Legends of Ardin

Kas
Session 49: 3rd of Rose, 842.IV

After spending the night in Hightower, Our Heroes decided to travel to Dar Gwynnol to confront Eskar. They traveled for ten days before they reached the hidden mountain fortress, bringing Walthric and Akalda with them. Along the way, Akalda and Ahna spoke at length, with Akalda questioning Ahna about Dar Gwynnol and the Party's involvement with Eskar.

Eventually, the Party arrived at Eskar's fortress, where they were greeted by two Orc warriors, formerly loyal to Olegg. They told the Party that Eskar was expecting them, and that they were to be brought to him at once. The Orcs led the Our Heroes to the top of the main tower of the castle, where Eskar awaited them. With Eskar was a Drow priestess named Iliran.

Eskar questioned the Party, who explained their actions to Eskar's satisfaction. Iliran told the Party that she was an emissary from Lolth, who opposed Vecna for stealing the Spider Throne long ago. During the discussion, Eskar revealed his true identity as Kas the Bloody-Handed. He demanded an oath of eternal loyalty from the Party. When they refused, he attacked, intending to turn the Party into Vampire Thralls.

An intense fight broke out, with hidden monsters and drow assassins hiding out of sight assaulting the Party from all sides. As Saladin and Orutan engaged Kas, Akalda fought monsters on the Party's flanks. Jeyne and Walthric used their magic to weaken Kas and defeat the Orcs attacking them. Ahna managed to conjure a maelstrom that sucked Iliran and two other enemies into the lower part of the tower, along with their ally Akalda. The battle seemed in the Party's favor, but one by one Kas struck down Our Heroes until, in desperation, Ahna called upon the radiance of her goddess and defeated Kas. Kas turned to mist and raced for his nearest resting place.

The Party took a moment to recover and pursued Kas to the tomb they found before. Inside, they found the Curator above Kas' tomb. He attacked the Party, who swiftly killed him. Inside, they found Kas slowly regenerating. Our Heroes filled the sarcophagus with water and and dissolved what remained of the vampire's body. They then rested in the tomb, recovering from their intense ordeal.

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A New Ally
Session 48: 28th of Celestial, 842.IV

While inside the cliff-face fortress, Our Heroes returned to Walthric's room in an attempt to ambush him. Eventually, he returned with a Helmed Horror, but was nonetheless defeated by the Party. Our Heroes took Walthric prisoner and escaped from the fort back up to the top of the cliffs. Saladin secured Walthric using dimensional shackles, preventing magical escape.

Our Heroes revived Walthric, who sought to negotiate with them. He told them of his role in Thanatis' plan and what he knew of the organization in general. Apparently, it was his duty to guard this fortress while Thanatis and the new Acolytes of the Undying King (the former students of the Mages' Guild) carried out their secret tasks. The students had previously entered the mines and returned marked by the Undying King's power. Walthric also told the Party that he believed Thanatis dead, with his body taken as the new host for the Undying King himself.

Our Heroes inquired about Knight-Captain Akalda, and Walthric told them that she was being held as bait for the Party by the Slaad ally of Thanatis, Suthik. Walthric did not know the specifics of that plan, as Suthik kept it secret before his departure for the Plane of Fire.

Walthric also told the Party of the teleportation sigils that were in the black case. There were four sigils, leading to the City of Brass, a tower near Citadel Cavitius, a tower near the lair of Vorrenzovarix, and finally to one within the Shadowfell.

Walthric expressed his desire to escape Thanatis' organization, as he did not wish to see the downfall of human civilization in this region, as would occur if Thanatis was victorious. He told the Party of the location of the deed to the mine, while he set off to rescue Akalda.

That night, Orutan snuck back into the fort and recovered the deed to the mine and met with the Party and Walthric, who had also rescued Akalda. Together, the group set off for Hightower. Along the way, Eskar's raven arrived and produced a message in Eskar's voice. The message accused Our Heroes of sabotaging Eskar's army and jeopardizing the Black Scrolls. Eskar then demanded that the Party return to Dar Gwynnol for judgment or threatened that he would personally hunt them down. Troubled by this news, the Party considered their next move.

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Infiltration Interrupted
Session 47: 27th of Celestial, 842.IV

Orutan returned to the party, just as the invisibility spell cast upon him wore out. The Party decided to strike at the fortress in the cliffs, to try to find the deed to the mines. They entered through the door Orutan had broken in to, and snuck through the fortress, silently killing the guards that patrolled it.

