The Walker Kings

Kemalok Before You Leap

In this episode of the Walker Kings…

The situation seemed dire. Bjorn Mindhammer stood ready, answering the challenge of the fallen Kemalok kings. He stood in Raked’s chambers, ready to face the fallen king in the eye… which proved to be difficult, seeing as Raked was beheaded.

What Raked lacked in headgear, however, he made up for in ferocity. Hands of bone gripped Raked’s maul tight, and he was not alone; Raked’s honor guard rose, oaths to protect echoing in the dank chambers. Winged serpents flew and hissed, sleek scales crackling with electricity. Though Bjorn and his companions had faced the guardians of Kemalok before, they had never encountered a challenge such as this.

But when two kings clash, only one shall kneel. And after a grueling fight, this proved to be Raked.

Bjorn nodded satisfaction at the victory. He could not celebrate just yet, as there were conquests yet to be had in this castle. The artifacts of the Kemalok kings, his by right, had not yet been returned, and there would be no leaving without them.

The group realized the castle was actually one of several smaller castles put together, and so they set out to explore the complex systematically. After their initial foray was rebuffed by a hidden Maze trap, the group backtracked and tried elsewhere, with better success. They eventually reached Rohuv’s library, where their old “friend” the sphinx awaited with another riddle. Alderun managed to put his scholarly skills to use, however, and his knowledge of proper library maintenance actually helped everybody else for a change.


Image taken from Jonathan Ewert. For personal, nonprofit use.

As the bookcase slid aside to reveal a hidden room, Bjorn once again had to face another Kemalok king. A huge gash across the cadaver’s chest marked this king as Rohuv, who also had his honor guard by his side. Not that he seemed to need it, as he looked imposing enough with just his armor and morningstar.

Or imposing enough for a normal adventurer, at least. But clearly, Bjorn Mindhammer is not a normal adventurer. With the rest of the party keeping Rohuv’s honor guard at bay, Bjorn dealt a mighty blow to Rohuv’s already gashed chest, splattering bits of viscera and sinew across the stone floor. The souls of the dead could only gasp their response, though no one can say if this was in fear or in awe (or both, at that). Bjorn Mindhammer was undoubtedly there to fight. Could he be the champion they were seeking? Could he truly become the Dwarven king, the one who will unite the dwarves of Athas and seek vengeance for the fallen?

It was too soon to think of such, Bjorn knew. Another challenge overcome, but still more lay ahead. The party pressed on through the abandoned hallways of Rohuv’s castle and made their way towards Borys’ castle. As they reached the sphinx once again, they looked around to see shelves lined with books and two braziers. The riddle seemed fairly straightforward, really: ash was required. And though it pained the intellectuals of the group to see it happen, books were fed to the flames, who greedily lapped them up and spit out ash in large quantities. This lured a floating skull with gemstones in its eye sockets to the party, and Alderun recognized it as the skull he had encountered earlier.

“Who are you? What do you know about this place?” asked the Urikite scholar, curious as to the skulls presence.
“I am the Lord Herald of Borys,” replied the skull, “and I know much and more about this place. But there are only two things you need to know, at the moment: that it is my duty to protect it in the name of my master, and that dead men need no further information.”

Pillars rose up suddenly around the room as the Lord Herald’s gemstone eyes spat out fires. Initial attempts to harm the old lich were inefficient, and everyone quickly realized that the pillars were tied into its essence somehow. So the party split into two groups: one to take out the pillars, and the other to keep the demilich contained. The former group did its work quickly, and it immediately merged with the latter group, but that one group would have its hands full. The Lord Herald clearly had the skills to back up his strong words, and his mastery of destructive and necromantic spells was plain to see. But the mages of the group would not be outdone, while the warriors of the group would not be outdone by the mages, either. A concerted effort saw the group prevail eventually, but that victory was costly, as their resources were depleted and their bodies were battered and bruised.

