Session 43 Summary

May 22nd, 2010

Heroes: Mariska, Prometheus, Rufus, Dashiell, Lysandros, and Donner. Rhinox joined in a bit later.

Game Date: Niledain, Evernight 8, AD1017

The Fate Seekers came into Eluren to turn in a bounty and drop off a letter. The King extended his hospitality and asked them to stay for a new holiday, the Festival of Life. Little did they know they were right in the middle of more trouble than they have ever seen.

The King of Mentiel, Raus Rathhardtsen, has put together a plot that will affect the entire city, maybe more. The Festival of Life is actually a ritual that will bond everyone that prays to whatever power they worship to a pact with an unknown entity. The people of Eluren, possibly all of Mentiel, are about to become thralls, slaves to a new master. The Fate Seekers have entered their greatest challenge in their adventuring careers, a challenge that will seal their names in history as heroes. They will forever more be paragons among their peers.

Lord Alder

Lord Alder learned that his butler Larmas and his own son Keleth had betrayed him. Keleth had murdered his own mother, Lady Kaisa du Kriegieh. The butler and Keleth had become something… else, mutated into disgusting creatures. The Fate Seekers learned everything they could from the Lord of the house. Lord Alder also mentioned that Amos was actually a spy for the house of Kriegieh. He had sent him to the heroes to covertly persuade them to help in their dilemma with the King.

Lysandros returned to the group with a bit of information. The letters the group found among the gnolls signed RR, they were written by the King himself. RR is for Raus Rathhardtsen. There was no time to waste, the ritual was today. They needed to get to the King; they needed to get into the Keep. That is where Lord Alder could help the most. The adventurers were given a pass phrase to give to the guard at the service gate. With the proper response that should get them past the guard.

To the Keep

It was still very early in the morning, still quite dark. The heroes made their way to the Keep. They now had a means of getting inside but the rest was up to them. Leaving the Kriegieh manor, the group came upon a unit of watchmen. One of the heroes cried out “We come from the Kriegieh household, let us pass!”, but the Kriegiehs were marked as traitors. The Watch tried to arrest the Fate Seekers, but these heroes were on a mission to stop something so terrible it was hard to imagine. It did not go well for the group of watchmen. Some of the heroes tried to simply knock them unconscious, but some of these men are never getting up.

The Fate Seekers reached the servants gate at the King’s Manor. They told the guard, “The moon is setting,” and with the reply, “Never to rise again,” the heroes were let into the grounds. The guard at the gate told them how to get through the door and they were on their way.

Rufus, the warden dwarf, approached the servant’s entrance. He knocked twice and waited a moment before knocking three more times. A serving wench from the kitchens knew the code and let the adventurers inside. They still had to deal with the guards down the hall.

Mariska went forward to scout ahead, to see how many guards were in the shacks. When she came back with her report the group tried moving up as quiet as possible. Unfortunately, some of them are not quite. The guards were alerted and the adventurers had to fight their way through. Once again some of the heroes tried using nonlethal force, others were out for blood. The group moved on.

King Raus

The adventurers moved into the great hall, where it was said the King would be until the prayers started. They burst through the doors and surprised the King on the throne. His guards moved in quickly as his personal bodyguard moved forward to block the adventurer’s path. The King cried out for their heads and the Raven Guards attacked. King Raus’ advisor took him through the door behind the throne to get him out of harm’s way.

These guards were more durable than the previous ones. These were the Raven Guard, the King’s personal guard. They surrounded the adventurers and their glaive-like weapons held them immobile. They attacked as a unit and protected each other as a unit. Cargith Rathhardtsen was the King’s bodyguard but he put up less of a fight than the Raven Unit.

The Great Hall was finally clear for the Fate Seekers to move on. The King escaped, the chase is on. They had an entire keep ahead of them, hundreds of guards to fight through to get to their quarry. Surely an impossible task but they had to try. An explosion shook the keep, coming from the front entrance. More guards already? Then they heard Lord Alder’s voice and him and his soldiers burst into the Hall. Finally some help. Alder could ease some of the burden while the heroes chase down the King, but the Fate Seekers had the hardest task. They must fight through the King’s personal defenses and face him directly. Alder had spared them a dozen bloody confrontations, but the worst was yet to come.

