Session 14, Part 2- The search continues, Kirandia, Getting lost.

At which point Julian exclaimed "What the blazes just happened?!". Sena dismisses the concern. "I got what I needed- to ease their pain, it's the least we could do." Andera was more suspicious "Who did you talk to? You made a deal? With a demon?". Sena scorned at him. "Not a demon. Sarenrae did not give us what we needed, the other one did. I trust her." Andera stung a bit more "Like you trusted Sarenrae?" Sena dismissed this again. "As Julian said, we are wasting time! She will give us more guidance!"

At which point he cast Divination (using a mythic point) "Where is the core of Drezen?" The amused woman's voice came "At the center of dwarves toil, in a place of metal and fire!" Julian guessed it on the spot- "A forge! We're looking for some sort of a forge! But I'm not going until I know what sort of a pact you made- what did you give in return?" Sena replied "Just myself, my heart." It was Andera's turn to scorn "Good forces will not ask for a sacrifice!"

Suddenly Staunton Vhane voice chimed in "You do not yet know the meaning of sacrifice". Sena shouted at him "I am not like you! You were tricked by lust! By ego!" Staunton gave another mirthless grim laugh. "And you? Where is your ego? And I was "tricked" by trying to do the right thing, as you did". Julian was worried "How do you know who it was?" Sena dismissed "It was a force for good, it did good". Julian exclaimed at him "The gods do not interfere we directly!" Sena smiled "They have interfered through out my journey, or else what would you call my spells?" Julian was not convinced. "Not in this way though!" Sena continued his smile "Not the gods we knew, but this one does..."

At which point a transperant spirit appeared rushing from the troops. Sena knew it as Tyrus, a soldier in the knights of Sarenrae, but the voice surprised him, it was a much softer woman's voice, and the layer peeled to show it indeed was a woman. The party felt that this is Alisha, age 22. She hovered for a few seconds, her last thoughts 22, also known as Tyrus. "My family wouldn't let me, but I love Dean, and it's the only way I could follow him. If only I had told him…" before she spirt slammed into Sena's body, the shock injuring him.

This seemed to have settled matters "We ARE wasting time." They decided to head towards F20 and the three adjoining rooms (In the original the NW room was part of the main room. They thought that if those were officer's quarters, maybe there would be a forge there? or it could be the core... On the way Andera hissed "I think you are taking us down with you!"

Spoiler: DM design, accompanying spirits
Since here onwards every so often a spirit would appear from the armies (Except for the tieflings. This may come later), speak a bit of it's dying thoughts/ impressions, and slam wound Sena. Many of the suggestions (Like the one above) are from LokiRagnarok (Thanks a bunch!) on this thread that I posted just a little while ago. The spirits also mke it hard for Sena to cast any spells (Concentration 17+ spell level). Both of these effects were what concerned Sarenrae.

4th vision of John
As they reached the officers quarters they found themselves once more in one of John's visions. This time a battle was going on, between some of the crusaders and other humanoids, but with demonic signs similar to Mad dog when he is manifesting. John was in tears, and they saw Andrew's Father- Altus McClane- "Hold them off! We must get those two! Hold them off!" John fought his way past some "demons", till he saw Marekai. With tears he fought and killed his ex-friend, and then a woman, with blooded lower portion. He killed her, when he heard suddenly the sound of a baby crying... The woman, nearly dying just called out, in her human voice "He was protected by the light! Don't take him!" John went and saw the newly born baby, and raised him.

Sena again gripped his arm "Where is the forge", but John seemed quite lost. Looking at the baby, at Sena, at the baby, at Sena. "Betrayal leads to more betrayal. The betrayer tainted the light, till it shines more more." and the vision ended.

Quarters of Aponavicius

The party entered F20, which turned out to belong to Aponavicius the merilith (now gone to lead demons army to the south)- vast strange mural, on the west wall lots of instruments of torture, on the east a few bone statues, and quite a few racks for weapons, all gone. In the center there was a round coiling depression- her bed. The party searched the room quickly, and then wen to the SE door.


The party felt calmer here, as if the horrors of Drezen are pulled back. Andera took it as a good sign. "So she is good... but then why was she with Jerribeth? They are sisters? why was she a part of all of this?" Julian theorized that "The archer might be going through what Mad dog is going? But maybe she found a way to fight it?"

Spoiler: DM design- wait, wasn't her cell supposed to be in the dungeon?
Since I don't do the dungeon as it is, but rather heavily modified version, I decided to move her cell from there as well. I did so with the forge of corruption (Later)

As they returned to the main room, another spirit appeared- Kanis, a mongrelfolk. "Why we die here? We got out of the caves for this? So much pain, so much death, and all for..." (force wound slam). They entered the next room in line, which was lined with shelves of skulls, mostly humanoid, but not just- of many various species. There was an orb at the end of a staff there, which felt evil. A detect magic found out auras of necromancy and evil, but they couldn't identify what it does. (Lousy spellcraft rolls).

