The Empyrean Age

A Grain of Sand on the Beach Part Five

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Jaelin
Marrakesh
Roland


With the Abomination of Sin in front of them – the Nameless charged in various directions. Around this dimension of fire and glass rock – souls of the dead teemed around them. Buried in the ground… floating in vast canyons on either side of this battlefield…the dead called to them – begging for mercy and respite from this beast as they tried to crown someone unworthy.

Around the battle field were three cauldrons of boiling color. Etched on their large shapes, runes describing what they did. After evaluating them, Cerulean and Halifax were able to find out that each of these Cauldrons restored something to them. Be it lost blood, arcane energies or replenish their energy. Each could only be used once by each person…but there was hope.

Using their speed against Sin, our Heroes continued to Battle as those hurt such as Gorgol and Blok replenished their reserves. The beast’s rage was infinite…its power unflinching as it tore through the defensive line – drawing blood with nearly every strike. Its malevolence unrivaled…it pressed the attack on each of our heroes, challenging them to stand their ground.

Gorgol – recharged – turned back to fight the monster and was surprised as Sin caught him unawares. The creature striking him so hard that he was literally knocked off the battlefield into the great canyon of the abyss where he lost consciousness as the souls of the fallen began to claw at him. Seeing this – Aegis disengaged from the Battle and jumped in after Gorgol, hoping to save him.

Turning back on the few heroes left, Sin nearly killed Halifax and Cerulean with his lightning fast claws and swallowed Jaelin. Blok, recharged as well from one of the Cauldrons leapt into battle – unleashing his strongest attacks against the mad monster while Cerulean continued to soften him with Arcane blasts of magic. Chali climbed atop Sin’s back and started to strike at its spine, biting deep with her dhampyric abilities, but constantly slapped away like a gnat. As hope seemed to fade, Jaelin begin to boil in the monsters stomach, Halifax on one knee – exhausted – Cerulean nearly tapped out of her arcane energies, Block connected with his battleaxe and cut deeply into the beast’s stomach. Tearing muscle and sinew he pulled his blade up spilling out its contents – including Jaelin on the ground. Howling in pain, Sin dropped to its claws and knees as Blok embedded his axe deep into its skull – killing the monster.


As he did so – the dimension began to shake…the world became darker…this pocket reality was starting to fold in on itself. The souls of the fallen were fleeing…free of the magics that bound it here. Moving toward the gateway – our Heroes saw Aegis as he climbed back over the lip of the canyon holding Gorgol…the giant unconscious goliath in one arm. Helping him up the last bit – they team began to move towards the door as Cerulean and Halifax noticed under the glassy rock, gold teemed to be freed. All of the treasure of the fallen heroes must have been consumed. Eager to earn their keep – they began to dig for it, assuring themselves that 20 feet from the doorway was close enough to try and gather some wealth.

After realizing the effort would take too long Cerulean stood and told Halifax they needed to go as the world would collapse in seconds. But clearly enraptured by Sin’s final trap the Dwarf had fallen prey to the sin of Greed – unable to tear himself away. After an unsuccessful attempt to remove him by force, Cerulean went through the passageway alone. Halifax busting through the black rock saw gold teaming in the molten lava. Surely he could scoop some out with his hands protected. He shoved his hands into the white hot magma and was rewarded by it being merely warm versus scalding. But as he felt for the gold he could not grasp a thing. The gold kept slipping from his grasp. Panicked he tried to remove his hand…realizing this was a trap – but the rock slid and closed around his hand, cooling over leaving him stuck up to his forearm in this realm.

It then landed upon him his folly. This world was moments away from destruction and he would go with it unless he freed his arm. Resolved that his hand was lost – he rose his hammer and brought it down with all his fury on his arm over and over again while the rock beneath him began to crumble and splinter – lava splashing on his body searing his skin…the world began to spin as if water leaving a basin drain. It was near the end and yet the ground held him fast. He took the hammer to his bloodied arm once more and tore the muscle away from the ground. The magma vomited at him as he ran for the door as it slowly began to fade. His arm sizzled and screamed as he jumped through, it closing a mere second afterwards. In the throne room again Halifax saw his arm…the wound already healed…a stump where his hand and wrist used to be and on the meatcap…gold coated his skin…a reminder of his sins.


Moments later the doorway of light returned to along sliver and then burst to reveal a reconstituted Roland…though different. His hair golden yellow and his clothing all white, he seemed an idealized version of his former self. The transformative powers of the Ritual being too much for him though caused him to pass out.

Around this time, the Guards of White Sands began to burst through the doors. They were her to kill the intruders or die trying. Moving into position to protect the unconscious Roland, the Nameless stood their ground prepared to fight these soldiers of the Vale. Gorgol, the hot head that he can be sometimes, started to talk of charging them first. Aegis tried to keep him calmed, but it was obvious – it was only a matter of time before this battle would result in a few of their number dying.

Cerulean thinking quickly grabbed a healing potion and forced it down Roland’s throat. His eyes reacted immediately as he was forced awake. Looking around at his friends as they were about to be run through by scores of White Sands Guards – he understood. Simply uttering the word “stop” caused the soldiers to freeze in place. His will was paramount to anyone’s orders. If he willed these people to live, they would. The soldiers understanding…almost as robots…stayed frozen in place, muscles tense as they held uncomfortable positions. Telling them to “stand at ease” the soldiers took formal ranks as Roland stepped to the Crown of Light. Placing it on his head – the heat from its power began to burn his flesh and all at once it lit up – a halo of light as the ancient power of the dwarves flowed through him. His birthright realized…he sat upon the throne and called for the war.

The throne chamber walls shimmered as they began to show various places and maps on the various walls in his view. The southern wall showed him the battle from his commanders point of view, which gave him a sense of omniscience as this information was shown to observers as an almost eagle eyed representation of the battle. To his west – a map of the Vale that drew closer and closer to the battle at Thusgedon, the Rebellion’s time table was wrong – the war had been fought for nearly two weeks. The Armies of Over Citadel, Church of Xaphan, Mercenaries and White Sands were able to move far faster than anyone could have predicted and had slammed against the shores of the Mountain a mere 3 days after the Nameless had left. To his east – all the reports with the White Sands imprint began to filter down…it was if he was downloading all of this information to his brain – which consequently he was. The rebellion was nearly quashed. They now were outnumbered 10 to 1 and would surely fall before night.

Focusing all of his thought – Roland sent out his will to the massive army of White Sands. The Rebels are our allies, protect them and destroy the armies of Xaphan and the Over Citadel. Take prisoners if you are able, and offer quarter to those who surrender but stop this war now. In a matter of hours, the tide had turned. Without the massive support lines of White Sands, the Mages of Over Citadel were overrun by soldiers. The Church of Xaphan mostly being a support line with armies made of Mercenaries broke quickly and scattered to the winds. Without the Generals of White Sands to tie them together…this corrupt alliance splintered into “every man for himself”.

