Far Primus

Underdarking

Day 1 – Day 6

Krystigg, Hadd, Zee, and Rocky Clay had escaped with a handful of other slaves, but they were far from safe. Ignoring the lady Ilvara’s dire warning, they fled the prison cavern heading shale, narrowly avoiding a mysterious ooze in the process. After a few days of travel, however, they realized that they had merely swapped one life-threatening situation for another. Now, they were picking their way through unknown terrain, heading towards a mysterious underground lake, with only a few scraps of food between them. They needed to find a source of food and water, and quickly.

Luckily, on their fifth day of travel, three former prisoners found them. Sarith and the Topsy-Turvy twins somehow managed to escape after them, sneak past the party’s pursuers, and catch up to the resting group. They were exhausted, but they had a few days of food and water with them.

Together, they headed towards The Darklake.

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Escaping
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What would you do if you were kidnapped, shackled, and stolen away to a great cavern under the earth? Some would curl into a ball and give up. Others would foolishly thrash and wail until they were tossed to the spiders. Our intrepid heroes, however, decided to sneak and connive their way to freedom. Zee, Hadd, and Krystigg had never met each other before, but together they hatched a cunning plan. They snuck a key off of a guard while they were doing hard labor, and systematically un-shackled all… most… of their cell-mates. They then led a revolt through the ledges, bridges, and guard houses of their prison. They managed to kill a number of guards, arm themselves, and sneak their way to the only escape from their jail: an elevator heading down. Unfortunately, the guardsmen eventually found out about their escapades and intervened. The party was trapped between a rock and empty space. They grit their teeth and held their captors off long enough the escape down the elevator. Unfortunately, a good number of their fellow prisoners didn’t make it.

In the end, Buppido, Stool, Jimjar, and an unspeaking dwarven monk escaped with the party.

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Tlazoteotl

2nd of Obad, 565 QC

With Dazzetaine Deepfury leading the way, the rest of the party (Therani Woodlight, Ilyan Durani, and Gorok) snuck through the remains of the dungeon. Fighting off baboons and snakes, they found another dead Cuthbertian, and rescued a live one: Brad. They discovered that Ishani Dhatri had been taken by a four-armed beast to something known as the Halls of Sacrifice. With Chad and Brad in tow, they snuck up a long and winding staircase that eventually opened into a huge vaulted temple set up as a hellish diorama representing the far limits of suffering. In trying to explore the room, they awakened old demons, one of whom, Tlazoteotl, demanded that they return the Promise that they had stolen. The party refused, and they nearly paid with their lives. Gorok was almost torn in half by an enraged Tlazoteotl, while Brad and Chad were dragged screaming into a burning hellscape by a spear-wielding salamander. The party was barely able to escape alive, almost giving up the Promise that they carried. They ran from the awakened demons and scrambled out of the dungeons, discovering that they were standing atop an ancient ziggurat in the middle of an unrecognizable jungle. Using the blessed char provided to them by the Heirarch, they opened a brief portal to what they hoped was the Bank of St. Cuthbert and stepped through, just as a swarm of demon-birds dove down upon them.

They were saved. For now.

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Therani (dreaming)


I popped back into the portal room at the bank in a protective crouch, bow at the ready for my next shot. I’m pretty sure that arrow I loosed just before we transported landed in that demon bird thingy I was aiming for. At least I hopped it did. Bastards. The priests around us seemed pretty disturbed at our arrival. I certainly didn’t need to hear all those shouts in my ear. “Whoa!”, “You’re safe!”, “Don’t shoot!” etc. Come on now, who do you think we are? Professionals, that’s who. No respect. I will say it took me a moment to realize we weren’t about to be attacked by a swarm of demon birds, but don’t tell them that. I rose slowly out of the protective crouch I was in. Gracefully, of course, despite my wounds. I looked around. Good, everyone’s here and accounted for even if Daze still looks a bit… dazed. At least she’s not all bloody & disheveled like the rest of us. We do look pretty bad, but we’re all breathing so there’s that. More than we can say for Chad & Brad. Nice fellows if a bit prissy, they’ll be missed. I spot the Heirarch sweep into the room and take us in. He doesn’t look happy. Well, buddy, I’m none too happy myself. Those demons are going down as soon as we get some healing and more people to help fight. Especially Tlazoteotl, what a jerk. I mean really, does he need to be that big & tall? What’s he trying to prove? And what about the smaller magic dude he’s got buried in his chest? If that’s not cheating, I don’t know what is. I address the Heirarch calmly, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” He gives me a confused look. Clearly not a fan of pop culture. Whatever. He and the priests don’t seem in any hurry to come closer to us. “Any healers in the house?” Jeez, you’d think these people had never seen adventurers returning from a campaign. I can’t wait to get back to the ziggurat and take care of those sons of bitches once and for all. Maybe Ishani’s still alive despite missing an arm. One can only hope…

