The Breach

Calamarity Strikes
or: Eight Arms to Hold You

And so, our intrepid heroes continue on their way, growing farther from Felixtowe as they travel across the ocean to the city of Ji’Got, puzzling out who the traitor was in their midst. Just as they are about to piece together the murder, they hear a commotion coming from the crow’s nest. Cippola, one of the crew, shouts out “This is for you my pretties,” and throws Arrigo out of the crow’s nest where he splatters onto the deck. Cippola, his face covered in the white chalk we had found hidden in the depths of the Soyukaze, begins an incantation and suddenly the still waters begin to churn and boil as a huge wave hits the ship.

The crew start running frantically, when someone spots an enormous black eye peering over the gunwhales, and the word screams out from all corners of the ship, “Kraken!”

Because the heroes saved the lives of two of the three sailors, and gained goodwill in attempting to uncover Dante’s murderer, morale is high, and the sailors immediately spring into action. The party snaps into battle mode, and begins to give tactical orders, with help from Captain Brainbridge to protect the ship.

This fearsome beast, with its eight tentacles, grabs hold of the Soyukaze, and slams a gargantuan tentacle onto the deck, searching blindly for fresh slaves. A fog of decay, from a thousand lonely shipwrecks, clings to its cold rubbery flesh like a veil, poisoning those around it.

Chaos breaks loose.

Lucy jumps to the harpoon gun, but Frederick, the priest, soils himself in a stunning display of diversion. Belgold freezes in terror, but Taksum leads the charge sending forth a burst of lightning, while Sariel pulls Ruby out of the way of the poisonous fog. The stoic Ilekothi charges over to the tentacle and drives his stone spear into its rubbery hide.

Cippola casts down a bolt of lightning, adding to the maelstrom.

Taksum and other sailors are picked up by the beast. Through Ruby’s fierce attacks, Taksum is freed, and Sariel valiently shoots her sling and aims for the eyes of the abomination.

Belgold then at long last awakens, picks up his banjo and bursts into song:

The crew was sailing east until it faced a giant beast.
Cippola summoned the slimy fiend by killing his poor friend. If Dante were still here, he might have stopped the untimely end. Two men of stone, a dragonborn, a bard, and a curious fey; one dwarf, a man of the cloth, and a shardmind stood up to fight that day.

Their strength and brotherhood allowed them to be swift of foot. They passed through the monster’s goo like air as though it wasn’t there. The sailors rallied hard when they saw the strength of the shard, and found their fortitude when they heard the song of the noble bard.

The song rouses the sailors and warriors and they renew their attack with ferocity and abandon.

Partway through the battle, Sariel seems to remember something and spontaneously asks Belgold if he has any instruments. Belgold says that he has a banjo, and his voice. Sariel then asks specifically if he has a silver clarinet. Belgold is taken aback and stammers, looking suspect. Sariel implores him to play it, and Belgold runs into his quarters.

Suddenly, the kraken thrashes violently three times, and the captain’s face turns ashen. The dwarf gets pulled under by a tentacle, and fire erupts all around.

In the meantime, Taksum continues his arcane assault on the kraken, flinging acid into its vile visage, and trying to destroy the flurry of tentacles around him. More lightning spits forth from Cippola, and Ilek takes a running leap, somehow blinking up to the crows nest and blasting Cippola out of it. They both catch different parts of the ladder, and stare each other down.

At that moment, Belgold emerges with a beautiful silver clarinet in his hands, and he begins to play. Everything grows still with the breathtaking song, and the kraken retreats into the depths, but not before it drags Cippola screaming along with it.

As the crew catch their breath and survey the damage, Captain Brainbridge stares at Sariel thoughtfully.

The crew give a service for their fallen comrades, including Dante, Philipe the Dwarf, Belgold, and even Cippola. Benci is shocked that his dear friend Cippola could go so far astray.

A meal is served in the galley, and eaten in sullen silence.

The next day, the party awakens. The ship is moving, albeit not quite as smoothly as it did before.

Suddenly, a huge spout of water extends from the sea, and the crew braces for another attack, but without cause. A man’s head emerges. A beautiful merman approaches the ship, with escorts.

The sailors seem to recognize the merfolk, and greet them warmly. The merman comes aboard the Soyukaze, and people welcome him with smiles and excitement. It’s Gululess! Gululess’ body is covered in shells and coral, but his skin is human, but shimmers, almost like fish scales.

He greets the captain, “Bainbridge, I cannot believe your ill fortune.”

Someone whispers to you that Gululess is an ambassador.

