Saturday, August 12, 2006

With the continent of Khorvaire in a war of succession for over a hundred years, each of the five nations was looking for their own way to end it.
Thrane, a country in north central Khorvaire long ruled by the fanatical Church of the Silver Flame, was seeking answers from the forgotten past.
On the continent of Xen'drik, giants once ruled an empire and commanded powerful magics lost to the world now for thousands of years. It was the hope of the Church that four of their agents could retrieve some of this magic to end (and possibly win) the war.
The group covertly left Thrane traveling north to the sea. Marcus the Devout, a young warrior and aspirant to the clergy acted as the representative of the Silver Flame. His sister Tanvesa was an expert on Xen'drik lore and an excellent cartographer. Huor Tinuvil, a changeling "requisitions specialist" was assigned to open locks and disarm traps for the group. Rounding out the group, Serba the warforged (living machine) paladin acted as bodyguard for the more delicate members.
Booking passage with military vessels, merchants and privateers, the party spent the better part of eight months rounding the eastern side of the continent, finally making landfall on the southern tip of Khorvaire. From there, they boarded a supply ship bound for Stormreach on the southern continent of Xen'drik.
Another vessel deposited them on the eastern shore and left a small skiff for them to use to return to Stormreach.
For three months the group traveled into the un-explored interior of Xen'drik following legends known only to Tanvesa. Eventually, they reached the lost giant city of Mal-Banom where they defeated a tribe of gnolls to claim a locked box which was given to Tanvesa to study.
On the way back to the coast, the party stumbled across ruins even older than those in Mal-Banom. Tanvesa and Huor began to study them immediately while the others stood guard.
Ignoring a shouted warning from Huor, Tanvesa triggered a spear trap sized for the giants who inhabited the site before it was abandoned -- killing her instantly.
It was then that the party heard skittering from the underbrush behind them.
Serba scooped up the body of the fallen Tanvesa and Huor grabbed the box from Mal-Banom. With Marcus the Devout guarding their flank, the party began a sprint to cover the last bit of jungle between themselves and the skiff.
They caught glimpses of their pursuers enough for Marcus to identify them as skiurids -- evil rodents from the shadow realm. They are nasty by themselves, but this sounded like a group of fifty or more. As the group barreled down the path, it became evident that the skiurids were gaining on them.
After Marcus called upon his innate powers of illumination, a wave of dark energy from the skiurids passed over the group, hurting Marcus and weakening him.
"Leave her! She is slowing you down!" Huor shouted at Serba, flinging Tanvesa's body down a small embankment.
"Yes, that is just a shell. My sister has been accepted into the warmth of the Flame. Leave her," Marcus agreed as he drew his sword and prepared to face the evil creatures.
"I know that," Serba growled,"But that shell carried the map!" He dove into the underbrush after the corpse.
Serba took a nasty bite from a skiurid in retrieving Tanvesa, but Marcus succeeded in knocking the rest of the evil rodents off his companion.
The group began to slow as they noticed the rodents and other larger shapes had begun to take up positions in front of them.
Suddenly, a dark humanoid shape appeared in the path. A dark-skinned elf wearing armor made from the discarded shells of the giant scorpions that inhabit Xen'drik waved them down a different path.
As Serba could detect no evil about this stranger (and none of the group were anxious to be swarmed and eaten by evil squirrels) they began to follow a narrow path, little more than a game trail, seemingly away from where the boat was hidden.
Marcus noticed the strange lizard creatures first. One on each side, they were running in parallel with the trail. While each was the size of a ten-year-old human child, the similarity ended there. They were un-naturally fast, covered in scales and carried wicked looking curved blades that seemed to have been made to rest in the crooks of their odd reptilian arms.
In no hurry to add to their list of mortal enemies, Marcus held his bow at the ready but did not fire . . . Until the beasts rushed out of the undergrowth and attacked Huor.
Marcus managed to pierce one with an arrow and a thrown sword by Serba drove the other one back to allow his companions to make it across an ancient bridge over a deep ravine.
As Serba himself started across at last, a tall figure with green glowing eyes stepped out of the jungle behind him.
"Return the path," said the figure who, upon closer inspection, appeared to be some kind of corrupted warforged.
