Dreamscape

Session 77: Spawn of Xul-Bohr

They fight the bulettes and kobolds, and take on prisoner. Qax. He tells them all about how they worship Xul-Bohr now. The party figures out Xul-Bohr is that aberration they never fully killed.

They are standing before Ironslag after a week’s travel through the rocky passes. Ironslag sits in the path to Firestorm Peak. So they head in.

It’s pretty rough in here, and there are fire giant corpses that have been burnt. That’s bad.

Some hears some deep speech coming from the next room, though since they gave the conch to abuella to control the chuul in Wamor to protect their house, they don’t understand what’s being said.

Tharious goes in to investigate and sees a huge magma aberration, and a bunch of kobolds all hanging around a statue. The magma aberration spots them and it and all the kobolds charge. Toro flies up and drops the sarcophagus on the first kobolds that appear. Several more are in the back, but then the magma aberration literally rolls over all of them and instantly melts Tharious with a spray of lava. Well, not melts, but does knock him unconscious. And it radiates heat that deals damage to everyone nearby. Next turn Tharious could be dead. Toro dives down to retrieve Tharious and heal him, and we end there.

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Session 76: Sex and the City, but with assholes.

They talk to Horgrim, the current king of Barumila. They go shopping and Emon steals some Dexterity Gloves.

Torinn asks around about some people. Detective Gittes left the city not long after the players did. Horgrim’s sister also is not at Barumila, instead off elsewhere doing what she can to help the less fortunate. Barumila has opened the pass to Naramunz and has begun rebuilding their relationships with the other dwarven fortresses. The two Hammer/Axe brothers have reconciled and after winning the tournament were asked to make mechanized suits of plate for the military, which is their full-time occupation now.

Toro decides he wants to shop. And how might he do that? Why, but finding a bitchin’ workout book. But where? He rolls terribly for investigation and is about to give up when Torinn decides to lend a hand. Together they track down that one dwarf that actually gave Toro a challenge in wrestling. He’s a local superstar in the Fire Beetle, a tavern in the Dregs.

They talk to him, and he is impressed by Toro carrying around a heavy sarcophagus just to keep a promise, so he agrees to give Toro the manual for free if he can promise to bring back a fire giant duke’s mug. Didn’t say why, just wanted it. Toro and Thum the dwarf go off on a man date and begin crashing through the walls of residential district of Barumila.

They set off in the morning after some rest and after days of uneventful travel on the roads passing travelling merchants are attacked by some kobolds and bulettes in the pass toward Firestorm Peak. We end the session there.

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75: The Javier Bardem

They get some breakfast, when Lord Greymane shows up. They throw some mad shade at lord Greymane for trying to be buddy-buddy but really being like “give me what I want”. He wants their vote to make him temporary commander of the forces of Lere. Lere being made up of many houses has many small armies, and since the time has come to unite them to face the undead threat, the idea of a single head commander is important. Greymane loosely held that responsibility during the siege. He wants it again.

However Shiek Aashir informed Torinn that Greymane intends to use the political capital he’ll gain from being Imperator to make himself de facto emperor once the dust settles. So, there’s that.

Lord Greymane is like super intimidated once the chuul army shows up that Torinn had summoned a couple hours earlier. He leaves them a map that shows them the progress the dracolich Zeiram has made so far. It’s pretty bad.

That’s when they decide to go take care of Toro’s Javier Bardem. Who knows when they’ll get another chance. They teleport to Barumila. There they see Valdi. Torinn gets GOOD satisfaction in fucking with him. He’s still a noble. Albeit a poorer one, and much more timid. We stop there for the night.

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Session 74: Home Makeover

The players go upstairs to pick their rooms.

Then they have breakfast.

The end.

(Also Abuella is assigned “Steward” of the house. Aashir is informed of Soveliss’ death and gives Torinn a Bro-Hug. Thames is assessed and found to be suspicious in light of the death of Raziel (which he says won’t yet be the death of their order until his lieutenants and replacements are killed), and Greymane shows up to ask about being appointed War Councilor to which the players respond with “Chuul Army”, once again proving that “Chuul” is the answer to literally any possible encounter.)

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Session 73: Meeting of the Houses, And the DM Talks to himself.
Are you 'slight of hand'ing a candle up his ass? --Tharious

Emon previous scouted around town, but what he was able to accomplish so far as scouting while important, wasn’t very deep. He collected a rumor or two from each house.

