Where the Wind Blows
- Stephen Martin, Thaeuss, Elf, M, Binder
- Lisa Cotton, Pennlucien, Elf, F, Namer
- Jill Mitchinson, Reck, Hum, F, Celestial (Shadow)
- Martin Dickson, Mortimer, Hafling, M, Wicca
- Sue Turner, Kin, Elf, F, E&E
- Chris C, Father Broc, Elf, M, Rune
- Neil Davies, Baron Logan, Hum, M, E&E
- The Guild
- To discover why a Church Knight commited suicide in the Guild pub.
- Guild rates plus a bonus from the Knights Family.
We all meet in Guild Meeting room 6 and partake in a round of introductions as a few of us have never met while the rest have seen many an adventure together. Once these are done in the allotted hour we quickly get down to the administrative tasks required in a party of such distinguished, skilled and specialist individuals.
Broc will be the Scribe for the Party. Reck will be the Military Scientist due to her superior experience and great perception. The Party Leader was slightly more contentious with party sensibilities being taken into account, but Reck herself nominated Thaeuss for the therapeutic value and so the vote was carried.
We discussed the mission with two guild functionaries who gave us all the background above and fleshed out a few other details for us
The concerns are:
- This is related to Rashak and is perhaps a lucky warning for us and we should find out as much about the threat as possible since it is a threat close to Carzala’s centre of power (Seagate) and the set of major resistance to the Dark Circle.
- This is not related to Rashak but we should find out as much about the threat as possible!
- This is something new and possibly very dangerous so we should find out as much about the threat as possible!
Most of us will procure warm clothes for the cold winter ahead in the wilds but we decide that Penni needs to learn the new counter-spells suggested by the Guild Namer / Mind Mage. She spends longer than was expected in the Namers chambers learning the appropriate names and later emerges to join us in a few quiet ales / wines before returning for the night.
Mortimer undertakes an astrology reading while I will undertake a limited precognitive reading of the rune in the morning. Mortimer asks, “What is the Source of the problem at the Monastery”. M then interprets his reading as “Things look bad, but may look better, perhaps a king will return”.
The details we had of the knights movements before coming to Seagate or that which we pieced together are;
We take flight in the brisk morning air after a hardy breakfast and stocking up of provisions for the mission. Three (3) of us (Mortimer, Kin and I) will fly up independently while the rest (Thaeuss, Penni, Reck and Logan) will fly up together on Thaeuss’s magical carpet that has been enchanted with Instil Flight. The flight takes a mere two (2) hours in which time we have traversed some 70 miles as we approached from the East and then moved up the side of the wastes towards where we estimated the Knights would have entered the area.
As we fly over the area we noted that the ‘Finn's Waste’ area has ruins that are now mostly covered by new tree growth and an extensive covering of foliage. Arriving at the possible site of the knight’s entry into the Wastes, we descend and land after ensuring that the area is non-magical and un-warded. Once there we rearrange ourselves and do some magic casting while still outside of the debilitating effects of the low-mana area that is ‘Finns Waste’. Logan casts some anti scrying magic and discovers that he is being observed. He cats his spell to discover who is watching him but he fails to locate anyone. Strange indeed!
Kin spots some tracks in the grass nearby and investigates with astonishing results. The tracks represent blackened hoof prints in the ground made by what looks to be a horse / mount (of some sort which has hooves) and the plant life around and under the marks is revealed to have had the life sucked out from them, which is an effect we ascribe to Undead creatures. Once we have ascertained all that we could at the site of the hoof prints we move off into ‘Finns Waste’ and all notice the decrease in mana levels as we head into the overgrown ruins.
We move into the waste following the tracks (as ascertained by Kin) and we find ourselves heading west through many old buildings, complete ruins and practically pristine woodland!
After half an hour we come across a scene of carnage as we discover the body of a man dressed as a monk (we’ll assume this is one from the monastery here in the wastes) who has been cleft in twain, probably from an elevated position which we surmise is a rider on horseback making a downward strike with a powerful weapon. We get no further information from the corpse and we continue on the path deeper into the wastes.
A short while later the ‘smell of death and carnage’ increases and we come across a large U shaped structure we assume to be the monastery we are searching for but we discover a number of dead bodies surrounding it. The bodies look like they were in the main attacked by their fellow monks perhaps in a possessed manner in-line with the thoughts garnered from Henri’s mind.
We scour the monastery and assess what has happened, how it happened and what caused such a massacre here at the monastery. We start investigating the physical signs around the monastery, looking after the bodies, dealing with spirits and other such investigations. The monastery area consists of a chapel as the main building, a dormitory and several other smaller buildings/
A number of hours are spent Divinating the bodies, DA/DE’ing the area and policing the battlefield to discover what information we could. The bodies have been decomposing over the last 3 weeks and range in compositions from sac of bodily fluids held together with sinew and both as yet digested by the proliferation of maggots throughout the site to the knights in their plate-mail remains which provide solid containers for the bodily remains, bloated stomachs and various physical attachments.
Thaeuss attempts to clear away some of the bodies by minimising them which works wonderfully but has the side effect of creating a huge spray of maggots and fluid across the room and nearby PC’s once the bodily remains decrease in size and leave the liquid and external creatures nowhere to go.
