The World of Kinin

Not so welcome Homecoming.

Arrival in Spire City.
The only stable portal to Kinin known to Darwin led them to the City of Spires. There the party learned that much had changed since Fenniros and Lotte had left. But strangely, no time had passed. They were back on the day they left. However a conflict had arisen between the Church of Pallum and the Wizards of Arcana. Wizards refusing to take the test of the Tower of Wizardry, also known as Apostate Mages, had risen up, and now the church had engaged in a crusade to bring them to heel. The War of the Apostates had begun. And Lotte and Fenniros were embroiled in it.

Crucifixion and Control
Lotte’s father, Magnus of the School of Invocation and Wizard Master of the Arcane Tower of the Rod, had informed her that she would be joining the Order of the Rod and serving the Knights of the Arcane Tower. Furthermore her mother was missing, her order of the Mystic Fire had been mostly absorbed into the Knights of the Arcane Tower and that her charge Fenniros was to be tested and if he passed, be permanently branded as a member of the Three Colour Orders.

With the Necromancer’s door still open, they party took some time to go seal that, and returned as quickly as possible so as to go about rescuing their companion.

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From Great Cage to a Plane of Cages.

As the bizarre nature of Sigil enveloped our intrepid party, they were trapped by some enterprising rogues, who thought that this group of clueless would be an easy mark. They were wrong. From this battle, the party gained a special weapon, a Baatorian Green Steel Scimitar. A weapon capable of wounding any outsider.
Beaten and battered the party found their way to the SquareRound Pub, or the RoundSquare Pub depending on who you ask. The Tavern and Inn has one half all square angles, the other all circles and round.
The next day they were met by Darwin, a Gatecrasher Dwarf from Sigil. He had been tasked with sealing the portal that the party had unwittingly opened.
The party learned that they had earned the ire of the Lady of Pain, and that was a very bad thing. They were to accompany Darwin to the outer planes, gather a Rod of Incarceration and use it to permanently seal the portal at the other end. If they did not, the Negative Material Plane would leak out into the Prime Material Plane and end the Multiverse. They agreed.

Darwin had a travelling companion in the form of Brother Lightpeak, an Illumin traveller seeking purpose to guide him to divine ascension. Together the party travelled to the Outlands, to the town of Curst, before slipping into Carceri. Once in Carceri the travelled across hostile territory, fighting Quasits and other demons. Eventually facing a chain demon and entering a prison for deceivers . Within the prison the party found the demonic master and warden, a Pain Demon, with a Bronze Golem. After a pitch battle, the party finally slew the beast. From its hoard they found a Rod of Incarceration, treasure and magic equipment.
Treasure in hand, they backtracked to Sigil. From there they travelled back to Kinin.

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The Necromancer’s Gate.

Atop the Witch’s Tower Lay the Necromancer’s Gate.

Upon reaching the top of the tower, the party were greeted by fresh dead corpses. There they also met foul traps. One trap claimed the life of Mercer, the HalfGnome Thief. Saddened by the loss the party moved on to see what was going on. Atop the tower they found dark clerics guarding the inner sanctum.
Within the Sanctum, a strange contraption, massive bronze gears without spokes. They appeared to be holding a portal. This portal, was surrounded by a field of glowing magic. This magic flowed from four large and bizarre orreries, into the desiccated corpses of four witches, trapped in the rigour of death, frozen in agony, holding the shield in place. One such witch held a staff. Near her, was a familiar villain. The cleric from the Tomb of Blood, Veltargo was present. He engaged in combat with the party, but was not willing to hang around.
He grabbed the staff from the master witch and using a word of recall vanished, taking the staff. The energy holding back the portal exploded out, and with it the portal energies consumed the party.

Pain, a whirling sensation and an endless darkness. Unconsciousness.

Eventually the party awoke. They found themselves in a very small room; barely enough space for them all, and not tall enough for some. Most disturbingly, the room had no doors or entrances. No manner of ingress or egress.
A quick look around showed that the walls were of different materials. Picking the weakest the party started to bash their way down.
No sooner had they created an opening than it was filled with a large eye, a heavily accented voice spoke out and demanded to know what was going on. The odd creature before them was cube shaped an appeared to be made of brass and copper. This Modron resented the invasion of his bedroom. Soon the party found themselves out on a most peculiar street.
The party were now in Sigil, the city of doors and the accepted center of the Multiverse by anyone who isn’t a God or a Signer of One.

