Campaign of the Month: October 2007

Beldorn's Reflection

other fronts
secondary group

Oghma 24, 501 4th age, Falbrek Neusan Dallian Confederacy.

Oghma 24, 501 4th age, Falbrek Neusan Dallian Confederacy. The treacherous back and forth for the bridge there stopped very suddenly. Ester the Red Crusader leader of the troops trying to get across the bridge was killed by a group from the Caines Raiders Mercenary group.

Apparently the group had a couple of run ins with her before the final struggle. The story goes that Aloyius the commander of the defense group dealing with keeping the bridge closed, became angry with the group for their previous failure which had decimated what little reserves he had and was going to be forced to retreat and allow Norstat and allies to march into the rich interior of Neusan.

Both sides were depleted by the savagery of the fight. Both sides brought in spellcasters in attempts to get an advantage and they were summarily killed on each side.

The final result was that the Norstats had to retreat from their positions almost to the original line of invasion. It is late in the campaign year.

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THE DISCOVERY

Oghma 25, 26 501 4th age

The group returned to the prison area and went down into the compound itself. They found a large chamber with what appeared to be prisonlike entrances with glows above them. There was also an escaped rather large demon within the chamber. The demon sniffed out the half elf Davos within the group and demanded that he be given to him, for the treachery of the elves whom had imprisoned him in there.

He promised that the remainder of the group could leave as all he wanted was the elf. The group refused and the demon began to summon aid for himself against the group he knew was dangerous to him. The fight ensued, a brutal and nasty fight. Franz nearly went down as did Darrius and Greogori.

As the fight began to dwindle down, Darrius and Davos spied a small door and went to it. They opened it and found that it appeared to be a council room with linen banners on the wall and a drawing of a vessel which resembled a butterfly. Darrius remembered a dim legend of vessels that could fly in the sky and beyond. the two of them looked at the elvish script and discerned that some elves had boarded this vessel and had left for parts unknown.

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Demons working for Elves?

Oghma 24-25 501 4th age.

Franz was brought back to life in the pond in the Forest Anguish. As he was redressing himself, two figures appeared near the pond. One was the alchemist, whom had been working on things at the lab In the castle and an new person, A swashbuckler whom was the friend of the king of Fulda and was his primary troubleshooter.

They met the group and went back to hunting down the invading army. They found the army still within the woods at a strange series of buildings. It was discovered to be a prison structure. The lady was within the structure, seemed to be encouraging the troops, Darrius and the alchemist decided that they would take out the lone flying drake left to the army, which they did. They retreated quickly when the lady turned into a black dragon.
The group then attacked the frost giants and the battle went long and hard. Gregori was killed during the fight but the group took down nearly all the remaining frost giants. The cleric and two others got away and the group didn’t see the cold riders at all. They then looked at the structure and found elvish writing about this place. It was built two ages ago, the story goes that the elves were in a major conflict with their dark brethren yet again. This time however the dark ones were winning the fight. The elves decided that they needed something nastier in a fight and discussed the option of summoning demons, many were opposed to it, for the demons always demanded something.

The situation became desperate enough that the ruling council agreed to this and the demons were summoned. Hard negoiations took place but the demons were unleashed against the drow. Many of the elves however had no intention of honoring the agreements and rapidly built a prison to hold the demons that they could not banish. The demons help to defeat the dark elves and came back to demand their payment.

It is unknown how many of the elves died in putting the demons in the prision, but the demons were eventually imprisoned. Most have vowed vengeance on the elvish race if they got out. The place was then hidden in a forest which the elves have manufactured to hide them. They created a story to keep the curious out of the of the forest.