The three remaining Michaeline Knight spirits are questioned with the following results. • The Michaeline knights are arrogant, self-absorbed zealots who won’t condescend to be questioned by myself, a loyal Gabrielite fellow P-o-Lighter. No change from Life really! • They think they are there beside Michael as a result of good service to him. • They were happy with their wholesale slaughter of the monks and cannot see anything wrong with their actions, after all they are there with Michael so he hasn’t judged them heavily has he!
The Night-stalker appears to be a parasite on their victims psyche / aura. Now that she has divinated some bodies Penni can assess and see the ‘image’ more easily when she DA’s victims.
Questioning of a number of monks (some of which we Night-stalker influence-free revealed the following information: The four knights came to ‘The Monastery of xxx’ some 3 weeks ago, seeking refuge, they were taken in and healed by the brothers who gave them food and shelter, they had wounds as if they had been in a fight recently and they were secretive and kept to themselves
The brothers last remember the four of them at dinner around (3 weeks ago now) and they started arguing amongst themselves, then other brothers who were usually placid started arguing as well. The arguing affected most not all of the brothers, some of which left dinner and went to the chapel and prayed for guidance. The arguing erupted into general melee and then spilled over into the chapel where three of the knights came in and started killing the monks off in a murderous spree. Some monks defended themselves but they had little effect except for the weight of their bodies to impede the murderous knights who succumbed to the press of bodies and then died themselves under the crush of bodies, limbs, bodily fluids and entrails.
The brothers were mostly human but also there were some 20 non-human brothers that included 2 orcs, 1 dwarf, 3 elves and several hobbits. There were around 180 monks based here. The chapel area is mostly plain stone or wooden floors except for an area in the north that is set 6 inches above the floor level. The only interesting thing about this was a trap door set into the floor which revealed an earthen chamber 3 x 3 x 5 in size and having no other distinctive marks, items, purpose.
While we were there discussing observations in the ground outside the chapel a small male child, dressed in dated clothing (from around 300 years ago) and possibly around 13 years of age appeared from the chapel area to our astonishment. We all did a double take when he came out and then briefly questioned him about how he got he, who he was, what he was doing. After getting no real information from him other than his name of ‘Etean’, that he was sent here and he expected to meet others we gave him a cloak against the cold and got him to say ‘Mahukrah’ which turned him into a statue which we then minimised for later investigation.
• We had assessed him as not being evil, his GTN is a short lived sentient (human) and he came to us from a period some 300 years in the past judging by his clothing and speech mannerisms.
He appears to have been portaled here from the past via the small room in the floor, which happens several times a year apparently!
Mortimer starts a small fire and suddenly a small cloud appears over the fire extinguishing it with a bout of rain. Although stunned we DA it to see the cloud was sent by ‘The Watcher’!
Logan attempts to locate where the ‘Watcher’ would be, briefly getting a varying direction and then a sharp downwards arrow before the location ‘arrow’ then returns to a circular motion indicating no general location.
The party spend the next few minutes deciding what to do with the differing priorities facing them. They had to track down the 4 Undead mounted knights They wanted to find out who or what ‘The Watcher’ was They wanted more information and desired to drop off the knights and monks bodies to the guild for examination They wanted the guild informed about the ‘Night-stalker’ and suspicions about it They wanted to get away from the smell of death Some wanted to investigate more and get more information as they really enjoyed talking to the dead, speaking with unresponsive Michaeline knights, random spirits etc
In the end we decided to follow and ascertain the intent and activities of the undead knights.
We followed the tracks with Kin at ground level while the rest of us followed above the forest canopy (for safety reasons) a little behind Kin, the tracker extraordinaire. Logan after some difficulty with his locates finally gets one off after back-firing his earlier attempt.
We follow Kin with Logan’s locate arrow is an easy enough process but the arrow suddenly stops its forward progress and comes up to our level above the trees. We continue flying along and rendezvous with Kin who has some news for us.
She has found the horses of the knights down below in a clearing. The clearing is mostly charred and blackened from the presence of the horses but there is also a large mound of earth and a tunnel-mouth descending into the earth. We watch the activity, sending Logan’s magical eye into the pit to see what the knights are doing and attempting to divine their intentions with digging such a hole here deep in these abandoned woods. Logan’s eye fades as he reports that the knights are coming back up to above ground and he is just about to cast a new one when we all hear sounds of discussion from below the canopy.
A deep voice resounds through the trees and although we can’t see who/what is speaking we are all filled with a deep sense of unease as our hairs stand on end with the palpable power and evil of the speaker.
We hear the following conversation between the voice and the 4 knights. Voice “Report” SK “We began the excavation and have dug but not yet hit rock” Voice “And” SK “Once rock hit we have several miles to reach our target” Voice “very well continue”
At this termination of the conversation we suppose the knights return down the tunnel to the ‘rock-face’ and continue their excavations. Logan at this time notes that the tunnel was dug down on a 1:8 degree slope, is some 3 feet in width and 6 foot in height and has no bracing in it. Logan also notes that the tunnel is heading generally in the direction where he has last assessed the position of the mysterious ‘Watcher’.
We decide back off to consider our options and plan what could be our first (and final!) assault on these Undead Skeletal knights and their nasty undead mounts.
We do so and decide that finding this mysterious ‘Watcher’ is a good course of action so we head off in the most recent direction of detection and head north, back in the direction of the Monastery. We arrive back, less than a quarter of a mile or so away from the Monastery after following Logan’s directions.
