The Stone Thief

Session 6
Wreck Rat Extermination

The Strangle Sea went on for miles. Each step across the tangled weave of seaweed and flotsam proved hazardous and nerve-wracking. One wrong step sent Paffling plunging through the weed mat and at the mercy of a hungry shark. The Strangle Sea seemed a haven for predatory flora and fauna. The sea weed mat itself was mildly acidic and irritated any flesh that was in contact too long which made the need for more solid shelter a necessity. Scanning the horizon the heroes marked a toppled mask far in the distance and headed that way hoping for some sort of safety.

What they found instead were other castaways. A mixed-race crew of humanoids had set up a guard post of sorts with large signal pyres waiting to be lit. The guards themselves seemed a miserable lot, their clothing sun-bleached and their weapons mostly of the makeshift variety. Not willing to make a move without more information Peru decided to scout out these strangers to see if they were a threat. To blend in to the surroundings he crafted a suit from the sea weed and attempted to crawl along the mat. Sight of the weed cloaked ranger alerted the guards who immediately went on the offensive.

Unwilling to let their ally die to these wreck rats the rest of the party charged into battle. The first wave of castaways were cut down quickly but not before calling for help from the nearby ship wreck. Paffling took control of the ballista and prepared to bear it against the wreck rats but an act of sabotage by a swashbuckling rake put an end to that plan. Katrihil drew upon the choas infused energies of the storm tossed sea to bring down the reinforcements and together the trio investigated the wreckage.

Inside they were met with little resistance from the infirm and mad remaining members of the crew. A crippled half-orc bosun introduced himself as Hask and seemed indifferent to the murder of his crewmates. Apparently the Strangle Sea could get inside your head and everyone stranded here went mad sooner or later. Peru, having cloaked himself in the weeds, must have spooked the guards who thought him a seaweed shambler. These hideous creatures acted as the direct agents of the Strangle Sea’s malevolence by controlling the corpses of those who die on the weedmat. Realizing how many dead or dying were left from the previous battle the heroes prepared for attack.

The shamblers were vicious foes. They seemed to feel no pain and know no fear. It was only through teamwork that the party was able to tear them apart until the corpses that acted as the framework for the monstrosities were too damaged to function.

Hask, having seen these new castaways in action thought that they may be his best chance off the accursed weed mat. He informed the heroes of a nest of sea goblins nearby that may know something of their missing dwarf-friend. Having pointed them in the right direction he immediately began hatching plans to find their vessel and be free once and for all.

Peru's past
Blessed or Cursed? Part 1

[[:peru-pe-u-lamott | Being a Wood Elf has it’s benefits but with those also comes a price. Some may view immortality as a blessing, but those who aren’t immortal seldom know the pain that comes with it. The loss of loved ones is experienced over and over again, a pain that never really leaves. Time can help heal but it cannot cure the pain completely. I often envy those who are mortal for they can eventually “let go” of all that pain and suffering when their time comes. They can also give back to the “Mother”, energy that is only borrowed when they are alive and returned when they pass on to the next life. This philosophy is called Palurin and is what my people and I truly believe in and follow to it’s core.
All things are connected and some of those connections are stronger than others. If one is able to tap into these ancient powers by meditation then they can track down who their partner may be in this life or even the next. These fated partnerships are called Mella Mellon in Palurin culture and they can literally be with any two species of animal, even if they are different. The High Druid has the ability to sense these partnerships and foretold of the day that the greatest of creatures, a Korru Behemoth, would one day form a Mella Mellon with a member of the Palurin Khiasa tribe.
I was that chosen member. Ever since I could remember, Alta Khiasa, the Korru Behemoth my tribe worships and lives on, had a special interest in me. She, like all other Korru, never paid any heed to anybody, except me. As time passed, Alta Khiasa’s interest in me grew and I could feel an ever growing urge or power that laid dormant inside of me wanting to awake and be released. The sensations grew in strength and I began to understand and feel Alta Khiasa’s emotions and thoughts. She became my dearest friend and we became inseparable.
Those years and memories were the best of my life which I will cherish forever but with love and gain also comes suffering and loss. I will have this pain with me for as long as I live and I am a Wood Elf, cursed as I see it to walk among this world in hiding till the end of time or until I am returned to the Mother by some way, shape or form. If I could take my own life I would but my connection with Alta Khiasa is so strong that it would kill her as well. And here lies my dilemma, I cannot be with my dearest friend for it would destroy the balance of nature and my tribes way of life so I must suffer and stay away at all costs. What happened to make this so? That is a tale for another time….]]

Session 5
A 3 hour tour.

The heroes flung the iron-banded door open and charged in to battle Garados once-and-for-all! Sadly, he wasn’t even there. Instead they fought a defense force of skeleton warriors, a half-built flesh golem, and Garados’ imp familiar in the illusionary guise of the foul wizard. Only with teamwork and determination were the party able to defeat their foes and bring some semblance of closure to the entire proceedings.

