Those that are Touched By Ao participated in these feats and did very well. The paladin Lara of the Elon Devout (played by Jordan) and the ranger Jeorn Twoclaw of the Spirit of the Hawk (played by Wil) tied in the Obstacle Course when they both reached the top of the climb at the same time.
The rogue Illyria (played by Brick) won the test of acrobatics when she nailed the landing in the raft far better than anyone did. She also won the Truth and Lies competition.
The paladin Lara also won the test to see who can hold their breath the longest. The memorization test was easily won by the sorcerer Doakiln (played by Blaine) who is under the tutelage of Sorceress Nazala. The shaman Cil of the Spirt of the Hawk (played by lou) won the fishing contest, earning first place in both best three fish and best average fish. Cyph the Warrior (played by MF) did very well but did not win an event.
The Council of Elders tabulated scores and declared that paladin Lara was the overall champion, just edging out Illyria and Shaman Cil.
The celebrations began and the champions finally got to finish a conversation they had started with Rand earlier. A childhood friend of all of them, Rand had recently concluded a stint at the Hawk’s Perch,
“There is something out in the Great Sea northeast of Hawk’s Perch. I can see it but we can’t get to it with the agreement with the Razortooth. Something is sticking out of the water, something huge!”
Late into the night the group was visited by Baron Sekolah, who congratulated them on their successes, and had a proposition for them. He needs some friends of his to be picked up and dropped off to a location outside of Attlica Bay. The Baron is waving the agreement that the Elonians are not to venture forth from the bay. The Baron was friendly but a little sketchy about the purpose behind this. He left them with the password of “Malenti” which his friends will use to gain passage to the group’s rowboat.
In the early morning hours the following day the group reached the destination and three heads popped out of the water and they gave the password. Expecting to see Sahuagin climb into the boat the group was shocked to see long-limbed, blue-skinned elves with gills on their necks and chest instead. They calmly directed the group to the drop-off location. When they arrived the sea elves huddled together a blew a deep noise from a conch shell and warned the group to “Keep quiet about this humans, or you will get us all killed!” One of them handed Jeorn a vial of reddish liquid, they all shouted “For the Razortooth!” and dove into the Great Sea and were never seen again.
The Group decided to take advantage of this free pass outside of the Attlica Bay and go investigate the sighting made by Rand. It turns out to be a shipwreck from long ago. The group explored this strange ship and learned that it sank from taking on water from holes blasted on its side. They saw sails and understood how they worked. They saw and got an idea on how cannons worked and how they shot ball-shaped projectiles. They saw skeletal remains of a strange race of 7-foot tall humanoids with horns, along with a handful of human slave/workers. Most disturbing was the skeletal remains of The Scourge, 9-feet tall of bone and claws with a razor sharp tail.
But best of all they recovered some treasure that had been hidden under the waves for Ao only knows how long. Included in this haul was a Figurine of Wondrous Power (mastiff), a luck stone, and Ring of protection, and a couple of high level spells. Most informing was a copy of the Captain’s Log:
482.3 – We barely made it out of Athard just ahead of the attacks. I feel I have dishonored my forefathers by fleeing, but I must remind myself that they will wipe us all out. We sail south where we hope to find safe lands. Hopefully we slipped out undetected.
Five years passed.
While most everyone was preparing for the Tests of Reshk, the Champions of Elon were about the embark on a voyage around the known world. Attitudes have changed in Elon after the discoveries of the shipwreck. What lies beyond the Attlica Bay? What other races or civilizations live in this land? Between this new ideology and the new Open Water Agreement with the Razortooth Sahuagin, the Elder Council commissioned the Chaytan (Sioux for Hawk) to be built. It is a shallow water galley with a sail and places for oars to be used, that will sail around Brind-Amor and will also be able to navigate up rivers for further exploration. The dozen-man ship set sail to a glorious send off in Elon.
It didn’t take long for the Champions of Elon to find something worth exploring as they sailed up a river east of the Attlica Bay. They decided to name it Rand’s Folly River after their friend who first spotted the shipwreck from the Hawk’s Perch years ago.
