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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4


    Age of Worms Part 8: The Prince of Redhand



    As the ancient ziggurat crumbles the heroes glance around as the vision fades. Many of the images lingering; the worm eaten dead rising from the grave the coming of Spawn of Kyuss; the great tree, ringed with thorns and with tiny fanged mouths instead of knots the physical manifestation of the demon lord Malgarius; The comet falling upon the earth likely the destruction of the fane of scales 2 years ago; the bloodied hand none other than the fabled Hand of Vecna and the City in the caldera the city of Cauldron near fabled Sasserine.

    Even as the images and prophecies wash over you, you all realise that many of these have happened and that the coming of the Age of Worms is indeed destined! Maybe a few brave heroes can stem the tide and ward off the come apocalypse.

    ----

    As dust and rubble and pour from the ceiling you all cast about looking for items of value. Scattered in the room are many impressive trinkets and work of art including a beautiful platinum tryptch of the ancient city you stand in (6000gp), a pitch pearl the size of Lan's clenched fist (2000gp) and a glorious carved golden statue of a dragon with jade eyes (3000gp). The spell casters in the party can sense much of the magic flowing from the downed spellweaver, the magical items surviving even as the creatures body decays into dust allowing you to snatch them up. These include a 2ft long sceptre of alien green metal, the creature's long ragged shroud, a second rod tipped with a chromatic orb and its strange serpentlike mithril circlet.

    Spoiler: Loot
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    Rod of Quicken metamgic (up to 6th level spells 3/day)
    Cloak of resistance +5
    Circlet of Charisma +6
    Harrow Rod



    Grabbing some valuable you all leap across a shadowy bridge called by Mirriana avoiding the now empty base filled with the dust and bones of countless worms. The clamber up the long spirals that spiralled around the vast hole in the earth seems easier now, the glowing green energy and negative oppressive energy now displaced. Reaching he surface you stagger out into bright jungle light, the sunlight and heat like a hammer after the horrific oppression of the ziggurat's depths.

    Around you is a scene of devastation. The ancient black ring is shattered, rent in a dozen places and crumbled into dust. The long spires that towered above the pyramid are crumbled, the north face of the ziggurat littered with the shattered forked spire. The sense of evil pervading the ruins seems gone and in its place the jungle reclaims the land, stone crumbling and cracking with weeds even as you watch.

    Zarina breathes heavily as more crumbling sounds and earthquakes presage more of the pyramid collapsing in on itself. "I am glad we managed to get out.." before she giggles with almost girl like glee, "I'm sorry," she grins, "I was just looking at us, what mess.." and looking about you realise she is right. Blood stained, clothes and armour hanging off in tatters you look more like well armed vagrants than heroes and banishers of an ancient evil!
    Gathering herself Zarina looks to MIrriana, "Mirr, what do we now? The Age of Worms is real, the Ebon triad will presage it, how do we stop it?"
    Thanks to Emperor Ing for the nice Avatar

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Merrick

    Acererak grumbled inwardly as Merrick sifted through the remains of the ancient city. The creature proved disappointing - no means ascension here. They would simply have to destroy this Kyuss Himself and steal his divine spark.

    The Hand of Vecna however... an ancient rival to the Devourer brought low by his own trusted lieutenant but rose to Godhood. ...portents be damned. The Age of Acererak will soon

    Merrick paused, Zariina’s giggle breaking his reverie.

    We will stop it. We will destroy Dragotha and his fell master.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Landahl Snowstrider, Halfling scout

    Lan sat back on his haunches when the spell weaver fell, and he watched impassively as Mirriana executed the creature. The Halfling was more practical than some of the others, and would likely have at least interrogated the creature a bit more, but what was done was done. The backlash of the extraterrestrial’s death had created other concerns, and Lan helped collect as much loot as they could find, then he burrowed upwards and out of the evil temple.

    Topside, he said nothing as the group divvied the loot. For now, he was more interested in getting back to civilization ... and riding the stench of this foul jungle from his clothes.

    Some healing and ready to move on t
    Spoiler: Status
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    HPs: 36/89; AC: 21 (33) FF/Touch: 16/16
    F +12 (16) R +16 (13) W +8
    Skills: Listen/Spot/Search +18 Move Silently/Hide +20 Tumble +34 D Device +20
    Spells (4/6/5/2/2) 0: create water, guidance, mending, light
    1: detect fav enemies, gravity bow, embrace the wild, hunter's mercy, sniper’s shot, surefooted stride, CLW x2
    2: fell the greatest foes, fell the greatest foe, invisibility, exacting shot, exacting shot, CMW
    3: decoy image, find the gap, find the gap
    4: aspect of earth hunter, deeper darkvision
    Javelins (+21, 1d4+2 / +22, 1d4+3 w/in 30', bane vs undead)
    Items: 1/1 Laughing Rogue; 1/2 Quicksilver Boots; 1/2 Horizon Walker
    Effects: Aspect of the Earth Hunter (70min); +10 Tumbling, detect favored enemies (w/in 60’; 70min); embrace the wild (30’ blindsense, +2 Spot/Listen; 70 min); deeper Darkvision (120’, 7 hours), Fire Resistance 30; Mass conviction (+4 morale bonus vs all saves; 120min); Heroes Feast (+1 attack, immune poison/fear)
    Life is ... life. As always bot/cut as necessary.
    DM: "Why do you have so many characters?"
    Me: "Because I never embraced the strategic value of running away."