We stop at the indicated spot and Logan sets about locating the ‘Watcher’ using his wizards Eye along with a range enhancement. He send his eye down through the earth looking for signs of this watcher and then near the limits of his ‘sight’ he goes blind from what he sees and this method of observation is closed to us. I use an item to try and spy out any below ground chambers or tunnels but to no avail.
We then realise we should try and talk with the ‘Watcher’ directly and discuss how to do so. Thaeuss speaks aloud “Watcher we wish to speak with you!” We all hold our collective breath as light in the area dims slightly, the wind rises sharply and a dark shape can be seen moving on the edge of our clearing. We quickly prepare for what may be coming and see a dark figure, coloured green/black and grey in a swirling tight wind standing there.
We all try to communicate to it in the huge variety of languages available but to no avail until we ask that he “lead us somewhere we can talk”. At this he starts moving off NE and we follow him through the ruins and woods until we see the monastery in front of us, ‘the Watcher’ then moves into the chapel and disappears. We get to the site of our past visit and the smells once again refresh themselves as we peer into the chapel and see nothing. A sickening feeling comes across us all and we know the only other exit to this chapel appears to be the pit in the floor.
We decide we must enter it and we open the door and realise that it’s barely big enough for 2 normal sized people so Kin and I volunteer to enter and see what happens. Kin and I get in and cosy but nothing happens while the trapdoor is up. We pull the trapdoor down and then things happen with our bodies being sucked down into the ground. The party once the trapdoor has been closed for a few pulses ask if we are all right and get no response. They quickly yank open the trapdoor and see nothing there.
Encouraged and mystified Penni and Reck decide to go in along with Mortimer who can stand in between these two voluptuous women as the face each other with him under their twin peaks so to speak. These three get in and close the door with the same result. The last two of Logan and Thaeuss get into the pit once the three have disappeared and they too go from the surface of Alusia.
Meanwhile Kin and I have come back to consciousness and find us in an underground chamber in front of a tall gaunt, pale human male who introduces himself as Gilbert. We make polite small talk until the others join us in various groups.
He illuminates us a little of where we are. We are in a ‘pocket’ below the wastes and the pocket is some 2 miles deep and 5 or so miles wide. It has a large ‘Sun’ in the top of the pocket (which is where we expect Logan got blinded) which provides ‘natural sunlight’ for the forest growing at the bottom of the pocket as well as the numerous plants growing all around the walk ways which ring the area.
The walk ways are some 10’ wide and spiral down at a slight angle moving around the walls which means for 10 miles travelled along the spiral you would move down some 300 feet. His Grand Sire, who is waiting to meet with us, set up the area. He leads us along the walkways while we look around in awe. We end our walk after some 30 minutes and we are shown into a series of rooms before being ushered into a study to meet with his grand sire.
We are introduced and discover he is Duke Sebastian DeVerno and he appears to be a 60 year old human male in good, if pale condition.
We all introduce ourselves and take comfortable seats while he tells us of how this place can to be. “We are the descendants of 5 families that followed King Sigismund on his great crusade and we decided not to return to our homes in Aladar but instead make our home here. We were travelling close to the King but during particularly violent storms we got parted from Sigismund, then we found this place hidden from the world and decided to stay here while enhancing it for liveability.
We decided to use this place to enforce stability over the weather in this area of the world and have been doing so for over 300 years now. Our weather control through experienced Air mages have enabled us to moderate the environment throughout Carzala, Brastor and the areas North of here until recently when our control has been wrested away by dark forces.
Your presence here is fortuitous; as we have recently experienced issues we haven’t in several; hundred years in that two of our numbers have died in mysterious circumstances. To make matters worse they are irresurectable so we can’t know what has happened to them”
We relate what we are here for, what we have discovered thus far and what we think is occurring. After a brief discussion we decide to see the two bodies that are being held by the physician pending burial or discernment of what caused their fatal condition.
A DA on Duke Sebastian reveals that he is a short lived sentient (extended), Human male, mind mage with a Military Scientist as his highest rank skill.
He summons a young lady to attend us and take us to the physician. The young lady named Jhisette leads us across the high walkways to the physicians’ office some distance away across the ‘bubble’. There we meet Gabrielle the head healer who is a stunning beauty as well as talented. She shows us the bodies and Penni will undertake investigations ASAP.
We enquire about the order of deaths and are asked to speak with Bertram
We have been invited to dinner but we suggest we don’t attend just now until we can allay our suspicions that this is an infection that we are dealing with. Also meeting with that many ‘old people’ may be dangerous in and of itself.
Penni states that the taint on both of the bodies here is much stronger than on the monks. Perhaps an indication of a more concentrated dose, that wasn’t dispersed across multiple beings.
The Namer, Dominic arrives and we discuss what he knows of the events down here. Penni sits and listens with unabashed rapture as this stallion of a human male talk with her.
He relates the following information to us: His divinations were inconclusive He detected something strange but thought it was just something ‘bad’ and paid no further attention He is finding it difficult to find a suitable candidate to work with him and be trained in the Namer arts so that the college isn’t lost if he dies. No one shows sufficient ‘aptitude’ in his mind for the college. There are a number of colleges represented here in the bubble. They are Air, Necro, Water, Celestial, Wicca, Mind (1), Shaper (1), Earth, Fire and Namer (1).