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Damn the rank and file are tough
red veil

Oghma 11-23 501 4th age

Darrius, looking at the ruins of his brother decided to cast a blood spell to absorb knowledge of a spell that his brother had. This required that he drink the blood of his brother. He discovered to his surprise that the brother was not dead but retrieved the spell. He then informed the group that the brother wasn’t dead. Taz wanted to make sure he was but Darrius intervened and left the body and the two of them went back to the group

The group was attacked almost immediately by the Ice Drakes whom seemed to be intent on retrieving the body. Gregori used boundless step to stop the drake from picking up the body. He also noticed that reinforcements for the bad guys were coming. Gregori was able to defeat the drake and again use boundless step to get the body back. As the drakes were being dealt with a wave of frost Giants moving at an incredible rate were upon the group. Although taz tripped and put three of the giants down, it was realized that the group had not enough remaining firepower to defend them and decided to leave

The group got away with Darrius brother body but had to leave the woman behind. Exhausted the group camped and decided to return to the capital. They had another run in with Ioan and warned him of the coming invasion. They then went to the capital. Darrius brother was slowly coming back together but was still unconscious. They made it back to the capital and reported to Khalid the genie. They spent the night, taz and Franz seemed to have a contact with the female ghost from the swamp.

Getting back to the swamps, they found them frozen and many of the lizardmen were essentially ice cubes. They followed the wide swath and found it was moving towards the woods of the rejuvenating pool. They ran into a rear guard of 5 ogres, blew a horn that the ogre had and waited. There were three frost giants. Darrius roasted them but all of them downed potions of fire resistance. The group then went after the giants, two of them however, managed to down potions of displacement. The fight was fierce and Franz went down dead. (-26 I believe). The group made it to the pond and placed Franz in the pond where he came back to life.

In addition, the celestial phenomena The Red Veil appeared, harbingering change.

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My brother back from the dead, time to die

Oghma 4-11 501 4th ageThe week passes by. A dot appears in the sky and rapidly grows into the a winged creature with a rider aboard. The creature flares its wings just before Landing. Aurora has her weapon with the blue flag. She shows no fear of the assemblage as she dismounts her beast. She strides up to the base of Saleeds throne and gives a slight bow. “Well King Saleed, we of Smerc are desirous of your positive response to our request.” She moves to a position of rest. Saleed looks at her and at the allies and friends around the chamber. “Aurora, I’m afraid that your request is denied. You are welcome to worship in this land for I believe in choice for religion although I am aware of what you may bring to this land and it bothers me what you do in your religion. I will not allow Smerc to be the state religion.”
Aurora and Saleed stared at each other for several seconds. All could feel the crackle of tension between them. Aurora shook her head. “This is your final answer Saleed?” “My lord expected this and did hope that you would allow this request, but however he has a reply for you.” She pulled out a scroll and handed to Saleed. She then turned away and and began to mount the beast. Several of Saleeds compatriots yelled for saleed not to open the scroll. Aurora, after mounting her beast, her face colored at the shouting of the crowd. “I honor the blue flag of truce. Saleed will not be harmed by the scroll itself but the words there may eventually be his downfall.”
With that she commanded her creature to fly away. Saleed, despite the warnings opened the document and read it and then handed it around. The group meets with Saleed about their meeting with the oracle and his predictions of Saleed being betrayed, that Aurora is being led not by the true leader, of a prophecy of the dead son shall rise. That Darrius brother is still alive although he was different.
Saleed asked the group to head back to the east and to set up the defenses. He would send more aid to them as he could release things to come aid them. As the group was leaving they spotted an eagle circling them and saw it release a scroll which landed at their feet. The scroll after being opened read:

Yes my lords I have seen the army on the march. There are Bugbears leading in disciplined units. There are giants in groups of two moving about. There are smallish dragons flying about. There are bluish looking trolls and blue toads. In between there are a group of largish humanoids riding what appear to be large mooses and in the middle a man, around him is almost a mist that is extreme cold. You can literally see the ground die around him. It is eerie. I can also see some outriders under the banner of Smerc. Doina

Leaving Forge, and the Alchemist to bring up other reinforcements, the group went to the east where they met an old foe whom they had made a deal with. Ioan, the oracle who was leading the swamps of the lizardmen, met them in the swamp. He allowed the group to go through but complained of a female spirit who was killing off his lizards and he blamed the group for her being there. He offered to be the reserve in a sarcastic tone. The group moved through the swamp and was on the border of the bleaklands. They spotted a glint off in the distance and set up watches for the night.

