Campaign of the Month: September 2012
A Manifestation of Chaos
The Campaign So Far
“I am Lord Aegon Baratheon and almost 2 years ago I was rescued by a band of adventurers in a desecrated temple of Pelor near the city of Sulward in the Lendore islands. I had been captured by 3 bearded devils and a foul cleric of Orcus while trying to retrieve a chalice. In gratitude and by my honor I swore to serve the members of that group to the best of my abilities for a year and a day. The members of that group were: Dracioletto Machiovella a wizard, a Dwarven priest of Cleggidin Silverbeard, Durass Brawnanvil. A Summoner named Kagan and a kobold alchemist named Ossobucco.
Over the next few days I learned that they were on the island seeking the aid of Drexella . It would seem that early in their early search for this wizard; they came upon an ancient creature of tremendous evil and in their encounter with it they were cursed with a dark mark that was supernatural in nature. It would seem that this creature had the ability to manifest itself in proximity to those who bore this mark. In their investigation of the mark they uncovered that it was believed that this creature was brought to this plane by a sneak thief and scoundrel named McGregor in a Suloisian temple underneath the Bright Desert.
It seems as if this common scoundrel, McGregor had run afoul of nearly everyone in Chathold and was fleeing members of a thieves guild known as the Stonehands. The Stonehands pursued McGregor through a series of ancient and forgotten magical transportation devices, known as ley lines. This McGregor has some magical talent and gained a lead on his pursuers. After a while the pursuing Stonehands came upon McGregor in the Suloisian temple where he was reading from a tome. What came forth was a terrible creature and its summoning caused the temple to start to collapse. The two Stonehands tried to get away but one was incinerated with some type of black energy ray, the man’s comrade got away and returned to the guild to report on what had happened.
At this time a leader within the guild named Nertilla took an interest in these events and led the investigation of the incident. She led a team to the Bright Desert where they found McGregor wondering witless, clutching a book. It would seem that the act of casting the summoning spell broke this McGregor ’s mind. Nertilla searched for the temple but was unable to find it.
Nertilla contacted the wizard Gilnaeus to help her unlock the secrets of the book and to see if any information could be retrieved from McGregor ; Kagan the Jeweler and his companions had originally come to Chathold to determine the where-a bouts of this wizard and it was during this search that they had their first encounter with the creature and became marked.
Kagan the Jeweler and his companions decided the best way to deal with this was to find out more about the nature of the mark. This led them to Nertilla who was an associate of Drexella ’s. Given the chaos going on in Chathold and the importance of safe-guarding both the book and McGregor ; Nertilla enlisted Kagan the Jeweler and his companions to seek out Drexella both for information and a healing elixir for McGregor.
The blood of a demon was one of the components that Drexella needed to complete the elixir. Kagan the Jeweler and his companions cleared the defiled Pelorian temple and rescued me. As Drexella completed the elixir we discovered that Drexella had made some powerful enemies along the way and in the middle of fending these foes off; the wizard Gilnaeus joined the battle and helped to protect Drexella while we destroyed the creatures assailing her. After the elixir was completed I was given leave to return to my order to seek aid against the dark forces harrying Kagan the Jeweler and his companions.
While I sought the aid of my order Kagan the Jeweler and his companions were to return to chathold to restore McGregor to sanity. When they arrived in Chathold they found the city in disarray. Once again the city had been attacked by the creature. The party sought out Nertilla only to find her horribly tortured and near death. She told Gilnaeus that she had safe-guarded the book, but she had disclosed the location of McGregor to her torturers.
Kagan the Jeweler and his companions instead of immediately setting off to Mithat where McGregor was housed at a healing house of Pelor, decided to spend the night in Chathold where Kagan the Jeweler got drunk, bought a bar and married the lady Thorina Caladrel . On the morrow the wizard Gilnaeus teleported the group to Mithat where they find the Pelorian healing house desecrated, its members killed by torture and McGregor missing. They are able to track the assassins down to a farmhouse in the community where a battle takes place and they find McGregor.
