The Unnamed Saga

Episode 23 - Below the Chamber of Horrors to the Hub of the Keep
Hellbent on Trashing the Factory

Flashes of runic cerulean light sparked and sputtered as the arcane connections that fueled the room were unlinked by the powers of might and magic — swift secure hatchet-blows across key runes and whispered dark curses unweaving threads of the “Great Binding.” Darkness fell, but soon the bright flare and hiss of a Sunrod’s golden alchemical light showed the party grimly facing each other in a tight circle around the central spire of the Chamber of Horrors. They silently bandaged their wounds and Feral pried a trap door open in the middle of the floor. Loud crunching booms and spiraling cracks began to appear at the entrance to the Chamber, leaving them little time to pause and catch their breaths.

A hulking mailed-fist burst through the obsidian stone as if it were baked clay and the rest of the wall tumbled down revealing the malevolent abyssal demon-soldiers flanking their Atholan commander, Sulimak.

Barely a nod was exchanged and they all leapt into action, moving as finely tuned machinery of adventuring action.

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Episode 22 - Return to the Chamber of Horrors

Having ascended the Shadow Tower and found a way past the silvery dimensional portal from which it had fallen, the adventurers emerged into a hot, dry landscape of angular dread.

They stood at the interior base of a massive quarry with walls over a thousand feet high. The sky was a cloudless persistent red, and the ground was devoid of vegetation. Everywhere was broken stone and periodic flows of horrid blood red liquid cascading into the quarry and then further down beyond. Nearby rest the top of the Shadow Tower they had just climbed, its crown protruding from the silvery energy planar barrier leading back to the mortal world. The flat top of the Shadow Tower was dominated by an iron fortress, a metal keep with redundant layers of walls, towers, and gates. Although the quarry was roughly five miles wide, the heroes could see in the distant four more Shadow Towers, each crowned by an Iron Keep, being carved from the quarry walls by swarms of active laborers. While most of the towers were in various stages of completion, one appears to be complete and stood towering a thousand feet tall. If it was destined to be deployed in a similar fashion to the one the party had just climbed, then the distant towers had not yet been activated. High above them on the quarry edge, iron fortification rim parts of the quarry. Dark armored shapes could sporadically be seen patrolling the heights of the quarry, and the Iron Keeps atop each tower.

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Episode 21 - Climbing Into The Depths Of The Abyss

After having traversed two sides of the mighty stone shard, the adventurers were able to obtain a short rest in a cavernous passage after having collapsed the entrance of the tunnel to prevent pursuit.

As they rested, they examined the passageway, and discovered evidence of a great engineering work. The tunnel, even the very shard itself seemed to have been carved from a great stone. The stone was the color of the blackest obsidian, yet had the appearance of hard granite. The stone passageway showed signs of having been worn by a great chain or rope. Investigations also suggested that the shard might be hollow in some way.

The heroes had to continue their climb across and around the exterior of the giant Shadow Tower- all while being attacked by waves of scampering and flying demons. Lengara almost died when he teleported out of his climbing harness and was unceremoniously knocked unconscious by a flying demonoid. His ragdoll body would have fallen the full 1,000 feet to the earth below had he not by shear luck crashed onto a narrow ledge, allowing Klemnon to rescue the shifty warlock with a healing prayer.

Finally finding a passage into the Tower and up beyond the shimmering energy portal from which the tower emerged, the adventurers found themselves in the thoroughly unwholesome hell plane known as The Abyss.

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Episode 20 - The Tower Of Shadow

Sunrise brought a general cheer from the crew of the New Caladonia as the brightening dawn revealed a sheltered cove for landing on the north shore of Gwynneth Isle. The ship was running dangerously a low on supplies, was a few hands short, and had already suffered attacks from sea-monster and monster seas, so the destination represented a chance for repairs and restocking. The Moonshae Archipelago was known by sailors to be teeming with dangers, and Gwynneth Isle, its largest island, was no exception, but the adventurers who had hired the ship were insistent to reach these coordinates with all due haste.

The heroes had gleaned from visiting the village of Fishkill, and from studying the Amcathra’s journal which they had brought back from a possible apocalyptic future, that five settlements in the Moonshae Islands had in succession been attacked and depopulated, their entire populations kidnapped by Athola’s alien abominations. The villages also showed signs of being drained not just of life but of magic itself, as if some terrible force had devoured the ethereal weave of mystical energy which normally rest in the background of this world. While the band did not know for certain what had happened to the missing villagers, they knew that Amcathra’s alien forces seemed to consume sentient life force to fuel their intrusions into this world, and suspected the worst.

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Episode 19 - Ship Wracked
Ship Happens.

With joy the sailor, when long by tempests tos’t
Spreads all his canvass for the wish’d for lost
_ Log of the New Caledonia_

26th of Marpenoth
Embarkation from Waterdeep to the Moonshae Isles with Adventuring Clients — members Five. winds SW at Force 3. Men in good health, considering the violent circumstances of our departure. Souls on Board 30. A Reminder to not meddle in the affairs of quarreling adventuring gangs/troupes.

