Requiem of Oblivion

3-18-12: The die are conspiring to kill me

Rayne’s update

Gilrush appears to be gaining a following. He’s recruited two dragonborn to Tiamat.
Rordin Darkdelver was surprised to hear that we were going to go to Lake Serenity instead of the underdark. He took back the offer to provide us with supplies for our adventure since he was sending the other delvers in our place.
We left the city and headed to the lake. Many undead wandered the roads, but none were like the hordes we saw in Fourfalls. We arrived at the lake relatively unscathed and met with Lord Varen Imris. He provided us with a boat, named the “Diddly-Dip”, that would deliver us to the island.
The bad guys seem to like to advertise “We are here!” Above the island that is supposed to have the Chalice, the weather is going haywire.
The island was surrounded by black ice, but mostly barren. In the center was a big dome with a staircase leading down to a door that had been ripped off its hinges. There were dead mushroom people surrounding the door.
As soon as we entered the building, we were attacked by followers of Orcus. We managed to beat them after a bad beginning. I think I need to work more on my mobility. Gilrush and I managed to pull out all the worms trying to infest our bodies, and Kaetien made sure we weren’t infected with anything. Those zombies were like the ones created by rot-grubs, but possessing supernatural strength, toughness, and a desire to create new hosts for its controllers.

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CINEMATIC - Janra & Chen-Zel

“You’re goin’ the wrong way Delvers.”
Janra steps out from the shadows under a canvas awning. She gives a playful smile and her green eyes flash to the building across the crowded street. Without a word, she strides casually past you, towards the building. Without turning back she asks “you comin’ or what?”

She leads you to a small iron door on the side of the building, hidden from street view. After a complex rhythm of knocks, a whip-thin Drow opens the door, his red eyes scrutinizing the characters. He turns to Janra, “Friends of yours, Jan? They wear the mark of Darkdelver, and they reek of spilt blood. You expect me to let them in without a really good explanation?”

“Peace, Will, these are my friends, and wish no ill on your business. We only wish for entrance to the Warrens below. They will of course pay you for the inconvenience (she glances sidelong at you)”

“Pay me? Oh, yes, indeed. Any friends of Jan’s are mine as well. Come, welcome to my humble establishment.”

(You look to your right, from a balcony, to a large room below, milling with humanoids of all shapes and sizes. Some in finery, some in rags, some of both in chains. Arrayed in a line on a platform is a dozen chairs with iron collars set on the seats. Infront of the chairs stands a Neogi, like the one you encountered in the mines outside Valden. As you hear it speak, you suspect that it is indeed the same one.

“Hear me, citizens of Saboria. The red star approaches, and your leaders are silent to your questions. I will not be silent, for I know the doom that comes for us all. There are those in the Underdark that know the truth, and we are thankful that our lives are safe under the earth, under the King’s protection. Search your hearts and you will know this to be true: the surface isn’t safe anymore. Some of you may think “I will never be a slave, I would rather die.” Tell me, would you rather live a life in bondage, or die in terror, yet continue existence in undeath? Slavery is an ancient custom, which only recently has been deemed “immoral” by your leaders. You may think the masters of the Underdark are cruel, and you are right in that assumption. You may very well die for a minor infraction, but at least you will not stand back up afterwards. You may have to sacrifice you pride, but at least you get fed, clothed, bathed, trained in whatever skills are required of you, and otherwise live a simple life without any trouble. Even the wicked Drow treat slaves well, and allow them some freedoms, including the freedom to mate and have a family. I am a simple businessman, but I know the seriousness of this situation, and I will do what I can to help you all. You may flee into the Shallows unbound to a master, but you will surely die. As a slave, you will be deemed as property, and will pass through the Underdark unmolested. I have with me, 12 opportunities to save lives, before I return to my city. I seek 4 men and 8 women, of breeding age, with practical skills. I will take elders if they are a master at a trade. My offer: 50 pieces of silver. That is all you may take with you, aside from what you have on you now. To some of you, it may not be a lot of money, though to others it’s more wealth earned in a year. Keep this in mind: as a slave, you are not permitted extensive personal wealth. I’m giving you a fortune, even if it may not seem like one.

(The Neogi, steps to the side, sweeping an arm towards the vacant chairs.)