They questioned McGregor and found that he had initially picked up the book in the Suloisian temple in order to scare his pursuers also because it might be worth some loot. McGregor stated that the instant he picked the book up he was overwhelmed by a malevolent force and lost control of his body. He was aware of his surroundings and what his body was doing he just did not have any control over what his body was doing.
Under the malevolent force’s control McGregor, read from the book. Upon completion of the reading everything within 20 feet of McGregor was incinerated and a tremendous earthquake struck the temple shaking it to pieces, somehow McGregor got out of the temple where he was found by Nertilla.
After McGregor told his tale, for reasons to this day escapes me and against the counsel of their comrade Durass Brawnanvil, the party let McGregor go on his way. The party then decided to hunt the dreugar that had helped to capture McGregor and see if there was anything that they could share about the cultist who had hired them. The party caught up with the dreugar and after a cautious parley and the return of some of their equipment, the dreugar shared a description of the cultist holy symbol, an inverted ziggurat with a blue lidless eye at its center. The Dwarven cleric thought that the symbol was some variation of the symbol of the dread Tharizdun. The dreugar also shared that they over heard the cultist speak of a temple deep in the underdark. The dreugar said that if the party made their way down to the Underdark that Clan Xornbane would be open to dealing with them.
The parley broke and the party headed to Dyvers to resupply and talk about what was to be done. That night a strange creature that they believed to be an Illithid attempted to assassinate the party, starting with Rathan. The Illithid was using some type of purple sword and could also use its psionic abilities to form areas of negative energy like that of an evil priest the group was able to combat the creature and it was forced to flee but a short time after it departed Master Gilnaeus was able to discern that he and the other members of the group were being scryed upon by the creature and its allies. Fearful of confronting the enemy the group sought the aid and protection of the vile witch, Drexella, whom agreed to provide aid for a price.
The price that the foul witch put on the making of the anti-scrying objects was the retrieval of her daughter’s soul from a palace located on the plane of Cania, commonly referred to as the 8th plane of Hell. As Drexella told the story she had made an enemy of Asmodeus by trying to bind his daughter Glasya over 3 centuries ago. She had at the time just finished apprenticing under the witch Iggwilv and learned much under her tutelage. After Iggwilv imprisoned the Demon-lord Graz’zt, Drexella thought that I could do the same but in her arrogance she aimed too high; her attempt to bind Glasya failed badly and Drexella was barely able to escape with her life. Sufficed to say Glasya was not amused by Drexella’s effort to bind her and sought terrible retribution. Glasya killed 2 of Drexella’s former apprentices who were sister witches and one of her daughters.
In order to weasel out of the gruesome fate Glasya had in store for her, Drexella entered into a pact with yet another despicable denizen of the lower planes, a being known as Baalphegor . Baalphegor is the consort of Mephistopheles and she offered protection from Glasya) but the cost was terrible. Drexella had to sacrifice her eldest and only remaining daughter’s soul to Baalphegor in a horrific blood ritual and swear allegiance to Baalphegor for eternity. Eventually, Drexella was able to worm her way out of the pact and break free from the dominance of those evil beings.
The parties agreed to the terms and were transported to Cania; they were confronted by many evil beings and were in a fight for their lives against a Gleugon, a terrible ice devil. Rathan was felled by the creature and the group decided that it would have to achieve its goal quickly or flee back to Oerth. They continued fighting and Drexella whom was monitoring the battle and sought me out when she believed that the party was going to be bringing this creature back with them.