A woman mermaid steps aboard, with turquoise hair, and emerald eyes. “We merfolk are like the Eladrin of the sea," and addresses Sariel. "We must be cousins. You’re so beautiful. May I take your hand?”

The woman takes Sariel’s hand and gives her a seashell. Sariel’s eyes roll back into their sockets, and her body begins to spasm.

In her head, Sariel hears the following:

Maintain your sense of duty, accept your hard trials push forward. Murder and deceit will continuously plague your journey but you must hold your integrity… when the 3 sea stacks form a fish, go down and save my brethren and the halo of a golden trident will aid you in your quest to open the Breach… fail, and our people will turn foe.

The mermaid leaves her the seashell – “a gift for a pretty lady.”

The mermaid looks at all of us – including Ruby. “I sense that you have a very great journey ahead.” And I fear you may not be up to the task. If you are not, more people will suffer than this world can take.” With a sad smile, she says, “but for now, we can get you to Shi’Ares.”

A whale lobs a bag of tools onto the deck and the crew starts scrambling to begin repairs. Because whales.

The mermaid continues, “Your friend is friend no more.” She has a pained look in her eyes. She touches the sides of Sariel’s cheek and says, “I’m sorry dear. Remember what I said. Your journey will be full of strife.”

Gululess says, “We can help you get to your destination faster. We’ll tie your boat to the whale. Captain Bainbridge is a very honoured person. He has helped our people many times. You are lucky. You survived the Kraken, and you have the best ship to do it.”

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The Wheel Part 2
Struggle for the breath of Io

The children, under Garam’s compulsion, begin building human pyramids to load the ferris wheel faster. The party continues to try and prevent the children from entering the wheel, or freeing them shortly after, but they have trouble both attacking Garam and preventing students from entering. Celevir remains incapacitated in preventing countless other students from joining the line for the ferris wheel.

Sariel bull rushes some of the students, knocking the human pyramid to the ground, while Taksum clings to Garam’s head and blasts him with acid and magic. In the meantime, Celevir realizes that there are only two more children to be consumed before the font is completely open, and he gives up on blocking other children from entering, and leaps onto the wheel to free the student inside, but does not succeed in time.

In a feat of incredible bravery, Vicroar jumps and strikes his axe into Garam, but does not land the jump, and with his rope, came in like a wreccccccccccccking ballllllllllllllll, knocking over one of the pyramids of children. The rope around his waist pulls him back around, and he is able to get his footing.

Celevir mimics Vicroar’s epic attack, and jumps off the wheel, landing on Garam, and driving his dagger into Garam’s flesh. Garam’s battered body falls away from the fountain, but Celevir gets drawn into the ominous green font known as the breath of Io. Celevir, in great pain and struggle, tries to keep his sanity while being bathed within the breath of Io, but is unable to control the power. He screams in pain and laughs with delight in equal measure.
The sixth child’s soul is consumed, and a burst of dragonfire explodes outward from Celevir. It destroys Vicroar’s rope. Moments later, the breath of Io expands, and becomes a column in which Celevir is bathed. It extends down to the ground, encompassing Sariel, who begins screaming in pain. In a desperate move Vicroar launches himself from the ferris wheel onto Sariel’s body to shield her. The breath of Io expands, and expands, and then Sariel looks up with a green light emanating from her eyes, and she says in a faraway voice,

“From Felixtowe must we follow the trail of service, ever east till the breach is revealed and our path lays bare, then 4 stars must temper fate with an iron will or all shall be returned to the void.” (Sariel’s Prophecy)

She then collapses to the scorched ground.

Moments later, Vicroar, Celevir, and the breath of Io all vanish.
The children come to their senses, but Sariel remains unconscious. Garam, having regained his compsure and gotten to his feet, says, “I have half a mind to kill you both right now. My hope is that

They rescue the kids, about fifteen of them, and carrying Sariel’s unconscious body.

One lock of Sariel’s hair has inexplicably turned completely white.

Taksum consoles the frightened children, and encourages them to yell, “Wake up Sariel! Nothing happens, but one of the children mention that they are in training to be ardents, and they focus their powers to awaken her.

Sariel awakens after a night’s sleep, and feels beyond exhausted and burnt out. Taksum and the children set up camp for the night, and are able to catch a hare for dinner.
Sariel talks about a dream being chased by black flies, and a giant beetle, and a stream of acid. Vicroar then appeared and told her to “hang in there!” Sariel is happy to see his classmates again.