And with that – the war – which in later times would be called the War of Revelations, was over. Roland was the King of Four Thrones, Wearer of the Crown of Light and Leader of the Vale and its Peoples. The Nameless were given the title Champions of the Crown and considered honored guests of the land – something of folklore. The Church of Xaphan was outlawed as documents came to light that it had engineered this entire uprising and perversion of the laws and bloodline for the last hundred years. The now “Cult of Xaphan” was scattered as its temples were destroyed and wealth redistributed between the King and his people’s.

And with that – this tale of adventure comes to a close. The Champions of the Crown stayed for a few days to celebrate the inauguration but then parted ways – each to their respective paths and destinies. That is…until Six Months Later.

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A Grain of Sand on the Beach Part Four

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Elka
Jaelin
Marrakesh
Roland


Smiling, Roland began to tell his allies, that the Ritual of Renewal is in fact a very powerful spell that causes the user to purge himself of all sin and become as close to Solan – the first king – as possible: free of judgment and sin. This is why the Crown of Light always killed any of the other heirs to the throne, they tried to wear it without performing the Ritual and were thusly found unworthy of it’s power. Once a King can place the crown upon his head, he gains control over the Legion of White Sands.

As the Legion stands now – each member is brought into the army and given a mark, a magical tattoo that if a King were on the throne, attunes them to his will. Since there has not been one in 300 years, the act of the magical tattoo still takes place but is much more a ritual of tradition than any value. In fact most probably don’t even realize what the tattoo spell does anymore. But if Roland is able to get to the Throne Room and place the crown on his head…he’d be able to stop the Legion dead in it’s tracks and recall them. Of course this wouldn’t affect the Mage Guard nor the Mercenaries and other forces recruited by the Church and Over Citadel – but it would reduce their power significantly if not completely derail their plans, scattering their forces, making them easy pickings.

There were problems with this plan though. In order to cast the ritual, Roland has to be very close to the Crown itself in order for this to work. Also, the Castle itself has a massive enchantment that disallows all but the most basic of spells to be cast – surely the Ritual would be shut down almost immediately – so turning off that enchantment would be the most important factor in this quest. After reviewing their options, the Nameless decided the most efficient way to get to White Sands would be the use of a spell known as “Shadow Walk” which they found from the Drow in the lost Forge. By using this Ritual, they would be able to use the Shadowfell as a gateway to shortcut their way into the Castle’s Courtyard, which because it was completely outdoors but inside the castle walls – was vulnerable to spells if cast properly. The time to arrive would be no more than a days travel and would give them the element of surprise – which despite being fast the Airship could give neither.

Gathering supplies, the Nameless entered into the Shadowfell and began to make their way towards the Castle of White Sands. Upon entering the dark realm of shadows – the Nameless journeyed until they entered a grove with various fruits growing from bushes and trees. In the center of which, stood a tree with golden quinces growing from it’s limbs. Dirge informed them – this was a sacred grove, that was for the devout of the Raven Queen only – but the fruit in front of them could heal the coming lycanthropy in Carric, Aegis and Roland. Taking 3 pieces, the sky grew darker, if one could grow darker in such a place as a Winter Knight (emissary of the raven Queen) appeared in front of the Nameless. After talking to them – he said the Raven Queen would allow them to pass if Aegis, Halifax, and Jaelin agreed to stay and become followers of the Raven Queen. Our heroes declined and killed the Emissary which caused the sky to change to night – a full moon which turned Carric into a full blown Werewolf.

Fighting the change, Aegis made Roland eat the fruit – which stopped the changed, but also caused Roland to pass out from the extreme powers leaving his body. Aegis then too ate the fruit and stopped the change barely holding onto consciousness. Carric, almost caught by his allies, escaped into the valley and ran off naught to be seen.

The Nameless arguing the point, knew they could not pursue their fallen comrade as the Shadow Walk spell would fade if they left the path laid out for them. This was the price for abusing the Shadowfell as a shortcut to the lands of the living – it would lay obstacles in front of them that MUST be overcome in order to pass through to the other side.

The journey slogged on through the night as our heroes were attacked time and time again by minions of the realm – the dead, undead and all host of monstrosities approached them. The toll for this journey became great when Dirge was felled in battle – his body given out its strength and he was run through. After taking the time to resurrect him, the Nameless learned that Dirge had seen his goddess the Raven Queen – and though she was mad at his slight against her in the garden, she understood his reasons. Allowing his resurrection she now offered him a spot in her Winter Knights to continue the fight against those who would take her throne from her. Honored, he returned to his body and left the Nameless to fight as one of the Winter Knights. Her Champions. Her Paladins. Her most trusted soldiers in the Undying War that lay in the Shadowfell.

Shortly thereafter as the journey reached is conclusion, Elka too decide to stay behind in the Shadowfell. Following the visions of her destiny, it had led her to the Nameless and now her destiny diverged from their own as she had found a path to the man who had killed her in her last incarnation. Bidding them farewell she guarded the exit back into the World while they passed and she began her own journey.

Arriving in the dead of Night – the Nameless were able to quickly subdue the guards in the courtyard and split up as agreed – one team to keep the magical incantations guarding the Castle off and one team to find the items needed in order for Roland to cast the Ritual of Renewal. If all went well – in a few hours, this would all be over.

Cerulean, Chali, Blok and Halifax went deep into the bowels of the Castle to find the “security system” of the building. After wandering through it’s corridors and fighting many guards, they found their way to the chamber holding the rituals of binding – which kept the castle safe. Unfortunately this also alerted security to their presence and they had to hold off an onslaught while turning off the “fire walls” as the dwarven rules called it.

Meanwhile, Roland, Aegis, Jaelin and Gorgol traveled to the north tower of White Sands, called the Tower of Non to procure an item called the Keys of Gaes which had to be held by the subject of the Ritual of Renewal. Moving through level after level the team began to relax until they reached a complex puzzle involving the pointing of light through that of mirrors all the while, attacked by monsters hidden in the rooms as well as Aegis’ son. Fighting their way through, slaying the son and solving the puzzle our heroes made it to the top where they found an Angel holding a set of Keys. Imploring them to enter and rest – the Angel smiled. As our Heroes came closer though – she changed from that of a beauty to that of a Horror. A Medusa…one of the Gorgons that could turn man to stone.

In the Security Center, the team fought a host of enemies, soldiers by the dozens pouring through a single doorway – which led to a perfect bottleneck, allowing our heroes to slay them without much difficulty until the leaders began to show up. Cerulean’s rival: Litas, who had slain her master 3 years earlier smiled with devilish glee as he used a piece of the Rod of Seven parts against her. The fight was great, but with the aid of Blok breaking the Halflings body – Cerulean was able to burn his body to a cinder as she desecrated his corpse in a multitude of ways. Following this, the team was able to turn off the spells and secure the room. Sending the message via spell “all clear” they waited.

