Children in the Shadows

Act I Summary

Our travelers started their adventure locating the perpetrators of the Great Library fire in Rune and discovering that the fire masked the stealing of one of the Books of Power. It turns out that these books were written by the gods when they were human, and were sources of great power. Our heroes informed their patron Lady Runeé of these developments and she had them seek out the other books, but before they could embark on their quest she had the players take care of a problem in Perrinet.

Perrinet was in southern Avigny and was known for the wizard school located there. Our heroes found that the two main families were having a feud. House Deshayne thought that House Caladan had created a blight to destroy their vineyards. After some investigations, our heroes found out that the blight was emanating from the nearby college. Inside the college, the heroes found evidence of a battle and the ensuing slaughter. A trio of students had used a mysterious potion to overpower the wizard and sorcerer instructors at the school. After clearing the school, our heroes made their way to Laran Malbrar, the leader of the trio. They overheard a conversation between Laran and a person known as Lord Janus.

It turns out that Laran had been contacted by a group of individuals known as The Circle, and that Lord Janus was his high-level contact to the organization. The Circle had given Laran the power to take over the school, but to what ends nobody knows. As Lord Janus was leaving he instructed Laran to use a new potion that been made to destroy our heroes. As Laran ingested this potion, he began to mutate growing larger and his skin becoming dark violet. After a hard fought battle, our heroes defeated Laran.

Waiting outside for them was a man drinking tea with a hand made out of obsidian. Flanking him was an elf dressed in black leathers and another elf that was dressed in fine robes but had shoulders encrusted with ice. He told them that he was called the Kingmaker and that he had sent Drugar Hammersworn to Souteyrous to found a guild with the plundered coffers from the wizard school. He told our players to join Drugar and to aid the guild in fighting the Circle.

Upon arrival into Souteyrous, our heroes established their guild house calling themselves, “Bleak House.” They selected a powerful wizard Castia Ashweaver to run the day to day inner workings of the guild and she elected to establish the guild as a policing force of mercenaries while also being a spy and information network to gather more details about the Circle. While in Souteyrous, the group was told that there was trouble in the druid land of Inverness. They set out and were met at the docks by Himault, a ranger that protected the druids. Himault took them to see the Archdruid who was in the middle of the festivities, as this was the druid’s midsummer festival.

The Archdruid told them that many people had been going missing since the start of the festival, two weeks ago. As the heroes set out to find the missing people, the Archdruid’s son warned the players of a dangerous witch inhabiting the woods. Searching through the forest, the heroes were attacked by werewolves and found a druid’s grove under attack by a crawling purple miasma. They made their way into the grove and found that a spirit of the forest dwelled there calling herself the ‘witch of the western woods’. The miasma was to destroy her or keep her busy while there was an attack on Adare, she beset the players to aid the ancient tree. As she was describing this, she let mention that Adare was the spirit of the forest that protected a Book of Power.

Allowing our heroes to escape, the Witch did battle with the miasma and our heroes made it to the tree. Himault was there making preparations for a battle, but scouts informed him that they were massively outnumbered by the Bleeding Ear Clan. He said he could give the players some time to safeguard the Book. As they made their way into the bowels of the tree, they found a mixture of technology and nature working in balance with one another. In doing so, they accidentally set off the security system that controlled the tree.

Defeating the traps and security measures our heroes made it to the center of the tree and found that this was actually an ancient library for the Tuatha de Danaan (the pantheon of gods) while they were still human. They secured the Book of Power and made their way out, to be waylaid by Lord Janus. He took the Book and Thava’s sword, which was found out to be an ancient First Men sword known as Fragarach. Lord Janus changed visibly, responding to the power in the sword and the Book he had in his possession.

After dealing with the men Lord Janus sent to destroy them, they finally made it out of the tree and saw that the Bleeding Ears had destroyed the fortifications and retreated. The Archdruid Stumpy, had left instructions that Dogman shared with the group: he had left to recover his wounds at Moonholdt. With that the group headed back to Souteyrous. Castia had captured a wizard from the Circle and was in the dungeons. He told the group that his master had captured the god of magic, Math Mathowny. Castia also gave D’shino and Tam Lin sending stones that were bound to Castia. [1 use/day Sending Spell to Castia]. Castia had also discovered that the source of this magical energy that was creating the miasma was coming from underneath the ocean between Inverness and Verovka.