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Episode 18 - Goodbye Waterdeep

Having survived being the sacrificial prey in the Cult of Saerenclaw’s unbalanced hunt, the group was exhausted and in need of rest. Though there was some discussion of camping where they were- at the hidden outdoor temple of the god Malar, god of the savage hunt – the prospect of resting in the lonely (and perhaps unholy) cemetery sat poorly with Klemnon. The band after some discussion settled on returning to their one reliable sanctuary from the storm – the high wizard Amcathra’s manor on the far side of town.

With the old, tall trees of the cemetery swallowing all but scant dim starlight, the group lit a sunrod to illuminate their path, trying to shelter the magical light source to limit broadcasting their location to any other occupants of the graveyard. Despite their attempt at speedy stealth, too soon the band noticed an ominous hissing coming from the darkness behind them. The heroes rushed ahead into a broad courtyard of aged but mostly intact mausoleums, a space dominated by a huge statute at its center. The low hissing / breathing that had been pursuing the band fell off for a moment, or spread out all around the adventurers, they weren’t sure. Cautiously, Feral, Tin, and Lengara moved forward toward the courtyard’s central statute.

Sliding into view from the darkness came a half dozen shadow stalkers, living shadows of roughly human shape that normally dwell in the foreboding Shadowfell but occasionally slip into the natural world to feed on the process of death. They could sense that amongst the group Tin had taken the worst beating in the prior battles and was closest to eternal sleep. Drifting and darting towards him, the evil shades moaned, “The sweet succor, we must feed!”

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Episode 17 - The Night the Moon Rose
In Which Feral Discovers His True Nature

A choking ennui hung over the haunted forest like a diseased dark in the depths of the Feywild. A thin deer-trail ended at the base of a large depression hidden in the middle of the heavily wooded hillside. The still glade was keenly silent with a pregnant pause, the contrary-calm before a violent-storm. In the middle of the glen stood a towering stone monument to His Glory, stained with the blood of many sacrifices who had been Called and Killed before. It was topped with a large humanoid shaped statue rising from the floor of the hidden valley clearing. Baying of warg-hounds sounded nearby, calling the lurking Hunter to stir from His obfuscated ambush spot, eager to participate in the ritual of blood. The High Hunt had been called and He was its Master. Crashing through the brush came a beast rarely seen, its gleaming pristine coat now stained with blood and bramble-torn. Her large black-equine eyes were stretched wide in terror and so driven by the hounds, she ran into the jaws of the trap. He was waiting for her, hungry and salivating, smelling the pheromones signaling his triumph at hand.

‘At last,’ Malar thought. ‘I will be the one to claim her. The Last Unicorn is finally mine.’

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Episode 16 - Haunted Dreams For The Hunted

With little discussion, the band sought out their respective rooms in the Haverick’s Smoke Ring Inn. They had for the moment found shelter from the Cult of Saerenclaws, but the baying wolf-hounds of the Cult would eventually sniff out their hiding place. The heroes were not just battered but set upon by a despair far more exhausting than that of physical fatigue. Unsure of themselves or what to do next, the adventurer’s knew a hard reckoning was to come. But as Virginia Woolf penned – it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

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Episode 15 - Go Lyeth
And Suffer the Slings and Arrows of Your Outrageous Misfortune

“To understand Feral’s state of mind as he leaped off the spiral staircase to the meeting room below, one must understand the nature of the beast that is a Shifter.”

“Lycanthropes and loup garou come in a variety of forms. They possess the blood and brain of two creatures — one sentient, the other primal and beastly. The blood-frenzied curse of the night’s moon comes forth in a physical change, bring forth the Wild nature from a link to the dark and banal recesses of the feywild. It is the uncontrollable transformation and unearthly feral disposition of these beasts that make them feared by the public and reveled by Malar. Shifters are the domesticated descendants of these unbridled creatures. They possess a faint link to the feyWild and can regain some of the instinctual nature of their ancestors, usually of a feline (longtooth) or canine (razorclaw) origin.”

“Feral’s umwelten perceptions of the world are thus, perceived on two very different levels. The rational umwelt could easily have perceived the rash and unwise nature of his actions, but not that far beyond those they had previously encountered. The animalistic umwelt could smell only one thing: battle.”

Excerpt from one of the lost journals of Tin Woodsfellow, circa 1545 DR, discovered by Jendarn Litholm, Scholar of Waterdeep, Amacathra Institute of Arcane Studies 1723 DR.

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Episode 14 - Into The Den of Thieves

Drengy stood on deck of the Misty Tempest, contently surveying the carnage around him.

The adventurers had struck a sudden and general bargain with sea-worn Captain Haab, agreeing to get his ship, the Misty Tempest, back from the Blackjaw gang in exchange for free passage to the distant island village of Fishkill. The heroes had told the enthusiastic Habb to gather his scattered crew and meet them in an hour at the ship, and then headed to the docks to liberate the boat. The battle for the ship had stretched from the docks to the crows nest to the bowels of the grand ship, but the sailors defending the ship were brutally put down. Although one insignificant gang member escaped, the goon that tried to scuttle the ship had been chased down and eliminated by Lengara’s unnatural magic.

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