    Fare thee well, N_R ... you will missed!y

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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Mirriana

    With the oppressive atmosphere of the Ziggurat below us I too feel a lightening of the mood. We do indeed look a sorry mess!

    "I need a bath," I agree with Zarina. "Probably for a week. And preferably before Celeste sees us, or she'll worry. Does anyone have mending or prestidigitation prepared today? Never mind, it's probably better we get back with this news quickly."

    I parcel out my remaining magic so that at least our wounds are fully healed.

    "I don't know Zarina, but I'd like to talk to Manzorian about our findings as soon as possible. The Ebon Triad and the Hero of the pit gifting a city to the dead, maybe we were wrong about those. Or maybe we have to stop them again. Maybe we have to keep stopping them. Kyuss is going to run out of lieutenants to carry out his schemes eventually and he lost an important one today."

    I look around my companions, battered but undefeated, and I smile warmly. I reach out to touch Merrick and Elkist on their shoulders.

    "Come on everyone, let's get out of here."
    Last edited by RCgothic; 2021-01-03 at 08:27 AM.

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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    There is a flicker of glistening lights for a second and then as the teleport lands you some 100 yards down the road from mage point. The sudden shift a dramatic change as the soft onshore breeze from the lake and the smell of baking and woodsmoke replace the humid heat and stench of the jungle. The village square is bustling with small stalls as it was when you first arrived a week or so ago.

    The square slowly comes to a halt as they take the party in. Several of you with still shimmering active magics, Zarina and Elkist still glowing with luminescent armour. Their armour still tattered and blood splattered and rents in their clothes. As they land on the dusty road within sight of the strange crystal fortress on the lake a few folk wave hesitantly and then the door of the All Seeing Eye swings open and you see Celeste running out of the inn, her long limbs flying with incredible grace the sheer blue and silver silks leaving little to the imagination. She slides to a halt, an long embrace for Mirriana before she looks at you all, "We had feared you dead. The Spire is so dangerous I was opposed to Manzorian's plan..."

    Taking you all in she shudders. "I do not know what you have experienced, and I do not know what you have faced but I so glad you are alive." As she says the last a hand grasps Mirriana's mailed gauntlet tightly. "Come, rest. Eat, drink and wash and then you can tell Eligos, Manzorian and myself of what you have seen at the Spire."
    Thanks to Emperor Ing for the nice Avatar

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    Mirriana

    ...now you'll need a wash too... I send mischievously as Celeste pulls me close, kissing her on the cheek.

    "It was... closer run than I'd have liked," I admit slightly reluctantly.

    "But not quite so close I had to bind anyone's souls back into their bodies with magic, and all we leave behind us are ancient ruins and an over-eager jungle. We won a big victory today, my love! I'm eager to tell you and the others all about it."
    Last edited by RCgothic; 2021-01-08 at 11:02 AM.

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    Landahl Snowstrider, Halfling scout

    Before they departed, Lan returned to his or all shape, covered in charred burn marks and bruises. He watched silently as Mirriana hugged the others, then turned to stare back at the expanse of the dead city. He closed ranks when they prepared for the transportation spell. Back in civilization, Lan’s perennial scowl returned as he withdrew further. Whether Celete’s greeting bothered him, or there was something else, none could tell. Turning to Goat, he practically growled, ”I’m thirsty. You can by me a drink.”

    Before he forgot, he mentioned to the others, “Oh, and that part about offering up a city to the dead ... did we avoid that by winning the Belt? “

    Lan will have little to add. He just wants to heal up. He might consider buying a wand or some potions, too.
    Spoiler: Status
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    HPs: 95; AC: 21 FF/Touch: 16/16
    F +12 R +16 W +9
    Skills: Listen/Spot/Search +19 Move Silently/Hide +21 Tumble +35 D Device +21
    Spells (4/6/6/4/2/2) 0: create water, guidance, mending, light
    1: detect fav enemies, gravity bow, embrace the wild, hunter's mercy, sniper’s shot, surefooted stride
    2: fell the greatest foes, invisibility, invisibility, swift haste, swift haste, exacting shot
    3: decoy image, find the gap, find the gap, foebane
    4: aspect of earth hunter, deeper darkvision
    5: summon nature’s ally V, summon nature’s ally V
    Javelins (+22, 1d4+2 / +23, 1d4+3 w/in 30', bane vs undead)
    Items: 1/1 Laughing Rogue; 1/2 Quicksilver Boots; 1/2 Horizon Walker
    Effects: +10 Tumbling; deeper Darkvision (120’, 7 hours); Heroes Feast (+1 attack, immune poison/fear)
    Last edited by Starbin; 2021-01-13 at 03:19 AM.
    Life is ... life. As always bot/cut as necessary.
    DM: "Why do you have so many characters?"
    Me: "Because I never embraced the strategic value of running away."