We decide to refine our investigative techniques and cast defined DA questions about on available subjects. Penni will ask as her standard question of new people “Level of Night-stalker taint” Kin will ask “Time since last possessed” Mortimer will ask “Duration of Possession” Reck can save her DA questions for more general or specific incidences.
After the long questioning and our turning down of a group dinner in the food-hall with others from the bubble we decide to settle here for the night after I ward the area against intrusion.
We awake early to the sound of a ‘sail-cart’ barrelling down the ramps under the control of some of the more rambunctious young people. Apparently it is organised by a young man named Françoise, who is a very talented trainee mage or he would not be so tolerated but he and his fellow apprentices are known as ‘the local pranksters’.
Our Agenda for the day is: Discover the last whereabouts of the deceased and what they had done recently Screen more people
We set off to the site of the first death and head to the mage casting chambers to see Adrian who is the Head mage and one of the founders here. He gives us a rundown on the children’s activities here and what the mages are doing.
They are undertaking a great ritual here to control weather all across the western kingdom and associated areas. Different mages have responsibility for different areas of the realms. Patrick was responsible for the Brastor area that had been hotly contested and no they have lost control of the weather there with inclement cold coming through. Renee was responsible for?
We learn: The monastery was encouraged to grow and attract followers as they mad the trees grow above the bubble and this provided mana to be sucked into the artificial sun down here. Jhisette is Eugene’s assistant Elise (the snr Earth Mage) isn’t currently working
We decide to go and visit with Eugene so we take our leave and fly down the 2 miles to the bottom of the bubble. We notice just before we land the ruined remains of the ‘sail-cart’ used this morning by Françoise and his ‘associates’.
We land in fields and I cast my Evil Detection that detects some evil in a nearby tree, I turn to look but fail to see anything. I notify the party and we race to the tree but find no evidence of anything. A further detection finds nothing.
Jhisette explains that there is a bound water tunnel running all the way to confederation bay
Jhisette then directs us through a large opening in the side where we find ourselves on a large salt and sandy plain with a nice beach several hundred yards long. Se points us in the direction of Eugene and we head that way as we notice people riding wooden boards over the waves – weird!
We talk with Eugene about the two victims and try to get a feel for any connections / weirdness / special relationship between them. We discuss the community in general in reference to Danielle, Arial and Laurent.
Hypothetically if the Skeletal Knights were to make it to the bubble their point of entrance would most likely be at the mages kitchen area between level 1 and 2. We check the animals in the fields for signs of taint but find none.
We become suspicious of the children due to their high proportion of being possessed (discovered in our random DA’s by various party members) but it seems to be coincidence as this lower level is where the children are mainly to be found as it has the ‘fun’ places and the beach
We return to the duke and get fed while we wait. Our audience goes well and we discover he is clean of any taint and possession. We visit with the Earth Mages who have sent 2 of their 4 ’sentinel’ super Earth Elementals after the Skeletal Knights. They destroy the SK’s with the loss of one Sentinel. This means that the remaining sentinels are given a third more area to patrol. We DA Elise and Gilbert with very little additional information.
We discuss comparative Taint levels in the various victims and come up with the following classifications and analogies.
Classified Taint Coverage Victims Analogy Highest Close to 100% Patrick and Renee completely covered Med-High 70-90% Elise mostly covered Medium Low-Med 30-50% Monks Splattering Low
Penni divinated Elise and revises her initial thoughts and now classifies the ‘Taint’ as ‘antibodies’ from battling the Night-stalker.
The dinner bells rings and we go off to the mages Food hall on this upper level to eat and meet more of the mages, hopefully giving us more information regarding what we are facing down here.
On route Mortimer hypothesises that the Night-Stalker transfers between bodies by sight as the Basilisk does. We ponder this and nod somewhat while continuing on to dinner.
Dinner is an interesting affair with us on the ‘Head Table’ that has displaced some 10 other mages (head of colleges etc) to sit with their college colleagues. We are seated with Adrian, Jean, Sebastian and another older man who is introduced as Daniel.
There are 6 other tables of various sizes with the Air Mage table being largest with 11 people (space for 5 more), then the Water Mage table which had 12 people squeezed into space for 10, the Earth Mage table which had space for 6 people but seated 8, the Celestial Mage table which has 6 people squeezed into space for 4, the Fire Mage which had space for 6 people but seated 8.
The spaces at the Air mage table have come about as Françoise and his ‘associates’ (aka other trouble makers) have been banned from the upper levels and meeting us due to their prank this morning.
There is one other table seating the more unique mages down here and includes Dominic, Marcelle, Alain and Anastasia who represent the only Namer, the Wicca apprentice, the Necromancer and the Shaper apprentice.
We note during dinner that none of the Air Mages present here show any signs of possession nor do any of the Water Mages. 30% of all the others seem to have been possessed in the past but none recently enough to warrant further investigation. Post dinner Jhisette come along and escorts us to better quarters which are still close to they Healers area but having better quality bedding than last nights hard floor. We invite Jhisette to stay with us – for her own safety. Our activity levels drop and we are sitting around a table discussing our options in tackling the Night-stalker when Jhisette sits up and says there has been another attack!!
We all leave in a hurry as we travel up a short distance to the landing outside the Mages casting chambers. Here we see Lucas standing over 2 bodies (1 male & 1 female) and they are lying almost on top of each other. We quickly assess the scene and Penni notes that the man is dead while the woman is still alive. Lucas identifies them as Laurie and Henri, who are both Air Mages.