Down one long hallway, the Party encountered stone statues that Saladin identified as Gargoyles from the Plane of Earth. Our Heroes attacked the Gargoyles under cover of a silence spell before continuing to the room beyond. As they opened the door, they were immediately attacked by the one known as Walthric. The wizard attacked them, but was forced to retreat. The Party ransacked his room and discovered a thin wooden case that was sealed with protective magic.

Knowing that their presence was no longer hidden, the Party fled the fortress and hid amongst the cliffs to the south. There they rested the night and part of the day, taking shelter from the rain under some rocks. Throughout the day, they were hunted by more Gargoyles, which spotted them as they attempted to return to the castle. The Gargoyles fled, but were killed before they could alert anyone to their presence.

The Party returned to the cliff-face fortress, and overheard a conversation between Walthric and some unknown individuals. Our Heroes ventured further into the fortress while they decided what to do next.

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The Angren Mines
Session 46: 26th of Celestial, 842.IV

The next morning, Our Heroes left Valenhial's hall and ventured across thr Luin River, straight towards the Angren Mines. After a few hours of travel, the Party came across an abandoned mining outpost. The outpost seemed to have been abandoned for several months, and after investigating it, the Party left it too.

Later that day, deep within the jagged Angren Hills, Our Heroes came across a path leading directly towards a fortress embedded in the cliffs, matching the one Ahna and Jeyne saw in their visions. The Party investigated, and discovered a large castle guarding the entrance to the mines. Ahna used a locate object spell to locate a deed or other important document within the fortress. Using guile and magic, Orutan infiltrated the mines under cover of darkness, finding it to be well-guarded. He retreated outside towards the castle, and delved within.

Inside its walls, he discovered the Hobgoblin general, Alak Yozuul sleeping in his chambers. Orutan stole keys from the Hobgoblin and discovered a series of correspondences between Yozuul, Thanatis, and Todruvaan dated to some years ago.

Orutan explored further into the castle, and found a guarded dungeon. Inside, was the unconscious body of Knight-Captain Akalda under the watchful gaze of an Earth Elemental. Ortuan informed the Party through the Telepathic Bond that Jeyne had created of what he saw, as they all planned what to do next.

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Strangers and Letters
Session 45: 26th of Seed, 842.IV

The day after their audience, the Party encountered a Dwarf in their inn, who claimed to have a letter addressed to Orutan and Ahna. The Party paid him, and discovered a letter from their former companion, Gendel. He informed them of an update to his quest, dated to several months ago. The letter described a village far to he west, where the mysterious Vella had been tracked towards.

The next day, the Party was approached by a foreigner from the far south. He told them that he was sent to investigate the massive portal that Thanatis opened to the Plane of Fire, and sought out their help in the investigation. With the stranger, Saladin, in tow, the Party traveled to Dar Gwynnol. On the eighth day of the Celestial, they arrive at the castle, but found no trace of Eskar.

They left the next day, and arrived at New Alsben six days later. The following day, they contacted Ariel Tempus to enact a divination ritual with Ahna and Jeyne. They scried unsuccessfully upon Knight-Captain Akalda, but succeeded in scrying the Hobgoblin General Alak Yozuul, and found him in a mountainous castle of new construction, and conversing with a Dragonborn named Todruvaan.

Our Heroes decided that the Angren Mines merited investigation, and ventured through the Baldur Hills the next day, heading towards Hightower. Within the Baldur Hills, the Party encountered a small portal to the Plane of Fire, where Salamanders were attempting to capture slaves. The Party defeated the Salamanders, and Saladin used his expertise to close the portal.

After eight days of travel, Our Heroes arrived at Hightower, where they met with the Half-Elven leader, Valenhial. He told them of riders and mercenaries seen moving south and crossing the Luin River at the nearby bridge some weeks ago. The Party stayed the night at Hightower and plotted their next move.

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The Battle of Redmorn
Session 44: 19th of Blade, 842.IV

The diverse army Our Heroes had gathered crossed the Luin River and after a day of marching, made camp, just one day's march away from Redmorn. That night, scouts discovered an armed band approaching, the army. The Party investigated, and found that the force was actually led by Lord Almeric, who had come to join their host. Almeric was invited into the camp and a council was held to determine the objectives of the army, dubbed Fan Dwithas by Sondolla of Rhirideth. It was decided that the army would distract Thanatis' forces while the Party scaled the tower to face the evil wizard. To make use of the superior vision of the orcs and elves within the army, it was also determined that the attack would begin at dusk.