The party retrieved the soul gem and plane shifted back to Oerth with the Gleugon, leaving behind the brave priest of Cleggidin Silverbeard, Durass Brawnanvil and their fallen comrade Rathan. When the party arrived Drexella and I arrived shortly afterward and I was able to with the aid of Hieronious swiftly dispatch the creature back to the nether realm. The party then spent the next 6 months hiding at the hut of Drexella , allowing the enemy to go unchecked, allowing their friend Durass to suffer unspeakable torment at the hands of Biffrons. In truth this shameful act of cowardice forced me to consider breaking my oath to serve them but oath is an oath precisely because it cannot be broken. They asked me if I would be willing to delay fulfilling my oath so they could get the full measure of service from me. An honorable group would have never asked but since they did I granted their request, so that I had leave to pursue the enemy; I made it known that had I had the means, I would have tried to rescue Durass but only Tervine the goodly priest of Pelor had any interest in that.
So it was after the items were completed by Drexella, the group set out to go to the free city of Greyhawk on a mission of vengeance that the Kobold, Ossobucco wanted to carry out against a merchant who had hired the group of mercenaries that decimated his tribe. Before they embarked on that mission, Kagan called on his companion Romona to join them however, Romona did not answer the summons. Kagan tried repeatedly to summon his faithful companion to no avail. Understandably dismayed Kagan sought to find out why Romona was not answering his call; to that end he consulted with Gilnaeus and Drexella and they were of the opinion that the death effect Romona was exposed to killed her permanently and that was preventing her return.
It was decided that while they were in Greyhawk, the group would speak with the church of Pelor about the options of reviving Romona. After being sidetracked with Ossobucco’s issue, we spoke to his Holy Radiance Justineous High Priest of Pelor. He offers the group the return of Romona via the aid of Pelor in return for the retrieval of the legendary sword Dawnbringer, which fell into the hands of the evil dragon, Moltantaticous over a century ago. He also requested that Gilnaeus stay with the church in order to provide his expertise on the enemy. The party swears before Justineous that they would perform this task or die trying.
Knowing that a dragon was not a foe to be taken lightly we spent the next ten-day in Greyhawk, researching Moltantaticous and recruiting men to our cause. In the end we accepted 4 men and 1 woman to accompany us on the quest to slay Moltantaticous. They were Varrick, the ranger, Torck an inquisitor of Saint Cuthbert, Muca Xarat, a fool and a liar but the others liked his price, Tar Bolen, an orc barbarian and finally the gentle priestess of Pelor, Luthianus.
We teleported into Desolace to meet with a contact of the Pelorian church, so that we may get an intelligence report before confronting Moltantaticous. When arrived in the middle of a gigantic battle, there was no time for courtesies and we set about to help defend the town. The enemies were many and even though we fought hard most of the defenders were killed. In the end mighty Moltantaticous himself showed and the remaining survivors save me broke and fled. I stood and parleyed with Moltantaticous to buy those who fled time to escape. Moltantaticous forced me to exit the field of battle and after doing so he hunted down some of those who fled and destroyed them.
A force of Heironian knights arrived and reestablished control of Desolace, I and the other survivors made our way back to Desolace. The Heironian knights were honorable by allowing us a share of what was gathered. The group was together again but not whole Ossobucco, the kobold fell in the battle although, his body was not found; of the mercenaries we hired Torack and Varrick survived but decided that Moltantaticous was beyond their ability to fight, the fool Muca was stomped by a fire giant he was trying to entertain during the battle and Tar Bolen… Tar, lead Moltantaticous away from Desolace allowing the Heironians to retake it, but was dropped from two thousand feet and killed by Moltantaticous.
It was at this time once again that the party decided to wait, securing the spoils from Desolace instead of confronting Moltantaticous or the enemy. Months went by and finally after my own and the church of Pelor’s insistence the group started to make ready the assault upon the lair Moltantaticous. We recruited a new member named Feris, whom I met on the patrols that the Hieronians set up to help protect Desolace. As we made ready for our journey, In order to gain some supplies that we needed, I was forced to agree that after my current term of service with the group was concluded that I would enter a 6 month service for the merchant that cut us a break on the potions of heroism we required.
