The 2000 Year Epic Campaign

Operation Stator Mines
4th Era - 26th Session

Corvus Septum returned to the walled city of Anavio as heroes. The following day, what remained of the Legion of Aqium mounted once last attempt to take the capital city of the Alimlar Domain. Leading the way was the red dragon Krazinor, but Queen Seera was able to steer him away with the Staff of the Dragons. The rest of the Legion attacks crashed against the still standing walls of the city. Those attackers who survived fled. The city was saved.

Rewards from the battle,

Legate (future help, Rhogar the fighter)
Queen Infusing stone and residium
Townfolk, free lodging and reroll a nat 1 in Alimlar
Message comes in, new mission in Stator

Stator, ghost town, To the Broken Dagger inn. Talk to bartender. Aqium came in here about 2 weeks ago, straight to mines, only saw them again when the two came out to take ropes.

Mines

Central, very cautious about chipping sound, circle around it. Brodus starts unpiling it, hand stabs at him with knife., uncover him HE is Vetter, been trapped in here two days, thanks them for their help.

Left – Down to the boarded up door, Evaine notices it is it has no nails, just ropes. They send Brenna’s bird in to scout, they recognize it as a rust monster.

Right, come to iron door, thoughts of getting the rust monster. Rigel picks the lock, they find the arcane sealed doorway and as a team they solve the arcane puzzle. They climb down the ladder to the ancient mines

Rooms 1, 2, 8

run into Miner, tells them about Aqium, around the map to room 5, run into roachlings. . Rigel drops.

Slen leads the to room well room, and Brodus climbs down. Says there is a purple arcane door here. Everyone else comes down. The think this leads to the underdark. The rope is pulled up, the well is covered and the voice of Senrith says, “whatever you do, don’t look up”

They take a long rest.

After several falls (Bro, Rigel, Waverly) Brodus finally makes it up with a rope.

Wizard Lab, trap hits Rigel 108 for minimal damage. Find all the treasure.

Room3, attack with Tosculi, they drop Rigel 108, hit Brodus very hard for 40 points. Then Brodus is dropped.Waverly saves the day with Vampiric blade attacks

Party retreats to the wizard’s lab to do a short rest.

Into the confrontation room with Tosculi, they come flying in and talk to them,. Evaine does comprehend languages to speak. They tell the group to leave, Evaine ask why, because you attack us, like the others. Evaine explains that they are here to kill the others. Tosculi asks if they kill them, Then they leave? They said yes.

Shields are passed down to two warriors and the proclaim they are ready. Rigel asks if they can look through the library. They said sure, and they put together the clay tablets.

This is the ruins of a place called Durn Khete-Tymir, and each word can be broken down for its meaning:

_Durn – Temple
Khete – Human tribe
Tymir – Dwarven clan
_
The Khete-Tymir is the name given to the humans and dwarves who allied together. They built this temple as a center of learning, dedication, and alliance to each other.

The Khete-Tymir dedicated their lives to their greatest threat, the Scourge. They made great strides in arcane studies and uplifted their people to new heights. They spread throughout the land, taking their knowledge to other races. They built a second temple in the foothills, as another bastion of hope and arcane secrets.

The poured everything into arcane studies as a way to combat the Scourge. They kept their most prized possessions in the Grand Wizard’s Sanctuary. Items they felt they could use against the Scourge. The Grand Wizard could enter freely but for anyone else to get past the guardians they would need to arrange the structures of light in certain pattern at the same time, a most difficult task._

Groups split up: Evaine, Ethne, Brodus on the north end and Waverly Brenna, and Rigel at the south end.

It works, Brodus and Rigel both lose weapons to the pillars but they drop once the lights come on.

TO the final room

Aboloeth attacks those who jump across, but miss. Necro mancer gets pulled back from the Lich who is still downloading the robes. Brenna puts together a silence area, Brodus jumps over, after getting knocked back by the tentacles once.

Rigel grabs the robes, poiton of mist to jump back to center, then eventually back to the far side. ALso he puts them on. Ethne speaks with Elenaor about thelich, Brenna jumps off of Death Island.

Rigel drops the last Goliath

,

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Battle of Anavio, Part 2
4th Era - 25th Session

Corvus Septum had completed two of the three quests asked for by Queen Seera of the Alimlar Domain. Last was to disrupt the supply chain from Hopewell Port to the Legion of Aqium camp just south of Anavio and the Previn River

Brenna, Evaine, and Ethne converge of the supply hub and from the safety of some nearby ruins, witnessed the whole process, wagons were randomly loaded with goods in Hopewell Port and brought to this supply depot. Here a clerk reorganized the wagon so that all of its contents were headed to the same destination. Then a second clerk would instruct the driver where to deliver his goods.

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They also learned that this location only contain a handful of guards and is mostly made up of laborers. They saw all of the different colored destination tokens (blue, green, red, silver, and gold) and learned that the destinations included the main camp, the front lines, special items, weapons and armor, and siege equipment. They discussed the best way to disrupt this process.

DM Note: I always like to have an idea of what I think would work and see if the players can come up with that idea, or a better idea. My idea was for them to reroute all the goods to the wrong destinations. The group came up with an idea to reroute the goods directly to Anavio. Unfortunately, they ended up developing a different idea.

Ethne popped out from the ruins and put on a mesmerizing show of big performance and high production value, by using her Aura of Jubilation ability. She was also accompanied by her sister Evaine who threw thoughts into the minds of the guards and laborers.

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This was all part of a distraction to allow Brenna to slink around the area and slip into the long building on the opposite side. There she found maps that detailed delivery locations as well as a handful of the tokens used to signify locations. Before leaving, Brenna started a fire in the building while the three of them raced back to Anavio. They would never learn that the fire was put out in time before it spread very far.

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Brenna had a though to lead a quick strike on the forces around the siege weapons before returning to Queen Seera, but quickly decided better of it when she saw hundreds of soldiers, minotaurs, giants, and wizards located there.

Back in the city, Corvus saw that the city was under attack. Guards raced around the town while citizens ran for cover. Queen Seera pulled the heroes aside and said that someone (most likely Senrith) had let in hundreds of Aqium soldiers and she ordered Corvus to defend an inner courtyard while she organized guards to that position.

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Corvus held up their end of the deal and Ethne was particularly helpful as she doled out temporary hit points on a regular basis.. They hold them off for 10 rounds until the Anavio Guards could take over.

After a quick rest the main assault on Anavio began. Aqium Wizards had solved the Previn River problem by using arcane magics to form a mystic platform over the river for them to bring the siege weapons across. Night falls on the city as scores of flaming rock fly across the sky to smash into the walls of the city.

Queen Seera brought you to the battlements so she might describe her orders:

The battle is going to be won or lost in the next hour. There are three things we need to do.
1 – Take out the siege weapons
2 – Rescue Legate Emeka
3 – Obtain a treasure chest of residium.

Last the Queen asked them to do their best and return if they felt they were in danger where they can all regroup. The Queen also released her Queen’s Infantry to provide them with some cover on the battlefield as they carried out her orders as best they could.

The first step was the rescue the prisoner, Legate Emeka. In choosing this, they had to go through two undead minotaurs.

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Acting first, Corvus was able to slip past them before they could reacts, and were long gone as the turned their attention back on the assault. From here, the heroes made it to the area where the dragonborn was being kept.

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He was tied to a pole while a wizard, a minotaur, and a could of guards looked over some battle plans. Corvus was able to get the jump on them. Ethne got the Minotaur to attack one of the guards while the others wiped of the wizard and the remaining soldiers. A grateful Emeka picked up a weapon as the entire group made their way to the siege weapons.

Evaine knocked out the soldiers manning the cannons with a water attack as she and Emeka quickly dispatched the one that survived. Ethne managed to control the hill giant a majority of the time and convinced him to smash the trebuchets before running off. The evoker was very challenging and during the fight, Brenna got dropped and Emeka nearly got dropped, but the heroes managed to take him down as well.

The heroes chose to duck through the hail of arrows to reach the siege weapons area.

The group caught their breath and decided to press on to the residium treasure. Before doing so, Ethne raiding the healing potion stashes of both Brodus and Waverly, and healed everyone up. To get to the treasure, the heroes and to slip past a charmed giant minotaur, once again thanks to the efforts of Ethne.

An owl familiar of the wizard here notified him of Corvus sneaking up on them as he inspected the contents of the chest. He quickly formed a battle line of soldiers while he cast arcane spells from the back.

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Half of the soldiers got frightened by Brenna’s staff, but the wizard countered with Ice Storm. Brenna turned invisible and then used Shadow Walk to get past the line of defense.

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Brenna zapped the wizard with Witch Bolt and the wizard countered with Misty Step and pummeled the heroes with spells, dropping Brenna in the process. Evaine and Ethne manage to charm the wizard long enough to grab the chest and make a mad dash back to the city with it.

The group retired for the evening for some well deserved and much needed rest.

They awoke to a commotion on the battlements. Fearing that the Legion had resumed the attacks, they raced to see the disturbance. A huge army of Ashillwynn Archers emerged from the treeline to the west near the Dreq Swamp and began raining arrows down on the Aqium camp. Wave after wave further complicates things for the Legion as they slowly start to organize. Queen Seera, seizing the opportunity released her cavalry to sweep through the camp and try to wipe them out once and for all.

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Everything looked good until Queen Seera pointed back towards the swamp, What the hell are they doing?!?

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From the marsh emerged the lizardfolk, led by Chief Shuuth. They drew their weapons and closed the distance between them and the unsuspecting elves, who are now badly outnumbered.

The Queen gasped, realizing she had overextended her forces, The cavalry will get pinned down between the Legion and the Lizardfolk, the Ashillwynn Archers will get wiped out, and we’ll have nothing left to defend the city!

She turned to the group, I thought we had a deal with them! You go out and fix this right now! Everything depends on you! Kill Chief Shuuth!

Corvus Septum raced across the battlefield to defend the Ashilwynn Elves and they ran right into a force of lizardfolk that included a subek. In the distance they could see waves of lizardfolk emerging from the Dreq Swamp.

