Chronicles of the Blades

Act 1, Chapter 3

Descending into the depths of the temple, Temper’s Blades soon learned that things were much more dark than they at first appeared. As if the dead bodies in the village weren’t enough, or the sinister hints of cult activity…They now found themselves in the deep dark below the surface of the world.

A staircase awaited them after clearing out the cultists in the upper chambers of the Temple. One that descended far deeper than imagined. Three thousand steps or more, with nary a hint of light, and the bottom was at last reached. There, an eerie red glow greeted them. When approached, the glow was revealed to be coming from strange runic text, a language with which none of them were familiar. However, through inspection, they learned the potential purpose of the letters. While they slowly crawled along the floors, walls and ceilings, they also revealed that they were names. And within each name, a soul was bound for some dark, unknown purpose.

Onward they continued into the caverns, impossible angles and black stone encompassing every surface. They walked until they found themselves waist deep in brackish water, under which the passage continued into a vast cave filled with this same water. An elevated passage awaited them on the other side, though it required a rope to ascend. Before they could do so, a hideous beast sprang from the dark water, vast tentacles striking at the heroic adventurers. Their tenacity, however, won them the day, and the creatures terrible arms retreated back into the depths from whence they came.

Still onward they pressed, until they were forced to overcome a ward blocking their progress. Even it’s potent magic was no match, despite overcoming them momentarily, forcing them to attack one another through domination magic. Thanks to Gash and Tank, the ward was dispelled, and they were able to continue. Faced with a choice of east or south through the caverns, they wisely chose south…avoiding the dark horror that awaited them to the east that waited to devour their very souls.

A brief respite was gained at a subterranean waterfall, the flowing waters of which were strangely pure amid the wretched evil all around them. Restoring their health and fortitude, this water gave them the strength to continue. And this is most fortunate, for their trials were far from over.

The stumbled next into a long, narrow corridor lined with horribly detailed statues that resembled no creature they had ever before heard of, nor seen. But most important in this hall was what stood at its very entrance, protected from influencing the Temple around it through a ward set there by the cult themselves. Upon a pedestal in this ward, a suit of armor lay. Made of what looked like carapace, bone, and muscle, this coat bore dozens of eyes…live eyes that peered at them with longing…wanting. The common sense in them bade them to ignore it…but the temptation was too great, along with the desire to investigate what the cult wanted to keep it contained for. Gash bravely donned the Coat of Eyes, despite not knowing what it might do. Momentary discomforted coursed through him as the coat attached itself to his torso. At that very moment, the statues in the hallway came to life, attacking those that violated the ward.

After the statues were defeated, they found another dead orc scout laying against a wall in the corridor. He looked as if he had fought valiantly, but alas, his skill was far from sufficient. Like the others, his black feather sent him back…but not before the PCs wrote a letter describing all they had uncovered.

The Blades carried on further, and found another room of worship. This one, however, bore no cultists. Instead, Dolgrim, Dolgaunts and a Blue Slaad stood guard and devoted themselves to whatever black god their foul forms gave worship to. Despite brutal attacks and overwhelming magical attacks, the Blades slew them to a man, but for one foolish Dolgrim that bolted in fear into the black hall at the end of the chamber. Seconds later, he could be heard dying, painfully, by unseen forces ahead.

What lies in wait for Temper’s Blades? What manner of thing could possibly lurk in this unfathomable depth? They will soon find out…and perhaps wish they never had.

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Act 1 , Chapter 2

The PCs landed in Graywall, and learned firsthand that monstrous beings are not necessarily evil. Graywall was an industrious and prosperous town, quite large for the mere 30 years it had been in place.

The majority of the town had been built by Ogre and Goblin work squads, although swathes of the city were composed of ancient Dahkaani ruins, painstakingly restored to their former glory through hard labor and magic.

There, they were met by a medusa emissary and 2 gnoll guards. These beings escorted them to a High Magus by the name of Vrik…a singularly unpleasant little bastard of a goblin. Through him, they were transported to the private Demense of Sora Katra.

Sora Katra was pleased to see Deman again, and was also pleased by the presence of the PCs, for she was able to strike a deal using them as a driving force: She would sign the Non-aggression pact…if they travelled to a town called Tinshire and determined what happened to scouts she had sent out that way.

Winston, not one to take such a request lightly, questioned her motives. She revealed that a dark power had been felt there…one she was not familiar with. And if she had no idea what it was, it must be strange indeed. The party decided that if they found whatever power was located there it would not be given to the Daughters of Sora Kell, no matter what the cost.

Requisitioning an airship would take time, but Sora Katra agreed to the request. It would, after all, speed things up substantially compared to horseback travel.

Before the PCs left, she gave each of them a Black Feather Charm of Recall to speed their return home, as well as letting her subjects known at a single glance that the PCs were under her protection and should not be harmed.

Once in Tinshire, the PCs felt a malign force as something whispered to their minds. It was not definable….something eating slowly at the back of their thoughts that vanished when focused on. But it was enough to make focusing harder (thus they took a -2 penalty to all Perception rolls while this force was still in effect).

They investigated the empty town and found:

1: A knife thrust through a map and note, showing the entire town. The church was circled in red, and the note stated that something evil was afoot with the church and it was responsible for whatever had caused the town to vanish.

