World of Bastion

Rumblings of War

41 Coldhaven, Ravenwyrm Falling, 1127 SY – Imperial Palace, Nightguard, Land of the Flame Shroud

Emperor Nokraenom delivered a fiery speech before the Senate today, denouncing the irresponsible acts of the Land of the Covenant. “From deep within the bowels of Santanium, forces loyal to the saint of war are summoning demons to do their bidding! At this very moment, her agents are conspiring with demonic forces to undo this Empire…and we will not stand idly by while Saint Fireform opens the gates of the Abyss!”

The Emperor placed the army on high alert, and mobilized 50,000 soldiers to the western border. There were also unconfirmed reports of large numbers of Tiers forces headed west.

Reaction from around Bastion was swift, as traditional forces quickly aligned themselves against any potential power play by the Calirian Empire.

Saint Megan Fireform, ruler of the Land of the Covenant, blasted Nokraenom. “Once again the Empire cloaks its true motivations, waving a sword in one hand and wielding a shadowed dagger in the other. The Emperor is negotiating with the devils of Hell even as he seeks to unlock the secrets of the Hellgate.”

“My dear friend the Emperor must have forgotten recent history,” said King Melis Sunward of the Sarienstal Elves. “We all fought the demons during the Northlands War and none would attempt a pact with such untrustworthy creatures. Perhaps a local bard could spin a tale of small words to remind him…”

(Player Background: The Hellgate is a massive artifact in the Land of the Flame Shroud that is believed to be a portal to Hell. None have managed to unlock its powers, but the powers of Hell have frequently aligned themselves with the Empire. There were unconfirmed reports during the Northlands War that a number of powerful devils were released into the Prime Material Plane to combat the demons pouring forth from what is now the ruins of Col in the former nation of Santanium…not too far from where you’re adventuring.)

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Game 7 Synopsis

Your party surveyed the rest of level 2 and determined there was only a single hallway that you had not yet explored. You sent Marius, your new engineer down the hall and discovered a 10×10 pit trap. It took a few minutes to figure out ways to get around it safely (and Decker almost fell in even with precautions), but Warden used a fly spell and carried everyone safely across.

Marius discovered another trap in the door at the end of the hall. A taut wire could be seen through the keyhole, apparently keeping something in place. There was no way to both keep the wire taut and open the door at the same time. Opening the door, you heard the sounds of breaking glass. The party waited for something to happen, but there was no sign of poison gas or other danger. Then, spectres attacked through the walls, striking the middle and back of the party. You were all trapped between the room ahead and the pit trap behind.

The spectres’ chilly hands reached out and touched many of you, but each found a reserve of faith deep within and resisted the negative energy. Then, a barbarian charged out of the darkness, striking Decker for massive amounts of damage. In a flurry of blows, Decker fell unconscious just as the last of the spectres was defeated.

(I’ll let Pete detail the phat loots…)

You headed back to the city and reported to Darkstar and Envision as to what you had discovered. You also spent time with the local merchants, getting items created and selling the items you didn’t want to keep.

At the Blue Dolphin, you relaxed while listening to the tales of other adventurers and enjoying the warmth of the hearth. As you finished your meal, you were invited to a feasthall deep in the tavern. Intrigued, you agreed to meet with four people.

Two sat on each side, all male. On your left, the first was an old human with leathery skin and wearing leather armor. Even in winter, he had an earthy smell to him. Next to him was another human, middle-aged with sparkling eyes and a warm smile.

Opposite these two were a human and an elf. The elf was thin and sarcastic, wearing silk robes, and took great joy in poking fun at the others. He spent most of his jibes on the old human seated next to him. The last human was dressed in heavy robes and had flowing white hair that seemed to merge into his beard.

There was some tension between the two sides, and each group asked you slightly different questions. After some suspicious questions from your party as to their intentions, they agreed to pay you 10,000 gold pieces for a full and complete account of your experiences in the dungeon. You told them everything, and they took great interest in your meeting with Xarivon’s servant, the gate spell that appeared, and the demonic encounters. Satisfied with your report, the white-haired human offered a spelljamming vessel to return you to the dungeon. The elf asked that you report anything else you find to them. He said to ask for Melishar.

(former players should refrain from commenting on this name) :-P

11 days have passed since you first arrived in the dungeon. We’ll pick up play on the morning of the 11th and your arrival at the spelljamming dock in Tiersma, Land of the Covenant.

DATE: 11 Snowcare, 1127 SY. This is the second week of the Festival of Acceptance (Argarus). Glimmershene is a holy day for Subotai (Lord of Illusion), which occurs today.

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Game 6 Synopsis

In the halls of Rappan-Athuk, our heroes made a final assault against level one. They entered a foul-smelling room full of fungus and vegetation that contained three latrine stalls…and two shambling mounds!

