Legends of Ardin

The King's Banner
Session 42: 13th of Flame, 842.IV

Following their escape from Redmorn Tower, the Party decided to head towards New Alsben in search of a way to find who has been scrying them. The next day, as they followed the river north, they encountered an Efreet holding two elderly halflings hostage.

During "negotiations," Ahna surprised the Efreet with her Decanter of Endless Water, catching him off guard with the geyser erupting from it. Korrigan attacked the genie, but Corzabûl would not harm him. The Efreet called the blade to his hand, and brought forth a Fire Elemental from a nearby bonfire. A fierce battle was fought, but eventually the Efreet and the Elemental was slain by Ahna. Our Heroes then brunched with the halflings, and  helped them repair their damaged home.

The next day, the Party arrived in New Alsben and met with Head Arcanist Tempus, who performed a ritual to determine who was currently scrying the Party. It was revealed that Janus and the mage in purple robes seen in the tower were behind the source of the spell.

Later, the Party was approached by Joriah, who introduced them to Sandy, and her "friend," a representative of the Invisible Hand. Ori, as she introduced herself as, made an offer to the party. In return for the deed to Baron Athan's mine, she would give the Party a Black Scroll she had procured from Halberg, and the location of a mutual friend of Orutan.

After tentatively accepting the deal, Our Heroes left for Keston the next morning, arriving there after three days of travel. There, they found the camp of their promised royal soldiers waiting for them, along with a contingent from the Mage's Guild. The Party met with the leaders, Captain Delin and Arcanist Serra Nartrytus, and plotted their next move for how to deal with Thanatis.

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Redmorn Tower
Session 41: 12th of Flame, 842.IV

Exhausted by their ordeals in the tomb, the Party rested the night within. That night, Ahna noticed a faint breeze coming from near the tomb of Oladra. The Party investigated and discovered a secret door near the source of the breeze, which blew intermittently. Beyond the door was a long, dark passage. Intrigued, the Party followed.

Eventually, a door was reached, along with the source of the breeze. Tiny holes in the wall let in occasional puffs of air. The door led into a wine cellar, presumably underneath the central tower. The party explored the cellar and found an entrance to levels higher up in the tower. They proceeded to quietly incapacitate the servants and kill the guards they encountered. They also defeated the captain of the guard, who was an Oni in disguise as a human.

Further into the tower, they found apprentice wizards who had left the University of Alsben. Korrigan interrogated one, who told them that Janus, along with two individuals named as Serrian and Moswyn, were taken upstairs through a guarded entrance. The Party found this entrance and followed it into upper levels of the tower.

On the fourth level, they found a chamber with a tunnel leading up forty feet or more vertically in the tower, with no visible handholds. In a nearby room, Our Heroes encountered Janus and another robed individual deep in conversation. The Party ambushed the two, but after a brief skirmish, they managed to teleport further into the tower.

Knowing that their time before being discovered was limited, the Party searched the nearby rooms and discovered the quarters of the Oni captain, Kyran, and Daaskàr. In Daaskàr's room, they discovered a map she had made regarding a mysterious elf. The Party raced to the edge of the tower and teleported again outside its gates, using Orutan's magic to fall to safety. From there, they reunited with Aldis and Degore, who had horses ready. From there, they fled to the Queen's river and made camp on its banks while they plotted their next course of action.

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The Crypt in the Maze
Session 40: 11th of Flame, 842.IV

Our Heroes formulated a plan to infiltrate the keep in Redmorn and circled around the village and hid within the forest to the east. They parted ways with Lady Aldis and Sir Degore, telling them to keep watch on their camp and horses. From there, they used their magics to teleport within the walls and made their way unseen to the hedge maze nearby. Hours passed as the Party navigated the maze, led by Ahna. After being met with numerous dead ends, traps, and illusions, they managed to reach the crypt in the center.

After taking a brief respite, the Party entered the crypt. Within were halls filled with animated corpses, the ancestors of the House of Redmorn. As the Party explored the tombs, they found an enchanted rose with the power to ward off the undead. They also found evidence of arcane rituals and notes on spellcraft and alchemy. Conjured creatures were also within, which proved no match for the Heroes. 