It wasn’t long before they had company. The flying dragonlike things attacked them but got two low and monk was able to leap upon them and bring them to the ground where the brutal ability of the Barbarian showed up. The second one ended up with issues from Darrius. But as soon as the flying brutes were brought down, the group was attacked by a series of chain lightnings from a flying woman. She then tried to charm various members but their individual willpowers were too strong. She was brought down by Darrius d-dooring the monk and grabbing her. She could not carry the weight and began to drift down.

She tried to remove the monk by casting grease on herself but the monks ability overcame her efforts. Once down she didn’t last long.

Then another man appeared. He appeared to have a large field about him radiating extreme cold for the group could see the plant life just die within the field about him. He stopped and spot to Darrius, He was Pavel, whom Darrius had thought dead. Pavel explained that he hadn’t actually died but was raised by the Ice mages. Darrius and Pavel argued about things until Taz the dwarf barbarian, suggested that the time for remorse was over and that Pavel was the bad guy. Darrius agreed and then d-doored the two of them behind the wizard. Despite the intense numbing pain that both of them felt. Taz destroyed the wizard in a single shot.

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Going back into action

Oghma 1-3 501-4th age

The group sat down in the great meeting all. Most of his respected advisors, and comrades. Saleed spoke and asked for opinions.. All spoke against allowing Smerc to be the primarily religion, there was more leeway about it being a religion within the realm, although some were against.

Saleed made comment of how poor of shape the army is currently. It needed rest and rebuilding and if an invasion should come could they handle it. There was less agreement about that. Saleed dismissed the group for a bit so he could converse with Khalid.

The group had been offered the eastern part of the kingdom that they had helped clear and were pleased? by it.

Saleed recalled the lot and decided on various courses of action. Forge, Darriius and Franz were sent to ask questions of the oracle of Oghma in the mountains. They also met with Doina, a Druidess whom the group had met tin the past. She indicated that she had been in contact with other druids in the area and it was noted that there was movement along the bleak lands and from the Ostan empire.

the group rode out and during the day noticed that they were being followed from the air, first it was on then two and then three fliers. but they were not assaulted. They bedded down for the night and found there was company nearby. A halforc inquisitor of Smerc named Davor walked into the camp and asked if they had coffee. They chatted and found him to be reasonable except for Darrius whom found his constant talking extremely annoying. In addition Davor noted that Darrius looked remarkably like someone else he had met in his past, an icemage from Rus.

The group was attacked during this conversation by Manticores but were dispatched easily enough. Davor helped in the defense and left in the morning. The group moved to the mountains and were attacked by stone giants whom they also easily dispatched. They reached the oracle. It involved climbing up a steep hill to a small structure. As they were climbing, they were again attacked by somebody invisible and were forced to get into the structure where they closed the opening and met the oracle.

Questions were asked such as about Aurora, the response was that she believed her leader but its not the leader who leads. Asking about who leads, the response was the son who has fallen.

In addition they surmised that the Previous king was alrady dead, that he was influenced to make Saleed the king, that Saleed had enemies in Rus, that there was a traitor in Saleeds camp, and other things before returning to the castle.

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the crowning of Saleed Ibn Al Lith

Oghma 1-3 501 4th age

The walls of the castle were festooned with the colors and symbols of the new leadership in Luxor. The Red and yellow with the Manticore Motif was being replaced with the white and blue with a stylized Gold Falcon, among the guests were many of the mercenary company high ranking officers and representatives of many of the other Confederacies of the Dallian Confederacy. Some of these reps owed their position due to the efforts of the Falcon Raiders and others. The date of the coronation was Oghma the first.