  1. Lady Greymane (The matron and true head of House Greymane) had not been seen in weeks)
  2. Lord Stonebrook, the leader of House Stonebrook and extraordinarily important figure in the Faith of Pelor as well as the Acropolis, has been mired in scandal regarding the rumor that his son is an oathbreaker.
  3. House Auburn has been stockpiling a very large cache of… something, in one of their warehouses. And further probing by Emon saw that it was very heavily patrolled by what looked like ordinary house guards (as opposed to heavy, bought muscle).
  4. Rosalia is potentially facing a near cataclysmic schism, if the University if patrons, headed by a powerful wizard, Naxus, separates itself from Rosalia.
  5. In House Zahran, Shiek Aashir has been seen frequently in heated debate with his uncle, Caliph Junayd. The cause of the disagreement is unknown, but Junayd has spared no curse for his nephew.

Back at the conference, the players spread out a bit to hold conversation with the heads of the houses of Lere. Emon approaches Duke Auburn, and decides to conduct a test of the man. Does he know The Cant? For a man of rather high stature and nobility, Emon discovers that yes, he knows the cant. And the two share a brief but clandestine conversation in public. Emon attempts to continue the conversation, but Duke Auburn seems uninterested, and resists answering further questions in Cant.

Toro approaches a wizard of Rosalia, but finds the person to be just a tad racist (or curious!), and leaves him alone.

Torinn then wrestles Toro for the right to ride the sarcophagus. However, he is shaken off and a brief melee ensues as others look on. Tharious sits and waits, and after a time the Governor of Wamor, Elik, arrives.

Only instead of Governor Elik, the man who steps out is apparently Governor Reynes, the Governor of Governors.

The man seems perturbed that the houses are meeting at all, and implies it was intentionally to leave out the proper “head” of state. Perhaps even to bully the weaker willed Elik into accepting the things the houses wanted to talk about.

The meeting begins and the first thing they talk about is that Barrow Hills was assaulted by a skeletal force led by the lich who they know as Zeiram. Some floating skeletal sorcerer accompanied the assault of undead. During the melee, the magician raised thousands of undead buried beneath the mounts of Barrow Hill. As soon as retrieving the undead, even though they were winning the fight, they retreated.

Taeiseach Greymane resolved himself to learning more about the barrows.

Up next was the question of Lere’s leadership, Premier Rosalia seemed upset about something when he came forward and suggested that Rosalia be promoted to de facto leader. As they accomplished the task previously set upon them, and also retrieved the corpse of the king, they are the most honorable and worthy.

Toro and the others comment that the ritual they gathered the ingredients for was the downfall of the city, therefore it’s not really appropriate they be rewarded for it. Also Lord Stonebrook chimes in to say the ingredients were lost anyway, so it was moot.

That’s when the party decides it’s probably time to reveal that they were able to recover most of the artifacts. The rest are in awe, and they want to discuss it further, but Aashir interrupts. He has something he wants to discuss.

See, the houses all believe they’re entitled to a piece of House Xiao’s assets as reparations for the damage caused by the cultists (which House Xiao assisted in). However, Aashir notes that there have always been 7 houses. So they find themselves in need of a new House to replace Xiao. And given the times ahead for Lere, it stands to reason, he argues, that a more… “heroic” house as at least a temporary aid against Lere’s threats might serve them quite well. So he nominates the Heroes of Lere to inherit the titles and lands of Xiao.

Duke Auburn steps forward, as does (begrudginly) Premier Rosalia. Governor Reynes is outraged and proclaims his right to break ties. However, the houses Overrule him, declaring Lere a temporary Oligarchy.

They’re escorted back to Zarhan’s Manor after the Governor storms off, where they collect their things and are brought to their new home.

Once inside they discuss how they plan to clean house when an old, hunched woman announced she’d like to bless them with a card reading. She is clearly a charlatan and nearly outed as such. Emon pickpockets the cards she’d planned on using for Torinn, the final reading. However, when she pulls a card, it is The Dragon. She is confused and a little worried (that her ruse was going to be discovered). Then she pulls the Death card. She’s positive she’d messed up and tries to explain away the card as a good thing.

when she pulls the next card and it is another dragon, she begins sweating and swearing that someone is messing with her. The cards are wrong, and she apologizes and tries to start another reading. However the next card is Death again. She drops the deck as if it bit her and runs out of the room screaming. Every card reveals itself to be Dragon and Death. The message to Torinn is clear. However, to cement the horror that is tracking them, Soveliss shows up. They think he might be able to give them some good news.

