Cupcakes Are For Winners

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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Session #5
We have the high ground.
  • The party questioned Splug, who was extremely excited about helping the group take out Chief Belgrond, so long as they gave Splug the chief’s wand. He hinted that there was a better way to take out Belgrond other than running through the main doors as there were guards near an alarm bell.
  • Uncertain of Splug’s intentions, the party checked around for a secret way into Belgrond’s quarters but had no success. After much deliberating the group finally agreed to free Splug and give him the wand if he showed them the secret path.
  • Splug led the party back the way they came and into a hallway where Splug showed them a secret door that led to a hallway. At the end of the hall was another door. Sakah slipped into the room which turned out to be Belgrond’s chamber. Sakah killed him as he slept. Unheard, Sakah slipped out to kill the lone guard in the room but was heard and a battle ensued. Further down past Belgrond’s room, Dave pulled more goblins out using his knowledge of the goblin tongue and quickly dispatched of them.
  • Further down past the secret hallway the party checked out the excavation site. They found little of interest other than more goblins that needed to be dealt with. After clearing out the excavation site the heroes returned to Belgrond’s room, secured the area and got some rest.
  • The party found Belgrod’s wand but after spending some time with it realized it was magical. Not trusting such a device in Splug’s hands, they finally convinced him to leave with a healthy sum of gold (and a really nice pouch to put it all in).
  • Two areas remained. One tunnel led off the excavation site and another area on the other end of the keep. The party decided to investigate the opposite end of the keep.
  • Below they found darkness and were required to proceed by torchlight. In the dark they discovered many undead and some runes on the floor…
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Session #4 Part 2
  • The party got up early to get started on their journey to the keep. The journey to the keep was uneventful.
  • Arriving at the keep, they discovered that it was in complete ruins. After scouting the outside they discovered the only remaining entrance was a set of stairs leading down. At this point they decided the stairs were too spooky and left.
  • Just kidding. Like any good adventurers, they entered the keep.
  • Inside they found a room with a large carpet and halls leading off in all directions. A single goblin scout stood inside and he ran off to warn others. As Sakah ran across the carpet it fell from underneath him and revealed a rat-infested pit below him. Thanks to his awesome Airstrider Boots he was able to continue running over the pit. Andrew regrets ever giving us something so cool.
  • More goblins appeared and the party takes out the guards and chases the original runner down. He says that his master is Balgron.
  • Continuing deeper into the first level of the keep, the party discovered what appeared to be a hall that led to a torture room of sorts. A blood stain on the floor ran from one room to the next and in one room was an assortment of torture implements. On the other side of the door they could hear more goblin voices.
  • Naru had recently used a Rosetta Stone Goblin course and tried to convince the goblins in their own tongue that Balgron was here to see them. His mastery of the goblin language was sketchy at best, though, so the party just threw the door open. Inside they were met by various goblin fighters and archers along with the head torturer who grabbed two brands and heated them up as he charged the door.
  • A fight ensued and the party took out the torturer and his guards. The remaining archers fled into a cage in the back of the room, locked the door and slid their weapons out. A hallway off of this room led to a few cells. Inside one cell was a goblin by the name of Splug.
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Session #4 Part 1
Don't eat the pie
  • Valthrun told the party that upon further research, it seemed as though the mirror may have in fact belonged to the wizard who originally sealed the rift at the keep. He also told the party the story of Sir Keegan, the commander of the keep. One night he tried to kill everyone in the keep. Eventually the other soldiers overwhelmed him and killed him in the lower level of the keep. After that the keep was abandoned and left in ruins.
  • Pixel, Naru and Sakah attended the funeral of their now-dead companions. More importantly they were able to borrow a mirror from the temple to serve as a stunt double for the real mirror in their travels. Everything was coming together nicely (except for the two dead party members).
  • What was left of the party went to the inn where they found Douven Stahl chatting with some other friends that came to town in search of him. Turns out they had a much easier time than we did since Douven was just sitting at the inn. Douven introduced us to his friends.
  • As we chatted, Mrs. Bakersfield walked in and greeted Eilian, asking for help with some trouble in her basement. Having nothing better to do, the party along with their new-found friends agreed to help her in exchange for a not-at-all-suspiciously large sum of gold and some delicious pies.
  • Down in the basement the party encountered some really nasty rats. After clearing out the basement the party discovered a trap door underneath some sacks and a rotting stench coming from below. As the party went to head upstairs to ask Mrs. Bakersfield if she knew anything about this trap door, they discovered the door back up was now locked.
  • Thankfully Sakah was skilled at picking locks and got them out with ease. Not trusting what might be below, Firi and Naru watched the trap door while the others slipped upstairs.
  • Mrs. Bakersfield was hiding at the top of the stairs. We charged her and Sakah managed to tackle her on the stairs ask she yelled out, “Defend me!” As she yelled, Firi and Naru started to see movement at the bottom of the trap door. Mrs. Bakersfield let out a shriek which threw Sakah back against the wall and she fled upstairs.
  • Below, Naru and Firi were dealing with zombies lumbering up from below. The first few managed to get through before Firi could shut the trap door and cover it with some sacks to slow however many more undead might be waiting below. For some reason the zombies seemed much more interested in moving upstairs than fighting them.
  • Back upstairs, Susy was dealing with several zombies lumbering their way up. Mrs. Bakersfield ran towards the skylight and onto the roof as Sakah and Pixel gave chase. On the rooftop, Mrs. Bakersfield easily ran from one rooftop to the other. Seeing no other option, Sakah and Pixel lept across as zombies made their way up onto the roof. As they landed on the adjacent building, a couple of zombies attempted to hurl themselves over to Mrs. Bakersfield but fell to the street below.
  • By this point a crowd had gathered to see what all the commotion was. Trapped, Mrs. Bakersfield fled back across to the roof of her bakery. Unfortunately for her Susy made her way up and managed to subdue the crazy baker.
  • The party brought Mrs. Bakersfield back downstairs and snagged her magic boots and rolling pin before the guards ran in. As the guards shackled Mrs. Bakersfield she told how her husband died and she learned the art of necromancy to try and bring her husband back to life. The tunnel under her basement led to the crypts under the temple in town, where she got her bodies.
  • After the guards cleaned up the mess, the party went to the temple to let the priestesses know what had been going on. It had been a long day of killing bakers so the party went back to the inn to rest up for the journey to the keep.
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Session #3
Cupcakes are for winners

