Points of Light

Alien pirates
Why should we let this arrogant bastard go?

A day after leaving the shores of Skandium, a strange ship was spotted off the starboard side.

It sat very tall in the water and seemed to have a bizarre arrangement of sails fanning out from the rear almost like a peacock.

The lookout in their crows nest must have spotted you as the ship wheeled around towards the Impending Storm. As it sped closer, it became obvious that the ship was not actually sitting in the water at all!! It seemed to be floating above it on some purple and pink cushion of energy, the sea beneath it broiling away as it skimmed across the surface at great speed!

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Medea ordered the helmsmen about and the mainsail and jib to be flew tight as the wheel spun hard. The wind caught the sails it and wrenched the ship forward at it’s top speed……but it was so much slower than the chasing vessel….they would be upon the Impending Storm in minutes….the party prepared for attack!!

Naval Battle ensued! The attacking ship hovered about with surprising agility, managing to dodge some of the defensive ballista attacks. Bolts which did manage to hit the ship exploded in a shower of sparks against an invisible force shield. The ships locked together and the attackers threw down boarding hooks and ladders. But these attackers were creatures not seen on this world before. With long swept back heads and pointed ears, and gaping nostrils with pupiless eyes and wicked mouths….these pirates looked every bit at vicious as nightmares.

They attacked fiercely and several crew from both sides were slaughtered, but eventually the leaders were overcome. The captain surrendered seemingly in an attempt to preserve the life of himself and his crew. After several long and frustrating interrogation sessions with the arrogant and highly intelligent captain, they’d reached an agreement to exchange information and technology for him and his freedom.

Githyanki_WIP_by_Kimmuriel_HUN.jpg

The alien creatures were a race called Githyanki, from another plane of existance. About a week ago, Captain Gish Za’zozthe and the crew of the Skyship Star Slicer found themselves drawn into a temporal planar portal from the Astral Sea to the natural world which occurred along the ley lines which have been showing random signs of becoming unstable.

In the past week, the Star Slicer has attacked a couple of pirate ships and a couple of seaside villages (including the fishing village, Gamuut which the party found) looking for loot. He’s just waiting for one of the planar anomalies to open back up again so he can get home…..or he will have to seek out Sigil.

They showed the crew of the Impending Storm the arcane workings of the alien ship’s engine and control orb, which they feared and wouldn’t touch (perhaps wisely), then they showed them the technology of the shield generation unit, something they could actually reproduce with current knowledge using some crystals which are extremely rare on this world.

They released the captain and his remaining crew, after relieving their ship of any visible crystals, and set them on their way, pointing them towards some pirate isles(?)

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Landlubbers and Seadogs
Bress blah blah blah then finally setting sail

Finally setting sail after lots of blah blah blah

=)

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Leaving and arriving ...eventually
From Winterhaven to Bress

Umm… so we eventually left Winterhaven, met a dwarf and then got ambushed by Giants.
Cannot recall much else…

On reflection we did eventually make it to Bress, where in preparation for our grand voyage, we closed down the Bordello by the Bay.

Oh, and apprarently Faro is a planewalker known to Teh Wite Laydee

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Back in the Keep on the Shadowfell
Now what?