They set out for an elven village nearby. The trip is largely uneventful but on the third day, an arrow hits the ground a few steps in front of them. An elf in a remarkably camouflaged cloak accosts them. He challenges the group as to why a dragonborn is accompanying 16 eladrin children. The elf’s name is Gawadon, and is shocked upon hearing Sariel’s family name, that he has been searching for Sariel. They share the story with the elf who is impressed with their tale.

Midhon, the town elder, invites Sariel and Vicroar into his home in an old oak tree. They share the prophecy. He mentions that Felixtowe is a major port city where you can get transportation east (like in the prophecy) to the continent of Shiares, a continent known for its savage energy and uncivilized kingdoms. He doesn’t know of the four stars, or the breach.

They discuss whether to find Sariel’s father, or search for Vicroar. In a touching moment,
Sariel explains that she doesn’t want to return to school – that she has formed a bond with Taksum. Taksum admits in reply that Sariel has her uses to him.
Sariel is given a camouflage cloak, +2 to stealth checks. She offers a potion of speed in return, but they refuse.

As an elf begins to teleport them to the Feywild, something goes wrong during the ceremony, with some sinister force blocking the spell. Midhon comments that perhaps now is the time to travel east, like the prophecy said. The children will be cared for in the village until they can return to the Feywild.

The elves agree to make Taksum a cloak of camouflage as well, and a tiny, tiny implement to mimic his tiny implement. It’s a mastercraft dagger (+1 to hit).
The elves give six horses (riding and pack horses) for Gawadon to escort them to Felixtowe, which will take three weeks’ ride. They travel to Felixtowe without incident.

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In Io

The party searched around the grounds until they found a metal ring chained to the ground, When they tried to pick one up gravity reversed, making everyone float upwards. Upon release, gravity righted itself, much to the alarm of the adventurers. Through collaboration and ingenuity, the group managed to use rope and the series of chains to reach a door floating in the sky.

Behind the door was a forest of fungi. Dubious that they found safety, the group ventured into the forest. They soon discovered that the forest was a maze that was always changing. After a bit of travelling, they found an alter for a torch. After lighting it, they ventured off and found another. They decided to light them all but quickly realized that there was three of them and that they extinguished when they left them. Deciding that they were running out of time, as their last torches were almost expired, the group decided to split up and light the torches at the same time. Vicroar stayed at the first one, Taksum remained at the second one and little Sariel braved the third one alone. Their gamble paid off, and they found an exit after the torches were lit.

The door led to a hallway with an ominous statue holding scythes. Two chains were bolted every ten feet along either side of the hallway. The group unable to spot any traps walked over to the other side and Vicroar opened the door. CLUNK! A portcullis fell on Vicroar, trapping him underneath, as the statue came to life and pulled the two chaines off the walls, releasing the 8 zombies hidden behind trapped doors. To the dismay of the group, they learned that the statue was controlled by a wraith, and that they were in for a tough battle.

Perhaps it was the necromantic energy, the fear in their hearts, or the doubt in their unconscious minds, but the group was unable to coordinate their attacks. Sariel kept on blocking Taksum’s line of fire. Vicroar’s strength seemed to be lacking, and Taxum’s attacks were very sloppy. Exerting themselves to the max, the group was able to finally defeat all but the wraith who managed to hide behind the walls. HERE IT COMES!!! shouts Taxum as the party prepares for a second assault. This time the party was ready and was able to defeat the wraith with their last ounce of strength.

Tired, and drained, Vicroar declares that he needs to rest. Taksum agrees but is interrupted by the sound of Eladrin laughter emanating from the door beyond. Before the group could stop her, Sariel runs through the door. Vicroar and Taxum follow after her but it are too late.

They have entered a two story circular room with spinning blades in the middle. A circlular walkway provides space for people to walk around the blades. There are three doors on each floor, but the most peculiar thing is that Sariel is on the second floor while Taksum and Vicroar on the other side of the room on the first floor…

What will happen to these worn out adventurers. Will they be shredded by the blades, will Sariel find and save her friends, will Taksum get a hold of Garam or will Vicroar find a new weapon to Vic-o-rize his oppenents. Stay tuned for another exciting episode of THE BREACH

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The challenges to Io

As a group of beetle like creatures crawl towards us we notice they are led by fungal humanoids that are lurking in the brush.