The killing blow led the skull to be engulfed in flames, but the arcanists realized that he was not truly dead. The mages then conducted a search for the phylactery, but it was nowhere to be found. Might they encounter the Lord Herald again? Visarion knew it was possible, but nothing could be done for now. “Let’s just stay vigilant for that one,” he told the group, his tone sounding uncharacteristically grave. He could see that the others had their objections, but he could also tell that they realized he was right. After a concert of silent nods, the party pressed forward.

They got to Rkard’s throne room this time, and who else would be waiting for them but the Sphinx? He greeted the group with another riddle, and it took some time for them to figure out what the right answer could be. They managed to piece it together, however, by calling upon their skills of linguistics (“…and general cleverness,” quipped Cypher). The sphinx then nodded satisfaction, and vanished, never to be seen again.

At that point the items of the Kemalok kings floated above the throne, and the shambling undead bodies of the fallen assembled on the sides of the dais. Each plucked an item and handed it to Bjorn, their body language seeming rather submissive. This became blatant, however, as they knelt before Bjorn, who would be the last to rule, the sole Kemalok king of this era. They beckoned him towards the throne, and Bjorn obliged them. “We have gone far,” said Visarion, as much to himself as anyone else. “Farther than any who have ventured here, at any rate. But now, you are truly king! Well, king Bjorn? What say you?”

Bjorn seemed to contemplate for a moment, then guffawed his response. “It is said the crown is heavy, and it may be at that. But I am Bjorn Mindhammer! And Bjorn Mindhammer is strong!”

A hidden door slid open then, and sunlight shined into the throne room. Bjorn stepped out, his eyes adjusting to the light… and he saw the people of Kled standing, mouths agape, looking upon Bjorn Mindhammer in all His regal glory. “Your king has returned!” proclaimed Bjorn, and the party echoed the sentiment. “Long live the king!” replied the people of Kled, kneeling now before Rkard reborn.

All was not well, however. A rider approached from the distance, and a hooded figure stepped off. The crowd parted to let the new arrival through, who pulled back her hood. Nanda Shatri stood there, clearly uneasy. “Visarion,” she spoke, her voice a little shaky. “Everyone. Come quickly. She has returned… it is time.”

Visarion knew. The encounter with Abalach-Re had been close, and they had narrowly escaped through Kensidan’s sacrifice (who provoked the sorcerer-queen as she fled, true, but V could think no ill of the dead). Nanda Shatri carried dark tidings indeed—Abalach-Re brought the major houses of Raam to heel by taking hostages, and she quickly mobilized the largest army in Athas to seek out the Walker Kings.

“It will not work,” Visarion murmured. Cypher had pressing business in Nibenay, and Bjorn would want to secure the people of Kled (and the riches of Kemalok) and try to keep the forces of Raam from overwhelming them. Alderun expressed a desire to contact Hammanu, and to perhaps convince him to help repel the Raamites. “We are spread to thin, so we cannot respond in kind.”

Visarion knew. All of this had occurred to him already, ever since he let Abalach-Re fly away wounded. He did not have a choice, really, but he regretted all the same.

But all was not lost. The sorcerer-queen’s grasp on Raam was tenuous, as she commanded the loyalty of the major houses only through the hostages she held. If they could be freed and sent to safety, somehow, and if word could be sent to the heads of the houses, then the tide would be turned on its head in a matter of moments. Abalach-Re would not—could not—strike at so large a force, because that very force served as her military, and that would leave her exposed to Urik’s counter-attack. She would have no choice, then, but to vacate Raam and regroup.

Visarion knew. He knew what had to be done.

“Very well, Nanda Shatri. I will go to Raam.”
“Very good,” she replied. “And your friends?”
“Their tasks are their own, Nanda Shatri. And they cannot help me in this.”

“I will go to Raam. But I must go alone.”


Raked’s head rolled along the stone floor, the severed neck leaving a trail of blood. The blonde champion laughed as he watched his handiwork, his eyes twinkling in the torchlight.

