, second during pleasant Summer, third one when Autumn leaves covered forest floor and Isandrea fate was sealed in Winter's cold embrace. Marak was guarding paths to first two happenings, while his twin brother Karam to later two.

Heroes decided to start with Spring and  set out road along with directions from Marak. soon they found out themselves in thick forest. Along with them many faries traveled, all in need to participate in Enstarement Ceremony. Characters learned that it was annual festival, where noble fae offered their secret dreams and sent them out in the sky, to form a new stars, named after them. It was necessary to be included in High Court, an honor each fae aspires to. Marak have told them, that Isandrea's dream had been stolen just before sending in sky, resulting with shame and disgrace that fell upon shoulder of young and fragile fae. Heroes decided to explore Star Castle and temple before looking for Isandrea.

They spent two days exploring city, temple, place and district, where noble fae lived. Jarod and Ren performed scouting missions, while Connal looked for potential thieves and Isandrea herself. They learned, that each fae instinctively knew when it was her turn to go to temple and offer her dreams. So heroes had to wait. Ren turned to treant and watched her from garden, while Jarod sneaked streets. Connal decided to prowl in dark corners of temple, preparing to strike against enemies.

Finally the night came. Without warning, Isandrea left her house and shielding light of her dreams with bare hands, she began pilgrimage to the Temle. Ren and Jarod Shadowed her from distance, closely watching for enemies. Unhindered the arrived at temple and made contact with Connal. When Isandrea was about to enter room, where dreams were sent into sky, a shadowy figure appeared before her. Clouded in fear and darkness, it was tall and gaunt, with mane of raven black hair and eyes full of nightmares. Ren immediately recognized it as a creature like one he fought atop of Andru's tower: a Night Hag!

Jarod and Ren attacked, with Connal supporting them and taking care of Isandrea. Creature was not prepared to fight sneaky rouge and valiant monk. Hag tried to put them to sleep but her spell failed (actually it was only Isandrea, that fell asleep). Blows and chops fell upon creature of night, which fought back fiercely but ultimately was killed and disappeared like a bad dream...

After Isandrea had been awaken and comforted, heroes escorted her to chamber, where she sent her secret dreams to sky and new star began to shine. Later that night heroes left off and after short journey the arrived at the Tree, greeted with stares of amazement and amusement.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Chapter Six: Netheril - Session 39 - Pallid Plague part 3 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian

Avelon, priestess of Waukeen
Cetus - Paweł (absent)

Heroes returned to Falcon's Hollow to report that Pallid Plague is over. There was much rejoice and spontaneous celebration was called. Party carried all night and happiness finally descended upon troubled village. For a short while... At first light a huge shapes appeared from morning mist. Smashing building, crushing people they strode through village leaving behind a trail of destruction. From a ground huge, throned roots appeared, encircling tavern, healer's house and Lumberjack company's office. They grew quickly and soon levitated, transforming into balls of green light.

Heroes made a courageous stand against rampaging hill giants. Monster's bodies were covered with leaves, bark and wooden thorns. Beasts faced party in two waves and each time were defeated, despite Cetus' disappearance. Later it turned out he was still inside tavern, when thorns surrounded it and was captured inside ball of light. while fighting giants, Ren was wondering what caused them to attack. From their look it was reasonable, that evil dryad wasn't defeated yet.

After disposing with giants, heroes hastily made a way into woods, where balls of light headed. Trek was tough,as wood was getting more tangled and dense with each step. Finally light stopped and soon heroes discovered they are hovering above a meadow with large, obviously dead tree in center of it. Tree was located on the top of small mound with round stone upon one side. All in all it looked as tomb.

Ball of lights descended upon tree one at time, channeling gathered energy into dead wood. With each passing minute, tree was regaining life. Connal reasoned that it is feed with life energy of captured humans. He boldly stepped out and channeled positive energy of Moradin's power. Rest of heroes began searching meadow when something strange happened.

Suddenly all around was a harsh winter, wind was blowing, snow was falling and sun was gone. Behind heroes a mysterious shapes appeared: insubstantial, dark and brooding. Twelve warriors with spears and high helmets looked upon them with hate. Between them a undead faerie queen's ghost stood, with horrid human and dog hybrid on the leash. She pointed at heroes and hell broke out. Ghost wailing and wight blades cut, waves of negative and positive energy rolled and when dust was cleared and forces of witch fairy were defeated, Connal and Jarod were laying dead. Ren was barely breathing and Avelon looked upon carnage with quirky smile.

It was time to reveal. Avelon's faith and allegiance were suspected for a long time. Finally, she decided to reveal her true colors. She asked Ren to swear, he won't turn against her and when he made a promise, she produced symbol of her faith from underneath robes and resurrected fallen comrades in the name of Shar. Then, while they were still confused and shaken, she explained, she failed a test of her goddess and for hubris was punished with memory loss. But with help of heroes she regained Shar's favor and was restored to her powers and rank. Then she made a farewell and disappeared in the woods.

Behind the screen
- Two deaths and almost Total Party Kill. I didn't liked it, didn't planned it. What caused the situation? Heores weren't at full power level, they disposed some spells, healing powers and were overwhelmed by enemies.
- Once again to many rules to remember, I totally forgot of wraith's special rules. Simply, Pathfinder is a way too complicated for me. For now, I prefer 4th edition :)