Penni uses her skills as others (including Sebastian etc) arrive at the scene. Penni manages to bring Laurie around only to find she appears to be an amnesiac with no memory and little or no other higher brain functions other than basic speech. Jhisette supports her in her weakened state.
I talk with the spirit of Henri who is standing perplexed above his body. He doesn’t grasp the situation initially but after some steering I get him to talk about what happened just before his death. “Laurie and I were sharing a private moment here outside the chambers when Laurie heard a voice over the rails and she went to speak with whomever it was flying thereabouts. After a few seconds conversation she returned to me, I stared deep into her eyes and saw that glint I loved and we continued our private moment. Next I’m standing here over my dead body <sob, sob>”
Once I relate this news to the others they start looking over the landing into the space below while Kin leaps over the railing, holds on and starts looking for anything to lead us to the other speaker. I press Henri for more details and he says “the voice wasn’t very deep and perhaps a little young, but not feminine”.
Kin meanwhile has noticed two small handprints / sweat-prints on the railing and calls the party over to show her discovery. Mortimer shouts Eureka and joins Kin over the ledge by leaping into the air and floating next to the sweat-prints. There he draws out ‘magnifying glasses and looks carefully at the sweat-prints quickly deducing these to be the prints of a young male.
We all immediately leap to the conclusion that the young boys absent from dinner for their ‘Tomfoolery’ are involved and ask Sebastian to contact the boys forthwith. He closes his mind and states that he can contact Benjamin and Celene but not Françoise or Gaston. He orders Benjamin and Celene to ascend with all speed up to the Mages chambers.
We immediately leap into action and the party (sans Jhisette) all either leap over the edge or jump onto Thaeuss’s hastily unfurled carpet that he commands to follow Mortimer, Kin and I who have disappeared heading for the ground floor at great speed.
Once we get to the ground floor forest area Kin spots tracks and we all hurriedly follow by flying along behind her. The trail goes for 2 minutes until we come across the bodies of 2 young men who we assume to be Françoise and Gaston. Mortimer leaps into the air heading for the area we have just left and I follow him (as no-one should travel alone – “they can do more damage that way”) leaving the rest of the party to ‘secure the scene and investigate’. On route we all hear from Sebastian via Mind-speech that Benjamin & Celene are on route up and expected there soon.
Mortimer and I arrive at the top level and Mortimer quickly grabs Jhisette in his strong Hobbit arms and again plunges head first down for the ground with me in close proximity.
Meanwhile down at the bottom Kin has detected tracks leading off up the ramp in the direction of the crèche and the remaining party members go to investigate there after Thaeuss leaves some of his guard golems with strict instructions to guard to area around the two bodies.
They enter the crèche and encounter the ‘matron’ of the crèche who asks them what they are doing here. They inform her that at least 4 of her charges are unaccounted for. She checks and its true four of them are missing and they notice one of the slumbering children is still wearing dirty boots as if they had just been outside recently. They check the child and discover he (‘Theophile’) is almost dead as Laurie was just earlier. Penni revives him and Mortimer and I return carrying Jhisette. DA’s reveal that the matron was herself recently possesses as was Theophile.
I cast my Detect Evil in the hopes of finding some traces here and I sense it some 100 yards away. I immediately leap into flight after it and pursue it through the woods with the surprised party members following behind me. I finally manage to close within 40 feet of the ‘Evil’ when I come across a pen full of around a 100 sheep. The party sets about trying to locate it by sleeping the sheep, making them blind etc, while I try to get a better fix on its exact location/body that it’s in.
I prepare my Spirit trapping spell when I think we have the exact ‘body’ that it’s in and I cast – but backfire! Mortimer’s falls to the ground limp as I mistakenly suck his spirit into being trapped. Meanwhile we see his body again take flight though we can see/sense that Mortimer’s spirit is trapped in my rune ‘Spirit holding’ spell. Kin and I leap up after the newly possessed body of Mortimer’s while the rest ‘Guard’ Mortimer’s spirit. We follow the body into the air heading for the roof ahead, Mortimer’s body gets to just below a walkway and then drops downwards and is caught by Kin, I race after where I expect the Night-stalker’ to be and get black-fired and retreat. We all come together and Mortimer pops back into his body (his spirit had been captured by the evil binder Thaeuss and put into a small puppet figure and carried with the rest of the party just pulses behind Kin and me) and together we all charge ahead towards the walkway.
There we find 4 blackened corpses (one Fire, 1 Earth and 2 Water mages) and that Andre is missing. It looks as if the NS came here, possessed Andre, then black-fired the other mages and then myself and then popped away. Since the NS, inhabits Andre’s body and is someone we have seen before, we do a locate and discover the body is outside and some 16 miles high in the air currently.
We quickly relate the events to Duke Sebastian and ask leave to exit which he agrees to. We all go back the way we come and arrive back above ground in the monastery / charnel house. Quickly we see that there are signs of many booted feet (possibly those of the Church knights) moving from SW to NE. We take flight after our quarry and after so minutes find he has gone to the ground level. We follow him there and corner him in the woods. We go to strike and contain him/ and the NS inside when his body drops and my capture partially succeeds with a sliver of the spirit heading in the ENE direction.
Along our travels Thaeuss pulls out his high powered magnifying glasses which increase vision by ‘50x’. Penni with her superior eyes looks around and sees where we are heading. She turns during this, sees Thaeuss and exclaims “Oh my god, you are so big!”
