Cupcakes Are For Winners

Session #15
1/2/2012

The party decides to call forth the spirit held in the skull. He is a priest of Vecna who says the goblins somehow got fused with his fascination with the eyeball pillar. The Priest of Vecna believes releasing whatever is trapped in the eyeball tower will please Vecna, as well as help lead him to the powerful artifact, the Hand of Vecna. The party decides to help pretty much for the sake of it. They also realize this may be necessary to break the powerful draw the Drakes have to the eyeball tower.

The Priest of Vecna says he needs a power source, which he has conveniently already located. A few days travel gets the party to an old ruined castle of the famed wizard, Evard. Naru suggest hurling the skull into the castle and letting the Priest of Vecna do what he needs, but instead everyone enters. Roll initiative!

Battle with Ghouls, skeletons, and eventually Shadows leaves some cuts and bruises but nothing too major. The party moves on through a door that leads to a courtyard overrun with the most obvious “going to attack you” plants ever. In at attempt to avoid confrontation the party climbs into the rickety rafters. Claws and Fangs falls into the plants and is attacked. Sakah swings down, Prince of Persia style, and swoops her to safety. Naru manages to pilfer a magical sash off a corpse

PARTY TREASURE: Waist thing. When roll 20 on init, get extra movement that turn.

After the courtyard the party encounters another, living, Priest of Vecna and some henchman. They are after the stone of power as well, which is in this room. But it is immovable. Our priest thinks he knows what to do, so we gather around the stone with hands held. An odd sensation of traveling overcomes us but we don’t see or experience anything like we’d expect. Leaving the room reveals the courtyard is definitely different . There’s a reflecting pool with Ghouls and Shadows gazing into it as they watch scenes of ???. The badies look up as we enter but look back into the pool. Doesn’t seem like they will attack the party, whew!

The next room has a Ghoul Butler, wielding a “broomsickle”, a terribly efficient merging of two famed weapons of destruction, the broom and the sickle. When asked if Evard is home he attacks. Naru cannot shake the impulse to blow up all the undead who are not attacking the party. So he checks on them quick. Whew, they are still staring into the pool even though combat with the Butler and his broomsickle has started. Clearly they are not atta.… “EAT SHOCK SPHERE, SUCKAHS!!!”, Naru shouts, as his Wizard’s intuition overwhelms him. The Shock Sphere fails to hit a single undead but does manage to disturb the pool. They decide to attack the party after all.

Everything eventually dies. The Butler Ghoul still has some weird random-effect pouches.

PARTY TREASURE: four pouches of random effect.

The party goes up the tower, which is no longer collapsed in ruins. The find a large open area with a ghostly image of Evard performing a ritual. He seems to be attempting to open a rift between the Shadowfell (turns out that’s where the stone of power sent the party) and the natural world. A magical pen is writing in the air. Lhyra and Claws manage to arcanely stop the pen while the party rather easily dispatches the ghostly image. Crisis averted.

PARTY TREASURE: the pen is magical, think of something cool that it does.

Turns out Evard had two identical castles, one of which was in the Shadowfell. Now that the ritual has been stopped, the stone of power looks to be different. The party uses it to get back to the natural world where they find the stone is now movable. The other Priest and his goons are dead in the courtyard. Rafiki snags the Robe of Vecna (non-magical). The party heads to back to the eyeball tower.

The Priest of Vecna uses the stone of power and releases the creature from the tower. It’s a big ugly ball of eye, tenticles, and flesh. It utters gibberish but a few things are able to be understood, primarily something about “the cards”. It rambles away. The Priest of Vecna would like to be released from the Skull so he can follow it.

END HERE

Andrew will probably be taking over DM duties next. Susy found a cooler version of the Druid so she’s reworked Claws and Fangs a bit. Rafiki is deemed too powerful and will instead be replaced by the benchwarmer, Pixel. The word of the day is, “mediocre”. Just kidding, we love Pixel and can’t wait to have him back. Hope he has twin panthers.

Mike, we seriously need to create RP Notes.

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Session #14
08/14/2011

Decide to head out from Winterhaven. Travel east along the northern portion of the map.

Drakes get very uncomfortable over the Grey Downs. Party lands and finds a 6ft tall statue of a pile of eyeballs. There are a ton of bones, both old and new strewn around it. This is where the Drakes were drawn to. Foot traffic leads to the north and there are wolf tracks.

Claws and Naru detect magic on the statue. Carvings on statue reference the god, Vecna, who’s symbols are a hand and eyeball.