Taksum “Careful Vicroar, those are rust monsters and they are gonna want to eat armour so be careful”
Vicroar “You like metal, taste my steel”

As the enemies swarm around Vicroar, Taksum unleashes arcane sorceries that start to tear at the enemies. Sariel weaves behind a myconid to flank it and stabs it in the right rib.
Just when the adventurers think they might get the upper hand, from the outskirts of the skirmish a myconid rushes Taksum with a devastating swing with its quarterstaff while a rust monster spits out its vile phlegm and destroys Vicroar’s magic hammer. In a fit of range, Vicroar retaliates with two giant swings of his old faithful axe and rips apart one rust monster and seriously wounds the other. Taksum follows through with an inferno of flames that dissolves one of the myconids. As it dissolves it releases some spores into the air that rejuvenate the remaining rust monster and myconid.

“He is almost dead, kill him boys” Sariel yells as she takes another swing at the Myconid. A burst of spores spreads out and harms Vicroar while Sariel dived out of the way. Again the quarterstaff wielding myconid jabs at Taksum again with another critical hit. Taksum tries to cast some magic while taking a second wind but was not able to focus his spell.
Sariel swings again, slashing the myconid with a deadly blow. Just as quick as the blade cut into flesh, the myconid regenerates instantly while his ally below receives a wound in the exact same spot. Vicroar finishes off the last rust monster before it could strike. The quarterstaff myconid unleashes a deadly spore cloud that all the adventurers dodge, leaving his poor ally as the only victim. Distraught with the results, the myconid tries to flee. Taksum tries to hit it with a glob of acid but fails to hit it through all the foliage blocking his path.

Vicroar slashes the myconid flanked by him and Sariel as it tried to flee and chases after the other fleeing myconid. Taksum incinerates part of its face, but it continues to stumble away and releases another wave of spores. Sariel and Taksum grunt from the toxic cloud but continue to pursue. Then from Taksum’s fingertips an orb of acid arks out and dissolves the last opponent.

{party treasure}
Quarterstaff x2
Remains of the thunder hammer
2 potions of cure (1d12 each),
A stone tattoo (wicked looking blades with bolts of lightning): When a non minion enemy scores a critical hit on you, you gain +3 dmg on that target until end of the encounter

Renewed with vigour from their last triumph the heroes continue their trek towards the glass mountain. No sight of the lost students, the party stumbles into a peculiar clearing with 8 bowls laid in the middle of a circle surrounded by 8 pedestals. Ahead of the clearing appears to be the entrance of some ancient building or crypt that might lead underground. The remains of a human that has been dead for a long time lies to the side as well as an old camp fire.
The area radiates magic and the group is unsure what to make of it. Two dragon statues stand on either side of the door. A stone wheel is placed as a latch but neither Taksum nor Vicroar had the strength to turn it.

As the group went about the strange site searching for clues Vicroar finds an old letter in the fallen adventurer’s pocket. It hints that the 8 bowls represent the eight magic schools and that they must be placed on the pedestals without any opposing schools being next to each other.

While Vicroar waits impatiently by the door, Taksum and Sariel figure out the proper location of the bowls using their knowledge of Arcana. Suddenly, all 8 bowls amplify in their respective magic and send a wave of energy to converge at the center of the circle. Then with a powerful surge, a beam is shot at the rock door, transforming the door into wood and the statues into Eladrin.
Together the group reach the door and spin the flower handle around. As they start to spin the world starts to spin and what is day soon turns into night. When the group stops, they find themselves in a similar clearing but now the statues are dwarves and the message on the wall says… “welcome to Io”

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Back at Camp

Back at camp, Sariel wakes Taksum and Garam and relays the fright that she had.

“They were my classmates from the Feywild. HERE! But they looked as if they were wandering…aimless…their spirits gone.”

After some discussion and a small burst of confidence, Sariel decides to lead Taksum and Vicroar back to the spot she saw her classmates wandering. Camp is packed up and she leads them through the woods a little ways. The group stops in the area Sariel remembers running from, but they see nothing. No sign of anyone or anything out of the ordinary. A closer looks reveals some humanoid footprints, larger than a humans.

With Garam square in their minds, Taksum and Vicroar decide that the group needs to keep moving towards the Breath of Io. The prints are forgotten and the group continues on their path to the village of Glassdale, the last stop before the Breath of Io.

After a short bit of travel, Glassdale comes into sight. A sleepy town, known for its mountain goat stew. Taksum leads the group into an inn. Not much out of the ordinary inside, the group relaxes after their long travels.

Noticing the group, the innkeeper starts a conversation with the group, which quickly leads to the group asking for direction to the Breath of Io.

“The Breath of Io…ah yes! Many a fools has I seen pass true dese doors on the way to the Breath of Io. Theys all come back babbling witless shadows of theys selves. Now I’m not one to be braggin, but I’s always thought that a good pot of me specialty stew is all that lot would need to get back theys spirits”, recalled the inn keeper to the group.