    Fare thee well, N_R ... you will missed!y

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    Mirriana

    "I thought we'd stopped Raknian gifting Grayhawk to Kyuss," I agree with Lan. "And that business with the Ebon Triad cults in the mine... But the prophecy was so sure that those things are yet to come!"

    "Oh yes, we witnessed a dark prophecy. Not good," I explain to Celeste.

    "So I'm not sure. But we should talk about this when we're all together, to save repetition. The sooner we've cleaned up the sooner we can start, if Manzorian and Eligos are free. We can take food and drink in the meeting."

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Merrick

    Tiring of his vestiges' mutterings, Merrick dismisses them, and he nearly collapses as the weight of the past day lands fully onto him.

    "I feel we are being led from step to step, unwittingly fulfilling this prophecy as we hop from body to body. I for one hate being manipulated."

    He idly fingers the Talisman of the Sphere that rests heavily in his bag of holding...
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

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    Celeste stands by Mirriana's side, a hand resting on Mir's mailed shoulder. "Come site down and drink, eat, you look exhausted and smell worse." She adds the latter with a smile to take the sting out the mild insult. Leading you all into the bustling inn people leave a wide berth for you all and whispers of wonder and awe follow you as rumours of where you went and that you've survived slowly whiz around the room. The more magically aware (in magepoint that's quite a few!) stare in awe also at the pulsing magical auras emanating from the party.

    As you are sat down she calls for servers to bring platters laden with hot spiced stews, thick crusty bread and mugs of forthy ale and pitches of magically chilled elven wine. Celeste looks to all of you. "Manzorian is not here today, he will return tomorrow, but please tell me of the city of Kyuss and the fable Spire of Long Shadows?"

    OOC

    You can enjoy a night in the Inn and relax... then you can level up to the heady heights of level 15!!
    Thanks to Emperor Ing for the nice Avatar

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Merrick

    Merrick sat among his companions, idly thumbing through the naga Strugt's spellbooks. He had scanned for any detectable magic beforehand, but an almost nihilistic malaise had washed over him and he cared not for any traps that may have been present.

    He could still hear Acererak raging in his mind. Clearly their bond today had favoured the demilich in their battle for control. Urges to take command and delve the depths of the Worm City for more secrets were difficult to overcome.

    Now however, Zceryll was whispering his own unfathomable truths into Merrick's other proverbial ear. The Star Spawn was always a more amenable guest.

    And now in return for periodic visits with reality, He gifted Merrick with the secrets of summoning farspawn creatures when even not bound to Zceryll.

    Merrick delights in this new power, wondering to himself if he was losing his grip on reality. Muddy senses his Master's disquiet, but offers no comfort.

    Strange, I hear another voice...
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2021-01-14 at 01:39 AM.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

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    Taliesn

    It's evening before Tal finally reaches the small village of Magepoint, described by Allustan. He takes human form -- no sense in alarming strangers -- though it leaves him feeling badly exposed. So weak, so vulnerable. How do the others stand it?

    Is this finally the place? he wonders. You'll never find them. They have abandoned you. Go home and await the end of the world!

    I'll know soon enough. There is still a stir in the square, it seems, people speak of adventurers returning just a few hours ago. This is hopeful, Tal thinks, as he heads toward Inn. Reaching out with this thoughts, he "looks" for old friends. He is still several paces from the door when he feels them inside the Inn -- the familiar touch Mir, and Zarina, and Lan, and Merrick! (though Merrick feels decidedly strange to the touch, I mean, stranger than normal, for Merrick, something outsider-ish to him, or even beyond outsider Some things will drive you mad, little doggy! Your friend is already giving in to the madness. Things mortals were not meant to know and even the gods shy away!).

    The excitement is too much, as he calls out telepathically, YOU'RE HERE!!! as he hurries the last few feet to the door.
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    Mirriana

    I make a playfully pained expression in response to Celeste's mild insult. "Yes and yes, but perhaps I can do something about that last bit," I say as the rumours of our adventure begin to circulate the Magepoint clientelle.

    "Hey, everyone!" I address the bar at large. "My friend and I are a bit tapped out today, so if anyone can help my friends and I out with a prestidigitation I'll buy drinks for your entire party!"

    Hopefully with the party cleaned up a little, I eat hungrily whilst regaling Celeste and a growing crowd with the tale of our adventure in the southern jungles, only holding back the details of Kyuss and the visions which I'll confide later in private over a long hot bath. I'm nearly done when a familiar voice touches my mind.