The next morning, I was summoned to meet with the Hieronian Commander, he had a bold plan to assault the lair of Moltantaticous by assailing it from both points of entry. He purposed that he and his men assault the front and that our group strike from the back entrance to assault the lair.
I agreed to the plan knowing that my companions would not turn down aid against the dragon. When I returned I was told that the group had been contacted by Gilnaeus and the church of Pelor. They had discovered that Romona had not died as a result of the death effect but was captured by the Ithillids who had tried to assassinate them in Dyvers. Gilnaeus had tracked the creatures to the plane that they were holding Romona in captivity and with the church of Pelor had planned an assault for that very night in order to rescue Romona. Even with the knowledge that the church was upholding their end of the agreement it took a while for them to decide that they would fight the dragon. The group waited that night and Gilnaues was successful and Romona was returned to us on the morrow.
We went into the lair from the back entrance but it was heavily warded, as were the first several rooms that we went through. We came upon an undead dragon and Luthianus was killed. The group’s lack of unity and courage did not bode well for success in the lair. We were confronted by Moltantaticous and were once again forced to flee. We fled back to Desolace and I must admit my anger got the better of me and I treated the townsfolk harshly, my companions wanted to run; I had had enough of running. I along with Tervine the cleric were able to shame all but Kagan into standing watch over the town so that if the dragon showed we could help to save what people we could. The dragon did not come though and in the morning Kagan returned.
My companions and I had harsh words, when we spoke of what to do next. I was pushing that we honor our word and complete the quest but it was obvious that many members felt no need to honor their solemn vow. I could not go along with that, my order allows flexibility within our code, but it does not allow cowardice. It is true that they saved my life in the temple but I had saved each of their lives more than once since that day, in my anger, I railed against their lack of honor, commitment and courage and asked to be released from my vow as there were but mere weeks left on it. They readily agreed which infuriated me even more. I said my farewells, I know now that it was a mistake to Part Company, but… I do not know how I could have retained my honor else wise.
I was asked to come before the commander of the Hieronians to explain my actions, when I did, he graciously accepted my apology and he informed me that the Hieronian knights had slew Moltantaticous but the victory came at a heavy cost. He told me that the knights were on their way back with the body and the treasure but wished me to stay on as there were some strange things found in the lair that he wished for my help in examining. I told him that I would stay but I had an obligation to uphold before I could accept the position he offered.
When I went in search of the merchant; I found that he was nowhere; when I questioned others about the merchant, no one knew of whom I spoke; it was if they were bewitched, I immediately became suspicious and went back to the city commander. He did not recognize the man, nor could they find any record of his business. I went to my friends to tell them of the death of Moltantaticous and to warn them of the danger of the merchant and to be wary. They joyously received the news of the death of Moltantaticous but dismissed my warnings about the merchant.
I informed them that the lord commander wanted me to assume the duties of securing the town and then go and investigate the strange items in the lair of Moltantaticous. They said that they were going to rest and then seek new opportunities for adventure. The next day, I went to the lair and discovered a number of ancient and strange magical artifacts, chief among them a mirror outlined in ithillidic script. I tried to identify it but my arcane talents and training are that of a martial nature and I was unable to discern the items abilities or command words. I returned to the town and had a sending spell sent to Gilnaeus the wizard. He is a mage of great skill and had run across this type of script before. My sending was answered almost immediately as it seems that Gilnaeus had come to Desolace to rejoin his companions.
Gilnaeus and I went to the lair the next day and he was able to make many determinations, especially about the purpose of the mirror. The mirror was some type of palanar portal that could be opened from either side to let things come through. It was the opinion of Gilnaeus and I; that given the scrying abilities of these creatures, it was imperative that this doorway be guarded at all times least these creatures attempt to come through. I volunteered for this task myself and we made a sending to my order for aid. My order responded that the nearest aid was weeks away and they would try to come with all haste; alas it was not as soon as it was needed.