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CINEMATIC - Gorguth & Throzak

(The scene opens in a darkened chamber of rusted metal, water drips from above, running down the chains hanging from the ceiling. A throne of corroded spikes stands alone in the center of the grim hall, on a plinth carpeted with bones. A figure shifts uncomfortably in the seat, and croaks wetly “My Lord Gorguth, I have failed you. I deserve nothing except oblivion.”
Coalescing in midair, a mirror of black ice appears before the servant. A violet light radiates from the manifestation, illuminating the horror seated upon the jagged throne. Above the waist, the Death Knight is a vile, corpulent thing whose face is thankfully masked by a rusted helm. However, the undead being’s legs are a pulped waste, mangled beyond recognition; his entrails cascade to the ground, and trail behind the throne along the gory smear he left while crawling to this place.
A face surfaces within the black ice, a gaunt head covered completely by black leather tanned from human skin. Only the eye-sockets are exposed, which are all the more unnerving since this creature has nothing there except empty pits blacker than the Abyss.
It regards the broken form before him with its inscrutable gaze, and speaks in a voice reminiscent of steel scraping bone “You underestimate your value to me, Throzak. I have not forgotten the decades of loyalty you have shown me. My patience has limits, however; do not fail me again.”

THROZAK: “Thank you General, I swear on my soul that I will not fail you again.”

GORGUTH: “Careful what you say Defiler, Orcus will see that you make good on that promise.”

THROZAK: “General, what must I do?”

GORGUTH: “Orcus’ attack on Gaping Maw goes well, but I question our lord’s judgment. An unbridled assault on Demogorgon leaves us vulnerable to other forces, and the Prince of Demons is making us work for every inch of ground we take. How long will it take until the Raven Queen or Abyss-forbid the Lord of Hell himself decides to take action?

THROZAK: “But sir, wouldn’t the Gods be concerned with Atropus? If it achieves its purpose, the souls of all living things on Ramistar would be denied passage to the Astral Dominions.

GORGUTH: “Yes, and that would mean our lord can siphon all their souls to him, obtaining absolute dominion over the mortal world, with power to challenge the gods. Easing its arrival to Ramistar is the task Orcus charged me with Throzak, so what I need you to do is gather the remaining artifacts of good, and find that renegade Lich. Despite her convictions, she has not fully escaped Orcus’ gaze. Bring her here, for I have an offer to make.”

THROZAK:“My Lord, there is one thing… I cannot achieve these tasks without legs.”

GORGUTH: “Your injuries have not escaped my attention Defiler. (Two more sheets of black ice form at either side of Gorguth’s, and an insect like demon walks through each one. They hold diabolical tools, and bars of abyssal steel in their many pincers.) You will have new legs soon; Mezzodemons work quickly, and.. Mercilessly.

THROZAK: “Thank you, General.”

GORGUTH: “The Talisman is in the hands of the able Darkdelvers, beyond my augurs. I do sense the presence of Caira’s servant, the Eladrin Necromancer. She is traveling to the lake known as Serenity. Perhaps the chalice lies there. Find the chalice, capture the mage, discover where Caira is hiding. Do not return until these are done Throzak. For the glory of Orcus.”

(The pane of abyssal ice vanishes, plunging the room in darkness again. Throzak ponders the troubling words of his commander. Has the Prince of Undeath erred? No, I must not think of such treasons. There is only the mission. Only the mission.

The Mezzodemons approach the rusted throne, chittering in delight.)

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3-11-12: The Claws of Yalas

Rayne’s update

We found him; Gormlak was waiting for us at the end of the corridor. He offered us 30,000g to not kill him. We were greatly tempted, but we felt that we would gain more by offering him to Lady Merling, as well as preserve our reputation.
He had a pet dinosaur that tried to take out Arshes. He rode atop it as he slashed down on us. He and the other thieves were easily defeated, though Chauncy was sad that we had to kill the triceratops, since he wanted to keep it.
We carried Gormlak in the bag of holding to Lady Merling’s abode and politely asked her to pay us more for bringing him back alive. It seemed that she was going to take over the thieves guild in his place.
Kaetien was able to heal the lycanthropy disease I had. Arshes and I were exhausted so Chauncy escorted us back to the inn to recoup. Gilrush went to pray at the temple of Tiamat and had wanted Chauncy to meet him there. I’m not sure where Keitan went to; he probably went to woo another lady or win another bar fight.
Chauncy awoke us in the night. He spoke quickly and rather confusingly, but I think what he wants is for us to go to Lake Serenity. He said that the lady with the book and Throzak will be there after the chalice. He wanted us to leave right then and there, but we still needed to talk to Rordin and Gilrush and Kaetien were not yet back. I had hoped that would be the end of the excitement for the evening.
I woke up in a cold sweat. Some nights are just not meant to be restful. I looked up at Yalas in the sky, it was full. I really need to work on my perception, maybe Kaetien will teach me if I’m not dead in the morning.
Arshes was by my side in the morning as I woke up. She told me an assassin from the Claws of Yalas attacked me. She and Chauncy heard the ruckus in my room and chased him away. He only left his dagger behind. I will use his dagger to rip out his heart and feed it to Kaetien’s dogs! What enemy have I made that could afford to have a contract on me with the Claws of Yalas? How can they know it’s me.