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Xipe
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1st – 2nd of Obad, 565 QC

Soon after the party found Chad, Ilyan Durani recovered from his near-catatonic state only to reveal that he had been communicating with a being asking for Ilnedraw’s Promise. Ilyan and the rest of the party (Therani Woodlight, Gorok, and Dazzetaine Deepfury) backtracked to an earlier room to rest, recover, and think on what to do next. Daze also took the opportunity to nurse Chad back to health. They weren’t able to rest long before they were set upon by a bird-like demon looking for something that wasn’t theirs. They fought it off, only to have it turn into dust after it was slain.

They grew concerned about what it was, exactly, that they were carrying.

They delved further into the dungeon, eventually ending up in an ancient temple to an even more ancient god, Xipe. There, they encountered a being that claimed to be the shadow of the former deity. After a brief scuffle that nearly killed Ilyan, they parlayed, finding out a few useful nuggets of information from the mysterious being before going their separate ways.

And they pressed on…

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The Poisoning

1st of Obad, 565 QC

With Ilyan Durani stuck in some sort of fever-dreaming state, Gorok and Therani Woodlight tried to press on. Luckily, Dazzetaine Deepfury caught up with them to bolster their party. She brought a new-found vigor, which pushed the party to delve further into the mysterious dungeon beyond the portal. They were rebuffed, redirected and recoiled by a number of doors, traps, and pits, but they pressed on. They were attacked by ancient sleepers, screaming undead, and glowing beetles, but they were always victorious. Eventually, they found themselves in a midden heap, the source of the poisonous air in the dungeons. There, they found the bodies of two Cuthbertian guards. One of them was still alive, and looked familiar. Chad!

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The Portal
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1st of Obad, 565 QC

Gorok, Therani Woodlight, and Ilyan Durani decided to forge ahead through the mysterious portal while Dazzetaine Deepfury stayed behind to confer with the Heirarch of St. Cuthbert. The priest of Moradin needed to learn more details about Ishani’s mission in order to facilitate their search. Without her divine aid, the party was determined to be careful. They stepped through the portal and found themselves in an ancient crypt. It smelled of dust and acid. There was no apparent return portal, so they had no other options but to press on. And press on they did. Through nefarious traps, flooded hallways, blocked doorways, and violent sea creatures bent on their destruction. All the while, they were slowly being poisoned by the stale air. They eventually found a secret exit through a cleverly disguised tunnel hidden in a fresco. However, they were unable to escape their slow poisoning, and it was hard to tell if they were any closer to escape. They were also yet to find any sign of Ishani or his brethren. Things were looking grim, but the party persevered…

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End of the Year

4th of Nerull, 564 QC – 1st of Obad, 565 QC

With the Urgathoan Cultists stopped, and the threat of the Blood Veil receding, the party was finally able to take a breather. For the next two months, while the Quarantine was still in effect, the party rested, relaxed, studied in the Acadamae, and honed their various skills. During the end-of-the-year feast at the Stoneforge Guildhall, they ate and drank their fill and shared what they had learned about the city and each other. It was a fine time.

And it was unfortunately interrupted by a courier carrying an urgent message.

In it, they learned that Ishani Dhatri had led an expedition through a portal found in a hidden room in the recently cleared-out temple. Seven days had passed, and the priests had yet to hear from the expedition. The Bank of St. Cuthbert needed the party’s help. And as usual, the party accepted the offer.

