Session 39 Summary

April 24th, 2010

Heroes: Prometheus, Kebi Dabu, Mariska, Lysandros, Dashiell, Rhinox, and Thorgan.

Game Date: Morsdain, Whitesky 27, AD1017

The heroes have traveled through the shadows of nightmares and the gloom of despair. The world they travel, the Shadowfell, is a dismal mockery that seems to be caught in the shadow of the Natural world. It never sees sunlight and it sucks the brightness out of most of light sources. This place gives birth to twisted lives, nightmares, even the shadows come to life here. It is a bleak world that harbors death itself.

The Fate Seekers have found the Temple and fought their way inside. They are in the process of finding where the ritual is being performed. They fought through demons and blood hungry skeletons guarding the entry hall. They witness ghostly atrocities as a poltergeist showed them the horrors that went on in this place in the distant past. They even battled the temple itself as one of their own found herself lost in her own nightmare, fighting for her life in a sea of demons trying to tear her apart.

The Faces

The Seekers have found a stairway leading down but it was blocked off by a stone wall. In the same chamber was a face that Mariska discovered could move, but no amount of force would get it to do so. The group decided to continue their search of the ground level. On the other side of the Temple the rooms were set up identical to the ones they already searched, like a reflection in a mirror.

The adventurers finally came upon another room with twisted murals of tortured captives. The faces were contorted in impossible ways showing expressions of unbearable pain and suffering. This room was an unneeded reminder of the horrors that went on in this Temple. When they searched the room they also found what they were looking for. Not only did they find another stairway leading down, only to be blocked by another stone wall, they also found a second demonic face embossed on the wall in a recessed part of the room.

Rhinox and Lysandros took a look at this face and it too moved just a bit, but yet again the face was blocked by something. Mariska took another look at this face and confirmed it to be part of the mechanism of the first demonic face. It was clear, they needed to split up and try the two faces at the same time. Thorgan went to the chamber with the headless statue so he could coordinate the efforts of the two teams. When they pushed on the faces they both began to spin. The walls blocking the stairway moved and the way down was open.

Fangclaw the Exarch

The Fate Seekers headed down the stairs in the dungeon area of the Temple. They found numerous cells throughout this level where the prisoners could have been held. Once again they found more evidence of the evil that lived here and was performed here. The group tried to move on but a great boom reverberated through the halls as the Temple shook violently all the way down to its foundation. All the lights on this level were blown out, even Kebi Dabu's magical one.

There was one spot that light still shown into the hall, a bright white light. The group quickly followed the light and found the object of their search, but like all things in this Temple and in this world, it was a horrible heart wrenching sight to behold. They found the center chamber of the dungeon, the ritual room, and the ritual of the gnoll's ascension had already started.

The gnoll, Fangclaw, was standing in the center of a rare magic circle called an Arcane Star. It was identified by the two of the arcanists in the group, Kebi Dabu and Lysandros. They knew exactly how rare this type of circle was, and how unlikely it would be used by this creature, a member of the bestial races. The gnoll had to get help from an outside source.

The worst part of this sight was the spirits swirling around the beam of magical energy rising from the center of the Arcane Star. Dashiell recognized the spirits as the actual people they came here to save. They had already been sacrificed and made part of the ritual. That was when they realized the ritual was not complete, it was still active. Fangclaw was still trying to absorb the energy of Yeenoghu's blessing.

The group immediately went into action. Kebi Dabu and Dashiell moved up to try and disrupt the circle and stopping the ritual. Lysandros tried to lock the gnoll in place with his signature move, but it did not stop him for long. Fangclaw had the power to teleport and attack, teleport and attack with blinding speed and accuracy.

It was Kebi Dabu that realized the heroes had not failed the innocent people yet. He was able to alter a rune in the Star enough to send out a radiant backlash that not only hurt Fangclaw, but when the spirits were struck with the radiant energy they were released from their spirit form and reverted back to their natural form. They had found a means to save these people.