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3-4-12 Werewolves Suck

Rayne’s point of view
Janra pointed us in the direction that Gormlak ran. We immediately ran into some of his lackeys that had booby trapped the room. With Gilrush blind in one eye, and the rest of us no exactly able to see a trap if it bit us in the bum, we could only rely on the cleric to keep us safe.
Of course, first I had to run into the fray and discover the room was full of traps to begin with. Lighting is painful. The lackeys were easily slaughtered, but it was difficult attempting to get to them without becoming a light house.

We followed Gormlak down a corridor that reeked of rotten vegetables and probably dead bodies. Arshes and Kaeaton made friends with a minotaur that was looking for the taste of fresh flesh. Good thing we had those bodies handy, we didn’t have to fight the minotaur for our lives. He told us the guild leader had gone downstairs to talk to the Laughing Man.

As we entered the room, we saw a corpse being roasted over an open fire. The Laughing Man greeted us warmly? He was an insane man who found great pleasure in torturing others. Upon closer inspection Kaeaton found that his latest victim was a barbecued zombie. In horror he sacred flamed his body. Even after taking away his toy, the laughing man showed us the secret passage the guild leader had taken. Arshes was upset that we were going to just let this man live, even knowing what he was. And so she attacked him. We made quick work of him, but I think Arshes is beginning to have a moral dilemma.

We made it through the secret door and further into the bowels. Gormlak’s second in command was waiting for us, a werewolf. I taunted him with the head of his friend before running into battle with him. Everyone else fought the drow and pirates. I had thought that the werewolf could be no stronger than he the weretiger. I was wrong. He was faster than me, and more powerful. I was very lucky our cleric was nearby else I might not have lived to regret my decision.
Chauncy lobbed an acid orb at his head as I recovered and he went down. I made sure he stayed down. I now have two were heads! Unfortunately I think I’ve been infected with lycanthropy, and I’m also feeling kind of woozy after being hit in the head so much. But we continued onward, because 10k is on the line.

Down the next corridor led us to the rot grub swarms. Those things give me the willies, not to mention a dagger thrown at a swarm does next to nothing.

I hope we read Gormlak soon, I’m sick of chasing him around in these dingy dark tunnels full or unnameable smells.

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2-26-12 Our Hunt for the Thieve Guild's Head

Rayne’s Update
Devis left us with a key and little information on where we could find Gormlak. I feel we could have pried more information out of him if some had not let him know that we were not dead set on killing him. It makes one’s bluff less believable when your own party member informs a foe that you are lying.
Kaetien appears to have made some friends, two dogs who follow him around merely because he gave them a snack. I don’t know what we will do with them when we go to the Underdark. Perhaps one of the magisters would be willing to do us a favor and care for the dogs while we are away.

I was a fool to get careless while disabling the trap on the stairs. I am lucky that I have some very strong companions. The boulder would have crushed us after we slid into the pit at the bottom of the stairs. Some amazing Delvers we would be. They would change our names to Maximum Pancake as they buried us. I am very glad I spent most of my younger years jumping from roof top to roof top balancing precariously on the edges. It seems to have become a handy skill.

The door at the end of the stairs led to Gormlak’s office, but he had already fled. The rear guard he left behind was formidable. Two pirates had ganged up on Arshes, but she managed to fight them off. Gilrush and Chauncy kept the gnoll archer and the sell sword busy as the leader of the rear guard attacked me. He had the head and claws of a tiger! I didn’t know we had such creatures in the thieve’s guild now. His bite was vicious, but luckily his aim was off. I was able to slip under many of his sweeping blows. We managed to knock him unconscious after we had traded a few blows. I thought the fight was over after that, but then he just sat back up as if my dagger hadn’t plunged into his chest!
“Fools, not but silver can kill me.” He mocked. I wanted to make sure he understood that this was not something he should be proud of.
I drove my dagger into his neck multiple times as I shoved silver coins down his throat. Eventually Kaetien found a silver letter opener and we gave him the final blow.* By then I had severed most of his head off. I wonder if he could have regrown a new one…*

We left the office and found the secret exit Gormlak had taken. A dwarf told us where he had gone after we reminded him that we were doing him a favor. His directions led us to a giant building with a metal door blocking the way. We were debating how we were going to get in when Janra appeared again. She led us to a side entrance where a renegade Drow named Will knew her, and were able to get in few questions asked.