In the Tower of Non Aegis, Gorgol and Jaelin fought the Medusa while protecting Roland. Near the end of this battle – Roland began to falter until our heroes were able to turn the tide and decapitate the monster and her minion allies. With that a portal opened in the room where the Keys lay. Taking them up – Roland passed through it with his guardians to appear in a deserted throne room. Sitting on its podium next to the Throne of 4 Kings stood the Crown of Light, gleaming in the dim light. Hearing the words “All Clear” – they knew they could begin casting the spell. After a few tense minutes – Roland began to shake…his body erupted with light as a long vertical line split him in half – splashing blood and viscera everywhere…the line then grew wider – creating a door of pure light. From that entrance a voice rumbled: “Champions Enter”.

In the security room – a similar portal erupted, with the same voice: “Champions Enter”. To their credit, each one of the Nameless walked through the portal with little hesitation. Bloodied and battered, they knew they had to see it to the end.

On the other side, a hell dimension stood in wait…with a creature of scale and horn and fang and claw of massive size. In front of it…almost tethered through some unseen wisp of magic was the Soul of Roland – and instantly our heroes understood as if they had to in order to realize the importance of this spell. For Roland to become as pure as his ancestor he must literally cleanse the sin out of his body…by fighting a physical manifestation of it. As his champions – their sins compounded to create this creature…this Abomination of Sin.

In order to return with the true heir and King of the Vale – they would have to smite this creature despite their spent abilities and nearly fallen comrades on the verge of death. This was a test – not ony of their faith in Roland but of themselves.

So without any regard…they charged.

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A Grain of Sand on the Beach Part Three

After arriving at Thieves’ Barrow – the Nameless were lead to the Inner Sanctum of the Three Secret Thief. There they found that he was most…odd. Acting peculiar and in general seemed off. After a brief discussion he left and his female companion introduced herself as the Three Secret Thief. She explained that anonymity was a powerful tool in her profession and that people mistakenly think she is a man.

She explained that Roland was an heir to the Throne of Light and in fact was this Generation’s strongest heir. Also a relative to the Throne was Carric and his Twin. Over Citadel and the Church of Xaphan have had their claws into the Stewarts of White Sands for nearly 100 years and have slowly eroded the trust of the people and the laws of the land. It also came to light that a family he was ordered to kill was also another line to the Throne that was being groomed, quietly by the Church of Xaphan, which was chosen after their last family was murdered by the Over Citadel for betrayal of the cause (Aegis’ Family and wife). As such the chances of finding a strong bloodline were becoming null. When Roland refused her order to kill the Child belonging to this family, her subsequent anger at his disobedience was what led to him to go to fake his own death after surviving a near fatal meeting with one of her assassins.

It also was explained that the Three Secret Thief has always been the same Thief…for 300 years she has been their leader, changing form as needed – which led to another of her Secrets. She is an immortal being, dragged here during the breaking, stranded – unable to return to the Astral Sea. Instead she has dedicated her existence to working behind the scenes to keep the peace. But because this dimension is not her native home – the world has changed her. Because she is a being of energy and thought she has no natural gender – effectively a hermaphrodite. But being here caused her Male and Female sides to come to odds because they could not exist in a state of harmony. So her Male side has literally left her body finding a way to exist separate from the being as a whole. That essence now resides in the bodies of whomever it wishes, jumping from body to body, using them up until they die and moving on.

By using her vast web of connections from the Thieves’ Guild – her Male side – called the Counterfeit Thief has set up a Guild within hers called the Shadow Guild that seems to be working for Xaphan for reasons unknown. And without a King on the Throne…soon the Thieves’ Guild will be torn apart and another piece of chaos will spin out of control.
With this she tells them to go to the Dwarves and find the Ritual of Renewal – the spell that can place Roland on the throne. She tells them that if he cannot – then Carric could also try, but they must move quickly. If the Over Citadel or Church of Xaphan ever find out where the Ritual of Renewal is – they could try and seat their own King, who would then literally control the entire Vale through the magics of the Crown.

Agreed this was the best course of action – the Nameless began to the leave the Thieves’ Barrow when they were attacked by one of the Three Secret Thief’s most trusted confidants, a Tiefling by the name of Mansmeat. Gutting the Thief, she launched an attack on the Nameless that drove them back to their ship where it too was under siege. Losing the advantage, the Nameless were nearly defeated when the Thief returned with her minions and turned the tide of battle. But Mansmeat escaped through a Witchportal. The Nameless knew it was only a matter of time before their enemies learned of the Ritual of Renewal and quickly left to reach the Dwarven Kingdom and find it before it was too late.

Arriving a day later at the mouth of the Underground Kingdom – Karak Azgal (karak being the proper dwarven name for city), the Nameless negotiated with Lord Cannith that it was in the dwarves best interest to work with the Rebellion and seat a new King, a legend in Dwarven culture as much as it was in their own. Cannith agreed that it was the smart move but said he didn’t have the political weight to convince the King of Beards nor his council within the other Karaks. He implored the Nameless to help him regain family honor by finding the remains of the “Master Forge” where the Warforged were first created thousands of years ago. With this boon – he would be able to not only raise in political power but have the backing of his fellow Lords to vote in favor of this Rebellion. Agreed, the Nameless set out for the Master Forge’s supposed location knowing that time was working against them.

2 days later, the Nameless arrived at the Master Forge and found that it had been excavated to a point and was churning out new machines, not Warforged, but mindless drones that guarded the halls. Felling these monsters the Nameless worked their way deep into the belly of this Great Forge finding two prisoners. A Drow Dhampyre named Chali who was trying to find artifacts and steal them before the Counterfeit Thief could get them. Here they also found a beaten Jaelin, who had discovered his sister, working for the Over Citadel had been sent her but she had left by the time he arrived and was discovered.

Freeing Jaelin and Chali, the Nameless tried to swear Chali to the Covenant to prevent her from attacking them but found it was blank…the spell released, which could only happen if another compact superseded their own. Instead a new compact was drawn up of “non aggression” for Chali to sign so that she wouldn’t hurt them in combat or in private. Upon signing it – she was tentatively welcomed despite Aegis and Halifax’s extreme dislike of her race and by proxy: her.

Near the bottom of the Forge, the Nameless discovered that the Drow were in league with the Church of Xaphan, the Over Citadel and the Counterfeit Thief. They had sought out the Forge because at its hear was a Warforged Dragon named Calmachia that had never been freed, and with her as a template they could make an army of unkillable metal dragons to fight any adversaries. But Calmachia being one of her own mind decided she wanted to be free instead and had drug out her cooperation with her “allies”. The Drow infuriated with the fact that Chali has escaped their lands and have been captured demanded her return. Calmachia politely declined knowing that it would incense their representative.