However his stomach is ripped in half to form a macabre mouth out of his ribs, and a sinister and familiar voice comes through the gore, “Two down, one to go.”

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Act 2 - Session 72: Campaign Re-titled "Sarcophagus and Friends"
"Do you faggots even praise the sun?" --Tharious

The following is not written coherently. I’m currently very, very tired and have little or no plans to rewite later. Be glad there even IS a summary.

Head to town, bringing Freddie and Mercury on top of the sarcophagus. The ground, oddly, is compeltely torn up. giant pits and gorges in the ground, and the dirt is churned as if by an enormous plow.

They notice the dragonborn skeletons to the east heading south, they are out of the way of their march.

Soon they pass the somber scene of a battle. Dozens and dozens of skeletal remains are littered among a huge torn up earth, and hundreds more Lere corpses on top. Injured, moaning men are all about. The skeletal army that engaged these men long gone headed south. This was an awful battle.

The party uses Tree Travel to make it straight to Lere, and head to where they left Toro’s grandmother, but she’s not there. “…. fuck!” toro says. They ask around and discover Toro’s grandmother drinking in a pub. She asks for a recap, tells them they did good, and that she needs to at some point talk to Toro alone. They also discuss that the sarcophagus IS the great darkness and threat she came to address. It needs to be hidden in a place or way that no one could ever find it. It was buried and protected centuries ago, and that simply did not prove to be enough.

Soon a fanboy/messenger arrives with a song of their exploits, hoping he’s right in guessing they are the Heroes of Zahran rumored to have saved the city from the flying fortress. He says other houses are claiming that honor through different means, but the stronger rumor is about their group, though it’s only just spreading. He says he knew where to find them because they’d been identified after they walked through a tree, beat two men into submission and adorned them on the top of the sarcophagus Toro carries on his back. Emon had also left it outside, bound it closed with rope and scattered caltrops around it when they went in. The messenger tries to regale them with song, but having rolled an 8 out of 20 on the roll, he did so terribly and cursed himself afterward. Pretzels were almost fed to the prisoners, but I think everyone forgot. The messenger had brought a scroll from Shiek Aashir requesting an audience with them after their heroic victory, and they acquiesce.

First they head to the war tent Aashir had been using during the assault, but since it was over, they were directed instead to his proper residence.

Arriving at Zahran Manor, they’re greeted by Aashir. When they’d arrived Aashir and Junayd had been arguing intently, red, angry faces. Junayd then smiled left and Aashir tells them how grateful he is. He will certainly reward them. However he’d like just one… more…. thing.

See, Lere is without its barrier. And the financial trading Lere did with neighboring nations was used as leverage to keep the peace. Without the king, and without the barrier, Lere loses a bit of its value, and absolutely loses a bit of its leverage. However it is still a valuable gem, and now vulnerable while the houses fight amongst each other. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the undead. One house needs to rule, and having the Heroes of Lere on Aashir’s side might be the necessary aid in pushing popular support to their side (even though the houses themselves won’t agree). Lere needs one leader, for everyone’s sake. So he asks them to at least think about it. In the meantime he provides them with wonderful bedrooms and… company. Torinn accepts! Tharious and Emon do not. Nor does Toro.

In the night Emon investigates a secret tunnel that leads to a cistern from his room. It also contains an illusory wall from the cistern side. He informs Torinn about it, spreads caltrops inside the illusory wall, and waits. No intruders come.

Tharious meets with Glorin, the neat-bearded dwarf of the Stonebrook Acropolis’s temple of Pelor. He asks about Eris and assures Tharious that if Eris is cooperating with the cultists, it could only be under duress and coercion. Tharious MUST get Eris back, she is important to both the order, and many priests personally, including Tharious. He retrieves his horses and card. And most importantly, his candles.

In the daytime Toro seeks out his abuella. She’s eating and informs him that he must undertake a quest to the Firestorm Peaks and perform the Javier Bardem, an ancient and mystical performance which renews the pledge of the goddess of music, Jet, to provide power through song. Without this covenant, music will cease to be a medium for The Weave. What the ritual itself is, however, Abuella could not say. It will be for Toro to discover on his own. It is an ***incredibly*** important burden, and Abuella herself is unable to fulfill the duties, as the journey is arduous and dangerous.