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The crocodile-like creature dealt out massive amounts of damage, and the heroes were in dire straights.

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Evaine was nearly dropped but the day was saved when a handful of elven archers managed to slip away from battle and lend a hand to the battle.

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The group had a second to catch their breath before the next wave arrived, this one included a shaman, who cast plant growth followed by spike growth, and then heat weapon. on Rigel 108.

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Everyone on the battlefield paused in horror as overhead they saw and heard a tremendous battle taking place between Aventilar and Krazinor.

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The heroes finally got the upper hand when Evaine dropped the shaman just as she her shadow hounds blinked out of existence.

The break was brief as the final wave of lizardfolk emerged from the marsh, this one led by Chief Shuuth, who bellowed with laughter, stating that the heroes were foolish enough to believe him before.

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The fight was fierce but brief and Chief Shuuth was slain. The rest of the lizardfolk broke off their attacks and slinked back into the swamp. Krazinor the Red had defeated Aventilar overhead, but suffered a good deal of injuries, so he flew away to recuperate.

By this time Corvus found themselves a fair distance into the swamp and from here they headed north to the foothills for easier travel. Up ahead, they spotted a thin wisp of smoke from a small campfire. Cautiously they approached.

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They overhead a conversation between three people: a human fighter, a female elven druid, and a tiefling ranger. They discuss potential locations of where someone might have gone.

Corvus announced themselves to the group and approached. The fighter put away the map he was looking at and hailed back. The tiefling interrupted: Have you seen a man, an older man, grey beard, brown cloak covered in vines?

The fighter shot him a dirty look, but the tiefling continued, Giant two-handed sword? Also covered in vines? Have you seen him? Please say yes.

Now that the secret was out, the fighter made introductions. I am Sir Gregory, this is Ozron (tiefling) and that is Delthana (elf druid) and we are members of the Shields of Autumn. An organization of like-minded people who revere nature. We are searching for one called the Warrior of the Woods. We have been for some time.

A few more questions from the group gained a little more information. The Shield of Autumn believe that this fabled person is the rightful leader of the Shield, and they heard from the bullywugs of the Dreq Swamp that he was recently seen in this direction. Corvus wished them well before departing.

As the heroes limped home to the Anavio gates, they were pleased to see that most of the Queen’s Cavalry had returned as well. Thanks to Corvus Septum, the cavalry was able to cut through the Legion camp like a hot knife.

From the looks of it, the battle of Anavio has been won!

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Battle of Anavio, Part 1
4th Era - 24th Session

With Hendrick Zin in place within the Legion of Aqium stationed in Zatha, Corvus Septum made their way back to the Nightingale to continue with the quest from Captain Cimris regarding looting the long lost treasure of Kaithor Blacksail.

The heroes followed the trail left by the Tempest Swam landing party. Ropes were still in place where they had to climb up steep, rocky cliffs, until they reached the outsides of a set of ruins, on a high ledge. Carefully, they pulled the door open and saw the first room.

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Here they found the remains of the 3-man party sent by the captain. Their bodies were gaunt and shriveled and were crawling towards a fountain of water set in the corner. The fountain is just a trickle now, but flows with clear, clean water. Brenna casts detect magic and discovers faint alteration magic on it. Ethne does a psychic reading on the area and learned that no one has disturbed this scene in the last 24 hours.

Corvus pushed on to the next room. A large chamber, shrouded in darkness. A single beam of light, emanating from the center of the ceiling, swirls around the room in a clockwise manner. Evaine and Ethen both reminded everyone about the Stay in the Light foreshadowing they’ve heard.

Taking a deep breath, the heroes lept into the light as it made it’s way toward their door. Shadows swiped at those on the edge of the darkness as the light started to make it’s way around the room. Each hit dealt necrotic damage and sapped the strength of those struck.

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Then the Grey Thirster attacked.

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It drained the heroes of all liquids and dried them out, as well as dealing necrotic damage. Corvus stumbled through the room and discovered a door on the opposite wall from the one they entered.

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Brenna saw that it took two keys to open, one onyx and one ivory. They didn’t know for sure but when the light reached the three-quarters mark in the room, they found the onyx key on a table covered with white scarabs. Ethne carefully snatched the key from the table.

When the light reached it’s starting point, Ethne passed the key on to Brenna and ducked out to drink from the fountain as she was already suffering from loss of strength, exhaustion, and dehydration. At the quarter mark, Brenna grabbed the Ivory key from a similar table covered with black scarabs. Back in the first room, Ethne drank from the fountain, but quickly spat it out when he tasted faint traces of poison. Evaine tied up the Grey Thirster with her own shadows, and it kept him preoccupied for much of the fight.

Soon, the light came back to the door with the keys and Brenna turned both at the same time and leapt into the treasure room that was bathed in bright, angelic light. The door slammed shut behind her, leaving Evaine and Waverly in the room with the shadows. Brenna gathered up all the treasure she could carry and reluctantly flipped the lever she found in there.

This opened the beam of light up to shine across the entire room, pushing the shadows to the far corners. Once the Grey Thirster was dealt with, Corvus Septum walked out with all the treasure the found.

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Back aboard the Nightingale, Captain Cimris is saddened to hear of the loss of his crewmates, but delighted to see that the flintlock of Ao’s Glory is in his possession. Waverly suggested that the kids be taken to her people in the nearby Ashilwynn Forest.

Shortly after this, everyone received notifications about their next assignment from Chancellor Gavin. He says that the Legion of Aqium took the coastal city of Zatha to act as a staging area for a much larger operation. An attack on the capital of the Alimlar Domain, the city of Anavio. Warships are already sailing up the Cobalt River towards Anavio while a much larger force approaches from the east along the Previn River.

Chancellor Gavin orders you to enter the city and speak with Queen Seera and offer what aid you can to help defend her city. He also mentions a clan of lizardfolk in the nearby Dreq Marsh that could be of use. Your local contact, Hendrick Zin, will meet you at the docks tomorrow night with a way to get in to the battlefield without arising suspicion.

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Zin’s plan is for you to gain passage on one of the many transport ships sailing north on the Cobalt River with supplies for the siege. Its final destination is the town of Hopewell Port where supplies will be taken off and transported to the battlefield. Before leaving, he suggests to Brenna that she should act like she is in charge to get the other laborers to follow her and lessen suspicion.

Brenna barks out orders the laborers to load the ship and prepare to leave and they shrug their shoulders and get to work. During the first of the three day travel up the Cobalt River, it is learned that most of the workers are from the former Dolaneg Kingdom. They say that the pay is fine, but mostly they do this out of fear.

On the second day, a large red dragon with rider is seen flying overhead towards Anavio. No doubt a part of the Legion of Aqium.

On the third day, Brenna is approached by a worker named Rade who nervously told her that he has seen another worker by the name of Jarell, snooping around the supplies and tampering with equipment. Brenna spoke to the rest of Corvus Septum about this and the idea of another agent working here, or perhaps a rival faction at play. Brenna brought in Jarell for questioning and he told her that he stole Rade’s wife from him years ago and Rade has always been trying to get back at him.

Brenna nodded and declared that the two should fight it out on the deck of the ship. The other workers gathered around and wagers were made while to two settled it like old-fashion men.

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Jarell, losing slightly on the scorecards, delivered a knock-out blow in the 5th round to win. Both fighters were patched up after the fight. Soon after, the convoy of ships arrived in Hopewell Port.

This tiny shipping station is located in the southern and drier portion of the Dreq Swamp, and it is now 100% under Aqium control. Three large hill giants wade out to the water and assist getting the goods and supplies on shore. A handful of lizardfolk can be seen quietly watching from a distance.

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Brenna orders the workers to empty the boat and rest up in the warehouse after they are done while they remain behind in their quarters. Once it is dark out, they slip out. The lizardfolk are gone but they decide to try and find them after resting for the night

Early he next day they run into the lizardfolk and Evaine was pleased that she studied the limited amount of lizardfolk language she learned prior to this mission. Corvus assured them that they were friends and they were taken to meet their leader, Chief Shuuth. As they enter camp, they see a captured Aqium solider about to be roasted on a spit.

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Evaine explains that Queen Seera needs help in the upcoming battle. Shuuth agrees if they help him. He wants to be friend with Aventilar. Evaine doesn’t know who or what this is until he provides a drawing.

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Shuuth explains how he has a herd of cattle and coins to give to the black dragon as an offering of peace, saying that when Shuuth is friends with Aventilar, then Shuuth help you.

Corvus headed off in the directions given by the lizardfolk in search of the black dragon. Traversing the Dreq Swamp got tougher, and the water turned foul as a light fog swept in, obscuring vision. From overhead, a loud flapping sound is heard and seconds later Aventilar slammed to the ground right in front of them.

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The heroes explained the offer from Chief Shuuth and handed over the cattle and coin as part of the deal. But Aventilar wanted more. It wasn’t until Waverly handed over some recently acquired items did she agree to this partnership.

The group headed back to Chief Shuuth and told them the deal has been made. Shuuth told them he will prepare his lizardfolk for the battle before the heroes headed for Anavio.

Waverly knew of a way slip into the city, through the old dragon egg hatchery caves nearby. Inside this cave they saw a magically sealed door that they would return to later. On the opposite direction was a narrow tunnel with flickering light and muffled conversation coming from it. Corvus snuck into the room and saw a Legion of Aqium strike team that included not only two minotaurs, but a familiar face, the martial arts expert Senrith A’Daris.

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But before Corvus could react, Senrith slipped through a secret door and into the city by himself. The heroes made short work of the Aqium soldiers and found a fair amount of alchemist fire they were trying to sneak in. Once past the now magically secret door, they group made its way to the throne room.

Queen Seera was instead in the war room with her most trusted advisors, preparing for the battle. The dragonborn leader of the Alimlar Domain made a beeline for Waverly. Smiling and shaking her hand, Queen Seera spoke very well of the elven rogue:

This brave person turned in her sister when it was discovered that Wynonna and the Light of Sun and Moon plotted against me to restore Vicrik to the throne. The rest of you can all take note, this is what bravery and dedication looks like.