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Beyond the forest and the Witch's Tower

After defeating the black dragon and freeing the white, the party returned to Denstone to rest and recuperate. During their rest they learned of the many dangerous and interesting places around the area. Including the ancient Witch’s Tower.
As the story is told, long ago a coven of witches built the tower to practice their dark arts. One night there was an explosion in the forest, and ever since the tower and the forest around it has been haunted.
Our brave adventurers set out to tackle this dark puzzle. Moving through the forest they discovered an orcish war band, preparing to attack any they could find. Preparing their own ambush, the party lured them out of their camp and slew the raiders. Investigating the camp the party discovered a trapped pixie. The pixie agreed to help them, and led them away.
Awaking some time later, the party had no memory of what happened next. Only that they were in a pleasant glade, with food and the gift of silver daggers and a magic wand.
Continuing on the party discovered the tower in a seemingly natural bowl among the hills. At the centre of the bowl a mist gathered around a small crag, out of which grew the tower. Atop its structure, a pale blue arcane fire burned.
The mist proved to be spider web, there a druid, an Ettercap verminlord dwelled with its arachnid minions. Defeating them with fire. They continued in.

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Atop the gates to the courtyard sat two large gargoyles. Seeing the party they attacked. However one was defeated easily, the other sought to carry off Mercer and drop him on the spiked wall. Only his nimble nature saving him. Eventually the second gargoyle was driven off, seeing the party were too strong to defeat.
Beyond the courtyard, dark and damaged, the necromantic energies sapping all life from the area, the hall door was easily opened. Inside, carrion crawlers had made meals of all the previous adventurers who had tried to enter. They fought the party, but were also defeated.
Searching the area the party found undead and a mimic. They also found treasure and more puzzling information as to what was going on.
Beyond the ground floor, the party found the library and bedrooms of the original witches. Seeing the vast library, Fenniros dove in seeking knowledge. It was here that a haunting ghost attacked and started to suck out his soul. Many of the party were hurt by this dark beast. But the monk Stone Disciple recently acquired ghost touch gloves that allowed him to grab and hold the foul beast.
Retreating to rest, the party returned to the forest beyond the bowl , preparing to tackle the next part of this dark tower.

To be continued.

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The Ballad of the Tomb of Blood Everflowing

The Tomb of Blood Everflowing

Twas dark and dangerous this tale
As warriors and clerics did fail.
But by stalwart heart and blade swung true
Did victory come to this burgeoning crew.

Blaggards come from under the ground
To steal dark tomes and spread disease around
Fateful times bring heroes near
Heroes to make the brave knave fear

Six there were, travellers new
To each other, they were all true
They scoured the city for lost clues
And within its belly they gained their news

To a blood filled tomb, to ancient gods
They went into darkness, where no angel trod
Through traps and trials, blood stained foes
While comrades fell to enemies blows

These brave heroes travelled deep
To face a villain in his keep
Dark gods summoned the walking dead
Our heroes faced them, overcoming dread

With allies lying, strewn across the floor
The survivors rallied and attacked once more
And now the blood gulch has been cleaned
The foul deeds moved away it seems

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Off on a new Adventure

well a lot has happened since i last wrote in this let’s see we fought a black dragon, he was a piece of cake really but a bit of a dick anyway from there we “saved” the white dragon called clacryx who is now free to kill like he will most likely do in about 100 years or so, anyway if that’s the case i’ll deal with him then, from there we dealt with all the kobolds and Charlotte decided to convert the one that was protecting calcryx, i have no idea why but for now i’m pretending to be his friend until he eventually slips up and starts worshiping evil once again and i can guarantee i wont let this evil creature off a second time, either that or someone else will do me the favor. so from there we got paid now i finally have enough to start buying my own book and take proper care unlike the library, they’ll let anyone in who shows the slightest bit of coin.

so we then ate a meal with parts from the golden apple and then we planted the seeds, suposedly they will grow into treants eventually but for now they’re 200 ft tall redwoods, they are rather marvelous to behold, i might actually start to write about that in more detail and try to sell some books about it, i think people would be very fortunate to hear my recollection of events.

from there we started to travel to a witches tower that’s a few days away from the town, we encountered some orc’s and we took them down but a blasted ogre tossed me 30 ft to the ground from the tree i was in, so much for Charlotte protecting me, i’m beginning to think i need a better body guard since this one keeps on getting knocked out.

so from there we went to the tower only to find that it had been corrupted by some foul creature called an ettercap which i remembered was quite vulnerable to fire, i guess all that book reading pays of huh Charlotte, i do hope that as she ages she becomes more mature, anyway back on topic, we defeated the … and all of it’s spidery minions and now we’re about to enter the town, i do hope there is some old tomes or some old magical artifacts, maybe even a sentient item that would be very informative.

oh we also met a warforged, who i named brother stone, since he didn’t have his own name, he’s a monk and quite a good guy, currently he’s one of my favorite people to chat to within the group, although then again he doesn’t have much competition

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Jondahl's Journal

It is done. The humans have been rescued.