I warned the Hieronian commander of the danger that the item posed and he agreed that it should be guarded at all times and also wisely agreed that I was best suited to the task. It was agreed that only one other should be assigned to it so that I could be properly relieved, he assigned his best man Bartonis. I went and warned Kagan and the group that I would be watching the mirror until those from my order arrived to help, they seemed uninterested and said that they had decided to take up with some Halfling tomb-robber and go on a treasure hunt. They along with master Gilnaues left the next day.
And so it was that the next few weeks went by uneventfully for me as I stood watch over the artifact. It was that way until the night of the winter solistice, now called the night of blood. Earlier that day Bartonis had left to make a report to the commander in Desolace. As night fell, I noticed that the stars were moving as the Lunar Eclipse was occurring. I sensed a great evil all around and from out of nowhere several tentacled headed creatures and Bartonis appeared. They attacked me instantly; I was able to see that Bartonis was acting under compulsion and I tried to spare his life but the creatures were all around and they were trying to activate the mirror. I felled Bartonis just as one of the creatures activated the mirror.
It is still hard to explain what happened next as the portal opened; creatures that I have never seen poured out of it onto our plane. I fought with everything that I had and so did Oathkeeper time literally seem to flow slower in the event horizon of the portal opening, it was so bright I thought it would burn my eyes out. As hard as I fought and as many as I felled, the battle was taking its toll on me, for each enemy I slew there were two to its place. It seemed as if I fought for hours and the fallen bodies of my enemies were no small number to behold but still they came! I tried several times to smash the mirror but it would not break. It would not break and neither would I; I would be the rock that the tide of the enemy broke upon and we fought for hours more.
The monsters were now coming faster out of the mirror two and three at a time and I must admit… I knew this would be my last battle, but just as I began to accept the grim truth, the witch, Drexella appeared, she was clearly injured but she was also clearly very angry. I have never thought highly of the witch but I must admit; I knew she was no friend of these beings and was glad to see her. The enemy was not so glad and with renewed vigor and a powerful ally; Drexella and I began to slay the enemy in droves.
This slaying went on for quite some time, Drexella tried to seal the mirror but its magic was connected to the eclipse and it could not be closed (a wall of force would have helped I am sure but we had not a single one of those). Eventually the numbers once again began to take its toll. Drexella tried several times to contact Kagan but between the attacks, the interference from the portal and her own enchanted amulets we did not get through. I instructed Drexella to try one last time giving a situation report but no one came. It was then that I spied the great staff strapped across Drexella’s back. It was a Staff of Power, a staff of very powerful abilities and legendary destructive abilities when broken. I knew what must be done. I grabbed the staff from her back and despite her protestations; I called out to Hieronious and broke it.
A tremendous wave of energy detonated in all directions and I felt myself being vaporized but I fought it with all of my will and the incredible fortitude that the shinning one has bestowed upon me. Drexella winked out of existence, from an obvious teleportative contingency, the creatures were being consumed by the energy as well as the mountain lair, great cracks and crevices opened and the lava beneath the lair exploded everywhere and the mountain itself shook in a shockwave of energy, the last thing I heard was the explosion of the mountain as it erupted in volcanic devastation; the energy from the staff consumed me.
I do not know what manner of time passed but I awoke to find myself on a distant plane, its features were a hideous mockery of a forest everything was a dull shade of grey. I was horrible burned and wounded, the discharge from the staff disintegrated most of my left leg and the lava eruptions burned out my right eye, but the most important thing was that Oathkeeper was unharmed, although fused to my hand from my melted flesh.
I laid there for some time before I was happened upon by several shadow creatures, I do not know what they were… some type of Daemon for certain. They reeked of evil and malice and thought to have some sport in tormenting me, I took the first one through the neck with Oathkeeper, killing it instantly, but the others now more wary, fell upon me, raining blow after blow upon me. I managed to kill one more of the creatures, but one of them impaled me through the chest with a dark spear its foul magic sapped all of my remaining strength and I fell to the ground dying. Then for the second time I saw the form of Drexella appear and she smote my attackers. As I feel into darkness she was tending my wounds.