“My, my, Borys. If I continue at this pace, I will have to share in your wages!”
Borys sniffed. “I am grateful for this… display, Albeorn. But there is much work to be done yet.”
“Oh, and you would have me do this as well? I demand your wages in full, then!” The other humans chuckled at that.
Borys shifted in the throne, then stood. “Let me show you how I settle my debts first, o blonde one,” he remarked as his sword slid from its scabbard. “Then let us see if you wish to do business with me in the future.”

flash

The attendant entered the waiting room, his bearded face looking grim. “Your Grace,” he said as he bowed. “We have inspected the corpse, as you requested.”
“And?” demanded King Rkard.
“There is no doubt, Your Grace. Only a Vorpal sword could cut through armor like that.”
King Rkard’s face hardened, and he nodded. “I see. Very well. Fetch my armor and craghammer, Regdar. I shall have need for both before the day is done.”
“At once, Your Grace…”

flash

“Just tell me why!” Rkard bellowed. He breathed heavily now, but his grip on the craghammer remained steady. “We ruled as brothers, Borys! I do not understand!”
Borys was laughing now, a manic gleam in his eyes. “I am to be human now, Rkard! Don’t you see? The humans are the future of Athas! And I shall be part of that future, as a human—and as something so much more…” He stared Rkard right in the eyes, then, his grin widening. “How I wish you could be part of that future, brother,” he proclaimed as he reached for his sword. “But I am afraid that simply cannot be.”

Rkard shouted a furious war cry as his anger boiled, and the earth rose up as if to swallow him. It did not quite do that, however, as large rocks stuck onto his plate and shield. His skin seemed to harden then, as if he were being engulfed by dark pebbles. His beard caught fire, and soon flowed like molten lava. He was Rkard no longer, at this moment, but something more.

“Come then, Borys,” bellowed the thing-that-had-been Rkard. Its voice was similar, but deeper, as if the earth itself spoke in concert with the king. “Let us end this.”
Borys merely smiled. “With pleasure.”


Caelum’s eyes shot open, and he found he was in a cold sweat, his hands feeling clammy. He stepped out of bed—shakily—and made for the kitchen. He grabbed a small cup and started to pour himself some ale, which was a traditional Dwarven nightcap (it served the purpose of any other specialty drink, for that matter, at least insofar as the dwarves were concerned).

The visions—and there had been several, but he really only saw the last three—were disturbing. The memory crystals were granted by the sphinx on each correct answer, and this was entirely new to Caelum. Nobody had even encountered the sphinx to that point, and Bjorn’s group really went all the way. Part of him had been glad that Renegade’s telepathic link allowed them to share the visions; they were clearly of great historical value. But another part of him wished he could take it all back; some things were just to horrible to see.

Caelum was disconcerted, and he felt entirely alone in that. He looked out and had to wonder if the others felt the same way he did. But the streets were silent, and the king’s building was dark. Nobody else had lost sleep to the visions. Nobody else shivered in their sleep.

He gulped the last of his ale down, still at fully half a cup. He blew the light out of his lamps, and started to turn in. Sun grant that the visions would not haunt him any further.

“Dwarves with beards,” he murmured, just as sleep came to him.

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Left for Kled

In this episode of The Walker Kings…

“Hey, Dwarf! Go do what we’re paying you to do!”
“Alright, I’m gunna—HRGAAAKH!!”
“…uh, whoops.”

XAFRA UPPERCUT!”

Our intrepid heroes, after definitively defeating a dastardly dray and a dubious destroyer, soon move to descend into a dwelling of doubtful dwarves. But lo, it seems that Kled is actually allied with Tyr! Shock! The Avangion Sadira meets up with our motley crew of ruffians and rascals to inform them of such. “They should be more helpful, then!” said V. “They’re dwarves,” replied Sadira. “Oh right,” said everyone else. Still, the dwarves fulfill their end of the bargain and removed the curse from Visarion and Arlbor.

