The Fog of Ious

Returning to Corvale!
...and encountering a ton of crowds.

The party returned to corvale at about noon a day after they left the demolished tower behind. Some of you noticed an unusual amount of activity in the city from a distance. When the party passed through the city’s walls, as much became readily apparent to everyone.

It seems that there were immense gatherings both in front of the Town Hall and Marketplaces. In the former case, they took the form of a long line waiting to get in. Igan Dunndragon, who was in full uniform and barking orders to the citizens, informed you all that the commotion was the result of the Elder’s promise to compensate anyone who had property damaged in the bandit raid. Curian Ironhouse left the party to go and tend to his bar (no pun intended), and invited you all to come around later to get the drinks he promised you. The rest of you went in.

Amidst doubts, suspicions and one entirely fed up Lavinia, the party left the Town hall with part of their reward and perhaps a bit more suspicion towards the Elder than they expected to leave with. As promised, the Elder gave you each one preemptive pardon on any crimes committed in the city…short of murder, which he said the Townsguard must get involved with.

His fascination with the dragon you encountered seemed to fall short of the surprise the party was expecting. He offered you each 50GP extra for the trouble. A few dirty glances shared between Sum and a few of the party members left everyone with two key questions: Did Sum know the dragon would be waiting atop the tower? Where does he intend to find the gold to pay for the damages?

Aeson is hoping to get information out of Lavinia in the form of a date; Aiko wishes to do some research regarding their encounter with Nephis during their journey home, and Jamester and Ciraena seem contented to re-supply and wander the City after a rough time away.

Adventures in the City!
Or "Dustin Splits the Party"

Two days ago, you departed the ancient tower for the safety of Corvale. One day ago, you noticed the city from a distance in an unusual state of activity. Today, you have arrived in the city and waded through the crowds to collect your rewards from Malark Sum. That interaction has aroused suspicion. Several members of the party are undergoing efforts to gather information on the Elder after he seemed to be nonchalant about the Dragon you encountered or his use of the city’s limited resources. Being back in the city, there are several errands you might wish to run.

Ciraena visited Alston, a shop keep in the city, to replenish some of her supplies and gather information. Alston offered her a generous discount as well as a generous account of the Elder’s tenure in the city; admitting Sum’s oddities, but praising his work. She then encountered Garrick and two other Eleven members of the Townsguard, locked in a game of chance. Being on good terms with the Townsguard is certainly a good way to gather information, but it was made a bit more difficult by Garrick’s personality. She challenged Ciraena to the game, and was very clearly cheating to force her results. Caught in the act, she very nearly decided to spar with Ciraena, but the barbarian offered a drink instead. The information Garrick promises has yet to be revealed.

Aiko spent her time primarily loathing the city and its confines. Any spare time was spent wandering its streets with the goal of eventually finding her way to the Library of Erathis to research Rat People. Before a (terribly) long time, she encountered two Gnomes running a stand in the marketplace. One of them was a Rock Gnome with patches of hair missing and a combative attitude. The other was a pale gnome with long, silver hair. Her skin very nearly had a blue hue, which piqued Aiko’s curiosity. An enthusiastic encounter between the two — and later all three — resulted in Aiko’s decision to buy as many magic crystals as the pair was offering in the hopes that various colored gems might be useful in the party’s efforts.

Aeson endeavored to put his skill set to good use. Being no stranger to the criminal elements of Corvale, his first response was to gather information from those who might have it. Lavinia, Sum’s reluctant assistant, promised him a ‘date’ from which he hopes to extract information. This is set to occur whenever she is free from the busywork that the Elder has generated for her. To help speed things up, Aeson is considering enlisting the help of Maseer; the single bandit left alive from the raid on the city just a few nights ago. Maseer has produced what he calls crystalized firebolt from his bag.

Offensive magic, when crystallized, is generally illegal within the city limits. It can’t even be sold in broad daylight (though the Divide may have some stock of it while the Townsguard isn’t looking). Maseer claims he can time the beginning of the crystal’s effects as a means of causing trouble and be well out of harm’s way. He made the offer so that he can be rid of Aeson and the rest of the party as quickly as possible. He still intends to return to his boss and has not yet learned of his band’s fate.

