World of Bastion

Hell Conclusion

With the destruction of the keystone, a tremendous explosion rocked the capital city of Nightguard in the Land of the Flame Shroud as the Hellgate exploded. Three city blocks were decimated, and the Calirian Empire released a statement that more than 900 souls perished in the inferno. There was no official explanation as to what caused the explosion, but Sage Dethek Marnir speculated that it was tied to the destruction of a key piece of the artifact.

“The gods don’t let Primal go to waste,” he said. “An artifact that has no more use will release that Primal back to its divinity.”

In private ceremonies at Darkstar and Envision, each of you are awarded planar commendation medals for your work in Hell. (Such commendations are bestowed only for heroic actions in the face of certain death and are a pre-requisite for being promoted within the organization. If you have specific questions you’d like to ask your patrons, please email me privately.)

Duke Galvin Crenshaw (CG male human fighter 12/aristocrat 8) offers your adventuring group a land grant in the area of the Land of the Covenant known as the Broken Promises, plus a knighthood. The last adventuring company to get a grant in the area was the Intrepid Four:

After a series of successful battles against the orc tribes of the Orcscreed Hills, the adventuring group established their stronghold atop a plateau in the heart of the Promises. On a cold winter night in 1088, all four members were murdered in their sleep by an unknown assailant. The group’s seneschal took over the castle for a brief period of time, before the Four returned—as vampires. Three of the Four were confirmed as destroyed, but the wizard Celestine escaped. There have been no reports of Celestine in the decades since these battles.

The stronghold is still abandoned—or mostly so—and is the most defensible location in the Broken Promises. Should you clear it, the Duke promises there will be merchants and others that will make the journey to start a new life there.

Promotion through the Nobility looks like this:

Knight: Today
Baronet: When you make the stronghold your own

Baron: When you secure the area around the stronghold

Viscount, then Count, and finally Duke: ??

(Note: This isn’t the start of a Kingmaker campaign. Whether you choose to accept the land grant and challenge of ruling an area of land, it’s unlikely you can continue to survive without your own stronghold and guards. You have powerful enemies now, and the local inn isn’t the safest spot for you.)

Both Darkstar and Envision promise to support you no matter your decision on the land grant.

In other news:

The two Tier operatives you killed in Hell have been resurrected. Barons Grathos and Baroness Melina Rothas have sworn vengeance against you.

Decker: You have been offered a military officer-ship in the Confederation (while being able to maintain your independent adventurer status. Should you accept both it and the land grant, you will known as Knight-Major Decker.

Warden: You’ve received a vision of a majestic open-air draconic cathedral consecrated to Ritesheen.

One: Let’s talk off-list. :-)

Kyria: Let’s talk off-list. :-)

Marius: Check your email.

Lily: Let’s talk off-list. :-)

To Hell and Back

It’s only happened once before, hours prior to the attack against Darkstar Keep that saw Colesion Tholan rise to Sainthood. During the twilight hours between dusk and dark, 100 new members of Darkstar and Envision stood side by side and swore their oaths before their patrons.

Today, that number is 26. You stand among them.15 for Darkstar; 11 for Envision.

More than 200 members of each organization stand in full regalia in the massive compound. To the west courtyard, the emerald and gold of Envision glimmer in the twilight. To the east, Darkstar members stand at attention.

A small pavilion has been constructed at the end of the courtyard in the shadow of the main keep. Here, some of the most powerful personae in Bastion stand before you.

After initiation and some time with your patrons, you’rte given a mission: Go to the first plane of Hell, enter the forge, and destroy the artifact of Asmodeus.

The heroes have been dispatched to Hell to destroy the keystone to the Hellgate, a powerful artifact that could change the face of Bastion forever. Traveling across the River Styx to the shores of Avernus, they were greeted by a patrol of Nessian Hell Hounds. Upon defeating them, they discovered that each hound was wearing a collar with a shimmering blue star sapphire. Perhaps they belong to some noble…hopefully not an Arch Duke!

Moving deeper into the first plane of Hell, the heroes saw tortured souls at every turn, and the sound of wailing filled the air. They were almost surprised by spectres, but the monk gave warning and the party defeated five and sent the sixth fleeing.

Exhausted, the party decided to rest for the night.

Traversing through Avernus is dangerous. Two greater fire elementals attacked with surprise from a nearby fissure. As the heroes attempted to dispatch them, an elder fire elemental arrived and complicated their maneuvers. Still, the heroes emerged victorious and continued their march through Hell.

Rounding a craggy outcropping of rocks, the group saw 5 fire giants torturing a 10-foot tall humanoid. Each would take turns whipping the human, and his wails echoes through the rocky landscape.

Striking with surprise, the adventurer’s crippled the giants with a well-placed sleet storm. Fate was not kind to the giants, who failed their saves against the magic, and the party focus-fired down their enemies. Alas, one giant took out a horn and sounded the alarm.

As the giants fell one by one, the shackled human laughed gleefully. “Kill them all!” he roared. When asked why he was imprisoned, he laughed again and said “Crimes against Devilry.”

Hellhounds and a barbed devil soon joined the fray. They were no match for the party in the end, but a vanguard of the devils was now approaching the site. The heroes had little time.

Magic revealed that the human was both chaotic and evil. One offered him a choice of a quick death or continued torture. Laughing again, the human told the dwarf “Little one, that choice is beyond your power to make.”

One tried to kill him with a series of coup de graces, but his wounds healed long before death came. And he seemed to enjoy the pain. The shackles that help him down were beyond the parties capabilities to remove. They fled deeper into hell as more devils approached.

Later that night as the party made camp, a horrible realization came over them. That human…that tortured creature. They knew who he was now. He matched the description of someone they read about in their histories. It was about the Northlands War.

He was Cameron Drake, former ruler of Santanium.

Confrontation with hags torturing children
Defeated Barons Melina Rothes and Grathos (Tiers)
—Reports are that they were resurrected and seeking revenge
Entered the Forge and defeated the cerberi guardians (Minxus and Maximus)
Defeated the Custodian (Kuraxis, a barbed devil)
Survived Firefly Alley (hellswarms)
Discovered how to travel to the forge

Defeated (but did not destroy) the demi-lich Nestor

Defeated (but did not kill) Malystrim (adult red dragon)
Defeated Melifilus (medusa)
Defeated Alshizim (spectre)
Fled from two pit fiends and a dark angel of Asmodeus

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.)

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.

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”

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

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

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.

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

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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