The party of the New Voyagers, having escaped a demonic domain in the Shadowfell by way of a riftgate portal opened with a dark ritual, found themselves back in the altar room of Orcus, in the dungeons beneath of Shadowfell Keep.
Balthasaar updated his companions about their situation and urgently re-engineered a version of the dark ritual to disempower the riftgate portal.
Afer some further discussion Balth magically contacted a few more companions and notararies, before the group took their leave of the altar room. After exiting upwards, through several chambers still exhibiting reamains of battles faught over 4 years ago, the group came to a set of barricaded doors.
Dusk burst the doors open and the group came face to face with the underground base of a tribe of goblins who had taken up residence under the keep. After much negotiation with the goblins leader (King Zun Zun?), who Medea accused of squatting in the keep which was lawfully and rightfully ours, the group undertook to avoid bloodshed and provide a demonstration of their powers by ridding the keep of a second dangerous denizen, the goblins described as interloping in another part of the dungeon.
Shortly they had been ushered into a locked off section of dungeon, and while advancing in the light of one of the wilderfolke summoned by Balthasaar, they were ambushed by several giant spiders, two with powers to blink short distances, and another extremely large one exhibiting obviuosly demonic heritage, who threatened vile retributions in the infernal tongue.
After a mighty struggle where Dusk performed admirably as a meat-shield, and where the devious might of the warlock Medea and the diabolical intelligence of Balthasaar combined magnificently, the demon spiders were vanquished awash waves of eldritch energy and hideous curses, as well as fey fires and bloodsoaked magics. At the end off the battle Balth’s enchanted wilderfolke had attracted some higher order of mana spirit, seemingly harmless, and who appeared to bond with the Eladrin Mage.
Taking their leave of the Demon Spider lair they retuned to the throne room of the goblin king and staked their claims to the keep once again, offering him terms to pay tribute to us in return for occupying and defending our lands, as well as continuing to abide peacefully in the area by truce and treaty with the folk in Winterhaven.
It was agreed the king and his retinue would accompany us to Winterhaven, such that the local Lord of the nearby vilage would be appraised of the situation and decide the matter on its merits.
After summoning magical steeds, they braved a blizzard-like snowstorm to reach the nearby village, and immediately gathered Lord Padraig and the sage Valthurien to the Town Hall to discuss matters of state. Once Medea had stated our intention and Balth had offered copious amounts of reasoning for their decision, it was left to the two leaders to reach an accomodation.
Taking their leave, the group took up further clandestinee of state with the Sage Valthurien, in his tower. In attendancee were Melora Exarch of the Raven Queen, and Don Bresciano from Bress, as well as the White Lady of Avandra, and the floating visage of a mage known as Alendro (purportedly former owner of the Mage Tower in Bress, now used by Balth for the city’s Museo).
Much was discussed…

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In the Shadowfell. Now what?
Rhogar: wanted dead or alive

After performing the 2nd ritual of our Raven-Queen quest, Balth performs a 2nd ritual to discover the whereabouts of a lost companion called Rhogar.
After resting up by the underground shore of the black lake, the party stealthily avoided dire sharks, and began a voyage of some 4 days to their new quest destination.
Along the way they encountered numerous denizens of the shadowfell, including a battle with cannibalistic shadar-kai.
After resting up at a hmlet near the Obsidian Bog, we finally discovered the braken-arched portal that lead to a demon-bordello, where we located the petrified body of Rhogar still clutching the Ritual Tome he took with him from The Keep of the Shadowfell.
After various none-too subtle investigations, we were discovered by the now undead priest ?Khale/Malef-something? who Rhogar tackled into the shadowfell-portal and a battle with him, archer minions, and a ?horned-demonlord /minor-demon? broke out.
After eventual victory we freed Rhogar by ramming a demon-horn into his skull and escaped via the portal to the keep of the shadowfell!
Now we ponder and WTF the situation! ;-)

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Got scroll need black hole
aka Teh Dragonslayers

wound things up in batonsburg
obliterated some ogres en route
left peren to guard entry nexus
spend time at inn of black lanterns
travelled to bottom of black lagoon, avoiding sharks and entered cave
defeated dragons

flesh this out a bit more…

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How do we get to the shadowfell?
aka Teh Majique Shoppe

The next morning after the heroes feast in Gamithveilt, the party met a scruffy half-elf named Peren who knew of a Shadowrift north west of here. The only issue is a ritual to open the rift would be required. The party decided to risk being spotted by Karnal-Noire spies and search the magic shops of Batonsburg for the ritual.