"Return the what?" Serba stalled, trying to buy his companions time enough to start down the goat path on the far cliff face that led down to the river.
The green-eyed 'forged laughed as twin rust monsters emerged from the underbrush on the far side of the chasm, drawn to the scent of the metal in Serba's armored form.
"Flame take you!" Serba roared, throwing himself into the air and landing hard against the ancient wooden bridge.
With a loud crack, the bridge toppled into the gap. Serba managed to jump to freedom, but he dropped Tanvesa into the swirling mists below.
As the green-eyed warforged slipped into the jungle on the southern side of the canyon, Serba sprinted down the path on the northern side after his companions. He felt the acidic breath of the rust monsters as they ran after him like cat-sized metal-eating roaches.
At the bottom of the cliff, the group had a moment to rest and down the few healing potions they had left.
The dark elf introduced himself as Zaxxon Kol'Chak, late of the Sting of Ral-Abesh tribe of Drow. He had seen the plight of the companions and knew that they were being pursued by an evil warforged named Purge who had been trying to drive Zaxxon's people off their ancestral lands for the past few seasons. He also knew that while the artifact they carried was of interest to Purge, it was also stolen from Mal-Banom. Aiding them would violate taboo and earn him eternal banishment, but letting the artifact fall into the hands of Purge would mean extinction for his people. His decision to travel with these strangers was permanent.
Perhaps finally giving in to the grief of losing his sister, Marcus agreed to send Serba back up the river for Tanvesa's remains.
They offered to wait for one day at the boat for Serba to return. After that, they would get the box back to Thrane.
While Serba trudged back up river, the other three headed for the skiff.
The beach nearest was guarded by four of the strange lizard creatures, who drew weapons and attacked. Zaxxon threw a fire enchantment at the one in the lead and, with the aid of a dagger thrown by Huor, the companions were no longer out numbered.
Marcus cleaved through another two and, as Huor fell unconscious from blood loss, the fourth thought better of attacking this group and sprinted for the jungle. Marcus struck it down as it passed.
After reviving Huor and setting him to the task of opening the box, Marcus and Zaxxon examined the fallen lizard creatures.
The box contained a well-preserved book written in the ancient language of the giants. According to Zaxxon's translation, the book detailed the magical properties of an amulet called "The Mortal Path."
While Huor and Zaxxon discussed the amulet, Marcus stared hard at the mouth of the river -- willing Serba to return, with or without the remains of his sister.
Even with an extra day and a half, Serba never walked back out of that jungle.
The survivors began the journey back to Thrane, which took most of a year. They continued to do work for the church until the war ended. A short time later, the three were summoned back to the Cathedral of the Silver Flame for an audience. They were introduced to their new half-giant guide, Kane Drywell, and ordered back to Mal-Banom to contain an evil that had been active since they had last visited.
Able to travel openly this time, the group took the lightening rail to the large southern city of Sharn, where a ship had been chartered for them by the church.
On their way to secure passage through the difficult crossing from the savage sahuagin shark people, the group was attacked by two men wearing the evil emblem of the Emerald Claw. Huor noticed a familiar green-eyed warforged watching from a near by balcony as Kane revealed his psychic gift by growing to over thirty feet in height and carving the assailants up with a giant pole axe.
After the battle and the subsequent interview by the Sharn City Watch, there was no sign of Purge.
In a seedy dock-side tavern, Huor negotiated a deal for the ship chartered by the church to be escorted through the dangerous shipping lane to Stormreach known as Shargon's Teeth. However, when the party went to check in with the ship, they discover it had already sailed. The harbor master informed them it sailed about an hour after a strange looking green-eyed warforged showed up with a group of Emerald Claw soldiers.
Quickly arranging for alternate transport, the party set sail a day behind Purge.
They have no deal arranged with the sahuagin for their own transport and hope that whatever gold they throw overboard at the appointed time will be enough.

I think the next game is in two weeks.


Anonymous said...




Andrew Moore said...

Dude, you are one vicious bitch of a DM.

Seriously. You should rig the room with strobes and thunder sound effects so whenever one of your poor players steps into one of your traps you can cackle wildly with the appropriate accompaniment.

I am so glad you're not god.