Far Primus

The Beast Down Below


6th – 8th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

Before descending into the portal, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Maya Foxtail, and Finwick Shortwick) decided to rest up and use the orrery to perform a powerful divination. Adanna was able to invoke a near-perfect connection between herself and Pelor, and learned of the dangers posed by the beast below. They made their way down into the flooded and seemingly alive tunnels beneath the inverted pyramid. Nearly every step of the way, they were aggressively harassed. They were attacked by all manner of foul underground denizen, as well as being subjected to numerous traps and illusions. After an encounter with two chuuls in which Horros was nearly torn into lifeless pieces, the party decided to retreat into Finwick’s rope trick to rest and recover.

Adanna Fionn

While debating whether to drop down through the iris, we noticed halflings newly awakened from their dream wandering past the pyramid steps. Finnwick and I conversed with one of them, and learned they were heading for the beach on which we originally landed. They confirmed they no longer felt dominated, but still felt the physical effects of metamorphosing into old Aslante, maybe even Scum, creatures. They were heading to the Wedding Rock, as it is the only place on the island they feel safe, but had no way of knowing if this would break the transformation curse. Because my companions all were transforming before my eyes, we decided to travel with the Halflings, taking a chance the beach would provide relief.

We rested, regaining our strength and health, but my companions’ alien physical traits remained. Grackar “volunteered” to help transport the Halflings back to Blackcove. Via my sending spell, I was able to correspond with him regarding whether or not escaping the island had relieved him of the transformation curse. After many hours off the island, he was no worse, but no better. We decided to use the Orrery to enhance my divination spell, to help find the way to remove the curse. I have written down the answer to our question to better study its meaning:

The cure you seek lies near the beast, but beware your minds are in danger; heed the willow wisps.

I’m not sure what to make of the warning, but one thing is for sure: destroying the “beast down below” the willow wisps alluded to earlier is imperative to ridding my companions of this ghastly metamorphosis. So back to the inverted pyramid we go, and down the iris we fall. Luckily those 6 magical potions were potions of levitation, which we hoped would have made it easier to fall the ninety foot drop to the bottom of the iris. But the iris was in fact a trap, and most of us were caught and injured from passing through it. Of course Ra Quel went first. Patience is not her virtue.

In the water we had to battle some fierce creatures. But it was worth it, because afterward we found a magical bonespear of Malomog in the water beneath us. None of us know who or what Malomog is, but we do know this to be a blessed piece of equipment which deals enhanced damage against aberration creatures. Thank Pelor for this, because without it, Horros may have lost his life to the multiple Chulls we faced further into the underground passage. I am in awe of Horros’ faith in his God and willingness to sacrifice himself. But I admit I was angered by it, as I cannot imagine losing him. Pelor forgive me for such selfishness, but I am grateful for her blessing me with the ability to love and cherish my friends, who are now my family.

Again with the Island Hopping

5th – 6th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

After resting in a Rope Trick, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Grakar Foechuckle, and Finwick Shortwick) awoke to find themselves surrounded by more glowing will-o-wisps. They sang a mysterious song that only Adanna and Finwick could understand, which prompted them to finally explore the regenerating tower. There, they dodged falling shell debris, destroyed a giant lizard, and were nearly eaten alive by phase spiders. Fortunately, the party was able to uncover a couple of things of import. First, they found a room full of replacement parts for the orrery, which they quickly scavenged through. Second, they found the Armillary Amulet they had been searching for.

After resting for another evening, and with the amulet in hand, Finwick was able to finally unlock the secrets of the orrery. He discovered a few of its powers, and determined that it had been purposely sabotaged, locking in the amplified domination that had been taming the blackcove halflings. After another trip to a floating tower for a spare lens, the party fixed the orrery and shut down the domination. They then went on to explore the inverted pyramid in the center of the island, obliterating a number of Skum and discovering a secret porthole to the depths below.

Adanna Fionn

I am truly blessed and grateful to be alive. Never before have I come so close to death. I saw the light of Pelor, and with her strength and my companions’ valiant efforts I was brought back to life. These villains are more dangerous than I expected, particularly those phase spiders. We will have to tread more carefully in the future, particularly I, as it is my power and faith in Pelor that keeps the group going when we are smote by evil.

And the creatures we continue to cross on this island must be evil; or at least driven by evil. Except those glowing orbs that continue to direct our path in cryptic ways. They cannot be evil, as they led us to finding not only a magical Horn of fog to increase our stealth, but one of the armillary amulets that we so desperately needed. Wearing the amulet enabled Finnwick to investigate the Orrery without harm, allowing him to discover the following information in regards to the Orrery’s current and potential use:

  • Once weekly, the Orrery may be used to either control the weather, give a significant enhancement to divination spells, or amplify a spell or spell’s effect to a much greater level
  • There is currently a mental domination spell active and being amplified by the Orrery, explaining the captive halflings’ hypnotized state.
  • A part of the Orrery has been broken, apparently on purpose, so that the dominating effect cannot be undone.
  • The two broken pieces are the lens mount, and the lens itself.