Eventually, the Party discovered the tomb of Thanatis' parents and sister. The parents, reanimated as mummies, were guarded by four vicious wights. All were cut down by the adventurers. As the fight ended, the ghost of Oladra appeared and asked the Party to release her spirit, which was held in place by another enchanted rose. Orutan removed the flower, allowing her spirit to finally find rest.

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The Tables Turn
Session 39: 10th of the Flame, 842.IV

Our Heroes rested the night in Lord Almeric's castle while they plotted their next move. Almeric was willing to help the Party against Thanatis, but was not willing to endanger his family. Kyran had sent a letter the night before to Almeric, calling for the immediate arrest of the Party along with Lady Aldis and Sir Degore. It was determined that Lord Almeric could either help the Party damage Thanatis' political standing in the Hills or aid them secretly against Kyran. 

The Party decided that eliminating Kyran was more important than politics, and hatched a plan that would allow them to kill Kyran without putting Lord Almeric in danger. Almeric would inform Kyran, or Reticus as he was known in Redmorn, that the Party was captured and ready for him to pick them up, but to secretly allow for the Party to stage an ambush in the dungeons. Lord Almeric was then free to denounce the Party and protect his good name.

Once the plan was finalized, Our Heroes prepared themselves in the dungeons, hiding weapons and armor for when Kyran inevitably scried them. Eventually, Kyran and several guards entered the dungeon and began inspecting the prisoners when Korrigan lept from his cell and cast a spell of silence. The Party and their two knight companions battled their way through Kyran's guards and Invisible Stalkers before they backed the wizard into a corner.

Knowing that he was doomed if he stayed, Kyran used the last resort built into his Staff of Power, shattering the staff. Unfortunately, Kyran's failsafe failed and he was killed in the blast along with his guards, Lord Almeric, and Korrigan. Fortunately, Ahna was able to use her magic to bring both of them back to life using the gem dust that Toril had procured form Dar Gwynnol.

Once Kyran was dead, the Party and their knights fled Suthenden for the village of Redmorn, arriving there the following day. In the village, they saw hundreds of militia training for battle under knights, which Orutan informed Dranys about. They also discovered the likely location of Lord Redmorn's family tomb within the central tower's grounds, inside a hedge maze. Looking down upon the village from a nearby hill, Our Heroes planned how to enter the tomb unseen.

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The Hunter and the Hunted
Session 38: 9th of the Flame, 842.IV

After a brief rest, Our Heroes decided to hasten back to Lord Almeric's estate in the village of Sutheden. Before the Party and their knight companions could get very far, they discovered that they were being persued. A large contingent of knights and mercenaries from Redmorn led by Captain Crow surged into the area and discovered the Party. Crow commanded his men to capture Korrigan and the other Party members, but to kill the knights.

As battle was beginning to break out, Orutan saw the overwhelming force arrayed against the Party and spoke the Word of Tiamat, causing many of their attackers to flee in terror. The battle began, and Daaskàr was freed from her bonds by Captain Crow. Meanwhile, Our Heroes drove off the remaining enemies while Jeyne was captured by two knights. At the last minute, the Party managed to kill Crow and Daaskàr as they fled and rescue Jeyne before the knights got far.

Our Heroes resumed their journey and arrived at Lord Almeric's estate that night. There, they informed him of what had happened with Kyran and the attack by the Redmorn mercenaries, and convinced the Baron of the danger that Thanatis posed.

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Clash in the Baldur Hills
Session 37: 9th of Flame, 842.IV

As Kyran greeted Our Heroes, Jeyne surprised the wizard with a fireball mid-sentence. With that, the two sides attacked one another, with the knights defending their companions against this apparently unknown necromancer. Sir Bernard appeared to know the goliath, calling her Daaskàr, wondering what she was doing there while he fought her companion.

The fight began poorly for the Party, when Kyran unleashed a chain lightening spell against the three knights and Jeyne, rendering the diviner temporarily unconscious. As the knights pushed into the zombies, they were beset with hell hounds which slew both Sir Bernard and Sir Degore, despite the knights' valiant efforts.

