The Touch of Prophecy

A Ritual Gone Awry

The party attended to various matters, became the owners of modest cottages in the town of Riverweep (gifts from the reeve in thanks for their work on the town’s behalf), and tried to get the reeve to convince House Sivis to reveal what was in the message that the two elves sent. He refused, though later events led him to consider the request again.

In the course of investigating, Sorashana learned that the guildmaster is the only member of the guild with an owl familiar, casting him a suspicious light (an owl was previously spying on the party). This suspicion was made stronger when she saw the door to his personal chambers heavily warded with arcane protections.

Ga’za’rakh completed his research into reversing the bullywug transformation ritual and gathered everyone together so that they could help question the guardsman once he was restored to his normal form. Something went wrong, however, and the ritual die not work as expected. Instead of reversing the transformation, it infused the man-turned-bullywug with more energies and transformed him into a massive bullywug of great power! The party had to kill the creature to prevent its rampage, and the body reverted to its human form only upon death.

At the same time, Kevis (the prisoner/quori host in the last cell of the prisons) was interfering with the minds of guardsmen, leading the party to decide that he was a menace to be destroyed. He defended himself by manipulating the mind of Ukko (who nearly killed Sorashana at the quori spirit’s command), but he could not adequately defend himself, chained to the wall as he was, and he was quickly dispatched.

Investigating the aftermath of the ritual, Ga’za’rakh determined that nothing had interfered with the ritual while performed it, and he was certain of the research he and Shalyn had performed. In the end, he concluded that someone had subtly sabotaged his work, someone with access to his guest laboratory at the guild house…

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Session 14
Elf Speak

We went to the Traveller’s Inn to speak with Fennemor. He told us the elf and the mage have come to the in to wait for Malak and would probably be back again tomorrow. Ukko plans to spend the night in the inn in the back room and I believe we will all be joining him. This way we will be there when they arrive.

Upon leaving the inn we were attacked by two aberrants and a devil. An odd combination. They seemed to have been pulled from the minds of the group. The devil from my mind, the aberrants from Ga’za’rakh and the slaying of an innocent townsfolk from Shaelyn’s. The criminal from the keep who was possessed by the Quori was in a house near to the inn and seemed to call this nightmare to life.

NOTE: The illusionary devil called Xantumal by the name Kinumal. I wonder if this name came from his mind or is just some name made up as part of the illusion.

We defeated Kevis (the criminal) and the spirit which rose from his body said to us “I have learned all my masters wished to learn.” Then it disappeared. We took him to the keep to put him in jail and alerted the guards that the creature might return. From there we went to the Traveller’s Inn again where we spent the night to wait for the elven archer and his companion. During the night I watched Xantumal to see if his nightmares seemed to have any connection to the Quori. It did not seem to in my estimation.

We spoke with the Elf and the Mage (an elven necromancer), Virian Greenshaft and Jaenus. Apparently Malak was asking about information bayeshk weapons and apparently interested in trading magical information – necromancy for whatever he might know. They did not seem to have anything more useful to add, but we had no reason to detain them, despite Shaelyn’s hatred of them.

Apparently after speaking with them, they went to the House Sivis and sent a message somewhere – to another Sending Stone (that is relevant to Ga’zah’rakh). I am going to ask the Reeve to seek out what the message was from House Sivis – even if only he reads it. Then he can tell us if the message is relevant. (Next Session)

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Session 13
Aftermath of a Demon Slain

The shaman has returned to the village and has seen what we have wrought. He has said something about a reptilian champion that will rise up from his people to face us. I’m not sure why he warns us of this, but Ukko has warned him as well. It all seems like mindless posturing to me. I have found that non-kalashtar males are prone to this sort of activity.

Shaelyn has committed Malak’s body to a Gentle Repose so that she might question him at a point later. For some reason she does not want him to rot – perhaps the smell might distract her during her ritual questioning. Not being a ritualist, I am unfamiliar with the specifics. For now, Xantumal carries the body away with him.

We have divided up the objects of power claimed from Malak. I have taken the Scintillating Armor, Ukko has taken the Cloak of Resistance (hopefully to prevent him from being dominated again), I am wearing the Boots of Stealth and the Shaelyn will be carrying the Crystal Orb.