By the grace of Pelor, we had already obtained a lens mount from the regenerating tower where we obtained the two magical items from the giant magical lizard and the bed of flakes from whence it came. The task of obtaining the lens itself led us to the Armillary Tower. It was not prudent for me to risk my life again by going into the orbiting piece of the tower. So the task was bravely taken on by some of my companions. Thank Pelor they were successful, and we were able to repair the Orrery and stop the domination spell.

But what to do next? How could we be sure we stopped the evil and saved the Halflings of Blackcove? And why were we not morphing back to our original selves? It seemed logical that if the Halflings were no longer dominated, and returned to their original physical appearance, then we had succeeded. The inverted pyramid was on our way to the beach where we last saw the dominated halflings, so we decided to stop and check it out. It seemed odd to us to have searched the whole island and not the most central part of it, our instincts telling us to investigate.

After tackling some more scum creatures, we split up to search the inverted pyramid. We found a magical banded mail, and 6 magical potions. No time to discover the effects of these potions now, will have to remember to study them later. The most interesting discovery was that of an iris diaphragm, covered by illusionary magic. It seems this leads to an underground chamber of some sorts. But as my companions continue to feel the effects of this strange transmutation spell, we need to get off this island. Now.

More Island Hopping

4th – 5th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

Finwick Shortwick flew to the island of Nal-Kashel, searching for the beginning to his own path. He ran into the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Grakar Foechuckle, and Maya Foxtail) in the middle of a Skum ambush. After a brief battle, the Skum were defeated, and the party welcomed the aid of the arcanist Finwick. Together, they returned to the silver pools to learn what they could from the ancient professors there. Shortly after their lectures were completed, a quicksilver ooze attacked Finwick and Maya, nearly dissolving them completely. With a combination of Horros’ quick thinking, Adanna’s healing prowess, and Ra Quel’s animal ferocity, the ooze was defeated, and the two newcomers were saved. They quickly moved on to the inverted pyramid, with hopes of finding the sorceror Gerlach. On their way, they were misled and attacked by a veiled Chuul. The beast grabbed and paralyzed Finwick and Horros before the party was able to take it out.

After a long day on the island, the party was finally forced to stop and rest. They emerged from Finwick’s rope trick the next morning, fully rejuvenated and ready to complete their exploration of the island.

Horros Moonshadow

In protecting oneself, others are protected; In protecting others, oneself is protected.

Adanna Fionn

Word of the evil taking over Nal-Kashel seems to have spread fast – first Maya comes to find us, and now a wizard Halfling named Finnwick Shortwick has joined us at the behest of his master Shackleton (a famous wizard of Arcane magic, the only human allowed to practice at the Elveshome School of magic). Both newcomers came dangerously close to death’s door today, but we couldn’t let that happen. Horros and I, all of us really, did everything we could to keep them conscious. That they didn’t die proves they belong with us.

I am grateful to have them, as they may help solve the mysteries we have come across on the island. After defeating more scum creatures, these glowing orbs powered by illusion magic hovered over their corpses, humming “close your eyes, drift in dream” in cannon rounds. Finnwick and I were able to hear it, as my comprehend language spell was already prepared and he memorized his in preparation for the lectures at the silver pools. Had he known a blob would arise from the silver pool to consume him, he may not have agreed to help study. Horros heroically saved him from the Pudding, and Horros and Ra Quel recovered Maya after it swallowed her.

Through it all we were still able to listen to the 3 remaining Aslante lecturers via the summoning pools, the information from which may or may not be useful to us:

  • Aaron Thander – Grand Provost of Sygil and Glyphs – “Vigils and Wards” – Most of the information heard was far too complex for me to piece together, but at the very end he mentioned two ways to fix the orrery if it breaks: 1) If a lens breaks, one can go to the Armillary Tower (which used to be attached to the Crystal Dome but is now orbiting the island), to get extra lenses. 2) If any mechanical aspect breaks, replacement parts are constantly regenerated in the Tower of Regeneration.
  • Ossoryal – Grand Master of Lens and Optics – “Celestial Alignments” – Most of the information went over Finnwick’s head as well, but what he learned combined with my knowledge of the orrery will us to use it, if necessary.
  • Allucus – Highest Counselor – “Solar Calculations” – More information on how to use the orrery.

Even with this new knowledge, it seems the sanest way to enter the Crystal Dome through the orrery is with the Armillary Amulet in our possession. Gerlac most likely has it, and chances are he is in the inverted pyramid.

The more we encounter the traps Gerlac is capable of setting, the greater I fear going up against him. Maya recognized the illusion cast on that Chuul to be the Veil spell, associated with an 11th level spellcaster. That is intimidating. We will need our rest for what we are about to face. Thank Pelor for Finnwick’s Rope Trick so we don’t have to watch our back while we rest. I think that little guy’s gonna be a marvelous addition to the group.

