Is it Freedom?

End of Chapter

This entry is not of the usual style, it’s a brief recap/update of the current status of the game:

The current date at the end of the final session is 17 Second Autumn, 150AU, and it’s early evening.

Bara’an is destroyed, blasted into ruins by a powerful elven spell construct. The elf lord responsible for the destruction of the city is dead, killed by the party.

As the party left the the Inquisition Keep in the centre of Bara’an, they noticed unusual runic script covering several sections of the oldest areas of the ruined city

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To Bara'an

12 Second Autumn 150AU

After tracking down the demon and slaying it, and a brief jaunt to the Sirocco Straits care of a Planar Tear in the lab of an pre-Inquisition wizard, whom Elthuin and Chiana believed to be that of Ezra the Mad, though with the degradation of the tower and it missing several levels, they couldn’t be certain.

After a brief discussion and use of divination magic, the party headed south towards Bara’an along the Drask Road, unfortunately, after a few days of travel, they (or rather Og) stumbled across a elven patrol that caused some serious damage to the party, and scattered them across several miles as they avoided the patrols backup.

Now, split up and with a second patrol looking for them, can the party regroup?

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Demon Escape
Wait, what?

3 Second Autumn 150AU

After returning to Drask, you headed for Penthflower, trying to discover what exactly the elves had done to Ba’aran, when Jaunet’s scrying had revealed the mostly intact city covered in strange growths.

On route, you discovered that Etherwine had been overrun (of a sorts) by thousands of refugees from Ba’aran, living in squalid conditions, as the small town clearly wasn’t coping with the influx of hungry mouths.

With some of you returning to Penthflower to arrange for supplies and further housing and travel some stayed in the town to try and optimise the poor living conditions for the people of Ba’aran.

Overnight, Father Eldin, the old priest of the Unchained that administered to the town was found brutally murdered in his chamber in the church. Concerned, Raaxis sent a message to those that returned to Penthflower – bringing them back to Elderwine rapidly to help in the investigation.

Guessing that a re-abandoned woodsman cabin may hold the key – you investigated the area – and found it protected by a strange magical field.

Penetrating the magical defence, you found a secret chamber behind a concealed panel in the cabins basement. Following the tunnel and disposing of several archaically dressed Inquisition warriors that collapsed into rotted torsos in death, you entered a chamber where all the flagstones were uneven.

Expecting a trap, Elthuin entered the room, eventually triggering a concussive blast that settled the flagstones down into the ground. As Elthuin and Og explored further into the complex, several doors slammed behind them, isolating them from their fellows and stepping out from the walls were two Trolls.

After a long fight, the party discovered that the assassin of Father Eldin was the young girl they rescued from the Inquisition training ground some weeks before.

As they finally killed her, a gruff, rasping voice echoed weirdly from the corpse “Thank you, I’m now free….” and as the sounds finished, the body exploded, revealing a huge demon, one that promptly teleported towards the exit, appearing right next to Jaunet, who used his recently acquired Staff of Insects to hide himself from the demon.

After a moment, with nothing but the sounds of insects in the air, Jaunet dismissed his spell, only to discover that the demonic creature had fled, most likely back towards Elderwine…..

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Into the depths

3 First Autumn to 10 First Autumn 150AU

After clearing the Gnomish keep and a rather abrupt conversation with Esky and some other Gnomes, you found yourself in the capital of Hendra, Hendra the City.

There, you encountered the head of the Church of the Unchained, Car’Anon, and after a puzzling conversation in which you learned little of what the Inquisition’s ultimate plans were, you did learn that they had planned a trap for the Elves at Baraan.

After fighting in a “tourney” to prove you were of some use to the Inquisition, you were teleported to somewhere in Hendra, west of your town of Penthflower, but not quite as far as the Gnomish Keep.

Some 20 miles to the south, you could make out some ruins. Deciding that looting the remnants of a vanished race sounded fun, you headed into the ruins and found a hidden set of tunnels beneath a old firepit.

Inside, the tunnels had a weird acoustic effect, with strange echoes and unusual walls. Unsure of who constructed the tunnels originally, given that they are sized for shorter than average humans, or tall dwarves.

Inside a chamber, again with weird sound effects, you encountered a large green crystal, inside which was trapped a large demon, that after a convoluted conversation, did what most demons do – it attacked.

You’ve just finished off the demon, you pause for a second to consider your next move…

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Portal?