Decide to head north with Drakes following. A group of goblin wolf riders shows up, presumably going after the Drakes. The party defeats them. Continue north but the Drakes return to the statue, primarily due to Taruk ’Mata not caring if Sakah lives or dies.

Find a cavern. The plan is to draw the occupants out. Sakah tries to climb to a ledge for a leaping suprise attack but instead falls to the ground. He evidently causes an inordinately loud commotion. Two bugbears and three goblin archers hear the noise and come to attack. The party defeats them and finds 100 gold.

PARTY TREASURE: 100 gold

Sakah kiks the next door down after Naru’s smoke & goblin voice fail. There are cultists, a smith, and mages. The smith does some cool stuff with AoEs coming out of a burning Cauldron. Sakah goes down but Naru basically kills them all.

Tables have alchemy stuff. A ruby scabbard is mixed in, as well as Residum.

PARTY TREASURE: Ruby Scabbard (quickdraw and +1 dmg on first attack after weapon is drawn)
PARTY TREASURE: Residum (magical dust)

Scabbard goes to Sakah due to the quickdraw aspects, and since no one really cares.

Party defeats some remaining goblins, bugbears, and a wolf-man. When the wolfman dies a spirit leaves him and floats away. The spirit was being “called back” and looked like a cultist. Party follows it to the last room and finds a giant throne with a skull on top with red glowing eyes. Claws uses arcana. The spirit was called into the skull. There’s just one spirit in the skull and it can only hold one.

Ended here.

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Session #13
01/11/2011

We part ways with Sathek. Spend the night in an Inn to study the Drake ritual.

  • Ritual of Drake Binding
  • Requires arcane circle
  • Involves varying degrees of success

Notice something in the sky against the sun. Claws prepares for an aerial assault, despite the lack of any immediate danger.

Arrive to Smaugworts and talk to Vrak. There is an existing arcane circle on the premises.

Sakah goes to get a closer look at the object in the sky. The party goes to check the old Drake pen.

  • Pen is torn apart (by drakes)
  • Tracks indicate something was dragged away

Sakah makes the object out to be a … giant head. It’s decending, maybe a day or two out.

The party encounters kobalds.

  • Naru toasts a bunch with lightning
  • One escapes into a cave
  • Fight some priests, fighters, sling kobalds in the cave
  • Rescue 5 drakes, including ’Lil Buddy & the big one from the top of the tower

Anyone can perform the ritual, doesn’t have to be the bonder. Rafiki does the honors.
BOND RESULTS:

  • Claws: Strong bond, Drakes gain language ability (or telepathic link?)
  • Rafiki: Strong bond, Drakes gain language ability (or telepathic link?)
  • Naru: Good bond
  • Lhyra: Basic bond
  • Sakah: Basic bond

Random tidbit. A Quadrant is, “a quarter of a circle” OR “a section of a city”. As this was evidently important enough to document in the notes, the group probably argued for quite a while about it.


The party flies up to the floating head. It’s a giant stone human female head, 120 ft tall. Can sense arcane magic. Top of head has a tower. Everything is in disrepair.

Meet a human named Bolos. He calls this his “head in the clouds”. It’s a scholarly flying fortress. Bolos travels the world in the head but is currently losing control of it. He found the head in deserts East past the Downforge Mountains, buried in the sand. Elemental magic is involved. Elementals are bound to the head.

The party helps “land” (crash, land, whatever) in the foothills. Have to fight the elementals that are breaking free.

Meet some curious KenKu on the ground outside. They are tribal bird men who think we’re gods due to landing in a giant floating head. Claws gives them a Sunrod which they like and take with them.

Three demons and four tieflings show up ready to fight. Claws and Lhyra both fall in the battle but don’t die. Claws “does a critical psychic damage on the demon’s mind but since he’s a demon he kinda liked it”. Rafiki gets dropped but saved by Naru’s feathers.

Go hang with Valthrax

Dragonborn floating cities were greatest of Arkosia Empire. Their downfall was Tieflings. Bahatmut (Dragonborn) vs Tiamat (Tieflings).

Valthrax knew Bolos back in the day and says he’s trusworthy.

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Session #12
09/01/2010

Notes for this session are lost, or still on Tracey’s computer.

Sakah heard back from his brother, Tarqan, who wants more details/evidence before the Nomakendar clan gets involved.

The party tracked down and killed the Son of Orcus, who turned out to be the missing child we knew about. Found the Drake Binding ritual

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Session #11

07/05/2010

Vrak is happy she and her undead companions didn’t have to battle the party. She is willing to continue her research and work toward restoring the floating citadel, but only if she’s assured it is for the right reasons and will be looked after by the right people. She trusts the party and evidently deems them worth. She did imply Sakah should be involved since he is Dragonborn. Sakah is hesitant, but will send word to his brother, Tarqan, to see what role the Nomakendar clan might have in everything.