The early guests were treated to concerts by the renowned bard from Aleran, Robur lePlante and the Sisters Wyslin playing at opposing ends of the castle area. Soon after was the comedian Arlith and a general fair that everybody could enjoy, Contests involving archery, shoeing a horse, milking cows and drinking contests.

A trumpet of horns signifies the beginning of the cornation of the new King. Saleed ibn AL lith escorted by his genie friend Khalid and the head priest of the Confederacy of Luxor, Jikta Khaveblov, priest of Helme. Stanalescu had abdicated some hours earlier In a quiet ceremony, witnessed by his wizard Dragomir, Saleed and Khalid.

Members of the household guard line the corridor, resplendent in their raiders colors watch the procession. Saleed mounts the dias to the throne. Khaveblov receives the crown and places on Saleed’s head, and pronounces the oath to Saleed.

There is an explosion of applause and Saleed stands and bows to the crowd who bow back. A speech is made by Saleed, and in return various personages present themselves before the new king. The party ensues.

About two hours in, the party is rolling along when there is a commotion just outside the castle. Several of the peasants coming rushing in screaming of a monster and a rider. Everybody gathers their weapons and moves to meet this unexpected threat.

A winged creature, tawny in color, with a semi human like face surrounded by a large mane, stands some 15 feet tall, its tail looks like a series of spikes. There is an armored figure mounted on it. It appears to be a female, dressed in a black and silver plate armor with a flowing black and silver cape. Her helmet is in the shape of a skeletial face. She carries a ranseur with a blue flag attached to it, the sign of truce. She dismounts with a grace and plants her weapon into the ground and strides to the new king. She removes her helmet revealing a strikingly beautiful woman, her hair is short and brown. Her eyes are Ice blue
.
“I am Aurora, Defender of the faith of Smerc and I’ve come bearing a missive to the new king and his assemblage from the Faith of Smerc. Too long have we not had a voice in a government and we demand that this new king recognize the religion of Smerc as the state religion for this duchy. Failure to do so will in our eyes constitute that a state of War will exist between the religion of Smerc and the Duchy of Luxor.”

The crowd gasped at the audacity of the woman and her statement. Many began to draw weapons and began to prepare spells. Saleed yelled to the assemblage to honor the flag of truce and ordered his personal guard to watch for violation of the truce. Aurora smiled as she looked at Saleed. “ You are indeed a honorable dwarf, so know that my word is also true. If you do not recognize the religion of Smeric as the state religion, a state of war will exist.”

Saleed looked at Aurora, looked at Khalid, looked back at the woman. “When would you want an answer Aurora” Aurora looked a little puzzled by the comment but quickly replied. “ A week would be fine, Saleed. I will return in one week for your answer. “ She grasps her cloak and pulls it around her and walks back to the beast, who kneels for her. She mounts the beast and points to the new king. “Remember that I will be back in one week for your answer” and with a touch to the head of the beast it rose from the ground and was swiftly out of sight.

Saleed rose quickly and motioned to his people, “attend me” and moved to the meeting room.

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Around the Duchies
whats going on

MIrelle-The Veristani forces have left Mirelle after making a deal for a chunk of land in which the Veristani will be the new owners. The treaty was sealed after the rescue and Return of Queen Wanda. Justintian 10th

Firenz-Jurgen Ironhand barely escaped from being assassinated at a ribbon cutting ceremony. His senior General Egon Paul was killed though. Egons subordinate commander Helmut Hauk immediately moved up the process of removing the undesirable non humans from Firenz. Woljnar 15th

Estallia- Mt Vaco, at the southern end of Estallia has begun to belch smoke and there have been earthquakes in the area.-Wognar 25th

Aponi-the rebellion against the forces of Rus continues unabated.

Baldamar-King Hamit has ordered his army to put down riots caused by his troops who had returned to Baldamar after the bloody war in Fulda in the Dallian Confederacy. Justintian 4th

Ohgma 13th Red Veil has returned.