    "Tal!" I explain excitedly, jumping up to greet my oldest friend. "You came back!"

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    Landahl Snowstrider, Halfling scout

    Lan sat and eat quietly. That is to say, he didn’t speak, but tore into his food with a gusto. He wasn’t deliberately messy, noisy or wasteful; he ate with the air of a man thankful for his meal and uncertain when or where the next one will come. Even as he ate, he maintained a watchful eye on the room. His own back was to the nearest wall, and he constantly surveyed the entrances. Once his plate was clean, he drank his ale in one long pull, then followed it with a mug of water.

    The mental shout caught him mid gulp, forcing the halfling to his feet with one hand hovering over his wrist. He started to glare at Merrick, but it didn’t feel like the cold, dank touch of the mage’s mind. This one spoke of wild animalism and natural fury. A moment after Mir shouted his name, Lan recognized their old companion and friend, Talisien.

    Once the ‘man’ walked in, Lan sauntered over and looked him up and down before offering his hand. ”Bout time you came back. Probably should have stuck to more legs.”

    If Fell makes it back, I might just faint ...
    Spoiler: Status
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    HPs: 95; AC: 21 FF/Touch: 16/16
    F +12 R +16 W +9
    Skills: Listen/Spot/Search +19 Move Silently/Hide +21 Tumble +35 D Device +21
    Spells (4/6/6/4/2/2) 0: create water, guidance, mending, light
    1: detect fav enemies, gravity bow, embrace the wild, hunter's mercy, sniper’s shot, surefooted stride
    2: fell the greatest foes, invisibility, invisibility, swift haste, swift haste, exacting shot
    3: decoy image, find the gap, find the gap, foebane
    4: aspect of earth hunter, deeper darkvision
    5: summon nature’s ally V, summon nature’s ally V
    Javelins (+22, 1d4+2 / +23, 1d4+3 w/in 30', bane vs undead)
    Items: 1/1 Laughing Rogue; 1/2 Quicksilver Boots; 1/2 Horizon Walker
    Effects: +10 Tumbling; deeper Darkvision (120’, 7 hours); Heroes Feast (+1 attack, immune poison/fear)
    Life is ... life. As always bot/cut as necessary.
    DM: "Why do you have so many characters?"
    Me: "Because I never embraced the strategic value of running away."


    Fare thee well, N_R ... you will missed!y

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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Zarina

    Once bathed and changed into a spare set of plan, if well made, servant's clothes Zarina happily joined the others in the bustling common room of the Inn. The burns from acid and fire that had been force healed still left faint red patches on her pale skin and to those with a keen eye (mainly Mirriana and Lan) there was still a slight tremble to her hands as she tried to come to terms with the previous days events at the massive spire.

    Still she was happy to sit with the others, drinking sparingly but eating hungrily and smiling at the compliments and adulation that the party were receiving from the rest of the Inn. Many of whom were trying to persuade one of you to spin the ballad of the Spire of Long Shadows to them so they could hear of what had transpired. THe crowd goes soon filling the ground flor of the Inn as they are wowed by Mirriana's descriptions of the things they had seen and faced. A few shouts from the crowd of "What else is there" "I'll go and see this broken ring me-self..."
    She glances at Lan during the meal with a faint smile, "Its nice to be somewhere safe," she murmurs, as she pats her waist and arms absent mindedly, both feeling strange without the weight of the metal dastana or a sword belt. "What do you think will happen now?" she asks the others, nodding to Celeste as well with a smile.

    Celeste shrugs, answering first from where she is sat "I am not sure. Certainly if you did not the trail of Bakalarde and have confirmed that Kyuss's comings are real then it is more pressing. I know my Master, and I suppose, your master, was in the Free City to consult the Council so will have news of what to do next. I had heard him speak of powerful sorceress named Lashona. She is said to reside in Alhaster and is a friend of Prince Zeech." Her face twists in distaste as she mentions the oppressive city, the most stable of the Bandit Kingdoms.

    Spoiler: Alhaster Common Knowledge
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    Alhaster is the largest and most prosperous city of the Bandit Kingdoms, a collection of warring city-states located in the devastated region on the north side of the Nyr Dyv. It had been a completely lawless place until it was taken over by a fallen paladin named Prince Zeech and his fallen angel cronies, about eighteen years ago, and now it is a shining beacon of order, safety, cleanliness, and oppression. It is also the major port city for a large swath of land, controlling everything that goes in or Bandit Kingdoms. It is under constant attack, but the insane despot Zeech has many powerful allies, including, it is rumored, a black dragon



    Shrugging she looks at you, "I would except if Master Manzorian has no more news of Bakalarde he may ask you to speak with Lashona. From what you have said of Kyuss, and the great red dragon that carried away part of the spire she may be well placed to help. I know of her works as a sage on the various aspects of dragon kind."