The floating citadel is known as “Ustraterness”, newly renamed “Smaugworts” by the party. The family lineage is Vuthaner, which is what Vrak is a part of.

The party returned to the tower to investigate further since they were rushed earlier. Firie is able to use Arcana to discern the scrapped out chalky area on the wall is related to the opening of something. She uses the Eternal Chalk to “connect the dots” and ends up drawing the image of Orcus. Upon completing the drawing the wall shimmers and reveals a hidden compartment with a chest.

The chest contains the original Lineage of Vuthaner, proving that Bejik’s was a fake. He is not of the Vuthaner lineage after all. It also contains a letter from Bejik’s brother, Sathak. Sathak is hiding out in Fallcrest. The two of them were evidently working for the Son of Orcus. The party tells Vrak about the true lineage. She’s pretty shocked. She’s very much in favor of the party seeking out Sathak to right the wrongs she’s endured. She says she and her undead companions can defend the city for now.

Firie summons Phantom Steeds that are so talented they can ignore difficult terrain. Sakah bemoans the frivolous spending related to looking cool riding phantom steeds everywhere. Regardless, the party rides to Fallcrest. Once a main trading hub, Fallcrest is now still a decent sized city for the area. It’s divided into Upper Quayze and Lower Quayze.

Claws notices someone following the party. At the group’s request, Sakah sneaks out the back of a shop with the intention of doubling back to spy on the stalker. It turns out Sakah is not very stealthy and the stalker easily slips away.

Firie charms a bartender with her luscious rack. No prompting is needed by the party, she pretty much puts the girls to work all on her own. The bartender says Armos is looking for Sathek. Armos has an estate up the hill and owns half of the city and surrounding areas. The bartender also recommends checking the docks. The party opts for the docks despite the hour getting late.

A Halfling foreman at the docks says a figure has been seen going in and out of the catacombs in the cliff dividing upper and lower quayze. The foreman owes Armos 2,000 gold. Rafiki tells him we will pay what we deem fair (maybe 500 gold) after finding out if the tip pays off.

Claws gets lost in a metaphor.

The party hides outside the catacombs. Firie and Lyra utilize their Transe ability as Eldarin to keep watch. They see a figure leave the catacomb. Evidently feeling the party really needed their beauty sleep, they don’t bother waking anyone. Firie tries following the figure but is spotted and he shakes her.

The party goes into the catacombs the next night to set a trap. Claws transforms into a creature that is decidedly not of medium size and stays outside to keep watch. The rest of the party goes inside.

Undead start shambling toward the party. Some even come out of the walls! Naru sends his newfound dragonling familiar into certain death, poor thing. Firie absorbs some Necrotic damage from a zombie and laughs in his face. Naru busts out his flaming balls and sets about destroying anything in his path. Lyra goes full on radiant (what’s new?).

The figure returns to the cave but stops when he hears the battle inside. Claws pounces down, changes into some form of scary beast, and does a Bull Rush, critting him for 15 damage off a basic melee attack. The party finishes off the undead and Sathak surrenders without a fight. Sathak says, “If you’re with Armos I have nothing to say to you”. Rafiki smartly replies, “You’re going to wish we were with Armos!” The party yells, “oh SNAP!” in unison.

Sathak and his brother, Bejik, were looking for random loot in ruins around the area. They ran into a young man, child, man-child claiming to be the Son of Orcus. Son wanted a tome which they found in Gaurdbury Downs. He paid them well and had plans to rebuild the flying citadel. Sathak wasn’t interested but Bejik was. Sathak has access to the Son of Orcus and will gladly set up a meeting so the party can trap him. Sathak is just a thief and would be happy if the party can dispatch the Son of Orcus.

Armus wants all the stuff the brothers stole. The Tome had lots of rituals, spells, etc… about floating cities. We assume it has the ritual for riding drakes. The Son of Orcus has the tome.

Letter sent to Tarqan:
Tarqan,

I bet you’re surprised to see a letter from me. Despite father’s predictions, I’ve managed to stay alive at least this long. I met up with a fine group of adventurers near Winterhaven who I fit in quite well with. I’m finding my new freedom very refreshing. The suffocation I endured from our clan is even more clear to me now that I’ve gained some distance. I hope my absence has allowed the dust to settle and perhaps smoothed the planning of your own ascension.