While sailing through a forest they Champions came across a town laid out on both sides, with a stone bridge spanning the river. Children came running to the shores to wave a cheer as the Chaytan approached. Several others could be seen locking their doors first. When you took a second look you realized that these were not children but little folk which you later learned to be halflings.
They welcomed you to the village of Odenburg and the Tall Mayor showed you around. There was singing and dancing and music being plated from strange instruments. The Tall Mayor showed you their crops and you saw many fruits and vegetables for the first time. A huge feast was put together for the new friends of Odenburg.
After the festivities settled down, the Tall Mayor approached you and asked a favor. He said there are people like you (humans) who live atop the plateau known as the Steppes of Ao who raid their village, taking their food and generally bullying them around. They even mockingly gave him his nickname of Tall Mayor (which to displease them he took to it). the Champions decided to help their new friends and speak with them. The Tall Mayor warned them of their fascination with fire.
After dealing with some spiders the Champions continued up the Steppes of Ao and eventually came to the “leader” of the Fire Raiders.
The fight was going very smoothly for the Champions, the even convinced two of the raiders to join their side in the middle of the fight. Then…the real leader, Flamewrath, of the Fire Raiders showed up…
The fight was close but the Champions prevailed and wiped out the Fire Raiders from the Steppes of Ao and freed the halflings of Odenburg. In thanks for their efforts the Odenburg Halflings rewarded the Champions with Unlocked Knowledge of agriculture, locks, thieves tools, Bard Class. They even wrote a couple of songs praising the Heroes from Attlica Bay. Lastly the Tall Mayor gave them a token that was good for a three-day pass in a large city atop a hill along the Treagir River. Something he may have picked up from a dwarven trader passing through.
From here the Champions sailed back to the Great Sea and proceed west. As the rounded the horn the Chaytan began to take on water. Balto, the man who built the ship, said we need to go ashore and find some wood to make repairs before we can go further. The Champions swam to land and were quickly met by two disheveled and malnourished humans with sticks for weapons. The proclaimed this to be Mazdaloq’s Land and that they need to “get out of here.”
The group questioned the humans and learned that Mazdaloq’s Lair was in the middle of the Vaul Marsh. It wasn’t difficult to find enough wood to make repairs to the Chaytan, but the Champions felt bad for the yokel humans and decided to take out the lizardmen oppressors. Doakiln began to feel an arcane disturbance in the marsh. One moment it felt very strong (as an Enchanted person would when they are near The Pillar) and then the next moment it is completely gone, as if there were never an arcane force in the world.
After finding an ominous message scrawled on the wall (“The Paladin will Die”) the group later came across more human slaves in pit, and they rescued them despite their warnings of incurring the wrath of Mazdaloq. The Champions moved forward into the water-filled chamber and found nothing. But the lizardmen were lying in wait and spring an attack on them, cornering them with no place to retreat. After a few rounds Mazdaloq, wearing a bright and shiny disk around his neck, appeared on a ledge and used a trident with a rope attached to it, plunking the heroes from the ground and pulling them up to him.
The strange arcane fluctuations were still evident here, as Doakiln’s spells went haywire. As he tried to inflict damage on Mazdaloq, he instead summoned a unicorn which turned the tide into the Champion’s favor. Then to finish off the lizardman slaver, Joern stepped up and smited him with a natural 20.
The group found a broken chest with a handful of coins in it, with an unknown origin. Perhaps they have enough to finally afford some of the rare and expensive dwarven armors and weapons. The shiny disk around Mazdaloq’s neck turned out the be an Infusing Stone (White) which Ciph used to make his armor +1.
The recently freed humans shrugged their shoulders as the Champions wished them well and they sailed south into the newly named Bay of Mazdalog’s Folly.
Another river (the mouth of the Treagir River) was found in the bay and once again the Champions sailed up it. As they neared a village in the hills along the river they saw I sign that read, Nigrum Ursus which translated from the Red Hawk Tribe language means, Village of the Black Bear Clan.
The Story continues in Age of Exploration pt. 2 (Session #3)