After resting up, Lady Runeé charters an airship to transport our players back to Rune. Once there, the group updated her on what transpired and explained what they knew about the Kingmaker. She tells them to continue the investigations and that she had them summoned because she wants the Guild’s best to protect a ball being held in Rune. This ball holds all of leaders from around the world, except Marg and Inverness, and it was supposed to be the ending celebrations for trade delegations.

[If you’d like a bit more in depth summary of events from Rune, please go to the adventure log for September 10th, on Obsidian Portal (Campaign name: Children in the Shadows). I will be condensing the events here.]

● Craaig finds dead clerics in Math Mathowny’s temple. Has vision of a huge dead giant under the sea and thousands of Drow living there. Feels Math Mathowny’s presence there.

● Erzebet finds out the name of the assassin under the Kingmaker’s employ: Victoria. Victoria teaches Erzebet in disguise and assassination.

● Demondred is attacked in the Temple of Belenus and a junior cleric by the name of Jaundar helps him out.

● D’shino finds out that the ley lines of the world are being distorted, with them flowing into the place that the group found out from Castia was important to the Circle.

● Craaig gets chewed out trying to take over a temple, meets Lord Sidall and befriends him.

● Demondred meets a dwarven cleric named Shiahan and he is given a piece of paper with dwarven writing on it. He goes to see Mella about it. Sensing evil in the house Demondred finds a secret passage that implicates Mella’s father with working for the Circle and implicates Lord Jaryhm too.

● Erzebet infiltrates the Galt trade delegation and finds out that the Sasashi cartel are selling weapons to Marg and that Lady Sasashi is under some form of mind control from Lord Jaryhm.

● Sue sleeps with Marlowe’s wife. Marlowe an ex-paladin convinces Sue that if he wants to wield his old sword, he would have to become a true hero.

● The group finds out that the Kingmaker’s wizard apprentice is named Kel Vaeril.

● Demondred summons the Morrigan (God of War) and Shiahan turns out to be Diancecht (God of Healing). He is given the Sengekai Blade and told to harvest 10 souls as payment. She tells them that the leader of the Circle is named Vorenus.

The night of the ball Erzebet is contacted to act as one of the Circle’s assassins that are going to attack, but to aid our heroes and kill the council of Rune. Our heroes save the delegations when the ball is attacked, but the Circle opens a portal to the Fomori plane and with the help of the players, Lady Runeé banishes the Fomor and seals the portal. She then cast flight on all of them and told the heroes to save as many airships as possible. Demondred took off after the assassin, which was really Erzebet, before Lady Runeé could stop him.

After saving a few airships from Drow saboteurs, our heroes helped a sole paladin Jaundar save some orphans. He and the players were rescued by Marlowe captaining the Dragonfly, a prototype airship. Once outrunning Demondred, Erzebet met back up with Demondred, now out of disguise, and found our players on board the Dragonfly. A massive portal opened up and the largest airship in the fleet, the Dauntless was making its way towards it. Lord Janus came out of the portal along with hundreds of orcs riding flying bats and chimeras. Lady Runeé did battle with Janus but was struck down; Marlowe swept under and caught her due to his armor, made the flying ore known as Zurite.

Lady Runeé knew that if the Zurite powering the ship passed through the portal to the Fomori plane it would cause a massive explosion that would make the Desolation Explosion look like a firecracker. The group then went aboard the Dauntless fighting gray and mottled orcs and drow forces. The heroes disconnected the power core and the airship sank below the portal. Lord Janus retreated with his orc army back through the closing portal.

After all the delegations were safe Lady Runeé told the players that the council’s souls could not be raised, they were stuck in the Fomori plane. The group knew this was the Kingmaker’s plan all along, as he had left them a note detailing this and to continue to aid Lady Runeé after his absence. He said he was going to stave off the darkness for as long as he could. Lady Runeé gathered the nations and together they declared war on Marg and Runeé gave the southern mountains in Avigny to the refugee dwarves of Verovka as long as they mine them and forge weapons for the war effort.