The Gauntlet

The door behind the throne was magically sealed, but Mariska’s skills at skullduggery proved to be better. The adventurers moved into the main part of the Keep; it might as well have been a maze. There were numerous halls, chambers, and rooms; it was impossible to tell which way the King went. A voice echoed through the halls, “They are trying to kill your King! Stop them! Slay Them!” It was the King himself and Dashiell was able to pinpoint a direction.

It did not take long for the heroes to find a group of guards looking for the intruders. When one of the guards spotted them he called out to the rest of his unit. The heroes could not move forward until they dealt with these misguided guards of the Keep. The group tried to pull their punches, some of them, but they still waded through the guards and left behind the dead and the dying.

The King was still crying out for his guards to stop the assassins. The Fate Seekers simply followed his ranting. They came upon a group of soldiers lead by the captain of the guards himself, Captain Lyrcane Kriegieh. Very strange for a Kriegieh to be leading these soldiers when the family was suppose to be marked as traitors. Rufus tried to explain that they were following a mad man, but none of them would listen. Most of them paid for that mistake with their lives.

The Fate Seekers were getting close; the King’s Sanctum was just ahead. Unfortunately, guards were everywhere and the closer the group got to the Sanctum the better trained the guards became. A unit of Raven Guards, lead by the man-at-arms himself Grombyr Kriegieh, found the group just outside the King’s wing of the Keep. Grombyr was old and favored one leg, but he was renowned as a legendary soldier when he was in the army and no less of a warrior when he took the position of Man-at-Arms of the Keep.

Weapons from both sides clashed against armor and shield. The adventurers were tired, worn down from battle after battle throughout the morning. Rufus was doing everything he could to defend the party. Dashiell was trying to stay mobile as much as possible. Donner was digging deep for his reserved strength to fight off these highly trained guards. Whenever the guards sounded their battle cry, “For the King!”, Donner would scream, “I AM the King now!” Needless to say they did not believe him. Mariska’s aim was a bit off, trying to make every bolt count. They say elves do not perspire, but fatigue effects people of all walks of life. Rhinox found his savage heritage and gave no quarter to his enemy. His skill as a Kensai showed more with every swing of his scimitars. Lysandros thrust with his great spear, heaved his tratners, and amidst all that he was trying to keep everyone alive. How were they going to fight off this veteran tactical commander with a unit of the Raven Guards?

Throughout the fight Grombyr made it clear that he was a traditional Kriegieh and would not go down without a fight. He would not give up his duty and would protect the King to the bitter end. This was confusing. Why were the Kriegiehs outside of the Keep being arrested for treason but the family inside the Keep knew nothing of the decree? Rufus and Dashiell tried to reason with the old commander by telling him what had happened. Grombyr had a sharp eye and could read people with but a moment’s meeting. He could tell the Fate Seekers were telling the truth. King Raus had gone after his Lord, Lord Alder.

Grombyr ordered his men to stand down as long as the heroes would stop fighting. He gave the Fate Seekers directions to a secret door that leads into the King’s Wing. It would get them past the Elite Guards at the front doors. He also told them the King kept a secret means of rejuvenating his strength somewhere within his suite of rooms. The two groups did not quite depart as allies, but they were no longer enemies either.

The King’s Sanctum

It was not difficult to find the secret door that would lead them into the Sanctum. What they found was disturbing. The main room of the suite was guarded by more of those grotesque, deformed humanoids. With all the knowledge the Fate Seekers had, they could not identify the mutants’ origins. One thing was certain; Lysandros knew one of them wore the tattered outfit of the King’s advisor, the one that helped the King escape from the Great Hall. It was now clear that the mutant creatures they fought in the Kriegieh Manor originated with the King, but what was changing them?

The fight was longer than the adventurers had hoped. They were already very tired. These creatures had strange abilities and were very elusive. They could confuse and confound, and when that didn’t work they could send you away to a pocket dimension; leaving allies to fend for themselves. These creatures guarded the door that leads to the King, and the ritual, they had to get through. After yet another grueling fight the Fate Seekers vanquished their enemies and stood victorious, albeit shakily.

The group identified two magic circle carpets on the floor. Each one healed them in a different way, although it came at a cost. Some of the Fate Seekers were rejuvenated a little through the use of the circles, others were worse off. What are these heroes going to do next? Some of them are barely standing on their own. Are they going to be able to find the King? Can they stop the ritual before it causes irreparable damage to the people of Mentiel? What is mutating the King’s closest followers? Does the King answer to a greater power, and if so how are the Fate Seekers going to find the strength to handle both of them?

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