The Nameless needing to hear no more struck out at the Drow representative and Calmachia before she gained enough power to be free of her prison in the Forge. The battle was nearly lost many times but the Dragon eventually fell and the Drow killed. The resultant reaction was the Forge lost all power…its operative abilities seemingly tied to Calmachia’s own life force. As she died…so did the Forge.

Returning back to Karak Azgal, the Nameless told Lord Cannith about the Forge and told him it was prepared to be worked in again. Thanking them – he promised to bring the Dwarves to the Thusgedon within a week by their powerful war machines. The Nameless – thankful of his word being kept went to find Roland.

Deep in Azgal’s Library, they found the would-be King studying ancient scrolls with a smile on his face. He told them simple: “ I know how we can win the war…”

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A Grain of Sand on the Beach Part Two
As we continue our catch-up...

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Elka
Jaelin
Marrakesh
Roland


Upon recovering from the disorientation of passing into the Feywild, the Nameless come to understand the Cerulean had to give over one of her objects to her Patron…an ancient Fey named Phorlak. Upon visiting him and asking questions – the Nameless came to understand that Phorlak was actually the physical embodiment of Nature. Quick to judgment, nurturing, cold and warm – he embodied all aspects of Nature and had procured Cerulean’s loyalty by giving her powers in order to maintain the Natural Order of the World. Certain artifacts out there broke the Natural order and had to be recovered. After a long discussion and some heated arguments of the sincerity of his agenda – the Nameless returned to the portal and were deposited at the Waystone where the Witchportal to the Black Academy was supposed to lead.

Upon arriving, the Nameless were heralded as heroes, Cerulean – the Seeker given a Champions welcome. Bale welcomed them and explained that plans were in place to secure the Academy and make it ready for siege, but it would take 2 days to execute. Considering White Sands couldn’t arrive by Witch Portal for at least a day…most likely 2, this should give them enough time to prepare. But if not an evacuation route to Thusgedon (the Adamant Peak) was already in place to get as many of the Black Academy away. Afterwards a feast and dance took place giving our heroes a much needed reprieve. But it was short lived as that night they were attacked by a strange force of Undead lead by a True Vampire…one of the mythic Vampire Lords of Legend.

Only 13 were said to exist and that they could move beyond the Vale…they were spoken of in hush tones and always demanded the respect of even the bravest of souls. With a True Vampire Lord here though…


The Nameless leapt into action immediately…gathering as many of the Academy’s members as they could to make it to the Evac point where Witch Portals were being held Open. Trying to find as many survivors as possible, the Nameless were attacked by vampire spawn….zombies…and werewolves who bit Roland, Aegis, and Carric as well as Ghosts and Wights. Tracking down the children’s wing, Cerulean leads the charge to find that the entire hall of young children had been slaughtered by some unseen force. The walls shook and the Nameless knew the Academy was lost. They fought throughout most of the night and as exhaustion took hold – Marrakesh was felled, the Vampire Lord pierced his eye and he was gone. Quickly dispatching the Vampire the Nameless found some survivors.

After saving some stragglers, the Nameless tried to raise his soul back to his body but it refused to return. Tired of the mortal coil…it had decided his time to pass into the Astral Sea had come. Refusing to leave his body behind for reanimation, the Nameless threw his corpse on a pyre quickly made from a large Brazier and various wooden planks from the room. As the flames began to consume his body – a portal of cold darkness enveloped him and snuffed out the fire. When it closed…his body was gone.

Pushing down one last hallway before retreating themselves – the Nameless were ambushed by the Vampire Lord again – reconstituted and now angry. Seemingly hopeless, the Nameless fought the battle and were almost lost when a Loud Dwarven Runepriest and his Goliath ally arrived and turned the battle back to their graces. The Vampire Lord slain (but did he met the true death?) the Nameless ran as the sun broke out around the Black Academy. The night had passed hours previous to this, but the presence of this Vampire has somehow blotted out the Sun so the battle could continue on. As it receded…in the distance in giant grass fields our heroes could see Witch Portals open – large and grandiose as legions of armies spilled through the gates. The Academy was destroyed…gutted…and the armies of White Sands were marching on the Southern Tip. Jaelin feeling the pull of his god Pelor, told the Nameless that he was destined for another path and left them here to pursue his own destiny, but assured them that they would meet again.

With that – the Nameless passed through the portal and arrived, safely, at Thusgedon.

Meeting with the leaders of this Rebellion, the Nameless learned that Thusgedon, the Black Academy and Southbank had been planning a revolt for quite some time, nearly 20 years. During that time they had recruited anyone and everyone that were considered “Wild Mages” in order to build an army. Ironically many of these people didn’t even use magic. They used their abilities to see the minds of others and hear the will of the World around them. Shamans, Psionics, Druids and the like were all considered illegal because their powers could not be easily quantified and were not a part of a recognized Religion. But the upside was with their help – Thusgedon was the most fortified location in the Rebellion, literally warded from any Witch Portals except those that were properly cast with certain objects. This meant that the Armies of White sands would have to March from the Black Academy – which would take a solid 2 weeks before they would wage their war.

With this the Nameless were given a chance to help the Cause. Go to the Dwarves and recruit them with the Help of Halifax, the Runepriest that aided them in the Academy – or prep for battle here by training soldiers and leading them into battle.

The Dwarves, while sympathetic to the problems of the Vale – saw it as an “upworlder” problem. Nothing of their own concern. They fought the darkness in the well of shadows – and swore to never be drug back into another War of the Topside. Despite this though – they sent 200 of their best Warpriests and Runepriests to help the cause. But this was a drop in the bucket compared to the power they held back. Halifax and his battle partner Gorgol (the Goliath) were convinced that they could talk the Dwarves into joining the fight if given the chance. Otherwise they would be alone when the eyes of White Sands turned on them.

The Nameless were also visited by an Assassin, who represented the Three Secret Thief. He sent them an invitation under a banner of immunity so that he could talk to Roland (now knowing he was still alive) and give them information that could turn the tide of the War. As Thieves’ Barrow was VERY close to the Dwarven Kingdom – the Nameless decided to go to the Three Secret Thief and Recruit the Dwarves. Given an experimental airship that could make the month long journey in 2 days – the Nameless were given luck as they moved their way to Thieves’ barrow – home of the Three Secret Thief.

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A Grain of Sand on the Beach Part One
Catching Up to the Present

As to expedite the process and bring this Wiki as up to date as possible – I have decided to truncate the events of the past 5 months into a few posts which will touch all the high points and pertinent information needed for reference when looking back on this stage of the adventure.