After that they discuss the sarcophagus, the cultists, and the giant. The sarcophagus must be hidden, for the cult while incredibly dangerous with their ability to channel, will still only seek out the coffin as a means of completing their true purpose. Resurrecting the old god Skemmdavargur. As for the giant, he is a creature that does not belong. And it is somehow his presence here that is allowing Mana to exist, and be channeled. This is extra important for it’s only with their ability to channel that they pose a threat to the gods and can resurrect the old god. If the cult is ever to be stopped completely, this giant “Dryjhna” must be either stopped, or killed if he has to be. All this Abuella learned in the druidic ritual, but was too exhausted from exertion to relay before rest, drink, and food. She intends after a time to travel back to the native roaming lands of Tirothil.

The party meets back up. They shop a bit, before skipping time to meet with Aashir, his fine robes, gilded ornate sabers, and headdress’d horses. They head out together to attend the conference of the heads of Lere. They arrive and see the grandest display of wealth and power in one spot that any of them have ever, ever witnessed. Even in Barumila.

Aaand we wait until next week.

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Session 71: Enter the Dragon
To be determined...

Raziel uses his FINAL form from the power granted to him by the mysterious, gnarly claw statue in the flying temple.

But what of the indifference of “Vosk” and “Dryjhna”? For something so critical, why would they take the risk?

The dragon approaches, exhuming a deathly breath that takes Tharious legit down to 1hp. So, there’s that. Toro summons an air elemental and begins climbing up the statue to retrieve the gems.

The dragon knocks Torinn out and is about to go for the kill. Tharious screams madly, flailing limbs to save this new friend he’s made, and then retreats to his cubby hole. Emon is playing stabby stabby, poking many holes into the dragon, out of which is pouring the black stuff.

Torinn gets up and fuckin books it to the cubby hole. The dragon intends to follow, having rolled a 6 on his recharge, and with everyone in one single spot. But as he moves to engage, Toro’s air elemental gets in the final critical strike necessary to end the campaign on… that note.

The dragon suddenly hardens and begins cracking, pieces peeling away like an orange or banana peel. The hand begins violently quaking, and the already precipitous floor begins to collapse, everyone in free fall.

Tharious quaffs his flying potion. Toro grabs Torinn. Emon flies to where the chrysalis of Raziel is breaking apart and leaves nothing to chance. Stab stab stab.

Off in the distance, a large army of skeletons march away from Wamor.

After they land, Toro eats the dragon egg. More on that in later sessions.

Torinn begins gathering up the remaining pieces when a strange sight comes floating down like a gay mary poppins. Freddie and Elton, the two cultists, hand in hand. Oh yeah, turns out they’re wizards and freefall is like a level 1 spell. Any channelers they dropped would have burnt up from channeling by now, but Freddie and Mercury never initiated it (however that happens).

They question them about the nature of the world, and Tharious asks about Eris. The cultists give Tharious some distressing news. She not only wasn’t captured, they saw her helping the cult. Tharious refuses to believe it, and sets his mind to rescuing her still.

They also reveal another distressing fact. The ritual’s true intent was to lure Pelor to the temple, and entrap him in the sarcophagus. Only then would the ritual be complete, and Skemmdavargur be reborn.

Thankfully they thwarted the ritual. But now they’re carrying an older-than-time sarcophagus in a muddy field surrounded by skeletons, with two prisoners.

They try to put the prisoners in the sarcophagus, but opening it floods their mind with hate and terror. So scratch that plan.

Until next session…

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We played Dead by Daylight.
"Grudgey DM bullshit crosses over into other games."

And it was good.

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Session 70: Rumble in the Temple
The Grudgey DM Strikes Back

Entering into the chamber after making final preparations, the party attempts stealth, after Toro is clocked by the strange, large individual, and flies up to avoid drawing attention to the rest of their party. Emon attempts stealth, and masterfully evades all possible physical senses, but it seems their adversaries employ mystical means of detection.

Vosk begins to monologue, while the leader of the assassin’s guild puts down his swords to take on some strange power, what Vosk called “the first trial of a grand experiment, that Raziel has agreed to demo for us all.”

The fight begins by Raziel surrendering his physical form to conjure a number of the most profoundly alien and powerful looking beasts. 5 with onyx skin rippling with muscles. Truly these were the models for the hounds the cultists had summoned. The cruel facsimiles those crystals could command were based on these things, beautiful in their ominous way. Two more, rage incarnate. Reddish brown skin roiling with licks and ripples of pulsating red energy just beneath the surface of the skin, and eyes that burn with a smoldering hate. Finally, one larger creature, with two enormous tusks so large they practically dominate his face, and though it bore a single eye, that lone eye had multiple pupils that dodged and zagged, a most horrifying visage.