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Waverly blushed while Ethne and Evaine glanced at each other. The Queen was thankful for Corvus showing up and gave the heroes three quests:

Supply LinesThere is a hub outside of Hopewell Port that redirects supplies to their destinations in or around the Aqium encampment. Perhaps you could disrupt that somehow.

Swamp MeetingIt is time we reached out to Chief Shuuth in the Dreq Marsh, maybe he and the lizardfolk could tip the balance of this attack in our favor.

Side MissionDesperate times call for desperate measures. There is an item in the old hatchery that could very well help us. I will give you a key to open the magical barrier leading into the caves. You will need your wits about you for this, since none of us have been able to solve the puzzle.

Queen Seera was very impressed that Corvus Septum had already met with and negotiated with the lizardfolk, since they are normally not trustworthy. Then the group headed back to the dragon hatchery caves.

Thanks to the help from the queen, the group unlocked the arcane sealed door and continue into a large cavern. On a pedestal located prominently in the center of this entryway, is a statue of a half-elf with a captain’s hat. The sign under it read: Captain Ravenclaw of the Righteous – First Liberator of the dragonborn

In the far end of the room the group could see movement from different area and soon they were set upon by cave goblins. During the fight Brenna reached a high ledge to deal with two cave goblin archers and while up there she found a tripwire on the south end. Not a trap, but rather a noise making to alert someone. They cave goblin king tried to make a run for it to alert the rest of the caves of the intruders, but Evaine just had enough line-of-sight to take him down.

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Corvus decided to investigate the area warded off by the noise-making tripwire. In this final chamber they found a pool of acid centered in the cavern. The walls were covered with etchings of green glowing mystic runes. In the far corner of the room the runes begin to move, but actually it is an ettin covered in the same green runes, who charges to attack.

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The ettin seemed invulnerable to damage as they battle raged on, but the group could notice patterns in the runes. While they fended themselves from the giant’s attacks they were able to solve the puzzle and negate the runes, killing the ettin guardian in the process. Also, the pool of acid turned to water clear enough to see a staff at the bottom of the pool.

Corvus pulled it out and had in their possession the Staff of Dragons, which allows the wielder the ability to speak with dragons in sight and bestows the persuasive bonus to the wielder.

The group caught their breath and prepared to deal with the supply line issue.

The battle continues in Battle of Anavio, Part 2.

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Operation Zatha
4th Era - 23rd Session

The island town of Dunbar was saved as Corvus Septum helped defend it from Aqium Legion forces. But not everyone was happy, certainly not Centurion Arcavius.

The blood of the soldiers are on your hands! I was foolish to let you talk me out of sinking the Stone Eagle when I had the chance! You should be court-martialed!

Corvus Septum was assigned latrine duty and carried out that task for the next two weeks while Arcavius put together paperwork for the court martial. During what little free time you had, Brenna was able to take a closer look at the two magical items you acquired:

Vampiric Blade – acquired from Terribeth of the Red Sisters while she was in jail. It is a double-bladed dagger that has an ivory hilt, and its gold pommel is shaped into a woman’s head with ruby eyes and a fanged mouth opened in a scream. This was taken by Waverly.

Greatsword of the Wolf – acquired in the burial mound of the Wolfclan, south of Dunbar town. This greatsword has a leather handle and a series of wolf teeth inlaid on the pommel. The blade is a dull matte grey that gives little reflection in light. This was taken by Brodus.

After the two weeks of crap work it was discovered by Arcavius that he did not have the authority to have you court martialed. Corvus was taken off of latrine duty and resumed normal operations.

The first of two messages came through. The first was details of the mysterious dark elf seen here in Dunbar during the attacks. His name in Senrith A’Daris, a martial arts expert who holds the rank of Sulim in the Legion of Aqium.

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The second message was a new mission from Chancellor Gavin. A few weeks ago he had an opportunity to infiltrate the Red Sisters and sent Ethne out on this mission. Now Ethne is in trouble and needs to get herself and two children with her, out of the city of Zatha, which is now under control of Aqium forces.

Corvus Septum met up with Stath Cloudhelm, a fellow operative of Chancellor Gavin, at the docks of Dunbar. He arraigned transportation into Zatha under the cover of night.

Corvus Septum slipped into Zatha, through town, past the guards, and into the sewer system. They followed the directions and soon found Ethne along with two young, frightened children, ages 10 and 8.

Ethne told her tale: The Red Sisters are evil organization of vampires that recently set up here in this former Alimar Domain coastal town. Chancellor Gavin learned that a female gnome named Terribeth was to join the organization in Zatha. Operatives led by Stath Cloudhelm arrested her in Dunbar and threw her in jail. From here, Ethne took her place and traveled to Zatha under the guise that she was Terribeth.

Ethne met with Sister Evi, who was her contact in town. The two worked for Lord Adriel Chespian, the head of a noble house here in Zatha. Terribeth was hired by Lord Chespian to tutor his two children, Todrick and Emily Chespian. Sister Evi kept quiet Ethne’s true purpose with the Red Sisters. Weeks later after she gained the children’s trust, Ethne learned of her role in the Red Sisters. She is to take the kids to the Parlor of Countless Delights, a brothel in town, for them to be sacrificed and drained of their blood.

Of course Ethne was against this and knew she had to get the kids out of town as Sister Evi had plans to kill Lord Chespian herself. Ethne spoke with her local contact, a man by the name of Hendrick Zin, and had him inform command of the situation. He told Ethne to get the kids to her present location and that help would be on the way soon.

Now that Corvus Septum was at full strength, Rigel 108 led them deeper into the caverns to find an exit. In the next room they came across some gnolls who slipped in here from the nearby hills.

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The next room was very dark and full of stalagmites, and Brodus and Evaine were able to spot a cave bear at the far end of the room. The bear began to smell the group and was ready to attack. Brodus moved into the room as was struck by a piercer from the roof of the cave. More piercers fell on the party as they attacked the bear. Two giant wolf spiders moved in to attack from the rear as well.

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After the bear was dealt with Brodus went back and carried the kids through to protect them from more piercer attacks.

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The next area of the caverns was a giant chasm with rickety and narrow stone bridge. One by one the party tip-toed across the crumbling bridge to safety on the other side.

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About halfway through crossing, a long minotaur guard who had been following them for some time, appeared and attacked those still yet to cross. He was just about ready to charge across and shove someone into the crevice but Brodus killed him before he could move.

After this the group merged on a hilltop high above Zatha and from here they had a great vantage point of the area. They could see the town of Zatha below them, and down in the docks they noticed that more Aqium Warships were arriving. To one side they could see the nearby forest and on the other side they could see a cove were the Tempest Swarm pirate ship, The Nightingale, was docked. Ethne explained that this was the ship she was on when she sailed from Dunbar to Zatha, adding that Captain Cimris was here on other business. Ethen thought about it and came to conclusion that this would be the ideal way to get the kids out of danger’s way, having Captain Cimris take them to safety.

Also at this time Rigel 108 received another message from Command. A great opportunity was at hand. An Asori officer by the name of Nemat was a mid-ranking member of the Aqium forces stationed here in Zatha. Gavin’s plan was to abduct him and replace him with his local agent, Hendrick Zin in disguise, giving Chancellor Gavin and person on the inside of the Aqium forces. The plan only works if the real Asori Nemat is removed without alerting anyone else.

Rigel led the team to the Nightingale with the intention of dropping them off and convincing Cimris, a kenku, to take them to safety. The pirate captain agreed, under one condition:

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Me and my crew are here looking for magic, one magic item in particular. A flintlock that once belonged to Kaithor Blacksail decades ago. He buried his treasure in some ruins high up on a cliff. Legend has it that one must Stay in the Light to survive. I’ve sent a handful of my best men to retrieve it and ain’t heard a word from them in days. You find my crew, get me that flintlock, and I’ll take the kiddies to anywhere your heart desires.

Rigel 108 decided to leave Waverly on the ship with the kids in the meantime while they went and made the Asori Nemat switch.

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Ethne led the group to the woods nearby Zatha to a hideout where Hendrick Zin lives. They found it under attack from orcs.

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Once that was dealt with they headed into the merchant district of Zatha to start to come up with a plan.

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They noted the movements of all the guards and came up with a strategy. Ethne would run through the area and try and drag a bunch of guards with her, which she did perfectly. However, the minotaur was a little more strategic and started moving guards around to block her in. Evaine got caught in the middle of things and was in the process of getting arrested when she enveloped her captor in darkness. This nearly derailed the whole plan, but the Flame Priest just missed seeing this. The guard looked for what they thought was one single female gnome running around, and got screwed up when conflicting reports of where she went came about.

While this was going on, Rigel, Brodus, Brenna, and Hendrick did the Chewbacca Death Star routine to get into the central building. They did a great job of getting the apprentice wizard out of the way, and since Hendrick was already in disguise, they were able to bypass the unknown zombie on the ground floor. The switch was made and Hendrick Zin, to buy more time, shouted out from the window to catch that damn gnome. This gave the rest of them enough time to get the body of Nemat out and all Corvus Septum members back to safety.

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The group reconvened at Hendrick Zin’s cabin in the woods and dressed the body of Nemat up in his clothes and set the cabin on fire. Hendrick Zin hoped to retire in the cabin his grandfather built with his own bare hands one day, but those dreams were crushed.

The plan seemed to work but only time will tell. In the meantime, Rigel ordered everyone back to the Nightingale to retrieve the flintlock and find the missing crew for Captain Cimris.

The story continues in Battle of Anavio, Part 1.

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Operation Dunbar Island
4th Era - 22nd Session

Four members of the newly created strike team, Corvus Septum, arrived in Chancellor Gavin’s office in the Ilthor Kingdom capital of Centum Treyopolis and had an opportunity met each other in the waiting room. Present at this time are:

Evaine (Blaine) Gnome Mystic – Communication Officer
Brodus Longhorn (Caleb) Minotaur Barbarian – Weapons Officer
Waverly (Brick) Elf Rogue – Engineer
Burpuller (MF) Bearfolk Cleric – Medic

Later this session the group met up with:

Rigel 108 (Jordan) Warforged Rogue – Team Leader
Brenna (Wil) Half-elf Warlock – Intelligence Officer

In the next session the group will hopefully find:

Ethne (Lou) Gnome Mystic – Operations Officer

After initial introductions were made, the four could overhear bits and pieces of an argument in the next room. Evaine pressed her ears against the wall to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation.