3 First Autumn 150AU

After removing the rest of the Inquisition forces from the keep, including one of it’s most powerful leaders, Car’Leon, the party discovered a portal that one of the Inquisition researchers was trying to get to work, as according to one of the researchers journals, “… it was the device the gnomes utilised to defeat the High Elves when hope was all but lost…”

Upon reading more of the journals, the party discovered that while the Inquisition haven’t yet discovered how to make the strange, almost bronze metal lining the walls of the Gnomish keep, they had figured out how to cut and reshape it, using a strange dagger that the party had recovered earlier.

They have also discovered that the entirety of the Gnomish fortress had been stripped of most of the metal, and the Inquisition had removed a good portion of the Gnomish clockwork devices to Hendra the City, via a room in the keep that had been reconfigured to a teleportation circle, as well as sending the several chests of more valuable items via a convoy to a more established Inquisition fortress to the south-east of Baraan.

Armed with this info, and that received from a group of captured Inquisition soldiers, the party plans their next move, knowing that the elves are coming…

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Magi and Priests

2 First Autumn 150AU

As the dust from the exploded door settled, two bolts of lightning launched themselves through the cloud, and 6 apprentice Unchained mages and two Battlemages fired off a huge magical assault, which combined with the tight corridor, caused some problems for the party.

Adding to the problem, a portcullis stood in the way of the parties path to the battlemages, though a pair of teleporting spells got around that issue.

After defeating the mages, the party found a target range for the apprentices, and further into the complex, they found a larger practice range, complete with several cages containing dogs, which the party freed, after deciding that the Unchained mages were using them for area spell target practice.

Exploring further, the party found a large chamber with a closet at the back, containing a closet full of valuable spell components, including two hundred golds worth of diamond dust. However, when they tried to leave with the materials, the room filled with a blue light, and the door out locked.

Teleporting in to do battle, a horned devil caught the party by surprise, wounding Og and Raaxis before being killed, though as it died, it issued a warning “You will never defeat the Inquisition”.

Armed with this disturbing information, the party continued to explore, finding a flight of stairs up, finding a armoury, filled with breastplates and a single suit of plate armour.

After the armoury, the party found a guardroom, and deciding a ambush was in order, kicked the door in and quickly killed the handful of guards and two inquisition Captains. Their victory was short lived, as behind another door, a pair of the Inquisitions priests lurked, along with a warhammer wielding, heavily armoured warrior, who proceeded to severely wound Raidne, and and to banish Og to a pocket plane while they tried to kill the rest of the party, coming close on several occasions, but eventually the party prevailed.

Heavily wounded the party is now looking for a place to rest up, hoping that they will not be bothered during the night….

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Clockwork and Magic

2 First Autumn 150AU

After destroying the large convoy of Inquisition troops escorting “something” back into Hendra from an unknown point, the party investigated where they had come from. Following the road and the increasing sounds of water, they found the road leading out into the river, then jutting a few meters into the abyss as the river fell away into a magnificent waterfall, and directly opposite the waterfall, across a huge chasm, there stood a magnificent building, vaguely dwarven in appearance.

Standing at the edge of the roadway, studying several waist high pillars, was a human woman in heavy armour, carrying several large weapons.

When approached by Elthuin, the woman introduced herself as Raidne, a warrior on a quest based on a vision she received involving demons, a portal and the the structure across the chasm, guided to this spot by the Priests of Zarebi.

Somewhat doubtful, Elthuin introduced the rest of the group, and after a discussion and several attempts at working the pillars, which were inscribed with strange, nearly dwarven runes, Og managed to work the gemstone switches and with a sound of rushing air and discharging static, a magical bridge shot out over the chasm, linking the road where the party was standing to the structure across the chasm.

Crossing the semi-transparent bridge, the party entered a huge entry area, with the walls full of moving gears and cogs of varying sizes, somehow drawing the eye to the large doors into the structure proper. The doors, filled with unmoving cogs, at least wide enough to allow carts to enter two at a time, moved easily when the handles were tried by Elthuin, in fact moving so rapidly it pulled him a few paces into a long corridor, again filled with cogs and gears in the wall, to a matching set of doors about 20 meters away.

These doors led into a chamber, set up like a stable livery yard, with tack on one wall, and one of the extremely lightweight carts that the Inquisition was using for it’s ill-fated convoy. Moving from this chamber into the next, the party found a chamber set up much like a market, despite being deep inside a mountain.

After looking at the odd collection of small cogs and gears, made out of some strange brass-looking metal, the party was attacked by several small, shadowy undead, that all but drained the life from Raidne, and several other members of the party.

After recuperating from this fight, they continued through the structure, finding a room full of clockwork toy soldiers and a barracks with beds designed for people of small structure, pushed together to make beds for larger creatures.