I use my spirit capture to follow the path which leads us many, many miles away to the point of the initial fight for the Michaeline knights some 100 miles from the Monastery.
We are now inside the Dark Circle <gulp> and are heading towards a large hole in the ground being dug by Rashak’s allies for an as yet unknown purpose. Someone states that “we are inside the pseudopod of evil” rather than the Dark Circle and it seems much more appropriate.
A fast DA on a tree reveals it has been inside the Dark Circle several weeks/couple of months. This means the DC has been growing faster than has been realised and spilling out more along the edges rather than directly in Brastor. It’s not really a circle but rather a blob of some sort.
We continue heading towards the excavation and discuss options. We discover that Kin and Mortimer have been contacted by someone who they cannot reveal and that they have been told that this being is disrupting the DC forces nearby for a short period of time.
We fly over the site and see around 2000 zombies pushing wheelbarrows up a slope and then down again once they have dumped their load of dirt. At the bottom of the pit a pair of golden doors have been unearthed and about 300 yards from the entrance is a hut with as yet unidentified occupants.
We decide on assault while we have this aid from unknown sources. We fly down and land beside the doors, quickly lay down some walls as protection and enter the temple/tomb which appears dedicated to Xanadu.
We move from room to room being continually tested on our evilness. Thaeuss lives through the first as each time there is a the test he destroys a has a golem next to him which seems to take the hit meant for him as the resident evil binder. The second test The test is called ‘Roche’s ruin’ removes a number of cursed and evil items from the party but does not affect any people. .
We find a room originally appearing as a PoL Church which contains all the items judged as being evil or evil aligned and we see it is full of items. All of the items are covered by illusions We leave this alone. There is Roche’s judgement magic in the area judging what is evil and what isn’t.
We pass into a large chamber and find 9*14 rows of dead elves crucified with their skin flayed from their bodies. The trapped and tortured spirits y scream lots. A tablet marker states “Here lie the Kin of _____________! (The name has been scratched out by a dragon’s claw.)
We open the doors at the end and stand looking into a 40 x 40 room with carved reliefs on the walls depicting scenes of __________. a tale of an elf that created a language. This language was hidden in nonsense rhymes and spread by bards and troubadours. As it spread it geas’d the listeners as part of an ascension attempt. There are also symbols and runes of many things which I translate for the party.
Kin is unable to enter the room as it is inimicable to Drow speakers. We go through and get to what we assume to be the final doors. Thaeuss casts Transparency and we see a being suspended on chains, four from the room’s top corners piercing the hands & feet and two from the floor with pass with 4 from the walls through his hands, 6 more from the ceiling and floors hold him bound in place with iron through his through his penis and tongue pulling them taut. We discuss options for how to attack the thing we see through the door in line with the instructions passed to Mortimer and Kin by their alleged friendly source.
We go in and confront the desiccated being who immediately black-fires us all after turning his head to unnatural angles. My hair turns snow white in reaction. Mortimer retaliates by blasting him back and his body is destroyed. I quickly cast my spell to catch his spirit and then Thaeuss sucks his body into a puppet golem who is then trussed up tightly in chains and other such bondage gear he just has handy on himself.
Meanwhile I lay down my rune portal back to the chapel. Once activated I pass through and let the others know it works. We all pass into the chapel and then into Logan’s extra dimensional room where I banish Thaeuss first (to the guild root cellar) and the rest of the party quickly follow with me last.
Once we are all there we head up to the dining room to find all of Guild Security having a convivial breakfast until we charge in stating “We have in our possession a thing of immense and old evil, I’d like a container for it – Now!” They run off in all directions to do whatever they do in the guild although they do let on that no other guild members are actually here at the moment.
Mortimer meanwhile goes through a portal to Borovia to plead for our fast passage through and out to the lands nearby (this would save us some 300 miles of flying for the loss of 1 minute of our time). His plea falls on receptive ears and he comes back saying lets go now.
We all then portal through to Borovia and then fly off with Mortimer, Kin and I all having people sitting on our flying form, holding onto us or being carried by us as we travel along at speed.
After about an hour’s flight we are half way there and the spirit bindings need to be redone. We land and Thaeuss puts me and the immense old, nasty evil into a bubble of force with the aim of the bindings running out, then me casting Spirit trapping and then recapturing it in another golem body.
At this point I share the fact that I have been lucky thus far and I have a 1 in 3 chance of failure, but I am told failure is not an option <gulp>.
So now I am in the nice transparent Bubble of force with this creation of Evil.
The Bindings loosen and the spirit is free, the bubble darkens and looks about to crack with the evil in the area, I cast my spell after a quick prayer to Gabriel and it works. <Phew>.
I emerge from the now blackened, hardened and most cracked bubble of force with the golem and we again take flight heading for a wooded area near D’aAbres in Newcourt.
We land and find a large Red dragon named Roche who states “ah yes, you have it. Good, now I will destroy it. They will be coming for it so you must protect me while I do my ritual to destroy him entirely from this plane.”
He settles and stares at the golem while we set about preparations against foes as yet unseen.
A lot of walls of starlight and rune-walls are laid down in various locations and then we wait.
About an hour later skeletal balls impact the area and from these balls emerge Skeletons who we move to engage, then another set of 4 skeletons and we are taking EN damage every time one is destroyed, then more skeletons and then more. There is also something in the air with an or more archers doing damage to us.