How we got here is twisted. The trade caravan I was with made it to the summer soltice market fare and I fell in with a group of novice adventurers. One of the little folk, a Simbasta, an Argonian and, eventually, a human and an elf. First we chased pickpockets, then we chased book-snatchers, and then we found ourselves under the cairnes investigating foul necromancies. It was a dark place and dark time – Argonian, Elf and Simbasta all fell to dark forces.

Those of us who remained were joined by two more, and shortly after returning the stolen book and uncovering a dark plot to subvert the course of nature through necromancy, got a job escorting a trade caravan in the opposite direction.

As a group we had differences of opinion with the caravan driver and were released from duty, only to be hired immediately by the mayor of the stopover town to rescue dozens of humans from local beastman raiders. This, at least, was something everyone in the group could agree on.

To be clear, I am currently travelling with:

  • Fenniros, an agile elven book-caster with a warm spot for fire
  • Lotti, a knight of sorts who champions freedom and knowledge
  • Mercer, one of the smallfolk who has quick fingers and flexible ethics
    *Branzel, a young human male fighting for a buck. Or is that the other way around?

We tracked the captured humans, who’s numbers made the task easy. We fought small numbers of beastmen along the way, and the anscestors watched over us. We learned they were bugbears and had goblin cohorts. We tracked them through one underground labrynth to another – a dwarven city – and met kobolds.

A deal was struck with the kobolds to return a stolen dragon. In return they would allow us passage and render minimal aid in defeating the goblins and bugbears. We have fought much and rescued the humans – once again I thank the anscestors for watching over us and adding their weight to ttip the scales in our favour – and have been hailed as heroes by the mayor and townsfolk.

The celebrations are welcome – it is a nice change to be seen as a hero rather than cowered from. The few other Rakasta I have seen in this part of the world do not seem to create their own personal space as much as I do, so while I quickly tire of the crowd and the noise, it is a change for the better.

There are still unanswered questions and promises to be fulfilled. More to the point, Fenniros feels honourbound to return the dragon to the kobolds. Lotti feels like we’ve done our job and freed the humans and are, in turn, free to go. Mercer has an unexplained hatred for the kobolds and wishes not to help them but would not mind seeing a few of them die before we leave this part of the world.

Myself? I think there is something bigger at play. From what I can tell It is natural for kobolds and goblins to fight over territory. It is natural for bugbears to raid human settlements. What is unnatural is bugbears and goblins working together to capture slaves for the dwarves. There is something bigger at play, though I do not think it is the necromacy of earlier.

The worste I have seen so far, though, was the corrupted Ent. No long a part of nature, it confessed needing not light nor water and hungered for the life-force that animates us all. It was a blight upon the land, poisoning the ground around it. It offered power, but power dark and twisted. It was a bitter moment to realise that the first Ent I would meet – ancient and powerful – was cursed to be outside the natural order. It was cleansed with fire.

We rest a few days, and then we return to the kobolds. There is something else down there, underground, that has caught our attention, and there is a ‘dragon’ to find. Though I wonder if it is a true dragon, and if it is, wether it is under the protection of the kobolds or being held as their slave? I shall bring this idea up with the group, though I do not know if they will take me seriously. They watched as I called on the anscestors to defeat our foes – they saw my tooth and claw be blessed for combat, and they saw the combined speed and srength of generations of warriors, and they saw the red rage, and the blood of my foes.

Though I fight for good, I wonder if my companions now see me as a monster?

This is one of many things I will meditate on.

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Dark Trees Bare Strange Fruit

Continuing into the depths of the Dragon Cult Keep, the party faced the mighty Bugbear Hargak, a barbarian of brutal strength. He and his guards as well as the chief of the goblins were no match for the relentless tactics of our intrepid adventurers.

Deeper into the dark tunnels, the party climbed down a sinkhole covered in strange fungus. Upon reaching the bottom, the party discovered a fungus filled cave that led to a dark grove. Within this grove they found a tree, feeding on the captured villagers. As they approached, they were attacked by Earth Elementals. Quickly the party discovered that one of them was a spell caster. More and more elementals were summoned by their foe, eventually they cornered the caster and with his destruction the summoned beasts were banished.

This battle though victorious, was costly in resources and the party were badly wounded from the fight. Branzel did not recover, instead lay unconscious for a long time. It was during this that the party turned their attention to the dark tree. Four villagers were standing around the tree, staring blankly at it, swaying in an unseen breeze. The party saw that the roots of the tree had climbed up and were draining the life from the peasants. Viewing the tree magically showed runes all around it, and that the tree was also magical.Jondhal noted that nature here was awry. Experimentation on the roots of the tree and it awoke, revealing that it was in fact a perverted and evil Treant. It swore at them and bid them come to it, to feed it. It needed not sun and water, but blood. It was semi petrified and moved with the sound of creaking stone. The tree demanded being fed. The party sought to free the villagers and it attacked. The tree was powerful and dangerous. However the clever use of magic and fire bombs found earlier ended the creature, that which was still wood was vulnerable and weak. When Fenniros managed to use his natural elven dexterity to run up the tree and throw fire oil into the Ent’s mouth, the damage was devastating. As its core burned, the tree died. Finally the tree split open and revealed in its heart, a golden apple.