    --

    Any further musings are interrupted as Talsien enters and Zarina leaps to her feet with the others. "Master Talsien, it is wonderful to see you. We could have done with your help where we have been walking in the dark shadowy places of the realms. Come, sit and drink with us and tell us of what you've been doing.".
    Last edited by DrK; 2021-01-17 at 12:48 PM.
    Thanks to Emperor Ing for the nice Avatar

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    Mirriana

    "Lashona... Friend of Zeech..." I muse. "Who was the woman who accompanied Zeech at the games? Was it her?" I ask.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Merrick

    If I recall correctly, Zeech was a guest of Raknian. I don’t believe we will be warmly received.

    But infiltrating a city of blackguards and fallen angels seemed downright civilized after the previous day’s soujourn. Oppressive cultures always made for vibrant black markets if nothing else.

    But that would wait for another day. It was time to study his newly won spell book and see if there was anything new he could craft for his companions.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbin View Post
    Once the ‘man’ walked in, Lan sauntered over and looked him up and down before offering his hand. ”Bout time you came back. Probably should have stuck to more legs.”
    It feels so weak and vulnerable, friend Lan. I do not know how the rest of you can stand it. Tal tries not to look around nervously, concerned that anyone who wants to could stick a knife in his vital organs, and he could not simply move them out of the way!

    Remembering to use his words, he opens his mouth, "H-hello. I-it is good to find you again!"

    He sits with the others, listening to word of their adventures in his absence, regretting he was not with them, grateful they somehow came through anyway. Clearly, I am sorely needed. They have survived only by great luck! I must not leave them alone again. You were utterly superfluous. They neither needed nor missed you. They have already learned to replace you. I am super, yes! That is why they need me so much! He briefly summarizes his own mission: sent by the pack elders to help a tribe of centaurs in the Bright Desert, only to discover they were being menaced by another branch of the Ebon Triad. They had some useful tricks to teach, as well.

    He listens intently to Celeste. So we will seek this Lashona in Alhaster? It will be good to get out of town and back to four legs again. The way things should be. With his friends.
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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    The evening passes peacefully, and, as the small community rises you find yourself in the private dining room on the second floor of the All Seeing Eye. Celeste has provided an impressive spread and fruits, breads, meat and cheese liberally cover the table along with a pair of steaming jugs, one with a local peppermint and liquorice root tea, the other other dark bitter kaf from far off Al Qaudim.

    As you seat yourself Manzorian himself enters, the mage with thin bearded face and voluminous robes and settles down as the second man, your old friend Allustan (and Manzorian's student) arrives and help himself to a steaming mug of kaf and large icing covered pastry, pausing to greet Talsien warmly. Manzorian leans back in his chair pulling forth a plain wooden pipe from his robes before with a flick of his finger it lights with a puff of purple flames. Puffing slowly, a trio of smoke squares flying up and above your heads as he waves you to your seats. "I am most concerned about these visions and these dark prophecies."

    A hand rubbing lined eyebrows he sighs heavily. "Maybe this explains with information I was able to unearth continuing my research into that rogue Balakarde. I do not believe he ever went to the Spire. I know him, he would not have left such a creature in its state of undeath. Though I am impressed with your prowess in destroying such a threat and destroying the seat of Kyuss's power." He takes a sip. "Balakarde is ever troublesome and I believe he journeyed east towards Alhaster, seeking a powerful witch and noblewoman named Lashonna. I believe he suspected that he she knew much of the rise of the Worm God..."

    Sighing he pauses and clarifies his words, a ruefule shake of the head suggestive of a long friendship with Balakarde. "No. Balakarde is many things. Strange, eccentric, unpredictable but never evil. As for Lashonna, I am not sure. She is a Lady shrouded in mystery in the upper circles of Alhaster. She must also be a practitioner of some power as my divinations have not yielded much information. Would you be willing to head to Alhaster and see what you can find out about either this mysterious Lady Lashonna or Balakarde?
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Landahl Snowstrider, Halfling scout

    Lan seemed to become a little more talkative with the arrival of Tal, which is to say he offered more than single word answers and grunts to the others. To Zarina he shrugged at her comments of safety, glancing down at his pack nearby and the weapons he still wore. ”Safety, like peace, is an illusion, Milady. You only think you have it after your’ em fought and clawed for it.” He paused for a moment, then gave her a faint, sheepish smile. ”But I do appreciate the down moments ... especially when the company is nice.” Did the halfling blush, or the as it just the warmth of the room and the kaf?

    During the ‘debrief’ to Manzorian and Alluster, he only spoke to add any things the others might miss. At the archmage’s question, he snorted aloud. ”I think we’re beyond asking if we’ll go. Real questions - how much time do we have? Have the omens come true? Who is making them happen? I know we’ve stopped some and still they keep happening.

    And do you have anything to help us? We’re running pretty lean on resources for acting as your hatchet men ... or envoys.”