Eventually, they found an unusual clockwork key that opened up a chamber with a concealed door. After triggering an explosion, a glyph hidden in the disguised door, the some of the party are staggering back when….

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Into the mountains
Curse lifted, a new direction

Managing a quick trip to Drask, the party were directed by the Alemaster of Drask (it’s high priest) to retrieve some tomes of ancient dwarven rites, in exchange for lifting the curse on poor Elthuin.

Finding the abandoned shrine in the Underdark, Elthuin’s quest for a cure nearly ended when he ended up in a one on one fight against a mind flayer.

Luckily it didn’t, and the party retrieved the needed books. Returning to the Alemaster, he performed the ritual needed to lift the curse, though it involved a tough fight against several demons, Elthuin was freed.

After the curse was lifted, the party had a chat with the leader of Drask, Kal Meeron who directed the party to “do whatever they wish, as long as it increases trade between Ralston and Hendra.”

The news that the plainsmen barbarians of Ralston are increasing their raids on trade caravans added to the party’s woes, they decided that the Inquisition presence in the nearby mountains was the most pressing matter, and they headed that way.

The party has just defeated a heavily guarded caravan leaving a unusual looking building deep in the Sunrise Mountains, though with no idea as to what the Inquisition was leaving with.

Now, as autumn starts to lose it’s grip and winter begins, what will the party discover?

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Catch up log

23 Second Summer 150 AU

After mourning Gurukaas and freeing a captured drow monk, you proceeded through the tower, destroying a couple of vampire spawn, before facing Car’Leon in a chamber at the very peak of the tower.

There, you discovered that he had set you up, as he was the young man who told you where the assassin’s camp was. After Elthuin, falling to the strange malady that had been dogging him, fire his crossbow, leading into a huge battle with the Inquisition elite, with even the room attacking.

Eventually, he left the fight, and you fell back through the tower, and explored some more of the town, despite being heavily wounded. There you encountered a raiding band of elves, who had slipped past the Inquisition fleet.

Surviving the fight, you fled the town back to where your horses were, only to find them stolen by the dragonborn mercenaries that were guarding the town.

After an epic chase across the rolling, rocky lowlands of southern Hendra, you caught up with the fleeing mercs, and even though you lost a few horses, you managed to reclaim most of them.

After the fight you headed north, hoping to find an answer to Elthuin’s progressing demonism. In Penthflower, the town you are nominally running, you discovered in the time you had been away it had grown considerably, with the trade from Drask and beyond.

After informing the Innkeeper, Bolan of the elf invasion, you headed west with a caravan back to Drask.

There, after delivering Gurukaas’ holy symbol to a local church of Farad, you managed to track down the high priest of Dragazk, the Alemaster Drugan. There, in exchange for recovering some dwarven tomes lost in a old, abandoned shrine much deeper underground, he agreed to lift the curse on Elthuin.

It’s now 6 First Autumn 150 AU, and with the elves and the Inquisition ramping up their individual forces, can our heroes afford this delay?

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Into Towns

3 Second Summer 150 AU to 18 Second Summer 150 AU

After destroying a hidden Inquisition training camp for assassins, you proceeded towards Ba’aran, a middle sized city a week or so to the south of Penthflower.

There, you had some issues with the local Inquisition, when Gurukaas was arrested for being a heretic.

Fortunately, you managed to escape the town, even with the Inquisition teleporting in reinforcements.

Later on as you regrouped just north of Ba’aran, you made out a screeching sound that directed your gazes back toward the walled city.

Launching themselves from one of the taller towers, two shapes rapidly flew towards you, and after a few moments, they revealed themselves to be armored wyvern cavalry.

After fighting them off, you retrieved an odd pentagonal amulet from one of the “knights” and determining that they weren’t part of the normal Inquisition forces, you headed out away from the town before circling back towards “that fishing village”

On the way, you encountered a herd of wild cattle, that after a taming (then butchering attempt) that stampeded Og into the dirt. Og is still looking for his Eggs Benedict.

23 Second Summer 150 AU

A few days later, you arrived at the “fishing village”. After bluffing your way into the town, and having a brief look at the fishing vessels, a mighty bell rang out, and the strangely efficient militia fishermen rushed to the harbour man the ships, one of the mercenary captains grabbed Raaxis and sent the party to the tower.

There in the entry chamber, after setting off a glyph trap, they were ambushed by several mercenary warriors, and during the scuffle, Gurukaas fell to their blades.

The party is now recovering after the fight, and the strange effects of whatever curse is affecting Elthuin…

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