We have returned to the keep and informed the Reeve of what has happened. He has asked to speak to us in the morning. So we have retired to the Stumbling Giant where we have run into Morgos. He has received word from a contact of his who wishes to speak to us regarding the Blade of Ashorta.

Also, apparently there was some sort of half-elf who kept saluting the various members of the party. Though, after speaking with him, I suspect he was only saluting the female members of the party. I spoke with him about a sexual relationship, but he seems hesitant to commit himself to anything serious in terms of opening himself to me. Though I am not seeking a mate, he may be an adequate sexual partner. I spoke with him for some time, but to no avail. He remains closed and aloof. I eventually dismissed him without engaging him for further “fun” as he called it. Perhaps in the future I shall meet him again and he may be more comfortable with himself. For now, I shall sleep.

Upon waking in the morning, it was discovered that everyone in the keep was having nightmares. These nightmares have the same “theme” – helplessness. It seems everyone except one individual had these dreams. The one individual was a thief in the dungeons of the keep (named Kevis). He was caught pickpocketing an elf. The same elf that was in the Stumbling Giant when we were attacked by Giants – the one that was working with Malak. He was apparently approached by a quori spirit in the night and recruited into service. He was unfortunately released by the Reeve.

There are many underlying plot here. I fear that with Malak dead, we have opened up a greater number of evils than we expected. And how does this all tie into the Ashen Crown? What is the path of the Champion? How do we fit in it?

We are going to the Traveller’s Inn to speak with Fennemore (who may have information to lead us to the elf and hopefuly the hooded mage).

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Session 12
Lost in the Underworld

We have chosen to rest within the cavern where we slew the aberrations. Upon awakening, because of the lack of light there becomes noticeable writings upon the wall which appears to be some sort of section of the draconic prophecy. It is difficult to translate, but I will work on it while the others sleep. What I have deciphered so far:

“Five travel the road of the Champion through darkness, but Nightmare’s Bane leads them along safe pathways.” Shaelyn (when she awoke) translated the following: “The Sealer of Ways declares himself returned and silences the Voice of the Whisperer.” While I translated the following: “The Heart of the Blood, drinks deeply of the wine of heaven and the fountain of life flows freely.” Together we translated: “The tyrant reborn embraces both light and darkness in his quest for understanding.” “The Thunder Dragon rages and the heart of the storm stirs in his slumber at the echoes of his anger.” “Scales rub against stone in the darkness, the Whisperer’s treachery echoes along the King’s Highway, cold blood grows hot and the forsaken hordes beat the drums of war.”

It seems like several of these passages refer to members of our party. “Thunder Dragon” may refer to Ukko. “Nightmare’s Bane” may refer to me. “The Tyrant Reborn” may be Xantumal. “The Sealer of Ways” is likely Gaz’a’rakh. “The Heart of the Blood” seems to be Shaelyn. These are all wild conjecture however as prophecy is often unclear and most people will translate them to be something familiar.

Ukko has located some tracks. A slim “elven” foot and a clawed foot that has burned the ground. We have followed those tracks all the way back to the room with the Shards where the battle took place. Ukko surmises (correctly I believe) that these creatures brought the Siberys shard. The clawed foot, I am nearly certain, belongs to a Carnage Demon. I have recommended that we follow the creature and eliminate it.

Having followed the tracks along the river (the same way we were traveling anyway), we have passed through a crevice in the wall which leads out of the underworld. The river flowed strongly, but we were able to make it out without issue by squeezing through a crevice in the wall.

On the other side we have encountered a lizardfolk group. A shaman of some sort with two bodyguards who seemed to be calling to the spirits for guidance. We will parlay with them to seek out the demon and it’s controller.

The lizard folk have told us: A being with hair like fire and a red skinned creature came through here. Clearly our prey. The rest of the group conjecture that the red-haired one is Malak. I am cautiously optimistic. We have convinced the Shaman to lead us to the his village. Apparently Malak has taken up residence there and is recruiting lizardfolk warriors to his cause. The shaman says many now follow him and hopes that we will deal with the problem.

Upon arriving at the village, we have discovered that the Fire Haired human was none other than Malak with a demon companion of his. The fires within me now stoked, I set upon him with great delight. He tried to draw me out with pithy comments, but his words are like ash to me now. He cannot affect me any longer. The battle raged on and I struck at him over and over again, using every power at my disposal. I let none stop me and at last he was brought down. Ukko struck him a final blow, but was courteous enough to allow me to pronounce judgment upon him. I have pronounced him guilty of crimes against Adar and I have slain him.