    2200 doesn’t help with anything yet, so we’ll wait. But if we get any gifts, Lan could use a Dex item. Or something to increase my uses of travel domain.

    Also, did the knowledge checks get any additional info? I think I missed that post ...

    Spoiler: Status
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    HPs: 95; AC: 21 FF/Touch: 16/16
    F +16 R +20 W +13
    Skills: Listen/Spot/Search +19 Move Silently/Hide +21 Tumble +35 D Device +21
    Spells (4/6/6/4/2/2) 0: create water, guidance, mending, light
    1: detect fav enemies, gravity bow, embrace the wild, hunter's mercy, sniper’s shot, surefooted stride
    2: fell the greatest foes, invisibility, invisibility, swift haste, swift haste, exacting shot
    3: decoy image, find the gap, find the gap, foebane
    4: aspect of earth hunter, deeper darkvision
    5: summon nature’s ally V, summon nature’s ally V
    Javelins (+22, 1d4+2 / +23, 1d4+3 w/in 30', bane vs undead)
    Items: 1/1 Laughing Rogue; 1/2 Quicksilver Boots; 1/2 Horizon Walker
    Effects: +10 Tumbling; deeper Darkvision (120’, 7 hours)
    Last edited by Starbin; 2021-01-31 at 03:07 PM.
    Life is ... life. As always bot/cut as necessary.
    DM: "Why do you have so many characters?"
    Me: "Because I never embraced the strategic value of running away."


    Fare thee well, N_R ... you will missed!y

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Mirriana

    "Thank you Celeste, the food is wonderful," I praise my partner with a kiss before focussing on the briefing.

    "Well we haven't come this far to not pursue this to the end," I agree with Lan. "We'll go to Alhaster and see what we can learn from Lashonna. And if Raknian did flee to Alhaster to take refuge with Zeech it might be worth checking on him as well. Alhaster is a city and he's the only champion of the pit we know with a desire to gift a city to the dead."
    Last edited by RCgothic; 2021-01-24 at 06:49 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Merrick

    The problem with fighting a prophecy is wondering if every choice we make further serves its coming to pass,” Merrick says.

    If we destroy enough of Kyuss’s followers, then there’ll be no one left to usher in the Age. Let’s go and meet Lashonna, and continue with our standard policy vis undead worm worshipers.
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    Manzorian looks at Lan with a wan smile. "Surely you are happy to prevent a Kyuss related apocalypse. But if there are some things you would need than please ask. I shall see what we have here in Magepoint if things can be of assistance". Looking back up at the others he asks a few questions of a servant who then returns with a much worn map of the city of Alhaster, the one of the capital cities of the Bandit Kingdoms.

    "As I said" Manzorian continues, with a nod from Allustan, "Alhasters is the seat of Prince Zeech. He is the Prince of Redhand, but owes much of his power to the church of Hextor and the Hextorites are the dominant force within the city." He pauses looking at the three woman opposite him (Zarina, Mirriana and Elkist). "It may be wise to hide some your affiliations in the city to avoid undue attention. It is strange though, the Grand Project, the massive ziggurat that he has been constructing now for some years. the beginning of this have happened around the same time that first rumours of the Ebon Triad surface near Diamond Lake and that Marzena began to have her troubles on the border forts. "



    It is interesting though. Balakarde has had many thoughts on the rise of Kyuss' powers, some that we are concerned with as well. He thought there may be a connection with the Cult of the Ebon Triad, the heretics that you faced under the mines under Diamond Lake who seek to combine HExtor, Vencan and Erythnul into an all powerful Overgod. Certainly if the rumours have been true there have been near weekly executions in Alhaster of Ebon Triad Cultits accused of heresy to Hextor"

    As he pauses Allustan picks up the story. "Since you saved me and I retreated here I have been going through research on Kyuss. Certainly a demi-god of ancient power he has many followers. But with the stories you have told me of the visions in the Spire it seems that you have connected two of them. The red dragon you saw I suspect was Dragotha. A name now synonymous with death. It seems that this undead Drgaon may be one of the Worm God's most powerful allies/followers. I and Celeste," he offers with a nod at the beautiful mage now sat by Mirriana, a hand resting on Mirriana's arm smiles back, "Have done much research. The most useful was an ancient tome, one called the "History of Alhaster written some 20 years ago by a cleric named Rhorsk. Only 2 years before Prince Zeech seized power."

    "In the book Rhorsk speaks of a power struggle within the Cult of Hextor between the main body of the church and a cabal of Hextorian heretics who, if the books is to be believed, were perverting the faith and mingling it with "lesser" faiths to try and achieve some of of ascension of Hextor above the gods."
    He pauses or a sip of wine and to blow a wide smoke ring from his pipe and Celeste continues

    "Rhorsk wrote that Zeech and the church shattered the cultists power. He had the aid of a black dragon and a powerful elven mage named Lashonna..." she winks at the party, "Not a coincidence I feel that this Lashonna should be sought by Balakarde and that you may have faced this Dragon in revenge for interfering with Raknian's plot. Many things point to a confluence of events with Alhaster and all involved in the coming darkness."