The inner sea has been plagued by an increase in Piracy , An increase in the the reward for the most infamous pirate Chiyo Kamia to 50k is hoped to reign in the problem

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The Journal of Almerich von Dietrichstahl
First entry

Forge’s Journal

First entry:

For the first time in as long as I can remember, there is a calmness to life; there are no rampaging monsters to slay, no mercenary armies bearing down on us, no extra-dimensional enemies interfering with our lives. Just the tasks of the day to day, smithing, training our troops, managing the slow rebirth of Luxor . . . despite the challenges, it’s comforting, bringing back memories of my father and mother managing our family’s small barony. Perhaps it’s that familiarity, that nostalgia, that has been disturbing my dreams with memories of the past, bringing up the pain of the emptiness inside me that used to be filled by my family . . .

Being with my family, living in Firenze, it feels like a lifetime ago . . . in many ways it was. Sometimes it doesn’t just feel like another life, but another person entirely. What would the boy I was think of me now? A mercenary who kills for money, my hands stained with the blood of so many men and beasts it seems like it’ll never wash off? I’ve been covered in the gore and ichor of my foes so much I know them by the smell and taste of their blood, and more have fallen by my blade than I can count; am I a monster? No matter the cause, can anything justify so much bloodshed, so much killing? Only the gods may know the answer to that, for when I think of it I can find none, only emptiness, void . . . and it terrifies me, that nothingness I find within myself.

Funny, how that reminds me of my family’s history, our origin if you will. You see, it all has to do with Nothing, or more appropriately the Vo-Pah-Los. Every Firenzian child learns the story of Siegfried, Firenze’s first Hero-King, and the Vo-Pah-Los. The Vo-Pah-Los was nothingness made manifest, literally the word for “nothing” in the language of creation. It was a living word, destroying everything it came in contact with, unraveling and destroying the song of creation bit by bit and erasing people, places and things from existence as it did so. No weapon could touch it, becoming undone before they could strike it; no magics could effect it, the words that empower each spell being erased before the eldritch energies could affect the Vo-Pah-Los. Siegfried and his companions were already heroes of the land, having driven back the hordes of the orc warlord Belkzen and slain the great red wyrm Cyranidax that had for so long terrorized and ruled over eastern Firenze, but this was challenge that seemed beyond even them; Johanna the fallen Valkyrie, Baradlandolar the king of the elven nomad tribes, Filcher the Halfling slave turned thief of legend, and Siegfried Drachentöter, none of them could discover a way to stop the Vo-Pah-Los.

It was artisan known only as Kunsthandwerker, who had crafted the hide of Cyranidax into a suit of armor for Siegfried, who found a way. He brought the Heart of the Mountain that they had found in the Great Red Wyrm’s hoard to the dwarven fortress-city of Dun-Torag, said to be the first dwarven city, and entreated the dwarves to teach him the ancient secrets of their wordsmithing. Recognizing his unparalleled skill and the danger facing all existence, they took him in and for the first time taught an outsider their ways. For thirteen days and thirteen nights straight Kunsthandwerker slaved over the forges more ancient than civilization with no sleep or food, chanting in a tongue older than creation, shaping and forging the Heart of the Mountain into the very essence, the word, “sword”. Haggard and drained, he emerged from Dun-Torag to give the blade to Siegfried.

Wielding the true-name for sword, Siegfried faced the Vo-Pah-Los. The battle was fierce, and the toll heavy, with two of Siegfried’s closest companions being unwritten from creation so that the only thing left of them was their absence as their names and the memory of their lives were erased from existence. Filcher supposedly fell to the Vo-Pah-Los as well, though it’s said that the mater thief stole his life from death itself, and that is why we still remember his name and deeds. Baradlandolar invoked ancient blood magics and sacrificed his right eye as tribute to cast a protective spell on Siegfried so he could approach and battle the Vo-Pah-Los. Riding Johanna’s flying steed, Siegfried charged the Nothing and swung his true-name blade at it even as it was stripping away the magic protecting him. For the first and only time, the Vo-Pah-Los was struck, and its truename was shattered, undoing and unwriting it from the song of creation. In the process, the true-name for sword was garbled, warping and distorting it into a useless hunk of ore. Despite rumors that the Vo-Pah-Los had hidden part of its true-name, the threat to all that is and will be was ended. Thus Siegfried became the first hero-king of Firenze.