We need to deal with these evil presences – quickly!!
The fight continues with arrows being rained on us from above by 4 figures, the golems slowly beating the evil skeletons to dust, Mortimer has some of his own skeletons (via use of his teeth) and the party destroying the evil skeletons in between bouts of healing themselves to recover damage from the explosions.
The flying arrow firing figures become tiresome so once I am back to almost full strength I fly up and after them just in time to see them heading down towards the dragon. I engage one with 2 massive EN blows but it closes with me and I then spend my time flying between walls of starlight to hurt it and quaffing healing potions. My tactic successfully keeps it from attaching the rest of the party who are in dire straits.
Kin goes down after valiantly fighting another one of the four wraiths, I go down after losing my battle between unconsciousness and life and Reck comes over in an attempt to heal me before death but finds herself in touch a berserk rage with one of her own walls of starlight and she drops collapses as well.
Penni and the golems keep engaging the wraiths while Thaeuss collects bodies, Mortimer keeps black-firing them and Logan pushes them away.
Time is short with Kin, Reck and I all down the battle reaches critical and now three wraiths are set upon young Penni who is resolutely standing there brandishing her weapons while putting down Celestial counter-spells. Mortimer has succeeded in destroying one of the evil wraiths.
Mortimer gets off yet another black-fire which destroys the last 3 wraiths to the collective joy of the party – those standing and alive and those dead or dying.
The party recovers and Penni sets about resurrecting me from death.
Once the Healing has been completed and I have been resurrected then we continue to guard the dragon during his ritual.
At the end of the ritual the dragon stirs and in front of him (the red dragon - Roche) is now a tall golden mana shape. As we watch a group of 4 elves appear in the woods nearby and they come towards us as Mortimer and Kin both say that these are friends. The four elves come up to the golden shape and each ‘grab’ a piece of the ‘mana’ which diminishes slightly.
We all hear a voice in our minds inviting us to partake of a small part of this shape which we all do and the shape diminishes a little more. Once we have all ‘partaken’ the dragon raises his mighty claws and shreds the golden shape and absorbs all the remaining ‘mana’.
We all recover from the sight and then notice a small hole in a nearby hill. The four elves bow to Roche, then to us and then head off down into the hole. Mortimer and Kin mutter under their breath!
We all take stock and decide we need to return to the bubble to disseminate the news. We retrace our route here and soon are back at the guild. Back at the guild not much has changed since we were last here so we quickly take flight back to the area of the monastery.
We arrive back and recover Andre who we find wandering in the woods. We go to head down the same way we came out of the bubble. Thaeuss and Penni go down first with the stoned Andre. Down below they meet the Duke and some others. They are thanked for our work and they relate that they know what has happened as another has already ‘talked’ with them. They aren’t allowing anyone else down there until they are ready and they ask us to keep their existence a secret. We agree and in return a granted a small tree which is tied to each of us personally.
Once Thaeuss and Penni return to the surface and relate the events we all fly back to Mortimer’s ranch for Lunch.
People (met and interacted with)
‘The Watcher’ a magical spirit constructed / controlled by the sphere community. Its purpose is to protect the woods above from being destroyed by fire etc. This aim enables the growth of the woods and enables the mana to be replenished for use by the sphere community. Adrian Male Air Mage Agatha Fem Alain Male Necromancer Alan Male Anastasia Fem Shaper Apprentice Andre Male Celestial Dark Mage Arial Fem Air Mage In charge of Scheduling Air mage duties in terms of where they concentrate their energies etc. Aurora Fem Air Mage Head of College Benjamin Male (Deceased), a fellow ‘prankster’ associate of Françoise. Bertram Male Celene Fem (Deceased), a fellow ‘prankster’ associate of Françoise. Daniel Male Shaper Head teacher in the Mage School & Head Shaper who is a widower and father of Anastasia. He appears to be a very elderly human male in his late 50’s and with a very drawn appearance. He is short and appears to have some difficulty moving. He eats with a number of magical utensils such as a fork that detects and neutralises poison, a goblet of similar properties etc. A very paranoid man (one of the founders) who is surly and close mouthed. A DA on him returns with ‘Long-lived human - extended. He also shows as never having been possessed. Danielle Fem is the Chief Miner Dominic Male He is good looking indeed for a human male Duke of Carzala Male Duke Leto of Seagate. Elise Fem She was possessed for 6 days and left alive. Emmanuel Male Etean Male Eugene Male When DA’d with “What is his most powerful magical ability?” The answer is ‘Breeding Instinct’. His specialty is ‘Animal Husbandry’ which he has been pursuing since the inception of the bubble community some 400 years ago. Françoise Male Deceased Françoise was a trainee Air mage of great potential. Gabrielle Fem Healer Gaston Male Deceased a fellow ‘prankster’ associates of Françoise. Gilbert DeVerno Male Grandson of Duke Sebastian. He was possessed for several hours. Henri D’Guisard Male Deceased. Ex Michaeline Knight. The family is landed within Bowcourt and he was the 3rd son in the family. His oldest brother has recently become the head of the family. He was a member of the Michaeline Scouts that are an elite unit of the Michaeline order. Henri Male Air Mage Specialist Air mage for Northern Brastor Huri Male Air Mage Isaac Male Jean DeVerno Fem Duchess DeVerno (Aladar) and Head Wicca. Teacher of young mages in the Mage school. Jhisette Fem Apprentice to Eugene and an evolving authority on matters of breeding and relationships. Laurent Male is in charge of maintenance Laurie Fem Air Mage Specialist Air mage for Aladar Lucas Male Water Mage Husband of Renee (deceased) Marcelle Male Wicca Apprentice Monique Fem Celestial Mage, Patrice Fem Water Mage She came up with the idea of the beach down below rather than the mire that previously existed Patrick Male Deceased. Ex Air Mage. Possessed for 3 days before he was killed. He has a brother named Emmanuel. Renee Fem Deceased. Ex Air Mage Possessed a short time before her death. Married to Lucas Sebastian DeVerno Male Duke DeVerno (Aladar) and Mind Mage extraordinaire. Head of this community. Sigismund (King) Male King of the Western Kingdom Theophile Male Roche Ancient Red Dragon – aged greater than 43,000 years.