After searching through several dodgy but ultimately useless shops, the party happened upon a strange and dusty little place with a door set into a run down building sandwiched between some meat packing warehouses. A strange old tinker named Lyleman runs the store but denied having any rituals. Things got a bit crazy when Dusk picked up a brain in a jar to look at it and….it woke up and dominated his mind….forcing him to attack the party…followed by a host of undead (Flesh Scamps, Lich Claws and Slime Devils) pouring out of nothingness generated from the random magical flux stored in the multitude of oddities in the room. The party sprang into action and beat the chaotic horde back with only minimal(ish) damage to the store. Lyleman, who’d be knocked on his arse during the fray immediately pulled down a battered scroll case and gave it the party on the promise they’d leave the store and never come back.

Once outside the building, the door rolled itself up like a map and disappeared. As Batonsburgians were beginning to stare at them, the party quickly ducked off down an alley to mend their wounds and fix their disheveled attire. Balthasar peered inside the scroll case to find two intact copies of the Shadow Passage ritual. Huzzah!!

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The Lost Altar of the Dead Souls
One down, one to go

After defeating Lord Venduul in an epic battle inside the keep’s throne room, the new heir of Gamithveilt, Lord Gregor (son of the recently slain Lady Eva) took up his mantle and held a celebration in honor of their liberation. The PC’s (you guys need a name….or imma just gonna have someone make one up and it will be something like The Shadow Knights) were the guests of honor and enjoyed revelling far into the night….some farther than others….in fact Dusk was kept awake all night by an eager, but devilishly ruthless maiden Redilla.

The next morning, Lord Gregor led the party through a secret panel behind the throne which led down into musky, old chapel. Pulling up the mismatching mosaic on the chapel floor, they discovered a rough cut tunnel with a rusty ladder which led deep down into some underground caverns. Gregor was disturbed that there could be an unknown entrance into the keep and insisted he join the pc’s in their investigation. The pc’s trusted Gregor with the tale of the Lost of Altar of Dead Souls and impressed upon him the importance of keeping the secret, he earnestly agreed.

The caverns contained several dead-ends, finally leading to an iron bound wooden door with a large iron ring and no key hole. As it was locked, Balthasar forced a mighty knock spell which shook off the ancient enchantments and the door swung open revealing an eerie chamber. The chamber was dominated by an enormous slab of black stone, inlaid with unintelligble silver glyphs. As Balthasar was investigating the glyphs, the door slammed shut and several wraiths appeared to attack the party “Thou who have entered here will not leave!”

Lost_Altar_of_the_Dead_Souls.jpg

After a vicious and near-death battle, all the wraiths were vanquished….but the cost will be heavy, every pc reached the dark depths of their soul, some came out permanently damaged.

Wraith.jpg

But the real task was to secure the part of the Altar residing in the Natural Plane. The sisters of The Raven Queen had supplied the party with two Ritual Scrolls of Forbiddance which will keep the cavern hidden from scrying….unfortunately, the casting of the ritual on the scroll costs 5,000 gp, plus 5 healing surges….

Using a Ritual Scroll: A ritual scroll holds one use of a particular ritual. You can perform a scroll’s ritual even if you don’t have the Ritual Caster feat, regardless of the level of the ritual. You still have to expend the components and supply any focus required by the ritual, and you can enlist your allies’ assistance. Once you have finished performing the ritual on a scroll, the scroll turns to dust. If the ritual is interrupted, the scroll remains intact.

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Lord Venduul no more
Gamithveilt

After arriving the Abbey, the four of you were told by Sister Naenea that a young girl living with the Raven Queen sisters had visions of a dark altar shifting between two locations. The Raven Queen Exarch’s took this portent seriously, believing it to represent the Lost Altar of Dead Souls – an ancient relic which is said to exist simultaneously in both the natural world and the Shadowfell.

It was created over 1000 years ago by a necromancer who had accidentally killed his wife, to bring her back to life, although successful, she came back as a ghastly form of her previous self and he was forced to destroy her again. He took his own life on the altar. Ever since then, the altar was sought out by powerful creatures looking to take advantage of it’s necromantic and teleportation powers. The sisters of the Raven Queen had wrested control of it 200 years ago, but before they could get a chance to either protect or destroy it, the Great Cataclysm disrupted their plans and it was largely forgotten about.