Lyanius, the resident dwarven elder, agrees to welcome the party on the condition that they go to the underground city of Kemalok to complete a series of trials, and also tasks his son Caelum, the local sun priest, to accompany the group as their guide. “Alright,” said Bjorn. Upon acceptance of this, the town activates Feast Mode! Everyone is fed sparsely but given plenty of ale to compensate, so they basically ate as well as any dwarven king ever did.

Visarion, Renegade, and Cypher run around town roughing up some locals, and get some good info for their trouble. Spoiler alert: the slaughter stones only activate when people are holding weapons! This would prove to be very useful as the group crossed the bridge to an iron grate, and as Caelum followed, V briefly considered tossing a dagger his way, but he quickly realized this would be awesome wildly irresponsible. Instead they all worked to get the grate open, and emerged into the underground city of Kemalok.

As soon as they walk in, the items of the Kemalok kings start floating up into the air, flying straight into the castle. Jinkies! The group followed the rogue objects inside, where they had to overcome a group of undead dwarves and an earth elemental. They saved the last hit for Bjorn, but oops, it was the wrong elemental! Aw, snap! So they killed it right quick.

Next they encountered a puzzle involving statues of the Kemalok kings surrounding a wooden bowl that seemed to be filled with water, with a memory crystal inside. A guardian sphinx whispered cryptic words in the party’s general direction, piquing their interest intellectually and prompting a scholarly verbal exchange. Bjorn, however, soon grew tired of all this newfangled “thinking” that the group was doing, reached inside for the crystal, and just barely managed to retain use of his arm. “Well, that didn’t work,” Cypher quipped. So the group went about solving the puzzle using even more “thinking,” (much to Bjorn’s dismay) and they actually manage to get the right answer! Bjorn then reaches for the memory crystal and views a follow-up flashback to the earlier memory crystal that he picked up, but he is interrupted by a thundering voice, followed by the sound of beating wings…

Will our woeful wanderers withstand this winged warmonger? Be sure to catch our next episode: Kemaluk Before You Leap!

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You're Only A Dray Away

Cypher’s notes:

Absalom. Pretty slick for a high templar. Certainly powerful. Probably more than a match for V. Probably even for any two of us. But definitely not all six of us. Even with friends.

[…]

Looks like Abalach-Re left us a present: A wasting curse eating away at our stores and at Visarion and Arlbor. I’m going to enjoy killing her.

[…]

Off on another hare-brained chase for Bjorn’s dwarven relics. Now at some crazy sun-worshiping dwarven village called Kled. Surly locals. Friends of Lerilyn Tor. Tempted to have the crew simply wipe them off the map, if they weren’t protected by some gladiator I’ve never heard of. Bjorn’s behavior though seems to indicate that she’s not to be messed with. Matched pair of that Rikus fellow who beat the shit out of him or something like that. Struck a deal with the locals to deal with some local bogeyman. Need to go, something’s up.

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Rafernard's Last Spell

(Epilogue: The Forest Maker)

On this episode of the Walker Kings…

Our intrepid heroes finding themselves in something of a pickle, they stare down the five-headed dragon resulting from the ritual performed by the sorcerer-queen Abalach-Re. But after a grueling fight, the Giantkillers manage to… well, kill another giant. Although they didn’t really kill her so much as weaken her, and she wasn’t so much a giant as she was a gigantic creature. Also, it didn’t hurt that Alderun luckily picked up a dragon-slaying sword just before they encountered Abalach-Re. Convenient!

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Anyway, Abalach-Re got pretty sick of eating balls and having sharp things stuck into her, so the ritual failed and she reverted to humanoid form. “Zounds, foiled again!” she said (possibly not her actual words). She suddenly turned tail and was about to fly away, but Kensidan wouldn’t have it; he attacked her with a parting Blood Pulse. Abalach-Re, wounded as she was, didn’t take kindly to this unsporting gesture, which is why she went right back down and proceeded to open a sorcerer queen-sized can of whoopass on the party. After making quick work of Kensidan, she tried to take possesion of Alderun’s brand new weapon… and she might’ve gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for that meddling dray, and that blasted changeling! Using a newly-found flying carpet, the pair swooped in to grab the sword while making a swift escape.