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Elka
Jaelin
Marrakesh
Roland

It was a time of excitement for the Nameless as they arrived in White Sands to represent Wanwood at the Quorom. Carric, as excited as he was to be here – knew that he was taking a tremendous risk at trying to enter the city as a Wild Magic User. In order to facilitate ease of transportation, the Nameless used Roland’s contact with the Thieve’s Guild in order to find an Enchanter that could create a tattoo that would hide Carric’s lineage of magic. After an unfortunate event that led to the burning down of the tavern they had elected to stay at – the Nameless were able to procure said Tattoo and keep Carric hidden from the Mage Guard and their hounds: the Silenced.

Soon afterwards Carric presented himself to the Stewart of the Throne of Light. There he introduced the Nameless as his retinue and bodyguards. Happy to see them, the Stewart gave them quarters and informed them that people were travelling all over the Vale for this meeting at it would be at least 4 more weeks before a full Quorom could be called. Agreeable to this, Carric and the Nameless left his presence to relax in their quarters, figuring what to do next.


They were soon approached by a Representative of the Elves asking for a favor. The Elves had begun to build a new province to the City of White Sands proper a scant few miles out side of the city’s walls. But has gone silent 2 days ago. Soldiers sent in noted that it looked like everyone disappeared and rumors that the Province may be haunted started to fill the streets. The Representative asked for their assistance in finding out what happend. The Nameless agreed, primarly because Aegis’ Mother, Father and sibilings had moved to this Provience area a few years back when the building began and he wanted to ensure their safety. After investigating the matter, the Nameless found that the villagers of this provience had been kidnapped into a pocket dimension similar to the Shadowfell in order to power some arcane Ritual by the Church of Zaphan. After killing the cultists and losing track of the High Priestess, the Nameless were able to recover a majority of the Villagers, including his own family and brought them back.

On the way though, Marrakesh had tried to touch a strange body of water – which caused him to be absorbed into the ether sending lightning arcs in every direction. After a few moments of investigation by the Nameless, Dirge inadvertently touched the same boyd of water and caused Marrakesh to return, though his scales and clothing were different. As he materialized a ripple shook the fabric of creation and caused rifts in the Nameless and their past. Some immediately apparent, others – not so much.

Cerulean had gone from being an outcast in the Black Academy to be known as “The Seeker” – an Arcanist dedicated to finding an ancient artifact, the highest honor the Black Academy could give.

Aegis’ wife and Children were still murdered, but one of his Sons survived, but had been taken in by the Over Citadel for training in the arts. Aegis was also known in his younger years as a drunk that had only recently found his honor through becoming a Paladin.

Carric gained a Twin brother and was no longer the Heir to Wanwood

Jaelin had killed Cazzak and thusly became the Heir to Wanwood as well as his sister left at home, was now a genius with mechanical/alchemical objects. She had left home to go to the over Citadel in order to learn more about her interests.

Roland was – for all intents and purposes; dead. At least that’s what the world believed. His face bore scars from attempted assissnations.

Dirge’s fur had changed and he was seen as part of the leader caste in the Minotaur culture.

Only Elka seemed unaffected by the events transpired. Afterwards, upon returning to the Castle of White Sands – they were informed that it had been 5 weeks and it was time for the Quorom to meet. They had lost time in that pocket Dimension. Upon entering the Quorom Hall, the Nameless sat with Jaelin as the representative to Wanwood and watched as imprisoned Minotaurs were humilated and a resolution was passed to wage war upon the southern tip of the Vale and her peoples, were it was decided that the majority of this rebellion was at. The Black Academy was removed from the scolls as an acredited school of magic as well as Southbank having its status as a Mage Tower revoked. Both institutions would be under the purview of the Over Citadel.

Bale, one of the Headmasters at the Black Academy protested to no avail, as the Stewart of the Throne ordered them arrested at once. It was here the Nameless decided to fight back – and free the Minotaurs as well as help the Black Academy members at the Quorom escape using a Portal back to the School itself.

But as the allies of the Nameless went to their proper destination, the Nameless appeared deep inside the Feywild…

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Hiding the Red Herring
Where our Heroes travel for 2 weeks to White Sands, Discuss History, and Figure Out How to Hide a Red Herring

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Elka
Jaelin
Marrakesh
Roland

The days passed and the travelers made their way to the capital of the Vale, White Sands. During their travels, concerns arose, namely – how to hide Carric, who’s a wild magic user and chosen Representative of Wanwood from being detected. During these talks it was revealed that Aegis, elected leader of the Nameless used to work for one of the Mage Towers of the Vale as a Mage Guard.

He told them of how the Mage Towers were founded, initially to be the backbone of the magical defenses of the vale from threats external and domestic. Over the thousands of years, they centered on a rigid hierarchy and had 3 main Towers protecting the Vale: Southbank, defender of the Southlands and the Barrier Seas; Over Citadel, defender of the Northlands and the Barrier Glade; and finally Halmmarden, defender of the midlands and protector of White Sands. There over time, grew a fourth mage Tower, named the Odd Fens – which was a floating tower in the Southern Ocean where prisoners of the Kingdom were kept. Over time, it was also instituted that each Tower would have its own military body – called the Mage Guard. These men and women of the land would be answerable to each Tower and would be a first line of defense against all internal issues of the Tower and act as a police force for the outlying lands.

After the death of the last King of Four Thrones 300 years ago during the Sorcerer’s War – the remaining Fiefdoms passed a law that forbade “wild magic” – meaning anyone who had the spark of magical prowess had to attend an “academy” where they would be taught how to control their powers and given papers stating that they had passed the 18-36 month training period and is a legal magic user. A vast majority of these graduates, eager to learn more about their powers were encouraged to join the various Mage Towers, which were now also given the responsibility to hunt down, detain, and in some cases kill Wild Magic users. Traditionally though a user was given a chance to train and join a Tower as recompense for breaking the law. It is not generally known what happens to those who prove to be more willful or less than agreeable to those terms stated above.

Aegis revealed that the Towers, under direction of the Quorum of Royals, had devised a technique that would strip a magic user of their power – called “Silencing”. These “Silenced” would become docile, meek and easily controllable after the process was complete, and as a happy side effect, these Silenced could see the spark of magic in others. Very quickly the Silenced were implemented as hunters with Mage Guard to hunt down rouge magic users. Over time, the Silenced would begin to regain some semblance of identity, but were always still supplicant to the will of the Mage Towers. These Silenced would be renamed Redeemer or Redeemed. But all of this was kept strictly secret, one of the darkest stories of the Towers. Common perception of the Silenced was that they were special Mage Guard or Mages that had been trained to hunt down the Rouges, their white dress/uniform always announcing their presence. Redeemers were even rarer and evoked greater fear from the Rouge circles as their white uniform/dress was dipped in red a third of the way down the leg. The shock of red on the white matte uniforms spelled doom for those trying to escape these hunters.