I tried to tell you when I left (though I don’t think you believed me) that I don’t hold ill will toward you for taking possession of Dawn Bringer. I admit I was upset, but more so with father and the rest of the family for their unwillingness to give me more time to show them what I’m capable of. I know you were only following the family’s wishes. There’s no denying you’re the better fit.

But this letter has more purpose than these personal issues. You were always a much better student and historian than me, what do you know of the Vuthaner clan? I’ve given an abbreviated lineage below. It seems they were connected to Ustraterness, an ancient airborne citadel like father used to tell us about in bedtime stories. My companions and I have made an interesting discovery and I could use any information you can find in the libraries. I’m uncomfortable putting more in writing, but I believe it’s in the best interest of our family if you could manage to come visit me.

My traveling party is currently in Fallcrest but have no trustworthy contacts here yet. You may wish to seek out Lord Padraig or Valthrun “twice daily” in Winterhaven if you have trouble locating me.

(Vuthaner Lineage Here)

- Nine

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Session #10

06/05/2010

Just before reaching the party the drake and rider catch up. Both attack and wound Claws. The party gets in some ranged attacks, and when it’s Sakah’s turn he acrobatically leaps off of Claws and onto the enemy drake. Failing to knock the rider off on his first attempt, the uses an action point and succeeds on the second try. The rider plummets 30 some feet to the ground. The enemy drake tries to buck Sakah but he hangs on for the time being.

The party rushes over and engages the rider in battle. Just as they are about to kill him the enemy drake manages to buck Sakah unceremoniously to the ground, snatch his rider in his claws, and take off. Naru will have none of it however, and blasts the rider with Magic Missle, killing him.

The party uses a well known method of training Cheetahs to calm the drake. There are now three total drakes, the new one, the playful one the party brought along in the first place, and Claws in drake form.

The drakes grab all the non-drakes and drag them to the top of a large piece of floating rock. They then pull the rock chariot style over to the tower. The party leaps to the roof and battles with some archers and other bad-ass Dragonborn.

As the party battles its way down the tower Naru decides to show off his wizard skills. He remains outside on the large floating rock and moves it around with Ghost Hand. He levitates from window to window hurling spells into the combat going on within the tower.

The party finds the Patent of Nobility parchment starting with Vrak and ending with Bejik. Sakah deems it an authentic patent, noting he has a very similar document as part of his lineage. There is a rough carving of the Orcus symbol in the wall that seems to be covering up something that was written in chalk. The party finds some Eternal Chalk and figures someone didn’t like what was written on the wall, hence the carving.

The party continued down through the barred enterance in search of Bejik. They found and killed him. He did call Vrak to aid him, but as soon as he died she turned against his remaining henchman. He had his drake (the largest so far) down with him. His spear was claimed by Rafiki who will wield it as a +1 totem.

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Session #9
Drakes, drakes, and more drakes

03/13/2010

Lord Padreg says the town of Elkridge, a farming community, has a problem with drakes attacking villagers. Elkridge is one day’s ride north. Firie uses the Phantom Steed ritual and the party heads out.

While traveling the party hears howling and sounds of battle. Upon approach the party sees a Shifter fighting some gnolls. The area is ripe for ambush with 10 foot tall rocky outcroppings. The shifter turns out to be a powerful shaman, Rafiki. Rafiki determines the gnolls are from the Three Jaw tribe from the Cairgorn mountain range. He’s surprised they are this far south.

As the party approaches town, four drakes are attempting to break into boarded up “THATCH ROOF COTTAGES!!!” The drakes are Green, Blue, Red, and Fatty Gold. Red grabs a peasant and flies away. Firie blasts Green with Chromatic Orb, doing 3 fire damage to Sakah because he was adjacent. She managed to bloody her own groupmate, nice job Firie.

Sakah is grasped by Green who flies away with him. The entire party uses action points to try to kill it. Finally Sakah uses his action point and kills (subdues) the drake, but the fall knocks Sakah unconscious.

Sakah tries to communicatie with the subdued drake, but while it seems to understand draconic, it can’t reply.

The party finds a lone child in one of the buildings. He’s a six year old half elf named Tennil. In the second building is Relith, a male human. He says the drakes have been attacking almost daily now and it started weeks ago. Tenil’s mother had a beautiful amulet with her. The drakes always come from Cairgnon mountains. Relith suggests talking to Mavros, the closes the village has to a leader.

The party stays the night and helps Relith re-fortify his house. Relith will help Tenil get to what remains of his family.

The party goes to see Mavros. He has a slightly larger place than the others. He says there is no pattern to the attacks, maybe being driven out of the area. They started near the woods, working out. Gnolls used to be a problem but Ereth was a warlord 20 years ago and helped drive them off. There are tales of riches in the mountains.

