Session 10 Summary

July 25th, 2009

Heroes: Rhinox, Dashiell, Thorgan, Goli, Persephone, Lysandros and Laertes joined later.

After an extensive rest, the party decided to continue their journey. They headed down the path to find some answers about a great many things. Why did Skulldrop get attacked? Who brought the goblins together for the assault? How and why are the mages of the Skull Tower involved? Hopefully these questions can be answered once they found what lies at the base of the blue beacon they are currently seeking.

Coming down the rough path which appears to be much more prominent than anything on the southern side, they round the bend to the magnificent sight of the valley below. Amidst the rocky peaks of the Skeldon Mountains, the near lifeless peaks of rock and stone, they come to a plush valley teaming with vegetation. In the center of the rich green meadow is a grand monastery known as Galaedar, a school for the divine. The path leads straight to the front door of the structure.

Standing high on the path the party of adventurers see no opposition, they stride forward to the entrance. Upon reaching the base of the valley the ground in front of the monastery starts to churn and a horde of insects burst forth. The tiny creatures writhe and swirl upward as they coalesce into a creature of human shape. Ephyrrus the Avatar of Pestilence stood before them barring their way to their goal. The human stood with yellowed, disease ridden skin pocked with boils and skin lesions. He gave the party a single warning to leave, they did not heed it.

The Avatar entered battle by calling upon his minions. Insects from small to giant size burrowed up to the surface to aid their master, disease ridden and poisonous, they lunged at the heroes. Giant rats burst from the ground to assault the adventurers followed by swarms of normal sized cousins. They too spread disease for their master.

The heroes fought bravely, filled with the courage of their past accomplishments but that did not help them against this Avatar of filth. It turned out to be their most hair-raising battle to date. Strike after strike, block after block, they could not gain the upper hand against these disease filled creatures decay. The Avatar stood back throwing swarms of insects time and again, immobilizing their target. The beetles and scarabs would spray their filth over the heroes or grab them with jaws of iron. The swarms of rats kept several adventurers busy through most of the battle, while the hunter was poisoned and immobilized still in his original hiding place. The hunter finally fell, overcome by the poison racing through his veins. In the midst of the battle the warden could no longer dodge the attacks of all those around him. He finally succumbs to the onslaught of his attackers.

The heroes finally decided on a retreat action when they caught a break. Persephone’s companion attacks from the spirit world and with a couple key strokes more of their adversaries fall. During their retreat they learned the Avatar was limited to how far out he could go. This gave the adventurers a small advantage. While trying to defend their fallen comrades the heroes renew their attack on the Avatar. Rhinox was lying unconscious, maybe dying, Goli was in a similar situation. The dwarven defender, Thorgan, was laid low but was stable. The party was at half capacity but they could not give up. The answers were in that monastery and the Avatar was between them. Through perseverance, and lets face just dumb luck, the Avatar fell to a swarm of insects which dispersed and was no longer a threat. Against incredible odds the heroes proved themselves worthy of the title once again. It was of course a hollow victory. Two of their comrades fell, making the long journey to their final resting place. They will meet the Raven Queen earlier than expected. Rhinox and Goli died on the battlefield; a tragic loss to the group and the first fatality of this brave adventuring party.

Even though the Avatar was defeated, the party only scraped out the win. They were all beaten and battered and were in desperate need of rest. They retreated back to the campsite up the path. There they found plenty of supplies to get a good nights rest and restock their packs. In the morning the realization hit them. Rhinox and Goli, two comrades-in-arms, were dead and would not be traveling on, but the task was not complete. They had to continue their journey without their friends. The gods did shine upon them it seemed, they would not be going to the monastery underpowered. Travelers came down the path from the Skeldon Pass. Adventurers they announced themselves as, honorable warriors that may be able to lend a hand with this difficult quest. Drakkus was a dragonborn and a divine warrior and his companion was a bard. They agreed to join this adventuring band and help solve this mystery.

The heroes, along with their two new allies, descended the path once again toward the monastery. This time there was no opposition. They threw open the doors and entered the magnificent structure, a structure dedicated to the worship of all the heroes by the ankh symbol at its peak outside. The monastery was decorated with the general worship of the Legendary Heroes in mind. There was no specific deity with more prestige than another, they were all depicted equally.

From the main hall they turned left, a bit of a habit, and entered a room decorated as a study. Though the soldiers inside did not have reading in mind. These soldiers were part of the strange group marked by the compass; they all had badges and markings that matched the pattern of the compass. The adventurers decided to try a diplomatic approach. They told the soldiers they were new recruits and it appeared as though they believed them to be. The adventuring band was instructed to leave the study and turn left, the Avatar known as Dighton would handle their initiation. To avoid this confrontation they did as they were told.

The party left the soldiers alone and headed in the direction they were given. The double doors opened into a large chamber with a half circle design at the back. In the center of the half circle was a raging bonfire of blue flames rising to the ceiling almost 30 feet above. This was the beacon that lured them here. This was the strange blue flame they saw rising into the sky from miles to the south.

Kneeling before the blue flame was a warrior of some considerable size. He was only partly dressed, his upper half was bare. He wore the lower portion of hide armor but his torso was bare flesh showing off his scarred and mangled skin. He was bald with his left eye socket being lidless showing a yellow eye with a red iris. The flesh on his face was torn away from the left side of his mouth. It gave him a permanent wicked looking grin. He hefted his maul as he rose from the floor. He explained to the newcomers he was Dighton the Avatar of Rage, and he had no need for recruits.

More of the rage filled warriors came to the aid of the Avatar and they initiated battle with the heroes. Dighton proved to be very skillful with his maul in hand, but the party focused their attention on him, fearing he would be the most dangerous. Once he fell, the others tried to flee. The heroes were able to finish off three more but the last one was able to make to the beacon and apparently disappeared while inside it.

The plot thickens with the addition of these strange Avatars. Who are they? What are they? They appear to have abilities beyond the normal allies who fight beside them. More importantly, why are they here and what do they want with Skulldrop Fort? This quest has not seen its end; their search is not yet over. More needs to be uncovered, more answers need to be found.

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