Session 23 Summary

December 5th, 2009

Heroes: Bagheera, Prometheus, Mariska, Staephon, Kebi Dabu, Dashiell, Rhinox, Donner, and Thorgan; and introducing Allesio

Game Date: Morsdain, Oldsky 4, AD1017

The time: early morning. The place: Skulldrop cemetery. The ceremony was short but memorable. A comrade has been laid to rest this day. The dwarf named Kairn has returned to the earth and now walks the golden halls of Moradin; a toast to his honor and memory.

It is now time to speak with the representative from AEHG, Tavelina. Following the instructions given to them almost 2 weeks prior, the group heads to the AEHG Manor. They were greeted at the door by the butler and escorted to a sitting room where several individuals were waiting for their arrival. At first it was believed these people were members of AEHG, but several members of the party started to have doubts by the behavior. These people did not seem too interested in hearing what the party found down in the ruins. Though the leader they had been talking to did perk up when there was mention of Primordials and specific information on a group known as the Arcanists.

The conversation shifted when the heroes asked to speak with the liaison they spoken to before; the lady known as Tavelina. The tarp was pulled away from what was thought to be a statue over the mantle of the fireplace. In reality it was in fact the lady Tavelina. She was tied upside down with her arms stretched out. She wasn’t even recognizable, she had been skinned from the face down to her waste; that part of the body bare for all to see the gruesome deed. Dashiell recognized a scarred individual as an Enigma of Vecna and realized all these men were cult followers; both sides launched into a bloody confrontation.

Dashiell, the follower of Ioun, has been hunting down the Cult of Vecna for some time now, but he had never crossed a force of Vecna’s like this before. This was an elite fighting group from the Cult, and very deadly. The battle was long and brutal, and the heroes learned exactly how deadly the Cult of Vecna could be, one of their own fell in the battle. The participants in the fight were spread out and Bagheera fell to an attack. It was a mortal wound and the archer known as Mariska was just seconds too late; his wounds became fatal and he died on the floor of the Manor. The heroes were eventually victorious, but not before a great blow had been struck to the group.

Like the good friends they had become over the last few weeks, a fund was put together and taken to the Light of Kings temple. They spoke to the dragonborn priest, Haddragon and paid to have his spirit brought back to the land of the living. In the morning the group had learned Bagheera had become one with Nature and would not be returning.

Two memorial services were held in about that many days. Two comrades had fallen to the forces the heroes have been trying to beat back. It has been dire days indeed. Strangely enough, Kebi Dabu performed the sermon speaking of Bagheera’s good deeds and good nature. After the druid had been given back to the earth, the team gathered at the local tavern and had yet another toast for a lost friend.

It was time to put their minds upon something else, something to concentrate on. Too many deaths too close to home, too close for comfort. Even the immortal in the party can feel the breath of mortality on the back of his neck. The group decided to look into this problem with the orcs and the dragon. They already knew the orcs are far from their homeland, originating with the dwarves on Jerhelheim Island.

Though Bagheera will be impossible to replace, the group had found a new friend amid the patrons of the tavern where they were honoring their fallen. When they thought they had gone their separate ways and would never see him again, he reappeared in the Light of Kings Temple of Pelor. It was not quite clear why he decided to follow them, but Allesio the cleric was welcomed into the party.

They scoured the city looking for clues and answers to a lot of questions. They learned that there used to be an ancient blue dragon known as Gargithra that terrorized this region from a lair far to the north, deep in the mountains of the Skull of Eridus. They learned that the dragon that attacked the Keep was not Gargithra, it was a smaller blue dragon known as Minaxerate, a possible offspring of the ancient blue. They still did not have a location for the smaller dragon’s lair so they dug deeper.

The heroes learned that blue dragons favor the coastlines and high mountain peaks, but mostly they like to feel the cool air and the mist of water as the tides crash against the shore. The group learned of a mountain to the east called the Dagger of Stars, said to be the tallest mountain on the eastern shore of the Jagged Plains. Long ago a keep had been built up there, possibly by a giant that could control the storms. The Keep of Sea and Sky was an ancient observatory from back before the nomads came to Eridus. An earthquake that swept through the land could have destroyed the keep, but it was their only lead. The Keep of Sea and Sky rests near the peak of the Dagger of Stars facing the Eastern Sea.

The group set out immediately for the mountains. They gathered the provisions they needed and the tools for the job and began their journey while there was light still in the day. The hills are becoming easier to travel for the party; they have spent much of their time together traveling back and forth through them. Now they were at the base of the Dagger of Stars, one of the most deadly mountains in the Skull of Eridus. It would be one more hurtle to jump.

The climb up the mountain was long and tiring. The mountain was relentless, deadly to any that took her lightly. There was no place to rest and for five days they trudged on, fatigue nipping at their heels. Finally the end was in sight. A road was said to have been carved into the mountain, but it was all but destroyed during the quake. The rumors were true, parts of the road still existed, albeit at the top of the mountain. They could see a slight reprieve in their arduous climb upward.

The heroes finally made their first goal. They reached the road near the peak. They could finally rest, a rest very badly needed. In the morning of the sixth day the party continued their climb. Only this time they had a road to follow. The road started to lead around the mountain to what is known as the front facing the Sea. Once again they learned nothing is easy for heroes. The road was broken into pieces. They would have to climb once again to the next part of the road.

The group got out their climbing gear and spliced rope together and tied each other off. They were now connected, 10 feet of rope between each of them. Thorgan was confident in the newcomer’s abilities; Donner was big, even for a goliath. The race was known for their climbing abilities and so Donner took the lead. The climb was slow once again but they were making headway. Their destination was still in sight and they were a third of the way there already.

Shadows flying around the peak of the mountain began to descend. An alluring melody could be heard preceding the arrival of these avian creatures. They had a female visage mixed with the form of a bird. They were known as harpies. They descended upon the group while they were in a vulnerable position, they were stuck climbing the mountain. The area was riddled with small ledges the heroes could try to climb to, but even they proved to be working against them. The ledges were weak juts of earth and could collapse with excessive movement or force.

The harpies were hungry for the flesh of the heroes. They used their songs to lure the party closer, pulling them into their deadly grip. After a long battle, quite possibly the scariest one of their career, the last of the harpies fell. Teamwork, strength of friendship, and an undying survival instinct got the heroes through another harrowing challenge.

What else lies in wait on the mountain for the heroes to come? Was the climb the hardest challenge? Was the harpies? It is safe to say the worst is yet to come. They heroes have become hunters, and they hunt one of the deadliest prey on Awlidan. They hunt a highly intelligent and cunning beast. They are on the hunt for their first… Dragon!

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