A quori spirit that seemed to be watching over him rose up and inspected us all and then faded away. I did not recognize the spirit – I shall have to think on it further.

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Session 11
Into the Throat of Madness

And so we pass deeper into the kruthik caverns. We have passed into the “throat”. As we entered the fleshy tunnel, we began to hear voices whispering to us. Fortunately for me, my training in mental discipline allowed me to resist their torment and aid the others in their own self-discovery. It was clear to me that each person was hearing something that was decidedly repugnant to them. Shaelyn even took up my advice to sing to distract herself from the voices. Ukko seemed to become zombie-like. Xantumal and Gaz’a’rakh made empassioned speeches to the group, though I had to translate Gaz’a’rakh’s into a more diplomatic one. Through their words and my mental acuity we were able to drive back the voices and make our way deeper into the cavern without suffering undue harm. In fact, I think the voices had the opposite effect, driving our passion onward and bolstering us for what lay ahead.

Not far below (or so we thought) we encountered a group of aberrations guarding a bridge. The bridge was the only way over a large chasm that led to a river below. The chasm proved no match for Ukko however as he leaped it in a single bound. He landed axe first and cleaved one of the dolgrim into its two component goblins again. Sometimes, Ukko is a frightening sight to behold on the battlefield. A short skirmish later (things seemed to go our way) and the bridge was cleared of aberrants. Ukko ran ahead heedless of our need to rest. We were concerned that his rage will cause him to attack whatever he finds without us. Xantumal and I went ahead to make sure he hadn’t when we didn’t hear any combat. Fortunately, he hadn’t. However, he did find a large nest gathered below. A kruthik hive lord, a winged kruthik, an adult and many hatchlings (all aberrantly mutated) waited for us below. Apparently there was also a wall that could speak. This description confused me until I actually saw what the creature was. Suffice to say, we will call it a Pillar of Mouths. Having rested a moment to regain some strength we headed down to take the fight to these creatures of madness.

Upon entering we noticed another oddity in the cavern. On the far side there were a collection of Shards of all three types. Eberron shards grew down from ceiling above, Khyber shards grew up from the floor below and a Siberys shard was jammed in between them. None of us have ever seen such a construct of shard before.

It bears stating that Shaelyn & Gaz’a’rakh had noticed Khyber shards in the room above which is quite unusual for the depth that we have travelled. More on this later.

The creatures were a difficult battle as our luck had turned for the worst. I was unable to focus my energies. The kruthik were able to move about with impunity and attack me without retort. I was desperate enough at one point to use a healing potion. Apparently there were nodes in the room that allowed you to regain the use of an expended power. Shaelyn took advantage of that and made her way to several of them to aid in the healing process. It was not enough for me as I was knocked unconscious. I awoke a short time later, however, having been healed by Xantumal of all people. Somehow this divinity he has gained has given him healing abilities. He needs to investigate the uses of these runes he keeps calling upon. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to aid him later. Little did that matter, for a poison was coursing through my body and was soon to take me down again. The battle raged on I am told. Until the battle was ended by Gaz’a’rakh. By removing the Sibyrys shard from the construct, he created an explosion, which destroyed the Pillar as well as several members of the party. Again, all this is second hand. After that the shards apparently reached out with tendrils of energy and touched each of us – golden (Siberys) to myself and Shaelyn, purple (Khyber) touched Xantumal and red (Eberron) touched Ukko and Gaz’a’rakh. There were runes floating about (which Ukko and Shaelyn described to me in as much detail as they were able) like the prophecy. From what I can surmise they demonstrated the attention of the Progenitor Dragons upon us in some sort of minor appreciation of what we have done.

The confluence of Shards was an unnatural one. Though the Eberron and Khyber shards could be found naturally underground, the Siberys shard is not so and must be removed to the world above. Apparently the touch upon me has granted me some additional arcane power. I suspect the others have experienced similar conditions. We are attempting to return to the surface, but as I stated before, we have not traveled a linear distance. I had mentioned this to Gaz’a’rakh earlier when we encountered the transformed tunnel. It seems reasonable that a creature of madness that can warp physical reality can also warp distance. So, we find ourselves deep underground, perhaps in Khyber itself. Ukko has noticed what appears to be the sounds of water out another exit and so we are going to attempt to go that way. I am limited on my resources, so I am hoping that we stop to rest before much else occurs.