Someone of authority was upset, Chancellor Gavin mentioned “broken promises of funding for his project”, which the authority figure seemed dismissive about when he replied, “And you really think these seven misfits are going to quell the Aqium Invasion?” Evaine gathered the next part was a compromise of some sort, with Corvus Septum having a chance to prove themselves.

After that conversation was over, Corvus Septum was ushered into Chancellor Gavin’s office.

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This was the second time each person of Corvus Septum met Chancellor Gavin, the first time was when he initially recruited each member into this elite, strike force. The chancellor seemed disheartened, “It seems as through your group may already be doomed from the start, which is very troubling since I already have half of your team out on assignment.”

Chancellor smiled and did his best to pick up his spirits, “But we have an opportunity to turn this around, and that is all heroes of your kind need, just a chance.”

Gavin asked if everyone had heard of the King of the Hill Tournament, and assured them that it not a fight to the death any more.

“If you can survive two rounds, Corvus Septum is alive and well. Survive more thatn that, and we can be better provisioned.”

The newly formed group nodded and readied themselves for the tournament.

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Two days later Corvus Septum walked through the Warrior Gate and into the arena waiting area. There they found a satchel on a table with a note that read: “Corvus Septum beings today. Make me proud.” Inside the bag were four potions of healing. Two minutes later, Corvus was escorted out into the fighting arena. Circling the hill were a handful of medic and healers, prepared to pounce when a combatant falls in the fight. Atop the hill were three veteran guards, each with minor scrapes and bruises . One of them beats his shield as you approach.

“Defending the Hill are dedicated soldiers and defenders of the Ilthor Kingdom. They are…The Steadfast Guardians!” yelled the announcer to the over joyous crowd, who seemed eager to see the Steadfast Guardians fight again.

“Next up, are a band of misfits, both large and small. They are…Corvus Septum!”

Corvus Septum made short work of the three guards and barely caught their breath before the next wave which was bullywugs from the swamps near Anavio. Which they also put down fairly easily. Corvus Septum will exist!

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The third wave were gnolls from the Yennog Hills, and this was a much tougher match, but Corvus survived.

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The fourth wave were two giant spiders from the Ashilwynn Forest, and by this time, exhaustion and damage took their toll on the group. Only Evaine and Burpuller remained standing after the spiders were killed.

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Things aren’t looking good as the fifth round began with an ogre entering the arena.

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The round began and the gnome and bearfolk fought valiantly but succumbed to the large beast. The crowd went crazy with a standing ovation that this group far exceeded expectations by surviving four rounds in the King of the Hill Tournament.

You saw a general ( General Ott) say something to Chancellor Gavin in the stands and storm out of the arena. Gavin came down to the arena to congratulate you as healers tended to your wounds.

“You did it! I knew you would! Bards will sing of this day, the first of many accomplishments! Rest of relax tonight, for tomorrow you are off to Dunbar Island.”

Before Corvus Septum would head out, they were given 500 gp to buy healing supplies for their trip. Having no Operation Officer around, they had to pay full price, and got 10 potions of healing.

The following day they set sail in a small, but fast ship , sailing from Centum Treyopolis and into Alimlar Domain waters to the eastern edge of the Ashilwynn Forest. Here they met up with the warship that was used in the attack as it was here gathering more supplies for the occupation of the island. Just a few hours later they were docking in Dunbar Town.

Here they met Team Leader of Corvus Septum, Rigel 108 and the Intelligence Officer, Brenna. They were able to catch the rest of their team up to speed about what is going on.

The attack wasn’t much of an attack for the Alliance Forces. There were only six Aqium soldiers stationed here in the Mayor’s Manor, and they seemed to be drunk on rum most of the time. The villagers hardly even noticed them. Their defeat was swift. Centurion Arcavius has assumed control of the island and is pretty much full of himself.

The town boasts one tavern, called the Blue Gateway Inn. Fairly unremarkable except that it was built around a Blue Pillar that is without power.

An imprisoned gnome on the island has been asking to see her sisters for some time.

Last, Centurion Arcavius was recently approached by locals who spoke of a disturbance south of town near an old burial mound. He has asked Corvus Septum to look into it.

Evaine wanted to look into the strange gnome asking for her sisters. Upon entering the jail, the very confused guard pointed her out. Evaine new immediately it wasn’t Ethne. The confused guard referred to prisoner as Red Sister since she says that all the time. After stumbling through his story a few times, it was finally learned that this gnome ( Terribeth) was brought to the jail by a couple of her shipmates for murder.

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A strange looking dagger was confiscated from her possession when she was jailed. Brodus ended up taking the dagger.

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Terribeth stared at the opposite wall the entire time, never saying a word until the team started to leave. She whirled around to look Evaine dead in the eye. “I will drink upon your blood, this I swear to the Red Maiden.” No one knows anything about a person or organization called the Red Maiden.

Next, the officers went to work on gathering as much information about this mission as they could:. It is the burial mound of Gilliard Wolfclan, a barbarian from 20 years ago. He went mad and the townsfolk killed him and ran off the rest of his tribe. Presumably his tribe built this mound for their fallen leader and died within it themselves as they were never heard from again.

Corvus arrived at the location, an old oak tree, twisted and blackened lies atop a small hill. A stone well leads down into darkness.

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Voices could be heard in the next chamber, goblins according to Evaine. Waverly found a secret door but before she could open it, Brodus ducked out the exit of the room to get to them first and fell in a pit.

Corvus ended up fighting and winning a two-sided fight. Goblins led by a two-axe wielding leader on one side, and a goblin shaman and an elf wizard on the other side.

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Corvus cleared out the first level and descended through a trap door to the second level. Here, Brodus and Rigel 108 quickly took care of two giant centipedes that snuck in behind them.

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Corvus found a shrine of some sort to the Wolf Totem. Brodus seemed to know a barbaric ritual here and lit the candles, healing himself and two others completely with a blessing from the wolf.

The next room they found two dead goblins at a door and logically, that the door was trapped with a poisonous gas. The group got through the door and were standing in front of a handful of skeletons and the ghoul version of Gillard himself, wielding a magic greatsword.

The fight was difficult but Corvus Septum was victorious, Brodus acquired the magic sword for now.

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As they exited through the well they heard voices up top. Two minotaurs, known soldiers of the Aqium forces, talking to each other. It was difficult to hear but they were able to pick up a few key words:

  • Ambush
  • New orders
  • Docked
  • Timing of Events

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Brenna lets loose her raven who rose through the well and above their heads to listen in on the conversation. She saw that they were joined by a dark elf. who gave the minotaurs orders. “I will sneak back to the Stone Eagle for orders, you two will stick out in town. Get back to camp and await instructions.” the Stone Eagle sounded like a ship.

The three parted; the two minotaurs headed south (to where the Aqium ambush camp was) while the dark elf headed north towards Dunbar Town.

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Corvus Septum returned to town to inform Centurion Arcavius what they heard, the Legion of Aqium was planning an attack. Arcavius was outraged, this could jeopardize his victory! He gave orders to attack the Stone Eagle at once, but the level heads of Corvus Septum convinced him to wait while they go investigate first.

Corvus found the Stone Eagle in the docks and waited while remaining hidden. An hour later, the dark elf silently walks down the docks and enters the captain’s quarters of the ship.

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Evaine leaves the scene to inform Centurion Arcavius about what they saw, but while she was gone, the dark elf emerged and started to leave. Team Leader Rigel 108 ordered an immediate attack before they lost him. More soldiers from the Stone Eagle emerged when alerted to the fight and the dark elf made a daring escape off the ship and into the water, never to be seen again.

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Once the guards were defeated, Corvus Septum made a search of the merchant vessel. Brenna recognized this as being a refitted Parados Shipping Company vessel, most likely repurposed from the Dolaneg Kingdom for use for Aqium war efforts.

Below decks they found cannons hidden behind secret doors, most likely to be used in a surprise attack. The biggest find was not the plan for the attack (the dark elf had them) but a map that indicated how the attack would take place

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Evaine returned with Arcavius and everyone looked over the plans. The Centurion ordered his troops to the southern side of town to meet the oncoming Aqium forces, while Corvus Septum would be sent to the Blue Gateway Inn. Evaine made a quick note of the dark elf with a better description of him, and sent it back to command.

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By the time Corvus Septum arrived at the inn, the attack had already begun. Aqium wizards and soldiers poured out of the local tavern while citizens ran for their lives.

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The streets were on fire, wizards and soldiers pressed the attack in the center of town. Brodus moved up to the second floor to deal with a wizard on the balcony, but got dropped, out of sight from everyone on the ground. Burpuller got to him just in time. During the fight, Evaine ducked into house, and fires psychic energy from the window.

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The dark elf made a brief appearance in the streets before ducking back inside the inn. Members of Corvus Septum rushed in but found the dark elf gone, and the pillar unpowered.

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The team moved outside to conduct a quick search and Brodus found a guard sneaking away. With no time to call for help he took care of this himself, running him down and capturing him.

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The belief is that the dark elf escaped through the pillar and told the last guard to take the jewel so he couldn’t be followed. Through some intimidation, those thoughts proved correct as per the guard.

Results came in from the south gate, Centurion Arcavius survives but only with 6 Ilthorian soldiers left. After some healing for the wounded, 4 more soldiers pulled through.

The stories continues in Operation Zatha

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The Start of the Great War
Between Ages (3rd and 4th)

How the Great War Started

Agreements and arrangements between Aqium and Decius had run their course, and they came to a head when Emperor Gavenius turned his attentions away from The Scourge and attacked the Lich known as Astriminar (formerly the Arch Mage) in Holy Sanctuary of Ao.