Fangclaw proved to be very elusive. He was an oversized gnoll that could sweep his scepter and hit anyone in his reach. He was also hard to tie down with his ability to teleport to his targets. Though his most powerful abilities were the most horrifying. He could divert some of his fatigue and damage to a spirit from the ritual, which in turn destroyed the spirit and the soul inside it. He could summon demons using the spirits as conduits which also destroyed the soul forever. He could also force a spirit to possess one of the heroes for a short time, causing them to run in fear, stopping whatever they were doing at the time. All these things were gifts from Yeenoghu as Fangclaw gained strength to take his rightful place in the presence of his master.

Kebi Dabu and Dashiell continued to work on the Arcane Star with some help from Mariska using her thieving skills. They were finally able to stop the ritual by destroying the Star, cutting off Fangclaw from using the spirits, greatly diminishing his power. Dashiell continue to try to free the innocent lives from their torment even after the ritual was stopped while the rest of the team focused on Fangclaw himself.

The gnoll could not withstand the onslaught of the entire team alone, especially when his connection to Yeenoghu was broken. Dashiell was working diligently on the spirits but its was sadly taken out of his hands when Fangclaw finally fell. The creature released a powerful wave of necrotic energy that threatened to drain the life of those around him. Unfortunately, the burst of energy was too much for the spirits, all those that remained were forever destroyed. Fangclaw was gone in a flash of darkness.

Kebi Dabu discovered runes in the Arcane Star that was not part of the gnoll's ritual, it actually connected the gnoll to an outside source. When he died, the runes were activated and allowed him to be transported elsewhere. Could the flash of necrotic energy be connected with this strange disappearance, possibly to finish off those that killed the gnoll? An undetermined possibility.

Spitting Statues

Once Fangclaw was dead, the Fate Seekers had almost 40 people to deal with. They decided to give the people a little rest after some food and water before they continued on. It wasn't easy to keep them all under control, they were frightened and damaged from their ordeal. It was a difficult choice but the group decided to continue searching through the Temple to make sure nothing was left undone. Thorgan was adamant about staying with the villagers and keeping them safe. He actually moved to the back of the party to be with them. No matter where the group went, he stayed back with the villagers.

Still down in the dungeon, they came upon a chamber with yet another pool of deep red blood. A large fiendish statue crouched in the center of the fountain while two more stood at the wall on either side of the room. Rhinox decided to move up and peer into the pool and that turned out to be his undoing, and almost the party's as well.

The statue spit the red blood of the fountain out onto Rhinox and he became crazed. He immediately drew his weapons and turned on his friends. Possessed and seeing enemies all around him, he attacked his friends. Dashiell shifted up into a better position to defend the group from his insane friend, but the decision backfired. The statue spit more blood onto Dashiell and suddenly he became crazed as well.

The Fate Seekers were now turned on each other and fighting for their lives. Thorgan moved up, for the first time he was in the back of the party protecting the women and children, to pull his two friends away from the fountain. Mariska and Prometheus worked on destroying the statues so they could do no more harm, hopefully. The two possessed friends were outnumbered and finally fell. Dashiell finally fought off the possession but the encounter left the group beaten the villagers more frightened than before.

The Trip Back

The threat was averted. Fangclaw was dead, the Temple was cleared out, and the group saved as many villagers as they could. It was time to make the trip back. The women were scared and the children were terrified, seeing their nightmares played out before their very eyes. They had to travel back through the Shadowfell and make it through the portal without losing any of the villagers. Their biggest task now was to keep them all calm.

Lysandros told stories of his childhood and how he became the chosen of his village. Kebi Dabu used his magic to perform tricks of sparklers and flashing lights. He also helped Mariska spin a wonderful heroic tale from history for the children. Dashiell and Thorgan battled with religious stories and sermons about the gods. Dashiell turned the tables and started preaching about all the good gods, which including Moradin.

It was a long trip back. They had to travel almost two days through the Shadowfell to get to the Shadow Crossing and once they made it through the Crossing they had to travel another day and half through the Jade Tail Jungle to make it to the village of Tumoin. The people were all safe, the ones they could bring back anyway, and the threat of the gnolls was finally over.

What is next for the Fate Seekers? Who wrote the mysterious letters that instructed the gnolls to do this in the first place? Who grabbed Fangclaw's body when he died, and for what purpose? What are they going to do with the evil tome? The group has traveled far and battle evil of all sorts, but it seems their adventurers have only just begun.

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