As reward for his service and bravery, Siegfried bestowed on Kunsthandwerker the title of Baron and the family name Dietrichstahl, giving him a small barony in the southwest of Firenze where Dun-Torag was located, and the remains of Siegfried’s blade as a mark of his families status. How long ago this was is lost to the ages, but in the centuries that followed the barony of Dietrichstahl became a haven for artisans and craftsmen from all parts of the globe. The Dietrichstahl family passed down the passion and secrets of smithing from one generation to the next, and as the area became more and more renowned as the home for the best artists and artisans in the land, combined with the presence of Dun-Torag and forests that were home to many of the nomadic wood elf tribes, the barony of Dietrichstahl grew into a rich and diverse community for demi-humans of all kinds. This tradition would continue for ages, all the way until the rule of my father, Baron Leto von Dietrichstahl; and it would have continued long afterwards, if it weren’t for the rise Jurgen Ironfist whose hate and maleficence tore apart the kingdom, the Dietrichstahl community, my family, and my life in ways far worse than the even Vo-Pah-Los could have . . .

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Conspiracy

The winds blew through the old castle perched upon the high mountain pass. From its upper turret one could see the better part of four confederacies. The Castle itself was in crumbling decay, a monument to the terror of the previous age when the four confederacies were under the eye of this building and its occupant.

Three different wagons with different pennants flying from them, and nearly one hundred troops with different heraldry symbols adorning them. Three men, looking in their middle age, two with breastplates, the other with a staff and heavy cloak. Each man had a second man with them. They walked up to the decaying doors which had been forced open in the earlier part of the day by the troopers. The wind pushed leaves in through the opening. In the middle of the room was a table with three chairs, the table was circular. The floor was yellowed marble. Several candles were brought to the table and lit to drive back the darkness. The three men sat down with their seconds behind them

The Tallest of the three, with long black hair with wisps of grey and a nearly white goatee spoke first in a deep timbered voice, “do any of you know why Stanescleu called us here, the fool was stupid enough to give up his kingdom to an adventurer and it being a dwarf at that?” The one with the cloak spoke with a quiet tone. “Because he was king at the time, Cezar and you know that anyone of us can call for a convening at this place.” The wind blew and some of the candles went out. The seconds looked around and relit the candles. The third man spoke with a higher pitched voice than would be expected from looking at him. “I hate this place. It should be torn down completely.” “Marku,” responded Cezar, this place has skeletons written all over it and things probably should be left well enough alone.”

“So where is Stanesclu?” demanded Ion the mage. His voice echoed through the chambers, disturbing some pigeons. The others looked around, each a little disturbed. “How long are we to wait here? I have affairs to deal with back home.” Said Marku
A new voice, silky smooth came from the upstairs. All looked upstairs as a youngish man, stepped down with an elegance. “Yes, indeed we all have affairs to deal with.” One of the men standing guard pulled out his weapon to defend his master. The youngish man just looked at him and gestured, the man fled in sheer terror. “Now, I hope the other bodyguards are not so foolish as yours was Marku.”

“You are alive” said Cezar who was standing with his hand on his sword, the others had their hands on their weapons. The youngish man stopped about ten feet down from the base of the stairwell and again spoke. “Indeed, I am and no thanks to any of you, but now is not time for recriminations. We have a task to perform.” The threesome just stared. He looked back down at them and smiled and spoke again with a thunderous noise which rattled the building. “I command you to sit.” The three rulers did so in their chairs while the two remaining guards just sat down on the floor.

“That’s good.” He motioned to one of the guards to gather another chair and when brought to him and he sat down in it, making a steepling shape with the long finger of his hand. “Now lets start…….

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