It was an uneasy alliance to begin with. The Arch Mage provided Decius with arcane magics and agreed to help with the Emperor’s obsession with stopping the Scourge. As time went on Aqium wormed and wiggled its way into Decius politics. From advisor positions to the Emperor, to control of the dragon egg hatcheries, to the building of the Tower of the Elements in Centrum Treyopolis. Aqium was intertwined into Decius.

The opposite was not true. Aqium remained separate from Decius influence and while they initially provided Decius with assistance in the Emperor’s efforts to eradicate the Scourge, it gradually slipped away. The final straw was the Crown of Shadows.

Secretly, the Emperor assembled a task force to find the fabled artifact and Commander Graves was sent off to the Island of Minos to find it. It was brought back to The Citadel, where wizards loyal to the Emperor uncovered its secrets. The Emperor hoped that possessing this powerful item could tip their relationship with Aqium back in his favor.

The Crown was stolen and later ended up in the hands of the Arch Mage. What the Emperor hoped to turn into an advantage, now turned into a disadvantage. The Arch Mage had already absconded with the Snow Queen and absorbed her life force and elevated himself to a higher power as the Ur Mage for a brief period of time. The Arch Mage had become too powerful and he boldly proclaimed to the Emperor that he would open the gate to hell and welcome the Scourge into the world, a world that he would control.

Emperor Gavenius learned that the Arch Mage would need to get to the Sanctuary of Ao in Decius to begin the ritual to open a permanent portal for the Scourge to enter. The Emperor gathered his forces and laid in wait to ambush the Arch Mage.

Unknown to the Emperor the Arch Mage was now Astriminar the Undying, a lich of enormous power. He had foreseen the ambush because he caused it to happen, allowing the Emperor to learn about his actions, knowing that he would have no choice but to respond to the Scourge incursion threat.

Astriminar had no intention of opening the gates of hell for the Scourge that day. He wanted Last Rites, one of the Seven Artifacts, a fabled longsword belonging to the Emperor.

His plan went off without a hitch, although he was forced to summon Scourge reinforcements as the Righteous joined the battle for the Emperor. But the Lich got what he came for; Last Rites and the Emperor is now dead. Astriminar returned to Aqium while Decius awaited the invasion.

It didn’t come. Not right away at least. Some sages speculate that the Lich was preoccupied with other matters, perhaps communications with Asmodeus himself. Other think that the Lich simply waited to Decius to crumble to the ground on its own.

With no imminent invasion on the way, Decius was free to reassess its situation. The continent was being pulled in several different directions. Decius became known as the Fractured States of Decius as the continent broke up into five separate states.

The Fractured States of Decius

Ilthor Kingdom

General Ilthor fought beside the Emperor and managed to survive the encounter with Astriminar. The Ilthor kingdom is the western most lands of Decius and still adhere to the traditions set forth by the late Emperor; strength, might, and strong traditions. Mostly human, the Kingdom is now ruled by King Venantius II.

Alimlar Domain

A state of freed people that include the dragonborn, elves, and humans, Alimlar is squeezed in the middle of the continent, feeling pressure from all sides. The domain is still very chaotic and a great deal of turmoil exists in the land. Queen Seera, a dragonborn, recently came to power as she overthrew King Vicrik because of his corruption and incompetence.

Nosiriath Realm

If ever a realm was to be overlooked it would be this one. Nosiriath keeps a low profile when it comes to politics and enjoys a stable rulership that is run jointly by two individuals: King Karrig Thror is dwarven and leader of his people, the Dhirnamor Dwarves. Justicar Aneasar is the highest ranking person of the Faith of Ao. While the two leaders occasionally differ, neither does anything without being in complete agreement. While this is great for a united front, it also means that not a lot gets done around here. Geographically the realm is split up between Decius and Ramicus (formerly known as Northern Decius) with the dwarves predominantly in Ramicus and the humans in what was once northeast Decius.

The Free States of Ramicus

With the fall of the Decius Empire, Northern Decius returned to its original name, Ramicus. Although that name is still in the tradition of the Empire, seasons veterans of the cold northern lands only knew it by the original name. It came with a sense of liberty, from a time when they were free from Empire control. When the Kingdom of Dolaneg fell, the remaining kingdoms quickly agreed to recognize Ramicus if they promised to help in the war with Aqium, but they still have their hands full with the Goliaths known as the Mountain Kinsmen, who have joined Aqium in the war.

Kingdom of Dolaneg

As the invasion never came, some thought Dolaneg was on the cusp of greatness. King Parados was a progressive leader and utilized the great mineral resources of his land to engage in trade routes throughout the world, including Aqium. Merchants became rich here, and over time people flocked to the eastern portions of Decius for a better life. Then after years of profitable trade and growth, the invasion did happen. Those who thought Dolaneg would be spared because of their relationship with Aqium were dead wrong. The invasion was swift and ruthless and in less than three weeks, the entire Kingdom was under Aqium control.

The Current Situation

It has been 35 years since Astriminar slayed Emperor Gavenius and triggered the events that began the Great War. The invasion and conquering of Dolaneg was just nine years ago, but it gave Aqium a firm foothold on the continent. The remaining Kingdoms quickly united, as best they could, to defend their lands against the invaders but they are slowly losing. Aqium swept through the southern islands and are utilizing the rich resources of Dolaneg to further their efforts. Aqium forces are beginning to press into all of the remaining kingdoms and are gaining ground and resources by the day. Aqium grows stronger by the day as the Fractured States of Decius grow weaker.

Chancellor Gavin, a middle-aged high-ranking officer from Ilthor was a noted historian who combed the archives for anything that could help in the war. He found what he believes they are missing.

Heroes.

Each era had them. Whether it was The Righteous or the Soldiers of the Bull of the Third Age, the Champions of Elon or the Crescent Order of the Second Era or even as far back as the Three Feathers of the First Era. Each era had their champions, and this era certainly needs them now.

King Venantius II gave Chancellor Gavin permission to pursue this endeavor and he scoured the lands to find the best and the brightest that he could in the amount of time and formed Corvus Septum, an elite strike team that would operate in conjunction with the armies of the fractured states in hopes of turning the tides of the Great War.

You

Chancellor Gavin saw a spark in you, a glimmer of strength, a flicker of hope that you might be the type of hero he is looking for in Corvus Septum. You were in one of the Fracture States of Decius Kingdoms, as a rank-and-file solider in the war when Gavin selected you for this prestigious assignment. You have agreed and are traveling to the Ilthor Kindom capital of Centum Treyopolis to meet the others and get your first assignment.

The story enters the Fourth Era in Operation Dunbar Island.

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The End of the Third Era
3rd Era - 21st Session

The heroes picked up where they left off in the Fortress of the Ur Mage. In the next room they had to figure out a riddle to get to through the green glass door to a pile of magic items. They figure out they had to place items on the pedestals with double letters (book, scroll, battleaxe, apple, etc) to open the door and allow they to pick up an item.

From here they circled completely around the fortress to another room on the inner circle. In this room full of brass clocks, they were able to look into the past, present, and future. Un’Goro gazed into the past.

You see a vision of the Kainin Mountain on Brind-Amor. Flying overhead you see a warband of Doombringer Orcs crashing down the mountains, destroying everything in its path. A few hundred yards ahead of them you see a handful of tribesmen running from them. A few hundred yards ahead of them is the Treagir River. They will be pinned down and slaughtered there.

Un’Goro sacrificed two HD to provide the Red Hawk Tribesmen with two rafts to cross the river, as it happened so long ago.

Jaffe gazed into the visions of the present…

You see a vision of a massive end-of-times battle against the Scourge. One of the other party members falls in battle at the same time Emperor Gavenius falls. You can help one of them right now, who do you choose?

Jaffe chose to help his comrade and ignore the Emperor.

Last, Triton gazed into the future…

You stand at the gates of hell, weapon in hand, deliberating entering. You know if you enter, you will die, but you could save the world.

Triton entered the gates of hell to save the world.

After this, the group entered the vault and acquired more magic items. From here they proceeded to the final room.

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in the center of the giant cyclops skulls was a pile of magic items, atop them all was the fabled artifact known as the Wand of Death. A wraith descended from the ceiling and animated the pile of gold into the chassis of the Ur Mage. Tetsu-ko, used a cleverly worded historical “wish” he got from a recent magic item to, never allow the Ur Mage to come into existence. Instead, historically, another mage came to control, this one was called the All-Mage.

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The battle was heroic, and each round the fight would switch to another room. The last room was the one with the walls lined with clocks. Jaffe managed to shove the chassis of the All Mage into the vortex of arcane energies that quickly consumed and obliterated the chassis of the All Mage.

However, the disruption of the All Mage set a chain of explosions throughout the fortress. The Heroes scrambled toward the entrance, hoping that it would act as an exit at this point. As more of more of the fortress came toppling down on their heads, a familiar face appeared.

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Frantically, the Chronomancer ran over to Triton, Where is it?!? Tell me you still have the Crown of Shadows!!!

Triton searched through his possesions as more and more bricks crashed down, but he couldn’t find it. Wil the Bloody recalled a brief hiccup in time during the final battle when the All Mage presumably cast Time Stop and retrieved the Crown of Shadows from the heroes. Nevertheless, the Chronomancer whisked them away, out of the Fortress and back to and old familiar place.

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The heroes were taken back to the docks of Filbiklink, and they stood in front of The Sea Word which, once again, proudly displayed its Brind Amor colors. The exhausted Chronomancer retired for the rest of the day but introduced them to an old fiend, and now captain of the Sea Word, Abai Nanzold. She was able to fill them in on what happened in the three-and-a-half years since they entered the Fortress of the All Mage.

We were informed that you entered a portal to find the original Snow Queen by Nyth Whitestorm, the new Snow Queen. The Brind-Amor fleet waiting for weeks in the cold waters of Ice Maw Bay before giving up.
 We feared the worst and decided to return to Geargrind Island and figure out what to do.
 Soon after, war broke out between Decius and Aqium which seemed to accelerate our collective decision.
 Basically we came down to three options: Leave, Trade, and Wait. And we had three ships. So we sorted everything out and went in three separate directions.
 Captain Grildur Stonehands (Dwarf Fighter) took over the Quiet Fury and their ship left to explore the world. Kindroth Mithdaer (Elf Ranger) took over the Blacksail and they are very active in trade thanks to the war. I took over the Sea Word and the rest of us…never gave up hope. We stayed here in the Styrc Isles and help the gnomes however we can. Praying that you would return one day.
Decius and Aqium are locked in a war that threatens our entire world. The Ur Mage has consolidated there forces that include the Aqium Wizards, the Chromatic Dragons, the Minotaurs and…the undead…and they lay siege on the fracturing states of Decius.