Sister Naenea has asked for the party’s help to track down both entrances to the Lost Altar and secure it with a powerful warding ritual to keep it hidden from evil forces so the Raven Queen exarchs will have time to safely destroy it. The entrance from the natural plane to the Altar is believed to be hidden beneath a chapel far away in the Dawn Peaks, a small keep town named Gamithveilt closely matches the last known position of the chapel, it’s likely Gamithveilt was built up around the chapel. The entrance from within the Shadowfell is apparently at the bottom of a murky lake a few days travel from The House of Black Lanterns, a popular inn at some crossroads in the wilderness of the Shadowfell.

Passed through at least one small village and one small town en route to Gamitveilt via Phantom Steeds summoned by Balths ritual.

After several days travel, trying to keep away from larger settlements in order to avoid detection from enemy spies, you and your companions spent an evening in a small trade township named Ellermein, where half of Sanctuaries wicker products are made. Here, Medea met an old halfling who knew of the old keep at Gamithveilt, but hadn’t heard any word from there for quite some time.

Gamithveilt_with_trolls.jpg

Arriving at the gates, it was apparent all was not right in the keep. We failed to enter easily so tried to find another way in by ambushing some hobgoblins at a nearby guarded mine. This lead nowhere, so we spent some time reconning the keep via Medea’s shadow flight ritual. Turns out Gamithveilt had been overtaken by a troll war band, with it’s leader calling himself Lord Venduul and running the place with ruthless order.

Later we found a secret entrance and freed the imprisoned Lord Gregor from the dungeons and then proceeded to combat and defeat Lord Venduul and his troll henchmen.

Now we’re looking for an ancient chapel where the altar is believed to exist.

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The Verbeeg
When is an enemy not an enemy?
  • Left haunted abandoned shack and continued north-east-ish on a new batch of summoned horses
  • Wasted about a day getting lost in the wilderness
  • Split up into two groups (Balthasar and Medea in the first group; with Dusk and Pamila in the second group)
  • Balthasar and Medea Spotted some bugbears dragging a deer, then followed at a distance until the bugbears reached their encampment. Deciding against interacting with a potentially dangerous band of local monsters they continued on
  • Medea transformed herself into a swarm of bats and flew up above the treeline to get a better view of the terrain. Spotting a building far into the distance towards the north-east they corrected their course and forged ahead, sending an Animal Messenger (a small rabbit with a wet nose and large brown eyes) to the other two letting them know which direction to head
  • Late afternoon, Balth and Medea spotted some drag marks leading off into the bushes and followed.Gaarg
  • Creeping cautiously into a clearing, they were ambushed by two reptilian creatures and an large humanoid with mottled brown-green skin covered in green moss-like hair with a cunning gleam in his eyes.
  • During the battle that followed, the mystical fey giant, a verbeeg named Gaarg ,revealed he had kidnapped three acolytes of the Raven Queen abbey and wished to parley for their lives. Negotiations broke down and Gaarg was subdued. Balthsar revived him with a potion of healing.
  • Gaarg agreed to lead the pc’s to his kidnap victims. On the way there, he explained he had been cast out of his clan and wished to one day return, with boosted magical powers, and take over leadership from the brutal Kalaarg, who had been leading the clan on wanton raids of nearby townships unnecessarily. Gaarg wanted to move the clan further into the Trollhaunt Mountains and live self-sufficiently without relying on raiding for food. Balthasar took pity on the fey creature and showed him how to brew a Potion of Invulnerability in exchange for the giant’s service for a year and a day.
  • They released the three Raven Queen acolytes: Bryne, Arthurna and Marget who would show the pc’s the way back to the Abbey. Arthurna remembered Medea from the adventure at the Sleeper in the Tomb of Dreams.
  • Whilst not agreeing with the tactics of assisting their kidnappers, the acolytes were very grateful for being rescued and offered the pc’s some baubles they’d managed to keep hidden from the menacing troglodyte creatures: A marble gemstone decorated with gith runes (worth 2000 GP); and 4 highly polished black pearl gemstones suffused with elemental energy (worth 250 GP each)
    Raven queen acolyte
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