“Now if you’ve got your sights on the Breath of Io, and I don’t know why you’d bother youself wit a crazy idea like dat, but if yous got yous sights set, yous is gonna want to head towards the Glass Mountains. There yous is gonna see an iron wood tree…a HUGE tree. Look fo de pass nearby and dat be takin yous into the mountain towards your path.”

Excited about this huge helping news, the party starts out again into the wilds. On the edge of town, Taksum, in his streetwise ways (learned from peddling phony dragon balls to his dragonborn kin throughout his adolescence) chats up an old man, that Taksum soon discovers, has been to the Breath of Io…and has maps!

The groups learns from the old man that in the Breath of Io, you can try to retrace your steps back, but each room will never be the same as when you entered. Things seem to find a way to shift around…

Parting words of wisdom from the old man send the travellers on their way. “Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster. And if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares into you.”

Good going follows, and the travellers make some good ground.

Approaching the iron wood tree, the party sees the pass the innkeeper told them about. “Yes!” yells Sariel.

Moving into the pass, the group sees a well armed man blocking the way. Sariel takes a good look and realizes that she has seen this man before…in her nightmarish flight from the Feywild! This man is in league with Celevir.

“Why are you here?!?” yells Sariel in Eladrin.

The man disappears.

Whoooooooshhhh!!!! Vicroar takes a surprise swing of his axe at Sariel, splitting some hairs but not landing a direct blow.

With that, Sariel and Taksum look around and see what looks like giant mushroom men walking towards them from the hills.

A deep divide and distance hangs over the party…a lingering feeling that they won’t see each other for a while fills their bodies.

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A new hope but a fleeing goal

After the encounter with the undead, the group returned back to the tavern with a new goal in mind; to reach Glass mountain.

Sariel was a little shaken but after Vicroar’s inspiring speech, she felt a little more prepared for the tasks ahead. It is obvious now that IF the group has beaten the undead, then the creatures aren’t so bad and they are better off dead. Thanks to Taksum, the group has decided to stick together and defeat Gharam and then one day help Sariel back to the Feywild.

With newfound hope, the team gathered some information and learned about Glassdale, a small village on the way to their destination. A good start to what might be the end of Gharam.

The travelling seems very familiar, less dense and more space to see what is around you. Unfortunately as the group got further up the trail faded off, leaving the group to decide between the path less taken which provides cover in a valley, or a widening path that leadds straight up the mountain.

To keep Sariel calm and focused, the group chose the discreet path through the valley but as their journey continues up the slope it starts to rain. Unable to see, the group finds shelter behind a rock despite Sariel’s pleas to move on while they are ahead of any pursuers.

Ironically, it was on the third and last shift that the Feywild decided to pay a visit to Sariel. Being on her watch, and less experienced, she decided to go out and scout. Not far away she finds some of her old collegues from her school, but now they seem to be oddly smiling and having glowing green eyes. Scared, Sariel screams and races back to the group.

Together again the group decides to hold ground at the camp, while the eerie laughter of Sariel’s friends slowly drift away in the distance…

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Conversing and Dealing with Death

—The party steels itself, and begin to ask their questions, the first from Taksum, “where can we reliably find Garam after we leave Spellguard?” Lady Saharel looks through Taksum and responds with an ethereal voice, “you can most reliably find Garam, in 10 days hence at the Breath of Io.”

The Breath of Io, previously only mentioned in whispered drunken tavern conversations now looms up towards our heroes. A destination that they will have to face soon, despite their inexperience.

The party follows with the practical question, “where is the Breath of Io?” A moment’s hesitation as Lady Saharel grows bored and floats further aloof, yet she responds, “it’s in the mountain of glass, through the ruins and catacombs and into the mountain itself.”

The destination is now known, and the path marked for the party, but there is still one small voice yet to speak. Too shy to face the haunting visage of Lady Saharel alone, Sariel asks Vicroar to put forth her query, but Lady Saharel ignores Vicroar’s awkward and ill-formed attempt at common tongue. Sariel has no choice, she musters her courage and steps forth to ask, “when will I go back home to the Feywild?”.

Suddenly and swiftly, Lady Saharel swings back towards the party and swoops down to Sariel. Frozen in place, Sariel has no choice but to face the apparition and hear her prophetic response, “if you stay here, Calavere will find you sooner rather than later… he’s hunting you right now.” Sariel shivers with a tinge of fear, far from home and without her old friends, she realises now that she is being relentlessly pursued by an invisible enemy, “what does Calavere want with me?”, she thinks, “and why is he so driven to find me?”