Places (visited, passed by, interacted with, heard of or noticed) Finns Waste. Finn’s Waste is a forested area to the east of the guild that was a great city prior to Penjari when it was destroyed. The area is reasonably large and looks to cover some 20 miles by 20 miles (approx 400 square miles) in an area covered in vegetation except for a few large towers/buildings that occasionally emerge from the canopy top
The mana levels are still low even after all this time and the area is inhabited by a small commune of Monks who work to restore the area to a natural environment by deconstructing the ancient ruins and tending the forest. They have little or no contact with the Guild or Carzala in general despite the relatively short distances that separate the areas.
The Monks are reputedly aligned with the Powers of Light but in a much focused nature orientation in terms of their aims to reclaim and regrow the forest. They are seen as a distant sect but ‘mostly harmless’ according to the few accounts we could find that mentioned them.
Fords of Gar Fords across the river 130 miles northeast of Brastor DeVerno Possibly a corruption of the Cold / the Winter Borovia The castle of Count Kree and his wife Anastasia (lady of the spiders). There is a little used portal from the guild to his castle but it is heavily warded and defended against unsanctioned use.
Introductions and Explainations
Three weeks before The Guild meeting, 2 heavy ‘Stars’ of Michaeline knights were attacked by a group of Skeletal Knights, 30 miles north of the Fords of Gar. Most of the knights escaped flying west but were attacked in the air by something as yet undefined. Only 4 of the knights survived long enough to make it to the Monastery at Finn’s Waste where they were taken in and looked after.
A week before the Guild meeting a lone Knight was found wandering by the banks of the river at the north end of Old Seagate. He was found by a hedge Witch, who was wary on the Powers of Light and some of their policies in regards to Wicca’s, delivered him to the Guild rather than to the church.
After ministrations by the Guild Healers (he was exhausted, starved, delirious and had numerous cuts and bruises) he was directed to the Guild Namers and Guild Mind Mages to discover what happened. They found that he had no recollection of anything after arriving at Finn’s Waste. He had some traces in his mind left by a creature the namers have called a Night-Stalker. It appears that a number of times in the preceding days he had been controlled or possessed by this creature.
That night the Knight was given access to the Guild Pub to recover from his ills and there he committed suicide in a spectacular fashion by stabbing himself and triggering an item, which sucked him into the ground and Earth Mages were unable to retrieve. The only note left was carved into the table "It wasn't me".
As a result of this the debate concerning who should investigate matters of Magic and the supernatural has become heated with disagreements between the Michaeline Church and the Duke of Carzala frequent and escalating. This has caused a number of delays in organising a group to go to Finn’s Waste to investigate the matter. The Guild has selected a group that it believes is mostly apolitical and known for it's discretion as well as being skilled at investigations (and able to take care of itself).
Summary of the daily activity
Day 1- 1st Frost 805
This is the day of the Guild Meeting. We meet, discuss, research and prepare for the rigors of the morrow.
Day 2- 2nd Frost 805
The party flew up to Finn's Waste and discovered that all the monks had been killed and their bodies left to rot. Further investgations showed that they appeared to have been slain by a knight although some had been killed by fellow monks. Speaking to the dead on a few of the bodies revealed that people had been affected by blind rage and slaughtered people, and one of the knights was the first affected. There were also traces of undead having passed through the monestry grounds.
The party followed the train and found a number of Skeletal knights digging a tunnel heading north.
On returning to the monestary, the party are suprised by the arrival of a small girl who they turn to stone for her own protection.
Investigating this arrival it is discovered she arrived from a small chamber underneath the altar in the chapel and with some additioanl experimentation the party find a way into an underground town.
Day 3- 3rd Frost 805
The party are met by a delegation from the town and are asked to investigate some mysterious deaths amongst their people. A search ensues and with the aid of some magic boots, locate and a lot of running they track down the spirit causing the deaths. With some minor confusion (and body swapping) the party manage to capture a small part of the spirit and gain a method of following the trail of the creature.
Day 4- 4th Frost 805
Roche organises a distraction and the party slip by and sneak into the temple avoiding most of the traps, although Kin finds she is unable to enter the final chambers due to her skills in linguistics.
After trapping a truly Evil spirit they take it to a site outside D'arbres where they guard Roche while he disspates the last remnants of the Evil Spirit. After fighting off a number of wraiths and getting Kern resurected the party are rewarded by Roche and they return to the Guild