After all the talking was over, Runeé told the players that she’d felt energy like that before, from the Fomori plane. Long ago Runeé and Marlowe adventured together and they were on the trail of a rogue elf wizard known as Vorenus. They fought through his army of the undead and found him opening a portal to this Fomori dimension. A cleric by the name of Bron, took Marlowe’s Zurite holy symbol and ran into the portal. Runeé was just able to get up a shield in time to protect her teammates. The Aftermath of the explosion was known as the Desolation.

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A Bargain is Struck

Demondred goes over to Mella’s family estate and talks to Mella about what the piece of paper means. Apparently it indicates to bring a sacrifice to a bridge near the wharf, or be prepared to bargain with the Morrigan. Struggling over the moral quandry, Demondred begins to meditate in the Sunroom. He then receives a premonition in which there is evil within this house. He begins to smash down doors and screams about cleansing the darkness. Mella, distraught over the destruction being wrought, calms him and helps find the source of the corruptive energy that Belenus guided him to.

Behind a bookshelf there is a small room and in it the two find a map with sections outlined and notes of paper indicating movement of corpses from the graveyards to these locations as part of a gentrification of the mausoleum area. However under these papers is a paper with arcane formulae that are necromantic in nature. Upon touching these documents Demondred is flung across the room and through a wall. In the documents that implicate her father in nefarious deeds, we also find he was in contact with Lord Jaryhm.

Ezrebet infiltrates the Galt trade delegation’s estate and runs into Lord Jaryhm talking to Lady Sasashi. After prowling around the place, she finds a ledger that contains evidence that the Sasashi cartel was selling weapons to the orcs of Marg. This is a violation of their treaties to Osraal and if found out the Sasashi cartel would be punished by the N’har, or the ruling council of Galt. This was just the kind of evidence she needed to find, but she decided to linger and find out more about the relationship between Lord Jaryhm and Lady Sasashi.

Eavesdropping on them, she finds that they are having a rather political discussion on trade until Lord Jaryhm mentions the word, “Zebrekium.” At the mention of the word, Lady Sasashi falls into a hypnotic trance and tells him that the abduction of one of the sleeping N’har (Siu’ri) has been completed and that the corruption progress has begun. However, the cartel requires more manpower and potion supply to complete the process. She says that if they get the supplies they will be on schedule, which is six months from now. After Lord Jaryhm leaves, Erzebet attends to Lady Sasashi in her bath.

Sue has been bunking at Marlowe’s ever since an unfortunate incident involving the tavern mistress. He has been sleeping out on the roof, as he is accustomed to looking at the stars at night. One night he is approached by Marlowe’s wife Ritza and they share a bed for the night. Afterward, he does not return either fearful or ashamed of what he did to Marlowe. He encounters a runner with a note from Marlowe telling him that he has information. Unable to see Marlowe, he crumples up the paper.

In the meantime, Mella, Craaig, and Demondred decide to investigate the manor of Lord Malbrar, the father of the would-be necromancer Laran Malbrar. They encounter Kel Vaeril in the estate seemingly investigating or searching for something on orders from the Kingmaker. Demondred attacks him and is rebuffed by the powerful wizard. After talking to the wizard they find a room on the second floor with arcane formulae indicating a magical circle built around the building in which the ball will be held. This circle will contain all magical, physical, and spiritual energies. Downstairs in the basement, Craaig finds signs of necromancy and the construction of a flesh golem that has yet to be completed. He casts invisibility on it, and Demondred notices the stench of death about Craaig.

After this bit of investigating has been concluded, Demondred heads to the summoning place with Craaig and Mella. He speaks the goddess’s name thrice and she appears with a murder of crows.

“You’ve spoken my name thrice Demondred and I have come, what gifts have you brought me?” Before Demondred speaks the old dwarf shambles out from the shadows. “Hello, Morrigan.”

“Brother, and here I thought your power is waning.” She says with a wicked smile.

“You know well it is, I’m here as a favor to his patron. To protect him from you.”

“And yet you’ve led him right to me. Brought the goat to the tiger, and only you to protect him.”

“Don’t push me Morrigan, we have business and this paladin needs answers. Answers that only the queen of war would know. Doesn’t it bother you that they are making a mockery of you by reanimating the dead? I thought you’d wish to destroy them more than we.”