Mad dog wanted to smash it, but the party decided to pocket it as well.

(The inspiration for this room came from Planescape torment)

The last room proved to be a small weapon smithy, quite clean. They searched yet found nothing, Sena tried to pour his mythic power (spend a mythic point) to the forge, which did nothing, and dissipated. they decided to serch more.

in the main room they came upon another vision, this one was Staunton's. In this very room, as he was tortured extremely- blood drained, hooks in his skins, or cuts into his inner organs, slowly pulling ,tearing, and an albino looking human, with a symbol of Shax, the sadistic god, cutting and... deboning Stautnon. Staunton was obviously in great pain, but Areelu Vorlesh was next to him, caressing him. "Endure this dear Staunton, only great suffering will suffice fro what we plan."

Mad dog noticed something in the shadows- A shadow demon. He confronted him directly "Who re you?" The shadow demon seemed surprised but then responded. "Me? I am his jailor!"

At which point Staunton cried through the pain "Is this enough? Is this enough punishment? Finally?" Before the vision dissipated.

The forge
The party continued the search. They decided to head for the NE wing. They saw signs of The Mithral Pure" there, another order that was killed long since. If you go from S16 through the south east door, and then the door east you get to a small square room, which had a few crashed barrels, and a few newer ones, containing... water? They then went east, to the room with many exits, and chose the door to the south, where they came upon the... Corruption forge!

Spoiler: DM design: Corruption forge
This also exists in the module, but in the dungeon level, so I transported it here. It is something major for the party to find out. It enabled demons to transform holy weapons and armor and such into unholy ones.

The party finds the strange forge, with many runes, but do to crappy knowledge skills and ranks (Sena put 1(!!) ranks in knowledge religion. ) They just understood the thing "was evil". They found Joran Vhane's notes (in code), two lanterns- one beat, old and broken, the other with a silvery glow, though dusted, with mithral runes ("Shine thy way!") and some tools.

The party manages to theorize that THIS is where they changed the Sword of Valor's form! (In fact, this is where they tried... ) Due to the clue from the divination ("Center of dwarves' toil, place of metal and fire) they figure out it must be here. They try various things- lighting the "Shine thy way" lantern, casting consecrate, Andera tries to climb up the chimney, but nothing works, they try to move on.

Kirandia/ Meresne
They go north and then east, to the barracks of the Mithral pure (With signs, two mithral chains and more), but the prisoner attracts their attention- an old haggard man calling out curses to them, trying to reach his sword. This is the succubi Kirandia under guise. Though Sens is suspicious, Kirandia plays the "was charmed and now is forgetful" act to the hilt, and the party decides to trust "Merense, the greatest duelist in the west!" and "free" him and give him his sword. They then go on to completely forget about him, assigning him to guard Caleb and the other 3 templars they saved from the other succubi earlier on (forgetting about them all...

Getting lost
Then begins a long process of practically searching every other place (nearly) in Drezen. They reach store rooms, ore rooms, bathing place, the chapel of Torag, the SE barracks (used to belong to the Hammers of Heaven) who were utterly destroyed by a long occupation of the Vescavor swarm that attacked them on the siege, but they didn't found anything that convinced them that "This was it". Staunton Vhane tries to regale them with sayings such "How many more die while you dally here? This is futile, it is beyond your reach" and so on, but the party just ignores him. except for Sena that seethes "We shall find your blood, and we shall cleanse it from this place!" (He is certain that the solution is by SV blood, due to the vision of torture). Quite aa few more spirits, Bartlets, Sarenraes, Mongrelfolk coem and imbed themslves in Sena, and he uses more and more charges of his CMW wand. Andera notices that oddly- no tielfings appear. But Sena speaks nothing of it.