But Abalach-Re wasn’t done! After picking up the Standard of Battle, she flew straight after the two who escaped. But Visarion got an idea, and took the sword from Cypher. “Go on, Cypher. I just got an idea. Take Renegade’s almost-corpse and get away,” said the templar. Cypher nodded silently (as Cypher tends to do) and let Visarion down. V then took the unused potion of transformation he’d been saving (from that one time with the old hag; see relevant writeup), took a gulp, and proceeded to go for the jugular. The next dray Abalach-Re encountered was actually not Visarion, but was in fact the fifteen-foot humanoid form of Dregoth! Wielding the sword, no less!

Abalach-Re gasped, for what must have been a good five minutes at least, because that gave Cypher the window he needed to salvage the rest of the party. He also managed to track down Bjorn, who’d started running once he knew he could not win totally stood his ground to the very end, and was just recuperating under a tree. Meanwhile, Visarion as Dregoth (or Visargoth, if you will) was staring down Abalach-Re, and moved as if to finish her off. That caused the sorcerer queen to flee in a panic. Another threat repelled vanquished! Huzzah!

The forest where they fought was marked by Renegade as the forest he’d be protecting. “Sure,” the party responded nonchalantly. Moreover, upon thorough inspection of Kensidan’s corpse, the party realized that he’d left the mortal realm in peace. After struggling through hardship and much personal conflict, he’d found peace in death. Cypher looked down at his companion and closed Kensidan’s eyelids for the final time. He then proceeded to loot the corpse.

Soon after the fight with Abalach-Re, the party was visited by Nibor and his Djinn friends. After getting up to date on the happenings so far, Nibor offered to help the team fill out their most recent job opening by introducing them to an Efreet, who they accepted… for now. Will this new member add to the party’s dynamic, or will he break up their chemistry? Will he help the party fulfill their goals, or will he use the party for his own dark purposes? Only time will tell!

While the group discussed with Nibor, the ship was halted by a lone dray. It took Visarion some time to recognize him, but once he did, V swooped down from the ship and knelt. Before him stood Dregoth in his dray form, and he quickly promoted the templar to 27th scale. He followed with a proposition for the group: he would assist them in taking down the sorcerer kings and queens, and each party member would take a city-state of their own. In exchange, Dregoth would be ruler above them all.

Before the request was even accepted or declined, everyone started divying up the city-states and deciding who would rule which one (naturally). In addition, Axana recognized the change that was occuring in Visarion, and she knew she could use him to replace the gods she lost. That is why she asked to be promoted to a position similar to a templar (of Visarion!), and V agreed, on the condition that they wait until he was powerful enough. So the deal went quite well for everyone… except for Absalom, that is! He was pissed off that Dregoth promised Raam to V, so Dregoth decided that the two 27th scale templars should fight it out, and the winner would take Raam. Absalom then swoops in for the kill, but the party is ready!

Can they defeat this dastardly dray descending to defend his dreams of domination? We’ll find out next month! So be sure to tune in to our next episode: You’re Only a Dray Away!

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Madness on Athas
Alderun's notes

(part 4 of the Forest Maker)

*Lerilyn Toar managed to escape, sacrificing her bodyguards on the process. We had a hard time dealing with them muls though they were no match for current group. The crew at least managed to beat some braxats to get their.. essence. Continued our journey, following the pilgrims’ footsteps

Note to self: When Cypher doesn’t get his kill (since Lerelin Taur did manage to escape him), he get a bit twitchy with his knives and daggers at hand. He said he’d just kill pilgrims to get their guise, though he ended up killing more than required.