“You lot hate me and have hated me since I was the only that studied death. You took my elixir and cast me as jailer. The only pleasure I get is from these pathetic mortal squabbles. If the Fomor are released, I will experience pleasure that I have never known.”

“Do you think they’ll spare you?”

“Of course not, but to see you lot destroyed might be worth it.” She looks into the sky. “My time is short, mortal and I do not wish to spend it here with the high minded. Present your gift or discuss your terms. If they are agreeable we will do business, if they offend me pray this protector is enough to save you from my wrath.”

The Morrigan tells the group that the cleric known as Shiahan is really a mortal avatar of Diancecht. After talking the Morrigan offers a service of 10 souls for her aid. Demondred agrees and she gives him the Sengekai Blade, a katana that will sever and bind the soul of any mortal struck down by it. That being done, the Morrigan tells Demondred to ask the question he came to ask. He asks, “Why are the Circle and the Fomor doing this?”

She responds, “The Fomor and their god want to be freed from their prison and the Circle wish for the destruction of the world. The leader of the Circle has known great pain and this has driven him into madness. He wishes to war until there is nothing left, he wishes to war against the gods. I do not wish to be destroyed, but I will enjoy it immensely if he succeeds.” She starts to walk away and the crows all fly away squawking the name “Vorenus.”

After this she disappears. Feeling he got the raw end of the deal, Demondred and his party retire for the evening.

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Dark Dreams and Darker Revelations

Demondred meets an old cleric of Diancecht called Shiahan. After giving Demondred some words of encouragement that he is correct that the god Math Mathonwy has been captured, he slips Demondred a piece of paper. Demondred eventually finds this paper; however, the writing on it is in dwarven. He gets this translated and he finds out that it tells him to meet with the Morrigan and to give her a suitable sacrifice.

D’shino finds out more that there has been a large amount of ley line distortion and that the epicenter of this distortion is in the middle of the ocean. The amount of intense energy required in such high density, should not exist.

Craaig has been summoned by Lady Runeé. After being chewed out for messing up the investigation of the murders of the temple of Math Mathonwy and then claiming it as his patron’s temple; Runeé has him apologize to an Osraalian cleric of Math Mathonwy. Upon exiting into the hall of the Revarum, he saw a tall older looking elf with standing there with a severe-looking gaze. He’s about 6’2” with dark blue hair and has an untanned complexion about him. His robes are silk and multi-layered into a kimono with shoulder pads extending outward, resembling a daimyo from feudal Japan. He is attended with one of the magical guardsman. The guardsman introduces Lord Sidall, Ambassador to Osraal and Archpriest to Math Mathonwy.

After introductions, the guardsman is dismissed by Lord Sidall and the Lord motions for Craaig to follow him. As they exit the Revarum, his demeanor changes from dour to a more relaxed tone. He explains to Craaig that while he was slightly offended by his antics, he overacted to gain more political favors from Runeé as restitution, with regards to the trade deal and to also get an audience with Craaig. Lord Sidall wants to get access to the temple to investigate what actually went on.

Within the temple, little has been changed and even Lady Runeé’s people have not investigated. Sidall says this is because she wants to maintain an air of neutrality by allowing the Bleakers to investigate. As the pair enter the temple, Sidall says a short prayer and in doing so purple energy begins to flicker and spread from the walls. The blood seemed to cover arcane runes beneath it and was triggered by a prayer to Math Mathonwy. As the power builds, it releases into magical circle around an acolyte. All of the acolytes have had their throats cut save this one.

The energy reanimates the acolyte and he says, “Your god is ours. We will devour him. You cannot stop us.” As the last syllable is hissed out, a bolt of plasma-like energy arcs toward the pair. Sidall raises his staff and holds the attack. Sidall says, “this was placed here as a trap, seems to be some sort of a mind spell. I can hold it off and grant you protection, but I must remain concentrating on this spell. Go and find out what you can.”

Calling upon the power of Banjhulu which covers him in red energy, Craaig leaps toward the reanimated man and hears in his mind, “Break the circle, and touch the dead man’s flesh.” As Craaig broke the circle and pushed against the force to grab the dead man’s hand he felt himself transported elsewhere.