Gormlak wasn’t here, but another familiar face spoke over the crowd. The Neogi slave trader we had “befriended” was trying to convince the crowd in front of him to willingly become slaves in the underdark before the red star destroys the surface world. The Neogi is willing to guide us through the underdark if we act as his guards and get for him Gormlak as a slave. Arshes does not like this plan, she seems to have an aversion to slavery(killing is fine, slavery a nono), but I think if she had known Gormlak as well as I do, she would think that this is just punishment for the likes of him. Yet, I also doubt this is a good plan. For one, how will we get the 10,000g if we don’t prove we took out the leader?
And how do we know we can trust this Neogi. Once we’re in the underdark, we’re in his territory. He could easily make us real slaves when we were merely posing as them to get safe passage. That would put a serious kink in the saving the world business. We may be better off with Rordin Darkdelver’s maps to the Deep Gnome city of Dyrnwalg. We may have to battle more, but we are less likely to get lax.

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THE STORY SO FAR

Phew, so much has passed since 1st level. This is just a summary; feel free to add stuff I miss.

  • The story begins at a crossroads deep in the Galgan Valley, province of the fifth Imperial house, House Belaros. Three characters, Gilrush (dborn pal.), Random (tief. warlk.), and Breena (1/2elf Bard) meet at this spot, all on the same path to the capitol town Four-Falls. Upon meeting, they all look to the heavens to witness a bizarre phenomenon that, unbeknownst to them, is the elder evil revealing itself. Deciding to continue to Four Falls together, the trio enters the famous Rimefire Inn, and discovers that the Empire-spanning brotherhood of adventurers known as the Dark Delvers has a headquarters on the Inn’s third floor. Joining the organization for different reasons, the PCs (declaring themselves as “Maximum Pain”) begin doing odd jobs for the local citizens, until they’re sent to a lost Dwarven ruin to investigate a growing number of goblin raids in the valley.
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  • After many days navigating the mining tunnels, the PCs finally arrive at Vistra’s Hall deep underground. Fighting their way through wave after wave of goblins, and their since-unrevealed Gnoll overlords, the PCs stumble upon the two remaining members of the Dark Delver team that disappeared two months previous. The rogue, named Rayne, and the dragonborn sorcerer Chauncy were relieved to finally see fellow adventurers and joined Maximum Pain in eradicating the Hall of goblins, gnolls, and a particularly vicious young black dragon that had the nerve to attack a fellow devotee of Tiamat (Gilrush). Afterwards, Gilrush gathered the tribe of kobolds that had been enslaved by the gnolls and made them promise to worship Tiamat, their savior, and left Vistra’s Hall to the kobolds, where they could use the dwarven forges to manufacture more weapons and armor for trade with Four-Falls. Since the other members of the Silverhawks perished in the mines, Rayne and Chauncy decided to join Maximum Pain.
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  • Much to the sorrow of the party, Breena was forced to leave the valley to Kaldonis, the city ruled by house Tolaska, to aid the soldiers in the war against house Shandara. Soon after, in a peculiar way, Lotus, another half-elf bard from the Imperial City’s bardic college arrived in Four-Falls to join the Dark Delvers. Lotus was warmly welcomed by Maximum Pain, though her training was subtler than Breena’s, relying more on trickery than power.
  • It wasn’t long until the PCs were forced to return to Vistra’s Hall to investigate the sudden appearance of a dwarven clan that began eradicating the kobolds, claiming that the Hall was their long-lost ancestral home. Avoiding bloodshed, the PCs negotiate past the dwarves to reach their lord Uldorf Stonehelm who was deeper in the Hold, fighting kobolds. Meeting the incorrigible dwarf amidst a tide of undead creatures, the PCs realize that the walking dead were originating from an underground road-system that supposedly connects all the dwarven holds in the empire. Pressing forward while Stonehelm and his warriors retreated, the PCs reach the massive gate to the deep-roads, and succeed in shutting it. Uldorf was ungrateful to the PCs and refused to coexist with kobolds. He did agree to give them 5 days to find them a new home before executing them all. Racing against time, the PCs delve into an ancient Leyric ruin called Arushai, hoping it would be a suitable home for their kobold friends.