Garados had fled when he learned of the attack from the heroes. A secret missive from Arlissa granted him the opportunity to slip out and set his trap. The loss of his imp was a painful sacrifice, especially as it served as his conduit to the Lich King, but one that had to be made to ensure his survival. Under cover of darkness he and Arlissa fled Eldolan in hopes to rebuild their network and attain revenge at these persistent interlopers.

Among Garados’ copious notes left behind in the workshop were the results of experiments that had been enacted to find why the original target of their undead-focusing charm was not affected. According to the results it was concluded that Paffling lacked a mortal soul necessary to attach the negative energy tether. Seeing as Paffling was NOT currently a soulless undead or golem this puzzled the Seeker agents to no end. Instead, the focus charm had bounced from Paffling to Zoristar who was just an unlucky presence nearby the spell. With this news Zoristar could finally release some of his paranoia and begin operations again for his benefactors in Shadowport.

Regarded as heroes, something that Eldolan desperately needed following the ravaging from the Stone Thief, the party found themselves the talk of the town. Drinks were free and plentiful and parties thrown in their honor. One such party – a moonlight masquerade hosted by High Elven nobility – served a dual purpose. Not only were the heroes paraded publicly and bequeathed valuable gifts but also, due to the implication, subtly convinced to undertake a mission on behalf of the Elven court.

A gnome had gone missing. This gnome was a master tinker and genius seemingly as fond of burning his bridges as he was creating marvelous inventions. An automaton art-piece of his had gone rogue and was causing catastrophic damages to the elven garden that housed it. Inigo was to be found, returned, and made to fix the machine before the automaton’s actions brought shame upon the Elven house holding it. Inigo was a slippery quarry though and though proven alive magically was unable to be located.

A previous colleague of Inigo’s, the artificer Firigin, was the best option at finding a lead. Firigin’s workshop was found but in the process of being besieged by agents of the Three. The mercenaries were easily dispatched by a blend of sword, spell, and crab. Firigin’s trust was earned and he shared his love his love of watercolors and his distaste of capricious gnomes. Firigin had built a device to find Sharpe at one point but given up on the endeavor of vengeance and had no qualms with handing the vehicle of his revenge over. It was a boat…

The magical boat had been built to always track Sharpe who was known to flee from port to port along the Midland Sea. With a simple trade of a secret and a song the skiff pulled the group from the shore and into adventure. After surviving storms, tasty dolphins, an epic squid vs whale throw-down and a sea monster feeding frenzy the heroes succumbed to exhaustion. Their tiny craft drifted into the Strangle Sea, a weave of debris and magical plant life that served as a floating island. Apparently, according to the wisdom of a boat, Inigo Sharpe was here…somewhere.

Chaos is as chaos does
From the mind of Katrihil

From the mind of Katrihil

It seemed the wrong thing to do, but the thought was its own and suddenly from my fingertips a pulse of energy unleashed causing great pain to those unfortunate street thugs. A mere thought turned a seeming shortcut through back alleys into ill-fated bloodening and death, thankfully away from prying eyes this time.

What is worse is that as I felt the chaotic force coursing through my very being and reach across a distance just within my line of sight and bring a young man to his knees, I felt invigorated. Alive, satiated. The undercurrent of grief and pain easily overwhelmed by the presence of the many iconic powers that saved us from misfortune.

None of this without a sacrifice of my inner turmoil in questioning, but those are my own thoughts. A higher purpose rules that which puts us on our path. For when I felt the Light of the High Ones blessings as the Elf Queen’s shards of magic manifested around me, all doubt washed over me. Saved again.

Each encounter I feel the effervescence of the Twisted Path as well. The ever present Prince of Shadows steals my heart. With the Prince, I am on the edge of the shadows, the secrets within reach, I am beckoned to step into the shadow with him, an escape most tempting.

How much can I endure? I’ve noticed a physical change, as not all the unnatural side effects of spells wear off these days. So far, I can hide those particulars, but I wonder what else happening that I have yet to notice.

Today I pay homage to the Priestess, to feel her warmth and holy spark marked upon my soul. She will save me from the unrest, bring me back to the light. I am listening for the temple bells that will heal my chaotic scars.

Yet there it is…I feel the ground beneath me tremble, the Orc Lord’s war drums draw closer. No one around me seems to notice, but I feel the strength of his call and am unable to hide the look of readiness at the promise of a battle ahead.

Chaos is as chaos does. Where it leads me I know not, but I will always answer its call.

Session 4
The one that got away.

The investigators found a new lead in Arlissa Thent. The Dream Master’s own ledgers showed her as a contact and business partner. She had in recent weeks purchased nearly a score of corpses in various conditions through the Dream Master directly. Her organization was listed as ‘Seekers of the Lost’ in the ledgers, a fact that tied up another loose end that had troubled the heroes.