Maya Foxtail

This island seems to have an unlimited supply of monsters who want to kill us. Not long after exiting the orrery we were attacked by a group of eight Skum. We were aided half way through the fight by a flying Halfling wizard named Finwick. We managed a victory without too much damage excluding the rat monster Adanna summoned to help us. That little guy took a beating, but he did some serious damage before giving up the ghost. Go team.

We decided to use the Skum corpses to activate the silver pools. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Adanna & Finwick did learn some interesting information, but Finwick’s pool decided it was a pudding monster (PM). The silver goo oozed over the edge of its basin and surrounded Finwick. Horros managed to get him away from it. Unfortunately that left me as the next available target for the PM. It enveloped me and tried to dissolve me. I did get in a few good shots before it knocked me out. Fortunately for me Horros dove in and dragged my unconscious body out of there with an assist from Ra Quel. At least that’s what I was told. I don’t remember nor do I care to. I wish I could erase what I do remember of that incident. The label pudding monster doesn’t sound very threatening, but that thing almost killed me & Finwick. By dissolving us. You’ve been warned.

Adanna healed everyone and we made our way towards the pyramid in search of Gerlach. On the way we ran into a Chuul monster disguising itself as a Halfling. If you’ve never seen a Chuul, just image an eight foot tall lobster like creature with a mouth full of writhing tentacles that can paralyze you with just a touch. Good times. At first only Adanna, Finwick & Grakar could see through its glamour. Horros & I were not far behind. Unfortunately it took Ra Quel a while to realize what was going on. She was sure we were testing her after we had told her not to attack the Halfling so she refused to join the assault at first. Luckily she caught on and helped finish it off. You don’t want your best fighter sidelined when fighting a giant, seemingly un-killable foe.

After that it was decided that we should rest & recharge. Finwick pulled out some kind of magic rope which allowed us to rest hidden from anything else that might want to kill us. Everyone was quite relieved to hear he had this wondrous item. We can’t seem to go five minutes without something attacking us. I don’t recommend visiting Nal-Kashel. Nasty place.

Island Hopping

Phase Spider

4th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, and Adanna Fionn) was joined by Grakar Foechuckle and a new adventurer, Maya Foxtail. She had heard of the party’s exploits in Lan’Gess, and had travelled far to join them. Shortly after Maya and Grakar flew in, a harried halfling villager burst out of some nearby ruins with three flying seaweed cloakers in close pursuit. After a pitched battle, the cloakers were defeated, and the villager was saved. It turns out that she was Sara, the captain’s wife that they had been searching for. When Maya flew her back to Blackcove, she was able to speak to her with Gervus acting as translator. Sara had quite a bit of valuable information that pointed the party towards the large crystal dome on the northern end of the island. After resting for the afternoon, the party visited the dome. It turned out to be a fiendishly complicated astrological device manifesting strange magical powers. Before they could discover more, they were set upon by three ethereal spiders. A number of party members were felled in the ensuing battle, but the beasts were eventually slain. Afterwards, the adventurers, using the collected arcano-mechanical knowledge of the group, quieted the mechanism long enough to examine it. They discovered a bit more about the form and function of the massive orrery, but only managed to deepen the mystery of the island itself.

Horros Moonshadow

Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.

Ra Quel

A self-portrait:

A self-portrait.

Maya Foxtail

After a long and arduous journey I finally found the renowned party from Lan’Gess on the island of Nal-Kashel. My introduction was cut short by three ginormous flying seaweed monsters. How hard was it to kill monsters made of seaweed? Much harder than you would think. I’m not exaggerating when I say they were ginormous. And they could fly. And they expelled some kind of fear/terror spell. Enough said. After that I was welcomed into the fold without much fuss. Fighting for your life is a bonding experience. Those of you who have survived such a battle know what I’m talking about.

On a side note, it’s rather disconcerting to find yourself conversing with someone whose eyes are constantly bleeding black goo. Hopefully a cure will be found for Ra Quel quickly. You heard me right, bleeding black goo from her eyeballs. Don’t believe me? Check out her self-portrait.

The Halfling we saved from a grim seaweed death turned out to be Sara, the woman the party had come to the island to rescue. Her grasp of Common was slight and none of us spoke Halfling. To say we did not get much information out of her is putting it mildly. It was agreed that the party would rest on the island while I ferried Sara back to Blackcove with what remained of my flying potion.

The Halflings we’re effusively grateful for her return. With Gervus acting as a translator I found out that the prisoners on the island are being forced to excavate a section of it. They are either resigned to doing this or mentally coerced. On top of that the prisoners are somehow being transformed physically. Halflings are unusual looking to start off with, but the whole gills-coming-out-of-the-neck thing is disturbing. Sara was a bit fuzzy on the details of how she escaped. She did mention that she saw the sorcerer Gurlock freely going about the island. He didn’t appear to be a prisoner like the others. The Skum & seaweed monsters left him alone. Each time he visited the crystal dome, the island was beset by one of those terrible storms. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who was behind the nefarious goings-on in Blackcove & Nal-Kashel. I needed to get back to the island and give my report to the rest of the party.