Dwarf vs kobold by mk01

  • The Leyrians were masters of magic that current practitioners can only dream of. Their cities are all swallowed by the earth after openly defying the gods, however the ruins still stand even after eons of decay. Unfortunately, the Titan Crystal at the heart of Arushai grew unstable, and opened breaches to the Elemental Chaos. Maximum Pain therefore had to face all manner of elemental creatures, brave rivers of magma, and lightning storms. During their descent to the heart, the PCs encounter a Warforged named Five, held in stasis and unaware of his creators demise eons ago. Shocked by the news, Five agrees to help them stabilize the titan crystal, guides them down a gravity shaft thousands of feet down to the bottom of the entombed city. Battling a powerful elemental that was using the crystal to channel its power, the PCs defeat it, setting the crystal back in its crucible, sealing the planar breaches in the process.
    The warforged Five awakened his brothers from their age-long slumber, and departed from the ruins, sensing more of their ancient kind in the Imperial City. The PCs made haste to Vistra’s Hall to save the kobolds.
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  • Uldorf was relluctant to let them live, but he let the kobolds go to their new home. Disgusted with the dwarf’s dishonor, Gilrush challenged the lord to a duel to the death. Unable to refuse the challenge for fear of being called a coward by his own people, Uldorf fought the dragonborn. His honor was restored as Gilrush slew him in honorable combat. The dwarves of clan Stonehelm offered their repect to the PCs, withdrawing to their long-lost home.
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  • After escorting T’Basi’s tribe of kobolds to Arushai, the PCs were horrified to find that a massive undead horde had overrun Four-Falls during their absence. A wildling shifter with fey powers meets the PCs, allying with them to drive the horde out of her forest domain. Fighting through the town, they discover that most of the citizens had been slain in the battle, including the Dark Delver leader Marienne, the Rimefire Inn’s owner Den Westgate, and Lazy-Leg the Captain of the guard. Fueled by vengeance, the PCs fight wave after wave of undead, unable to save the young Lord Nathan Belaros, until they reach the Temple of Bahamut. The other Dark Delver team, the Rose Blades, and the Tiefling avenger Lucious had barricaded the temple, protecting a couple hundred citizens within. They blame Maximum Pain’s sinfulness and worship of fell powers for the undead invasion. Outraged at the accusations these “good” clergymen were placing on them, the PCs storm out of the temple, battling their way to the reclusive wizard’s tower, purportedly where the source of the evil menace lies (a green glow emanating from the tower’s apex).
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  • The PCs encounter a horde of undead, and a giant skeletal dragon at the foot of the tower. Defeat was near, until Random suddenly manifested intimidating hellish powers, blasting the skeletal wyrm to brimstone. After the battle, Random disappears through a fiery portal, bidding his farewell, and that his path must now divert from the others, but may join again in the future.
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  • Communicating with the wizard Aram Belaros through a steel helmet, the PCs go into the tower’s expansive basement to save him. Filled with necromancers and cultists of Orcus (the demon prince of undeath), the PCs save Aram, and Kaetien, a cleric of the Raven Queen that was visiting the wizard at just the wrong time. Tragically, the bard Lotus lost her life to a cultist’s axe while protecting the wizard’s life. Aram relays to the PCs and Kaetien that the leader of the invasion, a death knight named Throzak, has gone to the top of the tower to recover an item there. Determined to avenge the death of Lotus, the PCs (Kaetien decides to join the party) march to the tower roof and face the vile death knight in a battle that nearly tears the tower apart. Chauncy unleashes sorcerous windstorms that hurls Throzak off the tower to the mercilessly hard stone 50 feet below. After the fight, the PCs hopes are lifted to the sight of Imperial soldiers marching through the town, eradicating the last vestiges of the undead, and restoring order. Throzak’s body was missing however, perhaps not defeated permanently…
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  • Later, Lucius and the Rose Blades apologize for their accusations, praising the PCs for their valor. Aram is surprised that the death knight was after a plain-looking rock he had bought for cheap as a curio; displaying no apparent magical energy until now. The wizard tells the PCs to bring the stone to the Grand Magister Darius Tolaska in the Imperial City, for it would be he that could reveal the nature of the stone. Upon their departure, Belach the Thrice-Burned, the leader of the Honored Delver team called the Stormwalkers commends the PCs for their achievements, and requests them to see the Rordin Darkdelver himself in the Imperial City for a promotion. Sad to leave the town they grew to love, defiled by the undead, Maximum Pain embarked on their journey to the Imperial City.