Lily launched a web at them, but their large size allowed them to break through the webbing. Decker and One engaged them hand-to-hand and Kyria let loose a volley of arrows, while Warden’s shed Ritesheen’s prayer upon the party that really turned the tide of battle.

From there, it was time to exit the dungeon and recuperate, but one more battle with a huge water elemental awaited. It’s high DR made injuring it a challenge, and One seemed to be a focus on its aggression. Had it stood its ground, the water elemental and One probably both would have fallen, but it created a vortex and fled deeper into the dungeon.

Led by Decker, the heroes swam underwater to leave the dungeon. Lily and Warden drank more water than they should have, but the heroes escaped to discover that Fort Bask had been retaken by Covenant forces. Captain Gundark was leading the rebuilding and clean-up operations and was happy to see the heroes. (Everyone was given 1,000 gold piece reward for their information and efforts in retaking Fort Bask).

The heroes decided to go to the capital city of Tiersma to spend their loot, get cured, and recover. The two-week journey by foot was reduced to a few days by the captain of a Spelljamming vessel who had also aided in the retaking of Fort Bask. Captain Allison Frey (h-e female) gave the heroes a tour of the ship along with a magnificent view of the capital.

Tiersma is a marvel of dwarven engineering and siegesmithing. It’s high walls are built to withstand virtually any assault, and all manner of weapon lines the battlements. The city is home to a mighty cathedral to Banis, and the seat of power for Saint Megan Fireform. Shrines and churches to other good- and neutral aligned gods are also welcome, and Darkstar has a public facade (which isn’t surprising considering that Saint Megan Fireform is a ranking member of the order).

(Note: Everyone had a chance to talk with their Envision/Darkstar contacts while in the city if they so desired. Those that did were formally inducted into the orders for their efforts in retaking Fort Bask and investigating Rappan-Athuk.)

One visited the church of Rechara and was cured of lycanthropy and other afflictions by High-Priest Calest (human male, 12th-level).

Decker visited the Cathedral of Banis and met the dwarf cleric Bormin, who also administered a cure. He also got to see Saint Megan Fireform give a sermon on Lordsday and regale the crowds with the Battle for Darkstar.

Kyria visited the monks of Si Soless, and Warden visited his contacts.

After a brief few days in Tiersma, the heroes headed back to the dungeon. The roads from the capital to the forts were mostly well patrolled after the invasion, and they didn’t encounter any danger until the left Fort Keeper and began the week-long journey to Fort Bask.

While camped along the road, the heroes were attacked by a vampire. It started off with whispers in the night.

“Of course I’m evil…”

“You’re going to make great additions to my stable…”

An 8-year-old girl vampire, winter warg, and wolves attacked the heroes in the final hours of the night—but the master vampire never showed himself clearly.

“Daddy, why are you hurting me?” she cried at Warden after he blasted her with searing light.

“Mommy, why are you angry?!” she screamed at Kyria after she let loose a volley of silver arrows.

All during the battle, the master vampire taunted the heroes. “I like to watch,” he whispered.

“This isn’t over…I’ll see you soon”

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Game 2 Synopsis

3 Coldhaven, Argarus Rising, 1127 SY

The spectral lights cut through the light snowfall and cast myriad images across
the surface of the buildings of Fort Zarin. A low thrumming pulsed through the
ground, radiating through boots and bone. The most alarming sound of all though
was the clash of metal on metal in the distance and the urgent ringing of the
alarm bells.

As guards scrambled for their posts, the heroes poured out of the Shining
Shepard inn. Lily (human Sorceress) was the first to act, rushing a small
distance toward the stone towers as she looked for signs of trouble. Decker
(human Fighter) and Orzogg (half-dragon Barbarian) followed, while Warden Kane
(human Cleric) positioned himself to do the most good should his new friends
require assistance.

The spectral light suddenly emerged below the snow cover, attached to the hull
of a spelljamming vessel. A barrage of fireballs erupted from the ship into the
fort, striking the command center and one of the barracks.

Lily was the first to hear words of magic being uttered from an area of darkness
near the gate. A split second later, the heavy wooden beams slid from their
holders and the gates opened wide into the night.

The whistling of arrows could be heard from the walls as the guards attempted to
repel the attack, but it was too late. A horde of kobolds swarmed through the
open gates, driven with a sense of urgency by orcs and worg riders.

Lily dropped a grease spell in front of the gates, and a small group of kobolds
quickly became mired. The remainder had to pour across either end of the spell,
where Orzogg and Decker were waiting for them.

Captain Gundark Stonehelm, commanding officer of the Fort Zarin, charged out of
the command center with his lieutenants. Two of his subordinates began their own
magical barrage against the spelljamming vessel. Gundark and his remaining
lieutenant charged toward the gates where the heroes were blocking their
progress. Orcs grunted out orders—"kill the dwarf"—and the kobolds strived to
comply.