Upon my return, Horros was all for leaving the island. Rescuing Sara had completed the job we were hired for, but there was no way I was leaving that island until all of the prisoners were free. Adanna & Ra Quel were eager to stay as well so Horros & Grakar grudgingly agreed. We rested long enough for everyone to recharge before exploring the crystal dome.

The dome was filled with all manner of orbs & books circling around the room above our heads. Ra Quel is a fierce warrior and an asset to our group, but her “shoot first, ask questions later” outlook on life is problematic. When we walked in Ra Quel immediately shot at one of the orbs. It let out some type of gaseous defense mechanism, we left in a hurry.

The entire dome was one big booby trap. Grakar, Horros & I sneaked back in to defuse the trap, but out of nowhere we were beset upon by giant poisonous plane-hopping spiders. No, we don’t need your run of the mill monsters. We only want colossal, hard to kill, teleporting monsters. And why not make them poisonous, just for fun? In case it wasn’t apparent, those last few sentences were laced with sarcasm. Did I say laced? I meant doused, thrown in a river & submerged beneath mountainous falls.

I almost died in the ensuing battle. Luckily Adanna was able to bring me back from the brink of death. We are fortunate to have such a capable healer in our group. We all took a pretty hard beating. Some in the party started transforming physically & Ra Quel was no longer alone in emanating black goo from various orifices. It was a rough day for everyone.

After barely defeating the spiders we managed to briefly disable the trap device. We took the three most interesting books & got out. According to them you need a special amulet to control the orrery. Of course you do. Pausing to catch our breath, we began discussing what our next step should be.

I’m glad I was able to join up with the party, but two difficult battles in one day? If this is any indication of what it’s like to be allies with this group, I’m not sure how long I’ll survive. My will is strong, but I’m not quite as hardy as some. I’m sure the group got suspicious when I vanished from sight the minute the seaweed monsters appeared, but my attacks work best in stealth mode. I may need to adapt Grakar’s strategy of hiding behind Ra Quel whenever danger is near…

Adanna Fionn

Ra quell will live, for now. Her transformation is only cosmetic in nature, so does not seem to need immediate attention (information she responded to rather well, actually…). Oh Ra quel, she can tackle a sea-weed creature like nobody’s business, but magic just isn’t her thing. Or reading.

But who am I to talk? I am still recovering from the shock of being completely incapacitated by that Cloaker. Thank Pelor for my brave companions – a group that now includes a stealthy little woman named Maya Foxtail. We do not know her well yet, but she seems earnest to help, and Pelor tells me to trust. I am grateful my friends kept their wits about them and saved our lives, and the life of Sara.

Adler’s wife was the Halfling we saw running from the cloakers. Though communication with her directly was not great, Maya was able to gather more information through Gervis’ translation when she flew Sara to Blackcove. Apparently there is a dominating force over the captive Halflings, the effects of which make them more Aslante. For some reason that Sara cannot explain, she was able to resist this force; most others were not. Furthermore, she has seen Gerlac, unaffected by the dominating spell, going into the Crystal Dome with purpose on numerous occasions.

Some of the party wished to leave the island immediately, without finding Gerlac or rescuing the captive townspeople. But it would go against my faith in Pelor and all that is good to abandon these Halflings; and I will not leave until Gerlac, if he is responsible, is brought to judgment. Sara alluded to the Crystal Dome as somehow being responsible for Ra quel’s bleeding eyes – that convinced everyone in the party to investigate the Crystal Dome and continue our mission here.

The crystal dome is an Orrery, with crystal spheres and copper books orbiting the room, open to a clear night sky. It is beautiful, but it is a trap. According to the astrology textbook we found earlier in the library, Sigil and Glyph, the orrery is an astronomical artifact with many different properties, including weather control. To be able to use the Orrery, you need a very high spell craft level, and something called an “Armillary Amulet” would be very useful (implying Gerlac has either or both).

If you fail to use the Orrery properly, you may suffer ill side effects, as Ra Quel discovered when she recklessly shot at an orbiting sphere and became extra-planar-like. Luckily, the effect was temporary and she was able to help us fend off the phase spiders that attacked while we tried to disable the device. These creatures were extra-planar and deadly – all my companions were in need of healing and lesser restoration spells after the attack.

The device could be disabled only for a short while before it would reactivate, giving us time for just a quick search – which yielded three informational books: 1) A warning that reminds students not to use the orrery without their amulets, 2) Very precise instructions of how to operate the orrery, 3) Instruction on how to identify malfunctioning parts and if found, to consult your professor.