*Giants suddenly got in our way. As usual, Visarion goes berserk at the sight of them, making sure they go down. We were joined by his superior, Mon Adderath, also going berserk on the poor giants. A bit suprised on the giants’ arcane casting, though it’s nothing the team can’t handle. We were called Giantslayers for a reason. Mon Adderath also seemed interested to where the pilgrims lead, though he chose to take a different route from us.

*We were attacked by Culler, the greatest ranger of Athas, which happens to be mad when we met him. Most probably the heat and the madness of the pilgrims made out the most of him, as he frenzied within the pilgrims’ and our way. He was riding a roc, and have two dagurans at his command. Too bad the roc made the crew frantic, what with the crew’s early experience with a roc. I only heard the story from The Renegade, which doesn’t leave much to say. I took Culler’s flaming blade. It is the blade of the greatest ranger of Athas after all.


Image taken from the Forest Maker, a 2e D&D adventure. For personal use.

*We finally arrived. We could definitely tell that this is the place, as the luscious forest should not exist in this part of the Great Aluvial Wasteland. We were greeted by a glowing entity of delicateness and all that is not manly. A so called avangion, what The Renegade is trying to become. It only increased the rest of the crew’s disdain against his “ascension”. Rafernard, as what he/she addressed him/herself, sought for us to rest until the morning comes. The group had other plans in mind.

*We found out that encircling the exploding vegetation is a plaza, which leads to a path below. There were pilgrims meditating on the plaza but was not responding to anything, even when predators of the forest pass them by. We head down the tunnels and it lead us to a series of rooms. We stumbled on one of the most deadliest traps yet; Cypher barely survived it. Great risks offer great rewards they say, which seems to be true for this room full of gold (yes, those things that can only be found in books and merchants’ dreams. Or perhaps…)

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Image taken from the Forest Maker, a 2e D&D adventure. For personal use.

*Gold is magically stuck to floor, sadly, even the might of V and Bjorn combined cannot move them. Paranioa was with us as we explore the rest of the dungeon, which ended in a library. A vast room full of forgotten secrets and stories, each written by the most powerful entities of Athas. Books about Ragnorra, this being called Rajaat and many more can found here. Metamorphosis theories and experiments about dragon- and avangion-hood alike can be found, which were appreciated by Kensidan and The Renegade, those who seek such destiny. Where are we? Perhaps we’ve stumble to more than just a treasury…

Note: Found a book called “Phylactery and Me” by Dregoth. Reminded me of Geoff’s suggestion to attain lichdom. I need this for my quest to achieve balance in oneself, so that I could find the answer to create balance in the withering, or perhaps soon to be blooming, world of Athas.

*Delving in the dungeon took us all night. We know that it was morning when we hear the voices of the pilgrims, worshipping the “great” Rafernard. We soon saw the glowing avangion, floating above a sea of pilgrims. Obsidian orbs, oozing with power, orbit the entity, as he swallow them one by one. A meteor floats above her, We knew by then that she is no avangion, as her glowing carapace sheds bit by bit when she absorbs the power of the orbs. Soon she showed her true visage, Abalach Re. We made our move, hoping we’re not too late. In the words of Visarion, this bitch has to die.

*As we pursue the dragoness, Culler’s blade turn to a mythical sword. It tells me to confront the dragon queen, a quest supposed to be Culler’s. But our efforts are almost rendered useless, as the bitch swallows the last orb of power. Abalach Re almost finished her ritual but she was interrupted by the Mon Adderath, soaring from nowhere. Mon Adderath was able to take her final orb, but Abalach Re was able to take his old yet powerful heart. She took it as a replacement for the orb, for one as old as Mon Aderrath might have gained a heart of utmost power.

She was right. And with it her transformation is complete. Her humanoid visage ripped open, as a mighty dragon appeared before us. She created a frightful presense as her 5 heads, each of different color, roared across the trees of the forest, beyond and the sands that surrounds us. It is time to settle our grudge to her, but I don’t think we have a good chance of telling this tale afterwards.