Meanwhile, Orutan and Korrigan pushed around the flank, felling an ogre zombie and taking the fight to the goliath. Nimbly dodging arrow traps and enduring attacks from all sides, the adventurers managed to defeat Daaskàr with the help of Lady Aldis.

In other parts of the battlefield, Jeyne dueled Kyran until she was beset with zombies, forcing her to fight defensively. At the same time, Ahna fought a hell hound and magically tended to the wounds of her companions. After a long struggle, the hell hound managed to take down the cleric while the rest of the party fought Kyran.

As the last of the zombies were killed, Korrigan, Orutan, and Jeyne converged on Kyran and held him within a magical spell of silence, preventing his spellcasting. Without his magic, Kyran proved no match for the party, but in a moment of fortune for the evil wizard, the silence spell faltered and he was able to teleport away from the fight. The final hell hound was killed, and Ahna healed.

Ahna checked her fallen companions and saw that while Sir Bernard had been dead for too long to save, Sir Degore's spirit was still near enough to bring him back to life. The Party looted their enemies and captured the unconscious goliath, ready to interrogate her after some well-deserved rest.

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Into the Baldur Hills
Session 36: 1st of Flame, 842.IV

Our Heroes left Dar Gwynnol with Signi and most of the Blood-Moon Tribe, leaving a small group of Orcs loyal to either Olegg or Korrigan behind. After seven days of travel, The Party parted ways with Signi and entered the Baldur Hills.

The next day, Our Heroes spoke to many settlers, learning that the mercenaries highered by Hightower and Athan had left the Baldur Hills some weeks ago. Furthermore, Lord Redmorn had called the banners, summoning the militia for an upcoming conflict.

Later that day, Our Heroes happened upon a group of knights defending a village from a gigantic purple worm. The Party stepped in and rescued the knights from certain doom. These knights: Lady Lillian, Lady Aldis, Sir Degore, and their leader, Sir Bernard, thanked the Party and discussed Lord Redmorn. Sir Bernard, confident in his fealty Baron Redmorn, scoffed at the notion that Redmorn aspired to lichdom. Sir Bernard and the other knights offered to travel with the Party to the Redmorn Barony to show them the truth of the matter. The Party agreed and they set off first for the holdings of Lord Almeric, Bernard and Lillian's liege lord.

At Lord Almeric's estate, Our Heroes were invited in and provided with fine food, clothes, and lodgings. At the feast, however, Orutan noticed that he was being scried upon. Realizing that they might be in danger, the Party resolved to leave first thing in the morning. The next day Orutan noticed again the presence of a scrying orb and told Sir Bernard of the possible danger Lord Almeric was in. Sir Bernard took the advice seriously and left Lady Lillian behind to guard the Baron's life.

The Party, with three knights in tow, set off for the Redmorn Barony. Unfortunately, they did not make it far. That same day, they encountered a swarm of undead led by none other than Kyran and a female goliath they were not familiar with. As Kyran greeted them, Our Heroes prepared themselves for a fight…

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The Merits of Necromancy
Session 35: 14th of Shadow, 841.IV

After Our Heroes made their inquiry into Eskar's past, they decided to travel to New Alsben to pick up their newly-made magic items. The Party arrived in the city after six days of travel, having just learned of turmoil that was surrounding the Mages' Guild.

An Auronan mage bearing the name Reticus (but matching the description of Kyran) arrived shortly after Joriah suffered a fatal accident. Reticus offered to resurrect the fallen student which caused division in the Guild, an organization that had previously outlawed necromancy outright. In an unprecedented action, Master Arcanist and Head Librarian Alexander Callimach challenged Reticus to a duel and was killed by Reticus. The Auronan mage then brought Joriah back to life and left the Guild with Janus Lattintero, the Master Evoker of the University, and several of his apprentices.

Our Heroes checked on Joriah and helped him get his new life in order, spending two days in the city. They then left for Dar Gwynnol, as they had received news that a monster wearing Olegg's face was terrorizing Signi and the other Orcs there. After six days of travel, they arrived at the castle and helped Signi slay the spirit of Olegg that was bent on her death by destroying its resting place. They also found a tomb in the castle littered with humanoid bones.