It is at night and the moon has been shattered in the sky, the stars have begun to darken and some appear to be black. Craaig smashed into the water and sank fast beneath the waves. As cold and unimaginable pressure were about to overtake him, he made out something: bioluminescent light from algae stuck to the gigantic corpse of a giant.

The giant had to be miles tall. Craaig was pulled through the earth beneath the behemoth and as he exited, he found himself adjusting his eyes to the barely lit city. It appeared to be impossibly old, based on corrupted fey architecture. Craaig looked up to see spires built up into the ceiling of the giant he was within. A city within this creature, and walking around are drow. Thousands of drow, and he was pulled again toward the base of the largest tower. As he descended, he felt the agonized presence of Math Mathonwy.

As Craaig wills himself lower, a man appears in front of him. This man is completely black, eyes, teeth, everything. He says, “You should know your place godling. Now feel my wrath!” As Craaig tried to shield himself from the blast, the man in black screams, “Feel the might of Balor!” A third eye opens between his brows and gazes at Craaig. He then felt himself being hit and flung out of the vision and into the hard stone wall of the temple.

After Sidall helped him up he says that that spell was a mind plague, meant to send out madness to the worshippers of Math Mathonwy. He thinks that a similar spell was used and that the ley lines were poisoned. He says that the burst of magical energy that caused the explosion seemed to burn up the energy that was poisoning the ley line because he cannot sense it anymore.

After explaining what happened to him, Sidall explains why the true history of the world is not taught.

“There is a reason why no one is taught the true history of this world, for evil men time and time again have sought out the powers of the Fomor for their own nefarious needs. This is the same reason my people do not trifle with arcane lore, I am one of the few worshippers of Math Mathonwy and act as a magical warden for my people. So the stories of the gods mixed truth and lie to create a tapestry of moral and ethical lessons, as well as plain entertainment. You know the true origins of this world, how the First Men created their empire and worked with nature. How the Tuatha de Danann learned how to overcome death and began to study and understand the world that made them as gods. And how the creators became jealous and created the Fomor to destroy the world. Balor is the Fomor’s king. He was said to be great and powerful and if you ever gazed upon his third eye, you’d be utterly destroyed. The Fomor were banished and the veil erected to keep them out, but Balor was chained to the veil so that the gods could always watch over him. If he has grown so strong that he can project himself into this plane, then we must work quickly, for if the madmen that behind this succeed the Fomor will be released again and I do not think the gods could contain them again.”

Erzebet is awoken by Victoria, the assassin that works for the Kingmaker. She brings Erzebet two outfits, one is the servant robes of the Galt trade delegation and the other is a red ball dress. Victoria says that in order for her to take her on as an apprentice, she must prove that she is worthy and says that the Kingmaker needs dirt on L’ara Sasashi, one the cartel leaders from Galt. She leaves a disguise kit for her to aid in her mission. After scouting out the house. She chooses the target she wishes to replace, a courtier that frequents whorehouses. After talking to the Messer of the establishment, Erzebet has the courtier indisposed for a few days with an illness. Afterward, she returned back to her room to prepare her persona.

Mella returns to her family’s estate and finds that her father is acting strangely. Her friend Ula also agrees with this sentiment. After talking with her father, he only states that it is important that the family remain close ties to the Runeé family and he then leaves for the office.

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Return to Rune

The players depart for Rune on an airship chartered for them by Lady Runeé. Upon arrival into Rune they are met with a sight of numerous airships floating over the city. Upon landing they are informed that Rune is hosting a trade delegation of most of the nations of the world: Osraal, Galt, Verovka, and Avigny. They are also informed that Lady Runeé is giving a speech in University Square. The players make it to University Square to hear the speech.

“My Father believed in a world where poverty, pestilence, and hatred could all be abolished through the power of understanding. It is only with sufficient knowledge that we gain confidence and control over a world we do not understand. Fear is the opposite of that, and it is fear that drove this act of terrorism and it is fear that has been propagated from it. Fear that makes people afraid of showing and sharing their gifts, and it is fear that prevents us from changing the world. Well, I’m tired of being afraid and that is why I’ve sought about to rise the phoenix from the ashes. Where this cowardly act took away our greatest repository of knowledge I seek to rebuild anew and to rebuild greater. This will be the foundation of the greatest library in the world. And we will send out a message clear to those that try to strike fear into our hearts. "We will not be shaken, or deterred, only more determined in the face of adversity. Knowledge and understanding will light up the darkness you seek to keep us in and we will glorious within it.”