On a logistical note, the gold we have received divides to 26gp and 5 sp. I will manage the two jets we have found when we get back to town.

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Session 10
Corruption of the Kruthik

This morning we are being led to the secret entrance to the keep by a man named Benton. The opening he leads us to is narrow and leads to a small cave with a bit of a water running through it.

We have travelled deeply within the tunnels, encountering a few more aberrant kuthrik. As we passed deeper we encountered a group of dolgrim and a dolgarr (names supplied by Ga’za’rakh). They gave us a strong opposition, but we eventually overcame them. They were covering kuthrik eggs in a strange slime-like liquid, which was converting them into aberrations.

From there, a tunnel opened up that went deeper into the earth. We found this as we chased one that was running away. He didn’t escape Ukko’s swift feet. The tunnel seems to have been converted to flesh. It is spongy to walk upon and rebounds when the pressure is removed. Ga’za’rakh suggests this may be a manifestation of Xoriat, the attention of a Great Madness Being or a piece of powerful Daelkyr magic within the area causing that change.

If we need to flee the area, Kento’rakh is Gaz’a’rakh’s teacher. She is the one that I should inform, should we fail against the Madness down the tunnel beyond. After we rest, we will travel deeper into the flesh tunnel.

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Session 9
Keeping Up

We have returned to the town and spoken with the Reeve and informed him of the Kruthik problem. He has offered to hire us to rid the town of the kruthik aberration problem. We have agreed and he has departed.

Xantumal has brought up some mental problem of his – he has been blacking out during his time with us. There are many theories, but my belief is that his demonic soul may be affecting his mind. I hope he doesn’t ask me to delve into his mind and discover his secrets. I have little interest in entering the his mind. Though, on the other hand, having access to the demon mind (outside of the true demon) may give me valuable informating in fighting them. I would include Malak in “them”. For now, however, I have taken leave from them to sell our additional items that we have found.

Today I am selling 4 short swords (2 gp each = 8), 3 daggers(2 sp each = 6 sp), 9 shuriken (2 sp for 5 = 2 sp), 2 polished garnets (150 gp each = 300 gp) and 8 amber gems (20 gp each = 160 gp). The total value is 468 gp and 8 sp. I will divide that up between the 5 of us, giving us each 93 gp (3 left over) and 1 sp (2 left over). I will keep the silver for the good of the party. So 3 gp and 8 sp to the party fund.

I am being followed. Someone is watching me on the streets of the keep. I am wary, but I wonder if those eyes are another Kalashtar, since I can sense them.

Because of transfer enchantments – Xantumal will be receiving 28 gp, Shalyn also. All others will receive 58 gp. I have purchased the Transfer Enchantment ritual for either Ga’zah’rakh or Shalyn to learn.

We travelled to the temple of the Soveriegn Host near the village to speak with the priest named Morgos. He has given us some information about the Ashen Crown. It was an elven artifact called the Crown of Remembrance. It was broken up into several pieces – 2 orbs, a bayeshk blade, a mithril cord and a circlet. These pieces were used to combat the Dalkyr. If reassembled it can be used to raised the heroes of old from the dead. Once one object is recovered, it can be used to direct the wielder to the others. The objects that make up the Crown are: Ashurta’s Blade, Lortan’s Cord, Zerani’s Solitair, Morkarak’s Orb & Karuk’s Circlet. Other than that, he was simply a well spoken and well informed priest.

He also spoke of two clans – the Ketch-Volar, the wordbearers. They are devoted to reassembling history to reclaim the legacy of Valar. The Ketch-shalat – they are devoted to slaying those who would capture these artifacts so that they can return them to the Dakani empire.

It turns out that there was a familiar watching us. So, some arcanist has his eye upon us. It may be that wizard that we saw in the bar and then I saw him again in the Guild House.

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Session 8
Beyond the Puzzle

The solution to the puzzle seemed to be to step on Open Right Hand Down in order. Once that was done the demon statue sunk into the floor and revealed a passageway. This may be the safe passageway. We can hear Kruthik burrowing through the ground on the sides of the passageway.