Note to self: Should stop noting things down, especially in the heat of battle. Useful skill, but can make me lose focus on battle.

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Entering Altaruk
Cypher's impressions.

(Part 3 of the Forest Maker)

Altaruk. Fascinating place. An amusing hive of insurgents, scum, Veiled Alliance revolutionaries, and merchants.

The first thing we spot before even getting into the walls is another placid horde of blank-eyed lack-wit Pilgrims casually strolling into reach of a firedrake. The beast was just scooping them up at its leisure like a bunch of bite-sized snacks. We could have just let sleeping drakes lie, but no, some of our travelling companions have scruples. The Renegade was all for saving the Pilgrims, and that battering ram on legs, Bjorn, was all for the glory of killing a firedrake. (sigh) Good fight though, what with the firedrake’s other friend, an earth drake ambusher.

So we killed the damn things. And the Pilgrims just shambled along like nothing ever happened. Did anyone thank us? No. Did we make a profit? No. Was there any point? NO. (grumble)

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Image taken from the Forest Maker, a 2e D&D adventure. For personal use.

[…]

Assumed the Walon persona, masquerading as a merchant, and the others as crew and assorted hangers on. Nice little merchant fort. Good business. We managed to hire on a talented dwarf artisan for ship repairs, engineer by the name of Maruk. Pretty good timing too, as the Giantslayer really needs some work.

[…]

Arisphistaniles, the local head man here is an interesting fellow. Veiled Alliance. The man is a thorn in the side of every Sorceror King in the area, but they’ll never be able to take him out individually, because a move against him will look like a city-state making a land grab, and they’ll never band against him because he’s too useful as an irritant to every other city state.

We’ve come into an arrangement with him as to the entire Pilgrim situation. The lackwits are bad for business, spooking off merchants and the like. He’s tried investigating the situation, but had few leads. He sent an agent, a ranger by the name of Culler Aktryn, off to an oasis in the south that seemed to be along the pilgrimage route, but has since heard nothing. If we can bring him news, or even better, resolve the entire thing, there’s a reward in the offing.

I’ve heard stories about this Culler. “Best ranger of this King’s Age”, some minstrels say. Being a minstrel myself, I know exactly what that phrase is worth. Still, it might be interesting to meet the man behind the tales.

[…]

Courier from the Order looked up Bjorn a few hours ago. Bit of an argument from what I gather. Next thing I know, he’s trying to scrape up the bloody paste of all that’s left of that mad prophet we ran over with the walker-ship, muttering something about bringing him back to life. And to think we went through all the trouble of throwing him off the ship already.

Psionics. Never understand them.

[…]

That dray skank Lerilyn Toar jumped us in the middle of the night. Nasty business. Quite an amusing chase and takedown though. We caught her alive, and even entered into an “arrangement” with her regarding the Pilgrim situation. With the dawn though, we’ve begun to realize that she might not be as useful as we first imagined, and she just might be too much of a handful. I figure I’ll keep a nice sharp knife ready with her name on it.

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Pilgrimage

(part 2 of the Forest maker)

• The party said their goodbyes at Tyr to seek Altaruk.
• Kensidan wanted to leave the twins behind with the senator to avoid his “fatherly” duties but was convinced by his party mates to rethink his decision.
• Sadira also parted ways with the party.
• The party encountered two dozens of Gith attacking a bard named Domera Tal. They traded information with her in exchange for a place to stay until night fall. She also mentioned that she was feeling a slight compulsion to travel to Altaruk.

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Image taken from the Forest Maker, a 2e D&D adventure. For personal use.