Spoiler: More spirits, if you're interested
Lones, 24, mongrelfolk- This is as a spirit taught us! We should have lived a good life! It is because me and the others stole from the ruins the night before. We should have told the others, we thought the gems could help make a new life!
Beans, Halfling- Russel, don't die! Come on boy, you gotta leave through this! That potion didn't help him enough. Here, have another, it's my last one, c'mon russel, you can't…
Goma, 33, human Sargent- Those privates still owe me 12 GP! Sarenrae and all that, I didn't go through all of this to be cheapened by whole 12 gps!
Ruak, 16, mongrelfolk- memories of a last meal, of faces of family, of father giving him some advice, sending him on his journey.
Halek, halfling- I don't realy feels my arms anymore… it's good, the pain stop… I wish I could see… Or maybe not. I wish I could stop to hear… the pain, the praying… Ah… here comes silence…
Dean, 23, human- Why? Why? Sarenrae, please hear me! I never wanted this! The army! The crusade! To die out here in a cursed temple! I just went along with the others! Please! Let me leave! I will …
Nura, mongrelfolk- Spirit! Brother! Where are you? Where are you? Help us! Help us! Please! Don't forsake us! Not now! Spirit! Brother…
Banya, halfling, 28- "Bartlet he still tries to rally us, to save us, he doesn't have a clue. The old bastard, he's just a big softy. Never before have I seen him cry. Not once in 10 years. Are we really that bad? I'm losing my sight…"

The Sword of Valor
So the party returned to the forge. Sena tries using his mythic power to transform the mithral lantern, but to no avail. Julian spoke calmly "We are losing ourselves. This IS the center of dwarves toil, we found nothing better. Lets observe the clues that John told us" So I went over them again:
"Seek that which was lost. And free it with the the power the gods vested in the chosen ones!"
"Not all is as it appears to be, Yet you cannot evade it's true nature and essence."
"This was the core we sought, and so you must seek the core of Drezen, the dwarven fort."
"Betrayel leads to more betrayal. The betrayer tainted the light, till it shines more more."

It was this last clue that solved it for them, they have forgotten about it. "So it's not the silver/ mithral lantern, but the beat up crappy one!"
So Mad tries to transform it, and...

The party have found the Sword of Valor! (Finally! ) But before they could examine it, Kirnadia betrays them! (SV- "Haven't you yet learned of the theme of Drezen- betrayal after betrayal...") She tries to dominate Mad dog, who uses mythic power to block the attempt. She looks confused "I thought you were the simple minded one!" Mad dog grinned "I'm the one who kills!" And jumped at her. But Julian obviously didn't have time for this. She used hideous laughter, which took her out for the fight for 2 rounds. And 2 rounds is all it took, where Andera cut off her head once and for all Sena' was beside himself, cursing "betrayer!"

As they won, another vision from John descended on them. He was in a cave, with no exit, but with a great chasm in the middle. A dark and foreboding one. And he was tortured, in many ways, as well as made to fight all kind of demons, but also other captured templars, pushing some into the hall. And between fights, there was a shadow demon beside him, cutting it's arm, and letting him drink from his blood, with John's arms rolling back. "Finding the key to your prison, is one thing. You must also find the door out. "

The party examined the sword of valor. Again, crappy rolls and crappy ranks let them know very little of it's powers. The banner was somewhat intelligent, and communicated in impressions, slight emotions and the like. They felt it's power was very low, very few "charges" as it is. They could feel it could partly rejuvenate them (A sensation similar to that of the Scales of Terendelev). It could shed a powerful light, or use a minor sort of miracle (A sort of limited wish, in regarding for spells, but with divine spells more than arcane). The party decided to use nothing for now.

They felt the Banner pulling. Julian took it with her (As only she had 2 free hands), and they moved. Julian felt that the banner helsp ease her fears, her loneliness, her terror of this place. It led them towards the broken mirror at the war room (F18) As the light from the banner shone, the visage beyond the mirror looked like another place, with mist and shadow...

Sena called. "We are coming for you Staunton! Where are you now?" Staunton replied. "You have found the way to my prison, but it is still far from over." Sena returned. "We are coming, and we'll END you!" And with that, the party entered Staunton's Prison...

Spoiler: DM design: The Sword of Valro Riddle, and the sword of valor itself
I thought this would be an interesting little puzzle to explore. It lso gave me a chance to show John and Staunton a bit, and some of the expedition to the worldwound that will be a major part of the next module, as the party come to deal with their campaign traits (Again, thanks for that discussion Biotroll!)

I was worried that the riddle was too vague, but from later on the party told me that once they had all the clues, and knew of the forge room's contents, that it was obvious enough. (Which is good- never design a riddle the party shouldn't solve, unless it's for a bonus content). SO this went well. The "going through most of Drezen rooms" was a bit annoying, but just a bit, and it gve the place a feeling of space. We didn't dally about it too much, so it didn't took a lot of game time.

I also wanted to let the Sword of Valor itself play out a bit. In the module the party just finds it in the end of the module, and then forget about it as they get to the third. It's practically nonexistent. I wanted to have the party seek "A light in the darkness" sort to speak. Which will have a few powers. Also, each time the banner's power gets used, I put up the music. which also helps put an impression.

This has been a long part, but There is a storm outside, and I have some free time, so I'm going to start writing the third part immediately. Hope you enjoy!