Lady Saharel continues, “little one, there is hope for your return to the Feywild, there are gates that will let you pass through the planes, but the fastest way is to pursue the Breath of IO.” A feeling of destiny and fate settles upon the group, Sariel asks, “what is the breath of IO?”

Lady Saharel looks up through the grey clouds and says, “it’s a place where the world is thin, where great power and great madness stem from. A place, far far away, beyond the Feywild, and it has immense power, it influences the world, chaotic energy, people can taste it, sense it, and if you go to the Breath of IO, then you too will feel it.” Stricken with awe and fear, Sariel mutters under her breath, “how do we make sure WE don’t go mad?” Lady Saharel continues, “the breath itself wont cause madness, unless we go over through it, but if you open the portal, and control it, then immense power is yours.”

Clearly this is the power that Garam seeks, and with that knowledge Taksum’s rage starts to take hold and his ever-steadfast resolve to stop Garam grows. Thinking about the loss of his brother, and the perversion of Dragonkind’s ancient culture that Garam is grotesquely abusing, Taksum holds back his anger and with a deep guttural growl pointedly asks, “can we beat Garam?”

A dialogue ensues, and the heros learn that although reality can indeed be broken by Garam, no special weapons are needed to defeat him – only skill and relentless courage. More importantly the party learns that they have 11 days to reach the Mountain of Glass and the Breath of IO, or face an unstoppable evil.

Unable to shake the thought of Caliver’s tireless pursuit, Sariel asks, “how far away is he? And is my family okay?” At the mention of family, Lady Saharel’s face is twisted by grief, and she shrieks, “at least you have a family!” Darkness immediately descends, and the heros are suddenly left alone amid a blustering and unholy storm. Emerging from shadows, figures cloaked in whispy black appear. Dark apparitions whose humanity had abandoned them ages ago. Ghoulish archers, undead soldiers, and their general, a wicked wight close in on the party.

Surrounded and out-armed, the party are left bewildered at the sudden change of events. Where there was once a ray of light breaking through the clouds, now only an abyss of jet black ink. Managing to stay their panic, Taksum calls for a coordinate retreat, “there’s too many of them, we have to escape! Make a run for the monastery.” And with that, Sariel and Taksum run for shelter.

Despite the stench of death and rot, Vicroar stays his ground. Alone now, he grips the handle of his mighty battle axe and naively makes his way for the first ghoul. “Fools, there’s no such things as ghosts… now get prepared to be VICROAAAARED.” The crushing sounds of metal on bashed undead bones fill the air.

“Idiot”, hisses Taksum under his breath, “Sariel, run to the monastery and bring back the monk – he may be our only hope. Vicroar won’t last long alone, I’m going back to help”. Agreeing without words, Sariel continues onwards to the outline of the monastery, while Taksum turns on his heels and rushes back to fight by Vicroar’s side; the party are now isolated and vulnerable.

Screams pierce the air, and the worst has come to pass, amid the chaos and isolation, the heros have been unnaturally immobalised by dread, and now have to face the nightmarish abominations alone. Despite his valiant stand, the young fighter Vicroar is knocked down and out. The wight points with his skeletal finger towards the fallen hero, and a group of undead slowly lumber to feast on his flesh. Quickly finding his side, Taksum is able to heal Vicroar back to his feet before the ghouls reach them, but they are then left to battle the undead fiends in a weakened desperate state.

Impossibly the night seems to grow darker, bolts of evil necromatic energy shoot from the wight’s fingers, and the party are now not just fighting to escape, they’re fighting for their souls. Although fear pulses through Sariel’s veins, a deeper and more powerful instinct responds, a yet untapped ardent instinct to fight back. To fight off this evil with strength and leadership. “For all that is good in the Feywild!” Sariel lunges towards her attacking ghoul.

Despite their exhaustion, Taksum and Vicroar are inspired to push on by Sariel’s valiant stand alone. “Come on, let’s do this together” Taksum says through a brave grin. Vicroar responds confidently “thanks for the earlier save, and that’s more like it! Now let’s cut these enemies down.” Finally fighting together, the heros are just turning the tide of undead, when all of a sudden they hear the shrill cry of a young girl. “It’s Sariel! She’s down!” shout both Vicroar and Taksum.