These creatures the party slowly and methodically dispatched. Many being flung outside the fortress.

The cultists and channelers, it would seem, are timid, even reluctant, to enter the melee. Perhaps they have been given orders, but whatever the reason, they are with single-minded purpose focusing on seeing the ritual to completion, even ignoring the party completely.

Meanwhile, Toro has begun flinging cultists outside of the temple as well. Having made a circuit around the ring, he heads for Vosk. Vosk seems unconcerned, however, as he calls for aid from his large companion, apparently named “Dryjhna”. Dryjhna stuns Toro into complacency for one round and says “No, old friend.” Though when he comes to, Toro grabs him instead. The giant man does not fight back. When they plummet, the strange humanoid opens a portal that swallows them whole, careens them over a strange burnt landscape, and then up back into the temple. Stoicly and without any demonstration of emotion, the giant coolly walks back to Vosk’s side. Toro is shaken a bit by the experience, but sensing no immediate threat (in fact, a vexing familiarity instead) from the giant (and not feeling that Vosk is the type to lift his own fingers to get dirty) he heads instead to aid his friends.

Finally the last hound is dispatched. However it recalls Raziel, who in humanoid form launches his assault on Emon. Torinn has begin snapping (mostly ineffectively) at the cultists channeling the ritual. It is proceeding, but not terribly quickly. It cannot be risked, however, that this be allowed to proceed. Expertly dodging the assaults, Emon is able to survive in time for his friends to come to his aid and they are able to stab, bash, maim and stomp Raziel into submission.

His assassin’s composure has been compromised, it would seem, by his current form. He is overtaken with rage, and instead of slipping into death, manifests himself as a dragon. A terrifying final form. The real fight, it would now seem, begins.

Um, what? (Logan coming back to hear the description of Raziel’s assault)
“I can show you the world!” Dancing cultists

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One-Shot 3: Past is Past
sad blub

A depressed black pudding, an elf-dwarf ettin and a chivalrous red dragon walk into a bar….

Roughly 5,000 years in the past, the Ghiscari army descends to Tirothil. Having conquered the entire massive continent of his self-named Ghiscar, Ancalagon the Black sets his army’s ruthless gaze on the Giant homeland, Tirothil, now mostly ruled by dwarves.

Fighting in the land bridge between the two, rumors circulate that Ancalagon has been missing. One or two month excursions have always been common, but it has been more like 6 months now without word or notice from their black wyrm tyrant leader.

Amidst that, three traveled adventurers seek a cure to a curse that has been thrust upon them by a mysterious quest giver. The search for this giver and the artifact bring them to a small fishing village you won’t find on any large map. The town of Rhory. Searching for a man named Ninki.

Being worried about being judged for appearances, they come to a small hut on the outside of town first for assistance, and after fending off a butcher’s knife from some mother, they get help. The postman/sherrif lends his aid, and eventually his boat to get the party where they need to go (for payment, of course).

They make it to Caer Wynn, which in a few hundred years will be colloquially (and eventually officially), Anghiscar’s Reach, meaning “Lord Ghiscar’s Reach”, for it’s at this tower’s location the Ghiscar empire is finally stopped and pushed back, the farthest they ever make it. Anghiscar’s Reach is known to be a pretty but crumbling and mundane tower of no interest. Plundered beyond use, all that remains for the majestic monument is the fall.

However, in this time, still old and overrun, it’s known to be a place of death. An inescapable trap. And they are headed inside. Because those are probably just stories, right? And the only cure to their curse may lie inside.

They ascend the steps, and begin their trek into the tower. Closer now, Ninki immediately affects an air of possession. First speaking to the air and performing weird mannerisms, but also displaying inexplicable knowledge of the tower and its…. inhabitants.

They fight their way through floor after floor of increasingly corporeal haunts or poltergeists. Bloody body-like phantasms that warn them at every turn to head back or die.

Suddenly, reaching another lower floor, the support gives way, and the party plummets into a black depth, gazed upon from above by the surrounding horrors.

Out of the ghostly frying pan, and into the eldritch horror fire, they find themselves in a pool of water beneath the tower surrounded by sleeping Aboleths, the most terrifying and ancient horror one could imagine. Dozens, dreaming…

There we left them…

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