The new year would not be a quiet one…

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The Temple

4th of Nerull, 564 QC

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Once the elevator stopped, the adventurers (Miles Fairchild, Gorok, Therani Woodlight, Ilyan Durani, and Dazzetaine Deepfury) found themselves below the Hospice, in much different surroundings. Frescoed murals of disease-ravaged cities adorned the walls, and the acrid smells of necrotic alchemy filled the air. Dressed in the garb of Queen’s Physicians, they stole their way through the hidden temple of Urgathoa, tricking and killing its inhabitants. By the time they got to the vaulted chamber housing the giant cooking vats, they were nearly spent. However, their trials were only just beginning.

Miles started the battle off with a monstrous ball of fire, igniting the catwalks above them. The blast knocked a surprised Dr. Davaulus and some priests down to the lower level. Things were looking promising in the early moments, but they quickly turned sour as more and more temple inhabitants spilled into the cooking chambers. Priests, zombies, demons, and vampires all came to the temple’s defense, nearly overwhelming the party. Things were looking grim before a well-places daylight spell shattered the Urgathoans’ front lines. With that, and the arrival of Ishani and his Cuthbertian reinforcements, the party was able to turn the tide. It was a drawn out battle, with many of the adventurers falling multiple times. The vampire and Dr. Davaulus (neĆ© Dr. Mortimer Blackweather) even managed to escape. However, in the end, Gorok disemboweled the Lady of the temple, and the Cuthbertian reinforcements felled the flea-breathing demon, with Ishani receiving a mortal blow in the process. All was quiet except for Ishani’s final dying breaths.

In her wisdom, Daze invoked the grace of Moradin to bring him back into the world of the living. Ishani opened his eyes with a gasp, and then smiled, for he knew that Ghalt had been saved.

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The Hospice
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4th of Nerull, 564 QC

With Ishani and his Cuthbertian guards acting as an escort, the party (Dazzetaine Deepfury, Therani Woodlight, Gorok, Miles Fairchild, and Ilyan Durani) made their way to The Hospice, hoping to finally find out who or what was behind the Blood Veil in Ghalt. They bluffed their way into the sick ward and searched around for a minute or two before Daze was involved in an altercation, which quickly escalated to an all-out battle amongst the dead and dying. The party struggled against a contingent of Queen’s Physicians and Grey Maidens. Just as the battle seemed to be turning to their favor, a black-armored hulk appeared in the catwalks above them. He identified himself as Payne Trayne before charging at the heroes with two fire-breathing hounds in tow and more Grey Maidens trailing behind him. A couple of Ishani’s guards and many Blood Veil patients died in the process, but the party eventually defeated the Hospice guardians. Payne Trayne fell under a hail of arrows from Therani. After the battle was over, the party interrogated a couple of the Physicians and did some investigating around The Hospice. They discovered that Dr. Davaulus was probably here, in the basements below. They also discovered that he had been conducting research on the patients that wasn’t necessarily focused on finding a cure. So, they took a freight elevator down, intent on finding some answers to their questions…

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The Direption

2nd – 4th of Nerull, 564 QC

The party quickly fled the scene of the burning manor with their laughing prisoner in tow. Before leaving, Miles Fairchild ran back into the mansion, pulling out an unconscious and deathly ill gnome.

The next morning, they interrogated their female prisoner, learning that her name was Jolostina. She claimed to be the daughter of the Carowyns. She also claimed that she was to deliver the recovering gnome, who’s name was Grakar Foechuckle, to a warehouse in the West Docks the following day. For the second half of the day, Miles Fairchild, Therani Woodlight, Ilyan Durani, and Dazzetaine Deepfury decided to investigate the ship that had been recently sunk near the North Bridge.

With the help of an arcane spell of water breathing, the party spent a couple of hours investigating the wreckage, learning that the ship’s name was The Direption. They also discovered that it was being inhabited by some hags, whom they not-so-easily dispatched. Once inside, they found evidence of the plague boxes, the possible involvement of a cult of Nerull, and some paperwork naming an M. Blackweather as the owner of the boat.

Their naval investigations complete, they decided that their next stop would be the old Arkona Imports warehouse, which they knew was currently being used as a hospice by the Queen’s Physicians. They felt certain that this Mortimer Blackweather could be found there, and they had some questions for him. They even convinced Ishani Dhatri to join them.

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