Jamster, as far as the party knows, ran straight for Oaktavern with Curian Ironhouse and has been there ever since. Ciraena has just arrived on the scene.

Adventures in the City Pt. 2!

Last session, the party followed up on… following… a drunken mercenary who had a bit too much to drink. He also had a hammer, and a bit of information he unwittingly shared with the party.

As it turns out, Maseer, the sole bandit survivor of the Raid on Corvale just nights ago, should have been in holding during his time in Corvale. The mercenary seemed to think he would know something about where the Frath and his men got their crystalized magic.

This much became evident as he shouted it at the the top of his lungs in the Townsguard barracks. His status as a threat became evident at around the same time. After a rather brief skirmish (and a stabbed dwarf), the party’s quick thinking literally had the man behind bars. From where the party stands now, you can all still here his frenzied screaming.

While most of the party was dealing with the mercenary, Aeson decided to rob the Elder. Sneaking in through the window and unlocking a hidden compartment under Sum’s desk were easy. Perhaps his riddle-locked safe wasn’t much of a challenge for Aeson either; as it was unlocked before long.

Aeson made off with the contents of the chest (check your handouts, Aeson!) which contained certain illegal magical crystals. A flash of light caught the thief’s eye shortly thereafter. Maseer was watching, evidently set on securing the treasures for himself!

A brief chase and a rather impressive amount of speed on Maseer’s part nearly allowed him to slip past the entire party. As luck, and Callin’s strange use of crystals, would have it, he was discovered by the entire party at the Barracks.

He revealed that the band got their crystals from an anonymous source who only met them outside of some abandoned Gnomish mines, miles from Corvale. They have another meeting scheduled in two days’ time.

Perhaps you can learn something by finding this group? Maybe it’s time to patch up the Dwarf first…

Setting Out for the Rendezvous Point
And distracting shop employees with boobs.

Last time, the party set off to travel to the rendezvous point that was revealed to them by Maseer in his stunned stupor. This wasn’t before making some preparations, however; Jamster decided to ask around to try and gain an approximate sense of where the party should be headed. He learned a number of things important for the trip! Namely, to avoid the wandering giant that might appear along the path, and to be on the watch for kobolds.

As luck would have it, the party ran into both; the latter being the party’s present engagement. The former rose out of the ground at a fork in the road. The advice Jamster received may have saved someone (cough, Ciraena) who might have been tempted to charge in at the construct otherwise.

Aeson decided to devote his time towards selling off some of the valuables he stole from the Elder’s safe. He managed to sell a pebble for 3GP, and 10GP of the 30GP he discovered..

Aiko decided to go and ‘purchase’ some potions of healing from the same stand the party ‘purchased’ them from a few days ago. Perhaps unexpectedly, the man who ran the stand at the time was nowhere to be found. In his place was a much sterner individual who had less to say and at least a bit more business sense than his predecessor.

That didn’t stop her illusions from distracting him. She did such a good job of that that Ciraena’s nearly knocking the stand over mid-theft went unnoticed. The party made off with three potions in the end. The Elder’s ‘get out of jail’ free cards from earlier would have come in handy if you got caught. But then again, they might have also been useful to the man who you got fired for theft, too…

The party traveled (unusually successfully…) to the approximate location of the impending meetup. About two and a half days in to the journey, they finally encountered the Kobolds they were warned about (after your navigator made a wrong turn, no less). The bad luck continued, and you were unable to escape before they took notice. Get ready for a fight!

Arriving at the Rendezvous Point
...with one more person than you set out with.

First thing’s first, the Kobolds! The creatures were small, vile and capable of highly coordinated efforts. One of them even seemed to have a trap ready for anyone who wandered to close to it and its conspicuously large boulder.

They only highly coordinated their own deaths. Their numbers were quickly whittled down by the party’s might, and that was that. Except of course for sudden appearance of a Tiefling brandishing weapons Aeson might be familiar with. He took out his fair share of the monsters, and quickly decided to travel along with the party. Unbeknownst to all of them at the time, Kairon and the Party from Corvale were all going to the same location.