I awoke again, only this time, the surroundings were very familiar; I was in the infirmary at Citadel Black, the eastern headquarters of my order. Shortly after I awakened I was visited by Sir Harold Selmey, The Grand Magus, and Lord Commander of the Blackblades. He told me that Drexella had brought me to Citadel Black on the fifth day of Needfest. Grand Magus Selmey, spoke to me at length, asking many questions and also informing me of many happenings across the Flaness, chief amongst those happenings were the Needfest attacks all across the Flaness and the destruction of Chathold and Desolace on the night of the Eclipse. As we spoke Drexella came in, she looked even more old and haggard than usual.
I pressed for what little details there were on these happenings, according to what was known, Chathold fell to an invasion of extra-palanar beings that were incubating in a number of people inflicted with the dark mark. These beings used their host lifeforce as a means to bride a dimensional portal, in essence being born upon this plane. Thousands died, and even more were killed in the aftermath, many of the afflicted were Hextorian military, City Watch, and Clergy of the State; when they were consumed in the birthing process, it left few that were capable of organizing resistance against such a foe. The first-hand accounts from those few who got away, speak of horrific and unspeakable acts of murder, dark rituals and orgies of violence and blood, men were tortured and butchered, women raped and killed, children used as sacrifices to satiate twisted desires; needless to say a bad fate to befall anyone. Desolace suffered a less cruel end, the breaking of Drexella’s Staff of Power triggered the Volcano’s eruption and the resulting devastation destroyed Desolace. It also shut the portal and buried it under tons of stone.
I made Inquiry on the health and well being of Kagan and his company, the look in Drexella’s eyes told me everything. She asked leave to speak at this point, which the Lord Commander graciously allowed and she filled us in on what happened that night. She started with how she was drawn into the conflict nearly a day beforehand when agents of the vile Devil Biffrons, including the lost priest Durass Brawn-anvil and some of the tentacle headed creatures assaulted her hut. Drexella had spent centuries preparing her hut against assault and it stood up well for some time but in the end Drexella was forced to destroy it, expelling the servants of Biffrons back to their plane, after that she sought Kagan out but was unable to find him, so she instead sought me out as I had refused to accept her token to prevent scrying.
Drexella then told us that after her contingency activated and the staff’s energy consumed me; it took her some time to locate me on The Gray Waste. After she once again came to my aid and saved my life, she got us out of that evil place and tended my wounds, as I lie unconscious at the edge of death she went in search for Kagan and his companions.
She was able to track them to the tomb of an elven druid named Laurelescoo. She entered the tomb and found that it had been looted and desecrated with symbols that were very near to Tharizdun’s holy symbol but there was a golden eye at the center of the inverted ziggurat instead of just an inverted ziggurat, this was made more disturbing by the fact that the “eye” was seen across the sky of Oerth all during the eclipse. Of Kagan and his companions she found nothing, there was a corpse of a dwarf in the tomb and using magical means (best not delved into too deeply) Drexella was able to question the corpse and ascertain what befell Kagan and his companions.
After we parted company in Desolace, Kagan and his companions were hired by a Halfling rogue by the name of Reegis to basically loot the tomb of a long dead druid. On the road to the tomb, the dark marks on Kagan and his companions began to quicken and spread at an alarming rate. Kagan and his companions whom had largely ignored the progression of the marks over the last 14 months were now in a panic about them. The rogue Reegis tried to set their minds at ease by telling them that there were wondrous treasures within the tomb and perhaps one or more of them would be able to cure the dark mark; as he spoke about it and other things he made some sort of slip up that the group became suspicious of but he was able to explain it away and regrettable regain their trust.