After reading these, I could potentially be able to operate the Orrery. But that would take a significant amount of time – time we don’t have in a booby trapped room. My comprehend language spell enabled me to read these books, and it will enable me to discern those lectures. My instincts tell me to go back to the silver pools…

Shore to Sea

3rd – 4th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

After dealing with the mysterious tentacle attack, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, and Adanna Fionn) finally got the truth from the halflings of Blackcove. It turns out that the source of the disturbances was the nearby island of Nal-Kashel, a centerpiece of Blackcove folklore. After some prodding, the party agreed to investigate the island to find the root cause of the disturbances and to save the halflings who had been taken. The next morning, after a difficult trip to the island, they found themselves embedded in a strange world of magical ruins, full of sheer cliffs, regenerating buildings, and floating towers. Horros Moonshadow gave Ra Quel his potion of flying, which she used to great effect, exploring the island from above. They were eventually able to find and free an enslaved Blackcove halfling, only to find that he had been magically dominated. Before they could figure out how to undue the enchantment, they were ambushed by a group of skum, which they quickly dispatched.

After a full morning on the island, they had uncovered more questions than answers.

Horros Moonshadow

Sometimes, simply by sitting, the soul collects wisdom.

Adanna Fionn

I fear Ra Quel is turning into a Scum creature, and I don’t know how to help her. I feel powerless, even as I pray to Pelor for the power to cure her. Her black tears appearing similar to the scum creatures’ blood are a form of transmutation magic, but that is all I know.

Perhaps the magic was transferred from one of the copper books we found in the library? In particular the textbook Sigil and Glyph about astrology that broke apart into pieces and orbited her head after she opened it… Or perhaps one of those roach/scorpion-like creatures we faced there infected her? It could be from that scum creature Estian, who caused Ra Quel and I to fall out of the boat into a swarm of jellyfish on the way over here – luckily Horros subdued him, and we survived.

Or maybe it has something to do with her flying over Nal-Kashel… Horros parted with his Potion of Fly so Ra Quel could survey the island and transport us to the top of the cliff (that would have been impossible for me to climb) from the shore where we landed. Her reconnaissance gave us a basic lay out of the island, which I copied down. It includes the following areas: the library, a Falling Tower of Regeneration (possibly enchanted?), a well kept dome (the doorway of which is blocked by “flowing mud”), an inverted pyramid (old observatory?), a beach area (where captive and probably entranced Halflings are digging a cave leading into said pyramid), a crystal dome with a tower (the top of which is orbiting the crystal dome), and an area with seven silver pools.

After investigating the humming, resistance-magic enchanted old Aslante rock on the shore (which caused vertigo, nausea, and a flooding of foreign memories when approached), we flew to the silver pools. Each pool had a stone before it, and Halfling corpses all around. Only three of the stones were intact, so that only these three were able to be used for the summoning ritual of recalling its related ancient Aslante lecture.

The summoning ritual is powered by life energy, so it was fortunate we dispatched a few scum creatures to sacrifice. But when we performed the ritual on one of the silver pools, we were unable to understand the language spoken by the Halfling hologram. I am intrigued to hear what the other lectures say. Looks like I will be memorizing my comprehend language spell.

Swamp to Shore


5th of Eryth – 3rd of Wee Jas, 560 QC

Eager to finally be away from Lan’Gess, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, and Adanna Fionn) traveled east with a gnomish smuggler, heading towards Risz. They spent over a month traveling through the wide, lonely plains of the southern Confederacy. After a few isolated encounters with tiny hamlets and a giant bandit, the party found themselves overlooking the fishing village of Blackcove, where they were hoping to find a captain to take them on the two-month trek across the Sea of Deceit. They instead found the village to be nearly abandoned. After some exploration, they discovered that the locals (a strange breed of halfling) had been besieged for the past few weeks by some unknown evil. They found the remaining villagers holed up in the lighthouse. Before they could figure out exactly what was happening, the sea raged around them, and tentacles writhed out from the deep, pulling a handful of halflings to their watery graves. After a few tense moments, the party was able to fight off the unknown invader, but the mystery remained.

Horros Moonshadow

A heavy snowfall disappears into the sea. What silence!

Adanna Fionn

I am in awe of the favor bestowed upon me by my Lord Pelor. I have faith it saved our lives today. Shortly after arriving in Blackcove we were engulfed in a siege from the Sea. With it came a sea-creature with the claws of a large cat and the hooks of a giant squid. We and the townspeople suffered attacks from the cephalopod while the lighthouse we were trapped in flooded. We would have drowned were it not for the power of Pelor – he allowed me to calm the townspeople from panic and summon a shark to fight off the monster. The creature returned to sea, and the water subsided.

Afterward we spoke with Gervis, a town-leader of some sort. He informed us that this was not the first attack – that recently, the sea and its creatures had been attacking the town, dragging Halflings out to sea. In fact, Sara, the wife of our captain, Adler Vanderholt, was one of its many victims. Gervis believes these attacks are the consequence of a careless action by Gerlac, one of the Blackcove Halflings. Supposedly Gerlac trespassed Nal-Kashel, a nearby island with dangerous creatures only to be visited for using the Wedding Stone, an ancient Aslante tradition. No one has seen him since he left for the island.