But this would also be an issue in the fact that Aegis himself left Southbank Mage Tower after his family was murdered by Mage Guard from Over Citadel. Unable to retain justice through legal matters because Over Citadel was working within its own means Aegis turned to Bahamut, god of Justice to aid him – becoming a Paladin of his order for the chance of true justice. Since then, Aegis has come to understand that Over Citadel has become completely corrupt and is in deep with various religious affiliations as well as the Lords of Coldhollow, the town that brought suit against his wife and their children.

In all of this, the Nameless were presented with a dubious challenge; how to hide Carric? After going over the options with their resident expert – the Nameless agreed that the best way to hide Carric, would be to contact the Thieve’s Guild in the outskirts of White Sands and arrange for an illegal spell that would conceal Carric’s true abilities. When concerned that Obrek might betray them, he simply replied: “I never did like them mages…and the world could use some chaos.”

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Little Blue Monster
Where our Heroes Wrestle with Ghosts, Foliage, and Discover the Secret of the White Lotus Academy

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Elka
Jaelin
Marrakesh
Roland

Moving between the stacks, disrupting the tomes from their resting place, three apparitions began to circle around the Nameless, whispers following them with a distinct undercurrent of pain and agony drifting through the cold air the enveloped them. Drawing weapons, the party begins to strike back at the faceless poltergeists. Drawing wisp away from wisp and parting the cold air, the room became a torrent of paper and wood as shelves exploded and heavy volumes of books were sent through the air at a speed that could surely hurt some and maim others.

Fire and Steel rained down upon the ghostly spirits striking them down. And as quickly as the madness in the room began, the storm of literary ballistics was over. Composing for a moment, the Nameless begin to sift through the array of books trying to discover the appropriate volume. After a short amount of time, they find the book on Holman’s Constructs and try to leave. But the door is firmly sealed; a cold chill envelops it as the party tries to pry it open. A few moments later – Aegis begins to pray, performing a short rite to appease the spirits of the students who were here. Their presence was still tied to this place. After the ritual is over, the last of the poltergeists’ wills fade from the world and the ward on the door vanishes, causing it to creak open.

Leaving the room, the Nameless begin to travel through the corridors in search of the exit, but despite their best efforts cannot find it. Retracing their steps, they find that even the path back to the chamber where they found Holman’s Constructs has changed. The library is changing around them. Deducing that the Library did not want to relinquish one of its charges, the party begins to move in an erratic fashion, trying random doors then instantly retrying them until eventually they fool the Library in revealing a room with a window. Breaking it out, they climbed down a short span of 30 feet to the ground, where a disgruntled Obrek stands eyeing them curiously, smirks and then tells them that Trevors needs to speak with them as soon as possible in the arboretum just north of the library. He then turns back to the window and begins to weave a spell, which presumably would fix or at least patch it.

Walking the short distance, the players find the arboretum empty but filled with lush flora. The exotic and foreign trees and bushes exude several scents, some sharp and some soothing, and they are engaging to the eye. Even the small landscaped fen is pleasant to walk past. Up the way they find a short stone and brass sundial that stands at the widening point of the path with a bench near it but no Instructor Trevors. More curiously they begin to notice that despite the riot of sensation, there is no sound of birdsong or any animal life of any kind at the moment. And in that moment, something catches their eyes as blades of grass shift and a faint ripple moves through the air. Something invisible is here with them!

Drawing their weapons the Nameless prepare for a battle they had inadvertently walked into. The plant life all around them literally begins to move, vines creating a massive humanoid shape lunges at the team, wrapping Elka up and consuming her inside of its girth. The remaining Nameless are beset by various monsters and dryads that had been kept here against their will for many nameless years. And now that they are free, they want revenge.

After the initial misstep, the Nameless begin to slaughter the horde of vegetation. Bark and sap is poured over the ground as the various plant life is reaped and destroyed before the party focuses all their attention on the shambling mound of vines and cuts Elka out of it, ripping the creature apart, chopping it into a fine layer of mulch. Enraged by the lack of security at this Academy, the Nameless trek to the Headmaster’s residence in order to get to the bottom of this problem, but upon arriving there they see in the courtyard – through the wrought iron fence; a person in a heavy sky blue robe standing over Headmaster Marovic.

Oddly though no sound is issuing forth from the location, and the vision of the attack shimmers in front of them. Opening the threshold and stepping through it, the party can now see and hear those within. The person standing over the headmaster has six thin blue arms that emerge from under the robe. Two of the arms are tracing patterns in the air towards Marovic as two more hold the skin of a human, much like one would a towel or wet shirt and its head looks completely alien. Before this registers, the creature turns to the Nameless and they realize it means them harm.

Scattering, the Nameless take the creature to task, pulling Headmaster Marovic out of the line of fire as the heroes push the creature into a corner and finally kill him. Afterwards, Headmaster Marovic stands under his own power, if barely. More cogent than when they first met him, an event Marvoic barely remembers, because he was using most of his energy to protect the academy and its students from the spell weaver’s hidden efforts to steal their arcane power. Marovic knew it was one of the instructors, but despite his best efforts, he could not pinpoint that it was Marovic, a teacher who had been here for years.

Upon further examination, it was discovered the Marovic must have been killed some weeks or maybe months before so the spellweaver could use his skin in order to try and leech the Academy’s power. The headmaster is suitably grateful and tells the Party that his trusted friend Obrek is supposed to travel with them to White Sands for the Quorum. He also offers any of them a tuition free certification of learning for themselves or a member of their family. If they ever need help – all they need do is but ask.

Giving kind thanks in return, the Nameless collect the grumpy but darkly comedic Obrek and begin their 2 week travel to White Sands where they would soon have to speak for or against wild magic…

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Awkward Academy
Where our Heroes pick up a new Ally, try to see a Headmaster, and stop Practice Dummies from taking over the Yard

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Elka
Jaelin – Inactive
Zz – Marrakesh – Deceased
Roland

Wearing the symbol of Moridin, she stood and nodded in their direction. Curious, the Nameless stopped to ask her what her purpose was camping here and if she needed assistance. In quiet but firm voice she introduced herself as Elka, Avenger of Moridin. She spoke of visions that lead her to leave the mountains of the Underground Kingdom and travel across the flatlands of the Vale until she would reach a Gate of Gold standing in a field alone. There she was to wait until she found a group of motley travelers in need of assistance. In her visions, these people would lead her to her destiny.

Unsure of how much was truth and how much was not, the Nameless cautiously invite her to enter into the White Lotus Academy with them. Agreeable to the idea, she gathers her few belongings and dons her cloak, moving into line with the group.