2: A freaky scene was found in the provisioners’ shoppe. Tied to a chair within, a body of one of the orc scouts sat. It had been run through, vertically, with a large brass pipe with fluting punctured into it….something had changed this being into a sickening musical instrument. The rotting entrails and body had made the stench almost unbearable within. The blood on the floor was recognized as some form of cult symbol, likely one of the Dragon Below. They copied this symbol down. A cursory check of the corpse revealed that it had been relieved of its innards, filled with something else, and healed back up. When carved open, the body spilled Bloodworms all over the floor. , and used the scouts own black feather charm to return the terribly disfigured body to Sora Katra, along with the copied symbol on paper.

3: A second body was found partially hidden in refuse in an alley. It had been killed by a single well placed dagger strike. The knife itself was carved in the likeness of various unknowable monstrosities, and eyes carved into the handle appeared to follow wherever the watcher went. Beside this corpse was another cult symbol.

4: Tracks were scattered in the dirt in town, several back-heavy, indicating that whoever had placed the tracks had walked backwards…likely to misdirect others.

5: The church had been desecrated. The PCs fixed this by eradicating the altar. Winston then said a prayer to bless the church. Behind the church, the plants and hedge maze seemed to be warped and mutated, and a path was found leading to a higher plateau upon the mountains.

6: With his keen magical senses, Tank located a dragonmark upon a boulder in town. Making a rubbing of the symbol, they continued on. They will have to translate it later.

The Pcs followed the trail behind the church, and after some time came across a temple nestle into the mountain. It was made of a strange black rock, carved in bizarre geometric angles that constantly produced optical illusions of depth, making the building appear to move in subtle ways constantly. There, they were attacked by the guards outside the temple, and a small force of lesser cultists. These peons were hardly a threat for the experienced Breland soldiers!

However, once inside the temple, the greater muscle of the cult was seen in action: Terrible dark magics that nearly cost the party dearly. However, they triumphed and sent the cultists to an early grave.

Total cultists killed: 20 Giant Mutant Wolves killed: 3

next session: Deeper into the Temple

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Act 1, Chapter 1

On a brilliant spring morning, Temper’s Blades were lined up for duty assignment as any other morning. But rather than the usual drab and boring guard duty and garrison detail, there was finally something to do. Events were afoot! The goblinoid forces of Darguun had, for reasons unknown, began mobilizing in small units and invading Brelish territories. The majority of the army was sent in this direction, hoping to turn them back before any problems could arise as a result.

However, a small squad was selected by Temper for a much more important mission. For months, King Boranel had been discussing in secret with his closest aides, and had come to the conclusion that it was both politically and strategically sound to offer a Non-Aggression pact to the nation of Droaam. Despite it being a haven for creatures thought of as monsters and killers, their nation had survived and flourished under the rule of the Daughters of Sora Kell. A Non-Aggression pact would benefit both nations, and cause an end to the actions of warlords within Droaam looking to prove the strengths of their clans against human armies.

To bring this treaty to Droaam, the King selected a rather eccentric noble from his most trusted friends. Deman Tahl has had dealings with Droaam before, and has good relations with the Daughters there. He was a natural choice. Five of Temper’s Blades were assigned to protect him, at all costs.

The first wing of their mission was to meet with Deman Tahl, and board a great elemental airship known as the Pearl Savior, the only Luxury class airship thus far constructed. After learning of Deman’s security concerns (and dealing with his rather unusual behavior and fashion sense), specifically those related to rival Nobles who had a personal stake in preventing this treaty from coming to pass, the squad made their plans to foil the assassins.

Thankfully for them, the assassins were cocky and assumed that security was less than it was, thanks to a clever ploy by the squad. Rhino acted as “sole” bodyguard at Deman’s side, while Winston took on the appearance of a travelling priest and friend to Deman. This allowed the rest of the squad to blend into the crowd and keep a close eye on the proceedings. Thanks to their experience, they were able to spot several of the killers outright.

The first and least experienced of the group was tricked into going below-decks, where he was questioned. Learning the total number of assassins on board (6), Rhino ensured he would no longer be a problem by simply pushing him out a porthole to fall to his demise. That left five more to deal with. Rhino also made sure to “test” the food presented to Deman for “poisons”. It never hurts to be certain, after all.

Back upstairs in the grand ballroom, the squad went about the business of finding the rest. With one of their number vanished, the assassins were a little less sure of themselves. They hastily arranged a new plan. While they scrambled to set it up, the main course meal was brought out to the crowd. While they began their deliciously expensive meals, the squad located the final members they could not locate. One was hiding in plain sight atop a chandelier, using the shadows of the room to his advantage.

With all the assassins located, Tank opted for a less subtle display of skill. Rather than eliminate the assassins one at a time, he called them out publically. By staging a “magic show” and appearing to be the entertainment, the assassins were none the wiser. Until part of his show happened to include “turning the assassin on the chandelier into a man-cicle and smashing him like glass on the floor”. Their surprise trap sprung, our heroes moved on the hired killers.

Making short work of their quarry, they kept one to question for any other information they could not obtain before. Among that information was a “name”, scrawled on a tattered note. The note informed the killers that the rest of their pay would be sent on completion of the hit. The only hint of the name was a single “K”. When questioned, the assassin captive speculated that it may have been Korfin Roola that hired them, though they did not actually know who was in charge. They had dealt with agents of whoever it was pulling the reigns, rather than the client directly. With no other information to give, the assassin was killed (can’t have him causing problems later on, after all!).

Deman stated that Korfin Roola is a Noble in Breland with connections to House Cannith, and has largely been “off the grid” for quite some time.

With Deman safe, and Droaam just a few hours away by air, what could be waiting for our heroes ?

Loot of Note:

  • Note from “K”
  • Assassins each wore a necklace, shaped as a claw,carved from green jade.
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