Investigating the island to help save Blackcove from future onslaught from the sea is a worthy mission. And the choice for us to pursue this mission is made easier by the fact that Adler’s boat is docked near the island. And anyway, it would be inhumane to ask him to cross the sea with his wife missing.

Carrion Hill Horror

10th of Corell – 5th of Eryth, 560 QC

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, and Grakar Foechuckle) began their hunt for the last two Keepers. They found Arlend Hyve panicked and silent, hiding in his underground cellar. After a quick battle, and some difficult interrogation they mercifully killed him. The next day, they discovered that Crove’s asylum had been collapsed by the Horror, and so pressed on to the final Keeper, Rupman Myre. They tracked him down to his acrid industrial vats, where they plowed through his undead workers. In the middle of battling Rupman, the Horror arrived, causing the warehouse to shudder down to its foundation. A desperate battle ensued, with the party using every resource at their command to fight off the Horror. Eventually, with an immense surge of raging prowess, Ra Quel managed to fell the nightmarish beast. With the building collapsing around them, the party escaped; some fleeing out the front door; some jumping into the river.

They spent the following weeks recuperating and regrouping. With the Horror gone and Lan’Gess calmed, the party was able to take care of a few overdue tasks. They finally pored through the remains of Dark Lord Zander’s library, discovering a number of interesting facts about Tondar’s Prophecy. It seemed as though they could find some of the answers they were seeking in Westcrown.

Horros Moonshadow

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

Adanna Fionn

Today was a day of Reckoning, praise Pelor. We struck down the summoned creature just hours ago with all our might. Thank Pelor (and Ra quel) we survived. In the end the keepers were all taken by the creature, making it the most formidable opponent we have faced yet. I felt a particular sadness for Arlend Hive, as he died a most pitiful and desperate death. I prayed for him, and in spite of his gross culpability for such mass terror, will continue to do so.

Councilman Thomeri and all of Lan’Gess were beyond grateful for their renewed safety. Heran Zoaldavis has assured us via post that Hell’s Canyon and Echeron are secure, and we continue to await news from Gunnar. So we are off to West Crown, the capital of Riz.

All clues point to Riz: this is where “Seeker,” the last remaining warder to have any knowledge of Tondar’s Prophecy or the Blind Path, is hiding out. Also, there is a merchant there, Lankesh, who sold the books we found in the remnants of Zander’s home. According to Magarick Shorestone, these books provide further description of the Blind Path and the Prophecy. Supposedly, the Prophecy refers to the return of an ancient empire, but he could not decipher what empire that is, or why we are a part of it. There is a key that has been missing for centuries required to enter both the blind path and a related temple, but he found no description of said key; all he could offer was a suggestion to investigate “Rivaldor’s Magnificant Thought,” which provides directions to the path and the temple.

Time is of the essence, so we have chosen a shorter, yet more perilous route to West Crown: across the Sea of Deceit. It should take us 1 month to get to the Sea, and 2 months to cross it. Our guide-smuggler Illy is acquainted with a captain in Blackcove who has agreed to take across the Sea. We leave with Illy tomorrow via carriage. Pelor keep us in his grace and favor.

The Keepers

8th – 10th of Corell, 560 QC
The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, and Grakar Foechuckle) made their way to Crove’s Asylum, on the northern edge of Lan’Gess. There they found an unsecured sanitarium full of chained, maddened inmates and brutish orderlies. With little else to go on, they made their way downstairs to the grimy and damp underbelly of the building where they encountered the nightmare that had nearly destroyed Ra Quel. After beating it into a puddle of black ichor, they tracked down the warden Waldur Crove to an office hidden off of the main hallway. They were able to quickly overpower and capture him. They brought him to a Temple of Pelor for questioning, only to find out that his involvement with the Carrion Hill Horror was not as clear as they had thought. He managed to convince Adanna to release him back to his asylum, with a promise that she would hunt down the two remaining Keepers. Horros was not pleased with this.
Horros Moonshadow

Our enemies are our greatest teachers.

Ra Quel

8th of Corell

We spent the morning at the destroyed building site. We returned to find Grakar into Horros’ books. Where was he when I needed him? Instead of being mad at Grakar for being MIA, Adonna gave him a gift! What was with her? She hugged a suspect after an interrogation just the other day. Has she gone soft? We told Grakar about the asylum and we were ready to go.

I geared up. I warned the others about the creepiness of this place. They just looked at me as if to say, “How hard could this be? It’s just crazy people.” I wouldn’t even be going back if it weren’t for my ax being stolen by the spider-like thing. I’m just not complete without it.

The asylum’s door was ajar. This was not good. We heard people behind the door, muttering something. They were conjuring something. As soon as we were inside, I killed all 3 of them. At first, Adonna wanted to save them. And then one of the crazies tried to bite her. After that, no protests.

We systematically go through each room in the asylum. I swore there were more rooms than last time. We found rooms with manacles attached to the walls and chairs with straps. Potential prisons for us if we are caught her by anyone or anything. I demolished them. Any time we found a crazy, I put them out of their misery. They were never going to get better or quieter. Lang Ness’s Mental Health Services had failed them.