The wight silently stands over Sariel’s crumpled body in the howling winds, like a motionless dark wolf over a broken hare. Drawing on ancient evil, the wight spreads his skeletal arms and prepares to cast a necromatic spell to capture her soul for all time – when suddenly he let’s out a piercing undead shriek! The yell momentarily stops cold the blood of all living creatures unfortunate enough to hear it, but the wight slowly dissolves into ash around Vicroar’s battle axe and Taksum’s dagger. An unexpected attack that saved Sariel’s life from dark eternity. With the wight defeated, the tide of darkness begins to withdraw, and despite being brought to their furthest limits yet, the heros are able to push back the ghouls and undead archers.

Badly bloodied, weak and exhausted, the heros finally manage to vanquish the final ghoul, and the darkness lifts. Sariel is revived and the party are left once again along among the ruins of Spellguard. “You were brave little one”, Vicroar says proudly. Taksum adds, “we wouldn’t have been able to do it without your courage”. Together the party search the remains and hobble back to the monastery.

Scattered among the bodies they find:

  • 2 potions of healing (1 to Vicroar and 1 to Taksum)
  • A flask (2 charges) – filled with chemical silver (use a nature, religion, or thievery check, and apply silver ointment to weapon to make weapon like a silvered weapon) (given to Sarial)

Reaching the safety of the monastery, the party collapse and the full gravity of their fight starts to sink in. The battle shook each hero differently, but what is certain is that each member stared in the cavernous hollow eyes of evil undead, and nearly tasted death at their hands. Withdrawing from the overt gazes of the other travelers in the monastery, Sariel, Taksum, and Vicroar tend individually to their wounds. Not a single word was said, but they each know that nightmares from the battle will haunt them in their sleep for many nights to come.

Solemnly, the heros gather their equipment. All there is to do now, is prepare for the upcoming journey and depart towards the Mountain of Glass and the Breath of IO. Only 10 days remain before Garam reaches it first.

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Cruisin' for a Lady

The journey to Spellgard took our group of lovable adventurers on a path leading towards the mountains. The smells of the city quickly were replaced by cool, sweet country air with each step towards Spellgard. Unfortunately, these idealic scenes were quickly replaced by a downpour of rain that chilled our adventurers to the bone. Nevertheless, they kept on journeying, ignoring Sariel’s grumblings of being cold…jerks!

As the day wore on and our adventurers couldn’t imagine how they could get any wetter, they stumbled across a small cottage with smoke coming from the chimney and light peeking out from the door. Without a second though, Sariel bolted to the cottage and started banging on the door. “Hello! Hello! Hellooooo! Is anyone in there?” Slight muffles from inside indicated that someone was coming. Not knowing what to expect, Vicroar and Taksum stepped away from the door and prepared themselves for the unexpected, leaving Sariel to fend for herself…jerks!

Luckily, the door was answered by a friendly monk, named Monk. Monk invited our adventurers in out of the rain to dry-off and warm-up. Everyone was very thankful for that. Once inside, it turned out that the cottage was actually a monastery, and other adventurers were huddled by the fire, thankful to be out of the rain too. Spellgard, as Monk explained, is right around the corner. All of these adventurers had come looking to ask Lady Saharel questions to reveal their own futures.

The evening was spent by the fire, trading rations for whiskey with Monk. Some quick thinking by our lovable group encouraged one of the adventurers to play some music, which lightened the mood of the rain-drenched crowd. Monk had a penchant for the drink, and by the end of the night, stories had been shared between adventurers and information had been gathered about Spellgard.

Spellgard, it turns out, used to be a fortress, but had come into ruin in the distant past. There is treasure buried within the catacombs, but Monk warned that no one ever returns to enjoy the treasure. For the most part, people come to Spellgard to get answers to their questions. Lady Saharel, it is said, is a being from another plane of existence, somewhere between a living and dead existence. People seek her out because she always speaks the truth and has an eye for the future. But there is no guarantee that Lady Saharel will come to you and answer your questions. Many letters hanging on Monk’s monastery wall attest to people’s anger at her elusiveness. A great many letters also praised her for her helpful answers. Either way, Monk warned that Spellgard can be a very dangerous place, and that everyone should stay vigilant.

Before our adventurers closed their eyes for the night, a brother and sister duo stepped away from the fire and journeyed into Spellgard in the evening, looking for their answers…

A restful sleep gets our group off on the right foot the next day. They decide to hunt some rabbits and collect some food to give to Monk to thank him for such fantastic hospitality. Taksum expertly takes down two rabbits, while Vicroar collects some wild vegetables and herbs. A lovely husband and wife couple they would make!

Monk is very grateful for the food and wishes them luck in finding Lady Saharel. He reminds them to stay above ground in Spellgard.