    As they finish Manzorian orders more food and looks down at the map. "If you wish I can transport you the road near Alhaster whenever you are ready. But I would not tarry for too long. I can feel something nagging at me and something bad is happening. Let me know if you wish any supplies or equipment for your trip to Alhaster."
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Zarina

    Zarina at ease wit hthe others looks to the mages and nods solemnly. "I will do what I can. When the others are rested I believe I will be ready to travel. I agree that there is not much time waste, although," she says, a hand stroking the medallion of Heronious around her neck. "I am not happy about having to go undercover into this oppressed den of trouble."

    Looking at Mirriana for agreement she waits to see what the cleric has to say. But is clearly ready to go


    Spoiler: OOC
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    Zarina "Brightblade"
    M LG Human Warblade/Ftr/Wiz/S.Sword/Abj.Champ/ JPM 1, Level 1/1/4/1/4/ 4 (15), Init 2,
    HP 125/125 +24
    AC 19, Touch 12, Flat-footed 17, : +12 to AC/FFooted (G.Luminous)
    Fort 14, Ref 11, Will 8, : +6 to all
    Base Attack Bonus 13/7/2
    Fullblade +1 +16/11/6 (2d8+4, 19-20)
    MW Comp (+2) Longbow (20, 20 cold iron, 10 silver) +16/11/6 (1d8+2, X3)
    Sword Aqaa (thundering +2 sword) +17/12/7 (1d12+5(+1d6 vs undead) , 18-20
    3x Capsule: oleum, A Fire, L.Ember), Wand Chamber (Heroics): Least true death xtal (+1d6 vs undead) (+1d8 on Crit, + Hurricane Wind, + Synergy w/Lightning Sword) [

    Lesser crystal of life keeping (+3 vs Death effects, Energy drain, Inflict) Gith craft Mithril Chain Shirt +1, Stacks with armour: Least crystal of Arrow Deflection (+2 AC vs ranged) Dastana +1 (+7 Armor, +2 Dex)
    Abilities Str 15, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 6, Cha 11
    Condition

    Greater Luminous Armour (-4 to hit, +12AC) 24 hours
    Superior Resistance 24 hours (+6 to all saves)
    Heart Earth (+8 vs Trip/Bullrush, +24 Temp HPs, Light fortification) 12 hour
    Heart of Air (+10ft Jump) 12 hours

    Xtal: +3 vs Death/Negative energy effects
    Rite: +2 Saves vs Death / Fear
    AC: 12 arm +8 shield +3 dex+2 dodge = 35

    Abilities
    Stance: Leading the Charge (+10 damage)
    [Ready] Moment Perfect Mind (Ctr)
    [Ready] Divine Surge (strike)
    [Ready] Searing strike (boost)



    Thanks to Emperor Ing for the nice Avatar

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    "If we're going investigating in a hostile city I'd like to make a few modifications to my armor to make it less obvious," I reply, self-consciously touching the chain of my original holy symbol still hanging from my neck, since augmented with an amulet of Natural Armour.

    "At least Alhaster should be a less abominable destination than Kuluth-Mar," I say to Zarina by way of encouragement.

    "I require two days to fully replenish our Spellcasting potential with Mnemonic Enhancer and Confer Spell Ability. The armour modifications may take two to four days, if Merrick can work on both items at once. If I could impose on you for a Belt of Giant Strength and a Vest of Health that would be much appreciated. Once those preparations are done I'll be ready to leave immediately, if the others are."

    We never have long enough, I think resignedly to Celeste, giving her hand a subtle squeeze.

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    The two days pass quickly! Zarina and Merrick spend much of their time in the study of the Inn poring over magical scrolls and books or magical lore as they seek new and interesting arcane power. Lan is free to relax and enjoy fine food and wine as is Elkist and Talsien. Mirriana spends most her free time in seclusion with Celeste, as the latter shows her the town of Magepoint, boats in the shimmering lake and walk around the nicely forested slopes that house several quaint cottages and small holdings belonging to retired adventurers, some with a variety of highly exotic plants or animals....

    In the morning of the next day there is a knock on the study door as Allustan enters bearing a great package floating on a tenser's disc behind him. He sees Merrick and smiles. "Master Merrick, one who has truly mastered the arcane arts now..." his oice sounds wistful as you realise that all of you have now eclipsed the mage of Diamond Lake that once seemed so powerful to you. As he pulls off the cover you see the now silvered and polished skull of Ilthane the Black! "An impressive bauble Merrick. It would look good on a house in the village if you would retire here..."
    Shortly after the mad anima mage incants and is able to draw forth shadows of Ilthane's soul, the dragon hissing and and snarling angrily. WIth the skull old and encased in metal its hard to wring sense from the beast but you do manage to pull forth that she had a brood, a brood that will still be in her lair and the impression of swamps and graves that you realise may be in the "Traitor's Graves" the swamp and disease ridden graveyard in the bogs at the mouth of the Eel river (#39).