Along the way, the party got acquainted with its newest member in what appears to be its customary fashion; trading barbs back and forth for about an hour and a half. He also revealed a bit about his wife. Of note to this recap, the Townsguard seem to have had something to do with her demise. And a certain Townsguard seemed to be particularly upset b this revelation. Of course, most ex Townsguard are embarrassed by the Townsguard.

The party arrived on the scene of the rendezvous point miraculously on schedule. As they approached the entrance to a mine, a pair of humans and an enormous Stone Golem were guarding the path, waiting for customers who would never arrive.

One of the two made that realization before the other, and decided to go ‘secure the loot’ beneath several feet of earth and a handful of mechanical noises you can only assume to be safeguards of one form or another.

They both vanished using some unusual magic shortly thereafter. The Golem remained, and it remained a threat… until the party discovered in great haste that it was inert; nothing more than a statue at this point. The location was probably chosen by this unknown group precisely because of this scarecrow of stone.

You have entered the mine to find a long hallway. If there’s anything linking Sum to contraband here, you’ll have your work cut out for you if you want to find it!

Exploring the Mine
Falling down the stairs, and being frustrated by a box.

Following up on Maseer’s Information, the party has finally entered the lair of the individuals linked with shipments of crystallized magic to Corvale. The mineshaft was relatively small, as far as they come. The entire area was in much better shape than any of you had likely anticipated. Typically, precious gems are gathered from these sites until a discovered vein is depleted or it becomes unsafe to continue mining. It’s hard to say how this one fell into disuse, mainly due to the renovations it underwent at some point in the past.

There were a series of four small chambers lining the halls to a central room. Each of the smaller rooms was guarded by stone doors bearing various symbols. The party discovered a Stave, a Dagger, a Sword, and the symbol of the Ironhouse Clan. Each opened only in response to the actions of a single party member, and the rooms even repelled anyone else (with the exception of Kairon, who was able to enter the room Aeson opened — perhaps due to similarities in their proclivities?). It’s unclear how this is possible, but by all accounts these rooms were made for the party.

The rooms contained a series of challenges suited to the party’s skills. After a few mishaps and a bit of accidental bloodshed, the party overcame them and unlocked the door guarding the central chamber. Each success was punctuated by heavy metallic clanking of the door’s mechanism being undone. A similar sound was heard just after one of the hooded individuals entered the mine to ‘secure the loot.’ Maybe there were other ways to open the door? Given the nature of the magic in the smaller rooms, that must have been the case.

The floor of the chamber bore the remnants of a magical circle, and that magic circle bore a box which was jarred open when the door came crashing down. It began spewing out a gas which exhausted those who took it in. Aiko’s quick thinking caused (along with a little bit of injury) the gas to go up in flames. The box also held a set of magical items that also appeared to be tailored for the party (in some cases, literally!). While it would ordinarily take time to study magical items to gain their effects, this information seemed to be instantly and intuitively presented to the party.

The party spent time examining the other crates that were present in the main chamber. For the most part, these appeared to be large shipments of magical crystals bound for various locations in corvale. The majority of them were cheaply made but nonetheless permitted within the city. Other boxes held banned contents, and some of the latter set seemed to be linked to Elder Sum! A smaller parcel in the room bore the warning “Don’t forget Sum’s other parcels! He’ll kill us, otherwise!” It may not be the most damning evidence, but it’s certainly nothing. Further research might be warranted.

One box in particular, the one bearing the Emblem of Clan Ironhouse, contained a scrap of paper and a large blue gem worked into a stone key. When the latter object came too close to the Jeweled Box the party has been carrying around, it accepted the key in an explosion of blue light! The box now holds half the keys it was designed to bear..

Shortly after the key was discovered, the party met the strange old Wizard they encountered on the top of Frath’s Tower. Much like last time, this meeting was chaotically arranged via a rift tearing into open air. In contrast to your prior meeting, the party got a chance to hold a proper conversation with the man. Everyone was present while he spoke with the exception of Kairon, who remained hidden.