They wandered around the tomb for a little while and finally made their way to the desecrated alter room within the tomb, there were plenty of treasure chests to be found and the rogue Reegis made his way off to search them. As he was searching, Kagan and his companions dark marks quickened again and the companions were writhing in pain; at this point Reegis said a word of power and the Dark Marks erupted and those marked served as a conduit for some dark extra-palanar creatures, save Sir Sicarius, whom totally imploded given existence to a foul being of great power.
All of the companions save two were incapacitated by this process and just when things could not seem to get worse, they did. The Halfling rogue Reegis, had dropped his illusion and turned into none other than Kagan and his companions lost friend Durass Brawnanvil. Durass explained that after he had been abandoned on Cania by Kagan and his companions, his new master Lord Biffrons spent months torturing him to teach him the errors of his ways, after months of long torture Biffrons was contacted by the Itthilid followers of the ancient power who had been pursuing Kagan and his companions. They struck a bargin with Biffrons and together were able to persuade Durass to take a new path to become a servant of Biffrons. With most of the party incapacitated, Durass and the palanar creatures made short work of killing the other two unmarked members Martok the dwarf body that Drexella had found and feris silverbow whose body had been taken.
The only member who had escaped was Gilnaeus the wizard; he had put in place a magical contingency that in the advent of being incapacitated he would be surrounded by a sphere of force that would protect him from harm. By the time he was able to react the battle was over and he fled the field of battle, despite several attempts from Drexella to contact him, Gilnaeus has not responded. It is clear that he wishes not to be found.
A tenday after I awoke and Drexella had informed me of the happenings on the night of blood, I received an unmarked package via courier. I opened the wooden box and it contained a tongue and a letter from Durass Brawnanvil Priest of Biffrons, The letter was a spiteful boast of Biffrons seeking to demoralize me with the failures of my former comrades as well as my own. It was also penned that the tongue was that of Dracioletto Machiovella sent in case if I wanted to converse with my old friends. The letter also went on in hideous detail about the nature of the several gruesome violations of body and mind being perpetrated upon Dracioletto Machiovella and the lady Thorina Caladrel as well. The vile monsters had also taken Kagan’s son to be raised as a tool of Biffrons. I must admit my anger rose and I was ashamed that I did not exert more of my will upon those I served; they did not deserve that fate.
Within days things got even worse, I was told that due to the severity of my wounds it would take many months for me to be able to return to the frontline to battle these creatures. A day after that Sir Harold Selmey, the Grand Magus, and Lord Commander of the Blackblades was assassinated in route to Dyvers to coordinate an offense against the ancient evil. His body was defiled and subjected to a dark ritual that prevents resurrection but worse than that his sword Chaos Blight was taken. Over the next two weeks another dozen Blackblades were murdered and fell into enemy hands.
A state of emergency was declared and to my surprise I was chosen to be the new Grand Magus, and Lord Commander of the Blackblades citing my expertise with the enemy and my war record during the Orc Inquisition. I had never sought power or command however I was glad that my compatriots as well as my lord Hieronious picked me for this task. I immediately declared a state of war and consolidated the blackblades to Citaldel Black. I also recruited Drexella to the cause and she has become one of my principal advisors as well as a great source of knowledge in a number of other areas. I had spent many months despising her when we first met however I have come to respect her abilities as well as her will to do what needs to be done and make no mistake that is one of the most important things to have the will to succeed, the will to go all in and make the necessary sacrifices for the greater good. It was this will that Kagan and his companions lacked and their lack of will and courage is what has brought us to this point.
I have put many things into motion seeking allies however most with the exception of the Cuthbertians have not totally taken up the call. The church of Hieronious and the Order of the Blackblades have an uneasy alliance and it is difficult getting them to agree to some of the… shall we say grey areas of my strategy to defeat these creatures. The most important thing is that we need men of courage and conviction to combat this evil, courage is nice, but conviction is the key. I used the orders contacts to set up a grand tournament in Eastfair, this tournament was touted to be deadly as well as profitable. It was my expectation to find capable freelance mercenaries, those who would knowingly risk their lives for monetary gain are not the best of troops but they are capable and competent provided the reward is there but it was also my hope to be able to find men of conviction as well to form a tactical strike team to assail the enemy.