The heroes had some questions about some of the Junior Officers they came to know, and Captain Nanzold filled them in. Clerk Amiel went from medic on the Sea Word to Quartermaster on the Sea Word. The Bearfolk had relocated to Prewth Island and acted as a police force for the Master Tinker there and had a great relationship with Kimerth. The Dragonborn kids were grown up no, and each went a separate direction. Two were Master Gunners on the Quiet Fury and the Blacksail, and the last was the Helmsmen on the Sea Word. Last, Carl the Monk was the Boatswain on the Quiet Fury and is now the Quartermaster on the Blacksail.

The following morning the Chronomancer had regained this strength, and layed out the next few actions of the heroes.

The end of days is upon us. In just a few hours, the Emperor will confront the All Mage in the Holy Sanctuary of Ao, that will determine the fate of the world for the next hundred years. A battle the All Mage, now a Lich, will invariably win.
But we aren’t ready to confront the All Mage yet, we need more allies and I have a plan for that.
I have found a number of key moments over the last 3 years that you can return to, where you have the opportunity to improve our situation. Maybe it’s helping an ally, or convincing someone to our side.
The downside is that we are limited. Three times you will need to choose between a set of two scenarios. When you are ready, I will present the first set of options.

The heroes readied themselves and gave the Chronomancer the signal to begin. He went through his incantations and two portals opened up for the heroes to select from.

On the left the Kavaard Bearfolk have responded to the cries of help from the injured bronze dragon Kimerth on the island of Prewth. Atop the dormant volcano of Mount Vraalt, the bearfolk square off against the deadly flame dragon, Camawrath and her son.
On the right, the Mountain Kinsmen, sworn servants of the Snow Queen, are up against the Kathaydus, the white dragon of the north, and her yeti followers as they attempt to stop this mad dragon’s rampage across Northern Decius.

The heroes deliberated for a minute before choosing to help the Bearfolk and Kimerth. Through the portal they went and there they had to fight two Flame dragons in the snowy top of Mount Vrault.

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At some point Jaffe thought it…daring to leap upon the back of Camawrath, which he successfully did. Also he managed to hold on while the flame dragon ascended into the air

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However, he did not hold on too much longer, and plunged headfirst into the snow. Soon after that, both dragons laid dead in the snow. The Chronomancer appeared again with two more options.

On the left the dark elves of Aqium are at a crossroad since the All Mage has discovered a cure for the One Tree. Some favor siding with him in the upcoming war while the others do not trust him.
On the right a similar situation unfolds. The Arethrion Elves, long sworn enemy of the Empire are in a debate to join the Aqium wizards.

The heroes decided to side with the Arethrion Elves and talk them out of joining Aqium. They met them in an ice cave in Northern Decius where they were in talks with The Arisen. This was the first time the heroes had actually met with the Arisen and it was a shock to learn that they were tieflings. They are a small, but determined race who has been persecuted heavily throughout time because of the chaos and destruction that the Scourge present in the world.

The Snow Elves were considering joining forces with Aqium since they had such a long an storied hatred of the Empire and how they tried to oppress them through subjugation and invasion. Jaffe made an impassionate plea, warning of the greater evil that is the All Mage and the Aqium Wizards as a whole. The new Snow Queen , Nyth Whitestorm decided that the Arethrion Elves would remain neutral in the upcoming war.

The Chronomancer whisked them away for their third and final choice.

• On the left the gnomes of Geargrind Island have traveled to the island known as Ao’ Well after the farmers pleaded for help. The undead terrors you found there years ago was just the tip of the iceberg and the gnomes are in serious trouble against a horde of undead.
• On the right the underground lair of the Bronzeshield Dwarves of Aqium have been compromised by denizens from the underdark that could utterly destroy them.

Considering their long standing relationship with the Gnomes of Geargrind Island, it was a fairly quick decision to help them out. It was a really quick battle against waves of undead but the heroes once again prevailed.

The time of reckoning was upon them, the final confrontation between Emperor Gavenius and the All Mage. The Chronomancer teleported them to the site of the final battle.

You appear in the Holy Sanctuary of Ao, frozen in time, in the center of the chamber, and in the middle of a battle. Galerius Brotherhood fighters square off against a handful of Bearded Devils. More Scourge scramble across the room, some appearing from the portals, and head towards the balcony above. On the balcony above the ultimate showdown is about to commence. On the left was two dragonborn fighters, two bearfolk warriors, General Ilthor, and Emperor Gavenius. Opposing them were three minotaurs, one dark elf, The Evoker, and the All Mage Lich.
The Chronomancer turns to you, This is it. The destiny of the world as we know it will be decided in the next few minutes, in this room. The All Mage Lich welcomes the Scourge into this world and has come to the Sanctuary of Ao because of its strong arcane and divine magics, a perfect place to summon the Scourge. The Emperor above wields a weapon that can defeat the All Mage Lich, a longsword called Last Rites. However, the summoned Scourge here will reach him before the can strike the final blow against the Ur Mage Lich. You need to prevent that from happening. Stop the Scourge while we try to destroy the All Mage Lich. I helped the All Mage long ago. I was an Arcane Master, like the Evoker and the Abjurer. But what was once determination by the Arch Mage, turned to power hunger in the All Mage. Good luck friends, the end of my line is here and now.

The Chronomancer smiles and floats up the balcony to assist the Emperor.

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The battle begun with the heroes defending the bottom floor while the powers of Decius attacked the All Mage on the balcony. More Scourge poured into the bottom floor through the portals, but eventually the heroes were able to slowly gain the upper hand and got things under control.

On the balcony a different story was being made. The All Mage was quickly dropping Decius fighters (thanks to Power Word Kill and Disrupt Life) and it wasn’t long before the Emperor, the last on his side, was stunned. The Lich approached the frozen body of the Emperor and removed Last Rites and killed him with his own weapon, cackling with delight.

The All-Mage, using the Crown of Shadows, raised the dragonborn and bearfolk as ghouls and ordered them to attack the heroes while he disappeared in a flash, having gotten what he came here for.

The portal stopped churning out Scourge and the heroes and the remaining Brotherhood Fighters were finally able to clear out the Sanctuary of Ao.

The threat of the All Mage and the Scourge were gone. But a new dark power was looming on the horizon. The continents of Deicus and Aqium were at war.

View
Fortress of the Ur Mage
3rd Era - 20th Session

The group left the Fang Hills and traveled to The One Tree but found little there at first.

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Near the roots of the tree they found a cave that reached beneath the massive tree. Inside the cave was nothing but footprints. They were of elves and they traveled to and from the cave. Someone had the idea that this cave could be a meeting place, so they decided to watch and wait.

From the treeline, a few days later, they saw two elves cautiously approach and enter the cave. Following them, they finally found the secret entrance. Deep below ground they finally came to a guard tower where they met the Dark Elves for the first time.

Eventually they were put in contact with Zeria, leader of the dark elves. She told them their story about how the Arch Mage had poisoned their tree long ago and it is dying. The elves had moved underground and are slowly turning into drow elves. Zeria explains that the Arch Mage’s power grows as we speak and he must be dealt with before it spreads across the world. She asks that they try and wipe out the Aqium Wizards and she is doubtful that the One Tree can be saved at this point. Un’Goro used commune with nature and felt that the tree would need an epic level healing solution to save it.

As the heroes exited the One Tree they saw that the Obelisk of Seta-Re had illuminated, indicating the Arch Mage was present. They made a bee line for the monument set in the desert and magically a door appeared. They entered the structure and found themselves in the Fortress of the Ur Mage.

Later they would learn that the Arch Mage has ascended into the position of the Ur Mage, most likely after a sacrifice of the Snow Queen. Later, the Ur Mage would transform himself into a lich and instigate the Great War.

The first room of the fortress was dining hall, with warm food on the table and two leering gargoyle statues flanking the door.

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Ravenclaw shrugged his shoulders and took a bite of the food, transforming himself into the food itself. A moment later, a slightly transparent version of Ravenclaw appeared, having traveled to death’s door. Eventually those who die in here and swooped up by the Ur Mage before entering death’s realm and brought back to suffer more in the fortress.

The group saw the gargoyles animate and rattle off two rumors about the fortress before they proceeded to the room with the Ur Mage’s spellbook.

The spellbook was massive, 4′ × 3′ × 1 and bound in the scales of a tarrasque. Two undead, with their mouths stitched shut, hold up the table which the spellbook rests. The group tried and tried to open the spellbook with no luck.

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The next area was a hallway of paintings. Triton followed up on a rumor about looking through the eyes of the Ur Mage and felt a momentarily flash of madness but was able to pull away in time. Tetsu-ko looked at the blank door and Un’Goro opened it. A trail was beyond that led to Charon, ferryman of the River Styx. The group quickly returned to the hallway.

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Next Triton looked at the final painting and sees a wraith that would perfectly mimic his movements. Tetsu-ko noticed that around a corner, was a table with a thin layer of dust except for a spot where something rested on it. Triton mimicked walking around the corner to pick up the item and handed it to the mirror. Sure enough the wraith returned to the mirror and handed Triton and urn through the mirror. Inside the urn was the electrum dagger.

The next room was strange. Tiny, arcane black hands retrieved little odds and ends throughout the fortress and brought them back to a large crack in the wall here. Triton found a scroll of reverse transformation here. Further into the room was a tiny pyramid under a glass shell. Inside the shell were miniature slavers controlling slaves who are building the pyramid. Across from that is a pool of water with the bottom filled with gold sand. Un’Goro parted the water and scooped up a handful of miniature gold pieces.

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In this room the group saw a throne with statues of three adventurers. Before anyone triggered it, Tetsu-ko noticed a trap on the symbol of the Ur Mage in the center of the room. Ravenclaw disabled the trap with one of his arrows.