As the sun rose and eventually began to fall, the army was under attack from both the front and rear. Our Heroes rushed back towards the rearguard, finding spectral knights laying waste to the Warriors of Berathik. As they defeated the Helmed Horrors, one escaped with the unconscious body of Knight-Captain Akalda.

Later that day, the attack began. The bulk of the army approached the village of Redmorn, while Orcs, Elves, and Dragonborn surrounded the keep and attacked the walls. As the fighting began, a portal opened and over a dozen riders poured through. Among them was the wizard in purple, whom the Party encountered previously in the tower. With him were eleven of the student mages, four cloaked figures, and the captured Akalda.

Our Heroes decided to let them escape and focus their efforts on confronting Thanatis. They opened Dimension Doors to the top of the tower, and met there Thanatis himself. After a brief conversation, the wizard triggered the Contingency, opening a massive portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire, which quickly began to engulf the entire tower. A long battle ensued, with Thanatis deploying some of the most deadly types of magic, but Our Heroes were ultimately victorious. As the final blow was struck, Thanatis began to melt away into a puddle of water, much to his own surprise. Despite Thanatis' apparent defeat, the portal continued to grow, and most of the Party escaped just in time. Korrigan remained behind, knowing he would not have time to escape.

The battle was won. Thanatis' army retreated back into the walls of the tower, and was transported to the Plane of Fire, leaving behind a massive crater where his seat of power once was. The army returned to Keston, and then to each faction's separate home. Serrian met with Jeyne, thanking her for allowing for her escape from Thanatis. Our Heroes returned with Captain Delin to Eadmont, stopping briefly in New Alsben to visit Joriah and research the magic that was used to create Thanatis' form.

Thirty-one days after the battle, Our Heroes arrived in Eadmont, and had a prompt audience with King Oren. They informed the King of their quest and the outcome, including the escaped riders and the portal. King Oren thanked the Party, and bid them name their reward for vanquishing, at least temporarily, this threat.

Toril, Ahna, and Orutan elected to construct guild halls, while Jeyne desired a payment of gold pieces. Orutan ordered the construction of a chapter of the Seekers of Sal'theras in Keston. Ahna and Toril constructed allied guilds in Eadmont. Ahna, building a hospital and holy place by the sea, and Toril founding the Strongscale Academy, a place for all warriors to train. As the orders went out for the construction, Our Heroes plotted their next move.

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The Heroes' Banner
Session 43: 18th of Flame, 842.IV

As Our Heroes deliberated their next course of action, Jeyne brought forward a letter that she had received from another former University student named Serrian. Serrian wrote from inside Thanatis' stronghold, and informed Jeyne about the evil wizard's plans. Thanatis had returned to Redmorn, although without the Oracle of Fandriel or the Paladin of Torun. In response to the Party's actions, he was now preparing a massive ritual known as "The Contingency," although whatever its purpose was remained a mystery.

Our Heroes knew that Thanatis must be stopped, and decided to augment the meager force that was sent by the King. The Party split up, each going a separate way to seek allies to join their cause.

Korrigan began the long journey back to Alverok to bring back the warriors of the Misty Bone Tribe. During this time, Toril trained with the soldiers of Ferein and made amends with their leader, Captain Delin, in preparation for the fight.

Orutan sought out mercenaries, hiring 300 swords for the campaign. He also contacted the Keston Wilders for aid. They eagerly joined, seeking to prevent the rise of another dark power like the Frost King. A hundred rangers and scouts joined the force, ready to bring an end to Thanatis.

Ahna returned to the Temple of Berathik to seek additional aid. Under the Gold Dragon's orders, 200 clerics, sorcerers, paladins, and holy warriors under Knight-Captain Akalda joined the host. Ahna also contacted Signi, but this fight was one that the orc was not willing to join. Finally, Ahna contacted Dranys, who pulled as many favors as possible to send a team of veterans led by Doregon.

Ahna and Jeyne then travelled south to the village of Hightower to meet with the Rhirideth elves. There, they found a leader of the elves, a half-elf named Valenhial. After being told of the diverse host being assembled to combat Thanatis in the Baldur Hills, Valenhial agreed to join, seeking to emulate the cooperation found to combat a similar threat long ago. 

After three weeks and three days, Korrigan returned with the warriors of Alverok, both human and orc. After that, the army traveled south to meet a ferry that would allow them to cross the Luin River. The journey was hindered by snowstorms that seemed to follow the army as it traveled, causing several mercenaries and elves to desert. After six days of travel, the army crossed the river. Once on the other side, the leadership of the army convened to discuss their next course of action in the Baldur Hills.

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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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