When we came to a room that looked like it belonged to Walter Crove, I suggested we burn it. He was evil, he had set me up to get liquefied and had my ax stolen. He should pay. But no, my suggested was rejected. Why were my suggestions rejected so damn quickly? Why do Horros and Adonna need to get hurt before, all of a sudden, I make sense? Why does Grakar always agree with them? For all the chaos of Kord, we needed to get my ax and get out of the asylum before I became a crazy. I felt my paranoia grow with each moment we were there.

A guardsman found us. I drove a sword through his heart. Adonna spitefully kicked his head as we walked by. “And that’s for your maltreatment of the metal patients.” Ai, perfectly pointless but at least she didn’t forgive him as she has been doing a lot for everyone but me lately. She still kept bringing up the wagon incident.

Before we left the ground level, I left one of the crazies as an alarm at the top of stairs. Horros lead the way through the long hallway. We found door at the end. He opened it, his eyes went wide, and immediately shut the door. He didn’t need to say anything, I knew he found the Thing. Our weapons came out and Horros opened the door again. The Thing charged towards us. Grakar’s and my arrows hit but did little damage. Adonna’s spell was easily defeated. Horros slammed the door shut. It was a good idea, even if it was a temporary fix. The Thing reached the door and was trying to open it from the other side. I made a quick side glance to my companions. They had the same idea, I had: hack the Thing to bits. The door opened and we hacked at the tentacles until finally the Thing popped and spilled its black blood all over me.

With the Thing dead, we were able to search further. We found a room with a pool of water and my ax lying in it. At last! Now the ax was found, I was ready to leave this forsaken place. Not the others, a shiny ring was spotted at the bottom of the pool and Horros dove in to retrieve it.

I was heading to leave when they others insisted we continue exploration. We split up. Graker and Horros sneak ahead. While Adonna and I waited for them, I passed the time going over the finer points of weaponry and why the ax was superior in every way. She did a very good job of pretending to be interested. Then we heard a crash. With my ax ready for my next kill, I stood by the door. Then I felt a weakening sensation that I have learned only comes with a spell. We were up against sorcery. Adonna threw the door open to a small, crowded room. Horros and Grakar were struggling with a creepy-looking man. I didn’t know who he was, he just wasn’t one of us so I flung a hand ax at him. It missed. Grakar took him down in the end. It was decided (not by me) to take this man hostage. We go back into town to the Temple of Palor where Adonna’s spells have a stronger influence. We find out he is Walter Crove. He was on a mad-mission to save himself from being consumed by something that was summoned called Yog Sotheth from another plane of reality. To anyone but us, his answers would have seemed like another Mental Health Service fail. We let him go after we took his stuff. Adonna gave him a parting gift of a magic scroll. I don’t understand such blend of subversion and generosity.

With the main mission(s) of the day accomplished, I was free to bathe the black blood off me while the others read. I have never been in the Temple of Palor before so I wanted to explore while the Sisters cleaned my clothes. The temple was gold, yellow, and shiny. Every room had urns, tapestries, paintings, and sculptures. And everything was delicate as the Sisters kept exclaiming as they followed me. No one trusted me, even after I promised to glue the damn urns back together.

9th of Corell

Today, it was all about the books. Grakar came up the brilliant idea of hiring a local gnome to decipher the more complicated texts. Best way to spend money, after buying weapons, ever. We found out a sort of secret society called the Keepers who performed a ritual to open a portal to find a spawn of the dark tapestry on the Summer Solstice. We also found possible connections to Horros’ monestary, a certain mountain top in the Golgans, and there was a missing key. I’m sure this made more sense to the others. I don’t know how they can talk so much about reading. I should probably learn someday.

Adanna Fionn

Walter Crove has confirmed our theory: Solm Zander was the “Dark lord” obsessed with finding the Blind Path and fulfilling Tondar’s Prophecy. Crove claims, however, that the other keepers, including he, did not summon the creature as part of Zander’s “stupid plan.” They did it simply for the power of the ancient Gods.

He does not seem remorseful for committing such a heinous act, but he does regret it – the reason being, that the creature will not stop until it has killed all those who summoned it. And with each successful consuming of its masters, it grows in strength. He claims the other keepers are powerless to stop it, and only he has the ability to destroy the monster.

As I received this information from Crove while he was under the Zone of Truth spell, in the Temple of Pelor, I believed him. And as my companions were preoccupied during the investigation, I trusted Crove to keep his word to destroy the monster in exchange for his release. I am anxious as to whether or not he will be able to stop it, but I pray Pelor grant him the strength – not because he deserves it, but because he needs it.