The day is sunny as the group wanders into the ruins of Spellgard. The rubble of once tall towers lies everywhere, with one tower still intact in the middle of the grounds. Taksum, Vicroar, and Sariel explore the area, finding the remains of camps long forgotten. They find no sign of the brother and sister duo that left the night before.

As our group explores the perimeters of Spellgard, a fog rolls in from the East. It gradually gets heavier and heavier. Every once in a while each group member swears they hear a faint woman’s laugh on the wind.

The fog continues to roll in and the adventurers continue to explore. When they look up, they are each convinced they see a woman’s figure in the near distance. Sariel is scared and wants to go back to the monastery, but Vicroar charges ahead after the womanly figure. Taksum and Sariel follow. After a game of “catch-up”, and Vicroar returning a beautiful silk kerchief to the figure that had been dropped in the mud, the figure turns to speak to the group. Lady Saharel is ready to answer the groups questions…

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Turnips and turn ups

The battle with the Ankhegs left the group a little sore but full of energy. They decided to continue their return trip to the city when they met a lady plucking turnips from the ground. The party assumed that this lady must be Anishene, the woman they were told to seek out by the Melora’s Wave. She was as mysterious as her answers, leaving the group suspicious and confused but at least she provided them with some hope… SPELLGARD!

Fuelled by hope, the party decided to head back to the city before Spellgard when they ran into more luck. They found the wagon tracks they were hunting before which lead to a thicket of shrubs and trees.

SUCCESS!!!! The group stumbled onto an abandoned camp. After a bit of searching they found a riddle on a tree: Order 10 stews, add at least 15 thorns, take two seats, and shout once.

With a bit of effort, some time and luck the group figured out the riddle and found a trap door. Below was a large room that held more of those rocks with glyph inscriptions. A detailed family tree (presumably for dragons) with names scratched off in some areas. Due to their excitment the group was caught off guard by a group of slimes. In a near fatal battle for Taksum the group was able to finish off them jell-o and breath the fresh air… when!!!

Sariel ran off shouting “he’s here, he’s here”. After a confused chase the group was reunited along with Sariel’s friend “Taksum’s mom”. The group learned that it was this creature who saved Sariel from Celevir in the Fey Wild.

With luck turning up everywhere, the party has decided to travel to Spellgard with their new friend to ask Saharo some questions

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Caravans by Night

After a brief discussion with Pieter, Taksum was able to make an arrangement. In the morning they would meet and provided Taksum’s merchandise was of interest they would receive “proper” storage. Distrusting anyone related to Gharam, the party decides to set up watch at Pieter’s house.

As Taksum and Vicroar go off to the inn to get some shut eye, Sariel and Morgana hide in an alley for their stake out. Under the pretense of a begger, Sariel walks over to the neighbours house and sits down to meditate and watch over the residence. Concealed and fitting the role all to well, she was not prepared for the bucket of feces that was thrown out a window and on to her clothes.

Like any unfortunate event (although, Taksum would of been jealous of such treatment) luck would soon follow for those deserving. Pieter arrives late at home in a hurry, enters the house grabs some material and leaves. Sariel and Morgana follow him to a warehouse. They try and circle the building to get some kind of indication to what was going on inside, but to no avail.

As the search become one of patience the doors open and out comes the caravans, with armed soldiers as drivers and Gharam leading the late flight. In a heartbeat Sariel instructs Morgana to gather the group and use the red gem to find the markings that she will lay out for them. After that, she heads off to trail the caravans.

Being late at night, Sariel was able to keep up with the Caravans but only up to the city’s perimiter. At the gates, she gets a sudden fear of leaving the group and decides to hold out. Meanwhile, Taksum and Vicroar learn of the situation and head over to the warehouse. From there they use their ill luck to slowly follow Sariel’s hasted markings to the side gate.

At the gates, Morgana leaves the party <party> and the group convinces the guards that they were part of the caravan crew. Despite the guard’s hesitance, he gives in and allows the group to exit the city. It seems Pieter’s money can still provide guilt to some of those he deals with.

The party travels throughout the night, passing by many stopped caravans on the way but by daybreak they realise that they have lost track of the caravans. Disgruntled, they head over to a group of travellers who were resting right at the side of the road.

At the group calls out to the travellers they are surprised to see the military efficiency of the mercenary band they have stumbled onto. After a brief conversation the band introduces itself as “Melora’s Wave”, and gives the impression that Helga of the long braids is the leader of the group. She says that they are too busy to help the party track down these caravans as they are on their way to Fyshwick. She does give them a valuable tip to keep an eye out for a woman who travels alone who goes by the name of Annishen.

Travelling back to the City, the group is attacked by a group of Ankhegs…

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