A few minutes later, the Nameless enter the Academy proper, the smell of ozone and copper tinges the air, as the sounds of spells echo off in the distance. Upon arriving at the Guard House proper to the small village that had become the Academy, a short man with receding brown hair and ready smile walks out onto the path and greets them with a smile. Introducing himself as Instructor Trevors, he says he is supposed to give the Nameless a tour of the academy before taking them to see the Headmaster.

He explains a portion of the school’s history before the Nameless become flustered and asks to see the Headmaster. Trevors apologizes and explains that the Headmaster has been trying to sort out a problem for quite some time and is unable to meet with them quiet yet. When pressed as to what this problem was though, Trevors quiets and motions for a student to come over. He quickly hands them off to the student, telling the Nameless that a student duel is due to begin any time now and that they may enjoy the demonstration and may even impart some wisdom to the students while he goes to gather up the Headmaster. The student, Margo Greenwood leads them to the dueling field in Harrid Yard.

A few minutes later, the party stands in the yard, watching two Wizards in Training stand-off preparing to use their powers against one another. The demonstration begins impressively enough, simple disarmament spells and low level works of fire and air zing in the Yard. But before long, something strange occurs. Against the far wall of the yard, training dummies used for practice against all manner of spells begin to move. Undaunted the students continue their pelting of magics at one another until the Nameless realize the Dummies are drawing weapons and beginning to attack the two relatively defenseless students.

Rising to action, the Nameless + 1 move to intercept the would be attackers. As they do, the students turn their attentions to the Dummies a fraction of a second too late as one is knocked clearly out of the way and the second is mauled by a Dummies rusty sword. Pushing the student off the sword, the Dummies continue to move forward, as it becomes clear the students were not the target. Moving amongst the half dozen Dummies, the Nameless cut a bloodless swath through their foes, tearing cotton and wood from oil and metal, ripping the dummies to shreds. Afterwards, they rushed to the mauled student and found his injury, while serious was completely within their means to heal.

A moment later an older Dwarf in white robes runs up, saying a passing student saw the event and fetched him. Introducing himself as Obrek, Grabbing the injured student, he curses a litany of undecipherable oaths to no one in particular and looks to Marrakesh asking why he couldn’t look after the students. Daunted by the accusation, Marrakesh states that he is no longer a student of this institution and had no vows to aid anyone here. Despite that though he gave aid anyway as did his allies. Harrumphing, Obrek sends an onlooker to gather the Academy Medic to take care of the injured student before checking on the unconscious one.

Trevors arrived a moment later, breathless after his run to the practice field, apologizing the entire way stating that nothing like this had ever taken place before. He postulates that the enchantments on the Dummies have been unchanged for at least 50 years. Doubling over he breathes heavily before continuing. Stating that he and Instructor Obrek are going to inspect the Dummies and check the records of maintenance, he asks if the party would mind helping out by finding a book in the library that details how they were created originally. He would normally send a student but its likely to be in one of the more dangerous parts of the stacks.

Handing them a crystal the size of a finger, he says it will grow warm and cold as they get closer or further away respectively. Taking it the Nameless turn to Elka, who had acquitted herself handily in the battle; they offered her a place in the Covenant of the Nameless. After a moment of consideration, she agreed and signed her name to the contract and was officially added to the Nameless. A slow glow enveloped her, binding her to the oaths each of them has spoken to one another and they all continued to the library.

Known as the Lost Secrets Library, it is a dangerous place in the lower levels. Marrakesh warns them to stay together as the Library has been known to throw fits and change its orientation without any prior warning. Moving deep into the bowels of the library, the crystal leads them to a room that smells of cracked leather and ancient paper. On freestanding wooden shelves bundles of books lay in wait to be discovered. But as they enter the room, the door slams shut behind them and it falls into complete darkness before flickering back to life, though not as brightly as before.

A pair of luminescent eyes floats through the stacks and a chorus of whispered voices sound in the walls, “I was never allowed to leave. And neither shall you be!”

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A Summons
Where Our Heroes Decide What To Do After The Winter, A Summons Comes To Wanwood, and A Trip Take Place

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Jaelin – Inactive
Zz – Marrakesh – Deceased
Roland

The harsh winter that quickly overtook the land prevented the Nameless from leaving Wanwood. The bitter cold and snow may have left them without a means of leaving the Barony, but that did not mean they wanted to. Over the following months, Carric was named Heir to the throne of Wanwood, his official title becoming “The Honorable Carric of Wanwood – Heir to the Baron Harken”. It was during this time, that the Nameless was also able to make the Karak Lode a makeshift home for their troupe if they were ever in the area. By moving the majority of foodstuffs, goods and monies down from the mountain, this left Karak Lode relatively safe to lock up without fear of Adventurers or Robbers discovering the old fortress.

Using the only lock available to them, a Dwarven signet ring found amongst the loot of Cazakk, the Nameless locked Karak Lode down tight and returned to spend the remainder of the Winter with the people of Wanwood. There they helped establish a new Orphanage under the direction of Roland and rebuilt the temple that Cazakk had destroyed years earlier. It was a harsh but rewarding time as the party was able to see the effect of their good works first hand.

As the Spring thaw came, the Nameless began discussing what their next move should be. Brindol had been a town of some size and had the potential for many lucrative opportunities, while Wanwood had a familiarity of home. Regardless, it seemed as though Carric may stay behind to fulfill his role to his newly appointed father figure, the Baron Harken.

Before a consensus could be reached, an official envoy from White Sands arrived, resplendent in White uniform and gold trim. He came carrying the Symbol of Light, marking him as an envoy of White Sands and the current House of Stewarts to the King of 4 Thrones, Johan Linnan. The Envoy introduced himself to the Baron and began to explain the purpose of his visit. For years, rumors had persisted that Wild Magic had started to become more and more prevalent in the Vale. More and more people blessed with the spark of Arcane power were not going to the Academies to be trained. Fear was gripping the land.

The last time magic users were left unchecked the Sorcerer’s War had claimed the life of the one true heir to the Throne of Light and the Crown of 4 Thrones. Magic Users who felt they did not need to answer to anyone and felt no responsibility for their actions tore the age long peace in the Vale apart. Now as the rumors seemed to point towards a new uprising of magic wielders building a force, the Stewart has called for a Quorum to vote on new legislation to try and stop these magic users from threatening the peace of the land.