Decker and Orzogg killed kobolds as they ran past. Lily angered one with a ray
of frost, while Warden called out to Ritesheen for aid and sent healing power
through the group.

The battle raged on, with the heroes killing kobolds left and right and Captain
Gundark cleaving his way through wave after wave. The spelljammer traded fire
with the lieutenants, but focused its fire on a barracks once filled with
sleeping soldiers, and their cries of anguish filled the air. A few ballista
blasts and spell barrages finally sent the heavily damage spelljammer limping
across the upper wall.

Behind the kobolds a force of orcs began to emerge. The heroes began to work
themselves to a more defensible position, with a few bursts of color spray
immobilizing kobolds that blocked them. Then Lt. Cryfall, a Sarinestal elf,
hurled a fireball into their midst. The smell of charred flesh filled the air,
and the snow melted into quickly-freezing puddles of red-black ice. The heavy
wooden gate lightly burned for a few moments until the snow extinguished it.

“Gundark die!” The words were grunted in a rough common as a stone giant and its
dire wolf companion entered through the smoldering gates. The dire wolf paused
for a moment to eat a kobold that was in its path, while the giant charged the
dwarf.

The giant made a tactical error charging the dwarf, charging forward to far and
giving Gundark an opportunistic attack. His heavy club cleanly missed the dwarf,
crushing any life that might have been left from a dead kobold.

The heroes quickly moved to intercept the dire wolf, but it was Orzogg that
brought the beast down. Decker and Warden satisfied themselves with some quick
kobold deaths, while the Captain cut deep into the giant with his greataxe. The
stone giant roared in pain.

A light wisp of electrical energy arced from Lily’s hand and struck the giant.
Its arm twitched once, and then its eyes rolled back into its head as it crashed
to the ground. In the distance beyond the wall, a small burst of fire signified
the end of the spelljammer.

“Close those gates!” cried Gundark. “More water to the barracks! Stay on guard,
men. There could be more attacks…”

But there were no other attacks, and the night slowly gave way to the day.
The next morning, Gundark called the heroes back to his command center,
rewarding each with 150 gp as “bounty” for their efforts. Fort Bask is the
next-closest base along the neutral zone, and he needs some heroes to check it
out and report back.

1.) Something has changed with the Harrowstone orcs. Their rough stone
medallions have been replaced with bone disks showing a two-headed wolf. Perhaps
this change in leadership explains their sudden aggression. Report anything you
find about their leadership or plans that you find.

2.) Fort Bask is the closest base to the ruins of Lake Col where Cameron Drake
fell during the Northlands War. It’s a week’s travel to the North. Warn the
commander there about what has transpired, or report back to Gundark with what
you find if Fort Bask has fallen.

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Game 1 Synopsis

2 Coldhaven, Argarus Rising, 1127 SY

Nestled against the southern Diamond Back Hills, Fort Zarin stands watch over
the Weakening Plains…the neutral zone between the Land of the Covenant and the
encroaching Calirian Empire. Claimed during the Northlands War, these rough
lands have been on the front lines of the battle to contain the ever-expanding
desires of the Emperor Nokraenom. Saint Megan Fireform rules these lands and
serves as a suitable counter to the Emperor’s dark plans for the area.

But today is for celebration, for the new year has arrived and a week-long
celebration is underway. The air is brisk, and more snow falls to the ground
with each passing day. While some celebrate with spirits (and are walking around
much worse for it), others go about the daily business of the fort—securing the
Covenant from any threat.

Around 500 soldiers live here, mostly human with a contingent or two of dwarf
warriors from the Fortress of Bajin. Scouting parties frequently travel through
the heavy wooden gates of the Fort, returning after they have completed their
tour and met with their counterparts from the forts to the north. The stone
walls of the fort gleam with dwarven craftsmanship, and smoke streams forth from
the barracks, blacksmith, and other strategic structures.

Of more practical use is the Shining Shepherd Inn. This heavy wooden structure
serves as the community hub for the fort, and caravan leaders and adventurers
alike take shelter here as they travel along the neutral zone toward the capital
city of Tiersma.

It’s here that a small group of heroes find themselves on a cold winter’s night.
Drinking wine, mead, and drijashine, a friendship is slowly kindled, but
eventually the long travel to reach Fort Zarin drives each to their respective
rooms.

But something is amiss. Peering out into the darkness, prismatic lights can be
seen cascading through the clouds and breaking through the lightly falling snow.
Too strong to be the Northern Lights, the sorceress Lily awakens her companions
and they head outside where others are marveling at the lights.

No one has seen anything like this, and it’s beautiful in its own way.

“The lights,” whispers Lily. “They’re getting closer.”

It’s only then that everyone notices that guards are running toward the walls.
It looks like the party is over for now…


Roll Initiative—-

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