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Inside a secret compartment on the throne was a chime of liberation which the group used on the statue of the dwarf paladin to free his spirit.

The summoning chamber contained three arcane circles which confounded the group. the circle of protection gave them the impression that they could safely summon a demon from. Ravenclaw boldly walked into the next one and was immediately dragged into hell for eternity. However, the Ur Mage pulled him back into the fortress once again, this time a little weaker than before.

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Deciding to forgo the teleportation circle, they instead moved to another large room. Two great statues stood in the center of the room with an acidic substance dripping from the ceiling. Tetsu-ko was able to run along the walls and get down to the bottom to scoop up treasure off the floor. Everyone else used the rope of climbing and was able to retrieve a few items for themselves before taking too much acid damage.

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Here in another hallway they saw two statues; one of a golem and one of a medusa. Behidn both were secret doors, the medusa one is activated safely but using the electrum dagger across her throat.

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Beyond the golem was a room with a magical paintbrush painting a picture of a stone door with no handle. The group noticed that it was painting over something else, a portrait of a lich, which they believed to be beyond the real door in this room with no handle. Behind a curtain was a painting of the Ur Mage and Asmodeus playing chess together. The size and style of the painting is similar to those they found in the hallway before and this one could be the one that was missing from that area.

Un’Goro hung this painting up in that hallway and was presented with this chess situation and told it was his move:

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The half-orc stared at it for a moment before moving white rook to take black knight, putting black into checkmate. As he did this, they were immediately transported to a real life chessboard and witnessed the black knight piece crumble to the ground.

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The group all assumed roles of various chess pieces:

King – Tetsu-ko
Queen – Triton
Bishop – Un’Goro
Knight – Ravenclaw
Pawn – Quinvalur

And they had to battle the black pieces, but they were limited to melee attacks only. This put the wizard Quinvalur in a tough spot and he took a great deal of damage in this room. Triton pulled an alabaster mace off the wall and discovered it dealt maximum damage to the black pieces. The group defeats the black pieces and a portal that was behind the black knight lights up. The group entered and found themselves in the alchemical room.

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Various golems work in this room, some turn items to gold and back to its normal state, some retrieve ore from below them, and another creates more golems. A scroll rack in the back contains various unknown commands for the golems when they are fed them. The group manages to get a silver key they found turned into gold. Which is good because they do find a gold door in this room. Un’Goro manages to get them to return the miniature gold pieces to normal sized (10k). Last they feed a scroll that makes all the golems attack. They make a hasty retreat to the next room.

This room is mostly underwater and Tetsu-ko shows off by running across the surface back and forth, retrieving items along the way, and even catching a glimpse of the map of the fortress.

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Un’Goro uses water walk to get everyone to the next room. A round object embedded into the floor, under a layer of mucus is in this room but the group goes no further with it. Tetsu-ko mentioned that after she glimpsed the map, she realized that they forgot to check out the secret room behind the medusa.

A timer is set off and the group quickly makes it to their appropriate spot. A massive head of a djinn opens it mouth in scowl and Tetsu-ko jumps into the mouth and come up empty handed. But then throws up a magical lamp. Tetsu-ko is offered one wish: Wealth, Power, or Knowledge. She picks Knowledge and the Intelligence of everyone in the group goes up two points. Except Quinvalur who was already at 20.

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Also in this room the group finds a secret passage to the inner circle of this fortress. however their is river of souls between them and the inner circle and they couldn’t find a landing place on the other side.

Beyond the chessboard room they group came to another area and found a basin of water that gave visions of this fortress. Everyone looked in and saw a vision:

Un’Goro – spotted someone cutting open the mouths of a undead to open the spellbook
Quinvalur – saw someone rolling dice in this room into a turtle shell bowl
Ravenclaw – saw someone placing a giant eye in a cyclops who had none before
Triton – saw someone step on the “Bahl” letter and get killed.
Tetsu-ko – I’m sure saw something but I can’t remember what it was.

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The group pressed on and found an eye-less cyclops in the center of pillars. Someone had the idea that the round object covered in mucus might have been a giant eye so they returned to that room.

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Sure enough, it is an eye and when they uncovered it they noticed it looked in three spots on the cobweb ceiling. Removing the cobwebs revealed 26 paintings of people. They could tell it looked at:

Advisor
Sage
King

It spells out ASK. They group asked the question about where they could get the gold key. The answer was the cyclops.

The group returned to the room with the cyclops and Triton, empowered with resistance to lightning damage, entered the circle and gave the cyclops the eye. Lightning shot forward and encapsulated the doors, barring the exit. Un’Goro gouged out his own eye and they were allowed to leave the room.

In the next room in order to retrieve items, the group had to recreate how they had died so far in the fortress using dolls of themselves.

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The next room was deadly. A void wraith was summoned into this room and it controlled a sphere of annihilation. Ravenclaw was nearly killed in the first round, and another was badly injured as well. Tetsu-ko banished the void wraith for one minute while they came up with a plan. A hand of Asmodeus juts out of the wall, as if beckoning for something. Reluctantly the group gives it the wand Tetsu-ko just used. The void wraith and the sphere reappeared and the hand uses the wand to destroy both, but everyone took a fair amount of damage as well.

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Here a pool is filled with gems as the bottom and a large girallon sits at one end. Quinvalur dives in and grabs one and places it in the open hand of the girallon. The closed hand opens revealing five soul gems. Quinvalur tries to grab them all and earns the anger of the beast, killing the greedy wizard instantly. Triton retrieves equal gems for soul gems and gets them all, while the ghostly image of Quinvalur returns.

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The group returned to the alchemical room and used the gold key from the cyclops to enter the inner ring. They came to an room with spirits produced armor and they spotted a way to get to the center of the fortress but it required making a jump over the river of swirling arcane magics.

Here Triton was able to use his knowledge from the field journal and his previous vision to see some of the steps to make and some to avoid. Ravenclaw deciphered the pattern that spelled out Ur Mage using the first letter of each name.

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This room contained a chasm in the center with a magical rope hanging in mid air. The chasm is hundred of feet deep and you can hear choppy water far below. Tetsu-ko climbs down, nearly slips, but reaches the bottom. Her she see souls of the dead enter the gates of hell. Somehow she knows that a lever, just inside the gates, must be flipped for them to proceed further into the fortress. She gives an impassionate speech to the souls to flip the lever but to no avail. She decides to enter the gate of hell and do it herself. She dies.

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Sure enough, a ghostly image of Tetsu-ko returns to the others and the sounds of chains lowering a drawbridge can be heard nearby. The group can now enter the center room or continue exploring the fortress.

The story continues in End of the Third Era.

View
Central Aqium
3rd Era - 19th Session

The heroes delved deeper into the Temple of Apshai, chasing down the Arch Mage who had absconded with the Snow Queen.

The next room they entered contained peculiar statues that would magically appear in random places every few seconds. Also in this room were two Blemeyes; headless giants with eyes on their shoulders and a huge gapping mouth in the center of their chest.

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The heroes navigated the room mechanics as well as the monsters within it, then they thought about the Chort Devil they still had with them. Time was running out, they estimated they had less than 30 minutes of control over the Scourge. The debate went on and finally they decided to attempt to re-bottle the devil back into the Iron Flask now, rather than have him turn on the group in the middle of a fight.

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By the will of Ao, the heroes managed to capture the Scourge back into the Iron Flask. The heroes took a short rest before continuing.

The hallway contained a giant boulder tumbling down it right at the heroes. Someone saw a secret door appear before them and tried to lead everyone through it. The door was an illusion and the boulder hit everyone.

Next, the group encounter two large scorpions hunting some invisible creatures. As the heroes attack them, the invisible Domovoi’s appeared and also attacked them. Quinvalur got grabbed by one of the pinchers and was then blinded by its tail attack.

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The heroes succeeded and moved upstairs to the next level where they witnessed a corrupted ogre chieftain fight two humanoid crocodiles called Subeks. They heroes waited until just one subek was left and they quickly disposed of it.

The following room contained a stone golem, which was a formidable opponent, but even Quinvalur (still blind) was able to deal some damage.

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Surely at this point the heroes would have given some consideration towards what was happing. They were traversing through a pyramid, fighting strange and out-of-their-element creatures in every single room. Why was this? Is this the work of the Arch Mage?

The inhabitants of the next room were waiting for the heroes. Two large and evil fey Guardians stood before them with pikes drawn. Immediately they dropped to the ground revealing a third creature behind them. A Mind Flayer who almost seemed to smile when he saw them. He attacked them with Mind Blast, and managed to stun Wil the Bloody. Next the Illithid hit them with Lightning Bolt and since they had been unable to get out of the hallway yet, it hit everyone and dropped Wil the Bloody and Quinvalur.

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Ravenclaw saved the day when he his the Mind Flayer with a natural 20, killing it instantly. Bruised, battered, and bloody, the heroes prepared for the Guardians to attack, but they didn’t. They calmly walked over and stood beside their master, eyes down and weapons lowered. When the heroes would pass through this room again later, they guardians remained, but the body of the Mind Flayer was gone.

The next room, of course, contained more creatures, but these didn’t attack immediately. Two githyanki, one on guard, the other trying to decipher the hieroglyphics on the wall, readied weapons as the heroes entered.

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Communication was difficult, but it seemed like the Githyanki were trapped in this temple, specifically to this room, and they can’t get out. The gith accused the heroes of being behind this whole thing, but they noticed the cuts and scars from recent fights that might indicate the heroes were also trapped.

The heroes circled back around and went upstairs from the room where they killed the Illithid. Here they encountered the Arch Mage.

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You are a persistence bunch, or fool-hardy. Eagerly you walked into my trap in the Cave of the Ancient and find yourselves in Aqium. With no friends, no help, and your limited spells. Barely clinging to life as you stand before the Arch-Mage, and a handful of Scourge-inspired savages. You will die here. A long way from home.

Logically, the heroes focused their fire on the Arch Mage. He did have a Globe of Invulnerability up, but he didn’t seem to mind the physical attacks that much for some reason.