To summarize his vulgar shouting and warnings: The box you hold was designed to channel the destructive force of the gems set in its keys. The gems, on their own, are enough to cause major damage. The Wizard’s familiarity with them stemmed from an incident in which his entire village was nearly brought to the ground by the magic contained in one, before he was able to stop the individual responsible for the crystal’s use.

In no uncertain terms, he warned you not to show the box to anyone, and to avoid those who show an interest in it, in particular. The destruction it could bring might mean the end of the world as you know it.

He also warned you “Not to go carelessly shoving keys into things that tear holes in reality!” in case you needed a reminder of his overall mood about the party.

How will you proceed, adventurers?

Leaving the Mine and Heading Home
...and here comes the giant fist!

After the short-but-loud conversation with the Old Man, the rift that facilitated it vanished, and the party was left to determine how to proceed. After unlocking the last of the boxes in the main chamber, the party decided it might be too risky to rest, and set out for Corvale.

Goblins in the Wilds aren’t strictly subterranean creatures, apparently. The party encountered a group of them as they began their journey back. Two were riding boars, and the entire group appeared to be foraging. This may be an isolated incident. It may also hint that perhaps these creatures aren’t as dim-witted as commonly believed. The consideration remains moot since they’re currently dead.

At the halfway point on the journey, the party decided to venture out to the Guild Settlement they saw previously in order to rest. The moment one of them set foot on the trail, they also saw the Stone Golem they encountered last time. It’s hard not to see a massive construct that emerges violently from the earth and chases you.

The party did not escape this encounter unscathed. The Golem managed to strike Kairon just before the party reached the gates of the Guild Settlement. The Golem stopped chasing the party as soon as they crossed the threshold. It is unlikely that he will survive his injuries. The Wilds are cruel and unforgiving.

The Party met Nephis Rein, of all people, during their efforts to escape. It seems that this settlement is her home! She was able to offer up some information on the Golem. The Golem acts as an indiscriminate guardian for the village; it attacks all who step foot outside of the settlement and all who step near. Its origin is unknown, but it is a normal part of life for these villagers.

A village of people who routinely dodge the giant, and the home of Nehpis? This village may be trouble…

Worgs in the Woods
...Talking worgs, too!

The party followed Nephis into the Settlement as she took charge and carted Karon to a hut next to the village’s main source of entertainment; the Shepherd’s Crook. The Tiefling’s injuries nearly killed him on the spot, and time finished the job shortly thereafter. Almost immediately after this, the party heard a commotion coming from the pub.

An Elf, a Tiefling and the Party walk into the bar. After a general lack of interaction with the former and perhaps more interaction than was needed with the latter, Kreelash and Amabella joined the party. One made claims of service to a greater being, and the other was quick to tag along once some financial incentive was procured.

And who better to provide a financial incentive than the Halfling shouting about worgs? To be fair, he wasn’t the only one. It seems that the entire village council is abuzz over what to do about the beasts. After a bit of direction from the barkeep, the party ultimately learned of the village’s plight. It seems a pack of worgs has recently been causing more trouble than usual to the village’s livestock — enough to start talks about the village’s demise. This wouldn’t be uncommon fate for a Guild-sanctioned settlement, which makes the village’s success up until now all the more worth holding on to. The village used to have a wizard to protect them the ravages of the Wilds, but he seems to have gone missing ages ago and is presumed dead.

At any rate, the worgs seem to be highly intelligent — at least intelligent to speak Common, the party later found out. The party offered to help with the village’s problem and managed to track the creatures to a cave at the end of the western woods. Their intelligence spans further than the power of speech.; rough drawings adorn the external walls of their den, they seem to be capable of using fire and a handful of them even seemed to be ‘wearing’ scraps of leather to create a crude sort of armor.

It may have been interesting to observe them for some time, but that’s no longer an option. The party triggered a tripwire trap the worgs set, and they are all currently baring their fangs at the party!

Flame, Bolt and the Worgs
....and an incident with a dead lamb.