The Party then made plans to venture into the Baldur Hills, the last known location of "Reticus" and Janus…

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The King's Council
Session 34: 24th of Wolf, 841.IV

The morning after Eskar's departure, Our Heroes discussed their next move. They learned that with Eskar gone, Signi wanted to take her hunters and all who would follow her to leave Dar Gwynnol and return to their old lives, which she thought was safer. The Party convinced the hunter to wait until Olegg returned, which was due in four day's time. During these four days, Korrigan taught the Blood-Moon tribe about the glory of J'Tuun and Orutan familiarized himself with the layout of Dar Gwynnol. Ahna also learned from Dranys that King Oren of Ferein had requested their presence for a meeting some days ago.

Once Olegg returned, Toril informed him of Signi's plan to leave with much of the clan, which caused Olegg to demand her head. As Olegg began gathering warriors to fight Signi, Toril left to warn her while Korrigan challenged the Eye of Gruumsh to single combat. The fight was long and hard-fought, but Korrigan emerged victorious and presented Olegg's head to the rest of the tribe. The party then agreed to let Signi leave Dar Gwynnol, but convinced her to wait until they returned from their meeting with the King.

With that, Our Heroes left for Eadmont, a journey which would take the next eleven days. As they journeyed along the north segment of the King's Road, they were attacked by three monks from the Stormcastle monastery, led by one monk known as Crane. The Party defeated Crane and learned that he had been hired to kidnap Baron Hightower and any members of the Party he could, but would reveal no more than that. After giving Crane a moment to prepare himself, the Party killed him in combat.

Finally, the Party arrived in Eadmont, where they were escorted to the royal palace to meet King Oren. In a secretive meeting chamber, they met King Oren and Queen Merra, along with a small council, who asked about their activities in the Baldur Hills. They Party told them of the identity of Thanatis and his general plan, and the King asked them to find the center of his mercenary armies so that the threat could be dealt with swiftly. The Party also asked of the King to grant them special access to the Arcanists of the Mage's Guild, so that they could have magical items crafted for them.

Our Heroes spent the next two days in Eadmont, either ordering magic items or researching what they could about their mysterious ally Eskar.

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Raid along the King's Road
Session 33: 13th of Wolf, 841.IV

As the Party traveled the King's Road, they were approached by Baron Hightower. He demanded to be treated with the respect of an ally and a noble, and requested the return of his arms and armor. The Party debated this, and eventually decided to allow the Baron his armor and weapon, but still did not consider him trustworthy.

As they continued along the road, Our Heroes encountered two farmers who told them of a nearby village that was under attack by the undead. They hurried to the site of the attack to see a village burning and overrun by ghouls. The Party rushed to the defense of the villagers and fought ghouls, ghasts, and flameskulls when they were attacked in the rear by two demonic Barlguras. These demons attempted to sieze the Baron, but were cut down before they could get away. The Party then finished off the remainder of the ghouls and regenerating flameskull before they helped repair the village and tend to the fallen. 

The next morning, they set out for New Alsben. Our Heroes spent two days in the city, recuperating and placing orders in the Mage's Guild for magic weapons, armor, and trinkets. After their brief rest, the Party hired a fishing boat to take them to the far side of Lake Aelin in order to make the approach to Dar Gwynnol. Despite more attempts to scry the Party, which were dispelled by Ahna, Our Heroes arrived at the castle.

The defenses of Dar Gwynnol were more formidable than when the party had last been there. Trolls, giant spiders, giant rats, and wolves were now counted among the Orcish ranks. New fortifications were also built to make the approach more deadly for attackers.

Inside the castle, the Party met with Eskar, who told them of what he had seen in the Scrolls on Fellwalk. Thanatis, according to Eskar, was after two artifacts: the Hand and Eye of Vecna. These would allow him to ascend to an Arch-Lich and achieve godlike power. Eskar, however, seeks the Sword of Kas, the one weapon that can destroy the Hand and Eye. To this end, he decided to set out alone to find the blade, and demanded that the Party remain at Dar Gwynnol to ensure its safety. Our Heroes disagreed with that course of action, and argued that it should be they who left to find the sword. Eskar could not be convinced, however, and departed that night, leaving Our Heroes to contemplate their next move.

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