This passageway led to the tomb of Ashurta where Ga’za’rakh challenged him for the right to bear the blade. Ashurta fought well along with his wights and zombie hobgoblins, but they were eventually defeated by the radiant light of our power. He then spoke in Goblin about something, but I was not able to make it out. It is a curiousity – I wonder if spirits can hear my mental call.

Ukko has told me what Ashurta has said. He claimed that we could claim the blade, which is apparently a chain now. He also said that the rest of the “crown” would be about the Dakani Empire and they should be gathered.

Coin treasure has been divided up between the party members. I will sell the gems when we return to town.

On the way out, we were harried by Kruthik again. An aberrant kruthik appeared and we were forced to slay it. Now, we will return to the surface.

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Session 7
To Find a Sword

We have slain Ekuud and the man who claimed to be Lord Blacktree. We have taken Ekud to the dungeons for further examination. Within his throat there was a Symbiont – a magical item/creature granted to favored servants of the Dalkyr (lords of madness). It attempted to escape, but we destroyed it.

The Guildmaster has come at our request and having found some notes is giving us information. Apparently Ekud is serving a creature called the Prince of the Dark, perhaps the one that he referred to as his Master. He was also seeking the Bayeshk blade, the one hidden beneath the keep.

Early the next morning we will be going into the depths of the keep to find the tomb.

We have found the tomb. Apparently there were some goblins here already. They penetrated the outer hidden door, but they were killed by the Kruthrik which infested the next room. We were unable to pass through the room without alerting them to our presence. However, they were easily defeated and the stench of their dead will keep away the others for a time. In that time I have used the staff to open the door (several times). The door closes when I remove the staff and so it appears there must be another way out. According to Gah’za’rahk, the Hobgoblin Warlord would create a passage out so that those who were worthy could get out. This suggests to me that there is another way out.

11 gold pieces, small potion, leather bound book, 4 short swords, 3 daggers, 9 shuriken – these are the items we found on the Goblins.

At the end of the passageway we found a room with some sort of “puzzle”. The floor tiles have goblin words written upon them. They are in a pattern: OPEN HELL UNLOCK TODAY SOUTH RIGHT RELEASE DOWN NORTH FIRE HAND LEFT EAST DOOR RAGE UP

This is what you would see as you came into the room. There are two Braziers on the North Wall and a Demon Statue on the South Wall. The Demon Statue has another brazier next to him. There is a Door on the East wall.

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6/7/2010: Session 6:
Interview with a Guildmaster

In an effort to help Roger, I am including all of Sorashana’s journal entries. Here’s the next one from 6/7.

Tonight, we have dinner with the Reeve and the Guildmaster. His name is Killian, a dwarf with white hair with a shock of blue on both his head and in his beard. The Reeve was unable to attend the meeting and so the chancellor issued us a deputizing statement to conduct the interview.

Ekud has been a member for approximately a year. He is from the Mror Holds, making him a dwarf. Malak has been within the halls of the guild, according to the Warforged. He was in the company of Ekud. The other companion (the eladrin Karullia) overheard a conversation between Ekud and another whispering voice. Apparently coming from his own lips. He spoke of Malak bringing a suitable sacrifice for his masters. I would wager that he is speaking of the sword.

Ekud is a scrawny, bald dwarf. Tattoos on his head to look like dragonmarks. Karullia also told us that she was to deliver something for Ekud to a building in a village. We are investigating this building even now.

Within the building we found two ‘dolgaunts’ and two dead bodies (local laborers). We slew the dolgaunts and Shaelyn said the bodies were exsanguinated at a single puncture wound to the back of their necks.

Within some notes there are names of people who might have made possible offerings. Also there is an amulet of abstract geometric pattern around a black stone. It is not magical that I nor Gah’za’rak can detect.

There was also a Portal in the back room of the house. We are not sure where it leads to but in an effort to keep anything from coming through it, we have collapsed part of the house on top of it.

We followed some tracks from the building and they ended up meeting up with Ekud. We continued to follow Ekud’s tracks (as the others led back to the house we had collapsed upon the portal). Ekud returned to keep and attempted to free the Lord Blacktree. We intercepted them before they got far and killed them both. It was an error to have killed Lord Blacktree and I would have liked to have question Ekud, but alas, it is done and even Shaelyn cannot help them now. Upon searching them, we found on Ekud: A nearly identical amulet as the one in the house (magical) A Blackened bone rod (magical) A Pair of Daggers (non-magical)

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