Nobody could remember the exact meaning of the apple, only vague legends that the apple brought bounty and health, and that the seeds were important too. But without more research, they could not be sure on how to proceed.

From this encounter, the party earned a strange new weapon, a crude stone Morningstar. The haft a rough-hewn branch bound in leather, the head an odd shaped piece of marble strapped on in the same leather, the spikes, shards of obsidian. It radiated Druidic power.

The encounters were brutal and damaging, the party tired and sore. They rested in the mushroom grove, detecting, on the edge of the darkness and evil, a hint of silver light, the distant roar of a dragon. Through the night, Jondahl ministered to the group, and in the morning his healing spells aided them. Bolstered by new health and victory, they marched on in search for the other prisoners.

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Into the Sunless Citadel
Here there be Dragons. (very little ones)

After escaping the Gorkori Tunnels, the party traversed the mountain area and found a hill, broken and devoid of life. A well worn path led up to the top. Along the path were crude traps and signs that the hill was in fact sundered.
Atop the hill, the party found Bugbear guardians and strange pillars to an ancient religion, unknown to any, even the all knowing Fenniros. Descending into the dark depths of the crevasse that had sundered the mountain our brave heroes found a fortress that had fallen into the mountain after some great cataclysm. Fighting Skeletons the party discovered one of their first true magic treasures. 4 Magical arrows imbued with frost magic.

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Descending further down the party discover the weeping form of Meepo. It seems that Meepo was the guardian and wrangler for his clan’s secret weapon, a White Dragon wyrmling, Calcryx. That was, until the goblins whom the kobolds are at war with stole it, now he lives in shame.
The party were quick to strike upon the idea of offering help to the Kobolds in exchange for help finding the captured townsfolk.
Meepo took the party to see Yusdrayl Queen of the Dragon Throne. Yusdrayl turned out to be a sorcerer queen of the kobolds, whose throne was made up of fallen pieces of the fortress.

Yusdrayl.jpg

This was one of many clues to learn that the fortress was in fact an ancient cult headquarters to a group of dragon worshipers who venerated an ancient red dragon called Ashardalon.
Yusdrayl was more than happy to let adventurers through her area and let them loose on her goblin foes. She hoped that with the fall of the goblins, she could take control over the upper layer of the fortress and gain the many profits from serving the Bugbears.
Upon heading into the Goblin area, the party started to bicker among itself, Fenniros’ snootery proving too much a jibe for Mercer, who had to prove a point and this in turn started an argument with Lottie. This argument drew the attention of goblins and bugbears and a battle ensued. A battle that was very nearly too costly for the party.
Retreating after, the party now rest and reflect upon their deeds, both successful and otherwise. Drawing on this experience to better themselves.

Party Leveled up to Level 3 based on Monster XP.

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The Gorkori Tunnels
Duergar in the Dark

Delving into the deeper tunnels of the mountain. The party made a strange discovery at the bottom of a pit trap. This trap revealed that one of the women from the Caravan had escaped and was trying to flee back to help, unfortunately she was trapped during said escape.

Zarrah thought she was doomed until she saw the faint light of both hope and escape when the party stumbled onto the trap, revealing her. They soon rescued her and she decided to follow them in and rescue the others.

Because the party had to move around the sealed doors of the bugbears, now learning from Zarrah that the shaman of the bugbears has control over Earth Elementals, they were forced to explore the other tunnels.

Eventually they found a magnificent city buried under the mountain. Beautiful carved stone and strange black steel like glass.

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Investigating noises in the city the party found a group of Duergar (dark dwarves) with an cave troll slave. Avoiding them, the party tried to decide what they would do next. It was then that a Duergar patrol, mounted on giant spiders, found them. The battle was quick and decisive, however it did attract the attention of the other duergar. The party fled, eventually finding their way into an ancient cathedral. Their, among treasures, the party found that they were in an ancient city, built by giant and powerful Elder Bugbear like race. Also known as the Gorkori.

Further investigations showed that the Duergar had fled. From there the party escaped out of the tunnels, realising that the Bugbears had moved right through the mountain and were headed elsewhere.

Following a night’s rest they headed out along the trail left by the bugbears. They came across a guard post, and there they fought the bugbears, Fen’s magic proving valuable and Johndal’s spear proving sharp, the bugbears were defeated. While the party talked down the bear used by these guards, Mercer and Branzel used sword and stealth to beat the rest of the guards.

To be continued.

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