The worgs wasted no time in attacking the party. They swarmed the group while shouting strategy and making good use of their abilities. Combat began on even footing, but the odds shifted against the party seconds into the fray. Flame and Bolt emerged from the cave with four underlings — these ones specially armored — bringing the total to 12 against six.

Flame’s fire breath made a lasting impression on both the party, and several of the worgs. Both he and Bolt were resolute in their efforts to maintain the fighting, but as more creatures were injured, Bolt’s resolve began to wane. With three worgs dead, and Aeson dying, she finally decided to speak up, asking the party to consider negotiation.

The party’s reluctance initially led to more bloodshed, but they eventually agreed to hear her out. During this respite, Kreelash got a look at the paintings rendered on the Cave walls that seemed to offer some clues as to the origins of these intelligent beasts.

Bolt explained that the entire pack was merely acting to better their own lives, though she admitted to hating the people of the nearby village, who have hunted her and her kind for ages. She offered, amidst growling from Flame, to aid the village or even relocate if the party promised not to reveal their whereabouts.

Flame’s anger appeared to be steadily building during the entire exchange, and he exploded just as an agreement was reached. He attacked Bolt fiercely, wounding her gravely enough to leave her out of the fight as he attempted to best the party. Ultimately, this lead to his demise as the party’s efforts weakened him, and Amabella’s quick thinking got Bolt back on her feet to unleash a thunderous roar that allowed Ciraena to finish Flame off.

Bolt was not pleased with the bloodshed; less so with the loss of Flame. But she was willing to understand that the situation could not be helped. That is of course, until Kreelash attempted to kill her while she had her head lowered. He managed to wound her, but she escaped into the den. The rest of the party reacted with shock as the warlock simply explained that he followed the whims of his patron. That and a skinned sheep seem to have satiated the higher power, Kreelash or both.

What you have left to do now is up to you. The worgs’ den has yet to be explored. But it may be time to return to Corvale and address the evidence you found linking Malark Sum to some of the illegal shipments moving into Corvale. Be sure to collect your reward from the village, whatever you do.

Lots of Things Fell from the Sky
...Including a new party member!

Last time, lots of things fell from the sky, several of you discovered new abilities, and some goblins died. Ciraena was hit in the head with a rock, which triggered a kind of vision. In it, she saw a cluttered worktable near shelves that contained tome after tome of arcane knowledge. Against the opposite wall of the room, she saw a distinctive banner depicting a golden dragon. Perhaps this vision is in some way related to the magical abilities she displayed later in the session?

Perhaps already wary of falling objects thanks to Ciraena, Jamster deftly dodged the heavy, dust-laden book that feel from the sky shortly thereafter. While its exact contents are uncertain, it appeared to be a book describing various deities. Given that only Ioun and Erathis are known to exist on Ious, this knowledge is very obviously otherworldly. There also appears to be some validity to the claims it makes, as it seems to have triggered divine powers in Jamster.

The others (who were either not hit with objects, or who avoided them) got to observe the cause in some detail. It appears that portals were opening in the sky with loud pops and depositing their contents – mostly dirt and dust – onto the material plane. Could it be that time of year already?

Perhaps the strangest thing to fall from the sky was…some sort of bird person. The newcomer had some time to speak with the party – as well as could be done given the chaos raining down from the sky. It seems he was thrown from the Elemental Plane of Earth to the material plane unexpectedly. His plane of origin was revealed to be the Elemental Plane of Wind. Planeshifting is no easy task, and those who do often accomplish it by accident rather than by choice. What forces could have caused Dio to arrive in the world? He is a creature that has never been witnessed on Ious before.
He got a chance to demonstrate his aerial combat abilities, as the entire group became acquainted with one another over combat. Jamster demonstrated his divine power, and Ciraena’s sword began issuing forth magic – the likes of which seem to rival some of Aiko’s spells. The end of the bout with the goblins that attacked the party proved definitively that most everyone has gotten more adept in fighting over the course of their travels together.

Now, you find yourselves staring down the gate to the City of Corvale, having found your way back after your recent quests. Just as you begin to walk into the city proper, you hear a voice. “Aiko…Ciraena, Jamster.. erm… the rest of you… Can you hear me?”


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