8/29/09 – Naru, Sakah , RoXXoR, Pixel, Coraline

  • Lord Padraig’s map led the party to a waterfall where a group of kobolds were working. Sneaking through the trees, Sakah was able to see a circle of runes on the ground. Naru decided a diversion would be best so with a little prestidigitation he made an explosion sound off in the distance, distracting roughly half of the kobolds and gave the party the upper hand.
  • As the kobolds were whittled down, one yelled, “Irontooth must be warned!” and ran towards the water. Thankfully a quick shuriken from Sakah stopped him from warning the others.
  • Noting that the kobold was running towards the waterfall, Sakah investigated closer and found a cave on the other side with more kobolds inside. Using an element of surprise to their advantage, the party marched through the waterfall together and into battle.
  • The battle was fierce but the party made good work of the kobolds. After clearing the first room of the cave, out stepped Irontooth with his guards. Irontooth proved to be a very formidable foe as he managed to fell both Coraline and RoXXoR. Enranged by their party member’s deaths, Sakah, Naru and Pixel managed to finally take down Irontooth and his lackeys. As he died, Irontooth yelled out, “Kalarel and Lord Orcus, prepare my way.”
  • Inside Irontooth’s chambers they found a scroll from Kalarel to Irontooth that read:
My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter. In a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding..

- Kalarel

  • With the deceased in tow, the remaining adventurers returned to Winterhaven. The dead were brought to the temple but unfortunately the head priestess Linora was not in to help at that time.
  • After dropping off the deceased, the party returned to Valthrun to see if he had any new insights. It turned out the mirror looked like it could be used for some sort of ritual and they all agreed it seemed quite possible it may be related to a ritual used for opening a rift. After some discussion the party felt it best that Valthrun keep the mirror safe for now. Upon mentioning Lord Orcus, Valthrun told the party about the Keep of Shadowfell which was built over a rift to keep it sealed. Shadowfell itself isn’t necessary an evil place but sounds like someone wants to open the rift to let evil return.
  • Next the party went to demand an audience with Lord Padraig. It was late and the guards were reluctant but due to the dire circumstances the party finally convinced the guards to wake him. As it was late, the party agreed to meet with Padraig the next day and discuss their course of action.
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