These ‘seekers’ had an ally in the priest Landon who had been animating corpses within the Dead Vaults. If there was a band of rogue necromancers operating under the noses of the Silver Shields it could lead to bigger problems for Eldolan at large. It was decided then and there that this Arlissa Thent would be paid a visit and forced to answer some questions… as soon as the investigators could find out who she was and where she could be found.

Luckily, one of the groups contacts knew where to find Arlissa. She was a mediocre wizard from the Mithril School of Magic who had accepted a position at the Lanternwerks in an administration position. Meeting her would involve finding a way into the Lanternwerks or staking out the office and hopefully catching her as she left. The group discussed their options and decided to try and talk their way into her office.

They were greeted by Cornelius, a gnome employee of the Lanternwerks, who proved to be a curious sort. He asked pointed questions and required details of their intent and credentials before allowing them entry into the employee’s only sections of the facility. Once properly vetted he summoned an owl sprite to guide the party to Arlissa’s office, but not before sending a second owl sprite to notify her of the unusual nature of her guests.

Arlissa knew she was in trouble as soon as she received the message. She called in one of her fellow ‘seekers’ and prepared an ambush just in case this meeting was to turn violent. Her own mastery of traditional magic was weak but her recent delves into necromancy through the ‘seekers’ had given her remarkable power. She had bound the souls of many of the corpses she had gathered into a phylactery she could draw upon to protect and defend herself. It was now time to test this new power.

The party questioned Arlissa directly and while she tried to play coy her eagerness to test her new abilities led her to preemptively attack. Her fellow ‘seeker’ reached out with his own vampiric magic while Arlissa activated an defense gargoyle stationed near her office. Her furniture was used against her in the fight as the group pinned her minion to the wall with her desk while they attempted to corner her. Tapping into her soul powers though she was able to escape through a window and shadow step to safety.

Cornelius showed up to find the meaning of the skirmish and was quickly briefed on the truth of the matter. The gnome then aided the group in searching the office until a note was found in the trash containing damning evidence. Arlissa worked for a man named Garados, an up-and-coming power in Eldolan’s political scene, who had tasked Arlissa with setting up the market attack. Garados owned a shop on the Grounds district specializing in magical oddities that the party had visited once before. A shakedown of his employee at the shop uncovered a secret workshop maintained by Garados beneath the streets of Eldolan.

Once the secret entrance was found to the workshop it was a simple matter of tracking Garados’ movements. The party traveled with haste and fought their way past magical and mundane protections until finally finding the workshop itself. On the other side of the sturdy door they could hear the sounds of voices; Garados and one other, and sense the gathering of magical energies. They had finally tracked down Zoristar’s would be assassin.

Session 3
The heist

The plan couldn’t be more simple; gain access to the Grounds, break into the Hidden Veil research wing while the wizards were off-site, steal the artifact and escape.

Zoristar Twoscars supplied a rough set of plans of the campus. The guild thief and smuggler had done his due diligence dutifully digging up dirt on the district. This insight would save the crew valuable time in their mission and hopefully avoid a run in with the magicians of the Hidden Veil.

Franklin was able to procure a set of passes for guests into the grounds during the lock down by blackmailing a few dwarven colleagues he’d known to peddle in pocketed potions procured privily. With the precise pressure on his peers powerlessness the proceeds were worth the probable payout.

Pe-u gained the crew access to the research facility. The building was locked down by an ingenious riddle-based passkey system. Only by his extensive education in expressive elven epithets encountered in his elapsed existence could he have elucidated the exact explanation required.

Once inside there were magical protections to contend with and Paffling proved his proverbial physique by planting his ponderous pressure into preventing the painful plunge of his pal into a pit of potential peril. With the traps dealt with it was only a matter of finding the artifact.

The chest containing the eye was found warded from tampering by numerous magical locks and protection magics. There were also enemies, Umbral Hounds, stalking the crew on their illegitimate enterprise. Upon touching the chest and provoking the shadow beasts Katrihil channeled countless charms and cantrips to chastise and cruelly cut at the corrupt canine combatants.

The chest was procured and the crew able to escape all before the magicians knew what had hit them. Zoristar was pleased and paid a reward to the party in potions and coin. He then focused their investigation on the source of hit that had been put on him back in Hawker’s square.

The next clue led to a drug dealer known as the Dream Master. He had traveled from Drakkenhall to sell his mind-addling intoxicants to the miserable wretches of Eldolan. Flunkies from the magic schools as well as those unable to partake of the eldritch arts paid well for the leaf that allowed them to see into the dream realms. Apparently, clientele of his, the poorest and lowest among the dregs of society, had disappeared from the streets and shown back up later among the undead assailants.