While talking with Mavros the party hears an alarm in the distance. A boy says drakes are attacking. A drake has a saddle and saddlebag and is pinning a man down. The symbol of Orcus is on the drake’s saddle.

Claws and Fangs of Violation uses food & nature to befriend the saddled drake. Sakah speaks to it in Draconic. The party tells the drake to lead them to his master. The master is lying face down dead on the ground. He’s indented as if he fell while flying. He’s Dragonborn. There is a satchel up in the tree which Rafiki climbs up to get. There is also a torn cloak of orcus. The satchel contains Staff of Draconic Power +1 which is given to Naru. There is a map outlining flight paths, including to Morningfall Summit in the mountains. The routes do not go over settlements (they are avoiding populated areas)

Claws and Fangs of Violation and Sakah stay with the drake in the woods while the rest of the party goes back to Mavros. He says another drake has been found so they investigate. The drake is wounded with villagers standing around it. It tries to speak draconic but Sakah isn’t there to interpret. Lyra casts a ritual to communicate with it. Naru uses Prestidigitation to make itappear the mob leader crapped his pants. They back off.

The drake says many others were captured. His rider was knocked off. He says someone has been doing experiments and rituals up there (the mountain). He says the only way to ride a drake is a ritual that binds the drake to a rider. The drake is too far gone and dies.

The party rounds up climbing gear with Mavros. One villager had a map with back passages. The party reaches Morningfall Summit. There are lots of ruins, including floating rubble. There is a floating tower in the middle, mostly still intact. Some of the debris has Draconic runes on it.

Claws polymorphes into a drake and Sakah mounts her. Giggling ensues. They fly around and find lots of debris. They do see an area with a large statue of a Dragonborn. There’s a ring of statues surrounding it. They see some figures outside the tower. Two on the ground, one drake on top of the tower (big and chained). There’s a large pile of debris near the tower with an opening.

The party goes to the statue area. A female Dragonborn apparition appears and orders the party to stop. She’s not happy being a ghost. This was the city of Arastanus, “city of flying stone” – crash site of the city hundreds of years ago.

The ghosts name is Vrak. She’s of Tiburax lineage, one of the noble lineages of the City of Stone. Bejik proved to her he is one of their decendants, but she learned later he a worshiper of Orcus. Now she’s forced into servitude. She cannot allow the party to pass. Bejik is attempting to rebuild the floating city for evil purposes.

It’s decided Sakah will ride Claws in drake form over to the tower to investigate. They fly over and land. As the guard walks over, obviously ready to be subtlety and easily manipulated into helping the party gain access, Sakah instead freaks out and punches him in the face. The guard runs into the tower, voices are heard, Sakah and Claws notice arrow slits in the tower, the world begins closing in on them, so they mount up and hightail it out of there. As they begin their glorious escape they see a rider unchain the large drake atop the tower and give chase. They decide to fly away from the party initially to throw off any would-be followers on the ground. Then they head back to the party with the large drake and rider hot on their tail. Screems of “It didn’t work! It didn’t work!” reach the party as they see two drakes plowing towards them.

  • At this point Steven decided he needed to head back to his very pregnant wife, Liz. A couple hours later they went to the hospital and the next morning Samuel Thomas Reinke was born. Level 0 human, 18 charisma **
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Session #8

go through big doors, see cathedral type room human with knife held high, singing praises of orcus

big fight, killed underpriest of orcus – ram’s head is symbol of orcus giant glowing crystals in room, river of crimson flowing into hole in floor four chains go down into floor, blood flows down into pool below

sakah yells down hole asking if anyone is down there voice repsonds and says yes, serve me we ask how he says like all others by dying then we toss the body of the priest down the hole we here yelling and voice says, “i continue to serve you my lord”

as we wait we here chanting below and a voice yells out “the shadowfell will claim you” finally we slide down the chains to the area below

black portal in chamber below. the thin veil of black seems to be holding something back runes in front of portal opposite portal, statue of orcus, pointing towards darkness with a wand small pit other wall with pit and two small orcus statues altar opposite,book open in front of him, chanting = kalaral

priest of kalaral only one left, teleported to middle of runes shurkiken throw by sakah hits kalaral – shur i can! kalaral yells “you shall all serve orcus”

pixel got pulled in closer to the portal by the hands sakah fell over unconcious and kalaral seemed pleased

flash of light in form of platinum dragon flies down and pushes priest into portal and the portal collapses everyone received a blessing from bahatmut

981 gold ritual book

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Session #7

Jan 3

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Session #6

Dec 20th

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