    ---

    As the third morning dawns you assemble in the village square, each rested and ready for war, armour and clothes laundered and cleaned, crowns, diadems, amulets and magical weapons gleaming in the morning light as your are met by the imposing and serious looking Manzorian. "Blessings of Mystara and the whole pantheon upon you. Eligos has felt the Gods trembling at the what is coming so its imperative you can seek out Lashonna and find of what she knows" He waves a hand and a swirling portal opens before you and you can all the city ahead of you. The walls high and pointed and a huge ziggurat in view dominating the skyline. Even from here you can see the "winged maidens", devils, flitting above the walls and every 50 paces or so ion cages hang from the walls, some occupied, some not by the unfortunate who break the rules of the Prince of Redhand!



    With the road a few miles awya its an easy walk down the slope to join the queue of slow moving carts and wandering merchants and farmers heading towards the well guarded gates....
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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Merrick

    Having coaxed as much he can from the dragon, Merrick casts the shrink item scroll and stuffs it in his Bag of Holding.

    "More of the foul beasts to join their mother in Gehenna," he muses. Forewarned, he sets about preparing his spells for the journey.

    After a few hours of rest and research, he readies his summoning circles to bind his vestiges for the day. Moving to city ruled by evil and enforced by devils, Acererak and Zceryll would not serve his needs. Whispering an apology to his boon companions, he begins his rituals...

    "Astaroth! Great Teacher of Man, O Prideful One! I demand you make you knowledge mine! Steal fire from the Gods and gift it unto me!"

    Spoiler: Binding Check 1
    Show
    (1d20+17)[30]


    A foul, unwashed sdour emits from Merrick's yellowing skin, but it is a small price to pay for the secrets of this most proud of angels...

    First ritual completed, he steps out into the town proper and draws a new circle in a secluded urban greenspace. He frees his mind for the next battle of wills.

    "Buer! Grandmother Huntress!! Favour me now..!

    Spoiler: Binding Check 2
    Show
    (1d20+17)[21]


    Merrick's boots slip off his now-cloven hooves. Her rather... goatish aroma inspires him further. Using his shapesand, he fashions a headdress resembling a pair of ram's horns to complete the satyrish theme.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2021-02-09 at 08:48 PM.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Mirriana

    A break from the hectic pace of adventuring feels good for the soul, even if it's just for a few days. Rested and relaxed and garbed in far more comfortable clothes than usual (my armour and shield with their new calling enchantments stashed safely in my Haversack), I'm in a better mood than I can remember as we gather in the village square in the morning sun. My Sacred Auran longsword still hangs at my belt, but it's so finely crafted it almost looks ornamental.

    "Yes, we should definitely drop by Ilthane's brood whilst we're in Alhaster to make sure none of them cause trouble in future," I agree with Merrick. "But I don't think that's our top priority. Maybe if we have some spare time whilst we're there."

    I thank Manzorian and Allustan for their aid, and kiss Celeste a quick peck of farewell and a squeeze of her hand. Love you! Stay out of trouble while I'm gone! I send affectionately, fully aware she can take care of herself.

    With farewells done, I pass through the portal and begin the walk to the city.

    "At least with horns and hoofs you ought to fit right in," I comment to Merrick along the way.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Merrick

    "My thoughts exactly. Devilish authorities may be more amenable to a tiefling scholar than to steel-clad champions of goodness."

    Upon arrival, Merrick begins to reconnoiter the city subtly (or what he hopes is subtle; in his months since being incercerated by the shifters in the Free City he has forgotten how the common people interact).

    Spoiler: Rolls of Lore and Legend
    Show
    Bardic Knowledge from Astaroth - What do we know of the environs and Zeech itself?
    (1d20+19)[26]
    Gather Information:
    Have old enemies arrived here? (1d20+4)[6]
    Is there any indication anyone expects us? (1d20+4)[10]
    Who and where is Lashonna? (1d20+4)[15]
    Whither Traitor's Grave? (1d20+4)[5]


    It seems his efforts alienate the locals. Perhaps the smell..?
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2021-02-10 at 12:57 PM.
    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. A resource for all to enjoy! (Now archived)

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: DrK's Age of Worms IC pt4

    Taliesn tags along with Merrick — Best to make sure the squishy ones don’t get into any trouble. At the rate the wizard is transforming, any day now, Tal expects him to start going around on all fours, like decent folk.

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    Tal has no skills to contribute and prefers keeping “silent” around these potentially-hostile strangers. Thanks to his Incarnate levels, he does carry a good aura, which won’t endear him to the natives with detection abilities.
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