Once the speech is over she takes our heroes and asks for a report. As the players recount the events from their perspectives she says that there are two things that she would like to be addressed.

• Find out more about the Kingmaker.

• Investigate more about the Circle.

She also tells the players that she brought them to Rune to help watch over the ball and to do security for it. She says that this trade deal could help strengthen the ties between the nations and together they could help defeat the Circle. However, she says that most of her time is spent glad-handing and politicking, so the players will have to act as her eyes and ears.

The players split up and head out to find out more about the Kingmaker and the Circle. Searching for people that could construct a magical device like the hand the Kingmaker was using. Sue and Tam’lin found a gnome artificer in Artificer’s Alley called Sinni. He is the best artificer in the city and is one of the leading magical engineers helping to learn more about magical artifacts by reverse engineering them.

He tells our heroes that from their descriptions that this hand is a masterwork and the only people capable of crafting such an item are the elves of Osraal. He says that crafting such an artifact would be taboo in their culture, but their great libraries have the secrets needed to construct it. He also said that he had seen a rune that the players were able to remember. It was used in a releasing spell.

Sue then meets a dragonborn by the name of Marlowe and his elven wife Rizta. They run a tavern and gambling house near the Bazaar district. Through talking, Sue finds out that Marlowe used to be a paladin and be in a party with Lady Runeé. Seeing his old broadsword, Sue asks to purchase it, Marlowe refuses. He does make Sue a deal, if he does good works within the world and helps to make it a better place he can have the sword. Sue agrees to these terms and wishes to invest in Marlowe’s bar. Marlowe says that he’ll start giving him 15 percent of the profits.

Erzabet and Dogman decide to trace down the assassin and meet up with an old friend of Erzabet’s at the Red Dawn Trading Company. Her friend is named Jaren and says the boss is out at the moment, but the boss should know who this is. Ezrabet remembers how she dispatched people, with a thin stiletto to the base of the spine, very clean work. Jaren also says that since Erzabet is on Lady Runeé’s good side she might be able to help out with the heist they are planning during the ball. Erzabet and Dogman leave with Jaren saying that the boss will be in touch.

The nerdy wizards hit the books and find some things concerning Janus. Apparently he was a mystery up until the Second Sylvan War and then he established himself as the first non-orcish commander of the armies of Marg. He was undefeated throughout the war and when Marg surrendered, he disappeared. They both come to the conclusion that they will find more about the Circle either in Galt or in Osraal. Perhaps talking to the diplomats from those countries could give them insight into the goals of the enemy.

They also found out more about the ice mage working for the Kingmaker. Turns out there was an acolyte to the college in Rune not long ago that was very adept at ice magic. Even at an early age he was able to refine techniques and actually began to teach before he was awarded his stoll (graduation to wizard). His name was Kel Vaeril.

Finally Craaig goes to the temple of Math Mathonwy and Demondred goes to the temple of Belenus.

Upon arriving at the temple of Math Mathonwy, Craaig finds the temple in shambles and filled with the corpses of dead acolytes. One of Lady Runeé’s special magical guardsman is called and Craaig says that he claims this temple in the name of Banjulhu, his patron. Flabbergasted, but when confronted with the writ from Lady Runeé Craig is holding, he compromises sealing off the temple to the magical guardsman and our heroes for further investigation.

Demondred is immediately recognized upon entering the temple of his deity, Belenus. He asks to speak with the Archpriest and is directed to his chambers. Upon explaining the threat that Lord Janus and The Circle pose, he is attacked by the Archpriest who clumsily impales his own heart on his ceremonial dagger. Before dying, he reveals that he is a member of the Circle, implying that their infiltration goes deeper than expected. Faced with the task of explaining the dead Archpriest, Demondred intimidates a young acolyte named Jaundar into gathering the heads of the other temples. They all meet in the temple of Belenus to discuss the implications of a stolen god.

