Session 33 Summary

February 27th, 2010

Heroes: Prometheus, Mariska, Thorgan, Kebi Dabu, Lysandros, Donner, Allesio, Rhinox, and Dashiell. Kebi Dabu, Lysandros, and Dashiell left early.

Game Date: Farsdain, Whitesky 12, AD1017

The adventurers are on a mission to free the innocent wizards, scholars, and sages of the Skull Tower. They are currently held prisoner under the Fort of Skulldrop; accused of treason and awaiting their punishment. The party has learned that only 5 of the wizards; not including the Ritual Master Jafnar, are actually part of an organization called the Varrikai. The Varrikai deal in many illegal activities, but their main cause is the utter elimination of the Royal Family of Mentiel. After days of searching for the Varrikai, the heroes believe they have found their Skulldrop headquarters and may have even tracked down Zeitvor Varkis himself.

The group just finished a drawn out battle with a different Varkis, Jeremiah Varkis. Jeremiah was the Commander of the troops here in Skulldrop but he has lived his final day here in this complex. He was a tough opponent, but in the end the skill and numbers of the heroes prevailed and he met his end by their hand.

Searching the rest of this level of the complex the group found Jeremiah’s room as well as the Varrikai War Room. Between the two rooms the adventurers learned a great deal about the real goal of the Varrikai, unfortunately they also unearthed a new mystery. The Varrikai had detailed plans for several targets in Eluren, the Capital, as well as one specific target in Skulldrop. Not only did they want to eliminate the Rathhardtsen family, the Royal Family, but they wanted to discredit Maranaren, the First Advisor here in Skulldrop. The heroes also learned one peculiar bit of information. The organization has been moving members out of Skulldrop and hiring thugs and bandits to take their place.

The adventurers moved on to the next level of the Varrikai headquarters. They found a large room with a large table in its center. Two tapestries hung on the wall depicting the VK symbol of the Varrikai. Statues adorned the room. When the group did a thorough search they found the room was heavily protected by powerful runic circles drawn behind the tapestries. When Thorgan decided to move on and opened a door leading out of the room, the heroes also learned the statues were not merely for show.

Most of the statues in the room came to life and attacked the party. It seemed as though this area was heavily protected in other ways as well. Jafnar’s specialty was designing automatons and performing rituals. The heroes have been getting first had experience of his expertise. Several of the party members were pummeled to unconsciousness, keeping the leaders of the group busy with their healing abilities. Rhinox was badly infected with a power from one of Jafnar’s creations and made it difficult for his teammates to wake him. He was teetering on the brink of death for most of the fight. Luckily for the group, automatons are mindless and the heroes’ superior tactics prevailed against the creatures.

When the battle was over it was time to check out the doors leading off of this meeting hall. After a short hallway, the passage led to a moderate bedchamber. The furnishings of the chamber were very elaborate, each piece crafted by a master craftsman. As the rest of the group searched the room, Thorgan fixated on the chest at the end of the bed. The room did not looked to be lived in and it was not locked, so he threw it open. Immediately the room was filled with a chalky smoke. The heroes began to gag and choke as they felt their throats begin to close up. Those that were not affected were able to help those that were, everyone recovered.

The group headed to the next room with caution, Dashiell did his best to search for any more hidden traps. They moved into the next room and it was nearly identical to the one they left behind. Thorgan and Dashiell checked out the chest in the room and found nothing. The eager dwarf threw it open like the last one. Once again the party found themselves choking on a white powdered chalk substance. They were able to escape yet another devastating trap so they decided to leave the rest of the rooms alone. It was speculated that these rooms were used when members of the Varkis family came for a visit. Luckily for the family, they were not here at this time.

It took everything the group had to finish off the constructs. It was necessary to rest afterwards. They trekked back up to the two barracks they passed near the entrance and decided to rest there. As they adventured through the complex they left nothing lingering behind them. They were able to rest at least someone peacefully and regain their strength.

The group continued on down through the complex and they finally reached the last level, and their quarry. The stairway led to one more level and the entire level was dedicated to one person. The heroes found Jafnar’s sanctuary, Zeitvor Varkis’ home. It was quickly obvious this was Jafnar’s laboratory as well as his sanctum. The large table was filled with things dedicated to rituals and study. The far corner of the room from the entrance was solely dedicated to his magic circle. A podium held a large tome in front of the magic circle while another, smaller book set open on the table. The owner of the sanctum was also present in the room.

The heroes were in no mood to drag this out; they made one attempt to get Jafnar to surrender but the Ritual Master refused. This confrontation was not going to be that easy. Immediately the fight began. Jafnar activated his sanctum constructs as he teleported back to the circle and quickly summoned more help. With a simple spell Jafnar summoned hound constructs to guard him. Thorgan rushed forward to confront the wizard while the rest of the party battled the constructs. Between the guardian hounds and Jafnar’s force powers, Thorgan had a difficult time pinning down the wizard long enough to fight him. The wizard could summon the power to appear anywhere in the room, and he used it well against the dwarf.

The best the dwarf could do was to keep the wizard busy while the rest of the team finishes off the constructs. It was a sound plan, even if it wasn’t what Thorgan had in mind. Donner and Rhinox got into melee against the constructs while Mariska and Allesio used their ranged powers to lend heavy support from afar. It was a grueling battle but the heroes were finally able to surround the wizard. When Mariska’s arrow pierced his shoulder Jafnar thought he should attempt a parlay.

Jafnar knew his time was limited so he had to get his side of the story out before he died. He is already a condemned man and no else in Mentiel would dare listen; maybe these do-gooder heroes will hear him out before killing him. He explained to the adventurers that the King of Mentiel, the self-proclaimed King Raus, was insane and will ultimately destroy this province. He told them the plight of the Auglenden family and the Festovors. These two families, along with the Varkis family, were founding members of the province. The former two families were barely able to stay alive; the King left them with next to nothing. They are both only minor houses now. The Varkis family was not so lucky.

The Varkis family was accused of treason against the King and the Province. Jafnar did not have the time nor the strength to go into details, but he explained that the family has been on the run ever since. It was asked that why didn’t the family just leave Mentiel? Jafnar explained they did, they had to in order to survive. The King sent out assassins and hired bounty hunters to slay every last member of the Varkis family. There is no where in Eridus they are safe.

Jafnar had said his piece. The heroes once again pleaded with him to surrender. He would not, he could not. He knew he would not live long enough to see a trial. His assassins were here, he was already dead. Jafnar had only his hounds but they were no match for the skill of the heroes, he knew he was alone. He used every bit of magic in his arsenal to get out of this alive but he knew it wouldn’t be enough. He did not go down without a fight; he would kill as many of his adversaries as he could. He failed even in that. Jafnar, the Ritual Master of Skulldrop, fell from the last onslaught of the heroes. In his last breath he gave the adventurers a quest, whether they take on this duty is up to them.

Jafnar is dead. The Varrikai is all but disbanded in Skulldrop. What is next?

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