With a little bit of force, a dash of fast talking, and a pinch of outright murder the party were able to corner the Dream Master in the basement of his theater hideout. Before he could give himself up though he was ambushed by a former bodyguard who had made the transformation to a ghoulish state of undeath. The abomination was put down and among the notes and ledgers of the drug dealer were clues pointing to the purchaser of the missing dead. A wizard and manager of the Eldolan Lanternwerks by the name of Alrissa.

The Contemplations of a Halfling

First of all, I believe in redemption and understand that not everyone has the full story, so Franklin’s actions in the alley must be approached with care. I have taken life throughout my journeys although the lives I have taken have been in defense of my family and friends, not to mention just simple self-preservation. If this were war, I would understand completely the need to finish opponents as the battle intensified, but this was far from war and these youth, albeit dangerous, were far from trained soldiers. But again, perhaps Franklin believed an unconscious enemy to be a threat and took the opportunity to ensure the threat was completely eliminated. Unfortunately, his actions increased the bloodlust of the group which resulted in the death of six more youth as Kat unleashed her devastating magic. It was a very unfortunate situation, but hopefully, it will be one the group can learn from. Luckily, the Silvershield’s were preoccupied with the madness that had recently befallen the city, so while they would soon dispatch soldier’s to investigate the scene in the alley, they had little time to take a full account of what exactly took place. This had allowed me to return to the theatre in time to aid my companions.

Once again the actions of Franklin nearly cost us, he has certainly become a bit unhinged and unpredictable, but he is handy in a scrap. The events that unfolded beneath the theatre stage were a bit unexpected, yet not completely surprising considering all that has happened as of late. Fortunately, we managed to walk out of there in one piece. I am not a huge fan of taking the belongings of those who have fallen, but I understand the need. Good deeds are often rewarded by the Gods, but city officials seldom reward their heroes or saviors enough to aid them in their continued heroics. Besides, I have even heard that during the crusades there were many who considered the spoils of war to be Godly rewards. Either way, the looting of common street thugs just doesn’t sit well with me. All in all, our theatre escapade bore fruit as we were able to find the Dream Master’s payment log, which has given us new leads. In the meantime, I will continue to observe the actions of this crew. I hope the time never comes, but if the darkness continues to weave its way into their hearts I may be forced to strike out on my own. Perhaps the Silvershield’s would be interested in someone with my particular set of skills.

Sessions 1 & 2
The two thieves

Twoscars wasn’t sold on this particular mob. He had it from a reliable source that the drow mage was cool, having built a reputation back in Shadowport. She was known to be a smooth pair of eyes and a hitter but could be counted on for the quiet game as well. Those others though: The halfling was a pig if he’d ever seen one, the pungent elf was a Mad Tom or a sham Abram at the very least, and the dwarf was probably a rum cull who’d likely crawl in a hole rather than crash the provender. It could all be game though, and one didn’t become Prince Prig by being a bad beak.

These birds of feather were all he had though so he laid out signals. There was some bagged flash over at the Hidden Veil ken that needed heaved. A booze of a rock full of flash that was worth a fat lady of yellow tin. Over the tiltled floor, hoist the stone, then rub it to stop hole abbey. A simple game through and through.

Then some flash cove had to go ruin it by making it personal. Putting the cramp word on Twoscars and sending the rotters to have a chat. Not one to run to the moon pigs for a cackle this bite would be handled in the ken. The mob was rightly sent to hunt the flag waver and play a game of Jack Ketch.

Twoscars had sent the party to track down the person’s responsible for the failed hit earlier that evening. Word on the street was some ressurection men (body thieves) where operating near the docks. One of the moon pigs (night guards) owed money and his key was used to smuggle the rotters into the market. His bookie was tracked down and cackled (informed) on the location of some unsavory customers.

The stop hole abbey (hideout) was sussed out and rounded (burgled). Inside was some sort of two-headed demonic crab beast on guard and a whole slew of infernalists in the midst of some ceremony. The cult was crashed (killed) and their hizzoner’s guest (prisoner) was freed. Some bits (money) made the dead end not sting so much as did the bagged flash (magic item) they found on the cult leader.

After a decent rest the party headed to the temple district to shake down the source of the bodies. Beneath the sacred grounds they found an acolyte that had gone rogue and was raising the dead for some nefarious purpose. He was uncovered and had the upper hand when tragedy struck Eldolan.

The Stone Thief, a massive living dungeon, erupted through the district and wreaked havoc before being driven off by one of the Archmage’s mobile magical artillery stations. Agents of the Archmage cleared the area before using their powerful flash (magic) to seal the crater behind the Stone Thief. Rumor was terrible things traveled in the monster’s wake and this was a fail safe against secondary attack.

The party returned to their inn to regroup and plan their heist now that the wizard’s in charge of protecting the eye were in retreat. At least that’s what they had hoped…


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