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The Battle for Adare

8/8/15 Recap

As the heroes charged into the fray of the ongoing battle with the drow and the ancient green dragon, Convel the werewolf tackled his former alpha and began to assault him. The other werewolves present came to the assistance of their master, until Tam Lin was able to charm the alpha into standing down.

As the battle pressed our heroes took on the elite guard of the drow and began decimating them, while the remainder of the drow host continued to assault the dragon. In the end the dragon killed most of the drow and the heroes were granted entry to Sylvanus’ lab, by Thava’s sword Fragarach. The party split with most of the spellcasters entering the lab and the others looting the bodies outside.

As Nostroma came out of the drider hole, Cráig stabbed her in the neck with his sword and finished her off by firing a few eldritch blasts into the hole. Unable to cast spells requiring her voice, she was powerless to stop the warlock.

Inside the lab, Mella found a personal journal that had been untouched to time that she was able to read by the druid of the Tuatha de Danann, Sylvanus. Also the group was able to figure out how to turn off the alarms of Adare. They talked to the tree spirit and found a way to get the book and contain the tree spirit Adare within Fragarach. After containing the spirit of the Adare and procuring the book, the heroes heard heavy steps coming down the staircase.

Lord Janus came down staircase carrying the slumped form of Osho, Thava’s companion. After refusing to yield the sword or book Janus killed the bear and had the 40 barbarians in tow behind him, level crossbows at our heroes. After again, refusing to yield, Demondred was shot with dozens of arrows. Finally the heroes yielded the book and sword.

Lord Janus took up the sword and green lightning crackled around him as he absorbed the knowledge and power that was Adare and bound the sword to his soul. As he did the sword changed and in a howl of screaming metal, resembled a large claymore, which Janus hefted with one hand. He told the party that he did not wish to kill them as he and his master had used them deftly and had further use of them in the future. He then tore down the staircase and levitated up the hole.

Our heroes followed behind, slowly, and after resting exited the tree. Having removed the book and the tree-spirit, rot had taken over the tree and leaves began to fall. By midday the mist had not abated and the sickly pallor refused to give way to the sunlight. In the mists lie the bodies of dead men, mostly young. There were a few druids remaining trying to give succor to those still clinging to life. Dogman found a tree where the Archdruid wrote he had retreated to Moonholdt to recover his wounds. The Bleeding Ears had retreated now that had retrieved what they wanted.

The party made their way back to Souteyrous, not wanting to stay in Inverness any longer because they did not have a reason to tarry and also they needed to check in on guild activities. After returning and resting up the group had dinner with their guild leader Castia. The party find out the scope of what is going on in Inverness, the surprise attack the Bleeding Ears perpetrated was far more devastating than originally thought. With the destruction of the tree Adare and the corruption of the ley lines, the druids of Inverness were unable to call upon the land for aid. Also the Bleeding Ears were outfitted with military grade weapons and tactics, using them to great effect against the loosely allied clans.

Since then, there have been heavy retreats and regroupings amongst the druid clans toward the south to try and counterattack and push back the Bleeding Ears onslaught. In the meantime, Castia anticipated her guild’s needs and installed a network of spies that was able to initially find their way into the Bleeding Ears. The weapons and tactics were being supplied by the bankrupted Marg Empire. She was also able to trace back the source of the corruption that corrupted the forest and Adare, and it centered over a place in the ocean between Inverness and Verovka.

She then hands out sending stones which after an hour’s worth of preparation, she would be able to communicate and vice versa with the wielder of the other stone. She handed one to D’shino and another to Tam Lin. Castia also shares that the Kingmaker has asked them to attend a ball where the preparations to a new trade allianceallince between Galt, Osraal, and Avigny will be decided. The ball will be in two weeks in Rune.

After dinner, Castia led some of the group down into the dungeons where she showed them a mage-hunter she had captured. The mage-hunter was half mad but said that his “Master” had captured a god, Math Mathonwy and that he would be the doom to all of them. Castia speculated that the books of power could be gathered either to be used as a power source for a great spell, summoning, or could be used to destroy the veil that lies between the mortal plane and the plane of the Fomori.

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