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  • As the PCs made their way towards the valley exit, one of T’Basi’s kobolds stopped them, insisting that Gilrush come to Arushai alone to meet a visitor that had been looking for him.
    Agreeing, the paladin separated from the group, promising that he would catch up with them later.
  • Several days after leaving Galgan Valley, the party enters the fortified city of Valden, capitol of the 3rd imperial house, house Vokar, ruler by Lord Bram Vokar. Lord Bram tasks the party with rooting out an abandoned mine in the hills outside Valden, for the Guard has been busy fighting off trickles of undead attacks to stop the monstrous raiders from stealing citizens in the night. Battling various monsters, the PCs reach the bottom of the mine, stopping the slaving operation of a Neogi named Chen-Zel. Among the freed slaves a genasi sword mage, Arshes, who joins the group as thanks for saving her. The PCs let the Neogi live, after telling them that the red star in the sky is a harbinger of doom, and his slavery business has been working in overdrive to keep surface-dwelling species from going extinct when it arrives. Imploring the Neogi for more information, Chen-Zel says that the Mind-Flayers’ world was destroyed by the same entity, so the alien refugees would have the most information about it.
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  • The PCs return to Valden and hunt down a shadow beast that was prowling the city streets at night. Shortly afterwards, Gilrush returns with a fellow clergyman, a dragonborn avenger named Malar. Gilrush asks the party to aid him in his trial of faith to Tiamat, which involved slaying a Copper Dragon named Korhaviin. Despite a healthy amount of apprhension, the PCs agree to help the paladin, and they succeed in slaying the dragon after a deadly game of cat and mouse. Returning to Ebonvault Temple, Gilrush’s master, a Blue Dragon named Drodasool blesses him with Tiamat’s favor. On the road back to Valden, an elderly tracker named Vess Whitehaven urges the party to return to Valden with haste to save his nephew lord Bram. Whilst away, the city had been usurped by a pair of necromancers and a cadre of powerful undead creatures.
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  • The PCs sneak through the city to the Keep, battling the necromancer’s powerful servants. They reach the throne room, where the masked leader resided. To his shock, Kaetien discovers that the necromancer was infact his sister Caira Adjani, and a Lich on top of it all. Caira demands they hand over the stone, and also says that she no longer serves Orcus, only the mysterious red star. In a fierce battle, the PCs triumph, but her spirit flees to a hidden phylactery. Bram’s court Magister says that Caira’s fellow necromancer fled during the battle with a dusty tome about the distant island of Hantumah, said to be inhabited only by the walking dead. Thanking the PCs, lord Bram bids them farewell as they depart for the Imperial City.
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  • At long last, the party reaches the Imperial City, a vast metropolis built on a colossal earthmote floating above a sinkhole thousands of feet deep and miles across. Rordin Darkdelver promotes Maximum Pain to the elite circle of Honored Delvers, equal only to Belach’s Stormwalkers, and answering directly to the venerable dwarf. The mysterious stone explodes in a cloud of light as it was taken within the grand cathedral of Pelor, revealing a priceless amulet hidden within. It turns out to be the fabled Tlisman of Al’Akbar, an artifact of great healing created by the sun god centuries ago. Taking it straight to the Grand Magister, Darius Tolaska identifies it as such, and informs the party of what the red star really is: Atropus, the World Born Dead. A moon-sized being of pure entropy, it floats through the void of space, draining entire worlds of all life. A council is held with the Magisters and the rulers of the 8 houses. After much deliberation, a tenuous truce was held between the houses, halting their petty conflicts in the face of this world-spanning threat.
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  • Within a week, Rayne had infiltrated the Blackhouse Syndicate for her own personal reasons. Verlaine Merling, lady of the 1st House, had put up a 10000 gp reward for removal of the current guild leader, a violent and cunning goliath named Gormlak. With the prospect of more money, and the support of another great house, the PCs storm the Undercity in pursuit of the elusive guildmaster.
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THE HOUSES OF SABORIA