The Blackblades are too valuable to the cause to allow them to be picked off one by one and the order is spied upon constantly, the blackblades best use currently is to serve as a diversion or draw the attention of the enemy while my strike teams hamper the progress they have made and limit further progress by eradicating the enemy when found. Despite my better judgment, I have agreed to you my finest recruits to the Suss Forrest to look into the rumors of strange creatures and a lost Sulosian city. Drexella thinks there may be matters of import going on there; I however would like to send this group to investigate the ancient temple located by my spies in the Underdark but Drexella has proven herself time and time again and if she thinks it should be looked at then it probably should be.
The party went to the Suss Forrest and found a jabbering local who was familiar with the region and some of the strange happenings and he took them to the site of the occurrences. During the trip to the lost city the group were attacked by some of these strange creatures and overcame them but was impressed by their versatility. They then arrived at the lost city itself only to be attacked by more strange creatures and spell casters. They were able to thwart the summoning of some terrible beast by one of the spell casters but were unable to prevent a portal from being opened to a different plane.
After they defeated the creatures, all but one of the members fell victim to the magical effects of the plane door being opened and fell unconscious and were captured. Their comrade Gortakka, a fierce gnoll warrior followed them to have a location then returned to the nearest town so that he could contact me for aid in their rescue.
In the time it took for Gortakka to get back to the order, the party was subjected to a bizarre psionic interrogation that caused a shared hallucination involving strange dogs and unknown known people. I was able to provide Gortakka with some staunch allies to help rescue the group, the wizard Gilnaeus who had returned for his own reasons to combat the enemy, Entil-zha, a gifted but arrogant Wizard-Priest who needed some time in real combat situations, Caldin a warrior seeking to restore his families legacy, Onoma Ousia a Cuthberthian Priest who until recently had been imprisoned by the vile duplicity of the man known as Mcgregor and Gorruck a monk seeking to prove himself to the order.
They went to the prison plane and freed Sir Bayard and the rest of the party save the wizard Xellos who had died as a result of the mental duress placed upon him by the interrogation. In doing so they discovered that a great angel is imprisoned in Obadanzig, the prison where they were being held. They rightly decide the angel cannot be allowed to languish in captivity and set about trying to free him. They fight their way through the prison guardians and are beset by a horde of undead specters, gorruk was killed and Bayard sacrificed himself to disable the magic’s holding the angel captive.
The party is able to return Bayard and Gorruck to life but at the cost of most of their resources but wish to return to the prison to capture it as a valuable stronghold. They return to the prison plane and again to do battle with its guardians. They returned to the prison unfortunately in their absence the evil creatures guarding it fortified their numbers and the group came upon a battle that it lost and only Entil-zha and Caldin survived.
Entil-zha marshaled the last of the group’s resources and brought back the goodly Paladin of Nola, Ghyffrey Aybara. They contact me at Citadel Black asking for resources that I could not give, although I do give them leave to aid a potential ally whose kingdom was being harassed by strange creatures. The king’s high wizard had been in contact with Gilnaeus and extended an offer. The monetary and land rewards are such that they readily agree to the task of clearing a wizard’s tower to retrieve a spellbook reputed to have powerful spells against aberrations.
They meet with the king and accept his offer shortly after which news is brought that the kings eastern army is under attack. Entil-zha tells the king that he would gladly look into that matter as soon as the spellbook is retrieved. The party then went and cleared the tower and retrieved the spellbook. They returned the spellbook to the king and set off to help beat back the attack, which they did so with relative ease.
After defeating the plant creatures it was discovered that the creatures were unearthing a ruined temple of Demongorgon, as last report they have entered the temple.