The battle raged on until, suddenly, the Arch Mage was replaced by a minotaur. the heroes quickly mopped up him and the two demon-orcs before Wil the Bloody was able to explain what he saw.

The Arch Mage cast Time Stop and calmly walked over to the heroes and looked each one in the eye. Then he snapped his fingers and the minotaur appeared out of thin air, carrying the Snow Queen. The two spoke for a moment and they only word he heard was Obelisk. The minotaur set the body on the ground and readied his weapon. The Arch Mage levitated the body of the Snow Queen off the ground and the two of them disappeared.

A trapdoor in the center was the pyramid ceiling was found and when the top was opened, the heroes got a good look at where they were. Central Aqium.

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They were able to see a handful of landmarks throughout the region, as well as a large Obelisk at the far end of their vision. The group carefully climbed down the edge of the pyramid known as the Temple of Apshai and headed for the town of Matasiris. Along the way, Quinvalur was able to pick up bits of a message from The Arisen:

…must help…dwarves…long forgotten…and the elves…very oppressive…only hope…

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They spent the night, bought some more healing potions and learned a handful of rumors throughout the evening:

  • A Mad hermit live in the Fang Hills
  • Brigands are holed up in the mountains to the north
  • Spire of the Rose is abandoned, people avoid it, bad thing things happen
  • The One Tree? Someone used to live there, long abandoned now, the tree looks bleaker and bleaker each year, might fall over before too long.
  • Constant storm over the stronghold? Who did they piss off? It’s not natural, no reason to go there, just a dismal place
  • The old temple in the southeast? No one knows who that belonged to, the Wizards cleared it out decades ago. It seems so far away
  • The Obelisk of Seta-Re? I heard that is the tower of the Arch Mage himself. There is not a single door on it, but you can tell when someone is home, a blue beam of light shoots straight to the stars when he is there.
  • Mysterious lights over the Nashir Ruins, some say the undead haunt the ground there. Some say ever worse!

Feeling that the Arch Mage was not in the Obelosk of Seta-Re, since the light wasn’t on, the heroes decided to look for the hermit in the Fang Hills. The found him living at a set of Stone Hedge-like ruins in the hills

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The Mad Hermit lived up to his name but he did mention that brigands, known as the Clan of the Wicked, have holed up in the Bronzeshield Caves to the north, and that they were a menace to the countryside and also the King wanted them out. The group had assumed that Aqium was ruled by the Arch Mage so when they asked the Mad Hermit about the King he produced a mouse out of his pocket. Aye, the King here wants them gone too!

The group shrugged their shoulders and went off to the cave to deal with the brigands, since both the Mad Hermit and the King were promising a reward. The cave was easy to find because of the partial dwarven statue that stood around the entrance.

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Inside they saw orcs, humans, and an ogre sitting around hundred of crates and boxes of stolen goods. Quinvalur and Jaffe decided to start this encounter of with both barrels of the fireball shotgun. This nearly wiped them out. The rest of the heroes entered to clean up and found a few more brigands who came forward from the back.

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It didn’t take long for them to clean up the rest, and poke around at the good they acquired. In the back of the room was a strange metal door. It wouldn’t budge, but with everyone working together, they finally got it unstuck and learned that it was propped shut from the other side.

The heroes moved in and discovered a long-lost dwarven fortress here inside the mountains. Deeper still they found the Bronzeshield Dwarves. and met Magni Thelgrimm, leader of the dwarves.

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The Magni was able to fill the heroes in on what happened. The Bronzeshield Dwarves had shut themselves off from Aqium hundreds of years ago (2nd Era) when the Aqium Wizards first started to take control. The memory of the dwarves faded from memory until no one knew they ever existed.

The Magni asked a lot of questions about the outside world and mentioned that there has been a growing sentiment from his community to venture back into Aqium. The heroes agreed to keep their existence a secret for now and wished them well. They returned to the Mad Hermit.

Both the King and the Mad Hermit were pleased with the news that the Clan of the Wicked was taken care of. He searched his shack of a house for a suitable reward, and after conferring with the King, he presented the heroes with a single coin.

At least it was a magical coin.

The story continues in Fortress of the Ur Mage.

View
Into Northern Decius
3rd Era - 18th Session

Tetsu-ko looked over all of the notes from Commander Graves desk and tried to put together an idea of what was the mission of the Quiet Fury.

The mission was called Operation Goliath and it came directly from Emperor Gavenius. It was a top secret mission that was to take place near the town of Mlyfenor in Northern Decius. It is not a direct assault on the Arethrion Elves but rather a mission to recover something before the Aqium Wizards do. If the wizards were met, they were to be eliminated with no witnesses, as this could lead to war between the two nations.

The Brind-Amor Fleet sail north through Ice Maw Bay, past the town of Stageton where they saw two Galerius Brotherhood ships dock, and as they reached their destination they saw to warships attacking the Arethrion Elves on land.

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The ships moved in to attack and the signaling system the Brind-Amor Fleet established worked out perfectly. They made quick work of the Red Warship before starting on the other.

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The White Warship took heavy damage and tried to make a run for it out of the bay. They slipped through for a moment, but were quickly sunk after that.

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The Fleet made sure there were no survivors.

Quickly the moved to shore to assist the Arethrion Elves that were under attack and outnumbered, from the Galerius Brotherhood.

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It did not take long for the heroes to gain the upper hand in this fight. After Un’Goro showed them the necklace he got from Nyth, they questioned the elves about what had happened.

They all said that this appears to be another attack by the Brotherhood and that their warships have been here many times. They added that their leader, Nythsaileath Whitestorm was looking into a recent sighting of non-brotherhood humans that were seen east of Mlyfenor recently. She left here just before these attacks took place.

Before they left the elves warned them about cells of Brotherhood soldiers all over these mountains.

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The heroes found tracks heading east and later came upon a fight between Nyth and her winter wolf and three Brotherhood soldiers. The heroes put them down before they could even turn around.

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Nyth thanked them for their help once again and was able to shed some more light on what had been going on here lately:

  • The Brotherhood has been launching attacks here for years now, and their only interest is to enslave or kill us.
  • Recently she had seen Aqium Wizards sneaking into Northern Decius and heading north into the mountains.
  • This is particularly strange as the elves have never seen the Aqium Wizards in their homeland nor have they seen foreigners who did not directly attack them.

Tetsu-ko brought up some of the information she learned from the special secret mission that Commander Graves was on. Between her and Nyth, they were able to piece together what is happening.

They believe the wizards are seeking out the Cave of the Ancients, a holy shrine for the Arethrion elves, where their spiritual leader and the Mountain Kinsmen are frozen. Legend tells that they will come back to life in our most dire time.

Apparently this Operation Goliath was issued with the understanding that the Brotherhood could not let this thing fall into the hands of the Aqium Wizards, and if it did, Commander Graves had to take it back and leave no witnesses to this war-provoking crime.

As the heroes and Nyth headed for the Cave of the Ancient they spotted three Brotherhood soldiers outside of a large cave. The heroes started to move into position to attack but Nyth held them back. Let’s see how this plays out first. she said with a smile. Minutes later they entered the cave, loud noises were heard, and a plume of freezing cold air burst out of the cave entrance.

That is Kathaydus the White, a dragon who is attended by several yeti. The heroes asked if they should deal with this dragon and Nyth shrugged her shoulders. We would be better off with her gone, being so close to our home, but the Brotherhood soldiers keep wandering into that cave.

Instead, the heroes pushed on to the Cave of the Ancients.

The temperature immediately dropped when they entered, and they discovered tracks in the thin layer of snow. Ravenclaw recognized boots, hooves, and some sort of giants had recently passed through here. Most disturbing was that one set of the hooves were much larger than the others.

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In the next room they discovered two of the three types of footprints. Three minotaurs and two Thursir Giants waited in here. Before attacking, the giants dropped massive backpacks of gear, equipment, and food that was all used for the expedition here.

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After a room with green-ish inchor warm springs the heroes entered the final cavern of the Cave of the Ancients. At the far end of the room, where an excavation had taken place, a minotaur carried the body of a young and beautiful elven woman over his shoulders. Nyth gasped, The Snow Queen!

The minotaur stepped into a portal and behind him was a person that the heroes would grow to despise, The Arch Mage.

The Arch Mage immediately spotted you and motioned to all of his henchmen to kill you before stepping through the portal himself. The Abjurer and two other Aqium Wizards, began casting defensive spells instead of closing the portal as the Arch Mage instructed.

In front of the heroes were two minotaurs and a third that was three-times the size of the others. They raised their weapons and stepped forward.

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Partially in a panic, and partially out of curiosity, Un’Goro unleashed the Iron Flask and brought forth the Scourge they were to fight in the King of the Hill Tournament back in Centum Treyopolis.

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The heroes pushed forward, battling through the minotaurs as well as the protective sphere around the Abjurer, finally slaying all of the Aqium personnel still in the Caves. Nyth was, once again, thankful for their help but was devastated to see her queen taken from this holy shrine. The heroes found several frozen bodies in large blocks of ice. They were al about 7 to 8-feet tall, 300+ pounds, with very pale skin and black tribal markings or tattoos. These must be the Mountain Kinsmen they heard of before.

Even stranger, the portal remained opened. Neither the Abjurer nor the other wizards managed to close it before they left.

Knowing the only had about 45 minutes left before the Scourge would no longer be under their control, the heroes decided to plunge into the portal to chase down the Arch Mage and save the Snow Queen while they still could.

Nyth wished them well and said she would inform their ships of their decision.

Much later, the heroes would learn that this portal led them into central Aqium to a place called the Temple of Apshai. It was an Egyptian style pyramid filled with strange creatures. The first were Imy-ut Ushabti who were filled with skittering scarabs that would attack when they were hit with slashing weapons, or as they vomited swarms of them on the heroes.

The heroes would prevail and they moved on to the next room. It was a trap, a cloud of darts filled the room hitting everyone.

The heroes caught their breath and leveled up to 9th. However, they are low on spells and they only have about 35 minutes left of control over the Scourge.

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The story continues in Central Aqium.

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