House Merling: Has no province except that of the first district of the Imperial City, and loosely governs the Undercity. Merlings are masters of commerce, and have been known to trade with less savory groups of individuals, including trade with the Underdark. Lady Verlaine’s lack of discrimination has strengthened the city’s position as the trading hub of the continent. Her inability to contribute much to the threat of Atropus is attributed to the Black House’s recent crime wave that is crippling the city’s economy.

House Riven: Governs the Second District, and the lands encompassing the Rivenwood. They supply most of the Empire’s lumber, and exports frequently to Alacia and Ermindal via the Upper Orin. Has been at odds with Varen Imris for years, since his lumber must go through Varen’s docks in the city of Bonderaal. Olthor believes that House Imris charges too much for shipping, and has “lost” shipments for arguing this point. He also believes that Varen is friends with the Calgar Logging Union in Alacia, and thwarts his business to line his own pockets.

House Vokar: Governs the Third District, and the lands between the Galgan Valley and the Imperial City. A family familiar with conflict, the Vokars have played host the many battles on their lands over the centuries. Next to the Tolaskas, Vokarian citizens and nobles have contributed the most blood and gold to the garrison at Argovand, the city-fortress at the Adamant Wall. Their support in the countering of Atropus is unhindered and full.

House Imris: Merchant kings, and masters of trade, Varen Imris has exemplified the tradition of his family for the last 25 years. His personal fleet of 80 riverboats hauls commodities to and from Saboria along the Upper Orin. He has many friends and connections throughout the Empire, Ermindal, and Alacia. The ongoing conflict with House Riven has been a thorn in his side for most of his reign. Olthor Riven is and has always been a bully in his opinion, and his brash demands breach the bounds of professionalism. He likes to make the lumberjack lord squirm by making his product harder and harder to get across the border. Not that Riven is really suffering; wagonloads of his wood travel the roads across the Empire and into Ermindal. Varen will help with the Atropus Crisis if Olthor gets off his high horse.

House Belaros: Rules Galgan Valley, and are the Bankers of the Empire. They have no real exports to speak of, but Belaros has always been a neutral House, catering to the needs of other Houses when seeking financial guidance. Galgan Valley, and the city of Four-Falls is also a popular vacation spot for nobles of the Empire and even other kingdoms who grow weary of politics, longing for a peaceful reprieve away from civilization. Lord Belator has suffered the most from the Atropus Crisis so far, and fully supports every attempt to eliminate it.

House Shandara: Are the great traders and seafarers of the Empire. They supply most of the imports and exports that move through Saboria, and the Imperial Navy. From his island city of Aquindell, Viggos Shandara commands a vast fleet of ships running voyages from the Harper Sea to lands as distant as Lotherin and Bytoria. The docks of Shandara is famous for being a bazaar of the exotic and fantastical. Viggos’ support in the Atropus Crisis is severely diminished due to a war against House Tolaska that flared up a year ago, due to the death of his son by the hand of Vladimir Tolaska, the military governor, and his continued refusal to grant him a proper burial or the return of the Shandara Family sword, Horizon’s Edge. In response to Viggos’ preoccupation with the war, Pirates have begun prowling the Harper en masse, crippling trade. Viggos will relent if Vlad returns his son’s body and his blade, and admits his fault.

House Tolaska: Sabor Nerelon may have founded the Empire, but it was a Tolaska that fought next to her, bloody sword in hand. The oldest ruling house, Tolaska is also the richest. Their capitol, Kaldonis, is built into the towering Mountains of Silence, and supply the majority of Saboria’s gold and silver. House Tolaska supplies most of the funds and military might necessary to upkeep the fortress city of Argovand, and the current ruler Vladimir is the Lord Commander of the Imperial Army. Cold, cunning, and ruthless, Vlad’s grasp of tactics and ingenuity on the battlefield has earned him a reputation that spans the continent; many scholars are now comparing him to the greatest military strategists in Ramistar’s history, including Kaldon Tolaska, and Sabor Nerelon herself. Vlad’s current war with Viggos Shandara is naught but a game to him; boredom was overtaking him, and he needed something to stimulate his brain. The foolish lordling gave him just opportunity he needed when threatening him with that fancy rapier, bragging that Shandarans should be second to the Empress. Vlad will relent when Viggos admits that his son was a fool, and Tolaskans are the true power of the Empire.

House Nerelon: For a thousand years, house Nerelon has ruled the Empire of Saboria. The first of the bloodline, Sabor Nerelon, was a slave to the Tieflings of Bael Turath. She lead an uprising that became all out war. With her brother-in-arms Kaldon Tolaska (scholars speculate that he was actually a Tiefling), the rebels overthrew their masters, fleeing before the other Turathi houses could intervene. Their exodus was made that much easier as the Dragonborn Empire of Arkhosia launched their first assault on Bael Turath soon after. Travelling for weeks through untamed wilderness, dragging a horde of half-starved freedmen with them, Sabor and Kaldon finally came upon the yawning chasm, and massive floating earthmote on which the Imperial City now lies. As Arkhosia and Turath fell, Saboria grew; slowly at first, then at leaps and bounds, as expeditions to the Leyric ruins at the bottom of the abyss yielded magic and technology unlike anything ever seen since those mythic days at Leyria’s height of power millennia past. Saboria is now the most powerful kingdom on Aralgost, and possibly all of Ramistar. The power of the Imperial family however, has waned of late. The Empress Paline Nerelon VIII is nothing more than a figurehead, whist the true power lies in house Tolaska, who has its hands in the Empire’s gold and military.
Paline loves her people, and will whatever she can to help stop Atropus.

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DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Four-Falls:
Friedrich LeMothe: Paladin of Bahamut (excommunicated), whereabouts unknown.
Lucius Damakos: Avenger of Bahamut, a Tiefling.
Aram Belaros: Uncle of the late Nathan Belaros of Four-Falls, brother to Belator Belaros, Lord of the House.
Uldorf Stonehelm II: Ruler of Vistra’s Hall, Father of the late Uldorf the Greater, a Dwarf.
August Fearn: Former lieutenant of the Watch, refused retirement after the Galgan Valley Invasion. Elevated to Steward of Four-Falls.
T’Basi: Chief of the Kobolds of Arushai.
Five: Currently residing in Imperial City, Captain in the Sons of Twilight, a Warforged.