As such – Wanwood must send a representative to White Sands within 2 months so such a Quorum may vote. Every major house, town and institution in the Vale is attending, so Wanwood must be prompt as this is not optional. Afterward, the Envoy said he must continue to travel west to Hollowfield and Brindol before returning to White Sands. But Baron Harken is to either go or send an anointed representative to speak for him at these proceedings. In addition, the Wanwood representative needs to stop at the White Lotus Academy and pick up their representative. Once the Envoy retired to quarters, the Nameless spoke to the Baron and it was agreed that Carric should go to White Sands as the Baron himself was too weak to make the journey. The following morning, they set out south to the White Lotus Academy. The days that passed were pleasant enough, though the nights were still uncomfortable as the winter chill hung in the air. 10 days later, they arrived at the Golden Gate of the White Lotus, a simple gilded gate that stood on its own, with no wall to surround it. Marrakesh – who went to school here, explained that it was a barrier spell that kept out wild animals and most unpleasant entities that would wish to do harm to the Academy. If one tried to pass beyond the threshold without going through the gate, a nasty surprise would harm them. But if they submitted to the gate, their intentions would be read and as long as they were peaceful, they would be allowed entrance.

Before they could enter the gate though, as they drew closer, they saw smoke rising from the woods across from the Gate. There sat a quiet figure, with gilded wings that shone in the mid day and skin of a deep purple hue. A female wearing the holy markings of Moradin, she stood and eyed the suspiciously as they came closer…

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The Dragon's Lair
Where Our Heroes Discover That Dragons Have Really Awesome Bedrooms

Players:
Aegis
Carric
Cerulean
Dirge
Jaelin – Inactive
Zz – Marrakesh – Deceased
Roland

In the aftermath of Cazakk’s attack, the Nameless realized they had to strike out for his lair and kill him before the Dragon could heal and take his ire out on the town. Desperate to find out any information they can, the party returns to Baron Harken to ask where the monster could rest. Lady Jelenn says she knows where the dragon lairs. After explaining the simple geography of the area she tells them: ‘The Dragon lairs in the Forbidden Peaks a short distance from this very Barony. He sees it as a place of power, overlooking the valley as his domain. The lair used to be the dwarven stronghold of Karak Lode that the dwarves used to guard the riches of the mines in the Forbidden Peaks. Karak Lode controlled 50 mines in all directions of the Peaks. Access to the mines was so carefully hidden than when it was abandoned, no one else could find the entrance to them once the gates were sealed. Since then – Karak Lode has fallen into disrepair. This tale was familiar to Carric though, and he was able to shed more light on the mystery of Karak Lode.

Though the mines were rich with deposits of precious metals, the caverns of Karak were tainted by veins of raw elemental energy. These were the physical remnants of powerful magical experiments performed here by sorcerers of the Chained God that rules this area millennia ago.

The Arcanists of Clan Ironfell determined that the elemental energies of the mine presented no danger. However, though the mines made the clan rich, they were also the dwarves undoing. A rift leading directly into the Elemental Chaos was uncovered in the deepest part of Karak, its energy flooding the mines with madness. The dwarves of Ironfell turned on each other and all were slaughtered who were in the mines.

The dwarves who resided in Karak Lode waited for an expected shipment of riches from the mines that never appeared. Though expeditions were made in search of the Karak Lode Mine entrance, none but the dwarves within knew how to open it. Eventually the Lode was abandoned and the Ironfell passed from memory. As long as the entrance to the mines remains closed, only the most minor off elemental seepage can escape to trouble anyone in the Karak Lode itself. If it were ever opened though…

Gathering the supplies they could – the group decided that they had to leave for the Lair as soon as first light broke. Traveling up the side of a mountain in the middle of the night was too dangerous, so they all rested, healing from their battle wounds the best they could. The following morning, they struck out for Karak Lode – Cazakk’s Lair.

After a few hours of hard trekking, the adventurers made it to the gates of Karak Lode. A grand fortress, left to disrepair, it still held the air of Dwarven ingenuity. Built into the face of the mountain itself, it rested. The front gate opened to them as if to say “welcome”. As the Nameless moved towards the front gate they notice the darkened entry corridor extended inwards between two walls with arrow slits marked every 10 feet. At the far end, a massive stone wall seemed to block any further entrance. Near the middle of the passage was a platinum hand folded into the shape of a fist. The sand at their feet had drifted into the cover of the corridor floor, well marked by recent footprints and signs of heavy objects being dragged.

Slowly the adventurers began to move into the dark maw when Cazakk burst forth from the shadow end clawing at the adventurers. Moving with a slick agility, he maneuvered in the cramped space with ease hammering away at the heroes. After a few minutes of bloody combat, the Nameless deduced that the platinum fist was enchanting the area and destroyed it, causing the spell to disappear, squeezing the oversized Cazakk, and forcing him to retreat back down the corridor. Oddly though – the wall he passed through both times remained solid and impregnable despite the Nameless’ best efforts.

Moving through the Lode, the party quickly encountered an ambush of Dragonborn warriors bearing the symbol of Xaphan – God to a Cult responsible for many atrocities in the last few decades. Moving swiftly through the ambush – the Nameless cut them down with blade and spell – felling them to a man. Afterwards, Roland noticed that the Dragonborn seemed to be some other infernal monster, wearing the skin of a Dragonborn. Pulling off this “skin” – it was revealed that the demonic Abishai were actually infesting these bodies, using them as cover to parade around without fear of reprisal.

Moving deeper into the Lode, they eventually made it into the basement of the fortress where they found a room teeming with elemental energies, the entrance to the Lode. Unable to open it though, they continued to search the remainder of the area, encountering a hideous creature with batlike wings and feral claws that shrieked as it attacked. The Berbalang grievously wounded a majority of the party in such tight quarters. After killing the monster, the Nameless began to backtrack through the Lode, hearing a snowstorm outside. The first Winter Winds had come, and they were howling a storm the likes of which no one had seen in years. Surmising that Cazakk couldn’t leave any more than they could, the Nameless found a hall that seemed very defensible which also overlooked an enclosed courtyard. This courtyard was Cazakk’s bedchamber, holding all of his wealth and belongings; and where he currently slept – waiting for the storm to pass.

Taking shifts, the Nameless began to heal from their wounds, watching the Dragon as the storm raged on. Hours passed. And then without any warning, the wall looking out over the courtyard exploded as 5 dwarven soldiers holding very primitive sticks of dynamite poured into the room with a Dragonborn Exarch bearing the symbol of Tiamat. Taking up arms, the Nameless quickly tore through these adversaries. The advantage of surprise had been lost, if they ever had it. They had to take the fight to Cazakk now.

Moving through the broken wall – they descended into the grand Courtyard littered with gold and began to strike at the rousing Dragon. The battle was bloody and fierce as the very gold itself seemed to come to life to fight the nameless. Fire, talons, and teeth of death rained down upon our heroes, but they pushed back using every spell and weapon they had at their disposal to fell the great beast, finally driving it back, giving Carric an opportunity to kill the great beast with a well placed shot. Dead the beast fell to the ground and the village of Wanwood was saved.

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