Zander's Secret

5th – 8th of Corell, 560 QC
After accepting Councilman Thomeri’s request for help, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn) got more details from Constable Heggry, the commander of the Lan’Gessian city guards, also known as the Crows. According to Heggry, there had been a handful of mysterious building collapses throughout the city, with rumors of large creatures and gruesome deaths. The party investigated the first of these collapses, at the home of a Sulm Zander. Underneath the building’s wreckage, they found a series of catacombs ending in a strange altar and a few rotting bodies. While in the catacombs, they were briefly endangered by a vicious ghoul. They also found a cache of journals and books that hinted at dark things afoot. They spent a few days pouring over the documents, trying to piece together the clues when Ra Quel decided to pursue one of the leads by herself. When she returned from her investigations with an addled mind, a collapsing body, and feverish stories of nightmare beasts, the party knew what they had to do next.

After responding to a fresh building collapse in the morning, they headed for the asylum.
Horros Moonshadow

Lack of patience in small matters can create havoc in great ones.

Adanna Fionn

We have a name for the “Dark Lord”: Solm Zander. It seems he, along with a group calling itself “the keepers of the oldest” summoned this single horror that is destroying the city of Lan’Gess one building at a time. Constable Heggry led us to the ruins of the most recent collapsed building, which belonged to Zander; it seems he was known to the community as a scholarly shopkeeper who kept mostly to himself.

Through the ruins we found a trap door leading to an underground space with tunnels and an ancient cavern. There we found the corpse of the extraplanar messenger we had encountered in Hell’s Canyon, along with 2 other dead bodies. While searching, we were attacked by a ghoulish creature, who were it not for Pelor’s favor would have taken my life.

The search proved worth it though, as we were able to retrieve multiple clues and valuable items. All together there are five “keepers of the oldest” who seemed to have released this unholy creature in hopes of increasing their dark power: Glenn Barkerwell (deceased), Solm Zander (killed by the building’s collapse), Arlend Hive, Ruppin Meyer, and Walter Crove.

Hopefully Margarick Shorestone, a half-ling scholar, can help us translate the books we found in the debris from Zander’s shop. But for now, we must find the remaining three keepers. And since Ra quel left her favorite weapon of mass destruction in Walter’s Crove’s asylum, there we shall go.

To Lan'Gess

2nd of Kord – 5th of Corell, 560 QC
The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, and Grakar Foechuckle) parted ways with Gunnar. While he went off to deliver the prisoners and begin his infiltration of the Orc tribes, the party headed back to Echeron. Murray Redwing decided to leave the group and return to the Astillican to make good on his promise to Rheanille. Upon arrival in Echeron, the party was informed that they would need to escort Devesson Thomeri back to his father, Councilman Tomás Thomeri, in the city of Lan’Gess. They spent nearly a month making the trip, encountering a few difficulties and traveling their way through a mix of small towns and further into The Confederacy proper. The eventually found themselves in the swampy city on the banks of the yawning Ghaor River. There, they met with the Councilman and discovered that Lan’Gess was in the middle of an unexplained crisis.
Horros Moonshadow

Do not speak – unless it improves on silence.

Adanna Fionn

I find myself distracted. Pelor grant me the concentration to continue. I have not been to temple since Echeron and I feel disconnected from she who is all to me. I pray the effects of Lord Zander are not already upon us; for we are in Lan’Gess, where he who Thomeri refers to as Solm Zander is thought to be. Of course this is the Lord Zander we have been meaning to identify, and it seems he is responsible for the disturbance that now consumes Lan’Gess.

I could only venture here after ensuring Hell’s Canyon and the door that my intuition tells me is the Blind Path remained secure. Heran Zoaldavis assured me it was, and asked if we would accompany Devison back to Lan’Gess at the behest of this father, Councilman Thomeri. Echeron would fear Thomeri’s retribution through his connections to Adarra, Queen of the Confederacy, if we did not comply, so to Lan’Gess we went. Except for Raquel making a brash decision along the way, as is her nature, the trip was fairly uneventful. Say what you will, she never ceases to entertain.

Thomeri has offered a reward for investigating the mysteriously crumbling buildings, and for the rest of my companions that is reason enough to proceed. They seem preoccupied with material desires, oblivious to the spiritual fulfillment of giving oneself completely to the one true God. Horros and Greckar have bonded in their shopping adventures, and Raquel seems less irritated each time she returns from the market. Her new hawk brought the first smile to her face I had seen in weeks. And this does give me joy, as I have developed familial feelings towards them all (even Greckar, though I sense his thoughts of my female figure are often of an impure nature). But I will continue to impress upon them the teachings of Pelor, even if that means disappointing Horros by not loaning him gold.

Perhaps it is Murray’s sudden departure that has me so preoccupied. If he were not leaving us to go back to the Astillican, perhaps I would not be so concerned. But all that awaits him there is a life of addiction and hedonism. I do not trust the substances he ingests so dependently and the earthly pleasures no doubt this Reniel promises. And he took that ring of divination with him as well. Such a waste of mind and magic.

I am distracted again. I must focus on my notations and prayer. And I must focus on the mission at hand; for this is a divine mission. Good versus evil. I fight for all that is Holy, and Lord Zander’s day of reckoning is near.


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