The Imperial City:
Darius Tolaska: Grand Magister and uncle to Vlad Tolaska
Vlad Tolaska: Ruler of the 7th House, Lord Commander of the Imperial Armies.
Viggos Shandara: Ruler of the 6th House, Admiral of the Imperial Navy.
Catelyn Shandara: High Magister and daughter of Lord Viggos
Belator Belaros: Ruler of the 5th House, father of the late Nathan, brother to Aram.
Lilith Belaros: High Magister, sister to Belator
Varen Imris: Ruler of the 4th House
Galen Imris: High Magister, brother to Varen
Bram Vokar: Ruler of the 3rd House (currently absent, residing in Valden).
Teryn Vokar: High Magister, son of Bram
Olthor Riven: Ruler of the 2nd House
Verlaine Merling: Ruler of the 1st House, Undercity Custodian.
Gormlak: Former Master of the Black House Syndicate, a Goliath.
Devis Bandergem: Gormlak’s right hand man, a half-elf.
Rordin Darkdelver: Leader of the Dark Delvers, last in the revered bloodline (sons have all died, and is now too old), a Dwarf.
Belach the Thrice-Burned: Leader of the Honored “Stormwalkers”, a Half-Orc. Journeyed into the Underdark to learn more about Atropus.
Janra: Current master of the Black House Syndicate. Vassal of house Merling.
Tully: Proprietor of the Last Dwarf Standing, a Half-Orc.
Alastiir Whitemane: High Priest of the Church of Pelor.
Will: Renegade Drow from Erelhei-Zinlu in the Underdark, slaver and drug dealer.

Others:
Caira Adjani: Sister to Kaetien, a powerful Lich, no affiliation.
Anefsina: Servant of Caira. Slain on Whistlewind Isle.
Throzak the Defiler: Death Knight who led the Galgan Valley Invasion, servant of Orcus. Returned to invade Bonderaal, opening an Abyssal Gate in the temple of Erathis.
Drodasool: High Priest of Ebonvault Temple, a Blue Dragon
Malar: Avenger of Tiamat, childhood friend to Gilrush, a Dragonborn.
Father Renault: of Balikstead, Shandaran Province, Priest of the Raven Queen, warden
of Kaetien.
Gorguth: Throzak’s master, General in Orcus’ legions, presently in the Abyss.
Torolf: Last of the Varosi High Kings, people native to Saboria prior to the Empire’s founding. His soul was released of its curse, laid to rest by the PCs.
Maiden of the Moon: Powerful Fey, progenitor of lycanthropes. Eradication of her unintended creation is her foremost concern.
Kayline: Night Hag of Bloodfang Redoubt. Leader of her coven, and of the lycanthropes of Brokenstone Vale.
Bregon: Werewolf Lord and right hand of Kayline’s coven. His hatred for Mithrendain conflicts with his journey to overcome the primal rage within him.

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A Basic Intro to Four-Falls
  • Four-Falls Campaign Backdrop

Cast of Characters:

  • Aram Belaros – Reclusive cursed Wizard, feared and enigmatic.
  • Captain Drekkar “Lazy-Leg” Faustus – Tiefling Captain of the Watch.
  • Lieutenant August Fearn – Lieutenant and leader of the Night Watch.
  • Den Westgate – Owner and night-time keeper of the Rimefire Inn
  • Remy Broadhand – Daytime keeper of the Rimefire Inn
    * Anabel Moon – Serving Maid for the Rimefire Inn.
    * Strom Bonebroth – Bouncer for the Rimefire Inn.
  • Marienne Wolfjaw – Chapter Leader for the Dark Delvers in Four-Falls.
    * Friedrich LeMothe – Fanatical Paladin of Bahamut, and member of the Delvers’ Rose Blades.
  • Skamos the Stormbound – Aloof and unsettling Tiefling Warlock, and member of the Rose Blades.
  • Ulmo Hornbearer – Halfling Shaman, member of the Rose Blades.
  • Wyeth – Slightly cracked Fisherman who lives along Satine Lake.
  • Morgran Ironriver – Dwarf, weary old Pelaurum High Priest.
    * Eida Twelvehome – Halfling Seer and owner of the Enchanted Emporium.
  • Lord Nathan Belaros – Young lord of Four-Falls. Careless and frivolous.
    * Angus Lark – Owner of the Lark Family Estate, home of the world-famous Lark Mead.
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