• One peculiar gith stood out of the group. This one was able to stand up straight. They were supposedly called Githyanki, a higher form of the Gith species.
• The party also encountered a pair of pilgrims who were non-respondent. They tried to get their attention even tried to communicate with them but failed to do so. They seem to be heading to the direction of Altaruk.
• The party also encountered a group of cheating elf merchants. The party tried to free an elegant piece of leather armor from the possession of the elves but failed to do so.
• The party also encountered a crazy prophet named Coggalan preaching about “The Forest Maker”. After interrogating him about what he knew, Bjorn threw him out of the fortress after they took the prophet’s magical staff. Kensidan wanted to be sure and fired a missile of force to the damned prophet but did no harm at all. The party was surprised that the prophet survived a straight 60 feet drop, a missile of force and continued to wander off until the party decided to have their mobile fortress step on it.
• One of the crew has started to feel the urge to go to Altaruk.
• The standard of Hamanu summoned a Balor as a challenger. The party had a hard time trying to dispose of the balor but was able to do so without any casuaties.
• The party continued their travel as the days followed.

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Tall Tales of Tall Trees
Includes Kalak's Pyramid

(Part 1 of the Forest Maker)

Finally arriving in Tyr, the Free City, the Giantslayers found that the city’s atmosphere is very disconcerting. Bjorn is aghast at how the once-popular arena has been turned into a marketplace, and Visarion finds the concept of a kingless* city-state hard to grasp. Still, it did not distract the group from engaging in some political maneuvering. After all, the party held the terms of Hamanu’s peace treaty.

Kensidan at first despairs over the situation. Of the factions in the council, three are controlled by the imperfect avangion Sadira (the preservers) with her husbands Rikus (the freemen) and Agis of House Asticles (the nobles). But as the high templar Tehosian explains, there is hope for the templars yet. The noblewoman Jazeela, although of the best intentions, challenges Agis’ more calculated moves at every turn. And while Rikus holds the popularity of the masses, the supernatural nature of his wife Sadira, as well as the latter’s decision to openly engage in polygamy, balance it with more than a little unpopularity.

Nevertheless, the group found it in their best interest to try to get on Agis’s good side, at least. His principles seemed to be ironclad, though, and he refused any assassinate the impulsive Jazeela.

Meanwhile, Kensidan asked for and received permission to enter Kalak’s pyramid, which he believed contained the secrets of the dragon metamorphosis ritual. The Giantslayers spent the rest of the night preparing for the entryway into the pyramid.

Amalak Pul

As they were on their way back to their inn, the sleeping Mekillot, the Giantslayers notices a trio of muls that were bullying a crazy old man who claimed to be a powerful wizard. They took it upon themselves to help the old man, and soundly defeated the halfbloods.

The old man is too addled to provide information, as it seems that he has been travelling without food or water. He only manages to say, "“. . . woods . . . forest . . . tree of life . . . must preserve it . . . keep it from that she-kank . . .” " before falling unconscious, but otherwise the aprty was able to deduce that this was the missing preserver, Amalak Pul, that Sadira mentioned. The following objects were found on his person:

  • A sheet of papyrus with a rough map sketched on it, kept by the Renegade.
  • A nonmagical obsidian shard.
  • Traces of grass and soil found on his boots.

The surviving mul, on the other hand, was intimidated into revealing what he knew:

““We work for a spellcaster named Lerilyn Toar. The lady wanted us to capture this old man and bring him to her. She’s stayin’ somewheres in the city, but we was supposed to take the buzzard bird out of the city and meet her at midnight outside the Caravan Gate.””

Lerilyn seems to have cast a divination spell on the muls however, and when they tried to look for her at the supposed meeting place, she was gone.

*This game follows a different continuity somewhat. In a previous game that I’ve had, the party of the Prism Pentad succeeded in slaying Kalak just as stated in the Verdant Passage, but then proceeded to kill Tithian before he can don the crown. As a result, Tyr is governed solely by a council. We have decided to stick with that continuity.

Kalak’s Pyramid

(WiP)

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From Draj to Tyr

Placeholder. Will jump to the most recent events so that things are somewhat fresh when we return to the game.

(WiP)

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The Wizard of Waverly
Sorry... I couldn't resist with the title. >.>

Placeholder. Will jump to the most recent events so that things are somewhat fresh when we return to the game.

(WiP)

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